Thursday, 14 September 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 6 part 3

              The  seeker has to  contemplate  on the emptiness  of  life , give  up his  attachments  to  his  body  and  stop  wasting  his  life  in  fulfilling  his  bodily  and  worldly  pleasures. . At  the  same time , he  should  remember the  fact  that  it  is  only  through  the  physical  body he  can  attain  the  four  purusharthas . So  one  has  to  take  care  of  one's  body  by proper  diet , exercise  ,  clothing  and  shelter ,so  that  by  the  grace  of  the  Lord ,he  develops  a  desire  to  know  his  true  nature  and  approaches  a  guru , gains  knowledge  and  becomes  free. . With  this  right  knowledge ,he  should  live  in this  body with  detachment towards  his  body  and  the  world . The   body and the  world   indeed  are  necessary  in order to  turn  his  mind inwards  and  contemplate  on the  highest  Truth .

        In  modern  times, the  concept  of  donating  one's  eyes  and  other  organs  after  death  is  spreading  thereby  helping  millions  of  lives  ,who  may  be in need  of  dead people's  organs.  This  idea  is  fast  catching up . So one  should  express   to  his  family members  his  desire  to  have  his  organs  donated  after his  death. Some  desire  even  to donate  the  body  for  medical  and  research  purposes. , after  they are  dead and  gone . It  then  becomes  the  responsibility of the  family  members    to  carry  out  their  last  wish.  

Bhaja Govindam -verse 6 part 2

                Through  contemplation  on the  Lord , the  seeker should  take  away  his  mind  from  the identification  with  his  body , and  from all  the  vanities  of  the  world  and  keep  his  mind  centred  on the  Lord.  This  is  not  to  say  that  one  neglects  the  body.  So  the  prayer  for  a  healthy  body  by  the  seeker  is  considered  to  be  alright  ,because  that  prayer  is  for  pursuing  the  spiritual  path for  which   one  definitely  needs  good  health.  The  jivatma  comes  to  identify  with  the  body  and  hence  gets  affected  by  whatever  happens  to  the  body.  As  long  as  he  is  alive  ,everyone  enquires  about  his  welfare.  But  he forgets  the  fact  this  will  perish  one day  ,so  he  should  not  give  over  importance  to  this  body  When  life  leaves  this  body,  it  becomes  dead  matter , so  worthy  only  of  cremating  it. . The  very  next  moment  of  the  death of  the  body, the  family  starts  making  preparations  for  its  cremation.   Even  the  wife  for  whom  this  body  was   dear, now  fears  going  near  the  dead  body  of  her  husband  and  does  not  want  to  delay  the  cremation. 

         Even  while  living  , this  man should  develop a  sense  of  detachment for  the  body , giving  up  the  identification  with  the  body with  the  right  understanding that  this  body  is  only a  temporary  vehicle  given  to him  for  his  spiritual  growth  and  life  would  be  snatched  away  from  him without  giving  him  any  advance  notice. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Bhaja Govindam - verse 6

            The  acharya  in the  sixth  verse  says : As  long  as  there  is  breath  in the  body  of  a  man  ,so  long  only  everyone  in  his  family  would  enquire  about  his   welfare.  Once  life  leaves  this  body  , the  body  decays  and  even  the  wife  is  afraid  of  going  near  that  body.  The  earlier  verses  highlighted  the  hollowness  of  pursuing  wealth  and  worldly  pleasures   and  indulging  in  sensual  pleasures,  the  sixth  verse highlights  the  importance of understanding  that  this   body  is  only  a  temporary  vesture  given  to  him  by  the  Lord.  So  the  acharya  wants  us  to understand  that  we  should  not  waste  our  life  in  giving over importance  to  this  physical  body.  The  jivatma  along  with  the  subtle  and  causal  body  quits this physical  body  when  his  prarabda karma  gets  exhausted. So  Sastras  say  this  human  birth  is  very  rare  hence  precious ,  so  seek  the Divine  even  when  life  is  still  in this  body. 

        Sastras  do not  tell us  to  neglect  this  body , nor  to deny  fulfilling  its  needs  in   legitimate ways.  We  have  to  keep  this  body  healthy  , so  that  we  can  pursue  the  path  of  knowledge , attain  jnanam  and  become  free .  In  one  of  the  lines  of  the  shanti  mantra   in  the  Mundaka  Upanishad both  the  guru  and  the  disciples  pray " may  we have     hale   and  healthy limbs  to  enable  us   to  sing the  glories  of  the  Lord  and    , may  we  live  the  entire  span  of  our  life , so  that  we  can  dedicate  our  life for  a  higher purpose."  So  a  perfectly  healthy  body  is  essential  for  enquiring  and  knowing  the  Truth 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 5

           In  the  5th  verse  ,the  acharya  says that  as long  as  a man  has  the ability  to  earn  and  save so  long  only  his  family  members  will  respect  him and  will  be  attached  to  him. Later on  when  he  comes  to  live  with  an old  and  infirm  body , when  he  becomes  an useless  member  of  the  family  ,  he  draws  no  more  respect from  them .  Man  is  generally  a  selfish  being.  Whenever  he  gives  something  to  others  ,he  expects  some  benefits  from them. . This  is  seen  in many  families . When  the  earning  member  of  the  family  retires  from  his  job and  so  stops  earning, then  the  other  members  of  his   family  stop  paying  him  any  respect. 

     The  capacity  to earn  and save ,   that  is  spoken  of  in this  verse  , as  the  vittarjanasakti ,  is to  be  taken  in its  widest  sense because  wealth  refers  to all  things  that  you  think  can  give  you  happiness.  It  also  includes all  the  powers  both  secular  and  spiritual  that  you   may  have.  So  the  acharya  says  that  all  the  wealth  and  powers  you  may  earn  will  leave  you  one day  as  everything  is  impermanent.  So  the  goal  of  life is  not  just  earning  money , though  money  is  essential  for  a  decent  survival.  Sankara  says  look  for  peace and  self  sufficiency. , so  that  you  do not  get  affected  by  others' changing  attitudes  towards  you.  

      Let  a  man  develop  the  pratipaksha  bhavana against  the  world which  boosts  his  ego  when  he  has  wealth  and  rejects  him  when  he gets  old  and  infirm.  So  through  contemplation , you  should  take  away your mind from  all  the  vanities of  the  world  and keep  your   mind  centred  on the  Lord. . This  is  not  to  say  that  one  should  not  earn  nor  go  after  making  a  successful  career . In  modern  times  the  financial advisors  advice  a man  how  to keep his   savings   safe  so  that  he  has  financial  independence . But  before  the  world  rejects  you  , reject  the  world  and  all its  false  vanities. . Through  this  pratipaksha  bhavana , realise  that wealth  does  not remain  forever with you  nor  your  physical  body  remains  the  same as you age. . So  prepare  yourself  to  live  an  independent  life , not  depending  on anyone  for  your  needs. . This  is  intelligent  living. 

