Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

No tags yet.

H0W TO DEVELOP VIRTUES


How to Develop Virtues Meditate on these 12 virtues for l0 minutes: (1) Humility in January.

(2) Arjava (frankness) in February. (3) Courage in March. (4) Patience in April. (5) Karuna (mercy) in May. (6) Magnanimity in June. (7) Sincerity in July. (8) Pure love in August. (9) Generosity in September. (10) Kshama (forgiveness) in October. (11) Samata (balance) in November.

(12) Contentment in December.

Also Purity, Perseverance, Diligence, Cheerfulness or Utsaha.

Sahasa and

Imagine that you are in the actual possession of these virtues. Say unto yourself "I am patient. I will not get irritated from today. I will manifest this virtue in my daily life. I am improving." Think of the advantages in possessing this virtue, patience, and the disadvantages of irritability. In this way you can develop all virrues.

r26

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Destroy Evil Vrittis by Raising Opposite Good Vrittis (Pratipaksha Bhavana Method)

l.

(Kama) 2. Anger (Krodha) Lust

Brahmacharya, Mumukshutva. Love, Kshama (forgiveness), mercy (D aya),

Maitri (friendship), Santi, h i m s a.

D h r i t i (patience), A

3. Pride

4. Greed

(Mada) (Lobha)

Humility (Namrata or Vinaya). Honesty, disinterestedness, generosity, San los

ha (contentment), Ap arigraha

(Non-covetousness). 5. Jealousy

(lrshya)

Nobility (Udarata), magnanimity, Mudita (complacency). Viveka (discrimination). Simplicity. Politeness, Hri (Modesty).

(delusion) 7 . Dambha (vanity) 6. Moha

Hypocrisy 8. Darpa

(arrogance)

9. Paisunam (cunningness, Arj ava (straight-forwardness).

crookedness) 10.

Porushyam (harshness) Mardavam(mildness). Raga

ll. 13.

(attachment)

Vairagta.

12. Insincerity

(Asraddha) Sraddha(faith). Determination, Nischaya Vrilti (Adhyavasaya).

Fickleness (Chanchalanam)

Yoga By Japa Japa is the repetition of any Mantra or name of the Lord. In this Kaliyuga, or iron age when the physique of the vast majority of persons is not good, rigid Hatha Yogic practice is almost impossible. Japa is an easy way for God-realisation. Tukaram of Deo a Maharashtra Saint, Dhruva, Prahlada, Valmiki Rishi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa all had attained salvation by uttering the names of God. Japa is an important

Anga ofYoga.

VEDANTIC SADHANA

r27

Any Mantra is very powerful. It is a mass of radiant energy. There is Mantra Sakti and Mantra Chaitanya in every Mantra. It changes the mental substance from passion to purity,

calms and strengthens the mind. It makes the mind introspective. It checks the outgoing tendencies of the mind. It eradicates all kinds of evil thoughts and inclinations.

from Rajas to Sattva.

It

It induces determination and austerity. Eventually it leads to the direct Darshan of God-the Ishta-devata or tutelary deity--or Self-realisation or Atma-darshan. When you repeat the Mantras, have Sattvic Bhava or Suddha Bhavana (right mental attitude, Sattvic feeling). The Bhava comes slowly when the purification process goes on. Even mere mechanical repetition has very great effect. The vibration in the mind, set up by the repetition, purifies the Chitta, the mind sntff (Chitta Suddhi). The Mantra should be repeated at least 21,600 times daily to correspond with the 21,600 natural "Soham" breaths that every being takes in and exhales. (Every man is unconsciously repeating the "Soham" Mantra 21,600 times daily within 24 hours). Then the efficacy of the Mantra is great. The mind will be purified quickly.

You must have a rosary or Japa Maala always in your pocket or around your neck and underneath your pillow at night, when you go to sleep. It will remind you of God when you forget Him owing to force of Maya or Avidya (Ignorance). At night when you get up to have micturition, the Maala will remind you to roll it once or twice. A Maala is a strong weapon, as it were, to annihilate the mind. It is a powerful whip to goad the mind towards God or Brahman.

