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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
In our Ashram, we are about eight people; spiritual and ascetic people. Three of us are sannyāsins. The others are Brahmachārins or Brahmachārinis. I always think about these youngsters who have spent quite some time in the Ashram. As seekers, I think they are whole time and full-fledged wholesome seekers, leaving everything including their own household and house relationships. So, very often I think about them and the spiritual enlightenment and fruition, fulfillment that they must have. They are in an Ashram which is very much given to the real jñāna sādhana, not the so-called teaching and learning of the scriptures but beyond this, there is something called the sādhana in the form of jñāna.
Bhagavad Gita puts it in this manner.
Jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ jñāna-gamyaṁ hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam. Jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ jñāna-gamyaṁ, it is jñāna no doubt. Why? Because it can only be approached through the process of knowledge activity. Even meditation is not a physical or a sensory activity. It is mento-intellectual in nature. In the same manner, this Brahma jñāna or Ātma jñāna or liberation, Jeevanmukti can be approached only inwardly employing the mind and intelligence. Whenever the mind and the intelligence are employed, it becomes a jñāna process, a jñāna prakriya. What is that jñāna prakriya by the pursuit of which one gets to real jñāna? This is not merely the study of scriptures, but something different.
Somehow or the other when I met my Gurudev and had my deeksa from him, I entered into a phase of life where reading was not my wont. I told my Gurudev that, “I am not interested in reading. Is it okay?” He said, “Yes.” So, I was spending all my time, whenever available to the absorptional sādhana, the deeksha sādhana which he had given me. And this steeped me in a continuous stream of experiential sādhana. My sitting in meditation was not a strain, it was not an effort. It was always experiential where I used to feel a vibrant and a buoyant sensation covering the whole of my body. It was very pleasant, no doubt, sometimes extremely so; but after some time I felt, “What is this? Every time I sit, I get absorbed; I get soaked in some thrilling sensation. How long can this go? Can I be always in a thrill, in a blissful thrill? That means I have to be absorbed always, shun all my activities and sit. Is this what I want? What do our scriptures say? They always speak about Brahma jñāna, Ātma jñāna, jeevanmukti. What is this? It cannot be a state, it cannot be an experience. Something different is there.”
Maybe about one and a half or two years had passed after my deeksha from my Gurudev, I started reading our scriptures commencing from Mundakopanishad. Mundakopanishad, Kathopanishad, Kenopanishad, Isavāsyopanishad, Māndukya-Upanishad which is considered to be a supreme discussion and authority on Brahma jñāna. There I found references and statements like jñāna is not a coming and a going state. Samādhi is something to be practiced, and that too nirvikalpa samādhi. Nirvikalpa samādhi is something to be practiced. It is different from what many people know. They feel nirvikalpa samādhi is the last attainment in the life of spirituality.
So, there were many statements which were revealing and what I found was that the entire life was one of knowledge orientation. We must be able to verify and submit every kind of experience including meditation, meditative absorption, the so-called samādhi etc.
na hi jñānena sadṛśaṁ pavitram-iha vidyate ।
There is nothing more purifying than jñāna. So, even to purify our inner personality consisting of mind, intelligence and ego, jñāna is the one factor. What is this wonderful jñāna that the scriptures speak about? It cannot be a state; it cannot be a meditative fruition. There was an occasion when I attended a devotional program on a Skanda Shashti day. When I was listening to the songs on Lord Muruga, I had an affinity for them, at one point, my sitting body simply jumped to its heels. It was such an ecstatic overwhelming, absolutely enthralling experience. Nobody was able to control me. Some of my friends were about to pour water on my head. I think the spell lasted for about one or two hours. I cannot convey the overwhelming and cyclonic nature of that experience. Everybody thought that I would not go to the office next day, but I did go. This is a special trait of mine. Whatever I am doing, I don’t want to leave. But I felt that I was deaf. The impact of this cyclonic experience was so much that the entire nervous system in the whole body was shaken to the quick. It took about four or five days for me to feel that my benumbed body had become somewhat normal. I found that this is very dangerous. This is not what I want.
