Immortality

He who does not aspire thinks that Immortality is an impossibility. He who aspires feels that immortality is a sure possibility. He who has realised God knows that immortality is an absolute reality.

“‘Impossible!’ That is not good French,” says Napoleon.

“‘Impossible!’ That is not good self-discovery.” This is what I say.

Today’s self-discovery is tomorrow’s immortality.

It is good to be immortal, but it is infinitely better to be divine. Socrates said something quite memorable: “All men’s souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are both immortal and divine.”

If divinity looms large inside immortality, then only can reality be all-embracing, all-sustaining and all-fulfilling.

The outer life is humanity. The inner life is immortality. The life around is reality. The life above is divinity. The life below is obscurity.

When divinity descends into humanity, the soul of humanity becomes hopeful. When divinity descends into immortality, the soul of immortality becomes meaningful. When divinity enters into reality, the soul of reality becomes fruitful. When divinity enters into obscurity, the soul of obscurity becomes prayerful.

God inspires man with His immortal Inspiration. Man realises God with his immortal self-consecration. God meditates on man for his immortal perfection. Man meditates on God for His immortal Manifestation.

To copy others is an act of stupidity. To copy oneself is an act of absurdity. To imitate God is to imitate Immortality. When we imitate God, our life of imagination ends and our life of realisation dawns.

How can we imitate God when we do not know who God is? God is the Man Divine, supremely inspiring there in heaven and supremely sacrificing here on earth.

What is immortality? Immortality is the consciousness divine that eternally grows and endlessly flows. While growing, it reaches God the Transcendental; while flowing, it reaches God the Universal.

The body says, “Life is but pressure.” The vital says, “Life is but pleasure.” The mind says, “Life is the homeland of ideas.” The heart says, “Life is the homeland of ideals.” The soul says, “Life is the homeland of experiences.” God says, “Life is the homeland of immortality.”

Mother Earth symbolises human aspiration. Hence it is a woman in the Upanishads, Maitreyi, who teaches humanity the highest aspiration toward God: “Of what use to me are things that do not make me immortal?”

Let us be inseparably one with Maitreyi and feel that mortality’s binding consciousness is bound to be flooded with the boundless consciousness of Immortality.

Go deep within. Listen to God whisper, “My child, you are good. Therefore I have made you My Infinity’s Heart. My child, you are nice. Therefore I have made you My Eternity’s Breath. My child, you are great. Therefore I have made you My Immortality’s Life.”

- Sri Chinmoy, Eastern Light For The Western Mind 

Song of Ego…

My ego needs.
My soul has.
My ego tries.
My soul does.
My ego knows the problem that is.
My soul becomes the answer that is.
I am not alone.
Within my unlit self:
My ego, my naked death.
I am not alone.
Within my snow-white heart:
My soul, and my Spirit’s Flame.

Ego is the thief of thieves. Not to speak of ordinary experiences, even realisations are afraid of this intruder. To feel the absence of ego is as difficult as to see God’s constant presence in oneself. Ego helps bondage grow. Bondage, in return, helps ego flourish or run amuck. Self-pity, self-indulgence and egoistic emotional cries are but one shortcoming with different names.

O small ego, O big ego, don’t worry. Both of you have God’s Compassion at your disposal. As there is no difference between a rill and a river when they run into the sea, neither is there a difference between an ordinary man and an important man when they dive into the Sea of God’s Compassion.

Ego is diversity in unfulfilling action. Surrender is unity in fulfilled action, fulfilled manifestation and fulfilled perfection. Self-advertisement cannot even touch the feet of God-Realisation. God-Realisation cannot lower itself even to touch the head of self-advertisement.To think oneself always great is to believe that toil and skill are unnecessary.

No doubt, man is infinitely superior to a wild beast. But he always drinks two bottles of poison: one bottle is ego and the other is doubt. Until he has done away with these two bottles, man is no more than a higher animal.

The difference between God and man is this: man is the determining I. God is the determined We.

Happy is he who has overcome all selfishness. Blessed is he who sees God emerging from the sea of his ego. The moment we remove the minor of self-flattery from our eyes and hold up before us the minor of Truth, we see a half-animal jumping within and without us.