Get up at 4 a.m. in the morning, in the Brahmamuhurta which is very favourable for spiritual contemplation and start doing Japa. In the early morning, the mind is calm, pure and

r28

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

quite refreshed after slumber. The mind is like a blank sheet of paper and comparatively free from world-Samskaras (impressions of Vyavahara).

It can be moulded very easily at this time. The atmosphere also is charged with more Sattva at this particular time. Wash your hands, feet and face with cold or wann water, if you find it difficult to take a bath. This will suffice. Do Achamana. Sit on Padma, Siddha, Svastika or Sukha Asana for an hour to start with. Then increase the period gradually to 3 hours. In one year, you can have Asana Siddhi (perfection in posture). Any easy, comfortable posture is Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in one straight line. Spread a four folded blanket and over this spread a piece of soft white

cloth. This will do nicely. If you can get a good tiger skin complete with claws, etc., it is all the more better. A tiger skin has got its own advantages. It generates electricity in the body quickly and does not allow leakage of electric current from the body. It is full of magnetism. Face East or North, while you are on the Asana. A spiritual neophyte should observe this rule. In facing North, you will be in communion with the Rishis of the Himalayas and will be

mysteriously benefited by their spiritual currents.

Concentrate gently either on the lotus of the heart (Anahata Chakra) or on the space between the two eye-brows, (Ajna Chakra). Ajna (Ajneya) Chakta is the seat for the mind according to Hatha Yogic School. Mind canbe controlled easily if anyone concentrates on this Ajna Chakra. Close your eyes. Repeat now the Mantra of your Ishta Devata either Om Namah Sivaya of Lord Siva, or Om Namo Narayanaya (the Ashtakshara of Lord Narayana), or Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya the Dvadasal<shara Mantra of Lord Krishna, or the Gayatri, the blessed Mother of the Vedas, or "Sri Ram" or "Sita Ram" or "Hari Om" or pure "Om" only according to your taste, inclination or temperament.

VEDANTIC SADHANA

t29

Repeat the Mantra verbally for some time, in a whisper form for some time and mentally for some time. The mind wants variety. It gets disgusted with any monotonous practice. The mental repetition is very powerful. It is termed Mansika Japa. The verbal repetition is termed Vaikhari Japa. Repetition in a whisper or humming is termed [Jpamsu Japa. Even mechanical repetition of Japa without any Bhava has a great purifying effect on the heart or mind. The feeling will come later on, when the process of mental purification goes on. Have a separate meditation room, under lock and key. Do

not allow anybody to enter the room. Burn incense there, morning and evening. Keep a photo of Lord Krishna or Lord

of the picture. When you repeat the Mantra, the powerful vibrations will be lodged in the ether of the room (Akasic

Siva or Sri Rama or Devi in the room. Place your Asana in front

records). In six months'time, you will feel peace and purity in the atmosphere of the room. There will be a peculiar magnetic aura in the room. You will actually feel that, if you are sincere in your practice. Whenever your mind is disturbed by antagonistic worldly influences, sit in the room and repeat the name of the Lord for half an hour. Then you will find an entire change in your mind immediately. Practise and feel the soothing, spiritual influence yourself. Nothing is like the spiritual Sadhana. you will find a local Mussoorie in your own house without any expense.

Self-Realisation Samsara or phenomenal existence, whose main factor is the bondage of births and deaths in succession, is unreal and is the result of illusion, the ignorance, by which the only and

Absolute Reality, the Supreme Self, is mistaken for the unreal world, in the same way as a rope may be mistaken for a serpent in the dusk of the evening. Both bondage and liberation are thus illusory. Since there is no real bondage at all, how can there be a liberation from it? Yet liberation or Moksha is relatively spoken

