Saturday, June 02, 2007

Forget All!

Often the path must be paradoxical by nature, apparently
contradicting itself in order to point out the truth. The following
is a perfect example of that. It is a quote from the Ashtavakra
Samhita (or Gita)

'My son, you may recite or listen to countless scriptures, but you
will not be established within until you can FORGET EVERYTHING.' 16.1

So, how would you know this unless you read the scripture (Ashtavakra
Samhita) which tells you not to read scripture? Actually, it doesn't
tell you not to read scripture, but rather forget all. Often, reading
scripture (or other spiritually oriented matter) becomes a pastime to
escape the Reality. After all, the scripture is still in the dream
world. Who is reading it? Who is contemplating it? This was Ramana's
constant question. A large percentage of the time when a question
was asked of him, he pointed the questioner back to them-Selves by
posing, "Who is asking the question?" The moment you recognize the I
Am or I-I of the questioner, the question becomes superfluous. The
scripture acts in the same way. In effect, it immediately says, 'Stop
what you are doing and look within, reverse the vector of attention
to that which is Aware, which is Awareness Itself. Forget everything
you think you know and look at the knower.'

A few verses later, the Ashtavakra reiterates in a different way:

'If even Shiva, Vishnu or the lotus-born Brahma were your instructor,
until you have FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING you cannot be established within.' 16.11

It doesn't matter who the teacher is, what the teaching is, where it
comes from, the lineage, or anything else...forget all!

At the end of the most well-known Gita (Bhagavad Gita), Krishna gives
his final instruction: 'Abandon all varieties of dharma and go to the
shelter of Me alone.' 18.66

The word dharma, traditionally thought of as religious truth, comes
from the Sanskrit root 'dhr' to hold or grasp, so in essence Krisna
is saying the same thing - forget everything and simply take refuge
in Me (or the I Am).

How does one do this? By inquiring into the 'I'. Who am I? What am
I? What is this I-ness? Who is Aware? What is Aware? Where is it
located?.....whatever points you to the recognition or REAL-I-zation
of Self as infinite Awareness. Whenever a question or thought comes
up, IMMEDIATELY return back to the 'Who is aware of it?' All else
will pull you off into all variety of spiritual, philosophical,
ontological and hoary questions which ultimately can never be
answered by the mind anyway. And as the Ashtavakra also says:

'What man is there who, having observed the diversity of opinions
among the great seers, saints, and yogis, and becoming completely
indifferent to learning, does not attain quietude?' 9.5

Every teacher, every teaching, has a slightly different 'take' on the
process. Yes, they all point, ultimately, to the same thing, but some
more directly than others; some more clearly than others; and some
may get past your filters better than others. But the moment you
start questioning the whys and wherefors, you're off in the tangle of
mental conceptions and ideas. Who are these arising to? Remember,
Self REAL-I-zation is about nothing other than the recognition of
Self, recognizing What you have eternally been. That requires no
understanding other than the recognition of that and abiding as that
(NOT the intellectual understanding of that).

So, now that you've read this.....FORGET IT! And Abide as the SELF.