Upanishad Course – Chapter 9
The humans that have felt the rope (Pasha) of their personality are called Pashus. The feeling that despite all our efforts we are still stuck in this rigmarole of Samsara is felt by a Pashu with a pasha. When one has surrendered to Pashupati (Bhagavan) knowing that their own efforts cannot help them, they ask for help from Him. Bhagavan Krishna shares that 1:1000 is honest enough to know that they have this pasha on their personality. Out of those 1000 that are honest, I in those 1000 will surrender their pasha to Pashupati. Our course is designed for us to go all in in surrendering this pasha. At the feet of Pashupati, the pasha loosens and we can slip out. Our Upanishads especially Mundaka Upanishad shares many details on creation. These details are encouraging us to think big! Big here is Akasha or space. But thinking big also relates to ‘Anu’, or atomic implying to zoom into what this body is made of, atoms. Thinking big is to help us to unite with all facets of creation. There cannot and should not be exclusivity. All we do should be a yagna or sadhana. Sense organs and sense objects are all the same, same as Awareness. Awareness is flowing through the sense organs to the sense objects. The message being shared is that the same awareness is everywhere. Bhagavad Gita shares the shloka in Chapter 4 (verse 4) “Brahmarpanam Brahmahavihi Brahmagno Brahmanahutam Brahmaiva tena gantavyam Brahmakarmasamadhina”. Even though this shloka is not related to food, our scriptures are encouraging to make eating, which we do many times a day, more meaningful so that we remember Brahman.
To make this shloka more meaningful for ourselves and our children, this shloka can be understood as following:
My food is natural
My body is natural
My mind is natural
I feel natural
By remembering all is natural
If we remember that food, body and mind is natural, I start to feel that by thinking and uniting big. The fulfilment of this lesson on creation (section 2: 1: 10): Purusha eva idam vishvam. Our multiverse is purusha/purnatva/infinite. We know this by first doing Karma (looking and interacting with the multiverse and its multiplicity) and then Tapa (thinking and reflect more and deep into the reality underlying this apparent multiplicity). By doing these, we will start to feel the purnatva specifically, Brahma para amrita: The infinite is the highest and deepest and Etat yah veda nihitam guhayam: This infinitude is to be felt as myself. It is to be found in that which is closest. Then what happens is Sah avidya granthiam vikarati: The print that I have that makes me feel that I am Anatma, is cut. Iha Sowmya: You realize your infinitude.
An object can be seen only because of the light falling on it. The light itself cannot be seen. The object is creation and the light is creator. The object is dependent on the light to be visible. Similarly, creation is dependent on creator and beyond the creation and creator is Consciousness.
Lesson 9: Brahma Atma eikya (Unity of Brahma and Atma)
So far we have had one lesson on Introduction, 2 lessons on Adhikari, 1 chapter on vichara, 2 lessons on Atma and the last 2 lessons were on Brahma the present 9th lesson is on Atma and Brahma are one. In the first lesson, Upanishad was described as Adhyatma vidya (Adyatma vidya= final vidya). In the present 9th lesson, the Upanishad is described as Brahma vidya, I feel that this jagat is infinite but the more vidya I have about the jagat, these names and forms are not infinite, and there is more to this and that is Brahman.
Atma is known as subject and Brahma is known as the object. The subject and the object can only exist in Dvaita, where there is separation. However, Atma and Brahma are beyond this. Eikya or oneness has different perspectives. Whenever we describe jeeva, Iswara, eikya that is the perspective of dvaita or conditioning. Jeeva is the part and Iswara is the whole. But if you take away the conditioning, then jeeva becomes Atma and Isvara becomes Brahma. When we share that Atma and Brahma are one, this is just for our study not for our experience. Atma and Brahma are synonyms, they are one, there is no need for any sense of separation even in verbiage. We should not get lost in the differences because there is none. Both Atma and Brahma is existence or Sat means that which is closest and centered. The jeeva who has faith in the conditioning, can never know existence like we know everything else. Jeeva can only BE existence. The sadhana for this is to know that if there is something that is ‘existing’, there has to be an ‘existence’. We have to free ourselves from the pasha of that which is existing to start to have the vision of existence. That is the logic of the word ‘Neti- Na iti’. When we slow down, we are able to step back and see more (with Vidya) (Slow, step, see). Another way to practice this teaching is to simplify every facet of our lives. Simplification is Sanyasa, renouncing that which is not final/fundamental. Another practice is to be Sakshi (observer). In the Drig Drishya Viveka we learnt that the observer has renounced what they are observing. The most difficult part about theses teachings is our vipirita bhavana, wrong identification. We cannot identify with the teachings because it is not personal to us. The individuality has to die! We have to slow and stop the things we are doing to strengthen our sense of individuality. All that we think we are, cannot know existence. So we have to let go of who we think we are.
Chandogya Upanishad, Chapter 6, section 8, verse 7 states that this existence is most subtle/pervasive. This presence is the center of all. Existence is the Truth and is impersonal. This is Brahma, this is you!
Tat Tvam Asi!
Practicing the ‘Asi’ is difficult for us. In Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna says virtues are Vignana. We should live converting values to virtues, then this will be your sense of I!