Wednesday, August 31, 2011

LIMITLESS JOY – Pujya Swami Dayananda


Atyanta-sukha (unlimited happiness) is a sukha that is not comparable to the degrees of sukha that you gather. This is where people make mistakes and talk about eternal bliss, etc. This sukha is not eternal bliss; it is one's nature, svarupa.

To refer to svarupa-sukha as bliss means that it is experiential. Then, comes the question, what is eternal bliss and how can I get it? If it is something that you gain and that only lasts for a period of time, how can you call it eternal bliss? If it is something experiential, there is no jnaana, no knowledge, there. Then what is this atyantasukha? The verse itself defines it as brahmasamsparshaatyanta-sukha, a sukha that is born out of recognising Brahman, contacting Brahman.
Whenever you touch something pleasant, the sukha you get is called sparshasukha. Does this mean that by contacting Brahman, by hugging Brahman, you will gain atyanta-sukha?
No. Brahman is not an object available for hugging. Brahman is a word used by the shastrafor revealing oneself as the whole. Because of the knowledge that aatmaa is Brahman, there is sukha, called brahma-samsparsha-sukha, a sukha born of the contact of Brahman meaning the recognition of the self as Brahman. This sukha belongs to Brahman; it is the very nature of Brahman, in fact. Therefore, it is called svarupasukha.
Svarupasukha is not a sukha that is experiential. It is the sukha that is recognised as the nature, svarupa, of every form of sukha. In any form of sukha that you get, the sukha is because of svarupasukha, the wholeness that is the nature of Brahman. Born out of the knowledge that the self is Brahman, the meditator is said to gain this svarupasukha.


In his commentary to this verse, Shankara says that atyantasukha is that which does not come to an end. If this sukha were bliss, it would come to an end because any experience has a limit. Therefore, bliss is a finite sukha, not atyantasukha that transcends all limits — the limits of time or degrees. Such limits do not exist for the sukha that is one's very nature because svarupasukha can never be experiential sukha.
For sukha to be experiential, there must be a particular condition of the mind and that condition will always change because it is within time. Since it is within time, experiential sukha is non-eternal. But, in every sukha, there is a svarupa, a truth, and that truth is the nature of aatmaa, which is free from any form of limitation. This limitlessness, wholeness, implied by the non-separation of the knower from all that is known, the firm understanding that, 'sarvam
asmi,' (All this is myself) is the svarupasukha,
referred to in these two verses as uttama-sukha and atyanta-sukha. And, being the very nature of the self, it cannot come to an end. As long as aatmaa is there, sukha is there, and aatmaa, being beyond time, is eternal.


And how is this sukha gained? We always ask this question because, generally, the more one does in the world, the more one gains. The more you work on something, the greater the result. This being a rule very well known to us, how much should one do to gain infinite sukha? Infinite karma? No. The logic that we have for finite situations in this finite world does not work here. In fact, if action were infinite, you could not even blink because blinking, like any action, is finite. Therefore, if you had to do infinite actions, you would do no actions at all!
In fact, no action is involved in gaining atyantasukha, as Krishna indicates here by the word sukhena, meaning 'easily,' without tears, without sweat, because this sukha is yourself. The self is Brahman and atyantasukha is born out of the recognition of this fact. (Gita Home Study)
Om Tat Sat

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Difference Between Recognition and Experience

'Absolute Freedom' from all that one does not want in your life, the insecurity, the inadequacy, the mortality, the ignorance and its brood of egoity, selfishness, sadness, hurt, fear, guilt, loneliness, greed, anger, jealousy, etc.…is about recognition of the invariable truth of oneself. The word invariable should be well-understood. When I say the 'invariable' truth, this is a truth about oneself that never changes, as contrasted against facts about one's personality that vary under different conditions, at different times and in different places and situations. For example one assumes different roles, in relation to different people in one's life – sometimes mother, sometimes daughter, sometimes wife or sister, disciple… etc. Or one assumes roles depends on what activity is being undertaken such as 'eater', 'walker', 'cook', 'listener', 'talker','doer', 'enjoyer','knower'. All these vary and so they are variable truths, changing or relative truths about oneself. These relative truths are very much a matter of experience for us.

They are a matter of experience for us, only because of the ever-presence of the invariable truth about ourself, which is direct, immediate and unchanging, of the nature of self-existing, self-revealing consciousness that inexorably shines as 'I', 'I', 'I' in every experience that I know, illumining and enlivening all that is changing, all that exists within the space-time matrix. One does not need a new experience of this 'I' … because it is very much present in every experience. All that one has to do is recognize :-

  1. it's existing presence and
  2. recognize it's CHANGLESSNESS ,INDEPENDENCE from all that is changing, nature of FULLNESS meaning being free of all limitations imposed by the knower-known / subject-object relationship and
  3. know that all that is changing and illumined in its presence, is indeed non-separate from it even as wave is non-separate from water.

My Guruji, Pujya Swami Dayananda points out that what shines as 'I' is always free of knower-known-knowing relationship even when it is present. This is what is to be KNOWN and recognized. You don't need a new experience in which there is an absence of this knower-known-knowing relationship. Ever since birth, in deep sleep we already have such an experience in which there is absence of knower-known-knowing relationship – yet we have continued to remain ignorant of our true nature absolute freedom.

Ashtanga yoga talks about the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi which is a state of absorption in which there is no second thing. Pujya Swamiji says in Gita Home Study, "The knower, known, and the instrument of knowledge — all three of them — coalesce into one experience lasting for a length of time. Although it does not take away the samsara, it is definitely the last word in samsara.

Nirvikalpasamaadhi is the opposite of deep sleep. In deep sleep there is nirvikalpa alright, meaning that the knowerknown-knowledge division is not there. But, in nirvikalpasamadhi the mind is awake, unlike in deep sleep where the mind is sleeping. In both cases, there is ignorance, the difference being that when the mind is asleep there is no thought, whereas in nirvikalpasamaadhi, the mind is awake, meaning there is thought. Therefore, the greatest thing you can have in life is nirvikalpa-sam¡dhi, which is why it is the greatest hooker also. It baits people because it is the last thing that you can think of accomplishing in samsaara, in your life here in this world.


But nirvikalpasamaadhi has an end; it is something you come out of. All that is needed is for someone to drop something in front of you or to start a vacuumcleaner in the next house. As soon as you become aware of the sound, you are not only out of nirvikalpasamaadhi. Nirvikalpasamaadhi is something that does not last forever; you will come out of it in time. And, once you are out of it, it becomes a past experience that you then talk to others about — 'Swamiji, yesterday I had the most wonderful thing happen to me!' Even the language used to describe the experience is different! But as soon as the thoughts come, or someone begins hammering, or a child begins to cry, or a bug creeps up your leg, real or imagined, it is gone; you have come out of nirvikalpasamaadhi.

There are those who will tell you that once you experience nirvikalpasam¡dhi and you come out of that experience, the world will be different. They also say that you experience the aatmaa in nirvikalpasamaadhi. How can this be? All that happened was that the knowerknown-knowledge difference coalesced. All differences disappeared — a desirable experience, no doubt. It is recognised by the intellect, and is also beyond sense perception. But how has this experience changed the state of your vision? In fact, you may become very sad. Before you knew aatmaa, you were only sad if you lost some money, some power, some hair, or a relationship. Now, having known the aatmaa, you have a new item which can be lost and be a cause for sadness — yourself. Previously, you lost certain things but retained yourself, but now you have experienced a much greater loss — the loss of yourself…….. And even if it lasts for some time, there is sadness because it ends. All that can be said is that I was eternal for half an hour! For that period of time, the division between the knower, known, and knowledge that is usually there went away; time itself went away. For half an hour you were free from time, which means you were timeless, eternal. And, after half an hour, you become what? Non-eternal. Even if you have samaadhi for two days, you become non-eternal. In this way, it is no different than being in a coma for two days and then coming out of it. While in the coma, there was no division whatsoever and the person also did not know what was happening. Therefore, the length of time that one is in nirvikalpasamaadhi has no meaning.


