Shri Rama Gita

विश्वं यदेतत्परमात्मदर्शनं विलापयेदात्मनि सर्वकारणे |

पूर्नस्चिदानन्दमयो अवतिष्टते न वेद बाह्यं न च किन्चिदान्तरं ||

Shri Rama advises Lakshmana that a in the seat of meditation the meditator must recognise that the entire world of plurality, the names and forms are all but a disturbance in the Infinite Consciousness.

This dynamic world of names and forms is perceived by the body, mind and intellect. The experiencer or perceiver in his present state of consciousness perceives the world as a field of events and happenings all clamoring for his attention. This perceiver or individualised ego entity feels persecuted by the tensions and struggles brought to him by these happenings.

In deep sleep however none of these names and forms disturb us. In meditation too the mind rises above the inner and outer worlds of plurality. It arrives at a unique state of consciousness where the Self alone is. It is a state wherein all mental and intellectual fluctuations have disappeared and the Consciousness that was caught in the web of thoughts gets released from all its encumbrances.

In this total state of liberation one recognises neither an outer world of names and forms nor an inner world of emotions and thoughts. The meditator merges into the experience of the Self.

The roaring, thunderous oceanic waves are nothing but their own essential tranquil ocean.

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Gangastothram

वरमिहे नीरे कमटो मीनः किं वा तीरे शरटः क्षीणः | 

अथवा श्वपचो मलिनो दीनः तव न हि  दूरे नृपतिकुलीनः || 

Varmiha neere kamato meenah kim vaa teere sharatah ksheenah|

Athava shwapacho malino deenah tav nahi doore nrupatikuleenah ||

जै  जै  गङ्गे  जै  हर  गङ्गे |  जै  जै  गङ्गे  जै  हर गङ्गे  ||

Jai Jai Gange Jai Har Gange|  Jai Jai Gange Jai Har Gange || 

Rather a fish or a turtle in Thy waters, a tiny lizard on Thy bank, would I be, even a shunned and hated outcaste, living but a mile from Thy sacred stream O Ganga, than the proudest emperor afar from Thee ||  

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Panchdashi

यदभावि न तद्भावि भावि चेन्न तदन्यथा |

इति चिन्ताविषघ्नोअयं बोधो भ्रमनिवर्तकः || (पञ्चदशी – तृप्तिदीपः – १६८)

That which is not destined to happen as a result of our past Karma will not happen; that which is to happen must happen. Such knowledge is a sure antidote to the poison of anxiety; it removes the delusion of grief.

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Nirvana Shatkam / Atma Shatkam

मनोबुद्ध्यहंकारचित्तानि नाहं

न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे  न च घ्राणनेत्रे

न च व्योमभूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः

चिदानन्दरुपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहं ||१||

(निर्वाणषट्कम्)

The first of the six verses of the Nirvana Shatkam, otherwise known as the Atma Shatkam is a composition of Bhagwan Adi Shankara. It’s a declaration of his ‘aparokshanubhuti’ or his direct experience of Self realization. The six verses describe the state of absolute peace, freedom, liberation and bliss which is the very nature of the Self.

Bhagwan Shankara in communicating his experience of the Self declares first what the Self is not and then affirms what the Self is. The true “I” is not the mind मनस्, intellect बुद्धिः , nor ego अहंकार. It is not the sense of hearing, taste, etc nor space, air, fire, water or earth. It is the “I” that is the form of Shiva the auspicious, of the nature of Pure Consciousness and Bliss, the reality behind every known and unknown phenomenon.

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Self Knowledge – Brahmagyaan

“येषां वृत्तिः समावृद्धा परिपक्वा च सा पुनः |
ते वै सद्ब्रह्मतां प्राप्ताः नेतरेशब्दवादिनः ||
ये हि वृत्तिं विजानन्ति ज्ञात्वापि वर्धयन्ति ये |
ते वै सत्पुरुषा धन्याः वन्ध्यास्ते भुवनत्रये || ” (अपरोक्षानुभूति – आदि शङ्करा)

“Those who’s knowledge is complete in this and who are perfect in the Brahman-state, indeed have attained Brahman and not the others who merely talk. Those blessed persons who know this state of Brahman and develop it more and more are indeed noble and worthy of respect from all.” (Aparokshanubhuti – Adi Shankara)

Those who recognise this rare privilege and understand that they are nothing but Brahman (Pure Consciousness) and thereafter make it their subjective experience are really blessed. As a glorification of this state of being, Shankara says, those who constantly contemplate on this enchanting ‘vritti’ or thought and pursue it at all times are ‘satpurushas’ or blessed ones, the persons are worthy of being  worshipped by people.

The first stage is to listen to it, then learn it, understand it. The second stage is to become increasingly aware of it, assisimilate it and absorb it in the mental complex. This attitude that one is nothing but “Brahman” (Consciousness/Awareness) when pursued constantly, meditated upon, then one gets established in it. What is in the mind must become one’s own intimate experience. One gets identified with it and gains the experience that one is nothing but that Brahman.

Understanding and discovering ‘Brahman’, our true nature first is the first step even in bringing peace in this world. Then the vision would be clear enough for us to see if or what needs to be done externally. Thoughts and actions expressed from this state of being alone have an everlasting impact to create and sustain harmony and peace. For there cannot be a peace externally if we are not in peace.

