Author Topic: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:  (Read 38130 times)

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #150 on: May 22, 2013, 10:21:03 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

28.  'Of what nature is the realization of Westerners who report flashes of Cosmic Consciousness?'

The Master answers:  It comes as a flash and disappears likewise in a flash.  That which has a beginning must also end.
Only when the ever-present consciousness is realized will it be permanent. 'Consciousness is indeed always with us.
Everyone knows himself as 'I am'.  No one can deny his own being,'

                                                     - Talk No. 96.

Notes:  The answer to this question is fully given by the question itself. The reality that lasts not longer than a split
second is as good as nothing.  In the previous notes we have observed that even the daily experience of pure consciousness
in nirvikalpa, which lasts much longer than a mere flash, cannot give complete satisfaction and complete apprehension of all
the ins and outs of the reality, but needs  years of incessant practice -- conscious and deliberate -- to be perfected.  That being
the case, what value can be attached to these flashes?  Moreover, who can tell whether they are the genuine stuff or mere
gossamer tricks of the mind?

As for the Cosmic Consciousness itself, is there such consciousness at all in the sense of the Westerners?  Sri Bhagavan
uses this term for Brahman, the Self or Chaitanya (pure consciousness).  But to the Western 'occultist'  it has an altogether
different flavor.  Ours is the creed of the Absolute, wherein neither the individual nor the Cosmos exists, whereas the
Western  religious mystic and clairvoyant are dualists, who find great mysteries in the Cosmos and the individual, and still
greater mysteries in the Cosmic Consciousness.  Students of the Cosmic Consciousness have therefore to distinguish between
the Advaitic meaning of it and that of its Western counterpart.  Probably this distinction has been in the mind of the questioner
to impel him to inquire about 'the nature of the one consciousness is the same for all men without any distinction.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #151 on: May 23, 2013, 11:42:10 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

29.  'Samadhi transcends thought and speech and cannot be described.  As the state of deep sleep cannot be described,
        more so is Samadhi.  You know that you are unconscious in deep sleep.   But  consciousness and unconsciousness are
        only modes of the mind. Samadhi transcends them.  You know Samadhi only when you are in Samadhi.

                                               - Talk 110.

Notes: This is an answer to a request from an American lady to describe Samadhi.  It is obvious that no one can describe
a thing which cannot be even thought of.  Again, descriptions can be made only in terms of sensuous experience  - a
perception, feeling or idea.  But Samadhi is neither an idea nor an object which is cognized in time and space in terms of
shapes, colors, sounds, smells, etc., to be described.  Being the Pure Mind itself, of which the questioner has not the
remotest notion, description of it becomes impossible.  Moreover, 'You know what Samadhi is only when you are in Samadhi',
when all thoughts have vanished and you are aware of nothing but the pure mind or Consciousness -- and not when you are
out of it, at the time, for example,  when the question is made.  Thus the task of describing it becomes doubly difficult.

continued.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #152 on: May 24, 2013, 09:16:05 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

29.  continues...

'You know that you are unconscious in deep sleep,'   does not mean that the knowledge of this unconsciousness or
the unconsciousness itself actually prevails in that state, but that it only appears as such to the person who is in the
waking state. The unconsciousness of Sushupti is not unconsciousness in Sushupti itself.  The man in jagrat judges
things from his own state, which is that of the play of the senses and, therefore,, of objectivity.  When objectivity is
absent, the state appears to him to be one of blank unconsciousness.  Consciousness and unconsciousness mean
nothing else to him but perception and non perception of objects respectively, which is why the text speaks of them as
"only modes of the mind".  When viewed from inside the state of non perception, that is, of Sushupti, in this case, itself,
consciousness is ever present as the man himself, who is at no time nonexistent.  The state of Sushupti is therefore
not one of unconsciousness but of consciousness stripped of objective perceptions.  In other words, Sushupti is the state
of the man himself,  released from the infliction of the body and senses, which disturb his peace in Jagrat.  It is the same
as the state of Samadhi with the difference that in the latter he is aware of himself as this pure consciousness.  The
antahkarana, or the aggregate of psychical functions, including that of cognition, merge completely in this pure consciousness
in Sushupti, whereas in Samadhi they are present but quiescent, inoperative.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #153 on: May 25, 2013, 01:48:39 PM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

30.  'The Heart is formless.  Should we imagine it to have a shape and meditate on it?'
   
