Gunas The three gunas are Sattva purity rajas action tamas sloth or dullness

"Maya" - The deluding potency of the Self

What I was able to grasp from this is that, as long as the mind is turned outward, the Self, which is all pervasive, is sensed only as an "I"-awareness in and limited to the body with its thoughts and impressions revolving continuously around a perceived and separate world. But when the mind is purified or made to enquire where the source of seeing, which is to say, the subject "I", arises from, then the mind reflects the Self.

The moment the Self is reflected in the mind at once the idea of subject-object and knowledge vanishes like a mirage. This vanishing is why the perceived world, the "I am the body" idea or "I am the doer" is called Maya, because the sense of being a doer in the world is apparently real to the outgoing mind, but when the Real Light of the mind is realized, the use of the mind has no more value, just as the use of the moon seen in the daylight sky of the risen sun, is of no value.

Again, as long as the mind is outward bent, the individual soul takes itself for the body/mind and accumulates impressions about itself in relation to a perceived and separate world. The mind then tries to coordinate and correlate all it sees into a cohesive composite of impressions it holds to be its identity. At a certain point, though, it begins to become apparent that knowing, comprehension, understanding, or knowledge about one's world, be it within one's mind or apparently outside, is coming from within and is not separate, as one is otherwise conditioned to believe. This insight into how we actually know or perceive leads to the conclusion that the impressions we've made of the world are actually each individual's projected idea about it, and not one universally accepted truth. The question arises, "Can these changing thoughts, impressions be all there is, all that I am, all that the world is?" The sages of the Upanishads are asked this question by those seeking permanence in their otherwise "transient" lives.

"To many it is not given to hear of the Self. Many, though they hear it, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he, who taught by a good teacher is able to understand it" Katha Upanishad, p. 17

"Veiled in my Maya, I am not shown to many. How shall this world bewildered by delusion recognize me, who am not born and change not."

Bhagavad Gita, p. 73

"The Heart" - Hridayam

The Heart is the Self. The sages of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and several other Gitas I found all refer constantly to the identity of the Heart and its location with the all pervading Self. Significantly, the location of the Heart is intuited or inferred by everyone, as it is the very place we all point to when we say "I". The realization of the Self in or as the Heart is said to sever the relationship between the Self and the out going mind forever, such that the relationship between the "I" and the thoughts and actions of the body are realized never to have been. At once, attention to the waking state of consciousness ceases, and the enquirer remains egoless, abiding in and as the Heart, observing impartially all states of consciousness as one emanation, as stated below:

"The ancient, effulgent being, the indwelling spirit, subtle, deep-hidden in the lotus of the Heart, is hard to know. But the wise man following the path of meditation, knows him and is freed alike from pleasures and pain." Katha Upanishad, p. 17-18

"Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all." Katha Upanishad, p. 18

"I am the Atman (Self) that dwells in the heart of every mortal creature. I am the beginning, the life span, and the end of all." (Krishna to Arjuna) Bhagavad Gita, p. 88

"The devoted dwell with Him They know Him always There in the Heart Where action is not" Bhagavad Gita, p.59

"Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered in the cave of the heart, the abode of the Most High, but the knowers of Brahman and the householders who perform the fire sacrifices see a difference between them, as between sunshine and shadow." Katha Upanishad, p. 19

"That being, who is the power of all powers and is born as such, who embodies himself in the elements and in them exists, and who has entered the lotus of the heart, is the immortal Self." Katha Upanishad, p. 21

"That being, of the size of a thumb, dwells deep within the heart. He is the lord of time, past and future. Having attained him, one fears no more. He, verily, is the immortal Self." Katha Upanishad, p. 21

"Radiating from the lotus of the heart, there are a hundred and one nerves. One of these ascends towards the thousand petalled lotus in the brain." Katha Upanishad, p. 24

These quotes state that the all pervading Self, as Brahman, is situated in the Heart, and from there light the body and the mind. To gain some clarification about the relationship between the Heart, the Self, and Maya, I've also quoted from the Sri Ramana Gita, which focuses on jnana or enquiry into the Self. (As an analogy, the Heart is to the body like the singularity of a Black Hole in the Universe. It represents the substratum, ground or basis behind all appearances.)

"The 'I'-thought is said to be the root of all thoughts. In brief, that from which the 'I'-thought" springs forth is the heart. (verse 3) "The heart is different from the blood circulating organ. Hridayam' stands for Hird 'the center which sucks in everything', and ayam, 'this', and it thus stands for the Self. (v 5)

The location of the Heart is on the right side of the chest, not at all on the left. The light (of awareness) flows from the heart through the sushumna (para nadi*) to Sahasrara (thousand petalled lotus in the brain). (verse 6) "From there it flows to the entire body, and then all experiences of the world arise. Viewing them as different from the Light, one gets caught up in samsara. (verse 7)

"The Sahasrara of one who abides in the Self is nothing but pure Light. Any thought that approaches it cannot survive. (verse 8) "The universe is nothing but the mind, and the mind is nothing but the heart. Thus, the entire story of the universe culminates in the heart. (verse 12) "The notion that the seer is different from the seen is only in the mind. For those that abide in the Heart, the seer and the seen are one. (verse 19) Sri Ramana Gita, Ch V, p. 26-27

It becomes apparent from reading all these Gitas that they all state that it is only due to lack of enquiry into the nature of the "I"-sense in the body and mind that the True identity of one's self as the Self, with the all pervading, causeless, Brahman is not realizes. Once this enquiry is made the (para nadi) nerve referred to in the above quote from the Katha Upanishad, begins to resonate or pulsate "I as I" or "I, I, I, I, ..." versus the constant grasping of attention to "I-this", "I-that", and so forth with each rising thought.

