The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Subramanian.R on December 05, 2012, 10:23:21 AM

Title: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 05, 2012, 10:23:21 AM
Experience of  Self Realization:  continues....

The aspirants should not allow the mind even for a moment to slip into materialistic or sensual fields. Vivekachudamani says such
slipping even for a split second hurls the sadhaka headlong into a materialistic abyss. He has to put in a deal of time and practice
to regain the previously attained stage. Frequent prayer to  the Self to prevent this relapse brings about the desired effect.

Vasanas acquired and accumulated in several births can only be eradicated by long continued meditation over a period of some decades
depending upon the period of steady fixity of the mind on the Heart. Though in the beginning the sadhaka is impatient for results,
later, he is more intent on the sadhana than on its fruits.

Nor need one feel discouraged that one's efforts and sadhana for Self Realization will be wasted if the goal is not reached in  the
current life.

Sage Vidyaranya says, 'When meditation has not got mature in this life, it will become so at death or in the world of Brahman, where
getting a direct knowledge  of Brahman, he gets emancipation. (Panchadasi IX 136.)

In Bhagavad Gita Ch. VI 40-46, Lord Krishna, in reply to Arjuna, stated that those performing such sadhanas, if they die before
achieving their aim, are reborn in highly spiritual minded families and, starting from where they left off in their previous birth, complete
their sadhana.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 06, 2012, 12:45:06 PM

(from The Technique of Maha Yoga):

To a similar question, by Sri 'Rama as to what will be the fate of one who dies having reached the first, second or third
bhumikas, Sage Vasishta said:

'Should one satisfy the qualifications required for him in the three Jnana stages, the all his karma will cease to
exist. Then Devas will conduct him in their divine vehicle to Devaloka and other places where he will feast his eyes
on the pleasant sceneries of Meru, Elysian gardens and beautiful damsels. With the expiry of the enjoyment all the two
fold karmas will perish completelyn and then he will descend on the earth as a Jnani. He will incarnate in a family of the
wise replete with enormous wealth, good qualities and purity of mind and body and will unerringly follow the path of Jnana
since he had already subjected himself to a rigorous course of discipline.'

Once an individual has got into the first bhumika of Jnana Yoga, he will be made to obtain liberation whether he likes it or not.
Because it was not the individual's will or effort that made him take this Yoga but the sustained motiveless actions dedicated to
God in several births that forced him to this Yoga. Just as a man be assured of final liberation once he has got into the first bhumika
of Jnana Yoga.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 07, 2012, 10:24:06 AM

For those Jnana Yogis, whose aim is only liberation from samsara and who are not keen on Self Realizatioon, there is
the other easy way of escape by meditation on the Heart at the time of death. Force of habit of rejection of mundane
thoughts and the force of habit of easily getting into meditation on the Lord in the recess of their Heart makes it easy
for these Yogis to meditate on Him even at the time of death.

In Srimad Bhagavatam Ch. XII Bk. 3.49, Sage Suka tells King Parikshit, 'With all you being meditate on Him in your heart
with a concentrated mind while dying, you will thereby attain the supreme goal. Those meditating on Him while dying,
He leads them to the oneness with Him.'

At no stage of the sadhana should pace be forced but must be gradual. Nor should one get impatient with one's progress.
Sri Bhagavan used to express that the fact that one is persisting in the sadhana is itself an indication of the progress and
Guru's Grace.

contd.

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 08, 2012, 10:40:14 AM
(from the Technique of Maha Yoga)

continues......

If the practice is perfect at any stage, it will be overlapping the next so that the Sadhana is automatically thrown into
the next. Let it be understood that Guru's Grace is absolutely necessary for one's progress and if the Sadhaka is regular
and earnest in practice he is not forsaken but encouraged in several subtle ways, perceptible and intelligible.   

Questioned about the bestowal of such Divine Grace on a Sadhaka, Sri Bhagavan, suffused with a divine light in His face,
declared in unequivocal language: 'Divine Grace is essential for Realization. It leads one to god realization. But such Grace
is vouchsafed only to him who is a true devotee or a yogin, who has striven hard and ceaselessly on the path towards
freedom. (Talks 29).

One need not feel discouraged by middle or advanced age to begin this Ssdhana of Maha Yoga. Sri Bhagavan often expressed
that age is no bar for this Sadhana, whereas age restriction is indicated for Raja Yoga.

Those who have taken to this Maha Yoga must from the beginning try to wean the mind away from worship of external gods
like the images of various Hindu gods and transfer such worship to the Self within. In the beginning it may be a little hard but
with practice and Guru's Grace you gradually get used to look upon the Self as the Supreme God. Worship and prayer to the
Self is more efficacious than to an image.

Also as you advance in this Maha Yoga you begin to feel and realize that all rituals and ceremonies are comparatively of less
value and that time spent in these is better utilized in Atma Vicharam.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 09, 2012, 10:13:53 AM
Vasanas:

(From the book the Technique of Maha Yoga)

When a thought occurs and passes off, it leaves an impression on the subconscious mind; when the same thought occurs again,
it underscores the original impression and if the same thought frequently occurs, the impression becomes deeper and when it
gets good hold, the thought recurs uninvited. These impressions recorded in the subconscious mind take a seed form and sink
deep into the heart at the time of death and do not perish; they are carried over to the next birth as Vasanas or purva samskaras
or latent tendencies.

They, in right time, sprout forth from the Heart. (Talks 108). The Self safeguards these vasanas in its closest proximity within itself,
the Heart, just as a miser keeps his valued possessions within himself and never out of contact. (ibid 402). When a vasana is released
from the Heart and comes to play, it is associated with the light of the Self and the person is said to think. It passes from heart to the
brain and on its way the transformed thought grows more and more until it holds sway all alone; for the time being all other vasanas
are held in abeyance. When the original vasana has spent itself, another more insistent and waiting vasanas takes the field and occupies the mind and so on. (ibid. 616).

Reverting to the thought impressions, it must be stated that they determine the character of the individual. They make or mar
a spiritual man. When thoughts of God and of kindness to fellow beings engage the mind and predominate, they elevate him and
gradually lead him to ripeness for spiritual discipline and later to eminence in spiritual field.

continued......

Arunachala Siva. 
             
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 10, 2012, 10:41:03 AM
Vasanas:  continued.....

Contrarily, selfishness, indifference, to the sufferings of others, envy, egotism, anger and hatred lead to vindictiveness,
cruelty, and the primitive savagery of man. Persons as they advance in age, if they are not careful of their thoughts and
persist in their old crooked, cunning and lustful ways, becomes cantankerous and insufferable and people avoid them.
They suffer hell even while alive. If these evil samskaras are carried over to the next birth, it is not hard to divine the nature
of the child and God in His wisdom places him in families and environments suitable to his nature. (BG XVI).

The only easy remedy to get over these evil propensities is recourse to Japa and constant remembrance of God. These will
certainly sublimate all evil tendencies and change the individual, completely. There need be no doubt about this.

In the Jagrat (waking) state when a man is idle his mind is kept engaged by these latent vasanas, tendencies. The mind is
never idle. It is like a running mill wanting grist to grind and the vasanas supply it.

In the Arunachala Ashtakam, in the sixth verse, addressing the Heart, Sri Bhagavan says, 'Thou art Thyself, the one Being ever
aware as the Self luminous Heart. In Thee, there is a mysterious Power which without Thee is nothing. From it proceeds the
phantom of mind emitting its latent dark subtle mists, which, illumined by Thy Light of consciousness reflected on them, appear
within as thoughts, whirling in the vortices of  prarabdha, later developing into the psychic worlds, and, projected outwardly, as the
material world transformed  into concrete objects which are magnified by the outgoing senses and move like pictures in the
cinema show. Visible or invisible, Oh Hill of Grace, without Thee, they are nothing!

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 11, 2012, 10:30:23 AM
Vasanas:  continued.....

Incidentally this gives the key to the saying that all manifestations including world, body, etc., are objectified thoughts and
are therefore not real.

So these vasanas transformed into thoughts obstruct the aspirant during meditation. So long as vasanas remain and are not
completely destroyed, realization cannot be achieved. These vasanas can be obliterated only by concentration on that which is
free from vasanas, that is, the Heart. (Talks No. 28).

The seekers aim should be to drain away the vasanas from the heart and let no reflection obstruct the light of Consciousness.
This is achieved by the search of for the source of ego. (Talks No. 616). This is the direct method. The state free from vasanas
is the prime state and the eternal state of purity.

\On another occasikon speaking about the scheme of liberation, Sri Bhagavan said, 'Just as water in the pot reflects the enormous
sun within the narrow limits of the pot, even so the vasanas of the individual acting as the reflecting medium, catch the all pervading
light of Consciousness arisign from the heart and present in the form of reflection the phenomenon called the mind.       

Seeing only the reflection the ajnani is deluded into the belief that he is finite being, the jiva. If the mind is introverted, through
Self Inquiry, into the source of Aham Vritti, the I-thoughtm, vasanas become extinct and in the absence of the reflecting medium, the
phenomenon of reflection namely the mind, disappears being absorbed into the light of the One Reality, the Heart.( Maharshi's Gospel).
Incidentally, it may be mentioned that this is why the jiva or the individual self is called the reflected Consciousness, chidabhasa.

continued....

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 13, 2012, 09:03:47 AM
Vasanas:

continued......

Viveka Chudamani Verse 276 says that vasanas get extinct to the extent to which the mind is absorbed in the Heart.

Contemplation of one's own Self uninterrupted by ideas of external objects, is necessary and thereby the instinctive
tendencies of the mind which are the causes of birth and death are put down. Until the sole idea of the Self naturally
and without effort flows in a continuous current, contemplation should be practiced. Then the vasanas perish. All the
Upanishads direct a man to kill vasanas by contemplation of the Self.

Maandukya Upanishad directs the fixing of the mind on the ardhamatra or the last syllable of the  mental articulation
of the sound in OM and remaining thought free which is virtually fixing the mind on the Heart.

The Bhagavad Gita VI 25-26 says, 'With resolute will, gradually get the mind fixed on the Self and obtain mental stillness;
thereafter remain thought free. Whenever the mind gets outward, bring it back and establish on the Self.'

Bhagavan Sri Ramana instructing Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni on tapas said, 'If, when a mantra is repeated, one keenly watches
where from the mantra sound emanates, the mind will get absorbed there. That is Tapas.'

Sri Bhagavan in Who am I? says, 'To keep the mind turned within and abide in the Self is Atma Vichara.

Again in Upadesa Sara Verse 10 says: To abide at the source of the ego, that is, the Heart, is Karma, Bhakti, Yoga and Jnana.
Abiding in the Heart means to keep the mind focused on the Heart and remaining thought free.

Here it should be stated that Heart, Atman, Brahman, Self, Spirit, Guru and Void are synonymous. So also Jiva, mind, ego,
chidabhasa, and reflected consciousness are synonymous.

Just as the ether in a pot is no other than the all pervading ether, the Self in the heart of every individual is no other than
the all pervading Supreme Spirit or God.

