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Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: ramana_maharshi on August 18, 2010, 01:49:22 PM

Title: Part17 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
Post by: ramana_maharshi on August 18, 2010, 01:49:22 PM
481 The devotee or the seeker of the Self who becomes discouraged by the thought ‘When shall I attain the natural state?’ hinders progress on the path of deliverance by having such a thought.

482 The aspirant for deliverance must be full of enthusiasm, with his mind in the sattvic mood. He should engage in this quest, remembering the teaching that time is unreal.

483 Always and everywhere there are doorways for getting at the question ‘Who am I?’ By any one of these the seeker must again and again engage his mind in this quest.

The nature of the answer to this question is next indicated.

484 The answer to this question is not an intellectual conclusion. The correct answer to it is only the experience of the real Self. The supreme state arises on the death of the ego, the questioner who calls himself the individual self.

485 The real Self will shine as it really is only in the natural, thought-free state of the Self. In other states the real Self will not shine as it really is due to its being mixed up with intellectual views.

Another hindrance to success in the quest is now stated.

486 If the mind thus engaged in the quest becomes unconscious [as in deep sleep], the effort so far made becomes unfruitful. [So,] the seeker should awaken the mind from this unconsciousness and again engage it in the quest.

What is needed is not unconsciousness of the mind, but its complete extinction. This is clearly stated next, and it was also pointed out in Bhagavan’s Upadesa Saram.

487 Mental quiescence has been explained by the Guru as being of two kinds, as latency in unconsciousness and final extinction. In hatha yoga there are many methods of attaining unconsciousness, such as suspension of the breath.

The difference between these two is then explained.

488 The mind, when it has gone into latency together with its habits of activity, will later become active again to produce the worldly life. The mind that has been extinguished will lose its habits of action and thus becomes like a seed that has been roasted.

As roasted seed does not sprout, so the mind that has become extinct cannot be reborn again.

489 Ignorance binds the ignorant one by means of [these] habits. If the mind remains wide-awake in the quest, then the destruction of these habits will ensue.

490 Right awareness dawns on the complete extinction of the mind, whereby all the mental habits also are lost. Deliverance is affirmed by all sages to be none other than the final and complete destruction of the mental habits.

Apart from latency there is another obstacle, craving for sense-pleasures. This is pointed out next.

491 One should overcome both desire and latency and keep the mind concentrated in the quest. In the quest for the real Self, this is like balancing on the keen edge of the razor.

The uniqueness of this method, the quest, is next explained.

492 In all the other yogas it is assumed that there is an entity called the ‘soul’, having defects, namely action and the rest, and the yogi makes efforts to make himself free from those defects.

493 For eradicating the defect of being an actor, there is the yoga of action; for getting rid of separateness [from God] there is the yoga of devotion; for the cure of the defect of [seeing] differences there is the yoga of mind-control; and for the eradication of ignorance there is the yoga of right awareness.

These yogas are ridiculed by pointing out the truth of the real Self.

494 While being himself the same as the Supreme Being, the ignorant man, thinking himself to be someone other than He, through delusion tries to become one with Him by various yogas! What else is there more absurd than this?

The superiority of the quest is then shown.

495 When, by taking hold of the consciousness-element of the soul, the quest is made for the Self, the root of the soul, the Self, who is free from all defects, shines alone; there the soul does not survive.

496 Hence this [quest] is named ‘the great yoga’. There is no other yoga equal to this, or greater. All the yogas are included in it, and may be used as auxiliaries to this one, as may be found suitable.

497 This yoga, the quest of the source of the soul, is itself all the yogas. It is the yoga of action, the yoga of devotion, the yoga of restraining the mind and also the yoga of right awareness.

This quest of the real Self, it is next pointed out, is not to be practised as a meditation.

498 Since this quest takes the form of a question, it is not to be practised as a mode of meditation. By this question, the mind dives into the Heart, which it does not do by any series of meditations.

499 Some practise continuous meditation on the truth of one’s own Self, after listening to and reflecting upon that truth. This method is different from the quest for the Self that is taught by Ramana.

The method taught by Bhagavan is not an affirmation, but a question. The threefold process is further explained.

500 In the Chandogya Upanishad the identity of the Supreme Being and the real Self is taught by the sentence, ‘Thou art That’. This identity is confirmed by distinguishing between the literal and the intended meanings [of the terms used].

The terms ‘Thou’ and ‘That’, if taken in the literal sense, tend to show that there can be no such identity. Hence, the intended meanings are sought, so that the identity may be accepted as true. The identity is not of the apparent self, but of the real Self, with the Supreme Being. At the same time the Supreme Being is not the personal God but the impersonal being of the Upanishads. Both are of the nature of consciousness, and it is this consciousness that is the real essence of both. Thus, the identity is true.

