Author Topic: The Quest - Vichara - by Lucia Osborne:  (Read 1240 times)

Subramanian.R

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The Quest - Vichara - by Lucia Osborne:
« on: April 08, 2013, 02:38:51 PM »


There comes a time when the Vichara, 'Who am I?' takes over and becomes all sufficient for sadhana.  Those who can do it
from the beginning are on the direct road, a shortcut.  Sri Bhagavan said that all paths lead to the Vichara, which is the royal path.

The quest for the Self, the Vichara, is a direct method superior to any other, for the moment you go deeper with the quest
for the Self , the real Self is waiting there to take you in and then your effort ceases.  In this process, all doubts and discussions
are automatically given up just as one who sleeps, forgets all his cares,

Then there would shine in the heart a wordless illumination of 'I-I', that is, there would shine on its own accord the pure Consciousness
which is unlimited and one, the limited and the many thoughts having  disappeared.  If one remains still the individual sense of the
'I  am the doer' will be destroyed, This is release,

"Vichara is the process and the goal also. I AM is the goal and final Reality. To hold it with effort is Vichara.  When spontaneous
and natural it is realization."  A devotee once asked the Maharshi, 'What is the one thing, knowing which all doubts are solved?"
The reply was: Know the doubter.  If the doubter is known, doubts will not arise.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Quest - Vichara - by Lucia Osborne:
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 09:28:06 AM »

continues.....

It is only the mind which entertains doubts. Doubts must be uprooted.  The method for accomplishing this is the investigation
'Who am I?'.  On another occasion He said that the purpose of Self Inquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source, to turn it
inwards upon itself at the same time focusing the attention on the spiritual heart on the right, which is the center of spiritual
experience according to the testimony of sages. Those who follow His injunctions have found  it to be so.

How to eradicate thoughts?  This is where Self Inquiry comes in.  Whence do these thoughts come? To whom?  Who am I?
The whole mind is focused in alertness over this question, which should not be repeated like a mantra. The elimination  of thoughts
brings us to deeper awareness that is behind and beyond thoughts.   

In the Hall in Sri Bhagavan's presence one meditated relaxed,  without fixing one's thought on any particular subject or idea.
It brought peace.  The simple terse words and answers in Who am I? and other books were like rain falling on parched earth,
fully satisfying. If one can say 'my mind, my body, my thoughts' and so on, wherever this possessive pronoun can be applied,
it does not indicate the true Self. Who is that says, 'My?' 'Whose?' So I am not the mind or the body, not myself. Who am I then?
The inquiry becomes the basic theme often submerged and recalled by life or sadhana.

'What happens when you make a serious quest for the Self', Sri Bhagavan explains, 'is that the I-thought as a thought disappears.
Something else from the depth takes hold of you and this is not the 'I' which commenced the quest.  This is the real Self, the import
of 'I'.  It is the Supreme Being Itself.'

Sri Bhagavan guides those who would follow Him on the most direct central path, the quest of the Self and for this any religion
could serve as a foundation.  He also guides on the other paths also as explained later.

'The Bible and the Gita are the same' was His reply to a question by a visitor to the Asramam.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.           

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Quest - Vichara - by Lucia Osborne:
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 11:08:40 AM »

continues.....

All great religions of the world have divine revelation as their common basis.  They all testify to the Oneness of Being,
the unity of God. Differences arise only in their external application to suit different people in different ages. Esoterically
the message is the same.  On scrutiny one may find that the injunctions and prohibitions motivated by sound therapy
'good for body, good for mind' and on a lower theistic level were likely to be followed more strictly.  Though in essence a
religion is divine, as an institution it is human and as such carries within itself the seeds of imperfection.

Although Bhagavan's teaching hinges on Self Inquiry, seekers find guidance on whatever path they follow from their own
level of attainment. The guidance given to each disciple was ad hominem, intensely direct and adapted to each temperament.
It still is. His guidance continues as He assured us and the teachings in the books are inspired living words.  Everyone sincerely
finds what he needs.  The theme of Self Inquiry or surrender recurs like a refrain in varying stanzas or the cadence in a symphony
ending in Silence.  Vichara is the process and the goal also.  "I AM" is the goal and final Reality. Reality is That which is.  All attempts
resolve themselves finally into the all pervading Reality: That Which Is.  "Bhakti, Japa, and Vichara are only different modes of our
effort to keep out the unreality."  Bhagavan says that the unreality is an obsession. Reality is our true nature.  As pointed out,
Bhagavan guides seekers on all paths.  The four margas are not exclusive of one another.  To a famous singer pouring out his heart
in songs of devotion and who wanted to know whether his way was right, Bhagavan said: 'Yes, what you are doing is just what you
have to do. Carry on and it will lead you to the goal.  Through devotion  to God we discharge our emotions and that is a sure way
to reach Him."  That was the right way for the singer.  Those who were ready He would ask to follow the path of Self Inquiry or of
surrender, the royal road. A simple peasant who fell at His feet asking to be saved, He told to go on repeating 'Siva, Siva,'  as he had
been doing. So it became a mantra given by Bhagavan.

continued.....

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Quest - Vichara - by Lucia Osborne:
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 12:58:56 PM »

continues......

Whether one followed the path of jnana or bhakti, Sri Bhagavan thought that this should not interfere with the proper and
effective discharge of our duties in life.  It is not advisable to create an artificial vacuum  for mind by depriving it of its natural
occupation. When a seeker is ready for renunciation of a life of pure contemplation,  a change in outer circumstances takes
place spontaneously to make it possible.  Things simply fall into place.

Saints have designated bhakti as the mother of Jnana.  The two paths lead to the same goal.  Perfect devotion means complete
surrender of the ego, to God or Guru, while Self Inquiry leads to the dissolution of the ego, so that the two paths converge.

There is no true wisdom without love nor true love without wisdom.  Sri Bhagavan agreed with a visitor ( a Swami) that God
is required for Sadhana by most people. But the end of the sadhana even in bhakti is attained only after complete surrender.

Whatever path one may choose, the 'I' is the inescapable, the 'I' that has does self less service, the 'I' that pines for her lord
from whom it feels has been separated, the 'I' that it feels it has slipped from its real nature.  When the source of that 'I' is
found out all questions will be solved.

continued....

Arunachala Siva.       
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Quest - Vichara - by Lucia Osborne:
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 11:12:53 AM »

continues...

When shall I become like the ether and reach Thee
Subtle of being, the tempest of thought may end,
Oh Arunachala.      (57a)

When will  waves of thought cease to rise?
When shall I reach Thee, subtler than the subtle ether,
Oh Arunachala.     (57b)

Unite with me to destroy Thou and me
And bless me with the state of ever vibrant joy.    (56)

Look within ever seeing the Self with inner eye
Then I will be found. Thus didst Thou direct me,
Beloved Arunachala!       (44)

(Sri Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai, tr. Arthur Osborne)

Sri Bhagavan also admitted of pranyama or breath control, as a legitimate step towards attaining thought control although
He never enjoined it.  'Breath control can also help the wandering mind attain one-pointedness, but one should not stop there.
Quiescence lasts only so long as the breath is controlled. So it transient.  Control of mind spontaneously effects control of breath.
Their source is the same.'

Preoccupation with occult powers was not encouraged by Bhagavan and He warned devotees not to indulge in them.  They
usually serve to enhance the ego.

On the subject of hearing, the Zen Master Hui Hai explains that the nature of hearing  being eternal we continue to hear sounds
whether they are present or not. It is our own nature which hears and it is the inner cognizer who knows.  Wisdom means that
your stillness of mind is not disturbed by giving any thought to that stillness.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.