Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Place You Want to Go

Taking bit of a vacation, be back soon with updates !


Be happy, be brave and practice what I always tell you

And believe me, you will find it, well if you don't, then


The point between the eyes, is the place you want to go

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Names and Forms

So there is birth and previous birth and its cause the desire or ‘Tanha’ as the Buddhists call it. Logically desire can only rise out of sense contact. Sense contact can only occur in an entity who could perceive Namarupa or names and forms.
Before we go further into the other causes it would be helpful to learn what this namarupa is. In Buddhism the definition of the term is a bit different from that of the Vedas. There Nama means name and rupa means form in their literal sense. They are determinate divisions of reality. Buddhists have a whole philosophy on names and forms!

To them ( if we could go by the commentaries) "Name" are the three groups beginning with sensation (i.e. sensation, perception and the predisposition) and "Form" is the four elements. You know what the four elements are-it’s the same air, water, earth, fire of the alchemists. The Indians used to include Akasha or space in the list of elements as well. But the Buddhists do not.

Name by itself can produce physical changes, such as eating, drinking, making movements or the like. (I find it a bit abstruse I must say! May be they included all the actions in name. This also is logical if we consider forms as objects alone). Anyway it is said that name alone is not sufficient to create the world. So form also cannot produce any of those changes by itself.

The interesting thing is that, both these are supposed to be produced by the conscious awareness of their existence (on the part of the ‘thinker’ obviously) and is fabricated just like that –out of the thin air just like! There is no material to make these from.

"but just as when a lute is played upon, there is no previous store of sound; and when the sound comes into existence it does not come from any such store; and when it ceases, it does not go to any of the cardinal or intermediate points of the compass; exactly the same way all the elements of being both those with form and those without, come into existence after having previously been non-existent and having come into existence pass away”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Desires go on living

Whatever the reasons for the adoption of the theory of rebirth without questioning it, the Buddha firmly maintained that was why birth occurs. That is, the basis of the present life is that of the previous ones. The desires one forms and acts out in those lives remain with one and manifests in the following ones. In that sense the desires are the upadana or the foundation on which the lives are built upon. The Jain’s who had developed a whole system of philosophy prior to this period had a curious notion about ‘karma sarira’ or desire body that is observed in company with our bodies. This body is said to be attached to us permanently and is the sum total of the desires and thoughts we harbor inside. It goes without saying that this body is as physical as everything else is.

So the cause of misery is the birth and birth is caused by previous births. These births as well as the present one are the result of desires that become attached to our consciousness because of their ‘desire’ to go on living!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brain and its plasticity

In modern thought the brain and mind has almost become inseparable. It’s only people like Penfield who could even voice other views in this regard. And when they do so, that would normally be treated with derision, since there is a strong behaviorist content in modern medical thought.

Yet this was not what the doctor was famous for. He was the first to introduce brain mapping. In his experiments he had carefully mapped the brain of his patients and though he had not personally claimed that the centers within the brain are unalterably attached to the bodily parts from which they receive stimulation, he was supposed to have done so by all the text books on medicine till recently. This view was taught widely and every medical student believed in it implicitly. And so it was imagined that the adult brain had no plasticity, that is, once the centers of brain were confirmed by exposure to sensations they remain unchanged and localized.

Yet David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel had already proved that there was plasticity in the brain of the young and Wiesel had also received the Nobel Prize for the discovery! But they too had held firm on to the theory that adult brain is not plastic. It was left to Michael Merzenich to prove otherwise. By inhibiting stimulation from body parts to the brain he is said to have conclusively established that the brain adapts quickly and the part that is cutoff is immediately integrated into the system and used for processing other data coming from without that is related to its previous activity.

If that is so it’s done by neuro transmitters that act as messengers between neurons and the brain cells. This is important, because science has not yet found a central mechanism inside the brain that integrates all its parts into a whole and passes orders modifying the behavior of any of its parts when the need arises to do so. This is where the words of Penfield come to our mind.

