Katha upanishad verse I.2.23

Charles Wikner WIKNER at NACDH4.NAC.AC.ZA
Fri Apr 4 06:39:36 CST 1997

Cameron Reilly <cjreilly at OZEMAIL.COM.AU> wrote:

> Isn't this the same thing? At the end of the day it indicates a
> non-volitional aspect to the process of awakening. "By the Grace Of God"
> the person becomes a seeker and the Self is realized.

The grace is always available: what is needed is to avail oneself of it.

> Therefore attempting
> to realize the Self through 'will power' is fruitless.

Attempts at anything are fruitFUL: whether the fruit is conducive to
realisation is another matter.  Self-realisation itself is fruitless.

> In fact, I believe
> this is counter-productive, because the harder one strives to 'accomplish'
> realization, the further one separates his or herself from the non-dual.

Striving is obviously for something other, which is of course duality;
however striving to let go of, or transcend, perceived limits tends
towards non-duality.  The passage from the Gita 18:20--22 is relevant
in the latter sense of striving: rajas to overcome tamas, sattva to
overcome rajas, in order to avail oneself of the grace.

"A thorn to remove a thorn, then discard both."

So long as one is under the dominion of ignorance, do not dismiss any
activity as `counter-productive': all activity is productive, but the
Self (and Its realisation) is not a product.

> Ramesh Balsekar has written:
> "Yes, there must be an intensity in the seeking, but that intensity is
> non-volitional."
> I have known many people who berate themselves for not studying hard
> enough, not seeking intently enough. Perhaps they should 'give in', accept
> that if it is their destiny to realize the Self it will happen, if not, it
> won't, after all, there is no volition so who is to do anything about it?
> In accepting their non-volition, they will possibly bring themselves closer
> to the realization of the fact that the seeker IS the sought.

If the `giving in' is a movement from rajas to sattva, then yes, but
it is usually a movement towards tamas -- the sort of sophistry that
acknowledges fatalism and which allows the mind to do as it pleases.

> Or as my guru Robert Adamson is fond of saying:
> "Let the mind be still, and know that the sense of being, of "I Am", is God
> - and this is all you are."

Very good!  The key is in that little word `let'.

Personally, I find the in-depth study of the scriptures conducive to
`let' that happen: however, allowing the mind to be immersed in the
scriptures (and not the other way round) does involve `volition',
whereas deep meditation, or feeding the mind on the junk food of TV,
does not.

Regards, Charles.

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