Meditation for self realization
Many are very happy in this world or too busy
in it to think beyond the physical existence. But even in the midst of
happiness and the busy life, there lurks an apprehension. At times of great
happiness they sometimes pause to think, how long will this last? What will
Meditation can help.
It is not possible for all to sit quietly
without thinking. For many getting a quiet place to sit is a problem. There is
also the problem of the mind itself that does not want to detach itself from
the external world.
For such souls meditation has to be a thinking
exercise that ultimately results in no thinking. Meditation is not always just
sitting without thoughts. It is also about deep thinking.
While travelling, waiting, or even while doing
routine work one can start thinking thus;
- What is life all about?
- Why should I have to struggle so much?
- Have I come to this world to go through the inevitable schooling, getting a job, marrying, having children, educating and marrying them off, being happy, getting hurt, retiring, aging, and ultimately dying? What do I really get out of this?
- Am I real?
- What about me is real?
- Am I the body?
- But the body is meant to die!
- Will my mind survive death? But I don't know!
- The body requires food. What happens when I don't take food? The body starts withering. The mind too gets affected and I lose consciousness. So what I am is dependent on food!
- What about me is real?
Start contemplating. Think seriously. These
are very uncomfortable and unnerving questions for those not accustomed. But
they are needed.
- I appear so very real. I cannot even think I will die one day. I feel I have always existed.
- Why do I feel so?
- What within me is real?
- What within me has always existed?
- What is that permanence that I do not know about?
- Why does it elude me?
Contemplate again. If you have never thought
like this, at this point you are really troubled.
- If I am not real. If I have to die, then what about my attachment towards my family and friends?
- Am I putting all my eggs in a basket that does not keep the eggs safe?
- What about my fears, phobias, and pet peeves? What do I get from laying so much importance on them?
- Life is obviously temporary. Why should I give my all to it?
- Even if I get everything I want, how long will it last? I don't know! Obviously I have to think beyond
- Should I not search for what is permanent?
- How do I search?
Brood over this. Take your time. You will
start feeling something within you. You will start feeling that something
within you is trying to get in touch with you.
This meditation exercise is meant to awaken
the search that is always with you but you never paid any attention.
Think deeply and the futility of a
"normal life" evaporates. You often have a feeling that you are
looking for something and must get it. If you start doing this exercise that
feeling will become very prominent.
- Your continuous thoughts will start slowing down
- Your continuous efforts to remain busy will ebb
- You will seek time for yourself
- You will feel that your intense attachment to the world is decreasing
- Time will slow down as if it wants you to have more time for the search
- You will feel less stressed and peaceful
- You will start living at a deeper level
- You will start questioning
- You will start looking for answers
- The answers will come from within
- You will start observing yourself
Continue with the question;
- What in me is real?
- (Continue repeating) What in me is real?
Be sincere in your search. The universe exists
to guide you. Your Guru is within. He will whisper sage advice in your ears.
What happens after self questioning?
When you question your existence you open
yourself up for a reflective phase. It may not be constant but there will be
pauses in your life when the questions crop up again. You may also have a sense
of deja vu, certain incidents will seem as if you have experienced them before.
This has a cause. Before coming to the world
your whole life has been shown to you. You are simply reliving some of those
moments. It means you are connecting to the inner you that remains with you as
If this happens this is quite an achievement.
The pace of life makes one forget. Life speeds on and there is rarely time for
any kind of deep contemplation. Pleasant events keep us occupied with the world
and you roll on expecting more.
It is always better to consciously think deeply
along the lines as suggested in the first part. Otherwise you may face
suffering that forces you to contemplate.
You exist. What tells you that you exist? The
feeling "I am". This is a primal mantra that connects you directly to
the reality. Try to stay with that "I am" with no other thought.
Just doing this much for a period of three
years led to self realization for Nisargadatta Maharaj. He did as was told by
his Guru. He did it sincerely because he had full faith on him.
You may also question "Who am I?".
While the I Am belongs to the Supreme Self, the "Who am I" targets
the ego. The ego feels extremely uncomfortable because it is questioned. Very
rarely does anyone question it. People take it as the reality and blindly enjoy
So the I Am prepares you for the reality and
the Who Am I eats away the ego. The ego is non existent. It is a projection of
ignorance. Questioning it ultimately leads to its disappearance.
You can also just go on chanting I I I I....
mentally. This too is instructed by Ramana Maharshi.
If you think you can meditate, then just sit
and mentally chant Who Am I. You may be distracted by thoughts. At such time
think, "Who is it to whom the thought appears?" And then go back to
the question Who Am I?
Sri Ramana Maharshi did not object to any
path. But he asked everyone to go to the source, the one who is doing it. He is
the king of the spiritual world and has made things extremely easy. This age is
troublesome, but it is in this age that Bhagavan Ramana has appeared to teach
the simplest path to self realization. Utilize this.
The way to tackle thoughts is to watch them
float by. Then you watch the one who is watching. Always remember that you are
not your thoughts. Therefore the quality of your thoughts does not determine
who you really are. Just coming to know that you are not your thoughts is a
As you become accustomed to a bit of
contemplation you may start thinking of your karma. Reading about the types of
karma may frighten you as you realize how your actions are preparing the net
that traps you and keeps you trapped.
How to escape karma? Stop thinking that you
are the doer. Surprised? But that is true. This world is manifesting on its
own. It is taking everything with it. The ego makes us feel we are the doer and
then we aspire for and acquire the fruits of action.
If we can convince ourselves that we are not
the doer, do not crave for recognition and reward, and perform with detachment
then we go out of the ambit of karma. Karma no longer binds us and sanchita (pending) karma evaporates.
In meditation reach the thoughtless state and
stay there. That is the reality. Even if you have thoughts do not struggle but
watch them as they come and ago. The space between two thoughts is the reality.
Think of your childhood and youth. Maybe they
have passed. Think of how they have passed without your involvement. You have
to accept the changes and can do nothing about it. All you can do is to recall
how the I Am remains unchanged through it all.
See the objective world but do not engage with
the shape and forms. They are not real. They float in the Self that alone is.
The Self is the light that illuminates everything. As it alone exists there is
nothing apart from it. Be that by forgetting that you are a body operating in a
world of shapes and forms.
The steps you need to take are;
- Being a witness to all that happens
- Becoming aware of the one that is witnessing
- Staying with the I Am
- Questioning "Who am I?"
- Mentally repeating I I I I...
- Staying thoughtless
- Watching your thoughts
- Knowing you are not your thoughts
- Ignoring objects
- Identifying with the substratum that is Brahman
The above may seem a lot but they are just
corollary. They are parts of the same wheel. One follows the other.
With these you can become the undivided one. Your perception will change. That is the goal. You are always searching for peace and stability. You are that peace and stability, the SatChidAnanda. Ignorance of this knowledge is the source of your suffering.