Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bhaja Govindam - Summary

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru. Prostrations to All.

Prostrating to the feet of Guru, let us conclude Bhaja Govindam by summarizing it.

The Ultimate Reality of Brahman is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness and Bliss Absolute and according to scriptures Brahman alone exists. Jiva is nothing but Brahman alone but because of ignorance of the Self, he has forgotten his own very nature. The very nature of Jiva is Bliss only but because of forgetfulness of his own nature of Bliss the jiva thinks that the happiness is in the objects of the world and thus works to attain that happiness and experiences the happiness. Though the jiva might experience the happiness from the object that he possesses, he always wants to experience this happiness all the time and thus works more and more to retain that happiness, and in the process he experiences sorrow as well. Thus because of the desire for the happiness from the objects of the world, he gets deluded in the world of objects which doesn’t have permanent happiness. Shankara, when he was going on pilgrimage to Kasi along with his disciples, saw an old man by-hearting Sanskrit grammar. He felt so bad that the old man instead of spending time in contemplating on the Reality was wasting time in mere intellectual knowledge. Mere enjoyment of the worldly objects without the thought of the Reality, will only delude a person and thus will go from birth to birth in the vicious circle of Samsaara. Therefore he says “Worship Govinda Worship Govinda..” as any possession will not help one at the time of death. The word Govinda has many meanings. The literal meaning of Govinda is cow-herd. ‘Go’ means Veda and Govinda is one who can be known through Vedas. ‘Go’ means sense organs and ‘vind’ means master, therefore Govinda means master of Sense organs. Only those who have realized ones own of Self will be able to control their senses and we can take Govinda to mean Guru as well.

When the Blissful nature of Self is forgotten, there will always be a desire for possessing wealth. This desire over a period of time becomes passion and thus deludes the person. We have to give up the passion for possession of more and more wealth and should be contended with what we get for the actions that we have done. Instead of spending lot of energy in actions done for the possession of wealth, we can spend the energy in thinking of the Reality which alone will lead to liberation. Pleasure from the object of the world are not permanent, they are temporary only. The carnal pleasure that one gets is also temporary only. The pleasure which the body seems to give is not real happiness. The body which is made up of flesh and bones is insentient and doesn’t have any capability to give pleasure, but it is only the mind, which sees the body as the object of pleasure, experiences the pleasure. Thus we have to reflect continuously, we should not get deluded by the pleasure which seems to come from the body. When a person gives so much importance to such short-lived happiness, he will get carried away by that object and gets deluded. But this life is like a water droplet on the lotus leaf, the water droplet doesn’t stick to the lotus leaf and thus it can any time fall off from the lotus leaf. In the same way, the life also can go off at any time and hence one cannot afford to waste ones life in the short-lived pleasures which the worldly objects give. In fact the happiness that worldly objects seems to give are the indications of the arrival of sorrow. Once the person is carried away by the happiness that the worldly object gives, he always tries to experience that permanently and hence in the process he experiences sorrow. Thus the world is filled with sorrow and sufferings only which is because of the search of happiness in the objects of the world. We might be experiencing greater happiness from the people around us but the respect which the people give to us might last as long as there is capacity to earn money. It is only for wealth the respect is given and once the capacity goes, then people also move away. For even the close relatives will be with us only as long as there is breath in the body, when the breath goes off even ones own wife fears to see the body.

When a person is a child he spends his time in playing. When he is a youth, he spends his time in enjoying the sensual pleasure and when old age he spends his time in anxieties and hence there is no time to think of the Reality. Wife, son etc all came from the Lord only, but because of the powerful Maya they are seen as different and hence make us to think as my son, my wife etc. To avoid attachment, one has to have constant contact with the Guru or with the Self, when there is detachment there will not be any delusion and when there is no delusion the mind will be free from anxieties and will be calm and when the mind is free from all anxieties and calm that is the state of liberation. Knowledge of the Self is the Ultimate Knowledge and hence when one gets this Ultimate Knowledge there will be no other desire in the mind. Therefore we have to understand that Brahman alone is real and all others are not real because all the objects of the world will undergo changes. Thus for this moment the object might seem to give us happiness but later it might not give the happiness. Therefore we should not take pride for the possession that we have because it is just a matter of time when it might go off from our hands. We have to give up all the anxieties about our people around us, about our wealth and have to take refuge in the feet of Guru as in the three worlds it is only Guru who can save us from this vicious circle of Samsaara.

There are people around who calls themselves sages and have all getups externally to give the impression to others that they are sages. But they are doing that only to fill their stomach. These are not real renunciation as there is desire for the bodily happiness. For realizing ones own nature of Self, external renunciation is not required at all. What is required is mental renunciation, by withdrawing the mind from the sense objects and keep the mind always focused on the Reality. One may do all the rituals mentioned in the Veda, one may give lot of charities but these actions as such cannot give liberation because action doesn’t have the capability to remove ignorance as it is the product of ignorance. Only knowledge can remove the ignorance. But for a person who have this Ultimate Knowledge might seem to perform actions in the world and yet he will always be rejoicing the Ultimate Bliss of the Self as there is no doer for such a person, there is only Self. This Ultimate Knowledge can be got through the Vedantic Sadhana of Sravana, Manana and Nidhidhyasana. When the seeker follows these Vedantic Sadhana he crosses over the ocean of Samsaara and hence for such a person there is no death. If this knowledge is not known then such a person will go from birth to birth and if there is desire to overcome this ocean, one have to take refuge in the feet of the Guru. The pleasure and pain which we seem to experience from the world are experienced by the ego only. Thus we have to enquire who is experiencing these happiness and pain, who am I? thus when we enquire we will understand that it is only the ego which is experiencing all the pleasures and pain. Even the ego is illumined by the Self alone. Thus without Self nothing can ever exist. Therefore we have to see the Self everywhere as everything have come from the Self only. When we thus see the Self everywhere, there will no likes or dislikes on anything that is seen, there will only be bliss all the time. When the modifications of likes and dislikes are removed, then there will no emotions like hatred, desire etc which are the products of ignorance. When the ignorance vanishes all the products of the ignorance also vanishes and thus the person experiences only non-dual bliss all the time.

When a seeker follows the Vedantic sadhana of Sravana, Manana and Nidhidhyasana, sincerely he realize ones own nature of Self. To aid this sadhana, other sadhanas like meditation, chanting Lalitha Sahasranaamam etc helps. When we practice these also by offering to the Lord, the mind will get purified and hence will be able to apprehend the Reality told by the scriptures. Once the seeker learns about the Reality, he have to reflect on the teachings and have to practice them till he reaches the Ultimate Goal. An extroverted mind cannot apprehend the Reality and hence to turn the mind inward, one have to control his external activities and have to withdraw the mind from the objects. This is done through the discrimination that Self alone is Real and all others are not real. The Intellect should be strong for a person to withdraw the mind from the sense objects and to aid these other sadhanas like japa, meditation etc will help. But we should not take means to be end and get carried away by the intermediate bliss, therefore we have to perform the actions very carefully. Thus, with faith and devotion on the Guru, and by controlling the sense, one can realize ones own nature of Self.

Prostrations to all

Hari Aum



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