Lesson 50 explains why most aspirants don't enjoy unconditional, unceasing and highest contentment possible. Nididhyasana is the solution. How to definitively tell if Vedanta is working or not? And 3 Stages leading to absolute non-duality vision of oneness.
Source of teaching: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, verse 27, 28, 29
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 27:
praśāntamanasaṃ hyenaṃ yōginaṃ sukham uttamam |
upaiti śāntarajasaṃ brahmabhūtamakalmaṣam ||
Supreme Ānanda comes to this Yogi, who is free from impurities, whose agitations have subsided, whose mind is totally tranquil (and) who has become Brahman.
What will be result of this practice? Dhyana phalam (fruit of meditation). This is what Krishna mentions in following verses.
praśāntamanasam hi enaṃ uttamaṃ sukham upaiti: the benefit of this mediation is the highest peace will come to that person. Uttam sukam means the greatest peace. Meaning the peace that passeth all understanding. A peace which is not determined by external conditions.
Any other type of peace that I enjoy is because I add something external onto myself. As long as one adds/subtracts, the peace is conditional-peace. Conditional-peace is not peace. Anything conditional is not real. This is one Vedāntic lesson that you should always remember, anything conditional is fake.
If you say “I am secure because there is money”, Vedānta calls it conditional security, because it is ‘because of' money. Thus conditional security is not real security because anytime it can go, and what can go away is not peace.
Similarly conditional happiness = conditional fulfillment. The benefit of Vedāntic meditation is unconditional peace. So here uttamaṃ means unconditional. Nirapekṣa; and I am peaceful.
What if somebody asks a jñāni, “Why are you happy”? What will be the answer? Because that is my very nature.
If you ask fire why are you hot, what will fire say? That is my nature.
If you ask water why are hot? It will say that because I am in contact with fire and it will not last long also.
But fire is hot unconditionally; therefore permanently.
Similarly, a jñāni (Realized person) says: I am peaceful unconditionally, therefore I am permanently peaceful; peacefully rich; peacefully poor; peacefully with house; peacefully without house; peacefully with people, peacefully without people; peacefully young, peacefully old; peacefully black haired; peacefully white haired also; or any other colour.
So this is uttamaṃ sukham upaiti; this is the phalam (fruit of fully assimilated Self-Knowledge).
In Bhāgavatham, they describe how Krishna looked at all the Yadavās fighting, quarreling and killing each other. And Krishna sees right in front of his eyes.
Krishna is the Lord himself, and Krishna could not stop his family members fighting and dying one by one. Soon he is also going to join the majority. He is also going to be shot.
Bhāgavatham describes Krishna's perception of this event: leaning on a tree, with his hands on the tree, he looks at the whole event with a smile. It is a choiceless situation, even for Bhagavān. What Bhagavān? Omnipotent, Omniscient Krishna… whose choicelessly sees the event of every family member dying one by one.
And what was Krishna's response? A smile. Not that he is happy about it, but the thing is he looks at the situation, a choiceless situation has to happen. Where there is a choice, Krishna will certainly take an action. Therefore jñāni does take an action where it has to be. Jñāni does accept where it is choiceless.
The change is where? Not in the world. Not in the people, Not in the body. But in the way of perception and the way of response. And this ṣānti Krishna talks about in this 27th verse.
Krishna says uttamam sukham upaiti. This jñāni enjoys the highest ānanda, contentment, pūrnatvam. It is not an ordinary sukham born out of an external changing unpredictable factor. But it is an ananda born out of the knowledge that I am pūrnaḥ (full). When he uses the word “I”, you know the meaning of the word. Krishna is not referring to physical I, not the emotional I, not even the intellectual I. The I is ātma, which is pūrṇa.
What type of jñāni enjoys this fullness? Not the one who has done sṛavaṇam, mananam alone… but the jñāni who has struggled and used the Vedāntic knowledge to look into every aspect of this kind.
Just like reconstructing a house from existing bricks, requires you take every brick and rearrange it. Brick-by-brick. Thought-by-thought.
Similarly, if my life has to change, every thought in my mind has to change. My life consists of only a series of thinking.
What is sorrow? It is a thought. What is jealousy? It is a thought. What is frustration? It is a thought.
So how you define your life is purely joining the bundle of thoughts that you entertain every moment. Right from the morning! Of course you also respond by a thought. That is your life. One thought is not your life, but your life is nothing but all the thoughts put together.
