"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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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I am discussing the very subtle, spiritual text called Ashtavakra Samhita. It is natural that my mind and intelligence are floating in that subtle sphere, going into some of the abstruse concepts in philosophy, spirituality and religion. You know, most of you are not able to make progress in the sphere of spirituality because you are not able to understand and evaluate the role of mind and intelligence in your pursuit.

Ever since the child is born, it has got a body with ten senses. These senses are being activated ever since birth and interactions with the objects of the world constantly take place. But we refuse to understand that these interactions are primarily caused by the mind, resting upon the mind and concluding in the mind. You examine your mind. Do you really feel that though we are interacting with the world constantly, the actual interactions are completely based upon the mind, the mind is the source of interaction, the mind is the one on which interaction at every step, moment to moment, rests, and mind is the place where the interactional impacts are experienced, retained and all that? I don’t think. Examine your mind. You will not know it unless you make a study and examination which means applying the mind and intelligence.

We say God is all-pervading. Everybody will accept that God is all-pervading. You are making two statements here – 'God', you have not seen. 'All-pervading', 'all' also you have not seen. Is there anybody here who has seen 'all'? What do you mean by 'all'? Do we have any sensory organ to go to the limit of the universe and see everything and all? Only when there is 'all', there is something pervading 'all'. So, we are dealing with two propositions, 'God' - an unknown quantity or an unknown presence, then we are saying that God is 'all-pervading'. Nevertheless we say that. How and why?

So, I wanted to tell you that in our life while senses have their role, supreme role and all the interactions with the world are enabled by them, understand that senses are not the be-all and end-all of life. These senses themselves are shaped by the mind, and the mind alone activates them and makes them interact with the world. So mind is the first and the last factor in every interaction that we have.

When we say 'God', it is actually an inference. And when we say 'all-pervading', that is also an inference. Any inference is made by the intelligence on the basis of the facts collected by the senses. Unless you are able to supplement and complement your sensory activity, with assistance and guidance of the mind and the intelligence, your sādhana can never become effective. I was discussing a point yesterday in the evening. Janaka is told by Ashtāvaktra,

एको द्रष्टाऽऽसि सर्वस्य मुक्तप्रायोऽसि सर्वदा ।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धो द्रष्टारं पश्यसीतरम् ।।
Eko draṣṭāsi sarvasya muktaprāyo'si sarvadā
Ayameva hi te bandho draṣṭāram paśyasītaram.
(Ashtavakra Samhita 1.7)

Eko draṣṭāsi sarvasya muktaprāyo'si sarvadāI don’t know how many of you will listen to this and reflect upon it. You will never get anywhere to God or the self unless you reflect over it. Eko draṣṭāsi sarvasya muktaprāyo'si sarvadā.

Sarvasya - of all.
Asi - you are.
Ekah drashtah - the sole perceiver, observer.

You are the 'drashta', 'the seer' of all. ‘All’ naturally consists of many, but you, the 'drashta', are only one. The 'drashta', the seer, can never be confused with the seen, the visible. The visibles are many and all, but the seer of them is only one. "So my dear Janaka, think about it. You are not the visible, you are not the driśya, you are the drashta and the drashta is always one." This is very simple to understand.

You are looking at the objects through the eyes, you are hearing sounds through the ears, you are smelling through the nose, tasting through the tongue and touching through the skin. In every one of these sensations, you will find infinite number of objects are there. So, we clearly understand that the visible, the driśya, the 'to be seen', are many, many, many, many. We don’t worry about them. Tell me who you are. Are you the visible? Or are you the seer?

I am the seer of sights, I am the perceiver of sounds, equally so of smells, taste and touch. While the other things are many, numerous, endless, manifold, I remain the same. The subject can never become the object. The drashta, the seer can never become the seen or the visible. All the changes in this world are taking place in the visibles. But the drashta is changeless and he is only one. "So Janaka, you are the drashta! Then what is your problem? All the changes are in the visibles but you are not ‘they’. You are the drashta. And as a drashta, there is no change for you and no visible can make you the visible."

When I see the white color, my eyes does not become white nor does my mind become white. When I witness a dead body, I only witness the dead body, I don’t become dead. Similarly when you experience misery, you are not becoming the misery, you are only experiencing it. You are the drashta of everything and the drashta never changes its position. Therefore, he says, muktaprāyo'si sarvadā, always you are free and liberated.

