"Self-realization is meant to ensure fulfilment for one’s own self. It is not reaching somewhere or getting at something external, like going to the peak of a mountain. The attainment is in dissolving the mind and intelligence, and getting into the very core of oneself. In other words, it is like multiplying everything with zero."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


Articles for Saadhana

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

From Trivandrum, ‘R’ has come with his mother and perhaps cousin-brother or so. Apparently he is given to this spiritual study and he says he also conducts a satsang. He was asking me one important question about Bhagavad Gita.

व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन ।
बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ।।
vyavasāyātmikā buddhir-ekeha kuru-nandana |
bahu-śākhā hy-anantāś-ca buddhayo’vyavasāyinām ||
(Bhagavad Gita 2.41)

This is a very cardinal, critical and conclusive statement Krishna makes in the second chapter of Bhagavad Gita especially before the commencement of or maybe soon after the commencement of the Karma-yogic gospel. Many people do not understand what this word vyavasāyātmikā buddhih mean. Somewhere I heard it is translated as vyavasāyā means commerce, so vyavasāyātmikā buddhih means commercial wisdom. I can never understand how our scriptures and scriptural statements can be interpreted at least by one person even like this.

The word Vyavasāyā in Sanskrit means niśchaya. Vyavasāyātmikā means niśchayātmikā, buddhih means intelligence. He says in the pursuit of spiritual practice like Karma yoga or any other yoga, the only factor that counts is the resolute nature of the intelligence, resoluteness of the intelligence.

What is meant by resoluteness of the intelligence? Intelligence is the one faculty which submits all the impressions taken by the mind to a close analysis. Its role is to analyze the information which the mind provides and then compare, contrast and finally arrive at conclusions. The intelligence should examine the world on the one hand, life on the other, the interaction between the individual and the world, anything that you want to examine. Examine everything and ultimately it should come to one conclusion about your life, about the world, what you want from this life, how you can achieve it etc. The clarity should come to the intelligence.

Suppose this clarity is not there, then what will happen? The intelligence will go on multiplying its interests and drive you multifariously to different objectives, some here and some after death. He (Krishna) speaks about Vedas:

त्रैगुण्यविषया वेदा निस्त्रैगुण्यो भवार्जुन ।
trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna |
(Bhagavad Gita 2.45)

The Vedas deal with only triguṇa products. The entire world is a triguṇa and whatever we are having here, that alone we are going to have elsewhere after the death of the body, even in heaven and hell. Then why should you run after it? So nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna, "Arjuna become totally indifferent to the Vedas, Vedic inhibitions, prohibitions, injunctions etc".

So your intelligence will have to be very firm and arrive at a conclusion as to what is this life and what do I want. And what is that conclusion if you ask me, in Srimad Bhagavatam there is a beautiful analysis.

सुखमैन्द्रियकं राजन् स्वर्गे नरक एव च ।
देहिनां यद् यथा दुःखं तस्मान्नेच्छेत तद् बुधः ।।
sukham-aindriyakaṁ rājan svarge naraka eva ca |
dehināṁ yad yathā duḥkhaṁ tasmān-neccheta tad-budhaḥ ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.8.1)

Many people will read it but they will never spend time to understand it and reflect over it.

sukham-aindriyakaṁ rājan svarge naraka eva ca |

Svarga is considered to be the most trouble-free and pleasureful region in the whole creation. Now Srimad Bhagavatam says, aindriyakaṁ sukham, the sensory sukha is svarge naraka eva ca. It is available in svarga - heaven and in naraka. In which manner? Just like duhkha is available.

What is duhkha? Termination of sukha is duhkha and termination of duhkha is sukha. So if you have sukha, previous duhkha should be there, then only sukha will follow. You cannot have sukha alone. Either you may have sukha and duhkha or you will not have either or both. So even in svarga and naraka, perforce, by force you will have sukha and duhkha. Therefore budhah – the knowledgeable man, should never seek it. Because it is inevitable and imperative in your life, whenever the senses and the world objects come into contact with each other, irresistibly sukha-duhkhas, one after the other are generated in the mind level.  Nobody need try for it. If at all you try for it, what should you strive for? You should strive for sublimating the two. Take away your preference to sukha and eliminate your prejudice towards duhkha and when the sukha-duhkhas are transcended, you will have a state which will remain permanent.

So what is your effort? To transcend sukha-duhkhas. And this transcendence is possible because sukha-duhkhas like drowning water will constantly be around you and by learning to swim, you keep your head and nose above water and then the drowning power is not taken away or destroyed or eliminated but you will not be drowned. In the same manner, let the sukha-duhkha waters be around. You will swim in such a manner that neither sukha will delude you with a preference nor duhkha will affect you with a prejudice.

When the preference and prejudice vanish from the mind, can you imagine the sublimity, serenity and expansion that overtakes you? The constricted mind will give place to an expansive, free and flexible mind. The mind will be able to assimilate any kind of an impact arising from your interactions with the world. It maybe birth, it maybe death, it maybe fortune, it maybe misfortune, it maybe a promotion, a demotion, a dislike or a like, an acceptance or a rejection. Any kind of an opposite, pairs of opposites that come, everything will be equalized and evenized by your mind.

And after all, what is there in the world? All the pairs of opposites stimulate or bring about only sukha-duhkhas in the mind. When you are able to evenize sukha-duhkhas, you have evenized the entire world impacts. I say this; maybe you hear them also. But I don’t think you will be understanding it and it will become a culture and refinement in you unless you reflect upon it and spend at least fifty mind hours on this subject. It is so beautiful and so nice.

So the word vyavasāyātmikā buddhih means in the whole of this Karma yoga or spiritual pursuit, the intelligence should analyze life, analyze the world, analyze what you need and arrive at a conclusion. That conclusion should constantly be operating in you. When that conclusion arises, this is the conclusion - sukha and duhkha are the only experiences you will have and they will irresistibly be had by you, therefore we don’t have to work for anything. If at all we should strive for, it is for being harmonious with either and both.

So it is that mental harmony with sukha-duhkhas, that is the goal of life in which everything is contained, all are included. There is nothing more additional, besides or otherwise. Can you come to this conclusion? Then you are having vyavasāyātmikā buddhih. Suppose this is missed, anything else will be a distraction. You will be clinging to and attracted to and tied down by a number of other interests.

This is only an inner reformation and refinement. This does not affect your external involvement and activities. If at all, what will be the result? The mind will be lighter, it will be more poised, it will always have contentment, it will have the spirit and the experience of fullness, expansion, loftiness. You will always feel the world will never overpower me. My mind will always overwhelm the world’s impacts and I shall be above the water of the world. What a wonderful position is this!

Now to understand this, your intelligence has to be keen, sharp, perceptive and studious. So it is a question of reading the scriptural analysis, the scriptural assessments, that reading itself is a sādhanā, reflecting upon it is a greater sādhanā, assimilating the message is still greater, until at last the message becomes one with you and you become a manifest expression of the message.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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