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Thread: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

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    Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    The Way to the Absolute (Beyond Births and Deaths)


    Karma – Any Respite ? :

    How to attain the Absolute … the state which is beyond all births and deaths - where there is absolute freedom ? Can good karmas lead us there to ?

    Most of the people think that our good karmas can lead us to liberation from the cycles of deaths and births. It is only partially true. Our good Karmas can create favourable conditions for leading us towards liberation … but they are not alone the way to liberation. Why ? Good Karmas or bad Karmas create new possibilities for further continuance of life (of the Jiva) in a particular way whether in this birth or in the next birth. These karmas have good, bad or mixed outcomes depending upon the type the karmas done (Ref : BG 18.12).

    Bhagwad Gita tells us that if we become a Karmaphala tyaagi i.e. become unattached to the outcomes of both types of Karmas … we may get liberated. This looks pretty easy but it is actually very difficult because as long as we are encased within this body-mind cage … there are always some desires …. these desires, however, subtle, create conditions for good or bad karmas and due to those desires we are attached to those karmas. Once the karma cycles takes it course … there is no control on the outcomes and further karmas unless one is very- very diligent.

    Once the Jnana is attained, all karmas of the seeker are roasted and they don’t create any further binding karmas. This Jnana can be obtained by grace of God by intense bhakti, karma yoga or Jnana yoga paths.

    The Path of Raaj Yoga :

    Most of the Advaitic schools following Jnana Yoga path rely on Raaj Yoga to roast all karmas in this birth itself and not leave anything on chance. I am not going to talk the entire process of Raaj Yoga here which can be learnt better only under a qualified Guru & it is not permitted to take up this path casually. Here, I am going to give some idea of this path for the interested seekers.

    The philosophy and result of spiritual research by ancient Yogis :

    It was revealed to our great seers that “Consciousness is Brahman” … Prajnaanam Brahman. This consciousness is whatever is. There is nothing in this manifested world which is not this Consciousness. If that is true then the same consciousness must be within us too. So, the gateway to the Infinite Consciousness which is the material and efficient cause of this phenomenal world which we know as “God” must be within us.

    The intensive spiritual research revealed to the seers/yogis that the Individual Consciousness is separated by restlessness (vibration of the consciousness) produced by our own desires …. The degree of this restlessness varies from person to person and is reflected in restless thoughts going through the mind of an individual ….. so, we must do something to get rid of this restlessness and focus our mind to one thought. It was also revealed to the Yogis that there are 7 Chakras in our spinal chord, between our eyebrows and the brain which are the centers of our Consciousness. These locations are :

    a) Moolaadhaar Chakra (Base Chakra):
    Its literal meaning is Root or base chakra (wheel). The centre is the last bone in the spinal chord. Key issues involve sexuality, lust and obsession. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.

    b) Svadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra):
    This chakra is located opposite prostate/ovaries. The key issues involving Svadisthana are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Svadisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm

    c) Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra):
    This chakra is located opposite navel. Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.

    d) Anahat Chakra (or Heart chakra):
    This chakra is located opposite heart. Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.

    e) Visuddha Chakra (Throat Chakra) :

    This chakra is located opposite our throat in the spine. It governs such issues as self-expression and communication. Physically, Vishuddha governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.

    f) Ajna Chakra (The Brow Chakra) :

    This Chakra is also known as the third eye. It is located between our eyebrows. Ajna's key issues involve balancing the higher & lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Ajna's inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Mentally, Ajna deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level.

    g) Sahasrara Chakra (The Crown Chakra) :
    It is located at the crown of the head, hence the name. it involves such issues as inner wisdom and the death of the body. Sahasrara's inner aspect deals with the release of karma, physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with "beingness".

    The Common man’s consciousness is bound within the first three chakras i.e. the Moolaadhaar Chakra, Svadhisthan Chakra and the Manipura Chakra. And till his consciousness is within these three chakras … he is full of sufferings and sorrows being tossed into different births at the mercy of kala due to no control on desires and karma generated due to the natural effects of these chakras. He is a puppet in the hands of his sexual and other physical/mental desires. The real spiritual ascension of the man starts when his consciousness ascends to the heart chakra (by the grace of God or Guru or by his own spiritual efforts). Once his consciousness rises to the heart chakra, it doesn’t go down to the lower chakras … his real journey to liberation starts from here.

