Author Topic: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi  (Read 15717 times)

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2009, 10:29:35 AM »
Dear I,

:)

The object of pointing out "you I said - "As per Swami Suddhananda, there are two........" is wrong notion, actually it is ignorance to say "As per..." because it is yours (I) very own"

is this

"Tell me ... this interpretation that "as per ... is ignorance" ... is that not ignorance itself?

Yes it is. It is ignorance of 'I'  and this will continue so long 'I' continues

Salutations to Sri Ramana
« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 10:31:46 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 10:44:24 AM »
No Dear I,

This is the contention in 'I'

This 'I' is not there to continue... we 'I' just believe it it can continue and it cannot bound consciousness - is only theory.  Please see 'I' 'Who' post, He 'I' has written elaborately in his 'my' 'I' book - Maha Yoga illustrated above. This 'I' got itself clarified from Maha Yoga.

no denying that this 'I' is ignorant. But is just seeing the real light of the Self eternal I. 'I' has to die here some time or the other.
 
Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2009, 05:50:38 PM »
Dear I,

You 'I' are saying 'I' need not die and at the same time you 'I' say the role also has to continue.

Both of which are Aham Padartha. I meant this has to end and untill this 'I' is around there is death, rebirth, death, rebirth.... There will be no end to this.

It cannot be so.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #18 on: December 23, 2009, 10:35:36 AM »
Dear I,

:)
Let me tell you why 'I' has to die. Die - meaning literally not dying, we are on the same platform as far as dying is concerned.

The one that is holding this knowledge that 'I' is jada is the same Jiva who is also holding the knowledge that it itself is Self. Its the same Jiva that is saying "I am Consciousness" "I am Self" and that I cannot affect me. Who is having this knowledge.

To quote from Advaita Bodha Deepika:

"Suppose a poor begger who was ignorant of the fact that a king residing in a for was the emperor of the world, later knew it. How does this newly acquired knowledge improve his position?"

When you say, let 'I' continue... self/consciousness is never bound. who is it that is saying this? who is it that has this knowledge? is it the 'I' or the Self/Consciousness?

How can the knowledge that the consciousness is not bound, and by this quote, you 'I' understand that you are the consciousness, and that what ever 'I' does, it cannot affect you be enough? who is this I that is saying this is this not the 'I' Jiva?

If you say that it is the knowledge of the witness that is saying all the above? Does the unchanging witness saying all these?

Why 'I' say that 'I' has to die(not really die) is that the very point or knowledge mentioned by 'I' follows that it is the individual soul, Jiva, the 'I' or false 'I' that is having this knowledge.

Infact, it is the false 'I' itself that is telling here that nothing can affect the Self or consciousness.

Therefore it is only the Jiva  'I' that is having the knowledge or ignorance. It is Jiva itself that says that it is consciousness and that the 'I' cannot affect the self.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

amiatall

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2009, 07:48:40 PM »
How can I ever be dead? It can't, this is not possible.
I is ever there, the question is, who you think this 'I' is... is it a body? is it a soul? or is it awareness? or is it all of them?
this is a thought.
You are That which sees the notion of 'I' arising and subsiding.
Communication is not possible without referring to subject, whoever this subject might be.

Infact, it is the false 'I' itself that is telling here that nothing can affect the Self or consciousness.
Therefore it is only the Jiva  'I' that is having the knowledge or ignorance. It is Jiva itself that says that it is consciousness and that the 'I' cannot affect the self.
Salutations to Sri Ramana

Everything is consciousness, consciousness knows itself, consciousness plays itself. Is there Jiva and is there consciousness? Or is there ONLY consciousness and wrong knowledge which says that 'I' (consciousness) is this form (body) (which is true but wrong in a sense that it can't be defined only by form).



Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2009, 08:17:48 PM »
Dear I,

Please see carefully, and you (I) will get it. You reason "how can I ever be dead? It can't, this is not possible" I ask who is the one that is reasoning this? is it not the Jiva 'I'

It is the Jiva (I) that is posing for the Self/Consciousness. You (I) further reason out "I is ever there, the question is, who you think this 'I' is... is it a body? is it a soul? or is it awareness? or is it all of them? this is a thought."

