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CONTEMPLATION


I. 1.

Now, when a sincere seeker approaches an enlightened teacher, with the right attitude of discipleship (viz. ,free of preconceived notions and prejudices, and full of intelligent faith and receptivity) and with the right spirit of inquiry, at the right time and the right place, communication of yoga takes place.

 

I. 2.

Yoga happens when there is stilling (in the sense of continual and vigilant watchfulness) of the movement of thought - without expression or suppression - in the indivisible intelligence in which there is no movement.

I.3.



In the light of non-volitional, non-moving and therefore spontaneous and choice less awareness the undivided intelligence with its apparent and passing modifications or movements of thought within itself is not confused with nor confined to any of these.
Then (when yoga thus happens), the seer or the homogeneous intelligence which is ignorantly regarded as the separate experiences of sensations and emotions, and the separate performer of actions, is not split up into one or the other of the states or modifications of the mind, and exists by itself and as itself.

 

I.4.



At other times, when yoga does not happen and when the mind is busily occupied with the movement, there is a cloud of confusion in the undivided, homogeneous intelligence. In the shadow of that cloud, there arises false
identification or cognition of the movement of the mind-fragment and hence distorted understanding .The single concept or idea or the single movement of thought is mistaken as the totality.

 

I. 5.

 

These apparent movements or states or moods of the mind, which are concepts, ideas or images in it, can all be grouped under five categories, irrespective of whether they are experienced as painful or not-painful, and whether or not they are covertly or clearly tainted by the five-fold afflictions described later.

 

I. 6.



These five categories of apparent movements of the mind are:

      1. proven theory, which is often assumed to have been reliably proved and therefore to constitute right knowledge; (or, rationalization of the movement of thought .)
      2. unsound thinking or wrong knowledge, assumptions, presumptions, beliefs (deductions and inference may also be included here); (or verbal condemnation of the movement of thought as wrong.)
      3. (fancy or hallucination or imagination totally unrelated to any proven or assumed theories, which may also include the delusion that one is already out of the movement of thought .
      4. a state of dullness or sleep; or succumbing to the movement of thought, feeling it is impossible to go beyond it;
      5. memory, or the recollection of a teaching or an experience which gives rise to the notion that it is possible to go beyond the movement of thought; such a notion forms an image.

 

I. 7.

What are proven theories?

Theories are said to derive their proof from one or the other of the following sources:

(1) direct perception, sense-experience, or intuition,

(2) deduction or extension of direct perception and sense-experience or beliefs: in the absence of direct proof or experience, indirect proof is deduced from the right or wrong application of principles of logic chosen by oneself, which often lead to vague generalizations or presumptions that " since the theory comes from a usually reliable source, it must be correct. "

(3) scriptural or other trustworthy testimony or authority - where, again, one accepts as proof the statements of those whom one has accepted as THE authority, such acceptance being blind and fanatic.

 

I.8.



Unsound thinking or
wrong knowledge is based on error, on mistaken identity, where the cognition is unreal and faulty and hence the knowledge is faulty, too, and where there is no agreement between the expression and the experience, between the substance and the description .

 

I.9.


Fanciful or hallucinatory expressions and even experiences or
imaginations are "sound without substance", empty words and phrases or descriptions which have no corresponding reality, however realistic or inspiring or satisfying they may appear to be: hence they are the most deceptive and least trustworthy.

 

I. 10.

When nothingness or void is the content of the mind, when the idea of nothingness alone prevails, or when the mind thinks that it does not think at all, there is sleep, which is a state of mental or psychic inertia.

 

II.11.



Memory is the
non-abandonment of the impression created by past experiences, Which is revived with much the same impact on the mind-stuff as at the time of the original experience, but with or without the original details and emotional response.

 

I. 12.

The right understanding and the realization of the real nature of these five categories of mental states, is gained by

1) right exertion, and

2) the simultaneous, effortless and wise avoidance of the distracting influences. The latter includes the non-arousal of cravings and attractions that compound one ' s confusion, and the steady perception in the inner Light that the mistaking of the mental states for the undivided intelligence, is both the cause and the effect of the clouding of the Light. Such perception is sufficiently strong and wise to know that the intelligence is forever uncoloured by ignorant waywardness.

 

I. 13.

Any steady and continuous or persistent and vigilant endeavor to stand firm in the understanding of the truth of the indivisibility of cosmic intelligence is known as spiritual practice (right exertion).

 

I. 14.

But, when is one said to be well grounded in practice?

When this spontaneous awareness or cosmic consciousness continues without interruption, for a long time, and one is devoted to it with all one' s being, in all sincerity and earnestness .

 

I.15.



How does one avoid distracting influences, without being distracted by such effort?

When the consciousness functions in a masterly way so that the compulsive and over-powering craving for objects seen or heard of, is skillfully (that is, without suppression or expression, inhibition or indulgence) turned upon itself - there arises an intense and consuming quest in quest of the what, how and where of the craving itself: that is known as uncolouredness or dispassion.

 

I.16.



