Vedanta is the culmination of the Vedas. It is entering into the study of Brahman. It is the science which raises man above the plane of worldliness. It is the rational method of meditating on the Supreme Absolute, the Eternal, the Infinite. Vedanta is the culmination of human experience and is the end of the faculty of thinking. It is the greatest and the highest knowledge. This wisdom was revealed to the ancient sages.
The Rishis and sages of yore have made experiments and researches in meditation and given to the world their spiritual experiences. These are all authoritative. You must not spend much time in making the preliminary experiments once more. Your whole life-time is not sufficient for making these experiments and researches. The experiences of sages are like ready-made compressed tablets. You will have to simply follow their instructions implicitly with perfect, unswerving faith and devotion. Then alone can you make any progress in the spiritual path and attain the goal of life.
In order to practise Sadhana for the attainment of absolute freedom, you should know in the beginning itself its technique and method. You should know the nature of bondage, the cause of bondage and the way of getting rid of bondage. You have to make a searching study of life and know its mysteries.
You are born on this earth-plane on account of your Karmas (actions) done in previous births. This body and this condition of mind are both the results of effects of past Karmas. What is Karma?
A Vasana or desire arises. Then you exert to possess the object. This is Karma. Thought itself is the real Karma. Physical action is only its manifestation. Then you enjoy the object. This is Bhoga. This Bhoga strengthens and fattens the Vasana. The Chakra or wheel of Vasana, Karma, Bhoga, is ever revolving. Give up Bhoga. Practise renunciation, discrimination and dispassion. Destroy the Vasanas by eradicating ignorance (Ajnana) through Brahma-Jnana, the Knowledge of the Imperishable. Then alone the wheel which binds a man to this Samsara will stop revolving. Then alone you become an Atmavan or Knower of the Self.
Who Is A Killer Of Atman?
Forgetting the Self by indulging in sensual pleasures, is killing of Atman. Even after somehow getting this rare human birth, with an innate tendency for Nivritti, he who does not strive for the liberation of his soul, is a killer of Atman. He is not an Atmavan but an Atmaha.
The Atman can be realised only through renunciation. You have enjoyed sensual objects in millions of births. You have enjoyed sensual objects for so many years in this birth. If there has not come satisfaction in you till now, when will it come, then? Do not run after the mirage of sensual objects. The senses are deluding you. Develop dispassion and renunciation. Realise your Atman. Then only you will get eternal satisfaction, everlasting peace and immortal bliss. Wake up from your slumber of ignorance, O worldly fool!
If your body-clothes catch fire, with what celerity you want to run towards water for cooling you? You must feel like this from the burning fire of Samsara. You should feel that you are roasted in the fire of Samsara. Vairagya (dispassion) and Mumukshutva (strong yearning for liberation) should dawn in you. You should run to the Guru for saving you.
Enjoyment of objects strengthens the Vasanas or Trishnas (cravings) and makes the mind more restless. Enjoyment cannot bring satisfaction of desires. Further, Trishna drains the energy and weakens the senses.
When you dream, you see the events of fifty years within an hour. You actually feel that fifty years have passed. Which is correct, the time of one hour of waking consciousness or the fifty years of dreaming consciousness? Both are correct. The waking state and the dreaming state are of the same quality or nature. They are equal (Samana). The only difference is that the waking state is a long dream or Deerghasvapna. It will be realised that this life on earth is only a fantastic dream of the mind when the Supreme Absolute or Para-Brahman is realised.
Practise Upasana for acquiring concentration of mind. Upasana is of various kinds, viz., Pratika Upasana, Pratima Upasana (worship of idol), Panchakopasana (worship of the five deities: Ganesha, Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Surya), worship of Avataras like Rama and Krishna, and Ahamgraha Upasana.
Ahamgraha Upasana is Nirguna Upasana. The aspirant meditates on his own Self as Brahman. He identifies his individual self with the Supreme Self or Brahman. He tries to take out the Self that is hidden, within the body of five sheaths. Hence the significant name, ‘Ahamgraha’ Upasana.
‘Food is Brahman’. ‘Akasa is Brahman’. ‘Surya (Sun) is Brahman’. ‘Mind is Brahman’. ‘Prana is Brahman’,—All these are Upasana-Vakyas of the Upanishads. These are all Pratika Upasanas. Pratika is a symbol of Brahman. All these are symbols of Brahman. You can realise Brahman through worship of these Pratikas. You will have to feel that Brahman is hidden in these Pratikas. You will have to think that the Adhishthana or substratum of these Pratikas is Brahman. These are some of the ways of doing the Upasana of Brahman.
Control Of The Senses
The senses should be perfectly controlled in order to be able to concentrate on Brahman. The eyes and ears also are as much turbulent and mischievous as the tongue. The eyes always want to see new forms, new scenes, new pictures and new places which the mind has heard of during conversation with other people. If you have not seen Kashmir, if you hear from those who visited Kashmir, “Kashmir is a lovely place. The springs and sceneries are wonderful,” the eyes helped by the mind will agitate you again and again till you actually see Kashmir. The eyes and the ears should cease from desiring.
The two most troublesome of the senses are the tongue and the genital. One who has got an appetite for the objects of the tongue and the genital is unfit for the practice of Vedantic Sadhana. The four means of Sadhana should be well practised and only a master of these Sadhanas can take up the practice of Vedantic Sadhana.
The Mind And Its Works
Mind is Jagat. The mind moves the senses, the Pranas, etc. Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. A keen study of the mind and its works is necessary for the study of Vedanta.
The presiding deity of the mind is Moon or Soma. Moon is cool. It is formed of Apas-Tattva (water). Water has
a tendency to run downwards. So also the tendency of the mind is always to run downwards towards sensual objects.
The external ear, the eye-balls, etc., are only instruments. They are not the real senses of Indriyas. The real centres or senses are in the brain or most correctly in the astral body (Sukshma Sarira). If the auditory nerve and the vision-centre in the brain are affected you can neither hear nor see. So is the case with the other senses also.
During dream the mind itself does the function of all the senses, despite the absence of the external instruments or the senses, such as eye-balls, etc. In the mind all the senses are blended. Really it is the mind that hears, tastes, feels, etc. This proves that the real senses are within. The eye-balls, tongue, external ears, nose, hands, legs, etc., are mere instruments (Karanas).
The mind does the function of Sankalpa and Vikalpa. It thinks: “Whether I can go to Dehra Dun or not?” The Buddhi or the intellect decides: “I must go.” Ahamkara, the ego, arrogates. Chitta which is the store-house of Samskaras or impressions makes the preparation and gives orders to the senses. Then the senses act. The legs move. The eyes see. After you reach Dehra Dun the Vritti or wave of thought that was agitating you to see Dehra Dun subsides or gets dissolved (Laya). Then you get a temporary peace, after the gratification of your desire.
