"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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  • 42nd Annual Delhi Jñāna Yajña 2016-08-25

    Poojya Swamiji and Mā will reach Delhi on Oct 26. They will stay at Centre for Inner Resources Development (CIRD), Vasundhara, and will depart for Jamshedpur on Nov 15, 2016. Programme Details available here.

  • Jñāna Yajña USA 2016 2016-08-02

    USA Jñāna Yajña (Sep 04 to 26): Poojya Swamiji along with Mā will leave for USA on Sep 04 and return to Ashram by Sep 28. Brni. Namrata Swaroopa and Smt. Mala Sridhar  (from Kenya) will accompany them. The programs will be held in Orange County (Southern California) from Sep 04 to Sep 13 and in Washington DC Metro Area from Sep 14 to 26. Click here for details.

  • Annual Jñāna Yajña Malaysia 2016 2016-08-02

    Jñāna Yajña in Malaysia (Aug 10 - 24): Poojya Swamiji along with Mā will leave for Malaysia on Aug 09. Brni. Namrata Swaroopa will accompany them. They will stay at the Society for Inner Resources Development (SIRD), Petaling Jaya. They will return to the Ashram on Aug 24.

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 05 Dec 2015 - From a Limited Worship to Continuous Worship of God
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    See, why don’t you think in this manner? We ourselves are evolving the idea of God. This idea is evolved because we find a very stupendous, a very magnificent, great world around us. We are a part of it. And this world could not have been created by a human. So we consider the source of world as God. We would like to be connected to him. Therefore we make an idol of God or a picture of God. The picture is a very small item. However big the deity may be it will still be small because the world is very, very huge. And using that idol, by worshipping it variously we try to get connected to God.

    So the purpose of doing pooja is to be connected to God. And you feel connected also. Here, what is the basis of this connection? An idol or a picture which you have made which you feel represents God. And keeping that picture or idol in front, you do something in the way of a devotional exercise, worship. One is a factor of time, another is a factor of an object representation. So the picture or idol represents God and you worship that for a period, specific period like half an hour or fifteen minutes.

    If the 15 minutes of worship of a particular idol can make you connected to God for that particular period, why don’t you try to develop and expand it? For example, the entire world is a picture of God. Actually it is! The entire world is a picture of God and I am worshipping the whole world as I will be worshipping a picture or an idol. So the idea of God expands in your mind, it covers the whole universe. Because you are constantly in the universe, you are connected to it, your connection with God also becomes constant, throughout.

    So from the half an hour limited idol pooja, can you not grow into a continuous pooja of the whole world? If you will spend some time to think about the idea, you cannot say no. It is developing your devotion and bhakti and worship from half an hour to the whole day. In what way is it bad and in what way is it difficult? How can an idol become God? If an idol can become God, the whole world made by God can itself be the better representation of God. Why don’t you think in this manner? It is this kind of a thought process and introspection that goes by the name...

    अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
    इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विताः ।।
    ahaṃ sarvasya prabhavo matta: sarvaṃ pravartate |
    iti matvā bhajante māṃ budhā bhāva-samanvitā: ||

    This is what I mentioned yesterday. “I am the source of everything and I am activated by everything. Thinking in this manner, reflecting in this manner, people remain associated and connected with me.” 'Bhāva-samanvitā:' - Through that factor in them from where all the emotions and attitudes emerge, namely the mind.

    Why don’t you spend some time to understand this verse, to understand this suggestion? ‘If I worship God for half an hour I become joyous. Can I not extend, cover the entire twenty four hours of the day?’ What prevents you from thinking in this manner?

    It is just like a man who has got a small measure of wealth trying to have more and more of wealth. Any company or industry would like to increase its business from whatever it is now, 500 crores company, they will want to be declared as 1000 crore company. The 100-wālāh will decide 2000, like that. Here also your devotion must be made to expand and grow as a result of which you will be able to remain a twenty four hour devotee. It is only expanding and enlarging your idol, your picture.

    I don’t know why people say that “This is not possible. This is difficult.” I give you 1000 Rupees as a gift and I said “I would like to increase this gift to 1000 crores.” Will you not receive it? Will you not be happy and wanting to have it? In the same manner is this devotional treasure. Half an hour treasure is ought to be increased to twenty four hours.