And if you have to change the building, the bricks have to change; if you have to change your life, your very thought process has to change, which is a time consuming process and this jñāni has done that. So time is required; effort is required.
Therefore Krishna describes that jñāni; praśāntha manasam; the one whose mind is free from unhealthy thought processes; in the form of anxiety, fear, jealousy, etc.
Eevery unhealthy thought he has consciously and deliberately handled and managed.
And he/she is not thoughtless, but his thoughts are undisturbing thoughts. Thoughts do not disturb the mind. In fact for one hour you are listening a classroom/video which your mind has to entertain thoughts. Even when teacher is speaking each word, teacher is presenting an idea to you… and that idea is generated in your mind in the form of what? Thought alone!
So is Self-Knowledge thought a burden to you? If it is burden, you would not come to class, one hour would be burdensome! Thus thought is not samsāra. You need not eliminate any thought. That is why wise man is described in the 12th chapter is a man of compassion. Even compassion is a thought pattern, and compassion is not samsāra. Love is not samsāra. Generosity is not samsāra.
Burdening thoughts are replaced by the thoughts which are not a burden, and that is called śānta-vṛittiḥ; they are called sātvika vṛittiḥ. Sātvika-vṛitti means they are light in your mind, they sit light in your mind, they are not a burden to you. And such a mind jñāni enjoys (aśāntasya manō bhārah).
Mind is a burden for a person who does not have peace of mind. If there is no peace in the mind, everything will be a burned. If peace is there, mind is light… a wonderful instrument, with which one can study, love people, help.
So therefore you can have śānti in your mind, because if one human can have it, all humans can have it, since all humans are of the one same Īśvara. So there's nothing special about you that makes you worthy of nothing having śānti (peace).
Therefore do not destroy the mind. If you keep it alright, you will enjoy, it is a privilege; it is a blessing; gift from the Lord. That which disturbs, the unclean thoughts… simply take time to remove it and it will be fine.
Jñāni enjoys what type of mind? Praśāntha manasam; śānta rajasam.
And how did he enjoy or how does he enjoy such a mind? By removing rajasic-vṛitti. What is rajasic vṛitti? Disturbing thought. Like what? kāmaḥ, krōdhaḥ, lōbhaḥ, mōhaḥ, madaḥ, mātsaryaḥ (anger, pride, jealously, delusion, attachment, desire, etc).
Imagine neighbours child has got good marks. But your child has failed, or passed OK with 70% and the other one has got 97%. Why have jealousy towards this?! Instead congratulate him well. It is difficult but we can do that. Somebody has got better, somebody has less…. this is law of creation. Thus congratulate openly, admire.
So aśānta rajasam means disturbing, burdensome thoughts are aśāntam. And they have to be converted to admiring thoughts from understanding that all that is here is One without a second.
And how did he (jñāni) achieve that Nidhidhyāsanam?
Firstly, what is nidhidhyāsanam? Relooking into situations in the light of Vedāntic teaching.
Some intellects are very brilliant, some intellects are not so brilliant. Like bodies are healthy and some bodies are not healthy. So let me enjoy what I have, rather than compare with others. And therefore śanta-rajasam and akalmaṣam. Kalmaṣa means tāmasa-vṛitti, which are also subsided. Tamasa-vṛitti means mōha-vṛitti.
Vidyāraṇya in his text Pañcadaśi says: sātvika vṛitti is called śānta vṛitti. Rajasa-vṛitti is called ghōra-vṛitti. Tāmasa-vṛitti is called mūda-vṛitti. Mūdam means full of delusion and confusion.
Therefore śānta rajasam means not rajas predominant mind.
Rajas and tamas are subservient to what? Sātvika mind. Sātvika mind is indicated by praśānta manasam. And such a jñāni who is now yōgi. Yōgi means meditator.
Also remember, that relooking/reorientation of every thought is to be done compulsorily. It is s not forgetting the problem. Forgetting the problem does not solve, in which case the problem is not going anywhere, because it is still inside the subconscious.
Hiding the problems is like the fire which is somewhere here, and you do not want to be disturbed by the fire… and therefore you cover it with some newspaper. That will catch up slowly and become a conflagration.
Our aim is not forgetting the problem. Dential/forgetting (maṟakkaṭikkaṟatu) is not solution. Else one is strengthening the problem in the subconscious mind. And whenever time ideal time comes, one will start crying with a flood of tears.
Therefore Nidhidhyāsanam is compulsory in aspect of thought-by-thought analysis. What is NOT compulsory is āsana (posture) as typically known in meditation. Nor is keeping the neck straight (samaṁ kāyaśirōgrīvaṁ).
The posture is not important. Mind doesn't care what body posture you have. If you can think in light of Vedanta, that is meditation!
So meditation is transformation of your very thinking process. And just like studying can be done in library, bus stop, train station, airport, house… so can meditation be done anywhere. Once again, Vedantic meditation is NOT restricted to posture/closed eyes.
So such a yōgi (meditator) is priveleged to brahmabhūtam (who has become one with Brahman).
Brahmabhūtam means: instead of identifying with anātma, he/she has learned to own up the ātma svarūpam. Instead of claiming body as I, instead of claiming mind as I, he looks upon them as instruments of transactions. I am the caitanyam (consciousness), behind these instruments.
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 28:
yuñjannēvaṁ sadātmānaṁ yōgī vigatakalmaṣaḥ|
sukhēna brahmasaṁsparśamatyantaṁ sukhamaśnutē ||
Thus constantly engaging the mind (in meditation) the purified Yōgi effortlessly attains limitless ananda which belongs to Brahman.
Same idea is presented in a different way using atyantaṁ sukhamaśnutē. In the previous slōkā it was said, uttamaṃ sukham upaiti. Same idea.
Krishna says: He says here; atyantaṁ; instead of uttamam, atyantaṁ; instead of upaiti, aśnutē.
Such person “gets” infinite ānanda, śānti, contentment, pūrṇatvam. Who gets this? Yōgi (meditator absorbed in self-knowledge).
This śānti (peace) is not jñānam. But the śānti is jñāna-phalam (fruit of Self-Knowledge).
What did meditation do? Mediation did not even produce śānti.
Jñānam has to automatically produce śānti. But our ways of thinking was an obstacle. And through meditation, what we did? We removed the obstacle.
Jñānam naturally gave śānti, just like opening the tap. When I opened the tap, I am not bringing down the water. Water coming down is the result of what? Not my effort. What coming down is the result of bhagavān's law. What law? Law of gravitation.
But in the tank, water (jalam) should be there. If water is there in the tank, it should come in the tap. You need not even do prayer to the Lord for water to come because it is ALWAYS flowing. therefore opening the tap (removing the obstacle through meditation) is not bringing down the water. Opening the tap is removal of the obstacle for the natural flow.
Similarly, jñānam means śānti; peace is there. Jñānam has to flow down in the form of śānti alone. But this śānti flow if it does not come, we have closed the tap.
What is this closure? Our habitual ways thinking. So by nidhidhyāsanam, this habitual thinking we eliminate. Śānti I do not produce. The natural śānti which is the consequence of jñānam… that just flows.
When I say flows; do not think that it will gush down from somewhere, and it will flow through your eyes. Flow is only a figurative expression. “I seem to discover more and more śānti” is what “flow” means.
Previously a situation produced too much of aśānti. But now the same situation brings it little less, and any transformation is gradual. This transformation is also not an overnight process. Sudden floodgates of śānti pouring out is unrealistic. Do not think like that. Any transformation is gradual. Thus jñānam producing śānti is also a slow, gradual transformation. Just as our physical change is a gradual process.
Vedānta is also like that. Initially you have to initate the flow and thereafterwards you will find that śānti seems to gradually increase.
And who attains this sukham? Yōgi (Vedāntic meditator). The one who gives quality time to change his/her ways of thinking.
And how does he bring out this transformation? Evam ātmānam sadā yuñjan, it is like physiotherapy. In physiotherapy you have to repeatedly do for the hand to function; you have to do exercising and the hand will start functioning.
And similarly this is a psycho therapy like thing; it is a time consuming process. In fact more time consuming because mind is a subtler equipment, while hand is outside and you can make it alright by exercising.
Therefore he says evam, in this manner, as said before… ātmānam yunjan (ātma here means mind; ātma means mind; yuñjan means regulating the mind).
Regulating mind means reorienting the mind… transforming the thought process, thought-by-thought. Of course in the light of Vedāntic knowledge gained through sṛavaṇam and mananam.
What will happen as result of this gradual transformation? Vigatha kalmaṣaḥ. This yōgi is gradually freed from unhealthy habits of thinking.
Unhealthy habits are called viparītha bhāvana; viparyaya.
So all these viparītha bhāvanas will get gradually erased. Everything like anger is a viparītha bhāvana, frustration is a viparītha bhāvana. We are so great experts that naturally we get frustrated… no effort is required, because we are well established in frustration-habit.
