[Advaita-l] Yoga Vasishtha Sara - The Essence of the Yoga Vasishtha - CHAPTER II (UNREALITY OF THE WORLD)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 30 16:50:01 EDT 2022

sreenivasa murthy narayana145 at yahoo.co.in wrote:
> Dear friends,
> Sri Jayanarayanan quotes :
> 3. This worthless (lit. "burnt out") samsara
> is born of one's imagination and vanishes in
> the absence of imagination. It is certain
> that it is absolutely unsubstantial.
> Unquote.
> Are the above quoted statements in tune with the teachings of upanishads?
> Upanishads teach that Brahman / Atman is the source for the whole manifestation.
> Mind comes under the category of created. That is what Upanishads are teaching.
The very next verse clarifies that saying samsara is only an appearance on
the Truth:
4. The idea of a (live) snake in a picture
of a snake ceases to be entertained when
the truth is known. Similarly samsara
ceases to exist (when the Truth is realized),
even if it continues to appear.
> Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi says :
> 485
> M : Again people often ask how the mind is controlled. I say to them,
> “Show me the mind and then you will know what to do.” The fact is
> that the mind is only a bundle of thoughts. How can you extinguish it
> by the thought of doing so or by a desire? Your thoughts and desires
> are part and parcel of the mind. The mind is simply fattened by new
> thoughts rising up. Therefore it is foolish to attempt to kill the
> mind by means of the mind. The only way of doing it is to find its
> source and hold on to it. The mind will then fade away of its own accord.
> Yoga teaches chitta vritti nirodha (control of the activities of the mind).
> But I say Atma vichara (Self-investigation). This is the practical way.
> Chitta vritti nirodha is brought about in sleep, swoon or by starvation.
> As soon as the cause is withdrawn there is recrudescence of thoughts.
> Of what use is it then? In the state of stupor there is peace and no misery.
> But misery recurs when the stupor is removed. So nirodha(control) is useless
> and cannot be of lasting benefit.
>                   [Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi; Dialogue  485]
> I am confused by the above two excerpts. Which is the correct teaching?
> Will the scholars help me?
RM has repeatedly said that although Atma Vichara is the ultimate way
of knowing the Self, other methods can be practised as auxiliary to the
the Vichara. Here's one place where RM teaches that:
Vichara > Bhakti > Yoga > Karma-marga
So each practice has its own place for the fledgling disciples.
Talks 27.
M.: "An examination of the ephemeral nature of external phenomena
leads to vairagya. Hence enquiry (vichara) is the first and foremost
step to be taken. When vichara continues automatically, it results
in a contempt for wealth, fame, ease, pleasure, etc. The ‘I’ thought
becomes clearer for inspection. The source of ‘I’ is the Heart - the
final goal. If, however, the aspirant is not temperamentally suited
to Vichara Marga (to the introspective analytical method), he
must develop bhakti (devotion) to an ideal - may be God, Guru,
humanity in general, ethical laws, or even the idea of beauty. When
one of these takes possession of the individual, other attachments
grow weaker, i.e., dispassion (vairagya) develops.
In the absence of enquiry and devotion, the natural sedative
pranayama (breath regulation) may be tried. This is known as
Yoga Marga. If life is imperilled the whole interest centres round
the one point, the saving of life. If the breath is held the mind
cannot afford to (and does not) jump at its pets - external objects.
Thus there is rest for the mind so long as the breath is held.
The mind improves by practice and becomes
finer just as the razor’s edge is sharpened by stropping.
If an aspirant be unsuited temperamentally for the first two methods
and circumstantially (on account of age) for the third method,
he must try the Karma Marga (doing good deeds, for example,
social service)."
> With respectful namaskars,Sreenivasa Murthy

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