I am trying to put your(my) (I) focus on the (I) Jiva who is holding this knowledge.

Its the Jiva (I) itself which is saying "You are That which sees the notion of 'I' arising and subsiding."

Again when you (I) reason that "Everything is consciousness, consciousness knows itself, consciousness plays itself. Is there Jiva and is there consciousness? Or is there ONLY consciousness and wrong knowledge which says that 'I' (consciousness) is this form (body) (which is true but wrong in a sense that it can't be defined only by form)." is just what the Jiva.

Here again, the Jiva (I) itself is posing as the consciousness.

Its only Jiva that is ignorent and it is Jiva again that also has knowledge of Consciousness. This is Avidya

Consciousness cannot know itself. But what is happening is that under the umbrella of Self defined Self Realised knowledge of consciousness, Jiva (I) continues to go about.

This (I) has to go.

In terms of Bhakti yoga, there is no "Sharanagati" yet here in this knowledge. It is only still partial surender.
And in terms of Jnana yoga the Self is still not reached the last stage of what (I) consider Mahavakya of Sri Ramana Maharshi:

"First the Self sees itself as objects, then
the Self sees itself as void, and finally
the Self sees itself as Self. Only in the last stage, there is no seeing, for seeing is being here."

Salutations to Sri Ramana
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 08:21:22 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

amiatall

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2009, 05:48:05 PM »
Yes. But we can play with concepts all we want.
'I' has no knowledge, where is the question of being jiva or being spirit or being whatever?
Suppose everything just happens, these words are just being spit out through 'i am'ness' through the fingers, but here is no thinker to think these words they are just happening spontaneously without any correction, without any planing. Can one define who is writing? You say this is Jiva, but it is your concept only, you see me as Jiva but am I? Are you too?
Is That, which of we can't speak in any words, can be said to be something or not be something? What is Self? When are you Jiva and when are you Self?
There is only knowledge and with knowledge or without knowledge - I AM, the difference is: knowing that you are and not knowing that you are. Only later you know that you are this or that, only after i am..

matthias

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2009, 09:19:15 PM »
I know that Iam not dwelling in absolut peace...

therefor I do sadhana with the knowledge that any such effort is senseless....I cannot add more to this discussion

I cherish all the moments of object free meditation that through the grace of my teachers is arising....and I try to life a good and truthfull life, a moral life...and at the same time this is all play, all samsara...

but I was told that samsara and nirvana, share the same ground...so Iam what Iam a tthe moment and I dont have much to offer to this discussion, but I found it partially very luminous :)

merry christmass
matthias


Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2009, 12:29:51 AM »
Dear I,

again here, I am simply re-iterating the 'I' that has written the post:
Yes. But we can play with concepts all we want.
'I' has no knowledge, where is the question of being jiva or being spirit or being whatever?
Suppose everything just happens, these words are just being spit out through 'i am'ness' through the fingers, but here is no thinker to think these words they are just happening spontaneously without any correction, without any planing. Can one define who is writing? You say this is Jiva, but it is your concept only, you see me as Jiva but am I? Are you too?
Is That, which of we can't speak in any words, can be said to be something or not be something? What is Self? When are you Jiva and when are you Self?
There is only knowledge and with knowledge or without knowledge - I AM, the difference is: knowing that you are and not knowing that you are. Only later you know that you are this or that, only after i am..

This is the I. It has to go.  The I that is responding, discriminating, analysing has to go. It is so straight, whatever response the 'I' wants to give or post itself is the false I. it has to stop/die (not literally) the very need to continue to exist has to stop. The very need to live has to stop. The very need to respond has to stop. The very need to even stop has to stop.

Your response, I have no contentions. But still it is the false-I's only. Whatever conclusion one arrives, is, belongs to the false-I only. which is the Jiva.

Though the Jiva is talking about the Self and all, which is great in content, still it is not yet merged with the Paramatma.

I has to die or (since the word die gives totally different meaning), I has to merge.... this is dying.

Its like the space within the pot that is talking all about the space outside - "that it is not different from the space outside, that it need not die, etc...." it is still the Jiva that is saying all these, though whatever the Jiva says may be right.

