PDA

View Full Version : Jnana Yoga for beginners?



Yogic_lighter
06 December 2012, 02:16 PM
Namaste!

I have never done any yogic or meditational excercises, and I plan to start now! I know it's a long shot to immediately start Jnana Yoga, so I'm asking how to begin? Perhaps first some simple meditational techniques? Then Bhakti? And finally Jnan?
Please also specify the time needed for the excercise.

Amrut
08 December 2012, 04:04 AM
Namaste!

I have never done any yogic or meditational excercises, and I plan to start now! I know it's a long shot to immediately start Jnana Yoga, so I'm asking how to begin? Perhaps first some simple meditational techniques? Then Bhakti? And finally Jnan?
Please also specify the time needed for the excercise.

Namaste Yogic_lighter

Welcome to HDF !

How familiar are you will Jnana Marg / Advaita Vedanta. Did you do any type of course or have you read any scriptures?

this is indeed a difficult question to answer. I would suggest you to learn meditation from an Advaita Guru, but first you need to read and be familiar to Advaita Vedanta and for that you will need to read advaita shastras.

Aum
IS

Yogic_lighter
08 December 2012, 05:10 AM
Namaste Yogic_lighter

Welcome to HDF !

How familiar are you will Jnana Marg / Advaita Vedanta. Did you do any type of course or have you read any scriptures?

this is indeed a difficult question to answer. I would suggest you to learn meditation from an Advaita Guru, but first you need to read and be familiar to Advaita Vedanta and for that you will need to read advaita shastras.

Aum
IS

Namaste Indiaspirituality,
Thank you for your answer.

No I haven't taken a course, but I've read some books about Advaita and read some Upanishads. I'm quite familiar with the idea the Advaita is addressing, but of course I'm far from being an expert in it.
I'm also giving Advaita a lot of time, and I'm willing to learn it, although I know it is very dificult and not for all to learn. So I just need a technique to start with, and to practice it everyday. Since like I said, I've never practiced Yoga in my life, and just need a start.

Yogic_lighter
08 December 2012, 05:16 AM
Also, I forgot to add:
Unfortunately, I can't get a guru. They are just not available in my country. I think I would even have a problem seeking a self-realized guru in India, much less in other countries.

Yogic_lighter
09 December 2012, 09:49 AM
Namaste!

Sorry for the delayed posting, I posted earlier, though I don't know why it didn't come through.
I am quite familiar with the general idea of Advaita. I've read some Upanishads and some Advaita books.
Unfortunately, I cannot find a guru, specially in my country. And like I said, I know Advaita is not for all, and is very difficult, I want to learn it, and am willing.

Amrut
10 December 2012, 09:07 AM
Namaste,

since you are new to the forum, to check spam, posts of new members are moderated (generally upto 10 posts).

This is also the reason why they do not show up and I do not get email notification of a post approved by moderator.

Coming back to topic, I would frankly say that Advaita is not for beginners.

You should have moksha as the only goal of life and should be ready to try to be neutral in good and bad situations. I do not say you should stay, but try to stay.

I meditate on OM, but I have been told that OM is not for worldly minded people, since OM up-roots all desires, be it good or bad.

So in case if you want to fulfill desires, then OM will try to up-root them when you meditate and this will frustrate you, since you do not want to renounce them, but want to fulfill them. this is the reason why a person following advaita vedanta will have to renounce desires, except some compulsory ones like earning for living (and not living for earning).

To problem with advaita is that unlike Yog, it does have have any easy beginners steps. The goal and practice is same since day one till end. In Yog, this is not the case, there are breathing exercises (pranayam) and then some energy based techniques. As on progresses, one is taught higher kriyas.

Even in bhakti, one can have initial steps like visiting hopy places, visiting temples (though they can be considered in karma yog also), perform daily worship (puja) and then later on when mind is purified, go for chanting mantras.

In advaita at the most steps would be to chant a mantra verbally, then mentally and then the mantra flows from heart making it effortless. The mantra continues by itself and one has to be aware of the mantra and later on source of mantra.

The pure path is neti-neti or Self Enquiry. ad e.g. would be Adi Shankaracharya's Nirvan Shatakam / Atma Shatakam

So you will have to first be mentally prepared to have moksha as the only goal and then try to sit for meditation.

If you are able to sit for 45 minutes for the first time you meditate, then generally it is considered the the one is sit to meditate. For the first time, God definitely helps on to meditate. Some people try to meditate from 10 minutes and then go on till 45 minutes then upto 90 minutes ( 1 1/2 hours) and then upto 3 hours.

Neti Neti is for very pure minds and most people prefer or are told to do OM chanting. But still I would caution you, that OM is not for everybody. If you are willing to surrender your entire life for God, willing keep god in center of all activities and ready to quit activities that are not compulsory, then go for it.

I do not want to discourage you, but to live the advaita way you have to apply it in practical life, else it's just theories. You may believe whatever you want, you are are not speaking from direct experience and your words lack experience and hence they will be hollow.

I would suggest to go for bhakti and later on shift to advaita. Many prefer to chant Om Namah Shivaya, and worship Shiva - linga, a formless aspect or natural symbolic representation of Lord Shiva.

Karma Yog (Yog of Action) is for removing impurities in mind. It is called as MaLa

Bhakti Yog or Upaasna Yog (path of devotion) is for removing mental agitation called vikshepa

Jnana Yog (advaita Vedanta) is for removing ignorance called avaran.

I would caution you to think it before meditating on OM. If you at all decide, then meditate for 45 minutes for the first time. Just chant OM it may be 5 second long chant or 10 second long chant, it does not matter. Begin the meditation by

Praying to God to teach you how to meditate ( I did this in my beginning days).
Pray to God to show correct path and guide you in your life.
Pray to God to accept your surrender.
Pray to God to give me what is best for me.

Prayers work wonders.

Do not try to be aware of breath or sync your mantra with breath. Just keep chanting. Need need to be aware of any specific area of body or chakra (energy centers) though it is common to be aware or feel pressure on center of eye brows, but all does not have this experience.

On the other hand, if you just want to begin your spiritual journey and want to learn to meditate, not specific to advaita, then I would suggest you to be aware of your breath for 10 minutes. Do not try to force to breath. Breathing wont stop. If thoughts come, just ignore them and be aware. Do this for 10 minutes, same place, same time. Better sit on one place. If you cannot keep your back straight, then rest it on the wall or keep a pillow behind your back. Continue it for 1 month (30 days) and you will feel the difference. If you get lost on dreams or pulled on thoughts, then just relax, do not force yourself to concentrate on breathing. It's not advisable. Just convince or explain your mind to just let go all thoughts, smile and bring back focus on breath. Then just be aware of breath.

This should be really helpful and will make you fresh. Practice this for 10 minutes before going to sleep and immediately after waking up. There is no restriction of meditating timing or place, but a quiet place will be helpful. You can do it after dinner too, since there is no physical process, but I would prefer to atleast do it after 30 minutes or 1 hour of lunch / dinner.

Though I am meditating since 13 years, I do not consider my self an authority on spirituality, so these thoughts are my personal ones. Hope others would be able to help you more.

Aum
IS

Yogic_lighter
11 December 2012, 09:29 AM
Coming back to topic, I would frankly say that Advaita is not for beginners.

You should have moksha as the only goal of life and should be ready to try to be neutral in good and bad situations. I do not say you should stay, but try to stay.


Namaste Indiasprituality,

I know that Advaita is not for beginners, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?
I also have read the conditions for being an Advaitin. I also, have to say, that Advaita very much relates and coincides with my life. I really just don't enjoy life much, and I don't really like to socialize, or pursuit wordly pleasures. I think that was the main reason why I was drawn to Advaita.


I meditate on OM, but I have been told that OM is not for worldly minded people, since OM up-roots all desires, be it good or bad.

Can you please specify how you do that? I sometimes listen to the sound "Om" at the internet. But how to "meditate" on it? Do you "pronounce" it in your mind? Or do you pronounce it out loud? I'm sorry if I sound silly to you, but like I said I'm just a beginner.

So in case if you want to fulfill desires, then OM will try to up-root them when you meditate and this will frustrate you, since you do not want to renounce them, but want to fulfill them. this is the reason why a person following advaita vedanta will have to renounce desires, except some compulsory ones like earning for living (and not living for earning).
I am willing to give up all the desires.

So in case if you want to fulfill desires, then OM will try to up-root them when you meditate and this will frustrate you, since you do not want to renounce them, but want to fulfill them. this is the reason why a person following advaita vedanta will have to renounce desires, except some compulsory ones like earning for living (and not living for earning).
So by that, I think you mean that, I have to meditate constantly on Om, but the duration of the time of meditation, would differ on my level, right?

In advaita at the most steps would be to chant a mantra verbally, then mentally and then the mantra flows from heart making it effortless. The mantra continues by itself and one has to be aware of the mantra and later on source of mantra.
Should I chant a mantra before chanting Om? What is the difference? Also, what mantra would you recommend?

The pure path is neti-neti or Self Enquiry. ad e.g. would be Adi Shankaracharya's Nirvan Shatakam / Atma Shatakam

So you will have to first be mentally prepared to have moksha as the only goal and then try to sit for meditation.

The neti-neti is for advanced meditation. Obviously, I'm not on that level.

If you are able to sit for 45 minutes for the first time you meditate, then generally it is considered the the one is sit to meditate. For the first time, God definitely helps on to meditate. Some people try to meditate from 10 minutes and then go on till 45 minutes then upto 90 minutes ( 1 1/2 hours) and then upto 3 hours.
So, I need to try and increase my meditation in time. But can you please specify the intervals of time, for me to shift from a specific duration to another. For example, first, I meditate (on a specific mantra) for 30 minutes. Then after for example 3 months, I will start meditating for an hour, etc..

I do not want to discourage you, but to live the advaita way you have to apply it in practical life, else it's just theories. You may believe whatever you want, you are are not speaking from direct experience and your words lack experience and hence they will be hollow.

Rest assured, you are not discouraging me. I didn't exactly just look at the wikipedia page of Advaita, and wanted to become a follower. I have read the prerequistes of following Advaita, and the sacrifices needed to be made.

I would suggest to go for bhakti and later on shift to advaita. Many prefer to chant Om Namah Shivaya, and worship Shiva - linga, a formless aspect or natural symbolic representation of Lord Shiva.
Is there no path except first following bhakti? I'm not trying to jump to a higher level or anything, I just don't like worshiping. But if there is no other way, I will go for it.
Again, do I sound "Om Namah Shivaya" in my mind? And keep repeating it for the whole duration of the meditation process?
What I gather from meditation is that, the main focus should be on the mantra you want to meditate upon. So I just keep repeating "Om....Om....Om...Om" etc.., and if another tought comes to my mind, I would just dismiss it, and try to focus again on my mantra. Am I making some sense?


I would caution you to think it before meditating on OM. If you at all decide, then meditate for 45 minutes for the first time. Just chant OM it may be 5 second long chant or 10 second long chant, it does not matter. Begin the meditation by
So, I chant "Oooooooooooommmmmmm"?

I think I will start by the breathing excercise for 10-15 minutes for a month, then start meditating on mantras. And then, while I advance, with the Om mantra.
Thanks for all your advises.

yajvan
11 December 2012, 08:58 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

I am happy for your interest and enthusiasm... that said it seems you are trying to boil the ocean i.e. doing too much in a short period of time.

you mention,


I have read the prerequistes of following Advaita, and the sacrifices needed to be made.

Can you, in your own words articulate what you believe the pre-requisites are ?

you mention,


I am willing to give up all the desires.
Tell us how you plan to go about this? Can you inform us what the differences will be between a desire, and your intent to grow and mature ? Which will you keep , which will you discard ? What of the desire for well-being, health, for liberation? Are these tossed in the trash or acted upon?
you mention,

For example, first, I meditate (on a specific mantra) for 30 minutes. Then after for example 3 months, I will start meditating for an hour, etc..

What is the best mantra for your use ? Three months of its use ? then changing it ? It's like uprooting a plant that has been in the ground to see if it has taken root.

There is much to know - and there is a foundation to build. One starts with the ground and its conditions, then begins to lay the brick work accordingly.

iti śivaṁ

Amrut
12 December 2012, 01:27 AM
Namaste Indiasprituality,

Can you please specify how you do that? I sometimes listen to the sound "Om" at the internet. But how to "meditate" on it? Do you "pronounce" it in your mind? Or do you pronounce it out loud? I'm sorry if I sound silly to you, but like I said I'm just a beginner.

Namaste,

I appreciate your determination.

You simply chant OM initially verbally but not too loud, softly. Then after 2 - 3 weeks, when you are comfortable chant mentally. Begin with praying. Please refer to the post Sadhana (meditation) (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=9795). along with others, I have also given my thoughts. Please refer Post #8 #9 #12 and #13. I think this would be helpful.



I am willing to give up all the desires.

That's a good sign.


So by that, I think you mean that, I have to meditate constantly on Om, but the duration of the time of meditation, would differ on my level, right?

Should I chant a mantra before chanting Om? What is the difference? Also, what mantra would you recommend?

Yes, as said earlier, let the first try be for 45 minutes. If you can sit for 45 minutes in first attempt, then you can go ahead with OM. It does not matter if you have never chanted OM. For the first time, chant OM mentally and just let go. also be aware of gap between 2 OM. If you are able to sit for 45 minutes then we can think of something ahead. I have been meditating since 13 years and on advaita since 9 years.

There is no mantra or invocation for beginning and ending but you can definitely pray. OM is everything.