Strike a vessel made up of bell metal with the tuning fork. It will vibrate. Even so the mind vibrates if any one abuses or praises you, if you feel pain or pleasure. During praise and pleasure, the mind expands. During censure and pain it contracts.
Mind is miniature-Maya. When the functioning of the mind stops, and when the mind is dissolved into the Absolute, there is Self-realisation.
The Guru And The Disciple
The aspirant in olden days used to approach the Guru, with a bundle of sticks (Samit) in his hand, for spiritual instruction. What does this indicate? He prays to his preceptor, “O adorable Guru! Let my bundle of sins and worldly Vasanas be burnt in the fire of wisdom through thy grace. Let the divine flame grow in me. Let me attain the highest illumination. Make me realise, the Inner Self-effulgent Atman. Let my senses, mind, Prana and egoism be given as oblation in the fire of wisdom. Let me shine as the Light of lights!”
It is Guru’s grace that removes the veil of ignorance of the disciple. The Guru’s grace penetrates the heart of the disciple and raises the Brahmakara-vritti in him. The highly exalted Brahmanishtha Guru, for whom there is no world, comes down from his exalted state to teach the disciple.
If you want to practise Vedanta or Jnana Yoga smile always, be cheerful always. He who is gloomy, he who is cheerless, he who has a castor-oil face or Sunday-face cannot become a Vedantin. He is not an Adhikari or qualified person for the practice of Vedanta. Such a man should be shut up in a cell, as he is a source of infection or contamination for others. Shun the company of such a negative person. A man of Viveka alone is fit for the practice of Vedantic Sadhana and a man of Viveka is always peaceful and joyful.
The Nature Of Brahman
Brahman is the Absolute-Existence which is of the Nature of Knowledge-Bliss.
The world itself shines as Brahman when the veil of ignorance is torn down by the dawn of Knowledge of the Imperishable. See Brahman in your Guru, Brahman in the world, Brahman in everything.
In reality there is no creation. The world itself is an appearance of Brahman. The world is superimposed upon Brahman through Adhyaropa. Through Apavada-Yukti the superimposition is sublated or negated and everything is realised to be the Absolute Brahman.
Only the train moves, but you do not move. Only the boat moves, but you do not move. Even so, only the body moves, but the Indweller or the Silent Sakshi, the Witness, which is identical with the Absolute Brahman or Atman, never moves.
The word ‘Atman’ is used with reference to the soul in the individual. The term ‘Brahman’ is used with reference to the same Soul as the Soul of all beings and objects in the universe.
Brahman Is Bliss
The king returns from his long journey to his palace at night. He is dead tired. He wants immediate rest. He does not want to talk even to the Maharani or the queen. The objects do not afford him any pleasure. He wants to enjoy the bliss of sleep. From where does bliss come in deep sleep, when there are no objects of enjoyment? The king (or the Jiva) in deep sleep comes in contact with the All-blissful Supreme Soul and refreshes and strengthens himself. Brahman is the source of all peace and bliss.
Isvara And Jiva
The causal body (Karanasarira) of the individual soul and of Isvara is one and the same. In the Jiva it is individual Avidya. Isvara’s causal body is cosmic and is called Maya.
The Jiva is called Visva, Taijasa and Prajna in the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep experiences, and the corresponding name for the Cosmic Principle is Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Isvara. The Kutastha-Atman in the Jiva is identical with Brahman, the Absolute.
The Nature Of Maya
Maya is Trigunatmika. Tamoguna is darkness and inertia. Rajoguna is passion and activity. Sattvaguna is divine light and purity.
You cannot detect your own faults on account of the force of Avidya. Avidya is the name for Maya in the individual or the Jiva. You always think that you are free from defects, that you are full of virtuous qualities, that you are the most perfect man in the world. This is Maya.
Maya is Satya or truth for a worldly-minded man. It is Anirvachaneeya or inexpressible for a Viveki or a man of discrimination. It is Tuccha or nothing for a liberated sage or Jivanmukta who is identifying himself with Satchidananda Brahman.
Vasanas and Trishnas, desires and cravings, can be destroyed in toto only by annihilating Avidya or Ajnana, the source for this Samsara, just as a tree can be destroyed only by annihilating its root. If you cut the branches of a tree, again they will grow. So you must pluck out the root itself. Avidya can be destroyed by knowledge of the Imperishable or Brahman, and not by indiscriminate suppression of the senses.
Destruction of Avidya will lead to the destruction of Raga-Dvesha. Raga and Dvesha are the modifications or effects of Avidya or ignorance.
Ajnana is absence of the Knowledge of Brahman. Just as the trees born on the soil of the mountain hide the mountain, just as the clouds born through the sun’s rays hide the sun itself, so also Ajnana born from the Sakti of Brahman hides the Chaitanya or Brahman.
Ajnana is twofold: Toola and Moola. Toola-Ajnana is ignorance in regard to the objects outside. Moola-Ajnana is ignorance covering the Self within.
The Projection Of The World
In summer the whole earth is parched. As soon as there is a shower the seeds sprout and plants come out. They were in an unmanifested state (Avyakta) before the rains. Even so the world which is in a manifested state had an unmanifested state and will become unmanifest again. It has come out of Maya, the causal body of Isvara, and will return to it in the end.
The earth, water, fire, air and ether are all productions of Maya. Water is more subtle and pervasive than earth. Fire is more subtle and pervasive than water. Air is more subtle and pervasive than fire. Akasa is more subtle and pervasive than air.
If you keep some jasmine flowers on your table, the aroma or fragrance spreads throughout the room. The fragrance is more pervasive than the flower. The flower is in one spot, but the fragrance pervades the atmosphere. The moisture of vapour is more pervasive than the earth. Sun’s light is more pervasive than water. Akasa which is the mother-substance for the other four Tattvas is all-pervading. All the four elements are rooted in the all-pervading Akasa.
From Brahman or the Supreme Being sprang the five elements. Akasa was born first. Akasa is ether or space. It is Akasa or space that is the abode for the four other elements. It is the vessel or the container. There was Gati or motion in Akasa. That motion is Vayu or air. There was heat during motion of air. Fire was born from air. Fire cannot burn without air. Fire cooled and became water. Water solidified and became earth.
The Sheaths Of The Body
Five sheaths are covering the individual soul. They are the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Kosas. The Antahkarana or the internal organ takes four forms, viz., mind, intellect, ego and subconscious mind (Chitta).
Ahamkara or the ego has connection with the intellect (Buddhi). Their abode is the Vijnanamaya Kosa. Mind (Manas) has connection with the Chitta. Their abode is the Manomaya Kosa.
