Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
Meaning: Knowing everything to be Brahman, controlling the sense organs is called
Yama. A seeker should practice it many many times, to achieve self control.
Explanation: From this sloka sankaracharya bhagavat pada explains all the 15 steps a person can follow for niddhidhyasanam.
The first and foremost step is “Yama”. We shall see yama as per the author sankaraharya bhagavat pada and as per patanjali’s yoga sutras.
As per Vedanta, yama means control of sense organs through the knowledge of the truth that Brahman alone is present everywhere.
If one perceives duality in the world, he sees various names and forms and gets deluded . All the names and forms are just an illusion in the substratum of Brahman. The fan cannot rotate without electricity. There is no use of fan without electricity. Hence electricity alone is the truth. The essence of all electric gadgets is electricity alone.
Sankaracharya says in atma bodha thus
Upadane akhiladhare jaganthi parameshware
Sarga sthithi layan yanhi budbudani iva varini
The substratum of the universe, the supporting factor is Brahman. He is the creator, protector and destroyer. World can be compared to a bubble in water.
Thus if we understand that in what ever we see Brahman alone is present as substratum, we cannot see any duality in the world. If there is only on entity present , then how can we differentiate one object with another? If there is no differentiations, then there cannot be any likes and dislikes developed on the objects of the world, as there is nothing apart from the only entity of Brahman present in the entire universe.
When there is aversions and attachments to anything in the world, the mind remains calm, without any cravings. Thus there is nothing to seek in the world, nothing to enjoy This automatically leads to control of sense organs. Restrain of sense organs from objects of the world. Thus through the knowledge that , Brahman alone is present in the entire universe and there is nothing apart from it, a person ever has samabuddhi or equanimity of mind towards everything in the world. Thus he excercises control of sense organs.
As per patanjali yoga sutras , Yama means activities a person should’nt perform. It includes non-killing or ahimsa, truthfulness or satyam , non-stealing or asteya, self-control or brahmacharyam , non-receiving apparigraha.
Thus we see that yama as per yoga sutras is different to that what Vedanta believes in.
Only through practicing Yama as per sankarabhagavad pada can one get control over senses and attain the state of seeing Brahman everywhere.
Meaning: Allowing right flow of thoughts of same kind and rejecting all wrong thoughts is called niyama . This is what is practiced by wise people.
Explanation: The next step of Niyama is explained by the author here. Niyama is to have a constant flow of thoughts of Brahman all the time and rejecting all other thoughts in the mind.
Having the constant thoughts of Brahman all the time , practicing this would help to calm down the mind and reduce the agitations of the mind. One have continuous thoughts of Brahman alone all the time ,all other thoughts brining in duality could be avoided or rejected in the mind. Thus mind is always made to dwell in the truth and become one with it.
As Krishna says in 12th chapter
“mayy avesya mano ye mam ,nitya-yukta upasate sraddhaya parayopetas ,te me yuktatama matah”
A person who always has a constant thought of me, who is ever steadfast in me, his mind is fixed in mind, he is the best among all as per me.
So one should not get involved in activities that would bring in thoughts of duality in this mind, that’s how all wrong thoughts should be avoided. Irrespective of whatever action a person is doing, his mind should be ever fixed unto the truth. Always one should be contemplating on the self . With constant effort, he should focus his mind on the self. Whenever the mind gets distracted one should again make it focused on the truth.
As Krishna says in 12th chapter
ye tu sarvani karmani ,mayi sannyasya mat-parah ananyenaiva yogena ,mam dhyayanta upasate
As per patanajali yoga sutras niyama means external and internal purification,contentmet ,penance, study of Vedas and worship of god.
Practicing what is mentioned by sankarabhagavad pada a person would be able to achieve what is mentioned in the sutras.
Meaning: Renunciation of the names and forms of the world. Always concentrating on the self. This is what yogis appreciate.This would lead to moksha.
Explanation: The third step is tyaga or renunciation. Renunciation of all passions, all vasanas we have developed over many births. Renunciations of likes and dislikes, all cravings for the worldly objects, sense gratifications. This means not having any duality , like good or bad, hot and cold etc. This will purify the mind and a person goes beyondd all dualities. When mind is purified a person would perceive the atman.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Sada sarvagato apyatma na sarvatra avabhasate , budhaveva avabhaseta, svachesu pratibimba vat
Once the intellect is purified the atma is seen as a reflection seen in mirror.
Thus renouncing craving for wealth, woman, fame, power etc and focusing his mind on the goal of realizing the self a person slowly in due course of time gets the sadhana chatustayam to apprehend the truth. He understand that the world is unreal and only truth is Brahman alone that is present everywhere.
Renouncing the names and forms of the world. Considering all forms to be but an illusion in the substratum of the world. Understanding that chit alone is real and every thing else is jadam or insentient. As all gold ornaments are made form gold alone, so also everything in the world , the substratum is brahman alone and rest all is illusion.
Sankarabhagavad pada says so in atma bodha
Satchitatmanya anusyute nitye vishnau prakalpitah
Vyaktayo vividha sarvah hatake katakadivat
The entire world is made of one entity of nature of consciousness and which is eternal, all-pervading. All forms are manifestations, projection of the truth that Brahman alone exists.
Hence it indirectly says that projections in the mind are the reason for the world. Once the false vision is removed a person realizes his true self.
For people who have come out of the dream state, the dream state seems to be a play. But for people in dream, everything seems to be real. Thus is the vision of great sages who through renunciation have realized the truth.
Sloka 107 & 108:
Meaning: The speech returns from where, the mind cannot apprehend , that is mounam or silence. What can be said about the state which cannot be explained by words. There is nothing to be spoken about the world and hence there is no use of words and hence great people remain in silence.
Explanation: The author explains the next step of silence. Such a state in which great sages reside is one which cannot be explained in words, where the mind cannot apprehend, such state is silence. Atman is the subject and everything perceived is the object. So how can a subject be known or objectified. Hence its mentioned as beyond speech and mind. Atman is the illumining factor behind all the entities.
As mentioned in Gita 15th chapter by Lord Krishna
na tad bhasayate suryo ,na sasanko na pavakah yad gatva na nivartante ,tad dhama paramam mama
Neither the sun shines nor the moon, I am the illumining factor behind all. After reaching that state, there is no return.
In lalitha sahasranama one of the nama’s of devi is “manovacham agochara” meaning that which is beyond mind and speech.
Sankaracharya bhagavad pada also says in atma bodha
Dehendriya mano buddhi, prakrithibhyo vilakshanam
Tat vritti sakshinam vidhyat , aatmanam rajavat sada
Atman is different from mind, intellect and sense organs. It is the witness to all the functions of the mind, intellect and body. It is similar to the king who is the witness of drama ,but doesn’t act in it.
Once a person realizes that world is an illusion and Brahman alone exists, he sees no duality, so what to talk about and who to talk about, hence he remains in silence. Once we understand the futility of the world, then how can he talk about illusion? Hence he remains quiet.
Jnaani’s are in this state of complete internal silence. They may be seen as doing activities like any other worldly person. But their internal state is of silence.
Such a state of silence which cannot be explained through words I achieved by jeevan muktas.
Ramakrishna paramahamsa says that “ Once a salt doll went into the ocean to measure the depth of the ocean but couldn’t return to say that” . so similarly , people who are in that state, cannot say anything about it, as they have merged into it. They can just give some pointers to explain, so do the shastras talk about them in similar lines.
Taiitiriya Upanishad says in samelines
“Yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasaa saha,”
Thus the state of consciousness in which mahatmas live is state of silence.