samAdhi Again – 2

Part 1

  We shall present in this Part – 2 how the word samAdhi is used in Yogavasishta (Yogavasishta  is available as a pdf at this site). The word samAdhi occurs very ubiquitously in this text. It is used both in its Yogic and Advaita Vedanta meaning. A few select citations are illustrated below.

[We may, however, note that the original Commentator Shri Anandabodehndhra Swami Ji and also the current author Shri K. V. Krishna Murthy whose version is followed here belong to the tradition of Shankara. Hence we can expect the influence of Shankara in their interpretation.]

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 1.  samAdhi is obtained through the practice of controlling the mind. Control of the mind can help to bring about the arresting of the senses from running after the worldly objects. So the Yogi’s desires for worldly things may disappear. Unless one realizes that all percepts are unreal and non-existent, practicing only samAdhi will not stop the yogi from going back to the worldly things when he is out of samAdhi. Just being in samAdhi will not bring about the knowledge that the visible world is untrue. It is necessary that one has to realize the false appearance of the world in order to be liberated. So one cannot attain liberation from the practice of deep meditation alone. It requires the Knowledge of Self.”

–  Way to Attain The Self-Knowledge, Ch 3, Origination. Continue reading

samAdhi Again – 1

 samAdhi is  a highly technical term in Yoga and also in Vedanta. However, paradoxically, the word does not stand to convey the same ‘concept’ in a rigid and fixed manner in all its occurrences across different scriptural texts. Like all other Sanskrit  words in the scriptures, the word attains a lot of fluidity and delicate malleability in the hands of the Sages and ancient authors to convey a very precise and what is otherwise inexpressible philosophical idea. Such flexibility in the use of technical words is unknown and unimaginable in the West, particularly so if one is trained in the modern science. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that one cannot nail the meaning of the word as per one single definition when comparing its usage across different texts by different authors of different times. ‘anubhava’ and ‘anubhUti’ usually rendered into English as “experience,” often used in association with samAdhi, is another such word that needs care in handling.

As we are aware, the teacher to disciple communication was predominantly oral in the ancient times and the meaning of a word smoothly and innocuously changed as per the context and the lineage of the teacher. Hence, it was considered that a disciple must approach a competent teacher and s/he has to be tutored face to face by the teacher as per the recension followed in that lineage. Jumping across different lineages or intermixing diverse systems of teachings without fully adhering to a specific one till the end can only result in confusion. Book-learning is also almost an impossibility in the absence of a teacher who would provide the authentic word meaning as can be understood from the famous example of the same word ‘satyam’ occurring twice in the same sentence in the same mantra but with two different meanings: Continue reading

YogavAsiShTa vs. Bhagavad-Gita

A question that is often asked of me is why YogavAsiShTa is not as popular as Bhagavad-Gita.

[Frankly, I am not sure if that is true and if so why it is so. I spell out a few of my thoughts to start a healthy discussion.]

 In my own case, it was Bhagavad-Gita that I was first exposed to, even as a teenager, and it was much later in my life after my pate turned bald and the few hairs that remained acquired a silver gray hue, that I happened to study YogavAsiShTa. I can say with certitude that both books must have been equally present in my house when I was growing up with my parents. Could it be that my parents somehow conspired to see that I did not get access to read the YogavAsiShTa in my youth because of my mother’s apprehension or belief in an adage that was popular in those times that one who reads YogavAsiShTa would surely fling the family life and retire to a forest as a Sannyasi (renunciate)? Continue reading

On Narada Bhakti Sutras – 10

Part – 9

Modern Evolutionary Biologists are increasingly realizing that “thought” evolved its own survival tricks. Thoughts get replicated and passed on by ‘memes’ just like biological traits are propagated by ‘genes.’ A Meme is “an information pattern, held in an individual’s memory and gets copied to another individual’s memory” with variation and selection. Slogans, catchy tunes, many beliefs, culture are examples for memes.

Our mind has a tendency to forget certain things. Strangely it may also show things that were never seen previously by us. This is because somebody else’s experience infects our mind as a “meme” and we begin to believe that it was our own experience. Dr. Grant says, “An idea can parasitically infect your mind and alter your behavior.” It then causes you to tell your friends, “thus exposing them to the idea-virus.”

