Author Topic: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention. Sadhu Om - April-June 2014.  (Read 5044 times)

Subramanian.R

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Continued from the Mountain Path Issue of Jan.- Mar. 2014.

Part 9:

20th Jan. 1978.

During the waking state. whenever you do not feel love to attend to the Self, you cannot but attend to second and third
persons (things other than oneself, the first person) so at such times it is best to resort to sravana (studying Bhagavan's
teachings) and manana (reflecting on them).

Making intermittent attempts to attend to the Self is the most effective way to proceed. It is useless to struggle constantly
to attend to the Self, because that would be like standing deep in the mud and trying to lift something out;  the more you
try to do so, the deeper you sink.  A firm foothold  is necessary, and it is provided by sravana and manana. 

The foothold is Vairagya. (dispassion), which is freedom from desire to attend to any second or third person object, and
bhakti (devotion), which is love to attend only to the first person. 

Our whole life should go on in this way, with our mind  kept occupied in sravana, manana, and nididhyasana. (contemplation
on the Self).  Sravana, manana may take a long time, depending on the individual mind, but the correct nididhyasana takes
just a split second.  We may be able to turn 179 degrees from everything else towards the Self nit even that is not perfect
nididhyasana;  it is just an attempt to perfect nididhyasana, and is jumping a nine and a half feet across a ten foot wall. To land
safely on the other side, we must jump the full ten feet. Likewise, to experience ourself as we really are, we must turn full
180 degrees.

One must also know what type of sravana will be effective.  To be most effective, sravana must be focused and directed
unswervingly in just one direction, so reading this and that from numerous different gurus is not proper sravana. You must
find a guru with whose thought current you can agree, then discover what his real teachings are. And then practice
them alone.  Though there are various books in which Bhagavan's answers to visitors' questions are recorded, and though
they contain many useful ideas, reading them alone is not adequate sadhana, because many ideas in them are answers
that Bhagavan gave to questions that various types of people asked Him from a wide variety of perceptions, so such answers
often do not represent His core writings, since He always tailored His answers to suit the needs, concerns and aspirations
of each questioner and their ability or willingness to understand whatever He might say to them.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.               

 

Subramanian.R

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20th June 1978 - continues...


Therefore to understand such answers in a proper perspective, we need to view them in the clear light of His actual teachings,
so anyone who does not already have a clear and thorough understanding of His essential teachings will be liable to misunderstand
or be confused by some of the answers recorded in such books.  Therefore, if we wish to do sravana correctly and effectively,
we must carefully and repeatedly study and reflect upon Bhagavan's own original writings such as Nan Yaar, Upadesa
Undiyar, Ulladu Narpadu, Atma Vidya Kirtanam and Ekatma Panchakam. 

Except these few short texts, no other books are really necessary to enable a sincere aspirant to understand Bhagavan's
essential teachings correctly.  The Path of Sri Ramana too should not be necessary, and it became necessary only because
people made clear to me the extent tom which they have failed to understand His teachings correctly, partly because they
had not studied His original writings carefully enough, but also due to confusion caused either by other books that they had
read or by their reliance on inadequate translation and interpretation of His teachings. 

For example, some writers imagine Sphurana to be some sort of 'pulsation', 'throbbing' or 'vibration' in the heart. so they
have written that this is what we should hold on to.;  However, anything that pulsates, throbs or vibrates is obviously
something other than the 'I' who experiences it, so it is only a second person.  The experience of 'I', the first person, is
such that it cannot be described in any way.  When Bhagavan used the term Sphurana, He meant only Aham-Sphurana
(the clear shining of 'I'), which is not a new knowledge of anything other than 'I' , but only a new knowledge of 'I' our
own Self.  That is, it is a fresh clarity of our self awareness. It is awareness of the same 'I' that we always experience,
but it is experienced with a fresh degree of clarity.  Because it is such a clarity, when it is experienced no doubts will rise
about it, just as when you are fully satisfied after eating a sumptuous meal, no doubt can rise in your mind about whether
or not you are still hungry.  Once experienced, the clarity called Sphurana can never  be forgotten, and if we hold on to it
firmly, it will automatically lead to us to our Sahaja Sthiti (natural state).

           
contd.,

Arunachala Siva.     

ksksat27

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please continue this excellent writings of Sri Sadhu Om.

Sri Sadhu Om seems to be very particular in driving us direct to self enquiry , no compromise whatsover.