With your unlit and wild ego do not destroy yourself. Suicide is the worst possible barrier to the goal of self-realisation. If you destroy yourself, instead of starting your next life where you have left off in this one, you will have to go back to a much earlier point. There is one defeat that brings us a greater triumph than even victory does. What is that defeat? The defeat of our ego by our soul.

- Sri Chinmoy, Eastern Light For The Western Mind 

Nothing Happens to You!

Everything happens within you. Nothing ever happens to you. You are the non-dual consciousness that is experiencing the words on this page, and yet that consciousness is so empty and spacious that nothing ever happens to it. Just as a thunderstorm passes through the sky but does not happen to the sky, every thought, feeling, desire, sensation and event happens in awareness, but does not happen to it.

This is more obvious when it comes to an external event that doesn’t take place near you. A bird flying high above you or the distant sound of traffic obviously happens within the field of awareness, but it doesn’t feel like these events happen to you. Yet if that bird flew right in front of your face, or that traffic was slowing you down on the highway, there is a tendency to think something is happening to you. And anything that arises within your own body and mind feels even more like something that happens to you. If a strong experience of fear or desire or confusion arises, we tend to think it has happened to us instead of within us.

The sky is unharmed by the thunderstorm, and that is why we would say the storm happened in the sky instead of to the sky. What about your experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires? Do they harm your awareness? Or do they eventually pass like a summer rain-cloud? Is your awareness damaged by them, or is awareness still empty and awake, awaiting the next experience after a sensation, feeling, or thought passes?

Your body is within awareness. Because of its physical nature, something can happen to it that leaves a relatively lasting effect, but what about the awareness that is experiencing the body? Every sensation comes and goes in awareness. The sensations in your body are always changing and shifting, and then your attention also moves to other elements of your experience. Even a chronic painful condition is not in your awareness every moment. So even physical events or injuries do not happen to you, they happen within you. What would it mean if a sore muscle or a stomach ache was not happening to you, but just within your field of awareness? What if everything that happens within your body is just another event within the open sky of consciousness?

The most surprising thing is that this is even true of your deepest and innermost feelings and desires. There are feelings of unworthiness and intense longings that can arise deep within your chest or abdomen. It can almost seem like they are a part of you. And yet even they are happening within the field of awareness, and not really to you. What would it mean if a deep feeling of sadness or an overwhelming desire for true love was not happening to you, but just within your field of awareness? What if everything that moves within your heart and mind is just another event within the open sky of consciousness?

All experience passes like a rain-cloud and leaves behind the fresh, open space of endless awareness. The source of awareness is always here. You are always here. Everything else happens within awareness. Everything else comes and goes. There is not even a separate you within awareness because you are the source of awareness. And so, nothing happens to you; everything happens within you.

- Nirmala

Source: http://endless-satsang.com/nothing-happens.htm

7 States of Consciousness – Part 3

5. Deep Sleep State (Continued…)

Making samskaras (impressions) are mere memories: Then, having lost their power (or reduced it substantially), the deep habit patterns, or Samskaras (M of OM), can no longer bind one to what would otherwise automatically drive actions, speech, and thoughts. Now, those deep impressions have become mere memories with little or no power. It is like a rope that before could bind, but that has now been burned. Though maybe still having the shape of a rope, it has lost its ability to bind. (This process is definitely not one of psychological suppression or repression.)

Deep Sleep

Gaining direct access to the samskaras: There are a variety of techniques that professional and lay people use at the Waking level to indirectly affect changes in these deep impressions. Some of these can be very useful to spiritual aspirants in their journey. However, the Yogis want direct access to these deep impressions so that they can choose their own deep habit patterns. In this way, the Yogi gradually becomes a master over the Samskaras leading to his or her own thoughts, speech, and actions.

Burning away the colorings: For the Yogi, this is a process of dealing with the roots of habits directly, through Yoga Meditation, Contemplation, and Yoga Nidra. While the Yogi definitely cultivates the creation of new habit patterns, it is not merely pasting on another layer of habits on the top of the old, whereby one is left with inner conflict between the old and the new habits or Samskaras (that can play out unconsciously into actions and speech, as well as inner turmoil). The Yogi wants to attenuate and then burn away the coloring’s of fears, aversions, attractions, egoism, and spiritual ignorance.

