Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Liberation is freedom from ego - by Nityananda Atman



Liberation is freedom from ego
by Nityananda Atman
Commentaries by Nityananda Atman
on verses of the advaita book “Vivekachudamani” written by Sri Adisankaracharya


What is the cause of our bondage?
Egoism and desires for sense objects are the cause of suffering and bondage for the human beings. 
In vivekachudamani Adisankaracharya mentions that the root of all miseries and suffering for men is the egoism which is the first modification of Nescience (ignorance).

Adisankaracharya mentions that if egoism exists in our psych even in a very subtle state there is not talking about liberation.

Adisankaracharya

verse 299 So long as one has any relation to this wicked ego, there should not be the least talk about Liberation, which is unique.

verse 303. As long as there is a trace of poisoning left in the body, how can one hope for recovery ? Similar is the effect of egoism on the Yogi’s Liberation.
“Vivekachudamani” 

 

Only with the complete cessation of egoism we can realize fully our identity with the universal Consciousness (Brahman or Paramatman) and become a Jivanmukta (Liberated soul).

verse 304.  Through the complete cessation of egoism, through the stoppage of the diverse mental waves due to it, and through the discrimination of the inner Reality, one realises that Reality as "I am This".
“Vivekachudamani” 

Later he says that the destruction of desires is Liberation, and this is considered as Liberation-in-life.

verse 317. With the cessation of selfish action the brooding on the sense-objects is stopped, which is followed by the destruction of desires. The destruction of desires is Liberation, and this is considered as Liberation-in-life.”
“Vivekachudamani”  

From the above becomes clear that with the destruction of egoism or the destruction of desires we are liberated from the samsaric wheel of pleasures and pains and this 3D illusory physical world.
Egoism and desires go hand by hand. Both egoism and desires are created in us because we are thinking the sense objects and do selfish actions to possess and enjoy them. In reality the desire and the ego is one and the same thing appearing as two. Therefore  the destruction of the one leads to the destruction of both.

When we forget our Self within, the mind easily runs again towards sense objects. By thinking of sense-objects egoism and desires sprout again in our mind and cover the space of consciousness which is our real Self.

Verse 314.. For the sake of breaking the chain of transmigration, the Sannyasin should burn to ashes those two; for thinking of the sense-objects and doing selfish acts lead to an increase of desires.
Verse 310. “ Overpowering this enemy, egoism, not a moment’s respite should be given to it by thinking on the sense-objects. That is verily the cause of its coming back to life.”
“Vivekachudamani” 

How can we be liberated from the egoism and the worldly desires?
Adisanakaracharya declares that we have to abandon the attachment and identification with the body and sense objects and fix our mind in our innermost self, the Atman (pure consciousness).

Of course to fix the mind on Atman by meditation, self enquiry and Samadhi is very difficult and possible only for those who have prepared themselves by intense sadhana for many years. Meditation and self-enquiry are the last steps in the process to realize our Divine nature.

Only very rare souls prepared from previous lives are ready to start their sadhana relatively easily with meditation and self enquiry. All the rest we have step by step to fulfil all the requisites and develop all the qualities that are necessary for deep meditation, self enquiry and Samadhi. 

~Sri Ramana Maharshi

763 Only to such a mind which has gained the inner strength of one-pointedness, Self-enquiry will be successful. But a weak mind will be like wet wood put into the fire of jnana-vichara. 

764 Those advanced souls who have given up all desires, knowing that increasing misery alone is the fruit of desires, will attain the eternal bliss of Self by taking to the direct path of Self-enquiry.

~Sri Ramana Maharshi



I will remind you here the classification in patanjali yoga which is accepted also in all other yoga with some differences.

1.       Yama
2.       Niyama
3.       Asana
4.       Pranayama
5.       ptatyahara
6.       concentration
7.       Meditation
8.       Samadhi

For a brief knowledge about the eight limbs of yoga click here: RAJA YOGA by Swami Sivananda
For a deep analysis and a better understanding of the eight limbs of yoga read the book:
The path of blessdness.pdf  - Swami Chitananda

We see that meditation and samadhi are the two last steps of the ladder. If we don’t fulfill the previous ones meditation and Samadhi are not possible.

In jnana yoga is required from the aspirant to equip himself with the four means of salvation. This is known as Sadhana Chatushtaya. There is a brief description of the four means in vivekachudamani but for a better understanding you can read an essay of Swami Sivananda (Read more). There is written also by Swami Sivananda a small booklet about the four means named “Sadhana Chatushtaya”.
 
When the aspirant is qualified with the four means then has the necessary foundation to do meditation or self enquiry effectively. Then alone self-realization is possible.
~ Swami Sivananda

 “A student who treads the path of Truth must, therefore, first equip himself with Sadhana Chatushtaya - the "four means of salvation". They are discrimination, dispassion, the sixfold qualities of perfection, and intense longing for liberation - Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutva. Then alone will he be able to march forward fearlessly on the path. Not an iota of spiritual progress is possible unless one is endowed with these four qualifications.”

