Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meditation Series (1976) of Pujya Swami Dayananda – 1 to 8

This is a series of meditations done in 1976 by Pujya Swami Dayanandaji. Swamiji says that these meditations are meant to own up what is already known at the feet of a teacher. Therefore they are meaningful only for those persons who have studied the books of Vedanta properly, with the help of a competent teacher.
Imagine … a red hot iron ball.
It is brillaint, it is hot.
But the iron ball of itself, has no brilliance, has no heat.
Fire is present IN the iron ball.
Fire is in and through the iron ball.
…It is all over the iron ball.
Similarly ….
I think of my body.
The body, of itself, is inert, is insentient….
The body has no Awareness of its own.
It is aglow with sentiency because Consciousness is present in the body.
Consciousness is in and through the body…. It is all over the body.
See the truth of this ….
All over the body, every part is conscious, sentient….
Part by part I see
… face…. face…. chest….. hands…. legs…
See every part …. it is conscious, it is sentient.
Consciousness is present in every part of the body…
It is all over the body.
It is in and thru the body,
See the truth of this ……
Only when I am conscious of being conscious am I conscious.
I do not take for granted that I am this body ….
Nor do I take for granted that I am not.
I am conscious of my body….
    I am consciousness IN the body ….
The Body is in Consciousness – Consciousness is not the body…
Consciousness is distinct from the body ….
I am conscious of the space to the left of me…
that space is in my Consciousness.
I am conscious of the space to the right of me…
that space is in my Consciousness.
The space abouve my head I am conscious of …
that space is in my Consciousness.
The Consciousness is free from all shapes ….
    free from all notions.
It is Shapeless Consciousness…
Shapeless Consciousness….
Shapeless Consciousness….
I am Conscious of Breathing ….
The flow of breath, in and out, is in Consciousness.
I see the breath in Consciousness….
I am Conscious of the flow of breath…
I am Consciousness free from breath.
I am Consciousness…
Itself inert being made of inert materials the physical body is sentient.
The inert physical body gains sentiency because of the presence of the subtle body in it.
The subtle body is Conscious because I am (Sakshi), the Consciousness in it reflected – all over.
Therefore I am Awareness in the physical body.
Every square inch of my body is sentient …..
Conscious to touch …. from the top of my head to the soles of my feet …
Like even every part of a red hot iron ball …. because of the presence of fire.
I am Consciousness in the body making it conscious to touch.
As even in the body …. I am in the breath.
I am Conscious of my breathing ….
I watch my breathing in Consciousness.
In Consciousness, is the flow of breath, in and out ….
IN Consciousness, is the flow of breath …. in and out.
The breath falls within the scope of my Consciousness.
I am Conscious of my breath….
    I am Consciousness free from breath.
I am Conscious of my breath …
    I am Consciousness free from breath.
I am Consciousness….
I Am …. the Awareness in the ears.
The ears hear sounds
in Awareness.
The sounds which come to the ears differ ….
    the Awareness does not.
I Am Awareness in the ears.
Without reaction…
    in Awareness, I hear the sounds.
I Am the Awareness in what is heard …. Itself free from sound.
I Am Awareness….
I Am Awareness….
I am Conscious of my breath ….
I am Conscious of my breath …..
I am Conscious of my breath.
Deliberately I breathe in and out,
    and thus become Conscious of my breath.
Now I just watch my breath, now I am just conscious of my breath.
Breathing takes place…
    I am just Conscious of the flow of breath.
The movement of breath …. takes place in my Awareness.
In Awareness is the motion of breath.
Even as the air moves in space….
    the breath moves in Awareness.
I am the Shapeless Awareness
    in which the breath moves.
Shapeles Awareness am I……
Shapeless Awareness am I …..
I am Shapeless Awareness.
WHAT IS Shapeless Awareness?
Answer without a word….
What is Shapeless Awareness?
Answer without thinking ….
    What is shapeless Awareness?
I am Shapeless Awareness….
Shapeless Awareness Am I.
Shapeless Awareness Am I.
Shapeless Awareness …. Shapeless Awareness ….
Shapeless Awareness……
Shapeless Awareness….
I am Shapeless Awareness…..
Shapeless Awareness…..
Shapeless Awareness……
Awareness ……
Imagine ….. the space outside.
Imagine the space outside….
    The Air moves freely in space.
Wherever it moves … it is in Space.
    The Air is very much with the Space.
The space is not in a given place…..
It is All-Pervasive.
The Space is never affected by air, even though the Air is very much with the space.
Space is free from Air.
The Air in my nostrils ….
    is in my Consciousness as even the Air outside is in Space.
I am Conscious of my breath….
as Air moves in Space ….. the breath moves in my Awareness.
The breath is never away from my Awareness as even the air and space outside.
The Awareness is never affected by the movement of breath as even sapce is never affected by the movment of air.
The Space never changes …
The Awareness never changes.
The Awareness is ever the same….. as even space is.
The Awareness never changes…..
    IT JUST IS….
Ever the same…
    IT JUST IS…..
With no frontiers,
Awareness IS …..
Awareness is I.
'I' Is Awareness ….. I am Awareness ….
Awareness is the 'I'…..
I….. Awareness ….. Is
I…… the Awareness…..

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Truth Of Ego – Pujya Swami Dayananda


Ego is that which owns up to any type of activity. For example, when I see, I say 'This is my sight.' The one who owns up to the activity of seeing, the one who is the subject behind the seeing or behind hearing, tasting, smelling, thinking, or doing anything, is what is meant by the kartaa or the ego or ahankaara.

