Author Topic: Question about self-enquiry  (Read 13425 times)

nonduel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2010, 12:24:55 AM »
Dear Japo,

Who Am I? To whom? from whence?   All of this only means to keep the attention on the self. The feeling "I". Thus when a thought surges, you return your attention on "I".

One of the best book explaining this in detail, and in terms very easy to understand, is Sri Sadhu Om's "The Path of Sri Ramana" part one. All your questions and more will be clearly answered.

It is available as an e-book for free on Michael James web site:  http://www.happinessofbeing.com/path_ramana.html#part_one
At the bottom of the page you will find the link for downloading it.

Quote from Michael James web page mentionned above:
In the seventh chapter, ‘Self-Enquiry’, Sri Sadhu Om explains in great detail the correct meaning of the term atma-vichara – self-enquiry or self-investigation. That is, in essence he explains that atma-vichara is the simple practice of self-attention or self-scrutiny – focusing our attention keenly and exclusively upon our own essential self-conscious being, ‘I am’.

Hope this is helpful.

Love
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 12:39:14 AM 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

  • Guest
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2010, 12:30:19 AM »
Thank you again for helpful replies and comments :) reading them make tensions of my mind dissapear.


In Nan Yar ""Who am I" Bhagavan says:
"If other thoughts arise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire, 'To whom did they occur?' What does it matter if ever so many thoughts arise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly enquires 'To whom did this appear?' it will be known 'To me'. If one then enquires 'Who am I?' the mind will turn back to its source and the thought that had arisen will also subside."


Do you yourself say to yourself this ("to whom did this thought occur?") when mind wonders. Or is this just meant to be seen?

No. In the beginning if it is hard for you to just hold your attention then verbalization can help but that eventually must be dropped and will drop by itself because you are the Self and what is not the Self will drop by itself, that's all, you just remain still.
Merely see to whom these thoughts and 'world' arises, watch it, watch the watcher, see the seer.

Some good saying can be remembered:
"The ego controls all thinking."
"The ego creates arguments against the Direct Path as a preservation strategy."
"If, instead of looking outward at objects,
you observe that looking,
all things now shine as I, the seer.
Perception of objects is mere illusion. "


nonduel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2010, 12:32:17 AM »
Dear Skrudai-ji,

I really like your posts and appreciate your directness and to the core of the teaching. I personally feel a lot of humour in them and I am glad you are on this forum LOL!!!

Like this one...no beating around the bush, no hesitations......how does it matter??...its the mind that is jumping!....essentially I Am jumping   ;D ::)

Love :-*



Dear Subramanian,
             :)
With closed eyes mind projects dream world!
how does it matter ?

Eyes themselves are in mind! so whether they are open or closed ... its the mind that is jumping!

The problem is not even that the mind is jumping ... its that "my mind" is jumping!
Essentially ... "I am jumping!" !

Love!
Silence
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.

Japo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2010, 08:42:02 PM »
thanks, this practice already felt easier, but I'm still wondering how important it is to actually do the enquiry "Who am I" verbally. One guy said that if we don't ask this question often, there may be only peace but not insight and realization. I doubt it... isn't the "goal" ultimately just being ourselves?

nonduel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2010, 09:24:42 PM »
Dear Japo,

Enquiry isn't repeating like a "parrot" Who Am I? Enquiry is "returning" your attention to yourself, "I". Or to the "I Am" of Sri Nisargadatta. Because repeating is using the mind, while Realisation is destroying the mind...See?

You can use the question once if it helps you "return" to Self-Attention and then abide in that beingness. Otherwise you will relentlessly repeat "To Whom do these thoughts arrise?" and never abide in the self, Self-Attention. Because thoughts continously surge and the "need" to repeat the question will never cease.

But if you abide in the self, you will notice that thoughts are less. It will become automatic that when a thought appears you will return to Self-Attention without the need of these questions.

Permit me to repeat again to read Sri Sadhu Om's book I mention previously.

Hope this is helpful.

Love


thanks, this practice already felt easier, but I'm still wondering how important it is to actually do the enquiry "Who am I" verbally. One guy said that if we don't ask this question often, there may be only peace but not insight and realization. I doubt it... isn't the "goal" ultimately just being ourselves?
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.

