Mahabali then gave Vamana the boon. The boon did in fact take away all his possessions, but Mahabali was sent to the world “Sutala” and was given the boon that whenever he wanted to see the Supreme Lord, the Lord will there ready to do service to Mahabali. Thus Mahabali was able to set aside his Guru, who was a hindrance to the spiritual progression (here the boon indicates renunciation of all possessions) and due to this setting aside – he got the eternal Bliss of Self-Realization in the form of seeing Vishnu always. A point to be noted here is that Sukracharya also was a Self-Realized Soul. He was just doing his duty which was to help and warn out the demons and their king. He himself was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Thus here Vamana, Sukracharya and Mahabali all there were Self-Realized but were doing their duty without any hindrance and were at the same time had complete and unconditional surrender to Supreme Lord. Sri Krishna gives three points or qualities for a devotee
1) Mind fixed unto Me
2) Ever Steadfast in Me
3) Knowing Me as the final goal to be achieved or realized. Here for a Bhaktha, Me indicates GOD (form GOD or formless GOD).
For a Jnani, Me indicates the Self. Whatever way one sees this “Me”, ultimately one reaches that place where one realizes that “the Supreme Being is Me or My Self”. Let us all try to get the unconditional Surrender and be a receiver of the Grace of Almighty which gives one liberation from this Samsara or sea of sorrow.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #77
Find out the mind. If it’s wandering stops, it will be found to be the Self.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Mind is one of the strong tool that a human being has to realize his real true nature of the Self.
It can be used to go more and more into sorrow by delusion into external things or it can be used to identify its source and the Self. Yama asked Yudhisthira a series of questions and
asked him “Which is the fastest thing?”
Yudhisthira replied “The mind”. It is so fast that within a very short time (maybe less than nano-sec) it can take one to America. In Yoga Vasistha, Vasistha says to Sri Rama,
“Mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation. When it is external and craves for sense objects, it is in bondage and when it is turned internal and does not crave for any sense objects and is fully free, it is liberated.” The Self is Nitya Suddha Buddha Mukta – Ever-pure, ever-enlightened and ever-liberated. It is the Mind which is nothing but the Self – misunderstood and wrongly perceived – that creates all the havoc in life and the sorrows and joys of life. When the mind becomes still, as in Samadhi state of a Yogi, it merges with the Self. At that time, the Yogi realizes that there is only the Self and the mind was just a reflection of the Self & this reflection is nothing but the Self only. Upanishads proclaim that
“The Self shines in the pure Mind.”
“A Pure mind is capable of realizing the eternal Bliss of the Self”.
Mind is a mirror that has its source in the Self. If the mirror is mixed with dirt and impurities, then the real nature of Self is not known. But when the impurities are removed then the real nature of Self (eternal Bliss) is realized. How to remove the impurities and stop the wandering of the mind???
The way that Maharshi tells is to find out the source of the mind. When the Self is sought – that which is the source of the mind – then the mind merges with the Self. Another simple way is to watch the mind – when the mind is watched, it becomes silent and thoughts are destroyed. One of the best way for normal people to stop the wandering of the mind is to get One-pointed concentration. The way to this is “complete and total surrender to the Higher Power or GOD”. This also ensures that the Ego is destroyed and it does not obstruct Self-Realization. When a person goes on concentrating and keeping the thought of GOD in his mind – the mind becomes one-pointed. When this one-pointed mind continues to be in that state – as time passes, even that thought gets dissolved and mind becomes blank and pure. And a pure mind, in turn, gives Self-Realization which is enjoying the eternal Bliss. Let the Almighty guide us all to have this one-pointed mind which will lead one to Self-Realization and eternal Bliss.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #78 Change your outlook. Look within. Who is the substratum of the subject and the object? Find it and all problems are solved.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Normal outlook that we follow from our childhood days upto old age is “looking outwards”.
We try to search for GOD outwards in temples, mosques, churches and other religious places.
We try to find for Eternal or nev3er-ending Happiness in external things.
