Friday, November 23, 2012

Is Self- enquiry for everyone?

Is Self- enquiry for everyone?

Question: Can this path of enquiry be followed by all aspirants?

Answer: This is suitable only for the ripe souls. The rest should follow different methods according to the state of their minds.

~ Extract from “Spiritual instructions” Sri Ramana maharshi.

Question: “is it possible for all people to hold on to that path of self-enquiry?”

Answer: Bhagavan: “It is true that it is only possible for mature minds, not for immature ones.  
For the latter, repetition of a prayer or holy name under one’s breath (japa), worship of images, breath-control (pranayama), visualising a pillar of light (Jyotishtoma) and similar yogic and spiritual and religious practices have been prescribed. By those practices, people become mature and will then realize the Self through the path of Self-enquiry.

~ Extract from “Letters of Bhagavan” Sri Ramana maharshi.

763. Only to such a mind which has gained the inner strength of one-pointedness, Self-enquiry will be successful. But a weak mind will be like wet wood put into the fire of jnana-vichara.  

~ Extract from “Guru vachaka kovai” talks of Sri Ramana maharshi.

“A student who treads the path of Truth must, therefore, first equip himself with Sadhana Chatushtaya - the "four means of salvation". They are discrimination, dispassion, the sixfold qualities of perfection, and intense longing for liberation - Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutva. Then alone will he be able to march forward fearlessly on the path. Not an iota of spiritual progress is possible unless one is endowed with these four qualifications.”
"If you are a student of Vedanta or Jnana yoga you will have to equip yourself with the four means of salvation (Sadhana Chatushtaya). You will have to do Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana. Then only you will attain Brahma Sakshatkara."
by Sri swami Sivananda
Commentary: In jnana yoga is required from the aspirant to equip himself with the four means of salvation. This is known as (Sadhana Chatushtaya).
When the aspirant is qualified with the four means then has the necessary foundation to do meditation or self enquiry effectively. Then alone self-realization is possible.

Only very rare souls prepared from previous lives are ready to start their sadhana relatively easily with meditation and self enquiry. All the rest we have step by step to fulfil all the requisites and develop all the qualities that are necessary for deep meditation, self enquiry and Samadhi.  

I will remind you also the classification in patanjali yoga which is accepted also in all other yoga with some differences.
1.       Yama
2.       Niyama
3.       Asana
4.       Pranayama
5.       pratyahara
6.       concentration
7.       Meditation
8.       Samadhi

For a better understanding of the eight limbs of yoga you can read the book: Path to Blessedness -  by Swami Chitananda
We see that meditation and samadhi are the two last steps.
If we don’t fulfill the previous ones meditation and Samadhi are not possible.
Of course everyone can start to practice meditation or Self-enquiry from the beginning of his journey in order to develop his capacity in these practices. But these practices should be only a part of the daily program of the sadhana. 
 When all the necessary qualities of mind (such as purity, one-pointedness, discrimination, dispassion, etc.) will be developed in a high level then is possible the vedantic meditation or Self-enquiry to be the main daily practice.