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Advaita Vedanta

This page was last updated on 2/4/24.


Snatana Dharma   Vedas   Upanishads   Brahma Sutras   Gitas   Sri Krishna
Adi Shankaracharya   Yoga Vasishta   Sri Aurobindo   Various


Adi Shankaracharya

As the mind becomes gradually established in the Self, it proportionately gives up the desire for external objects. When all such desires have been eliminated, there is the unobstructed realization of the Self.
~ Adi Shankara

Give up identification with this mass of flesh as well as with what thinks it a mass. Both are intellectual imaginations. Recognize your true self as undifferentiated awareness, unaffected by time, past, present or future, and enter Peace.
~ Adi Shankara

He (Adi Shankara) wrote profuse commentaries on the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita. Sankara proclaimed, "It is the one Reality which appears to our ignorance as a manifold universe of names and forms and changes. Like the gold of which many ornaments are made, it remains in itself unchanged. Such is Brahman, and That art Thou."
~ Adi Shankara

I am blessed indeed! I have achieved life's only purpose. The dragon of rebirth can never seize me now. The Infinite is mine. I recognize my true nature in eternal joy.
~ Adi Shankara

Like different ornaments are made from Gold, all that is manifested in the world of things are imagined on the underlying substratum that is called as Vishnu, the all pervading.
~ Adi Shankaracharya

Neither by yoga, nor philosophy, nor by work, nor by learning but by the realization of one’s identity with Brahman is liberation possible, and by no other means.
~ Adi Sankaracharya

The form is seen, the eye is seer; the mind is both seen and seer. The changing moods of mind are seen, but the witnessing Self, the seer, is never seen.
~ Adi Sankaracharya, Vakya Sudha

The Vedas cannot show you Brahman, you are That already. They can only help to take away the veil that hides truth from our eyes. The cessation of ignorance can only come when I know that God and I are one; in other words, identify yourself with Atman, not with human limitations. The idea that we are bound is only an illusion [Maya]. Freedom is inseparable from the nature of the Atman. This is ever pure, ever perfect, ever unchangeable.
~ Adi Shankara’s commentary on Fourth Vyasa Sutra

To one who is bitten by the serpent of ignorance, salvation can come only from the elixir of Self-knowledge and not from the Vedas, scriptures, incantations or any other remedies. Just as a person’s sickness is not removed without taking medicine, so too his state of bondage is not removed by scriptural texts such as ‘I am Brahman’ without his own direct experience of the Self. One does not become a king by merely saying, ‘I am a king’, without destroying one’s enemies and obtaining the reality of power. Similarly, one does not obtain liberation as Brahman itself by merely repeating the scriptural text ‘I am Brahman’, without destroying the duality caused by ignorance and directly experiencing the Self.

A treasure trove hidden under the ground is not obtained by merely hearing about it, but only by being told by a friend who knows it, and then digging and removing the slab that hides it and taking it out from below the ground. Similarly, one must hear about one’s true state from a Guru who knows Brahman, and then meditate upon it and experience it directly through constant meditation. Without this, the true form of one’s own Self, that is hidden by maya, cannot be realized through mere argumentation. Therefore, those who are wise themselves make every effort to remove the bondage of individual existence and obtain liberation, just as they would to get rid of some disease.
~ Adi Shankaracharya. Vivekachudamani


Ekashloki by Adi Shankaracharya
G: What is your source of light?
D: During the day it is the sun and at night, it is lamp, etc.
G: Yes, it is. Tell me, what light is the means of seeing the sun and the lamp?
D: It is the eye.
G: At the time of shutting the eyes, etc., what is the light?
D: It is intellect.
G: What is the source of light for the intellect?
D: It is “I”, the Self (Awareness).
G: Therefore, your own Self (Awareness) is the light of lights (or the Supreme light).
D: Yes, O Lord, I am That Supreme Light (Awareness),


Yoga Vasishta

Ideas and thoughts are bondage; and their coming to an end is liberation. Therefore, be free of them and do whatever has to be done spontaneously.

Just as the cloth, when investigated, is seen to be nothing but thread, so also this world, when enquired into, is (seen to be) merely the Self.

Just as the foam, the waves, the dew and the bubbles are not different from water, even so this world which has come out of the Self is not different from the Self.

Just as the trees on the bank of a lake are reflected in the water, so also all these varied objects are reflected in the vast mirror of our consciousness.