Chapter on Vasanas - concluded.

Arunachala Siva.         
     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 14, 2012, 01:29:22 PM
(from the Technique of Maha Yoga)

DIVING INTO THE HEART:

Verse 28 of Ulladu Narpadu, says -- Just as a diver dives into a well to search for something dropped in it, so must you
with restraint of speech and breath dive deep within yourself to find where from the ego rises.

Restraint of speech is advocated in this. But for ordinary aspirants in the initial stages of Japa of Who am I? while diving seems
to be necessary to prevent the mind from wandering; it may not be so essential for advanced souls who can easily concentrate.

Here the mind while engaged in the search for the source of the ego, is given continuous work in the region of the Heart, so that
the mind is fully concentrated on it and is unable to wander, resulting in the achievement of the aim, i.e. the fixity of the mind 
in the Heart.

In Chapter I, Maharshi's Gospel, Volume II, He says: Self Inquiry is not an empty formula. It is more than the repetition of any
mantra. If the inquiry Who am I? were a mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of the Self
Inquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not therefore, a case of one's 'I' searching for another 'I'.

Much less is it an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily fixed in pure Self Awareness.

Self Inquiry is the only infallible means, the only direct one to realize the unconditional Absolute Being that you really are.

Just as a person by frequent immersion in water is rid of the dirt of his body, similarly mind, by its frequent immersion in the Heart
in a thought free state, sheds all its accretions and Vasanas acquired in several births.

On one occasion Sri Bhagavan said, 'One requires a form to contemplate; but it is not enough, for can anyone keep looking at an
image always?  So the image should be contemplated by Japa which helps to fix the mind on the image, in addition to the eyesight.
The result of these efforts is concentration of mind, which ends in the goal. (Talks No. 401).

In Maha Yoga, sadhana involves search only for the source of the ego; thus an image or object of concept is obviated, as such
objects are a source of hindrance to achievement.

Whereas in other Yogas, it is considered necessary to cultivate and acquire spiritual excellences, as Sadhana Chatushtya etc.,
as prerequisites, in Maha Yoga the sadhana itself, in its course, confers these excellences without having to cultivate them.
(Day by Day with Bhagavan).

Further in Maha Yoga, Practice unfolds Theory, whereas in other Yogas, theory guides practice.                           

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 15, 2012, 12:20:18 PM
(from the Technique of Maha Yoga)

DIVING INTO THE HEART,

continues......

A Sadhaka, during practice, is impelled to investigate how and when thoughts arise in spite of his resoluteness to prevent
them by fixing his mind on the Heart. In the early stages of sadhana, it is found that the vasanas keep besieging the mind
all the time. When the mind even for a split second loses hold of the Heart, the vasanas drive a wedge, cause the mind to
function, i.e., formulate thoughts and pass them on to the brain which develops them and passes them on to the sense organs,
thus concretizing thought forms into gross objects. But during breath restraint, the thought the mind was engaged in at the beginning
of the restraint, continues to have the hold during the period of restraint, not admitting intrusion  by any other thought. Hence
the concentration. So if the sadhaka is careful at the beginning of the restraint of the breath to fix the mind on the Heart and practice
Self Inquiry and later stillness of mind, he can continue to do so during the full period  of restraint.

It should be clearly understood that concentration cannot be had in a few months or years. The way is long and he is a hero
who, undaunted by failures, resolutely practices till he achieves the goal. Once concentration is mastered, the rest is easy.
Mind unimpeded by vasanas strengthens its hold on the Heart.

Guru's Grace is necessary for progress at each step. Frequent prayers to Guru (Self) for the success of each step and for
the removal of mental impediments is very necessary.   

After a few years of practice, your mind, by such sadhana having got pure, is readily be able to absorb all scriptural statements
without any reasoning or doubt. Sometimes the knowledge contained therein has already been experienced by you and serves
only to verify your experience. A spirit of involuntary surrender sets in.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 16, 2012, 10:11:08 AM
DIVING INTO THE HEART:

continues.....

After a few years of practice of your mind, by such sadhana, having got pure, is readily able to absorb all scriptural statements
without any reasoning or doubt. Sometimes the knowledge contained therein has already been experienced by you and serves
only to verify your experience. A spirit of involuntary surrender sets in. You begin to feel that nothing in the worldly plane is in
your hands and that everything is preordained and that you are are only like a dry leaf blown by the winds. Material loss or gain
ceases to affect you. Even in your sadhana you feel you cannot progress except by Guru's Grace and Grace is had by the amount
of effort put in and the effort is not forthcoming unless there is the Guru's Grace - a strange paradox.

Also you would have found that the sadhana has resulted in the elimination of the onrush of minor passing thoughts which in
the early stages were discouraging you. There is also a natural disinclination to entertain any thoughts. You also try to avoid
company and argument as they result in creating vasanas which impede your concentration during practice.

You also unconsciously shed all unethical inclinations and weaknesses and acquire spiritual excellence without  having to
cultivate them because of your habitual rejection of thoughts not relating to the Self.

sub chapter - concluded.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 17, 2012, 12:44:20 PM
Vasanas and  Sex:

Reverting to Vasanas, it is necessary to be outspoken and feel delicate about the Vasana of sex as this was frequently
raised even by sannyasins before Sri Bhagavan. The vasana of sex  was acquired and developed in successive births so
that it has become an instinct. It is further developed by more enjoyments and by thinking over them.

This vasana is a frailty common to all, except in rare cases, where it has been weakened by meditation in the previous birth.
Aspirants in the spiritual path are much discouraged by these vasanas. Indeed, they doubt if it would at all be possible to overcome
them. One school of thought believes in sublimating  this vasana by unremitting devotion to God and rejecting these thoughts as they
occur; but most people generally succumb to this weakness and are still faced with the difficulty,.

The Ch.XIV of Self Realization, a devotee asks Sri Bhagavan:

There are innumerable  purva vasanas. When will they be wiped out?

Bhagavan: The more you withdraw into the Self the more they pale off and finally by themselves fade out completely. With
firm determination dive deep into the Self and merge there.  Vichara must be practiced so long as vasanas issue forth to cause
thoughts to occur.

On another occasion, to a question whether distraction due to previous tendencies could be got rid of, Sri Bhagavan replied with
emphasis and with a view to carry a conviction: 'Yes. Many have done so. Believe it! They did so because they believed they could.
Vasanas can be obliterated. It is done by concentration on that which is free from Vasanas and yet their core. (Talks No. 28).

Since this vasana is a cumulative one, ancient and deep rooted, it is the last to fade. Maha Yoga when regularly practiced gradually
weakens this vasana. With the practice of Step 4, detailed (in the next chapter) and with the gradual attenuation of the mind, the
power to bring out this thought decreases and later with more practice of mind abiding in the Heart, these vasanas do not trouble
you. Of course a frequent prayer to eliminate these vasanas and a slight but sincere effort to reject these thoughts or a dive into
the Heart as son as they appear are very helpful.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 18, 2012, 02:19:09 PM
(from the Technique of Maha Yoga)

Vasanas and Sex - continues.....

Wise men liken Sadhakas who have not overcome this weakness to filling a leaky vessel, for what is acquired by Sadhana is lost
by their weakness.

Prayer when daily offered for spiritual achievement, by itself, becomes tapas. The prayer for eradication of this vasana apart from
its efficacy in the grant of the boon immediately or later has its psychological effect on the aspirant, particularly when offered earnestly
and daily as it creates a good vasana.

Earnest spiritual aspirants if they do not attain their goal in the current birth continue to be spiritual aspirants in the next birth
also and the samskaras created now by practice and prayer are carried over as good and substantial assets to the next birth
when they will easily find expression in surroundings congenial for the fulfillment of their  aspiration.

Incidentally it may be mentioned that great genuises, political, spiritual, scientific and other arts are not due to accidents of birth,
but due to the cumulative effort of their sustained effort in their previous births, finding culmination in the current life.

One visitor queried if the vasanas of sex could not be got rid of if the sense are surfeited to satiation point. Sri Bhagavan replied
that such indulgence will be like pouring petrol to put out burning fire.

When celibacy was mooted, Sri Bhagavan brushed it aside that was one among the many aids to realization and did not insist on it, meaning that craving will wear off with the practice of Maha Yoga.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 19, 2012, 12:44:42 PM
(from the Technique of Maha Yoga)

Stillness of Mind:

With the attenuation of the mind, the stillness of mind should be practiced. Sri Bhagavan says stillness is the sole
requisite for Realization. (Talks No. 338).

In Buddhism also stillness is variiously emphasized for the attainer of the Buddhahood.

Sri Bhagavan used frequently to quote the Biblical maxim - 'Be still and know that I am God.'

His own parallel quotations are: 'If you are free from thoughts, and yet aware, you are That Perfect Being.' (Talks 609).

'When free from thoughts, you are infinite intelligence, the Self.' (Talks 19).

'Thought-free mind merged in the heart in Chit itself.' (Talks 480).

'All that is required to realize the Self is 'to be still' (T 589)

'Atma is realized by mruta manas, that is dead mind, devoid of thoughts and turned inward.  (Talks 379).

So stillness of mind and the consequent virtual extinction of the mind are necessary for Self Realization.

Advaita Bodha Deepika says, 'It is not difficult to kill the mind. Though for ignorant it may be difficult, for the discerning
few it is very easy. Never think of anything but the unbroken Self. By a long practice of this you will easily forget the non-
self. It cannot be hard to remain still without thinking anything. Let no thoughts rise in the mind. Always think of the Self.
In this way, all the worldly thoughts will vanish and thought of the Self alone will remain. When this gets steady, forget even
this and without thinking 'I am the Self' remain as the Self. By this practice, your mind will be extinct and you will forget all
and remain as the Self.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     


 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 20, 2012, 10:24:21 AM
18. Stillness of the mind:

continues....

It is not desirable for an aspirant to start practicing stillness of the mind from the very beginning itself instead of the
practice of Who am I? because of the rush of thoughts. Unless the mind is at least to some extent attenuated by the
practice of Who am I?, the attempt at stillness of mind may take a longer time or may end in frustration. Of course this
is not intended for Sadhakas who have attained already a certain amount of attenuation of mind.

While Sri Bhagavan was discoursing on the stillness of mind, a cultured lady visitor asked, 'What should be done to remain
free from thoughts as advised by you? Is it only the inquiry of Who am I?

Bhagavan: Only to remain still. Do it and see.

The lady: It is impossible.

Bhagavan: Exactly. For the same reason the inquiry Who am I? is advised (Talks No. 322).

