Sunday, July 13, 2008

Slokas 119 to 123

Namah Shivaya,

Prostrations at the lotus feet of AMMA.

Sloka 119:

nishhedhanaM prapaJNchasya rechakaakhyaH samiiraNaH .
brahmaivaasmiiti yaa vR^ittiH puurako vaayuriiritaH ..

Meaning: Negating all the naama roopam is called rechakam . Having the thought that I am Brahman is called poorakam.

Explanation: In the earlier sloka the author sankarabhagavadpada has explained the definition of pranayamam. In this sloka and next sloka he explains porakam,rechakam and kumbhakam.

As per yoga pranayama involves poorakam,rechakam and kumbhakam. Pranayama is done by controlling the breath. Inhaling, exhaling and retaining air for certains intervals of time is done in pranayama. This helps in controlling of the mind.
Inhaling air till a certain period of time is called poorakam. Kumbhakam is retaining the inhaled air for some time. Rechakam is exhaling sir for some period of time.
Praanayama is practiced through inhalation, exhalation of air is done in a systematic manner as per the instructions over a period of time.

The same is explained in a vedantic perspective in this sloka. As per the author, Rechakam is negating all naama roopam in this world. The world is made up of naama roopam and Brahman the substratum of everything in the world. Naama roopam is temporary and will bring sorrow alone to a person. We cannot depend on anything in the world as one day it will lead to sorrow. This we have seen in our personal lifes
If we depend on TV for our happiness, when the power goes off, the same thing would bring us sorrow. Same applies to all entities in the world. So with this knowledge that naama roopam or names and forms are just an illusion in the reality of Brahman, one should negate all names and forms and know them to be nothing but all pervading Brahman.

Katha Upanishad says
Manasaiva idam aaptavyam neha nana asthi kinchana
Mrityoh sah mrityum gacchathi ya iha nana iva pashyathi

Self alone exists here and nothing else. A person who doesn’t realize this truth would be entangled in the birth death cycle.

As mentioned in atma bodha

Samsarah Swapnatulyo hi Ragadweshadi Samkulah
Swakaale Satyavatbhati Prabodhe sati Asadbhavet.

The world is like a dream, filled with dual experiences like likes, dislikes . It appears to be real as a long dream, until we wake up and know the truth .

When we know that world is unreal and the substratum of Brahman alone is real. We should practice is by negating all the naama roopam we see as unreal. This assertion should be done in the mind. One cannot stop doing any activities , knowing that world is unreal. One should do karma with the awareness that Brahman alone is real and everything is illusionary. This rejecting of naama roopam is actual rechakam by sankarabhagavad pada. This will make the mind calm and undisturbed by the results we get from the temporary objects in the world.

When one rejects what is harmful, what brings him sorrow, he should accept what would give him poornaananda , the eternal bliss. So accepting Brahman as the only truth, as the substratum of the illusionary world is called poorakam.
Mere rejected of the unwanted is not enough, one should take in what is needed for growth and happiness.So always understanding that everything is Brahman alone and he is also that Brahman, would bring bliss to the person. This is actual poorakam.

Sloka 120:

tatastadvR^ittinaishchalya.n kuMbhakaH praaNasa.nyamaH .
aya.n chaapi prabuddhaanaamaGYaanaa.n ghraaNapiiDanam.h .

Meaning: Having the constant thought of Brahman is kumbhakam. Ignorant people practice it which will cause only pain to the nostrils.

Explanation: In continuation with the earlier sloka , sankarabhagavadpada is explaining kumbhakam here. Kumbhakam as practice by retaining inhaled air for certain interval of time .

One may have the knowledge that the world is an illusion and reality is Brahman alone. But until he has a constant thought of this and implements it every moment, he cannot attain ultimate bliss. The mind would easily delude the person into the objects of the world. So pull ourselves out of the clutches of the mind, we should constantly ascertaining ourselves in the mind that Brahman alone is present here one without a second. Having this constant thought of Brahman is actual kumbhakam as per the author.

Thus negating all naama roopam, considering everything to be Brahman alone and fixing the mind onto the reality that Brahman alone is present here, would lead a person to niddhidhyasanam and thereby to self-realization. Only through knowledge of the ultimate truth and through constant contemplation of it, one would develop strong conviction about the truth .Once the strong conviction is attained, one perceives the world as what he believed in. Which brings him eternal bliss.

