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Thread: self inquiry

  1. #1
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    self inquiry

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Self-inquiry , also known as ātma vicara , is talked about by many.
    We have a general ~feel~ for what this may be , but many cannot articulate what the process is to accomplish this...

    Rupert Spira¹ does an excellent job of explaining this (IMHO) and worth the time to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb3PzxwEKCQ




    iti śiva

    1. Rupert Spira - his background: http://non-duality.rupertspira.com/about/rupert-spira
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: self inquiry

    hari o
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    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Self-inquiry , also known as ātma vicara , is talked about by many.
    At a very gross ( obvious level) one can begin with a simple idea, based upon the following example:

    Every day I put on my pants, I wear my pants. Every day I put on my hat. Yet I know just by observation that I am not my hat, but I wear one. It does not make it 'me'. Like that every day I do things with the body ( walk, run, sit, eat, listen) and with a little analysis I can come to know this is not 'me' either, but a vehicle that 'me' uses for movement and action on this earth.
    The same with thoughts... they seem more intimate, more closer to 'me' but they come and go. A feeling comes and goes. I was happy last week, now I am not. I was sad yesterday but today I am not. These things that come-and-go in front of this awareness of 'me' of 'I' yet they are not these identities.

    This is a good place to start with this self-inquiry. We look to these things that pass in front of 'I' or 'me' ; they come and go , yet this 'I' continues to look on. Even as a small boy I can remember the 'I' looking out; it did not feel much different then today's 'I'. When one takes this point of view we find this 'I' to be awareness. No one thing or another (thought/action/body part).

    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
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    Re: self inquiry

    hari o
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    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post

    A feeling comes and goes. I was happy last week, now I am not. I was sad yesterday but today I am not. These things that come-and-go in front of this awareness of 'me' of 'I' yet they are not these identities.
    So, now the ~hard~ question.... if these things come and go and are not 'me' then why do I feel pain ? Sure seems real to me...


    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #4
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    Re: self inquiry

    namaste everyone.

    vAch--Speech always results in reduction of the Truth, the Absolute Reality of Atman here. The Reality is reduced before there is no way of expressing It, as It has to be personally experienced and realised.

    Rupert Spira does a good job but when he says things to the effect that 'your images, feelings and perceptions come and go but you remain the same', it implies that you and I are different. He does not make it out that the I in me and you is the same Atman, the Absolute Reality. I think this realization is important, because it helps me emphasize and obectify my own feelings.

    Yajvan's statement "I am not my hat, but I wear one" is again a reduction by speech, because it is not 'I' who wear the hat, but 'my' head.

    It seems to me that a good way to differentiate between the inner Self and the associates it is tangled with, is by trying to distinguish between 'I/me' and 'my/mine'. Whenever I put on a hat, it should be experientially obvious to me that it is my head that puts on a hat and that my mind experiences the felling and sensation of personality that it gives my body and mind. Any happiness I feel is not felt by the 'I' in me but by the 'mind' in me because this happiness is fleeting in nature.

    So, if I associate my awareness of being 'me' with 'my' external traits of body and mind, then I end of creating a proxy for the real 'me' which is the inner Self, experienced by the awareness of 'I'. This means that I should always be aware of the question of who in my mind, words and action the resultant experiences, at all times. Once we are aware of this question, we would eventually find that the 'I', the inner Self in me is by its very nature all bliss and peace, so it is not affected by the external causes of happiness and suffering.

    *****
    रत्नाकरधौतपदां हिमालयकिरीटिनीम् ।
    ब्रह्मराजर्षिररत्नाढ्यां वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥

    To her whose feet are washed by the ocean, who wears the Himalayas as her crown, and is adorned with the gems of rishis and kings, to Mother India, do I bow down in respect.

