"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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.

On many occasions, I used to say this Atma Jnana is just like the fire we are using. The fire has got manifold application. It can be used for making pudding for offering to the Lord. It can burn the dead body and refuse. It can heat the water. It can sterilize many things. It can heat up the Earth. It will give you warmth. So many different applications are there. Similarly, this atma jnana is also of manifold application. The application of Atma Jnana is primarily and solely to resolve the problems and confrontations of the mind and intelligence. Whenever the mind is confronted with anything, the intelligence also is confronted. In the case of intelligence, it will be ignorance, delusion and doubt. In the case of the mind, it will be unpleasantness, unhappiness, suffering and what not! Atma Jnana can completely remove all these. When I say this, I am sure that most of you will not be listening to and absorbing what is said.

We have the most illustrious application of Atma Jnana in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Generally, this jnana is sought by people who are dispassionate in the world, who develop a dispassion or even a repulsion for the world. And such dispassionate people perhaps go to the forest or kutiras, say something like this, this Ashram also and they seek atma jnana not to get involved in this world but to retire from this world and to be solely occupied with. So, it is a very peaceful application, that too austere and absorbing application of atma jnana. This is the context in which we know. But I would like you to understand that it is not at all so. It maybe so for practical purposes with many of the seekers but don’t restrict atma jnana only for that. It is supposed to treat the mind and set it right so far as any problems, interactional problems are concerned.

So you will find in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna treating Arjuna’s mind and intelligence with the same soul wisdom, no other soul wisdom, the same wisdom and then making him get up with his bow and arrow and resolve to fight the bloody war of eighteen days, in which the first people he had to confront were his own grandfather and teacher, between whom and himself there was no enmity or dislike at all. Bhishma and Drona were blessing him, the Pandavas. And the Pandavas had the utmost regard for Bhishma and Drona. As the fight progressed also, Yudhishthira was sent by Krishna to ask Bhishma. “As long as you are alive, we won’t be able to do anything with this Duryodhana army. So, please tell us how you can be subdued and you can be de-seated from the chariot.” Bhishma himself told them the method of doing so.

So, you can understand that this Mahabharata war is such a cruel war in one sense, though it was a dhārmic war. And such a severe, excruciating impact of the war, Atma Jnana resolved it. Resolved it and said what? “Arjuna, you need not fight. Get away from here. Let us go to the forest and dissolve our mind and intelligence. Remain immersed in the self.” That was not the advice given. Arjuna wanted to do it. Krishna denounced it completely and said “Whatever you will achieve by meditative absorption in the forest and in the cottages, achieve it here and now. I have got a formula got Yoga-buddhi”. Very good.

Sri Rama was confronted after a pilgrimage. He was unable to live even because of the impact of suffering caused by whatever he saw during the pilgrimage. It was a widespread exposure for him. What happened? He was very young, sixteen years old. He never sought any cottage or a hermit living in the forest. Vasishtha was luckily in the palace. He called Sri Rama and then remaining in the palace hall, Vasishtha went on giving spiritual and philosophical instructions. The same Atma Jnana, Sri Rama absorbed it, got himself meditatively absorbed while the discussion was going on and then his problems were resolved, he began to do. The summary advice of Vasishtha intermittently was “Rama, Rama, you have to sit on the throne. Rule efficiently with loyalty but never have possessiveness or ego.” So what is the summary effect of Atma Jnana? Dis-possessiveness and non-ego. These are the two important ingredients of Atma Jnana.

Now let us go to some other occasions. What are the occasions? Parikshit. Parikshit was fated to die on the seventh day. The great King decided that “I am going to die on the seventh day. I will prepare myself for death right from today by denying and refusing food and drink. I will not have my food, I will not drink even water. Prayopavesham. But my ears have to be feasted with Tattva-Kathana and devotional Kathana.” Luckily, the young sixteen-year old Suka muni came there with no apparel on his body, indicating that whatever he was going to say was as naked and open as the body was. So with all nudity outside and openness inside, he exposed the chamber of the self to Parikshit. Parikshit went on absorbing it and before Takshaka came and administered his poisonous bite, Parikshit had already internally got absorbed, forgetting the whole body.

Which are the other occasions? You will find Saunaka going to Angiras with a doubt. That was a very peaceful situation, the Upanishadic situation. And Angiras exposed to him the mystery of self-knowledge.

Rukmini wrote a letter to Krishna asking him to kidnap her. “Krishna, literally do so.” Then all the Kings assembled there felt very bad and Rukmini’s brother Rukmi confronted and obstructed Krishna. The battle began. Krishna caught hold of him and He was about to behead Rukmi. Suddenly Rukmini fell at his feet and said “Oh! My dear Lord, please don’t do so. He is my brother. I will not be able to bear the agony.” So He cut off the hair and the mustache or so and then sent him away. Immediately Balarama came and started advising her. “What is it? It is because it was your brother that you obstructed Krishna. Suppose it was somebody else, you would not have said anything. You certainly wanted Krishna to confront the enemies. But because the enemy happened to be your brother, you pleaded before him not to kill him. This feeling of one is my brother, another is not so, this is brought about by delusion. Because you don’t know the truth about the singularity of the soul. This is clearly moha and delusion. Rukmini, do not give vent to this. Today or tomorrow, your brother will have to be confronted and will have to be killed.” See the occasion there. Rukmini confronted by her mind and then Balarama advising the same Atma Jnana.

What is the other instance? The other instance is Hiranyakashipu, seeing that his brother Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Hari, felt angry on the one hand but he went to the sister-in -law and the mother to console them. He consoled them by exposing to them the philosophy of the indestructible self, Atma Jnana.

What is the other example that comes to my mind? Devaki. All the children of Devaki except one were killed mercilessly by Kamsa. After delivery, Vasudeva faithfully took one child after the other. The seventh, there was a miscarriage. The eighth child was born, Krishna. Krishna was transported to Vrindavan, a girl was brought instead. This girl was taken away by Kamsa and when he about to smash her, it simply escaped from Kamsa’s fist and remaining in the sky it said that “I am not your enemy. Your enemy is born elsewhere. Find him out if you can”. Kamsa felt very disappointed. In spite of all heavy preparations, whatever he wanted to do, he could not do, he did not succeed. He straightaway goes to Devaki and consoles her with the spiritual and Atmic philosophy saying that “Gods also have started speaking lies. What shall I do? However, my dear sister, I am sorry for whatever I have done, but you should understand that the soul is different from the body. When the body is killed, the soul is not dying. Every one of us is under a fate. Prakrti is supreme here and let us not worry about it. Though instrumentally I might have killed your children, in reality I did not act of my own volition. Prakrti is behind everything. We are really a football hit by Prakrti this side and that side. So don’t worry.”

What do you understand from all this? My dear souls, please know it for certain, this atma jnana is sought by a meditational and absorptional process, I agree. But meditation and absorption are only one way of it. For people who are not given to introspection, meditation and absorption alone will make them introspective. But once you become introspectional, your moments and hours of meditation will have to be larger and longer. In meditation, the mind becomes sharper, the intelligence become subtle, the mano-vrttis, the chitta-vrttis become subtler and subtler and at last they disappear like the matter particles before a scientist’s microscope. They simply disappear and the chittha will become chit. This is true.

But Atma Jnana is not exhausted by meditation or absorption. It has to be applied in every life situation. If you are displeased by ‘x’ or ‘y’, that displeasure will be treated by atma jnana. If you are disturbed by jealousy towards anybody, that is also a disturbance of the mind. That will also be treated by atma jnana. If you have a fear, the fear also will be treated. If you have an ambition, the ambition will be treated. If you have hatred, that also will be treated. So, this Atma Jnana has got an all-fold application and that application is on no other factors than the emotional mind and the enquiring intelligence. I thought I would explain this proposition. I think it is a kind of a unique contribution from my side.

Krishna made the greatest revolution by presenting the sublime and peaceful message of the self in a manner that was very active and vibrant in order to empower Arjuna to fight the most notorious and bloody war where human emotions were highly assailed almost to a point of irretrievable level. This is the greatness of this culture. Try to think about it.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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