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Messages - srkudai

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General topics / Re: peace and love
« on: December 29, 2017, 08:29:25 PM »
Dear Beloved Abstract,
         :) You are a wise person and I understand that the story you are talking about is something we all tell ourselves.
All this is also such a story we are imagining continuously.

In Yoga Vasishta there is a story of mind :


The story of Mind, From Yoga Vasishta:

There is a formidable and desolate forest in which there was a man. He was with a thousand hands and eyes. Apparently very confused, he would strike himself violently with iron bars and run about crying. Running about like that he fell in a dark well with a hidden way out.

It took him some time to find his way out and then he slowly got out of the well into a thorny forest. Then again, departing and beating himself often, running and laughing he managed to enter a cool forest of plantain trees.

but he did not remain there for long. There also he started beating himself and running, he fell into the same well again ! He was as though drunk or semi conscious!!

Vasishta ji says: Having seen this for a long time , i held him by force ... and jolted him to consciousness. I then asked him " What is this ? Who are you? Why do you run in vain ?", thus asked, he said:
"I am no body, i do nothing. You are my enemy. Having seen by you, i am lost! Then , laughing, he gave up his limbs all around"
Thus in that forest, many men like him dwell, wandering about. That forest is there even today.

Sri Rama: Sage! What is that great forest ? What is it that they are intent on doing ?

Vasishta replies:

In this great forest of worldly existence, minds indeed wander about. They are lead by me , by discrimination, to supreme tranquility. Some, by disregarding me, fall down into hells. The forest of plantains is heaven. the affliction by sorrow is the thorn. "I am lost", when he said this, it was the cry of ego ... the feeling of me and mine ! The beatings are the blows of fancies or imaginations. They are indeed caused by oneself. The mind is reduced to a state of bondage only by its own imaginations and impressions. Like a silk worm in the cocoon one binds oneself by one's own imaginations and super-impositions.
This story of mind has been narrated to you. Contemplate on it with the mind , using this discrimination observe the mind and reject the fancies or imaginations of mind.

prahaaraaH kalpanaaghaataaH kriyante svayameva hi |
sa.NkalpavaasanaajaalaiH svairevaayaati bandhanam|
mano liilaamayaiH bandhaiH koshakaarakR^imiryathaa ||

प्रहाराः कल्पनाघाताः क्रियन्ते स्वयमेव हि।
सँकल्पवासनाजालैः स्वैरेवायाति बन्धनम्।
मनो लीलामयैः बन्धैः कोशकारकृमिर्यथा॥

The beatings are the blows of fancies (or imaginations). They are indeed caused by oneself. The mind is reduced to the state of bondage only by its own net of impressions of imaginations, just as the silk worm in the cocoon confines itself by bonds with ease.

Dear Nishta ji and Beloved Abstract ji,
         :) can we start another thread where this may be discussed.
This is very important and useful discussion.


Dear Beloved Abstract,

Why does one have to stop telling the story to be oneself ?
is it not enough to just see the story as story ?

suppose i am playing the role of rama in a drama ... do i have to stop the drama in order to be myself ? :)


Dear Nishta ji,
      :) What Beloved Abstract is saying makes sense, albeit unrelated to the post :D

and he is nice, he has a single line all the time :) ...

Dear Ananda ji,

Bhagavan seems to say that we can surrender without reservations and live in the moment joyously.It then seems that the Supreme will take our activities and implant the right thoughts at the right time, so that we need not apparently,try to conjure up thoughts to initiate critical action,(critical at that juncture as we perceive it ).Our life will be on autopilot governed by the supreme and we need not incessantly worry about anything.THings will be done in the best possible way and at the right time,and without any criticism from stakeholders dependent on us.
Yes. Please have full faith.
That God is also "I AM" or "Awareness" or "Presence" or "Being". So at-once available. Not far at all.

However I would like to add a few points Anand ji:

1. This world we experience is a long dream, it has no significance what so ever. As long as we think this is "valuable", we cannot really "let go" our hold and leave it to God. No matter how many times we tell ourselves "Let me surrender".
If i think that the stone in my hand is a diamond, its hard for me to leave it , drop it off ... for the fear or loosing it and God gives no assurance that it shall not be lost !! So I cannot let go ... but if i see it as only a piece of coal, what do i do ? God is the only diamond, rest all is just saw dust ! When this understanding dawns, surrender is natural. understanding of the unreality of the world plays a very vital role in making God the center of our lives.
But this understanding , some times take a little time ...

That is why Karma yoga is suggested : Do what you feel needs to be done and then accept the result , irrespective of what happens.
This attitude eventually matures to purna vairagyam. Purna vairagyam, Atma Jnanam and Self Surrender are one and the same.

