Sunday, August 31, 2014
If you want to get rid of the pains and afflictions of this samsara (worldly life) you must practise meditation. Meditation is the pathway to divinity. It is the royal road to the kingdom of Brahman. It is a mysterious ladder which reaches from error to truth, from darkness to light, from pain to bliss, from restlessness to abiding peace, from ignorance to wisdom, from mortality to immortality. Meditation leads to knowledge of the self, to eternal peace, supreme bliss. Meditation prepares you for direct intuitive knowledge.
Truth is Brahman. Truth is self. You cannot realise the truth without reflection and meditation. Be silent. Know thyself. Melt the mind in that. Without meditation you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and attain immortality. Tear the veils that cover the soul. Rend asunder the five sheaths that screen the Atman (Self) by constant meditation. You will find final beatitude.
Meditation is a powerful tonic. The holy vibrations penetrate all the cells of the body and cure all its diseases. The powerful soothing waves that arise during meditation exercise a benign influence over the mind and the nerves. If you meditate for half hour you will be able to engage yourself with peace and spiritual strength in the daily battle of life, for a week. You do this just through the force of this one meditation.
A yogi who meditates regularly has a magnetic, charming personality. Those who come in contact with him are much influenced by his sweet voice, his powerful speech, his lustrous eyes, his brilliant complexion, his strong healthy body, his good behaviour, his virtuous qualities and divine nature. People draw peace and joy and strength from him.
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Close your lips. Shut the doors of the senses. Meditate on Atman (Self). You will enjoy peace and bliss. The more you grow in aspiration and meditation, the more you grow God-like. For in meditation is the light of the Lord.
Meditate and charge your battery by contact with God. Dive deep in the chambers of your heart through profound and silent meditation, and bring up the pearl of truth.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
You must have a pure mind if you want to realise the self. Unless the mind is set free, unless the mind casts away all desire, craving, worry, delusion, pride, lust, attachment, likes and dislikes, it cannot enter the domain of supreme peace.
Mind is compared to a garden. Just as you can cultivate good flowers and fruits in a garden, by ploughing and manuring the land, by removing the weeds and thorns, and by watering the plants and trees - so too you can cultivate the flower of devotion in the garden of your mind, by removing the impurities of the mind (such as lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride, etc.), and watering it with divine thoughts.
Weeds and thorns grow in the rainy season and then disappear in summer. But their seeds remain underneath the ground and as soon as there is a shower, the seeds germinate and sprout. Even so, the vrittis (modifications of the mind), manifest on the surface of the conscious mind, then disappear and assume a subtle seed-state in the form of samskaras or impressions. The samskaras again become vrittis, either through internal or external stimuli.
If you want to keep the garden clean you will have to remove not only the weeds but also the seeds that lie underneath the ground, which will eventually germinate otherwise. Even so, you have to destroy not only the big waves of the mind, but also the impressions which are the seeds for birth and death, if you want to enter the super-conscious state.
Those who have removed the impurities of their minds by japa (repetition of God's name), service, charity, pranayama (yoga breathing), etc., will enter into meditation as soon as they sit for meditation. The pure, ripe mind at once burns with the fire of meditation.
Without the help of meditation you cannot obtain knowledge of the self. Without its aid you cannot grow into the divine state. Without it you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and attain immortality. Tear the veil that covers the soul, by practising regular meditation.
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Self-realisation is the aim of life. The means to it are living an ethical life and ceaseless meditation. Spiritual duty is far more important than worldly duty. Live to seek God. Live to serve humanity. Fulfil God's will. You will be blessed. You will be happy.
Satsang Bhavan Lectures of Swami Sivananda
CHAPTER I: THE SUPREME TRUTH
9. Philosophy of Pain and Suffering / 10. The Path to Liberation - Essence of Divine Life
9. PHILOSOPHY OF PAIN AND SUFFERING
Birth and death, pain, sorrow and suffering are all due to ignorance or lack of knowledge of one's own essential divine nature.
Egoism is ignorance. Desire is born of ignorance. Likes and dislikes are born of ignorance. Clinging to mundane life is due to ignorance.
Identification with the body is ignorance. Mistaking the impure, inert and perishable body for the pure, sentient and immortal atma or soul is ignorance.
Egoism, likes and dislikes, desire, craving, thoughts, etc. are all modifications of ignorance.
From ignorance or avidya desire is born. To realise the object of desire, man does karmas or actions, likes some and dislikes others, expects fruits of his actions and is therefore bound to the wheel of birth and death.
Attain Brahmajnana or knowledge of Brahman or supreme self. Pain, sorrow and suffering will cease. You will attain bliss immortal, everlasting peace and perennial joy. You will be freed from birth and death.
Discrimination, dispassion, non-attachment, serenity, self-restraint, endurance, renunciation, faith, devotion, cosmic love, courage, humility, truthfulness, compassion, concentration, meditation, burning longing for liberation are all aids to self-realisation or attainment of Brahmajnana.
CHAPTER II: THE PATH TO LIBERATION
10. THE PATH TO LIBERATION - ESSENCE OF DIVINE LIFE
I am thankful, not only thankful but grateful to you all for having come and graced this occasion with your august presence and for blessing me. I pray that you should all come here frequently and practise Japa and meditation on the banks of the Ganga and try to attain self-realisation in this very birth.
That is the goal of life. It is beautifully expressed in the formula: Brahma satyam jagan mithya jeevo brahmaiva na aparah. Remember this and the important mantras in the Upanishads which treat of the nature of the reality.
What is reality? That which is changeless, transcendental, immortal, all-blissful and imperishable. We know that Brahman alone is real and that the world is unreal. But how many people take Brahman as the only reality in practical life? As soon as you get up in the morning, you say "I want this," "I want that." You feel that the objects alone are real. You never even think of the transcendental atma which is the real basis for all these experiences.
He is the intelligent man; he is the strong man; he is the hero who has got dispassion and discrimination, for whom the wealth of the three worlds is as precious as a piece of straw. That is the strength born of discrimination and dispassion. That is the strength that you should acquire. Do not depend upon your bank balance. It may vanish at any time. Indryartheshu vairagyam anahamkarameva cha; janma mrityu jaraavyaadhi duhkha doshaanudarshanam. Develop vairagya towards the objects of the senses, and realise the defect in birth, death, disease, old age and misery here. That is the source of the highest strength. As soon as you get up in the morning you must remember this sloka and meditate upon it.
But maya tempts you and deludes you. It does not allow you to introspect, to meditate, to find out what mistakes you have committed during the day, what Vritti over-powered you, which quality was predominant in you, why the mind is restless in spite of your wealth, position and possessions.
It is the duty of everybody to control the mind and to find out the source of real happiness. Practise namasmaran—you will bring the mind under your control and you will attain the source of real happiness. But few people have faith. They do japa for three months; and if they don't get promotion in their job or if their business does not double itself, they lose faith in the mantra and give it up. There is a great power, achintya-shakti, in the Lord's name. Go on repeating it, for you do not know how much of sin and evil samskaras have to be washed away. Even to become a petty officer in the government, how many years you have to struggle!
