Moksha is the summum bonum of life. It is freedom from births and deaths. It is not annihilation. It is annihilation of this little “I.”
It is obtained through Knowledge of the Self. You will have to know the truth through direct intuitive experience.
You will have to cut asunder the veil of ignorance by meditation on the Self. Then you will shine in your pristine purity and Divine glory.
Assert The Majesty Of Your Real Self
You are not the little self, Mr. John Murray. You are not Miss. X.Y. Banerjee. You are not Mr. S.R. Iyer. You are not Mrs. A.M. Iyengar. Endeavour to remove this body idea. Attempt to eliminate this sex idea. You are neither a male nor a female. Transmute the sex energy or reproductive energy into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti by pious thoughts, constant Satsanga, ceaseless Atmic enquiry, study of Atma Jnana books, mental drill and meditation. Remember always, “I am. I exist. I am a centre of consciousness in the ocean of life. I am a centre of thought, influence and power.”
Courage, power, strength, wisdom and joy are your divine heritage, your birthright from the Absolute. Develop your will-power. Will has made intellectual and spiritual giants. You are equal to any and every man. You have emanated from the same source. You are an expression of the same one life, one Existence, one Sat, one Reality. You are the real “I”, the real Atman. You are immortal. You can hardly be destroyed. You are invincible. You can by no means be injured. Belief in this sense-world alone is death. Your real nature is Satchidananda, immortality and bliss. The Seer of Self sees not death nor disease nor sorrow. The Seer sees all as his own Self. He pervades all. He knows everything. He is all-powerful.
What Is Atman?
Atman or Brahman is Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute. It is different from the gross, subtle and causal bodies. It transcends the five sheaths (Pancha Koshas). It is the witness of the three states: waking, dreaming and deep sleep. It is the support of the twenty-four Tattvas. It is distinct from Jiva and Ishvara who are associated with Avidya and Maya respectively.
The Self appears to be finite on account of Avidya. But when the ignorance is dispelled, that one Atman shines by its own light, like the sun when clouds are dispelled. This Samsara which is filled with love, hatred, etc., is really like a dream. It appears to be all real, so long as one is involved in it, but when one awakes by acquiring true knowledge, it becomes unreal. Just as bubbles rise from, exist and dissolve in the water, so also the Supreme Lord who is the material cause for everything, the pure Atman, by the contact with the five sheaths, etc., appears to put on their respective qualities. Just as we attribute blue colour to the sky, so also we attribute on account of indiscrimination, the qualities and activities of the body and the organs to the pure, Satchidananda Atman. Passion, desires, happiness, misery, etc., exercise their functions only during waking and dreaming states when the intellect is present and are not present in the deep sleep, when intellect is absent. They, therefore, belong to the intellect and not to the Pure Nirvikara Atman. Egoism and the idea “I know” crop up by indiscriminately mixing up the Satchidananda aspect of Atman with the functions of Buddhi.
A beginner in Vedanta should study Atma-Bodha, Tattva-Bodha, Laghu Vasudeva-Manana and Vivekachudamani. English translations are available. He should have a comprehensive understanding of the Vedantic Prakriyas. He should have an intelligent grasp of the three bodies, the five sheaths and their Dharmas or functions, and the three states of consciousness, viz., Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti. He should know the various Yuktis such as Anvaya Vyatireka, Adhyaropa-apavada, Neti-neti, Laya Chintana, Bhaga-Tyaga Lakshana, etc. He should have a clear knowledge of Vivarta Vada, Advaita Vada, Drishti-Srishti Vada, Sva-Prakash-Vada and Ajati Vada.
An advanced student should study Upanishads, Brahma Sutras, Panchadasi, Vichara Sagar, Naishkarma Siddhi, Chit Sukhi Khandana Khadhyam, Advaita Siddhi, the monumental works on Vedanta. Advanced books should be read under a Brahma-Srotri, Brahma-nishta. He should repeat mentally Pranava (OM) at least 21,600 times daily. He should start his Sadhana, Japa and Nirakara meditation early in the morning at 4 a.m. He should possess the four means of salvation.
1. Meditate on the all-pervading air, ether, light, expansive sky, expansive ocean in the beginning to render the mind subtle and fit for abstract meditation.
2. Meditate on abstract virtues, viz., mercy, generosity, magnanimity, courage, patience, peace, balance, poise, etc. Possess these virtues also to the maximum degree. Become an embodiment of these virtues. Have the mental image ‘Om Courage, Om Mercy.’ Repeat these formulae several times daily.
3. Meditate on the following. Take up one formula every month. Repeat the formula several times daily.
(a) Nothing exists (names and forms).
(b) The world is a long dream.
(c) Nothing belongs to me (Whenever anybody dies in your house, whenever you lose anything, repeat this formula several times daily. You will have real peace of mind).
(d) I am not the body (I am distinct from body). I am not the mind (I am distinct from the mind). I am not Prana (I am distinct from Prana). I am not Indriyas (I am distinct from Indriyas). I am Immortal Atman. (Body idea will disappear).
(e) I am Sakshi OM OM OM
I am Sakshi of mind OM OM OM
I am Akarta OM OM OM
I am Asanga OM OM OM
(f) I am Immortal Atman OM OM OM
(g) I am Satchidananda Brahman OM OM OM
(h) I am Brahman OM OM OM
Those who meditate on the above ideas and formulae will become changed. They will become veritable Gods on earth, radiating joy and peace everywhere. After doing some practice, stick to one idea only. This one idea will die by itself when you get established in Brahman, in pure Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Take any triplet which you like best and meditate on that seriously in right earnest.
4. Meditate on the following. Feel and identify yourself with the whole world.
Formulae for Meditation
(a) The whole world is my body.
(b) The whole world is my home.
(c) I suffer and enjoy in all bodies.
(d) I work through all hands.
(e) I eat through all tongues.
(f) I see through all eyes.
(g) I hear through all ears.
This will result in Cosmic Consciousness and oneness of life. All sorts of Ghrina, hatred, envy, jealousy, will vanish. You will become one with the Virat and Hiranyagarbha.
5. Meditate on these ideas:
(a) All is good.
(b) All is sacred.
(c) All is one.
(d) All is God (Brahman).
(e) All bodies are mine.
6. Positive Nirguna Meditation
(a) I am the All.
(b) I am all-in-all.
(c) I am the Immortal Self in all.
Feel this. Feel this.
1. Enquire “Who am I?”
2. Find out the “Seer” of sight.
3. Thou art neither body nor mind, O Sushil! Thou art the Immortal Atman. Feel this. Feel this.
4. Deny body, deny world. Assert. Recognise. Realise. “I am the living Truth. I am the living Reality. I am Satchidananda Brahman. “Aham Brahma Asmi”—“I am the Immortal Self.”
5. Roar: OM OM OM, Soham, Soham, Soham Sivoham, Sivoham, Sivoham, like a lion of Vedanta and come out of this cage of flesh, my dear Sushil, “Tat Tvam Asi!”
Soham and OM are one and the same. Soham Dhyana is Nirguna, Nirakara meditation only. Soham means “I am he” This is associated with the breath. Repeat “So” when you inhale and “Ham” when you exhale. This is easy for some. This is known as ‘Ajapa Japa’. Feel that you are the all-pervading pure consciousness when you think of Soham. The source for this breath is Brahman or Atman. You are identical with that source and reality.
Problem Of Good And Evil
The universe contains two dynamic forces, viz., good and evil. Good and evil are twin forces. They are twin born of the same father. They are “Dvandvas” or pairs of opposites. They have no independent existence. Evil exists to glorify good. Evil is destructive force. Good is constructive force. There is neither absolute good nor absolute evil in this universe. Evil has no independent existence apart from good. Wherever there is evil, there is good; wherever there is good, there is evil. You cannot expect absolute good in this relative world. You can find absolute good in Brahman alone. From the viewpoint of the basic Reality which lies at the back of evil and good, evil and good dwindle into an airy nothing. Evil and good are mental creations. Transcend good and evil and reach the abode of Supreme Peace and Immortality. For a Jnani who has knowledge of the Self, there is neither good nor evil. The ‘Why’ of the evil can only be understood when you get Atma-Jnana. Do not rack your brain now. It is a transcendental mystery. Only Brahman knows. Finite intellect that is conditioned in time, space and causation cannot find out a solution for this problem of evil. When you are fully established in your Svarupa (Atma Nishta) evil and good vanish altogether. Do not put the cart before the horse. Transmute evil into good by changing your mental attitude or angle of vision. Out of evil, good often cometh. Destruction is necessary for regeneration, renovation and reconstruction. Will a patient with intense type of appendicular colic try to find out the ingredients of a pill, when the doctor gives him a medicine? Will he not take the pill immediately? Will a man whose cloth is on fire try to find out the “why” and “how” of the fire? Will he not run towards water for cooling himself?
Tamas is evil. Sattva is good. Convert Tamas into Sattva. Then evil is transmuted into good. Selfishness is evil. Selflessness is good. Lust is an evil. Brahmacharya is good. Greed is evil. Generosity, integrity, disinterestedness are good. Pride is evil. Humility is good.
Out of evil good often cometh. If there is a heavy torrent of rain at the time of a harvest, people consider this as evil. But God knows what is good for His children. He has brought this rain to wash off the earth the germs, which produce severe diseases. Had it not been for this rain, there would have been a severe type of pandemic, infectious diseases which could have swept away the whole population in the twinkling of an eye. Mark here. O friends, the merciful nature of the Lord! Do not try to probe into the Divine mysteries. It will baffle your poor intellect.
Then again, what about a war? It is no doubt an evil. But good often cometh out of war. A war cannot break out without the sanction of the Lord. It is He, who goads the minds of the Minister, the King, the Dictator, the President and the Commander-in-chief to wage war. It is war that produces chivalrous warriors, fearless soldiers, undaunted and intrepid statesmen. War makes a man fearless. Fearlessness is a great qualification for a spiritual aspirant. On account of passion, there is an increase in the population. The supply of foodstuff is not sufficient to meet the demands of the people. War removes the extra population and prevents the outbreak of a severe famine. War brings down to dust the pride of a ruling power. War creates mercy, generosity and cosmic love, in the hearts of rich persons who are misers; and forces them to donate to the helpless widows, orphans and the wounded persons. The world or society must evolve through evil. Understand His mysterious ways and become wise.
Though you see variegated forms with different shades of colours, yet there is a definite unity behind them. A philosopher or serious thinker is struck with wonder. He has a different, sensitive pair of eyes to behold the mysterious universe of sounds and colours. He feels and sees unity everywhere. For a scientist the world is a mass of electrons or force or energy. For a student of Kanada’s school of thought, the world is a bundle of atoms, anu and paramanu. For a psychologist the world is all mind only. For a Vijnanavadin it is a mere idea. For a Vedantin this world is nothing but Brahman or Atman.
All objects are the products of the five elements. The five elements are reducible to one element, Akasa. Earth is gross form of water. Earth gets dissolved or involved in water. Water is gross form of fire. Water gets involved in fire. Water comes out of fire. When you feel intense heat, you get profuse perspiration. Fire is gross form of Vayu. There is heat when there is motion of Vayu. Fire gets involved in Air. Vayu is gross form of Akasa. Vayu is reduced into the Akasa. This whole world is projected out of one element Akasa only.
Then again all energies such as electricity, magnetism, etc., can be reduced to one energy—Prana. They get involved in the Cosmic Prana (Hiranyagarbha). All minds can be reduced to one cosmic mind. Though expressed in different languages, the thought-image is one only. The thought-image for water or Apas or Pani or Jal is one.
Cows have different colours. But the colour of milk is one. There are different kinds of roses; but the scent is one. The eyes, ears, tongues are different but the power of sight, hearing and taste is one.
The feeling of sincerity is one though nations are different. When mercy, love, friendship, feeling of brotherhood operate, all are united at heart. There is oneness everywhere.
There is only one language, the language of the heart. There is only one Dharma, viz., Sanatana Dharma. There is only one Law—the Law of Cause and Effect. There is only one religion—the religion of love or the religion of Vedanta. There is only one sun, one moon, one Akasa, one Brahman, one Atman, one Purushottama, one Chaitanya. Feel the oneness everywhere. Realise the Satchidananda Atman, the common thread of consciousness that links all these names and forms. All diversities, all differences, all qualities, which are Mayaic or mental creations will now totally vanish. You will now recognise, feel and realise the Truth of Upanishadic utterances of sages, “Aham Brahma Asmi. I am Brahman. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma. All is Brahman. Atmaiva Idam—all is Atman. All is OM only.”
Unity is eternal life. Diversity is death. Unity brings concord, harmony, supreme peace. Diversity brings discord, disharmony and restlessness. Unity is Divine life in spirit. Diversity is Asuric life in matter.
May unity be our centre, ideal and goal! May we all attempt in right earnest to secure an immortal life of supreme joy in Advaitic unity of consciousness! May that Brahman of Upanishads guide us, enlighten the path of unity and remove the obstacles in the path of our realisation of the oneness! May the blessings of Brahman be upon us all! May we all endeavour to bring about unity amongst mankind!