To say that one should surrender one's ego to the Lord is a very common statement that is much too simplistic in terms of understanding what is meant by surrender. First of all, I do not know who or what the Lord is. And why should I surrender the only ego that I have to this Lord? As it is, I have only a few things and these things are owned by this ego. If I surrender it to the Lord, what will I get in return? 'Everything,' I am told.
The question that would arise would be, 'If the ego is already surrendered, who will get everything?' Once I have surrendered my ego, I become totally decimated. Then who is there to get anything out of that surrender? Nobody. Therefore, that type of surrender is useless. Also, the next question is 'Who is surrendering the ego?' Somebody has to do the surrendering. It is the ego that has to surrender itself. And that is not possible. Again, if I am wearing a coat, I can surrender the coat. I can hang it somewhere or put it on someone's shoulders. Also, when I am the owner of the coat, it is easy to surrender it. If I am not the owner of the coat, I can ask you to take it, but I cannot surrender it because it does not belong to me.
Similarly, I am told that the ahankaara, the ego, belongs to the Lord and that I must surrender it. How can I surrender what does not belong to me? I can only surrender what belongs to me. And if it belongs to the Lord, how is it that I do not know this? In fact, I think that everything belongs to me, including the Lord. Why else would I address him as 'My Lord'? To address the Lord, I must be there; because I am here, he is the Lord. If I am not here, where is the Lord? He is the Lord because I call him 'Lord'!
And if there is a Lord, and this Lord includes everything, then I have nothing to surrender. I have only to know. Furthermore, if I have to surrender to a Lord who is separate from me, then I am the ego. Who, then, is to surrender this ego? The ego alone has to surrender. How can the ego surrender? The one who surrenders is the ego. And being the one who surrenders, the ego can only surrender what it owns. The owner cannot be surrendered. If the ego has to surrender to the Lord, something else must be there to surrender it, which can only be another ego because whoever owns up to the act of surrender is the ego. The ego requires an ego which requires yet another ego! Thus, we find ourselves in infinite regression. How, then, are we going to surrender our ego to the Lord?


Surrender is an attitude, a mature attitude. There is no other surrender than this. Surrender as such is not possible for the ego because it cannot surrender itself. But, with an attitude of surrender, I can deflate the ego. I can appreciate that there is nothing in this creation that is authored by me, that everything is given to me, including my physical body, mind, and senses. What is given to me is not mine. When I say, 'I am just a trustee, O Lord, and you are the giver,' the ego is what tells me all this. Thus, surrender can be only in terms of attitude.
Then how does one get rid of samsaara? Only by getting rid of the ego, the karta. And, if surrender is not possible, how does one get rid of the ego? In the name of getting rid of everything else, the ego remains in one form or the other because it cannot get rid of itself. It remains to say things like, 'I am the most charitable person around.' Even a person who does not talk about his or her good actions, may think of himself or herself as a humble person and say, 'I never mention all of the charities I have done. I don't boast about them. Ask anyone and they will tell you that this is so.' The ego knows very well how to sustain and perpetuate itself in so many ways.
Because the ego, the karta, is always there in one form or the other, it cannot be defeated — except by the one who undertakes an inquiry into 'Who am I.' A person can study every philosophy there is and the ego will remain, saying, 'I am a philosopher.' Only when the question, 'Who am I,' is asked, is the ego in trouble. Why? Because the ego, the kartaa, is really an impostor, a superimposition. There is no kartrtva, no doership, in fact, because it is mithyaa, dependent on aatmaa.


When the truth of oneself is recognised, the ego does not go, strictly speaking. Rather, this recognition is what makes one see the ego as mithyaa (that which has no independent reality of its own). The 'going' of the ego, then, is purely in terms of negation, baadhaa, or destruction, naasha, by knowledge. The word 'destruction' is generally used in a physical sense, such as destroying an object so that it no longer exists in that form. Here, destruction of the ego is purely in terms of negation, baadhaa.
Negation by knowledge occurs when an object is there, but its reality is taken away. For example, you can enjoy the blue sky and, at the same time, knowing that the sky is not really blue, dismiss its blueness. Or, enjoying a movie, you can dismiss its reality. A child, on the other hand, cannot dismiss the movie as unreal because, for the child, the elephants, tigers, and everything in the movie are real. The child may even cry, not knowing that the objects and situations in the movie are only appearances and therefore, mithyaa. Until the child knows the movie is mithyaa, the movie will remain real. This knowing comes by negation, baadhaa, understanding an object or situation and removing the reality of it.
Similarly, the ego is not removed, but the fact that it has no independent existence is understood. And what does the ego that everyone has, depend upon? What is it that exists independently without depending on the ego upon which everything else depends? The ego depends for its existence on the self, which is not the ego. Therefore, the self is the truth of every ego.
There is one truth for every ego and everything that is done by the ego, and that truth, satya, is called aatm¡aa or the self. The self is the very content of the ego, without which there is no ego. This one satya, aatmaa, is not the ego and is akartaa. Then who is the kartaa? The ego alone is the kartaa.
To be a kartaa, you must have thought and this thought has its being in 'I,' consciousness. Therefore, you say, 'I am the doer.' Doership itself is a thought centred on 'I.' What is to be understood here is that while thought is centred on 'I,' 'I' itself is not centred on thought. Recognition of this fact is not the elimination or removal of thought. It is understanding — understanding the truth of 'I.'
Om Tat Sat

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Ever-Present Changless Truth About Oneself

What we imagine is our self is what we objectify, or can objectify through the means of knowledge at our disposal such as perception, inference etc– for example, the body and it's attributes, the physiological functions, the mind and its patterns of thinking, feeling, reacting and responding, memories, knowledge of different things, ignorance, the multifarious roles played etc. Based on all of these one says "I am tall/fair/short/dark", "I am hungry/thirsty", "I am angry/sad/fearful/guilty/selfish,loving,kind ", "I am smart/dull/bright/foolish", "I am timid/ shy/ aggressive/ assertive", 'I am father/ mother/ daughter / son" and so on and so forth. Each of us has our own history and we equate ourself to different aspects our history and thus have a self-identity based on a phychological history with all of its variable and varying factors.

We fail to take into account the presence of the one changless illumining, enlivening principle without which it would be impossible to know all the changing, varying experiences that consitute our history, or the history of this universe. Life is dynamic. Everything is in dynamic motion. Changes are taking place in all that is objectifiable in every micro second. And for any observation of change to take place, there has to be a changless, motionless, still, illumining principle in whose presence the change is observed. For the sake of understanding, imagine that there is a windowless room lighted by a single bulb, full of many items of furniture. These items of furniture are seen because of the presence of the lighted bulb. Now make a change. Remove all the items of furniture. The light reveals the absence of all items of furniture – an empty room. It is in the presence of the changless light, that these changes were illumined.

So too there has to be a changeless, motionless, illumining conscious principle in whose presence the changes in the body-mind-sense complex and the world around are illumined and observed. In the absence of this principle, it would be impossible to know anything whatsoever.