Hold the highest goal before your mind always. As soon as you get up recollect the great upanishadic formula: yo vai bhuma tat sukham, na alpa sukham asti—'The infinite alone is bliss; there is no pleasure whatsoever in these little, finite, perishable objects'. Also, eko devah sarva bhuteshu gudah—'The one God is hidden in the heart of all beings'. That is the hidden love, light, wisdom and joy in all these names and forms. That is the only reality.
Through ignorance, raga-dwesha, you are identifying yourself with the body. Raga-dwesha (likes and dislikes) constitute the world in truth-not these trees and buildings, rivers and mountains. It is on account of raga-dwesha, born of ignorance, that you get involved in this cycle of birth and death, and take this body again and again. Cut at the root of this ignorance, Study the Upanishads. Practise yoga. Attain liberation.
Yoga is not something to be practised in a cave. The highest form of yoga is offering all your actions unto him as iswararpana. Feel that there is only one God and say, "I offer all my actions as worship unto him." This is quite essential and sufficient for God-realisation. Maya will tempt you to forget it. Remember this point and bring it to your mind again and again. Watch and pray. Wait and pray.
Nama-smaran is the easiest way to keep this bhav always in your mind. Go on repeating Sri Ram, Sri Ram, Sri Ram always. This will enable you to think of God always. Sri Ram is in no way inferior to Soham, or Aham Brahmamsi formulae. The name of the Lord will take you to the highest goal and will enable you to realise the satchidananda atma.
You must maintain the daily spiritual diary. Do not complain lack of time for sadhana. If you reduce and eliminate the time you waste in idle-gossiping, you will have plenty of time for sadhana. You say that this jhanjat (botheration) of samsara worries you an all sides; I say have this one more jhanjat of japa and dhyana, and it will soon eliminate all other jhanjat. You must feel that the world cannot give you everlasting peace and happiness. Then only is the least spiritual progress possible. That peace and happiness you can have only in japa, kirtan, discipline of the mind and senses, study of Gita and Bhagawata, and in selfless Service. Treat all your actions as divine worship of the all-pervading Lord; then all your activities will become yoga. Constantly hammer the mind with these ideas.
Equip yourself with the four means. Cultivate divine virtues. University education will only enable you to earn your daily bread, not to enjoy the transcendental experience. Vairagya, viveka, sama, dama, titiksha, uparati, sraddha, samadana, and mumukshatwa—all these you should possess in abundance. People don't even understand the meaning of samadana nowadays. Only if you had done selfless service in countless births, through God's grace, discrimination will dawn on you. The purpose of maya is to cloud this discrimination! The mind is full of impurities; and therefore, you have forgotten the Light of lights "which illumines all things that shine here." Remove these impurities by the cultivation of virtues. You must be burning with the eagerness: "When shall I cultivate this virtue?" Aspiration, renunciation, devotion and meditation. Remember these four words which sum up sadhana. Then through hearing, reflection and meditation, you will reach the goal.
There is great work before you. To control the mind and senses is your foremost duty. He who fails in this duty leads a miserable life in spite of all achievements and acquisitions. He who succeeds in it acquires Brahma-vidya, the knowledge of the atma, the Science of sciences. He who knows it, knows all. He who does not know it, knows nothing even if he has acquired all other knowledge.
Get up at 4 a.m. and meditate. This is very important. This will not only enable you to progress rapidly in sadhana; but it will bestow success on all your undertakings. During the day you have to come into contact with people of various temperaments. If you wish to maintain an unperturbed state of mind throughout the day, therefore, you should generate a powerful satwic current in the mind in brahmamuhurtha. Then you will be able to adapt, adjust and accommodate, and you will enjoy peace and balanced mind which is one of the signs of wisdom. You will not be tempted by sensual objects also. You will realise that though sensual pleasure seems to be pleasant in the beginning, it is productive of great misery and therefore it is always painful and painful alone.
Even a little practice of sadhana paves the way for success. A little japa, a little kirtan, a little selfless service, a little meditation regularly—then there is the descent of grace and rapid spiritual progress.
Look at the world. How much suffering and misery there is! You should have a melting heart and you should share what you have with others. Only then will you be able to experience unity. You want to increase your wealth and look after your children only; how then, can you attain that transcendental experience of unity? If you wish to attain atma-jnana, destroy selfishness first. Then you will see God in all; then you will realise the one atma that pervades all names and forms. Examine yourself. Analyse yourself. Practice self-introspection. Find out the lurking defects in the mind. Eradicate them; cultivate the opposite virtues. At the end of the month you are now in the habit of calculating how much money you have saved; now develop the habit of calculating how many virtues you have developed, how much you have helped your brothers in distress. That is your real wealth, the source of your real strength, the strength born of wisdom.
The ascetic has no money in the bank; but he possesses the wealth of the Lord. He has the highest spiritual wealth. It is your duty to acquire this wealth. You are growing old day by day. Ask yourself: "I have lived for twenty-five or thirty-five years here; how much of this spiritual wealth have I acquired?" Make fresh resolves now. March forward and attain the goal here and now.
May God give you strength, discrimination, aspiration and renunciation. May you all attain kaivalya moksha in this very birth is my humble prayer to the Lord.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Develop Your Perception
Organs deteriorate if you do not use them properly - just as hands and legs are atrophied by disuse and are developed by muscular exercise, etc. There is intimate connection between sight and memory, and between hearing and memory.
He who has acute sight, keen perception, good powers of observation and hearing - he will have a good memory. In the internal astral body there are counterparts of these. They are called astral senses. A yogi hears through astral ears and sees through astral eyes. Thus he can hear sounds from distant lands, he can see objects in distant localities. This is called clairvoyance and clairaudience.
Generally people are very careless. They have no wish to learn higher things and have a fund of knowledge. Keep a watch very close to the ear; hear the sound attentively. On the second day put the watch a little further away. Listen to the tick-tick sound. Every day increase the distance, training yourself to hear the sound. Then plug one ear with the index finger of your hand. Train the ears alternately.
Here is another exercise. Close both ears through yonimudra; try to hear the anahata sounds that emanate from the heart lotus. You will hear ten varieties of sounds, such as: flute, mridanga, veena, conch, bells, thunder, humming of a bee, drum, etc. Allow the organ of hearing (ear) to shift from one sound to another and carefully differentiate the various sounds. Eventually fix the ear on one sound. Try the gross sounds first and then go to the subtle sounds.
There is another exercise. Fix the ears on the pranava dhvani (Om sound) that emanates from a river, ocean or wind. It will be heard like 'bhum' or a long 'Om'. Train your ears to hear this sound. Do this exercise at 4 a.m. or at 9 p.m. when the noise of the town has died down.
Keep your ears keen. Differentiate the sounds of various kinds of birds, beasts, children, factories, motor cars, aeroplanes, cycles, shrieks, yells, snores, sobbing, crying, laughing, mocking, joking, etc.
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The mind may be there, the instrument may be perfect, but if the mind is not functioning perfectly, you cannot see or hear properly. Perception is possible only when the mind is linked with the external instrument (ear, eye, etc.).
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Trataka is steady gazing. Write the word Om in black on the wall. Concentrate on it with open eyes till tears come in the eyes. Then close the eyes; visualise the picture of Om. Then open the eyes and again gaze till lachrymation manifests. Gradually increase the period. There are students who can gaze for one hour. Trataka is one of the sad-kriyas (six exercises) in hatha yoga. Trataka steadies the wandering mind and removes vikshepa (tossing of the mind). Instead of gazing at Om you may gaze at a big black dot on the wall. The walls will present a golden colour during trataka.
