Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Upadesha Saram - 5

Suppose I take a shadow to be a ghost. In order to get rid of the fear I have to first understand that its not a ghost ! and then in order to "Root" out the fear from the subconscious, I should go near the shadow maintaining equanimity in mind! The process of going near the  shadow without allowing fear to overcome me is called practice or purification of mind. Earlier we used to treat running away from the shadow as "Good" and moving towards it as "Bad" . To neutralize it, we go towards the shadow without getting affected. When the shadow moves away, I dont get elated, reminding myself that its only a shadow and not a ghost. And when the shadow moves towards me, I dont get dejected .. I maintain the attitude that it is only a shadow.

The world is unreal, but somehow we still seem to be elated when we get the desired results and dejected when we fail. So we need to hold onto this understanding that its unreal and somehow face this shadow of the world. How do we do this ? Well, it has to be incremental and a practice. The purpose of the practice is to purify the mind. That is, to remove the "notion that world is real" from the subconscious mind. To root out this notion completely, Bhagavan next suggests a proper practice:

iishvaraarpita.N necChayaa kR^itam |
cittashoodhaka.N muktisaadhakam||

ईश्वरार्पितँ नेच्छया कृतम्।
चित्तशोधकँ मुक्तिसाधकम्॥

(karma ) - actions
ishvara-arpitam : offered to the Lord.
na ichaya krtam : done without desires.
citta shodakam - purifies the mind
mukti sadhakam - aid in liberation.

"Actions done with the attitude that they are offerings to the Lord, without desires , purify the mind and are a means to liberation."

God is another name for Self. There is no God other than Self. So Bhagavan says, treat the actions as an offering to God. Thats a way of saying that the objective of the work that we do is not the result anymore. The objective of the work that we do is to see ourselves as Purna or Fulfilled. To see ourselves as ever fulfilled and the world as no more than a dream is the only purpose of action. In this process we should verify for ourselves that we are not dependent on action or on inaction. Attachment to inaction is called laziness. Attachment to excess of action is called "Rajas" or ego. To remain neither attached to inaction, nor to the results of action. Just act ... knowing that the results are not going to make a wee bit of difference to our true state! This is exactly like the process of going towards the shadow ghost to root out the inherent fear in our subconscious.

So Ramana's suggestion is simple ... treat the action as an offering to God. So you convert the work into a prayer. This is at once a very practical suggestion.  we will try to see how this really is.  The suggestion is not "Stop action". That would have been a wrong suggestion because action cannot be stopped. We do not know how to stop even for a moment. So he says, lets do one thing, remove the "Desire" aspect from it.

So what does that mean ? Do action, but mentally maintain that "Result of this action does not matter to me". What happens when we do this ? Lets try a simple case study first. Suppose I am studying for an exam with the understanding that the result will make me fulfilled. Now I intentionally place in a thought in my mind : Result can be either ways, I am fine-- I'll just work. The first tendency is to stop working. Because earlier result of the exam was the driving force and now I have really sidelined it. So the driving force is no more strong. what happens when the driving force is not strong enough ? Laziness overtakes. So in order to counter laziness, one should continue to work. One can actually stop the activity when one realizes that action or no action it hardly matters. Such a one may be working and still he is as good as not working. So I remove result as the motivating factor and replace it with a different motivating factor: "I am Free and as I do this work, I see myself as Free"

To see oneself as Free and Purna or Fulfilled is called Puja. Purnat jyayate iti puja, that which is born out of inner sense of completeness is called puja. So my work becomes puja, a form of prayer. How ? I work, treating the result as immaterial... and knowing that I am ever Fulfilled. For this to be possible, my understanding that I am ever fulfilled should be firm. And the only outcome of all actions is a firmness of this conviction.

