Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Self-awareness, identification and freedom ~ Atman Nityananda

Vivekananda a great Jnani - JJivanmukta
Self-awareness, identification and freedom

We cannot free our selves from the ego and the suffering related with it, if we cannot disidentify from the thinking stream, the emotions, the sensansions, the imaginations and the impulses of desire of which the main currents are like-dislike, attraction-repulsion or aversion and ´I want it´.

Disidentification it is easy to say not so easy to achieve it.

First of all motivation and interest must be there. They are the basis behind any action or goal. Without an intense longing to be free from the self-made suffering any effort will not be steady and will not endure in time.

The motivation or the aspiration can have a 'positive ' or 'negative' aspect. Viz.,we can be thirsty to know the truth or to experience total freedom, peace and Bliss, or we can seek desperately Liberation because already we have suffered very much or for both reasons. No matter what is behind the motivation the important thing is to be intense.

The second important factor is right knowledge. We need a map and a fundamental knowledge which will help us direct our energy, mind and action properly.

Then we must practice diligently and regularly with patience, perseverance, determination, with common sense, flexibility and open mind. We must forbear the difficulties and controversies and adjust ourselves in all circumstances.

Remember that the corner stone of spirituality is not to identify with the egoic-self  which expresses itself through the emotional and mental forms, the senses and the body.

We cannot disedentify from the psychological egoic forms or expressions if we haven't a 'place' to grasp, a place in which identification is not possible. Fortunately this 'place' exists in us. It is our true Self, the silent space of awareness within.. When we forget our Self (the center of our existence) it is impossible to avoid identification. When our attention it is not purposely focused in our essence (Self) then the ego easily 'steals' the attention and directs it towards the objects that (the ego) is attached. Every experience that happens in the state of identidication strengthens the egoic tendencies and impressions thar are accumulated in the subconscious mind. Moreover new samaskaras are stored in the chitta (subconscious mind).

When we are not alert and vigilant enough the whole light of attention is trapped by the ego and is used by the ego to revive and satisfy itself. Every time we forget ourselves and identify with the ego we are under its dominion and will, and thus we act like ego's puppet.

We must find a way not to forget ourselves. Viz. not to forget to be aware or conscious of the silent space within us. We may use any type of meditation, affirmation, enquiry etc. in order to be established in Self-remeberence or Self-awareness (are similar terms).

While Sitting, walking, talking, listening, writing, reading, eating, drinking, etc.,we must find a way to remember ourselves, viz. to pay consciously attention in the silent space within.

Be alert in order never to forget your Self. To forget your Self is to kill your Self. To forget your Self makes you a puppet of the mechanical reactive compulsions of the various egos.

The egos lark in the subconscious and want to come forth in order to revive and repeat their mechanical patterns. The egos in order to be manifested they need the light of awareness (atention is refleced awareness in the mind). When you are careless then the egos easily steal your attention which is the eye of awareness and illuminates everything that comes in its field. 

The ego has a miraculous capacity to steal the whole field of attention and drown you in a state of waking-dream. A state similar to that of a drunkard one. Even for a second to be careless you will find your self immediately lost in the mind's matrix.

To get out of this mind made matrix, or better not to be lost in the mind's matrix you have to be alert by any mean and establish your focus of attention in the silent space within.

If you remain steadily aware of the silence within, then the egos cannot drown you in the state of forgetfullnes and identify with them. You will remain as a silent spectator or witness of the energetic, emotional and mental movements of the egos. You will be able to observe and investigate their nature and their motives. You will able by proper means to dissolve them and gradually free your subconscious mind and the energy field from them.

Of course when the egos like sexual desire, anger, guilt or fear are expressed strongly, then becomes very difficult to stay out of them, detached, and observe them dispassionetely as a witness, since the very fact that they are expressed strongly means that you are already strongly identified with them.  Strong emotions have greate power and very easily drown us in the state of identification and unconsciousness.

Fortunately these egos as well as all others too, most of the time are expressed in a low or moderate mode. Thus we have the opportunity  in easier condition to train ourselves to remain Self-aware and detached observers of the egoic play (emotional ,mental, corporal). We have also the opportunity to reduce their power by eliminating a part of their energy (by prayer, mantra, disccrimitaive attetnion etc.) and due to repetitive practice we will be able to stay more easily aware of the silence within. We must also dedicate some time every night to make an analysis and a spesific practice in order to understand  how the egos function and eliminate them by prayer, mantras, and other technichs.

As we eliminate the ego-energy of each egoic tendenciey, the egos will become weaker and weaker and they will not be able to manifest strongly and make us identify completely with them.

Thus the next time that a strong expression of ego will be manifested, we will be more prepared and capable to resist its pulling power that makes us identify with it and be lost in it.

Moreover we can apply a variety of practices that can help us purify the mind from rajas and tamas gunas and fill it with sattva as well as to dissolve the egoic energies from our system. By doing so our mind becomes more dispassionate, discriminative, luminous, steady and one-pointed and thus we become more and more capable to remain Self-aware and unatached of the egoic movements.

This is an ongoing process which ends when all samskaras (impressions), vasanas (subtle desires) and the ego itself die completely by the power of deep Nirvikalpa samadhi and the grace of God.

