Unitary Being is one’s own real nature. A person is already the absolute Being termed variously as Self, God, Brahman, Nirvritti and all. Absolute Being is Consciousness and Bliss. These are the very nature of the Self (that one already is). The ultimate and absolute reality can never be different from oneself because absolute in itself means that it is ONE & not TWO. If there are two realities, then they become relative realities & there must be a third reality on which both of these depend upon. This is illogical and against experience and against what is being told by the scriptures. Thus, if Reality is ONE – then surely it cannot be different from the Consciousness in me. Thus one comes to the conclusion that the absolute reality is ME & not different from Me. Thus there is nothing new to be gained as anything gained new will be subject to death also. Therefore the great Sage Uddalaka says to his son Svetaketu that “TAT TVAM ASI” – That Thou Art. The so-called individual Self is the same as God or Brahman. The Self seems to be different from Brahman and seems to be enjoying and suffering the sensual pleasures in the world – these are due to ignorance. The limitations or adjunctions of body and mind are not real because these are absent during deep sleep. Thus these limitations are seemingly appearing in the substratum of Consciousness as water is seen in desert or snake seen in rope or like the dream world seen in the dreamer.
Now, the question comes as to why is this seemingly appearing diversity appearing & how is it appearing????
This seemingly appearing diversity is due to IGNORANCE and is termed as MAYA or illusion. It is appearing because the reality of ONENESS & pure Consciousness is not known. Only when the reality of rope is not known, snake is seen in the rope. Similarly when the reality of Self is not known, the world and diversity is seemingly perceived. Adi Sankara tells that even trying to find out what Maya is in itself with the help of intellect which is a product of Maya. Thus it is futile attempt to try to find out what is the characteristic of diversity, how is it formed and why is it formed?? The reason for futility is because there has been no diversity formed & hence all these questions are worthless. These questions are like trying to find out whether water seen in desert tastes sweet or sour & hot or cold. Thus a seeker should vanquish all these doubts by trying to find out the reality which is the substratum for this seemingly appearing diversity. As the diversity of dream world and its objects are seen in the substratum of the person who is dreaming, similarly all this world of duality is nothing but Consciousness alone. These objects are seen as different because of the mind & its thoughts. Upanishads ascertain “Neha nana asthi kinchana” – There is no duality – not even little.
All the duality is the creation and imagination of the mind.
A person may doubt as to is it possible whether the world is just a creation of the mind & how can the mind create the whole universe. This doubt is answered by his own experience of dream. Without any external objects, the very person creates a universe of his own & enjoys and suffers in his own creation during the dream state. Similarly this world is nothing but the creation of the mind alone. Any person who wants to test this out can experience this through removal of all thoughts. When all thoughts are removed, he mind becomes still & thereby the source of the mind, the Self is realized as one without a second. This is the natural state of the Self. The state that each person is enjoying now is artificially created – the very fact that a person feels that something is lacking in him is due to this artificiality. But when the person gets into the deep sleep state, he feels happy, content and complete – this is because in the deep sleep state, the Self remains in its natural state of ONENESS – without any thoughts and distractions.
Thus, it is said in the scriptures that Realization or one’s own real state can be compared with deep sleep. The only difference is that in deep sleep, there is a veil of ignorance that obstructs the person being aware of the Bliss in that state. When this ignorance is removed, the person becomes fully aware of his own existence & his own bliss – this is the natural state of each person which has to be realized in order to put an end to the self-created sufferings. Thus, all scriptures proclaim that Realization is not attaining the Self but removing the ignorance veil that veils the Self. Patanjali says in Yoga Sutras
When ignorance is removed, the superimposition of the Seen on the Seer is removed & therefore the Seer remains in a state of liberation or Oneness. As the Vedas says “Dviteeyaat vai bhayam bhavathi” – Fear occurs only due to duality. Thus when a person realizes that there is no duality, but only the Self – then whom to fear or with whom to get angry/attracted. In Yoga Vasistha, Mahabali asks his Guru, Shukracharya about the truth of this world, the individual of himself & his Guru. Shukracharya replies to Mahabali “Chidiha asthihi Chinmaatram idam chinmayam eva cha
Chit tvam chid aham ete cha lokah chit iti sangrahah”
Consciousness is present here, only Consciousness is present here – everything is pervaded by Consciousness (or everything is Consciousness alone), you are Consciousness, I am Consciousness and this world is also Consciousness only – this is the essence of the ultimate and absolute reality.
