"There cannot be true Awakening [True Understanding] to the Witness-Position [Consciousness Itself] without at least maturity at the developmental stage(s) ... of the Way of the Heart. The vehicle must be purified, the submission must be made. It is not a matter of experiences only. The real practice must be done.
The Sign of My Brightness - 1993
The Torque of Attention
Note to Reader
This study is not designed to be read as if it were a regular essay or talk - it is a STUDY SHEET, or '"sutdy essay". The following study essay was developed by Beezone - from notes taken in response to the first section of a talk entitled The Torque of Attention by Adi Da Samraj (The Great Advitayana Buddhist Avataric Spiritual Master) given at the Manner of Flowers (Adi Da's residence) on January 13, 1996. To these notes Beezone, added more material, including direct-quoted material as well as paraphasing, to create the following study essay.
The original talk, The Torque of Attention refers to the advanced spiritual aspects of "sadhana" which Adi Da terms The Perfect Practice. The Perfect Practice is NOT a beginning practice, it is a culmination of preliminary practices. For those who would like to understand the differences in what beginning practices are and those of the "advanced" (or Perfect) Practice is the following from Adidam will suffice:
Witness / Witness-Consciousness / Witness-Position: When Consciousness is free of identification with the body-mind, it stands in its natural Position as the conscious Witness of all that arises to and in and as the body-mind.
For more about the Perfect Practice, see below.
NOTE: Text in italics indicates direction quotation, text in regular type indicates notes and adaptations by Beezone.
The "topic" of the original talk is attention and consciousness. Attention, as Adi Da describes it, is the root of mind and also the root of "ego". As he states in the beginning of Water and Narcissus, Narcissus is the mind.
Mind as it's commonly understood is associated with the brain and thinking. In this study essay and Adi Da's talk, mind, when understood in it's deeper sense, has its root in the heart and is reflected in the brain. So, you could say the mind is the moon and the heart is the sun.
From the Heart the body sprouts. The energy, life and consciousness, the only prime elements of the body and likewise of the universe, stream out of the Heart by the first channel, or nadi, straight to the head (Amrita Nadi) from which they run down to all parts of the body through various nadis. ...because all the nadis from the body end in the sahasrara, the Kundalini yogi, the Hatha yogi, and in fact all yogis who practise pranayama take the sahasrara to be the terminal point of their sadhana; whereas the Dhyana yogi, also called Raja yogi, Vichara yogi, etc. adds one more state for the complete and absolute Emancipation. The last stage runs through the Para nadi, also called Amrita nadi, because, being of the purest sattva, it is extremely blissful and leads straight to the Heart."
Sidney Cohen - Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
And Adi Da states:
The association of consciousness with the mind is a hindrance to the attainment of realization. As the seat of the ego, the individual mind is conscious of being isolated. From it arises the limited individuality, which at once feeds and is fed by the illusion of duality, time, and change. To know the self as it is, consciousness has to be freed from the limitation of the individual mind. In other words, the individual mind has to disappear while consciousness is retained. The quality and mood of consciousness itself, that precedes the mind and the Heart, is the root of the mind, the source of the mind.
Sadhana is about the transcendence of the waking state (brain based conceptual and perceptual mind) itself and also the dreaming state (brain based subtle dream/astral mind) and also the sleep state (unconscious and absorbed Samadhi(s), Realization is not in the waking state or the dreaming state or the sleeping state. But when you seek what you might call "Realization", you are, it appears, looking for something to happen in the waking state. You want to live forever, or in some exalted condition for however long. You want all kinds of psycho-physical experiences which you might think of as Realization or Happiness, and so on. But they are conditions of the waking state. In absolute terms they are not attainable. In any case, they have nothing to do with the Realization of Truth.
Adi Da Samraj
In the Way of Adidam, the stable Realization of the Witness-Position is associated with, or demonstrated via, the effortless surrender (or relaxation) of all the forms of seeking and all the motives of attention that characterize the first five stages of life.....however, identification with the Witness-Position is not final (or Most Perfect) Realization of the Divine Self. Rather, it is the first of the three stages of the "Perfect Practice".
"The "Perfect Practice" is the practice to which I am Calling you. I am not calling you to a developmental strategy, the purpose of which is to establish and magnify evolutionary signs, or conditional signs, of a developmental kind. I am Calling you to self-understanding and self-transcendence in the context of all of the developmental stages of life. Therefore, I am Calling you to Awaken to the capability that is the "Perfect Practice". Happiness Itself, not conditional existence, is the Realization of Inherent Being."
Adi Da Samraj
This I hope gives you a little bit of context for the notes and excerpts of this study essay complied by Beezone that follows.
The Torque of Attention - Notes and Editing by Beezone
Mechanics of Attention - The Notes
Indulgence = motion of attention = motions of mind = ego = exploits = search.
Attention is a mechanism, an operating function of mind.
One must understand the many illusions of the conditional worlds - you are easily stimulated by all kinds of means, objective and subjective.
Stimulated, by what? Your discomfort.
You must be one pointed, singularly directed in your attention - immovable. Not distracted by entanglements, adventures, allures, seduction, fascinations and overall, the SEARCH.
Adi Da Samraj
You must understand the Great End and not get lost in the ego search. You must understand the root of attention - ego, which is distraction from Source-Witness-Position.
FIRST (and last)
You must have a sense of The Source, FIRST, because it is Prior to movement of mind, attention, and desire.
Thoughts and actions are the medium of DESIRE.
Traditions try to control attention, mind - through focus, meditation and other techniques of concentration. Controlling the motion of attention from Source by controlling one of the leading faculties, mind, breath, feeling, body.
The Way of the Heart - Forget, weakens contents, weakens motion. Forget content, feel beyond to what is Prior - Consciousness. Profound Absorptive Contemplation (SAMADHI, EQUANIMITY) Relaxes and Purifies.
New Adjustment - New Wholeness. Do not make use of binding qualities.
So these are all necessary signs that are, in profound moments, shown even from the beginning. But then it becomes more and more constant, and a sign of you totally, in every moment under all circumstances. And when that becomes the case, then you are on the borderline between earlier practice and the "Perfect Practice", or preliminary practice and the "Perfect Practice". Then the disposition of the Witness can be awakened steadily, and the "Perfect Practice" becomes possible.
Adi Da Samraj
*For clarification of what and who Adi Da refers to when he uses the object personal pronoun Me, see: Recognition - a study by Beezone
Only in your emptiness, your disease, that one seeks to control, indulge, exploit the motion of attention.
Thought, Mind, Brain, and Attention - Beezone Study
Why the Process?
Because you are already the fullness. You sense that. You intuit that. There is a glimpse. The egg cracks.
There are degrees of purification and relaxation of binding tendencies.
Sadhana uses discrimination and discipline. Using great concentration. Freedom of energy and attention. Relaxation and equanimity.
You see how the disentanglement process works.
This is the origin of the process.
There is no simple origin to the entire process. It is not a specific origination understandable by recourse to the viewpoint of time and space. It is simply in the nature of Reality to formalize and witness its own possibility without creating divisions in itself
Adi Da Samraj
THIS IS A HEARING MATTER
see more on Hearing in the advance stages
Sixth and Seventh Stage Understanding
Sometimes sixth stage looks [sounds] like Seventh Stage and sometime Seventh Stage looks and sounds like sixth stage. Realization is what makes the difference.
The last (first) Space
Everything is attention when found in the Source Position.
Free of Objects.
