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Understanding Thoughts with Self Enquiry

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Q&A with Sirshree

Seeker: How can we continuously do “self enquiry”? It is but natural for thoughts to arise. They are bound to come. In such a situation, what do we do?

Understanding Thoughts with Self Enquiry

Understanding Thoughts with Self Enquiry

Sirshree: This enquiry is not difficult at all if one understands it properly. Whenever any other thought arises, ask yourself ‘to whom has this thought arisen?’ (Who is the thinker?). It doesn’t matter how many thoughts come to you. When you ask this to yourself (to whom has this thought occurred?), an answer might occur to you, “This thought has occurred to me”. Immediately ask yourself, “Who is this me?”, “Who am I?”. Then you will be thrown back to yourself. When you ask yourself, “Who is this me?” or “Who am I? “, then do not give the answer in words. Don’t answer from the intellect… ‘I am consciousness’, ‘I am self ‘, etc. Beyond these answers, beyond the intellect – one has to experience the feeling – one’s being – the feeling of “sense of presence”. Reaching the experience of the true self is the real answer to this question. In this way, every time, every thought… will take you back to your true self. Right now, if you are getting this thought that “I am not understanding this”, then ask… “who is it that is not understanding?”. If I have not understood, then who… who… who…? Immediately you will see that thoughts disappear for some moments. You become thoughtless. Only the self remains. In this way, by repeatedly contacting your true self, the mind will weaken and the light of consciousness will shine. The mind will learn to stay at its source by repeating this process. By dipping into the self again and again, the mind shall dissolve. It is like the story of the dolls made out of salt. They wanted to dive into the sea to measure its depth, they themselves got dissolved before reaching the bottom.

Seeker: Are there no other ways to quieten the mind?

Sirshree: Quietening of the mind is not the destination; it is just one of the steps. If after quietening of the mind, the required understanding is not achieved, the whole purpose is lost. This understanding does not arise through other methods. Some people try to quieten the mind by regulating their breath (pranayama). Or through chanting of mantras. In all these methods, one does feel that the mind has become quiet for some time. However, the mind returns back after some time with the same old understanding. The doubts of the mind appear again . The mind’s thoughts continue to trouble us. When someone focuses the mind on the gap between two breaths, then also the mind shall become quiet. One feels that along with the breath, the mind too has stopped. In deep sleep, even while the breathing is going on, the mind is quiet, it even ceases to exist. It is therefore, better if we can be on our source while breathing is taking place normally. Self enquiry achieves this naturally.

Seeker: Since there is no end to thoughts, how long should one continue “self enquiry”?

Sirshree:  Do this enquiry until you find out your true identity, as long as your concepts about yourself don’t dissolve. One of the root concept is that you are the body, the moment such concepts / beliefs dissolve, self-enquiry will end because then you would have stabilized on your self. You would have become a sthithpragnya (one who is stabilized in truth). After that, even if there are thoughts, you would have understood that they are separate from you. You are witnessing those thoughts. Thoughts are in your body-mind mechanism. This machine is just a mirror which makes you aware of yourself. If there are thoughts happening to this mirror, then how can they trouble you? The mirror always does its work. It always reveals your presence to you. (It means it always makes you aware of your awareness). Practising self-enquiry and thus being established in oneself is the highest devotion of all. Eliminating thoughts the moment they arise by the process of self-enquiry is the truest sacrifice of all.

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