Japo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2010, 11:52:08 PM »
thank you nonduel, I'm currently reading "I Am That" and "Be as You Are" but I'll check it out later. :)

nonduel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2010, 01:22:46 AM »
Dear japo,

You will see in reading I AM THAT that Sri Nisargadatta comments that it seems "crude" and too simple...but it works.

Love
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.

viswanathan

  • Guest
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2010, 02:39:59 AM »
Dear Devotees
      With regard to  our doubts whether  effort  is  required for self enquiry and if so how long, I quote as under( in italics) from Mr.Arthur Osborne’s book, "The Teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi’s In His  Own Words" ,the answer given by Bhagavan on the question on Choiceless Awareness which was advocated by Sri.J.Krishnamurthi

A young man from Colombo, Ceylon, said to Bhagavan:
J. Krishnamurthi teaches the method of effortless and choiceless
awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration.
Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise
meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?

B.: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we
can attain that state and abide in it, that is all right. But one cannot
reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the
age-old vasanas (inherent tendencies) turn the mind outwards to
external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the
mind turned inwards and that, for most people, requires effort. Of
course, every teacher and every book tells the aspirant to keep
quiet, but it is not easy to do so. That is why all this effort is necessary.
Even if we find somebody who has achieved this supreme state of
stillness, you may take it that the necessary effort had already been
made in a previous life. So effortless and choiceless awareness is
attained only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take
whatever form most appeals to you. See what helps you to keep
out all other thoughts and adopt that for your meditation.

In this connection Bhagavan quoted some verses from the
great Tamil poet and saint, Thayumanavar, the gist of which is
as follows: Bliss will ensue if you keep still, but however much
you tell your mind this truth, it will not keep still. It is the
mind that tells the mind to be still in order for it to attain bliss,
but it will not do it. Though all the scriptures have said it and
though we hear it daily from the great ones and even from our
Guru, we are never quiet but stray into the world of Maya
(illusion) and sense objects. That is why conscious, deliberate
effort is needed to attain that effortless state of stillness.1

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47071
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2010, 11:50:01 AM »
I agree more with Bhagavan Ramana (as quoted by Arthur Osborne)
and Sri Sadhu Om, than Nisargadatta Maharaj and J.Krishnamurti.

Effort is necessary not merely for keeping the thoughts away
but also to make the inbuilt vasanas dry up.  This is reflected
in Bhagavan Ramana's Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 5, "by
rubbing the mind with mind"

Bhagavan Ramana says in Vichara Sangraham, in answer to Gambhiram Seshayyar's question:

#
After the mind has been made to stay in the Self, which is its
deity, and has been rendered indifferent to empirical matters
because it does not stray away from the Self, how can the mind
think as mentioned above?  (above = Seshayyar's question:
When there is activity in regard to works, we are neither the agents
of those works not their enjoyers.  The activity is of the three instrumetns (i.e the mind, speech, and body). Could we remain
unattached thinking thus?)

#

Do not such thoughts constitute bondage?  When such thoughts
arise due to residual impressions (Vasanas), one should restrain
the mind from flowing that way, endeavour to retain it in the Self-
state, and make it indifferent to empirical matters.  One should not
give room in the mind for such thoughts as : "Is this good? Or
is that good? Can this be done? Or, can that be done?"  One
should be vigilant even before such thoughts arise and make the
mind stay in its native state.  If any little room is given such a
disturbed mind will do harm to us while posing as our friend.  Like
the foe appearing to be a friend, it will topple us down.  Is it        not because one forgets one's Self, that such thoughts arise, and cause more and more evil?

#

While it is true, that to think through discrimination, 'I do not do
anything', 'all actions are performed by the instruments', is a means
to prevent the mind from flowing along thought-vasanas, does it
not follow that only if the mind flows along thought-vasanas that
it must be restrained through discrimination as stated before?

