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इष्ट विद्या
I  S  H  T  A   V  i  d  y  a
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 K n o w l e d g e  f o r  l i f e

Self-Knowledge

– The revolution in modern thinking. Yoga’s next wave.

As the first wave, yoga as exercise continues to rise higher and higher due to popular demand, Self-knowledge completes the journey by showing us that the path to oneness (yoga) has always been knowledge.

Just as the wave in the ocean already water, married to the ocean is perfect, whole and complete in itself and needs no practice to make it ocean (it can’t escape being ocean!) so already conscious, the Oneness itself, no practice is needed to make you more your best whole and complete Self than you are already.

That you are already conscious (like wave is already water) is obvious, a given (after all you are reading this!). The job that practices like yoga and meditation do is remind us of this. 

Just as for the wave to even appear separate from ocean, the whole ocean is needed, so for ourselves to appear separate from the Creation, everything, the whole universal creation is required and has to come into existence first! How to deal with this ‘appearance’ of duality and get rid of all our ideas of separation is what Self-knowledge is here to teach us. 

Yoga for the new generation.

Two fish happily swimming in the ocean one day:
‘Has anyone ever seen the ocean the ancients talk about? Apparently it still exists around here somewhere?’ 

Nah’. Says the friend ‘People have been looking everywhere for it but still no one has ever seen the ocean. Maybe it doesn’t exist. My dad says we shouldn’t believe all that old stuff.’  

Self-knowledge is not for everyone, it requires a particular type of wit and intellect to understand and stomach it.

Having said that, of all the things right now, Self-knowledge couldn’t come at a better time.

As popular as yoga is today these timeless teachings will be for future generations.

आत्मा विद्या Atma Vidya

The human Blockchain. Tradition is human blockchain; a ledger of knowledge recorded through time. The nature and meaning of the human being and meaning if the word ‘I’ has been kept alive since the beginning of time. 

The Password or PIN code that unlocks the human blockchain is one word – ‘I’ 

Until recently Sanskrit was a fiercely guarded secret. Said to have been developed by Siddhars and used as a code or password language to convey hidden secret of yoga, even to recite (let alone study) sanskrit was considered a privilege so prodigious that women and those belonging to the lower castes (and in more modern times divorced men) were considered unfit. To even accidentally overhear sanskrit would literally put your life in danger.

The teachings of Self-knowledge or आत्मा विद्या Atma Vidya until recently were only ever given in sanskrit.

Fortunately to know yourself you have to know the meaning of one word ‘I’. So you don’t have to know sanskrit.

Until we get taught about Atma, Self – consciousness like happiness is just another word, another secret, and yourself another destination.

Consciousness being ourselves is not a destination. Neither is happiness. Consciousness is the highway of life. Without consciousness there is nothing. The highway on which all our ideas and thoughts are put in motion and all meaning takes place, while we keep on pouring ourselves into all our ideas and identifications, we take being consciousness for granted. Yet it is in consciousness that all journeys are taking place and all destinations reached.

Wanting to reach any relative destination, we have to do something. But consciousness already being ourselves is already reached – we just don’t know it.

While we keep making freedom and happiness a destination, happiness and freedom being ourselves and our true nature, how successful are we going to be?

Consciousness and happiness already being who we are, our destination is already reached.

Already the Truth we seek, reaching out trying to find out the Truth, can end up sending us round and round in circles.

So what can I do? Whats the secret? 

The secret always being ourselves is not really secret. Theres nothing we can do and nowhere we can reach to be more ourselves than we are already. Like the wave in the ocean already part of the ocean can’t do anything to become ocean, already being part of creation from the beginning, where all our journeys begin and end, means knowing ourselves – ends the journey.

Or being forever present and available, how far do we have to go to reach the end of the journey?

Already reached, making ourselves another journey, another destination we keep denying ourselves denying our existence.

Our existence already being obvious understanding, knowledge is all thats need.

Ignorance therefore is all that limits us.

How far does my lack of knowledge have to go before it gets in the way? 

Until a crisis comes along our ignorance is bliss. Getting into crisis, as all our options shut down and our understandings and relationships all back up on us left wondering wha happens next where do we go?

Questioning and being shown the truth – that there has always been no other journey but yourself, you realise – there was never any other destination. Indeed that there was never any crisis.