As we practice this, we find a true release from both action and inaction. This is a practice and all practice has to be founded upon correct understanding. If understanding is not firm enough it wont stay. This practice is actually a nidhidhyasana method. It has to be done after proper sravanam and mananam that the world is nothing more than a figment of imagination and we are ever Fulfilled.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Upadesha Saram - 4

Now what happens if a person takes this world to be real and starts to think that he can get rid of his sense of emptiness within through karma? The next verse is an answer:

kR^iti mahodadhau patanakaaraNam|
phalamashaashvata.N gatinirodhakam||

कृति महोदधौ पतनकारणम्।
फलमशाश्वतँ गतिनिरोधकम्॥

kriti maha udhau - in the vast ocean of actions.
ashashvatam phalam - transient results
patana karanam - the cause of downfall
(and ca)
gati-nirodhakam : (is) the restriction on progress.

This vast ocean of actions is a cause for downfall.
The fruits are impermanent and thus a person's progress is restricted.

We have seen that the world is inherently unreal and it cannot provide any real fulfillment. In tripura rahasyam there is an interesting question asked: 
"If getting a worldly object gives satisfaction or fulfillment, you would have stopped after getting the first such object. The very fact that you continue seeking shows that they do not provide real satisfaction."

That's an interesting argument. A poor person thinks that the cause for all the emptiness in his life is lack of money. so he concludes that money can fill up the emptiness he is experiencing. So he seeks to earn more money and lets suppose that he has indeed earned the money. Does he stop there? Ideally all his incompleteness should have ended! But what happens? Now he starts to think that he needs to become popular to be happy. So its like a mirage... a mrga-trshna. The thirsty person thinks that his thirst could be quenched by reaching that mirage , which appears to be a water body to him. When he reaches there, he recognizes that its not really going to solve his problem! Everything in this world only offers a mirage like happiness. 

Lets return to the main issue. When a person thinks that  the world can provide a permanent solution to his sense of dissatisfaction or emptiness that's within, he tries to procure various worldly objects. He supposes that those worldly objects would make him fulfilled or happy. But this being like a mirage, the moment he procures those objects, he feels the need to procure some thing else. So the need continues and his "Seeking" continues in the form of various actions. Thats why bhagavan calls it a vast ocean of actions. we can as well call it the ocean of "Seeking". This seeking means that I have already concluded that I am incomplete within and it also means that I think this sense of incompleteness can be filled with worldly objects. Bhagavan points out that the result of all these actions are "transient". They are limited in time. And anything limited in time is "unreal". Definition of unreal is: "Whats not there "before" and what will not be there "after" some time" .That's the definition of unreal. Like a ghost imagined in mind: it appears to be there for some time and then vanishes. Or like a city seen in a mirror. 
can I quench my thirst with water seen in a mirror ?
How unrealistic is that expectation?

Its the same thing with our idea that we can find satisfaction through the worldly objects. Temporarily lulling the mind is also not going to help. Whats most important is the recognition that I am ever fulfilled. Without this, liberation is not possible. No karma/upasana (meditation) Can make me fulfilled. They are all actions and have limited results - further the idea that  I am unfulfilled is a self created barrier that blocks our spiritual progress. 
so the first step is to stop looking at the world as real. The world appears to be real owing to our attachment and belief in its reality. There is no truth about what is seen - its like a mirage and nothing more.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji Says


 Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswati ji Says

Here is a short index for this topic: (the post numbers are listed)

Don't Run Away from Duhkha and For Sukha: 1
2. Vairagya: 2
3. Meditation: 3
4. Puranic Allegories: 4

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2:
When Dukha or unhappiness comes unasked, why do you think one needs to ask for Sukha ? Both sukha and dukha are results of one's prarabdha karma. They come and go on their own.

Ashtavakra Gita:
We think we are living, but every indulgence is really dying ... everything we indulge in anything we are actually dying [because we are identifying with the "jada" or "dead body-mind" ] ... the person enjoying his 50th birth day is actually celebrating 50th death day

  Observe the body like a breathing statue.

