upaSama prakaraNa – an overview

upaSama means natural cessation of activity and attainment of peace. It is different from forced cessation of activity. upaSama prakaraNa is about 5000 slOkas dealing with the natural cessation of activity of mind there by merger of world back in its source of mind.

BhagavAn vaSishTha, completes discourse on the day 10 in the afternoon. Author Valmiki takes this opportunity to give an elaborate account of Ahnika anushTAnas of sages, kings, prince Rama in the beginning of upaSama prakaraNa. The afternoon and evening rituals performed by the householders are poetically described in this part.

What is born? What has grown? the same will merge as well. The supreme consciousness is never born nor transformed; it is never ceases or merges. It is mind which is born and grown and the mind alone gets liberated as well by merging in its source. Mind is the cause of creation or utpatti is proven in the utpatti prakaraNa, mind is the cause of maintenance i.e, sthiti is proven in the sthiti prakaraNa and now we have to acknowledge the mind alone is the cause of merger i.e., upaSama by the end of this prakaraNa.

The largest AkhyAna of the upaSama prakaraNa is the narration of gAdhi. Other than that there are other AkhyAnas  (siddha gItas, janaka Akhyana, prahlada Akhyana, bali Akhyana etc. ) that are used to focus on the practice of philosophy or sAdhana. Detailed descriptions of the practical methods to arrive at the right conclusions are shown in this prakaraNa.

On this kAmika EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi year, we reach to this overview of upaSama prakaraNa.

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Looking Back….

 

Today is the eve of yOginI EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi samvatsara. Tomorrow, 30-June-2016 is the auspicious yOginI EkAdaSi. The idea to start a blog on yOga vASishTha was about six years old. Just after the aja EkAdaSi of SrI vikRti year, I started posting to this blog on 6th September 2010.

As of now, there are 122 posts covering first 4 prakaraNas of yOga vASishTha (including this summary Looking back….. ) are here.

We have seen mature dispassion of lord rAma in his own words in the vairAgya prakaraNa followed by the qualifications / pre-requisites / eligibility required and the behavioural aspects of a spiritual aspirant in mumukshu vyavahAra prakaraNa.

Then the teaching of philosophy in bhagavAn vaSishTha’s method of narrations and discussions regarding the emergence is seen in utpatti prakaraNa. We have clearly seen the utpatti is an activity of mind and nothing beyond mind.

Then the discussion progressed to the matters related to maintenance of the universe in the sthiti prakaraNa.

With great narrations and deep discussions on the matters related to logic, meta physics, ancient history, concepts of time and space, definitions of individual jeeva and various synonyms to the mind and supreme consciousness, methods of getting rid of ignorance or limitation superimposed on the infinite consciousness the discussion that happened over 10 days between the sage vasishtha and lord Ramachandra took me around six years to study and post these notes.

Logically, the next aspect is about merging back of universe into its source. It is not destruction nor dissolution of the world. We already know it has no origin at all. BhagavAn vasishTha calls it as upaSama = diminishing on its own as the fire naturally drawing down when the fire wood is not added.

upaSama prakaraNa is fairly large prakaraNa with about 5000 slokas. This blog will have some notes from my continued study of this wonderful book going forward.

All this happens only due to unceasing flow of grace of Guru, Swami Virajeshwara Saraswati maharaj who has shown all those who have approached him, the surest and the best path to supreme consciousness in the form of yOga vEdAnta method of saadhana. Let the blessing of advaita AcArya parampara be on one and all!

Om tat sat

 

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Song of kaca – Concluding sthiti prakaraNa

On the eve of nirjala EkadaSi of Sri durmukhi year we arrive at the concluding sargas (56 – 62) of sthiti prakaraNa.

Sarga 56 is called kartRtva vicAra yOgOpadESa karaNam deals with the discussion on the karta or doer. “Either you think there is no doer and all this seen is not there OR you think I am the doer and everything is done by me alone. In both the lines of thoughts you arrive at the supreme reality!” says bhagavAn vaSishTha in this sarga.

Sarga 57 is called pUrNASaya svarUpa varNanam deals with the topic of how this diversified visible world existed in the supreme brahman in the beginning. bhagavAn vaSishTha says “O rAma! you will understand it in the right time. None of my teaching will be waste and becomes fruitful at the right time. There is no use narrating romantic stories to a child. Each seed grows at its own pace. So this world appears strong in the view of an ignorant person but for a realized sage it is just like a moving reflection on the ripples of water!”

