The Philosophy Of Soul And Matter ► 02 ► [02.04] Distinguishing 'I' From 'Not I' (4)

Posted: 09.05.2006

According to Hemachandra, the great Jain master of the twelfth century, Jain yoga consisting of the three Jewels of right knowledge, right vision, and right conduct is the cause of final emancipation. What is the ultimate nature of these three? Hemachandra answers,“ It is the self of the wise person that is the right knowledge, right vision, and right conduct. They are nothing but compre­hension of the self in the self by the self on account of the disappearance of the eternal delusion."

"Atman sees atma, experiences its own self, upon emerging once and for all from ignorance, the eternal delusion and reaches final emancipation by becoming one with the three Jewels of right knowledge, right vision, and right conduct, which are none other than its own ultimate nature...."

When you experience this, you will begin to be able to answer the questions "Who am I?" and "What is the real quality of me?" Little by little answers will dawn in your consciousness and unfold in your experience. You will realize that "I am satchitananda: I am immor­tal (sat). I am consciousness (chit). I am bliss (ananda).

Whenever you are aware of these three unique qualities of yourself, you will never identify your self with insentient temporary moments, conditions, situa­tions, names, labels, and roles. You will disengage your mind from being lured by forms, which keep it fluctuating and seesawing between the poles of happi­ness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain. Instead, you will discover that blissfulness which is your real quality. This self-discovery brings pleasant peace.

Blissfulness brings you to the centre of yourself and a gentle smile lights up your face. It is not laughter or tears; it is not excitement or sadness. It is a very fine state. It is balance.

Once you have experienced yourself as consciousness and bliss, the third awareness dawns: that this consciousness which went through so many stages and which is still developing is not going to be destroyed. Birth and death are seen for what they are: the composition and decomposition of insentient matter. You realize that what we call "death" is merely a changing of the forms, but that sentient energy is changeless, immortal.

You realize that a change in form is inevitable and you welcome it when it comes, for it is change, which keeps life new and fresh. You experience yourself as water, ever-flowing in order not to become stagnant, yet eternally living in its own element. So let yourself flow in fearlessness. Flowing is expansion. Fear is contrac­tion. If you are constantly flowing and expanding, you cannot be contracting and shrinking in fear.

When you have experienced and deeply understood the conscious, blissful, and immortal qualities of you - sentient energy, then each change, in form or percep­tion, will take you to a higher level of consciousness and you will meditate in a state of joy.

Now let us experience our self, feeling that "in the centre of this form which I have created there is 'I'; not body, not he or she, not emotion or thought, not past memory or future planning, not transitory pleasure or pain, not the vibrations of attraction or repulsion, but the real 'I' - consciousness, blissfulness, immortality."

For Contemplation:

"As long as we have the concept of 'All is lost!' so long we shall have sadness and tears. Instead, let us see in this light: a person may have gone from your sight, from your circle, but not from the essence. When we enlarge our vision, we say, 'What is lost? Only the form. A gold ornament may be broken or melted down, but the gold is safe."

“Let us envision the continuity of eternity in each seed, in each form. Let us see the same thing in us. The form becomes broken or decomposed, but there is something in the centre, which is changeless. That something is sentient energy."

"’I’ mirrors are not your real qualities; they are conditions. You have been identifying with those temporary conditions. Now you transcend those transient stages and see the ‘I’ which has no ego. Real meditation starts when you say, ‘This is sentient energy and this is I. This energy cannot be abolished or destroyed.’"

"The whole universe is meant for evolution. The universe is nothing but a groundwork for atma's unfolding."

"There is a process of life. In this process, every soul, in one way or another, in a vibration of attraction or repulsion, during his night of ignorance or under the light of knowl­edge, makes his own life form, selects a birthplace, a family, and all the accessories."

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