Sunday, 19 February 2017

What is the difference between God and the ego?

After I wrote the article What is the difference between pure awareness and the ego, and how are they related? yesterday, the same friend replied asking me to explain to her the difference between īśvara and the ego, so the following is what I replied to her:

God (īśvara) is nothing other than pure awareness, and as such he is what we actually are, but when we rise as this ego he seems to be something other than ourself. Therefore when we use terms such as ‘God’ or ‘īśvara’ there are two ways in which we can understand their meaning: either as terms that refer to ourself as we actually are, which is the one infinite whole, other than which nothing exists, or as terms that refer to the all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful Lord of the universe, who is other than ourself as this ego.

In the seventh paragraph of Nāṉ Yār? (Who am I?) Bhagavan says:
யதார்த்தமா யுள்ளது ஆத்மசொரூப மொன்றே. ஜக ஜீவ ஈச்வரர்கள், சிப்பியில் வெள்ளிபோல் அதிற் கற்பனைகள். இவை மூன்றும் ஏககாலத்தில் தோன்றி ஏககாலத்தில் மறைகின்றன. சொரூபமே ஜகம்; சொரூபமே நான்; சொரூபமே ஈச்வரன்; எல்லாம் சிவ சொரூபமாம்.

yathārtham-āy uḷḷadu ātma-sorūpam oṉḏṟē. jaga-jīva-īśvarargaḷ, śippiyil veḷḷi pōl adil kaṟpaṉaigaḷ. ivai mūṉḏṟum ēka-kālattil tōṉḏṟi ēka-kālattil maṟaigiṉḏṟaṉa. sorūpam-ē jagam; sorūpam-ē nāṉ; sorūpam-ē īśvaraṉ; ellām śiva sorūpam ām.

What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of oneself]. Jaga-jīva-īśvara [the world, soul and God] are kalpanaigaḷ [fabrications, imaginations, mental creations, illusions or illusory superimpositions] in it, like the [illusory] silver in a shell. These three appear simultaneously and disappear simultaneously. Svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature] alone is the world; svarūpa alone is ‘I’ [the ego or soul]; svarūpa alone is God; everything is śiva-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of śiva, the one infinite whole, which is oneself].
Here what he refers to as ‘God’ (īśvara) is God as separate from ourself, because so long as we are aware of ourself as this ego (the soul or jīva) and of the world, God seems to be other than both ourself and this world. That is, when we limit ourself as this ego, in our limited view God seems to be other than ourself and hence limited, but as such he is merely a kalpanā (an imaginary fabrication), just like this ego and the world. This is why Bhagavan says that the world, soul and God appear simultaneously and disappear simultaneously, meaning that they come into seeming existence simultaneously and cease to exist simultaneously.

However, what all these appearances actually are is only ātma-svarūpa (the real nature of oneself), which is the one infinite whole, just as an illusory snake is actually just a rope. This is explained by Bhagavan in verses 24 and 25 of Upadēśa Undiyār:
இருக்கு மியற்கையா லீசசீ வர்க
ளொருபொரு ளேயாவ ருந்தீபற
      வுபாதி யுணர்வேவே றுந்தீபற.

irukku miyaṟkaiyā līśajī varga
ḷoruporu ḷēyāva rundīpaṟa
      vupādhi yuṇarvēvē ṟundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: இருக்கும் இயற்கையால் ஈச சீவர்கள் ஒரு பொருளே ஆவர். உபாதி உணர்வே வேறு.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): irukkum iyaṟkaiyāl īśa jīvargaḷ oru poruḷē āvar. upādhi-uṇarvē vēṟu.

English translation: By [their] existing nature, God and souls are only one substance. Only [their] awareness of adjuncts is different.

தன்னை யுபாதிவிட் டோர்வது தானீசன்
றன்னை யுணர்வதா முந்தீபற
      தானா யொளிர்வதா லுந்தீபற.

taṉṉai yupādhiviṭ ṭōrvadu tāṉīśaṉ
ḏṟaṉṉai yuṇarvadā mundīpaṟa
      tāṉā yoḷirvadā lundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: தன்னை உபாதி விட்டு ஓர்வது தான் ஈசன் தன்னை உணர்வது ஆம், தானாய் ஒளிர்வதால்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): taṉṉai upādhi viṭṭu ōrvadu tāṉ īśaṉ taṉṉai uṇarvadu ām, tāṉ-āy oḷirvadāl.

