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Thread: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

  1. #1

    stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Namaste,

    I was reading Swami Vivekananda's translation and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras, and he made a very interesting statement. According to Vivekananda, in the same way that an energy wave which is slower than the visible spectrum is invisible to the eye and a wave which is too fast is also invisible to the eye, the absence of movement in chitta can fall on either side of a spectrum, with thought in the middle. So, while there is samadhi beyond the movement of chitta, on the opposite end of this spectrum is total ignorance, and that both of these things manifest as a lack of movement in the chitta.

    This is something I had never thought of before. I always thought of it like a two-pole dichotomy, with movement on one end and stillness on the other.

    I'm wondering if anyone could elaborate on this. How would I know if I'm on the wrong end of this spectrum when I meditate? Maybe you disagree with Vivekananda on this issue; i do on some issues.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have to share.

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    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Quote Originally Posted by simex View Post
    Namaste,

    I was reading Swami Vivekananda's translation and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras, and he made a very interesting statement. According to Vivekananda, in the same way that an energy wave which is slower than the visible spectrum is invisible to the eye and a wave which is too fast is also invisible to the eye, the absence of movement in chitta can fall on either side of a spectrum, with thought in the middle. So, while there is samadhi beyond the movement of chitta, on the opposite end of this spectrum is total ignorance, and that both of these things manifest as a lack of movement in the chitta.

    This is something I had never thought of before. I always thought of it like a two-pole dichotomy, with movement on one end and stillness on the other.

    I'm wondering if anyone could elaborate on this. How would I know if I'm on the wrong end of this spectrum when I meditate? Maybe you disagree with Vivekananda on this issue; i do on some issues.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have to share.
    Namaste Simex,

    Yes, this is a point on which many accuse Vedantists of aiming for the inert state. Some do it spitefully and some do it without knowing.

    A stone is in an inert state. Similarly deep sleep is nearly an inert state, wherein the mind is almost dead. However, the samadhi is not like that. It is attainable only and only with a one pointed mind which is 100 % awake. If you read Mandukya Karika, you will come acroos a passage where this awake state is equated to omniscience.

    Thank you for bringing up a very interesting point.

    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~~


    Quote Originally Posted by simex View Post
    Namaste,

    I was reading Swami Vivekananda's translation and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras, and he made a very interesting statement. According to Vivekananda, in the same way that an energy wave which is slower than the visible spectrum is invisible to the eye and a wave which is too fast is also invisible to the eye, the absence of movement in chitta can fall on either side of a spectrum, with thought in the middle. So, while there is samadhi beyond the movement of chitta, on the opposite end of this spectrum is total ignorance, and that both of these things manifest as a lack of movement in the chitta.

    This is something I had never thought of before. I always thought of it like a two-pole dichotomy, with movement on one end and stillness on the other.

    I'm wondering if anyone could elaborate on this. How would I know if I'm on the wrong end of this spectrum when I meditate? Maybe you disagree with Vivekananda on this issue; i do on some issues.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have to share.
    Namaste simex,
    A most excellent question and we can pursue deeper and wider if you like.
    This HDF post http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...7&postcount=14 and the 15th post will assist.


    Let me ask this - when you meditate do you find yourself rested, steady? Alert? Is awareness being refreshed during meditation?


    But what occurs along the way, when the sādhu is not engrossed in the whole (aṅgī) ? Viśrama is being seated within him/her. What is this viśrama? It is quiet, the silence of Being, it is the sāma ( balance) that is being established - some call this repose. Yet this word also suggests something a bit more profound - it is the absorption into delight. The native gains the silence and quiet, yet with time the infusion of rama comes . For this, it is a worthy of one's time and attention.
    After mediation does some of that 'balance' that inward lightness of being come with you into activity? If so then things are going well.

    It is just taking the proper angle when meditating to go inward. The mind just needs the right angle - like in diving off a diving board. We take the right angle and let go. Gravity takes over. Like that , same with meditation - we take the right angle , the correct technique and begin. There are multiple posts on this. One post that is comprehensive is http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=3312 this is more on framework and the components of meditation. Perhaps you will find it useful.

    Another question is your personal expreience with the following regarding samādhi , are you experincing either of the two? It does not hve to be daily, but does this experince come to you on occasion?

