Author Topic: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:  (Read 35902 times)

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #135 on: May 06, 2013, 11:15:58 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

11.  'What is the difference between meditation and distraction?"

      Bhagavan:  'When there are thoughts it is distraction.  When thoughts are absent it is meditation.  However,
      meditation is only practice as distinguished from the real state of peace.'

Notes:  The last sentence means that although in meditation is expected to be free of thoughts, it is not Realization
itself, which is the state of Peace, but still the stage of practice for Realization.  Meditation means attempts to gain
freedom from thoughts, and distraction is the inability to gain that freedom.  Thinking, of whatever nature and quality,
is therefore distraction, ignorance and the cause of suffering.  But to imagine that in the advanced meditation there is
not peace is wrong, because as thoughts relax their pressure on mind, disturbance proportionately decreases, which is
what experienced as peace, repose, mental ease, and comfort, a foretaste of the peace absolute of the Self which will
follow.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2013, 11:15:17 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

12.  'For whom is the blank?  Find out.  You cannot deny yourself at any time.  The Self is ever there and continues in
all states."

                                                                                -   Talk No. 13.

Notes:  This is an answer to an inquirer who either sees blank in mediation or goes to sleep.  It is the constant complaint
of beginners that when thoughts stop the substratum or the Self is not perceived.  One has not yet become firmly established
in the practice to be sensitive enough to intuit the substratum of thought.  To seek a blank is to think a blank, which is again,
a thought.  Thus the free mind has not yet been attained.  Instead of having an active thought one has then a passive one,
which is still a thought.  I call it a passive thought because it is not of a well defined conception, or sensuous perception,  --
of a sound, or smell or taste,  -- but a thought nevertheless, of which the mediator is well aware, otherwise he would not
speak of it.  At this point an occasion arises for a mildly increased alertness, which may have a successful result.  It is this:
the perception of the blank is obvious then, but there stands, as if in background, though in fact right in the center of, or
all about experience, the seer of the blank.  If this remembered at that moment and the attention switches off from blank on
to this seer -- oneself -- not the body of the seer, but the consciousness that sees the blank one stands a great chance of
perceiving It or at least beginning to apprehend Its nature.  By constant repetition direct perception  of It is bound to result.
This is Self Knowledge.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #137 on: May 09, 2013, 11:14:05 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

13. "The mind must be introverted (in dhyana) and kept active in its pursuit.  Sometimes it happens when the eyes are closed,
latent thoughts rush forth with great vigor.  It may also be difficult to introvert the mind with the eyes open.  It requires strength
of mind to do so.  The mind is contaminated when it takes in objects.  Otherwise it is pure."

                                                          -  Talk No. 61.

NOTES:  Should the eyes be open or closed in meditation?  This text gives the answer, which means 'either way'.  Generally
the eyes are kept closed to prevent ocular experiences which are far more disturbing than those of other sensory organs.
The important thing to remember is that the mind should be kept preoccupied with the meditation, and never be allowed to
either sluggish or to stray at will without restraint.  It has to be tied to the focal point of the meditation.  Yet stray it will, it
must, which should not worry the meditator, who has simply be alert enough to be aware of this straying and to bridle it
back immediately, giving it no scope to go out of his control.  This last happens when the meditator gets involved in a subject
in which he is now, or was once, interested, so that he entirely forgets himself and the work on which he is now engaged. 
Memory is to blame for it. It should be carefully watched and firmly restrained.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #138 on: May 10, 2013, 01:49:47 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

14. 'Sphurana is felt on several occasions, such as in fear, excitement, etc.,  Although it is always and all over, yet it is
felt at a particular center and on  particular occasions.  It is also associated with antecedent causes and confounded
with the body.  Whereas it is also alone and pure;  it is the Self. If the mind is fixed on the Sphurana and one senses
it continually and automatically, it is Realization.'
                                                                                                        -  Talk No. 62.

Notes:   This is a fascinating subject like the sensation of the Sphurana itself. Obviously the questioner has an experience
of it to impel him to seek elucidation about it.  There are those who look askance at it;  they are of course mistaken. 
Sphurana is defined (not here) as a 'kind of indescribable but palpable sensation in the Heart center.', which Bhagavan
tells us 'is felt on several occasions' and 'all over'.  Those who first sense it in meditation become thrilled by it and if they
happen to have read or known nothing about it, they get puzzled at what it all means. Bhagavan clarifies the position.     


The apparent discrepancy in its location as 'all over' and the 'Heart center' is, apart from the unpredictable psychological
occasions mentioned in the text, due to the degree of firmness in it, or proximity to the Self at the moment.  In the beginning
when the Heart has not yet revealed itself, it is felt 'all over', as it is always is, particularly on the right side of the body.

