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Messages - Subramanian.R

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Inner, Outer, Formlessness and Form:

Thus far we have described the mechanism of Vichara.  But how does all this relate to our starting point,
'formlessness and abiding in it'?  What can formlessness teach us about inquiry?

Actually the direction is clear.  Inquiry is the road to formlessness.  In fact, 'is inquiry itself' formlessness,
the counter-force that dissolves all forms in the mind.  But if it dissolves all forms in the mind, then all forms
are dissolved because in reality, Bhagavan tells us, forms arise nowhere else.

And so, we might ask, is there really such a thing as form?  Could it be that, while having the appearance   
of form, at root, all forms are actually formless?  Could this be what Bhagavan meant when He referred
to the 'dream like' nature of the world?

If 'all that appears outside are in reality inside'

(Self Inquiry $ 8), then all forms are mental and have no
enduring substance.  This seems clear enough but now we are confronted with the following Vichara
conundrum:  If 'all that appears outside is really inside',  then where and what is this thing we call 'inside'?
If within and without have no boundary separating them, then -- right now - where is this written page   
appearing?  If all that appears outside is actually inside, then 'outsideness' must also be inside.  If this
be so, then how can we even talk about an 'inside'?  ('All mountains and rivers, grasses, trees, and forest
grove, all phenomena in creation, and all things tainted and pure, appear from within It' (Master Heze from
Chinul.) See also Who am I? $ 16,  'The whole world, the individual soul and God are appearances in It'.)           

Fundamentally, there can only be THIS.  But what is THIS?  And to whom does It appear?

Bhagavan's Pure Light of Awareness:

Now questioning in this way starts to sound like inquiry. But we are still at the level of theory.
What would spontaneous questioning on a more personal level look like?  What might be deeply
engaged questioning be like?

Suppose you are sitting at the Sri Chrkra Puja in the Asramam just before final arti. Suppose you
are sitting opposite the icon of Dakshinamurti in the Mother's Shrine, say, at the garland making station.
Echoing at a distance you can hear the ceremony's concluding litany of prayers:  ya devi sarva bhutesu
santirupena samsthita namastasyai, namastasyai, namastasyai, namo namah... You might look up and
see Dakshinamurti gazing down at you only a few meters away.  You might stretch your hand and lighly
the iron grill in front of you noticing how solid it feels, noticing how solid your own hand feels, and how
tangible your surroundings are.  You might ask yourself:  What are these impressions appearing?
Where is this feeling of solidity taking place?  Where are the sensations of the grill and the hand arising?

In the spirit of inquiry, you might probe more closely.  After a time, you might find that your questioning
begins to be in earnest;  doubt arises within you and wily-nilly a sense of not knowing the nature of source
of what you are experiencing grips you.  in time, you are no longer self conscious about your probing;
you are just probing. As your investigation intensifies, you might be startled by the feeling that all sensations
-- the multiple sights and sounds around you -- are actually only impressions on the 'screen' of you own mind.
You might be further caught off guard when, spontaneously inquiring into the nature of this 'screen', you
have the bizarre suspicion that the 'screen' and the 'viewer' are not two separate things.  What if the viewer,
you ask, were not a person or thing but the container of things, giving them their form?  What if 'things' were
the necessary backdrop against which It comes to know Itself, the 'two' are but a single Reality?
(Even the walls, tiles, and pebbles expound the true teaching'.  Cha'n Proverb).

As you notice seer and seen meld into just seeing,  ('The whole universe is but a pointer' - Famous
saying of Chinese Master Hsuan-tse.). you might wonder what just seeing is and where It takes place.
Absorbed in doubt, you study more closely.  The question is not obvious anymore, but rather, implicit,
diffuse and silent, and you find yourself astonished, though at ease.  Periodic questions and key phrases
arise, punctuating and refreshing your wordless wonderment. (When there is proper and persistent inquiry,
the 'I-thought' also ceases and there is the wordless illumination of the form 'I-I' which is Pure Consciousness.
(SE).   Bhagavan's apt words echo in your mind:  'Before knowing the far-off God, let me know the more
immediate and intimate 'I'.  (Talks $ 154).  You then recognize that all your questions till now have a root
been one question -- and a mere preparation of for -- the very same question He had urged you to all along.


Arunachala Siva.                                     

Ordinary ways of knowing become refined and we get a growing sense that knowledge does not consist in
'content' but is rather rooted in 'function'.  It is not static or formulaic but dynamic and organic; it is not a
thing but a process.  As questioning continues to loosen the reifying tendencies of the mind, making it supple,
pliant and receptive, the vast potential of the mind's authentic functioning  -- a formless awareness beyond
fixed notions and labels -- is made available to us.