Ashtavakra Gita:
Ashtavakra had 8 bends in his body, that is to say that he was an iconoclast who would break the icons or standard religious beliefs and ideas.

Ashtavakra Gita:
Ashtavakra had 8 bends in his body, that is to say that he was an iconoclast who would break the icons or standard religious beliefs and ideas.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Self Enquiry

Today morning as I was browsing through the posts of a popular forum , I happened to find some interesting question on

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Silence_Speaks ?

a friend once mocked my approach and said
u write a lot of nonsense ... blah blah blah and then at the end write "Silence" . what do u mean?

This silence is slightly different from the common usage. in common usage, if i have to be silent, i should not speak. if i have to be silent, i should not have thoughts. so on..
the silence i use is in-spite of speaking and thoughts. That silence is ever present as the substratum ... The Presence itself... whether a thought is there or not and whether a word is spoken or not.
no amount of speaking can change the silence within.


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Discussions on Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Teachings

It was one of our evening discussions on the Path of Ramana. We are a group of friends, all ardent followers of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi and we would usually discuss his teachings to gain a deeper understanding.

"Whats the use of all this discussions ? Lets do Self Enquiry ", was one comment. 
"My enquiry improves through such discussions. This is satsangha ", replied another friend. 
Before there could be further discussion around that point, another friend disrupted the discussion and said in an excited tone "Last week, I went to Arunachala and met a very saintly person there"
All of us were very curious to hear what he had to say. 
"He lives in a small room at Arunachala. I met him during my giri pradakshina", he continued to explain ...

"But did not feel that he was anything special. I was discussing about Self Enquiry with a friend when 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Discussions on Meditation

Prelude on Discussion Series...
        This article belongs to a series of my writings called "Discussions". Discussions are in the form of friendly conversations between a seeker and a guru. Guru, in this context, is just a person who has some vision to convey. I keep these conversations informal and as simple as possible. 

One day our guru was sitting in silence near his hut with closed eyes, when a seeker found him! The guru had a long beard because he did not go to a barber for a few days. He thought of going this day but when he woke up in the morning he did not feel like going. He sat there because he did not feel an inclination to go out and he was with closed eyes because he was meditating on his true nature. And why was he silent ? Obviously as there was no one around to talk to :). He was not smiling as he did not go to the modern day yoga schools which teach that we should always keep smiling.

So at first our seeker was in a dichotomy. His silence was impressive and he was impressed with the beard but the fact that he did not smile was not all that impressive! The seeker always saw that buddha was seated in padmasana with a smile on face. But here, this person was seated with a bent back and was leaning in an awkward way against a tree. So this was also something doubtful.

But being a sincere seeker he wanted to give him the benefit of doubt ! he thought, let me ask him and find out.


Monday, 8 July 2013

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's Upadesha Saram - 3

This is a continuation. Previous post can be reached by clicking the following link :PART 2

Suppose I am the dreamer .. within the context of that dream, I am the God of that particular dream because its my law that holds there. Similarly we have a beautiful picture of Siva seated in meditation - That meditation is all this we see, its a sort of "Conscious" imagination ... and the law of that dream operate in this world. This world is no more than a dream and the dreamer is Ishvara, God. This recognition is very important. 

Bhagavan Ramana maharshi makes a very interesting comment here: Karma tat jadam, this karma is insentient. Now we have to appreciate what insentient means. In the world of the dreamer, there are two things: The Seen and the Seer. The "Seen" constitutes all the names and forms he imagines up in his dream and the "Seer" is "me", the dreamer. What ever is seen has no "sentience" of its own, it derives its sentience from the "seer". In other words, the seer lends some sentience to the "seen" . In other words, the seer's sentience reflects in the seen. So there is what is called Drk-Drishya Viveka, where the Seer which is Atma is differentiated from the Seen which is anatma. So the entire world thats seen is anatma and hence insentient by nature. In the presence of a Conscious Seer, the insentient "Seen" appears alive. Anything other than the Atma is jada, lifeless... insentient! What ever is seen is insentient.

