"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I thought of mentioning something about this 'Ātma Jñāna Sādhanā'. You can call it Ātma sādhanā, 'Ātma Jñāna sādhanā', Moksha sādhanā, Brahmavidya sādhanā and also Sānkhya sādhanā. I would like you to know what exactly is this sādhanā. This sādhanā is closely examining your mind and also intelligence, whenever it functions and whatever emotions it produces, thrusts, pulls and pushes it causes, and then to sublimate them, moderate them, refine them. This process works by virtue of a sharp and precise understanding, discrimination, generated and preserved by the intelligence.

People generally think that meditation is everything in life and they resort to meditation. They lock themselves in a room and start meditating, meditating, meditating. In meditation, there are two outcomes possible. One is either the mind becomes thought-free and still and absorbed or it becomes thoughtful. Now do we always want the thought-free and still state of the mind? In that case, you will not be able to be alive in this world and be functional. If you have to be functional, the senses will have to interact with the objects and environments of the world. This means the mind has to employ them. If the mind becomes still, then the employment of the senses will not be possible. At the same time, life is interactional and interactional alone the moment you wake up till you go to sleep.

So is it that absorptional meditation that we always want, or while absorptional meditation will give you the idea of something besides the body being present within the body, we already know it because every day we are sleeping. In sleep, what is happening? The mind entangled with the senses is completely released from there and it is absorbed into its own essence, the self. So that there is something like the self and it is capable of absorbing the mind, the entire waking state can be wiped off, is felt by everyone, provided he will go into the sleep experience and understand it.

And we are sleeping for something like seven or eight hours on an average; is it not absorption? Very good absorption. Do you have any problems there? No. Problem will be there only when the mind is alert, active, that means you are wakeful. When the entire wakefulness is wiped off, what trouble can we have? Recently we hear instances where cardiac arrest takes place in sleep and the patient is not able to alert anybody. What does it mean? Sleep is a condition which makes us totally unconscious of the body. And whatever takes place in the body, we are not able to know it. Without meditating, this is a fact glaring before you.

In addition to this absorption, what can meditative absorption mean? Yes it can mean something. What is that? In sleep you are unconscious but in meditation you are conscious. So you will know that you are getting absorbed and some presence is there within you which absorbs you. So the mystery is revealed there. Meditation can give you some other thrilling, mystic and ecstatic experiences also. It is just like dream experiences. Our mind causes in dream a variety of experiences, some of them can be delightful and ecstatic, some not so. But that is within the sleep. You have no control over it. But here, in meditation you are getting absorbed, and also thrilling experiences are had, and you know that they are being had, and nothing but what is inside you in the manner of the soul alone causes it. So you have more faith, more confidence, more experience to fall back upon. But let me tell you that this is not the end of everything. This can be the beginning of true spiritual life.

What is it that you want? We want a life when we are able to live, move and interact with the world and during that process, our mind should not become tense and stressed on the one hand, and the interaction should not bring more and more contamination and adverse outcomes into our mind. That means, you should understand the superiority of your mind over the objects and interactions in this world. Interactions follow from the mind, are initiated by the mind, interactions are sustained by the mind, they rest upon the mind, and interactions finally terminate and conclude in your own mind. It is the mind that senses the body, becomes conscious of the body, conscious of the world, gives rise to interactions of various kinds.

इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः ।
मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्यो बुद्धेः परतस्तु सः ।।
indriyāṇi parāṇy-āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ |
manasas-tu parā buddhir-yo buddheḥ paratas-tu saḥ ||

A beautiful analysis Bhagavad Gita provides before us. The senses are superior to the sense objects, mind is superior to the senses, intelligence is still superior to the mind, and that which we refer to as the ‘I’ is still superior to the intelligence. So everything from senses inward is superior to the world. Are you conscious of this? Then why should you get afflicted and affected by the world? What is the reason? Now this is the mystery and problem that we have to resolve. It can be resolved only when you are interactional. So throughout the waking state develop a sense of introspection. Understand that mind is the source, the fulcrum, the terminus of everything, and this mind is inaccessible to all people, it is accessible only to you.

The word ‘sankhya yoga’ means that, it is that yoga where intelligence goes on truthfully introspecting over everything. It introspects over God, introspects over the world as a complex constitution, it introspects over the human aggregate personality. Now this introspection will take over, and whenever you have an affectation or affliction, where is this affliction? It is caused in your own mind. What causes it? Some cognition, some thought process, some emotional process, something or the other. By truthful introspection, you go on surveying, examining, inspecting whatever is transpiring in the form of the mind and the intelligence and finally sublimate them. Understand the potential and the source nature of the mind. And look to your own mind for correcting and improving any of the emotional behavior of yours.

I had a little long talk yesterday with ‘U’. At the end, I was feeling not very happy. See, you cannot take a position that ‘my mind is incorrigible’. It may be difficult to change the blood structure, the muscle structure, we cannot tamper with the height, the weight etc. of the bones. But we can alter our food, improve the blood structure, not change it. But in the case of the mind our freedom is much more. Maybe your mind is a wicked mind. You can make it virtuous to the core. It may take some time. But what else shall we do in this world?

I believe that all of you should understand that we have got great potential within the mind. We are living with a set of people born in our family. Invariably people get married to, so you have a married partner. Then you have again as your father and mother, brothers and sisters, you have your children. We are born of the blood, we get married to another blood, then again blood relationships are born. In between alone, this marriage as an optional item comes. And it is necessary also for the mind. So the mind should learn to reconcile with the behavior of another, the nature of another. Every individual has his or her nature. We cannot change it, so we can always make adjustments.

So my dear souls, you understand, Arjuna what did he do? He started crying and weeping and Krishna spoke only sixty four letters. On hearing those letters, the crying Arjuna stopped his tears and he became a questioner and seeker before Krishna. If this transformation was possible in the din and bustle of the battlefield of Kurukshetra when forty five lakhs of warriors were surrounding him and looking at him intently, then how dare you say that our mind cannot change its stand?

Sānkya yoga, it is called the second chapter where Krishna administers and exhorts a correction and improvement to the mind in the form of a changed perspective, additional perception. Arjuna simply absorbs it and the effects were marvelous. If this is the cultural message of India, I am asking you what prevents you from changing your mind instantly? If you have the right exposure, you should react to the exposure, 'Oh, is this the truth? Then let me have it. Let me have it. Let me have it the soonest.' This kind of a reception is necessary. If you are not prepared to receive, you are lost and nothing can be done.

So Sānkya yoga is always a process where the intelligence is working over the mind to examine the mind’s processes, reactions and outcomes and set right them every time each is produced and is prevalent. So it is an interactional introspection and introspection-al interaction. Let the introspectional process be activated in you and you will find the emotional processes get sublimated, quietened and even still.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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