Author Topic: The Steep Staircase of Vichara  (Read 1392 times)


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The Steep Staircase of Vichara
« on: December 22, 2009, 11:17:06 AM »
As questioning (Who am I?) be said to be the core orientation
in Vichara, it is also the root cure for any obstacle that might
impede the method.  When unwanted mind-state intrude, one
simply comes back to the question.  If the question gets interrupted
one simply uses the same questioning to recover it.

Now, the utter simplicity of the technique is probably also what makes is maddeningly abstruse, at least for those of us just
starting out.  But if we reflect on what Bhagavan Ramana tells
us about the nature of the mind, it is no surprise that we find
Vichara so uncomfortable.  But its nature, Bhagavan tells us, the
mind habitually thinks, it loves random thoughts and concepts,
doubts, positions and views.  What it does NOT want is anything
that prevents it from thinking, least of all, unfathomable questions!

This being the case, it is easy to see why the mind repels Vichara.
It turns the mind back on itself, prohibiting it from doing what it
loves best, namely, to think, anlayze, conceptualize, label, worry
and discriminate.  Through questioning, Bhagavan emphasizes,
all these activities are brought to a halt.  This being so, the reason
we resist Vichara, is plainly and simply this:  It is effective.

Indeed, one can say that it is the sheer potency of Who am I?
that works against those of us who are beginners.  Vichara is
a steep path -- a lot of ground is covered in a short distance.
But, as many who have gone ahead of us, will testify, it is tough
going, at least at the start.  Might there be some way for novices
and the uninititated to start this practice incrementally and work
their way up?

(From the article of an Asramam devotee, in MP April-June 2007)

Arunachala Siva.