[Advaita-l] Topic for Discussion: What is Nirvikalpaka Samaadhi?
kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 9 21:12:22 CST 2016
Sunilji - PraNAms
Chitta - word was used in many ways - in Vedanta - it is used in the sense of subtle body - that includes four components, mind, intellect, memory and ahankaara. It is used only to designate the memory part also. Sometime mind is used to designate all the four. All are thought process and names change depending on the function. Tatva bodha or Vivikachudmani describes these - in nirvaana shatakam - mano buddhi ahankaara chittaani naaham...
All thoughts are inert. Hence inert thing cannot be a jeeva. Being a subtle material, the pure sat chit ananda can get reflected by the subtle body- called chidaabaasa and by way of reflection of consciousness the subtle body also becomes conscious entity just as moon by reflection of sunlight becomes a luminous body. Reflection of consciousness is expression of life itself and jiiva notion arises due to not knowing that I am is the original consciousness.
Chitta vRitti - when we add vRitti - now we are referring to not just memory but to the total mind - as the absence of vRitti - VRitti as discussed in the article - idam vRitti and aham vRtti, etc for external perceptions. For internal perceptions such as happy thought or angry or emotional thoughts there is no indriya input.
On Wed, 3/9/16, Sunil Bhattacharjya via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Topic for Discussion: What is Nirvikalpaka Samaadhi?
To: "adviata-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>, "kuntimaddi sadananda" <kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com>
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:18 PM
To my understanding the "Chitta" is "Mind", "Ego" and
"Intellec"t together along with the "Impressions or Memory".
and some puranas have called the Chitta itself as the Jeeva.
The aim of "Cittavritti-nirodha" in yoga is to control the
fluctuations in the Chitta and that finally comes to the
thought-control in the mind. When the mind is still and
there are no thought appearing in the mind, that helps
the Chittaa to disconnect from the Prakrti.or Maya and one
becomes "Jivanmukta". Eventually with the leaving of the
five Koshas, the "Videhamukti" is achieved and there is
one-ness with Brahman.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya
On Wed, 3/9/16, kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Subject: [Advaita-l] Topic for Discussion: What is
To: "adviata-l" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 7:57 AM
PraNAms to all
I posed this question in both lists. There were few who
discussed on this topic. I thank all of them who
participated in the discussion. I am presenting below my
understanding for whatever it is worth.
I am providing below my understanding. Some of these
are discussed exhaustively by Shree Vidyaranya swami in
Panchadashi – which we are doing now. We are doing now
10th Chapter. Just of info- The talks on the Chapters
covered so far are available on Yu-tube under Acharya
Is Self-realization involves objectless-awareness as some
The objectless awareness is nothing but pure sat chit
ananda. It is always there - with the objects at the very
substantive and without the objects as Brahman. It is
paaramaarthika satyam. na vaaak gacchati na manaH - no
speech can go there nor the mind - says the scripture.
vaacho nivartante apraapya manasaa saha. For pure Brahman
there is no need of self-realization too, as it is one
without a second. Jnaanam and ajnaanam etc., are all at
vyaavhaarika level only. Hence self-realization cannot be
object-less awareness, and one cannot reach there and one
need not reach there too, since it is ever present and
Self-realization is by the mind only - Mind has to
or re-cognize that the existence that supports the mind or
the consciousness that enlivens the mind is due to the
self that I am; since I say I am existent-conscious entity
– I am, in fact, a self-existent and self-conscious
Thoughts or vRittis that arise my mind are also
my awareness. As every thought (either due to external
perceptions or internal perceptions) arises in the mind -
- this is a pot-, or - this is chair, simultaneously
or spontaneously subject thought - I am - as knower arises
in the mind- Bhagavan Ramana calls this as aham vRitti
centered on the knower, in contrast to idam vRitti
Aham vRitit is not objective thought but the - knower
thought, as -I know this is a pot - I know this is a
etc. Thus we have object-thought of idam vRitti as in,
is a pot or this is a chair, etc.; and along with this,
spontaneously a knower thought - I am the knower that this
is a pot, etc ., arises. This aham vRitti is not objective
thought, but subject-or knower vRitti, which also owns the
knowledge as in - I am the knower of this thought.
Shifting the mind from the object thought to the subject
vRitti is object-less awareness. It is not elimination of
the thoughts but shifting the mind to the knowing
because of which every objective thought is known. I am
neither known or unknown but the very knowing principle of
both known and unknown says kena up. To recognize and
I am that - without the objective thoughts or more
in spite of objective thoughts - requires a very
discriminative mind or mind with viveka. While
remaining within the upaadhi recognizing I am is the pure
existence-consciousness that enlivens the upAdhi- it is
called upahita chaitanya. To be able to shift my mind
without getting lost in the objective thoughts that floods
the mind, meditation on the single thought – as in japa-
would help or even the meditation on the thought – aham
brahmaasmi – once one has understood the truth –
sayam, jagan mithyaa and aham brahma eva na aparaH though
Vedanta shravana and manana.