    (shall continue in next post ...)

    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 24 May 2010 at 07:53 AM.
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast devotee




    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    How to attain the Absolute
    Thank you for this string and the insights it brings. May I ask a more subtle question? Is the Absolute ( the Supreme) attained ? It suggests to me that there is me, and then there is this other called Absolute i.e. 'me' and 'IT'.
    Is it not more about coming to the realization that I too am this ? I am aṅkura of this brahman. The wise say we are aṅga (limb) of aṅgi ( the whole ).

    praṇām



    words
    aṅkura - sprout, blade, bud
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    Thanks Yajvanji , very nice observation and I find the answer as....

    Dhyaanenaatmani pashyanti kechidaatmaanamaatmanaa;
    Anye saankhyena yogena karmayogena chaapare.
    Some by meditation behold the Self in the Self by the Self, others by the Yoga of
    knowledge, and others by the Yoga of action.
    Anye twevamajaanantah shrutwaanyebhya upaasate;
    Tepi chaatitarantyeva mrityum shrutiparaayanaah.
    Others also, not knowing thus, worship, having heard of it from others; they, too, cross
    beyond death, regarding what they have heard as the supreme refuge...gita ch 13

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    Namaste Yajvan ji,

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    May I ask a more subtle question? Is the Absolute ( the Supreme) attained ? It suggests to me that there is me, and then there is this other called Absolute i.e. 'me' and 'IT'.
    Is it not more about coming to the realization that I too am this ? I am aṅkura of this brahman. The wise say we are aṅga (limb) of aṅgi ( the whole ).

    praṇām



    words
    aṅkura - sprout, blade, bud
    Your observation is correct. However, please note that there is no word which can describe it correctly. Even Realisation is not really correct. If there is Realisation then there must be an object and a seer. Even "Ankur" word is not correct as ankur must grow into a full tree ... there is something small becoming something "big". But in fact, there is nothing which is becoming what it was already not. Moreover, an ankur always gives a new tree but here after realisation we don't get another Brahman !


    The use of "attain" points towards attaining the Absloute state. So there is no change in the substance materially but the it attains a different state e.g. water attaining the state of ice or water vapour or carbon attaing the state of diamond. So, in my opinion, the use of word "attaining" is better.

    Truly speaking, we have words which cannot explain the reallity exactly as It is, but we have no alternative but to express ourselves through words alone unless we rise to the status of the Seers & can communicate silently.

    Till then, please bear with my limitations and the limitations of words I use.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté devotee


    yes, the trouble and mischief words bring... I know it well. The inability to capture the fullness of Being ( Reality) in a word...it is unspeakable , indefinable (anirukta&#185


    I wrote this previously and thought it applied in this conversation.

    हुं huṁ appears in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad 1.13.3 ( 1st khaṇḍa, 13th śloka , 3rd pāda) .

    It says, anirukttas trayodaśaḥ stobhaḥ sañcaro huṁ-kāraḥ
    The indefinable (anirukta) is the 13th (trayodaśa) stobha (interjection), the sound¹ हुं huṁ-kāraḥ.

    A stobha is a chanted interjection in a sāman ( sāma ved chants); The interjections are used in the chant to make them more conducive/musical to the ear , adding sama ( even-ness, consistency) to the chant.

    Yet this stobhaḥ , huṁ , is of special interest. It is defined as anirukta, unspeakable. Why so?

