"The power to promote and reward, as also to demote and punish the individual and his fate in this world, lies within his mind, its thoughts and feelings. No external agency is necessary to bring this infallible fruition. As the growth and development of a seed, an embryo, or a cell designed and preserved by its own inner makeup, here too the causal forces for what one rightly deserves lurk within one’s own invisible bosom."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

  • Anna-Vastra Daana Satram 2017 21-06-2017

    32nd Anna Vastra Dāna Satram: This year’s Anna Vastra Dāna Satram (AVDS) will be held between Jul 1 - Aug 15. Distribution in Narayanashrama Tapovanam will be on July 16.

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 26 Jan 2016 - How to Remove Hatred from the Mind
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    You must be wondering as to why I am smiling. I am wondering what else shall I do. 

    I understand that every day a bus was going to Trichur during the Atma Tattva Sameeksha. It was in Malayalam, so all the people in the Ashram who have arrived from outside, they were not able to follow it, but still if they felt like going and sitting there, that is at least silence for them. Very good! But I understand that every day, something or the other for you to chew was distributed – biscuits or some cheena badam or something. I asked ‘X’, “Was it distributed on all days?” He says, “I went on three days and all the three days it was there.”

    So I am wondering, is it not very cheap on your part to wait for an occasion like a bus travel like this to rejoice in eating? If you wanted to have some biscuits or anything that is permissible to us, you could have told the kitchen people. We would have arranged it here. Why is it that you waited for an opportunity to get together in a bus? Is it in anyway different from a household social visit?

    All of you have come here to undergo a difference from your household life. Maybe the meals are very regimented here, but I think our meals are reasonably good and it should be sufficient to provide the necessary nutrition for the body. If anybody feels anything insufficient, he or she is free to report it to us and we will consider it. That ‘austerity’ part in staying in the Ashram should not be overlooked at all.

    It is very difficult for you to become austere at home because it is your own house, different types of people are there. If you want to impose austerity on others, they may resent and revolt. You may not like to do it also. But when you come to the Ashram, certainly it is a spell of austerity. Austerity, to some extent in eating, austerity in speaking, austerity in reading and you always have interactions with the ashramites or the visitors. There also it is an austerity. That is why many people do not come to the Ashram and stay for a long period.

    So, I am a little amused that what I can do is only laugh over the whole thing. What is it that is in every one of you which prompts you to do this kind of an act – not one day, every day! So, we were not very happy to hear this episode. I want to make you understand our response and reaction and think about it well.

    The next point I wanted to say is – it is primarily keeping in mind our inmates. See, this is a place of sādhana and we are given to jñāna sādhana. What is jñāna sādhana? The jñāna sādhana always functions or operates on the mind and its emotions, on the intelligence and its reason and knowledge, on the ego, its improper expression and the need for regimenting it and sublimating it.

    In the bodily level, it applies as a sensory restraint and regulation. Our senses are our senses. We should employ them in such a manner that there is a regulation or a refinement in the process which alone will help you to have joy and fulfillment in your mind.

    वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ।। २-६१ ।।
    vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā || 2.61 ||

    Krishna says right in the second chapter. He, whose senses are under his regulation, his mind and intelligence alone will be stable.

    Vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā. Krishna was describing the sthitaprajña and sthitadhī and he says one who has enough of self-regulation, he alone can be a sthitaprajña. So, in the bodily level it is sensory restraint. And see what happened in the bus while going for a lecture program. While going for a very serious, in-depth lecture program, what is it that you did? Just think about it. Is it comparable to what Sita did or worse, I am wondering.

    Then, so far as the emotional flux, emotional turbulence is concerned, this is where the whole devotee crowd fails miserably. They never look into the need for mind orientation.

    अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च ।
    निर्ममो निरहङ्कारः समदुःखसुखः क्षमी ।। १२-१३ ।।
    adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca |
    nirmamo nirahaṅkāraḥ sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ kṣamī || 12.13 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 12.13)

    In listing, who are the devotees who are dear to me, Krishna says in the twelfth chapter, adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṁ. See, dvesha is victimizing you, the possessor. When you have dvesha to anybody, even for an ant, you will be victimized.

    Sarva-bhūtānāṁ adveṣṭā – do not be a hater of any bhuta, any being. You should be a non-hater. It is applicable to your own domestic set-up environment, professional set-up and also societal set-up. In all these areas, you should not breed hatred to anybody. There may be many things hateable, but so far as you are concerned, you cannot hate and indulge in hatred.

