The Meditation Technique of Contemplation


An excerpt from whosoever’s latest book, ‘Shivoham Shivoham’.

adi shankara

let it be kabir, nanak, osho – or, whoever they may be,
we only listen to what they say… at the most, believe in what
they say. after believing, the matter gets over. thinking and
contemplating after listening, then cultivating or adapting
after the thinking and contemplation, is very important.
however, we only listen but never think and
contemplate over what they have said… forget about cultivating or adapting
after thinking and contemplation.

so this has to be found out – whether all the pleasures
are false, all the sorrows also are false – in
reality. if it is so, then what is real? now there are only two
things – either there is happiness, or there is misery. when
this has been heard, that happiness and misery, both are
false, then it is necessary to think and contemplate
that when i am miserable, is it false? and
when i am happy, is that also false?

those who know, they say that misery is false,
as well as pleasure. and then what remains? what
remains, only that is real. what remains is the very subject
of search of the aspirants, of the seekers of truth.
possibly, we are also here in search of that.

na mantro na teertham na veda na yajnah
means: not the mantrãs, the holy places, the holy scriptures,
or the offerings to god. sankara says: all these i am not.

aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhoktã
meaning: i am not the food, neither the eatables,
nor the enjoyer of food. in the beginning, shankara talks
about the gross experiences of joy and sorrow, now he is
talking about the subtle experiences. he is saying: neither
i am the food which can be consumed, nor i am the enjoyer
who consumes the food. not only that, the pleasure, the
satisfaction, which is experienced after eating the food,
that too i am not – because, what can be seen, known,
understood or experienced, i cannot be that.

na mai mrityushankã na mai jãtibhedah
meaning: neither i am the fear of death, nor the
racial discrimination. shankara is now talking about
more subtle experiences. he is saying: leave aside every-
thing, i am not even the fear which occurs at the moment of
death; because the fear of death is also a preconceived idea.
further he says, i am also not the racial discrimination.

it may be the distinction between the sexes, distinction
between man-woman, distinction between religion or caste
and creed – or it may be any other distinction – i am
beyond all types of distinctions, convictions,
beliefs, concepts and imaginations.

the essence of what shankara is saying is:
whatever can be seen, known, understood and
experienced, i cannot be that.

pitã naiva mai naiva mãtã na janma
meaning: neither i have a father, nor mother ; neither i
am born. is it not too much ! isn’t it a heart shattering, mind
blowing statement? can you accept that neither you are
born, nor you have any mother-father? the sayings
of shankara are becoming from gross to
subtle, from subtler to subtlest.

that is how thinking and contemplation happens;
this is the practice of neti-neti; not this, not this. this is
neti-neti: the meditation technique of contemplation –
discarding one by one all that which can be seen, known,
understood and experienced. after discarding all, whatever
remains, that actually am i. and shankara expresses that
in these words – chidãnandarupah shivoham shivoham,
i.e., i am of the nature of consciousness and bliss,
which is the pure existence – sacchidãnanda.

remember well! being cannot be separated from
consciousness, consciousness from bliss, the bliss from
the being. listening to the teachings of awakened one’s may
be pleasing, but without experiencing them, how difficult
it becomes to accept and adopt them? anyway, we will
continue to think and contemplate over these
teachings, during these ten days.

pitã naiva mai naiva mãtã na janma
meaning: neither i have a father, nor a mother;
neither i am born. this does not mean that when you
return home, you tell your parents: you people are not my
mother-father ! [laughter] or tell your children that we are
not your parents, because shankara says so… and
gurudevam has also supported it. [laughter] this can only
be said by those who know. and this is not a matter to assert
or declare that neither i have a father, nor a mother; neither
i am born. this is only a matter of knowing the truth; and the
knowing must not be based on hearsay, but on experience.

na bandhurna mitram gururnaiva shishyah
this means: am neither a brother, nor a friend ;
neither a master, nor a disciple – moreover, nobody
is my master; nor i am anybody’s disciple. we see the
person, we see the body, we don’t see that which
dwells within the body, but is not the body.

shankara is talking about that, which is beyond the
body; which does not have any form, colour or shape.

when you take someone as your guru,
as your master, you consider him to be a person, that is
because you believe yourself to be a person, who has some
identity but he only can be a guru, who has lost his identity,
his individuality – in every way; who has known that he is not
a person, but that nameless, formless pure consciousness,
which has become one with the universal consciousness.

from outside, a guru appears to you as if he is a body,
but when he looks at himself, he finds that no
identity of any sort is possible for him.

that’s why i often say that even for a moment,
the real sadguru never feels that he is a guru; he finds
himself beyond all identities, which have been mentioned
above; he finds himself free from the name and form,
which is the foundation of an identity.

guru appears to us a physical form, a body, but not
even a single line of the body can touch him,
he is transcendental to the body.

in the absence of the experience, it is not only
difficult, but extremely impossible to understand
that neither he is within the body, nor without the body;
the law of inter-related opposites does not apply to him.

