Friday, October 22, 2010




(PART - 20 – VERSES 49,50,51,52)

In V.45 - We saw that ignorance-born delusions make us mistake  Paramathma also to be a Upaadhi-bound jeeva – until we know the truth of  thath-thvam-asi (being that-thou-art). Once we imbibe the truth, our true state becomes clear.

In V.46, we saw that – once the ignorance-born ego of ‘I’ and ‘mine” feelings are removed by the swaroopa anubhava, the experience of self, we stand in the state of Brahman and our self knowledge becomes permanent. Till Brahman is experienced and identified in self – delusion continues.

In V.47 – we saw that -  that the Yogi with wholesome self knowledge – will see the whole universe in himself and himself in the whole universe – with his eyes of wisdom, or Jnana Chakshu. The power of the eyes of wisdom is such.

From all this - we understand where our Nidhidhyasanam should lead us. Are we able to experience the whole universe in our Self and our Self in the whole Universe (everywhere all the time)? This is the ultimate test of Nidhidhyasanam. We now proceed further.

In V.48, we saw that – the Jnani sees every thing in the Universe as Atma Swaroopam.
49 Jeevan Muktastu Tat Vidvaan
Poorvopaadhi Gunaan Tyajet
Satchidananda Roopatvaat
Bhavet Bhramara Keetavat.

Who is Jeevan Muktha? We have seen earlier that liberation comes from attainment of Atma Jnanam or self Knowledge. The moment we attain Atma Jnanam through Sravana-Manana-Nidhidhyasanam of Sasthra Mahavakya (Vedic, profound revelations like Aham brahma Asmi), at that moment, we become free and totally liberated of all that binds us to Samsaara like desire, anger, Lust, greed, pride, envy and fear and all the dualities of Samsaara like happiness-sorrow, pleasure and pain etc.

We become free even as we reside in the body.  This is in contrast to Videha Mukthi – a liberation which a sadhaka may attain after the fall of the Body Mind complex. This happens when Prarabdha Karma phalam is dissolved totally. But Atma Jnani does not have to wait for the fall of the body-mind complex. He is liberated the moment he becomes a Atma Jnani. The body-mind complex may still be undergoing prarabdha karma phalam. But,  Atma Jnani is totally unconcerned with it. It does not touch him.

His poorva Upaadhis, like gross, subtle and causal bodies, the reflected consciousness and all of their vritthis (characteristic and actions) are automatically negated  as not ‘I’ and not ‘mine’. He can at will, separate himself from these Upaadhis. Many incidents from the lives of Brahma Jnanis (same as Atma Jnanis) are available to us on how they can freely separate themselves from these Upaadhis. Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi underwent a major operation without any painkilling drugs – as if the body is not ‘he’. Many such incidents are known and widely talked of in respect of many other such Brahma Jnanis. The moment they attain to Brahma Jnanam, all attachments and identification with these Upaadhis cease for them. They still reside in these Upaadhis and participate in all activities of life but from the stand point of the Atma or Brahman , i.e., from the stand point of a pure witness in whose presence all actions and transactions happen and not as one who is the actor or transactor.  For the rest of the world, the difference between Atma Jnani and others is not obvious.

But, how does this happen, merely by Nidhidhyasanam on Mahavakyas like Aham brahma asmi etc?

In Nidhidhyasanam, the sadhaka is always thinking of Brahman and striving to identify himself with Brahman.

Readers who have come up to this verse no.49 methodically, are aware of how the Sadhaka intensely strives to identify himself with Brahman.

What happens in this process? Adi Sankara gives the following example.

The wasp goes out and brings a type of worm to its nest. Not every worm, but a certain type of worm in which some of its own features probably pre-exist. The wasp goes on tormenting the worm hour after hour and day after day. The worm is therefore all the time intensely thinking of the wasp only – either out of fear (initially) or, after some time of proximity, even out of some kind of attachment to the wasp. As time goes on, due to its constant concentration on the wasp, the worm acquires all features of the wasp and itself becomes a wasp. This example is often quoted by ancient sages in such cases. They must have watched this phenomenon in their days. Presently, whether this type of wasps and worms are existing is however unknown.

But this example is illustrative of what happens to sadhaka in such intense Nidhidhyasanam. There is the saying – Yath Bhaavam, thath Bhavathi. As you think, so you become.

If you are intensely concentrating on Brahman, that too, as your own self, you do become Brahman in time. This is the Bhramara-keeta nyaya.

Initially you may experience Brahman within the body-mind complex – for, after all, if Brahman is all pervading, he is in the body-mind complex too. But soon, as Brahman, you experience yourself all over the universe, with all the characteristics of Brahman.