Transcendence: The ability to feel beyond it.
Part III - Torque of Attention
The Divine has no Purpose but Itself
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So what are we "considering"?
DEVOTEE: Beloved, where You utter that phase...and You take us through this process - You have the phrase "You are in Me"—everything so mysteriously turns inside out. I don't really know how to explain it, but the sense of being in something conditional dissolves. And it is a Samadhi.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. Tcha. It is the basic intention behind fourth stage devotional practices, to achieve a Samadhi, or whatever it may be called, a feeling state, a sublimed state, of being contained by the Deity or the whatever the Ultimate is called - through the thread of self-giving devotion, exploiting the emotional faculty therefore.
But if you do so, attention goes with it. You are bodily completely involved in it, the breath follows, you see. So it is an effort to achieve a state of Contemplative absorption in the Real, or the Divine conceived as being All-Pervading. If you look in the Bhagavad Gita, something of this is suggested. There are numerous suggestions actually. But that is what is suggested in the Cosmic Vision that Krishna is said to have given Arjuna. And He tells him afterwards always to remember Him. That is a prescription for the commonly proposed Bhakti Yoga.
So by being immersed in, felt to be contained in, even breathed by, Me—you are calling it Samadhi — you are suggesting a fulfillment of sadhana of that kind in this moment. But it is the fourth stage fulfillment of the intention of sadhana. And it potentially could magnify to the point of fifth stage as well. But it is not the sixth or seventh. You are enjoying the fact of being in Me, arising in Me. In other words you are continuing to assume the position of the body-mind, but nonetheless given up and absorbed. Whereas the Fully Awakened Realization that You are in Me is the Realization in My Place, in the Consciousness Position, Transcending the body-mind, because you see it arising merely in the Transcendental Self - which is oblivious to it, Standing Prior to it.
And then there is the even fuller seventh stage Awakening. Finding all in Me, but without "difference", not separate from Me yourself. So if everything's arising in Me, you see the important part is the Me part. [Devotees murmur in understanding.]
If you are arising in Me, then you should see it arising in Me, in My Position. So that is the ultimate fulfillment of what at first is this absorptive meditation you are describing.
You can only feel Me Pervading All if you presume a position less than All.
DEVOTEE: It is more of a sense of what follow,s that there is only You, and there is a. . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: And that is a shift in awareness, shift in Consciousness—from the position of attention, or the body-mind position.
To Realize I am All, you have to stop being something. You have to be in My Position. Then the appearance of arising is seen in That, As That - in that sense Pervading it, you see - because it is the only Consciousness and Light that there is.
Once the "Perfect Practice" begins, you are basically just going beyond the insult that is the body-mind, and Cosmic existence. It still is, for the individual in the "Perfect Practice" in the sixth stage, the sense of association with the body-mind in the context of daily arising.
So there is that Sublimity Transcending all, and yet coincidentally there is this apparent association. There is no "motto"—in order to be bound by it or to it—but it is arising. Even the association, then, is not wanted, not required. So it is not only that egoity falls away, bondage falls away—all of it falls away in due course, Outshined.
So part of that "Perfect Practice" is this deep spontaneous relinquishment of the body-mind, or the association with it, or the picturing of it, or the noticing of it. It is not strategically pushed away in the seventh stage of life, but it is Recognized and felt beyond, Shined beyond. So the Perfect Demonstration, the "Perfect Practice" Demonstration is this utter going beyond conditional existence.
That process is displayed in the three stages of the "Perfect Practice", as I have described it to you. But you see, ultimately, it is about the utter Outshining, not merely the relaxing of self-contraction and so on - it's the Outshining of everything. So part of that Demonstration is the showing, then, of the release from the insult of the body-mind, release from its implications. Ultimately, release utterly from association. But not by dissociation, rather by Recognition and Outshining. Never retiring from the "Bright" Position.
So psycho-physical existence, conditional existence, is inherently a disturbance, suffering. To Recognize what it truly is ultimately, is not to, otherwise in conditional terms, make it something it isn't. It is a limitation being Outshined, not manufactured or embraced.
So, some of it you could say is like getting used to being mindless and bodiless—getting into what that is all about, getting hip to it. You know? It is not like being the body and being frightened by the prospect. It is to be in that Very Condition. It is your Condition.
DEVOTEE: Yes, wonderful Lord, wonderful. Thank You.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: So in that case it is all Happiness. Happy to relinquish, Happy to Outshine, Happy to be unburdened by this illusion of the necessity of conditional existence.
The common religions keep praising it, blessing it absolutely by saying "God created it, God intends this, this is what He intends, do this." But the whole system of thinking about it all is structured by certain presumptions, ultimately by egoity and the non-Recognition of conditional existence for what it is.
Isn't it true that no matter what you pick up here, you don't know what it is? In other words, from the point of view of the body-mind, you don't know what this leaf is. Not Is. You see, you can break down its parts, see its gross associations, you can see what it is about. But you are never in that position to know what it Is, because you are not in the "Is" Position.
But that is the secret then. You can Realize what everything Is. You just can not comprehend it from the point of view of the body-mind. You don not have a clue there, because you are not in the Is Position, as I said. But you can Realize That Position. And therefore, in the seventh stage Awakening, it is Inherently Obvious what Everything Is. It is the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Divine Self-Condition, All-"Bright" Love-Bliss.
What happened to the necessity of the world then? And the need to call God "Creator" and justify your enmeshment in conditional existence? Because your are so afraid, you have to believe that it is a necessity with a Divine Purpose in that thing itself? As if some developmental ultimacy was the Divine Purpose. The Divine has no purpose but Itself.
DEVOTEE: Beloved, during this last "consideration", You completely relieved me of the fear of death.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm. Tcha.
DEVOTEE: It is amazing to me, how we can be here with You right now. It is like. . .
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Mm-hm. But that is the way it is.
DEVOTEE: That is the way it is.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Always.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: It says in the old books, "A little bit of the dharma casts out great fear." It also says, "Wherever there is an other, fear arises." So you can, in "consideration" with Me, in Contemplation of Me, become Deep, so that you are beyond your fear. In doing so, you have to go beyond your separateness, you have to go beyond otherness, relatedness, separation. You have to enter into Communion with Me, forgetting all. As long as there is the feeling of otherness or separation or relatedness, there is fear. So to transcend fear is to transcend that feeling of separation, otherness, relatedness. As long as that is there, there is a fundamental fear, immense vulnerability, full of negative possibility.
So that's why you are experiencing what you're experiencing. And the sadhana eventually becomes Perfect, so that you are established as That Which is Itself Inherently fearless. Whereas at the moment, absorbed in Me, you're still associated with the body-mind, attention, all kinds of potential, experiencing of separateness and otherness. So you're submitting that into Communion with Me to the point of getting deep, going beyond fear. But the process must become Perfect, must be persisted in, until you are established in My Position, the Domain of the Witness, wherein there is no fear.
And then you must Stand in that Position, given up in it utterly, magnifying that fearlessness, that Love-Bliss, "Bright". So that even the appearance of the body-mind is Outshined. You must magnify the disposition you find in the Witness, so that it "Brightens" everything. You must allow it to be So. And not dissociate from it or suppress it. [pause]
Well, what else is there?
Noticing attention, sensation, the feeling of separateness - egoity, with equanimity.
This sensation is understood to be an apparition.
There is then a shift from being identified with attention to focusing on attention itself.
This is not a study or something learned - it is something that happens, literally.
