Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hypnotised Realization!!!!!

This is another intresting puzzle posed by Krishna

Krishna’s Post:
I have a query which I feel ye scholars should address. If a person is hypnotised to make him believe that his mission is only devotional service to God or if a person is hynotised to make him develop full faith in Ajata Vada, is he moving towards the path of realization.

This question seems ludicrous at first sight, but let me ellaborate. There are a lot of swamis out there who can perform mass-hypnotism. Say a swami hypnotises his apprentice to make him develop full confidence in chanting, so much so that he is totally indebted to Krushna just as Mirabai was and keeps on chanting and loving Krushna day in and day out, can this be considered a mode of realisation?

Also if a person is hypnotised to believe that all are in reality one, such that he sees all in him and him in all, is he moving towards realization? I know that you guys would give an obvious NO, but can you justify your NO.

What if say my client till the moment of death keeps chanting just as Mira did until death or is totally convinced about the truth of Ajata Vada? Dont tell me that doubts will continue to exist on the subconscious plane, because hypnotism itself implies control at a subconscious plane.

My Reply:
An incident from the life to Swami Vivekananda comes to my mind. Once he was giving a lecture and was in full flow of ideas and the audience were listening in full attention and to put it symbolically in another state altogether as a result of the high spiritual state SV was in. Suddenly a person stood up and asked SV, “Swamiji are you hypnotizing us?”. SV replied “no I am only trying to de-hypnotize you. You have already hypnotized yourself thinking that you are this body etc etc. I am only trying to de-hypnotize and tell you about your true nature.”

Now coming to the question, hypnotism can be done only done to a weak mind. The whole funda of hypnotism is that a weak mind is controlled by a stronger mind. So it is certainly possible for one spiritual gaint to hypnotize someone to anything… to Bhakti marga in your question. But we have to remember that the person who is hypnotizing does so at the cost of spending his mental energies and hence becomes weaker; and the person who is hypnotized will as a result of frequent hypnotism will get used to it and so higher and higher energies are required to hypnotize him (just like a drunkard can take more alcohol than a guy who has it only occasionally).

So a person may be temporarily hypnotized but never can it be done permanently. If it is not real, sooner or later he will realize.

And this temporary surrender to someone else due to being hypnotized can be explained away as his karma-phala through that guy.

>> Also if a person is hypnotised to believe that all are in reality one, such that he sees all in him and him in all, is he moving towards realization? I know that you guys would give an obvious NO, but can you justify your NO.

Truth is something that never contradicts itself and can always be repeated any number of times. So the ‘realization’ in that condition does not count as realization; one just thinks he is, which does not make it real.

Its just like some hippies taking drugs and feeling that they are in some high spiritual state. It does not make it true, only one may think it.

But if the person really experience/knows that reality and has indeed realized that oneness, it will be surely called realization. But then it is no more hypnotism, coz hypnotism is making the false feel true. If the person really realizes, then it will be making a true feel true, and hence no more hypnotism.

Probably the question you meant t to ask was: is realization only possible through self effort or is it also possible by grace say of guru.

In my view it is possible to have realization through the grace (actually self effort is still involved in making oneself fit for grace). Rakhal (later Swami Brahmananda) was one of the favorite disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. Due to the grace of Sri Ramakrishna, he was a realized soul. Even then he always used to completely immerse himself in spiritual sadhanas. Once a devotee asked him why he was still immersed in Spiritul Sadhanas, for which he replied “Through the grace of Sri Ramakrishna I have attained realization, but I want to make it my own”. … it’s the difference between the owner and a rental person. The person living on rent in a house may have all of the house, but does not have power to give it to someone else according to his will. But the owner can have all of the house and also give to someone else on rent according to his will.

Krishna’s Reply:
No Surya, I do not agree with what you say - That only a strong mind can hypnotise a weaker mind. If that were true, there would be nothing such as self-hypnosis.

What is hypnotism? It is the process of offering suggestions or vrittis to the subconscious mind. It can be done by yourself to yourself. You can record your voice on micro-phone, and enter a stage called Alpha State and etch those suggestions in your mind. It is nothing miraculous. To better explain this, let me resort to an example. Just like how you feel breathing is natural because it is a subconscious thought, you can feel Bhakti or working hard for an exam or quitting smoking is natural if you are given a post-hynotic suggestion by yourself to yourself.