    The body remains the same, the world remains the same, but all the change that is coming is in your mind. Why don’t you think about it? It is such a beautiful thought! This is where Krishna says

    इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत ।
    सर्वभूतानि सम्मोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप ।।
    icchā-dveṣa-samutthena dvandva-mohena bhārata
    sarva-bhūtāni sammohaṁ sarge yānti paran-tapa
    (Bhagavad Gita 7.27)
     
    इहैव तैर्जितः सर्गो येषां साम्ये स्थितं मनः ।
    निर्दोषं हि समं ब्रह्म तस्माद्ब्रह्मणि ते स्थिताः ।।
    ihaiva tair-jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ
    nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād-brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ
    (Bhagavad Gita 5.19)

     

    It is the icchā and dveṣa, love and hatred that dominate and overpower your mind that poses the problem in recognizing and realizing God throughout the world throughout the twenty four hours. If you are able to be equal to love and hatred constantly arising in your mind then you become seated in Brahman.

    Ihaiva tair-jitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ. Instead of taking a love position and a hatred position if you are able to remain even in both.

    Nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād-brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ, brahman is nirdoṣa and sama, equal. Therefore if the mind practices equality, it is able to remain fixed there, then you are fixed in Brahman. It is this one verse that perhaps clinched the issue for me years, years, years back.

    I think you should think about, reflect upon it, that reflectional process alone brings about transformation. So from half an hour devotion grow to twenty four hour devotion, worship.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 04 Dec 2015 - Vibhuti Manifestations to Uplift us from the Gross to the Subtle
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    People who are familiar with the ashram, our publications and our jñāna-yajñās, satsangs etc. must be knowing by now very clearly that we always try to expose the knowledge and understanding part of devotional life, spiritual life, yogic life etc. Our Vedas are themselves a book of knowledge, a treasure of knowledge. When we approach the Vedas, our idea must be to gain the knowledge that we want, the knowledge which is not otherwise available to us. It is very clear that if we understand the Vedas and their insight properly, everywhere what we need is knowledge.

    Tomorrow I have to speak for Muktisudhakaram and I am in the tenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. The tenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita deals with vibhūti, vibhūti yoga. The word ‘vibhūti’ is a very interesting and profound word. It means something very powerful, great, stupendous, splendorous, incomparable, very rare, unique, intriguing, anything that is not very common.

    Our world is very huge, endless and it consists of a number of, a variety of complexities. How is it that the whole world consisting of such abstruse complexities maintained in a certain rhythm and order? It is true that we have suddenly a spate of flood in Chennai, maybe we also are going to have it as somebody told me. Now this flood itself is something unimaginable. They say that for the past hundred years there was nothing like this in Chennai. Suddenly it happens.

    In the vibhūti of God, you will find something great, good, beautiful, helpful, attractive, alluring, such things are there. But things which are very dangerous, fierce, destructive, threatening, they also are there. So the world consists of everything that you can imagine.

    We are living in this world. Unlike animals, we have a mind, we have an intelligence. So we not merely live and experience things, we also analyze them and try to evaluate them. Tell me for a moment after thinking that does not the world have all that we want to have in order to live in this world comfortably and well? Gold is the most costly metal. That is also there. And it has got its corresponding properties. We have so many things here, rare, unusual and the like. So the word vibhūti literally means something that will call for special attention, that calls for special attention, appreciation etc.

    Why are these vibhūtis there if you ask, it is for man’s mind to find an answer. Suppose the world did not have these exceptional elements, I think it will prove to be stale and troublesome. What is the greatness of Himalayas? It is completely covered by snow and that snow is something that we are not able to see in the plains. So the sight of snow and especially snow-covered mountain, it becomes something very, very rare and attractive for us. So people like to go there. Suppose snow was everywhere, then they may not like it.

    Similarly you go to great heights where even breathing will become difficult. We have established some of our temples in mountainous areas. And see what kind of a selection our forefathers have made! When you go to Badari were it is very difficult to live because of cold, we cannot live all the year, only at most six months or four months there. There, there is a hot spring. How do we expect a hot tank or a spring in such a height where everything is covered by snow? That is a wonder. Because of the wonder, it becomes a place of hunting. We have to hunt such a place, go there and we feel very happy. We have got so many temples like that on top of hills or mountains.