Anything that arises - There is Consciousness in which it is appearing - All arises in Consciousness and that is where you are. That is what you are.
You have yet to realize altogether what it is - Consciosness - It is clear that That is the position of every moment of experience.
Every moment becomes meditation, but you are still "pressing your face into the glass, looking into a house, never fully, profoundly identified with Consciousness."
Realizing the Witness is just the beginning (of The Perfect Practice).
This is when you drop back, not attached through the mechanism of attention.
Then enter deeply into the Well, sinto the depth.
That is the nature of the Spiritual Process - The Perfect Practice
Standing in My Place
Prior to the body-mind
From the center - at the center - with discrimination, self-understanding.
You can loose the thread, you can be seduced by entanglements and associations.
You must always be conforming things to the Great Process.
Sadhana in the third and fourth stage of life, it is all the waking state disposition. The point of view is always from the body-mind point of view.
Waking State Yoga - body based
Higher stages - the subtle reality is presumed and known, the gross is incidental, peripheral to the subtle.
Subtle State Yoga - mind - root of subtle
Transcendental Yoga - Causal State
Attention with Objects - Sleep State
At the root of sleep
The Enlightenment of The Whole Body - Chapter 6 - "The Structure of Illusion and Enlightenment"
Relinquishment of attention towards objects- attention comes to rest (attention=contraction)
Gross Meditation - mind meditation must achieve depth, must achieve rest of mind and body.
Depth of Objectlessness
Depth of mind body Consciousness must be subtle, minor peripheral awareness of body.
More and more the practice becomes extraordinarily concentrated, not in peripheral matters of experiencing and so on, but in the root itself. And then the "Perfect Practice" can begin. So, once sufficient purification has occurred that there is this extraordinary concentration, then suddenly My Instruction about the Witness becomes inherently Obvious and is thereafter not something that can be forgotten.
Adi Da Samraj
Its not a something that can be forgotten. Its not merely a thought. Its a noticing that you never forget. Its a noticing even beyond the mind.
If attention is simply moving about, you are always noticing its objects. But if that fitfulness relaxes, you can be sensitive to attention itself, because it is steady and doesn't just jump to objects. It has a certain kind of equanimity itself, such that attention can be comprehended. And it is the last thing in the space - everything is epitomized as attention. When it is found in the Self-Condition, in Consciousness Itself, it is something like the Hearing matter. You are in the position of that first contraction. In fact it is the hearing matter, but exercised at this later stage. It is like the original hearing understanding, because you suddenly grasp it - the self-contraction and the ability to feel beyond it.
So in this noticing and equanimity, this noticing of attention is the first stroke, really. It is the feeling of relatedness, the feeling of separateness. It is the root-disturbance, but you are feeling beyond it. But yet you notice this is a sensation in the midst of Consciousness Itself, an apparition there. Suddenly you become aware of the Self-Field in Which that primary thought or gesture is arising. So this shift, in other words, is from being identified with attention, by focusing on it, to being identified with the Consciousness in Which its appearing.
So that is the basic event in which there is a transition to the Witness-Position.
Adi Da Samraj
Subtle to Causal
Only attention itself - Objectlessness - Amrita Nadi current - formless dimension - only attention is left in its most subtle form - in the field of Consciousness.
Last noticing of the self-contraction.
Finally move beyond Objectlessness into Fullness.
There is no idea—or any philosophy, or any religious doctrine, or any verbal definition at all—that is Consciousness itself. Indeed, no ideas, or philosophies, or religious doctrines, or verbal definitions of any kind are relevant—or have any application, or any causative relationship, or even any necessity at all—in, or as a means to Self-Apprehend, Consciousness itself. The inherent purity—or objectlessness, or relationlessness, or undifferentiated Self-Characteristic—of Consciousness (itself) is absolute and perfect. I am only the intrinsically Self-Evident Transcendental Self-Identity—Which is Consciousness itself.
Adi Da Samraj
First/last noticing of self-contraction
You DO NOTHING - in the first/last noticing moment - to attention itself.
Instead of identification with attention you are witnessing it. Attention does not go away, your relationship to attention itself is transformed and you are in the transcendental position of Consciousness Itself. Suddenly you realize it is you and you are prior to it.
You do nothing to attention itself - it is a spontaneous transition from the knot of attention to consciousness itself.
You mature in meditation to the point of fundamental equanimity, where meditation has depth. It is not just trying to relax. It goes beyond that. It becomes a swoon (Samadhi) of self-surrender, self-forgetting, lost, without self-referral, deep, objectless.
All the while attentive - attention is still there, as "you" are doing this practice of surrender and forgetting and allowing the process to unfold on it's own. So it is when you're matured enough such that your meditation can have that quality that it is possible to wake up prior to attention, prior to the sleep state.
But if your practice is not mature you stay in a superficial position, just of physical life and your motivation in it. Just physically relaxing, mentally relaxing, that is the depth of your meditation. You stay in the waking state position.
You may locate the Prior Witness Position momentarily but your are not established there.
It is only when your meditation becomes deep, objectless that you can notice and be established in the Witness position. This requires much sadhana. There is much to be purified.
Attention must be rested in its native position, prior to movement, prior to or from within.
You can't put your attention, or more correctly, you can't be attention and do anything. You can't exercise attention and be established in the native position, you can't even be it.
The position of attention is not the Witness position. The observer is attention. The observer can feel something like the Witness because it stands prior to object. The observer has dropped back within the attention position. The self-contraction (observer) limiting what it is identified with (objects/non-objects) and also identified with basic intelligence and discriminative awareness. This is the subtle error.
The Witness is not attentive. The Witness stands prior to the body-mind, prior to attention. Prior to the ACT of attention or the identification with attention.
The Witness is:
Prior to all conditional existence
(experience and knowledge)
It's not even a position.
It's a DOMAIN
Notice the feeling of relatedness in the midst of Consciousness. You must go through and beyond.
The second state of the Perfect Practice is to allow, relax into, so to speak, that which is otherwise Witnessing or Standing by. So that is the Contemplation of Consciousness, the entering into the Well, oblivious to objects but Profoundly conscious of the Well itself, the Field of Being.
It is inherently deathless, inherently obvious.
Radiant Without Center
My Shakti does not move there, in the "Center" - at the Source Position. It is infinitely radiant WITHOUT MOTION. It is in the body-mind that it moves and takes on forms and movements.
My Hridaya-Shakti, My Blessing, The True source of Shaktipat brings devotees to Me, to The Heart Domain, The Bright.
My Transmission DOES NOT work to bring evolutionary effects, but Shines from the Right Side and attracts energy and attention to be found at the point of Origin.
The other work (evolutionary) is not the work of My Spiritual Transmission. There may be signs of it, but it is not the Source Work of my Shakti, The True Work, The Completed Work.
Attraction to the Source WITH being fixed in the knots is where the Sadhana is.
As you go through the stages of life you will have all sorts of experiences but they are not the point. Experience is NOT the point. You are suppose to be armed (equipped) with HEARING.
You are supposed to be equipped with self-understanding.
You will go though:
5th Stage - Samadhi - Dream State - Astral, Subtle, Mid-Brain, Third Eye.
6th Stage - Samadhi - Sleep State - Causal - Formless - Consciousness.
So the "Perfect Practice", you see, or the practices associated with the sixth stage of life, are exercised toward or from the position associated with sleep and the transcendence of it - the domain of objectlessness, all objects one way or another relinquished as not it, or merely conditional, and so on. So rather than focusing on the body and the mind, there's a focus on the Domain of Consciousness, the Domain of the Witness, and so on - the Condition Prior to the body-mind.