Friday, 25 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 4 part-3

                In  the  Vivekachudamani  , acharya  Sankara  says three  things  are  very  rare. -durlabam - to  be  born  as a  human  being, to have  a  burning  desire  for  Moksha  and to  surrender  to a  man  of  wisdom. . Human  birth  is  very  rare. This  is  not  our  first  birth  , we  definitely have  gone  through  thousands  of  lives  as  different  types  of  animals  , and  by  the  Grace  of  the  Lord  only  we  are  now  blessed  to  have  a  human  birth  . But  this  birth , as in other  different  types  of  birth , is  ephemeral  and  fleeting  and  can  be  snatched  away  any  time  by  Lord  Yama, the  God  of  death, when  He  so chooses . Hence  the  acharya  says  employ  this  life in a  deep  discriminative  understanding  of  the  goal  of  life and  perceive  the  futility  of  all  mundane  pursuits  of  life. . So  taking  to  the  path  of redemption  is  rarer  still  and  rarer  still  it  is  to find  a  proper  Guru  and  have  the  shraddha  to surrender  unto  him.  and  all  this  happens  only  by  the  grace  of  the  Lord. 

       Let  not  anyone  think  that  the  grace  of  the  Lord  falls  down  on us  from  a  packet  in the  skies  at  the  whims  and  fancy  of  the  Lord. . In  Vedanta,  Grace  is  to  be  understood  as  the  sum total  of  all  results  gained  through  healthy  and  intelligent  way  of living  in which  man  has  lived all  his  previous  lives following  disciplines  and  not  squandered  away  the  precious  life  in unhealthy  pursuits  of  wealth  and  pleasures.  So  the  acharya  says  in the  Vivekachudamani  that  if  after  being  born  as  a human  being  if he  squanders  his  life  in chasing  pleasures of  the  world   and  not  seek  the  life  Divine  ,then  it  is  equal  to  committing suicide. By  his false  attachments  to the  world  of  objects  and  beings  ,he  forgets  his  real  nature  , he  looks  for  permanent  happiness  from  impermanent  things.  So  he  becomes  a  samsari  ,a  victim  of  his  own  ignorance. . This  the  acharya  calls  as  spiritual  suicide. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 4 part 2

          In  the  4th  verse,  the  acharya  is  showing  an  urgency  in his  words  when  he  says  do not  waste  your  life  over mundane  and  useless  things. . Lord  Buddha  ,it  is  said , also  showed  a similar  urgency  in his  words  when  he  said ' sarvan dukkham , dukkham,  sarvam  kshanikam ,kshanikam '. The  analogy  of  the  water drops  on the  lotus  petals  has  Vedantic  importance . The  lotus  is  born  in water,  nourished and  nurtured by  water  and  ultimately  perishes  in water.  and  then  becomes  an expression  of  water only. . Similarly  , Brahman  the  infinite itself  expresses itself  as  the  jivatma  by mere  sankalpa. . The  jivatma  is  the  expression  of  the  Paramatma / Brahman  at  the  individual  level.  When  the  jivatma , which  has  identified  itself  with its  own  instruments,  transcends them  , it  comes  back to  its  own  source  -the  Paramatma. . So  the  waterdrops  falling  on a  lotus  petal   and  merging  with  the  waters  of the  lake is  the  same as  the  jivatma shedding  its  own  identifications  and  merging  back  with  the  Paramatma  and  realising   that it  was  none  other  than  the  Paramatma  / Brahman  at  all  times. 

       The  physical  body  is  attacked  by  various  types  of  diseases  which  cause  pain  to the  physical  body  . But  suffering  is  always  at  the  mental  level. So  one  can  choose  to  suffer  or  choose  not  to. Suffering  is  optional.  The  intellect  is  always  bothered  by  desires  and  they  are  deadly  if they  are left  unchecked  for  they  then  turn  into  greed , anger , delusion ,envy, conceit  and  fear. . So  the  individual  gets  surrounded   by diseases and  endless  desires   and  the  jivatma  suffers  all  through  his   life. . The  acharya  expresses  concern  at  the  individual  who  just  wastes  all  his  life going  through  pain , suffering  and  sorrow. . So  he  says  put  in your  best  efforts  in the  here  and  now to  attain  the  state  of  liberation. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 4

            In  the  fourth  verse , the  acharya  states :  the  water drops  playing on a  lotus  petal has an  extremely uncertain  existence , so  also  is  life  so  unstable . understand  that the  world  is  consumed  by desire  and  conceit  and  is  riddled  by pangs  of  sorrow. . Acharya  is  trying  to  make  us  understand  how  ephemeral  and  short lived  is  the  life  of  an  individual  . Life  has  all  kinds  of  experiences  , both  pleasant  and  unpleasant  , but  mostly  it  is  riddled  with  pain,  sorrow  and  suffering. . The  acharya  is  comparing  the  transitoriness  of  an  individuals's  life to  that  of  little  water  drops  on the  lotus  petals and  the  waterdrops  can  fall  off any  moment  from  the  lotus  petal. . Similarly  , everything  in life,  why  life  itself  is  so  uncertain  that  nobody  knows  when  the  bell  will  toll  for  him  and  snatch  away  his  life  in a  fraction  of a  second  for  Lord  Yama  does  not  serve  any  notice  before  he  comes. 

      Even  in the  midst  of  this  uncertain  short  life span  ,he  is  continuously  affected  by  diseases and  goes  through  physical  pain and  suffering  because  of  the  prarabda  karmas.  The  intellect  fights against  the  attacks  by  different  types  of  desires. . Most  of  the  time  the  intellect  loses  its  discriminative  powers and  fails  in controlling  the  desires.  Actually, in this  verse,  the  acharya  has  two  important  things  to  say.  First  he  points  out  to  the  individual  to  understand  the  ephemeral  nature  of  life  and  hence  his  impending  mortality. . In  the  second  half  of  the  verse,  he  talks  about  the  world  which  is  as  though  ridden  with  pain. . So  the  seeker  has  to  develop  a  pratipaksha  bhavana towards  his  own  uncertain  existence  and  the  sorrow  filled  world. 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam- verse 3 part 4

                        The  acharya  says  reflect  over and  over  on this  aspect  in your  mind . In  the  Vivekachudamani  , Sankaracharya  says  in verse  22 " dosha  dhrishtyaa  muhurmuhu "  to  rise  above  desires  for  kanchana  and  kamini. . Reflecting  on this  ,one  develops  the  pratipaksha  bhavana ,that  is  ,through intellectual  evaluation  you  view sense  objects  from  a  different  angle. Sense  objects are  only  ephemeral  ,  temporary  and  the  law  of  diminishing  returns  applies  here   and  the  more  you  indulge  in sense  pleasures  , the  more you  develop  a  disgust  for  them. 

                   In  the  Kathopanishad , Nachiketas , when  tempted  by  Lord Yama with  varieties  of  wealth  and  pleasures,  says  they  are  ephemeral  ,and  they  tend  to  decay the  fire  of  all  senses  in man  . The  sense  objects  being  finite  and  when  meddled  with,  they  tend  to  weaken  the  very instrument  of  our  appreciation  and  enjoyment. . The  first  laddu  is  sweet and  may be  welcomed  eagerly,  but  not  so  much  the  fifth, and  definitely  not  the  twentieth  laddu  which  will  give  only  pain. . Nachiketas  uses  the word ' svah  abhava '  that  they  will  not  last  even  till  tomorrow.  

