Philosophy And Vedanta
You are the Master of your Destiny
Courage is thy birthright, but not fear; peace is thy divine heritage, but not restlessness. Immortality is thy birthright, but not mortality; strength, but not weakness; health, but not disease; bliss, but not sorrow; knowledge, but not ignorance.
Pain, sorrow and ignorance are illusory; these cannot live. Bliss, joy and knowledge are true; these cannot die.
You are the architect of your own fate. You are the master of your own destiny. You can do and undo things. You sow an action and reap a tendency. You sow a tendency and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap your character. You sow your character and reap your destiny. Therefore, destiny is your own creation. You can undo it if you like-destiny is a bundle of habits.
Purushartha is self-exertion. Purushartha can give you anything. Change your habits. Change the mode of thinking. You can conquer destiny. You are now thinking: "I am the body." Start the spiritual anti-current and think: "I am immortal, diseaseless, sexless Atman." You can conquer death and attain the immortal seat of supreme splendour.
By virtuous deeds and right thoughts you can disarm destiny. You have a free-will to act. By self-exertion, Ratnakar became Valmiki. By self-exertion, Markandeya conquered death. By self-exertion alone did Uddalaka attain Nirvikalpa Samadhi (higher realisation). By self-exertion, Savitri brought back her husband (Satyavan) to life.
Therefore, apply yourself tenaciously, O Prema, to Atmic enquiry and meditation. Be vigilant and diligent. Kill the thoughts and desires. Overcome tomorrow's evil by today's self-exertion. Destroy unholy desires (Asubha Vasanas) through holy desires (Subha Vasanas). Slay unholy thoughts by holy thoughts, and gain victory over your destiny.
Do not yield to fatalism. Do not become impotent. Stand like a lion. Exert and attain independence or Atma Svarajya. There is a magazine of power within you. There is a vast ocean of knowledge within you. All faculties are latent in you. Unfold them and become a Jivanmukta (liberated soul).
Positive overcomes the negative. This is the immutable law of nature. Purushartha (self-exertion) is a mightier power. Purushartha is the lion or the elephant. Prarabdha (destiny) is the cat or the jackal. God helps those who help themselves. Vasishtha asked Rama to do Purushartha. Fatalism will certainly induce inertia and laziness. Therefore, gird up your loins and exert yourself to the utmost, O Prema.
May you all attain Self-realisation or Brahma Jnana in this very birth! May you all live immersed in the ocean of bliss in an illumined state! May you shine as liberated sages!
That 'Being' who is described in the Upanishads is Brahman or Atman or the Absolute. He is the fountain-head of all scriptural knowledge. He is the source or womb for everything. He is Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. He is indivisible, all-pervading, self-contained, eternal and immortal. He is beyond time, space and causation. He is beginningless and endless. He is the indweller of all beings. He is the witness of the activities of all the minds.
What on earth can cause fear in you when you have realised identity with Brahman? What on earth can generate hatred, delusion, difference and sorrow in you when you behold one in all, and all in one? What on earth can cause agitation in you when you have transcended the mind and when you rest peacefully in your own Sat Chit Ananda Svarupa-that magnanimous ocean of bliss and stupendous silence?
You experience disharmony and discord when Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia) prevail in the mind. Annihilate Tamas by increasing Rajas and destroy Rajas increasing Sattva. There will be harmony and concord when Sattva prevails in the mind. Go beyond Sattva and hear the celestial music of the Soul-music that you never heard before. It is the music of the meeting of the soul with Soul. It is the wonderful music that transcends all Ragas and Raginis. It is the unstruck music of the Infinite-that celestial melody which helps the aspirant to merge himself in Brahman. It is the music of Om or Pranava Dhvani. It is transcendental Anahata sound. It is the divine music of Krishna's flute. It is silence itself. Drown yourself in the bliss of the inner music of the soul. Its melody and sweetness are beyond description. You should experience it yourself.
You are the real master or governor of the universe. You are bound to none. Feel the majesty of yourself. Whatever your circumstances and environments may be, keep peaceful and happy. Abandon all anxiety, fear and worry. Rest in your centre. Be self-poised, self-pleased and self-contained. Sing Om. Chant Om. Meditate on Om. Realise the Self. Know the Self and be free. Now the whole world will be a heaven or a paradise for you. You are the Lord of lords, the God of all gods, the Emperor of emperors. You are in possession of the inexhaustible spiritual wealth. The sum total of the pleasures of the whole world is but a mere drop when compared to the bliss you enjoy now. You are the ocean of bliss now. What a magnificent state! Even the thousand-tongued Adisesha cannot describe it.
Message of Amrita
Are you always peaceful? Are you noble? Do you possess self-restraint? Are you endowed with divine virtues? Are you free from ignorance? Do you possess knowledge of the Self? Have you got illumination? Have you realised the immortal, pure Self? How do you stand before these questions? If you have not got these things, then come, sit down and listen! Here is the message of Amrita for you all! Even if you practise a particle of this, you will go beyond death, sorrow and pain.
Meditate always: "I am pure consciousness, I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman. I am immutable, self-effulgent, immortal Self. I am the silent witness of the three states, viz., waking state, dream state and deep sleep state. I am distinct from the body, mind, Prana and senses. I am distinct from the five sheaths". You will soon attain Self-realisation. You will attain knowledge of the Self (Brahma Jnana).
It is bondage when you are attached to your wife, son, property or body, when you take the body as the pure Self. It is liberation when you are not attached to any object of this world, when you identify yourself with the pure, immortal Atman.
Whenever there is Kama (desire), there is no Rama; whenever there is Rama there is no Kama. Whenever there is desire there is the world. Therefore, go beyond desire by cultivating discrimination (Viveka) and dispassion (Vairagya) and meditating on Brahman or the Supreme Self and be happy.
Live without the feeling of 'I-ness,' and 'mine-ness' and attachment. Restrain the senses. Observe the rules of right conduct. Get purity of heart. Hear the truth. Abide in the Self. Be happy.
As soon as you realise that you are not this body, you become free from sorrow and death. You are free from the bondage of Karma, from the fetters of desires, from the mirage of this mundane life and its concomitant evils and miseries.
'Soul' or 'Supreme Self' or 'Atma' or 'Brahman' is that abiding, constantly existing and imperishable entity which is the basis of the world, which is indivisible, self-luminous, unchanging and all-pervading, which is the silent witness or SakShi of the three states, viz., waking, dream and deep sleep. The knower of this soul or Atma attains immortality and enters the abode of bliss and nectar.
Brahman is real and eternal. This body is unreal and perishable. From the knowledge of Self (Atma) and not-self (Anatma) springs the stream of immortality or the ancient wisdom of the seers of the Upanishads.
Atma is the immortal substance or essence in man. Atma is the origin of thoughts, desires and reasonings. Atma is spiritual because it is beyond matter and mind. It must be immortal because it is spiritual. It is beyond time, space and causation. It is beginningless, endless, causeless and infinite.
If you realise this immortal soul which is hidden in your heart and all these forms, if the knots of Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire) and Karma (action) are rent asunder, if the chain of ignorance, viz., ignorance, non-discrimination, egoism, likes and dislikes, Karma, body, etc., is broken, you will be freed from the rounds of births and deaths and enter the city of deathlessness.