Adi Da Samraj
You must go through it, yes, but BYPASS it - bypass it AS A PURPOSE, a strategy.
Whatever has to occur by way of purification will occur - on it's own.
The Knee of Listening - Adi Da Samraj
You can be distracted from IT (Native Souce - Absolute - Consciousness), but you can't be anything else, it is impossible to be anything else.
This is not to be equated with "I don't give a shit" attitude or "I'm already enlightened" understanding - it is a profound understanding, a profound conviction of your self-contracted and also enlightened state.
Attention and Conditionality
Attention arises in twos - pairs. Similar to mitosis.
Cell growth is a physical representation of the nature of attention.
Everything comes out of that inexplicable explosion.
That is why there are always Pairs, two's, ad infinitum.
There has to be two for there to be anything.
Torque generates all possibility.
You can control attention, but you can't get beyond the KNOT, the torque inherent in attention, the feeling of attention. You must find what is PRIOR to attention - which is Consciousness.
Seventh State Realization is NOT about being Consciousness and presuming all this stuff happening out there is the energy of Consciousness. Energy is NOT separate from Consciousness.
"PRIMARY DUALISM" - Fifth and Sixth Stage Point of View
According to this point of view, the Totality of Existence is an apparent combination of only two Primary Realities. These Primary Realities are traditionally called "Purusha" (or Non-conditional, and As Such, Inherently Perfect and Perfectly Necessarily Subjective, "Being" and "Consciousness") - [Siva]
...and "Prakriti" (or "Objective Energy", Which, modified, appears as the body, the mind, all objects, and all others). [SHAKTI]
From this point of view, this "Primary Duality" must, first of all, be understood (by observation and intuition) to be actually (or Really So). Then Purusha (or the conscious self, which, according to the characteristic, and paradoxical, traditional point of view of "Primary Dualism", Is Ultimately, a Perfectly Subjective, or Non-conditional, but also specific, independent, and individual, Self) must separate itself (basically, by willful ascetical discipline) from Prakriti.
Tension in the pairs, relatedness associated with the feeling of separation.
Yin/Yang arises from the TORQUE of Experience.
It is in the ROOT of ALL FORMS.
There is NO break - through at the "end" of Sadhana. Sadhana is a purifying and "Brightening" process.
The beginning is PRIOR understanding. There is only What Already Is. The rest if purification.
Your condition is due to:
Persistence in self-contraction and not understanding it.
There is nothing greater and you can know that it is so, that it is immediate, even before Realization is fully established.
Only the Divine Can Be Already Always the Case. "You" as a separate one are NOT.
The changing face of nature and of mind is a play upon that which does not change. What changes is made of two. Pairs, duality, endlessly generating multiplicity. Ultimately in the form of Consciousness and Energy - these are the two most basic forms of reductionist understanding.
Consciousness becomes the Root of the Subjective side. Energy, Light is the root of the objective side. (see 1982 talk: Energy and Consciousness). They are NOT known to be the same, not even realized in themselves.
Ultimately the Divine Person is NOT merely the Witness. There is ONLY the Divine, no Witness.
YET, all of THIS is SO. There IS only the Divine AND all of this apparent life. TWO TOGETHER as ONE. To be Realized to BE SO.
Transcend your separateness and you are ME, I am YOU.
The Great Wheel
There is a great wheel, whirling, turning, changing, vanishing, blending, confusedly - revolving and never stopping. At the root of it is attention. Attention MORE than in the personal limited individual sense. It is rooted in cosmic energy itself.
When you find ATTENTION in the space of Consciousness you are locating (tacitly) that bindu, that point, as the root of appearances (of mind), resulting from attention and just after attention. Something like the big-bang.
Full Awakenness is to Realize Only One. Not holding off objects, absorbed. Full Awareness even in the apparent place in objects, there is no bondage. This is not a prescription for eternal life in human form, because it is established in Samadhi. It is Recognizing the world as it is. So, it feeds on itself, It is a Glow, by the Power of Recognition, Growing, Outshining until Divine Translation.
Divine Translation is as inexorable, impossible to stop, as the wheel of cosmic attention. Realize the Divine and you Translate. It's inevitable.
Divine Self-Realization. 7th Stage Realization is NOT about IMMORTAL existence in any form at all. It's about OUTSHINING conditional existence.
DEVOTEE: It felt completely clear in the Paduka Puja, Beloved. I was To drawn to serving Your Padukas, I was so absorbed in You, that was how things ceased to arise. Lord, I had a question...in the "Perfect Practice" mind will continue to arise, and it's not clear to me...It wasn't clear to me why the mind would continue to arise,,
AVATARA ADI DA: Well you don't disappear from the conditional world in order to do the "Perfect Practice", you see, otherwise no one would ever be observed doing the "Perfect Practice"! (laughter), then no one would be able to report about it! (laughter) The "Perfect Practice" takes place in life, while you are alive. So the mechanism of the body-mind remains, but your practice, the focus of your practice, the specific "Perfect Practice", is prior to the body-mind - but the body-mind can be totally forgotten in Jnana Samadhi, in the "Perfect Practice", you see, but that is just at certain moments. And when you got up from the seat of meditation you are in all the normal ways associated with the body-mind. So there, certainly, thoughts arise, and all the natural ordinariness of the body-mind continued.
DEVOTEE: ...It is that she can't understand how in the sixth stage of practice there would be a difference in meditation between the Contemplation of You and the practice outside of meditation.
AVATARA ADI DA: Well, it needn't be entirely different, of course, but in the meditative exercise of the "Perfect Practice", you step apart from all psycho-physical obligations towards the most profound exercise of the disposition of the "Perfect Practice". It is not about doing this and that with the body-mind and its relations. It is Standing Prior to it and entering into the depth of That. Well, that exercise moves you out of the realm of attention into the domain of Being Itself. And then after the meditation you become reassociated with so-called ordinary conditions again.
The Spiritual course in My Company does not begin at the base of the spine. It begins above the head. I have told you all endlessly - I have told you from the very beginning — when you come into My Company I look above your heads. I look you in the eyes. I bring My Force down. I Am Descending here, Appearing here.
I am not here to support the search. The search would go up to find God. It is one of the means for pursuing the Divine. I am here. I Give you the Divine Blessing, "God with you". The Spiritual course of the Way of the Heart, then, has nothing to do with the search. It is a matter of your Communing with Me, responsible for the self-contraction, so that My Descent Appears here Spiritually and may be experienced by you thoroughly, Crashing Down on you.
So when you are Spiritually prepared, your first experience of Me is a sensitivity to the feeling of My Energy all over your head, a pressure in your head. The Yoga, then, is about allowing Me to come down so that I Invade you totally — from above the crown, all through the body, to the base of the toes, thoroughly — you practicing ego transcendence as you realized you could do in the listening-hearing process. Having come to that point of responsibility, you can allow Me to Descend. You can Commune with Me and feel Me thoroughly. And I come down into the body utterly, purifying the entire vehicle down to the toes, so that the egoic body-mind is no longer an impediment.
