Author Topic: The Practice of Self Enquiry  (Read 1728 times)

Subramanian.R

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The Practice of Self Enquiry
« on: January 01, 2009, 03:20:35 PM »
There is an excellent article by Sri N.A. Mohan Rao, of Hyderabad,
on the practice of Self Enquiry.  It appeared in Mountain Path of
April - June 2008.  I am giving only the salient points from this
article.

The author says that Upadesa Saram presents the Ultimate Reality as
non-dual in line with the highest traditions of advaita.  There are two
purposes for a scripture.  One is to enlighten us on the nature of Ultimate
Reality and the other one is to indicate some plausible way of verifying
the Reality in our own experience.  Upadesa Saram satisfies both the
purposes.

A study of Upadesa Saram reveals two alternative methods of "sadhana".
The first one is Conventional Yoga method and the second is Self Enquiry.
These are dealt with in verses 1-15 and 16-22 of Upadesa Saram.  The
last eight verses, 23-30 present an insight into the nature of Reality or
the realized state.

The Conventional Yoga, viz., karma, bhakti and jnana yogas, are dealt
with in Verses 1-3, 4-7 and 8-15 respectively.  The raja yoga including
pranayama is taken as an additional option within the jnana yoga.
The overlapping role of pranayama in jnana yoga is covered in Verses
11-14. The method of Self Enquiry is summed up in its essence in Verses
16-20.  Some further elaboration is provided in Verses 21-22.

The author also says that the seeker can bank on Bhagavan's assurance
that Self Enquiry involves no secret technique or upadesa, and go ahead
with his practice with the help of information from published literature*
and through personal exchange.

(* These are:  1) Who am I? Anwers to Sivapraksam Pillai. 2) Gems from Bhagavan, Devaraja Mudaliar. 3) A comprehensive treatment can be seen
in Be as You are - by David Godman.)

Practice of Self Enquiry initially starts sitting in an "asana", posture,
inside the house or in agreeable location like a temple or an ashram.
This is, as per author, Meditational Enquiry.  In course of time, from
selected periods, the enquiry extends to other periods of waking state.  This is called Concurrent Enquiry.  These two steps together should, ideally speaking, cover the entire waking life of the seeker.   Meditational Enquiry counts as the cutting edge of sadhana, as the first rendezvous with the Self is expected to occur in it.

(Source: Mountain Path, April - June  2008.)   

Arunachala Siva.