The very need for liberation has to end, the very need to free oneself has to end, the very need to end has to end.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 12:37:05 AM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Graham

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2009, 04:42:55 AM »
From - Crumbs from His Table

CONTROL OF MIND vs. DESTRUCTION OF MIND

D: When I am engaged in enquiry as to the source from which the ‘I’ springs, I arrive at a stage of stillness of mind beyond which I find myself unable to proceed farther. I have no thought of any kind and there is an emptiness, a blankness. A mild light pervades and I feel that it is myself bodiless. I have neither cognition nor vision of body and form. The experience lasts nearly half an hour and is pleasing. Would I be correct in concluding that all that was necessary to secure eternal happiness (i.e., freedom or salvation or whatever one calls it) was to continue the practice till this experience could be maintained for hours, days and months together?

B: This does not mean salvation; such a condition is termed manolaya or temporary stillness of thought. Manolaya means concentration, temporarily arresting the movement of thoughts; as soon as this concentration ceases, thoughts, old and new, rush in as usual and even though this temporary lulling of mind should last a thousand years it will never lead to total destruction of thought, which is what is called salvation or liberation from birth and death. The practiser must therefore be ever on the alert and enquire within as to who has this experience, who realises its pleasantness. Failing this enquiry he will go into a long trance or deep sleep (Yoga nidra). Due to the absence of a proper guide at this stage of spiritual practice many have been deluded and fallen a prey to a false sense of salvation and only a few, have either by the merit of good acts in their previous births, or by extreme grace, been enabled to reach the goal safely.

Sri Bhagavan then told the following story:-

A Yogi was doing penance (tapas) for a number of years on the banks of the Ganges. When he had attained a high degree of concentration, he believed that continuance in that stage for prolonged periods constituted salvation and practised it. One day, before going into deep concentration, he felt thirsty and called to his disciple to bring a little drinking water from the Ganges; but before the disciple arrived with the water, he had gone into samadhi and remained in that state for countless years, during which time much water flowed under the bridge. When he woke up from this experience the first thing he asked for was ‘water! water!’; but there was neither his disciple nor the Ganges in sight.

The first thing which he asked for was water because, before going into deep concentration, the topmost layer of thought in his mind was water and by concentration, however deep and prolonged it might have been, he had only been able to temporarily lull his thoughts and when, therefore, he revoked consciousness this topmost thought flew up with all the speed and force of a flood breaking through the dykes. If this is the case with regard to a thought which took shape immediately before he sat for meditation, there is no doubt that thoughts which have taken deeper root earlier will still remain unannihilated; if annihilation of thoughts is salvation can he be said to have attained salvation?

Sadhakas (seekers) rarely understand the difference between this temporary stilling of the mind (manolaya) and permanent destruction of thoughts (manonasa). In manolaya there is temporary subsidence of thought-waves, and, though this temporary period may even last for a thousand years, thoughts, which are thus temporarily stilled, rise up as soon as the manolaya ceases. One must, therefore, watch one’s spiritual progress carefully. One must not allow oneself to be overtaken by such spells of stillness of thought: the moment one experiences this, one must revive consciousness and enquire within as to who it is who experiences this stillness. While not allowing any thoughts to intrude, he must not, at the same time, be overtaken by this deep sleep (Yoga nidra) or Self-hypnotism. Though this is a sign of progress towards the goal, yet it is also the point where the divergence between the road to salvation and Yoga nidra takes place. The easy way, the direct way, the shortest cut to salvation is the Enquiry method. By such enquiry, you will drive the thought force deeper till it reaches its source and merges therein. It is then that you will have the response from within and find that you rest there, destroying all thoughts, once and for all.

This temporary stilling of thought comes automatically in the usual course of one’s practice and it is a clear sign of one’s progress but the danger of it lies in mistaking it for the final goal of spiritual practice and being thus deceived. It is exactly here that a spiritual guide is necessary and he saves a lot of the spiritual aspirant’s time and energy which would otherwise be fruitlessly wasted.