2. Suppose we have some desires and want to surrender to God out of helplessness and seek his help ... That too is ok. Most people will say that this should not be so. My take is : With God, be absolutely clear and frank : "Oh God, I have this desire. I heard that this is unreal and yet I seek this and my own capacity being limited, seek your help. Things happen by your single Glance, Please help"

God listens. I do not say all the results shall manifest etc ... i do not know what will happen ... but things shall fall in place. We look at this world as cause-effect , which is the biggest illusion we sustain. The more we sustain this illusion, the less are the chances of seeing the miracles of God. To Sri Ramakrishna someone said :"How can anything happen by God's will, this hibiscus plant  gives red flowers will it give white flowers if god wills ?" and Sri Ramakrishna said "why not?" and LO! the next day the plant flowered a red and a white flower on the same branch ! Sri Ramakrishna  ran around the temple with that branch showing everyone the miracle of God ! This world is such a bizarre thing, there is no order ... all that is happening is an active imagination ... but that imagination is not by our individual but at the level of whole mind or God... so in my view faith in God is far far more powerful than any activity we do.

The greatest thing with Surrender and God is, one need not worry whether the surrender is complete, incomplete etc ... What ever it is, convey it to God and seek help. Make him your guru or friend ... and slowly it brings about a transformation. And as i said, that God is not far away, but here as "I AM", as "Awareness", "Presence", "Being".

Have no doubt. Have full faith ... and yet , do what needs to be done in a given event. Appropriate action... without worrying as to what will happen.


General Discussion / Science And Vedanta - Additional Material
« on: December 22, 2017, 03:13:16 PM »
 I have created a page called Science and Vedanta , the main thread. This is for additional material either related to the argument directly or indirectly.
This is the place where we can comment or discuss these ideas.


General Discussion / Science and Vedanta - The Main Argument Thread
« on: December 22, 2017, 03:11:34 PM »
       I am a student of science [ math actually] and also of vedanta.
In this thread I would like to explore some of the standard ideas of vedanta and science in conjunction.

I have been studying this subject from quite some time and here I would like to present some very technical and some not so technical arguments and ideas that really fall in line with vedantic thought process ... we shall also see how many of the arguments against the vedantic perspectives are not really solid or rigorous.

Well, i shall explain the technical aspects to the extent that I understand, almost layman terms. May take a few days to even elaborately explain some of the concepts. This thread is a technical one purely for the intellect to enjoy :)

I am also creating another page where we will share some videos that are from mainstream science and also would serve as a place where we can discuss related ideas.


The mind, which thinks, is also not 'I'. The ignorance [the absence of all dualistic knowledge] that is combined with only viṣaya-vāsanās [dispositions, propensities, tendencies, inclinations, impulses, desires, taste or liking to experience the objects of sensory perception] when all viṣayas [sensory perceptions] and all actions have ceased [as in sleep], is also not 'I'. Having eliminated everything mentioned above as not 'I', not 'I', the aṟivu [knowledge, awareness or consciousness] that stands isolated alone is 'I'. The nature of [this] knowledge ['I am'] is sat-cit-ānanda [being-consciousness-bliss]

so we have seen that the "voice" of "I" does not arise from the physical elements or the prana vayu etc.
The elements like earth, water etc which make this body are also there in the external world and none of them have a sense of "I".
so whence is this voice called "I" arising from.

Could it be from the mind ? Infact, this body is also nothing more than mind. If we remove sensations and sensation related experiences, where is a body ? if we observe closely we might find that we store "tension" in our shoulders etc ! that just goes to show that the body is simply a kind of conglomeration of those mental sensations , as if "solidified"

what about mind ? is the "I" in the mind ? The mind also is jada like the body, we will see this. By virtue of being an "object" it becomes jada. There is an interesting way Astavakra gita starts  this same discussion, he starts with prithvi earth , agni etc... not with the body but with the 5 elements. and then everything reduces down to them. mind is nothing other than these 5 elements either !! do we see that ? mind and the 5 elements are the same. because mind can perceive these 5 elements we see only these. because mind cannot perceive anything else, everything else boils down to these !! what a mystery !!

The verse in Ashtavakra Gita is :


न पृथ्वी न जलं नाग्निर्न वायुर्द्यौर्न वा भवान् ।
एषां साक्षिणमात्मानं चिद्रूपं विद्धि मुक्तये ॥१-३॥

You are neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air or space. To liberate, know the witness of all these as conscious self. ॥3॥

These are called pancha maha bhutas, the 5 great elements that make everything. The Vedantic model is very systematic in analyzing the world. Anything we perceive, can be made up of only these 5 elements, because we have 5 senses. What is not seen, heard, touched, tasted, smelt etc ... cannot be perceived. Because we have only 5 senses. Even when we say "Magnetic Field", we are really talking from the point of view of an "observed phenomenon". I see that iron filings move in certain ways when in the presence of a magnet -- this is an observable phenomenon and therefore I "infer" a magnetic field. So the whole objective world has to be made up of these elements.