We learn all sciences dealing with external knowledge and objects like nuclear chemistry, astrology, astronomy, biology – but we forget to turn our mind inwards and to study the real nature of Ourselves. This real nature solves all our existing problems and gives one immortality and eternal Bliss. This is the main reason why science is not able to find out the ultimate reality behind this changing universe – whereas Sages, prophets and saints from time immemorial have found out this eternal ultimate reality behind this changing world & are all shouting at the top of their voice that “the Eternal Truth is in you” and it is not external to you and different from you. The Consciousness or the “I” is the subject which sees and perceives all other external objects through the five sense organs of Sound, Touch, Sight, Taste and Smell. What is the reality behind this “I” or subject and the objects???
In Vedanta terms, this reality is found out by using Anvaya-Vyatireka Yukti (Co-existence and Co-absence logic). Anvaya yukti is “If what is there, the world exists” – “If the Consciousness is there, the world is there”
Vyatireka yukti is “If what is not there, the world does not exist” – “If Consciousness is there, then nothing is perceived and there is no world”. But even if the world is not there, the Consciousness exists as in Deep sleep where there is only the Pure Consciousness and therefore Bliss or permanent happiness is experienced during that time.
Thus when a person turns inward and realizes this truth that the “I” is the thing on which all other external things depend, he relishes the bliss of the “I” or the Self.
Now the question comes why there is difference between subject and object and why is it created???
When a person thus tries to find out the substratum or the Ultimate Truth on which all other things depend, he comes to the eternal Blissful state of GOD or Brahman or Self – reaching where there is no returning back. This ultimate Reality cannot be two – as if two are there, then there must be something other than these two which would have created these two & on whom these two depend on. Hence this ultimate Reality is Non-dual and One.
What is its nature???
It cannot have birth, because if it has birth then there is something greater than this reality and so this reality is not Ultimate.
As it has no birth, it has no death and other characteristics of things in this world – birth, growth, existence, decay, disease and death. Thus the ultimate Reality is One, non-dual without any birth or death. When a person thus enquires into this Ultimate Reality, he realizes the truth that this waking world and the things that one sees here is a LONG DREAM. It is very similar to the dreams that we see daily but only has a longer time span. IT is the Consciousness that remains without any change in all the three states of Waking, Dreaming and deep sleep – that is the ultimate Reality behind this changing world. It is full of eternal Bliss – as this is experienced during deep sleep but one is not aware about it at that state. Thus when a person tries to see Oneness everywhere & he tries to find out the GOD in the heart – he realizes his true nature of Sat Chit Ananda (Existence, Consciousness, Bliss). At that time he realizes that whatever he was doing was in fact a dream.
At that state, all problems and doubts vanish – as there is only One there – called GOD or Self or Brahman or Atma or Christ Consciousness (as Paramahamsa Yogananda and his guru call it).
Vedas proclaim “Ekam Sad Vipra Bahuda Vadanthi” – “One Supreme Reality, people call by different name”. It is the Reality that is one’s own true nature which lies dormant or covered by a veil of ignorance. When it is enquired into and then sought – everything else vanishes giving rise to Eternal Blissful state of the Self – where there is no birth, no death, no happiness, no sorrow, no hatred, no love – but only Absolute Love, Absolute Compassion, Absolute Happiness, Absolute Consciousness. Mundaka Upanishad proclaims
Tasmin Dreste Paravare” “The Knots of the heart or body gets broken (the three knots are Brahma Granthi of Action, Vishnu Granthi of Desire and Rudra Granthi of Ignorance – these three are the main cause of duality and not realizing one’s true nature of Bliss or Self,
All doubts vanish,
All karmas lose their effect (means one is freed from the vicious cycle of Karma and Phala),
For one who sees the Far thing, (GOD or Brahman) in the Near thing (or Self) – when one realizes that “I am That Ultimate Reality devoid of any qualities, any limitations, one without a second”. Let the Almighty guide us all to enquiry into one’s own nature and enter the sea of immortality and eternal Bliss. Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #79 It is not enough that one thinks of God while doing the karma, but one must continually and unceasingly think of Him. Then alone will the mind become pure.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Bhakthi is one of the foremost and easiest path to Self-Realization. Bhaktas call this Self-Realization as “unity with God” or “merging with God”. These are but just different ways of putting the same thing into words. Bhakthi is complete and unconditional surrender to God – the Supreme Being. Maharshi tells here that one should not just think of God while doing some karma. Maharshi means here to say that one should not have part-time devotion to God. What is part-time devotion to God???