Stillness of the mind or Silence can also be got by keeping the mind empty, watchfully dispelling thoughts, having emptiness
of mind at the sole aim, without the contemplation of the Self as the background. Trance resulting from such emptiness can give
some sort of pleasure due to the absence of thoughts; but this alone will not do; and it sometimes ends disastrously. It does
not lead to liberation and this method should be guarded against.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 21, 2012, 09:53:10 AM
(From Technique of Maha Yoga)

18. Stillness of the mind:

This warning is intended only for those wanting to find and pursue a shortcut in their sadhana. Stillness or emptiness of mind
or voidness arising from partial eradication of the Vasnas as a result of contemplation of the Self is what should be aimed at.
This voidness is a state of intense concentration. In the early stages even a pin drop noise causes bodily shock which shatters
you to pieces.  Besides this, stillness or the thought free natural state also scorches the Vasanas. Sri Bhagavan says the Vasanas
will be 'scorched if only you remain as you truly are', meaning in your primal pure state. (Talks No. 219).

It will be noticed that the mental articulation of Who am I? is in the initial stages used for the rejection of thoughts and in the
next stage 'Who am I?', meaning 'What is the source of the I-thought?' is used for training the mind  to dive into the Heart,
resulting in the gradual attenuation of the mind and the elimination of Vasanas due to the exposure of the mind to the light
of consciousness while diving. Thereafter stillness of mind is obtained when the mind is engaged in focusing on the Heart without
any mental articulation.


concluded.

****

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 22, 2012, 09:38:52 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga)

19. Inner Voice:

The Inner Voice is heard as you hear your own mental articulation. It is mostly heard when in a state bordering on trance.
There is no mistaking it. If you happen to be one of those who used to early morning meditation at 2 or 3 am. and if by chance
you oversleep, it rouses you up calling you  by your name. In the beginning, when not used to it, you wonder where from externally
the voice comes. Later you understand it. Sometimes Inner Voice says 'Still sleeping?'; or if by inadvertence, you have taken tamasic
food overnight resulting in your inability to meditate, and feeling inclined to sleep, it chides you; but if by over-meditating in the
previous night or any other reasonable cause you feel sleepy and unable to meditate and fee acutely remorseful for losing the
period, it says, 'Don't worry.' How at every step it handles you more than a fond mother!

When meditation  tapers off to stillness or trance the Inner Voice, the voice of the Self or Guru, it is heard from within to clear
whatever doubts you may be laboring under. At times it quells your meditation and comes like a flash and has its say. A wise
Sadhaka should at once jot down such instructions for sometimes it is difficult to comprehend their meaning all at once, in some
cases the expressions are so classical that you have to refer to the dictionary for most words; besides they are cryptic and
meaningful and the language is inimitably beautiful, particularly in the case of Sri Bhagavan's devotees. If you fail to jot them
down, then and there, you cannot recall them.

In this connection, one is aptly reminded of Sri Bhagavan's questions from Sage Tayumanavar, 'Oh Lord! Coming with me all
along the several births, never abandoning me and finally rescuing me! (Talks No. 398).

And again from the author of Kaivalya Navaneetam, 'Oh Guru! You have always been with me, watching me through several
births and ordaining my course. (ibid. 425).

Unless Sri Bhagavan had Himself this experience He would not have referred to others' experience about it. This also explains
Sri Bhagavan's instructions to the American gentleman at the time of his parting, 'The Inner Guru is never silent.'

Mahatma Gandhi relied very much on the Inner Voice which guided him throughout throughout in planning his political movement.
Can a movement guided by God fail?

Sri Bhagavan was a regular reader of Gandhi's weekly Harijan and occasionally got Gandhi's experiences in Harijan read
out in the Hall.

******

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 23, 2012, 12:47:20 PM
(From Technique of Maha Yoga:)

20. Samadhi:

Real Atma Vichara begins only when one is off the mental waves and abides in the Heart. By unswerving constancy in the Self,
like the ceaseless unbroken filamentary flow of oil, is generated Nirvikalpa Samadhi. (Talks No. 349).  Every Yogi's aim is to
achieve the Nirvikalpa Samadhi for its beneficial spiritual effects.

Samadhi is a sort of trance. Sri Rama in Rama Gita tells Hanuman there are over a hundred samadhis. These are the Hatha Yoga
and Raja Yoga Samadhis. They are all treated in their respective treatises.

But in Maha Yoga, the Samadhis an aspirant meets during the course of the Sadhana are:

1. Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
2. Savikalpa Samadhi
3. Nirvikalpa Samadhi &
4. Sahaja Samadhi.

Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi is expereinced during Tanumanasi or the advanced stages of Step 4. In Kevala  Nirvikalpa Samadhi,
the mind is immersed in the Light of Consciousness for a short while and is pulled back by the Vasanas that have not been
destroyed. In this state, awareness with calmness of mind is experienced.

Mind holding on to the Self with effort is Savikalpa Samadhi. In other words when the mind is fixed on the object of meditation
for a particular length of time, unobstructed by the least ripple of thought, it is SavikalpaSamadhi. Savikalpa means with differentiation
of subject  and object. i.e. the meditator and the object of meditation.

Constant practice of Savikalpa Samadhi leads to Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Mind merged in Reality and remaining unaware of the world
is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In this state, the subject and object i.e. the meditator and the meditated, fuse into a mass of consciousness.
On coming out of this Samadhi, the meditator recalls the Samadhi experience and remembering what he has read in the scriptures
to be identical with his experience he realizes himself as 'I am That'. This recollection of the Samadhi experience and his identification
as 'I  am That' is called Pratyabhijna Jnana. It is only this Pratyabhijna Jnana that completely destroys the ignorance. i.e. duality.

This is fully explained in Chap. XVII of Tripura Rahasya.

****

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Vinod on December 23, 2012, 09:30:22 PM
Dear Subramanian,

One quick question!

If a person has done some mistake, may be a big one and after few years he becomes self realized and does the person still has to face the consequences?

Om Arunaachaleshwaraaya Namaha!
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: atmavichar100 on December 24, 2012, 07:29:56 AM
Dear Subramanian,

One quick question!

If a person has done some mistake, may be a big one and after few years he becomes self realized and does the person still has to face the consequences?

Om Arunaachaleshwaraaya Namaha!

After he becomes self realized ,he will not be bothered much about what happens to him .
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on December 24, 2012, 08:01:17 AM
Quote
If a person has done some mistake, may be a big one and after few years he becomes self realized and does the person still has to face the consequences?

"Person" does not exist after that - so there is no question of consequence.

Sanjay
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 24, 2012, 08:19:12 AM
Dear Vinod,

If a person is self realized, the prarabdha alone will affect him as per scriptures. The mistakes of current birth, will not affect him,
after Self Realization.

According to Sri Bhagavan, all the three, prarabdha, sanjaya and agami -- all the three would not affect him, as mentioned in
Ulladu Narpadu, Supplement, Verse 33,

Self Realization is a conflagration;  it burns  every thing, all sins and mistakes.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 24, 2012, 12:56:06 PM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga):

21. Effects of Nirvikalpa Samadhi:

Viveka Chudamani says, 'When the mind is purified, by sadhana, one passes from Savikalpa to Nirvikalpa Samadhi and thereafter
directly to Self Realization. This Nirvikalpa Samadhi results in the severance of Chit Jada Granthi, destruction of all vasanas, and the
cognizance of all manifestations as the Self without effort. The difference of you, I, this, that, etc., disappears.

Sri Bhagavan says that it is only up to the attainment of Nirvikalpa Samadhi that effort is necessary. Then the Beyond takes hold
of you. Your effort cannot reach there. With Self Realization only, real and incessant tapas results. (Talks No. 30)

This tapas is effortless. Just as a trajectile to reach the moon is powered to overcome the earth's gravitation initially and to
overcome the space of weightlessness till it is thrown into the field of the moon's attraction, when the moon's attraction alone
prevails and gathers the trajectile to the moon, similarly the aspirant by his effort overcomes the vasanas and the mind, which
prevents his abiding in the Self. After a period of mindlessness and Nirvikalpa Samadhi he is attracted and forcibly held by the Self
till he is transformed into the Self.

After Nirvikalpa Samadhi he becomes a jivan mukta, i.e. liberated even while alive. Thereafter there is no effort on his part. He is
only passive to the influence of the Self which effects the transformation.   Just like the steel stuck to a magnet, the mind is held
and overpowered by the Self and is released only after it is completely transformed.

Sri Ramakrishna while so overpowered by the Self was unconscious of the body and its needs had to be tended to and the saint
fed by his nephew  Hriday.

Sri Bhagavan after his arrival at Tiruvannamalai was in a similar condition for several weeks. The grip of the Self on Him was so
great and persistent that he was absolutely unconscious of the passing of the days and nights and of His body and its needs
and He had to be forcibly fed.

In the 10th Verses of Arunachala Padigam, recalling His experience, He says: 'I have discovered a new thing. This Hill, the Lodestone
of lives,arrests the movements of anyone who so much thinks of It, draws him face to face with It, and fixes him motionless like
Itself, to fed upon his soul thus ripened. What a wonder is this! O souls, beware of It and Live! Such a destroyer of lives is this
magnificent Arunachala, which shines  within the Heart!

*****

Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Vinod on December 24, 2012, 10:46:39 PM

In the 10th Verses of Arunachala Padigam, recalling His experience, He says: 'I have discovered a new thing. This Hill, the Lodestone
of lives,arrests the movements of anyone who so much thinks of It, draws him face to face with It, and fixes him motionless like
Itself, to fed upon his soul thus ripened. What a wonder is this! O souls, beware of It and Live! Such a destroyer of lives is this
magnificent Arunachala, which shines  within the Heart!

*****

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian Ji,

This is very very true and it has happened many times in my case. Just few days back I was thinking of Arunachala and missing it a lot, but was helpless coz in my new job I am not allowed to take long leave for the first 3 months. Today it is confirmed that I am getting off from 25-28th and I am so lucky that the full moon is falling these days. I am so excited about this and my desire is fulfilled even without wishing it.

Thank you so much sir for the detailed responce of my question and my gratitude also goes for others who have responded.

Many thanks!

Om Arunaachaleshwaraaya Namaha!
     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 25, 2012, 08:23:08 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga) 

What is Maha Yoga?

Caught in the vortex of the cycle of births and deaths transmigrating through eighty four lakhs of species of animated
beings, one evolves as a human being. Even then he has still the old strong animal instincts and is not capable of discriminating
the good from the bad. When, as a result of suffering, the primitive man recognizes a supreme power, prays to it to get over his suffering and the gracious Lord is pleased to relieve him of it, faith in the Lord is created and then through habit he worships God even though he may not have any suffering. Thus is paved the way for devotion. Later he utilizes his devotion for getting the pleasures of
the world and heaven, ignorant of the aim of human birth which is Liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. This worship by
puja,  later by singing praises, which, while in the beginning, is occasional, becomes frequent and later is continuous. He has also
recourse to japa which is repetition to keep him in unceasing remembrance of God. When with this supreme devotion all his actions
are done in a spirit of dedication to God, the goddess of the Self is pleased and directs him to the path of liberation.

Ribhu Gita says that only in those that have obtained Grace by worship and extreme devotion to Lord Siva is generated the
belief in the oneness of all, and not in others.

In Panchadasi, Dhyana Deepika, it is said that he, who has in several previous births done motiveless actions dedicated to God,
becoming ripe for Self Inquiry, is desirous of practicing Atma Vichara (Self Inquiry).