A similar analogy is looking at the moon (which is
the presiding deity of the mind) and the moonlight and
that I am actually seeing the sunlight that is illumining
the moon. I cannot really see the sunlight directly. I
the moon to RECOGNIZE the presence of sunlight. What I see
is only moon-light. I have to use viveka to shift my
attention from the moon light to that because of moon has
the light. There is sunlight outside the moon too but
I cannot recognize that since there is no object to
that light. Hence I need the reflecting object and from
reflection recognize cognitively the original light.
Similarly I cannot see the objectless awareness but I have
to recognize I am in the every objective awareness - Hence
Kenopanishad says- pratibhoda viditam matam - It is
in every thought or experience as the knower or
which has to be conscious-existent entity since
or unconscious entity cannot have any experience.
The thought-less mind happens normally in deep-sleep
state. In the deep-sleep state there is akhanda
ajnaana vRitti or constant unbroken thought of ignorance
subject-object duality, as the mind is folded. Deep sleep
state is not meditation since mind is folded and cannot
abide in the knowledge of aham brahmaasmi.
Patanjali yoga talks about the chitta vRitti nirodha –
shutting of all the thoughts – essentially a thoughtless
mind or empty mind. As Swami Dayanandaji puts it – an
ignorant thought full mind has now become ignorant
thoughtless mind. The ignorance remains. When the mind
awakens with thoughts you are back to square one and
Patanjali yoga advocates dvaita only and not advaita.
no knowledge of advaita occurs in that thoughtless mind.
Nirvikalpaka samaadhi is described for the one who has
studied Vedanta under a sampradaaya teacher and the mind
grasped truth – aham brahmaasmi. Hence it is not a
substitute for the knowledge since muula avidya or
of the self can only by knowledge of the self – via
Vedanta pramaana. Even after gaining the knowledge, if
a mind is not able to abide in that knowledge of aham
brahmaasmi due to remnant raaga-dweshaas, one can meditate
on the knowledge – aham brahmaasmi as the single thought
without any other thoughts in the mind. That is
samAdhI with the knowledge of aham brahamsmi single
Thus one slowly eliminates the remnant raaga dweshas and
such a person even if he comes out of that meditation, the
knowledge remains with him – now even with the thoughts
– since he has understood that He is pure sat chit
and presence or absence of thoughts do not affect him
they are mithyaa.
Hence what is needed is a) clear understanding of the
– brahma satyam, jagan mithyaa and aham brahmaasmi –
that involves a) paroksha jnaanam of the jagat and Iswara
and b) aparoksha jnanam via mahaavaakya vichaara. –
are no short cuts here. Nidhidhyaasana is required for
madhyama adhikaari who is not able to abide in the
– aham brahmaasmi. For him, constant enquiry is the best
approach, so that the mind does not get entangled with the
day to day life in vyavahaara, which he cannot but do, as
long as BMI is there. If he cannot enquire or do vichaara
– then one can do meditation on aham brahmaasmi with the
background knowledge via mahaavaakyaas.
If absence of thoughts is required for self-realization,
then we are giving more reality to the thoughts or as much
reality to the thoughts as the self. Ontologically Self or
Brahman is of higher order of reality and thoughts cannot
replace Brahman or the self for me to remove the thoughts
recognize the self. What is required is detachment of the
mind from the thoughts (as they involve ahankaara and
mamakaara due to raaga and dweshas – I-ness and my-ness
due to likes and dislikes) so that mind can shift its
attention to aham vRitti from idam vRitti.
Some can even experience a thought-less state or
nirvikalpaka samAdhI. However without Vedanta knowledge
an experience is neither needed nor necessary. What is
required is clear understand of the truth – Brahma
jagan mithyaa, aham brahmaasmi – knowledge – though
Vedanta mahaavaakya vichaara, via shravana and manana.
Meditation or even nirvikalpaka samAdhI is not a pramaana
means of knowledge – one can have experience but such an
experience is not needed for self-knowledge. Meditation or
continuous enquiry is required for the mind to abide in
knowledge gained via shravana and manana – that is
listening to the sampradaaya teacher on Vedanta for
prolonged length of time until the knowledge is crytal
and doubt-free. Even after gaining the knowledge, one is
unable abide in the knowledge for them nidhidhyaasana
including nirvikalpaka samadhi is recommended. The later
ones are not alternatives to Vedanta shravana and manana.
Hope this helps.
I want to thank all those who presented their view.
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