Sri Swami Sivananda








Published by




Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand, Himalayas, INDIA,





First Edition:            1939

Sixth Edition:       2018

[ 500 Copies ]





@The Divine Life Trust Society






ES 92






PRICE: ₹ 100/-











Published by Swami Padmanabhananda for

The Divine Life Society, Shivanandanagar, and printed by him at the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press,

P.O. Shivanandanagar- 249 192, Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand, Himalayas, India,

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The 'First Lessons in Vedanta' was originally published several years ago as a small booklet forming a preliminary to students of Vedanta. The first book here named 'Bases of Vedanta' is the portion which constituted that booklet. Seeing that Vedanta is a vast subject, very difficult to understand, we have enlarged the book to a great extent and included in it such additional chapters as would be found interesting and useful by students. The booklet which previously came under the name of 'Vedanta for Beginners,' also, has been included here as a part of this book, so that it may provide the students with all that is easily intelligible in the vast field of Vedanta. The Atma-Bodha, the Drik-Drishya-Viveka, and the other chapters are highly illuminating and delightful works, and so we have thought it best to place these in the hands of students who begin the study of Vedanta. As the subject of Vedanta itself is a knotty one, some degree of difficulty in understanding it cannot be easily avoided. But the method of treatment which Sri Swami Sivanandaji adopts, in his usual way, is very simple and charming, and will inspire even those who have very little acquaintance with the Vedanta. He always speaks to the heart of a person and touches his inner being. This fact is not unknown to those who have read Sri Swamiji's book. He has an extraordinary ability to explain abstruse truths in plain and direct expressions. It is beyond doubt that aspirants after Truth will be highly benefited by this treatise on Vedanta which is free from intricacies and terse arguments, and which is replete with the sublime truths of spiritual life.
















उपनिषत्-ज्योतिः.... 13

Book One. 22


Book Two. 40


Book Three. 48


Book Four. 58




Book Six. 71


Book Seven. 80

WHO AM I?. 80

Book Eight 93












Vedanta literally means the end, conclusion or the culmination of the Veda. It is comprised of the Upanishads. It deals with the transcendental science of the Atman, or Brahma-Jnana. It is the philosophical portion expounding the nature of the Atman, whereas the first portion of the Vedas, the Karma-Kanda deals with ritualistic observances and sacrifices. Vedanta expounds the true nature of the Self, declares that Brahman, the Supreme Self alone is real, the world and the diverse phenomena are unreal, and the individual soul is identical with Brahman. The Upanishads and the Brahmasutras are the most authoritative works on the Vedanta. Upon these intricate texts numerous voluminous complicated commentaries by several great Acharyas like Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, have been written. They are extremely difficult and very lengthy works. And the language too is difficult Sanskrit. Therefore, to give a clear understanding of the basic principles of Vedanta philosophy in easy and simple manner these few lessons are given. They present the truths and the details of Vedanta philosophy in a way that can be read and understood by all and remembered without difficulty. This will give a good idea of the main outlines of the Vedanta philosophy, the details of which could be filled in later through a study of the bigger works. This is a groundwork for detailed Vedantic study. It equips the student with a preliminary knowledge of the Vedanta.






Deho Naham, Jivo naham, Brahmaivaham, Paramatmaham, Paripoornoham, Siva Evaham.

Brahmaivaham, Brahmaivaham, Brahmaivaham, Siva Evaham, Siva Evaham, Siva Evaham, Hamsah Soham, Soham Hamsah, Hamsah Soham

Soham Hamsah.


Jagat Kalpana, Jiva Kalpana, Deergha Swapna, The world is unreal, Jiva is unreal, the world is a long dream, Tuhne, Tune, Tuhne, Tuhne, Tuhne, Bolna.

Main, Main, Main, Main, Main, Chodna.



Deho Naham, Jivo Naham, Brahmaivaham, Paramatmaham, Paripoornoham, Siva Evaham.

Brahmaivaham, Brahmaivaham, Brahmaivaham.

Siva Evaham, Siva Evaham, Siva Evaham.

Hamsah Soham Soham Hamsah, Hamsah Soham

Soham Hamsah.


Jagat Kalpana, Jiva Kalpana, Deergha Swapna, To voig The world is unreal, Jiva is unreal, the world is a long dream.

Tuhne, Tune, Tuhne, Tuhne, Tune Bolna, S Main, Main, Main, Main, Main Chodna!