And, what are these characteristics of Brahman? Brahman is sath : the never changing and ever the same existence – chith : the supreme, all pervading consciousness witness – aananda : eternal bliss.
Brahman is beyond Sathva – Rajas – Thamas gunas and all dualities of Samsaara.

Hence, the words sath chith aananda are really not gunas and not even the characteristics of Brahman. Sath Chith Aananda is Brahman. It is beyond all names, forms, characteristics and gunas –as we have seen in Nidhidhyasanam.

50 Teertva Mohaarnavam Hatvaa
Raaga Dveshadi Raakshasaan
Yogee Saanti Samayuktah
Atmaa Ramo Viraajate

This is a Beautiful comparison with Lord Rama’s life – to illustrate what transformation comes when one becomes a Brahma Jnani.

Rama is compared with a seeker of Brahma Jnanam. Devi Sita (who is compared to Brahma Jnanam)was always with him as his inseparable better half.

But Lord Rama (the seeker) lost his Sita (the Brahma Jnanam) to the Raakshasaas or daemons  like Kumbhakarn, Indrajith etc (who are compared with dualities of Maya like raga-dvesha  or attachment-hatred), whose supreme King is Ravana (who is compared to Ignorance or Avidya,  the chief cause of all sorrows and dualities of Samsaara).

So, first, Rama has to kill all the daemons – just as a sadhaka has to gain total victory over his dualities-daemons, which are tormenting him every moment. Unless these dualities-daemons are defeated, it is not possible for Sadhaka to defeat the chief daemon, namely Ignorance, avidya or Maya ( for Rama, it is Ravana). After the other dualities-daemons are defeated, the Mind becomes Santha chittha or absolutely peaceful mind.

Now, the last of the enemies but the worst of them all, namely IGNORANCE, remains. For Rama, the field is now clear – and only Ravana remains to be defeated and killed. Ravana has ten heads – each in Vedanta parlance represents a vasana or weakness of mind (like desire, anger, fear etc) and Rama tries to behead each head of Ravana. But, Rama is unsuccessful in it. The heads start coming back even as they are chopped off. In Vedanta parlance, the reason is – as long as Ignorance, which is the main villain, persists, the dualities of Samsaara keep coming back. So, it is said, Rama was advised to use the Brahmasthra (the weapon of Brahma) – which effectively killed Ravana once for all and restored Sita to Rama.

As the reader can easily see for himself – the sadhaka must, without any doubt, strive for control over his mind and all its dualities. But, as long as Ignorance or Maya persists in him, his victories over the dualities will be temporary. They will keep coming back again and again until Ignorance is totally killed with the weapon of Brahma Jnanam.

On killing Ravana along with all the Rakshasas, Rama got back his Sita and became ever lustrous and illustrious (in the company of Sita).

The Sadhaka – after gaining total control over chittha vrittis and dualities becomes Santha Chittha. He must now vanquish and eliminate Maya /  ignorance through Brahma Jnanam and regain his state of Sath chith Aananda.

In his state of Sath chith Aananda, the Brahma Jnani is ever his own shining and illustrious self. Atmaa Rama means one who revels in himself. The Jnani revels in himself – and is free from all actions, transactions and changes happening all around him.
51 Baahya Anitya Sukhaasaktim
Hitva Atma Sukha Nirvruttah
Ghatastha Deepavat Svasthah
Swaantareva Prakaasate.
In this verse, Adi Sankara clearly distinguishes between two types of sukham (happiness).

First is Happiness coming from external sources like – people, utilities, implements, wealth and so on. If happiness depends on these external sources – which are ephemeral and will come in and go out of our lives at intervals - our happiness also will be temporary and  will be intertwined with periodical unhappiness. That is why  these are called dualities of life. Adi sankara, for this reason, calls the happiness from these external, ephemeral sources as – Bahya, Anitya sukham.

A Brahma Jnani will not get attached to these source of happiness. Swami Paramarthananda calls these sources of happiness as uncontrollable, unpredictable, unsustainable and unreliable. These are very obviously so. But the man in ignorance is always hankering for them and getting tossed between happiness and unhappiness with a peace-less state of mind. But, Brahma Jnani remains unattached to these sources of happiness. When such happiness comes, he is not elated. When it goes, he is not depressed. It is to be emphasized that it is not possible to do away with these external sources of happiness completely as long as we are alive. Even a Brahma Jnani has to retain body and Mind and indulge in food, drink, sleep etc at the minimum. All these do give temporary happiness. The difference between Jnani and Ajnani is – Jnani is aware fully and is unattached to these sources of happiness. Their coming and going do not matter much for him.

The second type of sukham is Atma sukham. Atma sukham arisis from Brahma Jnanam. It arises from total awareness of one’s own nature as Sath – Chith – Aananda. This Aananda is ever lasting and incomparable. It does not depend on external sources. For Jnani – peace and happiness are his natural, permanent  state of mind.

