More And More Of Less And Less

Off The Cuff Utterances

" when a sanyasin stopped witnessing but realize
what he witnessed all along is just his own self as the
consciousness then he would rise above all the phases
in life and merge one with the total consciousness again "

s a n y a s a
Part - 3

Witnessing the world without getting influenced by it is a much evolved state but certainly not any realization of the self. The phase of sanyasa is crucial in terms of realizing the truth sooner or later. Its mainly because during the phase of sanyasa, the individual withdraws his self from distraction of the external world and perhaps begin to live within his self like living in some cocoon.

Disciple : Sanyasa is perhaps a preparation for realization ?
Master : Not as a rule but technically speaking yes !
Disciple : But all sanyasins are not necessarily close to
realization just because they wear the sanyasa robes ?
Master : Need not be. Far from it, they would still be
struggling in the world of multiplicities !

The struggle of a sanyasin is to stay afloat in the world without drowning in it. He may develop resistance from drowning but there is always a threat from within his mind which push him often to perform and get trapped in dualistic nature of the world. There is no fixed period of time for a sanyasin to cross the phase and rise above all the phases.

Disciple : A sanyasin is not automatically
qualified to get realized his self ?
Master : He may be qualified but he is
usually unsure of the time taken to get
out of the phases and live a life totality !
Disciple : How is the man of totality
known as ? What phase of life he lives in ?
Master : He does not belong to any phase
anymore, he is called as avadhuta !

A brahmacharin, grihastin, vanaprastin and sanyasin follow certain social etiquette but avadhuta acts without consideration for standard social etiquette. He may appear unconcerned and indifferent to the everyday happenings of life. But he is neither trying to witness nor participate but just goes about life as it comes. He may not fear the consequences of his behaviour but will do and say what come to him and be prepared to face the consequences too.

Disciple : I wish to know of this man
called avadhuta. It is intriguing !
Master : OK ! Some time soon !
Disciple : Is it a fine line between a
sanyasin and a avadhuta ?
Master : In fact there is no line
that divides any of the phases !
Disciple : Oops. So what actually
divides them from each other ?
Master : Just their interpretation
of life around them psychologically !

The division between the phases or the ashramas is almost invisible and does not really exist. Only because the same individual may go through all the phases in his life in a day from moment to moment. The realization of the self is not something independent and a separate state from other four ashramas but only a realization that ashramas are only meant for one self to live a life of regulation and control without getting hurt by this world but to make a happy and intelligent living in it.

Brahmacharin - when you read the news paper

Grihastin - when you drive that car on the road
Vanaprastin - when you remove your shoes
Sanyasin - when you slept off finally

s a n y a s a

Sanyas happens on the daily basis to you. Most certainly during the sleep. You have renounced the whole world and just remain a silent witness without any active participation. You dont relate to anyone or even know anyone, you may not even who you are. Without any question or doubt or emotions, you just sleep. Sanyasi is supposed to be like that while living in this world.

Disciple : But I see so many sanyasis are busy in
building ashrams and actively particpating in
public life, how is that to be understood ?
Master : Thats why a sanysin cannot remain a sanyasin but he
also become a brahmacharin or a grahastin or a vanaprastin. The
four ashramas are inseperabale and blended well with each other !

A sanysasin contains all the four ashramas and can visit any of them at will. When you become aware of the four ashramas well and witness them happening in your and others lives, then you have entered the sanyasa ashrama fully. But if the phases are understood to be divided and compartmentalized, strictly based on age, then it will lead to a lot of confusion in life.

Disciple : But you said during the sleeping
time everyone is a sanyasi ?
Master : Thats true. The sense of - I - is not
so strongly present then. So it is like some
kind of renunciation phase called sanyasa !
Disciple : If sleeping is the criteria then
I am a sanyasin most of the times in a day !
Master : It is heartening to hear that !

All phases are equally important in their own ways. No phase is superior than the other. If someone thought to be great because he has finally reached the phase of sanyasin, then he has been making a fool of himself all along to conisder that he lived a less evolved state till then. The evolution of man is a combination of all these phases and not from the first phase to fourth phase.

Disciple : I understand well that the phases are interconnected
and is happening all the time in my life, is there anything more
I should know about the various phases of my life ?
Master : Yes, to be aware of the phases as they take place will
eventually get you out of the phases and go beyond them !

When you are not aware of the four phases, you are bound by them and when you become aware of them, you transcend them. But even after transcending you would still have the four phases playing in your life, but you will not be influenced by the outcome of those phases anymore. Unifluenced by the phases but dealing with them in total awareness enables the seeker to rise above the bondage and taste the nectar of bliss in the form of freedom.

" sanyas does not indicate enlightenment
but just a state of total detachment "

s a n y a s a
Part - 1

It would be absurd to conclude that a sanyasi is a enlightened individual. He has only learnt the knack of withdrawing from everything and may not allow anything to influence him anymore. He has just managed to master his mind. But that does not amount to any form of realization yet.

Disciple : OMG, I was under the impression
that all sanyasis are enlightened?
Master : Thats ok. Nothing to lose in
such a thinking. but get real now !
Disciple : Whats the difference between
a vanaprastin and a sanyasin?
Master : Vanaprastin is withdrawing from the
world and a sanysasin is witnessing the world !

To witness the world one should have withdrawn from it sufficiently. In other words if you learnt how to participate then you are a brahmacharin, if you actually participate in this worldly events then you are a grihastin, if you withdraw from participating, then you are a vanaprastin and when you have fully withdrawn and just witness the whole world go by, you have become a sanyasin.

Disciple : Does it mean the sanysasin will never
participate in anything in his life
Master " Not really. If so, then when the food
arrives in his plate he would just watch it and
may not have to eat it !
Disciple : I wonder if anyone can do that ?
Master : Exactly. Every body participates
but with sanyasin there is a difference !
Disciple : May I know what is the difference ?
Master : While others have too many choices
he may not have many choices but just
eat what comes to his plate ! He stops himself
being choosy about everything !

Witnessing the world is not standing by the roadside like lamp post and watch everything. But to be in the world and not get influenced by its stifling changes. He does not relate to the world emotionally or sentimentally. He observes all the emotions, his own included, but never identify with them. But physically he seem to be part of everything despite not influenced by any of them.