This changless, motionless, illumining principle is the truth about us that is ever-present and indestructible. 'Ever-present' should be understood well. It means it is always present. It is present when thoughts, observations, feelings, sensations, activities, memories, ignorance, ego etc. that constitute the psychological self is present. It is also present in the absence of all of these, or any of them (as in deep-sleep). It is not simply the stillness of a mind emptied of thought. Rather, it is the still illumining principle that lights up and reveals the stillness of an empty mind, or an agitated, restless mind.

It is this absolutely still, illumining conscious principle, one-without-a-second, of the very nature of wholeness, that is the very womb of all experience, of all motion, of all change. It is the one whole intelligence that is reflected as the consciousness in the mind and which in the process of experiencing appears to trifurcate in the 'I'-thought, the this-object-thought, as well as the various objects of the external waking world.

Being always present and being the very basis of every experience, it is always available in every expereince, in every factor of any experience. However what happens is that we do not know about it. Or even if we know about it, we are so occupied with the names and forms of the experience that we take the content, or essence for granted and do not take it into account. Imagine if in all the ornaments of gold, we failed to take into account the truth of the ornaments, namely gold!!! The gold prices would plummet! So too, we miss the most obvious – our whole self–we fail to count the truth of ourself and then go running after this and that.

We miss out on the wholeness of our self in every experience even after coming to know – because of the background chatter of habitual, mechanical modes of the egoity, the habitual false I. The habitual false I is occupied with keeping its identity going by being occupied with either the past, the future, or the seeming ills or fascinations of an objectifiable world of objects and ideas. And so it simply misses out on the fullness of 'I' – a fullness that brooks no division in reality of subject and object.

Being alive to the truth of oneself in and through every experience, profound or mundane is living. And to be alive in this way means to be free of resistance to what is, which is a topic by itself.

Om Tat Sat


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

LIMITLESS JOY – Pujya Swami Dayananda


Atyanta-sukha (unlimited happiness) is a sukha that is not comparable to the degrees of sukha that you gather. This is where people make mistakes and talk about eternal bliss, etc. This sukha is not eternal bliss; it is one's nature, svarupa.

To refer to svarupa-sukha as bliss means that it is experiential. Then, comes the question, what is eternal bliss and how can I get it? If it is something that you gain and that only lasts for a period of time, how can you call it eternal bliss? If it is something experiential, there is no jnaana, no knowledge, there. Then what is this atyantasukha? The verse itself defines it as brahmasamsparshaatyanta-sukha, a sukha that is born out of recognising Brahman, contacting Brahman.
Whenever you touch something pleasant, the sukha you get is called sparshasukha. Does this mean that by contacting Brahman, by hugging Brahman, you will gain atyanta-sukha?
No. Brahman is not an object available for hugging. Brahman is a word used by the shastrafor revealing oneself as the whole. Because of the knowledge that aatmaa is Brahman, there is sukha, called brahma-samsparsha-sukha, a sukha born of the contact of Brahman meaning the recognition of the self as Brahman. This sukha belongs to Brahman; it is the very nature of Brahman, in fact. Therefore, it is called svarupasukha.
Svarupasukha is not a sukha that is experiential. It is the sukha that is recognised as the nature, svarupa, of every form of sukha. In any form of sukha that you get, the sukha is because of svarupasukha, the wholeness that is the nature of Brahman. Born out of the knowledge that the self is Brahman, the meditator is said to gain this svarupasukha.


In his commentary to this verse, Shankara says that atyantasukha is that which does not come to an end. If this sukha were bliss, it would come to an end because any experience has a limit. Therefore, bliss is a finite sukha, not atyantasukha that transcends all limits — the limits of time or degrees. Such limits do not exist for the sukha that is one's very nature because svarupasukha can never be experiential sukha.
For sukha to be experiential, there must be a particular condition of the mind and that condition will always change because it is within time. Since it is within time, experiential sukha is non-eternal. But, in every sukha, there is a svarupa, a truth, and that truth is the nature of aatmaa, which is free from any form of limitation. This limitlessness, wholeness, implied by the non-separation of the knower from all that is known, the firm understanding that, 'sarvam
asmi,' (All this is myself) is the svarupasukha,
referred to in these two verses as uttama-sukha and atyanta-sukha. And, being the very nature of the self, it cannot come to an end. As long as aatmaa is there, sukha is there, and aatmaa, being beyond time, is eternal.


And how is this sukha gained? We always ask this question because, generally, the more one does in the world, the more one gains. The more you work on something, the greater the result. This being a rule very well known to us, how much should one do to gain infinite sukha? Infinite karma? No. The logic that we have for finite situations in this finite world does not work here. In fact, if action were infinite, you could not even blink because blinking, like any action, is finite. Therefore, if you had to do infinite actions, you would do no actions at all!
In fact, no action is involved in gaining atyantasukha, as Krishna indicates here by the word sukhena, meaning 'easily,' without tears, without sweat, because this sukha is yourself. The self is Brahman and atyantasukha is born out of the recognition of this fact. (Gita Home Study)
Om Tat Sat

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Difference Between Recognition and Experience

'Absolute Freedom' from all that one does not want in your life, the insecurity, the inadequacy, the mortality, the ignorance and its brood of egoity, selfishness, sadness, hurt, fear, guilt, loneliness, greed, anger, jealousy, etc.…is about recognition of the invariable truth of oneself. The word invariable should be well-understood. When I say the 'invariable' truth, this is a truth about oneself that never changes, as contrasted against facts about one's personality that vary under different conditions, at different times and in different places and situations. For example one assumes different roles, in relation to different people in one's life – sometimes mother, sometimes daughter, sometimes wife or sister, disciple… etc. Or one assumes roles depends on what activity is being undertaken such as 'eater', 'walker', 'cook', 'listener', 'talker','doer', 'enjoyer','knower'. All these vary and so they are variable truths, changing or relative truths about oneself. These relative truths are very much a matter of experience for us.

They are a matter of experience for us, only because of the ever-presence of the invariable truth about ourself, which is direct, immediate and unchanging, of the nature of self-existing, self-revealing consciousness that inexorably shines as 'I', 'I', 'I' in every experience that I know, illumining and enlivening all that is changing, all that exists within the space-time matrix. One does not need a new experience of this 'I' … because it is very much present in every experience. All that one has to do is recognize :-

  1. it's existing presence and
  2. recognize it's CHANGLESSNESS ,INDEPENDENCE from all that is changing, nature of FULLNESS meaning being free of all limitations imposed by the knower-known / subject-object relationship and
  3. know that all that is changing and illumined in its presence, is indeed non-separate from it even as wave is non-separate from water.