(Deho Naham..)




What is real? How to attain freedom?

How to transcend the body and the mind?

Who am I? Who is Brahman?

Who is a Jivanmukta? Who is a Videhamukta?

Vedanta Explains.


What is the Goal of life? How to reach it?

How to remove the obstacles? How to tear the veil?

How to destroy Dehadhyasa? Where to search for Brahman?

Vedanta Explains.


What is Chaitanya? What is Maya?

What is Avidya? What is Brahma Vidya?

What is bondage? What is freedom?

What is Turiya? What is Turiyatita?

Vedanta Explains.


How to destroy Karmas? How to detach from Upadhis?

How to enter into Samadhi? How to stand as a witness?

How to become bodiless? How to practise Nididhyasana?

How to get the four means? How to do Shravana, Manana?

Vedanta Explains.


The glory of Kaivalya Moksha, the splendour of Brahman,

How to transcend the Koshas and the three Avasthas,

The three Doshas of the mind, the seven Jana Bhumikas,

The Nature of Avarana and Vikshepa Saktis,

Vedanta Explains.


Meditation on the Mahavakyas and Nirguna Dhyana, Significance of Om and Soham Dhyana, Bhaga Tyaga Lakshana, Anvaya Vyatireka,

Neti Neti doctrine, and Adhyaropa-Apavada,

Vedanta Explains.


How to become fearless? How to enjoy Eternal Peace?

How to rest in Swarupa? How to delight in the Self?

How to attain Self-realisation? How to attain Immortality?

How to behold oneness? How to get a balanced mind?

Vedanta Explains.




भूमा (Bhuma)-Unconditioned; Full.

अतीतम् (Atitam)-Transcendent; Beyond.

परिपूर्णम् (Paripurnam)-Complete; Plenum.

परसंवित् (Parasamvit)-Supreme Consciousness.

ज्ञानम् (Jnanam)-Knowledge.

ज्ञानघनम् (Jnanaghanam)-Mass of Knowledge.

परम् (Param)-The Supreme.

अनिर्देश्यम् (Anirdeshyam) - Indescribable; Ineffable.

द्वन्द्वातीतम् (Dvandvatitam)-Beyond the pairs; beyond duality or relativity.

अनवच्छिन्नम् (Anavachchinnam)-Unlimited; not separated.

निर्विशेषम् (Nirvishesham)-Without attributes orparticularities.

अखण्डम् (Akhandam)-Undivided; Indivisible.

निष्क्रियम् (Nishkriyam)-Actionless; without agency.

कालातीतम् (Kalatitam)-Transcending Time.

देशातीतम् (Deshatitam)-Transcending Space.

निर्विकारम् (Nirvikaram)-Without modification or change.

समम् (Samam)-Equal; Homogeneous.

शान्तम् (Shantam)-Peaceful.

अरूपम् (Arupam)-Formless.

निरञ्जनम् (Niranjanam)-Spotless.

साम्यम् (Samyam)-All-complete condition of balance and repose.

अद्वैतम् (Advaitam)-Non-Dual.

अकर्तृ (Akartr)-Non-Doer

अभोक्तृ (Abhoktr)-Non-Enjoyer.

असङ्गम् (असक्तम्) (Asangam; Asaktam)-Unattached.

निर्गुणम् (Nirgunam)-Attributeless; Qualityless.

निर्लिप्तम् (Nirliptam)-Unattached; Undefiled.

अव्यक्तम् (Avyaktam)-Unmanifest.

अनन्तम् (Anantam) - Limitless; Infinite.

अनादि (Anadi)-Beginningless.

अमृतम् (Amritam)-Immortal.

आनन्दम् (Anandam)-Bliss.

अचलम् (Achalam)-Immovable; Motionless.

अमरम् (Amaram)-Deathless.

अक्षरम् (Aksharam)-Imperishable.

अव्ययम् (Avyayam)-Inexhaustible; Unchangeable.

अशब्दम् (Ashabdam)-Soundless.

अस्पर्शम् (Asparsham)-Touchless.

अमूर्तम् (Amurtam)-Without form

अतनु (Atanu)-Without body.

सूक्ष्मम् (Sukshmam)-Subtle.

अगन्धम् (Agandham)-Odourless.

अप्राणम् (Apranam) - Without Prana or the vital breath.

अमनः (Amanah)-Without mind.