Whereas in the earlier stages of yoga practice this "turning craving upon itself" may be (i) blind suppression, or (ii) an act of self-sacrifice with a reward in view, or (iii) at best an active expression of unquestioning faith in accepted authority - the spiritual quest transcends such qualified self-discipline, then THAT which is "beyond" the conditioned and therefore fragmented inner personality is directly seen to be free of all craving.

 

I.17.



The realization of the unconditioned being is at times associated with logical reasoning or examination, deep a-rational inquiry, an experience of bliss or of pure I-am-ness. Yet even at those times there is consciousness of the subject-object relationship, and knowledge of the physiological and psychological states, experiences and deeds.

 

I.18



Different from this is the practice that is based on cessation of all effort even at meditating: this practice leads spontaneously to tranquillity. In that, only the impressions or memories remain: of such impressions is the "me" constituted.

 

I . 19.



When such impressions remain, one retains the possibility (and the cause) of birth again, even after being freed from the present body and after becoming integrated with one ' s own or the cosmic nature. For, such impressions or memories nurture and perpetuate the awareness of continued personal existence.

 

I . 20.



In the case of others, when such spontaneous realization of the unconditioned does not happen, such realization is preceded by and proceeds from faith or one-pointed devotion, great energy and use of will-power, constant remembrance of teachings and one ' s own experience, the practice of samadhi (the state of inner harmony), and a knowledge or discernment of such harmony - all of which lead one gradually on to that state of yoga.

 

I.21.



However, lest it should be misconstrued that such gradual evolution implies cosmological or psychological distance to be covered, it should be added that the state of yoga or the unconditioned intelligence is close at hand irrespective of the approach followed by the seekers - if they are full of intense zeal, enthusiasm, energy and sincerity, and are thus able speedily to overcome obstacles.

 

I.22.



Yet, again, it is possible to see a distinction between mild, middling and intense zeal, energy and effort, although yoga (which is spontaneous realization of oneness) and effort (which implies duality) are contradiction in terms.

 

I.23.



Or, the state of yoga is attained by complete, instant, dynamic, energetic and vigilant surrender of the ego-principle to the omnipresent ever-existent reality or god. This is instant realization of God as the only reality, when the (ego's?) quest of self-knowledge meets its counterpart, ignorance, and stands bewildered in choiceless encounter, and when the ego-ignorance phantom instantly collapses.

 

I. 24.

Who is god?

That unique indwelling omnipresence that is never tainted nor touched by the ground of actions and their reactions, which afflict ignorant individuals; that which is left-over after the ego-ignorance-collapse; that special inner ruler or intelligence which is unconditioned by time and whose will alone prevails even in the body. In it there is oneness, never divided. It is therefore beyond ignorance and its progeny.

 

I.25.



In that (god or surrender to god) there is the source of the highest and most excellent omniscience, for the self limitation which is ignorance is dispelled by the removal of the ego-ignorance obstacle. (Or, the omniscience in that is natural and arouses no wonder.)

 

I.26.



That omnipresent reality, both in its manifest and in its unmanifest aspects, is the source of inspiration and intuitive enlightening experience of all the sages from beginningless time: for it is not conditioned (or divided) by time. The inner light is timeless. The enlightening experience is timeless, for, time is thought and thought is ignorance.

 

I.27.



That indwelling omnipresent sole reality is verbally alluded to as OM, which is the everó new and eternal cosmic sound that is heard in all natural phenomena (thunderclap, roaring of the ocean, wind rustling trees in the forrest, and the conflagration) and even in the reverberations of the musical instruments, the hum of engines, and the distant din of the carnival crowd.

 

I.28.



How to utilize that OM in the adoration of god ?

By repeating it, at the same time, inquiring into, contemplating and saturating the whole being with, the substance indicated by it - that is, the reality or god, which is the real "meaning" of OM.

I.29.



When one repeats the OM in this manner, then the consciousness which is ordinarily scattered over the diversity, is gathered, concentrated and turned inward. The spirit of enquiry into the substance of the OM dispels all the obstacles or distractions without necessarily wrestling or struggling with them.

 

I. 30.

What are the obstacles ?

(1) Disease, (2) dullness, (3) doubt, (4) carelessness, (5) laziness, (6) inability to turn the attention away (from the obstacles) (7) perverted or distorted vision, (8) inability to find a firm ground for the spiritual investigation, and (9) even when such a ground is found, unsteadiness of mind and attention in the pursuit of the inquiry - these are the obstacles and distractions, for they bring about and constitute the apparent fragmentation of the mindstuff .

 

I. 31.

By the presence of the following symptoms can be understood the extent to which the mind is disturbed and distracted:

(1) sorrowful mood, (2) psychological despair , (3) the motions of the body, and (4) inhalation and exhalation. By being attentive to these factors, it is possible to arrive at an understanding of the degree of seriousness of the obstacles: for they co-exist with the distractions of the mind.

 

I. 32.

In order to overcome mental distractions one should steadily adhere to the practice of one method. Whereas any method will help one overcome distractions, frequent change of the methods adopted in one ' s practice will aggravate the distractions. (Several suggested methods follow.)

