Monday, April 11, 2016

SELF-AWARENESS vs IDENTIFICATION / Self-awareness the medicine of eternal peace and bliss ~ Atman Nityananda

Self-awareness the medicine of eternal peace and bliss

Our ego has been developed by its contact with the sensory objects. That's why its natural tendency is to run outside in the world of objects to have some kind of sensory experience. The ego is addictive to the pleasures that are created by the contact of the mind with the sensorial inputs. This outward tendency of the ego makes our mind and attention move together with ego outwards. The attention which is the light of awareness reflected on the buddhi makes the perception and the experience of the qualities of the objects possible. 

Due to the desirous nature of ego our mind is mostly extroverted, moving from one sense to another and from one object to another. Like a monkey is always moving here and there seeking new pleasurable experiences or repeat those that is addictive to. Only for a while relaxes and calms down, at the time that enjoys its desirable object; due to the fact that the mind calms down and becomes focused during the time of the enjoyment of a desirable object we have the opportunity to experience together with the pleasure to some degree happiness, contentment and peace which doesn’t come from the object but from our Soul. When the mind becomes calm and focused reflects naturally the peace and bliss of our Soul, but due to lack of discernment we fail to recognize this and we believe that we feel happy and content because of the sensorial pleasurable experience.

So, the mind is predominantly extroverted due to the ego's impulses which seek more, better and more intense pleasurable experiences in the world. The movement of ego is downward and outward. This attitude is supported by the rajas and tamas gunas. Tamas veils our true Self and grounds our attention in the gross body and ego and rajas causes the extroversion, movement, distraction and passion in the mind. If we want to experience the peace, bliss and freedom of our true nature we have to direct our attention and mind in the opposite direction, inwards and upwards. To achieve this we must purify our mind from tamas and rajas, dissolve the egoic tendencies and practice meditation.

Our ego wants pleasurable sensory experiences but our deeper self wants harmony, happiness, freedom, love, peace.  Our ego by nature wants to run always outwards, towards objects and this tendency of the ego keeps our attention and mind also outwards, in motion and distraction, dissipates our energy and causes unbalances, emotional suffering and diseases.

When we hear the good news that happiness, freedom, love and peace can be found in our heart we are already strongly conditioned by the egoic tendencies and patterns. Due to the force of habit and the accumulation of rajas and tamas gunas our ego compulsively and strongly drive our mind and attention towards objects. Ego has a tremendous capacity to identify with the objects and their mental representations (thoughts, images) and project on them by the power of imagination the illusory pleasure or pleasant sensations that expects to enjoy. By identification and projection the ego manipulates our Buddhi (intellect) and uses it as it likes. Intellect (Buddhi) is the higher part of the mind which normally should be the charioteer of the ego mind and senses. 


The charioteer (Arjuna) symbolizes the sattvic Buddhi (not the impure buddhi which is the condition of the majority of humans) that has control over the body (chariot), the manas-mind (reins) and senses (horses) and fights to kill the egoic tendencies and patterns. Sri krishna symbolizes the Pure Consciousness which enpowers the Buddhi and remains as the witness of this inner battle between the higher Self (the sattvic Buddhi endowed with the reflection of Consciousness) against the lower impure self (the rajotamasic mind and ego). The external field of the battle in which happens the fight between Arjuna (sattvic Buddhi) and his relatives (the innumerable egos), symbolizes the inner field of battle which is the fight between the higher Self against the lower self which is an aggregation of innumerable egoistic tendencies, (desires, anger, fear, greed, impatience, arrogance, pride, envy, jealousy, depression, likes, dislikes, attraction-repulsion o aversion). This is the great battle of life between the lower unconscious energies and the energies of the light (Consciousness).

The ego with its innumerable expressions is symbolized in the greek mythology as Medusa, described as a winged human female with a hideous face and living venomous snakes in place of hair. Perseus (higher Self, the sattvic buddhi) is the Greek hero who killed the medusa (the ego) and Goddess Athena symbolizes the intelligent Consciousness which helps Perseus to kill the ego.

