Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Deeply Aware

Om Mantra / AUM MantraHari OM

Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.

Remaining with OM as focus of meditation we now look at the "M" particle.

प्रज्ञा/Prajna is the state of deep sleep. More precisely, it is the state of consciousness in which deep sleep can occur. Prajna is the vast depository of the samskaara-s, the impressions, which can be summoned forth in taijasa and formulated in vaishvanara. All possibilities lie in wait.  For what do they wait?  The germination of desire. The vaasana-s. The threads of any given history which must be tied together.

Prajna literally means 'supreme knowledge'. Imagine a library in which every single scrap of learning resides. Not one iota, not one quarter syllable, is missing. It is there ready for access. The users of the library, though, limit themselves.  They visit only the shelves and tomes which are either tied to their particular talent, their duty in life, or perhaps the need to expand somewhat to improve their talents or better their duty-skills...but not too much. Even following of unfamiliar lines of enquiry must get re-framed into existing experience, adapting the new with the known. When the relevant text is located, they may take it from the shelf and go sit with it, study it... this is the taijasa equivalent.  Then will come the time when they must leave even this 'study'/dream and come outside the library building to mingle with others. Thus they emerge into vaishvanara, the state of action. Many only enter the 'library' for respite from the onslaught of the waking state.

'Pra-' not only means 'supreme' but can indicate 'prior'. There is no thought, no action, not at all any sense of "I-ness". Prajna, then, can also be considered as 'before knowledge' - in this case it is simply that all potential for knowledge lies within us, but nothing is to be done with it.  It is only when any state other than prajna emerges that knowledge is required and therefore accessed.  There is a sense of latency. It is that state, like a seed in winter, which sits in potential only.

Think now... when true deep sleep is accessed, is it not that we rise in the morning and comment "oh that was blissfull!"? We wish that such bliss was present in our everyday state. We might also recognise that in that state we know nothing. 

It is here that prajna, the meditational state, differs from deep sleep as such. When in meditation, at no time is consciousness 'dead' to us. We can attain a level of 'knowing nothing', yet simultaneously be aware of that understanding.   When we begin to access prajna in this way, we are truly moving up in yogi status. Prajna is the launchpad, the doorway, from which can be accessed the ultimate state. Having discovered the potential of the 'great library', the truly curious, the mumukshu, will find the wherewithal within to access the fullness of the Knowledge contained there. It is in and through prajna that the samskaara-s can be managed. Not suppressed, not submerged, left lurking to burst forth at inconvenient future moments. Properly managed, by eliminating them altogether, or moulding them into usefulness (sublimation).

It is in prajna that we access the causal state of our being. That which underpins all. It is a blissfull enough state in itself and again there can be traps for those still plagued with ego. Be ever vigilant!  In prajna we are shown the total egoless state which is the desirable end of inner 'excavation'. It is not to lose identity, but to assert one's proper identity, the True Self. This is why there remains a seventh state to which we can travel...

At these higher levels of meditation practice, we must now be also undertaking other spiritual training, such as the Saadhana Chatushtaya.  If you have not already read on this, please access the label on the side bar. This is a basic practice of self assessment and conduct which, combined with deep meditation, will raise the seeker's abhyaasa (practice) and vairaagya (non-attachment).  Essential if one truly desires to access divine potential.

(c) Yamini Ali MacLean

1 comment:

  1. A scholarly discourse about 'Prajna' supreme knowledge, Saadhana and meditation to reach the ego less state to fulfill life's higher mission.


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