Author Topic: Self Enquiry  (Read 1881 times)

silentgreen

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Self Enquiry
« on: September 30, 2009, 10:13:38 AM »
This is one of my favorite sayings of Bhagavan on Self-enquiry.
Only a great spiritual personage can give such an answer, which is not only direct but contains very important "clues" on Self-enquiry. This is one of the very first questions which Bhagavan answered. The answer is not intended to suit the temperament of any particular person, but deals with Self-enquiry in general. It is like a pristine message as if coming directly from the “cave”.

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#. How is one to enquire: "Who am I"?

Actions such as "going" and "coming" belong only to the body. And so, when one says, "I" went, "I" came, it amounts to saying that the body is "I". But can the body be said to be the consciousness "I". It cannot be, since it was not there before it was born, is made up of the five elements, is non-existent in the state of deep sleep, and becomes a corpse when dead? Can this body which is inert like a log of wood be said to shine as "I-I"?

Therefore the "I-consciousness" which at first rises in respect of the body is referred to variously as egoity, nescience, impurity, and individual soul. Can we remain without enquiring into this? Is it not for our redemption through enquiry that all the scriptures declare that the destruction of ego is release?

Therefore, making the corpse body remain as a corpse, and not even uttering the word "I", one should enquire keenly thus: "Now, what is it that rises as "I"?

Then there would shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination of the form "I-I". It is there and would shine of its own accord, as the pure consciousness which is unlimited and one, the limited and the many thoughts having disappeared.

If one remains quiescent without abandoning that experience, the individual sense of the form "I am the body" will be totally destroyed, and at the end the final thought, the "I-form" also will be quenched like the fire that burns camphor. The great sages and scriptures declare that this alone is release.

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Analyzing the second part of the answer:

Therefore, making the corpse body remain as a corpse

Body, its postures, breathing etc are not the primary aspects of Self-enquiry.
Self-enquiry is something beyond the body plane and so the corpse body can remain as the corpse.

and not even uttering the word "I"

Self-enquiry is not “japa” on “I”, or repetition of the “I”. It can be done even without uttering the word “I” in the mind.

one should enquire keenly thus: "Now, what is it that rises as "I"?...

One should enquire keenly…sloppy enquiry that puts one to sleep may not give good results…Self-enquiry is not something to be done in sleepy mode or dream state…it needs to be done keenly in the waking state.


One should enquire … what is it that rises as "I"?

No previous conceptions of “I” are required (like whether it is mind or body-mind complex etc)…instead one should keenly enquire and find out.


One should enquire on what is it that rises as "I"? and not stick to the sensation of “I”. The source of “I” needs to be enquired upon; it is not a constant concentration on the “I” sense.


Then there would shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination of the form "I-I".

This is a very important “clue” whether Self-enquiry is going in the correct direction. If it is progressing well, there would shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination of the form "I-I".

Bhagavan is not expressing the result as a thoughtless state, or the gap between two thoughts. The wordless illumination should shine in the Heart. The result is not of the mind but of the Heart (Bhagavan has some detailed sayings on Heart elsewhere which one can refer to). The form of the illumination is “I-I”, which possibly signifies a continuity of the illumination. This continuity of illumination is wordless, which shows that there will not be a voice coming from within and repeating “I-I” etc.


It is there and would shine of its own accord, as the pure consciousness which is unlimited and one, the limited and the many thoughts having disappeared.

The illumination was not something created by Self-enquiry but more of a revelation which was already there and shines of its own accord.

This also contains a very important “clue” on the nature of illumination. The illumination is like the pure consciousness which is unlimited and one. Pure consciousness signifies the undivided pure consciousness of the Heart Space. This is not of the thought plane because the limited and the many thoughts have disappeared.

If this illumination has not taken place, Self-enquiry is still to yield its result.
(A thoughtless state can be a by-product but without illumination, it is not a primary result of Self-enquiry)


If one remains quiescent without abandoning that experience, the individual sense of the form "I am the body" will be totally destroyed

After the illumination has arisen, one should remain quiescent without abandoning that experience; thus one should not immediately abandon that state and go. Self-enquiry should still be continued….which will result in:  the individual sense of the form "I am the body" will be totally destroyed

This shows that the idea “I am the body” is only an idea of individuality which does not have any concrete form. Any concrete form is confined within a boundary, but the individual sense destroys itself (or merges / melts) in the Heart Space.