Now all these elements and their combinations are Jada by nature ... they are lifeless. Prithvi or Earth does not have a sense of "me". Water, fire, air, space ... none of them have a sense of "me". And this body is only a combination of such elements --- it too does not have a sense of "me". This the feeling called "I" cannot be the "voice" of any of these elements.

There is a beautiful example ... suppose there is an empty room and someone goes on knocking it... there will not be any response from inside, because there is really no one to "respond" ! The room itself does not say "Hey Look here! Stop tapping me like this... i dont like it". The room and its doors and windows are jada. They have no reactions of their own.

And the space in the room also does not respond. It does not say "dont disturb me". Because it is just the accommodating entity in whose presence the "room" can "be". So space has no response.

So who can respond ? If there is some "Person" inside , he responds. So every response is of a "person" inside.

Lets extend this to our body... the body is jada, made of the 5 elements and has no response of its own. the eyes, ears etc are like the doors and windoes of the room and the body is like that room. In the presence of "Awareness" any event is perceived ... though the mechanism is not "exactly" like the example above ... the Awareness has no reaction of its own. Awareness like the space in mind is simply the "Presence" which enables a reaction. Ashtavakra says its the witness. Its witness with respect to the objects of mind.

so who says "I" ? Who is the one who reacts and performs various actions ? Who is the "doer" or "Experiencer". Neither the body nor the Awareness are !!

We  discussed the example of a room with no one inside. And compared it to the body with only awareness [resembling space] inside. The body does not have a "like/dislike" , Awareness does not have "Like/Dislike" ... so whence is like / dislike coming up ?

Well ... even as I say this, its atonce available for everyone to see whether its true or not. There is no need to believe anything here. This is really what inquiry is all about! Let further see where it leads. Please notice this interesting point ... the truth value of this inquiry is not dependent on the authenticity of Bhagavan.  Infact Bhagavan spoke of this because this is the Truth, and is atonce available for all of us to directly see.

Ok, so we examined the body, which is like the room ... jada and has no likes or dislikes.
And we have examined the Awareness, which like the space accommodates all the thoughts etc, but has no reaction of itself.

So we are obviously left with only thoughts. Lets examine them now.
[Before we examine thoughts, lets also recognize that they themselves are also jada !! This is interesting. Being objects of awareness, they ought to be jada. they are made of the same 5 elements. all our thoughts are made of words ... they are made of ideas of forms, space, heat etc. they are based on the same thing. its not as if the world has these 5 elements and hence we have the thoughts of only these 5 elements ... the actuality is the mind is these 5 elements and hence the world we see is also the same.]

Lets continue our examination ... All thoughts are momentary... they come and pass away that very moment. The sorrow, worry, hurt etc which are really thought-formations ...appear to us as not momentary. They seem to have a sense of "Continuity" and in-fact they thrive on that "Continuity" ! how come this is possible ? Lets try to see... Suppose there is a dish I hate to eat. And I am in a situation where I have to eat it. :) I am intentionally taking a simple example. A complex situation is formed by a combination of simple situations.

so I am before this dish ... I have to take it. The first thought is "Pure Perception"... Eyes see the dish and true to their report we perceive the dish. That's the first perception. and as its the job of mind, it recollects all the memories and ideas that i have stored about the dish. And then from the memory arises a thought
T1: "I do not like this dish" , then the next thought...
T2: "But I have to eat it"
T3: "I cannot bear it"
T4: "This is terrible, even the smell is horrible"
T5: "This cannot be consumed! I wonder how people ever eat this"

Now plz see. T1 arose and vanished that very moment and then T2 came up. Between T1 and T2 there is a gap. So whats the "Common" entity between T1 and T2 ? Who is this "I" who is common between T1 and T2 ? It cannot be the Body... body is jada. It cannot be memory also, memory is jada! It cannot be awareness, Awareness has no "Reactions of its own. its just a witness"!!!
so who is this "I" that feels terrible ?

Its like a movie that's projected on a static white screen ...
P1: First the photo of a man is projected.
P2: P1, with hand slightly raised is projected
P3: P2 with hand slightly higher than that is projected

and what do we see ? We see a "motion". We see as if there is someone raising the hand. We do not see static pictures. How is this possible ? We have not recognized the "gap" and so ... the screen being "Static", we have attributed the continuity of the screen to the pictures and there appears to be a movie.

In vedanta this is explained with the example of a rolling ball of fire: Fire does not have shape and the shape of the ball is attributed to the fire. Ball does not glow, the glow of the fire is attributed to the ball! This is exactly the situation within! The Awareness does not have any like/ dislike ... the like/dislike of the thoughts is projected on it. Thoughts do not have continuity and the continuity of Awareness is attributed to the "I" which is common in the thoughts.