    Yesterday I was explaining,

    मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमो मद्भक्तः सङ्गवर्जितः ।
    निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः स मामेति पाण्डव ।। ११-५५ ।।
    mat-karma-kṛn-mat-paramo mad-bhaktaḥ saṅga-varjitaḥ |
    nirvairaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ sa mām-eti pāṇḍava || 11.55 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 11.55)

    He says, “Always let your activities be dedicated to me. Consider me to be supreme for that. Be a devotee. Don’t practice devotion, be a devotee.” – Means what?

    Saṅga-varjitaḥ - Do not have delusional clinging towards anybody or anything.

    Nirvairaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu – Do not have 'vaira', hatred to all the creatures.

    Yaḥ sa mām-eti pāṇḍava – Whoever is like this, comes to me.

    Where is 'vaira' of any order sanctioned, permitted or condoned in our shastras? When you get hatred, your hands and body start trembling. The eyes become red. The cheeks start trembling, lips also. The blood pressure goes up, circulation becomes faster. And whatever you do and whatever you think, whatever you speak, everything will be disorderly. How much time does it require to know that it is so? How can you say, “This hatred, I am not able to overcome. That hatred, I am not able to overcome.”? You cannot say that!

    It is something like inverting a vessel and pouring water. All your sādhana becomes wasteful. And does this hatred help you? Does it help the other? Can you not make it an important point in your sādhana that whatever may be the cause, provocation… ‘Whatever’ may be anything. See, we are living with our diseases, we are living with our disabilities because it is in our body. Do you throw the body away because it is unable to do things? In the same manner, in the family in which you live, in the Ashram in which you live, in the office in which you live, there will be some people who have unpleasant and unacceptable qualities. In fact, it is a struggle for everyone to be free of such qualities.

    I think a thief will be crying and moaning in his own heart saying that “Why have I this stealing tendency?” The tendency is there. Who has introduced this tendency in anyone? Everybody is born in this world and we are imbibing anything only from the world. So the thief, the dacoit, the rapist, everybody has imbibed the tendency from the world and the author of the world is God. Why did he not construct a world where no hateable or unpleasant qualities will be imbibed by anybody? The mind should be structured in that manner and the world also should be designed accordingly. That has not been done. So maybe you are also. Just like you say a rapist is a wrong doer, to hate him in your mind, you are also a wrong doer.

    A person gets angry first, you become counter-angry. He did the mistake, first knowing that it is not correct. You are doing it next, you tell me who is a worse doer than, the worst crimer, indulger? So I think the sādhana is something that one has to think about seriously, think about seriously. It is not a vocal expression, it is not a physical expression, it is a mental, mental, mental and intelligential, intelligential emergence. Until you start feeling that adveshta, adveshta, adveshta, adveshta. Why don’t you drill it into your system? This is called  puraścharya. Puraścharaṇa means take a mantra and as many letters as it has, start chanting it so many lakhs. Akshara-laksha, this is called. This 'puraścharaṇa' is very important.

    So why don’t you go on thinking, adveshta, nirvairaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ sa mām-eti pāṇḍava, nirvairaḥ, nirvairaḥ, nirvairaḥ ……… sarva-bhūteṣu, nirvairaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu.

    Absorb this idea in your mind. If you are able to absorb it for one or two hours, I think there will be drastic change in your personality. We only speak that “I don’t like. I want to become pure.” We only speak. But you are not trying to implant, remember and reflect upon impurity, saying that it is not it is not acceptable. I think it makes a lot of difference between wanting something at the mind level and speaking about it in the oral level or even in the physical level. What we want is a mental action, a mental pursuit. That is why it is called manana. Will you please think about this and do something about this matter?

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

  • PR 25 Jan 2016 - The Spiritual Dimension
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    For eight days in Trichur I have been discussing the Ashtavakra Samhita. Two years, the discussion have been going on and this is the third year. Even this year, I always had a very strong sense of reservation while I was exposing the Self and its dimensions. 

    See, to praise an unseen God, giving all kinds of attribute to Him is very easy for us and we are used to it by virtue of our custom, tradition, practice and training and all that. But to keep that concept away and then to focus only on what we experience, what is within our reach is something very strange. But it is not strange when you understand that we are a human being and in our being we have always the power of understanding to guide us.

