The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Nagaraj on July 12, 2010, 03:00:27 PM

Title: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: Nagaraj on July 12, 2010, 03:00:27 PM
Dear I,

I found this reply by Sri Bhagavan to a devotee in Arunachala's Ramana - Ocean of Boundless Grace, Volume - 3, Page 77.

I believe and pray that all questions and doubts regarding 'Manonasa', 'Manolaya', 'Destruction or extinction of mind/thoughts', 'Control of Mind' & certain 'Delusions of a false sense of salvation' are all put at rest.

D: When I am engaged in enquiry as to the source from which the "I" springs, I arrive at a stage of stillness of mind beyond which I find myself unable to proceed farther. I have no thought of any kind and there is emptiness, blankness. A mild light pervades and I feel that it is I who is bodiless. I have neither cognition nor vision of body and form. The experience lasts nearly half an hour and is pleasing. Would I be correct in concluding that all that was necessary to secure eternal happiness (i.e., freedom or salvation or whatever one calls it) was to continue the practice till this experience could be maintained for hours, days and months together?

M: This does not mean salvation; such a condition is termed manolaya or temporary stillness of thought. Manolaya means concentration, temporarily arresting the movement of thoughts; as soon as this concentration ceases, thoughts, old and new, rush in as usual and even though this temporary lulling of mind should thousand years it will never lead to total destruction of thought, which is what is called salvation or liberation from birth and death. The practicer must therefore be ever on alert and enquire within as to who has this experience, who realises its pleasantness. Failing this enquiry he will go into long trance or deep sleep (yoga nidra). Due to the absence of a proper guide at this stage of spiritual practice many have been deluded  and fallen a prey to a false sense of salvation and only a few have, either by the merit of good acts in their births, or by extreme grace, been able to reach the goal safely.

Bhagavan then told the following story -

A yogi was doing penance (tapas) for a number of years on the banks of Ganges. When he had attained a high degree of concentration, he believed that continuance in that stage for prolonged periods constituted salvation and practiced it. One day, before going in to deep concentration, he felt thirsty and called to his disciple to bring  a little drinking water from the Ganges; but before the disciple arrived with the water, he had gone into manolaya and remained in that state for countless years, during which time much water flowed under the bridge. When he woke up from this experience the first thing he asked for was "water! water!" but there was neither his disciple nor the Ganges in sight.

The first thing which he asked for was water because, before going into deep concentration, the topmost layer of thought in his mind was water and by concentration. however deep and prolonged it might have been, he had only been able to temporarily lull his thoughts and when, therefore , he revoked consciousness this topmost thought flew up with all the speed and force of a flood breaking through the dykes. If this is the case with regard to a thought which took shape immediately before he sat for meditation, there if no doubt that thoughts which have taken deeper root earlier will still remain un-annihilated; if annihilation of thoughts is salvation can he be said to have attained salvation?

Sadhakas (seekers) rarely understand the different between this temporary stilling of the mind (manolaya) and permanent destruction of thoughts (manonasa). In manolaya there is temporary subsidence of thought-waves, and, though this temporary period may even last for a thousand years, thoughts which are thus temporarily stilled, rise up as soon as the manolaya ceases. One must, therefore, watch one's spiritual progress carefully. One must not allow oneself to be overtaken by such spells of stillness of thoughts: the movement one experiences this, one must revive consciousness and enquire within as to who it is who experiences this stillness. While not allowing any thoughts to intrude, he must not, at the same time, be overtaken by this deep sleep (yoga nidra) or Self-hypnotism. Though this is a sign of progress towards the goal, yet it is also the point where the divergence between the road to salvation and yoga nidra takes place. The easy way, the direct way, the shortest cut to salvation is the enquiry method. By such enquiry, you will drive the thought force deeper till it reaches its source and merges therein. It is then that you will have the response from within and find that you rest there, destroying all thoughts, once and for all.

This temporary stilling of thought comes automatically in the usual course of one's practice and it is a clear sign of one's progress but the danger of it lies in mistaking it for the final goal of spiritual practice and being thus deceived. It is exactly here that a spiritual guide is necessary and he saves a lot of the spiritual aspirant's time and energy which, would otherwise be fruitlessly wasted.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: ramana_maharshi on July 12, 2010, 03:58:22 PM
Nagraj Garu,

Just for info the devotee in the above conversation was "RAMANANANDA SWARNAGIRI".