130

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

of and can only result from a thorough knowledge of the reality, behind and beyond and underneath and within the unreal' Such a knowledge is not a mere theoretical one, which can be gathered from books or lectures, but is of the nature of direct realisation (Aparoksha Anubhuti) or actual experience' The sole source of this knowledge is a clear and accurate understanding of the Vedic Text, 'Tat-Tvam-Asi- That Thou Art'. Then the aspirant realises in a flash, as it were, 'Aham Brahma Asmi-l am Brahman'. The individual soul is seen at all times, to be identical with the Supreme Self and the knowledge springs up that 'all is indeed the Self'and 'there is nothing but the Self'. This is the highest goal of 'spiritual endeavour to Moksha or liberation of the Vedanta Philosophy'

The individual soul, Jivatma, being engrossed by 'nescience,'identifies itself, as it were, with the body and so on and imagines itself to be affected by the experience of pain which is due to 'nescience,' 'I am afflicted by the pain, due to the body'. The pain of the individual soul is not real, but imaginary only, caused by the error of consisting in the non-discrimination of the Self from the body, senses and other limiting adjuncts which are due to name and form, the effects of Avidya or ignorance. And as a person feels the pain of a bum or cut which affects his body by erroneously identifying himself with the latter, so he feels also the pain af[ecting others, such as sons or friends, by erroneously identifying himself with them, entering, as it were, into them, through love and imagining, 'He is my son, He is my friend'. Brahman or Supreme Self manifests everything else, but is not manifested by anything else. Whatever is perceived is perceived with the light of Brahman only, so that the sun, moon, etc., can be said to shine in it, while Brahman as self-luminous, is not perceived by any other light. The Supreme Self or Absolute Reality, therefore,

VEDANTIC SADHANA

131

constitutes the ultimate principle which renders knowledge of all things possible, which itself shines in its own light, in its own pristine glory.

The witnessing Self (Sakshi) and the idea are of an essentially different nature, and may, therefore, stand to each other in the relation of knowing subject and,

object.

The variety of experience is not real. Nay, even experience itself is nowhere from the point of the Absolute. To leadthat life wherein the variety of experience does not affect either for weal or woe is the highest practical rule of conduct in accordance with the proper aim of existence. The variety of experience creates distinction, and sets up false limits where there exist none. Pain and pleasure, good and evil, virtue and vice, merit and sin, are all conventions based on this variety of experience, and admitted for the sake of that experience. But in the Absolute no such distinctions are possible, and the highest bliss which cannot be described in words other than those implying negation of everything positive known to us, consists in forgetting this source of separateness and realizing that unity which isthe Adhishtana or substratum for everything. when the sense of separateness is killed out, the individual will, becomes merged in the cosmic will. Individuality is transmitted into Universality. The One becomes the many and the many are absorbed in the one; as many images of the sun are seen in various vessels of water, so in this world the various selves are to be considered as the reflection of the Supreme Self. When egoism is destroyed through Sadhana or spiritual practice, as the flowing rivers come to their end in the sea, losing name and form, so liberated from name and form, proceed the Wise to the Supreme Self ,Brahman,, which is greater than the great. Moksha is not something to be achieved. It is already achieved. Every being is one with the Absolute, is in fact, the Absolute;what is to be achieved is destruction ofthe sense of separateness which being accomplished, Moksha is easily realised.

r32

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Acquire the four means of Salvation, Sadhana Chatushtaya. They are (i) Wveka-Aiscrimination between real Vairag,tc-indifference to sense enjoyments; (ii) Shad-Sampat-six virtues, vrz-, (a) Sama, calmness of mind, (b) Dama, self-restraint, (c) Titiksha, power of endurance, (d) Uparati, satiety, (e) Samadhana, one-pointed mind, (f) Dharana, concentration and (iv) Mumulcshuna and unreal; intense longing after liberation. Srutis (Upanishads). Study the twelve classical Upanishads, Yoga vasishtha and Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada's Karika. This is sravana. Then reflect constantly over what you have read. This is Manana. There are 3 Doshas or defects in the mind. They are Mala (impurities, such as the six passions, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, etc.), Wl<shepa (tossing ofthe mind) and Avarana or veil of ignorance. The Mala sholld be removed by selfless service and charity, Wl<shepa should be removed by the practice of concentration. Study of Upanishads and Nididhyasana, profound meditation on what you have heard and rehected, will remove the veil of ignorance' This path of Jnana Yoga is suitable only for persons who have subtle and sharp intellect, bold understanding and strong Just as

(i)

Then approach a Sadguru and hear the

will'

oil is hidden is sesame seed, butter in curds, mind in the brain, inner pith in the Munja grass, fire behind the smoke, sun behind the clouds, this Atman or Supreme Self is hidden in this body.