Really there is no "I" ... only a series of static thoughts that give the impression of a "continuous" entity!!! There is no "I" within ... only Awareness and the body ... with momentary thoughts. And yet ... an "I" seems to be "Formed". And that "I" , lets call it a "Role". Its all in memory in potential form... when the object is perceived, all related memories arise in a stream and a continuous entity called "I" appears to have been formed. And its this "I" that feels hurt, worried, troubled etc! A fictitious entity from the very beginning.

Where is this "I" really ?

Not asking a question , not reasoning about it ... just seeing ... directly ... where is it ?


Here it is very important to understand that there is no other God than the Presence/Being or I AM.
There is a beautiful story I would like to share about the fulfillment experienced by a person who is constantly reveling in that Presence [in other words who does not separate himself from that presence and look at himself as a person].

This is a story I heard from swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji:

Once Siva and Parvati were on their world tour and they see Santakumara seated in a small hut. Parvati immediately notices the splendor and the grace with which he was conducting. She asks Siva and in reply Siva tells her that he is a Great Jnani. Mother immediately says that we will go and give him some boon.
Siva tells her "See, he is a Jnani. He does not care whether you go to him or not. He is totally unattached and treats everything as unreal. Its a waste of time".

Still she goes to him and says "My son! I am really impressed by your Jnana. Siva himself calls you a Jnani. Please seek some boon". Santakumara says "Mother, I have nothing to ask. Thank you for the offer".

But Parvati does not agree. In order to please her, he says "Mother, please grant that this needle , when I stich my shirt, should pass from one side to the other". She was a little perplexed and says "Thats not a wish. Ask something else".

He looks up and says "Mother please bless that the sun should set in another 6 hours". Mother gets angry "You seem to be really proud!"
Santakumara says "Mother, its not pride, its actually lack of ego. I am just not able to think of anything else. I need nothing".

She says "Ok, since you do not seek a boon, ill give you a curse... You seem very proud , may you become a camel"
And so he becomes a camel.

A couple of years later, Siva and Parvati were passing by the same route when she sees the camel roaming about in the same premises. She goes to Santakumara and says "Child, I think you have had enough of this camel life, I'll now convert you back to your human form"

Santa kumara says "Mother, Thank you for the offer, but this upadhi [form] seems to be very comfortable. Earlier, I had to cook food, now I can eat any leaves here and there. Earleir I had to wear some dress, now I am fine without it. This is very comfortable, please allow me to continue thus"

The lesson to take is that the fulfillment of a egoless person , a person who lives reveling in Being [another way of saying Just Be], is indescribable really. Its as if one is living in deep sleep and yet wide awake ! Actions take place through me, and there is no one here "doing it". And this is not a "State to be achieved" ... it is something to be lived. if one lives it continuously one is a Ramana. if one has to revert to it again and again reminding oneself of the wisdom , its karma yoga. Karma yoga purifies the mind and aids one live it continuously and when one lives it continuously what more is there to achieve ?



iishvaraarpita.N necChayaa kR^itam |
cittashoodhaka.N muktisaadhakam||

ईश्वरार्पितँ नेच्छया कृतम्।
चित्तशोधकँ मुक्तिसाधकम्॥

(karma ) - actions
ishvara-arpitam : offered to the Lord.
na ichaya krtam : done without desires.
citta shodakam - purifies the mind
mukti sadhakam - aid in liberation.

"Actions done with the attitude that they are offerings to the Lord, without desires , purify the mind and are a means to liberation."

Having understood that the world is an ever changing, dream like entity, what should we work for ?
It is like a student preparing for an exam, and then he is told that he exam results do not really matter at all.
now what shall he write the exam for ?

To purify the mind.

What is this purifying the mind ? an impurity is what gives us the feeling of incompleteness. We feel incomplete, insufficient in various ways and whatever makes us feel insufficient or incomplete is an impurity. It is important to understand that the aim of spirituality [all these teachings sadhana etc] is not to invoke a sense of incompleteness or bound individual. If a particular encounter with a mahatma makes one feel incomplete and empty within, that is either not a proper encounter or that is not a mahatma at all. We should not be like those frogs that pull each other down. We need to tell ourselves and everyone else : We are of nature Pure Bliss, how can we be suffering / bound. and this is really the starting point of Spirituality, where we are not ready to accept bondage but are investigating into it to see that it is a myth !

True purification of mind is to recognize that the states of mind are not going to affect us ! And this has to take place at the level of the mind alone, because the Self does not need sadhana, neither does the body. so lets be clear that only mind needs this understanding and the understanding should lead us to be untouched by the states of mind.

This particular verse of Bhagavan brings in Ishvarah , And the two most significant words here are "non-desiring" and "ishvara-arpana or offering to ishvara".