Part-time devotion is thinking of God for just some time in a day.
Thinking of God only when one goes to the temple is part-time devotion.
Thinking of God only when sorrow comes is part-time devotion. Part-time devotion can never yield the complete and total effect of Devotion (merging with God full of eternal Bliss and immortality). Krishna again and again says in Gita that “Devotion is thinking of Me (as God or Self) at all points of time”. A person never forgets about his existence. He never forgets to have food three or four times a day. He never forgets to sleep 8 hrs a day. But only for God – part-time devotion comes into play. The normal reason given by people (so-called religious or devotional people) is that “there is no time”.
When a person has time to wait in queue for checkup with a doctor, when a person has time to wait in long queue for getting tickets for a movie – he has no time for God. Isn’t it really surprising and astonishing???
Above all – the same person, when sorrow comes, blames it unto God & when happiness comes he takes credit of the work.
Devotion as described by Krishna in Chapter 12 (Bhakti Yoga) is
1) Fixing the mind always unto Me
2) Ever steadfast in Me
3) Taking Me as the ultimate Goal of Life. Here Me means Krishna – the Supreme Being or God and not just the form of Krishna. Form of Krishna had its birth and it also died. But the Supreme Being Krishna who resides in the heart of all beings is never born and hence never dies off. Krishna says in Gita
“Those are fools who think of Me as having a form. They don’t know My Supreme Being or Nature which is devoid of any form and which is immutable and without birth and death” Krishna says that
“Patram Pushpam Phalam Toyam Yo Me Bhaktya Prayatchathi
Tadaham Bhakti Upahritam Ashnaami Prayataatmanah” “A leaf, a flower, a fruit or some water – whatever you offer to me with unconditional and complete devotion – I partake that offering of such a purified soul”. When a person thus thinks continuously of God, the mind becomes pure as it gets merged into God – As the thought so the person. So when a person thinks about God, the qualities of God comes to him – qualities of purity, complete knowledge, sanctity and eternal Bliss, no birth and death, ever-existing. Maharshi tells one to continuously and unceasingly think of God.
How should one do it???
Thought of God should never go off from the mind. It should become like breathing. Everyone breathes air continuously – but it occurs effortlessly and naturally. Thought of God should become natural and effortless. This is called Ananya Bhajan. (Without any other thought than thought of God).
As one continues with this continuous and unceasing thought of God – his mind becomes pure and he merges himself with the God situated in the spiritual-heart. At that time, he realizes that God is in Him – he is one with Him and he is full of eternal Bliss. And he realizes the non-dual Brahman or God or Self (called by different names) and becomes immortal. Krishna says in Gita chapter 9
“Yat Karoshi Yat Ashnaasi Yad Juhosi Dadaasi Yad.
Yat Tapasyasi Kaunteya Tat Kurusva Mad Arpanam” “Whatever you are doing, whatever you are eating, whatever you are offering to a Homa-Kuna, whatever you are giving and whatever Tapas or Austerity you are doing, O Arjuna – do that offering it to Me.” “Api Chet Suduraachaarah Bhajate Maam Ananya Bhaak
Sadureva Sa Manthavyah Samyak Vyavasito Hi sah” “Even if a person does the worst karma or action and does so thinking only of Me at all times (Ananya means without any other thought), He is to be considered as a Sadhu as he is thinking of Me always” “And he will turn out to become pure and Good due to this Ananya (without any other thought than God) Bhajan” Thus a person needs to just keep the thought of God and do all actions unto Him as offering a pooja or japa. This will in turn give him God-Realization that great saints like Mirabhai, Tulasidas, Surdas, Ramakrishna Paramahansa all got. Let the Almighty guide us all to strive for this continuous and unceasing thought of God.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #80 Stillness is the sole requisite for the realization of the Self as God.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: God, Self, Brahman -- all these are different words meaning the same. As the Vedas proclaim
“Ekam Sad Vipra Bahuda Vadanthi”
“One Truth or Reality – people or wise call by different names” There can never be two Realities – there can be just one Supreme Reality, one without a second.
