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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

Vedanta Darshanam
Salutations to all. Todays world is a very progressive one. Everything is changing every minute. Nothing is constant or stable. What we see today isnt there tomorrow and what we see tomorrow isnt there day after tomorrow. In such a changing world, we also have to change or adapt quickly. In this catching-up game, we end up losing on what is beyond the external world; as our focus is constantly on the external world and its advancements alone. Of what use is progressing in the external world if we dont have a calm and peaceful mind to experience it?

Today we find majority of people having all the amenities of life but there is no peace of mind at all. There is only constant suffering amidst all the pleasures of the world. The progress in all fields of science and technology have been astonishing. It is something that we cannot even imagine but still we find that there are more mental patients in the world. Depression is increasing for majority of people in the world. Rather than remaining blissful at all times with the pleasures of the world, people are suffering in pain as a result of these pleasures. Though we can reach out to anybody in any part of the world still the reaching out of the heart isnt happening. People are there but their heart has vanished. As AMMA says, we use people and love objects of the world today; it should ideally be loving people and using objects. But where is there any scope for heart when the intellect alone is being used to the maximum today.

When it comes to spirituality which helps in development of the heart, there is no time at all for people. Though there is time for anything and everything in the world, there is no time for spirituality at all. So what can be the output other than total miseries and sorrows in the world?

As AMMA says, our growth in the external world without any growth in the mind has lead to nature also getting agitated. This shows up in the form of more natural calamities happening in the world today. And those calamities which happen are so severe that it leaves a trace of destruction that will be visible even after decades.

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

It is natures call to us to change for the good. As Chinmaya beautifully says, if we dont change our mind or perspective then we will just be wiped off earth like the dinosaurs and various civilizations were one day.

But how to change the perspective? Today we are only focused on the external world whatever we see or hear or touch or smell or taste exists and nothing else exists. This is what science has lead us to today. But this isnt enough. There are things that just cannot be explained by science. Science says that the heartbeat is responsible for life but what makes the heart beat? There will be no answer at all from science.

A mother loves her child so dearly that she is even able to give up her life for the child. What makes the mother love her child so much? Again science has no answer to this at all. Even though science and scientists are trying to find out what is there in mars, it is important to enquire or introspect into our own selves. What is the use of all the knowledge in the world when we are not able to know about ourselves? Unless there is knowledge about our very nature, we are like a mad man who doesnt know who is.

And if advancements in science does lead us to happiness then there is no harm in just doing it. But it doesnt and therefore it is important to start in the spiritual path towards the goal of life of eternal bliss. There is no harm if we follow science and its progressions but as long as spiritual path is also pursued; if spiritual path is not pursued then we will find ourselves experiencing only sorrows amidst all the amenities or pleasures of the world.

Our life today is pitiful. We are in the control of gadgets externally and emotions as a result of attachments-aversions to the world internally (in the mind). Such pitiful life will lead to just one result of being sorrowful at all times. Absolutely nobody wants to experience sorrow but rarely people do realize that the way to eternal bliss through learning of the scriptures and the philosophy of scriptures of Vedanta.

Many people are so averse to Vedanta or think that it is something to be nourished or implemented by those who dont have anything to do in life or when there is nothing to do in life (when we are old). But this is wrong. Vedanta is that which makes our life blissful instantly. Instead of leading ourselves to sorrow, we will be lead to eternal bliss here and now itself through implementation of Vedanta.

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

And contrary to what many think, Vedanta is very simple indeed to implement. The only qualification required is the desire to learn Vedanta (and to attain moksha). If this desire is there, then we will be able to learn and implement Vedanta very quickly. All this without anything at all changing in the world or from the perspective of the world. Vedanta doesnt change the world as the world is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman. But Vedanta changes our mind or our mental perspective of Vedanta. Then irrespective of where we are and what we are doing, we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss at all times.

In order to bring out the essence of Vedanta and make people aware of the concepts or tenets of Vedanta, this magazine was started. Here the philosophy of Vedanta is brought out in the best and simplest possible way so that all sadhakas will not only be able to learn Vedanta but they will be able to implement it in their day-to-day lives. Thereby they will be able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

May we all strive to learn and implement Vedanta through the ultimate knowledge that I am that Brahman which alone exists here so that we will be able to get rid of all sorrows and will be able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA December 13, 2013

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

Anukramaanika
Vedanta Darshanam ..................................................................................................................................... 1 Upanishad Vivaranam ................................................................................................................................... 5 Gitaamritham .............................................................................................................................................. 15 Prakarana Prakaashah................................................................................................................................. 23 Madhuraamritham...................................................................................................................................... 34 Praadeshikam - I.......................................................................................................................................... 45 Praadeshikam - II......................................................................................................................................... 57 Jagat Samkshepa ......................................................................................................................................... 60 Acharyasmrithi ............................................................................................................................................ 70 Vedanta Kathaa ........................................................................................................................................... 79 Vedanta Pariksha ........................................................................................................................................ 84 Anukramaanika Nirdesham ........................................................................................................................ 87

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

Upanishad Vivaranam
Recap This khanda of the first mundaka talks about actions and its futility. Previously we saw as to how actions are inevitable in the world. The world that we currently are in is an action world (karma bhoomi) and therefore actions are inevitable in it. Even if we dont want to perform actions, we will be forced to perform actions. Each and every person in the world is forced to perform actions based on his latent tendencies. As the Lord says everybody performs actions helplessly there is no exception to this as well.

Many people think that just by not doing action we will be implementing knowledge. This isnt the case. When we are not doing any action externally then we are doing action constantly in our mind. Even if nothing is thought about in the mind, it is an idle mind and an idle mind is devils workshop. It is when people sit idle in the world that they indulge in all sorts of bad actions (like stealing, kidnapping etc.). Therefore wise people should always ensure that they perform actions in the world.

But then actions lead to fruits and we get affected by the fruits as a result of our likes and dislikes. Therefore in order to get rid of this we should remain unaffected by the fruits of actions. Irrespective of whatever happens as a result of the fruits of actions, we should be able to remain blissful or peaceful. This is possible when we perform actions without any craving for its fruits. Any craving for the fruits is there means we are expecting something to happen. If what we expected does happen then we will be over-excited and if what we expected doesnt happen then we will be over-sad. Therefore the way to get rid of actions is through performing actions without any expectation of the fruits thereof.

This is possible when we perform actions as an offering unto Ishwara or remember ourselves to be just the witness Self that is the substratum of all actions and that all actions are performed by the Ego or the gunas or our mind or sense organs. Then alone like the lotus leaf that is on water but is never wet by water, we will also be able to remain unaffected at all times irrespective of whatever happens in the external world (with respect to actions).

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

Knowledge about how to perform actions is true knowledge and this knowledge is the direct way to overcoming the bondage of action and thereby realizing our very nature to be the non-dual reality of Brahman, that which is the very substratum of the entire world.

Many people often argue about the greatness of action; there are many who are fans of social service as well and think that the ultimate goal of life is to save the world through social service. But such people dont perform any karma yoga therefore they arent doing any service to the world; instead they are getting bound by actions and through their foolishness they bind others as well to actions.

With respect to any actions there are rules that have to be followed. If we are working in a place, then we have to follow the rules in that place we cannot just violate the rules of the place. If violation is made then we will have to reap the fruit of the same. Therefore care has to be made with respect to performing actions in the world if we make mistakes then it may be as costly as getting us into jail or even getting us killed (like accidents). But foolish people of the world dont analyze all this thoroughly and therefore they think that performing actions is very great indeed.

Now when rules of actions are strict with respect to the world, what about vaidika actions? Vaidika actions have much stricter rules as the fruits are ordained by Ishwara. Ishwara unlike the various judges of the world (courts) is without any affiliation of any sort. There is no impartiality in the judgement of Ishwara. Whoever should get whatever will be given by Ishwara to the person there is absolutely no exception in the court of Ishwara. Therefore if we perform vaidika karma in a wrong way then we will not only not reap good fruits but we will reap adverse or bad fruits as well. Therefore care must be taken while performing vaidika actions.

Ramana Maharshi beautifully encompasses the futility of actions in just two simple slokas of Upadesa Saram thus:

Karturaajnayaa praapyate phalam Karma kim param karma tajjadam

The fruits of actions are ordained by Ishwara and therefore how is karma great or higher? Karma is just insentient (and therefore shouldnt be sought out by wise people).

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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

Kriti mahodadhau patanakaaranam Phalamashaashvatam gatinirodhakam

The ocean of karma leads to our downfall from the spiritual and the fruits of actions are temporary (not eternal) and therefore they will obstruct our progress in the spiritual path.

The ultimate goal of life is complete cessation of sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss. This goal is achieved only through the spiritual path (spirituality is when a person seeks this goal and is living in the world while constantly seeking this goal). The ultimate goal is termed in Vedanta as moksha. As we have seen karma constantly binds us to the world. Through performing of actions we develop vasanas or latent tendencies these vasanas are addictions and therefore make us perform an action (or a set of action) over and over again. Through desires to perform such actions again and again, we will have to take more and more births. It is when desires are there but cannot be fulfilled through the old body (as it has become old and cannot be used for any sensual pleasures) that it is given up and another body is taken up. Giving up of a body is called death and taking up of a new body is called birth. As long as desires are there in the mind of a person, he will have to take birth again and again in order to fulfill those desires. Sankara thus says this ocean of samsaara based on actions and desires is very tough indeed to conquer because it takes us from one birth to another without even realizing the futility of births (and even existence in the world).

A wise person through understanding the futility of actions will be able to gain knowledge as knowledge alone can get rid of the bondage of action even as light alone can get rid of darkness. Though actions are also just illusions in the non-dual reality of Brahman still they appear as existing and therefore have to be negated through the knowledge that they dont exist at all. Even as dream actions appear very real in dream, similarly waking actions appear very real in the waking world. This is until we wake up from the long dream of waking world. Then like a person who has woken up from a dream will realize that there never was any dream, similarly the person will realize that there is no waking world or actions present here but everything is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman (that alone exists at all times).

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VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

Though Vedanta provides us with very clear knowledge about Brahman and the world, still there are many who are deluded in ignorance. These deluded people are being explained in the next sloka.

Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.8

Aiv*ayamNtre vtRmana> Svy< xIra> pi{ft< mNymana>, j'"Nymana> piryiNt mUFa ANxenv E nIymana ywaNxa>.8.
avidyymantare vartamn svaya dhr paita manyamn| jaghanyamn pariyanti mh andhenaiva nyamn yathndh||8||
Fools who are dwelling in darkness of ignorance but consider themselves to be learned (or knowledge-able) will wander in the world, like blind men being lead by blind men.

Delusion of ignorance Ignorance is something we cannot prove but can be directly experienced in the form of I am ignorant. It is like darkness. Darkness cannot be really proven because when we try to prove it, it will disappear (as any light source will dispel all darkness). Similarly the moment we try to prove ignorance it will cease to exist (we will come to the conclusion that it isnt there at all). It is this characteristic of ignorance wherein it cannot be proven (but is directly experienced) that is attacked by opponents of Advaita Vedanta. The arguments made are that since ignorance cannot be proven therefore it isnt true. But such arguments are futile or of no use because ignorance is directly experienced. By whom? By an ignorant person. It is only a matter of experience for an ignorant person even as a person in darkness alone will be experience darkness for others it doesnt exist at all.

But what is wrong about ignorance? Ignorance of anything in the world will eventually lead to our sorrow. For example we own a car but are ignorant about how to drive it, then not only that we will not benefit by the car but we will also be lead to sorrow (with the knowledge that I dont know anything about the car). Since ignorance of anything in the world eventually leads to sorrow therefore we
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AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA

VEDANTA DARSHANAM Dec 13

should always strive to get rid of ignorance. We always try to do this through learning more and more about the external world. Thus there are people who have attained degrees in multiple fields of science or technology in the world. The goal is to get rid of ignorance of anything and everything in the world.

But little do such people remember that knowledge of the world which is so vast is impossible as such. The Lord therefore clearly says in Gita that the form of the world cannot be grasped as such, by the way we are perceiving now. We have to go beyond the world in order to know the world totally. Even as a person who is inside a room will not have total perspective of the room, similarly as long as we find ourselves in the world (or as a part of the world) we will not be able to gain complete knowledge of the world.

Complete knowledge of the world is gained through going beyond the world. Gita says that we should go beyond the world by cutting it with the weapon of dispassion or detachment. The moment we say that I have no relation whatsoever with the world, that very moment we will realize that this world is just an illusion that which constantly changes while appearing to be changeless and eternal. Even as any illusion exists in its changeless substratum, the world also exists in its changeless substratum of Ishwara or Brahman. When we realize Brahman as the substratum of the world then we will know the entire world in its essence. This knowledge is realization as it is knowledge of our very nature of Consciousness (that which pulsates inside as I-exist, I-exist at all times). It isnt any objective knowledge but knowledge of the subject of Self or Consciousness (which is Brahman alone).

Just by knowing Brahman the entire world becomes known essentially (as it is just names and forms in Brahman even as various gold ornaments are mere names and forms in gold). But this doesnt mean that we will know anything and everything in the world we will just know everything in its essence as Brahman. But why will we have to know anything and everything in the world? We want to know so that we will attain the ultimate goal of life of ever rejoicing in bliss. For a person who realizes that the entire world is one non-dual reality of Brahman, where is there any sorrow? Sorrow is as a result of dual notions or vision of duality for a person who sees everything is one, there is neither happiness nor sorrow but ever rejoicing in bliss alone. Since such a person ever rejoices in bliss (and is content in himself) therefore there is no need at all to know anything and everything in the world (such knowledge is of no use for him). If he needs to program in computer then he will get

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the help of a computer programmer; since such a jnaani is a true bhakta of the Lord therefore the Lord will always take care of his needs. Whatever is required for him will be provided by the Lord in one or the other way. He need not worry about anything at all the Lord will ever protect him and fulfill all his desires whenever they arise in his mind. Therefore the Mundaka Upanishad says that whatever such a jnaani thinks will happen and therefore all those who desire for anything in the world should surrender unto such a jnaani (and thereby all their desires will be fulfilled).

The greatness of knowledge lies in it directly leading us to the ultimate goal of life of moksha. The Lord therefore says in Gita that there is nothing purer or more sacred than knowledge because for a person who is established in knowledge, it will by itself lead him to the ultimate goal of life of moksha in due course of time. Knowing this greatness of knowledge therefore we should strive to gain knowledge from the scriptures and progress towards the goal of moksha.

Ignorance - delusion Ignorance is the cause of all problems in life. But it is a cause and therefore cannot remain in its causal form at all times. It is ignorance that makes us perceive the entire world as objects and people that are different from one another. Instead of having the knowledge that the entire world is just an illusion in its substratum of Brahman, ignorance makes us think it is real. Considering the world to be real we get affected by any changes that happen to the world and in the world.

Considering any illusion to be real will eventually lead to sorrow alone. Taking the example of water seen in desert, as long as we perceive water in desert and consider it to be real we will get affected by it. We will run behind water thinking that it is real. But the more we run towards it, the more farther it will go. Since we were thirsty and wanted to quench the thirst through drinking of water seen in desert, therefore we run behind the water (which is just an illusion). When our expectations of getting water are not met then we become sad and start crying. This crying leads to further running behind and eventually becoming exhausted. In short our life itself gets destroyed as a result of considering the illusion of water in desert to be real. Therefore a wise person will try to not get deluded by the illusion of water in desert instead he will remember it to be just an illusion. Thereafter though he might also run behind the water, like any other person, he will not be affected when he

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doesnt find water because he knew beforehand itself that it is just an illusion and therefore there is no water at all in desert. Similarly the illusion of the world that is caused by ignorance (which itself isnt real but just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman) will lead to our own destruction if we run behind it. Instead of running behind the illusion we should realize it to be essentially the non-dual reality of Brahman (even as the illusion of water is essentially desert alone).

If we dont realize the world to be just essentially Brahman and mere names and forms in Brahman (even as various ornaments of gold are mere names and forms in gold) then we will be constantly deluded by the world. This delusion of ignorance (in the form of the world) is so strong that it will eventually lead us to our own destruction.

But till what extent the delusion will lead us to? This is mentioned in the sloka. The delusion will be so strong that we will think that we know everything when we know nothing at all. Arjunas state was that of delusion in the beginning of Gita. Therefore the Lord said to him that you are getting sad on things you shouldnt be sad and at the same time you are talking as if you know everything. This delusion of Arjuna was removed by Krishna through knowledge imparted in Gita and therefore Arjuna at the end says that his delusion has been destroyed (nasto mohah).

The Upanishad beautifully says in this sloka that those who are in ignorance consider themselves as learned people. Majority of people in the world are of this category. Though they really have no knowledge whatsoever still they think they are very great.

Many people are so much attached to their relations in the world that they think they can control them. Therefore they also try to control them but when things go out of control then they will blame it on fate even after getting blows from Ishwara such people will still consider themselves as great or learned. We will see the various stalwarts in different walks of life in the world walking around as if they are somebody great. But really speaking, they are not at all great and their knowledge doesnt even serve their own life. In todays world, Steve Jobs is consider one of the greatest and innovative person in the world but how pitiful his death was? He had to die while in a meeting! This itself shows his state of sorrow or misery he didnt have peace even at the last moment as he was indulging in office work. Is there any use of such greatness? Is there any real use out of the products that were conceived by him? Yes, there are some uses from the worldly perspective but the ultimate

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use of happiness or peace isnt achieved through any of these products. Though today many people have the IPhones, the iPads and the mac, still are they any more happier or peaceful than before? Definitely no. This itself shows that such people of the world who are in great positions of life are nobody at all though they themselves think that they are somebody great, they are deluded by themselves.

What happens to a person who thinks he knows when he doesnt know? A person who doesnt know driving gets into a car and when his instructor tries to teach him he says that he knows driving and therefore doesnt need any help. As a result he will start driving the car and will end up in accident. The end result will be damaging and often chaotic for a person who doesnt know but thinks he knows.

