Author Topic: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.  (Read 15300 times)


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The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« on: June 04, 2013, 11:00:42 AM »

(This is in several parts.)

Part I:

Between December 1977 to February 1980, I made notes of some explanations about Sri Bhagavan's teachings with Sri
Sadhu Om gave either to me or to other friends.   Many years later, these notes were found and friends urged me to share
them with others, saying that they contain a wealth of ideas that would help those who are following the path of self enquiry.

I cannot claim that I recorded exactly what Sadhu Om said, but only the impression that it made on my mind, so my notes
reflect my own  imperfect understanding of what I heard him say. 


Michael James.


3rd December 1977.

The guru acts through our own discrimination (viveka). Reflection  (manana) on the guru's teachings is itself a spiritual
practice (sadhana), because by our reflecting and discriminating the hold of our vasanas (mental inclinations or propensities)
is weakened and our mind is kept in quietude -- that is, in the quiescent state of self attention.

4th December 1977.

The various theories taught by Sri Bhagavan (regarding karma, prarabdha, surrender, God, Guru and so on) will often appear
to contradict each other, but will never contradict the need for self attention.  All such theories are merely clues or aids that
help us cling to self attention.  They are each suited to different modes of the mind. 

Self attention is the only watertight theory.  All other theories are riddled with loop holes and contradictions.  Therefore if
instead of quietening the mind they give rise to doubts, set them aside by investigating who thinks about them.


Arunachala Siva.         


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 10:54:13 AM »


4th December 1977 - continues...

Self attention is the sole aim of all Bhagavan's teachings.  He taught us that Self alone exists and is real, and all else is a dream,
a figment of our imagination.  He said, 'Attend to that for which you came';  we came for knowing Self and not for learning many
theories.  However, a thorough understanding of His teachings and the theories He proposed will enable us to quieten our mind
in any situation. 

Sri  Bhagavan has given us a simple teaching:  'Your own Self awareness is the only thing that seems to be permanent.  Therefore,
do research on it alone.  Attend to it.  And cling to it firmly.'  Though this teaching is simple, it is the greatest of all treasures. 

Grace acts by persistently reminding us of Self.  To forget Self (that is, to attend to anything else) is misery.  To remember Self
is Peace or Bliss. 

Whenever any doubts, questions or new ideas arise, reflect on whether they could arise in your sleep.  Obviously they could
not, so they are external to you.  Therefore forget them and remain as you were in sleep. 

The mind is controlled effectively by Knowledge alone.  Root out all disturbances by keen and sharp discrimination.  Do not try
to rely on forcible control. 

Krishna said that he will attend to the needs of those who always meditate on him without thinking of any thing else. (Bhagavad
Gita 9.22). Bhagavad Gita Saram Verse 31.)  What does this mean?  He is our real self, and nothing is other than him, so he can
only attend to himself.  If we also attend only to Self,. without thinking of anything else, where are any 'needs'?  Other than
ourself, nothing is real, so we should attend only to Self.

When Ramaswami Pillai asked Sri Bhagavan which thoughts should be rejected as bad and which should be accepted as good,
He replied, 'Reject all thoughts, even the thought of Bhagavan.'


Arunachala Siva.           


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 09:56:04 AM »


4th Dec. 1977 - continues..

Never think you are a beginner in the early stages of sadhana.  Always act as if the dawn of Self Knowledge might come
at any moment.

We will be standing on our own feet only when we are able to reject all disturbances -- come what may -- by keen discrimination.
Then all books, satsanghs and other outward aids will be unnecessary. 

Whatever disturbances may come, remember that they are because 'I am'.  As a result of our daily practice, the thought 'I am'
will immediately pull s back to self attention.

There are no straight routes to our goal.  That is, a rigid or formal approach is impossible, because self inquiry is an art, and
each situation must be dealt with in an appropriate manner as it arises.

Sri Bhagavan has given us an armory of weapons suited to each situation, so when the shield does not work use the sword.
When the mind is agitated an attitude of surrender may help, but when the mind  is quiet do not think, 'I should surrender;
how to do so?' but instead use that quietness to abide as Self.