Just as when the dirt is removed, the real substance is made manifest; just as when the darkness of the night is dispelled, the objects that were shrouded by the darkness are clearly seen, when ignorance [Maya] is dispelled, truth is realized.

Like clouds which suddenly appear in a clear sky and as suddenly dissolve, the entire universe (appears) in the Self and (dissolves in it).

Like waves rising up from the ocean the unstable mind rises out of the vast and stable expanse of the Supreme Self.

Neither freedom from sorrow nor realization of one’s real nature is possible as long as the conviction does not arise in one that the world-appearance is unreal.

One who has no idea of gold sees only the bracelet. He does not at all have the idea that it is merely gold. The world is full of misery to an ignorant man and full of bliss to a wise man.

The world is dark to a blind man and bright to one who has eyes. The bliss of a man of discrimination, who has rejected samsara and discarded all mental concepts, constantly increases.

This world, though unreal, appears to exist and is the cause of life-long suffering to an ignorant person, just as a (non-existent) ghost (is the cause of fear) to a boy.

To all who long and strive to realize the Self, Illumination comes to them in this very life. This divine awareness never leaves them and they work unceasingly for the good of all. When the lamp of wisdom is lit within, Their face shines, whether life brings weal or woe. Even in deep sleep they are aware of the Self, For their mind is freed from all conditioning. Inwardly they are pure like the cloudless sky, But they act as if they too were like us all. Free from self–will, with detached intellect, They are aware of the Self even with their hands at work. Neither afraid of the world, nor making the world afraid, They are free from greed, anger, and fear. When the waves of self–will subside Into the sea of peace that is the Self, The mind becomes still, the heart pure and illumination comes to us in this very life. When this supreme state is attained, They neither rise nor fall, change nor die. Words cannot describe the supreme state For it is fuller than fullness can be.

To one who is established in what is infinite, pure consciousness, bliss and unqualified non-duality, where is the question of bondage or liberation, seeing that there is no second entity?


The Divine State of Liberation
~ Rishi Vashisht, preceptor of the Divine Ram

The poison plant of the world's illusion springs from the mind entangled in sensuous enjoyment. But it is through mind alone, that the ills of mind can be cured and eradicated. Those who live in this world without attachment to worldly objects, like a duck in a pond, are the true conquerors of the mind. For what are they—but vermin—those who cling to the objects of the senses, and taste not of the fruit of renunciation? One ought to rid the mind of all thoughts of ego, and fix it on the Soul Supreme, according to the teachings of the Vedas (Four books of Wisdom), to attain complete bliss and harmony in life.

Even as one thorn removes another thorn, so the higher mind of a man, will remove the impurities from the lower mind of man. To cleanse the mind of its defilements and desires is the first step on the high road to salvation, trodden by the great Saint and Sages.

When the mind that wavers and flickers like a flame in the wind, is steadied and made one-pointed, as it were, through desirelessness, then alone is the Real Truth that sustains the Universe made manifest in all its refulgent majesty. May you tread this Sacred and Ancient Path (Yoga), O Ram, and by knowing the true nature of your own self, and freeing your mind from all worldly entanglements, attain to the highest bliss of salvation. May your mind, freed from hankerings and longings for the objects of the world, be merged in God-Consciousness. Past, present and future become as one, to he who has controlled his mind, and conquered his worldly desires. When all the shining tinsel of the world becomes a mere nothing. then alone is mind conquered. These thoughts of attachment and possession,—that this is mine, that is thine, etc., belong to the realm of the lower mind. When all such lower thoughts of differentiation are lost, and the Atma, One behind all, is recognized, then alone the sorrows of the world cease to exist. May you, O Ram, attain to that Divine State. When the mind is fully controlled and the desires arising from it are destroyed, then alone comes surcease from pains and afflictions that torment humanity. When the baser passions of the mind are slain, then one attains perfect peace, and becomes, as it were, the fountain head of peace in the world for the salvation of suffering humanity.

By meditating on the heart, spiritual Wisdom awakens, all doubts vanish, and the mind is contented. This mind of ours, is susceptible to all kinds of influences, hankering after worldly pleasures, and this is the greatest obstacle in the path of salvation. Control your. mind with the thought that these worldly objects are the merest tinsel compared to the liberation which is a veritable treasure-trove of all bliss and happiness. Then will you be freed from all worldly thoughts of possession and differentiation, arising from an overgrown ego.