अतीन्द्रियम् (Atindriyam)-Transcending the senses.

अदृश्यम् (Adrishyam)-Invisible.

सत्यम् (Satyam)-Existence; True or Truth; Being.

शिवम् (Shivam)-Blissful; Auspicious.

शुभम् (Shubham)-Auspicious; Blessed.

सुन्दरम् (Sundaram)-Beautiful:

कान्तम् (Kantam) - Dear; Beautiful.


चैतन्यम् (चेतना) (Chaitanyam;Chetana)-Consciousness.

चिद्धनम् (Chidghanam)-Mass of Consciousness.

चिन्मयम् (Chinmayam)-Full of Consciousness.

चिदाकाशः (Chidakashah)-Ether of Consciousness.

चिन्मात्रम् (Chinmatram)-Consciousness alone.

सन्मात्रम् (Sanmatram)-Existence alone.

तन्मयम् (Tanmayam)-Full of Thatsiddhag

अमलम् (निर्मलम्, विमलम्) (Amalam ; Nirmalam; Vimalam)-Without impurity.

अवामनोगोचरम् (Avangmanogocharam)-Beyond the reach of speech and mind

निश्चलम् (Nischalam)-Unchanging; Unshaking.

नित्यम् (Nityam) - Eternal.thegerbun

निरुपाधिकम् (Nirupadhikam)—Without limitations or adjuncts.

निरतिशयम् (Niratishayam)—Unsurpassed; Infinite.

निराकारम् (Nirakaram)—Without form.

कूटस्थम् (Kutastham)-Eternally immovable; Rock-seated.

प्रज्ञानम् (Prajnanam)-Consciousness; Intelligence.

साक्षि (Sakshi)-Witness.

द्रष्ट (Drashtr)-Seer; Observer.

तुरीयम् (Turiyam)-The fourth; Transcendent.

विज्ञानम् (Vijnanam)—Knowledge; Wisdom; Realization.

स्वयंज्योतिः (Svayamjyotih)—Self-effulgent.

स्वप्रकाशः (Svaprakashah)—Self-luminous.

कैवल्यम् (Kaivalyam)-Isolation; Absoluteness.

केवलम् (Kevalam)—Alone; Absolute.

शुद्धम् (Shuddham)-Pure. (ms)

सिद्धम् (Siddham)-Perfect.nabiralna)

शुद्धचैतन्यम् (Shuddhachaitanyam)-Pure Consciousness.

निर्दोषम् (Nirdosham)-Without faults.

बुद्धम् (Buddham)-All-Knowing.

निर्विकल्पम् (Nirvikalpam)-Without thoughts or doubts.

स्वरूपम् (Svarupam)-Essence; One's own Form.

एकरसम् (Ekarasam)-One homogeneous essence.

अपरिच्छिन्नम् (Aparicchhinnam)-Unlimited; Undivided.

त्रिगुणातीतम् (Trigunatitam)-Beyond the three Qualities of Prakriti.

बिन्दुनादकलातीतम् (Bindunadakalatitam)-Beyond Bindu, Nada and Kala.

निष्कलम् (Nishkalam)-Without parts.

त्रिविधपरिच्छेदरहितम् (Trividhaparichchedarahitam)-Free from the three kinds of limitation.

सजातीयविजातीयस्वगतभेदरहितम् (Sajatiya-Vijatiya-Svagata- Bhedarahitam)-Free from the three kinds of difference.

एकम् (Ekam)-One.

निर्मोहम् (Nirmoham)-Without confusion or delusion. निराधारम् (Niradharam)-Without any other support.

निरालम्बम् (Niralambam)-Without any other support.

निराश्रयम् (Nirashrayam)-Without any other support.

निर्द्वन्द्वम् (Nirdvandvam)-Without pairs or opposites of duality.

अचिन्त्यम् (Achintyam)-Unthinkable.

अविनाशि (Avinashi)-Undying; Immortal; Imperishable.

अव्यवहार्यम् (Avyavaharyam)-With which there can be no dealings.

अग्राह्यम् (Agrahyam)-Ungraspable

अलक्षणम् (Alakshanam)-Without distinctive or definitive marks.

अव्यपदेश्यम् (Avyapadeshyam)-Indescribable; unspeakable.

प्रपञ्चोपशमम् (Prapanchopashamam)—Cessation of phenomena.

अजम् (Ajam)-Unborn.

