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Beacon Light of the Himalayas, 3 of 4
THEORY OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT(Maharshi's discourse of the second day of the Maha Sammelan)
"Jai Shri Guru Deva"
What a happy time we have this evening. Yesterday's Shiva-Laksha-Archana Maha Yagna, it seems, has really pleased the Lord Shiva much. It was the pleasure of Lord Siva, that doubled this morning, the programme of Vishnu-Laksha-Archana. Instead of one, two Vishnu-Laksha-Archanas were Performed to day.[sic] This shows the delight of the Almighty Gods, Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu, in the celebration of this Kerala Maha Sammelan of Shri Sankaracharya Brahmanand Saraswati Adhyatmic Vikas Mandal. In the midst of this great delight of Gods and under the Divine Radiance of Shri Guru Deva, in this holiest of the holy atmosphere of all embracing divinity, what encourages me most is the Ashirvadam of this great successor of Shri Guru Deva, Swami Shantanand Saraswati Maharaj, the present Sankaracharya Swamigal of Jyotirmath, Badarikashram. I take it to be the Ashirvadam of Lord Siva appearing on the Lap of Lord Vishnu. Yesterday we performed Siva - Laksha - Archana -and today we received the Ashirvadam and the best of it was that today it was received in the midst of the two Vishnu-Laksh-Archanas! This is not an ordinary coincidence. I find a great meaning in it. 'SHANKARAM SHANKARACHARYAM' Shankaracharya is said to be the Avatara of Lord Siva. And Lord Vishnu has himself said-'ACHARYAM MAM VIJANEEYAT', i.e., know the 'Acharya' to be 'My-Self'. And therefore according to Lord Vishnu, the Dharmacharya Shankaracharya is Lord Vishnu Himself. So this Ashirvadam of Bhagawn Shankaracharya is the Ashirvadam of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu, both. Happy I feel to say that your Kerala Maha Sammelan has really been blessed by the All Powerful Divine influence of both Lords Siva and Vishnu.
You have heard and received the great Ashirvadam. In that Divine Message you have heard that '"Spiritualism" is the backbone of India'. In this one sentence His Holiness has spoken volumes and has expressed great truths of Indian Philosophy and culture. Spirituality deals with the realm of the soul, and this is the subtlest field of our existence. It is also the very basis of all the gross aspects of life.
The spirit or soul is the basic motive force of our existence and spirituality is the science of that motive force. The material science of tody[sic] speaks highly of atomic power. Today the political power of a nation depends upon its resources of atomic energy. But we in India know that the atomic energy is not the basisc[sic] motive power of our existence. lt can only be called the basic motive force of material existence, because it is found to be very gross when compared with the powers of our mental and spiritual existence. That is the reason why India laid more importance on the field of the soul which is the ultimate motive power behind our life in all its aspects; spiritual, mental and physical. That is the reason why India always regarded the science of the soul as the best and most useful of all sciences. This is the reason why His Holiness has called spirituality as the backbone of India. Under the high-flown banner of spiritualism alone can India regain its past glory, and cultured in the spirit alone, can the children of India be great masters of Nature and Universe. This is what His is Holiness has meant, when he said "Spiritualism is the back-bone of India". It is the keystone of the arch of all developments. Spirituality trains the mind to rise from the experience of the subtlest field of objectivity and enables it to transcend the field of objectivity for entering the realm of the Soul, the field of Eternal Bliss. Spirituality trains the mind to enter into the realm of the soul and becomes all powerful for enjoyment of all the glories of life, spiritual, mental and material.
By a perfect system of spiritual development, the great sages of yore have given to us the keys to lay open the treasures of great energy and power hidden within us. The Mundaka Upanishad declares that anybody 'who establishes himself on the highest attitude of spiritualism becomes capable of developing his will-power and mental force to such a great extent that he can attain any object or get into any strata of the universe by a mere "SANKALPA" or a thought. This is the glory of spirituality which can make a man worthy of attainment of everything by the agency of thought alone. This all powerful spirituality is valued and cherished most in India. That is why His Holiness has said it to be the backbone of our country. But this spirituality tends to be ignored today in the heat of the modern currents and Western ideologies. If India is to become strong and great let her not sleep over spirituality, the science of the very motive force of existence.
