"Your mind has enormous hidden dimensions. Open yourselves completely to whatever reactions and emotions the world evokes from time to time. Accept them all without any reservation or resentment. By assimilating everything and all, your mind grows deeper, stabler and more enriched."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 05 Jan 2016 - A Pure Mind itself is the Self
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    I don’t know whether you compare notes on the basis of whatever I am taking in the evening in the form of a discussion on meditation, mind etc.

    See, while discussing meditation I was saying that the mind will issue forth, you will have to bring it back and you will bring it back to the self again and again, again and again. So there seems to be a self and also the mind. The mind goes disconnected from the self to be occupied with the objects in the form of desires etc. This mind will have to be dissuaded from that process and brought back and tied to the self. This is one proposition. If you succeed in doing this, the mind will become calm and in that calm, the best of sukha will approach you by itself. And that sukha is the brahma-sukha. This much we said.

    I was taking another verse from the fifth chapter and telling you that kāma and krodha are the two urges the mind constantly brings about. These urges create havoc. So the mind should be first of all told not to court and indulge in kāma-krodhās. So, what is the trouble for us? The trouble is mind itself generating obstruction, hindrances and clouding. So altogether we have only the mind. That mind by its own potential creates kāma and krodha and these urges bring about so much of havoc that we lose all our peace, composure.

    So the focus should be the mind itself. The mind is the source initially of kāma-krodhās, passion and prejudice. You don’t go for any other point here. It is just like clouded, dirty water. Water is very much there but it remains clouded. It remains dirty. Compared to the quantity of the water, the dirt will be very, very small. But nevertheless it has dissolved into the water that the water has lost all its purity and purpose also. So what you have to do is somehow filter the water and remove the impurity.

    Here you are not involved at any time in any substance other than the water. You are filtering the water alone and after filtering you are getting some sediments. You remove the sediments. It will be a very small percentage of the total quantity of water and pure water is there. Why don’t you get focused on this point?

    When I say the self, self, self, self, it becomes, to some extent inconceivable. In another sense, it is very, very distant, complicated. But here there is no complication at all. Mind itself is the sole product. It is impure now. It has to be made pure. And the impurity is not a foreign or an alien product. The impurity is its own making. The mind produces desires, produces hatred and these forces obstruct the very functioning of the mind.

    I think there is something very substantial to understand. The sādhana will become easier, faster and very, very specific because you have to only focus upon the mind. People are raising questions like “body, mind, intelligence, soul.” Then what? “Causal body, subtle body, transmigration, I have got it from my parents, grandparents, their parents, so many janmās.” And where is the storehouse? Nobody knows. “The universe contains so many store houses of different souls and after the body falls our soul goes to our respective store house and then collects, comes again.” See, all cock and bull story. Why should you worry about all this?

    कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् ।
    अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् ।।
    kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām
    abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ vartate viditātmanām
     

    That’s all! When the mind becomes pure and purified, that pure mind itself is the self. The word self means what – the selfness of anything is called the self. There is an unchangeable, content, essence in every product. That is considered to be the self. I call it “Itselfness of a thing is called the self.”

    So the mind has got an essence of itself. That essence is the self. That essence is not different from the mind. It is inlaying the mind. So will you discuss this, try to understand this? Don’t ask me how kāma and krodha can be attenuated or reduced. If you start thinking “My kāma and krodha should become less”, they will become less. If you think they should become more, you inflame them, they grow. It is so simple and so fast like this. There should be no difficulty at all!

    But our books give a lot of procedures etc. but they also list the singular aphorisms here and there. The success lies in getting hold of them and practicing them. This is something very, very important. Please grasp it. All of you have come here, you are free, try to discuss it, collectively if necessary, groups if necessary and get at the right formula.

    See, we are all moving about in the Ashram doing many, many different items of work. I always say though we are doing different types of work, all our work are revolving around one center. The segments may be many but all the segments are equally subsisting upon the one center. That central fact is the spiritual gain. Whether we are reading a letter, welcoming people, talking to them, discussing the wages of the workers, buying materials from the shops, whatever we do, it is all to enable this Ashram life. So everything that we do is that loka-saṅgraha as we call it.

    Whatever we write, we write only spiritual subjects. Suppose people come here and they enter into so many different types of conversation we may not like it. Even our retreat functions, we are not interpolating the functions with any kind of a bodily or other exercises. We tell them “You take the bodily exercises in your room.” If anybody has any particular enquiry they come to my office and I tell them “This is what you can do.” Sometimes I show them also. But we don’t make it a public discussion.

    Similarly no physical exercise should be interfering our knowledge exposure. This is meant for the mind and the intelligence. People who are attuned to it, people who have the necessary IQ, affinity for it, they alone will be benefited. This is how everybody should do – have a relaxed mind because your mind is going to be the focus, and then love people, adjust themselves with them, accommodate them, be considerate to the others, do not speak harshly, even if you happen to speak, later on mend it by polite and affectionate words. See, every time the mind has to become better and better and better. You start and even little by little, digital percentages, fractional percentages; you will find the mind will improve.

    So for me I can tell that whatever I do, wherever I do, it makes no difference at all because the mind apparently is peaceful, poised. A little angry also I can become. Even if I get a little angry, I don’t find any difference at all. It is just like deep breaths, sudden breath, suppose you are climbing, then there is even palpitation, the breath will be faster, faster, faster. So that is part of nature as long as you don’t hate anybody, others feel that you are loving them, considerate to them.

    Sacrifice is a great watchword for us. Suppose you give everything that you have for the sake of another, you know, you will still have a feeling of relief. “After all I did not do it for me. I gave it.” That’s all. So the more and more you remember it, the happier and happier, greater and greater relief you have, happier you feel.

    So this kind of a simple, natural, expansive life, a life of purity, what is the problem in leading it? You love your wife purely, you love your children purely, don’t block the love for the others. As you love your children, you should feel all the more love for the others. “Just like I have love for my children, others have love for their children.” So you should appreciate it. So I think it is a process of expansion, ease, felicity, happiness, very nice! I don’t find anything irksome in spirituality at all. It is so very good. Of course, to find it so perhaps I did a lot of introspection, my head had become hot, I don’t remember it now. It is so very beautiful, nice!

    So understand this, I will speak again today. I will be speaking on the mind by bringing some other verse from Bhagavad Gita.

    kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām
    abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ vartate viditātmanām
     

    The so called redemption, blissfulness, it should encircle you wherever you go, whatever you do. Not that you go to it. It accompanies you wherever you go. Try it.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 04 Jan 2016 - Post Meditational Introspection
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    I will continue the discussion which we had last night. These are some very, very sublime and subtle points which every one of you should spend a lot of time to absorb. After you absorb it, the knowledge remains constant with you. Then the question of applying it, applying it, applying it arises.

    What is the difference between meditation and the non-meditational hours? In the meditational hours, the mind and the intelligence tries spiritually in the absence of sensory and bodily activities. The sensory and bodily activities are totally stopped, arrested and the mind and the intelligence strive completely without any diversion or distraction in the spiritual way. That is called meditation.

    Now, what about the non-meditational hours? In the non-meditational hours, the senses and the body are acting and interacting. So the mind cannot exclusively strive for spirituality. So we must develop a bridging. What is that bridge? We must bring the non-meditational, active and interactive spell under the meditational fold. How can it be had? That is where you must have an expanse in your mind.

    What is this whole world? This whole world – is it secular or divine? Generally we consider things like the world and worldly to be secular and then we think God and godly things to be divine. But, what about this world? This world is actually divinity itself in a concrete, gross, manifest form.

    Gold by making it into an ornament and wearing it, it does not lose its gold-ness. Water by flowing as a river does not lose its waterness. Fire, by making it functional in various forms does not loose either its heat or its brilliance. Likewise, God by manifesting Himself as the world, matter, energy, pancabhūtās etc., He has only demonstrated that He can also become solid and gross. But what has become solid and gross is God Himself.

    So by looking at the world we need not say it is separate from, distanced from God.  It is just like water becoming cold, it turns into solid, white ice. But the water-ness in it, it’s true character does not change. Similarly this world is God alone manifested. And what are you? You are only one small item in this world. So either you or the world with which you interact, neither can become secular. Both of them are equally divine. It is within the fold of divinity that you do whatever you like or whatever you want.

    Can you develop this kind of a comprehensive thinking as a result of which whatever I try to achieve in my meditation, the same thing I am trying to pursue in the non-meditational hours also but coupled with sensory and bodily activities and interactions? Bodily and sensory interactions and activities do not change my divine character or the world’s divine nature.

    Is it that while sleeping alone I am ‘I’? When I wake up I became non-‘I’? When I dreamt, I became non-‘I’? in sleep I was totally absorbed in myself, non-active I was. But in the wakefulness I am wakeful and I am interactive. Both are equally potentials and possibilities of my personality. Whatever I was in sleep, the same thing I am in waking, equally the same thing I am in dreaming. Wakefulness shows one possibility and potential of myself. Dream shows another possibilities and potentials of myself.

    What does dream show? The dream clearly evidences that I am capable of creating the whole world without any assistance. Here in the wakefulness it apparently means I am interacting with things which I have not created. They are already there. “It is not so! The creator is the same.” is the truth evidenced by dream. In the dream, all the products I have created. In the wakefulness also all the products you have created.

    So can you bring the post meditational, active and interactive spell also under the meditational fold is a question that you should take up. Go on introspecting over it as much as you want until at last you start feeling that “In meditation I am dissociated with activity and interaction and still I meditate. But in wakefulness I am associated with activities and interactions. This association does not in any way change my seeking character or the sādhana I am doing. I have to transform my post-meditational active spell in such a manner that it will continue to be an extension of my meditative sadhana.”

    I wonder whether you get my point. My dear souls, unless you are able to break this feeling of difference, I think the great loss that we are suffering from cannot be redressed.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 03 Jan 2016 - Introspection is not different from Meditation
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    I was speaking about introspection, how important, exclusive and wholesome it is. Somewhere on listening to it I think it was Uma who developed or who grew a question on it. If introspection is so important and it is inevitable, necessary and wholesome, is it by itself sufficient and no meditation is called for? Apparently somewhat like this was the question. I shall give you the answer for it.

    The word introspection has to be understood. Then only it can be practiced well. All our interactions are to a very large extent or almost exclusively sensory. Now I am speaking to you and interacting with you in a way making you listen to what I say. In doing this you should understand I am using my mouth and tongue. Now this is a bodily act.

    Suppose you want to do introspection, to help you, you start reading the book. That is also a sensory activity. In order to help introspection you will have to read books or listen to somebody speak, your Guru or a Mahatma’s speech. When he speaks, you look at him, that is a visual interaction. You hear him, it is an auditory interaction. Side by side, you also receive the words and try to understand them. That is a mento-intellectual exertion.

    Now when from this interactional level we recede to the introspectional level, when you do introspection by yourself, the physical body or senses are not involved. Introspection is done primarily by the mind and intelligence. So it is an internal activity.

    What will you introspect on? You will introspect on the truths that you have heard. And what are the truths? In the four Vedas, there are four mahāvākyās. The first mahāvākya is “prajñānam brahma”. The supreme reality is in the nature of knowledge. So your introspection should take you to this concept. ‘I want to get hold of Brahman and Brahman is in the nature of knowledge. Where is this knowledge? In order to have knowledge what should I do? I must take up the knowing process – enquiry. Enquiry is purely and solely a mental, intellectual activity.’ So you recede from sensory activity and you get focused on inner activity.

    In the inner activity too, introspection can be a little spread out, plural. You can think of many concepts, try to rationalize them, arrive at one concept. And what is that one concept? Prajñānam brahma.

    The next is ‘Aham brahmāsmi’. I myself am Brahman. So your introspection should recede to ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I am Brahman’. So Brahman is myself. What is this ‘I’? What is this ‘am-ness’? Does the ‘I’ express itself as ‘am’? What is the difference between ‘I’ and its ‘am-ness’?

    Suppose you start introspecting in this manner, the introspection will become briefer and briefer, lighter and lighter, shorter and shorter, until at last what will happen? The very introspectional process will stop. If you have to know ‘I’ and ‘am’, ‘I am’, that ‘am-ness’ it comes from the ‘I’. So what is this ‘I’?

    In order to understand the ‘I’, you have to leave every thought process. When you are thinking, this ‘I’ is thinking. When you are feeling, this ‘I’ is feeling. Now we have to transcend the feeling, transcend the thinking, transcend the memorizing and reach the source ‘I’. Does it not mean meditation?

    So introspection itself when it is closely followed, it becomes nidhidhyāsana. There are three steps. One is śravaṇa – listening to the truth from the Guru. After listening, stabilizing it by your own introspection – manana. And the manana itself resolves into nidhidhyāsana. In the nidhidhyāsana you only contemplate upon the truth. Here the truth is ‘I’. Does it not automatically mean that the whole mento-intellectual process will recede?

    See, here is a verse from Kaṭhopanishad.

    यदा पञ्चावतिष्ठन्ते ज्ञानानि मनसा सह ।
    बुद्धिश्च न विचेष्टति तामाहुः परमां गतिम् ।। २.३.१० ।।
    yadā pañcāvatiṣṭante jñānāni manasā saha |
    buddhiśca na viceṣtati tāmāhuḥ paramām gatim ||
    (Kathopanishad 2.3.10)
     

    When the five senses remain quiet, non-active.

    Manasā saha, along with the mind. So the senses and the mind should remain non-active.

    Buddhiśca na viceṣtati, even the buddhi, intelligence becomes non-active. So what does it mean? The senses – non-active, mind – non-active and buddhi – non-active.

    When all the three are non-active like this, tām āhuḥ paramām gatim. That is the supreme state.

    Suppose you introspect over this statement, what will you do? If the introspection becomes true, ‘oh, my senses have to be non-active. So let me not do anything with the senses. No seeing, no hearing, no smelling, no touching, no tasting. Then mind also should not do anything. So no thinking, no enquiry. The intelligence wants to know. Even the knowing effort and curiosity should stop. So senses stop, mind stops, intelligence also ceases.’ In that state, you have the supreme. This is how introspection becomes meditation.

    But when you go to a Guru, he cut shorts all these elaborate processes and initiates you into a sādhana and that sādhana you hold on to and never be misguided with regard to that by any statement elsewhere.

    So the long and short of what I am saying is when introspection becomes refined and refined and refined, automatically it becomes meditation. Not only meditation, it becomes samādhi. When you get into the ‘I’, that is the source of all your activity, interaction, memory, knowledge, dream, wakefulness, sleep. When you get into that ‘I’, is it not full absorption into your being? That is why it is said, jñeyam tasya āntarevāsti.

    If you follow introspection in the true sense, then you will find whatever you seek to know is in the very introspection itself. We want to know what thinks, what enquires, what understands, what sleeps, what dreams and what is wakeful? So the introspection itself is such that it reveals to you what you want to know. That revelation will be in a state of absorption and inwardness.

    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...

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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 Yogavasishtha Ramayana 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

 

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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