Infact in his book "CRUMBS FROM HIS TABLE"  8th Chapter    "Control Of Mind Versus Destruction Of Mind" you can find the above discussion.

Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: silentgreen on July 12, 2010, 05:34:04 PM
It is then that you will have the response from within and find that you rest there

If you find any elaboration on this "response", please post.
I think the key lies here.
Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 12, 2010, 05:45:53 PM

Dear Nagaraj and others,

Manolayam is the stillness of the mind and this should not be
allowed to go for long.  Bhagavan never appreciated this sense
of stupor and He advised Kunju Swami to take Jatini Sundarambal
who was having these experiences for a stroll on the Hill to bring
back the mind to activiity.  Mano nasam is total thoughtless state,
where the ego is dead and gone and all that a realized person thereafter does is from the Self, which is the One without a second.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: Nagaraj on July 12, 2010, 07:04:02 PM
Dear I (all)

How do you practice enquiry?

I realise how very important it is in regard to communicate the Truth. Only Jnani's can utter the Truth as it is. How much so ever we may try and explain the same Truth, we fail to communicate the same essence. Hence I took my time so that I can respond to this question regarding what is Self Enquiry or rather How I practice Self enquiry.

I have carefully scrutinized and gathered some very essential and potent instructions given by Bhagavan at various instances, collected from different books.  I have summarised them as given below:

(Arunachala’s Ramana – Ocean of Boundless Ocean of Grace, page 291)

M: How do you meditate?

D: I begin to ask myself “Who am I?”, eliminate body as not “I”, the breath as not “I”, the mind as not “I” and I am not able to proceed further.
M: Well, that is so far as the intellect goes. Your process is only intellectual. Indeed, all the scriptures mention the process only to guide the seeker to know the Truth. The Truth cannot be directly pointed out. Hence this intellectual process.
You see, the one who eliminates all the not I cannot eliminate the “I”. To say “I am not this” or “I am that” there must be the “I”. This “I” is only the ego or the “I-thought”..

D: Even so, I do not understand. “I”, you say, is the wrong “I” now. How to eliminate this wrong “I”?
M: You need not eliminate the wrong “I” How can “I” eliminate itself? All that you need to do is to find out its origin and abide there. Your efforts can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach it.

D: If “I” am always – here and now, why do I not feel so?
M: That is it. Who says it is not felt? Does the real “I” say it or the false “I”? Examine it. You will find it is the wrong “I”. The wrong “I” is the obstruction. It has to be removed in order that the true “I” may not be hidden.

(Note: Particularly observe, Bhagavan says “It has to be removed in order that the true “I” may not be hidden” and does not say that the True “I” can be found. This is the whole essence. It can only be found if there is still the wrong “I”)

The feeling that I have not realized is the obstruction to realization. In fact it is already realized; there is nothing more to be realized. Otherwise, the realization will be new; it has not existed so far, it must take place hereafter. What is born will also die.

D: What becomes of the body after realization? Does it exist or not? We see realized beings acting like others.
M: This question need not arise now. Let it be asked after realization, if need be. As for the realized beings let them take care of themselves. Why do you worry about them?
   In fact, after realization the body and all else will not appear different from the Self.

D: Being always Being-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda), why does God place us in difficulties? Why did He create us?
M: Does God come and tell you that He has placed you in difficulties? It is you who say so. It is again the wrong “I”. If that disappears there will be no one to say that God created this or that.

(Note: Please note Bhagavan’s response here “…there will be no one to say that God created this or that.” The mind or thought is completely eliminated. There is no ‘you’ or ‘I’)

That which is does not even say “I am”. For, does any doubt rise that “I am not”? Only in such a case should on be reminding oneself “I am man”. One does not. On the other hand, if a doubt arises whether he is a cow or a buffalo he has to remind himself that he is not a cow, etc., but “I am man.” This would never happen. Similarly with one’s own existence and realization.