As I have said to you, most rightly, most commonly, if it is done rightly, if you practice rightly in My Company, you will move on to the "Perfect Practice" when the frontal Yoga is complete. Then you will, by self-surrendering, self-forgetting, and self-transcendence, Realize the Position you are in, the Witness-Position, which is the origin of the "Perfect Practice". It is not merely Spiritual Yoga in the sense of receiving Me frontally. It is that to the degree of the "Perfect Practice". It is surrender of egoic self based on hearing Me and then receiving Me Spiritually, to the point of Perfectly Realizing Me and entering into the "Perfect Practice", therefore. It is the right fulfillment, then, of My Descent, My Spiritual Descent, encountered by you, even bodily, altogether, Crashing Down—you given up because you have heard and are capable of transcending the self-knot, the self-contraction.
Then you Stand in the Witness-Position—not as a sixth-stager in the ordinary sense but as one who has heard Me and can move by Grace, by receiving Me fully, more and more Perfectly, into the Ultimacy of the seventh stage of life, bypassing the egoic effort, the search, in the advanced and the ultimate stages of life. It is unnecessary in My Company. The search associated with the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth stages of life is ego-bound. It is part of the psycho-biography of the ego.
Hearing is necessary for real Spiritual life, for the Divine Yoga. Hearing is necessary, you see. Hearing is not necessary to indulge yourself in the advanced stages of life up to the sixth, the ultimate form that is in the sixth stage form. These are evolutionary stages of the psycho-biography of the ego. This is what I keep telling you all. That is not true Yoga. That is not God-Realization. It is indulgence in the self-contraction refined stage by stage to the sixth. Even then, if there is to be Divine Realization, that separateness must be intruded upon. Commonly it is not done.
The philosophies you read about, all the books you read, are expressions either of most extraordinarily ordinary people or of somewhat more advanced, evolved people, in one or another dimension of the first six stages of life. That basically is all the religion you ever get on this plane here, except for a little taste here and there from a few "Crazies", a little touch, taste, suggestion, of the seventh stage of life. The seventh stage of life is made of God Only. So this is My Gift, the seventh stage of life, the extraordinarily bypassing, unique, straightforward Yoga that I Give to you. It is time you understood Me about this and stopped confusing Me with the traditions.
The Aletheon - Page 965.
THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE PRELIMINARY LISTENING-PRACTICE OF PERFECT KNOWLEDGE AND THE PERFECT PRACTICE OF PERFECT KNOWLEDGE
The Distinction Between The Preliminary Listening-Practice of Perfect Knowledge and The Perfect Practice of Perfect Knowledge
My Teaching-Instruction has always been as It is now: the present-time transcending of egoity itself and of seeking—through whole bodily devotional recognition-response to Me, whole bodily devotional turning to Me, and “radical” (or always “at-the-root”) “self”-understanding. There is a basic ground of necessary preparation associated with everything that must precede the “Perfect Practice”—but the preparatory dimension of the total practice is not, in and of itself, to become forever prolonged, such that what is merely preparatory becomes a separate and never-ending way of life.
From the beginning, My Divine Avataric Reality-Teaching has always been a “Radical” Teaching. I have always referred to My Divine Avataric Reality-Teaching as “Radical”—meaning that It “addresses the ‘root’ of egoity itself”, rather than exploiting and conditionally developing the psycho-physical phenomena associated with the permutations of egoic possibility (gross, subtle, and causal).
Devotional recognition-response to Me is not merely conventional (or nominal) devotionalism. To devotionally recognize Me and devotionally respond to Me is to have come into the Intrinsic Feeling-Apprehension of My Intrinsically egoless and Self-Evidently Divine State. To devotionally recognize Me is to Find Me As My State. To devotionally respond to Me is to turn to Me As My State, and to devotionally Commune with Me through sensitivity to My Avatarically Self-Transmitted Transcendental Spiritual (and Always Blessing) Divine Presence. By Means of simply Sighting Me, one who devotionally recognizes Me and devotionally responds to Me is, thus and thereby, turned to Me by Means of Intrinsic Feeling-Apprehension of My Divine Avataric Self-Transmission of My Intrinsically egoless Self-“Bright” State.
My Divine Avataric Gift to all deals with the “root-problem” of egoity itself, and the entire pattern of “experiencing” and living based on seeking (which pattern develops from that very “root” of “self”-contraction). This is not something that is supposed to take decades—or even your entire life—to figure out. The only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam is not a matter of “interviewing the ego” forever, and (on that basis) merely making piecemeal adjustments in behavior. Rather, the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is a “Radical” Teaching, and a “radical” process, founded in “radical” devotion to Me. That “radical” process cuts through the “root” of egoity—and, thus, cuts down the entire “tree” of egoity, at the “root”—even from the beginning of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam, and by Means of whole bodily devotional recognition-response to Me.
Even in the midst of My many Years of Self-Submission to My devotees and the “world”, I always Communicated My “Radical” Reality-Teaching—and I always Manifested My Self-“Bright” (seventh stage) State of Realization—in the eyes of everyone. However, the “dialogue” of My Years of Self-Submission is—now, and forever hereafter—ended. My Divine Avataric Self-Submission is Finished and Complete. My Reality-Teaching, in all Its detail, is Fully and Completely Given.
If you devotionally recognize Me and devotionally respond to Me, you are (thereby) moved beyond the patterning of the psycho-physical faculties, to Me—to My Intrinsically egoless and Self-Evidently Divine State, My Self-Evidently Divine Person. Thus, the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is “radical”—in the devotional sense—from the beginning.
Devotion to Me is not conventional devotionalism—in the sense of the first three stages of life, or even in the sense of the fourth stage of life. Devotion to Me is “radical” devotion, enacted through devotional recognition-response to Me—turning the four psycho-physical faculties to Me, and ignoring all the contents and patterning of ego-“I”.
“Radical” devotion to Me is, itself, the seed of most fundamental “self”-understanding. If such “radical” devotion to Me is the case, most fundamental “self”-understanding will be readily awakened—because “self”-understanding is already established as the circumstance of your practice of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam, through devotional recognition-response to Me (or persistent devotion to Me, based on devotional recognition of Me).
True devotional recognition of Me is devotional Communion with Me As I Am. Merely to perceive Me as a physical Entity, and to be (thereby) moved to respond to Me in some conventionally devotionalistic sense, is not true devotional recognition of Me. When you truly devotionally recognize Me, your devotional (and, in due course, Transcendental Spiritual) relationship to Me cuts through the “root” of egoity. Such is the “radical” devotional (and, in due course, Transcendental Spiritual) relationship to Me. And, by cutting through the “root” of egoity, the “radical” devotional (and, in due course, Transcendental Spiritual) relationship to Me leads directly (and in due course) to the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Perfect Practice” of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam.
Thus, the lifetime of My devotee is not to be a lifetime of “correcting” the ego. Nor is the lifetime of My devotee to be a lifetime of developing the psycho-physical potential of the ego (or the psycho-physically incarnated apparent individual, or apparently separate person). Rather, the lifetime of My devotee is to be a lifetime of transcending the ego.
This “‘radical’-from-the-beginning” characteristic of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam is given concrete and unambiguous expression by My Divine Avataric Gift of the preliminary “Perfect Knowledge” Listening-practice to all My First Congregation devotees (who have, necessarily, demonstrated and proven their right, true, and real devotion to Me). This “Radical” Gift of Mine does not eliminate the requirement for devotional turning to Me, or for the exercise of all the by-Me-Given forms of “self”-discipline, or (altogether) for the demonstration of all the by-Me-Given modes of practice of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam. Rather, the right and true context of your practice of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam is your devotional (and, in due course, Transcendental Spiritual) recognition of Me, and your participation in the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “radical” approach to the transcending of egoity. That “radical” approach is (itself) direct—not progressive. Therefore, that “radical” approach is always effective—in the perfect sense—moment to moment. Nevertheless, that “radical” approach requires (and makes possible) a demonstration that matures (by means of the preliminary Listening-practice) toward the (eventual) Non-conditional Demonstration of the “Perfect Practice” of the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge”.
