Focused spiritual practice and desire for Moksh

There was a question from someone, he was quite agitated because he was unable to focus when he was doing his spiritual practice. Random thoughts were popping up in his mind, then his mind was following these thoughts. Soham, focus at the 3rd eye chakra and the awareness of the breath was all lost.

First, always remember, you are not the mind/ Manas. You are the Soul, Awareness, Consciousness, Eternal, Parabrahma, Advaita. The mind is simply one of the 24 tattvas of creation in the dominion of Prakruti. You and me are far far above the reach of Prakruti, but right now we are unaware of our own Reality. This entire exercise, spiritual practice, is to increase our awareness level to the subtlest possible. When you sit for meditation, Dhyan, also called Sushumna Yog, the Prakruti will test you. This test is the flightiness of the Mind/ Manas. This Manas will jump around like a monkey. And it will happen. You have to continue your Dhyan with these flights of the mind in the background.

Try to understand this so that you can resolve this and reach the Unmani avastha, ‘absence of mind’. Using simplistic examples so that it is quite clear,

Focused spiritual practice and desire for Moksh

The first way of looking at this,

Imagine you are sitting crosslegged on a mountain top and your 3yr old child is sitting in your lap. The top is a small area, say 5mX5m. Beyond this, all around you, is a sheer drop. You are sitting still, you want to enjoy the experience. And you are expecting that your child also remains still. If your child runs about, he will disturb your experience or even fall down the mountain. And your child is unwilling to sit still, he wriggles, tries to jump out from your lap. A couple of times he does manage to run out from your lap. But you are very alert, you grab him before he gets near the edge and make him sit still with you again. Your child wriggles but you hold him firmly. Ultimately he gets tired and stops moving. Then you show him the views from the mountain-top and then the child too enjoys the experience. Now onwards he is still.

This child is your mind. You are sitting for your Sadhana, your Dhyan, it is a very delicate balance, your position is precarious. You have to understand the seriousness of your practice and keep your mind in control. You are very alert about your child, if your own baby would fall down the mountain, it would be horrible. You are doing everything possible to avoid this disaster. You grab your child and keep it firmly in your lap again and again. So in the same way, you should, with the same terrible intensity, hold your mind in. Know that if you let your mind loose it can fall again to the depths and cause you pain. If it tries to run away, bring it back by force and make it sit still. There will always be attempts by the mind to run away. And it is possible that a few times it may totally fall down the mountain. But every experience is a learning. The mind will learn with time that falling down the mountain is painful. And you too will learn to keep your mind more firmly under control. Eventually there comes a point in Dhyan where your mind starts ‘enjoying the view’, ie starts supporting you in your practice. This is the annihilation of the mind, the Unmani avastha.

The secret is daily regular practice, you must give yourself these 30mins. As you get more deeply with yourself, these 30mins will expand to maybe 1hr and then perhaps to twice a day sessions. Then it will convert into a continuous process which will happen throughout the day/ night. This regular practice is called ‘Abhyas’ in Sanskrit. अभ्यास is – use, drill, addition, repetition, exercise, effort, multiplication, study, discipline etc. It is a very intensive thing that you do, when you sit for these 30mins daily. The toughest thing. But you start slowly and buildup, add-on, multiply, pyramiding the energies generated. It will take time, a few years, till you reach your destination, but you will reach, provided you do your exercise regularly.

Focused spiritual practice and desire for Moksh

Now another way of looking at it.

Suppose your brother has a bad habit, eg he smokes in the garage, You do not like this, you try to reason with him, try to make him understand that it is harmful but he does not listen. So one day you put in a camera in the garage and secretly record him smoking. Then play the clip in front of the family. Everyone, from your grand dad to your sister, stare at him in shock. He feels conscious that his bad habit was observed, ashamed even. He apologises and stops smoking.

So what you have to do is, simply observe the mind. It is beyond reasoning, it wants to behave irresponsibly. So let it smoke or do whatever it wants, you just keep on observing it, dispassionately. You are not your mind, you are the Soul. Let it behave like the fool it is. Dhyan is a very serious activity. While in meditation, is it proper to misbehave? Let the mind do whatever it wants, you just observe it. Soon it will become conscious, perhaps ‘ashamed’ and slowly but surely, it will stop its antics. The Mind becomes silent, serious and cooperates with you. This is again the unmani avastha, mind-less-ness.