    Can you imagine a child who doesn’t have a properly developed intelligence? He may be good looking, he may also have a mind, but unless he is able to have the intelligence to understand, evaluate his experiences and arrive at proper knowledge and implement the knowledge through the emotional and sensory personality, of what use will that person be? Not only for us, for all the living beings and the creatures also.

    It is not the leaf that matters, trunk that matters, it is the life presence in that cell or in that being – that is what counts at every point of time. If the tree has to grow, it must cast its root. For it to cast its root, there must be soil available. It is a proportionate growth. As the tree grows, it must also have sufficient depth and also root system in the soil so that the growth can be sustained. So there is a measure of intelligence there also. It is not that the tree grows disproportionately between the trunk and the branch, the branch and the by-branch and the branch and the leaves and fruits and flowers.

    There are instances when a jack tree bore a number of fruits on a branch. When the fruit started growing, one day the branch broke and the whole of it fell, because when the jack started growing, a new weight was added. The branch was not able to bear the weight. If we were there to understand that when the fruits grow, the branch will find it too much to bear, then if we had cut and removed two or three fruits, then it would have been different.  

    The role of intelligence is very important, not only important, it is indispensable. Why am I saying it? We may say God. We may say many other things. But what guides our life, on what our life is based is our own senses, our own mind, our own intelligence and our own ego. We have a full personality in which the senses are the outer most. With the outer most senses we interact with the world objects, but the senses cannot do the job all by themselves. The mind has to be active. The mind also is helpless. It can activate the senses, take imprints of the objects, but the mind cannot do anything further in the way of comparison, contrast and inferences. That building up knowledge - it is not the mind’s role. There the intelligence has to come. That is why you will find only the people, the family, the individual who has intelligence, he counts. That is the deepest faculty in us and that is the most powerful.

    I make an assertion – what is that? The entire human world or even the rest of the world, it is ruled by money and intelligence. Money perhaps cannot make intelligence, but intelligence can make money. I don’t want, I say we don’t want, when I was speaking in FRNV – we don’t want money to rule the world, we want intelligence to rule the world. We have intelligence but we don’t have any money.

    Recently there was a murder that was being tried in the Trichur Court but ultimately only life imprisonment was given to the offender. You know it was a play of money, money, money, money! That haughtiness which money brought about, taking the person to the garage, kicking him, pulling him, pushing him, and – what is this? What is it that a man is after all doing? And then the person who died, who was murdered, for nineteen days he lay in the hospital and the police did not go to him to record his version, his words. For nineteen days, one set of police officials did not move at all! Nothing was done! Because there was so much of channel reporting and press reporting, some officer after the other was changed and finally some kind of justice was brought. It’s only because of money, money, money!

    But money is not supreme intelligence. Why am I saying this? In our life, everything proceeds from oneself – not from a group, but from oneself. We are a total unit, an individual. An individual is considered to be indivisible. We cannot divide ourselves. You cannot divide the neck and the leg, the eyes and the ears, the mind and the intelligence, the mind and the senses, ego and the rest. We are an indivisible entity and together with the body, senses, mind, intelligence and ego, we become a distinct unit capable of experiencing ourselves, experiencing the others, interacting with the others.

    So, we ourselves are the fulcrum and the pivot of the whole life and world. Why I say world? Which world are you referring to - the world in which we live, the world in which we interact. So then again the individual is the sole foundation and in the individual we find senses have their specific-ness and limitation. Mind also activates the senses, interacts with the objects, makes imprints and makes the imprints available for the intelligence to study. But the actual thing is done by the intelligence.

    Taking your stand on the intelligence, Ashtavakra Samhita analyses and presents everything. Can you imagine when Janaka says after listening to Ashtavakra that “The entire world is subsisting on me. The whole world is mine, otherwise nothing is there at all.” If the individual were not there, do you think anybody would have been there to sense or report about the world? So there is a dimension in us, that dimension is not belonging to matter or energy. It belongs to something called consciousness.

    What is consciousness? Consciousness cannot be defined but yet it has to be defined. So “it is That”. Then we define ‘That’ – which is capable of being conscious of itself and the others. The consciousness itself becomes conscious of itself, that is why we say ‘I’. For saying ‘I’, we don’t need either the senses or anything else. ‘I’, ‘I’, it is a spontaneous, irresistible feeling. So the first thing is, consciousness has become conscious of itself. Now it is making oneself conscious of the rest. I have an ego, I have an intelligence, I have a mind, I have the senses and around the senses, I have my world.  These are the two properties, twin properties of consciousness.

