Author Topic: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:  (Read 35620 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2013, 09:19:04 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

16. 'There must be stages of progress for gaining the Absolute. Are there grades of Reality?'

Bhagavan: 'There are no grades of Reality.  There are only grades in the experience of the Jiva.'

Notes. 'Grades of Reality?' Reality is perfect because it is partless, integral, and changeless, or else it contradicts itself.
So, Reality is not affected by evolution, nor is it divisible into a number of imperfect beings who need the evolution to
attain perfection.  We have seen elsewhere, that the Jiva is the Self itself, but deluded. The appearance of multiplicity
of Jivas is an illusion due to the unfoldment of the senses which create qualities and hence no differences.  Bhagavan says
that it is not the Self that has grades but the experiences of the jivas. Thus the difference between the savage and the Jnani
is one of experience, that is, of mental outlooks and not a substance --- of being.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2013, 09:25:44 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

17. "There is a multiplicity of jivas.  Jivas are certainly many."
 
      Bhagavan: Jiva is called so because he sees the world.  A dreamer sees many jivas in dreams, but all of them are not real.
      The dreamer alone exists and he sees all.  So it is with the individuals and the world.

                                                                        -  Talk No. 571.

Notes: This is lucid enough to need no comment, except applying it also to the common world, where all men perceive the
same objects, same colors, same sounds, same heat or cold etc.,  The critics argue that if the world is the senses, as Vedanta
says, individual senses would show exclusively individual worlds, so that there would be as many worlds as there are human beings
with no connection with one another, which experience disproves.  Sri Bhagavan answers that all the senses, and all the worlds are
the dreams or thoughts of the jiva, which alone exist as the dreamer or thinker.  As the jiva in dream sees other jivas with bodies
and senses, without any of them enjoying real existence, so it does in the waking state, (jagrat).  Jagrat is called waking only in
comparison with the dream state, known to us, because the senses are then all out to intensify the illusion of a real external world,
whereas the dream state feeds on mere impressions carried over from the jagrat, and not on the senses, which are then withdrawn.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #92 on: March 24, 2013, 08:35:55 AM »
THE SELF OR REALITY:

18.  "If the Self is one, when a man is liberated, all men must be also be liberated".

Bhagavan: "Ego, world and individuals all appear due to the personal vasanas.  When these perish, that person's hallucinations
also perish.... The fact is that the Self is never bound and thus there can be no release."

                                                  -  Talk No. 571.

Notes:  In the last text, Bhagavan declares that the multiplicity of Jivas perceived in the waking state do not, like the dream
Jivas, really exist.  Here He adds that they are the Vasanas of the personal Jiva. When the Vasanas perish at Liberation,
the hallucination of other Jivas' existence also perish, so that the question of their Liberation  will evidently not arise.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #93 on: March 25, 2013, 08:10:57 AM »

CHAPTER TEN:

HEART AND MIND:

"That the physical heart is on the left, it cannot be denied.  But the heart of which I speak is not physical and is only
on the right side.  It is my experience, no authority is required by me.  Still you can find confirmation of it in a
Malayalam Ayurvedic book and in Sita Upanishad."

Notes.  This is an authoritative statement on Sri Bhagavan's own experience, which in its practical aspect is of no help to
the meditator.  The locus of the Heart, whether to the right or the left need not worry us (see text 9 below), because when
one is in it, that is, in Samadhi, not only the chest but the body and the whole world disappear.  When dhyana matures,
the Heart automatically reveals itself without any special effort to seek its corresponding place in the physical body.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #94 on: March 26, 2013, 08:46:07 AM »
HEART AND MIND:

2. "The Jiva is said to remain in the Heart in deep sleep and in the brain in the waking state.  Heart is not the muscular cavity
which propels blood.  It denotes in the Vedas, and the scriptures the center whence the notion 'I' springs. Does it spring from
the ball of flesh?  It does not, but somewhere within us, from the center of our Being.  The 'I' has no location. Everything is the
Self. There is nothing but the Self. So the Heart must be said to be the entire body as well as the universe, conceived as 'I'.
But to help the abhyasi we have to indicate a definite place, in the universe, or the body, for it.  So this Heart is pointed out as the
seat of the Self, but in truth, we are everywhere, we are all that is, and there is nothing else."

