[Advaita-l] Recent discussion with a seeker on line.
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 24 08:17:32 CDT 2016
PraNams to all:
I had some recent discussion with a seeker on line, and posting it here for those who are interested.
If you are interested you can respond and share your understanding.
A Seeker asked:----------------------------
I wanted to know your thoughts on the usefulness of meditation and how best tomeditate, what object of contemplation is most conducive to acquiring genuineand gradual realization. For example, I can aim to negate the world inmeditation by thinking of its fleeting & dream like nature, but whatthoughts should I aim to really focus on. I totally understand it is ultimatelya subjective exercise and so only I can know what works best for me to realisethe truth of this philosophy, but I would be interested in knowing yourthoughts and advice on this topic.---------------------Sada: Since you mentioned that you have studied some Vedanta, Iwill provide here the application ofwhat is understood from Vedanta. The essence of Vedanta is 1. Brahma satyam, 2.Jagat mithyaa and 3. Aham brahma asmi – all three aspects are involved. The first one says Brahman – that stands of sat – chit-ananda – alone is real and Brahman also means infinite, and therefore therecannot be anything that is real other than Brahman. Hence if anything else isseen or experienced, then that experienced one is not really real but onlyapparently real, but real enough to experience. As long as one is experiencing,one feels that it is real, just like the dream experiences. Since Brahman beinginfinite cannot be perceived. Hence we have a problem here – that which is realcannot be perceived; and therefore non-experiencable, and that which is notreally real is being perceived and thus experienced. Since Brahman beinginfinite, even though it is not experiencable, it cannot but remain assubstantive for both experiencer and experienced apparent duality – or remainas the absolute reality behind the apparent reality. Only way to know is to usethe Vedantic knowledge that is gained bystudying under a competent teacher. It involves developing a subtlediscriminative intellect realize cognitively the essence of underlying theapparent seer-seen duality is nothing but the self that I am. This has to bedone by constantly shifting mind’s attention to that which Vedanta calls as –pratibhoda viditam – revealed in every thought. The item number 2, follows when one uses thisdiscriminative faculty constantly with vigilance. Knowledge does not eliminatethe duality but only removes the reality that we have assumed to the duality. It is not easy but can be done as Krishna says – byabhyaasa and vairagya – that is by constant practice and by discarding thereality given to the apparent duality. The difficulty comes due to mind’shabitual attention to give more reality to the duality than it deserves. Onlyway to overcome this is by constantly listening to the scriptures,contemplating on the truth indicated by the scriptures and withdrawing themind’s attention to the worldly problems. This is the slow process depending onthe intensity of one’s vaasanaas or likes and dislikes and takes wholelife-long processes. With the above background,you can answer your own question. Vedantic meditation involves doing the abovepractice wherever and whenever you can. One can use the other tools – such ashaving a Ishta-devata, or the supreme reality in the form that the mind candwell without getting dissipated by the worldly sense objects, and then torecognize that supreme reality is Brahman which is the substantive of bothseer-seen duality that I AM. In essenceIshta Devata forms an intermediate tool to help the mind to shift its attentionto the absolute via the relative. For the Ishta-Devata worship, japa yoga, puja,etc all becomes tools for mental discipline to keep the mind engaged in thepursuit of the absolute truth. These are important, as long as one does not getattached to the means and forget the goal. External environments, including external sanyaasa,help to minimize one’s intensive involvement in the worldly affairs. However, if that is not possible due to one’spraarabda, then it is important for the mind to accept whatever that comeswithout getting agitated, and to shift its attention to the truth indicated bythe study of Vedanta. ---------------------To be continued.
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