Permanence, Awareness, Seeking, Practice, and Dear Chappu Dada

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With this episode #5, we continue our journey of  ... explorations in Consciousness, ... Silence, ... Self Realization, ... Self Discovery, ... The Mystery ... 

Today's show is a dialogue (i.e., comment & response) between me and Chappu Dada re Permanence, Awareness, Seeking, and Spiritual Practice.

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All plans are subject to revision ..... this theme certainly seems to be more present for me this week .... I found this to be true for yesterday's RumiTime show and the same is happening for this episode of JoyChats. I had planned on addressing the seeker's dilemma in this episode but as I read some of the comments that came in last week and started writing my responses.... I realized that a collection of these comments&responses might be an interesting show in itself ... plus this way such responses won't just reside in our site's comment trail ... but will also be out there in the podcasting world.

These comments are on each of the past 4 episodes and are from dear Chappu Dada, in India  ... I'm going to read each comment and then offer my remarks but before I begin ... 1st  I want to thank him for his inviting comments  ... and 2nd I want to underscore that ...  my remarks are not to "split hairs" or "debate semantics" but to ensure that the original intent is not lost ... because words can be easily misconstrued and a simple shift in usage can change the meaning  ... profoundly.

Comment On Show #1 Permanence & Transience

Only Paramatma, Atma, Soul, Brahm, Akshar,Shabd, Aa (as prononced in
Hindi language),God, Allah or whatsoever you may designate is
permanent, rest is transient, an illusion, like a movie go by. This
permanence resides in all impermanence, a paradox!! How so ever long
phraseology we use, conclusion is so simple!! Now how to permanently
experience this permanence in our transience is one big question!!

My remarks:
I would rather say "impermanence arises out of permanence (vs. the other way around) ... impermanence dissolves back into permanence."

No experience is permanent ... every experience (however sublime or blissful or "enlightened") comes, lingers and goes, i.e., every experience is inherently transient.

If permanence is sought in or through an experience (or experiences) then unfortunately one is engaging in "trying to find permanence in what is inherently transient." I suggest investigating this further and see where it leads. Also, the notion of "seeking permanence" is in itself an interesting one. Investigate this further and see where it leads.

The very question "how to ..." presumes that one is not already there and therein lies the key issue. One's True nature is already permanent ... and is not subject to "achievement or attainment (paradoxical as it may seem)" or some "doing." Once such a statement is truly heard then the question "How to ..." starts to lose its hold because, in the end, this question is a distraction from investigating what is already here. Such an investigation, undertaken in earnest, will not only answer most, if not all, such questions; but will also reveal the gem being sought!

It is important  to note that I am not saying let's ignore this question, instead I suggest that the question of "How to ..." be set aside ... only temporarily (one can always come back to it) and instead an exercise be undertaken to "See what is already here" and see where that leads. .. or answer the question "what is closer than our breath?" and see where that leads.

And, we will pick up this question of "How to..." in a future episode so that it is given proper due vs just leaving it temporarily set aside. My only remark, for now, is that .... One can certainly get the answer to the "How .." from some realized sage or some other source but what good is it because, in the end, one has to and must discover the answer oneself. Obtaining answers from any other source, however great that source may be, is akin to someone telling you how good a certain dish on the menu is. You can imagine the taste but it is still not real until you yourself taste it.

Comment On Show #2: Awareness

You r bang on, Awareness is permanent so this is THIS! now let us take
Lord Buddha teachings where he embhasizes on importance of being aware
on each & every moment, each karma, each thoughts. Hence if u r
focussed on Awareness & never leaving it, then you r established in
SELF!!

My remarks:
I don't know every teaching of Buddha but I would offer the following comments from my own life experience:

One can never "leave" awareness even if one tried. And "focus{ing} on awareness" implies something has to be "done" to be aware ... which again has inherent issues.

And, how can one "establish in Self?" I would say that "One is already the Self." Establish implies one has to "do" something which again has inherent issues.

I am curious as to how one would "know or become aware" of karma?

Comment On Show #3: The Seeker Syndrome

More population so more nmbrs, more turbulances hence more seekers. Act
of seeking will only result into end realization/product. All
traditions point finger 2 same THING. Don't look at finger, focus on
end result. You are THAT what u r seeking, true, but seeker seeks the
ways 2 establish himself in THAT so that he constantly realizes that he
is THAT. Process of seeking may or may not b long depending upon
various factors like past Karmas, Sanskars, HIS will etc......

My remarks:
Act of seeking may not end at all ... and that's one of the inherent dangers ... the seeker may get even more cemented.

I've already commented on the issue of "establish."

The "duration" of the seeking is yet another distraction in the endless string of distractions encountered by the seeker and is simply generated by the "mind." Also, such "duration" does not have to be "long," again only the "mind" makes one "believe" that it is long or is only available as a result of some arduous practice etc etc primarily because of some historical person's story.

