"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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In an adult individual, the decline starts the very next day after the body has completed its growth. So a question arises. What is it that is less which is supposed to grow after we become physically and bodily an adult? The answer is, the growth and enrichment are solely and really to the mind and to the intelligence. The mind grows by thoughts, emotions, values, ideas and concepts. The intelligence grows by understanding. And understanding is an outcome of the effort called inquiry, investigation, evaluation and the like. So the religious life also became mento-intellectual.  That is why in the Upanishads you will not find any ceremonies or rituals. It is always questions properly set and dedicatedly pursued with a view to arrive at the outcome called knowledge. We call it introspection. We call it tattva-vicāra. Tattva-vicāra itself is a full and exclusive pursuit.

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 Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I am keeping in mind the discussion I had, primarily because of some of the questions raised by ‘S’. He has come here, with perhaps a variety of questions, bearing upon human life, the priorities of different types of pursuit that people take up and what should be, if at all a proper assessment or evaluation about it. I think the question should be discussed in a very fundamental manner. This is what our Vedic Upanishads have done. They have discussed the subject of life, the genesis of it, the ultimate fruition and fulfillment of it. They have also discussed the subject of the very creation that is displayed around us. What is the ultimate particle or ultimate reality in the whole material, energial world?  This also, they have taken up. Their questions can be briefly and broadly put in this manner. Either into the inquiry of the object world we are interacting with, an inquiry into oneself, the subject that interacts with the object and an inquiry into the so-called God which appears to be the support and also refuge of a religious mind. The inquiry into oneself is quite experiential, right from the beginning to end. The inquiry into the world may appear to be based upon the object and materiality to begin with, but later on you will find, even the world is what we experience, and experience is within the body in the sphere of the mind.

Mind is not a part of the body, though it is associated with the body, because the body is fully matter and energy. Both of them do not have the capacity or potential to sense, feel, cognize, perceive, memorize, inquire into and understand. But our mind and intelligence have these powers. Obviously, they cannot be physically part of the body. When I say, the world is what our mind experiences, so inquiry into the world automatically gets back to the inquiry into the mind and experience. That is how in the Upanishadic period our religious thinkers who resorted to a number of rituals and ceremonies using physical materials and fire, ultimately found that they had to transcend and outlive all of them. And finally it becomes a subject pursuit based upon the subject, from the beginning to the end.

God is actually a concept of the human mind. Like we say dog, cow, elephant, we also say God. All the words in dictionary of any language are evolved from the human brain, human mind and human mouth. So, we have to explain these words and propositions. So, the God concept also underwent a rational evaluation, examination and research, and ultimately, what they found was - what I find is – the religious God, the spiritual self and the philosophical or scientific reality are exactly the same. There is no difference. This is how they arrived at the truth and the philosophy of oneness. Finally they declared,

ब्रह्मविद् आप्नोति परम्
Brahmavid Āpnoti Param
 (Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1.1)

This is the summary message of the knowledge treasure that we have called ‘The Vedas’.

Brahmavid Āpnoti Param. Our Ashram has selected this as the motto for us. Brahmavid Āpnoti Param. 

Brahmavid - one who knows the supreme reality, call it the Self, call it God or call it, the Ultimate Reality - Brahman. Whoever knows it, is able to realize it. 

Āpnoti Param - he attains the supreme in human life.

So, the real attainment or pursuit for any rational and earnest individual, human individual is a knowledge pursuit. This knowledge pursuit transpires within the body in the sphere of the mind and the intelligence. The pursuit has to be inspired. It has to be dedicated and exclusive. These are all qualities of the mind. But the pursuit itself is one in and through knowledge, by knowledge. So, ultimately it is an examination done by the intelligence remaining within the body and in which the mind also comes up, adds its own impetus.

Now, let us go back to what we discussed yesterday. Any discussion which the human takes up will have to be a discussion of his own life and pursuit. Our life we know is constantly an interaction with the world outside, the objects surrounding us. When a child is born from the mother's womb and the umbilical cord is cut, it becomes an individual, and it has all the faculties to experience the objects and interact with them. In fact the child does not get any additional organ after birth. The eyes are there, the nose is there, the ears are there, the tongue and the skin are there. Then the hands and the fingers, legs and the toes, and other organs, all of them are there. They only grow up to the age of 21, when the individual becomes an adult. By the time you become an adult, all the physical faculties are already grown except perhaps wisdom teeth. Once they have fully grown, they begin to decline.

So, in an adult individual, the decline starts the very next day after the body has completed its growth. So a question arises. What is it that is less which is supposed to grow after we become physically and bodily an adult? The answer is, the growth and enrichment are solely and really to the mind and to the intelligence. The mind grows by thoughts, emotions, values, ideas and concepts. The intelligence grows by understanding. And understanding is an outcome of the effort called inquiry, investigation, evaluation and the like. So the religious life also became mento-intellectual.  That is why in the Upanishads you will not find any ceremonies or rituals. It is always questions properly set and dedicatedly pursued with a view to arrive at the outcome called knowledge. We call it introspection. We call it tattva-vicāra. Tattva-vicāra itself is a full and exclusive pursuit.

