Sharing my knowledge about Vedanta – Paths to Liberation

To have know-how or to have knowledge. Hand turns a dice and changes the word "know-how" to "knowledge".

What is Vairagya? How can it be achieved?

Vairãgya translates as serenity or detachment, but is defined as “not necessarily detachment from material things, rather it is the ability to be totally and mentally detached from longing for something other than one’s (finite) self.” Defined in simple words as “the willingness to lose something at any moment”.

This is the main and most important requirement for Liberation. This indifference (recognizing that only Brahman is permanent and everything else ephemeral) is due to two factors.

• Full and clear understanding of the finite nature of sensual pleasures
• And irresistible passion for infinity

All pleasures have a beginning and an end. The happiness they bring is transitory, temporary, fleeting, and therefore finite. These pleasures require the senses, the mind and the intellect to experience them. These are matter, gross and disintegrated – they are not permanent in nature.

Understand that attachment to these perishable objects and happiness lead to sadness, samsara, and bondage, which leads to the cycle of birth and death.

Without sufficient disinterest in worldly objects, relationships, pleasures and enjoyments, the seeker will not be able to still his mind to delve deeper into the spiritual path. Therefore, Vairãgya (abstinence) is the first and most important step.

The four aspects of faith. Faith is Åœraddha in Sanskrit.

Faith is total surrender/only trust in something that IS, even though we can’t see it. According to this chapter, faith is fourfold, that is,

Believe in

• The skill and nobility of the teacher – not challenging the teacher in his knowledge and wisdom
• That existence is reality, not just worldly objects or the happiness obtained by them. There is only ONE, which is equal to many.
• Have faith in the scriptures that impart a knowledge of Truth that surpasses worldly knowledge
• Finally, one’s ability to acquire that universal knowledge, since there is only the Self.

Differentiation between Åšravana and manana

Åšravana is intense listening, not just hearing. Listening requires a person’s full attention with all of their senses. You have to be intellectually convinced of what the teacher shares and it is only possible by listening. Åšravana to a teacher makes a student believe that by following all the sadhanas in Vedanta, one can directly experience jiva-brahama-aikya. (Realize that Atman and Brahman are one and the same)

Manana is a reflection of what was heard from the teacher. It is an intellectual and logical analysis of what is being heard. The student must fully convince himself through arguments and not blindly obey what the teacher has said.

This will resolve all the doubts and confusions that have arisen. Logic and reasoning must be in tune with the guru’s teachings that the Self is Brahman and is the same, everything is. There is only ONE and ‘Aham Brahmasmi’. It is this inner intellectual conviction gained through tomorrow that is of crucial importance on the spiritual path.

Distinction between Dhyana and Samadhia

Even after being intellectually convinced that the Self is Brahman through Vairãgya, Åšravana and manana, the seeker still finds it difficult to transform. This deep gap between information and transformation is due to the vasanas in a seeker. He may be fully convinced intellectually, but if the vasanas of previous births lead him to material objects, to pleasures, he is still under that pressure.

Samadhi is the sustained practice of dhyana. In the stage of Dhyana, a seeker has a thought, on the contrary, Samadhi is the state of absence of thoughts. Even the thought ‘I am Brahman’ is not there. It is an experience that cannot be described or put into words. It is a state of pure consciousness. A seeker in this state is completely out of bondage forever. Such a seeker is called Jivan-Mukta, the liberated being.

Distinction between Anantama Cinta and Anatma Vasana

Cinta refers to thoughts at the level of the suksma/subtle body. Anatma-ribbon refers to the thoughts associated with the body, mind and intellect, seeing the world separate from the Self, the doer’s thought and enjoyment, and the sense of duality. These thoughts can be controlled and managed. You can’t control them because they can be suppressed, but you can focus on sublimating them with deeper intellectual understanding.

Anantama-vasana is much deeper; it is the collection of thoughts from all previous births at the karana/causal body level. This is the root. Unless this root is completely eradicated, no degree of intellectual understanding of self-birth will not destroy the spirit of the seeker.

The depth between information and transformation is enormous. If people of great intelligence and knowledge could achieve self-realization, many would have already done so, because there are many such people in this universe. There are people full of scriptural knowledge, capable of reasoning and giving logical explanations, but one has to go beyond the intellectual level to realize the Self. Realizing the Self is experiential and cannot be explained.

To reach that stage, dhyana is vital. What is dhyana? According to the texts, of which I am convinced,

Dhyana, also called ‘nidhidhyasana’, is a process where the seeker remains focused on a single thought ‘I am Brahman’. It is a continuous stream of the same thought that refers to Brahman (the stream of water flowing over the lingam in temples symbolizes this). The purpose of dhyana is to remove the habitual erroneous thought (viparita-bhavana) that one is not oneself.

Intellectual analysis and logical reasoning, while necessary, are not strong enough to achieve Self-realization. Even after being fully intellectually convinced of oneness with Brahman, the seeker is plagued by fears, attracted by desires, anchored by worldly objects and sensual pleasures. Complete transformation seems very difficult to achieve and the seeker continues to identify himself with the anatman due to the vasanas.

The shackles of these vasanas cannot be broken on the intellectual level (anatma-ribbon). They must be eradicated at the root level, which is anantma-vasana, that is, the tendency to identify with the anatman at the causal level, to prevent them from germinating again.

How to eradicate this anatma vasana?

Habits are formed by the repetition of the habitual tendency to think that I am the not-self or the attachment to the body, mind and intellect is formed by habit. To undo this, we must begin to develop the habit of thinking ‘I am Brahman’, the opposite of the original habitual thought, repeatedly and continuously with conviction and understanding to the exclusion of all other thoughts. That is dhyana.

The mechanical and monotonous repetition of ‘I am Brahman’ will not eliminate the anantma-vasana. It must be strictly supported by the deep intellectual understanding that the Self is Brahman (done through reflection (manana)).

Therefore, dhyana is destroying wrong thinking and diverting the mind to one thought with right understanding, without any hesitation, with strong conviction.

With my exposure to satsang and sustained efforts, I understand intellectually that this body is a temporary and transitory phase, although I am still attracted to my relationships with family and friends. I often prefer silence and being alone, unable to speak freely about material objects, my thoughts not in conjunction with those of others. These behaviors also cause concerns in my mind (ego) about my survival (who should survive?) There is constant internal conflict (Battle of Kurkshetra)

I keep reading the Vedic scriptures (also due to vasanas) for hours together {along with the shackles that continue from previous births} and experience the inner peace that is purely experiential.

Awesome Power is an organization committed to encouraging, motivating, inspiring, coaching and supporting people to believe in themselves and reach their full potential in all areas of their lives.

The author of this article is a life coach, change agent, motivational speaker, professional writer, committed to making a difference in the lives of others.

The author is also very interested in spiritual studies and believes that our lives are the consequences of our own actions and that spiritual study is the path to inner peace. We are on this earth to realize that everything is ONE and that it is ONE in everything.


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