Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Sadhana of Sravana (spiritual listening)—A Process of Deprogramming ~ Swami Chidananda

The Sadhana of Sravana (spiritual listening)—A Process of Deprogramming

The state of your mind always tends to be in accordance with the ideas that are constantly fed into it. Whatever ideas come into your mind constantly, the mind takes in those ideas, and gradually becomes like those ideas. Therefore, if you want to start a new consciousness, a new awareness, in the mind, take in new ideas which always talk to you about your spiritual reality. Go and sit before people whose only business is to expound the truth, whose only business is to talk to you about the reality, to tell you who you are, to try to deprogramme your ancient brainwashed mind.

‘Deprogramming’ is a new term currently being used in the West. Supposing a person has been told something constantly and he has become conditioned and you want to take him out of that conditioned outlook or mental state. You hand him over to a deprogrammer. A certain type of programming has already been put into the brain and the man has been brainwashed and he is caught in that condition. Now, the deprogrammer tries to start a counter-process to relieve the patient and liberate him from his brainwashed condition. 
Likewise, Vedanta says: “Birth after birth, God knows since how long, you have always been thinking, ‘I am this. I am Mr. So-and-so. I am such and such. I am a male. I am a female. I am a Brahmin. I am a Kshatriya. I am a Brahmachari. I am a householder. I am a Sannyasin. I am this, I am that’. You have been thinking everything about yourself except what you are. Your mind has constantly been in the habitual practice of thinking about yourself as everything else except the pure truth. In truth, you are the pure, ever liberated Spirit, neither male nor female, neither human nor beast nor god. In truth, you are eternal and unconditioned, Nitya and Nirupadhika. You have no Upadhis (the five sheats). You are not conditioned by anything, you are not limited by anything. You have no name, no form. You are the eternal Satchidananda, ever free, ever perfect”. But you never think of yourself in this manner. This wisdom never comes to you. Except this wisdom, everything else has been put into your mind. So, now, to deprogramme you from this age-old wrong conditioning characterised by limitations, sex, age, height, weight, caste, religion, creed, name, form and family, throw a bomb into this citadel of conditioned thinking, of limited thinking, by thinking of the Self, by thinking of the Reality. From now on think, “I am the eternal Atman, unborn, without beginning, without end, without birth, without death, without change, without name, without form, without any limitation”. Assert, “I am the untrammelled Spirit”. 
Listen to the expositions by realised souls, by illumined beings. Listen to the expositions of the truth, of the reality. Constantly go before the illumined souls and take in these thrilling, illuminating, elevating, awakening, new ideas of reality, of truth, of the Vedantic experience. This is the second process of raising your consciousness into a new spiritual awareness. And this process is called the Sadhana of Sravana, of spiritual listening. But then, there is a practical problem. You cannot always get scope for leaving your own environment and going and sitting in the company of the illumined persons and exposing yourself to Satsangh. With great difficulty, you may have to take leave and go to Rishikesh or Hardwar, Ayodhya or Kashi or Brindavan, Uttarkashi or Badrinath, to get the Satsangh of Mahatmas. By and large, a great portion of your time is spent in the midst of people who are in a state of ignorance, who are in a state of grossness, in a state of body-consciousness. Sometimes you can manage to get a little bit of Satsangh. But, the mind soon gets covered over with the opposite worldly currents. Also, if you live in Rishikesh or Hardwar, you may get a chance to sit and listen to Vedantic discourses on Reality. But, if you are in Paris or London or Brussels, Bombay or Calcutta, Madras or Delhi, you have a problem. You do not get such a chance. There is not much scope for exposing yourself to Vedantic listening. So, what to do? Because, if there is to be a complete transformation of your mental condition, a complete overhauling of the contents of your mind, you have to keep on exposing your mind constantly to the new awakening and enlightening ideas. You have to keep on pouring these new ideas into your mind. And it cannot be done in a day or two. You must keep it up in a continuous unbroken process, constantly, just as you put nourishment into the body every day. Morning breakfast, midday lunch, evening supper—with all that only the body is nourished. So, if the transformation has to be effected in the mind, this deprogramming process has to be continuous. It has to be regular and continuous, day after day. 

extract from his book :The Philosophy, Psychology and Practice of Yoga.pdf