Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Tradition of Advaita Teaches

The tradition of Advaita teaches  .... it does not preach. It teaches you the truth of who you are, using a sophisticated and simple methodology of teaching.
I am ....not whatever I perceive, or can perceive at anytime.
That means I am not the world around me(obvious).
I am not the roles I play in interaction with the world. Not sanyasi, not disciple, not daughter, not teacher, not friend, not sister, not employer, not citizen of the country or the world.
I am not the  body-mind, nor the energy that pervades the body-mind. I not the perceptions, the sensations, the activities that take place in the body-mind or via the body-mind.
I am not the doer, nor am I the experiencer. I am not the waker, the dreamer, or the one in deep-sleep.
After negating all of whatever I take as myself, I am simply left with I AM.
This ‘I am’ is self-evident, self-revealing conscious Being, free of all form, free of all attributes – a non-person!! We can’t negate it!!
The ‘I am’ is the Conscious (cit)Being (sat) in whose changeless (that which can never be destroyed or modified)  limitless (ananda) ever-presence (timeless), the body-mind, all processes of the body-mind, all perceptions, thoughts, feelings, memories, ignorance and the Universe is revealed, enlivened.... blessed, without whose presence  and being nothing whatsoever exists. Indeed all this is just an appearance that comes to go in the consciousness that I am .... ever non-seperate from me.... ever an appearance of my Self alone
Am I able to confirm this for myself or am I loyal to my identity as a person?
If I am not able to confirm this truth for myself, as even Arjuna was not able to, on hearing Lord Krishna in Chapter 2 of the Gita – then Vedanta points out that one is not ready yet to confirm – and so one must first prepare oneself.
What is the preparation?
Firstly understanding that the cause of all this  (whatever can be objectified, whatever can be perceived, which includes world, and this body-mind complex) is one changeless consciousness alone who through its own glorious shakti manifests  as all this. You can call this Consciousness in its status as cause of all this, as the Lord, Ishvara. This whole universe which includes this body-mind is non-seperate from the Lord. The Lord is the one who is present in the Universe as the Order – the law of cause and effect that governs everything that is here.... you may call it the Divine Order, the Maha Order... which renders everything here as what it is. The Lord is therefore also called the one who ordains the result of all our actions. This understanding of the Lord is vital for relating to Lord and settling one’s emotional accounts and growing into relative contentment and peace.
Therefore when one is identified with the body-mind as ‘I’,, then I relate to this Consciousness, this Lord, who verily shines in one’s heart as ‘I’ through worshipful surrender. One’s awareness of the Lord as being present through warp and woof of the Universe is the surrender – in that understanding there is awareness of one’s every thought, feeling, sensation, action being imbued with the presence of the Lord.  One’s attitude is one of reverence and surrender. One understands the Lord to be the nitya sakshi,  the one who is ever the changeless impartial witness to one’s every action, sensation, thought, feeling, memory. One understands that one cannot be away from the Lord even if one wants to. One may relate to the Lord then as Father /Mother / Husband/Wife etc – ever one’s Divine Companion in whose benign ever-presence and Order one’s life activities takes place. Increasingly relating to the Lord thus, one begins to see the body-mind as an instrument to be used for contribution to the world in whatever capacity one can, as an offering of gratitude to the Lord because of whom the contribution is possible. Also one is able to accept the ups and downs of life, the pleasant and the unpleasant, the sorrow and the joy, as coming from the Divine Order and so it is what it is meant to be – and one’s dependence of the world to be as one wants it to be reduces. The likes and dislikes are neutralised and one finds oneself relatively content and peaceful.
Self-knowledge takes places effortlessly for the person who relates to the Omniscient, Omnipresent Lord as a devotee who has neutralised his or her sense of individuality to great extent through relating to the Lord as the cause of this universe.
My Guru Pujya Swami Dayanandaji always said, you can’t bypass emotional maturity and gain self-knowledge. Traditional Vedanta understands the problem of loyalty to one’s identity and with great compassion prescribes a life of relating to the Lord to lighten one’s sense of individuality. When one is ready and one is exposed to good teaching, knowledge (recognition of one’s truth) takes place.

Om Tat Sat

Monday, February 20, 2017

You cannot bypass emotional maturity and gain self-knowledge that stays and blesses

One can say my desire to be free is stronger than my attachment to my personal identity, so show me I am free.

Is the desire to be free  enough of a qualification to gain self-knowledge that stays and blesses?

No ... the desire to be free must be there along with a certain degree of emotional maturity. You simply can’t bypass emotional maturity and gain self-knowledge. Without the requisite emotional maturity you may at the most gain insight into the nature of the self, but that insight will not develop into a lasting knowledge that does away with one’s belief in one’s identity as an individual separate from everything – that insight will not stay to bless with freedom.

Emotional maturity has its own timing. It does not come one day too soon!! You can't hurry it. You can't be brutal as a teacher, and try to force a person into seeing their freedom.  Emotional maturity comes with living one’s life with a certain understanding and attitudes born of that vision.

A study of  traditional Vedanta can equip you with that vision. To say that you don’t need to study is not true. Study of traditional Vedanta under a master who has discovered freedom, who is competent and responsible  in teaching can confer on you the freedom you seek – first you gain  the understanding that fructifies into certain attitudes that you begin to live your life with – and that brings in its wake maturity and with maturity you are ready for self discovery – a discovery that will fulfil every aspiration you ever had.

Om Tat Sat

Saturday, February 18, 2017

How attached are we to our identity as an individual?

A student comes to me and says “I am hurt... I was hurt in childhood, I am hurting now, I have to heal”.
It is important to be able to discriminate and see if ‘I’ can get hurt, and if “I” ever needs healing.
To be able to discriminate let’s ask the question “Do you see that there is hurt? Is the hurt an object of your knowledge”.
“Then it must be different from you. After all whatever you experience, what you know is indeed distinct from you ... being an object of your knowledge – and you are the subject, the one who knows it, watches it, observes it”.
What is hurt? It is a feeling ... a mind modification, a thought modification which you can observe. Why does it occur? Is it important to know or is it important to understand what is this “I”, does it ever get hurt? We can use many different ways of understanding hurt, maybe karma, maybe psychology.... but should we really expend our energy in understanding the processes behind hurt or could we first try to understand the nature of “I” ... is it really subject to hurt and guilt?
Because you identify with the hurt as yourself  and put it in the same locus as your ‘I’, you confuse yourself by saying “I am hurt” .... or even “I am guilty” for that matter.
If you can discover that what shines here as “I” is self-existent, independent, self-revealing  consciousness, in whose mere presence the mind and its processes are illumined, in whose presence the body is enlivened, and from whom the body-and mind do not enjoy an independent existence, you will find you have been free all along
How strong is your desire to be free? Is your desire strong enough to break through your attachment to your identity as an individual?
Yes it is?
Then study Vedanta – the knowledge of the free self.

Om Tat Sat