Disciple : Is this the highest state of human life?
Master : Somewhat getting close to it, but
still distances have to be crossed !
Disciple : Is it ? I thought this is the last ashrama ?
Master : Sure this is the last and final phase !
Disciple : Then what about self realization? Does it not
happen in this ashrama, if this is the final phase ?
Master : Realization of the self is not any phase
but is just beyond the four phases !

The sanyas is kind of preparing the ground for that elusive thing called enlightenment, but certainly not enlightenment. Sanyas is one more phase in life and need not necessarily lead to any awakening even after that phase as a rule or condition. If someone imagined to be enlightened just because he changed his name and the color of the clothes, it would spell disaster to him on the path to the real awakening.

Disciple : But if this is the last phase in life then
it should be automatic to get enlightened just after that?
Master : It would be so nice if it happened that way
but unfortunately things are quite illogical and
indefinite when it comes to this enlightenment zone !
" your renunciation does not change
anything externally except a quiet
inner psychological transformation "

v a n a p r a s t a
Part - 4

You neither can renounce this world, nor can renounce your body, breath, mind or even the ego, but you can only renounce incredible projections of your mind about life and people. Your perceptions of life based on your various emotions alone can be renounced. When the projections ended, you begin to see life as it is. Withdrawal from a long nurtured projections are always difficult and hence the individual usually is found as bound, despite his knowledge about renunciation.

Disciple : The renunciation and the need for it must have
been taught even during the phase of brahmacharya ?
Master : Yes, but perhaps is understood much later in life !
Disciple : But the modern education have no place for
such a thing called withdrawal or renunciation ?
Master : Its true ! The education these days is
mostly directed towards more active participation
and somehow not about the need for renunciation !

When life is only about the participation and success and never about withdrawal and peace, then it can drive an individual to face endless challenges throughout his life. This may result in a sense of incompleteness. Obviously the modern day education has ignored this phase unknowingly.

Disciple : But renunciation is understood as
some kind of inability or a failure by many ?
Master : That's the present day
education all about !
Disciple : What could be the reason for it?
Master : Juts the thirst for success and happiness
drives people to ignore the other side of life !
Disciple : Renunciation cannot bring happiness?
Master : It can bring only peace, but the
participation in life brings happiness or sorrow !

However, its important to know when to renounce and how to renounce than just renounce blindly. The priorities can never be interchanged. Grihasta and vanaprasta are totally paradoxical in nature and should be understood well before entering into their phases.

Disciple : Do vedas have the details of such
intricate information about when to
participate and when to renounce ?
Master : Yes. The vedas in assorted portions
explain in such exhaustive details about the
different phases of an individual
quite comprehensively !

when the inseparable nature of the varnashramas is understood and recognized well, you can incorporate them eventually in to your daily live and find fulfillment in the present moment itself. There may not be a need to wait till 40 years to renounce to find peace but it can happen well within a day and night efficiently.
" you cannot renounce this world
because it is not attached to you ever "

v a n a p r a s t a

Part - 3

The suffering of an individual comes from his own wrong understanding of the world and his relationship with it. Mostly it is misreading the relationships with people that causes a great share of suffering. Man finds it easy to renounce the inert objects, but always not so with human relationships.

Disciple : What should be the reason for it ?
Master : Primarily due to the improper

understanding of what exactly renunciation is !

Disciple : What is exactly is the mistake they commit ?

Master : They mistake that they have to stay out
sight of an object or a person in order to renounce it !

Disciple : Can you give an example ?

Master : You can decide to give away your clothes
to someone because you thought of renouncing them
but the actual renunciation is not the clothes but the
thought you carry that you own those clothes !

People somehow get trapped with a strange idea about the world and start to own up a few things as one's own and reject the rest. Rarely it strikes them that they cant renounce anything externally but all that they can renounce is their ideas about the world and people in it. As a grihastin you have to attach to the world and as a vanaprastin you just detach from it. Both times, it just your thoughts that make you think that you owned or disowned this word, the world remains just the same as always.

Disciple : So the renunciation is only the ideas
about the world and not the world itself?

Master : Exactly. Only because the world does
not know you owned or disowned something !

Disciple : Its almost clear but not really !

Master : If you thought the TV you watched
home belonged to you, it is just your thought
and the TV does not know that it belonged to you !

Disciple : I got the point !

Besides, there is a good number of people who think that to renounce something is to keep it away from sight or get away from its sight. They seldom try to find out whats the problem actually in dealing with a particular object or a person. They go on insisting their ignorance in the form of jumping to extremes from infantilized attachments to rip off from it out of frustrations. They just don't let things as they are, but either suffocate it out of love or shy away out of hatred.

Disciple : So there is nothing to rearrange
anything in the world for one's own renunciation
but only correct one's own perception ?

Master : Very well said !
Disciple : Do you say that the renouncing
ideas towards other human beings is more
difficult than with other objects ?
Master : Truly so !
Disciple : What could be the reason ?
Master : Because of the human ability to
emote, one start to take the emotions of
others for real and get trapped in them !
" whenever you go to sleep,
you are in the phase of renunciation "

v a n a p r a s t a
Part - 2

The phase of renunciation happens invisibly all the time to you. When just closed a book from reading, shut off the TV from watching, put down telephone from a long and winding gossip, push the plate away on table at the end of a fulfilling lunch, leave a city or a country you visited, quit a job, close a bank account, divorce the married life, leave the seat you occupied for some one else, park you car at the lot after a hectic driving are some of the many symptoms of renunciation in a daily life.

Disciple : I think you are talking about me here ?
Master : That's just a self important thought from you !
Disciple : Why do you say that ?
Master : Because the whole world does the same, not just you !
Disciple : So Im withdrawing from many things always ?
Master : True. But also go back to them later on !

The phases or the ashramas are functioning in a cyclical fashion. Constantly renouncing something and constantly adapting to something else. Unless you renounce something, you cannot progress further in life. You renounce the breath in the form of exhalation so that you have inhale a fresh new breath of air. You leave a step behind so that you can take the next step forward.

Disciple : Which is the most distinct form of renunciation
one does in the scheme of every day living?
Master : Sleeping. It demands total renunciation
of everything you held on to till that point !

Sleeping is possible only after you withdrew from everything completely, that includes even the thought about sleep. That's total renunciation from the manifested world to the unmanifest, but without sufficient knowledge about it. The sleep happens on its own and one does not make an effort to sleep. Hence it is not actually a conscious renunciation but however it still helps you to get a taste of what renunication is like.

