Among all means of liberation (mokSha), devotion (bhakti) is supreme. To seek earnestly to know one’s real nature – this is said to be devotion (bhakti).
In other words, devotion can be defined as the search for the reality of one’s own Atman.
vivekachUDAmaNi 32 (first sentence)
I am posting this quote vom Yoga Vasishta because it perfectly fits the topic of this month. Unfortunately I do not have the exact references, so I am asking anyone who has it to let us know and possibly fix the translation if it is not correct (dear readers, please check the comments).
O Rama, you have reached that state of satva and your mind has been burnt in the fire of wisdom. What is that wisdom? It is that the infinite Brahman is indeed the infinite Brahman; the world-appearance is but an appearance whose reality is Brahman. Page 328
Because the substratum (Infinite Consciousness) is real, all that is based on it acquires reality, though the reality is of the substratum alone. The universe and all beings in it are but a long dream. To me you are real, and to you I am real; even so the others are real to you or to me. And, this relative reality is like the reality of the dream-objects. Page 71
Whatever there is here which exists and functions here is real to the self and not to another who does not perceive it and is unaware of it. Therefore, all these creations and creatures that exist within the field of the energy of consciousness are true to the perceiving self and are unreal to the non-perceiver. All the notions and the dreams that exist in the present, past or the future are all real, because the self which is the self of all is real. Page 574
One can say that this world-appearance is real only so far as it is the manifestation of consciousness and because of direct experience; and it is unreal when it is grasped with the mind and the sense-organs. Wind is perceived as real in its motion, and it appears to be non-existent when there is no motion: even so this world-appearance can be regarded both as real and unreal. Page 88
Photo credits: Pascal Willuhn@pixelio.de
Your consciousness of your world is all there is to your world.
Consciousness isn’t a word. It is literally the very “Substance” wherein all existing goes on. Consciousness is actively aware and alive as all Presence, the only real “Place” there is. It is the one, essential “Stuff” without which your everyday affairs and entire universe wouldn’t even appear to exist.
Consciousness has to be Reality, for nothing else is really being to be Reality. Reality isn’t a far-off state one ultimately becomes conscious of. Reality simply is what really is—which is Consciousness effortlessly being, right here, now.
Consciousness is All, Ch. 1
Just as one sun is reflected in numerous puddles, each showing a separate image of the same sun, so the unlimited and ever-present light of pure Knowing is reflected in seven billion minds as the feeling ‘I am,’ giving rise to the appearance of seven billion selves.
Photo credits: Samy13@pixelio.de
There is a very evolved state of realization that can easily be mistaken for the final realization brought about by akhaNDAkAra vRRitti. I do not mean the often mentioned state of samAdhi that also tends to be mistaken for enlightenment. What I am talking about is less spectacular than samAdhi. In my experience with Western students and friends, there is one moment in which an almost complete recognition of the true nature of oneness takes place. From that moment onwards, the general outlook of the person will change: suffering is going to diminish considerably and the person knows what it is that is actually sought by people asking the question “Who am I?”. He/she recognizes what is talked of in the scriptures as Truth. Continue reading
I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention,
I become the very thing I look at,
and experience the kind of consciousness it has;
I become the inner witness of the thing.
I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love;
you may give it any name you like.
Love says “I am everything”. Wisdom says “I am nothing”.
Between the two, my life flows.
Since at any point of time and space I can be both
the subject and the object of experience,
I express it by saying that I am
both, and neither, and beyond both.
Arise, awake, and learn by approaching the excellent ones. The wise ones describe that path to be as impassable as a razor’s edge, which, when sharpened, is difficult to tread on.
Katha Upanishad 1,2,15
photo credits: Karl-Heinz Laube@pixelio.de
Attention pays attention to a lot of things, but when attention pays attention to attention, then there is a stillness, and that stillness introduces you to your Self.
If a qualified student gains the knowledge comprehensively from the shAstra through shravaNam and mananam, that j~nAnam itself is capable of directly giving liberation. It is because the knowledge is, “I am already free”. Not only have I had the knowledge regarding my freedom. I am able to look at the aha.nkAra as an insignificant one. Therefore I become a sAkShi pradhAna puruShaH (for Sanskrit terms that are not common knowledge to advaitin readers see the glossary below). aha.nkAra is only an incidental veShaH that I have. As somebody nicely said, I am a spiritual being incidentally having a human experience and I am not a human being seeking a spiritual experience. Therefore, for a qualified student, shravaNa and manana convert him into sAkShi pradhAna puruShaH and his aha.nkAra becomes a veSha. Continue reading
Shravana for Western Students
Shravana is the first phase on the path of knowledge in the tradition. Preparation is all about becoming eligible to do shravaNa – listening to the scriptures.
This is another feature of the traditional teaching that rarely can be transferred to Western students.
Excerpts from the ‘Upanyãsa’ rendered by Brahmashi Mani Dravid Shastriji:
‘Vedanta shravanãdhikãri’, the requisites of a person that make him eligible for listening to Vedanta (…)
The term ‘Adhikãri’ refers to that person who is capable of attaining the fruit as a result of performance of some action (karma). Possession of some basic prerequisites are laid down by scriptures in order to attain the fruit of ‘Vedanta shravana’ (listening to Vedanta). Continue reading