“Scientific work on the brain does not explain the mind – not yet”

And again

“But the mind has energy. The form of that energy is different from that of neuronal potentials that travel the axone pathways.”

If there is a separate entity called mind and it has its own potential then what would prevent us from imagining that it acts as an integrative force on the brain, modifying its behavior to the extend it is needed? But then what could be the nature of this mind? How do we account for it? Where does it originate? Could it be of the nature of thought or feelings, could it be a body created initially by the brain itself and perpetuated by the constant and intelligent reactions of the being to its environment, becoming stronger and capable of existing on its own as time goes, even capable of attracting the necessary conditions to produce life forms so that it can survive?

I think it’s possible. In short energy can’t just disappear like that!

May be by now you have started wondering where I am leading all this to! Well not to worry. What I have been trying to do was to provide an impetus to our imagination so that we can cognize stranger things than what we are accustomed to by this circuitous and interesting journey. I certainly can go deeper into it and cite scientific examples by the scores. But that is not the point. The point is, there could be alternate views to the existing ones and if they come to us with the authority of a figure of the great Buddha’s stature we may give ear to it. I encourage you to read up on the subject of our brain and its functions.

I think it was evident to Buddha that birth is the result of previous birth. We can’t argue that the limited sphere of our ordinary experience is the end of all perception. Even the science recognizes that there are alternate states of consciousness where the reality experienced by us could be different to that of our ordinary one.

We will now return to the teachings of the great master.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rebirth contd

About the middle of last century a neuro-surgeon called Wilder Penfield was conducting experiments on human brain while he was operating on his patients. He had kept them under general anesthesia to monitor developments during the course of the operations. What he found out was novel. The brain acts like a high fidelity tape recorder and stores all that it has experienced inside in the original format. Electrically stimulating certain areas of the brain elicited responses that were identical to that of the original event. Though only about five percent of his subjects showed this peculiarity and he has not claimed it as a path breaking discovery it is not to be dismissed on that basis alone. What connects him to our subject is the question of how mind works or whether it is connected with brain alone or has any independent existence, since that would help us in stating our case firmly that there is a substratum to life we are unaware of.

Let us listen to what the surgeon has to say about such things. This is what he said in Dartmouth Convocation on The Great Issues of Conscience in Modern Medicine (1960).

“It is fair to say that science provides no method of controlling the mind. Scientific work on the brain does not explain the mind – not yet. Neither the work of Pavlov on conditioned reflexes nor that of any other worker has proven the thesis of materialism. Surgeons can remove areas of brain, physicians can destroy or deaden it with drugs and produce unpredictable fantasies, but they cannot force it to do their bidding.”

Then again he says in his The Mystery of the Mind

"For myself, after a professional lifetime spent in trying to discover how the brain accounts for the mind, it comes as a surprise now to discover, during this final examination of the evidence, that the dualist hypothesis seems the more reasonable of the two possible explanations. Mind comes into action and goes out of action with the highest brain-mechanism, it is true. But the mind has energy. The form of that energy is different from that of neuronal potentials that travel the axone pathways. There I must leave it."

I admit that such ruminations do not conclusively prove there is something beyond the grave and that is mind and desires and thoughts continue their existence even without the body. In fact the doctor says just the opposite. He believes that with the death of brain the mind also ceases. But what I find interesting is the statement about the energy of the mind that is not really linked to the chemical or neurological mechanism that’s functioning within.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The stance on Rebirth

The Buddha of course stressed the importance of direct perception more strongly than any other part of knowledge and thus began his analysis on that level first. He also allowed inference since without its application it would be impossible to reason. But his stance on recorded knowledge (Or Vedas) of India was ambiguous. All systems in India have accepted the teaching of rebirth except the Charvaka’s and their teachings are not available to us for reference. Buddha though opposing the hegemony of the Vedas nonetheless accepted this doctrine and without it his system would have been incomplete or would have even failed to start.

What caused this implicit belief in this (apparently) strange theory among all philosophers in India? As of yet no one has come back from the dead and reported about what happens afterwards, so what could be the basis of this curious belief? Let us try to look into the matter a little more closely and find if we can resolve it before we proceed further with the things taught by the great master.