If Society is to become great, every man has to become great spiritually. Be he a beggar or a millionaire, if only he turns spiritual can he have peace and happiness and enjoy all glories of life spiritual, mental and material. This is the great strength of our ancient wisdom, the great efficacy of Spiritual development for bringing peace and happiness to every body irrespective of his material standard of life or status in society. This is the reason why His Holiness has said that "Spiritualism is the backbone of India".
We feel the flash of the spirituality of our Guru Deva in the Ashirvadam of His great successor. We in Kerala today are immensely blessed by this great Ashirvadam and in reverence we offer our devotional pranams to the Lotus feet of His Holiness.
Yesterday, we considered the Omnipresence of Anandam. Anandam, which is present everywhere and pervading everything. As a matter of fact everything is but Anandam in its essential nature. Just as a mountain of snow is nothing but water, so also the whole Universe is nothing but Anandam. Just as the different shapes and forms of pots are made of the same clay, so also the different objects in the Universe are made of the same formless Anandam. Anandam is the ultimate reality of the Universe.
The world of concrete forms and objects is made from the formless. This truth of Indian Philosophy has been supported by the findings of the modern science also. According to the electronic theory of modern science, electrons and protons are the ultimate reality of matter. All these different forms of matter are nothing but involved energy. This solid concrete wall is nothing but the abstract formless energy. This concrete mike, all its components and the whole mechanism of it, is nothing but abstract formless energy. All these multifarious material objects in phenomenon are nothing but formless abstract energy. No sensible man can refuse to accept this finding of the modern material science. Now if we are able to conceive that the whole material universe is nothing but formless energy, then it is easy to conceive, on similar lines, that all this concrete universe is nothing but the Abstract Formless Brahman "Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma". All this is Brahman and 'Anandam Brahmano Vijnan' i. e. Brahman is Anandam. All this is Anandam. Satchidanandam.
To be more clear - Electrons and protons of the modern science, seen through the Indian system of analysis of the universe are manifestations of Agni-Tatwa and Vayu-Tatwa combined. The energy of the electrons and protons is due to the Agni-Tatwa and motion in them is due to Vayu-Tatwa. Thus we find, the present day science has reached up to Vayu-Tatwa in the field of analysis of the universe. But our Indian analysis of the universe has found out much more of the subtler phases of existence. According to our system of analysis, finer than the Agni-Tatwa and the very cause of it is the Vayu-Tatwa; finer than the VayuTatwa and the very cause of it is the AkashTatwa; finer than the Akash Tatwa and the very cause of it is the Aham-Tatwa; finer than the Aham-Tatwa; and the very cause of it is the Mahat-Tatwa; finer than the Mahat-Tatwa and the very cause of it is the Prakriti-Tatwa; and finer than the Prakriti-Tatwa and the very cause of it is the Brahma-Tatwa which is the Ultimate Reality, the subtlest "Anoraniyan", Satchidanandam. This is the analysis of the universe according to our Indian thought which speaks of universality of Anandam and establishes that Anandam is the ultimate and absolute Reality of existence. This universality of Anandam we have already considered yesterday.
Today we shall try to find out why this Omnipresent Anandam evades common experience. And having found out the cause, we shall try to find out the mean to eradicate it. A thing which is present everywhere has gone out of our experience! Obviously, it seems to be a paradox. But this is experience in life which cannot be denied. Omnipresence of Anandam we accept intellectually, but Omnipresence of 'Dukham' is our day to day experience in life. Which of the two is correct? What is the truth of life? Is it to remain a paradox or an unsolved problem of existence? If Anandam is the reality of life then all our experience[sic] of the world which are, in one way or the other, allied with 'Dukham' are the experiences of a non-reality. The Reality, of life which is Anandam of unbounded nature is not at all being experienced. A real life of all Anandam is not at all being lived. Anandam, the most cherishable aspect of our being is out of our consciousness. What is the reason? Something seems to have gone wrong with our machinery of experience. Our machinery of experience is able to experience only one aspect, the gross aspect of the ultimate reality and fails to experience the subtler aspect of its essential nature.