The light of Surya (sun) brightens the intellect. The heat of Surya gives heat to Prana and thus maintains the heat of the body.
Just as the mind is the dividing wall between the soul and the Prana, so also Prana (vital air, energy) is the boundary-wall between the mind and the body.
Above the mind is the Buddhi. The Buddhi or intellect is made up of Agni-Tattva (fire-principle). Below the mind is Prana which is also made up of fire. Between fire (intellect above) and fire (Prana below) is the mind (water). The presiding deity of the mind is moon (Chandra). Dry up this mind (water) through the fire of Vichara (intellect), or the fire of Prana (Pranayama), or both. You will attain eternal peace, everlasting bliss.
Samadhi is the Turiya or the Fourth State which is Pure Consciousness or the Supreme Absolute where even a tinge of dual consciousness does not exist.
Raja Yogis practise Nirodha-Samadhi. Jnana Yogis or Vedantins practise Badha-Samadhi. In the practice of Nirodha-Samadhi the Raja Yogi stops all the Vrittis of the mind by concentrating on one form. In the practice of Badha-Samadhi the Jnana Yogi abandons all names and forms and takes up the one essence viz., Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman that is the substratum for all these names and forms. There is Vyapakata in the Sadhana of a Jnana Yogi. He does Sadhana even while walking. Wherever he sees he tries to see the one underlying essence and rejects the names and forms. He is in Sahaja-Samadhi even while moving. But, a Raja Yogi sits and meditates. He is in need of a steady, definite pose. He cannot be in Samadhi while walking or moving.
In Vedanta, meditation is termed as Nididhyasana. Nididhyasana leads to Sakshatkara or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. One who has experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi will not return to the state of embodiment once again.
Method Of Vedantic Sadhana
Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana are the three stages of Vedantic Sadhana.
Sravana is hearing of the Truth. The Abheda-Bodha-Vakya should be heard from the Brahmanishtha-Guru. Then Vedantic scriptures and treatises have to be carefully studied for the purpose of properly grasping the meaning of the great Mahavakyas.
Vedantic Granthas are of two kinds: the Pramana-granthas and the Prameya-granthas. One should always study standard works on Vedanta. A complete and exhaustive treatise on the subject has to be studied with the greatest care. Then only the full knowledge of Vedanta will dawn. Works like the Advaitasiddhi, Chitsukhi, Khandanakhandakhadya, Brahmasutras, etc., are Pramana-granthas, for they refute other theories and establish the Advaita-Tattva through logic and argumentation. Works like the Upanishads, the Bhagavadgita and the Yogavasishtha are Prameya-granthas, for they merely state the Absolute Truth with authority and do not indulge in reasoning for refuting or establishing anything. They are intuitional works, whereas the former are intellectual.
The mind should be pure and tranquil before starting Vedantic Sadhana. Keeping the Vasana in the mind is keeping a black cobra within and feeding it with milk. Your life is ever in danger. Kill these Vasanas through Vichara, Vairagya and meditation on the Atman.
The Sruti texts that deal with creation, such as “From the Atman sprang Akasa, from Akasa Vayu, from Vayu Agni,” etc., are only intended for giving preliminary instructions to the neophytes or young aspirants; for they cannot grasp at once the Ajativada or the theory of non-evolution. When you read the passages which treat of creation, always remember that all this is only Adhyaropa or superimposition. Never forget this. Never think even for a second that the world is real. Only through Apavadayukti or refutation of superimposition can you establish the Kevala-Advaita-Siddhanta. If the world is real, if duality is real, you cannot have experience of Advaitic Realisation.
If the impurity of egoism or Ahamkara-Mala is destroyed, the other two impurities, viz., Kama-Mala (impurity of desire) and Karma-Mala (impurity of actions) will be destroyed by themselves. How, then, can there be Prarabdha for a Jivanmukta or the liberated sage? He is one with the Supreme Absolute.
Obstacles In Vedantic Sadhana
Ahamkara is the greatest obstacle to Self-realisation. “I know everything. My view or opinion alone is correct. What I do is right. That man does not know anything. Everybody should follow what I say. Everybody should obey me. I am free from any kind of fault. I am full of auspicious qualities. I am very intelligent. That man is very stupid. That man is wretched. That man has got many defects. I am wise. I am beautiful.” Thus says the egoistic man. This is the nature of Rajasic Ahamkara. He hides his own faults. He exaggerates and advertises his own abilities and qualities. He belittles others. He condemns others. He superimposes faults on others which they have not got. He sees not good but evil in others. He superimposes on himself several good qualities which he does not possess. That man cannot practise Vedantic Sadhana. He is unfit for the path of Jnana.
Raga and Dvesha constitute the great Samsara of the Jiva. They have to be destroyed through the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman. Either through proper understanding and discrimination or through Pratipaksha Bhavana these currents should be destroyed. Liberation is attained by simplicity, by carefulness, by purity, by controlling the passions and by following the footprints of saints and sages.
Through Vedantic Sadhana the Brahmakara-Vritti is generated. The bamboo strikes against the other bamboos and fire is generated. The whole forest is burnt. There is a huge conflagration. Then the fire subsides by itself. Even so, the Brahmakara-Vritti that is generated in the Sattvika-Manas through meditation on Brahman or the significance of the ‘Tat-Tvam-Asi’ Mahavakya destroys Avidya or ignorance and its effects and leads to the attainment of Brahma-Jnana, and finally dies by itself when the Supreme Brahman is realised.
The paste of strychnos potatorum (Nirmala seeds) removes all dirt in the water and helps it to settle at the bottom of the vessel. Along with the dirt the paste also disappears. Even so, the Brahmakara-Vritti destroys all worldly (Vishayakara) Vrittis and finally perishes by itself after the dawn of the knowledge of the Imperishable.
The Nature Of The Jnani
The Jnana Yogi practises neither Pratyahara nor Chittavritti-nirodha like the Raja Yogi. He tries to behold the One Undivided Essence of Satchidananda in all names and forms. He stands as a witness or Sakshi of all the Vrittis. All Vrittis gradually die by themselves. The Jnani’s method is positive (Samyagdarshana), whereas a Raja Yogi’s method is negative (Nirodha).
There is no body from the Drishti or view of the sage. How can there be Prarabdha then, for a Jnani? The Jnani is one with the Absolute and hence no change takes place in his being. He is Santam, Sivam and Advaitam. He is a Jivanmukta. He is liberated in this very life itself. His body is like a burnt cloth or a sword that is changed into gold through the touch of the philosopher’s stone. His ego is burnt by the fire of Supreme Wisdom.
Consciousness is Brahman.
s:v:üö K:elv:dö b:ÒÉ
sarvaü khalvidaü brahma
Om Santi! Santi! Santi!
