Upanishad Course – Chapter 12 (Contd)
Our Upanishad course is guiding us for us to be disproven in the most important way – because right now we feel it is not possible for us to be joyous independently, and for our nature to be joy when our body is so tired and mind is so loud! But our course is guidance in us disproving ourselves! So we should approach this course with that faith. A fine way to nurture faith is to remember our growth and successes.
Recap: Lesson 12 focuses on antaHkarana sadhana (means for the inner doer – memory mind intellect ego). If we just focus on the mind-intellect-ego, the means is Shravana for the mind, Manana for the intellect and Nidhidhyasana for the ego. This is antaHkarana sadhana. For those who are most pure, they already have antaHkarana shuddha, that is, their mind-intellect-ego is pure. They don’t need Nidhidhyasana nor Manana, all they need is Shravana. They are transformed just with listening. Our experience verifies this too – For one who is very pure in terms of their health, they only need to hear that smoking causes cancer and they will not smoke. For those who are less clear about their health, they will have to reflect on it more.
Sri Nisargadatta was illiterate and was one who rolled hand-made cigarettes. His Guru said he was not the body and that he was Brahman. He was so pure and that’s all he needed; he went from Nisargadatta to Nisargadatta Maharaja (king of kings). For the most pure, only Shravana is needed. That is why our Veda is also called Shruthi. For those who need more support, Manana and Nidhidhyasana is also needed. Manana and Nidhidhyasana is a methodology to close the gap between ‘what I know’ and ‘what I feel’. I know I am Brahman but I don’t feel I am Brahman. Through reflection and contemplation that gap is closed.
Vairagya is a technique to let go of what we are not and Abhyasa is a technique to hold on to what you are. (Loosening the grip on the lower and tightening the grip on the higher, so that there is less gap). This is emphasized in Taittreya Upanishad 3.1.2.
Tam ha uvacha: Rishi Varuna said to Rishi Bhrigu
Yatah vay Imani bhutani jayante: that from which all beings emerge
Yena jatani jeevanti: that by which all beings exist
Yat prayanti avi sam vishanti: that into which all beings end
Tat vijignasa svat: That you should engage in Manana and Nidhidhyasana in
The second valli has already shared Shravana (Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma – infinity is existence awareness joy). But the shishya is not transformed, so more is shared but the emphasis now is to reflect on this and contemplate on this.
Tat Brahma iti: What is that from which beings emerge, exist and end – that is infinity.
Sah tapah atapyata: Rishi Bhrigu did engage in this reflection and contemplation
Sa tapaH taptva: and having done so he came back.
Through his reflection and contemplation, his analysis led him to feel that food (anna) is Brahma, because from food all beings emerge, exist and end. But Rishi Varuna guides him and pushes him more.
This Class: ‘Anna’ here symbolizes the body. Prana is deeper than the body, so Rishi Bhrigu thinks from Prana beings emerge, exist and end. His Guru guides him more, so next he says it is the Mana (mind), then he says Vijnana (intellect). Pancha Kosha viveka is shared again and again for us to reflect to close this gap. Only if we accept that there is a gap, will we close that gap. At the end of chapter 5 in Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna tells Prince Arjuna to engage in tapa (to withdraw) and yajna (to direct). This is what contemplation means as a verb. We withdraw from anna,prana,mana,vijnana and direct that identity deeper.
Rishi Bhrigu continuing with the analysis thinks that the AnandamayaKosha (ego) is the presence from which all beings emerge,exist and end.
In Vedanta in Bhagavata, Raja Nimi asks 9 amazing questions to 9 amazing teachers. The third question is ‘What is Maya’. The first and second questions were ‘What is the greatest good’ and ‘What are the signs of those who are the greatest’. So the third question is startling because all of a sudden he brings up Maya. The reason this question is asked is because Raja Nimi knows that Maya belongs to Bhagavan. So this question is asked only because it relates to Bhagavan. In the answer, a definition of Maya is , it is the ‘creative power’. This creative power is not independent and it belongs to the creator. That facet of creation that leads one to the creator is Vidya Maya. Avidya Maya is that which takes one away from the creator. Rishi Bhrigu is now tuned into the AnandamayaKosha or the Vidya Maya. This is bringing him closer to Bhagavan/Atma.
In the Ramayana, when Devi Sita leaves Lanka, she has to engage in Agni pariksha. When she goes into that Agni, there is no burning that happens because her mind-intellect-ego is completely identified with that which is beyond burning. That is the spirit or Rama in this context, which is Ananda. So Agni pariksha for a vedantic student is where all is burnt away, by a flame which only Sri Lakshmana can ignite for the ego to be burned away.
Taittreya Upanishad 3.1.6: Rishi Bhrigu has completed Shravana, Manana, Nidhidhyasana.
Anando brahmeti vyajanat – i know that joy (Anandna) is infinite (not anna, prana, mana, vijnana or Anandamaya)
Anandaat hi eva khalu emani bhutani jayante – it is from joy alone that beings emerge. We are born with the nature of joy.
Anandena jatani jivanti – it is by joy that we live. All that we do, we do for joy.
Anandam prayanti abhishan vishanti iti – all beings end in joy. They find aste or rest.
Saa esha bhargavi varuni vidya – this is the knowledge which is shared between Rishi Varuna and Rishi Bhrigu.
Parame vyoman pratishthita – this is felt in one’s center (established in the highest divine space).
SaH yaH evam veda pratitishthati – this is the one who knows the Veda. The final subject of the Veda is Brahma.
Shraddha is to hold on.One’s Satguru, one’s Shastra and one’s Bhagavan – this is a trust triangle. If we have faith in any of the points, then we will enter this trust triangle. For most, their entry point is their Satguru because they are a combination of Bhagavan and Shastra. When we immerse ourselves in this trust triangle, then we become stronger and stronger until we become independent (Brahman). The purpose of the Upanishad is for us to feel that there is only infinity. Then the antaHkarana sadhana is complete. There is no more sadhana and there is only sadhya. That is when one experiences meditation. Contemplation is a verb and meditation is a noun. Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda calls this essential meditation. Contemplation is functional meditation. Meditation is effortless and most natural because it is our nature. That is the power of the work ‘Be’ – just Be!