As a discipline, however, nirvikalpasamaadhi is great because, when you gather such an experience, it indicates that you have a certain mastery. Otherwise, you would not have been able to have the experience of nirvikalpasamaadhi. Because a certain mastery is involved, nirvikalpasamaadhi is considered to be the height of experience that one can gain; it is like a prize, the end for those who want to gain experience. To say that it indicates a certain saattvikavrtti on one's part is fine, but to say that after you come out of nirvikalpasamaadhi, you will see the world entirely differently is not correct because how you see the world depends purely on your vision of reality. Having experienced nirvikalpasamaadhi, you have to interpret that experience. And to interpret the experience, you must have a pramaaaa, a means of knowledge.

Again, then, we come back to a means of knowledge because you do not interpret an experience in any other way than by what you know. All interpretations depend entirely upon your knowledge, which is dependent on the pramaana available to you. And all the pramaanas that one has, perception, inference, etc., operate by maintaining a duality — duality of the doer, the object of doing, the act of doing itself, the instrument of doing, etc. All these are collectively called as kaarakas. Retaining the duality alone, one's pramaanas, the various means of knowledge, operate.

Perception and inference do not swallow the kaarakas. Only the Agama, the teaching, swallows them. It says that you are not the knower, pramaataa; you are the very essence of the knower, the knowledge, and the object of knowledge, all three of them being one and the same. In this way, the Agama resolves the division.

Om Tat Sat

Contemplation on One’s Truth

Om Namo Narayanaya

Be quiet. Be silent… in the mind …. Let there be a stillness in the mind ….. and use that stillness in the mind to recognize that one's truth is more fundamental than even the knower, ever free of the knower-known-knowing phenomena. Self-revealing, self-illumining, invariable awareness, that is ever-free of the division of subject and object, that is indeed changeless, formless and all-pervading, that is what you are.

As a knower only, you can never be fullness – because there is always the division of the knower and known, the subject and the object. Recognize the invariable truth of the knower. So one has to recognize that there is a truth about oneself that always is, that is independent of the status of knower, of subject, of this role or that role. 'Knower' or pramata is only the status you give to yourself when identified with the body-mind-sense complex. Any role you play is a status you assume for yourself when identified with the body-mind-complex. You are indeed an independent ever-full Presence, an ever-present Being, self-revealing and self-existing light (of awareness), distinct from the body-mind-complex, who illumines and enlivens the body-mind-sense complex, and indeed all that is perceived and perceivable through it. Indeed you are the very basis, the one and only truth, the very adhishtanam of all that can be experienced in this loka or other lokas.

Om Harih Om Tat Sat


Friday, August 26, 2011

The difference between Self-knowledge and Knowledge of anything else – Pujya Swami Dayananda

The thought, by which one recognizes an object, and the object of the thought are identical. That is, in order to recognise the object, the thought must necessarily have the object in itself. If I have to recognise a pot, the thought or vrtti must assume the very form of the pot. Therefore, the thought is called 'pot-thought'. By the pot-thought alone, one recognizes the object pot.

For the recognition of atma - the self, also, there must be a vritti - a thought. This vritti is created by the Shastra and it destroys selfignorance. And this vrtti is brought back by the contemplator in nidhidhyasana. In the recognition of the nature (svarupa) of the self, the vritti assumes the very svarupa of the self, without objectifying it. This is not similar to knowing an object such as the pot. In the recognition of the svarupa of the self there is only one operation involved; whereas in the objectification of a pot, there are two operations.

One operation is the vrtti assuming the form of the pot and the second operation is the recognition of that vrtti, thereby recognising the pot. One is the objectification of the object (by the thought) and the other is the recognition of the thought. The objectifying thought is recognised by another thought, which is the the seer. I become the seer, the knower of the pot. Therefore, this I-thought, assuming the status of the knower, recognises an object through a thought, the pot-thought and says, 'This is a pot.'
Any piece of knowledge — where there is this peculiar connection, between the self, the knower, you, and the object that is objectified by that knower — takes place by these two operations. That is, the object is objectified by the thought and you cognise the thought. This is why you can say, 'This is a pot.' But, you cannot say, 'This is aatma (self)' Who is there to say it? I am the one who has to say it and, if it were to be so, then, the self, would become an object of the self who is objectifying it. Therefore, it would become non-self (anaatma) not aatma, just like any other object of your knowledge.

The difference is that in the number of operations involved. Seeing aatmaa (self) implies only one operation; there is no second operation at all as there is when one sees an object. Only the first operation is there, the vritti that objectifies aatmaa, that assumes the very form of aatmaa. If I say aatmaa is pure consciousness, kevala-caitanya, shuddha-caitanya, and the recognition of this fact takes place, that recognition implies that the the vritti assumes the very form of consciousness and there is no other object involved. That particular form destroys the ignorance with reference to the nature of the self and then disappears. This, then, is the only operation that takes place, meaning that there is no second operation in the form of the recognition, 'This is the self' as there is in the cognition of other objects.
The one operation that does take place is only with reference to one's confusion about oneself, the selfignorance that was there; that ignorance is destroyed by the vritti. This is what happens in selfknowledge, in knowing the self. ( From Gita Home Study Chp. 6 Verse 21)
Om Tat Sat



Friday, August 19, 2011

THE MEANING OF SHAANTI – Pujya Swami Dayananda

Shaanti usually means peace. Does this mean that after doing meditation, all you will get out of it is the same peace that can be gained from a tranquilliser or a shot of something? No, this shaanti is not that kind of peace; it is matsamstha and nirvanaparama. In his commentary, Shankara defined shaanti as uparati, uparati meaning resolution or sarvakarmasannyasa, wherein doership and enjoyership are renounced as discussed at length previously. Nirvana means moksha. Therefore, this is a shaanti that has its basis in moksha. It is moksha-shaanti itself.

And what is this moksha-shaanti ? There are three types of shaanti. One shaanti is where there is no thinking whatsoever, which can be induced so that the frequency of thinking is cut down. Another shaanti is when you enjoy a shaanti along with a certain capacity to manage an active mind. This is important because you need the mind in order to think.
The first shaanti, which is freedom from thinking, can only be temporary and requires a lot of inducements. This shaanti is that which is there between two thoughts or between two spells of agitation. Whereas the second shaanti is there when there is a certain distance between yourself and the mind, whatever be the situation. And because of this you are able to manage your affairs with a certain amount of composure.

And the third shaanti is moksha, wherein the mind becomes a privilege. Whatever the mind is, it is me, but I am not the mind. This knowledge is the freedom, total freedom. You do not control the mind. You do not take the mind somewhere. Rather, wherever the mind goes, the person always has this knowledge. Then, the person is truly a devotee because, wherever the mind is, there the Lord is for this person.