My Guruji, Pujya Swami Dayananda points out that what shines as 'I' is always free of knower-known-knowing relationship even when it is present. This is what is to be KNOWN and recognized. You don't need a new experience in which there is an absence of this knower-known-knowing relationship. Ever since birth, in deep sleep we already have such an experience in which there is absence of knower-known-knowing relationship – yet we have continued to remain ignorant of our true nature absolute freedom.

Ashtanga yoga talks about the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi which is a state of absorption in which there is no second thing. Pujya Swamiji says in Gita Home Study, "The knower, known, and the instrument of knowledge — all three of them — coalesce into one experience lasting for a length of time. Although it does not take away the samsara, it is definitely the last word in samsara.

Nirvikalpasamaadhi is the opposite of deep sleep. In deep sleep there is nirvikalpa alright, meaning that the knowerknown-knowledge division is not there. But, in nirvikalpasamadhi the mind is awake, unlike in deep sleep where the mind is sleeping. In both cases, there is ignorance, the difference being that when the mind is asleep there is no thought, whereas in nirvikalpasamaadhi, the mind is awake, meaning there is thought. Therefore, the greatest thing you can have in life is nirvikalpa-sam¡dhi, which is why it is the greatest hooker also. It baits people because it is the last thing that you can think of accomplishing in samsaara, in your life here in this world.


But nirvikalpasamaadhi has an end; it is something you come out of. All that is needed is for someone to drop something in front of you or to start a vacuumcleaner in the next house. As soon as you become aware of the sound, you are not only out of nirvikalpasamaadhi. Nirvikalpasamaadhi is something that does not last forever; you will come out of it in time. And, once you are out of it, it becomes a past experience that you then talk to others about — 'Swamiji, yesterday I had the most wonderful thing happen to me!' Even the language used to describe the experience is different! But as soon as the thoughts come, or someone begins hammering, or a child begins to cry, or a bug creeps up your leg, real or imagined, it is gone; you have come out of nirvikalpasamaadhi.

There are those who will tell you that once you experience nirvikalpasam¡dhi and you come out of that experience, the world will be different. They also say that you experience the aatmaa in nirvikalpasamaadhi. How can this be? All that happened was that the knowerknown-knowledge difference coalesced. All differences disappeared — a desirable experience, no doubt. It is recognised by the intellect, and is also beyond sense perception. But how has this experience changed the state of your vision? In fact, you may become very sad. Before you knew aatmaa, you were only sad if you lost some money, some power, some hair, or a relationship. Now, having known the aatmaa, you have a new item which can be lost and be a cause for sadness — yourself. Previously, you lost certain things but retained yourself, but now you have experienced a much greater loss — the loss of yourself…….. And even if it lasts for some time, there is sadness because it ends. All that can be said is that I was eternal for half an hour! For that period of time, the division between the knower, known, and knowledge that is usually there went away; time itself went away. For half an hour you were free from time, which means you were timeless, eternal. And, after half an hour, you become what? Non-eternal. Even if you have samaadhi for two days, you become non-eternal. In this way, it is no different than being in a coma for two days and then coming out of it. While in the coma, there was no division whatsoever and the person also did not know what was happening. Therefore, the length of time that one is in nirvikalpasamaadhi has no meaning.


As a discipline, however, nirvikalpasamaadhi is great because, when you gather such an experience, it indicates that you have a certain mastery. Otherwise, you would not have been able to have the experience of nirvikalpasamaadhi. Because a certain mastery is involved, nirvikalpasamaadhi is considered to be the height of experience that one can gain; it is like a prize, the end for those who want to gain experience. To say that it indicates a certain saattvikavrtti on one's part is fine, but to say that after you come out of nirvikalpasamaadhi, you will see the world entirely differently is not correct because how you see the world depends purely on your vision of reality. Having experienced nirvikalpasamaadhi, you have to interpret that experience. And to interpret the experience, you must have a pramaaaa, a means of knowledge.

Again, then, we come back to a means of knowledge because you do not interpret an experience in any other way than by what you know. All interpretations depend entirely upon your knowledge, which is dependent on the pramaana available to you. And all the pramaanas that one has, perception, inference, etc., operate by maintaining a duality — duality of the doer, the object of doing, the act of doing itself, the instrument of doing, etc. All these are collectively called as kaarakas. Retaining the duality alone, one's pramaanas, the various means of knowledge, operate.

Perception and inference do not swallow the kaarakas. Only the Agama, the teaching, swallows them. It says that you are not the knower, pramaataa; you are the very essence of the knower, the knowledge, and the object of knowledge, all three of them being one and the same. In this way, the Agama resolves the division.

Om Tat Sat

Contemplation on One’s Truth

Om Namo Narayanaya

Be quiet. Be silent… in the mind …. Let there be a stillness in the mind ….. and use that stillness in the mind to recognize that one's truth is more fundamental than even the knower, ever free of the knower-known-knowing phenomena. Self-revealing, self-illumining, invariable awareness, that is ever-free of the division of subject and object, that is indeed changeless, formless and all-pervading, that is what you are.

As a knower only, you can never be fullness – because there is always the division of the knower and known, the subject and the object. Recognize the invariable truth of the knower. So one has to recognize that there is a truth about oneself that always is, that is independent of the status of knower, of subject, of this role or that role. 'Knower' or pramata is only the status you give to yourself when identified with the body-mind-sense complex. Any role you play is a status you assume for yourself when identified with the body-mind-complex. You are indeed an independent ever-full Presence, an ever-present Being, self-revealing and self-existing light (of awareness), distinct from the body-mind-complex, who illumines and enlivens the body-mind-sense complex, and indeed all that is perceived and perceivable through it. Indeed you are the very basis, the one and only truth, the very adhishtanam of all that can be experienced in this loka or other lokas.

Om Harih Om Tat Sat


Friday, August 26, 2011

The difference between Self-knowledge and Knowledge of anything else – Pujya Swami Dayananda

The thought, by which one recognizes an object, and the object of the thought are identical. That is, in order to recognise the object, the thought must necessarily have the object in itself. If I have to recognise a pot, the thought or vrtti must assume the very form of the pot. Therefore, the thought is called 'pot-thought'. By the pot-thought alone, one recognizes the object pot.

