Author Topic: Aham Sphurana - John Grimes - Mountain Path, July-Sept, 2013.  (Read 2359 times)

Subramanian.R

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Aham Sphurana - John Grimes - Mountain Path, July-Sept, 2013.
« on: January 08, 2014, 03:24:38 PM »

Seekers wonder if it is possible to have a glimpse of the Self and then lost it?  The question has relevance not only for seekers
but also to those individuals who believe themselves to be fully illumined.  Bhagavan said, 'Partial Realization?  If it is partial,
it is not Realization, and if it is Realization it is not partial.  (Balarama Reddy. N. 'My Reminiscences). 

The term, 'aham suphrana' illumines this query.  Bhagavan said, referring to this term, 'It is a foretaste of Realization.  (Talks No. 62).
A foretaste is a foretaste (preliminary or first taste; (preliminary or first taste; slight experience of something to be enjoyed in the future),
but a foretaste is not Sahaja Samadhi, a complete, natural, and never ending direct experience of the Absolute nor is it even Kevala
Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the state of temporary but effortless Self awareness in which the mind/ego has not been finally eliminated.

Imagine a lake with a layer of green scum covering its surface.  If the scum is suddenly pushed aside, one has a clear vision of the pure
water below.  The pure water was always there, but was a hidden by the obscuring scum.  Bhagavan said, 'Although Aham Sphurana is always and all over, yet it is felt at a particular center and on particular occasions.  It is antecedent causes and confounded with the
body.  Whereas, it is all alone and pure, it is the Self.  To fix the mind on the sphurana and one senses it continuously and automatically is realization.  (Ibid.)

The term aham sphurana, like the other terms that Bhagavan employs such as the Self, Jnana or Sahaja Samadhi, is difficult precisely
because the ego lives in the world of subjects and objects.  Yet, these terms do not refer to an objective experience by a knowing object.  Actually, language is an impediment when dealing with Reality.  All languages have place in the lives of individuals at the
empirical level, but Bhagavan 'speaks' the language of the Self.           
       
Aham: 'I' ( in certain contexts it refers to the individual ego and in other contexts it refers to the Self.  In this context, it refers to the
Self.

Sphurana: appear clearly, become visible, flashing forth, to shine. 

The term aham sphurana raises the questions: What is this 'I' (aham) and what is it that flashes forth (sphurana)?

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Aham Sphurana - John Grimes - Mountain Path, July-Sept, 2013.
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 12:50:12 PM »

continues.,...

Everyone knows an egotistical 'I' (aham vritti) or that knot which mysteriously arises between Consciousness and the
insentient physical body.  We are the knowing subject, and objects, different from us, are what are known. On the other
hand, the term 'aham' sometimes refers to the Supreme Reality, Consciousness-Itself. When the aham sphurana suddenly,
spontaneously, appears clearly, there is no knowing subject, and known object.  It is best described not as an experience
but as Experience Itself, the Self shining forth as it has always been and always will be.

What is this 'shining forth'?  Is it the ego or is it the Self?  Bhagavan replied, 'It is neither the one nor the other, but something
in between the two, it is something which is a combination of the 'I' (Self) and the 'I' thought (ego), and that the Self is without
even this sphurana. (Day by Day, 23.4.1945). 

Continuing, Bhagavan said, 'Again sphurana is the foretaste of Realization.  It is pure. The subject and object proceed from it.
If a person mistakes him or herself for the subject, objects must necessarily appear different from them. Objects are periodically
withdrawn and projected, creating the world and the subject's enjoyment of the same.  If, on the other hand, a person feels
him or herself to be the screen on which the subject and object are projected, there can be no confusion, and one can remain
watching their appearance and disappearance without perturbation to the Self.  (Talks # 62)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Aham Sphurana - John Grimes - Mountain Path, July-Sept, 2013.
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 12:55:19 PM »

continues....

When a person is deep asleep, one knows nothing as there is no 'I', no ego, the mind is not functioning. On waking one's
personal 'I' arises and is perceived as associated with the body, the world, the non-self in general. Such an associated 'I'
is known as the mind moving, aham vritti.  The egotistical 'I' is oscillating. When Aham represents only the Self, it is steady,
aham sphurana.  This is the natural state of the Jnani, self realized, and is itself called Jnana, Knowledge by Jnanis.