"Karma, Sanskars, His will..." etc. ... all assume that realizing one's True nature is dependent on some "external" source, i.e., "if one's karma is good or deserving then one can realize"  or  "if it is Divine will then one can realize" etc. Again, these are simply "mind generated distractions" that prevent one from seeing what is present here already ... if one's True nature is awareness and awareness is permanent then no seeking will ever reveal that which is already here. Seeking may reveal the fruitlessness of the search but how can it reveal that which is "closer than breath" .... "that which is here."

Permanence is not conditional ...and is not subject to any external source or reason or validation. It is simply here. What is required is to dissolve the hold of the mind that asserts that "Permanence is out there." If Permanence is "out there" then what remains here?

Comment On Show #4: Spiritual Practice

Both inner & outer Gurus r important along with spiritual practice 2
advance on spiritual path initially, later you can change the
track/option. Off course pit falls r there in each & every practice as
pointed by u, but one has 2 b aware of them. Maharishi Ramana,
Nishargji Maharaj etc.were already realized Gurus b'cos of their past
karmas, sanskars etc.so they really didn't need so many practices....

My remarks:
I'll discuss the topic of "outer" guru in a future show but for now I'll say this: external gurus are and can be helpful but are certainly not necessary or essential. And, any external guru requires caution ... as is evident from the history of most gurus. This is why I suggest "focus" on the guru's message rather than the guru's "bodily form" and all of its "stories (grandiose or otherwise)."

My general response to any aspect of any Guru's "bodily form story" is that it is potentially fraught with danger as it keeps one in the "comparison" game or the "guru" game. Any comparison detracts one from realizing what is already here because in the end, and regardless of which guru was instrumental or not, one has to "undertake the journey him/her self." Also, however interesting or fascinating the guru or their story may be, it is still a distraction because one does not need "emulation or understanding" of any past or current guru's life story to see what is already here ...

What is here is here and will always be here ... regardless of any "guru's existence or not" ... regardless of our "seeing it or not" ... regardless of our "realizing it or not" ... regardless of our "validation or not."


This is why the message is the key.

Messengers are, of course, valuable and important to learn certain things from; but message is the key.

Ramana Maharishi's message (paraphrased):

1) Be still and the Universe is revealed. And, if one is not pre-disposed to stillness or silence then self inquiry is the fastest method (but it is not necessarily for everyone) …. And for others not "interested in or drawn to" Self Inquiry, devotion (i.e., some practice) can be undertaken.
2)
Ramana urged people who came to him to practice self-enquiry, he directed people to look inward rather than seeking outside themselves for Realization ("The true Bhagavan resides in your Heart as your true Self. This is who I truly am.").
3) He viewed all who came to him as the Self rather than as lesser beings. ("The jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only jnanis in his sight.")  Jnani means the "one who knows" ... Ajnani means the "one who is ignorant."
#s 2&3, above, are from Ramana's page on Wikipedia.

Nisargadatta Maharaj's message:

"There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don't disturb your mind with seeking." This quote is taken from Nisargadatta Maharaj's page on Wikipedia.


Of course,
Nisargadatta Maharaj, undertook Self-Inquiry at the behest of his Guru, which (from what I understand), was instrumental in his realizing his True nature.

As to Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta Maharaj being already realized because of their past karmas etc ... I'll leave that, and the issue of spiritual path, for another show.

As usual and typical of such topics ... lot more can be said about all of this as we consider it from various angles... so again I invite further dialog but... for now, I'll leave you with this:

External sources and encouragements are certainly useful and have their place but they require caution and must not be considered the "end all." Complications and distractions can be "fully cut;" through the utterly simple and profound Truth that is readily and easily available to all ... the Truth of "seeing what is here already" or "finding what or who is closer than breath."

I am again reminded of one of my recent RumiTime shows.... the simple and short gem from Rumi titled
"Why Look at all?" that exquisitely points us to "What is closer than our own breath."

This Rumi poem is from "A Garden Beyond Paradise, The Mystical Poetry of Rumi, Translated by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva."

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2 Comments

Dear Sanjiv, thanks 4 your valuable remarks.About permanance, what you & me are saying are same thing, only words & looking angles are different. Impermanence arises out of permanence & dissoves back to permanance like rivers merging with sea & permanance is always present at the core of whatever are impermanaces. The saying goes: God created universe (impermanance) first & then got dissolved into it, meaning thereby everything originates from IT, IT remains in everything during the transience then everything dissolves back into IT. I summarise some of your remarks: One's true nature is permanent, awareness is permanet never leaving you, one is already established in self, seeking is distraction, karma,sanskars, God's Will etc. are mind generated distractions, dissolution of mind is required 2 realize self, No journey required when IT is here already, sitting stil if disposition allows or self enquiry or some practices may be undertaken for self realization. All are true. But why make all intellectual & spiritual efforts if everyone is already realized. Then question also arises what it means by realization & what it means by being established in Self. Is it so simple or is it so complicated or what. What we are trying to achieve. Is dissolution of mind so a simple process that we can tame such strong energy. What you are driving at. One can have endless intellectual discourses & arrive at nothing. Pl.tell the way to IT in most simple way.

Be in silence and see what is here. ... OR ... Find That which is closer than your own breath.


More on the main body of your comment, in next week's show (episode #6).

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