Thus Memes spread like viruses using human beings as carriers. In a way all our thoughts are infections. There is nothing like an original thought. The word ‘meme’ was coined by Prof. Dawkins in the late seventies. But our sages recognized the havoc memes could play thousands of years ago. Maharshi Vasishta tells in Yogavasishta the delightful story of how Sage Gadhi was confused and befuddled when his mind was infected by other’s experiences. Continue reading

Serialization of Yogavasishta 7

Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, Chairman and Managing Trustee of I-SERVE, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, has kindly given permission for Advaita Vision to serialize his 6-volume ‘Musings on Yogavasishta’. Written in Telugu, the work has been painstakingly translated by our Dr. Ramesam Vemuri and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham.

Rather than reproducing successive extracts from the books each month, as has been done with our other two serializations, the books themselves will be made available for download in PDF format. Each part will be associated with a page at the main website, which will contain a Contents List for that volume. Links to all of the volumes will be provided on a general Contents Page.

The present volume, “Musings on Yogavaasishta” – Part VI (Nirvana – Liberation, Book-I), is a presentation by Brahmasri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, the Vidyadhikari of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore and forms a part of his lectures on “Yogavaasishta” telecast by GEMINI T.V. in Telugu. This volume is a rendering of the same into English by Dr. Vemuri Ramesam. In it: The 5000 stanzas of the sixth chapter on Liberation
(Nirvana Book I) have been ably condensed and lucidly explained in simple words. Possible methods of alleviation from the state of Bondage and annulment of mind are described through the stories of Bhushunda and others.

Please go to the Contents Page to read the Announcement and general introduction from Ramesam. The page for this Sixth Volume, Part 6 (NIRVANA – LIBERATION Book 1) also contains the download link for the PDF file (1.2MB).

This is the Final Part of the series. Our thanks again to Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy and Dr. Vemuri Ramesam for their generous gift.

Serialization of Yogavasishta 6

Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, Chairman and Managing Trustee of I-SERVE, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, has kindly given permission for Advaita Vision to serialize his 6-volume ‘Musings on Yogavasishta’. Written in Telugu, the work has been painstakingly translated by our Dr. Ramesam Vemuri and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham.

Rather than reproducing successive extracts from the books each month, as has been done with our other two serializations, the books themselves will be made available for download in PDF format. Each part will be associated with a page at the main website, which will contain a Contents List for that volume. Links to all of the volumes will be provided on a general Contents Page.

The present volume, “Musings on Yogavaasishta” – Part V The Calm Down, is a presentation by Brahmasri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, the Vidyadhikari of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore and forms a part of his lectures on “Yogavaasishta” telecast by GEMINI T.V. in Telugu. This volume is a rendering of the same into English by Dr. Vemuri Ramesam. In it: The 5000 stanzas of the fifth chapter on The Calm Down (Upasama)   have been ably condensed and lucidly explained in simple words. Possible methods of alleviation from the state of Bondage and annulment of mind are described through the stories of Janaka, Bali, Prahlada, Uddalaka, Gadhi, Sraghu, Parigha and others.

Please go to the Contents Page to read the Announcement and general introduction from Ramesam. The page for this Fifth Volume, Part 5 (THE CALM DOWN) also contains the download link for the PDF file (0.9MB).

Serialization of Yogavasishta 5

Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, Chairman and Managing Trustee of I-SERVE, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, has kindly given permission for Advaita Vision to serialize his 6-volume ‘Musings on Yogavasishta’. Written in Telugu, the work has been painstakingly translated by our Dr. Ramesam Vemuri and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham.

Rather than reproducing successive extracts from the books each month, as has been done with our other two serializations, the books themselves will be made available for download in PDF format. Each part will be associated with a page at the main website, which will contain a Contents List for that volume. Links to all of the volumes will be provided on a general Contents Page.

