Search & Read
Self-Knowledge = Eternal Vigilance
Eduardo: I thought of talking to you about this in our last seminar in Sorocaba, but somehow I did not find the opportunity. I will begin by saying that I will use the world “I” sometimes in reference to jiva and sometimes to consciousness. Yesterday I watched a video of Gangaji called Who Am I? It was interesting to notice that a year ago, after already studying Vedanta, I watched the same video and I did not grasp the depth and implications of her words. But watching it yesterday I clearly understood it as knowledge and not only as intellectual understanding.
Nagar: Yes, my friend, if the search is constant, intense and sincere, the mind and heart purifies and intellectual understanding eventually fructifies as knowledge.
Eduardo: I perceive that my intellect has no longer doubts about my nature as the immortal, formless, actionless and timeless consciousness. This has happened by and by in the last months.
Nagar: Yes, that is how knowledge works, it cancels ignorance piece by piece.
Eduardo: It was not like a noticeable change but almost imperceptible. This has generated very interesting fruits for the jiva.
Nagar: Yes, knowledge by and by frees the jiva from its ignorance, and as a result jiva begins enjoying the bliss of the light of consciousness reflected in his well-educated mind (educated by the scriptures, which is equal to a sattvic mind).
Eduardo: I am talking of a jiva in a state of constant bliss, but it is not an experiential bliss like the one of samadhi, but a state of confidence that nothing in life can affect me; I no longer fear death!
Nagar: Yes, this is the meaning of ananta, limitlessness = fullness = completeness = wholeness. It is not experiential but more like a constant background of satisfaction, contentment, love – which is not an effect of any cause except self-knowledge. There is no question of death for you! But your true nature is definitely not an experience, although it opens up a new window of experience as the well-educated jiva contacts the world of objects.
Eduardo: A significant portion of my ignorance vanished, but not all of it. For example, I can’t understand limitlessness.
Nagar: It is natural that some ignorance survives self-knowledge – you only need to keep on your shravana, manana and nididyasana in order to neutralize whatever ignorance remains. But there is a “blind spot” in your understanding which can be easily overcome; what is the implied meaning of knowing (as you said in your own words) that your nature is the immortal, formless, actionless consciousness? It means that your nature is limitlessness!! You pervade all universes; nothing exists without you, because you are the limitless substratum in which all apparent reality appears and disappears. You are not limited by time and space. Therefore how can you say that you do not understand limitlessness, since it is but your own nature, your own self? And what is there to understand? Once operated by ignorance you did not need to understand that you are your body or your mind. You just knew it! Likewise, you do not need to understand that you are the limitless consciousness vivifying your body and mind. You either know it or not. And you know it! Therefore please correct your last statement and do not betray your knowledge.
Eduardo: It seems that I have no doubt that indeed I am atman, but I did not fully understand that atman is brahman, using the language of Shankaracharya in Vivekakudamani.
Nagar: There is still a small confusion regarding your true identity, a superimposition, we may say; you are superimposing mithya on satya. The purified mind of the jiva begins enjoying the relative freedom derived by the knowledge “I am consciousness,” but still it did not understand the full meaning of such realization; it means that jiva’s enlightenment or jiva’s purified-sattvic mind is also mithya!! No matter how subtle the experiencing entity may be, he is still a product of maya, an object appearing in you, pure consciousness. You are confusing the personal, experiencing self (mithya) with the impersonal, non-experiencing self, pure consciousness, or awareness (satya), which in reality is what you are and everything is. All diversity of appearances in the universe are just like saltwater appearing sometimes as an ocean, other times as waves – essentially there is only water and various attributes (names given to forms) superimposed on it. In essence there is only one self, YOU, appearing as creation with all its dense and subtle universes. There is nothing special or spiritual about self-knowledge, and I know that it is not good news for the jiva who thinks to have become enlightened. ☺
Eduardo: The thought that something is still missing persists, and I remain seeking.
Nagar: Yes, only the final shift in identity will end the search, and I wish it has already happened as you read these lines. It is the end of the jiva as a “real entity” experiencing enlightenment – it is a shift in identity from the apparent dimension of names and forms to the one of Reality.
Eduardo: Obviously the understanding I already got was enough to produce a wonderful life without existential suffering, but I do not want to remain stuck in sattva.
Nagar: Yes, don’t stop at the jiva who enjoys his status as “enlightened” because this is still ignorance masquerading as knowledge.
Eduardo: The predominance of tamas, which used to generate boredom and apathy, was recently replaced by creative rajas, which produces much inspiration. I also perceive that this constant joy and satisfaction I experience generates a kind of magnetic luminosity that attracts and influences the people around me. I feel that I need to be careful with the seduction of power and vanity it may represent to my ego.
Nagar: Yes, watch out for the seduction that spiritual development may present you with – and since you have a true spiritual ambition, go to the top, go to the very end of the search, realize yourself to be the only reality there is, beyond the oppositions of pleasure and pain, of fame and shame, and be free of it all!
Eduardo: The anxiety I used to have to discriminate all the time from the standpoint of the subtle intellect, which, by the way, has produced pleasurable epiphanies, is no longer so intense. I know that at the end of the day those experiences are just objects manifesting in mithya. What is the point of losing the fascination with the world of gross objects to develop an affection for the subtle one?
Nagar: Be indifferent to pleasure and pain. As you know well, an object of experience will never fulfill you, because you are already full!! Just discriminate you from whatsoever experience happens in you and remain as you are: always free.
Eduardo: On the other hand, there is a thought that if I stop discriminating the final click will not happen, even if it is only a click, that there is no click to happen anymore.
Nagar: Why to stop your satya-mithya discrimination? It never ends! Even after the knowledge is firm, the only difference is that in the beginning it involves effort and after a while it becomes natural and effortless because, as James often says, you have developed a strong satya-mithya vasana. Don’t stop your discrimination, but exercise it in the spirit of karma yoga, i.e. leaving the results (the final imaginary click) to Isvara.
Eduardo: In other words, I fear that I may not reach a sattvic mind capable of realizing that I am pure consciousness.
Nagar: Your mind is sattvic enough, and you know well who you are – your mind is mature and ready. Be discriminative and don’t be fascinated by mithya, by phenomenal experiences, because they change, they are impermanent, they will always leave you empty-handed. You are the only constant, permanent, invariable factor/principle. Stay as such and your search is over! Don’t wait till tomorrow – or put an end to the spiritual game whenever you wish!
Eduardo: Your answers were very important to me, Nagar. The understanding I have developed is extremely subtle, but I can see that your guidance has proved to be subtler than the subtle. These kinds of adjustments are only possible by someone well-established in self-knowledge. Thank you again.
Nagar: It was a great pleasure to be of help.
~ Much love