Author Topic: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough  (Read 756653 times)

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #525 on: February 09, 2011, 09:03:47 AM »
Dear Devotees and Seekers,

Sri Bhagwan's Statement quoted in my last post has been taken from Maharshi's Gospel. This Statement has been quoted in the Guru Vachaka Kovai on page 318, just below the Verse 730. Just below this Statement, Sri Bhagwan's own Composition No.13 has been interpolated.

" As Iswara exists as the Self, meditation on the Self is devotion to the Supreme Lord. "

                                   Sri Bhagwan, Verse. 13, Guru Vachaka Kovai

Thank You,
    Anil     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #526 on: February 09, 2011, 09:33:48 AM »



Dear Anil,

Love towards God or Bhakti evolves as Surrender.

Sri Bhagavan has said about surrender in many conversations He
had with devotees.

Q:  What is the drift of the mind after surrender?

Sri B: Is the surrendered mind raising the question?

Q: By constantly desiring to surrender, I hope that increasing grace
is experienced.

Sri B: Surrender once for all and be done with desire. So long as
the sense of doership is retained there is the desire.  That is also
personality.  If this goes, the Self is said to shine forth pure.  The sense of doership is the bondage and not the actions themselves.

"Be still and know that I am God."  Here stillness, is total surrender without a vestige of individuality.  Stillness will prevail and there
will be no agitation of mind.  Agitation of mind is the cause of desire, the sense of doership and personality.  If that is stopped,
there is quiet.  There 'knowing' means 'being'.  It is not the relative knowledge involving the triads, knowledge, knowing and known.

Q: Is the thought 'I am God' or 'I am the Supreme Being' helpful?

Sri B:  "I am that I am". " I am" is God, not thinking 'I am God'.
Realize "I am" and do not think 'I am'.  'Know I am God', it is said and not 'Think I am God'.

All talk of surrender is like pinching a bit of jaggery from a jaggery image of Lord Ganesa, and offering it as Naivdya to the same Lord Ganesa.  You say you offer your body, soul and all possessions to God.  Were they yours that you could offer them?  At best, you can only say, 'I falsely imagined till now that all these which are
yours as mine.  Now I realize that they are yours.  I shall no more act as if they are mine.'.  This knowledge that there is nothing but God or Self, that I and mine don't exist and that only the Self exists, is Jnana.  Thus there is no difference between Bhakti and Jnana.  Bhakti is Jnana mata or the mother of Jnana. 



Arunachala Siva.

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #527 on: February 09, 2011, 03:41:42 PM »
Dear Sri Subramanian Sir,


“Swaswarupanusandhanam bhaktirityabhidhiyate.”
( Reflection on one’s Self is called bhakti.)
                               Vivek Chudamani

Sri Bhagwan has revealed that the Self of the Advaitins is the God of the Bhaktas.

Ji. Yes. ‘All talk of surrender is like pinching a bit of jaggery from a jaggery image of the Lord.’ Nothing whatsoever is mine. Body, soul and all possessions are His only.

Sri Bhagwan : To say that one is apart from the Primal Source is itself a pretension; to add that one divested of the ego becomes pure and yet retains individuality only to enjoy or serve the Supreme is a deceitful stratagem. What duplicity is this – first to appropriate what is really His, and then pretend to experience or serve Him ! Is not all this already known to Him ?
                                            Talks, no. 208

Yes. Knowledge means Being. Or, the other way round, ‘ Being is Knowledge.’
Therefore, Be-ing and Knowledge are one and the same.

Ji. Yes. ‘ Stillness is total surrender without a vestige of individuality.’

Sri Bhagwan says that eternal, unbroken, natural state is Jnana. Does it not imply love of Self, is it not bhakti ?

Thank you so much for a very nice and inspiring post.

Regards,
  Anil

       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #528 on: February 09, 2011, 05:05:40 PM »



Dear Anil,

Sri Bhagavan's philosophical pronouncements are very similar to those upheld by the followers of Advaita Vedanta.  But one should
remember Sri Bhagavan and Advaitins agree on most theoretical
matters, but their attitudes to practice are radically different.