The ignorant man only runs after sensual objects and falls into the mortal coils spread round him. He lives in the midst of darkness. He falls again and again under the sway of the Lord of Death (Yama). The way to Moksha is not apparent to him. He is deluded by the sensual pleasures of this world. But the patient, thoughtful man of discrimination and dispassion does not crave for the illusory pleasures of this world. He meditates on the Supreme Self and attains eternal bliss and immortality.
Moksha is the summum bonum of life. Moksha is the fulfilment of the life's purpose. Life ends in the earth plane when you attain Moksha, or liberation from births and deaths. The realisation of your real object in life is freedom or Moksha. Moksha bestows on you eternal life of undecaying bliss and perennial joy. Moksha is not annihilation. Moksha is the annihilation of this little, self-arrogating ego only. Moksha is realisation of the identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. By annihilating this little self, you possess the whole of true universality. You attain life eternal-a fuller life.
If you have purity of mind and concentration, you can make the mind assume any Bhava you like. If you think of mercy, your whole being will be saturated with mercy. If you think of peace, the whole being will be filled with peace.
The spiritual path is doubtless beset with various difficulties. It is a razor path. The walk in this path is like walking on the edge of a sharp razor. You will fall down several times, but you will have to rise up quickly and walk again with more zeal, boldness and cheerfulness. Every stumbling block will become a stepping-stone to success or ascent in the hill of spiritual knowledge. Every fall will give you additional strength to rise up to a great height in the ladder of Yoga. Do not lose sight of the goal. Do not miss the ideal. Do not be discouraged. You will soon get spiritual strength from within. The Indweller will guide you and push you up. All saints and sages, all prophets and seers had to pass through tremendous struggles and severe ordeals before they reached the goal. March boldly, O fair youth, and reach the goal.
It is not true that only one attained Moksha or liberation, and none else can. History bears evidence of many a Sankara having come into this world. If the past could produce Sankaras, why not the future also? What one has achieved, can be achieved by others, also. This is the immutable law of nature. Whosoever would attain the knowledge of Self like Yajnavalkya of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, like Uddalaka of Chhandogya Upanishad, will also attain Moksha or Immortality.
The way of the enlightened sages is sinless. The way to liberation or freedom or perfect happiness and peace is through perfect purity of mind and heart, of every act, of character and life, through self-restraint and control of mind, and through regular meditation on the pure self-luminous, indivisible, all-pervading Self or Atman.
If you attain Self-realisation, all doubts will be rent asunder. Supreme contentment will ever dwell in your heart. You will be purged of Rajas and Tamas. You will be ever peaceful and happy. Therefore struggle hard to attain this rare state of supreme blessedness in this very birth.
The flame of a lamp destroys immense darkness. Even so knowledge of Self destroys ignorance or Avidya-the root-cause of human sufferings and tribulations. Therefore, attain the knowledge of the Self, get illumination and go about happily.
What is that by knowing which everything else will be known? What is that by attaining which there will be no hankering after any other thing? What is that by realising which one becomes immortal, fearless, desireless and rests in everlasting peace and happiness? It is Brahman or Atma or the ultimate Truth which is the summum bonum of life. It is the Bhuma or intelligence or the unconditioned. You can get real happiness, only by attaining this Bhuma or the Highest Self.
May you all live in the spirit of this message of Amrita! May you all be equipped with the four means of salvation through the grace of the Lord! May you all attain Self-realisation in this very birth!
The term Veda is derived from the Sanskrit root. 'Vid'-to know. 'Anta' means end. Thus Vedanta literally signifies "end of wisdom." Philosophy is called Vedanta, because, it explains what that end is and how to achieve it. Vedanta is the religion of the Vedas or the Upanishads. It is the only universal, eternal religion. It is the essence of the teachings of the Srutis.
Vedanta is that bold philosophy which teaches unity of life or oneness of consciousness. It is that supreme philosophy which boldly proclaims, with emphasis and force, that this little Jiva or human being is identical with the Supreme Soul or the Eternal. It is that sublime philosophy which elevates the mind at once to the magnificent heights of Brahmanhood, divine splendour and glory, which makes you absolutely fearless, which destroys all barriers that separate man from man, and which brings concord, unruffled peace and harmony to the suffering humanity at large. It is the only philosophy that can really unite, on the basis of the one common Self in all, a Hindu and a Mohammedan, Catholic and a Protestant, a Vaishnavite and a Saivite, an Irishman and an Englishman, a European and an American, on a common platform, and in the core of their hearts also. It is the only philosophy that, when properly understood and practised, can put a definite stop to the world war, dissensions, splits, communal fights, skirmishes, etc., that exist in different nations and communities.
Vedanta is a magnetic healing balm for the wounded and afflicted in the dreadful battle-field of this dire Samsara. It is the divine collyrium which removes the cataract of ignorance and gives a new inner eye of intuition or wisdom. It is the direct royal road to the domain of unalloyed felicity and the Supreme Abode of Immortality and Eternal Bliss.
It eradicates ignorance-the root-cause of human sufferings-puts an end to the ever-revolving wheel of births and deaths and confers immortality, infinite knowledge and bliss. It gives hope to the hopeless, power to the powerless, vigour to the vigourless and joy to the joyless.
Vedanta speaks of one Atma or Brahman which is beginningless, endless, timeless, spaceless, immortal, self-luminous, indivisible and all-pervading, who is Sat-Chit-Ananda.
Vedanta gives freedom for all. It embraces or includes one and all. Vedanta is neither theory nor dry philosophy for contention and argumentation. It is actual life of perennial bliss in Brahman or Truth. Equip yourself with four means. Enquire, "Who am I?" Meditate on Brahman. Know "Thou art That." O aspirants bold! Say Om Tat Sat; Om-Sat-Chit-Ananda-rupah, Sivoham, Sivoham; Sat-Chit-Ananda-Svarupoham."
Message of Gita
The Atma is not born nor does He ever die. He is unborn, eternal, changeless, ancient and inexhaustible. He is not killed when the body is killed. He slays not, nor is he slain.
A Sthitaprajna or Jivanmukta is free from desires, longings, fears, mineness, 'I-ness' and attachment. He is satisfied in his own self. He is indifferent amidst sensual pleasures. He is not elated by getting desirable objects. He has a poised mind at all times and under all conditions. He is centred in his own self.
Work incessantly without egoism and without expectation of fruits. Have a balanced mind in success and failure. You will not be bound by Karmas or actions.
The senses move among sense-objects. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, going, sleeping, breathing, speaking, sneezing, opening and closing the eyes are the functions or Dharmas of the organs only. In reality thou art the silent witness of the activities of the senses and the modifications of the mind. Prakriti or Svabhava does everything. The Atma is actionless (Nishkriya). In essence, thou-art the Atma.
With the mind harmonised in Yoga, he who sees the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self sees the same everywhere.
He who hates no creature, who is friendly and compassionate to all, who is free from attachment and egoism, balanced in pleasure and pain, forgiving, ever-content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, possessed of firm conviction with mind and intellect dedicated to the Lord, who neither rejoices nor hates, neither grieves nor desires, who is full of devotion, who is the same to a foe and a friend in honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, who is balanced in censure and praise, is a great devotee or Gunatita. He is very dear to the Lord.
Doubtless the mind is fleeting like the air, impetuous and restless. It is hard to be controlled. But by practice (Abhyasa) and dispassion (Vairagya) it can be controlled.
