Self/Truth is Always Experienced as Self-Evident ‘I': Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 7-10 (45)
Self/Truth is Always Experienced as Self-Evident 'I': B.Gita CH 6, Verse 7-10 (45) – Andre Vas

Summary:

Lesson 45 revises four necessary disciplines for sharpening, cleaning, preparing one's mind for permanent happiness. We also logically explain why Self is never NOT available in everyone's experience. What is Consciousness? And how to recognize it? What are attributes of a Yogi (Enlightened being) in real life? And how to prepare for Meditation?

Source of teaching: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, verse 7, 8, 9, 10


Revision:

  • Krishna 1st talks about General Preparations: bahiranga/sāmanya sādhanam
  • 4 Disciplines are mentioned:

 

  1. Equanimity: Learning to maintain balanced mind, during daily transactions.
    • If reacts violently, they'll be registered and replayed in Meditation.
    • AVOID of violent reactions: samatvam
    • How to maintain samatvam: Follow Karma-Yoga
  2. Self-Confidence: ātma-kṛpā
    • Self means BMI (Body-Mind-Intellect) complex.
    • If not confidence in self, then outside help won't help, even if Īśvara's grace is offering you a guru/job opportunity/etc. If one doesn't have confidence in themselves (ability/capacity), they'll say “I don't want, because I'm no good at anything!”.
  3. Self-Effort:
    • If person is fate/destiny oriented, can't teach, as all is offloaded to fate. If God wants/doesn't want me to be liberated. For such types, effort is useless/unneeded
    • Krisna says, EFFORT is required. Effort alone will tap Lords grace.
  4. Self-Management/Mastery:
    • Every instrument is given by Bhagavān. By using instrument, can accomplish anything: Dharma/Artha/Kāma/Mokṣa.
    • 2 Criteria for HEALTH: 
      • Organs should be HEALTHY. Else burden.
      • Organs must function in coordination. Else effort of one organ opposed to another.
        • EG: Intellect interested in Gītā. But mind wondering what do tomorrow. I am here, I am not here.

 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 7:

  • praśantaḥ: Mind is free from stress, extrovertedness.
  • What is advantage of such person (jita ātmanaḥ) whose mind is of prāsantaḥ?
    • Recognizing Ātma is easy. Easier then going to holiday.
    • Why easy?
      • sam āhitaḥ (clearly evident): Ātma is revealed as Consciousness which is available all the time.
      • If it wasn't available, will be lot of effort. EG: Need to experience the object by meditation technique.
  • Ātma doesn't require going to any state of mind.
  • Ātma is conscious principle which is available in any state of mind. Including: Waking, Dream, Sleep, samādhi.
    • In what form is it available? AS Consciousness.
  • Consciousness is available along with thoughts.
    • Instruction: Turn attention from changing thought aspect of mind, to changeless consciousnesses.
  • In mind there's always 2 principles:
    • (1) Changeless consciousness + (2) changing experience
  • In and through variable thoughts, there is one constant principle, Consciousness.
    • EG: I am conscious of 1st, 2nd, 3rd thought. Thus thoughts vary, but consciousness doesn't.
    • People come and go, but the light because of which I am aware of arrival/departure of people, is Consciousness.
    • Thus we need not go into mysterious state. Available in ordinary thoughts.
    • Instruction: Turn ATTENTION from thought to Consciousness.
      • EG: Look at hand. What is here? Lines, skins, space, texture, etc. We tell everything, except the most important because of which you're seeing the hand/lines/__… being the changeless light.
      • When we talk about light, you're not experiencing something NEW. Just turning attention to something that's all the time experienced.
        • Similarly Vedānta turns attention to ever-evident consciousness.
        • Why should I turn your attention? Because our attention is by default in thoughts of Mind. So we remind you to turn attention to Consciousness because of which every thought is awared.
        • Thus what is Vedānta? Switching attention from changing thoughts, to changeless consciousness.
          • Possible only when mind is relaxed, calm, subtle.
          • Mind that's extroverted, will be worried about world, and can't listen. Extremely ambitious mind that wishes to maximize every min of time, is NOT relaxed.Thus Vedānta words are not introducing new principle, but turning attention to ever-evident light principles… which light is different from hand (object which is being illumined).
    • Kena Upanishad: Ātma is available all the time.
    • Don’t need to go to any special meditation to recognize the light, because SAME light is available in all meditation halls.
  • If ask jñāni when is consciousness available? He will counter and say: When is consciousness NOT available?
  • Because to recognize absence of Consciousness, requires consciousness.
  • Recognition has to be done in 2 stages:
    1. Turn attention from thought to Consciousness. (Like hand > light)
      • Vedānta changes attention from changing thought to changeless witness.
    2. INITIAL MISTAKE: When I turn my attention to Consciousness, tendency will be to say: “I am BMI. And I have Consciousness which illumines my thoughts.”
      • Vedanta says: Instead of saying “I am BMI, and I have Consciousness”. Reverse and begin saying “I am Consciousness. And BMI is incidental instrument used by me”. MOST IMPORTANT SHIFT. Meditation is meant for this SHIFT. Change orientation.
  • What is Consciousness?
    • Consciousness is not part, product, property of body.
    • Consciousness IS: Distinct from body, and also pervading the body. It is not bound by dimensions of body. Survives even after body goes.
    • Surviving consciousness can't transact, not because it's absent, but because medium of transaction is unavailable. This is description of Consciousness, which is my nature.
      • EG: During sleep, we exist but don't transact.
      • End of transaction is not end of my existence. Else during sleep, I'm dead.
      • After death, I don't transact. And non-transaction is not non-existence, as know from Deep Sleep.
      • Transactions come and go, and transacting instruments come go, but I Consciousness remain.
      • This is called: ātma-jñānam (discovering/owning the real “I”).
  • Benefits of owning real “I”: samaḥ bhavati
    1. Wise person is same, unaffected by śīta (Cold), uṣṇa (Heat), sukha (Joy), duḥkha (Sorrow)
      • Unaffected by opposites in life: favorable/unfavorable. None shake him.
    2. Immunity from: māna (honor, pride, fame). apamāna (dishonor)
      • Worried about family name, not even children.

