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Chapter XI: The Vision of Non-Duality: Knowledge Yoga.

Anandamayakosha and Enlightenment

Relative Knowledge, Absolute Knowledge, Seeking Stops When the Knowledge Is Firm, Self-inquiry , The Real and the Apparently Real,Limitless Does Not Mean Big, It Is Ordinary Awareness, They Exist but They Are Not Real, Non-Duality Does Not Mean Sameness, The Key to Liberation: Understanding Awareness, Jiva and Isvara, Freedom from or Freedom for Jiva?, Limitless Bliss , The Five Sheaths, The Three StatesThe Waker, The Dreamer, The Sleeper, The Opposite Thought, The Three Gunas.

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Anandamayakosha and Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:00 pm

Hi everybody,

I recently thought a lot about my addiction to Sattva (Ananda-Maya-Kosha). I heard that this is the 6th stage and to get to the 7th stage of Existence-Bliss knowledge is required.

Is that correct?

Is it simply just a matter of firmly established knowledge to get to the 7th and final stage of Moksha?

Cheers :)
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Re: Anandamayakosha and Enlightenment

Postby Mira » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:58 am

Hi Georg,
Very interesting post!
Here are some of my thoughts: Moksha comes with the deepening assimilation/confidence in one's true nature and the rendering of the vasanas as unbinding. And both of these occur gradually, likely as the underlying neural circuits get re-wired.

But what you say makes sense to me. Sattva produces such bliss that it makes us vigilant not to act on a vasana that will take this feeling away. Hence the 'addiction' to sattva might actually serve to reduce our binding vasanas leading to moksha.

In fact, it happened to me recently, where I was able to loosen the knot of a major binding vasana simply by asking myself, "do I want to give in and suffer" or "do I want to not act on it and maintain my peace of mind". So, yes, in a way, the attachment to the vasanas can be more easily dissolved if one has experienced enough sattva to want to always have peace of mind.

Of course, Moksha means that you are not attached to the bliss/sattva either. But I don't think this really is a problem for any one that lives a typical samsari life. With a job/career/family/responsibilities, there is enough rajas and tamas in daily life that you can't really be living a "blissed out" existence since you have to attend to those responsibilities (as not doing so would be against swadharma and would rob you of your peace of mind! ;) ).

I wanted to add that there is a great satsang this morning by Tan on how to maintain sattva in a corporate setting. I love when teachers (or forum members) talk from/about their personal experiences. I hope more people will comment on their experiences of sattva, rendering vasanas unbinding and moksha!

Again, thanks for an interesting post.
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Re: Anandamayakosha and Enlightenment

Postby Arlindo Nagar » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:35 pm

Hello Georg, I will share with you what was my experience in 2011 shortly before Self-knowledge took place. I was attached to “bliss” among other experiences my meditation was producing. My mind had become sattvic but I was still owning and running a successful Italian restaurant in USA, which required lots of rajoguna as well. Whenever I had time I would sit in meditation and easily I would slide into silence, peace, bliss… a mind free of desires for sansaric objects… but still there was a strong desire lingering and unsettling my mind; the desire for moksha. At the time I knew already that what I was seeking was the Self, and that the Self was no other than my own Jiva-self.

I day came when I finally understood that all those spiritual experiences were of no help at all because they were impermanent states of mind. I did not know James or Vedanta and had no clue about what had happened to my mind, or how important a sattvic mind was for self-inquiry. Not having a proper teaching to guide me, I was intuitively inquiring into the nature of consciousness… but at least I knew that the Self/Pure Consciousness was the only invariable, ever-permanent factor. That was enough knowledge to allow me to discard all those mystical states of mind as “not-real” because they would come, stay for a while, and then go, leaving me behind with a desire for more.

I remember the day I stood up from my morning meditation and told my wife that I would never meditate again or try to reproduce those experiences because they were not real. After that it was a question of a few weeks or months before the Self was realized as my own consciousness. Only a year or two later on I met my dearest guru, Ramji and the process of self-actualization began taking speed. I am sharing this with you because, as yourself, I was very much attached to my bliss until, by the power of that one single teaching, I understood that “bliss” was just another object, i.e. impermanent (mithya).