There is no such thing as 'partial surrender'.  Surrender is only real real surrender when it is complete.  What is called 'partial
surrender' is only a practice aiming at complete surrender, and that practice is the correct discrimination in any given situation
that will lead the mind back to self attention.


Arunachala Siva.                     


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 12:23:09 PM »

5th December 1977:

To dwell upon 'I am' i whatever way possible is good contemplation, manana.  It is the practice that will root out all interest
in other things (second and third persons) and make self abidance easy.

Good and Bad are based on the limiting concept 'I am the body'.  The experience of the Jnani is simply 'I am'.  Though it may
seem that the Jnani sees the differences, but he never actually experiences any distinctions such as good or bad.  He is ever
contented with the knowledge 'I am'.  'I am' is both the way and the goal  (as Bhagavan teaches us in verse 579 of Guru
Vachaka Kovai)

Sri Bhagavan is the greatest siddha.  He knows well what work need to be done on us and how to do it. on us and how to
do it.  Though we do not know it, He is doing well all the time. 

Erratic behavior only occurs if a disciple has a profound change of outlook while still retaining some individuality.  Sri
Bhagavan will always bring about the required change of outlook (the experience of true self knowledge) together with
the loss of of individuality, so no outward changes will be seen in those whom He liberates, and no 'I' will rise in them to say,
'I have had this change of outlook', nor will He say anything, (that he will not say that they have been liberated ).

He used to give the example of a hard-shelled fruit which an elephant swallows whole and excretes unbroken, but when the
shell is broken open the contents are found to have been digested.  Likewise, when Sri Bhagavan consumes anyone's ego,
they will outwardly appear unchanged. No one can say how many egos Sri Bhagavan has thus consumed.  (Compare Verse
89 of Sri Arunachala Akshara Mana Malai: 'Arunachala, who, unknown  to anyone, enchanted and stole my mind?)

In one of His verses Muruganar sang to Sri Bhagavan, 'You have given me Sahja (my natural state) without letting me
experience Nirvikalpa Samadhi, close my eyes, or do any sadhana.'  Such is Sri Bhagavan's guruship, but if he were asked
how does it, I don't know; I just know what I am'.

There is only a thin line between Jnana and ajnana.  At the right time, a shock may enable one to cross the line and have
that small change of outlook.

'I am' is neither inside nor outside.  Dwell on the fact that 'I am' is devoid of limitations. Dwell on the feeling of being.  That is
Self and it alone exists. 

The karma theory is riddled with loopholes, ambiguities and dubious assumptions. Firstly it presupposes that the ever non-
existent ego exists as a doer, and on top of this false assumption it piles up one false assumption over another.  The existence
of God, agamya, sanchita, prarabdha, their functions and so on.  Do not merely doubt the theory. Doubt whether you exist as
a doer.


Arunachala Siva.                                             


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 09:23:24 AM »

6th December 1977:

Initiation is only necessary for students in the first or second standard (in the school of bhakti) described in The
Path of Sri Ramana, because they need to be taught rituals or mantras before they can start such practices.  For
students in the fourth standard no initiation is necessary, because the fact that they have been drawn to the Sadguru
indicates that they have already passed beyond such preliminary practices.

The Guru works directly through matured mind of an aspirant, using the aspirant's own discrimination to turn his attention
towards Self.  If an aspirant does proper study (sravana) and reflection (manana) on the Guru's words, he will clearly
understand that self attention is the only practice that is necessary, and that all other practices are superfluous.

A true aspirant will understand that 'I am' is the Guru.  If the Guru were merely a body, he would disappear as he appeared,
and would therefore be useless.  To search for a 'living' Guru is absurd, because the 'living' Guru will sooner or later become
a dead Guru.  If an aspirant has understood the teachings of the Guru correctly, he will no longer look for the Guru outside,
because he will have faith that the Guru is ever present within himself as 'I am'.

Sri Bhagavan used to say that the body of the Guru is a veil covering him in the view of his devotees, because it conceals
from them his true form as Self.  What advantage do devotees who were blessed to be in his physical presence have now?
All they now have is a memory which is no better than a dream.  If they think proudly, 'I have seen Bhagavan,' that is just
another opportunity for their ego to rise.

