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I Am the Self ~ What Next?
Steve: Many loving thoughts to you and your staff.
I am a very grateful and thankful person who feels “blessed” to have come across your teachings of Vedanta.
After reading The Essence of Enlightenment I was very much drawn to find the truth.
Your very kind (and informative) response to my earlier questions “drove” me to inquire more deeply, as I have never been formally taught.
I have watched almost all of James’ videos.
I have read the Bhagavad Gita and some Upanishads.
I have just finished reading Philosophy of the Vedanta by Priya Nath Sen, MA, BL.
Thanks to your patience and presence in this world...
I am very “happy” to be able to state this fact... that I am the self.
I understand (and accept, and believe) the entire Vedanta teachings.
I remember instinctively “knowing” this truth when I was a child.
Religion (dualism) put me into deep sleep. Your book helped to remove the veil and bring me back to the truth.
I understand now. Brahman as the only Reality. Brahman as the character of Isvara, maya the sh-akti of Brahman, and the truth that nothing is real or exists apart from Brahman (self).
I know that I am self experiencing this maya through this jiva.-
The Sanskrit words are not real familiar, so I hope I am not screwing this up... but I “get” it.
I truly believe the philosophy in my “heart” and I “know” it is the ultimate and only truth.
I know that I am eternal, infinite, boundless, awareness and bliss.
This apparent world is wonderfully upheld by Brahman... I can see self in all.
I have this question: What should I do now?
Should I be meditating and working on this jiva?
I do not think that I am “consciously awake”… I think I only “understand.”
Should I be “always” focusing on the fact that I am infinite awareness, until the adjuncts of this mind become less frequent?
Are there practices, mantras or meditations that I should be following?
Believe it or no, I have not meditated very much… I have contemplated a lot (would that be similar?).
I know that I will keep reading and soaking up all of this “nectar of wisdom” provided through your site. I do believe that I am going to reread The Essence of Enlightenment as well.
Is there something else that I should be doing?
I apologize for taking up your valuable time… Please do not feel that you need to respond quickly. I will be studying the satsangs on your site and reading as much as I can in order to get a better understanding of this “new” life.
I hope that I am not asking “stupid” questions… or wasting your valuable time… I know that you must be very, very busy. May blessings abound upon and through you and James.
You two are well-needed beacons of light in this world.
Many, many, many thanks to you both!
Sundari: It seems you have realized the self, but that is just the first step. For moksa to obtain and to actualize self-knowledge, the teachings must fully translate into your life as a person. Moksa is only for the jiva because as the self you have always been free. It is not mystery being the self. It is ordinary and self-evident, if you think about it logically, using the teaching of Vedanta.
As I said before, where all “the work” comes in is to understand what it means to be the jiva, what makes up the world it lives in – Isvara, Brahman, or the Creator – and their common identity as awareness. We call this discriminating satya (that which is real, meaning always present and unchanging) from mithya (that which is not always present, meaning apparently real and always changing). The whole point of self-inquiry is to understand the conditioning that runs the jiva so as to render its binding vasanas non-binding, and to negate the doer, the one who wants to know what to “do” next.
There is no way to “do” yourself to freedom, Steve. No action taken by a limited entity is capable of producing a limitless result. Even though self-inquiry is an action, the fruit of self-inquiry is limitless – moksa, freedom. But it is not the doing of self-inquiry that produces freedom. Only by subjecting a pure and qualified mind with great dedication to the teachings will self-knowledge itself remove ignorance, not the doer. How can the ego free the ego? It won’t happen.
Meditation and chanting are aids to self-inquiry, they are not substitutes for it. They will help you purify the mind in preparation for self-knowledge. Contemplation is part of self-inquiry, but it needs to follow the methodology set out by the teachings. I can’t remember if I sent you the steps to self-inquiry, but I have attached them to this email, along with a satsang on meditation. I set out very carefully for you in my last email the steps you need to follow if you want freedom from limitation more than anything else. Do the work.
You are most welcome, and thank you for the appreciation!
You are not asking stupid questions, Steve. But all your questions have been answered on our e-satsang section and in The Essence of Enlightenment. See the website for the 12-month course, which covers each chapter with the relevant questions and answers.
~ Love, Sundari