Notes:  Heart therefore has no locus at all.  Its other names are Self, 'I', Being, Pure Mind, etc., It is called Heart due to its
being the source from which the universe rises. In the last note, we observed that in Samadhi, Heart reveals itself as completely
independent of any place. Then why does Sri Bhagavan locate it in the right side of chest?  He does not locate it in the flesh
and bones of the right chest, but only in consciousness at the level of that region, much as we locate the levels of certain objects
in space as corresponding to those of certain parts of our body.  Nevertheless, because this consciousness has direct relations with
the body, it must have a point of contact with it, a switchboard, so to say, in the subtle counterpart of the body, from which it switches
the body off and on.  This switch board is felt in samadhi in the subtle counterpart of the right chest.

To the highly critical mind, there appears a contradiction in the statement of Sri Bhagavan, who on the one hand, makes Heart to
be everywhere, and nowhere, and  on the other fixes it in the right chest, from which (as in the next text) the sushumna nadi rises,
and where the Jiva retires in sleep, etc.,

The apparent contradiction is due to the perception of the body, which has to be related to the mind, or the intelligent principle
which acts and perceives through it. The mind has thus to be shown in a dual aspect, the one as the pervader of the body, and
thus hypothetically limited to its shape, and the other as limitless and free.  More of this in the next item.

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Subramanian.R

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #95 on: March 27, 2013, 08:57:36 AM »

HEART AND MIND:

3. "Atma is the Heart itself. Its manifestation is in the brain.  The passage from the Heart to the brain might be considered to
be through the sushumna, or a nerve (nadi) with some other name. The Upanishads speak of pare leena, meaning that the
sushumna or such nadis are all comprised in Para, i.e. the Atma nadi.  The Yogis say that the current rising up to Sahasrara
(brain) ends there.  That experience is not complete.  For Jnana they must come to the Heart.  Hridaya (Heart) is the
alpha and omega."

Notes: From the Heart, the body sprouts. The energy, life and consciousness -- the only prime elements of the body and likewise
of the universe -- stream out of the Heart by the first channel, or nadi, straight to the head, from which they run down to all parts
of he body through the various nadis.  We need not give names to the nadis to avoid  conflicts between the locations and names
given by one authority and those given by another.  Names and forms are the cause of the world illusion, so they are also in meta-
physics.  Sri  Bhagavan simply wishes to indicate these facts about the distribution of life and consciousness to the remotest points
in the body through nadis, beginning with Para nadi, so that the student may know the function of this nadi in the attainment of
jnana.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #96 on: March 28, 2013, 08:35:09 AM »

HEART AND MIND:

3. continues....

Because all the nadis from the body end in the Sahasrara, the Kundalini Yogi, the Hatha Yogi , and in fact all yogis, who practice
pranayama take the Sahasrara to be the terminal point of their Sadhana. Whereas the Dhyana Yogi, also called Raja  Yogi,
Vichara Yogi, etc., adds one more stage for the complete and absolute emancipation.  This last stage runs through the Para
Nadi also called Amrita Nadi, because, being of the purest Sattva, it is extremely blissful and leads straight to the Heart.

'Its manifestation in the brain' needs some explanation.  It is common experience that when people speak of the mind, they
always imagine it to be the brain itself, and scientists, who are so sure of themselves, make matters worse when they declare
the brain to be the thinker, which is of course, wrong,  because the brain is as insentient and as incapable of thinking as any other
parts the body.  If the whole is insentient. so are the parts.  This error is due the manifestation of the Jiva's activities through
the cerebral tissue, which is as it were its telegraph office, which transmits to it all the signals, received from the various sense
organs and the nervous system, etc., But the home of the Jiva is the Heart, which is the cosmic storehouse of all the creative
impulses. To this home the Jiva returns with the senses when it retires from the body in sleep, in what is known as "death"
and, finally, for good in Mukti.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #97 on: March 29, 2013, 09:49:48 AM »
HEART AND MIND:

4. The Heart is not physical; it is spiritual Hridaya = hrit+ayam, which means 'that is the Center'.  It is that from which thoujghts
arise, on which they subsist and where they are resolved.  Thoughts are the content of the mind  and they shape the universe.
The Heart is thus center of all. It is said by the Upanishads to be Brahman.  Brahman is the Heart.