            The  acharya  sees  them from  a  new  angle  . He  says  the  entire  body  of  a  man  or a  woman is  composed  only  of  flesh  and fat  packed  within  the  skin. . So  when  this  truth  is  brought  in front  of  one's  mind  ,  one  comes  to  retreat  from  the  indulgence  of  sensual  pleasures . So  through  developing  a  pratipaksha  bhavana , one  can  re-educate  one's  mind that  after all  the body  comprising  of  only  flesh,  fat,  bones  and  blood  is  after all  not  that  pleasing  to  look at  when  seen  from the  new  angle. . So  the  acharya  in the  very  beginning  of  the  Bhaja  Govindam  thrashes  the  importance  given  to  the  two  most  important  attractions  man  has  that  of  wealth and  his  instinctive  longing  for  the  flesh.  

Friday, 18 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 3 part 3

      Among  the  six  disciplines  in the  sadhana  chatustaya  sampatti,  one  of  them  is  sama  -mind  control  or  calmness  of  the  mind , which  can  be  achieved  only  when  the  mind  withdraws  itself  from  the  external  world  of  objects  and  draws  the  mind  within. . Usually  our  minds  get  agitated  because  of  various  desires  that  strike  the  mind  for  the  sense  objects.  Even  when  the  mind  is  withdrawn   from  the  sense  objects  , it  continues  to  revel  in  the  pleasures  gained  from  them. . So  the  mind  by  constant  practice  has to  be  diverted  from  its  pleasure outings  to  diviner  fields.  In  bhakti  , the  devotee puts his  whole  mind on  concentrating  his  mind  upon  his  Ishta  devata   and  this  helps  him  gradually  to  withdraw  his  mind  from  its  pursuits  of  sense  objects. 

     In  the  path  of  jnana  yoga  ,the  mind  is  given  an  alternative  field  of  contemplation  , that  of  contemplating  upon  the all  pervading  consciousness  principle  , also  called  as  Brahman  / Atma.  Here  also , as  in  bhakti  yoga,   the  mind  gets  weaned  away  from  entertaining  thoughts  of  the  sense  objects. The  mind  in these  sadhanas  ,whether  in  bhakti  yoga  or  in jnana  yoga  ,  never  forcefully  drops  the  desires  , because  the  mind  develops  vairagya  and  the  desires  for  sense  objects  fall  off  on  their  own  from  the  mind  because  the  mind  has  got  attached  to  diviner  fields.  The  intellect  becomes  aware  of  the  imperfections  and  weaknesses  in the  field  of  objects . The  more  and  more  one  practices  these  sadhanas , one  gains  self  control  and  stops  revelling  in the  sense  objects . So  in this  third  verse  the  acharya  is advising  us  to  withdraw  the  mind  from  the  sense  objects  ,through  constant  practice . This   is what  is  meant  when  the  acharya  says  'varam  , varam'  here. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 3 part2

                  It  is  true  that  man , like  all  animals ,  is  governed  by  the  natural  instinct  for  sex ,for  preservation  and  propogation  of  his  species   and  hence  he  runs  after  women . His  mind  becomes  fully  infatuated  with  lust  and  his  intellect  gets  deluded. . The  idea  expressed  in this  verse  is  not  to  abstain  totally  from  sensual  pleasures  but  to  give  up  the  endless  cravings for  sense  pleasures. . So  through  the    two  most  powerful  motivations  for  acquiring  and  enjoying  , he  becomes  a  slave  to  them   and runs  after  kanchana  and  kaminee  and  this  is  what  is  condemned  by  the  acharya. 

            Biologically  ,man  and  woman  are  attracted  to  each  other . But  this  natural  instinct  has  to  be  sublimated   and  directed  into  diviner  fields . . With  these  two  verses,  the  acharya  warns  us not  to  indulge  in  greed  or  lust. . The  sense  objects  do  exist  and  attract  us ,but  we  should   keep  a  strict  vigil  over  them ,by  developing  vairagya  through  repeated  practice  of  keeping  away  from  sense  pleasures. . The  objects  seen  in the  world  are  never  seen  as  they  are  but  seen  through  our  own  subjective  mind. There  is  beauty  in  nature,  in all  that  is  created  by  the  Lord  and  we  should  be  able  to  appreciate  even  a  man's  beauty  or  woman's  beauty  objectively.  Then  we  can  come  to  see the  beauty  in  our  own   inner  world  of joy  and  happiness . 

       In  the   second  chapter  of the Bhagavad  Gita  , the  Lord , while  giving  sadhanas  for  transforming  oneself  from   being  a  pragya  to  sthira  pragya  , emphasizes  the  importance  of  three  exercises  such  as  shama  and  dama   and  nidhidhyasanam.  Shama  and  dama  refer  to  getting  mastery  over  our  senses  and  mind. , without  which  one  cannot  get  peace  of  mind . The  Atmananda  can  be  reflected  only  in  a  calm  and  peaceful  mind,   that is  not  disturbed  or  distracted  by  the  sense  organs  or  the  wandering  mind. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam- verse3

            From  the  days  of the  Upanishads to  our  own  times , we  find  Sastras give  us  a  warning to  give  up  greed  for  wealth and  the  passion  (  lust )  for  women.. Here  the  term  'woman   ' has  to  be  understood  as  any  object of pleasure. . The  whole  of  mankind  from  time  immemorial  works  for  sukha  prapti  and  dukkha  nivritti - attainment  of  happiness  and  escape  from  pain. and . man's  sense  of  insecurity  born  out  of his feelings  of incompleteness  and  finitude ,makes  him  run after  wealth ,and  he  builds  a  cover over  himself with  wealth  and  money. . When  a  certain  amount  of  wealth  is  acquired  to  satisfy  his  basic  essential  necessities  like  food  ,shelter, clothing  ,  his  mind  now  goes  in search  of  attaining  happiness  through  sense  objects.  Sastras  are  never  against  acquiring  wealth nor  against  finding  pleasures  from  the  objects  of  the  world. That's  the  reason  why  artha-kama  are   two  purusharthas  accepted  by  the  Sastras.(  the  other  two  purusharthas  are  dharma and  moksha ).  All  legitimately  earned  wealth  ,Sastras  accept  and   all  legitimate  material  and  sensual  pleasures  too  are  accepted . 

       In  the  3rd  verse  the  acharya  says " seeing  the  bosom  and  navel  of  a  woman ,do not   fall  a  prey  to  frenzied  delusion . It  is  only  a  modification  of  flesh  and  fat etc. Reflect  on  this  over  and  over  again  in  your  mind "  . We  saw  that  man  is  driven  by  two  powerful  forces all  through  his  life that  of  the  desire  to  acquire  and  the  desire  to  enjoy.  Let  us  understand  the  word ' woman '    from  a  higher  point  of  you.   The term  'woman  ' is  only  a  symbolic  representation  of  all  objects  of  enjoyment.  The  acharya  would  not  have  used  the  term  woman   only  to  mean  the  female  among  the  human  species.  Hence it  can  refer  to  a  man seen  from  a  woman's  point  of  view. . So  let  us  understand  the  term  'woman'  in the  context  of  the  verse as  representing  all  enjoyments  derived  from  the  sense  objects. 
            The  explanations  on this  verse  continue.....