 ~ By Swami Sivananda a Jnani yogi and devotee of Adisankracharya 


The elimination of egoism and desires is not an easy task but is possible for those who dedicate their life in this endeavour.
Adisankaracharya declares also that even for the wise is not easy to root out completely egoism and desires.

Verse 342. Even wise men cannot suddenly destroy egoism after it has once become strong, barring those who are perfectly calm through the Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Desires are verily the effect of innumerable births.
“Vivekachudamani”

The desire for self realization, which is one of the most important qualifications, if it becomes strong enough will reduce gradually all other desires and the purified mind will remain steadily fixed in the Atman within the heart.
318. When the desire for realising Brahman has a marked manifestation, the egoistic desires readily vanish, as the most intense darkness effectively vanishes before the glow of the rising sun.
275. The desire for Self-realisation is obscured by innumerable desires for things other than the Self. When they have been destroyed by the constant attachment to the Self, the Atman clearly manifests Itself of Its own accord.
276. As the mind becomes gradually established in the Inmost Self, it proportionately gives up the desires for external objects. And when all such desires have been eliminated, there takes place the unobstructed realisation of the Atman.
277. The Yogi’s mind dies, being constantly fixed on his own Self. Thence follows the cessation of desires. Therefore do away with thy superimposition.
“Vivekachudamani” 
 
Never forget that we have always to be very careful, even when we are very skilful in meditation and self-enquiry, because it is possible due to inattention to lose our control causing the rebirth of egoism and desires creating bondage and suffering again.

verse 321. One should never be careless in one’s steadfastness to Brahman. Bhagavan Sanatkumara, who is Brahma’s son, has called inadvertence to be death itself.
“Vivekachudamani” 

This carelessness can cause a fall even to a wise man.

verse 324. As sedge, even if removed, does not stay away for a moment, but covers the water again, so Maya or Nescience also covers even a wise man, if he is averse to meditation on the Self.
“Vivekachudamani” 
Finally Adisankaracharya says that by fixing constantly the mind in the Atman within and by Nirvikalpa Samadhi egoism and desires will vanish totally and the realization of our true nature will be clear and steady.

363. By this Samadhi are destroyed all desires which are like knots, all work is at an end, and inside and out there takes place everywhere and always the spontaneous manifestation of one’s real nature.
365. By the Nirvikalpa Samadhi the truth of Brahman is clearly and definitely realised, but not otherwise, for then the mind, being unstable by nature, is apt to be mixed up with other perceptions.
“Vivekachudamani” 

When by intense meditation or self-enquiry and deep Nirvikalpa Samadhi egoism and all desires, vasanas and samskaras dissolve for ever we become Jivanmuktas, (libeated souls). Without ego or desires we remain always in Sahaja Samadhi enjoying the bliss of our true Self (Pure consciousness).

“After that profound realization the jivanmukta spoke as follows:
488. Blessed am I; I have attained the consummation of my life, and am free from the clutches of transmigration; I am the Essence of Eternal Bliss, I am infinite – all through thy mercy !
489. I am unattached, I am disembodied, I am free from the subtle body, and undecaying, I am serene, I am infinite, I am taintless and eternal.
490. I am not the doer, I am not the experiencer, I am changeless and beyond activity; I am the essence of Pure Knowledge; I am Absolute and identified with Eternal Good.493. I am indeed Brahman, the One without a second, matchless, the Reality that has no beginning, beyond such imagination as thou or I, or this or that, the Essence of Eternal Bliss, the Truth.
496. In me, the ocean of Infinite Bliss, the waves of the universe are created and destroyed by the playing of the wind of Maya.
499. I am beyond contamination like the sky; I am distinct from things illumined, like the sun; I am always motionless like the mountain; I am limitless like the ocean.” 
“Vivekachudamani”

I quote here the verses of vivekachudamani  about egoism, desires, sense objects, selfish actions.