Someone may ask "I see my friend who is very much alive, how can you call him jada?", well, what you see is his body. He also sees your body and you yourself see your body. So Body is jada. Lifeless.Even from my standpoint, this body is "seen" and hence insentient. 

Being a drshya, it derives its sentience from the Seer, its not self luminous. This is the case with everything thats seen. Thus karma is insentient. Being insentient, karma's existence is dependent upon the Drk or the Seer who is the sentient Presence. This being do, how can karma be Param ? Param means , Swami Tattvavidananda Saraswathi ji explains , "Pariccheda Rahitam", sans all limitations. So Karma being a dependent entity, it is limited spacewise and time wise. Anything that I imagine in my dream has a limitation, it has a starting point "within the dream" and an "ending point within the dream". So an action is conditioned by time which itself is dependent upon me, who am the dreamer. Thus karma is not param ... there is only one entity thats param the Seer, the Presence.

Thus actions are limited, insentient and they do not confer the results. In the presence of a Sentient Seer, as in a dream, the various "seen" objects appear animated and there seem to be a law. The law too is a "seeming" interconnection between the "seen" objects and it too being the "Seen" derives its existence from the Seer. Thus, as in a dream, the Seer alone is Param, Pariccheda Rahitam. Because the seer is not conditioned by the seen. Hence the Seer is the supreme, param. 

Now what happens if a person takes this world to be real and starts to think that he can get rid of his sense of emptiness within through karma? The next verse is an answer:


Monday, 10 June 2013

Meditations on Ashtavakra Gita - PART 4


Verse 7:

एको द्रष्टासि सर्वस्य मुक्तप्रायोऽसि सर्वदा ।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धो द्रष्टारं पश्यसीतरम् ॥१-७॥

You Alone Are, The Witness of Everything and Ever Free. 
This alone is your bondage that you take the Seer to be the other (Seen).

This is precisely our problem. Vedanta says I am ever fulfilled and yet I sense some lacking-ness. Vedanta says I am Purna, Complete and yet, I suffer and without suffering I am definitely better! If my money is lost , I will become poor and will suffer. How can I say, I am complete with or without money ? What kind of a statement is it ? 
and what does it mean to say money does not make me fulfilled? Bhaja Govindam says "Artham anartham bhavaya nityam" [Money is meaningless, please feel this always] and if even a little of my money is robbed I feel miserable. There seems to be a discordance somewhere. Either Bhaja Govindam is wrong in saying "Artham anartham" or I am not able to raise upto such a spiritual level. These seem to be the only possible unfortunate conclusions. 
If I take Bhaja Govindam to be wrong, then I become an atheist. 
If I think that I have not yet reached such spiritual levels, I condemn myself and thus suffer. 
Both are sad outcomes. Atleast the atheist does not blame himself but he suffers because he misses the wonderful teaching by miles ! 
The theist, on the other hand, blames himself and consequently takes exactly a route opposite to that of teaching that you are ever Free!!

We see this very often in spiritual circles. The devotees always think they are impure, while the teaching is that you are Ever pure. Such a devotee goes to a guru and says "Sir, I am very impure and insignificant creature, please help me better myself" and the guru sanctions this notion so that he can stand above and feel superior. 

Please see friends... the whole problem is in the misconception that I am "incomplete or impure" and I need to become "pure or complete". This is the most important thing to grasp. The scripture says "Mukta eva asi sarvada", you are ever free! It does not say "You can become free by doing this", its saying you are ever free. But then do we not need any practise ? What are all spiritual sadhanas for ? Do not the scriptures suggest "Sravana , Manana, Nidhidhyasanam" ? The second part of the verse explains this: "Your bondage is you take yourself to be the seen". The mind is the seen. As long as one takes oneself to be the "seen", thats ignorance in operation. And ignorance can only be removed through knowledge. One has to bring in knowledge to remove this "Thorn" called ignorance. Both knowledge and ignorance are at the same level : mind. Self is beyond both knowledge and ignorance. Knowledge only serves to remove the ignorance and resolves itself into the Self. Self need not be revealed by knowledge because Self is Self Effulgent Reality. Self Shines and in its presence everything else shines. taameva bhati anubhati sarvam. Everything else shines following Self. Knowledge and ignorance both shine because there is this unchanging background called Self. So knowledge is not to "Grasp" Self, but to undo the ignorance that I am the "Seen" -- "Drshya jagat".