To express this knowledgebased devotion, there are many stories. One such story is about a great devotee of Lord Shiva. One day he came and found a sadhu sleeping with his feet placed on a linga. For anyone to do such a thing, let alone a sadhu, is a desecration. Therefore, the devotee shouted angrily at the sadhu, 'Wake up! How can you dare to put your feet on the linga!' To this, the sadhu replied, 'I am very old. I am tired and sleepy. I have no strength to move my feet. Therefore, please put my feet wherever you want. I cannot lift them.' Then the devotee picked up the sadhu's feet and moved them away from the linga. But to his surprise, another linga appeared under the sadhu's feet. Confused, he moved the sadhu's feet again. But wherever he placed them, yet another linga appeared in that very place! Then he understood that there is no place where the Lord is not. In other words, there is no place to put one's feet that is not the Lord.
Similarly, wherever the mind goes, it remains in the Lord's presence. There is no question of getting the mind out of or into anything here. To make this point, a seeker in the Brhadaranyakopanishad said, 'It is as though the mind has gone away and, therefore, I am as though meditating.' For the 'as though' gone away mind, 'as though' meditation is good enough. And, when the 'as though' becomes clear to you, then the mind does not go away and therefore, does not require any meditation. This is the shaanti called nirvana-parama shaanti, moksha, the shaanti that is one's svarupa, in which there is no coming and going, no degrees or variations, and for which no comparison to anything is possible.


Because this shaanti is identical with oneself, Krishna describes it as mat-samstha, meaning matadhiina, that which always obtains in the paramatma because paramatma does not move at anytime; it is kutastha, immutable; it does not get involved with anything, and does not stand opposed to anything either. If there is opposition, there is some rub or resistance, which is ashaanti. Shaanti is identical with paramatma in that it is not opposed to thought, it is not opposed to the world, it is not opposed to knowledge, it is not opposed to ignorance, it is not opposed to anything. At the same time, it lends itself to everything. Thus, the meditator gains this shaanti, this freedom or liberation — matadhiinaam shaantim adhigacchati.
Om Tat Sat


The nature of time is nothing but the trick of the maayaavi, another name for the great magician, Ishvara, who is the agent, of srshti, sthiti, and laya. If you absorb your mind in this Parameshvara, it is called sagunabrahmadhyaana. To do this, you meditate on the virtues of Parameshvara. Thus, for you, Parameshvara is one who is all compassion, all mercy, all aananda. Or, Parameshvara is the one who is the creator, sustainer, and resolver of everything — srshti-sthiti-laya karta. In this way, any one virtue can be taken in its absolute sense and meditated upon. Or, the meditation can be in the form of a simple prayer — 'Unto that Lord, my salutations – parameshvaraaya namah.'

The word 'mat' in the compound, matcitta can also mean Parameshvara, the cause of everything — param brahma. And that Brahman is satyajnana-anantabrahma, aatma. Here, the one whose mind is contemplating upon the svarupa of the aatma, pure consciousness, is called matcitta. With reference to this caitanyaatma there are other revealing words also, words that reveal the svarupa of atma upon which you contemplate. With the help of these words, you contemplate upon the meaning and this contemplation is called meditation.


The person being discussed in this verse (Bhagavd-Gita. 6.14) is also called matpara, another word that describes the person in terms of the object of meditation. The person who meditates in order to lower his or her blood pressure may be a blood-pressure-para but he or she is definitely not matpara. People meditate for many reasons — for one hundred percent spiritual success or one hundred percent material success. This only proves that nothing is sacred. This also proves that meditation is not properly understood.

Meditation is not a technique; meditation is life. Therefore, Krishna refers to the meditator as matpara, one for whom the Lord, Parameshvara, is everything. The mind of such a person will stay with the object of meditation because there is nothing other than Parameshvara, paramatma, to be gained. And this is everything. The one for whom what is to be accomplished is that paramatma alone is called matparaKrishna says.

Shankara adds here that such a person is very careful in terms of the objects that he or she desires. For example, the person does not think of a particular woman or man as the ultimate end, para; instead, this person has another para in that his or her mind is committed to Ishvara, the Lord, as the ultimate end. The svarupa of Ishvara, the paramatma, as the ONLY end, para is called parama-pada and the person who has this as the only pursuit is called matpara.

 (Gita Home Study Chapter 6.14)
Om Tat Sat

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Only Security – Pujya Swami Dayananda

The only security there is, is to know oneself as the truth of everything — without which nothing exists. When this vision is clear, the person is secure and, because he or she is secure, the person requires no security whatsoever.


Everything is subject to change; it is always in a flux. The self alone remains changeless and that self is me. I am the only one who is secure; everything else is always changing. My mind is always changing; my thoughts are always changing; and the objects of thought are always changing. Whatever changes is timebound; it has a beginning and an end. The only thing that remains untouched and comes out unscathed in all of this is 'I,' the self.

If the knowledge of this 'I' is clear, if you have this vision of yourself as secure, then you are a free person. You are a jnana-vijnaana-trptaatma. You are one who requires nothing to be free; you simply look out and see the world as it is. The world that you see is a simple world because you do not project all your nonsense onto it. The world remains as it is and you are a secure, free person. And why does this freedom seem so difficult to gain? Perhaps because it is all so simple, too simple; in fact, it is yourself. …(Gita Home Study Chapter 6 Verse 8)
Om Tat Sat

Don’t superimpose ideas of growth, rather admit weaknesses and work on them

Spiritual growth or emotional maturity does not come by superimposing 'shoulds', or 'do's' and 'don'ts' upon oneself. Rather it comes from admitting our weakness and working upon them. For example Scripture tells us that a mature person is one who remains composed in the face of praise and criticism. Now many of us find it difficult remain calm and composed in the face of criticism. This is because there is hurt person inside, an inner child who was possibly criticized a lot by parents, who felt the hurt of that criticism and buried it underneath a smile. In adult life, when the person is criticized now, the inner hurt ,anger and confusion is triggered - it surfaces and one loses one's composure. After hearing the words of Bhagavad-Gita, instead of admitting one's weakness and working upon it, if one superimposes an idea that 'I should be composed' upon the old pain, it does not work. It becomes a superimposed philosophy — a list of 'do's' and 'don'ts,' 'shoulds' and 'shouldnots.' The old pain that is inside simply becomes confused by the new superimposed philosophy, thereby adding to the confusion that was already there.

When the Bhagavad-Gita says for example that in all situations, the wise person's mind, is always in a state of great composure, it means that if this not true for us, then we have to work for such composure, which does not imply the superimposition of ideas.


Om Tat Sat



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Be A Friend To Yourself - Pujya Swami Dayananda

For that (self) who has mastered oneself by oneself, the self alone is a friend of oneself. Whereas, for the self who has not mastered oneself, the self alone would remain in the status of an enemy, like an enemy. (Bh.Gita 6.6)

For that self (discussed in Chapter 6 Verse 5 ), the self is a friend. When? When the self has been won over, jitah. And what self is being discussed here? What atma can be won over? It cannot be satcitanandaatma. Because I can only win over something that I can objectify. And the only object in which I have the 'I'-notion, is the body-mind-sense-complex. It is this complex, then, that is in one's hands and has to be mastered. Won over by whom? By oneself, meaning by one's own inquiry, by one's own discipline, by one's own will and effort.