Talk 25

On a former occasion B. V. Narasimha Swami, author of Self-Realization, asked: Who am I? How is it to be found?
M.: Ask yourself the question. The body (annamaya kosa) and its functions are not ‘I’. Going deeper, the mind (manomaya kosa) and its functions are not ‘I’.

The next step takes on to the question. “Wherefrom do these thoughts arise?” The thoughts are spontaneous, superficial or analytical. They operate in intellect. Then, who is aware of them? The existence of thoughts, their clear conceptions and their operations become evident to the individual. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the individuality of the person is operative as the perceiver of the existence of thoughts and of their sequence. This individuality is the ego, or as people say ‘I’. Vijnanamaya kosa (intellect) is only the sheath of ‘I’ and not the ‘I’ itself. Enquiring further the questions arise, “Who is this ‘I’? Where from does it come?” ‘I’ was not aware in sleep. Simultaneously with its rise sleep changes to dream or wakefulness. But I am not concerned with dream just now. Who am I now, in the wakeful state? If I originated from sleep, then the ‘I’ was covered up with ignorance. Such an ignorant ‘I’ cannot be what the scriptures say or the wise ones affirm. ‘I’ am beyond even ‘Sleep’; ‘I’ must be now and here and what I was all along in sleep and dreams also, without the qualities of such states. ‘I’ must therefore be the unqualified substratum underlying these three states (anandamaya kosa transcended).

‘I’ is, in brief, beyond the five sheaths. Next, the residum left over after discarding all that is not-self is the Self, Sat-Chit-Ananda.

D.: How is that Self to be known or realised?
M.: Transcend the present plane of relativity. A separate being (Self) appears to know something apart from itself (non-Self). That is, the subject is aware of the object. The seer is drik; the seen is drisya. There must be a unity underlying these two, which arises as ‘ego’. This ego is of the nature of chit (intelligence); achit (insentient object) is only negation of chit. Therefore the underlying essence is akin to the subject and not the object. Seeking the drik, until all drisya disappears, the drik will become subtler and subtler until the absolute drik alone survives. This process is called drisya vilaya (the disappearance of the objective world).

D.: Why should the objects drisya be eliminated? Cannot the Truth be realised even keeping the object as it is?
M.: No. Elimination of drisya means elimination of separate identities of the subject and object. The object is unreal. All drisya (including ego) is the object. Eliminating the unreal, the Reality survives. When a rope is mistaken for a snake, it is enough to remove the erroneous perception of the snake for the truth to be revealed. Without such elimination the truth will not dawn.

(Note: Therefore the understanding that the external objects or illusions or Mirages exist after realization is not true. The counter questions Bhagavan asks is this – “When a rope is mistaken for a snake, it is enough to remove the erroneous perception of the snake for the truth to be revealed. Without such elimination the truth will not dawn.” )

D.: When and how is the disappearance of the objective world (drisya vilaya) to be effected?
M.: It is complete when the relative subject, namely the mind, is eliminated. The mind is the creator of the subject and the object and is the cause of the dualistic idea. Therefore, it is the cause of the wrong notion of limited self and the misery consequent on such erroneous idea.

D.: What is this mind?
M.: Mind is one form of manifestation of life. A block of wood or a subtle machine is not called mind. The vital force manifests as life activity and also as the conscious phenomena known as the mind.

D.: What is the relation between mind and object? Is the mind contacting something different from it, viz., the world?
M.: The world is ‘sensed’ in the waking and the dream states or is the object of perception and thought, both being mental activities. If there were no such activities as waking and dreaming thought, there would be no ‘perception’ or inference of a ‘world’. In sleep there is no such activity and ‘objects and world’ do not exist for us in sleep.

Hence ‘reality of the world’ may be created by the ego by its act of emergence from sleep; and that reality may be swallowed up or disappear by the soul resuming its nature in sleep.

The emergence and disappearance of the world are like the spider producing a gossamer web and then withdrawing it. The spider here underlies all the three states - waking, dreaming, and sleep; such a spider in the person is called Atman (Self), whereas the same with reference to the world (which is considered to issue from the sun) is called Brahman (Supreme Spirit). He that is in man is the same as He that is in the sun. (Sayaschayam purushe yaschasavaditye sa ekah).