Subramanian.R

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Dear Krishnan,

I shall continue that Sri Sadhu Om's essay, after completing Ribhu Gita.


Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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The Paramount Importance of Self Attention:

Part Ten: Sri Sadhu Om - as recorded by Michael James:

Sadhu Om:  We must understand that Bhagavan does not use the word 'ulladu' (which means,'What is' or 'that which is')
to denote some abstract concept of being or reality, as some philosophers do.  He uses it simply to mean the one self-
existing, and self evident reality, 'I am' which is always clearly known by everyone.

When 'I' remains as it is, without any adjuncts, it is the sole reality, but when it seems to rise as 'I am the body', it is as such
unreal.  That is, in the compound experience 'I am this body'. 'I am' alone is real, and the adjunct body is unreal.  Thus as a
compound of the real and unreal, the 'I' feels 'I am this body' is itself unreal.

Since this 'I' is unreal, why should we worry about its defects?  karma, vibhakti, viyoga, and ajnana?  If we investigate
the 'I' that seems to have these defects, we will find it to be unreal, and hence all its defects are like wise unreal.  Therefore,
in verse 14 of Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham, Sri Bhagavan says:

Investigating to whom are these, karma, vibhakti viyoga, and ajnana, is itself karma, bhakti, yoga, and jnana.  This is because
when one investigates oneself, it will be clear that they have karma, vibhakti, viyoga, and ajnana never exist without 'I'
which is itself not real.  Only being permanently as self is true.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                         

Subramanian.R

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continues...

The first and only duty we have is to find out the truth of this 'I'. Bhagavan says in Nan Yaar? that even if one is the worst
sinner, if one could cling firmly to self attention (svarupa dhyana) one would certainly be reformed and saved.

All the so called 'other paths' are only intended to purify the mind because they cannot actually annihilate the ego. 
This is why Bhagavan says in verse 3 of Upadesa Undiyar:

Desireless action (nishkamya karma) done with love, for God purifies the mind and thereby it shows the path to liberation.

The path to liberation is only atma vichara.  or self inquiry.  But only a mind  that is to some extent purified will be able to
recognize that this is the only means to annihilate the ego.  If we have recognized this, we do not need to follow any other
path, because Vichara will not only annihilate our ego eventually, but will also in the meanwhile purify our mind far
more effectively and efficiently than any other path could.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.   


Subramanian.R

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continues....

Therefore, paths other than atma vichara are only for those who do not understand that the eradication of one's individuality
is the goal, and that Vichara is the only means by which we can achieve this goal.  Such  people are not true aspirants
because we only become aspirants when we have genuine love to this 'I' subside, for which atma vichara is the only means.
The only benefit to be gained from other paths is sufficient mental purity to be able to grasp that atma vichara alone is the path
by which we can reach our final destination, the state of liberation or true self knowledge.

Atma vichara appears to be 'intellectual self analysis' only in the view of those who do not have sufficient mental purity to
understand that we can know ourself only by attending to ourself, and consequently to have true love for self attention,
which alone is, the correct practice of vichara.

2nd Feb. 1978.

Sadhu Om:  Bhagavan repeatedly emphasized that atma vichara is the only path, the direct path for everyone and also
the easiest path.  For example in Nan Yaar? he says:

Only by means of vichara who am I will the mind subside or cease to be...

To make the mind subside permanently, there are no adequate means other than vichara. If restrained by other means,
the mind will remain subsided but will emerge again.... Therefore, pranayama, is just an aid to restrain the mind, but will
not bring about mano nasa. Just like pranayama, moorthi dhyana, mantra japa and ahara niyama are only aids that
restrain the mind but will not bring about its annihilation.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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continues..,,,

In Verse 17 of Upadesa Undiyar, He says:

When anyone scrutinizes the form of the mind without forgetting, it will become clear that there is no such thing as
'mind'.  For everyone this is the direct path. 

In Verse 885 of Guru Vachaka Kovai He says:

Except by the path of investigating the vital awareness (I am), whatever effort is made by other means beginning with
karma, one will not attain and enjoy Self, the treasure shining in the Heart.

Likewise, in Maharshi's Gospel  (Book 2, Chapter 1) it is recorded that He said:

Whatever form your enquiry may take, you must finally come to the one I, the Self....