    There are two flavors:
    saṃprajñāta (saṃ+pra+jñāta&#185 samādhi - the mind is not fully absorbed ( many like to call this not fully 'arrested')

    asaṃprajñāta (a+saṃ+pra+jñāta&#185 samādhi - the mind is fully absorbed , and some call objectless samādhi

    This is part of the post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...73&postcount=8


    Let's see of some of these posts above help or at least provide context for your experiences and we can continue the conversation if you wish.


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

    _

  4. #4

    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Many thanks.

    i found the first thread was beyond my comprehension; the second was more useful. Are turiya and samadhi synonymous? I'm pretty sure I understand what Turiya is, thanks to the Mandukya Upanishad. I will reread the Karika though.

    Samadhi is the more exotic term for me, so I'm afraid I'm not sure which flavor my experiences fall under.

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Let me ask this - when you meditate do you find yourself rested, steady? Alert? Is awareness being refreshed during meditation?




    After mediation does some of that 'balance' that inward lightness of being come with you into activity? If so then things are going well.
    My experience in meditation is that of awareness without attachment. I am most certainly awake, and I sometimes practice with my eyes open, or in noisey places. I am able to practice with "distractions" because what is happening is that my mind is not distracted; not by outside phenomenon, and not by it's own internal impressions. If a dog barks, it does not conjure the image of a dog, the word "dog", or any sort of emotion. It just happens. When the meditation is "eyes closed" it's more of an undifferentiated, timeless, boundless stillness, but still, without the clinging to the concept of stillness or the word. It's something that I can really only examine after the fact, when the chitta is moving again.

    The analogy of the screen on to which the movie is projected is appropriate, and I think this is what is meant by turiya.

    It's not something that I am able to maintain for long periods, but I am always able to guide my noisey mind back to it. One of the reasons I was worried that I was on the ignorance side of the spectrum is that it's not something I feel like I'm "doing", it's more like something that is accomplished by abandoning the need to do anything.

    This state does carry over into activity: I find that immediately after meditation my mind does not attach itself to things as easily. I care less about my identity, I do not get emotional, and I am less likely to become bored.

    Thanks again for any insights.

    Peace.

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    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Ramana Maharshi

    Otherwise how can nirvikalpa samAdhi be of any use in which a man remains as a log of wood?

    Namaste Simex,

    Some literature on samadhi that may help to understand the concept and the different stages.

    Sankara, in BU 4.2.1, glosses samahitatma as samyuktama (similar as Gita), "connected." In BU 4.4.23, he explains the term samahita as "becoming one-pointed (aikagrya) through dissociation from the movements of the sense-organs and the mind." The term occurs again in the Katha Upanishad 1.2.24 in the negative form asamahita, which Sankara glosses as "one whose mind is not one-pointed (anekagra), whose mind is scattered." In introductory Vedanta manuals, samadhana is also explained by the term "one-pointed" (ekagra). The word samadhana can thus be understood as having the meaning of "one-pointed" (ekagra). In the Yogasutra, "one-pointed" (ekagra) is used to define concentration (dharana), which is the sixth of the eight limbs of Yoga and a preliminary discipline to dhyana and Samadhi. Possibly, the Vedantic samadhana means "one-pointedness" and would be equivalent to the yoga dharana, but it is probably not exact equivalent to the yoga Samadhi.


    Samadhi itself has two stages, samprajana-samadhi, where there is still object-consciousness, and asamprajata-samadhi or nirbija-samadhi, where there is no longer any object-consciousness (nirvikalpa-samadhi). Duality, such as the fundamental distinction between subject and object, is obliterated in deep sleep and in Samadhi, as well as in other conditions such as fainting, but duality is only temporarily obliterated for it reappears when one awakes from sleep or regains consciousness after fainting, and it also reappears when the yogi arises from Samadhi. The reason why duality persists is because false knowledge (mithyajana) has not been removed.

    Baghavan Sri Ramana Maharshi distinguishes Sahaja Samadhi from Nirvikalpa Samadhi by saying: In Sahaja Samadhi the mind is "dead", "resolved into the self, like a river discharged into the ocean and its identity lost."