Disciple : But sometimes how much ever
try, the sleep does not happen ?
Master : Exactly, its a natural phenomenon
and happens on its own. You cant force it !

The reason why the vanaprasta ashrama was fixed at a much later age is only to indicate that the renunciation can happen more naturally at that time. Also the mental faculties of learning and retention and retrieval of what was learnt can slow down as the age advances. The urges also die away a more natural death when you cross the 40 age milestone.

Disciple : But I see people behaving like children at 40 too?
Master : True, they mostly grew up with unwarranted fantasies
and such fantasies can never become a reality, their brahmacharya
phase was not a proper one because they never learnt the right thing !
Disciple : What is the plight of such people ?
Master : They will catch a much delayed flight to the destination !
"when you reverse the course of grihasta,
you will enter the next phase"

Part - 1

After the phases of learning and applied living, the third phase emerges in one's life. Presumably the phases are so exclusive and unique in their design and function. While the brahmacharin learns the knack of survival in the world, the grihastin actually applies his learning and lives his life in the world. But up comes the next phase which demands the grihastin to turn to a whole new phase called vanaprasta.

Disciple : But how can turning off a TV be related to this phase ?
Master : Simply because of the fact you decided to withdraw from
watching TV, you enter the vanaprasta phase !

Vanaprasta is all about withdrawal from the world. As grihastin, you participate in life's events and as a vanaprastin you withdraw from the same life. They both are contrasting each other in a direct manner. While turning on the Tv can be compared to grihastin, turning it off is about being vanaprastin. They complement each other and cannot exist without each other.

Disciple : Whats the age group meant for this phase ?
Master : Chronologically speaking, it is between 40 to 60 !
Disciple : What is the literal meaning of the word?
Master : Vanaprasta means 'withdrawal into jungle' !
Disciple : Why with draw into jungle ?
Master : It was a way of keeping away from the
world during the gangetic civilization when the
vedic proposals to the common man was in peak practice !
Disciple : The vedas were composed during that period ?
Master : Much ahead, but people started using it during the
gangetic civilization at a more intense pace !
Disciple : Which period the gangetic civilization belong to ?
Master : 3500 to 5000 years ago and Vedas were apparently
composed even before that !

The subtler understanding of the vanaprasta ashrama needs a practical mind, which is more centered in the present than some glorious past. The relevance of the vedic statements in to day's context of living remains as important as the days when they were composed. In the present day's context, vanaprasta phase is practiced throughout the day and night, every time you withdrew from some activity.

Disciple : But I dont seem to withdraw from anything ?
Master : Not really. You withdraw all the time from many things !
Disciple : Im surprised to hear this, because I always wondered
how renunciation or withdrawal will ever happen in my life ?
Master : You need not wonder because its always happening
to you in your life daily. Just that you dont notice that well !

The varna ashramas are like a cyclical process. The wheels of this phases will spin forever in a man's life till the day he liberates himself from all the ashramas. This wheel of transformational phases, itself can cause bondage. The best way to break the shackles of this wheel of phases is to understand their functionalities well and apply them in your life fully with awareness. Soon you would find yourself grown out of all the phases.
" whenever the world leaves an
impact on you, you are a grihasta"

g r i h a s t a
Part -2

As a student (brahmacharin) the world is not so much of a threat or even a challenge, in fact you never encounter the world like the way you do as the house holder(grihastin). Grihasta literally means, owning a house. But in order to own a house, you should essentially undergo lots of experiences in life, which indicates the applied living more appropriately. You come face to face with the world only in this phase. You face it, fight it out, win and lose, be successful or a failure, but cannot escape the world while passing through this phase.

Disciple : So the brahmacharin does not face the world at all?
Master : Mostly not. His problems are well confined to academics.
If he had to face the world in any form then at that moment he is
only a grihastin and no more a brahmacharin !
Disciple : Can you give an example to understand that ?
Master : If a student earned his own money to study then he is
living through the phases of brahmacharya and grihasta together !

Two most difficult things in life happens during the grihasta's phase, namely, building a home and living a married life. There is a endless onslaught of challenges thrown at the grihasta during the phase. But when the grihastin has enough knowledge learnt during the phase of brahmacharya to back himself, he would sail through the phase more easily. The knowledge gathered come handy to apply in the times of crisis.

Disciple : But is it a must to pass through
these phases in a systematic manner?
Master : That may not be possible. In
many developing nations, under aged
children are faced to work for living
without any primary education.
Their grihasta phase start very early.
Disciple : But what do they apply when
they don't have any knowledge ?
Master : perhaps that's how they are
being exploited so early in their lives !

The phases or the ashramas are not always followed in a fixed sequence of certain years, but it is only meant for that moment, according to the need of a situation arising at any point of time. Meanwhile, the grihasta phase is not just about pain, grief and challenges but the individual under go every possible sensual pleasures without inhibitions too. While the brahmacharya phase demands more focus on academics, there is little chance for sensuousness. But grihasta is all out to enjoy this world and he would not hesitate to do everything to make it possible.

Disciple : Does brahmacharya also teach
how to enjoy the sensuality of life?
Master : Rather they focus on how to stay in control
of such sensual experiences. They come to help
then the grihastin sometimes get out of control !
"when you decide to settle down in life, you
enter the next phase called grihasta ashrama"

Part - 1

While the first ashrama dealt with the learning phase of your life, the second phase follows close on heels, with its unique characteristics, such as finding ways to make a living in this world. As a student learning within the secured walls of the school, now the student has completed his studies and contemplates on career, profession, marriage and importantly a family.

Disciple : But why do you call it as applied living ?
Master : Because the student now applies his
knowledge learnt in his school as a brahmachari !
Disciple : Does it mean he did not live a life before?
Master : He did. But not independently, but with
the support of his parents and the guru at the school !

Entering girhastashrama is to find ones own independent ways, mostly in consultation with elders, to make a living in this wide and wild world. Earlier on as a brahmachari, he lived a life without the worry about food and clothes as he was protected by his parents and other guardians. But now as he grew up and crossed the first 20 years, its time he would test his own skills at making a living and support his parents and others in turn.

Disciple : What is the age group meant for this phase ?
Master : Technically speaking, from 20 to 40 is the period !
Disciple : But these days students study well in to their 20's too ?
Master : True, they have more history and more information to study !