There are two states of the ultimate Reality, Brahman - the unmanifested state, and the manifested state. In the unmanifested state the Brahman is 'Anoraniyan' the atom of the atoms, the minute of the minutae;[sic] and in this unmanifested minute state, its essential nature is Anandan Sat-chit-Anandam; but in its manifested state the Anandam becomes latent to give rise to other properties which come on the scene of the manifested objects, just as the fluid property of water becomes latent i. e. when water becomes ice. Water in its essential nature is Fluid and transparent, but when it becomes ice it is translucent or opaque, and solid. The solidity and opacity of ice are quite contrary to the fluidity and transparency of water. When water becomes ice the transparency of water becomes latent giving rise to the opposite characteristic of opacity; and fluidity becomes latent, giving rise to its opposite characteristic of solidity. Thus we see when a thing transforms its original and essential characteristics it becomes latent and gives rise to different characteristics which may even be contrary to the original. These changed characteristics deviate from the original characteristics according to intensity of the change. Vapour, cloud, mist, snow and ice are the various manifestations of water; Water itself is liquid, but of its manifestations some are gaseous and others are solids.
This analogy helps explanation of the experience of misery (or Dukham) in the midst of the Omnipresence of Anandam. When the unmanifested Brahman becomes manifested, the Sat-Chit Anandam characteristics of it become latent to give rise to other characteristics which may even be Asat, Achit and Anandam[sic] which are quite opposed to Sat-Chit and Anandam. The never changing (Sat), absolute existence (Chit) and abolute[sic] bliss (Anandam) which are the characteristics of the Unmanifested 'Anoraniyan' become latent giving rise to their opposite characteristics, viz, the ever changing, relative existence, and relative joy characteristics of the manifested objects and universe.
I think it is clear now, why the quality of Omnipresent Anandam is not exhibited on the forms and objects of the Universe. Although Anandam is the essential nature of the ultimate reality of the material objects, it has become latent in them and only the qualities of the gross objectivity are being experienced at the outset.
Hail! to the perfect system of Indian philosophy which offers the theory and practice of directly experiencing the Sat Chit-Ananda; and hail! to the Maharshies of India who have opened the gates of spiritual glory in material life and who have laid out practical paths for experiencing the nature of the 'Anoraniyan' in the midst of all this manifested gross universe, and have floated the ideology of Jeevanmukti, the most exalted state of human existence, the state of constant experience of Sat-chit-Anandam.
Today we have to look into this ideology of Jeevan-Mukti, and consider the theory and practice for experiencing Sat-chit-Anandam.
Our instrument for experience viz. the mind, is constantly engaged in apprehending objects through the senses which can only perceive the gross objectivity. Our physical eyes can see only the gross form. When the form is minute or subtle our eyes fail to perceive it and we need a microscope to see it. Similarly ears can hear only gross sounds. When the sound becomes subtle, our ears fail to catch it. Similar is the case with the other senses of perception. Because these senses can experience only gross objects, the mind, which is always experiencing things through the senses, is able to experience only the gross field of manifested objectivity. Due to the long-standing experience of gross objectivity, the mnnd[sic] itself has become gross and blunt. In its gross condition the mind naturally fails to enter into the realm of the subtlest "Anoraniyan", and that is how it misses the Anandam which is Omnipresent.
If the mind could be trained to apprehend the experience in the subtler fields in objectivity itself, it will definitely become sharp and in its increasing sharpness can definitely enter into the realm of "Anorniyan", the Sat ChitAnandam, and have the direct experience of it. The path of spiritual Sadhna[sic] lies therefore in training the mind to march through the field of subtler objectivity, in spiritual development.