A person who knows that he doesnt know will be able to gain knowledge. But one who thinks and says that he knows will never be able to gain any knowledge. Such a person will be constantly deluded and therefore will lead to his own destruction (and as a result of his attachments to people around him, he will lead to the destruction of people around him as well).

These self-proclaimed wise people wander about the entire world without any purpose and gain. Their life itself is a waste for themselves and others. They dont lead to any happiness for themselves and not for anybody around them as well. They will be sad and they will lead others who are with them also to sorrow. Therefore we should strive not to become such self-proclaimed wise but really ignorant people and shouldnt depend on such people in the world as well.

Analogy of blind leading blind A person who knows that he doesnt know will not guide anybody as he doesnt know anything. A person who knows that he knows will not only be able to guide people but will be able to lead others to the state of eternal bliss that he himself is intuitively experiencing at all times. But those who think they know yet dont really know will be leading other people into darkness. They are like a blind person leading another blind person. They themselves are deluded by their ignorance and therefore will experience only sorrow even as a blind person being lead by another blind person will only be lead to sorrow similarly such ignorant deluded people who think they know everything will be experiencing sorrow

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alone at all times. But what more, they will also be trying to lead others and will lead them also to sorrow.

One blind person cannot see and therefore he takes refuge in another blind person. This blind person thinks he knows and therefore starts guiding the other blind person. What will be the end result? Total chaos and sorrow for both of them. People who think they know but really dont know and are deluded by ignorance therefore will walk around proclaiming about knowledge in reality they themselves will not be going anywhere in the spiritual path and they will also not lead others also anywhere in the spiritual path.

Swami Amritasvaroopananda Puri says that in some cases we will find half-knowledge people trying to guide others. This is like a two year old child who has just started walking trying to guide another younger child. This younger child will be impressed with the other child. But the older child itself doesnt know to walk properly and therefore he will lead to falling and damage to the younger child.

Deluded people in the world are also similar only they themselves dont know where they are going and they will also not know where they are leading others they will constantly lead others into sorrow alone. Therefore wise sadhakas should understand this and one shouldnt become like them and two shouldnt take resort to them at all.

Reading these slokas many people get skeptical about knowledge and will say that knowledge will lead to ego, delusion etc. and therefore I will choose devotion alone. In essence both devotion and knowledge are the same only. True knowledge or true devotion is focus on the non-dual reality of Brahman or Lord as pervading the entire world. The way of explanation and the means of implementation may be different for both knowledge and devotion but the end result or goal as well as essentially are the same alone.

True knowledge when gained will never lead to any ego or delusion at all. Where is there any scope for ego or delusion when we remember that the entire world is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman? Whatever exists is one Brahman therefore where is any duality or dual notions in order to lead to ego or delusion? When there is just blissful existence at all times, there is no scope at all for anything apart from bliss.

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But those who dont know real knowledge and have only gained half-knowledge without the pre-requisites of purity and concentration of mind will themselves think wrong about knowledge and will spread wrong words about knowledge as well. We shouldnt get deluded, distracted or disappointed by them. Instead we should take it as a challenge to gain knowledge in order to see whether it is true or not. When we learn and implement knowledge we will very easily be able to conclude that it only leads to eternal bliss.

Each and every moment we implement knowledge we will be lead to eternal bliss. This, of course, requires an open mind in order to test knowledge without any preconceived notions. If we are able to do so, then very soon our delusion of ignorance and the world will vanish. Thereby through proper knowledge that the entire world is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman we will be able to get rid of all sorrows and we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss. Since the ultimate goal of life is achieved only through knowledge therefore all efforts should be made in order to gain and implement knowledge in our day-to-day life. Thus alone we will be able to fulfill our lives here and now itself.

May we all strive to gain true knowledge so that delusion of ignorance vanishes and thereby through implementation of knowledge that one Brahman alone exists here we will be able to eve rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Gitaamritham
Lakshanas of a true bhakta Emotions of the mind generally affect all people of the world. We are all affected in one or the other way with whatever happens in the world. This is because we are filled with likes and dislikes towards the entire world. Some things or people we like and others we hate. As a result of these likes-dislikes, we get into various emotions in the mind. When something good happens for people we like, we become happy; when something bad happens to people we dislike, then also we become happy. Contrarily, when something bad happens to people we like or something good happens to people we dislike, we become sad. Thus we get whirled between happiness and sorrow as a result of the state of the external world.

Similarly when we are treated well or we achieve some state in life, then we become very happy (or over-excited). But when something bad befalls us, we become sad. The emotions of the mind are such that they will take us hither and thither at all times.

It might be asked as to what is wrong if the mind gets into emotions of different nature; the answer is that even when a rubber band is stretched to extremes, it will eventually break similarly when the mind is stretched to diverse and extreme emotions, it will eventually break. Such broken minds are said to be in depression. And once a person gets into depression, then there are chances in the future as well to get into depressions there is no guarantee for such a person that his mind will ever be sane for a long period of time (any minor disturbance and again it will go into depressions). Therefore it is important for any person in the world to go beyond emotions and not let the mind get into emotions of different kinds.

But this is easier said than done as the mind is a bundle of thoughts. And thoughts mean emotions with respect to the external world. Therefore it is very tough to control the mind or the emotions of the mind.

Till now we were talking about normal people of the world but such rules dont apply to true bhaktas of Ishwara. As we have seen, such true bhaktas have filled their mind and intellect with the non-dual reality of Lord. This means that they know and remember at all times that the non-dual reality of Lord alone exists whatever exists as the world is just an illusion of names and forms in the Lord.

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With this knowledge, there is nothing to like or dislike (because whatever is there is the non-dual reality of Lord alone). This doesnt mean that the dual world (world of differences) will become the non-dual Lord; the world is at al times essentially the non-dual reality of Lord alone. But as a result of ignorance we think it to be different from the Lord and different objects-people put together. Therefore we get into likes-dislikes which eventually leads us to emotions which eventually will lead to our own destruction.

A true bhakta who is devoid of likes and dislikes is devoid of the dual notions of happiness and sorrow. When happiness is experienced, he is still blissful and when sorrow is experienced, he is still blissful. There is neither over-excitement nor over-sorrow for such a true bhakta. At all times he is ever blissful.

From another perspective, a true bhakta doesnt have any expectations at all from the world (or from anybody or anything) this is because he is ever content and blissful in contemplation of the non-dual reality of Lord. Therefore as well he doesnt get into any emotions at all.

It is with respect to fruits of actions that we get into various emotions but a true bhakta has renounced all the fruits of actions; he considers everything as the blessing or prasada of the Lord. Therefore he ever rejoices in bliss alone. When we perceive duality, fruits are of two types good and bad; good and bad or shubha and ashubha also varies from person to person. Ones good might be anothers bad and anothers good may be ones bad. Good leads to happiness whereas bad leads to sorrow. Thus if we are affected by the fruits of actions then we will get into emotions. But a true bhakta isnt affected by fruits of actions at all. He doesnt have either good or bad fruits instead he considers everything as the Lords alone.

As AMMA says, if something good happens he considers it as Ishwaras grace and if something bad happens then he considers it as Ishwaras will. For him, everything is the Lords blessings. What is possible from the blissful Lord other than bliss? Therefore remembering that everything is the Lord and offering all actions unto the Lord, the true bhakta ever rejoices in bliss (irrespective of whatever are the fruits of actions).

Such a true bhakta who ever rejoices in bliss is very dear to the Lord. This doesnt mean that the Lord is partial but just that such bhaktas are one with the Lord and therefore from

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the worldly perspective, they are dear to the Lord (they alone perceive the Lord and therefore they alone ever experience the blissful existence of the Lord).

But what is the state of such a true bhakta with respect to dual notions? Though it was mentioned that he wouldnt get excited or angry or sad still what about all other dual notions? How is his perspective with all those? What is his level of contentment? Where will he abide or reside? All such questions are being answered in the next two slokas (with these two slokas, the lakshanas of a true bhakta is complete).

sm> zaE c ime c twa manapmanyae>, zItae:[suo>oe;u sm< sivvijRt>.18.


sama atrau ca mitre ca tath mnpamnayo| toasukhadukheu sama sagavivarjita||18||

tuLyinNdaStuitmaEn R I sNtuae yen kenict!, Ainket> iSwrmitRimaNme iyae nr>.19.


tulyanindstutirmaun santuo yena kenacit| aniketa sthiramatirbhaktimnme priyo nara||19||

18-19. One who maintains equanimity with enemy and friend; similarly with maana and apamaana (fame and defame); and remaining same during times of cold, heat, happiness and sorrow; one who is ever without any attachments or associations; one who is same with respect praise and curse; one who is ever silent and content with whatever is received; staying in just one place; with a steady intellect, such a man who is my devotee is dear to me.

Samatvam or equanimity Each and every person in the world is controlled by his emotions (or variations of the mind). As a result of these emotions, actions are performed constantly in the world. These actions lead to results which again lead to more emotions. Thus the cycle of emotions and actions continues without any end at all (different terms for emotions are desires, thoughts etc.).

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But what is the harm of having emotions and performing actions as a result of emotions? The harm is that they will only lead to sorrow in the long run. Though initially we may experience happiness, the happiness that is derived out of any interaction with the world (or from the world) will only lead to sorrow in the long run. This is because the entire world is constantly changing. That which is changing will only lead to sorrow (though it might appear to lead to happiness in the short-run). Examples are that of house, car and even the body though initially all these may lead to happiness, the happiness is short-lived and therefore eventually we will be lead to sorrow alone. Therefore wise people will always try to overcome emotions. As long as emotions are there, we will be constantly controlled by them. Like a car that is being whirled here and there in a tornado, we will be whirled here and there as a result of emotions of the mind.

It is good if we are controlling something but it is bad if something controls us. Though we think we control our mind, it is the exact opposite. Our mind is not in our control; instead we are under the control of our mind and its emotions. The emotions of the mind constantly make us run here and there. These emotions come out of nowhere and without any control to us. Do we have any control over attachment or anger or any other emotion? Definitely no. Though mind is something that is to be used by us for thinking, it controls us and make us get into emotions.

Majority of people today are controlled by their mind. They have absolutely no control over their emotions and outburst as a result of emotions is also considered as a credit by many people. By being under the control of our mind and its emotions, we find ourselves having all the pleasures of the world yet committing suicide as a result of displeasure or discontentment in life. Therefore wise sadhakas should thoroughly analyze and understand that being under the control of the mind isnt a good sign it is similar to a rich man being controlled by his servant.

Then how do we overcome the emotions of the mind and gain control over it? Though it is opined that we should practice activities like dhyaana or meditation in order to control the mind, such control isnt permanent control. It will last as long as our perform the activities and the moment we stop those activities, the control will be lost again. Therefore we find many people performing hours of dhyaana and the moment they come back into the normal world, they become controlled by their passions. Therefore the Lord says in Gita that in order to control the mind we need abhyaasa and vairagya. Abhyaasa is practice of

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controlling the mind such practices should be constantly performed (without break). A days break of practice will lead the mind to break it again (as the mind is like a child unless discipline is maintained at all times, the child will violate all rules and run here-there wherever it wants). But mere practice, as explained, isnt enough as it will not give us total or permanent control over the mind. For permanent control we need vairagya.

Vairagya or dispassion is of two types higher and lower. Lower vairagya is knowledge of the temporary and sorrowful nature of the world. Higher vairagya is knowledge of blissful Brahman or Lord. The knowledge about the world will develop dispassion in our mind therefore we will not expect happiness from the world. Irrespective of the world or worldly pleasures are there, we will be unaffected and will not crave for eternal bliss from it. Whether something is there or not, we will be happy (as we know that it will eventually only lead to sorrow). The knowledge of blissful Brahman or Lord as the very substratum of the entire world will make us develop passion towards the Lord. This passion is true devotion wherein we remember the Lord at all times and constantly strive to remember the Lord in our mind.

Abhyaasa and vairagya will take our mind away from duality and will lead to the non-dual reality of Lord. It is through focus on the non-dual reality of Lord that the mind comes under control. Then it will remain balanced at all times.

Mind, as we have seen, is a bundle of thoughts or emotions and it constantly dwells upon likes-dislikes with respect to the world. This means that mind bases itself upon duality (or differences). Therefore in order to control or calm the mind, we need to maintain nonduality in our mind. Maintaining non-duality means seeing the entire world of duality as pervaded in and out by the non-dual reality of Lord. This isnt a mere perception or seeing but the ultimate truth alone. The entire world is constantly changing and therefore requires a changeless substratum. The changeless substratum behind the ever changing world is the non-dual reality of Lord. Even as a changing variable has for its substratum a changeless constant; even as the changing dream world has for its substratum the changeless dreamer; similarly the changing world has for its substratum the changeless non-dual reality of Lord. As long as the Lord is remembered in our mind, it will not dwell upon duality. Therefore it will not get into emotions and lead us to sorrow.

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A true bhakta, as we have seen again and again, is one who remembers the non-dual reality of Lord as pervading the entire world of names and forms. The bhaktas mind is filled in and out with the Lord. Though the external world might be perceived by such a bhakta, he sees it as the non-dual reality of Lord alone. Therefore there is no duality at all in his mind. Therefore his mind never gets into emotions or dual notions.

The world as we see is filled with duality and therefore experiences in the world are also dual in nature. On one side we have heat and on the other side we have cold. On one side we have happiness and on the other side we have sorrow. Similarly all dual notions are present as part of the world.

But a true bhakta knows that the entire world is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord even as the dual dream world is just an illusion in the dreamer. This knowledge makes the bhakta ever remain unaffected with respect to dual notions. Irrespective of whatever dual notions are experienced by such a bhakta, he ever remains unaffected and balanced. This unaffected and balanced state is termed as equanimity of the mind. This doesnt mean that such a bhakta will not show emotions externally when we see a barking dog, we have to show as if we are throwing a stone; similarly there will be situations where emotions will have to be displayed in the world. But internally the true bhakta will be unaffected at all times.

Like an actor who portrays his role to perfection showing emotions externally while internally ever remaining unaffected, similarly a true bhakta remains unaffected at all times internally while showing emotions (as required) externally. Talented actors like Al Pacino or Kamal Hassan show us that it is possible to portray roles to perfection while always remembering ones true nature internally. Similarly a true bhakta ever remains unaffected internally while performing actions and showing emotions externally like any other worldly person.

We should remember that a true bhakta and a normal person both appear similarly externally. Both live a worldly life. Both react to situations. Both perform actions and show emotions externally. But the real difference lies in the mental state a true bhakta internally (in the mind) is ever unaffected as his mind is well balanced; whereas a worldly person is affected in the mind as well as externally. His mind gets into various emotions and therefore there is no balance or control of the mind. As a result he is ever sad or affected in

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one or the other way contrary to this, a true bhakta who maintains his balance at all times is ever blissful.

The state beyond duality or dual notions is the state of moksha. It is really speaking the natural state of a person (as experienced in the dreamless deep sleep state) but due to ignorance we have forgotten this natural state and therefore think that it takes effort to attain this natural state.

Merely remembering that the non-dual reality of Lord alone exists as pervading the entire world of names and forms; and that Lord is our very nature of ever-blissful Self will make us unaffected at all times. Thereby we will be able to remain blissful at all times.

We may doubt that the state of blissful existence where the mind is under control, balanced and without emotions is not possible at all but true bhaktas show us through their very life and existence that such a state is possible (and we also can achieve it).

This state of balance or equanimity is termed in Gita by the Lord as samatvam and yoga. It is the state of equipoise. Such a bhakta (with samatvam) will maintain equanimity with respect to a friend and an enemy. When everything is the non-dual reality of Lord, where is there any friend or enemy? This is shown through the Lords very life. When Arjuna and Duryodhana approached the Lord for his help in the Mahabharatha yuddha, the Lord provided help to both (though Duryodhana was his enemy and one who had almost started to the Lord when he went as a dootha or messenger in order to stop the war). A true bhakta is one with the Lord and therefore like the Lord he also maintains the same relationship or behaves the same way between a friend and an enemy.

The mind gets into emotions with respect to a friend or an enemy (as people) and praise or curse (with respect to situations). It isnt that we will always be praised in the world. Curses also will befall us at one or the other time. During such times we should ensure that we dont get affected by both these situations instead remembering that whatever is there is the Lord alone and the entire world is just like a dream or a drama, we should remain unaffected.

Once Buddha was passing through a village where he was offered a lot of gifts. He rejected all of those (didnt accept them at all). Upon seeing this, the villagers asked as to why he

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wasnt accepting the gifts. For this, Buddha replied that in the previous village he went the person started abusing him, cursing him etc. If he accepts gifts or praises, then he will have to accept curses as well; therefore he decided to reject both (accept neither).

A true bhakta remembering that whatever is there is the Lord alone is unaffected by people or situations of the world.

Similarly with all other dual notions as well, a true bhakta remains unaffected or balanced. Whether it is cold or heat, happiness or sorrow he ever remains unaffected. This state of remaining unaffected is in the mind alone not externally. Externally such a bhakta would wear sweaters when it is very cold and when it is very hot he would carry umbrella. There is no harm in the way one behaves with respect to the external world but what matters is whether internally, in the mind, one is unaffected or not. Just because the bhakta is unaffected doesnt mean that he shouldnt take care of his body or take tablets when experiencing diseases. It is only the internal state of the mind that is mentioned as ever balanced the mind will not be affected at all by external situations; instead it will ever rejoice in bliss alone.

We will continue with the analysis of this sloka in the next edition.

May we all strive to remain with equanimity during all situations so that we will be able to go beyond all sorrows and therefore we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss in constant contemplation of the non-dual reality of Lord as pervading the entire world.