अजरम् (Ajaram)-Without decay or old age.

अभयम् (Abhayam)-Fearless.

निरवयवम् (Niravayavam)—Without members or parts or limbs.

दृक् (Drik)-Seer.

वस्तु (Vastu)-Substance; Thing.

आत्मा (Atma) -Self; Soul.

ब्रह्म (Brahma)-The Absolute.

(OM)-The Symbol of the Absolute.

तत् (Tat) - That; Supreme; Transcendent.

सत् (Sat) -Existence; Truth; Being.




एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति ।।

The One Being the wise diversely speak of.


पुरुषः एवेदं सर्वं यद्भूतं यच्च भव्यम् ।।

The Purusha alone is all this, whatever was and whatever will be.


नासदासीन्नो सदासीत्तदानीम् ।।

then. There was no non-existence, there was no existence,



ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वम् ।।

All this is (to be) indwelt by the Lord.


तद्ध तद्वनं नाम तद्वनमित्युपासितव्यम् ।।

That is called the Adorable; (It is) to be meditated upon as the Adorable.


अणोरणीयान् महतो महीयान् ।।

(It is) smaller than the small, greater than the great.


एतद्धि एव अक्षरं ब्रह्म।।

This syllable (OM), verily, is the Brahman.


यमेवैष वृणुते तेन लभ्यः

(He is) attainable by him whom He chooses.


एतदालम्बनं श्रेष्ठम् ।।

This is the best Support.


पुरुषान्न परं किञ्चित् ।।

There is nothing greater than (or second to) the Purusha.


उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत प्राप्य वरान्निबोधत ।।

Arise! Awake! Obtaining men of wisdom, know (it).


निचाय्य तन्मृत्युमुखात्प्रमुच्यते ।।

Knowing it, one is freed from the mouth of death.


आत्मानं मत्वा धीरो शोचति ।।

Knowing the Atman; the hero does not grieve.


सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म

All this, indeed, is Brahman.


नेह नानाऽस्ति किञ्चन ।।

There is nothing diverse here.


एतद्विदुरमृतास्ते भवन्ति।।

Those who know this become immortal.


एतद्वै प्राणानामायतनमेतदमृतमभयमेतत्परायणमेतस्मान्न पुनरावर्तन्ते


This is the support of the Pranas. This is the Immortal, Fearless. This is the final Goal. From this they do not return.


ह्यध्रुवैः प्राप्यते हि ध्रुवं तत् ।।

That Eternal is not attained through the non-eternal.


नास्त्यकृतः कृतेन ।।

The Non-created is not (attained) through the created.


पुरुष एवेदं विश्वम् ।।

This universe is the Purusha alone.


एतद्यो वेद निहितं गुहायाम् सोऽविद्याग्रन्थिं विकिरतीह ।।

He who knows this set in the secret place of the heart, rends asunder, here itself, the knot of ignorance


तमेवैकं जानथ आत्मानं अन्या वाचो विमुञ्चथ ।।

Know that one Atman alone; abandon all other speech.


आनन्दरूपममृतं यद्विभाति ।।

Which (It) shines as the Blissful Immortal. baod


तत्र सूर्यो भाति

There the sun does not shine.


तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वम्

 After Him who shines, everything else shines.


ब्रह्मैवेदं विश्वमिदं वरिष्ठम् ।।

Brahman alone is this universe, this greatest.


 सत्यमेव जयते नानृतम् ।।

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.


यो वै तत्परमं ब्रह्म वेद ब्रह्मैव भवति ।।

He who knows that Supreme Brahman becomes Brah- man Itself.


ओमित्येतदक्षरमिदं सर्वम्

OM-This syllable (the Imperishable) is all this.


ओमिति ब्रह्म ।।

OM-This is Brahman.


ब्रह्मविदाप्नोति परम्

The knower of Brahman attains the Highest.


तरति शोकमात्मवित् ।।

The knower of the Self crosses beyond sorrow.


ब्रह्मसंस्थोऽमृतत्त्वमेति ।।

One who is established in Brahman attains Immortality



सत्यं ज्ञानमनन्तं ब्रह्म ।।

Truth, Knowledge, Infinity is Brahman.


आत्मा वा इदमेक एवाग्र आसीत् ।।

In the beginning, the Atman, one alone, was all this.


येनाश्रुतं श्रुतं भवत्यमतं मतमविज्ञातं विज्ञातम् ।।

By which the Unheard becomes heard, the Unthought be- comes thought; the Ununderstood becomes understood.


