Swami: Oh, You have come! I was watching for a long time whether you had come. I knew you are a person who comes punctually. Glad to see you.
Devotee: Whatever else I might disregard, would I disregard Your command, Swami? In fact, I’m eagerly looking forward to the sixteenth of every month to meet you. What greater happiness can I get? What better food can I take?
Swami: Very good! Such faith (sraddha) and devotion (bhakthi) are great helps on one’s true path. Better than losing sleep and rejecting food in the fruitless pursuit of evanescent worldly pursuits, how much more joyful it is to attain the true, the meaningful, and holy goal! Leave that aside now. What do you want? Speak, let me see.
Devotee: Swami, last month You said something about awareness (chit), and You were pleased to say that You would explain more about it this month. Since then, I have been counting the passing days in order that I may know about it from You. The day has come at last. Please tell me about it.
For centuries, the Eternal Universal Religion (Sanathana Dharma) had to meet determined opposition from Islam. Political subjection to Muslim dynasties added to the problems. The cry “Allaho Akbar” rose to the skies and challenged the very existence of Indian culture, which had been fostered for ages by seers. No other nation suffered as long and deep from such fear. But the eternally fresh and vital dharma of this land stood the test, and even today, the Eternal Religion is as potent and valid as ever. It is ready to meet any challenge from any new quarter. From the signs of the times, it is evident that this culture is today dominant and powerful; why, it is prepared even to march forward and expand its area of constructive influence. Expansion is the sign of “life”, isn’t it ?
This day, the principles and practices laid down in Indian (Bharathiya) culture and the attitudes and feelings enshrined in it are not lying low within the boundaries of this subcontinent. Whether we...
One who has visualized the Atma principle that animates all can never condemn the religion of anyone. That one will never enter any religious squabble or conflict, never talk lightly or demeaningly of another’s faith, and never disturb or despise the faith of another. Only the ignorant with no spiritual experience, only those who do not know the depths of truth will embark upon the condemnation of the faith of others. It is very unbecoming to indulge in or encourage religious conflicts, to ridicule the rites and ceremonies through which others adore God, and to label the religious practices of other people as superstitions. Each one has accepted the practice and holds on to it because of the bliss it confers!
By those who know, the ONE is spoken of as MANY. The same thing is seen and experienced in different ways, by different people, according to the angle of vision and the level of intelligence and awareness. Different people describe the same thing or experience differently. How c...
The queens finished the ceremonial bath (as advised by the preceptor) and entered the palace shrine, where the altar of the family deity was. There, Vasishta completed the worship ceremony. The food (payasam) presented by the divine person was placed in three golden cups. Then, Vasishta called Dasaratha in and said, “King!
Give these cups to your wives - first to Kausalya, next to Sumitra, and last to Kaika.” The King acted as ordered.
The queens took the cups and fell at the feet of Vasishta and Dasaratha. Then, Vasishta told them to partake of the food - but only after touching the feet of Rishyasringa, who officiated at the sacrifice.
Kausalya and Kaika kept their cups safe in the shrine and went to their maids to dry their hair, before attending to coiffure. Meanwhile, Sumitra stepped onto the terrace and, keeping her cup on the short parapet wall, dried her hair in the sun, ruminating all the time on her peculiar plight: “I am the second queen! The son of the eldest queen wi...
People can discard as many gross bodies in which they take temporary residence as the number of times they pare their nails. But the subtle body cannot be changed; it lasts and persists. This is the most secret doctrine of Indian spiritual thought. Going further along this line of discovery, it can be revealed that person means: a complex of the gross body, subtle body, and individual soul (jivi). Vedantic philosophy would declare that the individual soul shares the quality of eternal, unchanging, everlastingness (nithya).
The objective world (prakriti) is also eternal, but with a difference: it undergoes perpetual change. It is never the same, but it persists forever. The basis for the objective world, namely the life force (prana) and space (akasa), are eternal, but they act and interact without rest and manifest variously and manifoldly.
The individual Atma (the jivatma) did not have its origin in either space or the life force; it is not material in nature. It is eternal, without c...