We all start our life with a materialistic outlook and in most of our activities follow that belief to the full. This of course has to be so from the time immemorial. According to the theory of materialists everything, including our mind, has to be material. So it goes without saying that the thoughts and feelings created by our minds are as material as anything else is and that they are tangible. In these days of speculations of time travel and multi-verses it’s not difficult to imagine that nothing is outside the physical universe and even the subtlest of vibrations have physical reality.

But to us every thought that we normally make (other than that is recorded) and every emotion that we feel within the mind are ephemeral and we think that they become dissipated or tend to disappear altogether once the moment of their need is past. The reason for this is that they do not intrude again into our consciousness. This is erroneous reasoning.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On theory of Knowledge

I had condensed the basic part of Buddha’s teaching into a sentence in the previous post and it cannot be much intelligible to those who are following these notes without some detailed explanations on what they actually mean. But before venturing into an analysis of the 12 causes of misery Buddha found, I would like to touch up on some general aspects of philosophical speculation. Buddha was the first to formulate a definite system of philosophy that relied entirely on reason and logic in the world and was particular about defining terms in his system. Till his time philosophy was a mixture of intuitive or poetic insights on life and magical formulas to make life better and superstitious belief’s that went without being questioned. He changed all that and introduced the greatest analytical structure that is found in human history. Let us check the background to his inestimable work. I hope you would forgive the digression because it’s more to provide a basis for what is to come next.

Any real and meaningful system of thought needs to be backed up by a theory of knowledge and unless we are aware how knowledge originates and is stored it would be impossible to speculate on the finer points of life and philosophy. This in its turn demands a definition of terms that are employed in the thought process. I have a distaste for words like epistemology, ontology etc, so I would try not to use them in my article and would like to keep it simple. It might displease some who like things in the abstract. That would of course make the article intelligent and abstruse but if that’s what you are after then there could be any number of tomes around that would keep you occupied for the rest of your life and would shed no more insight into the heart of things as a halogen lamp would shed light on its own innards.

Anyway I am not comfortable with those finer terms of philosophy as well! Whenever I see them I have a serious doubt that they are playing with my poor intellect and trying to hoodwink me into the mires of complexities that I can’t escape from. This comes of being immersed in such abstract systems of thought for a considerable period in my life. May be it’s because of my lack of intelligence or the inherent lethargy; I have only gained one insight from all that hard work-That I am not as wise as I took myself for! The only consolation is that I am in good company. Socrates is said to have expressed the same sentiments when he was on trial.

Not that I am as wise as that great sophist too, for he was able to meet all the geniuses and intellectuals and artists of his time in person and put questions to them that they can’t answer! It was easy then. Athens was a small city state and one could meet people if one is ready to put some effort into it. But how is one to put questions to dead authors? The efforts to learn their works have left me with a firm belief that the writers of those toms are as unaware of reality as I am and was only trying to pass time by composing such delightful nonsense! This goes for the moderns too. One has to keep up pretenses of being intelligent doesn’t one? May be my effort is one such too, though I believe that the great soul I am talking about would show me better sense than that of trying to be egotistical!

Let us come back to the theory of knowledge which has to be the foundation of any system of thought. There is a notion that the Samkhya and Yoga systems existed prior to the period of Buddha, but we have no evidence for it other than the similarities in approaches found in them. The Samkhyas had a theory of knowledge that formed the basis of their analysis of life. It is helpful to learn of it before we start talking about the matter we are interested in.

If you ask anybody versed in philosophy in India they would tell you that there are mainly three methods to acquire knowledge. They are 1) by Direct perception 2) by Inference 3) and through Recorded Knowledge. These would look obvious to anyone once they have learned about them, for there are no other methods to gain knowledge. Yet it is not as easy to keep it fresh in mind at all times, is it?