The writer now realized that it was to get this important lesson at the right point of his progress, that he was taken, even unknown to himself and against his will, to Sri Ramana, through the intervention of his superior. He had come exactly to the position where the road bifurcates, one side leading to destruction of thought (salvation) and the other to Yoga nidra (prolonged deep sleep). A way-shower or a road sign-post was necessary at this stage and the way-shower must necessarily be in the shape of a personal Guru, a realized soul, and perhaps by sheer acts of merit in his past birth and no “known special merit” of his own in this birth, he was brought before such a realized soul, in the person of Sri Ramana, to obtain these instructions from him, failing which he would have been probably groping in the same manner as the sage on the banks of the Ganges, in the story narrated above.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2009, 06:08:38 PM by Graham »

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2009, 04:07:03 PM »
This is so beautifully put.
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Graham

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2009, 06:24:45 PM »
Only once in Day by Day does Bhagavan state that you have to 'kill the mind' - here is the entire short discussion:

Maha Vir Prasad, Chief Engineer, U. P., who has been staying here for about twenty days, asked Bhagavan, “I find it said in Maha Yoga that in the beginning of meditation one may attend to the breath, i.e.. its inspiration and expiration, and that after a certain amount of stillness of the mind is thereby attained, one can dive into the heart seeking the source of the mind. I have been badly in want of some such practical hint. Can I follow this method? Is it correct?”

Bhagavan: “The thing is to kill the mind somehow. Those who have not the strength to follow the enquiry method are advised pranayama as a help to control the mind. And pranayama is of two kinds, one of controlling and regulating the breath and the other of simply watching the breath.”

Prasad: “During meditation I sometimes attain a state lasting for about fifteen minutes, during which I am not aware of anything and am free from all thoughts. Some have told me that such a state is what may be called yoga nidra and that one should guard against such a state as bad.”

Bhagavan: “One should endeavour to get beyond sleep.” (For some reason Bhagavan did not answer further the query put by Prasad). I thereupon advised Prasad to read Crumbs from the Table, where this particular matter is dealt with. Bhagavan also asked us to take a copy of the book and give it to Prasad. We did so.

==============

From Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi on the same subject:

Talk 485.
D.: While engaged in Atma vichara (the investigation of the Self), I fall asleep. What is the remedy for it?
M.: Do nama-sankirtana (sing the name of God).
D.: It is ruled out in sleep.
M.: True. The practice should be continued while awake. Directly you wake up from sleep, you must resume it. The sleeper does not care for Atma vichara. So he need not practise anything. The waking self desires it and so he must do it.

In the course of conversation Sri Bhagavan continued:

The mind is something mysterious. It consists of satva, rajas and tamas. The latter two give rise to vikshepa. In the satva aspect, it remains pure and uncontaminated. So there are no thoughts there and it is identical with the Self. The mind is like akasa (ether). Just as there are the objects in the akasa, so there are thoughts in the mind. The akasa is the counterpart of the mind and objects are of thought. One cannot hope to measure the universe and study the phenomena. It is impossible. For the objects are mental creations. To measure them is similar to trying to stamp with one’s foot on the head of the shadow cast by oneself. The farther one moves the farther the shadow does also. So one cannot plant one’s foot on the head of the shadow. (Here Sri Bhagavan related several incidents connected with shadows including the pranks of monkeys and a mirror). A child sees his own shadow and tries to hold the head of the shadow. As he bends and puts out his arm the head moves further. The child struggles more and more. The mother, seeing the struggle, pities the young one. So she takes hold of the young hand and keeps it on his own head and tells the child to observe the head of the shadow caught in the hand. Similarly with the ignorant practiser to study the universe. The universe is only an object created by the mind and has its being in the mind. It cannot be measured as an exterior entity. One must reach the Self in order to reach the universe.

Again people often ask how the mind is controlled. I say to them, “Show me the mind and then you will know what to do.” The fact is that the mind is only a bundle of thoughts. How can you extinguish it by the thought of doing so or by a desire? Your thoughts and desires are part and parcel of the mind. The mind is simply fattened by new thoughts rising up. Therefore it is foolish to attempt to kill the mind by means of the mind. The only way of doing it is to find its source and hold on to it. The mind will then fade away of its own accord. Yoga teaches chitta vritti nirodha (control of the activities of the mind). But I say Atma vichara (Self-investigation). This is the practical way. Chitta vritti nirodha is brought about in sleep, swoon or by starvation. As soon as the cause is withdrawn there is recrudescence of thoughts. Of what use is it then? In the state of stupor there is peace and no misery. But misery recurs when the stupor is removed. So nirodha (control) is useless and cannot be of lasting benefit.

How then can the benefit be made lasting? It is by finding the cause of misery. Misery is due to objects. If they are not there, there will be no contingent thoughts and so misery is wiped off. “How will objects cease to be?” is the next question. The shrutis and the sages say that the objects are only mental creations. They have no substantive being. Investigate the matter and ascertain the truth of the statement. The result will be the conclusion that the objective world is in the subjective consciousness. The Self is thus the only Reality which permeates and also envelops the world. Since there is no duality, no thoughts will arise to disturb your peace. This is Realisation of the Self. The Self is eternal and so also its Realisation.

In the course of the discourse Sri Bhagavan also made a few points clearer:-

Abhyasa consists in withdrawal within the Self every time you are disturbed by thought. It is not concentration or destruction of the mind but withdrawal into the Self.

Dhyana, bhakti, japa, etc., are aids to keep out the multiplicity of thoughts. A single thought prevails which too eventually dissolves in the Self.

The questioner quoted that the mind starved of ideas amounted to realisation and asked what the experience is in that state. He himself read out a passage from Mr. Brunton that it was indescribable. The answer was there. He again ventured out that it must be like looking through an unsilvered mirror, as contrasted with the present experience corresponding to looking on a silvered mirror.

Sri Bhagavan said it was a mirror facing another clear mirror, i.e., no reflection.

-----------

The difference between the words of a real Jnani and those who merely think they are Jnani's, lays in the clarity and impact of the real Jnani's statements, which go straight to the heart and that is because they are from experience.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2009, 06:32:22 PM »
Dear Sri Graham,

The killing of the mind and the killing of the thoughts - these
two are bothering the Forum members for quite some time.
Bhagavan Ramana uses the phrases, Mano nasam and Mana
adkkam in Who am I?  Sri Lakshmana Sarma also uses the phrase
Extinction of Mind.  Annamalai Swami uses again both the phrases
in his Final Talks and Conversations.

I thank you very much for the enlightening clarification in the
matter.

Arunachala Siva.

 

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2009, 10:30:53 PM »
Dear I,

This last statement of yours is wonderful and how true!

"The difference between the words of a real Jnani and those who merely think they are Jnani's, lays in the clarity and impact of the real Jnani's statements, which go straight to the heart and that is because they are from experience."

Salutations to Sri Ramana
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Nagaraj

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Re: Annamalai Swami and Ramana Maharshi
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2009, 10:44:47 PM »
An entire chapter in Advaita Bodha Deepika is devoted to "Extinction of Mind" or "Mano Nasam"