1. While Sri Bhagavan advocated self-inquiry, most advaitic teachers, recommended a system of meditation, which mentally affirmed that the Self is the only Reality.  These affirmations such as 'I am Brahman' or 'I am He', are usually used as mantra, or more rarely, one meditates on their meaning and tries to experience the implications of the statement.  Because self inquiry often starts with the question 'Who am I?', many of the traditional followers of advaita assumed that he answer to the question is "I am Brahman", and they occupied their minds with repetitions of this mental solution.  Sri Bhagavan criticized this approach by saying the mind is constantly engaged in finding or repeating  solutions to the question, it would never sink into its Source and disappear.   He was equally critical, for the same reason, of those who tried to use 'Who am I?' as a mantra, saying that both approaches missed the point of self inquiry.  The question Who am I? is not an invitation to anlayze the mindand to come to conclusions about its nature, nor is it a mantra or formula, it is simply a tool which facilitates redirecting the attention from the objects of thought and perception to the thinker or perceiver of them.

2. Another widespread misunderstanding arose from the Hindu belief that the Self could be discovered by mentally rejecting all the objects of thought and perception as non-Self.  Traditionally this is called the neti-neti approach [not this, not this].  The practitioner of this system verbally rejects all the objects that the 'I' identifies with - I am not the mind, I am not the body, etc., - in the expectation that the real 'I' will eventually be experienced in the pure uncontaminated form.   However, Sri Bhagavan's attitude to this traditional system was wholly negative and He discouraged His own followers from practicing it by telling that it is an intellectual activity which could not take them beyond the mind.  He answered them by saying that this not-I system will never eliminate itself.
Thus neti neti can be practiced only for sometime and thereafter one should stick to the I thought and find its Source.

3. Again regarding Heart-Centre, He said that it is again only for beginners, who persist in identifying with their bodies.  He said that the Heart is not located anywhere in the body and that from the highest standpoint it is equally true that that the I-thought
arises and subsides into this center.  When He said - Find the source of the mind - what He meant was not concentrate on any center in the body and but the Heart as It is.  Heart is everywhere, eternal and it is Pure Space.



Arunachala Siva.   

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #529 on: February 10, 2011, 08:22:20 AM »
Dear Sri Subramanian Sir,

The philosophical aspect of Sri Bhagwan’s Teaching is, no doubt, almost the same as the Advaita philosophy. As I understand, the Self-enquiry is the ancient Vedantic sadhana. However, Atma Vichara as taught by Sri Bhagwan is a new path evolved to suit the needs of the ‘modern man’ in the present era of rampant materialism. The greatness of Sri Bhagwan’s Teaching, in my view, lies in that it at once shifted the focus, the attention of the perceiver or the thinker on to himself from the objective world. “ Who Am I ? “ enquiry is not a mantra to be chanted or even to be mentally repeated but simply a tool to turn the attention of the seekers to his subjective consciousness and seek with one-pointed mind its Source. Thus, The Atma Vichara as taught by Sri Bhagwan is radically different from the traditional forms of sadhana adopted by Advaitins.

Sri Bhagwan : “ When the Reality is mentioned why do you continue to meditate Sivohan or Aham Brahmasmi ? The significance must be traced and understood. It is not enough to repeat the bare words or think of them. “ ( Talk-146 )

Sri Bhagwan : “ The other methods are meant only for those who cannot take to the investigation of the Self. Even to repeat Aham Brahmasmi or think of it, a doer is necessary. Who is it ? It is ‘I’. Be that ‘I’. It is the direct method. The other methods also will ultimately lead everyone to this method of the investigation of the Self.” ( Talk- 266 )

“ The other methods also will ultimately lead everyone to the investigation of the Self. “ It is obvious that Atma Vichara as revealed by Sri Bhagwan is a ‘New Path’ which being a fusion of Jnana and Bhakti, heralds a new ‘dawn’ for the seekers and devotees from all over the world transcending all false physical and mental barriers.

Heart is not physical. The Heart is the Centre from which everything springs. Sri Bhagwan says that because we see the body, the world and so on, it is said that there is a Centre for these which is called the Heart and a physical location is given for It.
Heart is the Self. It is not within and without.

Thank you so much sir.

Regards,
  Anil       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #530 on: February 10, 2011, 09:36:33 AM »



Dear Anil,

Traditional Advaita Vedanta [see Viveka Choodamani] says that one
should go to a competent guru and listen to him [sravanam], remember his teachings [mananam] and contemplate on them
[nididhyasanam] and then attain Brahma Jnana in Samadhi.