For the first time, I could sit for 45 minutes, even though I had never meditated. I simply prayed to God

1. Oh God, your child has come at your refuge, please accept my surrender
2. Oh God, guide me through this meditation
3. Oh God, I do not know how to meditate, please teach me !
4. Oh God, give me what is best for me



So, I need to try and increase my meditation in time. But can you please specify the intervals of time, for me to shift from a specific duration to another. For example, first, I meditate (on a specific mantra) for 30 minutes. Then after for example 3 months, I will start meditating for an hour, etc..

Please try for 45 minutes for first time. Then we can talk after your first experience.

I have read the prerequistes of following Advaita, and the sacrifices needed to be made.

As Shri Yajvan ji has said, please can you let me know what shastras or bokks have you read like Gita, Vivek chudamani, tatva Bodh, etc.


Is there no path except first following bhakti? I'm not trying to jump to a higher level or anything, I just don't like worshiping. But if there is no other way, I will go for it.

Bhakti is the foundation. If you do not like worshiping, then you can chant mantra.


Again, do I sound "Om Namah Shivaya" in my mind? And keep repeating it for the whole duration of the meditation process?

Yes, but lets see after your first attempt.


What I gather from meditation is that, the main focus should be on the mantra you want to meditate upon. So I just keep repeating "Om....Om....Om...Om" etc.., and if another tought comes to my mind, I would just dismiss it, and try to focus again on my mantra. Am I making some sense?

So, I chant "Oooooooooooommmmmmm"?

Yes. It can be Ooooooouuuuummmm. The length of OOOO or uuu or mmm can be anything. No need to control it or try to chant equal parts of each O U M Or it can be Oooooooommmm i.e. O M. U is a transition and so may not be prominent. Everyone chants differently.

I know you may have a blank feeling since you do not have any experience. But just do it. After prayers if God wishes it will happen. do not worry too much.



I think I will start by the breathing excercise for 10-15 minutes for a month, then start meditating on mantras. And then, while I advance, with the Om mantra.
Thanks for all your advises.

As I have earlier said, first try for 45 minutes, later on we will see. But this is good thing to start.


So, I need to try and increase my meditation in time. But can you please specify the intervals of time, for me to shift from a specific duration to another. For example, first, I meditate (on a specific mantra) for 30 minutes. Then after for example 3 months, I will start meditating for an hour, etc..

It all depends upon your mindset, renunciation, force of surrender, faith and above all, will of God. So it all depends. Just begin and we will see.

Also note that you can shift from bhakti i.e. OM Namah Shivaya to Just OM. Infact, god will change it if advaita suits you. It happened to me. I was attracted to Lord Hanuman and like you, I did not knew anything what to chant. So I began chanting Jai Bajarangbali, Jai shri Ram. I didn't knew if this is a correct mantra. Then one day the image of lord hanuman so strongly got hold of me i.e. I could not deviate my attention from the image (in my mind) that I could not even sleep. But I remained fresh. At that time I was practicing Yog meditations too under Pranic Healing. When I was handed over to Advaita Guru (please note that I did not qute pranic healing). I got a strong feeling to follow what that guy was saying. After second meeting, I was told to meditate on OM. So there was a clash of 2 mantra. I prayed to God and surrendered, but kept chanting OM.

Later on when time passed, the mantra changed automatically To just Jai Shri Ram. I tried to correct it to the original one, but after 3-4 chants, it automatically changed to Jai Shri Ram.

Still Jai Shri Ram would pop up anytime in day while at work. So I was confused. After some time, maybe a month or even less, Jai Shri got replaced with OM. It was then that meditation began. It all happened. I simply surrender to God daily and prayed to show me a way, since even though I had left chanting Jai Shri Ram, It would occasionally pop up. That that was solved quickly and OM automatically replaced Jai Shri Ram.

The transition from Jai Bajarang Bali to Jai Shri Ram to OM would be a month or so. After that I was happy with OM and whenever I surrender and prayed before meditation and asked for guidance, immediately OM started. So I knew it was right for me.

Do not worry too much.

All you need is

1. Willingness to renounce.
2. Give only god importance
3. Strong faith and surrender with full force.
4. Determination
5. Don't quit

As I have said earlier, Just try to chant OM mentally for 45 minutes. Later on after your experience we will see.

I know I have told you to initially start chanting verbally, but for first time, just chant mentally for 45 minutes as a stretch.

Good Luck.

Aum
IS

Yogic_lighter
12 December 2012, 09:24 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

I am happy for your interest and enthusiasm... that said it seems you are trying to boil the ocean i.e. doing too much in a short period of time.

you mention,

[SIZE=3]Can you, in your own words articulate what you believe the pre-requisites are ?



Namaste,
I want to thank people for trying to help me.

The pre-requisites are
1. Discriminate the real/eternal (brahman) from the unreal/temporary (mithya)
I mostly reflect this on Lord Krishna's quote in Bhagavad Gita: "One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities."

We should know that we are not the doer/thinker/knower/etc.. The koshas are with what we identify ourselves, but in reality, we are the unchanging, ever-blissful witness of all these.

2. The renunciation of material pleasures and objects.

Again I quote Bhagavad Gita: "Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet."

Everything in this material world is transient, temporary, the "fruit of action" i.e the reward of the action, is always temporary and limited in this material world, which lets us search for happiness even further. We crave for this happiness.
I quote Ramana Maharishi:
"Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside."
So there is no use for these limited wordly rewards, when we are already infinitely happy, and unlimited in nature. We should remove our ignorance instead of make it our entire life.

3.
a) Control of the mind. Don't let it control you. This is the goal of meditation (to my personal knowledge). We should observe how the mind operates, and we should distinguish it from the real "I", and be just its witness.
b) Control of the senses. We shouldn't react to the wordly objects. For example if someone teased you, or someone said some bad things, we shouldn't jump out and start beating each other. In other words, we shouldn't let anger get the best of us. We shouldn't care very much about these things.
c) Renunciation of activities that aren't duties. That means, we should only do things that are necessary. Like Indiaspirituality said (you earn to a living, not live for the earning). We eat, work, just to let the body survive, not enjoy itself.
d) Be neutral. We shouldn't get too worked up in the situations of this material universe. For example, I wouldn't really care what happens in the politics, and I just wouldn't have any opinion about it, or be interested it it, or take any side.
e) Faith. Faith in our shastras/scriptures, and acknowledge their authority. Faith in my guru (unfortunately I don't have one). And of course Faith in God.
f) concentration of the mind, keep focused on God, and not in the world around you.

4. Intense want for liberation. We should acknowledge that the world is full of miseries, and at best what we can experience is a moment of happiness, and we still search it and crave it, however, it doesn't matter in the end, because it's temporary. While unlimited Bliss, is our very nature, we just should remove our recent ignorant state. Moksha should be the only goal, nothing else, really matters.


Tell us how you plan to go about this? Can you inform us what the differences will be between a desire, and your intent to grow and mature ? Which will you keep , which will you discard ? What of the desire for well-being, health, for liberation? Are these tossed in the trash or acted upon?

Well, firstly, I plan to get rid of them one by one. For example, I like to eat hamburger per week. Now I'm eating it once in a month. Then I will just get rid of that habit. I used to go practice music lessons in my free time, now, I learn Sanskrit language bit by bit instead of that. Trying not to be distracted by songs, or movies, instead I read Advaita scriptures/books, or just listen to the Om symbol.
A desire is something you want to fulfill. You crave it, want it more than anything. While with growth and maturity comes wisdom, and practice to master the scriptures and meditation. Here I mean wisdom of the scriptures, not other things. So I intend to disregard my desires as I mature and grow.
Which desire will I keep? I intend to discard almost all my desires. But of course that will take time.
It depends on whose "well-being". If you mean the body, then I plan to just sustain it, for the purposes of meditation and other things. Frankly, I don't really care much about my body, how I look, etc..
Health is important to all. Bad health can impede by spiritual practices. I tend to keep my health in a good shape.
Liberation has become my most important goal. I can't say that I have no desire at all except for liberation, because that would be a lie. But I intend it to be my only purpose of life in the future. But I don't know if you want to call it a "desire". I would say that Liberation is my purpose of life.

Yogic_lighter
12 December 2012, 09:39 AM
As Shri Yajvan ji has said, please can you let me know what shastras or bokks have you read like Gita, Vivek chudamani, tatva Bodh, etc.

Namaste Indiaspirituality,

Thanks that really helped, and I know what to do now.

I have read the Gita, some introductory books of Advaita, read Advaita: a philosophical reconstruction, Dennis Waite's book Advaita back to the truth, Mandukya Upanishads. And plan to read the rest of the big Eight Upanishads, and Brahmasutras of Shri Adi Shakara and Ashtavakra Gita.
Thanks again, for your help.

yajvan
12 December 2012, 08:39 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté
yogic_lighter writes.



A desire is something you want to fulfill. You crave it, want it more than anything. While with growth and maturity comes wisdom, and practice to master the scriptures and meditation. Here I mean wisdom of the scriptures, not other things. So I intend to disregard my desires as I mature and grow.
This desire for liberation is a desire , no ? It is mumukṣutva - (the) desire of liberation or of final emancipation. So there must be something more to this notion of desire then meets the eye.


Look to the Bhāgavad gītā , chapter 5, the 23rd śloka in this light:

He who is able even here before liberation from the body, to resist
the excitement born of desire and anger is united with the divine.
He is a happy man.

This śloka does not suggest we crush desires , but we manage the excitement that is born of desire and/or anger. This is the key. The most natural way to accomplish this is when one is anchored in the Self (svādhisthāna¹). This comes with time, practice and His grace. Before this, there is effort involved. Effort creates stress and strain on occasion. So, one needs to learn 'skill in action' - which is the subject matter of chapter 2, 3 and 4 of the bhāgavad gītā. In fact one needn't accomplish/comprehend more then chapters 1 to 6 of the bhāgavad gītā and one will be properly achored in this life.

iti śivaṁ




1. svādhisthāna = svā +dhi + sthāna¹ or one's own + delight + being fixed or stationed

svādhisthāna therefore means being stationed and delighted in one's own Self.

Amrut
13 December 2012, 07:59 AM
Namaste Yogic_lighter

I appreciate your willingness to learn and practice advaita.

I would humbly say that though you are correct about advaita, give more importance to bhakti. these are not my saying but saying of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Anandmayi Maa (also spelled Anandmoyi Maa). Please understand that even a vedantin is a bhakta. Approach is different - Surrender (your Ego) to Pure form of Brahman or simply God.

When bhakti increases other desires naturally drop off, mostly unnoticed. Even your nature changes. So best is to be aware of God or simply stay surrendered. Though this looks very simple statement, it is difficult to understand and apply it. Advaita does accept the formless Brahman and you can surrender to this brahman or simply say God.

Oh God I surrender myself to you. Take away my ignorance and ego and merge me within you.Though this statement may look like a dual statement (dvaita), the end result is advaita state (non-dual experience).

Either you establish in SELF (Brahman) knowingly, which happens in Neti Neti or it happens suddenly and spontaneously without prior knowledge, as it happens while chanting OM. the end result is the same. You are abiding in SELF.

there is no need to nullify each and every desire. Control is a good thing, but sometimes it back fires. The best is to cling to God and rest is controlled by God. You need to worry too much. Just be clinged to God. Prayers are very important. the moment you realise something wrong has happened, at that very moment, surrender that emotion to God and pray to God - Oh God, take away my anger or take away my hatred or take away my frustration. surrender and prayer at that very moment is very effective and potent then daily regular prayer. You pray wimmediately when you realise. At that moment there force of surrender is very strong.

there is also no need to read 10 upanishads, unless you want to a PhD or give lectures or become an acharya and keep taking part in discussions.

Gita, Tatva Bodh and Vivekchudamani are enough.

No need of Upanidhas and definitely no need of Brahma sutras and Ashtavakra Gita.

Ashtavakra Gita is like an atom bomb. If an advanced meditator reads it and able to digest it, then the progress is very fast and unhindered, while if an un-riped sadhaka (seeker) may make a complete mess and may even drop doing puja and bhakti and even meditation.

Have Mokha as the only desire. When one up-roots all desires with the help of moksha and ofcourse meditation, then only one desire remains i.e. 'I want Moksha' This desires, though initially extremely important, now agitates the mind. It is then Ashtavakra Gita can be applied. Asktavakra Gita is said from the grace of Karma, from the standpoint of supreme reality. It is the enjoyment of 2 Jnanis (Self Realized Souls). Except one or two places there is no updesha (spiritual instruction). Arjun in Gita realises his true nature in last chapter i.e. Chapter 18 - Moksha Sanyas Yog, while King Janak realises his true nature at the end of 1st chapter. Second chapter is his expression and astonishment of this state.

Brahma Sutra is only for advanced seekers and out of 7 sections only 4 or maybe 3 sections are taught 9if I remember correctly). Rest are expected to be self studied. One Swami (Monk / Sanyasin) told me that after intense meditation and study of scriptues and doing service to my Guru for 4 years, my Guru just told me first half verse of Brahma Sutra !!! Brahma Sutra is not for mass study and in my opinion should not be spread in public. Not everybody can digest it.

Upnishads are for highly intelligent ones. But the problem is the out little brain is easily muddled (gets dirty - spoild) with too much study. Read less and meditate more says Paramhansa Hariharananda.

I would warn you not to go for Brahma Sutra and Ashtavakra Gita.

I would also caution to think before going for meditating on OM.

