[Advaita-l] Topic for Discussion: What is Nirvikalpaka Samaadhi?

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 9 18:18:54 CST 2016

Dear Sadaji,

To my understanding the "Chitta" is "Mind", "Ego" and "Intellec"t together along with the "Impressions or Memory". and some puranas have called the Chitta itself as the Jeeva. The aim of "Cittavritti-nirodha" in yoga is to control the fluctuations in the Chitta and that finally comes to the thought-control in the mind. When the mind is still and there are no thought appearing in the mind, that  helps the Chittaa to disconnect from the Prakrti.or Maya and one becomes "Jivanmukta". Eventually with the leaving of the five Koshas, the "Videhamukti" is achieved and there is one-ness with Brahman. 

Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

On Wed, 3/9/16, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

 Subject: [Advaita-l] Topic for Discussion: What is Nirvikalpaka Samaadhi?
 To: "adviata-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
 Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:57 AM
 PraNAms to all
 I posed this question in both lists. There were few who
 discussed on this topic. I thank all of them who
 participated in the discussion. I am presenting below my
 understanding for whatever it is worth.
 I am providing below my understanding. Some of these aspects
 are discussed exhaustively by Shree Vidyaranya swami in
 Panchadashi – which we are doing now. We are doing now the
 10th Chapter. Just of info- The talks on the Chapters
 covered so far are available on Yu-tube under Acharya
 Is Self-realization involves objectless-awareness as some
 The objectless awareness is nothing but pure sat chit
 ananda. It is always there - with the objects at the very
 substantive and without the objects as Brahman. It is
 paaramaarthika satyam. na vaaak gacchati na manaH - no
 speech can go there nor the mind - says the scripture. yato
 vaacho nivartante apraapya manasaa saha. For pure Brahman -
 there is no need of self-realization too, as it is one
 without a second. Jnaanam and ajnaanam etc., are all at
 vyaavhaarika level only. Hence self-realization cannot be
 object-less awareness, and one cannot reach there and one
 need not reach there too, since it is ever present and
 Self-realization is by the mind only - Mind has to recognize
 or re-cognize that the existence that supports the mind or
 the consciousness that enlivens the mind is due to the pure
 self that I am; since I say I am existent-conscious entity
 – I am, in fact, a self-existent and self-conscious
  Thoughts or vRittis that arise my mind are also objects of
 my awareness. As every thought (either due to external
 perceptions or internal perceptions) arises in the mind - as
 - this is a pot-, or - this is chair,  simultaneously
 or spontaneously subject thought - I am - as knower arises
 in the mind- Bhagavan Ramana calls this as aham vRitti
 centered on the knower, in contrast to idam vRitti centered
 in objective-thought. 
 Aham vRitit is not objective thought but the - knower
 thought, as -I know this is a pot - I know this is a chair,
 etc. Thus we have object-thought of idam vRitti as in, this
 is a pot or this is a chair, etc.; and along with this,
 spontaneously a knower thought - I am the knower that this
 is a pot, etc ., arises. This aham vRitti is not objective
 thought, but subject-or knower vRitti, which also owns the
 knowledge as in - I am the knower of this thought. 
 Shifting the mind from the object thought to the subject
 vRitti is object-less awareness. It is not elimination of
 the thoughts but shifting the mind to the knowing principle
 because of which every objective thought is known. I am
 neither known or unknown but the very knowing principle of
 both known and unknown says kena up. To recognize and claim
 I am that - without the objective thoughts or more correctly
 in spite of objective thoughts - requires a very
 discriminative mind or mind with viveka.  While
 remaining within the upaadhi recognizing I am is the pure
 existence-consciousness that enlivens the upAdhi- it is
 called upahita chaitanya. To be able to shift my mind
 without getting lost in the objective thoughts that floods
 the mind, meditation on the single thought – as in japa-
 would help or even the meditation on the thought – aham
 brahmaasmi – once one has understood the truth – brahma
 sayam, jagan mithyaa and aham brahma eva na aparaH though
 Vedanta shravana and manana. 
 A similar analogy is looking at the moon (which is actually
 the presiding deity of the mind) and the moonlight and claim
 that I am actually seeing the sunlight that is illumining
 the moon. I cannot really see the sunlight directly. I need
 the moon to RECOGNIZE the presence of sunlight. What I see
 is only moon-light. I have to use viveka to shift my