அன்வயம்: தானாய் ஒளிர்வதால், தன்னை உபாதி விட்டு ஓர்வது தான் ஈசன் தன்னை உணர்வது ஆம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): tāṉ-āy oḷirvadāl, taṉṉai upādhi viṭṭu ōrvadu tāṉ īśaṉ taṉṉai uṇarvadu ām.

English translation: Knowing [or being aware of] oneself leaving aside adjuncts is itself knowing God, because [he] shines as oneself.
That is, as I explained to you in my earlier reply, What is the difference between pure awareness and the ego, and how are they related?, as this ego we are cit-jaḍa-granthi, an entangled and tightly knotted mixture of pure awareness (cit) and whatever adjuncts we take to be ourself, such as this body, which is insentient (jaḍa), so what Bhagavan means by adjuncts (upādhis) in this context is whatever phenomena we mistake to be either ourself or features of ourself.

Just as we identify ourself with certain adjuncts, such as the attributes of having limited knowledge, limited power and limited love, we identify God with certain other adjuncts, such as the attributes of having unlimited knowledge, unlimited power and unlimited love. However, all these adjuncts exist only in our limited view, because what God actually is is just the one infinite whole, other than which nothing exists, so in his view there are no adjuncts but only himself.

Therefore God is what we actually are, so in order for us to be aware of him as he actually is, all we need do is to see ourself as we actually are, which entails seeing ourself without any adjuncts. This is why Bhagavan says that knowing (or being aware of) oneself without adjuncts is itself knowing God.

Therefore without adjuncts we are God, who is just pure and infinite awareness, whereas with adjuncts we are the ego. However, when we see ourself as this ego, we see God as something other than ourself, and thus we limit him as just one part of a tripartite appearance consisting of world, soul and God.

Therefore the mistake we make lies in our seeing ourself, the one indivisible whole, as if we were tripartite, and the root cause of this error lies in our seemingly limiting ourself as this ego and thereby projecting the appearance of the world and God as if they were separate from ourself. Hence all that we need do to dissolve this tripartite appearance is simply to see ourself as we actually are, which is without any adjuncts, as just pure, indivisible and otherless awareness.

20 comments:

Sanjay Lohia said...

Michael writes in this article:

Therefore when we use terms such as ‘God’ or ‘īśvara’ there are two ways in which we can understand their meaning: either as terms that refer to ourself as we actually are, which is the one infinite whole, other than which nothing exists, or as terms that refer to the all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful Lord of the universe, who is other than ourself as this ego.

I agree with Michael; however, this distinction between these two ways of understanding the terms ‘God’ or isvara may not be watertight. Even though we may experience ourself as the ego, we may still recognize or conceptualize God as ‘one infinite whole, other than which nothing exists’.

This may be still a mental conception, but such conception may somehow seem to transcend, at least to a limited extent, the tripartite conception of world, soul and God, appearing to be separate from each other. Of course, there still will remain a thin diving line between these three, as long as we experience ourself as this ego.

As we go on doing more and more sravana, manana and nididhyasana, our vishaya-vasanas goes on reducing, both in numbers and strength, and simultaneously our sat-vasana goes on gathering strength. Such a snowballing process may start reducing the distance between advaita (non-duality) and dvaita (duality).
However, we can experience God and world as they are, only when we experience ourself as we are. As Bhagavan has explained, only ‘an infinite eye’ (infinite awareness) can experience the reality as it is.

Comments or additions to these ideas are welcome.

Mouna said...

Michael, greetings,

Thank you for your recent postings.

I do have a question about one paragraph where you say: "Just as we identify ourself with certain adjuncts, such as the attributes of having limited knowledge, limited power and limited love, we identify God with certain other adjuncts, such as the attributes of having unlimited knowledge, unlimited power and unlimited love.”

How can having “unlimited knowledge, unlimited power and unlimited love” be adjuncts? they seems to be the nature of god, more than limitations (actually there is the word unlimited embeded in those properties).

To my understanding (please correct me if I am wrong), ishwara or god’s “adjunct” (given by the ego) is maya itself. Some go as far as saying that this whole universe (or possible universes) is god’s body (or maya, put in other words).
God without adjuncts is brahman, that is why the distiction in hindu philosophy between the two, brahman and ishwara. I would suggest, tentatively, that god is the way ego (from its viewpoint) conceptualizes brahman, since it is its own (the ego’s) projection.

Best,
m

ramanargadatta said...

Self-Knowledge is all there is.