Microcosm and macrocosm of Deep Sleep: These personal latent impressions or Samskaras are the microcosm, while the macrocosm is the Causal plane from which creation of the entire Subtle and Gross (A of OM Mantra) universe emerges. This is why it is called the “Causal” realm or level of reality (M of OM Mantra). Those with great access to this level are sometimes revered, although even this attainment is short of the Self-realization that comes with the realization of Turiya, the Absolute Reality (Silent aspect of OM Mantra). The Yogis suggest that the aspirant turn away even from the allurement of the offer of such creative powers, and instead walk in the pursuit of the Highest Realization.

Three types of awareness with “M”: In the practice of remembering the AUM, when awareness is on “M,” you cultivate and train yourself to have awareness of:

  • the Deep Sleep state,
  • the Subconscious (latent, dormant, inactive, storage) aspects of mind (from where the impetus for Karma, or actions springs forth), and
  • the Causal realm, out of which arises the Subtle and Gross universe (they are all at the same level).

The awareness of these three operating at the same level of reality is allowed to become clearer through practice over time.

6. Samadhi / Deep Absorption

Beyond Waking, Dreaming, and Deep Sleep: Beyond, or below Waking, Dreaming, and Deep Sleep (the A, U, and M of OM Mantra) is the state of deep absorption, that is the stage to which one’s Meditation practice next leads. It is called Samadhi.

Samadhi

Many types of Samadhi: There are many forms of Samadhi. An even cursory review of the texts will reveal dozens of different types. Mostly, these differences have to do with the nature of the object on which one was meditating before dropping into the state of Samadhi with that object.

Meditation on Gross or Subtle: The Object on which one is meditating (and then enters Samadhi) may be Gross or Subtle. A simple example will help. If one is internally meditating on the image of a red rose, that object is a Gross object. Meditation may shift away from the red flower to the red color alone, the “redness”. However, even that is still a Gross object of sorts. However, if attention shifts to light itself, or to the ability to see light, those are subtler. If attention shifts deeper to the observer who is doing the observing, or to the blissful feeling that comes from the absorption, then these are still subtler. However, in any case there is still an “object,” although that object may be extremely subtle. Similarly, Meditation on a spiritual or religious object will also move through levels of experience, from Gross to Subtle, to Subtler, and to Subtle-most (the A, U, and M of OM). Eventually the inward shifting of attention reveals the essence of the object of Meditation and Samadhi.

Observer, observing, and observed merge into one: In Meditation on an object, whether Gross or Subtle, there are three parts: 1) An Observer, 2) A Process of Observing, and 3) The Object being observed. With Samadhi, it is as if these three parts collapse into only one. There is no longer an observer observing the observed; rather, there seems to be only the object. It is as if the observer and the process of observing have become absorbed into the object, such that object is the only thing left.

Samadhi with, or without form: There are two general categories of Samadhi. One is Samadhi “with form” or “with object” (of which there are many types of gross or subtle objects, and thus many types of Samadhi). During Meditation, attention was directed towards this form or object, and in Samadhi, the attention becomes absorbed into that form or object. The other category is Samadhi “without form” or “without object,” in which there is attention that is not directed towards any form or object (since it is without any object or form, there is not the diversity of types of Samadhi, as is the case with Samadhi on form or object). In both categories of Samadhi, the attention stance is similar. The difference is that in the case of objectless or formless Samadhi, there is no object. The stance of attention is still there, but the object is not. It is somewhat as if during Samadhi with form, one had simply forgotten the object, and thus came into objectless Samadhi.

Cultivating Practice and Non-attachment: For one who does not get trapped by the activity of the Gross world, the Subtle realm, or even the stirrings of the formless Causal level, then the state of absorption called Samadhi is within reach. Attaining Samadhi rests on two foundation principles, Practice and Non-Attachment, Abhyasa and Vairagya.

7. Turiya / Consciousness / Absolute

Silence represents the permeating consciousness: After the “A,” the “U,” and the “M” of the OM there is Silence that is representative of the consciousness that permeates, and is all of the other levels. The name of this level of consciousness is Turiya. Turiya means “the fourth”: Turiya literally means “the fourth,” and represents that consciousness which permeates, observes, and is the other three levels. To call Turiya a “level” is not really accurate, since it is always, in fact, witness of, and at one with, the other states.

