We are asked about our journey through life and how we might become wise. While we may feel that some things last forever (they do), some things change, and some things remain eternal, everlasting. We look to the difference and human transformation.
antarkarana: the inner instruments of action: mind, chitta (consciousness), intellect, ahamkaara (egoism)
gyan: knowledge; knowledge of Atma; the highest realisation;
nitya: permanent; steadfast; eternal, everlasting; unaffected by duality, time and space;
prakriti: primordial nature, disposition; root-matter, the original or natural form or condition of anything, matter, form.
purushartha: the repository of spiritual knowledge acquired by endeavour in pursuance of the precepts obtained from sages and scriptures
sankalpa: ideation; modification of chitta or consciousness; idea, resolve, volition (will);
vikalpa mental agitations; errors;
Question 21: Sir, who is a superior person and who is unwise?
Answer: Ramji, he who is engaged in purushartha in accordance with the instructions of sages and scriptures, whereby he neutralises the evil tendencies of his previous births and fosters good tendencies is a superior person. He who fails to have courage and abandons purushartha is unwise. Such an unwise person can never attain salvation. A wise man should first control his senses. Thereafter he should gradually give up evil tendencies. By fostering right desires, he should strive for purity of his mind (antarkarana).
Question 22: Sir, what are the benefits of a pure mind (antarkarana)?
Answer: Ramji, when the mind is purified with good desires, the instructions of sages and scriptures are readily assimilated, whereafter gyan (wisdom) is obtained and one is bestowed with the vision of Atma. When that state is attained, a jiva is relieved of all actions, even of gyan. What remains then is the Self only, divested of ideations and errors (sankalpa-vikalpa). That is the state of the supreme bliss. You must strive intently to attain that state.
Sage Vasishtha makes reference to controlling the senses. The senses deliver the phenomenal world, the world of change, the world of nature. We are bound by the senses, and need to learn that we are not the senses, not the body, not the mind. Much unlearning has to take place; it is better to be the witness.
In the journey through prakriti (nature) we learn that nature is made up of Prana (life force) and Akasa (ether, space). All that exists in nature is materials that are brought together. Where nature (prakriti) is eternal, it is always changing – it undergoes perpetual change; it is never the same yet it lasts forever. Things that are brought together will disintegrate; things that are without beginning (ab initio) cannot come apart, and are eternal, everlasting, Nitya.
The soul is not a material object. It cannot be known by the senses. It does not have its origin in prakriti, nor prana, nor akasaa. The individual soul (Jivi) is beginngless and has no birth. Where the jivi involves in activity, it has to experience the consequences of activity. Grief and joy are the image of the activity engaged in.
Activity is reaction, reflection, resound. The seen reflects the seer. The sage speaks of,
whereby he neutralises the evil tendencies of his previous births and fosters good tendencies
The Jivi can be the witness of all that is.
- is by nature pure and unblemished;
- good acts can remove the taints of evil deeds
- (good acts) lead to the God-ward path;
- The Godward urge will transform the words, the thoughts and the deeds of the individual.
We cannot think without words. Words are the essential material for thought. When the individual drops the body, the words enter the mind; the mind enters the prana or lifeforce and the prana merges in the Atma. The Atma (individualised in the body) when it liberates itself rushes to Surya Loka, the Region of the Solar Principle, the Surya. From thence, it reaches the region of Brahma, Brahma Loka. Having reached that region, the individualised Atma or Jivatma has no more concern with Prakriti.
When people with selfishness or attachments give up the body, their words will merge in their minds, their minds will merge in their Prana, and the Prana, thereafter will merge in the Jivi, and the Jivatma will travel to the Region of the Moon Principle (Chandra Loka), that is to say, the Loka of the Presiding Deity of the Mind … suggesting that they have to enter again the realm of the mind with all its agitations and turmoils of wants and wishes. The Jivatma encases itself in a body equipped with sense organs, etc. appropriate to the earned consequences of the deeds of the previous body, and starts another life-career.
God is All-knowing, All-penetrating, All-pervading. He is activating Prakriti and acting through Prakriti, all the time. Prakriti is ever in His care. His sovereignty is beginningless and endless.
This gives room for one question. When the world is ruled by God, how does He permit it to be so wicked and vile? The answer given is that God is not responsible for the grief and the pain. The sins we commit are the cause of the grief we suffer. Joy and sorrow are the consequences of the good and the evil that man perpetrates. God is the Witness. He does not punish, nor does He cause grief.
This raises another issue. The word Naraka (Hell) can be found nowhere in the Vedas. The purpose for which Hell was created was only to incite fear among the people in order to make them desist from sin.
The Sage tells,
Ramji, when the mind is purified with good desires, the instructions of sages and scriptures are readily assimilated, whereafter gyan is obtained and one is bestowed with the vision of Atma.
The key to this is the mind. The mind is like putty, whatever it is pointed to, it takes the form of. It is like a camera, it takes the shape and form of that which it is focussed on. If you turn the mind to the world of the senses, the pleasures, the many forms of wealth, that you will remain in that state. If you raise your gaze heavenward, if you take your time and give time to the Divine and focus the mind there, then, through aspiring to Divinty, you shall become that Divinity.