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A Short Introduction to Vedant

A Short Introduction to Vedant

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A Short Introduction to Vedant

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A Short Introduction to Vedant By:-Abhiram

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Declaration Earlier it was decided that this work will be published and sold at some reasonable and affordable price to people. The idea of fixing price was that people should take it seriously for having paid for the same. Later it was thought that it is poor logic that a thing that is charged gains importance, for example the air we breathe.. And even if it gets importance then that is a bad standard of judging the importance of the thing and this needs to be changed. So this work is to be distributed free as far as possible and if allowed by the author it may be printed and distributed by any one freely. This is expected to be done in good faith trusting the goodwill of people, and is expected that:1. This work will not be used for any commercial purpose what-so-ever. Printing charges should as far as possible be borne by the people who want to distribute it, unless permitted by the author to the contrary. 2. This work will not be published in name of someone else other than the author. 3. That nothing should be erased, added or edited from this work including repetitions, spelling mistakes, syntaxes and font without the permission of the author in writing. 4. That the work should always be published together with dedication and this declaration, to the last word. About the author The author has written this work for any one who cares to read it. To know more about him is not important. If one wants to know the authority of any work he should use his judgment. The standard of authority is not that the work comes from the mouth of a person who says he is enlightened. The author does not claim to be an enlightened person and neither expects nor wants to get enlightened. Meeting the author is not important at all and difficult also for he keeps roaming all over India or is the on Ghats of Varanasi most of the time. However since it does not seem proper that a work written should be left creating confusion in the minds of people, a probable contact address of the author is given below:-

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SWAMI ABHIRAM DAS SRI RAM MANDIR B24\19, GURUDHAM VARANASI U.P. 0542-2275735 009109889927006(main no.) Email- abhiram.das@rediffmail.com

INDEX OF CONTENTS Introduction 1. What is Vedanta 2. Adhikari – Fit aspirant 3. Guru-disciple relationship 4. Methods of Vedanta 5. Self: Portal to Brahman 6. Maya – Illusion 7. The illusory creation 8. What is Not Brahman 9. Law of Karma 10. Who is Self-realized

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INTRODUCTION A story in Upanishads goes like this. There is a tree and on that tree there are two birds sitting. One on the lower branch eats the fruits of that tree. The fruits are bitter sweet. So when the bird sitting on the lower branch eats the sweet fruit it becomes happy, but when it eats the bitter fruit it becomes sad. And once in a while it sees the Upper bird that is so magnificent yet silent which is neither eating sweet nor bitter fruits of the tree. It is just sitting there silently, as if free of all care. The lower bird seeing that, wants to know about the Upper bird but again it starts eating the fruits of the tree. Sometimes bitter sometimes sweet. One day it moves up with trepidation and slowly gets near the Upper bird. And as it is slowly getting near the Upper bird magic takes place. Lo! It finds that there was only one bird, the Upper one, and the Lower one was just its reflection. That it was always the same all the time. And then explaining the story Upanishads say that we are now the lower birds. The individual selves are the lower bird. The tree is this world where we are reaping the fruits, sometimes good, sometimes bad. But actually we are the reflection of that upper bird. And that Upper Bird is Brahman, our true self. And all our trouble is because we are not knowing that we are the Upper bird. And once we know this all our troubles and problems will be resolved. This is the teaching of Vedanta. To go out of this limited sense of “I” and know ourselves as the Brahman. One may raise the question as to why one should know the Brahman at all? What is the purpose of it? The Upanishads say “Bhidyate hridi granthani chidyte srava smasaya / khiyante chasya karmani tasmin dristi paravre” which means ‘seeing That (Brahman) one's all the blocks are cleared, all his doubts vanish and all his karmas are finished'. Also that “those who know Self (as Brahman) they get out of sorrow also”. And “by knowing that Brahman one becomes Brahman itself”. Also that “one who knows Brahman gets the highest knowledge”. Very few of us are aware of the grand philosophy of Vedanta, the essence of Vedas which shines forth as ever, declaring human being as the supreme, professing strength of human being The Non-Dual Vedanta says two things. First “This world is illusion and actually everything is Brahman.”. Second “The individual self that is experienced as ‘I’ is Brahman and nothing else”. This Self is Brahman not in future after some

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evolution, not only in past in some Garden Of Paradise, not only in present Experienced as this moment, now, but in all phases, in all stages, without exception. And Brahman is the ground on which all this world is coming and going. Brahman is the big ocean and all this world is like waves coming and going. Brahman is the ever present consciousness, it is the silent witness of all our actions, mental and physical including sleep. It is not that which resides in our heart, but whole of us are verily that Brahman itself. It is the thing which is within and without and between everything. It is the seat of all bliss. It is the seat of all existence. It is not only the base of everything but rather it is everything that has existence. This is the grand message of Vedanta and once this is realized in our life fully we are free from all illusion, all fear, all craving. Life then becomes a dance of bliss which none can snatch away from That which is not based upon any condition. Anyway why should there be any fear and why there is craving for anything? Is it not because of that which we consider ourselves separate from? But once we do realize that every thing is one then there is no shoka (suffering), no moha (attachment). Again this is not a theoretical thing only, not something that which you believe and then everything seems to be O.K. It is not a philosophy to console and create a comfort zone and feel safe there. Like a Power of positive assertion it is neither a slow process of brain-washing. But Vedanta prescribes a very scientific psychological method and deep logical argument too. There are many processes. All created at first hand to suit the needs of the individual to raise him to the essence of that maxim “I AM BRAHMAN”. Before this one does not have to accept anything blindly, although there is a requirement of shraddha (basic faith that neither rejects nor accepts the theory but rather experiments and waits with a rational and open mind). One is free to argue, and contemplate on teachings. The teaching goes even to such an extent that “one can know it by means of logic also”. But till the time one does not realize that everything is Brahman, including this little self, one does not need to believe it. This is the quintessence of Non-dual Vedanta that “The Brahman Is This Self”. So let us dive deep into the nature of our own self and understand all this. “May I not leave that Brahman and may the Brahman not leave us either.” - Upanishads

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1. WHAT IS VEDANTA The word 'Ved' means knowledge. We have this wrong idea that Vedas are books. Rather, Vedas are the collection of all knowledge that rishis or seers of yore have experienced and discovered in their deep meditation from time to time. 'anta' means end as well as essential decision or crux. So Vedanta means the essential decision of Vedas or in other words, the essence of all knowledge. Now, what is the essential decision? The teachers and interpreters of India vary a lot on this point. So there are many schools of Vedanta thought in India. But what we are talking here is the Advaita School of Vedanta, that is non-dual Vedanta. The teachings of Vedanta are very simple. In text there are four small sentences that are called mahavakyas (the great sentences) and knowing their meaning and contemplating over them bring one to the conclusion of their real meaning. These five sentences are :1. Aham brahmasmi:- I am Brahman [that I (The Self) am the existence– knowledge-bliss]. 2. Ayam atama Brahma:-That this Self (now in this moment) is Brahman 3. Pragyanam brahma:- That knowledge is Brahman. 4. Tat-tvam Asi –Thou (you, The Self) art That (God). Here Brahman is that all pervading entity that is everywhere, in form of ever present consciousness. It never changes, it is not only inside everything but rather each and everything is Brahman in its entirety. It is beyond all action, ever the eternal witness of all things occurring, yet very much a part of all actions. It is neither creator nor created, yet all the creation, destruction and maintenance happens from it. And Vedanta says that we are that Brahman itself. So there is nowhere to go, nothing to reach, nothing to be. Vedanta does not say that we will attain that self or understand the self in some future time after Samadhi and all that. No !!! It says that you are now, at this very moment totally complete. But our perception of duality is so strong and our idea of this body and mind as ourselves so deep that it does not go so easily. And to remove this the teachings of Vedanta start. So we all experience that we are in the midst of problems, in conflict, in confusion all the time. So Vedanta takes a practical attitude here. After one becomes silent he will know the reality, that there is nothing to do to

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know the reality. But then how to be silent, how to be calm and all that? We are bound by some force, so to say, running all the time. To where, we don’t know. And then if someone says as to why are you running, stop and be silent and there is no where to go! This creates all the more confusion. For, before we were running to achieve something. But now the search and running is still there but with a condemnation, a hatred towards this search which is very part of us. The search has not been finished but we may start trying to deny the search causing more conflict within ourselves. There is really nowhere to go but that happens to be the experience of someone else. This is useful only when it is your own understanding. Once a person will understand it, he will automatically stop. One will not have to say him anything to stop and be silent and enjoy the rising sun and the blooming flower! Till then his pain, his confusion, his fear, greed, search and all that, is real for him. So he should not be forced to enjoy rising sun and the blooming flower. Rather to go out of this all. So Vedanta says that all our fear, greed, pain and confusion is based upon this sense of self, this limited “I”. It is like this: first we take this “I” as being good or bad and then we start to adore or change it. It is this sense of “I”, based on which ‘mine’ comes. And then we feel that I have or don’t have something. Then we try to get what we don’t have and get rid of what we have but don’t like. Vedanta says this is natural and you can not get out of all this by thinking alone or by psychological adjustment. But we have to get out of this limited sense of ‘I’ anyhow. It is rather, this limited sense of I is illusion and so all we have to do is to know that it as illusion. And in Vedanta, a systematic and practical approach is given, to overcome all these fears, problems and confusion, for ever by going beyond the I, saying good bye to them and then never to say hello again. So according to Vedanta we are all complete but there is a but. That 'but' is that our Self that is Brahman, is as if wrapped by Ignorance (avidya) and that is why we are not able to be free. This Ignorance is nothing but Maya. There are many who translate Maya as illusion or as a power or some others as some sort of Goddess. Maya is the one which blocks Self– knowledge. It is because of this that we are not able to experience the Self. And all effort in Vedanta is to gain knowledge and go beyond Maya. But then this concept of what is Maya really is also very confusing needing detailed discussion. We will discuss this in detail in the chapter “Illusion”. Then comes the question as to how can we get away from this Maya. Here also Vedanta has very a rational attitude, Vedanta says ‘yaya yaya bhabet pumsam vyutpatti pratyagattamani sa sa eva prakyiya sadhwavi” that is, by whatever means you get the knowledge of that Self, that very process

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is good for you. And then it gives a number of methods that are useful in knowing the Self. For example, one of the techniques is reading this book. How it is so will become clear once you go ahead reading it. Similarly selfinquiry and many other methods can be used about which we will discuss in detail in chapter “Methods Of Vedanta” The great teachers of present times like Raman Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, etc. all of them had taught Vedanta and they are the part of a great tradition. Even what teachers like J.Krishnamurthy, Gurdejief, Ouspensky, U.G.Krishnamurthy and others have taught is also the part of Vedanta itself. For Vedanta is not a book or teaching of a particular person but a realization of reality and if we compare the teachings of these teachers with teachings of Vedanta we will see that what they are saying is part of Vedanta itself. Only that they do not say so that “I am talking Vedanta”. This does not mean that they have learnt it from some text somewhere but taht this is their own realization. And coming to a definite place and same conclusion of reality by many a person, only goes to prove the validity of these teachings. For reality and knowledge about reality can be one only, differences occur only in the way it is expressed. Again, these teachings of Vedanta are very old. Upanishads which are pre Buddhist are sometimes recorded as stories of how a person gets knowledge and sometimes deep philosophy insights. That means teachings of Vedanta are even older than Upanishads and have survived the test of time for thousands of years and many an attack both intellectual and physical. But again teachings are not wine, older they get better they become. Simply because a thing is old so it must be good is not a valid case. but a thing that has survived so much test of time therefore it means that there is some vitality, some power in that to transfer and yet survive in a long sequence of events. Therefore, due to this also we need to ponder over the teachings of Vedanta and contemplate over them. And this has been the discovery of all the teachers, all the masters that knowing yourself is the cause of end of all suffering. Socrates and even people before him say the same thing ‘know thyself’. Similarly teaching of Jesus, ‘I and my father are one’ is the teaching of Vedanta itself. Slowly as you go through these pages and know what is Vedanta then you will understand that what all teachers are talking about is accumulated in Vedanta itself and it provides a systematic study of all that, that has been said. The contradictions sometimes found in many places causing conflict among people are also resolved here. Every individual is in pain, in conflict, in constant fear, in insecurity all the time. There is so much craziness in the minds of people which is