Train yourself consciously to be an observer. You are the pivot around which creation dances. Bring your Self out of the whirling creation and remain at the unmoving center. Whatever happens around you, let it, you remain still.

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There is yet another way of looking at this. This thought process will also destroy the mind’s movement completely.

Suppose you are in a party, there is dancing and you are the DJ. Your job is to play the music here and you are quite good at this. A pretty girl tries to attract you. She deliberately comes in front of you, dances seductively, looks at you, smiles suggestively. She does this again and again. You are attracted at first, you want to respond, go and dance with her, enjoy. But if you do so, the music will stop and you might lose your job. So wiser sense prevails. Your life’s objective flashes before your eyes, it is very clear, you are to focus on your job, you are the DJ. And you focus completely on the music you are playing. She tries a few more times, dancing even more beautifully. But you are so much into your music, your life purpose, that her presence is irrelevant. She vanishes.

When you do your Dhyan, focus on what you are supposed to do. Soham Mantra, awareness of breath and focus at the 3rd eye-chakra. This is your music, focus on this exclusively. Let the Mind/ Manas perform its dance of the seven veils around you. Why should you even bother about it? Let it jump around. This is just the background noise of Prakruti, the illusion of creation, ignore it. Focus on what you want. If you are clear on what you want, there is no fight, no struggle. Ignoring everything else but what you really want is actually very easy. Just that there should be clarity of the concept within you. In other words maintain your focus on your objective always. Everything else is essentially meaningless.

Initially it is possible that you ignore the seductive Mind for a just few seconds. This is simply great, one has to start somewhere! A few minutes, a few hours and finally you will be able to ignore the Illusion around you always. This is the annihilation of the Mind, unmani avastha.

Unmani avastha is absence of Mind. The Mind is the tattva which creates the illusion of creation, frantically working to hide the gaps (do read this post). The Mind is convinced that the world is real and tries to convince you too. As long as you remain convinced by the illusions your Mind weaves around you, you are trapped. Once the Mind is still, you realise that the world around you is Unreal. Once you understand that something is a mirage, you cannot believe that lie anymore.

(A Sat-guru will exist in this “Sahaj avastha’ or Jivan-Mukti or Sadyo-Mukti, self-realization always. The Sat-Guru is the Advaita, The Beyond. ‘Dhyan’ is considered a lower medium level ‘madhyama avastha’. The worship of moorthis/ yantra is even lower down. And the lowest form of spiritual practice is going for pilgrimages. “उत्तमा सहजावस्था मध्यमा ध्यानधारणा । अधमा मूर्तिपूजा च तीर्थयात्राSधमाSधमा ।” But we all have to start somewhere, so start with pilgrimages, do pujas of Moorti/ Yantra/ Mantra etc, later do Dhyan, evolve. You will reach Mukti eventually. In the highest Moksh, Sadhana, Dhyan, puja, mantra etc all vanish as these are parts of the creation. You cannot expect that you will get Moksh the first day or even the first year of your spiritual practice. It is a gradual process, just do it regularly.)

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And finally, should you desire Moksh? If desire has to be uprooted, should one even desire Self-realization? This too was a burning doubt from someone. Apparently he was thinking that one should not desire anything, not even self-realization!

There is one only one Desire of the soul, to realise itself. This is the deepest innermost Desire of every jiv-atma. Every soul linked residing in this 5-layered body Desires just this only one thing. This singular Desire is the real Kaam काम. When sages talk about “uprooting desires” they refer to the superficial desires of the created worlds. Only when the material illusory desires are uprooted does the innermost Desire become evident. Kaam काम means wish, desire, Will, longing, radiance, glory, love, object of desire etc.

Another simplistic example.

Suppose you are a 3yr old playing with your toys. Your Dad is sitting in the same room doing some work. And you do have a lot of toys to play with, fluffy bears, trains, cars, cute stuff and you are quite occupied. You are not paying attention to your Dad. Your Dad does have an eye on you, but as long as you are playing with your toys, he is not bothered. Suddenly you feel bored with your toys. You feel that what you really want is to be picked up and cuddled. So you call out to your Dad. Your Dad is doing his work so rather than picking you up, he gives you some new shiny crayons. You again get distracted with the crayons, till you again realise that you really wanted to be cuddled. So you cry again. Again your Dad tries to distract you by pulling out another new toy. But you are not interested in toys anymore. You cry louder. Your Dad is really into his work and tries to ignore you for a bit. But now you have lost all patience and you want the cuddles now! You wail incessantly. Now Dad has no option but to pick you up and give you what you really want, cuddles.

