"Self-realization is meant to ensure fulfilment for one’s own self. It is not reaching somewhere or getting at something external, like going to the peak of a mountain. The attainment is in dissolving the mind and intelligence, and getting into the very core of oneself. In other words, it is like multiplying everything with zero."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

swamiji
swamiji-header-mo
Menu

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 18 Sep 2015 - Mento-Intellectual Effort to Uplift a Grieving Mind
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    See, keeping her instance in mind and what she told me and I had told her, I would like to emphasize one point. What we call spiritual wisdom is the only science and technology by virtue of which our mind, intelligence and ego are steadied, understood and harnessed more and more, more and more. Let us forget about self realization, God realization etc. Let them remain there.

    Spirituality is a subject which deals with the spiritual factors or constituents. I am using two words – spiritual factors and constituents of the whole creation. Mark my words, again, in our personality. These spiritual factors and constituents I refer to are the only constituents in the whole creation spiritually. Can you imagine? I don’t think you will get the import. 

    Sri Krishna in the seventh chapter of Bhagavad Gita goes on explaining what is creation, what is the human personality, what is meant by the interaction etc. Till then he was speaking about the soul. Now he starts entering into cosmology explaining the universe etc. and the first statement he makes is that “My prakṛti is eightfold. In the eight, five are pancabhūtās.” What are they? – The solid earth, the fluid water, the gaseous air and the energial fire, then the fifth is the ākāśa. These are the matter-energy constituents of creation wherever you go.

    Yesterday I found a satellite of Saturn photographed on the newspaper and they say NASA has released information saying that this particular planet has got an ocean there. On some day in October, the satellite which is giving them picture, it is going to be 49 kilometers close to this planet.  And it will give better pictures which may perhaps confirm or deny what they have found now.

    Why I mentioned it? Wherever you go, you will only find solid, fluid, gaseous, energial substances. The ground of all these – space. This is the external, gross, material part of creation. My dear seekers, there is nothing more, only these five. Then these are inert and insentient. So they cannot have much of, what shall I say, creativeness, imagination etc. They have to come from some other factors. What are they - mind, intelligence and ego.

    So what importance and place the pancabhūtās have in the world, even more important are the three items. What are they – mind, intelligence and ego. When you refer to them, be very sure that these three are within the human body alone. They are in no other place available, only within the human body. Whatever you see in the way of imagination, creativity, order, rhythm etc. they are not brought about by matter, they don’t have any power of conceiving, ideating. They are inert matter and energy. So if you find anything in the way of a conscious expression, it can only come from mind, intelligence and ego. And these three are within the human body.

    So you tell me, which part of creation is more important and where is that? Can you imagine the importance of a human body then? They excel the entire world of matter and energy.  Why did I say this? I said this only to make you think that, what is the potential, magnitude and amplitude of the mind and the intelligence? They are infinite!

    Now, this girl is reporting that “I am missing my father. I am a lot aggrieved”. Our mind reacts to events and developments and episodes in the world. Somewhere we are happy, in some instances we are unhappy. This is the conventional response of the mind. We don’t have to work for it. There will be pleasant things, unpleasant things and the mind will pick them up and react and respond accordingly. Now this conventional expression of the mind does not completely restrict it or complete it.

    You should understand mind has got infinite potential and magnitude. Spirituality tells you how you can deal with the conventional responses of the mind and make it more and more flexible on the one hand, assimilative on the other and get to much greater heights and excellences than you can imagine. Spirituality is a probe into this area, the inner domain where the thinking, feeling and responding mind is there, where the rational probing and understanding intelligence is there, the assertive ego also is there.

    So if the normal responses of the mind towards the episodes of life are proving troublesome to you, our mind has got the capacity to rise to a higher level of response. This is what has taken place in the Kurukshetra battlefield for Arjuna, in the palace of Ayodhya for Rama when he was sixteen years old. There was no war and there was no impending crisis except Rama’s own crisis. So Vasishta got eighteen days for exposing the spiritual wisdom to Sri Rama and it took place in the company of all the palace inmates, the father and the three mothers, the ministers, the citizenly chiefs, many people. It was an open invitation. Early in the morning, the session started. Till sunset it continued, again the next day, like that eighteen days.

    And what did Vasishta do? Vasishta was trying to, what shall I say, in the crucible of spiritual wisdom Vasishta put the raw material mind of Sri Rama and he was boiling it, purifying it, boiling it, purifying it, rectifying it until at last it became a beautiful, golden, divine product and said “You get up. Get up as a Prince. Sit on the throne when it is necessary. Rule the kingdom. Whenever any sacrifice is to be made, do not fail. Do whatever you want, whatever is necessary. And never say ‘I fail. My mind is inadequate.’”