यो वै भूमा तत्सुखम् नाल्पे सुखमस्ति

That which is Unconditioned is Bliss; there is no bliss in the small.


यत्र नान्यत्पश्यति नान्यत् शृणोति नान्यद् विजानाति भूमा ।।

Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, under- stands nothing else,-That is the Unconditioned.


यो वै भूमा तदमृतम् ।।

That which is Unconditioned is Immortality.


एवेदं सर्वम्

He (It) alone is all this.


अहमेवेदं सर्वम् ।।

I alone am all this.


आत्मैवेदं सर्वम् ॥क

The Self alone is all this.


अशरीरं वाव सन्तं प्रियाप्रिये स्पृशतः ।।

Pleasure and pain do not touch the Bodiless Being.


ब्रह्म वा इदमग्र आसीत् ।।

Brahman, verily, was this in the beginning.


सदेव सोम्येदमग्र आसीदेकमेवाद्वितीयम् ।।

Existence alone (dear one!) was this in the beginning, one alone without a second.


आत्मानमेव प्रियमुपासीत ।।

One should meditate on the Self alone as dear.


एवं वेदाहं ब्रह्मास्मीति इदं सर्वं भवति ।।

He who knows (thus), 'I am Brahman',-He becomes this all.


आत्मेत्येवोपासीत ।।

As the Self, alone, one should meditate (on it).


असतो मा सद्गमय तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।।

From the unreal lead me to the Real; from darkness lead me to Light; from death lead me to Immortality.


अमृतत्त्वस्य तु नाऽऽशाऽस्ति वित्तेन

There is no hope of Immortality through wealth.


आत्मनस्तु कामाय सर्वं प्रियं भवति

For the love of the Self does everything become dear.


आत्मा वा अरे द्रष्टव्यः श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो निदिध्यासितव्यः ।।

Lo, the Self is to be beheld, heard, thought over and medi- airit lis me enols tated on.


आत्मनो दर्शनेन विज्ञानेनेदं सर्वं विदितम्

By the vision, by the knowledge, of the Self, all this is known.


इदं सर्वं यदयमात्मा ।।

All this is just what this Self is.


यत्र त्वस्य सर्वमात्मैवाभूत् तत् केन कं पश्येत्, तत् केन कं विजानीयात् ।।

Where, to one, everything has become only the Self, then what should one see by what; then, what should one under- stand by what?


येनेदं सर्वं विजानाति तं केन विजानीयात् ।।

By which one knows all this-It, by what can one know?


विज्ञातारमरे केन विजानीयात् ।।

Lo, by what should one know the Knower?


एष नेति नेति

He is 'Not-this, Not-this.'


अयमात्मा, इदममृतं, इदं ब्रह्म, इदं सर्वम्

This is the Self; this is Immortal; this is Brahman; this the


तदेतद् ब्रह्मापूर्वमनपरमनन्तरमबाह्यमयमात्मा ब्रह्म सर्वानुभूः

This Brahman is without an earlier and without a later, without an inside and without an outside. This Self is Brahman, the experiencer of everything.


एष आत्मा सर्वान्तरोऽतोऽन्यदार्तम् ।।

This is thy Self which is in all things; what is other.


तदश्नाति किञ्चन, तदश्नाति कश्चन ।।

It eats nothing; none eats it.


एतदक्षरं अदृष्टं द्रष्ट, अविज्ञातं विज्ञातृ; नान्यदतोऽस्ति द्रष्ट, नान्यदतोऽस्ति विज्ञातृ ।।

This Imperishable is the unseen Seer; the ununderstood Understander. There is no seer but That; there is no understander but That. mom


सलिलं एको द्रष्टा अद्वैतो भवति एष ब्रह्मलोकः

An ocean, the Seer alone, without duality, does he be- come; this is the Abode of Brahman.


एषाऽस्य परमा गतिः, एषाऽस्य परमा संपत्, एषोऽस्य परमो लोकः, एषोऽस्य परम आनन्दः ।।

This is (his) supreme goal; this is (his) supreme treasure; this is (his) supreme world; this is (his) supreme bliss.


तत् ज्योतिषां ज्योतिः ।।

That is Light of lights.


