[Advaita-l] Vedanta and Nirvikalka Samadhi - Part III

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 8 00:53:47 CDT 2015

Part III

6. The pure all-pervading consciousness – as though – illumines the subtle body which is capable of reflecting the consciousness, like a mirror.  By reflecting, it behaves -as though - a conscious entity. It is similar to moon reflecting the sunlight and appearing as though the luminous entity in the sky. (Moon, in fact, is presiding deity of the mind). Sun has nothing to do with this illumination, yet without the sun present, moon cannot be seen. The luminosity of the moon is due to the sunlight and is not due to its own. Another important fact is without moon reflecting the sunlight, the original sunlight, where the moon is, cannot be RECOGNIZED. This later part is very important. Same thing happens at the consciousness level. The OC is like sun light but all-pervading. From its point all these process have nothing to do with it. The light of consciousness, when it falls on the intellect (or subtle body), it gets reflected. By reflection process,
 intellect by nature is inert, now becomes a local conscious entity; just as moon has become local luminous entity. Thus reflected consciousness (RC) or chidaabhaasa makes the intellect (the reflecting medium, RM) as though a conscious entity. The reflected and the original are inseparable just as the original sunlight that is falling on the moon and the reflected sunlight by the moon are inseparable. We cannot see the original sunlight; but by looking at the reflected sunlight by the moon and realizing that moon has no luminosity of its own, one has to cognitively see the original sunlight. Same applies to OC. OC gets reflected by the buddhi and this reflection gets further reflected in the mind, and then the body. Thus BMI has become active, alive and along with sense organs and organs of actions and thus becoming dynamic entities. It is really a wonder that by its mere presence (OC), via the reflection process, the inert BMI becomes a living entity.
 Life itself is a wonder. Hence as long as BMI is there, the five components – OC, RC, RM consisting of three bodies (causal, subtle and gross) are all activated. Vedanta says other than OC, which alone is absolutely real (that which never undergoes any change, since it is infinite), the rest are apparently real, similar to the jeevas in the dream with have their own BMIs. For a dreamer the dream is not a dream but real. For a jeeva suffering is real until understand the it is only apparently real but nor really real by recognizing that I am full all by myself. The apparently real is like drama where appears to be real while one is playing the role. 

7. Up to this, there is no problem. Problem comes when the activated intellect (RM with RC; RM is reflecting medium starting with intellect and RC is reflected consciousness) thinks that I am the original consciousness, due to ignorance of the all-pervading consciousness, and now behaves as an independent living entity. Hence I am = this, the ahankaara or ego involves the pure consciousness that I am (OC), identifying with the local BMI (this) as I am, via RC. By identifying with the instruments (BMI) I, the conscious-existent entity superimpose the limitations of the BMI as my limitations and try to remove these limitations by acquiring things that are conducive to my likings and getting rid of those I dislike. Suffering comes due to limitations or superimposed limitations on myself. 

8. RM (the reflecting medium, the intellect) has to be there to have RC and RC will not be there without OC, but OC being the original consciousness, it is always there.  As long as subtle body is there, consciousness (OC) cannot but get reflected. Any reflection depends on the reflecting medium. If intellect is muddled, then reflection is also gets muddled. If intellect is pure, the reflection also will be bright and is to the fullest extent. Impurity of the intellect is measure by how calm, quiet and serene it is. When the mind (the emotional part) and intellect (discriminative part) are integrated then the reflection will be brilliant. Such an integrated mind is prepared mind needed to inquire – expressed as the four-fold qualification of the mind, stated above. Such an integrated mind is called pure mind. On the other hand, if the mind and intellect are divergent or split, the actions get distorted and that is called sin. I know what is right
 (intellectually) but I compromise and do what I feel like doing (mind), to get some immediate sense-pleasures. That divergence is sin. I compromise against my own intellectual values. For example a thief knows stealing is bad, since he does not want others to steal his property, yet he compromises his value when he steals. That is a sin. Yoga in terms of karma, upaasana and jnaana integrates the mind and intellect, and aligns them to do the subtle inquiry. What I think, what I feel and what I do are aligned (called Arjavam), and such a mind is ready to take inner flight. We call him as straight forward person, and it is easier to deal with him, even if we do not agree with him, than with crocked one.  Hence karmayoga, bhakti yoga, are all important in preparing the mind for subtler flight. 