But with constant practice its diffusion gradually diminishes and fixes itself in the Heart, nay, it becomes the Heart Itself.
The diffusion  of consciousness 'all over' is the consciousness in 'solution' in text 7, in this chapter.  Between the first sensing
of the Sphurana and the discovery of the Heart, which is the Self proper --- the consciousness 'in lump'  -- there is only a short
lag of time, so that those who are so fortunate to begin to feel it, take the heart at the imminence of the Supreme Experience.
Thereafter, it continues to be felt -- it is then mukti itself,  Sri Bhagavan says,  which He confirms in the next text.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #139 on: May 11, 2013, 11:11:03 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

15. Again, Sphurana is the foretaste of Realization.  It is pure.
 
                                 - Talk No. 62.

Notes:  This is encouraging to the followers of the path of Vichara to know that the Supreme Consciousness sends its
harbinger to welcome them a good time in advance -- a harbinger which in the end turns to be the Host Himself,
the Supreme Lord of the House, nay Host, Guest, and Home, all in one.  (see also text 32).

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #140 on: May 12, 2013, 01:35:23 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

16.  'I have faith in murti dhyana (worship of form).  Will this help me to gain Jnana?'

        Bhagavan:  'Surely it will.  Upasana helps concentration of mind.  Then the mind is free from other thoughts and
        us full of meditated form.  The mind becomes it -- and thus quite pure.  Then think who is the worshipper.  The
        answer is 'I'-the Self.  So the Self is gained ultimately.'

                                               -  Talk No. 63.

Note: So long as the mind is amenable to control, the means of doing is immaterial.  Once the mental diffusion is restrained
the worship of form (upasana) will automatically change over to Vichara, that is, investigation into the identity of the worshipper
himself.  This is unavoidable,  for reason of the fact, that however dear the worshiped form may be, it cannot be dearer than
one's own Self, and secondly it is changeable, whereas the subject, the worshipper himself, is changeless, as the witness of all
change and all objects.  Complete satisfaction is never obtained till the knowledge of oneself as the changeless and absolute
conscious existence takes place, which will compel the Vichara by a natural necessity. 

It is granted that the worshipped form is Sattvic - ideally pure -- to be capable of inducing alike the purity in the worshipper's
mind.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #141 on: May 13, 2013, 11:37:53 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

17.  'All are agreed that the Jiva is.  Let us find out the Jiva first.  Then there will be time to find out if it should merge in
the Supreme, is a part thereof, or remains different from it.  Let us not forestall the conclusion.  Keep an open mind, dive
within and find out the Self.  The truth will itself dawn on you.  Why should you determine beforehand if the finality is unity
or duality, absolute or qualified?' 

                                        -  Talk No. 63.

NOTE:  The context is the relation of Monism to Dualism  -- whether they interchange, whether one should begin with duality
and end with unity, etc.,  Sri Bhagavan argues that all that is unnecessary to know beforehand.  All schools, whether dualistic,
monistic,  or qualified monistic, agree that the basis of their creeds is the Jiva, whose existence all admit.  Since the Jiva is
undeniable, one should start with it which is what our monistic school does in its inquiry about the nature of the seeker's own
self.  The rest will of its own accord unfold itself till the end, when one will be in a position to judge for oneself which of the
three schools is right.  At the present stage, the question should be allowed to hang fire, for it is not capable of solution.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #142 on: May 14, 2013, 11:18:42 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

18.  "What if one meditates incessantly without karma (without any action)?" 

Bhagavan repllied:  'Try and see.  The vasanas will not let you.  Dhyana comes only step by step with the gradual weakening
of the vasanas by the Grace of the Master.'

                                                                      - Talk  80.

Note:  By vasanas is meant the habits of mind , which ceaselessly prop up as thoughts, like the ceaseless waves of the
ocean.  Memory is the storehouse of the vasanas and thus the worst enemy of a quiescent mind.

By action we are not able to understand manual work alone, but also thinking.  Action results only from thinking.  It is its
manifestation in the phenomenal world, the execution of its commands.  Thus in the last analysis work proves to be nothing
but vasanas.  The control of vasanas can be achieved by a slow process, through constant practice, helped by the presence
of the Master, which gradually files away the dirt of the mind and strengthens it. Guru Sanga is the greatest of all blessings
if accompanied by determined efforts.

Studying the tricks of memory is a very helpful practice, which will result in keeping one one one's guard, against its insidious
pressure, on the whole course of sadhana.  Retrospection, excepting as it has a direct bearing on the Vichara, is always a drawback
in this practice, for there is generally nothing uplifting in the experiences of a less mature age. More often than not it rouses
sorrowful memories, regrets and passion, which have to thrown into limbo, rather than be resuscitated in a mind which is looking                 
upwards, towards the light that never dims.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #143 on: May 15, 2013, 01:46:08 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

19.  "He who instructs an ardent devotee to do this or that (work) is not a true master.  The seeker is already afflicted by
his activities and wants peace and rest.  He wants cessation of his activities.  Instead he is told to do something in addition
to, or in place of, his other activities."