Turiya

Standing on the roof of the building: From the vantage point of Turiya, one sees the entire panorama of the play of the levels of consciousness. It has been likened to standing on the roof of a three floor building, where the first three floors are the Waking, Dreaming, and Deep Sleep states (Gross, Subtle, Causal levels) . From those levels, you can only look out a window, whereas from the roof you can see it all.

Merging into stillness and silence: Many sages, teachers, and traditions have pointed out that eventually all light, sound and mantras lead to Stillness and Silence. By understanding the meaning of AUM and OM Mantra, and the levels of consciousness that it represents, it becomes much easier to see how it is that light, sound and mantras truly do merge back into the Stillness and Silence from which they arose.

The meaning of AUM is revealed: The masters, sages, teachers, and traditions have also pointed out that to really understand this, one must do the practices and go to the Stillness and Silence oneself, wherein the meaning of AUM is revealed.

wavesocean

Distinction between Samadhi and Turiya: There is a fine distinction between Samadhi and Turiya. Samadhi is a dualistic style of attention, while Turiya in non-dualistic, leading one to the experience “I am That,” or Self-realization. There are many objects on which one can practice Yoga Meditation and enter Samadhi, and there are Gross, Subtle, and Subtler levels of objects in which one might attain Samadhi, as well as objectless Samadhi. However, Turiya brings one to Self-realization that, “I am a Wave in the Ocean of Bliss; I and the Ocean are One; I am Ocean; I am That”.

Reference

Yogic Conscious Deep Sleep by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati at http://www.swamij.com/yoga-nidra.htm

Jnana Yoga – Path of Wisdom – Part 5

Logical Method of Negation

The toy-elephant made of wood has hidden the reality WOOD when you take it for an elephant. Even so, these names and forms have concealed the Reality BRAHMAN (Absolute) behind these names and forms. Get rid of the illusion in the mind that is deep-rooted from beginning-less time. This is wood. This is not elephant. So also this is Brahman. This is not the world. This is Soul. This is not body. This is Apavada-Yukti or application of the logical method of negation. Take out the balance left that is true after throwing off the false thing, viz., elephant, wood, body, etc.

Duality is the very nature of the mind. It can never think in terms of unity. It is through mental purity and spiritual practice that it should be trained to think in terms of unity. Clay is the only reality in all the three periods of time. Pot is an unreal thing: “Vacharambhanam vikaro namadheyam mrittiketyeva satyam“. – Clay only is the reality. The modifications such as jar, pot, etc., are in speech only like ornaments (Chhandogya Upanishad).

Similarly, Brahman or Soul is the only real thing, eternal Vastu which has no beginning, no end, no change. The modifications, body, mind, sense and world are all totally false. They are in name only. See the clay in all earthenware vessels. See Soul in all objects (Vision of Soul).

The cows are different. They differ in color and various other particulars. But, milk is the same. Man minus customs, manners, mode of dress and eating, is the same throughout the world. His passions and feelings are the same throughout the world. The languages are different in various districts and climes, but the idea behind all languages is the same. This is oneness behind variety, duality and multiplicity. There is one essence in sleep. All feel alike. Similarly, there is one homogeneous substance behind the objects. That is Soul. That is Brahman. That is your real Self.

There is a coconut made of sugar only. It has got marks, lines, external shell, ridges, eyes and everything. But, you have got internal feeling in the mind that it is only sugar. Similarly, even though you see the different objects of the universe, you must have a feeling and determination of the Soul that is at the bottom of all these objects, which is the ultimate reality and essence of everything.

Why do you look into the leaves, twigs, flowers, fruits of the mango tree? Look into the source, the seed. The cloth is only cotton and thread. Take the cloth as cotton only. Even so, take the world as Soul or Brahman. When you see any person or object, think and feel that he or it is Soul or God. By incessant practice, the name and form will vanish. Soul or God will shine. The world-idea will vanish. It takes a long time. It demands strenuous efforts. You will see and feel Soul or God everywhere. During the course of the practice, your old impressions will trouble you. They are your real enemies. Fight against them boldly. This is the practice of unclouded Jnana. You will have unclouded vision of Soul. You will transmute all objects into Soul. Think and feel that all actions are worship of Soul. Idea of inferiority and idea of menial service will disappear as you see God or Soul everywhere.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

Samadhi – What is it?

When the mind is completely absorbed in one object of meditation, it is termed Samadhi. The mind identifies itself with the object of meditation. In Samadhi, there is neither meditation nor meditator. The meditator and meditated, the thinker and the thought, the worshipper and the worshipped become one or identical. The triad vanishes.

