“When a man has known by direct experience:
‘I am the witness of the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states’, then his sense of identity with the body, which is the cause of suffering, ends, along with its cause – nescience.” (Sadhu Nischal Das.)
The settled conclusion of Vedanta is that in the rise of the Vritti ‘I am Brahman’, the nescience (Avidya) ends and the supreme bliss is achieved. Vritti is a modification of the inner organ – Antahkarana – which reveals some object. Anger, sleep, delusion and so forth are not called Vrittis because they do not reveal any object. The subject of Vritti and its analysis is treated by the great Acharyas in thousands of pages, containing very close discussion.
It includes the means of gaining valid, invalid and illusory knowledge. The whole of logic is a discussion on the means to valid knowledge. Sansara, the world and the mind, the instruments of perception and conception, is all Avidya or nescience. It is also called Maya, though the great Acharyas like Mahamuni Vidyaranya have drawn a subtle distinction between Maya and Avidya. Avidya is the conditioning instrument of the Jiva over which it has great power, while Maya is the instrument of Ishwara, who has perfect control over it but is not conditioned by it in any way.
Vrittis rise and fall in the Jiva. They consist of the inner organ and its substratum, the Self, that is Avidya and pure Consciousness. Though the field of functioning of the Vritti is Avidya, it stands on Brahman or pure Consciousness. The revealing power in the Vritti is a distorted form of pure Consciousness, just as the distorted rays of the sun create a mirage in a desert.
The inner organ has the three Gunas (sattwa, rajas and tamas) in its composition. Consciousness reflected in the three Gunas assumes the three forms of balance, peace and goodness, activity and agitation and lethargy, such as love of luxury and sleep. The Jiva is that aspect of pure Consciousness, Brahman, which is conditioned by Avidya or the inner organ. The conditioning is phenomenal and not real. Brahman, as reflected in the inner organ, plus the inner organ and the substratum of the inner organ, is called the Jiva who imagines that this Sansara is real, that he is the body and the mind, and is forgetful of his real nature as Brahman – Truth-awareness-bliss.
The Jiva can control his Vrittis. This fact is the foundation of the holy Adhyatma Yoga. It seems to be determined by the results of the previous Karma, but he has the power to create new Karma. The Jiva who desires to overcome the suffering to which he is subject and who applies the right means to end his delusion, such as ‘I .am the body and the mind’ is called a Yogi. The cause of the endless suffering while in Sansara is nescience and it is negated by right knowledge and by no other means.
In order to have the right knowledge : “I am the infinite Truth-Bliss, Brahman ” create the sattwic Vritti and suppress the tamasic and rajasic Vrittis, do good to others as offerings to the Lord in them, learn the Truth of Vedanta, control the rise of egoity and pleasure and power desires, worship the Lord by study Japa and meditation and society of the good. Be patient and endure heat and cold in equanimity. Do devotion to God selflessly and do not presume to be a healer or a great and original teacher. Watch the inner organ carefully and restrain all desires for pleasure and power. By such means the inner organ, which is the great fort of nescience, is brought under control.
May it be noted that a most fortunate Yogi has full faith in the Guru and submits to his spiritual will, uncritically. Look upon the world as a mirage. Keep away from the society of rajasic and tamasic people, even if they are your relatives and friends.
The final process in creating the Vritti ‘I am Shiva, the highest good’ is to meditate in silence. Self-analysis and not psychoanalysis by calm introspection is a great help. The practice is given in the verse quoted at the top of this article which should be followed with keen interest and attention. One day, by the grace of the Lord who controls the universal nescience, you will realise the Truth and be a Jivanmukti. Then preach the Truth and bless all with love and compassion. It is not difficult. All that is needed is a blazing inner fire of Mumuksha and the life of an Adhyatma Yogi. You achieve what is ever achieved; you are Shiva, the infinite Bliss. Cease to play the fool. You are not a Jiva, you never were one. OM