In our Ashram, this is a knowledge Ashram. Our pursuit and sādhana are knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. The two factors that constantly work in this pursuit are mind and intelligence. I said, the life is interactional - the interaction between the individual and the rest of the world. Our interactions can be traced to persons, places and events. We interact with persons in our own family, outside in the professional front or in the educational front. Then we also interact with the members of the society. The places and the environments or circumstances change, they are variable. And events, different types of events take place and we must be able to interact with them. There are a number of episodes, events and occurrences. We have to assimilate them, and every event should be assimilated in such a manner that we get enriched, empowered, elevated and enlightened in the process. There should be no day of life which will not have enriched you. If it is not enriching to you, your pursuit, your understanding is not right. The enrichment is not physical. Physical enrichment takes place by food and nourishment, proper oxygenated air to breathe, good water to drink, maybe sunlight exposure and all that. But I am only speaking about the mento-intellectual enrichment for which emotional factor is there and rational factor also is there. Understand, what is this interactional life? Every activity and interaction, I would like to stress, proceed and is initiated by our mind.

Our ‘S’ is in the Ashram. How did he come here physically? Because he wanted to come. Maybe he surfs the internet, our website etc., and finally came to know that there is a Swami, there is an Ashram. I would like to go there. So the interaction was initiated by his mind. Then, the mind made the body travel. At the point of initiation, commencement it is in the mind, and every moment thereafter the interaction is subsisting on, resting upon the mind. Without the mind's connection, the body will not be able to consciously work. During sleep, we make a number of movements. We turn this side and that side. None of these movements is known by us because the mind is not active. As is the interaction initiated and conceived of, by the mind, so the interaction is guided by it, resting upon it, subsisting upon it, and when the interaction or activity is complete, it is again terminated and concluded in the mind, to be an experience first, knowledge and memory next.

Now you tell me, is there any interaction where the mind does not come in? The entire interactional life though body acts as an instrument, the actual interaction, its progress and fruition and outcome, everything is in the mind. True spiritual seeking consists in understanding the mind is the sole focus of human life. When a person gets married, he understands and remembers that I am married. Suppose the mind part is missing, can there be a marriage? Can there be a life partner? Unfortunately, there is so much of ignorance and delusion in the subject, which is characteristic and inborn; we are not able to think in this manner.

Spiritual search commences when you understand the exclusive and comprehensive role of the mind. Ultimately, what is spirituality? Spirituality is, understanding and realizing the thought process, understanding and realizing the thinker, then the thinking, and the thought as an outcome. You have to research into the mind, and find out, what is this thinking substance, when does the thinker arise, how does the thinking transpire, when does the outcome called thought come in. An inquiry into these constitutes true spirituality or search.

Now coming back, he was discussing about what kind of a pursuit should be given priority. What I have to tell you is, ‘Brahmavid Āpnoti Param’. You attain the supreme object of human life when you inquire into Brahman and are able to realize it. We have four ashramas - Brahmacharya, Gārhastya, Vānaprastha and Sannyāsa. The Sannyāsa is supposed to be the climax and crowning glory of human life. Unfortunately, the super majority of people never go beyond the householder stage. So I openly say they are dying as half-humans, not as a full-human.

In Sannyāsa, the human personality becomes most developed, most expressive, most benevolent, and most potent. The qualities become superb because of the austerity and ascetic enrichment the individual derives in the Sannyāsa life. What is the purpose of Sannyāsa?

आत्मनो मोक्षार्थं जगद् हिताय च
Ātmano mokṣārtham jagat hitāya ca

First of all it is to have the joy of ecstasy produced by the freedom that the seeker feels in his heart, mind, and intelligence. The shackles caused by the mind, emotional shackles and intellectual shackles in the way of questions, doubts, confusions, delusions and the like, all of them get beautifully cleared, as a result of which you, who now perhaps have an earthy or a stony or a rocky mind, you begin to have a watery mind, an oceanal mind, finally, you have a spacial mind. Spacial like the space not affected by anything but extensive to infinity, that kind of a mind you have. This is the joy of the freedom called moksha or liberation. It is a liberation from the mento-intellectual shackles which are always putting us into trouble, enjoying it or realizing it, one, and in its light try to serve the people as much as possible. What is this service? It can be service to the body or it can be service to the mind and intelligence. A sannyasin is supposed to serve humanity – in what? In restoring them from the deflections they have had. We call it Lokasangraha. Whenever people are drifting from the path of virtue and righteousness, remind them and bring them back, restore them to their moorings by virtue of our dissemination, interaction with people by various methods, publications and what not, that is one. Give them contentment and joy, a sense of fullness to the mind and give them clarity of thought and enlightenment so that any questions in the world and about it, about life, everything gets fully answered or dissolved. The full state of freedom is described in this manner.

भिद्यते हृदयग्रन्थिः छिद्यन्ते सर्वसंशयाः ।
क्षीयन्ते चास्य कर्माणि तस्मिन् दृष्टे परावरे ।।
- मुण्डकोपनिषद् २.२.८
Bhidyate Hṛdaya-grahanthiḥ chidyante sarva-samśayāḥ
kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi tasmin dṛṣte parāvare

When you are able to perceive the truth, in the small as well as in the big, inside as well as outside, in matter and energy as well as in the spirit, the hṛdaya-grahanthiḥ, the knot called ego in your personality gets untied.

chidyante sarva-samśayāḥ - all the doubts are completely cleared.

kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi - all kinds of bondage, stress, strain etc. caused by various kinds of karma, virtuous and vicious assailing your mind in one way or the other, everything comes to dissolution and termination. These are the three fundamental and ultimate benefits of the knowledge pursuit which has its focus on the mind and the intelligence of man.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.