Find the Self
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2012-10-16
Wrapped up in externalities, upset, life in a swirl, we forget about going within. Be sublime, control actions through dharma, thoughts through karma. Learn how to meditate. Imkaif: When the "I am" goes away. Neti, neti: Go in deeper to a place where there's no experiencer, realize Parasiva. The only non-experience, indescribable in the Shum language except that awareness is missing. Master Course, Lesson 1. Self and Samadhi.
Guru Sakshat, Parabrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha.
Good morning everyone.
Thought I would read this morning from "Self and Samadhi." It's a book we're releasing next month at Maha Samadhi observances.
"How to realize God."
(An inspired talk given at Kauai Aadheenam on January 1, 1984.)
"Never have there been so many people living on the planet wondering, 'What is the real goal, the final purpose, of life?' However, man is blinded by his ignorance and his concern with the externalities of the world. He is caught, enthralled, bound by karma. The ultimate realizations available are beyond his understanding and remain to him obscure, even intellectually. Man's ultimate quest, the final evolutionary frontier, is within man himself. It is the Truth spoken by Vedic rishis as the Self within man, attainable through control of the mind and purification."
Certainly one of the challenges in making spiritual progress is handling the externalities of the world. We tend to get involved with them to the extent, such an extent, that they become uninvolved in our inner self. That's what Gurudeva's saying that we get so wrapped up in them that we forget about going within and making spiritual progress through control of the mind and purification.
Therefore, as Gurudeva says often: What we need is discipline. And discipline in this case means a balanced life. Some kind of daily schedule where we get to bed early enough and we get up early enough so we can put some time in, in our inner life, the beginning of each day cause that's always the best time unless we have an unusual nature. The beginning of the day is good because you haven't turned on your concerns about the day yet fully. They're there partially but they're not fully in gear. Once you're fully involved the activities of the day then it's hard to stop them. So it's easier to go within before you start them up.
"It is karma that keeps us from knowing of and reaching life's final goal, yet it is wrong to even call it a goal. It is what is known by the knower to have always existed. It is not a matter of becoming the Self, but of realizing that you never were not the Self. And what is that Self? It is Parasiva. It is God. It is That which is beyond the mind, beyond thought, feeling and emotion, beyond time, form and space. That is what all men are seeking, looking for, longing for. When karma is controlled through yoga and dharma well performed, and the energies are transmuted to their ultimate state, the Vedic Truth of life discovered by the rishis so long ago becomes obvious."
If someone isn't living a disciplined life in their external actions and in their internal thoughts and feelings then life tends to be always in a swirl, things are always upset. Probably know people like that. They're just constantly moving from one upset condition to a new upset condition and then to a new upset condition; no break in between. So they don't have time to go within in the morning because life isn't disciplined enough.
So how can you discipline life? "When karma is controlled through yoga and dharma..." So we discipline our outer actions by making sure they fit into the concept of dharma, what's virtuous, what's helpful to others, what our duties are. When we do that with our actions then that calms the swirl down. If someone's not doing that then they're perpetuating it. Same with our thoughts. We can't just let our thoughts run wild; we have to control them. In this case through yoga, in learning how to meditate.
So, when we are able to control our actions through dharma and our thoughts through yoga then we can, we'll naturally be sublime enough to go within ourselves.
"That goal is to realize God Siva in His absolute, or transcendent, state, which when realized is your own ultimate state -- timeless, formless, spaceless Truth. That Truth lies beyond the thinking mind, beyond the feeling nature, beyond action or any movement of the vrittis, the waves of the mind. Being, seeing, this Truth then gives the correct perspective, brings the external realities into perspective. They then are seen as truly unrealities, yet not discarded as such. "
One of the obstacles to Self-Realization is thinking that you're realizing something that's outside of you. In other words our normal concept of God. God's over there, I'm over here. Ganesha's over there, Muruga's over there. Our normal concept of God as being external to us, we can without realizing it, make the Self external to us instead of the essence of us. So we have to make sure we're holding the right perspective, otherwise, we're looking the wrong way. Have to look in. So make sure it's part of you and not outside of you.
"This intimate experience must be experienced while in the physical body. One comes back and back again into flesh simply to realize Parasiva. Nothing more. Yet, the Self, or Parasiva, is an experience only after it has been experienced. Yet, it is not an experience at all, but the only possible non-experience, which registers in its aftermath upon the mind of man. Prior to that, it is a goal. After realization, one thing is lost, the desire for the Self. "
That's why in the Shum language there's no word to try and describe Parasiva. There's not a word that says Parasiva is nothingness; Parasiva is beyond time, form and space. There's no vocabulary like that at all. Because Gurudeva felt the best way to think about it is that: You can't describe it. So what are we describing when we say imkaif? Simply saying awareness wasn't around for a while. So we're describing what happens to awareness not what Self-Realization is. Self-Realization involves not having awareness. Awareness is the experiencer. The experiencer experiences something. It's our normal consciousness. I am this; I am that.
So when the "I am" goes away, imkaif, that's how realizing Parasiva is described in the Shum language. In the Sanskrit tradition it's similar to Neti, neti -- not this, not that. You don't say what it is. You don't say: I'm going in and I'm trying to find most brilliant inner light. I'm going within and I'm trying to find vast inner space. No, you say: I'm experiencing brilliant inner light but it's not that. I have to go in deeper. I'm experiencing vast inner space but it's not that. Neti, neti. I have to go in deeper. And then finally you go in so deep and say; Oh, that was Parasiva. But you get there by rejecting where you are and saying: I have to go further until you get to a place where there's no experiencer. Imkaif, no experiencer.
So that's why Gurudeva says: It's the only non-experience. Meaning there's no experiencer. You can't have another non-experience. You know, you take away the experiencer and that creates the only non-experience. The only possible non-experience. So if you understand that, that's good.
But at least the idea is we're following the path of -- that it's indescribable. That should be clear. Neti, neti. We're not trying to describe it. Other experiences in meditation we describe. We say: Okay let's go from a moon-like glow inner light into a slightly intenser one. Now let's move from that one into a brilliant one. Now lets go beyond that -- those are something we can describe in the Shum language. But when it comes to this one aspect there's no description except that awareness is missing.
Have a wonderful day.