         Bhagavan: 'No. Only the quest 'Who am I?' is necessary.  Investigation of 'I' is the point, and not meditation on
         the Heart-Center.  There is nothing like within and without.  Both mean either the same thing or nothing.  Of
         course there is also the practice of meditation on the Heart-Center.  But it is only a practice and not investigation.
         Only the one who meditates on the Heart can remain aware when the mind ceases to be active and remains still.'
 
                                                                  - Talk No. 131.

Notes: It looks as though in the second half of this text, Sri Bhagavan retracts the statement in the first half not to
meditate on the Heart Center.  Actually, He does not.  Both statements are correct in their own contexts.  In the first
instance the question envisages the use of the imagination to give a form to the formless Heart, which is absurd.  After
all the Heart is naught but the Self, which is represented in our understanding by the principle 'I' (Aham).  Would it not
be therefore more logical and simpler to catch hold of this principle and inquire into it, rather than create an artificial image
of it --- the imageless -- and meditate on it?  This completely disposes the question in the form it is put.  (See also texts 9
in Chapter X and 23 in this chapter.).

Now we turn to the positive side of the question, whether the meditation on the Heart is possible.  Sri Bhagavan declares
it to be possible, but not in the form of investigation, as it is done when the 'I' is the subject.  Meditation on the Heart must
be a special meditation, provided the meditator takes the Heart to be pure consciousness and has at least, an intuitive
knowledge of what pure consciousness is.  Only that meditation succeeds which has this intuitive knowledge, and is
conducted with the greatest alertness, so that the moment thoughts cease, the mind perceives itself in its own home  --
the Heart itself.  This is certainly more difficult to do than to investigate into the source of the 'I', because it is a direct
assault on, or rather, direct contact with, the very source itself. It is no doubt the quickest method, but it exacts the
greatest alertness and the most concerned attention, denoting a greater adhikara (maturity).

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #154 on: May 26, 2013, 11:26:51 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

31.  'Jnana once revealed takes time to steady itself.  The Self is certainly within the direct experience of everyone, but
not as one imagines it to be.  It is only as it is. This experience is Samadhi.  Owing to the fluctuations of vasanas, Jnana
takes time to steady itself.  Unsteady Jnana is not enough to check rebirths. Jnana cannot remain unshaken side by side
with vasanas.  True that in the proximity of a great Master, the vasanas will cease to be active, the mind becomes still
and Samadhi results.  Thus the disciple gains true knowledge and right experience in the presence of the Master,  To   
remain unshaken in it further efforts are necessary.  He will know it to be his real Being, and thus be liberated  even
while alive.

                                         - Talk 141.

Notes:  This confirms text 26 in this chapter.  Those who have experienced the Self and puzzle as to why they do not
possess the Supreme Knowledge and Wisdom of Bhagavan are answered here.  Sri Bhagavan asks them to continue
the practice to attain firmness in Jnana and thus absolute perfection.

'Owing to the fluctuation of vasanas, jnana takes time to steady itself,,,,, Jnana cannot remain unshaken side by side
with vasanas...'  The senses are always active in the waking state even with the Jnani, and the habits of perception as
well as the outer peculiar mental habits continue to disturb the clear vision of the Self, if this is still of tender age.  The
birth in the Self resembles the birth in this world of Jagrat, which at first appears to the newborn incoherent and
unintelligible, but gradually the day-to-day experience gives it significance and coherence.  Infancy has to pass on to
youth, then to the adolescence, and finally to full adulthood.  It is the same with birth in the Self.  But this process is
quickened if the Sadhaka remains with the Guru till the end.  This is also a complete answer to those who believe that a
short stay with the Master, suffices for full fledged Jnana.  Note 3 of the last chapter has already stressed the necessity
of a long stay till Mukti is attained.

'The Self is not as one imagines it to be.  It is only as it is.'  This imagination of the Self is common to all.  We imagine   
ourselves having height, breadth, color, smell  - a body, in short, -- whereas in fact we are only 'I am", that is, the knower
of the smell, of the color, of the shape,  -- the principle of knowledge, in effect.   To know ourselves by direct experience
as this principle, pure and simple, is Samadhi.  Protracted practice ripens into an intuitive approximation of the Self,
otherwise, the Self remains but an imaginary conception even for Sadhakas.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #155 on: May 27, 2013, 11:33:08 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

32.  'Heart and Sphurana are the same as the Self.  How can Sphurana be described?  It includes all these (light, movement, etc,)
-- it is the Self.  Fix your attention on it and do not let go the idea of its ultimate character.'