You can do trataka on any picture of the Lord, either of Krishna, Rama, or Siva or on Saligrama. You can sit on the chair also. Fix the picture on the wall in front of your eyes. Trataka is the alpha-beta of concentration. It is the first exercise for yogic students in concentration.
Trataka with open eyes is followed by visualisation. Visualisation is calling up of a clear mental image of anything.
Practise trataka for one minute on the first day. Then gradually increase the period every week. Do it gently with ease and comfort, as long as you can. Repeat your mantra during trataka. In some people who have weak capillaries, the eyes may become red. They need not be alarmed unnecessarily. The redness of the eyes will pass quickly.
Practise trataka for six months - then you can take up advanced lessons in concentration and meditation. Be regular and systematic in your sadhana (practice). If there is a break, make up the deficiency or loss on the next day. Trataka removes many eye diseases and ultimately brings in siddhis (psychic powers).
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Place a picture of Lord Jesus in front of you. Sit in your favourite meditative pose. Concentrate gently with open eyes on the picture till tears trickle down the cheeks. Rotate the mind on the cross, on the chest, long hair, beautiful beard, round eyes, and the various other limbs of his body, and fine spiritual aura emanating from his head, and so on. Think of his divine attributes, various phases of his interesting life and the 'miracles' he performed and the various extraordinary powers he possessed. Then close the eyes and try to visualise the picture. Repeat the same process again and again.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The Power of Concentration
If you focus the rays of the sun through a lens, they can burn cotton or a piece of paper; but the scattered rays cannot do this. If you want to talk to a man at a distance, you make a funnel of your hand and speak; the sound waves are collected at one point and then directed towards the man. He can hear your speech very clearly. When water is converted into steam and the steam is concentrated at a point, the railway engine moves. The steam in the cooking vessels moves the lid and produces a put-put sound. All these are instances of concentrated waves. Even so, if you collect the dissipated rays of the mind and focus them at a point, you will have wonderful concentration. The concentrated mind will serve is a potent search-light to find out the treasures of the soul and attain the supreme wealth of Atman, eternal bliss, immortality and perennial joy. Therefore practise concentration and meditation regularly.
Kumbhaka (retention of breath) helps concentration. It checks the velocity of the mind and makes it move in smaller circles and ultimately curbs all its wanderings. Trataka (gazing) is a potent aid to concentration. Fix the mind on the candle flame, or a black dot, or shivalinga (symbol of Siva), or saligrama (symbol of Vishnu). Brahmacharya (celibacy) helps concentration. Without brahmacharya you cannot have definite progress. Satvic (pure) food is another aid to concentration. Seclusion, mouna (silence), satsanga (holy company), asana (yoga posture), japa (repetition of God's name), practice of yama, niyama, fasting, moderation in diet, non-mixing with persons, little talking, little walking, little exertion - are all aids to concentration.
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The mind can be controlled by continuous practice. You must always keep it occupied in divine contemplation. If you slacken your efforts, idle thoughts will at once occur. Continuous practice only can bring the mind under control.
If you wish to attain success in yoga you will have to abandon all worldly enjoyments. You will have to practise brahmacharya and tapas (austerity). These will help you in the attainment of concentration and samadhi (super-consciousness).
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The Fruits of Concentration
Now hear about the fruits that one gains from this practice. Supreme joy is for the yogi whose mind is peaceful, whose passionate nature is calmed, who is sinless and of the nature of the eternal.
When one advances in the practice of concentration, when one takes a real interest in it and when one has realised some benefits, then he cannot leave the practice. Concentration brings supreme joy, spiritual inner strength, unalloyed felicity and infinite, eternal peace. It brings profound knowledge and deep inner sight, intuition and communion with God.
The vital point in concentration is to bring the mind to the same point or object, again and again, by limiting its movements. Limit it to a small circle to begin with - that is the main aim. A time will come when the mind will stick to one point alone. This is the fruit of protracted sadhana (practice). Now your joy will be indescribable.
If you decide to meditate on the form of a chair, bring all thoughts connected with that chair together and dwell on these ideas. Do not allow thoughts of other objects to enter your mind. Thought should flow steadily, like oil flowing steadily from one vessel to another. Gradually reduce the number of ideas related to the object of concentration. When all these ideas die, you get the super-conscious state (samadhi).
When this last idea dies out and when there is not even a single idea, the mind becomes blank or void. There is mental vacuity. This is the stage of thoughtlessness referred to by Patanjali in his Raja Yoga philosophy. You must rise above this blank vritti (thought-form) and identify yourself with the Supreme Purusha or Brahman, the silent witness of the mind who gives power and light to the mind. Then and then alone you will reach the highest goal of life.
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Prolonged meditation on the Absolute leads to perfection. One of the greatest needs in spiritual life is meditation. Meditate and listen to the voice of God. This will give you strength and power and peace.
Monday, August 25, 2014
The Practice of Concentration
Fix the mind on some object, within the body or without. Keep it there, steadily, for some time. This is concentration. Practise this daily.
Ethical perfection is a matter of paramount importance. You can concentrate internally on any of the seven centres of spiritual energy. A man who is filled with passion and fantastic desires can hardly concentrate at all, even for a second. His mind jumps around like a monkey.
Sit in the lotus pose. Gaze gently at the tip of the nose. Practise this for one minute in the beginning, gradually increasing it to half an hour. This steadies the mind and develops the power of concentration. Keep this up even as you walk about.
Or, sit in the lotus pose, fixing the mind between the eyebrows. Do this gently for half a minute. Gradually increase to half an hour or more. This removes tossing of the mind and develops concentration. Select either of these methods.
If you want to increase your power of concentration, you will have to reduce your worldly activities. You will have to observe the vow of silence every day for two hours or more.
When the mind runs from an object, bring it back again and again. When concentration is deep and intense, the senses cannot operate. He who practises concentration for three hours a day will have tremendous psychic power and will power.
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You should steadily direct your gaze towards the tip of the nose (nasikagra drshti) and keep the mind fixed on the Self only. In chapter five, verse 25 of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says: "Having made the mind abide in the self, let him not think of anything." Another gaze is gazing between the eyebrows. Do not strain the eyes; practise gently.
When you practise concentration on the end of the nose, you will experience various sorts of fragrance. When you concentrate on the ajna chakra (eyebrow centre), you will experience divya jyoti (divine light). This will give you encouragement. It will push you up the spiritual path and convince you of the existence of transcendental things. Do not stop your sadhana (practice) now.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Your Foremost Duty - Concentration
Sri Shankara writes that a man's duty consists in the control of the senses and the concentration of the mind. As long as one's thoughts are not thoroughly destroyed, through persistent practice, a man should ever be concentrating his mind on one truth at a time. Through such unremitting practice, one-pointedness will accrue and instantly all the hosts of thoughts will vanish. Concentration is opposed to sensuous desires, bliss to flurry and worry, sustained thinking to perplexity, applied thinking to sloth, and torpor and rapture to ill-will.
