581 – Atma deepo bhava

Be your own light.

Heraclitus’s famous analogy of life to a river: “Upon those who step into the same rivers, different and ever different waters flow down.” Heraclitus was an ancient Greek philosopher. The central idea of his philosophy was the unity of opposites and the concept of change. He observed the world as being in a state of constant flux. Nothing remains the same and the world is impermanent. It is changing continuously. Our ignorance is responsible for this false perception. Adi Shankara calls this ignorance avidya and to remove this we need that light, which is from within.

Kabir has explained this in one of his couplets that says, “like oil in the sesame seed, and fire in the flintstone, your enlightenment is inside you.”

Buddha’s last teaching was finding your path and guide yourself with your own light. Self-awareness is the way and how does one accomplish this. Swami Satyananda Saraswati described awareness as functioning through forms of passion, greed, memory, pain, pleasure, ignorance and avidya. These responses are impressions, and one has to practice pratyahara (sensory withdrawal).

Withdraw from the mind

Now awareness is disassociated from these feelings, emotions and attitudes. The next stage is to withdraw from the mind and this means to not respond to memories. When this is possible the next stage is dharana (concentration), fixing the mind on an object after pratyahara. The object can be the sun, moon, star, deity or a dot. The practice to follow here is Ajapa japa, spontaneous meditation from the heart, which I have written about earlier.

Awareness is on the breath with the mantra So Ham. So is inhalation, pause, Ham is exhalation, pause. So, Ham is the sound of the natural breath. Initially a daily sadhana of 20 minutes will enable one to merge the consciousness with breath awareness. The mind becomes prana and the prana become mind. They operate as one entity. This will result in self-awareness and one can practice whenever one is free.

Be humble and start with baby steps. When we are infants, we go from one milestone to the next. Now as adults we are gently treading on the path to self-awareness with our heart and understanding.

Aim Hrim Klim


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *