[Advaita-l] Nidhidyaasana

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 03:02:34 EST 2017

Namaste Sri Nitin Ji,

You can refer to Vichara Sagara of Sadhu Nishchala Das in hindi which has a
sanskrit commentary by Swami Vasudeva Brahmendra Saraswati. This is
available for download from the Web. In the beginning of the fourth
chapter,lakshana of a Uttama Adhikari is mentioned, and in the beginning of
the fifth chapter, lakshana of a Madhyama Adhikari is given. I think
lakshana of Adhama Adhikari is in the sixth chapter.


On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 8:43 AM, Nithin Sridhar via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> 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. ?
> Regards,
> Nithin
> 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
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> --
> Nithin S
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