Once in Vichara-land,  we become saturated with questioning:  'What is the inside and outside of clear empty
space?  'What is the sound of a single hand?'   'Where do seeing and hearing come from?'

Each of these classic queries (From Masters Keizan Jokin, Hakuin Zenji and Yuvan Wu, respectively)
points to It.  Even a simple phrase question like 'What is the Self? abounds with the double  bind:
the Self cannot be imaged, it is not a 'thing', has no form, shape or color.  If we say it is vast formlessness,then the question follows:  'What is this formlessness?'  Automatically the mind is thrown
into doubt, turned back on itself.  In its effort to formulate a picture, it becomes further confused and frustrated.   And so much the better:  THIS IS VICHARA'S CENTRIFUGAL, TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION


Arunachala Siva.         

Vichara's Double Bind:

Now let us go a little further, into what may look to some like the realm of the absurd.  Indeed, Vichara is
a strange world.

After only a little probing in this vibrant way we come to see that our house is not in order: this 'I' we have
been speaking of all our lives is not what we took it to be.  When we look closely and honestly, we see
that we have no idea who are what we are.  An increasing desperation compels us to follow the questioning
further, to seek with ever renewed vigor that which eludes us.  But here is the thing: the further we pursue it,
the more ground we seem to forfeit. As inquiry chews up old assumptions, our quandary becomes more and more precipitous and we find ourselves straddling two worlds.  This is what ancient Ch'an masters called
'balancing atop a hundred foot pole.'.  (In ancient Chinese and Japanese texts, Vichara is likened to a mosquito boring into an iron bull  or climbing a mile high wall.  These and other similar phrases emphasizing
Vichara's dead lock effect on the mind are sprinkled throughout the literature.)

One is neither able to go forward nor backward. The predicament is unsettling and engenders further uncertainty within us.  While this is aimed for in inquiry, at such moments we would be happy simply to forget
the whole thing and go back to doing whatever we were doing before we started.  But that may not be possible.  As former identification begin to dissipate, efforts at filling the gap prove futile in the face of inquiry's
laser-like power. At a loss, we find ourselves bewildered by the not knowingness that questioning faces us with. While this is true, something very unexpected happens now;  an accompanying peacefulness emerges
within us. As the mind begins to let go a little, old patterns  begin to give way and the mind accustoms itself
to a new way working.


Arunachala Siva. 

21. idam aham padaa bhikhyanam anvaham
      ahami linake pyalaya sattyaa.

And this uninterrupted 'I-I' is the true meaning of the term 'I' because when the waking 'ego-I'  daily
disappears in deep sleep, the real 'i' remains.

Each day, the Jiva undergoes the equivalent of death when overtaken by sleep. Yet, as in the physical
death of the body, his true identity remains.  Therefore, Jnani has no more fear of death than of sleep,
knowing that his Pure Being and Consciousness are unaffected thereby.  The same survival is true
of all Jivas, yet the ignorant know it is not and live in a state of fear and desire -- desire for a state of peace,
security and happiness, which is already his true nature.   


Arunachala Siva.     

So how can one makes this critical step?  One tip given by adepts is landing on a question that grips one's
interest, a question that one finds captivating. To do this, we might go on a search, consult the scriptures,
pursue 'Talks' or Bhagavan's other works, and look for an ineffable word or phrase, whose meaning is unclear,that strikes us as  important, but baffles us, while simultaneously beckoning us to the seemingly
impossible task of plunging into depths.

'Who am I?' is a time honored question, reliably stimulating perplexity in its user. 'I' is the ultimate
mystery.  Its secret power is owing in part to the fact that all our lives we have regularly used the word,
without having any real idea what it refers to.  However, some who have made sincere attempts at 'Who am I?' feel stonewalled by their past 'failures'.  For such persons, jump starting questioning may involve seeking fresh formulations.

A classical variant from the Korean and Japanese koan tradition is - ' What is It?'  Immediately,
one can see that this question  is simply 'Who am I?' in different words.  'It' is nothing other than the Self.
But 'what is' this Self?  Paraphrasing Bhagavan, we could say that the Self is simply Pure Awareness.  (See
also Verses 22 and 40 of Ulladu Narpadu Supplement). But what is this Pure Awareness?  If we say 'It is
the vast formless field of subjectivity in which all things appear', then we can ask: What is this field of
subjectivity in which all things appear?', then we can ask: What is this field in which all things appear?