I would humbly request you to please read Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita and Sri Ramakrishna Jivan Charitra (or Sri Sri Ramakrishna Lila Prasanga). This will give you the much needed push in bhakti and so in spirituality.

There are 2 versions

1. Slightly edited by Swami Nikhalananda (http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/gospel/gospel.htm) - Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
2. Word-2-word translation by Shri Dharm Pal Gupta (http://www.kathamrita.org/KathamritaMain.htm)

I personally prefer word-2-word translation.

The advise is given in simple day-2-day language.

Life of Sri Ramakrishna - Jivan Charitra:

I do not know if it is easily available in English or in your native language. But if you find it then please read it before Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, as one should know the life of saint before one accepts his / her updesha

Please read shastras repeatedly. I told told to read Sri Ramakrishna Jivan Charitra for 8 years. After 8 years I was told to Stop reading it.

I would again say that Bhagavad Gita, Tatva Bodha and Vivekchudamani repeatedly.

Swami Vivekananda's books and Swami Chinmaya's books are well written and offer great clarity. Swami Chinmaya's commentary on Bhagavad Gita is also good one.

Good luck for Spiritual Journey.

Aum

IS

P.S. If you want my personal thoughts, then Please visit Indiaspirituality (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/)

Scroll down and check following posts under title 'Featured'

What is Advaita Vedanta? Can it be applied in today’s Practical Life?
Different Paths of Self Realisation
Spiritual Essence - Spirituality in a nut shell
Sadhana Chatushtaya VaraNana - 4 Qualities
Bhagavad Gita in brief
Bhagavad Gita - Common myths busted
Invocation - From Advaita Vedanta Standpoint

Please note these are my personal opinion and I am not an authority on spirituality. Shri Yajvan ji is very well-versed and experienced then me.

Also have a look at Gita Chanting in sweet single male voice By Swami Brahmananda of Chinmaya Mission

Gita MP3 (http://www.astrojyoti.com/bhagavadgitamp3.htm)

gita - Listen online (http://www.astrojyoti.com/bhagavadgeeta.htm)

Thanks for (fully :) ) reading my long posts

Yogic_lighter
13 December 2012, 09:35 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté
yogic_lighter writes.


This desire for liberation is a desire , no ? It is mumukṣutva - (the) desire of liberation or of final emancipation. So there must be something more to this notion of desire then meets the eye.


Look to the Bhāgavad gītā , chapter 5, the 23rd śloka in this light:

He who is able even here before liberation from the body, to resist
the excitement born of desire and anger is united with the divine.
He is a happy man.

This śloka does not suggest we crush desires , but we manage the excitement that is born of desire and/or anger. This is the key. The most natural way to accomplish this is when one is anchored in the Self (svādhisthāna¹). This comes with time, practice and His grace. Before this, there is effort involved. Effort creates stress and strain on occasion. So, one needs to learn 'skill in action' - which is the subject matter of chapter 2, 3 and 4 of the bhāgavad gītā. In fact one needn't accomplish/comprehend more then chapters 1 to 6 of the bhāgavad gītā and one will be properly achored in this life.

iti śivaṁ




1. svādhisthāna = svā +dhi + sthāna¹ or one's own + delight + being fixed or stationed

svādhisthāna therefore means being stationed and delighted in one's own Self.
Namaste Yajvan-ji,

I appreciate your comments, and your caring. I will certainly keep what you said in mind.


Namaste Yogic_lighter

I appreciate your willingness to learn and practice advaita.

I would humbly say that though you are correct about advaita, give more importance to bhakti. these are not my saying but saying of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Anandmayi Maa (also spelled Anandmoyi Maa). Please understand that even a vedantin is a bhakta. Approach is different - Surrender (your Ego) to Pure form of Brahman or simply God.

When bhakti increases other desires naturally drop off, mostly unnoticed. Even your nature changes. So best is to be aware of God or simply stay surrendered. Though this looks very simple statement, it is difficult to understand and apply it. Advaita does accept the formless Brahman and you can surrender to this brahman or simply say God.

Oh God I surrender myself to you. Take away my ignorance and ego and merge me within you.Though this statement may look like a dual statement (dvaita), the end result is advaita state (non-dual experience).

Either you establish in SELF (Brahman) knowingly, which happens in Neti Neti or it happens suddenly and spontaneously without prior knowledge, as it happens while chanting OM. the end result is the same. You are abiding in SELF.
there is no need to nullify each and every desire. Control is a good thing, but sometimes it back fires. The best is to cling to God and rest is controlled by God. You need to worry too much. Just be clinged to God. Prayers are very important. the moment you realise something wrong has happened, at that very moment, surrender that emotion to God and pray to God - Oh God, take away my anger or take away my hatred or take away my frustration. surrender and prayer at that very moment is very effective and potent then daily regular prayer. You pray wimmediately when you realise. At that moment there force of surrender is very strong.

Namaste Indiaspirituality,

So I can do both? I can go for Bhakti and Advaita simultaneously? So I pray and surrender to God, and meditate on different mantras.
Thinking about what you said, it does actually make sense. Brahman is non-dual, and dual simultaneously. The important thing is that he's one, and both, the dual, and the non-dual are the same God/Brahman, at the end.
The important thing, is that I should acknowledge that God is both non-dual and dual, and pray to him knowing that he's both dual and non dual, right? Or should I just choose to worship him as a separate entity from me (only dual)?


there is also no need to read 10 upanishads, unless you want to a PhD or give lectures or become an acharya and keep taking part in discussions.

Gita, Tatva Bodh and Vivekchudamani are enough.

No need of Upanidhas and definitely no need of Brahma sutras and Ashtavakra Gita.

Ashtavakra Gita is like an atom bomb. If an advanced meditator reads it and able to digest it, then the progress is very fast and unhindered, while if an un-riped sadhaka (seeker) may make a complete mess and may even drop doing puja and bhakti and even meditation.

Yes, thanks for pointing this out for me. I always thought, that I should study first all the scriptures to begin spiritual practice, but I guess that is wrong.


I would warn you not to go for Brahma Sutra and Ashtavakra Gita.

Thank for the warning. I know you want what is best for me, and I will abide by your recommendation.
Hopefully, in the future, I can try and read them.


I would humbly request you to please read Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita and Sri Ramakrishna Jivan Charitra (or Sri Sri Ramakrishna Lila Prasanga). This will give you the much needed push in bhakti and so in spirituality.

There are 2 versions

1. Slightly edited by Swami Nikhalananda - Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
2. Word-2-word translation by Shri Dharm Pal Gupta

I personally prefer word-2-word translation.

The advise is given in simple day-2-day language.

Life of Sri Ramakrishna - Jivan Charitra:

I do not know if it is easily available in English or in your native language. But if you find it then please read it before Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, as one should know the life of saint before one accepts his / her updesha

Please read shastras repeatedly. I told told to read Sri Ramakrishna Jivan Charitra for 8 years. After 8 years I was told to Stop reading it.

I would again say that Bhagavad Gita, Tatva Bodha and Vivekchudamani repeatedly.

Swami Vivekananda's books and Swami Chinmaya's books are well written and offer great clarity. Swami Chinmaya's commentary on Bhagavad Gita is also good one.

Good luck for Spiritual Journey.
I will gladly read what you posted, and try to find Sri Ramakrishna's Jivan Charitra. Thank again for your advises.


P.S. If you want my personal thoughts, then Please visit Indiaspirituality

Scroll down and check following posts under title 'Featured'

What is Advaita Vedanta? Can it be applied in today’s Practical Life?
Different Paths of Self Realisation
Spiritual Essence - Spirituality in a nut shell
Sadhana Chatushtaya VaraNana - 4 Qualities
Bhagavad Gita in brief
Bhagavad Gita - Common myths busted
Invocation - From Advaita Vedanta Standpoint

Please note these are my personal opinion and I am not an authority on spirituality. Shri Yajvan ji is very well-versed and experienced then me.

Also have a look at Gita Chanting in sweet single male voice By Swami Brahmananda of Chinmaya Mission

Gita MP3

gita - Listen online

Thanks for (fully ) reading my long posts

It would be my pleasure to read your personal thoughts. And I shall try and leave a comment:)
You shouldn't thank me for reading your posts, I should be the one thanking you. You've done me a great service, thanks again Indiaspirituality for all your help.

yajvan
13 December 2012, 08:32 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté



The neti-neti is for advanced meditation.

One needs to better appreciate the meaning of this notion...let me add the following from a past post for one's kind consideration:


The tapas¹ of renunciation is of great interest to many. This notion of renunciation some call out 'neti-neti' . This is from na-iti . This na = not and iti ; in the brāhmaṇas¹ 'iti' is often equivalent to 'as you know'. Hence na-iti is 'not as you know, not as you perceive'. This is saying you are not what you see. What is being renounced is the false knowledge of what here and now really is.

Now this renunciation ~typically~ is accompanied/groomed with the idea of detachment over time. The common word used for detachment is vairāgya and we find this in patañjali’s yogadarśana ( yoga sūtra's) :

dṛṣṭānuśravikaviṣayavitṛṣṇasya vaśīkārasaṃjñā vairāgyam || 15

Let's see how this word aligns with renunciation. Vairāgyam¹ is defined as aversion , indifference to worldly objects and to life i.e. not this , not this ( neti neti ). It is not defined as 'detachment' , yet this idea does come up in the progression to the full blossoming of vairāgya.
The word closest to detachment is vyatireka and is defined as distinction, seperation, difference and we find it in this progression ( to vairāgya) I have suggested.
If we look at this vairāgya by some of its roots¹ , it is that heroic movement away from those things that bind, abondoning those things of the world, that are inimical (adverse in tendency or effect).

The wise say there is a progression to this state . Here we have the 4 steps (pada):

yatamāna - yata = restrained + māna = pride, arrogance. Hence we can see the constraint
of the small self, the self-centeredness one may have. Now there are some that suggests this is the restraint of sensuous enjoyments.
vyatireka - seperation, distinction, difference. This occurs when yatamāna begins to find firm footing in one's daily life. Some may call this detachment, but note it is not the final destination.
ekaendriya - this is defined as having but one organ of sense. This has several meanings.
It suggests that all the organs of sense are subdued/managed accordingly. Yet what is that one ~organ~ that remains intact? It is said the mind remains.
vaśīkāra - is the making of power and control - one now has contol power over the senses. We see this in the 15th sūtra patañjali-ji offers: dṛṣṭānuśravikaviṣayavitṛṣṇasya vaśīkārasaṃjñā vairāgyam || It is these four steps that lead to the 5th vairāgya , that heroic movement to the aversion , indifference to worldly objects and to life. You see this just does not happen, but is the march ( pada) to this condition. It is from this foundation that one is able to successfully renounce.

iti śivaṁ

words

tapas - is from 'tapa' , heating up; tapas is observances, an approach ; tapasya
brāhmaṇas - we find this in the bṛhadaraṇyaka upaniṣad ( some write bṛhadaraṇyakopaniṣad ), mūrta-amūrta brāhmaṇa ( form and formless).
roots found in vairāgyam : vaira + ag + ya
vaira takes on two ideas :
hostile, iminical, revengeful
heroism, prowess
ag - to move tortuiously
ya also takes on few meanings:

union ( as to bring the terms above together)
restraining, abondoning
rooted in yā means a goer or mover


More on vairāgya can be found at this HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=82055&postcount=7

Amrut
14 December 2012, 02:18 AM
Namaste Indiaspirituality,

So I can do both? I can go for Bhakti and Advaita simultaneously? So I pray and surrender to God, and meditate on different mantras.
Thinking about what you said, it does actually make sense. Brahman is non-dual, and dual simultaneously. The important thing is that he's one, and both, the dual, and the non-dual are the same God/Brahman, at the end.

The important thing, is that I should acknowledge that God is both non-dual and dual, and pray to him knowing that he's both dual and non dual, right? Or should I just choose to worship him as a separate entity from me (only dual)?



Namaste Yogic_lighter

There seems to be some confusion. By referring to God means the same Brahman which is formless attribute and not a personal deity like Rama, Krishna. Shiva is also one of the trinity known by other names like Mahesh and Shankar. There is another meaning of Shiva, meaning 'Kalyan kari' which means auspicious, doing good, beneficial or sometimes even referred to as ever blissful. Many say that Shiva and Shankar are different. Shiva is formless from which everything including trinity emerged.

The reason I suggested to chant Om Namah Shivaya and worship linga swarupa is that initially you can feel it is a dual worship, but later on, you can shift to non-dual.

Technically, there is no need to chant more than one mantra. When one can meditate for 3 hours, mantra continues in subconscious mind the whole day even when you are fully concentrating in your work like studying or developing a software (coding). It continues in sub-conscious mind. when you drop the work or just finish the work and relax, spontaneously the mantra pops up, just like a song pops up without making conscious effort to recall it. Even the mantra goes on whole night and the proof or barometer is that the first thought upon waking should be the mantra.

This is the reason why one should not chant more than one mantra. You bend and respect all deities, but worship only one for salvation (moksha).

But then Advaita should suit you. This is the reason why I requested you to undergo a litmus test to meditate for 45 minutes on OM.

If you manage to sit, then you can continue, if not, then we can think of something different.

Also note that being lazy or not being social does not mean the mind is pure. Some self-centered people also live this way. Purity and worthyness is mirrored to the seeker when one meditates. The most important thing is that God accepts you and guides you.

By saying surrendering to God means surrender to the brahman. Though initially you can surrender to Lord Shankara or Shiva (with form), but you do not need to chant his mantra.

There are times when we re not mentally stable i.e. we are upset or hurt or dis-heartened and you cannot accept things at they are.. At that time, strictly following advaita where have accept things as they are and stay neutral is not possible. Keep emotions inside is like like a time bomb waiting to explode. When your mind is saturated, then there is an out-burst and you may get angry on anyone for no reason. So when attempts to stay neutral fails, then it's better to vent frustration or anger to God. After the emotional outlet, mind calms and you can again follow advaita principles. Mind is not that strong to follow advaita purely. I sometimes even surrender my feelings or emotions to God when I am hurt. though these days, I just stay surrendered (all the time) and be aware and any external influence fades away.

I simply say, Oh God please take this anger away and give my pure devotion. I just want to surrender to you. I do not visualize any form of God, but still it works. I feel light and relaxed after such surrender. This may not be a pure advaita way, but my mind is not that strong follow pure advaita 100 %. there were times when I even prayed to Sri Ramakrishna. The thing is, mind should become neutral.

Vairagya or dispassion is absence of (worldly) desires (in mind). It makes one to be one with God as one gives less importance to worldly issues and objects. Also note that vairagya is useful only if it is accompnied by Viveka. So by meaning vairagya means Jnan-Yukta Vairagya i.e. Dispassion accompanied by Discrimination between real (satya) and unreal (A-Sarya) and even illusion (mithya)

Sri Ramakrishna says:

Pure Brahman is like ocean, pure water. When freezed by the cold of Bhakti, it forms a definite shape in the form of Ice. Ice is nothing but water. Ocean is pure water without any external changes, while ice is also water, but looks and has different characteristics then water.

--

Technically bot hare same. Similarly, when one is worshiping a personal deity like Ram, Krishna, then they are actually worshipping the pure form of God. Just like when you are touching Ice, you are actually touching water. So in Gita Sri Krishna says, *as Pure Brahman* says that everything that you offer finally reaches Me.


*It is not Bansidhar Krishna i.e. the one holding Flute or Pitambardhari i.e. one wearing dress called as Pitambar. Sri Krishna is saying from Stanpoint of Supreme reality. that is why Gita ends with Jnana Marg and the last chapter is Moksha Sanyas Yog (18th chapter) and not Vishva-rupa Darshan Yog (11th chapter). Arjuna ends with the statement, " my moha (attachment and egoism i.e. identification with body, etc) has perished and I have recalled my true nature ... and I am ready to do as you say (unconditionally). It does not end with something like " I am overwhelmed by your divine vision and just want to stay at your lotus feet"

Aum

Amrut
14 December 2012, 05:57 AM
I was just browsing some wallpapers quotes on my PC for uploading on desktopnexus and found some quotes on Longing:

"Not through discourse,
not through the intellect,
not even through the study of the scriptures can the Self be realized.
The Self reveals Himself to the one who longs for the Self.
Those who long for the Self with all their heart are chosen by the Self as His own."

~Mundaka Upanishad 3:2:3

Sri Ramakrishna on longing. Page nos displayed are from Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita). Not all quotes are of advaita nature, but it says that longing is important.

1. Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God. P. 83

2. If the devotee but once feels the attachment and ecstatic love for God, this mature devotion and longing, then he sees God in both His aspects, with form and without form. P. 173

3. God can be attained by crying to Him with a longing heart. P. 180

4. Longing is the means of realizing Atman. P. 429

5. If one takes shelter with God and prays to Him with great longing, God will surely listen; He will certainly make everything favorable. P. 793

6. What are the glories of that longing? They are discrimination, dispassion, compassion for living beings, serving holy men, loving their company, chanting the name and glories of God, telling the truth, and the like. P. 203

7. Repeat His name, and sins will disappear. P. 203

8. One must call on God with a longing heart. P. 346

9. Longing is the means of realizing Atman. P. 429

10. A man should practice spiritual discipline and pray to God with a longing heart for love at His Lotus Feet. P. 607

11. There are two indications of Knowledge of God. First, longing, that is to say, love for God. Second, the awakening of the Kundalini. P. 611

12. Pray to the Divine Mother with a longing heart. P. 629

13. Most people don't feel any longing for God unless they have once passed through the experience of wealth, name, fame, creature comforts, and the like, that is to say, unless they have seen through these enjoyments. P. 216

14. The longing of the worldly-minded for God is momentary, like a drop of water on a red-hot frying-pan. P. 402


:)

Aum

Yogic_lighter
14 December 2012, 09:37 AM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté



One needs to better appreciate the meaning of this notion...let me add the following from a past post for one's kind consideration:


The tapas¹ of renunciation is of great interest to many. This notion of renunciation some call out 'neti-neti' . This is from na-iti . This na = not and iti ; in the brāhmaṇas¹ 'iti' is often equivalent to 'as you know'. Hence na-iti is 'not as you know, not as you perceive'. This is saying you are not what you see. What is being renounced is the false knowledge of what here and now really is.

Now this renunciation ~typically~ is accompanied/groomed with the idea of detachment over time. The common word used for detachment is vairāgya and we find this in patañjali’s yogadarśana ( yoga sūtra's) :

dṛṣṭānuśravikaviṣayavitṛṣṇasya vaśīkārasaṃjñā vairāgyam || 15

Let's see how this word aligns with renunciation. Vairāgyam¹ is defined as aversion , indifference to worldly objects and to life i.e. not this , not this ( neti neti ). It is not defined as 'detachment' , yet this idea does come up in the progression to the full blossoming of vairāgya.
The word closest to detachment is vyatireka and is defined as distinction, seperation, difference and we find it in this progression ( to vairāgya) I have suggested.
If we look at this vairāgya by some of its roots¹ , it is that heroic movement away from those things that bind, abondoning those things of the world, that are inimical (adverse in tendency or effect).

The wise say there is a progression to this state . Here we have the 4 steps (pada):

yatamāna - yata = restrained + māna = pride, arrogance. Hence we can see the constraint
of the small self, the self-centeredness one may have. Now there are some that suggests this is the restraint of sensuous enjoyments.
vyatireka - seperation, distinction, difference. This occurs when yatamāna begins to find firm footing in one's daily life. Some may call this detachment, but note it is not the final destination.
ekaendriya - this is defined as having but one organ of sense. This has several meanings.
It suggests that all the organs of sense are subdued/managed accordingly. Yet what is that one ~organ~ that remains intact? It is said the mind remains.
vaśīkāra - is the making of power and control - one now has contol power over the senses. We see this in the 15th sūtra patañjali-ji offers: dṛṣṭānuśravikaviṣayavitṛṣṇasya vaśīkārasaṃjñā vairāgyam || It is these four steps that lead to the 5th vairāgya , that heroic movement to the aversion , indifference to worldly objects and to life. You see this just does not happen, but is the march ( pada) to this condition. It is from this foundation that one is able to successfully renounce.

iti śivaṁ

words

tapas - is from 'tapa' , heating up; tapas is observances, an approach ; tapasya
brāhmaṇas - we find this in the bṛhadaraṇyaka upaniṣad ( some write bṛhadaraṇyakopaniṣad ), mūrta-amūrta brāhmaṇa ( form and formless).
roots found in vairāgyam : vaira + ag + ya
vaira takes on two ideas :
hostile, iminical, revengeful
heroism, prowess
ag - to move tortuiously
ya also takes on few meanings:

union ( as to bring the terms above together)
restraining, abondoning
rooted in yā means a goer or mover


More on vairāgya can be found at this HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=82055&postcount=7

Namaste Yajvan-ji,

Thanks again for your help. And btw, I have a question regarding the pre-requisite of: discriminating between what is eternal/unchanging and what is transient/changing:
How does one discriminate between the two? I know that I am neither the body, nor the mind, neither any of the koshas, etc... But how could a beginner spiritual seeker see the real/eternal Atman? Or does the discrimination between the two come from the negation of everything that I think of myself? i.e I am neither the body. I am neither the mind. I am not the doer. I am not the enjoyer. etc..? Is this what is meant by discrimination between the real and the unreal?


Namaste Yogic_lighter

There seems to be some confusion. By referring to God means the same Brahman which is formless attribute and not a personal deity like Rama, Krishna. Shiva is also one of the trinity known by other names like Mahesh and Shankar. There is another meaning of Shiva, meaning 'Kalyan kari' which means auspicious, doing good, beneficial or sometimes even referred to as ever blissful. Many say that Shiva and Shankar are different. Shiva is formless from which everything including trinity emerged.

The reason I suggested to chant Om Namah Shivaya and worship linga swarupa is that initially you can feel it is a dual worship, but later on, you can shift to non-dual.

Technically, there is no need to chant more than one mantra. When one can meditate for 3 hours, mantra continues in subconscious mind the whole day even when you are fully concentrating in your work like studying or developing a software (coding). It continues in sub-conscious mind. when you drop the work or just finish the work and relax, spontaneously the mantra pops up, just like a song pops up without making conscious effort to recall it. Even the mantra goes on whole night and the proof or barometer is that the first thought upon waking should be the mantra.

This is the reason why one should not chant more than one mantra. You bend and respect all deities, but worship only one for salvation (moksha).

But then Advaita should suit you. This is the reason why I requested you to undergo a litmus test to meditate for 45 minutes on OM.

If you manage to sit, then you can continue, if not, then we can think of something different.

Also note that being lazy or not being social does not mean the mind is pure. Some self-centered people also live this way. Purity and worthyness is mirrored to the seeker when one meditates. The most important thing is that God accepts you and guides you.

By saying surrendering to God means surrender to the brahman. Though initially you can surrender to Lord Shankara or Shiva (with form), but you do not need to chant his mantra.

There are times when we re not mentally stable i.e. we are upset or hurt or dis-heartened and you cannot accept things at they are.. At that time, strictly following advaita where have accept things as they are and stay neutral is not possible. Keep emotions inside is like like a time bomb waiting to explode. When your mind is saturated, then there is an out-burst and you may get angry on anyone for no reason. So when attempts to stay neutral fails, then it's better to vent frustration or anger to God. After the emotional outlet, mind calms and you can again follow advaita principles. Mind is not that strong to follow advaita purely. I sometimes even surrender my feelings or emotions to God when I am hurt. though these days, I just stay surrendered (all the time) and be aware and any external influence fades away.

I simply say, Oh God please take this anger away and give my pure devotion. I just want to surrender to you. I do not visualize any form of God, but still it works. I feel light and relaxed after such surrender. This may not be a pure advaita way, but my mind is not that strong follow pure advaita 100 %. there were times when I even prayed to Sri Ramakrishna. The thing is, mind should become neutral.

Vairagya or dispassion is absence of (worldly) desires (in mind). It makes one to be one with God as one gives less importance to worldly issues and objects. Also note that vairagya is useful only if it is accompnied by Viveka. So by meaning vairagya means Jnan-Yukta Vairagya i.e. Dispassion accompanied by Discrimination between real (satya) and unreal (A-Sarya) and even illusion (mithya)

Sri Ramakrishna says:

Pure Brahman is like ocean, pure water. When freezed by the cold of Bhakti, it forms a definite shape in the form of Ice. Ice is nothing but water. Ocean is pure water without any external changes, while ice is also water, but looks and has different characteristics then water.

--

Technically bot hare same. Similarly, when one is worshiping a personal deity like Ram, Krishna, then they are actually worshipping the pure form of God. Just like when you are touching Ice, you are actually touching water. So in Gita Sri Krishna says, *as Pure Brahman* says that everything that you offer finally reaches Me.


*It is not Bansidhar Krishna i.e. the one holding Flute or Pitambardhari i.e. one wearing dress called as Pitambar. Sri Krishna is saying from Stanpoint of Supreme reality. that is why Gita ends with Jnana Marg and the last chapter is Moksha Sanyas Yog (18th chapter) and not Vishva-rupa Darshan Yog (11th chapter). Arjuna ends with the statement, " my moha (attachment and egoism i.e. identification with body, etc) has perished and I have recalled my true nature ... and I am ready to do as you say (unconditionally). It does not end with something like " I am overwhelmed by your divine vision and just want to stay at your lotus feet"

Aum

Namaste Indiaspirituality,

I know that when you refer to God you are referring to Brahman. And to me, it doesn't really matter what you call him. What I meant is that Brahman is saguna and nirguna. dual and non dual.
Thanks again for everything, and for helping me in my spiritual path. I also read some of your thoughts, in the website you gave me. They were great. And btw, the most awesome thing I find is how Sri Ramakrishna finds all the paths leading to the same result.
Also, I've read somewhere that bhakti leads to non-duality, by the union of love between God and the God-lover. Is that true?

Yogic_lighter
14 December 2012, 09:50 AM
Also, I forgot to ask: What do I envision in my mind when I chant a mantra? For example if I am chanting Om Namah Shivaya, do I envision ॐ नमः शिवाय in my mind, or what?

yajvan
14 December 2012, 12:50 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


Namaste Yajvan-ji,
I have a question regarding the pre-requisite of: discriminating between what is eternal/unchanging and what is transient/changing:
How does one discriminate between the two? I know that I am neither the body, nor the mind, neither any of the koshas, etc... But how could a beginner spiritual seeker see the real/eternal Atman?


This is an excellent question and is the subject matter of patañjali’s yogadarśana ( yoga sūtra's). It is the distinction between Self and non-Self. Let me say this ... it is not an intellectual construct from the vantage point of thinking. It is from the direct experience of Self. Then one sees what non-Self is.
Within patañjali’s sūtra's he calls it out as the distinction between the buddhi ( intellect) and puruṣa. This puruṣa within the sāṃkhya view of Reality ( of which the yoga sūtra-s participates) is ātman, some say the spirit, others say Self, an observer (spectator) of the active field of life( prakṛti).

You see, it is the silence of the Self, all else is then non-Self or the active field of life. This is the discrimination one is grooming within one's spiritual practice. It is not a mood of the mind, but a direct experience. It is not some thinking technique that leaves you within the field of action, of the intellect. It is when the intellect is also seen as an object - then one is resting in the Self - and all else is non-self. See how it cannot be some mental gymnastics ?
It is the yoga sūtra's which grooms this ability - and too there are other approaches which look to groom madhya - the center, or the gap, where this pure awareness shines though. It is though grooming this pure awareness that one comes to know this distinction.

iti śivaṁ

yajvan
14 December 2012, 01:02 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté

Also, I forgot to ask: What do I envision in my mind when I chant a mantra? For example if I am chanting Om Namah Shivaya, do I envision ॐ नमः शिवाय in my mind, or what?

the more you engage the mind the more you stay on the surface of the mind. Like swimming on the surface of the ocean. You are tossed here and there by the waves. The silence of the ocean is found in its depths, not on the surface. Same with the mind... the goal is not on the surface but at its depths - that is where pure awareness can be found.

http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/pics/ocean_coral.jpg

iti śivaṁ

Amrut
15 December 2012, 04:08 AM
Originally Posted by Yogic_lighter
Namaste Yajvan-ji,
I have a question regarding the pre-requisite of: discriminating between what is eternal/unchanging and what is transient/changing:
How does one discriminate between the two? I know that I am neither the body, nor the mind, neither any of the koshas, etc... But how could a beginner spiritual seeker see the real/eternal Atman?

Originally Posted by Yogic_lighter
Also, I forgot to ask: What do I envision in my mind when I chant a mantra? For example if I am chanting Om Namah Shivaya, do I envision ॐ नमः शिवाय in my mind, or what?

While this excellent question is asked to Yajvan ji, I would like to share my thoughts. These type of questions are bound to rise when one tries to apply advaita principles in day-2-day life.

In addition to Yajvan ji's excellent answers and explanation, I would like to add that, the confidence in saying that I am not body and mind will be rock solid without any doubt only when God makes you experience detachment.

When you are detached from your body, you can clearly see your body, just like you see other bodies of say your friend. It's as if there is a camera on the back side of body, above your head at maybe 1-2 feet. So you are seeing your body. If I am that body, then who is the one seeing it? than something strikes. Oh I am not a body :)

Similarly when you are detached from thoughts, you can see them. You can feel that you are separate from thoughts. Mind is nothing but continuous flow of thoughts says Sri Ramana Maharshi. So when you are separate from thoughts, you are separate from mind.

Regarding chanting, You do not need to visualize the Mantra written and floating in mind. Just chant without visualizing it. If you cannot chant without visualizing, then you can visualize the deity. Do not worry just go on chanting mantra and leave rest to God. wrong approach will be corrected by God, the only thing to do is to pray with sincere heart to guide your meditation / mantra / japa.

Doubts are only up-rooted upon experience. till then you will have to be contended with logical interpretation and have faith in saying. I fully trust shastras and their authenticity. the reward for such a faith is direct experience.

Aum

Arjunesh
15 December 2012, 04:59 AM
I meditate on OM, but I have been told that OM is not for worldly minded people, since OM up-roots all desires, be it good or bad.


Pls can you tell me how to do meditate on om?
Do you recite it during meditation? Or just kepping in mind or do you visualize it?
Or whatever?
I would like to practice it when I sit in meditation too.
Thanks in advance
Arjunesh

Yogic_lighter
15 December 2012, 07:05 AM
Namaste Yajvan-ji, Namaste Indiaspirituality,

Thanks for your answers.
That I am not the body is obvious even when interacting with the outside world. Mind however is different. It is very difficult to see the mind as a separate entity when interacting with the world. However in meditation, you are not disturbed by the external world, and you can see the mind as a separate entity, in constant action, constant flow of thoughts, etc..
So when chanting I should just see "the blank"? And when an image, a thought, comes, I just ignore it, and try to get back to that "blank"?

Amrut
16 December 2012, 03:04 AM
Namaste Yajvan-ji, Namaste Indiaspirituality,

Thanks for your answers.
That I am not the body is obvious even when interacting with the outside world. Mind however is different. It is very difficult to see the mind as a separate entity when interacting with the world. However in meditation, you are not disturbed by the external world, and you can see the mind as a separate entity, in constant action, constant flow of thoughts, etc..
So when chanting I should just see "the blank"? And when an image, a thought, comes, I just ignore it, and try to get back to that "blank"?

Namaste Yogic_lighter

When there is nothing there is blank. Since this is the beginning, I would say yes, you can come back to Blank. Better would be to listen or again start to chant OM. Blank is the feeling, but not to be concentrated upon, but still initially you can come back yo Blank state. It is actually awareness. You are present there.

When any doubt about meditation arises, immediately pray to God to show the correct way, surrender and stay calm. This is the best approach. Please note that you do not need to break meditation to ask question. Ask question when meditation breaks or you are unsure and in a fix and don't know what to do. Prayers are very powerful. They clean thoughts and calm our mind.

All the feeling will happen in day time, but at a very later stage. Initially you only experience it in deep meditation for a very short period of time. The thing is to get started and start walking and one day you will reach destination.

Aum

Amrut
16 December 2012, 03:08 AM
I meditate on OM, but I have been told that OM is not for worldly minded people, since OM up-roots all desires, be it good or bad.


Pls can you tell me how to do meditate on om?
Do you recite it during meditation? Or just kepping in mind or do you visualize it?
Or whatever?
I would like to practice it when I sit in meditation too.
Thanks in advance
Arjunesh

It is a simple chanting like any other mantra. I do not visualize anything. OM does not have a shape. The symbol is not the shape like that of deity. There is no deity named OM and you wont find any temple dedicated to Deity OM.

Initially I started to chant verbally but softly. Then it is mental chanting. Later on OM continues by itself. Rest just happens.It is difficult to explain.

OM itself is meditation and not a part of meditation or any kind of process.

I would caution you DO NOT BEGIN TO CHANT OM just by yourself, specially when you are not ready to live like a monk. IT WILL BACK FIRE. I would not recommend it to anyone.

Aum

smaranam
16 December 2012, 06:16 AM
Namaste Yogic Lighter

It is wonderful that you see yourself as a disciple of SanAtan Dharma and are inquiring. Before we begin, this very dharma (the scriptures) teach Guru-vandan - worship, reverence and fondness-adoration for the Guru. Since you don't have one and have picked up the Bhagavad Gita, Shri KRshNa, paramAtmA Himself is fortunately your Guru through the Gita for now.
(He is Adi Guru, hence everyone's Guru)

Also, the pre-requisite for studying Gita is to have at least a priliminary "bhakti bhaav" (devotion) for Shri KRshNa the paramAtmA, since He wishes to share this knowledge with His devotees, who understand Him as He is, and not dismiss Him as an ordinary human.

This way a reltionship will be established between you and Shri KRshNa, the Supreme Lord.

So both ways, a beginner's reverence for the Speaker of the Gita is wise.


Now about the AtmA:
KRshNa says in the Gita:

UpadRshtAnumanta ... The AtmA is an UpadRshtA / dRshtA / sAkshi i.e. Observer, Witness (as already discussed on this thread)

He is anumantA because He facilitates all existence, gives the final permission, signoff (anumAn) for the Body-Mind-Intellect-Ego complex to breathe, think, walk, talk, run skip hop jump argue meditate eat digest sense smell take [false] credit (I acheived this/ I did this) etc.

It is the pure consciousness.

This is what a teacher once said:
Observe your various bodily systems first - respiratory, circulatory, nervous (cause effect) etc.

Once one gets into this habit, it is very easy to identify onself as this observer/witness and "see" the systems in action.

Same with the mind. Observer the mind.

What I find is that the mind makes big statements and suddenly notices that someone is observing her activity. Suddenly she (the mind) gets embarrassed when she notices I am watching her, and "bows her head". The mind is quiet now. Off she will go again.

Now who was it that just spoke this above in blue? It wasn't me at all! It was the intellect-mind (manobuddhi) speaking like Mr. Knowall. Giving you the false impression that it is indeed me. But I am the quiet witness of it all.

Oh ! Then you cannot be it - the moment you say "I am the witness" this is ahaMkaar - ego speaking.

I do not speak. I do not act. I do not think. I am. And it is spendid, so quiet, peaceful. However, I can regulate the mind and intellect in this body. Hold the reigns like HRushikesha and not let the horses take over the chariot.

By the Lord's grace, the mind will be quiet one day. So quiet it will not want to "lift a finger". Only by His grace (kRpA). The pure consciousness, the AtmA will shine through.

In the meanwhile, one way to make the mind holy if not completely quiet is to engage her in bhakti.

*Hari naam - chant Hari's numerous beautiful names. (Hari is KRshNa)
*Hari Kirtan - sing His glories.
*Hari dAsya - serve Him in many ways. Start small by serving your family members with love.
*Hari KathA - study the Gita but also Shrimad BhAgvat MahApurAN.

Far better that worldly mundane nonsensical thoughts.

Devotees get so so engrossed in the nectarean ocean of Lord's glories that they ask for nothing else. HE becomes their caretaker, friend, companion, witness, Guru, maintainer and everything (sarvasva). He keeps His promise.



_/\_ namah: kamalanAbhAya namaste jalshAyine
namaste keshavAnata vAsudeva namostute

Obeissances to the One with a Lotus navel (from which BrahmA was born and created the Universe)
To the One resting in the waters of transcendence

vAsanAd vAsudevasya vAsitam bhuvanatrayam
sarva bhUta nivAsosi vAsudeva namostute

It is VAsudev (KRshNa) Who lives in all beings and in all the three manifested worlds. Obeissances to Him.

Om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya

Yogic_lighter
16 December 2012, 01:09 PM
Namaste Yogic_lighter

When there is nothing there is blank. Since this is the beginning, I would say yes, you can come back to Blank. Better would be to listen or again start to chant OM. Blank is the feeling, but not to be concentrated upon, but still initially you can come back yo Blank state. It is actually awareness. You are present there.

When any doubt about meditation arises, immediately pray to God to show the correct way, surrender and stay calm. This is the best approach. Please note that you do not need to break meditation to ask question. Ask question when meditation breaks or you are unsure and in a fix and don't know what to do. Prayers are very powerful. They clean thoughts and calm our mind.

All the feeling will happen in day time, but at a very later stage. Initially you only experience it in deep meditation for a very short period of time. The thing is to get started and start walking and one day you will reach destination.

Aum
Namaste Indiaspirituality,

I would like to ask what do you mean by "Om will backfire"? I chant it without really thinking about it. I just chant and focus on the "black" or the Sanskrit symbol Om.
Should I just first stick with Om Namah Shivaaya?

Namaste Yogic Lighter

It is wonderful that you see yourself as a disciple of SanAtan Dharma and are inquiring. Before we begin, this very dharma (the scriptures) teach Guru-vandan - worship, reverence and fondness-adoration for the Guru. Since you don't have one and have picked up the Bhagavad Gita, Shri KRshNa, paramAtmA Himself is fortunately your Guru through the Gita for now.
(He is Adi Guru, hence everyone's Guru)

Also, the pre-requisite for studying Gita is to have at least a priliminary "bhakti bhaav" (devotion) for Shri KRshNa the paramAtmA, since He wishes to share this knowledge with His devotees, who understand Him as He is, and not dismiss Him as an ordinary human.

Namaste Smaranam,

I've read some commentaries from the Vaishnava point of view on Bhagavad Gita. Of course I respect Lord Krishna, and try to abide by his sacred words by abiding by dharma.


It is the pure consciousness.

This is what a teacher once said:
Observe your various bodily systems first - respiratory, circulatory, nervous (cause effect) etc.

Once one gets into this habit, it is very easy to identify onself as this observer/witness and "see" the systems in action.

Same with the mind. Observer the mind.

What I find is that the mind makes big statements and suddenly notices that someone is observing her activity. Suddenly she (the mind) gets embarrassed when she notices I am watching her, and "bows her head". The mind is quiet now. Off she will go again.

Now who was it that just spoke this above in blue? It wasn't me at all! It was the intellect-mind (manobuddhi) speaking like Mr. Knowall. Giving you the false impression that it is indeed me. But I am the quiet witness of it all.

Oh ! Then you cannot be it - the moment you say "I am the witness" this is ahaMkaar - ego speaking.

I do not speak. I do not act. I do not think. I am. And it is spendid, so quiet, peaceful. However, I can regulate the mind and intellect in this body. Hold the reigns like HRushikesha and not let the horses take over the chariot.
That is a wonderful example! It really makes it easier to grasp the concept, and gradually dismisses the notions I am the mind, intellect, etc.
I remember reading about the chariot analogy. The horses are the sense organs, the charioteer is the intellect, the reins with which the charioteer controls the horses is the mind. And atman is seated in the chariot and is unchanging witness of all the process.
Controlling the horses=controlling the senses.
I like to believe that both Bhakti and Jnana lead to the same result as Shri Ramakrishna believed. Jnanis are united with God by removal of ignorance, while bhakti-yogis are united with God through their union of love with God. Both ends are the same.