The reason why the age group for the various phases cannot be fixed is because of this reason. It may change from time to time. That's why it is more appropriate, when seen from a subtler perspective of living through the phases within a span of the day. Besides, you cant expect one to live for 80 years to complete all the phases in a natural manner.

Disciple : I understand that the phases divided within 80 years
can be just figurative understanding and cant be always real ?
Master : Well said. Because it appears that one has to always
wait for 80 years to complete all the phases successfully !

The grihasta ashrama begins right from the time you plan about your future life. Whenever you get busy about planning your life, you are passing through the phase of the applied living. Technically it is also called as the phase of the house holder. Its because, you plan to settle down in the form of getting a job, marriage and family and find a home to live your life applying the various things you learnt in life.

Disciple : But which are the times
one becomes a grihasta in daily life?
Master : Whenever you step out of
your house to go to work, to earn money,
whenever you felt the need for a man or
woman in your life, a home to live and
children to parent and protect, and
secure your life for all of your future,
then you are entering into the
grihasta phase of your life !

Within a day, when you remembered about your house tax to be paid, electricity bill to be cleared, the pending visit to the bank about your loans and account, the school fees of the children to be paid, thoughts about work, office, boss, colleagues, buying properties, house rent, change of job, promotion, increment, going through old pay slips, entering int o some business, or expanding the existing business, counting money in the locker, shopping, cooking, are some of the many many occasions when you display distinct quality of a grihasta.

Disciple : I seem to do all of that all the time ?
Master : That's OK. Its not wrong, just that
at this point of time you are predominantly
expressing as a grihasta !
Disciple : To be a grihasta is to be less evolved ?
Master : There is no less or more, when it comes
to this varna ashramas. They are all same !
"whenever you learn something in life,
you enter in to the phase of brahmacharya"

part - 2

While the first 2o years dedicated to the learning process, the learning does not end there. One keeps learning all through one's life. Every time a individual happened to learn something, he passes through the phase of brahmacharya all over again. And the learning happens all the time, that's why separating ashramas based on age factor can prove to be a grosser exercise.

Disciple : I have a pertinent query in this connection ?
Master : Thats alright, as long as you understand what
you ask about, then all queries are pertinent only!
Disciple : I always thought brahmacharya is about
maintaining one's celibacy. In fact I was told that way.
How do I understand the connection here ?
Master : Usually brahmacharya ashrama is slotted
in the first 20 years when there is little chance of
any sexuality naturally. But such a natural state
has been stretched far beyond the need and became a
sole meaning to that particular phase !

The celibacy is a not a need for children, who have not yet matured as adults for exercising the sexual freedom. That means there is no question of practicing celibacy as a rule for the growing child. It was just a bit of distorted thinking that gave this false singular interpretation to brahmacharya as a strict abstinence from sensuousness. The ashramas do not govern one's life as a thumb rule, but only indicate the various psychological phases possible in a seeker's life.

Disciple : So how exactly I'm to know that
I am a brahmachari even in my family life ?
Master : Yes, even in a married life, the
phase of brahmacharya is possible, every time
you read the news paper in the morning !
Disciple : How come reading news paper can be
an exercise of brahmacharya? It baffles me !
Master : When you read news paper you tend
to learn something about this world which you
did not know before. That's precisely when you
become a brahmachari !

Not just the newspaper, even watching TV or just browsing the internet, or just gossiping in the office, whenever you came to know of a new thing, you have spontaneously slipped in to the mode of learning. Even if you are a married man, at that time, you are just a learner or brahmachari only. A man on the death bed decided to learn meditation and some breathing exercises, then he is no more a man of retirement and death but a fresh learner of meditation and thus a brahmachari.

Disciple : So it can happen any time ?
Master : Yes even when you learnt a
new recipe from the cook book !
Disciple : Truly amazing, to know
one can be a brahmachari all his life !

So the scriptures also propose a time table for the individual in its karma kandas (section of vedas that describe the art of living through various rituals). When you wake up, the mind is fresh and ready to absorb new information. So the scriptures talk of early morning, as the ideal time to practice brahmacharya, in the form of learning and practicing spiritual exercises. The quality of learning is at its best only during the freshness of the early morning even though anytime is suitable for learning.

Disciple : In my case, learning
never happened in the morning !
Master : It must have happened
just before the early morning ?
Disciple : How did you now that ?
Master : Most people choose either
early morning or late night for
the learning purpose !
Disciple : But they are so much in
contrast with reference to time ?
Master : Not really. The late night
and early morning are divided by
just a couple of hours only !
"brahmacharya ashrama is a phase
of learning and not about celibating"

Part -1

Literally speaking, this phase of human life is usually the first 20 years when the young novice is set upon seeking ways to know his essential self. Though labeled as 'soul searching', the brahmacharya is about learning a lot of material sciences too. Young children who were initiated in to the studies of the self, had lot more to learn about their world, than just about one's Self.

Disciple : That's quite early to search for the soul ?
Master : Yes, but only when you start early, you
may end up finding it before you get too old !
Disciple : usually I have seen people planning their
bit of soul searching, at much later stages in life !
Master : True, it may happen any age or stage.
The learning indeed goes on all the time !

A brahmachari learns all that which may guide him to find out the nature his own self. Of the many sciences taught, there were prominent ones such as, Dharma Shastra - Moral science, Arta Shastras - Material sciences, Samkhya Shastra - Intellectualism, Shastra Shastra - Science of Weaponry, Neeti Shastra - Jurisprudence, Shilpa Shastra - Iconography, Vaastu Shastra - Science of Spaces, Nyaya Shastra - Science of Logic.

Disciple : That's awe inspiring list of wisdom for
the children to learn, so early in their lives !
Master : Quite rightly so. All the learning were
tailored to put the child on track of existential truth !

As part of their initiation in their studies, they are taught how to live a life of dedication and determination. Symbolically they tonsured the head of the child, who entered the school of wisdom, leaving just one portion of hair as tuft. Traditionally speaking that small tuft of hair indicates the singlepointedness of the child in learning. They may not focus on anything else but just the learning.

Disciple : I thought the tuft was meant for the guru to
catch the erring student, especially if he runs away ?
Master : Yes sometimes, it must have worked that way too !
Disciple : But why these days such disciplined phase of
life is not made available to children ?
Master : The format must have been changed, but even today
the child has all the facilities to learn everything under sun
within their stipulated 20 years or even more !

