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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
In our personality, there are three distinct levels of activity, to some extent interaction also. To start from the visible external level, sensory activity is the first. Sensory activity means activity with the jñānendriyās, the knowledge senses and also the action senses, karmendriyās. A combination of both is called the physical activity, sensory activity. When you apply this in the religious or devotional sphere, all kinds of worship using flowers and other materials and havens, offering materials into the burning fire, blazing fire, all these will be the sensory activity. But while doing so, if mantras are chanted, then it becomes oral activity also.
The sensory and oral activities, they are the visible ones and belonging to the two external gross levels. One is the sensory, another is the oral. Oral activity stands distinct because it is from the mouth and tongue that we are able to produce words, articulation. It has got a distinct role. These two complete the external visible activities.
Then when you go inside, the mind is the first factor where mental activity takes place. What is the mental activity? Primarily remembrance, reactions and responses. The first level of thoughts and reactions take place in the mind. There is a further level called the intelligence level. What is that activity? It is always introspection and in the religio-spiritual sphere, truthful introspection.
Each activity has got its rating. The physical and sensory ones, if they have ‘1’ value, oral has got ‘100’, mental has got ‘1000’ and intelligential has got ‘100000’. So much difference is there.
Humanity if you take together, you will find most of them will be given to sensory activity, muscle people. Very few people are given to good speaking, singing, dancing etc. fine arts. Still lesser number of people will be those where you find mental activity, elegance in that. And finally when it comes to the intelligence, the number of people will be very rare like gold as a metal.
Though the four distinct levels of activity are there, understand that without the mind’s participation, no sensory or oral activity can ever be. So the mind becomes very important as a faculty superior to the senses and the mouth and as a causal inevitable factor in producing the other activities also. In the spirituo-religious pursuit, if you can employ the mind, that will be superior to employing the tongue and the senses. If you take up the intelligence level, then that always means and implies reading, hearing, understanding, thinking, introspecting, assimilating.
Many people do not understand that to be reading a spiritual book is a sādhana and a tapas. To try to understand the message is still more so. To absorb the message and apply its value and its effect in your personality and functions, that is still more so.
The word Sānkhya literally means Upanishad Vidya. In the Upanishad, you will find it is always vicāra, introspection that matters. Is there any God, where is He, is He all-pervading, if so is He not in me? Am I not Himself, why is it that I don’t feel? Why do I say ‘I am’? What is this ‘I’? Who supports the entire universe? Does God have a form or is He formless? You take up any line of enquiry, either into the world or about God or about oneself, all the three will converge. This vicāra itself is a sādhana. It is called the Sānkhya Yoga.
Then Dhyāna is another sādhana. Dhyāna is one where you try to uniformize the mano vritthis, mental functions. And ultimately, even the singular function of the mind when it gets stabilized, that also disappears and stops. So dhyāna is one method.
Different forms of devotional practice, there also a method. Then chanting a mantra or chanting the name of God loudly or chanting various hymns, stutīs etc. with the mouth, that is also a way.
But understand that Prathamā pratimā pūjā. The worship of the idol is the first link in this sādhana.
Uttamā mānasī pūja. The worship that you can do with your mind is still better.
Soham bhāvottamottamā. The uttamā worship is when you think about God as all-pervading, being so He is present in me and what is present in me must be He Himself. So ‘I’ refers to Himself, so He and I are the same. Thinking in this manner, that becomes the best inner worship.
We are going to release a book before long, it is a collection of articles written in Vicharasetu under the caption ‘Science of Inner Redemption’. Vasishtha tells Rama about a dialogue he had in the Himalayan peaks with Lord Śiva, where Lord Śiva himself says “Worship to me is actually inner and inward. I am the consciousness which animates and activates the human body. Consciousness is my nature. That is the real Śiva and this consciousness can be worshipped only inwardly by virtue of inner products.”
What are the inner products? Qualities and virtues of the mind, whatever qualities and virtues you can think of for the mind - Purity, innocence, straightforwardness, patience, tolerance, perseverance, exclusiveness, truthfulness, trustworthiness, dependability, reliance, steadfastness, unflinchingness, all these are qualities of the mind. So “Develop these qualities and through them, worship the consciousness that is inside.”, He says. And when Lord Śiva says that, Vasishtha is bringing a mythological dimension to the whole narration. It is in purāṇās that there is so many different types of God, Goddess etc. all of them are mentioned. So Vasishtha brings Lord Śiva to make this statement. Thereby people should understand that the different types of Gods and Goddesses though are there, ultimately the true God is the consciousness that animates their body and activates it.
Why I said this? Soham bhāvottamottamā. The real worship has to be with products of the mind and should be addressed to the anatarātmā, the indwelling presence. So the whole thing becomes an inner pilgrimage and an inner pursuit where the focus is the one presence denoted by the term ‘I’, the antarātmā.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.