Advaita : SOme Basic Explanations - 12

hbdave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Mon Mar 18 02:11:50 CST 2002

Dear List Members,
Here is posting no. 12.
This completes the topics which I planned originally to talk about.
In the  next and last (posting no. 13) I plan to go back to my
initial posting where I gave a Proposition and also told a small
story and analyse  them in view of our discussions till now.

Also, I plan to talk about the third meaning of the word
"kutastha" (two meanings are already explained in an earlier posting).
This is in response to Shri D.V.N. Sharma's statement that

> > As I have already pointed out according to Sankara
> > kUTastha is mAyA.

After that again I would like to go in silence (unless some member
triggers me  :-)

(Ken and Hemant have been discussing some thing very interesting
 - Jana and Bhakti - may be I jump in ?)

Best to all.
-- Himanshu

-------------- next part --------------
Advaita : Some Basic Explanations - 12 (Achievement)
                                                -- Himanshu

Some people think that achieving just Nirvikalpa Samadhi is
the final release. This idea is incorrect. As pointed out
previously, the Sielence and Oneness felt in Nirvikalpa Samadhi
should become a continuous part of oneself, even when one is
going through the motions of being.

For those who take RajaYoga path to release, the stages of
achievemnts would be : --> Dhyana --> Savikalpa Samadhi --> Nirvikalpa Samadhi -->
Vishnipada or Shambhavimudra.

The meditator passes through initial stages, through deep meditation and
finally contact with the external  world is re-established, but with
proper understanding, so that his internal state is not disturbed.
This is called {\skt vi.s.nupada} or {\skt "saambhavimudraa}, a stage
beyond Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It is indicated in Indian iconography by
half-closed eyes (noticed in images of Shankara, Buddha, Mahavirswami,

Bhagatpada Adi Shankara has recommended as follows :

Like a lamp's light becomes dim in presence of intense Light of the Sun,
the light of chidaabhaasa gradualy gets dim and gets absorbed in the Light
of the One.

When the mirror (intellect, surface consciousness) is removed, the face
seen as a reflection (chidaabhaasa) gets removed and remains as the face
(Kutastha) only.

Brahman is accessible by a sharpened intellect only.  Those with
intellect not so sharp should go through the steps of
or studying Shruti from a qualified teacher), Manana (Contemplation) and
Dhyana (Nididhyasana).

There are two kinds or levels of Samadhi - Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa.

Savikalpa Samadhi : perception of brahman, one's self and the perception
that "I know brahman" are present. (S. Samadhi)

Nirvikalpa Samadhi : after prolonged practice of S. Samadhi, a stage is
reached where the triad given above (i.e. j~neya - known, j~naata - knower
and j~naaana - knowledge) is dissolved. This is N. Samadhi.

S. Samadhi has again two types - "related to cognitions",  SD Samadhi,
{\skt d.r"syaanuviddha}  and "related to teachings", SS Samadhi,
{\skt "sabdaanuviddha}.

In SD Samadhi, there is perceptions of movements of own mind like "this
is my", in a aloof way (i.e. the Self does not get involved). The Self
knows itself to be the witness of the movements of the mind. Knowing thus
the yogi absorbs such v.rtti in his Self by contemplating like - "I am not
this body, prana or manas etc. but I am Sakshi (witness) to speech,
intellect, vision, etc.", "I am not born, actor, enjoyer, etc."

In SD Samadhi,  the yogi has perceptions like "I am pure, Self, Silent,
infinite", "I am different from both known and unknown, I am not bothered
by Maya, I am just a witness", etc. during the Samadhi.

Thus SD Samadhi is characterized by negation of negative thinking, while
SS Samadhi is characterized by affirmation of positive thinking.

Both these varieties - SD and SD - when practiced for long enough time,
leads to N. Samadhi, where even the perception that "Self is Witness to
the manifestations" gets absorbed in the Self.

For a person who has practiced N. Samadhi long enough, even the experience
that "I know brahman", "I am this manifestation" does not remain. Such a
person, becoming one with the Ocean {\skt svaanandaam.rtasindhu}, remain
calm, silent. Such persons, though alive and working in view of others
(who have not achieved) are already released in this body itself.