As mentioned in atma bodha

Ajnana Kalusham Jeevam Jnanaabhyasat Vinirmalam
Krutwa Jnanam Swayam Nasyet Jalam Katakarenuvat.

Thus through knowledge alone a person is purified. Once attaining the purification, knowledge itself vanishes as the alum dissolves in water and removes impurities in water.

Practicing pranayama as per yoga sastras involves physical strain to the body, as one has to constantly breath in a controlled which helps in loosening the veil of ignorance.
The author says a person who doesn’t understand what praanayamam is in right sense, would end up in troubling his nostrils.

Sloka 121:

vishhayeshhvaatmataa.n dR^ishhTvaa manasashchiti majjanam.h .
pratyaahaaraH sa viGYeyo.abhyasaniiyo mumukshubhiH

Meaning: Seeing everything as aatma, the mind merges with atman. This is
called pratyaharam. This is practiced by people who want to attain moksha.

Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada in this sloka explains the next sadhana of pratyahara.
As per yoga sastras pratyahara means withdrawal of sense organs from sense objects contact. This helps in control of sense organs.

As per the author, pratyaharam means perceiving what ever objects we see as Brahman.
Whatever we see in the world, ascertain that to be Brahman. An object externally cannot be Brahman, but the substratum of everything in the world is Brahman alone. So keeping this in mind, we should pierce through the Naama roopam and see only Brahman in all objects. We should understand the consciousness principle which is the driving force for the entire world to be in harmony. Thus perceiving the objects constantly for some period of time , the mind will merge into Brahman. So later without effort the mind will reside always in Brahman. It constantly think about Brahman alone and perceive the same everywhere. This is the what seeker of moksha in this spiritual try achieve through constant practice.

Until we do not understand the underlying truth behind all entities in the world, we will be deluded by maya. All the objects will appear real to us and bring us only sorrow.

As Krishna in Gita 7th sloka says

daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te

My maya is difficult to conquer, but only people who surrender to me will not be overpowered by maya.

So we need to seek surrender to the lord inorder to overcome Maya and always remind ourself of the truth, not getting deluded by the temporary objects of the world. Only through Guru’s or gods grace alone one can overcome Maya and always be in the constant thought of Brahman.

Sloka 122:

yatra yatra mano yaati brahmaNastatra darshanaat.h .
manaso dhaaraNa.n chaiva dhaaraNaa saa paraa mataa

Meaning: Whereever the mind goes, see Brahman alone. This is called dharana of the mind. Dharana is superior.

Explanation: Sankaracharya here explains the next sadhana of Dharana.

As per yoga sutras dharana to gain one-pointed concentration. Here the person tries to gain concentration by focusing on one point or object. This is when a person is all the time making the mind to be focused. This helps in attaining dhyana or one-pointed concentration. The main disadvantage of this sadhana is that a person cannot sit and try to gain focus all the time.

As per the author the dharana prescribed as per Vedanta can be done without any limitations. Dharana here means to perceive Brahman wherever the mind goes. We know that the mind is very wavery. It is the fastest moving object. Sitting at a place one can tour the entire world.Such is the power of the mind.
Mind deludes us in the world, as we perceive duality in the world. We develop likes and dislikes having come into contact with objects of the world. This creates impressions in the mind and are actions are influenced by these impressions of our mind. Thus we get entagled into the fruits of the actions performed in the world, until we realize the truth the world is unreal and is only an illusion in the substratum of Brahman.
Inorder to remain focused on the truth one should remind himself of the truth that Brahman alone exists in the world. Thus he sees oneness everywhere gradually. He sees himself in everything in the world. He sees world in himself and himself in the world. This brings equanimity of mind as mentioned in scriptures as

Saarva bhutasta aatmanam sarva bhutani cha aatmani ikshate yoga uktaatma sarvatra samadarshinaha

Such a person can alone have compassion and love to the entire beings in world and can serve the society selflessly , all other people’s actions are self-centered as they haven’t realized the true nature of themselves. Only one who has realized himself can be useful to the society.
As lord Krishna says in Gita 4th chapter

sanniyamyendriya-gramam sarvatra sama-buddhayah te prapnuvanti mam eva sarva-bhuta-hite ratah

Only who has controlled his sense organs and who has equanimity of mind towards every person in the world, he alone attains me and does welfare to the society.

Thus a person who practices dharana as mentioned by author can through dharana gain focus of mind on the ultimate truth.