    --viShNu purANam

  5. #5
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    Re: self inquiry

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by saidevo View Post
    Rupert Spira does a good job but when he says things to the effect that 'your images, feelings and perceptions come and go but you remain the same', it implies that you and I are different. He does not make it out that the I in me and you is the same Atman, the Absolute Reality. I think this realization is important, because it helps me emphasize and obectify my own feelings.
    Yes, what you say is true... the definitions you mention ( which are highly relevant) are offered by Rupert Spira within other talks/conversations. I thought this is worthy of mentioning as Mr.Spira's knowledge base seems well grounded. But as you mention words with regard to truth tends to be distilled, not to mention the receiver's (listener's) level of consciousness.

    also,
    It seems to me that a good way to differentiate between the inner Self and the associates it is tangled with...
    This is the crux of the issue we have as humans - the entanglement of Self with non-Self. At the end of all practices, it is how one is able to untangle Self with non-Self.
    This is where the pickle comes in when we try and use words 'you' vs. Self, or 'I' vs. Self, and the like. And the more we write ( it seems) the deeper the entanglements.

    But what is one to do ? IMHO once this internal silence is experienced then one is able to sort out 'me' & 'you' & 'I' and get the value of the conversation.

    Yet too the notion of 'you' and 'me' or even 'I' tend to make one think that the Self (ātman) is localized and contained within the body. This again is a mis-nomer. But the wise start with what is contained within , the thing closest to the aspirant, to begin the teaching. Then with time and experience , one comes to know this Self is completely without boundaries.

    So, the exercise of ātma vicara ( Self-inquiry ) does in-fact take some getting use to , to gain one's bearing.

    iti śivaṁ

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  6. #6
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    Re: self inquiry

    Namaste Yajvan,

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    So, now the ~hard~ question.... if these things come and go and are not 'me' then why do I feel pain ? Sure seems real to me...
    There are two things being mixed here. We call the Self as "I" which is changeless and which is untouched by anything happening in relative state. Again, we call "I" which is made of "Mann" (the observer mind), "Buddhi" (the intellect) and "Ahamkaar" (ego which see itself different from others) i.e. Mind. The impressions of mind and the mind-waves keep the mind alive. Till mind is alive, it experiences all dualities of this world and that is the reason of feeling pain. When mind is dissolved into Self then no pain can be perceived as there is no instrument to experience this relative worldly experience. There are many saints who can sleep on bed of thorns or sleep peacefully on a bed of burning sand or walk on waters. I know a saint who is still alive kept himself on diet of only a few leaves of Dhatura (toxic to humans) everyday, slept on burning sands of river the Ganges for many months and now stays in his hermitage on the bank of the Ganges. ... and he is not a magician ... he is a Vaishnava non-dualist saint.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  7. #7
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    Re: self inquiry

    hari o
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    namasté
    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    There are two things being mixed here. We call the Self as "I" which is changeless and which is untouched by anything happening in relative state. Again, we call "I" which is made of "Mann" (the observer mind), "
    We can see how easy it is to get confused over this whole matter, yes ?

    Traditionally (capital) 'I' was = Self ( or svātman) , some say the natural Self or sahaja¹ ātman.
    Then the notion of small 'i' (lower case) came to be known as the ego or ahaṁkāra¹ ; small self ( lower case 's')

    All this then calls for confusion when one speaks... When we say self is it the Self or the self are we referring to. No wonder people get a bit confused (including me).

    I tend to like the notion of Being. Then when one says self it means the realm of the ego/mind where all the mischief occurs for the human condition. Even Being gives some people angst. Another word I am found of and use ( yet not often here on HDF) is 'presence'. Being = presence = pure consciousness.

    Within Self-inquiry , or ātma vicara I would be quite at home if it were called ( more globally) Being-inquiry or Presence-inquiry. Why so? Some people with 'Self-inquiry' are looking for some 'Self' other then their own Self... as if to meet another. As if 'Self' will become an object to experience like an apple, a person, even a thought. This causes some amount of consternation. And they think I will ( with my self, lower case 's' and therefore ego based) meet this Self ( upper case 'S' and therefore Being/presence) within my ( my = ego again) field of perception. This causes all the ruckus. Why so? Because Being/presence = pure consciousness = the material of awareness that does the perceiving. It is the ultimate quality of perception and not that which is perceived.
    That is why the upaniṣad-s ¹ call this out... that ( in laymans terms) this ātman (Being, presence ) reveals itself to the one It choses. In other words it reveals it-Self to it-Self. So why then practice any thing ? to clear the way, to prepare, to make ready.

