Sunday, June 3, 2007

As often as you become aware of vasanas rising, ask: to whom do they come?

Annamalai Swami: Initially, abidance in the Self may not be firm and irreversible. Vigilance may be needed to maintain it.

There is a verse in Kaivalya Navaneeta that Bhagavan often quoted. It speaks of the need for vigilance even after the Self has been experienced for the first time. In this verse the disciple is speaking to his Guru:

'Lord, you are the reality remaining as my inmost Self, ruling me during all my countless incarnations! Glory to you who have put on an external form to instruct me. I do not see how I can repay your grace for having liberated me. Glory! Glory to your holy feet!'

The Guru replies:

'To stay fixed in the Self without the three kinds of obstacles [ignorance, uncertainty and wrong knowledge] obstructing your experience, is the highest return you can render me.'

The Guru knows that without vigilance, an initial experience of the Self may slip away.

Q: Why is this experience not enough?

Annamalai Swami: If vasanas are still there, they will rise up again and the experience will be lost. While they are there, there is always the possibility that we may again take the unreal to be real.

If we take the mirage to be real water, that is ignorance. Similarly, if we take the unreal body to be the Self, that is also ignorance. As soon as ignorance comes, you must question it. 'To whom does this ignorance come?' A strong determination to pursue enquiry in this way will dissolve all doubts. By questioning 'Who am I?' and by constantly meditating, one comes to the clarity of being.

As long as vasanas continue to exist they will rise and cover the reality, obscuring awareness of it. As often as you become aware of them, question, 'To whom do they come?' This continuous enquiry will establish you in your own Self and you will have no further problems. When you know that the snake of the mind never existed, when you know that the rope of reality is all that exists, doubts and fears will not trouble you again.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, edited by David Godman

for some more of Kaivalya Navaneeta, see

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