    My dear souls, the entire secret of Rama’s excellence in life as a Prince and a King, the key to it is the conversation, the dialogue of eighteen days. Our mind can be handled only by the intelligence and the intelligence expresses itself in the way of knowledge alone. So Vasishta was spoon-feeding Rama’s mind with the knowledge using the tool of intelligence and as much as he spoke, Rama received and assimilated. And the effects were marvelous, found even by the middle of the conversation. Rama sat absorbed in his own inner bosom. Vasishta stopped his narration. When Rama and others, not only Rama, they revived their consciousness, then he continued.

    Can you imagine the effect of a spiritual dialogue? Either you hear it or you read it. There is no other way!  No other way at all! You have to be exposed to it in the hands of a good knower of truth. After listening to him you can think about it, think about it, reflect upon it, make sure that the ideas are assimilated by your system. Once it is assimilated, the structure of the mind will change.

    Suppose your blood lacks potassium and potassium is given orally or otherwise, once the potassium blends with the blood, then you will find the blood is potassium full. My dear souls, exactly in the same manner, your present worldly mind will become a supra-worldly mind by absorbing spiritual wisdom, ideas. That infusion must be had. Now I can speak to you and infuse. You must be receptive and absorbing. After that, you have to generate the thoughts yourself. Normally it is not possible. That is why we have to speak again. After sometime you will find your own mind will start generating spiritual thoughts. At one time it was absorbing. Now the assimilation has become sufficient and it begins to express, express, express, you become a spiritual person.

    If you ask me is there any magic in it? There is no magic. But it is a miracle that the mind can change. So what I have to tell this girl “As your mind is aggrieved now, grief stricken, you will find it becomes lighter, pleasant, very comfortable. But understand that there is a treatment, there is an exercise to be done.” So I told her to do an exercise for 20 or 25 minutes. I asked her “Did you do? Do you feel comfortable?” Today I found a smile in her face. Yesterday she could not smile. I said “Be smiling. This is the only treatment that you want.” Let us smile. Make a resolution that “I will never drop my smile; I will always smile come what may.”

    We cannot wait for going to heavens to be smiling. Let us smile and make the heavens follow us. And mind has got the capacity to do it, it has the potential, it has the possibility and you have to understand it and employ it. For everything human effort is the key. Here it is a mento-intellectual effort.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 17 Sep 2015 - Values are Indispensable
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    Values and disciplines are something indispensable in human life. Whenever I speak about values, I used to put it across in this manner. Whenever two or more people are living together, then value and discipline become indispensable. If they are going to live, move and work together without value, you cannot live in this world at all!

    If one person is alone, then he is free to do anything. Nobody is there to question him or say “no”. He can be naked, he can cover the whole of his body, he can be on the sun, he can be on the rain, he can swim in water without knowing how to swim and he may get drowned. Nobody is going to say that he did something wrong and he got drowned. Nobody will know about it.

    But when one more person is living together with him, then each person will have to see that his life and movements are not interfering with or obstructing the other. Suppose you are walking together. You can come close to each other but not touch each other. Not only that, some space will have to be kept in between the two, so that you may be able to wave your hands and move freely. Suppose you wave your hands, the other also moves and one hits the other, then the walking will not be possible. So discipline and values are necessary.

    Whenever there is a value properly explained, instantly the hearer or the reader will find from his mind level an emotional persuasion to accept it, understand it and accept it. Equally so, he will have an intellectual compulsion to follow it. The value should be rightly explained.

    See, it is very, very cold, extremely cold. You are not able to expose any part of your body. So you lie, covering yourself with a blanket. Normally we cover ourselves upto the neck. But the face also will get cold. Through the ear, cold may penetrate. What are you going to do? Mouth you can close, ear also you can close, eyes also you can close, but can you close the nose? Just imagine. Suppose you close the nose, then what will happen? If your cloth is not porous, then within a matter of minutes either your system will push it out or you will breathe your last. In Russia and other places where it is pretty cold, I was told that they will have even a cap for the nose but the two holes will be kept free.

    I was told that in Lahore it is pretty cold during the winter. In order to have heat, this happened something like 70 or 75 years back, a couple kept a kind of a cold-oven. They lit it and after the smoke was released they kept it in the room. Naturally they had closed the doors and windows. You know what happened? They did not get up the next morning at all. By the time people came to know and opened the door, life was not in any of the bodies. Values are always like that. They are just like nourishment to the body. In the matter of giving nourishment to the body, food should be nourishing to the body. What are the requirements of the body, all of them should be given by our food. So the food should be nourishing. You cannot take poisonous food but healthy food which will not be adverse to the well-being of the body. In the same manner, values are a nourishment to the mind and the intelligence.

