Monday is AUM-day; in search of meditation.
We have been exploring the writings of Gurudev, through his book 'Meditation & Life'. All the instructive chapters have been rendered and now there follows twelve 'chapters' which are designed for contemplation both before and after each meditation session. Please note that the actual writings of Gurudev are quite lengthy, so only the gist and key points are going to be given here. You are again encouraged to seek out a copy of the book to keep to hand as it is an inspiration and with each reading something more will drop into place.
Ch. 31; The Other Shore of Samsaara
It is a great benefit, when embarking on a journey, to have a pretty good idea the place of destination and what it might be like - how to prepare oneself for that 'landing'. Vedantic scriptures provide such 'travel info'! They not only say the 'destination' is The Truth of Self, but also provide all the relevant info for the journey which will prepare us for the arrival. What joy!
That said, even armed with maps and compasses and road-worthy vehicles, the best of expeditions can fail. Only one thing has to be missed, and there can be delay, or even total disaster. In the case of the Vedantic journey, the whole of the equipment is within ourselves - and specifically, our antaH karana.
Scientists, artisans, poets - all sit in their respective disciplines and focus on their particular subjects, gathering joy and satisfaction from this and finding that their minds become quiet of all extraneous mischief, settling steadily into a stream of thoughts centred only on their subject. This is the aim of the spiritual 'worker' also, in the act of meditation. However, regardless how noble and focused or how steady the mind becomes, the fact is that mind still exists. As we have learned, existence of mind veils The Truth from us. It is tantalizing! This mind is the cause of our non-apprehension of the Self within us. Thus, it is imperative for the serious seeker to sublimate mind. Mind merging into the Ultimate Reality is all that will serve. Gurudev here quotes the saint-queen Choodalaa who advises her husband thusly;
"The mind is the source of all vaasanaas and so is all. It lies spread in all objects of perception and therefore it is all-pervading. The mind projects all the perceived and experienced world, so it is the source of all things. When the mind renounces all - when it is gathered from all the variety of things that constitute the world - you have renounced all."
The mind must be stripped naked. It must become no-mind. For this reason the Rsis constantly call for us to break through our conditionings, to loosen our ties to a finite Self and move into the immortality that is Truly ours.
The ego assumes individual and separate personality; it arrogates existence as being its own and that all other things which 'exist' as being separate to its small self. This ego then finds it requires security to solidify this delusion and goes in search of that security. It begins to feel alone and in that loneliness, fear and anxiety builds at the possible loss of the security built thus far; material, impermanent and undependable. Even in its intelligence and know the impermanence of such things, the ego seeks more and more. Ego is one quarter of the antaH karana, but it can surely over-ride the mind, the intellect and the inherited wisdom (chitta) with its arrogance.
End mind, end misery. That is the call. The mind can never be the One Great Consciousness for the time it remains aware of its small self. It must merge with That Self in order to overcome the pain of samsaara (ocean of life). Think!!! Quieten the mind!!! Experience "Aham Brahmaasmi"… 'That Self I Am'!!! This is the other shore.
Rise above low identifications and baser nature. The body is but our vehicle; identifying with it we seek physical satisfactions. The mind is but our communications equipment; identifying with it we assert our psychology and get disturbed by it. The intellect is our 'moderator'; identifying with the thoughts in it we can build many 'air castles', convincing ourselves and others with useless arguments and fantastical theories (in samsaara's sciences they may hold some value - but not in spiritual life). Overcoming all these identifications we can unify our personality and transcend this existence. We can do this by the 'yagjna' (fire service) of meditation. Light the fire of meditation and let it burn out all falsehood, bringing about a Realisation of Self. Start to live a life conducive to this desire. Withdraw from the external and become internal. Gather yourself together and determine to Live the Life Divine, the highest peak of which is the temple of meditation. As you climb, hasten slowly.