"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."

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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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  • Jñāna Yajña USA | 30 Aug - 25 Sep 2017 18-08-2017

    Poojya Swamiji accompanied by Nutan Swamiji and Mā Gurupriyāji will travel to USA for the 2017 Jñāna Yajña. Poojya Swamiji and Mā will start on 02 Sept and return to Ashram by 28 Sep. Nutan Swamiji will start on 25 Aug and return to Ashram by 15 Sep.

  • Brahmavidya Classes Online 02-09-2017

    In line with the mission of Sampoojya Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha Ji of lokasaṅgraha classes based on the scriptures, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and the like, are being webcast live from Narayanashrama Tapovanam.

  • Enlightened Living | Jamshedpur | Oct 2017 08-09-2017

    Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha Ji will conduct a residential course "Enlightened Living" from 15th to 29th Oct. Participation requires prior registration. There is no charge for participation.

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 07 Feb 2016 - Yoga is Attainment of the Intelligence
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    Yesterday I told you about our tradition, so many different types of practice etc. Our scriptures or sastras are wonderful. The people who evolved the sastras always had a very, very catholic mind. They embraced the whole of humanity and they also took into consideration the assorted nature of mankind. We cannot argue with anybody saying, “Why are you thinking like this? Why are you thinking like this? Why are you like this?” Who will explain? One has got a thieving tendency; another does not have. Who will have what tendency - Who determines this?

    In a very good family, sometimes you will find a mischievous child born. And in a mischievous family, sometimes a very good child also will be born. We cannot explain the varietal expression. But one point I generally emphasize is that nature is abounding in variety and the expression of variety of nature will be there in all fronts. In the human beings, it becomes most complex. An elephant is supposed to be “elephant-ly;” a squirrel is supposed to be only “squirrel-ly.” A deer “deer-ly.” We don’t expect a deer to change into a lion or a lion to change into a deer. But in the case of man, he has the option of changing from anything to anything. Our success lies in improving and becoming better and better. Sometimes this does not happen.

    A society which has become very innocuous, good, and benign – if it continues to be like that, after sometime it will decline. It is just like the pendulum, from one extreme to the other; from that extreme to this. If there is movement, the movement cannot be always in a straight line. Suppose you make a road. You will have to make a road in the existing terrain, and whatever the terrain allows, that you will have to make. So, there will be a number of curves, bends etc. Without them, if you want to make a road, you may not make it at all, because the land should be available, the expenses should be considered; many factors are there. So our sastras, dealing with all these things, understanding these things, they embrace all people. And that is why you will find a number of rituals are there – each ritual, enjoined with a certain result or objective. And only because of the objective, people perform the rituals and they want to. So, the sastras allow them to perform.

    But you will find the sastras also make an analysis of the rituals and their rewards. When they make the analysis, they are very, very critical, extremely critical. These rituals serve no purpose at all; anyone who follows them will not have the intelligence level and clarity; if you want to have clarity, you have to approach the subject in a different manner. So, so many things are there.

    So in Srimad Bhagavatam, at one point it says: Karma mokshāya karmāni. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.44). Karma mokshāya karmāni. The very purpose of doing karma, action, is to get free from actions. The purpose of doing karma is to grow indifference to the very karma, and then, leave it in the end. Karma moksha, redemption from karma is the very goal of karma. When I said this, one of the listeners, he became so curious and so involved that he wanted to know more about it – “Swamiji, where is it? What is it?” Etc. He came here with one or two people for a discussion; spent a few hours.

    In Bhagavad Gita, in the second chapter, when Sri Krishna explains who is a man of stable mind, stable-minded man, stable-intellected man,” he concludes it saying that

    श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला ।
    समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि ॥ २-५३ ॥
    śruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā |
    samādhāv-acalā buddhis-tadā yogam-avāpsyasi || 2.53 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 2.53)

    That is the level of yoga attainment where, (mark my words), where śruti-vipratipannā te buddhi – your intelligence which is now assailed by the conflicting and crisscross statements and declarations of the sastras, the buddhi which is now unsettled by, shaken by, the crisscross and conflicting or plural statements of the saastras; when that buddhi becomes stable and poised; when that buddhi, at present shaken by the conflicting versions of the sastras takes to its own solid position and is able to remain unflickering, unassailed, still, and poised; that poise of the intelligence with its own clarity and depth, that is called yoga.

