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CHAPTER IV: QUALIFICATIONS

Qualifications

A Mature Human Being, 1. Discrimination, 2. Dispassion, 3. Control of the Mind, 4. Control of Senses, 5. Doing What Is Appropriate to Your Nature (Svadharma), The World Does Not Need Fixing, My Relative Nature, 6. Single-Pointedness, 7. Forbearance, 8. Devotion, 9. Faith , 10. Burning Desire for Freedom, A Qualified Teacher, Walk the Talk, The Grace of God.

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Qualifications

Postby billco » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:51 pm

For a long time I have been puzzled by what it actually means 'to give my attention to something'.

My problem of understanding was that I had 'positivised' giving attention, as though it was something that I actually wielded. My 'realisation' is that giving attention is actually, 'making the mind available'. This definition is also one that is often used to explain the Sanscrit word 'sama'. So availability of the mind means giving my attention to something, in Vedanta's case, the teaching.

In the third stage of Vedanta ie.'nididhyasana', there are two aspects. One aspect is a lack of clarity, or persistent deep seated binding vasanas, and hearing the teaching can clear up such problems. The second aspect is a mind that is restless, and here meditation and similar practices are useful.

It is this second aspect of 'restlessness' that prevents the 'availability of the mind'. Knowledge of the truth, on a day by day basis is prevented from producing the fruit of a free life.

So the keeping of attention on topic, or, availability of the mind, is always relevant to a student of Vedanta. The knowledge is only available to a calm and quiet mind, that is able to enjoy the benefits of it.
billco
 
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Re: Qualifications

Postby billco » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:03 pm

I feel I must reply to myself, in order to clear up any confusion that I had in my first post.
The idea of 'my attention' and the idea of 'availability of the mind', are in fact indicative of the two levels of reality.
The background reality, or satyam, is in fact the 'availability of the mind'. Consciousness is the ever present knower of whatever is known. It becomes a knower whenever there is something to be known.
The giving of 'my attention' to something, is the equivalent of the desire to know. This of course must be in the mithya realm. Wanting to know presupposes ignorance, a condition that one has become aware of by hearing that there is something to be known. So giving my attention to something is in fact expressing a hunger for truth. Once a source of truth is found, then the availability of the mind can operate for me. So I the desirer must be grateful that my true identity as satyam, allows me to become aware that I have this other identity. In fact it is my true identity that is available to allow my unreal identity to know the truth. The truth being that the I that wants to know is in fact not who I am. I just have to register that.
I'm glad I got that one sorted. Phew!
billco
 
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Re: Qualifications

Postby Anja » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:36 pm

billco wrote:For a long time I have been puzzled by what it actually means 'to give my attention to something'.

My problem of understanding was that I had 'positivised' giving attention, as though it was something that I actually wielded. My 'realisation' is that giving attention is actually, 'making the mind available'. This definition is also one that is often used to explain the Sanscrit word 'sama'. So availability of the mind means giving my attention to something, in Vedanta's case, the teaching.

In the third stage of Vedanta ie.'nididhyasana', there are two aspects. One aspect is a lack of clarity, or persistent deep seated binding vasanas, and hearing the teaching can clear up such problems. The second aspect is a mind that is restless, and here meditation and similar practices are useful.

It is this second aspect of 'restlessness' that prevents the 'availability of the mind'. Knowledge of the truth, on a day by day basis is prevented from producing the fruit of a free life.

So the keeping of attention on topic, or, availability of the mind, is always relevant to a student of Vedanta. The knowledge is only available to a calm and quiet mind, that is able to enjoy the benefits of it.


In my view what Krishna is teaching in the Bhagavad-Gita is indeed about "making the mind available". It's about knowing what is true and what just isn't.

And yes, "restlessness", the rajasic mind, isn't such a bad thing at all. According to James, as I understand him, having a satvic mind does not account for being Self/self-realized, whatsover. It just means: Being okay with what is, what ever it is that is.

What if "what is" isn't okay at all? Then the so called satvic mind isn't any better than the tamasic mind.

It's about OVERCOMMING the mere gunas and their impact on the mind. If that is done, what ever guna is in charge, does not affect the jiva's ability to discriminate. Then, what ever it is that needs to be denied, will be denied.

The tamasic guna isn't a bad thing. It is needed for being able to sleep and to be able to relax on the body level. The rajasic guna isn't a bad thing. It is needed to get things done. And the satvic guna isn't a bad thing. It is needed to feel cool, calm and collected under any circumstances.

Balancing them, the gunas, is what an accomplished yogi is all about.
Anja
 


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