Self inquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned,  Absolute Being that you really
are...... Every kind of sadhana except Atma Vichara presupposes the retention of the mind as the instrument for carrying
on the sadhana, and without the mind, it cannot be practiced.  The ego may take different and subtler forms at the
different stages of one's practice, but is itself never destroyed.... The attempt to destroy the ego or the mind through
sadhanas other than atma vichara, is just like the thief assuming the guise of a policeman to catch the thief, that is
himself.  Atma Vichara alone can reveal the truth that neither ego nor the mind really exists, and enables one to realize
the pure undifferentiated Being  of the Self or the Absolute.

...To be the Self that you really are is the only means to realize the Bliss that is yours.

Since Self is aware of nothing other than itself, 'I am', to be the Self simply means to be aware of nothing but 'I'  alone,
which is all that the practice of atma vichara entails.  As Bhagavan says in Verse 26 of Upadesa Undiyar: 'Being Self alone
is knowing Self, because Self is not two.....

Because of our desire to be constantly experiencing something other than just as 'I', it may seem difficult for us to experience
only 'I', but Bhagavan assures us that this is actually very easy -- much easier than any other means by which we may try
to attain liberation.  This is emphatically affirmed by Him in Verse 4 of Atma Vidya Kirtanam:

To untie the bonds beginning with karma and to rise above the ruin beginning with birth, rather than whatever other path,
this path (atma vichara) is exceedingly easy. When one just is, having settled down without even the least action of mind,
speech or body, ah, in one's Heart  the light of the Self will shine forth.  This is our eternal experience. Fear will not exist.
The ocean of Bliss alone will remain. Therefore, ah, the science of Self is extremely easy, ah, extremely easy!

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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continues.....

Every other sadhana entails doing some action (karma) by mind, speech or body, whereas atma vichara entails the mind
subsiding without the least actions by focusing its entire attention on its source. , 'I am'.  Therefore, whereas any other
sadhana is a practice of 'doing', atma vichara is the practice of just being as we really are - such perfect clarity of self
awareness. Hence, since being is easier than doing, atma vichara is the easiest of all paths.

The purpose of nishkamya puja, japa, and dhyana and of all sadhanas other than  atma vichara, is only to purify the mind.
Purification of mind is the sole benefit that can be gained from any such sadhanas, because non of then can ever by itself
destroy the ego.  The benefit of a purified mind is that 'it shows the path to liberation', as Bhagavan says in Verse 3 of
Upadesa Undiyar.  That is, it enables the mind to discriminate, understand and be firmly convinced that atma vichara alone
is the path to liberation. 

Thus, when Sri Bhagavan says in Maharshi's Gospel, (Book 2, Chapter 1), 'Atma vichara alone can reveal the truth that
neither the ego nor the mind really exists.'  he is not being partial, nor is he criticizing  other sadhanas.  He is merely
asserting the truth that though other sadhanas can purify the mind, they cannot destroy it.  Therefore, we should not
confuse these paths for mental purification with 'the path to liberation' which is the 'one path' taught by Bhagavan -- the
path he describes as or Vazhi (the one path or the path of investigation) in Verse 14. of Upadesa Undiyar.

A true aspirant is one whose mind is sufficiently purified to understand that atma vichara alone can be the path to liberation'
and therefore to love to practice it.  Those who cannot understand this are best just devotees of God.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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continues....

Bhagavan says that atma vichara is the direct path, not because He expects us to attack the mind directly.  But because He
expects us to turn directly towards the Self, 'I am', and by thus remaining in Self to ignore the mind.  Thus atma vichara is,
so to speak, avoiding and hiding the mind instead of fighting it face to face.  This is what is signified by Rama's method
of killing  Vali.

Vali had a boon that he would receive half of the strength of anyone he faced in battle, so he was automatically more
powerful than any opponent he had to face.  Therefore, even Rama, could not have killed him in face to face combat, so he
had to hide behind a tree and shoot him from behind.  Just as Vali gained half the strength of his opponent, if we try to fight
the mind in direct combat, we will be giving it half of our strength, because our attention is what sustains and nourishes it,
so the more we attend to it, the more we are giving it strength.  Therefore, the only way to destroy the mind is by attending
only to 'I' and therefore ignore all the other thoughts that constitute the mind.

All other sadhanas, which are  only actions performed by 'I' attempt to destroy the mind using it as a means or instrument
and hence Bhagavan likkes them to someone confronting Vali, or a thief pretending to be a policeman trying to catch the
thief, or to a person getting rid of his own shadow.  Therefore Bhagavan advises us to ignore our shadow, the mind or the ego,
by turning our attention towards the sun, 'I am.'

concluded.

will be continued when Oct-Dec. 2014 issue of Mountain Path is released.