To have come to Sri Bhagavan is a sign of our ignorance, but He removes that ignorance by enabling us to understand that
His presence is not limited to any place here or there, because It alone exists.  He does not allow us to cling to anything
external, but makes us discriminate and understand that 'I am' alone is eternal, and the Guru therefore cannot be anything
other than that.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2013, 09:57:23 AM »


I am now well soaked in Sri Bhagavan's teachings, so firmly convinced by them, that I cannot take serious interest in any
other guru or teaching.  But this is not a fault, because such a strong conviction is necessary. 

When Sri Bhagavan was ill with cancer, I composed ten verses saying, 'If you form a single resolution (sankalpa), think of
this helpless creature, who can do nothing for himself' and so on.  When He read those verses, He smiled, and the smile
showed me my foolishness. It said to me, 'If my thought, look or touch can help you, how moire so can my silence?'

Thinking, looking, and touching are actions that require a body, but His silence requires  no physical presence.  Silence is
the most effective weapon, so to ask the guru to use any other means is like asking a general to use use a crowbar to   
open a fortress, even though he is already bombarding it with cannons, bombs and all the most powerful weapons.  We
have Sri Bhagavan's words, which are sufficient to turn our mind inwards, and His silence is sufficient to do whatever
else is required. 

We must be content with our guru because even on the spiritual path, chastity (fidelity to one's own guru) is necessary.

If we chase after other gurus, that is a sign of wandering mind and lack of discrimination, which will only obstruct the work
being done by His grace.

If we do proper reflection (manana) on Sri Bhagavan's words, we will find no room for discontent.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 11:17:52 AM »


9th December 1977.

We must be careful not to feed the 'I' in any way.  That is the important part of spiritual practice, (sadhana).  At every twist
and turn, we must be alert against the rising of this 'I'. To sit in the Hall (Bhagavan's Old Hall in Sri Ramanasramam) is good,
but it is also necessary to watch all the time that we do not feed 'I'. 

We should not even think of becoming a guru or guiding others.  Avoiding such ideas is good discipleship.  We must always
be humble and self effacing.  If we want fame or the good opinions of others, then we are no better than worldly people,
because that happiness comes from things outside ourself.

How can an aspirant mix with worldly minded people?  Their thought-current is completely opposed to ours.  If one feels
increasingly out of place in this world, and if one has less and less liking to mix with worldly people, that is a sign of progress.

True progress is not raising kundalini to here or there, but it is just humility.  To be constantly self effacing in every way is a sure
means to samadhi.

Sri Bhagavan told us to be quiet, but nowadays so called yogis and maharshis are shouting so much.  Sri Bhagavan lived as
a perfect example of the state of Jnana, but where an you see such an example among all the famous sages today?  Tinnai
Swami (vide article in the Aradhana issue of 2004 in Mountain Path) is the nearest example I have seen to what Sri Bhagavan
taught us.  Complete non interference.  To keep quiet and not to interfere is the best way of living in the world. 

When an old woman cursed Sri Bhagavan for roaming about the Hill, in the heat of the sun, among all thorny plants, asking
Him why He did not just keep quiet, He did not reply arrogantly, 'But I am a great Maharshi' but merely thought.  'Yes, that
is also good.  Why not?  To keep quiet is the best.' 

We should not want to have anything or to be anything.  Great saints have prayed, 'Send me to heaven or hell.  I do not
even ask for liberation. Only let me always cling to you alone.' 

What use is the good opinion of others?  At most it will last only for the lifetime of this body.


Arunachala Siva.                     


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 11:39:23 AM »


10th December 1977.

In Verse 273 of Guru Vachaka Kovai, Sri Bhagavan says that the self awareness (sat bodha or being consciousness) that
exists and shines in all, as all is the Guru.

To be qualified for the fourth standard (in the school of bhakti) one must have whole hearted love for Guru, and one must try
to put his teachings into practice, at least insofar as one understands them. Unless one sincerely wants and tries to follow the
Guru's teachings, one does not have the true guru bhakti required to be in the fourth standard.  (Compare Nan  Yar? final clause
of twelfth paragraph:  "Nevertheless, it is necessary to proceed [behave or act] unfailingly according to the path that the Guru
has shown.")