You are born to concentrate the mind on God after collecting the mental rays that are dissipated on various objects. This is your foremost duty, but you forget it on account of delusion for family, money, power, position, name and fame. Concentration of the mind on God after purification can give you real happiness and knowledge. You are born for this purpose only. Fix the mind on Atman, the all-pervading, pure intelligence and self-luminous effulgence. Stand firm in Brahman, then you will become established in Brahman.
Attention plays a great part in concentration. It is the basis of will. The force with which anything strikes the mind is generally in proportion to the degree of attention bestowed on it. Attention on any object may be either subjective (internal) or objective (external). Practise concentrating your attention on unpleasant tasks, upon uninteresting objects and ideas. Then many mental weaknesses will vanish and the mind will become stronger and stronger.
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Do a thing that the mind does not want to do. Do not do a thing that the mind wants to do. Don't fulfil your desires; don't hope; don't expect. Destroy vicious desires through virtuous desires and then destroy the virtuous desires also, through one strong desire for liberation. Practice of pranayama destroys rajas (activity) and tamas (dullness) and makes the mind steady and one-pointed.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Withdraw the Mind
Pratyahara is abstraction or withdrawal of the senses. From it starts the real inner spiritual life and the external world is shut out. Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama all prepare the aspirant for the practice of pratyahara. The mind is rendered calm by the practice of brahmacharya (celibacy) and aparigraha (non-covetousness). Asana and pranayama squeeze out the rajas (restlessness). Pranayama checks the out-going tendencies of the mind. Now the mind can easily be detached.
Pratyahara gives inner spiritual strength and great peace of mind. It develops will power and removes all sorts of distractions. An unsteady asana (posture), too much talking, too much mixing, too much work, too much food, too much walking, too much of activity (vyavahara) and poking one's nose into the affairs of others, all produce much distraction of the mind and stand in the way of the practice of pratyahara.
When you mix with people, again and again, fix the mind on your lakshya (point of concentration). Rest in your background of thought - whether saguna (form) or abstract vedantic image. This serves as a strong fortress to protect you from the onslaught of worldly thoughts.
Keep a steady pose, be regular in the practice of pranayama, cultivate vairagya (dispassion), vichara (enquiry) and viveka (wisdom). Always look at the defects of a sensual life. Develop serenity, contentment, patience. Be persevering, tenacious and ever-vigilant. Pray to the Lord. Sing. Do japa (repetition of God's name). Obtain divine grace. Observe mouna (silence), moderation in diet, and seclusion. Practise celibacy. Stick to resolves. Live in seclusion. Be bold. Be pure. Be wise. Have satsanga (holy company). Give up evil company. Then you will have success in pratyahara.
Concentration is the direct method to get success in pratyahara. Sit in a quiet room and withdraw the senses. Have a spiritual background of thought and the mind will rest in this when released from work. Japa is another method. Divide the mind. Fix one portion on God and let the other portion work. Sightless gaze is also another aid. Feel that this world is the manifestation of the Lord. Understand that lasting happiness can only be had in the Atman within.
It is difficult to say where pratyahara ends and concentration begins. Concentration for twenty seconds makes one meditation and twenty such meditations make one samadhi (super-conscious state). But this is only for beginners.
Satsang Bhavan Lectures of Swami Sivananda
CHAPTER I: THE SUPREME TRUTH
6. Four Kinds of Consciousness / 7. The Philosophy of Life and Death / 8. Become Bodiless
6. FOUR KINDS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
There are four types of consciousness—consciousness, sub-consciousness, super-consciousness and double consciousness.
Consciousness means prajna. There is physical consciousness. One is consciousness of his body and his surroundings—the visible objects of this universe. In mental consciousness one feels the operations of the mind, his sentiments, thoughts and feelings. Very few people have got mental consciousness. They have got only consciousness of the body. It is only those who have got subtle intellect, who have got a knowledge of psychology, who are practising a little bit of concentration, meditation and introspection will be able to know about mental consciousness.
Then comes the sub-consciousness wherein all the samskaras are stored up. It is like a lumbar room. From the subconsciousness through memory ideas come to the surface of the mind, to the conscious. Subconscious is called chitta. In vedanta 'chit' is pure consciousness, absolute consciousness, Brahmic consciousness, supreme consciousness. 'Chittam' is subconscious, and chit is Parabrahman. You do an action. You desire an object and experience it. The experience goes to subconscious mind. It remains there until you get a stimulus from the external world or from within through memory. Then the ideas and samskaras come to the surface of the mind. Vasana becomes a samskara and samskara becomes a vasana. Action produces an impression and impression goad you to repeat an action again. This is a vicious circle. There is no end for it. It is the samskaras imprinted on the subconscious mind that force you to take rebirth again and again. These samskaras can only be destroyed by knowledge of Brahman. Then alone you are free from births and deaths and you have become a jivanmukta or mukta purusha. You will have to be careful in producing impressions in the subconscious mind. Do good deeds. Have sublime divine thoughts. Do japa and kirtan. This will produce good samskaras and destroy the evil impressions. Be good and do good and practise meditation. You can generate good samskaras in the subconscious mind.
Then we have got super-conscious state. That is Parabrahman where there are neither names nor forms, neither darkness nor light, neither east nor west, no visible objects. It is pure Absolute consciousness, consciousness per se. The goal of life is attainment of the super conscious state. It is called nirvikalpa samadhi, asamprajnata samadhi. We have to transcend the body and the mind and enter into the super-conscious state through meditation. After equipping oneself with the four means one should practise hearing, reflection and nididhyasan. Then he will get atma sakshatkara.
Below the super-conscious state according to raja yoga there are various kinds of savikalpa samadhis. In vedanta also there are savikalpa samadhis. Savitarka, nirvitarka, savichara, nirvichara, sa-ananda, and asmita, are savikalpa samadhis according to raja yoga: antar drishyanuvid, antar sabdanuvid, bahya drishyanuvid, bahya sabdanuvid are forms of svikalpa samadhis according to vedanta. These are lower stages. There are triputi or triad—the knower, knowledge and the known, the seer, sight and the seen—and above these stages there is asampprajnata samadhi or nirvikalpa samadhi or nirbija samadhi. There are no vrittis, no vasanas, no imagination, no sankalpas, in that state. There is only pure consciousness. That is our goal. That is Parabrahman.
In double consciousness the sage is resting in his own swarupa enjoying the supreme bliss, and at the same time he works in this world like janaka. He has double consciousness. He has not forgotten his own pure, Brahmic state, and at the same time he has consciousness of the world. Just as a crow has got only one eye, but it turns here and there its socket, even so, the jivanmukta resting in his own swarupa, utilises the mind for serving humanity. If the mind is completely destroyed as in a videha mukta, he cannot work in this world. Then we will have no jivanmuktas to teach the aspirants. A certain portion of avidya remains, satwic vasana remains, called lesha avidya where there is swarupa manonasa of the mind. In a jivanmukta the whole mind is not destroyed. Rajas and tamas are destroyed, but sattwic egoism remains. It is through this that he beholds the world within himself. In a videha mukta the whole mind is destroyed. He is absorbed in Parabrahman completely.