he is beyond the inter-related opposites like inner
and outer; he dwells in his natural, spontaneous, form-
less, optionless state; he is beyond the three gunãs, means
three qualities, known as sattva, rajas and tamas; he is even
beyond turiyã – the fourth state; he abides in turiyãteet state.

aham nirvikalpo nirãkãrarupah
vibhutvãcha sarvatra sarvendriyãnãm
meaning: i having no form, am free of choices,
prevalent in all senses. that which has a form, that which
has a shape, cannot pervade everywhere, because the form
creates the very boundary; when there is no boundary, only
then there is omnipresence. i have no alternative, i am
completely choiceless. i cannot be even compared
with anyone, because every-where only i am;
there is nothing other than myself.

vibhutvãcha sarvatra sarvendriyãnãm
meaning: am everywhere, prevalent in all the senses.
what can be the meaning of this line? in the sixth and the last
couplet, shankara is saying that i am everywhere, prevalent
in all the senses; i am encamped in all the senses ;
i have not left any place, where i am not.

has shankara gone crazy? is it possible?
he is saying that i am everywhere – omnipresent! am
prevalent in all the senses – in the eyes, ears, nose, mouth,
tongue, hair, head; everywhere there is only myself. first
he said – i am not this also, not that also; and now
he is saying – i am present everywhere !

a little thinking must be done, one should not agree
on hearing, should not conclude immediately. the sayings of
wise ones like shankara need deep thinking and contemp-
lation; only listening and believing them is not enough.

that’s why i tell you people again and again,
that if thinking needs to be done, then think properly
and consciously; make thinking and contemplation a
conscious meditation; just don’t let the thoughts flow,
think mindfully, consciously. if thinking needs to be
done, then think deeply over shankara’s utterances.

when shankara is saying that i prevail every-
where, there must be truth in it, must be a deeper meaning
to it. dive deep into that meaning. if shankara is capable of
realizing, succeeds in realizing, then why can’t we all realize?
he also must have had two eyes, two nostrils and two ears,
and we also have the same. whatever god had given him,
we also have been given. god never does partiality; what-
ever is god-given, has been given equally to all.

many of us have seen osho. he also had
the same components of the body, like ours. was
his body made of some special metal? was he not born
through mother-father? everything is the same… the only
difference is, that he became awakened, has known who truly
he is, has realized his true nature – and we? we carry the
potential of awakening and realization. but this much
is certain – we also can wake up, can realize.

before leaving the body, he had already told his
people, write on my shrine, on my samãdhi: OSHO NEVER
BORN, NEVER DIED. what would have been his purpose for
getting this written? apart from this that same is also
true for all of us; we also have to find that truth.

na chãsangato naiva muktirna bandhah
chidãnandarupah shivoham shivoham

meaning: detached from bondage and freedom, i am
of the nature of consciousness and bliss. shankara is saying
that not only i am beyond the bondage, am beyond the free-
dom too. those who know, they say that due to ignorance we
believe that we are bounded, actually we are not bounded;
bondage is just an imagination, a projection on actuality.

if someone imagines a snake for a rope –
lying on the way in dim light – projects a snake on
the rope, exactly like that, bondage is one’s projection.
and if the bondage is not there, then what is the meaning
of the search for freedom? if the bondage is imaginary, then
the freedom will also be imaginary. that’s why shankara says :

i am beyond both the so-called bondage and freedom,
and am always detached; nothing touches me; am that exist-
ence, which is filled with pure consciousness and
bliss; chidãnandarupah shivoham shivoham.

now you people tell me: why have we come here; why have
we gathered here – only to laugh, to enjoy? only to have fun?
laugh enough and enjoy a lot, have as much fun,
do anything you like, but remember well, that you have
also accepted the life of a seeker. so as a seeker, you have a
responsibility towards yourself. the responsibility is only
this much that think properly, contemplate, ponder
over, ask questions; don’t accept answers in
a hurry – because all answers are false.

as you have heard just now
chidãnandarupah shivoham shivoham
you don’t have to just listen or sing only, but have to dive
deep into its true meaning; also have to make constant effort
and practise it too… to realize, understand and experience it.

after hearing
chidãnandarupah shivoham shivoham
having memorised it too, have you got anything?
nothing at all! that’s why i assert again and again – the
map of bangalore is not bangalore! the map of mysore is
not mysore! but people are such that they start worshipping
the map itself – hã hã hã – that we have reached mysore !

an idol is placed in the temple, or in the house,
one immediately bows one’s head down in front of that,
offers flowers and fruits, burns an incense, rings the bell,
but does not know – why one does so!

agreed that it is an idol of some deity, some god, but
do you even know the meaning of being a deity or a god?

if someone else can be a deity, then why not you ?
actually, you are also a deity – possibly, asleep.

the moment you are awake, you are also that,
whom you are engaged in worshipping.

get awakened first, then you may bow down to yourself;
bow down in your own feet; offer flowers and fruits to
yourself; burn an incense, ring the bell also! [laughter]

but first wake up, be filled with awareness;
realize – who you are? what you are?
right? [laughter]

Excerpt from whosoever’s book Shivoham Shivoham
Read Haridas’ review

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