Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.