Shloka # 13:
“Control of the mind is of two kind, its lulling and its destruction. A lulled mind will rise again but not the one which is destroyed.”
Continuing his teaching, Swami Paramarthananda says, we have seen Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi talking about the six Sadhanas. They are: Puja, Japa, Dhyanam, Samadhi, Yoga and Gyanam. Samadhi is also called Bhakthi. The first four Sadhanas were discussed elaborately. Now he is dealing with Yoga and Gyanam. Yoga represents Ashtanga Yoga. However, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi focuses on Pranayama. The eight steps of ashtanga yoga are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi focuses on Pranayama. Pranayama restrains the mind, like a cage restrains a bird. This subsiding of mind is called Manolaya (withdrawal or shanthi). However, Manolaya is a temporary restrain on the mind, it comes back after some time in even greater force. The permanent solution to the problematic mind is Mano Nasha. Mano Nasha can only happen through Gyanam. Thus:
Mano laya occurs through Pranayama.
Mano nasha occurs though Gyanam.
The temporarily suppressed mind, mano laya, comes back again as in artificial sleep. Once we come out of sleep the whole world comes back again.
The mind destroyed by Gyana Yoga will never raise its head again. Pranayama can be used but only as a first aid. First aid is important in an accident. However, after first aid, one may still need to get further treatment. One cannot replace the other. Pranayama is not an end in itself. It is in Atma Gyanam alone that one can obtain permanent peace of mind.
Shloka # 14:
“The mind stilled by breath regulation gets destroyed by pursuing a single thought.”
Manonasha, should not be taken as its literal translation means. It does not mean a Gyani’s mind is destroyed. Gyani’s have very good mind with all virtues. Gita elaborates on a Gyani’s mind in chapters 13 and 14 respectively. So, a Gyani possess a mind. His mind is not destroyed. If so, what is Manonasha? There are two important meanings. One is figurative and the other is philosophical (shastriya).
Figurative meaning of Manonasha: The problematic mind is destroyed and replaced by a beautiful mind. Deluded, ignorant mind is destroyed and is replaced by a healthy mind. When a mind is healthy, you don’t feel its presence. When a body is not healthy, you feel the pain. You don’t feel the pain when it is healthy.
Philosophical meaning of Manonasha: is the real meaning. In wake of knowledge, the Anatma Prapancha is understood. Gyani understands “Brahma Satyam, Jagat Mithya.” Mithya prapancham whether it is or it is not, does not make a difference to him. In a Gyani’s mind the entire world is destroyed.
Once the world is falsified, mind is also falsified with it. Mind is after all a small part of this world. This understanding of the unreality of mind is called Mano Nasha. Gyani still employs his mind, understanding that the body, mind and the world are all Mithya. Just as it is only the clay in the pot, there is nothing called pot that exists. The Pot has only a verbal existence (nama, roopa) so also does the mind. It too has only a verbal existence that is its nama and roopa.
Using Pranayama one quits the mind and it obtains the sadhana chatushtaya sampanam. Gyanam, however, comes from the Eka Chintanam or thinking of non-dual atma. How to perform this chintanam has not been mentioned here. Thus, a cult of Maharishi Bhagawan Ramana’s followers has formed around the “Who am I” meditation? This is an unfortunate conclusion. Here tradition has to be exerted. Asking, “who am I” will not help. Before, he was a turbulent Agyani, now, he becomes a quiet Agyani.
In Gita, Atma Vichara has been described. It says, go to an acharya and ask for the teaching. This is the only method of Self Knowledge. The teaching must be for a length of time. Pundaka Upanishad mentions that Self-enquiry should only be through a Guru. Even if some have got knowledge without a Guru, even they have had a Guru in past life. That knowledge is activated in this life.
So, this means Sravanam, Mananam, and Nidhidhyasanam from a Guru. This is called Chintanam. Through this teaching, knowledge dawns. It will inform me of: “Brahma Satyam, Jagat Mithya”. The mind is always unreal. It cannot touch me, the real consciousness. This wisdom is called ManoNashaha.
Shloka # 15:
“For the exalted Yogi abiding steadily in the natural state, having destroyed the mind, is there any action left?”
Once mind is falsified, the rest of life is a peaceful one. Mind and its conditions have nothing to do with my freedom. Mithya cannot tarnish Sathyam. Quality of my mind has nothing to do with my Poornathavam.
After Atma Gyanam, conditions of Anatma cannot alter my status. It does not mean we are now careless. We will still put out the best. The physical and mental conditions have no consequence with respect to my freedom. A Gyani is not careless with respect to the body or the mind. He knows in his heart of heart that condition of mind does not matter. This is called Jivan Mukti. So, the supreme Yogi who has reached the destination is called Utksrishta Yogi. His mind is falsified. Vyavaharika Satyam of mind does not disturb the “Atma” within me.
What is to be accomplished in life by such a Yogi? He is without the pressures of life whipping him into activity. For a normal man each activity has to be completed and then he moves to the next one. Swamiji met the father of a devotee, an old man. He very emotionally asked Swamiji’s blessing that his grand daughter get married while he was still living. He was very emotional about it. So, a man gets whipped into action based upon one’s emotions.
What is Moksha? As per Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi, it means, I am full and complete, with no more desires. He abides in his own swaroopam. All duties reside in Ahamkara. It can never complete its duties. One who transcended Ahamkara has obtained Moksha.
Shloka # 16:
“When the mind turns away from the objects, it beholds its source, Consciousness. This is Self-Abidance.”
In this shloka the process of Atma Gyanam is described. The mind is turned away from external objects, which includes the body and mind. Once mind is turned away from the external world, what remains is the mind in Chaitanyam, without any objects or objectless consciousness remains. Blank mind is empty consciousness. It is a Consciousness without any objects. We recognize the mind is blank. The blankness is illumined by our awareness. A blank mind is one in which there is only consciousness and no other object. This remainder Consciousness, objectless consciousness, is our real nature. It has all properties of Atma (Nithyaha, Shaswatha, Purnaha, Nirvikaraha, Aprameya, Akartha, Abhoktha etc.). This has to be understood as “I” the Atma. This is understanding of one’s self as the “Remainder” consciousness. This is the knowledge of one’s own real nature or Tatva Darshanam. This is the truth. This consciousness is ever self-evident. This Gyanam is further elaborated upon now.
Shlokas 14-16 is a condensed version of Gyanam.
Shlokas 17- end are an elaboration of Gyanam.
With best wishes,