Why has spirituality come into existence? It is because man always wants to live in peace and happiness. He always strives for peace and happiness for himself and his people. All his perpetual efforts are meant for amassing wealth and comforts entirely for this purpose. Whatever he thinks and whatever he does, there is practically no other purpose. He makes lot of provisions to his utmost extent possible for happiness and peace. He works hard and takes a lot of pains for continuously amassing wealth, often much beyond his wildest imaginary needs. Yet many times in his life, he experiences anguish, pain, disturbance, fear, dejection, frustration etc. If you look at the reasons for his miseries despite his best efforts to avert them, the following four reasons would strike the mind.
One or more of these four circumstances would often throw man into distressing situations of agony, pain, impatience, disturbance, frustration, strife and death. All the ordinary people generally find themselves trapped into these quicksands.
Change/transformation:- When we buy a new car or some gadget we feel very happy. Of course there is some hidden fear, worry and hardship in keeping it safe and maintaining it in good condition. After some time this car/gadget becomes obsolete as there would be many more newer, more attractive and better working models flooding the market. We would wish to replace it with a newer one, but what to do with the existing one? We can not just give it away to some one freely. We can not sell it at throw away price either. Where to keep it and what to do with it are problems that often throw us into dilemma and indecision. Consequently happiness disappears. We compromise to get on with the old one but unhappily. This kind of detestable situations are faced not only in the case of cars and household possessions but also gradually creep into friendships and relationships. We somehow compromise and resign to the fate of getting along unhappily with existing people or situations.
Death:- Every man has a lingering worry and fear for death either for himself or for some one close to him. When death takes away some one close to him man experiences unbearable grief, agony and disturbance.
Adversity:- Whenever unexpected things happen much against man's wish, he feels aggrieved and loses his peace. He keeps on recollecting over and over such unpleasant situations, thinking that it should not have happened that way and feels every time unhappy both for small and big for a long time.
Imaginations:- Man always struggles hard much beyond necessity as he is worried by anticipation of adverse situations.
Everyman howsoever efforts he puts in, and whatsoever arrangements he makes for peaceful and comfortable living, is often put to situations of anguish, fear, worry, uncertainty, pain, imbalance, grief, impatience and frustration by these four situations viz. change, death, adversity and imaginations. However these are not new problems peculiar to modern man. These situations have always been faced by man from times immemorial. The ancient Seers exerted their intellects to study these profound problems in depth and successfully established a wonderful solution to overcome these problems.
According to them, as is apparent, man is experiencing the feelings of happiness/unhappiness, pleasure/pain, patience/irritation, peace/disturbance, comfort/worry, steadiness/fear etc by the behavior/influence of external things or parameters which are not under his control. Therefore howsoever great efforts man makes to make the external things to his liking, time proves it utterly futile as it brings about change/transformation and death unilaterally and irreversibly shatter the behavior of those things. The wise Seers discovered that man's feelings of happiness, grief, jealousy, desire, anger etc are indeed all inherent. But these feelings are influenced or remotely controlled by external things or situations. And the behavior of external things/situations is unstable as it is altered by time beyond his control. Therefore concentrating efforts on controlling external things to behave always to his liking is a futile exercise. Instead man should look within himself to find out exactly how his feelings are actually manipulated by external things/situations and try to shield his feelings from their influence. According to their deductive understanding, if only man succeeds in detaching the subject of his internal feelings from being influenced by the external dualities, he would not have to suffer the consequences of their negative behavior.
Armed by this logic they delved deep into the inside of man to probe how his feelings were linked to external things. The subject of feelings (the self) was to be isolated/detached from the subjects of influence (external things/situations). Thus while identifying the subject of feelings, the self which called itself I and myself, remained the solitary insider, while the rest all of whom this insider could distinctly see were defined as things external. The seer and the seen were to be distinguished separately and detached from each other. With this clear and distinct identification the process of isolation of the self began. While the self alone remained inside, the entire universe made up of five elements viz; earth, water, air, fire and ether was to stay outside. Surprisingly the gross body of the man also being part of the universe that was seen and hence must stay outside. Deeper probing revealed not only the gross body, the subtler senses, the mind, the intellect as well as the life breath must come out into the open as all these were seen by the seer, I. Once the self was identified thus as seer, the wise Seers proceeded on to explore the nature and extent of the self.