Make your body as the lower fire stick, and sacred mono-syllable "OM" as the upper stick. Find out the God hidden in your body by the constant rubbing of them through meditation (Nididhyasana). senses with outgoing tendencies. Therefore you naturally behold the extemal objects, and not the internal Self. Withdraw yourself through Pratyahara (abstraction) from external objects and fix the mind

The self-existent created the

VEDANTIC SADHANA on the Atman. You

133

have Brahma-sal<shatkara (Realisation of Brahman). The sacred word oM is the bow. The mind is the arrow. Brahman is the aim or mark. It is to be hit by one whose thoughts are concentrated. Then he will enter the target. He will become of the same nature as Brahman. Brahman is hidden in all beings and does not shine forth but is seen by subtle seers through their subtle and sharp intellect.

will

The spirit, the inner soul of all beings, of the size of a thumb, is always residing in your heart. you will have to separate it from your body, just as you extract the inner pith from the Munja grass with extreme patience. Meditate on oM. Retire into your meditation chamber. sit on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana. Close the eyes, relax the muscles and nerves completely. Concentrate the gaze on Trikuti, the space between the two eye-brows. Silence the objective or conscious mind. Repeat OM mentally with Suddha-Bhavana or Brahma-Bhavana. This Bhavana is a sine qua non. You will have to repeat OM with Bhavana or feeling that you are the infinite, all- pervading pure intelligence. Mere gramaphonic repetition or parrot-like repetition of oM will not bring out the desired result. Repeat mentally the following formulae with feeling. Your heart, mind, soul, every nerve, vein and cell should powerfully vibrate with the Brahmic feeling, when you repeat oM. convert a room into a forest. Renounce the idea that you are different from Brahman. practise regularly, steadily, with interest, faith, zeal, perseverance and enthusiasm. Have congenial company, and light Sattvic food as milk, curds, fruits, nuts, mung-dal (greengram), rice and bread. practise for 3 hours in the morning from 4 to 7 a.m. and 3 hours at night from 7 to l0 p.m. Keep up the Brahmic feeling while at work also. You are bound to succeed in 3 or 4 years. you will rest in your own Svaroopa, Suddha-Sat-ChirAnanda state. Nastyatra Sanrsayah-There is no doubt of that here.

r34

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Formulae (For Meditation) mentally-constantly feel All-pervading, ocean of light Light of lights Sun of suns Repeat

I am, OM, OM, OM' I am, OM, OM, OM. I am, OM, OM, OM' I am, OM, OM, OM' Infinity I am, OM, OM, OM' Pure Chitta (Consciousness) I am, OM, OM, OM' All-pervading, infinite light Vyapaka, Paripuma, Jyotirmaya Brahman I am, OM, OM, OM' I am, OM, OM, OM' Omnipotent I am, OM, OM, OM' Omniscient I am, OM, OM, OM' All Bliss I am, OM, OM, OM' All Purity I am, OM, OM, OM' All Glory I am, OM, OM, OM' All Joy I am, OM, OM, OM' All Health

O Dear Readers! Remember always the last word of Advaita, Tat-Tvam-Asi, That thou Art.

Importance of OM

1. Brahman is to be adored.

is the highest of all. OM is His name. So

OM

2. Chhandogya Upanishad begins with this: OM, this letter, the tJdgita should be adored' The instructions of the Srutis should be strictly adhered to, because they are infallible and authoritative. 3. The word OM is the most appropriate name of Brahman (Supreme Spirit). By its application, by its chanting, He becomes propitiated, as men by the use of their favourite names. It is emblematic of Brahman, as images are of material objects. It is the symbol of Brahman. When you hear the sound 'tree' (Vril<sha),you at once understand that it has a root, stem, branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. Similarly when you hear the Sabda OM, it denotes Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman with

VEDANTIC SADHANA

135

Absolute Existence, Infinite Knowledge, power and Ananda. sabda and Artha are inseparable. They are Abheda. All the vak-santudaya (collection of speech orwords,) terminate in one sound OM. All the Artha (objects) are denoted by sounds and all sounds merge in "Omkara".