Through sadhana the aspirant raises the Brahmakara vritti. He thinks, "I am akhanda-ekarasa-chinmatra Brahman, (I am one indivisible, homogeneous essence), I am nitya-suddha-swaroopa, I am nitya-bodha-swaroopa, I am nitya-tripti swaroopa (I am ever pure, I am pure consciousness, I am eternal satisfaction), I am sat-chit-ananda swaroopa (I am an embodiment of existence-knowledge-bliss)." There is achintya sakti (unthinkable power) in these words. These thoughts destroy all vishyakara vrittis and raises the Brahma vritti. Thought of Brahman alone remains. This brahmakara vritti destroys the original avidya, and the aspirant rests in his own swarupa.
In western philosophy they use the word intuition. The understanding of the western philosophers of the word 'intuition' is different from the understanding of intuition by the eastern philosophers. Their intuition is not the same intuition conceived of by the eastern philosophers. Intuition is a faculty, higher wisdom, jnana-chakshus, which sanjaya and arjuna had. Intuition sometimes refers to Parabrahman Himself, the experience whole. Intuition does not contradict reason. It fulfils it, and it is above reason. It is the door or gateway to Parabrahman, to knowledge of Brahman.
Arjuna had cosmic consciousness, viswarupa-darshan. Above cosmic consciousness is super-cosmic state. Iswara has got cosmic consciousness as well as super-cosmic consciousness. Bhaktas who go to satyaloka and dwell with Hiranyagarbha experience cosmic consciousness. They have got full knowledge of the process of creation of this world, of the tanmatras, mind and mahat. They have got experience of cosmos. This is called cosmic consciousness.
In vedanta you have the sapta bhumikas, the seven stages of wisdom. They are subheccha, vicharana, tanumanasi, satvapatti, asam-shakti, padartha-bhavana and turiya. The first three stages are the preliminary stages. Desire for liberation is subheccha. Enquiry into the nature of Brahman is vicharana. When with a little practice of sadhana the mind is rendered like a thread, freed from attraction and repulsion, when the mind has been thinned out, through viveka and vairagya, the state is called tanumanasi. Satvapatti is the state when the mind is filled with satva. It is the state of a jivanmukta. There are four kinds of jivanmuktas according to the degree of satwic ego present in them. Satvapatti, asam-shakti, padartha-bhavana are the progressive stages in which the mind melts more and more into Brahman. The highest state is turiya. To some jivanmuktas the world appears like a dream. To some jivanmuktas it appears like deep sleep—according to the satwic egoism present in them. Gradually the sage ascends the ladder of wisdom. In the last stage he has no knowledge of the world. He would not take food by himself. He has to be fed. Mowni Swami of Kumbakonam was in the last stage. Akalkot Swami had also this experience. They had no knowledge of this world. They were completely absorbed in their selves. They had withdrawn themselves completely from the world-consciousness, whereas sages like Janaka had a slight experience of the world. So Janaka was able to rule the kingdom. Jnanis are of two kinds—samadhi jnanis and vyavaharic jnanis. Those sages who work in this world with a slight feeling of this world are called vyavaharic sages. Those sages who are absorbed in samadhi, who cannot work for the well-being of this world are called samadhi jnanis.
So let us get ourselves established in Parabrahman and enjoy the bliss of the eternal and radiate joy and bliss to the world and work for the solidarity of the world. Through sadhana, meditation, discipline, constant abhyas and vairagya, may you all become jivanmuktas in this very birth.
7. THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE AND DEATH
God is a mystery. Man is a mystery. This world is a mystery. Life is a mystery.
Life is a pilgrimage to the shrine of God. Life is a voyage to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality.
Life is a battle. You have to fight with the mind and the indriyas, control the prana and then attain samadhi or super-conscious state.
Life is a fragrant flower of which love is the honey. Cultivate this love and drink the honey in abundance. Life is a song. Life is a continuous poem. Life is a commentary on the scriptures.
Death is an aspect of life. Death is the gateway to a higher life. So do not be afraid of death. Attain Immortality by leading the life divine.
Death is only a change of body. Just as one leaves away the torn cloth and puts on a new cloth, the soul leaves the old body and takes a new body. When the body is unfit for further evolution, Lord, Siva, the regenerator, gives a beautiful body for further evolution and attainment of moksha. So death is only an aspect of life.
Nothing is dead. Everything is vibrant with life.
8. BECOME BODILESS
At the satsang Swamiji said: "Let us do kirtan, prayer and Mrityunjaya japa for (1) Sri Janaki, (2) Chellamma's brother and (3) Pushpa's neice, who all had accidents. Sri Janaki met with a jadka-accident; Chellamma's brother with a buffalo-accident and Pushpa's neice with a motor-accident. Let us pray for them and also for all those who have had accidents at this time in the whole world.
This world is a world of accidents, fractures, dislocation. So let us be careful. Let us become bodiless, so that there will be no accidents. How to become bodiless? Turiyanandaji the other day explained the cause of pain, dukhaparampara, the chain of pain. To become bodiless, you should not do karma (action). How to avoid karma? Give up raga-dwesha, likes and dislikes. How to avoid raga-dwesha? Do not have egoism. How to give up egoism? Abandon aviveka, non-discrimination. How to give up non-discrimination, get rid of ignorance. Ignorance is the first cause for the chain of sorrows—dukhaparampara. How to get rid of ignorance? Attain knowledge of the self. Then there will be no egoism, no raga-dwesha (likes and dislikes), no karma, no body and no sorrow. You will merge yourself in Parabrahman, existence-knowledge-bliss.
Just as rivers join the ocean, so also the individual soul will join the universal existence—satchidananda Parabrahman. Just as camphor melts in the fire and becomes identical with fire, even so our mind melts in silence, its source, ananda. That is our duty. Everybody should become bodiless through self-restraint, cultivation of virtues, concentration, meditation, identification, illumination, salvation. Then there will be neither mind nor body. That is the goal.
That is happiness, Brahmic seat of splendour, immaculate seat of splendour.
Let us do kirtan. In doing kirtan for others you do kirtan for yourself, because there is only one Existence. You have become many. So when we pray for others, we are praying for ourselves."
Swamiji then conducted kirtan and Mrityunjaya japa.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Attention, power of endurance, overcoming aversion, dislikes and irritations, fortitude in suffering, tapas, fasting, patience, command of temper, forbearance, clemency, mental power of endurance, firmness in meeting danger, power of resistance in attack, keeping up daily diary - all pave a long way towards developing the will. You should patiently hear the words of others even though they are not interesting and charming. You should not fret and fume. Patient hearing develops will and wins the hearts of others. Do actions or tasks that are uninteresting - this also develops will power. The actions that are uninteresting will become interesting after some time.
Never complain against bad environments. Create your own mental world wherever you remain, wherever you go. The mind deludes you, at every moment, at every step. Try to overcome the obstacles and difficulties by suitable means. Do not try to run from bad, unfavourable environments. God has placed you there to make you grow quickly.
Man must learn to separate himself from the vehicles in which he thinks, feels, acts, desires. He must know them to be part of the not-Self - as material, external to life. Thus the energy that went out to objects of lower desires becomes a higher desire, guided by the mind, and is then prepared to be transmuted into will.
As the lower mind merges into the higher will and into that which is wisdom, the aspect of pure will emerges as the power of the spirit, self-determined, self-ruled, in perfect harmony with the supreme will and therefore free. Then only, all the bonds are broken and the spirit is unconstrained by anything outside itself. Then and then alone can the will be said to be free.