Devoid of the gross body, the self had no physical form. Devoid of life breath, it was infinitely subtler hence consisted of no limbs or sub-elements. Therefore it must be a single entity vastly unlimited like space hence omnipresent. As it was all pervasive, it was immovable. It was a whole thing without any void hence always wholly contented, and therefore it had no needs or desires. Therefore it had no grief either. How could it have any anger, jealousy, greed, hatred etc? Being subtler than every known thing, it was indestructible. Therefore nothing could ever change it, hence it was eternally stable and imperishable. Unlike ether, which was inert, it had consciousness. It was aware of its existence. It was pure consciousness with whole and perpetual contentment, hence bliss. It was really the existence, consciousness and bliss all in one. If you were conscious, you were that. If you knew you existed, you were that, they theorized.
Accordingly when you identified yourself as the lone indweller of the body, the body without you had no feelings of its own. If you assumed it had feelings, those feelings were anyway not yours. But how did the body know it had any feelings? When it had no awareness, it was as good as not having any feelings. Without you the body had no life in it. It was inert. Similarly the senses without you could not sense anything. Even if you assumed they could sense, they were not aware of the sensation. It was as good as not having any sensation. Without you, the senses were inert. Therefore it was because of you that the senses really sensed. Same way the mind without you could not think. If you assumed it thought, it was not aware of its thoughts. Hence it was as good as not thinking. Therefore mind without you was inert. It was because of you that the mind thought. The intellect without you could not determine. If you assumed it determined, it was not aware of its decisions. Without you the intellect was inert. It was because of you this intellect determined. The life breath without you was inert and could not move. It was because of you that the life breath moved. The inert things did not know they existed. Therefore without you they were as good as non existent. Hence you were the cause of their existence. Therefore the whole universe existed because of you. You alone knew that the universe existed. If any entity man/animal/bird/insect etc knew of its existence, it was only because you being the indweller of it knew it. You being subtler than every thing known, the senses could not sense you and the mind could not imagine you. Hence it was only by intellectual pursuit and reasoning you could grasp with your true self and gradually isolate it from all that non self entanglement. This was the process of isolation of self from all that went under its banner. This was called purification.
Having thus deduced the eternal truth, the great Seers went about exploring ways and means to realize it. They quietly went about the task of isolation with intense dedication, steadfast effort. They meditated on the formless infinity with utter devotion. They began purifying their minds, eliminating first all kinds of negative feelings. Having reasoned with the futility of attachments with momentarily changing things, they were reluctant to be drawn to sense pleasures. Minimizing their intake of food and sensual information from around them, they undertook long spells of seclusive meditation until they developed fondness and pleasure from within themselves. Once they developed the affinity to the formless self, they developed equanimity to remain unperturbed by dualities. They gradually disentangled their thoughts of pure self from their past experiences of non self mixed awareness by 1) performing all activities with detachment from fruits thereof and subjectivity thereof, 2) concentrating on endeavoring every activity of body, speech and mind, and 3) giving away the wealth and other possessions at their command for a befitting cause or people whenever and wherever such need arose and 4) giving up attachments to materials, comforts, people, past habits, sense pleasures, passions, likes and dislikes etc. Having purified their bodies, speech and minds thus, they were able to retain their awareness of the isolated pure self with every activity of their bodies, senses and minds. Soon after that the reality dawned in their intellects and they knew the truth by experience.
They discovered the hidden truth in everything. They found themselves at peace with everything every moment irrespective of whatever happened. Dualities never bothered them anymore. They were in perfect equanimity, absolute peace and total contentment every moment. Their hearts were filled with love and compassion for all living entities that there was absolutely no place for feelings of jealousy, greed, hatred etc. Kind and compassionate as they were for all other ignorant people not only of their times but also of the future generations down millenniums of years, they devised mystical methods to preserve and convey to the qualified aspirants the secret knowledge for ascending to the supreme state of bliss. Thanks to their pioneering efforts and mystical methods of conveyance, countless number of people over thousands of years, have received instruction of the mystical practices by which serious aspirants would ascend to the state of bliss (self realization).