Here we have a beautiful entry into Vichara.  Now we simply meditate upon it in a thoroughgoing manner
and, at every available opportunity, activate it and relish in its ineffability.  We avoid despairing that ordinary
'answers' are not forthcoming; rather we simply inundate ourselves with Vichara's probing action and allow
ourselves to be engulfed in uncertainty, making a truce for the first time with not knowing.


Arunachala Siva.                   


48.  The two states, waking and dream,  are filled up by forms and names, which are the creations of the
restless mind;  therefore, they are alike unreal.

49.  A partial unfoldment of the ego sense is called the dream;  the complete expression of it is called
waking; both are alike rooted in the ego sense.

50.  It is not reasonable to object, saying, 'Dream is a creation of he mind; but when waking is not so.'
Each in its own time, seems real;  there is no material difference.

51.  By self deceiving power of the mind the waking state appears to be long and the dream state to
be short; really the thing called time is itself a mental form (not real).

52.  The dream body is obviously different from the waking one.  When the karma giving rise to the
dream becomes active, the mind necessarily takes on another body.

53.  The emission of semen in the waking body, caused by dreamer enjoying sexual union with a
dream woman, is due to the speed with which the mind enters the waking body, leaving the other.

54.  Because of the conviction of identity (of the Self) with the sheath of intelligence -- which men are
subject to -- it is said that a sheath of happiness survives in sleep; when the former is dissolved in Self
Realization, the supreme happiness alone remains.

55.  When there is an end of the impurity of the mind which is beginningless, and which is the root cause
of the states of waking and dream, then this state of dull dreamless sleep will itself become transformed
into the state of transcendental Consciousness, which is the Natural State of the Self).

56.  As the four grosser forms of matter do not really exist apart from the ether, (of space), so the three
states should be understood by the wise one to be not really apart from the transcendental State.

57.  (In the course of the instruction given) to those that have not overcome the nescience (that survives)
in sleep, and become established in the Transcendental State, it is said that there are these three states,
the fourth (transcendental) state, and another transcending the fourth.  (Turiya and Turiaatita).

58. So long as there is one (the ego or individual soul) having the sense of living in the three states,
the states are experienced;   when he ceases to be, as a result of the Quest of the Self, then there remains
only the transcendental State, which alone is real.


Arunachala Siva,                 

Verse  358:

Giving up all other desires, the Yogi, thinking of that Supreme Being only, becomes the Supreme,ug
as the worm becomes the wasp by thinking of the wasp.

Verse  359:

When deeply engaged in thought, one loses his individuality and becomes one with that thought.   If one
remains in it for a long, long time, he becomes that.  But it must be one, uniform thought for a long,
long time.

Verse  360:

So very, very subtle is the truth of the Paramataman, that nobody can see that with the naked eye
(gross intellect).  Therefore,  with keen perception and only in Samadhi can it be known by a great
and very pure intellect.

Verse 361:

As gold when purified loses its dross and attains the own pure state, so this mind, giving up the three
qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas, through dhyana, attains the pure state of the Atman.

Verse 362:

The habit of meditation must be practiced without any break.  When the matured (ripe, or experienced)
mind is absorbed in Brahman, then comes the state that is free from all doubts.  And then naturally
one becomes the enjoyer of eternal bliss.


Arunachala Siva.         

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:17:11 AM »
Aanaaya Nayanar Puranam:

Verse 1:

மாடு விரைப்பொலி சோலையின் வான்மதி வந்தேறச்
சூடு பரப்பிய பண்ணை வரம்பு சுரும்பேற
ஈடு பெருக்கிய போர்களின் மேகம் இளைத்தேற
நீடு வளத்தது மேன்மழ நாடெனும் நீர்நாடு.

Upper Mazhanadu is a land rich in water;
Over its girding gardens fragrant, floats the moon;
From fields where buffaloes are plied in circles
Over threshed sheaves of paddy, bees crawl to ridges;
Over piled-up hay-ricks clouds ascend fatigued;
The land is blessed with enduring wealth.   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:13:53 AM »
Verse  23:

முன்னிலை கமரே யாக
    முதல்வனார் அமுது செய்யச்
செந்நெலின் அரிசி சிந்தச்
   செவியுற வடுவி னோசை
அந்நிலை கேட்ட தொண்டர்
   அடியிணை தொழுது வாழ்த்தி
மன்னும்ஆ னாயர் செய்கை
   அறிந்தவா வழுத்த லுற்றேன்.

I hail and bless the feet of the servitor
Who heard the Lord's biting sound of tender mango
From the fissure of the field into which slipped
His offering of rice, and whence the Lord consumed it.
I now proceed to indite the service of Anayar
Of ever-abiding glory as is known to me.   