    So, yoga is an attainment of the buddhi, intelligence where it remains firm, stable, and poised. There are many things to shake up the intelligence. For a seeker, ultimately, it is various statements about seeking, progress, attainment etc. So you will find, the sastras are quite capable of shaking your intelligence. When that unsettlement dissolves in your own source and you are able to feel poise and the clarity of poise or poised clarity – that is called yoga. I think this is a statement a good seeker will have to reflect upon very seriously and apply it to himself.

    At another point he says, just like the flame of a lamp placed in a windless place will remain unflickering, this is the nature of a Yogi and Yogi’s inside.

    Yoga is not anything like an attainment of something away from you. It is nothing to be attained different from you, away from you as a goal, walking towards it, getting it, like going to a shop and purchasing an article, or walking a distance and reaching a destination, producing by a process a raw material into a product. No, no, no, no! It is like the universal space, inter-penetrating and surrounding everything. The soul in you is even more all-pervading. If that is the case, what do you have to attain? Nothing! Then what is attainment? The attainment is the unflickering nature of your own intelligence, which is normally given to a number of fluctuations and undulations. Because, interactions with the world are bound to unsettle you.

    यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता ।
    योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः ।।
    yathā dīpo nivāta-stho neṅgate sopamā smṛtā |
    yogino yata-cittasya yuñjato yogam-ātmanaḥ || 6.19 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 6.19)

    This is from the sixth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. At another point in the sixth chapter he says, in meditation also, what do you ultimately have to do? Na kinchit-api chintayet. Do not think of anything. Think, but nothing. These are considered to be the supreme attainments according to our own sastras. But our sastras also have a preceding facet where these rituals and ritualistic involvements are discussed. A good and a wise man will approach them and find out, if such supreme truth they have disclosed, what is the relevance of these rituals? Actually this is what everybody should ask. But nobody asks. Nobody asks. And after asking, what should he do? He should become indifferent to everything. What is everything? Indifferent to his interactions with the world on the one hand, and even the rest of. Everything is interactions within the world.

    Then the question arises – after such indifference, what will a man do? Now, that is the question – how will a man of self-realization live and move in this world? To have realization is one, to live with that realization is another. It is like science and technology. That is where our sastras are very, very clear and vociferous in explaining how it should be. Actually Bhagavad Gita excels in this explanation. But one has to spend time, read it, understand it. Invariably you may not be able to understand it yourself. You will have to go to a sadguru and he will explain to you. At least, if he cannot explain, he will say, “I don’t know.” At least that much he will say.

    Even now there are some points in our sastras for which no authentic description can be given. But it is mentioned there. So they will say, it is there; we are not going to say “yes” or “no” about it, but they are there. But we are not concerned about it. Our pursuit and fulfillment take place in spite of anything about them. In this way, it is a very, very interesting process to process oneself through the scriptural revelations.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 06 Feb 2016 - Self-Knowledge is Equal to Evenness of the Mind
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    You know, I am repeatedly thinking about why the people associated with us including the inmates here, they are not able to progress in the manner in which they desire in this wonderful path of self-delightfulness. I am repeatedly thinking about it. Naturally, a number of innovative thoughts come to my mind. I have been speaking about mind and its role, importance, for many, many, many days, weeks, months and perhaps even years. Even then, I don’t think my listeners have got a clear idea as to what is meant by this mind and how it becomes important. In any living being, in any living being, naturally more so in the case of human beings, mind is the sole focus of life.

    It is true that we have a body and the body is born into the earth. The earth is surrounded by a number of physical entities like celestial bodies. We have the basic panchabhutas also. When you open your eyes and look at, instantly it is this physical world and physical presence that come to your mind. But mind you, they come to your mind! Not that your body goes to them. None of the existences leaves its place. We are experiencing everything within our body in the level of the mind. This mind is the sole fulcrum, pivot and everything of life.