This text is the quintessence of the Vedas. "Thoughts rise from, subsist in, and dissolves in the Heart.  They shape the universe.,"   
This is a pregnant statement.  It makes the substance of the universe to be nothing but thoughts, a mere mental vapor.  This
surpasses even the subjective idealism of the Western philosophers. 

"Thoughts are (the products as well as) the contents of the mind" is significant, in as much as, as it makes the mind not simply
manas, as it is usually wrongly translated in Indian metaphysics, but the consciousness which produces, contains, and perceives
the thoughts, synonymous with the Heart or Brahman.  Sri Bhagavan very often equates the 'pure mind' with Brahman, which
is as it should be.  Manas may be rendered as intellect or as a bundle of thoughts and sensations, or perhaps the processes of
thought.  Sometimes mind is also used in the sense of manas.  At all events the student will do well to remember this dual meaning     
of MIND and avoid confusion. 

That 'the Heart' is the center of All' does not mean that it is not also the the circumference.  Sri Bhagavan makes it in this text,
the container of all thoughts, that is, of the universe - center, circumference, as well as all that comes in between them.

"Verily as space is boundless, so is the ether within the Heart. Both heaven and earth, fire and air, the sun and the moon,
also the lightning and the stars and whatever is, as well as whatever is not in the universe -- all are within the vacuity, Heart."

                                 - ( Chandogya Upanishad, IX.i.3.)

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2013, 09:32:02 AM »
HEART AND MIND:

5. How to realize the Heart?  There is no one who even for a trice fails to experience the Self.  He is the Self. The Self is the
Heart, When asked who you are, you place your hand on the right side of the chest and say, I am, thereby you unknowingly
point out the Self. The Self is thus known.

Notes.  Here we have a pointer to the locus of the Heart, in the body rather than in the subtle ambience of the body.
It is instinctive in us to use the right hand rather than the left in pointing to our own person. Why do we not for the purpose
place he hand on the head , cheek, the legs or feet ---- instead of the right chest alone?  Unless there is an immediate relation
between this part of the chest and the 'I', we would not straightaway and as a matter of course, drive direct to it, when we
wish to stress our identity.  When we want to indicate the mind or the thinking agency we point to the head, but for the 'I' we
point to the chest. Isn't that a clear admission of the superiority of the Heart over the brain?  The Heart is the "I", the totality
of Being, whereas the brain is the seat of its thoughts only.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #99 on: March 31, 2013, 11:10:30 AM »
HEART AND MIND:

5. continues....

Pointing exclusively to the chest to indicate one's person has yet another weighty significance. It automatically excludes
the other parts of the body from being the 'I', as witness the fact that we resent a reference to the nails, hair, the bodily
secretions, and excretions etc., as being our 'I', in  fact we instinctively know that even the ribs and flesh of the chest
are not the 'I', notwithstanding our demonstrating them as such. We take the body as a whole for 'I' yet in detail we deny it.
This anomalous behavior of our mind in this respect is so glaringly obvious that nothing but wrong habits keep us blind to it.

Anomalies multiply as we probe deeper into the relation of the body to the consciousness. That is why Vichara or inquiry is
insisted on this path to expose the ridiculous inconsistencies of our beliefs and attitudes, so as that by correcting them we
may attain to the truth of ourselves and of the world around us.

contd.,     

Arunachala Siva.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #100 on: April 01, 2013, 09:09:54 AM »
HEART AND MIND:

6.  "The Cosmic Mind, being  not limited by the ego, has nothing separate from itself, and is therefore only aware.  This is
what the Bible means by "I am that I am"

                               - Talk No. 187.

