"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."

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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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    Poojya Swamiji’s 84th Jayanti will be observed on May 13, 2017 in Narayanashrama Tapovanam and Centres for Inner Resources Development in India and abroad.

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 22 Jan 2016 - Realize that you are Taintless
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    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! 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'haṁ… I 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
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    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.

  • PR 20 Jan 2016 - World Experiences are Only Mental Imprints - III
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    Harih Om Tat sat. Jai Guru.Jai Guru.

    I thought I would speak to you again on Ashtavakra Samhita. There is a verse which I explained yesterday. 

    साकारमनृतं विद्धि निराकारं तु निश्चलम् ।
    एतत्तत्वोपदेशेन न पुनर्भवसम्भवः ॥ १.१८ ॥
    sākāram-anṛtaṁ viddhi nirākāraṁ tu niścalam
    etat-tattvopadeśena na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ  ।। 1.18 ।।
     

    sākāram-anṛtaṁviddhi nirākāraṁtu niścalam. The word ākāra means shape, form. Sākāram, anything that has a shape and a form, anṛtaṁviddhi, consider that to be unreal, untrue.

    Nirākāraṁtu niścalam. That which is devoid of shape is niścala, immovable, motionless. Will you think about these propositions? As long as a devotee is not able to entertain this thought and spend enough time to understand it, he will not improve in his devotion at all.

    Sākāram.  Anything that is shapeful and formful, it is unreal. How do you understand this? Ākāra or shape will be there only when the object is sthūla, gross. Earth is gross, the grossest that we can think of. Then, even water is also gross. But it is fluid. In a way, the air also is gross, fire is gross. If at all you can say, space or ākāśa is sūkshma, subtle. Whenever there is a shape or a form, that object has to be sthūla, gross. Anything that is gross, he (Ashtavakra) says is unreal. How to accept this?

    Nirākāraṁtu niścalam. The moment one becomes nirākārah, devoid of shape and form, it becomes niścala, stationary. What does it mean? What is meant by nirākāra? Ākāra means shape. Nirākāra means shape-free, shapeless.

    All our senses get their experiences only through contacts. When I see you, don’t think that I have no contact with you. I see you because the light rays falling on you get reflected and the rays reflected from you, your body, they touch my cornea. When they touch my cornea, that touch is my experience. In the same manner, I touch an object physically with my hand. There also it is contact, sparśa. A sound comes and touches my eardrum. That is also sparśa. The smell, the smell enters the nostrils. There also it is contact. Don’t think that in the case of the eye it is not contact.

    You think of wind, wind (Vāyu). We are able to understand the movement of the wind. We cannot see the wind. We can only feel it with our touch. If the wind blows and touches your body, the skin, then you are able to say “Something comes and touches and it is wind.” Suppose the wind does not blow and does not touch you, even slight movements, the leaves of trees will start shaking or vibrating. Seeing the movements of leaves we say there is wind. Generally there is a proverbial statement, ‘Today no leaf moves at all. The wind is still’.

    What you understand from this? We are trying to judge the presence of wind only by skin and eyes. Suppose the wind does not move and does not produce any movement in the leaves, it also does not blow to touch your skin to give you an experience, do you think you will ever understand that there is a movement? Wind becomes nirākāra provided there is no movement of leaves or any other article and there is no touch in the skin. Now such a thing namely wind, if these two are not there, we have to assume and find out that it is motionless.

    So anything that is un-sensory has to become motionless he (Ashtavakra) says.

    Etat-tattvopadeśena. Only by this tāttvic instruction.

    Na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ You will not be born again.

    After birth till death we are having a number of movements. If nirākāra is non-moving, then where is the question of getting born and dying? Whatever is within our body in the way of chetana or consciousness, it is not sthūla, it is sūkshma.  It is only nirākāra. If it is nirākāra, it is niścala.

    The mind may produce seemingly many number of thoughts. In spite of these thoughts, the mind does not move from its base, it is within the body. Then how are thoughts produced? Thoughts are not produced by any movement or vibration. How can the mind vibrate, it is full in the body? If it is full, can it vibrate or move? Then without moving and without vibration, if activities are caused, those activities cannot be physical in character. They can only be imaginary, illusory. That is how all the inner processes become illusory, imaginary.

    The mind imaginarily can produce many things as in dream. Whatever it produces, nothing is there and by producing them, nothing has happened to the mind also. One has to think about it to understand. So this was a phrase which always arrests my attention.

    sākāram-anṛtaṁviddhi nirākāraṁtu niścalam |
    etat-tattvopadeśena na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ ||  1.18 ||

    Na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ. Now can you regard knowledge for what it is worth or you will only hear it as an intellectual pastime? This one śloka should keep you occupied if necessary for hours, days, weeks, months and years.

    sākāram-anṛtaṁviddhi nirākāraṁtu niścalam |
    etat-tattvopadeśena na punarbhavasaṁbhavaḥ ||  1.18 ||

    I would like you to think about it and discuss it.

    Harih Om Tat sat. Jai Guru.Jai Guru.

 

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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

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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...

MaJi-HmPg-White

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...

Short Description

Answers questions like what a seeker wishes to know about the supreme spiritual state. They are also meant to throw light on how a Knower distinguishes himself from the rest of mankind, both in the matter of inward absorption and external interactions. Where lies the difference between a spiritual Knower and a non-Knower? Do spiritual life and its fulfillment pose a conflict to the life in the world? Will life in the world and the interactions it warrants bring about any dislodgement for the Knower from this inward state? Will the world also find the Knower’s presence and movements any disturbance or disharmony? Or, these will be enriching to the world too? How does the Knower ensure that his pursuit of activities in the external world does not disturb him, instead it turns out to be a great enrichment to his life of spiritual enlightenment?

 

The following article is reproduced from the English Monthly Vicharasetu – March 1998 published by the Ashram

Krishna has, in a way, completed his exposition of Sankhya and Karma yoga, their sadhana and goal alike. He has also shown when the saadhaka would reach his goal and what, in a nutshell, is the ultimate fruition of yogasadhana. Krishna’s description would naturally have their relevance and purpose, only when Arjuna, to whom they are addressed, is able to grasp what he heard and express his reaction to the message. Arjuna’s response shows that he did grasp Krishna’s teaching. That is why he asks:

स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव ।
स्थितधी: किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् ।। 

                                                                                                      Bhagavad gita (2.54)

Arjuna’s questions are basically two; but they cover the entire range of Yoga and its practical fruition. Equally so, they bring forth the nature of the Knower’s inward and outward life. It is very significant that Arjuna uses the word sthitaprajnain his first question, whereas he uses sthitadheein the next.

How can the samadhistha sthitaprajnabe described, is what Arjuna asks first. “How will the sthita-dhee speak? How will he be resting. And how will he move about in the world and interact with people?” – he asks next.

This portion of the second chapter of Bhagavadgeeta is called sthita-prajna prakaranaIt is a very deep and subtle enunciation which brings great value and clarity to the whole spiritual and philosophical exposition of our land. In many of the unique excellences which Geeta has, this is a significant one. It shines distinctly with all its emphasis and revelation. The manner in which Krishna answers Arjuna shows how well a dialogue can be conducted, even in a battlefield. Generally subtle philosophical discussions are held in calm environments and leisurely spells. In spite of the fact that the situation here is entirely different, neither Krishna nor Arjuna has allowed fullness and sublimity of the discussions and the messages imparted to suffer the least.

The first question of Arjuna has its special note: sthitaprajnasya samadhisthasya ka bhasha– “What is the description of the sthitaprajna seated in samadhi?” In other words, how would Krishna describe the Yogic Knower absorbed in samadhi?” One’s prajna (consciousness) becomes sthita (steady and still) only in samadhi. At all other times the prajna will remain active, generating thoughts and reflections. So the sthitaprajna will not be able to speak or describe his state himself. His sthitaprajnata has to be described by another person, who knows about it well. By wording the question in this manner, Arjuna shows how keen he was in listening to Krishna.

Vedavyasa, too, is showing his great insight and purpose while penning the whole dialogue. More than sketching the biography of the rulers and the ruled of his time, the Sage intends to lay down before the people of the land a message that would last for all times. The intricacies of human behaviour, the sublime purpose of all our interactions, the hidden potential the human personality contains and hosts within itself, how this can be brought to manifest in all relevance and usefulness, ultimately how the individual has the full scope to outlive and assimilate all challenges and inputs from the world around him, these and allied questions are clearly set forth in the narrations of Vedavyasa, whatever be the scenes and events before him.

Philosophy is truly a complement to our external life. It is not to be read and reflected in the leisure of retirement. Instead, it is to be read and applied to the actual needs and riddles of life right from early stages. Arjuna’s enquiry focuses these points with an emphasis that is hardly found elsewhere.

In the next question of Arjuna, he has used a different note and basis. The sthitadhee can speak himself, because he is no more in his sthitaprajna state of samaadhi. His speech naturally will strike a difference from that of the rest. What is that difference? Sthitaprajna will be still and absorded into himself. The sthitadhee is not so. He can be quite vocal and even eloquent. Arjuna wants to know how will the sthitadhee take his rest. In other words, what will be his mind like when he stops his activities any time and withdraws into restfulness? Will his mind be brooding and bothering in the same way as that of the ordinary people? Or there is a clear distinction? And lastly, how will he move about, conduct his vyavahara, without causing any disturbance to his own sthitaprajnata treasure. He can even be a greatly helpful source for others. With his unique attainment, he can immensely contribute to the inner welfare of others around.

On close analysis, Arjuna’s questions cover what a seeker wishes to know about the supreme spiritual state. They are also meant to throw light on how a Knower distinguishes himself from the rest of mankind, both in the matter of inward absorption and external interactions. Where lies the difference between a spiritual Knower and a non-Knower? Do spiritual life and its fulfillment pose a conflict to the life in the world? Will life in the world and the interactions it warrants bring about any dislodgement for the Knower from this inward state? Will the world also find the Knower’s presence and movements any disturbance or disharmony? Or, these will be enriching to the world too? How does the Knower ensure that his pursuit of activities in the external world does not disturb him, instead it turns out to be a great enrichment to his life of spiritual enlightenment?

In short, Arjuna is requesting Krishna to give a full description of the sthitaprajna state, samaadhi, and also about the sthitadhee state. One refers to the individual’s inward absorptional state and the other to the interactional life of the Knower.

By getting ample clarification in this manner about both aspects of Yoga – the absorptional and interactional aspects – the study and pursuit of saadhana will stand to derive more depth and comprehensiveness. So Arjuna’s enquiries are quite timely, relevant and useful to all seekers of spiritual wisdom and yoga. We have quite a number of Upanishads, where Self-knowledge and Self-Knowers are presented and explained. But the words sthitaprajna and sthitadhee are not mentioned in them. These two concepts, especially the background in which they are presented here in Geeta, throw special light on the whole subject of Self-knowledge and Self-Knower.

Krishna always deals with Arjuna’s enquires and questions carefully and well, thereby fulfilling the questioner as well as enriching the subject of discussion greatly. After Krishna began his exposition from the 11th verse of this chapter, this is the first significant question Arjuna raises. Briefly but fully Krishna gives his answer:

प्रजहाति यदा कामान् सर्वान् पार्थ मनोगतान् ।
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ट: स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ।।

                                                                                                  Bhagavad gita (2.55)

When one renounces all desires born of the mind and rejoices by himself on his own Self, he is considered a sthita-prajna.

Krishna emphasizes here only two points in describing the sthita-prajna state. All the desires have to be renounced. After so renouncing, the seeker must be able to take his repose on his own Self within. And in so doing, he must find all the delight and fullness he seeks and yearns for. Leave everything and all, and rest upon your own inward Self. Such restfulness must be delightful, so much so that the seeker will not feel like having anything else for his satisfaction.