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hopelessly throwing them here and there all the time. Is it not enough to rethink over entire system and do something about it? All of us are trying to do and think something about this strife and trying to solve this by many methods. Some time some of these methods work but more often they do not work. Many a time solutions with which we come up become problems in course of time. Isn’t the real problem somewhere else? Because we are in unrest, so we are creating problem for ourselves and unrest for others as well. But most of us do want to do something about it. We all, at least most of us are not ready to live with this all the time and are trying to change things ourselves. The more intelligent ones emphasize on changing things inside, while the less intelligent ones on changing outside. But extensive observations over a fairly long period of time have told us that it is impossible to change the situation externally all the time to make us feel better. Even if we are able to do it, the problem will come again because we cant control the situation, and human minds, all the time in our favour. Even if we are able to do this the situation which is in our favor will be against someone else. Every morsel of food that we eat is coming from the mouth of some one else, a person or protozoa or bacteria or whatever. So in the first place changing situation out side all the time is simply impossible and even if someone is able to do it in his favor he is doing it against some one else’s favor. This can we understood by a person using his common sense. Yet there may be people who are so boastful of things that are there all good and nice in physical world even though their feel good may be only momentary. It is just the absence of discomfort for the time being, which will surely come, sooner rather than later. This is not a pessimistic philosophy but rather the reality and therefore must be dealt with appropriately. So now we are able to understand that resolving and correcting outside world only is not going to help us. One may have money, car, house, or all such gadgets, there is nothing bad in that. They provide good comfort but yet this is not enough for well being of man. For those without all these are sometimes seen happier and those with these are more often are seen unhappy. So happiness as it seems has very little to do with things outside. So an intelligent person comes to the conclusion that changing situation inside is the way out. That by changing the mind or attitude or thinking pattern they may come to a state of fulfillment. And then they are using all such psychological methods and self-hypnosis to bring a change in the mind. But most of the time it causes more problem. Still there is a category of people who are too much tormented by “mind”, or unconsciousness mind who come up to the conclusion that O.k. I have to “jump out of mind”. That we start

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hating ourselves that we are uncomfortable with something called mind that we simply cant live with any more. So we are trying to achieve a stage, a place where there will be no “mind” and everything will be O.K., all nice all good. So we start seeking some stage called nirvana or Samadhi or enlightenment as panacea for all our problems. We start to look for it passionately going here and there looking for things here and there. And this creates all the more unrest because this “mind” is wanders everywhere. This fear of mind is the worst of fears that can be conceived of. We may dare to cheat GOD sometimes, so, since this mind is always with us, we think, always that it is cheating us, manipulating us and making us do things that we don’t want to do. With this philosophy in mind we go on looking, searching trying and create for ourselves even worse situation. That is why people who are pursuing material things in the world or in yoga or doing Hare Krishna chants do seem to be happier than those trying to go beyond the mind. But the fact is that, it is in those “jump out of mind” people that have more intelligence, so to say. But because they donot understand things fully that is the reason why they have problem. In general teaching of Vedanta is for all but it is more so for those who understand it more quickly. This however does not mean that it is not for others. But the acute pain experienced by the “I have to jump out of Mind" works as a catalyst to understand the Vedanta teachings more easily. Also they are already aware of the fact that neither an outside situation nor psychological change is going to help them. Yes, this has to be made very clear that all the psychotherapy and similar methods are of not much use as they can not give a restful state at all. We are so much psychotic already and each change made in the mind will need more changes to fit it. And one may have experienced it quite often that the change we make in the mind today which may seem helpful now, becomes troublesome later. So this is no way out. But those wanting to “jump out of mind” as if mind was a fence of a jail which you have to jump, or “break the mind” as if mind was a mud pot, have to understand the teaching of Vedanta which declares something like this “Howah!!!! There is no mind, so there is nothing to jump out of. Know that you are complete Brahman and also that you are free now at this very moment. Nothing can bind you ever”. But again this assertion of Vedanta is not merely a “good feel” thought, or a “positive assertion” that you go on making to yourselves day and night forgetting the time. Rather these words have deeper meaning to it and many a method to REALIZE THEM, AND NOT JUST UNDERSTAND THEM INTELLECTUALLY. So teachings of Vedanta are not merely a philosophy that can be intellectualized by indologists but a concept to be practiced in day to day life and is an existential

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truth which one needs to understand to its very core. The process is not for arriving at a logical conclusion but to realize by methodical practice, that yes it is indeed so. Again shallow understanding of words will not serve any purpose, rather it will create all the more problems. And it has created such problems to many a spiritual aspirants for a long time. Each of these terms, MIND and NON-EXISTENCE and GOD and ILLUSION and SELF has a very deep meaning and needs to be understood slowly. The Kathopanishad Upanishad says “drusyate twadagraya budhdhya sukhsmya sukhsma darshibhih meaning that It is attained by a intellect that is sharp and upfront. “But Sir, I am such a stupid person, had bad grades in schools and so Vedanta is not for me”. Don’t raise such doubt. Here intelligent does not mean a calculative mind, a mind that is good in cheating, good in making good and incisive jokes and storing a lot of rubbish but rather one which is able to discriminate between self and non-self and there are a few other simple psychological rules. Here Self also has another meaning but before learning about it we need to know who is fit to study Vedanta. Here this fit or unfit has nothing to do with 'applying for a job' criteria and it is not correct understanding that anyone not having these qualities is unfit to study and understand the same. Rather they are the standards and if we don’t have these standards and these qualities, no need to worry, as we can develop them. Now why should I develop any quality in me when I am the supreme self “aham brahmasmi” myself? Because, to understand that you are Brahman you need these things. Even if one can say and believe that he is Brahman still that is not enough. For, then what is Brahman? And also that it is not the Brahman that can be understood thus. All understanding is in the mind and freedom that comes is also in the mind. Brahman has nothing to do with bondage and liberation. It is neither a bond nor freedom. Since all liberation and bondage is in the mind training of the mind is required. This training has deep psychological meaning and impact on a person. Without this understanding Vedanta would be simply impossible since a person may understand it wrongly and get confused and create more problems for himself. So in the next chapter ADHIKARI or who is fit for studying Vedanta is discussed. These are detailed discussions, where methods to develop them methods and how to develop them as also their effect on the person are discussed. Even if one practices only these it gives a lot of freedom and control over oneself. If practiced sincerely these methods will solve almost all the psychological problems and take the aspirant to a state of deep rest and also confer some of the siddhis or yogic powers. Although we must not expect

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such a things and focus on understanding the real meaning of Vedanta, these will occur as a bye-product of the efforts.

2. ADHIKARI - FIT ASPIRANT A question can arise as to what is the use of training the mind if Vedanta talks about going beyond the mind? This is a big mistake. Vedanta does not talk about going beyond the mind, rather it says Brahman is incomprehensible by mind. Brahman is the basis of mind as well as non mind. It is the mind, the body and beyond these also. This is seen in people seeking “no mind” experience (amanask sthiti) since they often do not believe in rules and feel uncomfortable when someone talks about rules and regulations. Their argument goes like this: after all I have to go beyond mind, beyond all rules and beyond all actions so I shall practice going beyond rules by not following any rules, not doing anything! The idea seems sweet but lacks validity. “I have to go beyond rules” that is also a rule and ‘to stop all actions’ is also an action. After all mental actions are actions themselves. It is true that to know reality one has to be very silent, very calm without any action, but more often than not we are taking part in some action or the other, be is physical or psychological. So to experience reality we need to be very still but to stop the actions that are in our control we have to make some effort. Finally there are deep psychological movements occurring deep inside us, that we need to let go and they will stop themselves when we

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become aware of them. But there are strong outer actions that we have to control in order to overcome as we have the choice whether to perform them or not. It is those actions that we need to choose to withdraw from. There is nothing morality involved in that. It is just about making choice of what you want to do with your limited time and mental energy, to understand the higher truths (Do not say that mind has unlimited energy. Even if it may have, I am talking here about that limited energy which it is able to express itself with). For example a man may feel jealous towards his business competitor, it is but natural and he will continue to feel so till he understands the real nature of the Self or may go through a mental process, but he can control himself from killing his competitor. For if he kills him he will land himself in trouble with the police and jail and will waste his energy on discussing the nature of law and advocates rather than nature of self. It is so simple!!!! Similarly a student who wants to do well in his studies, should refrain from running all the time behind girls. That is the wastage of energy and time. And if one is able to see that it is wastage of time and all that to understand the higher truths, and if he wants to do well in his studies, simply he will quit and focus more on studies. There is nothing here that is suppression and repression and all that. For sex is a big addiction and he can see it that he spends a lot of time and energy in that. Or he may create a balanced between what to do and how. It is more about choosing from a number of things than suppressing yourself. But there are people who feel bad because they say that they are still unable to go beyond rules (not to follow the rules). This “do not following the rules” have become a rule in them. No be free of all these. If you want to know Vedanta and go really beyond rules and all limitations you should follow the rules and limitations.If you don’t want to understand then don’t follow them. It is more about making right choice, of making right investment. If you are following these rules which is to be stated later you can be able to save energy more. If you are not able to follow these you will lack the necessary focus to understand Vedanta. It has nothing to do with morality or immorality and I assure that they are not going to built any knots in your mind. Rather they will open up the knots that one has already. One more thing here is that these qualities are not like the things that you either have or one does not have. It rather like having more or less of these qualities. The more of these qualities one have more he is benefited from them. This will become more clear when you go through all these rules or qualities.( they can be called rules when a person is not having them and is trying to develop them and qualities when a person is having them to the extent that they become a part of his function of his mind.)

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These qualities are called together are Sadhana chatustaya i.e.the fourfold means. These together are the criteria that we need to have in order to have study Vedanta. These are :1. viveka or discrimination 2. Vairagya or dispassion 3. Satak sampatti or six-self control aids 4. Mumukshtwa or yearning from liberation We will discuss the nature of each in detail slowly;1.Viveka Discriminating between what is permanent and what is transitory is viveka. The problem starts here. Entire Non-dual Vedanta is based upon the theory that everything is Self and that everything is Brahman. But the first thing that has come technical in this book is that we need to make difference and discrimination between self and non-self, real and unreal!!!! This is the tragedy of all the thing. This is the point which we have to understand. Now Vedanta says that knowing Brahman frees one from all bondage and also that everything is Brahman. But then knowing cow or pot should free us from all bondage because cows and pots are Brahman. And so we are all free because we know many cows and pot. But that is not so. So we have to understand what is the method of Vedanta. Actually everything is Brahman but then what is Brahman. This is what neo-Vedantains don’t understand. Simply knowing that everything is Brahman will not serve any purposes rather we have to know what Brahman is in experience. And after one experiences what Brahman, what is the nature of it is he will feel and know and experience that the same quality is everywhere and then know that everything is Brahman. So everything is Brahman is to be experienced later. We must know what is Brahman (a answer that should be different than ‘everything is Brahman’). So here Actually everything is Brahman but one of its attribute is permanence. Because one which is everywhere in all time must be permanent. So when we are looking for Brahman we are looking for something that is permanent, which is the basis of all the chances that are occurring. But than is there are two things permanent and non-permanent? No and yes. For everything is Brahman so everything is permanent and what are these changes are occurring in the things that are not of existence. For Dog and cats are not Brahman but rather Brahman is, by mistake being seen as dog and cat and that being seen as cat and dog is illusion. And this cat and dog is illusion because it is not permanent because in a place we see it as

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dog but next time that place is empty. In traditional Vedanta text they give very beautiful example of this illusion by example of snake-rope. The analogy goes like this that a rope in darkness is being seen like snake but in reality it just the rope and not the snake. Similarly everything is Brahman but it is being seen as cats and dogs. So being seen as cat or dog is impermanent as snake in rope is impermanent and because it is Brahman itself and hence permanent. So in Vedanta there is this great emphasis that to make discrimination between permanent and impermanent. For everything that is permanent is a Brahman and everything that is experienced as other than Brahman is impermanent and hence illusion. And once this discrimination is made we are not motivated to achieve one that is impermanent and try to know what is permanent. For there is nothing to achieve. So it is called “praptasya prapti” or getting something one already has. Hence one is able to direct his energy on understanding that permanent Brahman. 2. Vairagya Once making discrimination between permanent and non-permanent one has this attitude of letting go. For one that is impermanent can neither be accumulated nor discarded. The rope that was being seen as rope and after being discovered that it is just rope one does not interests in killing it nor petting it. Similarly Even if one does not have complete Self-Knowledge, yet can make difference between permanent and non-permanent is able to let go that develop a dispassion towards the things happening around. Vairagya or dispassion is different from renunciation. While renunciation is leaving the things altogether Vairagya is simply not taking them notice of. It is a state of big let go. It is when that things start to come up. 3. Shat-sampatti( Six Riches) Before we discuss these 6 qualities we need to know methods of Vedanta a little. Vedanta says that one realizes the self by Sravana, manana, and nididhyasana that is listening, contemplating and meditating on the Truth. So these trio are means of realize the Brahman. So these controlling practices are. i. Sama or control of mind and focusing them on these trio of listening, contemplating and meditating. Internal sense organs are ii. Dama or control of sense organs and focusing them on these trio. The sense organs are eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin. These are called knowledge sense organs. then there are action sense organs that are speech, hand, feet, genitals and excretory organs.

