Author Topic: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:  (Read 35579 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2013, 10:14:54 AM »
SCRIPTURES AND SCHOLARSHIPS.

The Vedas give conflicting account of cosmogony. Do these not impair the credibilty of the Vedas?

Bhagavan: The essential aim of Vedas is to teach us he nature of imperishable Atman and show us that we are That. As you
are satisfied with this aim and teaching you should treat the rest as Arthavada, auxiliary expositions, made for the ignorant
who seek to trace the genesis of things.

                                                                    - Talks No. 30

Human society stands at different psychical levels, each of which requires instructions comprehensible to itself. The Vedas give these
instructions, but reserve their best to the seeker of the Highest, to whom they reveal the science of Brahman, the Absolute Self.
This science alone should concern us, because it is the science of our own being, of the eternal Truth.  Bhagavan advises us to desist
from indulging in extraneous matters, such as the stories of creation, dissolution etc., Such stories in he Vedas speak to the fiction
and speculation lovers.

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Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #61 on: February 22, 2013, 10:18:26 AM »
SCRIPTURES AND SCHOLARSHIP:

2. "The scriptures are useful to indicate the existence of the Higher Power (the Self), and the way to gain it. Their essence is that
much only. When that is assimilated the rest is useless. We read so much. Do we remember all we read? The essential soaks in
the mind and the rest is forgotten. So it is with the Sastras.

                                                                       - Talk No. 62.

By mentioning memory, Bhagavan draws attention to the behavior of our consciousness in automatic sifting in its highly
organized machinery the grain from the chaff, the essential from the unessential, throwing the latter into the limbo, much as
a  student does when he endeavors to retain the most important parts of his studies, and allows the rest to fall through the sieve
of his memory. We have to do the same thing with regard to what we read in the Scriptures.  We must choose what has a direct
bearing on the eternal Truth and completely wink at the rest. Judicious study of the Srutis bears the greatest fruit, and this is done
only through the guidance of the Master, who is the very embodiment of the Srutis and the soul of the Sastras.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2013, 09:21:28 AM »
SCRIPTURES AND SCHOLARSHIP:

continues.....

3. "The ultimate Truth is so simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. That is all that need be said.

    "But people will not be content with simplicity;  they want complexity.  Because they want something elaborate, attractive,
and puzzling, so many religions have come into existence. Each of them is so complex and each creed in each religion has its
own adherents and antagonists.

    "For example, an ordinary Christian will not be satisfied unless he is told that God is somewhere in the far off Heavens, not
to be reached by us unaided. Christ alone knew Him and Christ alone can guide us. Worship Christ and be saved. If told the simple
truth --- 'The Kingdom of Heaven is within you' -- he is not satisfied and will read complex and far fetched meanings in such statements.
Mature mind alone can grasp the simple truth in all its nakedness."

                                                                     - Talk No. 96.

Bhagavan is very frank in this text.  Not that He wanted to attack the established religions or single out an one of them as the
most superstitious and irrational; but, as the teacher of the Absolute, He has to be consistent when appeals are made to His
views on the variety of movements that go about in the name of God, the "wisdom" of God, the 'truth' of God and what not,
although He is always guarded in His answers, in order not to give offence to the hypersensitive, who is apt to catch fire at the
least mention of his religion or 'spiritual' institution.

That part that religion should play in the life of an individual, Bhagavan opines, should merely be to show him the truth about
himself;  not to entertain him with glamorous cosmogony and cosmology, or to frighten him with superstitious inventions, which
do more harm than good to his approach to the Reality. Bhagavan does not ignore either the ethical side of religion or the well
known fact that not all men are prepared for the Highest Truth.  But when the questioner is a seeker of the Highest, he has to be
shown nothing less than the Highest, before which an ethical teaching less than the Highest, before which an ethical teachings
appears as pale as moonlight at midday.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #63 on: February 24, 2013, 08:51:26 AM »
3.

continues.....

