[Advaita-l] Obstacles for Spiritual Progress VI - Part II

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 14 02:20:07 CST 2014

Part II 

Shaastra says that there is no anaatma separate from aatma – annatmas are only naama and ruupa or names and forms without any substantive of their own. Therefore GouDapaada totally rejects reality to anaatma – just as there is no dream world separate from me. Hence, no crying for the dream-diamond that I had in the dream, after I get up from sleep. He says recognize that there is nothing other than Brahman. Thus by repeatedly reminding myself that anaatma is not different from Brahman, the wandering mind is withdrawn from the superficial names and forms to the substantive of everything, that is Brahman, the self that I am. Therefore this mithyaa world, GouDapaada says, is as good as non-existent like the mirage waters. In stead of quenching the thirst, going after mirage waters makes me thirstier, as it is nothing but dry sand where water does not exist. By waking towards the mirage water to quench the thirst will make us only thirstier. Similarly,
 we are going after the world of objects in search of happiness where there is no happiness; instead it binds us causing more unhappiness. The constant awareness of this fact, keeps the mind alert and vigilant so that it does not wander in the field of anaatma. 

Whenever the mind goes out , it goes out to where we have invested our minds. The objects of our minds attention are sources for our attachments and aversions, or raaga and dveshas. Half the problem is solved when one recognizes that the mind has gone out. Most of the time, we are not even aware that our minds have gone out. Before we know it, the half-hour meditation time is over. Hence the very recognition that the mind has gone out is a positive sign that we are watching where our minds are.  The obvious remedy is to immediately withdraw the mind from where it has gone and reinvest in self-inquiry. When this is done repeatedly, the mind slowly settles down, as the attachments become weaker and weaker. The attachments become stronger only when we let the mind indulge in those attachments, says Krishna – dhyaayato vishayaan pumsaH, sangastheshuupajaayate…. The more one thinks about any object the more one gets attached to it and more the mind wants
 to run towards the object, says the Lord. Hence being vigilant makes the mind alert, and makes easy for the one to recognize that the mind has run away and for deliberately bringing it back to the subject of inquiry. Vairagya, dispassion to the sense objects helps the mental withdrawal easier without suppressing the mind. Meditation with the absence of thoughts can become a source of happiness and therefore becomes a trap for the mind to indulge in. It is similar to sleep since even in sleep there are no thoughts. Like sleep happiness, meditation-happiness is a temporary happiness, and thus it is a reflected happiness like any other objective happiness. The gradations in this happiness are discussed as priya, moda or pramoda ananda, in Ti. Up. Therefore it belongs to only ananda kosha. The proof is after coming from meditation, one says I was blissful, with the past tense, implying that I am now tensed. Even the extraordinary pleasure during
 nirvikalpaka samaadhi that one gets is not brahmaananda but it is pratibimba ananda or reflected happiness only; and it will be like any sensory addiction. Therefore, it will be also a samsaara. This is called yoga ananda. GouDapaada says never get addicted to it. Let it come during my meditation or go away – I am the original which is available all the time; therefore no need to long for experiencing the temporary happiness. The very longing for it makes us bound and the very longing also deprives us from our very nature which is ananda swaruupam or our intrinsic nature. Knowledge therefore clear understanding and claiming that I am pure happiness in spite of any external circumstances, that is, whether I am in meditation or not. Happiness is my very nature and can never be perturbed by anything. One who understands this clearly is what Krishna calls as sthita prajna. 

How to see or experience the original ananda? One can never see or experience the original since is not an object for experience.  It is matter for claiming the original since reflected ananda alone can be experienced, but recognition of the original in the reflection is self-realization. I have to recognize the original looking at the reflection. This is called discrimination or nitya anitya vastu viveka – seeing the original in and through the reflection. It is like when I stand in front of the mirror to see my face. I cannot see my face without a mirror.  What I see in the mirror is only the reflected image of my face where the image is located in the mirror away from me. Yet, when I want to shave my face, I do for the original while looking at the image. That shift in understanding that I am the original and not the reflected chidaabhaasa in the mind is viveka or discrimination needed for self-realization. Reflected happiness comes and goes
 (anitya) while the original happiness that I am is ever present as I am (nitya). This constant awareness of the original consciousness while seeing the reflected consciousness or chidaabhaasa is what is termed akhanDaakaara vRitti or what Bhagavan Ramana says – aham aham tayaa spurati hRit swayam – I am, I am .. raises spontaneously in the mind and this I am is paramam purNam and sat swaruupam – supreme, full and of the nature of pure existence-consciousness that I am. 

This constant shift of the mind to this understanding is Nidhidhyaasana. 

Hari Om!

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