Disciple: What is that which is called the inner
worship or worship of the attributeless?
In texts such as the Ribhu-gita, the worship
of the attributeless has been elaborately explained
(as a separate discipline). Yet, all disciplines such
as sacrifice, charity, austerity, observance of vows,
japa, yoga, and puja, are, in effect, modes of meditation
of the form 'I am Brahman.' So, in all the modes of
disciplines, one should see to it that one does not
stray away from the thought 'I am Brahman.' This is
the purport of the worship of the attributeless.
Disciple: What are the eight limbs of knowledge
The eight limbs are those which have been already mentioned,
viz., yama, niyama, etc. but differently defined.
1. Yama: This is controlling the aggregate of
sense-organs, realizing the defects that are present
in the world consisting of the body, etc.
2. Niyama: This is maintaining a stream of mental
modes that relate to the Self and rejecting the contrary
modes. In other words, it means love that arises uninterruptedly
for the supreme Self.
3. Asana: That with the help of which constant
meditation on Brahman is made possible with ease is
4. Pranayama: Rechaka (exhalation) is
removing the two unreal aspects of name and form from
the objects constituting the world, the body, etc.;
puraka (inhalation) is grasping the three real
aspects, existence, consciousness and bliss, which are
constant in those objects; and kumbhaka is retaining
those aspects thus grasped.
5. Pratyahara: This is preventing name and form
which have been removed from re-entering the mind.
6. Dharana: This is making the mind stay in the
heart, without straying outward, and realizing that
one is the Self itself which is existence-consciousness-bliss.
7. Dhyana: This is meditation of the form 'I
am only pure consciousness.' That is, after leaving
aside the body which consists of five sheaths, one enquires
'Who am I?', and as a result of that, one stays as 'I'
which shines as the Self.
8. Samadhi: When the 'I'-manifestation also ceases,
there is (subtle) direct experience. This is samadhi.
For the pranayama, etc., detailed here, the disciplines
such as asana, etc., mentioned in connection
with yoga are not necessary. The limbs of knowledge
may be practised at all places and at all times. Of
yoga and knowledge, one may follow whichever is pleasing
to one, or both, according to circumstances. The great
teachers say that forgetfulness is the root of all evil,
and is death for those who seek release;* so one should
rest the mind in one's Self and should never forget
the Self : this is the aim. If the mind is controlled,
all else can be controlled. The distinction between
yoga with eight limbs and knowledge with eight limbs
has been set forth elaborately in the sacred texts;
so only the substance of this teaching has been given
or Kala is the giving up on this earth of the
contemplation of the Self which should never be given
up even the least bit. --Vivekachudamani.
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India.