Sarga 58 is kaca gAdha i.e, the song of kaca. kaca is son of bRhaspati who got enlightened and not interested in any of the enjoyments of the world. He used to sing:

“what shall I do? where shall I go? what shall I hold? what shall I reject? Everything is ever filled by self just like water filling the world in cosmic dissolution. Sorrow is self, pleasure as well; having realized everything as self, all appear just like space and every difficulty has disappeared. Inside and out, down and up and in all directions, here the self and there the self, can’t find anything that is not self! Self is established in everything, everything is established in self, everything is known as self and self become known as I.

Ever fulfilled, blissful, form of happiness, like a great ocean, I am established. Thus remembering, I chant Om. Ever pure at heart, having merged all the thoughts in the heart; just like the sky in the sarad Rtu after all the clouds of rainy season disappear!”

Sarga 59 is a review of creation, 60 is origin of individual soul, 61 on birth and death and 62 on acquiring the qualifications for supreme knowledge.

This is the end of sthiti prakaraNa in vaSishTha mahArAmAyaNa, sharing on the eve of nirjala EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi year!

Om tat sat

 

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dASUra AkhyAna – Conclusion

Son of dASUra asked: Dear father! what is this samkalpa? How does it originate? How it grows? How it can be destroyed?

dASUra answered: O Son, the infinite self’s expression of existence is consciousness. Know the consciousness’ inclination towards movement is the origin of samkalpa.  The minute movement holding on to the notion of existence, slowly expands like a ripple and covers its own reality like a cloud. It imagines vishayas i.e, things other than itself and gets attached to them. This attachment is the germination of samkalpa.

From one samkalpa another rises on its own. It grows on its own by illusory attachments causing misery. Only this sankalpa appears as world just as water alone appear as lake. There is no misery beyond the sankalpa in this visible world.

In imagination of something other than self, it originates, in the illusion it sustains and having understood the nature of its own illusion, it subsides.

There is no relation to your true self and all this imagination at any time O son! Therefore, never imagine the non-existing relationship between you and all this world view. By not indulging in this imagination, not attaching to the past pleasure and pain of these attachments you shall be freed instantly from all these.

By the effort in removing samkalpas, there is no fear of birth and death; by not entertaining the bhAvanas i.e, future imaginations all the past imaginations subside on their own!

Even there is effort in crushing the petals of flowers, but there is no effort in crushing the illusory imaginations of samkalpas. Just establish yourself in the infinite self and give up all the imaginations of limitations. In a blink of eye you are freed!

samkalpEnaiva samkalpam manasA svamanO munE! chitvA svAtmani tishTha tvam kimEtAvati dushkaram? O muni (silent one) by non imagination nullify imagination, break the mind by mind. Establish yourself in the SELF, what is difficult in this?

Know that the sankalpa itself is known as mind, individual, memory, intelligence and tendencies. Once the sankalpa is removed there is nothing limited here. Just like the space is ever empty, the world view is always empty.

As the husk of paddy is removed by pounding it and as the copper can be polished by effort, in the same way persistent effort can remove the illusory imaginations. Put your effort in overcoming this sankalpa.

BhagavAn vaSishTha said: O rAma! Having heard this discussion between the sage dASUra and his son, I appeared in front of them. Both the father and son approached me respectfully and offered me the arghya and pAdya and other hospitality. I narrated several examples on different topics of saadhana for realization to them till the morning.

So, O rAma, this narration of dASUra and the discussion between the son and father have been told to you to give the clarity of understanding. Hence, give up imaginations and take refuge in self which is eternally real.

On this shani Amavasya of durmukhi year, we reach the end of 55th sarga of sthiti prakaraNa of yoga vASishTha.

 

 

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The story of “space born” – khOttha

BhagavAn vaSishTha continued: O rAma, while dASUra was instructing his son, I happened to go to the river of heaven mandAkini to take bath. As I go across the kadamba tree, I heard the teaching.

dASUra said (to his son): O son, I shall narrate a story about a world that is similar in nature to this world. Listen carefully.

