Step 17

Silencing the mind leads to a clean mind

“Truth is like vast space without entrance or exit. There is nothing more, nor nothing less. Foolish people limit themselves, covering their eyes, but truth is never hidden. Some attend lectures trying to grasp truth in the words of others. Some accumulate books trying to dig truth from the pile of trash. They are both wrong.

A few of the wiser ones may learn meditation in their effort to reach an inner void. They chose the void rather than outer entanglements, but it is still the same old dualistic trick. Just think non-thinking if you are a true Hindu student. “There you do not know anything, but you are with everything. There is neither choice nor preference, and dualism will vanish by itself. But if you stop moving and hold quietness, that quietness is ever in motion. If children make a noise, you will scold them loudly so that the situation is worse than before. Just forget and ignore the noise, and you will attain peace of mind. When you forget your liking and disliking, you will get a glimpse of oneness. The serenity of this middle way is quite different from the inner void”. The mind mirror illuminates all ingenuously. Its penetrating, limitless rays reach everywhere in the universe. Without exception everything is reflected In this mirror.The whole universe is a gem of light beyond the terms of in and out.

“Vedanta transcends time and space. Ten thousand years are nothing but a thought after all. What you have seen is what you had in the whole world. If your thought transcends time and space, you will know that the smallest thing is large and the largest thing is small; that being is non-being and non-being is being. Without such experience you will hesitate to do anything. If you can realize that one is many, and many are one, your journey will be completed.

“Faith and mind-essence are not separate from each other. You will see only the ‘not two.’ The ‘not two’ is the faith. The ‘not two’ is the mind essence. There is no other way but silence to express it properly. This silence is not the past. This silence is not the present. This silence is not the future.”

When an advaidic student sees emptiness one-sidedly,they are likely to ignore the law of causation, then live aimlessly with impure thoughts and wrong actions. This idea is morbid as they deny the existence of anything, but admit an entity of emptiness. To escape drowning, they have thrown themselves into the fire. To “see emptiness onesidedly” is to give another name to relativity, phenomenality or nothingness. When you deny the existence of anything, this of course includes the existence of emptiness. There is order; there is the law of causation. The use of the word “emptiness” implies that which cannot be spoken.

One who rejects delusions to search for truth, may achieve skill in discrimination, but such a student will never reach enlightenment. Because they mistake the enemy for their own child. Some Christians admire an angel but hate a devil. Some Confucians pine for the ancient kingdom but complain of the present government. All of them attempt to take hold of the true by abandoning the false. They struggle endlessly, but never attain true peacefulness. Vedanta students who try to reach truth by rejecting delusions are making the same mistake. Learn silence and work on constantly in silence, to see clearly what the mind is.

People miss the spiritual treasure and lose merit because they depend on dualistic thinking and neglect the essence of mind. To pass through the gate of Advita one must correct this error. Then one can attain the wisdom to enter the palace of Moksha. Buddhists often refer to the ‘seven treasures’ (paramitas), which are faith, perseverance, listening, humility, precepts, self surrender, and meditation and wisdom. Meditation and wisdom are considered as one, inner cultivation and outer illumination. To acquire these seven treasures one must first of all see Mind-Essence clearly, just as Aladdin had first to find the lamp before he could produce other wonders.

A Rishi once said, “Sages and sentient beings both grow out of One Mind, and there is no reality other than this Mind. Only because we seek it outwardly in a world of form, the more we seek, the farther away it moves from us. To make Sage seek after himself, or to make Mind take hold of itself, this is impossible to the end of eternity. We do not realize that as soon as our thoughts cease and all attempts at forming ideas are forgotten, the Rishis are revealed before us.”

I realize some of these readings are a bit challenging for us. In some ways we have much in common with students of the past; there are qualities we all share in the journey. However, we live in times of rapid change; a planet that is beginning to feel our impact much more intensely; and often we find ourselves in cultures that seem to be going in the opposite direction to a life of sincere practice. This only gives our search a kind of intensity that students of old found in other ways.

We are the embodiment, each day, of the code and values of a different vision of life here on this planet. Even if everything around us seems to be spinning out of control, each day, we sit, we give our best to each situation that we encounter, and realize we are the thread of seekers that continues down through the ages since the time of Rishis and way before that.

So, even if the readings at times seems to be too heady or difficult even to comprehend, let them wash through you and rest confidant that you, too, are a student of the Vedanta. The impact of each teaching is like a seed that will put down roots and spring to life all in its own time.

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