Fix your mind on the Lord. Become His devotee. Sacrifice everything unto the Lord. Bow down to Him. Surely you will attain Him. Abandon the fruits of all works. Take refuge in the Lord alone. He will liberate you from all sins.
Wherever is Krishna, the Lord of Yoga; wherever is Partha, the archer; there is prosperity, victory, happiness and sound policy.
Essence of Yoga-Vasishtha
If the four sentinels that wait at the gates of Moksha (salvation), viz., Santi (peace), Vichara (Atmic enquiry), Santosha (contentment), and Satsanga (association with the wise), are befriended, then there will be no obstacle in the attainment of the final emancipation. Even if one of them is befriended, then he will introduce you to the rest of his companions.
If you attain knowledge of the Self or Brahma Jnana, you will be freed from the trammels of births and deaths. All doubts will vanish; all Karmas will perish. It is through one's own efforts alone that the immortal, all-blissful Brahmic seat can be attained.
The slayer of Atma is the mind only. The form of the mind is Sankalpas. The true nature of the mind consists in the Vasanas. The actions of the mind alone are truly termed Karmas or actions. The universe is nothing but the mind, manifesting as such only through the potency of Brahman. The mind contemplating on the body becomes the body itself and then enmeshed in it, is afflicted by it.
The mind manifests itself as the external world in the shape of pains or pleasures. The mind subjectively is consciousness; objectively it is this universe. The mind attains, through its enemy of discrimination, the quiescent state of Para-Brahman. The real bliss is that one which arises when the mind, diverted of all desires through the eternal Jnana, destroys its subtle form. The Sankalpas and Vasanas (subtle desires), which you generate, enmesh you as in a net. The self-light of Para-Brahman alone is appearing as the mind or this universe.
Persons without Atmic enquiry will see as real this world which is nothing but of the nature of Sankalpa. The expansion of this mind alone is Sankalpa. Sankalpa, through its power of differentiation, generates this universe. Extinction of Sankalpas alone is Moksha.
The enemy of Atma is this impure mind only which is filled with excessive delusion and hosts of worldly thoughts. There is no other vessel of this earth to wade through the ocean of rebirth than the mastery of the antagonistic mind.
The original sprout of the painful Ahamkara (egoism) with its tender stem of rebirths at length ramifies itself everywhere with its long branches of 'mine' and 'thine' and yields its unripe fruits of death, disease, old age, pains and sorrows. This tree can be destroyed to its root by the fire of Jnana only.
All the heterogeneous visibles perceived through the organs of sense are only unreal but that which is real is Para Brahman or the Supreme Soul.
If all objects which have an enchanting appearance become eye-sores and present the very reverse of the former feelings, then the mind is destroyed. All your properties are useless. All wealth land you in dangers. Desirelessness will take you to the eternal blissful abode.
Destroy Vasanas and Sankalpas. Kill egoism. Annihilate this mind. Equip yourself with the four means. Meditate on the pure, immortal, all-pervading Self or Atma. Get knowledge of the Self and attain immortality, everlasting peace, eternal bliss, freedom and perfection.
Message of Wisdom
The desire to know the Brahman springs only in the person whose mind is pure, who is free from desires and who is free from the deeds done in this birth and in the previous ones, becomes disgusted with the external, ephemeral perishable objects.
Even when Brahman is explained, those who have not been purged of their faults and impurities, either disbelieve or misbelieve it as was the case with Indra, Virochana, etc. Therefore, knowledge as inculcated arises only in him who has, by Tapas, etc., performed either in this birth or in many previous births purified himself. The Sruti says: "To that high-souled man whose devotion to the Lord is great and whose devotion to his preceptor is as great as that to the Lord, these secrets explained become illuminated."
Just as the coloured water penetrates freely and nicely a piece of cloth when it is pure white, so also, the instructions of a sage can penetrate and settle down in the hearts of aspirants only when their minds are calm, when there are no desires for enjoyments and when the impurities of their minds are destroyed.
"But I assure you, on the authority of my own intuitional knowledge as well as that of other illumined souls, that the Reality can be realised by man. But one who has known it cannot communicate it to others for want of means."
Even the knowledge acquired by the five senses which are common to all cannot be communicated to others. You cannot tell the taste of butter to a man who has never tasted it or even communicate the idea of colour to one born blind.
All that a teacher can do is to tell his disciple the method of knowing the Truth or the path that leads to the disclosure of intuitional faculty.
Hold the magnificent torch of faith. Fly high the unique banner of peace. Wear the magnificent shield of dispassion. Put on the marvellous coat-of-arms of discrimination. Sing the immortal song of 'Soham'. March boldly with the banner of Pranava-Om Om Om. Blow the wonderful conch of courage. Kill the enemies-doubt, ignorance, passion and egoism-and enter the illimitable kingdom of Atma. Possess the imperishable wealth of Atma. Taste the divine immortal essence. Drink the nectar of Immortality.
The kingdom of peace is beyond all speech and thought. Peace is not merely the absence of noise, tumult, strife or quarrels, controversies or disputes. It is not a condition or environment from which all undesirable elements are removed. This peace is not an inert passive state. It is not a hypnotic trance. It is not a negative physical condition. It is a positive state of spiritual attainment. It is your centre, ideal and goal. It is perfect awareness. It is a magnificent, indescribable state in which the pure soul enjoys the highest divine bliss and transcendental divine knowledge. You will become absolutely fearless and desireless by drinking this divine nectar of peace. You will be in communion with the Supreme Soul or Atma by attaining this peace. In this state of peace there are no yesterdays or tomorrows, no sunset or daybreak-there is eternal sunshine. It can hardly be acquired from external sources. It can be reached only by patient spiritual practices.
You may be in quite adverse circumstances. You may remain in the midst of calamities, troubles, tribulations, difficulties and sorrows, and yet, you may enjoy the inward harmony and peace if you rest in God by withdrawing the senses, by stilling the mind and eradicating its impurities. Lord Jesus was persecuted in a variety of ways. He was put to death on the cross and yet what did he say? He said, "O Lord, forgive them! They know not what they are doing." How peaceful He was even when His life was at stake! He was enjoying the inner peace.
The goal of life is attainment of self-realisation or God-consciousness. There is one supreme, undying, intelligent principle or essence or Atma or the Supreme Self who dwells in the chambers of your heart. He exists in the past, present and future. He is Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. The ignorant may vainly search for their happiness in perishable external objects that are conditioned in time, space and causation. He has no peace of mind. His desires are not gratified. He amasses wealth, begets children, gets titles, honours, name and fame and yet his mind is restless. He has no abiding joy and lasting happiness. He is still in want of something. He has no feeling of fulness. This feeling of fulness and eternal satisfaction can only be obtained by realising one's own Self through self-restraint, purity and meditation.
How long do you want to lead a life of duality, restlessness, discontentment and dissatisfaction? How long do you wish to lead a life of ignorance, bitterness, hatred and separation? How long do you wish to continue your selfish struggles? How long do you wish to behold differences and distinctions? How long do you wish to keep the barrier between man and man?