    When you think of a circle and its center, think of a paper or a boat, put a dot there, now you decide to draw a circle using that dot point. Then it becomes a center. And with an equal distance, you draw a line from the center, automatically it becomes the circumference. The point is there on the paper. The circle you draw, the effort is also on the paper by your hand and the formation of the circle is also on the same paper. So the point is external there. Your hand is external, gross and physical. The line you draw is also physical and the circle formed is also physical. Very good. But when it comes to a question of our experiencing anything, then nothing external is there.

    The mind is within the body. The mind decides to see and the mind feels that the eyes have to be opened. So the eyelids are open. This decision is in the mind. The process that follows also is in the mind. That is where all people are deluded. “Swamiji, is not the process outside?” they will ask. I don’t know whether the process is outside or not, but I feel and experience it inside. The decision “I have to see, so I will open my eyelids.” The decision is mental, you will agree. Thereafter, the process that follows is also, so far as we are concerned, equally mental.

    How do you know that you have eyes? How do you know that you are opening the eyelids? How do you know that the eyes are seeing? The eyes do not tell you. The external objects do not speak to you. As the decision is mental, so the process also is. As the decision is an inner process, the process that follows, seemingly externally is also cognized and felt by the mind inside. There is no difference between the decision making and the opening of the eyelids and seeing the objects. That the eyes are being open, that the objects are being seen, and we see, the whole thing is equally mental!

    This mind is the sole focus. When will you understand this? You cannot escape it. Once it is explained to you and you are able to understand, then after understanding, it is for you to mentalize, mentalize, mentalize everything. Don’t give me any statement at all, “Swamiji, but I have intellectually understood it. Thereafter I am not able to.” What is this “intellectually understanding”? I cannot understand what is “intellectually understanding”.

    A sleeping man walks. Somnambulism is a disease. When the sleeping man walks, does he know he is walking? What is the point in walking? The other day, a carpenter came here, our ‘X’. He tells me that a relative of his, at night, he only knows that he was sleeping. But sometimes, something happened and he fell from the verandah, up below. He says “I don’t know. I don’t know about any verandah or my going, walking or anything. I only know after having fallen.” You tell me now - Did he not walk? Yes! For the others who are wakeful, if they had looked at him, they would have seen that he was walking, but his wonderful mind did not know it was walking! So you tell me, is a physical action as such important or its cognition by your mind inwardly is important? What further example do you want?

    Why I am saying this? Today also we will have a discussion on Bhagavad Gita. That is why I told you. Krishna presented the soul first and thereafter he transits into the experiential life. He relates the self-knowledge solely to the mind, solely to the intelligence, solely to wakefulness. That is the beauty of Bhagavad Gita. Self knowledge is supposed to be something that you should win by meditation. Forget about the whole world, sit in a place and contemplate upon. So it is an inner mento-intellectual process and people go on meditating, meditating, meditating, meditating, meditating, meditating and after thirty-forty years of meditation, still they do not know the truth! They are not contented.

    “I want to go more inward.”, one devotee tells me. “Swamiji, I want to go deeper, deeper, deeper.” How many kilometers inside the body you want to go in? One hundred kilometers? What is meant by deeper? How much of distance is there? I think this is an area where somehow there is a catch. So, Krishna says that this self knowledge is equal to the sublimity of the mind, purity of the mind, evenness of the mind. That evenness of the mind is really the self knowledge and self realization. Then people can understand.

    सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ ।
    ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि ।। २-३८ ।।
    sukha-duḥkhe same kṛtvā lābhālābhau jayājayau |
    tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam-avāpsyasi || 2.38 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 2.38)

    Arjuna was visualizing the war and he felt so afraid that it was a colossal scene. Krishna says, “You adopt this even attitude towards sukha and duhkha - inner, profit and loss - outer, victory and defeat - outer. Have this same evenness towards this inner sukha duhkhas and external causes. Then, the so-called religious sin you are attributing to this great colossal war completely is mitigated and wiped off.” He doesn’t bring the self here. He does not bring anything. He only dwells on the mind and then says that “This evenness of the mind practiced all-fold will be a full redress for the so-called sinfulness, colossal sin you attribute to this war.” I am wondering whether you will be able to think properly and relate the statement and apply it.

