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

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 8 00:57:10 CDT 2015

Part V

15. What is nirvikalpaka samadhi?   Is it required for self-realization? Some claim that Vedanta is all theory or all intellectual stuff. After studying Vedanta, you can throw away the books, and now sit in meditation, and go into nirvikalpaka samadhi to realize the self. The very statement shows that Vedanta is not understood, and he has to study more. It is like the story of Mr. Jones who developed a misconception that he is a rat and therefore like all rats, he was avoiding the presence of cats. His wife took him to psychiatrist and after many sessions understood that he is not a rat but a human being. He understood that he is a man and not a rat. After paying the doctor dues, he went happily to his house. But to his horror there was a cat sitting there as though waiting for him. He ran back to the Doctor and said, Sir I understand that I am a man and not a rat, but I am afraid the cat does not know that I am a man and not a rat.   

Scriptures also tell that after shravana (listening to the teaching) and manana (reflecting on the teaching) one has to do meditation (nidhidhyaasana). First, we need to understand that fundamental ignorance (some religions call this as primordial sin) is the root cause for the birth-death cycle. It can only be eliminated by knowledge that teaches that I am sat chit ananda and I am the very substratum (adhiShTaanam) of the whole creation that involves (jeeva-jagat and Iswara – individual, the world and the creator). Hence for those prepared mind, listening to the teaching is sufficient for realization of one’s true nature. For some, whose minds are not fully prepared, listening and reflecting on the teaching so that mind becomes doubt free – is sufficient. For still some impure minds, after understanding one has to contemplate or meditate ON THE TEACHING until the claim that I am sat chit ananda is firm and abiding – Ramana calls this as dRiDaiva
 nishtaa and in Vedanta it is called jnaana nishta.  

16. First, no new knowledge takes place in samAdhI, as it is not a means of knowledge or pramaNa. The nidhidhyaasana or meditation is prescribed for those who have not fully established in the knowledge after study of Vedanta. That is because the complete pre-requisites have not been met, or the minds are not pure since there are lingering vaasanaas pushing the mind to be extrovert. Hence are unable to abide in the knowledge gained by shravana and manana, listening to the teachings and reflecting on the teachings. Essentially one has understood Vedanta but not able to abide in that understanding. It is because the mind is not fully prepared. There are lingering vaasanaas, or likes and dislikes that propel the mind to run after objects or get affected BMI activities. For him nidhidhyaasana involves reflecting on the teaching gained by shravana and manana until the teaching gets internalized as a fact and not as a thought. This is called aproxa jnaanma, a
 term used to negate pratyaksha (direct perceptual knowledge) or paroxa indirect knowledge (anumaana etc), as it is my own self which is present all the time. Nidhidhyaasana can be done by meditating on the teaching or can also be done by constant reflection of the teaching by the mind while still transacting in the world. Constant awareness of the fact that I am Brahman or infiniteness and all this-transactional world is my own glory or vibhuti. This becomes a natural state or sahaja samadhi. Krishna says in Geeta, a wise man sees oneness that pervades everything – whether it is wise man, a cow, an elephant, a dog or even a dog eater; while still transacting differently with each.  

17. One can also have nirvikapaka samadhi – by constant thought of aham brahmaasmi, the crystallized understanding of the teaching. The mind with that constant awareness that will not be entertaining any other thought is in nirvikalpaka samadhi. It is again not a mindless state but state wherein the mind with full understanding remains as such.  In essence the nirvikalpaka samadhi is after gaining the knowledge that I am Brahman after studying Vedanta. It is not essential to abide in the knowledge as one can still transact with the world with understanding that the world is playground to play. Life itself is beautiful platform for play. Why one needs to play? However as long as one is one the stage of life one cannot but play; and playing is natural – even my cat want to play. When I asked my cat why it wants to play – it said – myaav – I understood as it is all maayaa. 

Hari Om!

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