Even if the education is generally made available to the child in the modern days, still the dedication and determination of a student in schools of wisdom during the days of yore, has been always unmatchable even today. Mainly because of the spiritual intonations of the teachings imparted to the children.
" Vedas divide your your life in to phases
and then it unifies you as one whole "

Part- 2

The four ashramas classified by vedas are not independent of each other. They are very closely woven together that they cant be separated. While the grosser understanding of ashramas is classifying the span of one's life, it also subtly conveys that the ashramas are just various states of mind that you may pass through within a day several times.

Disciple : This is news for me. Are you saying the
all the four ashramas can be lived within one day ?
Master : Not even one full day, but within minutes !
Disciple : That's heartening to hear, because I am not
sure if I'm going to live for 80 years to complete all
the four ashramas properly without leftovers !
Master : Precisely for the same reason, the vedas
inculde the various periods of time in a day
encompassing different ashramas !

Its also important to understand that you will not renounce the earlier ashrama, as you enter the new ashrama. Instead, the proper understanding will be, that you set yourself upon a particular ashrama, suitable to a particular mode of mind, demanded by the present situation at that time.

Disciple : Do you meant to say the ashramas
are just human psychological divisions ?
Master : Yes, primarily it is that way, but in a
much grosser sense, it is divided in the total
span of life time of an individual !

Psychologically speaking, the mind undergoes various modifications within moments endlessly. Every psychological predisposition can be attributed to any one of the ashrama at any given point of time. A thorough understanding of the various ashrama and their individual characteristics is vital in capturing them playing in your own psyche.

Disciple : Now this seem to be getting interesting.
Some kind of mind game for me to perform ?
Master : You need not perform any mind game
because they are going on already. You just need
to recognize them when it is at play !

The brahmacharya, grihasta, vanaprasta, sanyasa are the milestones in the journey of life. Only difference is perhaps this journey of life does not go in a straight line but in a circles. In the sense that there is no beginning or end to this cycle.

Disciple : Sounds quite intriguing, wish to
explore this one at the earliest !
Master : Yes you will, As you explore you
should be able to incorporate your findings
in your every day living in small ways at least !
" life is a nonstop flow, but the seeker's
life is phased conveniently without
disturbing the fabric of his worldliness "

a s h r a m a
Part - 1

Consciousness is undivided by itself. But every thing that envelops it seem to have defined divisions. Like the many seasons that return year after year, like the different age groups people classify their lives into, like the trees have many stages of springing, flowering and falling, like the animals having various seasons for various reasons, human life too has been phased well and compartmentalized.

The Vedic scriptures have a knack of dealing with lives of seekers in a more practical way. In fact vedas have elaborated every human aspect to such finest detail, that the magnitude of vedas had become bulky and enormous and appears very exhaustive today. Among its various proposals to humanity, vedas suggest to phase out one's life in such manner, that there is a organized way of living and seeking.

Disciple : You said vedas 'propose', why is that ?
Master : Yes, they dont dictate or declare or
even command but makes plain proposals !
Disciple : What happens if they command ?
Master : The commandments may not liberate
but can enslave. Commandments are for slaves !

However, vedas too emphasise the need to organize one's life, in order to make it a wholesome affair, especially when it comes to 'self realization' resonating with every day living. It has divided human life in to four stages such as brahmacharya ashrama (learning phase), grihasta ashrama (implementing phase), vanaprastha ashrama (withdrawal phase), sanyas ashrama (renunciation phase).

Disciple : Now this sounds too contradicting !
Master : How come ?
Disciple : You went on saying that realization
happens just in the moment, when someone
lived without any division. But this ashrama
concept sounds as if one has to divide all over again ?
Master : Precisely, you divide your life till that moment
of realization comes, then you divide no more !

Scriptures, religions, gurus play just their bit to organize the seeker's life, in order to get him to that moment of realization. The concept of ashramas in one's life is capable of giving certain discipline, as the seeker approaches truth without any unwanted hangups nagging him secretly. A proper and complete understanding of the dynamics of ashramas is a must before one start to follow them.

Disciple : What are the age groups alloted to each ashrama ?
Master : Roughly speaking every 20 years, the individual gets
promoted to the next ashrama, assuming that the average life span
of human being stands at 80. These days it could be less too !
Disciple : Which means I already missed out one ashrama ?
Master : You need not lose your heart, because the ashramas
are so flexible, that they function efficiently in multi dimesions !
Disciple : May I know how is that ?
Master : One need not wait for 80 years to complete
all the ashramas, but within the span of a day all the
ashramas can be effectively explored.
" meditation is not meant for finding peace and calmness
but to stir yourself enough to wake up to your true self "

d h y n a m
Part - 43

Ironically, we want to consider meditation or spirituality meant to provide soothing effects. Perhaps relaxing to the nerves which are stressed, like listening to some pleasant music or reading some heart warming story. Either a promise thrown in that all problems will be solved when you wake up in the morning or some hope is thrusted where things would change real soon.

Disciple : So to be spiritual is essentially
living with the problems is what you say ?
Master : not really ! I mean the problems you
have are not of any significance is what I say !
Disciple : But when the mind attains calmness,
it can experience self all the more better ?
Master : Not really, one can go to sleep too !
Disciple : Seeking peace of mind is not spirituality ?
Master : Absolutely not. But if you understand that
you have to otherwise seek noise and disturbance will
be again immaturity and jumping to extremes in life !

If you found peace of mind every time you meditated, then you should know that your meditation is not complete. The soothing effect will make your mind dull and will only put you to sleep. While it is harmless to sleep as you meditate, in the long run it may not serve you the true purpose.

Disciple : So what exactly I should do in meditation
instead of searching for peace of mind or calmness ?
Master : If the mind remain awake then it can explore
and realize the self. But a sleepy mind due to the
soothing effect may not be able to comprehend the self !
Disciple : Then why the peace of mind is glorified so much ?
Master : Because of the lack of knowledge about the self !
Disciple : What does it mean by self here ?
Master : The Consciousness or
Atman is called as self here !

Meditation is not against the idea of a peaceful mind, but certainly it is not the end result one should attain from it. One should not rest in the peace found during meditation but must make use of it to proceed further towards the awareness of the self in its unmanifest, original state.