The Divine State of liberation, where one is freed from the cycle of birth and death, confers untold bliss, and is everlasting like the Eternal One Himself.


Sri Aurobindo

In the deep there is a greater deep, in the heights a greater height. Sooner shall man arrive at the borders of infinity than at the fulness of his own being. For that being is infinity, is God — I aspire to infinite force, infinite knowledge, infinite bliss. Can I attain it? Yes, but the nature of infinity is that it has no end. Say not therefore that I attain it. I become it. Only so can man attain God by becoming God.


The most difficult of all their knots is egoism, the delusion that we have an individual existence sufficient in itself, separate from the universal and only being, ekamevadwitiyam, who is one not only beyond Time, Space and Causality. Not only are we all Brahman in our nature and being, waves of one sea, but we are each of us Brahman in His entirety.


To the rigorous logician bound in his narrow prison of verbal reasoning, the Upanishads seem indeed to base themselves on an initial and fundamental inconsistency. There are a number of passages in these Scriptures which dwell with striking emphasis on the unknowableness of the Absolute Brahman. It is distinctly stated that neither mind nor senses can reach the Brahman and that words return baffied from the attempt to describe It; more -that we do not discern the Absolute and Transcendent in Its reality, nor can we discriminate the right way or perhaps any way of teaching the reality of It to others; and it is even held, that It can only be properly characterised in negative language and that to every challenge for definition the only true answer is neti neti, It is not this, It is not that. Brahman is not definable, not describable, not intellectually knowable. And yet in spite of these passages the Upanishads constantly declare that Brahman is the one true object of knowledge and the whole Scripture is in fact an attempt not perhaps to define, but at least in some sort to characterise and present an idea, and even a detailed idea, of the Brahman.
~ Nature of the Absolute Brahman by Sri Aurobindo


The rooted and fundamental conception of Vedanta is that there exists somewhere, could we but find it, available to experience or self-revelation, if denied to intellectual research, a single truth comprehenshie and universal in the light of which the whole of existence would stand revealed and explained both in its nature and its end. This universal existence, for all its multitude of objects and its diversity of forces, is one in substance and origin; and there is an unknown quantity, X or Brahman to which it can be reduced, for from that it started and in and by that it still exists. This unknown quantity is called Brahman.
~ T H E UPANISHADS TEXTS, TRANSLATIONS AND COMMENTARIES by Sri Aurobindo


THE UPANISHAD first affirms the existence of this profounder, vaster, more puissant consciousness behind our mental being. That, it affirms, is Brahman. Mind, Life, Sense, Speech are not the utter Brahman; they are only inferior modes and external instruments. Brahman-consciousness is our real self and our true existence.
~ The Eternal Beyond the Mind By Sri Aurobindo


To realize Self is to realize the eternal freedom of the spirit. The first realization of the Self as something intensely silent and purely static is not the whole truth of it. There can also be a realization of the Self in its power. Establishing the mind in the Self means the conviction that the self alone is all, and that there is nothing other than it. As ones process deepens, the pervasive sense of coolness and calmness shows that the consciousness is reorienting itself at a deeper level of the being. Joy and happiness not dependent upon outward things begins to manifest. One becomes aware that he is acted through and totally dependent upon the Divine. This realization and accompanying release into peace and happiness is spoken of as liberation and carries with it the value of being released from jail. One begins to feel that the ordinary consciousness is something quite external and on the surface. It does not seem to be ones real self.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine


Various

Just as a coil of rope Is mistaken for a snake, so you are mistaken for the world. Give up the illusion of the separate self. Give up the feeling, within or without, that you are this or that. You are flowing in all things, and all things are flowing in you. Desire only your own awareness.


