"Our body and this complex world around us is meant to reveal and display the Self variously. Spiritual seeking lies in looking for That which animates the body. Turn the mind and intelligence inward to their very Source. Let the thoughts make you search for the thinking substance, the thinker.  Only then the mystery of the Self will be unveiled."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

  • Gurupoornima and Retreat 2017 30-04-2017

    Gurupoorṇimā & Annual Retreat: Sacred Gurupoorṇimā  will be observed in the Ashram on July 9, 2017. The 7-day Retreat will be during 10th - 16th July, 2017. To participate in the Retreat, the completed application form (available from ) must reach the Ashram before 14th June.

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 17 Jan 2017 - The Purpose Of Life Is To Gain True Knowledge
    Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    Human life is primarily meant to gain knowledge and gain such knowledge as will fulfill completely one’s life. Knowledge alone has the power to complete and fulfill human life. In our spiritual parlance, religious parlance also we say, Brahma Jñāna is Supreme in human life. Mark! It is explained as jñāna, Brahma jñāna. Knowledge of Brahman means the Supreme Reality, the Ultimate Substance and Source. This is the basis on which our entire dharmic culture has been built. So knowledge we consider to be Supreme.

    The modern world also is interested in knowledge. There are scientists working day and night in different branches of knowledge, to add to the measure of knowledge, the variety of knowledge that they have. As a result of scientific inventions, many facilities and comforts to life have been added. In the process you will find our life has been contaminated also very seriously. The air is contaminated, water is contaminated and the earth is polluted. I think fire has not been polluted. What does it mean? In the name of knowledge, we should not strive to do anything that we want. There must be a filtration, a discrimination, a kind of a selectiveness in the approach.

    When you approach knowledge in this manner, we find that the entire gamut of knowledge can be divided into two. One is called inferior knowledge another is called superior knowledge as Mundakopanishad puts it. You will be surprised to know that all the Vedas and shastras are included in the inferior knowledge. When I first read it when I was in Calcutta in my pre-sanyaasa life, I was wonder-struck. What! We consider the Vedas to be extremely sanctifying and Vedas and shastras together are inferior? Then what is superior? So Shaunaka is told by Angiras, the superior knowledge is that by which you know….. By which you know what?

    तदक्षरमधिगम्यते ।

    Tadaksharam adhi gamyate

    Mundakopanishad - I.i.5

    By which you know the imperishable presence. Why this statement?

    It is because including our body and the senses whatever we see and interact with in the world in the form of objects - all of them are perishable. They are evanescent. They are transitory. If all of them are transitory then how is the transitoriness surviving? A changes into B then what changes B into C? There must be something that is causing the change. Wherever there is a change you should understand the change can subsist only upon a changeless substratum. Because everything is perishable there must be something imperishable. Is there anything like that? Is it only a conjecture or is there any compulsive experience for us as we experience the world? If such a question is asked, here is the answer.

    Everything is experienced by me, by us. All are objects experienced. But the subject which undergoes the experience or experiences the objects is oneself. That is what we refer to as I, I am. All other things are described with a possessive case. My, my, my. My body, my eyes, my mind, my intelligence, my ego, my knowledge, my parents, my car, my earth, my road, everything is “mine”. The “My” and the “I” are different. By the possessive case you always refer to an object which you can and you do possess. Then the subject is something different from the objects. If mind also is an object, intelligence also is an object, ego is an object, then what is this subject? Something still further within. Very inward. That I, right from the beginning till the end of our life, changelessly we have been referring to and we are not referring to an external substance or entity. When I say, “ I AM”, I have no doubt about it. I am, I am. The am-ness belongs to the I and what is this I. It is not the body, not the mind, not the intelligence, not the ego, not anything but something different from. Now we already have an indication that something imperishable is there associated with the perishable body and other things.

