"Let not world-objects be your mind’s master. Let them be, if at all, subservient to the mind. To be spiritual is not to look for one’s delight and fulfillment in the objects of the world. The mind that causes delight through any object can also provide delight without such an object. Delight in reality belongs to the mind alone. It is verily mind’s own gift."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 22 Dec 2015 - The Destination to God is Your own Heart
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    We are conducting Srimad Bhagavata Tattva Sameeksha Satram for the fourteenth year in Naimisharanyam. Right from the beginning our effort and focus have been to bring forth the essential spiritual, philosophical and even devotional messages of Srimad Bhagavatam which the author Vyasa deva has depicted in various ways. It is a very long and variegated text consisting of 18000 Sanskrit verses.

    Many people do not know to read Srimad Bhagavatam in a little ordinary speed, it will take about 35 hours minimum. It contains 335 chapters. This very process of reading or even full listening is a sādhana, a discipline, a refinement.

    By multi-pronged discussions what is it that Srimad Bhagavatam tries to convey to the listener or the reader is an important point. It is not very difficult to explain. In the language of devotion it says that God is the only existence in whatever manner you think of Him. The entire world, the gross world which is endless in nature, this endless magnitude can only rest in God. It cannot rest in any kind of a piecemeal creation or matter. Mind you, it is endless. It is a very huge sphere which is not bounded. Unbounded sphere. How can it exist anywhere else or on something else? So it rests on itself like a huge circle resting on the centre. There is nothing here but God. God alone is manifesting, is displayed, is expressing Himself in whatever manner you think of Him. This is one message.

    Secondly, devotion to God may be begun from any point in any manner. But understand devotion sprouts and grows in the devotee’s heart. In other words, the master, the maker and the Lord of devotion is the devotee’s heart alone. It is for the heart to shape the devotion in the manner in which it likes.

    Though God is infinite and endless and devotion to Him is in a way hard to develop, Srimad Bhagavata says it is not so. Devotion is what you cherish in your heart. Like any other item you cherish, start cherishing devotion. It starts growing in you. And as it grows, the distance to God becomes lesser and lesser. The separation from God becomes lesser and lesser and devotion fulfills itself when the devotee is able to feel the inseparable presence and bond of God in his heart. It is something like proceeding to a destination which is at infinite distance and bringing the destination nearer and nearer to you until at last you understand my destination is my own heart within. This is an art, this is a process, this is a pursuit and this is a secret. This is what Srimad Bhagavata explains and achieves for people.

    A person who starts growing and rearing devotion of this kind, he doesn’t have to look for anything else at all. Devotion itself is a full treasure and it has got the capacity to fulfill itself. How does it fulfill itself? Is it a pious hope or a reality? This subject is repeatedly discussed by Srimad Bhagavatam. As it is devotional, pious, religious etc. it is philosophical, it is spiritual, it is rational and it is very consummating in its discussions.

    In the rational level Srimad Bhagavatam has to say that mind is the place and focus where you experience everything. Our senses are created and shaped by the mind. The senses are possessed by the mind, employed by the mind. If the mind is the author of the senses, whatever the senses capture, create and produce, the same mind is naturally the author. Because the entire world is what the senses perceive. If mind is the author and the Lord of the senses, whatever the senses produce and bring in the mind level, mind is the Lord of that also. This is a very important scientific discovery and a very, very rational analysis.

    My own body, our own body is sensed only during waking, wakefulness. The same body is totally invalidated in sleep. Both the sleep and the wakefulness arise in the mind, by the mind, of the mind. If the mind is the author of wakefulness and sleep, what do you think of the rest? The entire world is sensed in wakefulness alone. This wakefulness is an expression of the mind. The same mind or consciousness wipes off the wakefulness and goes to sleep. Then it wakes up from sleep.