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Meaning of both of them we discuss together. That if one is all the time restless then it is quiet usual that he will not be able to focus on real nature of anything. But here also there are people who say that would it be not nice that that one can indulge in all sort of nonsense and yet be free from them in mind. Vedanta says no. Control should be internal as well as external. Both neither thinking in deep inside that mind nor indulging them physically. But there is great freedom in all these. And there is no place for the doubt that “sir isn’t controlling oneself will cause deep seated mental blocks. No these controlling are not going to do that for they are not controlling rather than choosing. Because first of all these are controls that is not based upon some fear of god or society or religion. These are some of the techniques that helps one use his time and energy better. Person is free to choose them or not. For example in mental control it is like this.In a moment two thoughts are coming one is about planning to see some nice cinema while other is that “How can it be that I am Brahman”. First is the thought that is not related with teachings while second is teaching of Vedanta. Now at this spot a person is free to choose what to think of. Similarly in case of sense control now you are reading this book which is a part of listening and contemplation over this. Now you are free to choose from eating something and take its taste or to continue reading it. If you are choosing to plan about going cinema or to eat something no one is going to punish you, you are not sent to hell I promise, neither you are falling from some place in high seat. But for this much time your energy it diverted to something else.(but please eat when you are hungry otherwise you die and without body listening and all that cant happen). So these are just the matter of choice. And second thing is that these control have a purpose and not simply a non-sense morality standard that reaches no where. As one feels good when he saves his money by controlling his wish to take a drink and buy gift for children(provided his children is not forcing him to buy gift in anyway and he loves his child).Similarly if one knows what is purpose of controlling all these and that gives him greater freedom he will start taking great joy in all these. And that purpose is that spending ones time and energy in listening, contemplating and meditating to understand the reality.(Almost same things have been emphasized over and again so as to make it very clear that Vedanta does not talk about breaking all the rules but rather going beyond them as a natural state.) iii. Uparati or doing ones own duty Now once one mind is in control, but then a person cant all the time think and meditate that all is Brahman. If one is able to do that, thinking al the

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time about Vedanta it his highest duty and he should not do anything and.But not many of us can do that. So Vedanta has a practical approach here. That is that in rest of time “to do what one’s duty is.” There is story that a butcher and a prostitute getting realization by doing ones duty. But here one should be free to decide what ones duty is and may change it as per his conveniences. For Uparati is meant to help you in understanding but if the duty imposed on you is causing disturbance simply quit. There has been a big corporate in Delhi whom I know personally, who when started getting deeper in meditation left his job and stated driving Taxi for it took less time in making one or two trip and suit to his basic need. The concept of Sannayasa in India is meant for this purpose. Similarly a student of physics if is able to understand the Vedanta and his schooling is causing trouble to him he should simply quit. Then telling him that following your own dharma is good is of no use, for his dharma has changed.He is no more a student but a seeker. But then all those who are thinking to change there duty must be very sure that they are not doing it with any other motive or reason other than to know Brahman. Otherwise all this enquiry is just escape from ones duty and will lead the person to no where. iv. Titiksha or Forbearance The forbearance is maintaining equanimity in pain and pleasure, heat and cold, favorable and unfavorable. For a mind which becomes too much stirred by all these cant think and understand Vedanta. Every time and every place we cant have good nice atmosphere to contemplate and all that. So if we are always seeking a ideal place or condition than we are gone. Depending own our definition of good condition we may not even find them. but then should we wait for all the time to come a nice condition to come and than start listening and all that. It is not so. Rather we should we able to make use of what so ever situation we have in hand and start practicing the inquiry into nature of self and study Vedanta. Otherwise we get puffed by a little happiness and squeezed by a little sorrow all the time then there is no energy left for contemplation. For example one may wait all his life, for death of a disturbing wife and never practice anything and eventually die leaving his wife widow!!!!! Similarly one should not expect much from one who goes to every wedding ceremony of his sister’s husband’s cousin’s and remains engaged in that for a month before and after the D-Day. Here I don’t mean that on should not enjoy but rather such a person can be doubted of having so much deep sorrow deep inside that he seems to use all such situation as escape from himself and dance in a illusion of happiness. We should start practicing Vedanta and bear any problem that

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comes in the way as well as digest a situation that gives so much joy that we are overwhelmed. v. Sradhdha or faith This question of faith is a big one and can be misinterpreted many a times. First of all why should we have faith at all? Is faith good or bad? Faith is neither good nor bad. If we have faith on a thing ‘as it is’ then this faith is good, and if we have faith on a thing ‘as it is not’ then this faith is bad and undesirable. For example if one believes that poison kills it is good faith and should be cherished. But faith that one’s mind is being controlled by a lasers beam may help one land one in lunatic asylum and hence such a beliefs should be avoided. Again this believe that everything is to be questioned should be questioned. Why is that we have to have question everything? And even if we have to question everything still we should never say that a thing is True Or False until full experiment is done. Same with Vedanta also. All its teachings should be seen as a potentially true. It is only than that we will be able to inspired to walk on it with full zeal. This is not that after one will know that everything is Brahman then he will start believing in that. Before that he will not believe in that. This is like tying the ox behind the cart. Neither cart not ox can move ahead. Rather one should have at least necessary faith to walk over the path. For example, if some one from Europe says that until he has not seen India he will not believe that there is such a country. And because he does not believes in such a country as India there is no question of going there. Then he will reach no where. But a rational attitude is that once being told that there is a country called India the, person has to have at least necessary faith to buy a ticket and get visa and come to India. And after he has seen Varanasi he gets confirmed of his believe. Similarly one should have at least faith necessary to walk the path. And that faith is called sraddha This Sraddha can be translated as commitment and being honest with oneself and teachings. For if one is honest with himself and then he will consciously not mislead you. It is different thing that he may be not aware of reality or even himself in dark illusion. But I think that this honesty, commitment and believe with whatever one is doing, may it be illusion, combined with a deep yearning for liberation,, is for me more important, than the person who speaks a lot about grand ideas and all that but is himself dishonest and untruthful to them. For the former if has commitment and yearning for liberation and so he will

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make his way out once he gets the right thing. But those are not committed will always remain the same and keep talking. But by this I don’t mean that one should force himself to believe something and try to become committed to it. But rather stop association with it for what so ever reasons it may be and find another way. This will become clear from example. If one has become Hare Krishna, but does not believe in its philosophy, he should simply quit and not poison himself up with the idea that “I am such a retched that I don’t believe that Krishna is my master and Husband. I am really very low because I think that I am man because I have male organs, but these Masters are saying that you are really a cowherd-women.” No we should not do that. Faith is not something to be created but rather it happens. The other way can also be said that a person who is Hare Krishna and is committed to it is better than those who talk and preach of no mind, but themselves don’t believe in that vi.Samadhana or Concentration This is also very interesting thing. For many a school of thought like yoga there is very little difference between concentration and mediation. The concentration is the ultimate thing that they can conceive of. And many a Buddhist teachers accuse Hindu way of meditation as Shutting oneself up on one point and loosing sense. But it is not so. In Vedanta concentration is just a means. And then there are many a teachers those who simply focus on knowledge or insights. But all knowledge without concentration can be of no use for without it they will remain incomplete. The person will see them in parts and with only one side, without there full meaning and context. And this incomplete knowledge causes neurosis. That is why we may come across many a person who have great insight but are really very confused and restless. It is because that due to lack of concentration they are not able to co-relate between their thoughts. For example imagine the situation of a person who has Heard that “one should go beyond the mind”. Now knowing this he is trying all the methods to go “beyond” but if has concentration he will understand that one who is trying to go out is mind itself. Similarly what we expect from a person whose mind runs like this---‘I have to realize self’, ‘but there is nothing to realize’, ‘ya there is no self that is what Buddha says’, ‘No there is self because I feel so’, ‘ I have a appointment with doctor today’, ‘ Yes that doctor has great insights, how nice he talks’, ‘ But this is the body, impermanent and I should not take care of it so much ’, ‘No it is my duty to take care of ’, ‘But I am without any duty, The Eternal Self’ …….. ‘but…..’ ‘ …if…..’ ‘ …..anyway’ and so on.

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This is the typical example of a diffused mind which a aspirant without focus may have and thus he seems in all the more trouble than a ordinary person. Because this person has got knowledge but not concentration enough to digest it. So development of concentration is very important because without focus person will not be able to do anything. Doing one this thing this time or next thing that time will never help him to achieve him anything. There are people who say that focus is not required and all we have to do is to is to allow the mind to go in a let go stage. And slowly mind will empty itself up. But Is mind a water tank that will become empty over a course of time slowly ? It is not so. Mind is the movement and this should be focused on one thing and this focus on single direction be it on a mathematical problem or a painting. When thus focused it is able to focus on achieving one thing at a time. And we are all the time trying to get or remove something, and when unable to do so we feel pain. But if mind is able to be focused on one thing than it is no longer experiencing frustration and feel happy. The problem is that we start to get addicted to this feel-good and when next time we are unable to focus we feel very bad about it. The concentration is not obligatory and every one has capacity to concentrate as per his interest in the object. Also that concentration on the object produces concentration. Similarly “in let go stage” what is happening that actually there is no focus of mind to achieve and so it becomes calm and we feel so good about that. It is all about dropping the rate of movement of mind. But in let go stage also if we are not able to allow ourselves completely and hold on to something, to reach, to be something than problem comes. And even if we are able to allow ourselves completely on upper level but deep inside we are holding the things. So in Vedanta there are many types of Upasanas for helping one in concentration.( in Upanishads there is talk of 36 types of vidyas) either by focusing on one point or either by let go ( as in Vaiswanar vidya). These Vedanta says that have focus of mind on one thing, being achieved by one point concentration or by any other means(say Let Go), so that there is a flow to help one contemplate on truth. Talking all these six of them together there is no mention of how to achieve them very clearly. But control of outside and inside, Titiksha, Uparati, and samadhana one may use his own methods. Say for example, if a sight is disturbing you than one can go to the extent of tie a black cloth on the eye or simply move the head. Similarly practice of Mauna or silence is very helpful in the contemplation. And many rules of yoga like

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Truth, non-violence, non-accumulation of wealth and all that will be helpful but one has to always remember in mind that what is the purpose of controlling and all that. One should always see that aim is meditating on truth (which itself is a medium for next thing) and not achieving the perfection in self-control itself. There is middle way here also but what is middle for a person is different from “middle way” of other person. This is all we have to decide on our own and with help of a personal mentor or a spiritual friend. 4. Mumukshatwa or yearning for liberation I think this the most important quality one most have in order to understand Vedanta. Rather without this all enquiry in the nature of Brahman is impossible. But what is this freedom. Freedom from this limitation of body, from fixed and crazy patterns of mind that forces to commit same things over and again, keeping us bound in the twin pair of sorrow and happiness, pleasure and pain. We are always worrying on the things which are petty and small and go round in the circle. Here Upanishad says “ A Brahmin ( a person who wants to know Brahman) after examining the world and getting out of attachment makes the enquiry”. Really a real enquiry in to religion comes only when we are experience the impermanence of world, that we see our limitation and drawbacks. And then one cant remain satisfied with the mundane world or even heaven(if there exists any). He would then not seek solace in the things of world as well as psychological gratification. Then one will try to know what is real, is truth and then this real enquiry in the nature of self becomes our guide, a real GURU and takes to the ultimate. So this yearning to know and get liberated is the most important quality and if a person has this he will develop all others qualities. If a person does not have this even all other qualities are useless. He will them make use of all these in pursuit of world. Like today there are a few Tailor-made Corporate Training Programs for better management of self to earn more money or manage the industry in better way, all claiming to take wisdom from Vedanta. And they even find people to listen them. I don’t say that there is anything bad in that but Vedanta is called Para-Vidya or the Ultimate Knowledge and then again this Farm Management…… Both do not seem to go together. What so ever, such a fit aspirant approaches is able to approaches to teachings in form of Guru and thus gets realized. So guru is dealt in next chapter.