Until this glorious moment of Self-realization to happen we must keep going on to be alert, Self-aware and dispassionate observers of the egoic movements in the mind and the heart.

We must through meditation or Self-enquiry to be established in the silent space within; we must go deeper and deeper in the source of the silent space until our mind to merge totally in it (Nirvikalpa samadhi) and the ego dissolves totally and forever.

Extracts about liberation of the book

Vivekachudamani of Adisankaracharya

267. Even after the Truth has been realised, there remains that strong, beginningless, obstinate impression that one is the agent and experiencer, which is the cause of one’s transmigration. It has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the Supreme Self. Sages call that Liberation which is the attenuation of Vasanas (impressions) here and now.

268. The idea of "me and mine" in the body, organs, etc., which are the non-Self – this superimposition the wise man must put a stop to, by identifying himself with the Atman.

269. Realising thy own Inmost Self, the Witness of the Buddhi and its modifications, and constantly revolving the positive thought, "I am That", conquer this identification with the non-Self.

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.

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.

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.

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.

362. When the mind, thus purified by constant practice, is merged in Brahman, then Samadhi passes on from the Savikalpa to the Nirvikalpa stage, and leads directly to the realisation of the Bliss of Brahman, the One without a second.

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 (Atman, Brahman , consciousness).

364. Reflection should be considered a hundred times superior to hearing, and meditation a hundred thousand times superior even to reflection, but the Nirvikalpa Samadhi is infinite in its results.

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.

In the next verses of Vivekachudamani Adisankaracharya defines the nature of a Jivanmukta.

“423. If the heart’s knot of ignorance is totally destroyed, what natural cause can there be for inducing such a man to selfish action, for he is averse to sense-pleasures ?

424. When the sense-objects excite no more desire, then is the culmination of dispassion. The extreme perfection of knowledge is the absence of any impulsion of the egoistic idea. And the limit of self-withdrawal is reached when the mind-functions that have been merged, appear no more.

425. Freed from all sense of reality of the external sense-objects on account of his always remaining merged in Brahman; only seeming to enjoy such sense-objects as are offered by others, like one sleepy, or like a child; beholding this world as one seen in dreams, and having cognition of it at chance moments – rare indeed is such a man, the enjoyer of the fruits of endless merit, and he alone is blessed and esteemed on earth.

426. That Sannyasin has got a steady illumination who, having his soul wholly merged in Brahman, enjoys eternal bliss, is changeless and free from activity.

427. That kind of mental function which cognises only the identity of the Self and Brahman, purified of all adjuncts, which is free from duality, and which concerns itself only with Pure Intelligence, is called illumination. He who has this perfectly steady is called a man of steady illumination.

428. He whose illumination is steady, who has constant bliss, and who has almost forgotten the phenomenal universe, is accepted as a man liberated in this very life.

429. He who, even having his mind merged in Brahman, is nevertheless quite alert, but free at the same time from the characteristics of the waking state, and whose realisation is free from desires, is accepted as a man liberated-in-life.

430. He whose cares about the phenomenal state have been appeased, who, though possessed of a body consisting of parts, is yet devoid of parts, and whose mind is free from anxiety, is accepted as a man liberated-in-life.

431. The absence of the ideas of "I" and "mine" even in this existing body which follows as a shadow, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.

432. Not dwelling on enjoyments of the past, taking no thought for the future and looking with indifference upon the present, are characteristics of one liberated-in-life.

433. Looking everywhere with an eye of equality in this world, full of elements possessing merits and demerits, and distinct by nature from one another, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.

434. When things pleasant or painful present themselves, to remain unruffled in mind in both cases, through the sameness of attitude, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.

435. The absence of all ideas of interior or exterior in the case of a Sannyasin, owing to his mind being engrossed in tasting the bliss of Brahman, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.

436. He who lives unconcerned, devoid of all ideas of "I" and "mine" with regard to the body, organs, etc., as well as to his duties, is known as a man liberated-in-life.

437. He who has realised his Brahmanhood aided by the Scriptures, and is free from the bondage of transmigration, is known as a man liberated-in-life.

438. He who never has the idea of "I" with regard to the body, organs, etc., nor that of "it" in respect of things other than these, is accepted as one liberated-in-life.

439. He who through his illumination never differentiates the Jiva and Brahman, nor the universe and Brahman, is known as a man liberated-in-life.

440. He who feels just the same when his body is either worshipped by the good or tormented by the wicked, is known as a man liberated-in-life.

441. The Sannyasin in whom the sense-objects directed by others are engulfed like flowing rivers in the sea and produce no change, owing to his identity with the Existence Absolute, is indeed liberated.

442. For one who has realised the Truth of Brahman, there is no more attachment to the sense-objects as before: If there is, that man has not realised his identity with Brahman, but is one whose senses are outgoing in their tendency.

443. If it be urged that he is still attached to the sense-objects through the momentum of his old desires, the reply is – no, for desires get weakened through the realisation of one’s identity with Brahman.

444. The propensities of even a confirmed libertine are checked in the presence of his mother; just so, when Brahman, the Bliss Absolute, has been realised, the man of realisation has no longer any worldly tendency.”

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.”