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An Essential Condition

by Swami Sivananda

In the Upanishads the Atman is described as beyond the mind and speech. In another place you will find that the Atman can be known through the pure mind-the Buddhi. There are two kinds of minds-pure mind and impure mind. What we possess is impure mind. We have to remove all the gross impurities through Tapas, Yoga, Austerities and Pranayama and then acquire the four means of Viveka, Vairagya, Shad-Sampat and Mumukshutva. Then you approach a Guru and study the Upanishads, practise Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana. The Atma is beyond the reach of the mind. It is beyond the reach of the impure mind. But it can be reached. It should be reached by a man who is a Viveki, who has performed Tapascharya, who has Vairagya and Shad-Sampat, who has practised concentration and Nididhyasana. So there is no contradiction in the Upanishadic utterances, if only we can take the trouble to find out what the Rishis told us. Though Atman is beyond the reach of impure mind, it is attainable through the pure mind.


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