 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 8:

  • This disciplined person goes thought 2 stages of Self-Knowledge:

 

  1. jñānam:
    • When we say “I am BODY, and I have consciousness”.
    • Why called jñānam: Now I know, consciousness makes my body consciousness.
    • parokṣa-jñānam: Indirect Knowledge.
  2. vijñānam:
    • “I am Consciousness, I have this BMI instrument, to transact with world”. 
      • Just like when I put clothes on, I can transact with world. Without clothes, I can't transact, but continue to exist.
      • In same way, Body-Mind is means of transaction, but not needed for my existence.
        • Just like in deep sleep, I continue to exist, but Body-mind unavailable for transacting.
    • Thus change of identification from false to True “I” is vijñānam.
      • Only when identity is shifted from BMI to Ātma, only then sense of limitation leaves.
    • aparokṣa-jñānam: Direct Knowledge
  • People say: “Why should I know Ātma? I am happy being body!”
    • Vedānta Response: If you are comfortable with Body identification, we wish you best. We're not interested in changing your identification.
    • Problem of Body identification: Fear of mortality, disease, old age, death. Constant companion in life. saṃsāra.
      • Some people say “I'm not afraid of death”, then “old age”, then “disease”.
      • IF say “I'm not afraid of any”, then don't need Vedanta. Assuming person is not lying to themselves for sake of self-glorification.
    • Gerontologists (study how to stop old age)… are all dead. 🙂
    • Vedānta also reminds you are: nitya suddha buddha mukta svabhāvaḥ: Ever free, ever eternal, ever undecaying, ever secure, ever beautiful, ever full.
      • Solution to “attain” this direct understanding: Discover ātma which is different from body.
      • Benefit of Identification with true “I”: No fear of death, diseases, old age. Because they belong to incidental shell body, not ME.
  • tṛtpta: full, happy
  • vijitendriyah: Who is able to get this knowledge of fullness (tṛpta)? One who has mastered self (Body-Mind complex). That one alone will become:
    • jñāna vijñāna tṛtpa ātma: ātma (mind; one whose mind is satisfied with the wisdom)
    • Such person is kūṭastaḥ (Unshaken by any event in life).
      • Example to demonstrate how kūṭastha still has it's roots: In Indian tradition, when boy gets sacred thread, and girl gets married, both must do a ritual. Called: āśma-rohaṇam (stepping over the stone. Mantra chanted. Boy must put foot on rock. During wedding, girl must step on rock.
        • Mantra: ātiṣṭha imam āśmanam: Oh boy/girl, please step on this stone! For what purpose?
          • āśma iva tvam sthira bhava: May your mind be strong enough to welcome all kinds of situations in life.
  • yuktaḥ ityucyate: One whose mind remains unshaken. Such person is yogī.
    • Yogī: is not one who is great at āsana. Superficial. Yogī is one who has Self-Knowledge (vijñānam).
  • What kind of mind does Yogī enjoy? Mind of samatvam. Meaning…
    • Mind that is equanimous, or has same attitude towards 3 things:
      • loṣṭaḥ: Mud. Valueless.
      • aśma: Stone/bricks. Some value (can build house).
      • kāñcanaḥ: Gold. Lot of value.
    • Doesn't mean Yogī sees them all the same. In perception, they are different. In understanding, they are SAME.
    • Yogī also has samatvam because he/she is free from rāga/dveṣa (attachment/aversion). Thus uses objects only as needed… but doesn't have rāga/dveṣa operating on the object used.
    • Why doesn't Yogī have rāga/dveṣa?
      • rāga: Attachment is towards object which will improve my (BMI) status. Why attached to someone? Because they give me security, fullness, happiness. So naturally I am attached to that. But since “I” is not mistakenly linked to BMI for a Yogī, then there's no gain for the yogī exercising one's likes (rāga).
      • dveṣa: Hatred towards object which will decrease my (BMI) status/happiness/security.
      • Jñāni/Yogī free from both.
        • Because pūrnatvam (fullness) doesn't come from external object. Comes from Self, whose nature happens to be full.
          • Since I am already full, no object can object/decrease my fullness. Just as Ocean is ever full.
          • If things come, wonderful. If things go away, also ok.
  • Example of dependence illustrated: Our own children, when they depend on us, we're happy. Then they become independent, and go away. Then parents become unhappy. Only then parents know that we are dependent on children's dependence on us.
    • Yogī is independent from such events in life.