    So every wakefulness is the appearance of something in between two sleeps. Wakefulness is preceded by sleep and succeeded by sleep. And the sleep is a state where the entire mind processes, reflections and experiences, all of them are wiped off. So just imagine whatever is within the body has got the capacity to generate the wakefulness and wipe off the wakefulness. Does it not therefore become the author and the creator of the world which is nothing but a handiwork of the senses? It is at that point of time that Srimad Bhagavata says

    अविद्यमानोऽप्यवभाति हि द्वयो
    avidyamāno ’py avabhāti hi dvayoh
    (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.38)

    The entire world which the senses perceive is non-existent. But it comes into existence because of the perceiving mind. It is because of our intelligence that the perception takes place.

    ईक्षेत विभ्रममिदं मनसो विलासं
    īkṣeta vibhramam-idaḿ manaso vilāsaḿ
    (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.13.34)

    The entire world and other things which you perceive, which you experience, Srimad Bhagavatam says understand that it is an illusion, vibhrama.

    Manaso vilāsaḿ. It is a display by the mind in the mind itself. These are very clear statements where philosophically, spiritually and experientially Srimad Bhagavatam affirms that everything that you experience is illusory. It is not a factual thing. It is like dream. You have a dream world, a dream house, a dream life, a dream marriage, dream children, everything else. All of them are just like they are illusory, the wakeful world also is illusory. This is the last message, repeated message of Srimad Bhagavatam.

    Though it is a devotional text, it is highly philosophical, spiritual and experiential. Because it is clothed and coated in devotion, everybody finds it very appealing, tasteful and delicious. Now we are trying to bring forth this truth and through Srimad Bhagavatam impress people with the values of our country, values relating to the individual, relating to the family, relating to the social segment, the nation, the globe, the environment, then administration. Everything included in our dharma. All these aspects are dealt with in Srimad Bhagavatam. We are trying to get it explained properly. We are not able to get always very good speakers.

    Yesterday a young boy, married of course, he was introduced to me and Vijay Menon was telling me “He is one person in spite of his age, he is able to explain Srimad Bhagavata very, very well.” We would like to have such youngster speakers who can explain the text very well. That also is not easy. Because this explanation will have to be backed by nishta, austerity, discipline, refinement which means the person will have to take up sannyāsa and make Srimad Bhagavata statements true. And sannyāsa is not a distress measure.

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

    When God is pleased there is nothing that is unattainable. To please the Lord means to have all the things that you want to have. How they come, what will be with you and what will go, never worry about it. The best will come. Ultimately even possessiveness is a hindrance. That also will have to be lost, dropped.

    So one becomes a great devotee for whom devotion itself becomes the treasure, the wish-yielding tree or kāma-dhenu. My dear souls, there is such a state of beautiful pleasantness where by the thought, by the feeling, by the devotion, by the bond of God your life becomes smooth and everything as and when necessary comes, as and when necessary goes, making you easy, comfortable, happy and fulfilled.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 14 Dec 2015 - Brahmavidya - The Strength and Inspiration of this Ashram
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    This Ashram is actually a Brahmavidya abode. Right from the beginning I did not have any idea of establishing an institution. If I were having an idea, I would have proceeded in a different manner. To establish an institution means to think constantly about the institution and to recruit or allow people to come and join us with a view to do institutional work. That would have been a little different. It is based primarily on man power, not seeking.

    Whoever has got the aptitude to work in an institution and take the institution’s ideals to the people by way of a suitable propaganda, I think it will be different. Whereas I only had one thought in my mind. In the same manner I happened to see my Gurudev and I liked him, I sought deeksha from him. After getting the deeksha for me deeksha and my Guru were everything. I did not think of anything else. It is that deeksha and the sādhana I did very fervently that you can say made me the way I was and I am.

    Naturally the thought process in me was, such seekers if they want, if nature wishes or God wishes they will come and they will seek deeksha, deeksha will be given and they will get naturally moulded by the deeksha. So it was more to help true seekers grow and become knowers. Accept seekers and make them knowers. This was the idea. I don’t think that can be an institutional work. That is why I used to say I would institute Brahmavidya in the heart and mind of the seeker and whatever comes will come.

    We started using the word institution after Mā and Nutan Swamiji came here. They are very much given to Ramakrishna Mission, the very countable institution of India in the sphere of spirituality and to some extent social service also.