 

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Deepavalli- the light of knowledge

The central theme of all legends point out to the classic truth of the victory of the good over the evils. Lord Rama the great warrior, returned to his Kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, in which he put an end to the demon Ravana of Lanka, who was a great pundit, highly learned but still evil dominated his mind. In Ayodhya, the people welcomed Rama by lighting rows of clay lamps. So Diwali is an occasion in honor of Rama’s victory over Ravana; of Truth’s victory over Evil.

The ‘dharma’ or nature of a thing is that which it cannot give up. Like sweetness is the nature of sugar.  A thing called sugar ceases to exist if it gives up its sweetness (its dharma).  Fire cannot remain fire if it becomes cold. Also one’s own nature is never a burden to oneself. The poison of a snake is not a danger to itself, even though the poison lies within its own body.

The nature of our True Being is indestructible, unborn. Free from the limitations of time, space and objects. It is full, complete. It lacks nothing. The Self is also of the nature of eternal happiness. All beings without exception strive to achieve freedom from sorrow and gain happiness. This shows that misery or sorrow is not our nature. If misery was our nature we would never want to get rid of it.

It is due to ignorance of the fact of the true nature of our Self that we struggle to gain happiness from objects, situations, experiences outside us. This eternal, infinite happiness can never be gained through sense enjoyments but only by the knowledge arising from Self enquiry.

This Diwali, being the festival of lights, lighting the lamp of knowledge within us, let us enquire into the knowledge of our True Self, understand and reflect upon the significant purpose of the days of festivities and to bring those thoughts in to the day to day lives. To be able to see the Rama and Ravana within us and conquer the Ravana who is a symbol of ego, sensuousness, arrogance, false pride and ignorance. Rama is the very nature of our True Being.

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Maa Saraswati- The Goddess of Learning

Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas and chants to her called the ‘Saraswati Vandana’ often begin and end Vedic lessons. She endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning.

She is often depicted sitting on a lotus, which symbolizes that she is founded in the experience of the Absolute Truth. Thus, she not only has the knowledge but also the experience of the Highest Reality. She holds in her four hands a vina instrument, an akshamala (prayer beads) in the right hand, and a pustaka (book) in the left, which represents the knowledge of all sciences. Holding the book or scriptures in one hand also indicates that this knowledge alone can bring us to the Truth. The vina shows the beauty of learning the fine arts. Playing her vina, she tunes the mind and intellect with her knowledge and thus the seeker can be in harmony with the universe. The prayer beads represent all spiritual sciences, like meditation and japa (chanting the holy names of God). Her four arms represent her unrestricted power in the four directions. She also represents creativity, or the combination of power and intelligence, the basis of creativity.

Sometimes she is seen riding on a swan, at other times she is seen riding on a peacock or sitting with one nearby. The peacock represents the worldly beauty and the swan signifies the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge.

Her name literally means the one who flows and can be applied to thoughts, words, or the flow of a river. Her other names include Sharada (giver of essence), Brahmi (wife of Brahma), Mahavidya (holder of supreme knowledge), Bharati (eloquence), Arya (noble one), Maha-vani (the transcendent word), Kamadhenu (the wish-fulfilling cow), Dhaneshvari (the divinity of wealth) and Vagishvari (mistress of speech). It is through speech that knowledge manifests in action. It is through her that language and writing is revealed.

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Lord Ganesha – remover of obstacles

ॐ शुक्लांबरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजं |

प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये ||

Om shuklambaradharam vishnum shashivarnam chaturbhujam|

Prasannavadanam dhyaayet sarvavighnopashaantaye ||

This verse is generally chanted as a prayer, to invoke the Grace of Lord Ganesha, before undertaking any work. The Lord is invoked as Vighnahara (remover of obstacles). One meditates on Him for the cessation of obstacles. He is shukla-ambara-dhara, the one who wears white clothes. He is vishnu, all pervasive and shashi-varna, of the color of the moon. That is, he is not scorching but pleasant to think about. He is chaturbhuja, has four hands and is prasanna vadana, a smiling and tranquil face.

The form of the Lord is described for the purpose of visualisation. We do not worship the form but the lord for whom the form is given.

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Shankara’s ten-versed hymn – ‘Dasha Shloki’

Adi Shankara met his Guru Govindapadacharya for the first time and the Guru asked Shankara who he was. Shankara’s reply was in the form of ten verses each ending with the words ‘Shivah Kevaloham’ (I am of the form of Pure Auspiciousness).

The bunch of ten verses also known as ‘Dasha Shloki’ was given out to Shankara’s disciples before his disappearance from this world, when they asked him specifically on the ideas to be contemplated and meditated upon.

न  भूमिर्नतोयं न  तेजो  न  वायुः , न  खं  नेन्द्रियं  वा  न  तेषां  समूहः  |

अनैकान्तिकत्वात  सुषुप्त्येकसिद्धः  तदेको वशिष्ट:  शिवः  केवलोहम || १  ||

na bhumirnatoyam na tejo na vayuh, na kham nendriyam vaa na teshaam samuhah |

anekaantikatvaat sushuptyekasiddhah tadekovashistah shivah kevaloham || 1 ||

I am neither earth nor water, nor fire, nor air, nor space, nor sense organ, nor the aggregate of all these; for all these are variable by nature while the Self is whose existence is proved by the experience of deep sleep. I am that One, Pure and Auspicious, that alone which remains.

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