[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Mar 5 23:44:44 CST 2010

Here is an excerpt from the Book 'Exalting Elucidations', containing a
series of dialogues where Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Swamigal, the
35th Acharya of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, gives elaborate clarifications
on a variety of topics concerning Sanatana Dharma.  The book is a
Publication of Sri Vidyatirtha Foundation, Chennai. (Rs.50)

Disciple: One feels happy when one remains motionless and calm.
Therefore, may one sit quietly for some time, even with
the eyes open, to obtain mental peace?
Acharyal: Surely, it can be done provided it is not indolence. Sages
like Yàjñavalkya have spoken of a practice of this form
called amanaska-yoga.
D: What is amanaska-yoga?
A: It is a state of mind wherein no thoughts appear. True
amanaska is attained only when the mind is destroyed in
samàdhi and one becomes a jävanmukta. Normally, we
dwell on different objects. It appears that thoughts occur
continuously. Careful observation, however, reveals that
there are gaps between successive thoughts. The Àtman
clearly shines in the gaps. People do not note this, as the
interval between thoughts is very short. Bhagavatpàda
writes in the Laghu-vàkya-vRtti:
मुक्ताभिरावृतं सूत्रं मुक्तयोर्मध्य ईक्ष्यते ।
तथा वृत्तिविकल्पैश्चित्स्पष्टा विकल्पयोः ॥ (LV, 10)
[In a garland made of pearls, the thread is hidden in the
places where the pearls are present but in-between two
pearls, the thread is seen. In the same way, the Àtman of
the form of pure consciousness is not apparent when a
thought is present but it is patent in the interval between
the end of one thought and the rise of another.]
 We can obtain great happiness if we calmly enlarge the gap between
one thought and another.
D: Can this be practised even with the eyes open?
A: As I pointed out, the aim is to see that no thought arises in
the mind. So, there is no harm in keeping the eyes open. It
is sufficient if the mind does not wander towards external
objects. While practising, one should remain calm and quite
free from worries. No effort should be made to do or
dwell on anything. If any thought arises in the mind, its
continuance should be discouraged.
D: What indication is there to show that one is progressing in
the path of amanaska-yoga?
A: The mental peace and happiness that one derives is an
indication of progress.
D: Is it not difficult to see to it that no thought arises in
the mind?
A: It is difficult to attain the zenith of thoughtlessness. But the
mind can be kept peaceful to a considerable extent.
D: Do mundane people also have the power to still the mind?
A: Do not all people sleep?
D: Yes.
A: How?
D: I am at a loss to know the import of Acharyal’s question.
A: People lie down. After that, how do they go to sleep?
They close their eyes and remain quiet. Soon, sleep envelops
them. Is it not?
D: Yes.
A: We note that during deep sleep, people are thoroughly at
peace. They have rendered their minds thoughtless. Of
course, this is achieved involuntarily. Is it not so?
D: Yes.
A: Therefore, it can be said that all can still the mind. Mundane
people still it during deep sleep without any effort and
without being conscious of it. In the path of amanaskayoga,
one thoroughly silences the mind in the state of
D: Can amanaska-yoga be done in any place?
A: It may be practised anywhere but there should be facilities
to sit comfortably. How can one practise it while running a
D: Are there any ill effects?
A: No.
D: What should one be careful about, when practising
A: (With a laugh) One should not go to sleep! Sleep should be
averted by being alert.
D: How can one practise this yoga?
A: One sits quiet, without any worry and ignores the thoughts
of the mind. Gradually, thoughts subside but one remains
alert. Even if the eyes are open, one is undisturbed by
thoughts. By this means, one can remain peaceful and
happy and also advance in the spiritual path. Primary
amanaska is, however, not just quietness of the
mind. That is found only in a jävanmukta seated in

Incidents from Acharyal's Life

Acharyal has said, “People say that thoughts keep coming
to their minds. They can hardly conceive of a situation where the
mind is quiet. However, this surprises Me. As I see it, the mind
should be quiet unless and until it is required to have a thought.
Normally, the mind should be quiet and just rest on the Self, unless
a thought is needed for any task. When the necessity ends, the
mind should revert to the state of tranquility. Even when a task is
at hand, active thinking is generally not needed all the time. For
instance, when reading a book, the mind ought to become quiet
when a page is being turned.”

(End of Quote from the book)

Further, 'manonaasha' is extensively taught in the Yoga VasiShTha and is a
detailed topic covering an entire chapter titled: मनोनाशप्रकरणम्  in the
'Jivan Mukti Viveka' of Swami Vidyaranya. In fact this Book is addressed to
the Jnani equally the same way it is for the aspirant.

ऒम् तत् सत्

On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 4:07 AM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > What differentiates Bhagavan Ramana from all others in respect of the
> mind
> > is that He advocated 'manOnaasam'. He, in my conviction, spoke of it
> after
> > having achieved it Himself.
> Even the gauDapAda kArikA, written well before Sankara's times, has
> a verse that talks of the amanI-bhAva of the manas.  There have been
> innumerable teachers of advaita through the ages, who have described
> mano-nASa. By the same token, there have also been innumerable
> teachers of advaita through the ages, who have talked of the mind,
> its operation and control even for the jnAnI. Each position has to be
> understood as per context.
> Regards,
> Vidyasankar
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