The preliminary Listening-practice of “Perfect Knowledge” is a Teaching That I have Given at the “End-Time” of My Years of Teaching-Submission. That preliminary Listening-practice is usable, in the fullest sense, only by those who devotionally recognize Me (As I Am), who are devotionally turned to Me (As I Am), and who (thereby) have the ego under-cut by Communing with Me, moment to moment. Such is the most fundamental secret of practice in My Divine Avataric Company: Practice of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam is not a “technique”, but a relationship. That practice is devotion to Me (As I Am)—necessarily associated with the exercise of the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” (at first, in a preliminary sense, and, ultimately, in the “Perfect Practice” sense). All other aspects of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam are simply the fullness of the practice as it is lived, day by day—such that the entire life (and the whole body) of My devotee is conformed to Me and this “Perfect Knowledge” life.
The preliminary “Perfect Knowledge” Listening-practice is not a “something” to be exercised in and of itself (independent of the devotional relationship to Me). My devotees must understand: The preliminary “Perfect Knowledge” Listening-practice can be rightly (and fruitfully) exercised only in the context of the (necessarily, formally acknowledged) devotional relationship to Me. Thus, the fundamental characteristics of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam are, altogether, the devotional recognition-response to Me, the devotional (whole bodily) turning to Me of the four principal faculties (to the degree of true surrender to Me), the exercise of the by-Me-Given disciplines of right life, and the exercise of the preliminary form of the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” (until, in due course, that preliminary form becomes the Ultimate, and Non-conditional, “Perfect Practice” of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam).
The Ultimate, and Non-conditional, “Perfect Practice” of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam occurs in due course. Until then, the preliminary form of the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” is to be practiced by all My formally acknowledged First Congregation devotees, from the time of their formal sacramental Initiation into that practice of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam—and that preliminary form of the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” is to be continued, by all members of the Forward Lay Congregationist Order of Adidam Ruchiradam and all novice participants in the Lay Renunciate Order of Adidam Ruchiradam and the Ruchira Sannyasin Order of Adidam Ruchiradam, who are, as such, My formally acknowledged First Congregation devotees.
I do not change—but My devotee must go through a process.
Devotion to Me, and the exercise of “Perfect Knowledge”—that is the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam. All other aspects of My Instruction in the practice of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam (including My Instruction in the necessary disciplines of right life) are the necessary elaboration of the culture of that practice.
The devotional (and, in due course, Transcendental Spiritual) relationship to Me is Transmitted by virtue of My Self-Evidently Divine Person, My Self-Evidently Divine State, and My Self-“Bright” Self-Transmission (Which Is Transcendental Spiritual in Nature). My Self-“Bright” Self-Transmission Is What Brings About the Ultimate Fulfillment of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge”—in the form of the Non-conditional (or “Perfect Practice”) Demonstration of “Perfect Knowledge”. Nevertheless, the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam does not become the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge”. Rather, the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam Is the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” from the beginning—not as a mere philosophy, or as a mere “self”-applied “technique”, but as the right and true and real devotional (and, in due course, Transcendental Spiritual) relationship to Me.
The Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” is not about the developmental stages of life (in and of themselves). Rather, the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” Is a Free Way, about the Free Realization of Reality Itself (Which Is Self-Evidently Divine). Therefore, the Reality-Way of “Perfect Knowledge” (Which Is the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam) Is an Intrinsically ego-transcending Way—from Its beginning.
In every moment of true devotional turning to Me, the practice of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam is non-egoic (or Intrinsically ego-transcending, rather than making egoic psycho-physical structures themselves the means of practice). Therefore, from the beginning, right devotionally Me-recognizing and devotionally to-Me-responding practice of the only-by-Me Revealed and only-by-Me Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam always intrinsically transcends “self”-contraction, and all bondage to the accumulations (in and as and of the body-mind-“self”) that occur as a result of psycho-physical “self”-contraction (or the act of egoity). The true devotional turning to Me goes beyond all of that. Thus, there is the spontaneous unfolding of the signs of the release of ego-bondage during the entire course of preliminary Listening-practice (maturing, in due course, into the demonstration that establishes the “Perfect Practice”). Nevertheless, the “experiential” signs of the release of ego-bondage are not themselves the point of the preliminary Listening-practice of the “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam.
The practice of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given “Radical” Reality-Way of Adidam Ruchiradam is not a matter of doing something to (intentionally, or strategically) “stand back”. You are Always Already in the Perfectly Prior Position, in and As Which you engage the right preliminary Listening-practice of “Perfect Knowledge”. It is not that you must do something to what is “objective”, or to what takes the form of the “known”, or of “knowledge”, or of the “knowing-subject”. In the context of its arising, there is the noticing of “object”, or of the “known”, or of the apparent “knowledge”, or of the apparent “knowing-subject”—but you are the “Perfect Knower” (Transcendentally, and Inherently, Free). Therefore, you are never any “known-object” or any mode of the “knowing-subject” in the context of any and all apparent arisings.
Therefore, you do not—if you are rightly exercising the preliminary Listening-practice of “Perfect Knowledge”—make any effort or gesture to “stand back” (or to “step back”). In other words, you are not Called by Me to continuously make a gesture that somehow changes the Perfectly Prior Position in and As Which you Always Already Stand. I do not Call or Instruct you to “return” to the Position in Which you Always Already Stand. I simply Call and Instruct you to acknowledge and Abide in the Always Perfectly Prior Position in Which you Always Already Stand.
Thus, moment to moment, simply Stand in the Position you are Always Already in—by clearly “Knowing” (or Intrinsically Self-Comprehending) that you are not in any “position” (or conditional state) other than That.
You are not an “object”. You are not anything “known”. You are not any kind of “knowing” (or “knowledge”). You are not any mode or kind of a “knowing-subject”. You are Always Already in the Position of That Which is not an “object”. You are Always Already in the Self-Position of the “Perfect Knower”—but that “Perfect Knower” is not the apparently separate “self” (or ego-“I”) that is “functioning-as-knower-through-the-faculties”. The merely conditional “knower” is “knowing” the “known”—and is (thus and thereby) identical to the “knowing”-function and the apparent “knowledge”. The Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower” is not any of that. The Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower” is not a “known-object” and not a “knowing-subject”.
Therefore, the preliminary Listening-practice of “Perfect Knowledge” is not merely a philosophical proposition. Rather, the preliminary Listening-practice of “Perfect Knowledge” is the Tacit Self-Apprehension (or the Intuitive Self-Apperception), moment to moment, of That Which otherwise seems to take the form of “objects”, or the “known”, or the “knowledge”, or the psycho-physical faculty (or presumed “knowing-self”) of the “knowing” of the “knowledge”. All of that is “objective”. All of that is mere “object”—but the Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower” Is Always Already Perfectly Prior to any and every mode of “known-object” and any and every mode of “knowing-subject”.