    This consciousness is consciousness alone. You cannot research into it like you research into matter and energy. The only way to research into consciousness is - Jnanam Jneyam Jnanagamyam – the research can only be through, by and of consciousness. That is why the sphere of consciousness becomes so sovereign and so great. So he says, “However expanse I look at, whatever variety is there surrounding me, it is I who feel it and I pronounce it. So whatever I pronounce as saying there is – am I not responsible for it, does it not rest upon me?”

    Keep away the sphere of matter and energy, think about the consciousness by which you think, understand and know. That consciousness wakes up and through the senses it percieves the world. The entire range of perception is subsisting, resting upon consciousness and in the evening when we sleep, the whole extensiveness, everything is wiped off and we become different from everything and get lost in ourselves.

    So, he says – “Either everything is mine, the whole world or there is nothing. If I am not there, nothing is there, if I am there, I am everything.” Can you imagine? This is a spiritual dimension. A dimension in understanding, it is a realizational dimension. That realizational dimension is supreme in the sphere of realization. This understanding cannot be dislodged by anybody.

    The only point is that a person who is guided by this understanding, will his life in this world be successful and effective? That is where the so called divinity and faith come. If this understanding is resorted to and a man is exclusively pursuing it, we have found that his life is successful. A number of ascetics in our country, their wealth is not money or matter. Whatever they have – you take this Ashram. This Ashram is a result initially of my understanding and whatever I was. Mataji Sulabha Devi was there. There was one more sanyasini here. I decided to leave everything and be on the street  because “on the street” is only a physical explanation. See, if I believe, if I understand, that this consciousness in me, the ‘I’ in me is supreme then nothing else can be of consequence to me. So the sincere mind doesn’t allow itself to be involved in other pursuits.

    So the only way is to leave and we are also having a great tradition in our country that ascetics have been there in every generation. So I left everything. Though I left everything, my body did not fall. It had to eat its food. It had to breathe its air. As it was breathing, it also needed food and nourishment. It also needed a place of rest. All these things came by themselves. You cannot say that I struggled for it, it is my greatness or anything like that. I was devoted to this understanding and I wanted to be zealous and sincere about it. That is why with a lot of humility and openness I say – every particle of Earth, sand or any other piece of matter here in this Ashram, including the walls, the roof, the floor, the various articles we have is – everything is a result and outcome of this spiritual awareness and the dedication I have towards this.

    Gradually others also joined. That is also another wonder. I had it – okay. Why should others also feel inspired by it? So, they also had a parallel inspiration and a parallel dedication and we all living together. The whole Ashram is nothing other than this inner consciousness and the worth, greatness and majesty of this consciousness. Can it deliver money – yes! Can it deliver matter – yes! Can it deliver buildings - yes! Because the whole universe is standing - not on matter. The entire universe, including space, you tell me where is it resting? It cannot be resting on matter and energy. Then what supports it? Some supra-material source is there and that is what this consciousness is.

    Now who can say that – “I am consciousness and the same consciousness surrounds and penetrates this whole universe.” If you are able to say so, I think that is the supreme, the end of it! Then will you be devoted to that understanding and in which manner? There comes the test. The catch point is that.

    So, this consciousness, Janaka was able to say, “Either everything is mine, everything is in me or nothing is there.” There are only two options for every one of you, either the whole world is yours and in you or nothing is there including yourself. This is the choice before you and see what appeals to you.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

  • PR 24 Jan 2016 - The Majesty of 'I'
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    After listening to Sage Ashtavakra, in this text, the initial conversation covers about twenty verses which initially Sage Ashtavakra said. After listening to the twenty verses, their message, Janaka instantly feels the touch, the dimension, magnitude and also potential of what everyone says as ‘I’.

    ‘I’ is only a word or a letter but it denotes something in the way of a presence and a power within your body, other than the body. Not only other than the body, it is other than the mind, other than the intelligence, other than the ego. There is something different from these. That is what we refer to by the term ‘I’. Maybe Janaka had not thought about this ‘I’ anytime at all.

    When Ashtavakra started discussing and exposing the true dimension, magnitude of the ‘I’, it was very, very, surprising, sweepingly so, and enlightening. As a keen listener, enquirer, a disciple, Janaka had the sensitivity to absorb the instruction and he starts speaking about how he was feeling after listening to the instruction and absorbing it.