If a calamity occurs, your mind should not be upset. Keep the mind cool and calm. Have presence of mind. Do not cry over spilt milk - it has come to pass, so face it with a cheerful countenance. Make the best of things. "What cannot be cured must be endured." Keep an unruffled mind. Do not be carried away by undue sentiments and bubbling emotions. Control the mind. Reflect how the calamity has come about.There is always scope for suitable, effective, easy methods to tide over the crisis. Allow the turban to pass off when your head is on the point of being knocked down. This is sagacity. This is prudence. This is wisdom. Develop foresight, wisdom - many obstacles and calamities will be obviated. Do not brood over failures, defects, mistakes. This will weaken your will power. Let the defects remain there. They will be removed quickly when the will grows and when the will becomes purer and purer, stronger and stronger.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Take up memory culture. Take to any exercise that suits you best and put it into daily practice. Keep a daily record - this is very important. Mere skipping over the pages will not do. You will not be benefited. If you really want rapid improvement, if you want to become a real man, put the lessons into practice and take down notes. You can watch your progress and correct your mistakes.
Learn the art of extracting work from the subconscious mind. If you want to remember a forgotten passage, give a definite message to the sub-conscious mind just before you retire to bed. Talk to the sub-conscious mind, just as you would talk to a friend. Give the order in clear terms. The following morning it will place the words before you. If this fails, wait with a calm mind till the answer comes from the sub-conscious mind itself.
After you are well up in memory culture, you can take up will culture. Success in memory culture will give you a great impetus in will culture. You will rejoice now. You will train every nerve in the practice of will culture. You have started the current and it will keep up your zeal and enthusiasm.
Practise the assertions boldly and calmly. Fully understand the meaning of every assertion. Try to feel it. This feeling will slowly manifest. Do not be discouraged. You will have to fight your old enemies, the old samskaras. Try to develop patience, attention, power of endurance, balance of mind, presence of mind and so on.
Pay great attention to this; you will derive great benefit from it. Will is dynamic soul-force. If rendered pure and irresistible, it can work wonders. There is nothing you cannot achieve with a strong will. The majority of persons have no consciousness of will or mind or intellect, though they talk much of 'will' and 'mind'.
The will has become impure and weak through vasanas (desires). When a desire is controlled it becomes changed into will. Sexual energy, muscular energy, anger, etc., are all transmuted into will-force when they are controlled. The fewer the desires, the stronger the will.
The force of brahmacharya is at the back of will. No will culture is possible without brahmacharya. Will is another name for the force of celibacy. Satsankalpa is the pure willing of jnanis. They can do anything through satsankalpa.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Develop Your Sight
Whenever you meet a person, look at his figure carefully from top to bottom. Mentally note his peculiar features - the condition of his eyes, eyebrows, teeth, arms etc., the sort of dress he is wearing, what kind of cap he wears, whether he has a moustache or not. Notice his behaviour, his looks, his gait, whether he seems to be kind-hearted or cruel, whether he is intelligent or dull, polite or impolite, his colour, etc.
Many people cannot give a clear description of the faces of their own friends, their own parents! The obvious reason is that they have not developed the power of memory. Enter your friend's room; notice carefully all the things you see there. Then close your eyes and reflect. Come out of the room and note mentally all the things which the room contains, in order. Then re-enter the room and verify what you noticed. Practise this for some months - you will develop a wonderful power of sight.
Memory culture is very, very important. It brings success in God-realisation as well. A forgetful man always fails in his endeavours - he commits serious mistakes again and again. A man with a strong and retentive memory gets sanguine success in all his ventures and undertakings. He who has memory can conduct his business affairs very successfully. A student who has a retentive memory will get success in all his examinations. Intelligence is only one-tenth of memory.
The Sanskrit term for memory is smirti. Smarana is remembering. This is the function of the sub-conscious mind or chitta. The samskaras (habits) of thinking and acting are deeply impressed in the chitta, which is like the sensitive plate of a camera. All impressions are indelibly recorded there. Whenever you attempt to remember past events or things, they come to the surface of the mind through the trap-door. They come out in the form of big waves of thought or as mental images.
He who dwells in the sub-conscious mind (chitta) and in memory, he who is within this memory, whom the chitta and the memory do not know, whose body is the memory (and sub-conscious mind), who rules the memory and chitta from within - he is thy self, the inner ruler, immortal Atman, antaryami, amritam. My silent adorations and prostrations to this inner ruler!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Kundalini shakti is the coiled up, dormant, cosmic power that underlies all organic and inorganic matter. It is the primordial energy that lies at the basal centre (muladhara chakra) in a dormant, potential state. Kundalini yoga treats of kundalini shakti, the seven chakras (centres of spiritual energy), and the arousing of this sleeping kundalini.
Nadis are astral tubes that carry pranic currents. They cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are not the ordinary nerves, arteries and veins. There are 72,000 nadis. Three are important. They are the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna. Sushumna is the most important because kundalini passes through this nadi only.
The first step in kundalini yoga is the purification of the nadis. When sushumna is pure, then only will the kundalini pass through it. Kundalini is awakened by pranayama, asana and mudras by hatha yogins; through concentration by raja yogins; through devotion and perfect self-surrender by devotees; through analytical will by the jnanis; by japa (repetition) of mantra (God's name) and the grace of the guru (preceptor).
That aspirant who has firm faith in the scriptures, who is courageous, devotional, humble, generously merciful, pure and dispassionate, can easily awaken the kundalini and attain success in samadhi (super-consciousness). He should also be equipped with right conduct and self-restraint. He should constantly engage himself in the service of his guru, and he should be free from lust, anger, delusion, greed and vanity.
When kundalini is taken to the sahasrara (the crown of the head), when she is united with Lord Siva, perfect samadhi (the super-conscious, blissful state) ensues. Now the yogi drinks the nectar of immortality. May mother kundalini guide you all in your yogic practices! May her blessings be upon you all!
WHAT IS THIS WORLD?
This world is a mass of energy or electrons,
This is the view of scientists.
This world is all shakti,
This is the view of the shaktas.
The essence of the world is Brahman, the Absolute,
This is the view of vedantins:
-Thus sayeth Sivananda.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Prana is expended by thinking, willing, acting, moving, talking, writing, etc. A healthy and strong man has an abundance of prana, nerve force, vitality. Prana is supplied in water, in food, in air and in solar energy. Excess prana is stored in the brain and nerve centres. Seminal energy, when sublimated or transformed, supplies an abundance of prana to the system. It is stored in the brain in the form of 'ojas'.
The yogi stores abundant prana by regular practice of pranayama. The yogi who has stored up a large supply of prana radiates strength and vitality. Those who come in close contact with him imbibe prana from him and get strength, vigour, vitality and exhilaration of spirits. Just as water flows from one vessel to another, prana flows, like a steady current, from a developed yogi to a weaker person. This may actually be seen by one who has developed his inner, psychic vision.
Breath is the external manifestation of gross prana. Correct habits of breathing must be established by the regular practice of pranayama. If you can control prana, you can completely control all the forces of the universe, mental and physical. The yogi can also control the omnipresent, manifesting power out of which all energies take their origin. He can control magnetism, electricity, gravitation, cohesion, nerve-currents, vital forces or thought vibrations. In fact he can control the total forces of the universe, both physical and mental.