Srimad Bhagavad Gita, is unquestionably the best of the revealed scriptures. But it is not possible for ordinary people howsoever scholarly they are to decipher the entire hidden secrets properly to guide the aspirants for realization. Only a capable and realized Master could reveal the import of this text in crystal clear terms to give practical guidance through various stages of ascent to realization. However this text is wonderful treasure to delight all kinds of people with appropriate superlative useful knowledge. The same text captivates the folklore reader with a legendary tale, enthralls the literary scholars with compression of a large and voluminous information into concise and enchanting poem, provides the deepest philosophic insights to spellbind the students of philosophy, provides the most prodigious scientific information on evolution to leave the most qualified physicists dumbfounded, gives excellent health care tips to bewitch specialist physicians, provides exhaustive behavioral analysis to hypnotize psychiatrists, guides the management experts exhaustively with the most advanced managerial techniques, teaches the best traditions and customs to the religious minded, gives step by step guidance on best mystical practices, provides the most discerning information on the origin and nature of everything. It is the most comprehensive revealed scriptural text of self knowledge. It stands alone as the best ever working manual for human life as it gives the most profound and satisfactory guidance to overcome all baffling situations man would ever face.
Literary scholars, psychology analysts, physicist, management consultants, businessmen, philanthropists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, judges, politicians, theists as well as atheists and people from all walks of life quote extensively from Gita to gain credence to their own individual points of view. Self realized Masters and Mystics prescribe Gita as a text book for aspirants of self knowledge. They prefer to guide the aspirants by Gita's prescription rather than admitting their own experience. Such is the superbness of these great Masters illuminating the importance of Srimad Bhagavad Gita. These great Masters filled with eternal bliss, have nothing to gain from the world. Yet being compassionate for all suffering people, are ever ready to exert themselves, undergo any amount of hardship and pains to render help to the enthusiastic aspirants to self knowledge, not just to mitigate but to summarily discard their misery.
Let us now look at Srimad Bhagavad Gita and try to understand what it says regarding our subject of discarding misery. In the first chapter, Arjuna Vishada Yoga (Yoga of Misery), let us see why Aruna, the valiant prince was feeling sad and miserable on the battle field. He was uncertain who would win the war. One thing was certain as the outcome of the battles, either he would die or his men would die whosoever be the final winner. If he would die, the battle would be of no consequence to him anyway. If he won, his enemies would die. They were all his kith and kin including his most revered teacher. Any benefits of his work including this war would be really meaningful to him only when he partook and enjoyed together with his men who were unfortunately arrayed opposite to him on the battlefield. What was the use of this war for him? He was worried, fearful and anguished with this predicament.
In deed our situation is no different from that of Arjuna on that battlefield. Are we ready to fight our real enemies causing disturbance, worry, misery, fear etc? Our real enemies are not other people. Our enemies causing all the ill feelings in us are our ego, greed, desires, anger, infatuation, pride, jealousy etc. These are the ones who put us to all difficulties, disturb our peace, cause anxiety, worry, fright, ambiguity, anguish etc day in and day out. All these are feelings which we call our own. How do we fight them? If we die fighting them, the battle is of no consequence to us. If we vanquish them, can we enjoy the victory, having lost the ego, pride, desire that we love so much? This is our predicament.
Gita tells you to distinctly identify yourself. You are the seer. What all is seen by you is not yourself. When you differentiate like this and isolate yourself from all that you have been calling you and yours, you will find that this gross body which you have been substituting for yourself is not you. So also your mind, your intellect and even your life breath. When you separate yourself thus, you will be surprised to see that your feelings of pain, disturbance, worry, fright, anger, misery etc really do not belong to you. They may belong to your body or mind but certainly not you.
acchedyo 'yam adahyo 'yam akledyo 'sosya eva ca ! nityah sarva-gatah sthanur acalo 'yam sanatanah ! ch2/24
Self can neither be cut to pieces, nor be burnt, nor be soaked, nor withered is perpetually existing, all pervasive, immovable, and eternal.
avyakto 'yam acintyo 'yam avikaryo 'yam ucyate ! tasmad evam viditvainam nanusocitum arhasi ! ch2/25
Self is not seen (not perceived by senses), nor imagined by mind, and devoid of any feelings. When you know yourself thus you have no right to grieve.
matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah ! agamapayino 'nityas tams titiksasva bharata ! ch2/14
When the senses dwell in sense objects, feelings of dualities such as heat/cold, pleasure/pain etc occur. These are transitory. Therefore enjoyer of brilliance (existence) shall bear with these.
trai-gunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna ! nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho niryoga-ksema atmavan ! ch/45
Understand that what all is said in three Vedas is essentially of three modes of nature. If you want to realize your eternal self, which remains above these three modes of nature, you must stay free from duel feelings, perpetually embrace the positive and virtuous mode of nature and stay indifferent to wealth and welfare.