                                                        -  Talk No. 160.

Notes: This is one more affirmation on Sri Bhagavan's part of the identity of the Sphurana with the Self or Heart.  By 'do not
let go the idea of its ultimate character' He seems to advise concentration on the Pure Consciousness, which the meditator
on the Heart has always to keep in mind and to which Sri Bhagavan referred to in text 30 above.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #156 on: May 28, 2013, 11:16:40 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

33.  'Be what you are.  There is nothing to come down or manifest itself.  What is needed is losing the ego.  That which
is, is ever present.  Even now you are It, and not apart from It.  The blank is seen by you.  You are always there.  What
do you wait for?  The expectation to see and the desire to get something are all the working of the ego.  You have fallen
into the snare of the ego, which says all this, Be Yourself and nothing more.'
                                 
                                                      - Talk No. 183.

Notes: This cannot be fully understood without its context.  The questioner had asked the Guru of an Ashram that although
he had kept his mind blank, as was required by the teaching of that Guru, awaiting God 'to show Himself in His true Being'
in it, he had so far experienced nothing, and the answer he had got from that Guru was to this effect:  'The attitude is right.
The Power will come down from the above.  It is a direct experience.'  Now he wants the opinion of Sri Bhagavan on this,
The above is Sri Bhagavan's answer.

As we well see Sri Bhagavan repudiates any such thing a descent of God, or of any Power.  If you seek the Reality, seek it
here, for it is always abiding -- it is here and now, fully manifested, or else it cannot be real.  Reality that ascends and descends,
that off and on absents itself is a dream.  The test of Reality is immutability, which implies eternal existence, eternal presence.
That being the case, is God absent from here that appeal may be made to Him to come down?  If He is, how could He be aware
of our appeal?  Secondly, does not this appeal expose our ignorance and the hollowness of our surrender?  As for the powers
of God, are they different from Him?  Such notions are the creation of the imagination, the self exaltation of the ego,  Sri Bhagavan
asserts.  Kill the ego and all these imaginations will cease.  The Reality will stand revealed.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #157 on: May 29, 2013, 11:44:27 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

35.   'Yes, control of mind and contemplation are inter dependent.  They must go on side by side.  Practice  (abhyasa) and
dispassion (vairagya) bring about the desired results by degrees.  Dispassion checks the mind from going outward.  Practice
keeps it turned inward.  The two processes go on constantly within.  Contemplation will in due course be successful.'

                                                     -  Talk No. 220.

Notes:  Efforts to meditate without the interference of thoughts which constantly harass the meditator is control.  Whereas
contemplation is the meditation proper, that is, freedom from extraneous thoughts.  Both processes have to go side by side
naturally.  But ability to control the mind does not come about on a sudden, or from the first day or first month.  Constant
practice is necessary, and this cannot be made except after one has sufficiently developed dispassion from the things of
the world. 

It all begins with Viveka - discrimination between real happiness and false happiness, between the really useful and the
fictitiously useful.  This advances to the renunciation of the fictitiously useful and aspiration for the really useful.  Seeking
the means of attaining the latter then begins, after which comes the practice of the means.,  This is Sadhana, which ends
in the complete success of the contemplation, right in Liberation itself.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #158 on: May 30, 2013, 02:10:05 PM »
Dharana, Dhynana and Samadhi:

36. 'Grace is always there, but practice is necessary.'   

Notes:  In the chapter on Grace, Grace has been compared to Provident Fund which swells with the earnings -- it is not
a free gift.  To expect Grace without earning it, is a thoughtless expectation.   Moreover, there is no one to confer Grace:
neither God, nor Guru, nor anyone.   Grace confers ITSELF.  It is like an ocean which is ever full and ready to flow into all
rivers and canals that have access to it, that have no obstruction in its way.  Exertion removes the obstructions without
the necessity of praying for it. If the sluice gate of a canal, let us say, is closed, can any prayer helps the waters to flow into
the canal?  Prayer for Grace helps to the extent that it contains genuine bhakti, and if this increases to the point of turning
into a regular and continuous stream, it becomes the practice of which Sri Bhagavan speaks, which opens the sluice gate
and permits the flow of Grace in abundance.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #159 on: May 31, 2013, 01:24:46 PM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

37.  'Why does not the mind sink into the Heart even while meditating?'