“Chit chetya kalitha bandhah tan mukta muktiruchyathe
Chit achetya kila atmethi sarva Vedanta sangrahah” Consciousness when mixed with thoughts is bondage & when removed of thoughts is called liberation. Consciousness, unmixed with thoughts is called the Self – this is the essence of Vedanta or Upanishads. Janaka says in Yoga Vasistham
“Kim upadeeyam asthi iha yatnaad samsaadayaami kim
Yatah sthirasya suddhasya chitah ka me asthi kalpana” What is there for me to attain & what effort do I need to put so that I have to attain anything else – when I am the immovable and pure Consciousness – and why should I imagine thoughts when I myself am full & perfect. Sage Ashtavakra says to Janaka
“Sarvam khalu idam brahma
Aham anyam idam cha anyam iti branthim tyaja anagha” Everything is verily Brahman alone. Get rid of the illusions that “I and this world are different”. These scriptures all proclaim the ultimate reality that world that we see is not real but only seemingly appearing due to thoughts – and when these thoughts are got rid of & the Self is realized as one’s own very nature – the world vanishes and what remains is pure Consciousness alone & absolute, eternal bliss inherent in the Self. There is no other way than this to completely get rid of sorrow as sorrow is caused due to ignorance alone. But when the reality is known, the cause of ignorance is removed & hence its effect of sorrow and miseries and hence there is only pure Bliss. As Sankara tells in Nirvaana Shatkam
Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize the Self without wasting much time as each moment is uncertain and precious. PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox. Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #192 Question: Are good thoughts helpful for Realization?
Maharshi: Yes – this way. They keep off bad thoughts. They must themselves disappear before the state of Realization.
Maharshi here explains the way to progress from the lowest level (where the person is filled with all sorts of thoughts) to the highest level of Self-Realization. All the scriptures unanimously proclaim that Thoughts are the cause of bondage and liberation – thoughts are the very cause of the existence of sorrows and miseries in this world. When a person gets rid of thoughts, the thinker or the Self (the source of the thoughts) shines as absolute bliss. Until this state of thoughtlessness is achieved, a person is prone to suffer from sorrows and miseries.
The very thought that “I am a man or I am a woman” becomes the cause of problems. How???? A man thinks that he is greater than the woman – the gender problem arises. He feels a sense of attraction towards the woman (this sense of physical attraction is what is termed as Kaama or lust in Vedanta). A woman feels that she is insecure. She always needs a person to rely upon – she cannot go out in the night alone. She also feels a kind of inferiority complex towards men & the fight for equanimity comes into picture.
The above statements don’t mean that all men and women are like that – I am just pointing out some of the problems of the very thought of gender. Thus, a single thought leads one to innumerous problems. Then what to tell about the crores of thoughts that creep into a human mind within a span of a few minutes???? Thus, Yoga Vasistha says
“Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoh
Bandhaaya vishayaasaktam muktaih nirvishayam smritam” Mind alone is the cause for bondage and liberation. When not craving for sense objects or without thoughts, it is in liberation & when it craves for sense objects & full of thoughts, it is in bondage. This is the reason why the great Sage Patanjali says in Yoga Sutras
“Yogah chittah vrittih nirodhaah”
Yoga is the removal of thoughts of the mind. When all thoughts are removed, what remains is the pure Consciousness (the thinker or the Subject of the activity of thinking which are the objects of thoughts) of the nature of absolute Bliss. Yoga Vasistha says
“Chit chetya kalitha bandhah tan mukta muktiruchyathe
Chit achetya kila atmethi sarva Vedanta sangrahah” Consciousness when mixed with thoughts is called bondage & liberation is getting rid of the thoughts. Consciousness without any thoughts is called Atma or the Self – this is in short the essence of Vedanta.
But, as every person is used to thoughts – we cannot live even for a single moment without thinking. Some people will also claim that “if I don’t think, then will I exist”??? Isn’t the answer pretty obvious. Thoughts are always changing. For any changing thing, there must be a changeless substratum which is called the Self – the absolute Consciousness. Thus, thoughts are not me but I am the person who gives these thoughts existence. Thus if I say that I will not think, then I can ward off all thoughts.