You cry for peace or Santi. But where to get it and through whom? You can realise peace in your own heart through association with the sages and by meditation. You can find this peace only in stillness. Peace can be found only within. You certainly cannot find it in external objects. Look within. Sit silently in a quiet room for one or two hours. Close your eyes. Concentrate on a point between the two eyebrows. Withdraw the senses and the mind from the external objects. Be still. Silence the surging emotions and bubbling thoughts. Forget the body and the world. Enter into the great calm. Get deep down into the innermost recesses of your heart. Plunge in the ocean of peace. Realise your oneness with the one Supreme Self that dwells in the chambers of your heart. Have four daily sittings in winter and two in summer. Be regular in your practice. Regularity is of paramount importance.
It is useless to talk of the cessation of war while you are all full of petty jealousy and private hatred. Remove your discordant, inharmonious vibrations first. There will be no more war between nations. Individuals only go to constitute a nation. Lead an ideal life of peace. Ruthlessly kill suspicion, prejudice of all sorts, envy, selfishness, greed for power and possessions. Lead a simple life. Practise daily meditation and establish peace in your own heart. Then radiate it to your neighbours and all who come in contact with you. Disseminate it far and wide.
Mysterious is this peace. If you yourself enjoy this peace, you can contribute peace to the world. Realise this Peace that passeth all understanding and be free. May this Peace guide you all! May this Peace be your centre, ideal and goal!
Philosophy and Meditation on 'Om'
Brahman or the Supreme Being is the highest of all. Om is His name. So, Om is to be adored. Om is everything. Om is the symbol of Brahman. It is the word of power. It is the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of the Vedas. It is the boat to take you to the other chore of fearlessness and immortality.
Pranava or Om is the greatest of all Mantras. It bestows liberation directly. All Mantras begin with Om. Every hymn begins with Om. Every Upanishad begins with Om. Gayatri begins with Om. The oblations that are offered to the various gods are preceded by the chanting of Om. The greatness of Om cannot be adequately described by anybody.
That place where all speech stops, all thoughts cease, where the function of the intellect and all organs stop, is Om. The goal or word which all Vedas praise, which all scriptures proclaim and wishing for which the aspirants lead the life of Brahmacharya is Om. Om is verily the highest. It is the best support. It is the highest Truth. He who knows Om is worshipped in the world of Brahman. He obtains verily whatever he desires.
Om is formed by adoring the letters A, U and M. 'A' represents the beginning of the range of sound. 'U' represents the middle. 'M' represents the end. Thus Om covers the whole range of sound and words.
All triplets, such as, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva; Virat, Hiranyagarbha, Ishvara; Sattva, Rajas, Tamas; waking state, dream state, deep sleep state; creation, preservation and destruction, etc., are represented by Om.
Chanting of Om, Japa or silent repetition of Om, singing of Om, meditation on Om, purify the mind, remove the tossing of the mind, destroy the evil of ignorance and help the aspirant to merge in Brahman or the Supreme Self.
Om is the bow, mind is the arrow, Brahman or the Supreme Self is its aim. Hit at Brahman with a pure and one-pointed mind. Just as the arrow becomes one with the target, you will become one with Brahman.
Know this one syllable only. You will know everything. You will attain the highest knowledge.
Sit in Padma, Siddha or any comfortable pose. Concentrate on the spot midway between the two eyebrows (Trikuta). Meditate on the significance of the following formulae with Bhava or feeling. Repeat them mentally also.
I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa Om Om Om
Aham Brahmasmi-I am Brahman Om Om Om
I am All-pervading consciousness Om Om Om
I am Sakshi (silent witness) Om Om Om
Soham, Sivoham: I am He, I am Siva Om Om Om
I am distinct from body and mind Om Om Om
I am Immortal. All-pervading Soul Om Om Om
You will soon realise your identity with the Supreme Self and shine in your pristine Brahmic glory.
A Jivanmukta or liberated sage is absolutely free from desires, fear, selfishness, egoism, mineness, attachment, greed and hatred. He is full of pure love, compassion and mercy.
He has mastery over the mind and senses. He does not identify himself with the body. He always dwells in his own Inner Self. He is ever contented and happy.
He does not offend anybody in thought, word and deed. He is not hurt even a bit by taunts, censures, insults and persecutions. He keeps equanimity of mind in censure and praise, honour and dishonour, pleasure and pain.
He lives in the world but he is not of the world. He has no idea of enjoyment or enjoyer. This state is indescribable. He is Brahman himself.
He is a power-house of spiritual energy. Sit before him. Your doubts will be cleared by themselves. You will feel a peculiar thrill of joy and peace in his presence. He may not speak and yet may teach the aspirants through the language of silence.
He sleeps wherever he likes and eats anything from anybody's hands. He is above injunctions and prohibitions but he will not violate the rules of the scriptures. He is above good and evil, virtue and vice. He finds no faults with others. He never becomes angry even under extreme provocations. He is ever gentle and mild. He always speaks sweetly. He never utters harsh words. He has no dislike or hatred for any creature in this world in thought, word or deed. He blesses those who persecute him.
He speaks a few words but these words produce a tremendous impression on the minds of the hearers. They give a new life and joy to all who hear his message.
The liberated sage (the prince of ascetics) has conquered the enemy of ignorance. He has known the secret of true bliss. He has reached the imperishable seat of Brahman. He always rests in his own Sat-Chit-Ananda-Svarupa.
He has realised that he is distinct from the three bodies and five sheaths and that he is the witness of the three states. He is free from the distinctions of I, he and you.
A Jivanmukta inspired with the divine spirit, intoxicated with the immortal nectar, filled with the infinite Atma, endowed with an equal vision and balanced mind, beholds only the Self or Atma everywhere and embraces all with pure love. Glory to such awakened inspired high souls! May their blessings be upon you forever!
Dialogues From Scriptures
Sri Rama asked: "Venerable Guru! What is attraction? What is non-attraction? What is that attraction which leads one to bondage? What is that non-attraction which tends to freedom? How can I destroy this bondage? Please enlighten me on the above points."
Vasishtha replied: "If any one believes that this body is permanent, if he fails to discriminate between the body and its presider or indweller or inner ruler who is eternal and if he thinks always of body only he is a slave to attraction and he is bound by attraction. This is attraction. This will undoubtedly lead to bondage. The belief that everything is Brahman or Atma only, and that there is nothing for one to love or hate in this universe is non-attraction. This non-attraction will lead to Moksha or final emancipation.
Jivanmuktas are endowed with non-attraction. When there is non-attraction, the mind abandons the pleasures of the world, egoism vanishes and attachment for everything perishes. The state of non-attraction leads to Moksha. Those who have attained the state of non-attraction relinquish the fruits of actions. They seek neither action nor inaction. Attraction entails one in rebirths.
This attraction is of two kinds, viz., Bandhya (binding) and Abandhya (non-binding). The former belongs to the ignorant, while the latter is the ornament of those who have attained self-realisation. The former produces rebirths through attachment to objects while the latter generates discrimination and knowledge of the Self. Lord Vishnu and the hosts of Siddhas protect this earth by performing various actions through the Abandhya attraction.
A Jivanmukta is not attached to actions though he performs manifold actions for the well-being of the world. He is quite indifferent though he associates himself with objects. He has no attraction for the objects. His mind is ever fixed in the Supreme Self only. He regards this world as an unreality. He does neither live in future expectation nor does he rely on his present possession. He does not live on the pleasure of his past memory. Sleeping, he is awake in his vision of supreme light; and waking, he is plunged in the deep, sleepless sleep of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He does actions and remains as if he has done nothing. He does all actions without the error of believing himself as the actor. He neither rejoices nor grieves at anything. He behaves himself as a boy with boys and as a veteran with old people. He is youthful in the society of young men and is grave in the company of the wise. He rejoices at the happiness of others. He is sympathetic with the people who are in distress. O Ram! Conduct yourself in such a manner when you rule your kingdom. You will never lose sight of the Reality."
In the fight with the Asuras, the Devas were victorious. The Devas thought that they did so with their own power and prowess and forgot that it was divine help which brought victory to them. Lord Brahma wanted to teach them a lesson. He knew their idea of being puffed up with vanity and appeared before them in the form of a Yaksha (Great spirit) the beginning and end of which were not visible. They did not know Him. They spoke to Agni thus: "O Jataveda! Find out what this great spirit is". He said "Yes". Agni ran up to Brahma and Brahma said: "Who art thou"? He replied: "I am verily Agni, I am verily Jatavedas". Brahma asked Agni: "What power hast thou?" Agni replied: "I can even burn whatsoever there is on the earth". Brahma placed a blade of grass before Agni and said: 'Burn this'. Agni approached it with all its power. He could not burn it. Next came Vayu (the god of wind). Brahma asked Vayu: "What power hast thou?" Vayu replied: "I can blow away all the universe and all that is on the earth". Brahma placed a blade of grass before Vayu and said: "Blow this away". Vayu approached it with all his power and was not able to make it move an inch from its place. Last of all the chief of the Devas, Indra himself came. But when he reached the spot he found that the Yaksha had vanished. Indra was in a state of great dilemma. He was confused and perplexed. When he was thus standing there, bewildered and ashamed at their defeat, Uma (Haimavati)-the daughter of Himavan (Himalayas) and the consort of Lord Siva-appeared before him and revealed to him the real identity of the Yaksha. Then only Indra knew the 'spirit' to be Brahma. He verily became excellent before the other gods on account of the grace of the Mother Uma.
On account of egoism, you think that you do everything and so you are bound. Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of God. God works through your hands, beholds through your eyes, hears through your ears, smells through your nose. You will be freed from egoism and the bondage of Karma. You will attain peace and become one with God. This is the secret of Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.
Yajnavalkya, the greatest seer and sage, said: "Maitreyi, verily, I am going away from this house into the forest to enter another order of life (Sannyasa); therefore let me divide my property between you and Katyayani".
Maitreyi said: "My venerable lord, if this whole world with all its wealth belongs to me, tell me truly, could I attain immortality".
"No," replied Yajnavalkya, "Like the life of rich people will be your life; but there is no hope of obtaining immortality by wealth".
Maitreyi: "Of what use would be wealth to me, if I do not become thereby immortal? Tell me, O venerable lord, any means of attaining immortality of which thou knowest".
Yajnavalkya replied: "Come, sit down, my beloved Maitreyi, I will explain it to thee. Try to understand well what I say".
Yajnavalkya said: "Verily, not indeed for the husband's sake the husband is dear, but for the sake Of the Self the husband is dear. Verily, not indeed for the wife's sake the wife is dear, but for the sake of the Self the wife is dear. Verily, not indeed for the sake of the son the son is dear, but for the sake of the Self the son is dear. Verily, this immortal all-pervading Atman or Brahman is to be seen, heard, reflected and meditated upon, O Maitreyi: Atma Vaare Drashtavyah Srotavyo Mantayo Nididhyasitavyah".
O Maitreyi! When there is duality, one sees the other, one smells the other, one tastes the other, one salutes the other, one speaks to the other, one touches the other, one knows the other, but when the Self or Atma only is all this, how could one see the other, how could he smell the other, touch the other, know the other? How could he know Him by whom he knows all this? That Self is to be described by "No, no" (Neti, Neti). Atma nor the Supreme Self is imperishable. He is free and unattached. He is not subject to pain or destruction. How could one know the knower? Thus, O beloved Maitreyi, thou hast been instructed".
Having said this, Yajnavalkya went to the forest.
Nachiketas said: "That which thou seest as other than virtue and vice, other than cause and effect, other than the past and future, tell me that, O Lord Yama. This is my third boon from thee".
Yama replied: "The goal which all the Vedas speak of, which all penances proclaim and wishing for which the aspirants lead the life of a Brahmacharin or celibate, that goal I will briefly tell thee. It is Om".
This word is verily Brahman; this word is verily the highest; he who knows this word, obtains, verily whatever he wishes-he attains Immortality and Eternal Bliss.
This Atman is beginningless, endless, birthless, deathless, changeless, formless, attributeless, and colourless. He is without sound, touch, smell and taste. He is eternal, immortal, all-pervading, self-luminous, indivisible, one without a second. He is beyond, Avyaktam or the unmanifested. He dwells in the intellect or the cave of the heart. He is the inner Self of all beings.
He who is free from desires, whose mind is concentrated and peaceful, whose senses are subdued, beholds this mysterious Atman through meditation and intuition in his own intellect and enjoys immortality and everlasting peace and bliss.
This Atman is hidden in all beings. It is realised by subtle seers through their sharp and subtle intellect, with eyes and other senses turned from sensual objects.
When all desires are destroyed, when the three knots of the heart, i.e., Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire), Karma (work) are rent asunder, when, the five organs of knowledge are at rest together with the mind and when the intellect ceases functioning or becomes calm, you will attain immortality or Parama Gati or the highest state.
Just as you draw the pith or stalk from a reed, so also, you will have to draw or take out this essence of Atma from the body or the five sheaths patiently and boldly through meditation, Vichara or enquiry and Viveka (discrimination)".
Nachiketas got clear instructions on Brahma Vidya from Lord Yama through the third boon granted by Yama, practised meditation and attained Brahman, i.e., became immortal through knowledge of the Self. Any qualified student like Nachiketas who knows the Atman can surely attain immortality.
"Om Saha navavatu, Saha nau bhunaktu,
Saha viryam Karavavahai'; Tejasvi navadhitamastu,
Om Santih! Santih! Santih!
"Om! May He protect us both (teacher and pupil). May He cause us both to enjoy the bliss of Mukti. May we both exert together to find out the true meaning of the scriptures. May our studies be fruitful. May we never quarrel with each other".
Om Peace ! Peace ! Peace !
Kausalya, son of Asvala, questioned Pippalada: "O Bhagavan Pippalada: Whence is this Prana born? How does it come into this body? How does it abide after it has divided itself? How does it go out? How does it support what is without? How does it support all within the body?"
He replied: "You ask questions about transcendental matters. I will explain to thee because you are a great enquirer of Brahman.
This Prana is born of the Atman. As is this shadow in the man, so is this Prana in the Atman. By the action of the mind this enters into this body.
As a king commands his officers, saying to them: 'Govern these or those villages', so does this Prana dispose the other Pranas, each for their separate allotted work.
The Apana dwells in the organs of excretion and generation: the Prana itself abides in the eye, ear, mouth and nose. In the middle is Samana. It distributes the food supplied equally and the seven flames proceed from it.
This Atman is in the heart. Here there are a hundred and one nerves (arteries). Each of them has a hundred branches; again every one of these has seventy-two thousand sub-branches. In these the Vyana moves.
Again, through one other, the Udana ascending, leads us upwards to the virtuous world by good work; to sinful worlds by sin: and to the world of men by virtue and sin combined.
The sun verily is the external Prana. He rises and assists the Prana in the eye. The goddess of the earth attracts Apana downwards. The other (between the sun and the earth) is Samana. The wind is Vyana.
The external fire indeed is Udana. Therefore, he whose fire has gone out, enters another body with his senses absorbed in the mind.
Whatever his thought (at the time of death), with that he attains Prana: and the Prana united with Udana together with the Jivatma, leads on to the world thought of. The learned man who knows Prana thus-his offspring does not perish and he becomes immortal.
He who knows the origin, the entry, the seat, the fivefold distribution of Prana and its internal state in the body, obtains immortality, yea, obtains immortality".
Uddalaka said: "Svetaketu! Have you ever asked your teacher for that instruction by which we hear what cannot be heard, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived, by which we know what cannot be known?"
Svetaketu said: "What is that instruction, Sir?"
The father replied, "My dear, just as by a single lump of clay, all that is made of clay is known, all modifications being only a name based upon words, (the difference being only a name arising from speech) but the truth being that all is clay-thus, my dear, is that instruction".
"Please Sir, explain to me further" said Svetaketu.
Uddalaka: "Bring me a fruit of that Nyagrodha tree (banyan tree)".
Svetaketu: "Here is one, Sir."
Uddalaka: "Break it."
Svetaketu: "It is broken, Sir."
Uddalaka: "What do you see there?"
Svetaketu: "Those extremely small seeds, Sir."
Uddalaka: "Break one of them, my dear."
Svetaketu: "It is broken, Sir."
Uddalaka: "What do you see there?"
Svetaketu: "Nothing, Sir."
The father said: "My son, that subtle essence which you do not perceive there, of that very essence this great Nyagrodha tree grows (exists). Believe me, my son."
"Now, that which is the subtle essence (the root of all) in That all that exists has its Self; that is the Self; That is the Truth; That thou art, O Svetaketu!"
"Please, Sir, explain to me further," said the son. "Be it so, my child," replied the father.
Uddalaka: "Place this salt in the water and come to me in the morning."
Svetaketu, the son, did as he was commanded.
The father said to him: "Bring the salt, my dear, which you put in the water last night."
The son looked for it and did not find it, for it had become dissolved.
The father said: "My child, taste it from the surface of the water. How is it?"
The son replied: "It is salt."
Uddalaka: "Taste it from the middle. How is it?"
The son replied: "It is salt."
Uddalaka: "Taste it from the bottom. How is it?"
The son replied: "It is salt."
The father said: "Throw it away and come to me."
The son did so; 'It exists for ever.'
Then the father said to him: "Here also in this body, forsooth, you do not perceive the Truth (Sat or Pure Being), my son, but there it is indeed."
The father said: "Now that which is the subtle essence (the root of all), in That all that exists has its Self: That is the Self; that is the Truth; That thou art; O Svetaketu."
Gargi, daughter of Vachuknu said: "I shall ask thee two questions. Will you answer me, O venerable sage?"
Yajnavalkya said: "Ask, O Gargi."
Gargi said: "O Yajnavalkya, that of which they say that is above the heavens, beneath the earth, embracing heaven and earth, past, present and future, tell me in what is it woven, like the warp and the woof."
Yajnavalkya replied: "In ether or Akasa."
Gargi said: "I bow to thee, O Yajnavalkya. Be prepared for the second question,"
Yajnavalkya said: "Ask, O Gargi."
Gargi said: "In what is the ether woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof?"
Yajnavalkya replied: "O Gargi, in Brahman is the ether woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof. Sages call this the Akshara (the imperishable). It is neither coarse, nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor white. It is neither shadow nor darkness. It is without ears, eyes, or mind, or breath, without speech, without smell, without mouth. It has no within and no without."
"By the command of this Indestructible Being, O Gargi, sun and moon, heaven and earth, stand upheld in their places. By the command of this Akshara, O Gargi, minutes, hours, days, nights, weeks, months, seasons and years stand apart."
"Whosoever, O Gargi, without knowing the Akshara, departs from this world, becomes a miser. But he, O Gargi, who departs from this world, knowing this Indestructible Being, is a true Brahman or liberated sage."
"That Brahman, O Gargi, although unseen, but He sees; although unheard, but He hears; although unthought, but He thinks; although unknown, but He knows. There is none that sees but He, there is none that hears but He, there is none that thinks but He, there is none that knows but He. In that Akshara, then, O Gargi, the ether is woven and rewoven like the warp and the woof."
On hearing these words of wisdom from the mouth of Yajnavalkya, Gargi became silent.
Prajapati said: "One must search out and must try to understand the Self or Atman which is free from sin, old age, death, grief, hunger and thirst, with true desires (Sat-Kama), and true will (Sat-Sankalpa). Then only he will obtain eternal bliss and immortality."
Indra said: "O Venerable Lord! I want to know the Atman. Please instruct me."
Prajapati said: "Adorn yourself well; dress yourself well; clean yourself well and then look at yourself in the basin of water."
Indra did so.
Prajapati said: "O Indra ! What do you see?"
He replied: "I behold myself in the basin of water well-adorned, well-dressed and clean."
Prajapati said: "That is the Self, the Immortal, the Fearless-that is Brahman."
Indra was not satisfied with this instruction. He reflected within himself: "The Atman also will be blind, if the body is blind; lame, if the body is lame; one-eyed, if the body is one-eyed; crippled, if the body is crippled; and will perish if the body perishes. Therefore I see no good in this doctrine."
He again went to Prajapati.
Prajapati Said: "The Self that dreams is the Immortal, Fearless, Brahman."
Indra was not satisfied with this doctrine also. He reflected: "Though the dream self is not blind when the body is blind, not one-eyed when the body is one-eyed, is not destroyed when the body is destroyed yet it becomes conscious of pain and sheds tears even in dream. Therefore I see no good in this".
Indra again went to Prajapati.
Prajapati said: "The Self that enjoys deep sleep is the Immortal, Fearless, Brahman."
Indra reflected: "In deep sleep there is utter annihilation. I do not get any intuitional knowledge, I see no good in this doctrine also."
Indra again went to Prajapati.
Prajapati said: "O Indra, this body is mortal. The embodied self is subject to pleasure and pain. The eye is the instrument of seeing. The nose is the instrument of smelling. The ear is the instrument of hearing. But the Atman or Brahman is the silent witness (Sakshi). He is immortal, fearless. He is distinct from the three bodies, the three Avasthas or states of consciousness the mind, body and senses."
Indra meditated on Brahman and attained Eternal Bliss and Immortality through Brahma-Jnana or knowledge of the Brahman.
Behind this world-show, behind these physical phenomena, behind these names and forms, behind the feelings, thoughts, emotions and sentiments there dwells the silent witness thy immortal friend and real well-wisher-the Purusha or world teacher, the unseen governor or master, the unknown Yogi, the indivisible power of consciousness or hidden sage. That is the only permanent reality and living truth. That is Brahman or the Supreme Being or the Absolute. That is Atma. That is Self. The goal of human life is to realise the reality behind the changing phenomena. The summum bonum of human aspiration is to attain Self-realisation. Self-realisation alone can make you absolutely free and independent. Trust not your body, mind and senses. Have inner spiritual life. Attain knowledge of the Self through steady devotion and discipline. Drink the nectar of immortality, quench the flames of Samsara and allay its tortures, miseries and sorrows.
Friends! Is there not a higher mission in life besides eating, sleeping and talking? Is there not any higher form of eternal bliss than these transitory and illusory pleasures? Is there not a dignified life than the sensual life? How uncertain is life here! How insecure is our existence in this earth-plane with various kinds of fear! How painful is this mundane life? Should we not attempt diligently now to reach a place-the immortal abode, our original sweet home of pristine purity and divine splendour-where there is eternal sunshine, absolute security, perfect peace and where there is neither disease, nor death, nor war?
Come, come! Become a Yogi. Come out of your narrow holes or ruts. Crush all sorts of superstitions. Aim high. To become an advocate, or a doctor, or an engineer, or a professor, is the height of your ambition. Can this give you freedom? Can this give you eternal bliss? Can this give you everlasting peace? Can this make you immortal? Do you not like to attain perfection or immortality? Do you not wish to achieve the summum bonum of existence-Kaivalya or independence-Atma Svarajya? Then come, struggle for higher things. Be bold! Look not back. March forward! Enquire: "Who am I?" Hear, reflect, meditate and realise the Atmic splendour!
Om is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Om is Infinite. Om is Eternal. Om is Immortality. Sing Om. Chant Om. Feel Om.
Santi! Santi! Santi!
Peace! Peace! Peace!
New Year Message
By the command of the Indestructible Being, minutes, hours, days and nights, stand apart. By the command of the Immortal Brahman, months, years, seasons and solstices stand apart. He who knows this Indestructible Being is a liberated sage or Jivanmukta.
Time rolls on. New becomes old and old becomes new again. Today is the most auspicious New Year's day. God has given you another chance this year to enable you to strive for your salvation. Today man is. Tomorrow he is not. Therefore avail yourself of this golden opportunity, struggle hard and reach the goal of life. Make the best use of every moment of this New Year. Unfold all latent faculties. Here is a chance to begin life anew, to grow and evolve and become a superhuman or a great dynamic Yogi.
On this glorious New Year's day make a strong resolve to wipe away all the old worldly Vasanas or tendencies and bad impressions and to control the senses and the mind.
Know the value of time. Time is most precious. Utilise every second profitably. Live every moment of your life for the realisation of your ideal and goal. Do not procrastinate. That "tomorrow" will never come. Now or never. Abandon idle gossiping. Kill egoism, laziness and inertia. Forget the past. A glorious and brilliant future is awaiting you.
Equal vision is the touchstone of knowledge. Unselfishness is the touchstone of virtue. Brahmacharya is the touchstone of ethics. Oneness is the touchstone of Self-realisation. Humility is the touchstone of devotion. Therefore, be unselfish, humble and pure. Develop equal vision. Be in tune with the Infinite.
Satyam (truth) is the seed. Ahimsa is the root. Meditation is the shower. Santi (peace) is the flower. Moksha (salvation) is the fruit. Therefore, speak the truth, practise Ahimsa and meditation. Cultivate Santi. You will attain the final emancipation or freedom from the trammels of births and deaths, and enjoy Eternal bliss.
Be thou a spiritual warrior of Truth. Put on the armour of discrimination. Wear the shield of dispassion. Hold the flag of Dharma. Sing the song of Soham or Sivoham. March boldly with the band of Pranava-Om Om Om. Blow the conch of courage. Kill the enemies of doubt, ignorance, passion and egoism and enter the illimitable kingdom of blissful Brahman. Possess the imperishable wealth of Atma. Taste the divine immortal essence. Drink the nectar of Immortality.
May this bright New Year's day and all the succeeding days of this year and all the future years also bring you all success, peace, prosperity and happiness. May you all tread the path of Truth and righteousness! May you enjoy the eternal bliss of the Absolute, leading a divine life, singing Lord's name, sharing what you have with others, serving the poor and the sick with Atma Bhava and melting the mind in silent meditation in the Supreme Self.
Guru Purnima Message
Guru Purnima is a very auspicious day for doing vigorous Sadhana or Yogic practice and for starting any spiritual Sadhana also. This is the Ashadha Purnima day. This is also known by the name Vyasa Puja day. Sri Vyasa and the Brahma Vidya Gurus are worshipped on this day.
On this memorable day, Sri Vyasa, one of the Chiranjeevis, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, began to write his unique Brahma Sutras or Vedanta Sutras and Mahabharata. Chaturmasa for Sannyasins begins from this day. Sannyasins stay in one place during rainy season for four months, study Brahma Sutras and practise meditation.
Live on milk and fruits on this day, practise rigorous Japa and Dhyana. Worship your Guru and feed the Mahatmas. Sadhus and the poor. Study the Brahma Sutras and do some lakhs of Japa (Anushthana or Purascharana) of your Guru Mantra or Ishta Mantra during the Chaturmasa. You will be highly benefited.
Guru is Brahman or Isvara Himself. Guru is your real father, mother, friend, guide and saviour. The Grace of the Guru is indispensable for the spiritual progress of the aspirants. The Sruti says, "To that high-souled aspirant whose devotion to the Lord is great and whose devotion to his Guru is as great as that to the Lord, these secrets explained become illuminated."
Brahman or the Supreme Self alone is real. He is the Soul of all. He is All in all. He is the Essence of this universe. He is the Unity that never admits of a duality under all the varieties and diversities of nature. Thou art this Immortal, All-pervading, All-blissful Brahman. Thou art That. Realise this and be free-Tat Tvam Asi.
Remember the four important verses of the Brahma Sutras. (1) "Athato Brahmajijnasa-now therefore, the enquiry of Brahman." (2) "Janmadyasya Yatah-From which proceed the origin, etc." (3) "Sastra-Yonitvat-The scriptures being the means of right knowledge." (4) Tat Tu Samanvayat-But That, because It is the main support."
Now sing: "Jaya Guru Siva Guru Hari Guru Ram, Jagad Guru Param Guru Sat Guru Syam."
Remember and adore Sri Vyasa and the Brahma Vidya Gurus. May their blessings be upon you all.
Salutations to Sri Durga (Mother Divine) Who exists in all beings in the form of intelligence, mercy, beauty; Who is the consort of Lord Siva; who creates, sustains and destroys the universe.
Dussera is the greatest Hindu festival of adoring God as Mother. Durga represents the Divine Mother. She is the energy aspect of the Lord. Without Durga, Siva has no expression and without Siva, Durga has no existence. Siva is the soul of Durga. Durga is identical with Siva. Lord Siva is only the silent witness. He is motionless, absolutely changeless. He is not affected by the cosmic play. Durga does everything.
Mother-worship is the worship of God as the Divine Mother-Sri Mata. Sakti is the power of the Lord or the cosmic energy. The Divine Mother in Her aspect of Durga is represented as having ten different weapons in her hands. She is sitting on a lion. She keeps up the Lila of the Lord through the three Gunas-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Vidya, Santi, lust, anger, greed, egoism and pride are all Her forms.
The Upasana or worship of Devi or Universal Mother leads to the attainment of knowledge of the Self. The story of the Kena Upanishad known as the "Yaksha Prasna" supports this view. Uma taught the Truth to the Devas. Goddess Sakti sheds wisdom on Her devotees.