Direct perception is the knowledge gained through our senses. Senses are 14 in number (14? you haven’t heard about this one have you? The ancient Indians were so meticulous about their definitions!), Five externals (Eyes, nose, ears, tongue and skin) and five internals (the centers to which these outer organs report their readings) and mind. I have said this even before- the Indians consider mind as an internal organ (Antakarana) or more precisely an organ with four parts (Psyche, nous, intellect and ego) and not a part of spirit. This is a subtle point to grasp and it would take time to do that for those who have been brought up with the belief that mind is sentient. These parts of the mind would look similar to you but they are not in Indian philosophy. Every single part does a particular job.

Buddha had simplified the matters somewhat by maintaining that there are only six senses. He included the internals in the external. So he would only speak about the six-fold realm of entanglement. He considered this primary.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buddhist literature

Sadly none of his teachings were recorded in his life time. Hindu’s are good at memorizing things verbatim but the Buddha was not a great stickler for such rules. He only enjoined his disciples to accept his teachings on the basis of reason alone. So after a few decades there were discrepancies in the accounts of his followers about what they heard at the feet of the master. This had to be resolved before the teachings could be reduced into writing. Great councils were held for this purpose and thus begin the era of written teachings of the Buddha.

The Pali Scriptures that thus came into existence contained three different collections: the Sutta, the Vinaya and the Abhidhamma. The Sutta or the doctrine part is the real foundation of the system. Vinaya prescribed rules for monks and Abhidhamma only elaborated on the Sutta’s.

The suttas divide themselves into Nikayas. (1) Digha (long), (2) Majjhima (of middling length); (3) Samyutta (delivered at meetings by special people); (4) Anguttara (incremental); (5) Khuddaka (contains several segments). All these together belong to Sthaviravada or Theravada. ‘Thera’ meant elders and the works are a collection what’s remembered by the elders who have sat at the feet of the master and learned Dhamma.

The word Dhamma is used in four senses by the Buddhists: That is, about (1) Scriptures, (2) quality (3) causes and (4) unsubstantial and soulless, for the Buddhists the last one is the most important. it was the essence of the doctrine. Phenomena comes and goes, nothing is permanent all is transitory. The master did not bother to answer questions on the origin of the universe and the like. Buddha only intended to find out "What being what else is," "What happening what else happens" and "What not being what else is not."

So there is only dependent origination. Buddha began his search by asking in “How to know the Way to escape from this misery of decay and death.” Then it occurred to him “what being there, are decay and death, depending on what do they come?” As he thought deeply into the root of the matter, he came to realize that decay and death can only occur when there is birth and so on to 12 causes. It goes like this:

Misery is caused by birth- birth is caused by previous existence- previous existence is caused by clinging- clinging is caused by desire- desire is caused by feelings- feelings are caused by sense contact- sense contact is caused by six fields of contact- six fields of contact is caused by mind and body – mind and body is caused by consciousness- consciousness is caused by conformations- conformations are caused by ignorance. Buddha called this the Bhavachakra.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the most genial of men and the things he taught

The only person I really care about in philosophy (or psychology for that matter) is Gautama the Buddha. None has scaled the same genial heights before or after him. He, in his great intellect, was kind to dismiss the spurious questions about ‘where people come from and goes to’ and all such foolishness and would only advice us about the real cause of suffering and about its elimination.

I know that his followers erected edifices of giant proportions after the great master had sadly left us and went on his mighty ways, but that in no way diminishes the greatness of the man. And when I speak of ‘greatness’ I don’t mean the kind of greatness that we speak of nowadays. To us, a sportsman is great, a politician is great and a movie star is great. Well to an ant an elephant would be great, but in the case of the Buddha there is no one who comes within a billion miles to the range of that compassionate aura. He is unsurpassable.

This is how it always happens with me. The moment I start to speak about him I lose all dignity and sense and start to rave and I am not ashamed of it in the least bit. If we can’t rave about the only man our civilization has ever produced, then we are much better become turned into inanimate objects who can’t talk.

Just remembering his name is enough to purify one. As I have often stated he could be the only one who has reached the true state of Man and I define man as the sum total of every virtue that a human being can aspire to. This he definitely was and if anyone seeks an example how we should be true to our words then one should seek him out. He was the personification of everything that the humans have sought all through our history.