    Why I am mentioning this? For me, this Brahmavidya is something very sacred. To get into the actual Brahmavidya pursuit is not at all easy. It is a great fortune to have Brahmavidya deeksha in the hands of a sadguru. Even to understand the sadguru is not easy.

    सर्ववेदान्तसिद्धान्तगोचरं तमगोचरम् ।
    गोविन्दं परमानन्दं सद्गुरुं प्रणतोऽस्म्यहम् ।। १ ।।
    Sarva-vedānta-siddhānta-gocharam tamagocharam
    Govindam paramānandam sadgurum pranato’smyaham
    (Vivekachūdamani 1)

    Says Sankara. If a Guru has to be understood, you can understand him only through ‘sarva-vedānta-siddhānta-gocharam’. His personality, his life, the intricacies of his life, his character, his behavior, his interaction, how he looks at the world, looks at the disciples, how he accepts them. The people may have something wrong, something sinful, something great, many, many things maybe there. All these things have to be properly assimilated by the Guru and the manner in which he does it, it may not be worldly, it will be supra-worldly.

    To understand all this, one has to know Vedanta as a science and as a practice himself. It is not going to be easy my dear souls. This is the type of Brahmavidya that this ashram has. We cherish it. We preserve it. We also impart it. So in our life and in this ashram Brahmavidya seeking, seekers and those people who come here, giving them deeksha is something very important. We had two sets of people this time for whom we gave deeksha. Yesterday was the last day. And we are busy with the naimisharanyam event etc.

    So this deeksha has got great meaning. What is this deeksha for? It is to generate and preserve a kind of a spirituo-philosophical supra-worldly vibration in the personality. Our breadth is a movement. Heart beat is a movement. Circulation of blood is a movement. It generates heat. Our mouth generates sound. Our eyes generate light. All these are generated by the soul within. So there is a very subtle vibration the soul can and will and does generate. To generate it is the sādhana and the deeksha for.

    The person who takes deeksha, he has to, if he cannot understand it he must have faith in it and with this faith if he sits, we don’t even call it meditation. My Gurudev always says “Sit, sit, sitting, sitting, sitting”, this is how he used to describe it. Close the doors and windows, sit alone in your āsan and enter into your inner bosom and see what happens. Your whole personality has shaped and grown from inside and the whole universe also has grown from inside not outside. You are getting connected to the center or the source of the universe including yourself.

    People are generally expecting that when you meditate you must have a flood of light or a great sound. Pleasantness and blissfulness certainly one will have in meditation. But what is it that we must have and aim at? Here is a verse which Sankara sings.

    प्रत्यग्विमर्शातिशयेन पुंसां प्राचीनगन्धेषु पलायितेषु ।
    प्रादुर्भवेत्काचिदजाड्यनिद्रा प्रपञ्चचिन्तां परिवर्जयन्ती ।। २४ ।।
    pratyagvimarśātiśayena puṁsāṁ prācīnagandheṣu palāyiteṣu |
    prādurbhavetkācidajāḍyanidrā prapañcacintāṁ parivarjayantī || 24||
    (Yoga Taravali 24)

    What a wonderful verse is this! I wish that every one of the initiated disciples should learn this verse and hum it, sing it, murmur it to each of them.

    Pratyagvimarśātiśayena puṁsāṁ. Our deeksha is one which makes you look for your own self. Your self is not the mind nor is it the thought nor is it the emotion nor is it the enquiry nor is it the doubt, knowledge, it is not the sleep, it is not the dream, it is not the wakefulness. It is something different from these. And always search for it, look for it, search for it, look for it. And the sādhana is given to you by the Guru. You should have no other interest, no other dependence, no other source. Only what he has told you. Preserve and cherish it in your mind.

    So when you start delving, delving into your own mind, within, pratyagvimarśātiśayena puṁsāṁ, when that delving becomes excellent and exalted.

    Prājīna gandheṣu phalāyideṣu. All the latent influences and tendencies of your life will simply flee. The purpose of sādhana is to make the tendencies flee. It may not be a day’s, week’s, month’s or even a year’s job. But do this. Never ask any questions. Never doubt. Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! And delve! Delve! Delve! Delve!