Sri Bhagavan however said that a Guru is always not externally necessary. One's Atma is one's own Guru.  Of course, He said that
there could be both external guru and internal guru  in some cases.
In such cases, the Atma is puling the mind back into the Self and the external guru is pushing the mind from outside into the Self.

Similarly He said that there can be anthra-sravana, anthra-manana,
anthra nididhyasana, i.e internal hearing, remembering and contemplating. 

Sri Bhagavan said that about renunciation, that internal renunciation is most important and not external renunciation,
like leaving the wife and children and going into forests with an
ochre robe.  One can still remain in house and attain Brahma
Jnana.

Regarding suffering and morality, He said that if one could overcome the ego, there is no suffering either to him or to others
and there are no morals, because morals are based on the mental imaginations.



Arunachala Siva.   

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #531 on: February 10, 2011, 01:58:15 PM »
Dear Sri Subramanian Sir,

Ji.Yes. Traditional Advaita Vedanta teaches hearing ( Sravanam ), reflection or contemplation ( mananam ), one-pointedness  (nididhyasanam ). Sri Bhagwan says that if all these are accomplished, Samadhi results. However, Sri Bhagwan says that sravana (hearing) from the Master, manana (reflection) etc. are aids.

Sri Bhagwan :

a.   To remove ignorance completely, he has to hear the truth repeatedly, until his knowledge of the subject-matter becomes perfect.
b.   To remove doubts, he must reflect on what he has heard; ultimately his knowledge will be free from doubts of any kind.
c.   To remove the wrong identity of the Self with the non-Self ( such as the body, the senses, the mind or the intellect ) his mind must become one-pointed.
                                                         Talk-249
In Talk no. 289, Sri Bhagwan says:
“ This truth mentioned is in the stage of the hearing of the Truth ( sravana ). That is not drdha ( firm). For making it unshaken, one has to practice reflection ( manana ) and one-pointedness ( nididhyasana ). These two processes scorch the seeds of vasanas so that they are rendered ineffective. “

From the above statements of Sri Bhagwan, it follows that sravana, manana and nididhyasana can be aids even in Vichara and can be considered preparatory to it. But it is true that Sri Bhagwan first advised everyone who approached him to practice Vichara straight away. Only when a devotee expressed his inability to pursue Self-enquiry or expressed his liking for any other practice that He established him by His Sacred Utterances on that very path of his choice.   

Sri Bhagwan has revealed that Guru, Self, and God are One. Therefore, the Self is the Inner Guru pulling from inside. So, if one is internalized, the Self as the Inner Guru pulls him from inside to the Centre. However, if one is not able to look within, an External Guru is necessary to push and internalize him from outside.

Dear sir, you have mentioned about ‘anthra-sravana’ ( internal hearing ), ‘anthra- manana’ ( internal manana ), and ‘anthra- nididhyasana’ ( internal contemplation or one-pointedness ). Will you kindly elaborate them further ?                                                                                                                                           

Thank you so much sir.

Regards’
  Anil     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #532 on: February 10, 2011, 02:50:13 PM »


Dear Anil,

Sri Bhagavan says in Talks No. 57:-

Some people think that there are different stages in Jnana.  The
Self is nitya paroksha i.e. ever realized, knowingly or unknowingly.
Sravana, they argue , should therefore be aparoksha jnana [directly
experienced.], and not paroksha janana [indirect knowledge]. 
But Jnana should result in duhkha nivritti [loss of misery], whereas
Sravana alone does not bring it about.  Therefore they say, though aparoksha, it is not unshaken; the rising of the vasanas is the cause of being being weak and not unchanging.  When vasanas
are removed, Jnana becomes unshaken and bears fruit.

Others say sravana is only paroksha jnana [indirect knowledge].
By manana [reflection], it becomes aparoksha spasmodically.  The obstruction to its continuity is the vasanas.  They rise up with reinforced vigor after manana.  They must be held in check.  Such vigilance consists in remembering - I am not the body - and adhering to the aparoksha anubhava [direct experience], which has
been had in course of manana [reflection].  Such practice is called nididhyasana and eradicates the vasanas.  Then dawns the Sahaja state.  This is Jnana, sure.

The point is further clarified in Talks No. 95:

.......Hearing the Truth [sravana] is of two kinds.  The ordinary one is to hear it enunciated and explained by a master.  However the right one is to raise the question for oneself [anthra sravana] and seek find the answer in oneself and find the answer as the unbroken "I-I".   To be reflecting on this experience [anthra manana] is the second stage.  To remain one pointed in it [anthra nididhyasana] is the third stage. 