Arunachala Siva.             

silence

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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention. Sadhu Om - April-June 2014.
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 08:09:33 PM »
Thanks, Sir, very good post, especially the comparison of mind with Vali.

But one doubt. Is it just enough to ignore thoughts ... upon which our attention will automatically be on the I? Or must we force ourselves to keep the attention on the I?

Thanks so much.


Subramanian.R

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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention. Sadhu Om - April-June 2014.
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 12:42:41 PM »
Dear silence,

If you succeed in keeping away the thoughts it is well and good. Otherwise, as and when thoughts come up
you should turn the mind inward, that is towards 'I'.

Arunachala Siva.   

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention. Sadhu Om - April-June 2014.
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 04:43:23 PM »
Sadhu Om /Robert Butler:

3rd February 1978:

Sadhu Om: in 1949, when Bhagavan received a telegram from Mankkam Pillai informing Him of death of Sivaprakasam
Pillai, He said with a twist of His hand, 'Sivaprakasam has become Sivaprakasam (the light of Siva).'

4th February 1978:

Sadhu Om: When the reality is the truth of our own being, how can  training  the mind to attend any second or third person
(anything other than ourself) help us to attain the reality?  Someone whose mind is thus at attached to  any name or form
will not be able to understand even intellectually what self attention actually is.  Even if he can enjoy the company of the name
and form of his beloved God, how does that help him? Ramakrishna said that even if God wants to take us to the self, he
cannot unless we want him to.  Only by our own liking and effort to practice self attention can we attain self attention  and true
self knowledge (atma jnana)

The aim towards which the whole universe is striving is nothing but the subsidence of thought, because happiness is
experienced only to the extent to which thought subsides.  The complete subsidence of thought is experienced by all   
beings in sleep, and hence every one is perfectly happy in that state, but because we attend only to second and third
persons in the waking state and dream state, we fail to discriminate properly and thereby to understand that what we are seeking
is only the subsidence of thought.  Bhagavan points out our mistake and tells us that we should try to experience in the waking
state that happiness which we experienced in sleep.  How can we do so? In sleep we did not attend to any second or third
persons, but experienced only ourself so we should try to do the same now.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Ravi.N

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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention. Sadhu Om - April-June 2014.
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 08:52:35 PM »
Friends,

Quote
Someone whose mind is thus at attached to  any name or form will not be able to understand even intellectually what self attention actually is.  Even if he can enjoy the company of the name and form of his beloved God, how does that help him? Ramakrishna said that even if God wants to take us to the self, he  cannot unless we want him to.  Only by our own liking and effort to practice self attention can we attain self attention  and true self knowledge (atma jnana)

I have found some of Sadhu Om's comments dogmatic and do not reflect the whole Truth,particularly his saying on Sri Ramakrishna.In fact Sri Ramakrishna has said the very opposite of what sadhu Om has claimed that he said!I have given the excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in the Rough-notebook thread.

Namaskar.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 06:16:59 AM by Ravi.N »

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Paramount Importance of Self Attention. Sadhu Om - April-June 2014.
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2014, 04:38:24 PM »
4th February 1978 - continues...

Even the scientists are only looking for happiness, but they wrongly discriminate and believe that happiness will be increased
if the whole of mankind is able to enjoy more pleasures through the five senses. But once we are convinced that Self alone is
our goal, why should we attend to anything, other than oneself?  An independent and careful reflection on Bhagavan's teachings
should convince anyone that Self alone is our goal, will thereby give them the love to attend only to the Self.

All other spiritual practices (sadhana) required blind belief in something that we do not know, because they need us to believe
that something other than  ourself, can lead us to ourself.  The practice of self attention is the only path which is clearly charted
and scientific because it is the only path in which the causal connection between the practice (attending to the Self) and the goal
(knowing the Self) is self evident.

All religions and philosophies tell us that sleep is a mean state, and they all expect us to believe something other than ourself,
but one Sri Ramana alone stands to say that we should not believe anything but self, 'I am', because we who exist unchanging
in all the three states are alone the real substance, (mey poruL or Sat Vasthu). Once we have been convinced by Bhagavan,
we should cease to be concerned whether this person or that person is a Jnani. We should have faith in ourself, and should
therefore press on towards our goal without being concerned about others.

If you doubt whether you can be one of the few who will reach the goal, remember that the Vedas assure us, 'You are That'
(tat tvam asi) , so  you are the one who will succeed because you are already That.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.