praSamOpadESa – An instruction into tranquility

Bhagavan vaSishTha continued: O rAma, one should study the sastra first, then gain dispassion, then one should associate with the wise – thereby turn the mind towards the right knowledge. Having attained the right state of mind one should approach a realized sage in duly respectful manner. Then one should follow the practice as suggested by the sage and step by step draw near the ultimate truth of self.

Only due to ignorance of self, mind gets attracted to the delusion. Those who do not know the self alone are taken by misery; having understood eternal, unlimited self one is lead to blissful dissolution (of the world appearance!)

The misconception of self is mixed with the body of elements is the primary trouble.

With raised hands, I keep proclaiming “the self is different and the body is different just like lotus leaf and the water” – but no one seem to listen or understand it. Just like the dust can’t make the space dirty, no amount of elements (material) can touch the self.

All the pain and pleasure belong to the body, never to the self. So, all these transformation are of ignorance. When the ignorance is destroyed, where are all these pains and pleasures?

So, be filled with self by self like ocean and be blissful as full moon (moon is always full, only the reflection seen on the earth diminishes or grows!)

My Notes:

  1. giving up the duality of pain and pleasure is the best way to get unattached
  2. erroneously mixing up the self and body to be given up
  3. thoughts are like dust they can’t touch the sky and create blemish in pure consciousness

On the eve of Indira EkAdaSi for SrI durmukha year we reach the end of 5th sarga called praSamOpadEsam – an instruction into eternal peace of upSama prakaraNa of mOkshOpAya

 

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Importance of “manana”

On 10th day of discourse, bhagavan vaSishTha gave half a day holiday for the teaching. Everyone’s anushTAnas were described by sage Valmiki in the beginning of upaSama prakaraNa.

But, rAma is continuously contemplating on the teaching of bhagavan vaSishTha. He reviews all the instructions and narrations told to him by the guru.

On the day 11 when all the sages, kings and all those assembled back, bhagavAn vaSishTha asks rAma: Did you recollected all that has been taught? Have you thought about the meaning of the teaching? Did you remember and understand the emergence of differentiated beings? Did you remember the supreme consciousness which is untouched by any of the appearances? ….

Rama says: I have been thinking of your teaching alone all the way through the night without the sleep. ApAta madhurArambham madhyE saubhAgya varthanam anuttama phalOdarkam puNyam tvadanuSAsanam” – O sage, thy instructions & discourses have sweet and pleasant starting, the increase the prosperity later and finally result in the invaluable results!

So, a sage’s teachings to be remembered and thought about them repeatedly. They are sweet to start, they increase the understanding by remembering and reviewing. This process of remembering is called “manana“. It is just not important to listen to the sage’s teachings; it is very important to go back to them and extract their subtle meanings again and again.

This signifies two things:- 1. However wise one is he need to continue to do the prescribed anushTAna for him. 2. While performing the duties one should not get lost and continue the effort for self-realization.

That is why there were no new posts in past 3-5 EkAdaSis. Tomorrow is the parSva parivartana EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi year. This post brings us to the end of 4th sarga of upaSama prakaraNa.

 

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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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