Tuesday, March 1, 2016

AMRITABINDU UPANISHAD



AMRITABINDU UPANISHAD

(Compilation  for a discourse by N.R.  Srinivasan, March 2016)


Amritabindu Upanishad is the most important among the five Bindu Upanishads. Amrita Bindu Upanishad,   the sweet immortal nectar (Amritam) drops of spiritual teachings is from Krishna Yajurveda containing 22 mantras.  It is classified as Yoga Upanishad along with four other Bindu Upanishads—Tejo Bindu, Naada Bindu, Dhyaana Bindu and Brahma Bindu.  We   do not know the Rishi (sage author) of this Upanishad.   Truth alone probably matters, and not any personality.  It is considered as a minor Upanishad while   Upanishads on which the great spiritual early philosophers Sankara and  Madhva, wrote commentaries are termed major.  Later Saayana and Rangaramanuja wrote commentaries on other Upanishads besides major Upanishads. Saayana even wrote commentaries on Rigveda which Max Muller made use of. These commentaries were in simple Sanskrit language. This Upanishad is not minor in its significance and has the same depth and force that major Upanishads have.

In fact Bhagavad Gita which heavily leans on Katha and Svetaasvatara Upanishads  is  a compendium of all Yoga Upanishads. There is even a suggestion that the Song Celestial was originally a Yoga-Upanishad which was later Vaishnavised. Ramakrishna Math titles all 18 chapters  of Bhagavadgeetaa as different kinds of Yoga: 1) Arjuna Vishaada Yoga 2) Sankhya Yoga 3) Karma yoga 4) Jnyaana-karma--sanyaasa Yoga 5) Sanyaasa Yoga 6) Dhyaana Yoga 7) Jnyaana-Vijnyaana Yoga 8) Aksharabrahma Yoga 9) Raajavidyaa-Raajaguhya Yoga 10) Vibhooti Yoga 11) Viswaroopa Darsana Yoga 12) Bhakti Yoga 13) Kshetra-Kshetrjnya Vibhaaga Yoga 14) Gunatraya Vibhaaga Yoga 15) Purushottma Yoga 16) Daivaasura Sampadvibhaaga Yoga 17) Sraddhaatraya Vibhaaga Yoga  18) Moksha-sanyaasa Yoga. Prabha Duneja has titled her Bhagvadgeetaa as “The Legacy of Yoga In Bhagavadgeetaa” and refers to Yogasaastra in all 18 chapters.
 