Adi Shankara recommends that just has a seeker goes through the practice of
internal meditation {\skt aantarasamaadhi}, he should also undertake the
external meditation {\skt baahyasamaadhi}. He should think like as :

The brahman - characterized as Sat, Chit, Ananda - is the basis
{\skt adhi.s.thaana} of all. This manifestation with names, forms and
actions is a superimposition on that. Ignorant persons say that "this world
is" by mixing up the three "characteristics" (Sat, Chit, Ananda) of brahman
with the three characteristics (names, forms and actions) of the adhyaasa.

Thus first step is to absorb the names and forms of the world in brahman,
and have a definite experience of "I am brahman".

This Earth, water, Light, Vayu, Akash (space) are not Sat (existing) and
whatever is "created" out of them is not Sat, but the One which is the
basis, brahman is Sat, and "I am that Sat." This is external SD.

The second step is to do continuously Samadhi in form of thinking
that this world manifested as names and forms is really the basis brahman
and that is ever present Sat. This is external SS.

The third step is to "think" continuously that "I am brahman without blemish,
non-dual and in from of ultimate Bliss, without form, non-destructible, for
ever free."  Thus the v.rtti are dissolved in oneness with brahman - that is
external N. Samadhi.

Bhagavatpada recommends that a seeker should practice the six types of
Samadhi - three internal (SD, SS and N) and three external (SD, SS and N).
A seeker should be careful about this practice and do not neglect it, as
just as on setting of the Sun in the West, the darkness takes over, the
Maya becomes active again and again.

For a person who has already achieved realization, laxity in this Self-
experience {\skt svaanubhava} is like death.

The Seven planes of achievement of knowledge :

1.      correct desire {\skt "subhecchaa} - "why am I ignorant?" such
        thinking with aloofness {\skt vairagya}.

2.      correct analysis {\skt vicara.naa} - correct actions resulting from
        contact with good people and study of scriptures.

3.      thining of mind {\skt tanumaanasii} - when the desires for pleasures
        accessible through senses gets thinned out due to the correct desire
        and correct analysis as above, this stage is reached.

4.      aloofness {\skt satvaapatti} - aloofness about the materials and
        pleasures of worldly objects and as a result, the intellects becomes

5.      non-contact {\skt sa.msakti} - non-contact with the self and the
        world, i.e not being affected by happenings of the world.

6.      self-absorbtion {\skt padaarthbhaavanaa} when the seeker gets fully
        absorbed in Self only, he is no more aware of internal or external
        objects (as separate from Self), with great difficulty other people
        can make him aware or respond to these objects.

7.      non-dual {\skt turyagaa} - no perceptions at all as manifestations,
        "seeing" evrything only as Self, continuously.

Adi Shankara has further given another classification of states of a person
Jagrat-Jagrat : the perceptions of ownership, "this is mine" does not remain

Jagrat-Swapna : rejecting names and forms, and perception that "all this is
        is Self only".

Jagrat-Sushupti : "I", chidaakaasa, is am nothing but Knowledge due to the
        all illuminating brahman.

Swapna-Jagrat : I am not bound by the v.rtti of chidaabhaasa, because my
        primary ignorance is destroyed.

Swapna-Swapna : the knowledge that, because ignorance is removed, the triad
        (awarer, awareness and awared) does not remain.

Swapna-Sushupti : when the v.rtti of intellect gets dissolved, becoming
        steady, in Knowledge, while doing self analysis.

Sushupti-Jagrat : the v.rtti are only to the extent of experience of Bliss.

Sushupti-Swapna : due to experience of Bliss from practice for long time,
        the v.rtti becomes one with Self.

Sushupti-Sushupti : only v.rtti (if at all) is that of Self only (it is
        really not proper to call it a v.rtti, but it is used here for
        want of better or possible description). Kailayam.

{\skt ki.m karomi kva gacchaami ki.m g.rh.naami tyajaami kim |}
{\skt yanmayaa puurita.m vi"sva.m mahaakalpaa.mbunaa yathaa ||}

What do I do? Where do I go? What do I take or leave? Just as at
Pralaya (dissolution of World) the whole world gets full with water,
the world is full with "I" - Self, I am everywhere.

WIth best wishes,
-- Himanshu

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