The Teaching of Sri. Atmananda Krishna Menon on Advaita Vedanta as presented by his disciple. Sri Ananda Wood. Note that the following commentary is. The Teaching of Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon. flower picture in due course. Meanwhile, it be downloaded as a PDF file - see below. Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon and the Direct Path Here's a link to a free PDF of it, on Dennis Waite's website, terney.info
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Some teachings from Shri Atmananda (Krishna Menon). Posted on will you please send this book on my emailin PDF format? Leave a Reply. A list of about five hundred of Shri Atmananda's spiritual statements . Krishna Menon (Shri Atmananda) held that one should be known only for the princi-. Many consider Atmananda Krishna Menon one of the three titans of Twentieth Century advaita teaching; the other two are Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri.
Their impact is not only carrying over to this century, it is growing almost exponentially. Regardless, given that I had been studying different streams of the Nondual river for a long, long time, and was well versed in the other two legs of the stool, why had I never looked into Atmananda?
This is not from a lack of interest. His books fetch high prices in the used and antiquarian book trade. And thus we are denied direct access to the Direct Path. Ironic, is it not? From numii. It is not enough to only investigate the waking state for that purpose, because your experience extends also into the dream and into deep dreamless sleep states.
Let us then initiate an investigation into these three states. You will discover that the I-principle the true unchanging Self is continuously present in each of the three states. The body, the senses and the mind are present in one state, but they are not there in the others. From that it follows that the I-principle is unjustly coupled with the body, the senses and the mind and that in reality it is independent of these three.
His later writings suggest his initial realization matured into sahaj, or the realization of the Soul, Consciousness Itself or Overself as designated by Brunton.
Atmananda, for instance, told a person who was an adept at entering the highest mystic trance of nirvikalpa that such was good, but that it was not the highest state, and that it was now necessary for him to understand the world through the minds intelligence. This is similar to the Chinese sage Huang Po, who said: The original Mind is to be recognized along with the working of the senses and thoughts; only it does not belong to them, nor is it independent of them.
In this realization the eyes of the heart open and all is recognized as being non-separate from the reality of Mind or Consciousness. In the intermediate stage, that of the Witness Self, itself impersonal, there is a relative freedom in the midst of phenomena, but the greater recognition or insight has not yet dawned.
There is a final stroke yet to go. While necessary, the realization that the knower is separate from the known, the witness different from the witnessed, must be gone beyond and both realized as one and inseparable.
Paul Brunton explains that in the ultimate stage "There is no subject and object, whereas in the witness there is still subject and object, but the subject no longer identifies himself with the object as the ordinary man does. Of course it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realize the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned The witness is the reflection of the real in all its purity.
It depends on the condition of the mind. Where clarity and detachment predominate, the witness-condition comes into being. The Guru said: This is your last illusion, that you are a gnani, that you are different from, and superior to, the common man.
Again you identify yourself with your mind, in this case a well-behaved and in every way an exemplary mind. As long as you see the least difference, you are a stranger to reality.
You are on the level of the mind. When the 'I am myself' goes, the 'I am all' comes.
When the 'I am all' goes, 'I am' comes. When even 'I am' goes, reality alone is and in it every 'I am' is preserved and glorified. Diversity without separateness is the Ultimate that the mind can touch. Beyond that all activity ceases, because in it all goals are reached and all purposes fulfilled.
He does not necessarily yet realize the origin and nature of all apparent objects as Consciousness Itself, which takes understanding and time to mature into a lasting state of sahaj.
This may have been the case with Ramana Maharshi in the early years after his first awakening. He only gradually adapted his awakening to active life in the body. The eminent Krishnachandra Bhattacharya, in my opinion, attempts to describes, in Sam 'khya fashion, the Witness stage as follows: "Freedom from ahamkara does not by itself mean knowledge or realization of the self or isvara.
It is in the first instance a merging or forgetting of the self in a tattva higher than ahamkara, a free identification of the self with infinite buddhi - either in the form of feeling or in the form of willing. Free identification means identification in the explicit subjective attitude as distinct from unconscious or erroneous identification which impllies the objective attitude and the conceit of the body. Iyer, vedantic scholar and realizer, court philosopher of the Maharaja of Mysore, who was an important influence on Paul Brunton [PB referred to him as "my teacher"] as well as Nikhilinanda and Siddeswarananda of the Ramakrishna Mission, all who brought teachings of vedanta to the West, in his Commentaries, Vol.
See deep sleep for instance. For a man may be egoless, and yet be deceived by the world appearing to be real. Hence inquiry, based on science, is also needed. Moreover it is the activity of buddhi which brings the understanding of Brahman and buddhi is inactive in sleep [and Nirvikalpa]. Finally, the sleeper sees nothing whereas the gnani sees the world, sees Brahman even in waking.
This is because unless one's mind is sufficiently sharp the notion of the Sakshin cannot be seen. One must perceive that the I itself comes and goes, as in sleep for instance.
What it is that perceives this? It is the Witness. The I is an object, the Witness is the subject. This position is the next step ahead of Western psychology. It much be reached, mastered and then dropped for the next higher step, the understanding of the Atman.