    Where is self now? He simply refers to the mind and the mind’s normal state, undulating state of the mind and he says “This is what you have to handle and bring about an evenness and a harmony.” This harmony is all that you want.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 05 Feb 2016 - Infusional Introspection is the Secret of Spiritual Sadhana
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    The one point I would like you to understand is that (I have said it many times, but this fact never goes home to people) the whole creation is nothing but matter and energy. But both of them are inert. Matter and energy could not have come from matter and energy. Then I would say, I am asking you the source of that matter and also energy.

    So, whenever we think of finding out a source of anything, that source has to be definitely different from the effect, the outcome. So, is there anything other than matter and energy which we can think of or we experience? Yes - The consciousness in our body which keeps it animate and active.

    This consciousness has only three expressional notes. Mind - It is more a functional name than a substantial name. It is called mind because of mentation. It is called intelligence or intellect because of intellection. It is called ego or ahankara because it produces the ‘I’ feeling. All these are different functional notes of consciousness itself! When the mind is functioning, intelligence cannot function. When the mind and the intelligence are functioning, that ego functioning will not be there. It is like the legs not walking while running, not running while standing, not standing while sitting, not sitting while lying. So anything can do only one function at a time.

    This consciousness is the only third factor, the other two being matter and energy. And this consciousness is the source of all matter and energy. It is also capable of creating matter and energy, a fact that we are able to understand from our dream. This consciousness itself makes our body felt and animating, activating the body, it precipitates the wakeful state. In the same manner, at the end of the wakeful state, it wipes off everything and goes into sleep. So it causes as also wipes off. But itself, it never disappears. It always remains.

    It is something like a man living in a house with three rooms. He will either be in room number one or two or three. He cannot be without any room and he can only be in one room at a time. But there is somebody called the man resident other than the rooms. He goes on transiting from one to the other. But at every point of time he will be in one room. But he will leave one and go to another, thereby indicating that he is separate from the three. This is how you find out by application of anvaya, the Turiya, the Atma, the soul.

    This consciousness alone, alone, alone, alone is there. Everything is a production, display, manifestation, creation, expression of this consciousness. Now can you understand it first? Can you pursue it next? Can you realize it in the end? This is the simple question before everyone.

    Bhagavad Gita, by a beautiful conversation, Krishna is trying into instill in Arjuna the process of truthful and infusional introspection. We are all employing our intelligence and doing intellection. But that intellection is only applied to the matter-energy world, to the external, objective, gross activities and wonderful results are there. We are travelling in the air, travelling in water, travelling on road, we are sending drones, we have send satellites to survey the whole of the earth, we can go to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, anywhere. It is all the outcome of our intelligence.

    So our intelligence has got untold potential. Use the same intelligence to do something called truthful and infusional introspection as a result of which whatever the intelligence thinks will be able to bring about a salutary effect in the mind, to sublimate the mind and take away all kinds of tension, stress, tension and stress, make the mind more moderate, more peaceful, more poised, make the intelligence more perceptive, apply the intelligence on subtle and subtler things and the subtlest is the soul.

    When the intelligence starts introspecting on the soul, its perceptional ability will be manifold. It will be almost like the Self in the end. “To know God is to become God” is a celebrated proverb. In India we say “Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati”. To know Brahman, the truth is to become the truth. So much is the effect of knowledge when it is applied in an infusionally introspecting manner. This infusional introspection is the secret of the entire spiritual sadhana. But I am sorry people don’t understand the effect of introspection. It should be infusional and the effect should be on the mind itself.

    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.

 

 

Recordings of Poojya Swamiji's Talks

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 1

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 2


 

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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