The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes motiveless action leading to Jnana and then to liberation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 26, 2012, 12:57:21 PM
What is Maha Yoga?

continues....

Sri Bhagavan in the third verse of Upadesa Undiyar says motiveless actions dedicated to God correct the individual's approach
and direct him to the path of liberation. While previously his virtuous actions were motivated by a desire for heavens or better
future births, the individual surrendering the fruits of his actions to God leaving no residue of such fruits to himself is forced into
Jnana Marga. Once he dedicates his actions including his daily routine duties are done in a spirit of service to God. Even the
maintenance of the family and the work therefor are done in the same spirit gradually resulting in detachment from the family
also. Then it dawns in his mind, 'How many parents, wives, and children I must have had in my my several previous births? Am I
concerned with them now? The same will be the case with the present ones also.' This detachment grows, which leads again to
Vairagya and mumukshutvam.

****

Arunachala Siva,.       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: atmavichar100 on December 26, 2012, 01:18:55 PM
Quote
Subramanian Ji,

This is very very true and it has happened many times in my case. Just few days back I was thinking of Arunachala and missing it a lot, but was helpless coz in my new job I am not allowed to take long leave for the first 3 months. Today it is confirmed that I am getting off from 25-28th and I am so lucky that the full moon is falling these days. I am so excited about this and my desire is fulfilled even without wishing it.

Thank you so much sir for the detailed responce of my question and my gratitude also goes for others who have responded.

Many thanks!

Om Arunaachaleshwaraaya Namaha!

Vinod

Wish you a wonderful time at Arunachala .
By the way yesterday I read an incident from Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's life that if the desire to go to any spiritual place is very real ,then God will manifest an opportunity for the same from unknown quarters but this desire should be very  deep and not just a simple wish .

Om Peace
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 27, 2012, 11:53:23 AM
(From the technique of Maha Yoga):

1. Jnana Yoga:

In the Jnana Yoga, there is the dhyana marga and there is the vichara marga, which Sri Bhagavan calls MAHA YOGA. The former
deals with the meditation of one of the Maha Vakyas - Aham Brahmasmi. (I am the Self). Sri Bhagavan recommended MAHA YOGA,
i.e. Vichara as a more direct method for easy concentration of mind and consequent eradication of vasanas and extinction of the mind.

Sri Bhagavan tersely puts the whole scheme of Maha Yoga in Vichara Sangraha (Self Inquiry) as follows:

By constant practice of inquiry is obtained the extinction of mind. This extinction is the ultimate result of all efforts. Those in this
state never swerve from this position. Mouna or to remain still is this State. All Sadhanas are for obtaining concentration of the mind;
for tho think, to desire, to have, etc., are all modifications of mind and cannot be the natural state of the Self. The mere immutable
quiescent state of mind alone is one's natural state. Till this state of mental stillness gets firm, not to lose hold of the Self and not
to contaminate the mind with thoughts are the two essentials to be observed in the Sadhana.

*****

Arunachala Siva.           
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 28, 2012, 01:12:50 PM
2. The Seven Stages of Jnana Yoga:

There are seven  Bhumikas or stages in Jnana Yoga_

1. Subeccha 2. Vicharana 3. Tanumanasi 4. Sattavpatti 4. Asamsakti 6. Padarthabhavana 7. Turiya.

1. Dispassion for wife and children, mumukshutva (desire for liberation)  and the desire that arises in one through
sheer Vairagya after resolving, 'Shall I be ignorant? I will study the Jnana Sastras and seek the company of the wise.'
is termed Subecccha.

2. Association with the wise and the earnest and constant study of the various jnana sastras, is Vichaana.

3. Absolute faith in the scriptures and in the teachings of the wise and the practice of the sadhana or meditation leading
to the thinning of the ego and to the weakening of the hankering for sense objects is termed Tanumanasi.

4. The stage where in having got indifferent to all sense objects by the practice of the above three stages the purified mind,
getting ripe, gets fixed in the Heart, is called Sattvapatti.

5. As a result of the practice of the four previous stages mind getting absorbed in the Heart, manifesting pure sattva guna
is termed Asamsakti.

6. That stage wherein as a result of the practice of the above five stages one having found delight in Atman is not conscious
of internals and externals though before him and engages in actions only when impelled to do so is termed Padarthabhavana.

7. The stage wherein by exceedingly long practice in the above six stages one immovably abides in Atman alone, having lost the
experience of the distinction of the world is termed Turiya.

****

Arunachala Siva.           
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 29, 2012, 12:50:05 PM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga):

3. GURU:

God, Guru, and the inner Self are the same.

It is stated in all Hindu scriptures that a Guru is always necessary. Ordinarily, anyone cannot start practice of Jnana Yoga,
without the aid of a Jnana Guru. The Bhagavad Gita IV.34, states a Brahma Jnani alone cannot initiate one in Brahma Jnana
or at least it implies that.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana in Vichara Sangraha  says that as a result of motiveless actions in dedication to God done in several previous
births, mind getting purified, an aspirant meets his Guru, gets Upadesa from him, and by long, intense and incessant practice gets
liberation.

Sometimes, in the case of a few earnest aspirants, some great souls suggest that they hold in their heart the use of an emblem
such a photo or a figure of their chosen Guru, and to start the practice as mentioned in their teachings, with great faith and devotion.
The story of Ekalavya, the hunter, is cited as an instance.

In various puranas and stories of saints it is said that when the aspirant is ripe, God arranges for him to meet  a guru. And even
a causal word uttered by the guru is treasured and acted upon, which leads the aspirant to liberation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: silence on December 29, 2012, 01:37:47 PM

For those Jnana Yogis, whose aim is only liberation from samsara and who are not keen on Self Realizatioon, there is
the other easy way of escape by meditation on the Heart at the time of death.

Sir, could you please explain this?
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 29, 2012, 01:51:29 PM
Dear silence,

Some do not want self realization but only get out of the sufferings of family/worldly life. But even those people, if they
meditate at the time of death, will be liberated, though that was not the aim of their life. Sri Bhagavan has said: Even,
if you do not want Self Realization, It will be thrust on you if you meditate on God or Self.

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: silence on December 29, 2012, 03:55:45 PM
Dear sir, thanks for the explanation. But what of prarabhda karma? Will it make us return to the world? Also meditating in the heart ... is it the same as who am I inquiry? I am asking because my main concern is only getting out of samsara, but I am afraid hidden desires may force me to return to this world.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 29, 2012, 04:48:03 PM
Dear Silence,

After the Videha Kaivalyam (moksha at the time of leaving the body) where is the question of prarabdha etc.,

Arunacahala Siva. 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Nagaraj on December 29, 2012, 04:55:25 PM
Sri silence,

see this verse 38 from Ulladu Naarpadu:

If we are the doers of deeds, we should reap the fruits they yield. But when we question, ‘Who am I, the doer of this deed?’ and realize the Self, the sense of agency is lost and the three karmas slip away. And Eternal is this Liberation. (Book of K. Swaminathan)


If we are the doer of actions (karmas) which are like seeds, we shall experience the resulting fruits. (But) when one knows oneself by enquiring ‘Who is the doer of actions?’ (in other words) ‘Who am I?’, the sense of doership (kartritva) will disappear and (hence) all the three karmas (agamya, sanchita and prarabdha) will slip away (since the ego, the doer of the actions and the experiencer of their fruits, will no longer exist). This (the resulting state which is devoid of the ego and which is consequently devoid of the bondage of karma) indeed is the state of liberation, (which is eternal that is, which is our ever-existing and natural state)

Note: The word ‘oneself’ (tanai) in the clause ‘when one knows oneself’ may here be taken to mean either the ego or the real Self, for if the ego (the doer) is known it will be found to be non-existent, while if the real self is known it will be found to be the sole existence. In either case, both the sense of doership (kartritva) and the sense of experiencership (bhoktritva) – which are the two faces of the one ego, like the two sides of one piece of paper – will necessarily cease to exist.

The three karmas referred to in this verse are (1) agamya karma, that is, the actions that the individual newly performs in this life through his face of doership, (2) sanchita karma, that is, all the results of his past agamya karmas which are now stored up and which are yet to be experienced by him, and (3) Prarabdha karma, that is, the portion of the results of his past agamya karmas which God has selected from his sanchita and ordained for him to experience in this lifetime through his face of experienceship. (Book of Michael James)

Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 29, 2012, 04:57:05 PM
Dear silence,

Yes. As Nagaraj said it has been described in Ulladu Narpadu Verse 38.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 30, 2012, 01:25:58 PM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga)

3. Guru - continues.....

When Sage Thayumanavar was ripe, a teacher appeared before him, and they were together for a short time. When up to
the time of parting he was not given any upadesa and was importuning him while leaving, the Guru said, 'Keep quiet' -
Summa Iru. The disciple considered it as his upadesa, and practiced keeping quiet, meaning mental quiescence. Anyone else 
would have taken the parting words as said in disgust to an importunate man. But in ripe Thayumanavar, it acted differently,
and he took those words as real upadesa and practiced mental quiescence and became a great Sage.

Again certain ripe souls had the necessary upadesa in their previous birth and left their sadhana incomplete, start from where
they left off and complete their sadhana, without the aid of a personal Guru and obtain liberation.

Others again who in their previous lives have attained the maturity to look upon their Inner Self as their Guru and were getting
their instructions therefrom needed no outer Guru and recognized their Inner Self as their Guru from start. During their sadhana
in the deep stillness of thought-free consciousness, the Inner Voice speaks and guides them.  This also occurs in mature sadhakas
when they lose personal contact with their guru for any reason and they do not go about searching for a new Guru.

Sri Bhagavan has also told an American devotee: The Guru is not outside you as you seem to think. He is inside you and is in fact
the Self. Recognize this truth. Seek within and you find him there.

With the progress of sadhana in this Maha Yoga, one naturally develops the habit of looking upon the Inner Self as the Guru.

*****

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 31, 2012, 10:18:56 AM
(from The Technique of Maha Yoga.)

4. GRACE:

Sri Bhagavan once said, 'What is Grace? It is a function of God.' Like rays of the Sun, Grace is always functioning.  There is not a
moment when it is not. But it is dependent on the receptivity of the individual to partake of it. What contributes to the receptivity
of Grace in the individual? It is Suddha Chittam (pure mind), caused by several factors namely, love for fellow human beings, and sympathy
to human suffering, resulting in charitable acts to the extent possible, pilgrimages, bath in holy waters, worship of God by singing
praise of Him, japa, pranayama, meditation etc,, Like a schoolboy moving from a lower to a higher class, by qualifying himself for it,
this chitta suddhi of varying nature, develops the spirituality of the individual, step by step, and Grace aids him by guiding him. Grace is
very manifest, when there is sraddha (earnestness). With increase in bhakti, japa, and meditation, the individual becomes very
receptive to Grace. He experiences it and attributes every good, material and spiritual, to this overwhelming Grace. This in turn,
induces absolute surrender and immediate rejection of any thought of conscious planning.