If the Reality is two, then there must be a Higher Reality on which both of these realities depend. Hence Reality is just One only. It is called by different names – according to the intellect and mind of different people. God – Sri Krishna says in Gita chapter 18 that
“Arjuna, God is there in the heart of all beings” Krishna says in Gita chapter 13
“Jyotishaam Api Tad Jyothih Tamasah Param Uchyate
Jnaanam Jneyam Jnaana gamyam Hridi Sarvasya Vistitham” “That, Brahman or Supreme Being, is the light for all lights and is called as beyond Darkness of Ignorance.
It is Trinity of Knowledge, object of Knowledge and path of Knowledge and it resides in the Heart of All beings” “Ishwaro Gururaatma ithi Murthy Bheda Vibhaagine
Vyomavad Vyaapta Dehaaya Dakshinamurthaye Namaha”
“God, Self and Guru – it is the One Dakshinamurthy who has these three forms and he is all-pervading and has the all-pervading space as his body”
How does one come to this realization that Self is God and Guru is also the same Self???
“Esho anuh aatma Chetasa Vedithavya”
This subtle Atman or Self is known through the Mind or Chitta. Mind can be pure and impure. Which Mind realizes the Self???
“Jnaana Prasadena Vishudha Satvah
Tatasthu Tam Pashyathe Nishkalam Dhyayamaanah”
Person who has gained Self-Knowledge and got his mind purified realizes the Self, without any parts – when he enters the ultimate state of Meditation (where the trinity of Meditation, Object of Meditation and the meditator merge into One). Thus a pure mind is able to realize the Self.
Here by mind – Antah Karana is meant What is Antah Karana???
Karana means equipment & antah means inner – hence these are inner equipments.
The one same antah karana is split into four according to the function performed.
1) Mind – when it is in confusion and full of thoughts and modifications
2) Intellect – when it reaches to a conclusion and decision among the various thoughts and doubts of Mind.
3) Chitta or Memory – This is that part which stores things & the Intellect comes to a conclusion based on the things in the Chitta.
4) Ahamkara or Ego – this is that part which gets identified with the thoughts and other things. It is that which says “I see”, ”I hear” and all. Self is realized as God in the heart when the Antah Karana is made pure.
There is a lake which has water. One is not able to see the bottom of the lake because there is dirt or dust in the water surface. This water surface is the antah karana. These dirts are the thoughts in the mind. When these thoughts are removed and mind is stilled – the bottom of the lake or the Self is realized. When a person throws a stone into the lake, it creates a ripple. This ripple is the creation or a modification – a kind of thoughts – and this is stored in Chitta or Memory. Thus one needs to still it by removing all the things stored in Chitta. When a person thus purifies and stills the Antah Karana – he realizes his own true nature of the Self or God – as the bottom of the lake is seen through pure water.
There is a mirror and dirt is there in the mirror. This mirror is the Antah Karana. Because of the various thoughts, one is not able to see his face in the mirror. When a person removes the dirt, he sees his face clear.
The important point to be noted here is that nothing is done with the face of the person, but only the dirt in the mirror is removed.
Similarly nothing is to be done to realize the Self – no change is to be done in the Self as it is Ever-pure, ever-liberated and ever-enlightened. Only the ignorance and dirt of the mind is to removed. Thus, the mind has to stilled. Swami Chinmayananda brings out Self-Realization with a very great simile. He says – when the mind becomes like an ocean without waves, the Self is realized. (here waves are thoughts). How can the mind be stilled???
When the mind is concentrated to a single object – it becomes one-pointed. When this one-pointedness is continued – finally even this one thought (that is being concentrated upon) vanishes and there one realizes the true nature of Self – that is not different from God. The way to one-pointedness is seeing Oneness everywhere. A Bhakta sees God everywhere, a Yogi concentrates on the breath, a Jnaani sees the Self everywhere – these are but certain paths through which mental stillness occurs and Self-Realization occurs. One can never see a God who is different from Oneself. Without the “I” consciousness there is no separate God.
A Bhakta as he continues his one-pointed devotion – he realizes that God is not anywhere outside – but he is in himself and he is that God & he merges with the God. So ultimately there exists only God there no devotee and God.