Ishvara is another name for Being or Presence or Silence [they all mean the same]. If we observe mindfully, all this is Presence. The plants, the birds, stones, mountains, rivers ... they are all merely Presence. Being. And suppose we clap our hands. It arises from that "Being" and resolves in that "Being". A bird flying in the sky, it as if arises from that Being and resolves in that. It is like a prayer. A prayer arises from Being and leaves us with being. When we chant OM , at the end of it we are resolved in Self - Silence.  That is why its a prayer. it Leaves us in silence ... infact we are ever in that Presence alone , and yet , at times we might require the aid of a sound to resolve in Silence, because we are lost in the mental chatter. Thus, When Ribhu Gita says "Svayam eva Svayam Pashye", See yourself by yourself ... someone may say look within, someone else may say look outside ... but the point of the matter is ... its not where one looks , but what one looks that matters. As Presence its both inside and outside. infact there is no inside or outside if we speak from the standpoint of presence and so , its not where one looks that matters but whether we are one with the Presence or not that matters.

So when the verse says "let your actions be offerings to that Presence, without any desire", when its without desire, every action is an offering to the presence. there is no desires, then those actions are really not actions anymore ... every movement is an expression of inner fulfillment and hence pointer to the Self. This is simply just being.

But if we cannot do it, it would become a practice to again and again direct our attention away from the result to the Presence ... this is Karma yoga. We do this again and again until one resolves completely and it becomes natural. And we do this with wisdom or understanding that there is no point in trying to achieve a lot of success here , this is after all dream like. We cannot do this through will power. We need wisdom that the world is dream like and we use that to again and again knock off the result driven mindset and start reveling in the Presence through each action. This karma yoga with wisdom leads to just being eventually.

The actions are also aids this way to resolve in the presence. Because in and through all actions , we see action-less-ness. This is the beauty.
Please see how we have already touched upon Self Inquiry in this verse. Self and Ishvara are just two names for the same thing. When one says offer your actions to Self ... what does that mean ? One cannot do anything for God. One does something and via it if one were to recognize one's own Fulfilled Nature, that is an offering for God. When the limited "I" is resolved, what ever action aids one do it, that very action becomes an offering to God. And thus, through an action when one resolves the limited "I" that is discovery of God !

Why can one not simply sit ? Why should one perform an action at all ?
This can be an interesting question to ponder. the best answer is try not doing anything. If the mind settles down , naturally reveling in the Presence, then there is no need to perform an action. Then there is not even a need to do self inquiry.

But what if one simply falls asleep ? :) Please see. that means tamasic qualities are very strong. one is getting bound by them,
so one needs to do something. get up and act ... but as one acts , one acts in the Presence ... God ... Self ... use the action as an aid to get out of the tamasic tendency and then knocking off the desire through wisdom that this is all a dream, perform the work in the present moment ... reveling as the Presence/Being. Do we see the point ?

what if one gets agitated and cannot keep his or her feet from moving at all ? Move them ... move them leaving the idea that i am moving , and see through those very movements the motionless presence !

Do we see the advice ? Its such a strong and clear advice  - so direct and clear. And its very interesting that this very advice is already touching upon self inquiry.

Not only is Self Inquiry taught in various vedantic texts [Ribhu gita: svayam eva svayam pashyet. lot of other references, even vijnana bhairava tantra talks about it ...] and not an invention of Bhagavan Ramana ... Self Inquiry is the natural culmination of all sadhanas. We will see this more and more as we proceed with the text.


Dear Kishorelr,

What is needed is not intellectual maturity, but keen observation of life as it is. And as such there is no question of escaping "just be" ! Every moment of spiritual practice should be reveling in one's being. your may now ask "what if one is not doing this". Suppose i am not able to simply be ... its imperative that i see what is happening really. why am i running after the world ? the cause has to be seen.
People who read a lot of shastras have the tendency to simply jump up and say "what is there to see here, we know that this is because of vasanas" ... that will not work. because they only have this information, they have not really seen the vasanas as to how they are deceiving.

Even as a scientist would sit in his lab and observe ... so too we need to observe our body and mind... we have this wonderful mobile laboratory. and as we observe we see how the body is not different from mind at all. we observe that body is only a series of sensations, palpitations. And we also see how vasanas are working through us. infact this body is not very different from mind and we can see that we are really storing "Tension" in our shoulders etc. Observe ...

and then we discover the working of vasanas and also how they cannot really touch us ! this is the beauty. In fact we discover that there is no "I" that may be affected by all these processes.

A spiritual aspirant is someone who observes life and events. First of all , sees dispassionately ... clearing the veil of wrong ideas.

Suppose i go to a guru and am impressed with his long beard or flowing white dress or perhaps logic ...

