Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
PRANAAMS TO SRI GURDEV ON THIS, HIS MAHASMAADHI DAY - /OM SRI SATGURU NATHA KI JAI!
Meditation & Life, with Sw. Chinmayananda (Gurudev).
We are now exploring the writings of Gurudev on our focus subject of Meditation. The book is a thorough treatment of the subject and extends to over 170 pages of closely printed text. No attempt is intended, here, to present the text in its entirety. However, important paragraphs and quotes will be given, within a summary of each section. You are encouraged to use the links on sidebar to obtain a copy for yourselves from CM publications.
3; The Basic Unit of Life.
The ancient seers of India, the Rsis, were philosophical scientists; they observed, analyzed and codified their conclusions. They understood the infinite possibilities and potential which lies dormant within every individual.
"The contents of the scriptures cannot be considered an accidental production. They clearly indicate a slow-earned maturity in the field of thoughts and concepts. The Rsis trained themselves to have the necessary detachment from life in order to observe it through the clear spectacles of logic and science. They never viewed life through the lens of prejudice or attachment. Each master passed on his observations to his disciples, who in turn observed their own generation; and if they had an original statement to make based on their own experience, they added it to the wisdom of their master. Thus, down through the centuries, an unbroken chain of human generations was closely observed by people of specialized inner discipline in order to determine the workings of life."
It was found by these masters that everyone has a potential for genius. The worst of sinners could be redeemed through the application of Vedanta's principles and practices; the chief of which is meditation.
"Our present life is one of the innumerable incidents in our eternal existence." We are all, in this life, a product - an effect - which must have an independent cause. Not the biological cause for the production of the body. That is easy to detect. It is the 'life principle' we talk of here. It's cause may not be perceptible to us, but a cause there has to be. As Gurudev points out, "..even the prophets of science in the West have stumbled onto this truth. Darwin visualized a generation of supermen as a climax to the evolutionary process; so also the Rsis, long before Darwin, held that life is to be lived for the purpose of improving ourselves to reach the state of supermanhood." When the Rsis investigated they found that the basic constituent (unit) of life is 'an experience'. The aphorism arose "Life is a series of continuous and unbroken experiences of objects." Then, in a similar fashion to the material scientists discovering the basic unit of material existence as the atom, but who continued to research in the belief there was more to discover, the Rsis continued their researches, the better to understand how the experience affects our living. Their conclusion was that an experience is possible only when three essential factors come to play simultaneously in a given field - the subject (experiencer), the object (experienced) and the relationship between these two (experiencing). Further, the condition and nature of these three add to the combination.
Without the subject (us, the consciousness going into the transaction), there can no knowledge of objects/ situations. The object/occurrence cannot of itself provide a unit of knowledge called as experience. If you are deeply asleep and another enters then leaves your room, you are essentially absent from the occurrence therefore no experience/knowledge is obtained. Even whilst apparently conscious, if your focus is directed to another task/experience, than a secondary experience may escape you; an example would be if a novel is so engrossing that you do not hear another come and go beside you.
For an experience to take place, you the subject must be fully in connection with the object/situation in order to enter a transaction of experiencing. An experience can only truly be labelled as such if you are left with an imprint from that transaction in the form of 'knowing'. Full interaction within an experiential occurrence and retention of what is learned/gained from that experience is what enriches, colours, builds and informs 'Life' for each and every living creature. Thus, if the three factors of subject, object and relationship between them are accepted we can see that the subjective science of philosophy is capable of investigating further; material sciences almost entirely deal with only one these factors, namely the world of objects.
The modern world, focused outwardly, has a tendency to put down the ancient thinking with such recriminations such as, inward activity is a neglect of life or an escape from it. "Naval-gazers" was term which arose and has been used derogatively. In fact, a sadhaka, sitting motionless in deep meditation, is contributing to life as much as any politician, scientist or activist.
"Science strives to bring happiness to the community by reordering and readjusting things and patterns constituting the world around us. Spirituality strives to bring about a world of balance through individual perfection; through spiritual values, religion tempers the individuals within the community. Science is mainly extrovert and believes that happiness can be brought into our lives from the outside world. Philosophy is mainly introvert and believes that true happiness can only be brought into our lives from the inner world. Thus, the accent on philosophical enquiry and spiritual pursuit must necessarily be..[akin to a psychological investigation]… The more evolved a being, the more is he capable of conquering his external circumstances. Naturally, therefore, the 'superman' reaching his evolutionary fulfillment must necessarily be a master of everything within also."