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Posts Tagged ‘mind’

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Disciple:

If the body is just inert flesh and the soul is pure consciousness, what is that experiences pleasure and pain?

Master:

It would seem that the person who asked this question has experienced pleasure and pain. You should try to find the answer to this question yourself. When you are experiencing these feelings, but at the time you always forget to inquire who the experienced is and begin to question only afterward.

The body is completely inert. If it could experience pleasure and pain, even a dead body could feel these things. In India, corpses are burnt on pyres, but not even a single body has ever cried out in pain as the fire consumed it. So this proves that the body itself does not have feelings.

The Self, or the soul, is so pure, clean and clear that neither pleasure nor pain can reach it. So if the body- that is, the senses-or the Self experiences pleasure and pain, then who or what is experiencing these things?

Even though the body is inert, it is able to function because of the Self, which activates it through what we call the antahkarana, the four psychic instruments of ego, mind, intellect and subconscious. Through these four psychic instruments shines the light of the Self. In this way, the body becomes conscious, and pleasure and pain are experienced.

The antahkarana is like a lens or magnifying glass. If we keep such a lens inside our house, nothing will happen – the lens cannot cause us any harm. But if we place it on the roof where the light of the sun passes through it, can cause a fire that will consume the entire house. Who should we blame for causing this fire? The lens is blameless because it is completely inert. The sun, also, is free from blame. Only because the light of the sun falls upon this lens is fire created. In the same way, the antahkarana, when (illumined) illuminated by the light of the Self, creates and experiences pleasure and pain. Therefore that which is between body and the self is what enjoys and suffers. Yogis meditate to transcend this antahkarana and attain a state that is free of both pleasure and pain.

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Disciple:

My discipline seems to be changing. I am working in a mental hospital with people whose minds run amuck. It is very difficult for me to remain centered while helping those people because I am very susceptible to the wanderings of their minds.

Master:

You could do your work quietly easily if you would become firmly centered in witness – consciousness, which means, functioning with one’s awareness centered not in the mind, but in the witness beyond the mind. Once you become established in the inner witness, things outside you do not have much effect on you. The mind is subject to all kinds of thoughts, desires, and passions, such as anger, greed, lust, pride, vanity, conceit, delusion, and fear. Since the mind can be attacked by these passions at any given time, there is always bound to be agitation in the mind; but these mental agitation can never go anywhere near the witness. The witness remains untouched. Delusion and attachment cease to exist for one who has become centered in the witness, the Self.

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The Witness

Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Disciple:

Sometimes it does seem that there is a witness that is separate from the mind and can watch the mind do its tricks. But at other times the mind seems so powerful that even the witness gets caught up in it. Why Master?

Master:

The ordinary mind can’t go anywhere near the witness. Suppose that you stand for the mind, and I am the witness of the mind, I can watch you only if you are at some distance from me. If you were to come too close to me, you would no longer be an object of perception; you would become one with the seer.

Disciple:

Then, is it not possible for me to merge my mind with that witness?

Master:

For that you will have to study “Spiritual Masters” – Part I and Part II – The Methodology of Spiritual Masters.

The witness of the mind has to be different from the mind. The inner witness lives in the mind but is apart from the mind. The mind is the vehicle of the witness, and therefore it can’t also be the driver of the vehicle. The Self makes the mind think, but it can’t be known by the mind.

Disciple:

Since we are operating through the mind, how can we ever hope to comprehend the witness?

Master:

The witness continues to exist even when the mind ceases to exist. It is the highest reality, and psychologists should try to experience it. But most psychologists will find it very difficult to get to that place because they are accustomed to working at a point, which is quite far away from the witness. If you want to get to that place, you will have to meditate and follow discipline in your life.

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The Divine Madness

Om Sathguru Shri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae

Mind working, is God

Mind working, is man

Mind slowed down, is mast

Mind working fast, is mad.”

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadhri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


SathGuru Sri Gnanananda Swamigal attained Jeeva Samadhi at the Tapovanam at the town of Thirukoilur (situated 39 kms. From Thiruvannamalai, TamilNadu).

SathGuru Gnanananda, was a Siddhapurusha, operating on different planes of consciousness. With his matchless intuition he could sense the latent capacities and talents of his devotees and make them flower forth, to the astonishment of all. And that would be as natural and organic, as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, a flower into a fruit. But what is more wondrous is that he could make a ‘rainbow out of granite!’

Most people operate at the level of their surface or gross consciousness. One cannot fail to take note of Swami’s mystifying and unpredictable treatment of his disciples. For instance, Swami had given a lamp to a young mother and asked er to keep it under her son’s cot. Her failure to do it continually, resulted in the loss of the child.

What may be considered a pleasing prospect at the surface level, may not necessarily be always good. Gnanananda Swamigal being a Siddhapurusha, operated from an absolute plane and therefore reacted differently at different points of time.

One should not seek the reason behind it. What needs to be understood is that whatever is laid down by the Guru, is essentially dictated by the need of the occasion, not as the onlooker sees it, but as it should be.

Once, a child of a close devotee of the Swami developed acute stomach complications. The Swami, by merely offering of a banana cured it. On another occasion, when someone, assuming the ashram to be some kind of a clinic, sought the Swami’s help was turned away by the reply: “There are plenty of professional doctors to treat the sick. They are jobless. You need not come here for that.”

On Daana (Charity):

SathGuru Gnanananda laid great emphasis on charity, more particularly on Anna Daana (offering of food). This would remind us of the esoteric significance of food, which is explained in the Taitiriyopanishad in these words:

“Whatsoever creatures the earth contain, truly all of them are born from food, kept alive by food and return with it in the end. Food is the first creation. Food is called ‘annam’ because creatures both consume it and are consumed by it.”

SathGuru Gnanananda frequently echoed Yoga Vasishta:

“The root of the mind and the root of the Prana are the same; controlling one, one could control the other.” Control of breath means merely watching the mind, the flow of breath.

Thought is that which activates the mind.” Without thought, the mind does not function and may then be said to cease to exist. Grief, mental distress, nervousness and irregular breathing are the symptoms of a distracted condition of the mind. The mind that is only a bundle of thoughts thus becomes extinct, like a fire not fed by fuel.

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