No “object” is “known”, as such, by the Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower”. The Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower” Is That Which is always Inherently Self-Indicated by “Transcendental Root-Standing” relative to any “known-object”, anything conditionally “known”, any conditional “knowing”, any mode of conditional “knowledge”, and any mode of conditionally “knowing” (and, thus, conditionally existing) “self”. “Transcendental Root-Standing” simply Self-Indicates the Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower”—Which Is Always Already Perfectly Prior to all modes of conditionally arising “known-objects” and all modes and operations of a presumed conditionally arising “knowing-self”. The Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower” Only and Always Already “Knows” (or Self-Apprehends, or Self-Apperceives) Itself (or the Perfectly Prior and Transcendental Spiritual Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State Itself)—and all conditionally arising “known-objects” and all modes and operations of a presumed conditionally arising “knowing-self” are, Most Ultimately (in the context of the “Perfect Practice” of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given seventh stage of life), Divinely Self-Recognized to be merely apparent, non-necessary, and intrinsically non-binding modifications of the Transcendental Spiritual “Perfect Knower” (or Self-Nature, Self-Condition, and Self-State) Itself.
REFLECTIONS ON TALKS WITH SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI
By S.S. COHEN
HEART AND MIND
1. "That the physical heart is on the left it cannot be denied. But the heart of which I speak is not physical and is only on the right side. It is my experience, no authority is required by me. Still you can find confirmation of it in a Malayali Ayurvedic book and in Sita Upanishad."
Note: This is an authoritative statement on Bhagavan's own experience, which in its practical aspect is of no help to the meditator. The locus of the Heart, whether to the right or to the left, need not worry us (see text 9 below), because when one is in it, that is, in samadhi, not only the chest but the body and the whole world disappear. When dhyana matures, the Heart automatically reveals itself without any special effort to seek its corresponding place in the physical body.
2. "The jiva is said to remain in the Heart in deep sleep, and in the brain in the waking state. Heart is not the muscular cavity which propels blood. It denotes in the Vedas and the scriptures the centre whence the notion `I' springs. Does it spring from the ball of flesh? It does not, but from somewhere within us, from the centre of our being. The `I' has no location. Everything is the Self. There is nothing but the Self. So the Heart must be said to be the entire body as well as the universe, conceived as `I'. But to help the abhyasi [?] we have to indicate a definite place in the universe, or the body, for it. So this Heart is pointed out as the seat of the Self.
But in truth we are everywhere; we are all that is, and there is nothing else."
Note: Heart therefore has no locus at all. Its other names are Self, `I', being, pure mind, etc. It is called Heart due to its being the source from which the universe rises. In the last note we observed that in samadhi Heart reveals itself as completely independent of any place. Then why does
Bhagavan locate it in the right chest? He does not locate it in the flesh and bones of the right chest, but only in consciousness at the level of that region, much as we locate the levels of certain objects in space as corresponding to those of certain parts of our body. Nevertheless, because this consciousness has direct relations with the body, it must have a point of contact with it, a switchboard, so to say, in the subtle counterpart of the body, from which it switches the body off and on. This switchboard is felt in samadhi in the subtle counterpart of the right chest.
To the highly critical mind there appears a contradiction in the statements of Bhagavan, who, on the one hand makes Heart to be everywhere and nowhere, and on the other fixes it in the right chest, from which (as in the next text) the sushumna nadi rises, and where the jiva retires in sleep, etc.
The apparent contradiction is due to the perception of the body, which has to be related to the mind, or the intelligent principle which acts and perceives through it. The mind has thus to be shown in a dual aspect, the one as the pervader of the body, and thus hypothetically limited to its shape, and the other as limitless and free. More of this in the next item.
3. "Atma is the Heart itself. Its manifestation is in the brain.
The passage from the Heart to the brain might be considered to be through the sushumna, or a nerve (nadi) with some other name. The Upanishads speak of pare leena, meaning that the sushumna or such nadis are all comprised in Para, i.e., the Atma nadi. The Yogis say that the current rising up to sahasrara (brain) ends there.
That experience is not complete. For jnana they must come to the Heart. Hridaya (Heart) is the Alpha and
Note: From the Heart the body sprouts. The energy, life and consciousness — the only prime elements of the body and likewise of the universe — stream out of the Heart by the first channel, or nadi, straight to the head, from which they run down to all parts of the body through various nadis. We need not give names to the nadis to avoid conflicts between the locations and names given by one authority and those given by another. Names and forms are the cause of the world illusion, so they are also in metaphysics. Bhagavan simply wishes to indicate these facts about the distribution of life and consciousness to the remotest points in the body through nadis, beginning with the Para nadi, so that the student may know the function of this nadi in the attainment of jnana. Because all the nadis from the body end in the sahasrara, the Kundalini yogi, the Hatha yogi, and in fact all yogis who practise pranayama take the sahasrara to be the terminal point of their sadhana; whereas the Dhyana [?] yogi, also called Raja yogi, Vichara [?] yogi, etc. adds one more stage for the complete and absolute Emancipation. This last stage runs through the Para nadi, also called Amrita nadi, because, being of the purest sattva, it is extremely blissful and leads straight to the Heart.
"Its manifestation in the brain" needs some explanation.
It is common experience that when people speak of the mind, they always imagine it to be the brain itself, and scientists, who are so sure of themselves, make matters worse when they declare the brain to be the thinker, which is of course
wrong, because the brain is as insentient and as incapable of thinking as any other part of the body. If the whole is insentient, so are the parts. This error is due to the manifestation of the jiva's activities through the cerebral tissue, which is as it were its telegraph office, which transmits to it all the signals received from the various sense organs and the nervous system, etc. But the home of the jiva is the
Heart, which is the cosmic storehouse of all the creative impulses. To this home the jiva returns with the senses when it retires from the body in sleep, in what is known as "death" and, finally, for good in mukti.
4. "The Heart is not physical; it is spiritual Hridaya = hrit + ayam, which means `that is the Centre'. It is that from which thoughts arise, on which they subsist and where they are resolved. Thoughts are the content of the mind and they shape the universe. The Heart is thus the centre of all. It is said by the Upanishads to be Brahman. Brahman is the Heart."
Note: This text is the quintessence of the Vedas. Thoughts rise from, subsist in, and dissolve into the Heart: "they shape the universe." This is a pregnant statement. It makes the substance of the universe to be nothing but thoughts, a mere mental vapour. This surpasses even the subjective idealism of the Western philosophers.
"Thoughts are (the products as well as) the content of the mind" is significant, inasmuch as it makes the mind not simply manas, as it is usually wrongly translated in Indian metaphysics, but the consciousness which produces, contains, and perceives the thoughts, synonymous with the Heart or Brahman. Bhagavan often equates the pure mind with Brahman, which is as it should be. Manas may be rendered as intellect or as a bundle of thoughts and sensations, or perhaps the processes of thought. Sometimes mind is also used in the sense of manas. At all events the student will do well to remember this dual meaning of MIND and avoid confusion.
That "the Heart is the centre of All" does not mean that it is not also the circumference. Bhagavan makes it in this text the container of all thoughts, that is, of the universe — centre, circumference, as well as all that comes in between them:
"Verily as space is boundless, so is the ether within the Heart. Both heaven and earth, fire and air, the sun and the moon, also the lightning and the stars, and whatever is, as well as whatever is not in the universe — all are within this vacuity (Heart)."
(Chandogya Upanishad, IX, i. 3)
5. "How to realise the Heart? There is no one who even for a trice fails to experience the Self. He is the Self. The Self is the Heart. When asked who you are, you place your hand on the right side of the chest and say `I am', thereby you unknowingly point out the Self. The Self is thus known."