4. The whole universe comes out of OM, exists in OM and is absorbed in oM. Hence oM is very important. It should be worshipped. It should be chanted loudly. It should be repeated mentally with meaning and Bhavana (feeling). It should be meditated upon.

5. The vibration produced by chanting OM in the physical universe corresponds to the original vibration, that first arose from the mouth of Hiranyagarbha (the Karya Brahman). Hence OM is very important. flowing Ganga, the sound that is heard at a distance and that which proceeds from the bustle of a market, the sound that is produced when the fly wheel of an engine is set in motion, the sound that is caused when it rains, it is all OM only. you split any word, you find OM there. OM is all-pervading like Akasa, like Brahman.

6. The sound produced-pranava Dhvani-in

the

7. Every kind of trinity is represented by OM (Aum) such as,

(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (") (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (*) (xi) (xii)

Sattva-Rajas-Tamas.

Vishnu-Brahma-Siva. Past-Present-Future.

Prakriti-Jivatma-Paramatma. Visva-Tejas-Prajna. Virat-Hiranyagarbha-Isvara.

"A-LI-M." Birth-Life-Death. Creation-Preservation-Destruction. Jagrata-Svapna-Sushupti. Being-Non-being-Becoming. Sleep-Not-sleep-Negation of the two.

136

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Therefore oM is very, very important. It should be chanted and repeated mentallY. 8. 'A' is Brahman, 'M' is Maya, 'IJ' is inter-action between the two 'A'and

'M'. sounds. The larynx and the

9. "OM" is the basis of all

palate are the sounding boards. OM consists of three letters, A, U, and M. A is the root sound. M is the last sound which is produced by closing the two lips. When you pronounce A, no part of the tongue or palate is touched. When you pronounce U, ln. sound rolls from the very root to the end of the sounding-board of the mouth. Therefore all sounds are centered

in OM. All languages originate from OM. 10. OM also represents Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya' 'A'is Jiva. 'M'is Isvara. 'u'connects, shows the identity of Jiva and Isvara (Brahman).

11. Meditation on OM with Bhavana (feeling) and meaning leads to realisation of Brahma-Jnana. This is the Vedantic Sadhana. This is the Jnana Yoga. Besides A, U, M and Artha-matra, there are four other parts of OM, viz', Bindu, Biia, Sakti and Santa. The latter four have to be felt through Bhava (feeling) during meditation. Even Parvati Devi and Brahma were unable to describe the greatness of oM. such is the potency or Mahima of OM. 12. This is the Laya-Chintana of OM' This leads to Advaita Nishtha or Nirvikalpa Samadhi' (a) Wsvagets Laya (dissolution) in Virat;Virat in

'A''

(b) Tejas gets Laya in Hiranyagarbha;

Hiranyagarbha

in '(J'. (c) Prajna gets Laya in Isvara; Isvara in

'M''

(d) Turiya is common to both Jiva and Isvara' 'A'matra gets Laya in Isvara Sakti (Brahman) Kutastha of Jiva and Brahman' -Brahmailqtam--oneness

VEDANTIC SADHANA

r37

akara, Ardhamatra, Nada, Bindu, Kala, Sakti are the eight limbs of OM or Pranava.