The one who has mastered the body-mind-sense-complex is called a vashi and is a friend to himself or herself. The body-mind-sense-complex serves this person with the threefold powers it is endowed with — the power to think, explore, know, and remember – jnana-shakti; the power to desire, to will – icchashakti; and the power to act, to make or do – kriyashakti. These three powers are at the disposal of one who is a vashi, the one who has mastery over the entire body-mind-sense complex.
When you have mastery over the body, mind, and senses, then all their powers are with you. Therefore, the body-mind-sense complex becomes a benefactor for gaining that which is desirable; it can take you anywhere — to brahma-loka or even to Brahman, to moksha. This is the maximum it can do because you cannot become greater than Brahman. You are already Brahman, in fact. As one who has mastery over the body mindsense-complex, you are endowed with the powers — you require to recognise this fact.
Because you can gain punya by following a life of dharma, the body-mind-sense complex again becomes a bandhu (friend). And, for gaining moksha, it also becomes a benefactor to you. Thus, the same body-mind-sense complex, is a benefactor to you all the way provided, of course, that it is won over by you.
Now, suppose this bodymindsense-complex is not won over by you but, instead, is holding you hostage. Then what happens? The bodymindsensecomplex cannot become a bandhu for you. Instead, you are a bandhu for the body, mind, and senses. In this way, the same atma (self), body-mind-sense complex, becomes ripu, an enemy, one who creates obstructions for you, one who puts the proverbial spokes in your wheels.
The person who does not have oneself, in his or her own hands is called anatma in this verse. This is the person for whom the body-mind-sense complex remains as an enemy alone, meaning that the self plays the role of an enemy. Krsihna makes it very clear that there is no enemy other than oneself alone.
Generally, we point a finger at someone other than ourselves and declare that person an enemy. This is done by everyone to some degree or other. And, if no one is available locally, Satan or some other planet will be accused! Everyone feels persecuted by someone or something. Always, there is some imagined fear in people that makes them point at someone as an enemy. By doing this, of course, you are giving the other person a handle with which he or she can disturb you.
No one can disturb you unless you allow them to. Nevertheless, people do have this persecution problem to some extent and they suffer from it. In fact, whenever you point out an enemy with your index finger, your accusing finger, there are three remaining fingers that point back towards yourself. These three fingers, therefore, are said to stand for the physical body, mind, and senses, the kaarya-karana-sanghaata that is oneself, the only enemy, there is. In this way, then, atma occupies the place of the enemy. Just like an external enemy, it is inimical to you.


When you analyse your complaints, you find that they are mental, meaning they are of the mind. You allow yourself to be affected by the world and then, afterwards, you call the world bad and renounce it. You want to renounce this world you have labelled 'bad' and go to a world that you have imagined to be 'good,' which is called fantasy. But, when you go to this good world, you find it is as bad as the one you left behind! Why? Because you carry your mind, the enemy, with you; you do not leave it behind.
The same mind that interpreted the world as bad is not given up and, with that mind, you move to the socalled good world. In this way, then, the mind is carried with you wherever you go. Even if you go to heaven, you will find problems there because the same mind goes with you — it is carried forward and carried over! And having this same mind with you, this same complaining mind, you always find reason enough to complain, whatever the place or the circumstances. This is what Krishna¸a means when he says that one is indeed like an enemy for oneself.
When you carry such a mind with you, mind that is always interpreting given situations according to its own notions, even your guru, considered to be a great bandhu, benefactor, cannot help you. What can any guru do if the person is always thinking, 'My guru does not care about me. I don't think he considers me a good student,' and so on. One makes such conclusions because of that same mind alone. Finally speaking then, you are the only bandhu there is.
Om Tat Sat

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Be A Friend To Yourself -Pujya Swami Dayananda

May one lift oneself by oneself, may one not destroy oneself. For, the self alone is one's benefactor (and) the self alone is one's enemy.  B. Gita 6.6

This verse makes it very clear that you have to save yourself, that you should not destroy yourself or allow yourself to be destroyed. Why? Because oneself, is a great helper, a great benefactor, for oneself. In other words, you yourself are the benefactor. And who is the beneficiary? Yourself. Therefore, you are both the beneficiary and the benefactor. Krishna also goes on to say that you are also your own enemy, which means you can become a great friend, a benefactor, or an enemy to yourself.
A person who is a man of meditation, a renunciate, has saved himself or herself totally from all that is undesirable — in other words, from the life of samsara, just as one saves oneself from drowning by pulling oneself out of the water. In fact, all of a person's activities are meant only to save himself or herself. The person wants to become secure, to be free of all problems, including loss of money or power, loss of health, old age, and death, which means that he or she wants to save himself or herself from insecurity. Thus, everyone is busy working for his or her own safety. Whether we call it self‑safety, self‑security, or self‑welfare, there is no question that the pursuit is ‘self‑ish’ — for the self alone.

Seeking an alternative life‑style is not what is implied here. Rather, the person is seeking answers to some very fundamental questions. Certain questions arise in the person, however vague they may be, which tend to disturb the usual activities that people naturally absorb themselves in. The questions themselves give a certain direction to one's life until the person comes to understand that he or she is under the spell of likes and dislikes, to use the language of the Gita. One begins to recognise that the natural pursuit, that everyone engages in, is out of these likes and dislikes — ‘I like it, I want it. Therefore, I do it.’ All one's responses arise from these likes and dislikes alone.
And, within this particular sphere of reality, everything becomes right; anger is legitimate; sorrow is legitimate; pain is legitimate. This, then, is where we get confused. Where anger is legitimate, it is legitimate to get angry. Therefore, if someone says you should not get angry, you get even angrier. Even if you do not get angry, you run into problems! Once the legitimacy is accepted by you, you can move ahead without disturbing your natural activity. But, when you begin questioning the very activity itself, you question the very life you are living. Only when you really question, when the flame of inquiry is proper, can you come to understand the fundamental problem.
There is a mature way of approaching this problem and also an immature way of approaching it. And, in the light of what we discover, there is something that can be called a prayerful life, a life of enlightened prayer, not blind prayer. There is a prayerful attitude or disposition, which is KarmaYoga. Karma yoga implies the acceptance or appreciation of the Lord, and living a prayerful life. This is what brings about the capacity to be contemplative, meditative. Such a life creates this kind of a disposition naturally, a disposition in which knowledge of oneself, takes care of itself. Thus, it is very clear that because of Karma yoga one can gain knowledge.

In this verse, the word atma refers to you, the individual, who, by nature, is already in the ocean of samsara. You did not suddenly slip into this samsara ; you were born into it, along with it. And how do you get out of it? By your own will, atmana you turn yourself about; you question yourself and your values. By questioning yourself, you re‑estimate the whole value structure and whatever there is about it that is confusing.
All problems are primarily due to improper priorities. Therefore, we have to reorganise our value structure and, in the process, our priorities will become proper. This inquiry, vichara into one's value structure is done by oneself alone, atmana eva ; it is an inquiry into right and wrong, what one is to do and not to do. Because of this vichara, your vision undergoes a certain cognitive change. This, then, is one stage of the inquiry.
The next stage of inquiry is also done by oneself alone. By one's own inquiry, one appreciates one's helplessness in certain situations. This itself brings about a prayerful attitude on one's part. A given situation raises certain doubts in you; then, afterwards, there is an appreciation of Ishvara and then there is prayer. This makes a person a vashi one whose body, mind, and senses are together — all of which is done by one's own efforts alone.

Going to a teacher to gain the knowledge is also done by oneself and implies a certain effort on the person's part. In all of these ways, the person pulls himself or herself up. This is why Krishna says here that one's benefactor is no one else but oneself — atma eva atmanah bandhuh.