       "Activity is creation; activity is the destruction of one's inherent happiness.  If it is advocated , the adviser is not a master,
but a killer.  Either the Creator (Brahma) or Death (Yama) may be said to have come in the guise of such a master.  He cannot
liberate the aspirant but strengthen his fetters."

                                                                                          -  Talk No.  601.

Note:  No one can deny that Sri Bhagavan is very firm in decrying work by the aspirant, because of the reports he receives
from some of the meditating disciples, who have been asked to work as service to Him, the Guru.  Sri Bhagavan places meditation
on the highest level, as the noblest of work.  He discourages burdening ardent sadhakas, who stand in need of mental
quiescence, with extraneous work, in the name of service to the master.  Work is worldly and needs a certain amount of attention,
if it is to be well done, which can only take the aspirant's mind in a direction opposite to that of the sadhana.  Ashrams have,
no doubt, to run by devotees as honorary workers, but these must be selected from non meditating or less ardent residents.
Some such institutions go so far as to admit no non workers on their premises, for all must work, they insist, to promote the ideals
of their peculiar brand of Truth,  To Sri Bhagavan 'this adviser is not a master but a killer'.  One almost hears the voice of Vyasa
in the Bhagavata Purana condemning action for the devotee in four long chapters (10/13 Book XI). Sri Sankara adds his quota
in Verse 3 of Atma Bodham which says that 'action cannot destroy ignorance, for it is not hostile to it.   Knowledge alone can
destroy it, as light destroys darkness.' 

As for worldly action, Bhagavan is emphatic that it destroys happiness, for it is created, supported,m and perpetuated by
ignorance.  It is caused by desire, and ends in bondage, which is misery in essence.  Sri Bhagavan characterizes the preacher
of such action as the embodiment of Yama, the Lord of Death, which is the strongest language He can use against the promoters
of action.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #144 on: May 16, 2013, 11:17:17 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

21.  'Who am I?' is the best japa.  What can be more concrete than the Self?  It is within each one's experience every
moment.  Why should he try to catch (as japa) an outside thing, leaving out the Self?  Let each one try to find out the
known Self, instead of searching for the unknown beyond.'

                                  - Talk No. 81.

Note: This is the answer to the demand of an American visitor for a concrete idea like japa, dhyana etc., to which one
can hold in the search of what he calls the 'Light', rather than being merely told that if thoughts cease the Self alone
remains.  The visitor does not seem to have understood the implication of the Self Inquiry.  In the first instance he does
not identify the Self or 'I' with the 'Light' or Reality which he is  seeking. Sri Bhagavan tells him hat the quest Who am I
is the best japa.  For the whole sadhana consists of nothing but knowing it, which once done, our work is at an end. 
The visitor has not yet learnt the fact that the 'I' is the only intelligence existing in the vast universe, and all else is as dead
as a door nail, incapable of making itself known by its own light.  The light of the 'I' alone can reveal it.  No object or world
can exist by itself apart from this 'I' (of which it is a thought) as its container as well as knower.  The 'I' is the only immanent
element in all our experiences whatever.  We know it most as our own Self, and because we do not perceive it as we perceive
all other things, we are now seeking to know it ABSOLUTELY in all these spiritual practices, through the guidance of the Master,
for it is pure spirit or pure knowledge.  What other japa can be more useful and more concrete than it ---  our 'I'  -- Sri
Bhagavan asks. 

The next few texts will shed more light on Sri Bhagavan's meaning of the quest Who am I?               
     

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #145 on: May 17, 2013, 12:46:44 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

22.  'Please tell how I shall realize the 'I'.  Am  I to make the japa 'Who am I?'

       Bhagavan:  No japa of the kind is meant.

       Visitor:  Am I to think 'Who am I?'

       Bhagavan:  Hold the 'I'-thought and find its moola (source).

                                                                          Talk No.  486.

23.   Inquiry 'Who am I?' means finding the source of 'I'.  When that is found, that which you seek is accomplished.

                                                                           Talk No. 67.

Notes:  The above two texts should leave no doubt in the mind of the practitioner  about Sri Bhagavan's use of the inquiry             
'Who am I?'  It is neither a slogan nor a mantra, but an intense inquiry into one's own nature.  That is why this method is
called Vichara.  Although sometimes He uses the epithet Japa for it,  (as in text 21 above), He does not mean to to be
mechanical incantation, but an actual investigation in the 'I''s real nature, which He further develops in the next text.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #146 on: May 18, 2013, 01:18:22 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

24.  'The One Infinite Unbroken Whole becomes aware of itself as 'I'.  This is its original name.  All other names, e.g., OM etc.,
are later growths.  Liberation means only to remain aware of the Self.  The Mahavakya, 'I am Brahman' is its authority. 
Though the 'I' us always experienced, yet one's attention has to be drawn to it.  Then only knowledge dawns.  Hence is the
need for the teaching of the Upanishads and the Sages,'

                                       -  Talk No. 92.

