Author Topic: On Not Living through Concepts  (Read 1625 times)

Subramanian.R

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On Not Living through Concepts
« on: February 26, 2009, 09:56:37 AM »
There is a beautiful article by Mukesh Eswaran in Mountain Path,
Aradhana, 2008 issue on the above title.  I am giving only the
important points of this article.

The core precept that is common to Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism,
Buddhism, Islam and Zen Buddhism and which takes us to the threshold of Truth?  If we identify this, we can seek the Truth in a truly non-doctrinaire manner. The core injunction to be: Refrain from living through concepts.

But, thought unfortunately, has also made possible the creation of an artificial conceptual world, one that rivals the real world for out attention.  We always tend to dwell on the past and the future, though only the present truly exists.  Bhagavan Ramana has said:
There is no past and future.  There is only the present. Therefore, experience takes place only in the present, and beyond experience, nothing exists.  Thinking, then, can be an escape from the real world into a conceptual world.  While thinking, we abandon the real world for an imaginary one that 'we create'.

Does this mean that we are only to never to use concepts, that we are never to think?  Certainly not.  Thinking is very useful and if the 'present moment' calls for you to think , then we should think. But the trouble is we are thinking even when we are not required to.

Sengtsan, a sixth century patriarch of Zen Buddhism, also dispensed the same wisdom that Krishana emphasized.

Do not seek for the truth,
Only cease to cherish opinions!

The ban on idol worship in Islam and Judaism is really to be taken as dictum to cease idolizing concepts, for they are empty substitutes for god.  But we can put away the images, note this point, only when we cease our continual homage to concepts, especially the "I".

It is indeed the case, that surrender is the last word of all true sprituality.  How can we reconcile this with the pivotal role given to surrender in Self-Realization?

We can.  The abandonment of concepts and thoughts takes one to the same place that surrender does.  In fact, we cannot truly surrender to god, unless we have first surrendered our reliance on concepts.

Bhagavan Ramana pointed out to the necessity of relinquishing concepts when He said:  There will come a time, when one will have to forget all that one has learned.  In final analysis, what we learn are only concepts.  By persistenly asking Who am I? we are forced to abandon our fictitious worlds to remain with the real one.

In Zen Buddhism, aspirants are asked to relentlessly work out on a problem, called 'koan'', that is no solvable by the conceptual mind. One such 'koan' is Who am I?  The 'koan' neutralizes the thinking process by tying it up with knots. After struggling with the 'koan' the aspirant's (egoistic) mind finally gives up.  This surrender of the ego opens the gateway of realization!

(Source: Mountain Path, Aradhana, 2008. M. Eswaran.)

Arunachala Siva.             
     

Ganesh_b01

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Re: On Not Living through Concepts
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 06:10:40 PM »
Very nice and useful posts Dear Subramanian,

surrender is the last word of all true sprituality.  How can we reconcile this with the pivotal role given to surrender in Self-Realization?

We can.  The abandonment of concepts and thoughts takes one to the same place that surrender does.  In fact, we cannot truly surrender to god, unless we have first surrendered our reliance on concepts.
Bhagavan Ramana pointed out to the necessity of relinquishing concepts when He said:  There will come a time, when one will have to forget all that one has learned.  In final analysis, what we learn are only concepts.  By persistenly asking Who am I? we are forced to abandon our fictitious worlds to remain with the real one.

Can there be effort on out part to unlearn or abandon fictitious worlds? We should be careful here that we need to do anything new to focus on this points as that itself would become one more concept again. Just staying with 'Who am I' pr other koans will suck away all the concepts as rightly pointed by your posts.

Very valuable thoughts.

Prostrations to Bhagawan


Subramanian.R

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Re: On Not Living through Concepts
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 10:35:05 AM »
Dear Ganesh_b01,

Abandoning reading or learning will taper off in due course.  I
was having a plan of reading 2000 pages per week, and I kept
the habit up for many years.  Today, my reading is confined to
a few pages per day of books on Ramana and by Ramana. And I
glance thorugh the daily newspaper everyday.  I was typing 30
to 50 posts in the Forum per day, my friends Dr. Raju and srkudai and nonduel know about it.  At some stage, I reduced it. Today, I only respond to others' posts and add three or four of my own per day.  I consider reading as Sadhana. But this Sadhana will also culminate one day, when the goal is reached.  Muruganar had written 30000 verses on Bhagavan, the highest by any single poet
in any language on a single theme,  barring Mahabharata and Skandam of Vyasa.

One can read any amount and post any number of posts in the Forum.  Such books/posts on Bhagavan, will fill this whole universe and still remain without space, beyond the universe!, as they have said about Jesus in Gospels.  But Bhagavan Himself would not prefer it.

Arunachala Siva.

Arunachala Siva.