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Bhaja Govindam-verse 2 part4

         The  Isavasya Upanishad  starts  as  follows  ' isavasyam  idam  sarvam'.  meaning  all  that  comes  as  our  experience is  pervaded  by  Isvara. , like  the  clay  pervades  the  clay pot.  Isvara  is  the  upadana karana  of  this  universe ,so  the  cause  appears  as  names  and  forms.,that  the  world  is  just merely  names  and  forms  with  no independent  existence or  reality.   When  we  go  through  life  with  this  Isvara  dhrishti,  we  are  free  from  sorrows  . Now  the  question  arises as to  how to  maintain this  Isvara  dhrishti ,  which  is  advaita  dhrishti , at all  times? The  Upanishad  says  that  after  gaining  this  knowledge , you  protect  yourself  by  not  accumulating more  and  more  wealth ,  having  more  relationships   but  only  by  tyaga you  can  protect  yourself  that  is   remain  in this  Isvara  dhrishti . 

       The  Brihadaranyaka  Upanishads  talks  about  three  types  of  desires:  putreshana,  vitteshana  and  lokeshana.  Wealth  is  desired for  what  it  can  buy  us,  son is  desired  for  going  to  higher  lokas  ,so  they  both  can  be  classified  as  sadhana ,the  means,  while  the  third  desire  becomes   the  sadhyam  ,what  you  get  from them,  the  pleasures  and  experiences  .  It  is  only through  vairagyam  you  can  protect  yourself  from these  desires.   The  upanishad  says  you  are  running  after  worldly  objects  as  though  they  are  real . ,protect  yourself  from  the  mithya  jagat. . Do not  covet  others  wealth  ,  do not  hold  on to  someone  else's  wealth . . Even  after  the  understanding  has  come, the  lingering desire  for   others wealth  might  still  be  there . So  give  up   your  desire for  wealth .  Only  as  long  as the  bhedbhav  is  there,  one  comes  to  desire  for  others  wealth,  when  the  advaita  bhava  comes  ,then  everything  is  mine  and also at the  same  time  , everything  is  everyone's  attitude  comes. Then you  stop  being  greedy  for  more and  more  wealth  and  stop  craving  for  others wealth also.   

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Bhaja govindam- verse 2 part3

             In  the  7th  verse  of  the  Vivekachudamani,  acharya  Sankara  ,quotes  the  famous  statement  of  the  Brihadaranyaka  Upanishad that  the  Deathless  and  the  Imperishable  can  never be  gained through  the  possession  of  wealth.  and   there  is  no hope  of  immortality by  means  of  wealth. . The  word' immortality '  here  indicates  not  a  continuous and  monotonous living  in  joy  in a  lazy  yonder  there, but  a  perfection  here within  ourselves wherein  we  experience  peace  and  tranquility.  This  peace  ,says  the  acharya  , cannot  be  gained through  wealth (  vittam )  of  sense  objects.   Here  wealth  refers  to  the  wealth  that  gives us  immediate  experience   and  it  is  the  sense  objects  that  directly  convey  experiences  to  us  from  the  external  world. . Hence  a  continuous  and  infinite experience  of  tranquility cannot  be  gained  through  the  sense  objects. 

      So  when  the  mind  is  freed  from  passion  ,  one  is  asked  to  meditate  upon  the  Lord.  When  the  mind  is  withdrawn  from  its  present  preoccupation  with  wealth , it  becomes  empty and  such  an  empty  mind  then  comes  to  be  filled  with  thoughts  of  the  Divine.  There  is  no  end  to desires , because  when  a  particular  desire  gets  fulfilled  , the  mind  remains  satisfied  just  for  a  short  while  as  it  experiences  peace   but  the  restless  and  ever  craving  mind  jumps  over  to  get  newer   and  newer  desires  fulfilled  through  the  power  of  wealth.  But  such  a  person  entertaining  desires  can  never  find  satisfaction  in  life because  wealth  can  purchase  only sense  gratifications.  Attachment  to  his  wealth  brings  sorrow because  he  has  to  find  ways  and  means to  preserve  what  he  has  acquired . So  the  struggle  for  acquiring  wealth  and  preserving  it  ,goes  on  all  through  his  life. . Lord  Krishna  says   in the  Geeta  ' surrender  unto  Me  and  I  will  take  care  of  you,  by  giving  you  what  you need  and  protecting  what  you  have '  "  Yogakshemam  vahamyaham  "  says  the  Lord. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 2 part 2

       We  saw  in the  last  page,  the  acharya  is  telling  us, seekers,  to  give  up  our  thirst  to possess  wealth.  Now  a  doubt  may  arise  in our  minds as  to  how  we  can  give  up all  our  desire  for  wealth .  We  do  need  wealth  in some  form  or the  other for  our  very  survival  ,for  fulfilling  our  daily  needs like  food  ,shelter  and  clothing .  Vedanta  is  never  against   earning  money  . Vedanta  tells  us  only  to  give  up  our  thirst  , the  craving  or  greed  for  more  and  more wealth  ,which  then makes  us  slaves  of  the  material  wealth  , in  fact  , we  have  to remain  masters  over  our  possessions. 

     This  greed  for  wealth  can  be given  up  only  by  shifting   our  minds to  subtler  aspects  of  life.  When  we  engage  our  minds in thoughts  of  God/ Self  ,  the  lower  aspects  of  our  personality  like  anger, desire  , greed  etc  will  fall  off  on their  own  .  In  this  verse , the  term 'wealth '  is  to  be  understood  to  include  all  worldly  objects  of  possession  ,with  which  the  possessor  in us  feels  a  temporary  satisfaction .  So  the  acharya  says  cleanse  the  mind off  its  lust  for  objects  ,  greed  for  possessions  ,  covetousness  for  wealth   and  divert  the  mind in  contemplation  on the  Lord  which  will  help  us in 
  giving  up  lust  and  greed  and  live  in joyous  contentment  and  satisfaction  with  what  we get  as  result  of  our  action. 