13. 'A' kara,

'IJ' kara, 'M'

Meditation and the Three Gunas Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are the three Gunas di fferentiated Prakriti.

of

the are

Prakriti, Maya, Avyaktam, Avyakritam, Pradhana

synonymous terms. They are Paryayavachi Sabdas. Prakriti and P r a d h a n a ar e S a m kl<y a terminolo g ies. M ay a, Avy a kt am and Avyakritam are Vedantic terminologies. The three Gunas exist in a state of equilibrium during cosmic Pralaya. This is the state of Samyavastha or Guna Samyavastha. This is the undifferentiated state of Prakriti. In this state matter and energy are one. Matter exists in a causal or seed state, or potential state. Sound exists in an undifferentiated state. The whole world exists in a seed state in Maya just as the whole tree with twigs, stems, leaves, fruits and flowers exists in the seed before germination. This equilibrium is upset during Srishti (creation or projection). This disturbed state is called Vaisamyavastha (the undifferentiated Prakriti gets differentiated into three Gunas). According to pure Vedanta there is no Srrsftli or creation. The world is a mere Adhyaropa (superimposition) on the Brahman, just as snake is superimposed on rope. It is mere Wvarta (appearance of Brahman) due to Avidya. This world is a mental jugglery (manokalpita jagat). World includes body.

By subjective introspection, you can find out which Guna is prevailing in the mind at a particular time. You will have to be ever watching the mind and its Vrittis or modifications and activities. You will have to be very vigilant. No Guna can stand by itself alone. There will be only predominance of a particular Guna. When Sattva Guna predominates, it overpowers Rajas and Tamas for the time being. When Rajas predominates, it overpowers Sattva and Tamas for the time being. When Tamas preponderates, it overpowers Sattva and Rajas for the time being.

138

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

When Sattva predominates, it is said to be Sattvagunapradhana. When Rajas predominates, it is styled as Rajogunapradhana. When Tamas preponderates it is termed Tamogunapradhana. as

Isvara is Suddha Sattvaguna. All persons have three Gunas. Tamoguna is predominant in beasts particularly buffaloes, etc. Even a fool of the worst type contains a very small percentage of Sattvaguna. People of Sattvaguna are very rare. Sattvaguna is harmony, light, purity and knowledge. Rajas is passion, motion, etc. Tamas is inertia, darkness. Amanwho is

Sattvaguna is a Brahmin, be he of any caste or nationality. A man who is full of Rajas is a Kshatriya. A brave soldier is a Kshaffriya. A man of Tamoguna is a Sudra. Aking is full of Rajoguna. The tendency to lord over others belongs to Rajoguna. Rajoguna is the cause or source of attachment and thirst for life and attachment to action. Heedlessness, indolence and sloth belong to Tamoguna. Atman or Brahman is Trigunatita (beyond the three Gunas).

full of

The aim in spiritual Sadhana is to increase the Sattvaguna by all possible means, such as Sattvic food, study of Gita, Upanishads, Ramayana and other religious books, Japa, Tapas, Dhyana or meditation, dwelling in solitude on the banks of sacred rivers, Satsanga, etc.

Convert Tamas into Rajas and then convert Rajas into Sattva. Asana and Mauna reduce Rajas and increase Sattva.

When the mind is in a Sattvic mood, it is very conducive for meditation and contemplation on God. Give up reading, talking and any other kind of activity when the mind is filled with Sattva. At once sit for meditation in a solitary place or room. When the mind is Sattvic, there is no effort in concentration. By itself the mind moves towards God. When Rajas prevails in the mind, you will have to make much effort. Even then the mind will run away towards objects (Vishayas)

VEDANTIC SADHANA

139

quickly. When the mind is filled with Sattva, there will be extraordinary peace, Ananda (bliss), cheerfulness, purity, luminosity (Prakasa) and lightness (there will not be any heaviness in the mind). You will not like to get up from your seat. You will not like to open your eyes. You will not like to talk to anybody or do any action. When Sattva prevails in the mind, no worldly thoughts will enter in the mind. Try to keep up this state for a long time. Rajas will try its level best to rush in after some time.