Arivaattaaya Nayanar story completed.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:11:22 AM »
Verse  22:

பரிவுறு சிந்தை யன்பர்
   பரம்பொரு ளாகி யுள்ள
பெரியவ ரமுது செய்யப்
   பெற்றிலே னென்று மாவின்
வரிவடு விடேலெ னாமுன்
   வன்கழுத் தரிவாள் பூட்டி
அரிதலால் அரிவாட் டாயர்
   ஆயினார் தூய நாமம்.

As the devotee of loving mind felt that the Supreme God
-- The Great One --, could not be by him fed,
And as he set his sickle on his tough neck and began
To saw it, before he could hearken to the cracking sound
Of "videl" of the tender mango (from the fissure),
He came to be called by the holy name Arivattayar.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:09:19 AM »
Verse  21:

என்றவர் போற்றி செய்ய
    இடபவா கனராய்த் தோன்றி
நன்றுநீ புரிந்த செய்கை
   நன்னுத லுடனே கூட
என்றும்நம் உலகில் வாழ்வாய்
   என்றவ ருடனே நண்ண
மன்றுளே ஆடும் ஐயர்
   மழவிடை உகைத்துச் சென்றார்.

When he thus hailed Him, He appeared on His Bull
And said: ?Great indeed is your deed; with her
Of fair brow, may you for ever abide in Our world!?
With them following Him, the Lord-Dancer of the Ambalam
Moved away on His mount, the Bull ever-young.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:06:29 AM »
Verse 20:

அடியனேன் அறிவி லாமை
   கண்டும்என் னடிமை வேண்டிப்
படிமிசைக் கமரில் வந்திங்
    கமுதுசெய் பரனே போற்றி
துடியிடை பாக மான
   தூயநற் சோதி போற்றி
பொடியணி பவள மேனிப்
   புரிசடைப் புராண போற்றி.

"O Supreme God, You beheld my nescience, and yet
Would approve my servitor-ship; so were You pleased
To feast on my offering from the fissure; praise be!
O flame pure and good who is concorporate with Her
Whose waist is tudi-like, praise be!
O Ancient One of matted hair whose frame of coral hue
Is besmeared with the Holy Ash, praise be!"   

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:03:55 AM »
Verse  19:

திருக்கைசென் றரிவாள் பற்றுந்
   திண்கையைப் பிடித்த போது
வெருக்கொடங் கூறு நீங்க
   வெவ்வினை விட்டு நீங்கிப்
பெருக்கவே மகிழ்ச்சி நீடத்
   தம்பிரான் பேணித் தந்த
அருட்பெருங் கருணை நோக்கி
   அஞ்சலி கூப்பி நின்று.

When the divine hand held the strong hand that wielded
The sickle, he was seized with inexpressible wonder;
His wound healed
And he stayed his fierce act;
Great was his joy;
He thought of the grace great of His Lord
And folded His hands in worship;
He stood (in awe) and adored Him thus:

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 09:01:38 AM »
Verse 18:

மாசறு சிந்தை யன்பர்
   கழுத்தரி அரிவாள் பற்றும்
ஆசில்வண் கையை மாற்ற
   அம்பலத் தாடு மையர்
வீசிய செய்ய கையும்
    மாவடு விடேல்வி டேலென்
றோசையுங் கமரி னின்றும்
   ஒக்கவே எழுந்த வன்றே.

To prevent the act of the fierce and flawless hand
Of the blemish-less servitor who wielded the sawing sickle,
The sticking out of the Gracious hand of the Dancer-Lord
And the sound of "Videl-Videl" of biting
And cracking the tender mango, was seen and heard
Simultaneously from the fissure.

Arunachala Siva.

General topics / Re: Tevaram - Some select verses.
« on: March 12, 2016, 08:59:02 AM »
Verse  17:

ஆட்கொள்ளும் ஐயர் தாமிங்
    கமுதுசெய் திலர்கொ லென்னாப்
பூட்டிய அரிவாள் பற்றிப்
   புரையற விரவு மன்பு
காட்டிய நெறியி னுள்ளந்
   தண்டறக் கழுத்தி னோடே
ஊட்டியும் அரியா நின்றார்
   உறுபிறப் பரிவார் ஒத்தார்.

"My Lord who could redeem me, could not eat my offering"
He cried, and holding the sickle set on his neck,
He, poised in the flawless way of love, began to saw away
The neck from behind through bone, cord and pipe.
He was like him who would cut away his transmigration.   

Arunachala Siva.

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