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Gospel of Vedanta

by Swami Sivananda

Tell, me, friend, who has filled the sky with the clouds, who holds the stars in the firmament? Who holds the canopy in the form of the sky? Who moves the mind, Prana and the Indriyas? Who has given the sweet fragrance to the flowers? Who pumps the blood from the heart to the arteries? Who converts the food into blood and blood into Veerya and milk? That supreme intelligence which is at the back of all these phenomena is Brahman or the Immoral Self. Realise this through profound and constant meditation and be free.

Mind is Maya. Mind is Avidya. Mind is at the root of all activities. It gives strength to desire, fosters fear and builds castles in air. It confers force on egoism and stimulates aspirations. Every tendency takes its origin from the mind. It augments passion, gives strength and hope and awakens the sense of duality. It increases ignorance and plunges the senses in the ocean of sense objects. It creates distinctions and differences. It separates, divides and limits. It is a strong wall or an iron barrier that stands between Jiva and Brahman. It is this mind that has brought Brahman to the condition of a Jiva. It is the storehouse of error, cravings, passions, doubts, delusion and ignorance. It is ever-revolving wheel that generates Sankalpas or thoughts. It is a miraculous thought-producing machine. It creates at one moment; it destroys at the next moment.

The mind is the seed of all Maya. Mind is Jiva. If the mind is destroyed, you will not come under the influence of Maya. You should so destroy the mind that it will not afterwards raise its head at all. Having annihilated the associations of the mind with objects, may you, O beloved Krishna, attain the Jivanmukti state of perfect freedom!

Mind is a bundle of Vasanas. Annihilate the hosts of Vasanas and enjoy the peace of the Eternal. So long as the Vasanas are not destroyed, the mind is also not destroyed. So long as the mind is not destroyed, the Vasanas are also not destroyed. The mind does not exist if the Vasanas are destroyed.

Render the mind steady by severing it from contact with external objects. Make the mind return back to the cave of the heart. During the practice, the mind may flit from one object to another and then back again. Just as the monkey jumps from one tree to another, so also it may hop from one object to another. Stand firm. Be regular in your meditation. Gradually it will come under your control. You can enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A bold and patient man only can attain success in Samadhi. He who can never give way, even under the most trying circumstances and adverse conditions, can attain Moksha.

The body is the seed of the ever-growing creeper of Samsara. The pleasure and pains are the sprouts. The cause of this seed of body is the mind. There are two seeds for this tree of mind. Of them, one is the motion (or vibration) of Pranas and the other is Vasanas. Like the analogy of the seed and the tree, the vibration of Prana arises through Vasana and vice versa. Should either of them perish, both perish soon. Destroy the longing for sensual objects that arise through vibration of Pranas and Vasanas and enter the illimitable domain of Eternal peace.

Knowledge of the Self or Brahma Jnana is the release from the trammels of one's own mind. Such a release alone will lead to the attainment of final beatitude of life or Moksha, the state of eternal bliss wherein the objects, their knower or the knowledge, are not to be found.

Approach the sages, the doctors of divinity, with faith, devotion and humility. Take a dose of medicine called Jnana. Then the disease of Ajnana will be eradicated completely. Then you will not be drowned in the ocean of rebirths. You will attain everlasting Bliss and Immortality.

Spend a quarter of your mind in meditation on Brahman, another quarter in service of your preceptor, a third quarter in the study of Upanishads and other books on Vedanta and the fourth quarter in walking or exercise, bath and food. You will soon attain knowledge of the Self.

Who am I? Whence am I? What is my real nature? What is the nature of this 'I' which identifies itself with the body and cries and laughs? Whence came the Universe? How came birth and death? What is bondage? What is Moksha? Such an enquiry will help you in the attainment of the imperishable seat and will avert the pains and sorrows of the formidable Samsara.

Kill the desires. This will help you in your Atmic enquiry. The Atmic enquiry will itself induce renunciation of desires. They are mentally dependent upon one another. Desires bring in pains of rebirth. The fire of desires has burnt you to a considerable degree. Even a bath in the ambrosia will not cool you. This terrible wolf of mind follows its mate of desires and ever preys upon you.

A Jivanmukta or a seer is enlightened, kind-hearted, truthful, fearless, compassionate, serene, forbearing, gentle, pure, desireless, steady and unostentatious.

He does good to all. He regards all alike. He is balanced in pleasure and pain, censure and praise, honour and dishonour. He is free from attachment, egoism, anger and passion. He is free from hope, all evil thoughts and all evil desires. He is submerged in the ocean of the bliss of Brahman.

He has perfect equanimity of mind whether he drinks virulent poison or sugarcane juice. Whether one cuts his hand or save his life, he will regard him neither as an enemy nor a friend.

A liberated sage or seer will never be affected by Maya. He will be as calm as the waveless ocean. He will be deep as the unfathomable ocean, patient as the earth, broad as the sky, pure as the crystal, stable as Maha Meru, cool as the moon and fearless as the lion.

May you rest in the state of quiescence itself! May you stand firm as Maha Meru in the Adhyatmic field! May you attain full illumination, highest knowledge and Supreme Peace! May you enjoy the ecstasy of Nirvikalpa Samadhi or union with the self-luminous Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman!

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