एकमेवानुद्रष्टव्यमेतदप्रमेयं ध्रुवम् ।।

As One alone is it to be seen, this immeasurable stable


वा एष महानज आत्माऽजरोऽमरोऽमृतोऽभयो ब्रह्म ।।

This great unborn Self, undecaying, deathless, immortalfearless, is Brahman


सर्वस्य वशी, सर्वस्येशानः, सर्वस्याधिपतिः, एष सर्वेश्वरः, एष भूताधिपतिः, एष भूतपालः ।।

(He is) the Controller of everything, the Lord of everything, the Ruler of everything. This is the Lord of all, the Overlord of all beings, the Protector of all beings.


तमेव विदित्वाऽतिमृत्युमेति ।।

By knowing Him alone one goes beyond death.


तेनेदं पूर्णं पुरुषेण सर्वम् ।।

By that Purusha is all this filled.


एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः ।।

The one God is hidden in all beings.


विज्ञानमानन्दं ब्रह्म ।।

Consciousness-Bliss is Brahman.


प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठा, प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म ।।

Consciousness is the Support; Consciousness is Brahman


अहं ब्रह्मास्मि ।।

I am Brahman.


तत्त्वमसि ।।

That thou art.


अयमात्मा ब्रह्म ।।

This Self is Brahman.


पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णत्पूर्णमुदच्यते पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ।।

That is Full; this full. From the Full does the full proceed Taking the full from the Full, the Full alone remains.


शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः






Book One





The purpose of life is the realisation of one's own essential na-ture. It is to know that you are the pure ever-free Atman. The Vedanta expounds the great truth that Atman alone is real, the phenomenal world is unreal. You are Atman, but you forget your real Svarupa due to identification with the body. This is called Deha-Adhyasa. This is the greatest obstacle to Self-Knowledge or Atma-Jnana. To get over this delusion of identification with body the Vedantic Seers have made a detailed analysis of the different bodies, gross and subtle, and systematically proved that the Jiva is not the body but is identical with the Paramatman. The study of the three bodies, the five sheaths and the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep, helps man to understand that he is different from all these diverse modifications and that he is the unchanging, constant, witness of all these. This helps him to feel that he transcends the three states, the three bodies and the Panchakoshas.


Constant remembrance of this and meditation on this knowledge will lead him to the realisation of his Atma-Svarupa. Therefore, the study of the Panchakoshas is a valuable aid in the process of disassociating yourself from the bodies and the sheaths. It enables you to rise above body-consciousness, to feel that you are the Atman and thus remain quite unaffected and unattached amidst all distractions and tribulations of life.






[The individual experiencer is a consciousness-centre enveloped by several layers of matter existing as the factors causing objective awareness in it. The analysis of these layers or bodies is necessary to ascertain the nature of the true Self.]


Hari Om. Om Sat-Guru-Paramatmane Namah.

Disciple: How many bodies are there in an individual (Jiva)?

Guru: There are three bodies in every individual (Jiva)

Disciple: Please name them.

Guru: The physical body or the gross body (Sthula Sarira), the astral body or the subtle body (Sukshma Sarira or Lingadeha) and the causal body or the seed body (Karanasarira) are the three bodies.

Disciple: Please illustrate them.

Guru: The shell of a tamarind corresponds to the physical body. The pulp represents the subtle body. The seed corresponds to the causal body. Ice represents the physical body. H2O  represents the subtle body. The Tanmatras or root-elements correspond to the causal body.




Disciple: What are the components of the physical body?

Guru: The physical body is composed of five elements, viz., earth (Prithivi), water (Apas), fire (Tejas), air (Vayu) and space (Akasa).


Disciple: What are the seven primary essences

(Sapta-Dhatus) of the physical body?

Guru: Chyle (Rasa), blood (Asra), flesh (Mamsa), fat (Medas), bone (Asthi), marrow (Majja) and semen (Sukra), are the seven primary essences of the physical body.

Disciple: What are the Shad-bhava-vikaras (six modifications of the body)?

Guru: Asti (existence), Jayate (birth), Vardhate (growth), Viparinamate (change), Apaksheeyate (decay), Vinashyate (death), are the six modifications or changes of the body.

Disciple: What are the links with which the body is connected?