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Prakarana Prakaashah
Panchadashi MahavakyaVivekaPrakarana Recap Previously we saw the first sloka of the fifth chapter of Panchadashi. In the first two slokas, Vidyaranya is explaining the mahavakyas of Rig Veda. This mahavakya comes as part of Aitareya Upanishad. The mahavakya is Prajnaanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahman). This is also called the lakshana vakya or the characteristic statement about Brahman. Brahmans nature is being explained through this mahavakya.

As we have seen, mahavakyas are the essence of scriptures. Since scriptures are vast therefore it is enough to learn the mahavakyas. If we learn the mahavakyas properly then we will be able to understand the essence of the scriptures. Through knowing the essence of the scriptures, we will be able to live the scriptures in our day-to-day life. All problems in life are as a result of ignorance or wrong knowledge. We think that we are the body, the mind, the intellect etc. We also think the external world of objects and people to be real. As a result of these wrong notions, we experience only sorrow in the world. The ever-changing world when considered to be real will definitely lead to sorrow alone even as a person who runs behind water seen in desert will be lead to sorrow alone when water isnt found (and he realizes that it is just an illusion, a mirage).

Through knowledge of the scriptures we will realize our very nature of Brahman and that this Brahman alone pervades the entire world that we currently perceive. Thus through knowing our blissful nature of Brahman, all sorrows will end and we will ever rejoice in bliss.

Many people think that learning the scriptures is not required and bhakti or yoga or karma is enough in order to attain moksha. Moksha characterized by complete cessation of sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss is only possible through knowledge and not through any other means. This is because our very nature is that of bliss as experienced in the deep sleep state when duality temporarily merges. But this blissful nature has been forgotten and there is a seemingly existing veil over it. This veil of ignorance can only be removed by knowledge even as only light can remove darkness. Therefore irrespective of whether we follow the path of bhakti or yoga or karma, we will have to finally gain the knowledge that I am the blissful Brahman who is being sought out at all times. Until this knowledge dawns, there will not be any eternal bliss.

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The Lord also says in Gita that the greatest bhakta is a jnaani who is ever one with the Lord (he isnt different from the Lord at all). Thus the pinnacle of bhakti is in jnaana or knowledge of the non-dual reality of Lord as the essence of the entire world and as our very nature of Consciousness.

In the first sloka Vidyaranya beautifully explained Consciousness as the very essence of all activities. Any activity or action is only possible when the light of Consciousness is there. Any perception (knowledge of external objects) also is possible only the light of Consciousness is there. Even the mind can think and the intellect can discriminate only when the light of Consciousness is there. It cannot be argued that the Ego or individuality does exist without Consciousness because without Consciousness absolutely nothing can exist. It is as a result of the light of Consciousness that everything exists in the world.

It cannot be argued that everything in the world exists as a result of light of Sun or Moon or fire or electricity because all of these are light sources that are there only when the light of Consciousness is there. The light of Consciousness thus is the light of all lights. Assume that I am unconscious, then what world does exist? What lights of the world do exist? Nothing, absolutely nothing exists if I am unconscious. Though an unconscious state never exists because Consciousness exists at all times, still this analysis shows clearly that everything is based on Consciousness alone. We are alive or living and performing all actions as a result of Consciousness.

The power of the light of Consciousness is known through the dream state. In the dream state, an entire dream world is created and everything happens in the dream world. Though the entire dream is just in the mind, still it appears very real. We cannot say that the mind has the power of light to illumine the entire dream world because then it should illumine such a mind even in the waking state (which it doesnt do at all times). It is not the mind that illumines the entire dream state though the mind is the reason behind the world (in the form of vasanas or desires) but the light of Consciousness. This light of Consciousness gets reflected in the intellect and therefore the antah karana of mind, intellect, memory and Ego appear as if sentient. Even as an object kept near fire appears fiery, similarly these appear to be sentient as a result of Consciousness reflecting in it. The reflection has no existence apart from or without the original even as the reflection of face in a mirror has no existence apart from the original face. Thus reflection of Consciousness has no existence apart from

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original Consciousness. This Consciousness is the light behind the entire dream world and similarly behind the entire waking world and its activities.

It might be true that Consciousness is the basis of all actions and perceptions in the world or the entire world itself, but how can we prove that it is the nature of Brahman? How can we prove that one Consciousness becomes the very essence of the entire world? Arent there many sentient entities in the world and therefore there should be many Consciousness instead of one? All these questions or doubts are answered by Vidyaranya in the second sloka.

The first three quarters of the second sloka explains the term of Brahma (Brahman) and the last quarter relates this Brahman to oneself.

ctumo uR N e dev; e u mnu:yagvaid;u, cEtNymek< at> }an< mYyip.2.


caturmukhendradeveu manuyvagavdiu| caitanyameka brahmta prajna brahma mayyapi||2||
That Consciousness which is there in four-headed Brahma, humans, animals etc. it is Brahman; therefore the Consciousness in me also Brahman alone (I am Brahman of the nature of Consciousness). Essence of all beings Vidyaranya defined Consciousness as that which is the light behind all actions and perceptions in the world. But what about all beings in the world? The entire world is constantly perceiving and performing actions. Therefore it has to be Consciousness that is the essence of all beings (or the entire world).

Using the anvaya-vyatireka yukti it can be easily proven that it is Consciousness that is the essence of the entire world. Anvaya means co-existence and vyatireka means co-absence. Between two entities of A and B, this yukti helps in finding out the independent entity that is the basis of the dependent entity. For example taking the two entities of A as Constant and B as variable, anvaya yukti would be that if A is there, then B is there. If Constant is there, then variable exists. Vyatireka yukti is that if A is not there, then B is not there if Constant is not there, then variable also doesnt exist. Thus A is the basis of B A is the independent entity in which B appears as existing. Or in other words, B is an illusion in A or in other

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words, A is the essence of B. We all know that the essence of any variable is a constant, without which the variable has no existence whatsoever.

Similarly applying this with respect to the world and its essence of Consciousness if Consciousness exists, the world exists and if Consciousness doesnt exist, then the world doesnt exist. This means that Consciousness is the very basis of the entire world the entire world being just an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Consciousness.

What is really Consciousness? Consciousness is the light behind all existence. Really speaking whatever existence we find in the world are with a name and a form. Any object or person in the world exists with a name and a form. But essentially everything in the world or the world itself just exists this existence therefore is common between everything in the world. But this existence is only possible through the light of Consciousness. Therefore Consciousness is existence.

It has to be remembered that there is pure existence, as in Consciousness, and temporary existence as in the world (objects and people of the world). Pure existence exists at all times and is never limited (or never ceases to exist) but temporary existence as in the world exists only for a short period of time. The world itself is limited by names and forms but essentially it is Existence alone.

Ramana Maharshi says in Upadesa Saram Sattvabhaasikaa citkvavetaraa Sattayaa hi cit cittayaahyaham What can illumine existence other than Consciousness? Existence alone is Consciousness and therefore Consciousness I am (as I always exist never ceasing to exist).

Advaita Makaranda also says that the world which appears as sentient or existing cannot be existing without the light of Consciousness. This means that the essence of the entire world is Consciousness or pure Existence alone.

The essence of objects like pot, wall etc. is mud as mud is the causes from which the effects of pot, wall etc. have been created. Similarly the entire worlds essence is its cause the world is an effect because effects constantly change and the scriptures say that the entire

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world has come from the non-dual reality of Existence (which is one without a second or without any duality whatsoever).

Any effect is just an illusion of names and forms in its cause-substratum. For example, pot is just an illusion of name and form in mud it has a name called pot and a particular shape, that of the pot. But essentially and at all times, pot is mud alone. Though mud appears to be different from the pot, it isnt different at all.

Vedanta uses the analogy of gold ornaments also to illustrate this. All gold ornaments are mere names and forms in gold. Though it appears as though there are many different ornaments, one different from the other, really speaking only gold exists at all times. Even when we perceive different gold ornaments, what really exists is gold and gold alone. Thus any effect that has come out of its cause is its cause at all times. Similarly the entire world which is an effect of the cause of Existence or Consciousness is nothing but Existence or Consciousness alone at all times. Differences are just names and forms these arent real. If we think or consider the differences to be real, then we are deluded and we will be lead to sorrow when these differences lead to changes and deaths. Eventually any name-form will die (as a result of constantly changing). Therefore not remembering that names-forms alone die and the essential entity is ever there, we will become sad. It is like getting sad when the pot dies because we are attached to the pot and forget that pot is essentially mud at all times. But if we remember that pot is just name-form in mud, then even when pot exists we will not be affected and even when pot dies we will not be affected.

Most of the times in the world, we get affected by changes happening with respect to objects and people of the world. Objects and people constantly undergo changes. Therefore when our parents die or friends die or our favorite car dies, we become sad we dont have knowledge that essentially the entire world is just names and forms in Existence. Therefore when one entity appears to die it is just removing or getting rid of its name-form and merging unto its essential cause of Existence.

Irrespective of whether we understand or not, apprehend or not, the entire world is filled in and out with its cause of Existence. If we dont understand then we will experience only sorrow at all times; whereas if we understand and remember the truth that everything is essentially one Existence, then we will be unaffected (and blissful) at all times.

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Consciousness one or many We saw as to how the entire world is essentially its cause of Existence or Consciousness. Therefore it is very clear that everything is but one Consciousness alone. But this is very tough to understand as we constantly perceive differences in the world. It is only during the dreamless deep sleep state that we experience non-duality and since we dont remember anything about that state, therefore we cannot easily believe that state. Instead out of the three states of waking, dream and dreamless deep sleep two states show that there is duality and one shows non-duality so taking majority we will only believe that duality or differences are real.

Therefore though the scriptures say that everything is one alone, we will find it very tough to apprehend this. And moreover our experience clearly shows that there are different sentient beings (all having the power or light of Consciousness in them). So how can we say that there is just one Consciousness alone rather than many?

To find out the answer, we have to again depend on the scriptures. Anything that is to be proven should be proven through the three means of scriptures, logic and experience. Of these three, scriptures alone are ultimate because they are without any authorship and therefore no fault can everbefall them. Anybody can take the scriptural statements and apply logic & experience on them to prove them right. Of course scriptural statements can only be properly understood if we remember that they have two perspectives one empirical, within the realm of the dual world and other ultimate wherein the entire world is forgotten and only the non-dual cause-substratum of Brahman (of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss) is remembered.

Even as the dream is valid within the dream whereas it is negated completely after waking up, similarly duality is accepted within the scriptures when it is perceived as the world. But it is given an empirical reality status instead of absolute reality. Ultimately the world doesnt exist at all and the non-dual reality of Brahman alone exists.

The scriptures tell that before creation (of the world), Existence alone existed, one without a second. This means that Existence alone existed nothing internal or external existed apart from Existence. It is from this one Existence that the entire world came into existence. Since existence cannot exist without the light of Consciousness therefore it is clear that this one Existence was Consciousness in nature as well. But when creation came into existence,

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it appeared as if many. Even as one fire coming into this world assumes different names and forms, similarly one Consciousness entering into this world assumes different names and forms.

Thus though we see many Consciousness existing, essentially one Consciousness alone exists. Due to laghava or simplicity as well we can say that only one Consciousness exists (there is no need to accept multiple Consciousness). But if one Consciousness alone exists, how is it that many sentient beings appear as existing (apart from the insentient objects of the world)?

When we have a number of pots with water kept in them, one Sun gets reflected in all of them. Though Sun is one alone, the reflections are many. As many buckets of water are there, so many reflections of Sun appears as existing though they are all essentially the one original Sun alone. Similarly when there are many adjuncts of intellect, one Consciousness gets reflected in them. Thus there appears to be many Consciousness though they are all reflections of one Consciousness in many intellects. It is due to the original Consciousness that all reflections appear as if sentient even as when the water in the buckets moves, Sun also appears as moving when it is essentially without any movement, similarly due to the movements or changes of the intellect, Consciousness appears to have movements or changes. But Consciousness at all times is without any change and ever the same.

Consciousness is the light of all lights it doesnt get illuminated by any other light as it is self-luminous (illumining itself). But if there are many Consciousness, then each of them will illumine each other this goes against the very definition of Consciousness. And our very experience shows that Consciousness is not illumined by anybody else but it self-illumines or self-exists. It cannot be argued that the other person also exists of his own and

therefore there are two Consciousness as explained before, it is one Consciousness alone. For that person also Consciousness is self-luminous therefore it is clear that Consciousness is self-luminous and therefore can never be many (instead is one alone).

Now that scriptures and logic have proven that Consciousness is one alone, it only remains to prove through experience that Consciousness is one alone. It cannot be argued that our experience proves that Consciousness is not one but many we do experience the dream state and the dream state clearly tells us as to what is the nature of the waking world. Both

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are similar in many aspects and therefore analysis of dream will give us proper understanding of the waking world.

A person goes to sleep and dreams. An entire world is experienced in which he undergoes lot of experiences. It might also happen that he dies and takes another birth (all in the dream). And after a lot of experiences he suddenly wakes up to realize that it was just a dream and nothing was real. But in the dream there were many sentient beings all of them appeared very real then. Instead of just one person being the entire dream, it appeared during dream that there are many beings existing. But after waking up alone, the realization dawns that it was just one person. The dreamer himself had become the entire dream world.

The waking world is compared with the dream world in the scriptures. When we compare both we will find that they are very similar. Both constantly change and both appear very real while experiencing. But once we wake up from them then we will realize that it was just unreal. Even as one dreamer appears as many in the dream world, similarly it is one Consciousness that appears as many in the waking world. This experience that we have daily in our life proves clearly that Consciousness is one alone and the very essence of the entire world of names and forms.

Various beings in the world When we perceive the world we can find distinctively three types of beings one is the devas, second is the manushyas and the third is the animals. All have their own inner tendencies or vasanas and their actions are as a result of these tendencies.

Devas are pure beings and therefore they generally perform good activities. Devas start with Brahmaa, the creator and therefore Vidyaranya mentions Brahmaa in the sloka. Manushyas are beings who are both good and bad this means that they can decide their own fate or as to what to perform in the world. They can become devas with respect to thoughts and actions or animals. Animals on the other hand are lower beings and totally controlled by their vasanas. Animals can only do what they are supposed to do and therefore cannot control their fate. It cannot be argued that there have been very good disciplined animals in ashrams like that of Ramana Maharshi and AMMA those are exceptions and therefore generalization based on them cannot be made. As we see directly

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in the world, animals are generally controlled by their instincts or vasanas and they cannot change them, even if tried a lot.

Though we may train a tiger very well, still the moment it sees blood it will pounce upon it irrespective of whether it is its masters blood or somebody elses blood. It just cannot control its own passions but is controlled by them.

Put in Chinmayas words we are generally animal-man and we should rise to become manman and eventually God-man.

All these beings irrespective of whether they are god or man or animal are essentially one sentient entity of Consciousness alone. Essentially all are one Consciousness alone. This is what Vidyaranya says in this sloka. And this one Consciousness is termed in the scriptures as Brahman that which is very huge and appears as the entire world is termed as Brahman. Bhagavatham beautifully says that it is one entity of the nature of Consciousness that is termed variously as Brahman, Ishwara, Bhagavan, Paramatman, Atman etc. All these are synonyms denoting the one non-dual reality behind the entire world of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.

My Consciousness Brahman alone Now what about my Consciousness? Since there is only one Consciousness which is the very essence of the entire world and imparts light to existence of everything, therefore it is the same Consciousness that is my very nature and pulsates constantly as I-exist, I-exist at all times. It is this Consciousness that is termed in the scriptures as Brahman. As we have seen previously, the very essence of the scriptures put in mahavakyas is that there is only one entity here it is termed as Brahman. The entire world of names and forms is just an illusion in this one entity of Brahman. This Brahman isnt different from me but my very nature of Consciousness.

People think that Vedanta is very tough to apprehend or implement in life but Vedanta is very simple Vedanta ultimately says that I am that Brahman which alone exists here. Brahman isnt something to be realized after going to some place or after a lot of practices we need to go to a guru and do lot of practices in order to remove the ignorance of our very nature of Consciousness. But at all times, Consciousness alone exists as I, my very nature.

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Until this truth is realized that I am one Brahman that pervades the entire world, we will experience only sorrow. Duality or perception of duality always will lead to sorrow alone (as then we will get into likes and dislikes which will take us to happiness and sorrow temporary happiness will also eventually lead to sorrow). But when we realize that the duality we experience as the world is just one entity of Consciousness that is my very nature, then all sorrows will vanish.

Sorrows are as a result of duality and when we realize that duality is just an illusion of names and forms in the non-dual reality of Brahman then all sorrows will instantly vanish. And therefore we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss at all times.

Again, we should remember that knowledge of the scriptures alone will remove sorrow completely because sorrow is caused due to ignorance. Though I am essentially blissful Brahman alone at all times, still I have forgotten this and therefore I suffer constantly in the world. Ignorance can only be removed by knowledge and therefore there is no other way to get rid of sorrows than through knowledge of the scriptures.

Though scriptures are vast, masters like Vidyaranya have given the essence of the scriptures through explanation of mahavakyas. These mahavakyas if learnt, analyzed or reflected upon and constantly remembered will get rid of ignorance completely; and thereby we will be able to get rid of ignorance completely.

Ultimately speaking, there is no ignorance at all. Even as darkness doesnt even exist but appears as existing and when light is put on then it vanishes, similarly ignorance doesnt exist at all but appears as existing; when knowledge dawns in the mind, then ignorance will vanish revealing the ever-present blissful Consciousness.

But merely learning or reflecting or repeating once or twice in the mind will not lead to complete removal of ignorance. We will have to repeat this process again and again until it is naturally there in our mind. Until we naturally remember that I am blissful Brahman that is the very basis of the entire world, we should repeat it in our mind again and again. This repetition will eventually get rid of ignorance. Then irrespective of where we are and what w are doing, we will not experience any sorrow at all. We will ever rejoice in bliss amidst all he chaos of the external illusory world.