*

Everything happens internally - anthra, within seeker's own self.                 



Arunachala Siva.

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #533 on: February 11, 2011, 08:48:25 AM »
Dear Sri Subramanian Sir,

When devotees narrated their experiences to Sri Bhagawan, Sri Bhagwan clarified that Jnana or the Pure Knowledge is the basis of everything that is, and is present in each and every experience as the ‘sruti note’. Jnana is ONE Integral Whole and admits of no division, no stage and no part whatsoever. However, Sri Bhagwan has said that there may be stages in one’s experience of Knowledge.

Ji. Yes. All happenings are internal, within oneself only. Therefore, internal hearing, reflection and one-pointedness are certainly more efficacious. Sri Bhagwan’s Sacred Utterances are the Supreme Words of Wisdom, over and above all the sastras or the scriptures put together. Sri Bhagwan has said that sravana, manana etc. are aids. Sri Bhagwan taught His loving and adoring devotees two methods i.e. either enquire or surrender. Sri Bhagwan has also clarified that Atma Vichara and Bhakti are one and the same  and the difference is only in words. Hence, we, at no cost whatever, can swerve away from the Vichara, the Royal Straight Marga, as taught by Him, to lanes and by-lanes.

Thank you so much sir.

Regards,
  Anil       

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #534 on: February 11, 2011, 08:50:21 AM »
What is bhakti ?

Sri Bhagwan :

“ To think of God. That means: only one thought prevails to the exclusion of all other thoughts. That thought is of God which is the Self or it is the Self surrendered unto God. When He has taken you up nothing will assail you. The absence of thoughts is bhakti. It is also mukti.

The jnana method is said to be vichara (enquiry). That is nothing but ‘supreme devotion’ (parabhakti). The difference is in words only.”

“ Jnana is said to be ‘ekabhakti’ ( single-minded devotion ).”

                                                   Talks, no. 650

The above statement of Sri Bhagwan settles it and leaves no room for doubt that it is futile to dispute that Jnana and Bhakti are two independent paths. To me, it looks that Jnana and Bhakti, as we understand them, are mutually complementary. I also feel that as a sadhak or a seeker, it is wisdom not to distinguish the one from the other. Love the Self and seek It frantically as if it is the question of life and death, like a drowning man frantically trying to come to the surface.

Thank you,
    Anil     

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #535 on: February 11, 2011, 08:52:32 AM »
Meditation is only mental imagination of conceiving oneself to be supreme reality that shines as sat-chit-ananda. Enquiry is to establish the mind in the Self such that the seed of false delusion (mind) perishes.
                                                         Verse-738, GVK edited by Sri David Godman

How can one’s source, which can be experienced only after the ego-self has been completely annihilated, be thought of, via the ego, as ‘I am That’ ? To remain silent in one’s ‘I’ (the Self), with the ego destroyed, is the proper 9course).
                                                           
                                                           Verse- 740, GVK edited by Sri David Godman

So, meditation on Mahavakya such as ‘I am That’ is only mental imagination of conceiving himself to be That. Supreme need is to annihilate the ego-mind. The great poet asks how can the Self be experienced employing that which is to be annihilated, via the same ego ? Is it not akin to asking the thief who parades as the policeman to catch the same thief ? One has to go beyond, transcend, the pretension of the ego-mind.

Thank you,
    Anil
   

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #536 on: February 11, 2011, 09:38:28 AM »



Dear Anil,

While Sri Bhagavan's direct method is Self Inquiry,  His insistence
on the Subjective Awareness of 'I' as the only means of reaching the
Self colored His attitude towards the practice of devotion [bhakti] and worship which are usually associated with surrender to God.   He never discouraged His devotees from following such practices, but He pointed out that any relationship with God [devotee, worshipper, servant etc.,] was an illusory once since God alone exists.  True devotion, therefore, He said, is to remain as one really is, in the state of being in which all ideas about relationships with God ceased to exist.       

Sri Bhagavan Himself admitted that spontaneous and complete
surrender of the 'I' by self inquiry/self surrender was an impossible
goal for many people and so He sometimes advised His followers to undertake preliminary exercises which would cultivate their devotion and control their minds.