" greatest revelation during meditation is
to know that you cant decide your life but can
only follow what is decided by the existence "

d h y a n a m
Part- 42

Its a strange and weird behaviour of the mind to believe that life is a decisive process, even though every moment is screaming loud of impermanence. The freedom to decide and then to execute towards success seem to be the hidden agenda among many seekers. The consciousness is 'Non-Decisive' and will always be so. If the consciousness is Non-Decisive, then its expressions would be the same too.

Disciple : I did not understand everything you said
but i know you are making an important point there !
Master : I said there is nothing concrete about this life !
Disciple : True, I agree and also experience that always !
Master : Then what makes you think you can live a decisive
life, in this non decisive world of happenings all around you ?
Disciple : I got the point now. But somehow it does not sink in !
Master : The meditation is meant just for that purpose indeed !

But for all strange reasons, meditation is practiced among many seekers in order to decode some secret formula, by which they can decide their own course of lives. This freedom to chart the course of one's own life is result of the stunning ignorance of mind. Meditation is a process where this ignorance will be exposed and the truth of the life is experienced directly.

Disciple : It is difficult to accept such a knowledge
that I cannot decide the course of my own life !
Master : Why whats the problem in that ? After all
you need not break your head always about decisions !
Disciple : I may feel somewhat teeth less or spineless
or perhaps worthless with such a knowledge !
Master : This is what the self help, new age schools
of wisdom have done to most people these days !
Disciple : Is it wrong to believe in oneself ?
Master : Where is the need to believe in oneself
when you experienced the self itself as you ?

Authentic meditation is meant to experience yourself than believing in your self. You believe in something which is other than yourself. But there is absolutely no need to believe in your own self. Because believing your self to be successful or peaceful can bring relief, but does not settle other issues which will keep troubling you from time to time.

Disciple : How does the experience of the self help me ?
Master : It will bring clarity to your clouded mind about
the crucial decision making in your life !
Disciple : I never thought they are both connected !
Master : True. I know you never thought that way !
Disciple : Can you please elaborate ?
Master : Belief in the self brings only the pressure to make
right decision and avoid wrong decisions in life !
Disciple : I understood that part. But does it mean the
experience of the self prevents me from decision making ?
Master : In fact it will only tell you that you don't decide
anything in your life, but simply confirm or don't confirm
to the various situations which appears like decision making !
"Authentic meditation is not a journey from outside to inside
but an realization that there are no inside or outside to Truth"

d h y a n a m
Part - 41

The endeavor of moving from outside to inside has been the pinnacle of most spiritual sciences, in order to find the 'hidden treasure' . Meditation is also used for the same purpose among many seekers, who have learnt the knack of slipping in to their own selves, in search of that elusive consciousness. But least they know that the inside/outside differences are simply the assumptions of their own mind.

Disciple : But you have been talking
about the inner consciousness too ?
Master : Its a language used originally
to appeal to the divided mind of the seeker,
So I may continue that language even now !
Disciple : Does it mean there is actually
no inside and outside differences exist?
Master : True, the true meditation should
lead the seeker to this knowledge ultimately !

The spatial differences of inside and outside are built up by the mind, which is so much used to divide and then see, since time unknown. Though meditation appears to be a journey at the start, from outside world to the inner consciousness, upon reaching the apparent core or the so called essence of the self, it comes to discover the Truth, that there are no sides to the all pervading consciousness.

Disciple : Why is this faulty vision by the mind happens ?
Master : It is not faulty. The mind is designed perfectly to
perceive things only that way, to divide and see !
Disciple : Then who discovers the undivided consciousness ?
Master : The same mind only will have to do that too !
Disciple : How can the mind function different from its
original design and discover undivided consciousness?
Master : That's the challenge, that's why the spirituality
appears to be such a task or a difficult thing !

The seeker can have the freedom to divide as inner and outer, till some stage in his seeking, but when he is matured in the process of meditation, it crosses his head one day, like a shooting star in the dark night sky, that something is amiss or simply incomplete in him. Thats when the real break through in seeking happens.

Disciple : Why cant this be told in the start itself
and make the seeker's meditation a lot more easier ?
Master : Chances are that he may never seek further
or ever meditate again in his life, if the Truth is told as it is !
Disciple : But you seem to tell me the truth now,
does it mean I'm matured enough to know ?
Master : You are matured enough to ignore Truth as of now !
So its OK, but someday these words will ring a bell during
your journey from the 'outer' world to the 'inner' self !
" There is nothing to lose or gain permenantly
in meditation but only connect what appears
to be disconnected presently "

d h y a n a m
(Part - 40)

Self awareness will remain as a distant reality as long as you practice meditation as a tool to drop or pick things. If you sat for meditation hoping to gather many good things and get rid of all the bad things, then you should know that you are under the illusory impact of maya. As you know maya is that non existent slippery thing which makes you think act and talk the way you do presently.

Disciple : What are the things usually people
want to pick from meditation ?
Master : Among the many things listed,
good long health, reading other's mind,
become intuitive, solve most difficult problems,
easy life without struggle, and choicest
blessings of god, peace of mind
focus of mind, concentration etc !
Disciple : Don't they happen ?
Master : They may happen, many times
even without meditation !
Disciple : OK, what are things usually
people want to drop ?
Master : dropping the ego, diseases, stressful
problems, casting of evil eyes from others,
psychological blocks etc
Disciple : Don't they happen ?
Master : Yes, they can happen
even without meditation at times !

While meditation has lots of benefits, a true seeker is never impressed with just these benefits and would want to rise above them to fulfill the actual purpose of meditation, even as he enjoys the various benefits that come his way. The seeker is dead in someone when he just concluded that meditation is meant to provide some peace of mind for the next few minutes.

Disciple : What is the wrong if someone seek the benefits ?
Master : Its not wrong to seek the benefits, but it is wrong
to conclude the meditation to serve just those benefits !
Disciple : Do you say there is no need to deny the benefits ?
Master : Yes indeed. No one need to deny the benefits as long
as it is happening as the result of meditation practices !
Disciple : But you seem to condemn the benefits ?
Master : I condemn not the benefits but limiting
the benefits of meditation to only very trivial things !

The final culmination of meditation is to strike a balance between your body , mind and the consciousness within. In other words, learning to attune the body and mind to the existence of the inner consciousness. Till such a time the other benefits should not blind the seeker and should not prevent him from exploration.