I should first of all be able to see that i am impressed with these ... crystal clear ... How ? I should be able to observe myself.

what we need is not really a lot of reasoning, but the calmness and stillness to see things as they are.
these can be developed.


Dear Friends,
Who am I? The sthūla dēha [the gross physical body], which is [composed] of sapta dhātus [the seven constituents, namely chyle, blood, flesh, fat, marrow, bone and semen], is not 'I'.

When we say "inquire who am i" , one has to really see, who is this "I".
Does the sthula deha say "I" ?
Please see.
if we may think of this "I" as a voice, or a sound ... can we see where is it arising from ?

This body is composed on the 5 elements, but do the 5 elements really have any sense of I ?

when i ask this, the first tendency is to say "no"... please see that this is not inquiry.
that would be reasoning.

To inquire is to "see" if  the 5 elements have a sense of "I". How do I see ? just as I would see if a sound is arising from a particular direction. one just looks at the 5 elements and sees, is this saying "I" ?

suppose 5 friends are there and one of them is clapping the hands. how do i know who is doing ? i pay attention. i put my ear to it and see ... look at each direction and see, is this the place from whence the sound is coming ?

This is what Bhagavan meant when he said "attend to the sense of I" ... observe , pay attention and see ... is it coming from the hands ? from the various body parts ? where is it coming from ?

The five jnānēndriyas [sense organs], namely the ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose, which individually [and respectively] know the five viṣayas [sense domains or types of sense perception], namely sound, touch [texture and other qualities perceived by touch], form [shape, colour and other qualities perceived by sight], taste and smell, are also not 'I'.

We do not merely say this. we do not reason this logically. we see... see how none of these seem to say "I" .
the body just has some sensations... it does not say "good sensation" or "bad sensation" even. like a machine it has its own ways with respect to sensations. brign a sweet and it salivates. pinch and the hand withdraws ... but behind all this... where is "I" ? who is incharge of all these ?

when we see a nice rain, it is just raining or is someone standing over the clouds and "Pouring Rain" ?

we need to simply see , attentively observe... there is no i any where here.

The five karmēndriyas [organs of action], namely the voice, feet [or legs], hands [or arms], anus and genitals, which [respectively] do the five actions, namely speaking, walking, giving, defecation and [sexual] enjoyment, are also not 'I'. The panca vāyus [the five 'winds',  vital airs or metabolic forces], beginning with prāṇa [breath], which perform the five [metabolic] functions, beginning with respiration, are also not 'I'

We see how the breathing is also not even voluntary ! Thank god it is not. and things are merely happening here. This body is more or less like a breathing statue ... Ribhu gita calls it Kunapam, a dead body ! Really thats how it is!!

Let us next move to the mind ...

[To Be Continued ...]

          There are two different powers we can utilize during our sadhana:
1. Wisdom power
2. Will power.

Suppose i sit down to do something as simple as "nama japa" or lord.
I can apply my will power and again and again bring back the mind as it sways here and there.
or I can re-educate my mind saying "what is there in this world which is no more than a figment of imagination , lets rather utilize our left over time effectively by chanting the lord's name"
When this understanding stabilizes, the mind automatically settles down on the nama.

Usually, I think, will power does not do a very good job in settling the mind. We need to understand in a "deep way" and it is this understanding that guides us to liberated living. There is a proper reason for this. This mind of ours is like an instrument, we have taught it for a long time that sense pleasures make us fulfilled, this body is me etc. so now suddenly when we tell it the opposite, the suggestion would not stand. its like telling a child to study when his mind is on movies. one needs to re-educate the mind to see things in proper light. This insight is gained by constantly applying onself to observation. observing things as they are -- this gives us a vision. instead of merely saying everything is dying, i see things as constantly dying... these words are typed .... :) ... motion is to be seen continuously and one needs to see how things are quickly moving into the past. this leads to insight that all this is really like a dream.

unfortunately using sheer will power will not work. There is a famous quote from Yoga Vasishta that says :

उपविश्योपविश्यैकचित्तकेन मुहुर्मुहुः।
न शक्यते मनो जेतुँ विन युक्तिम्-अनिन्दिताम्॥ [Laghu yoga vasishta 28.126]
By repeatedly bringing the mind back to One-pointedness, it cannot be conquered unless one is equipped with faultless reasoning [ insight gained through proper sravana-manana]

अङ्कुशेन विना मत्तो यथा दुष्टमतङ्गजः।
विजेतुँ शक्यते नैव तथ युकत्याविना मनः॥ [Laghu Yoga vasishta 28.127]

The mind cannot be brought under control without the application of reasoning [and insight] even as a vicious elephant in rut cannot be controlled without using the hook.

The point to be appreciated here is : yukti is not mere reasoning , its really about the vision or insight : its the insight gained through connecting the dots , the sruti or vision provided by guru has to be internalized through this process of connecting the dots and really looking at the world in that way.
Thus one gains insight ... wisdom.
it is this wisdom that allows the mind to settle down and also vanish altogether , if i may be allowed to use that phrase.