    Now let us go back to the two divisions of knowledge. One is the inferior knowledge which covers, including the Vedas and six shastras, everything that you learnt because it is all about the objects. The knowledge about the true subject “I” alone will become Superior. What a beautiful statement, analysis and finding. It is this subject knowledge that constitutes the spiritual pursuit in our country. The subject knowledge can come only to a seeker who seeks it and the path also is one of knowingness, knowingness. Krishna puts it beautifully in the Bhagavad Gita :

    ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं ।

    Jnaanam Jneyam Jnaanagamyam 

    Bhagavad Gita 13.17

    It is knowledge. It is the knowable and through the path of knowing alone you can approach it. In other words the subject knowledge can be pursued and achieved only within our body by employing the instruments of mind and intelligence.

    When you start approaching the subject knowledge and you are having degrees of it, so to say, you will find your entire perception about the world, evaluation about the world, the lingering for the world, all these will change. Without any force. It is a self-transformation that takes places naturally, easily, lightly, comfortably and fulfillingly.

    Put in any manner that one likes or one can. The discussion is always around this subject knowledge, knowledge of the subject and the only subject we can think of, we feel to some extent and we can probe into and be successfully knowing in full is that I, I. The definition of the Self is actually:

    अहं प्रत्यय गोचरा:

    Ahaṁ pratyaya gocharaḥ

    That which you denote by the term I is called the Self, the Supreme reality.

    This knowledge is the one that occupies our Upanishads. It is dealt with in Ramayana. It is equally dealt with more elaborately, by Mahabharata. Whenever there is doubt and the doubt cannot be resolved the redress lies in the subject knowledge. That is why Krishna tells Arjuna:

    न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपा: ।
    न चैव न भविष्याम: सर्वे वयमत: परम् ।।

    na tvevahaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ na-eme janādhipāḥ
    na  ca-iva na bhviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayamataḥ param

    Bhagavad Gita 2.12

    “Arjuna, what you are seeing as Krishna is the body. But the Krishna proper is not body. There was no time when I was not. There was no time when you were not. There was no time when Bhishma, Drona and all the others were not. You see the body, it was born I agree but the body is not what makes itself felt. There is something besides the body which animates and activates the body. That presence is what one is and that was there even before the birth of the body”.

    All of you have come and taken your seats in Vijñāna Bhavan here. How could you come here if you were not earlier? You were earlier in your residential rooms or loitering here and there; because you were you are. If you were and you are you will also be.

    न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपा: ।

    na tvevahaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ na-eme janādhipāḥ

    “This is true not merely of me, of you, of all the people who have assembled here including Bhishma and Drona”.

    न चैव न भविष्याम:

    na  ca-iva na bhviṣyāmaḥ

    “There is not going to be a time when we will cease to exist or cease to be”.

    This is how Krishna began the discussion. What for? Not religiously liberate Arjuna but to make his mind doubtless, confident and immensely courageous and resolute. What for? To fight the war in front. Krishna did not create the war not did Arjuna; war resulted. War can be only with by two sides. So the war has come to be and it has to be fought. Arjuna found he did not have courage for it, clarity for it, confidence for it, stability for it. Now all the stability Krishna was providing but he started the discussion with the reference to the “I” and it’s infinite and eternal nature. There is a beautiful description:

    अस्थान स्नेह कारूण्य धर्माधर्म धियाकुलम्‌ ।
    पार्थ प्रपन्नमुद्दिश्य शस्त्रावतरणं कृतम्‌ ।।

    Asthaanam sneha karunya dharmaadharma dhiyakulam
    Partham Prapannam-udishya shastraavatarnam kritam 

    Arjuna’s mind was confused about the propriety and impropriety of his action, of his fighting. As a result of which he got completely confused, dumbfounded. Such a man unable to resolve the crisis, sought refuge under Krishna. So Krishna is exposing and clarifying the beautiful shastras of our country. The entire shastras are for you to gain true knowledge. The senses are there to gain knowledge of the objects but the mind and the intelligence alone are there to gain knowledge of yourself.

    God, Brahman, all these are words synonymous to the Self, the I, and from there Krishna was developing. Your fear is that so many people will be killed but I want to tell you Arjuna that the individual presence which we refer to as I, it is un-killable.

    अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे 

    ajo nityaḥ śāśvato'yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

    This presence which you refer to as I, it is ajaḥ, unborn. The body is born. When a lamp is lit by a flame, a new flame is born. Does it mean fire is born? No, No, No. It is unborn. It never gets born, it is ever present.

    Nityaḥ – constantly present.

    Shashvatah – permanently.

    Ayam puranaah – this is the most ancient. Nobody knows when it began to be.

    Na hanyate hanyamane sharire. It is true that we are going to kill a number of bodies here on both sides. When bodies are fell so to say,
    hanyamane sharire na hanyate, the imperishable presence which animates and activates the body is un-killable. It is inexhaustible. It will not disappear. It will not become extinct. Constantly this thought, this message, this knowledge, this was being driven home to Arjuna.

    My dear seekers, our ashram is a place of jñāna. Here we have Satsang. In the Satsang we, on the basis of our own experience, experiential confirmation, we are presenting the beautiful shastras which deal with Subject knowledge. One thing or the other. It may be Bhagavad Gita, it may be Upanishads, it may be Vivekachudamini. It may be another text, Srimad Bhaagavatam. Everywhere you will find, this, this indestructibility of your own identity is the subject of discussion.

    People are wondering, what is my identity. Am I an Indian? Am I an earthly denizen? Am I a human? The real identity you are already referring to as I and it is within the body not the body; and on analysis we find it is not the mind, not the intelligence, not the ego. Then what? Something beyond that. Felt by everyone. Not thought by everyone, felt by everyone. Not enquired into by everyone. So make a little enquiry.

    When you go back from the ashram, you must always understand that knowledge is Supreme in human life; that alone can fulfill a person. Any possession that you have, the body itself is left and with the body whatever you have gained will they not be left then? The house, the family, the belongings, the money, the deposit, the will you have written, everything will have to be left. The un-leavable entity if at all is the I oneself.

    So it is knowledge that we are constantly discussing in our Satsang. Devotion is part of it. Yoga is part of it. Any other form of sādhana is subsidiary to it. But the knowledge is the Supreme. Is the Supreme. Understand that there is such a knowledge. What you have is object knowledge and what you further need is Subject knowledge. This Subject knowledge can be had only by a sense of enquiry and introspection.

    You should have a life where you think about matters. Try to evaluate them from the level of intelligence. What is this life? Am I living it properly? What is the relationship around me? Is there any God? Anything, you have to enquire. Such an enquiry should be there even in your profession otherwise you will not have professional excellence. A professional should be thoughtful, thoughtful. What new plans or projects can I represent or can I think of with a view to increase the utility of our company and increase the resources and how can the resources be employed. There also it is thought and introspection.

    Am I living in the right manner? Do I need any qualities of the mind and heart? What is my life judged from the true mental and intelligential level? How to become good? How to become noble? How to become charitable? How to become amiable and loving?

    I only want you to be happy, happy, happy. Look happy, be happy, experience happiness. Interact with people in a happy manner, amiable manner. Nothing else. Mostly people carry a wry face, sunken face. I don’t know, why? For smiling and being light you need only the mind, the mind you already have. Understand the magnitude and potential of the mind. Mind has got infinite potential and infinite magnitude. With the help of the senses it sees infinitely various world. The world of infinite variety and infinite distances. All these are captured by the mind. Can you imagine then, the depth and breadth and height of the mind? It is infinitely resourceful.

    You are using some conventional notes of the mind. Believe in your mind. Have faith in your mind. Understand you mind. Mind is a treasure, treasure, treasure and make it so. Make it so. Make it so. I always say devotion is a great treasure but the devotees do not make it a treasure. A man who relies on God, I don’t think he has to worry about anything, anything. God is there to worry about and his worrying is much more efficacious, effective than your worrying about. Everywhere it is matching, matching, rubbing, rubbing your mind with the knowledge, knowledge, knowledge.

    So the take home from our ashram is the Satsang we hold, the books that we have written, you can go through them. Understand that you are not the body but something different from it. Mind, intelligence and ego are the evidence for our being something different from the body and try to feel it, want to know it and be zealous about the whole process. Be given to introspection, reflection and rumination then everything will follow.

    Hariḥ Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru!

  • PR 22 Jan 2016 - Realize that you are Taintless
    Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    You know that we are having an Ātma Tattva Sameeksha in Trichur. This is the third year.

    Unlike many other texts, Ashtvakra Samhita is very, very specific, pointed and concentric. The only subject it discusses, speaks about and exposes is the Self. Almost in every shloka, the reference is to the Self and descriptions and explanations are only about the Self. Very little difference in words sometimes will be there between two verses.

    Because it is the Self, I always have a reservation as to whether the listeners are able to take what is said. But when I take this text and start explaining, I cannot but be exclusive, subtle, sometimes even transcendental. I try to make it interesting by taking some divergent text, bringing this, bringing that. An enlightened audience in Kerala always have an affinity for our ancient texts, Sanskrit verses etc. They would always like to hear quotations from parallel texts and relating matters to one thing or the other.

    So yesterday I was explaining.

    अहो निरञ्जनः शान्तो बोधोऽहं प्रकृतेः परः ।
    एतावन्तमहं कालं मोहेनैव विडम्बितः २-१॥
    aho nirañjanaḥ śānto bodho'haṁ prakṛteḥ paraḥ |
    etāvantamahaṁ kālaṁ mohenaiva viḍaṁbitaḥ ||
    (Ashtavakra Samhita 2.1)

    Astavakra, as a first installment, spoke, in the dialogue, twenty verses in the first chapter. Actually it was not chapter by chapter. The conversation took place just like we will converse between ourselves, but when it was put in a text form, they were chapterized, put in a sequence. But so far as the original conversation or dialogue was concerned, it was not anything like a chapter one, two, three and the like.

    So, after Ashtavakra spoke to him that, “My dear Janaka, you are not the body. You are the Soul. You are not the world but you are a perceiver and witness of the world. Everything that is around you is only an object. You are the subject. Around you everything is inert including your body. But you are the sentient spirit. If you can realize this, catch this point, you become liberated this very moment.” This was the type of exposition he gave.

    Janaka was very studious, faithful and wholesome in receiving and absorbing, in receiving and absorbing whatever was said. And in the second chapter, it was Janaka relating his own direct, instant, intuitive experiences. Just see what he says….

    aho nirañjanaḥ śānto bodho'haṁ prakṛteḥ paraḥ.

    Aho nirañjanaḥ śānto – Oh! What a wonder is this! Ah! I am taintless. I have no stain at all! Just like the body takes food, assimilates it and in the process the body has no stain, my mind thinks, my intelligence reasons, my ego asserts. In all these processes, I don’t get anything like a stain, a dent or a color. The eyes are seeing different colors, blazing fire it sees, snow-capped mountains it sees, but do the eyes become either white or fiery orange? In the same manner, the mind thinks, the thoughts may have their effects and outcome but all of them are produced by virtue of the ability of the mind. As the eyes are not affected by the objects it sees, in the same manner, the mind is the least contaminated, affected by whatever it thinks. I am nirañjanaḥ.

    Once I realize this, I am śānta, peaceful. No agitation on any account whatsoever. What is there to be agitated about? It is after all an interaction with the world, the variety of the world. None of this variety is able to access my mind and cause its effect on the mind. It is the mind that produces the imprints of objects and the mind overwhelms everything. It is never overpowered by anything.

    Bodho'haṁ.. bodho'haṁ... bodho'haṁI am consciousness. I am sentience. I am awareness. Everything in this world including my body is matter or energy. Both of them are inert, insentient. The insentient things do not have any creativity. When the insentient things are compared and contrasted with consciousness, consciousness is superior and the inert entities are far inferior. I am bodhaḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ.

    Can you reflect upon this phrase - prakṛteḥ paraḥ? I am superior to, I transcend prakṛtih. It is ‘I’, it is I’ who witnesses the prakṛtih, observes the prakṛtih and makes it the variety that I clamp on it, I ascribe to it. I see an elephant and then I say it is an elephant. The elephant never says I am one. I see the horse and I say it is a horse. I see the earth and I say it is the earth. I see God and I say it is God. When I see, the things I see do not see me. And I pronounce, I pronounce their character, their worth, their importance. Their, their, what, what! Then, am I not superior to them? Am I not superior to them?