Wayne Dyer wrote the book “Your erroneous zone”. Viparītha bhāvana are compared to Erroneous zones in your mind. Each one is an erroneous zone which YOU have to handle alone. As result of handing, the discouraging thinking thoughts gradually come down.
Instruction: When you find time you sit in a place and ask the question: What are the disturbing issues? What thoughts keep recurring? What is missing in life? Look at every thought/emotion in light of forgiveness/understanding.
“Oh Mind why are you disturbed by that?”, and look at in the light of Vedānta. And if you cannot change the situation in the mind at all, learn to reorient it to withstand the changeless situations. Thereafter one should not talk about that situation again and again after taking time to look at the situation. Else you only reinforce the Viparītha bhāvana. Knowing that it cannot be changed, what is the use of talking! I stop talking about the disturbing situation. I talk about the change required in my mind to withstand the situation.
Is it difficult? No. It only requires gradual application, initiative. Anything will appear difficult in the beginning. But you know after some time it becomes part of you. Learn to play guitar, piano. On beginning it's hard! But thousands are learning how to do it.
Finally Krishna's guarantee card “sukhēna aśnutē”. This ānanda comes from where? Not from external world, but “brahma saṁsparśam”, which is born out of association with Brahman. In other words born out of my owning up of Brahman.
Brahman means ātman. Atman means my higher nature, so this ananda is born out of my owning up of my higher nature.
Does it mean that he should NOT enjoy the ananda of the world? Sāstra does not ban viṣayānanda (object happiness), as long as it is dhārmic.
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Verse 29:
Lord Krishna is talking about the benefits of Vedāntic meditation in these verses.
Vedāntic meditation is dwelling upon the Vedāntic teaching, which one has received from the guru. And by dwelling upon the Vedāntic teaching, the teaching gets thoroughly assimilated into my personality.
The indication of the assimilation of this teaching is, you do not forget this teaching even at the time of worldly transactions.
When the teaching is not assimilated, it will be available for me only at the time of sṛavaṇam. And once return home, the teaching also disappears and your old personality comes. This is the indication of unassimilated teaching. It is not that you do not have jñānam. You have jñānam and can clearly present the jñānam to others also. But the jñānam does not help you during transaction, especially during crisis or problem.
Knowledge which does not help in day to day life is useless knowledge. Therefore it is not enough that you receive the teaching. One should be able to assimilate also, and the only way of assimilation is spending time.
Unless you are willing to spend time on this teaching, there is no way of assimilation. Just as when they construct the wall or a roof, to make the wall and well-set, they do the job of curing… that is pouring water. The more the water is poured and gets absorbed in the wall or roofing, the more well set it is. Therefore to spending quality time absorbed in contemplation according to Vedantic teaching is called nididhyasanam. Then it's never forgotten.
There are 3 levels of assimilation:
LEVEL 1: I am not the body mind complex; but I am the consciousness inhering the body, mind complex. I am the ātma, not the anātma. I am the dēhi, not the dēha. I am the spirit. not the matter.
LEVEL 2: I, the consciousness, which inheres this body, not only inheres this body, but the very same consciousness is inherent in all the bodies. Therefore “I” the consciousness is in every body.
Stage 1 is “I, the consciousness, am different from the body and pervading the body”. Stage 2 is “Not only I pervade this body; but I pervade, I inhere every body.”
LEVEL 3: I am not in everybody. On the other hand, all the bodies are in Me.
Level 1 is like space which is other than the wall, which is confined within this room. Meaning space is that which is available within this room.
Level 2 is to say: space is not only in this room, space is in every room.
Level 3 is to say, in fact space is not in all the rooms, but all the rooms are within the one all-pervading space. When you say space is within the room; it is called antaryāmitvyam; when you say all the rooms are in one-all pervading space, it is called sarvādhāratvam.
This vision not only one should assimilate, but also never forget even when the worst tragedy strikes.
When do you assimilate this knowledge? When there are no problems. For example you invest money in the bank, when you are comfortable. Then take that money out during crisis. What you invest alone is what you can draw.
How to invest in Vedānta? By nidhidhyāsanam, which means giving solid time for Vedānta. The more you can give, the more you are investing. The more you are investing, the more you can draw. It is a very simple economic law. And this yogi has done that.
sarvabhūtasthamātmānaṃ sarvabhūtāni ca”tmani |
īkṣatē yōgayuktātmā sarvatra samadarśanaḥ ||
One whose mind is disciplined through meditation perceives the Ātma in all beings and all beings in Ātma. He has the same vision everywhere.
yōgayuktātmā: is the name of this jñāni. Ātma means the mind in this case and not the Self.