It has been assumed by the traditional schools of Advaita Vedanta that this sentence conveys an injunction to meditate on the teaching. Actually, as Bhagavan says, the sentence states only a fact. The acceptance of it as a fact is not enough. And meditation is no better. What is needed is to verify the fact by reaching and remaining in the mind-free state, called also the natural state. What he has said is as follows:

501 Sri Ramana says that, without an enquiry into the intended meaning of the term ‘That’ in the sentence, one should make a quest for the truth of the real Self, who is indicated by the term ‘thou’.

This quest leads up to the mind-free state in which the real Self shines unhindered by the veil of ignorance, which is the ego, the false self. Then it will be realised that there is only one entity, which is the real Self and also the impersonal Supreme Being of the Upanishads.

Bhagavan calls the quest the direct path. It bypasses the meditation mentioned before.

502 By this quest the aspirant obtains the direct experience of the real Self in the transcendental state. For him that has thus succeeded in this quest, there is no need for continuous meditation or prolonged reflection.

It is here taken for granted that the aspirant accepts the teaching of the identity as true. This acceptance arises through his faith in the Guru who has that experience, and who is therefore a competent witness of that truth.

So, there is no injunction to meditate in the sentence cited.

503 In the sentence of the ancient revelation ‘You are That’, no meditation has been enjoined. What is said by implication is that in the egoless state the sage has the experience that the impersonal is identical with his own real Self.

504 Since it is settled by the sentence of the Vedanta that one’s own real Self, disentangled from the veiling sheaths, is the supreme reality, to attain the experience of identity between that reality and the Self, what else will work except the quest of that Self?

This is obvious, says Bhagavan. The real meaning of the text, ‘Thou art That,’ is next set forth according to the spirit of Bhagavan’s teachings.

505 The meaning of that vedantic text [You are That] is this: the Supreme Being himself shines as the real Self. If, seeking that Self, one gives up the notion ‘I am the body’ and becomes aware of one’s true nature, one becomes firmly fixed in the Heart and shines as That.

Has the meditation on the truth any use at all?

506 The quest of the truth of the Self is alone the direct path to the right awareness of the Self. The meditation spoken of is a preliminary aid to this quest. It is for breaking up the idea of the body as the Self.

This is what Bhagavan has said. In the way shown the meditation is useful for those who are not able to free themselves from their ego-sense, by which the body is identified as the Self.

The obstacles that may lie on the path are next dealt with.

507 Diving into the Heart in this quest of the Self does not occur in those who have weak minds. For them, the mind’s strength, being subdivided among innumerable thoughts, is insignificant.

One-pointedness of the mind is needed. A mind that is one-pointed will be strong enough for this purpose. Curbing of the variety of thoughts is the expedient to be adopted.

508 The one-pointedness of the mind in the quest is itself the strength of mind that is needed, and nothing else. He who has this strength of mind is called ‘valiant’ because he has the skill to protect his intellect from being frittered away.

509 By the practice of meditation mental strength will be intensified. Therefore meditation is an aid to the quest. After first achieving stillness of mind by meditation, the valiant aspirant must seek the truth of his own Self.

Then the question arises, ‘What is to be taken as the object of meditation?’

510 For the seeker of deliverance the best of all possible objects for meditation is the consciousness that has the form ‘I’, since this is the essence of the real Self. By this meditation alone, the mind will naturally dive into the Heart. Such is the teaching of our great Guru.

‘I’, he has pointed out, is the name of that impersonal being, the subject matter of the Vedantas. He has said that this name is even holier than the pranava [Om].

An alternative method for stilling the mind’s thoughts, as recommended by Bhagavan, is stated next.

511 Alternatively, if the aspirant for deliverance stills the mind by pure kumbhaka [retention of breath], without puraka and rechaka [inhalation and exhalation], and thus engages in the quest, then his mind will dive into the Heart.

Ordinary pranayama consists of the three parts, breathing in (puraka), retaining the breath within (kumbhaka), and breathing out (rechaka). But here the middle part (kumbhaka) alone is recommended as a means of stilling the mind. This may be mastered by steady practice. This is called kevala kumbhaka.

The same process is prescribed in the Yoga Vasishta, as quoted below.

Title: Re: Part17 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 20, 2010, 11:56:14 AM

Dear prasanth,

Here the Verse 493 reflects the ideas of ULLadu Narpadu, Anubandham, Verse 14:

What is action, or devotion, or union, or knowledge?  It is to inquire, 'Whose is action?' or indifference, or separateness, or ignorance? Inquiring thus, the ego vanishes.  To abide as the Self, wherein these eight have never been, this is True Existence.

Verse No. 496 of Sri Sarma defines Maha Yoga?  What is Maha Yoga?  This is not to the exclusion of the standard four yogas. All
the four yogas are included in, and these are to be used as
preliminaries.  One should do nishkamya karma, be devoted to personal god, do pranayama and also contemplate on liberation.