Though ever present, even in deep sleep, it is not clearly perceived.  It will not appear to a person where the ego persists.
As one's true nature underlying the waking, dream and deep sleep states, it is said that it must first be realized in the waking
state.  Thus, the importance and value of the waking conditon.

'Efforts must be made in the waking state and the Self must be realized here and now.  After the initial flashes of the Aham
Sphurana, this will afterwards be realized to be the continuous Self, uninterrupted by the waking, dreaming, deep sleep
states.  This Aham Sphurana is described in Vedanta as an unbroken flashing forth - ahandakara vritti.  The term vritti is used
for lack of better expression.  It should not be understood to be literally a vritti, for in that case, the vritti will resemble an
ocean like river, which is absurd. (Maha Yoga)

Vrittis are limited and of short duration.  They are the absolute Consciousness broken up by the cognition of thoughts, senses,
etc., Vritti are the function of the mind, whereas the continuous Consciousness transcends the mind.  This is the natural, primal
state of the Jnani or the liberated being.  It asserts itself when relative consciousness totally subsides. Aham Vritti - egotistical
'I thought, is broken.  Aham Sphurana - the light of 'I'-'I' is unbroken, continuous.  After the thoughts subside, the Light shines
forth. (Talks # 307).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                         

Subramanian.R

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Re: Aham Sphurana - John Grimes - Mountain Path, July-Sept, 2013.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 12:29:00 PM »

continues....

The root obstacle to Self Realization, Bhagavan often said, is the 'I am the body thought'.  This thought is rooted in mind dominated
by activity (rajas) and lethargy (tamas).  In fact, what is known as the mind is nothing but rajas and tamas predominating.  What is
sought is abide in a pure sattva state.  But note that, truly speaking, the mind cannot do this for mind has ceased to function in
such a condition.  When a person ceases to cling to a mind dominated by rajasic and tamasic thoughts, when one ceases to cling
to the idea that one is the physical body, the pure sattvic mind shines - aham sphurana.  In Bhagavan's language, the pure sattvic
mind spontaneously flashes forth with the death of egotistical mind.  However, it should be noted that this spontaneous manifestation
of aham sphurana still contains the subtle dualistic feeling that there is an 'I' that is clinging to the Self.  In such a manifestation,
a person may have the experience of the Self, but there remains a subtle subjective element to it.

Bhagavan said, 'This sphurana cannot remain independently apart from the Reality,but it is a correct sign that indicates the forthcoming
direct experience of that Reality.  The source to which this sphurana clings alone is called the Reality or Pure Consciousness.....
During the time of practice the natural state is called upasana (meditation) and when that state become firmly established and
permanently established it is called Jnana. (Sri Ramana Gita 1.13).

Therefore, discarding the physical mind / body and remaining without even uttering the word 'I', if one keenly inquires 'what is it
that rises as 'I'?' then in the heart a certain soundless sphurana 'I'-'I' will shine forth of its own accord.  Without ever leaving this
'I'-'I', even the sphurana will itself in the end subside, just like the flame that catches the camphor.  This alone is said to be
liberation by Sages and Scriptures.

'I'-'I' is the Self; 'I am this' or 'I am that' is the ego.  The Self is there always.  The ego is transitory. The flashing of the aham
sphurana is the correct sign indicating that the Reality is appearing clearly.  But since in this state there is still a feeling of attending
to the Self, this sphurana is not the complete, unending manifestation of the Self, the Reality. 

The Reality is the source to which this sphurana attends.  When even this feeling of attending to the Self subsides, the sphurana
attends.  When even this feeling of attending to the Self subsides, the sphurana itself subsides, and only Being remains.  This
state, in which even the slightest trace of the ego or individuality has been completely annihilated, is  called liberation, the direct
experience of the Reality. 

Aham sphurana as presented here, as a descriptive term indicating a genuine vision of the Self clearly flashing forth.  Bhagavan
said that many (most) individuals have this vision, though of short duration, during certain dramatic moments in their lives,
for instance, during the moment of great fear.  However, generally this state is confused with the mind / body complex and
though genuine is temporary.  When an individual is ripe, qualified, this flashing forth will last for a longer period and eventually
will become the permanent state of Self Realization.

concluded.

Arunachala Siva.