How To Dispose Of Samskaras After Sudden (But Not Final) Awakening?


The Truth has been visualized. But by that alone, you are not always cognizant of the Reality. When you are swayed by the former samskaras of your life, you forget the Truth. Then you can either look deep and destroy the world as nothing but consciousness or, conceding the existence of the world, you may know that you are its witness and unaffected by the witnessed. A time will come when the inner eye will be ever clear, showing you in your real nature even while engaged in activities.

Atmananda, Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda, Volume 3, ed. Nitya Tripta, p. 2


The question goes like this: “There has been kensho or nirvikalpa samadhi. The Truth has been directly seen, that is to say. But yet still I don’t abide in the Truth. How is one to get established in the Truth?”

The first question, itself unasked, is: “How is it possible that ‘visualization,’ or direct seeing, of the Truth does not translate into being established in the Truth?” And Atmananda, rightly, suggests that the samskaras have not been destroyed and thus that these samskaras can “sway” one from Truth, leading one to temporarily forget the Truth.

Now then: how does one get established in the Truth and thereby destroy the samskaras in toto?

Start with the second way first: by “conceding the existence of the world, you may know that you are its witness and unaffected by the witnessed.” Such is the way of detachment: taking one’s stand as the witness, one ultimately comes to the greater understanding that all that is witnessed will, in the end, be shown to be nothing but the Subject (or Consciousness) itself.

Now turn to the first way (vicara marga), the way of merging: you can “look deep and destroy the world as nothing but consciousness.” That is, all apparently physical objects are reduced to ideas, or forms, of the mind, and all that is apparently mind is reduced to Consciousness. To see this, here is a paraphrase of Atmananda’s Atma Darshan: “Objects of consciousness cannot be separate from Consciousness Itself. They have no independent existence. Therefore, they are nothing but Consciousness.” Contemplating this deeply, you see all as Consciousness.

Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta argue for the first way (the way of detachment) while Atmananda shows us the second way (the way of merging). Both ways are not only compatible but also complementary.