Bhagawatam 168: How to experience the all-pervading nature of Self; Jnana-yoga

Vāsudevāya namah

Maharishi Kapila continued,

“O mother, feelings of duality, egoism and doership continue to remain in Hiranyagarbha. For this reason, as soon as the equilibrium between the three attributes of Nature (trigunas) is disturbed at the commencement of creation, He, under the directive of the Supreme Lord begins the task of creation exactly as it was in the earlier period. He again manifests as the world.

Meritorious beings who, through their adherence to dharma and non-fruitive actions, had merged into the Supreme Lord also take birth at the time of creation in the same earlier positions.

Those who are deeply passionate about worldly desires neglect their prescribed Vedic duties and instead involve in actions aimed at fulfilling their desires. Their mind, which is filled with passion, is exclusively focused upon fulfilling their desires. Hence, they can never conquer their senses. Their attachment is only towards household and other desired worldly activities. Such persons worship forefathers.

Srihari, the destroyer of Demon Madhu, is supremely valorous. He destroys worldly bondages in those who think about Him. Yet, people whose focus is only upon increasing their materialistic earnings (artha) and fulfilling their desires (kāma) will never ever be inclined towards listening to the stories and glories of the Lord.

Pigs discard delicious food and prefer to eat only impure food such as feces. Similarly people who choose to spend their time listening to dirty impure stories instead of listening to pure stories of Lord Srihari are, due to their past destiny (prarabdha karma), getting totally destroyed.

Starting from the rituals to be performed at time of conception and right up to the death ceremonies, such materialistic persons diligently abide by every ritual. After leaving this body, these persons travel on the southern path to reach Pitr-loka (abode of forefathers). After exhausting their balance of merit (punya) they return once again to earth to be re-born in their families.

O Mother! The being enjoys heavenly luxuries as long as he has the punya (merit). As soon as the balance of merit is depleted, Devatas throw the person out from this abode of forefathers (pitr loka) and the being helplessly falls down and then is reborn on this plane.

Tasmāt tvaṁ sarva-bhāvena bhajasva parameṣṭhinam

Tad-guṇāśrayayā bhaktyā bhajanīya-padāmbujam

 Therefore O mother, with overflowing love and with absolute purity of mind, thought and deed, serve the lotus feet of that Supreme Lord! With devotion that is replete with love and tenderness, worship Him! His lotus feet are worthy of worship!

Due to unflinching faith towards the all pervading Lord, both detachment (vairagya) and Supreme Knowledge (jnana) that leads to Self-realization arise!

The mind grasps sounds and other perceptions that pertain to this world through the medium of senses. However when, without any feeling of likes-dislikes, the mind of the Yoga practitioner perceives everything in this world to be a form of the Supreme Lord, he will realize the true form of his Self.

He will perceive the Self as pure, unattached, equally existing in every object and devoid of any attributes. Due to this realization he attains oneness with his original Self! This is the ultimate state.

Jñāna-mātraṁ paraṁ brahma paramātmeśvaraḥ pumān

Dṛśy-ādibhi pthag bhāvair bhagavān eka īyate 

Every scripture (Shastra) explains about the non-dual Supreme Lord (Bhagawān), the embodiment of knowledge, the ruler of this entire universe, who is beyond Nature and whose essence is unsurpassed. He is addressed differently as Paramatma, Iśwara, Parabrahma or Puruśa (Self).

He himself illumines as the visible world, the individual seeing the world, and as the senses which aid in seeing the world!

The ultimate unmatched fruit of all yoga-sadhana is to attain dispassion in totality! It is the most supreme result!

The traitless, formless, non-dual Supreme Lord, who is an embodiment of knowledge, is the only real object in this creation! However due to association with name and form, the senses which have developed inclination towards the external objects get deluded and they perceive multiple objects with different qualities and attributes.

The self-illuminating Parabrahma transforms into the 11 forms viz., Mahat tattva, ahamkara (egoism), three attributes of Nature (trigunas), the 5 basic elements, 5 organs of perception, 5 organs of action and mind. Together with these 11 qualities, Parabrahma manifests as the individual being. When the entire world is considered as one unit it is addressed as samisthi or universal form of the Lord. This is Hiranyagarbha.

This is because the individual being as well as the universal being both emerged from that single source known as Parabrahma.

Etad vai śraddhayā bhaktyā yogābhyāsena nityaśaḥ

Samāhitātmā niḥsago viraktyā paripaśyati 

The devotee, who with practice of total dispassion and Yoga purifies his inner mind, actually perceives this entire world as the form of the Supreme Lord!

O Mother! I have taught to you the tool known as knowledge (jnana) that aids in attaining Self-realization. With this the devotee will understand the principle of Prakriti and Puruśa (Nature-Self).

The Lord without attributes (nirguna brahma) is the subject in the path of knowledge (Jnana yoga). The Lord with attributes (saguna brahma) is the subject for the path of devotion (bhakti yoga).

Bhakti yoga means to fix the mind solely upon Me. The end result for both the paths is one and the same. The word ‘bhagawān’ explains this essence. In other words, understand that reaching Godhead is the sole result of both Bhakti and Jnana Yogas.

A single object can become the shelter for taste, form, quality. In other words it can be experienced differently based on the way it appeals to the different sense organs. The eye enjoys its beautiful colour, the tongue considers it delicious and so on”.

Aniruddhāya namah.

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