 

Revision:

  • Krisna discusses Bahiranga sādhana, for those who wish meditation to be successful.
    1. samatvam: equanimity
    2. Self-confidence (Ātma kṛpā): My own grace.
    3. Self-effort (prayatnaḥ): This is in addition TO God's Grace. God's grace can't replace this.
    4. Personality integration: Personality of various faculties can sabotage others. EG: Psychosomatic is body illness caused by emotional problems.
    5. If 1-4 are cared, Self-Knowledge is easy.
  • Benefit of Self-Knowledge: sama-darśanam (Vision of Oneness)
    • Change of perspective of the world. No longer capable of binding me.
    • According to Vedanta: World has no intrinsic capacity to disturb me. I give power to world to disturb me.
      • How do I give world power to disturb me? Incorrect perspective about world.
  • Vision of Jñāni: SAMENESS.
    • There is one samatvam (GOLD) in all ornaments. Despite ornaments are known by different names, have different forms/functions… but essential substance is ONE.
    • When vision focused on: nāma/rūpa/karma, I see difference/plurality.
    • When vision focused on Substance behind them: I see Gold, Gold, Gold.
    • In same way, jñāni learned to see fundamental substance in all creation, thus vision is: sarvatra sama-darśanam, sama-brahma.
  • Jñāni has: kūṭasthaḥ (unshakable). Just like philosopher who lost all merchandise in his ships due to storm sinking them. He recovered after 2 min.
    • What! = saṃsāra
    • So What! = mokṣa.

 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 9:

  • Verse 8: Wise man has samatvam / sama-darśana towards inanimate/inert things.
  • Verse 9: Jñāni also has sama-darśana towards  LIVING BEINGS.
  • Equanimity towards human beings is extremely difficult. Because we have many expectations towards others.
    • Also we easily develop rāga/dveṣa/krodha towards humans.
  • Krisna gives variety of human beings:

