All of this is required for any serious meditation practice. Second, we must learn to sustain a moment-by-moment awareness. This begins by regular meditation practices morning and evening, mantra and certain spiritual qualities, particularly astute powers of attention, concentration and detached observation. This leads us to the practice of Self-inquiry, tracing the I-thought

to its origins in the heart. One asks the question “Who am I?” and follows its examination deep within the heart and inner conscious- ness. One inquires into the nature of the pure “I am” beyond the õô ^ôõ

ô ^ôõ 3ô ô S 5 3 ô õ U 3ô K ' ô

then looks into the nature of the pure “I am,” beyond the self of the dream state, which holds our desires and wishes. Finally, one looks into the pure “I am” beyond the self of deep sleep, confronting the ignorance behind our lives and recognizing our true identity as pure consciousness. The true Self we are seeking is not the self of the waking state, but

the Self behind waking, dream and deep sleep. Normally we seek re- alization for our physical, wakeful self, which is but a dream and an illusion. True spiritual practice begins when we set the waking self and outer waking world aside as unreal and learn to look within, re- moving the deeper veils of consciousness. Energizing the entire Aum vibration is a great aid in this process.

Aum is the bow, our Self-awareness is the arrow, and Brahman or the transcendent state, is the target or goal, as the Mundaka Upanishad says. Another method is total surrender to the Deity, known as Ishvara

pranidhana in the Yoga Sutras, and as prapatti in later devotional thought. This can be aided by mantra or prac- ticed purely as the highest attitude of devotion.

Other People Just as we ordinarily look at ourselves according to the waking reality only, we do the same with others, regarding them mainly in terms of their wak- ing reality, which is when we actively are engaged with them. We should remember that each person and each creature undergoes these four states each day, just as we do. When you look at others, try to remember that they are also more than their waking selves. They also merge back into deep sleep and the primordial reality every day. While we are physically separate, we are all one in the state of deep sleep. When we reach the fourth state, turiya, we become one with all, and go beyond all bodily limitation and separations in consciousness.

Dreams & the Astral World From the teachings of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami


n the inner worlds, inner universe, there is a life not unlike this one that we experience as a jiva, but far more com- plete, intricate, logical and much more advanced. Within this world, the Antarloka, there are great schools where students

gather to learn of a more productive future that they can participate in creating when they incarnate. Here they mix and mingle with other souls whose physical bodies are sleeping and whom they will work and cooperate with during their next cycle of birth. It is a well- planned-out universe, both the outer universe and the inner universe. The value of sleep for the person on the path is to gain the abil-

ity to bypass the lower dream state and soar deeper within to these inner-plane schools. This is done by the repetition of mantras, japa yoga, just before sleep, after relaxing the body through hatha yoga and diaphragmatic breathing. When japa is well performed and the sincere desire is maintained

to transcend the forces of the physical body and enter into the as- tral schools of learning, the aspirant would have dreamless nights. A deep sleep would prevail. There may be a few seconds of dreaming just before awakening, to which one should not pay any attention, as the astral body quickly reenters the physical. But a deep, dreamless sleep is in itself an indicator that the purusha is totally detached from the physical forces and totally intact and functioning in the Devaloka. SHOULD DREAMS BE REMEMBERED? It is almost traditional in

many cultures to try to remember one’s dreams, and dreamologists will even interpret them for you. This all borders close to the realm of superstition and is far less desirable for spiritual growth than oth- er more pragmatic types of practices. A beginner on the path, or even one in the intermediate phase, should endeavor to forget dreams and 3

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There is actually a time, on the yoga marga, after the charya and kriya 48 hinduism today april/may/june, 2017

margas have been well mastered and passed through, that the remembrance ôX3 õ ô

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ful, but this would only be between the guru and the shishya. It may be beneficial for those un-

der the guidance of a satguru to write them down each morning upon aris- ing and put them at his holy feet at the end of each month. This would be strictly a guru-shishya training re- lationship and for a specified period of time, not more than four months. It might be scary, even disheartening, for you to do this for yourself. And satgu- rus would recommend that you forget your dreams upon awakening, for if re- membered they may bring that reality into the awakened reality and produce experiences you would not want to experience. We want to forget bad dreams as

quickly as possible, lest by remembering them through the conscious mind we impress them in the immediate subconscious and make them manifest in daily life. To think about a bad dream is to create. To forget it is to avoid creating. Therefore, if you have the slightest worry about dreams and are not directly under a guru’s guidance on a daily basis, it is best to let them slide by and consider them un- important and not a part of you, as you would consider a television program to be.

a. manivel

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