     We  seek  satisfaction  in life through  acquiring  and  hoarding  more  and  more  wealth , but  we  fail  to  see  that  they  fulfill  us  only  temporarily  and  the  thirst  returns  to  force  us  to  acquire  and  hoard  more  and  more wealth. . This continues  chasing wealth,  mercilessly  torments  us all  through  our  lives. To  come  out  of  this  vicious  cycle ,we  have  to  discover  contentment  within ourselves. . We  should  acquire  wealth  only  through  honest  means   and  not  feed  on  greed  or  covetousness  ,which  would  often  make  us  acquire  wealth  by  dishonest  means.   Only  then  we  can  find  peace  and  happiness in life  and  only   in  such  a  peaceful  mind  that  contemplation  of  the  Self  is  possible. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam- verse 2

                In  the  second  verse, the  acharya  says, ' oh  fool, give  up  the  thirst  to  possess  wealth  , create  in your  mind, devoid  of  passions  , thoughts  of  the  Reality. Whatever  you  gain  as  fruits  of  your  actions, keep  your  mind  content  with  that  wealth ' .  Human  beings  are  driven  by  two  powerful  forces - the  desire  to acquire  and  the  desire  to  enjoy. . This  verse  deals  with the powerful  desire  to  acquire. . So  a person  forces  himself to  acquire ,  aggrandise and  hoard material  wealth. . Sankara  calls  such  a  man  a  moodah  , a  fool,  because  ,this  person  though  endowed  with  the  ability  to  withdraw  his  mind  from  worldly  desires   and  direct  it  to  the  Supreme  Self  ,which  is  within  him   ,    is  busy  wasting  his  life  over acquiring  and  hoarding  material  wealth  ,which  is  temporary   .

         In  the  Kathopanishad , Nachiketas  ,a nine  year  old  boy , is  asking  Yamraj  to  explain  to  him  about  what  lies  beyond  death ,  but  Yamraj  wants  to  test  his  vairagya  ,so  he  tempts  the  little  boy with  all  the  wealth  of  this  world  ,  a life  as  long  as  he  wishes  to  live  and  so  on. . Yet  Nachiketas  refuses  to  be  tempted  by  the  worldly  pleasures  and  wealth  ,and  he  says, 'keep thou  your  chariot , dance  and  music ,  for  man  is  not to  be  satisfied with  wealth  however  much  he  has. . These  material  things  and  pleasures  will  decay  ,the  power  of  the  five  senses  also  will  decay . Even  the  longest  life  promised  by  you  is  after all only  temporary. '. Nachiketas  does   not  show  even  a  small  trace  of  desire  to  acquire anything  that  is  being   offered  by  Yamraj.  So  he  wants  his  third  boon to  be  fulfilled  by  Yama , the  Lord  of  death . He  wants  to  know  about  the  great  passing  beyond  ie  the  supreme  life after  death. . Such is  the  vairagya  being  displayed  by  this  little  boy. 

      The  explanations  for  this  verse  will  continue  in the  next  few  pages. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 1 continued-part 7

        The  term ' bhaja'  we  have  seen  means  worship  and  it is  not  a  mechanical  chanting  of  any  name  of the  Lord. . We  have  seen  there  are  nine  different  ways  in which  a  bhakta  can  worship  the  Lord  ,to  express  his  love  and  devotion  to  Him. . So  bhajan  is  an expression  of  the  devotee's  true  surrender in love  and  devotion  to  one's  own  ishta  devata. 

        The  term  ' Govinda  ' in this  verse  appears  twice  in the  Vishnusahasranama.  Govinda  is  the  highest  Reality. . The  acharya  says  'seek  Govinda'  three  times because  the  human  mind  revels in the  three  material  layers  of  the  body, mind  and  intellect  and  comes  to  identify with   these  as  the  Real  Self.    Govinda  refers  to  Lord  Vishnu -the Supreme  Reality.  So  he  says  seek  the  identity  with  Him,  the  Supreme  and  do not  waste  your  life  over  subtler  pursuits  of acquisition  and  enjoyment  . Therefore  the  implied  meaning  is  withdraw  the  mind  from  its  preoccupation  with  the  world and  direct  it  to  the  Supreme  Self,  the  Govinda  residing  in the  secret  cave  of   your  heart.  The  term  Govinda  means  the  one  who  finds  or  knows  the earth,  meaning, one  who  has  realised  the  substratum   upon  which  the  whole  drama  of  life is  going  on  ,  secondly, He  is  the  Lord  of  the  cattle  ,here  it  does  not  refer  to  Him  merely  as  the  cowherd  boy  of  Vrindavan  , but  He  is  the  one  behind  all  our  animal  passions. , thirdly,  He  is  the  One  that  blesses  us  humans  with  the  power  of  speech to  communicate  with  each  other, fourthly,  He  is known  through  the  Mahavakyas  which  proclaim  His  glories . Govinda  stands  for  the  Absolute  Reality  , the  Absolute  Truth  ,  He  is  Brahman  of  the  Upanishads 

      So  the  sum  and  substance  of  this  verse  is  that  the  acharya  expresses  an  urgency  in telling  us  not  to  waste  our  lives  over mundane  joys   or  learning  grammar rules but  to  seek  Him   and  His  Grace. 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse 1 continued -part 6

              In  the  Chandyogya  Upanishad  , Narada  muni  approaches  Sanathkumar   asking  for  spiritual  knowledge . The   teacher  wants  to  know  all  that  Narada  muni  knows  about   and  he  starts  enumerating  all  the  secular  knowledge , he  has  gathered , including   Grammar. . The  Guru  says  they  are  all  nothing  but  mere  names. . The  Infinite ( Bhoomaah )  is  to  be  realised  which  exceeds  all  that  Narad muni  knows . Though  we  should  not  underestimate  the  importance  of  learning  the  Grammar  of  the  Sanskrit  language  ,  yet  to  waste  one's  life time  over  the  pursuit  of  all  such  non-essentials   at  the  cost  of  knowing  what  needs  to  be  known  ,is  that  which  is  condemned  here  by  the  acharya  Sankara. 

         Another  grave  mistake  we  all  make  is  ,we  think  that   somehow  at  the  time  of  death  ,we  will   manage to remember  the  Lord. and  reach  Him. . It  is  said  in the  Geeta  that  one  who  remembers  me  at  the  'antakale  ',  reaches  the  Lord. . But  it  is  a fact  that  unless  we  have  a  constant  remembrance  of  the  Lord   at  all  times ,through  out  our  lives ,  it  will  not  be  possible  to  remember  the  Lord  right  at  the  time  of  death. . So  we  have  to  go  through  our  entire  life  remembering  Him  ,so  that   the  thought  of  the  Lord  comes  to  our  mind  spontaneously  when  Lord  Yama   is  there  in front  of  us wielding  His  rope  .

      In  this  verse  , the  acharya    says  'bhaja ' ,  which  means  chant  the  name  of  the  Lord . Chanting  is  not a  routine  and  mechanical  action  done   with  the  mind  wandering  all around . Here  'bhaja  ' means  seeking  our  identity  with  the  Lord . True  bhajan  is   total  surrender in  love  and  devotion  at  the  feet  of  the  Lord.  Hence  scriptures  speak  of  9  ways  of  glorifying  the  Lord  in order  to  express  our  love  and  devotion  to  Him . They  are  : sravanam, keertanam,  smaranam  , padasevanam  ,  archanam  , vandanam,  daasyam, ,sakhyam , and  atma nivedanam .
 Verse  1  explanation  will  continue  in the  next  pages. 