        The Master answers:  'A floating body does not readily sink unless some means are used for making it do so. 
        Breath control makes the mind quiescent.  The mind must be alert and meditation pursued unremittingly even
        when it is at peace.  Then it sinks into the Heart.  Association with the wise also makes the mind sink into the
        the Heart.

        'Such association is both mental and physical.  The external Guru pushes the mind inward.  The same Guru  is also
        in the Heart of the seekers.  And so he draws the latter's inward bent mind into the Heart.'

Notes:  We have had many occasions to discuss the supreme value of the Guru's physical company and Sat sangha.  Here
we have another clear and precise comment from Sri Bhagavan Himself on it --  mentally and physically.  The proximity of the
Guru is essential for rapid progress, and the more of it the better.  The evader cannot now so easily escape with his specious
plea to the contrary simply because it suits his worldly purpose.  The physical presence of the Master, to repeat, is of the
greatest help in this Sadhana.

'Why does not the mind sink into the Heart in meditation?  Because concentration has not been sufficiently heavy to 'sink'
it.  The mind, as all know, is restless by nature, and has to be quietened by incessant practice.  One of the methods,
Sri Bhagavan suggests, is breath control, if a direct assault cannot be made itself through Vichara and meditation.     
If you have not acquired mastery in marksmanship, your shots  will be sure to go astray --- they will never hit the target.
But by repeated attempts they will.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #160 on: June 01, 2013, 10:20:00 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

38.  'The mind does not now sink into the Heart because the latent tendencies stand as obstacles.  They are removed by
breath control or association with the wise.  In fact, the mind is always in the Heart.  But it is restive and moves about on
account of latent tendencies.  When the tendencies are made ineffective, it will be restful and at peace.

'By breath control the mind will be only temporarily quiescent, because the tendencies are still there.  If the mind is
transformed into the Self, it will no longer give trouble.  That is done by meditation.'

                                                       -  Talk No. 223.

Notes:  This develops the previous text and very rightly declares meditation to be superior to pranayama or breath control,
in that the latter cannot destroy the Vasanas, which are purely mental.  Mental practices alone destroy them through
Vichara and Dhyana, which restore the mind to its pristine purity as the Self.  How?  Because the mind is itself the Self.
"it is always in the Heart" , nay, the Heart itself, but when thoughts or latent tendencies overwhelm it, they buoy it up to
the surface, so to say, away from the reality of itself.  That is why it strays into ajnana, it 'floats'.  What pranayama does
is simply to quieten the mind its restlessness by the temporary suspension of the breath, but does not teach it the truth
about its real nature, as does the Vichara.  Reflection reveals its relationship to the world on the one hand, and on the other
to the reality that is itself.  It shows it where the obstruction to the vision of its true self lies, and how it can be removed,
and dhyana actually removes the obstruction by stopping all thoughts and all vasanas.  Vichara and Dhyana are the reverse
and obverse of the Advaitic sadhana, whereas pranayama is a simple mechanical device --- in this line a mere crutch, for when
Sri Bhagavan suggests pranayama it is always in the understanding that it is combined with dhyana, which follows it up after
it (pranayama) has temporarily subdued the waves of the mind. Let us remember again that the transformation of the mind
into the Self is effected through dhyana alone or the right japa, which is as good as dhyana.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #161 on: June 02, 2013, 02:21:53 PM »


Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

40.  'To realize the Self, effort is necessary.  Just as water is got by boring wells, so also you realize the Self by investigation.'

                                                                      Talks No.  249


     Notes:  As we have already observed,. efforts are absolutely indispensable, with due respect to the modern prophets
of effortlessness.  Efforts are made to reach the effortless state which is unalloyed bliss and eternal.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #162 on: June 03, 2013, 10:23:37 AM »
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

41.  'Ravi Marga (the Path of the Sun) is Jnana.  Moon Marga is Yoga.  They think after purifying the 72,000 nadis in the body,
sushumna is entered and the mind passes up to the sahasrara and there is nectar trickling.  These are all mental concepts of
man who is already overwhelmed by the world concepts.  Other concepts are now added in the shape of this yoga.  The
object of all these is to rid the man of concepts and to make him inhere in the Pure Self, i.e. in the Absolute Consciousness,
which is free from thoughts.  Why not go straight to it?  Why add new encumbrances to the already existing ones?

                                          - Talks Nos. 251 & 252.