Spoilt in todays world thinking we are only meaningful and relevant because of what we have and how we see the world, as a long as we keep seeing the world in this relative way our life journey always incomplete, keeps throwing us a curved ball and getting us in crisis. Trying to complete the journey is impossible.

Already the meaning and completeness in everything, already whole and complete, the more we go seek completeness – the less complete and emptier we feel.

As we keep digging for completeness, the more we lack, the bigger the hole we dig for ourselves to fall into.

Seeing from this perspective, yoga and consciousness too becoming another goal – become another source of incompleteness. Becoming another brick wall – because we all are already conscious, trying to become more conscious is another battle we can’t win!

Thinking because I have a body, (and good yoga or meditation practice!), thinking thoughts, ideas, beliefs, personality, identity and my bank account is me, thinking relatively, i.e. that body etc. is me and that this makes me present and my life meaningful, I don’t realise it has always been the exact opposite.

All it does is make me absent. Only in a crisis, like if my doctor diagnoses a disease that has no cure, or my relationship or marriage turns sour or business shuts down, watching all my life turn upside down as everything backs up on me, I realise somethings always been missing. Always seeing things as more important, I have been seeing everything in reverse and my life is a cul-de-sac.

Taking myself for granted my whole life, taking everything other than myself to be the truth all along the real thing missing in my life has always been me.

Ignoring myself this self-ignorance called avidya like a vacuum cleaner keeps sucking up everything in my life. Creating all my havoc eventually in crisis I realise as my whole life falls apart my life is nothing but a big black hole.

Trying to stop myself from falling into the hole all thats needed to end the conflict and stop me from falling into the vacuum is knowledge.

A black hole in space. 

Thinking everything I own completes me, thinking that the hole can be filled up with more possessions, that ideas and new experiences will get rid of the dark vacuum, rather than remove the vacuum the hole just grows bigger. Hanging onto everything for dear life, the emptiness keeps enveloping me and following me around. Depending on anything, job, title, position, roles, career, ideas, beliefs, possessions, (even yoga and meditation) we forget to read the small print: relying on anything terms and conditions apply.

Whatever I choose to hold onto, getting in crisis I find the very thing I hold onto is the very thing dragging me deeper and further into crisis and pushing me deeper into despair.

Relying on anything, as long as individual patterning and conditioning rules over us, pulling us deeper and further into crises, deeper into the black hole, until we grow up and own ourselves – because everything owns us we cant help getting into crisis and getting thrown in and out of conflict.

Worshipping individuality mesmerised and obsessed by one thing; ‘I’, as long as our individuality is constantly pushing our buttons, separating us all as individuals and as a society, putting us ‘as though’ asleep to ourselves is one idea; the idea that we are awake.

Blindfolded by my beliefs and seeing only my ideas, still ruled by conditioning  ‘individuality’ constantly stands in the way.

Yet there is nothing ever standing in our way nor are there ever any obstacles.

The only obstacle is ourselves or rather our ignorance of ourselves.

For me to be present requires nothing,
For an idea to be present, first I have to be present. To think that the idea, individuality comes first makes no sense.

Changing and shifting our ideas and beliefs doesn’t work. The moment any idea gets threatened, feeling our lives depend on the idea and we are being challenged, feeling threatened we crumble. To no longer feel challenged we need to get to know ourselves without our beliefs and ideas. Who the beliefs belong to; whose ideas and beliefs they are.

If all thats challenging you is your own ideas, and your ideas are not who were are (because I have the ideas, and happening in my presence they cannot be me.) – then all that needs understanding who is hanging on. Getting to know ourselves we get to know who all our ideas belong to.

Beyond the ideas, coordinating everything is ourselves. Whether we drop our ideas or not, taking up new ones, the one believing in all the ideas is the most important. Always ourselves having taken ourselves to be our ideas, ideas and identifications have become more important. The result is – wars, more wars and endless conflict.

As sleep walkers, asleep to ourselves, thinking our ideas are who we are, we are sleep walking through eternity.

What better time to awaken to ourselves?

Like waking up to a bad dream, waking up to the truth, kills not only avidya but death too. The dreamer getting to know their true nature as eternal overcomes all fear including the fear of death.

Whether its our own ignorance of ourselves or ignorance as a society, the number one obstacle standing in our way stopping all our progress, creating all our obstacle and differences is ignorance, avidya.


Super human intelligence. 

Computers: a crisis or a blessing?