There was a great king, well known in all three regions of the world (earth, space & heavan) called khOttha (kha is space, uttha is risen lit., risen from space). Command of this king is obediently followed even by the creator and the lord of gods as the king is very courageous and can’t be conquered by anyone. He has countless initiatives resulting in good and bad endings just like the ripples on the surface of water. With best, medium and low bodies he occupied all the three regions.

Then he created a group of yakshas who are capable of hiding the reality of self and ever frightened of the existence. Due to the wavering of freight and ignorance they keep going into the future world and become anxious and sometimes goes back into past world and worry. The combinations of bodies and yakshas keep going into three regions and doing unlimited number of actions!

Sometimes he is defeated by himself, some times he feels that he is ignorant and subordinate and feels saddened by all these. Suddenly he becomes very happy; just like the flow of water in a stream.

dASUra’s son Asked: Dear father, who is this king khOttha? Please explain the hidden meaning of the story narrated by you to me.

dASUra explained: O son, to explain the void nature of the world, I narrated the story to you. The void born sankalpa i.e., imagination is called khOttha which rises on its own and subsides on its own. All this visible world is born of that sankalpa i.e, mind alone and when rises it appears and when sets it disappears. Even the creator and lord of gods also the limbs of this sankalpa.

Having built three regions in the empty space, as a reflection the mind (sankalpa i.e, imagination) is assembling and shining as three worlds.

For the recreation of itself, it created the bodies and the yakshas i.e, ahamkAras i.e, egos to protect those bodies that fill up all the three regions. The best beings are on the heaven, middle ones in the space and low are on the earth.

These ahamkAra mahA yakshas keep going around in these regions as per their own activities and imaginations. The three worlds are also called as waking, dreaming and deep sleep states.

The three states are also referred to sattva, rajas and tamas qualities predominating this ahamkAra.

So, O son:

sarvAdRshThIH parityajya niyamya manasA manaH; sabahyAbhyantarAthasya samkalpasya kshayam kuru.

Give up all external views; control mind by mind; remove imagination related to the things of external and internal origin.

achieve the above even if it takes a 1000 years of tapas, even if it takes to powder the stones with the body, even if it needs to enter fire or dive into deep abyss, even if it requires finding a great sage as a teacher, even if it requires to travel across the three worlds; there is no other means to realize the self other than removing the sankalpa.

Having given up all notions/thoughts/intentions sankalpas, just engage yourself in those activities as they come across you. The mind will naturally turns to what is beyond mind – the infinite consciousness i.e, cit.

Thus we reach the end of 53rd sarga of sthiti prakaraNa on the auspicious day of mOhinI EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi year.

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dASUra AkhyAna – 2

Bhagavan vasishTha continued: The kadamba tree dASUra lived is in the middle of a beautiful forest touching the arrays of clouds, appears as if the horses of the Sun’s chariot are taking rest underneath. It appeared as if its blooming flowers seeing all the directions, it is being cleaned of dust by the gentle breeze surrounding it.  With white yaks (chamara mRga) living on its branches it appeared like a year with moon. There were partridges, cuckoos, chakOra birds singing on the tree. There are swans living on the tree and a lot of different colored creepers, full of flowers and fruits, the tree appeared as if it were dancing and inviting the siddhas who travel in the path of sky above it.

Having selected this tree as his abode, the brahmaNa dASUra started to perform his penance. In a very short while, he became curious of watching around and opened his eyes. He has seen a beautiful scenery that has several streams that are like necklaces, high mountains like breasts covered by the cloths of white clouds, black sky like the hair, holding a full pitcher of ocean, having sun and moon as hanging ear rings the beautiful lady of directions – he has seen.

Moving his gaze away from the scenery, he started performing several yajnas mentally. Due to his attachment to karmas i.e, actions, he performed multitude of sacrifices sitting on the top of the kadamba tree mentally. He became known as kadamba dASUra. Only with his mind starting from agnyAdhAna he performed all the way till aSvamEdha for a period of ten years.

kAlEnAmalaAm yAtE vitatE tasya cEtasi, balAdavatatArantarjnAnam Atma prasAdajam. tatO viSIrNAvaraNO vigaladvAsanAmalaH

In progressing time, his mind expanded and purified, by the grace of own self arose realization. With the rise of knowledge, the bondage lifted away along with tendencies of impurities.