The complexity of which Sri Bhagavan speaks, is, no doubt, very strangling, because it obscures the Real;  yet there are millions,
laymen as well as clergymen, who are always ready to shed the last drop of their blood to defend every syllable of it.
Is this the complexity  ---- superstitions, accretions, irrelevancies --- useful to them?  It looks as if it is, at their own level, till
they outgrow it.  The adhikari immediately lays his fingers on it, refutes it outright, and opens himself to the healthy teachings
of the Path of the Supreme.  The lesser adhikaris, although they free themselves from many superstitions, get caught by the
"elaborate, attactive and puzzling" --- probably siddhis, --- because they have not yet completely transcended the lower gunas,
and thus spend a lifetime of wasted efforts. To the Master, Truth is as self evident as the look of a 'gooseberry in the palm of
one's hand", for it is nothing but one's "pristine nature", to which the sadhaka drives direct and which he eventually never fails
to attain.

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Arunachala Siva.

             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2013, 08:40:17 AM »

4. "The author of Vritti Prabhakara claims to have studied 350,000 books before writing this book. Vichara Sagara is full of logic
and technical terms.  But what is the use?  Can these ponderous volumes serve any real purpose?  Can they give Realization
of the Self?  Yet there are people who read them and then seek sages for the sole purpose of seeing if these can meet their
questions.  To read these volumes, to discover new doubts and to solve them is a source of delight to them.  Knowing this to be
sheer waste of time, the sages do not encourage such people .

"Only the Enquiry into the Self can be of use.

"Those familiar with logic and with large books like Vritti Prabhakara, Vichara Sagara, and Sutra Bhashya cannot relish small works
like Truth Revealed, dealing only with the Self and pointedly too;  because they have accumulated Vasanas.  Only those whose
minds are less muddy, and are pure, can relish small but purposeful works." 

                                                                   - Talk No. 332.

Ponderous are the books, scholars read, and even more ponderous the scholars feel themselves to be.  They accumulate Vasanas,
the peculiar scholastic Vasanas, which inflate as they grow, with which sometimes they pester even sages. "Knowing this to be sheer
waste of time, they sages do not encourage such people" is, no doubt, autobiographical.

continued.... 

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #65 on: February 26, 2013, 08:47:23 AM »
SCRIPTURES AND SCHOLARSHIP:

4. continues....

This teaches us the futility of the established logic or of the tiresomely voluminous pseudo spiritual books to guide us on
the practical path to the Absolute. Ponderous tomes leave their marks on the mind, and too many marks are bound to
conflict with and blur the vision of the Real.  What is more, being biased by the massiveness of their 'scientific' approach,
the scholars become incapable of appreciating the modest, though the best and most pointed approach to truth, when
they meet it. They do not even condescend to give it a glance --- it is too simple and couched in too few words, and too
feebly analytical to be worthy of their consideration.  They drop it like a hot cake.

"Truth Revealed" is the translation of a booklet written by Sri Bhagavan Himself, consisting of only forty verses and deal
exclusively with the Truth and the way to It, in the simplest style possible. It contains the whole teaching of Advaita philosophy
in a nutshell.  Some of these scholars sniff at it, because it contains neither critical arguments nor pompous quotations and
phraseology and is certainly very poor in bulk.

Sri Bhagavan warns us against the lures and traps of scholarship.  What is the use, He asks? Does it bring in Self realization?
Certainly it does not and CANNOT.  This warning is especially timely in this age which is so excessively prolific in philosophical
production with its great appeal to the modern mind.

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Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2013, 02:20:14 PM »
SCRIPTURES AND SCHOLARSHIP:

5. "DIVYA Chakshush" divine eyesight is necessary to see the glory of God. Can we not see the glory as the splendor of a million
suns?"

Bhagavan: Oh, I see, you want to see the splendor of a million suns. Can you see even one Sun?  Divine light means self-
luminosity, self knowledge.  Otherwise, who is to bestow a divine eye, and who is to see?  Again people read in books that
'hearing, reflection, and one pointedness' are necessary.  They think that they must pass through savikalpa and nirvikalpa samadhi
before attaining realization. Hence all the questions. Why should they wander in that maze? What do they gain in the end? Only
cessation of the trouble of seeking.  They will find that the Self is eternal and self evident. Then why not get repose in the Self
even at this moment?

"The simple man is satisfied with japa or with worship, but the trouble is for the bookworms. Well, well, they also will get on."

The first line shatters the description in the books of the Supreme Consciousness as blazing light, or a vision of splendor comparable
to a million suns. This is an utter misleading description. For it is nothing of the kind.  The light of the Self is the pure knowledge with
which we cognize everything including  the Self itself, which in  no way stands comparison with any physical radiance. Speaking of
divine visions does not mean a special physical or spiritual eye, or the eye of the 'clairvoyant', with which someone endows us.