Disciple : What happens when my body
and mind is not in tune with consciousness?
Master : You find yourself incomplete and
will push yourself to search and find many things in life !
Disciple : So is it not good that way
that we can find many things ?
Master : Yes. But also we land in many
problems as we find many other things !
Disciple : I think i get your point !
Master : Whereas, to attune the body and
mind to the consciousness is to find the fulfillment
from within, which alone will make your search end !

We welcome the readers to explore more wisdom
from the master with the new blog
Questions that were forgotten to be asked,
contemplations which will shape your
spiritual progress and guide you to the point of Truth - Ed

" Meditation is done not to give up the ego
but to know that there is something beyond the ego
which is quietly supporting the ego "

d h y a n a m
Part - 39

Body and mind themselves do not need any meditation. They are OK themselves. But body and mind undergo meditation only to discover their own hidden, unknown part located on the other side. When meditation does not happen, the mind and body think they exist alone. They seldom realize the fact that there is a big daddy who actually is the big boss, without whom the body and mind have no existence of their own.

Disciple : That means the meditation does not
help the body and mind per se ?
Master : It helps them but not for their own sake
but to find out the hidden consciousness only !
Disciple : But you told earlier that mind can
never meet the hidden consciousness,
If I remember right ?
Master : Yes, it can never meet but only can realize !

One may never become politically wise or economically richer, or even as intelligent as Einstein, or compassionate like Jesus, or wise like Buddha or even as clever as that self help guru Dale Carnegie. There is not such a definite 'becoming something' in this process called meditation. Your mind comprehending your inner self does not guarantee a place in any famous people's list.

Disciple : Do you mean that after
meditation, I can never become famous
or rich or smart or even compassionate?
Master : Nobody is stopping you in fact
from becoming any of them as you wish.
But do not think meditation will
automatically elevate you there !
Disciple : Does it prevent me being elevated ?
Master : It just stops you bothering
about any rising and falling in life!
Disciple : What happens when I stopped
bothering about rising and falling in life ?
Master : When stopped rising or falling
you will become steady and balanced !
Disciple : How does that help me in any way?
Master : When you are steady and balanced,
you may have the first glimpses of hidden
consciousness, which is steady and balanced itself !

When your body and mind is active, they can only relate with the active world outside. They can never comprehend a silent, unmoving self within. Perhaps meditation is that process, where the body and mind come to certain point where they become inactive and quiet. That results in the realization of the Inner Self (Consciousness, Atman, God).

Anything that helps to arrest the mind from drifting outside can help you detect a bit of the consciousness. But meditation is certainly the most proven and most lasting than rest of everything else. Drugs, sex and alcohol can show a faint glimpse of what the consciousness is but meditation done out of proper understanding enables the mind to realize the self in the most concrete and lasting manner.

Disciple : Sex and drugs and alcohol also can help?
Master : They can, but they also can leave you
with the hangover, which can take you too far away
from the consciousness when the effect of the sex,
alcohol or drug disappeared from the body and mind !
Disciple : What is the outcome of this mind
realizing the inner consciousness ?
Master : The realization is the outcome and
there is absolutely nothing more left to know
or experience in life !

" meditation does not make you happy in the future
because it is not meant for what is coming ahead
but what is happening now "

Part 38

Future seem to hold the key to liberation for the all of humanity. The mad rush to know what lies ahead, has put the machinery of this world on the top most gear, busy predicting and prophesying all the time. Astrological predictions, meditative insights, prophetic visions are all considered as high quality spiritual stuff.

Disciple : Why everyone is keen about the future,
Even I seem to be more curious to know my future ?
Master : One main reason is that most of them don't
find the present moment as something great !
Disciple : So whats the point sticking on to the present,
when it has nothing great to offer to me now ?
Master : True. But the catch is when your mind is tuned
to seek the future, it would continue to seek the future
even when the good times arrived at your doorstep !

Mind always is habitual. It gets in to habitual patterns always. Longer the period, greater the habit is. When it is habituated to expect good times ahead, hope for a better future always, then it forgets to recognize the good times and better future, when they actually come knocking at the door some day.

Disciple : How does one miss a
good time from recognizing ?
Master : Just like now. You are
failing to recognize your good
times just this moment, despite
the fact they are plenty !
Disciple : Plenty ? You are kidding.
I don't see any good times here !
Master : If you fail to see now,
take my word, you will never see
them even in the future times,
as you plan to capture them some day !
Disciple : Gosh ! this one sounds scary !
But there is lot of bad elements mixed
in the present moment and perhaps
that's why I fail to see the good elements ?
Master : True, it would be the same always, the
good and bad always will be mixed up !

The good and bad times are always mixed up inseparably. If the mind is negatively poised then all the bad times are always highlighted. However tragic, your mind if positively tuned, will see goodness in that situation. If it is tuned to hope and expect that good times are yet to come and see presently only bad things, then most likely it would continue to see the baddies when the prospective future finally arrived.

Disciple : So meditation is to tune
the mind to see good things always ?
Master : Never ! Not that way !
Disciple : So what exactly is meditation
used for in the present context ?
Master : To rise above the good and the
bad experiences rattling you all the time !

True meditation in the advaita tradition is meant to get you out of all possible habitual hopes and expectations of an unborn happy future time yet to come. It is meant to get your mind freed from the habitual thinking and bring it intact to where it is supposed to be.

Disciple : Ok. then what happens
if the mind gets back to the present ?
Master : Meditation happens without effort.
Besides, your mind gets liberated from
the arresting hopes and expectations.
That would mean mind moves from emotions
to awareness and that's what precisely
the meditation is meant for !
Disciple : May I know what
is this awareness about ?
Master : Just about everything your eyes
could see, ears can hear, nose can smell
and skin can feel, tongue can taste !
Disciple : Sensing the moment fully?
Master : yes. But the most important
than that is the awareness of your
your own thinking presently !
Disciple : Can that be
called as total awareness ?
Master : Not until the awareness
happened about your own hidden self !

" meditation does not prolong your life
or terminate those deadly diseases "

d h y a n a m
Part - 37

Human life is the most precarious and highly susceptible and vulnerable of the entire creation. Man can catch cold if he did not cover his head, he may have his teeth decayed, if he did not brush his teeth every time he ate something, he has to always wrap himself in some kind of clothes, wear goggles in sun, carry umbrella or a trench coat if it rains, has to live in a house locked up from inside, may not go for a morning walk if his car had flat tyres, always protect himself from his own environment. But unfortunately, disease and death can still sneak in and can steal his life away.