For the recognition of atma - the self, also, there must be a vritti - a thought. This vritti is created by the Shastra and it destroys selfignorance. And this vrtti is brought back by the contemplator in nidhidhyasana. In the recognition of the nature (svarupa) of the self, the vritti assumes the very svarupa of the self, without objectifying it. This is not similar to knowing an object such as the pot. In the recognition of the svarupa of the self there is only one operation involved; whereas in the objectification of a pot, there are two operations.

One operation is the vrtti assuming the form of the pot and the second operation is the recognition of that vrtti, thereby recognising the pot. One is the objectification of the object (by the thought) and the other is the recognition of the thought. The objectifying thought is recognised by another thought, which is the the seer. I become the seer, the knower of the pot. Therefore, this I-thought, assuming the status of the knower, recognises an object through a thought, the pot-thought and says, 'This is a pot.'
Any piece of knowledge — where there is this peculiar connection, between the self, the knower, you, and the object that is objectified by that knower — takes place by these two operations. That is, the object is objectified by the thought and you cognise the thought. This is why you can say, 'This is a pot.' But, you cannot say, 'This is aatma (self)' Who is there to say it? I am the one who has to say it and, if it were to be so, then, the self, would become an object of the self who is objectifying it. Therefore, it would become non-self (anaatma) not aatma, just like any other object of your knowledge.

The difference is that in the number of operations involved. Seeing aatmaa (self) implies only one operation; there is no second operation at all as there is when one sees an object. Only the first operation is there, the vritti that objectifies aatmaa, that assumes the very form of aatmaa. If I say aatmaa is pure consciousness, kevala-caitanya, shuddha-caitanya, and the recognition of this fact takes place, that recognition implies that the the vritti assumes the very form of consciousness and there is no other object involved. That particular form destroys the ignorance with reference to the nature of the self and then disappears. This, then, is the only operation that takes place, meaning that there is no second operation in the form of the recognition, 'This is the self' as there is in the cognition of other objects.
The one operation that does take place is only with reference to one's confusion about oneself, the selfignorance that was there; that ignorance is destroyed by the vritti. This is what happens in selfknowledge, in knowing the self. ( From Gita Home Study Chp. 6 Verse 21)
Om Tat Sat



Friday, August 19, 2011

THE MEANING OF SHAANTI – Pujya Swami Dayananda

Shaanti usually means peace. Does this mean that after doing meditation, all you will get out of it is the same peace that can be gained from a tranquilliser or a shot of something? No, this shaanti is not that kind of peace; it is matsamstha and nirvanaparama. In his commentary, Shankara defined shaanti as uparati, uparati meaning resolution or sarvakarmasannyasa, wherein doership and enjoyership are renounced as discussed at length previously. Nirvana means moksha. Therefore, this is a shaanti that has its basis in moksha. It is moksha-shaanti itself.

And what is this moksha-shaanti ? There are three types of shaanti. One shaanti is where there is no thinking whatsoever, which can be induced so that the frequency of thinking is cut down. Another shaanti is when you enjoy a shaanti along with a certain capacity to manage an active mind. This is important because you need the mind in order to think.
The first shaanti, which is freedom from thinking, can only be temporary and requires a lot of inducements. This shaanti is that which is there between two thoughts or between two spells of agitation. Whereas the second shaanti is there when there is a certain distance between yourself and the mind, whatever be the situation. And because of this you are able to manage your affairs with a certain amount of composure.

And the third shaanti is moksha, wherein the mind becomes a privilege. Whatever the mind is, it is me, but I am not the mind. This knowledge is the freedom, total freedom. You do not control the mind. You do not take the mind somewhere. Rather, wherever the mind goes, the person always has this knowledge. Then, the person is truly a devotee because, wherever the mind is, there the Lord is for this person.


To express this knowledgebased devotion, there are many stories. One such story is about a great devotee of Lord Shiva. One day he came and found a sadhu sleeping with his feet placed on a linga. For anyone to do such a thing, let alone a sadhu, is a desecration. Therefore, the devotee shouted angrily at the sadhu, 'Wake up! How can you dare to put your feet on the linga!' To this, the sadhu replied, 'I am very old. I am tired and sleepy. I have no strength to move my feet. Therefore, please put my feet wherever you want. I cannot lift them.' Then the devotee picked up the sadhu's feet and moved them away from the linga. But to his surprise, another linga appeared under the sadhu's feet. Confused, he moved the sadhu's feet again. But wherever he placed them, yet another linga appeared in that very place! Then he understood that there is no place where the Lord is not. In other words, there is no place to put one's feet that is not the Lord.
Similarly, wherever the mind goes, it remains in the Lord's presence. There is no question of getting the mind out of or into anything here. To make this point, a seeker in the Brhadaranyakopanishad said, 'It is as though the mind has gone away and, therefore, I am as though meditating.' For the 'as though' gone away mind, 'as though' meditation is good enough. And, when the 'as though' becomes clear to you, then the mind does not go away and therefore, does not require any meditation. This is the shaanti called nirvana-parama shaanti, moksha, the shaanti that is one's svarupa, in which there is no coming and going, no degrees or variations, and for which no comparison to anything is possible.


Because this shaanti is identical with oneself, Krishna describes it as mat-samstha, meaning matadhiina, that which always obtains in the paramatma because paramatma does not move at anytime; it is kutastha, immutable; it does not get involved with anything, and does not stand opposed to anything either. If there is opposition, there is some rub or resistance, which is ashaanti. Shaanti is identical with paramatma in that it is not opposed to thought, it is not opposed to the world, it is not opposed to knowledge, it is not opposed to ignorance, it is not opposed to anything. At the same time, it lends itself to everything. Thus, the meditator gains this shaanti, this freedom or liberation — matadhiinaam shaantim adhigacchati.
Om Tat Sat


The nature of time is nothing but the trick of the maayaavi, another name for the great magician, Ishvara, who is the agent, of srshti, sthiti, and laya. If you absorb your mind in this Parameshvara, it is called sagunabrahmadhyaana. To do this, you meditate on the virtues of Parameshvara. Thus, for you, Parameshvara is one who is all compassion, all mercy, all aananda. Or, Parameshvara is the one who is the creator, sustainer, and resolver of everything — srshti-sthiti-laya karta. In this way, any one virtue can be taken in its absolute sense and meditated upon. Or, the meditation can be in the form of a simple prayer — 'Unto that Lord, my salutations – parameshvaraaya namah.'

