Upanishad Course – Chapter 5
In Sanatana Dharma, we believe that we are eternally blessed. This means that everyone will be enlightened. The danger to this truth is that we think we can wait and postpone our efforts to another day. We lose the motivation to be eternally blessed today! Our Upanishad course is designed to train us to not wait to be eternally blessed. The fulfillment of this course is for one to be enlightened in this lifetime. We feel the urgency to transcend the power that makes us take up a new body.
Recap of last class: Those who are sensitive to themselves and to light, the curiosity to know the external (articles, beings and circumstances) never ends. This type of curiosity is subtle form of comparison. When we realize that this curiosity is never ending, that is when one becomes more intense about needing to know that by which we don’t need to know any more. Knowing that, one becomes complete and there is no more comparison. To help such a need to know, one has to become more introvert. Our one experience, four equipments and one ego are all extrovert. We can train them to be more introvert by converting our instinctive lifestyle into a pure lifestyle. All the verbs we engage in should be oriented towards becoming more pure. The extrovert body should be made to become introvert by relaxing it (no need to interact with anything/anybody). The extrovert breath inputs and introvert breath enjoys. We should enjoy breathing and eventually letting go of the identification with breathing. The extrovert mind interprets and introvert mind chants. Chanting makes us tune into God’s world rather than ego’s world. Purify, relax, enjoy, chant! Extrovert intellect is instructing, introvert intellect enquires. Extrovert ego identifies, introvert ego observes. Be the observer! This is the highest and deepest of training, to be an observer and be more observant. This is what Sri Krishna describes as “Akarma in Karma” (Externally doing is happening, internally “be”ing is happening). This has to happen everyday. This will help us to shift to the foundation. “Sat” (existence) is the easiest facet of infinity that we can tune into. If one has “Chit” (awareness) of Sat, meaning we become aware of Sat, then Sat is the foundation and that is Ananda. We have to become more vigilant of the ever existing “Sat”, then there will be Ananda. Becoming “Chit of “Sat”, we become “Ananda”! All that is extrovert will be reset, when this body dies. All that is directed towards foundation, that will become vijnana and will not be reset and stay with us.
Lesson 5: The lesson continues with the “Vishaya” or the subject. In every experience, we have a choice to live by Preya or Shreya. Preya is when you are further from the foundation (meaning being forgetful of existence/Avidya). Phrase from Bhagavatam that describes following the path of preya or pleasure, “Abikshnan guna sevaya”, means that we are ever engaged in serving the senses. In comparison, Shreya brings us closer to the foundation, one becomes more aware of existence. When we temporarily forget about the foundation, we feel bad and this helps us to grow. Shreya is the path of peace. We have to choose between the path pf Preya or Shreya and this is facilitated by what we value. If we value the future (tomorrow or the next lifetime), then we will value Shreya. If we only value today, we will choose the path of Preya. Doing this becomes our value system. When we value Shreya, this helps us to be jignasu. Madhusudana Saraswati describes four types of Bhaktas. Artha bhakta is one who wants to come out of pain. Example: Devi Draupadi. Artharthi is one who wants to come into prosperity. Example: Sugreeva. Jignasu is like Raja Janaka, his mind only went to that which relates to Brahman. Artha and Artharthi bhaktas are waiting for freedom, whereas the Jignasu who values Shreya has no patience to wait for freedom. Jignasu wants to know more about Jeeva and Jagat. As they enquire more, they come to appreciate that Jeeva is actually Atma (imminent presence) and Jagat is actually Brahman (eminent presence). A jignasu evolves to become a Jnani and comes to know that Atma and Brahman are one. Both Jeeva and Jagat are Jagadeeshvara.
The closing prayer “Om Purnam adah (Jagat Brahman eminent), purnam idam (Jeeva Atma imminent)…” Removing one purna from the other, what remains is purna. In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, the color classification (creation) was created by Bhagavan Krishna. He created it from Infinity. The overt classifications are stones, plants, animals and humans. They are all made up of Sat, Chit, Ananda. Only thing that changes between them is how much of each aspect can be expressed. Stones can express Sat more whereas humans can express Ananda more.
The mantra that is referenced will be the answer given to the question asked in Kena Upanishad, “Why does the experience, equipments and ego function”? The answer given in Section 1, mantra 2 is “It is the ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of the speech, breath of the breath, eye of the eye”. For the one who is a JIgnasu, they have freed themselves of the sense of being the experiences, equipment and ego. They know that they are Atma only (not Jeeva or Jagat). He becomes “Amrita” (life/presence). Mantra means “Mananat Trayate iti mantraha” (by reflecting one crosses/transcends over fear). Fear comes when we identify with that which is dying. Disidentification eliminates fear. Sw. Tejomayanda shares that when we say “ear of the ear” it means that there are two loci to the ears. This “twoness” is the Vyavaharika rupa (relative identity). If there is a relative, then that means there has to be an absolute identity or Paramarthika rupa. For the one who is Aviveki (careless), they feel that their relative identity is absolute and the absolute becomes non-existent. Such a person is Atheist (Nastika).
All of this functions because of ‘presence’ (Bhagavan/Atma/Brahman). All is on life, life is not on anything. We have to practice being more observant (Drig Drishya Viveka) and being the observer.