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meditation

                           

                   


Âtma

Bodha

 

by




Adi Sankara
charya




1. This exposition is written
for those seekers after Realization who by spiritual disciplines have exhausted
their cravings and realized their errors, and are peaceful, and without
attachment.

2. Indeed, compared with other
means, knowledge is the sole means of Liberation, as fire is for cooking. 
Without wisdom, Realization does not result.

3. Action cannot destroy
ignorance, as it is not in conflict with ignorance.  Wisdom truly destroys ignorance as light destroys dense
darkness.


4. Because of
ignorance the Atman appears to be conditioned. When ignorance is destroyed, the
Atman shines by its own light, just as the sun shines of itself when a cloud is
dissipated.


5. The constant practice of
knowledge purifies the individual Atman, which was made to appear impure by
ignorance.  Then,
“knowing” itself disappears, just as soap is rinsed off after washing.

6. This round of existence
crowded with likes and dislikes and preferences and repulsions, is like a dream
which appears to be real during its duration, but is known to be unreal upon
waking.

7. The world shines as
“real” as long as the Father of Reality, the One, the non-dual basis
of everything, is not known.  But,
this world is an illusion like silver in mother of pearl.

8. The Supreme Lord is the
material cause, the universal substratum, of everything. 
All the worlds rise, exist, and dissolve in Him, passing away like
bubbles in water.

9. All of this manifest,
manifold world is projected by the imagination of the perceiver onto the eternal
omnipresent Sustaining Lord, just as bracelets and other ornaments are made of
gold.

10. Like all-pervading space,
the Master of the Senses, is mistakenly associated with various conditionings,
and appears to be different because of that conditioning, but becomes one again
on the destruction of these conditionings.

11. Only because of its
association with different conditionings does birth, death, name and stage of
life appear superimposed on the Atman, just as flavor, color, and so forth are
superimposed on water.

12. It is said that the physical
body, (the medium for experiencing pleasure and pain., because of past actions
is born of the five-fold division of the five great elements [earth, fire,
water, air, and ether].

13. The subtle body is the
instrument of experience and is composed of the five vital energy systems, and
the mind, and the discriminating intellect, and the ten organs of perception and
action.  All these are formed from
the rudimentary elements before their five-fold division.

14. It is said that the causal
body is unknowable, timeless, indescribable. 
The Atman should be understood as other than the three bodies (physical,
subtle, and causal.

15. When united with the five
sheaths [of the food-body (the physical corpus, the vital body (the energy that
maintains life., the mental body (the thought-filled mind and ego, the
intelligence body (the purified intellect and the bliss-body (the Breath of
God.], the Atman appears identical with those five sheaths just as crystal
appears blue in association with blue cloth.

16. By logical reasoning the
pure Atman should be separated from the five sheaths just as rice is separated
from the husk by pounding it.

17. Although the Atman is
all-pervading, it does not shine everywhere. 
It shines only on the discriminating intellect, just as a reflection in a
very polished mirror.

18. Know that the Atman is
distinct from all this earthly matter such as body, senses, mind and intellect,
and like a king It is a witness of the modes of thought.

19. To people without
discrimination, the Atman itself appears to be acting while it functions in the
sense organs. In the same way, the moon appears to be running when clouds gather
in the sky.

20. Depending on the Divine
Energy of Consciousness, the body, sense organs, mind and intelligence are
active, just as people engage in their respective activities depending on the
light of the Sun.

21.  Through lack of discrimination, people super-impose on the
stainless Reality [which is Being and Knowledge and Bliss] those qualities and
actions of the body and senses, onto Reality, just as blue and the like are
attributed to the sky.

22.  Just as the tremblings of the water are attributed by
children to the moon reflected in the water, in the same way from ignorance the
agency of action and other limitations are attributed to the Atman.

23. Attachment, desire,
pleasure, pain, and so forth are perceived when the mind is active, but are not
perceived in deep, dreamless sleep when the mind is not active.  Therefore, these characteristics belong to the mind and not
to the Atman.

24. Just as light is
characteristic of the sun, and coolness of water, and heat characteristic of
fire, so the nature of the Atman is Existence, Consciousness, Bliss.