    Bodho'haṁ prakṛteḥ paraḥ. I transcend the prakṛtih. I see the mountain. I contain the mountain in the form of an imprint in my mind. So I have encased the mountain in me. But the mountain doesn’t encase me. Tell me just now, who is superior to what? I am superior to the mountain and not the other way. I am transcending nature with all its stupendous measure and variety.

    yathā prakāśayāmyeko dehamenaṁ tathā jagat - Can you follow the reasoning? Do you have an intelligence? Will you be guided by your intelligence or your intelligence is a pseudo one?

    If it is an intelligence, he says..yathā prakāśayāmyeko dehamenaṁ tathā jagat. Your body, your body, your body, who reveals it? I reveal it. I reveal my body. As the body of mine is revealed by me, I call it my body. Are you hearing me? My body, its presence is not revealed by another for me. When I wake up I sense my body. Because I sense my body, I call it mine. In the same manner, I sense and reveal the whole universe.

    If the body revealed by me becomes mine, the world revealed by the same revealer also becomes mine. Do you have anything to say against it? This is how the self-realized man becomes full, great and unsurpassable. He cannot be excelled by anyone or anything. There is nothing in this world to excel him because he excels the world. The world is what he reveals. As a body revealed by him becomes his, the world revealed by him equally becomes his.

    Ato mama jagat sarvam athavā na ca kiñcana – Therefore the entire world is my world, my world, my world, like my body. Otherwise there is nothing. Either it remains as mine or it remains as nobody’s. Out of the 24 hours of the day, you sleep for seven or eight hours. The comparison and worth are not on the basis of number. Who told you that sleep because it endures for seven hours, it is much less important than the wakeful hours? That conclusion is wrong. The world is there only in the wakefulness and in the wakefulness; I am the perceiver and cognizer. So I transcend the world and I possess the world. In sleep, neither the world nor the body nor even ‘I’ is there. What do you understand from this? Nothing is there. If the world is there, it is there revealed by me and possessed by me, or nothing is there as in sleep.

    You can have your identity with the sleep or you can have the identity with the wakefulness, possessiveness. Both are equally valid. In either case or in both cases, you have nothing to grumble. You are not low. You are not inferior. You are not a trifling. We are not speaking about the body. We are speaking about the indwelling presence. This is what Janaka says after listening to Ashtavakra, the Sage. This is how this wonderful knowledge works. I don’t know, one has to be fortunate and very, very intelligent to grasp it. I wish you have both fortune and intelligence.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

  • PR 21 Jan 2016 - Reasoning to Deduce that World is Illusory
    Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru Jai Guru.

    I am going today in spite of my unwillingness to undertake a programme in the morning as well as in the evening. I dissuaded them but somehow they prevailed upon me. It is for dedicating and offering a Mahavishnu temple, the sanctum sanctorum for which has been newly built. This building which has cost about 35 lakhs of rupees, it has been sponsored by a kind of trust which is operating perhaps in UK. They are Indians. Wherever there is Mahavishnu temple requiring renovation or rebuilding, it seems they pick up some such cases and patronize it. Because it is Mahavishnu’s temple and it is the sanctum sanctorum, somehow my mind did not agree to totally refusing it though I told them many times that I cannot take up this programme.

    See, yesterday also in Ashtavakra Samhita, I was referring to one important point which I thought you being a nearer group and more intelligent group, you must be able to reflect upon and find out.

    Why this world is considered to be mithya, non-existent? We see a number of solid things here. All the celestial bodies are solid. Our body is solid. Everything is solid. There are liquid things, gaseous things, energy and other things also. Such a world including our body, our mind refuses to accept that it is something like an illusion. But the fact is that it is only an illusion provided you try to assess it from your intelligence level.

    Please listen to me. When I see an elephant, the elephant does nothing for me. I am seeing the elephant and the elephant is standing at a distance. How is it that I experience the elephant? I am distanced from it and the elephant is distanced from me. The mountain is far away from me. The sun is infinitely away from me. But I am nevertheless experiencing these objects.

    Experience you will agree is always inner and mental. Mind is within the body. The mind is within the body because it is subtle, sūkshma. The sūkshma alone can be within the sthūla, gross.; So if it is the mind that makes me experience the elephant, the mountain and sun, and the mind is subtle within the body, where is so much of space within the body for a solid object to enter my body? By what process will it enter?