The Witness-self is not an individuality, it is universal, but still it is a temporary stage, not the ultimate truth. But beyond that point the Witness self, the Sakshin, the Maharishi's teaching does not go. Higher than his is the doctrine of the Atman. The notion of the Witness arises only when you consider the objects from this standpoint which assumes the real not ideal existence of all objects, the antithesis of a subject; a Witness must arise.
But there is a loftier standpoint wherein the objects are dismissed from consideration entirely through the use of avastatraya [an analysis of the three states] and thus nondual Atman is reached But that is not the end.
We have to know all the world, and we have to know the real I. The notion of Atman as the Witness or knower, of the three states is not the ultimate position. But we are forced to adopt it as a preliminary step, because we cannot leap into the ultimate view at once. From that view there are no separate states because the ego which knows them is itself as transient and illusory, itself known and seen like other drysams [objects or things seen].
Unless you know the true position of the ego, Vedanta cannot be grasped. The Soul in sahaj is realized when it is discovered that the transcendental consciousness is the source not only of the ego-I, but of the body, mind, and the world of relations as well, and the exclusive tendency of attention to invert upon itself is transcended.
The Witness is let go and Being, the natural state, alone remains. One passes from Emptiness to Fullness. Thus, there is often this two-stage process. One realizes, as Anthony Damiani once stated, that the Witness, which at first seems like a stupendous realization, is not that pure, and that there is a further awakening He nevertheless confessed to knowing himself as the witness self, and described it, with feeling, as "peace, peace, peace". PB states: "The momentary glimpse of the true self is not the ultimate experience.
There is another yet more wonderful lying ahead. In this he will be bound by invisible hoops of wide selfless compassion to all living creatures. The detachment will be sublimated, taken up into a higher level, where the universal Unity will be truly felt. It is temporary. Mystic experience is such a state.
It is something one enters and leaves. Beyond and higher is realization of unchanging truth. Then alone can unity be proven. On the other hand, neither is truth to be found by not-thinking. Thus the question of truth never arises in sleep [or nirvikalpa], a non-thought state. The two must be combined in order to discover truth. Here Iyer refers to it as if it were laya or a blank, but it is not a blank; rather, it is pure consciousness.
It is only that its relationship with the world must be made clear]. Atmananda asked students to inquire into the three states of waking, dream, and deep sleep, as well as the ego-I, in order to come to the underlying Atman, consciousness, or turiya which is always present.
Iyer tells us: "Ego is the last thing that will screen the Atman. It is the most difficult of all to subdue. The I can be got rid of only by knowing that it does not exist, that it is only an idea, that it is dying every night. Atmananda stated: "The samadhi experience is that I was happy. But when you understand, from a Karana-guru, that Happiness is your real nature, you come to realize that you are yourself the goal of samadhi.
With this understanding, all hankering after samadhi disappears; though samadhi might still come upon you sometimes merely as a matter of course or samskara. But you will never again be attracted by the enjoyment of happiness in samadhi. Contemporary non-dual teacher Adyashanti more simply stated: "You only want various things because you do not know who you are. But as soon as you come back to yourself, to that empty awakeness, then you realize there is nothing more you want because you are what you want.
The witness position collapses into the totality, and suddenly were not witnessing from the outside anymore. Instead, witnessing is taking place from everywhere simultaneously inside, outside, around, up, down. Everything everywhere is being witnessed from inside and outside simultaneously, because what is being witnessed is what is witnessing. The seer and what is seen are the same.
Unless that is realized, we can get stuck in the place of the witness. We can get stuck in a transcendant void, in emptiness. Vedantist Iyer, speaking of the "lightning flash" of understanding, the transition from the witness to the Self, philosophically puts it this way: "The students suddenly grasp the idea that all the world is only a thought, and that he himself is also a thought, and that all this thought-world is inside himself, is Atma, Brahma.
With that he recognizes that the thought itself is Brahman with all its ideas it includes Brahman too, including the idea of himself. You are not to expect an explosion, for the explosion has already happened at the moment you were born, when you realized yourself as being-knowing- feeling. There is only one mistake you are making. You take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside you take to be in you.
The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be internal. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right. You have to think yourself out of it.
There is no other way. He understands the Truth and cannot lose this understanding any more than an adult can lose his adulthood and become an infant. When his wife died he excused himself from his place of employment, attended her funeral, weeping openly and profusely, so much so that people thought he would never stop, and then returned to work with full attention to the duties at hand.
He was a man of deep feeling, but he maintained that such feelings were always under control from his position as Consciousness.
In saying this, however, he did not imply that the sage strategically avoided the emotions of life or distanced himself from the human dimension altogether. He stated: Feelings never come to him uninvited.
If he thinks that it is time to act with discretion, feelings respectfully keep at a distance. But the moment he invites them they rush in like torrents. Again the moment he puts on the brake by a mere thought they disappear.
This was what you were witnessing in me in those days. It is wrong to attribute either composure or indulgence to the Sage. He is the conscious background of both.