Monday, 10 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam -verse -1 -part 5

          The  Bhaja  Govindam  indicates  the  goal  of  human  life and  the  path  to  be  taken  to  reach  this  goal.  It  also  shows  the  wretchedness  of  his  present  way  of  life. and  the loss  of values  in his  life and  what  waits  him  if  he  continues  to  pursue  the path  of  ego  and  live  a  desire  oriented  life.  The  poem  is  addressed  to  a spiritual  seeker  who  has  started  walking  this  path  , but  does  not  know  it  clearly   and  hence  a  sense  of  commitment  is  not  there  in  him  to  the  correct  means  he  has  to  follow  and  so  he  wastes  his  life  in running  after  mundane  pleasures. . So  in the  Bhaja  Govindam  ,the  acharya  shows  an  urgency  in  his words  seeing  how  a man  wastes  all  his  life  over  unimportant  and  mundane  activities and  the  acharya  urges  man  to  take  up  the  spiritual  path  with  seriousness  and  finally  reach  the  ultimate  state  of  liberation.  . Hence  in the  verses,  we see   the  acharya  does  not  show  any  mercy  or  softness  towards  such  people. 

        In  the  first  verse,  the  acharya  says  ' bhaja  govindam ',  seek  Govinda, seek  Govinda  ,oh  fool  , when  the  appointed  time  comes ,  when  Yamraj  is  there  at  your doorstep  to  snatch  away  your  life ,  grammar  rules surely  will  not  help  save  you.  This  verse  is  chanted  as  a  chorus  , hence  repeated   at  the  end  of  every  verse. . Here  Grammar  refers  to  all  the  secular  knowledge  and  all  our  possessions. ,  which  will  not  anyway  help  one  whose  life  is  going  to  be  snatched  away  from  this  temporary  abode  ,  this  physical  body.  This  verse  shows  us  the  importance  of  chanting  the  Lord's  name  at  all  times .
The  explanations  on this  verse  will  continue  in the  next  pages. 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam - An Introduction -part 4

         Some  of the  important  works  of  acharya  Sankara ,other  than  his  bhashyams  on  the  ten  Upanishads , the  Bhagavad Geeta  , the  Brahma  sutra  and  his  own  composition  the  Vivekachodamani, are his   devotional  compositions   like  the  Bhaja  Govindam  ,  Soundarya  Lahari,  Kanakadara  stotram,  Sivananda Lahari, Minakshi stotram ,   the Dakshinamurthy stotram  and  so  on.    Bhaja Govindam  is  one  of  the  extremely   important  works  of  the  acharya . It  is  said  that  for  an  intelligent  person, a  study  of  this  poem  can  remove  his  delusion (  moha ) , so  the  poem  is  called  Mohamudgara. 

       The  story  goes  thus  regarding  the  circumstances  that  went  on to  inspire  Adi  Sankara  to  compose  the  Bhaja Govindam , as  he   was  going  along  with  his  fourteen  disciples to  Kashi   he  overheard an  old  pundit  was  trying  to  repeat  the  sanskrit grammar  rules. . The  acharya  realised  that  the  old  man  was  wasting  his  time  over  an intellectual  accomplishment without  realising  the  Truth. The  acharya  burst  forth  into  these  verses called  Mohamudgara , now  popularly  known  as  Bhaja  Govindam. . So  he  starts  his  Bhaja Govindam with  the  lines  that  grammar  rules will  never  help anyone  at  the  time  of  death. . So  he  commands  people  to put  in all  their  efforts towards  realising  the  Truth,  that  deathless  state  of  purity  and  perfection. 

        The  acharya  is  believed  to  have  composed  12  more  verses ,which  are  a  bouquet  of  flowers  and  which   go  under the  name   dwadasa manjarika  stotram. . Each  of  the  14  disciples  were  inspired  to  compose  one  verse  each , and  they  all  go  under  the  name chaturdasa  manjarika  stotram .. Then  Sankara  blesses  all  true  seekers of all  times in  the  last  four  verses  . So  the  Bhaja  govindam  comprises  of  31  verses  though  in some  editions  the  number  varies.  

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Bhaja Govindam- the philosophy of Sankara -part 3

             We are  seeing  the  Advaita  philosophy  ,which holds  the  Atma  ,the  chaitanyam  as   the  cause  and  anatma, the  material  universe  as  the  effect. . The  effect  does not  have  an  independent  existence  of  its  own  , it  depends  on the  cause  for  its  existence,  like  ornaments  do  not exist  independent   of  gold . So  the  effect  is  cause  with only  different  names  and  forms. . The  whole  universe  is  only  just  names  and  forms  on  the  only  substance  called  Brahman / Atma . This  the  acharya  tried  to  explain  with  the  famous  snake-rope  illusion. .  The  rope   when  seen  in poor  light  is  mistaken  for  a  snake   and  creates  fear  in the  mind  of  the  one  who  sees  it  as a  snake,  In  reality  , there  is  no snake  ,when  he  sees  the  rope  in  proper  light, he  sees  it  as  a snake  only.   The  snake  was  superimposed  on  the  rope  due  to  ignorance and  when  the  right  knowledge  of  the  rope  dawns  on him  , he  sees  not  the  snake  but  the  rope  only. 

           Similarly ,  due to   the  ignorance  of  the  Self,  we  have  superimposed  the  universe  on Brahman  . When  the  ignorance  is  removed  by  knowledge  , then  the   jnani does  not  give  reality  to this  universe . . He  sees  Brahman  in its  place.  Brahman  becomes  the  adhishtanam  for  all  the   different  names  and  forms.  He  thus  established  the  Advaita  philosophy  of  'brahma  satyam  ,jagan  mithya,  and  jiva  brahma  Aikyam.  We  have  seen  the  details  of  this  in previous  pages. . It  should  be  remembered  by  all  ,that  whatever  he  tried  to  establish  through  his  reasoning  and  logic  were  not  his  own  original  thoughts. He  did  not  propound  any  new  theory  but  revived  the  teachings  of  his  own  guru  Govinda  bhagavadpada  , and  his  guru  Gaudapada charya. 

      About  the  acharya   ,Pujya  Gurudev . Swami  Chinmayananda  says, " Sankara  is  not  an  individual  . He  is  an  institution. . No  single  person could  ever  have  achieved   what  he  had  achieved  in his  short  span  of  life . No  master  or  prophet had  ever  achieved  so  much  for  so  many  in so  short  a  life  of  32  years .Very  often  this  tempts  us  to consider  the  acharya as  an  avatara "  He  is  generally  believed  to  be  an  avatara  of Lord  Shiva .

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Bhaja Govindam- the philosophy of Sankara - part 2

       The  essential  teaching of  Aadi Sankara  was  stated  by  himself  as  "  brahma  satyam,  jagan mithya , jivo brahmaiva na para ". Brahman  , the  Absolute , alone  is  real,  this  world  is  unreal  and  jiva, the  individual  sou is  no  different  from Brahman. . Brahman  / Atma  indicates  the  Absolute Reality ,which  is  non-dual  ,  advaitam. . The  supreme  Brahman  is  nirvikara,  nirguna,  nirvisesha   and  eka  and satyam. . Brahman  is  the  witnessing  subject  and  can  never  be  the  object  of  our  knowledge.  Brahman  is  Sat-Cit- Ananda  principle. 