To have been born a samsari itself is destructive. If your mind is not in order, however, if your value structure is confused, then your entire life and the lives of those around you will be confused. Thus, Krishna also says that you are your own enemy. When your own mind, atma , your own will, is abused, or when it is not used at all, then it naturally becomes your enemy; it stands against you, it destroys you. The mind is where all the notions that, this or that will save us, originate. These ideas are indicative of a will that has been fooled — by itself and by others — because one allows oneself to be fooled. This means that the final fool is myself alone. Because I am a fool, I can be fooled! I allow myself to be fooled; therefore, I am my own enemy. What is the use of blaming anyone? I myself am an enemy to myself — atma eva atmanah ripuh.

Therefore, Krishna says, ‘May one not destroy oneself.’ May you make use of the will and change, which does not happen without your undergoing some kind of inner revolution. This inner revolution is a quiet revolution; it is not the creation of a lot of conflicting ideas. Rather, a quiet, inner revolution takes place in one's way of looking at things, in one's understanding. Therefore, ‘do not look down upon yourself,’ is another way of taking the expression, atmanam na avasadayet, because to do so, is to destroy yourself.
In this process, you may sometimes have to mother the child within you and thus take care of it. If as a child you had been neglected then you have probably picked up some problems along the way. And who has to care for this ‘child’? Who is the friend to this child? You alone, as an adult, have to mother the child within. This is what Krishna was trying to convey when he said here, ‘May one lift oneself up .’

The verse can be taken in an absolute sense in that, at every level, one can say, ‘May one not destroy oneself ; may one lift oneself up.’ Since one has to take care of oneself at every level, in the final analysis, there is no other force, nothing external to yourself, that can help you. Oneself means one's own body‑mind­-sense-complex. This body-mind-sense complex, along with the will, is both the friend of the self and the enemy of the self. In other words, you can be either your own benefactor or your own enemy.

This means that to become free of this samsara, another person cannot become a friend, a benefactor, for you. Only you can do what is to be done. To grow or to mature within the samsara, another person may be helpful to you, but to get out of the samsara, you have to release yourself. In fact, where moksha is concerned, the very person who was previously your benefactor could very well become an obstruction to you. Bandhu implies affection and friendship, which can also be binding, even though such qualities may be quite helpful to one's emotional growth. Therefore, in the final analysis, in terms of gaining moksha, you are the only one who can be a friend to yourself. And unless you become a friend to yourself, you become inimical to yourself and become your own enemy.

Om Tat Sat

Friday, August 12, 2011

Likeness of my beloved – Swami Ramtirtha

Oh! how could I get my Love's likeness!

Could anything like Him be conceived!

Could He in cameras be received!

Could Artist stand to take his picture?

Could He appear in colour and figure?

The camera of form did melt away!

His flood of light was too much, too much,

O how could I get my Love's likeness.

I focussed my mind to take His portrait,

Adjusted the eyes to take His portrait,

The camera of heart to take His portrait,

The apparatus all did melt away;

His flood of light was too much, too much,

O how could I get my Love's likeness;

Then I'll have him as I could not have likeness.

On Love – Swami Ramatirtha

The wonder of wonders, I fell in love,

In love with self, forever mine,

Resplendent, glorious, charming love

That knows no equal, rival, kind.

I threw my arms around my love

Lo! All the world in clasp, I find,

I press my darling close and close

To the heart and soul and life and mind.

Oh, what a fire! fire! fire!

Ah, Burn the body and forms that bind.

Oh! What a cooling shower shower shower

Fear swept away by nectar power

Oh! The rocks of the white stone quarry and I are one,

The dump of the marble dust and I are one,

The crystal snows of the Diamond peaks and I are one,

The dimples on the face of the sea and I are one,

The rolling hair of the thundering stream and I are one!

The mincing steps of the mountain breeze and I are one!

The blooing rose of the maiden's cheeks and I are one!

The twinkling eyes of the heavenly orbs and I are one,

Om! Om! Om!

So am I Ram.

Ahamgraha Upasana

I find that one of the problems as a sadhaka is strong dehatma-buddhi – ie taking the self to be THIS body-mind-sense complex. All our emotional issues really come from dehatma-buddhi.
In ahamgraha upasana – one sees oneself as the samshthi sukhsma sharira. Usually by habit, the identification is with only one sukshma sharira – when ahamgraha upasana is done of the nature that I am Hiranyagarbha the consciousness identified with the samasthi sukshma sharira, the strong dehatma buddhi with this body-mind-sense complex reduces.
It is not possible to do this upasana in my opinion, unless one totally lets go the dividing ego that makes one so small. The only way to let go is acknowledge that " I" has no being other than Ishwara, as Ishwara is the nimitta-upadana kaarana – at body level, prana level, emotions level, thoughts level, ego level – I have no being other than Ishwara – even my apurnatvam sense is ruled by Ishwara's Order! The dividing ego, the fearing ego, collapses and all that is there is Ishwara.
Now as Ishwara ( panktam upasana of Taittiriya Upanishad), I am identified with the vyashthi sukshma sharira of all beings – at level of prana, indiriyas, physical body, mind ( all possible beings you can think of from amoeba to dinosaurus and even other beings in other planets, lokas) – and at the level of samshthi with prithivi, antariksham, heavens, directions, intermediary directions – the devatas – agni,vayu, aditya, chandrama, nakshtraani, - the bhutas as aapa, aushadhayah, vanaspatayah, space, all other bhutas ( left out) ie Virat. This I am Hiranyarabha – samsthi sukhsma sharira avachinna chaitanyam iti is the upasana.
This kind of Hiranyagarbha Ahamgraha Upasana is a must I feel because basic emotional resolution can take place – because there is no way of doing this upsana without letting go the dividing small apurna ego – and there is no way of letting it go without merging in Ishwara as it were by seeing the fact that the individuality which is taken as "I" cannot stay separate from Ishwara – I belong to Ishwara all the way. It is very enjoyable also. Also the sense of 'me ' and 'mine' and the sense of isolation, the need to belong etc. reduces and one's threshold for accepting situations and people as they are increases.
Then one can spend time in nidhidhyasana enjoying oneself as unconditional limitless presence that is satyam – and again allow the mind to expand into seeing that whatever is objectified externally or internally is myself alone / Ishwara alone.
Om Tat Sat


Svarupatah Shanti

Om Namo Bhagavate Dakshinamurtaye

When doing pranayama properly, we find that the mind gets very very quiet. Breathing is very slow and mind is totally silent. At that time it is very easy to appreciate, that atma's svarupa is shanti – silence. Shanto'ham. Aham Shanta. I am of the very nature of shanti.

In the presence of atma-caitanyam the slow breathing takes place, the silent mind is appreciated. It is easy to appreciate that the chanting of Om arises from silence and resolves into silence – that silence is the very nature of atma. Shantam- shivam-advaitam-prapanchopashamam that is atma's svarupa.

Here we might mistake that only after mind becomes silent atma gets back to its svarupa. Meaning we think that atma lost its svarupa and became ashanta and so we have to get back to our svarupa. This would be like wave thinking that I have to get back to becoming water.

Hey did the wave ever lose its nature of being water? The wave only has to understand that I AM WATER – this wave form is a temporary incidental happening that does not in any way make me less or more water. I am water period.

So too svarupa-shanti is the truth of oneself no matter what the state of the mind. No frame of mind can make me lose my svarupa of shanti, because svarupa shanti is satyam and every frame of mind is mithya. Self-evident, self-existent atma – I –consciousness is ever shanta.

Pranayama, prana-kriyas are very useful for enjoying very quiet mind in which we can recognize that what is "I" is svarupatah shanta. When I understand this I am with Bhagavan all the way because there is no seperation from Bhagavan whatsoever.

