Saturday, August 23, 2014

Satsang Bhavan Lectures, Message 4

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.