Skip to main content

The Meaning of Consciousness: A Deeper Understanding

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya!

The word ‘Consciousness,’ was not more than a spiritual term, until I came across a book that introduced me to its deeper meaning.
In one of my visits to Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, in the book store, I happened to pick up a book by Swami Ashokananda, “When the many become one.”  The title was nevertheless catchy and promised a detailed expression of the truth. It is a book very potent in knowledge and to be read slowly in order to grasp and digest the lofty truth that the words tried to portray.
The word ‘Consciousness,’ as the book revealed, is the simple fact that all objects existed in our own consciousness (i.e.), any object that we perceive is in our own consciousness.  They will have to remain in the field of our consciousness in order to exist.  In other words we will have to be conscious of objects, only then can they be perceived.
For example we perceive a glass only because we are conscious of it. We perceive an ant only because we are conscious of it. We perceive a man only because we are conscious of his presence. An ant can be crawling, but if we do not pay attention to it, it does not exist to us. Somebody may see it and tell us. It would then only be a reporting of someone and not our direct experience!
May be that’s why the Seers say that the whole Cosmos lies within us. We have to be even conscious of the sun, moon and the stars in order to perceive them.
Similarly our own body and mind lie within our consciousness.  We are conscious of our own body.  It hence struck to me we are not our body that we identify ourselves with, simply because there is a knower of this body!
The teachings of Ramana Maharshi, further threw light on the mind.
The Sage says that in deep sleep the mind is totally absent, as not in the case of when one is awake and when one is dreaming. (Our dreams present themselves in thought forms and hence that constitute the subtle working of the mind).  However when one wakes up after deep sleep, (where the mind is absent), one is aware that he had had a sound sleep. Hence there was essentially something alive and vibrant. Aconsciousness that revealed the experience of a deep sound sleep the following day.
Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya!







1 comment

THEY ALSO READ

Still Water....

The poem “Still Water” reflects Oneness, the Oneness in Stillness despite the apparent duality and movement. The drop in the ocean and the ocean in the drop is but water.



Stillness reigns, Drops of mind emerge and Drop back into the Ocean of Stillness. Every drop, a little ocean. In the stillness of the vast waters, Small whirlpools with each drop on the ocean’s breast, Still, still in the depths. Ocean in the drop, Drop in the ocean, All is water All is still, Stillness reigns, Stillness remains, Silently I am!

My Trip Alone To Ramanashram-Part II

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya

When the mind is worn out and weary, When it needs to be revived, To drink of your glory, The elixir of life Arunachala, the Mount of Grace, May the mind rest in your eternal embrace.
The turbulent mind
This time I rushed to the Master’s presence with a turbulent mind. On 7th October, peace seemed to be something very distant. I went round Bhagavan’s Samadhi over and over again for thoughts to slow down, which of course did. However the storm did not subside. Meditation was rather difficult as there was a counter thought, a worry, ‘the hankering for peace’.
On 8th morning the mind was totally worn out. It suddenly became averse to be engaged in any activity, be it to go round the master or to meditate in the meditation hall. It just dropped its movements. All of a sudden peace descended as I simply sat in the hall in front of the Mother’s shrine, where a black statue of Bhagavan is. Meditation later became fruitful.

The Tamil parayanam is what I really enjoy whic…

Musings on 'Never Mind the Mind' of Ramana Maharshi

The only burden that we have is the mind. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi asks one to "Never mind the mind". This saying (Talks - 97) of Bhagavan Ramana is popular among devotees. The conversation between Bhagavan Ramana and the devotee goes thus:
D.: How to control the mind? 

M.: What is mind? Whose is the mind? 

D.: Mind always wanders. I cannot control it. 

M.: It is the nature of the mind to wander. You are not the mind. The mind springs up and sinks down. It is impermanent, transitory, whereas you are eternal. There is nothing but the Self. To inhere in the Self is the thing. Never mind the mind. If its source is sought, it will vanish leaving the Self unaffected.

D.: So one need not seek to control the mind? 
M.: There is no mind to control if you realise the Self. The mind vanishing, the Self shines forth. In the realised man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him. For the mind, the body and the world are not separate from the Self. They rise from a…

Waking Up To Reality From The Three States Of Consciousness

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya

It is not some dry philosophy, but the day to day happening in each of our lives, from birth to death that we have missed to pay attention to-the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state.




"The world is a changing phenomena, an illusion." A spiritual comrade uttered in the course of a casual conversation.

The conversation drifted to the three states of consciousness-the waking, dreaming and the deep sleep states. They are alternating phases. A little scrutiny, and we can understand about these three states, which we experience every day from birth to death.

By the term "Real", we mean "Original", in the things that we encounter in our day to day life. We call "Original" because there is no change in them ever. So are the three states of consciousness, the waking state, where we engage in day to day activities; and the dream state, where we move about in our dreams with a different set of experiences, …