Author Topic: Adhisthana - John Grimes:  (Read 1428 times)

Subramanian.R

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Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« on: January 23, 2016, 04:39:32 PM »
(The above article appeared in July - Sept. 2015 issue of Mountain Path.)

The foundational Sanskrit word 'adhisthana' means: 'substratum, support, source, base'.  Bhagavan
Ramana spoke of the Self, Sat-Chit-Ananda, the Heart, Jnana, Svarupa, Sahaja Sthithi, and adhisthana -
all as synonyms designating the One Supreme Reality. Without the source, the foundation, all else would
cease to exist, whether one labels all else as a mere appearance or real.  'The world does not exist without
the body, the body never ceases without the mind, the mind never exists without consciousness, and
consciousness never exists without the Reality. (Muruganar - Guru Vachaka Kovai Verse 99.)

Bhagavan Ramana has given us a number of examples to elucidate, make crystal clear, the exact denotation
of the term 'substratum' (adhisthana).  It may also be noted that, for Advaitins and Sri Ramana, words,
concepts,can only point towards, indicate, that which is transcendent, formless, solely One, by
employing examples from worldly (vyavaharika) phenomena. From the Absolute (paramarthika)
perspective. the Self, Atman-Brahman, Consciousness, is the adhisthana, the Reality or Source and
Substratum of anything appears. He said, 'You won't find any of the names and forms of the world
separate from the Substratum.  When you try to get at name and form, you will find Consciousness only.'
(David Godman, The Power of The Presence,, Volume 1)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 11:21:48 AM »
In an answer to a questioner, Sri Ramana employed the procedure known as pancha kosa viveka or
'an inquiry into the five sheaths' to elucidate the meaning of adhisthana. He said, 'Ask yourself the
question.  The body  (annamaya kosa) and its functions are not 'I'.  Going deeper, the mind (mano maya kosa) and its functions are not 'I' (Talks 25).  Continuing deeper, Bhagavan says the intellect (vijnanamaya kosa) that perceives thoughts is only the sheath of 'I' and not the 'I' itself.  Finally, He concludes, ' 'I' am beyond even sleep; 'I' be now and here and what I was all along in sleep and dreams also, without the qualities of such states. 'I' must therefore be the unqualified substratum underlying these three states (anandamaya kosa transcended).  'I' is, in brief, beyond the five sheaths. Next, the residuum left over
after discarding all that is non self is the Self, Sat Chit Ananda.'  (Talks $ 25)

Another questioner asked about the Sahaja state and Bhagavan  answers employing the analogy of a
reflection in a mirror and of a movie screen.  When one sees the pictures on the screen one does not see
the screen.  But without the screen no pictures will be seen.  As an analogy, the screen is eternal while
the pictures come and go.

contd.

Arunachala Siva.               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 11:26:43 AM »
"For instance you see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror.  You know the mirror to be the reality
and the picture in it a mere reflection.  Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see
the reflection in it?  Or again take the screen illustration.  There is a screen.  On that screen first a picture
appears. Before that figure on the same screen other pictures appear and the first figure goes on watching
the other pictures.  If you are the screen and know yourself to be screen, is it necessary not to see the first
figure and the subsequent pictures? When you don't know the screen you think the figure and pictures to be
real.  But when you know the screen and realize it is the only reality on which as substratum the shadows of the figure and pictures have been cast, you know these to be mere shadows. You may see the shadows, knowing them to be such and knowing yourself to be the screen that is the basis for them all."  (Day by Day 6.3.1946 afternoon.)

In talking about how the sage sees the illusory world (mithya) as Real (satyam).  Bhagavan explains,
'He who sees the Self, sees only the Self in the world also.  To the Jnani it is immaterial whether the world
appears or not.  Whether it appears or not, his attention is always on the Self.  It is like letters and the paper
on which the letters are printed.  You are wholly engrossed with the letters and have no attention left on
the paper.  But the Jnani thinks only of the paper as the real substratum, whether the letters appear on it
or not.'  (Day by Day 12.9.1946)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 10:40:50 AM »
Further, He said, 'When one realizes the truth and knows that there is neither seer nor the seen,
but only the Self that transcends both, that the Self alone is the screen or the substratum on which
the shadow both of the ego  and all that it sees, come and go, the feeling that one has not got eyesight,
and that therefore one misses the sight of various things, will vanish.  The realized being, though he has
normal eyesight, does not see all these things.  He sees only the Self.'  (Day by Day., 17.10.1946)

It was said of Ramana, 'This sage of Arunagiri was one who burned His boats even at the age of seventeen,
while He was a student in Madurai.  This was so that He might be drowned in the Ocean of Arunachala and
dissolved in It, so that there might be no trace of His little 'self' and He be only the Self that is, was, and shall
ever be.  This to Him 'Arunachala' - the one resplendent and immutable Truth, that is the substratum of all
that is, was and shall be.'  (T.K. Sundaresa Iyer, At the Feet of Bhagavan, Section 3).

