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This power of super-imposition that Maya has hides from the Jivi (or the Individual) the Universal which he is, the Sath-Chith-Ananda which is his Nature. All this Jagath, with its manifoldness, is born out of the ascription of multiplicity where there is only Unity. When all this evolution is subsumed by the process of involution (Pralaya), the three Gunas are in perfect equilibrium or balance. This is the stage called Guna-saamya-avastha. Then, through the Will of the Super-Will or Iswara, the balance is disturbed and activity starts, leading to consequences which breed further activities. In other words, the World originates and develops and unfolds. This is the stage called Unbalanced, or Vaishamya. Thus, from the subtle Inner unconscious and sub-conscious to the gross outer physical body, everything is due to Maya or the power of super-imposition of the Particular over the Universal. That is the reason why these are referred to as An-atma, Non-Atma. They are like the mirage, which super-imposes water over desert sand. It can be destroyed only by the vision of Brahmam or Atma.
The affection one has towards one's relations, the satisfaction one gets when one secures the things craved for, the happiness one gets when one utilises such things, all these are bondages which the consciousness imposes on itself. Even sleep and dream are such 'agitations' which have to be overcome before the Atma can be well visualised and realised. In sleep, the element of Ignorance persists. The 'I' and 'Mine' feelings produce an endless series of activities and agitations in the various levels of Consciousness. But, as a single soldier in a vantage position can successfully tackle hundreds of enemy personnel who come in single file through a narrow gap, one has to tackle each agitation as and when it emerges in the Consciousness and overwhelm it. The courage to do this can be got through the training derived by practice.
All agitations will cease the moment one enters on the inquiry, "Who
am I"? This was the Sadhana that Ramana Maharshi achieved and taught to
his disciples. That is also the easiest of all the disciplines. First,
there must be the Subhechchaa, the desire to promote one's own welfare.
This will lead to the study of books about Brahmam and its principles,
the search for the company of the good, the withdrawal from sensory pleasure
and the thirst for liberation. Even the Mahaavaakya, "Aham Brahmaasmi",
has a trace of ignorance sticking on to it, the Aham, considered as separate
but identical. This Aham is so persistent that it will disappear only
through ceaseless meditation on the implications of "Thatwamasi" and all-inclusive
Atma or Brahmam. This is the Vichaarana stage or Bhumika; the Bhumika,
subsequent to the Subhechchaa stage. By these means, the Mind can be fixed
very soon on the contemplation of Brahmam. Each stage is a step on the
ladder for the progressive rise of the Mind, from the concrete to the
subtle and the subtle to the non-existent. This is the Thanumanasi or
the last stage.