Even in the minds of many worldlings there is always a fight inside between the Rajas and Sattva. With all their good intentions they are not able to develop the Sattvaguna. Rajoguna pulls them down. Sattvaguna tries to take them up. Keep the room Sattvic. Burn incense there. Keep the picture of Lord Krishna or Siva. Keep the room under lock and key. Keep some philosophical books there such as Gita, Upanishads, Viveka-chudamani, Yoga-Vasishtha, Ramayana, Bhagavata, etc. Do not allow anybody to enter the meditation room. Keep your clothing Sattvic. Have company of Sattvic persons. Take Sattvic food. Read philosophical books. Hear Sattvic conversations on truth. Gradually Sattva-guna will increase. You must try your level best to reduce Rajo-guna and Tamo-guna and increase Sattva-guna. When the mind is Rajasic, it is ever fluctuating. It is not steady. It plans, schemes and is restless. When the mind becomes Tamasic, Tandra (drowsiness), Alasya (laziness), Pramada (carelessness) increase. You must try to drive off Tandra and Alasya. At night take light food. Take f seer of milk and fruits. If you like, you can take one or two breads. Pranayama will reduce sleep. Do 10 or 20 Pranayamas (mild Kumbhaks) in the moming, 10 or 20 in the evening. Dash a little cold water on the face. Stand up for 15 minutes and repeat Japa of Om, or Om Namah Sivaya. Drowsiness will pass off. Then sit and meditate.

My Dear Readers, Children of Immortality, O my Nectar's sons! You are bom to develop your Sattva-guna and to cross

t40

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA the

beyond the three qualities and rest on

Sat-Chit-Ananda-Svaroopa, your essential nature. This is your highest duty. The Samsara is Trigunatmika (of 3 qualities). Atman or Brahman transcends these three qualities. These three qualities are in Maya. Concentrate. Meditate. Have always " Aham-Brahma-Asmi" Bhavana. Repeat Om, Soham, Sivoham, Tat-tvam-asi, my dear friends.

Nirguna Dhyana (Six Ways) Nirguna Dhyana is meditation on Nirguna Brahman. This is done in six ways. They are: 1.

Neti Neti method.

2. Sakshi method. 3. Anvaya-Vyatireka-method. 4. Bhaga-Tyaga-Lakshana method. 5. Laya-Chintana-method.

6. Meditation on Om with Bhava, (feeling and meaning). Now I shall describe them one by one. (l) Neti-Neti method: You will find the Neti-Neti method in the Upanishads. Neti, Neli means-not this, not this. This is the method of negation. The teacher instructs the disciple, "O Chela! This physical body is not the Atman or Brahman (Neti-Neti). This Prana is not Atman (Neti-Neti). This mind is not Atman (Neti-Neti). This Buddhi is not Atman (Neti-Neti). This Anandamaya Kosa (Karana Sarira) is not Atman. The balance, left after negating or sublating these false, illusory, limiting adjuncts (Upadhis) which are superimposed on the Atman, is Suddha (pure), Vyapaka (all-pervading), Sat-ChitAnanda Atman. You are really this Atman." This is the process of explaining by Nishedha.

(2) Sakshi method (Sakshi Bhava): Sakshi

means

VEDANTIC SADHANA

t4t

witness. You will have to introspect and watch the Vrittis. You will have to separate yourself from these Vrittis of the mind. You must not identify with them. If you identify with the Vrittis, you will become a Jiva. If you remain as a Sakshi without being afflicted by the Vrittis you will become Brahman or Pratyaya Atman (the real Inner Self). You will have to repeat mentally 'Om Sakshi'or'OM I am Sakshi' at all times. This idea must become Dridha (very strong) by constant repetition and feeling. The feeling is important. You will become impersonal eventually. The Jiva-Bhava will totally vanish. Even during work, you must be a Sakshi for all actions that you do. Prakriti or Avabhava or the Indriyas or the Gunas do everything. You are the witness only. You must always entertain this idea and Bhava. The eyes see. It is not that you yourself see. The ears hear. It is not that you yourself hear. The eighth Sloka of Chap. V in the Gita will help you considerably in realisation of Sakshi-Bhava. N aiva kinc hit karomiti' yukt o m any eta tattv av it ; Pasyan srunvan sprusan jighran asnan gacchan svapan svasan. '

'I do not do anything,'should think the harmonised one, who knoweth the essence of things; seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing. Pralapan vis ruj an grihnan unmis han nimis hannapi ; Indriy ani indr iy arthes hu v art ant a- iti- dh ar ay an. Speaking, quoting, grasping, opening and closing the eyes, he holdeth, 'The senses move among the objects of the senses'. (3) Anvaya-Vyatireka-method: Every object has 5 partsviz., Nama, Rupa, Asti, Bhati, Priya-name, form, existence,

knowledge and bliss. Names and forms are illusory. They belong to Maya. Asti, Bhati, Priya are the Svaroopa of

Brahman. They are real.

