Upanishad Course – Chapter 13 (Contd)
A lot of the teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam are about how one can be with Bhagavan Krishna despite Him not having a name and form, and this is crystallized in the Navayogi Upadesha (dialogue between great seeker and great teachers). Some questions that are asked are:
What is Maya? Answer is ‘Creation’.
What is Taranti (how to cross over Maya, and become free of Maya) – Answer is ‘Guide’. One who has already crossed over Maya is the one that can guide us.
What is Narayana? Answer is ‘Spirit’.
What is Shuddha (what is the way to purify oneself so that one can feel their Spirit)? Answer is ‘Scripture’ (The Veda).
Our Upanishad course is very much about learning the scripture. Evolution of that is to love the scripture, and the evolution of that is to live the scripture. We follow the guide who is offering us guidance to God.
Recap: Lesson 13 is about AntaHkarana sadhana, specifically on contemplation (Samadhi).
The sense of doership is hurting us right now (Ahankara). The more doership we have, the more we feel like we can do whatever we want in a negative way ! When we follow the scripture, this following is also a doing, but this doing is leading to dissolving doership. So it is a special doing, where one does not feel they are the doer! This is what Samadhi is. ‘Sam’ means well, ‘aa’ means towards, ‘Dhi’ means ‘dhadati’ which is to place. In a general sense, this is our lifestlye, ‘we are well towards placed to our scripture’. This leads us to our ego being ‘well and towards placed in the spirit’. But if our lifestyle is not like that, there is no way our focused Sadhana will be like that.
Kaivalya Upanishad 1st khanda, 5th mantra:
Vivikta deshe – to contemplate, be in a place of solitude
Sukhaasana staH – have your own seat that is firm and comfortable
Shuchi – the space, seat and all the materials should be clean, simple, inspiring.
Sama griva shiraH shariraH – head, neck and back should be aligned. The more healthy we are, the more firm and comfortable our posture will be.
Ati ashrama staH – one has a feeling that they are no one (no name, no form)
Sakala indriyani nirudhya – all of our senses are disengaged and we are not using them to try to find joy.
Bhaktya sva gurum pranamya – one’s sentiment should be ‘i want to be like my guide/God’
We should surrender our sense of individuality, surrender what we are not – that is Samadhi.
The 5 S’s are Space, seat, senses, sentiment, surrender
Hrt Pundarikam – to feel that one’s heart is a lotus. Lotus is an icon for freedom. Bhagavan Narayana with His fourth hand gives Moksha. Lotus grows in muck but is always free from that muck.
Virajam – to be free of rajas. Rajas also means dust. It is to be free of Vikshepa (to project). In our relationships we project judgments, expectations and so on.
Vishudda – to be free of tamas (darkness). It is to be free of Vasanas.
Vichintya madhye – you are contemplating on yourself (center). By doing so there will be clarity (vishadam)
Vishokam – there will be clarity that ‘you are joy’
The contemplation will be so natural that we will tune in to our nature.
This is simple yet difficult because of our Vasanas. Our Vasanas make us extrovert, then is Vikshepa (we deflect). We invest in so much that is objective and we forget the subject.
When we feel this journey is so difficult, in order to continue with the journey , one should engage in Upasana. Upasana means to ‘sit near’ your Ishta Guru and Ishta Bhagavan. Ishta Guru and Ishta Bhagavan help us focus on their nama, their rupa and their guna to be in their dhama. Without an Ishta Guru and Ishta Bhagavan, one cannot make antaHkarana sadhana simple. If it is not simple, it will not be practiced! This is brought out beautifully in the 7th mantra:
Kaivalya Upanishad Mantra 1.7:
Uma sahaaya – the one who is beside Uma. Bhagavan Shiva is with creation
Sri Ramana has explained why her name is ‘Uma’. Parvati’s mother sees her daughter engage in intense sadhana to be with Bhagavan Shiva, and she feels the pain and says “ooo” and “ma” (stop) , and hence the name ‘Uma’.
Parameshwara – Ishwara is Bhagavan, what is higher than Bhagavan is Brahman , so Parameshwara means His nature is Brahman.
Prabhum – means creator. He is with creation and He is the creator
Trilochanam – one with three eyes. Bhagavan Shiva’s lower two eyes are symbolized by Nyaya (justice) and Karuna (compassion). His higher eye is Jnana. He knows exactly how much justice and compassion to exact/implement upon creation.So we should just be at Bhagavan Shiva’s feet and let Him decide. We should learn to accept. For a seeker, without justice there will not be discipline. In Bhagavatam, as soon as Raja Parikshit took his crown off (in which Kali was living),he prayed for Bhagavan to punish him (for nyaya) and immediately after that the young boy who cursed him came to let him know of his curse that Parikshit will die in 7 days. Raja Parikshit then started to cry not out of sorrow but out of gratitude that Bhagavan corrected him right away.
Neelakanta – Bhagvan Shiva’s skin is white like the moon,snow and jasmine. The poison caused His neck to be blue. Bhagavan Shiva did not swallow the poison because if He swallowed it, the poison would go to His heart and Bhagavan Narayana lives there! He did not spit it out because Nara lives there, which is us! Creator inside and creation outside, so He just kept the poison.
His blue neck is also a beautiful symbol of how though He is mighty, He is also merciful.
Prashantam – this is symbolic for unchanging. Change shakes us. Prashantam means one who is never shaken.
We should contemplate on this!