The mind loses its own consciousness and becomes identical with the object of meditation. The meditator has dissolved his personality in the sea of God, drowned and forgotten there till he becomes simply the instrument of God. When his mouth opens, it speaks Gods words without effort or forethought through direct intuition and, when he raises his hand, God flows again through that to work a miracle.

In Samadhi, there is neither seeing nor hearing. There is neither physical nor mental consciousness. There is only spiritual consciousness. There is only Existence (Sat). That is your real nature. When the water dries up in a pool, the reflection of the sun in the water also vanishes. When the mind melts in Supreme, when the mind-lake dries up, the reflected Chaitanya also vanishes. The Embodied Soul (personality) goes away. There remains Existence alone.

Turiya is the spiritual condition where there is no play of mind, where the mind is dissolved in Supreme. It is the fourth dimension, where there is infinite supreme bliss. It is not a condition of inertia, forgetfulness or annihilation. It is a state of absolute consciousness which baffles all attempts at description. It is the final goal of all. It is Mukti. It is Moksha or Nirvana.

Generally, when you have what you call dreamless sleep, it is one of two things; either you do not remember what you dreamt of or you fell into absolute unconsciousness which is almost death a taste of death. But, there is the possibility of a sleep in which you enter into an absolute silence, immortality and peace in all parts of your being and your consciousness merges into Satchidananda (Truth-Consciousness-Bliss). You can hardly call it sleep, for there is perfect “awareness.” In that condition, you can remain for a few minutes or hours or days; but, these few minutes give you more rest and refreshment than hours of ordinary sleep. You cannot have it by chance. It requires a long training.

Samadhi is not a stone-like inert state as many people imagine. A life in the spirit (Soul or Divine) is not annihilation. When the self is bound down to its empirical accidents, its activities are not fully exercised and, when the limitations of the empirical existence are transcended, the universal life is intensified and you have enrichment of Self. You will have a rich inner life. You will have an expanded cosmic life and supra-cosmic life, too.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda

How to realize our Self?

Just as you saturate water with salt or sugar, you will have to saturate the mind with thoughts of God or Brahman or Soul or Spirit or Self, with divine glory, Divine Presence with sublime soul-awakening spiritual thoughts. Then only you will always be established in the Divine Consciousness. Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman, you will have to assimilate the divine ideas first. Assimilation first and then saturation. Then comes realization, at once, without a moment’s delay. Remember the triplet always: “”Assimilation – Saturation – Realization”.”

Free yourself from the base thoughts of the mind, the various useless thoughts and imaginations. Just as you render the turbid water pure by the addition of clearing nut (strychnos potatorum), so also you will have to make the turbid mind, filled with subtle desires and false thoughts and imaginations, pure by thinking and reflecting on the Absolute. If the mind constantly dwells on sensual objects, the conception of the reality of the universe will surely increase. If the mind ceaselessly thinks of Atman (Absolute), the world appears like a dream. Mark the word ceaseless. This is important. Then only there will be true illumination. Then only there will be dawn of spiritual knowledge. The Jnana-Surya (the Sun of Knowledge) will rise in the firmament of knowledge-space.

You will find very often these terms in the Gita: “”Ananyachetah” “Matchittah” “Nityayuktah” “Manmanah” “Ekagramanah” “Sarvabhavah”.” These terms connote that you will have to give your full mind, entire 100% mind to God/Soul/Self. Then only you will have Self-realization. Even if one ray of mind runs outside, it is impossible to obtain God-consciousness.

It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. True liberation results from the disenthralment of the mind. Those who have freed themselves from the fluctuation of their minds come into possession of the supreme meditation. Should the mind be purged of all its impurities, then it will become very calm and all the worldly delusion, with its births and deaths, will be soon destroyed.

Mind exists on account of “”I.” ” I” exists on account of mind. “I”” is only an idea in the mind. “Mind” and “I” are identical. If “I” vanishes, mind will also vanish; and if mind vanishes, “I” will vanish. Destroy the mind through knowledge of Soul principle. Destroy the “I”” through “Aham Brahmasmi (I am Soul) development, through constant and intense meditation. When mind vanishes or thoughts cease, Name-Form will cease to exist and the Goal is reached.

Reference

Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda