View Full Version : How Fast to Atman ?

12 October 2007, 09:23 PM
Hari Om

" Those who are physically and mentally strong can realise the atman faster, than those who are weaker."
How fast?
" Only those who are physically and mentally strong can realise the Atman"
... As far as i know one of the premises of Hinduism is that Moksha is possible to any human being. And that patience is the mark of the saint. Om Namah shivaya!

Nuno asks a reasonable question how fast can one realize this Atman. Lets poke at this a bit …the resource I am using is the knowledge of Patanjali-muni, chapt 1 of his Yoga Sutras.

Before we go to the sutras what is that we are looking for - the notion of Atman realization - that of Moksha.This moksha is Liberation. Moksha is from moks 'to liberate' . Another view (which I subscribe to) is moha 'to delude' + kshaya 'reduction' or 'astringent' = moksha is the extinction of delusion.

Hence Patanjali offers the answer in Chapt 1.21, 1.22 and 1.23.

Sutra 21 tivra-samveganam asannah
Such practices will increase strength of one's overall practice. Samadhi is most close at hand and reachable (asannah) to those with focus and fortitude (samveganam) for it is the most intense (tivra) for they are less likely to be dissuaded from it.

The Yogin-aspirant with dedication or focus gets to this samadhi and the result thereof.
This word samvega is key here as it points to one intensity , their devoitional practice i.e. fortitude or stick-to-it-ness ( my word here).

Sutra 22 Mrdu-madhyadhimatratvat tato'pi visesah
One may further measure (visesah) one's momentum toward samadhi dependent upon ones samvega; the strength of focus as to weak (mrdu), medium (madhya), or strong (adhimatra).

Patanjali is saying that if we are fickle or lacking in intensity in our resolve for this yoga, if we are easily distracted or allured, unfocused, distracted, and insincere in our practice and intention, then our success in yoga will be delayed or adversely affected.

Yet if we are the Adhikarin (the eligible aspirant) and this samadhi is pursued with samvega/dedication e.g.enthusiastic, sincere, undivided, attentive, and given the highest priority, then this will bear fruit. If this yoga is a hobby, and one dabbles it, then the results will yield accordingly.

Sutra 23 isvara-pranidhanad va
Or (va) further progress is realized through surrender, dedication, or devotion (pranidhanat) to Isvara, the most pure Purusa.

The Grace of Isvara. Isvara pranidhana as the surrender, favoring the with the Supreme, the most pure form of Purusa, independent of prakrti (nature). This is thus a dedication of our small "self" of bounded consciousness to realizing our true Self.
Some see this as Siva, Maheshvara (Maha-isvara) . Some may say Visnu, Durga, Mother Divine. In essensce it is SELF in us that is divine.

What is key here ( for me) shradda or faith in ones sadhana is important. With this, the resolve to realize this Atman, this SELF.

The Upanishads simply says sa kratum kurvita or, 'he should make the resolve'. This is said after the rishi states all is Brahman – pointing to the notion of one making the 'resolve' to enjoy this state.

Yet the word 'kratu' in English i.e. resolve , is less then adequate to describe what the rishi is trying to instruct/communicate. So we look to Adi Shankara and he explains it as ' a firm will with a fixed idea and sense of certainty that this is so, not otherwise' . This is summed up in one sanskrit word called Adhyavasaya or conviction or affirmation. To that end, I see shradda = adhyavasaya, that is pointed to Moksha= Atman Realization.

All along the way, I make the choice to realize the SELF, it is the SELF that reveals it-SELF to it-SELF ( this can be called HIS grace). It is my resolve, delight, and responsibility to set up the conditions for this to occur.


References: Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali - Swami Hariharananda Aranya and PN Mukerji
Lights on the Upanishads -Kapali Shastri
The Upanishads - Chandogya, etc.
Life's teachings
A good ref site for the sutras: http://www.rainbowbody.net/HeartMind/Yogasutra1.htm