[Advaita-l] mental efforts

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 27 16:24:24 CDT 2008

Marko - PraNAms

Thanks for sharing your deeper feelings. I have studied Bhagavan Nisargadatta Maharaj 'I am that' and use it often as my meditation text. When I open the text, I can not go beyond a page since the contents are so contemplative that one looses oneself. I also recognize that it is not easy to see the truth as the truth, for everyone. It requires a deeper conviction that involves viveka (discriminative intellect to know the real from unreal), vairaagya (dispassion to reject that which is not permanent) and strong desire to know the truth that is underlying all, what you call self. Self Realization is to recognize the self that I am is the self in all. 
It is easy to say that 'self' is the teacher. The self is nothing but the Lord himself. But that self is not manifested since it is all pervading and eternal. To learn from the self, the mind has to have certain degree of detachment to the names and forms that we encounter in the world in order to see that self that is beyond the names and forms. In Ch. Up the teacher says – ‘aitadaatmyamidagam sarvam, tat satyam, sa aatmaa - tat tvam asi’ The essence of this entire universe of names and forms is nothing but that truth, that is the self and that you are’.  The statement ‘you are that’ is sufficient for mature students like Nisargadatta Maharaj; and even for him it took 3 years. But how many have listened to him and how many have realized – mental purity is essential before the teaching can become an integral part. For that only saadhana is required. Even for mature student, Scripture says the saadhana that is required for purification of
the mind is – srotavyaH, mantavyaH, nidhidhyaasitavyaH – intense listening to the scriptures (obviously from a competent teacher – and a competent teacher is the one who was a competent student himself), reflecting on the teaching until there are no more doubts  and finally contemplating on it until the teaching becomes an integral part and one can see clearly that the self that he is, is the self in all or the essence of all beings and non-beings.

Experience taught us that it easier for the mind to surrender to a form than a formless form. It is easier to recognize a teacher in front than the universal self that pervades everything in the universe. Yes everything in the universe can teach. In Uddhava Gita a sage says that he had 24 teachers starting from birds and bees.  What we learn from bird and bees is different from what the sage learned, even though they have been teaching the same thing for all, time immemorial.  They are all self only - but to learn from the birds and bees, one should have discriminative faculty to go beyond the birds and bees. Hence the scripture insists on a teacher who himself learned from his teacher. Otherwise why Nisargadatta Maharaj - any body could be a teacher since anybody and everybody is nothing but self itself. Please note that Experience is different from Knowledge. Everybody has advaitic experience -when they go to deep sleep state and they are one with the
self. But how many will get up as realized souls. Knowledge involves knowledge of the truth of all our experiences that involves experiencer-experienced and experiencing. Learning from the self involves recognition that self pervades all the three - experiencer-experienced and experiencing. To learn that truth the mind has to become subtle than sharp, integrative than differntiative, synthetic than analytical. For that only Krishna teaches Karma yoga, Upasana yoga and jnaana yoga - to integrate the mind and contemplative to discriminate real from unreal. 

If you can explain what you mean and how much is really involved to understand what the short blips mean that will make more sense to others who are not in tune with your mind or in tune with the self. Otherwise the simple word meaning will only lead to misunderstanding than understanding. That is the reason, we approach a teacher who has gone through this path and uses the words appropriately to take the mind to go beyond the words.

Wish you all the best.

Hari Om!

--- On Sun, 7/27/08, Marko Gregoric <markogregori at gmail.com> wrote:

> I want to be completely honest with you. Untill I thought I
> am this
> body-mind organism which puts all his efforts to be a good
> man, a good
> husband and a good father I had to put efforts to read
> sacred scriptures and
> to understand them. Then by grace it was all over.
> It is difficult to put it down in words but I can just tell
> you that this
> body-mind organism functions completely spontaneously
> together with
> everything that surrounds him and that I have no way to
> interfere with it.
> All knowledge, ignorance, efforts, senses, thoughts,
> achievements and other
> stuff pertain to the body-mind organism. None of them is
> mine . I have no
> way to tell you what I am, but I know what I am not. I did
> absolutely
> nothing to realise this. It simply happened.
> Mental effort is needed only until there is something you
> want. This
> body-mind wants something all the time so it puts efforts
> in it.
> I have  profound respect for the sacred scriptures and for
> the teachers you
> talk about and with my statements I never intended to
> offend anybody's
> belief. It is just a joy for me to discuss about these
> topics with you all
> and sometimes I write short blimps that might not be well
> understood. I am
> sorry for that.
> with love
> Marko

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