 

I. 33.

The following fourfold attitude to life's vicissitudes and in all relationships, being conducive to peace of mind, enables one to overcome the distractions of the mind:

(1) friendliness towards pleasure or those who are pleasantly disposed to oneself (friends), (2) compassion for the sorrowful, and, when one is in a painful condition, self-forgetful sympathy for those who may be in a similar painful condition,

(3) rejoicing in the exaltation of the noble or the holy ones, and

(4) indifference to unholiness, not being drawn into it nor holding others in contempt for their unholiness .

 

I. 34.

Or, the distractions can be overcome by literally and physically exhaling the breath and holding the lungs empty, or by adopting such other methods like fasting or contemplation of death, etc., by which one symbolically "expires" and holds the prana or life-force outside, as it were.

 

I. 35.

Or, intense and vigilant attentiveness to the activities aroused within oneself by sense-experiences can also act as a binding force to prevent mental distractions. Needless to say that one should not get lost in such sense-experiences. Of such is attentiveness to breathing or to the movement of life-force, or to the "silent" sound of a mantra mentally uttered, to the subtle vision of the divine presence, or to the experience of "the space of consciousness" within the heart.

 

I. 36.

Or, one may be keenly attentive to an internal (the psychic blissful inner light) or an external person or phenomenon devoid of sorrow and full of resplendence, and thus overcome distractions of the mind-stuff.

 

I. 37.

Or, the mental distractions can be eliminated by the adoration of the consciousness of one or which is free from conditioning (or the psychological coloring of attachment or passion). To this category belong even divine images, celestial bodies like the sun, and enlightened living beings - or even babies - though surely one should constantly bear in mind that it is their unconditioned nature which entitles them to be thus adored.

 

I. 38.

Or, the distractions can be removed by holding on to the wisdom gained in dreams, whether they are parapsychological visions or symbolical dreams, as also the wisdom gained by a profound reflection on the "message" of deep sleep, in which there is total absence of mental distraction, and in which one experiences no diversity at all. In this state, free from obstacles, one "experiences" peace and happiness which are "recollected" on awaking from sleep.

 

I. 39.

Or, the distractions can be overcome by adopting any contemplative technique, using any object of meditation, one likes most, for that which one likes most holds one's attention, and the technique one likes most makes contemplation easy - provided, of course, that neither the object nor the technique itself involves or invites distraction.

 

I. 40.

The mind or the intelligence thus freed from distractions encompasses or comprehends the smallest as also the greatest - for it is free from all conditioning, and from all coloring, and is therefore like the purest crystal.

 

I. 41.

Lest it should be misunderstood that the intelligence freed from conditioning and colouring is dull, inactive, unresponsive and void, it should be remembered that, like a pure crystal which reflects without distortion or confusion any object that is placed near it, the steady and ever-alert intelligence, too, receives and reflects the color (nature) of the subject, the predicate, and the object in all situations, instantly, spontaneously and appropriately.

 


I. 42.

In the case of the understanding reached through logic or reasoning there is confusion on account of the discrepancies that exist between the word (description), meaning (in both connotations as the substance described and as the knowledge of the word-meaning) and imagination or assumption. Hence, it is unclear and uncertain.

 

I. 43.

But, when the mind-stuff is cleansed of memory, the self or personality which was nothing but the fragmentation, the conditioning or the colouring(the impurity) is wiped out as it were; and the substance or truth alone shines, without distortion, logic or reasoning which is the function of the limited personality .

 

I. 44.

Whatever has been said above also applies to similar distinctions between the other methods already suggested (like the method of inquiry) and spontaneous awareness. Thus, by this they and all the subtleties involved have been explained, leaving only the subtlest experiencer of awareness to be dealt with.

 

I. 45.

When thus the subtle experiencer of the inner awareness is observed without interruption one arrives at that which has no identification or distinguishing mark, but which is at the same time not a void.

 

I. 46.

That indeed is the realization of the homogeneous cosmic essence, though even in it there exists the seed of potential fragmentation, which is the consciousness of the individuality or the observer.

 

I. 47.

Proficiency in such observation dispenses with even self-inquiry, on account of the uninterrupted self-awareness being natural: then there is spiritual enlightenment, peace and bliss.

 

I. 48.

Such enlightenment is saturated with harmony, order and righteousness.

 

I. 49.

This enlightenment, this understanding, this realization is quite different from what one has heard about or deduced from teaching obtained from external sources. Whereas in the case of the latter the object of study, investigation and understanding is outside of the consciousness, the realization arrived at in the former is of a special category.

 

I. 50.

This special realization of spontaneous self-awareness completely transmutes the entire being and there is total change. All other habits and tendencies are overcome by habitual self-awareness .

I. 51.

When even that special realization (with the seed of fragmentation still present) is transcended, everything is transcended, and the seeker has, as it were, come one full circle. The seeker is entirely, absorbed in the seeking. The Reality realizes itself (it is) without the need for the individual even in his subtlest state. This indeed is the enlightenment in which there is no seed at all for the manifestation of diversity