The present volume, “Musings on Yogavaasishta” – Part IV Sustenance, is a presentation by Brahmasri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, the Vidyadhikari of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore and Chairman, Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas (I-SERVE) and forms a part of his lectures on “Yogavaasishta” telecast by GEMINI T.V. in Telugu. This volume is a rendering of the same into English by Dr. Vemuri Ramesam. In it: The 3000 stanzas of the fourth chapter on Sustenance (Stithi) have been ably condensed and lucidly explained in simple words. Possible methods of alleviation from the state of Bondage and annulment of mind are described through the stories of Bhargava, Daama, Vyaala, Kata, Daasura, and others.

Please go to the Contents Page to read the Announcement and general introduction from Ramesam. The page for this Fourth Volume, Part 4 (SUSTENANCE) also contains the download link for the PDF file (0.6MB).

Serialization of Yogavasishta 4

yogavasishta3

Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, Chairman and Managing Trustee of I-SERVE, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, has kindly given permission for Advaita Vision to serialize his 6-volume ‘Musings on Yogavasishta’. Written in Telugu, the work has been painstakingly translated by our Dr. Ramesam Vemuri and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham.

Rather than reproducing successive extracts from the books each month, as has been done with our other two serializations, the books themselves will be made available for download in PDF format. Each part will be associated with a page at the main website, which will contain a Contents List for that volume. Links to all of the volumes will be provided on a general Contents Page.

The fourth part to be published is Part 3 (ORIGINATION). (We began with Part 7 of the Series as it provides an overall summary of the Non-dual teaching and is a better introduction than simply jumping in at Part 1.) As Ramesam puts it: “The main thrust of the teaching by Sage Vasishta is that the visible world has no real origination. He establishes that the space-time-causation of the phenomenal world is illusory and arises out of pure mentation.” A timely coincidence with Charles’ series on Kant, where he notes that “Kant’s position, therefore, translated to Advaita terms, is that space and time are only valid in the context of transactional (vyAvahArika) reality, and therefore not truly Real (pAramArthika).”

Please go to the Contents Page to read the Announcement and general introduction from Ramesam. The page for this Third Volume, Part 3 (ORIGINATION) also contains the download link for the PDF file (0.9MB).

Serialization of Yogavasishta 3

yogavasishta2Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, Chairman and Managing Trustee of I-SERVE, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, has kindly given permission for Advaita Vision to serialize his 6-volume ‘Musings on Yogavasishta’. Written in Telugu, the work has been painstakingly translated by our Dr. Ramesam Vemuri and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham.

Rather than reproducing successive extracts from the books each month, as has been done with our other two serializations, the books themselves will be made available for download in PDF format. Each part will be associated with a page at the main website, which will contain a Contents List for that volume. Links to all of the volumes will be provided on a general Contents Page.

The third part to be published is Part 2 (THE CONDUCT OF A SPIRITUAL ASPIRANT). (We began with Part 7 of the Series as it provides an overall summary of the Non-dual teaching and is a better introduction than simply jumping in at Part 1.)

Please go to the Contents Page to read the Announcement and general introduction from Ramesam. The page for this Third Volume, Part 2 (THE CONDUCT OF A SPIRITUAL ASPIRANT) also contains the download link for the PDF file (0.9MB).

Serialization of Yogavasishta 2

part1_cover300

Professor Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, Chairman and Managing Trustee of I-SERVE, the Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, has kindly given permission for Advaita Vision to serialize his 6-volume ‘Musings on Yogavasishta’. Written in Telugu, the work has been painstakingly translated by our Dr. Ramesam Vemuri and published by Avadhoota Datta Peetham.

Rather than reproducing successive extracts from the books each month, as has been done with our other two serializations, the books themselves will be made available for download in PDF format. Each part will be associated with a page at the main website, which will contain a Contents List for that volume. Links to all of the volumes will be provided on a general Contents Page.

The second part to be published is Part I (DETACHMENT). (We began with Part 7 of the Series as it provides an overall summary of the Non-dual teaching and is a better introduction than simply jumping in at Part 1.)

Please go to the Contents Page to read the Announcement and general introduction from Ramesam. The page for this Second Volume, Part I VAIRAGYA (DETACHMENT) also contains the download link for the PDF file (0.4MB).