As the world becomes filled with technology the more we rely on computers and smart phones and smarter they become, the more they could end up replacing us.

Already replacing our interaction with other human beings, computers are taking over all our menial tasks. At airport check-ins, talking to switchboards, online, soon there won’t be any human beings, you’ll only be dealing with robots. Navigating our cars through GPS, conversing with SIRI and Google, as much as we are fixated on our individuality as a society, smart phones and social media via the internet is taking over our lives and will soon rule us.

Making a god out of our computer we could end up having computers control our lives.

Watching someone lose a cellphone today you’d think the person themselves is dying.

Cut to AI (artificial intelligence) – what if computers become that significant becoming digitally superintelligent they start replacing us. i.e. if computers already replacing the human brain (smart phones! – smart cars etc!) already thinking at the speed of thought take over – becoming that smart – (smarter than smart!) – what then becomes of us?

What does that future look like? What if superintelligent computers soon replace us completely?

If a computer is already taking over your life and your job, better get to know the best computer in the universe – your mind. 

The job of any computer is to crunch data. Given complex tasks to run the computer continues eating up data until either it breaks or someone shuts it down. Computers are unconscious. Being unconscious limits them. Controlled by software even if they end up writing their own software, as a machine, working on electricity a computer can only think at the speed of thought!

Compared to consciousness thoughts are slow.

Thinking at the speed of thought is what slows us humans down.

So before we let computers slow us down we better get to know ourselves.

Set by the designer software to perform certain functions a computer may replace the need of a human being, but can never replace the human being.  

Already we are used to living with computers, having lived with one our whole lives. Our minds crunching data resolving our issues in nanoseconds are the smartest computers in the universe!
Doing the job of a billion computers at once, as part of human intelligence, the mechanism of the mind is unlimited in its bandwidth and capacity to compute and process data.

Understanding how human intelligence works.
As much as our mind and ideas are innocent, computers are innocent. Thoughts too are innocent. Thoughts never did anything to anyone. 
Only human beings, the ones using thoughts need to be feared. Rather than living in fear of other human beings and thoughts we need to educate ourselves. We all need to get to know ourselves. 

Human intelligence with infinite bandwidth, infinite memory, is quicker than quick, As the quickness itself rooted in the timeless consciousness, in the human being, time itself stands still! Knowing yourself as pure consciousness time ceases to have any importance. For the human being time is slow (i.e. – a petaflop is slow!)

Thinking is never the problem, thinking and believing we are our thoughts is the problem. 

Limited only by your own bandwidth if the universe is still a mystery and you a mystery to yourself, you won’t have to wait for superintelligent computers to replace you – your own thoughts already do the job perfectly. Already replacing you if your own thoughts are already leaving you behind computers will definitely leave you behind.  

As much as a computer dealing with huge volumes of calculations slows it down, our own minds slow us down. But no matter how slow the mind gets at no time are we ever unconscious. Only our thoughts are slow. Thoughts slow us down. Thinking we are the thoughts slows us down the most. Slowing us down further is thinking I have look after and change my thoughts. Change my way of thinking.

During deep sleep, we drop all our ideas. Even our idea of ourselves gets dropped in deep sleep. But we are still always conscious. Only asleep to ourselves waking up in the morning we remember that we slept well. Totally relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed, while we have been busy sleeping our minds have been hard at work resolving all our issues, crunching all our data.

Having slept perfectly, we are ready for the day.

Waking up thinking we are our thoughts, our thoughts, roles and ideas are our reality. Ruling over us our thoughts and ideas take over.

Falling asleep in our thoughts, ruling over all our thoughts is one single thought, the ‘I’ thought. ‘I’ is the ruler of the kingdom. But if ‘I; is still a thought then the thought rules the kingdom. Ruled by this one thought we may as well be ruled by a computer. Seeing everything through the computer, while we may appear to be awake, we are in fact fully asleep. Only our thoughts are awake. Our idea of ourselves. Thoughts, ideas and concepts become ‘as though’ reality for us.

With nothing better to do than think we are our thoughts, thoughts and ideas permeate and pattern our consciousness patterning our very existence. Keeping us all distracted and pre-occupied is one thought alone; the ‘I’ thought.

Making thoughts and ideas which have no dimension of their own, our reality having made one thought bigger than we are, we feel incapable. If we are incapable of dealing with one thought – the ‘I’ thought – how can we ever hope to cope with reality? How can we ever see things clearly?