    It is the sound of the underlying Reality of all. It is considered of indefinite origin. Why ? Because existence, Being (sattā) is without origin - no beginning, no end. It is unspeakable due to its fullness (bhūman) that connot be contained in sound or form . Yet we do the best we can. It is that huṁ or hūṁ and oṁ that is praṇava. Sacred syllables or akṣara.
    Akṣara we know means syllable, yet in the same breath is defined as imperishable. It is as if the total ocean could be held in one drop of water.
    Such is the value and our ability to hear the resonance of huṁ हुं hūṁ हूं and oṁ ॐ .

    praṇām


    words

    • anirukta अनिरुक्त - is 'not explained', indefinable; it is unspeakable, un-uttered
    • stobha - a chanted interjection in a sāman ( sāma ved chants); .
    • My view only: The way to this word 'sound' is interesting: sañcaro is sañ+cara. This cara is moving, shaking ; in music it is called mūrchanā. Its meaning in mūrchā = 'melody' ( amongst other things) and melody =mūrchanā
    • kāra - is a song , hymn of praise
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    Namaste,

    The Vibration of the Consciousness – the cause of this phenomenal world :

    From Mandukya Upanishad we know that the Consciousness has four layers of existence … “This Self has four quarters”. We have discussed in Brahmasmi-1 that the first two quarters are : “Waking” and “Dreaming States”, the “Prajna (God State)” is the third and the Nirugna Brahman i.e. Turiya which is the substratum of all the three states is the fourth. Mandukya Upanishad also tells us that Turiya is the cessation of all activities (of the three states).

    We have also seen during discussion in this series of threads that this vibration of the Consciousness which creates three phenomenal states is heard as sound “OM” in our right ear when our mind shuts out other sounds and we try to hear this sound one-pointedly. This “sound” comes from all this manifested world.

    This cosmic vibration is echoed in different manner (in the form of different sounds) from different Chakras. So, when during meditation we try to hear this sound, we hear different sounds in our right ear depending upon our spiritual development. The sound of the bumblebees/jingle bells heard during this meditation comes from Moolaadhaar Chakra which shows that we are bound to our animal instincts (please see the characteristics of this chakra) and have made little spiritual progress. We hear clear sound of a deep gong bell (which resembles the sound of "OM") when our heart chakra is activated and our real journey towards Self-realisation has started. When our Ajna chakra (opposite Medulla Oblongata) is activated, it returns a sound of Roaring Sea & that shows attainment of very high level of spiritual state which opens the door to the Infinite Consciousness.

    Our Thoughts – an analysis :

    Our spiritual progress can also be gauged by our thoughts. We don’t give much value to our thoughts unless we have any desire to turn them into action. However, these thoughts are the sign of our restlessness and need much careful study.

    a) What is this “I” which is thinking all this ? This “I” is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. This “I” is an entity created with layers of thoughts over thoughts and is the cause of all our joys, sorrows, action and cycles of births and deaths. This thought is the mother thought of all thoughts.
    b) What is “anything” ? There is nothing like “anything” we see and perceive. All perception of “anything” or “nothing” is simply a thought. In reality there is no “second” & there is nothing which is separate from the seer/observer.
    c) What is pain or joy ? It is just a thought.
    d) What is sleep ? It is a thought of nothingness.
    e) What are desires or fulfillment of these desires ? They are nothing but thoughts.

    So, our whole life is made up of thoughts. These thoughts create a veil over the reality and we think that we have a separate identity. These thoughts make us miserable by telling us that we desire “such and such thing & unless we have it we won’t be happy” etc. These thoughts create the illusion of this world of sufferings, pains and pleasures. These thought waves need to be brought into control for mastering over our life, our pains, pleasures and sufferings. Maharishi Patanjali says :
    “Yogaschittvritti nirodhah” --- Yoga (i.e. the union with the Infinite Consciousness/God/Reality/Brahman/Self) is the control/stoppage of thought-waves in the mind (the thought waves in mind are the Chitta-vritti).

