"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

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What is jñāna? Is it merely stopping with the study of external objects and the different branches of knowledge relating to the objects? No, not at all! You should go into the genesis of the knowing process. There is a knowing process before the outcome called knowledge comes and settles in us. The knowing process can only proceed from inside, from someone who is a knower. So there is a knower within you, and he alone takes up the knowing process and he alone brings the outcome called knowledge.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Maybe more than a month back, I was speaking about the 20 spiritual virtues and excellences, which Sri Krishna has listed by way of enumeration in the 13th chapter of Bhagavad Gita. I had spoken about all the others and the last verse in this series alone is to be dealt with. I am trying to speak on them: On the virtues that are contained in the last verse.

अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् ।
एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोऽन्यथा ।।
भगवद्गीता १३.१२
adhyātmajñānanityatvaṁ tattvajñānārthadarśanam |
etajjñānamiti proktamajñānaṁ yadato'nyathā ||
Bhagavadgeeta 13-12

These conclusional virtues are paramount so far as a spiritual seeker’s life and his attaining fruition are concerned.

adhyātmajñānanityatvaṁ – nityatva means that constancy, consistency, wholesomeness, the so-called perenniality, incessant nature. adhyātmajñānanityatvaṁ – where is this constancy or continuity? It is in jñāna.

See, in our personality, we have different levels of activity and different types of instruments. The senses are the outermost. And in the senses also we have the jñānendriyas and the karmendriyas. Then we have the mouth and the tongue to speak. These two are the visible external ones. Then if you go inside ,you will find in the mind, which primarily thinks and remembers, memory is very important. Then if you go to the intelligence, it is there that we begin to search, seek, assess, evaluate, study – all these.

Here he says jñānanityatvaṁ. It is not a pursuit where the body and senses and even the mouth come to play. This is a jñānanityatvaṁ, means what? You should be constantly engaged in, engrossed in pursuing the knowledge. What is this knowledge? The scriptures reveal about the supreme nature of the soul, supreme nature of God – both are the same - and the desirability and necessity of seeking and attaining this knowledge. The Vedas say – brahmavidāpnoti param. The one who knows Brahman, the supreme reality, alone will be able to attain the supreme glory and fulfillment of life.

So the entire emphasis is on knowing - knowing what? It is not merely the sensory knowledge you get about the objects of the world. The entire world is revealed by the outgoing senses. Now, to propel or employ the senses you require the mind. And the mind itself is directed by the intelligence. Though you are seeing an external world, an object world, the perception itself is motivated by the inner constituents of your personality. Not only that, when the senses perceive, the perceptional outcome is also transpiring within you, not in the sphere of matter, but above matter - in the mind, in the intelligence.

So what is jñāna? Is it merely stopping with the study of external objects and the different branches of knowledge relating to the objects? No, not at all! You should go into the genesis of the knowing process. There is a knowing process before the outcome called knowledge comes and settles in us. The knowing process can only proceed from inside, from someone who is a knower. So there is a knower within you, and he alone takes up the knowing process and he alone brings the outcome called knowledge.

So, any kind of a knowledge to become true, will have to lead you to this inner understanding or inner study and observation. Though it is knowledge, it is not the object knowledge, but it is the enquiry, very deep and consistent and wholesome, about the subject part of the whole knowing process. The commencement of the knowing process and also the outcome and finale of the knowing process, both are within your body, transcending matter and energy, in the sphere of mind and intelligence, which are the functional units of consciousness.

adhyātmajñānam – the jñāna, the knowledge becomes adhyātma, spiritual, only when you think in this manner and go after the very genesis of knower, the knowing process, and knowledge.

If you start thinking in this manner, you will find even the external world is an inner perception! And this inner perception results from an inner knowing process, which proceeds from, again, the inmost knower.

See, I wake up, you wake up. At the end of the waking, I sleep, you sleep. Now sleep is a perfectly, completely withdrawn state. You go into yourself and thereafter waking up you say, “I slept” “I slept” – means what? I was alone in my sleep. There was no object what-so-ever. So is the existence of the object inevitable, true? No, not at all! When I go into sleep, the objects totally disappear. So, I alone survive there. So the objects are not really existing in the three periods of time called past, present, and future. Certainly not! Then only when I wake up, my senses become active and interactive, and I perceive the world. So the wakefulness, the waking up person is inside. The one who knows and experiences the wakeful world is inside. All the objects are imprinted inside me. So there is nothing besides me, even in the waking. And the whole wakefulness is wrapped up in sleep.

So the adhyātmajñāna, when you probe into, you find, it is not something different from the viṣayajñāna, or the object jñāna. The presence and existence of the objects themselves are a revelation from the adhyātmic sphere of our personality.