Sloka 123:

brahmaivaasmiiti sadvR^ittyaa niraalambatayaa sthitiH .
dhyaanashabdena vikhyaataa paramaanandadaayinii

Meaning: Having the thought of I am Brahman, which makes a man not independent is called dhyanam, which gives immense bliss.

Explanation: After explaining dharana Sankarabhagavad pada in this sloka explains Dhyanam. One who practices dharana where a person tries to gain focus on an object, over a period of time he would be able to gain one-pointedness this is called dhyanam which means mediating on a form or formless.

Yogic dhyanam is sitting in a position and focusing on a particular object. This helps in attaining Samadhi , where the meditator becomes one with the meditating object.

From a vedantic perspective dhyanam is having the constant thought of I am Brahman, the substratum of the entire world, always reveling in the truth of Brahman being the ultimate reality . This when achieved makes a person independent. No matter whatever circumstances, he can live independently, this gives him immense inner strength to him. He sees everything as pervaded by Brahman. So what to loose ,what to gain, what to like and what to dislike, what to do and what not to do. Always he rejoices in Brahman.
As lord Krishna says in Gita 5th chapter

kama-krodha-vimuktanam yatinam yata-cetasam abhito brahma-nirvanam vartate viditatmanam

A person who is devoid of likes, anger and all material desires, who is self-realized, who is self-disciplined and who always practice to be in Brahman and reside in Brahman

Such person sees oneness everywhere as he sees Brahman alone everywhere. He sees Brahman in each and everyone in the world.
Lord Krishna says in Gita in 5th chapter

vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini suni caiva sva-pake ca panditah sama-darsinah

A Brahmin, who is a scholar sees Brahman in cow, elephant, dog and a dog eater. He sees all as Brahman alone.
This is what is called as dhyanam , having one thought of Brahman all the time and always being immersed in it, because of which a person ever rejoices in bliss, as he devoid of all dualities.

Namah Shivaya

Slokas 114 to 118

Namah Shivaya,

Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.

Sloka 114:

yanmuula.n sarvabhuutaanaa.n yanmuula.n chittabandhanam.h .
muulabandhaH sadaa sevyo yogyo.asau raajayoginaam.h

Meaning: That which is the basis of all human beings. That root cause is fixed upon in the mind. This Fixing of the mind is practiced by the yogi’s.

Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada explains the next sadhana of mulabandham.
As per patanjali’s yoga sutras. Mula bandham means control of sexual passions. Restraining oneself from entering into such activities. People practicing yoga, exercise restraint to such activities, in order to retain the energy gained out of yogic practices. This helps them be focused on the path.

In Vedanta mula bandham is interpreted in different way. The word mulam means root cause. The root cause of the whole, meaning the substratum of the whole world is Brahman. The whole world is manifestation of Brahman in various names and forms. All names and forms are just an illusion in the reality of Brahman. In this sadhana one should know this truth and thereby fix his mind onto this truth. Always ascertaining in his mind the truth of ultimate reality.
As chandogya Upanishad says “Sadeva soumya idam agra aaseeth ekam eva adviteeyam”.
Only existence existed before ,one without a second. There is nothing apart from it.
Sankarabhavadpada also mentions this in the mahavakhyam “Brahma satyam jagath mithya jeevo brahmaiva na paraha”

Practicing this fixing of the mind on the ultimate truth, a person always revels in the truth. He slowly is established in Brahman. What ever he perceives , he sees only Brahman in the entire world. There is no difference for him. He doesn’t see duality whatsoever. He goes beyond likes, dislikes as he sees only one entity everywhere. This is what is mentioned in Gita says “Siddhya assidhyo samo bhutva samatvam yoga uchathe”.

Yoga means union. Union of the individual and god. A person established in yoga sees himself in all and all in himself. He sees himself as an extension of all.
That which can be achieved and which couldn’t be is accepted in the same way, without any agitation in the mind.

As Isha Upanishad says
Yasthu sarvani bhutani atmani eva anupashyathi sarva bhuteshu cha aatmanam tato na vijugupsathe

Thus controlling the passions of the mind one may not be successful, as at any time the mind may play tricks and we may fall a prey to it. But fixing the mind onto the ultimate reality and developing strong conviction, helps a person to attain that state , where he sees nothing but Brahman everywhere in the world. This is what sankarabhagavad pada mentions as part of mulabandhanam.

Sloka 115:
aN^gaanaa.n samataa.n vidyaatsame brahmaNi liinataam.h .
no chennaiva samaanatvamR^ijutva.n shushhkavR^ikshavat.h

Meaning: Having steady body organs means that each and every organs residing in Brahman. Nothing else would lead to maintain an equilibrium of the body. It will just be equal to a dried tree without any juices.

Explanation: In this sloka sankarabhagavadpada explains the next sadhana of samatvam.
As per yoga sastras it is essential to maintain a straight and upright postion of the body , especially the backbone inorder to do yoga . This is essential , as doing such practices the kundalini shakti which is the dormanat serpent power in each person is aroused. This serpent power is said to travel along the sushumna naadi and reach the sahasraram, the place reaching which a person becomes immortal. So the postion of the body is very important in such practices, else it may lead to obstruction of the flow of kundalini shakti to the sahasraram.Through yoga practices and mediation, gradually rises up along the sushumna naadi in a person.

But for a person following Vedanta or knowledge path, the kundalini arouses immediately. A position of the body is not important. Here stability or maintaining the equilibrium of the body means a person always residing in Brahman. His mind always dwells on the truth of Brahman being the reality and whole world just being the illusion in the substratum of Brahman. As is the mind, so will be the action. The world we perceive passing through the conceptions, impressions of the mind and thus we see the world. So with the mind fixed on the ultimate truth a person, pierces through the Nama roopam and just seeing the underlying Brahman in everything in the world. Due to this a person is always blissful. Each part of his body eminates bliss. This is because he doesn’t see any duality. Only duality is the causes of sorrow in the world. Thus he always rejoices in bliss.

As mentioned in atma bodha by sankarabhagadpada
Sachitatmaani anusyoote , nitye vishow prakalpitaah
Vyaktayo vividha sarva, hatake katakaadivat

World is manifested from eternal vishnu , who is the satchitaananda. He is manifested in various names and forms, as a gold ornaments of various names and forms are gold alone.

Thus sankarabhagavad pada says that maintaining the body in a right postion, and trying to control the body and thereby control the mind, one will be like a dry tree without any juices. Controlling the mind through control of body , without knowledge of the ultimate truth, will prove to be like a dry tree without any juices.

Controlling the mind through knowledge of the ultimate truth is the actual definition of samatvam, or gaining equilibrium of the body, by always dwelling in Brahman, is what is being emphasized by the author.

Sloka 116:
dR^ishhTi.n GYaanamayii.n kR^itvaa pashyedbrahmamaya.n jagat.h .
saa dR^ishhTiH paramodaaraa na naasaagraavalokinii

Meaning: With a vision of knowledge one can perceive world of Brahman. This is the superior vision and not that is gained through having a point concentration at the tip of the nose.

Explanation: Sanakarabhagavadpada explains in this sloka the next sadhana of dristhi.
As we know as is the mind so are the thoughts as are the thoughts so is the vision. If one uses brown specs. He sees everything to be in that color, So his vision is impaired . Thus wrong impressions are created in the mind, due to improper knowledge.

So a person having right vision alone can have right vision of the world. To gain right vision , one should know the truth of the world i.e the nature of the world to be temporary. As Lord Krishna says in Gita as “Anityam asukham lokam” . Once a person knows this, he will understand that the world of names and forms is unreal and the driving force behind the whole world, which makes possible all the activities in the world to happen. Due to which the whole world seems to exist, the ultimate truth of Brahman , which is the supreme cause to be alone existing.

As Krishna says in Gita “yat aditya gatam tejo, jagat bhasayithee akhilamYat Chandramasi yat cha agnau tat tejo viddhi mamakam”

The power behind the sun, moon and the fire and other objects of the world, know that to be me alone.
He is the eye behind the eyes the ear behind the ears.

As mentioned in kena upanishad
Yad vaacha anabhyuditam Yena vaag abhyudathe
Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi na idam yad idam upaasathe

That which is the behind speech, which is power behind speech and which cannot be expressed through speech, know that alone to be Brahman and not that which is mentioned as this or that.
As per yoga sastras, right vision is got by gaining concentration . This is achieved by focusing on the tip of the nose. This helps to gain one-pointedness. But as per the author this is not the right vision. But to know that Brahman alone is truth and everything else is just an illusion in the substratum of Brahman.