In the mind I see sorrow and I say "I am sad". In the mind I see joy and I say "I am happy". In the mind I see some sensations and I say "Its painful". In the mind I see certain emotions and I say "I am emotional". To perpetuate this identification there are spiritual practices that say "Make the mind pure so that you will see peace there"  and then you can say "I am peaceful". This is simply not going to work, because mind is a machine. Mind has been fed with various feelings, ideas, emotions since ages. Only now we are learning all this. So mind will respond in a certain way to a certain situation and that's natural.  We cannot change the way mind responds to a certain situation, because its inbuilt into the subconscious mind. If I try to suppress it, I create further problems. So mind is like that. The problem is not that mind reacts in all these ways. The problem is in that I take myself to be the mental state! Thats ignorance in operation and ignorance can only be undone with knowledge and not with ignorance. Right when the mind is agitated and it says "I am agitated", one has to see oneself as the "Seer" which is untouched by the "agitation thats seen"! Right at that moment one has to see that there is really no "person" there who is agitated. There is agitation ... and Mute changeless Presence ! The agitation is a passing scene, a mithya appearance ... like a snake seen on a rope. Right when there is agitation one has to see this ! And there one does not make any attempt to control or stop the agitation or emotion. One allows it to pass, without getting involved ... without identifying with it. Allowing it to pass like a passing cloud. 

No where should I make any attempt to label myself based upon those emotions of the mind. Mind is conditioned and its supposed to be conditioned. If mind is not conditioned, one cannot function in the world. The very recognition of faces is a conditioning. Mind is conditioned. Our objective is not to "become unconditioned", neither is our objective to make mind unconditioned. One simply has to know and see .. that one is the unconditioned background upon which all conditioning are taking place , as if. 


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Meditations On Ashtavakra Gita - PART 3


Friends, lets have a short recap. We  have first seen, with the help of these verses, that there is really no "I" even when we "see an I". We have seen this pretty elaborately. Now, though there is no "I", and we have  clearly seen ... an "I" appears and we have  this tendency to identify with it. Knowing  that there is no "I" in reality is liberation and yet there is an appearance which cannot be avoided. Our memories which are intact ... dont vanish! They cause an appearance of a fictitious "I" and  even when that "I" appears we have to see clearly that we are the Awareness which is untouched by the mental movements. Thus when we are able to see, the inherent tendency to "identify" with that appearance thins down and we become free of its influence. We cannot avoid the appearance , but identification can be significantly thinned down. This identification is the problem. Neither the memory nor the appearance of an "I" [which is  purely based upon the memory and is  automatically triggered by external circumstances] are a problem. 

When interacting with the world and functioning in our roles , we should clearly see ourselves  as "Empty" "Presence"... Presence that's Awareness. The problem is, while Awareness is the true me, there is a fictitious  appearance  ... the "I" ... that camouflages itself as  "I". This fictitious appearance, is  based on memory , its not there before its remembered and I should clearly be Present before its remembered ! And yet we fall for it often enough. This tendency to identify with this appearance or the objective mental states is the root cause of all suffering. This is the main problem.

Please observe this carefully. Awareness is Presence ... Just IS. The mental states keep changing. To try to stop the mind from changing is stupid ... that which is conditioned by time will change. Seeing the Presence or Awareness, which is changeless as changing is  ignorance. Mind will be calm, agitated etc due to various situations in life and never should we say "I am calm" or "I am agitated" when mind is agitated or calm. Right when the mind goes through all these states I see myself  as the Presence which is mute spectator to the whole mental scene. This is true liberated  living. The mental states which are "Out there" as  the "Seen" is not superimposed upon myself which is  pure Presence. 

