Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tract on Individual Consciousness (atman)

Integral Consciousness working through the individual with the individual as its centre is known as individual consciousness. It is called atma on account of fluxes; when its rests in its purity, it is called paramatman.

Buddhi, ahankara, manas and sense organs serve as the apparatus of its functioning. Knowledge of this consciousness remains confined to the modes of its psychic apparatus while its desires are normally linked with the pleasures of sense objects. Under their fascination, it wanders from one form of existence to another.

Bondage is mainly due to lack of discernment between one’s real nature and the accretions settled on it.

Pleasure is a manifestation of the innate blissfulness of the Self. The bliss gets diluted into pleasure due to the limitation of the senses acting as the channel of its manifestation. Feeling of outer pleasure comes from the objects of senses while inner pleasure comes from getting what one wants.

Its desires are associated with the pleasures of sense objects. On account of their influence, it wanders from one form of existence to another.

Pain is a miserable state that arises when one fails to get what he wants or loses something which is dear to him. Main types of pain are: dullness and hurt on the pride of self, caste, creed, nation, etc.

Delusion is false identification with the body or consideration for it as something permanent. The delusion gets magnified when one identifies oneself with the objects in the world outside. Darkness is hate for all who harm oneself or one’s family or torture or hate one’s body. Binding darkness is the fear of death.

This consciousness is not a series of sparks of nerves and neurons but a limited formation of the integral consciousness as such, acting as the perceiver.

Ignorance of the true nature of consciousness is the factor of limitation on account of which the knowledge becomes shorn of wholeness. It is of two types, one in considering the real self as the not-self and the other in taking not-self as the real self.

Conditioning of consciousness to limitations of individuality is bondage. The limitation is threefold, caused first by self-concealment, the second by the space-time continuum and the third by ideation.

Penetration into the shades of meaning of words by the listener brings feelings of sorrow, pride, joy and passion to his mind and not only deprives him of the inner integrality of consciousness, but also turns him extrovert.

Exposure of the child indiscriminately to various happenings around it proves confusing to it and arouses in it fantasies and fears which are quite avoidable.

Under the scheme of Yoga, faculties of right discernment and constant awareness should be developed in the child right from the very beginning. This, if followed properly, would give rise to the kind of wisdom which would withstand the onslaught of forces adverse to it.

Entry into pure consciousness is transformatory of one’s being by bringing constancy within and dynamism without, as also by giving rise to virtues such as compassion, love, non-violence, etc.

The veilment ideation is five types, namely, sense-ideation born out of pleasures of senses, parental conditioning, religious conditioning, societal conditioning and political conditioning.

These ideations are acquired from an early formative age. Of these conditioning Matrka or Vac is the presiding deity. She is called Matrka because she is unknown that brings about knowledge in limited form. Such knowledge is subtle or in a concretely expressed form because words are the basis of all limited knowledge hence one is deprived of the inner non-difference since without ceasing for a moment one’s knowledge is turned outward.

Ideational limitations can be overcome through the practice of mantra yoga as also through right thinking and proper discernment.

One automatically seeks to be in tune with the ananda inherently present in the integral consciousness, but gets derailed in his search for it due to the limitations of his consciousness and starts expecting for it from somewhere outside himself.

Such a conditioned individual is called in yogic terminology atman, jiva, citta-pramatta, pasu, anu, puryastaka, citta, etc.

Yogic techniques played an important role in ancient Indian education which emphasised that the body is the temple of the consciousness and should be respected, maintained properly. Thus, life is a privilege offered to an individual to enjoy and grow in consciousness and by no means is a state of bondage to groan under nor is a curse to suffer nor is it given to throw away carelessly.

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