There was never an incident in his life where he has hurt someone by word or deed, and he never drove anyone away and turned his back on anybody. He was universally kind and had such absolute control over his mind. Well then he was totally the stuff a real teacher is made of.

All the same, merely praising the greatness of the man is not enough is it? This anyone can do, whether believingly (or believably) or not. Though I am not much into ontology and eschatology and the like and would probably beat the world record in making myself scarce if anyone broaches such subjects up, there is no harm in looking into what was produced in this man’s name; if it would light our way towards the truth isn’t it?

So I would like to place the ideas generated from his followers over the long course of history and would talk about them as well as I can for the coming few posts.

General background to Buddha

There is no real evidence that the Vedas and Upanishads existed in a written form when Buddha was around (They were written-down long afterwards but could have existed in oral form before the period). Yet it is safe to assume that he was familiar with the Samkhya and Yoga schools of thought since his teachings bear the signatures of these two ancient systems. He did not believe in the sacrifices the Vedas prescribed. Some say it was his distress with the practices of Brahmins that made him start a new school of thought altogether.

Buddha was called a ‘nastika’ (‘Atheist’ loosely) by all Hindu philosophers who criticized him. But the nastika of India is a bit different from the atheist of other parts of the world. Here it merely means that the person is against scriptures and not god. This was an important difference because all the great systems of thought in India except Vedanta were atheistic in nature. They either denied god altogether or firmly believed that if there are gods they are also subject to the law of Karma or are not important in the scheme of things. This was the belief of the Buddha as well!

But there were true atheists in India too like the Charvakas who denied even the scriptures and laughed at them. Interestingly they were called Lokayata’s or followers of the common-man’s philosophy! Isn’t it true that atheism is the true state of being in all forms of life and we only turn to god at times of severe distress!

I think it would warm your hearts to learn of the doctrine of the charvakas. They are the best exponents of materialism in the ancient India. Of course they did not believe in the scriptures and god and soul. To them life and consciousness were the products of the combination of matter. There is no after-life, and no reward of actions, as there is neither virtue nor vice. Life is only for enjoyment. So long as it lasts it is needless to think of anything else, as everything will end with death, for when at death the body is burnt to ashes there cannot be any rebirth.

There was another sect of atheists called Ajivikas too. They were great determinists denying the free will of man and his moral responsibility for any so-called good or evil. They believed that “there is no cause, either near or distant for the degradation of beings or for their goodness! Nothing depends either on one's own efforts or on the efforts of others, in short nothing depends on any human effort, for there is no such thing as power or energy, or human exertion. The varying conditions at any time are due to fate, to their environment and their own nature.”

Another school taught that there was no fruit or result of good or evil deeds; there is no other world, nor was this one real; nor had neither parents nor any former lives any efficacy with respect to this life. Nothing that we can do prevents any of us alike from being wholly brought to an end at death.

So the Buddha was born at a period when three significant streams of thought were in existence. First there was belief in Karma and the magic rites prescribed in Vedas by which the Brahmins kept the people( or themselves) deluded, then there was the theory of the ultimate reality preached by the Upanishads, and this was followed by the nihilistic thought stream that denied everything except acceding to bodily needs -all else to them was rubbish.

The spineless sacrifices fattened only the priestly class and brought no relief to people; the materialists on the other hand did not have any moral stance to speak of and the doctrine of the one absolute reality was too abstract to digest. In his kindness the Buddha decided to mend matters and speak to the people in the common language they understood.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Way It Came To me ( rehashed)

I had searched in vain for a solution to fill this chasm I found in myself and was becoming hopeless of ever resolving it when I found the Sambavi Mudra.

Then I knew I had found the key. As I went on practicing, things began to fall in-order.

And the realization came one night! It was most profound experience I ever had -Profound in the sense of being complete, not in the sense extraordinary.

I had had the veil removed then and saw the world for what it was. There was no grand awakening; there was no blitzkrieg of lights, no high voltage dramas, and no jet propelled journeys ……………

If anyone of you thought so, I am sorry to disappoint you in that respect.