    In the whole of spirituality I can think only of two valuesviveka and vairagyaViveka means the habit of discriminating between things and be guided by the knowledge you have. You may not have all the knowledge to begin with, so you will have to listen to what others say. When you are capable of thinking yourself, you will understand them and you can add to or delete from the list of values that you have taken up. It is this viveka that enables you to extract God from the world, to experience the soul from the body.

    Our body is a living body. It can also become a dead body. The difference between a living body and the dead body is that in the dead body there will be no activity, there will be no sensation, there will be nobody to use the eyes, nose and ears. In the living body, there is something or someone to sense the presence of the body and to use the organs. The difference between the living body and the dead body is that the body is activated and animated by some presence. That presence is different from the body. If that presence is different from the body, whatever happens to the body, nothing will happen to it because it is different from.

    Suppose you put on a shirt and the shirt gets torn. Will your body get torn? No. Shirt getting torn does not mean your body getting torn. You are living in a house. One portion of the house becomes discolored, is eaten up by white ants. Are you discoloured and eaten up by white ants? No. The same applies to the living presence which people generally call the soul in the body. So first of all, you understand that the body is inert and it is animated and activated by the living presence and that presence is different from the body, it only animates the body and whatever happens to the body or whatever changes come to the body, they do not affect the soul. This is the cardinal of discrimination.

    Similarly God is omnipresent. If he is omnipresent, he is present everywhere in everything. So there is no place or article or particle in the world which is not permeated by God. So I must be able to seek God in everything. It is wrong to go in search of God. It is wrong to find God particularly in an object or an article. If you think of God and find God, look for him as equally present everywhere. This is called viveka.

    And what is vairagya? Vairagya is a spontaneous reaction to the truth or fact that everything in this world including your body is subject to decay and death. There is nothing that is lasting in this world including your body and its relations. Everything is fleeting, fleeting, fleeting, fleeting. If things are fleeting, what is the point in having them? Your body is already fleeting, mind is fleeting. Suppose I acquire fleeting objects and fleeting things, by adding to my fleetingness, I am not going to have lastingness. So lastingness is opposed to fleetingness.

    So if I want to have lastingness, I have to look for something different from the fleeting things of the world including the body. This is primarily a matter of discrimination – viveka which should be taken up by the intelligence, pursued and intensified. When the viveka starts growing in your system, automatically the mind will be under its grip, the senses will be under the grip of the mind and you will find you will have a different meaning and purpose in life. It is such a natural process.

    We are human beings, not animals and birds. Naturally we have an intelligence, it has to be used. Even in object world, you will find it is the intelligence that counts. Who becomes countable in this world? Leaders, managers, creators, engineers, designers, performers. Whether it is in the civil side or criminal side, whether it is in the research side, in the administration side, anywhere and everywhere, it is the portion above the eyebrows that counts.

    So intelligence has to always look for viveka on the one hand and disciplines and values on the other. You bring anybody before me. When I explain to him a value properly, he will simply nod his head and accept it.

    A set of students from the Jamshedpur Engineering College came to me. Three or four (students). So I said “I am happy that you have come. Are you not students?”

    “Yes.”

    “Are you not good students?”

    “Reasonably so.”

    “Why are you going to the college? Is it not for gaining knowledge?”

    “Yes.”

    “So you believe in knowledge?”

    “Yes.”

    “Its efficacy?”

    “Yes.”

    “Its importance?”

    “Yes.”

    “So if I start talking to you standing firmly on the grounds of knowledge and explain to you something and you accept it, will you act according to it?”

    They said, “Yes.”

    “When I explain something to you in terms of knowledge, will you listen to it and grasp it?”

    They said, “Yes.”

    Then I began my conversation. I think knowledge, enlightenment is the greatest persuasion for anybody anytime in this world. Do you think that jailing a person, imprisoning a person is a correction? We are only preventing the prisoners from doing crimes. But if the criminal tendency has to go from their mind, some persuasion in the form of knowledge and inspiration will have to be given which will touch, move and correct their minds, sentiments and intelligence.

    So values are something like gold, more important than even gold. The practice of values is to make our life golden, angelish, appreciable even to enemies, not merely to friends. Value is such a coordinate of the human life.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 16 Sep 2015 - Have a Uniform Perception of God
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    Our country is very great. It became great because right from the prehistoric times there were thinkers, enquirers and studious seekers were there. Any good thinker will have to think about three factors. One is the world. By thinking about the world he will look for an authorship, a source for the world. We generally can create and manage maximum a small family, making a small house, nowadays the houses are condominium also. But that does not explain how this huge world came into existence and how it is governed. So the human intelligence will always want to probe into it and find out. It is thus that religious thinking transpired and so many matters, many things came around. So one subject of thinking is the world, its origin and what not!