Raga and Dvesha (likes and dislikes) only constitute this Samsara or this world of phenomena. It can be totally destroyed by knowledge of Brahman.
Raga-Dvesha is a Vasana. It has four states. Raga-Dvesha, Vasanas, Samskaras and Gunas are intertwined. They co-exist. The seat of Raga-Dvesha is the mind and the senses. Destruction of one will lead to the destruction of others. But the destruction of the source, Avidya or Ajnana, the seed of Samsara, through Brahma-Jnana will destroy everything to the very root.
The cultivation of virtues like Maitri (friendship), Karuna, (mercy), Mudita (complacency) and Upeksha (indifference) can thin out or attenuate Raga-Dvesha. This is the Pratipaksha-Bhavana method or cultivation of the opposite positive qualities, of the Raja Yogins.
Destruction of Avidya will lead to the destruction of. Raga-Dvesha. Raga and Dvesha are the modifications or effects of Avidya or ignorance.
The fire of devotion also can burn in toto Raga-Dvesha.
The practice of Nishkama Karma Yoga or disinterested selfless service can thin out Raga-Dvesha to a very great extent.
Kill Raga (attachment) by the sword of Vairagya (non-attachment or dispassion or indifference to sensual objects) and Dvesha by developing cosmic love.
Raga-Dvesha assumes various forms. You like certain foods and dislike certain other foods. You like certain clothing and dislike certain other clothing. You like certain persons and dislike certain other persons. You like certain places and dislike certain other places. You like certain sounds and dislike certain other sounds. You like certain colours and dislike certain other colours. You like soft things and dislike hard things. You like praise, respect, honour, and dislike censure, disregard, dishonour. You like a religion, view, opinion and dislike other religions, views and opinions. You like comforts, pleasures, and dislike discomforts and pain. Thus there is no peace of mind for you as the mind is ever restless and agitated. The waves of Raga-Dvesha are ever disturbing the mind. One wave of Raga-Dvesha arises in the mind and subsides after some time. Again another wave rises, and so on. There is no balance of mind. There is no peace. He who has destroyed Raga-Dvesha will be ever happy, peaceful, joyful, strong and healthy. Only he who is free from Raga-Dvesha will have a long life. Raga-Dvesha is the real cause for all diseases (Adhi and Vyadhi).
Wherever there is pleasure, there is Raga; wherever there is pain, there is Dvesha. Man wants to remain in close contact with those objects which give him pleasure. He shuns those objects which give him pain.
Though the objects that give pain are far away from you, the memory of the objects will give you pain. It is only the removal of the currents of Dvesha that will give you happiness. It is the Vritti or thought-wave that gives pain but not the objects. Hence try to destroy the current of Dvesha by developing cosmic love and Brahma-bhavana or Isvara-bhavana in all objects. Then the whole world will appear to you as the Lord in manifestation. The world or the worldly object is neither good nor bad, but it is your lower instinctive mind that makes it good or bad. Remember this point well, always. Do not find fault with the world or the objects. Find fault with your own mind.
Destruction of Raga-Dvesha means destruction of ignorance or mind and the idea of the world.
No meditation, no peace, no Samadhi is possible for a man who has not removed these two currents two foes of peace, knowledge and devotion. He who says “I enter into deep meditation. I have attained Self-realisation and Samadhi. I can also help you to enter into Samadhi” is a confirmed hypocrite. If you find in him Raga-Dvesha, attachment, hatred, prejudice, intolerance, anger, irritability, know him to be a Mithyachari. Shun his company. Remain at a respectable distance from him, because you also will catch the infection or contagion from him. Beware. Beware. Be cautious, friends!
Adhyaropa is superimposition! This is one of the fundamental principles of Vedanta. You cannot proceed with the study of Vedanta without understanding Adhyaropa. In reality, this world was never created. This world is superimposed on Brahman. This world is imagined where there exists only Brahman. This is Adhyaropa. This superimposition is sublated through the Yukti called Apavada.
You want to meet your friend Sri Rampratap. When you go to his house, he is not there. Somebody tells you that he has gone to a particular shop in the bazaar. You wait at his door and in a short time you see someone coming, who looks like Rampratap. From a distance you determine in your mind that the person coming is none but Rampratap. But after some time when he actually comes near you, you find that he is not Rampratap but Krishnagopal. You have superimposed Rampratap on Krishnagopal. This is Adhyaropa.
Even in case the person coming is Rampratap himself really, you think, sometimes, that the person coming is somebody else, but when he comes nearer, he happens to be Rampratap himself. This is another kind of negative superimposition. The instance in the previous case was one of positive superimposition. In each of these cases, there has been a mistaken notion that one thing is another. This is called Adhyaropa or superimposition.
Adhyaropa is the result of ignorance of the real object. Generally people mistake a rope for a snake, a post for a man, the mother-of-pearl for silver, the mirage for water, etc. In hazy light of dusk you mistake a rope to be a snake. You are terribly afraid of it. But a friend of yours who comes with a light assures you that it is only a rope. Now you look at the supposed snake once again and find it to be unmoving and that it is really a rope and not snake. Now the Adhyaropa vanishes. In this instance there was no snake at all. It was only the rope that appeared as a snake. The snake was not there in the past, is not in the present and will not be there in the future (three periods of time), i.e., neither before you saw the snake, nor when you were actually seeing the snake, nor, again after your friend came with the light and assured you that it was only a rope, was there really a snake. Why was it that you saw the snake when there was only a rope? This is beyond your capacity to understand. You will simply say, it appeared to me to be a snake. So also everything that you see in this world in the form of diverse objects is only Brahman. It was Brahman only in the past and it will remain so even in the future. To a Jnani there is no world at all. This world appears to be so only to an Ajnani. Till the dawn of knowledge everyone is under the spell of ignorance only. One sees diverse objects. He feels pleasure and pain. He undergoes sufferings and tribulations. He is subject to likes and dislikes. The five organs of knowledge and the five organs of action, all work, and you cognise diverse objects, hills, mountains, rivers, men, animals, and everything else. But when, through the grace of the preceptor and through Sadhana performed untiringly until purification, through hearing, reflection and meditation, you cognise the reality, then, no more the world appears to be real. You see Brahman alone everywhere. Then you cannot hate anyone. You cannot dislike anyone, because you See your own Self or Brahman in all. Can you ever dislike yourself? You may dislike any thing second to yourself, but you cannot dislike yourself. When you see everything else also to be your Self, then whom can you hate? You will become an embodiment of pure cosmic love.