One engrossed in worldliness is impervious to Grace.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 01, 2013, 10:06:54 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga.)

5. PRAYER:

Devotees are of two kinds, namely, saguna upasaka (devotees of God with form), and nirguna upasaka (devotees of God without
form). Their devotion is termed  annya bhakti (devotion to God external to oneself) and an-annya bhakti (devotion to God not
external to oneself) respectively. Saguna Upasana must precede nirguna upasana. The individual is not generally ripe enough
straightaway to get into nirguna upasana. Constant repetition of praises or stotras of the chosen God which enrapture him,
and remembrance of such god by frequent or constant appropriate japa are successively steps leading to anannya bhakti.

Prayer is always resorted to by Saguna Upasakas. India is studded with temples, the deities of which have been famous from
ancient times for the grant of boons to devotees. Tirupati (Balaji), Pazhani, Madurai, Chidambaram and Rameswaram in South
India and numerous other places in the country attract devotees all the year round where vows are taken and solemnly fulfilled.
Even today prayers of the devotees of these deities are granted in a measure more than desired or anticipated.

With the maturity in Saguna Upasana, the individual is automatically led into the Nirguna Upasana stage. With the cultivation\
of the worship of the Inner Self by meditation and later by the intensity of such meditation, communion with the Inner Self is
established. Prayer, thereafter, seems superfluous for everything is done in the fullest measure for the sadhaka unasked.

Lord Krishna says, 'I take over the interest and welfare of those who worship me as their Inner Self.' (BG IX. 22).  Though
there is a deeper meaning for the verse, the above is sufficient here.

If any attempt is made by the nirguna upasaka in his advanced stage, to pray for anything for himself or his dear ones,.
he is foiled in his attempt. For just then the mind stands stock still, unable to formulate one word of prayer. When this
frustration is experienced two or three times his prayer resolves into, 'Oh Lord! Let Thy will be done.'

*****

Arunachala Siva.
     
         
   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 02, 2013, 12:43:24 PM
(From The Technique of Maha Yoga)

6. SLEEP:

Sleep is sometimes considered as an obstacle to Sadhana. While a Sadhaka should not avoid sleep totally, he can
gradually reduce the period to four or five hours daily, without detriment to his health or sadhana. If his activities
are totally taken away by circumstances or age, the normal period of six to eight hours or nine in the night and wakes
up at six, he should start waking up at five and then after a month, at four and so on till the maximum of four or five
hours is obtained utilizing the morning hours for meditation, when, one being fresh from sleep, with the mind and body
rested and the world, outside quite still, it is very conducive to sadhana.

Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna said that bhogis (debauchees), rogis (the sick) and yogis (sadhakas) don't sleep in the night.
Remaining four or five hours of sleep daily, one is condensing the full deep sleep period and feels none the worse for it
and getting up after the period a feeling of satiation just as one feels after a full meal. Occasionally when the system does
want sleep,it is better to let nature have its way. Anyhow utilizing a good part of still night for sadhana, the progress is very
good and the sadhaka feels greatly encouraged by the result. Indeed, every improvement in one's sadhana and every spiritual
experience are noticeable mainly in the early morning meditation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva,.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 03, 2013, 10:48:22 AM
6. SLEEP:

continues....

Sleep can be used with great advantage by earnest aspirants for their sadhana either in Bhakti or Jnana Yoga. Just fifteen
minutes prior to sleeping in his bed, if he keeps japa mantra or any verse in praise of his Ishta Devata and goes to sleep,
with it in his lips, his subconscious mind takes it up and keeps repeating it throughout sleep, and he wakes up with the japa
or verse on his lips.

Similarly if the aspirant keeps repeating, 'Who am I?' with his mind on the Self, he is effortlessly aiding his sadhana. And those
in dhyana marga, if they with bhavana keep repeating, 'The all pervading Atma is myself alone,' will find it to their advantage.
Of course, in the last two cases sleep period will be a sort of trance or a mixture of wakefulness and sleep: but the sadhaka
will be none the worse for it. Indeed, the sweetness of mind on waking up will be such that he would like to cultivate the
practice.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva,     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 04, 2013, 09:56:07 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga.)

7. JAPA:

In the spiritual path, whether devotion or Jnana, the potency of Japa and of its aid are very great and no aspirant can afford
to get on with his sadhana without its aid as a support. In all religions, Christian, Buddhist, Islamic and Hindu, the aspirants
have been noticed to be rolling their beads even while walking so that they may not break the continuity of their Japa.

Valmiki, a hunter, became a highway robber and a murderer. Sage Narada, diving his purva punya, wanted to initiate him in
Rama Nama Japa. Being a great sinner in his current life, he could not even pronounce 'Rama'. Since he was used to 'mara',
'mara' meaning kill, Narada asked him to repeat 'mara', 'mara' which when continuously uttered became Rama, Rama.
The robber was so intense in his repetition that he lost body consciousness for years and an anthill grew covering him. He
got Self Realization, became a great Sage and a great poet, and the author of the original Sanskrit Ramayana in verses.
Authors of subsequent Ramayanas in other languages, took their material from this original book.

Thyaga Brahman, the saint-musician of South India born in 1759, repeated Rama mantra several crores of times, became a poet
and strung his poems to music. He lived on alms while going round the streets singing songs on Rama. He was much venerated.
He attained Self Realization only by Japa. The Lord to prove his greatness to the world made him touch a dead body over which
the relatives were wailing and the dead person was revived. This occurred during his pilgrimage to Tirupati.

Swami Ramadas of Kanhangad attained Self Realization, purely by repetition of Rama Nama.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva 
           
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 05, 2013, 12:41:44 PM
7. Japa:

continues.....

Repetition of the name of the chosen deity when regularly practiced for an hour in the morning and in the evening for a couple
of months makes the person do it unconsciously even while at work and at odd  moments. Later he gets a vision of the deity   
of his japa. Encouraged by this, he becomes more devoted to the mantra and keeps continuously uttering it. Later he unwittingly
concentrates on the repetition i.e. hearing the mental articulation with the mental ear. This makes the mind merge in the source
of the utterance, the Heart.  Thus from the path of devotion he is unwittingly led to the path of Jnana.

About 1946, Mr. and Mrs. Khanna of Kanpur with their children ranging from two to seventeen years, were living for nearly three
months near the Asramam, coming to the Hall, mornings and evenings daily. At the time of parting Mrs. Khanna asked Sri Bhagavan
what she should do in the spiritual path with so much on her hands pointing to the children. Sri Bhagavan benignly instructed her,
'Repeat "I", "I", "I" all the time, even while at work and read the pamphlet Who am I? once a day. That is enough." How simple
an instruction to understand, how easy to follow and how profound in effect when followed. Repetition of "I", "I" when at work
keeps thoughts away. When free from work the repetition makes the mind involuntarily go to the source of "I", where the mind
rests. The mind thus gradually gets extinct, and Self Realization results. In the beginning, while reading 'Who am I?' the person
understands the superficial meaning, but with the progress of repetition resulting in meditation and spiritual unfoldment, the deeper
meaning of the substance of the book gets clearer and helps the Sadhakas.

Similarly, with the repetition of Who am I?. Sri Bhagavan says of all the japas, Wh0 am I? is the best. (Talks 72).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva. 
                 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 06, 2013, 09:33:12 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga.)

7. Japa:

Swami Ramadas says Japa should not be mere lip work, but every atom of the whole body must throb with it. Saint Tukaram
used to utter Ram Nam  always, even while answering calls of nature. When a Brahmin priest saw this and scolded him for this,
he stopped the repetition. Immediately every pore of his body started uttering it and caused a din. Such must be the intensity
of Japa.

Incidentally, busy persons after retirement from occupation, confronted with emptiness of life become mental wrecks. To occupy
their time, they take to radio listening, newspapers, politics, and so on. Some even take to reading religious books and writing
articles for journals, etc., and yet they find a voidness in their life which they are not able to figure out. If people, even in their
late forties take to japa sadhana, for half an hour daily, in the mornings and evenings, they would, by the time they retire, have
reached a stage when they will be anxiously looking forward to the day of retirement, so that they may fully occupy themselves
in this japa sadhana. Even starting after retirement if a person resolutely employs his time in japa, he would be leading a good
spiritual life and would at least set an example to the family and those that come in contact with him.

sub chapter - concluded.

Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 10, 2013, 10:45:42 AM
8. Maha Yoga:

In Maha Yoga, the individual feels he has got out of his primal state of oneness with the Self and wants to regain his natural
state. What is this original or natural state? It is the egoless thought-free state of bliss. We have a glimpse of its experience
during sleep, when we feel the blissful state, for in that state we are free from thoughts. And what is our present state? It is
the state of ajnana or ignorance, full of ego sense and mental vrittis (thought forms). These thought waves, pleasant and unpleasant,
cause us ultimate misery and continued samsara, the cycle  of births and deaths. What are these thought waves and how are
they caused and how are they overcome? The thought waves are due to vasanas.

*****

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 11, 2013, 12:30:02 PM
9. Vasanas:

When a thought occurs and passes off, it leaves an impression on the subconscious mind; when the same thought occurs again,
it underscores the original impression and if the same thought frequently occurs, the impression becomes deeper and when it
gets good hold, the thought recurs uninvited. These impressions recorded in the subconscious mind take a seed form and sink
deep into the heart at the time of death and do not perish; they are carried over to the next birth as vasanas or purva
samskaras or latent tendencies. They in right time, sprout forth from the Heart. (Talks No. 108).  The Self safeguards these vasanas
in its closest proximity within itself, the Heart, just as a miser keeps his valued possessions within himself and never out of contact.
(ibid. T. 402). When a vasana is released from the Heart and comes to play, it is associated  with the light of the Self and the person
is said to think. It passes from heart to the brain and on its way the transformed thought grows more and more until it holds sway
all alone. For the time being all other vasanas are held in abeyance. When the original vasana has spent itself, another more insistent
and waiting vasana takes the field and occupies the mind and so on. (Talks 616).

Reverting to the thought impressions, it must be stated they determine the character of the individual. They make or mar a spiritual
man. When thoughts of God and of kindness to fellow beings engage the mind and predominate, they elevate him and gradually
lead him to ripeness for spiritual discipline and later to eminence in the spiritual field.

continued....

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 12, 2013, 01:36:14 PM
9. VASANAS:

continues.....

Contrarily, selfishness, indifference to other sufferings of others, envy, egoism, anger and hatred lead to vindictiveness, cruelty,
and the primitive savagery of man. Persons as they advance in age, if they are not careful of their thoughts and persist in their old
crooked, cunning and lustful ways, become cantankerous and insufferable and people avoid them.  They suffer hell even while alive.
If these evil samskaras are carried over to the next birth, it is not hard to divine the nature of the child and God in His wisdom places
him in families and environments suitable to his nature. (BG XVI).

The only easy remedy to get over these evil propensities is recourse to Japa and constant remembrance of God. These will certainly
sublimate all evil tendencies and change the individual completely. There need be no doubt about this.