When you understand that you are not affected by these four causes of misery such as change, death, adversity and imaginations, that you are indeed the embodiment of peace and happiness, that you have no right to grieve, where is misery for you? When you realize your absolute, eternal, unlimited, imperishable, blissful self, you would have no grief or misery.
But then how to realize that?
sarva-karmani manasa sannyasyaste sukham vasi ! nava-dvare pure dehi naiva kurvan na karayan ! ch5/13
Discard in mind all activities of body and senses as of no consequence to you, and stay happily isolated in the castle of nine ports (human body) as neither the doer nor the cause of all its activities.
Whatever efforts people put in here are essentially for peace and happiness. Discarding the activities here does not mean stopping the activities or running away to a secluded place, but discarding the activities only in the mind. That means disassociating yourself from the body and the senses while the activities are undertaken by them. Assume yourself as embodied self staying blissfully free
naiva kincit karomiti yukto manyeta tattva-vit ! pasyan srnvan sprsan jighrann asnan gacchan svapan svasan ! h5/8
pralapan visrjan grhnann unmisan nimisann api ! indriyanindriyarthesu vartanta iti dharayan ! ch5/9
One who knows the truth feels while seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, eating, going, dreaming, breathing, talking, dispensing, collecting, opening the eyes and closing the eyes that he is not doing even an iota of anything but sense organs are dwelling in their respective sense objects.
That is the right thing to bear in mind. Whereas the body, senses, mind, intellect and life breath are engaged in activities of their respective fields, the embodied self should not involve and take their roles and responsibility for their actions with assumptions such as I am sitting, I am seeing, I am feeling cold or hot, I am elated, this is my enemy, I am going to die etc.
kayena manasa buddhya kevalair indriyair api ! yoginah karma kurvanti sangam tyaktvatma-suddhaye ! ch5/11
Yogis utilize every activity of body, senses, mind and intellect only for isolation of embodied self.
Whereas yogis utilize every action of these four instruments viz; body, senses, mind and intellect, for purification of their understanding of self, we normally use these actions either for body comforts, sense pleasures, for health, wealth, for relatives or friends, for name or fame sake etc. All these are bound to change and die after a while and prove the efforts futile. Even in the name of spirituality we often indulge in such futile activities. But Yogis use every activity to strengthen their understanding of their real self, to check every time whether they remain separate from the subject of such activity as uninvolved witness. How is this possible? What is the secret involved in this? We have to probe every action to identify the subject of action. Trying to find proper answer for question, "who or what is doing this action?", shall strengthen the awareness of the real self that stands separately as non doing self. For every action of body or senses, recognize the subject and be aware of yourself as separate from that as mute witness. You must observe every thought also and find yourself as uninvolved witness. This process of maintaining awareness shall in course of time leads to experience. Meditation and other mystical practices are indeed meant for launching you on this path to retain your awareness of your real self with every movement of body, senses, mind, intellect and life breath. As thousands of bodily or mental activities take place every day, if only you develop your self awareness connected with every activity, it will soon develop into perpetual awareness leading to self realization, provided you have exhaustively purified yourself. All the great realized people assert that Srimad Bhagavad Gita, once you understand in the right perspective, gives essential knowledge and techniques that are easy to understand and implement.
Upon getting up from bed :- This body has slept and has got up now. I do not sleep nor get wakeful. I am a witness to these activities.
While discharging in the toilet :- I am not this leather sac filled with feces, urine, puss, flesh, blood, and bones etc. I am pure and untouched witness to this body.
While cleaning :- This body is cleaning itself of filth with water. The mind feels disgusted. I am witness to these activities of body and mind.
While flushing the toilet :- This body aided by the senses eyes and hands to flush with water to throw away the excreta out of reach for the eyes and nose. I watch in silence. While brushing teeth and washing the mouth :- This body is cleaning its mouth to get rid of accumulated bad smell. I watch indifferently.
While wiping with towel :- The hands have picked up a towel and wiped the wetness off the face with it. Untouched by any thing, I observe this activity.
While dressing up to go out :- This body is covering itself with clothes protecting itself from external atmosphere. Formless and devoid of feelings, I observe.