But due to the great development of the ego our buddhi (intellect) instead of being the charioteer of the lower mind, instincts and ego has become its servant. The buddhi (intellect) is used by the ego to invent innumerable ways of entertainment and pleasurable experiences. Our modern civilization is only an industry that creates innumerable objects and ways for sensory satisfaction.

Thus although we have heard that happiness, plenitude and freedom lies in our heart where shines our true nature and that to experience it we have only to turn our mind and attention towards it, we find this extremely difficult due to the habit that directs compulsively our attention outwards and the resistance of the ego that wants to continue experiencing pleasure through objects and especially sexual pleasure, food and any other substance we consume through the mouth.

We are in a situation that a part of ours wants happiness, freedom, plenitude and another one (the desirous ego) sensory pleasures. We want to drive our attention and mind inwards, towards our essence and the ego compulsively drives them outwards through the avenues of the senses. The ego doesn't want to abandon its pleasures in no way. Moreover ego tries its best to delude us and convince us that we must continue give it the permission to have the same pleasures that used to have until now. It tries also to create a lot of emotional suffering in order to disappoint us and make abandon our efforts and practice to realize our eternal beauty, freedom and bliss. 

Thus the central point of spirituality is to make the mind introverted. The mind easily could be introverted if our ego was disposed to abandon the sensory pleasures; but this is unnatural to the ego, since the ego has been developed by the repetition of the pleasurable experiences, since the innate nature of ego is to seek sensory experiences and pleasure. So we cannot expect that the ego will quit seeking contact with objects and the experience of pleasures. 

Therefore in order to make the mind introverted we must find ways to conquer our lower egoic mind and finally to dissolve it. Our moment to moment effort is to prevent identification with the egoic mental and emotional patterns and keep our attention under conscious control. The ego tries continuously to steal our attention and make us identify with some mental and emotional pattern or an external object and our job is to be aware of this egoic process, to prevent it  and use our mind and attention consciously and direct them towards our essence which is the immovable silent substratum of all experiences. 

Our foremost goal in spirituality is to avoid identification with the egoic self and the forgetfulness of our true Self.  Forgetfulness is real death says in his book Vivekachudamani  the great Advaitin Jnani Adisankaracharya. All our problems are based on forgetfulness and identification with the egoic self which always seeks pleasures in the world of senses.

‘’80. He who has killed the shark known as sense-object with the sword of mature dispassion, crosses the ocean of Samsara, free from all obstacles.
81. Know that death quickly overtakes the stupid man who walks along the dreadful ways of sense-pleasure; whereas one who walks in accordance with the instructions of a well-wishing and worthy Guru, as also with his own reasoning, achieves his end – know this to be true.
82. If indeed thou hast a craving for Liberation, shun sense-objects from a good distance as thou wouldst do poison, and always cultivate carefully the nectar-like virtues of contentment, compassion, forgiveness, straight-forwardness, calmness and self-control. 

321. One should never be careless in one’s steadfastness to Brahman. Bhagavan Sanatkumara, who is Brahma’s son, has called inadvertence to be death itself.’’  

~ Vivekachudamani of Adisankaracharya 

Thus the anti-current medicine is Self-remembrance and the cessation of identification with ego and its innumerable patterns or tendencies; Self-remembrance means to abide consciously in our essence (our true Self), by turning our attention and mind on It. But in order to do so we must remember it, that's why we call it Self-remembrance which is equal term with Self-awareness. 

All other practices we do, have as centre and main goal the cessation of identification and the development of Self-awareness.   We cannot have any real progress in meditation and the experience of a greater and permanent peace and bliss if we continue identify with the egoic self. We cannot observe and discover the ego's tricks and tendencies and be free from them if we are always are identified with it. A certain distance is necessary in order to observe the psychological patterns, to understand how they function, how they keep us under their dominion and how steal our attention. The next step is by proper methods or techniques to eliminate these patterns from our psych. The dissolution of each egoic tendency creates more free space in us and give us more freedom to stay detached from the egoic patterns and more in Self-awareness.