In Jagrat state, when a man is idle his mind is kept engaged by these latent vasanas. The mind is never idle. It is like a running
mill wanting grist to grind and the vasanas supply it.

In the Arunachala Ashtakam in the sixth verse addressing the Heart, Sri Bhagavan says, 'Thou are Thyself, the one Being ever
aware as the Self luminous Heart. In Thee, there is a mysterious Power which without Thee is nothing. From it proceeds the phantom
of the mind emitting its latent dark subtle mists, which illumined by Thy light of consciousness reflected on them, appear within as
thoughts, whirling in the vortices of prarabdha, later developing into the psychic worlds and, projected outwardly, as the material world
transformed into concrete objects which are magnified by the outgoing senses, and move like pictures in the cinema show. Visible
or invisible, Oh Hill of Grace, without Thee they are nothing!'

Incidentally, this gives us the key to the saying that all manifestations including the world, body etc., are objectified thoughts
and are therefore not real.

So these vasanas transformed into thoughts  obstruct the aspirant during meditation. So long as vasanas remain and are not
completely destroyed, realization cannot be achieved. These vasanas can be obliterated only by concentration on that which is
free from Vasanas, that is the Heart. (Talks 28).

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.             
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 13, 2013, 01:24:15 PM
VASANAS:

continues....

The seekers aim should be to drain away the vasanas from the Heart, and let no reflection obstruct the Light of
Consciousness. This is achieved by the search of the ego. (Talks NO. # 616.). This is the direct method. The state free
from vasanas is the primal state and the eternal state of purity.

On another occasion speaking about the scheme of liberation, Sri Bhagavan said, 'Just as water in the pot reflects the enormous
Sun within the narrow limits of the pot, even so the vasanas or latent tendencies of the individual acting as the reflecting medium,
catch all the pervading light of Consciousness arising from the heart and present in the form of reflection the phenomenon called the
mind. Seeing only the reflection, the ajnani is deluded into the belief that he is a finite being, the jiva. If the mind is introverted,
through Self enquiry, into the source of Aham vritti, the 'I-thought', vasanas become extinct and in the absence of the reflecting
medium, the phenomenon of reflection, namely the mind, disappears, being absorbed into the light of the one Reality, the Heart.
(Maharshi's Gospel, Volume II, last chapter). Incidentally, it may be mentioned that this is why the jiva or the individual self is called
reflected Consciousness - chidabhasa.

Viveka Chudamani Verse 276, says that the vasanas get extinct to the extent to which the mind is absorbed in the Heart.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 14, 2013, 10:45:08 AM
9. VASANAS:

continues.....

'Contemplation of one's own Self uninterrupted by ideas of external objects is necessary thereby the instinctive tendencies
of the mind which are the causes of birth and death are put down. Until the sole idea of the Self naturally and without effort
flows in a continuous current, contemplation should be practiced. Then the vasanas perish. All the Upanishads direct a man to
kill the vasanas by contemplation of the Self.'

Mandukya Upanishads directs the fixing of the mind on the ardhamatra or the last syllable of mental articulation of the sound OM
and remaining thought free which is virtually fixing the mind in the Heart.

The Bhagavad Gita VI. 25-26 says, 'With resolute will, gradually get the mind fixed on the Self and obtain mental stillness;
thereafter remain thought free. Whenever the mind gets outward, bring it back and establish it on the Self.'

Bhagavan Sri Ramana instructing Kavyakanata Ganapati Muni on tapas said, 'If when a mantra is repeated, one keenly watches
where from the mantra sound emanates, the mind will get absorbed there. That is Tapas.'

Sri Bhagavan says in Who am I? 'To keep the mind turned within and abide in the Self is Atma Vichara.'

Again in Upadesa Saram Verse 10, He says, 'To abide at the source of the ego, that is, the Heart, is karma, bhakti, yoga and jnana.'

Abiding in the Heart means to keep the mind focused on the Heart, and remaining thought free.                   

Here it should be stated that Heart, Atman, Brahman, Self, Spirit, Guru, Void are all synonymous. So also Jiva, mind, ego, chidabhasa,
and reflected consciousness are synonymous.

Just as ether in the pot is no other than the all pervading ether, the Self in the Heart of every individual, is no other than the all
pervading Supreme Spirit, or God.

(from the Technique of Maha Yoga.)

sub chapter concluded.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 15, 2013, 12:13:18 PM
10. LOCUS OF THE SELF:

"The Self, smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest and is hidden in the recess of the heart of living beings."
   (Svetasvatara Upanishad)

"The Inner Self as a big as each one's thumb resides in the heart of everyone."  (Katha Upanishad)

"The heart is like a lotus inverted. There is a bright spot, atom-like, like the end of a grain of paddy. That spot is like a flame
and its crest is the seat of the Self."  (Purusha Suktam)

"Two digits to the right of the center of the chest is the Heart like a lotus bud. All the nadis emanate from here. Breath, mind,
and the light of Consciousness originate from here."  (Verses 18-19 of Ulladu Narpadu - Anubandham, Sri Bhagavan.)

****

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 16, 2013, 10:33:22 AM
11. TO LOCATE THE HEART FOR MEDITATION:

Since the breath originates from the Heart, to locate the Heart for sadhana, watch, with closed eyes, the movement of
the breath, for a few seconds, and observe where the breath rises and sinks inside the chest. This is the Heart and should
be held as the seat for meditation.

Some people keep the Sahasrara (cranium) and some the Ajna (the space between the eyebrows) as the seat for meditation.
But Sri Bhagavan advocates the Heart only, as the fixing of the mind only on the Heart, results in the extinction of the vasanas
and of the mind, where is it not so in the case of other centers. (Talks 616).

sub chapter concluded.


Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 17, 2013, 08:38:03 AM
12. CONCENTRATION:

The mind by nature is wandering, propelled by the innate vasanas. How to keep the mind concentrated on the Heart is the crux
of the Sadhana. From the ancient days, breath control is advocated. Sri Bhagavan says in Upadesa Undiyar that since the breath
and mind is the same, if breath is controlled, mind is automatically controlled; and during breath restraint if the mind is fixed on the
Heart, mind gradually gets defunct. So long as the mind is turned towards and fixed in the Heart, mind is non-receptive to vasanas,
which in turn weaken.

Discussing the Sage Patanjali's Raja Yoga, about the subjugation of the mind, Sri Bhagavan says, that 'chitta vritti nirodha' -
control of activities of the mind - is brought about in sleep, swoon or by starvation; but with the withdrawal of the cause  of
such torpor, mind gets active again;

But in Maha Yoga the practice consists in the withdrawal of the mind into the Self. (Talks No. 485).

******

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 18, 2013, 09:39:54 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga):

13. BREATH CONTROL:

For purposes of concentration, pranayama is suggested to be practiced in the various yoga sastras. Bhagavan Sri Ramana says
pranayama in its entirety is not necessary.  Referring to breath control as an aid for concentration, He said, 'bahih pranayama'
(external control of breath) is for one not endowed with strength to control the mind. There is no way so sure that of a sage's
company. The external practice must be restored to by the wise man, if he does not enjoy a sage's company. If in a sage's company.
the sage provides the needed strength though unseen by others. If engaged in japa, dhyana, bhakti etc., just a little control of
breath will suffice to control the mind. (Talks No. 54).

Concentration of mind on the Heart destroys vasanas and makes the mind pure. Pure Mind or Suddha manas, in Vedantic parlance
is mind free from thoughts. Thoughts may be pure or impure, both should be controlled.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 19, 2013, 09:35:07 AM
14. PRACTICE:

When one tries to calm the mind and starts to meditate, waves of thoughts each in ever more demanding form rush to
occupy the cleared field. Without entertaining any of them, as each thought arises, one has to put the question, 'To whom
is this thought come?' The answer will be, 'To me'. Then put the question Who am I? and with mental articulation of it one must
dive into the Heart, in search of the source of 'I'-thought. Such frequent diving into the Heart destroy the particular thought.
Treat every successive thought in the same manner. After a little while, you will find you are getting mastery over these thoughts.
A particular place and time for sadhana are always helpful since by getting into the habit of sitting at a particular place and time,
the mind involuntarily starts meditating.

*******

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 20, 2013, 10:19:49 AM
(From Technique of Maha Yoga.)

15. Diving into the Heart:

Verse 28, Truth Revealed, says: Just as a diver dives into a well to search for something dropped in it, so must you with
restraint of speech and breath, dive deep within yourself to find where from the ego rises.

Restraint of speech is advocated in this; but for ordinary aspirants in the initial stages Japa, of Who am I? while diving seems
to be necessary to prevent the mind from wandering; it may not be so essential for advanced souls who can easily concentrate.

Here the mind while engaged in the search for the source of the ego, is given continuous work in the region of Heart, so that the
mind is fully concentrated on it and is unable to wander, resulting in the achievement of the aim, i.e. fixity of the mind in the Heart.

In Chapter I, Volume II, He says, 'Self enquiry is not an empty formula. It is more than repetition of any mantra. If the enquiry
Who am I? were a mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of Self enquiry is to focus the entire
mind at its source.

It is not therefore a case of one 'I' searching for another 'I'.

'Much less is it an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily fixed in pure Self Awareness.

'Self enquiry is the only infallible means, the only direct one to realize the unconditioned Absolute Being that you really are.'

continued......

Arunachala Siva.
 
 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 21, 2013, 10:31:34 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga):

15. DIVING INTO THE HEART:

continues....

 A Sadhaka, during practice, is impelled to investigate how and when thoughts arise in spite of his resoluteness to prevent them
by fixing his mind on the Heart. In the early stages of sadhana it is found that the vasanas keeping besieging the mind at all
the time. When the mind even for split second loses hold of the Heart, the vasanas drive a wedge, cause the mind to function, i.e.
formulate thoughts and pass them  on to the brain which develops them and passes them on to the sense organs, thus concretizing
thought forms into gross objects. But during breath restraint, the thought the mind was engaged in at the beginning of the restraint,
continues to have the hold during the period of restraint, not admitting of intrusion by any other thought.  Hence the concentration.
So if the sadhaka is careful at the beginning of the restraint of breath to fix the mind on the Heart and practices Self Enquiry and
later stillness of mind, he can continue to do so during the full period of restraint.

It should be clearly understood that concentration cannot be had in a few months or years. The way is long and he is a hero who,
undaunted by failures, resolutely practices till he achieves the goal. Once concentration is mastered, the rest is easy. Mind
unimpeded by vasanas strengthens its hold on the Heart.

Guru's Grace is necessary for progress at each step. Frequent prayers to the Guru (the Self) for the success of each step and for
the removal of mental impediments is very necessary. 