Notes: The Cosmic Mind is equated in Advaita and by Sri Bhagavan with Brahman, since it 'only aware'. It will be readily observed
that this Mind has nothing to do with the Cosmic Mind of the Western mystics, which has its own significance --- whatever that may
be --- different from that of Advaitic Brahman.  Biblical Jehovah is written in Hebrew YHWH, which is derived from the verb HAYA (to
be) and means EVER IS, 'I AM THAT I AM' or BEING exactly as Advaita means by Brahman or SAT.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #101 on: April 02, 2013, 10:31:48 AM »

HEART AND MIND:

7. "The mind now sees itself diversified as the universe. If the diversity is not manifest, it remains in its own essence, that is,
the Heart.  The Heart is the only reality.  The mind is only a transient phase.  To remain as one's Self is to enter the Heart.
Entering the Heart, means remaining without distractions."

                                                                -  Talk No. 252.

Notes:  The mind turns into the universe. When it perceives the universe, or diversity, the latter impresses itself on its pure
surface, so that its attention is constantly centered on the diversity and not on itself. If the diversity  is eliminated, the mind
will perceive itself in its essence, its own naked purity.  Then it is said to have entered the Heart --- in fact it is itself the Heart.
This is its undisturbed state, the reposeful state of samadhi.

The covering of the mind by thoughts is evidently 'a transient phase, because the thoughts themselves are transient, very
unstable, and can thus be wiped out by practice. The mind itself cannot be wiped out, because the wiper will be the mind itself.
If the mind  wipes out the mind, the residue will still be the mind,  Thus the mind is indestructible.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #102 on: April 03, 2013, 10:27:13 AM »
HEART AND MIND:

8.  "There is the peaceful mind which is the supreme.  When the same becomes restless, it  is afflicted by thoughts.
Mind is only the dyanmic power (Sakti) of the Self.  There is no difference between matter and spirit.  Modern science
admits that all matter is energy.  Energy is power or force (Sakti).  Therefore all are resolved in Siva and Sakti i.e
the Self and the Mind."

                                      - Talk No. 268.

Notes; After explaining the identity of Self and Mind, this text ends by making them Siva and Sakti, which may impress
the dualists with the wrong notion of their being separate principles, as Spirit and Matter respectively, which is far from
Sri Bhagavan's intentions.  In the beginning of the text, the 'peaceful mind' has been identified as the Supreme, that is
the Self itself. So Self and peaceful mind are convertible terms. But when, for some reason, the mind becomes 'restless'
or active, it manifests energy.  The energy which is inherent in it turns into perceptions, thoughts, sensations, which are
the phenomena, the universe.

continued....

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #103 on: April 04, 2013, 03:30:03 AM »

HEART AND MIND:

8. Notes continue.....

This is interpreted by the Saktas as the creation of the 'dynamic' Sakti, as distinguished from Siva, the 'static' peaceful mind
which experiences Samadhi.  This is the whole truth about Spirit and Matter.  They are one and the same consciousness.
The knower (or mind) develops activity inside himself, the sensations of seeing, smelling, hearing, thinking, etc., and starts
enjoying the show, as if it occurs outside him. Then he is bewildered about a world and its creator -- God and His Sakti,
and so on.

This then is the nature of the energy which science proclaims to be the constituent of the physical universe, the atoms. 

The Self is thus not only a source of all cosmic energy, but the Cosmic Energy ITSELF.  Siva is then Sakti itself.

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Re: Reflections on Talks - S.S. Cohen:
« Reply #104 on: April 05, 2013, 09:39:43 AM »
HEART  AND MIND:

9. 'Should I meditate on the right chest in order to meditate on the Heart?'

Bhagavan:  'The Heart is not physical. Meditation should not be on the right or the left.  It should be on the Self. Everyone
knows 'I am'. It is neither within nor without, neither on the right nor on the left.  'I am' --- that is all.

                                                                                              - Talk No. 273.

Notes. The noteworthy point in this text, apart from what we have already discussed, is that meditation should not be made
on the physical chest, whether right or left, for that is not the Heart at all.  The 'I' is space-less, completely free from the
association of direction or laterality.  It is simply 'my being' or 'I am', and nothing else. This sense of pure being should be
our direction in meditation and if we are unable to catch it in the beginning, we have to try again and again till we succeed.
Being present all the time in us, the intuition for it grows rapidly, like a once-known-but-forgotten language.  We will catch
up with it after some initial hesitation, which is unavoidable. This is one of the best cues the Master has given us on how to
recognize once again our long forgotten essence.

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