    Here at one point he says,

    मत्तो विनिर्गतं विश्वं मय्येव लयमेष्यति ।
    matto vinirgatam viśvam mayy-eva layam-eṣyati |
    (Ashtavakra Samhita 2.10)

    Matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ mayyeva layameṣyati – We all know that everyone of us is born in this world. After we were born, we start living till the end of our life. The beginning of our life is marked by the emergence of our body from the mother’s womb and the end of life is marked by the body becoming breathless, unable to breathe by itself. So, the life is defined after the body. But truly speaking, it is not so. Life is what makes the body active and animate.

    Electricity passes through a conductor. It lights up or it comes up in the form of a bulb, illumination. In the whole process, it uses the copper or aluminum wire for passing. That does not mean electricity is that metal conductor, material conductor. In the same manner, life is not the body. Life is what makes the body animate and vibrant. That life should be introspected over and understood. When you understand in this manner, while the body is a product evolved by nature – our mother shaped the body in her womb, finally it was delivered off. This point is correct, but in the body what remains and what counts is not the matter-energy part of the body. It is something entirely different from both - the spiritual presence. That spiritual presence is not delivered off by anybody. It is not also taken away by anybody.

    It is true that the body is part of the world but what we refer to as ‘I’ is not at all. So he says that - Matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ. The entire world is what we perceive, we see, and we are seeing because we have the potential or ability to see. In the process of seeing, it is true that we are employing our eyes in the body but the eyes and the body are themselves shaped by the ‘I’. Only when I wake up, I employ my senses and perceive the world. Waking up is something that arises in me and world perception is something that follows my wakefulness. As the wakefulness arises from me, the world also arises within me.

    Any perception is an outcome of the perceiver. And the perceiver is inside - it is not the inert body. It is in the perceiver’s plane that all perceptions, thoughts, experiences, everything takes place. So, the entire world is born out of my perception. When I stop seeing, all the sights simply sink. So he says, "matto vinirgataṁ viśvaṁ mayyeva layameṣyati".

    In the evening, how comfortably we forget everything and go into sleep to remain wrapped up in ourselves inside for 6, 7 or 8 hours. So he understood the inner presence and now he goes on saying,

    अहो अहं नमो मह्यं विनाशी यस्य नास्ति मे ।
    ब्रह्मादिस्तम्बपर्यन्तं जगन्नाशेऽपि तिष्ठतः ॥ २.११ ॥
    aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ vināśo yasya nāsti me |
    brahmādistaṁbaparyantaṁ jagannāśo'pi tiṣṭhataḥ || 2.10 ||
    (Ashtavakra Samhita 2.10)

    Janaka is able to strike greater and greater dimensions of what he refers to as the ‘I’. He says, "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ". My dear children, this is the great culture that we have.

    Aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ. People only know about the so many idols installed by us, consecrated by us, whose divinity is generated by the human mind and they run here and there searching those idols. But very few people know that there is something different from the idol, a material piece, a matter piece we worship. So this knowledge and this kind of a worshipping attitude is also there! So he says, "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ". That which I refer to as the ‘I’, it has so much of world excelling dimensions. What is this? I never knew about it! My ‘I’ is not a simple point, it is a huge circle, excelling and exceeding the circle of the universe!

    So he says, "namo mahyaṁ" - I prostrate before myself! You cannot prostrate before yourself but you can only say and feel the majesty of the ‘I’ and feel like prostrating before it. It is your mind that makes you prostrate before an idol. The same mind when it has got the true dimension of the ‘I’, it feels that the ‘I’ is the one, the source of the entire universe! So the first and last prostration should be to the ‘I’. So Janaka says, "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ".

    Brahmādistaṁbaparyantaṁ jagannāśo'pi. The world is created by Brahma, Brahma - the creator. Along with Brahma, when everything that he has created including a blade of grass, when all these things are destroyed, ‘I’ still survive, he says. The ‘I’ that we are referring to, that stills survives. Let the entire creation be dissolved or destroyed but the ‘I’ in me will survive, will survive.

    So, which is the greatest, the loftiest and the most powerful, the source of all? The source of the world is not anywhere outside, it is not within the sensory ken. It is within our body. That a mortal body carries such an immortal presence is the great mystery of creation and mystery of human life!

    He goes on saying several times - "aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ".

