Author Topic: Part 3- Few Thoughts By Annamalai Swami  (Read 906 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Part 3- Few Thoughts By Annamalai Swami
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:42:54 PM »
The obstructing vasanas may look like a large mountain which obstructs your progress. Don't be intimidated by the size. It is not a mountain of rock, it is a mountain of camphor. If you light one corner of it with the flame of discriminative attention, it will all burn to nothing.

Stand back from the mountain of problems, refuse to acknowledge that they are yours, and they will dissolve and disappear before your eyes.

Don't be deluded by your thoughts and vasanas. They are always trying to trick you into believing that you are a real person, that the world is real, and that all your problems are real. Don't fight them; just ignore them. Don't accept delivery of all the wrong ideas that keep coming to you. Establish yourself in the conviction that you are the Self and that nothing can stick to you or affect you. Once you have that conviction you will find that you automatically ignore the habits of the mind. When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic, you will begin to have the experience of the Self.

If you see two strangers quarrelling in the distance you do not give much attention to them because you know that the dispute is none of your business. Treat the contents of your mind in the same way. Instead of filling your mind with thoughts and then organising fights between them, pay no attention to the mind at all. Rest quietly in the feeling of "I am", which is consciousness, and cultivate the attitude that all thoughts, all perceptions are 'not me'. When you have learned to regard your mind as a distant stranger, you will not pay any attention to all the obstacles it keeps inventing for you.

Mental problems feed on the attention that you give them. The more you worry about them, the stronger they become. If you ignore them, they lose their power and finally vanish.

Question: I am always thinking and believing that there is only the Self but somehow there is still a feeling that I want or need something more.

Annamalai Swami: Who is it that wants? If you can find the answer to that question there will be no one to want anything.

Question: Children are born without egos. As they begin to grow up, how do their egos arise and cover the Self?

Annamalai Swami: As young children may appear to have no egos but its ego and all the latent vasanas that go with it are there in seed form. As the child's body grows bigger, the ego also grows bigger. The ego is produced by the power of maya [illusion], which is one of the shaktis [powers] of the Self.

Question: How does maya operate? How does it originate? Since nothing exists except the Self, how does the Self manage to conceal Its own nature from Itself?

Annamalai Swami: The Self, which is Infinite power and the Source of all power, is indivisible. Yet within this indivisible Self there are five shaktis or powers, with varying functions, which operate simultaneously. The five shaktis are creation, preservation, destruction, veiling [maya shakti] and Grace. The fifth shakti, Grace, counteracts and removes the fourth shakti, which is maya.

When maya is totally inactive, that is, when the identity with the body and the mind has been dropped, there is an awareness of consciousness, of Being. When one is established in that state there is no body, no mind and no world. These three things are just ideas which are brought into an apparent existence when maya is present and active.

When maya is active, the sole effective way to dissolve it is the path shown by Bhagavan: one must do Self-enquiry and discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. It is the power of maya which makes us believe in the reality of things which have no reality outside our imagination. If you ask, "What are these imaginary things?" the answer is, "Everything that is not the formless Self". The Self alone is real; everything else is a figment of our imagination.

It is not helpful to enquire why there is maya and how it operates. If you are in a boat which is leaking, you don't waste time asking whether the hole was made by an Italian, a Frenchman or an Indian. You just plug the leak. Don't worry about where maya comes from. Put all your energy into escaping from its effect. If you try to investigate the origin of maya with your mind you are doomed to fail because any answer you come up with will be a maya answer. If you want to understand how maya operates and originates you should establish yourself in the Self, the one place where you can be free of it, and then watch how it takes you over each time you fail to keep your attention there.

Question: You say that maya is one of the shaktis. What exactly do you mean by shakti?

Annamalai Swami: Shakti is energy or power. It is a name for the dynamic aspect of the Self. Shakti and shanti [peace] are two aspects of the same consciousness. If you want to separate them at all, you can say that shanti is the unmanifest aspect of the Self while shakti is the manifest. But really they are not separate. A flame has two properties: light and heat. The two cannot be separate.

Shanti and shakti are like the sea and its waves. Shanti, the unmanifest aspect, is the vast unmoving body of water. The waves that appear and move on the surface are shakti. Shanti is motionless, vast and all-encompassing, whereas waves are active.

Bhagavan used to say that after realisation the jivanmukta [liberated one] experiences shanti within and is established permanently in that shanti. In that state of realisation he sees that all activities are caused by shakti. After realisation one is aware that there is no individual people doing anything. Instead there is an awareness that all activities are the shakti of the one Self. The jnani, who is fully established in the shanti, is always aware that shakti is not separate from him. In that awareness everything is his Self and all actions are his. Alternatively, it is equally correct to say that he never does anything. This is one of the paradoxes of the Self.