One day dASUra has seen a beautiful angel the vana-dEvi who appeared standing in front of him on the top of a creeper. He asked her why she came to him.

She said: “Oh great sage, any difficult desire will be fulfilled by visiting great people. Recently we had a reunion of vana devatas angels of forests. All our friends from different forests came together. All of us had a great time. I came to know all my friends had children except me. Now I desire a son. You are a great sage living in my forest and none other than you can grant me this wish. If you deny I shall sacrifice myself in the sacrificial fire. Please bestow me a son.”

Having heard this pleading, sage dASUra gave her a flower from his hand and blessed her. “Take this flower and go to your own abode; in a month’s time you will have a son. As you are ready to sacrifice yourself for a son, your son will be born a jnani. He will have supreme knowledge of self!” Saying this he sent her away.

After a period of 12 years, the vana dEvi came back with a boy. Having respectfully saluted at the lotus feet of the sage, she sat in front of him and said: “This is the son of us. He is now 12 years old. Now I want him to be educated. No father should leave his son ignorant. is it not? please accept him as your disciple!”

Having accepted the boy as his disciple, dASUra said to vana dEvi: “Leave him here.” Son started living with his father dASUra, who taught the supreme knowledge to his son in the form of various stories, historical tales, fables that are easy to grasp.

Thus we reach the end of 51st sarga of sthiti prakaraNa on the eve of kamada EkAdaSi i.e, the first EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi year. 

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dASUra AkhyAna – 1

BhagavAn vasiShTha continued: O rAmA! those who are entangled in various activities of differing priorities, those who have aspirations in sense enjoyments and riches of this world, not interested in realizing truth, by deceiving themselves and others – do not see (the reality)!

But, those who have crossed the limits of intelligence, those who are under the control of their own sense organs, see the worldly delusion clearly which is filled with ego and give it up just like a snake gives up its scales!

Such beings due the their (fire of) detachment in the worldly transactions do not come back here just like the burnt seed will not germinate again.

And the ignorant continuously strives for the betterment of the body which is inflicted by the mental and physical diseases, and never seeks to uplift once own self.

So, O rAma! do not be an ignorant person amassing comforts of the body alone. Be a seeker of true self!

Lord rAma said: O great soul! You mentioned this world only appears to give pleasure (and pain) to ignorant and it is like the narration of dASUra. I pray you narrate it clearly to me.

bhagavAn vaSishTha said: For the sake of clear understanding of the nature of delusion in the world appearance, I shall narrate the story of sage dASUra. There is a country called magadha wealthy in natural resources. It has several beautiful forests, rivers, mountains and filled with joyous people. In such a country, in a forest dominated by kadamba trees lives a sage named dASUra on top of a kadamba tree.

Lord rAma asked: Why was the sage living on top of a tree?

bhagavAn vaSishTha answered: Sage SaralOma, father of sage dASUra was living in the forest with his son. After several years, father left his mortal body. At that moment, the son dASUra started feeling lonely and sad. Seeing the boy in such a state the angels of forest came to him and cheered him up by saying “you are a sage engaged in great penance, and you know the reality of this world. All this is temporary. Everything attains its end and even the creator attains his end in the flow of time. So why do you unnecessarily grieve your father’s death when there is setting of every rising Sun?”

Having heard this counsel, dASUra performed all the duties due towards the death of his father and continued his penance. Due to his continued penance, he acquired the knowledge of vedas. Due to this he realized the most important knowledge is the supreme brahman which is the basis of origination, sustenance and transformation. To seek such supreme, he wanted to continue his penance. While searching for a pure place for his further penance he started seeing all the land on earth as impure.

He performed a severe yajna sacrificing his own flesh, thereby the lord of fire do not wanting to consume the flesh of a brahmaNa,  appeared in front of him and gave him a boon that he can live anywhere he wishes and thinks it as pure.

sage dASUra considered the top of kadamba tree as pure and by the power of his boon started living there.

Thus we came to the end of 48th sarga of sthiti prakaraNa in vaSishTha mahArAmAyaNa or yOga vASishTha on the eve of pApamOcini EkAdaSi of SrI manmatha year! 

 

 

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