Brahman is the only Reality, ever-pure, ever-illumined, ever-free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable agency of Maya (illusion), that enchantress which makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really one and undivided. When a seeker is merged in the beautitude of Samadhi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form - the production of Maya. Whatever is within the domain of Maya is unreal; give it up. Dive deep in the search for Self and be firmly established in It through Samadhi. You will then find the world of name and form vanishing into nothing, and this puny ego merging into cosmic consciousness.
~ Totapuri


Establishing the mind in its native state (of quiet repose) in the space of the Heart is undoubtedly the essence of all yogas – karma, bhakti, raja and jnana.
~ verse ten of the Upadesa Saram


God is omnipresent, omniscient and all powerful to run this universe as per the divine laws which He too does not break or infringe. The Vedic Dharm does not subscribe to the theory of God deputing prophets to run His errands. There is a direct communication between God and man and there is no place for a middleman. That is why the treasure of Vedic knowledge made available to man through mantras does not envisage a godman who is different from a common man. Quran says become a Muslim. Bible says become a Christian. Only Vedas say 'मनुर्भव' - Be Human.
~ Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant, VSM
मनुर्भव


Hindus and Hindutva will one day rule the world, because this is a combination of knowledge and wisdom.
~ Leo Tolstoy


Hindutva will become the ruler religion in Europe, but the famous city of Europe will become the Hindu capital.
~ Nostradamus (1503 - 1566)


How shall I grasp it? Do not grasp it. That which remains when there is no more grasping is the Self.
~ Panchadasi


I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


I read Hinduism and realized that it is the religion of all the world and all mankind. Hindutva will spread throughout Europe and in Europe, big thinkers of Hinduism will emerge. One day it will come that Hindus will be the real stimulus of the world.
~ Bertrand Russell


It is worth mentioning that unlike Brahman, Maya does have an end. Ignorance is removed, ended, eradicated by Self-knowledge. That is to say that while Maya on a macrocosmic level does continue to influence the apparent reality/universe throughout the millennia until the pralaya (the periodic cosmic dissolution), the jiva’s (apparent individual’s) avidya (individual or microcosmic ignorance) ends with the assimilation of the knowledge that I am whole and complete, limitless, actionless, ordinary, all-pervasive, non-dual Awareness.
~ Advaita-Vision. org


It stands to reason that if one realizes the absence of the personal self, all emotional afflictions, which have ego-clinging as their root, will be arrested. For it is certain that when it is perceived that there is no personal self, attachment, hatred, pride, and so forth—all of which arise therefrom—cannot occur.
~ Mipham from his commentary on the Madhyamakalankara


Knowledge is dependent on the knower for its existence. The knower does not require any tests for knowing his own existence. The knower therefore is the only reality behind knowledge and objects. That which is self-evident without the necessity to be proved, is alone real; not so other things.
~ Tripura Rahasya


O thou who pervades all space, both now and hereafter, as the Soul of souls! The Vedas, Agamas, Puranas, Itihasas and all other sciences inculcate fully the tenet of nonduality. It is the inexplicable duality that leads to the knowledge of nonduality. This is consonant with reason, experience, tradition, and is admitted by the dualists and nondualists.
~ Tayumanavar, 10.3, The Poems of Tayumanavar, Coomaraswamy


Shri Ram said: “It is My promise and duty to give all protection to one who surrenders unto Me without reservation.
~ Ramayana, Lanka-kanda 18.33


Sit still, chant Om’ and then think Who is within you. All the Vedanta, nay all the philosophy of the Hindus is simply an exposition of this syllable Om.’ Om’ has a charm about it, an efficiency, a virtue in it which directly brings all feelings and all thoughts into a state of harmony, brings peace and rest to the soul and puts the mind in a state where it is one with God. Science may not be able to explain this, but this is a fact which can be verified by experiment. Woe unto science if it goes against the truth connected with the efficiency of the sacred syllable Om.’ The real Self which is knowledge absolute and power absolute is the only stern Reality, before which the apparent reality of the world melts away! Om’ is the name of this Reality.
~ Swami Rama Tirtha


The entire world will accept Hindu religion one day and if it can not even accept the real name it will accept it by name only. West will accept Hindutva one day and Hindu will be the religion of those who have studied in the world.
~ George Bernard Shaw


The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creators hand.
~ George Bernard Shaw


When the delusion which has veiled Self, the Light of Consciousness of unlimited Bliss [Sat-Chit-Ananda], is destroyed by the clear enquiry “Who am I?”, one’s own Nature will shine forth gloriously as the Atmakasha [i.e. Space of Self].
~ Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru’s Sayings) by Sri Muruganar


You are always the same, Unfathomable awareness, Limitless and free, Serene and unperturbed. Desire only your own awareness.


