"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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All the karmas ultimately have their end and fruition in knowledge, he says.  So, I would like you to sit, close your eyes, observe your mind, do the introspection, until at last you have the required standard of purity for the mind, purity for the intelligence, and sufficient control or regulation you are able to apply on the senses. When these are achieved, I think the spiritual path becomes best and the most rewarding.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

We were discussing last evening about how spirituality and spiritual sadhana will become a pursuit of knowledge and the attainment of knowledge. Krishna says all concepts about God, equally so about sin, virtue, purity, impurity, this world, the other world, earlier janma, future janma, bondage, liberation. If you think seriously, all these are nothing but ideas and concepts which the mind and the intelligence together evolve.

Everything is a concept. Even our body is not an external fact but it is an internal cognition. When you sleep, what happened to your body? Others who say, who are in the wakeful state will say that your body was there. But you cannot say it was there. So, the existence of the body by itself is not so important. What is important is from inside, from your mind, you cognize and experience the body. So, the mind is the determining factor.

This mind, he says is not able to reach at the true knowledge. Ignorance covers it up and covered by ignorance, many things are thought of, said and pursued. When you are able to arrive at true knowledge, knowledge about what? - About yourself, you don’t have to know about anything, either God or the world or your body, you only have to know about yourself. That factor which tells you that there is a body, there is a world etc.

So, the ignorance is about ātma. When that ignorance is set and you are able to arrive at knowledge, then the supreme reality will be revealed, he says.

प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ।।
prakāśayati tat param ||

Prakāśayati tat param. So, I was wondering, I have said this. Many of you have heard it, but are you thinking about it? Ultimately, what we need is knowledge. What we have is ignorance, delusion. The delusion operates in the mind and the intelligence. How can it be removed? Only by the pursuit and process of knowledge. That is what he says,

ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः ।
तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् ।।
jñānena tu tad-ajñānaṁ yeṣāṁ nāśitam-ātmanaḥ |
teṣām-āditya-vat-jñānaṁ prakāśayati tat-param ||
(Bhagavad Gita 5.16)

By begetting the right knowledge, the ignorance about the self has to be removed. Then you will have full awareness of what is the truth. I am wondering, wondering and wondering, if you understand this verse properly, the real sadhana is jnana sadhana. But this jnana sadhana has to be done by the mind and intelligence. They are available only in a body. The body has senses. Because of the senses, we are dethroned, we are dislodged.

We have eyes to see. Think for a while, what is the purpose of our eyes? To show you everything that is required. While walking, to show you the path clearly, recognize obstructions, while you are eating your food, distinguish rice from sabji, distinguish your hands and feet. So, it is primarily to help you live in this world. But if you employ the same eyes to look at beautiful things, produced beauty and go on enjoying life, going to a movie or going to something else and seeking only delight of the eye, is the eye more to enlighten you, inform you and guide you or is it to delight you?

Similarly, the tongue is meant to speak! But are we using the tongue to speak alone? Or because of the tongue, what all food civilization we have brought about! People are running after food, after taste. This is what is happening. But is the tongue supposed to be having a craving for food or is it supposed to be used for speaking?

Similarly, the sound, ear, we can speak only when we are able to hear. So, the hearing is supplementary to the eyes and it is enabling our speech. Not only that, knowing whether the speech is right or not. Instead of using the senses for the purpose of knowledge and knowledgeable interactions, we are using them for the sight purpose unduly. That is why sensory regulation becomes necessary as part of the jnana sadhana.

What is the sensory regulation? Knowing what the senses are, knowing about their purpose, employ them discretely for their respective purposes and not indulge in the delights which they bring about. So that sensory regulation, regulated employment, usage of the senses, including the tongue.

Then you must have purity of the mind. We want purity of the mind, not of the body. What is purity of the mind? Think about it. And we also want purity of the intelligence. Purity of the mind consists in having noble emotions and not base emotions, lofty desire, aspiration if at all and not sensory ambitions.

For the intelligence, the purity is the habit and the pursuit of thinking about the subject as different from the object. You should think about the self, think about God, think about space and spacial presence, now this is what constitutes purity of the intelligence. When the senses are regulately employed, when the mind becomes pure, the intelligence also becomes pure, then the knowledge is really had, we cannot miss the knowledge at all. That is what he was saying

तद्बुद्धयस्तदात्मानस्तन्निष्ठास्तत्परायणाः ।
tad-buddhayas-tad-ātmānas-tan-niṣṭhās-tat-parāyaṇāḥ |
(Bhagavad Gita 5.17)

Can you make this knowledge a nishta for you, a dedicated practice? Can you make this knowledge a purifying process for you? Can you make this knowledge, a power and potential to regulate your sensory interactions and activity? I would like to say knowledge alone is the greatest mentor. Knowledge alone is the greatest influence. The moment a truth is explained to you and you are able to grasp it, naturally you become a seeker of it. When in the newspapers you find an advertisement of a new product, the moment you see it, you are enlightened about it. There is such a product, you go to the market and buy it. What prompted you to go and buy? It is the knowledge about it. The knowledge that something is poisonous, makes you, keeps you away from it. Knowledge that something is nectarine, makes you seek it and get it. So, knowledge is the greatest persuasion. That is why our Upanishads say,

वेदान्तविज्ञानसुनिश्चितार्थाः |
Vedānta-vijñāna-suniśchitārtāḥ |

Vedānta-vijñāna-suniśchitārtāḥ. Decide and determine the object of your pursuit on the basis of the knowledge provided by the Upanishads. My dear children, this is all an inner sadhana in the sphere of mind and intelligence and every time it is the knowledge that works there. I don’t know how and when you will understand it. Any sadhana should be knowledge sadhana. Means what? Employing your mind and intelligence in such a manner that the truth, the introspection through the introspection, whatever you want to know is known.

Just like your body and senses are employed, our mind and intelligence can also be employed and that employment can only be in a knowledge pursuit. And that pursuit is far greater and loftier than sensory and oral pursuits. I would like you to think about what are these senses for. What is the real purpose of the eye, ear, nose? We want the nose to have the benefit of smell in informing us about our actions, about the situation outside etc. There is a gas leak and it produces a very tangible smell. So that smell is detected by the nose, so you understand the danger. Similarly, if the bathroom is smelling, you understand that there is something wrong there. So, we need the nose to live, we need the tongue, we need the eyes, we need the ears, we need the skin also. All these are supposed to inform us and enlighten us and not supposed to create a craving for sensory delights. Take good food, have good dress, keep the room, keep the house in a pleasant manner, the color you use for washing and white washing and all that, everything should be done. So, the purpose of the senses is not to indulge in their delights. This we should understand.

So, the jnana is something very important. Why don’t you think about it and discuss for the whole day? So many of you have come here. ‘What is Swamiji speaking, what is this jnana, what is this introspection, how does it become a sadhana, is it the only sadhana or something else is there?’ You can have helpful elements, some diversions. That is why we have temples, decorations, sandal paste, prasada, different types of offering and all that. It is only to make it interesting and give you a pleasant diversion. So, this jnana, jnana, jnana, that is something very important. Krishna says,

सर्वं कर्माखिलं पार्थ ज्ञाने परिसमाप्यते ।।
sarvaṁ karmākhilaṁ pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate ||
(Bhagavad Gita 4.33)

All the karmas ultimately have their end and fruition in knowledge, he says. So, I would like you to sit, close your eyes, observe your mind, do the introspection, until at last you have the required standard of purity for the mind, purity for the intelligence, and sufficient control or regulation you are able to apply on the senses. When these are achieved, I think the spiritual path becomes best and the most rewarding.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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