The word 'mat' in the compound, matcitta can also mean Parameshvara, the cause of everything — param brahma. And that Brahman is satyajnana-anantabrahma, aatma. Here, the one whose mind is contemplating upon the svarupa of the aatma, pure consciousness, is called matcitta. With reference to this caitanyaatma there are other revealing words also, words that reveal the svarupa of atma upon which you contemplate. With the help of these words, you contemplate upon the meaning and this contemplation is called meditation.


The person being discussed in this verse (Bhagavd-Gita. 6.14) is also called matpara, another word that describes the person in terms of the object of meditation. The person who meditates in order to lower his or her blood pressure may be a blood-pressure-para but he or she is definitely not matpara. People meditate for many reasons — for one hundred percent spiritual success or one hundred percent material success. This only proves that nothing is sacred. This also proves that meditation is not properly understood.

Meditation is not a technique; meditation is life. Therefore, Krishna refers to the meditator as matpara, one for whom the Lord, Parameshvara, is everything. The mind of such a person will stay with the object of meditation because there is nothing other than Parameshvara, paramatma, to be gained. And this is everything. The one for whom what is to be accomplished is that paramatma alone is called matparaKrishna says.

Shankara adds here that such a person is very careful in terms of the objects that he or she desires. For example, the person does not think of a particular woman or man as the ultimate end, para; instead, this person has another para in that his or her mind is committed to Ishvara, the Lord, as the ultimate end. The svarupa of Ishvara, the paramatma, as the ONLY end, para is called parama-pada and the person who has this as the only pursuit is called matpara.

 (Gita Home Study Chapter 6.14)
Om Tat Sat

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Only Security – Pujya Swami Dayananda

The only security there is, is to know oneself as the truth of everything — without which nothing exists. When this vision is clear, the person is secure and, because he or she is secure, the person requires no security whatsoever.


Everything is subject to change; it is always in a flux. The self alone remains changeless and that self is me. I am the only one who is secure; everything else is always changing. My mind is always changing; my thoughts are always changing; and the objects of thought are always changing. Whatever changes is timebound; it has a beginning and an end. The only thing that remains untouched and comes out unscathed in all of this is 'I,' the self.

If the knowledge of this 'I' is clear, if you have this vision of yourself as secure, then you are a free person. You are a jnana-vijnaana-trptaatma. You are one who requires nothing to be free; you simply look out and see the world as it is. The world that you see is a simple world because you do not project all your nonsense onto it. The world remains as it is and you are a secure, free person. And why does this freedom seem so difficult to gain? Perhaps because it is all so simple, too simple; in fact, it is yourself. …(Gita Home Study Chapter 6 Verse 8)
Om Tat Sat

Don’t superimpose ideas of growth, rather admit weaknesses and work on them

Spiritual growth or emotional maturity does not come by superimposing 'shoulds', or 'do's' and 'don'ts' upon oneself. Rather it comes from admitting our weakness and working upon them. For example Scripture tells us that a mature person is one who remains composed in the face of praise and criticism. Now many of us find it difficult remain calm and composed in the face of criticism. This is because there is hurt person inside, an inner child who was possibly criticized a lot by parents, who felt the hurt of that criticism and buried it underneath a smile. In adult life, when the person is criticized now, the inner hurt ,anger and confusion is triggered - it surfaces and one loses one's composure. After hearing the words of Bhagavad-Gita, instead of admitting one's weakness and working upon it, if one superimposes an idea that 'I should be composed' upon the old pain, it does not work. It becomes a superimposed philosophy — a list of 'do's' and 'don'ts,' 'shoulds' and 'shouldnots.' The old pain that is inside simply becomes confused by the new superimposed philosophy, thereby adding to the confusion that was already there.

When the Bhagavad-Gita says for example that in all situations, the wise person's mind, is always in a state of great composure, it means that if this not true for us, then we have to work for such composure, which does not imply the superimposition of ideas.


Om Tat Sat



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Be A Friend To Yourself - Pujya Swami Dayananda

For that (self) who has mastered oneself by oneself, the self alone is a friend of oneself. Whereas, for the self who has not mastered oneself, the self alone would remain in the status of an enemy, like an enemy. (Bh.Gita 6.6)

For that self (discussed in Chapter 6 Verse 5 ), the self is a friend. When? When the self has been won over, jitah. And what self is being discussed here? What atma can be won over? It cannot be satcitanandaatma. Because I can only win over something that I can objectify. And the only object in which I have the 'I'-notion, is the body-mind-sense-complex. It is this complex, then, that is in one's hands and has to be mastered. Won over by whom? By oneself, meaning by one's own inquiry, by one's own discipline, by one's own will and effort.


The one who has mastered the body-mind-sense-complex is called a vashi and is a friend to himself or herself. The body-mind-sense-complex serves this person with the threefold powers it is endowed with — the power to think, explore, know, and remember – jnana-shakti; the power to desire, to will – icchashakti; and the power to act, to make or do – kriyashakti. These three powers are at the disposal of one who is a vashi, the one who has mastery over the entire body-mind-sense complex.
When you have mastery over the body, mind, and senses, then all their powers are with you. Therefore, the body-mind-sense complex becomes a benefactor for gaining that which is desirable; it can take you anywhere — to brahma-loka or even to Brahman, to moksha. This is the maximum it can do because you cannot become greater than Brahman. You are already Brahman, in fact. As one who has mastery over the body mindsense-complex, you are endowed with the powers — you require to recognise this fact.
Because you can gain punya by following a life of dharma, the body-mind-sense complex again becomes a bandhu (friend). And, for gaining moksha, it also becomes a benefactor to you. Thus, the same body-mind-sense complex, is a benefactor to you all the way provided, of course, that it is won over by you.
Now, suppose this bodymindsense-complex is not won over by you but, instead, is holding you hostage. Then what happens? The bodymindsensecomplex cannot become a bandhu for you. Instead, you are a bandhu for the body, mind, and senses. In this way, the same atma (self), body-mind-sense complex, becomes ripu, an enemy, one who creates obstructions for you, one who puts the proverbial spokes in your wheels.
The person who does not have oneself, in his or her own hands is called anatma in this verse. This is the person for whom the body-mind-sense complex remains as an enemy alone, meaning that the self plays the role of an enemy. Krsihna makes it very clear that there is no enemy other than oneself alone.
Generally, we point a finger at someone other than ourselves and declare that person an enemy. This is done by everyone to some degree or other. And, if no one is available locally, Satan or some other planet will be accused! Everyone feels persecuted by someone or something. Always, there is some imagined fear in people that makes them point at someone as an enemy. By doing this, of course, you are giving the other person a handle with which he or she can disturb you.
No one can disturb you unless you allow them to. Nevertheless, people do have this persecution problem to some extent and they suffer from it. In fact, whenever you point out an enemy with your index finger, your accusing finger, there are three remaining fingers that point back towards yourself. These three fingers, therefore, are said to stand for the physical body, mind, and senses, the kaarya-karana-sanghaata that is oneself, the only enemy, there is. In this way, then, atma occupies the place of the enemy. Just like an external enemy, it is inimical to you.