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Even as a dreamer who knows that it is just a dream world will not be affected by the dream world but will ever rejoice in bliss similarly a person with knowledge of the scriptures (or the mahavakyas) will not be affected by the world though remaining in the world and performing actions like any other worldly person. Any worldly person will be affected by the world whereas he will ever remain blissful (in constant contemplation of the truth that I am blissful Consciousness or Brahman that is the very basis of the entire world and that which alone ultimately exists here).

With this Vidyaranyas explanation of the mahavakya of Prajnaanam Brahma is over. We will continue with the work in the next edition.

May we all strive to remember at all times that the very substratum of the entire world is Consciousness that pulsates inside as I-exist, I-exist so that we will be able to get rid of all sorrows and will be able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Madhuraamritham
Recap Previously we saw as to how Hanuman helped Sugriva by making him meet Rama. Thereby Sugriva was able to get back his kingdom.

We all know the story of how Tulasidas had to first please the Lords devotee of Hanuman before pleasing the Lord. The Lord is beyond everything and therefore apprehending such an all-pervasive Lord isnt possible through our means of perception (whatever means we have like sense organs, mind, intellect etc.). But when we see the Lords devotees as living in the world, then we will be able to experience directly the presence of the Lord. It is through devotees that we get faith that the Lord not only does exist but is ever protecting and helping us.

The spiritual path is a tough one in that the goal of moksha cannot be first tested out before walking the path. When we want to buy a house, we can look at it first. When we want to buy a car, we can do a test drive. When we want to marry as well, we can get to know the partner before marriage. But the goal of moksha cannot be known like any object of the world. Therefore it is a total unknown path that we tread therefore it is faith alone that makes us tread it. But faith is easier said than achieved. It is the toughest to achieve in the entire world as our mind is filled with doubts or one kind or the other at all times.

And many times when we face tough situations or sorrowful situations, our faith will go for a toss or it will be a test of faith. During that time just repeating the scriptural truth that Ishwara exists in all places and is always protecting us will not work. During such times it is important to be in contact with devotees because they are living embodiments of the Lords grace or presence. When we see Hanuman, we dont remember Hanuman but we remember the Lord whose devotee is Hanuman. Therefore the Lord says in Gita that the highest devotee is the jnaani who is one with the Lord. In the devotee, only the Lord exists at all times.

Therefore we see as to how the devotee doesnt think about himself but about the Lord alone. Hanuman is a brahmachari who doesnt do anything other than for the Lord. If we learn the life of Hanuman (after meeting the Lord) we will find that all activities were

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focused and for the Lord alone. Therefore whoever approaches the devotee will be directly or indirectly lead to the Lord.

Though Hanuman himself could have solved the issue of Sugriva, instead he took Sugriva to the Lord. This is the greatness of the devotee that there is no individuality or ego or pride but the Lord alone exists for the devotee. Narada says that a devotee thinks about the Lord, talks about the Lord, perceives the Lord and ever is focused on the Lord.

Yoga Vasishta says that satsanga is very important in order to attain moksha. When we are in association with devotees, then naturally satsanga happens. We dont have to put any effort at all. This is valid for dussanga as well. If we are in the gang of bad people then automatically we will become bad without any effort. But when we are in the midst of bhaktas, there will be only the presence or vibration of the Lord at all times. Therefore through being near the bhakta, we will be taken closer to the Lord. And once we get closer to the Lord then all our desires will be fulfilled. Sugriva went to Hanuman and therefore he was taken close to the Lord thereafter his desire of getting back his kingdom was fulfilled. We also saw as to how there is nothing impossible for the Lord. Wherever the Lord is there, his power of Maya will make the impossible possible. It is this power of Maya of the Lord that makes the entire non-existent world appear existing therefore anything and everything is possible through the Lords grace. Though it wasnt easy to defeat Bali (who even defeated the great Ravana), still the Lord found out ways to defeat Bali and defeated himself as well.

Thus those who want any desires to be fulfilled should seek the devotee of the Lord who is ever present in the world. Through the devotee, they will be taken to the Lord and thereby all desires will be fulfilled very soon itself (without much effort, due to the ever-present grace of the Lord).

But how do we remember the Lord? If we are in the presence of a bhakta, then how do we remember the Lord and how do we remember the Lord when the bhakta isnt there with us? Wouldnt there be obstacles in remembrance of the Lord? How will these obstacles be removed? These questions are answered in the next sloka.

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tuMhrae m ibIzn mana, l<k e r @ sb jg jana.17.


tumharo mantra bibhana mn| lakevara bha e saba jaga jn||17|| 17. Your mantra (naama or advise) Vibhishana heeded. The entire world knows that he became the king of Lanka.
Mantra divine and powerful Mananaat traayate iti mantrah that which uplifts us through chanting or repetition is called mantra. Even as an individual has a name similarly devatas have mantras. The difference between mere names and mantras is that names are normal words or letters used whereas mantras use beejaaksharas these letters and words which are the very basis of creation itself is very powerful; and therefore the power or strength of mantras cannot be underestimated.

AMMA illustrates this short story to show the importance of mantras. Once a Guru was teaching his students the importance of mantras. At that time, the king of the country was passing by and he decided to visit the Gurukulam. He entered the gurukulam but was told to wait as the Guru was busy in teaching. After a while, the Guru met with the king. The King asked as to what the Guru was teaching and what it was that was more important than meeting the king itself. The Guru replied that he was teaching about the mantras. The king questioned as to whether mantras were more important than the king. Instead of answering the question, the Guru told the king to wait. He went inside and called the shortest (youngest) of shishyas and told him to treat the king appropriately. This very small boy went out and looked high upto the king. The king was looking down to see the boy. The boy said poda (get lost). After saying so, the boy went inside. The king was enraged on being treated this way. Out of anger he proclaimed that he would have the entire ashram burnt to ashes, for he wasnt treated well he was of course the king of the country and therefore should be respected (rather than ill-treated). The Guru came out but still the king was enraged and shouting. The Guru asked the king to be calm down and be patient. The Guru then said to the king that the two letters of poda had such a great effect on the king if this was so, then what to talk about the effect of mantras? The king realized his mistake, therefore apologizing to the guru he left from the gurukulam (a wiser man).

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We see here as to how just two letters have a great impact on a person. Therefore the impact of mantras which have deeper meaning and significance will be much more (definitely and beyond any doubt). But it is not knowing the greatness of mantras that we think low of them; we just ignore them for other words that we find in the world.

Mantras are divine and therefore powerful as well. Their powers cannot be directly apprehended unless we put the mantra into practice.

Mantras have two aspects to them that should be remembered. One is as to from where we get the mantra and the other is as to how we use the mantra (our input to the mantra). Even as a lit lamp alone can light another lamp, similarly only a realized master can give mantra to another person, a mantra which is effective and fruitful in uplifting the shishya. Not everybody can give mantra even the same mantra when given by a realized master will be different than when given by a normal person (even as the same words of dont do loitering will be treated differently when said by a policeman and a normal person).

A realized master is one who is ever blissful at all times irrespective of external situations, such a master will be ever happy or blissful. Even when facing the gravest of sorrows he or she will be blissful. The best example we find in the purana for a realized master is Lord Krishna. We cannot find even one instance when the Lord was sad. He was ever smiling and blissful. Those who surrendered unto him were also able to become blissful like him (all their sorrows would just vanish after surrendering unto him). Such a master will be well versed in the scriptures (or the truth of the scriptures) and will ever abide in blissful Brahman.

Once we get mantra from such a realized master, then a lamp is lit in our mind or heart. This lamps light will slowly purify our mind, make it concentrated and will guide it towards gaining and implementation of knowledge. In short, this lamp will lead us to the ultimate goal of life of moksha.

But what do we do with the mantra we get, the lamp that has been lit? A mantra though has power in itself needs to be chanted continuously in order to get power. Even though we may be near the Lord still unless we remember the Lord in our mind at all times we will be benefit out of the bliss of the Lord. Though many people were near Krishna they were not able to get the bliss from the Lord. Even Arjuna was not able to get bliss until

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he surrendered unto the Lord. Therefore surrender or remembrance of the Lord in our mind is required. The Lord is remembered through his mantra. This means it is through more and more chanting of the mantra that it gets power. It is said that when a mantra is chanted one crore times, then it gets power. There is no specific time that we should stop chanting the mantra it should be ever chanted until it becomes natural and runs in our veins or each and every part of our body.

Once a great Siva bhakta was walking by chanting Sivas name. A purohit was passing by and he didnt like this as the bhakta was of a lower caste. Therefore the purohit told the bhakta to stop chanting. The bhakta stopped chanting but then his entire body started chanting the name of Siva. Realizing that the bhakta was a true bhakta, the purohit apologized to him.

Like this true bhakta, we should continuously chant the mantra until it becomes natural to our existence. AMMA says that we can stop chanting a mantra when chanting it once raises the hairs in our body (that much excitement we will get). For a true bhakta, chanting of mantra is very tough because then the world will cease to exist and he will merge unto the Lord. This is not encouraged because worldly actions have to be performed. We dont have to think so much about all this but a mantra of our ishta devataa that we have received from a realized master should be ever repeated in our mind. We should keep on chanting again and again, without any break or stop. As much as possible we should chant the mantra. Then we will find that due to our input or effort into the mantra, it becomes very powerful. Thereby just once chanting the mantra is enough to get rid of all sorrows that we face at a particular time. Though we may face sorrows, it will vanish instantly upon chanting of the mantra (this doesnt mean that sorrows externally will vanish but just that we will be able to remain unaffected to all sorrows of the world).

Swami Vivekananda says that when we do sadhana daily, we should use a specific room for that purpose alone. This room should be used only for sadhana. And its purity or sanctity should be maintained at all times like we should enter it only when we have taken bath, we should only do sadhana and nothing else in the room etc. If we have maintained the sanctity of the room for a period of time, then the room gets power. Thereafter when we are sad or facing some issues in life, we just have to get into the room and we will feel the power of the room (we will be able to directly experience the calming of the mind and the mind becomes peaceful, blissful when entering into the room itself).

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What Swamiji talks about a room is applicable to a mantra too. A mantra though inherently has power should be chanted more and more so that due to our effort, it gets power. Then just one chanting is enough to elevate us from the state of sorrow of the world to a state of bliss.

Accepting the Lord and mantra At all times the dual world will be moving towards itself rather than on the cause of the world as the Lord. It is therefore very tough for a sadhaka to start in the spiritual path as there will be many obstacles being posed. These obstacles will be in the form of friends, relatives, friends, our own mind etc. Therefore it is said that the spiritual path is very tough to tread and it is like walking along the edges of a razor.

But the biggest obstacle is ones own mind or ones own notions. Generally we go by majority in the world. Since majority doesnt seek the Lord therefore we will also not seek the Lord. Therefore it requires courage or boldness in order to seek or accept the Lord. But if we accept the Lord then we will be lead to eternal bliss. If we dont accept the Lord then we will be lead to constant sorrow.

Ravana had two brothers one was Kumbhakarna and other was Vibhishana. Both knew the Lords greatness and that Ravana had done adharma by kidnapping Sita. But the response from both was different. Kumbhakarna due to his passion towards his brother stuck with his brother. Therefore he was lead to death. Whereas Vibhishana accepted the Lord he put his relationships away and accepted the ultimate reality of Lord alone. Through accepting the Lord, Vibhishana was able to attain eternal bliss not just eternal bliss but he was able to get a kingdom to rule. This shows that one who doesnt accept the Lord will neither get material benefits or worldly bliss nor eternal bliss. But one who accepts the Lord will get both worldly bliss and eternal bliss (there will be nothing that such a person doesnt get in the world his all desires will be fulfilled by the Lord himself).

How do we accept the Lord? Just going to the Lord and falling at his feet isnt accepting the Lord. True acceptance of the Lord is remembering the Lord in our mind at all times. The Lord is remembered through his mantra. Therefore chanting of the mantra is accepting the Lord. In order to chant the mantra of the Lord, we should accept the mantra. Vibhishana was able to accept the Lord and his mantra.

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This means that through chanting of the mantra of the Lord, Vibhishana surrendered unto the Lord and became a true bhakta of the Lord. And this too not when situations were conducive for Vibhishana. When the tide is against us, it is tough to survive itself let alone remember the Lord. Vibhishana was facing a tide that was against him as entire Lanka and Lankaadhipati of Ravana were against him. Still boldly he was able to accept the Lord. This acceptance alone made him reach the goal of moksha.

Obstacles destroyed by the Lord When we accept the Lord and tread the spiritual path, we will find lot of obstacles being thrown at us in the world. There will be obstacles of all kinds. It cannot be generalized or predicted as to what exactly we will face (for if we knew it, then overcoming it would be very easy like preparing for an exam for which we know the questions to be asked). But we need not worry at all about any obstacles in the spiritual path. Once we are in the spiritual path then we have accepted the non-dual reality of Lord. The moment we have surrendered unto the Lord, it is the Lords duty to protect us. Even as when a person has taken refuge in a king it is the kings duty to protect him; even as when a child has taken refuge in his mother it is the mothers duty to protect him; similarly when a bhakta has surrendered unto the Lord it is the Lords duty to protect him. And the Lord will protect such a bhakta at all times.

The Lord says in Gita to Arjuna that his devotee never perishes; there will be no destruction or trouble for his devotee. Even when troubles appear in the world, they will be easily removed by the Lord. Through contemplation of the Lord, troubles will not appear as troubles instead the bhakta will only rejoice in bliss in contemplation of the Lord. For one who remembers the blissful Lord as pervading the entire world, what trouble can be there in the world? Even if troubles are there, they will be remembered as just illusions in the Lord (like troubles in dream). And such troubles too will soon vanish because the Lords protection is there for the bhakta.

In the story of Ambarisha, Durvasa sent a demoness to attack him but since Ambarisha was protected by the Lord, nothing happened to him. Instead, unknown to him, the Lord had sent his chakra or discuss to protect him. Therefore this chakra killed the demoness and pounced upon Durvasa. Even Vishnu wasnt able to help Durvasa as the chakra was protecting his devotee. Therefore finally Durvasa had to seek help from Ambarisha. A true

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bhakta doesnt have any likes and dislikes. Therefore as if nothing happened, Ambarisha saved Durvasa (without keeping anything at all in mind).

If we tread the spiritual path with at least a bit of surrender on the Lord then we ourselves will be able to experience directly the grace and protection of the Lord falling upon us. If we talk to bhaktas (not true bhaktas but even bhaktas who have at least a little bit of surrender unto the Lord) then we will be able to hear stories about how the Lord protected them (when even the gravest of danger was to befall them).

Swami Paramahamsa Yogananda tells his real life incident in the book of Autobiography of a Yogi. In order to show to his brother that the Lord protects his devotees, Yogananda went to a different town from his house with just the money for onward journey. His brother had said that he shouldnt remain without food or a place to stay at night and he should also return back the next day all of these without any money or earning money or alms. Yogananda whose faith on the Lord was very strong took up the challenge. In order to know for sure that Yogananda wouldnt cheat, his brother made him take his friend as well. Yogananda traveled to the town along with his friend. He was sitting in a park when a lady approached him and offered him food; she also invited him to stay at night. And then she gave him the money to return back home. On returning back home, his brother fell at his feet and became a devotee of the Lord.

Such incidents arent mere stories; if we are able to surrender even a little bit, then we will be able to experience the protection of the Lord working in our lives through miraculous incidents. The Lord will not help us in his divine form (of Krishna or Rama etc.) but he will help us through other people of the world. Irrespective of how the Lord helps, the Lord will definitely provide us with help and protection at all times.

Enemies fearful of the Lord It is one thing to face obstacles but it is yet another to face enemies. There are no enemies to a bhakta from the bhaktas perspective because for him only the non-dual reality of Lord exists as the very substratum of the entire world. But from the other peoples perspective they are enemies to bhaktas of the Lord (and to the Lord as well).

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Such enemies are like darkness which obviously cannot stand light. Therefore they cannot stand against the Lord. They will fear the Lord. This fear of the Lord will be known to the entire world itself.

True bhaktas are ever protected by the Lord and therefore their enemies will always fear the Lord. Though they may attack the bhaktas still they will be fearful of the Lord (as at anytime and mostly at all times they will see the wrath of the Lord). We can face attacks from people of the world but from the Lord of the world we definitely will not stand a chance. In the Ramayana war, we find that though Ravana appeared to be victorious he was never victorious. Even before the war started, his doom was known to him as well. In the Mahabharatha, Shakuni was aware of the Lords greatness and therefore scolded Duryodhana when he came back from the Lord with support of the Lords army instead of the Lords support.

Wherever there are devas or bhaktas in the world there will also be asuras. Unlike normal devas who may fall a victim to sensual pleasures, bhaktas ever are focused on the Lord and therefore will never fall a prey to sensual pleasures. There will always be asuras who are against such bhaktas. But such asuras never stand a chance against the Lord. However strong they be, however smart they be however talented they be still they dont stand a chance against the Lord this is because the Lord is all-knowing and all-powerful. The Lord is the very essence of the entire world and therefore nobody stands a chance against him. A wise person therefore will surrender unto the Lord and establish the Lord in his very heart or mind.

Yoga Vasishta talks about the story of Prahlada slightly different from Bhagavatham. Once his father was killed by Vishnu, Prahlada started thinking about how to take revenge on the Lord. He knew that there is no way to defeat the Lord. But then he found the way to conquer the Lord. This was through establishing the Lord in his own very heart. Through focusing on the Lord he was therefore able to conquer the Lord (the Lord is a servant of his devotees he is jailed by his devotees in their heart). As a result of this focus on the Lord, the balance of the world went for a toss (as asuras should attack devas else the world will not survive). Therefore the Lord himself approaches Prahladas palace and asks him to indulge in his normal dharma (of attacking the devas). Thus we find that Prahlada was able to conquer the Lord through establishing him in his very heart.