You are in search of a rope. You find one. But in the dark you mistake it to be a snake. You run away from it. You search all other places in the house and fail to find a rope. Your brother brings a light and shows you the rope which you mistook for a snake. You now see the rope. Just as you found the rope in the snake itself, even so, you will see Brahman in the objects of the world themselves. You cannot run away to the mountain-caves in search of Brahman. You have to practise seeing the Lord or Brahman in each and every object around you. When you are able to cognise the Reality underlying the objects, you will no more be deluded.
The highly exalted Brahmanishtha-Guru for whom there is no world comes down from his exalted state to teach the disciple. He is even then fully conscious of his identity with Brahman. He is fully aware that he is himself Brahman, and the disciple too. But out of compassion and love he sheds his grace on the fit disciple by imparting to him the knowledge of Brahman.
It is Adhyaropa that is to be well understood. If you can thoroughly grasp this principle, you can easily understand Vedanta. If you can dwell upon the simple truth that the whole world is merely superimposed on Brahman, if you can meditate on the idea, “This body is a house made of five elements just as a house is made of brick, cement, wood and iron; the Self within me is the Self in every other being; the flickering mind is the cause for all misery and unhappiness,” you will ever rest in joy, peace and eternal bliss.
May you ever dwell upon this truth and remain happy amidst all changing circumstances, joys and sorrows of the busy worldly life! May you root yourself in Brahman, the Substratum for this body, mind and soul, Jiva and Jagat, Maya and Isvara, cause and effect!
A sense is not soul, because you can apprehend an object through any other sense, e.g., “Previously I saw a tree and now I touch it;”—such an expression will be meaningless if ‘I’ is not different from the eye which cannot touch, and from the skin which cannot see. The ‘I’ or the Soul is distinct from the senses.
There is a fixed relation between the senses and their objects, e.g., between the eye and colour, the ear and sound, and so on. It is the eye and not the ear that can apprehend colour, and it is the ear and not the eye that can apprehend sound. If a sense were the Soul, it (the Soul) could apprehend only one object, but the ‘I’ can apprehend many objects; the ‘I’ can see colour, hear sound, and so on. Therefore, the ‘I’ or the Soul which confers unity on the various kinds of apprehension is different from the senses, each of which can apprehend only one object.
If we do not admit a permanent Soul beyond our frail body, we shall be confronted with many absurdities such as loss of merited action (Kritahani) and gain of unmerited action (Akritabhyagama). A man who has committed a certain sin may not suffer its results in this life, and unless there is a Soul continuing in the next life, he will not suffer them at all. This is loss of merited action. Again, we often find a man suffering the results of actions which he never did in this life. This would be a gain of unmerited action, unless we believe that his Soul did exist previous to this life and that he did the action in his previous life.
A thing seen previously by the left eye is recognised now by the right eye. This would have been impossible if the Soul were identical with the left eye alone or the right eye alone, on the principle that the seat of recognition must be the same as the seat of perception. Hence we must admit that there is a Soul which is distinct from the left and right eyes and which is the common seat of perception and recognition.
The Soul is distinct from the senses, because there is an excitement of one sense through the operation of another sense. When you see a mango fruit or lime pickle, there is salivation in our mouth. The sense of taste is excited. There is an excitement of the sense of taste on account of the operation of the sense of sight. This would be impossible unless there is a Soul distinct from the senses and uniting the senses. The Soul sees the fruit or the pickle and remembers its properties. The remembrance of the properties of the object excites the sense of taste.
You can remember only that object which you have seen. You remember the smell of an object by seeing its colour. This would be impossible if remembrance is a quality of a sense, e.g., the eye, which has never smelt the object. Therefore, remembrance must be admitted to be a quality of a distinct entity called the Soul which is the common seat of perception of colour and smell. The Soul is the absolute Seer and is Consciousness in nature, whereas all other things,—objects, body, senses, Pranas, mind, intellect, etc., are the seen and are inert in nature. The Soul is the Imperishable Reality, while everything else is perishable and false.
The Vedanta Philosophy is best taught through practical illustrations of daily life, because its abstract truths cannot be understood by the finite intellect very easily. The main purport of Vedanta is that Brahman alone is real and the whole world of appearance is unreal, and that the Jiva is nothing but Brahman Itself. This abstruse theory cannot be comprehended by ordinary men of small understanding, who are immersed in the life of relativity and ignorance. They are taught this sublime Truth by means of illustrations suitable to them, so that they may fix their minds on the Reality through various angles of vision.
In the twilight a man treads upon a rope, and mistaking it for a poisonous snake, jumps in hurry, and cries out in fear. His heart throbs quickly. But when a light is brought by a friend of his, he finds that it is not a snake but only a rope, and then all his fears vanish. This is to illustrate the unreality of the world and its superimposition on the supreme Brahman. Brahman is the Reality and the world is only a superimposition on Brahman just as the snake is a superimposition on the rope.
In the desert a traveller sees at noon a mirage where water, meadows, trees and mansions are seen. He believes the sight to be a true one and pursues the spot. The nearer he thinks he is to the spot the further it retreats from him. He leaves his way out far and wanders in the desert. Then he realises that he has done a mistake in straying away from his path in search of this false appearance of water. He once again does not get deceived by this kind of mirage. This is given, in Vedanta, to illustrate the falsity of the universe which appears to give pleasure, with objects for indulgence, to the wanderer, the Jiva. When the Jiva realises through Jnana or Knowledge of the Self, that this world is unreal and that he had done a mistake in turning away from the true path leading to his original State of Perfection or Svarupa, he stops from running after the false mirage of this life of sensual pleasure on earth. The world is only an appearance, just like a mirage which is only an appearance of sun’s rays.
This is similar to ‘Akashanilima-Nyaya’ or ‘Stambha-Nara-Nyaya’ (Man in the post). These are also similar to Rajjusarpa-Nyaya. These illustrate the superimposition of the unreal on the real. The mother-of-pearl is mistaken for pure silver, the attributeless sky appears blue, the post is mistaken for a man at night. The knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, the Reality, comes after proper understanding, through discrimination, patience, endurance, renunciation and meditation. The world is an appearance of Brahman, just as the man in the post is only an appearance of the post, and the silver in nacre an appearance of nacre.
This is similar to Mrittika-Ghata-Nyaya and the analogy of iron and implements. All the ornaments are made of one type of gold, but they are of diverse forms. They are all gold only in reality. There are various kinds of jars, pots and vessels, big and small, round and narrow, and of all forms, but all of them are but mud in reality. Various kinds of implements and tools are manufactured, with various forms and uses, but all of them are iron only in reality. The names of those various formations and their forms are false, since they are, in reality, only the original source, the gold, mud or iron. This is to illustrate that the various names and forms of this world and its contents are simply false, for all are in essence Brahman only. Brahman alone is appearing in many names and forms.