For practice we can select the field of objectivity pertaining to any of the senses of perception - sense of sight, hearing, smell or touch. In any of the fields we are required to reduce the objectivity to its increasingly subtler stages and help the mind to go on experiencing them till it reaches the subtlest stage of objectivity, and its experiences.
At this stage when the mind is able to experience the subtlest in objectivity, it becomes sharp enough to enter into the realm of "Anoraniyan" which transcends the field of subtlest objectivity and in this state it tastes the essential nature of that realm, which is Sat-chidanandam.
If the mind is proceeding through sound , the field of Anoraniyan is the field which transends[sic] the field of subtlest sound, which is the field of "no sound", ie. "Ni-Shabdam"; and Upanishads call it "Paramam Padam". "NiShabdam Paramam Padam". This Paramam Padam is Sat-Chidanandam, in its essential nature. The man experiencing it rises to Eternal life - a life of Eternal Bliss and Absolute Consciousness.
For training the mind through sound we can take any word. Even the word "mike" can be taken. By reducing the sound of the word "mike" to its subtler and still subtler stages and allowing the mind to go on experiencing all the stages one by one, the mind can be trained to be so sharp as to enter into the subtlest stage of the sound 'mike', transcend ing which it will automatically get into the realm of Sat-Chidanandam and experience it. Thus we find that any sound can serve our purpose of training the mind to become sharp. But we do not select the sound at random, We do not select any sound like 'mike', flower table, pen, wail, etc, because such ordinary sounds can do nothing more than merely sharpening the mind; whereas there are some special sounds which have the additional efficacy of producing vibrations whose effects are found to be congenial to our way of life. This is the scientific reason why we do not select any word at random. For our practice, we select only the suitable mantras of personal Gods. Such mantras fetch to us the grace of personal Gods and make us happier in every walk of life.
While making a reference to the Mantras, in this manner, I feel like touching a very vital aspect of Sadhna[sic], which things are blurred in the present atmosphere of too much talk of Vedanta.
Obviously enough there are two ways of life, the way of life of a Sanyasi and the way of life of a householder. One is quite opposed to the other. A Sanyasi renounces every thing of the world, whereas a householder needs and accumulates everything. Shastras declare both the ways of life to be the paths of emancipation. Both are said to be the "Moksha-Marga" Nivarthi Marga and 'Privathi Marga'. The one realises through renunciation and detachment, while the other goes through all attachments and accumulation or all that is needed tor physical life. We have two different sets of Mantras to suit the two ways of life. Mantras for the Sanyasis have the effect of increasing the sense of detachment and renunciation, and also have the power of destroying the objects of worldly affections, if there should survive any such objects for him. Quite contrary to this are the Mantras suitable for the householder which have the efficacy of harmonising and enriching the material aspect of life also.
The Mantras of the Sanyasi have a destructive effect in the material field of life, whereas the Mantras suited to the householder envisage constructive values also.
"Om" is the Mantra for the Sanyasi. The Sanyasi repeats "Om" "Om" Om". It is given to him at the time of 'Sanyas-Diksha', at the time when he has completely renounced attachment to the world. Renunciation and detachment increase with the repetition of 'Om', 'Om' is chanted aloud by a Sanyasi to put on end to his desires. Desire are destroyed by loudly chanting the mantra 'Om'. And if there is of any desire deeply rooted in the mind of the Sanyasi, the chanting of 'Om' will result in destruction of the object of such desire in order to make the Sanyasi wholly desireless. The Sanyasi attains peace through the renunciation and destruction of desires, whereas the peace comes to the householder when his needs are satisfied, when his desires are fulfilled. The mantras for the householders have the effect of fulfilling the desires.