With all this background we can now address the questions that were raised in the beginning. 

9. Who is ignorant? 

Pure SELF being one without a second, neither has ignorance or knowledge – Its nature is pure consciousness. BMI ( the reflecting medium, RM) being inert cannot have ignorance or knowledge.  It is the intellect (RM) activated by chidaabhaasa (RC), in the presence of OC, is ignorant of the fact that the consciousness that it exhibits is only reflected one, and reflected one is due to the reflection of the original all-pervading conscious entity, OC. It is like moon thinking that I am self-luminous entity in the sky, by looking at its own luminosity and not recognizing that it is the sunlight that makes it apparently luminous. It is the moon (activated moon) that is ignorant of the fact, and not the sun; Sun is self-shining one, unaffected by where it falls and how its light gets reflected by a media.   As pointed out, no light (not referring to localized source of light like sun or light bulb) including the light of consciousness can be seen directly.
 Only when object reflects the light, the presence of the original light can be recognized. Similarly OC cannot be seen (being infinite it is imperceptible) directly but its presence can only be recognized by intellect that is enlivened by chidaabhaasa.  

10. How do you remove the ignorance? 

Ignorance can only be removed by knowledge, since they are mutually exclusive. Ignorance of chemistry is removed only by the knowledge of Chemistry. Similarly self-ignorance can only be removed by self-knowledge. Since the ignorance is with the intellect, it is the intellect that has to know. Intellect, referred in general as the mind, has to inquire who am I when I say ‘I am a conscious-existent entity’, as everyone claims. 

Hence when Bhagavan Ramana asks us to find out who we are, the inquiry of who I am can only be done by the intellect, since we do not have any other instrument. If intellect has to inquire, being ignorant how is it going to find out, who am I? By sitting in meditation can I find out who am I?  Can sitting in meditation, can I learn Chemistry or Physics? I wish I could; then I do not have to do years of study to gain some knowledge of Chemistry. One may claim, no, the knowledge of the self is different from the objective knowledge. For self-knowledge you have to go beyond the mind (intellect) and when you do that, the truth reveals itself – that is in nirvikalpa samAdhI. 

There is lot of confusion here; to start with we have no idea of what it means going beyond the mind. People spend hours struggling to go beyond the mind by suppressing the thoughts, assuming that the thought-less mind is no mind.  But that is what we do every day when we go to deep-sleep state; mind remains thought-less. In that state, I do not even know I exist. In fact, all I know is I am the constant awareness or witnessing consciousness, conscious of the subject-object duality, which is present when the mind is active as in waking and dream states, and is absent when the mind is folded. This is the experience of all. Nobody gets up from sleep as wise person. While it is easier to go to sleep for many, but trying to arrive at thought-less mind while awake becomes another struggle. Even if it is possible on occasions, and one experiences non-dual mind (no subject-object thoughts); and explain to others, after one comes out of that experience (one has
 to come out of any experience as it is time-bound- including the deep sleep state), that I had a beautiful experience on that day, etc.  It is important to understand that experience is not knowledge; and it is knowledge alone that removes the ignorance and not experience. Knowledge can contradict experience but knowledge cannot be contradicted. In fact, there is never a time I do not experience the SELF, since it is ever present. Similarly, there is never a time I do not experience Brahman, but I have no true knowledge of the self that I am Brahman. It is like the story of the 10th man searching for the 10th man. He is not going to recognize that he is the 10th man by meditating who or where is the 10th man. For that intellect requires teaching – you are what you are seeking for. Since this teaching is subtle and involves recognition that you are infinite, limited intellect is not ready to accept as it contradicts the every day’s experience.  
continued in the next part

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