Verse 500 to 506, the famous Maha Vakya Tat tvam asi, is
explained as per Bhagavan Ramana's teachings. Bhagavan
Ramana gives this Upadesa Maha Vakyam, Thou art That in
His Verse 32 to ULLadu Narpadu which is said to be the Heart of ULLadu Narpadu.

When Vedas have declared "Thou art That" -- not to seek and find the nature of the Self and abide in It, but to think 'I am That,
not This', is want of strength.  Because, That abides for ever as
the Self.

Bhagavan Ramana says in Sri Ramana Darsanam:

Only the Supreme Self, which is ever shining in your Heart as the
Reality, is the Sadguru.  The pure awareness, which is shining
as the inward illumination 'I' is his gracious feet.  The contact
with thee [inner holy feet] alone can give you true redemption.
Joining the eye of reflected consciousness [chidabhasa], which is your sense of individuality [jiva bodham], to those holy feet, which are the real consciousness, is the union of the feet and the head that is real significance of the word 'asi'.  As these inner holy feet can be held naturally and unceasingly, hereafter, with an inward-turned mind, cling to that inner awareness that is your own real nature.  This alone is the proper way for the removal of bondage and the attainment of the supreme truth.     

Padamalai Verses say:

Verse 625:  The true meaning of namaskaram is the ego bowing
its head and getting destroyed at the feet of the Guru.

Verse 626:  When the ego is totally destroyed at the feet of the
Guru, it will then shine as the unsurpassed sea of mauna [silence].

Guru Vachaka Kovai Verse 207 says:

This is he significance of the namaskaram. When the Jiva, the
imperfect one, places his proud head beneath the divine feet of his possessor, he is subduing the ego consciousness that says "I" and merging with the Siva consciousness, which then rises and flourishes.

David Godman has said:  The word 'asi' refers to the Maha Vakya
'Tat tvam asi'.  'Asi' means 'are'.  Bhagavan's metaphor indicates
that the inner state of being is revealed when individuality is merged in the 'holy feet' of pure Consciousness. 

Like the verb 'are' between Thou and That, the connecting link between the individual consciousness and the holy feet of Guru,
which is Pure Consciousness.  The Guru is the bridge.

Satyamangalam Venkataramana Iyer says:  Bhagavan Ramana
is the embodied form of the word 'asi'.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Part17 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 26, 2010, 11:07:25 AM

Dear prasanth,

What Bhagavan Ramana has said about quest of the Truth, as
described by Sri Sarma, in his verse 501, has been elaborated by
Muruganar in his Guru Vachaka Kovai:

Verse 505:  Know that the essence of supreme truth that is churned [like butter from milk] from the four Vedas, which are pregnant with many ignorance-dispelling words, is the unique word Mauna, the identity of the Jiva with the Supreme.

Verse 506:  The Supreme Reality is being-consciousness-bliss.
For the most highly qualified amongst those who ardently seek the Reality, in order to free themselves from the searing heat of birth, it is only through inquiry into the real nature of the Jiva, which is indicated by the word 'thou' [in 'That thou art'], the glory of liberation will be attained.

Verse 507:  You should know that it is only for those others with weak minds that the Vedas gave out the other words 'Tat' [That] and asi [are] in order to turn those minds inward and make them favorably inclined towards that enquiry. 

Verse 508: The very nature of the inquiry into the import of the word 'you', conducted within oneself in an authentic way, is that it is the means for truly experiencing consciousness, which is understood through scriptural investigation to be the true significance of the other two words.

Bhagavan Ramana says in Talks No. 647:-

Each one knows the Self but is yet ignorant.  The person is enabled to realize only after hearing the mahavakya.  Hence the upanishadic text is the eternal truth to which everyone who
has realized owes his experience.  After hearing the Self to be Brahman, the person finds the true import of the Self and reverts to it whenever he is diverted from it.  Here is the whole process of realization.

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: Part17 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 26, 2010, 11:20:11 AM

Dear prasanth,

Again about the import of Verse 510, Muruganar has said the
following in Guru Vachaka Kovai:

Verse 184:  Consciousness, one's real nature, which is the basis of the non-Self objects, is the excellent anchorage for the meditation
practice of aspirants.  If, unaware of this, they meditate and toil
by holding onto another object imagined within that Self, this is
like grasping a shadow, the illusory reflection, while ignoring the real object.

Verse 185:  The intellect, which is the suttarivu [objective consciousness], the individual consciousness, loses its focus and suffers by constantly directing attention towards objects and their attributes. The way to make it [individual consciousness] unite with and subside in one's Swarupam is to begin taking it,
wholeheartedly, as the object of attention through the inquiry
'Who is the "I"  who is paying attention to sordid sense objects?

Verse 186:  You perceivers!  You who endure endless suffering
through perceiving the objects of sense without first perceiving the one in whose sight they appear!  Happiness is simply removal of the sense of duality.  This occurs when attention is turned inward instead of outward.

[Padamalai and Guru Vachaka Kovai verses - Eng. Tr. David Godman.]

Arunachala Siva.