The mind has first of all to be disconnected from all the desires it fosters towards things of this world or the other world. Any desire is a desire indeed. And it has the sure effect of disturbing the mind. The only way to make the mind undisturbed is to keep away all desires. In any kind of desiring, the mind gets drawn outside.

A question may arise now: Is the desire for Self-realization also to be renounced? Well, if it is a desire, that is not good. In trying to realize the Self, why should one foster anything like a desire at all? In looking at your body, is there any question of desiring at all? To look at your own mind likewise, does not imply any desiring. So too, to look at the Self within and try to realize what it is, why should any desire be there? Generally you desire to get at some place away from where you are, or you desire to get an object which is different from you. Where the thing sought is different from you, a desire for it is possible and relevant. But in striving to realize your very Self, the Self that you already are, where is the need for any desire at all? You can have an urge for it, an impetus or compulsion for it. That is no desire.

Desire is something that pulls or pushes the mind away from its centre and leads it elsewhere. But here the process is just reverse. The mind, if at all, must get to its own centre, its own essence and being. That process is certainly different from desiring.

Krishna clearly states that after the mind gets rid of the desiring habit and desires, it should become self-seated and in that self-seatedness, the seeker should find all the delight he needs, to make him remain immersed within himself. This point is quite important and clear.

Every day we go into deep sleep for several hours. In sleep (sushupti), the mind itself ceases to be, it becomes extinct, not to speak of the desire it generates. Unmindful of the body, mind and intelligence, the sleeper sleeps to get lost into himself. In what way does this deep sleep state (sushupti) differ from sthita-prajna state? In the suspension of desires, in their disappearance for a while, sushupti and sthita-prajnata may be held to be the same, or nearly so. Even to say this is not true, because sushupti is a biological development. When the body gets tired after being wakeful and active, the biological system sends it to sleep, a state of utter restfulness. It is not something that we generate. Sushupti is a regular state we have just like wakefulness, as a counterpart of wakefulness. Like dream and wakefulness, sushupti is also a state, repetitive in nature, and even periodical. All the three appear in sequence and complement one another. By sleeping for hours together, no special change is brought to the mind, its structure and function. Also, it is not a condition that one should leave all his desires, in order to get into sushupti.

In sthita–prajnata, the whole development starts with an effort – the clear discrimination to eliminate desires; and as a result desires become extinct in the end. It is not then like one slipping into sushupti to forget everything and remain dead to the world and environments for a while. The similarity between sushupti and sthitaprajnata is that in both there is no awareness of the objects outside. The difference between the two is that in sushupti one becomes unconscious of himself, whereas in sthita-prajna state one remains fully conscious of himself. In addition, the sthita-prajna enjoys full delight born of himself, his Self.

What is such an awareness-full, delightful withdrawal? And why are people missing it throughout their life? Can the Self of one bring such an all-inclusive delight, as to exclude the need and company of all things, which he otherwise interacts with? All these questions have their full answer in the sthita-prajnata the seeker is able to gain within himself.

Explained just in 32 poetic letters, Krishna’s description of the “samadhistha-sthitaprajna” is verily a synopsis of all that the Upanishads point out, explain and reveal in various ways.

Our consciousness generally moves about in three states, each different from the others. Wakefulness is the state in which grossness and externality prevail. Only when one wakes up, his waking consciousness brings in the presence and perception of the external objects, including earth, water, fire, air and space. So the entire gross world is a result and outcome of our wakefulness, wakeful consciousness.

But does this wakefulness remain unbroken forever? In fact, whenever wakefulness takes place, it can only be from and after sushupti (deep sleep). Jagrat (wakefulness) cannot be except as a contrast and succession to sushupti. If jagrat is broadbased, external and gross, sushupti is just the opposite of these. In sushupti one remains drawn into himself, subtle and internal, so much so that he does not even know that he is. None says, or can say, that ‘I am sleeping’, ‘I am in sushupti’. The awareness of sushupti comes to us only after we wake up from it. Wakefulness alone is the state in which we have ‘current awareness and knowledge’.