Om Tat Sat

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fate and Prayer - by Swami Parmarthananda Saraswati

"What can I do it is my fate". It is not uncommon to hear people bemoan their fate. Many people believe we are destined to meet our fate but still seek a way out. One of the questions often asked is whether fate can be changed by prayer. This is an eternally debated question. Some argue for and some against. Interestingly both groups claim scriptural support. 

Those who believe fate cannot be changed quote a well known Sanskrit sloka that says whatever is written on one's forehead cannot be changed even by Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma or other Gods. If suffering is our fate, we are destined to suffer. Even if we are able to escape suffering now by some means or the other, we will have to face it later. Even though fate is unavoidable, this group believes in the efficacy of prayer. The question arises - if fate is inevitable, why pray? Prayer is not meant to change fate but give us the strength to face adverse circumstances or situations in life if that be our fate.

The second group believes Fate can be changed by prayer and site any number of Puranic stories. Even the worst fate of death can be changed by the Lord. The story of Markendeya is well known. This devotee of the Lord who was given a life of only sixteen years but at the end of the allotted time span Shiva appeared and saved Markendeya from Yama. Markendeya went on to live to ripe old age. This great devotee composed a prayer on Shiva titled Chandrasekhara Ashtakam that says '  "what can Lord Yama do?"... Lord Shiva destroys all fate. I myself am the example'. The story of Satyavan and Savitri is another example.

Which group is correct? Can vidhi or fate can be changed by prayer or not? This question has a unique answer.Both groups are correct. Naturally the question arises - How can both groups be correct? If one is right, the other has to be wrong. The problem arises because we use the word 'fate' loosely, giving it many meanings. Fate can be defined as karmaphalam meaning the fruit or result of one's( past) actions. Fate is not something written on our forehead by Brahma according to his whims and fancy. If so the Lord will be partial.

How Prayer Works

Fate can be broadly classified into two categories: durbala vidhi meaning weak karma phalam and prabala vidhi meaning strong karma phalam. When the issue 'can fate be changed by prayer' is raised, we must first clarify what type of fate is meant - durbala or prabala. Durbala vidhi can be weakened or even totally eradicated by prayer while prabala vidhi cannot be changed by prayer. However prayer will give us the strength to face adversity. Thus prayer works in twofold manner. As our vidhi is mitigated, we must become purer and purer.

Since our karma or actions are not uniform, the results of our actions will also not be uniform. As an example, consider the chanting of Rudram. We can chant Rudram once, eleven times, one hundred and twenty one times or more. The manner or quality of the chanting itself varies. Thus an action varies, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Consequently fate or karma phalam also varies, quantitatively and qualitatively. This applies to all our actions - religious or secular.

As stated above, prayer mitigates or destroys durbala vidhi and gives us the strength and immunity to bear prabalavidhi. We can choose any prayer for chanting. Chanting Shatarudriyam (Rudram) is especially potent and efficacious. Kaivalya Upanishad discusses the benefits of chanting this prayer - ' he who studies the Shatarudriyam is freed from sins arising from all commissions and omissions. Therefore, he gains his refuge in the One who is Truth Consciousness - Siva, the Supreme Self'. Thus chanting Rudram is a powerful prayaschith.

It is important that we chant Rudram properly. Improper chanting will not only not give us any benefit but may engender paapam. However not knowing the proper method of chanting need not discourage us since the scriptures have prescribed a 'short - cut'. One mantra that occurs in the middle of Rudram says 'nama sivaaya'. The scriptures say chanting 'nama sivaaya' is equivalent to chanting the entire Rudram.

Chanting Rudram will give us aapekshika shanti (relative shanti) or peace of mind and ultimately will give us aatyantika shanti ( absolute shanti) or moksha.

Om Tat Sat


Meditation - Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati

Om Namah Shivaya… My salutations to Lord Shiva. This is an appointment with myself. An appointment with the self that is of the nature of peace and silence. And hence this is an appointment I look forward to. There is no anxiety, no excitement. Just to be myself.

All the time, I am trying to change … it is my opinion that I am not alright as I am and therefore I constantly strive to be different from what I am… so that I can become acceptable to myself… so that I would be comfortable with myself.

I am not comfortable with myself as I am and hence I think, that I should change … should become different from what I am and then I would be comfortabe with myself.

Since I am not comfortable with myself many of my activities are for escaping from myself. I keep myself busy. I keep myself occupied so that I do not have to confront myself. Generally I try to avoid myself.

This is happening because of my perception of myself … that I am a woman or a man, mother or father, worthy or not worthy. Successful not successful.

But Vedanta teaches us that these perceptions of myself are not correct. These are the false perceptions about myself. And therefore in this appointment I want to be objectitive with reference to my own self.

What is happening is that the changing body-mind is mixed with changeless self and therefore the self, the I appears to be limited. The sense of limitation is not the true perception of myself. Limitations belongs to this body.

It is true that the body is limited. Body is limited in time, It had a birth, it grows, it changes, matures, declines and someday, it will die also. These are all attributes of the body.

But can I say that I am the body? Is it not that I am aware of this body? Just as I am aware of the neighbours body. I can visualize my neighbours body in my mind, and so also I am aware of my body. I am aware of all the limbs and organs of the body. Hence the body is an object of my awareness. I am the awareror of the body. To see this fact is called creating a distance with the body.

Not a physical distance … it is not that I physically stay apart from the body … it is the distance of knowledge. I am the self … the body is drshya. I am the knower , the body is known. I am the awaror, the body is a subject of my awareness. The knower is always different from what is known.

Hence I, the knower of the body am different from the body. This body I am not.

The birth is in body. There is no birth for I. The growth, the changes, the decay, the decline, the age- all of these are attributes of the body. I am the witness - sakshi. I am the awaror and hence youth, middle age, old age, decay, decline, death, disease, all these I am not.

Young man, woman, father, mother … alll these are the attributes of the body. I am not father, I am not mother. I have no birth. I have no death. I am the knower of the birth, knower of the death of the body. knwoer of the father, knowere of the mother. Janma the birth is not in me. Mrtyu the death is not in mee. I am neither father nor mother. And at the same time, I have no father, I have no mother. Father, mother, relative friends, all of these are relations of the body … not the relations of the self.

These relations belong to the body. To the costume with which I play different roles. Sometimes father, sopmetimes son and sometimes friend, sometimes wife, sometimes mother, daughter, engineer, accountant, doctor… these are all the roles. The body is the costume, but I who play all these roles am different from the roles. The birth and death, the groth and old age, all these belong to the costume, to the role.

I am the conscious witness unaffected by the attributes of the roles. I am father with reference to body … but I am self with reference to myself.

na may mrtyu shanka na may jati bheda pita naiva …. there is no question of death for i. There is no jati for I … man or woman, human being or otherwise. … Indian or Canadian… this caste, creed, community, race is not in me. It is all in the body. I am the conscious witness independent of them. Pita naiva, naiva me maata … I have no father. I have no mother … meaning I am not a son. I am not a daughter. I am not a grandson nor a granddaughter. All of these are the roles with respect to the body. na may janma … the birth also is not in me. I am free from birth and eath and caste and creed and race and gender. Na bandhu na mitram … I am not a relative. I am not a friend. I have no relative. I have no friend. These are all relationships at the levl of the body.

Guru naiva shishya … I am not a Guru, nor do I have a Guru. I am not a shishya … nor do I have a shishya… Guru… shishya… the teacher… the taught… all relationships at the level of the roles. The friend is a role. Relative a role… disciple … a role. Teacher …a role. Father, mother, son, daughter all of these are roles. I am not the role. I have no role.