Now coming to Holding onto the Self.
We are so habituated to hearing "Holding onto objects" , that we forget that Self cannot be held onto ... one has to resolve in Self. One cannot hold onto Self, one just lets go hold on other objects and simply resolves in the Self. This is what Bhagavan meant by Holding onto Self really. And even here, we need to appreciate that this is via understanding and not via brute force or effort.
When i say understanding, its wisdom and not mere information.

The case is similar to Self Surrender also. When Bhagavan says surrender to god, its not to mean that i have something that is mine that can be offered to god. We say "Tan man dhan sab thera , sab kuch hai tera", when everything is God's what can i offer to God ? Well, just recognition that everything is God is indeed true surrender. We have, as if, falsely taken ownership of various things. for example, this body is mine ... what is really "mine" about this body ? it is a conglomeration of various elements, elements that are in constant motion... in fact there is no object like a body .. constantly atoms / molecules moving out and in of it ... its only a dynamic entity ... like a river. what is there that can be called "mine" ?
this body is really like a river ... its said that no one can wash one's feet in the same river twice, because its constantly changing ... the same holds for this body ... and can we call it mine ? when this recognition is there and we see God's presence here and now ... that is surrender. its only a surrender of false ideas.

similarly holding onto Self is not really holding onto Self as an object but to let go off the hold on "I" ... and resolve in that Self.
its indeed absolutely relaxed being. And the method to do this is not "will power", but "insight" gained through proper and mindful observation. insight gained through the observation of the ways of the world. How things are all in constant flux and there is really no "me" anywhere around. This insight itself is the Truth.


Dear Atmavichar,
        :) Very nice. I  really like the way Thich Nhat Hanh lives the teaching.

In one conversation Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji said that the biggest mistake we have done is to alienate Gautama Buddha from our tradition and our heritage.

He reads Thich Nhat Hanh's "Old Path White Clouds" often and uses it as a meditation and he once told me "This teaching is almost the same as Sankara. There is not much differnce"


General topics / Sri Adi Shankaracharya's Jaagrata Jaagrata
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:07:54 PM »
This is a simple poem which is supposedly by Sri Adi shankracharya. We can make see the Truth of these verses as we journey through our lives. Every moment, every instant, we can really see how True this teaching is.

There are several such works attributed to Sri Adi Shankaracharya which may not have been actually by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself. May be some of these were by another acharya of the shankara parampara. However in this context the content of the verses is more important than the person who wrote them.

Elsewhere I heard a story related to this song. There used to be a watchman. In olden days the watchman used to roam around singing "Jaagrata! " to mean "Be Alert/Mindful" to everyone. That was the job of the watchman , besides ofcourse the obvious task of taking care of the security. Once this watchman had to go on a vacation and so he asked his son to do the job. The next day morning the king himself came down to the watchman's house to meet his son. The watchman felt really frightened that his son might have done something wrong --- but actually he comes to learn that the king was impressed by his son's style of singing "Jaagrata ! Jaagrata!" , his son sang these slokas and evoked a sense of Truth in the people of the kingdom. These verses are really useful for contemplation as I see them.


Verse 1:

माता नास्ति पिता नास्ति नास्ति बन्धुः सहोदरः।
अर्थँ नास्ति गृहँ नास्ति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

There is no mother, no father, no relationships nor any siblings.
No money or house. Therefore be alert, Wake up!

Mother, Father, relations and siblings are really sojourners in this journey of ours.
When the time of death draws near, we leave these all and move away.
We cannot carry a single object from here.
Thus, lets value the time we stay together.
when we are together, and we know its a short time we are together ... lets love each other.
love every experience we chance upon, because these experiences are not going to last.
and at the same time , lets first experience these moments because we seem to be almost
sleep walkign through life unmindful of most of the things. Lost in our ambitions, desires,
feelings, attachments etc, we miss "This Moment" where life really is. Attachment is an attempt
to stop things from moving and in this eagerness to stop things from moving, we miss the Present
and things move anyways.

Vedanta is about : being Relaxed and at the same time being Alert -- but not sleeping
Vedanta is about: being Loving and yet seeing the world as only a dream -- love without attachment.


Verse 2

जन्म दुःखँ जरा दुःखँ जाया दुःखँ पुनः पुनः।
सँसारसागरँ दुःखँ तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Birth is sorrow, aging is sorrow, spouse is sorrow !
Samsara itself is sorrow, therefore remain awake! be alert!