25. The sensation that ‘I know’
arises from indiscrimination regarding the blending of the thought-waves of the
intellect with the existence/consciousness aspect of the Atman.

26. The Atman Itself does not
act, and the intellect alone does not have the capacity to experience
consciousness. But the individual, not knowing anything well enough, is deluded
into thinking that he is the observer and the worker.

27. Considering oneself to be an
individual, separate from all else, one is overcome by fear, as a person who in
dim light mistakes a rope for a snake. But, there can be no fear when it is
understood that ‘I am not the limited, separate ego; I am the Supreme Atman.’

28. As a lamp illumines the
inert objects of a windowless room, so too the Atman alone illumines the
intellect and the sense organs.

29. As a lighted lamp does not
need another lamp for illumination, the Atman, which is the very body of
consciousness, does not need another consciousness to know itself.

30.  After denying all conditionings thus: ‘The Atman is not this,
It is not this,’ one should realize the Oneness of the individual Atman with the
universal Atman, in accordance with the Profound Revelations of the Ancient
Scriptures.

31. The body and other visible
objects up to the ‘Causal Body’ are perishable as bubbles. Separate from all
these, one should realize thus: ‘I am the Attributeless Reality.’

32.  I am other than the body. Birth, old age, senility, death and
so forth are not for me. I am not attached to the sense organs, such as sound,
taste, smell and so on, as “I” am without sense organs.

33.  Since I have no mind, for me there is no sorrow, passion,
desire, malice, fear or such. Truly the Scriptures teach ‘The Atman is without
breath, without mind, pure…’

34. The Atman is without
attributes, actionless, eternal, without desire and thought, unsullied,
changeless, formless, always free, ever pure.

35. This Atman is like Space,
pervading all things without and within, changeless, always the same in all,
perfect, stainless, and motionless.

36. I Am the Supreme Divinity,
and only That, eternal, pure, free, one indivisible, blissful, non-dual, Truth
Wisdom, Eternity.

37. The constant practice, with
no other activity, of the impression, “I Am That” destroys ignorance
and agitation, as medicine destroys disease.

38. Seated in a solitary place,
without attachment, controlling the senses, with undivided attention,
concentrate on the Infinite Spirit of the Lord, which is One without a Second.

39. The wise person should by
intelligence merge the perceptible world in the One Spirit alone and constantly
think of that Spirit as stainless, boundless Space.

40. He who has realized the
highest goal, discarding everything else such as form, career, name, kin and so
on, becomes the embodiment of Fullness, Consciousness, Bliss.

41. In the Atman there is no
distinction such as knower, knowledge, and the object of knowledge, for the
Atman is of the very nature of bliss and shines of Itself alone.

42. By the churning of constant
meditation, the firesticks of the Divine Atman are kindled and the flame of
knowledge arises, which consumes the fuel of ignorance.

43. Just as the Dawn destroys
the darkness of the night and the sun then shines in fullness; so after the
darkness of ignorance has been destroyed, the Atman shines of Its own accord.

44. Truly, the Atman is always
present, yet not realized because of ignorance, just as the sun is always
shining, but not known through the storm clouds. When ignorance is destroyed,
the Atman is realized, like a missing ornament being found on one’s own neck.

45. As a tree stump at dusk may
appear from a distance to be a man, so does The Divine Creator Himself appear to
be a Person, an embodied soul, through ignorance. But when the real nature of
the individual is seen, ignorance is destroyed.

46. The knowledge that is
produced by a realization of the nature of Truth instantly destroys the
ignorance of the ‘concept’ of ‘I’ and ‘Mine’, just as a wrong notion about
directions can be corrected by accurate data.

47. The realized man who has the
true knowledge sees with his Eye of Wisdom that the entire Universe is his own
Identity as One Divine Reality.

48. This entire objective world
is truly the Atman and nothing but the Atman. 
We should see all as the Spirit, even as we see all ceramic goods as
clay.

49. Truly, the man who is
liberated while alive, gives up his previous traits of character and attains the
state of Reality, Consciousness, Bliss-like the caterpillar who learns to fly.