Sanjay Lohia said...

In one of my earlier comments on this thread, I had written:

As we go on doing more and more sravana, manana and nididhyasana, our vishaya-vasanas goes on reducing, both in numbers and strength, and simultaneously our sat-vasana goes on gathering strength. Such a snowballing process may [I should have written 'will' instead of 'may'] start reducing the distance between advaita (non-duality) and dvaita (duality).

The logic of our reduction of separation with others, as we go on practising self-investigation, was not clear to me. Michael has given very clear reason for the same. He says in his video of 23/4/2016, taken at a meeting of RMF, UK: discussion with Michael James:

Compassion comes naturally on this path of self-investigation, because the lack of compassion is due to selfishness, is due to separation between ourself and others. The more we progress on this path, and begin to understand the unreality of our own individual self, the boundaries between ourself and others start dissolving. If we care about ourself more than we care about others, we are reinforcing that separation. We are strengthening our ego. The ego is the cause of this illusion of separation.

‘Compassion’ means ‘suffering with’ or ‘feeling with’. ‘Com’ means ‘with’. Seeing people suffer, we suffer. So compassion is when we can’t bear to see others suffer.

As our mind gets purified, and our ego gets attenuated, the weaker it becomes, the less it is able to strongly grasp forms. So the less real this separation seems. We will naturally feel the suffering we see around us to be our own suffering, to the extent our ego is attenuated. That is what compassion is. So we cannot progress in the spiritual path without feeling compassion.

R Viswanathan said...

"As we go on doing more and more sravana, manana and nididhyasana, our vishaya-vasanas goes on reducing"

I found a beautiful explanation in Sri Sadhu Om's Upadesa Undhiyaar Vilakka Urai (Tamil; 1983 edition):

When attention (or meditation) is solely on the self awareness as 'I am' (or 'I exist'; in Tamil: 'Naan Irukkiren'), the untruth adjuncts that came as imagination such as body, human being, somebody, etc., due to being ignored (by us) in our attention, disappear themselves. Thus, with the Upadhis having left (due to self attention), the 'I' remaining exclusively as Satchit ('I am') is remaining in the state of self as self. That is Brahmanishta. In the awareness as 'I am' (Naan Irukkiren), Sat is 'I' and 'am' is Chit, the knowledge of the self existence.

The above translation may not be as appealing as it is when one reads the passage in Tamil. In essence, I understand that ignoring the adjuncts through persistent self attention will facilitate the complete removal of the adjuncts because they are all only illusory.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Viswanathan, yes, we do not have to directly try to ignore our body, and all its adjuncts which seem to come into existence around this body. While practising self-investigation, we just try and attend to the chit (awareness) aspect of our ego, completely ignoring all its jada (non-conscious) adjuncts.

The more we are able to attend to our pure awareness, the more our body and all its adjuncts will begin to disappear from our view. And when we manage to attend to ourself alone, our body and all its adjuncts will vanish forever. Thereafter, we will just exist as pure and uncontaminated sat-chit-ananda (being-consciousness-bliss): the infinite reality, other than which nothing exists.

I'm not a robot. what am I? said...

what results from this passage from Sri Sadhu Om's explanation, is that the attention with witch "we" attend to self awareness is inherent in self awareness, or better, it is not other than self awareness.

in pure awareness, there can be not any egoic effort to "attend to the self", which just perpetuates the ego illusion.
no effort can reach the self, which is effortless.

and that reveals an error that some of us are doing in our practice, which is to try to modify the state of mind, trying to exclude thoughts etc., or try to stay attentive, in order to reach the self.

but, since perfect self attentiveness is just another name for knowing our self, on the recognition that we were distracted from this knowing, which recognition by itself comes from having become self attentive, we should just rest relaxed in the already perfect attentiveness without any effort on "our" part.

That effortless attentiveness makes the ego subside.
attentiveness through effort keeps the ego running.

Sivanarul said...

This comment below applies to religious devotees. Others, kindly ignore.

Michael writes:
"That is, when we limit ourself as this ego, in our limited view God seems to be other than ourself and hence limited, but as such he is merely a kalpana (an imaginary fabrication), just like this ego and the world."

When he is saying God is merely an imaginary fabrication, he apparently is elucidating the verse in Naan Yaar, he quoted above, and hence it is part of Bhagavan's teaching. While this teaching may appear as nectar for atheist devotees, it is poison for religious devotees. Bhagavan's teaching applicable to religious devotees can be found in many verses of Aksharamanamalai and Bhagavan's actions itself. Here are 7 verses from Aksharamanamalai that speaks directly to relgious devotees who follow religion, Bhakthi and surrender to God.

