Sunday, September 25, 2005

Katha Upanishad - Discourse by Swami Atmashraddhananda

The Ultimate reality is not residing somewhere far from us. The "purusha" is available quite closely. It can be reached through single-point subtle intellect. It is available to everybody without any distinctions. But it is hidden very well in the depths of ourselves. It is not that a Christian or a Muslim cannot reach this God, everybody can. Afterall, all are cast in the same mould.

Once, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa speaking of a Vaishnava saying which meant -We should show compassion to all human beings said, "Who are you to offer compassion? Offer your respect and adoration." He continued,"How do you practice divinity everywhere? Even Lion has "God" in it. That doesn't mean you go and hug the lion. It must never be forgotten that divinity is everywhere. But we should protect ourselves and not hate anybody"

To further understand how our mind is always pre-occupied with something or the other. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa told this story to his devotees.
There was a man sitting on the banks of river Ganges and observing the boats that entered the port. There were also extremely big ships that entered. There was one particular ship with lot of cotton that entered the port. Suddenly, this man became depressed seeing the cotton bales in that ship. He thought, "The bales will be offloaded, taken to factory and weaven. But there's so much of cotton who will weave it?" He was kind of transfixed with this thought. He went home from there. For three to four days as if he had lost his mental balance he kept on repeating to whoever talked to him that "There's so much of cotton who will weave it?". People thought he had gone mad.
One day, his neighbour decided to do something about this.
He asked the man, "What happened?".
Our man replied,"There's so much of cotton who will weave it?".
Neighbour casually remarked,"Oh that ship! That ship caught fire and all the cotton got burnt!"
After this conversation, the man became alright.

As long as a person has filled himself with samskaras without God, he can only percieve the world not God.

Similarly, there is another story. There was once a drunkard who was intoxicated to such an extent that he could not move from the place he had fallen down. He was asking everybody to take him home. He was always uttering, "Take me home" to anyone who came by his side. Actually, he was lying right outside his house. So, his neighbours came upto him and gave him a bit of rice water to reduce his intoxication. And once his intoxication reduced he got up and walked into his house which was a stone's throw from there.

We are all intoxicated by something or the other and find that God is hidden from us. We need to come out of the intoxication.

Is He afraid of us that he has hidden himself from us? It is not that he is afraid, we have failed to culture our mind to percieve God. We have become one with our sense of perceptions. We see and we taste it's not eyes see, tongue tastes!

He is accessible through a "buddhi" which is subtle and disciplined.

Shankaracharya in his commentary on the Kathopanishad says: Those who are asamskruta, their buddhi doesn't perceive God. What we consider as our intellect is mixed up with our samskara.

For example, like it happens in court cases where witnesses turn hostile. Why do they turn hostile? More often than not, it is because they have been bribed. Similarly our buddhi has been bribed by anger, selfishness, etc. and hence the buddhi never makes the right statement.

Once a priest in the church used to observe an elderly man regularly dozing off during his Sunday sermons. So, the Father called the man and spoke to him. Next Sunday, the elderly man's grandson also came along with the mandate that he would wake his grandfather up whenever he went off to sleep. And everytime the grandson would wake him up, the Father would pay the grandson $1. But again, the man is found to be dozing off during the sermon. So, the Father calls the grandson and asks him why he allowed his grandfather to sleep even though he promised to pay $1. For which the grandson replied, "Grandpa pays me $5 for not disturbing his sleep"

Similarly, our buddhi or samskara is bribed by anger and that's the reason why sermons and good sayings don't enter the mind. Mind should be purified. And intellect as sharp as a nail. Take a piece of wood - plane it first - then to give it a shine - polish it. This is what should be done to the intellect to percieve God.


Blogger krishna said...

nice "kathas" to explain the effect of pure mind on bhakthi/jnana

4:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home