Ayameva hi te bandho, "This is your bondage, my dear son."

Draṣṭāram paśyasītaram. "You are seeing the drashta, the subject, the seer, as something else." My dear souls, can you not understand this simple proposition? You are living in this world, interacting with this world, domestic interactions, professional interactions, societal interactions, religious interactions, in all these things tell me, what is your position? Are you the drashta or the driśya? When you are in a certain environment, the environment is only an object and you are the subject. The subject never becomes the object. Then where is your badhana, bondage? You may have been born in a body. The body maybe growing, it may even die one day. But all these are taking place in the object. You are not involved in it at all because you are the drashta, one point.

Secondly, what is the measure and magnitude of this drashta? What is the measure and magnitude? Mark my two words. Is it a mustard? Or is it mountainous? Is it like the sea? Think about it. When I, the drashta, I can see the whole endless universe. The universe doesn’t say, "I am endless and infinite". 'I' the seer, pronounce the universe as endless and infinite. This infinitude and endlessness, are they not coming from me? Are they not my pronouncement? Are they not my finding? Unless I have got an infinitude in me, how can I see the infinitude? When I see the infinitude, it is imprinted in me, that is why I am able to say, the universe doesn’t say, "I am endless, I am infinite". I am looking at the universe and making a pronouncement that it is infinite and manifold. So, the infinitude and manifoldness are dimensions which I generate, I perceive, I understand, I realize, I experience. So what am 'I'? Am I something finite and microscopical or am I something macro in character, infinite in my measure and magnitude?

Now, all that I am telling you is perhaps reason. I am closing my eyes, I only use my voice to express the thoughts but mind you, the entire process that I am presenting before you comes from the intelligence in the way of an inference. If you think that senses alone are supreme in us, and we don’t have anything beyond the senses, I think you will get nowhere. Understand that the senses are themselves made by us and we are employing them.

I hold a walking stick and I am walking. The walking stick helps me but I have made the walking stick, I have bought it, I hold it, and I use it as a third leg to help me. Poor walking stick doesn’t have anything in the way of sentience, it is inert. I am authorizing and empowering it to help me. In the same manner, the senses are made by me, I am employing them to help me in my perception. The senses do not change my character or do not intrude into my horizon. I remain the master, I employ the senses and I perceive things. But I remain the perceiver and all the perceptions are really speaking about my own measure, magnitude, potential and greatness. Now, this you have to understand from your intelligence. Unless you use your intelligence and try to infer in this manner, I don’t think your sādhana will progress to any extent whatsoever.

sundaryā nijayā buddhyā prajñayeva vayasyayā |
padamāsādyate rāma na nāmakriyayānyayā ||5|12|18||
(Yogavasishta Ramayanam)

Vasishta tells Rama, sundaryā nijayā buddhyā, with the help of the beautiful intelligence of oneself, prajñayeva vayasyayā – with the help of the additional friend in the form of discrimination. It is not enough if you have intelligence. You must be able to use it discreetly and discriminate matters. So, discrimination is the second friend, is the friend. sundaryā nijayā buddhyā prajñayeva vayasyayā.

padamāsādyate rāma, whatever supreme abode, grief-less, grief free, doubt-free, peaceful, quiet, unwavering, unimpeachable, whatever abode you want to reach, it is reached with the help of intelligence and discrimination. And not by, na nāmakriyayānyayā, simply by muttering or uttering the name of God or something else, or by doing various rituals and other and yogic and other exercises. I am wondering where will that person be, or the group of people be who will understand this role?

You say God is all-pervading. God is pervading in all. That 'all' is seen by the senses. But in seeing the 'all' also, it is the mind that employs the senses and sees the 'all'. So, the 'all' itself is an idea, it is a measure, it is an experience of the mind. When will you understand these things? I sometimes feel helpless, I don’t say I am dejected. Why don’t you use your intelligence? God is present everywhere, in your heart also. And who is present or what is present there is itself God. So don’t seek Him, but realize Him as already present in your heart. What is present in your heart, the same thing is present everywhere in this world. Your body is an object in which the subject God is there. The world is an object in which the same subject God is there. Unless we are harnessing our intelligence, I don’t think the sādhana will progress and fructify.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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