    Prācīnagandheṣu palāyiteṣu. Then what will happen? All the thought process will stop. The entire enquiry will cease. You will have only the mantra. I don’t like to call it a mantra. The anusandhāna the Guru has given you, it will start churning your mind like a churning rod, the curd and the navanīta, the butter will come.

    Prācīnagandheṣu palāyiteṣu prādurbhavet. One day at one time, prādurbhavet, will arise, kācid, something, ajāḍyanidrā, it is something like a non-inert sleep. Sleep you have. It is a biologically induced state. But this is a spiritually begotten state. We sleep because of a biological fatigue but we do not sleep here. So the entire thought process, even the anusandhāna will come to a stop and you will reach the very source of everything. The source of your mind, intelligence, ego, no reflection of the world in the mind, everything will come to a stop.

    Kācidajāḍyanidrā, it is a wakeful slumber where you know that I am sleeping. Ajādya nidrā.

    Prapañcacintāṁ parivarjayantī, when that is present no thought, no reflection, no concern, no interaction with the so called world will ever be there. My dear souls, this is Brahmavidya. Brahmavidya aims at taking you to the fourth factor. You are sleeping, you are dreaming, you are wakeful, you leave one state and then go to the other. So there is something in you which exits from each and goes to another. That fourth factor called turiya, that turiya will be begotten by a process of eliminating and being free from wakefulness, sleep and dream. This is the entire secret. How fortunate a man will be if he is able to reach there!

    Our Ashram is an abode for this kind of Brahmavidya, first of all its presence and prevalence, then its dissemination, and dissemination in the form of deeksha and deekshita sādhana which the people who are initiated do. This is the wealth, treasure, strength and inspiration for this ashram.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 08 Dec 2015 - Seek Contentment from the Mind Alone
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    Last evening before the satsang I was discussing the concept of jñeya.

    ज्ञेयं यत्तत्प्रवक्ष्यामि यज्ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ।
    अनादिमत्परं ब्रह्म न सत्तन्नासदुच्यते ।। १३ ।।
    jñeyaṁ yat-tat-pravakṣyāmi yaj-jñātvāmṛtam-aśnute
    anādi-mat-paraṁ brahma na sat-tan-nāsad-ucyate

    And all of you recited the five ślokas which describe the only thing to be known, the only concept, the only existence or the only expression, the only experience to be known.

    You will have to pick up very specific verses from Bhagavad Gita and try to understand and focus your sādhana and clinch your progress. Today I thought I would speak about some such verses.

    In the third chapter Krishna says

    इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ ।
    तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ ।। ३४ ।।
    Indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau
    Tayor-na vaśam-āgacchet-tau hy-asya paripanthinau
    (Bhagavad Gita 3.34)

    It is a very clear definition and explanation. Earlier he defined our life beautifully as

    मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
    आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ।। १४ ।।
    mātrā-sparśās-tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
    āgamāpāyino’nityās tāṁs-titikṣasva bhārata
    (Bhagavad Gita 2.14)

    The entire life is mātrā-sparśāḥ. And they inevitably produce sukha-duḥkhās which are like śīta and uṣṇa. Understanding that they are āgamāpāyins, they are transitory, they will come and go, you alone are there for them to come and go to and from, this knowledge should generate sufficient tolerance for you.

    So the entire life is interactional at the level of the senses. These interactions trickle down to the mind level and in the mind level, sukha and duḥkha are the only experiences you will have throughout life. The world objects may be many but our senses reduce them to five because the objects by themselves cannot produce any experience, interaction.

    Experiences and interactions are caused only by our senses and they are five. Whether the world exists or not, our own senses will have to determine and say. Suppose you go to sleep and the senses are inactive then you don’t have any existence including yourself and the world. And such sensory interactions result in only the mental twins called sukha and duḥkha.

    And even the sukha-duḥkhas are, duḥkha alone brings sukha and sukha brings duḥkha. If sukha is bringing duḥkha, is it desirable? If duḥkha definitely brings sukha, is it undesirable? So the thought that duḥkha is undesirable is wrong! Just see? When you elevate your thinking to the level of intelligence and rationally analyze matters, the entire situation changes. It is something very wonderful. I often wonder, is our sanātana dharma so rational? I am writing on the Ekādaśa-skandha, Krishna’s last gospel to Uddhava. There, to the people around me I say that, can a dharma-śāstra be so rational?