While Self or Spirit is unmanifest and inactive, there are no relative doubles; e.g., subject and object - drik and drisya. If the enquiry into the ultimate cause of manifestation of mind itself is pushed on, mind will be found to be only the manifestation of the Real which is otherwise called Atman or Brahman. The mind is termed sukshma sarira or ‘subtle-body’; and jiva is the individual soul. The jiva is the essence of the growth of individuality; personality is referred to as jiva. Thought or mind is said to be its phase, or one of the ways in which the jiva manifests itself - the earlier stage or phase of such manifestation being vegetative life. This mind is always seen as being related to, or acting on, some non-mind or matter, and never by itself. Therefore mind and matter co-exist.

D: I am aware of “I”. yet my troubles are not ended.
M: This “I-thought” is not pure. It is contaminated with the association of the body and senses. See to whom the trouble is. It is to the “I-thought”. Hold it. Then the other thoughts vanish.
D:  Yes. How to do it? That is the whole trouble.
M: Think “I” “I” “I” and hold to that one thought to the exclusion of all others.

Regarding physical Pains

D: Even as the hand is cut off, one must remain unaware of it because Bhagavad Gita declares that the Self is different from the body.
M:  Does jnana consist in being unaware of the pain of injury?
D: Should he not remain unaware of pain?
M: Major operations are performed under anesthetics, keeping the patient unaware of the pain. Does the patient gain jnana too, at the same time? Insensibility to pain cannot be jnana. Physical pain only follows body-consciousness; it cannot be in the absence of body-consciousness. Mind, being unaware or the body, cannot be aware of its pains or pleasures. Read the story of Indra and Ahalya in Yoga Vasishta; there death itself is said to be an act of mind.
   Pains are dependent on the ego; they cannot be without the “I”, but “I” can remain without them.

Golden words

Without understanding it aright, people think that the Guru teaches the disciple something like “Tatvamasi” and that the disciple realizes “I am Brahman”. In their ignorance they conceive of Brahman as something more huge and powerful than anything else. With a limited “I” the man is so stuck up and wild. What will be the case if the same “I” grows up enormous? He will be enormously ignorant and foolish! This false “I” must perish. Its annihilation is the fruit of Guru seva. Realization is eternal and it is not newly brought about by the Guru. He helps in the removal of ignorance. That is all.

Concentration and all other practices are meant for recognizing the absence, i.e., non-existence of ignorance. No one can deny his own being. Being is knowledge, i.e., awareness. That awareness implies absence of ignorance. Therefore everyone naturally admits non-existence of ignorance. And yet why should he suffer? Because he thinks he is this or that. That is wrong. “I am” alone is; and not “I am so and so”, or “I am such and such”. When existence is absolute it is right; when it is particularized it is wrong. That is the whole truth.

(Note: It is clear here, that to have understood that I am consciousness is also ignorance.
 (Aham, aham) – “I-I” is the Self; (Aham idam) – “I am this” or “I am that” is the ego )

I have voiced my opinion about how there is only Mind and no your mind or my mind. There are no others and that all people at all times are only talking to themselves alone. When I ask you a question, it is your own question and when you respond it, it is only your answer to your own (my) question and similarly, when you ask me a question, it is verily my own question and when I post a response to it, it is only my answer to my own (your) question. I am you and You am I.

Bhagavan says thus in this regard:

“My” implies the “I”, which owns the senses. You take your existence for granted; at the same time ask others to prove it to you. Similarly you admit the certainty of your senses, which see others, whilst denying all certainty. You see how you contradict yourself. The fact is that there are no others: there is no such a person as “you”. Each man, although addressed as “you”, styles himself as “I”. Even the confirmation you demand from others comes only from the “I”. “You” and “they” occur only to the “I”, without which they are meaningless.