The word for complete health in most Indian languages and Sanskrit is –Swasthatha or Swasthya. What does this word mean? It means – when you are in your own self, you are in health. Its opposite word – Aswasthya or ill health, also means, you are not in your own SELF. Health, physical and mental is as simple as, residing in your own self. When you are not in your own self – automatically, you are in Ill-health.

Adi Sankara is so fond of explaining with apt examples. For this also, he cites a lamp  lighted inside a pot. The  lamp burns and emits light steadily and without a flicker inside the pot. Likewise, Jnani’s mind shines with happiness in himself, without undergoing ups and downs due to external factors.
52 Upadhisthopi Tatdharmaih
Alipto Vyomavanmunih
Sarvavit Moodhavat Tishteth
Asakto Vaayuvat Chareth.

Both Jnani and Ajnani are bound to Upaadhis like Sareera thrayam by the Prarabdha karma. They do undergo the Karma Phalam of their Prarabdha.

They both grow old, get diseases, decay and die. Other external factors like rain and sun shine also have their effect on the body and mind of both.

Then what is the difference between Jnani and Ajnani in respect of body and mind complex. Jnani is like the sky (or space) which remains unaffected by the clouds that try to hide the sky. The sky is always clear. Jnani likewise remains unaffected by prarabdha karma phalam which attacks his body and mind. He remains unaffected within himself.

Even though, he is the wisest of all, externally, for others, he looks like a fool who moves around, disinterested in everything around him. He appears to move around like air, which is free and not tied down to anything on earth. His non-attachment is not easily understood by people around him. Even when he does different types of Kayika, Manasika and vachika karma (actions of body, mind and tongue), he still remains unattached to their fruits and looks like a fool for others.

We will continue on how the Jnani leads his life…in the next Post.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010




(PART - 19 – VERSES 45,46,47,48)


Vs.42 emphasized to us the importance of Dhyana Madhanam or  churning through Jnanagni (or Dhyanagni), the fire of self knowledge for igniting which we must perform incessant (unbroken) Nidhidhyasanam – with 2 parts in it (i) negating the Anatma as NOT I, NOT I.. (ii) Asserting the Self as Brahman.

Vs.43 says that – once the darkness of Ignorance in us is burned out through Dhyana madhanam, the Atma (Self) shines out brilliantly as ever.

Vs.44 says that – Atma is always self luminous and shining and always available to us – it is in fact the real  ‘I’ which can be never lost to us – like the ornament we are constantly wearing around the neck but are unable to see it with our eyes.

Our ignorance clouds Atma from our self. When ignorance is removed, the unveiling itself makes it appear as if we are discovering it anew.

Adi Sankara, in many of these verses is driving home one single  point which has the following aspects : (i) Ignorance is the darkness enveloping us (ii) Self Knowledge (Jnanam) is the light that removes this darkness (iii) The result is the revelation of the SELF  as the eternal consciousness-bliss.We will continue this interesting discussion further now :

45 Sthaanau Purushavat Bhraantyaa
Krutaa Brahmani Jeevataa
Jeevasya Taathvike Roope
Tasmin Drushte Nivartate.

In utter darkness, some times, we catch a shadowy glimpse of a tree and mistake it for a human being – especially if we are anticipating a human being to be available there. The darkness creates a delusion in our mind. A police man thinking of chasing a thief may mistake the tree as the thief. On the other hand, the thief trying to escape from a Policeman may mistake the tree for the policeman. Darkness coupled with expectation creates variety of delusions in human mind. Likewise, in such darkness, we can mistake a rope as a snake.

How do we remove the delusion? First the darkness must be removed. Next, our expectation which is creating the delusion must also be removed. It is not enough to prove that the distant shadow is not of a human being. In such a case, the mind may create another delusion that it is  a statue or pillar towards which the mind has a leaning or expectation. The darkness creates the appropriate image in the mind due to this delusion. So, it must be conclusively proved that what is before is the TREE  and nothing else. Darkness and delusion should both be removed for the purpose. Similarly – it is not enough to prove that there is no snake before us on the road. In that case, the mind may assume it to be a long vegetable like snake gourd or a towel or a long curved stick. The mind imagines many such things.

The delusion continues until the veil of ignorance is totally removed and the fact is established.

In the same way, we mistake the Paramatma in us to be the jeeva we perceive with the five senses and the mind. This is  because of the ignorance in us,  which creates all sorts of delusions. We mistake the Upaadhis like Sareera thrayam, mind, Buddhi etc as the real self.

What is unreal appears as real and what is real appears as unreal – until the Maya or avidya in us is totally destroyed and it is established beyond a shadow of doubt that the jeeva consciousness in us is in fact the Atma or Paramatma.

Who perceives this? It is I, the Atma; I, the Brahman; I, the Paramatma who perceives this. The perceived also is “I”. The perception also is ‘I’.

The removal of ignorance is all that is needed for this realization and liberation.

46 Tathva Swaroopa Anubhavaa
Utpannam Jnaanam Anjasaa
Aham Mameti cha Ajnaanam
Baadhate Digbhramadivat.

Dig-bhrama can be taken either literally as the inability to recognize the directions (East, west and so on) or as high delusion. Some times, when we are in an unknown place, it is difficult to recognize directions until we acquire the right knowledge of the place. This is true. Likewise, when we are in ignorance, we fail to understand who we are, where we are etc and are in a state of high delusion. This also is true. In both cases, the acquiring of the right knowledge removes the delusion and gives us clarity.

We are in a big delusion about who we are. We wrongly assume many things, many upaadhis like the gross body, the mind, the Buddhi etc as our real SELF. We call them as ‘I’.

Likewise, we assume that the house, the ornaments and many other things around us are ours. The feeling of ‘I’ and ‘ mine’ is the biggest delusion we are in.

How does this biggest ignorance enveloping us in many ways and from many directions, go from us? How does it get destroyed?

On acquiring the firm knowledge about the Brahman, about ‘thath thvam asi’, that ‘I am the Brahman’ – on acquiring this swaroopa Jnanam – instantly, our ignorance and delusions are destroyed.

There is no ‘I’ which is different from you, he or others. Likewise, there is no mine – different from you, yours, I or others. There is a universal oneness – a universal consciousness which is Brahman, the one without a second. And this Brahman (thath) is You (thvam). This Brahman is I. This is the one and only Brahman there is.

47 Samyak Vijnanavaan Yogee
Swatmanyeva Akhilam Jagat
Ekam Cha Sarvam Atmaana
Eeekshyate Jnana Chakshushaa

What does the perfectly liberated person with wholesome wisdom do?

He sees the whole Universe with his ‘eyes of wisdom’ or Jnana Chakshu. His physical eyes may see many things. His eyes of wisdom give him a special vision of the universe – which is totally integrated into a oneness without any divisions and parts – but at the same time, he can also cognize this universal oneness through all the myriad things and beings in the universe. In the whole Universe, he sees only himself and in himself does he witness the whole Universe.

The phrase ‘samyak vijnaanavaan yogee’ conveys a lot. Yogam is the process of joining together everything into oneness. Who is the Yogi? He must possess samyak (wholesome) vijnanam (wisdom). There is the phrase that wisdom comes from uniting and knowledge comes from separating. Here, a Yogi needs wholesome wisdom from uniting the whole universe in himself.

What for? He must be able to see the whole Universe in himself. Is that all? No. He must see himself everywhere in the universe.

When one sits in Nidhidhyasana – Dhyana Madhanam, one must strive to accomplish this. The nethi,nethi process coupled with ithi,ithi process must lead us to this ‘Samyak vijnanam’.

48 Atma eva idam Jagat sarvam
Atmano Anyat na Vidyathe
Mrudo Yadvat Ghataadeeni
Swatmaanam Sarvam Eekshyathe

How does the Yogi  perceive this Universe? How does the world look in the eyes of the Yogi? The whole Universe is Atma only. Every thing and every being in the universe is ATMA SWAROOPAM only. There is nothing other than Atma. The Yogi with wholesome wisdom perceives this truth everywhere.

It is much like the different shapes of Pots, large and small, decorated and plain, which the potter makes out of the same mud. The Potter sees the same mud in all the pots with different names and forms while others see the pots with different names and forms but fail to see that all of them are made of the same mud only. Mud is the permanent reality and Pots are impermanent. On destruction, they again merge into the mud. Likewise, all names and forms in the universe are impermanent and fleeting. They all come from the same Atma which is all pervading and eternal. All names and forms dissolve into the same Atma.

This is the perception that the yogi gets out of Nidhidhysana- dhyana madhanam. The sadhaka progresses in this direction in his Sravana-Manana – Nidhidhysana process. He must consciously align his vision of the universe with this reality.
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Monday, October 18, 2010




(PART - 18 – VERSES 42,43,44)

Vs.31 to 41 taught us Nidhidhyasanam. The quintessence of Atma Bodha or Self knowledge is the practice of Nidhidhyasanam, until we attain the goal of total identification with Brahman.

Readers are strongly urged to practice Nidhidhyasanam – in its two parts (i) negation of the Anatma and (ii) Affirmation of the Atma.

What I am not - must first be negated and then what I am - must be affirmed. Both are thought processes – but the thought processes also fall off completely once the identification with Brahman becomes complete. The distinction of Knower, Known and knowledge will dissolve and disappear.

We can take any particular verse and do Nidhidhyasanam on it. Or, we can take a particular anatma characteristic and do nidhidhyasanam on it to negate it. If that Anatma characteristic is not the I, the relevant Atma characteristic ( like mortal vs eternal, localised vs all-pervading) of the SELF  must also be taken up for Nidhidhyasanam. A secluded place of the appropriate environment helps a lot. Total involvement and doubtlessness are necessary ingredients for success in Nidhidhyasanam and for liberation.

From now on, we will try to understand the effect of such Nidhidhyasanam and its greatness.

42 Evam Aatma Aranau Dhyaana
Mathane Sathatham Krute
Uditaava Gatir Jvaalaa
Sarva Ajnaana Indhanam Dahet.

On total identification with Brahman, I become Jeevan Muktha.  The Sareera thrayam remains but the  Karma phalam no more touches me.

When the body falls finally – there is no more birth – and this becomes vidheha Mukthi for me.

This verse talks of Jeevan Mukthi which I get out of constant practice of Nidhidhyasanam.  My liberation  is here and now – not at some later point of time in this birth and  not after death and not in some future birth.

For this, I must perform the Nidhidhyasanam always (Sathatham).

I must burn out my total ignorance (of all types) in the burning fire of my constant Nidhidhyasanam.

In vedic rituals (Yagas) – fire is materialized by creating friction in a special wooden block (called Adhorani or lower wooden block) with a long, rod-like wood called uttara arani (upper wooden block) and then transferring the Agni (fire) to the ritual fire place . The churning like process between the uttara arani and adhorani is continued  non-stop till the fire materializes.

In a similar way, the churning in us with Nidhidhyasanam must continue non-stop until the  fire of knowledge comes out and burns away our Ignorance in its flames.  This process of Jnana Yoga is compared to Arani madhanam of the Vedic rituals. Sankaracharya calls it as Dhyana Madhanam.

The Jnana-agni that generates in us has similar goal as the ritualistic fire.

Nidhidhyasanam is the upper arani and the Maha vakyams of Vedas and similar purpose verses like v.31 to 41 here must be constantly repeated with total involvement and absolute lack of any doubt.

The fire of knowledge that arises in Nidhidhyasanam burns away our ignorance / avidya totally with certainty. Which is the Adhorani or lower arani? It is our anthahkaranam or Buddhi – in which the reflected consciousness of atman remains closest to us for burning away the ignorance.  The word Atma used in the verse is used in this sense.

Who can effectively churn away the upper arani  of Mahavkya Nidhidhyasanam on the lower arani of  Antahkaranam or Buddhi where the Ignorance resides in us?

The Guru who teaches us Sravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhysanam  in a methodical manner can be the best churner – to burn away our Ignorance. But, ultimately, it is I, the individual, who does the Nidhidhysanam within himself and Guru is only the external help in the Madhanam / churning process.

43 Arune neva Bodhena
Poorva Santamase Hrute
Thathaha Aavirbhavet Aatmaa
Swayameva Amsumaaniva.

The Sun is adored by many as the Lord of knowledge whose rise in the morning removes the darkness from human lives  in many ways. Just as the rise of Sun removes all darkness from the world, so also, the rise of Brahma Jnanam removes all ignorance from us and the Brahman in us shines brilliantly.

The Vedic prayer ‘thamaso ma jyothir gamaya’ – means, o lord, lead us from darkness to light. The darkness meant here is the darkness of ignorance in us. Light meant here is the wisdom that removes our ignorance. Sun leads us from physical darkness to physical light. Self knowledge arising in us leads us from the darkness of Ignorance to the light of the Brahman.

The stress here is that – thamas or darkness will continue to remain until the rise of the sun (or the sun of self knowledge in us).But, once self knowledge arises, we are liberated totally from the darkness of Ignorance.

44 Atmaatu Satatam Praapto
Api Apraptavat Avidyayaa
Tannase Praaptavat Bhaati
Swa Kanthaabharanam Yatthaa

Atma is eternally present as the reality.

But then, why does it look so difficult to attain, even though it is ever available to us? It is because of Avidya or Ignorance. We have already seen that the Atma is none other than MY OWN SELF (FOR ANY ONE, IT IS ONE’S OWN SELF).There is no way that I could have actually ever lost it so that I have to find it again.

But, this happens due to avidya. When Avidya rules in us, Atma is under its cloud. We are unable to find it in us due to the darkness of ignorance in us. When self knowledge is regained, Atma shines forth in all its brilliance.

Some one was searching furiously for an ornament which she could not locate in her house. She was very sure that it was available, but the search all over the house did not yield any result. Finally, she put her hand on her neck, and lo, the ornament was ever there but was just not visible to the person’s eyes.  

So is the case with the Atma. Search must be within you. Start negating everything outside, as the NOT YOU. I am not this, I am not this. And, so on. Get deeper and deeper inside you. Negate all that you come across and can objectify. Ultimately, after negating everything that you can objectify, you find that the one who is searching is himself the one for whom he is searching. Meditate on the meditator and find your SELF.

Why is this?We are always in an outward search for everything. Our sense organs are always outward bound. Our organs of action too are outward bound. This leads to various types of karma and the resultant Karma phalam. This leads to more and more avidya or ignorance in us and we are led farther and farther away from our self.

Buddha says – we are always out for gathering more and debris around us. Of course, this continues until we become debris our self. But, as we have seen in Atma Bodha so far, this happens to Sareera thrayam and Chidhabhasa constantly.

Once the search for the self starts in the way outlined in Atma Bodha and the upanisadic texts, our urge to gather debris around us stops gradually and we attain to self liberation or Jeevan Mukthi. We attain to our self as the Brahman.
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(PART - 17 – VERSES 40,41)

As we have discussed earlier, Vs 31 to 41 are for Nidhidhyasanam. Upto Vs.30 - we have understood that we are the Atma – not the Sareera Thrayam or Chidhabhasa. But, this understanding remains at intellectual level. From Vs.31 onwards, the whole exercise is to identify ourselves with the Atma, the self – and not talk of Atma as some thing like a third party entity. I must talk of my self as Atma.

Vs.31 says that - Sareera thrayam ( the gross, subtle and causal bodies & Chidhabhasa) are as impermanent as the water bubbles and are part of Avidya – whereas ‘I’ am distinct from them and am Brahman, the purest.

V.32 says that – since I am different from Sareera Thrayam, I am not subject to the changes like birth, growth, decay and death which occur in the Sareera thrayam. I do not have any relation or attachment with Sabda (sound), Sparsa(Touch), Roopa(Form / sight ), Rasa (Taste), Gandha (Smell) and other  Sense / physical organs and related matters.

V.33 says that - since I am not the Pranamaya kosa and not the emotional mind – I am not subject to sorrow, attachment, hate, fear and other emotions which affect the mind and those that affect the Pranamaya kosa.

V.34 says that – I am nirgunaha (without Sathva, Rajas, Thamas Gunas), am action-less, eternal, changeless, transaction-less, always liberated (Nithya mukthaha) and ever pure (Nirmalaha).

V.35 says that – I am all pervading, internally and externally, I remain equal in all, always, and with no attachments whatsoever, ever pure and unmoving.

V.36 says that -  I am eternal, pure, ever liberated, one without a second, part-less, bliss, Ever the same and never changing(Sathyam), eternal wisdom (consciousness or Jnanam), beginning-less and end-less (anantham).

V.37 says that – This continuous / incessant Nidhidhyasanam in Brahman ( I am the Brahman) removes all ignorance and doubt in me like a medication does for a disease.

V.38 says that –I must sit in a secluded place, keep my sense organs and organs of action under total control, remain without attachments, and practice Nidhidhyasanam on my Self, the Atma, the one without a second, without any other thoughts.

V.39 says that – I, with great wisdom, must dissolve all the Drisyam (all that I see) into my self, and focus on my self, as Atma, and indulge in Nidhidhysanam (deep contemplation / Dhyanam).
From here we continue further :

40 Roopa Varnaadikam Sarvam
Vihaaya Paramaarthavith
Paripoorna Chidananda
Svaroopena Avathishtathe.

So, what do I do, in my thoroughly and absolutely doubtless knowledge of my self as the Paramathma / Brahman?

I  throw out all the distinctions based on Naama (Name), roopa (form) and  varna (which can mean both colour based differences and caste based differences). No such differences exist for me.

I  remain always in my Swaroopa (self) – which is not also a roopa  in itself but I as the absolute, total, consciousness, bliss.

Atma and Anatma can also be called as the substantial and the non-substantial.

I, the Atma, is the only substantial one – and I lend (my reflected) substantiality to the universe and to all names and forms. The eternal, substantial ‘I’ am also called the “parama –artha in this verse.

When I sit in Nidhidhyasanam / meditation, I must first negate all names and forms, including the Sareera thrayam, the external world and all the things in it. Nothing else stands in my attention – except I, the all pervading Brahman.

I must see my self as total, with no inadequacies and not lacking in any thing. I am the Chidhananda roopaha.

The chidhanandha roopa must be totally evident in me – even the Sareera thrayam should reflect this ananda. The mind, the Buddhi, the ahankara must all reflect (being my reflected consciousness) my chidhananda  swaroopa.

It is for this reason that - All sages can be seen to be always happy and always smiling and always worry-less – at all times and places.
This is the reflection of their total identification with the chidhanada  swaroopa brahman.

41 Jnaatru Jnaana Jneya Bhedah
Pare na Atmani Vidyate
Chidananda Eka Roopatwaat
Deepyate Swayameva thath

When I am in my Chidhananda Swaroopa (the eternal consciousness-bliss) – I shine as the one without a second.

In I, the Atma, there are no differences like the knower, the known and the knowledge. I am Ekam (one) and Advayam (without a second).

If there is a thing to be known by me – it exists away from me. But, I am all pervading and hence, there is nothing where I am not and nothing which is away from me. There nothing to be known for me. Everything acts and transacts with my reflection (of consciousness) and I am the knowledge in all of them. I am thus, the knower, the known and the knowledge and there is nothing beyond me. I shine therefore as the eternal consciousness-bliss (Chidananda Atma).

Is there a meditation where these differences exist. Yes. There is.
In Upasana meditation and other meditations other than vedantic Nidhidhyasanam, the sadhaka starts with  a dharana on an object. He needs to focus on this object and achieve his dharana on the same. His meditation will deepen the dharana. Patanjali deals in depth with this in his Yoga sutras. It is only when the Sadhaka proceeds through dhyana further and attains the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi that the seed of ego is totally dissolved in that meditation process. Till then, savikalpa Dhyanam continues. In it, there is a Sadhaka, a sadhana, a sadhyam and viewed from another angle, the knower, the known and the knowledge.

In Nidhidhyasanam meditation – one has already completed his sravanam and mananam processes and is now ready to internalize his total identification with swaroopa – chidhananda Atma. Thus, there are no more Dvayam or Thrayam in this process. I am the only principle that remains.

Yes. It is still true that the first part of Nidhidhyasanam is negation of the Anatma wherein we negate the Sareera thrayam ( gross, subtle and causal bodies), the Chidhabhasa (the reflected consciousness) and the Bahya prapancha (external world) – as not the real SELF. This is only to dissolve all these into the self.

The next process is assertion of the self – the eternal, all pervading, changeless, transaction-less, eternal consciousness, bliss.

So – the 2 processes involved are – (1) Nethi,Nethi (I am not this, not this…) and then (2) Ithi,ithi (This I am, this I am).

How long should this be done?

As long as it is needed to achieve total identification with the Chidananda swaroopa Brahman.

We will proceed next to see what we achieve by this Nidhidhyasanam.
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Friday, October 8, 2010




(PART - 16 – VERSES 37,38,39)


From Vs.1 to Vs.30, we discussed about Anatma exhaustively – about the Sareera thrayam and the Chidhabhasa and how Anatma differs from Brahman /Atma.

 V.31 to 41 are intended for Nidhidhyasanam and hence, in all these verses, we use first person, person singular -  I and me – and  not  as some third person to refer to Atma, Brahman, etc.

In the last post on Vs.34,35 and 36 – we discussed further about the SELF  (“I”) examining our real nature in depth as below.

V.34 : I am beyond  the Sathva, Rajas and Thamo Gunas, Action-less, Changeless and Part-less, free from any block spots, free from changes like birth, growth, decay, death etc, formless, ever free and liberated and free of all impurities.

V.35 : I am all pervading,  equal in all, have no attachments, remain unmoved in all circumstances and ever pure.

V.36 : I am that Braham – which is ever pure, always liberated, one without a second, undivided and part-less, always bliss, Satyam (ever the same), pure Jnanam (wisdom) and Boundary-less(without birth and death).We will now see what this Nidhidhyasanam does to us :

37 Evam Nirantara Abhyastaa
Brahmaiva asmeeti Vaasanaa
Harati Avidya Vikshepaan
Rogaaniva rasaayanam.

The main vaasana or habitual thinking in us  is – I am the Jeeva. This has arisen in us due to Avidya. It is the most prevalent misconception and malady in us. This is because, we are guided by the five senses and the mind in our cognitive skills and these are not made for perceiving the Self.

For this reason – to perceive the real self, we took the help of Sravanam, Mananam – for first understanding the Nature of our SELF and then for clearly ingraining this understanding in us without an iota of doubt. But, this is just the path but not yet the final goal post. We need to do Nidhidhyasanam, a sort of contemplation / Meditation process – on our real nature, for as long as it takes to totally identify with the “Brahman” and dis-identifying with the Anatma. This process started with Vs.31 and is continuing.

“I am the Brahman” is the Key understanding in Nidhidhyasanam. 

We must do contemplate on this always without break – until the Avidya and its Vikshepa sakthi on us are totally destroyed.

We become free of Maya with this Medicine.  ‘Aham Jeeva Asmi’ thought and belief will be totally replaced by ‘Aham Brahma Asmi’ knowledge. As Jeeva feeling persists in us, we are susceptible to all the dualities of life and go through the cycles of pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow, respect and disrespect etc all through our lives.

With ‘Aham Brahma Asmi” I become the master, I become free of all dualities, I become the eternal, supreme consciousness bliss. My responses to worldly situations will become infinitely better.

My avidya and its related vaasanas are totally destroyed and will fail to have even an iota of influence on me. This is the biggest advantage I get from Nidhidhyasanam even for my worldly life.

Let us now find out how to do Nidhidhyasanam.

38 Vivikta Desa Aaseeno
Viraago Vijitendriyah
Bhaavayet Ekam Aatmaanam
Tham Anantham ananyadheeh.

First step is - I must learn from the Guru and the Sasthra about “Aham Brahma Asmi” through Sravanam. Second step is - I must remove all of my doubts and come to a clear understanding through Mananam – i.e., continued repetition and recall.

3rd step is - For contemplation / Nidhidhyasanam, I must select a secluded, solitary place (Viviktha Desa). Lord Krishna in Dhyana Yoga Chapter of Gita gives elaborate details on the type of place and type of seating arrangements I need to make for Dhyanam – which is the contemplative effort of Nidhidhyasanam. It is  also mentioned in Upanishads like taittireeya. The place must ensure a spiritual outlook and practice. It should not distract my attention to worldly matters.

The seat must be slightly above the ground to prevent ants etc disturbing me. It must be sufficiently wide to make me sit comfortably, without falling.

What Posture is convenient? Patanjali and Lord Krishna both merely say “Sukham, Sthiram, Asanam” – meaning the posture must be firm and comfortable for reasonably long Dhyanam / Nidhidhyasanam.

 I must find out what posture suits me, my age and health condition and adopt that posture. I must not adopt one in which I cannot sit for at least 10-15 minutes, to start with. Subsequently, with increasing practice, I will be able to sit for longer time in the same posture.

It is also preferable to do some simple relaxation asanas / exercises for about 5 minutes before sitting in meditation. I can also preferably do a few Pranayamas – which have deep relaxing effect on me.

Having thus seated comfortably and firmly – I must relax my body deliberately and completely. There are relaxation techniques for doing this from head to toes. I must adopt them – but in the posture in which I am seated –  but not lying down.

I must relax my Gross body first. The Pranamaya kosa comes next. For this, certain special, relaxing Pranayamas help. Even while the Pranamaya kosa is getting relaxed, it further relaxes the Manomaya kosa.  My disturbances in feelings must become quiet.

My sense organs must become quiet. Eyes must be preferably closed and totally relaxed. Lord Krishna talks of freely drooping eye lids (not necessarily totally closed). Ears, eyes, skin etc and their sensations must turn inward. I must keep disturbing smells away from me. The mouth should be clean and free from various tastes. This helps me in keeping myself as ‘Free of sensory inputs’ – or as Vijithendriyaha, one who has conquered the senses- at least for the time of contemplation. But, it is better that the whole life must turn into the path of conquering senses and keeping them under control.

I must also keep myself free from all likes and dislikes (viragaha).When I am the Brahman who is all pervading, which part of me shall I like more and which part shall I dislike? I am the same in all people and things. I can have no likes, dislikes, fears and hatreds towards any part of me – and all people are and things are part of me. This deep conviction should arise in me.

Having achieved this in my mind, I must now devote myself to just one thought ‘I am the all pervading Atman’ –without diverting to any other thought. This Nidhidhyasanam must be continued till I achieve total identification with Brahman.

39 Atmanyeva Akhilam Drusyam
Pravilaapya Dhiyaa Sudheeh
Bhavayet Ekam Aatmaanam
Nirmala Akaasavat Sadaa.

I, the Atma, is the Drik, the seer, the ever permanent and never changing one.

The whole Universe is the Drisyam (the scenery, the seen aspect). It is ever changing and is the Mithya Prapancham.

I, as the wise one, must merge this universe, this Mithya Drisyam, into my own self (Atma), in my contemplation.

The universe is now in me and is one with me. I must see myself as the one without a second, the Advayam. There is now only me – and no other principle outside me.

I must contemplate on this oneness of my Self, the pure Atma with a constant, single thought. This is Atma Dhyanam.

It is much like how I see the pure, all pervading sky in my wakeful state. The pureness and all pervading nature of my Self, which I can not see with my senses, but can only experience in my contemplation (Nidhidhyasanam)  is akin to the pureness and all pervading nature of the sky, which I can see with my eyes. In reality – even the sky is invisible. I assume that the blue colour I see everywhere is the sky. It too is limitless.

Atma Dhyanam continues till total identification with Brahman is achieved. What happens in me – when  I know my self as the Brahman? We will examine this in the next Post.
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