This is a double process. The more we dissolve the egoic tendencies the more we can remain alert, vigilant, detached and Self-aware; and the more we develop Self-awareness the more we are capable to avoid identification with egoic self, to remain detached observers of the egoic patterns and dissolve them by appropriate means either from moment to moment during the day or by applying every morning and evening or any other part of the day we have time some specific method for the dissolution of the egoic tendencies.

The whole process of yoga or self-knowledge is to free our mind of what keeps it extroverted and attached to sensory experiences and sensual pleasures; it is to train our mind to abide consciously in its source (awareness) and observe with dispassion the movements of the egoic self and dissolve the egoic tendencies and energies.. The final task is to dissolve the egoic tendencies as much as possible in order to be able to do unbroken deep meditation or self-enquiry by which the mind will be absorbed totally in its source (awareness). In deep prolonged absorption (Nirvikalpa Samadhi) the ego dissolves totally and forever and thus we establish in our true nature; we live in Oneness with our eternal Beauty experiencing effortlessly the peace and bliss eternal.. He who is free from ego and his mind is established in its source (Awareness, Atman , Brahman) he is a liberated one (Jivanmukta), he is free from pleasure and pain and experiences always the peace and bliss eternal!

extract from Bhavavad Gita, Chapter V, verses 18-28  ~ translation by Swami Sivananda 

18. Sages look with an equal eye (equality) on a Brahmin endowed with learning and humility, on a cow, on an elephant, and even on a dog and an outcaste. 

19. Even here in this world birth (the bondage of birth and death) is overcome by those whose minds rest in equality; Brahman is spotless indeed and equal; therefore, they are established in Brahman.

20. Resting in Brahman, with steady intellect, undeluded, the knower of Brahman neither rejoice on obtaining what is pleasant nor grieve on obtaining what is unpleasant (equanimity). 

21. With the self unattached to the external contacts he discovers happiness in the Self (Atman, Brahman); with the self engaged in the meditation of Brahman he attains to the endless happiness. 

22. The enjoyments that are born of contacts are generators of pain only, for they have a beginning and an end, O Arjuna! The wise do not rejoice in them. 

23. He who is able, while still here in this world to withstand*, before the liberation from the body, the impulse born of desire and anger—he is a Yogi, he is a happy man. 

Comment: withstand*: not only to withstand, but also has dissolved desire and anger from his psych. See below in verses 26 and 28 says: ‘free from desire, fear and anger’... 

24. He who is ever happy within, who rejoices within, who is illumined within, such a Yogi attains absolute freedom (Moksha), himself becoming Brahman. 

25. The sages obtain absolute freedom (Moksha)—they whose sins have been destroyed, whose dualities (perception of dualities or experience of the pairs of opposites) are torn asunder, who are self-controlled, and intent on the welfare of all beings. 

26. Absolute freedom (or Brahmic bliss) exists on all sides for those self-controlled ascetics who are free from desire and anger, who have controlled their thoughts and who have realised the Self. 

27. Shutting out (all) external contacts and fixing the gaze between the eyebrows, equalising the outgoing and incoming breaths moving within the nostrils, 

28. With the senses, the mind and the intellect always controlled, having liberation as his supreme goal, free from desire, fear and anger—the sage is verily liberated forever. 

29. He who knows Me as the enjoyer of sacrifices and austerities, the great Lord of all the worlds and the friend of all beings, attains to peace. 

Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna ends the fifth discourse entitled:   
 “The Yoga of Renunciation of Action” 

Bolo Sri Krishna Bhagvane ki jai ! 
Jai Mahamaya ki Jai ! 
Bhole Baba ki jai !