1. In the previous chapter, having taught the realisation of
the non-dual Brahman, the master now treats of the extinction
of the mind as the sole means of realising Brahman.
M.: Wise son, leave off the mind which is the limiting
adjunct giving rise to individuality, thus causing the great malady
of repeated births and deaths, and realise Brahman.
2. D.: Master, how can the mind be extinguished? Is it not
very hard to do so? Is not the mind very powerful, restive and
ever vacillating? How can one relinquish the mind?
M.: To give up the mind is very easy, as easy as crushing
a delicate flower, or removing a hair from butter or winking
your eyes. Doubt it not. For a self-possessed resolute seeker not
bewitched by the senses, but by strong dispassion grown
indifferent to external objects, there cannot be the least difficulty
in giving up the mind.
D.: How is it so easy?
M.: The question of difficulty arises only if there is a mind
to leave off. Truly speaking, there is no mind. When told ‘There
is a ghost here’ an ignorant child is deluded into believing the
existence of the non-existent ghost, and is subject to fear, misery
and troubles, similarly in the untainted Brahman by fancying
things that are not, as this and that, a false entity known as the
mind arises seemingly real, functioning as this and that, and
proving uncontrollable and mighty to the unwary, whereas to
the self-possessed, discerning seeker who knows its nature, it is
easy to relinquish. Only a fool ignorant of its nature says it is
most difficult.
D.: What is the nature of mind?
M.: To think this and that. In the absence of thought, there
can be no mind. On the thoughts being extinguished the mind
will remain only in name like the horn of a hare; it will vanish as
a non-entity like a barren woman’s son, or a hare’s horn, or a
flower in the sky. This is also mentioned in the Yoga Vasishta.
D.: How?
M.: Vasishta says: ‘Listen, O Rama, there is nothing to
speak of as mind. Just as the ether exists without form, so also
the mind exists as the blank insentience. It remains only in
name; it has no form. It is not outside, nor is it in the heart. Yet
like the ether, the mind though formless fills all’.
D.: How can this be?
M.: Wherever thought arises as this and that, there is the
mind.
D.: If there be mind wherever there is thought, are thought
and mind different?
M.: Thought is the index of the mind. When a thought
arises mind is inferred. In the absence of thought, there can be
no mind. Therefore mind is nothing but thought. Thought is
itself mind.
D.: What is ‘thought’?
M.: ‘Thought’ is imagination. The thought-free state is
Bliss Supreme (Sivasvarupa). Thoughts are of two kinds; the
recalling of things experienced and unexperienced.
11. D.: To begin with, please tell me what is ‘thought’.
M.: Sages say that it is nothing but to think of any external
object as this or that, is or is not, this-wise or that-wise, etc.
12-13. D.: How is this to be classified under the heads of
things experienced and unexperienced?
M.: Of objects of senses, such as sound, already experienced
as ‘I saw — I heard — I touched etc.’ to think of them as
having been seen, heard, touched is the recollection of things
already experienced. To call to mind unexperienced objects of
senses is the thought of unexperienced things.
14. D.: That thoughts pertain to things already experienced
is understandable. But how to think of those not so experienced
unless they are reminiscences of things already experienced? One
can never think of things not experienced. How then can we say
— to think of things not already experienced is ‘thought’?
15. M.: Yes, it is quite possible. To think of things not
experienced is also thought. Objects unexperienced appear as
such only after thinking.
D.: How can the things not already experienced come
within the orbit of thought?
M.: By the process of positive and negative induction
(anvaya, vyatireka), all mental imagery must be said to be
thought-forms, whether already experienced or not.
16-17. D.: How do you apply the positive and negative
induction here?
M.: Whether existent or non-existent, already experienced
or not so experienced, whatever and however something is
thought of, it is apprehended. The mere thought of it amounts
to apprehension. This is the positive induction.
Real or unreal, experienced or not, however it may be,
whatever is not thought of, is not apprehended. This is negative
induction. From this process also it follows that thought is
apprehension.
18. D.: How can mere thought of anything be its
apprehension also? Things are apprehended directly by the senses
or by recall of past experiences to the mind. On the other hand,
things unheard of or unseen cannot be apprehended by simple
thinking of them. Therefore the logical conclusion that mere
thought of anything is its apprehension, does not hold.
M.: You are not right. How can you say that things not
directly cognised by the senses are not apprehended? The
pleasures of heaven though not already enjoyed, are vividly
pictured in our minds. This is owing to our knowledge of the
shastras which depict them. Though not experienced they appear
to us as delights not experienced.
19-21. D.: Things experienced can be thought of and
cognised. But things unexperienced cannot be cognised even if
thought of.
M.: Now listen. Experienced or unexperienced things can
be cognised. As things already experienced at a distant place are
thought of and cognised, so also things unexperienced can be