    Oh! Wonderful ‘I’! I prostrate before me, before it, before myself! This is also in our country. While religious and devotional practices are rampant in the country, I would like you to understand that this kind of a spiritual introspection and the wonderful effects it is able to produce in the human mind and intelligence have also been there. It is true that many people do not read this Ashtavakra Gita, many people do not read the Bhagvad Gita also. Many people do not read Ramayana and Mahabharata as well. That people do not read does not make the text irrelevant or invalidate what they are saying. So this is also a very important line of thinking and reflection.

    Aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ. aho ahaṁ namo mahyaṁ

    The way this kind of a reasoning and this kind of understanding should influence you is this – Our mind should drop all kinds of lack, all kinds of negativity. Never blame others. Never feel insufficiency on this account or the other account. All people have children, if one does not have a child, what is there to be worried about? Many have, you don’t have. As they reconcile with their children, I will reconcile with no child. Our mind is always ready to become full and give you the ecstasy of fullness. So it takes away all kinds of lack, all kinds of contradiction, all kinds of disparity, making you feel singular, full, abundant, affluent and ecstatic! The work is psychological effect, intellectual effect. What a wonderful proposition is this!

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.



Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

Swamiji's Teachings


Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.


NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji, a renunciate disciple of Poojya Swamiji, is known for his scientific expositions which are a source of inspiration to seekers.  Read More...


Ma Gurupriya

A disciple of Poojya Swamiji, Ma is the loving mother of Poojya Swamiji's devotees around the world. Devotion and service remain the predominant forces shaping Ma's life.  Read More...

Samatva, which Krishna enjoins with regard to sukha and duhkha during his Sankhya discussion in the 2nd chapter, marks only the beginning of a sublime full-fledged pursuit. Krishna's exposition and discussion on the subject finds ample place throughout his dialogue.

For Krishna, samatva is a great concept, value and ideal, suggesting a comprehensive pursuit, transforming the whole life of the seeker and leading him to the pinnacle of full Yogic attainment. In fact, the excellence of Bhagavad Gita consists in discussing the principle of samatva in multiple ways and making the pursuit comprehensive in every way. The links of samatva, which Krishna has made out, are quite numerous and assorted. One has to pause, think and contemplate upon their relevance and implications, in order to realize how basic, thorough and conclusive the practice is when taken up in full earnestness.

The samatva discussion initiated in the 2nd chapter reaches, in a way, its climax in the 5th chapter, which is devoted to an exposition of true sanyasa or renunciation. Krishna explains sanyasa in his own unique manner, which itself calls for a very special study. As sanyasa marks the finale of spirituality and spiritual life, the linkage Krishna has made there for samatva becomes very deep and important. Samatva, given to samya becomes the same as Brahman. And hence, the `even' mind is the Brahmic mind too, at once. No more is the Reality to be thought of separately or contemplated upon. The even mind is itself seated in Brahman, by virtue of its samatva refinement.

Thus samatva-sadhana, which made the seeker fit for immortality, now rewards him with immortality. It makes the seeker Brahman Itself. The value, range, subtlety and comprehensiveness of samatva are sovereign.

In the 4th chapter, which is devoted to a discussion of how explicitly spiritual Wisdom works in the active life, Krishna speaks about samatva in sloka 22. The mind. he says, should rise above the conventional constraints induced by activity, the usual notes of preference, competition and the like. Make the mind flexible and broad so as to receive everything that comes indispensably, and reconcile with whatever goes. Be satisfied with whatever Providence or Chance brings in your life from day to day. Rather than getting vexed or agitated by the events and developments, be content with whatever comes.

Krishna presents and emphasizes samatva in many other places of Bhagavad Gita. In the very first verse commencing the karma yoga exposition in the 2nd chapter, he lays down samatva as the pronounced attitude enfolding and enriching the performance of actions.


योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय ।
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ।।
yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṃ tyaktvā dhanañjaya ।
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṃ yoga ucyate ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 2.48)

'Yogasthah' denotes the state of being established in yoga. Yoga is the fruition of spiritual sadhana. The yogic fruition is achieved by karma yoga. And this yoga is samatva towards siddhi (fruition) and asiddhi (non-fruition) of an effort aimed at achieving a goal. Yogic discipline, says Krishna, is to remain equal to siddhi and asiddhi. Is this not then the samatva of sankhya ? In Sankhya, the samatva is towards sukha and duhkha. In Yoga, it is with regard to success and failure of the actions as such.