If unfortunately the householder begins to repeat the pranava Mantra viz. 'Om', 'Om" Om' he experiences destructive effects in his material life. The effect starts with monetary loss and then goes on to destroy objects of affection, one by one. Such a man, when he finds loss of money and separation from the dear ones, he is reduced to utter peacelessness and frustration. Where is the chance of spiritual development or experience of Peace and happiness for such a dejected soul? The path of peacelessness and misery in the world cannot lead to Eternal happiness. If the man is proceeding towards Eternal happiness, every day he should feel the increase of peace and happiness, and this alone will assure him that he is proceeding towards abiding peace and eternal happiness. If you walk towards the light you should be able to feel the increase crease of light at every step. If you are spending some time in devotion to God, you should feel peace and happiness in life. If you are not feeling peace and happiness you should be wise enough to a href="secrets/beacon/notes.shtml#30" target="Beacon Light Notes" name="30">doubt the correctness of your devotion, you should be wise enough to thin that your method of devotion is wrong, that the Mantras that you are repeating do not suit you. The mantras that suit the Sanyasis can never suit the householders. Hundreds of God-loving and God-fearing families, have been ruined due to the destructive effects of Sanyasa Mantra viz, "Om". "Om" destroys desires and also destroys the objects of desires and therefore it produces calmness of mind and renunciation and detachment from material life only to Sanyasis when they repeat Om; to them it brings the experience of peace of mind and from this experience they generally recommend the chanting of 'Om' to their followers. But when a householder repeats Om, he experiences that as long as he is repeating 'Om' he feels peace of mind, but when he comes out to indulge in business or household work, he finds that the air is against his desire and schemes. The silencing effect on the mind and destructive effects in material life, both are experienced side by side. Some people say that we should ignore material life in regard to the devotional practices and Mantras. But this is a fool's ideology. Can you possibly ignore the considerations of material life, when the Mantras do affect it? Select a path which will make you happier in your material life also. Do not live in a fool's paradise. Do not think that your sufferings end miseries of today will work as reservations in the galleries of heaven for tomorrow. Be peaceful and happy in the present and try to make this state permanent. This is the path of Deliverance in Life Jeevan-Mukti, the most exalted state in human existence, the state of abiding Peace and Eternal Bliss. And this you are entitled to have through correct and suitable Sadhana. And because the Mantras play an important role in the field of Sadhana, you must be very very careful in the selection of the Mantra. The theory of Mantras is the theory of sound. It is most scientific and natural. Ladies should never repeat any Mantra beginning with Om. The pronounciation of Om is like fire to the ladies. This is the practical experience of many devoted ladies who repeated 'Om Namah Shivaya' or 'Om Namonarayanaya' or 'Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya' or any such mantra beginning with Om. It cannot be God's wish that you should suffer in your devotion to him. Do not cling to the unhelpful Mantras. The moment you find you have got into the wrong train, it is wise to get down from it as soon as possible. It is foolish to stick on to the wrong train and go wherever it takes you.
I hold that the devotees of the Almighty God should not suffer at all. 'That is the fundamental condition of the path to Eternal Bliss. I hold that bliss or happiness should increase at every step till we get into the realm of eternal happiness. I hold that the devotees of the god should enjoy peace and happiness at every stage, because he is the fountain head of all peace and happiness. It cannot be that our march towards the light should at any stage increase the darkness before us. The march towards the Anant Anandam must give the experience of increase of Anandam at every step and in every walk of life.
The devotee of the Almighty cannot suffer. If he is found to suffer, he cannot be said to be a devotee of God. lt pains me when I find people suffering in the name of God and devotion. I offer an open invitation to such aspirants and seekers of God. I invite them to come out of their miserable devotion, and step into the peaceful blissful chambers of Sadhana, blessed and illumined by the divine radiance of Shri Guru Deva. I invite them to put an end to
their sufferings and peacelessness and crown their day to day life with success peace and joy. Do not waste time and life. Life is to enjoy. So come on to the field of all joy. The gates of all glories of life are open for you. "Make hay when the sun shines". Avail the opportunity in hand and enjoy life to the fullest.