Also, the concepts of Vivekananda do not apply here, because the existance of something like self-hypnotism itself denies his arguments. So what do you say now?

Hypnotism just like Raja Yoga is covered with a shroud of mystery and mysticism, a proper understanding of the way it works will tell you that it is nothing harmful. You can contact any pshychriatist for the purpose. In light of these points, what are the answers to my questions?

P.S. And Yeah! I have read your arguments in SV's book on Raja Yoga. And I do not agree with SV's views here, and that is why this question is all the more pertinent

My Reply:
May be first we can then define what hypnotism means, then go on further.

My whole analysis is on the definition that hypnotism is control over a mind, so in that self-hypnosis does not make sense as it is a active phenomenon and not a passive one.

Ok, lets leave mine and come to yours: It is the process of offering suggestions or vrittis to the subconscious mind.

If it is simple process of offering *suggestions*, then it is no more a control. Hence the very question of being hypnotized into following bhakti or ajata vada is absurd.

The situation then will be no different than from how the seeing lot of violence on TV creates more subconscious vrittis in the mind. Whether someone else tells your subconscious or your yourself record it tell yourself or you get through some audio-visual modes, here the effect on subconscious is not about the mind being controlled but being disturbed by creating vrittis. In the calm lake of mind, someone throws a stone and disturbs it. This can be done by anyone even by oneself.

Fine upto now, but then your following statement in accordance to your definition of hypnosis by saying “hypnotism itself implies control at a subconscious plane”

So you are applying two different definitions at two different points. Either make it just offering vrittis, or control over mind.

If it is offering vrittis, then it does not require a stronger mind, but the vritti WILL die down sooner or later.

If it is control of mind, then my earlier explanation holds.

So what ever definition of hypnosis you take, you will realize that the effects of it are always going to be temporary and can never be permanent.

If you ask does it make sense that others/surroundings effect my subconscious mind and hence accelerate or delay my spiritual growth… yes it is quite logical. That’s why the concepts of satsangh and staying away from bad company come into the picture.


Blogger Krishna Prasad said...

Actually, Surya I would be glad if you read through this write up. I am of the opinion that we can carry forth our discussion after you have finished reading this post of mine.

10:50 PM  
Blogger V said...

The process of transformation of the individual is called vichArAtmaka sadhana. It consists of three stages of: shravana, manana and nididhyasana. In the first, the aim is to come to a conclusion that the Vedanta/path shown/taught is the one that will certainly deliver what the seeker is seeking. When this certitude is attained the stage is set for manana. It is technically defined: tarkataH mananam. That means the teaching, the path involved,etc. will have to be put through a logical testing. This is to give the aspirant a certitude that the Truth (of Oneness)is indeed a possible one. This is a crucial stage when the 'possibility' of the Oneness held out by the scripture/Guru is looked at from various angles, subjected to severe questioning. Then the nididhyasanam stage comes where the real meditating on the Truth as obtained with certitude in the mananam stage is undertaken intensely. No more doubts will be there at this stage since all of them have been cleared through reasoning at the mananam stage itself. So there is no question of blind belief, hypnosis, etc. in this. It is a clear open process. The final success depends on the handling of the obstacles, mostly of a mind that is not emotionally very thoroughly prepared, and overcoming them with the grace of Guru, personal effort and prayerto Ishwara. In this scheme of the Vedanta, there is no room for hypnosis. Of course there is an extremely important element called shraddhA. It is defined as: Firm belief with full faith in the words of the scripture and the Guru. This is the starting point. Without this there is no way the other steps can be walked. Along the path, with satsanga and other precautions, this shraddha deepens, strengthens and finally fructifies as the direct realization of the Truth for oneself to experience the Oneness; it is no longer 'just' a belief in the words of the scripture and the Guru or a mere intellectual understanding/conclusion but an unshakable, undeniable Experiential Truth. Shankaracharya says in the Upadesha sahasri:// If a person were to get to the firm conviction that he is the Atman in the same way that one has the conviction that he is the body (in the state of ignorance)then he becomes liberated even if he does not wish to be. // Such is the power of the properly acquired Truth.


1:51 AM  

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