After a few years of practice your mind, by such sadhana, having got pure, is readily able to absorb all scriptural statements without
any reasoning or doubt. Sometimes the knowledge contained therein has already been experienced by you and serves only to
verify your experience. A spirit of involuntary surrender sets in. You begin to feel that nothing in the worldly plane is in your hands
and that everything is preordained and that you  are only like a dry leaf blown about by the winds. Material loss or gain ceases to
affect you. Even in your sadhana you feel you cannot progress except by Guru's Grace, and Grace is had by the amount of effort put
in and the effort is not forthcoming unless there is the Guru's Grace -- a strange paradox.

Also you would have found that the sadhana has resulted in the elimination of the onrush of minor passing thoughts which in
the early stages were discouraging you. There is also a natural disinclination to entertain any thoughts. You also try to avoid company
and argument as they result in creating vasanas which impede your concentration during practice.

You also unconsciously shed all unthical inclinations and weaknesses and acquire spiritual excellence without having to cultivate
them because of your habitual rejection of thoughts not relating to the Self.

****

sub chapter concluded.

Arunachala Siva.                 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 22, 2013, 09:49:39 AM
16. GAPS BETWEEN THOUGHTS:

Another noticeable feature is that your mind is getting attenuated. Let us suppose that in a minute, six thoughts occurred with
split-second intervals between every two of them. This split second gap between two thoughts is a period of no thought, i..e
your natural primal state. Tripura Rahasya says when the mind does not create pictures due to absence of thoughts, it is the
unmodified state which is primal and pure condition.

Again in Chapter XVI, ibid, it is stated, 'Every instant free from thoughts or musings in the wakeful state is the condition of Samadhi.
Samadhi is simply absence of thoughts.'

With the progress of Sadhana, the gap of no thought variously named as Sunya, void or blankness keeps on increasing. In the
beginning it is very noticeably felt. Just a busy housewife confronted with no work looks around and says, 'What shall I do next?
Similarly mind, accustomed to unceasing thinking, when subject to these gaps involuntarily, expresses itself in words, 'What shall
I think about now?' One has to experience this to believe it.

During the advanced stages of practice, which correspond to Tanumanasi, the third bhumika of Jnana Yoga, it is marvelous to find how
the mind effortlessly subject to dissection.

continued......

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 23, 2013, 09:44:04 AM
16. GAPS BETWEEN THOUGHTS:

continues....

Just as a piece of cloth frequently exposed to burning fire, loses its strength though retaining its texture, mind, by its constant
exposure to the Light of Consciousness, loses its capacity to formulate thoughts; and not only that, the mind declines to think
and offers resistance to serious thoughts. At this stage doubts assail you as to whether you are getting into some sort of
mental lapse, due to non convergence of thoughts. This is not a state to be afraid of at all, as the aim of sadhana is the
annihilation of the mind.

A state of mental void often involuntarily sets in. Previously the quest for the Source of the ego was possible with the full
strength of the mind;  but now with the mind rarefied  as a result of the sadhana, diving into the Heart, becomes hard and
the mind sometimes stands stock still and you automatically keep quiet with the mind simply focused on the Heart. This is how
you are thrown into the step of Being Still. Sri Bhagavan says 'Upasana and dhyana are possible so long as there is the mind
and they must cease with the cessation of the mind. They are mere preliminaries to final eradication of thoughts and the
stillness of the mind.'

sub chapter - concluded.

Ch. 17 - Vasanas and Sex - already posted.
Ch. 18 - Stillness of mind - already posted.
Ch. 19 - The inner voice - already posted.
Ch. 20 - Samadhi - already posted.
Ch. 21 - Effects of Nirvikalpa Samadhi - already posted.
Ch. 22-  Experience of Self Realization - already posted.

*****

Arunachala Siva.
   
 
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Nagaraj on January 23, 2013, 10:02:27 AM
Subramanian Sir

Thanks so much for this entire series of posts. These are one of the most valuable posts in the forum and is a sure must read for every aspirant.

Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 24, 2013, 09:54:27 AM
23. Tattwa Jnana:

From the beginning of the sadhana, simultaneously with the practice of Self Enquriy, the bhavana (the mental visutalisation) of:
'The whole manifestation including the world is Atman. That Atman alone am I", should be daily practiced, as ultimately after
realization, one sees all objects are superimposition on the substratum, the Atman. Sage Vasishta instructing Sri Rama, in Yoga
Vasishta, and Sri Rama instructing Hanuman in Muktikopanishad say: "The practice of Tattwa Jnana, of the extinction of Vasanas
and of the mind, should all three be simultaneous. They should not be taken up at different periods and done separately."

The practice of the above bhavana has another beneficial effect. The sastras say and Bhagavan has also said, "The practice of
the bhavana of "I am the Self" is the highest virtue. Even a moment's dhyana to that effect is enough to destroy all the sanchita
karma. It works like the sun before whom darkness is dispelled.  If one remains always in such dhayana can any sin, however
heinous it may be, survive this dhayana? (Talks No. 536).

The smiritis state that even a moment's Atma Vichara has the effect of bathing in all the sacred rivers, of the merit of the performance
of a thousand yagnas and of having liberated one's ancestors from births.

For one practicing Maha Yoga, even prarabdha is much mitigated in its effects and the individual does not feel it much, though
to the onlooker it may appear that he is suffering.

Sri Krishna extolling the path of Jnana to Arjune in the Bhagavad Gita, Ch. IV, 35-37 says, "Of all the sinners, if you happen to be
the worst, get over the sins by Jnana.  Just as a burning fire turns wood to ashes, the fire of Jnana reduces all karma to ashes."

sub chapter concluded.     
       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 25, 2013, 10:01:30 AM
CONCLUSION:

Though a general outline of the scheme of practice of Maha Yoga is given here, the aspirant need not rigidly follow the scheme,
for if once he has got well established in the 4th Step, outlined in the next chapter, and has practiced it for a decade or more, he
will be guided further by the experience gained and by the Inner Self, the Guru. There need be no doubt about this.

It is amazing how, at the right time you come across books dealing with the particular aspects of the sadhanas you are practicing,
as if by chance, but really by the grace of the Guru. What hitherto could not be understood, though you might have read it several
times previously, becomes transparently clear now without effort.

The steps detailed after Step 4, as also in the various samadhis indicating the stages of progress of the path are intended only to
serve as landmarks, because you get into the next step automatically. Indeed, if the aspirant strives in the culture of the Inner Self
as indicated in Step 4, only and sticks to it, everything else will be automatically added on to him. Sri Bhagavan says, "All you need to do
is to find the source of the ego and abide there. Your effort can extend only thus far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself." (Talks
Number 197).

What is very necessary in the beginning is faith in the teachings and perseverance in the practice. No appreciable benefit could be
experienced for nearly a couple of years initially and one should not give up practice on account of it, for though the progress in the
sadhana could not be felt by a novice but the effect of the practice is there. No effort or practice in the cultivation of the Inner Self is lost.


continued......

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 26, 2013, 10:45:16 AM
CONCLUSION:

continues......

External breath restraint is a great potential aid. Indeed without it, 99.99 percent of the aspirants cannot progress appreciably.
Much less could they understand the teachings of Sri Bhagavan unless they put the teachings in practice and cultivate them
for a few years. In fact, 'Dive deep', 'Merge in the Self', 'Inhere in the Self', 'Go to the source of the Ego', 'Abide in the Self.'
'Remain as the Self', 'Be Yourself', etc., will remain inexplicable and not understandable to novices unless and until, one has
attained a certain stage and ripeness by practice. Till then they be mere verbiage. No amount of explanations will clarify them
nor need one attempt to understand them but rest content with the feeling that they will get clearer with the practice and Guru's
Grace.

In the later stages of sadhana, the sadhaka, is often involved involuntarily in introspection which helps him to arrive at a correct
estimate of progress, as he correlates his experience with the teachings. This again infuses confidence and optimism in his sadhana,
for achievement; for the conviction grows in him that even a moment's cultivation of the Self is not lost, just as even a pie put in the
bank is added to the bank account.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 27, 2013, 10:12:25 AM
CONCLUSION:

continues.....

Sometimes, during the later stages of the sadhana, the sadhakas gets tired of this mental gymnastics and is inclined to give it up,
but the impetus of the previous practice and the grace of the Self push him on. He feels helpless like one caught in the force of a
torrential flood. He can neither stop nor retrace but must passively move with the current. Caught in the tiger's jaws, where is the
escape?

The feeling grows in him, like that of a child towards its mother, that the Inner Self will look after him, and see him through. He is frequently reminded of that sayings in Kaivalya, 'Oh Guru! You have been always with me watching me and ordaining my course.'

Those whose sadhana is different from this Maha Yoga, need not take to this, fore everyone is influenced by his purva samskaras.
But Sri Bhagavan has repeatedly expressed that those having recourse to pranayama practices, can with great advantage use them
for Atma Vichara.

sub chapter concluded.

Arunachala Siva,   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 28, 2013, 10:18:17 AM
THE TECHNIQUE OF MAHA YOGA:

Rising in the morning at about 4.00 am. have a wash or bath and prostrating before the photo of your Guru or of Bhagavan Sri
Ramana Maharshi, pray to Him to guide you in meditation.

Step 1:

Facing north or east, sit in a comfortable position with eyes closed watch the movements of your breath for a few minutes and observe
where the breath rises and sins in the chest inside. This is the HEART and should be held as the seat for meditation.

Step 2:

With closed eyes and with the mental eye or the mind centered in the Heart, repeat 'Who am I?' in your own language without
stopping, for at least fifteen minutes, gradually increasing the period to one hour. You must on no account get up till the fixed period
is over. See that the Japa is continuous. Do the same in the evening for the same period.

Step 3:

After a few months when well established in the second step, with closed eyes after a quick exhalation restrain the breath outside
without inhaling (external kumbhaka) as long as possible without strain, repeating Who am I? all the while and inhale. Keep the mental
eye fixed on the Heart always. Do this five times in the morning and five times in the evening gradually increasing it to twenty times
or more with a minute's rest. i.e. normal breathing after five such kumbhakas.

When thoughts interrupt you as they will, do not go away with the thought but immediately put the question: 'To whom has the thought come?'  The answer will be 'To me'. Then question Who am I?. Keep on repeating Who am I? with the method aforesaid, i.e.
with the mind fixed on the Heart and with external kumbhakas. Do not be discouraged by the number of thoughts that come, but kill
them all as they appear by the above method. In all the practices herein mentioned, the vital part of the practice is the fixing of the mind on the Heart, which is located as mentioned previously.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 29, 2013, 09:32:11 AM
The Technique of Maha Yoga:

Step 3: continues....

You should, after each sitting, try to look back on your meditation to see if thoughts hindered you less or more and try to find
the cause of it. In most cases, it may be traced to the kind of food taken. Eggs, meat and vegetables like onions, garlic, radish,
etc., and sleep inducing drinks should be avoided totally. Pure cow's milk for the night food is very helpful for night meditation.
Doing japa of Who am I?, daily, prior to going to sleep in the bed, makes you do it automatically even while asleep and it
is conducive to good meditation in the morning. One desirous of early morning meditation should be satisfied with half a meal
for the night.

