Saturday, September 17, 2005

Katha Upanishad - Discourse by Swami Atmashraddhananda

There is a discourse by Swamiji in the Ramakrishna Ashram at Mylapore in Chennai every Sunday evening at 5.45PM [It used to be 5.30PM before]. Whenever I am in Chennai, I attend without fail. Through this forum I hope to spread the beauty of those discourses to many more people.
What is told in those discourses is the Truth. Most of us are seeking this Truth. Lets not be under the impression that through these posts we will get what we seek. This will just show us the way. We need to walk.

Katha Upanishad

Swamiji started off with one of the mantras of the Katha Upanishad which talks about the hierarchy of perceptions that we need to go through to see God. As already discussed by Arjuna in his post, there are seven steps we need to take to reach God.
  1. Body
  2. Senses
  3. Mind
  4. Buddhi
  5. Mahat
  6. Avyaktha
  7. Purusha
The "Purusha" state is where we can see God. Someone asked Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa how will I recognize God when I see Him? So, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa gave this example.

There is a King's palace in the city where the King is sitting in the place designated for him. The palace has seven gates to pass before reaching the King. Now, one person wanted to see the King. So, this person went alongwith his father to the palace. As he reached the beginning of the palace, he found at the first gate, a person dressed very regally and looking strong and sturdy. He asked his father, "Is he the King?".
The father said, "No, he's the sentry. A gatekeeper".
And they continued through to the second gate. Again a sturdy looking chap appears.
Again the question, "Is he the King?".
"No" comes the answer.
This happens till they reach the sixth gate. Here the sentry asked them,"Who exactly wants to see the King?".
The father said,"I have already seen the King. My son wants to see. Please allow him inside".
So, the son proceeded inside. And once he passed the seventh gate, there was no need for him to ask anyone. He knew just by seeing that he was in the presence of the King.

Such is the overwhelming presence of God. Nobody needs to point out to God and help you identify Him. You will know once you see or feel His presence.

But, while taking each of those seven steps, man needs to be told that there is a higher level. This is the purpose of a Guru. And once the highest level is reached, as we just saw in the story, nobody needs to tell us. We will know.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said that Realization of God is the only aim in man's life. This doesn't mean that other goals are unimportant. Other goals keep changing as priorities change in life. As we enter different situations our priorities change and hence the goals also change. There is always one aim that will and should never change and that is the Realization of God. This also implies there is no age restriction in trying to know God. People of all ages are welcome to realize the Truth. Age is not a restriction.

In fact there are no restrictions. Any restrictions that we construe, exist in our mind. This we shall see in the next Sloka in the next post.


Blogger krishna said...

Nice one adi

clearly expounded the purpose of a Guru..

the sentences on who is the king sounded like the "neti , neti" of advaita..;)

1:42 PM  
Blogger Venky Krishnamoorthy said...

Good one adi. Do you live in mylapore?

4:17 PM  
Blogger mysorean said...

Krishna: Thanks! :)
What is the "neti, neti" of Advaita? I don't know. Please tell me more.

Venky: Thanks! :)
I live in Gill Nagar, behind Nungambakkam Rly Stn.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Nice one Adi.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Ghost Particle said...

great effort. ive linked you. hope to learn alot from here. all the best.

11:33 AM  
Blogger mysorean said...

Kasthuri: Thanks :)

Ghost Particle: Thanks for the blogroll! :) All of us are here to learn! So, let's make it fun! :)

7:04 PM  
Blogger krishna said...

The advaitins use the Neti Neti (not this,not this) concept of the famed Brhadaranyaka Upanishad to identify the aatman for their doctrine of 2 levels of understanding, the vyaahavaarika satya (relative reality)and paramaarthika satya (transcendental reality).

U can find the illustration as given by ramana maharishi in the "about me" section of arjuna's blog..:)

8:41 PM  
Blogger krishna said... periappa used to live there in Gill Nagar . Its pretty close to a small vinayaka temple..:)

8:44 PM  
Blogger mysorean said...

Krishna: I understood what you are saying. I don't need to go through Arjuna's profile. I remember the profile by heart! :)

My house is 200m from that Ganesha Temple!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Arjuna_Speaks said...

Adi - that was a very good article :)..

2:59 AM  
Blogger mysorean said...

Thanks Arjuna! :)

10:51 AM  

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