There are countless waves rolling in the vast ocean. Each wave is distinguished from the other and each wave can be perceived separately, one by one. But all are water only, and are not separate from the great ocean. All are one only in reality. The difference is only apparent. This illustrates that all the innumerable Jivas that appear in this universe, though apparently they are perceived to be separate from one another, are in reality that one Ocean of Satchidananda and are all identical with it. There is no difference or diversity.
This is the analogy of colour in crystals. The Sphatika or the brilliant crystal is pure in itself and has no particular colour of its own. But when a coloured object is brought near it, it reflects the same colour and itself appears to be of that colour,—blue, red or whatever it be. In the same manner, Brahman or the Atman is colourless, taintless and attributeless, but only the Upadhis or the limiting adjuncts make it appear as different and of various qualities, names and forms.
This is the analogy of the lotus-leaf and water. Rain water often falls on a lotus-leaf but the water drips down and the leaf does not get stained by or attached to the water on it. In the same manner, this Atman or Brahman is untainted, though there are countless worlds rolling in it, and countless bodies are seen to be put on by it.
The wind carries whatever scent is exposed to it and spreads it everywhere. But the air is pure and is not defiled by bad scent or ornamented by a good scent therein. This is similar to the illustration of the lotus-leaf and water to show the unattached state of the Atman or the Brahman, though it puts on various names, forms and actions in the appearance of phenomena.
The spider brings forth the thread from its mouth to weave its web and withdraws it again into its mouth. But the thread is nothing but the body of itself and is one with it. Even so this world is projected forth by Brahman and then again withdrawn by Brahman. But the world is nothing but the Being of Brahman only appearing. This shows that all is Brahman alone in reality.
There is only one sun illumining all the worlds. But there are perceived as many different reflections of the sun, as there are ponds, tanks, rivers, mirrors, etc. The sun is reflected in all waters, but there is only one real Sun. So also there is only one Supreme Existence-Absolute, the infinite Brahman, but that One Reality is reflected through the Upadhis of Maya and Avidya as various worlds and Jivas. This is false, for it is only the appearance of reflections. The Truth is only One.
This is the analogy of ether in a pot. There is the great Ether or the Mahakasa pervading the whole universe and there is the same ether inside a jar also. But the ether in a jar can be differentiated from the great ether on account of the ether being enclosed and contained by the jar. But the ether is in no way affected even in the least by the partitions made by the walls of the jar. When the jar is broken the ether in the jar becomes one with the great ether, having undergone no change at any time. Even so, the Atman in the individual is partitioned by the mind and the body, but, in reality, it is one with the great Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. When the body is broken and the mind is destroyed the Atman becomes one with the Supreme Brahman, having undergone no change due to the appearance of the mind and the body, the products of Avidya or Upadhi or ignorance.
The Bhramara or the wasp is said to sting the insects or the Kitas which it brings to its hive and through stinging them and poisoning them makes them feel its presence alone everywhere, at all times. The insects, so to say, meditate on the presence of the wasp, at all times, and in turn become wasps themselves thereby. This is to show that by meditating on the formula ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’ or ‘I am Brahman’ the Jiva becomes Brahman itself in the end.
This is the analogy of the burnt cloth. If a cloth is burnt you will see, even afterwards, that there is the same form of the cloth appearing. But when touched with the hand even slightly, it is reduced to ashes. Even so is the body of the Jnani or the Jivanmukta. He does possess a body, but it is like the burnt cloth. It only appears, but it has no reality. It is burnt by the fire of Wisdom and there is no ego to sustain it. The Jnani is untouched by worldly taints and leaving that appearance of a body he attains Sadyo-Mukti or Kaivalya-Mukti.
To show to a person the star Arundhati in the sky, one points out at first to a big star above and says that that big star is Arundhati. The person is first led to a big star that is clearly seen and is said that that is the Arundhati. Then after rejecting that star the real star is shown. Even so, the aspirant is at first shown a physical method of approaching the Reality through service and formal worship of forms, but afterwards he is led gradually to the Supreme Truth which is formless and impersonal.
The seed is the cause of the tree and the tree is the cause of the seed. It cannot be said which is the cause of which. This is to illustrate that every question and statement has got a counter-question and counter-statement, that every this is also every that, that the whole world is bound in relativity, and that the Ultimate Truth is Silence, which Dakshinamurti followed.
The child of a monkey catches hold of the mother’s breast and never leaves it even in times of extreme danger. It does not rely upon the mother for its safety, but struggles for itself. This is to illustrate the nature of the aspirant on the path of Jnana-Sadhana, who does not rely upon any external help or grace for his salvation, but struggles for himself and attains Wisdom of the Self.
This is the analogy of stone and mud. Mud is very hard when compared to cotton but it is very soft when compared to stone. This is to show that a thing may be bad as compared with better things, but is good when compared with inferior things, and vice versa. This is used to illustrate that there is no quality in things by themselves, that there is no plurality in life, and that difference is caused only through imagination.
This is akin to Vandhya-putra-Nyaya, Gaganaaravinda-Nyaya, Gandharvanagara-Nyaya or Shashavishna-Nyaya. It is useless to search for the teeth of a crow, for it has no teeth. Similar is the case with the son of a barren woman, a lotus grown in the sky, a city in the clouds, and the horns of a hare. This is to show that it is meaningless to question about the contradictions and mysteries of existence like “Why did the Perfect God create an imperfect world?” etc., for there is no real change and there is no creation at all in reality, and that these questions arise so long as the Sun of Wisdom has not arisen.
When many cakes are tied to a stick and one says, “the stick has been pulled down and is not to be found”, it naturally follows that the cakes also are missing. This is to illustrate that all doubts are cleared and desires pacified when it is known that Existence is Eternal, Infinite and Changeless, Undivided, Intelligence and Bliss! For, doubts and desires arise only when there is change or evolution.
A king asked a barber to bring the most beautiful boy in his kingdom. The barber searched in the whole country but could not find a really beautiful one. He felt very sorry and came to his house in distress. But finding his own son in his house, who was actually an embodiment of ugliness, he thought that his son was the most beautiful in the world and brought him to the king. This is to illustrate that whatever is dear to one and whatever is one much attached to, is found to be the best and the most precious and that men have love only for the world, as they are strongly attached to it. Everyone is shut up within his own limited individual experience.
Worms revelling in poisonous substances are not affected by that poison and are happy there. This is to denote that, though a thing is worthless and low to one, it may be very good to another and may be the very thing that the other wants and craves for, and also vice versa. It illustrates that creatures of the world are happy in it, for they know not anything higher.