Transcending the roles, cidananda rupah … I am cit, the onsciousness, ananda …the joy, the wholness, the completmess…. shivohama … the silent, the auspicious I am.

Na may mrtyu shanka… na may jaati bheda … pitaa naiva mataa na janma

Na may …. guru naiva shishyam Cidananda rupah shivoham shivoham… (3)

Shiva … the silent … the unattached, the auspicious, the joyful. The silent I … I don't have to become Shiva … I have to recognize that I am Shiva inspite of this body which limited in every way, which may be called impure or inauspicious. inspite of it all, I am Shiva, the Auspicous, the Joyful, the Silent, the Untainted.

Om Tat Sat


Introduction to Vedanta – 1 From Lectures of Pujya Swami Dayananda

There is an interesting Indian story that is relevant to the commencement of Vedantic studies pointing out its importance.

Once, there was a great scholar in Sanskrit. He happened to be born in a family of scholars. His father and grandfather were great scholars. He grew up among scholars. He happened to go on a pilgrimage alone. He had to cross a wide river on a boat and there was a boatman to take him across. Since he was the only passenger, he picked up a conversation with the boatman.

He asked him: "Do you know Sanskrit Grammar?"

"No. I do not."

"You do not know Sanskrit Grammar?"

"I do not. What is Grammar?" the boatman asked.

Because his father and grandfather had been boatmen, he had not thought it necessary to study in order to make a living. Nor did he know that there was a discipline of knowledge known as grammar. The scholar was both astounded and horrified. He had lived among scholars all his life and could not imagine anyone not knowing grammar. He said to the boatman, "You do not know grammar? You do not even know what grammar is? What kind of a life is that? What access do you have to all the compounds in Sanskrit? You must necessarily know grammar in order to enjoy the language. You are only living three-fourths of a life. One fourth is gone!" The boatman did not seem to mind.

The scholar continued, "Do you know at least s¡hitya, literature?"

The boatman once again answered, "I have not read any literature."

"Did you study phonetics? Did you study Kalidasa?"

Again the answer was 'No'.

The scholar then told him, "Another one fourth of your life is gone."

"Can you read and write?" he asked him.

"No, I cannot read nor write. I cannot even sign my name."

"You cannot read! You cannot write! What can you get out of life? You cannot take a book in hand and read and enjoy it. You can only enjoy what your simple senses can satisfy, nothing more. This means that yet another fourth of your life is gone."

The scholar concluded that the boatman was living only one-fourth of his life since he was alive and rowing the boat. So he told him that three-fourths of his life was gone.

The boatman became very sad now. Rowing the boat, he thought to himself, "My father told me to go to school. He advised me to be not like him. But I had always told him that if he could live his life by rowing a boat, why not me. I should have gone to school. Three fourths of my life is gone. I am living only one fourth of my life."

As the boat continued to proceed, the scholar noticed water seeping into the boat. Alarmed, he said:

"Yeh, down below, there is water under my feet."

The boatman saw water gushing in through a hole. All efforts to block the hole failed. The boat was now half-filled
with water and was sinking. It became clear to the boatman that he could not save the boat.

He looked at the scholar and asked him "Panditji, do you know swimming?"

"No,". the scholar replied. "I do not know swimming."

Then the boatman said to him, "Panditji, I am sorry. Your whole life is gone."

Without the knowledge that counts, that makes a difference between life and death, what is the use of knowing everything else? Ved¡nta is like tara¸a-vidy¡, knowledge of swimming, which helps one cross the ocean of saÆs¡ra.


Because that tarana-vidya, the swimming is a vidya that makes you cross. And Arsha VidyA is a vidya that helps you cross. Without that vidya every other vidya that you have is purely an ornament owned by a person who doesn't think that I am beautiful. A person who doesn't think that I am beautiful or acceptable.. let that person put make-up – any amount of make-up. But behind that makeup, the person is not accepting himself or herself. Similarly a vidya that helps you accept yourself as a person, and everything else is an embellishment. So this make-up should make the beauty of the person come out. It is not for covering the ugliness of the person. If a person thinks that "I am ugly" or that "I am no good", even though one can make up, cover up the whole thing, still inside I know that "I am ugly". And for that knowledge there is no cover up at all.

I know a lot of people who have grey hair and who can't stand the grey hair. Therefore they dye their hair to cover up the grey colour. Even though they may cover up the grey colour of their hair, they cannot cover up their knowledge of the grey colour by any amount of dye.

Self-non-acceptance is common to all human beings.

This knowledge of limitations of the body-mind-sense complex, is basis of one's self-non-acceptance – the basis of one's self-condemnation. It is common to all. Every human heart has this problem. In fact this problem is the fundamental human problem.

In the Upanishad there is a story. That Narada, who is a great man, comes to a great sage called sanatkumara and tells him;

"Sir please help me. shokasya paaram tarayatu. I am in great sorrow. Please help me, the one who is in sorrow, cross this ocean of samsara."

Then, the teacher, (Sanatkumara) asked him : "How much do you know?"

And Narada answered,

"I know the four Vedas. And I know the shadangas – that is shiksha, kalpam, vyaakaranam, jyotisham, ityadi. The shadanagas are the six limbs, the six disciplines of knowledge which are helpful understand the Veda. I know these shad-angas which are the six secondary disciplines of knowledge. All these I know."

(further) he said,

"I know physics, bhuta-vidya. I know preta-vidya. So I can contact spirits etc. I know kkshetra vidya. I know nakshatra vidya….

he goes on giving a big list of vidyas, disciplines of knowledge he had studied. And at the end of it he says.

'Hey Bhagavan, sah aham – I am the great Narada of this great knowledge. but still I am in sorrow. Please help me."

And Sanatkumara said,

"You know everything like that pandita without knowing swimming. you know everything. But you do not know one vidya, which makes the difference bwteen self-acceptance and self-non-acceptance".

The human heart is the self-conscious heart. If you are not conscious of yourself, you have no problem really. But the human heart is self-conscious – this faculty of the buddhi is given. Also the faculty to judge is given. So there is self-judgment… self-judgment based on comparison. And therefore there is self-complex.

A cow is not conscious of itself as a person, so a Indian cow does not feel that "I am an Indian cow", or "I am a poor cow", "I am a Muslim cow", or "I am a white or black cow". A cow does not think like that. Why? Because it is not conscious of itself as a person. It is conscious of the world. It is capable of perception, inference. And even though it has a self-identity as cow because of which it does not mistake a dog for a cow… still it does not have self-consciousness that leads to a self-judgment and a self-complex. … that I am not acceptable to myself, that I am small and insignificant. So this conclusion that I am small and insignificant is centered on "I".

The conclusion that I am small and insignificant makes me a wanting person.

How come the human being has this complex? If I am an entity, a self-conscious entity… no matter how much I hav accomplished, still what I don't have, or what I have not accomplished is INFINITELY LARGE . In comparison to that what I have is infinitesimally small. So I am insignificant.

Even this physical body is insignificant. Even if it lives a hundred years it is nothing. Just a flicker. In the flow of time, if you see a way-side rock, it has a millions of years of history to tell you. And so even if this body lives a hundred years it is insignificant. It is nothing. Just a flicker. This physical body is subject to time, subject to place. If it is here, it is not elsewhere. Therefore it is limited. And so a person is WANTING – wanting time-wise, wanting in space, strength-wise wanting, ability-wise wanting, skill-wise wanting, knowledge wise wanting, perceptions –wise wanting, power-wise wanting, money-wise wanting, influence-wise wanting. And so you find yourself a WANTING person.

