3) Self Knowledge (Atmajnana) – What is contemplation

Talk 3 by Prabhuji


So the question is …

If the Buddhi is corrupted by the Ahamkara or ego, how can I realize truth? How can I realize with the intellect corrupted by the ego?

So the process is contemplation.

Let us understand three different types of thinking. When the Ego is thinking we will call it as ‘ego based thinking’.

What is the reference for ‘ego based thinking’?

‘I am the body, I am the mind, and I am the intellect’ is the reference in the background for the Ego based thinking. Whatever you say,  this is the reference in the background. When intellect wants to investigate the thinking, that is called as, ‘Discrimination’. The intellect is able to discriminate what is right and what is wrong. Of course the discrimination can come under the influence of ego. But intellect can find out what is right what is wrong, that is called discrimination. So then there is a witness Sakshi, the Sakshi will take the assistance of intellect to think and the assistance taken by the Sakshi for thinking is called Contemplation. So…

  • Thinking – when ego takes the assistance of Intellect.
  • Discrimination – when the intellect thinks by itself.
  • Contemplation – when Sakshi takes the assistance of Intellect to think.


Sakshi witnesses the input given by the intellect. Now the input given by the intellect is corrupted by the ego, so the Sakshi identifies with the body-mind-intellect. The wrong information given by the ‘ego corrupted intellect’ is taken by the Sakshi, because it doesn’t judge, it just takes.  So there is a feeling in the Sakshi that ‘I am a body-mind-intellect’. So the wrong information is fed to the Sakshi through the intellect influenced by ego.

Now if the Sakshi has to become free, it has to use the same instrument the intellect. Intellect is the instrument of both Sakshi and ego.

Now, how can this contemplation trigger?

In day to day interactions normally contemplation does not trigger at all. Thinking and discrimination may happen, thinking based on your past impressions, and discrimination because you have to take decisions, ‘whether I have to do this or that?’ Most of the times you did the same way. But the moment you receive information about your true nature, then the contemplation can start.

How do you receive the information about your true nature?

That information of your true nature comes from the Sadguru a realized master. Sadguru says you are not the body, mind and intellect, you are pure Consciousness.

‘nanu nanembudu nanalla, ehe deha mana buddhi nanalla, Sat-Chit-Ananda shiva nanu nane’,

Now for the first time the Sakshi starts receiving new information, earlier it was acting based on the wrong input given by the Intellect.

You just ignore the information that has come from somebody whom you don’t trust. But you trust the information when it comes from Sadguru, somebody whom you trust, or when it comes from scriptures, which says ‘Tat Twam Asi’, You are That’. Sadguru can give you practice of Contemplating again and again on ‘Brahman, I am Brahman, I am Consciousness’. So Contemplation practice is for the Self, Jivatma with the help of Buddhi (Intellect).

Now you take the truth, “I am Brahman” or ‘I am Shiva” and you hold that truth in your Intellect, which means holding on to that idea. Now what happens is, alternate thoughts keep coming, the other guy will come and start objecting and who is that other guy? Ego. Ego will come and say, “No no, I am the body”, some memories will come up. So, which one will you believe? You have to hold on to what Guru, the Realized Master has given, or what the Scriptures tell. And then you have to discriminate, apply logic. So, let us say, some thought comes from Ego about your job. So, now apply your discrimination. This has two things, subject and object. What is the subject here? Employee and job is what you are doing. Who is the subject here? The employee becomes the subject here with respect to the body or the role you perform. But ‘I am pure Consciousness, I am Chaithanya, I am Brahman, I am Shiva’ is the thought you have bring again. Subject is always Consciousness.

So, for discrimination, intellect has to be applied for finding out what is ‘Anatma’ (non-Self) and what is ‘Atma’(Self). That is the role of the intellect. And when you use the inputs from the scriptures or Guru to apply this discrimination, it is called contemplation. So, for what should we use this discrimination? Thoughts are rising from the Ego. Intellect will be ultimately discriminating for the thoughts arising from the Ego. You have to separate out what is ‘Atma’ and ‘Anatma’ from everything that comes. You have to separate out what is ‘Nitya’ (Shashwata – eternal) and ‘Anitya’(Ashashwata- temporary). So, these two things you have to apply with the Intellect. That is called discrimination. Now, this will be under the guidance of Sakshi based on the teachings of the scriptures. That is why it becomes contemplation. Pure discrimination is for operating in the life. But discrimination with the wisdom which has come from the Guru or scriptures or both is called contemplation. Because, with that discrimination, the Intellect now starts becoming free from the Ego and becomes pure Intellect and starts working directly under the Sakshi. This is the process of Contemplation.

So for this to happen, you have to do, “Shravana, Manana and Nidhi Dhyasa”. You have to listen to the Master, Sadguru as often as possible or many ways. Listening to that again and again increases the discriminating ability of the Intellect. That is because of the ‘Manana’ which goes deep inside and then it becomes ‘Nidhi Dhyasa’, it becomes stable.

Then you can do meditation. Holding on to an object, a thought or an idea. In this case, the idea can be “I am Brahman or I am the Pure Consciousness” and when you hold on to that idea, the Ego starts coming and attacking that throught various though processes. But then your idea should be so strong based on your conviction which has derived from the teachings of the Master which will defend the idea from all the attacks of the Ego.

Transcribed by Atmajyothi Satyavati


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