The body-mind complex of human being is a product of evolution.During the process of that evolution that entity gathers so many habits and tendencies that survive the physical death.
Mind will not be free of those tendencies and the consciousness of mind is limited and apparently imprisoned by those tendencies unless they are spent up by the mental and physical activity.So the tendencies are the source of mental activity and so physical activity as well.
So every human being is born with innate tendencies and he is getting identified with those tendencies and with the body which is the vehicle to execute the work for spending up of tendencies.So human is born to act.Tendencies direct our action.
We can do those acts unconsciously,habitually,mechanically or consciously,non-mechanically,non-habitually.We can practice doing things consciously.Vipassana is a method which helps us to do things consciously,first we try to be conscious of gross things like actions of the body,its breath etc,which later endows us the capacity to be conscious of subtle things like thoughts,emotions,feeling even as they arise.
In Self-inquiry we try to be conscious of subtle things directly which is possible for those with already having subtle intellect.Bhagawan clearly pointed out that Self-inquiry is not for everybody in general population.
In Self-inquiry we don't indulge in suppression of thoughts but we try to be conscious of thoughts,emotions,feelings.Consciousness(Spruha) is a quality of the mind.So we can practice such mental consciousness by being conscious of what we are doing physically,mentally,emotionally.Our ordinary activity is an unconscious
activity,mechanical,robot like.Once a retired military man is carrying a basket full of eggs for selling in the market.
One naughty child said "attention".Immediately the military man made a military salute and the basket fell down and eggs are destroyed.Majority of us so used to act mechanically from the past memory like that.
If we can bring such acts to the conscious level by cultivating mental consciousness,then such act becomes witnessing.Bhagawan says mind has a conscious aspect and a dynamic aspect.
The conscious aspect is the witnessor and the dynamic aspect are represented by breath(Prana) and thought.That is why breath and thought are interrelated because they arise from the same source.
In his death experience Bhagawan witnessed the dynamic aspect of mind in form of thought of death fear.Then dynamic aspect came to a standstill and both breath and thought are stopped.
From that witnessing state which is dual he immediately jumped into awareness which is non-dual state in a timeless dimension.This immediate jumping into pure consciousness which is adjunct-less from a dual state of witnessing is a rare event in spiritual history.Usually it takes very long time to gather courage to make a jump into the unknowable entity of pure conscious being.
When we cultivate conscious aspect of mind it becomes a witnessor to the dynamic aspect of the mind.So witnessing is an act,you are doing it,the ego is there.So the phenomenon of witnessing is divided between the subject and the object.It is a relationship between the subject and the object.
Today during my morning walk i observed dark monsoon clouds passing southwards,it is raining with beautiful smell of earth,a very pleasant atmosphere with different types of birds flying playfully and sparkling in the background of dark clouds.
I heard beautiful singing of birds,their exchange of sounds between them, greenery
of the trees,a human praying with a mike in his hand,a school bus passing through the road.All this seeing,hearing of birds,smelling of earth,feeling the cool air are all part of witnessing.
So mind and senses are channels for flow of consciousness with its intrinsic quality of witnessing.When i perceive all these i don't have any other thoughts but i am very much there as the center of perception of all these and so i am the subject and the things perceived are the objects.In a way i am witnessing without any judgement just seeing the facts as they are.
When i am lost in thoughts for few moments that witnessing,that perception is lost for the time being even though the object is there before us obviously.Again i am conscious and started witnessing again.
This is possible when we cultivate mental consciousness.That cultivation of mental consciousness is in our hands and we have that much freedom.In Self-inquiry also in the initial stages there is a subject,a center from which we observe the thoughts which are objects of the perception of the witnessor.
Sometimes during Self-inquiry we are lost in jungle of thoughts and we no longer witness the thought because we become one with the thoughts.Again we comeback to senses and start witnessing the thoughts.There is no need to make it a problem for going astray like this and getting frustrated.
This is part of Self-inquiry.We cannot be in a state of witnessing all the time uninterruptedly in the early stages of Self-inquiry.Witnessing is also an activity but it is a higher activity when compared to ordinary activity.In this ordinary activity is done consciously.
Mind as such is a medium of duality.It is always conscious(Spruha) of something and there is always someone who is conscious.Mind as such is a source of all duality,all divisions whether they are between the subject and the object,activity or inactivity,consciousness or unconsciousness.Every type of duality is mental.
Consciousness(Spruha) is a means towards witnessing.(Sakshi tattwa).If we begin to be conscious of the activities of body-mind complex we achieve witnessing.Witnessing comes as a consequence,a by product of consciousness.
The more we become conscious,the more we go into witnessing,the more we come to be a witness.Witnessing will become a method to land in our natural state non-dual pure awareness.If we become conscious of our own consciousness,it goes on increasing and the unconsciousness goes on decreasing.
This is exactly what happens in Self-inquiry.If we become 100% conscious,we become a witness.Once we come to a stage of witnessor jumping into pure awareness(Aeruka) is easy and witnessing is a means to achieve pure awareness and in this there is no limitation to consciousness because the limiting factors become extinct.
So we lose the "doer",we lose the subjectivity,we lose the egocentricity.The pure awareness is a consciousness without any center,without any source,without any motivation.So in pure awareness mind dissolves in it and becomes a part of that and there is no entity to be conscious about it.
Some Ramana devotees say that we must be aware of awareness.Do they know the import of such statement?So in Self-inquiry ordinary doing is brought to conscious level and is witnessed by witnessing consciosnes which is dual in nature but that higher doing witnessing through which we can transcend the mind and land in pure awareness of Self which is there waiting for you and draws you towards itself which is your source
Then you are in a state of non-doing,Summa iru.Sitting silently and doing nothing and bliss overflows without any center and flows undirected.This is our natural state of being.
About the Author
Sri Suryanarayana Raju is interested in Self-Enquiry in the light of Sri Ramana Maharshi,Osho,JK.He wrote two books on "Self-Enquiry" and "Commented on Upadesa Saram and Akshara Mana Malai". available for download at http://www.esnips.com/ web/ramana-maharshi