There is nothing grand in an awakening; it’s like opening your eyes in the morning to familiar sights. You will be surprised how natural it feels, how comfortable you are with it and how easy it has always been. All journeys end there.

There are no more comings and goings from then on (where is one to go and where from should one come?), there would be no ins and outs, no highs and lows, just the awareness that I AM.

I saw myself in everything and everything else in myself, there were no divisions, no feeling of the ‘other’. I was only aware of myself.

I was existence.

Yet can it be called existence even? It goes even beyond that, it goes even beyond the pale of existence and non existence. There is no way of explaining it, it is inexplicable, and it’s beyond words. The futility of trying to express it in words would only occur to you after you have been through the experience yourself.

One can only quote the beautiful words of the ancient Rishi’s who underwent similar experiences. There is nothing else to do. How true are those observations!

They describe the state in one Upanishad as:

“Where the words turn back
Where even mind does not enter”

Then again in another:

“Words do not reach there
Neither do the mind.”

This is the catch. Words are the products of the mind or are only usable when there is ‘two’. I am talking of the ‘one’ or the indivisible and it can’t be talked of in the realm of names and forms. This all looks very old fashioned and boring to you does it not? No wonder, but when we are left with no options, the only way is to do as the others did and say the things they said!

How I used to snigger at this expression once, “names and forms”! I thought it was just mystical bulshit, coined to deceive the ignorant. How wrong I was! It had its revenge on me finally. There is no other expression capable of describing the experience from the perspective of the ultimate reality in human language.

This world is nothing but names and forms, a play ground of shadows.

In the oldest of Upanishads the Eithreya it’s said

“Only ‘this’ was there and-
Nothing else was in sight.”

It then goes on to reveal the cause of the world.

“It thought
I shall be many.”

The moment it thinks, there is the dual world. The one becomes two. And when there are two, two points of observation occur, two paths occur, time occurs, infinite variety of things and events are born. It’s as simple as that. It all happens within and not outside.

In true-realization all these disappears into shadows. The man who is being questioned, the others who are questioning him all revert back into the shadows that they are, and they exist in relation to ‘Me’ alone. Even this is a very sketchy description. But what can one do?

The only option is to get into that state, and then all would be clear. The path is also not difficult as some think; there are no mountains to scale or abysses to cross!

Yet doubt may arise who this ‘me’ that was mentioned is. Is it this man called ‘Chasing my shadow’?

Well ‘Chasing my shadow’ is only a part of me as everything else is; he has no special significance other than ‘I’ have evidenced in him at this point in time.

But sadly this fact does not elevate him to the position of a god. There is no special position granted here. There is no ego evident here. The truth doesn’t make him high or low, it doesn’t change him. He doesn’t gain or lose anything by it.

Difficult isn’t it? You have something and you can’t describe it? Well the only consolation is that better equipped individuals than me have failed at it!

If this does not teach us humility nothing else will.

Yet don’t mistake me as some do, I haven’t denied Yogic powers as some believe. There are such powers, however material they are, and some are naturally inclined towards them.

In such Yoga’s the journey is more important than the final destination. They go for gradual evolution and ‘advancement’. Though I don’t care for such ‘advancement’ there is no ban on others to do so.

To me the notion that there is ‘advancement’ is ignorance. Such thoughts would take us away from the real thing and land us somewhere else.

But there are such Yogi’s and they do glitter, they beam the power of Kundalini through the crown chakra, they have the sidhis, and they have powerful minds and have refined inner vehicles. But a liberated person would have nothing of the sort with him; he would have to stand like the shapeless sky before the might of a powerful thunder storm in comparison to these stalwarts!

But somehow, I was not after these powers (may be because I am unfit to pursue them!) and never cared for them too, they had always seemed spurious and expendable to me. And in the kind of realization I was after they were a hindrance rather than a help.

As a human individual I wanted beyond, I wanted the final truth. I wanted to have done with this farce called Maya once and for always and to never come back.