Normally your own tendencies and qualities, your own course of life and work, will determine what is to come. The success or non-success of the actions should not rob one of his contentment. The psychology must get the spiritual enrichment of being happy with whatever is and will be. Such a harmonious mind will be more effective in its ventures and pursuits. Here again the samatva of the mind is sufficiently stressed by Krishna.

Pandita isa word which Krishna uses with profound meaning and import. For him a Pandita is a Self-Knower. The Pandita knows what most others around fail to. He delights in the Self alone, whereas for others, Self is a non-entity. The Self is a presence which equally fills every form of existence, alive or non-alive (5.18):


विद्याविनयसंपन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ।।
vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini ।
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 5.18)

Thus the knowledge of Self instantly means the insight of equalness. Krishna relates to a few widely different beings: the Brahmana, the cow, the elephant, the dog and the chandala. The Pandita sees the untainted and ever-pure Self equally present in all these different persons and creations. Self-vision is equal vision indeed.

Again in verse 9 of the 6th chapter, Krishna makes a striking description of the enlightened behaviour of the Self-­Knower:

सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु ।
साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विश्ष्यते ।।
suhṛn-mitrāry-udāsīna- madhyastha-dveṣya-bandhuṣu ।
sādhuṣv api ca pāpeṣu sama-buddhir-viśiṣyate ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 6.9)

The man of spiritual excellence and sublimity will have such a lofty vision in which all the different kinds of people will stand equally accepted in his mind. The benefactor, friend, enemy, neutral, the mediator, hater, in fact the noble and ignoble people - all will be viewed alike as manifestations of the same supreme Reality. The manifested entities are different, as it is to all else. But the manifesting presence will be singular. This singular factor he realizes is the same in one and all. Self vision will become true only when such an equal extension is perceived, and as a result, be is not dislodged from his supreme inner position of oneness.

सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि ।
ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शनः ।।
sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaṃ sarva-bhūtāni cātmani ।
īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 6.29)

The Self is in fact not alone there in one's body but also equally present at once everywhere. The one Self is the substratum and support to all bodies and forms of existence. As is the Atma in all, so are all in the same Self too. Thus either thinking about forms of existence or the Self of all forms, he must be able to have the same equal vision. Eyes and other senses bring the vision of differences and plurality. But the spiritual realization must stress oneness, sameness and equalness. Here too the final growth is in samatva and samya.

In the same chapter, Sri Krishna goes a unique step further in sloka 32:

आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन ।
सुखं वा यदि वा दुःखं स योगी परमो मतः ।।
ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṃ paśyati yo'rjuna ।
sukhaṃ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṃ sa yogī paramo mataḥ ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 6.32)

All experiences must , be viewed as the Self's alone. Experiences may differ but all are in, from and of the same Self. The Self need not be specially sought in any particular experience. In fact, It is present in and through all. All objects and perceptions have only two resultants to evoke in the mind: sukha and duhkha. Both are equally the Self. Maybe the Self was experienced as different before, but now everything and all have become the same unmistakable Presence Supreme. Such a yogic vision is the supreme, and one who has it is the loftiest Yogi.

After listening to so much about the Yoga-practice, yoga exposition and their varied descriptions, Arjuna understood the intricacy and supremacy of the practice. He realised that the practice would be difficult because of the desultory nature of the mind. So he makes a confession in sloka 6.33 : "The Yoga you have discussed, as the samya or samatva of the mind, seems very difficult to achieve. Mind being always desultory, how can the saadhaka have stability in the yoga of samya ? Arjuna's reference to the Yoga as samya makes the concept amply clear.

In describing the devotee and his characteristics in the 12th chapter, Krishna again emphasizes the need for samatva

समः शत्रौ च मित्रे च तथा मानापमानयोः ।
शीतोष्णसुखदुःखेषु समः सङ्गविवर्जितः ।।
samaḥ śatrau ca mitre ca tathā mānāpamānayoḥ ।
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkheṣu samaḥ sańga-vivarjitaḥ ।
(Bhagavad Gita 12.18)
तुल्यनिन्दास्तुतिर्मौनी सन्तुष्टो येन केनचित् ।
अनिकेतः स्थिरमतिर्भक्तिमान्मे प्रियो नरः ।।
tulya-nindā-stutir-maunī santuṣṭo yena kenacit ।
aniketaḥ sthira-matir-bhaktimān-me priyo naraḥ ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 12.19)

Devotion always is viewed as related to God. But Krishna defines the devotee in relation to the situation around him, to the world sequences prevailing around. The feelings of hatred and allurement, friendship and enmity, in viewing and dealing with the society must vacate his mind. All-pervading God is thought of only to transcend these dvandvas of the mind, and until such transcendence is conspicuous, one cannot claim devotion. With regard to praise and blame also, the devotee must have a sense of strong equality. The opposite effects generally created by these dvandvas must cease to be, and the mind must become light, flexible and unaffected.