To paraphrase, when the sense of "I" becomes localized through single enquiry, the nerve referred to begins to radiate incandescently, and the whole body is outshined in a blaze of living Light, having no more separation from the all pervasive Brahman. (This is similar to matter that blazes when sucked into a Black Hole.)

In the chapter concerning the vision of God in His Universal Form, Krishna tells Arjuna, after revealing to him essentially what He, as the Self of all, Witnesses, states:

"Neither by study of the scriptures, nor by austerities, nor by alms giving, can I be seen

But by single minded and intense devotion, that Form of Mine may be completely known, and seen, and entered into..." Bhagavad Gita, p. 97

Krishna further states concerning the various methods of devotion that:

"Certainly, all these are noble: But the man of discrimination [between Self and not self*], I see as my very Self. For he alone loves me because I am Myself: The last and only goal of his devoted heart."

Bhagavad Gita, p. 72 [*my italics]

In the Sri Ramana Gita the points regarding this subject - the knot between the Self and the body/mind, and their final break were made in the most concisely to the point manner, as follows:

"The nexus of the body and the Self is called the granthi (knot). It is only by this connection with the Self that one is aware of the body. (verse 3) "This body is insentient. The Self is pure awareness. The connection between the two is deduced through intellect. (verse 4) "Enveloped by the defused light of pure awareness, the body functions. Owing to non-apprehension (of the world) in sleep, (swoon) and so on, the location of the Self has to be inferred. (verse 5)

"Even as the subtle forces like the electric current pass through visible wires, the light of awareness flows through a nadi (nerve) in the body. (verse 6)

"The effulgent light of pure awareness, taking hold of a center, lights up the entire body as the Sun illumines the world. (verse 7)

"Owing to the diffusion of light in the body, one has experiences in the body. That center of radiation, the sages say, is the Heart. (verse 8)

"From the play of the forces in the body, one infers the flow of the light of awareness. The forces course through the body, each hugging their own special nadi. (verse 9)

"The particular nadi through which pure awareness flows is called sushumna*. It is also called atma nadi, para nadi, and amrita nadi. (verse 10) [*between the Heart and the brain]

"As the light pervades the entire body, one gets attached to the body, mistakes the body for the Self and regards the world as different from oneself. (verse 11)

"When the discerning one renounces attachment and the identification of himself with the body and pursues one-pointed enquiry, a churning starts in the nadis. (verse 12)

"With this churning of the nadis, the Self gets separated from the other nadis and, clinging to one nadi alone, shines forth.

"When the effulgent light of awareness shines in atma nadi alone, nothing else shines except the Self. (verse 14)

"He for whom the Atman (Self) alone shines within, without, and everywhere, as (clearly as) objects to the ignorant, is called one who has cut the nexus. (verse 16)

"When the light, withdrawn from all other nadis, dwells in one nadi alone, the bond (between awareness and the body) is sundered and the light abides as the Self. (v. 18)

"Since such a one has no sense of doership, his karma, it is said, is completely destroyed. As nothing but the Self exists, no doubts arise for him. (verse 21)

"Once the knot is cut, one is never bound again. This is considered the state of power and peace supreme." (verse 22) Sri Ramana Gita, Ch:IX, p. 49-55

Another well known Gita is the Avadhut Gita, the only known work of the Rishi Dattatreya, who lived sometime after Krishna. Avadhut means high Renunciate or Perfected Man. To get an idea of the state of one who ever abides as his Self, with no awareness of the body, I've included a couple of stanzas of this Gita here, as well:

"Atman is not the Knower, Nor is It the known. It is not accessible to inference. Words cannot describe This Consciousness Absolute. The mind is lost in Its majesty. How can it be explained to thee? Space-like immortality-giving knowledge am I. (verse 11)

"I am the eternal principle. Free from attachment and aversion, free from imperfections am I, Fate and providence exist not in me. Eternally free from the sufferings of the world, Verily, space-like immortality-giving Knowledge am I. (verse 13)

"Maya is not my modification. Nor is its glamour mine. Deceit, hypocrisy, truth and untruth Have no place in me. Space-like, immortality-giving knowledge am I. " (verse 18) Avadhut Gita, Ch III, p 25-27

The following are extracts from the Yoga Vashishta Sara, a condensed version of the Yoga Vashishta, the spiritual instructions of Vashishta to Rama, very similar to Krishna's instructions to Arjuna, which also helps to get a feeling for the meaning of non-dualism:

"Nothing whatsoever is born or dies anywhere at any time. It is Brahman alone appearing illusorily in the form of the world." Ch I: 23

"The Self is more extensive than space; it is pure, subtle, un-decaying, and auspicious. As such how could it be born and how can it die?" Ch I: 24

"O Rama, there is no intellect, no nescience, no mind and no individual soul (jiva). They are all imagined in Brahman." Ch III: 25

"O Rama, the mind has by its own activity bound itself; when it is calm it is free." Ch III 27

"O Rama, this enquiry into the Self of the nature "Who am I?' is the fire which burns up the seeds of the evil tree which is the mind." Ch V: 1

"How wonderful that in me, the infinite ocean of Consciousness, waves of jivas (individual souls) rise, sport for a while, and disappear according to their nature." Ch VI: 8

"Knowledge is not separate from you and that which is known is not separate from knowledge. Hence there is nothing other than the Self, nothing separate (from it)." ChVIII:6

The Chakra Checklist

The Chakra Checklist

The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the back to the top of the head. New Age practices frequently associate each chakra with a particular color.

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