When you analyse your complaints, you find that they are mental, meaning they are of the mind. You allow yourself to be affected by the world and then, afterwards, you call the world bad and renounce it. You want to renounce this world you have labelled 'bad' and go to a world that you have imagined to be 'good,' which is called fantasy. But, when you go to this good world, you find it is as bad as the one you left behind! Why? Because you carry your mind, the enemy, with you; you do not leave it behind.
The same mind that interpreted the world as bad is not given up and, with that mind, you move to the socalled good world. In this way, then, the mind is carried with you wherever you go. Even if you go to heaven, you will find problems there because the same mind goes with you — it is carried forward and carried over! And having this same mind with you, this same complaining mind, you always find reason enough to complain, whatever the place or the circumstances. This is what Krishna¸a means when he says that one is indeed like an enemy for oneself.
When you carry such a mind with you, mind that is always interpreting given situations according to its own notions, even your guru, considered to be a great bandhu, benefactor, cannot help you. What can any guru do if the person is always thinking, 'My guru does not care about me. I don't think he considers me a good student,' and so on. One makes such conclusions because of that same mind alone. Finally speaking then, you are the only bandhu there is.
Om Tat Sat

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Be A Friend To Yourself -Pujya Swami Dayananda

May one lift oneself by oneself, may one not destroy oneself. For, the self alone is one's benefactor (and) the self alone is one's enemy.  B. Gita 6.6

This verse makes it very clear that you have to save yourself, that you should not destroy yourself or allow yourself to be destroyed. Why? Because oneself, is a great helper, a great benefactor, for oneself. In other words, you yourself are the benefactor. And who is the beneficiary? Yourself. Therefore, you are both the beneficiary and the benefactor. Krishna also goes on to say that you are also your own enemy, which means you can become a great friend, a benefactor, or an enemy to yourself.
A person who is a man of meditation, a renunciate, has saved himself or herself totally from all that is undesirable — in other words, from the life of samsara, just as one saves oneself from drowning by pulling oneself out of the water. In fact, all of a person's activities are meant only to save himself or herself. The person wants to become secure, to be free of all problems, including loss of money or power, loss of health, old age, and death, which means that he or she wants to save himself or herself from insecurity. Thus, everyone is busy working for his or her own safety. Whether we call it self‑safety, self‑security, or self‑welfare, there is no question that the pursuit is ‘self‑ish’ — for the self alone.

Seeking an alternative life‑style is not what is implied here. Rather, the person is seeking answers to some very fundamental questions. Certain questions arise in the person, however vague they may be, which tend to disturb the usual activities that people naturally absorb themselves in. The questions themselves give a certain direction to one's life until the person comes to understand that he or she is under the spell of likes and dislikes, to use the language of the Gita. One begins to recognise that the natural pursuit, that everyone engages in, is out of these likes and dislikes — ‘I like it, I want it. Therefore, I do it.’ All one's responses arise from these likes and dislikes alone.
And, within this particular sphere of reality, everything becomes right; anger is legitimate; sorrow is legitimate; pain is legitimate. This, then, is where we get confused. Where anger is legitimate, it is legitimate to get angry. Therefore, if someone says you should not get angry, you get even angrier. Even if you do not get angry, you run into problems! Once the legitimacy is accepted by you, you can move ahead without disturbing your natural activity. But, when you begin questioning the very activity itself, you question the very life you are living. Only when you really question, when the flame of inquiry is proper, can you come to understand the fundamental problem.
There is a mature way of approaching this problem and also an immature way of approaching it. And, in the light of what we discover, there is something that can be called a prayerful life, a life of enlightened prayer, not blind prayer. There is a prayerful attitude or disposition, which is KarmaYoga. Karma yoga implies the acceptance or appreciation of the Lord, and living a prayerful life. This is what brings about the capacity to be contemplative, meditative. Such a life creates this kind of a disposition naturally, a disposition in which knowledge of oneself, takes care of itself. Thus, it is very clear that because of Karma yoga one can gain knowledge.

In this verse, the word atma refers to you, the individual, who, by nature, is already in the ocean of samsara. You did not suddenly slip into this samsara ; you were born into it, along with it. And how do you get out of it? By your own will, atmana you turn yourself about; you question yourself and your values. By questioning yourself, you re‑estimate the whole value structure and whatever there is about it that is confusing.
All problems are primarily due to improper priorities. Therefore, we have to reorganise our value structure and, in the process, our priorities will become proper. This inquiry, vichara into one's value structure is done by oneself alone, atmana eva ; it is an inquiry into right and wrong, what one is to do and not to do. Because of this vichara, your vision undergoes a certain cognitive change. This, then, is one stage of the inquiry.
The next stage of inquiry is also done by oneself alone. By one's own inquiry, one appreciates one's helplessness in certain situations. This itself brings about a prayerful attitude on one's part. A given situation raises certain doubts in you; then, afterwards, there is an appreciation of Ishvara and then there is prayer. This makes a person a vashi one whose body, mind, and senses are together — all of which is done by one's own efforts alone.

Going to a teacher to gain the knowledge is also done by oneself and implies a certain effort on the person's part. In all of these ways, the person pulls himself or herself up. This is why Krishna says here that one's benefactor is no one else but oneself — atma eva atmanah bandhuh.