298. Other obstacles are also observed to exist for men, which lead to transmigration. The root of them, for the above reasons, is the first modification of Nescience called egoism.
299. So long as one has any relation to this wicked ego, there should not be the least talk about Liberation, which is unique.
300. Freed from the clutches of egoism, as the moon from those of Rahu, man attains to his real nature, and becomes pure, infinite, ever blissful and self-luminous.
301. That which has been created by the Buddhi extremely deluded by Nescience, and which is perceived in this body as "I am such and such" – when that egoism is totally destroyed, one attains an unobstructed identity with Brahman.
302. The treasure of the Bliss of Brahman is coiled round by the mighty and dreadful serpent of egoism, and guarded for its own use by means of its three fierce hoods consisting of the three Gunas. Only the wise man, destroying it by severing its three hoods with the great sword of realisation in accordance with the teachings of the Shrutis, can enjoy this treasure which confers bliss.
303. As long as there is a trace of poisoning left in the body, how can one hope for recovery ? Similar is the effect of egoism on the Yogi’s Liberation.
304. Through the complete cessation of egoism, through the stoppage of the diverse mental waves due to it, and through the discrimination of the inner Reality, one realises that Reality as "I am This".
305. Give up immediately thy identification with egoism, the agent, which is by its nature a modification, is endued with a reflection of the Self, and diverts one from being established in the Self – identifying thyself with which thou hast come by this relative existence, full of the miseries of birth, decay and death, though thou art the Witness, the Essence of Knowledge and Bliss Absolute.
306. But for thy identification with that egoism there can never be any transmigration for thee who art immutable and eternally the same, the Knowledge Absolute, omnipresent, the Bliss Absolute, and of untarnished glory.
307. Therefore destroying this egoism, thy enemy - which appears like a thorn sticking in the throat of a man taking meal – with the great sword of realisation, enjoy directly and freely the bliss of thy own empire, the majesty of the Atman.
308. Checking the activities of egoism etc., and giving up all attachment through the realisation of the Supreme Reality, be free from all duality through the enjoyment of the Bliss of Self, and remain quiet in Brahman, for thou hast attained thy infinite nature.
309. Even though completely rooted out, this terrible egoism, if revolved in the mind even for a moment, returns to life and creates hundreds of mischiefs, like a cloud ushered in by the wind during the rainy season.
310. Overpowering this enemy, egoism, not a moment’s respite should be given to it by thinking on the sense-objects. That is verily the cause of its coming back to life, like water to a citron tree that has almost dried up.
311. He alone who has identified himself with the body is greedy after sense-pleasures. How can one, devoid of the body-idea, be greedy (like him)? Hence the tendency to think on the sense-objects is verily the cause of the bondage of transmigration, giving rise to an idea of distinction or duality.
312. When the effects are developed, the seed also is observed to be such, and when the effects are destroyed, the seed also is seen to be destroyed. Therefore one must subdue the effects.
313. Through the increase of desires selfish work increases, and when there is an increase of selfish work, there is an increase of desire also. And man’s transmigration is never at an end.
314. For the sake of breaking the chain of transmigration, the Sannyasin should burn to ashes those two; for thinking of the sense-objects and doing selfish acts lead to an increase of desires.
315-316. Augmented by these two, desires produce one’s transmigration. The way to destroy these three, however, lies in looking upon everything, under all circumstances, always, everywhere and in all respects, as Brahman and Brahman alone. Through the strengthening of the longing to be one with Brahman, those three are annihilated.
317. With the cessation of selfish action the brooding on the sense-objects is stopped, which is followed by the destruction of desires. The destruction of desires is Liberation, and this is considered as Liberation-in-life
318. When the desire for realising Brahman has a marked manifestation, the egoistic desires readily vanish, as the most intense darkness effectively vanishes before the glow of the rising sun.
319. Darkness and the numerous evils that attend on it are not noticed when the sun rises. Similarly, on the realisation of the Bliss Absolute, there is neither bondage nor the least trace of misery.
320. Causing the external and internal universe, which are now perceived, to vanish, and meditating on the Reality, the Bliss Embodied, one should pass one’s time watchfully, if there be any residue of Prarabdha(the karma of the present life) work left.
321. One should never be careless in one’s steadfastness to Brahman. Bhagavan Sanatkumara, who is Brahma’s son, has called inadvertence to be death itself.
322. There is no greater danger for the Jnanin than carelessness about his own real nature. From this comes delusion, thence egoism, this is followed by bondage, and then comes misery.
323. Finding even a wise man hankering after the sense-objects, oblivion torments him through the evil propensities of the Buddhi(intellect), as a woman does her doting paramour.
324. As sedge, even if removed, does not stay away for a moment, but covers the water again, so Maya or Nescience (Ignorance) also covers even a wise man, if he is averse to meditation on the Self.
325. If the mind ever so slightly strays from the Ideal and becomes outgoing, then it goes down and down, just as a play-ball inadvertently dropped on the staircase bounds down from one step to another.
326. The mind that is attached to the sense-objects reflects on their qualities; from mature reflection arises desire, and after desiring a man sets about having that thing.
327. Hence to the discriminating knower of Brahman there is no worse death than inadvertence with regard to concentration. But the man who is concentrated attains complete success. (Therefore) carefully concentrate thy mind (on Brahman).
328. Through inadvertence a man deviates from his real nature, and the man who has thus deviated falls. The fallen man comes to ruin, and is scarcely seen to rise again.
329. Therefore one should give up reflecting on the sense-objects, which is the root of all mischief. He who is completely aloof even while living, is alone aloof after the dissolution of the body. The Yajur-Veda declares that there is fear for one who sees the least bit of distinction.
330. Whenever the wise man sees the least difference in the infinite Brahman, at once that which he sees as different through mistake, becomes a source of terror to him.
331. He who identifies himself with the objective universe which has been denied by hundreds of Shrutis, Smritis and reasonings, experiences misery after misery, like a thief, for he does something forbidden.
332. He who has devoted himself to meditation on the Reality (Brahman) and is free from Nescience, attains to the eternal glory of the Atman. But he who dwells on the unreal (the universe) is destroyed. That this is so is evidenced in the case of one who is not a thief and one who is a thief.



Peace love harmony