Step 4:

When well established in the last step, try to dive in to the Heart, during external kumbhaka (vide verse 28 and 29 Truth Revealed
and the annotations, in Appendix A). Slowly exhale and watch the exhalation movement in the chest. With the sinking movement
in the chest dive into the Heart, with mental articulation of Who am I?. Imagine you are diving into a well to search for something
dropped in it. With the breath restrained outside, keep searching for the source of the ego in the Heart, with the mental eye just as
you would for any small thing in a dark room, feeling for it on the floor with your fingers. Throw out the remaining breath in the lungs
and again do the search, all the while repeating Who am I? MEANING WHERE FROM DOES THE "I" ARISE. Ordinarily, 20 to 30 seconds
of external kumbhaka is ample; but those used to pranayama can restrain breath longer, but it should be without strain.

You will find this sort of fixing the mind, on the Heart with external kumbhaka gives you concentration. Any external noise at this
juncture, in the early stages will cause you sudden bodily shock. This is a proof of your concentration.

This practice after sometime may be developed to make the mind do the search without any mental articulation, so that there will
be vocal silence and the quest is made with mental vritti only.

The fourth step is the essential practice of the Maha Yoga as it eradicates several minor vasanas which were initially clamorous and
obstructed meditation. It also causes attenuation of the mind. One has to spend several years in the practice of this step to derive
its full benefits. Even while practicing subsequent steps, when the mind is much agitated for any reason, a few minutes practice of
this step will restore tranquility.

continues.......       
       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 30, 2013, 09:21:39 AM
(From the Technique of Maha Yoga):

CONCLUSION:

Mental Stillness:

With the progress of the sadhana, a time will come when you will find it hard to practice Self enquiry, on account of the mind
having got attenuated probably after about ten years or less. It is at this stage, you should take to the practice of "stillness
of mind."

Step 5:

As you throw out the breath simply say once "Be still" and during external kumbhaka try to remain thought-free, with the mind
fixed on the Heart and avoid any mental articulation during the breath restraint.

Step 6:

When sufficiently well established in the previous step, TRY TO REMAIN THOUGHT FREE NORMALLY, i.e. without breath restraint
and without any mental articulation.

At this stage, you have to be careful not to fall asleep, for in the waking state when there are no thoughts you are likely to
slip into sleep.  Awareness is kept up by the mind fixed on the Heart. Real Atma Vichara begins only here, i.e when you are fixedx
on the Heart, and are off the mental waves. Remaining in this state results in the extinction of mind and the annihilation of Vasanas.
(Steps 4 to 6 correspond to Tanumanasi, the 3rd bhumika of Jnana Yoga.).

Step 7:

When well established in Step 6, cultivate remaining thought-free normally with the mind supportless (niralamba), i.e. mind not fixed
on the Heart,  nor abiding anywhere whatsoever.

Deep quiescence for a prolonged period eventually results in the experience of Pure Awareness, leading to the goal.

One can distinguish fits of samadhi from sleep. In samadhi one's head remains erect and one is vaguely aware of external noises.
There is also Awareness with calmness of mind; not so in the case of sleep.

(The above technique, though graduated, closely follows Sri Bhagavan's teachings, viz., (1) the mind must be fixed in the Heart with
kevala kumbhaka, and (2) the introverted  mind should search for the source of the ego and abide there.)

Om Tat Sat.

CONCLUDED.                 

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 31, 2013, 08:41:12 AM
(From the Technique of Self Inquiry):

Appendix A:

TRUTH REVEALED - Sri Bhagavan:

Verses bearing on the practice of the Maha Yogqa, with a running translation of the annotations as expounded to WHO (Sri
Lakshmana Sarma) by Sri Bhagavan:

The method indicated here under is for the mind to merge itself in the Heart and get itself destroyed. The annihilated state
of mind is the state of Turiya. The state of laya does not lead to Turiya. Laya is obtained during sleep, stupor or by hatha yoga
practices. Just as sleep cannot lead to Turiya, the other mano laya (stupor) practices cannot lead to it. Hence those that obtain
mano laya will continue to remain ajnanis after waking from that state. In the Waking State, Mind introverting must reach the
source of and get merged there.

Verse 28: Just as a man would dive in order to get something that had fallen into the water, so one should dive into one's
Self with a keen one pointed mind controlling speech and breath and quest for the place where from the ego rises.

The Sadhana described here is to introvert and dive deep with a one pointed mind in search of the source of the ego in the
Heart.  By the expression 'diving deep' it follows that the Heart is the seat of the Atma and it is hence inferred that the mind
should get introverted in the search for the Self. Introversion means that the mind not being extroverted should be entirely absorbed
in the quest. In fact there is no such thing as the Heart being  the seat of the Atma. Heart is Atma itself. The search that is indicated
here is the means for the mind in the waking state to merge in the Atma. If during Vichara, one get sleep, it gets futile, for Jnana
cannot dawn during sleep.

continued.......

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 01, 2013, 10:26:44 AM
Appendix A -

continues.....

There is no need for the practice of pranayama for the restraint of breath. Sri Bhagavan says that if the entirely absorbed mind with
a strong will introverts itself in the search of the Self, the breath will subside by itself.

He used to indicate another method for the subsidence of breath. It is, to breathe naturally and watch the inhalation and the
exhalation. If the mind keeps watching the breath movements, the breath will gradually subside itself.

Like the diver in the water, one should dive deep in the Heart with a one pointed mind  and a determined will. Sri Bhagavan says
further that the pearl diver dives into the water with a heavy stone tied to him. The sadhaka should similarly tie the stone of vairgya
to him and dive deep into the Heart. One-pointedness and vairagya strengthen the mind. In fact, both are the same. One with a mind
wanderingly inclined is weak and unfit for Vichara or to realize the Self. One fortified with Vairagya and with intense desire for realization
of the Self and a determined will is strong.

Self realization is not for him who is weak, say the Upanishads. Those only can be called strong and courageous who are possessed
of Vairagya, one pointed mind and armed with strong determination to achieve. For one to realize the Self what else is necessary?

continued....

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 02, 2013, 01:38:47 PM
APPENDIX - A

continues....

Sri Bhagavan says that if during sadhana, mind establishes itself steadily, a power from within emerges, takes hold of the mind
and gets it united with the Self. The ripe souls yield themselves to this influence without resisting, whereas others extrovert
themselves without submitting to its influence. Therefore, the mind  should be strengthened spiritually by bhakti, vairagya,
and viveka.

Verse 29: Without even uttering the word 'I', the mind diving deep within and searching for its source is the sadhana in Jnana
Marga. The dhyana 'I am not the body,' I am That, apart from being aids to that sadhana cannot be Vichara.

continued.


Arunachala Siva.       
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 03, 2013, 09:43:30 AM
APPENDIX A:

continues......

In some Vedantic scriptures the path indicated is different. It is stated therein that realization is obtained by Sravana, Manana,
and Nididhyasana.  Sravana is the hearing of the meaning of the Maha Vakyas from one's Guru. Manana is the mental rumination
on its meaning and Nididhyasana is the incessant contemplation of its meaning.

This dhyana is purely mental with the usual triads. THE AIM OF VICHARA IS FOR THE MIND IN ITS WAKING STATE TO REMAIN
QUIESCENT, FOR STILLNESS IS THE SOLE REQUISITE  FOR SELF REALIZATION. Hence Vichara is the direct method and not Nididhyasana.
The latter may be an aid to Vichara in the initial stages. This is Sri Bhagavan's view.

He reiterates the direct method below: "With vocal silence, and mental quiescence and a completely indrawn mind to quest for
the source of the "I" is the direct method in Vichara Marga."

Dhyana of Maha Vakyas is a form of mano vritti. It cannot be mental mouna, hence the mind cannot be one pointed and dive deep.
The aim of Vichara is annihilation of mind. It is not obtained by dhyana. Howsoever long one may be practicing dhyana it will not lead
to annihilation of mind. Performing dhyana, mind can exist any length of time. The vital point in Vichara Sadhana is the mental
determination to seek the source of the ego. This is not in dhyana marga. Sri Bhagavan says that dhyana is formed by the two
words 'I' and 'That'. This double headed dhyana is not helpful for the mind to dive deep. On the other hand dhyana of the single
word 'I' is better.

Vichara is indicated by the two expressions, 'Who am I?' and 'Whence am I?'. The Sadhana can be performed either way.         
'Who am I?' means which is Atma and connotes the search for one's own Reality. 'Whence am I?' means which is the source of
the 'I-thought', meaning the same search.

The fruit of this Sadhana is Jivan Mukti.

Om Tat Sat.

Appendix A -concluded. 

Arunachala Siva.     
   
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 04, 2013, 10:14:49 AM
Appendix B:

Excerpts culled from the annotation to Truth Revealed by Lakshmana Sarma, as expounded to him by Sri Bhagavan:

1. Grace turns the mind inward, links it with the Reality, and thus destroys the ego, which is the 'I-am-the-body' idea.

2. Brahman is mindless i.e thought free.

3. So long as the ego is not destroyed all knowledge is ignorance (ajnana). The destruction of the 'I-thought' is knowledge.

4. An egoistic person is argumentative.

5. To get rid of the ego, the only method is to search for its source.

6. If the ego is destroyed, the self-effulgent, pure, eternal Self is realized without any hindrance.

7. Only to remain fixed in the Heart, devoid of thoughts, is meditation.

8. Introversion is nothing but the mind getting detached from the world and externals and getting fixed in the sadhana.

9. Unless extroversion is abandoned, it is impossible to introvert and concentrate.

10. Vishnu to Prahlada: "If you desire the deathless state, your darshan (sight) of me with your gross physical eye is not sufficient.
You must have the sight of Vishnu inside you."

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
Title: Re: Experience of Self Realization
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 05, 2013, 08:43:55 AM
APPENDIX B:

continues....

11. To get the mind introverted and to fix it with concentration on the Self (Heart) is Atma Vichara.

12. In the waking state, the go in the Vijnanamya kosa must be destroyed by Atma Vichara.

13. The mind getting introverted and searching for the source of the ego with concentration is the means for the mind
       to abide in the Self in the waking state.

14.  Mind, so long, as it does not turn inward and search for its source, will hinder Self Realization.

15. With Introversion, in search of its source, the mind gets merged there and becomes thought free; thereafter Self Realization
      results.

16. The Jnana Sadhana or the practice for Self Realization is for the in turned mind to search for the source of the 'I-thought'
       with vocal silence and mental quiescence. The fruit of this is Jivanmukti.

17. Chidabhasa always shines as I am this body. Consciousness of the Self always scintillates as 'I-I' meaning 'I am I.'

18. The phrase 'to know the Self' is to remain as the Self, i.e without thoughts.

19.  In the deep sleep state, when the ego has subsided, the concepts of space and time are absent. So these are the
       products of the mind.

20.  The world is nothing but name and form.

21. Of all the forms, that of the Jnana Guru, is the holiest.  That Jnana Guru must be regarded as the Supreme Being
      residing in the Heart.  He who regards the Guru as distinct from the Supreme Self will never attain Self Realization.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.