    Now here in this shloka he says, Indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau. Upon every sensory objects there is a cap of attraction and repulsion. Upon every sensory object whether you want it or not, recognize it or not, as fire is hot and ice is cold, every sensory object carries the cap of raga-dveṣās, attraction and repulsion.

    Tayoh vaśam na āgacchet. Do not come under their sway. Why?

    Tau hy-asya paripanthinau. They are the stark enemies on the path of your life.

    So you will always be beset by ‘Indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau.’ The attraction and repulsion remaining as a cap on every sensory object.

    Then what should you do? Do not come under their sway. So the entire focus should be on your mind. Watch it. And you have the strength. Everybody has the strength. Maybe they lack viveka. They must develop discrimination more and more, spend enough mind hours on understanding viveka, its relevance, application, benefit, the marvelous effect it brings about and then go on sublimating, sublimating the attraction and repulsion as they arise in your mind. Suppose you do it, what will happen?

    कामक्रोधवियुक्तानां यतीनां यतचेतसाम् ।
    अभितो ब्रह्मनिर्वाणं वर्तते विदितात्मनाम् ।। २६ ।।
    kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām
    abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ vartate viditātmanām
    (Bhagavad Gita 5.26)

    I sometimes wonder whether anybody tries to care and understand the meaning and relevance and wholesome application of these statements. Attraction and repulsion are the only factors that beset our life. If you are engaged in a constant sublimation, evenization, harmonization, integration of these two for which the mind and intelligence are the only factors to be involved, to be applied, it is a total internal, inner application, pursuit.

    Kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ. To become an yati. Yati maybe a sannyasin, may not be a sannyasin but generally sannyasins are called yatis because they are given constantly to this restraint, this kind of a personality-based nishta. They don’t carry anything else. No idol, no pooja, no stuti, no stotra, it is all

    वेदान्तवाक्येषु सदा रमन्तो
    भिक्षान्नमात्रेण च तुष्टिमन्तः ।
    विशोकमन्तःकरणे चरन्तः
    कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ।। १ ।।
    Vedānta vākyeṣu sadā ramanto
    bhikṣānnamātreṇa ca tuṣtimantaḥ
    viśokamantaḥkaraṇe carantaḥ
    kaupīnavantaḥ khalu bhāgyavantaḥ
    (Kaupina Panchakam 1)

    What a beautiful statement! So they are always dwelling upon the Upanishadic revelations, declarations, pronouncements, evaluations and exhortations.

    Kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām. There comes a time when the mind becomes moderate, it becomes harmonious. For such people, do you know what happens? You have to contemplate upon this verse for many, many hours.

    Abhitah brahma-nirvāṇaṁ vartate viditātmanām. They are the people who strike at the self, who beget, attain the self-knowledge as a result of which what happens? Abhitah brahma-nirvāṇaṁ vartate. Brahma-nirvāṇa. The sense of release and redemption that results from Brahman, knowing it, it encircles them, revolves around them. Wherever they go they carry brahma-nirvāṇa.

    Brahma-nirvāṇa is not something to be obtained from a distance, pulled by a rope, dropped from the heaven. It is something to be generated by the seeker by churning his mind with the knowledge. Which knowledge? All this knowledge, spiritual wisdom. Churn the mind, churn the intelligence, churn the senses, let even the blood chemistry in the body change by virtue of this inner process of churning. Then brahma-nirvāṇa like butter from the curd, it starts surging up. You can roll it, it starts floating on the butter of your mind.