I heard that Bliss this is the 6th stage and to get to the 7th stage of Existence-Bliss, knowledge is required.
You are absolutely right when you say that eventually, at the last stage, only knowledge will do the job. And why? Because the Self cannot be contacted by the senses and the mind and therefore IT cannot be experienced, because it is not an object! In this apparent reality we call “the world” there are only two factors operating; the subject and an object of experience…. That is the only play here. :) If the Self is not an object, by logical exclusion, the only other option is that IT is the subject and it cannot be experienced. At this point of the inquiry, the only question left is to find out who and what the “subject” is?

Once we clearly understand that the Self is no other than “my own” consciousness, we call it Self-knowledge. That is why “enlightenment’ is referred to as Self-knowledge rather than “Self-experience”. Experience is always in reference to an object and since all objects in the dharma field are always changing from one moment to the other, there is no such a thing as a permanent experience. Unfortunately, so many seeker of truth remain stuck in sattva, because as I often say, as far as duality goes, spiritually induced bliss is better than sex and food put together.

But most importantly, you have asked; Is it simply just a matter of firmly established knowledge to get to the 7th and final stage of Moksha?
Self-realization=Self-knowledge, but as you probably know, it does not necessarily translate as moksha. Moksha, as Mira has mentioned, is the product of a gradual process of constant application of scriptural knowledge to our daily experience of life until self-knowledge is so firm that it neutralizes those persistent biding vasanas and therefore prevents them from manifesting as compelling desires and aversions in the conscious mind. But the first and most important step is to be completely convinced (without a doubt) that “enlightenment” is only knowledge and not an experience. Once that certainty is achieved, the next logical question to look into is; what kind of knowledge is IT?

Knowledge can be direct and indirect and mostly obtained by perception or inference, but the most fundamental thing about knowledge is that it is always “intellectual”. Isvara did not provide us with any other instrument to assimilate knowledge besides the intellect. Having come to this conclusion we can assert with full confidence that Self-knowledge is intellectual knowledge and therefore ordinary knowledge, rather than “experiential-mystical-exoteric-intuitive knowledge”.

What then distinguishes the Jivamukta’s self-knowledge from the Jiva’s self-knowledge? If self-knowledge is not a type of “special” knowledge, but rather, simple intellectual knowledge, why then, it bears fruit (moksha) in the case of the Jivamukta and it doesn’t in the case of the Jiva?

Two things to be contemplated about this; first is that in most cases, the Jiva, consciously or not, still behaves as if self-knowledge is an indirect knowledge and therefore dependable on an object (the Self) he wishes to contact and experience. This subtle misapprehension of the non-dual nature of the Self is due to a subtle predominance of rajoguna while inquiring, and this very rajoguna (the projecting energy) will unsettle the intellect and prevent the clear apprehension of oneself as the non-dual Self. I say this because it is my understanding that self-knowledge begins with a moment of crystal-clear apprehension; I am the non-dual Self, and for that to take place, at least for a moment, the mind needs to be free from rajas and tamas. This moment of clear vision is the force producing the initial confidence in Self-knowledge.

Secondly, Jiva’s Self-knowledge is often contaminated by subtle doubts about the scriptures. Jiva’s mind often wishes to believe it, pretends to believe it, but instead, it remains suspicious, it does not really trust it, it insists to cling to some of its limiting notions about itself. It tends to hold on to some of its past spiritual concepts which are the building blocks constituting his sense of identity as a spiritual Jiva. It is also relevant to remember that ideas are thoughts, and thoughts are energies and each thought-energy has its own vibe; some thoughts will produce a sense of freedom and limitlesness and others just the opposite.

Ramji often says that it is the “lack of confidence” in the knowledge that differentiates the Jivamukta’s Self-knowledge from what we may refer to as mental/theoretical self-knowledge. It took me a little while but eventually, as always, I had come to fully accept and embrace his understanding. No wonder Ramji has been hammering on these two points for so long; 1) Self-knowledge is not an experience. 2) Application of Self-knowledge will neutralize/dissolve one’s doubts, i.e. one’s ignorance. Much love, my friend.
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Re: Anandamayakosha and Enlightenment

Postby eadenshantay » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:54 am

Nothing to add but gratitude. I am beyond grateful for this pathless path of traditional Vedanta. When the student is ready, I am!
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Re: Anandamayakosha and Enlightenment

Postby georgschiller » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:21 am

Thank you Arlindo for the great reply!

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