Amrut
17 December 2012, 04:10 AM
Namaste Indiaspirituality,

I know that when you refer to God you are referring to Brahman. And to me, it doesn't really matter what you call him. What I meant is that Brahman is saguna and nirguna. dual and non dual.
Thanks again for everything, and for helping me in my spiritual path. I also read some of your thoughts, in the website you gave me. They were great. And btw, the most awesome thing I find is how Sri Ramakrishna finds all the paths leading to the same result.
Also, I've read somewhere that bhakti leads to non-duality, by the union of love between God and the God-lover. Is that true?

Namaste YL

Sorry your post did not show up, so the last answer I gave was from your quotes copied by Yajvan ji. Maybe still your posted are moderated.

EDIT: Just chant OM. Try to stay focused on OM. Also be aware of the gap between 2 OMs. You will feel blank state. this is normal. Even I feel it. You should be constantly be aware of the mantra OM, gap and then another OM. Yes you can come back to blank state and again start chanting OM. TRy it for 45 minutes. Can you do it? if not then go for Om Namah Shivaya.

Sri Ramakrishna has highly influenced my life and I have read his biography for 8 years till I got orders to stop reading it. I have read less and not even all verses of Gita, but selected verses given in a discourse. But I use to repeat them many times.

Yes, God is both dual and non-dual i.e. without and without attributes. How do you perceive depends upon path. It is like fire and it’s heat. Fire cannot be separated from it’s heat. Fire is Brahman and heat is it’s shakti (maya). Be it any path, finally one experiences both aspects of God. – formless and with form. or Brahman and Maya or shakti.

Yes, Bhakti also leads to non-dual state. Actually, there is no moksha without jnana (knowledge). While advaita vedantin has moksha as the final and only goal since beginning, bhakta may not have that this goal from the beginning.

Bhakta only wants to be at lotus feet of his beloved deity and does not want moksha, but just wants to stay with his God. This is dual state as there is a bhakta and God i.e. worshipper and object / deity of worship. When bhakti reaches it’s pinnacle, then a bhakta looses his/her identity and merges inside / into God. Bhakta looses it’s own consciousness and there is just God. This happens as bhakta just wants to surrender to God and stay with him. When there is total surrender and not stays in the surrendered state to a personal deity say Ram or Krushna, there is no thought left and so bhakta also lives on intuitions or orders given by God.

EDIT: after one is mature in spirituality, one lives on Intuitions and not on thoughts. Thoughts decreases as one progresses in spirituality. Be it any path. In all paths one has to surrender. As surrender increases and thoughts decreases, dream state and so duration of sleep reduces from 6-7 hours to 4-5 hours to 3 hours to 2 hours and even less.

After total surrender, it is the responsibility of God to give his devotee what is best for him. So even if devotee does not ask for moksha, God gives him, either directly or through some Guru. It happened in the case of Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Naramsinh Mehta. So a devotee finally does get Jnana, even if following pure bhakti like that of Lord Hanuman. I have heard that even if, by chance a bhakta does not get moksha, still he does not take birth on earth but takes birth in brahma loka, where he is initiated by Lord Brahma and gets moksha.

If bhakti and Jnana is mixed, then as one matures, instead of just pure devotion, symbolic aspect of the deity are explained and the deity is finally connected with formless aspect of God i.e. Nirguna Brahman. In such case, Bhakta realizes that it is actually Jnana that has to be practiced and this realization is a fruit of his bhakti to his personal deity. This happened to a devotee of Lord Ganesh who met Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sri Ramana Maharshi practiced Jnana Marg. So devotee was confused. But later he realized that his meeting and the attraction to Sri Ramana Maharshi is as a result of Fruit of his bhakti to Lord Ganesh. Finally he shifted to Jnana Marga.



Namaste Indiaspirituality,

I would like to ask what do you mean by "Om will backfire"? I chant it without really thinking about it. I just chant and focus on the "black" or the Sanskrit symbol Om.
Should I just first stick with Om Namah Shivaaya?

OM backfires in the sense that if you are not ready to renounce desires and moksha is the only Goal, then life will become miserable. Unlike deity, you cannot ask to OM to fulfill desire. OM uproots all desires and karmas, be it good or bad. Even divine karma like serving saints or visiting places of pilgrim is also up-rooted. OM is the only mantra or tatva which can put you directly in Samadhi that too effortlessly. OM is beyond 3 gunas and Maya.

So unless you want to dedicate your entire life to fulfill your goal i.e. moksha, you should not chant OM. You should have a strong mind. I have limited study of scriptures and so cannot point out any verses saying this, but from personal experience I can say this. Even one saint has said the same thing.

The thing is that in OM meditation, every thought is neutralized. As one progresses, at very later stages, even thinking of body fades away. You simply do not think anything but just live detached life with humility as Ego is surrendered to Atman. Constant bliss and deep peace flow through you daily. I can feel it even when typing this reply. I am not trying to claim anything. I am not realized but a sadhaka just like you. I am just an ordinary person living a spiritual life. Since last 13 years, I have quits most things. I only take medicine when I get order to take it. I do get intuitions and they are never wrong. I can very well recognize difference between intuition and thoughts created by mind. It’s a God’s gift. So please do not ask how do I know that it’s an intuition and not just another thought. So if you do not want to renounce some desires i.e. want to fulfill desires, then you will not let them go in meditation and the fight begins. Since you are not letting go, OM will fade away and meditation will break. From personal experience I will say that life will be a mess and you are in 2 minds. During meditation OM tries to uproot the desire and after meditation, you try to fulfill it. So there will be a fight. Also when you do not let go, meditation breaks and so you won’t feel peaceful after meditation but are more agitated or even frustrated and will shamelessly vent out anger to anyone. You can come out tired instead of being refreshed after meditation. So I say life will be a mess and hence I repeatedly caution you and other members. I am not trying to discourage you or other members. If you feel to go for it, after reading all my posts, then go for it. I have passed through this phase When ever I give importance to any thought or desire or any issue, it troubles me in meditation. I do not say that there should be no desires. All I want to say is that you should be ready to renounce desires. And reduce them one by one as time passes. I am talking about this readiness which most people lack.



Should I just first stick with Om Namah Shivaaya?

Did you try to chant OM for 45 minutes?

I think in the beginning, you should go with breath awareness and also chant OM Namah Shivaya. Breath awareness will help you to begin the meditation. End meditation or Japa with Om Namah Shivaya.

Later on, you can shift to advaita. Do not worry, in the end you will reach same destination. Shastras say that you should select anything which suits you and not which you like. It’s called shrayas and preyas. Shrayes means best (that suits you) and preyas means the one which you like. Many people including my father are influenced by Jnana marg and Sri Ramana Maharshi’s philosophy, as they read intellectually. My father cannot sit idle, but keeps saying that he likes Advaita. After many years or maybe decades, he still cannot meditate for 45 minutes. Just sitting does not help, thoughts keep coming and SELF Enquiry is side tracked. So even though you are sitting to meditate, you are not meditating.

Also remember it’s not like planting one plant, then uprooting it and then again planting another and then again up-rooting. It is a phase of life. The path depends upon your mental state, purity of mind and circumstances. I am not saying to worship 3-4 gods or keep changing from Shiva to Krushna to Ram and so on.

You can keep reading Gita daily. This will help a lot. Better option is to listen to Gita discourse then reading. Still better is to see video. Swami Chinmaya’s commentary on Gita is a good one. Also the book by same author is helpful as generally books are generally conversion of speeches into texts by Swami or disciples and devotees. So you will find same thing in book that you listen.


Some references:
Symbolic meaning of Rama (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/search/label/Symbolic%20Meaning%20of%20Rama)
What is the meaning of the realization of God? (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/2009/07/what-is-meaning-of-realization-of-god.html)
Sri Ramakrishna on Importance of Renunciation in order to achieve liberation (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/2010/11/sri-ramakrishna-on-importance-of.html)
Sri Ramakrishna on Importance of Renunciation condt. (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/2010/11/sri-ramakrishna-on-importance-of_30.html)
Sri Ramakrishna on Jnana and Bhakti (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/2011/01/sri-ramakrishna-on-jnana-and-bhakti.html)

Yogic_lighter
17 December 2012, 09:23 AM
Did you try to chant OM for 45 minutes?

Namaste Indiaspirituality,
Yes I tried. Although not for 45 min. I meditated for 30 min. Also, another problem is that the sound of Om in my mind is very low. Like sometimes I can hear the outside objects making sound/noise and not hear the Om in my mind. This really shifts my attention. Then I started to chant it verbally, and softly, it worked better.
Also there is another thing that I want to clear out. You always say that Om up-roots all desires and karmas. And all the Hindu scriptures give it much importance, they say it's the primordial vibration, it is Brahman, it is All, it is beyond the three modes of nature, etc.. Including Mandukya Upanishads, which give an entire explanation about every detail of it, but when I meditate I really find no meaning in it. Is this normal or what? Should I, like, always be aware of the meaning of Om when meditating? I just chant Om, and feel like it's like any other word I would chant. Is this wrong?
Also, if I have an intense desire for something, should I start chanting Om to renounce it? Because to me (as a beginner), I don't feel like it can do anything to me, or have any effect on me. Is this wrong? Or is this because I'm merely a beginner?

Shastras say that you should select anything which suits you and not which you like. It’s called shrayas and preyas. Shrayes means best (that suits you) and preyas means the one which you like.
But how to know which would suit me?

You can keep reading Gita daily. This will help a lot. Better option is to listen to Gita discourse then reading. Still better is to see video. Swami Chinmaya’s commentary on Gita is a good one. Also the book by same author is helpful as generally books are generally conversion of speeches into texts by Swami or disciples and devotees. So you will find same thing in book that you listen.
Okay, thanks for the advise. Also, should I re-real all the Gita every day? Or just the verses I find most important?
Another thing is that should I re-read the Bhagavad Gita from Vaishnava point of view? Or just from Advaita perspective like Swami Chinmayananda's commentary? Since I don't think Advaita sees all the Bhagavad Gita as canon.

EDIT: Just chant OM. Try to stay focused on OM. Also be aware of the gap between 2 OMs. You will feel blank state. this is normal. Even I feel it. You should be constantly be aware of the mantra OM, gap and then another OM. Yes you can come back to blank state and again start chanting OM. TRy it for 45 minutes. Can you do it? if not then go for Om Namah Shivaya.

I think in the beginning, you should go with breath awareness and also chant OM Namah Shivaya. Breath awareness will help you to begin the meditation. End meditation or Japa with Om Namah Shivaya.
I actually tried breathe awareness. And I found it really simple. I watched a video about a Zen teacher that says to count to 10 (exhales and inhales) and go back. But I get what the general idea is about meditation. It's trying to get the mind to concentrate on one thing instead of being in constant thinking and jumping between a thought and another.
I'm sorry about always repeating the same question, on where to start, but I think I made a choice. I will go firstly with Om Namah Shivaya and breathe awareness, and then after a month or so, of beginner meditation I will start chanting Om. I just want to ensure a good and safe spiritual journey.
Also, another question for future meditation: How to meditate upon the formless aspect of Shiva? And how does it differ from meditating upon his form-aspect?

Amrut
17 December 2012, 12:45 PM
Namaste Indiaspirituality,
Yes I tried. Although not for 45 min. I meditated for 30 min. Also, another problem is that the sound of Om in my mind is very low. Like sometimes I can hear the outside objects making sound/noise and not hear the Om in my mind. This really shifts my attention. Then I started to chant it verbally, and softly, it worked better.

This is normal. Even I used to hear external noises. That too annoyed me. But it goes this way only. Only when mind is 100 % introvert and focussed on mantra, you do not hear external objects.

It takes time to go deeper. So not be frustrated. When you become aware, just convince your mind that it is the mantra on which you will be aware and not thoughts orr external disturbances. When slowly and silently shift your focus and chant the mantra.


Also there is another thing that I want to clear out. You always say that Om up-roots all desires and karmas. And all the Hindu scriptures give it much importance, they say it's the primordial vibration, it is Brahman, it is All, it is beyond the three modes of nature, etc.. Including Mandukya Upanishads, which give an entire explanation about every detail of it, but when I meditate I really find no meaning in it. Is this normal or what? Should I, like, always be aware of the meaning of Om when meditating? I just chant Om, and feel like it's like any other word I would chant. Is this wrong?

Mind accepts things that are important to it. Rest it just ignores. So to create importance, glories of God, their divine deeds are sung. In this case it's the OM which is praised. The objective of it is that once you know that OM or any Mantra is all powerful and representation of God and capable to do anything, mind is not strayed on other things.

There is no need ot meditate on meaning of a mantra. Simply chanting OM will work. Om or any other mantra will do it's work. Stuying a mantra and it's deper meaning is different thing, but wheile chanting, just chant mantra and be aware of mantra – gap (silence) – mantra. So the awareness is continous. As time passes the period of constant unbroken awareness increases and later on it becomes effortless.


Also, if I have an intense desire for something, should I start chanting Om to renounce it? Because to me (as a beginner), I don't feel like it can do anything to me, or have any effect on me. Is this wrong? Or is this because I'm merely a beginner?

No. Either fulfill the desire, or renounce it. If you cannot renounce it, better fulfill it. After fulfillment, mind will be at peace. Later on when one progresses, mind purifies and becomes stronger. The effect of mantra is more than thoughts. It is at this time this desire will be uprooted. In the beginning, you can up-root it. Just dedicate some time for spirituality – meditation and scriptural study.


I don't feel like it can do anything to me, or have any effect on me. Is this wrong? Or is this because I'm merely a beginner?