Notes:  The Path of the Sun is the Vichara and Dhyana, which rid one of all concepts and all thoughts, so that the pure
consciousness may be perceived.  The Path of Moon is indirect and leads not to the Heart but to the head.  The latter
passes through the sushumna where the breath is ultimately confined through the practice of pranayama, and then to
the sahasrara (brain center), where bliss or nectar is said to be stored up.  Sri Bhagavan avers that the Moon Path is
based on mere conjectures, 'concepts'  which have been magnified and diversified in all sorts of ways to make it appear
difficult and mysterious, particularly by the Hatha Yogis, and Kundalini Yogis.  'Clairvoyants' go even farther and write
special books on the Chakras  -- their shapes, their colors, their movements, the special siddhis they confer.  Yet all
these are of no use in search for the reality, which has neither shape nor color and is certainly devoid of mysteries.
Except the seekers of siddhis the professed aim of all these systems of Yoga is the reality.  That being the case,  Sri
Bhagavan asks, then why all these devious routes?  Why add new notions to the millions with which we are already
saddled and of which yogis have to rid themselves?  Why not go straight b the Path of the Sun and save much time and
trouble?

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #163 on: June 04, 2013, 09:33:50 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

42.  'Kevala Nirvikalpa takes place even in the tanumanasi stage.... The three classes of Jnanis, namely, the dull, middling and
superior are due to their prarabdha, according as it is strong, middling and weak respectively.  There is no difference in their
Samadhi or their Jnana.  The classification is only from the standpoint of the observer.  The seventh and the highest stage is
that of the Turiyaga which is beyond words.

'  There is no need to discuss these points.  Jivanmukti and Videhamukti are differently described by different authorities.
Videhamukti is also said to occur even to Jnanis who are still in a body.'

                                                            - Talk No. 256.

Notes: The text is of special interest to those who are very near the end of their spiritual journey.  It encourages them
to quicken their step that they may have a taste of nirvikalpa, which Sri Bhagavan says, can be experienced even in a
tenuous state of mind, before all the vrittis and vasanas have been completely destroyed, a taste which will consolidate
their faith in the glorious destiny which is soon to be fulfilled.

These three divisions of the Jnanis must not be taken too seriously, for they mean nothing to the Jnanis themselves.
The Jnani, whether he is of the first, second or third class, has attained liberation from the wheel of birth and death,
and does not care a straw how he and his attainments appear to others.  The third degree Jnani's prarabdha is still
'strong' on him, that is, on his worldly circumstances, and may not cause him even to be recognized as a Jnani.  It is
not 'strong' in his own perception, but in the treatment of him by others in this respect.  Those who have lived with
our Master, Sri Ramana Maharshi, who is taken to be the very highest, the Turiyaga, cannot be impressed by anyone
lesser than He.  Him alone they call Jnani and would ignore any claim of Jnana on behalf of another.  They pitch their
mark so high because of the sublimity of their Master's attainments that the three classes of Jnanis mentioned above
pass them unnoticed.   This does not mean that these Jnanis do not exist.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       


     

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #164 on: June 05, 2013, 11:47:35 AM »

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi:

42. continues...

In fact, they do, and live their normal life unconcerned with what others think of them.  Some may have a large number of
followers, and some may have none at all.  A few may not even like to be recognized as Jnanis to spare themselves the
inconvenience of taking disciples, preferring to remain in obscurity to enjoy their individual freedom.  The recognition, however,
depends on the individual prarabdha, which affects the Jnani's external circumstances, as it has already been said, and not
the internal, which is the same for all Jnanis and all their classes and divisions.

On the contrary, there may be some people, who have developed a highly intuitive intellect and who, without being Jnanis,
shine out as great teachers with tremendous following, attracted by one trait of their intellectual or aesthetic abilities or
other.  Popularity and considerable reputation are thus not at all a criterion by which the Jnani and his spiritual greatness
should be apprised.  Prarabdha is responsible for all this worldly show.

As for Jivanmukti and Videhamukti, these are terms which usually indicate the states of the living Jnani and the one who has
discarded his physical body respectively.  Videha mukti means without body, so Videhamukti means the state of the liberated
man who is bodiless.  But the same term also applies to even the Jivanmukta, because, as far as his own perception  of himself
goes, he is bodiless, being Pure Brahman, the Pure Consciousness, though he is still in a body.  That is why Sri Bhagavan
avoids talking about this distinction, which is really non existent at His own level.  (See also text 56).

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