And yuktaḥ means disciplined or saturated with this knowledge. So jñāni's mind is saturated with Self-Knowledge.
For example, whatever field of knowledge the mind is saturated with, the mind will naturally think of that. If you are a musician dedicated to music, wherever you go, your mind will musically think. Even when the baby cries, you will interpret in terms of music.
And if you are a scientist, as Newton was sitting under a tree and an apple falls, what will we do? Immediately swallow, because we are established in food. Common man does not ask why it fell. Only a scientist who is interested in the laws of the universe, will think of law of universe upon a falling apple. If you are a Vedāntin, you'll only think Vedāntic like.
And therefore yuktaḥ means saturated with the self-knowledge. Because of what? yōgēna, because of the consistent practice of nidhidhyāsanam. Which means what? Giving quality time to the thought of Vedānta.
Therefore yōga means nidhidhyāsanam; yuktaḥ means saturation; ātma means mind. Thus yōga yukta ātma means the one whose mind has reached Vedāntic saturation through Vedāntic mediation.
And such a person never forgets his/her nature because he/she is used to dwelling upon ātma all the time. Thus vision is sarvatra samadarśanaḥ (all is ātma alone). Even when he interacts with the people, he does not lose sight of the ātma in everyone, the essential nature in everyone.
And therefore sarvatra means in every human being, he sees the common feature. Like the thread in and through all the beads of a māla, the invisible thread, keeps all the mālās together, there is the inherent chaitanyam (consciousness), the life principle which is inherent in all. “He sees” not physically, but he appreciates.
And it does not mean that he does not see difference. Certainly he sees physically differences. Certainly she sees the intellectual and emotional differences. But in and through the differences, he does not lose sight of the oneness of ātma.
Just as in and through all the ornaments, what do you see? sarvatra sama darśanam. Even when you see bangle or chain… you know the bangle is different from the chain. Chain is different from ring. But you all see the one gold inherent in all these ornaments.
Therefore gold-darśanam is sama darśanam. Meaning, “I see the gold in and through the differences at the name and form level of the ornaments”.
And what is his vision? Sarvabhutasttham ātmānam. He sees the ātma as residing in every living being. Just as a person appreciates the space as present in every room, every hall, every pot, every cup, the space is within the hall.
Similarly, ātma is within everyone, this is sarva antaryāmitva darśanam. And he also sees sarva bhūtani cha ātmani; the reverse vision. What is reverse vision? Instead of saying space is within the hall, you begin to say, all the halls are not only halls, all the planets, all the stars, all the galaxies, they are in one space.
Similarly, ātma is not in the body; all the bodies are in the ātma. And he is aware of the fact that ātma is imperishable and the bodies are perishable, anātma is perishable.
And when he is looking for entertainment, he looks to anātma. Ātma cannot give you any distinctive entertainment.
Therefore when you want to enjoy variety, when you want to appreciate beauty, make use of anātma.
But when you are looking for something permanent and inexhaustible, then you cannot rely on the body part or world. That is the mistake worldly people commit.
A jñāni never commits such mistake. He knows when security is needed, hold on to ātma. When ānanda is needed, hold on to ātma. When limitlessness is needed, hold on to ātma.
Thus there are only 2 channels, anātma and ātma channel. You should know how to shift the channel… depending upon your need.
The greatest tragedy of human being is he expects security from insecure things, insecure people, insecure relationship… which all belong to anātma channel.
That is why Krishna said in the 2nd chapter said: nāsatō vidyatē bhāvō nābhāvō vidyatē sataḥ; ubhayōrapi dṛṣṭō'ntastvanayōstattvadarśibhiḥ (2.16); jñāni knows what to seek from where.
If he is hungry, he will not go to ātma… ātma will not help you there. If you are hungry, then attend to anātma channel.
But when you want permanence, immortality, true love… then look no further then ātma (self). You alone are the WHOLE. Settling for anything worldly is settling for partiality… which comes at price of joys/sorrows. Ātma alone is permanent, unchanging, limitless fullness… which no worldly object can match .
And how did he get this benefit of samadarśanam (vision of oneness – compared to seeing the gold in all ornaments)? Only by one method, giving time for Vedānta.
Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching is given to Swami Paramarthananda
Recorded 21 May, 2019