For example, although Devaraja Mudaliar said he had no brain for self inquiry, Sri Bhagavan was everything to him, so he
followed the path of self surrender as he understood it.  One may be bottom of the class, but unquestioning faith in the Guru
can overcome all obstacles in a moment.  Even if we do not succeed now in our attempts as Self, we should at least sincerely
want and try to abide thus.

Progress can never be judged.  Sri Bhagavan knows exactly the right medicine required to mature each one of us, so He knows
which vasana (propensity) to release at each moment.  Someone who is getting 5% today may get 100% tomorrow, whereas
someone else who is getting 90% today may not seem to improve for years.  A person may always be caught up in worldly affairs,
but if he is always feeling, "This is all useless nonsense; when can I be quiet?" he may be doing better than someone who is
always sitting in meditation.           


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 10:22:53 AM »


10th December 1977- continues....

A lady devotee who lived nearby complained to Sri Bhagavan that she had not been able to come to this Hall for fifteen
days because she had to attend to relatives who had come to stay.  He replied:  'That is good. It is better that you were
at home with your relatives and that your mind was here, than if you had been here and your mind had been thinking of them.'

Sri Ramakrishna told the following story:  A Sadhu led a pure life and wanted to help a pious prostitute.  So he counted the
number of people who visited her house by placing stones in a pile, and after many years he told her that the pile of stones
represented her sins, so in repentance, she locked the door and starved to death.  He also passed away.  But she was taken
to heaven because she was repentant, whereas the sadhu was taken to hell because his mind was always dwelling on her sins,

He also told a similar story of two friends, one of whom listened to the Bhagavatam while the other went to a brothel.  The first
regretted his decision and envied his friend, who he thought was enjoying himself in the brothel, while the second felt disgusted
with himself in the brothel, and would have preferred to be listening to the holy book.  The first went to hell and the second
went to heaven.

The moral of these stories is that our outward actions are not as important as our inner thoughts and attitude.  Likewise, intense
longing for self abidance is essential, even if we fail in our efforts to abide as Self.

In order to be free, we only need to experience our being as it really is for just one moment.  When as aspirant is sufficiently
matured, through the school of bhakti, the guru will give the final tap, and thus he will be promoted to the fifth standard,
which is moksha.   That may happen any moment. 

To love to abide as Self is the real sign of guru bhakti,

Part I - concluded.


Arunachala Siva,.             


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 11:35:10 AM »

Part II:

10th December 1977 - continued...

People want to leave something for the world when they die, but when the body dies in the world, which is our projection,
ceases to exist.  If we care about the world, we haven't understood Sri Bhagavan properly.

In the English translation of Who am I? in Words of Grace, the world is said to appear or be perceived 'as an apparent objective
reality' (which is the term that Bhagavan did not use in the Tamizh original).  What does 'objective reality' mean?  Objects have
the same degree of reality as the subject, but both are unreal.  Reality is neither objective nor subjective. 

Even Krishna talks about the earnest enquirer passing on to enjoy the celestial worlds and then returning to do sadhana in
this world, as if all these worlds existed in our absence. 

Sri Bhagavan said that not only does self not know other things, but it does not know even itself.  Knowing is a part of dyad
(knowing or not knowing) and a triad (knower, knowing and what is known), but self is just being, and hence devoid of all forms
of doing including knowing.  Being is knowing, but not in the ordinary sense of the word, which refers to an action.  Therefore,
when Sri Bhagavan said that self does not even know itself, He meant that its self awareness is not action but its natural state
of just being.  He did not mean that it does not know 'I am', but that is devoid of knowing as we commonly conceive it.

The world is nothing but a projection of our own vasanas (dispositions), so anyone who reacts to it with feelings such as
curiosity, desire, anger, fear or hatred, is like a small child or monkey when it first confronts its own reflection in a mirror.
At first it is curious, then it becomes angry, then it gives a blow, and finally runs back to its mother in fear.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2013, 10:40:36 AM »


If we desire anything from God or guru, do not have deva bhakti or guru bhakti (true love for god or guru) but only vishaya-
bhakti (love for objects or objective experiences).  Only when we desire nothing are we qualified for the third (b) or fourth
standards (in the school of bhakti) decribed in The Path Of Sri Ramana). 