I even used to shudder at the thought of anything less!

In truth what you want is what you realize. If you want the final truth, you would realize that, if you want heaven, you would get there, if you want to be the Buddha, you will be him- you want to be the devil and you have become one. If you want powers you would get them sooner or later.

You always realize the ‘god’ you are after!

You truly are the masters of yourself and the world. I am not playing around with words here like they do in positive thinking sermons. Let me tell you this, the matter of liberation is so simple that, if you can hold on to the truth that you are liberated at the moment of death, there would not be any coming back.

I can guarantee you that. Let you be the worst devil in the world, hold on to this thought with an unflinching belief. None would make you come back; there would be no further births and deaths for you.

But it is not as easy as you suppose. First you need to be sure that it is the case. That is why it’s important to make it a habit of being with the final truth. Hence the need for Brooh Dhyana. It is the only way you can be sure of finding it for yourself.

But how can one be sure anyone else’s experience would be the general one?

I can only resort to an illustration.

Draw a circle with a series of dots. Take any one dot; every single dot can be the beginning and end of the circle at the same time. All dots have the same chance of becoming so.

That is, if one has experienced truth somewhere others would also experience it. All points in the world have the same prospects.

So my suggestion is:

Place the mind at the point between your eye brows

Place the Mind at the Point between Your Eye Brows


And you will be liberated.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Resorting to Meditation

Resorting to Meditation

I am not really talking about the true state of meditation here. That is a natural phenomenon and is quite simple in the real sense of the word. But to be so requires the fruition of certain qualities in a person. It cannot be forced and brought about. That’s why the Sidha Masters of the India enjoins to “do nothing”. What they want you to do is NOT practice sloth. They want you to be at ease with everything within and without you. It’s a state that can be only learned by being at peace with yourself.

Real meditative state happens to one. A good example of it could perhaps be found in the life of Jiddu Krishnamurthy. The man was born with it. He did not need to practice any disciplines to reach it. One of his European teachers used to slap his face to get the ever present vacant look out of his face.

How could we slap a state of being out of existence! It was the true state that the man was experiencing. Every other kind of knowledge pales into insignificance before this light. That vacancy can not be filled or discarded. Once one achieves it, it is there to stay.

But who would want to be like that? Isn’t it the highest state of inactivity? What’s the use of being in that state? What would it give us? Well the only answer is that it would give us NOTHING. Yes Nothing- It’s a mind shattering experience to learn this. What we have are things, what we need, is to find nothingness. That completes our adventure.

You see we can never get this thought of gain out of us. We are always travelling, we are always seeking, and we are always worried that we have missed something or would miss something unless we remain alert and industrious. What we are familiar and comfortable with is data. We procure it and store it and feel safe with it. It’s the whole of intelligence. Intelligence can only work with data. If there is no TWO then there is no intelligence. All divisions, categories and paraphernalia arise out of the perception of TWO.

That’s why the Rishi says:

“Dwitiyat toh Bhayam Bhavati”

When there are two, fear too arrives.

Intelligence is a property of brain. It is a mere vassal and not a master. It relies on the inputs from outside to function and is unreliable as its product the reason as far as the higher aspects of human consciousness is concerned.

Coming back to Krishnamurti, such a state is rare in others. It requires great strength from a person to hold on to it while living a full life amongst the less lucky. The artificial folly that we call life would soon convert such a being into the most common of creatures we can find amongst us. Perhaps he would be considered less than most others frequently, for there would be a natural disinclination on his part to live life like other.

The meditation practiced by some of us now sadly is not going to get us to this state. It’s mostly an exercise to rid us of our internal dialogue and achieve a state of calm to “still” the process of thought in us. This is a dangerous practice, for the moment you manages to rid of your thoughts other thoughts come in and take hold of you. This leads to possession and is the worst state imaginable. This has to be avoided at all costs. Instead of being free and liberated we would become more bound and troubled than before. Only those with no desires can overcome this obstacle.

What we aim at is to posses ourselves fully and not to be possessed by others!

Keep the mind at the point between the eye brows