To have been born a samsari itself is destructive. If your mind is not in order, however, if your value structure is confused, then your entire life and the lives of those around you will be confused. Thus, Krishna also says that you are your own enemy. When your own mind, atma , your own will, is abused, or when it is not used at all, then it naturally becomes your enemy; it stands against you, it destroys you. The mind is where all the notions that, this or that will save us, originate. These ideas are indicative of a will that has been fooled — by itself and by others — because one allows oneself to be fooled. This means that the final fool is myself alone. Because I am a fool, I can be fooled! I allow myself to be fooled; therefore, I am my own enemy. What is the use of blaming anyone? I myself am an enemy to myself — atma eva atmanah ripuh.

Therefore, Krishna says, ‘May one not destroy oneself.’ May you make use of the will and change, which does not happen without your undergoing some kind of inner revolution. This inner revolution is a quiet revolution; it is not the creation of a lot of conflicting ideas. Rather, a quiet, inner revolution takes place in one's way of looking at things, in one's understanding. Therefore, ‘do not look down upon yourself,’ is another way of taking the expression, atmanam na avasadayet, because to do so, is to destroy yourself.
In this process, you may sometimes have to mother the child within you and thus take care of it. If as a child you had been neglected then you have probably picked up some problems along the way. And who has to care for this ‘child’? Who is the friend to this child? You alone, as an adult, have to mother the child within. This is what Krishna was trying to convey when he said here, ‘May one lift oneself up .’

The verse can be taken in an absolute sense in that, at every level, one can say, ‘May one not destroy oneself ; may one lift oneself up.’ Since one has to take care of oneself at every level, in the final analysis, there is no other force, nothing external to yourself, that can help you. Oneself means one's own body‑mind­-sense-complex. This body-mind-sense complex, along with the will, is both the friend of the self and the enemy of the self. In other words, you can be either your own benefactor or your own enemy.

This means that to become free of this samsara, another person cannot become a friend, a benefactor, for you. Only you can do what is to be done. To grow or to mature within the samsara, another person may be helpful to you, but to get out of the samsara, you have to release yourself. In fact, where moksha is concerned, the very person who was previously your benefactor could very well become an obstruction to you. Bandhu implies affection and friendship, which can also be binding, even though such qualities may be quite helpful to one's emotional growth. Therefore, in the final analysis, in terms of gaining moksha, you are the only one who can be a friend to yourself. And unless you become a friend to yourself, you become inimical to yourself and become your own enemy.

Om Tat Sat

Friday, August 12, 2011

Likeness of my beloved – Swami Ramtirtha

Oh! how could I get my Love's likeness!

Could anything like Him be conceived!

Could He in cameras be received!

Could Artist stand to take his picture?

Could He appear in colour and figure?

The camera of form did melt away!

His flood of light was too much, too much,

O how could I get my Love's likeness.

I focussed my mind to take His portrait,

Adjusted the eyes to take His portrait,

The camera of heart to take His portrait,

The apparatus all did melt away;

His flood of light was too much, too much,

O how could I get my Love's likeness;

Then I'll have him as I could not have likeness.

On Love – Swami Ramatirtha

The wonder of wonders, I fell in love,

In love with self, forever mine,

Resplendent, glorious, charming love

That knows no equal, rival, kind.

I threw my arms around my love

Lo! All the world in clasp, I find,

I press my darling close and close

To the heart and soul and life and mind.

Oh, what a fire! fire! fire!

Ah, Burn the body and forms that bind.

Oh! What a cooling shower shower shower

Fear swept away by nectar power

Oh! The rocks of the white stone quarry and I are one,

The dump of the marble dust and I are one,

The crystal snows of the Diamond peaks and I are one,

The dimples on the face of the sea and I are one,

The rolling hair of the thundering stream and I are one!

The mincing steps of the mountain breeze and I are one!

The blooing rose of the maiden's cheeks and I are one!

The twinkling eyes of the heavenly orbs and I are one,

Om! Om! Om!

So am I Ram.

Ahamgraha Upasana

I find that one of the problems as a sadhaka is strong dehatma-buddhi – ie taking the self to be THIS body-mind-sense complex. All our emotional issues really come from dehatma-buddhi.
In ahamgraha upasana – one sees oneself as the samshthi sukhsma sharira. Usually by habit, the identification is with only one sukshma sharira – when ahamgraha upasana is done of the nature that I am Hiranyagarbha the consciousness identified with the samasthi sukshma sharira, the strong dehatma buddhi with this body-mind-sense complex reduces.
It is not possible to do this upasana in my opinion, unless one totally lets go the dividing ego that makes one so small. The only way to let go is acknowledge that " I" has no being other than Ishwara, as Ishwara is the nimitta-upadana kaarana – at body level, prana level, emotions level, thoughts level, ego level – I have no being other than Ishwara – even my apurnatvam sense is ruled by Ishwara's Order! The dividing ego, the fearing ego, collapses and all that is there is Ishwara.
Now as Ishwara ( panktam upasana of Taittiriya Upanishad), I am identified with the vyashthi sukshma sharira of all beings – at level of prana, indiriyas, physical body, mind ( all possible beings you can think of from amoeba to dinosaurus and even other beings in other planets, lokas) – and at the level of samshthi with prithivi, antariksham, heavens, directions, intermediary directions – the devatas – agni,vayu, aditya, chandrama, nakshtraani, - the bhutas as aapa, aushadhayah, vanaspatayah, space, all other bhutas ( left out) ie Virat. This I am Hiranyarabha – samsthi sukhsma sharira avachinna chaitanyam iti is the upasana.
This kind of Hiranyagarbha Ahamgraha Upasana is a must I feel because basic emotional resolution can take place – because there is no way of doing this upsana without letting go the dividing small apurna ego – and there is no way of letting it go without merging in Ishwara as it were by seeing the fact that the individuality which is taken as "I" cannot stay separate from Ishwara – I belong to Ishwara all the way. It is very enjoyable also. Also the sense of 'me ' and 'mine' and the sense of isolation, the need to belong etc. reduces and one's threshold for accepting situations and people as they are increases.
Then one can spend time in nidhidhyasana enjoying oneself as unconditional limitless presence that is satyam – and again allow the mind to expand into seeing that whatever is objectified externally or internally is myself alone / Ishwara alone.
Om Tat Sat