What is the adhishtana like?  Bhagavan compared it to the Final Goal, Turiya (the Fourth State).  He said,
'I am the Final Goal of the path. The Reality that I AM appears to be hidden by confusion and a veil. But
by the Grace of the Guru, I being fixed firmly in my own reality, the veils have fallen away, both inside and
out;  so I am the One Indivisible, the Turiya (Fourth State).  Yet though it be termed the 'fourth' with
reference to the changing of three states, yet this 'Fourth'  is the substratum and the primal state of Being.
When this 'fourth' is in contact with the Guru's real nature, then is established Being, and then is the One
Whole.'

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.         
       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 12:38:15 PM »
Whether seeing the world or 'seeing' the Self, what is it that the Sage sees?  Sri Ramana said: 'Seeing the
world, the Sage sees the Self which is the substratum of all that is seen.  The ignorant person, whether
he perceives the world or not, is ignorant of his true being, the Self....the ordinary man lives in the brain
unaware of himself in the Heart.   The Sage lives in the Heart. When he moves about and deals with men
and things, he knows that what he sees is not separate from the one Supreme Reality.'  (Maharshi's Gospel,
Book II, Ch. 3).

Comparing the adhisthana to a cinema screen, Bhagavan remarked, 'The ajnani sees the jnani active
and is confounded.  The world (jagat) is perceived by both.  But their outlooks differ.  Take the instance
of the cinema.  There are pictures moving on the screen.  Go and hold them. What do you hold?  It is
only the screen.  Let the pictures disappear. What remains over?  The screen again. So also here. Even
when the world appears, see to whom it appears.  Hold the substratum of the 'I'.  After the substratum
is held what does it matter if the world appears or disappears?  (Talks $  65)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 11:01:03 AM »
Comparing the Adhisthana to the paper on which print is superimposed, He said, 'We read a news paper
and all the articles therein, but do not know anything about the paper itself.  We take the chaff but not the
substance.  The substratum on which all this is printed is the paper and if we know the substratum all else
will be known. (Talks $  186)

'A visitor said, 'All are said to be Brahman.'  Bhagavan replied, 'Yes, they are. But so long as you think that
they are apart they are to be avoided.  If on the other hand, they are found to be Self there is no need to
say 'all'.  For all that exists is only Brahman.  There is nothing besides Brahman.... When you see them
as so many they are asat, i.e unreal.  Whereas, when you see them as Brahman, they are real, deriving their
reality from their substratum, Brahman.  (Talks $ 310)

Regarding sleep and what it reveals, Bhagavan said, 'Do you deny your existence?  Do you not remain
even in sleep where the body is not perceived?  The same 'I' continues to be now; so we admit our existence,
whether there is body or not.  The senses work periodically.  Their work begins and ends.  There must be a
substratum on which their activities depend. Where do they appear and merge?  There must be a  single
substratum.  Were you to say that the single unit is not perceived, it is an admission of its being single:
for you to say that there is no second one to know it.'  (Talks $ 363)

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.
             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2016, 11:07:30 AM »
In the Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada's Karika, one is reminded that there is a foundation,
a substratum, a basis for the empirical world and that Brahman is the substratum.  Whatever undergoes
change can only do so upon a changeless, immutable substratum.  (Karika I.6)

In the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, Yajnavalkya tells Gargi that there is a principle that lies beyond
all things, cosmic and individual, that cannot be known as an object of knowledge but which is the inner
ruler, one's own immortal Self.  Gargi then asks 'across what is that woven warp and roof', and Yajnavalkya 
answers her with famous 'not this', 'not this'.  The immutable across which space is woven is neither an
object nor a subject of experience. It is not a void or a nothing.  It is the basis (substratum) of all things.
It is the support of all that is.  (Br.Up.Ch.3)


concluded.

Arunachala Siva.     

Subramanian.R

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Re: Adhisthana - John Grimes:
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 11:00:57 AM »
In the Mandukya Upanishad  with Gaudapada's Karika, one is reminded that there is a foundation,
a substratum, a  basis for the empirical world and that Brahman is that substratum.  Whatever
undergoes change can only do so upon a changeless, immutable substratum. (Karika 16).

In the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, Yajnavalkya tells Gargi that there is a principle that lies behind
all things, cosmic and individual, that cannot be known as object of knowledge but which is the
inner ruler, one's own immortal Self. Gargi then asks 'across what is that woven warp and woof',
and Yajnavalkya answers her with the famous 'not this', 'not this'.  The immutable across which space
is woven is neither an object nor a subject of experience.  It is not a void or a nothing. It is the basis
(substratum) of all  things. It is the support of all that is. (Br. Up, Ch. 3)

concluded.


Arunachala Siva.