Note: Here we have a pointer to the locus of the Heart in the body, rather in the subtle ambience of the body. It is instinctive in us to use the right hand rather than the left in pointing to our own person. Why do we not for the purpose place the hand on the head, cheeks, or, say, the spinal chord — or, for the matter of that, the legs or feet — instead of the right chest alone? Unless there is an immediate relation between this part of the chest and the `I', we would not straightaway and as a matter of course, drive direct to it when we wish to stress our identity. When we want to indicate the mind or the thinking agency we point to the head, but for the `I' we point to the chest. Isn't that a clear admission of the superiority of the heart over the brain?
The Heart is the `I', the totality of Being, whereas the brain is the seat of its thoughts only.
Pointing exclusively to the chest to indicate one's person has yet another weighty significance. It automatically excludes the other parts of the body from being the `I', as witness the fact that we resent a reference to the nails, hair, the bodily secretions and excretions, etc., as being our `I', in fact we instinctively know that even the ribs and flesh of the chest are not the `I', notwithstanding our demonstrating them as such. We take the body as a whole for `I', yet in detail we deny it. This anomalous behaviour of our mind in this respect is so glaringly obvious that nothing but wrong habits keep us blind to it. Anomalies multiply as we probe deeper into the relation of the body to the consciousness. That is why vichara or enquiry is insisted on in this path to expose the ridiculous inconsistencies of our beliefs and attitudes, so that by correcting them we may attain to the truth of ourselves and of the world around us.
6. "The Cosmic Mind, being not limited by the ego, has nothing separate from itself and is therefore only aware. This is what the Bible means by `I am that I Am'."
Note: The Cosmic Mind is equated in Advaita and by Bhagavan with Brahman, since it is "only aware". It will be readily observed that this Mind has nothing to do with the Cosmic Mind of the Western mystics, which has its own significance — whatever that may be — different from that of the Advaitic Brahman. Biblical Jehovah is written in Hebrew YHWH, which is derived from the verb HAYA (to be), and means EVER IS, `I AM THAT I AM,' or BEING, exactly as Advaita means by Brahman or SAT.
7. "The mind now sees itself diversified as the universe. If the diversity is not manifest, it remains in its own essence, that is, the Heart. The Heart is the only reality. The mind is only a transient phase. To remain as one's Self is to enter the Heart. Entering the Heart means remaining without distractions."
Note: The mind turns into the universe. When it perceives the universe, or diversity, the latter impresses itself on its pure surface, so that its attention is constantly centred on the diversity and not on itself. If the diversity is eliminated, the mind will perceive itself in its essence, its own naked purity. Then it is said to have entered the Heart — in fact it is itself the Heart. This is its undisturbed state, the reposeful state of samadhi.
The covering of the mind by thoughts is evidently "a transient phase", because the thoughts themselves are transient, very unstable, and can thus be wiped out by practice. The mind itself cannot be wiped out, because the wiper will be the mind itself. If the mind wipes out the mind, the residue will still be the mind. Thus the mind is indestructible.
8. "There is the peaceful mind which is the supreme. When the same becomes restless, it is afflicted by thoughts. Mind is only the dynamic power (shakti) of the Self. There is no difference between matter and spirit. Modern science admits that all matter is energy. Energy is power or force (shakti). Therefore all are resolved in Siva and Shakti, i.e., the Self and the Mind."
Note: After explaining the identity of Self and Mind, this text ends by making them Siva and Shakti, which may impress the dualists with the wrong notion of their being separate principles, as Spirit and Matter respectively, which is far from Bhagavan's intentions. In the beginning of the text the "peaceful mind" has been identified as the Supreme, that is, the Self itself. So Self and peaceful mind are convertible terms. But when, for some reason, the mind becomes "restless" or active, it manifests energy: the energy which is inherent in it turns into perceptions, thoughts, sensations, which are the phenomena, the universe. This is interpreted by the Shaktas as the creation of the "dynamic" Shakti, as distinguished from Siva, the "static" peaceful mind which is experienced in samadhi. This is the whole truth about Spirit and Matter. They are one and the same consciousness.
The knower (or mind) develops activity inside himself, the sensations of seeing, smelling, hearing, thinking, etc., and starts enjoying the show, as if it occurs outside him. Then he is bewildered about a world and its creator — God and His Shakti, and so on. This then is the nature of the energy which science proclaims to be the constituent of the "physical" universe, the atoms. The Self is thus not only the source of all cosmic energy, but the Cosmic Energy itself. Siva is then Shakti itself.
9. "Should I meditate on the right chest in order to meditate on the Heart?" Bhagavan: "The Heart is not physical. Meditation should not be on the right or the left. It should be on the Self. Everyone knows "I am". It is neither within nor without, neither on the right nor the left: `I am' — that is all."
Note: The noteworthy point in this text, apart from what we have already discussed, is that meditation should not be made on the physical chest, whether right or left, for that is not the Heart at all. The `I' is spaceless, completely free from the association of direction or laterality. It is simply `my being' or `I am', and nothing else. This sense of pure being should be our direction in meditation and if we are unable to catch it in the beginning we have to try again and again till we succeed. Being present all the time in us, the intuition for it grows rapidly, like a once-known-but-forgotten language. We will catch up with it after some initial hesitation, which is unavoidable. This is one of the best-cues the Master has given us on how to recognise once again our long-forgotten essence.
10. "How can the world be an imagination or a thought? Thought is a function of the mind. The mind is located in the brain. The brain is within the skull of a human being, who is an infinitesimal part of the universe. How then can the universe be contained in the cells of the brain?"
Bhagavan: "So long as the mind is considered to be an entity of the kind described, the doubt will persist. But what is mind? Let us consider. What is the world? It is objects spread out in space (akasha). Who comprehends it? The mind. Is not the mind which comprehends space itself space (akasha)? Considering it to be ether of knowledge (akasha or jnana tattva), there will be no difficulty in reconciling the apparent contradiction. Rajas and tamas operate as gross objects, etc. Thus the whole universe is only mental."
Note: The question comes from a teacher of philosophy who seems to be at sea — greatly confused even in the formulation of the question. On the one hand he identifies man with his body, as "an infinitesimal part of the universe", that is, the mind with the brain; and on the other he "locates" the mind in the brain, making the one different from the other. In that case, Bhagavan asserts, "the doubt will persist," the problem will remain insoluble. If the brain is the mind then there will be no end to ignorance and no end to arguments.
How, for example, can the insentient brain think, create, understand, smell, taste, etc.? How can Shakespeare, Gandhi and Ramana Maharshi be pieces of corruptible flesh? How do immaterial thoughts emanate from the material brain cells, and what is the relation between them? and so on. But if the mind is located in the brain, as the question puts it, then there is much hope for a solution. It will then conform to the yogic experience that the mind or the individual consciousness resides in the brain, as it has already been explained in Note 3 of this chapter. The individual is not the cerebral tissue, but the intelligent being, the consciousness which dwells in it and uses it as its instrument. Consciousness itself is pure akasha (ether), in which the world spreads as it appears to do in space, which itself is ether. Thus the world is nothing but consciousness or mind. That the objects appear soft or hard, hot or cold, small or big, yellow or green, sour or sweet is due to the senses which are functions of the same mind; and the world consists of nothing but what the senses give out of themselves. "Thus the whole universe is only mental." The variety of qualities which the senses inflict on our perceptions as objects are the gunas of which Bhagavan speaks. Thus in the manifested universe there exist nothing but qualities superimposed on the Consciousness.