What I want is something that is normal which would be co-existential with whatever I am. As I am talking to you, I must also have my jñāna. What is that? So, I must have normally become a very eccentric, ecstatic person perhaps like Ramakrishnadev or Rama Prasad. But I found: “No, this is not right.” There is something in the way of a sublimation. The entire jñāna process, the jñāna orientation is aimed at sublimating and enriching our mind through intelligence. Where is the imperfection? What is the impurity? Where is the lack of fullness? What is it caused by? When we have hunger and we suffer, appeasement is there, then we should be alright. So, the root cause is something different. In this way, I entered into a knowledge orientation process. I cannot exactly specify when it started. Ever since then, I was thinking only about this. My reading Bhagavad Gita, explaining it, finding the real focus.
See, Bhagavad Gita is a conversation in the battlefield of Kurukshetra between Krishna and Arjuna. In that conversation, where was the time for Arjuna to meditate? Where was the time for Krishna to put him into a level of experience? Assuming that the viśvarūpa darśana was true and correct, what happened? Arjuna got afraid by seeing the viśvarūpa. That also did not solve his problem. Viśvarūpa darśana is in the eleventh chapter of Bhagavad Gita, and the twelfth chapter describes devotion, and from the thirteenth chapter onwards you find in Bhagavad Gita a beautiful analysis of spiritual wisdom. Almost like teaching mathematics, particularly in the thirteenth (chapter) where he says there are 20 virtues or excellences, all together of which constitute wisdom and the entire rest is ajñāna. Etat jñānam ajñānaṁ yad-ato’nyathā (Bhagavad Gita 13.11).
What is this wonderful jñāna which remains constantly in you and the hindrance to which is impurity of the mind, the constriction of the ego, the doubt and the oscillation of the intelligence? So, the entire sādhana is aimed at evenizing the mind, clarifying the intelligence and effacing the so-called ego. What is that process by which these three can be achieved? What is that process by which,
क्षीयन्ते चास्य कर्माणि तस्मिन् दृष्टे परावरे ।।
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi tasmin dṛṣte parāvare ||
What is the parāvara darśana by virtue of which these three benefits are had? The knot of the heart in the form of ego is untied or broken, all the doubts are dispelled and all feelings of bandhana caused by karma earlier or the present or the future one; everything becomes free. So, it’s a kind of clarity, it’s a kind of enlightenment, it’s a kind of self assurance, it’s a kind of an inner perception by virtue of which you become the same forever. What is this sameness? How can it be achieved? So, this kind of a knowledge-orientation started working in me. And I believe, I excel in this.
Yogavasishtha Ramayana somehow happened to come into my life and the more and more I was reading Yogavasishtha Ramayana, not all of it, some verses, I found, "What is this? Vasishtha was talking to Sri Rama for eighteen days, and as the talk progressed, Sri Rama completely got absorbed. Not only he, others also and Vasishtha had to stop." See, it is something very, very significant; I don’t know whether you miss it or you get it. As Vasishta was talking to Rama, and Rama was hearing Vasishtha, without any effort, by a process of what? Into the mind and into the intelligence, whatever Vasishtha was speaking in the form of knowledge and the knowledge effects, all of them started to cling into Rama like every drop of milk poured into a pitcher of water. The water was changing the colour, changing the colour, changing the colour. Ultimately there was no water, all milk. The same thing happened.
So, what is this real sādhana? Is it meditation? Is it yogāsana? Is it kriya? What is this? There seems to be a process.
तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति ।।
na hi jñānena sadṛśaṁ pavitram-iha vidyate ।
tat-svayaṁ yoga-saṁsiddhaḥ kālenātmani vindati ||
Once you give yourself to this knowledge prakriya, the knowledge sādhana, it will go on nursing you, nursing you, reforming you, refining you. It is not a time-bound effect. It is an effect that goes on working in you just like the breath of your life, assimilation of food into your life. It’s a wonderful thing.
I would like our brahmacārinis to think about it and come to me. I would like to explain it to them a little more. In the Ashram, we have two satsangs generally, either Mā or Nutan Swamiji speaks; in the evening I take a satsang. In our Ashram, it is a wholesome transformation that is taking place. People have a feeling that they are overworked here. Work or no work, it matters little. It is an attitudinal orientation, it is an objectival orientation. Do anything that you want or that you have, but everything should be transformed into a sādhana. This transformation takes place in the hands of your mind and intelligence. The mind and the intelligence should be touched by, touched by, reformed by, refined by, sublimated by the wisdom. Wherever wisdom is expressed, that is called wisdom. It can be expressed not necessarily in looks, it can be expressed only in the form of thoughts which when become audible, become speech. That is how our scriptures rank supremely in the way of spiritual life, sādhana, its pursuit and fulfillment.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.