A crow came and sat on a palmyra tree, and just at that time, a fruit of that tree fell on its head and killed it. The falling of the fruit had really no connection with the crow’s sitting on the tree. The coincidence of the two events was merely accidental. This illustration is used to describe anything which is purely accidental and has no reason behind. It is said in the Yogavasishtha that the appearance of a common world to many Jivas, each of whom has really an independent world of itself, is only accidental (Kakataliya) and has no reason or any other meaning for it whatsoever.
1. Butter In Milk
Butter or ghee exists in milk. But where is it? It cannot be perceived. But it is present everywhere in milk, in each and every drop of milk. There is no particle of milk where butter or ghee is not present. In the same manner Brahman is present everywhere; and there is no speck of space where Brahman is not. But Brahman cannot be perceived and It seems to be nowhere. It is the very essence of cream of existence, but It is nowhere to the eyes of a worldly-minded man. This illustrates the omnipresence of Brahman.
2. Fire In Wood
Fire is present in all parts of wood, just like butter in milk. It is only one fire that is existent in all woods, but it becomes various in name, form and action when it manifests into visible fire. Even so Brahman which is the Reality in all things appears as many in name, form and action when manifest in various Jivas and countless worlds. But the Truth is only One; it only appears to be many.
3. Smoke And Fire
Smoke emanates from fire. The dense smoke covers the bright fire and the fire cannot be seen. But the smoke comes only from the fire and is only a part of the burning fire. It is one with fire. Similarly Maya projects itself forth in the being of Brahman and clouds the appearance of Brahman so that Brahman is not perceived and there is variety in existence. But Maya is one with Brahman and is Brahman only appearing, the Effulgent, Consciousness-Bliss.
4. Thread And Necklace
The necklace contains many beads of various forms, but there is one single thread that connects them all and keeps them in unity. The thread is their very support and being. Even so in the diverse Jivas and worlds that exist there is one common Life-Principle, the Supreme Brahman, as it is called, that unifies the entirety of Existence, and is the very support and being of all that is.
5. Wearer And Apparel
The old and used clothes are thrown away and new clothes are put on by man. In the Bhagavadgita this is given to illustrate that the Jiva throws off an old and used-up body and assumes a new one, and that the Jiva therefore does never die in reality.
6. The Chameleon
The chameleon is an animal which changes its colour at any time according to the colour of the surface it moves on. A person who has seen the chameleon when it is assuming the colour red says that the chameleon is red. But the other one who has seen it only when it is assuming the colour green says that the chameleon is green. But a person who has watched the chameleon all along, carefully, under the tree, knows all its colours, and does not have any more doubts. This is to illustrate that people who have only a partial understanding of the Nature of God quarrel among themselves that this is right and this is wrong, God is like this, God is like that, etc. But a Brahma-Jnani who has calmly watched the nature of the whole existence knows its true nature and does not have any more doubts regarding the nature of the Absolute.
7. Salt And Water
A particle of salt dropped in a large vessel of water dissolves itself in the water and is no more perceivable to the eye. But any part of that water, if tasted, is felt to be saltish. In the same manner the Jiva, on attaining Wisdom, dissolves itself in the ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss and becomes one with the All. All is felt to be the Supreme Bliss. It is everywhere the same.
8. Two Thorns
If a thorn gets stuck to the leg, it is carefully removed with the help of another thorn. But after the work is over, both the thorns are thrown away and one becomes happy. Even so, the evil qualities and ignorance born of Avidya should be removed by virtuous qualities and knowledge and after attaining Peace, one has to discard them both and transcend all differences.
9. Sword And Philosopher’s Stone
At the very touch of a philosopher’s stone the sharp iron sword is turned into gold and afterwards it does not cut, even if it has the appearance of a sword. Even so, the ego of the Siddha-Jnani or the Jivanmukta, though it has the appearance of individuality and presents a physical body, cannot bind the Siddha again to rebirth, for it is transformed into Suddha-Sattva by the touch of the Supreme Wisdom of the Absolute.
10. Chandelier And Electricity
In a chandelier various bulbs of different colour are seen and there is a grand diversity in their forms. But the basis of the entire light is the one power of electricity charged from the dynamo, which is the common force of all bulbs, and which has no colours of varieties. Even so, there are various worlds and creatures of multifarious names and forms, but all are having their basis or support in the one Power, the Supreme Brahman which is Indivisible and Attributeless, Nameless and Formless.
11. The Two Birds
Two birds live in the same tree as comrades. But one of them eats the sweet fruit of the tree and gets bound in delusion. But the other bird does not eat anything and remains an eternal witness. This analogy occurs in the Rigveda and the Mundaka Upanishad. This is to illustrate that the Jiva and the Paramatman are both in the same body, but the Jiva enjoys through contact the pleasures and pains of Samsara and gets bound, whereas the Paramatman or the Supreme Soul, the Kutastha, remains as a Sakshi or a witness and exists ever In Absoluteness.
12. Man And The Necklace
A person wears round his neck a gold necklace and in excitement and confusion searches for that necklace here and there. He walks and runs this side and that side but nowhere does he find the necklace, though it is around his own neck. Similarly, the individual or the Jiva searches for Perfection and Bliss outside, everywhere, forgetting the fact that the Immortal Seat or Brahman is its very being itself and that it is identical with that Brahman.
13. Silk-Worm And The Cocoon
The silk-worm projects forth a certain thread from its mouth and then binds itself within a cocoon. Similarly, the Jiva binds itself through ignorance and attachment, and suffers from the bondage of embodied life through births and deaths.
Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!
Nature Of Brahman
Om! Brahman or Siva or the Impersonal Absolute is the Source and Substratum for the world of phenomena. He is the Source of the Vedas. From Him this world proceeds. In Him it lives. In Him it gets dissolved. He is Eternal, Self-existent, Self-luminous and Self-contained. He is all-Full. He is beyond Time, Space and Causation. He is birthless, deathless and decayless.
He moves and moves not. He moves in His manifested or Saguna aspect. He moves not in His transcendental aspect. He is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. He is smaller than the smallest because He is the Soul of even the ant, the mustard and the atom, and He is extremely subtle. He is greater than the greatest because He is the Soul of this entire universe and extends beyond this universe, also and He is Infinite. He is nearer than the nearest and farther than the farthest. He is nearer to the thirsty aspirants, but He is farther to those who are worldly-minded. He is nearer than the nearest because He is the Inner Soul of everything. He is farther than the farthest because He is Infinite. He is beyond the reach of the mind and the senses (Avangmanogochara). He cannot be reached by people of gross mind and outgoing senses. But He can be attained by that aspirant who is endowed with a subtle, sharp, one-pointed intellect (Manasaivaanudrashtavyam), and who is equipped with four means, and the grace and the instructions of a Brahma-Srotri, Brahma-Nishtha Guru, in Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya.
