"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

Short Description

What is it that you are going to do with self and self-realization? You must be able to resolve all problems of life, all needs of the mind, and all doubts and questions of the intelligence. When the feeling of fulfillment is there, so far as our needs are concerned, peace and quietitude are concerned, knowledge, the quest for knowledge, these are concerned, there must be fulfillment. 

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru

Self and self-realization are a kind of an idea or a central point, you can say. But the self-realization is not just a concentric process. When you get a point, it simply remains a point, it has no dimension. But when you start drawing a circle with a certain radius, then the point assumes great importance. It becomes the center of a circle. This circle can become very huge, huger, still more so, and you can draw a circle which can cover the whole universe. It is exactly in the same manner with self and self-realization, what is it that you are going to do? You must be able to resolve all problems of life, all needs of the mind, and all doubts and questions of the intelligence. When the feeling of fulfillment is there, so far as our needs are concerned, peace and quietitude are concerned, knowledge, the quest for knowledge, these are concerned, there must be fulfillment. 

So we call something like jīvanamukti- a person who feels liberated in this very life. What is meant by liberation? Freedom. Freedom from what? That you have to decide. What are the bondages, or constraints, or constrictions that you now feel, that you should yourself decide. Tell me what are your bondages now? What about hunger? Is it a bondage? What about thirst? Is it a bondage? Or some of the things of the mind are a bondage? And some understanding, or illusion of the intelligence is a bondage? This is something for you to decide – to which extent you have bondage, and what is the kind of bondage, and what is the type of liberation you want to have. In spite of it, our śāstras have clearly standardized it and said – what is that? jīvanamukti. The whole trouble and torment start from the birth of the body. The birth of the body is followed by the growth of the body. The growth of the body is followed by activities and interactions. Interactions bring their results and impacts. These impacts form as our memories and these memories start guiding, instigating, and leading us. These memories can be anything. If you analyze the whole of it, it comes to one point. What is that? We have a feeling that we are doing something, and we will be responsible for what we do; the consequences will bind us. So, further analyzed, it becomes a sense of karttva, doership, and bhokttva, enjoyership or sufferership. So, the karttva and bhokttva, which generally arise in the mind of any individual. A girl is born or a child is born. Instantly the child feels, “I am a son or a daughter of the parents.” “I, I.” Who is that 'I'? A son. Of whom? The parents. When the child grows up, and he or she gets married, towards the married partner, the child has a feeling “it is my partner”, “my husband”, or “my wife”. When a child is born, then he feels “I am the parent”. All these are arising from karttva, and if you have the karttva, automatically whatever you do will have its consequences and you will have to forbear them. So, the bhokttva, enjoyership or sufferership, also come. So, what is liberation? Liberation is that state where all your karttva and bhokttva vanish and you become free like air or space. 

So, we have śāstras, which say what will be the nature and behavior of a jīvanamukta

नैव किंचित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् ।
पश्यञ्श्रृण्वन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्र्नच्छन्स्वपञ्श्र्वसन् ।।
naiva kiñcitkaromīti yukto manyeta tattvavit | 
paśyañ-śṛṇvan-spśañ-jighrann-aśnan-gacchan-svapañ-śvasan ||
प्रलपन्विसृजन्गृह्णन्नुन्मिषन्नपि ।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ।।
pralapan-visjan-ghann-unmian-nimiann-api | 
indriyāṇ-īndriyārtheu vartanta iti dhārayan ||
Bhagavad Geeta 5-9 

This is the state of Self-realization or knowledge. What is that? While the senses are active - the eyes see, the ears hear, the tongue tastes, the nose smells, the skin touches, the mind thinks, the system breathes, you walk, you talk, you eat, you sleep, you dream. While doing all these activities, these activities are occasioned and caused by the respective organs. I walk because I have my legs. What is walking? It is the action or expression of my legs. So, if I had no legs, I would not be walking. So, walking is to be attributed to the legs. Talking is to be attributed to the tongue. Seeing is to be attributed to the eyes, hearing to the ears, thinking to the mind, understanding to the intelligence, and any kind of a feeling ‘I am this'. ‘I want that’, it is all to the ego. While all these are going on, naiva kiñcitkaromīti, “I am in reality not doing anything at all. It is my senses that interact with the objects of the senses. My eyes see objects. If I have no eyes, no objects will be there for me. So they are the respective indulgences, interactions of the respective organs, and in the 'I' level, which is beyond body, mind, intelligence, and ego, there is nothing that takes place in the form of an action, nor anything befalls there.” Now how to stabilize this knowledge and make it functional will be the task of the seeker to take up. 

साधुभि: पूज्यमानेऽस्मिन पीड्यमानेऽपि दुर्जनै: ।
समभावो भवेद्यस्य स जीवनमुक्त्तलक्षण: ।।
sādhubhipūjyamāne'sminpīyamāne'pi durjanai
samabhāvo bhavedyasya sa jīvanmuktalakaa||
(Vivekachudamani 440) 

This is from Vivekachudamani. When good and noble people praise you, prostrate before you, adore you, when conversely bad and ignoble people blame you, ridicule you, disrespect you, the mind should not be given to any undulation at all. Good people do what they want to do. Bad people do what they wish to do. I am becoming an object like a football. It can be kicked to the left, it can also be kicked to the right. One goal is struck. So one side has won. In the next three moments, three minutes, you find two goals are struck by the other side. So, who has won? Another side has won. Only five minutes are there to blow the final whistle. Then it so happens the other party strikes three goals. What does football have to do? Nothing. So, I am being made an object of praise by the praisers, an object of blame by the blamers. In both of them, I don’t find anything in me. It is the other people who do. So I am not going to be affected, I am not affected. This is one. Like that, so many descriptions are given. 

So Self-realization, when you understand that there is something like the Self, which animates and activates the body, that becomes the beginning point of a Self-realizational refinement, enlightenment, and interaction. From that you start growing, growing, growing. Up to which extent? To some extent you can say, “sky is the limit.” But there is a reasonable degree of fulfillment where one becomes a jīvanamukta. It comes from what? By repeated observation of oneself. Practicing Samadhi again … again, displaying the effect of Samadhi in interactions, trying to link it up with interactions. Actions are done by the actional instruments. In the central core of my personality, no action originates, no effect falls. 

You know that realization will have to become steady, and whatever sadhana you feel you should do, do it. Normally the sadhana is a proper exposure in the hands of the sadguru again and again, reading the śāstras as much as possible, reflecting upon them, then looking into the mind, making it purer and purer, looking into the intelligence, making it more and more illumined, and bring a relationship between the mind and the intelligence, so that any impurity, any contamination, any sense of bondage arising in the mind, will instantly be like a torch applied on darkness. The intelligence will apply the knowledge and try to eliminate the effect. So this is a wonderful inner knowledge-oriented sadhana which is definitely initiated by meditational absorption. But it does not merely end with that. Meditational absorption thereafter … thereafter … thereafter, the enlightenment that you get, applying that enlightenment to the functional and interactional processes. Whatever you may say, in the interaction between the subject and the object, the objects alone are variable and changeful, the subject is changeless. Are you able to realize it, and can you keep this realization forever? These are the questions. We have found that enough of sadhana is necessary, and enough of satsang, association with the wise or the sadguru is also indispensable. 

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. 


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