While putting on the shoes :- The body is wearing shoes for ease of walking and to protect its feet. The mind is reasoning. I watch both in silence.
While going on walking :- This body is moving its limbs to go from place to place. I have no form, no limbs. I am immovable. I am omnipresent. The eyes are seeing the scenes around and the mind is enjoying the nature. The body is breathing deeply. I watch all these mutely.
This body is consisting of billions of cells and millions of organisms acutely undergoing change every moment is not me who am changeless. I am imperishable omnipresent infinity. How can such, I be substituted by these inert, limited and perishable entities like these bodies, which can not remain stable even for a moment? I am formless and unbounded eternal reality. There is nothing outside me because I am boundlessly existing every where. If at all anything is existing even for a moment, it must derive its existence from mine. Therefore it is apparently clear that the universe consisting of all these entities built up of five inert elements viz; earth, water, air, fire and space manifesting in the form of all these galaxies of stars and planets are existing because of me. All are exercising their awareness about themselves and others because of my consciousness. Therefore it is by me that the Sun, Moon, stars are glowing. The heat of fire, the chill of water, the dilation of air, the solidity of earth, omnipresence of space, remoteness of stars, beauty of nature, divinity of gods, the cruelty of demons, the infidelity of prostitutes, the tranquility of ascetics are all because of me. Yet I neither do anything nor cause any action. I am pure consciousness, mere awareness. Because I simply exist, all these are like this. All this creation influenced by the three modes of nature is there because of me who am above these three modes of nature. I am feeling less, bliss, the infinite existence.
When the eyes see the objects, I am neither the eyes that see, nor the object that is seen, nor the act of seeing. But I am the consciousness by which the eyes perceive the objects. When the ears hear sounds, I am neither the ears, nor the sounds nor the act of hearing. But I am the consciousness by which the ears perceive the sounds. When the nose smells the odors, I am neither the nose, nor the odor, nor the act of smelling. I am that consciousness by which the nose perceives the odors. I am pure consciousness. When the skin touches and feels the objects, I am neither the skin, nor the object felt, nor the act of touching, I am that consciousness by which the skin feels the objects. I am the pure awareness. I am existence, consciousness, bliss.
While dusting the articles and mopping the floor :- This body is making its surroundings tidy.
While this body is taking bath :- This body is washing off the dirt and sweat from its surface with water and soap rubbing with both its hands. I am clean, pure and untouched by dirt or sweat. Immovable, I mutely watch this.
While the body wipes off the water with towel :- The wet body wipes its wetness off. I can never become wet. I witness the body's activity.
While the body puts on clean clothes :- This limited body is covering itself with clothes. I am unlimited expanse and omnipresent. What kind of clothes can ever be there to cover me? I am mute witness to the thoughts moving in the mind.
While praying :- This body is sitting obeisant with folded hands, the mouth is uttering prayers, the mind enjoys serenity. I watch silently.
While taking breakfast :- This body is sitting hungry. It eats food to satisfy itself. The tongue tastes the food while the nose smells the flavors. I have no hunger or thirst. I am always contented. I observe all these movements.
While reading the daily news :- This body is gathering information other people, incidents, opinions of others etc I am unconcerned witness to all this activity.
While watching TV :- This body is fascinated with changes taking place in various parts of the world affecting the lives of others. It watches with interest the motivating forces driving different species of life to undergo feelings of happiness, sorrow, affection, hatred, fear, disgust, enthusiasm, desire, submission, domination, deception, etc.
While going out to buy necessities :- This body goes out to fetch certain things for itself and others. It estimates, compares, orders for and pays for things it likes.
Like in these major activities from the moment the body wakes up to the moment it sleeps again, if only I recognize in all the sub activities involved in each of these major activities, the proprietor as different from myself, I would get close to experience the reality myself provided I have sufficiently purified my mind.
May all be comfortable ! May all be happy and peaceful ! May all be bountiful ! May all be propitious !
Sparkling bits and pieces spilled out from immortal streams of enlightening discourses by the boundlessly compassionate, the divinely equipped, the personification of knowledge, the mystical Master, the authoritative Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, the most capable Sadguru, Sri Sri Sri Bhavaghni Guruji are assimilated here by one among the lowest order of his disciples, for his own comprehension. Others, who by chance examine this article are expected to note that while the truthful revelations found in this are from divine Guruji's immortal talks, the rest are concocted for harmony with the writer's level of understanding