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Therefore the way to control of conquer the Lord is through surrendering unto the Lord and remembering the Lord in our mind at all times. Such devotees will find that irrespective of where they are or what they are doing, they will ever rejoice in bliss. Problems of the world are not problems; sorrows arent sorrows; sufferings arent sufferings; but whatever is there is the non-dual blissful Lord alone.

Though it might seem very tough initially to remember the Lord at all times in our mind as pervading the entire world, we will eventually be able to do so through practice. We should constantly strive to remember the Lord through chanting of the Lords mantra. More and more chanting will initially bring obstacles and enemies who oppose us. But instead of fearing them we should boldly depend on the Lord alone. When we thus boldly seek the Lord (with more fervor or strength) then we will find that all obstacles and enemies are destroyed by the Lord himself. Since we are remembering the Lord in our mind therefore the Lord himself will protect us at all times. Irrespective of whoever comes against us, they will all be handled by the Lord.

Through again and again focusing on the Lord we will eventually abide in the Lord naturally at all times. Though this might take years or even births still the starting has to happen now itself. Already we have wasted many births in the past without remembering the Lord and attaining the ultimate goal of life of moksha. Therefore we shouldnt waste any more time. If we start to think about the Lord now, then at least by the end of this birth or in one or two births we will be able to attain the goal of moksha (ever abiding naturally in the blissful Lord). But for this we have to start now if we still indulge in sensual pleasures and dont remember the Lord then yet another precious human birth will be wasted.

Spiritual path doesnt mean that we have to get rid of all sensual pleasures but it just means to remember the Lord in our mind while enjoying pleasures of the world. Even while enjoying pleasures we can still remember that everything is the Lord. Then irrespective of whether pleasures are there or not we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss (remain unaffected at all times in the mind).

Many people wrongly think that in spirituality there is no enjoyment of pleasures. Spiritual masters also live in the same world that we all live. But they remain unaffected while enjoying pleasures or not because they remember internally that whatever is there is just

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an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord. This remembrance of the Lord in their mind at all times makes them ever rejoice in bliss irrespective of external situations.

Through more and more chanting of the Lords name, through more and more remembering the world to be an illusion and remembering the non-dual reality of Lord we will be able to eventually abide in the Lord at all times. Then like Hanuman or Vibhishana, our existence will not be there but the Lord will exist and act through us. Therefore we will ever rejoice in bliss the ultimate goal of life will then alone be achieved (and our life will be fulfilled).

May we all surrender unto the Lord through chanting of his mantra and through remembering the Lord at all times as pervading the entire world may we able to achieve the ultimate goal life and therefore ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Praadeshikam - I
Hari Naama Keerthanam 14 Anpenamenmanasi sreeneelakantaguru vaMbhoruhaaskshamiha vaazthunnu njaanumiha anpattoraksharavumoronnnithenmozhi lambodu cerkka hari naaraayanaaya nama

Meaning For one who has the knowledge/conviction that his Self is one with Brahman, His own prana or vital forces, body etc. are unreal (illusory) and even wife, wealth etc. Like one who has seen/experienced all in dream and after waking up One with such a person (he is), in order to wake up and realize, prostrations unto Narayana.

Recap Previously we saw as to how a person with knowledge about his very nature being that of the non-dual reality of Brahman will realize everything including his wife, wealth etc. being illusions. He will also realize that his sense organs, vital forces, mind etc. are also just illusions in the non-dual reality of Brahman.

How will his experience be? This is a question that is often asked by sadhakas who are treading the spiritual path. Unlike all other things in the world, it is just the spiritual path where we cannot have any test-drive or trial of the goal of moksha. We just will have to go with faith about the ultimate goal of moksha. But faith is increased through the help of logic. Logic clearly proves that everything that we see is one Brahman alone. It is this knowledge of one Brahman being the very essence of the world that a spiritual sadhaka attains in the spiritual path. Irrespective of whether such a sadhaka experiences the world or not, he will be able to ever rejoice in bliss in contemplation of the non-dual reality of Brahman. Though externally he may face problems or sorrows or sufferings, internally he will ever rejoice in bliss knowing that whatever is present here is one Brahman alone.

In order to make us understand that everything is just an illusion, Vedanta uses the analogy of dream. Dream is an experience that has been given to us by Ishwara in order to show the illusoriness of the external world. When we compare dream with the waking world, we

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will find that both are very similar. Both are ever changing and sorrowful in nature. Dream appears very real when we experience it but is known to be an illusion after we wake up from it; similarly this waking world appears very real now when we are experiencing it. But once we wake up from the ignorance of this waking world, we will realize that it doesnt exist at all. The experience will be that of a dreamer who realizes that there never was any dream world but only he existed as the dream world. Then if he again dreams, he will remember that it is just dream while experiencing dream itself. Similarly a person with knowledge will ever abide in the knowledge that everything is pervaded by one non-dual reality of Brahman. Though he might be experiencing the world, still he is ever blissful in the knowledge that duality as perceived is just names and forms in the non-dual reality of Brahman even as various ornaments of gold are mere names and forms in gold, similarly the entire world is names and forms in the non-dual reality of Brahman.

But such realization is only possible through the grace of the Lord. Without the Lords grace, we will not even be able to tread the spiritual path. Spiritual tendency or the desire for moksha itself is only as a result of the Lords grace. Therefore the author praised the Lord so that he would be able to gain knowledge and wake up from this sorrowful sleep of ignorance.

Till now the author has given us 13 slokas. These thirteen slokas each start with the letters in the mantra of hari sree ganapathaye namah. Though it might have been a premeditated attempt to write slokas with the each letters (and in the particular order) of the mantra, still such great miraculous deeds are only possible with the grace of the Lord. Else we will find that at some point or the other (in some sloka or the other) the continuity will be lost and we will find that something or the other has been written or adjusted in the work.

That Ezhutthacchan was a realized master is known beyond doubt through his works and through his elevated state of knowledge and devotion. Many think that both knowledge and devotion are different and therefore a person cannot have both. This is wrong true knowledge and true devotion are one alone. The slokas till now have clearly given us knowledge while at the same offering prostrations to the non-dual reality of Lord as Narayana.

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Those who are able to learn, understand and chant (or remember) these slokas in their mind will be able to get rid of all sorrows and they will be able to attain the ultimate goal of life of moksha very soon itself.

After offering prostrations to Narayana through using his mantra and writing slokas with letters of the mantra, now in the next sloka Ezhutthacchan directly asks for Ishwaras grace in order to write slokas with each letter of the alphabets in Malayalam. Though all the alphabets are used, still the essence of focusing on the non-dual reality of Brahman or Ishwara is always maintained in the work. Knowledge as such is tough to apprehend and therefore we have the puranas in order to explain concepts of the scriptures through stories (that have happened in the past). Ezhutthacchan follows the pattern of the puranas in explaining the glories of the Lord in the rest of the slokas while never deviating from the truth of Lord these stories are also explained with the import mentioned either directly or indirectly.

Any work has to start with prayers on the Lord and mentioning the purpose of the work this is accomplished in the next sloka.

Prayers or mangalaacharana We often think that prayers are meek in nature and therefore shouldnt be encouraged. But Chinmaya beautifully says that prayers arent meek requests but they are strong demands from a devotee to Ishwara. Even as a boy never requests for things from his mother, instead he just demands from his mother similarly a devotee just demands from Ishwara. This demand isnt like a goon asking money from another person but it is with respect and love, along with the knowledge that Ishwara is my everything and therefore it is Ishwaras responsibility to give me whatever I need. And Ishwara never gives anything without being asked therefore we have to boldly ask whatever it is that we need from Ishwara.

We have a saying in the world that nothing should be hidden from a doctor and a lawyer but in spirituality we shouldnt hide anything from our Guru and Ishwara. Though Guru and Ishwara will know themselves as to what is happening in our lives, still it is our duty to inform them so that whatever we need is fulfilled.

Any activity that we perform in the world is in order to achieve a particular or specific goal. In order for the goal to be achieved, the action has to be successful. This means that the

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action has to be auspicious in order for it to be successful. For this, we have no other option than to pray to the Lord the all-knowing Lord is one who bestows the appropriate fruits to every action in the world. But for a devotee who seeks the Lord, the Lord will go beyond all limits and even break the rules that he has created in the world. This we see clearly in the Mahabharatha the Lord had promised that he wouldnt wield any weapon in the war. But when situation came that Bhishma and others were upon Arjuna who was about to be defeated and killed, the Lord with eyes of anger or rage started to pounce upon Bhishma wielding the wheel of the chariot as a chakra. This is the compassion of the Lord that he is ever there to protect his devotee and he will go to any extent in order to protect his devotee this is the promise that the Lord makes in the Gita that his devotee will never perish. Therefore he would break any rules of the world in order to protect his devotee (even as a mother will go to any extent to protect her loving child).

Though all the above might appear to be just humbug and like a story in a movie, if we have faith and surrender unto the Lord then we will find the Lords grace working in our life in various ways. It doesnt matter how the Lord protects us but the Lord will protect us at all times (if there is at least a bit of surrender).

In order to make our actions successful, we need to therefore seek none other than the Lord. This is termed as mangalaacharana this is also part of the tradition. Tradition says that we have to start any work with mangalaacharana and only then the work will be finished successfully (else it will not be completed and there will be obstacles of different kinds). We do see this in the world that whenever we start some activity at an inauspicious time and without offering prostrations to the Lord, it will have many obstacles and at the end it will not be finished (as much as we may try, it will never be completed successfully). Though later when the action isnt successful then we will remember about missing of offering prostrations to the Lord, still it will make us remember to offer prostrations to the Lord the next time.

We all learn through experience whether it be good or bad. Good experiences tell us as to how to be in the world and bad experiences tell us as to how to not be in the world. He is a fool who chooses either good or bad alone he is a wise person who chooses both good and bad and learns from them in order to implement it in his life in the future. Through learning from past experiences, we will be able to make everything auspicious, successful and blissful in the future.

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Obstacles warded off by Ishwara Any path or goal that we are seeking will have both positives and negatives. Positives or anukoolas are those which will help us progress in the path or towards the goal. Negatives or prathikoolas are those which hinder our progress in the path or towards the goal. Therefore a person should always have anukoolas and get rid of prathikoolas. And as time passes for achieving a goal of life, we will find that passion to achieve the goal will also vanish. This is the nature of the mind that it cannot stick on to something for a long period of time. After a while, the fluctuating mind will jump from one object to another (one goal to another). Therefore it is important for a sadhaka to attain any goal as soon as possible (before the mind finds something else that is attractive or appealing to itself).

In order to achieve any goal quickly in life we need to get rid of obstacles. More than anukoolas we need to get rid of prathikoolas because they will take us far away from the path and goal. For example in order to achieve the goal of getting into IIM we need to constantly learn and practice mock entrance tests of IIM. The anukoolas are these practices. But the prathikoolas are distractions in the form of TV, movies, games, spending futile time with friends etc. Unless these prathikoolas are removed, though we may have anukoolas still we will not find ourselves progressing. Prathikoolas are like a pot with holes in it though anukoola of filling the pot with water is there, due to holes water will never stay in the pot. As much as we may try, there will not be any water in the pot. It is of utmost importance to first fill the holes so that no water gets leaked out. Then we will be able to fill the pot with water easily.

Therefore first it is important to get rid of obstacles in the path. But any path isnt path unless there are obstacles. If obstacles are there a lot in worldly goals itself, what to talk about the spiritual goal. The spiritual goal takes us beyond the entire world and makes us ever rejoice in bliss therefore in order to achieve this special goal of life we need to face and overcome a lot of obstacles.

But there need be no fear with respect to getting rid of obstacles. Obstacles are very easily removed as long as we surrender unto the Lord. Surrender is a word that is feared and hated by many people as they think that through this they lose their freedom or individuality. There is no such loss happening and even if individuality is lost, we will become ultimate or all-pervasive therefore there is no harm in surrendering. Through surrendering to people of the world who are expecting one or the other thing from us, we

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will be exploited. But through surrendering unto the Lord who wants nothing at all from us, we will be making ourselves bigger or higher or broader.

Through surrender, our mind becomes light and since we are surrendering unto the allknowing, all-powerful and all-pervading Lord therefore our protection is ensured.

Irrespective of whether we achieve the goal we want to achieve or not, the Lord will ensure that we are safe and peaceful. Ultimately it is peace or happiness that we seek in life and this is easily achieved through surrendering unto the Lord. Therefore we should strive to surrender unto the Lord.

When we surrender unto even the greatest of person in the world there is no guarantee of any success or peace in our lives. The great Steve Jobs couldnt himself be happy while giving up his body so what bliss he can give to others? The great Obama isnt happy himself with whatever is happening in his country so what bliss he will give to others? But this isnt the case with the Lord. The Lord is ever blissful and therefore any person who seeks the Lord will always be able to rejoice in bliss. Just the mere thought of the all-pervasive Lord in our mind will make us ever rejoice in bliss (all sorrows though might still exist in the world will not affect us we will unaffected remembering that the non-dual Lord is there to protect us). It is not even necessary to consider the world to be an illusion we just have to remember that the all-powerful Lord is there with us and we will be able to rejoice in bliss. But eventually we will want to know about the Lord more and more. Thereby through knowledge of the Lord as the very substratum of the entire world we will be able to rejoice in bliss at all times irrespective of whatever happens in the world.

Vedanta doesnt change the external world but it only changes our mental perspective of the world. There is absolutely nothing to change in the world as it is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord. What is required to change our notion about the world forgetting the world to be an illusion we constantly depend upon the world. This dependency will lead to our own doom as what other than sorrow can we expect from the ever changing world? Though we always get sorrow from the world we still dont learn as again and again we will depend on the world. Instead of depending on so many objects and people of the world, we should just depend on one Lord. External dependency on the world is also not wrong as long as internally we depend on the non-dual reality of Lord alone. While remembering that everything is pervaded in and out by the non-dual reality of Lord we should perform all our

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activities in the world (like any worldly person performs). But since we have protection of the Lord we will ever rejoice in bliss irrespective of the outcome of action.

Whoever depends on the non-dual reality of Lord will not find any obstacles harming him in any path. Any action, any decision, any desire that such a person will be lead to success by the Lord himself. We all know the famous sloka of mookam karoti vaacaalam which says that even a dumb person becomes talkative, a lame person climbs the mountain all as a result of the grace of the Lord. As AMMA says, grace of the Lord is ever-present like the ever-present rays of the Sun. But if we close the doors and windows of our heart, then the ever-present rays of the Sun of the Lord will not be experienced. This doesnt mean that grace of the Lord isnt there but just that we arent perceiving it as a result of our ignorance.

Once we start seeking the Lord, then the doors and windows of our heart will be opened. Thereafter we will be able to experience directly the ever-present grace of the Lord. Wherever grace is there, there will be bliss or happiness alone. Therefore through seeking the Lord we will find all obstacles getting removed by the world and we will find us ultimately ever rejoicing in bliss (irrespective of what action we perform or what is the outcome of the action that we perform).

It is this bliss that is required in life and therefore we should all strive to seek the Lord, surrender unto the Lord and remember the Lord as the non-dual reality behind the entire illusory world of names and forms so that irrespective of whatever happens in the world we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss.

Actions propagated by desires Any action that we perform in the world is propagated by desires. Without desires, not even a foolish or mad person will perform any action. We can see that even a child performs actions seeking something in return. Therefore all actions are propagated by desires. Withotu desires, no action can be performed (or action cannot even exist).

But then what about actions that are related to the non-dual reality of Lord? Actions that are performed as pooja or offering unto the Lord purifies the mind. Here there isnt any desire for any fruit the only desire is pleasing Ishwara. When Ishwara gets pleased, our mind gets purified.

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Currently the mind is filled with likes and dislikes with respect to the entire world. But when we perform actions for Ishwara, then we will be devoid of likes and dislikes. As a result we will find that we dont have any differentiation whatsoever. Being purified of likes and dislikes, we will also be unaffected by the results of actions. Irrespective of whatever is the result of action, we will be blissful. As AMMA says, if something good happens then it is Ishwaras grace and if something bad happens then it is Ishwaras will either way it is Ishwaras and therefore will only lead to our good in the long run.

Actions of a jnaani Normal people perform actions in order to fulfill desires that are there in their mind. Sadhakas perform actions in order to please Ishwara or in order to purify their mind. But what about jnaanis? Jnaanis are those who are ever abiding as the non-dual reality of Ishwara or Brahman. As Gaudapadacharya says, what desires can taint such a jnaani whose all desires have been fulfilled? But still we see jnaanis as performing actions in the world. Therefore some explanation has to be given for the actions performed by jnaanis.

The answer is that all actions of jnaanis are for the welfare of the world alone. It cannot be argued that there is no world at all as it is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord because if there is no world, then there are no actions as well so where is there any argument? Jnaanis ultimately are not performing any action at all as they ever abide as the witness-Self or Ishwara. But externally or empirically they perform actions based on their vasanas or latent tendencies. Unlike normal people whose tendencies are to do with one or the other thing in the world, jnaanis tendencies are all directed towards the welfare of the entire world. They are devoid of any likes and dislikes therefore their thoughts, words and actions will always be for the welfare of the world.

We cannot find even one jnaani whose actions havent helped the world progress in the spiritual path or attain at least temporary happiness. Through mere association with jnaanis, ones mind will be purified and one will be made to think more about Ishwara (knowingly or unknowingly).

Here we find Ezhutthacchan offering prayers to Ishwara in order to write a work about the glories of the Lord. This action of Ezhutthacchan is for the welfare of the world alone. Through such works, other sadhakas will be able to progress in the spiritual path. Even normal people will be able to remember Ishwara and gain temporary happiness as a result

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of this work. Such temporary happiness which is attained through activities related to the Lord, they will be forced to think more about Ishwara. Thereby more and more activities related to the Lord will be performed. Thus the seed of spirituality is sown through this work of Ezhutthacchan.

If it be questioned as to whether there is any personal benefit to Ezhutthacchan, we can either say that there is no real personal benefit or we can say that through this work, Ezhutthacchans conviction on Ishwara increases. Though we may have learnt a topic still it is when we learn about it more and write about it that we become clear of it. Similarly through writing about Ishwara, conviction about Ishwara will increase (and therefore such a person will be able to progress towards moksha quicker).

Irrespective of whether this action of Ezhutthacchan benefits him or not, it surely benefits the entire world through bringing their focus from the world back to the non-dual reality of Lord. The entire world has come from Ishwara but we have forgotten this and as a result we experience sorrow in the world. Therefore it is important to bring our focus back to the Lord in order to attain eternal bliss (which is our very nature that has been forgotten).

Jnaanis - humble Though jnaanis are one with the Lord at all times, still they are humble. They know that this entire world is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Ishwara. Therefore they know that everything is ordained and performed by the Lord alone. Thus here Ezhutthacchan says that this work has been written through the grace of the Lord.

Without the grace of the Lord, absolutely nothing can happen in the world. Great nations like United States have realized through terrorist attacks that nothing is in their control. If we foolishly think that everything is under our control then Ishwara will correct us through blows. These blows will strike us very strongly but if we are wise we will realize that these are blows and will become humble. If we dont realize then the blows will continue again when our Ego is at its peak.

Wise sadhakas, learning from jnaanis, should always remain humble irrespective of where they are or what they are. Even if they are presidents or prime ministers of countries, they should humble; for if this humility is lost even for a second, we will be lead to sorrow by our own mistake. Then there is no point in blaming the Lord or others for our sorrow.

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Wherever there is true knowledge, there will be humility as well. If a person is not humble and just praises himself then we can say beyond doubt that he doesnt have any knowledge at all. Such knowledge which doesnt lead to humility will not be fruitful and it will only lead to boosting of the ego (which will eventually lead to our own fall or sorrows or sufferings).

Fifty-one alphabets There are fifty-one alphabets and Ezhutthacchan uses each one of them as the starting letter for the rest of the verses in this work. Therefore rather than becoming a mere Vedanta grantha, this also becomes a unique literary work. Little need be said about Ezhutthacchans control of the language of Malayalam (as his work of Adhyatma Ramayanam itself stands as a testimony).

Indirectly we can say that through using these fifty-one alphabets in order to praise Ishwara, Ezhutthacchan points out clearly that everything has come from the Lord and therefore everything should focus back on the Lord alone. Letters, words, texts etc. have also come from the non-dual reality of Lord. Therefore if we dont use these in order to praise and realize the Lord, then they are of no use at all. In todays world majority of people focus on literary work or other works in order to get a doctorate or to earn money or promotion etc. But very rarely we find people using these in order to attain the ultimate goal of life of moksha very rarely people use their talents in order to focus on the Lord.

If we focus on the Lord then we will be able to attain the ultimate goal of life of moksha here itself. If we dont focus on the Lord then constantly we will be suffering alone in the temporary-sorrowful world. It is the duty of the child to take care of parents who have given birth to him similarly it is the Lord who has given birth to us and therefore it is our duty to take care of the Lord.

It is almost impossible to take care of the Lord who is all-pervasive and the very cause of the entire world. But we can offer our prostrations unto the Lord through writing his names, singing his glories and ever remembering him in our mind. Though it might seem very tough to remember the Lord amidst all the duties and responsibilities we have in the world, it is possible if we put effort.

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Where there is love, there will be automatic remembrance of the loved one. Even as a lover always remembers his love, irrespective of where he is or what he is doing, similarly if we are able to develop love or devotion unto the Lord (remembering the Lord to be the blissful non-dual reality behind the world) then we will be able to remember the Lord at all times in our mind.

And through remembering the Lord at all times in our mind we will be able to get rid of all sorrows and thereby we will ever rejoice in bliss. For one who remembers the non-dual reality of blissful Lord as pervading the entire world, what other result than bliss will ensue? Therefore such a bhakta will ever rejoice in bliss.

But as simple as it seems, it is tough indeed to remember the all-pervasive Lord amidst all the problems that we face in the world. Therefore it is through listening to the glories of the Lord more and more that we will be able to slowly bring in Lord into our mind. Until then though we might try to remember the Lord we will not be able to remember because we are immersed in the world and its activities. And vasanas that have been cultivated for many births cannot just be quickly removed. It may take years and even births to get rid of the addictions of the world. It is only through more and more trying to contemplate on the Lord that we will be able to slowly displace thoughts and attachments for the world with that of the Lord. Though this process is slow, still we will be able to experience intuitively eternal bliss from the Lord each time we remember the Lord. More and more such remembrance will make us experience bliss more and more. The taste or craving for bliss will make us want to remember the Lord more and more. Thus eventually through just remembering the Lord once or twice, we will be able to ever abide in the Lord.

Masters like Ezhutthacchan and others have given us their works writing about the glories of the Lord so that we are able to easily remember the Lord through them. It is the grace of the Lord that these masters were able to finish the work. This is mentioned directly in this sloka that may I through your grace be able to complete this work. Nothing gets done in the world without the grace of the Lord. As mentioned earlier, we just have to surrender unto the Lord and remember the Lord as pervading the entire world of names and forms in order to perceive the ever-present grace of the Lord. Then through the grace of the Lord we will be able to face anything and everything in the world in other words, there is no world at all for us then as only the non-dual reality of Lord as the essential substratum of the world exists.

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It is through vision of the Lord as pervading the entire world that we will be able to get rid of all sorrows and rejoice in bliss. There is no other way to eternal bliss than through knowing and contemplating on the Lord as pervading the entire world. Though this remembrance may be called as jnaana or bhakti or yoga, still it all means constant remembrance of the Lord as the essence-substratum-cause of the entire world even as a goldsmith sees all gold ornaments as gold alone, similarly we should see the entire world as one non-dual reality of Lord. Thereby all our sorrows will end and we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss in the non-dual blissful reality of Lord who alone exists here. For remembrance of Ishwara at all times, this work of Ezhutthacchan that uses all the fifty one alphabets as starting letters for verses will be useful.

May we all strive to listen to more and more about Ishwara so that through constant remembrance of Ishwara as pervading the entire world we will be able to get rid of all sorrows and will be able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Praadeshikam - II
Kanda shashti Kavacham 13 Naasikal irandum nalvel kaaka Pesiya vaai thannai peruvel kaaka Muppathirupal munaivel kaaka Seppiya naavai sevvel kaaka Kannam irandum kathirvel kaaka Ennilam kazhuthai iniya vel kaaka Maarbai irathna vadivel kaaka Serila mulaimaar thiruvel kaaka Translation: Let your good vel protect my two nostrils, Let your great vel protect the mouth, that speaks Let your sharp Vel protect my thirty-two teeth Let your perfect Vel protect my tongue, which tells, Let your shinning Vel protect my two cheeks, Let your sweet Vel protect my tender neck Let your gem studded Vel protect my chest Let your holy Vel protect my chest

In the previous article we saw about importance of seeking Lord for protection in order for us to reach our goal. Scriptures say that spiritual Goal of Moksha is the Ultimate Goal of human being because Moksha is permanent, which means once we attain the goal of moksha there would be nothing more to achieve. The way to attain the goal of Moksha is termed as the spiritual path. Scriptures are very clear that the way to attain the goal of Moksha is through the knowledge of Brahman. But in order to be able to comprehend the knowledge of Brahman scriptures prescribe sadhanas to be followed. In order to perform these sadhana we have to apply our body and mind, so in order to be able to perform the sadhana properly we need to have all instruments required to do sadhana in proper working condition. This also means that there are beginner practices like Ashtanga yoga that has Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama etc. All these sadhanas are to help body and mind in the right condition to be able to do study of scriptures and there by reflect and contemplate on the scriptural statements.

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Even though there are sadhana prescribed to help the instrument stay in good condition, there is one very important part that is present in every sadhana we do, that is surrender to the Lord. The body and mind even though we consider it as ours, is never under our control. We need grace of the Lord in order for the sadhana that makes the instruments better to yield the right result. Without the grace of Lord, we would not be able to yield any benefit how much ever sadhana we may do. Therefore, along with all sadhana we should also add the part of surrender to Lord.

In the lines mentioned above, we see that the poet is asking for protection from Lord to every part in face till chest. Continuing from last article, where we say poet seeking protection for head and till eyes, here we see mention of nostrils and below. Eyes have to be good condition in order to see things clearly. Perception knowledge through eyes gives maximum knowledge than perception through other sense organs. Therefore eyes have to be in right working condition. Ears play very important role in the spiritual path. Scriptural study includes three sadhanas of Sravana (listening), Manana (reflection) and

Nidhidhyasana (contemplation). As we can see here, listening to the scriptures is the first step in this Jnaana Sadhana. In order for listening to be effective, ears have to function well enough.

Nostrils through which we breathe should function well. If there is some problem in that functioning like nose blocks, our attention would be on that and so that would be obstacle to perform any work that require focus. Another most important mention here is the protection of tongue. Tongue is one instrument that has two functions. Tongue is used for tasting food and tongue is used for talking. When we pamper our tongue with good tasty food, it craves for food and hence it would form addiction towards tasty food. Whenever we are addicted to something, it would pose a big obstacle towards anything we want to achieve. It would distract us towards opposite direction and hence we need protection from Lord from this. The second function of speech is also a very significant function. Control of speech is very important because speech is a great weapon that can be used to heal someone or hurt someone. Tongue can also be used either to speak truth or untruth. Speaking truth at the appropriate situation is good, speaking untruth or speaking truth at inappropriate situation would cause us problems and that would be obstacle. Therefore, we need protection from the Lord for the tongue. As there is a saying in Tamil Naavadanginaal naalum adangum If

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tongue gets controlled all the other 4 (sense organs) gets controlled. Such is the power of tongue and here we see the poet seeking Lord for his protection.

We will continue with this part in the next article as well.

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Jagat Samkshepa
Jagat Our experience spectrum is what is generally called as jagat or world. Without the world, any existence or experience is not possible. At all times we are living in the world and experiencing objects and people of the world.

Before we enter into analysis of the world, it is important to bring our focus unto the ultimate goal of life. Though we all are living in the world, are we content? What is it that we are seeking in the world or in life itself? Everybody is seeking something or the other from the world. A person who doesnt seek anything isnt living at all. He just kills time having fun in the world. Such fun will take him nowhere. A person who doesnt have any specific goal in life is like a car that is being driven without any destination. Though the car will be driven around and lot of miles will be put in the car, still there would be no end result out of driving. The driving itself will take us all around the world, rather than any particular place. Therefore such driving is futile and of no use. Wise people will not take resort to such activities where there is on purpose or goal and everything is done just for fun-sake.

Wise people therefore will first try to figure out as to what is their goal in life. In todays world, goals are split into two of short-term and long-term. Short-term goal is that which we are seeking in the near future whereas long-term goal is that which we are seeking ultimately in life. Short-term goals constantly keep changing whereas long-term goal is exactly the same. It is opined that these goals are different for different goal. Based on each persons goal, he seeks a different path and treads it in order to attain the goal.

But this analysis of goals is wrong. Indirectly and ultimately we all are not seeking different goals in life but one goal alone. If we analyze any long-term or short-term goal in life then we will be able to trace back to this one ultimate goal of life. This ultimate goal of life also doesnt differ from person to person (based on what their desire is) because it is one ultimate goal of life that everybody is seeking (the ultimate desire of life for everybody is exactly the same not different for different people).

What is this ultimate goal of life? Lets take an example of a person whose goal is to become the president of a country. Why does he want to become the president of a country? Though there can be n number of

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reasons for this, it all ultimately boils to him becoming happy. He will be happy if he becomes the president of a country. This happiness is therefore his ultimate goal of life. All activities of the world like getting married, getting a job, earning money, sleeping etc. are seeking this happiness alone. Imagine that we are given a job where we cannot be happy will we take the job? Definitely we will not take the job because it doesnt give us happiness. This itself clearly shows that the ultimate goal of life is happiness alone. This goal is the same for each and every person in the world rather it is the goal for all beings in the world. Irrespective of where we are, what we desire, what we are doing etc. we are seeking one ultimate goal of life of happiness alone.

This goal can be split into two one is complete cessation of sorrow and second is ever rejoicing in bliss. Just cessation of sorrow doesnt mean that we are happy. There are many people who dont have any sorrow in life but still they are missing something, they feel as if something isnt there. This is because they arent happy or blissful. Therefore both complete cessation of sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss is the ultimate goal of life that is being sought by each and every person in the world.

Synonyms of this goal are bliss, happiness, peace, satisfaction and contentment. Though different terms are used it just means the state where there is no sorrow and only rejoicing in bliss.

This ultimate goal of life is termed in Vedanta as moksha or liberation (from all bondages, sorrows and sufferings). Since this is the ultimate goal or ultimate desire for each and every person in the world, therefore until it is achieved we will ever be discontent or suffering. Though we may attain great heights of life still we will feel as if something is missing. Therefore we will not be able to rejoice in bliss irrespective of whatever we have in life. Thus it is important for wise people to understand that the ultimate goal of life of moksha is what is to be sought out at all times. Irrespective of whether everything else is there or not, we should seek this goal of moksha at all times (as it alone will fulfill our lives). Through this goal of moksha alone we will be able to abide in the state where nothing else is craved, nothing else is desired and absolutely nothing is sought out. In this state of moksha, a person just rejoices in bliss and rejoices in bliss.

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But in order to achieve this goal of life we should first find out as to where is the source of bliss or happiness. That which is abode of bliss is what is to be sought out by us in order to ever rejoice in bliss.

Since the world is our experience spectrum therefore search for happiness has to start with the world. Though it will not end with just the world, still the analysis of Vedanta has to always start with the world and through the experienced world we will be lead to the abode of eternal bliss (or to moksha). This is what Vedanta calls as Chandra shakha nyaaya or arundati nyaaya. Chandra Shakha nyaaya is the logic wherein something near is first pointed out in order to point something far this is like the mother showing the nearby branch first and through the branch showing the faraway moon. Arundati nyaaya is like a newly-wed husband first shows a nearby star and through such stars, he finally points out the star arundati to his wife.

All acharyas and Vedantic works therefore begin with analysis of the world. This analysis alone will eventually take us form the world to moksha.

1. World composed of pancha bhootas When we analyze the world, the first conclusion that we draw is that the world is composed of the pancha bhootas. Pancha bhootas or five primal elements are that of Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Any object that we find in the world is made up of these five elements in different proportions. Though a rock is primarily earth or solid, still we can melt it eventually (this shows that there is water as well in it). Thus any object that we find in the world is composed of these five elements though it is primarily formed of one element (and the rest are found in smaller amounts).

As to how or why one element is primarily there and other elements are present in smaller proportions, Vedanta answers it as the process of panchikaranam. Initially all elements were independent and no two were mixed with each other. But such unmixed elements or essential elements cannot lead to the gross world therefore they underwent the process of panchikaranam. Each element split itself first into two parts; then one half-part split itself into four parts. Therefore there were total five parts of any element one half-part and four one-eighth parts. The half-part of the element remained exactly the same whereas the oneeight parts went to other elements. Thus an element is composed of one-half of itself and the rest four parts of one-eight is of the other four elements.

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Taking an example, the element of Earth got split into two one half-part and four oneeight parts. The one half-part remained the same and the other four parts were filled by one eighth of Ether, Air, Fire and Water. Similarly Earths one-eighth parts (4) went to the other four elements of Ether, Air, Fire and Water. Thus Earth = one half of earth + one-eighth of ether, air, fire and water.

It is through this above process of panchikaranam that we get primal elements as we find in the world (as the objects of the world are composed of). Any object that we find in the world is primarily one element along with the other four elements as well.

Why worldly objects have been created? 2. World for enjoyment of sensual pleasures The world has been created for enjoyment of sensual pleasures. The sense organs of an individual grasp the sense objects of the world and this is called enjoyment or sensual pleasure. If not for sensual pleasure then the entire world is of no use or purpose at all. Each and every object of the world whether it be sentient or insentient is there for the purpose of enjoyment of sentient beings (humans or animals or birds or any living beings).

All our actions in the world are towards sensual pleasures from the world. Through actions, in one or the other way, we are lead to enjoyment of objects. And if this enjoyment is conducive to us, then we are happy. But if experience of objects of the world doesnt lead to enjoyment (or isnt conducive to us) then we become sad. Thus we get whirled between happiness and sorrow with the respect to the entire world.

3. World - temporary But the world that we perceive is ever changing. Even our very body composed of pancha bhoothas is ever changing. The continuous change of the pancha bhoothas many times isnt grasped by human beings. Though we are considered as the smartest or most intelligent of all beings, still we fail to apprehend the ever-changing or temporary nature of the world.

Unless we grasp the temporary nature of the world we will find ourselves running behind them constantly. Such running behind will be futile as after a while the objects from which we get pleasure will vanish. For example, a car that we buy will vanish after a period of time. Therefore if we run behind it, then we will find that after a while the object itself isnt there for us to run behind.

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What is the effect of running behind a world that is temporary? Sorrow alone is the result.

3. World - sorrowful That which is temporary just appears as existing for a short period of time. Due to its everchanging nature, it will vanish or cease to exist after a period of time. When it ceases to exist then it will lead to sorrow alone for us. Therefore the scriptures say that wise people will not run behind sensual pleasures of the world (since the world itself is temporary therefore pleasures attained from such a world will also be temporary).

Anything that is temporary eventually leads to sorrow as a result of it vanishing. Taking the same example of the car since after a while, the car changes therefore we will experience only sorrow from the car. The car which we love dearly ceases to exist and therefore we will brood over happiness we got previously and will be sad that we arent able to get happiness now from it.

Thus wise people should always remember that the world which is temporary is also sorrowful. There is no happiness at all that we can get from such a sorrowful world. At all points of time it will only lead to sorrow. Though we may seem to get temporary happiness from the world, it is temporary and therefore seed of sorrow alone. Who will want to get that happiness which is temporary and will vanish after a period of time? Only a fool will want such happiness. Wise people will remember the temporary sorrowful nature of the world and therefore will not run behind pleasures of the world.

4. World to be renounced That world which is temporary and sorrowful shouldnt be sought out. Nobody seeks out a snake because they know that it will bite and therefore will lead to sorrow. Similarly a wise person shouldnt seek the world which is temporary and sorrowful.

Though majority of people experience directly the ever-changing nature of the world still they seek the world and its pleasures because they are unable to get rid of the habits or vasanas of the world (like a chain smoker cannot just quit smoking though he knows that smoking is injurious to health). It is only through repetitive thinking or reflection and eventually gaining conviction that a person will be able to get rid of the addiction of the world (and its pleasures).

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Really speaking the world cannot be renounced as we are in the world alone. We are part and parcel of the world. Even a sanyaasi cannot really renounce the world as he too performs actions in and part of the world. But here renunciation means renouncing attachment to the world in the mind. This is definitely possible through knowledge of the world being temporary and sorrowful. The more and more we gain conviction about the world being temporary and sorrowful, the lesser our attachment to the world will be. The lesser our attachment, the lesser we will experience sorrow from the world.

But if the world is to be renounced then what is to be sought out? If the world is temporary and sorrowful then where can we get eternal bliss which is our ultimate goal of life?

5. World an illusion That which is changing is just an illusion in its changeless substratum. A variable is constantly changing and therefore it is just an illusion in a constant. At any point of time the variable is a constant alone. Similarly any changing entity is just an illusion in its changeless substratum.

Again, the world is an illusion because it is constantly changing. That which changes is subject to birth and death. That which just exists for a period of time doesnt exist before its birth and after its death. This means that it just appears as existing in between (at the time when it appears as existing). Such existence isnt real and termed as illusions.

When we are walking in the desert then we see water in it. This water appears only then and after a while, when we go near the water we find that there is no water. Thus water appears for a short period of time alone. Therefore it is said to be an illusion in the substratum of desert. Similarly the world that we currently perceive is just an illusion in its substratum.

As explained earlier, any illusion is temporary and therefore will eventually lead to sorrow and sorrow alone. Therefore wise people will not seek illusions; instead they will seek the substratum of the illusion which is changeless.

Cant the substratum of the world be another changing entity? Yes but then we will have to have a changeless substratum for the changing substratum. If this isnt so and this second substratum is also changing then we will have to extend

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further. In short, this will lead to infinite regression and therefore we have to accept the substratum of the changing world itself to be changeless. Due to laaghava or simplicity as well we can accept the first substratum of the world itself to be changeless.

Since this changeless substratum of the world is eternal therefore the happiness derived from it is also eternal or permanent. Thus through knowledge of the substratum of the world we will attain eternal bliss and the ultimate goal of life that we have been constantly seeking in the world.

6. World an illusion in its substratum of Brahman Any illusion is created from its cause or substratum and it appears as existing in its substratum. The scriptures say that Brahman is that from which the world has come, in which the world exists and unto which the world merges at the time of its destruction. Therefore Brahman is the cause-substratum of the world. It is through knowledge of Brahman that we will attain moksha and the ultimate goal of life.

But what is the nature of Brahman? Brahman is eternal or always existing and therefore existence in nature. Anything exists only when the light of Consciousness falls upon it (as the light of Consciousness is the light of all lights). Therefore for Brahman to be eternal, Consciousness also has to be the nature of Brahman. That which always exists is without any limitation or finiteness. Therefore it is infinite or unlimited. That which is unlimited is blissful in nature. Therefore Brahman is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.

This Brahman is the cause-substratum of the world and through knowledge of Brahman we will be able to attain the ultimate goal of life of moksha.

So where do we find Brahman? Brahman is Consciousness in nature. Consciousness is that which pulsates inside as I-exist, I-exist at all times. This Consciousness alone is Brahman (the Upanishads say prajnaanam brahma). Thus Brahman is realized as our very nature of Consciousness.

Currently we identify ourselves with the body, mind, intellect etc. As a result of considering ourselves as an individual (with a body) we also get identified and associated with objects and people of the world. Therefore our dependency on the world leads to sorrow.

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In essence, at all times I am of the nature of Consciousness alone. The body, mind etc. constantly change whereas I am ever changeless. From the day of birth till the day of death, I am changeless Consciousness or I. It is ignorance of this I that makes us think that I am the limited ego. If we analyze the three states of waking, dream and dreamless deep sleep then we will be able to conclude beyond doubt that I am changeless Consciousness alone.

In the waking and dream state, individuality is there but in the dreamless deep sleep state there is no individuality at all. Though there is a veil of ignorance still Consciousness or pure I alone exists there. But after waking up, we are able to recognize that I am one who slept blissful in the dreamless deep sleep state. This itself means that I was there in the dreamless deep sleep state. Therefore it is very clear that I am of the nature of changeless Consciousness, which pervades the three states as their changeless substratum.

A person realizes Brahman therefore through analysis and contemplation of ones very nature of Consciousness. The more and more contemplation a person does, the conviction that I am Brahman will grow. Through this conviction, such a person will be able to eventually naturally abide in Brahman (this is the state of moksha).

So what happens to the world after realization? Does it just vanish?

7. World essentially Brahman alone When we see water in desert, we dont perceive the desert. But once we remove the water (through knowledge of it being just an illusion in desert) then what remains behind is desert alone. Similarly once we realize Brahman then there is no world at all but Brahman alone exists. But this is just the mental perspective of a person. Externally the illusion might still appear.

Even after knowing that there is no water in desert, a person might still see water. But since he knows that there is no water at all therefore he isnt affected by water appearing in desert. Similarly even after realizing that Brahman alone exists here and no world exists, the world might still appear as existing. But it doesnt cause any harm as it is remembered to be its substratum of Brahman.

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That world which doesnt really exist can never be destroyed or removed it can just be negated in our mind with the knowledge that it doesnt exist at all. Thus a jnaani though might perceive the world, he sees it as the non-dual reality of Brahman. This isnt just a vision but the ultimate truth as any illusion is essentially its substratum alone. The illusion of world thus is essentially its substratum of Brahman alone.

Though initially the world is negated, it is negated as an illusion. But ultimately the knowledge or realization dawns that essentially the world we were perceiving is its substratum of Brahman alone. Thus a jnaani always sees the entire world as filled in and out with Brahman. For him there is neither happiness nor sorrow; for him the entire names and forms of the world itself doesnt exist for him, only the non-dual reality of Brahman exists. Ever remembering this truth that Brahman alone exists and abiding in Brahman, he ever rejoices in bliss there is no sorrow at all experienced by him.

The world initially is perceived and considered to be real. But through knowledge we negate the world as it is an illusion (ever-changing). But after realizing the substratum of Brahman we come to the conclusion that even the world that we perceive now or perceived previously is Brahman alone even as any illusion is its substratum alone, similarly this world is Brahman and Brahman alone.

The Upanishads start by saying that Ishwara or Brahman pervades the entire world. The Lord repeats in many places of Gita that this entire world is pervaded in and out by Ishwara. This is the ultimate truth that has to be realized and lived. Many people are scared of implementation of Vedanta as they dont know what implementation is and how to implement. Implementation is as simple as remembering at all times that one Brahman and one Brahman alone exists here.

Even as the dreamer pervades the entire dream world, similarly Brahman as the substratum of the illusory dream world of waking world pervades the entire world at all times. It is this ultimate knowledge that Brahman alone exists here that is the state of a jnaani. A sadhaka negates the world initially in order to get rid of attachment to the world and to seek its substratum (as long as an illusion is perceived, its substratum cannot be perceived). But once he realizes that the world is also Brahman alone, then he just perceives the entire world as Brahman.

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Moksha isnt where the world will change and we will perceive everything to be Brahman it is just in the mind that we see the world as Brahman. Externally the world will be different objects and people. Even as a goldsmith though seeing differences in gold ornaments just sees all as gold in his mind, similarly a realized master will see everything as Brahman in the mind. A sadhaka through this vision of oneness will be able to get rid of all sorrows and will be able to ever rejoice in bliss eventually.

May we all strive to gain conviction about the world to be just an illusion in Brahman and essentially pervaded in and out with Brahman so that all our sorrows will end and we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Acharyasmrithi
Vachaspati Mishra Masters from ancient time itself have been preaching Vedanta as the one and only way to eternal bliss or moksha. This is after thorough analysis of everything and thereby coming to the conclusion that the ultimate goal of life is moksha and moksha alone. This moksha isnt something that is attained from the world but it is ever-present as our very nature of Consciousness. Moksha is the ultimate goal of life and therefore life is fulfilled only through attaining of moksha not through any other means.

Now is there anything called the ultimate goal of life? This question can arise in the mind of sadhakas because we find different means for different things in the world. We also find that the goal of life for different people is different in the world. Some seek power, others seek money, yet others seek wisdom. Even when it comes to the one goal of wisdom, some seek wisdom of astronomy, yet others that of nuclear physics. Thus we find that there are differences in the goal of life for people and even when goal appears to be in the same field or science, there are differences of some sort or the other. Amidst all such differences it is tough indeed to believe that there is one ultimate goal of life that is being sought by each and every person in the world.

Though it might be tough to accept that there is just one ultimate goal of life that everybody is seeking, a little analysis will clearly prove this to be true. Why do we study? We study in order to get a job. Why do we need a job? In order to earn money. Why do we want to earn money? In order to get settled in life. Why do we want to settle in life? In order to lead a happy and blissful life. Why lead a happy and blissful life? Because we want to be happy and blissful at all times.

Thus we find that the ultimate goal of life of boy is not education though he thinks it to be education. It is ever rejoicing in bliss (leading a happy and blissful life). If we analyze the goals of each and every person in the world we will still come to the same conclusion that we all are not seeking different goals but the one goal of complete cessation of sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss.

All efforts of people in the world are in order to achieve this ultimate goal of life of moksha which is split into two as complete cessation of sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss. Nobody

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wants to be sad and everybody wants to be blissful at all times. It is this goal that is termed in the scriptures as moksha and expressed differently as peace, satisfaction, contentment etc. These are just synonyms to denote that state where sorrows have completely ended and we ever rejoice in bliss.

The first step towards fulfillment of any goal is to accept the goal. Today we are running here and there in search of some goal in life. We think that we are running after the goal that will fulfill us when we are just running behind pleasures of the world (in one or the other form). Even as a driver who is driving his car without knowing as to what is his destination will not reach his destination similarly a person who doesnt acknowledge his goal of life as the ultimate goal of moksha will not attain moksha.

What is the harm if moksha is not attained? If moksha is not attained then we will continue in the cycle of birth and death in the ocean of samsaara. This ocean of samsaara never ends as it is just an illusion. Any illusion ends only through knowledge and therefore through knowledge, attaining moksha is the only way to put an end to the never-ending cycle of birth and death. The cycle of birth and death causes us sorrow at all times. We come into this world crying and we go from the world crying. In between, while living a life as well we are constantly crying alone. Therefore a wise person will always try to get out of this ocean of samsaara which only leads to sorrows. Though there are pleasures in the world they are temporary and therefore will lead to only temporary happiness. Such temporary happiness is seed of sorrow because it will eventually lead to sorrow alone in the long run.

Since the ultimate goal of life is ever rejoicing in bliss and samsaara only leads to sorrow therefore a wise person should strive to overcome this ocean of samsaara through knowledge of the scriptures.

Even as darkness is removed only by light similarly only knowledge can put an end to samsaara which is caused as a result of ignorance of our very nature of the non-dual reality of Lord or Brahman.

Knowledge as wrongly thought about by many people is only found from the scriptures. This is because knowledge of objects can be found in the world (or got from the world) but knowledge of the subject of Brahman (which is our very nature of Consciousness or Self)

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can only be found from the scriptures. Scriptures are without any author and are revealed to rishis during their times of intense contemplation or absorption in Brahman. Therefore it is faultless and it is the mirror in which we see our own very nature of Self or Consciousness. Though there are many branches of knowledge in the world, all those focus on the world (and not on the non-dual reality of Brahman). Therefore knowledge of Brahman cannot be found through them. Thus though there are stalwarts in each and every field of science in the world we find that they all lack happiness. If happiness or eternal bliss is required then there is no other option than to gain knowledge from the scriptures. Without knowledge of the scriptures we will not gain knowledge of Brahman and though we might learn everything under the Sun, still we will be suffering in sorrow alone without getting happiness we will be going from one birth to another experiencing just sorrow.

Therefore wise people will understand and try to learn the scriptures. But this is easier said than done. Scriptures arent that easy to learn by ourselves. Statements of scriptures themselves appear contrary in nature. In one place scriptures say that the Self is not known through the mind and in another place it says that the Self is known through the mind. In just one sloka itself it is said that the Self moves faster than the mind and that the Self is without any movements (achala). Such contrary statements can only be understand if we learn it from right perspective. For example when it is said that the Self is not known through the mind it is meant that the mind only knows objects whereas the Self is the Subject (and therefore not objectified through the mind). When it is said that the Self is known through the mind, a purified mind is meant. Such a pure mind is like a pure mirror in which we can see our own Self. A pure mind is able to gain concentration and such a mind therefore is able to apprehend the scriptures properly. Through proper apprehension of the scriptures such a mind will be able to easily attain the ultimate goal of life as moksha. Thus though the scriptural statements appear contrary in nature they are not really contrary but appear contrary as a result of improper understanding or wrong perspective of

understanding.

Though today we have many interpretations and translations of scriptures still it is the commentary of Adi Sankaracharya that is depended upon by all for understanding the scriptures. It wouldnt be wrong to say that without the bhashyas or commentaries of Sankara, we will not be able to understand the scriptures properly.

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But Sankara being the true master logician uses only the bare minimum words in order to explain anything. If one word can explain something then he wouldnt use more than one word (though usage of more words would lead to proper or better understanding for sadhakas). Therefore his bhashyas are also crisp and to the point only a sadhaka with a concentrated or focused mind will be able to understand his bhashyas properly.

But it is Ishwaras will that great masters are born on earth again and again; and they provide us with better explanation of the scriptures thereby ensuring that we not only understand the scriptures but are able to follow them towards the goal of moksha in this very birth itself. One such master who came just after Sankara is the great Vachaspati Mishra.

Great masters are those who dont leave behind a lot about themselves and therefore whatever we know about them is less alone (and lot of things about them is subject to controversies). This applies to this great master of Vachaspati Mishra as well.

1. The Advaitin Though Vachaspati Mishra has written works on all six darshanas, still it isnt wrong to say that he was an advaitin (as is evident from his masterpiece of Bhamati). As we can prove beyond doubt, Advaita is the ultimate truth. The entire world of duality that we currently experience is constantly changing and therefore it is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman even as the entire dream world is just an illusion in the dreamer (who appears as the entire dream world). As Gaudapadacharya says, non-duality alone is ultimate though empirically duality is accepted to be real (even as dream is accepted to be real within the dream but ultimately it is accepted to be unreal). We cannot even watch a movie because it is unreal but we accept it to be real from that perspective and ultimately unreal therefore we not only watch a movie but we are able to enjoy it as well. Similarly though the world is accepted to be real from the empirical perspective, still ultimately it is known to be just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman.

Any master who doesnt accept the non-dual reality of Brahman or Advaita alone to be real will not be able to rejoice in bliss and therefore he will not be able to guide others as well to the state of eternal bliss (the fulfillment of life itself will not be possible for him and for others who approach him). That just through reading or learning of the work of Vachapasti

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Mishra people are able to attain the ultimate goal of life of moksha makes it clear that this great master is an Advaitin who spreads the knowledge of Advaita through his work.

2. Bhamati-kaara As mentioned earlier, Sankaras bhashyas are not very easy to understand and therefore it requires further explanation. The first such full sub-commentary of Sankaras Brahma Sutra Bhashya is Bhamati of Vachaspati Mishra. The story goes that during his marriage, Vachaspati Mishra saw a creative debate happening and he was so much fascinated by it that he started learning the scriptures and writing works. By the time he was done, he was old and therefore he found that he hadnt given any attention to his wife. Therefore he gave his wifes name to his masterpiece, the sub-commentary on Sankaras Brahma Sutra Bhashya.

This work of Bhamati itself is very tough to understand though it itself is an exhaustive explanation or elaboration of Sankaras Brahma Sutra Bhashya. Amalananda wrote the Vedanta Kalpataru in order to explain Bhamati and Appaiyya Dikshitar wrote the Parimalam on Kalpataru. The five of Brahma Sutras, Sankara Bhashya, Bhamati, Kalpataru and Parimalam is considered as Vedanta (or the texts of Vedanta) by the famed Gauda Brahmananda (who wrote the Brahmanandi commentary on Madhusudana Saraswatis Advaita Siddhi).

It is impossible to even give few words about Bhamati here so we would just have to be content with the words that Bhamati is the first full sub-commentary on Sankaras Brahma Sutra Bhashya and ardent sadhakas would do good to at least read through it to get better perspective of the concepts or tenets of Advaita Vedanta which would then lead them to the goal of moksha.

3. Broadhearted as a result of Advaita We all have our own territories which we dont break. For example I write on Vedanta and therefore I always write on Vedanta alone. I wouldnt break this boundary and write on science or any other topic. Such kind of limited-heartedness or limited-vision is found in majority of people in the world. Even with various darshanas or people following those darshanas we will find this kind of limited-vision. But this doesnt apply to Advaita because Advaita encompasses anything and everything.

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Many think that just because we follow Advaita, the entire world is of no value or no purpose. Yes, the world has no real value or no real purpose but this doesnt mean that the world has no value or no purpose. The world and its activities arent completely negated by an Advaitin. They are only negated from the ultimate perspective. While acting in a movie, the movie and its actions are accepted as a real while remembering internally that eternally or ultimately they arent real. In the same way, an Advaitin lives in the world like any other person. He performs activities, enjoys pleasures of the worlds and leads a worldly life like any other person; but the difference is that internally he knows that the world is just an illusion. Therefore when something goes wrong in the world he is ready to face it. While a worldly person gets affected by activities of the world, he remains unaffected and blissful at all times. Though externally he may still behave as if getting affected, internally he ever rejoices in bliss. Anybody who comes in contact with him will be able to directly experience this bliss that emanates from his presence.

The advaitin while preaching Advaita also remembers that the sciences of the world have its place and therefore he doesnt negate it. He just advises people to also learn Advaita so that they are eternally saved (rather than just experiencing temporary happiness from the world).

Due to his broadheartedness he is able to preach each and every science in the world if it is necessary (though ultimately he preaches or accepts only Advaita). It requires lot of courage to not just learn various darshanas but write works on darshanas as if it is the only truth we follow. This is because each darshana negates each other darshana and therefore following one would mean that we cannot follow another. But great Advaitins like Vachaspati Mishra show us that we can write any texts or works in any subject whatsoever in the world if we believe that Advaita alone is the ultimate truth. Therefore this great master of Vachaspati Mishra wrote works on all the six darshanas of nyaya, vaisheshika, sankhya, yoga, mimamsa and vedatna. And his works on these darshanas arent just mere works but they are also considered as textbooks of the darshanas. For example in order to learn the sankhya philosophy we learn not only the sankhya karakas but vachaspati mishras sankhya tattva kaumudi commentary on the karakas. Without his commentary, proper

understanding of sankhya karakas isnt really possible (all translations and explanations in local language of sankhya karakas follows his commentary alone).

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Being an Advaitin, he wasnt scared of writing works on other darshanas while putting himself in the shoes of other darshanas because ultimately he knew that Advaita alone is real. And therefore learning or writing works on any darshanas doesnt really matter (as in no way it will distract or take him away from the goal of Advaita).

4. Trendsetter It wouldnt be wrong to say that Vachaspati Mishra was the trendsetter for many things which include writing commentaries on even the Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Sankara as well as writing works on the shad or six darshanas. We have had Vijnana Bhikshu and many others who have followed his footsteps in order to write works on all the six darshanas. We also have had many masters write simple and exhaustive commentaries on Sankaras Brahma Sutra or on Bhamati.

That Vachaspati Mishra showed that a commentary can definitely be written on a voluminous work like that of Sankaras Brahma Sutra Bhashya would definitely have given hope and courage to other masters to write works on the same line. Therefore we have Vidyaranya writing voluminous works on the lines of Panchapadika Vivarana (like Vivarana Prameya Sangraha) and an essence or summarization of Sureshwaracharyas

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Bhashya Vartika.

5. The logician A simple reading of any of the work of Vachaspati Mishra will show us that he is a true logician. Though the logic used by Mishra is the prachina nyaya or old logic (which was later changed into the navya nyaya as a result of Gangesha Upaadhyaayas masterpiece), still it is so clear and without any doubt this therefore very clearly shows the signs of a true logician.

In todays world finding a person who knows simple logic itself is very tough; because everybody is focused only on the sciences of the Lord. As a result they forget the ancient sciences of grammar and logic which are helpful in anything and everything. Unlike worldly sciences that are helpful only in certain situations, logic is helpful in all situations. If we have proper logic in our mind or intellect, then we will be able to apply it properly in any situation (let it be that of the world or that of Vedanta or spirituality). Needless to say, without proper logic we will find ourselves struggling in the world and experiencing only

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sorrow at all times (even worldly happiness will not be experienced if we dont have proper logic).

A work of a true logician like Vachaspati Mishra will ensure that our logic also improves through reading or learning of his work. Thereafter we will be able to use proper logic in our lives (and in all situations of life). As a result life will be smooth for us. When worldly life is smooth then we will be able to follow Vedanta with full fervor or energy or focus. But when worldly life isnt smooth then we will only have time fixing issues of the world rather than focusing on the non-dual reality of Brahman or the spiritual path. Through gaining proper logic we will be able to focus on the spiritual path (rather than getting distracted or diverted into the external world). That a master like Vachaspati Mishra will lead us to using proper logic through his works is worth saluting this master.

6. The realized master Though realization isnt something to be attained but it is our very nature of blissful Self still only few are able to realize their very nature of Self. Others get deluded into the illusory world and therefore suffer constantly in the world (thinking that they are the body, the mind etc. and they have attachments towards the objects and people of the world).

Though it is very tough to figure out as to who is realized and who is not, it is easy for any person who goes through the work of Bhamati to understand that this great master of Vachaspati Mishra is a realized master. The very fact that reading of his work takes us closer to the goal of moksha (through a proper understanding of the scritpures) is testimony to the truth that this master was definitely realized.

Though there are masters who follow either the Vivarana school or the Bhamati school, the common factor for both of them is the non-dual reality of Brahman. It is proving of Advaita and the world or worldly situation that differs between these two schools. And therefore on the basis of this, saying that both are wrong or both havent done justice to Advaita isnt right. Also saying therefore that this master of Vachaspati Mishra isnt realized is also not true.

That Adi Sankaras work was commented upon by this grihastha shows that in order to attain moksha, nothing really matters from the external world perspective. What really

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matters is whether we are gaining knowledge of the scriptures and whether we understand the scriptures properly rather than misunderstanding it.

If we are following the scriptures properly then the more and more we gain knowledge we will find ourselves progressing towards the goal of moksha. Thereby our sorrows will end this doesnt mean that sorrows from external world perspective will not be there but just that we will not be affected by any sorrows we face in the world. Instead at all times, irrespective of external situations, we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss.

Such rejoicing in bliss is not possible unless we learn the scriptures and scriptures are clarified to us through the works of great masters like Vachaspati Mishra and therefore we are indebted to them again and again. Let us offer our prostrations to this great master for his works that shine as a light to dispel the darkness of ignorance and make us rejoice our very blissful nature of Self.

May this great master bless us with knowledge so that through realization of our very nature of non-dual blissful Brahman, we are able to get rid of all sorrows and we are able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Vedanta Kathaa
Narrated by Sadguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi Once a boy saw in news that in recent floods there was huge damage in certain place and that people didnt even have proper food to eat there. Hearing this, the boys heart melted and he wanted to help those kids who lost their parents and were without food in that particular place. Therefore he went to a bakery and with the pocket money he had he bought whole lot of bread. He then next day went to school and took it to the principal. He told the principal that he wanted to help the boys that are suffering in the particular place through sending this food to them. The principal then told him that by the time the food is sent, it would get spoiled and therefore we cannot do that. But seeing the boys enthusiasm, the principal decided to help him. Therefore they came up with an idea. That day in the school the bread was sold with a message saying that the cost that is achieved through the bread selling will go to the boys suffering in the place of flood. Seeing this message and the boys enthusiasm everybody started buying the bread. Very soon itself, the bread was totally sold.

The money that was accumulated was sent to the boys who are suffering in the place of flood. The entire school was happy and the boy, in particular, was very happy over having done something good for the suffering boys of the world. His happiness knew no bounds at all.

The money that the boy had used to buy the bread was what he had been saving to buy a bicycle. This was a long cherished desire in his mind but on seeing the suffering boys in TV, he couldnt but help them and renounced his own desire of buying a bicycle. Of what use is a bicycle to a person who is very happy in having removed the sufferings of few people in the world? There is nothing more contending than helping another person who deserves the help and that too without expecting anything in return. Most of our actions in the world are for our own selfish purpose; even when we do help somebody we will expect something or the other in return. Therefore friends become enemies when they dont get anything in return from their friends. But this boy had a golden heart that was filled with the virtue of compassion. When compassion is there in our heart and we work out of that compassion to help others who really deserve our help, then the Lord will be there to protect us and he will take care of all our needs.

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The next day the boy went to school and he was surprised to find him being given a new bicycle. What had happened was that all the teachers and students of the school came to know about his long cherished desire and also that he had renounced it for the welfare of the world (to help those who really needed the help). Therefore they decided to surprise him with a gift of a bicycle. Seeing the boy cycling around the school was a happy sight for all the teachers and students of the school.

Most the times in the world we perform actions as a result of our passions. When it is required that we stand in line for a doctor because our son or daughter is sick, then we will do the same. We will even get leaves from office, not eat any food and not even sleep all these are for the sake of our near and dear ones. But this is called passion as it is directed to just few people of the world (and as a result of our attachments to them). Such passions or actions driven out of passions arent worth following for a sadhaka. These passions will lead to our own downfall when they arent met. Though today we may be able to fulfill our passions, there will be a time when we will not be able to fulfill them. During such times we will become sad that we arent able to fulfill them. That which leads to sorrow shouldnt be encouraged as it will eventually lead to our destruction. When what we want isnt fulfilled then we will become angry. Angry leads to delusion which in turn leads to loss of memory which in turn leads to destruction of intellect; eventually we will be destroyed (this means that we will experience sorrow alone in the long run).

If we are living in the world then we will have emotions so how do we remove passions (as it is impossible to remove them)? Passions have to be converted into compassion. There is only a very small difference between passion and compassion. Passion is directed towards our micro world (the set of people and objects we like) whereas compassion is directed towards the entire world. Passion is considering whom we like whereas compassion considers those who are really deserving. Passion means we will be considering our own people whereas compassion means we will be putting ourselves in the shoes of others; passion therefore is a tainted vision whereas compassion is an untainted all-pervasive vision with respect to the entire world. Needless to say, passion leads to sorrow whereas compassion leads to bliss.

The Lord while mentioning many divine qualities in the sixteenth chapter of Gita says that one among them is compassion towards all beings in the world. Astavakra Gita says that in order to get rid of sorrow from the world we should renounce all sense objects and treat

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them like poison. And we should have qualities like compassion in order to progress towards eternal bliss.

Thus compassion is a very important virtue for a spiritual sadhaka. Generally our focus is just on our micro world and not on the entire world. Vision of the micro world leads to limitations in our mind. Our mind thereby forgetting that it can see the entire world as one sees just limited objects and people (and that too with the eye of difference or perspective of difference). This eventually leads to sorrow alone (not just for us but for our micro world as well). But when we develop the virtue of compassion we will see the entire world as one and therefore we will get rid of all sorrows as a result of the micro world.

How do we implement compassion? Compassion is that virtue by which we put ourselves in others position and without any partiality we see as to what people really need in the world. Therefore if we want to give 100 rupees then we will be able to give it to the most deserving person in the world rather than just to people whom we know. Though it may take years for us to develop compassion in its entirely, if we just are able to develop even a little bit then we will see our sorrows slowly getting reduced.

We experience sorrow as a result of something lacking in our lives or in the lives of people around us. But when we see those who are lacking much more than us, then we will forget our desires. Where is there any desire to buy a car when we realize that there are many people who arent even able to afford travel by bus? How can there be any desire to wear a suit when we realize that there are many people who dont even have proper pair of clothing to cover themselves? How can we desire for an air-conditioned room when we realize that there are many people who dont even have proper roofing above their head?

Thus through the simple virtue of compassion we will find ourselves being rid of all unwated desires of the world. If not for compassion then we will find that we are never able to get rid of our desires. When one desire gets fulfilled then ten new desires creep up in their place this goes on without any end at all. But with compassion our mind broadens and therefore our desires will get reduced. Moreover our desires also will become nobler instead of craving for personal desires we will crave for desires that serve the entire world.

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But there are many who run hither and thither in the name of social service. They also constantly complain that people arent being saved and that there are many who need to be saved or helped in the world. Such people are definitely fools and there arent doing any service to themselves or others. If we have the virtue of compassion then we will just do what we can and the rest will be left to Ishwara. We will have the knowledge that nothing is in our hands and everything is in the hands of Ishwara alone. Through this we will therefore be able to remain unaffected irrespective of whatever is the fruits of actions. Though this appears to be similar to those who claim social service, in their case there is no contentment at all. But when we are filled with compassion and our actions are driven by compassion then we will be contended at all times. Such contentment is the sign of spirituality being developed in us. Through this slowly and eventually we will be able to progress towards the ultimate goal of life of moksha (characterized by complete cessation of sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss).

There can be a doubt as to who will take care of us if we just go around doing service to others as a result of compassion. This is answered beautifully through the short story. There is a saying that God helps those who help themselves but God helps more those who help others. When we start helping others automatically it becomes the Lords duty to protect us or serve all our needs. Therefore as the Lord promises us in Gita, he will fulfill all our desires. This is if we have compassion and therefore serve the entire world. This serving of entire world is seeing either the Lord in everything or seeing ourselves in everything either way we should see oneness and no duality whatsoever.

The boy in the story wanted a bicycle but he had the broad mind to realize that there were things people needed more than the bicycle for him therefore he renounced that desire and he used the money saved for a better cause. When such actions are performed then we will find that all our desires will be fulfilled. The boy therefore was able to get a bicycle through his act of compassion.

Irrespective of whether our desires get fulfilled or not we will be able to remain contended or blissful as a result of our act of compassion. Even just a little act of compassion of helping a passer-by will give us peace of mind. This peace of mind we will not be able to get even if we helped our near and dear ones (for their desires or wants will keep on increasing instead of just wanting something, they will want something more).

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Lastly we cannot change the entire world which is just an illusion in the non-dual reality of Brahman but we can definitely change ourselves through vision of oneness (which here is implemented through the virtue of compassion). When we change ourselves then we will find that people and the world around us also changes. This is what happened in the story. The boys act of compassion created a change in the entire school. The entire school helped the boy collect money in order to send to the poor. Not only this but the entire school helped in fulfilling the boys desire of getting a bicycle which was renounced for a selfless purpose. Thus the boys act of compassion lead to the act of compassion of the entire school in getting the bicycle for the boy. Therefore we clearly see as to how through our own life and deeds we will be knowingly or unknowingly able to create change in the entire world.

Ultimately irrespective of whether the world changes or not we will be able to remain blissful and content as a result of our acts of compassion. It should be remembered that in compassion there is no ego or individuality or selfishness at all. The moment we say that I did an act of compassion, it ceases to be an act of compassion and it becomes an egoistic activity that only serves to boost the ego (thereby eventually leading to sorrow). Therefore any act of compassion must be performed keeping in mind the good of others and it doesnt matter whether we get recognition from anybody as a result of our action what matters is that our mind is broadened and we experience contentment as a result of the action.

Eventually through such good qualities like compassion we will be able to ever abide in the knowledge that everything is pervaded by one Brahman or Ishwara alone. Thereby all our sorrows will end and we will be able to ever rejoice in bliss.

May we all strive to develop and implement the virtue of compassion so that we are able to progress towards the ultimate goal of life of moksha and through our actions and knowledge (of Ishwara pervading the entire world) we are able to attain the goal of moksha and are able to ever rejoice in bliss here and now itself.

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Vedanta Pariksha
This month all questions are on the antah karana (split into four as mind, intellect, ego and memory).

1) If antah karana needs to perceive objects, then it needs what? a) Body b) Bahih karana or sense organs c) Ishwara d) Praana 2) Which is the antah karana used for discrimination? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego d) Memory 3) Which is the antah karana used as store-house of thoughts? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego d) Memory 4) What are the antah karanas made up of? a) Vital force b) Energy c) Thoughts d) Vibrations 5) Which is the antah karana used for sankalpa-vikalpa (pros-cons)? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego d) Memory 6) Which is the antah karana used for identifying or associating with objects and people of the world? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego

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d) Memory

7) In which antah karana does Consciousness get reflected and thereby is termed as Jeeva? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego d) Memory 8) Which antah karana is required to gain knowledge about the world and Brahman? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego d) Memory 9) Which antah karana is required for the pre-requisites of purification and

concentration, before gaining knoweledge? a) Mind b) Intellect c) Ego d) Memory 10) Define all the four antah karanas in Sanskrit (like sankalpa vikalpaatmakam manah).

Watch out the next magazine for answers to this quiz. Email your responses to admin@vedantatattva.org and find out how good your scores really are.

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Answers to previous months quiz 1. c Vaayu 2. b Raama 3. c Chiranjeevi 4. c Brahmaa 5. d Never related 6. a Anjani 7. d Shuddhi 8. c To remove sorrow of Sugriva 9. c Servant

Marks for quiz Aparna 8 Nikhila 8

Congrats to all for answering the quiz on Hanuman.

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Anukramaanika Nirdesham
1. Editorial a general message 2. Upanishad Upanishad) 3. Gitaamritham verse-by-verse explanation of a chapter of Gita (Bhakti Yoga, 12th chapter) 4. Prakarana Prakaashah illumination of a prakarana grantha (Dakshinamurthy Ashtakam) 5. Madhuraamritham a devotional/song work explained verse-by-verse (Hanuman Chalisa) 6. Praadeshikam detailed explanation of two regional works (Hari Naama Keerthanam and Kanda Shashti Kavacham) 7. Jagat samskhepa a brief analysis of Jagat (world) 8. Acharya Smrithi remembering an acharya through brief life-history and works 9. Vedanta Kathaa a short story with import on Vedanta and its brief explanation 10. Vedanta Pariksha Q & A Vivaranam verse-by-verse explanation of Upanishad (Mundaka

1. Comments 2. Suggestions 3. Corrections (word, sloka, content etc.) 4. Would like to see specific content 5. Would like to contribute (through research from websites, dont need to write up the content yourself) Mail admin@vedantatattva.org.

Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested. Online download of the magazine can be found at

http://vedantatattva.org/vedantagroup/VedantaDarshanam Subscribing and unsubscribing can be done by mailing admin@vedantatattva.org for now. Watch out http://vedantatattva.org for news about the magazine.

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