" 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.
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 !
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 !
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
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.
because it is not attached to you ever "
v a n a p r a s t a
Part - 3
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 of
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 !
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
at 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 !
Master : You need not wonder because its always happening
a s h r a m a
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.
d h y a n a m
d h y a n a m
" 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
M E D I T A T I O N
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 "
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 !
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 !
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.