When the first come to the guru even sincere aspirants desire moksha, peace, or whatever else they call it.  Mumukshutva is
necessary for the fourth standard (guru bhakti), but what the guru makes the aspirant understand is that moksha (liberation)
is not going anything  but losing everything.  To learn this is the purpose of the fourth standard (pure swatma bhakti) or love
for self, which is the state of moksha)

Many like Muruganar and Natanandar came to Bhagavan for moksha alone and prayed accordingly.  Their prayers purified the
minds and gave them discrimination  to understand that complete loss of individuality is the only true moksha.

Sri Bhagavan taught us how to pray:  in Verse 30 of Aksharamanamalai he sang 'Destroying my worldly greatness and making
me naked in the state of nirvana, give me the greatness of your grace.

He said that even surrender (as it is usually understood) is not true deva bhakti, because everything is already God's, so we
can only return what was never ours, as he taught us in Verse 486 of Guru Vachaka Kovai: 'Imagining our self to be separate from
God or lovingly offer that self to God, who exists as our real clearly experienced self, is just like breaking a sweet sugar idol
of Ganapati and offering it back in worship to that Ganapati.'  True deva bhakti is not to rise as a separate self in the first place,
even to surrender that self to God.

In Verse 29 of Upadesa Undiyar He sang, 'Abiding in this state (of self knowledge) which is the way to experience supreme bliss
devoid of any thought of bondage or liberation, is abiding in the service of god' 

By abiding thus, without rising as a separate 'I',  we are sparing God the trouble of having to save us from our own self created
ignorance.  This is the best service we can do for him , and is therefore real deva bhakti.


Arunachala Siva.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 10:54:38 AM »


The mind will always feel that self attention is difficult, because it can never attend to self.  Only self can attend to self.

When a French devotee told him that Swami Siddeswarananda (the founder and head of the Ramakrishna Mission Center in
Paris) had said, 'Very few have known who Bhagavan is', Muruganar replied, 'That is true.  Sri Bhagavan's Asramam, is not
confined to the four walls of this compound.  The whole universe is His Asramam.  The whole universe is Himself.' He later
added, 'Bhagavan alone exists.'

During His final illness, when some devotees suggested that he pray to Bhagavan to relieve His suffering, Muruganar replied,
'You can pray to your God, but I cannot.  My God does not answer.  My God cannot answer.'

Sastra vasana (the disposition to study numerous spiritual and philosophical texts) is created only if one does no more than
sravana (reading) and superficial manana (reflection).  If a learned pandit who seeks name and fame did a little deep manana,
he would reflect thus 'If Brahman, the one self, alone exists, why do I want the appreciation of others? Where are others?
Who am I?' 

If reflection on the guru's words is done only as an aid  to practical sadhana, it will not create any sastra vasana.  The guru's
words will always turn the mind back to self attention, because they all point only to self.

For a young and earnest aspirant whose mind is still fresh, only a little manana is needed.  Whenever his mind strays outwards
he will reflect, 'All that is perceived through five senses is known by me, so knowledge of anything only indicates that I am', and
thus he will easily restore his self attention.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2013, 10:44:45 AM »


13th December 1977:


During nididhyasana (contemplation of the Self) a little mananam (that is, just a few thoughts) can sometimes help to prevent
the mind from straying away from self attention.  But ultimately all these aids must go. In  Who am I? Sri Bhagavan says that a
time will come when we have to forget everything we have learnt.  To forget second and third persons (everything other our
self) is peaceful.  To remember them is troublesome. 

When he was young, Natananada once said to an older devotee who was asking Sri Bhagavan many questions about how
to practice Atma vichara. 'When the infinite self shining 'I' is standing inside you like a rock, why do you have so many doubts?'

19th December 1977:

Dispassion (vairagya) comes only through knowledge. It is cultivated by reflection (manana) and discrimination (viveka),
and sustained by the clear conviction that everything is 'I', that nothing is independent of our own self awareness, and that
the Self alone exists.

Why to say that a mind or ego exists in sleep in order to know 'nothingness'?  Why not understand instead that it is self
that knows 'nothingness', and that that 'nothingness' itself is nothing other than the Self. If you can understand that, then
you can understand that self also knows this 'everythingness', and that 'everythingness' is also nothing other than the Self.