This is the same thing in spiritual practice.

You are playing with the illusions of creation. The Eternal is observing you play. You are so engrossed with your material toys that you ignore the Advaita which exists at the root of your consciousness. Sometimes you do feel that you want to realise yourself, but another toy pops up and diverts your Will. Your this deepest Desire recedes to the background again and again. You amuse yourself with these illusory stuff till once day you get absolutely bored. The limit is crossed. Now you start your spiritual practice. You pray with all your heart that your deepest Desire, your essential Desire be granted. You ‘cry’ for the ‘cuddles’ of Self-realisation, you desperately long for Moksh. You are in unbearable turmoil, a fish out of water. You are desperate for complete self-realization. This Desire is so intense, you actually burn with its intensity. You have to Desire Moksh with all the intensity you can. Only then will the Advaita pick you up.

What does your Soul Desire? What is your Will? I wish to Love my own Self, I am my own object of Desire. Express this wish, again and again, intensely. You cannot be really satisfied till you get this Desire. Intend it, reach for it, Practice!

 

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To observe Oneself is Moksh

  • Sankhya tells us that the Prakruti is the manifested creation which is put in motion by the presence of the Purush. Purush is the Aware catalyst. Prakruti is the inert matter.
  • Advaita further tells us that the Purush-Prakruti is the fundamental duality which is Created from the Nirvishesh Brahma or Parabrahma, the Ultimate Reality.

Now onwards,

My Guru would also tell us to ‘observe the Self’. This is a fundamental concept of Sanatan Dharm. But what does ‘observing oneself’ really mean? Let’s use the Sankhya and further the Advaita to understand.

The Purush and Prakruti though outwardly differentiated are fundamentally the same. They both are created from the Para-Brahma, they both are its part. And the part is also the whole. Creation or the later manifestation process is more easily understood as a fractal geometry, it is not a linear progression.

Purush is aware but still. Prakruti is unaware but in motion. The Prakruti moves around the still, conscious pivot of the Purush. So when you as the Purush, observe you as the Prakruti, you observe yourself. This is the point where the illusion of duality finally breaks down. This is the stage of complete self-realization, the goal. Attainment of Nirvishesh Brahma, Sadyo Mukti.

But its a long road back so we have all this spiritual practice and stuff. All this practice so that you change your position, you change your reference point. You change your perception.

Saturn, the wrecking ball

A very simplistic example again. There is a sweet dish on the table. I see it and my son from the other room smells it. For each one of us, this sweet is a different ‘matter’. It is a visual for me and a smell for my son. Both of these perceptions are correct and and from the view of the person concerned, they are also real and complete. Now my son comes into the room, he sees it. When the experiencer changes his position his perception evolves. Visual has added to smell. The perception of ‘smell’ was complete in itself while he was in the other room. Now that he is in this room, the ‘visual’ adds to the experience, but it this not deny the ‘smell’ perception. Both are correct by themselves but taken together too they are correct. If you think deeply, it is actually a paradox. What is real or complete or illusion or incomplete cannot be defined with exactness ever. Now he eats the sweet. He has changed his point of view again, his perception now adds taste. His inner self  then experiences the intention with which I have cooked the food. His perception has moved from basic matter to energy. The perception has evolved from matter to subtle energy. Now if he can also experience the ‘conscious intelligence’ embedded in every particle of the food, it would be Moksh for him.

Every experience is transcended till the point where you reach Yourself.

The angle of perception, the point of reference is paramount. Change the position from where you observe. If you focus on your Ajnya chakra as you do your Dhyan you change your position, so your observation and experience changes too. As you do your spiritual practice, you will realise that you actually see, taste, hear, see etc sense directly from your Ajnya chakra. ie you can read a book even if you are blindfolded etc.

If you bring your awareness to the position of the ‘pivot of manifestation’, ie the Purush you will be able to see the Prakruti around you. She is of the form of the Shri Yantra, in infinite dimensions, whirling around you. You see the Shri-chakra in 2 dimensions, the Meru in 3-D, now can you imagine this perfect geometry around you in infinite dimensions? You remain still, this geometry is around you in all its magnificence. This is how the manifested creation looks like when you put yourself at the central Bindu. It is fascinating, you are observing yourself. And if at this point the last step, if you can with conscious awareness, realise that both the Purush and Prakruti is essentially the same, the whirl stops and you achieve Sadyo mukti.

