Purification of the Buddhi and Self-Sadhana: By Tony O’Clery
Purification of the Buddhi, or the individualised version of the universal Mahat, is necessary for spiritual progress. The Buddhi is an aspect of the Vijnanamayakosha or Awareness Sheath, it is the Inner Mind or Antahkarana. When it is turned inwards it pierces through Maya and leads to Moksha or Liberation. When it is turned outward it only succeeds in enhancing the power of the Lower Mind or Manamayakosha. This part of the mind is turned out to desires and satisfaction of the senses. A Buddhi turned outwards is a distortion of its function. For man can manipulate his mind to enjoy the senses, out of season, so to speak. Unlike the animal,which only operates instinctively within its Dharma.
I will briefly talk about the five koshas and how this purification process works. It is a reversal of consciousness as we know it, to its “Natural” State. The five koshas are the ANNAMAYA, PRANAMAYA, MANOMAYA, JNANAMAYA, ANANDAMAYA KOSHAS. THAT IS THE FOOD, ENERGY, MIND, AWARENESS OR INTELLECTUAL, BLISS OR CAUSAL SHEATHS.
These Sheaths all relate to different planes of consciousness of course. The first thing you have to do when washing dirty clothes is loosen the dirt first then you can wash the clothes.
This is all illusion, for example do you get involved in a tv show? Do you feel for the person suffering? Well this world is also an illusion, why get involved in it? Feel compassion but do not get attached.
We must start self-sadhana by purifying the food sheath and work our way up so to speak. We purify the food sheath by regulating our food and avoiding tamasic food and meat. Eating meat means we absorb bad vibrations plus we are sending billions of Jivas to the subtle world many of which are born again as humans. Billions of people were these animals in their last lives and they bring their resentment of human beings with them. The resentment of their bad treatment and having their lives cut short. Hence this contributes to violence, mass slaughters and so on. People don’t realise this, and they wonder why kids kill kids or there are massacres like Rwanda.
We purify the energy sheath by controlling our desires. This is also connected to the mind sheath where desires and attachment to the senses have to be controlled. The important sheath in this process is the awareness sheath which is part and parcel of the Buddhi, and controls and guides the lower sheaths particularly the mind. Intelligence isn’t awareness, some geniuses are spiritually ignorant and unaware.
The Guru. “SPARSHAN, DARSHAN AND SAMBHASHAN”.That is awareness of His presence, receiving the impact of His Divinity and assimilating and actualising His teaching, not just seeing,touching and listening.
Darshan is the Insight of Divine Beauty acquired from meditation. Sparshan means the installation of the lotus feet, and all that means, in one’s heart. Sambharshan means praying
directly before Him and listening to His response before the inner altar of one’s heart. Meditation in other words.
Only a deserving Shisya gets a proper Guru; Gita 4:39.40 and Sankara’s Viveka Chudamani 19,20 and 363. So Buddhi should control the mind and not the reversal.S.S. and Gita 2:62.Gita 9:22. It is said that desire (for purification or Liberation) without effort is useless, Self-Sadhana purifies our impulses. “Manas Sathyate Shuddhate”. Only Truth can purify and sublimate the mind.
To achieve this purification there are four exercises:
1) Swadhaya,that is reading spiritual books, bhajan, satsang, to make us aware of the Atma.
2) Japa, this should go on unceasingly, be aware and only come out into the world when it is necessary. To think of ‘God’ at death is very difficult, if you haven’t practiced the Name all your waking life. It is better to start at about eight or nine years of age. Some people die and don’t even realise they have died, others get distracted at the last moment, or are confused by the memories of their life. It is not so easy to be like Ghandiji and remember Rama as we die. Nobody experiences death for one is unconscious. Except if you are a Yogi then there is no death of course. Sankara says death is being separated from our desires.
3) Homa, Japa becomes Homa, offer all activities to The Lord all day long.Don’t offer Grace just for meals, Brahmarpnam is to purify our inner being for all is food for the senses.
4) Brahmiya Kriyate Tanuhu. A Divine Inner Body.
Finally this inner balance leads to purification of the Buddhi. Cessation of the mind is the goal.
The Buddhi is not present in deep sleep just the thought “I am sleeping”, we must purify even that thought and become God. Once we have stilled all thought we are God, we enter the fourth or Turiya stage of consciousness.
See all as God, Do all as God.This is through DAYA, KSHAMA AND SHANTI; Compassion, Forgiving those that trespass against us, and Peace to all, all is God. Love, Love, Love, Prema, Prema, Prema. All is One! This is were helping others comes in for it lessens our preoccupation with ourselves and therefore weakens the ego sense,and helps expand our vision.
“KOHAM, SOHAM.Who am I? I am He!” Drive the thought inward to the Universal “I”. By eliminating the illusion of an individual ego. “I” is that background feeling of awareness that suffuses everything.
All these exercises are to purify one’s Buddhi so that one may have one-pointedness and achieve Liberation, or loss of illusion and Moha. For a purified Buddhi is essentially a state of no mind, which is Liberation. Love is the answer, infuse our thoughts!
“When a stage is reached that one feels deeply that whatever is being done is happening and one has not got anything to do with it,then it becomes such a deep conviction that whatever is happening is not happening really; And that whatever seems to be happening is also an illusion.” -Sri Nisagardatta Maharaj.
We move from thinking we are our own thought, to realising we are God’s thought and eventually we realise there was no thought at all, just Bliss.
The image was taken by Duncan Lyons in England, 2002.