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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
This is a verse from Kaivalya Navaneetham, a text written by Śankhu Kavi in Tamil Nadu. It is originally written in Tamil; it was translated.
Dehād-anyo nāsti dehīti cettvam. Suppose you say, you only have the body and there is nothing besides the body in the form of the soul, that means you don’t recognize any body-different personality or existence. If that is your point of view, please answer three questions.
Svapne ko vā vetti sarvam vikāram. You get into sleep. In sleep, you are disconnected from the body, mind, intelligence, ego and the world. In a condition when you are sensorily and bodily disconnected from the world, a dream world, dream activities, dream interactions, so many things have been seen. Tell me, who sees this? You cannot say the senses in your body are seeing because along with the body, the senses are lying absolutely functionless. Then how do you experience the dream? Who? So there is some presence besides the body; that is why you are able to feel and report the dream.
Suptau ko vā śunya-vettā prabodhe. When you go to sleep, the entire body becomes functionless. When the body becomes totally functionless, you get up from sleep and then say, ‘I slept comfortably; I did not know anything’. Who is that person or presence that did not know anything? That ‘I did not know’ is a very clear universal knowledge of dream.
The one who knows or who knew the dream - the dreamer, and one who went into sleep and felt that ‘I did not know anything’ - the sleeper; is he not the same person who wakes up and then perceives and interacts with the objects through the senses? Because you say, ‘I had a dream’, you also say, ‘I slept’ and you say, ‘Now I have woken up’. So the ‘I’ in all the three states is the same. So if the dreamer is different from the body, it has to be, the sleeper is also different from the body, it has to be. It is the same person that is present in the wakeful hours also to see the world and interact with it through the senses. What a beautiful logic is this! Just see?
If you hold the fact that the body alone is, this body is lying totally inert and intact. Then you experience a dream, you experience a sleep, it is that body-different presence, even in the wakeful state it is the same presence that through the senses interacts with the world. I don’t think you can object to it or reject it.
Srimad Bhagavatam is a very devotional text. In that text, the Eleventh Skandha is called Mukti Skandha. It speaks about liberation, spiritual knowledge, the soul, the self etc. In that, most of it is in the form of a dialogue between Krishna, the last message Krishna gives sitting in Dwaraka to the most chosen devotee of his, Uddhava. It’s a dialogue.
Just before that, Srimad Bhagavatam presents a setting in which Nimi Chakravarthy was performing in Videha, a huge sacrifice. While the sacrifice was in progress, quite unexpectedly a set of nine yogis came to the spot. On seeing them, Emperor Nimi had the good sense to recognize them and the need to be in their presence. So he got up stopping the sacrifice and all the priests also got up.
He welcomed the unexpected arrival of the yogis, washed their feet, gave them seat, gave them a little food and after they were comfortable, he sat in their front and he started asking them, “Please enlighten me with regard to devotional dharma by virtue of which the Supreme Lord will be personally pleased and gift the devotees their own self.”
Each yogi started speaking from his point of view. All the nine spoke. And one of the yogis speaks in this manner; listen to it.
The answer to the question as to who is the self or what is the self, listen to this proposition.
Sthity-udbhava-pralaya-hetur-ahetur-asya. There is something or somebody is responsible for the creation of this universe, its preservation and its dissolution also. Don’t think that pralaya or deluge is a one-time, one-day affair. As things are produced in this world, they have to be preserved and protected; they have to get destroyed also. So creation, preservation and destruction are constantly going on in the world in a smaller measure and a bigger measure. He says - Think about what or who is the source of creation, preservation and dissolution. Let us think about; there is a source.
He says: Sthity-udbhava-pralaya-hetur-ahetur-asya. There is a cause for the creation, preservation and dissolution of this universe. That cause must have another cause. If you say this, then the other cause also must have another cause. So at one point you have to stop. The source of the whole creation!
Yat-svapna-jāgara-suṣuptiṣu sad-bahiś-ca. It is the same source that is present in your dream. It is the same source that in waking activates your senses. In sleep nobody can act, nobody can see. But we are seeing in the wakeful hours. So the seeing is possible by virtue of the eyes, brain, etc.
Yat-svapna-jāgara-suṣuptiṣu sad-bahiś-ca. It is the same thing that is present in waking, sleep and dream. So the Lord of the Universe, we cannot approach or we cannot comprehend. We were not there when creation started and we will not be there when dissolution is at work. So far as the prevalence is concerned, it is very small, but the universe is endless. So in order to find out the answer to the question, who is at the back of the world, we are obliged to think about our own body and it’s within.
Dehendriyāsu-hṛdayāni caranti yena. Sleep is something which we cannot reach – see whether you can understand it. We have jāgrat - wakefulness, then dream and then we have sleep.
Svapna-jāgara-suṣuptiṣu sad-bahiś-ca. What is present in dream, sleep and jagrat - wakefulness, it is the same. How to find it out?
Dehendriyāsu-hṛdayāni caranti yena. Deha - the body, indriya - the senses, asu - means life forces or prāṇa, then mind, intelligence etc. all of them are known and activated by whom? Now, this is the Supreme Lord and this is the Truth. So first of all, he takes you to the world and its creation etc. Finally he says, think of who dreamt and who is wakeful and start looking at the inward Self as the source of everything; God is only a synonym for him.
This is a beautiful śloka! But you should read it, think about it and make it your own.
Some of you would have gone to Guruvayur or any other temple. What you want to see is not the idol, you want to see the truth represented by the idol. That truth is like this. So coming to an Ashram is actually many times going to the temple. Understand that such inquiry is what makes our people literary and educated.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.