    1. Suhṛt: well wisher of all. Need help, he naturally unconditionally helps. Help known/unknown.
    2. Mitram: friend. Because person is known to me, I will help. IF unknown, I won't help. Conditional helper.
    3. Ari: enemy. Parokṣam apriyaḥ. Indirect harmer.
    4. Udāsīna: indifferent. Does neither good/harm. Doesn't bother of my existence.
    5. Madhyastha: Two people have problem. Person interested in well-being of both. Mediator.
    6. Dveṣya: Person's behavior provokes hatred-towards in my mind. Disliked. Pratyaksham apriyaḥ.
    7. Bandhu: Relative.
    8. Sādhu: Noble person following Dharma. Lives life of values.
    9. Pāpī: Leads life of adharma. Unrighteous person.
  • Jñānis attitude towards all: sama-buddhiḥ-viśiṣyate (Seen equally). But how can I look at saint/criminal equally? 2 Angles answer this question…
    1. Philosophical angle:
      • Jñāni looks at true nature of all. Ātma-svarūpam. Differences in characters = anātma.
      • There is no criminal in the world. Because everyone is noble/saintly (nature of all).
      • Crime are incidental impurities on saintly person.
      • Noone is innately impure. All are beautiful/lovable.
      • But upon the person, there are incidental impurities. Can be removed. Upon removal, even worst criminal is Lovable.
      • Example: Shankara uses Sandlewood to demonstrate it is innately fragrant. When kept wet/not used… coating of moss formed over sandlewood. It's foul smelling, overpowering innate fragrance of sandlewood.
        • If I look at sandlewood superficially and throw away, I'm committing mistake.
        • If I rub sandlewood a little bit, then coating goes away.
        • In same way, we are foul smelling… and by removing with work… we smell like sandlewood.
        • All we need is appropriate treatment.
          • Sometimes it's painful, just like doctors treatment is painful.
      • Jñāni Philosophy: All are lovable. Noone deserves hatred in creation.
        • samatvam, satyam śivam sūndaram ātma
      • WARNING: Doesn't mean all are dealt with equally. Just like mother treats child appropriately. Punishment. But there is LOVE uniformity.
    2. Samatvam: Freedom from rāga/dveṣa. Neither attachment/hatred.
      • Jñāni doesn't want because Both are forms of dependence.
        • Rāga: I depend on phone, to be happy. Dependence.
        • Dveṣa: I depend on absence of object, to be happy.
      • Jñāni doesn't mind either.

 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 10:

  • VERSE 9: Krisna concludes general principles (bahiranga sādhanam). If person follows, Self-Knowledge is easier. Will change perspective, enjoy equanimity.
  • Verse 10-15 talks about:

    • Part 2 of Chapter 6
      • Specific disciplines: viśeṣa/antaraṅga-sādhanam. These disciplines are to be observed just BEFORE Meditation. Not throughout Meditation.
  • 8 Stages/Steps:
    1. Deśaḥ: Place of Meditation
      1. Secluded / Alone
        • Not with others.
        • Else distracted.
      2. Spiritually/physically CLEAN:
        • Contribute to spiritual thinking. Associated with spirituality. Law of association.
        • Artificially create. Pictures of God / mahātma.
    2. Kālaḥ: Time of Meditation
      • Tradition says: Early morning ideal. Because yesterday's worries get diluted. Today's worries not started.
        • Morning is time of Sattva: sāttvika-kālaḥ, brahma-muhūrtaḥ
        • Mind is not Tamasic because slept well. Not Rajasic because work hasn't started.
        • The more Sun rises, the more Rajas body gets. It's required.  As Sun sets, we loose dynamism.
      • General Rule: Anytime Mind is (1) relaxed and (2) alert.
        • Whenever 1/2, meditate!
      • Duration? Quantity is not important. Quality IS! 5 min of quality is better then 1 hour of struggle.
    3. Āsanam: Where to be seated?
      • Sit. Anywhere comfortable. Priority is Mind, not Āsanam.
      • Āsanam has 3 layers.
        • Deer skin, grass, cloth.
      • Every meditator must have OWN Āsanam. Not shared.
      • Not too soft: back will bend.
      • Not too hard: Will be meditating on pain.
    4. Śarīra-sthitiḥ: Posture
      • Sit steadily. Max base area. Legs wide.
      • Keep body, neck Straight.
      • Relaxed, not tense.
    5. Prāṇa-sāmyaṃ: Even breathing
      • Mentioned in 5.27
      • Relaxed, smooth, rhythmic, even.
      • Because breathing/thoughts connected. Just like one leg of table pulled, pulls whole table.
      • Breathing disturbed = thoughts disturbed.
    6. Indriya-nigrahaḥ: Sensory restraint
      • Senses organs can influence mind.
      • Sense organs are gateway by which world enters Mind.
      • Solution: Deliberately withdraw.
        • Eyes half closed. As though looking tip of nose, means “partially closed”.
          • Fully closed = associated to sleep.
          • Fully open = distraction
    7. Mano-nigrahaḥ: Mind withdrawn from roles.
      • Taken away from roles played. Wife/business/father.
      • Renounce them for time of meditation. “I am not X for next 15 min. I am worshiper of Truth!”
      • May invoke symbol of Guru, because then the teaching is reminded by law of association. Just like when one thinks of “spouse”, immediately related thoughts/emotions are invoked.
      • 3 acceptable roles: (1) Śiṣya (2) Bhakta (3) Sannyāsī. Any other role = headache.
      • If worried about children, remind yourself “Bhagavān is there for them”.
    8. Buddhi-niścayaḥ: Conviction regarding necessity of Meditation
      • Convinced about role and benefit of Meditation. Else mechanical.

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching is given to Swami Paramarthananda

Recorded 16 April, 2019

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