Most people don'd understand that when they say that they are not calm when the mind is agitated, its essentially identification with mind ! People allow the identification with mind to continue totally and try every means  to "control" and "calm" the mind. Mind is agitated because we get involved in it. The moment I take myself to be the mind, its enough catalyst for it to get agitated and worried. If I take myself  to be the mind  and constantly seek to calm the mind  and whenever the mind is calm, i say i am calm ... if this is my practise, am I not perpetuating the idea that I am mind ? Please  ponder. 

The true practise is therefore not to make the mind calm, but to see it as "different" from me. That is to not project the states of mind upon myself --- to not drag the states  of mind onto myself. In order that we stop dragging the states  of mind onto ourselves, we need to see clearly how we  manage to drag the states of mind onto ourselves. Lets once again take a snapshot of what happens in the mind:

suppose I am afraid of darkness. Lets list down the train of thoughts as  they happen, in that sequence.
T1: Pure perception of darkness.
T2: May be there is some danger lurking in the darkness
T3: I am at risk.
T4: I feel uncomfortable in darkness.
T5: Darkness is haunting me.
T6: There is fear in my mind, obviously.
T7: I am afraid.

Now ... I have actually taken some  liberty and wrote down these thought patterns in a  logical way. We generally do not verbalize  T6. But we directly jump to T7. :). Or perhaps we do, but we tend to miss it. But what I intend to stress is, its the usage of words through which we  drag the  mental states onto ourselves. The mental state is "fear" and I say "I am afraid". Only when I verbalize it thus, by saying "I am afraid", do I drag that mental state onto myself. Without verbalizing it thus, the mental state does not get dragged onto "me". This is absolutely important to understand. Our mental vocabulary ... it creates the myth that we are in trouble. When I know this, I can allow the mind to continue its games and remain as witness ... totally untouched and un-involved. If needed  I can use some mental vocabulary "I am the Awareness which is untouched by this" ... and right at that moment I should  be able to see myself  as untouched by the mental states.  

This is the topic of the next verse  of Ashtavakra Gita which will be  discussed  in part 4.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Meditations On Ashtavakra Gita - PART 2

Meditations On Ashtavakra Gita - PART 1

         When Janaka sought liberation from "Bondage", Ashtavakra dismissed the very "I" which feels bound. In the first few verses, Ashtavakra clearly proves that there is no "I" who feels hurt, worried, sorry etc. All this is already discussed in the PART 1. Having understood this much, one has to live it in the day to day life. This living out this truth requires certain clarity of this vision which is what Ashtavakra is building through the next few verses. 

Suppose I am playing the role of Ravana in a drama and while playing this role, I forget my true nature and take myself to be Ravana. Now I suffer all the emotions of Ravana, I feel guilty for what I have done and also sad for all the war thats taking place, say. Now, at this juncture, if I learn that I am not Ravana... should I now stop playing the role of Ravana ? Please see this. The role of Ravana can continue and yet I am liberated. I know there is no Ravana here and that this Ravana and all his emotions are "unreal" and yet I play the role with great confidence, donning the emotions and feelings. I intentionally bring out the emotions of Ravana because I know those emotions and having brought them out, I enact them ... but no where am I really troubled. 

The same thing within. The understanding that there is really no "I" , is very significant. Its like the understanding that I am not Ravana. And yet, there is an appearance. From my memories this appearance takes shape. To my mother I am a son and when I interact with her, there is a mental appearance ... an "I" thats formed out of my memories, which is only an appearance and yet knowing fully well that its not me, I enact the role. 