    न प्रहृष्येत्प्रियं प्राप्य नोद्विजेत्प्राप्य चाप्रियम् ।
    स्थिरबुद्धिरसम्मूढो ब्रह्मविद् ब्रह्मणि स्थितः ।। २० ।।
    na prahṛṣyet-priyaṁ prāpya nodvijet-prāpya cāpriyam
    sthira-buddhir-asammūḍho brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ
    (Bhagavad Gita 5.20)

    Just see? Where do you have to go for this sādhana? Nowhere! Na prahṛṣyet-priyaṁ prāpya. You may be in your house or you may be in an ashram, you may be in your office, maybe in a social environment. Wherever you are, you will have constantly to course through priya and apriya, pleasant and unpleasant. Maybe in the hands of your own wife or husband there will be a number of unpleasant statements and occasions.

    Na prahṛṣyet-priyaṁ prāpya. When you meet something pleasant, do not be unduly elated. When you undergo something unpleasant, do not be unduly disturbed or depressed.

    Sthira-buddhih. The buddhi will help you to remain sthira, firm, steady, stable.

    Asammūḍhah. Overcome the delusion that there is anything in this world to be offered to you. In this whole world there is no spec which can come and add to your inner personality. We are full with our pāncabhautik body. Equally we are full with our mind, intelligence, ego and beyond everything, the soul. There is no space for any object in this world to enter your system and remain there. What you have is only a possessiveness. You don’t possess anything. Even a new born child remains separately from the mother and father. They cannot possess. They can be possessive about it. So you feel possessive about many things but the things possessed are always separate from your body.

    So I always say, no object ever enters your system to remain infused and one with the mind. Understand it very well. Sthira-buddhih asammūḍhah. If you want to have contentment which is emotional in character and which can be generated only by the mind, seek contentment from the mind, ask it to generate it rather than depend upon external possessions and the objects.

    It is foolishness to think that any object can create joy. Joy is an inner creation of the mind alone. With many things the mind can be discontent. With a few things or with nothing the mind can be contented. That is why we take up sannyasa. Everything we renounce. Why? Because in renunciation is the real joyfulness, is the real fulfillment. Even you have many things whether you want them or not, you leave everything and go. Even including the body you leave and go. Then what about the bodily belongings that you claim? Your house is not going to come with you. When you leave the body, the residence, house goes, the relatives go, even the ring in your finger is taken away by the priest and handed over to a member of the family. Then what is this that we are possessive about? So let us be dispossessive.

    Sthira-buddhih asammūḍhah brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ. The knowledge of Brahman makes you live in Brahman. Brahma-nishta is different from all other forms of nishta. In Brahma-nishta the mind and intelligence alone are the factors which go on dwelling upon Brahman and that dwelling if it is proper, it is ceaseless, unbroken, incessant, unassailable, unsurpassable, unsubdueable, it is irresistible. This is what our śastras say particularly Bhagavad Gita.

    My dear souls, in the evening I propose to as I always said, I will take some verses here and there and then discuss it. Remember them, learn them, let the mind dwell on them, go into the words, propositions. Why is this statement? What is the meaning? Why one word leads to another word? See, sthirabuddhih, asammūḍhah, brahma-vid, brahmaṇi, sthitaḥ, all these words are just like the pearls made into a necklace. Everything is connected to the other.

    na prahṛṣyet-priyaṁ prāpya nodvijet-prāpya cāpriyam
    sthira-buddhir-asammūḍho brahma-vid brahmaṇi sthitaḥ
    Indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau
    Tayor-na vaśam-āgacchet-tau hy-asya paripanthinau
    kāma-krodha-viyuktānāṁ yatīnāṁ yata-cetasām
    abhito brahma-nirvāṇaṁ vartate viditātmanām

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.



Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

Swamiji's Teachings


Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.


NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji, a renunciate disciple of Poojya Swamiji, is known for his scientific expositions which are a source of inspiration to seekers.  Read More...


Ma Gurupriya

A disciple of Poojya Swamiji, Ma is the loving mother of Poojya Swamiji's devotees around the world. Devotion and service remain the predominant forces shaping Ma's life.  Read More...

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.


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Vicharasethu is a monthly journal in English and Hindi, edited and published by Poojya Swamiji. It is also published in Malayalam by the name Vicharasarani. With Articles, Correspondance, Guidance for Sādhana and News updates from the Ashram, these monthly publications are a great guide for the earnest sādhaka. 

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

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