One day, TKS Iyer asked Bhagavan humourously, how he was ale to receive the thousands of prostrations made before him everyday. Bhagavan replied, “I shall tell you the secret of it. I prostrate to them before they prostrate to me. Those that come to me only throw the body on the ground as a sign of their humility. The contents of the mind may not be equally good. What ever the contents of the mind may be, when I look at them, I look not into the mind but into the chaitanya there, that is, the Atman, which is my Self and of which they are not aware. I am one with them while they are not aware of it, that is, the Kulastha and Brahman are inseparable. To me there are no others. I alone am. The further implication of this is that while they think that they are prostrating, they are not doing the real prostration (praneedana). On the other hand, while I do not physically my eka bhava helps them in every way. Thus in all souls I am the Kulastha, and I see my own Being in all of them, so I can accept not some thousands of prostrations but any number of them. I am all of them, while they don’t know that they are Myself.”

Regarding Jnani’s mind

The jnani’s mind is known only to the jnani. One must be a jnani oneself in order to understand another jnani. However the peace of mind which permeates the saint’s atmosphere is the only means by which the seeker understands the greatness of the saint. His words or actions or appearance are no indications of his greatness, for they are ordinarily beyond the comprehension of common people.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: amiatall on July 12, 2010, 07:12:03 PM
Usually when thoughts are stilled mind automatically gets on "tamastic" quality and gets into slumber deeper and deeper. Actually it is the same 'state' as with thoughts themselfs - no difference, same coin two sides. Mind should not be let to "escape" in either direction. Alert, acute, courageous, relaxed awareness is the key.
It is natural, the more "thought" side of the mind gets anihilated (vasanas are being brought in a daylight and crushed) the more inert (slumber) side of mind will manifest which should be inquired with the same zest as a 'thought' side. Finally, both (rajas and tamas) should leave or give way for deeper introspection which leads to the deepest corners of ones being.
Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 12, 2010, 09:01:49 PM

Dear Nagaraj

Excellent and detailed post.  The method differs from person
to person, but they all follow the teaching of Bhagavan Ramana,
one way or other.

As for me, I shall not conduct the question and answer session.
I simply chant Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva, and contemplate
within the Arunachala or Bhagavan twin feet.  The other thoughts subside. I am able to realize this state.  The chanting stops after some time and I am able to "feel Bhagavan's Padam, or His bust size form, or the Hill within me".  This is the state of Peace that passeth
understanding.  I feel an incomparable lightness of Being, my
knee pain and hundred other miseries totally absent.   It lasts for quite some time.  And then I had to restart. One day, the Lightness of Being will be permanently attained by me, with Bhagavan's grace.

Arunachala Siva.     

Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: ramana_maharshi on July 12, 2010, 09:09:45 PM
Well said Subramanian garu.

Though we may differ in few aspects in interpreting few teachings of bhagavan but end-of-day we are all devotees of bhagavan ramana and our aim is same i.e to eradicate ignorance in us and have firm and consistent understanding  that we are not the mind,body etc..

Title: Re: Control of Mind over Destruction Mind
Post by: Nagaraj on July 12, 2010, 11:55:38 PM
Dear I,

Dear Nagaraj

Excellent and detailed post.  The method differs from person
to person, but they all follow the teaching of Bhagavan Ramana,
one way or other.
As for me, I shall not conduct the question and answer session.

This post is not meant to debate which are the various different methods each one may follow. Infact, the major part of 'my' post only deals with critical questions (answered by Bhagaan in his wn words) one will eventually have to face, in whatever method one follows and it is essentially very important that the sadhaka is aware of these delusions before hand so that he can keep check his 'ego' for one can even find out what is inside an atom and inside a nucleus but not his ego.

Methods are many, one needs to be cautious that one is not duluded in the process by wrong notions and understanding.

It is simple like the story told by Ramakrishna wheren in the Guru teaches his disciple to see God in everything and when a mad elephant came, the disciple simply stood with a firm belief that if God is everywhere, then He must be in that mad elehant too and ignoring the mahout's shouting at him to move, he simply stood there brave! and predictably, the elephant attacked the disciple and he was hurt badly and later when he asked his Guru about this, the Guru told him, God is present in elephant too, but God also in the form of mahout asked you to move, but you ignored the God in the mahout.

similarly, everything is only a grace of Bhagavan. We should not ignore anything that may come our way, for we never know in which form the Grace will come to us. Therefore if Bhagavan wills that one conduct a question and answer session, one cannot avoid it by simply deciding against it. One needs to enquire who is the 'I' here.

Salutations to Sri Ramana