O Arunachala! Do protect me like a supporting pole so that I may not wither away like a tender creeper that has no support!
O Arunachala! The knot of ignorance whose beginning or end cannot be traced, Thou hast to untie, like a mother. I cannot untie it by myself.
O Arunachala! Ocean of grace in the form of Hill! Graciously bestow Thy grace on me.
O Arunachala! By what strength can I, who am worse than a dog, approach Thee and attain Thee?
O Arunachala! When will my thought-waves cease so that I may unite with Thy subtle being in the Heart-ether?
O Arunachala! Bestow Thy grace on me who am a fool without even the knowledge of scriptures, by destroying my delusion.
O Arunachala! If I give up (Thy rememberance at the time of death), I shall have trouble (and be born again). Do shower Thy grace that I may die without giving up (remembering Thee).

At the time of death, when we take our last breath, as religious devotees, we want to hear or think of "Arunachala Siva", just like Bhagavan did, when he took his last breath. Polluting the mind with "God is imaginary fabrication" will not help us do that.

Continued in next comment....

Sivanarul said...

Continued from previous comment....

As I have said before, Bhagavan devised two paths, one for non-religious spiritual aspirants (like Michael) known as Vichara and the other for religious spiritual aspirants (like myself) known as Surrender to Ishvara. While the two practices will end up the same (according to Bhagavan), the way they are practiced are different. The religious path entails strong faith in Ishvara and repeatedly looking at every experience of the aspirant as something that happended as per the will of Ishvara (easier said than done, that is why it is a practice). The path of vichara requires looking deeply at at source of the experiencer of every experience. I know Michael loves calling both Vichara and Surrender are just different names for Vichara. Hopefully my explanation helps in seeing how the "practice" is different. Just want to emphasize that one can also "practice" looking at the source (Vichara) and Surrender at the same time. It need not be exclusive.

Bhagavan directed relgious devotees, to Surrender to Ishvara, live our lives following ahimsa and sattavic diet in moderation and do whatever practices that we are comfortable with (be it japa, meditation or sloka recital or anything else). The key teaching is to practice looking at every experience, as that happening due to the will of Ishvara. This practice, according to him, if practiced with full intensity and devotion will result in Ishvara striking down the ego.

Atheists love Advaita Vedanta, since at the highest levels, it does not deal with God and claims that God is a mental fabrication. But what the atheists won't highlight or focus on, is that, Ishvara will be the very last illusion to go and not the first. In other words, atheists will retain the illusion of their job, financial security, family and all alse but will let go of Ishvara at the very beginning, because it aligns with their belief. Nothing wrong in that, since atheism is their belief.

Sivanarul said...

Continued from previous comment....

Advaita Vedanta is only one sub tradition within the broad Sanatana Dharma tradition. Other Guru's within Sanatana Dharma, who belong to other sub traditions, have reached the highest realization and have reported back their realization in different semantics (Saiva Siddthanta, for example). Today the word Vedanta is mostly aligned with Sri Shankara. But the semantics of Vedanta was defined as early as in Thirumoolar's time and can be found in Thirumanthiram with different meaning. The point is the sub-traditions differ in their conclusions, and we as religious devotees, will find out what the ultimate reality is when realization happens. For argument sake, let's assume that Advaita Vedanta is the ultimate reality. Adavita Vedanta as taught both by Sri Shankara and by Bhagavan and through the ages, has had devotion to Ishvara as a very strong component. Here devotion to Ishvara is both within and without, as Ishvara is both within and without.

Hence even if we have decided that Advaita Vedanta is the highest truth, we as religious devotees, should not put the cart before the horse by declaring that Ishvara is a mental fabrication. Ishvara is the best support we have. Let's not throw that away. If you are not convinced and you know tamil, do the following: Take 10 minutes and meditate that God is a mental fabrication. Then take a break. Then again sing or recite Sivapuranam (or any other holy scripture) for 10 minutes. You would have noticed that your mind had become calm and sattvic and in a state of joy after sivapuranam recital.