After the rising of illumination, the second milestone of Self-enquiry is that the individual sense of the form "I am the body" will be totally destroyed.

and at the end the final thought, the "I-form" also will be quenched like the fire that burns camphor. The great sages and scriptures declare that this alone is release.

The third milestone of Self-enquiry culminates in the release, where the final thought, the "I-form" also will be quenched like the fire that burns camphor.

This shows that the “I-form” is still more subtle than the “I am the body idea”.  Even after one senses that he/she has an existence separate from the body, the “I-form” can still remain and retain the individuality.

The “I-form” is the final thought, which arises in the Heart Space and Self-enquiry even quenches that like the fire that burns camphor. Burning camphor is unlike burning materials like paper etc. in that no residue is left. The fire which burns the camphor gets quenched leaving no trace behind. The “I-form” itself should get quenched like that leaving no trace and only the expanse of the Heart Space remains.


Thus Self-enquiry has a broad scope. Starting from individuality, it gradually leads one to illumination… destroying the subtle forms of “I am the body” sense and finally even the “I form” thus leading to liberation in the Heart Space.

This is like a pristine message of Bhagavan as if coming directly from the “cave” (the Heart Space).




Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

nonduel

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Re: Self Enquiry
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 04:29:32 PM »
Dear Silentgreen,

Could you elaborate more on this quote.

One should enquire on what is it that rises as "I"? and not stick to the sensation of “I”. The source of “I” needs to be enquired upon; it is not a constant concentration on the “I” sense.

Enquiring is keeping the attention on the self without strain (concentration). The source of "I", the substratum, the witness. But it is also done with one-pointedness and with earnestness. There is a subtle difference here.

Ultimately, the "witness" and the "I" merge.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 04:44:40 PM by nonduel »
Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.

amiatall

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Re: Self Enquiry
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 09:33:28 PM »
Hm, how to put it in words lightly... One firstly establishes himself in this 'I AM' sense, then one tries to see where this sense of 'I AM' comes from. Or what is this 'I AM' sense which arises on body sensation information. Gradually this 'I AM' sense will change its texture (texture here means that the form of this sense 'I AM' does not in particularly consists only of body sensations it reveals itself more and more), and when it will be pleased with you it will release you from its clutches. (if somebody confused about "who is released" and etc then you could say that IT(iam) will expand out of its form aspect and will know its formless aspect)
Or one can just abide in this 'I'-sense without any notion that this I is body/ego or this I is Self, just abiding and melting in it will itself do the job. Then one can inquiry deeply even to this 'I'-form which in itself does not depend on the body but is dependent on someTHING because it is not permanent(it appears and it goes and it will be so), but that happens only when body identification is lost.

silentgreen

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Re: Self Enquiry
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 08:57:49 AM »
Dear nonduel,

Bhagavan said:
Therefore, making the corpse body remain as a corpse, and not even uttering the word "I", one should enquire keenly thus: "Now, what is it that rises as "I"?

Bhagavan has not exactly expressed it here as “keenly concentrate on I.”

This is possibly because the term concentration normally has the connotation of a subject-object relationship such as “I concentrate on a lamp flame”. There is an object on which a subject fixes his mind. This subject-object relationship can get the enquirer stuck in a plane of duality.

The message of Bhagavan is for a wide range of people, newcomers who have heard about Self-enquiry for the first time to intermediate-stage persons to advanced-stage persons. Each person likely would have different perception of “I”.

So concentration on “I” for one person could mean keeping the mind fixed on breath, for another, keeping the mind fixed on a particular point on solar plexus etc. This can get the enquirer stuck in the mind plane for a long time. But enquiring on what rises as “I” will keep the process going irrespective of what one’s initial perception of “I” is, and likely bring him to the illumination of the Heart Space.

For example two persons were assigned tasks in the sky. One was asked to concentrate on the cloud and tell about it. The other was asked to find out what rises as cloud and tell about it. Both were given aircrafts.

The first person returns quickly and reports:
“The cloud is like a woolen mass with shape of intersecting circles, whose boundaries becomes hazy as one advances towards it.”
The first person has seen the cloud only from outside and described it.

The second person who tries to find what rises as cloud enters inside the cloud (and finds that he can pass through freely), then goes around the cloud and to far of sky to find the source. He returns and when asked to describe the source, he did not know what to say, for neither did he find any source nor could he deny the cloud. So he finally says:
“It seems that the sky solidifies at places and becomes the cloud”.

So psychologically the terms “concentrate on” and “enquire what rises” have different effects on the two persons.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...