Initially, Thoughts are more powerful than Mantra, later both are equally powerful and still later, mantra is more powerful than thoghts. This is why wise men say, initially meditation is liek poison and later on it's like nector.


But how to know which would suit me?

Oh that is million dollar question. Generally one does not know which path suits one. IT is only by trial and error method that one can steady oneself.


Okay, thanks for the advise. Also, should I re-real all the Gita every day? Or just the verses I find most important?

I would repeat same pages 3 times. An explanation will make it clear:

I used to fix some time say 30 minutes for study. I would not attend anyone or any phone call. If I can read say 10 pages in 30 minutes (it depends upon reading speed), then for next 2 days I would repeat same 10 pages. 4Th day I would read another 10-12 pages and repeat them on 5th and 6th day.

If you listen to any discourse, then it's same track for 3 days. When Gita is over this way i.e. 3 times, again repeat in same way.

This is regarding shastras. While reading any biography, I used to complete full book and then repeat it. I read Sri Ramakrishna's biography many times this way.

If you manage to complete 3 times, on 4th time, if you have doubts ask someone, better Guru or post in forums. 3 times is because Gita is vast and first time, its just curiosity – what will be next !!!

Only a serious person ready to walk on spiritual path will read it 3 times. After 3 times, you will understand general comcepts. Even if things are not clear, just keep reading it. Yes, keeping reading it till you complete entire Gita 3 times. This because we do not have same concentration everytime. Also our mindset changes with time. Also the doubts arising are mostly superficial. So repetation is necessary.

While reading 4th time or if you hav patience 6th time (so it's 2nd time you complete a set of 3 repeat reading. A doubt arises, it is a genuine one and you ask according to your nature. The questions you ask also help in determining your nature and so your path.

Only a Realized Jnani can look inside you deep in your mind and can know your true nature which you have by birth and then decide which path will suit you in a glance. Jnani has full spoort of God as Jnani is one with Brahman.

I guess you got your answer to how you choose a path.


Another thing is that should I re-read the Bhagavad Gita from Vaishnava point of view? Or just from Advaita perspective like Swami Chinmayananda's commentary? Since I don't think Advaita sees all the Bhagavad Gita as canon.

Not needed. Commentary of Swami Chinmaya is good one. Since you have an interest in non-duality, there is no need to read from Vaishnav standpoint or from Karma standpoint.

All commentaries and the commenting author saints are good and correct, but it's just not needed. In the marriage reception, there are many delicacies and dishes (atlest here in India, as India has many customs, north Indian, south indian, gujarati, punjabi, etc). So say there are 20 dishes, Indian, american, chinese, Japanese, etc. All dishes are good. IF you haved choice and a limited capacity to eat, what will you choose? Ofcourse the food and delicacies you like. Say you like chinese food. So you pick up chinese food and your tummy is full. Now even if other dhises are of good quality, will you eat all of them? no. Why, one was enough to satisfy your hunger. In the same way, when ther are too many options, you only take what you like. If you like sweet food, you will take sweet food. Other fellow will take spicy food. Now if someone asks why are you taking only sweet food, you simply say I like sweet food. IF the fellow asks – why do you like sweet food. What will you answer.? . I simply like it. Else else can you and need to say, Same is with reading Gita and other scriptures from different standpoint.

Now if you like advaita, why not listen to Gita by a saint who is practising Advaita. Gita has 3 paths – Karma, Bhakti and Jnana. Since the Saint is practising Advaita, though he will make unbiased effort to explain all paths, verse-by-verse, still since he has practised and meditated advaita way and so has a particualr experience which influence his writings, he will connect karma and bhakti with Jnana in the end. This will not be the case of a vaishnav saint or a saint practising karma. They will focus more on bhakti or karma. So a bhakta will stick to Krishna with form and will argue that only is above all and bhakti is on essential thing and one needcs to surrender to Sri Krishan. But a Jnani will say, it's Krishna consciouness and not the one with form. Taht why Gita ends with Moksha Sanyas Yog and not Visvarupa darshan Yog (11th chapter). Saint following karma Yog will say Sri Krishna has said Karma is the best.

Now if you read all this, your little brain will be muddled. So just read books by one saint and for you, since you like advaita, read an advaita saints books and commentries. Differences will remain and all are correct, but no need to read all types of availabel commentaries, there are more than 10 lakh different interpratations or commentaries on Gita !!!), except you want to do a PhD and then keep analyzing and analyzing ....... and analyzing till you die.

*
Since I don't think Advaita sees all the Bhagavad Gita as canon.

*No one can understand full Gita. Either you follow Karma or Bhakti or Jnana. You cannot follow all 3 at a time and or understand 3 3 equally. (Though one may not practice one path purely, only one path is the main path.)


I actually tried breathe awareness. And I found it really simple. I watched a video about a Zen teacher that says to count to 10 (exhales and inhales) and go back. But I get what the general idea is about meditation. It's trying to get the mind to concentrate on one thing instead of being in constant thinking and jumping between a thought and another.

Yes breath awareness is comparatively simple than OM. See if you can practice it for 10 minutes daily before going to sleep and after waking up. After 10 mintues you can chant OM Namah Shivaya.

You may or may not go for equal inhalation equal exhalation or 6-3-6-3- ot 3-6-3-6 or any other breathing pattern, but its not necessary. Just being aware is enough. All you need to do is just let-go :)


I'm sorry about always repeating the same question, on where to start, but I think I made a choice.

Please, never ever in future think that you are asking repeated questions. Doubts should be cleared and Sanatan Dharma allows (and does not mind) that disciple or questioner freely ask question. Only thing is it should be a genuine doubt and not just for sake of asking or for stirring a debate, which more or less ends up in an argument.

Ask 100 times, only thing si it should be a genuine doubt. I see that you are trying to apply advaita and in this process have doubts. So no problem, as far as I am concerned.


I will go firstly with Om Namah Shivaya and breathe awareness, and then after a month or so, of beginner meditation I will start chanting Om. I just want to ensure a good and safe spiritual journey.

Ok. Please dont fix time duration. This is not a degree course and there is no time limit. Only thing important is to begin and it's the most difficult thing :)

Good luck.


Also, another question for future meditation: How to meditate upon the formless aspect of Shiva? And how does it differ from meditating upon his form-aspect?

formless aspect of Shiva is nothing but Brahman / Atman :)

Sri Ramakrishna meditated on Maa Kali. He said that initially a devotee sees her in glories form with good rich clothes and ornaments. Later one sees her a smiling simple mother dressed in simple clothes. Still later, one sees jyoti form i.e. Flame or fire like that of a candle (diya) and then the anand svarupa. This Ananda Svarupa is Sat-Chit-Anand Atman.

Same is this Lord Shiva. When devotion increases and one feels God is near you. Then love for God increaes. When a devotee thinks of God as father, he does not think of his glories adn his powers. but just as a father.

Please read this example by Sri Ramakrishna: Think of God as the most Beloved (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/2010/06/think-of-god-as-most-beloved.html)



And how does it differ from meditating upon his form-aspect?

In meditation with form you are aware of God's form ans associate it with his divine personality and sttributes (gunas), chant his glories and his name in extacy. In Jnana marg, it's just awareness and detachment. Peace and bliss is present.

Many people complain that they feel an empty void and feel very dry and lonely, insucured. If one jumps into insecurity, one realized that he is most secure.

Refer this thread, Advaita seems so empty and impersonal to me leaving a void in me... (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=10431)

my reply #19, 20 (page 2), 24 (page 3)

This difference in dual and non-dual worship is that you can vent anger, frustration adn ask God to fulfil demands, which you cannot with OM or Brahman.

Bhakta progresses enjoying objects of 5 senses, while a Jnani renounces objects of 5 senses and thinks of them as poison. Even a bhakta in later stages, renounces everything, but it is at a very later stage, while a Jnani does not give importance to worldly objects from beginning.

Since one is connected with body i.e. Mind is connected with body, path of bakti is easier than path of Jnana for beginners. When you try not to give importance to anything (because scriptues says so and you are taught to do the same) but on other hand you want to enjoy or fulfil some desires, then you find yourself in a tug-of-war. So mind will argue that if I quit everything, what will be left and the feeling of leaving everything will make you feel that suddenly the rasa i.e. Enjoyment, the charm of life has suddenly gone. Then follows fear of unsecurity. Bhakta often wrongly argue that Jnana marg is dry philosophy :) . But if one jumps into this insecurity, then one find himself to be most secure. After this reailzation, fear is banished and one learns that there is no enjoyment comparable to the ananda (happiness), which is born out of vairagya. It is this state in which one feels that everything is snatched away makes Jnana marg difficult for beginners. Tht is why I said in earlier post that Mind shold be strong.

Oh and not to add that family members will never like their son to be a monk and so ther ewill be another Mahabharata (world war ;) ) with loved ones. My mother felt taht her son is slipping from her hands and this super insecurity was medium of lots of emotional and mental troubles that I faced till the storm settled. Mind should be strong.

I request you to do one thing:

Take a printout of Lord Shiva, any photo you like on net and just look at it for some time. Mind should calm down. You do not need to do anything other than gazing the photo. Just keep loking it. Try not to blink, but do not try hard not to blink. Try it for 1 minutes. If you can manage for 5 minutes. It's nota problem if you blink your eyes some times. If mind calms down easily then Shiva suits you. If it does not try to Krishna or Rama.

If by looking at Rama, your mind easily calms down then lookig at shiva or krishna, that Rama suits you.

Why I am saying Lord Shiva is because of the nature you said and since Shiva is a symbol of Jnana. Some qualities like living simple life, being calm, not being social, accepting things fast, renunciation, etc are Gunas (qualities of Lord Shiva). If you have them too, then your qualities and nature matches with that of Lord Shiva. This is one way of further narrowing your path and choosing your personal deity. I think, you accept all Gods are equally powerful. It just matter which God suits you. While I do not know the way I said is given in shastras, I know this works very well.

... and you can ask for Brahma Jnana to Lord Shiva. Sri Ramakrishna said: One ask ask for Brahman Jnana to Maa Kali

Aum
Indiaspirituality

Yogic_lighter
18 December 2012, 10:44 AM
This is normal. Even I used to hear external noises. That too annoyed me. But it goes this way only. Only when mind is 100 % introvert and focussed on mantra, you do not hear external objects.

It takes time to go deeper. So not be frustrated. When you become aware, just convince your mind that it is the mantra on which you will be aware and not thoughts orr external disturbances. When slowly and silently shift your focus and chant the mantra.


Namaste Indiaspirituality,

Thanks. Also, how do you focus on the mantra? Do you focus on the "words", or on "the way I'm saying it in my mind"?


Mind accepts things that are important to it. Rest it just ignores. So to create importance, glories of God, their divine deeds are sung. In this case it's the OM which is praised. The objective of it is that once you know that OM or any Mantra is all powerful and representation of God and capable to do anything, mind is not strayed on other things.

There is no need ot meditate on meaning of a mantra. Simply chanting OM will work. Om or any other mantra will do it's work. Stuying a mantra and it's deper meaning is different thing, but wheile chanting, just chant mantra and be aware of mantra – gap (silence) – mantra. So the awareness is continous. As time passes the period of constant unbroken awareness increases and later on it becomes effortless.
Thanks. Also, I need firstly to be convinced that Om is above all, right? When my mind knows that, it ignores everything less important.


I would repeat same pages 3 times. An explanation will make it clear:

I used to fix some time say 30 minutes for study. I would not attend anyone or any phone call. If I can read say 10 pages in 30 minutes (it depends upon reading speed), then for next 2 days I would repeat same 10 pages. 4Th day I would read another 10-12 pages and repeat them on 5th and 6th day.

If you listen to any discourse, then it's same track for 3 days. When Gita is over this way i.e. 3 times, again repeat in same way.

This is regarding shastras. While reading any biography, I used to complete full book and then repeat it. I read Sri Ramakrishna's biography many times this way.

If you manage to complete 3 times, on 4th time, if you have doubts ask someone, better Guru or post in forums. 3 times is because Gita is vast and first time, its just curiosity – what will be next !!!

Only a serious person ready to walk on spiritual path will read it 3 times. After 3 times, you will understand general comcepts. Even if things are not clear, just keep reading it. Yes, keeping reading it till you complete entire Gita 3 times. This because we do not have same concentration everytime. Also our mindset changes with time. Also the doubts arising are mostly superficial. So repetation is necessary.

While reading 4th time or if you hav patience 6th time (so it's 2nd time you complete a set of 3 repeat reading. A doubt arises, it is a genuine one and you ask according to your nature. The questions you ask also help in determining your nature and so your path.

Only a Realized Jnani can look inside you deep in your mind and can know your true nature which you have by birth and then decide which path will suit you in a glance. Jnani has full spoort of God as Jnani is one with Brahman.

I guess you got your answer to how you choose a path.

Okay, thanks. Also, does it matter if I read it in English? Since I need about 5 seconds to read a word in Hindi.


Not needed. Commentary of Swami Chinmaya is good one. Since you have an interest in non-duality, there is no need to read from Vaishnav standpoint or from Karma standpoint.

All commentaries and the commenting author saints are good and correct, but it's just not needed. In the marriage reception, there are many delicacies and dishes (atlest here in India, as India has many customs, north Indian, south indian, gujarati, punjabi, etc). So say there are 20 dishes, Indian, american, chinese, Japanese, etc. All dishes are good. IF you haved choice and a limited capacity to eat, what will you choose? Ofcourse the food and delicacies you like. Say you like chinese food. So you pick up chinese food and your tummy is full. Now even if other dhises are of good quality, will you eat all of them? no. Why, one was enough to satisfy your hunger. In the same way, when ther are too many options, you only take what you like. If you like sweet food, you will take sweet food. Other fellow will take spicy food. Now if someone asks why are you taking only sweet food, you simply say I like sweet food. IF the fellow asks – why do you like sweet food. What will you answer.? . I simply like it. Else else can you and need to say, Same is with reading Gita and other scriptures from different standpoint.