A child is more familiar with the mother than with the father, because she is very kind, loving, tender, affectionate and looks after the wants of the child. In the spiritual field also the aspirant or the devotee-the spiritual child-has intimate relationship with the Mother Durga than with the Father Siva. It behoves, therefore, that the aspirant should approach the Mother first and She will introduce Her spiritual child to the Father for his illumination or Self-realisation.
Mother's grace is boundless. Her mercy is illimitable. Her knowledge is infinite. Her power is immeasurable. Her glory is ineffable. Her splendour is indescribable. She gives you Bhukti or material prosperity and Mukti (liberation) also.
Approach Her with an open heart. Lay bare your heart to Her with frankness and humility. Be as simple as a child. Kill ruthlessly egoism, cunningness, selfishness and crookedness. Make total, unreserved, ungrudging surrender to Her. Sing Her praise. Repeat Her name. Worship Her with faith and unflinching devotion. Do special Puja on Navaratri days. Navaratri or Dussera is the most suitable occasion for doing intense Sadhana. These nine days are very sacred to Devi. Plunge yourself in Her worship. Do Anushthana. Devi fought with Bhandasura and his forces for nine days and nine nights. The war ended in the evening of the tenth day known as Vijaya Dasami day or the day of victory. Aspirants are initiated on this day. Akshara Abhyasa for children is done on Vijaya Dasami day. The beginning of learning of any science is done on this most auspicious day. It was on this day that Arjuna worshipped the Devi before starting the fight against the Kauravas on the field of Kurukshetra.
May Durga give the milk of divine wisdom to Her children and lift them to the magnificent heights of divine splendour and glory, the imperishable state of Kaivalya and eternal Sunshine!
Deepavali is the festival of lamps. It is observed almost throughout India with great pomp and show. It is a time of great rejoicing and worshipping among the Hindus and lasts for two days. This is held at the beginning of the Hindu commercial year in honour of the Goddess Lakshmi.
It commemorates that blessed day when Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana. On this day Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.
In South India all take oil-bath in the morning and wear new clothes. At this festival, Hindu merchants in North India begin their new account books and pray for success and prosperity during the coming year. The houses of the Hindus are cleaned and decorated by day and illuminated by night with earthen lamps. The best and finest illuminations are to be seen in Bombay and Amritsar. The famous Golden Temple at Amritsar is lit in the evening with thousands of lamps which are placed all over the steps on the sides of the big tank. Vaishnavites celebrate Govardhana Puja and feed the people on a large scale Annakoot or Samashti Bhandara).
O Ram! The Light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of Atman is ever burning steadily in the chambers of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light (Param Jyoti) and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.
Egoism or Ahamkara is the real Narakasura. Kill this egoism through the sword of Atma-Jnana or knowledge of the Self, merge in Sri Krishna, the supreme light of the world, and enjoy the spiritual Deepavali of inner illumination.
He who Himself sees all, whom no one beholds, who illumines the intellect, the sun, moon and stars and the whole universe, but whom they cannot illumine-That is Brahman. That is Atma. Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul.
The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do these lightnings shine and much less this fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the soul. Merge yourself in this Light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.
Many Deepavali festivals have come and gone. Yet the hearts of the vast majority of persons are as dark as the new-moon night. The house is lit with the lamps but the heart is full of darkness of ignorance. O man! Wake up from the slumber of ignorance. Realise the constant and eternal light of the soul which has neither rising nor setting through meditation and Vichara or enquiry and dispel the darkness of ignorance.
May you all attain full inner illumination! May the Supreme Light of lights enlighten your understanding! May you all get the inexhaustible spiritual wealth of Atma! May you all prosper gloriously in the material and spiritual planes?
Advice to Students
Om! Friends, you are the future hope of the motherland. You are the citizens of tomorrow. You should always think over the goal of life and live to attain it. The goal of life is the attainment of freedom from all sorts of misery or the state of Kaivalya or liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Lead a well-regulated moral life. Moral strength is the backbone of spiritual progress. Ethical culture is part and parcel of spiritual Sadhana. Keep up Brahmacharya or the vow of celibacy. By the observance of Brahmacharya many of the sages of yore have attained immortality. Brahmacharya is the source of new strength, vigour, vitality and success in life, and eternal happiness hereafter. Loss of this vital energy is the cause of disease, miseries and premature death. Therefore, take particular care to preserve this vital energy. Practice of Brahmacharya gives good health, inner strength, peace of mind and long life. It invigorates the mind and the nerves and helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments the strength and courage. It gives power to face the difficulties in the daily battle of life. A perfect Brahmachari can, like Jnanadeva, move the world, can command nature and the five elements. Develop faith in the Vedas and the power of Mantra. Practise meditation daily. Take Sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach. Repent for your mistakes. Admit your faults freely. Never try to hide your faults by lame excuses or by uttering falsehoods. Obey the laws of nature. Take plenty of physical exercise daily. Perform the prescribed duties at the appointed time. Develop simple living and high thinking. Give up vile imitation. Get thorough overhauling of your wrong-Samskaras you have created through bad association. Study the Upanishads, the Yoga-Vasishtha, the Brahma Sutras and Sri Sankara's Select Works and other scriptures. Therein you will find real solace and peace. Some Western philosophers have declared: "We are Christians by birth and faith but we can find the peace which the mind wants and the satisfaction the soul needs only in the Upanishads of the seers of East." Move amicably with all. Love all. Serve all. Develop adaptability and the spirit of selfless service and penetrate into the hearts of all through untiring service. This is verily Advaitic realisation of unity or oneness.
Message of Freedom
Om, Children of immortality! The Lord is within you. He is seated in the hearts of all beings. Whatever you see, hear, touch or feel is God. Therefore, hate not anybody, cheat not anybody, harm not anybody. Love all and be one with all. You will soon attain eternal bliss and perennial joy. Be self-disciplined. Be simple and harmonious in thought, feeling, diet and dress. Love all. Fear none. Shake off lethargy, laziness, fear. Lead the Divine Life. Be a seeker after truth or reality. Understand sorrow and conflict through enquiry and reflection. Move towards freedom, perfection and eternal bliss every second. Is there any one among you who can say with emphasis and force: "Now I am a deserving aspirant. I am yearning for Moksha. I have equipped myself with the four means. I have purified my heart through selfless service, Kirtan and Japa. I have served the Guru with faith and devotion and I have attained his grace and blessings." That man can save the world. He will soon become a cosmic beacon-light, a unique torch-bearer of wisdom, a dynamic Yogi. O man! Get yourself ready now. It is a shameful thing that you have lived in vain till now and spent the life in eating, drinking, sleeping, idle gossiping and worthless pursuits. You have not done any meritorious act. The hour draws nearer. It is not too late even now. Start Namasmaran, or the repetition of the Lord's Name from this second. Be sincere and earnest. Love all. You can make yourself worthy of His Grace. You can cross the formidable ocean of births and deaths and attain eternal bliss and immortality. Never miss a day in meditation. Regularity is of paramount importance. When the mind is tired, do not concentrate. Give it a little rest. Do not take heavy food at night. It will disturb your morning meditation. Japa, Kirtan, Pranayama, Satsanga or association with sages, practice of Sama (serenity), Dama (self-restraint), Yama (right conduct), Sattvic or pure food, study of scriptures, meditation, Vichara (Atmic enquiry) all will help you to control the mind and attain eternal bliss and immortality. If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will-force to drive them away. You will lose your energy. Om.