    Ramana also says: "the trance has no good unless vasanas (latent ideas and forms of the mind) are destroyed." But Ramana holds a strong bias to the early Upanishad and Vedanta version Samadhan wherein Yogi is free without any sense of a separate identity. Contemplation on the Self is obviously a part of Sankara's teaching, but his contemplation is directed toward seeing the ever present Self as free from all conditionings rather than toward the attainment of nirvikalpa-samadhi. This is in significant contrast to the understanding of some Advaitins.

    As I understand, stopping the chitta is the practice, the grind. But the Sahaja Samadhi, wherein all vasanas are lost because of total annhilation of the Ego due to rise of Jnana, is the fruit the final freedom.

    Sri Ramana Maharshi defines the terms as below:

    (1) Holding on to Reality is samAdhi.
    (2) Holding on to Reality with effort is savikalpa samAdhi.
    (3) Merging in Reality and remaining unaware of the world is nirvikalpa samAdhi.
    (4) Merging in Ignorance and remaining unaware of the world is sleep.
    (5) Remaining in the primal, pure natural state without effort is sahaja nirvikalpa samAdhi. (from "Talk 391")

    He explains what He means by the difference between (3) and (5):

    Even if one is immersed in nirvikalpa samAdhi for years together, when he emerges from it he will find himself in the environment which he is bound to have. That is the reason for the AchArya emphasising sahaja samAdhi in preference to nirvikalpa samAdhi in his excellent work vivekachUDAmaNi. One should be in spontaneous samAdhi - that is, in one's pristine state - in the midst of every environment. (Talk 54).

    In sleep the mind is alive but merged in oblivion (see (4) above). - In kevala nirvikalpa samAdhi, the mind is alive but merged in light, like a bucket with rope lowered into a well, that can be drawn out again. - In sahaja nirvikalpa samAdhi, the mind is dead , resolved into the Self, like a river discharged into the ocean - its identity lost - and which can never be re-directed from the ocean, once discharged into it (Talk 187).

    A similar explanation is given in Talk 465, wherein Sri Bhagavan says:

    (1) Meditation should remain unbroken as a current. If unbroken it is called samAdhi or Kundalini shakti.

    (2) The mind may be latent and merge in the Self; it must necessarily rise up again; after it rises up one finds oneself only as ever before. For in this state the mental predispositions are present there in latent form to remanifest under favourable conditions.

    (3) Again the mind activities can be completely destroyed. This differs from the former mind, for here the attachment is lost, never to reappear. Even though the man sees the world after he has been in the samAdhi state, the world will be taken only at its worth, that is to say it is the phenomenon of the One Reality. The True Being can be realised only in samAdhi; what was then is also now. Otherwise it cannot be Reality or Ever-present Being. What was in samAdhi is here and now too. Hold it and it is your natural condition of Being. Samadhi practice must lead to it. Otherwise how can nirvikalpa samAdhi be of any use in which a man remains as a log of wood? He must necessarily rise up from it sometime or other and face the world. But in sahaja samAdhi he remains unaffected by the world. So many pictures pass over the cinema screen: fire burns away everything; water drenches all; but the screen remains unaffected. The scenes are only phenomena which pass away leaving the screen as it was. Similarly the world phenomena simply pass on before the j~nAnI, leaving him unaffected. You may say that people find pain or pleasure in worldly phenomena. It is owing to superimposition. This must not happen. With this end in view practice is made. Practice lies in one of the two courses: devotion or knowledge. Even these are not the goals. Samadhi must be gained; it must be continuously practised until sahaja samAdhi results. Then there remains nothing more to do (Talk 465).

    Loss of body consciousness in samAdhi is not the same as 'dead mind', destruction of ego. Thus when the disciple asks, "Is loss of body-consciousness a pre-requisite to the attainment of sahaja samAdhi?" Sri Ramana replies:

    What is body-consciousness? Analyse it. There must be a body and consciousness limited to it which together make up body-consciousness. These must lie in another Consciousness which is absolute and unaffected. Hold it. That is samAdhi. It exists when there is no body-consciousness because it transcends the latter, it also exists when there is the body-consciousness. So it is always there. What does it matter whether body-consciousness is lost or retained? When lost it is internal samAdhi: when retained, it is external samAdhi. That is all. A person must remain in any of the six samAdhi-s so that sahaja samAdhi may be easy for him (Talk 406).

