|Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio|
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Vedanta literally means the end of knowledge. The word ‘Veda’ itself indicates knowledge and the treasure of knowledge. It is a word derived from the root 'vid' - to know. So, Veda means the treasure of knowledge, the source of knowledge. Vedanta means in that knowledge, what constitutes the end, pinnacle and crowning fulfillment - that is indicated by the term Vedanta. Can there be anything such in the sphere of knowledge? If so, how do you hit upon it?
Vedanta was evolved right from the ancient past. It was a prehistoric discovery or revelation. If you ask me, it transpired in the Gangetic plain of India. Wherever people want to live, they will always look for the banks of the river, especially a perennial river because they will need water for drinking, bathing, cooking and for agriculture, farming. Only in such a place, humanity can survive without any trouble. We have the Ganga which is a perennial river. In the rainy season, it is very turbulent and even muddy. In the non-rainy season, you will find the ice melts and the water is the best.
You can collect Ganges water and keep it safely; it will last for many years without any kind of contamination. That is why our people started living on the banks of Ganga. They developed a sense of great devotion to Ganga considering Ganga as a living individual, a mother. Even now, you should go and see in Haridwar and other places; everyday people assemble in multiple thousands to offer worship to Ganga. They show that niranjana, flames in a specially designed lamp, deepārādhana is shown and Ganga Sthuti is sung. It is taking place every day with a lot of devotion, piety and religious fervor. Whenever we find something on which our life depends, it is natural that we develop an attitude of devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, respect, adoration and what not!
Our people started thinking. Thinking is a quality, an extension which the human being alone has on the surface of the earth. Before human beings, a number of creatures sprang up on the earth and all of them are even now living. But only in the human kind, you will find something like civilization; development in various walks of life particularly using the mind and intelligence.
The ancient man and the modern man - in their personality there is no difference at all. We have the same skin, hair, blood, marrow, bone, water and other ingredients. We also have the power of articulation because of our vocal cords and the others. The articulation becomes pronounced and useful only when ideas are provided to the articulation system from the brain. That constitutes the knowledge aspect of our life. Our difference and superiority if at all, is not in eating, not in dressing, not in sleeping, not in multiplying ourselves after marriage. Our superiority is always in using the mind and intelligence.
Throughout our life, we are experiencing. There is no time or moment in our life without our experiencing. It is the experience that undergoes a mystic transformation in us and become knowledge and memory. What transformation it undergoes in our system is very very difficult to say.
All these are possible only because of our inner personality. Our personality is a composite one in that there is an external matter-energy aggregate counterpart - that is the body along with its organs and senses. Then we have an inner personality consisting of the mind, intelligence and ego. This is the area in which man becomes superior to the rest of creatures. When you start employing the mind and intelligence, the mind must have data available to think, memorize etc. These data are provided by the senses - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin.
Our body is like a trunk of a tree with so many branches, by-branches, twigs, leaves, flowers and fruits. So our body is a seat for five knowledge organs and five action organs. Altogether, there are ten. Five are the venues of knowledge and five are the instruments of action. Then we have a mouth and tongue to speak and articulate. These together constitute the external personality. That is visible and gross. But when you go to the inner personality, it is not visible. It is subtle. For the subtle personality to work, for intelligence to work, there must be data available. These data, the mind itself produces employing the senses. Senses cannot work by themselves. Mind has to employ them. Mind employs the eyes and then pictures, colors and shapes are registered in the brain. Like that, all other senses.
The data collection is done by the mind employing the senses, I said. These data are to be processed, collected, collated, compared, contrasted and we have to arrive at inferences. The inference constitutes the major part of our knowledge. If you analyze the whole gamut of knowledge which is the area of science, it works on what - direct knowledge and data on the basis of which the intelligence adduces, infers. So, direct experiences and inferences are the only means for any science or technology to survive and progress.
If you go into our ancient knowledge, you will find that there also we were observing with our senses and on the basis of the data available thereafter, we were inferring, developing highly skilled rationality. Direct observation and inference thus remain common to both objective sciences and spiritual knowledge. In objective sciences also, whether you use the microscope, the telescope, the ultrasound, the MRI and so many other things, all of them are sensorily observed data.
Very recently, we had a murder case. There was no witness at all. But the person was convicted in the course of about 30 or 40 days of hearing. The Judge very clearly said that no witness is available but they did DNA of the blood and other discharges they could collect from the dress and other areas and the DNA scientific examination proved very clearly that the assaulter was the murderer of the girl. See, without any witness! Even if witnesses are there or were there, they would also be sensory data. So, on the basis of the DNA report, scientific evidence they said, the person was convicted. What does it mean? We have only two venues of knowledge – one is the sensory observation, whether you do it with developed modern gadgets or not. Ultimately it is the eyes that see, ears that hear. Who looks into the microscope and telescope - our eyes. And who observes? So, sensory observation and intelligential inference, these are the two venues of knowledge. Objective sciences are based upon them and spiritual science is also equally based upon it.