According to Sri Bhagavan, 'Divine Sight' means self luminosity., self knowledge, the eye of wisdom, or Jnana. For the Self alone is
divine and nothing else. It is called radiant because it is vividly experienced in Samadhi, free from the obscuring clouds of thoughts
and emotions. It is self luminous because it is self evident, that is, it knows itself and does not depend on an external knowledge
to be known ---- itself being pure knowledge.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2013, 04:58:15 PM »


5. continues....

Sri Bhagavan brushes aside book knowledge, as of no use, for Self Realization on special grounds. We learn all the details
about the stages on the path, from books, or even from the Guru Himself, in the hope that by following them we may in the end
rest from the stress and strain of a long quest. Sri Bhagavan says, strictly speaking, all this is unnecessary. Because the rest we
seek is, like the goal itself, even now, available to us.  We have, if we are alert enough, only to open the eye of our intuition, to
perceive it;  for it is our very self, the very seeker himself, from which at no time, he is separated. Books will be useful if the seeker
is unable to perceive himself by himself. Cases are known of very unsophisticated seekers who have scarcely ever read a book in
their life, and who have nevertheless reached the goal quickly by adhering to their peculiar form of sadhana. There are, on the other
hand, thousands who have read books without number and who have not, for that reason, advanced an inch spiritually.

continued......;

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #68 on: March 01, 2013, 09:14:12 AM »
SCRIPTURES AND SCHOLARSHIP:

5. continues.....

As for the books themselves, Bhagavan did not criticize them indiscriminately;  for He Himself has written some, and has the
highest respect for some famous works and their great Acharya authors.  Besides, study and reflections sharpen and polish
the intellect and are thus very essential in this marga. What He criticizes are those works, which, while professing to teach
Truth, do not retain its purity throughout, and sometimes mislead by false comparisons, exaggerations and useless arguments
as we have seen Him doing in the previous texts.  The books of the "book worms", namely, of the wrangling and brain racking
argumentative type, are utterly useless for the purpose of the Supreme Quest.   Yet in the end Sri Bhagavan holds a hope even
for the "book worms" --- 'Well, well, they also will get on.'

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Jewell

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #69 on: March 01, 2013, 05:06:40 PM »
Dear Sri Subramanian sir,

Nice post. I also think that it is not that reading books is main obstacle,but our habit to get attached to the.,and in the way,to form sort of mental picture how realisation should look like,to form picture about everything,which is main obstacle. Coz mind cannot in any way picture Reality. Also,when we read much,we tend to learn much for all sorts of other reasons,which also is obstacle. Openess to the end is what is needed,i believe. And in this way we tend to get into too many concepts. Well,that also is very individual too.

With love and prayers,

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2013, 09:52:30 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

1. "The habits of the mind (vasanas) hinder the realization of the Self, and in order to overcome the vasanas, we have to realize
the Self. Is this not a vicious circle?"

The Master: "It is the ego which raises these difficulties and then complains of an apparent paradox. Find out who is making
the inquriess and the Self will be found."

"The Self is ever present. There exists nothing without it. It is the witness of the three states; the sleep, dream and waking,
which belong to the ego,  The Self transcends the ego. Did you not exist even in sleep?  It is only in the waking state, that you
describe the experience of sleep as being unawareness. Therefore, the consciousness when asleep is the same as that when
awake. If you know what this waking  consciousness is, you will know the consciousness which witnesses all the three states.
Such consciousness could be found by seeking the consciousness as it was in sleep."

                                                                     - Talks No. 13.

The questioner sees an undoubted vicious circle in the preceding answers of the Master., which Bhagavan solves by asking him to
inquire into the seer of the vicious circle, namely, himself. Why does he want to realize the Self, that is his own self?  Because he
pleads ignorance of it, yet at the same time, he is fully aware of it as the questioner himself. Is not that a paradox?  The self he
knows, or imagines he knows, is the same self he seeks, or else he would be two instead of only one. How can he get out of
this dilemma?

continued......

Arunachala Siva.         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #71 on: March 03, 2013, 08:30:53 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

1. continues....