The vital breath or air (prana) refers not to the ordinary sense of the word but to Brahman only. That word is also often taken to mean the deities presiding over the breath and vital airs, like Rudra or Vayu, but even that meaning is inapplicable.
Subtle meaning of vital air is Brahman only
Once, a seeker named Pratardana approached Indra, the Lord of the abode of Gods, and prayed to be instructed about how he could be endowed with that which is most beneficial to him. Indra directed him to know Him as Life and meditate on Him as “vital air”.
Defining vital air (prana) and elaborating on its glory, Indra told him, “This vital air is identified with consciousness (Sa esha prana-prajnatma).” It is “bliss, ageless, deathless”. That is to say, vital air is the very embodiment of bliss. It has no decline or diminution; it is immortal. That is the teaching. These characteristics belong to Brahman alone, not to vital air as commonly understood. Vital air i...
This aphorism means: Brahman is the source from which the origination, maintenance, and disintegration of the universe emanates. In the aphorism, “That from which (yathah)” refers to Brahman; “of this (asya)” refers to the visible universe (the composite of the five elements, prapancha); and “birth, etc. (janmadi)” refers to the origination, maintenance, and disintegration of the universe.
One has to know “That” as Brahman, the source of origination, maintenance, and disintegration of this perceptible cosmos. Brahman is the entity from whom this creation, this apparently concrete, ever-changing product of the tendency of the mind to visualize, has originated. This creation is maintained as an organization by Brahman, in spite of the ever-present flux, and it ultimately subsides or merges in Brahman itself. Shouldn’t there be One who designs and decides on some sort of control and regulation of this creation? Underlying the three phases of creation m...
The scriptures are expressions of the truth acquired by sages while delving into the Reality. The words emanated from the inhalations and exhalations of the divine Breath. They were heard from no embodied entity; they did not arise out of anyone’s imagination. Hence, they are described as impersonal (a-pourusheya) and eternal.
From whom did they originate? From Brahman alone.
Veda means knowledge; it always “is”. It has no beginning, no end. It is referred to as “without end (anantha)”, for it is sound - sacred, sustaining, salutary sound. It is experienceable only; it cannot be limited or communicated. So, it is a marvel, an unprecedented phase of personal experience for each one. Since Brahman is the source of such knowledge, it is extolled as All-knowing, All-mighty, and All-pervading.
The Vedas, originating in Brahman, reveal It
“Brahman is the source of the scriptures and is therefore all-knowing.” This aphorism conveys the meaning that the Vedic sc...
In all statements in the Vedantic texts, the Upanishads, the familiar and easily recognisable expression “Brahman” is the one that is mentioned and elaborated. In the direction “One should meditate by becoming serene”, the object of meditation is therefore the entity indicated by “All this is verily Brahman” and not the individualized I. Commentators also upheld this interpretation.
“All this is verily Brahman (Sarvam khalvidam Brahma)” is the axiom with which the Upanishadic exhortation to meditate starts. The Vedic revelation is that the cosmos or creation is Brahman, for it originates in, is sustained by, and merges into Brahman. It is not distinct or separable from Brahman.
Non-dual vision reveals Brahman
When viewed without the twin distortions of like and dislike, love and hate, all forms, all effects, all causes are experienced as Brahman only. But when the vision is affected by love or hate, each form, each effect and cause, appears d...
Nonduality is the essence of all Upanishads
The traditional scriptures (sruthis) declare “Brahman is one only, without a second (ekam eva advithiyam Brahma)”. That is to say, there is nothing besides Brahman. Under all conditions, at all times, everywhere, Brahman alone is. In the beginning, there was just being (sat) and nothing else, says the Chandogya Upanishad.
The Mandukya Upanishad calls it peace, auspiciousness, and non-duality (santham, sivam, a-dwaitham). Only the evolved or the manifested can appear as two. That which is seen is different, one from the other and all from the seer. Moreover, the seen is the product of the seer’s likes and dislikes, their imagination and feelings, their impulses and tendencies. When the lamp is brought in, the “snake” disappears and only the rope remains and is understood as such. When the world is examined in the light of knowledge of Brahman (Brahma-jnana), the “illusory picture that attracted and repelled, the picture of du...