So there is nothing besides adhyātma! There is nothing besides the ‘I’. The ‘I’ alone wakes up. The ‘I’ alone employs the senses. The ‘I’ alone takes an imprint of the objects. So the waking up is from inside, the employment of senses is from inside, the outcome called knowing and perception also are inside. So, what is there other than inside? Nothing! In this way, you have to dwell on this adhyātmic jñāna and that dwelling should be consistent and wholesome. Consistent and wholesome!

Now, you may wonder whether it is possible. Yes! It is possible. How? When you understand the taste, the utility, and the relevance of this adhyātmic involvement, automatically you will try to be, you will want to be, rather, irresistibly you will be driven and led to pursuing it consistently in a wholesome manner. That is how we all have become sannyasins. Why? Because, this practice clearly tells us that everything is adhyātma. adhyātma is the source, adhyātma is the finale, adhyātma is the fountain head of joy. adhyātma is the fountainhead of freedom. The entire world is like bubbles floating on the sea or the lake!

The mind, what you call inside, is really a vast and a deep ineffable presence. On the surface of the mind, the mind alone becomes the bubble which you call the world in a state of ignorance and delusion.

So the adhyātmajñānanityatvaṁ, when pursued properly so joyous, so delightful, so ecstatic, so exulting! That is why people like to pursue it in a wholesome manner, leaving their household and the like.

adhyātmajñānanityatvaṁ tattvajñānārthadarśanam (Poojya Swamiji recites 2 times)

tattvajñānārthadarśanam – the goal of life, the meaning of life, the purpose of life; everything will have to be decided on the basis of the knowledge of the tattva, knowledge of the very knowing process, knowledge of the very knower, knowledge of the very outcome called knowledge.

We say, “I see the world”, and you feel it is the world that is seen. No! It is my own extension that becomes the world. It is the ‘I’ within your body that made the senses, and only because of the senses you are able to perceive the world, so the entire senses being made by you, and the sensory imprints being formed within you, where is the question of a second object there - a second entity? No!

So the goal of life will have to be decided by the tattvajñāna provided by the Vedas, particularly the Upanishads.

What is that goal of life? brahmavidāpnoti param. The knower of Brahman attains the Supreme.

इहचेदवेदीदथ सत्यमस्ति न चेदिहावेदीन्महती विनष्टिः ।
केनोपनिषद् २.५
iha cedavedīdatha satyamasti na cedihāvedīnmahatī vinaṣṭiḥ |
Kenopanishad 2.5

If you are able to know here and now, the supreme truth of oneself, them your life becomes meaningful and complete. If you fail to know, colossal is going to be your loss.

न कर्मणा न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः
महानारायणोपनिषद् १०.५
na karmaṇā na prajayā dhanena tyāgenaike amṛtatvamānaśuḥ 
Mahanarayanopanishad 10.5

Nobody has attained immortality or the rewarding and fulfilling glory of human life by undertaking any kind of even praiseworthy secular activities, by begetting children – prajayā –by amassing wealth, no, no, no, not at all! Then by what have they been able to attain? tyāgenaike amṛtatvamānaśuḥ – only by renunciation! Renunciation! Renunciation, where the sense of mine-ness about anything is dropped, the ego that I am doing, I am achieving - these also are dropped. Resultantly, all the desires and their various formations, there various urges, all of them vanish, leave your mind.

na karmaṇā na prajayā dhanena tyāgenaike amṛtatvamānaśuḥ |
prāpya varānnibodhataḥ
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत
कठोपनिषद् १.३.१४
uttiṣṭhata jāgrata prāpya varānnibodhata 
Kathopanishad 1.3.14

Arise! Awake! Wake up! Be attentive! Search and seek! Go, go to the presence and protection of the wise and the knowing people! And then know, what is within your body! Your body is limited, a mass of flesh. But inside the body, animating and activating it is a supra–material, a supra-energial presence, before which the entire external universal magnitude is nothing. Nothing! If you call the universe infinite, the inner dimension is far, far greater than the external infinitude. Understand this fact! Try to develop inner perception! Try to develop that astuteness, that sharpness, by virtue of which you will know the knower as different from the knowing and the knowledge. You will get to the sphere of the subject as opposed to and different from the object. Within the body, you carry a far greater, infinitely infinite dimension. The external world is only a bubble before the sea of your inner, inner dimension.

Now, this is it. Now, all these qualities and excellences together constitute spiritual wisdom.

etajjñānam – Anything else in the way of knowledge, acquisition, possession, pursuit, promotion, gain or glory - all that will still be ignorance, ajñāna - he says!

So, according to Krishna and our culture, it is not a very concentric point of development, spiritual wisdom. It is very permeational, it is very pervasive, it’s a collection, an aggregate of a number of virtues and excellences – all of them together constitute the spiritual wisdom, and that alone brings full peace, harmony, liberation, and fulfillment.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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