The Young Rama asks the sage about impure vision – how can this come about when the Atma is purity itself? Recognition of objects as real or unreal depends on the determination and discrimination – and the attitude – of the seer. The famous saying, “the seen reflects the seer” tells that story … just as there is the fact that the mind takes the form of whatever it is pointed at. We need to recognise the world is out there, yes, it is unreal, and yes, we can be established in our true self within.
maya: Hin., San. f. magical or supernatural power; illusion, the deluding power of God, the ‘divine hypnosis’ that deludes us into forgetfulness of our true nature, so that we believe we are separate individuals with the power to act. This illusion of separateness is the raison d’etre of our identity with ego. Maya works with two powers using the mind – one enables it to veil the truth, and the other to project an illusory image, whereby the unreal appears as the Real and unity appears as multiplicity; maya creates forms in the formless. ‘Understand that to be maya (illusion) which is devoid of any purpose, which is not to be found in the Self and which is unreal, like light and darkness.’
purushartha is understood to mean the four great goals of life:
- dharma – the pursuit and practice of right conduct in everyday living;
- artha – the acquisition of wealth to support family and necessary expenses;
- kama – (normally translated as desires) – the fulfilment of needs necessary to one’s station in life.
- moksha – the supreme goal, release from the cycle of birth-death-and-birth-again.
sphurna: To spread, to expand.
sphurna: To forget.
sphurna: outgoing movement of the mind, to move, to start, to start into view, to flash on the mind
sankalpa: ideation; modification of chitta or consciousness; idea, resolve, volition (will);
satsang the company of God or his devotees, association with people of good character, a gathering of like-minded people; company with the goodly and godly; association with Truth;
Question 148: Sir, how is the impure cognitive mind created in Atma which is pure and distinct from matter, time and place?
Answer: Ramji, though this is a good question, it is not timely and, therefore, I shall answer it later. Presently, I shall explain by illustrations the forms of mind and the methods for attaining quiescence, as have been described in the Vedas. The objects are experienced according to the strength of ideation in the unstable mind. Just as air bears the fragrance of that with which it is associated, so the karma (actions) performed by the mind certainly bear fruit. Body moves according to the directions of mind. No sense organ can function without the support of mind. Body without mind is inert. Body and senses acquire sentiency from the mind. Religion, wealth, pleasure and liberation (dharma, artha, kama, and moksha) are four objects. Whatever is firmly conceived by the mind is achieved without fail. Kapila Deva produced various scriptures with the powers of his mind. He has described two facets of mind or maya. First, when the mind ideates a world, the manifest world is perceived, and second, when the same mind is directed inward towards Atma, it becomes pure Atma. Therefore, introversion of the mind is very essential for the attainment of Atma. There is no other way for the attainment of Atma except intro-vision. The sweet taste of honey, the heat of fire and the gentleness in the moon are experienced due to the firm convictions in mind; in fact, there is no sweetness in honey, no heat in fire, no gentleness in the moon. Perception is the result of inclination of the mind. Everything depends on the strength of the ideation in the mind.
Ramji, the phenomenon of the universe existing in the ideation of your mind is a non—entity. Abandon that with your mind. The world is maya, a reflection of ignorance and the cause of immense sufferings. Knowing it as unreal, abandon it and be established in the Atmic state. The involvement in the illusion of the world is ignorance. Due to this veil of ignorance, Atma cannot be realised. Modification (sphurna) or ideation (sankalpa ) is the nature of mind. With the dissolution of sankalpa, the mind is dissolved. When you realise that you are distinct from all ideations and objects, then the Witnessing Self will bestow grace upon you and you will attain Atma that is Pure Consciousness and Knowledge and is above joy and sorrow. The illusion of the world vanishes with the knowledge of Atma; therefore, concentrate on Atma only and practise it ceaselessly. Results depend upon faith or attitude. When you have the Atmic spirit, you will realise the Atmic state. Just as iron cuts iron, so does faith annihilate faith. Therefore, being free from ideations and doubts, seek dependence on Atma. With the Atmic mood becoming firm, you will be relieved of the illusions, and will become pure Atma.
Ramji, Atma is your true nature. Therefore, you must not conceive mind, intelligence, etc. You may participate in the mundane affairs outwardly, but must not cultivate attitudes of love-hate or like-dislike towards these affairs in your mind. When, as a result of holy association (satsang) and contemplation on scriptures, gyan is developed in a jiva, his mind is withdrawn from the extemal world, his faith in the reality of the world vanishes and the seedling of discrimination sprouts within him. Thereafter, the attribute of being the ‘witness’ grows within him and he realises the non-being of the world. A distaste for material gratifications develops within him, and he acts like an inert body in deep sleep (sushupti) vis-a-vis the world, and his mind realises the Atmic state. As long as a jiva cognises the world as real, his mind is not nullified.
Ramji, the cognition of objects as real or unreal is determined by the faith or firm attitude of a jiva. A jiva perceives a form according to the tendency of his cognition. Therefore, abandon faith in the reality of the world, realise it as unreal and be established in your true self. Ramji, unless a jiva undertakes the quest of ‘What am I?’ and ‘What is the universe ?’ he is thrown into the darkness of the world; but when he develops the faith that the world is unreal and the body is the cause of great sufferings, and Atma is everything, then he attains wisdom. When a person understands that everything is consciousness and that ‘I’ too am consciousness, and he does not cognise the distinctions of place, time and matter, such a person does not perceive physical and mental ailments. He is free from the vices such as the young and old age and also birth and death. Such a person understands reality. He who cognises the subtle Atma as omnipotent, infinite and non-dual consciousness, sees truly.
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat
“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”