    iti śivaṁ
    • sahaja - innate , hereditary , original , natural
    • ahaṁkāra = 'I" maker or doer. ~as if~ this I is the doer.
    • Two upaniṣad-s call this out : kaṭhopaniṣad (1.2.23) & muṇḍukopaniṣad (3.2.2)
    Last edited by yajvan; 23 April 2014 at 01:57 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #8
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    Re: self inquiry

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    So, when we talk of this ātma vicara & its approach , who can we turn to as the expert on this matter. From my vantage point I see a few.
    Ramaṅa mahaṛṣi and his śiṣya-s or students¹ would be a key contributor. Also śrī siddharameśvara maharāj , guru of śrī nisargadatta maharāj and śrī ranjit maharāj, a co-disciple. Most know of śrī nisargadatta maharāj in this day and age due to his book, I Am That.

    These beacons of knowledge offer a wealth of information on this matter of ātma vicara. I am a better person for spending time with this knowledge that they offer.

    What do they teach - what is the crux of the offering ? It is getting to the notion of Being ( the Self word mentioned in my last post) via a practice (ātma vicara), of which they would NOT call a practice . I use the term loosely , only to convey an approach.

    I will offer some references in the next post of some of the ideas and reading materials one may consider if there is some motivation to learn more on this matter.

    iti śivaṁ


    1. students - papa-ji, moo-ji, muruganar, and the likes e.g. lakṣmana svami, etc.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #9

    Re: self inquiry

    Friends,

    I would like to comment on Yajvan ji's statement:
    So, when we talk of this ātma vicara & its approach , who can we turn to as the expert on this matter
    Your Self.
    If Self Inquiry is properly understood, its now and here. You see therefore you do not need any other expert on this.

    To understand it one needs just an open mind and a holistic approach.

    Here is some useful information about the same... [I do not intend to re-post it here ]
    http://www.selfabidance.blogspot.in/...f-inquiry.html

    Also useful if you are interested in knowing about the other wrong ideas about the same:

    http://www.selfabidance.blogspot.in/...f-enquiry.html

    http://www.selfabidance.blogspot.in/...ying-hard.html

    http://www.selfabidance.blogspot.in/...wami-says.html



    Love!
    Silence
    Come up, O Lions, and shake off the delusion that you are a sheep

  10. #10
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    Re: self inquiry

    hari o
    ~~~~~~
    namasté
    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    As if 'Self' will become an object to experience like an apple, a person, even a thought. This causes some amount of consternation. And they think I will ( with my self, lower case 's' and therefore ego based) meet this Self ( upper case 'S' and therefore Being/presence) within my ( my = ego again) field of perception. This causes all the ruckus.
    I thought this would be worth mentioning... This mind (ego's worker bee) has a unique nature. It wants to see the infinite Being as an object - it needs objects to validate its understanding. This is how the mind is 'fed' via containing an object ( thought, feeling, idea, object of perception) to understand. This is how it maintains itself.
    So, when it comes to Being (Self/pure awareness/presence) the mind cannot swallow this Being. It is use to the model of perceiver and perceived. It likes this relationship because it stands as the (false) owner, keeping in-control of feeding of itself. Yet it cannot bring this Being into the field of perception - how can it ? It is a bound limited entity ( I use that term loosely ); how can the limited (mind) experience the infinite ( Being) ? How can a eye dropper inhale all of the ocean ? Yet it tries and tries - because it wishes to be fed; it thinks this is a problem to be solved, so it continues to try.

    For many new to the world of spiritual unfoldment , this trying looks like a noble effort. No different then football - to keep on striving and make it to the goal line. Yet it is person that does the least that gains the most... doing nothing perfectly is enlightenment.

    if you wish to discover the truth 'you' (code for ego) must vanish... papa-ji

    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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