Many years ago around 800 A.D., the knowledge portion (Jnana Kanda) of Vedas was relegated to oblivion and ritualistic portion (Karma Kanda) became predominant with various rites being performed solely for seeking wealth and progeny. This was the time when Adi Shankara appeared on the scene to revive the sanctity and the glory of the Vedas and its timeless message to the humanity. In a brief lifespan of 32 years, Adi Shankara toured the length and breadth of India, engaging in spiritual discussions with many Pundits (Scholars), who propagated their own sectarian ideas; denying the existence of God. Adi Shankara, vanquished them all by boldly and fearlessly asserting the philosophy of ‘Advaita Vedanta’ with Brahman as the supreme, impersonal God. Adi Shankara explained the theory of oneness of all creation, the Brahman in three terse statements: “Brahman Satyam, Jagat Mithya, Jivo Brahmaiva Na Parah” meaning “God alone is real, The world in unreal, the individual is none other than God”.
The awareness of Brahmam cannot be won by the accumulation of wealth or even by the giving away of riches. Nor can it be achieved by reading texts, or rising to power, or acquisition of degrees and diplomas or by the performance of scriptural sacrifices and rituals.
Brahmam cannot be comprehended by means of proofs or arguments. It is beyond reason and calculation. So, it is A-prameya. It cannot be measured. It is indefinable. It cannot be pronounced as being such or so, for this reason or that. It is immeasurable by time and space, the scriptures are the proof. The usual proofs for truth are direct perception (Pratyaksha) and inferential perception (Anumaana). But Brahmam cannot be cognised by these two means. The sages have experienced it and expressed it in the scriptures. That word (Sabda) is the firmest proof. ‘Saastra’ means that which brings to memory what has been forgotten. Brahmam is the very self-ness of every man. The Saastras (Directives of Counselors) direct and counsel every one. But man yields to delusion and becomes one with the darkness caused by false values and attachment to the unreal, the ‘me’ and ‘mine’. But, scripture is the mother; she does not give up. She persists and pursues; she reminds man of the goal in order to ensure that he is saved.
Although Brahman is beyond description, the “rishis” (seers or sages) of yore declared, based on their personal experience, that it can best be described as sat-chit-ananda.
- Sat means existence or being, pure and absolute.
- Chit means knowledge, or consciousness, pure and absolute.
- Ananda means bliss, pure and absolute.
Our true nature is pure existence, knowledge and bliss. We have this knowledge deep within us and therefore we cannot settle for being mortal or experience any type of limitation to our existence, we have an infinite thirst for knowledge and constant yearning to experience joy.
“Everyone should first seek to know the answer to the question, “Who am I?” Without knowing who you are, what is the use of trying to know everything about others? At birth you cried out “Koham (Who am I)?” You should not die with the same question on your lips. When you die, you should be able to assert cheerfully “Soham (I am That or He)”. Then alone can you justify your birth as a man and enjoy the satisfaction of having fulfilled the purpose of human life. There is only one path to get rid of ahamkara, namely pursuing the Godly way of life. Whenever you feel the sense of ego, sit silently in a corner and observe what your breathing is telling you. It is declaring, “So…Ham”. “So” while inhaling and “Ham” while exhaling. The two syllables “So” and “Ham”, which together constitute the word Soham convey the meaning: “I am Brahman.” If you constantly meditate upon this, your ego-sense characterised by the idea: “I am the body,” will cease to bother you. This “So-ham” mantra repeats itself in each of you 21,600 times per day. Thus “I am Brahman” is the message of your inner voice all the time. Ignoring this, however, everyone identifies himself with the temporary, artificial name given to the body. Thinking yourself to be Ramaiah, Krishnaiah, or Seenaiah (the names given to your body) however long you may engage yourself in spiritual practices, you will not achieve any progress. You will continue to be what you have been according to the name given to your body. “Soham” is the name with which you were born. That alone is your natural and permanent name. That indeed is your Reality or Truth. Realise it and experience Sath-chith-ananda. Krishna is known as Partha Sarathi (the Charioteer of Partha). Partha does not mean Arjuna alone. It applies to all children of prithvi (the earth). So, make Krishna your charioteer. As the buddhi is a reflection of the divine Atma, make use of it as the charioteer in your journey to realise the Atma. Also remember that for success in every endeavour, prema (universal love) is essential. The Lord is the embodiment of Love, the Sun of Truth. Therefore, through Love, seek to know your true Self with the help of the buddhi and purify your mind. This is what I expect of you.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba Summer Showers 1990 Page 49
The entire Cosmos consisting of living and inanimate objects is permeated by the three Gunas. Man should strive to understand the principle that transcends the three gunas. God is the embodiment of Atma. The terms like sathyam, jnanam, anantam, Brahma, Atma, Bhagavan, and God are synonyms. When the mind is pure, unselfish and unwavering, the Divine appears in all His purity and fullness. – Baba
Uddalaka and Svetaketu Story
This famous story is actually a dialogue between father and son from Chandogya Upanishad. This story is depicted in one of the exhibits of Sanatana Samskruti Museum, located on the hilltop near administrative block in Puttaparthi. This story illustrates the nature of the brahman, knowing which everything becomes known.
youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmAKN5zlaOo
“It is an arduous process for people to become aware of the ‘One’ that is their core. The gross body is the product of the food consumed. But within, there is a subtler force, an inner vibration named vital air (prana).The mind (manas) within is subtler still, and deeper and subtler than the mind is the intellect (vijnana). Beyond the intellect, people have in them the subtlest sheath of spiritual bliss (ananda). When one delves into this region of spiritual bliss, the reality, the Brahman or the One can be experienced. That awareness is indeed the most desirable. In the Taittiriya Upanishad, while teaching his son Bhrigu the Brahman phenomenon, Varuna says, “Son! Brahman cannot be seen through the eyes. Know that Brahman is that which enables the eyes to see and the ears to hear. He can be known only through extreme yearning in a cleansed mind and concentrated thought. No other means can help.” – Sutra Vahini Chapter 2
Like most seekers, Jesus first searched for the Divine in the objective world. But He soon realised that the world is a kaleidoscopic picture created by one’s own imagination, and sought to find God within himself. … From the attitude of being a ‘Messenger of God‘, he could now call himself the ‘Son of God‘. The bond of relationship increased. The ‘I’ was no more distant light or entity. The light became a part of the ‘I’. With body-consciousness predominant, He was a messenger. With the heart-consciousness in the ascendant, He felt greater nearness and deamess. So, the son-father bond seems natural at this stage. Later as the Atman-Consciousness was established, Jesus could declare: ‘I and My Father are One‘. The three stages may be described as: ‘I was in the Light’, ‘the Light was in me’, and ‘I am the Light’, and may be compared to the Dwaita (dualism), Vishishta-adwaita and Adwaita (non-dualism) stages as described in Hindu philosophy. The final stage is the one when all duality has been shed. This is the essence of all religious disciplines and teachings”. – Divine Discourse: 25 December 1978
Hope you enjoyed this post. Please subscribe to the blog to receive email notification of new blog posts. Please feel free to post your comments on the facebook page associated with the blog. Om Sri Sairam.