    The  acharya  emphasised  that  the  only  way  to  realise  that  Brahman  is  through  jnanam  alone. . To  be a qualified   person  for  entering  the  path  of   gnanam  , he  prescribed  the  fourfold  qualification  called  sadana  chatustaya  sampatti.  He  considered  Bhakti  as  a step  to secure  the  grace  of  the  Lord to  finally  reach  the  state  of  oneness  with  the  Lord  /  Brahman.  He  also  gave  importance to   karma  ,to selfless  actions  done  with  a  detached  mind  for  gaining  purity  of  mind.   Brahman  is beyond  the  reach  of the  senses,  mind  and  intellect , hence  the  Brihadaranyaka  Upanishad  declares  ,'neti, neti, ,  not  this,  not  this  '.  It  is  the  essence  of  the  knower, the  seer,  the  transcendental  Truth,  the  Turiyam  , the  silent  witness  .  The  acharya  accepted  the  concept  of saguna  and  nirguna  Brahman  . The  same  nirguna  Brahman  appears  as  the  saguna  Brahman  for  the  worship  of  the  devotees.  Nirguna  Brahman  is  the  highest  Truth  seen  from  the  Paramarthika  standpoint,  while  saguna  Brahman  is  seen  as  Truth  from  the  vyavaharika  stand point. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Bhaja Govindam -About the author -part 1

      A new  series  of  essays  on  the  life  of  Aadi  Sankaracharya  and  his  famous  composition  the Bhaja  Govindam  , I  hope  to  write  from  now  on. I invoke  the  blessings  of  the  acharya  to  help  me  on this  journey .
         Bhagavadpada  Acharya  Sankara  was  a  great  thinker  and  he  was indeed  the  noblest  of the Advaita  philosophers. . He  appeared  at a  time when  the  Hindu philosophy needed  him to  rejuvenate the  Hindu  religion  and  philosophy. ,for  the  Hindu  society  had  broken  up and  had  become  disunited  after  the  Buddha's  sunyavada  teachings. . It  was  at  this  time  that  the  acharya  tried  to  bring  about  a  revival  in our  Hindu  culture and  philosophy   by  giving  us  the philosophy  of  non-dual  nature of  Brahman  of  the  Upanishads  .

       He  was  born to  Sivaguru and  Aryamba  ,more  than one thousand  two  hundred  years  ago  in Kaladi, kerala.  At  the  age  of  thirty two, he  had finished  his  work and  folded  up  his his  avatara.   Within  his  short  span  of  life , he  wrote  commentaries ( bhashyam ) on ten  Upanishads , the  Bhagavad Geeta,  the  Brahma sutra, he  composed  the  Vivekachoodamani  and  many  other  texts , religious  stotras consisting  of hymns  and  meditative  verses. He  established  four  Maths  in four  corners  of the  country. He  had  four  important  disciples namely:  Padmapada,  Sureshwara , Hastamalaka  and  Totaka.  One  wonders  whether  they  were  the  four  purusharthas  in  human  form ,or  the  four  Vedas,  or  the  four  faces  of  Brahma, the  creator !

      The  sum and  substance  of  the  essence  of  Sankara's  philosophy  ,   was  stated  by  himself  as  "  brahma  satyam,  jagan mithya  , jivo  brahmaiva  na para " . Brahman  the  Absolute   alone  is  real  , this  world  is  unreal  and  the  jiva or  the  individual  soul  is  not  different  from Brahman. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Atma/ Brahman -part 9

           So  we  have  seen  from  our  the  previous  pages that  Brahman  can  never  be  objectified ,  cannot  be  known  through  any  instruments  of  knowledge  , then  a  doubt  arises   does  that   Brahman  exist  ? Upanishads  explain  that ,  Brahman/  Atman  is  the  very  subject , the  very  conscious  being  ,  the  knower  which  objectifies  everything  but  cannot  be  objectified.  Paramatma  cannot  be  illumined  by  the  small  aarti  that  is  shown  to  Him  during  the  deeparadana  . Upanishad  says  it  is  you  alone  who  are  illuming the  fire  through  the  consciousness  that  is  actually  illuming  the  fire. . Sunlight,  moonlight , stars,  lightning, ,  fire  none  of  them  illumines  consciousness  , but  it  is  Consciousness  that  illumines  all  of  them , makes  the  sunlight  known  and  moonlight   and  everything  else  known. 

         Brahman  is  the  very  subject  " I  " ,the Atma   which  illumines  all  other  lights  in the  world. . Now  a very  important   doubt  arises  in our  minds ,  to  reach  that , and   if  I  have to  get  this  knowledge  that  'aham  brahma  asmi ',  then  how  much  do I  travel  to  reach  that  Truth? . Reaching  Brahman  is  not  a physical   event  which  requires  a  process  or  time. Reaching  Brahman  is  an  intellectual  event  ,which  involves  dropping  the  misconceptions  that  there  is  a  distance  to  be  travelled  to  reach  that  Truth  ,  that  there  is  a  gap  to be  filled  between  that  Brahman  and  me. . When  I  carry  the  misconception  , I  think  that  the  Lord  is  in Vaikunta  or  Kailash  , so  I  look  for  a  travel  to  these  places. . It  is  knowledge  alone  that  can  remove  the  false  notions . Other  than  knowledge  there  is  no  merger  with  the  Lord . Having  merged  with  the  Lord  through  the  aikya  gnanam , there  is  no  coming  back and  that  destination  is  my  own  higher nature  says  the  Lord   in the  Geeta .    

      With  this  the  topic  of  Atma/  Brahman  gets   concluded 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Atma / Brahman - part 8 .

           There  is a  wonderful  mantra  in the  Kathopanishad  (  2-5-15 ) , which  is  repeated even  today  during  aarti ,in all  temples  in India. . The  mantra  states  that the  sun does  not  shine  there , nor  does  the  moon,  nor   the  stars , nor   the  lightning  ,  much  less  this  small  aarti  I  am  showing  to  the  Lord ,  will  help  light  up  the  light  of  consciousness .  When  He  shines  , everything shines  after  him,  because  of  Him .

      The  realm  of  the  Self,  the  Atma  ,which  is  the  land  of  Absolute  knowledge  , is  the  plane  of  Divine  God  Consciousness  ,  there  is  no  agent  to  light  and  illumine  it.  Just  as  we  need  no  torch  to  lighten  up  the  sun,  similarly  ,  no  light  on this  universe  can  ever  hope  to  lighten  up  that  Divine  Consciousness.  . This  Divine  Consciousness  is  the  substratum  for  all  the  activities  in life. . When  life  leaves  this  body  ,  all  activities  of  the  sense  organs,  the  physical  body,  mind  and  intellect,will  come  to  an  end. . Then  to  that  dead  person  ,  there  is  no  sun,  moon,  stars , the  lightning  ,and  the  light  of  fire.  ,  all  these  lights  make  sense  to a  person  only  as  long  as  there  is  this  consciousness  principle  in him. . So  the  giver  of  all  sources of  life  is  the  Divine  Consciousness,  the  Self,  the  Atma /  Brahman. . Everything  shines  only  by  its  light. 