Mind and its management, the nature of the Self, the place of scriptural study, the limitations of conceptual thinking and the oneness of myriad books of wisdom are the main focus  of this gem of a revealed text.  The keynote message is in mantra 18, which says “As one takes rice, discarding the husk, the intelligent seeker grasps the Truth and leaves the book behind”. Beyond a point spiritual seeker has no need for scriptures says also,  Bhagavadgeetaa.
 The word amritabindu means, 'a drop of nectar'.   Swami Madhavananda says:    Amritabindu Upanishad inculcates, first, the control of the mind in the shape of desire-less-ness for sense-objects, as the most effective way to the attainment of  Liberation and the realization of the  One who is Intelligence and knowledge Absolute.. Then, it sets forth in an easy and convincing way the real nature of the soul and the realization of the highest truth which leads to unity. Thus, the central theme of all the  Upanishads – viz., that the Jeeva and  Brahman are eternally one, and that all duality  is a mere super-imposition   due to  ignorance (maaya)– finds a clear and forceful emphasis in these terse, epigrammatic verses."
Amritabindu Upanishad describes that the mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. The mind that is attached to material objects (sense-objects) leads to bondage, while if it is disassociated from material objects (sense-objects) it can lead to liberation. All spiritual practices and spiritual disciplines are geared to obtain inner purity, calmness of the mind, and ultimately, liberation. When the mind is immersed in the state of divinity, it is beyond virtue and vice. In the state of liberation by practicing Kriya Yoga one can withdraw thought-waves and mind-stuff into knowledge, their knowledge to consciousness and consciousness to super-consciousness; one can also withdraw one's manomaya kosha from the coccygeal and sacral centers to above the lumbar center and get super-consciousness, peace, solace and joy in life as indicated in the second  key sloka by the phrase  karnam bandhamokshayoh--mastery of mind leads to wisdom:  
Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandhamokshayoh |
Bandhaaya vishayaasaktam muktam nirvishayam smritam || 2 ||
It is indeed the mind that is the cause of People’s bondage and liberation. The mind that is attached to sense-objects leads to bondage. The mind that is dissociated from sense objects tends to lead to Liberation.
Beginning with two fold classification of mind as 1) attachment to sense pleasures and 2) free from seeking pleasure, the sacred book declares that liberation is gained by the latter kind of mind. It calls for restraining the mind’s movements, making the mind merge in the Self.  Pure, infinite and changeless is the Truth.   It is a mistake to think that there are many souls with various limitations.   Just as many reflected images of the moon have the one and only moon in the sky as the truth of them all, the apparently many souls have the one Self (Atman) as their Truth.   The nature of Brahman, the absolute reality, is pointed out in this Upanishad.   Spiritual study and practices are meant to recognize this one Self in the illusory plurality.   The Upanishad discusses the place of scriptural study and the relevance of meditation with inspiring illustrations and forceful expressions.     
The ways and means of making ourselves fit for the reception of divine grace and for the entry of universal forces into our own selves are traditionally known as sadhana chatushtaya, a fourfold discipline of one’s own self. Sadhana chatushtaya is the fourfold discipline of self-control. This consists of four disciplines--Viveka, Vairagya, Sampat and Mumukshatva. Viveka means correct understanding. Vairagya is the process of rational rejection; Samapat is the acquisition of six spiritual wealths-Sama, Dama, Uprati, Titiksha, Sraddha and Samaadhaana.  Mumukshatva is the intense longing for spiritual acquisition. These are the four ways by which you can make yourself a suitable conducting medium for the ingress of forces which are universal in their nature, natural as well as divine. 
Bhagavad  Gita in verses 13 to 20 of chapter 12 describes thirty-nine characteristics as hall marks of true devotee. All these take him only to the divine plane as these verses end with "sa may priyah" meaning Lord is friendly to him and not "sa may yujyah", he is one with me. In his Gita Bhashya Madhva says, "muktaah praapya param Vishnum taddeham samsritaa api | taaratamyena tishthanti Gunair aanandapoorvakah". Even the most qualified soul can share only partial bliss of Brahman and cannot become similar to Brahman. That is the reason these verses from Bhaktiyoga end with "may priyah".  The path of devotion is easier for many people say the learned Pundits of scriptures. It is easier said than done. Bhakti does not develop without knowledge which needs a combination of personal effort, faith and Grace of God. Tulsidas Ramayana talks about Navadhaa bhakti; Satsanga; Sravana; Seva, Sankeertana, Smarana, Samyama (discipline and control of six senses and detachment); Siyaramah sarvam (seeing God in everything); Santosha and Saralata. So it is all not that simple. Swami Krishnanada talks on the subject how to obtain divine grace and realize Self within us through Jnana. Whatever way we think it needs lot of Saadhana in each life of ours. Who knows how many lives we need? But somewhere in life we have to start the process.
When intelligence (Jnana) matures and lodges securely in the heart, it becomes wisdom (vignyana). When that wisdom (vignyana) is integrated with life and issues out in action, it becomes devotion (Bhakti). Knowledge (Jnana) which has become mature is spoken of as devotion (Bhakti). If it does not get transformed into devotion (Bhakti), such knowledge (Jnana) is useless tinsel. Bhakti is not blind faith as is generally understood.
“Desire is the root cause of Sorrow”, says Buddha.   The desire ridden mind is impure.  Other impurities like anger or jealousy are its side products.   When obstructed desire becomes anger, when someone else enjoys what one desires, it turns into jealousy.   When one gets what one wanted, greed or pride arises.
 “Mind is considered as two-fold: pure and impure. It is impure with the resolve of personal desire.  It is pure when devoid of all selfish desires”, says Mantra 1.

Mind binds, mind liberates!  Thoughts are the medium through which the ego, the limited Self, appears and paves the way for all our likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain.  Innocence of a child is free from attachment or hatred. As we reach deep within ourselves--we see this childlike nature of pure--undivided awareness due to attachment to sense objects.  We pursue pleasure out of mere habit and not as a true need.   Paying attention to the subtle ways our mind is indeed desire-less state. This thought is reflected in the 2nd mantra: “Mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation for human beings.   The mind attached to sense objects leads to bondage and that which is free of sense objects sets one free. So it is said”. The mind driven by dreams and desires achieves a lot. Freedom, however, is when the mind is quiet, free of desire.

The mind is like a white cloth.  Dip it in red dye, it turns red; dip it in green, it turns green.   Put it in sunlight for long, it looses its colors.   The mind truly is the Self itself, with no color. Attachment to sense objects are the colors that our mind has taken. Meditation brings the original freshness of the mind. A spiritual seeker starts with keeping away from temptations.  Mantra 3, advises that one should free his mind of sense objects: “A seeker of liberation should constantly make his mind free of sense objects since liberation is predicted of a mind that does not cling to sense objects”.

 Are the mind and Consciousness (Self) different?  The mind is just the Consciousness with superimpositions of name and form.  An enlightened Meditate sees himself as the Self even amidst the different modifications that his mind may assume. The mind is   compared to the moon which draws its light from the Self, the Sun.  The Self is called here the Consciousness, the spiritual heart, distinct from the blood-pumping organ. Mantra 4 says: “That is then the Supreme state when the mind is held firmly in the inner psyche, having given up all its attachments to sense objects and it (the mind) attains its own true state (the Self).

The ego is the nature of, “I am so and so”.  Any self-description taken as real, leads to trouble. “I am low” is immediate trouble.  “I am high” is postponed trouble.  When we shed all ideas of high or low, the egoless awareness shines supreme. That is Consciousness. Any particular description of the Self is in the mind. The mind must dissolve in the Consciousness, and descriptions must disappear into the indescribable. Therefore Mantra 5 says: “Restrain the mind until it dissolves in the Consciousness.   This is wisdom, this is meditation.  The rest is all logic and verbal extensions”.  

Space is unrelated to any form of structure.  It cannot be equated with either the magnificent Taj Mahal or a humble cottage of a village. In the same way, Awareness is unrelated to any mental concept.  The most wonderful philosophical thought as well as images of worldly attractions do not grasp the Self.  All concepts fall in the mind-blowing insight of Self-Knowledge. This is explained in mantra 6. “The highest State is neither something to be thought of (as pleasing); nor something to be not thought of (as displeasing); it is not something to be thought of (as object) at all; it should be   contemplated up on from any partiality”.

Upaasana is a time honored spiritual practice. It leads one to the highest level of meditation.  Ramana Maharishi often said “your mind is stuck with names and forms of the world.   Please apply it to the names and forms of the Lord.  You will reach ‘That’ (Tadekam) which is beyond names and forms: “Words, mantras, symbols etc., are all thus helpful supports for a seeker of the path.  The very advanced do not need  these supports.   Choosing the good leads to God, who is beyond both good and bad”.   This Upanishad in Mantra 7 says: “One should unite one’s mind with the higher, first taking the sound of Om.  Then one should meditate on the Supreme as (the Reality) beyond Om”.  Realizing (the truth) beyond sounds, the illusory (world) is realized as the Real (Brahman)”.  “Wholeness is Holiness” said the great philosopher J. Krishnamurti.  Conflicts over materialistic moral or spiritual matters divide us.   Conflicts cease by looking inwardly, in true self-observation.  If we turn inwards, they cease to exist.   The field of mind is full of divisions and conflicts.   Time brings in past, present and future.   Space means front, back and the middle.   Reason introduces cause and effect.  One should realize Awareness without the formations of a separating tendency “I”.  Here the Upanishad in mantra 8 says:  “That alone is the part-less Brahman, free of choice and devoid of stain. One attains the eternal Brahman, knowing ‘I am the Brahman’ ”.

When the thought of ‘I am the body’ seizes me I have serious doubts about who I am and where I belong. Observing the ways of the self and enquiring ‘who am I’ are two sides of the same coin. Both these are not activities of verbalizing, judging or reasoning. Upanishad therefore says in Mantra 9: “The Reality is without doubt, infinite, beyond reason and analogies.  It is unknowable and without beginning; knowing the same   wise one gets liberation”.   One is liberated when one realizes that all forms of “I am so and so” merge into pure being and Awareness.

In the next mantra 10, the Upanishad says: “This is the ultimate Truth--There is no control of mind; it does not rise at all; there is none bound; no spiritual practitioner; no seeker of liberation and there is no realized soul”. The egoistic living is like a long voyage in a dream.   When one crosses the ocean with great difficulty, he is set to celebrate his success.  One lives in a state of abandonment free from worry or inhibitions.   The transcendental wisdom leaves no room for the old divisions of the mind which were more mental creations. The dream world is invalid.

 The ‘Awareness’ is the same in the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep.   The Self is like space and the minds are like water in a bucket.   Rebirth is when one’s mind (the ego) leaves one body and begins to function in a second body.   The water is transferred from one bucket to another.   Space has no movement.   The Self never has a rebirth.   The Self is untouched by reincarnation. The Upanishad says in Mantra 11: “one should know there is only one Self, in waking, dream and deep sleep.   There is no rebirth to the one which is beyond the three states”.

 The Oneness of all life is the essence of Vedanta. Vivekananda often spoke about the same. He often said Vedanta is Universal Oneness and not  Universal Brotherhood stressed upon by the religions of the world.  The Self is same in Asia, Africa or Europe.  It is the same in 1000 BC, 1000 AD and 1000 years further up.   It is the same in realized soul and ignorant souls. Reflections of the same Moon are seen, in all waters, all over the world.  Upanishad says in Mantra 12: “One alone is the Self in all beings.  Like the moon which is reflected in water, the One (Self) is the same in all and yet, appears as many too”.

The moon seems to move amidst clouds.  Really the movement belongs to the clouds and not to the moon.  Change is death and changelessness is immortality. The opposite of love is fear. Fear is of change, of death. Pleasures, positions, powers, and privileges all come and go.  The “true I” is like space; there is no difference in it.  The Self is immovable screen; all else is passing show!  This is explained by an analogy of a moving pot in the following mantra 13: “Space is covered by a pot.   When we move the pot, space does not move; only the pot moves.  In the same way, the (true) soul is like space (and has no movement or changes)”.

In Vedanta two of the most powerful analogies, the Self is likened to the Sun and space.   However, both these, a star and an element, are inert.   The Self is Awareness and sentient.  Vedanta begins with the instructions: “The knower is the Self.  The known is the non-Self. The Self is the principle of knowledge (chit) which illumines both the knower and the known.  Self as the knower is stressed in the Mantra 14:   “When pots of various shapes are broken, space knows it not! But the self knows it perfectly”.

Words inspire.  Words bind too.  Words are like a boat which we must use to cross a river.   We must leave the boat and walk to the other shore.   Attachment to verbosity has held back many a spiritual seeker from higher possibilities.   The Upanishad says in Mantra 15: “When covered by the power of words (sound) one does not know the Self (called the sky or space here) being enveloped in darkness. When the darkness (ignorance) is destroyed, one sees the oneness, being the One”.

Leaving the boat before embarking on the journey is a blunder.   Holding on to the boat after the journey is over, is again a blunder!  A seeker should be true to him and assess his own mental purity honestly and take up the appropriate spiritual practice.   Repeating a mantra makes the mind single focused and gives a degree of freedom from sense objects which otherwise occupies the mind.  One who meditates can afford to go deeper when a high degree of concentration and dispassion is gained. So says the Mantra 16: “The OM as a word is first considered as the Supreme Brahman.  After that (word idea) has vanished, the imperishable Brahman (remains).  The wise one should meditate on that imperishable Brahman, if he desires peace of his soul”. Swami Chinmayananda says; “when we pray we speak and God listens; when we meditate God speaks and we listen”.

Put your mind to PUT process, P for purity, U for Unity and T for transcend. The first two are on the plane of words, the third is non-verbal.   One should purify one’s mind by contemplating on inspiring thoughts and ideas from any source that uplifts him.   Meditation on selected passages from books of wisdom can purify one’s mind.   One should unify his mind by repeating his chosen mantras.  Then there is a progress from many thoughts to one thought.   The simple thought of the mantra becomes a wonderful support against all distractions.   The mind then subsides.   Awareness alone shines.   That is transcendence.   This is stressed in the Upanishad mantra 17: “One ought to know two kinds of Vidya (knowledge)--these are; the word-Brahman and the Supreme Brahman.   Having mastered the word Brahman, one attains the Supreme Brahman”—the thought and realization.
                                                                         
“The intelligent student, after studying the Vedic texts, is solely intent on acquiring wisdom and realization.  He should discard the texts altogether, as the man who seeks the rice discards the husk”, says mantra 18. Spiritual texts are certainly a stepping stone to the highest vision. We may lift our mind to great heights through study of scriptures.  Then we stay with the essence. Self enquiry “who am I” is really a non-verbal activity. Non-verbal, non-judgmental and non-interfering observation, which is not at all (a dull or passive state) of the mind’s movement, brings about transformation. Transcendence of the mind takes place. The mind then no more binds you. Thoughts sit lightly in your Consciousness.

Intelligence is different from the intellect. The intellect works within the field of the known.   Intelligence breaks off.   Attachment to books, symbols, dogmas and practices has made people blind to the essence.   There would not be so much bloodshed in the name of religion if people had more intelligence than mere intellect.   This message is brought about in the following mantra 19, by an analogy to cow and milk: ‘Milk is of the same color, while cows are of different colors.  The intelligent student regards wisdom as milk and the many branches of Vedas as cows”.

“Do not get bitter, please get better” says Swami Tejomayananda.   Every drop of milk has butter in it.   Yet the milk has to curdle and then we churn it to get butter.   Everybody is loving and lovable in their heart.   Wrong psychological conditions veil that divinity.  Contact with the wise, Satsanga (association with the holy person), brings about an increased manifestation of their original goodness. This theme is conveyed in the following Mantra 20 by an analogy: “Pure awareness resides in every being as butter hides in milk.  It ought to be churned out constantly with the churning rod of mind”.

In olden days, they had a way of lighting up the sacrificial fire every morning.   They made two pieces of wood (Aranis) rub against each other and by friction sparks of fire emerged out of them.   A rope was used to bring about the rotation of the pieces.   Employing this as an analogy, knowledge, in the form of new ideas, causes friction within us and leads to sparks of new understanding.   The figurative use of fire is especially appropriate for the ego.   Egoistic confusions are totally undone, as thoughts burnt upon gaining the vision of the Self. Quiet attention in meditation has intelligence (light) and power (heat). This thought is conveyed in the following Mantra 21.  “Take the rope of knowledge and bring it out like fire, the Supreme Brahman.   I am that Brahman, indivisible, immutable and calm.   Thus it is thought of”.

This beautiful Upanishad concludes with an assertion once more of the Universal Oneness of all life.  It ends with the sentence “Tadasmyaham Vaasudeva iti”. As pure Awareness, we are ever one with the entire Universe. “Vaasu” implies “dwelling in every heart”  “Deva” means of the nature of light i.e. “Awareness”. The concluding Mantra 22 of this Upanishad reads as follows: “I am the soul of the Universe, the Supreme Being--in which resides all beings, and which resides in all beings by virtue of Me being the giver of grace to all.  I am Vaasudeva, that soul of the Universe, the Supreme Being”.


This Upanishad begins and ends as well with the Shanti Path:

“OM, May we hear the auspiciousness with ears, O God,
May we see the auspicious with eyes O worshipful One!
May we live fully the whole span of Life Granted to us by the Divines!
Praising them, while enjoying firm limbs and strong bodies! 
May Indra of ancient fame bless us!
May Sun God, who knows all, bless us!
May Garuda, who eliminates obstacles, bless us!
May Brihaspati (the preceptor of Gods) bless us!
Om, May there be triune peace, peace, peace!”
      
Eknath Easwaran summarizes the whole Upanishad as follows:  Mind is the seat of spiritual struggle.

Ramana Maharshi   compliments mind and says: “mind is a wondrous power and our destiny in life is determined by what we do with that power”. 

Theravada Buddhism says: “all that we are, is the result of what we have thought (of in mind)”. If we neglect mind, the senses and lower forces in our inherited consciousness take control of it; if we train it carefully, we can utilize its power to liberation—to immortality.



MANTRAS OF AMRITABINDU UPANISHAD


Manoe hi dvividham proektam suddham cha asuddhameva cha |
Asuddham kaamasakalpam suddham kaama vivarjitam || (Mantra 1)

Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandhamokshayoeh |
Bandhaaya vishayaasaktam muktam nirvishayam smritam || (Mantra 2)

 Yatoe nirvishayasyaasya manasoe muktirishyate |
Atoe nirvishayam nityam manah kaaryam  mumukshunaa || (Mantra 3)

Nirastavishayaasangam samniruddham manoe hridi |
Yadaa aayaatmanoe bhaavam tadaa tatpramam padam || (Mantra 4)

Taavadeva niroedhvayam yaavadvriddhi gatam kshayam |
Etaj-jnaanam cha dhyaanam cha seshoe nyascha vistarah || (Mantra 5)

Neva chintyam na chaachintyam chintyam chintyameva tat |
Pakshapaatavinirmuktam brahma sampadyate tadaa || (Mantra 6)

 Svarena sandhayed yogam asvaram bhaavayetparam |
Asvarenaanubhaavena  bhaavoe vaa abhaava ishyate || (Mantra 7)

Tadeva nishkalam brahma nirvikalpam niranjanam |
Tadbrahmaahamiti jnaatvaa brahma sampadyate dhruvam || (Mantra 8)

Nirvikalpamanantam cha hetudrishtaantavarjitam |
Aprameyamanaadim cha yaj-jnaatvaaa muchyate budhah || (mantra 9)

Na niroedhoe na choetpattihna baddhoe na cha saadhakah |
Na mumukshurna vai muktaah ityeshaa paramaarthataa || (Mantra 10)

Eka evaa-aatma mantavyoe jagrat-svapna-sushuptishu |
Sthaanatraya-vyateetasya punarjanma na vidyate || (Mantra 11)
Eka eva hi bhootaatmaa bhoote bhoote vyavasthitaa |
Ekadhaa bahudhaa chaiva drisyate jalachandravat || (Mantra12)

Ghatasamvritamaakaasamneeyamaane ghate yathaa |
Ghatoe neeyate naakaasam tathaa jeevoe nabhoepamah || (Mantra 13)

Ghatavad vividhaakaaram bhidyamaanam punah punah |
Tadbhagnam na cha jaanaati  sa  jaanaati cha nityasah || (Mantra 14)

Sabdamaayaavritoe  naiva tamasaa yaati pushkare | 
Bhinne tamsi chikatvam eka evaanupasyati ||(Mantra 15)

Sabdaaksharam param brahma tasminksheene yadaksharam |
Tadvidvaanaksharam dhyaayed yadeecchecchaantitaatmanah || (Mantra 16)

Dve vidye veditavye  tu sabdabrahma param cha yat |
Sabdabrahmani nishnataah param brahmaadigacchati || (Mantra 17)

Grnathamabhyasya medhaavee g jnaana-vijnaana-tatparah |
Palalamiva dhaanyaarthee tyajed grantham-aseshatah || (Mantra 18)

Gavaamaneka-cvarnaanaam ksheerasyaapy-eka-varnataa |
Ksheeravat-pasyate jnaanam linginastu gavaam yathaa || (Mantra 19)

Ghritamiva payasi nighoodam bhoote bhoote b vasasi vijnaanam |
Satatam manthayitavyam manasaa manthaana-bhootena || (Mantra 20)

Jnaana-netram samaadaaya uddhared vahinavatparam |
Nishkalam nischalam saantam tadbrahmam-iti smritam || (Mantra21)

Sarvabhootaadhivaasam yad bhooteshu cha vasatyapi |
Sarvaanugraahakatvena tadasmyaham vaasudevah
tadsmayam Vaasudeva iti || (Mantra 22)

Bhadram karnebhih srinuyaama devaah |
Bhadram pasyema akshabhiryajatraah |
Sthirairangais-tushtuvaamsas-tanoobhih |
Vyasema devahitam yadaayuh |
Svasti na  indroe vriddhasravaah |
Svasti nah pooshaa visvavedaah |
Svasti nas-taarkshyo-arishthanemih |
Svasti noe brihaspatir-dadhaatu |
Om Saanth Saantih Saantih |
|| Harih Om ||\


Eknath Eeswaran summarizes the   whole of the Amritabindu Upanishad (the name means “drop of the nectar of immortality”) thus:

“Brahman refers to the ultimate reality, the supreme Godhead, beyond all distinctions or forms.  The mind   is both pure and impure. It becomes impure driven by the senses; but when the senses are under control, the mind becomes pure. It is the mind that   enslaves or frees us.   We become bound driven by the senses. Those who seek freedom must master their senses. When we master   the senses we become free. One reaches the summit of consciousness when the mind is detached from the senses. Mastery of the mind leads to wisdom.  One should stop all vain talks and practice meditation. The highest state is beyond reach of thought, for it lies beyond all duality. Keep repeating the ancient mantra OM, until it reverberates in your heart.

Brahman is indivisible and pure. Realize Brahman and go beyond all changes. He is immanent and transcendent. Realizing him, sages attained freedom and declared there are no separate minds. Thus they have realized their true nature. In all our stages of waking, sleeping, dreaming, the same Self abides in us. We must transcend these three stages and go beyond rebirth.

There is only one Self in all creatures; The One appears as many, just as the moon appears as many, reflected in water. The Self appears to change its location. It does not change when the jar it contains is moved around. When the jar is broken, the air does not   know the jar. But when the body is shed the Self knows the body well. Concealed by Maaya we do not see the Self; when the veil falls, we see we are the Self. The mantra Om is the symbol of Brahman by repeating which we can bring peace to the mind.

Knowledge is twofold, lower and higher. The Self-realization is higher knowledge and all else is lower Knowledge. Self is like rice covered with chaff. Realization is rice; all else is chaff. All cows of different hues yield only   white milk.  “Sacred scriptures are like the cows and the wisdom that comes out is white” the sages say. The Self is hidden in the hearts of all just as butter is hidden within the milk. Churn the mind through meditation on Self which is all whole, all peace and all certitude. Enlighten yourself (lit the fire within you) through meditation on Self. Enlightened noble souls (sages) declare: “I have realized the Self, that self is the Lord of Love and I am united with the Lord of Love which Lord is the same present in all Beings”


This lecture has been prepared by abridging and editing original text of Swami Chidananda of Central Chinmaya Mission Trust, Mumbai 400072 and Swami Madhavananda of   Advaita Ashram,  Kolkota for Vedanta Class at Sri Ganesha Temple, Nashville, TN. and taking help from various Internet sources as well as elucidations by Ekanth Eeswaran, CA which are gratefully acknowledged.