Asti Bhati Priya means

Sat-chit-ananda. Names and forms differ in different persons. But the Asti, Bhati, Priya is the same in all. Asti Bhati Priya is

r42

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Atman. Name and form is Vyatireka. Asti Bhati Priyais Anvaya. Through Anvaya-Yyatireka-Yukli you will have to eliminate the Name and Form and take out (realise) the Asti, Bhati, Priya Atman that is hidden in all objects. Through constant thinking and force of meditation, the names and forms will vanish. Asti, Bhati, Priya alone will shine, everywhere. Asana is not necessary for the practice of this method. Anyone can do this Sadhana while walking, standing, talking, etc.

4. Bhaga-Tyaga-Lakshana methad.' This concerns the "Tat Tvam Asi" Mahavakya of the Chhandogya Upanishad. There are 2 kinds of meaning for"Tat" pada and"Tvam" pada. One is the Vachya Artha (literal meaning). The other is Lal<shya-Artha (indicative meaning). The Vachya-Artha of 'Tat' pada is Isvara. The Lakshya-Artha is Brahman. The Vachya Artha of 'Tvam' pada is Jiva (individual soul). The Lakshya-Artha of 'Tvam ' pada is Kutastha (Brahman). Just as you take out the essence, Mr. Krishna only, whom you saw at Benares in 1925, in ordinary dress with a shirt and a towel, when you see him again in 1932 at Brindavan in uniform and hat by eliminating time, place and the Upadhi of dress, so also by eliminating the Upadhi Avidya, its Dharmas and the reflected Chaitanya in Avidya in the case of Jiva and the Upadhi Maya, its Dharmas and the reflected Chaitanya in Maya in the case of Isvara, you will have to take out the common essence for both Jiva and Isvara and show identity with them. This is Bhaga-Tyaga-Lakshana. You give up something-and take up something (common essence). You can meditate on the identity of Jiva and Brahman through the above method. 5. Laya-Chintanu-method: Laya means involution of the

effect into the cause. This is of 3 kinds. (l) AntahkaranaLaya-Chintana; (2) Pancha-Bhuta-Laya-Chintana; (3) Om

kar a- L ay a- C hintana.

ln Antahkarana-Laya-Chintana you must think that the mind is merged in Buddhi, Buddhi in Avyaktam, Avyaktam in Brahman. ln Pancha-Bhuta-Laya-Chintana you must think that

VEDANTIC SADHANA

r43

the earth gets merged in water, water in fire, fire in air, air tn Akasa (ether), Akasa in Avyaktam, Avyaktam in Brahman.

ln Omkara-Laya-Chintana, you must think that Wsva gets in Virat, Wrat inthe letter 'A'; Tejas in Hiranyagarbha, Hiranyagarbha in letter 'U'; Prajna in Isvara, Isvara in the letter 'M'; Jiva Sakshi in Isvara Sal<shi, Isvara Sal<shi in the Ardhamatra of Omkara. You go back to the original source Brahman, who is the Yoni (womb) for all minds, and merged

Pancha-Bhutas. Brahman alone remains.

6. Tajjapas tadartha bhavanam.' "The repetition of Om and meditating on its meaning is an easy way to reach Brahman" (Patanjali Yoga Sutras: I-28). Associate with Om on the ideas of purity, perfection, peace, infinity, eternity, Immortality, Sat-Chit-Ananda, truth, infinite knowledge. There are various temperaments and types of mind. So there are various ways also for the approach of Brahman to suit

various individuals.