    So the idea is we should think about the greatness of the world, the greatness and majesty of the creator. The feeling of godliness will not come always by looking into the world. The world itself is an evolution from God, creation from God. So everything in this world is suggestive of God. In this manner to think, it is not easy at all! So we want some special manifestations or special displays to think about God.

    We are making an idol. The purpose of making an idol is to give it something whereby it will remind us about God. Actually the idol that we are making is from a stone that is already there in the earth. So if an idol made by us signifies God, then what about the stone, the rock and the mountain? They should signify all the more. But nobody is able to think like that.

    So I believe the idea of vibhūti is to provide for human imagination something exceptional, strange and hence fascinating. And it can be in any areas. It can be in the solid earth, it can be in the blowing air, it can be in water, it can be in other agencies also.

    Look at the sun, look at the sky, there are so many stars. All the stars we are not able to see their close movement. They are all moving but we are not able to see. But the movement of the sun is very fast when looked from the earth and there is a repetition and a constancy. There is a movement vertically like that round the earth, there is also a movement horizontally from the south to north and from the north to the south. So the sun became a special vibhūti. But the sun does not apparently change its size. It is always hot and brilliant.

    Now when we look at the moon, it is different. We can look at it, it is visible only in the nights and then you find there is a reduction and increase in the moon. About the other stars and luminaries we are not able to observe any such feature. So the sun became a vibhūti, the śaśi, the moon also became a vibhūti because we are not able to find anything like the moon. One day it completely dies, it becomes non-existent, next day it comes in a small digit. So that became a wonder.

    Like that these wondrous elements are there only for you to associate yourself with God and feel devotional and divine. The purpose of vibhūti is that - To take the mind from the visible to the invisible, from the gross to the subtle, to a 24 hour thought and association with God. From a momentary thought and association with God devotion to a twenty-four hour devotion, it is not easy at all. So all these agencies help us to move to that destination. If these vibhūti elements were not there perhaps we would have missed God and also devotion to a very large extent. This is what I feel about the vibhūti yoga.

    Arjuna speaks something and finally he says, “Please explain to me all the vibhūti elements so far as you are concerned.” And then Krishna goes on describing a few.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 20 Nov 2013 - Hindu Dharma is Absolutely Rational
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    This spiritual subject as well as the sādhana is aimed at entering into one’s own inner personality consisting of mind and intelligence and then constantly enriching it, empowering it by a process of enlightenment. Mind is the first and last reacting agent within our body. This mind is very quick and explosive in its responses and reactions. 

    Everybody is a victim to this mental plight but the arena of the mind is subject to, if at all any penetration only by the intelligence. Intelligence is working on knowledge. That is why I said ‘enlightened’. The inner personality has to be enriched and empowered by a process of enlightenment. That means you have to employ the tool of intelligence to enter into the mind arena and then organize it, reorganize it, strengthen it, reinforce it in the manner you want. The whole process is one of introspection. That introspection is not an idle one. It should be an infusional introspection - Introspection taken up and pursued with a view to infuse its benefits into the mind. That infusional nature of introspection is very important.

    Everybody does introspection. See, in the areas of physics, chemistry, mathematics, any kind of a science and technology, whenever you read a book, a book of knowledge in any subject, you are reading it, you are getting informed and enlightened and the next stage of your activity if it is an experiment or anywhere in a factory, in a productive setup, anywhere, whatever you have read, that knowledge you are instantly employing. If you read it in the morning, it starts acting on you right from then on. I don’t know whether you understand what I mean.

    See, any book of knowledge when we read, we gain the knowledge, if necessary we read it a second time, a third time and after you get the knowledge you employ it. Suppose you purchase an equipment, even a table, it is coming to you unassembled and there is a literature accompanying it. And it tells you what are you to do for assembling the table. You read the book and simply implement what you have read. So that knowledge is implemented there. In any area of science and technology it is always reading, understanding, getting exposed to and then instantly using it.

    If this is why we are reading and gaining knowledge then should you have a step-motherly attitude with regard to spirituality? Spirituality is also giving you knowledge. And this knowledge has to be instantly applied. So the intelligence is a tool by virtue of which the subject is exposed and the exposure is received and understood. Instantly that knowledge should be passed on to the mind and the mind’s activities and interactions should be set right. The question is – ‘Are you prepared to do it? How well are you doing it? How zealous or sincere you are?’ These are the questions to be asked. They are again coming back to the mind.