    Another is God himself. If God has created the world, what kind of a God will he be? We know of a human mother giving birth to human beings. The female animals will give birth to animal babies. But what about God who has given birth to all kinds of creatures, matter, energy and what not! It stands to reason that, that wonderful mother or father of the universe cannot be like any human mother, animal mother or bird mother.

    Our normal cause and effect sequence completely changes. Within the cause and effect area, the effect is no other than a transformed form of the cause. But when you consider the whole universe, the cause or source of the universe cannot be any one of the things that you see here. The reason is a mother who delivers all kinds of creatures cannot be like any one of them. She has to be different from all so that she can source all. I don’t know what kind of a reason this can be described as. Whatever we see and are familiar with, that is completely negative and we arrive at a situation that, just like the tongue which tastes all kinds of tastes does not have a taste by itself, it is just zero taste so that it will be able to taste all tastes. The water is colour free so that any kind of a colour can be dissolved in it. So the equation is completely different.

    The source of the world cannot be anything like the world at all. It has to be supra-worldly. Is there anything like that? Can we have a touch and feel of it? This is what our religious thinker was up for and they were able to find an answer. What is that supra-worldly substance where it can be felt, how it is, they clearly found out and declared in the form of our Vedic and Upanishadic statements.

    Another subject of enquiry is oneself. We think that we are the body. But we are not at all! The body is an instrument in the hands of something inside the body. That inner something cannot be gross, it cannot be sensible also. These three areas of thought were sufficiently developed by our ancient people.

    Ultimately they found that the entire world is nothing but an expression of God. If God is subtle, that subtle God has condensed himself into the gross world. So in what way is the world different from God? Everything is Godly. Prahlāda tells his schoolmates, classmates,

    एतावानेव लोकेऽस्मिन् पुंसः स्वार्थः परः स्मृतः ।
    एकान्तभक्तिर्गोविन्दे यत् सर्वत्र तदीक्षणम् ।।
    etāvān-eva loke ’smin puṁsaḥ svārthaḥ paraḥ smṛtaḥ
    ekānta-bhaktir-govinde yat sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam
    (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.55)

    These are all wonderful words which call for introspection. This is the most supreme selfish gain for the human. What is that? Ekānta-bhaktir govinde, unflinching devotion to the Lord Govinda, yat sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam, that unflinching devotion means seeing Him everywhere and in all. See, this is something very important.

    He does not define that you have to think of God in any particular form, manner, style or otherwise. He says sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam. He says, you have to see Him in all places. You have to see Him in all and everything. That “all-ness” and “everything-ness” that is actually an expansion of your mind. Keeping God as a help, we are trying to develop devotion. And explaining God as all-pervading, our devotion also becomes of that measure.

    So what is this bhakti and who is this God? Yat sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam. We are now seeing or thinking of God as something very specific and different from the things you otherwise know. Take away this attitude of distinction, separation and difference. Dissolve it in your mind and find God everywhere and in all. If you want any reason or logic for it, that is available in our śāstrās. Why should you think of God in everything and all? There are reasons mentioned there.

    तुष्टे च तत्र किमलभ्यमनन्त आद्ये
    tuṣṭe ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta ādye
    (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.25)

    Prahlada says when the Supreme Lord is pleased, what is there unattainable in life? So if you want to attain, even if you want to attain something great, glorious and lasting, the way for it is, tuṣṭe ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta ādye, the primordial infinite Lord should be pleased. So your devotion should be unflinching and seeing God in everything. Do not seek him only in meditative absorption. Equally find him in the wakeful hours in your mind, in your thoughts, in your memory, in your intelligence, in everything that you perceive in this world, that all folded dimension in your worship should be developed, reached and preserved. Will you understand it this way?

    Take away all kinds of difference between God and non-God. There is nothing like a non-God. This is what Krishna explains in the ninth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. He says, “Everything in particular is myself and all things in general are also myself.” As you find God in an idol you have made, find God in the world which God has made. Tell me which is better?

    In this way, our thinkers have been wonderful people. They never spared logic and rationality in the matter of explaining devotion and religious fervor. The test for you is, are you able to have a uniform attitude, uniform perception of God in and through everything? You may ask me, “How can I see God in a murderer? How can I see God in a cruel animal which preys other animals?” These are all part of nature. God has chosen to be like that. Who are you to question it?

    So you should be able to go to a state where the mind and the intelligence will become easy and attuned. Understand it well.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

 

blk-swamiji-lt-img

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

blk-swamiji-lt-img-mob

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 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. 
 
₹100.00  

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