#

Can the mind that remains in the Self-state think as 'I' and as 'I
behave empirically thus and thus'?  In all manner of ways possible,
one should ENDEAVOUR gradually not to forget one's true Self
that is God.  If that is accomplished, all will be accomplished.
The mind should not be directed to any other matter.  Even though
one may perform, like a mad person, the actions are all the result
of Prarabdha Karma, one should retain the mind in the Self-state
without letting the thought 'I do' arise.  Have not countless bhaktas performed their numerous empirical functions with an attitude of
indifference?

Arunachala Siva.   
 

Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47071
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2010, 12:51:40 PM »
Again Bhagavan Ramana answers this point in Upadesa Manjari,
as told to Natananda.  In Chapter II - on Abhyasa, He says like this:

Natananda:  Is the state of 'being still' a state involving effort or
effortless?

Bhagavan:  It is not an effortless state of indolence.  All mundane
activities which are ordinarily called effort, are performed with the
aid of a portion of the mind and with frequent breaks.  But the act
of communion withthe Self (Atma Vyavahara) or remaining still
inwardly is an intense activity which is performed with the entire
mind and without break.

Maya (delusion or ignorance) which cannot be destroyed by any other act,is completely destroyed by this intense actiivity which is called
Silence (Mauna).

Arunachala Siva.   

amiatall

  • Guest
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2010, 07:45:28 PM »
Lets remember the Garlands (I can't help posting it... it is beautiful.):

I shall assert with certainty,
that when the mind as thoughts has ceased to function,
it remains as a temple of Awareness-Bliss,
hidden till then behind the veil of time.

True natural Awareness, which does not go after alien objects, is the Heart.
Since actionless Awareness shines as real Being,
its joy consists in concentration on itself.

The method of Self-inquiry is:
to turn the outward-going mind back to its source,
the Heart, the Self-Awareness, and fix it forever there,
preventing the rising of the empty “I”.

!!!Even in this worldly life,
one’s labors bear no fruit without abundant faith.
Hence, till one merges in the boundless supreme bliss,
one’s spiritual practice should never slacken. !!!

None can confront and overcome the mind.
Ignore it, then, as something false and unreal.
Know the Self-Awareness as the real ground and stand firm rooted in it.
Then the mind’s movements will gradually subside.

The ego image moves reflected in the mind’s waves.
How to stop this movement, how to regain the state of stillness?
Don’t observe these movements, seek the Self instead.
It is wisdom to gain and abide in silence.

The one true light there is, is pure Awareness.
Other kinds of knowledge clinging to it, and claiming to be real,
are ego-born conceptual clouds.
To trust them is sheer foolishness.

What if one knows, the subtle secret, of manifold inscrutable mysteries?
Until one knows the Awareness which reveals all other knowledge,
does one know the Truth?





Subramanian.R

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47071
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2010, 02:10:12 PM »
Dear amiatall,

Very true.  Sri Sankara says:  "O Siva, you are a hunter of animals.
Why don't you keep this monkey of mind, at your feet?  I shall
be free from its nuisances and be one with you."  (Sri Sivananda
Lahari.)

Arunachala Siva.

Japo

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2010, 07:54:11 PM »
Hello again. I read a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj in which he advices a seeker to think about his teachings. So can thinking actually help in the path to Self-Realization? Didn't Sri Bhagavan say that all thinking comes from the ego??

Sadhak

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2010, 08:50:36 PM »
Dear Japo and friends,

Yes thinking helps the beginner. How can one meditate or perform japa without thinking? How is any vichara possible? In the same vein I can understand where Maharaj is coming from. He seems to indicate vichara.

If we are going to look at the teachings of jnanis, we need to study them in some detail like we read Bhagawan. As for Krishnamurti, he used the word 'work at it' instead of the word effort. It involves intense vichara. Some people erroneously concluded that he was saying liberation is possible by doing nothing (like the apple falling on newton's head while he was asleep!). And some have become gurus teaching people how to do nothing by effortless meditation!  Krishnamurti himself said, 'the word is not the thing'. Using the Zen analogy, teachings of jnanis are like fingers pointing to the moon. Look at the moon, don't quarrel over the fingers.

Sadhak

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
    • View Profile
Re: Question about self-enquiry
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2010, 12:02:33 AM »
Quote
what is there to do, or to think, or to feel
what is there to realize
who is there to realize
there is only one conciousness


So say deluded minds also.    ;D