[Advaita-l] Locus of feeling in Advaita

Lakshmi Muthuswamy lakmuthu at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 23 04:35:26 CDT 2006

  I am posting some parts from the book on Chandogya Upanishad by Swami Krishnananda's of Shivananda Ahsram Rishikesh. All his works are available as ebooks and can be downloaded free of cost. hey are worth taking a look. As most of the lectures has been given either abroad or for scholars and westerners who had visted the Rishikesh Ashram. www. krishnananda.org
  This is a sample of his work.
    In the gradation of meditation, we have seen that the mind is superior to the function of speech, of which all the names are manifestations, because from the mind proceed all psychological activities and everything that is expressed through speech. But, behind the mind also, there are forces which are more concentrated in their nature, and by an analysis of the activities of the mind, we will realise that this is the activity of specified thought. There is a creative will operating as the directive intelligence. This 'will' is termed sankalpa in Sanskrit. A determination or will in the mind precedes action. So, 'will' is prior to the general thinking faculty of the mind.
   Samkalpo vava manaso bhuyan-yada vai samkalpayate' atha manasyati, atha vacam-irayati tam u namnirayati, namni mantra ekam bhavanti, mantresu karmani. 
          Will, which is creative in its character, is superior to ordinary thought. When there is a will or a determined activity of the psychological organ, there arises the general thinking of the mind. Then follows the expression thereof by means of speech. Everything that we utter or recite or chant is a form of speech. And the quintessence of speech in its most sacred form is the body of mantras in the Vedas. The mantras contained in the texts called Brahmanas in the Vedas direct men to specified actions by means of injunctions. The mantras are like fire, great forces of directive intelligence. The mantras imply within themselves indications as to how they are to be utilised in a particular performance. So, actions which lead to specific results and the consequent experiences in life are all rooted in the hints given in the mantras themselves, which are specified modes of the expression of speech, which again is rooted in the mind, which in its turn is directed by the
 will, the creative intelligence.
         So, this is the gradation given so far. Everything is rooted in the will, ultimately. Will is a general term which comprehends within itself any kind of specified intention, whether it works internally in the individual's personality or externally in nature. Here, the Upanishad tells us that everything has a specific intention behind its very existence itself. Even the five elements - space, air, fire, water and earth - are but specified forms of an ultimate creative will. Their manifestations in different intensities and the differences in the intensities of their manifestations are due to the differentiating character which is inherent in each of these elements. That differentiating character is the will hidden behind them. The will to be, the will to live, the will to exist, the will to maintain individuality is the power which distinguishes one element from the other. Otherwise, there would be a merger of the elements and one element would not be different from
 the other.
   Tani ha va etani samkalpaikayanani samkalpatmakani samkalpe pratisthitani, samaklpatam dyava-prthivi, samakalpetam vayu-scakasam ca, samkalpantapas-ca tejas-ca, tesam samklptyai varsam samkalpate, varsasya samklptya annam samkalpate annasya samklptyai pranah samkalpante sprananam samklptyai mantrah samkalpante, mantramam samklptyai karmani samkalpante, karmanam samklptyai lokah samkalpate, lokasya samklptyai sarvam samkcalpate, sa esa samkalpah samkalpam upassveti. 
         There is nothing in this world, in all creation, which is free from a self-assertive will, a self-determining power. So, 'will' is a universal power. Anything that asserts itself in a particular manner is called 'will'. This self-assertive nature is found in every atom of creation, in the heaven and the earth, in the wind and the space, in fire and water and in their further modifications, in our own bodies such as the working of the pranas and their further motivations like the recitation of mantras which, as has been pointed out already, become responsible for the actions that we do and the results that follow therefrom. The whole world, therefore, is rooted in will. The world is will in generality as well as in particularity. In certain forms of generality, the will becomes a content of our awareness. When it becomes too general, as in the will of God, for instance, it is not the content of our mind. However, the will is behind everything. This is the point that
 is driven home here. Therefore, Narada is instructed that higher than the mind, there is the will, and that he should direct his meditation or contemplation to the extent to which his will can reach.
   Sa yah samkalpam brahmety-upaste klptan-vai sa lokandhruvan dhruvah pratisthitan pratiisthito'vyathamanan-avyathamano abhisidhyati, yavat-samkalpasya gatam tatrasya yatha kamacaro bhavati, yah samkalpam brahmety-upaste, asti, bhagavah, samkalpad-bhuya iti, samkalpad-vava bhuyo'stiti, tanme, bhagavan, bravitviti. 
         Will, therefore, has to be contemplated upon as absolute in its operation. One who contemplates in this manner or practises meditation in this way attains to regions which are capable of access by the extent of the will applied in these forms of meditation. One becomes fixed or rooted in one's own will and that which one reaches or experiences by means of this meditation also becomes equally firm or firmly fixed. These experiences will no more be transient, as the other things of the world are. The person who is rooted in such a will is not distressed in any manner whatsoever. The regions that he reaches also are free from any kind of distress. To the extent of the reach of his will, he shall achieve success in this world, and his success, therefore, depends upon the intensity of his will, the comprehensiveness of his will, and the clarity of his will. To that extent he will be free, he will be successful, and he will enjoy life - yatha kamacaro bhavati. This is
 the result that follows from meditation on the content of will, to the extent it can reach.
          Narada queries, "Is this all, or is there something more than will?" "Yes, surely there is something more than will," says Sanatkumara. "But what is that? May I listen to it, great master? Please instruct me further, beyond will," requests Narada.
  om namo narayanaya
  Lakshmi Muthuswamy

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