Vision Of A Sage And Of A Worldly Man
Brahman is the only Reality. He is the only living Truth. The Liberated Sage or Jivanmukta beholds Brahman only everywhere. There is no world for him in the three periods of time. But the ignorant man sees only the five elements and the forms. The world of names and forms only is real for him. He denies Brahman altogether.
The man who moves in a desert in the noon sees the mirage at some distance and mistakes it for water. He runs there to drink water but is disappointed. The rays of the sun fall on the bed of sand and generate the mirage. The mirage appears as a sheet of water and deludes man. Even so the worldly man beholds the five elements and their combination, i.e., names and forms, on account of Avidya. Avidya hides the real and makes the unreal appear as real.
In the twilight a man mistakes a rope for a snake, gets frightened and cries. When a friend brings a light his fear vanishes. He sees a rope only. Even so a worldly man mistakes the impure, perishable body for the Pure, Imperishable Atman and suffers in diverse ways on account of this erroneous notion or superimposition (Adhyasa) caused by Avidya. When the Avidya is destroyed through Brahma-Jnana or Knowledge of the Eternal through initiation into the significance of “Tat-Tvam-Asi” Mahavakya by the Preceptor or Brahma-Vidya Guru, he becomes identical with the Supreme Soul. The world of names and forms vanishes in tote. He sees Brahman only. All his fears terminate.
Happiness Is In The Atman Only
The feeling of pleasure is an internal feeling. There is no pleasure in physical objects, though they excite pleasure in man. Sensual pleasure is only a reflection of the Bliss of the Atman. When a desire is gratified the mind moves towards the Atman and rests in the Atman for a very short time, and the man experiences pleasure. Atman or Brahman only is the embodiment of Bliss (Ananda Svarupa). Atman is full of Bliss (Anandamaya). Atman is a Mass of Bliss (Ananda-Ghana).
Brahman Is Both Material And Efficient Cause
Brahman is both the material and the efficient cause of this universe (Abhinna-Nimitta-Upadana-Karana). He is the fictitious material cause (Vivarta-Upadana). He somehow appears as this universe through Maya, without Himself being affected in the least, by names and forms. This is a mystery. This is indescribable.
Brahman Is Unattached
Just as the crystal is not affected by the coloured objects, though it reflects them, just as the sun is not affected by the defects of the eye and other objects, just as ether is not affected, by reason of its subtlety, so, seated everywhere in the body, this Atman is not affected.
Qualifications Of An Aspirant
He who is equipped with the four means, who has purified his heart through selfless service (Nishkama Karma Yoga); service of Guru, Japa, Kirtan and Upasana, who is calm, dispassionate, reflective, discriminative, fearless, straightforward, humble, large-hearted, compassionate, generous, truthful, pure and who is free from pride, egoism, arrogance, will realise this Mysterious, Indescribable, Unthinkable Brahman or the Imperishable.
Kaivalya-Mukti or final emancipation can be attained through knowledge of Brahman. Krama-Mukti is attained through Bhakti.
Mukti is not a thing to be achieved or attained. It is already there. You will have to know that you are free, by removing the veil of ignorance.
Method Of Meditation
| I am All-blissful Siva |
I am Immortal Brahman
I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute (Satchidananda Svarupoham)
I am Infinite (Ananta)
I am Eternal (Nitya)
I am ever pure (Suddha)
I am perfect (Siddha)
I am ever free (Mukta)
I am unattached (Asanga)
I am witness (Sakshi)
I am non-doer (Akarta)
I am non-enjoyer (Abhokta)
I am not this body
I am not this Prana
This is the Quintessence of Kevala-Advaita Vedanta or Absolute Monism.
Thus ends the glorious Siva Vidya! OM!
A young aspirant says: “I have taste for Vedanta only. I do not like either Bhakti or Karma Yoga. They are far inferior to Vedanta. Only Vedanta elevates me. Only Vedanta inspires me and raises me to the magnanimous heights of Divine Splendour and Glory.”
This foolish Vedantic student is like the greedy typhoid patient with ulcers in his bowels, who wants to eat and says, “I have taste for sweetmeats. I want to eat them now.” What will be the result if he eats Rasagullas and Laddus at this stage? The bowels will rupture and he will die of bleeding from the bowels or intestinal haemorrhage immediately.
He is also like the patient who selects himself a medicine from the almirah, Liquor Arsenicalis or Tr. of Opium, and says, “I like this medicine only. I want to taste this now.” What will happen if he tastes this medicine without consulting the doctor? He will die of arsenical or opium poisoning. He does not know the dose of the medicine. Instead of taking a few drops he may take them in a large quantity and give up his vital breath at once. It is the doctor alone who can select the right medicine for the patient.
Everybody cannot want to become a Commissioner or District Collector or Governor without possessing the necessary qualifications. Can anyone become an M.A., Ph.D., without undergoing the course for Matriculation, F.A. and B.A.?
It is the Guru alone who can select the right type of Yoga for the aspirant and right kind of books for him. He knows the degree of evolution of the student and he alone can chalk out the right path for the aspirant. He will ask him to study first Atma-Bodha, Tattva-Bodha, Atma-Anatma-Viveka. But the raw self-willed student goes to the library and at once takes up the highly advanced books, Yoga-Vasishtha and Brahma-Sutras, for his study! He becomes a pseudo-Vedantin or lip-Vedantin within six months and enters into discussions with elderly aspirants.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. After studying Yoga-Vasishtha and the Karikas on Mandukya Upanishad for six months, he says: “There is no world in the three periods of time. Aham Brahma Asmi—Sivoham—Sivah Kevaloham.” He is puffed up with empty pride, vanity and hollowness, and walks in the streets with his head erect. He will never make any prostration to elderly Sannyasis and Sadhus, but chant the formula very often, “Sivoham, Sivoham.”
Such aspirants are formidable Asuras on this earth. They are a great burden on this earth. They pollute the atmosphere and create dissensions and quarrels everywhere, by entering into heated debates with sincere devotees and Karma Yogis. They cannot prosper in the spiritual path.
Vedanta in the hands of raw and unregenerate persons who lack purity and devotion and who have not removed the impurity of their hearts through untiring selfless service with Atma-Bhava and Kirtan and prayer, is perilous. It is like a sharp razor in the hands of a child. Instead of expanding their hearts the Vedantic study will thicken and fatten their egoism. They fall into the deep abyss of ignorance. There is no hope, for them, of being lifted up, as their heart is filled with foolish, Tamasic, obstinacy, false Vedantic pride and self-superiority and false Tushti (satisfaction).
May this land be free from such impotent, pseudo lip-Vedantins! May this world abound with real Vedantins like Dattatreya, Yajnavalkya and Sankara!