Right now you are aware of the matter moving around you. You are immersed in the dance of Prakruti. You are located in this whirl, your reference point is from within the dance. You know yourself as the body, you are seated in your room and reading this on your laptop. All of this is pure matter, of the realm of the Prakruti. You are fully engaged in experiencing Prakruti and her creations. As you should, for all this is for your entertainment. So do enjoy it.

But then there comes a point when you want to stop all this play-acting and immerse yourself in the Reality. How long will you be engaged in ‘matter’? You are experiencing only one-half of the duality which was Created. There is the other aspect ‘the aware pivot’ which you have never consciously explored. You are not aware of the consciousness embedded in every dust mite, in every thought, in every emotion of this manifested. For how long can we be stuck in pure ‘matter’? We should try to experience pure intelligence also. Even modern quantum theories have grudgingly reached this conclusion that everything possesses a fundamental ‘intelligence’. They now call this quantum mechanics and try to develop theories of ’entanglement’.

India, Bharat, was, is and always will be a land of the Seers, Rishis. These Rishis went within, into the inner consciousness and achieved the goal of observing the self, experienced pure consciousness and beyond it. These are the examples who drive us, the spiritual seekers. This is why we adore our Rishi-Seers or the Guru. They are the Jivan-mukt, they show us that you can be the experience, the experiencer, the act of experiencing and more all at once! These are what we strive for, their example reassures us that we can also do this ourselves.

Eclipses in the horoscope, birth and transit analysis

There is a very cute story where Shiv and Shakti are playing a game of dice. As the game gets over, Shakti playfully covers Shiv’s two eyes with her hands. There is pitch darkness. But then his third eye opens and there is Illumination. This rather romantic story has very deep esoteric meanings. Purush and Prakruti are involved in the Game, Lila, manifested creation. Purush as the catalyst and Prakruti as the performer and the performance both. Prakruti at the end of the game, by her own actions, shuts the perceptions linked to her game. There is actually an instant of pitch blackness at a crucial point of your Dhyan. If you can cross this, the third eye does ‘open’ and there is the Illumination of the Self. This light brings to you the real nature of duality, you realise that both Purush and Prakruti are essentially the same. There is no duality at any level whatsoever.

This is the experience of Nirvishesh Brahma or Advaita or Para-brahma. You have achieved Sadyo Mukti and become a Jivan mukt yourself. You are now a Guru.

 

Trigun, Satva Raja Tama

The Eternal reality is Singularity. It divides into a Still Intelligence called Purush पुरुष the Witness, साक्षी and a Spontaneous Evolution called Prakruti प्रकृति, the player Lalita ललिता. Purush is an observer, not concerned with further manifestation.

Prakruti spontaneously creates the three Gun गुण within Herself. These three Gun are the foundation of manifestation in a very subtle way. I have referred to these in my several posts by their simplest definitions,

  1. Satva सत्व – pulls you towards the Singular Reality.
  2. Raja रज – pulls you towards the Manifested universe.
  3. Tama तम – are heavy, dull energies destructive.

Now these three are the very fundamentals of manifestation. The Bindu (Prakruti) divides into the three chakras initially, Vama, Jeyshta, Raudri which represent the energies of Satva, Raja and Tama. (Refer to the geometry of the Shri yantra and the conscious energies of creation. These three are represented by the inner-most equi-lateral triangle around the central dot).

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The Prakruti the Great Mother, is also called the Pradhan प्रधान which means that all things are contained within Her, she is prominent, chief, most important, essence, original source. She is the Cause and also the Effect. ‘Cause and effect’, we think of these two things as separate and distinct from each other. But if you think deeply these are quite similar on the deeper levels but yet dissimilar. e.g. Cream is formed on milk, that means that milk has the potential to form cream (cream is hidden in the milk), and cream does contain properties of milk (milk is hidden in the cream). Thus the effect is just the transformation/ evolution/ involution (Parinam परिणाम) of the cause.