thought of and cognised, on hearing from others, such as the
Mount Meru of bright gold.
Though eyes and ears are closed, yet visions and sounds can
be thought of and cognised. Though in dark, one can still think
of an object and cognise it. Even without eyes and ears the blind
and the deaf cognise forms and sounds on thinking of them.
Therefore, already known or unknown, all that is thought of can
be apprehended. This is the affirmative proposition.
22. D.: What is negation?
M.: In the absence of mind, in swoons, deep sleep or
trance there is no thinking and consequently nothing is seen.
Not only in these states but also in waking, if one does not
think, there is no phenomenon.
23-25. D.: Even in waking it cannot be so. Objects of
direct cognition even if not thought of, are apprehended.
M.: No. What you say is not true. Everyday experience
teaches us otherwise.
D.: How?
M.: When a man is keenly attentive to something, he does
not answer when someone calls. Later he says ‘I was intent on
something else; I could not hear; I could not see; I was not
aware’ etc. It is therefore clear that without attention objects of
direct cognition cannot be apprehended.
D.: Cannot the objects of direct cognition be
apprehended, without attention?
M.: Though in direct contact with the senses, objects
cannot be cognised without attention to them. Though the
necklace is in contact with the body, because the wearer is
not attentive, its presence is not known; being unaware of
it, she even misses the ornament and searches for it. Though
in touch with the body of the wearer the necklace is missed
for want of attention.
Again a patient writhing with pain can be made to forget
it by drawing his attention to something else; similarly the grief
of bereavement is forgotten by attention being directed to other
matters of interest.
It is obvious that without attention, even the objects of
direct cognition cannot be recognised.
29-31. From this it follows that the cognition of anything
experienced or not, however it may be, can only be of the form
of thought. Therefore the perception of things has been signified
by various terms in Vedanta, such as cognition as this and that,
will, thought, mode of mind, intellect, latency, reflected
consciousness, the heart-knot, the seen, illusion, the individual,
the world, the all, God etc.
D.: Where has it been said that this knowledge is the all?
On the other hand it is said that maya became the all.
M.: Yes. Maya is the knowledge which is spoken of. Only
this objective knowledge goes under the different names, maya,
avidya, bondage, impurity, darkness, ignorance, the mind, the
cycles of repeated births and deaths etc.
D.: Be it so, what has this got to do with the extinction of
the mind?
M.: Listen. You must understand that the knowledge
signified by all these terms is only the mind.
32-33. D.: Who else says so?
M.: Vasishta has said to Rama: ‘Whatever objective
knowledge manifests as this and that, or not this and not that,
or in any other manner, it is only the mind. The mind is nothing
but this manifest knowledge’.
34. D.: Let it be so. How can the mind be extinguished?
M.: To forget everything is the ultimate means. But for
thought, the world does not arise. Do not think and it will not
arise. When nothing arises in the mind, the mind itself is lost.
Therefore do not think of anything, forget all. This is the best
way to kill the mind.
35-37.D.: Has anyone else said so before?
M.: Vasishta said so to Rama thus: ‘Efface thoughts of all
kinds, of things enjoyed, not enjoyed, or otherwise. Like wood
or stone, remain free from thoughts.
Rama: Should I altogether forget everything?
Vasishta: Exactly; altogether forget everything and remain
like wood or stone.
Rama: The result will be dullness like that of stones or
wood.
Vasishta: Not so. All this is only illusion. Forgetting the
illusion, you are freed from it. Though seeming dull, you
will be the Bliss Itself. Your intellect will be altogether clear
and sharp. Without getting entangled in worldly life, but
appearing active to others remain as the very Bliss of Brahman
and be happy. Unlike the blue colour of the sky, let not the
illusion of the world revive in the pure Ether of Consciousness-
Self. To forget this illusion is the sole means to
kill the mind and remain as Bliss. Though Shiva, Vishnu, or
Brahman Himself should instruct you, realisation is not
possible without this one means. Without forgetting
everything, fixity as the Self is impossible. Therefore
altogether forget everything.’
38-39. D.: Is it not very difficult to do so?
M.: Though for the ignorant it is difficult, for the
discerning few it is very easy. Never think of anything but the
unbroken unique Brahman. By a long practice of this, you will
easily forget the non-self. It cannot be difficult to remain still
without thinking anything. Let not thoughts arise in the mind;
always think of Brahman. In this way all worldly thoughts will
vanish and thought of Brahman alone will remain. When this
becomes steady, forget even this, and without thinking ‘I am
Brahman’, be the very Brahman. This cannot be difficult to
practise.
40. Now my wise son, follow this advice; cease thinking
of anything but Brahman. By this practice your mind will be
extinct; you will forget all and remain as pure Brahman.
41. He who studies this chapter and follows the instructions
contained therein, will soon be Brahman Itself!
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta