vedanta sandesh - dec 2011
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DESCRIPTIONDec 2011 issue of Vedanta Sandesh, the English monthly eMagazine of International Vedanta Mission, containing inspiring and enlightening articles, snippets, quotes of Vedanta & Hinduism, and news of the activities of Int. Vedanta Mission.
Monthly eMagazine of the International Vedanta Mission
Year 17 Issue 6
In This Issue
1. Vedanta Section: Atma Bodha - Shloka-37
2. Letter Section: Atma is not Inert Object
3. Siddhanta Section: Vyasti & Samashti
4. Story Section: The Bold Beggar
5. VM Programs: Mission / Ashram Progs
From Poojya Guruji
Vedanta SandeshSpreading Love & Light
Monthly eMagazine of theInternational Vedanta Mission
Sharing the message of Vedanta and Sanatan Dharma
Dec 2011On the Net since 1995
Started by:Poojya Guruji Sri Swami Atmanandaji
Published from:Vedanta Ashram
E/2948-50, Sudama NagarIndore-452 009, India
Bhagwad Gita is the only scripture in Sanatan Dharma, whose Jayanti is celebratedevery year. This tradition is to highlight the profound importance of Bhagwad Gita inour day to day life. To appreciate the exact message of Gita we need to bring to ourmind the problem being faced by Arjuna. Arjuna and all his team were people whowere sincerely committed to Dharma. They sincerely believed and lived a righteouslife to the best of their ability & understanding, and were inspired to base their kingdomtoo on the lines of Dharma. Dharma is basically that which is right - for the well-beingof all; and all the philosophers, rulers and judiciary the world over know how tricky andrelative this subject is. That which is right for one person may not be right for another,and this also changes even for that person under different circumstances. Still, inorder to tread this path of righteousness, some simple systems are given to discernthat which is right, like "Do unto others as you wish that they do unto you". We have somany quotes in our scriptures to that effect. We also have traditions and other scriptureshelping a person discern that which is good & truly right. Yet those who sincerely treadthis path know very well that there are times when, inspite of all our knowledge &commitment, we seem to stand at some cross road, where both the options seem tohave some merits as well as demerits. Yet the person still wants to sincerely do thatwhich is right. This was where our friend Arjuna stood on the battle field. He basicallyhad no fears for the war as such, but his concern was only about doing that which isright. He wondered, how can raising ones hand against our highly reverential elders &relatives be right? Yet he knew that because of their own personal reasons these verypeople were helplessly siding with the evil & selfish rulers. So what was really rightunder the circumstances. He shivered to even think that he may inadvertently do thatwhich was wrong, and that also in the name of right. It is this helpless & incapacitatingstate of mind which leads to grief, and this subsequently leads to wrong decisions,failures, stress and even diseases. This is a universal problem and as Bhagwad Gitaaddresses this topic, it has a universal appeal & relevance.
So what does Bhagwad Gita prescribe? Firstly, let us realize this fact that 'right' is notany particular action whatsoever - even if they are values like non-violence or eventruthfulness etc.; it is basically an attitude borne out of well-being of all concerned. It isa response of a righteous person who is conscentious, compassionate and a truewell-wisher of all. It is a response of someone who has risen above their sense ofindividuality & self-concern. No doubt such a person will definitely appreciate theimportance & beauty of values like non-violence etc, yet we know that there are timeswhen we cannot be obstinate in the name of these values. The motivation is still higher& subtler, and that is - the love & well-being of all. We may have to be harsh with adumb & stupid persons if they appear to be a threat to others & even themselves. Soit is all relative. What Bhagwad Gita prescribes is to help us rise above our sense ofindividuality, and thus have the capacity to objectively see any situation. Whether it isBhakti, Dhyana or Gyana - all are aimed to help us realize the truth of this individualand life on the whole so that we can see everything in right perspective. A person whoknows the truth of his self and life shall alone have the capacity to objectively look ateveryone & everything in a detached way and thus take the right decisions - at allplaces & time.
Love & om,
Atma Bodha - Shloka 37
Evam nirantara abhyastaaIn the whole process of awakening the scrip-
tures give us a well defined method to be followedby a seeker to awaken in the nature of the true Self.This pattern is of Shravana, Manan & Nididhyasan.Shravan is gaining knowledge of the SELF, thenmanan is practised for resolving any doubts thatarise in the mind after shravan and then InNididhyasan one not only retains the awareness ofBrahman by way of meditation and contemplationon ones real nature, but it is a process by whichone overcomes habitual tendencies of identifictaionwith the Anatma borne of our deep rooted impres-sions on the mind, not ony of this birth but of theinnumerous births in the past . One may gain knowledge and bring about the awareness of the reality
Vedanta Sandesh - Dec 2011
Assimilation of Knowledge liberates
of the Self, but this awareness can be disrupted bythe strong impressions in the unconscious mind. Byconstant practise of Nididhyasan one overcomessuch habitual tendencies until this awareness be-comes a part of the unconscious mind too and be-comes a natural state of the self.
In this part of the sloka the Acharya saysEvam i.e. thus as explained in the previous threeslokas the continuous contemplation and practisei.e. nididhyasan of the conception that I am Brah-man is the door to direct knowledge. A spiritual as-pirant need consistently and seriously contemplateon the various pointers given to us by the scriptures.The Upanishads say that awakening in the Realnature of the Self is as serious a task as changingthe flow of the river into the opposite direction. It is
In the last three slokas the Acharya gave some pointers for nididhyasanam. Very sincere and deepcontemplation on these pointers culminates in the knowledge of the Self. All the pointers negate ourprevious convictions of the Self to unfold that which is the real nature of the Self. All spiritual students mustconsistently practise contemplation on such pointers to strengthen ones conviction of Self knowledge.
The Nidhidhyasanam process ensures our total identification with our real Self, the Atma (or, theBrahman) and its innate, intrinsic Nature. This process is taken up not as some one who is trying to look atAtma and its nature as an outsider, but as one who is himself the Atma (or, Brahman). These pointers fornididhyasanam are propounded to bring about the akhanda brahmakar vritti. This Meditation is, on theMeditator himself. In the next sloka the Acharya is again restating the nature of the Self as that of Brah-man.
Evam nirantara abhyastaa Brahmaivasmeeti vaasanaHarati avidya vikshepaan rogaaniva rasaayanam.
Evam: Thus; nirantara: constantly or incessantly; abhyastaa: practised; Brahmaivasmi: that iam verily Brahman; iti vaasana: the conception or inate inclination; Harati: destroys; avidya:ignorance; vikshepaan: the distraction of ignorance; rogaaniva: like diseases; rasaayanam:the medicine.
The conception, I am verily Brahman, thus incessantly practised, destroys the distractionscaused by ignorance, just as an elixer or medicine cures diseases.
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dissolving the deep rooted identification of the Jivawith anatma which requires a lot of clarity & strength.This journey of enlightenment cannot be takenlightly. Every moment an aspirant must eat, sleep,drink the awareness of the Self as Brahman. This isnot only practised when on the seat of meditationbut also every moment of interaction with the world,its objects, relationships, while experiencing objects,whilst performing actions, at all times. A continuouspractise of the knowledge brought about duringshravan n manan steadies one in his own naturalstate of pure existence, self effulgent & blissful state.
Brahmaivasmeeti vaasanaI am Brahman alone this vasana or inate
inclination is brought about by the practise ofNididhyasan. As of today I am a Jiva; a limited be-ing is our inclination. This sense of limitation re-flects in all our values and our interactions with theworld outside. Vasana is a strong deep rooted im-pression in our minds which is brought about by ourown convictions and understanding of the Self andthe world. Vasana is that conditioning which ifnoursihed over a period of time, it strengthens andmakes home in the unconscious mind and reflectsin all our interactions, our responses, our likes anddisikes. All our actions are based upon the kind ofvasanas that dominate the deeper layers of our per-sonality. Here the Acharya says that through theconstant awareness of this knowledge let the thoughtof Aham Brahmasmi become such a deep rootedinate vasana that this conviction and direct knowl-edge alone reflects in all our actions and responsesas a self fulfilled, complete and blissful being. Letthis reflect as my basic nature. A self satisfied beingwho does move out into the world as a seeker witha begging bowl but rather whose hand stretches outto serve selflessly out of fulfillment, joy and love dis-covered within. No adverse conditions can detersuch a person from his blissful nature, no individuallikes and disikes can rule such a person but whenin the world, he lives like a Master