This sense of being a wanting person was discovered even as a child. As a small baby even as you looked around, you were frightened by the vastness of the world. And you saw people… so many people. Mother was a big, giant woman. Father was another big giant person. I was a small person, a small child, standing up on these precarious legs. In fact I could not even stand at that time. later even though I could stand, I was very insecure on my legs. Naturally I require the security of my mother and father all the time. Even if the mother was not there … I would carry a piece of her sari. … Thus I start my life as a small, insignificant person.

And as I grow older, I go to school. I gather knowledge. More and more knowledge I gather. And the more knowledge I gather, the more I come to know what I don't know. If I did not know that I do not know, it would be okay. But I do come to know that I do not know … and so knowledge-wise also I understand that I am insignificant.

In terms of power also I am insignificant. In fact I am at the hands of the laws of nature and of people. all the time, the hundreds of laws of natural forces govern my life – I am at their mercy… I can only try to understand them and try to manipulate them… but I am not able to change them .. I realise that I don't really call all the shots. So I find myself a helpless person.

So as this helpless, powerless, wanting person … I am not acceptable to myself.

The basic spiritual urge to be free of this "I am wanting" sense

So this "I am wanting. I am sinsignificant" is a problem which is universal. Centered on that problem are all our other problems with world. And our whole life is dedicated to be free of this problem … through various pursuits. Our whole life is in terms of getting things which help us to accept ourselves totally.

Let us analyse the human pursuits for seeking self-acceptance. Another word for human pursuit or human goals is purushartha. They can be reduced to two main ends in the beginning. One is 'security' and the others is 'happiness or pleasure'. Security is called as arthah and pleasure is called as kamah.

Behind the pursuit of security is the conclusion that, "I am insecure". There is an unconscious conclusion at first … later it is verbalized as " I am not secure. I seek security. As it is I am not good. I am not secure. I should get some form of security."

In the society that we grow, this security is considered to be wealth. vittam. So wealth in terms of hard cash or real estate. Power is also a form of security…. because it gives you a sense of well-being. When you have power, you wield it over others and that also makes you feel secure. You feel you can get things done. So Name, influence … all these gives you a sense of security.

Then there is kaamah…. the various types of pleasure. Music does not give you a sense of security, it gives you pleasure. In that pleasure you are able to forget for some time, all your insecurities, you sense of isolation, your sense of being small. Similarly there are other types of pleasure. Eating is a pleasure. Meeting is a pleasure. So there are varieties of things that give you pleasure. yoga gives you pleasure … called yogananda. Vidya gives you pleasure called vidyananda. Vishya or objects give you pleasure called vishayananda…. all these come under kamah.

Thus as a self-conscious being, suffering from the feeling of insignificance and insecurity, you are given to artha and kamah pursuits … this is very common.

So that 'I seek security' comes from the feeling "I am insecure". In the conclusion "I am mortal, also there is the feeling of insecurity, because body is subject to death. The conclusion is about "I" alone. The conclusion is centered on "I" alone. The physical body does not say "I am mortal". This conclusion is centered on "I". The "I am insecure" is a conclusion centered on 'I" and it is this conclusion that is behind the pursuit for money.

Now, as an insecure person, when you seek security, then what you seek must at least be secure. You have concluded that INSECURE I + something = SECURITY. That means what you are seeking must be secure…. because it will become one with you and then you will be secure.

But look at the fact about money. It is something you handle. It is not you. Money is mine. mama dhanam. It is my money. So 'mine' is definitely different from "I". So the conclusion of insecurity continues. Certainly holding onto money gives me a sense of well-being. This sense of well-being I love. So what do you really love? Money or the sense of well-being. It is the sense of well-being that you get out of the money that you love.

Suppose money gives you a sense of fear then you will give up the money. Story of business man in Bombay.

So here loss of money became a gain. Why? because by itself money is not security. so let us look at 2 cases

  1. Money is secure – but I am separate from it – then I am not secure and money cannot remove the conclusion that "I am insecure". I have to hold onto that money because I am separate from it. And as soon as I stop holding onto it, the money is gone. Also when I am holding onto it, anybody else can also hold onto it … and so I have to hold onto it … and so I am insecure.
  2. Money is not secure – it can go away any time – and so also "I am insecure" will not go away.

The truth is money is limited. It is expendable and so it is time-bound.


Money is time-bound … so it is insecure. Name and fame is time-bound … that is also insecure. Ask actors and politicians. If your well-being is dependent on the approval and praise of others … then when you are criticized you are finished. Power is time-bound … it is the most insecure … even when you have power you have fear of others vying for your seat!!

So I am after artha to free myself from the feeling of insecurity … and the truth is artha cannot free me…. because artha is also time-bound and insecure. Do you want arthaor do you want to be free from the need for artha … from feeling of insecurity?

So my love is not for artha.. my love is for freedom from the need for security. I want to see myself as SECURE … so the love is for seeing myself as SECURE. In fact the need for artha is only for seeing myself as secure.

In fact what you are seeking in your life is not artha it is moksha. Moksha means what? Freedom.

The word moksha comes from 'muc' root in the sense of 'freedom' . So it means 'release from bondage'. So samsara is nothing but bondage – which is the dependence for my sense of well-being upon things.

Therefore moksha is the ultimate purushartha. Why?
Because even in seeking artha you are seeking moksha alone. Because you are seeking a sense of well-being alone. So moksha is the freedom from the sense of insecurity and smallness. That freedom is the ultimate end. Even when you are seeking artha, you are seeking moksha alone.

If you don't know this, that I am seeking moksha in artha … it means you are confused.

If I keep moksha as the ultimate end, then any pursuit becomes meaningful. If that moksha is not kept as the ultimate then artha become anartham or meaningless!! Any knowledge also become anartham. In fact life becomes meaningless. We saw how Narada having all the disciplines of knowledge was still sorrowful and insecure.

So now having analysed we conclude that what I am seeking is freedom from dependence for my well-being, for my security.What I am seeking is freedom from my dependence on situations for my sense of well-being.

MOKSHA has to be centered on "I"

Since the feeling of insecurity is centered on "I", the feeling of well-being and security must also be centered on "I". Moksha is therefore centered on "I". It's purely "I". The "I am small and insignificant" feeling – that feeling must be replaced by a certain truth – by knowledge. Truth means knowledge always. It has to be truth as the object is … knowledge as the object is.

So in fact Vedanta is saying that "the sense of security is to be centered on "I". It cannot be centered on the body, because body is insecure. Body is subject to old age, disease, death.

So moksha is not dependent on the body, much less it is on the mind. Mind itself does not feel that "I am insecure", mind is only an instrument. Like my eyes I use for seeing, my mind I use for thinking. So mind is only an instrument. Mind itself does not have the sense of insecurity. We use the mind to have any sense. and the sense is centered on "I".

This is the teaching. It is all centered on "I". The "I-sense, which is a human sense, a self-conscious "I". The conclusion "I am insecure" is centered on "I" and so the solution also must be centered on "I" alone.


So now we have discerned the human problem. Mostly the spiritual pursuits are wanting because they are without content, and without direction because the problem is not discerned.

The problem is not anywhere else, except in the "I-notion". So the correction should be where? Where there is the problem, there alone, there must be a solution.

So when I am the problem, I am the solution.

Om Tat Sat