One may ask "Who is the one who keeps changing roles ?" , My answer is simple : "Another Role". So these are all mental and "out there"! I know I am not any of these and yet I play all these roles with great comfort. When Ashtavakra says "You are not a householder etc", its not that I can no more play the role of a householder. I play the role very well, knowing completely that I am not it. The role of householder is in memory and when situation arises, it pops out of the memory in the form of a series of thoughts creating a fictitious "I" who is a householder. If this "I" is not formed, I cannot function as a householder. Formation of this "I" is not the problem. Identification with this "I" is definitely a problem. The "I" is formed , yet I know that this "I" is only a shadow and not real ! I clearly see that the TRUE I is not this "I" , but it lends existence to this "I". This is understanding. Its purely intellectual ... understanding is always intellectual. There is nothing like non-intellectual understanding. Understanding means intellectual.

Now someone may ask : is not Self beyond intellect ? Yes , ofcourse it is. But I do not need to Know the Self through intellect. Self is self effulgent! So all that I need is to dismiss the wrong ideas about "I"  or rather negate all the ideas about "I". These ideas are all certain limitations applied on the "I" - certain qualifiers applied to the "I" and when these limitations are negated [they need not be removed, they are present and yet seen as unreal], then I is self evident. Nothing needs to be done to "Know Self". Self is self effulgent. 


धर्माधर्मौ सुखं दुखं मानसानि न ते विभो ।
न कर्तासि न भोक्तासि मुक्त एवासि सर्वदा ॥१-६॥ 

Dharma, Adharma , Comfort and discomfort belong to the Mind and not to you, oh King! You are neither the doer nor the experienc-er, you are Ever Free  , Always.

This is the understanding and its so beautiful. Even when a person has completely understood his true nature, he cannot avoid comforts and discomforts. Whether its janaka or ashtavakra ... on a hot day, having a glass of water gives comfort and standing in sun gives discomfort. Once a friend told me "The day I eat neem leaves and ice cream with the same feeling, thats when I consider myself liberated". If one has such an idea, one can never live a liberated life. Setting up an unreachable and unnatural expectation is one way of distancing ourselves from liberated living. Right now, we are all liberated and we need to own it up. This owning up means living a desireless and free life here and now. This is possible only when we do not set such unnatural goals born out of exotic ideas. 

Someone once said "Ramana did not feel pain when suffering from cancer" ! These kind of ideas are all wrong. Discomfort cannot be avoided. Otherwise, take any saint and do not allow him to sleep for 5 or 6 days and he will accept that discomfort cannot be avoided. This is not the idea of liberated living. This is really not possible and natural to live such a life. 

There are comfortable situations and uncomfortable situations in life. One cannot help but face all these situations. But when one faces these situations, if one does not allow these situations to distort one's Self Image, thats liberated living. Lets take a simple example. Suppose I failed in an examination. And lets observe a particular kind of self talk:  
"I Failed ".
 "I can no more reap the benefits of  success"
"I am incomplete without reaping the benefits of success"
"I feel really unfulfilled because of this"

Please see. 
The first two statements are merely statements of fact. The next statement is where we are "Projecting" this situation onto ourselves and doing a "Self Evaluation" based on  them. The moment I do this, I feel "incomplete" and "unfulfilled" and as a result ? I suffer.  The external situation cannot be avoided. The external situation has comfort and discomfort clearly defined ! The "I Sense" has its likes and dislikes. 
But even when seeing all this, I should make sure I do not drag these situations of mind onto myself and see myself as "unfulfilled and incomplete within".

We have already seen that there is really no "I" ... there is only this body which is jada and lifeless and the Awareness within which is totally Still Presence. Where is the "I" ? Only a series of thoughts coming from memory create a sense of I , a sense of doer or experiencer. This is not real, its like a mirage. Unreal and purely imaginary. And yet, it "Seems" to exist. So that "Seeming" existence can be used for purely functional purpose and yet I understand that I am not that. So thus, I do not drag that situation onto myself and feel suffocated and incomplete within. This is liberated living.

[To be Continued ...]