Sloka 117:

drashhtR^idarshanadR^ishyaanaa.n viraamo yatra vaa bhavet.h .
dR^ishhTistatraiva kartavyaa na naasaagraavalokinii

Meaning: Cessation of the seer, activity if seeing and the object seen. Right vision is not focusing on the tip of the nose.

Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada in continuation with the earlier sloka on right vision explains the right vision.

As per the author right vision is when the seer, the seen and the activity of seeing disappear. This doesn’t mean that one should stop seeing objects. When everything in the world is Brahman alone, When that is seen , that which is perceiving, the medium of perception all are but Brahman , then how can anything be perceived? If there is no duality, what is perception, and what is perceived ? and what is the object of perception?
In such a state all this 3 states cease to exist. In such a state a person perceives his self in all and all in his self. This is what is indicated in this sloka.

At a vyavaharika level, it means that one should remain a witness to all activities that happen in the world. As sun is witness to all activities happening in the world. He is not involved in any activity but in his presence all activities happen. A lantern is a witness to all activities happening under its light. Similalry one should remain in the self and be a witness to all activities. He should be like an actor performing his role in a play. An actor who is performing a role, knows that he isn’t the character he is playing for. He doesn’t identify himself with it all throughout the play. But at the same time he performs his role perfectly. One of the reasons for performing the role is that he is untainted by the activities performed as part of the play. Because he knows he isn’t the character. Hence he is unaffected.

Likewise in this world, we should be playing our roles and remain witness to all activities. Self is satchitaananda, which is nishkalam or without parts, ekam or one alone, nirupama or without comparision, niraakaram or without form.
As mentioned in atma bodha

Anadi avidhya anirvachya karanoopadhi uchyathe
Upaadi tritayaadanya aatmanam avadharayet

Ignorance is without any beginning, it is the cause of the karana shareera.
But atma is beyond all the three bodies.

Dehendriya mano buddhi prakrityobhi vilakshanam
Tadvrutti sakshinam vidya aatmanam raajavat sada

It illumines mind,intellect and senses. It is a witness to all its functions. Like a king who enjoys the plays enacted, but never acts in the play.

Thus author says that focusing on the tip of the nose to gain concentration , one cannot attain right vision, only through observing witnesshood , one remains unperturbed by the results of all activities, as he knows that his nature is ever eternal and blissful.

Sloka 118:

chittaadisarvabhaaveshhu brahmatvenaiva bhaavanaat.h .
nirodhaH sarva vR^ittiinaaM praaNaayaamaH sa ucyate

Meaning: All the thoughts of the mind should be thought of Brahman. Stopping all the thoughts of the mind is called pranayamam.

Explanation: Author sankarabhagavadpada explains the next step of sadhana namely pranayama in this sloka.

As per yoga sutras pranayama is control of breath, though which mind is controlled. Prana is the life force in human beings. Controlling prana leads to control of the mind. Practicing this would help one attain Samadhi . Attaining which a person becomes self-realized. Thus through control of prana, one tries to attain the liberated state.

As per the author, pranayama is when all the thoughts of the mind are considered to be Brahman. Thus all the thoughts of the mind are controlled and stopped. This leads one to perceive everything as Brahman .Thus a person attains the state of eternal bliss.

In the earlier slokas sankarabhagavadpada has explained how externally one has to perceive Brahman in the world, in order to have equanimity of mind and to be established in Brahman. In this sloka he explains how this is done internally.
Thoughts of the world are due to the perceiving the world. The thoughts later lead to actions. Actions lead to impressions of mind and create vasanas. This is all due to perceiving the dual nature in the world. Internally ascertaining the thoughts to be Brahman only, a person becomes devoid of all dual notions of good and bad, cold and hot, truth and false, likes and dislikes etc. If every thought is Brahman , then there is nothing to think about or analyse, thus all agitations in the mind are resolved. The mind remains calm. Thus all actions resulting also will be from a mind which is calm and unperturbed. As every thought is considered Brahman, so also everything will be perceived as Brahman alone.

As everything is perceived as Brahman, no thoughts are created about any activity performed. Hence thoughts are controlled slowly. Impressions are not created of the same. This is the pranayama which is achieved but understanding that the thoughts of the mind are also Brahman. We have considered the external world to be Brahman , every object of the external world to be Brahman, in order to avoid all dual thoughts of the world. Similarly, when we consider even the internal activities like thoughts to be Brahman, pranayama is achieved.

Namah shivaya