    We are in Control of our restless thoughts :

    I will tell you a story here :

    On a different forum, once a young man asked for help. He was deserted by his fiancée who had found a better match for herself. He was thinking that he won’t be able to survive without her … he loved her more than anything on this earth … blah .. blah … blah ! I said to him, “I don’t think you love her so much as you claim. It is simply not possible to love anyone the way you are claiming. If you don’t believe me, you may try this test : Sit down calmly. Start thinking of the girl and keep thinking about her alone for half an hour. Just half an hour … it is no big deal. If you really love her than anything else in your life … you can always spare half an hour just for her. During these thirty minutes, you should have no thought of anything … you must think of her alone. If you are able to do that, then I would accept that you really love her so much. And in that case, you will get her back … there is no doubt over this. This is what we believe in Hinduism. (“Jaa par jaake satya sanehu so tehi milahin na kachhu sandehu” --- Goswami Tulsidas).

    This young man, came back next day on the forum. He was much relaxed now. He said, “You are cheating. It is not possible to keep thinking about that girlfriend for half an hour without any distraction. It is simply impossible !” I said, “Do you still believe that a girl for whom you can’t spare even half an hour, is really important for you ?”.

    ****************************

    That is the power of thought. We start believing that we must have such and such thing without realising that it is our restless thoughts which are driving us mad. We don’t control our thoughts, we don’t really generate them as we think …. most of the times it is the thoughts which control us. The more we are controlled by our thoughts … the more we have a distorted picture of the reality and the more pains we are liable to suffer.

    So, for getting freedom from the sufferings and pains ... the duality of joys and sorrows ... we must gain control over our thoughts. This truth can be verified very easily. Whenever you feel that you are under distress ... try to gain control over your thoughts .... you start thinking rationally and your distress reduces instantly ... though the situation outside has remained the same. If you could gain control over the thoughts fully ... you could be free from that distress completely !


    OM
    Last edited by devotee; 29 May 2010 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Typo Corrections
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post

    Your observation is correct. However, please note that there is no word which can describe it correctly. Even Realisation is not really correct.
    Vannakam Yajvan and Devotee:

    I hope you don't mind me jumping in in some attempt to add more.

    I've heard some other attempts at describing the non-describable that I can share.

    "The only experience that's not an experience."

    "The Self - you can't describe it."

    "If you visualise nothingness all around you on all 6 directions, and then dissolve yourself into that nothingness, that is a way to describe, and yet that nothingness is the fullness of everything"

    "In order to realise the self, you have to give up the desire to realise the self"

    I find that way out here, in the external world of form and words, its really tough. Its even tough to put words into our own (at least mine) simple attempts at meditating or feeling strong darshan, let alone words about the depths that seers speak of.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namast EM (et.al)


    Another way of considering this Self/brahman is the following: satatoditam. svāmī lakṣman-jū's offers this word from the Tantrāloka. It is that which has no pause, no break.

    This for me really captures the essence of this totality, the fullness. Svāmi-ji says ' It is break-less and unitary. In samādhi it is there and when samādhi is absent it is there. And in sleep it is there; in each and every state of the subjective body it is there.

    If I look at this word I see it as sat + a-tu + dita. Which says to me, that which really is (sat) + not (a) +to have authority (tu) + bound or divided (dita). Or that Reality that cannot be bound or divided.

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

    _

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    Yajvan: I remember my first actual sense of this, and it took a Jehovah's witness to bring it out of me. Imagine that. No words can do it justice, but yes unbroken works for me too.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Aham Brahmasmi - 4 - The Way to the Absolute

    Namaste EM,

    Yes, you are right and there are many more. However, let's pause for a moment & think : Is it necessary to describe it ? Can you describe the taste of an Alphanso Mango to a person who has never tasted it ? You can't. Actually nothing can be described exactly as it really is. Why ? Because our claim that we know sufficient about that thing to describe it completely is erroneous. We cannot know a thing completely unless we become that thing because the description of anything that you get from your sense-organs is tainted by the limitations of their power of perception of the reality. But when we become that thing ... we cannot describe it as that "experience/perception" is not a relative experience/perception it is direct experience/perception for which we have no words. Let's remember that we can only describe our relative experience or relative perception.

    But what I want to stress upon here is that we should not waste our energy to describe it. It is not possible and it is not necessary. We should work towards "experiencing" it the way the ancient masters have taught us. I should be interested in relishing the taste of the mango ... why should I break my head for describing it ?

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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