sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Wed Apr 22 13:59:31 CDT 1998
Chandran Nanda wrote:.
>Lately I've trying to concentrate on my "I" feeling, plumbing the depths
>of my being and trying to discern what it is. Then it struck me that if
>the basic "I" feeling is itself me and the true seer how can the "I"
>know itself? As Sage Yaganavalka questions in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad,
>"How can the knower itself be known?". So does it mean "I" can't know
>"I", but "I" should try concentrating on knowing what's not the "I"?
>Easier said than done! At present, I'm not even able to distinguish my
>body from my "I"! :-)
>Also can someone suggest some good books on meditation?
> Because e-mail can be altered electronically,
> the integrity of this communication cannot be guaranteed.
Meditation involves dwaita - being myself is advaita. Through dwaita I
have to realize the Advaita - in the process the seer and seen distinction
Let me give you simple example. Suppose you are in very pitch dark room
and cannot see anything there. I call you - Chandran are you there. What
is your response - It cannot be - I cannot see any thing here and I donot
know if I am here or not! You can say I donot see anything and I donot know
if anybody else is there in the room or not. Basically your existence is
not proved or disproved by your perceptions. Perception is not the valid
means of self knowledge. You cannot also use arguments that "since I am
able to hear you I must be here somewhere" - that is, your existence is not
proved by inference either. In fact one does not any means of knowledge
(pramana) to prove ones existence. - all means of knowledge, pramanas, are
valid only because you as a conscious entity is there to validate or
For me to know that I exist, I donot not need any means of knowledge. For
me to know that I am conscious entity I donot need any means of knowledge -
I am including here even the Sastras into the same lot. Shastras also
become meaningful to me because I am there independent of the Shastras.
Shastra as a pramana indicates to me that - I am what I am looking for.
What everyone is looking for is neither self-knowledge nor Brahman. What
everyone is looking for is only happiness. I want to meditate only because
I want to be happy. Atmanastu kaamaaya sarvam priyam bhavati - is the
teaching of the Upanishads. Every thing becomes desirable for ones owns
sake or for the sake of one own happiness. Shastra as pramana tells me
that I am that ananda. I am not only sat chit but ananda too. Who I am or
what am I is an inquiry to discover by negating what I am not. What
remains after negating everything (object or a thought which is also an
object) is nothing but me the negator. I can negate everything but myself.
To know myself I donot need any pramaana. Seeker and sought distinction
culminates into just seeing the truth without the distinctions. Just as I
know I exist and I know I am conscious and similarly I know I am ananda too
- anantameva ananda - the infiniteness alone is ananda since any finiteness
leads to limitations and duHka. It is as simple as that since it is about
myself. Our problem is due to habit we take non-self as self or anaatma as
atma. The problem is solved when we stop taking object as the subject. In
the process one also discovers there is nothing other than the subject, and
the notions that object-subject distinctions are real fall since that are
false. Since I donot see myself as the infiniteness, this is where
Shastras come to our rescue to reeducate us who we are. But who we are, we
are inspite of what we think right now as we are!
To know ourselves we have to be ourselves. This is the culmination of the
meditation. Knower is ourselves and known is ourselves - the seer-seen
distinction disappears since we are not only conscious entity but
- deepo anya deepescha - is the analogy given - you donot need a light to
see the light - since it is self-luminous.
Hence Bhagavan Shankara declares -
jyotirjyoti swayam jyotiH
aham eva aham avyayaH|
I am the light of lights - since the existence of even the light (including
the sun and the shastraas too that shed the light to reveal the objects )
is proved by the consciousness that I am. I am that I am inexhaustible
infiniteness that I am.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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