    Does the elephant enter through my nose, eyes, ears or mouth? It is standing there but I am experiencing it. My experience is the only proof for the elephant to be there. And my experience is inner. And the factor that produces this experience is the mind and that is subtle. In this way you will find, including the presence of our body, all are cognitions, awareness produced by the mind. So the entire world that I see distributed encircling me, the entire world inheres its existence only because I experience it in my mind.

    My mind is subtle. The subtle mind cannot produce a gross object. A gross object will be born only from another gross object. But here is an instance where the subtle mind produces the elephant, the horse, the fire, the ocean, the mountain, the stars. Everything is produced by the mind. You people are seated at different distances. I can clearly say from here, from my experience, that each person is behind the other or in front of the other to the left or to the right. Unless I experience you in my mind, how can I say this? Because I am not coming to you.

    All these experiences are caused by contacts with the senses. Senses themselves are activated by the mind. The senses are made also by the mind, activated by the mind. That being the case, mind being subtle, the subtle mind cannot produce any gross object but all the gross objects derive their existence only because the mind experiences them.

    How does the mind experience? It produces an imprint of the gross object in itself. That imprint cannot have three dimensions. But nevertheless we experience the three dimensions. So all the three dimensions are produced by the subtle mind. And it is the subtle mind that makes the experience of gross objects.

    Now apply the principle. Can the subtle mind produce a gross object? If it cannot, whatever it produces, it is only notional, ideational. It can never be factual. So the entire world that you are experiencing in your mind can never be a factual reality. It can only be an imaginary entity which derives its existence and inherence in my mind. That there is something called the mind and it is capable of doing so is the mystery. Despite the fact that it is a mystery, it is a fact of our existence, it is an experience which can never be denied. In this way, if you look at everything you will find, how you are all-pervading, how all the things become illusory is very clearly known.

    Even otherwise, the weight of an article upon the earth is six kilograms, upon the moon it is one, in the śūnyākāśa it is zero. The weight itself is non-existent. I would like you to think about it and develop it. This is highest of reason that we can adduce with regard to what the world is. We don’t disturb anything, we don’t question the world. We only assess it as the subtle mind’s creations and being so, it is all illusory.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. 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)


In this discourse based on Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha outlines the destination of every Human Being.


Recordings of Poojya Swamiji's Talks

Evenness of the Mind : Way to Self-Knowledge

Independence from Unhappiness and Happiness


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. 

Devotees hold periodic meetings at their own locations wherein the teachings and messages of Swamiji are heard, read and discussed with a view to comprehend and arrive at their essence and make it a functional note in their life. This section provides resources to facilitate the proceedings at such gatherings. Read More ....

How to chant Bhagavad Gita

How to chant Viṣṇusahasranāma

  • 060 - ātmā tvaṃ girijā matih - Worship God Through Every Activity

    When devotion for the Lord in the devotee’s mind becomes intense and deep, when his yearning for the Lord’s association ripens and maturates, he no more waits for specific moments of worship. He is not satisfied by such occasional time-bound worship. Naturally and spontaneously his whole life then turns into a worship. He sees divinity in everything around. He worships the Lord not through particular devotional actions, but through all actions that he performs. He associates God in every thought, speech and activity.

    Read More ...

  • 061 - Gacchatastiṣṭhato - Introspection Has to be Done at Every Moment

    While moving, while keeping still, while awake and also while lying down or sleeping, if one’s mind is not given to vichāra, he is a dead body indeed. What is meant by vicāra is truthful introspection – enquiry about what is true and what is false, enquiry about oneself as well as the true nature of the world is to think always where lies the long lasting auspicious development – within and without.

    Read More ...

  • 062 - āśā nāma - Make Your Mind Pure by Removing Desires

    The river called desire, with imaginations as water, agitated by waves of greed, frequented by the crocodile of attachment, and with doubts and uncertainties hovering around like birds, destroys the tree of poise and fortitude. Such a river with deep and unconquerable whirlpool of delusion, flanked by tall and insurmountable banks of anxiety, the pure-minded great yogis cross over, and revel in beatitude.

    Read More ...