You are the One for all living beings, You are the master of the life force, of the body, of the soul and the senses. You are the Time, the Supreme Lord Vishnu, the Imperishable Controller. You as the Greatest One who are both the cosmic creation and the subtle reality, You consisting of passion, goodness and slowness, are the Original Personality, Overseer and the Knower of the restless mind in all fields of action.
~ Srimad Bhagavatam


You should know Krsna to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency. Those in this world who understand Lord Krsna as He is see all things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme Lord Krsna. The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. What, then, could one ascertain to be separate from Him.
~ Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.55-57


A visitor: Should I give up my business and take to reading books on Vedanta?
Bhagavan: If the objects have an independent existence, i.e., if they exist anywhere apart from you, then it may be possible for you to go away from them. But they don’t exist apart from you; they owe their existence to you, your thought. So, where can you go, to escape them? As for reading books on Vedanta, you may go on reading any number of them. They can only tell you, ‘Realise the Self within you’. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it out for yourself, in yourself. Hinduism is predicated on the idea that the eternal wisdom of the ages and of divinity cannot be confined to a single sacred book. While others might look to the heavens to find God, the Hindu looks within himself. There is no Hindu pope, no Hindu Vatican, no Hindu catechism, not even a Hindu Sunday. Hinduism does not oblige the adherent to demonstrate his faith by any visible sign. Instead Hinduism offers a smorgasbord of options to the worshiper: of divinities to adore and to pray to, of rituals to observe, of customs and practices to honor, of fasts to keep. Hinduism allows believers to stretch their imaginations to personal notions of the creative Godhead.


Aphorisms on Consciousness-without-an-object
1. Consciousness-without-an-object is.
2. Before objects were, Consciousness-without-an-object is.
3. Though objects seem to exist, Consciousness-without-an-object is.
4. When objects vanish, yet remaining through all unaffected, Consciousness-without-an-object is.
5. Outside of Consciousness-without-an-object nothing is
.


Seeing Past the Illusions of the World
~ K. Nagori

The only truth is that God alone is real and all else is unreal. Men, universe, a shelter, rearing children—all these are magic composed by the Supreme magician.

The magician strikes his wand and says: “Come delusion! Come confusion!” Then he says to the audience, See past the illusion and let your wings take wind. But the magician alone is real and his magic unreal. The unreal exists for a second and then vanishes.

Shiva was seated on Kailas. His companion Nandi was near Him. Suddenly a terrific noise arose. “Revered sir,” asked Nandi “what does that mean?” Shiva said: “Ravana is born. That is the meaning!” A few moments later another terrific noise roared. “Now what is this noise?” Nandi asked. Shiva said with a smile, “Ravana is dead.”

Birth and death are an illusion. You see the magic for a second and then it disappears.

God alone is real and all else unreal. Water alone is real; its bubbles appear and disappear. They disappear into the very water from which they rise.


The Absolute or the Brahman alone is real and the individual self is the Absolute.
~ Acharya Pranipata Chaitanya

Brahman is undifferentiated Pure Consciousness, devoid of parts, attributes, form, changes or limitations whatsoever. It is self-luminous and all-pervading and one only, without a second. The Atmam (Self) is ever-free, pure consciousness. The empirical world is non-real, an appearance born out of Maya (illusion) or avidya (ignorance). The be-all and end-all of Advaita is the absolute non-difference of Atman and Brahman.

The term -Vedanta literally means end of Vedas (the sacred books of knowledge of Hinduism). It refers, within Indian philosophical tradition, to the teachings of the Upanisads, the Brahma-sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita. Advaita Vedanta is the non-dualistic system of Vedanta expounded primarily by an 8th century Indian philosopher called Sankara (Deutsch, 1973, p. 3). Advaita means not two, One only without a second (Ekamevaadvitiyam). The basic truth of Advaita is the Self which is of the nature of pure consciousness. This truth is self-existent and cannot be denied, for to deny consciousness is to actually prove its existence! The experiential realization of this truth is the goal of Advaita.

Advaita Vedanta postulates one single reality, Brahman, as the ultimate truth of the world. It then equates this reality with the sole reality of our individual self, called Atman. Advaita says that One alone exists, and the rest is all superimposition on that One, due to ignorance. Through a systematic inquiry into the nature of our self and the world around us, Advaita arrives at the position that the self which is of the nature of pure consciousness is constant and therefore real, while the phenomena constituting the world is constantly changing and therefore unreal. It finally concludes that, in essence, our essential nature (and the nature of the universe) is ‗Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute‘ - satchitananda.