Notes:  Sri Bhagavan takes us here to the genesis of the 'I', which is the very first self awareness of the Unbroken Whole. It
is the name of the Self gave itself and precedes all other names of the Absolute.  When it is realized, as such, by direct experience,
Liberation is said to have been achieved.  Yoga Vasishta calls this first self awareness by the Absolute as the first stir of thinking in
Brahman, like the first wave of a calm ocean within itself.

There are two ways of being self aware: objectively, and subjectively.  If I stand on one side and the other stand others and
the world - I in opposition to you -- then the 'I' is the objective body.  A part of the world of multiplicity.  But if I am aware of myself
as pure Awareness, it is subjective self awareness, when the world is totally absent.  The former 'I' being objective, is a mere
thought - an 'I'-thought  -- and should be destroyed, like all other thoughts, in order that the 'I' may ceased to be a thought and
may turn upon itself as the one who is aware of the thought, through the help of the Guru or Scriptures.  This is the meaning of
'one's attention has to be drawn to it.'.  In other words, the 'I' will cease to be a thought, and will remain only the Consciousness.
'I AM', which is the Mahavakya to which the text refers.  This is Liberation itself.

By 'its original name' and 'later growths' in the text above, we are not to understand that the 'I' has a beginning and a progress
towards an end.  Such an interpretation goes against absolutism of Advaita, and against all that we have so far studied. It
refers only to the genesis of this dream, which we call the Jiva, and the universe;  the genesis of the 'I' thought, of the 'I'
imagining itself as a part of the world of multiplicity.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #147 on: May 19, 2013, 10:50:23 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi:

25.  'So long as there is a knower, there is knowledge  --- knowledge of all kinds, direct, inferential, intellectual, etc., Let
the knower vanish and they will all simultaneously vanish.  Their validity stands and falls with him.'

                                                                                           - Talk No.  93.

Notes:  The knower comes before his knowledge.  Knowledge of various kinds is nothing but the world's multiplicity.
Thus the world comes after, and depends on, the knower, with whom 'it stands and falls'.  Without the seer there can
be no seen, because the seen is a mere thought of the seer, who is not a thought at all.  For if he were, he would
disappear with his thoughts and there would remain no one to tell the tale.  No one to speak of yesterday or of last year's
events.  Our life consists mainly of memory, of remembered persons, scenes and events, which proves our fixity in a changeable
world.  we are the fixed observation post, as it were, and all things, from birth to death, march past us.  They come and go,
but we, the 'I' remains ever.  Even if the body is cut by operations and diminished by hand , leg or lung, the 'I' remains the
same -- undiminished.


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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #148 on: May 20, 2013, 12:49:21 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

26. 'Experience (of the Reality) is temporary or permanent.  The first experience is temporary and by concentration it can
become permanent.   In the former, the bondage is not completely destroyed.  It remains and asserts itself in due course.
But in the latter, it is destroyed root and branch.'


                                            -Talk No. 95.

Notes:  This is of considerable significance to those who have had an experience of the Self.  In the first instance,  it
distinguishes between the temporary and the permanent experience.  Secondly, it warns them that bondage will remain
round their necks and will cause their rebirth if they will discontinue the practice.  Bondage 'asserts' itself in due course',
if one is not careful to consolidate it into Sahaja.  There must be no room for complacency. 

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #149 on: May 21, 2013, 01:13:20 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

27.  'Seekers are of two classes.  kritopasaka and akritopasaka.  The former has already overcome his predispositions
by steady devotion, so that the mind has become pure.  He has some kind of experience BUT DOES NOT COMPREHEND IT.
As soon as instructed by a competent Master, permanent experience results.  The other class of seekers need great efforts
to achieve this end.'

                                                      - Talk No. 95.

Notes:  I have capitalized 'but does not comprehend it' to draw attention to the great importance of Sahaja in the validation
of the Realization of the Self.  Perfect firmness to the Being, and thus competence to teach it, is achieved only in Sahaja,
so that any knowledge about it before then cannot but be partial, even though the Self is being daily experienced in Samadhi.
Practice and the presence of the Master hasten the maturity of the kritopasaka for Sahaja.

The other class of  seekers, namely, the akritopasaka, the immature worshippers, have to slog their weary way uphill.  They
have to push, pull and heave to gain the stage of the kritopasaka, and then on to the Great Liberation.

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