In the 13th chapter while discussing the virtues and excellences of a Jnani ( Self Knower ), and showing what in practice constitutes spiritual wisdom, Krishna has enumerated 20 points.   Of these, the following stands out distinctly ( sloka 13.9 ):

असक्तिरनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु ।
नित्यं च समचित्तत्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु ।।
asaktir-anabhiṣvańgaḥ putra-dāra-gṛhādiṣu ।
nityaṃ ca sama-cittatvam-iṣṭāniṣṭopapattiṣu ।
(Bhagavad Gita 13.9)

Here Krishna refers to the dvandvas as ishta (desirable) and anishta (undesirable). Any event, person, place or circum­stances will generally be viewed by the mind as what it likes or dislikes. So in making a reference to the mind's desirable and undesirable notes, all external factors stand covered. The mind constantly undergoes these two notes. And samatva must be in and with regard to these. The mind freed from the clutches of ishta and anishta alone is the spiritually refined mind.

When we go to verse 27 of chapter 13, Krishna explains the paramesvara and paramesvara darsana again in the language of samatva

समं सर्वेषु भूतेषु तिष्ठन्तं परमेश्वरम् ।
विनश्यत्स्वविनश्यन्तं यः पश्यति स पश्यति ।।
samaṃ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭhantaṃ parameśvaram ।
vinaśyatsvavinaśyantaṃ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 13.27)

One looking for the Great Lord should not look at any specific place like the temple or river or cave.. He should think of God as equally present in all creatures and forms of existence. In fact, only when such an idea is fostered and pursued, it becomes a true devotional pursuit keeping the Great Omni­present God as the focus. Whether it is thus related to God or not, the idea is one of samatva, says Krishna. This samatva is the great sublimating pursuit for any one's mind.

The same point Krishna emphasizes in verse 13.28 too:

समं पश्यन्हि सर्वत्र समवस्थितमीश्वरम् ।
न हिनस्त्यात्मनाऽऽत्मानं ततो याति परां गतिम् ।।
samaṃ paśyan-hi sarvatra samavasthitam-īśvaram ।
na hinasty-ātmanātmānaṃ tato yāti parāṃ gatim ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 13.28)

Understand God as uniformly present in space and objects. Such a uniformity and equalness alone will make God `Godly'. Thus to perceive God is to perceive verily samatva.. Samatva is such, a sublime and wholesome discipline to the mind and intelligence, that without it neither devotion nor spirituality is conceivable.

And, to crown all descriptions of Samatva and Samya; Krishna makes a summary statement in the 18th chapter ( sloka 54 ):

ब्रह्मभूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति ।
समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिं लभते पराम् ।।
brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāńkṣati ।
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu mad-bhaktiṃ labhate parām ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 18.54)

To become Brahman is not a bodily development. The transformation and sublimation are in the mental plane of the personality. The mind outlives soka (sorrow) and Kanksha (desire). Imagine the mind when freed of this dual hold. It becomes divine, no more the mortal and worldly mind. Such a mind will naturally give rise to the equal perception. In place of the senses bringing all the differences about whatever they perceive, the mind will now be full with the sublimity or samatva. The disharmony which was prevailing earlier due to the mind's constrictions and the dual notes, will now have dissolved and the persistent note of harmony become more and more pronounced.

It is such a samatva-pursuit that constitutes the essence and content of the yoga which Krishna describes, extols and promises to achieve for every discerning seeker. The proposition is paramount, wholesome, unfailing and final. The seeker has to spend enough time to understand himself and stabilize in this pursuit.

 (Part of the series Essential-Concepts-In-Bhagavad-Gita)

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Vicharasethu is a monthly journal in English and Hindi, edited and published by Poojya Swamiji. It is also published in Malayalam by the name Vicharasarani. With Articles, Correspondance, Guidance for Sādhana and News updates from the Ashram, these monthly publications are a great guide for the earnest sādhaka. 

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