[Advaita-l] Nidhidyaasana

Nithin Sridhar sridhar.nithin at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 22:13:21 EST 2017

Can the learned members share references from Upanishads or works of any of
the Acharyas about Uttama, Madhyama and Adhama adhikaris with respect to
sravana etc. ?


On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 8:19 AM, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> PraNams to all
> I had posted this before couple of years back discussing the obstacles for
> Self - Realization. I am posting it again for those who are interested.
> -----------------------------------Obstacles for Self-Realization -7.
>  We are discussing about the madhyama adhikaari, who has sufficient
> four-fold qualifications, saadhana chatuShTaya sampatti, to have clear
> understanding of Vedanta, but not sufficient enough to have the jnaana
> phalam or the fruits of the knowledge. Most of us fall into this category.
> Thus he has jnaanam but not jnaana phalam to be a jiivan mukta. The mind is
> still habitually entangled in the changing diversities of the world. ‘To
> change continuously’ is the nature of the world. To expect the changing
> world to remain conducive all the time to ones likes and dislikes is
> inherently faulty. Not to be affected by the changing world requires a
> disciplined frame of mind that can witness the events happening in the
> world objectively, without emotions getting on the way. Even though jnaani
> understands he is pure existence-consciousness-limitless, due to
> lingering vaasanaas or habitual notions due to praarabda, emotional
> transformation of the mind is incomplete. In effect, the emotional mind
> does not abide in the knowledge of the intellect or the habitual notions
> come in between the mind and the intellect. For such a person only
> nidhidhyaasana is prescribed by Vedanta. Hence nidhidhyaasana is not for
> gaining any new knowledge but for making the emotional mind to abide in the
> knowledge that has already been gained through shravana and manana.
>  Nidhidhyaasana is not for manda adhikaari. For manda adhikaari who has
> saadhana chatuShTaya sampatti at the lowest level, karma and upaasana yoga
> are prescribed. Nidhidhyaasana is not needed for uttama adhikaari since he
> gets both jnaana and jnaana phalam by shravana and manana, since his mind
> has already been purified by saadhana chatuShTaya sampatti. Hence
> Nidhidhyaasana is required for madhyama adhikaari who has half-baked with
> four-fold qualifications. He gains the knowledge but not the fruits of
> knowledge due to lingering vaasanaas. How do I know that I have jnaanam but
> not jnaana nishTa. After the study of Vedanta under a competent teacher and
> understood the essence of Vedanta without an iota of doubt then I have
> learned what needs to be learned. In principle, that is all what is needed.
> However for many of us, the mind seems to get agitated whenever we are
> transacting with the world. This is due to emotional involvement with the
> world due to attachments to things and people. This implies that the
> saadhana chatuShTaya sampatti needed is incomplete. Hence nidhidhyaasana is
> prescribed by the scriptures to internalize the learning that has already
> been taken place. It is like current switch is on and the bulb is in good
> condition, but still no light is coming. The brighter and brighter light
> will start beaming forth as one starts rotating the rheostat switch slowly.
> Thus knowledge is there but for it to express in all its glory, the
> obstructive emotional attachments or raaga dveshas have to be reduced
> further.
>  What is to be done in Nidhidhyaasana: Nidhidhyaasana is defined as
> dwelling upon the teaching that has been gained via shravana and manana, by
> remaining in the teaching, as often as possible, as intensely as possible,
> as long as possible, as repeatedly as possible. It is essentially living in
> the teaching itself. This dwelling on the teaching can be done by selecting
> any or all of the methods listed here. These include: 1. Repeated listening
> to scriptures – shravana – mind to dwell on the teachings. 2. Repeated
> reading of the Shaastras or reading the notes prepared. 3. Repeated
> writing, while the mind dwells upon the teaching 4. Discussions of the
> Shaastras with those who have shraddhaa on the teaching (advaita-list-serve
> comes in handy in this regard) 5. Teaching of the Shaastras to others, if
> one can manage to get some one to listen to. 6. Contemplating on the
> teaching in a secluded place (essentially meditation on the teaching). In
> all these saadhanas, mind is essentially dwelling on the Vedanta teaching.
> Since the teaching is centered on the self-itself as Brahman or the
> totality, whatever is not aatma (which then is anaatma) is slowly reduced
> to mithyaa that includes the likes and dislikes.
>  In the nidhidhyaasana, the physical posture is of secondary consideration
> as it is predominately a mano vRitti, i.e., a contemplation using the mind.
> Therefore mind should be awake and available without getting high jacked by
> any other thought. Any physical posture that keeps the mind conducive for
> contemplation on the teaching without falling asleep is the right posture.
> In essence, the posture should be such that mind should not be dwelling on
> the posture or become conscious of it during contemplation. In this regard,
> one can also employ aShTaanga yoga meditation stages to keep the mind alert
> and contemplative. Shankara discusses the application of the ashTanga yoga
> steps for self knowledge in his aparokshaanubhuti text. Here chitta nirodha
> involves only withdrawing the mind from the extroverted pursuits and
> investing in the teaching of mahaavaakya gained through Shravana and manana
> or enquiry of the nature of the self.
>  Therefore, nidhidhyaasana is not silencing the mind, but involves mental
> inquiry or vichaara on the essence of the advaitic teaching – Brahman
> satyam- jagat mithyaa and jiivaH bhramaa eva na aparaH, Brahman alone is
> real and the world is just apparent projection on Brahman and jiiva is none
> other than Brahman. To abide in this understanding, any or all of the above
> methods can be practiced at the seat of meditation. One can even meditate
> on anaatma that is a worldly object with name and form to see the truth
> behind that object. When I meditate on anaatma, I have to see the mithyaa
> aspect of the name and form and shift my attention to the Brahman or pure
> existence as the reality that lends existence to the object.
>  The next question is how one should meditate? Bhagavaan Ramana gives
> illustrative examples. He says in Upadeshasaara- aajyadhaarayaa srotasaa
> samam, sarala chintanam virala tatparam. He says the contemplation should
> be – like a flow of ghee or flow of river. The ghee example is to
> illustrate sneha bhaava or love for the goal, just as ghee sticks to the
> fingers, the mind has to stick to the goal. The river example is given to
> emphasize the persistence to reach the goal, in spite of small or large
> obstacles that invariably come on the way. For small obstacles the river
> joyfully jumps over with gurgling joyful noise, and for large obstacles she
> gracefully goes around, even taking few steps backward, without loosing
> sight of the ultimate goal to reach, namely, the ocean where its identity
> with name and form gets dissolved. The mind should be constantly dwelling
> in the understanding of the truth, in spite of any incidental obstacles
> that arise. Hence Bhagavaan Ramana says it should be continuous flow of
> thoughts (sarala chintanam) rather than with starts and stops (virala
> chintanam). Initially it will be of the later type but as the mind gets
> absorbed more and more it becomes continuous flow of thoughts. Abhyaasa
> (constant practice) and vairaagya (withdrawal from attachments) that Shree
> Krishna emphasizes again and again are the essential ingredients -
> abhyaasenatu kounteya vairaagyena ca gRihyate.
>  To be continued
> _______________________________________________
> Archives: http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/archives/advaita-l/
> http://blog.gmane.org/gmane.culture.religion.advaita
> To unsubscribe or change your options:
> http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/advaita-l
> For assistance, contact:
> listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org

Nithin S

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list