[Advaita-l] Meditation according to advaita

Amuthan aparyap at gmail.com
Thu May 29 08:28:46 CDT 2008

Dear SrI Suresh,

On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 8:58 PM, Suresh <mayavaadi_at_yahoo.com> wrote:
> In simple words, I'd like to know what meditation is,
> according to advaita. Is it predominantly
> nirguNOpAsana? If so, what is it exactly?

Let me mention a few things before addressing your questions. As SrI
VidyASaMkar recently pointed out, it doesn't make much sense to talk
of vedAntic dhyAna and yogic dhyAna as if they are two separate
things. In so far as it deals with an empirical theory of mind
control, yogaSAstra is universal. The fact that we ultimately reject
the reality of the mind in advaita doesn't necessarily imply that
yogaSAstra is unnecessary. Any reason given in favour of rejecting
yogAbhyAsa can be given with equal force to reject the necessity of
sAdhanacatushTaya since the latter is essentially a form of mental
discipline (and   'obviously' physical discipline), and thus _by
definition_ a yoga sAdhana, that prepares one for understanding the
true nature of the Self.

Traditionally, saguNa brahma dhyAna is accepted as a valid means of
cittaSuddhi and the culmination of such dhyAna results in a form of
sampraj~nAta samAdhi, in the terminology of pAta~njala yoga. This is
also supported by the yogasUtrAs where ISvarapraNidhAna is taught as
means to samAdhi (== samAdhAna in the sAdhanacatushTaya scheme). Any
other form of grAhya, grahaNa or grahItR samApatti is also fine since
it helps us in wiping out various kleSa-s from the mind. But there is
no necessity to practise _every_ form of samApatti. This is true even
from the point of view of the yogadarSana itself where an entire class
of samApatti-s are classified as unnecessary for a mumukshu but
mentioned only for the sake of completeness of the yoga 'SAstra' per
se. But some form of yogasAdhana is absolutely necessary (I think we
can safely ignore the case of uttamAdhikArIs since the probability
that one of us is one of them is close to zero [Honestly, I think it
_is_ zero. No offence intended :)] )

Coming to 'nirguNopAsanA', it looks like the term is an oxymoron :) In
essence, it is the same as what is taught in the yogasUtrAs as a means
to nirodha samApatti. This is also identical to what is called
dRSyAnuvedana and SabdAnuvedana in advaita. Again, what is termed as
AtmAnAtma viveka in advaita is identical to the vivekakhyAti of the
yogasUtrAs. This is the essence of 'nirguNopAsanA'.

On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 8:58 PM, Suresh <mayavaadi_at_yahoo.com> wrote:
> I am
> assuming NU is all about abiding in the state devoid
> of names and forms, in short, rejecting all mental
> vrtthis as illusory, so the self can abide in the self
> with no preoccupation with the outside world.

Neither in advaita nor in the yogadarSana is it necessary to reject
the cittavRtti as being 'unreal' _during_ the practise of citta
nirodha. The unreality follows naturally from vivekakhyAti. What is
necessary is only a knowledge that all cittavRtti-s are anitya and
anAtmA. The state you are referring to is asampraj~nAta samAdhi and is
not the same as vivekakhyAti. It is rather the result of vivekakhyAti
when the mind withdraws from all vRtti-s and remains as a series of
(nirodha) saMskAra-s.

Hope this helps,

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list