"Self-realization is meant to ensure fulfilment for one’s own self. It is not reaching somewhere or getting at something external, like going to the peak of a mountain. The attainment is in dissolving the mind and intelligence, and getting into the very core of oneself. In other words, it is like multiplying everything with zero."

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.

What shall I tell you? The whole of spiritual life and spirituality, spiritual wisdom is meant to penetrate into the mind, dwell in the mind and bring about a number of enrichments, elevations, sublimations, and ornamentations to our personality. Nothing in spirituality is a negative element. Everything is enriching, elevating, expanding, ornamenting, decking.

We are putting on ornaments for the body, neck, ear, nose, hand etc. In the same manner, why don’t you deck your mind also, intelligence also? Spirituality aims at doing this, inner decorations. In this matter, the best that will help you is reading of our fundamental sastras. By fundamental sastras, what do I mean? I mean, primarily the Vedic Upanishads. People do not get there generally. Bhagavad Gita is a kind of an elucidation of the Upanishadic truths and principles. It is written in a book form. Upanishads are not so much like that. Bhagavad Gita consists of 18 chapters and these 18 chapters are beautifully connected. They are precise on the one hand, brief, at the same time they are expansive and comprehensive.

Generally, the difficulty is many people will not be able to get into the core of Bhagavad Gita. There are many statements in many places in Bhagavad Gita. You should be able to get at those or that which will clinch your pursuit and fulfil you. In the same manner, whether it is the Upanishads, Srimad Bhagavatam or Brahma Sutras or any other text, your success lies in eliminating a lot and focusing on a few. And once you have been able to do it, the focused sentences or words or paragraphs should be always dwelling in you. You must be able to commit them to memory.

Today I was wondering what should I talk? I think from tomorrow onwards, I will undertake the mouna. So, I was wondering, should I not speak about it today. Then I thought, what is this mouna? Suddenly I felt like telling you,

Pāṇḍithya Bālya Mounākhyāni sādhanāni sādhayitavyāni.

I hope I am right in the words. This is something that I happened to read when I was in Kolkata in my pre-sannyasa life. This is Sankara’s words in perhaps Mandukya Upanishad. What is this sadhana? What is this Jnana sadhana? Actually the Upanishads hold that you have to get into the truths, by first of all locating them as to what they are and where they are. Then, do your own reflection and rumination as a result of which it will not merely remain a book words but will remain your thoughts. There is a lot of difference between the two.

The words in the book remain there as inert. When they enter your personality, you mind, your intelligence, they become as vibrant as you are. So, the first hurdle that you have to overcome is to find out what are the real salient thoughts and then learn them and make them yours. So, when I read

Pāṇḍithya Bālya Mounākhyāni sādhanāni sādhayitavyāni.

Pāṇḍithya, Bālya and Mouna - These are the three sadhanas that you are have pursue and make real. This is all what one has to do. The entire spiritual sadhana is condensed by Sankara in these three words. What do they mean?

Pāṇḍithya means in one sense, a scholarly knowledge. It is not just a knowledge. Even a child will recite Bhagavad Gita. A child can recite even an Upanishad. We met an African girl studying in school. It is incredible. I asked her last year, “Will you learn Vishnu Sahasranama?” And she has learned it. And the manner in which she recites, the mood, the piety, the so-called absorption with which she says, I think she is 95, 98, 99% alright. Then, some of the verses in our Atma Sudha, they are very difficult verses to pronounce. When Mā asked her to pronounce, to recite a few verses. With no difficulty and assuming or anything whatsoever, she closed her eyes, held the mike and started reciting. I wonder how many in our group will be able to recite like that. So beautifully she had recited! It is a very exceptional cultural enrichment that she has got.

Now this scholarship means, you should know, what are the Vedas, what are the Upanishads, what are the other sastras, what are the Atma Jnana Sastras. As much as you know, better and not unnecessarily so that you should not be a fool. You should understand the matters properly in the manner in which it is presented. It is presented as a sacred text, sacred words, it is presented as a logical presentation, it is presented in an aphoristic manner by the Upanishads, Gita and Brahma Sutras. Then you find them explained in Prakarana Granthas, individual texts. So, these things you know. Atleast know Bhagavad Gita.

Then Bālya, that means what? Childlike innocence. I don’t know how many people are innocent. Everybody want to cover up the mind and put up pretenses, answer no question in a straight manner, always, “If I answer what will happen? What will others think?” etc. Two plus three, how much is it, five. Is there a question of somebody thinking differently about your answer? In the same manner, what is in your mind? You may maximum say “I would like to speak about it alone when you are there.” That much you can say. But the answer is whatever is in your mind, that alone is the answer.

‘What do you want? What is your aim? Are you happy?’ All these questions cannot have two answers. ‘Are you truthful? Do you speak lies?’ Our cultural heritage class children, infrequently I sit with them, I talk to them. So every time, generally invariably I ask them, “What about your truthfulness? You had mentioned to me last time. Still do you speak lies? Lift your hands.” They will raise their hands. The number become lesser and lesser every time. “Why are you speaking lies?” “It is necessary.” “Why it is necessary?” They will say their reason. Some children said, “We try to avoid lies but we have not been able to.”

Pāṇḍithya Bālya Mounākhyāni sādhanāni. Mouna means what? Normally people understand oral silence. Silence, not speaking. Why are you not speaking? Words represent thoughts and ideas. If you don’t speak, then there should be no ideation also in the mind. So the word, mouna properly analyzed means, Samadhi, Nirvikalpa Samadhi. You sit, the body become still, the mouth also becomes still, then the mind also has to become still. When that stillness is attained, that is called mounam. 

Generally, if people observe mouna normally as an austerity, it should not be just a physical silence. That mouna should be used for deeper and finer introspection, particularly truthful introspection which will culminate in the so-called Samadhi.

So, I propose to be in mouna from tomorrow onwards for at least two weeks. Then I said, what is this mouna? In my case, I am taking this mouna, what for? Only to help my vocal system. The doctor said I have chronic laryngitis. But it is not in any way dangerous. Public speakers have it. “So, you go to America, but on one condition that after coming back you should be in total mouna for two weeks or fifteen days.” So, I am going to do it. I have done it earlier also. I will have a board with a clip and a few sheets of paper and a pen. So, whatever I have to say, I will indicate it in the form of letters and words. But I can hear people. There is no harm in hearing them.

The point wanted to emphasis is these three words ever since I read them, they were in my mind.

Pāṇḍithya Bālya Mounākhyāni sādhanāni

What is sadhana for a spiritual seeker? This is the sadhana.  Pāṇḍithya - learning. Bālya - for the mind and heart, Mounā - as a spiritual practice. Just see how beautifully he has put it! At least I have spent so much of time. So, the inmates of the Ashram, sadhikas and sadhakas, they should at least remember this for my sake. Pāṇḍithya Bālya Mouna. To this extent you have to learn and remember the truths, so that they will come and play whenever you want.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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