Just hear what I am saying. Every one of us says ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’. There is no doubt. Everybody makes a statement ‘I’ and he very clearly knows what he is referring to. Now Vedanta catches hold of this ‘I’. You say that ‘I am’, ‘I am’, ‘I am’. What is this ‘I’ about which you say ‘am’? ‘Am’ is a verb which can be used only with reference to ‘I’, not like ‘is’, ‘are’, ‘were’ etc. ‘AM’ - I alone ‘am’. Now what is this ‘I’ you are referring to? Is it the body - No. You refer to the body as ‘my’ body. Whenever you use the possessive case ‘my’ or ‘mine’, it has to be different from the nominative. My body cannot be myself. I refer to the body as ‘my’ body, ‘my’ car, ‘my’ house, ‘my’ mother. Whatever I refer to as ‘my’ and see is not ‘your’ body. Is it not referred to as ‘my’, ‘my’ tongue, ‘my’ hand, ‘my’ body? Similarly, you say my speech, my thought, my mind, my intelligence, my ego. So none of these things is ‘I’! So the ‘I’ is different from all this.
Reach a stage where you are not referring to the body, the mind, the intelligence and the ego. For example, when you slept, were these factors there? You were not conscious of the body. Much less were you conscious of your mind, intelligence and ego, not to speak of the world. So sleep is a state where all the things that you are otherwise referring to and interacting with, are totally negated and absent. You wake up from the sleep and say ‘I slept comfortably’. Was not the ‘I’ surviving there without any association of any kind whatsoever? Now, that is the ‘I’.
The question is can you remain wakeful and reach the state of sleep consciously? Then the mystery of the ‘I’ is revealed. This is called ‘Nirvikalpa Samādhi’. The whole meditation is meant for reaching you to that state of sleep-like wakefulness or wakeful slumber. When you sleep, you cannot say ‘I am sleeping’ unlike when you are in wakefulness where you say ‘I am wakeful’, ‘I am seeing’, ‘I am eating’, ‘I am thinking’, ‘I am reasoning’. That concurrent awareness is there in wakefulness. That is not there in sleep. Now we have to break this barrier and then remaining wakeful, you have to be asleep. In other words, you will have to reach a state of subject alone disconnected from all objects.
It is just like the legs. Legs are walking, standing, sitting, lying. We must be able to get at the legs without any motion. Walking is of the legs. sitting again, lying again, standing again, jumping again, squatting again - all these are functions or activities done by the legs. But the subject legs are different from all these functions. Similarly, I am thinking, I am understanding, I was sleeping, I am wakeful, I dreamt, I interact – all these are activities done by the ‘I’. But let the ‘I’ remain distinct without any linkage whatsoever. Then you understand the subject ‘I’. The whole delivery that I have made is on the basis of reason and logic. I don’t think anybody who has intelligence who has heard me can deny what I have said because I am referring to sensory observations. On the basis of the observations, I build up the reason, logic. That you are experiencing what ‘I am’, everybody experiences, but the ‘I’ is not distinctly felt. It is associatedly felt. Now you have to reach the state of distinction.
We are using two grounds of logic – one is called conjunction and another is called elimination. In Sanskrit is called Anvaya and Vyatireka. I am seeing. When I am seeing, eyes are associated with me. When I am hearing, no more eyes there, only ears. The ears and the eyes have to connect themselves to ‘I’. Then only they can function. But ‘I’ can remain separate. That is why ‘I’ am separated from eyes when I am hearing. So, the ‘I’ is distinct from the eyes, distinct from ears is very clear. But the eyes and ears are not able to act by themselves. So they depend upon the ‘I’. So eliminate the eyes, eliminate the ears, eliminate the other senses and see whether the ‘I’ is able to remain independent. So the independent status of the ‘I’ is established.
Now you have to get into a stage where the ‘I’ shines without the senses, without the thoughts, without the reason. No physical activity, oral activity, mental activity and intellectual activity. Without the four, the ‘I’ will have to remain alone. This is what we call ‘Nirvikalpa Samādhi’, ‘Asamprajnāta Samādhi’, ‘Jñāna Samādhi’. This is what we call the fruition of yoga where the differences between the thinker, thinking and thought; experiencer, experience and the experienced; knower, knowing, knowledge, these are three, they are called ‘triputi’. The triputi themselves become extinct.
I find that there is altogether only one presence and that presence itself is becoming the thinker giving rise to thinking and resulting in thought as an outcome. The three are not different inside my body. It is the same that manifests as the three. Using the same tongue, teeth, lips and nose, how many different sounds and words I produce! In these words, there is nothing but the play of tongue, teeth, gum, lips, nose, throat. There is no sound without the tongue. The tongue is different from the sound very clearly. So, the subject path we reach at understanding that all the others are objects. Objects are two-fold external, gross, sensory objects. Internal objects are mental in the form of memory, knowledge etc. Thought is an inner object, mental object. Knowledge is an intellectual object, object of intelligence. If the external and internal objects are separated so to say, then you will arrive at the subject ‘I’ very clearly and the whole life is a play, display and manifestation of the power and potential of the subject ‘I’.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.