But people have become pure ritualists, always engaged in Sandhya Vandanam or Bhajan or Dhyaana. They can never ward off these thoughts & actions. Some others will be very much used to smoking, drinking and other prohibited actions. A person should remember that actions are propelled by thoughts. If a person has no thoughts or desires, then there will be no actions. Since a person feels uneasy (again uneasiness is a thought which was not present in deep sleep but creeps up now) when he doesn’t smoke for some thing, this thought of uneasiness makes him to do action (that is smoke). Thus all actions are propelled by thoughts. As Krishna says in Gita
All the beings are always propelled into doing actions under the control of Prakriti. Thus if a person wants to meditate & sits down and closes his eyes, all thoughts will creep into his mind. Only when thoughts are removed, the objects are removed which means that the sense organs don’t run behind external sense objects. Only when the sense organs are controlled and introverted into the Self, can the real nature of oneself be known. Until that, a person will always be deluded into the external sense objects & will fall a prey to the objects. As mentioned earlier, realization is nothing but removal of thoughts & removal of thoughts is not very easy. Hence the first and foremost step is to rise into a higher level by introducing good thoughts (thoughts which are conducive and lead to Self-realization indirectly). Vedas tell about 2 type of actions
Sakaamya karma or selfish actions
Nishkaama karma or selfless actions
When a person does sakaamya karma or selfish actions, he expects the fruits of those actions. The fruits again make him strive for higher fruits & thereby he performs more selfish actions. This cycle continues thereby making him a prey to the cycle of birth and death. When at the end of his life, he is not satisfied with the actions that he has done & has lot of desires to do more actions – he must take a corresponding body & birth to perform those actions. Thus, death and birth continue ceaselessly. But when a person does nishkaama karma or selfless actions, without any motive & as an offering to the Supreme Lord, his mind becomes pure as he is not affected by the effects or fruits of the action. Thus his action only helps to purify his mind. Slowly all actions become natural and he finds that he is not at all attached to the actions. When thus, he is not attached to actions, thoughts become less and less in his mind. When thoughts are thus reduced, slowly the inherent bliss of the Self is experienced by the person. Striving forward, he gets the ultimate and absolute knowledge that “I am that God whom I was searching in the external world, for whom I was doing all these actions, who is the only thing present & the world that I see is as unreal as water seen in desert”. When this knowledge is gained, there remains nothing else to be known as there is no second thing about which to know. Thus, selfless actions makes a person eligible for Knowledge. We can see lot of scholars, well versed in the Vedas but still struggling in the world for money and fame. We see Shankaracharyaas in the north peetam fighting for the post of Shankaracharya!!!!! Is this what knowledge gives??? Never, this only shows that they haven’t yet gained purity of mind & hence knowledge will not bear its effect completely. Knowledge gained without purification of mind is like seeing one’s own face in the mirror without cleaning the mirror. When dirt is present in the mirror, even though I clearly knows that I am beautiful, still doubt persists when he sees the reflection in the mirror.
Thus Yoga Vasistha says
“Chaturtha vedyapi yo viprah
Susukshmam brahma na vindhathi
Veda bhaara bharaakrantah
Sa vai brahmana gardabah” Even though a person might have learned the complete four Vedas, but still if he hasn’t realized his own Self (and the knowledge that I am Brahman), he is a Brahmin donkey carrying the load of Vedas!!!!! Thus only when a person gains purity of mind, knowledge dawns completely, else the person will not be able to realize or experience the absolute reality. For purification of mind, good thoughts (selfless actions) are useful. These thoughts also include the Sandhya Vandhanam, Bhajan, Dhyaana and all. All these are but means to gaining the knowledge. Until the stage where a person becomes eligible for knowledge, all these are useful. But if a person thinks that these means are the ends, then there he falls down again into the cycle of birth and death. If a person thinks that doing Sandhyaa in itself will give him realization, then there his spiritual journey ends. When the end of his life nears, he will still be sad because of not being able to do Sandhyaaa!!!!!!
Thus, a person should always know that all actions can never help one realize the Self, they are the means to knowledge which makes one realize the Self. These means should never be considered as ends. As a person after reaching his home-town in train leaves behind the train & goes into his house, similarly should a seeker throw away all actions once he reaches the stage of Self-Realization and gains the absolute knowledge of oneness. He is a fool who considering these various actions like Bhakthi, Dhyaana, Karma as the ends clings on to them.
All these actions are useful to those who know that these are the means and not the ends. Thus, once a person moves from bad thoughts (or selfish actions) to good thoughts or selfless actions, he becomes eligible for this ultimate reality of one’s own real nature. Thus, he realizes that “I am the Self, the one without a second – therefore whom to get angry with or get attracted to – whatever is present is only the Self” As Sankara explains this experience in Nirvaana Shatkam
“Na mrityur na sankhaa na me jaathi bhedah
Pita naiva me naiva mata cha janma
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhokta
Chidananda roopah sivoham sivoham” I don’t have any death because I am not born & always present. I don’t have any doubt because doubt arises out of duality but I am non-dual in nature. I don’t have any caste distinctions as I am not born & without parts. I am neither the eatable nor the eater or the action of eating (meaning I am not the Subject or the Object and the action – I am one without a second). I am that Self of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss, I am the Self. Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize the Self without wasting much time as each moment is uncertain and precious. PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #193
Uncertainties, doubts and fears are natural to everyone until the Self is realized. They are inseparable from the ego, rather they are the ego.
Maharshi here gives an explanation about Ego and its nature. Ego is not a separate entity. Ego is termed Jiva or Jivatman by Krishna and the Upanishads. Jiva is a reflection of the ultimate being Paramatman or Brahman on the inner stuff termed as Chittam. Now a question might be raised as to what is Chittam and how did it come into being???? Brahman is Paripoorna or perfect, it is Ajam (without birth, changes, death), Nishkalam (without parts), Niranjanam (without taint). So, in such a Brahman there can never occur any imperfect or changing thing. Hence Chittam, the world, Jivatman everything is just an illusion (like water seen in desert). All the theories of explanation of Jiva, world, creation all are meant only to pacify the questioner & they have no reality at all (from the absolute perspective). Thus the ultimate reality is AJATHI VAADA (or that there is no creation at all). Thus the absolute reality is “SARVAM BRAHMA MAYAM JAGAT” – Everything is Brahman only & that there is no duality present. As mentioned before, the creation, Jiva, world everything is put forth just to pacify the seeker for the time being & making his mind pure so that he might be able to realize the absolute reality.
Thus, Jiva is the reflection of Brahman on the Chittam. It is this Jiva that enjoys, suffers and undergoes all modifications. Brahman which remains as the original for the reflection to take place is called Kutastha (kutah means the anvil which remains the same even though different objects are subjected to change with its help – the Self is the Kutastha which remains as a mere witness to the illusory dream of waking state).
What a person doesn’t realize is that “I am the Self, the kutastha, the Sakshi of whatever is happening. Happiness comes, I remain the same. Sorrow comes, I remain the same. Anxiety comes, I remain the same. Doubts comes, still I remain the same. This I that remains the same is my real nature of Self or Existence, Consciousness, Bliss absolute”. When a person doesn’t realize his own real nature, then he identifies himself with that which he is not. Thus, a person creates an identification with the Ego thereby thinking that “I have a body, I am so and so”. This identification is what causes the problem. Thus when sorrow comes, I identify myself with the person suffering (even though there also the same “I” remains without getting affected. If this was not the case, then when the wife dies, the husband should be sad through his life but he forgets after some time). This identification is what is to be removed. As Maharshi says, the qualities of uncertainties, doubts, fear all are the mind or chittam. Since the Ego is reflected in the Chittam, these become the Ego & are inseparable from the Ego. The Sun is reflected in a pot full of water. Here the water is full of mud, thus a person sees the sun as muddy. Mud and reflection of the sun are inseparable. Only when the person realizes that the Sun is not at all affected by this reflection, will he get liberated from sorrow and sufferings. Only when a person realizes that “I am not the Ego, there is nothing called the Ego, it is only an illusion”, can he get rid of all the problems of his life through identification that “I am the Self the witness to these illusory changes”.
Once a person realizes that “I am the witness”, the world and its happenings become a mere drama or like watching a film in TV. He is not at all affected by it. Thus neither actions nor their fruits affect him. As he is now not at all affected to actions or their effects, the obstructions to his inherent bliss is removed & he slowly rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self. As time passes by, he realizes that there neither was an Ego nor a play – all this were the Self alone & a long dream in which all the characters were only the Self.
Thus, Gaudapada Acharya says in Mandukya Karika
“Swapna maye yatha drishyam gandharva nagaram yatha
Tatha viswam idam drishtam vedanteshu vichakshanaih”
As a person sees the dream world and a palace of Gandharvas (imaginary palace), similar is the world seen – so say the experiencers who have realized the truth through the Vedanta. An important thing to be noted here is – even when a person thinks that “I am a man, I have sorrows and sufferings”, he is the Self because whatever is seen is only the Self. Such a person is a dreamer who thinks in the dream that “I am beggar” even though in waking state, he is a King. King Janaka once woke up from a dream. He dreamt that he was a beggar. When he woke up, he got a confusion as to whether he is a beggar or a king or neither of those. Thus he asked Sage Ashtavakra who said to him that “O Janaka, there is neither the world nor the objects, there is only the Self & that you already are”. Janaka thus realized the Self & rejoiced in the eternal bliss of the Self. Janaka thus says in Yoga Vasistha
“Kim upadeyam asthi iha yatnaad samsaadayami kim
Yathah sthirasya sudhasya chitah ka me asthi kalpana”
What do I have to attain either through effort of without effort – as I am pure and immovable (meaning all pervading and hence only I am there) Consciousness, why should I imagine things (or enter into thoughts). “Na abhi vanchaami asampraaptam na sampraaptam tyajaami aham
Swatch atmani thisthaami yan mama asthu tadasthu me”
I will neither forsake things that I have, nor accumulate more things (as everything is Me only) – I will always remain as the pure Self whatever may happen.
Here Janaka means that whatever happens, I am the Self only – when I think that I am a Brahmin, I am a man & all, all these are wrong illusions on the Self & because of these illusions a person has to suffer – hence I will not imagine anything & remain in my natural state. Thus, when a person realizes this – then he may do anything but still he will remain as the witness alone to this long dream. There is no other way to realization than this path of realizing oneness with Brahman or the Self. Unless one realizes this, any God or Mahatmaaas or Realized Self or Siddhaas or Gurus can help one in complete cessation of sorrow. Without knowing this knowledge, if a person goes to a Mahatma – he will be going there to compare the Mahatma with other Mahatmas & he will have a impression about the Mahatma or the Mahatma might (with his siddhis) help in temporary cessation of sorrow – all this will never ever lead to cessation of sorrow. These are not my words but the words of the eternal Vedas, Adi Sankaracharya as well as Ramana Maharshi where each one of them affirm the same thing that “the Self is gained only through the person who sincerely seeks to realize it & that YOU ARE THAT irrespective of whether you realize it or not”. The father Sage Uddalaka says to his son Svetakethu in Chandogya Upanishad
“TAT TVAM ASI” – THAT THOU ART. In order to make the son realize this completely, the father repeats this great saying 9 times through illustrations and examples. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says
Mrityo sah mrityum apnothi ya iha nana iva pashyathi”
The Self has to be realized through a pure mind. There is no duality here (even little bit). He who sees duality (as though it were present), he moves from DEATH to DEATH (meaning he falls into the ocean of sorrow and suffers in this world).
Sankaracharya says people who don’t realize this ultimate reality as “MOODAH” Mundaka Upanishad says
Janganyamanaah moodaah andhenaiva niyamaana yatha andhaaah” Those who think they have Knowledge (but in reality don’t know it) but are completely ignorant about the absolute reality of oneness of the Self with Brahman, they are FOOLS who fall into the trap of birth and death & are people who are guided to a place by a Blind person. All the scriptures say (again and again) that “YOU ARE THAT, YOU ARE PERFECT, There is only the Self here”. This is the one and only way to eternal bliss and cessation of sorrow. Kena Upanishad speaks about realization & the effect
“Iha chet vedit atha satyam asthi Na Chet vedin mahathi vinasthih” If this ultimate Reality of “I am THAT” is realized here, then it becomes Truth & a person gets liberated. But if this is not realized here, then it is a costly miss. Each and every person is only the Self – there is no me and you but only the Self, pure Consciousness & that Consciousness I am, that Consciousness YOU are and that Consciousness each one of us already are. Once this ultimate reality is known, there remains nothing else to be known, nothing else to be experienced & the eternal inherent bliss of the Self is rejoiced each moment. As Sankara says
“Chidananda roopah sivoham sivoham” – I am the Self of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss, I am the Self.
Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize the Self without wasting much time as each moment is uncertain and precious.