    Sri Ramana refers to samAdhi, not as a state to be gained, as in some of the many different types but as our natural state. He also points out the importance of the waking state, which I believe was a query in another thread:

    Samadhi is one's natural state. It is the under-current in all the three states. This - that is, 'I' - is not in those states, but these states are in It. If we get samAdhi in our waking state that will persist in deep sleep also. The distinction between consciousness and unconsciousness belongs to the realm of mind, which is transcended by the state of the Real Self (Talk 136).

    By shravaNa, Knowledge dawns. That is the flame. By manana, the Knowledge is not allowed to vanish. Just as the flame is protected by a wind-screen, so the other thoughts are not allowed to overwhelm the right knowledge. By nididhyAsana, the flame is kept up to burn bright by trimming the wick. Whenever other thoughts arise, the mind is turned inward to the light of true knowledge. When this becomes natural, it is samAdhi. The enquiry "Who am I?" is the shravaNa. The ascertainment of the true import of 'I' is the manana. The practical application on each occasion is nididhyAsana. Being as 'I' is samAdhi (Talk 647).

    Eternal, unbroken, natural state is j~nAna." (Talk 385).


    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  6. #6

    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Thank you, Atanu.

    I am now fairly certain that i am on the right path.

    All this nomenclature is brutal though, it will have to be abandoned before the end.

    Om

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    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Quote Originally Posted by simex View Post
    Thank you, Atanu.

    All this nomenclature is brutal though, it will have to be abandoned before the end.

    Om
    Namaste Simex,

    I also believe that the nomenclature is often brutal and the source of many conflicts. Two people may be meaning the same thing yet arguing over their respective choice of words. Two simple things are:

    1. The mind must be placed in 'Me' again and again. Pure 'Me', without any other object association is Pragnya -- the manifest Atman. And staying with full Pragnya is Stithipragnya state. The power of the full 'Me' does the rest. This is often quite boring in the beginning but one has to persevere.

    2. The experience of Turya/One Concsiousness/Shiva Atman/Nirbija/Nirvikalpa is essential. And establishment in this one consciousness without break is Samadhi. Being in Samadhi, one must be able to query as to who is in Samadhi? Who is the One Consciousness and who is the Seer of the One Consciousness? In absence of this query sleep will intervene and ego will not die.

    Best Wishes. Regards.

    Om
    Last edited by atanu; 28 October 2008 at 11:01 PM.
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  8. #8

    Light Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post

    1. The mind must be placed in 'Me' again and again. Pure 'Me', without any other object association is Pragnya -- the manifest Atman. And staying with full Pragnya is Stithipragnya state. The power of the full 'Me' does the rest. This is often quite boring in the beginning but one has to persevere.
    Namaste, Atanu

    This explanation, however brief and simple, proved to be very useful, and resulted in an extremely fruitful and doubt dispelling experience. Thank you very much.

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    Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Quote Originally Posted by simex View Post
    Namaste, Atanu

    This explanation, however brief and simple, proved to be very useful, and resulted in an extremely fruitful and doubt dispelling experience. Thank you very much.
    Namaste Simex,

    You are always welcome. HDF provides us an avenue for sat sangh -- of being reminded of love again again gently.

    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Wink Re: stopping the movement of the chitta: the same as ignorance?

    Namaste all,


    I have bin following this tread with entusiasm and it seems to me a very interesting subject to meditate about.
    I think the problem is not with chitta in on itself but with its vrittis. I remember reading Sri Nisargadatta on the subject of reason and Sri Ranjit as well and they both stated that in the last level of sahmadi i.e. turya, reason is reaveled as one with reality. Still thought, they say ( do not confuse with stilled thought wich is pratyahara or yama deva, in itself a the big " Vritti " )!
    I think this process is well understood for the ones who had some Raja Yoga experience of meditation in a sense that flows from the abstract (kramAnyatvam parinAmAnyatve hetuh) caos into the stilness of the name.
    What do you think about that?
    Last edited by Nuno Matos; 04 December 2008 at 05:25 PM.

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