        What  the  upanishad  wants  to  emphasise  is  that  the  Divine  Consciousness  cannot  be  objectified  by  any  instruments  of  knowledge. , It  cannot  be  illumined  by  anything  in this  universe. . Any  pramanam  ,an  instrument  of  knowledge is  called  light. . In  its  presence  objects  are  known.  So  in the  presence  of  the  sun,  the  moon,  the  stars,  the  lightning,  the  light  of  fire,  the  sense organs  , shabda  , etc , things  are  known.  Brahman  cannot  be  known  through  any  of  these  pramanams .   How  to  know  that  Truth ?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Atma / Brahman -part 7

             Brahman  is  a  mixture  of  Purusha  and  Prakriti  principle. . This  mixture  is  called  Isvara. . This  Isvara  alone  existed  before  the  origination  of  the  world.  Isvara  has  no  beginning.  . Both  Purusha  and  Prakriti  have  some  common  features ,  both  of  them  are  beginningless  principles , and  both  together  become  the  cause  of the  world. ,  the  jagat  karanam.   There  are  four  major  differences  between  the  two  . Purusha  is  a  chetana  tatvam  , while  Prakriti  is  an  achetana  tatvam  , Purusha  is  nirvikara  , Prakriti  is  savikara  ,  Purusha  is  nirguna  and  Prakriti  is  saguna  , and  finally  Purusha  is  satyam  ,having  an  independent  existence  of  its  own  ,while  Prakriti  has  only  dependent  existence  , hence  called  mithya  . 

       Even  space  was  not  there  before  creation , So  it  is  foolish  to  ask  ' where  is  God  located ?'  This  Purusha  is the  basic  consciousness  principle  . Do  not  go  searching  for  it  in the  outer  world.  It  is  " I" ,  the   subject  ,the experiencer,     the  observer ,  the  witness  of  this  world . . That  Consciousness  principle  I  am  . .This Purusha   is  not  located  anywhere. . This  Purusha  is  available  behind  the  body-mind  complex  as  the  sakshi  chaitanyam ,  which  we  refer  to  as the  'I  '.,  the  consciousness  principle.  This  sakshi  chaitanyam  does  not  illumine  as  a  positive  action  but  in its  presence , the  body  gets  illumined  and  the  body  comes  to  believe  it  is  sentient  on its  own !  Consciousness  pervades  every  cell  of  my  inert  body   and  mind  and  makes  them  sentient   because  of   which  my  ears  can  hear,  my  eyes  see  ,  my  mind  thinks  and  so  on. 

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Atma / Brahman .-part 6

                Brahman  alone  appears  as  the jagat. ,  manifests  as  the  jagat. . Brahman  alone  is  the  real  substance  , there  is  no  world  other  than  Brahman. .  We  may  say  that  it  is  Consciousness  +names  and  forms  becomes  the  material  universe , the  five  elements,  the  elementals  etc. . The  intangible  Consciousness  alone  manifests  as  the  tangible  universe  in the  form  of  names  and forms. . There  are  two  aspects  in  the  names  and  forms. .  One  aspect  manifests  only  the  sat  rupa  of  Brahman. , and  it is  the  inert.jagat.. Another  aspect  manifests  along  with  the  sat  rupa  , the  cit  rupa   also  of  Brahman   like  our  physical  body  which  manifests  both  the  sat and  cit  rupa  of  Brahman. ,  manifests  both  the  existence  and  consciousness  aspects  of  Brahman.  and  this  is  the  jiva, the  sentient  being. 

          That  part  which  manifests  only  the  existence  aspect  of  Brahman  is  the  inert  jagat  ,  the  insentient  part  of  the  universe. . Where  Brahman  is  manifest  as  both  sat  and  cit , it  is  the  sentient  part  called  the  jiva. , Brahman  is  manifest  in the  whole  of  creation ,  just  as  gold  is  manifest  in all  ornaments. , If  a  person  misses  this  Brahman  ,which  is  manifest  as  both  the  jagat  and  jiva  , which  are  so  evident  , then  we  can  only  say  that  person's  mind  is  really  very  gross. . Looking  at  all  the  people  and  yet  not to be  able  to  recognise  the  sat  and  cit  principle  in everyone , then  all  that  we  can  say  of ,such  a  mind  is   that it is  in very  low  level  of  spiritual  growth ! My  capacity  to  write  this  passage  and  your  capacity  to  read  this  passage   are  all  expressions  of  the  presence of  this    consciousness  in us.  A well  refined  mind  can  definitely  appreciate  this  consciousness  principle  in all  jivas. . Brahman  being  chetana  and  achetana  tatvam  ,  Brahman  is  in everything  ,  Brahman  is  everything.  Sarvam  brahmamayam  ,  sarvathmagam  brahma 

Friday, 9 June 2017

Atma / Brahman .part 5

              When  we  look  at  the  two  words  existent  and  tree   in the  sentence  an  existent  tree  or  a  tree  is  existing  , we  would  generally  say  that  existence is  a  property  and  tree  is  a  substance. . Vedanta  teaches  me  to  look  at  these  two  words  from a  fresh  point  of  view. . Vedanta  tells  me  that  existence   is  not  a property but    reveals  a  substance . It  is  called  Sat  Brahman. . So  existence  is  a  substance  ,and  the  word  tree  , a  noun , is not  a  substance  but  a  property. .. Similarly  the  world    is  not  a  substance  but  bundle  of  names  and  forms.  In  the  example given  in the  previous  page  ' golden  bangle ' we  have  seen  that  the  word  golden  though  an adjective  is  not  a  property  of  the  bangle  but  the  very  substance  from  which  the  bangle  is  made. golden  is  the  substance  and  bangle , which  has  no  independent  existence  of  its  own ,  is  not  a  substance  but  just  names  and  forms given to  gold . the  gold  ornament  in the  form  of a  bangle  is  given  the  name  bangle. . When  you  are  experiencing  the  bangle  , you  are  actually  experiencing  gold  ,the  fundamental  substance. 

     Whenever  I  am  experiencing  any  object  , I  experience  the  isness  in that  object  and  I  say' the  bangles  is . Existence  is  inherent  in everything ,which  I  experience  as  different  names  and  forms.  Pure  Existence  cannot  be  experienced  by  me. It  is  always  experienced  in  things , which  are  only    different  nama-rupas .  through  my  sense  organs. . The  sense  organs  cannot  reveal  Pure  Existence  but  only  through  the  medium  of  names  and  forms. . Pure  Existence  can  never  be  the  object  of  my  experience . Vedanta  tells  me  that  the'  I ',the  seeing  principle  , the  seer,  the  observer,  the  experiencer ,  'I ' the  subject  which can  never  be  the  object  of  my  experience , it  is  rather  I the  experiencer  that  observes  everything  else  in creation. . I am  the  existence  consciousness  principle  , the  only  substance  in the  world  ,while  whatever I  experience  in the  creation  is  just  simply  names  and  forms. . The  mahavakya  " tat twam asi "  already  equates  me, the  Atma, with  Brahman  ,  I  ,the  Atma  , is  the  sat-cit  principle