Most of these practices involved devotion of or meditating on God or the Guru either by constantly repeating his name[japa] or by
visualizing his form, [dhyana].  He told  His devotees that if this was done regularly with love and devotion, then the mind would become effortlessly absorbed in the object of meditation.  Once this has been achieved complete surrender becomes easier.  The constant awareness of God prevents the mind from identifying with other objects and enhances the conviction that God alone exists.
It also produces a reciprocal flow of power or grace from the Self which weakens the hold of the 'I'-thought and destroys the vasanas which perpetuate and reinforce its existence.    Eventually, the
'I'-thought is reduced to manageable proportions and with a little self-attention it can be made to sink temporarily in the Heart.

When all the outgoing tendencies of the mind have been dissolved in the repeated experiences of being, the Self destroys the vestigial 'I'-thought so completely that it never rises again.  This final destruction takes place only if the self surrender has been completely motiveless.  If it is done with a desire for grace or the Self-realization, it can never be more than a partial surrender, a business transaction in which the 'I'-thought makes an effort in the expectation of receiving a reward.

[David Godman]



Arunachala Siva.
           

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #537 on: February 11, 2011, 03:03:52 PM »
Dear Sri Subramanian Sir,

You have mentioned in your post that Sri Bhagwan’s insistence on the subjective awareness of ‘I’ as the only means of reaching the Self colored His attitude towards the practice of devotion (bhakti) and worship which are usually associated with surrender to God. But I feel that since Sri Bhagwan was Lord Sri Arunachala Incarnate, nothing could have colored or influenced His Spiritual Utterances. On the contrary, I feel that He re-enunciated the Path of Bhakti ( Devotion) in the ‘Light of Supreme Reality’, rearranged its philosophical contents and took it to a new level. Moreover, by His Supreme and Sublime Love for Sri Arunachala, He Himself demonstrated what ‘ekabhakti’ ( single-minded devotion ) is.

Only God is. He alone exists. In Reality, there is no devotee, no servant and no worshipper as you mentioned. Therefore, any relationship with God either as a devotee, or a servant, or a worshipper, is illusory and unreal and is based on an element of ignorance. So, Sri Bhagwan could not have guided or advised His devotees to nurture a relationship with God which assumed jivas and God as two separate entities. Instead, He asked His devotees to remain in the state of being in which all ideas about relationship with God ceased to exist. He said that this is ‘parabhakti’ ( Supreme Devotion ).

Dear sir, complete surrender, all at once, either by enquiry or by self-surrender, is possible for only a few advanced seekers who have already burnt their predisposition by efforts, either in previous or this birth.

I feel that as preliminary or preparatory practices, Sri Bhagwan seems to have preferred chanting the Sacred Names or meditating on the Form of God or the Guru.

Ji. Yes. So long as the ‘I’-thought or the ego makes efforts in the expectation of a reward, even if it is for Self-Realization, it is a hindrance in Realization. Expectation itself is due to lingering duality. Sri Bhagwan says, “ OUR GLORY LIES WHERE WE CEASE TO EXIST.”

Thank you so much sir.

Regards,
  Anil       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #538 on: February 11, 2011, 03:55:09 PM »



Dear Anil,

Sri Bhagavan also permitted partial surrender.  If partial surrender
is sustained unremittingly, it will evolve into total surrender and self
surrender.



Arunachala Siva.

eranilkumarsinha

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Re: Self-enquiry as taught by Sri Bhagwan is enough
« Reply #539 on: February 12, 2011, 08:04:41 AM »
Dear Sri Subramanian Sir,

Sri Bhagwan has said that complete surrender in the beginning is impossible but partial surrender is possible for all. With perseverance, the partial surrender is evolved into complete surrender. You have also mentioned that partial surrender, if persisted, is evolved into complete surrender. What is partial surrender ? How should it be practiced or observed ? How should one who has surrendered partially conduct himself in the world ? There is a question regarding complete surrender also. How the saying, “ Advaita is not to be applied to the Guru even if it is applied to the whole world “ is to be  reconciled with the complete surrender?

Dear sir, Sri Bhagwan , in certain cases, has even allowed pranayama as an aid. But the pranayama He has recommended is the ‘pranayama of jnana’ as opposed to ‘pranayama of yoga’. In ‘pranayama of jnana’, ‘rechaka’is ‘naham’, ‘puraka’ is ‘koham’, and ‘kumbhaka’ is ‘soham’. But He seems to have preferred ‘watching the breath’ rather than achieving breath control by pranayama violently.

Thank you so much sir.

Regards,
  Anil