    I was writing a kind of an introduction to my fourteenth book on Srimad Bhagavatam. I am able to discuss only 22nd 23rd and 24th chapters, only three. I cannot take up the next chapter. There is no time. So the 22nd chapter is very long. When I was writing commentary on it, to whomever was near me, I told them more than once, “See? Our Hindu dharma is all absolutely rational, amazingly, incredibly rational.” Krishna goes on explaining the philosophy of the eternal truth, the imperishable soul with examples and with reason that you will simply be amazed. At one point he says there is nothing called death at all. It is only loss of memory.

    Nobody knows anything like birth and death. When children are born to us we see that they are born and therefore we assume that we should also have been born. We see our parents and grandparents die and therefore we assume that we will also die. Birth is not an experience, death is not an experience.  He refers to the flame of a lamp. The lamp produces a flame when the wick is lit by another flame. You are seeing the flame constant, constant, constant, no change at all. But to produce the flame and the upkeep of the flame depend upon three factors - Usage of oil, usage of wick and usage of oxygen. When you are looking at, you find a continuity. But in reality it is not continuous. It is using the oil and every moment of the burning, the glow, it means reduction in the oil and soot collection in the wick and absorption or assimilation of oxygen. The two we can understand - reduction of oil and the formation of soot. But the third factor, oxygen being taken from air we cannot measure.

    Are we conscious of the fact that it is not actually a constant flame? It is a transformational process that the flame is kept up. In the same manner we are living, living, living. It is a transformational, completely transformational process and when we finally die it is not a death. It is only a biological cessation. It has got nothing to do with life. Life is not body. Body is matter and energy. The flame is neither the oil nor the wick nor the oxygen. The flame is different. That flame did not come from these three. These are inert, they are not brilliant but the flame is brilliant. In the same manner, the life element in us is not the body matter or energy. It is something different. That is always the same. There is already a transformation -that means what? Birth and death, birth and death.

    In the final state there is nothing specially taking place. It is only atyanta vismṛtiḥ (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.38), there is a total forgetfulness. Every day we sleep. We are forgetting but we wake up and remember. Here, there is nothing like waking up. The body itself is unfunctional. So how can we wake up? So there is if at all a forgetfulness which cannot be revived. That’s all what happens in death. In this way, the rationality and the reasoning provided in Srimad Bhagavatam through the mouth of Krishna to Uddhava, I was simply feeling amazed.

    Can our religion be so rational? The so called ‘G-O-D’ totally disappears. Absolutely rational! So I am writing on it and through a song of Bhikshu, Bhikshu Gita, Sri Krishna is presenting how the mind is powerful over matter, any kind of an assault, any kind of a torment inflicted by the world including human beings can be completely countered and overcome by the powerful and invincible mind. Here is a story he says and this wonderful statement! Anybody in this world should read that story. It tells you how mind is the most powerful. He who is able to win over the mind, he becomes a ‘deva-deva’, he says. Wonderful portion!

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

 

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

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

Swamiji's Teachings

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

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

 

NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

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

MaJi-HmPg-White

Ma Gurupriya

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

Short Description

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

 

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

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

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

                                                                                                      Bhagavad gita (2.54)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                  Bhagavad gita (2.55)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

In this discourse based on Yogavasishtha Ramayana Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha outlines the destination of every Human Being.

  

Recordings of Poojya Swamiji's Talks

Evenness of the Mind : Way to Self-Knowledge

Independence from Unhappiness and Happiness

 

Vicharsetu
Vicharasethu 
Vicharasethu is a monthly journal in English and Hindi, edited and published by Poojya Swamiji. It is also published in Malayalam by the name Vicharasarani. With Articles, Correspondance, Guidance for Sādhana and News updates from the Ashram, these monthly publications are a great guide for the earnest sādhaka. 
 
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Devotees hold periodic meetings at their own locations wherein the teachings and messages of Swamiji are heard, read and discussed with a view to comprehend and arrive at their essence and make it a functional note in their life. This section provides resources to facilitate the proceedings at such gatherings. Read More ....

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