Now if you like advaita, why not listen to Gita by a saint who is practising Advaita. Gita has 3 paths – Karma, Bhakti and Jnana. Since the Saint is practising Advaita, though he will make unbiased effort to explain all paths, verse-by-verse, still since he has practised and meditated advaita way and so has a particualr experience which influence his writings, he will connect karma and bhakti with Jnana in the end. This will not be the case of a vaishnav saint or a saint practising karma. They will focus more on bhakti or karma. So a bhakta will stick to Krishna with form and will argue that only is above all and bhakti is on essential thing and one needcs to surrender to Sri Krishan. But a Jnani will say, it's Krishna consciouness and not the one with form. Taht why Gita ends with Moksha Sanyas Yog and not Visvarupa darshan Yog (11th chapter). Saint following karma Yog will say Sri Krishna has said Karma is the best.

Now if you read all this, your little brain will be muddled. So just read books by one saint and for you, since you like advaita, read an advaita saints books and commentries. Differences will remain and all are correct, but no need to read all types of availabel commentaries, there are more than 10 lakh different interpratations or commentaries on Gita !!!), except you want to do a PhD and then keep analyzing and analyzing ....... and analyzing till you die.
Thanks for the advise. I'll go with Swami Chinmayananda's commentary.

Please, never ever in future think that you are asking repeated questions. Doubts should be cleared and Sanatan Dharma allows (and does not mind) that disciple or questioner freely ask question. Only thing is it should be a genuine doubt and not just for sake of asking or for stirring a debate, which more or less ends up in an argument.

Ask 100 times, only thing si it should be a genuine doubt. I see that you are trying to apply advaita and in this process have doubts. So no problem, as far as I am concerned.

Thanks again.

formless aspect of Shiva is nothing but Brahman / Atman

Sri Ramakrishna meditated on Maa Kali. He said that initially a devotee sees her in glories form with good rich clothes and ornaments. Later one sees her a smiling simple mother dressed in simple clothes. Still later, one sees jyoti form i.e. Flame or fire like that of a candle (diya) and then the anand svarupa. This Ananda Svarupa is Sat-Chit-Anand Atman.

Same is this Lord Shiva. When devotion increases and one feels God is near you. Then love for God increaes. When a devotee thinks of God as father, he does not think of his glories adn his powers. but just as a father.

Please read this example by Sri Ramakrishna: Think of God as the most Beloved
Thanks for the link, I read it all.
I just want to ask about Ananda Svarupa. I know that ananda=bliss. Svarupa=transcendent/spiritual-nature/essence. But how do you exactly meditate on it?

In meditation with form you are aware of God's form ans associate it with his divine personality and sttributes (gunas), chant his glories and his name in extacy. In Jnana marg, it's just awareness and detachment. Peace and bliss is present.

Many people complain that they feel an empty void and feel very dry and lonely, insucured. If one jumps into insecurity, one realized that he is most secure.

Refer this thread, Advaita seems so empty and impersonal to me leaving a void in me...

my reply #19, 20 (page 2), 24 (page 3)
"Thanks for that. I want to ask about the "I-I" in:
He will not admit that he who sees, the objects seen, and the act of seeing are all manifestations of the same Consciousness - the 'I-I'."
I often see this in Advaita, but do not understand it.

I request you to do one thing:

Take a printout of Lord Shiva, any photo you like on net and just look at it for some time. Mind should calm down. You do not need to do anything other than gazing the photo. Just keep loking it. Try not to blink, but do not try hard not to blink. Try it for 1 minutes. If you can manage for 5 minutes. It's nota problem if you blink your eyes some times. If mind calms down easily then Shiva suits you. If it does not try to Krishna or Rama.

If by looking at Rama, your mind easily calms down then lookig at shiva or krishna, that Rama suits you.

Why I am saying Lord Shiva is because of the nature you said and since Shiva is a symbol of Jnana. Some qualities like living simple life, being calm, not being social, accepting things fast, renunciation, etc are Gunas (qualities of Lord Shiva). If you have them too, then your qualities and nature matches with that of Lord Shiva. This is one way of further narrowing your path and choosing your personal deity. I think, you accept all Gods are equally powerful. It just matter which God suits you. While I do not know the way I said is given in shastras, I know this works very well.

... and you can ask for Brahma Jnana to Lord Shiva. Sri Ramakrishna said: One ask ask for Brahman Jnana to Maa Kali
Thanks, I will try to do that.

Amrut
19 December 2012, 02:38 AM
Namaste Indiaspirituality,

Thanks. Also, how do you focus on the mantra? Do you focus on the "words", or on "the way I'm saying it in my mind"?

since you have decided to chant Om Namah Shivaya, I will answer keeping it in mind.

If you are talking about accent, pronunciation, length of mantra, or focusing on any part of mantra like focusing on OM more, etc then it is not much important. Simply chant Om Namah Shivaya in mind.

Chanting in mind is something difficult to explain. Mind is different from brain. You can operate skull and pinpoint brain, but mind is invisible.

It is said in Tatva Bodh and by Sri Ramana Maharshi that mind is nothing but continuous flow of thoughts. So chant mentally at a place were there thoughts. If you find it difficult, then do some math calculations

e.g.

2 + 2 = 4 + 2 = 6 / 2 = 3 and keep doing it for 10-15 calculations. The place where you calculate is the mind and the place of thoughts.

If you still cannot find a way, never mind, simply chant Om Namah Shivaya Mentally. It will work.

So you do not focus on the way you chant but on whole mantra itself.

when a thought arises, simply de-focus and your senses will pull back. The awareness exercise which I told you to be aware of breath helps here. though you do not need to be aware of breath, simply be aware of thoughts or any vision or any scene that is playing in your mind. Once you are able to do that, you can shift your focus to mantra. This is how I chant mantra.

In your case, if it is difficult to concentrate on mantra, then best is to visualize an image of Lord Shiva in mind and simultaneously chant the mantra. Since you are doing 2 things at a time, so there is less chance for mind to slip away. If still you cannot concentrate on mantra, then you will have to take help of Japa Mala.

You count beads as you chant mantra and complete it for 108 times i.e. chant Om Namah Shivaya 108 times to complete 108 times.

In Japa with Mala, you are doing 3 things, counting beads, chanting mantra and visualizing Shiva. It is for trapping mind.

Still if you cannot meditate, then better do puja and do social service.


Thanks. Also, I need firstly to be convinced that Om is above all, right? When my mind knows that, it ignores everything less important.

This is the reason why saints have sung glories of God. Read Shiva Purana, Shiva Chalisa and some songs like Shiva Tandava Stotra, Shiva Mahimna Stotra. This will increase the importance in your mind about Lord Shiva, as Shiva is considered as the supreme God and capable of doing anything. It will make you realize that someone is above me and that all powerful God is guiding me and my life.

Reading Shiva Purana listening to devotional songs dedicated to Shiva help you to stay connected with him for longer time.


Okay, thanks. Also, does it matter if I read it in English? Since I need about 5 seconds to read a word in Hindi.

unless your mother tongue is Hindi, you can read in English. Mother tongue is the best language that suits you, since God gave you birth in that language speaking family. It is the first language of communication. So when something from heart comes, you express in mother tongue. Most saints have written and sung devotional songs in their mother tongue. Mother tongue touches heart easily. So if you are reading anything in your mother tongue, and you find any verse or prayer very touching or inspirational, you can directly pick it up and add it to your prayer. No need to convert it to mother tongue and then pray.

But if literature is not available in your mother tongue, then you can read in your second language of communication and or english.



I just want to ask about Ananda Svarupa. I know that ananda=bliss. Svarupa=transcendent/spiritual-nature/essence. But how do you exactly meditate on it?

Sat-chit-ananda is the swarupa. It is the destination. In advaita you are told that you are not the body or mind or intellect. So the question arises what 'who am I'. So to answer, saints have made valiant effort to describe the indescribable. Our mind needs to visualize something. Hence this explanation. it is not to be meditated. You will land up in this state.

Happiness is the only expression that you experience in day-2-day life, even though the happiness is not the pure one but connected with objects, person or issue, still it is the one regularly expressed and experienced. We all, whether we believe in God or not, strive to achieve this happiness. We earn so that we can fulfill our desires and be happy. We have bank balance, so that you are protested in tough times. We have bank balance so that you do not have trouble and sorrow in lack og money. Technically there is no sukh (ananda). Dukh-nivritti (removal of sorrow) is called as sukh. We all try not to be sad by keeping bank balance and maintaining relations with fellow human beings, just incase you may need their support in difficult times. If we have option, then we will always do things we like. So again there is sukh. So a person is always searching for this sukh and trying to keep it as much as he.she can and stay in this happy hours as much as he/she can.

Atamn is the actual Tatva which one is seeking. Advaita searches this Atma tatva and the seekers finally merges in it. Seeker realizes 'I ma Atman' This is an Advaitin journey, which begins with the question 'Who am I' and ends when the search is completed by realizing that 'I am Brahman'


"Thanks for that. I want to ask about the "I-I" in:
He will not admit that he who sees, the objects seen, and the act of seeing are all manifestations of the same Consciousness - the 'I-I'."
I often see this in Advaita, but do not understand it.

This is an Advaita Statement. Generally jnani does not publicly market that he is a jnani. Technically if you say I am observer, then you (observer) and object of observation are different. So you are in duality, hence not established in Brahman. But upon questioned about the advaita philosophy by a worthy disciple A guru will say this statement that I am observer.

After realizing the true nature, Jnani will see everything is Brahman

Brahma Satya, Jagat Mithya, Jagat Satya

this third line is not often added to the popular verse 'Brahma Satya, Jagat Mithya'

After realizing that he is brahman, a Jnani sees or experiences that this world is also a manifestation of Brahman and not a different thing. Everywhere there is brahman and nothing else.

So you experience both Shiva and Shakti to be actually free.

Never mind if you do not understand it. Do not worry this will be unfolded at proper time. Better is to start walking.

Aum

Indiaspirituality.

Yogic_lighter
19 December 2012, 08:43 AM
since you have decided to chant Om Namah Shivaya, I will answer keeping it in mind.

If you are talking about accent, pronunciation, length of mantra, or focusing on any part of mantra like focusing on OM more, etc then it is not much important. Simply chant Om Namah Shivaya in mind.

Chanting in mind is something difficult to explain. Mind is different from brain. You can operate skull and pinpoint brain, but mind is invisible.

It is said in Tatva Bodh and by Sri Ramana Maharshi that mind is nothing but continuous flow of thoughts. So chant mentally at a place were there thoughts. If you find it difficult, then do some math calculations

e.g.

2 + 2 = 4 + 2 = 6 / 2 = 3 and keep doing it for 10-15 calculations. The place where you calculate is the mind and the place of thoughts.

If you still cannot find a way, never mind, simply chant Om Namah Shivaya Mentally. It will work.

So you do not focus on the way you chant but on whole mantra itself.

when a thought arises, simply de-focus and your senses will pull back. The awareness exercise which I told you to be aware of breath helps here. though you do not need to be aware of breath, simply be aware of thoughts or any vision or any scene that is playing in your mind. Once you are able to do that, you can shift your focus to mantra. This is how I chant mantra.

In your case, if it is difficult to concentrate on mantra, then best is to visualize an image of Lord Shiva in mind and simultaneously chant the mantra. Since you are doing 2 things at a time, so there is less chance for mind to slip away. If still you cannot concentrate on mantra, then you will have to take help of Japa Mala.

You count beads as you chant mantra and complete it for 108 times i.e. chant Om Namah Shivaya 108 times to complete 108 times.

In Japa with Mala, you are doing 3 things, counting beads, chanting mantra and visualizing Shiva. It is for trapping mind.

Still if you cannot meditate, then better do puja and do social service.

Thanks, but visualizing and chanting are working fine for me. I chant mantra and visualize the image of Shiva


Never mind if you do not understand it. Do not worry this will be unfolded at proper time. Better is to start walking.
I do understand it perfectly. Brahma satyam jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva na parah.
Brahman is real the world unreal, jivo is non-different from brahman.
To an ignorant jiva, the world is real and what he sees is the illusory power of Maya, while a self-realized jnani, sees brahman as the world, that's why jagat satyam is only for the jnanis, while the ignorant are seeing the illusory world, that's why jagat mithya.
Shakti and Shiva are one. Like Krishna and Radha. The Lord and his energy are the same, like the sunlight and the sun.

Amrut
19 December 2012, 11:34 AM
Thanks, but visualizing and chanting are working fine for me. I chant mantra and visualize the image of Shiva

good to know.


I do understand it perfectly. Brahma satyam jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva na parah.
Brahman is real the world unreal, jivo is non-different from brahman.
To an ignorant jiva, the world is real and what he sees is the illusory power of Maya, while a self-realized jnani, sees brahman as the world, that's why jagat satyam is only for the jnanis, while the ignorant are seeing the illusory world, that's why jagat mithya.
Shakti and Shiva are one. Like Krishna and Radha. The Lord and his energy are the same, like the sunlight and the sun.


As per my limited knowledge and understanding, you have understood correctly.

Aum