In fact no ego or mind exists even now, so why say it exists in sleep?  There is only one 'I' so that 'I' knows all this is only
Self.  Why to admit the existence of an ego?

In Sri Bhagavan's path,  we cannot admit the existence of any state of 'void' or 'nothingness', because in order to experience
such a state, we should have to exist in it, and hence it would not be devoid of ourself, but only of other things.  Since nothing
else exists in it, it would be full of ourself, and hence purna, not sunya.  To anyone who imagined they have reached a void,
Sri Bhagavan would say:  Investigate who experiences it.  However, even that would not be necessary if we cling firmly to
self attention.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2013, 11:14:46 AM »


In the mangalam verse of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham, Sri Bhagavan says that everything is Self.  Self is that in which, of
which, from which, for which, by which and which everything actually is.  To tell the truth, even this (our everyday activity)
is self attention.  Why then are Sri Bhagavan's clues necessary?  Only because we now mistake our natural state of self awareness
to be a state of awareness of many things other than ourself.  It is only as a means to remove this mistaken experience of
otherness and manyness that Sri Bhagavan asked us to attend only to Self. 

An elderly devotee did not visit Sri Bhagavan for a while because he thought he could become like Sri Bhagavan on his own. 
After a long time he returned, just as Bhagavan was stitching some leaf plates, and Sri Bhagavan said to him, 'See, we take
so much time to stitch these plates, but after eating from them, we throw them away.  Sri Bhagavan is like a leaf plate.  Only
when He has served the purpose should you throw Him away.'  Therefore Sri Bhagavan and the clues He has given us are
necessary until we experience the dawn of self knowledge, and after that we will see that we -- the one self -- alone exist,
and that Sri Bhagavan and His clues are also only to ourself.

Our mind experiencing objects is like sunlight falling on a mirror and being reflected onto a wall.  The reflection (which is like
the objects we experience) is light, the reflecting mirror (which is like our experiencing mind) is light -- and when looked at
directly it seems to be another sun --- and the sun (which is like self, the source of our mind's light of consciousness) is light.
Everything is light, and the light is one.  Likewise, we and all that we experience are only the one light of consciousness, which
is Self.


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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention: Sadhu Om.
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 01:37:18 PM »


Can the mind rise without the support of Self?  Can it exist without self awareness?  It is all so simple, but immature minds
think 'Then Self Knowledge is only like the nothingness of sleep.  It does not look very tasty in comparison with all the interesting
things outside in the world.'  What can we say about them?  We cannot change them, so we just have to let them suffer a bit
more until they understand that oneness is peace and manyness is pain.

In the shade, it is pleasant, in the sun it is scorching.  We always have the freedom to turn within to see the light and thus
enjoy the shade.  When by force of old habit we wander out again, we say to Sri Bhagavan, 'That was only laya, I want nasa',
and He replies, 'Turn again to the source and see if manyness exists there.'  By repeatedly turning away consciously from the
manyness in this way, we come to see that it does not exist apart from us, and that it is therefore something we need to fear.
Some reach this realization after just a few attempts, but for others it takes longer because their attention is not so sharp and clear.

Extracts from a tape recording: 13th March 197.

Self attention is ever going one.  It needs no effort. 

Here the whole philosophy is based on the principle that people are not contented by attending to second or third persons, so
vairagya, freedom from desire to experience otherness, must be the base.  One should know that attention to second and third
persons brings misery.

When Sri Bhagavan was asked, 'Why should we attend to the first person or atman?'  He replied, 'If you do not attend to the
first person, you attend to the second or third persons instead.  If you do not do atma vichara, you do anatma vichara.  Neither
is necessary.  To be is not doing nor attending.'

Until one comes to the conclusion, that attending to second or third persons -- or even to the first person -- is ultimately unnecessary,
one should attend to the first first person.  If that is felt to be tiresome, be free from that also, and just be happy with your
mere being.

(Later Sadhu Om explained that this is like saying, 'If you do not like this coin with a head, you can have this one with a tail',
knowing that both coins are the same.  Remaining with only our being is the state of attending to nothing other than Self.)


Arunachala Siva.
Arunachala Siva.