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3. GURU-DISCIPLE RELATIONSHIP GURU Why Guru? To know and really understand that there is no guru Required. There have been a few teachers those who say that no teaching is required and then they themselves are teaching. It us real that there is nothing to know or be. But till a person does not realizes this all his pain and confusion and illusion is real for him. He needs at someone or something to convey him at least that all this is illusion and make him understand this. That something or someone is Guru. The word ‘Gu’ means Ignorance or Darkness and ‘Ru’ means remover. So the word guru means ‘one who is remover of ignorance.’ So I think that this definition can be extended to any measure on anything and everything. So if one can get inspiration by a book, a situation, a place or a person they are all Guru. There is a story of a big sage of India, Dattatreya, who had 24 Gurus, which included a hawk, prostitute, honeybee and all that. But then interaction with a thing like book, situation. or place is one sided. That it is you only that in learning from them and they are not taking part in the process of Removing Ignorance. But with a person we have this facility that both of them, the teacher and the taught are taking active part in the process of Removing Ignorance. So a person may exactly pinpoint what you need to know but from others it is you who have to choose from. Choosing Guru as a Person is not necessary requirement and one can go without that also. There is no problem. But then if one wants to choose a Guru as such he should be of which type. The Upanishad says the Guru should be one who has heard a lot(a learned person) and Knower of Brahman. . The person who has learning and combined with Selfknowledge can only impart the knowledge. It is because learning gives ability to express the Reality with which the person has experienced. So here learning does not mean that having a University Degree, but this ability to express and make one understand the reality by various.example. People sometimes say about Ramakrishna and Kabir that they were illiterate and yet

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self-Realized. Here literacy has nothing to do with realization. The realization’s criteria is not that you have to know many things neither it is like those who know a lot cant know that truth as many think. But those who don’t know a lot cant teach others about realization. Because one has to use words, terminology and example and all that to teach others. But then how could Kabir and Ramakrishna could be such a great teachers of their times? It is reason is very simple. Because they have heard a lot about religion and spirituality from people. In case of Kabir he roamed all around India and talked with many people. Similarly in case of Ramakrishna, many monks all over India were stopping at the place where he stayed and he learnt from them.. Even Ramana Maharshi after he got realized studied scriptures under Sanskrit scholars in Aruanachala. It was like a lady who gives a birth to a child and then knows about it later. Buddha as greatest teacher of his time was much learnt before he left home and Jesus heard a lot in the period of twelve years, of which there is no mention in Gospels. This can be applied to any teacher of all times and places. So people’s aversion to Knowledge is useless. Why it is mentioned that a person who has Realized the self should only be chosen as Guru does not need much elaboration. For how can a person who does not know what is reality can teach it others? But such a Masters are very rare and generally not found on T.V. Channels. So what can be done is to associate with someone who has honestly walked the path.For if he is honest with himself and then he will consciously not mislead you. It is different thing that he may be not aware of reality or even himself in dark illusion. But there is less chance of harm from such a person then hypocrites who are consciously trying to cheat one. For even if one is not Self-Realized but has walked over a path truly, can impart a lot. And this can be of a lot of help to many. So all the time we need not try to seek a Guru who is completely self – realized and expect that, he will with a glance, or a touch or a insight will give a instant self realization. This guru hunting sport will be not of much help. For at last it is you who have to work your way to Self-Realization. Although I don’t deny, rather I can approve of existence of such Masters, but they are really very rare and one needs to be really very prepared to get such a Grace. And also that to give such type of Knowledge is all in theirs hand and one with such a power will call you to himself in a way of his own. You don’t have to hunt for them and that till you don’t find them do nothing. It is not like that. All that can be done that we should practice diligently, what ever is in our hand and think is good and make our own way out.

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THE DISCIPLE In Upanishads the description of anxiety and trouble of a seeker of knowledge is given by a beautiful and practical analogy. It says that “as a person whose head had been caught with fire seeks water body so one troubled with world and seeks of knowledge.” This is really a very practical analogy. Ones experience says that how much one remains troubled and in tension for seeking a way out of all that. The pain experienced is really cant be described. But we know from now that even in Upanishads the condition of a seeker is described as “one whose head is on fire”. So the pain experienced by seekers in initial period is but natural. So one do not have to be feel really painful because one is in pain. The people who seem satisfied with the things outside do seem very happy. Similarly those who are complete do remain in bliss. It is the person who are in middle that suffer. ‘Klisanti Antreto Janah.” So such a person is the disciple. THE RELATIONSHIP Relationship between Guru and disciple is based upon compassion and faith. Then Sankara says “Guru instructs disciple (said above), Of truth with Absolute Compassion.” The compassion is expected from teacher toward the disciple to utmost. It is true that there is nothing to understand but a teacher who is compassionate will teach disciple slowly of this truth. He should be one who deals with his confusions and even ego based argument with love, for knowing that the person is in ignorance. And what ever disciple is doing, has no control over it, as if all his actions and speech dominated by his whole mind, ego, habits and all that. Similarly, what is expected from a disciple is the faith. This faith does not mean that what ever the Guru is saying is to be taken true and that it should not be questioned and argued upon. Rather this faith requires that the disciple has this faith in the ability of Guru, that by whatever means he can impart me self-realization or at least something that one thinks would be helpful in self-realization. Without this faith disciple should not approach a teacher just to show off, to test or examine him, if he does not want to waste his time. All though if one is thinking him to be a potential teacher than he must be tested. Although there is no restriction for spiritual-tourists, who want to grab a bit of this and that from everywhere. Many people think that guru disciple relationship is like one time in a life commitment. This is one of the most confused topic of

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discussion. That once a Guru is chosen he should be kept as guru for all his life and one should be completely surrendered to him for ever and ever. This is not so. This sort of commitment was made a rule sort of thing because it was more often the restless condition of student, and his flickering mind that caused him to run from one place to other. But now a days there are many sort of gurus. So if someone after getting in contact with a guru or teacher is not happy with his teachings or what so ever, then he should simply quit. And also that if a person feels that he has learnt everything from a teacher, then there is no reason to be in the company of such a teacher. So one do not have to be committed towards teachers all the time. But if someone really feels that being in the company of someone has helped him get out of pain, illusion and all that naturally he will feel a sense of gratitude towards him. And out of this sense of gratitude he may choose to do anything. He may bow before him, give all his money or do what so ever. Now there is one question that can be much raised that what to do with fake teachers? This is a big issue now a days. But my understanding is that there are no fake teachers. Everything in this world is based on exchanged and some personal exchanges. So Gurus flourishing today before, also were not without interest neither of today. Without any interest the body will not survive at all. The important is what is the interest of teachers. There are teachers who want nothing from you other than you getting out of your pain, confusion and illusion. So they are endeavoring for this out of compassion. There are teachers who are charging big fees for seeing them from distance and bigger fees for touching your head. So it is a matter of agreement between two people. If you want to be with teacher who wants nothing but your welfare than you have to give him “by you being out of illusion”. If you want pay money from someone you should go there, pay money, and see them. it is you who are entering in the agreement. And if it helps you there is nothing bad in that. After all those Gurus who are getting a lot money and making business, do find people to give them money at first place, that is how they get the money. They are not going on Highway an……… All we have to do about this that, only if we want to, to protect naïve people from falling pray to such teachers. By thus obtaining a teacher in form of person, place, situation or book, one should enquire into nature of Vedanta is made

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4. METHODS OF VEDANTA Before we discuss into method of Vedanta one should be very familiar with one of its techniques. This technique is very subtle and if people do not know it they may create a lot of trouble for themselves. Because many are not aware of this technique that many find Vedanta as with contradictory teaching. This is method is called adhyarop(Superimposition) and apavad(Negation). Because that Brahman has no quality in it. But than how a aspirant will know it. He will know Brahman by some quality itself which will work as sign. So there are a few traits that are sometime made to superimpose on Brahman. And then later they are negated. It is like a child studying alphabets for first time is told A for apple, B for baby, C for cat …. And so on. But in real there A is not apple, B is not baby, C is not cat. They are just the steps to understand that the Alphabets. Similarly Brahman is neither this nor that because it is everything. But to make people understand it TEACHERS may superimpose on it a few traits so as to differentiate it from everything else that have traits. To give it traits that can be helpful in understanding it. And of the traits that can be given is ‘one without having any traits’. One more things that is to be said that in Vedanta, there is not much focus on methods. Methods are only a second grade things and are meant for understanding the truth The methods, techniques, and skillful means and all that are Meant only for Understanding Of Truth. If one is unable to understand the reality directly and thinks that methods are really important than only he should use methods. So before we discuss into methods of Vedanta, a little understanding of what is this Brahman is required. For all methods and techniques are based upon a philosophy. And practicing a techniques without taking in notice of the world of philosophy surrounding it does not helps at all. And also that although Vedanta clearly says that knowing it in words will not be of any use and will serve no purpose but yet we need to know something about this so we can have a real desire to know it. For all enquiry comes about the things that are partially known and

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partially unknown. If we don’t know anything about something we don’t have any enquiry and similarly if we know every thing about something we don’t have any enquiry about that. So a little knowledge about nature of Brahman is necessary. Now there is a clear distinction made in the Paroksha Jyana ( second hand knowledge) knowledge and Pratyaksha Gyana( direct perception). The distinction is that it is the direct perception that is liberating and not knowledge that comes in the mind through many ways like listening and like reading this book and all that. But it is this listening, contemplating and meditating is that which causes the direct perception. So listening (Sravana), contemplating (Manana) and meditating (Nididyasana) is the all that we can and there fore one should not avoid this because it that which causes the direct knowledge. But one should not again make the mistake that this direct perception will be accompanied with all such light and a big bang. This is not so. For many people those who are familiar with these teachings do say that OK I know that I am Brahman but I will realize this in sometime later when clarity comes or something like that. This is again falling in the same trap. One should make difference between this Experience and Knowledge. And there is no such fuss about it so much. All we have to do is be silent with a little of discrimination and Know it. Here Knowledge means having direct access to “One” which is knower of all knowledge and all experience. In Vedanta Knowledge has two meaning. The real meaning of Knowledge is Brahman itself. and the second meaning of Knowledge is the thoughts and in formations that we get all the time like “This is dog”, “That is cat”, “I am Brahman”, “The horse is sick.” Recently I saw some people wearing T-Shirt that says “Who am i. i am I”, that making a difference between small ‘i’ and capital ‘I’. and they were very happy. I am not intended to make any comment on them but then what is this capital “I”. Vedanta says that we are I all the time.now in this moment, and this ‘i’ is illusion. That is what we have to know by focusing on ‘i’. and for this no action is required. All action is for knowledge itself. This is very different than many other systems of the spiritual traditions of world that focuses on practicing rituals or doing japa or making Pranayam and all such different sorts of practices. Although all those practices are not to be denied as useless.They have their own use and a place in Vedanta also as purification of oneself but they cant give liberation or even knowledge also directly. They can at the best be helpful in understanding.

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So what is Brahman which is so much talked out? The Upanishads deny of Brahman of both being and non-being of the type we are familiar in the world of experience. One can at best say what Brahman is not. It is beyond the opposition of being both permanent and change, whole and part, relative and absolute finite and infinite because all these qualities are based upon our experience. It can only be described as the other than a few traits. It is sat(real), that means it is different from asat (unreal), it is called chit (consciousness ) meaning that it is different from achit (unconsciousness), it is ananda (bliss), meaning that it is different from dukkha (pain). It can't be known because it is the knower itself. One of the a few fragmented and totally incoherent characteristics of Brahman is everything. All other things what ever that may be are just superimposition on the Brahman. For example in dark night we may understand a rope being snake. Here snake is not real. So like a snake is super imposed in rope so this world is superimposed in Brahman. It is with attribute and it is without attributes. It is here and now and it is then and there. It is the thinker and it the thought. It is the pleasure it is the pain. It is the good and bad, it is the real and unreal. It is the cause of world and yet away from it. It is anger, thief, police, smuggler, nation, its people, love, lover, park, tree, the action, all that is going on, the vibration, the light, the switch, the electricity all ….. all….all….. Is Brahman. …..there is nothing else…… Or so to say that this are not real and as a rope is seen as snake so the Brahman is seen as these all. . But still you will feel that something is not clear and I am not able to make any conception about Brahman. You may think that perhaps I am not bale to understand it. If it is so good and that is what expected. For how much one will know about Brahman it is useless. Brahman is not the object of knowledge but the knower itself. and all that is to be done is to get away with all these false knower and the real knower will come. But this getting away is not a active process that you will have to do. Rather it is waiting silently. Until one has no direct perception one will remain ignorant and will be called ignorant. And for direct perception it is also important that the Thought That “I am Brahman but…if…perhaps…” should be cleared from all if, buts, and perhaps. But these are not done by suppressing but with understanding them by logic and all that. Now question can be raised that if everything is Brahman then why is there focus on self itself? Because everything is Brahman but it is our Self, the Ego that has chance to reveal Brahman up. For tree is Brahman but its reality is covered by leaves, fruit, skin, and tree-

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ness and all that. For dog is Brahman but its true nature (what is Brahman) is covered by waving tail and teeth, barking, jumping and dog-ness and all that. We are not able to see them as they are because until we are knowing tree as tree we are not seeing it correctly. But it is the Brahman which is being seen as the tree and it is Brahman which is been seen as leaves too. So outer world is all covered by something or other and we are seeing it by our mind. So our only portal to know Brahman is we ourselves. It is by making enquiry in to nature of self that we can get to know what Brahman is. So we discuss the methods of knowing Brahman by self.

5. SELF: PORTAL TO BRAHMAN Up to now, having gone through the book one thing is very clear that one is not able to have any idea about what Brahman is, for sure. More one is confused one should understand that he has understood the book in better way. This is not a book of philosophy and there is no intention to give you a information that Brahman is this and this like Jaguar car is this and this. No, the mere intention is to raise a sense of enquiry in its nature and help you get there. Vedanta has clearly made the statement that everything can be spoken of but not the Brahman. It is the place ‘where speech stops along with mind’. “And those who say that I know it (and making fuss that this is Brahman and that is not) themselves don’t know anything”, says the Upanishad. All that can be done is a few traits can be said about it and a few pointers. It is like map of a city. Quiet different from actual city yet helpful in reaching it. So all we have to do is to start with methods and get to know for ourselves what it is really. According to Vedanta, liberation and knowledge are one and same. It is not like you get knowledge and then you get liberated. And also Brahman is called as Knowledge. (This knowledge is different from knowing that there is pot and there is a cloth.) Vedanta’s main method is in three way- Sravana (listening) although the teachings with a deep and receptive mind, Manana(deep thinking about it), and Nididyasana(meditating on it constantly). But as coming to meditation techniques there are no fixed and prescribed methods. For in Vedanta does

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not tell us to reach a new dimension of mind or purify oneself. All that we have to is to “know that as we are” and the work is over. Simply saying that ‘I am as I am’ is of no use because then question comes that who you are Really. All the methods are there fore aiming to create that understanding. Vedanta says “ that what ever means you get realization that process is good for you.” So techniques are very individual and even if I personally used to practice a few methods it seems very clumsy to write them. because there is no rational how they work and what causes them to work. And sometimes this also happens that a method or techniques that works for this time does not work the other time. So then one should give that up. But before we understand any technique we should understand the nature of self that has to be arrived. The thing is that Everything is Brahman so our self is also Brahman. But as dog and cats are superimposed in Brahman. So to say that what we experience as dog or cat is really Brahman being wrapped ignorance of dog-ness and cat-ness. But we have no way to remove this wrappers. So it is this Self of us that is the portal by which we can arrive to the Brahman Because although this is also wrapped but we can remove this wrapper. We are all aware of this self(this feeling of I-ness) but then we are not knowing Brahman. But this self is also not real. Because had this self been real and hence Brahman then we would have gone out of all sorrow. Upanisad say “The one who knows self(as it is) swims out of sorrow.”. but we are not out of sorrow, so we have to know this self as something other than we know. But question can be raised that is it that we don’t know ourselves? How can be it that I don’t know myself for I am always aware that “I am”. The answer is no. No we don’t know ourselves at all. All we know about ourselves that are concepts of mind about ourselves. But all the time our concept about ourselves changes. This is the biggest illusion here is that we think that we don’t have any illusion about ourselves. When praised we have a different idea about ourselves and when poked we are different.(This does mean that being different with praise or poke is wrong, as many religions teach us. For the mind whose nature is of change will change itself.So all this effort to maintain equanimity is non-sense). We go on believing body or mental images as ourselves and this is what ignorance. For in mind, deep inside, we have idea about ourselves that ‘I am angry’, ‘I am good’ ‘I am happy’ ‘I am sad’ ‘I am benevolent I am cruel’ ‘I was tortured in my child hood’ ‘I an negative or positive’ ‘I am in traps’ ‘I am a big joker’ ‘I am such a great one who understands this Vedanta’ and so on. And out of this idea comes the several ideas about getting and protecting, changing and removing. A person who

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thinks that “I have been tortured in the childhood” try to ‘heal it’ and come out by psychology. A person who thinks that “I am fat” does dieting. A person who thinks that ‘I am positive’ starts doing business and a person who thinks that ‘I am spiritual’ goes to Himalaya and sits in that icy caves. But who is this I that we have to know. Because this idea about self is always changing so reality must be beyond all this. Because where is the ground where all this change is occurring. Who is this that is changing in all this different forms?. And based on this search for a real self begins. So concept of Vedanta is that neither becoming humble will be of any help, neither Positive thinking and powerful affirmation will be of help. Vedanta neither says that to Say that “ Oh god! I am such a retched person and very lowly and protect me and guide me, save me from hell”. Neither it says “I am very gifted person, I am the centre of creation, I have ability to achieve my dreams and I am going to do that.”, as Many advocates of power of positive thinking do ask us to say. Many people are now confusing this positive assertion with Vedanta also. And they go on preaching and practicing idiotic concepts in the offices of Multi-National Companies That “go on saying to yourselves that I am Brahman, the all powerful, the creator and all that” and you will make good business. This is simply non-sense and has nothing to do with Vedanta. If these techniques helps for making good business, OK, do use it. But teaching of Vedanta is not there at all, to make good business. The whole effort of Vedanta is that to go beyond this “I” notion at all, in its limited sense. Go beyond this idea of I am this or that, and know oneself as a pure being. And that Pure Being is Brahman. I am Brahman does not mean that “I”, the Self is Brahman, like rose is flower. But that There is no “I” at all, as we experience in its daily sense and that it is all Brahman itself. So all that we have to is to know “the perceiver of these changes that is occurring in the mind. And when known, quality of life and our reaction to situation does not remains the same, it cant remain the same. For all situations loose their firmness and solidity. They do not remain demons anymore. So we don’t have to go through all that process of healing oneself bit-by-it through psychological methods and therapy. It is as if gates of dams being opened and that everything is as if washed away. For ever and ever. So what is the mistake we are making is we call that even if we know that “This self is Brahman ”, then also we are taking this body and mind as atman or self. A less intelligent people believes his

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body as self and says that “I am fat or I am thin” a more intelligent says that ok this mind is me with all its past impression, ideas habits and thoughts. The formers concept that Body is the self’ can be negated very easily by simple logic. In dreaming stage one is not aware of him body, but he is still aware of This “I” there. But it is very difficult to understand that one is in existence also when there is no mind like in deep sleep state. And this experience of ones existence of “I” without mind is what gives the right understanding that who one is and eventually what Brahman is. Because till the mind is active one will have concepts about Brahman but not the Brahman itself. so it is repeated many times in Upanishads that ‘Brahman is not one that can be thought by mind but it is the one because of which mind thinks. Know that as Brahman and not one that you worship.” “Brahman is not one that can be seen by eye but it is one due to which eyes see, know that as Brahman and not that which you worship. ” Kathopnisad. But here one should not make mistake that Brahman or Self is beyond mind only. Then problem comes that what are we when we are thinking and are taking mind as Brahman or self? We are then also Brahman itself, but this out of mind experience gives us understanding that what we really are. It is like for first time we need to recognizing a person out of crowd of many people , and once recognized we can know him anytime, whether he is in the crowd or he is not. So to sum up, to remove bondage we need to know Brahman, to know Brahman we have only portal that is self(because everything is Brahman so self is also Brahman ). But to know self as it is truly, that is Brahman and not our ideas and concepts about ourselves. So we have to distinguish real-Self from fake illusory ideas of self as Body or mind. Now it is easy to know oneself that ‘I am not the body’, but we are really very tangled in mind. So methods and techniques to go beyond mind is to sought after. To know the Real Self we really need to make mind calm or so to say, if you like, go beyond mind, because all ideas are in the mind itself and then know what is the Self, and that Self is in real the Brahman. (as per pure form of Vedanta the mind is illusion and void of its existence. But this is not to be thought for all thoughts are in the mind.) Now doubt can be raised that is there a Self beyond mind? Or all that we experience as self is just the sum up of all habits, thought and behavior pattern. Here I wont answer anything because this cant be proved by logic, although I can get very strong logic to prove it but it would be of no use because there are counter logic also and theirs counter logic too !!!!. But what ever may be logic and counter logic, one will not get convinced. But one simple argument that can be put it that all is changing. Ok. But who

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is there to perceive this change. For to know that a thing is changing to something other there must be someone who is the witness changes. And also that which is the thing that is changing from one to other. That must be constant. But there are all such Alaya Vigyan and Vivrata vada of which doing in deatail will be of no use. Let scholars discuss them. It is more a question of experiencing than proving. You follow the techniques and will know that there is self also beyond mind and that is the real self and not this as we experienced when entangled in mind. But again we don’t have to create the idea that The SELF that we experience when beyond mind is not here in this moment. It is now and here too only. We are mistaking something else as Self say body or mind, so we are not able to experience it as such. So when you have a no mind experience one does not experiences something new but rather looks like oh it had been always there all the time. All these details are there not to get one a no-mind experience or to give a short introduction of the tour you are going to make!!!! But rather to not to allow a person to create an imaginative “ no mind stage ” and feel happy. Or imagining a person about this self as being size of body, but transparent and full of light, hovering over your body. There is no self that is going to come at the size of thumb. This is again falling in same illusion. Brahman is reached by some method or technique is a non-sense idea. It is everywhere in all moment. But this is Apavad Or negation. But to make one understand that Brahman is everywhere one has to make this adhyarop or superimposition that, ok! practice this method or that. This is what adhyarop. It is same like teaching a child that A for apple, B for baby, C for cat and all that). So in Vedanta techniques are neither disregarded nor given utmost importance. This book is really not meant to give detail techniques and all that but to give a introduction to Vedanta. But these techniques are given, although, for me giving techniques feel clumsy, to make one aware how a technique of Vedanta may look like. 1.Sitting or lying silently without doing anything are, anything mental and physical. It should be accompanied with deep understanding that all the mind and its functions are transitory and illusory. Although it seems so easy but we need to understand its full significance and meaning of what is being done. For this we need to have a deep understanding of how our mind works. Actually there is always movement in our mind. We are always doing this or that. So when it is told that that don’t do anything we again try to stop the

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movements either by direct control or we if have read a more, we try to be aware or to accept or what so ever, wishing that all the movements would stop. And this wish to stop things or need to change is not allowing us to see what is actually is. “Doing and not doing is one thing” and “Neither doing nor not doing is completely other thing”. So when sitting for such a practice we must not try to do achieve, to judge, to clear, to change or expect some Self or Brahman to reveal itself before us.. No. We should also neither Try to be aware, watching or try to let go. For the moment we are trying To BE AWARE WE ARE NOT AWARE AT ALL. (Although the meaning of psychological awareness (watching the mind) that is helpful in changing mind and habits is different from Vedanta calling Brahman as awareness or consciousness. This is discussed in detail in Ch. 9. What is Not Brahman.) We should also be careful that we are not making a mental picture of what it would be to be out of mind.The experience may be so simple that we not take it. But this is not enough. And after all the most important thing is that we should not even try to follow all the don’t that are given in this Paragraph. They are written here to help you tell you to not to do them consciously. But if they are happening own their own just let them. They will stop themselves on their own. They are again the same type of pitfalls. For awareness is not a action that you have to do. Awareness is the very basic form of your being. 2.Being together with thought and mental patterns again with same attitude that reality is something different than all these.. Here what you do is to, Be with(it is like listening to thoughts that are passing away) all the thoughts each moment without judging them without criticizing them without any motive to choose from them or to bring about a change in themselves. This will give really give a big result but one has to be in total with the thoughts that are passing altogether all the time. Coming to extent the thought that “What the nonscene I am doing here”. With total passivism just be with thought without any motive to achieve anything. With this understanding that these are all illusion. After all thoughts are thoughts. For example can you just remember that what you were thinking on this date, at this time, a year ago. But we give so much importance to thoughts. This practice will really result in big boom. But this practice must be done in the silence and without distraction. For if you are not doing them with focus then you may become aware of a thought and may not remain aware of thoughts next or you will partially remain aware of a thought. This will cause trouble and scattering of mind and incomplete insights. For example, thought may come that “I am Idiot” and next Thought that “No I am not”. But if you are not focused you will

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become identified with first thought and believe yourself a idiot. Which You are not For sure!!!. These practice are sort of deep cleansing. Even if you are able to do this practice even for 10 min. a day it would we like taking a inner bath and you and others will feel a change that is occurring in you. But problem is that once you start doing this for first time, it will feel like as if someone has thrown you out of your sit. One does not understands what has caused him to come out of the sitting place and roam in the park. This is because our inability to be silent. Vedanta says that “Even yogis fear from that silence and emptiness that is experienced”. But one need to practice them any way. Also that one starting to do these practices may see or hear many a things. But always keep in the mind that they are all illusion. Either like a horn of donkey(donkey’s don’t have horn), and hence creation of mind. Or like illusion of seeing of seeing a tree as tree and not as Brahman for Vedanta does not deny the existence of beings or things that are not seen by our eyes. So don’t give them any importance. Only Brahman is real and every thing is illusion. But if one is not able to sit or lie silently, without doing anything or if there are so much experiences and visions and sounds that it may create problem then one can practice a no. of cleansing methods (Karma) and Focusing methods(Upasanas). confusion about this. On one side people who are against it say that doing Japa is useless and even harmful because it makes mind dull. They say that you feel-good One of the most powerful is doing Japa (or repetition of a mantraSanskrit word). But there is lot of after mantra because there is noise in the mind and by Mantra greater noise is made so mind becomes calm. They are right to some extent. But observation is incomplete. Similarly there are people who are in support of mantra doing and they go in labs and make experiment on people of effect of mantra and display their observation using words like ‘Vibrations’ ‘Delta-Theta-Gamma Waves’ ‘Better Heart rate’ ‘Low tension’ and all that. But they don’t simply understand the difference between The Brain- that is mass of flesh and neurons and blood and MindThat is the sum total of habits patterns, behavior and personality of a person. (although in Vedanta both physical body and mind are of nature of Jadaunconsciousness) But there is the difference of brain being material and mind being subtle. But the thing is when mantra is done with a purpose cleaning mind it should be done slowly in a rhythm, and one will see it automatically that all the craziness of mind is coming out. As if it allows us to be aware of our thoughts bit by bit in parts, so that we don’t run away with them. and this

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really heaps. But the thing is that anything that falls in the hand of a less intelligent person( I don’t call them fools), they use it in wrong way. Similarly working in a office is a good practice for clarity of the mind and developing focus. Similarly social service as well as psychotherapy can be of great use. But by the cleansing, don’t understand that Some negative karma will get finished. But it is the our mind that will make change. (But don’t start making that practice of mindfulness by making slow movement in the work place with eyes focused on tip of nose and moving limbs in a strange way, as if practicing Judo. True Awareness cant be practiced. ) But always remember that The Methods are meant only for Understanding Of Truth. If one is unable to understand the reality directly and thinks that methods are really important than only he should use methods and what so ever methods. So what is the most important method is devise your own way and techniques with or without help of some one which may range from doing japa to direct being pushed in enlightenment(If there exist any)!!!!! 6. Maya - ILLUSION In Vedanta the most confused word is illusion or Maya(perhaps it is Maya or illusion itself). The Vedanta says that everything except Brahman is illusion. But people are so much confused with that illusion. Actually in Vedanta Maya does not mean a illusion like a rabbit’s horn (for people who don’t know rabbit it is stated that rabbits don’t have horn) or like the illusion of milk of turtle (turtles don’t have milk) or like a lotus in the sky or like a barren woman’s son. Here illusion has a special definition “that knowledge of which is not Valid in all the three times viz. present, past, and future is called illusion”. No need to understand them now slowly they will become clear themselves. In almost all the systems of philosophy they have two types of experience. First the experience of the things that are not as they are like seeing a tree in the night as ghost, or listening the sound of a bee as the probable attack of terrorist. This is illusion and all such objects of this knowledge like ghost or attack is illusory object. And then there is the real experiences of things that is seeing them as they are like seeing tree as tree, ghost as ghost( if it is really a ghost for sure), experiencing bees sound as bees sound and attack as the attack. This is generally called real experience and objects of such a knowledge like tree, ghost, bees’ sound, and attack is called real objects. So there are existence of two types of objects Illusory and Real. Here is the specialty of Vedanta. Vedanta says that

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even tree that is seen as tree and bees sound that is experienced as bees sound, are illusory and reality is the Brahman itself. So in Vedanta there are three types of objects:1.Pratibhasik ( or illusory) like the Snakerope(snake rope is a not special type of snake rather in Vedanta it is the experiencing a rope in darkness as rope and is most used example to describe Maya or illusion ) 2.Vyabaharika (or conventional ) seeing things as they are in the ordinary sense. That is seeing rope as rope and snake as snake. 3.Parmarthik (or The absolute real) that is knowing everything as the One eternal Brahman itself which is Sat-ChitAnanda. So taking the two definitions together For a some one who is experiencing a rope as rope and snake as snake. But after realization he experiences them as Brahman itself..( To be exact, there is no experience and being experienced, but to make understanding, words are to be used). So the knowledge that snake is snake and rope is rope is invalid after realization. So it is not valid in all the three times. So the definition that “knowledge of which is not Valid in all the three times viz. present, past, and future is called illusion”. That is why it is called Illusion. The difference between First Illusion and Second Grade illusion is simple. For illusions like seeing rope as snake becomes clear when we know that it is not snake but rope. But illusion of seeing rope as rope becomes clear when we experience it as Brahman itself. So when Vedanta says that all this world say dog or cat is illusion it does not mean that world is illusion like snake- rope but rather what we see as dog is in reality Brahman itself. So from view point of Vedanta everything that is experienced as other than Brahman is illusion be it what so ever. And when it is said that Cat and dog is Brahman, it is not meant that cat is Brahman like Rose is flower. Rather is meant that what is experienced as cat is mistaken and it is Brahman is real. So to say there is nothing other than Brahman. So this creation is all illusion from point of view of Brahman but real for those not knowing Brahman

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Here a question can be raised that what is the prove that everything that is been seen is Brahman itself not dog and cat. If this question comes do read it or there is no need to read below. There are three way to prove that. Your own experience , Agama(what others realized persons have said) and Logic. But people may not want to believe what the Realized persons have said (for they may be crazy) and in hallucinations. So then there is no need of believing any spiritual system for all of them may be in hallucination, and nurture this idea that what we see is real and nothing exists beyond that. And even believing that material idea can be hallucination for if hallucination can occur to one person in the world it can happen to any one of the human kind. So stop reading this. Also that logic is of no of much use. For one may say that “O.K. the person saying that dog is not dog but Brahman seems intelligent but a bit insane and crazy”. There is way by which it can be proved that all is Brahman logically, but no way to convince you. There fore all such effort, as for me, is futile and useless. So most reliable this is your experience. It is because of a very simple reason. You experience a rope to be snake until you have not realized that really it is rope. One runs, one shouts, or those brave ones are trying to catch it till he doe not realizes that it is but rope. Similarly this world is real for a person who have not realized the realty of Brahman. The world will seem illusion only when he realizes knows the Reality. So in one place it is said that “Illusion (Maya) is Real of Ignorant and Unreal for SelfRealized” This is very practical attitude of Vedanta here. For now a days there are teachers who go on saying that there is nothing to know or do. But that creates confusion in the people because we are in problem and it is real for the person. The problem should we dealt with Compassion. So it would be better to wait and let them experience on their own that there is nothing to know or no where to go. Until you do not experience that it is rope till then snake is real for you, similarly till you do not experience Brahman all fear emotion, conflict, pleasure, pain, hurt, disease, and all that are real for one. So to really experience what is Brahman is, and not merely remained brain washed with Verbal repetition that “there is no where to go, No where to reach ”, Practice Listening, Contemplating and Meditating and understand it of everything that is said. And if you feel that some techniques are useful for you use them and get out of this Illusion.

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Arise! Awake! And get realization of truth by getting company of Nobles(One who knows the truth.) Kathopanisad.

7. THE ILLUSORY CREATION This creation is all illusion from point of view of Brahman but real for those not knowing Brahman. And because this creation is illusion there is not much emphasis to explain it. For how can a illusion be explained Vedanta says that this world is illusion and in reality everything is Brahman. But then how this Brahman has become world? It says that this change of Brahman is not like milk being changed into cheese or water being changed as ice. It says that there is no actual change but actually we are seeing them differently due to Ignorance. Again example is snake-rope. The rope is never changing into snake but rather due to ignorance we are seeing it as snake. And also that there is no need to change false snake in the form of rope by practicing that it is not snake but rope. But all we have to do is to experience is as rope. For details there are many views and explanation by many teachers, all admitting that it is useless. It is clearly said that all view are merely views about illusion and there fore illusory. In a text called Sidhdhantabindu, there is collection of all such views and at last it says that all explanation of how and where of illusory creation of world is to help on understand Brahman. Explain this world as what ever way you want and if it helps you understand Brahman that very process is good.So there are many theory of explaining this illusion and focus on three points that is God, (or The Jiva individual self ) and World. Now explaining creation is not of much but it helps one understand what is really meant by “I am Brahman” and all that. Those explained below is a simple way of Vedanta to explain creation but there are many other different views on creation.. They are just meant to explain the world which in turn will help person have a idea what Brahman is. One does not have to concern oneself with these and may explain the world with

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Theory of Evolution, or Semantic Way, or based on Quantum Theory. It is none of any the any concern of Vedanta, provided that they help one understand the reality. Vedanta does not aim at explaining the world but rather knowing reality. And again repeating the same thing “by what ever mean that realization comes, that very means is good for the person.” So when one goes through these, one may find these ideas sometimes funny and unscientific. But they are really important, not for the way they explain understanding the creation; but for understanding the nature of Brahman. One of the theory, while explaining the creation it says that Ignorance as if it were wraps the true nature of Brahman and expresses in different form. As ignorance wraps rope being seen as rope and expresses it as something other than rope say snake or a creeper (but don’t make the idea that ignorance is a big wrapping paper). Similarly Ignorance wraps the nature of Brahman and expresses in the form of Iswara (God), Jiva(or individual Self) or Jagata(world). So Vedanta does accepts a God and can accept all the form of god as creator and all that. We explain the three as:1.God :- God is also in the field of illusion. God is Brahman being wrapped( this wrapper is ignorance) by power to create and all such wrappers that makes it God. And the difference between God and Brahman is that God or Iswara that has power to create or destroy and all that but yet it is in the field of Ignorance. But Brahman is the ever present witness of all action and neither Doer nor Experience (it is a great lazy being ). It is the thing that is being seen as God due to Ignorance. So argument raised by people that if you are Brahman than can you create ash from nowhere or create a golden locket is non-sense because all creation is illusion and done by Brahman being wrapped( born of ignorance) by power to create. And if some one has that wrapper he can do so, if some one does not have that he cant. Anyway, in all condition everything is Brahman. But this thing is to be noted that these wrappers are really illusion and so all things that are being seen as wrapped are illusion and really Brahman is the everything but its real form is one that without wrappers. For all wrappers are illusion in relation of Brahman. The relation of God to Individual selves are like drop of water and sea. As each drop of water is part of sea similarly each Individual Self is part of god.. So as one can drown in the sea but not in the drop of it similarly God can create and do anything but individual selves cant do as many things as god.

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But neither God nor Individual Selves are part of Brahman but they are Brahman themselves, seen as other than Brahman due to ignorance.So in field of Ignorance Individual Selves are part of God but when there is no illusion, that is in reality, There is nothing called Individual Selves or God. But everything is Brahman itself. 2. Jivas (Individual Selves ) , Jivas or Individual Selves (that is being experienced as me, you, elephant, interestingly in Vedanta trees are also considered as having Selves) are the Brahman being wrapped by Gross Sheath (Physical Body), Subtle Sheath(Energy and Mind Stuff), and finally The Causal sheath (Ignorance) the cause of the two stated before.It is Important to understand these bodies because it provides a very deep insight into what Brahman Is and then we can understand the nature of death in Vedanta. One may get bored, may not digest the facts here and it is not important to understand them also but what is said at the end of description of the last two sheaths, is very important. So we explain these as :I. Gross Sheath:- It is this physical body that depends upon food and becomes strong with good food and becomes weak and diseased with bad food. This is subject to change and hence not The Self or Brahman II. Subtle Sheath:- It is consists of Pranic The vital force (which is individually called The Pranic Sheath), The five Organs of Action( hand, feet, speech, excretory and reproductive organs ), Five organs of Sense(eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin ), The Mind( the function of Mind Stuff when it is Making decision) and The Buddhi (The function of MindStuff when it is decisive. ) Here two things are to be made clear. First the difference between Ten Organs, five each of Action and Sense said above (hand, feet, eye, ear etc ), and Physical eye ear feet etc.. The feet and hand and eye we see in the physical body are not considered the Organs. But The organs are some thing other than these physical eyes and feet and that resides in the feet and eye and others respectively and cant be experienced by eye or ear or any other sense organs. Second thing that is to be made clear is difference between Mind(Manas or mana) and Mind-Stuff (Anatahkaran). It is MindStuff that takes many forms like hate, shame, love, fear, remembering, habits, behavior patter and all such emotions and thoughts. And when doing any of these if it is in the process of deciding that is doing yes or no, this or that is called Mind. In Vedanta there is no difference between so-called heart

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and mind, thought and emotion and all that. All are just different forms or functions of Mind-Stuff(Anatahkaran) itself. So when we are dreaming or day dreaming it is with this Subtle Sheath (Sukhma Sarira ) that we see and experience different things. There is no awareness of physical body and one is having only Subtle body and Causal Sheath. Now explaining death in Vedanta we come to define answer. We may have heard that Soul is immortal and it never dies. And while explaining death it is said that the soul has left the body. But then question comes that “ Sir did you not say that it is the Self or Brahman is everywhere?” So why does one dies. According to Vedanta It is not that Self leaves the body for it is every where but is this Subtle Body, consisting of Vital forces, and Mind-stuff(with memory, habit, behavior and all such) that leaves the body and due to ignorance as per past fruits of actions takes the different body to bear those particular fruits. That is why death is illusory in Vedanta for is just the transfer of a few illusory things from one illusion to different illusion. And this is what meaning of Self is beyond death and birth. III. The Causal Sheath :- It is called so Because it is the cause of the Physical Body and the Subtle-Body. This is the other name for Individual Ignorance. We experience this when in deep sleep. Now what we experience in deep sleep Pleasure and Ignorance. That is why when we wake up we say that I slept very nicely and did not knew anything when I was sleeping. The all effort to explain all these sheath was this:- To make a direct insight into what is the Real nature of Self Or Brahman. “Brahman is the witness of sleep state also. It is awake even when Mind is asleep.” And this is a great insight in the nature of Brahman. Being wrapped by Sheaths one suffers and enjoy, feel good and bad and also is responsible for his fruit of action or Karma. And all that we have to do is to throw this wrappers and what is left is Brahman and then we will know what is this Brahman is. So one of the method of Vedanta is to negation that is to simply say no everything that we experience as non-Brahman. In this way we cancel all that is wrapped and know the one which is unwrapped as Brahman and this is as our true Self also. 3.Jagat :-Jagata ( the world) is that which God creates for Jiva(Individual Self) to experience according to Fruit of action (Karma) of Jivas. Here Karma is very important. It goes to such extent that Even the

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God, who is creator of this universe, is bound to give the fruits according to the Karma of individual self. It is because of clearing this fruit of action that Creation comes into being again and again and gets annihilated again and again. When this cycle started and why this cycle started, there is no explanations, it is just called beginning less. Because The cause of Karma, The Ignorance is considered Beginning less. So it is important that a short introduction to Law of Karma is made is an also because a big confusion is there about it. So Karma is explained in Ch. Law of Karma. 8. WHAT IS NOT BRAHMAN The all effort to explain these Three things viz God, The Individual self, The World, was this:- To make a direct insight into what is the Real nature of Brahman. That is these three are not Brahman. What really Brahman is cant be said. As per Vedanta it is said that to know Self all we have to do is to Understand what are things that we take them as Self but they are really non-self. Similarly Self is not the one in the tree stages of wake, dream, and sleep. It prevents many a things that we may have imagined to be our real Self just due to lack of discrimination between self and non-self. All the concept we have of Self or Brahman is really a product of Mindstuff. Now at least we can know that everything that we imagine by mind is not self. Body is not the Brahman that is very clear. Also mind is not the Brahman. It is because both of them are changing all the time. And what ever is changing is not the Brahman. But many today get stuck at a very crucial stop. That is the psychological consciousness. In Vedanta The consciousness is Brahman itself and all the rest including mind is Unconsciousness. So meaning of psychologist’s consciousness is different from meaning consciousness of Vedanta. When psychologist are talking of consciousness they are talking about something which is product of mind and that is why to make it effort is required. But when in Vedanta consciousness is ever the consciousness and it never changes and becomes unconsciousness. It is ever witness. The mental forms or what we imagine as Watcher when watching the thought, are just a part of mind seeing itself. We don’t understand this, that is why we “Have to Be aware”. Otherwise awareness is the natural state, we don’t have to make any effort ‘to Be aware’. Although this, being aware of mind by mind is sometimes good and changes many of the deep seated behavior patterns and psychological defilement and

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sometimes may give us very fine moods of silence.But many of those who practice these types of meditation, their happiness depends upon this game of watching. There is nothing bad in this “Watching Silently” game but problem comes when we want to make those experiences permanent. We want this calmness to survive all the time but it is impossible to be so. Because both Watcher and Watched are one, the mind itself. one part being expressed as Thought and Other Part as its seer. After all mind is mind and the moment it will take part in the part being watched, trying to change or trying to hold, it will be no more in the state of passive witness and start to associate with it. And then we say that when I am not watching I am in pain. It is not so. Otherwise there are times when one is not watching and still is happy. And it is not that “Watcher” will feel sorrow all the time when being associated with “Watched” but depending upon the nature of “Watched” it is identifying, if “Watched” is in pleasure or pain, the “watcher” does also experiences the same. But we might be experiencing the pain when we are not able to Watch due to idea “ I am not able to watched”. And this idea is pain because of many reasons. We have made it a moral obligation sort of thing that I must always keep watching. It is not so. This obligation has been infused by psychologists, or those neo-Buddhist those are trying to make a wedding between Psychoanalysis and Meditation, Freud and Buddha and create a queer thing out of that. But this is not a happy marriage and is creating lot of trouble. The whole aim of psychology is to make mind good. If one wants that one can do that. But realization is something different which brings a total transformation in the person. Then the whole body and mind is transformed automatically and one goes beyond all pain and pleasure and enjoys the true bliss. Sometimes people are so addicted to this process of watching that they cant live with out it. It is because watching sometimes gets them freedom from mental traps and wrong behavior pattern. Also that watching makes the mind alert and calm. So we start to expect too much from this game. When we are not able to watch it feels that if there was a “Watcher” Me That was watching that rubbish devilish “Mind”. And now that I am not able to watch this mind it will make me do something Crazy. So watching becomes a emergency. But is there such a thing as “Watcher” and “Being watched”? No. Both of them are mind itself. If it was that watcher and watched were two then why they come together, and if they are one then creating two out of them will always create problem.

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Here Mind is the watcher and watched, dividing itself in two parts and sometimes there are many watcher and watched each seeing the other at many levels. But this is the first grade of illusion like rope-snake or like seeing lotus in the sky(see ch.Illusion). Because mind is one and to create many in it will cause schizophrenia and all that. For analysis one can create of it two, the observer and observed but then know that those are the part of mind itself and when one will not watch they will come together. This is but natural and desirable. One should not feel bad about this coming together and should not get addicted to this game of watching. r For Brahman is neither watcher nor the watched. For watcher to exist there must be something other than it that is being watched. But Brahman in Whole the complete in which both watcher, the watched and process of watching gets in and come to end. And even when it is called Witness to make one understand its nature (as a boy is told that A for apple B means baby at first time), this is equally added that “Observers Observerness is never lost. It is always the Observer itself. That the self is never the Observed but the Observer, the ever present Witness This provides a great relief to us. For all our worry and hurry is occurring in something else and we are calling it self. Actually all these are illusion, we are weeping on death of son of a man who is not in existence ever. Similarly we are trying to change the physical conditions or the mind which is never there or at least with none of our concern. So we should try to know the Real Self and not waste our time clinging to change things that have no existence at all like mind and body. But one misunderstanding that has to be made clear here. By knowing that Brahman or self is the witness of sleep state we are tempted to imagined that Brahman is not in the other three stages viz. wake, dream and sleep. No, Brahman is in all the three stages but which is IT in these stages will be known only when we go beyond these. Because in these stages there are illusions that will ever stop seeing it. And when once recognized one will be able to know it in all the three stages all the time. It is always there. Only that we are confusing body or mind or absence of these (as in sleeping stage)as Brahman. It something like first knowing a person out of a big crowd by separating him. Once recognized one will be able to know him anywhere he is seen. Again it is said that Brahman is the witness of sleeping state. Here the difference between Yoga and Vedanta is that yoga tries to calm this Mind-Stuff, Prana(the vital force), and tame Body. The

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same effect as in sleeping stage but with knowledge. But all these are product of ignorance and Vedanta aims at cutting the cause itself the -Ignorance. It is already explained above that Causal Body that is Ignorance itself is the cause of Physical body and Subtle body. That is why sometimes Samadhi of yogi is Jokingly called by masters as “Sleeping In Lotus Posture”. But this is also not that Samadhi is unimportant. It has its value. But point is that because Yogis are not aiming at getting away of ignorance, so we hear the story of ascetics after coming out of deep Samadhi becoming Very angry or going out with heavenly maidens( one may say that there is nothing bad but off course they regret it later so it comes that they don’t like it ).This is all because in Samadhi mind has been calmed but once they come out of it mind is already there with all its nonsense. Similarly those doing these practices are sometimes more vulnerable and less able to cope with world than those are not doing it. Here I don’t mean Yogasana(postures) by Yoga. Again the Buddhist say that there is nothing as an entity who is aware of sleeping stage. And it is all Blank, Shunya and that there is no self. This can be explained in two ways. Now either what they Shunya is called in Vedanta as Self. The Self that is experienced as Brahman is not like “Oh it is here My Self That I have been looking for so long”. What is the experience cant be described completely and actually but surely it is different than that. And what is called “inter-connection of all Phenomenon” is “everything as Brahman of Vedanta. So Buddhist are calling this as Non-self. Different names and way of describing the same thing. Or there is other way of explaining this also. Vedanta agrees with what Buddhists are saying that everything is changing. But Vedanta adds to it that everything is changing but only Brahman is permanent. Logically it is put like this that if everything is changing than who is the knower of all these changes. That knower must be present when two changes are taking place then only it can know the change. But in India, although it may hurt someone, it is sometimes believed that Buddha did not realized completely and was stuck somewhere in the blank of Mind. But Vedantaic masters say Sankara perhaps does not believe in that and he has even written a beautiful prayer to Buddha But others say that he reached the Highest stage of “I am Brahman” but for some reasons he did not speak that “ It is the self that is everywhere”. Why he did not speak there are many silly reasons for that but may be he did so because people may misunderstand it. So he allowed the people to experience it themselves. I personally agree with later view that he was

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complexly realized. In is the tradition of Vedanta that not to make what others have said this or that as prove of something just because they are realized or accomplished. The simple reason is that there are many ones those who are realized and are speaking contradictory things. So whom to believe? Many people say that this argument is not important that weather there is a self or not and we should all do is follow a prescribed method that will reveal reality. But sometimes this sorts of argument is required, because what ever we do as the spiritual practice, they are based upon a philosophy and on a idea of what reality is. So each Practice that is designed to do, is to make us Realize that idea of Ultimate that is propagated by that philosophy. So method by a particular person will take us to their own version of reality. And there fore sometimes we need to make clear of philosophy. For example Hare Krishna’s believe that By saying many times their mantra, God will be flattered and give them liberation. So they go on doing Hare Krishna- Hare Ram. But those who are trying ‘to be aware’ avoid it because they think making Mantra makes one unaware.(Here I don’t make any comment on who is right or wrong!!!) So what is the philosophy does matters a lot in deciding what we should do to Realize Reality and which is the particular version of reality by that Philosophy. 9. LAW OF KARMA Here is a bit of introduction to Law of Karma is necessary so, that will make us understand what is meant by Bondage in Vedanta. One thing is to be made clear that the word Karma is used in two senses, first the action and second, the fruit of action (Karmaphala) interchangeably. Many think that Vedantains do not believe in Law of Karma. It is not so. In Vyavahara (or conventions, the second kind of illusion explained in Ch. Illusion) everything is illusory with relation to Brahman but are real in their own level of existence. So if one does a action that is good or bad (the standard of good or bad is not to be put here) it has some effect or fruit that is also to be bared by the Doer. But both are illusory this has to be kept in the mind. Because often this happens that in Vedanta it is taught that “One is unaffected By Karma”. But what is really meant here that One is neither does nor the bearer of Fruit of Karma because One is Brahman. It is the Body and Mind that does the Karma and it is the Body and mind which bears its fruit. But people knowing that everything is illusion and that “I am unaffected by Karma” may start doing all sort of non-sense. Up to this that everything is illusion is correct but then when some trouble

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comes people really get messed up. When they are doing something wrong they say it is the body and mind which is doing it. But when we are doing something good and appreciation comes we boast up and say that it is me who has done it. Similarly when trouble comes it is body-mind that suffers, so why to worry? This all confusion comes up when we really are not able to grasp what is meant by illusion and make the illusion of Vedanta as a comfort zone and feel-good Idea for our action. It does not mean that I do say that one should condemn himself up, but then protecting our guilt behind some Ideology is not a good idea. If one is to accept himself up as he is.he should do it without any false pretences and making it something religious that is rule that I should accept myself up. Or that such and such person accepted himself up and hence got realized. There is no need to hide behind something, because that is not true acceptance. And also that we need not accept ourselves up. This is not a rule. If we accept our non-acceptance and even all that, to the end that is what brings transformation and not acceptance to achieve or get rid of something. For example a person steals and murders someone and is caught by police. He is brought before court and judges inflicts on him punishment of “being hanged till death”. Now he arguments that everything is illusion and so stealing and killing is also illusion and one should not be punished for a illusory a action that is illusion. But he has to understand this nicely that the punishment of being hanged till death is also illusion!!! So no problem!!! But this all simply explains that he has not understood anything. For if everything is illusion then why is he, at first place, tempted to accumulate illusory wealth at all. And if he has realized that everything is self than where from does he gets the idea that to accumulate wealth that is also I. duality is not ‘I’ and you only. Duality is ‘I ’ and ‘mine’ also. Because we are taking things other than ourselves that is why we are motivated to get them to get away from them so seriously. And it is from this that all craving and aversion comes. So Vedanta does not says that come out of craving and aversion but it rather says that uproot the cause of craving and aversion that is believing in the finite self as true. Similarly, what ever we do must reap its results, good or bad. I do not say that there is heaven or hell as they are being described in Mythology but some law decides that every action must have its effects. And there are three types of karma (here meaning fruit of action):-

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1. Sanchit:-one that accumulated over all the past lives over eons and eons of life. So it is the sum total of all the Karma of Jivas that.(Here also; there is no way to really convince one that there is really past lives), 2.Prarabdha: Out of that sanchit (accumulated karma) The Creator takes a part of it and sets our life according to it. So our this life in this very body will remain till there is this prarabdha and when prarabdha gets finished life is finished. 3. Kriyamana: Out of that Prarabdha; the fruits of action that we are bearing in this very moment is Kriyaman karma. The food you are eating and that book you are reading is all that Kriyaman Karma and slowly finishes the prarabdha. Similarly in this life time what we are doing will be added to the stock of Sanchit Karma(the accumulated) Karma. And then there are a number of actions that are so strong that they bear there fruit in this very life time. That is why those familiar with Hindu tradition may have heard the stories that a person has no son and some sage tell him that there is no son in your fate in this life time because that is in the prarabdha. But later a Sacrifice is performed and that that person gets a son. So what is happening that the performer makes such a strong fruit of action that becomes a part of his Prarabdha and gives fruit in this life time. Here I don’t say that burning quintals of Ghee in fire, in a poor country like India, will give you a son. Better try with test-tube baby. That was a old method. But this principle has to be understood that we have all the power to change destiny in our favor.. Similarly a very strong negative action may result in negative fruit in this very life time. Because You are Brahman and everything else is Brahman, so the best standard of morality that I understand that don’t harm someone by any way thought, word and speech. For that harming someone will create a negative will you in Universe and helping one will create positive wave for you. Even if there is nothing of this wave and there can be no logic to explain it still it is my idea that standard of morality is “Loving” and standard of realization is also “Love ” itself. So we should be careful on what we are doing if we don’t want to Experience anything undesirable. And it follows from same point that every action that are done gives good result and bad results also. But if we are not concerned with fruits( those are illusory) of action to care about our action is not important. But all actions(illusory they might be) must have their effect(though it is illusory). But the problem is that this relation between cause and effect is sometimes not really understood. That is why people may

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say that if you don’t believe that such and such is God you will go to hell. It is true that if you don’t believe in something you will have some effect( for example if thing is non-sense you will have not to bear trouble ) but then “going to hell” effect is wrong. But if someone says that self can be realized by going to pilgrimage or making offerings it is non-sense. By doing Pranayam(breathing exercises ) mind becomes calm, and luster of body improves and by doing yogasana body becomes healthy, that is the true effect, and if one wants these effects one may do that. There is no problem in that. So Asana, Pranayam, all Pranic Healing, Kundalini Chakra or Magic Making sidhdhis(yogic psychic power) and all that is going on the name of spirituality is not useless. But what is their right use is to be kept in the mind. They have their own distinct effect. Money, house, job, friends all have their own value. With money one have freedom in many physical sense, one can travel, one can eat good food one can give it to beggar and feel good about it or get a good body massage. There is nothing bad in having money. But then if we start to expect that money will give us power to walk on water without any aid that is craziness. For walking on water one should go and practice some higher form of yoga and all that and get that sidhdhis. In Vedanta these sidhdhis are not denied but only said that they are of no use in getting liberation. So what we are doing is not so important but then we should understanding it clearly that the action will give what sort of results. But then expecting something from a thing that cant give it, this is the trouble. And this is always to be kept in the mind that Liberation or Self-Knowledge cant be attained by any action but by knowledge alone. Self-Realization is beyond cause and effect. The Brahman cant be achieved by any Karma what so ever good it may be, and cant be lost by karma what so ever bad it may be. Liberation comes by Knowledge itself and not by any “ Karma or hundreds of Pranayam”. . All action that are done are for knowledge. Even if God becomes happy with some one he will come and as Teacher make one understand and give Knowledge about reality or make situations such that knowledge comes to you by any other medium. So prayers and worshipped is not denied by a Vedantains. After all, God is not a entity beyond ourselves but sum total of all the Individual Self. So prayers made are really got answered. The prayers are changed into Will, and universe must fulfill that will. It is because the very existence of universe is there for use of Individual Selves.. This all depends upon the amount of trust you are putting while praying. Similarly

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all the wills that you are making must get fulfilled. Vedanta says that don’t make will not because they will get fulfilled in course of time depending upon their intensity. It is not because unfulfilment of it will bring frustration but fulfillment of them will keep you in the circle of birth and death for all the time. And this is one of the bondage. Now there are many ways and meaning of bondage. This does not follows that we have to break all the bondage one by one. But SelfRealization breaks all the bondages. But bondage of Karma is one of them. Here a focus on FREE WILL, shall also be important. We are all, as if bound by Prarabdha(see what is it in beginning of chapter) are doing actions all the time. So one may say that then are we held responsible for what we are not doing out of our free will but due to pre-distended Prarabdha. And also that why we should do anything at all if it is all already decided. This has caused great havoc and lot of misunderstanding in India, people becoming lazy to highest extent. It is not true that there is every thing pre-destined but there is free will also to the. Due to Prarabdha we are facing a few situations but how we are reacting to it is in our hand. For example due to prarabdha one may get his leg cut but he is free to react to this situation by either becoming to bitter to the world leave his job of working on computer( or anything that could be done without one leg) and fight with everyone and create a hell for himself and others or by taking is calmly and facing the life and remaining humble to people. Similarly due to prarabdha one may be born in a poor family but then he has free will to make his own way out. But one may say that what if this same person who is born poor gets polio attack? But still is a way out for him. So this can be extended to all and many situation. This relation of Free -will and Pre-destination is very vague and not separate. So one should do his action as if taking it granted that every thing is free will and what comes next is to be left over to prarabdha that is unknown for we don’t know what is in our prarabdha. And even though there are things that are in reserve for us but our action in this life may counteract them so prarabdha is a thing that is very flexible and should be known and understood carefully. But at last it is all illusion that is to be remembered. Now because there is this free will there fore there is bondage also. We are reaping the fruits of Karma that we have done in the past and every moment we are making new Karma all the time because there is free will. So what is to do. Even if we are not doing anything physically then mental karma will have their effects. And even if mental

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Karma has been stopped then what about karma that has been accumulated a long time for eons and eons. The thing is that there is no way out other than realize our real Nature of self… So what happens to a Jyani that all his sanchit karma (the big eternal stock) is finished and that he is no more accumulating new Fruits of action any more. But his prarabdha does remains till his body is and after prarabdha finishes body dies. So if in his prarabdha it there that he will have sickness or accident or shot out by bullet, it will happen. But only that he will no more be remain concerned with these. This law of karma is not there to frighten one. Even if one does not believe it there in it there is no need to force oneself to believe in these but this is all written to motivate one to find the true nature of Self to make clear of ill-known and wrongly understood conceptions of Karma. That people who are trying to get rid of effect of Karma bit by bit, or clean their mind bit by bit of habits and thinking pattern, they must understand that there is no way out other than know oneself.

10. WHO IS SELF-REALISED There is a story in Upanishads that the great sage Narada went to a few other sages Sanatkumaras, those who were really accomplished and self realized. He said to them thus, “Sir, I have studied and known many a thing like astrology, physics, science of life, music, biology and military(?), Science of Self and all that. But still I am not able to go out of sorrow. But still that I am not able to avoid sorrow. And I have also heard that Knower of Self Swims Out of all Sorrows. So it must be that I have not realized the Self. So please instruct me on that”. And then he gets detail instruction of what is Para-Vidya (the highest Knowledge). And he is told that all that he knew was Apara-Vidya (The lower knowledge). Thus this adage that “Knower of Self Swims Out of all Sorrows” is the highest standard that indicates that one has realized the Self or not. But there is no standard to decide as to how a self realized person does behave. At some place it is said that he behaves like a child or like crazy one or like a Ghost. Because there are no rules that bind such ones from inside or out side, so it is very difficult to deal with them. They are even beyond the rule that “ a Self realized person is beyond all rules”. But any way there is no fear for him one who has known the truth. His very body and mind as if gets transformed and perspective of seeing the

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world changes. This material world as if looses their solidness. The tendencies of mind and its formation is there but they are no more as if effecting there. It is called the state of bliss, but the quality of bliss is not the same of happiness. Bliss that is experienced is not as if this like happiness we experience only greater in attitude. But Bliss is something else. Some times a realized person may have acquired siddhis or yogic powers or he may not have. In Vedanta it is said that all the Psychic powers that are seen in a Jyani (the realized soul) is the result of effort that he had made in order to realize and are not the fruit of Knowledge. But because there is no will of his own left in him all that his mind wills is immediately fulfilled. (We do not say that there is no mind, in that case one has understood nothing. There is mind as much as is the body. Only the Gyani does not take the two as I or mine.) What is meant by “no mind” is that there is no mentality. That a Realized person does not see the things with a pre-fixed notion. Every thing that is experienced possesses the very quality of his Self. One small example and book finishes: Out of many realized persons, while naming five, each with different characteristics from the other, it may be said that from the point of knowledge they are on par, one and same. First among them is Krishna. He is said to be the greatest enjoyer of the world, for, he had 16008 (there is no printing mistake, it is indeed Sixteen thousand and eight) wives. And from each wife he had 10 sons each as per the Bhagavata. But when they all of them became powerful enough to create problems for others he let them die in in-fighting. He was not attached to them. Second is Suka. He is considered to be the greatest example of renunciates. Mythology says that the very first thing he did after he was born, was to leave home. And continues to do so till date! He never stops at one place, possesses nothing, not even apiece of cloth, and waits at a spot only till someone would milk the cow and give him some milk. Third and Fourth examples are of Kings, the greatest king of the respective times. The best managers that the world has ever seen. They are Janaka the king of Mithila and Ram the king of Ayodhya. Once there was fire in his palace. However Janaka was such a person who did not move from his seat during meditation saying that even if the whole Mithila of burns, it would not affect him. Ram was man of such a character that he was exiled in the forest for 14 long years just a few hours before his Coronation as the King-in-waiting. But he had no problem. For the sake of his wife Sita he killed the great tyrant Ravana who abducted her. After returning to his

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city he was coronated as king and his rule is still called the ideal for any state. Fifth is the sage and priest Vasistha. All his life he continued to do sacrifice and oblations to fire. But his instruction to Ram, as he was his guru, forms the most advanced teaching on Vedantaa, entitled "The Yoga Vaasistha". In it when Ram as a teen aged prince had to go to the forest and leave royal life he says “O Ram! Where can you go? For, where-ever you go your mind will also be there along with you.” This is the attitude of Vedanta. All this is stated here is to make one understand that whatever one does there is no way of imitation of realized behaviour. One can not imitate and should not imitate a realized person. Everywhere else behavior can be imitated but not here. So better try to understand the simple truth that “Thou Art That” and then what ever you do will be right. Before that hardly anything works. But again, do not postpone it, do not remain addicted and attached to your problems because they are so dear to you. Even loss of a familiar enemy is uncomfortable. One may simply say that this self is something that I will realize in future after sitting six months below a tree. This is cheating oneself. No, one can understand it now, in this current moment and be free while he is also free not to understand it and say that I have to made an effort. Don’t make any images and expectations of what it would feel like when you do not know. Don’t expect a round circle of light and all that behind your head. But when one realizes it, one will know that the game is over. And one who knows it becomes free and knows that the whole universe is also free and realized, in this moment the whole nothing is there that is not realized. Sarvam khalvidam Brahma. Everything is Brahman. This is complete, and that is also complete. This complete has come out from that complete. When you take out complete from complete, only complete is left behind. ---- Upanishads

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