Upanishad Course- Chapter 13
Selfishness is scary. Our Upanishad course is an experience to accept that selfishness is the source of fear in our lives. When we accept this, we will work to grow out of this. If we fail to accept it, then selfishness and fear become normalized. Chapters 1 and 2 of Bhagavad Gita address fear and how selfishness is the cause of this fear. Chapter 3 teaches us to be selfless.
Our Upanishad teaches us ‘Tat Tvam Asi’: Individuality is Infinity. We, as seekers acknowledge, this message of the Upanishads but do not appreciate it. Appreciating comes through Manana and Nidhidhyasana in addition to Shravana. 3: 6:1 from Taittreya Upanishad shares what we need to think about. Know what is Infinite is joy, it is from joy that beings emerge. If we have emerged from joy, then that is our nature. It is joy by which beings exist. It is joy into which beings will end. We will do forever until we experience joy. This extraordinary knowledge has been received from the dialogue between rishi Varuna to rishi Bhrigu. This is to be felt as the closest to one’s being. Only the one who knows this, knows that joy is the function and he has studied the Upanishad.
When Bhagavati Sita is being carried in the palanquin from Lanka. She comes out of it and everyone sees her brilliance and shortly after that devi Sita has to undergo Agni pariksha. She is able to endure this with ease. Similarly, the only way to not be burnt by the ego is to identify with Rama. Bhagavati Sita had maintained her identity with Rama at all times. This is what our Shrvana, Manana and NIdhidhyasana should be like. We have only one priority…Rama! This is mumukshutva. In our culture, fire is used for purificaition. Our life styles should be Agni oriented (purification). Contemplating this, in the fire, we will become rishi Prahlad. The fire will burn the ego. Devi Sarada shares that if we have completed Shravana, we will naturally engage in Manana and then subsequently in Nidhidhyasana. But if our life styles are pure, that will lead to a natural flow of Shravana, Manana and Nidhidhyasana and finally Moksha.
Lesson 13: Antaha karana Sadhana is continued. Sometimes contemplation is defined as ‘Samadhi’ (well-fully-placed). The ‘dhi’ (antahkarana) is well fully placed. When our antahkarana is well and fully placed in the Atma, it is called nirvikalpa samadhi. This is enlightenment. Once we have this experience, we can never undo it. This stage of effortless samadhi can only be possible through effort or savikalpa samadhi. Contemplation with effort evolves into meditation which is without effort. Sw. Chinmayanda stated to a seeker that meditation should be 24/7. Meditation is awareness and is not an action. Sw. Tejomayanada has shared that contemplation is withdrawing (Tapa or withdrawing from na-iti) and directing (towards Iti). This is further elaborated in Kaivalya Upanishad.
1:5 of Kaivalya Upanishad shares:
Vivekta dese: solitary space
Sukha sana staha: sit in a firm comfortable way
Space should be suchi: clean, simple and inspiring
Sarirah sirah and griva: Body, head and neck should be balanced
Ati asrama staha: non identifying with anything
Sakala indriyani: all senses are disengaged
Nirudhya bhaktya sva gurum pranmya
To contemplate, 5 ‘s’ have to be set up:
- Space: Home should have a space to practice contemplation, at the same time and same wavelength
- Seat: Your seat should be firm and comfortable. Sanctum: Alter should be clean, simple, inspiring. Minimum should be an icon of Bhagavan and Sadguru. Their feet should be aligned with our eyes.
- Senses: When seated on the seat, the body should not feel any pressure, clothing should be loose. Hands should be comfortably placed. In Ashtanga yoga, before you get into dhyana we have to practice asana. Just watch your breath.
- Sentiment: Our mind gets pulled out, we have to train the mind to be balanced such that it does not go at every single attraction outside. Focused mind: This comes from inside, thinking and analyzing all our actions. One challenge that everyone will experience in the beginning of contemplation is sleeping. In order to overcome this, we should sleep more and not be sleep deprived. When we contemplate, we have to forget our name, form, qualities.
- Surrender: The ego surrenders itself.
We need to do what needs to be done to be full of faith!