Bhagavan, when he took his last breath, listened to the wonderful chant of Arunachala Siva and not the verse of Naan Yaar that says that God is a mental fabrication. Don't we want to do the same? Arunachala is Lord Siva. Atheists love to secularize it with Self. That's fine, since Arunachala's grace is for everyone,not just relgious devotees. But we don't have to call it the Self. We can lovingly call it Arunachala Siva. Mantras that the ancient rishis discovered like OM Namah Sivaya or OM Saravanabhava produce sattivic vibrations and elevate the mind. Saying Self, Self will not do the same. The point is, we are blessed by faith. Let's now throw that faith away and use the language of atheism, when we don't have to. The language of religion has wonderful poetry, mantras and chants that shower great joy and progress on us.

Bhagavan said it best:
O Arunachala! The knot of ignorance whose beginning or end cannot be traced, Thou hast to untie, like a mother. I cannot untie it by myself.
O Arunachala! By what strength can I, who am worse than a dog, approach Thee and attain Thee?

Mouna said...

Sivanarulji, pranams,

Just to establish a common ground of semantic understanding, in your own words and as per your understanding, could you define the word "god" for me (specifically as you used it in your last three posts) and its relationship with the jiva/ego?

Thanks,
m

Sivanarul said...

Mounaji,

Pranams to you and hope you are relishing in the mystic space :-) I don't want to get into a debate on god and relationship to ego. My comments above was specifically geared to religious devotees who follow this blog and comments, that they don't have to buy into the "God is a fabrication" story, because Bhagavan has implied so in Naan Yaar. It is to point out, that teachings for us lies in many verses of Bhagavan's Aksharamanamalai and in Bhagavan's action itself.

But briefly, "god" for me specifically is Lord Siva who resides within, as the life of my life. He also lovingly resides in physical form as Arunachala, performs the cosmic dance as Nataraja in Chidambaram, majestically is seated in Mount Kailash, Kasi, Rameshwaram and many other holy places. Generically, "god" is there in any place of worship of any and all religions. It is the same god that is there in a church as it is in a temple or a synagogue. This does not mean that he is only there in places of worship. It just means his presence can be felt more acutely in these places. "He" is just a way of speaking and does not indicate a gender.

With respect to relationship of God to ego, the following verse of Bhagavan from Necklet of Nine Gems says it all. I know you asked in my own words, but I punt. Here it is:
9) As mother and father both, you gave me birth and tended
me. And before I could fall into the deep sea called
Jaganmaya and get drowned in the universal illusion, you
came to abide in my mind, you drew me to yourself, O
Arunachala, you whose being is all Awareness. What a
wonderful work of art your Grace has wrought, my Mother
- Father - Lord!

I will not be replying on this topic further, as I don't want to get into a discussion of the highest declarations of Vedanta. As Bhagavan said in Aksharamanamalai, "O Arunachala! By what strength can I, who am worse than a dog, approach Thee and attain Thee?". My comment was only to highlight the religious side of Bhagavan to religious devotees.

Namaste!, my friend. Be well.

Mouna said...

Sivanarulji brother,

Least of my intentions was to get into a philosophical discussion.
I was really curious to know four "feelings" on the subject, really, not a definition.
And you responded clearly and to the point.
You know how I respect your views. We are brothers in the way and passengers on the same boat, no matter who is turning the steering wheel [if there is one! :)].

That's all, no need to reply to this.

Blessings your way. Lots.
m

Sanjay Lohia said...

Sivanarul has recently posted a serious of comments. The following are my views on some of his remarks in these comments. This is a general sharing:

Sivanarul writes: ‘When he [Michael] is saying God is merely an imaginary fabrication, he apparently is elucidating the verse in Naan Yaar, he quoted above, and hence it is part of Bhagavan's teaching. While this teaching may appear as nectar for atheist devotees, it is poison for religious devotees’.

Atheist devotees! The words, ‘atheist’ and ‘devotees’, clearly contradict each other. According to Oxford online dictionary, the word ‘religious’ is an adjective, and it means ‘relating to or believing in a religion’ or ‘forming part of someone’s faith in a divine being’. Therefore, those of us practising atma-vichara are as much religious, as are those of us practising dualistic devotion. We do have faith in a ‘divine being’, who is not different from ourself. So we are definitely religious.

Two synonyms of ‘religious’ are ‘devoted’ and ‘committed’. Aren’t we committed and devoted to our practice of self-investigation? Do we not love to attend to ourself? This love is devotion (bhakti). Therefore, we claim that we are also religious, although our devotion may not be perfect.