Seeing ourselves as this one thought, having made our thoughts bigger than ourselves our patterning and conditioning driving us always has the upper hand.

The computer doesn’t have this problem.

If we want to enjoy our limitless nature, we need to take a break from all our patterning.

Jailbreaking the human being

Not a software upgrade, ‘jailbreaking’ the human being is done through Self-knowledge. Encouraging us to free ourselves from our dependence on patterning, awareness has no limits. De-conditioned awareness, by depersonalising the ‘I’ thought, removes the blindfold taking away the dark cloud of our ignorance.

Breaking through the barrier of time knowledge removes the vacuum of ignorance holding us back.

No longer patterned by ignorance, bringing us into the real new age, Self-knowledge heralds the dawning of intelligence.

Thinking thoughts and identifications are who we are is so 20th century.

Waking up to the truth of the 21st century.

To be truly free is effortless. Freedom, liberation, called moksha already being our true nature, is already ours, we just don’t know it.

Jailbreaking frees us from the bondage of ignorance and rids us of our ignorance.
Knowing who we are without the patterning and software, Self-knowledge replaces the conditioning with intelligence. No longer needing to identify ourselves once our ignorance disappears all our dependence on the roles and identifications disappears. No longer ropes around our necks roles that we play and individuality are the mechanisms we use to negotiate and transact with other each each day in society.

Liberated, no longer caged in the roles, stuck in a ‘identity’, as the ‘apparent’ cloud of darkness disappears no longer the victim, whats left is pure light – called consciousness – that we are already.

Thinking life is a challenge, or that computers are challenging, we miss the point. The only thing challenging is ourselves and ignorance.

Appearing challenged, all thats challenged is this ‘I’ through lack of knowledge.

Once we step out of Self-ignorance – we see there were never any problems only solutions.

The day we stop ignoring ourselves, as a society humans will begin to thrive again.

Breaking free from patterning opens a timeless secret that reveals the endless possibilities of being human.

Not a pipe dream, all you need to do this is unlock one thing: this ‘I’. ‘I’ is the password the secret code to the whole human race. The word ‘I’ is the human PIN code and password that unlocks the entire humanity. The first name of every human being is ‘I’, freed from ignorance, getting to know the Truth of this ‘I’ we smash the barriers of time and finding out its meaning we get the passcode to the universe.

Once the huge question mark hanging over our heads disappears, no longer dwarfed by egoism having all our questions answered all our problems disappear.

But first in order to question, we need to know that we dont know. We need to acknowledge that we are ignorant.

Thus vedanta the final end and resolution of knowledge is reached. Having reached the end of the journey, you find the jewel upanishadic wisdom was always secretly holding was always yourself.

Not about being self centred but being centred in Self.

A delightful story is used to illustrate how we can be carrying around a head full of knowledge and still be ignorant. Like a donkey carrying sandalwood on its back smells the sweet fragrance of sandalwood all day but has no idea where the fragrance is coming from, or the value of the cargo it is carrying, so we not realising who we are, already free, can proudly go on carrying all our ideas around in our head and never get realise their true benefit.

Having no idea what all the words or ideas mean, making up all our own ideas, able to recite the words of the prophets and seers perfectly, thinking the vedas and upanishads hold the secret, we miss the boat and the words and mantras become mere empty shells bereft of meaning. Though we can smell the sweet fragrance, being the Truth itself, rather than freeing us as they are supposed to, words and ideas can become just another burden and ideas to imprison us. The more we hold onto ideas and concepts the more they burden the mind. Carrying around all our ideas, rather than giving moksha freeing us the practice of meditation and yoga too like religion can become another load we carry; another noose around our neck.

As King Janaka the great ritualist warned of ritualistic fire practices. “The ritualist needs to beware. Smoke from the fire getting in the eyes can blind you to the truth.”

The picture of the Bunyan (peepal) tree taken in Odessa India is traditionally where the Upanishadic teachings of आत्मा विद्या Atma Vidya would take place. Traditionally the teacher knowing the Truth walking through the villages beating the drum of Truth would sit under the Peepal tree . For those interested to know, upa sitting near ni to the truth sat or shad – being the Truth themselves already ever present, as the teacher starts expounding the teachings, the words articulated ringing true, the person (student) recognising the Truth being talked about as none other than themselves cannot escape the understanding.
For this reason the Bunyan tree is sacred in india.


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