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A yogi can withdraw prana from any area. That area then becomes numb; it becomes impervious to heat and cold. He can send prana also to any area, and make it oversensitive. He can send prana to the eyes and see distant objects. He can send prana to the nose and can experience divya gandha (supernatural scent). He can send prana to the tongue and can experience supersensuous taste.
There is great significance in the order of the angas (limbs) of raja yoga. Practice of asana (posture) controls rajas (restlessness). Brahmacharya (celibacy) purifies the prana. Pranayama purifies the nadis (astral tubes). Pranayama it steadies the mind and makes it fit for concentration. It removes rajas and tamas (dullness). The practice of yama (self-restraint), niyama (discipline), asana and pranayama are all auxiliaries in the practice of concentration. Pranayama reduces the velocity of the mind. It makes it run and smaller and smaller circles.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Prana and Pranayama
Breath is external manifestation of prana, the vital force. Breath, like electricity, is gross prana. Breath is sthula (gross) and prana is sukshma (subtle). By exercising control over this breathing you can control the subtle prana inside. Control of prana means control of mind. Mind cannot operate without the help of prana.
The vibrations of prana produce thought in the mind. It is prana that moves the mind. It is prana that sets the mind in motion. It is the sukshma prana or psychic prana that is intimately connected with the mind.
Breath represents the important flywheel of an engine. Just as other wheels stop when the driver stops the flywheel, all other organs stop working when the yogi stops the breath. If you can control the flywheel you can easily control the other wheels.
Likewise, if you can control the breath, the external breath, then you can easily control the inner vital force, the prana. The process by which the prana is controlled, by the regulation of external breath, is termed pranayama.
Just as the goldsmith removes the impurities from gold, by heating it in the hot furnace and by strongly blowing the blow-pipe, so also the yogic method removes the impurities of the body and the indriyas (senses), by blowing the lungs - that is, by practising pranayama.
The chief aim of pranayama is to unite the prana with the apana and to take the united pranapana slowly towards the head. The effects, or fruit, of pranayama is the awakening of the sleeping kundalini.
"He who knows prana knows the veda," is the important declaration of the srutis. In the Vedanta Sutras you will find: "For the same reason, breath is Brahman." Prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe. It is the sum total of all the forces in nature.
Prana is the sum total of all latent forces and powers which are hidden in men and which lie everywhere around us. Heat, light, electricity and magnetism are all manifestations of prana. All forces, all powers, and prana, spring from the fountain or common source - the Atman.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
See the Results
For those who have poorly developed chests, respiratory exercises are necessary. For those who have excess fat in the abdomen, abdominal exercises are essential. Exercises that are best calculated to improve the function of vital inner organs of the body and tone them up to counteract the tendency towards disease, are also indispensable.
The lungs can be developed through the practice of deep breathing exercises. By pranayama (yoga breathing), the apices of the lungs will get a proper supply of oxygen. There will be an improvement in the quality and the quantity of the blood. All the tissues and cells will be nourished with pure blood and lymph. The process of metabolism will be carried out in an efficient manner.
If the joints move freely, the ligaments and the surrounding tissues will be in a proper, healthy condition. Free movement of the spine will prevent stiffening and contraction of the spine. Ossification and degeneration of the bones of the spinal column (merudanda) will also be checked. A thickened and immovable joint gives a great deal of discomfort and uneasiness.
By the practice of asanas free movement is given to the elbow, wrist, ankle, shoulder and spinal joints. Muscles of the cervical, dorsal and lumbar regions are stretched and relaxed. There is dorsal and lumbar lifting and the body is kept in a fit condition.
Asanas are the system of yogic exercises of the Indian rishis (sages) of yore, based on exact principles. These are adapted for both men and women, for people of the East and West. You can keep up meditation while performing the asanas. This is accompanied by pranayama or regulation of the breath.
These exercises are preventative and curative. Some of them twist the body forwards and backwards. Others help the lateral movement of the spine. Thus the body as a whole is developed, toned and strengthened. The whole course can be finished in fifteen minutes. Within this short period you can realise the maximum benefit. This system is simple, exact, efficacious, economical of time and capable of being self-practised.
Satsang Bhavan Lectures of Swami Sivananda
CHAPTER I: THE SUPREME TRUTH
4. Nature of God and Proof for His Existence / 5. Non-Dual Consciousness
God is swayam bhu, self-existent. He does not depend upon others for His existence. He is swayam prakas or swayam-jyoti, self-luminous. He does not want any light to reveal him. He reveals himself by his own Light. God is swata-siddha, self-proved. He does not want any proof, because he is the basis for the act or process of proving. God is paripoorna, self-contained. He contains everything in himself. The entire universe is in him. God is swasamveda. He knows by himself.
God is so subtle that he cannot be seen with our physical eyes. Our inability to perceive him with our physical eyes does not mean that he does not exist. There are many things that we are not able to see, but which do exist.
In the day light we cannot see the stars, nor the sun at night, thought they exist all the time. When there is ash covering it, we cannot see the fire. Remove the ash, the fire again blazes forth. Similarly, remove the veil of ignorance that hides Brahman, Brahman shines forth, revealing itself.
We cannot see butter in milk. That does not mean that there is no butter in milk. Convert the milk into curd and churn it. You will get butter. Even so, through the churning of meditation, we can behold the self.
We cannot see the prana, nor the mind. But it is on account of prana the body functions, and it is on account of mind that we are able to think. The red corpuscles exist in our body, though we cannot see them. There is vapour in the air, though we cannot see it. We cannot see the bacteria with our naked eyes, but that does not imply that they do not exist, for they are perceived through microscope. The virus that caused jaundice in Delhi on an epidemic scale is so subtle that it cannot be seen even through a microscope, but can be seen only with the help of an ultra-microscope.
Beat a man and ask him to show you his pain. He will not be able to show you the pain, though he experiences it. Similarly God also has to be experienced, and cannot be seen with our physical eyes. Hunger, thirst, etc. have to be experienced, but cannot be perceived through the fleshy eyes.
He who develops the eye of intuition, jnana-chakshu, through perfect purity of heart and deep concentration will be able to realise God.
5. NON-DUAL CONSCIOUSNESS
Today I will talk to you on non-dual Consciousness. This is the consciousness of suddha satchidananda Parabrahman. It is above cosmic consciousness. Arjuna had cosmic consciousness. Hiranyagarbha has cosmic consciousness. But this non-dual consciousness is above cosmic consciousness. It is nirvikalapa samadhi of vedantins. It is asam-prajnata samadhi of raja yogins. In this samadhi there is no triputi, the triad, seer-sight-seen, knower-knowledge-knowable, meditator-meditation-meditated or what the object of meditation. There is nothing here. There is no triputi. It is Christ consciousness. There are no names and forms. There is no sound or colour. There is neither matter nor energy. It is pure absolute consciousness. Consciousness per se. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is within you." It is the non-dual consciousness, wherein the mind, senses and the intellect cease functioning. It is the realm of intuition.
In the deep sleep also there are no names and forms. It is like a glimpse of the non-dual consciousness, but there is ignorance, avidya, karana sareera, anandamaya kosha.