 attention from the moon light to that because of moon has
 the light.  There is sunlight outside the moon too but
 I cannot recognize that since there is no object to reflect
 that light. Hence I need the reflecting object and from the
 reflection recognize cognitively the original light.
 Similarly I cannot see the objectless awareness but I have
 to recognize I am in the every objective awareness - Hence
 Kenopanishad says- pratibhoda viditam matam - It is revealed
 in every thought or experience as the knower or experiencer,
 which has to be conscious-existent entity since non-existent
 or unconscious entity cannot have any experience. 
 The thought-less mind happens normally in deep-sleep
 state.  In the deep-sleep state there is akhanda
 ajnaana vRitti or constant unbroken thought of ignorance of
 subject-object duality, as the mind is folded. Deep sleep
 state is not meditation since mind is folded and cannot
 abide in the knowledge of aham brahmaasmi. 
 Patanjali yoga talks about the chitta vRitti nirodha – or
 shutting of all the thoughts – essentially a thoughtless
 mind or empty mind. As Swami Dayanandaji puts it – an
 ignorant thought full mind has now become ignorant
 thoughtless mind. The ignorance remains. When the mind
 awakens with thoughts you are back to square one and
 Patanjali yoga advocates dvaita only and not advaita. Hence
 no knowledge of advaita occurs in that thoughtless mind. 
 Nirvikalpaka samaadhi:
 Nirvikalpaka samaadhi is described for the one who has
 studied Vedanta under a sampradaaya teacher and the mind has
 grasped truth – aham brahmaasmi. Hence it is not a
 substitute for the knowledge since muula avidya or ignorance
 of the self can only by knowledge of the self – via
 Vedanta pramaana. Even after gaining the knowledge, if such
 a mind is not able to abide in that knowledge of aham
 brahmaasmi due to remnant raaga-dweshaas, one can meditate
 on the knowledge – aham brahmaasmi as the single thought
 without any other thoughts in the mind. That is nirvikalpaka
 samAdhI with the knowledge of aham brahamsmi single thought.
 Thus one slowly eliminates the remnant raaga dweshas and
 such a person even if he comes out of that meditation, the
 knowledge remains with him – now even with the thoughts
 – since he has understood that He is pure sat chit ananda
 and presence or absence of thoughts do not affect him since
 they are mithyaa. 
 Hence what is needed is a) clear understanding of the truth
 – brahma satyam, jagan mithyaa and aham brahmaasmi –
 that involves a) paroksha jnaanam of the jagat and Iswara
 and b) aparoksha jnanam via mahaavaakya vichaara. – There
 are no short cuts here. Nidhidhyaasana is required for
 madhyama adhikaari who is not able to abide in the knowledge
 – aham brahmaasmi. For him, constant enquiry is the best
 approach, so that the mind does not get entangled with the
 day to day life in vyavahaara, which he cannot but do, as
 long as BMI is there. If he cannot enquire or do vichaara
 – then one can do meditation on aham brahmaasmi with the
 background knowledge via mahaavaakyaas.  
 If absence of thoughts is required for self-realization,
 then we are giving more reality to the thoughts or as much
 reality to the thoughts as the self. Ontologically Self or
 Brahman is of higher order of reality and thoughts cannot
 replace Brahman or the self for me to remove the thoughts to
 recognize the self. What is required is detachment of the
 mind from the thoughts (as they involve ahankaara and
 mamakaara due to raaga and dweshas – I-ness and my-ness
 due to likes and dislikes) so that mind can shift its
 attention to aham vRitti from idam vRitti.  
 Some can even experience a thought-less state or
 nirvikalpaka samAdhI. However without Vedanta knowledge such
 an experience is neither needed nor necessary. What is
 required is clear understand of the truth – Brahma satyam,
 jagan mithyaa, aham brahmaasmi – knowledge – though
 Vedanta mahaavaakya vichaara, via shravana and manana.
 Meditation or even nirvikalpaka samAdhI is not a pramaana or
 means of knowledge – one can have experience but such an
 experience is not needed for self-knowledge. Meditation or
 continuous enquiry is required for the mind to abide in the
 knowledge gained via shravana and manana – that is
 listening to the sampradaaya teacher on Vedanta for
 prolonged length of time until the knowledge is crytal clear
 and doubt-free. Even after gaining the knowledge, one is
 unable abide in the knowledge for them nidhidhyaasana
 including nirvikalpaka samadhi is recommended. The later
 ones are not alternatives to Vedanta shravana and manana. 
 Hope this helps. 
 I want to thank all those who presented their view.
 Hari Om!
 Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
 To unsubscribe or change your options:
 For assistance, contact:
 listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list