50. After crossing the ocean of
delusion in the ship of Wisdom, and killing the sea-monsters of passion,
hostility, and greed, the liberated man shines, united with Peace, exalting in
the Sweetness and Bliss of the Atman.

51. He who has renounced
attachment to all external, illusory happiness, and is satisfied with the Bliss
coming from the Atman, ever shines within, like a lamp covered with a clean,
clear glass chimney.

52. Still retaining his outer
bodies, the contemplative one is untainted by them.  Though he knows everything, he remains unaltered under all
conditions, and moves about unattached like the wind.

53. When the material coverings
of the Atman have been destroyed, the contemplative one is totally absorbed into
the all-pervading Universal Sustainer, as water into water, space into space,
and light into light.

54. Realize That to be the
Source, the attainment of which leaves nothing to be obtained, the happiness of
which leaves no other happiness to be desired, and the knowledge of which leaves
nothing more to be known.

55. Realize That to be the
Source which when seen, there is nothing else to be seen, which having become,
there is no more rebirth in this world, and having known, there is nothing else
to be known.

56. Realize That to be the
Source which fills East, West, North, South, and above and below, which is the
non-dual Existence, Knowledge, Bliss and which is endless, eternal, and One.

57. Realize that to be the
Source which is Non-dual, Indivisible, One and Blissful! Realize That by the
culmination of all Scripture, which by negation logically deduces the nature of
the Source.

58. The concept of a Creator,
and the ideal as any other deity, permits only a particle of the unbroken,
perfect bliss of the Source, which is proportioned among them.

59. All objects are pervaded by
the Source; all actions are possible because of the Source. The Source permeates
everything like butter in fresh milk.

60. Realize that to be the
Source which is neither subtle nor gross, neither short nor long, birthless and
changeless, without form, qualities, status or name.

61. Realize That to be the
Source by whose light shine the sun and the other luminous orbs, which cannot be
illuminated by their own light, and by whose light all this Universe shines.

62. Pervading the entire
Universe inwardly and outwardly, the Source shines of Itself, as the fire that
heats a red-hot iron ball shines of itself.

63. The Source is other than the
Universe, but there is nothing that is not the Source. If anything appears to be
other than the Source, it is an illusion like a mirage in the desert.

64. All that is seen, all that
is heard, is the Source and nothing else. After attaining the knowledge of
Reality, all is perceived as the Non-dual Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, which
is the Source.

65. The Atman as pure
Consciousness is present everywhere, but can be perceived by the Eye of Wisdom
only. But he who has the eye of ignorance cannot see the shining Atman any more
than a blind man can see the brilliant sun.

66. Freed from all impurities by
being heated in the Wisdom Fire which has been kindled by Hearing, Reflecting,
and Meditating, the individual shines of itself like purified gold.

67. Truly, the Atman, the Sun of
Wisdom, which rises in the sky of the heart, destroys the darkness of ignorance,
pervading all and supporting all, shines and causes everything to shine.

68. He who renouncing all
activities is not subservient to direction, place and time, worshipping at the
Sacred Shrine of the his own Omnipresent, Stainless Atman which destroys heat
and cold and is Eternal Bliss, becomes all-knowing, all-pervading and immortal.

 

 

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Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary is an intimate portrait celebrating two very complex, controversial characters in an epic friendship that shaped a generation. In the early 1960’s, Harvard Psychology Professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Dr.… ∞
awake-in-the-dream.jpg Awake in the Dream
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Awake explores the crucial question - what can we do to wake up? Discover how we can be whole again, how we can heal ourselves and the environment we live in, and how we can leave the cocoons of our perception to face our own selfishness and fears. source
the-business-of-recovery.jpg The Business of Recovery
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The Business of Recovery examines the untold billions that are being made off of families in crisis. With little regulation or science, addiction treatment has become a cash cow business that continues to grow while deaths pile up. source
dreamcatcher.jpg Dreamcatcher
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Academy Award-nominee and Golden Globe-winner Morgan Freeman ("The Sum of All Fears," "Along Came A Spider") stars in this supernatural thriller from the master of horror, Stephen King, with a screenplay by Academy Award-winner William Goldman ("Absolute Power," "All The President's Men"). Tom Sizemore ("Saving Private Ryan," "Heat") and Donnie… ∞