Inasmuch as we have this sushupti state, just like the jagrat state, and that also lasts every time for hours, can we allow the waking state all its seeming value and relevance as we do now? In judging the value and truth of existence of objects, we cannot become blind or partial. A judgement based solely on our jagrat state will not be adequate. The parallel state of sushupti should also become equal ground in making our assessment. And sushupti completely negates the entire waking state realities. If the existence of objects including our own body was absolute, then when we, the perceivers, go into sushupti state, how does none of these objects, including our body, seem to exist and get felt at all? Does the object world come first before us, or we first wake up ourselves, and then alone perceive the gross existence?

Our waking or sleeping does not depend upon the existence of anything other than ourselves. The inward states are brought about by every individual himself. As we wake up ourselves, so also do we get into sleep all by ourselves. Whether any object exists outside or not, one can and does slip into sushupti. Do not people sleep while travelling? Even when some one dear and near is present nearby and a dialogue goes on with him, sometimes one slips into sushupti, to the surprise of all concerned!

Similarly wakefulness also sets in all by itself. One wakes up himself, as he went into sleep, and then begins to feel the presence of his body and the rest of objects around.

There is another state in between, the dream state, svapna. Svapna is a sate in which the dreamer, unlike in sushupti, wakes up into a new world, similar to the waking world but different from it, to enjoy and suffer the activities and interactions taking place exclusively there. The dream objects, interactions and the resulting experiences often, rather invariably, invalidate and contradict the wakeful objects and interactions with them and the resulting joy and suffering. This is similar to the waking world invalidating and contradicting the dream world. But the waker and dreamer are the same. Naturally the truth of both the states – jagrat and svapna –– perceived by him remains the same, because, the test of any existence is its experience by oneself. Waking world derives its status because it is perceived by us. Dream too has its similar status on the ground of being perceived by us.

Besides these two mutually invalidating and contradictory states is the sushupti state, in which both the waking world and dream world are completely negated, and the waker and the dreamer remains all by himself, to be the only subject, devoid of all object connections and consequences. The waking and dream objects together with the interactions and resulting experiences subsist solely on the subject waker and subject dreamer. Without the subject, neither can ever be. Whereas in sushupti, the subject sleeper remains all by himself. Like the objects depending upon the subject (in jagrat and svapna) the subject does not depend upon the objects (sushupti)

Sushupti is thus the full and independent state of the subject. It is this subject alone that brings about by itself, for itself, in itself, the wakeful and dream state, without any kind of linkage with anything else. In waking the grossness and externality of objects prevail, whereas in svapna, the objects remain within the body and as such are subtle in nature. Even the externality we experience during dream reigns within the body. Dream is in fact a sheer expanse within the gross body. Yet the objects of dream are felt to be external. The internal dreamer and waker, produces, all in himself, the externality in both states.

The comparison of the three states goes a step further. Only in jagrat we have the awareness that ‘I am awake’, ‘I am doing this, experiencing this....’. While dreaming,  the dreamer does not feel that ‘I am dreaming’. It is instead to him a waking state itself. Only when he wakes up, he realises that he was in a dream state. So in dream he does not have the current awareness about what he is, as happens in waking.

In sushupti, it is not at all so. He does not have any awareness at all as he will have in waking or dream. Unaware of anything outside or inside, doing nothing, knowing nothing, he sleeps, to feel on waking up that he was sleeping. It is this lack of awareness that poses the problem, the only problem, in understanding the ‘I’, the sleeper, dreamer and waker. This constant ignorance is what the sthita-prajna state removes outright.

The subject, the Self, reveals itself in all its fullness and delight. ‘Atmani eva atmana tushtah’ denotes this self-revealing and self-delighting situation. Thus, in this single verse, Krishna presents not only the yoga state of fullness but also the spiritual and philosophical goal discussed and revealed in the Upanishads and allied scriptural texts.

 

 

 

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

  

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Vicharsetu
Vicharasethu 
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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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 ....

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