Disciple : But spirituality and meditation come to rescue is
the popular thought. I know you are going to refute that !
Master : May be I'm not part of the popular belief system !
but what rescues from what ? You never mentioned that ?
Disciple : Meditation rescue or at least delay the process
of illness or death. This is a popular belief. I was even told that
the body of a dead one does not decay because the diseased
had meditated deeply all his life ?
Master : It is just sheer attachment with the idea of an
immortal body, that one resort to claim such silly things !
Disciple : But it happened to a great master in the past ?
Master : Unfortunately the master never lived to claim that
but everyone around did so to suit their own fancy !

Meditation is done in order to tune up to the natural living and natural dieing. But somehow it has been promoted to be understood differently. Stretching life span(at least by a week or so), body may smell like sandal wood despite the death, direct access to land of the gods, reading every one's mind around the world, while sitting on the pee pot, travel to any place without immigration hassles and tickets at will are some of the benefits many people think meditation can bestow. While such sweep staking promises can bring more people towards meditation, it can also rob the seeker of his natural right to realize his self as a result of all these confusing notions.

Disciple : So there is no physical or
tangible benefits of meditation at all?
Master : If there is any tangible benefit,
it is only an offshoot of meditation and
cannot be the primary benefit!
Disciple : The longevity is
not decided by meditation ?
Master : What does that really mean ?
Disciple : The spiritual masters
lived longer due to meditation?
Master : Self realized masters
never craved to live longer !
Disciple : Does it mean that
they wanted to die early ?
Master : They never planned
to stretch or shorten their
lives with the help of meditation
but only realize their true self !

The main purpose of eating food is only to satiate hunger. But over a period of time, we may forget that fact and start attribute eating to various other reasons like healthy living, losing weight, or to add weight, to try something new, for the sake of the taste buds, because its aromatic, because its a famous dish etc. Its true that eating has all those hidden reasons. But primarily it is meant for fulfilling the hunger only. Meditation too is meant primarily for the purpose of self realization but over a period of time we have lost the sight of it and shifted the priorities.

Disciple : But whatever we eat, for any reason, still
the hunger gets satiated automatically. So is meditation?
Master : Unfortunately not. Meditation for peace of mind
or stress relief, healing illness, sharpening memory etc
may never find you fulfilled with yourself.
Disciple : So what is meditation exactly meant for ?
Master : To know your true hidden nature regardless of
your healthy or unhealthy living. It does not matter
whether you are rich or poor, famous or infamous,
big or small, tax payer or tax evader, It is just
meant for enabling you to experience the unknown
hidden inside you deeply as whatever you are !
Disciple : What happens if I know this hidden self ?
Master : Life will come to a complete circle !
Disciple : Is that what I seek or want ?
Master : Yes. But you look for it everywhere else !
Disciple : If that happened then I don't need
anything else? Will I become rich or bankrupt ?
Master : We may have to wait and see !

" meditation makes you to neither progress nor regress
but only captures the 'real you' in that moment totally "

d h y a n a m
Part - 36

Meditation in the strictest advaitic sense will not drive you to become famous or successful and it may not even make you a pauper and carry the begging bowl from one village to another. Success and failure are just the ambitious mind's play. Self awareness has nothing to do with any of them. When you grew in self awareness, as you spend more time tuning up to your meditation, you will realize the play of your own mind more clearly.

Disciple : So meditation does not make me successful ?
Master : Meditation does not make you successful !
Disciple : Then perhaps a failure or a drop out ?
Master : Your dropping in and out is totally
independent of your meditation in life ! Do not
mix up meditation with success and failure !
Disciple : Then why I should Meditate ?
Master : To be aware of your inner self which is
a way beyond both your success and failure !
Disciple : Will my life get any better if
I become aware of my inner self ?
Master : If you become aware of your inner self
then you would not be bothered about your life
getting better or worse than what it is now !

Meditation does not make you rich and progressive and at the same time, it does not stop you from becoming one. All rich and progressive people need not have done any meditation. The dumb and the downtrodden need not have practiced meditation to reach wherever they are. It is incredibly an weird idea to consider yourself, the millionaire on the making, just because you know how to meditate 'productively'.

Disciple : So meditation does not help my financial status
grow or rising on the social rungs to be some special one ?
Master : You may twist the same question in any manner
but the answer is the same. Meditation is not meant for that !
Disciple : But I hear of people teaching abundance through
meditation ? They give techniques to hit the jackpot !
Master : Perhaps they can become wealthy and progressive

as they teach you such techniques of abundance !

Its kind of a spiritual comedy, staged by the few 'abundance' experts for a quick and easy buck, dishing out some 'powerful' meditation techniques out of ignorance. Meditation efforts initially can bring about certain focus in life, which may help you to do your work with a bit more involvement. But no one can conclusively claim or guarantee for wealth and abundance.

Disciple : But I was taught somewhere that If I entertain
thoughts of wealth in my mind during meditation, then it
would happen in real life too ?
Master : May be so. I have never tried that. But whatever
wealth means, still meditation is not meant for that purpose !
In fact because you entertain the thoughts of wealth during
meditation, that you may create a big block and do not
allow meditation to happen to you in a simpler manner
and as a result the wealth may also get prevented from
coming to you !

A mind without any agenda alone can allow meditation to happen more easily. The worst of all the agendas is to get rich quick or trying to protect what is already there. Both ways, the mind is only planning and not meditating. You cannot meditate because of anything. There is no cause involved in the real advaitic meditation. There is no purpose derived from the authentic meditation. You cant wait for some result in such real time meditation.

Disciple : All this sounds unbelievably impossible !
Master : True. Its next to impossible to sit quiet
without an agenda or a purpose or without a
result, unplanned and devoid of any strategies !
Disciple : What happens If I managed to sit like
the way you describe meditation to me now ?
Master : To sit like that even a for a passing moment
can be such an impossible task. But if you really
managed to sit, then you may not even bother to
question the happenings in your life !

The day when your total silence on the seat of meditation happened is the day of real abundance for you. The day when you can enter meditation without any agenda, you have already started knocking on the doors of abundance. Only hitch is that you would not be bothered to enjoy such an abundance. But it is meant for all others to enjoy. You may not hand out or supply abundance of bliss or fulfillment through a pipeline, but the world knows how to draw it from you.