In vedanta, there are two kinds of samadhis—adwaita bhavanarupa samadhi. The aspirant meditates on the formula 'Aham Brahmasmi, or 'Tatwamasi', the great mahavakyas of the Upanishads. In the beginning stage it is called adwaita bhavanarupa stage. He tries to identify himself with the non-dual consciousness, but later on through deep meditation and constant nidhidhyasan when he is established in his own satchidanandaswaroopa, it is called adwaita avastharupa samadhi. He is fully established in the non-dual consciousness. There are no names and forms, no matter and energy. The thing in itself, the transcendent, alone remains. Sri Sankara and Dattatreya had this experience. Madalasa had this experience. She sang, suddhosi, budhosi niranjanosi, samsara-maya parivarjidosi to her children in the cradle and made them jivanmuktas, liberated sages. Suddhosi—you are pure, O children. Buddhosi—you are full of Knowledge. Niranjanosi—you are spotless, no lust, no greed, no asubha vasanas.
Samsaramayaparivar jitosi—not touched by maya. This maya cannot touch you, avidya cannot touch you. You are pure, eternal, immortal Atman. Yajnavalkya had this experience. Even when he was dwelling in the womb of his mother, he attained Illumination. Chudalai had this experience. She was a sage and yogi. She had powers. She walked in the sky and appeared before her husband. She stood above the ground and taught him Brahma vidya. Sulabha also was a sage and jnani. She approached Janaka and entered his body through her yogic power. He did not like dandi swamis. She was a dandi swami. She wanted to teach him a lesson. Through her yogic power, she entered in his astral body, and he charged that Sulabha, as a sanyasini, should not have entered the body of a male. She taught him a lesson. "You still have the consciousness of sex, male and female. You have not attained the highest illumination." Uddalaka had this experience of non-dual consciousness. He taught his disciple Swetaketu in different ways, the knowledge of Brahman. Ashtavakra was a great sage of illumination. He has written Ashtavakra Gita, which is soul-elevating. It raises you to the supreme height of Brahmic splendour. Vyasa, Vasistha, Sukadev, Gowdapada, Govindapada, Sanak, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Sanatsujata. Hastamalaka, Padmapada, Trotakacharya, Sureswaracharya, Pattinattar, Appaya Deekshit, Neelakhanta Deekshit, Sankarananda, Vidyaranya, Sadasiva Brahmendra, Jada Barada, Akalkot Swami—all of them had the experience of non-dual consciousness.
There are various kinds of vakyas given in the Upanishads: 'Prajnanam Brahma', 'Aham Brahmasmi', 'Tatwamasi', 'Ayamatma Brahma'. The first is lakshanabodha vakya of Brahman. What is this Brahman? It is pure consciousness. Then comes 'Tatwamasi' upadesavakya. The teacher instructs the student, 'Thou art That'. "You are not the body and mind. You are beyond avidya and all illusory names and forms. If you subjugate avidya and maya, remove evil vrittis and give up body-identification, you rest in your own swaroopa." Then the student begins to meditate on 'Aham Brahmasmi' formula. This is anusandana vakya. Then comes 'Ayamatma Brahma'—This Atman is identical with Parabrahman. This is anubhava vakya.
There is another kind of vakya in the Upanishad. It is called avantara vakya. In the plantain tree before you get the fruits, you utilise the leaves, the stem and the flower. This is called 'avantra'—'in the interval', before you get the fruits, you utilise the leaves, flower and the stem. Even so, before you attain the fullest Illumination, you meditate on 'satchidananda', aatyam, jnanam, anantam brahma. Brahman is 'existence absolute-knowledge absolute-bliss absolute.' Satyam—truth, jnanam—wisdom, anantam—infinity.
Then there are abedabodha vakyas, the great sentences which treat of the identity of the individual soul and the supreme soul. Dattatreya says in his Avadhoota Gita: vedantasarasarvaswam jnanam vijnanameva cha, ahamatma nirakarah sarvavyapi swabhavatah—'I am the all-pervading, formless self. This is the essence of Vedanta'. Ahamatma nirakarah sarvavyapi swabhavatah—you can meditate on this formula. There are various abhedabodha vakyas and each aspirant may like one formula or the other.
Bhooma, sadasiva, chaitanya. Chaitanya is that which knows itself and knows others also. Jada is that which does not know itself and does not know others also. 'Aham sakshi'—I am the silent witness of the mind, intellect and the senses. 'Avasthatrayasakshi'—I am the witness of the three states. This is another beautiful formula: sivoham, sivoham, siva kevaloham. 'Siva' here means Parabrahman only, and not the Siva with trident. Soham—'I am He'. This is another beautiful formula. 'I am He, He am I'—hamsa soham, soham hamsa. There is greater force when we repeat a formula in its original order and in its reverse order, just as 'God is love, love is God', 'God is truth, truth is God'. There was a sage, a contemporary of Sri Ramana Maharshi—seshadri swami. He liked this formula: hamsa soham, soham hamsa.
I sing the formula:
sivoham, sivoham, sivoham soham,
This is a very beautiful formula. Any formula you can select for constant nidhidhyasana and meditation. 'Sat-Chit-Ananda' is a prop for the mind to lean upon.
There are four fundamental vital verses in the Avadhoota Gita of Dattatreya. He gives in it his own experience. It will be very useful for vedantic students to meditate on those formulas.
These verses are:
janma mrityurna chittam
katham rodishi re vatsa
nama rupam na te na me.
Why do you weep, my child? There are no names and forms in you. There is neither bondage nor liberation, neither good nor evil. Stand up. Gird up your loins. Fight with the mind and the senses and rest in your own satchidananda swaroopa. There are no names and forms. The world is not in you. It is only a sankalpa.
sukham dukham na janami katham kasyapi vartate.
I am avyaya—imperishable, ananta—infinite, sudha vijnana vigraha—mass of pure consciousness, prajnana jnana, ananda jnana. A mountain is not so solid as the mass of knowledge. The physical mountain appears as solid, but this wisdom, knowledge of atma, is more solid, huge, than the Himalayas. So it is called prajnanajnana, ananda jnana, vijnanajnana, chitjnana. I do not know what is pleasure and what is pain.
na manasam karma subhasubham me
na reachikam karma subhasubham me
na kayikam karma subhasubham me
Meditate on this third verse. You will free yourself from the bondage of karmas. The mental actions are not in you. The actions of the body are not in you. The actions of the speech are not in you. Purity, nectar, beyond the reach of the senses-this is your divine, essential, Brahmic nature.
Then he denies the whole world. He who is established in his own swaroopa, to him the names and forms of the world vanish.
mahadadi jagatsarvam na kinchit pratibhati me
brahmaiva kevalam sarvam katham varnashramastitih.
Mahat is the first manifestation of the Absolute. Then sprang up the mind, the senses, the tanmatras, the five elements. The quintuplication of the elements gave rise to the world. Where is varna, where are the ashrama, the four kinds of orders? Everything is Brahman. There is no world. This is the highest experience of sage or a jnani.
Therefore, let us try to enter into this non-dual consciousness through equipping ourselves with the four means of salvation, by hearing the Srutis, reflection and meditation. Let us practise constant nidhidhyasana and meditation on these formulas and attain the state of jivanmukti and highest Illumination and rest in our swaroopa and radiate joy and peace and bliss to all those who come in contact with us, and radiate peace and joy and bliss to the different corners of the whole world.