In the stages of self-inquiry I teach, choiceless awareness of ‘what is’ is a form of meditative inquiry that I teach to prepare a student for the more advanced Advaitic inquiries. At this stage, the duality between the thinker and thought has been negated and through choiceless awareness, the student is ready to understand the true nature of all experiences, rather than how experience presents itself to a deluded mind. In this article, I discuss the three marks of all experiences that are experientially revealed in meditative inquiry: the impermanence of all objects, the illusoriness of the thinker-doer-experiencer that controls experiences, and how the thinker-doer-experiencer is the very cause of human suffering. Only when a student has totally and experientially understood these three marks of experience does he become qualified for further Advaitic inquiry that leads to liberation … Read More Choiceless Awareness: Seeing Things As They Are
With this article, I finish the three-part series on Prarabdha Karma. In this final article which has extensive quotes from the text Panchadasi, a reader gets the most exhaustive treatment of this subject found anywhere in Advaita literature, corroborated by my own experience. The purpose of these articles was to draw out the complexity of experience and actions of a Jnani/Jivanmukta, evident only to him/her rather than to an outsider, who sees nothing saintly or special in a Jnani, when contrasted to full-blown Jnanis who have got freed from Prarabdha Karma like in Ajativada. Such Jivanmuktas whom I talked about in part 2, has ended with Prarabdha Karma while others have not. The keynote for a Jivanmukta undergoing Prarabdha Karma, however, is that the world of phenomena is mithya or only apparently real, therefore he does not evince any serious commitments to this world of mithya even if he appears to. His attitude is therefore of ‘high indifference’. Though the Jivanmukta may seem to undergo suffering and do acts which can be labelled under the categories of virtue and vice, a Jivanmukta knows himself to be Self/Awareness which is not a thinker/doer/experiencer. For a Jivanmukta, his BMI (Body/Mind/Intellect) appears as an object to Awareness/Self, so even though his/her BMI is affected by Prarabdha, the Jivanmukta as Self remains unaffected. I wanted to explore the enigmatic inner world of the Jivanmukta; his/her experiential dimension that escapes onlookers: a person who is in the world yet not of it.… Read More Prarabdha Karma After Self Realization: It’s Experience of Suffering and Pleasure: Part3/3
Suffering is a fact that is common to all human life. Nonetheless, we are never educated by schools, parents and society to understand and explore the possibility of ending suffering. On the contrary, they teach us to somehow escape suffering. In this article, through the journals of two young female students of NEEV Psycho-Philosophy Inquiry group, the various ways in which people escape or find solutions to suffering are discussed. Finally, it is shown how any movement away from suffering, even in the form of different solutions offered by dualist spiritual paths really do not address the cause of suffering at its root. I show how Krishnamurti’s approach of watching suffering and only non-dual approaches like Advaita solve the problem of suffering comprehensively. As the Katha Upanishad says, “He, who sees any difference here, goes from death to death.”… Read More Watching Suffering: Journals of Two Young Girls
Psychological becoming is an umbrella term for all our desires: material, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. In this article, I trace out the roots of this movement, which governs our personal and social lives powerfully and unconsciously. Thereafter I show how it constitutes suffering at all realms – material, emotional, intellectual and spiritual, even though our current society actively encourages and rewards it.… Read More What is psychological becoming and how it causes suffering?
We all live with the shadow of different fears. We invent a dozen strategies to suppress this fear, overcome it or to deny it. Yet it is there. In this response to a question, I go into the root of psychological fear and ask whether one can live life without a trace of this fear.… Read More Can one live without the shadow of psychological fear?
Why is it so challenging to know yourself? It is certainly a challenge to know oneself, perhaps the rarest things that human beings do. Since childhood we are trained by our parents, schools, society, religions and politicians to follow. We are never encouraged to question. Questioning is considered a threat to the authority of all… Read More Why is it so challenging to know yourself?