Sorrow is when we try to stop things from moving. We tend to get into conflict with what is, because
we think this is going to be a long stay. But the reality is, things are constantly moving.
when i look at myself as being born and aging , and do not like this whole process of aging etc
then there is a conflict. when I look at a woman as "my spouse" and try to control or possess there is
conflict, because its against the nature of things. one cannot make a dream changeless.
its movement cannot be stopped.
things change
things will not be as we plan.
instead of getting into conflict, how about experiencing them as they are ?
This is a transformation. Spouse is not sorrow ... but when i try to hold onto someone as "me and mine"
that causes sorrow. expectations, attachments, aversions ... these make life into a hell.

In this short sojourn, lets not take things to seriously ... lets do what is needed and move on with love,
friendliness and joy. These experiences, which we call samsara are transient and going to change.
Lets bring in acceptance and love -- thus make this journey more joyful.

Verse 3:

कामक्ष्च क्रोधक्ष्च लोभक्ष्च देहे तिष्ठन्ति तस्कराः।
ज्ञनरत्नापहाराय तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Kama (desires), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Greed) are like thieves in this body who steal the jewel called "Jnana" [Self Knowledge]. Therefore be alert! Be Awake!

Desires etc are thieves  because they rob us of the present moment. We miss this moment and keep seeking something else. we miss these experiences of life and God is "Here, Now", not in the dead past nor in the future that never is!
We might have knowledge that all this is a dream and yet we often fall into the trap of these thieves and suffer.

verse 4:

आशाया बध्यते जन्तुः कर्मणा बहुचिन्तया।
आयु क्षीणँ न जानाति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

We are [The animal -humans are also addressed as animals here]  bound by Expectations: various activities and excess thinking. so much so that we do not recognize the ebbing away of life. Therefore be awake! Be Awake!

:) Acceptance is the solution to expectations. Self Knowledge allows for acceptance.

verse 5:

सम्पदः स्वप्नसँकाशाः यौवनँ कुसुमोपम्।
विधुच्चन्चचँल आयुषँ तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

All possessions are like what are seen in a dream, youthfulness is only for a short time , like a flower's lifetime. Life passes away like a lightening therefore be alert!

Life passes away like a lightening, and this journey is over.
and we suddenly realize towards the end of life that we have not truely lived
and perhaps we do not even "Truely Die"
So now is the time to live our understanding, now is the time to become more and more mindful.


Verse 6:

 क्षणँ वित्तँ क्षणँ चित्तँ क्षणँ जीवितमावयोः।
यमस्य करूणा नास्ति तस्मात् जाग्रत जाग्रत॥

Money, memory and life are all momentary.
Lord Yama, the lord of death, does not show any mercy. Therefore be awake!!

Yama has no karuna, meaning he does not wait even a moment ... when our time is up, we do not get a choice.
Thus, when the time is still available, lets live a life of liberation and love rather than a life of strife and struggle.

verse 7:

यावत् कालँ भवेत् कर्म तावत् तिष्ठन्ति जन्तवः।
तस्मिन् क्षीणे विन्श्यन्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

As long as their karma lasts so long we see the animal here, the moment the karma is over, the animal is gone. what is there to brood over this ?

verse 8:

ऋणानुबन्धरूपेण पशुपत्निसुतादयः।
ऋणक्षये क्षयँ यान्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

as per the debts of prarabdha karma, relations are developed in this world. animals, wife or children, they are all forms of debts of previous life. when the debts exhaust temselves, all these pass away, what is there to brood over this ?

What is there to brood over these , tatra ka paridevana ? Brooding or expressing sorrow over these is really an attempt to stop
the dream from changing .. it will change none-the-less and we need to inculcate the habit of seeing all this as a dream
nothing shall remain.
it shall pass away !


Verse 9:

पक्वानि तरूपर्णानि पतन्ति क्रमशो यथा।
तथैव जन्तवः काले तत्र का परिदेवना॥

As Even the ripe leaves of a tree drop one after the other
even this animal shall drop off, what is there to brood over this ?

verse 10:

एक वृक्षसमारूढा नानाजाति विहङ्गमाः।
प्रभते क्रमशो यान्ति तत्र का परिदेवना॥

Assembled on the same tree, birds of differed feathers.
as it dawns, they all leave one by one, what is there to brood over this ?

All stages are thus. This forum is also like this. Our house is thus. Our family is like those birds that have come together.
every group , every coming together is of this very nature.

verse 11:

इदँ काष्ठँ इदम् काष्ठँ नध्यँ वहतिसँगतः।
सँयोगाक्ष्च वियोगाक्ष्च का तत्र परिदेवना॥

This and that corpse are flowing together in a river.
They remain together for some time and then separate, what is there to brood over this?

This body is a corpse ... it does not fear aging or death, neither does the Awareness within ..
its but a few thoughts that create a fear in a fictitious entity ... a notion of I
dropping this one remains absolutely calm and relaxed,
neither the body nor the awarenss have any problem.

thus , in fact : who is there to brood over ?


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