Prakruti is defined as the state where the Satva, Raja and Tama Gun remain in perfect equilibrium. This is the Avyakta अव्यक्त, unmanifested, potential, invisible, universal spirit, primordial germ, inactive, unexpressed, latent state. Prakruti is Non-Intelligent. The reason is the three Gun. She is composed of the Satva, Raja and Tama which are in constant equilibrium and in spontaneous equal constant motion. Neither of these is greater or lesser, thus they ‘cancel each other out’. Thus she is Spontaneity.

Satva is light and causes pleasure at the spiritual levels, its function is to illuminate. Raja is active, urgent, passion and generally causes pain, its function is to cause evolution. Evolution is represented by the Swastik drawn in the clockwise direction. Tama is heavy, dull enveloping and smothering at the deepest levels, its function is to cause involution. Involution does not mean annihilation, it means that the energies are directed inwards, the transformation which causes dissolution (Swastik drawn in the anticlockwise manner).

These three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama are always linked with each other, they are always in conjunction and cannot be separated from each other. They continually influence each other, forever mixing in different proportions. As long as they are equal in force there is no manifestation. Prakruti is in constant movement and this motion powered by the continuous mixing and movement of the Gun. The Gun give direction to evolution/ involution. These three are all pervading, in every thing you see around you. These are the first ‘effect’ of Prakruti, so are in everything of this manifested Universe. They are energised by Prakruti.

The three Gun are initially in equilibrium, in the Avyakta, un-expressed state, this is pure Prakruti. Prakruti is the first Tattva of Creation. Tattva तत्त्व means a distinct state, element, principle or essence.

Trigun, Satva Raja Tama

Then there is a spontaneous Spandan स्पन्दन, which means throbbing, vibration, motion, start of life in the energy of Prakruti. This causes an imbalance in the three Gun and the Raja overpowers the other two. This leads to the Vyakta व्यक्त state, things start getting obvious, clear, evident, expressed and manifested. The Gun always remain in motion, now that they are out of equilibrium they will cause subtle changes in the next manifested tattvas of which they will become a part of. There is constant change everywhere because of their constant movement at the deepest fundamental levels.evolution from parabrahma to mahat buddhiNow after the Spandan, the Gun’s perfect equilateral triangle is disturbed. And Raja is immediately released by the imbalance, it acts on the Satva to produce Mahat-Buddhi which is the 2nd tattva of creation. Mahat-Buddhi is a new thing different from Prakruti and the three Gun hence is called a new Tattva. But it is still composed of the three Gun and energised by Prakruti. It is a transformation/ parinam.

When you do Dhyan, the very last and deepest stages, you are required to set this three Gun in their equilibrium stage again with your conscious manipulation of Pran. There are several ways to manipulate pran. (I read on the internet where people take classes to awaken their Kundalini and its always a facepalm moment. Can you control your breath? For 99.99% of us the answer is No! First learn breath control, then try to control pran, only then can you even think of the Kundalini and forget about ‘controlling’ it!. You would be lucky if you first clean out your Brahmanadi till the top with the pran first and then the kundalini unlocks and moves upwards in one smooth uninterrupted flow.)

There is no ‘physical God’ in Sanatan Dharm, we worship Intelligent Energy. And by ‘worship’, we try to entrain our limited beings with their Immenseness so that we ultimately experience and transcend them.

The Creative principle is the duo, Brahma ब्रह्म and Sarasvati सरस्वती. These two principles are Rajasic in nature. Brahma is the potential and Sarasvati is the active principle of Raja. In the Vyakt/manifestation, as the two principles of Raja act first, the active and potential principles of Satva, Laxmi लक्ष्मी and Vishnu विष्णु also get active by the influence of Brahma/Sarasvati. Together with these, the active and potential principles of Tama, Shakti शक्ति and Shiv शिव also start acting. These six energies are worshipped as Gods and called husband/wife of each other too. Though we visualise them as human figures and make human stories for them, they are not humans, they are pure conscious energies. So when you are ‘worshipping’ this Trinity of Sanatan Dharm, the husbands/wives, you are actually rebalancing the three Gun, Satva, Raja and Tama Gun in your own body /mind / Universe.

Now a secret. You are not Prakruti, you are the Eternal Singularity. You are neither your body nor your Universe, you are more than this. Prakruti is the active principle derived from the Eternal. Prakruti is a small part of the Eternal. If you think on the intellectual level at least to begin with, that that everything that you do, see, experience etc is not by You but by Prakruti, you will Realise Yourself faster.

 

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