The Self remains untainted
~ Shradhey Swamiji Shri Ramsukhdasji Maharaj

Our nature and the nature of the body are totally different from each other. Neither have we union with the body nor does the body have union with us. As the body lives in the world, likewise we don’t live in the body.There was never our union with the body, nor is, nor will be nor can be.

In fact we don’t need the body. Even without the body, we live in bliss. It means that without the body, we don’t lose anything.Till now we have acquired and cast off numberless bodies but has it made any difference in our existence? What loss have we sustained? We have remained the same -‘bhūta-grāma sa evāya bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate’ (Gita 8/19).

All people realize the absence of body, senses, mind, intellect and ego but no one ever realizes the absence of the self. For example in deep sleep we realize the absence of the body etc. But we don’t say that I didn’t exist in sound sleep, we don’t say ‘I died’. The reason is that even in the absence of the body etc.., we existed. So when we are awake, we say that I slept so soundly that I knew nothing.

It means that we existed the same in sound sleep. It proves that our existence does not depend on the body, senses, mind, intellect and ego. All-gross, subtle and causal bodies cease to exist but the self never ceases to exist. Our self is naturally detached- ‘Asango hyayam Purusha’ (Brhadaranyaka. 4/3/15), ‘dehe ’smin purua para’ (Gitā 13/22). Therefore we in spite of having assumed our affinity and attachment for the body, infact remain untainted and unattached.Therefore the Lord declares‘śarīra-stho ’pi kaunteya na karoti na lipyate’. (Gitā 13/31)

The self, in spite of dwelling in the body neither acts nor is tainted. It means that the self, when it assumes itself to be bound, is, infact liberated. The bondage is assumed while liberation is axiomatic. As darkness and light can’t meet each other, similarly the body (insentient, perishable) and the self (sentient, imperishable) can’t meet each other. The reason is that the body is an‘ansh’ fragment of the world while we are an‘ansh’inseparable part of God.


The Supreme Goal
~ Swami Shraddhananda

“Brahman”, Ramakrishna said, “is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided. When a seeker merges in the beatitude of samadhi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form, the offspring of maya. Whatever is within the domain of maya is unreal. Give it up. Destroy the prison-house of name and form and rush out of it with the strength of a lion. Dive deep in search of the Self and realize It through samadhi. You will find the world of name and form vanishing into void, and the puny ego dissolving in Brahman-Consciousness. You will realize your identity with Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.”

Quoting the Upanishad, Totapuri said: “That knowledge is shallow by which one sees or hears or knows another. What is shallow is worthless and can never give real felicity. But the Knowledge by which one does not see another or hear another or know another, which is beyond duality, is great, and through such Knowledge one attains the Infinite Bliss. How can the mind and senses grasp That which shines in the heart of all as the Eternal Subject?”

The Upanishad tells us that our experience of brokenness is ignorance. Really speaking, reality cannot be broken. Knowledge cannot be broken. Bliss cannot be broken. We have to discover this great fact. All the time we experience reality, but because the experience seems broken, we do not reach the experience of unity. In a moment this insight can come, but it quickly goes. It has to be stabilized. If we develop our understanding we will see that at the back of change there is unchanging reality, unchanging knowledge and unchanging joy. That is Brahman. Brahman is truth, a reality that does not change, that does not end. Brahman is an unchanging reality that is satyam jnanam anantam—eternal truth and knowledge. To find Brahman does not seem to be impossible because it is here all the time. We experience Brahman all the time, because Brahman is reality.

If we want to understand the deeper truths of life, we have to understand that when we reach that infinite goal we will be satisfied. We will know that everything is inside us. How can we reach outside and grab it? It would be like trying to grab our own shadow. In this vast supermarket of life, everything on the shelves has been projected from our Self. The projections are one with us. They are already ours, so why should we try to grab them?

The literal meaning of the word Brahman is the greatest, the all-inclusive. We have the ability to reach Brahman. When we are eating or sleeping, we are on the same level as a dog or a cat. But on the level of our understanding and reasoning, we are able to reach this highest goal of life. The supreme goal is higher than any other goal. All lesser goals, such as a goal for a bachelor’s degree, being the best secretary or the best cook, are included in that supreme goal. As long as we are connected with a body and a mind, we have to pursue these lesser goals, but ultimately there is no running away from the supreme goal.





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