That everyone is sure of his own reality, as intelligence is proved by his statements: 'I know", "I study", "I smell", "I think",
"I decide" etc., but the confusion begins the moment he gives a distinctive name to himself - Peter - as a body, different
from all other bodies.

Therefore the "vicious circle" is due to the wrong mental attitude of the questioner about his own identity, and to dissipate
this,  Bhagavan adds the other explanations, the substance of which is something like this:

The Self is pure awareness or knowledge.  And, because it is pure knowledge, it has to be present in every experience as its
knower, or else how can a thing or state be known?  This knower we call Self.  So the Self is the knower of all things and all
states.  It must be present in the waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states, which " belong to the ego.", that is, which every
individual or ego --- Peter --- experiences.  Therefore the ego is the Self itself. But, because the Self is one and indivisible, being
pure consciousness, and the ego is known by names such Peter or John, and by form --- the form of Peter or of John -- that
we say that the Self transcends the ego, that is, being without names and forms.  Names and forms are thus the cause of the
illusion of a difference between the two, because they make the one consciousness to appear many.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #72 on: March 04, 2013, 10:13:39 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

continues.....

1.  Now the sadhaka arrives at the knowledge of his Being nameless and formless, one in all names and forms --- in all beings --
by arguing his positions, as Sri Bhagavan does in this text, in every one of these three states and relates them to each other.
In Jagrat, for example, I am aware of all jagrat things that surround me, including my own self as Peter, and my body or form,
which measures so much by so much.  Then I go to the dream state, where I am neither Peter nor have his form, but somebody
else, say, X, with the form of X. Then I pass on to the dreamless state, where I am aware of nothing, of neither name nor form,
neither Peter nor X.

Reviewing in jagrat the whole of this process, I sum it up thus: I, the conscious knower, assume the name and form of Peter in
jagrat, of X, in swapna, but remain nameless and formless, as my pure self, in sushupti.  Therefore, Peter and X, are not I.
Similarly, the gross body of the former and the subtle body of the latter, are not essential to me, but superimposed on me when
I witness the first two states. With the removal of the restrictions of names and forms from myself, I remain the same being alone,
free from all limitations and qualities.  This aloneness is known as Kaivalaya.  And to experience it in the jagrat we have to take to
sadhana, which removes the obstructions and enables the 'I' to perceive itself as the pure, eternal Self.  This sadhana and this knowledge of the Real are the main purpose of the Vedas. The stat of Kaivalya for the embodied obtains only in sushupti and samadhi,
unconsciously in the former but consciously in the latter.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #73 on: March 05, 2013, 10:08:35 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

2.  "How to know the real 'I' as distinct from the false 'I'?

      The Master answered:  Is there any one who is not aware of himself?  Each one knows yet does know the Self.
       A strange paradox.

In the last note we amply dealt with this 'strange paradox', and showed that there is no such thing as 'false I' but only
false notions about the 'I' which mistakes its upadhis or qualities, its names and forms for itself.  Because of this transposition
of the 'I'' from its being the seer to being the seen, that is, the name and form of Peter --- to continue the idea of the last note --
that the grave error of its being false, vulnerable and mortal is committed. Hence the desire to search for the real and deathless
'I' arises.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #74 on: March 06, 2013, 08:43:07 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:


3. " Unbroken 'I' 'I' is he boundless Ocean.  The 'I' thought is a bubble on it and is called jiva or individual. The bubble too is water.
When it bursts, it mixes with the ocean.  When it remains a bubble, it is still part of the ocean."   

Sri Bhagavan gives a practical illustration. The 'I' 'I' is the pure, nameless and formless being. It is the ocean of Consciousness.
The bubble (or 'I' - thought_ is naught but water in substance, that is, also Consciousness, but in form, that is, in its understanding
of itself it has a separate individuality  -- ego or jiva, the mortal and ignorant Peter or Ramaswami.  This false view persists so long
as the jiva does not perceive itself nameless and formless in Jagrat, as it stands in sushupti.  But the moment it does the bubble
bursts, the false appearance of separateness immediately dissolves, and the jiva cognizes itself as 'I', the ocean of the 'I'-Consciousness.  All that has happened is not the transformation of the jiva into the Supreme Consciousness, but the correction
of its notion of itself as jiva, as a bubble entirely separate from other bubbles and from the Ocean, whereas in fact it has at no
time been other than the Ocean of Consciousness.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.