Sivanarul also claims: ‘Atheists love Advaita Vedanta, since at the highest levels, it does not deal with God and claims that God is a mental fabrication’. I again do not agree with him. At the highest level, advaita-vedanta and its proponents like Bhagavan and Sankara, deal only with God in its true form. According to them, God or brahman or atma-svarupa, all mean the same thing, and this to them is the only existing reality.

It is only when we rise as an ego that we project a world and a God, and this world and God appears separate from us. This separate God is our mental creation.

Sivaranul also writes: ‘But briefly, "god" for me specifically is Lord Siva who resides within, as the life of my life’. I agree with him here. We try to attend to this shiva, the life of our life, when we practise self-attentiveness.


शिवोऽहम् said...

May this night of Siva grant me the experiential knowledge: शिवोऽहम्: Shiva am I/I am Shiva.

R Viswanathan said...

To get the experience of self through the grace of Sadguru, the prayer instruction (or the practice instruction) as to how we need to pray to Sri Ramana Bhagavan with such melting devotion is shown to the world by Sri Sadhum Om Swamy through his musical contributions as 'Sri Ramana Sahasram, 'Sri Ramana Varugai', 'Sri Ramana Guruvarul Anthathi', and also as thousands of poems.

In much of Sri Sadhum Om Swamiji's songs, the principal characteristic is the heart melting prayer to Bhagavan.

The above two paragraphs are from the Introduction in the Tamil book ' Sri Ramanopadhesa noonmalai vilakkavurai'.
Since this Introduction has been written by Sri Michael James himself, and since I have seen the video of Girivalam in which Sri Sadhum Om Swami and Sri Michael James prostrate to Arunachala at many places, and since I have heard from Sri Michael James himself that he has done Girivalam almost daily and during MahaSivarathri three times during his stay in Tiruvannamalai for nearly 20 years, I would not think that Sri Sadhu Om or Sri Michael James considers the formal devotion practice as something that one needs to stay away from if we think that we are true Bhagavan devotees.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Viswanathan writes: ‘I would not think that Sri Sadhu Om or Sri Michael James considers the formal devotion practice as something that one needs to stay away from if we think that we are true Bhagavan devotees’. I agree, our formal devotional practices can aid our self-investigation, but these have their limitation, and therefore cannot take us to our ultimate goal, as Bhagavan clearly explains in Upadesa Undiyar.

These devotional practices (formal or informal) may be beneficial or not so beneficial, depending upon our motive behind these practices. If our devotion is purely out of our love and reverence for our sadguru, it is useful. Our such niskamya devotion will purify our mind, and show us the way to liberation, as Bhagavan explains in Upadesa Undiyar.

Of course, we should try and love and respect the name and form of our sadguru, because it is only this medium that he has given us his teachings. Which devotee can ignore the irresistible charm of his name and form? However, there cannot be anything more precious that his teachings. His teachings are like a map guiding us out of this dark and dense forest: this samsara, this reoccurring cycle of birth and death.

But the main point is, if we claim to be true devotees of Bhagavan, we should try and practise what he advises us to do. In other words, we should want what our sadguru wants to give us. Otherwise, we are not looking at Bhagavan as our guru, but, perhaps, only looking at him only as God. He wants us to experience ourself as we really are, by trying to be self-attentive, as intensely and as long as possible.

R Viswanathan said...

It is very beneficial to know what Sri Sadhu Om says on Saguna Upasanai (p 85, Upadhesa Undhiyaar Vilakkavurai, 1983):

As long as a Jeevan (person) takes one's nama roopa deham (a physical body with a name and form) as I and mine, one should not lose saguna upasana, which are the deeds performed with love of God by using one's body, speech, and mind. The reason being that having born as human being, everyone keeps doing knowingly or unknowingly some form of saguna upasana or Vigraha Aradhana.

śiva-svarūpa said...

Be happy, be happy, be happy:

"svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature] alone is the world;
svarūpa alone is ‘I’ [the ego or soul];
svarūpa alone is God;
everything is śiva-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of śiva, the one infinite whole, which is oneself]."

"...what God actually is is just the one infinite whole, other than which nothing exists, so in his view there are no adjuncts but only himself.

Therefore God is what we actually are, so in order for us to be aware of him as he actually is, all we need do is to see ourself as we actually are, which entails seeing ourself without any adjuncts."

Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice...

siva-svarupa said...

Anonymous शिवोऽहम्,
let us be blessed with your experiential knowledge longed for of that Maha-Sivaratri-night.
Or do we all already share your happiness ?