Guru: The body (Deha), action (Karma), love and hale (Raga-dvesha), egoism(Ahamkara), non-discrimination (Aviveka) and ignorance (Ajnana) are the seven links of the chain of Samsara (world-experience). From Ajnana (ignorance), Aviveka is born. Aviveka is non-discrimination between the Real and the unreal. From Aviveka is born Ahamkara or egoism; from egoism is born Raga-dvesha (like and dislike); from Raga-desha Karma (action) arises; from Karma the body or the Deha is produced. If you want to free yourself from the pain of birth and death, destroy ignorance (Ajnana), the root-cause of this Samsara (world-experience), through the attainment of the Knowledge of Brahman or the Absolute. When ignorance is removed, all the other links will be broken by themselves. This physical body of yours is the result of your past actions and is the seat of your enjoyment of pleasure and pain.

Disciple: Why is the body called Sarira or Deha?

Guru: Because the body decays (Sheeryate) on account of old age, it is called Sarira. Because it is cremated or burnt (Dahyate) it is called Deha.




Disciple: What is the composition of the subtle body?

Guru: The subtle body is composed of nineteen principles (Tattvas), viz., five Jnana Indriyas or organs of knowledge, five Karma Indriyas or organs of action, five Pranas or vital airs, Manas or mind, Buddhi or intellect, Chitta or the subconscious and Ahamkara or the ego. It is a means of enjoying pleasure and pain.

Disciple: When will this subtle body get dissolved?

Guru: It gets dissolved in Videha Mukti or disembodied Liberation.




Disciple: What is the causal body (Karana Sarira)?

Guru: The beginningless ignorance that is indescribable is called the causal body. It is the cause of the gross and the subtle bodies.

Disciple: How can I transcend the three bodies?

Guru: Identify yourself with the All-pervading, Eternal Atman. Stand as a witness (Sakshi) of all experiences. Know that the Atman is always like a king distinct from the body, organs, vital breaths, mind, intellect, ego and Prakriti-the Witness of their attributes.




Disciple: What is meant by a Kosha?

Guru: Kosha means a sheath.

Disciple: Kindly illustrate these sheaths.

Guru: Just as a pillow-cover is a covering or a sheath for the pillow, just as a scabbard is a sheath for the sword or the dagger, so also this body, Pranas, mind, intellect and the causal body are sheaths that cover the Atman or the Soul.

There is the singlet close to the body; over this there is the shirt; over the shirt there is the waist-coat; over the waist-coat there is the coat; over the coat there is the overcoat. Even so, the Atman is enveloped by these five sheaths.

Disciple: How many sheaths are there in the body?

Guru: There are five sheaths.

Disciple: Please name them.

Guru: Annamaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vijnanamaya Kosha and Anandamaya Kosha are the five Koshas or sheaths.

Disciple: What is Annamaya Kosha?

Guru: Annamaya Kosha is food-sheath. It is the gross body made up of the five gross elements.

Disciple: Why is it called Annamaya Kosha?

Guru: It is called Annamaya Kosha, because it lives on account of food, it is made up of the essence of food, and, finally, it returns to food (earth or matter).

Disciple: What is Pranamaya Kosha?

Guru: Pranamaya Kosha is the vital sheath.

Disciple: What is the Pranamaya Kosha made of?

Guru: It is made up of the Pranas or the vital airs and the five Karmendriyas or organs of action.

Disciple: How many Pranas are there?

Guru: There are ten Pranas five Mukhya or chief Pranas, Viz, Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana, and five Upapranas or sub-Pranas viz., Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya.

Disciple: What is the function of Prana?

Guru: Ucchvasa and Nishvasa Unhalation and exhala-tion) are the functions of the Prana.

Disciple: What is the function of Apana?

Guru: Excretion of faces and urine is the function of the Apana.

Disciple: What is the function of Vyana?

Guru: Circulation of blood is the function of Vyana.

Disciple: What is the function of Udana?

Guru: Udana helps deglutition or swallowing of food. It takes the Jiva to rest in Brahman during deep sleep. It separates the astral body from the physical body at the time of death.

Disciple: What is the function of Samana?

Guru: Digestion of food is the function of Samana.

Disciple: What is the function of Naga?

Guru: Belching and hiccough or eructation and vomiting are the functions of Naga.

Disciple: What is the function of Kurma?

Guru: Closing and opening of eyelids are the functions of Kurma.

Disciple: What is the function of Krikara?

Guru: Causing of hunger is the function of Krikara.

10 Disciple: What is the function of Devadatta?

Guru: Yawning is the function of Devadatta.

Disciple: What is the function of Dhananjaya? O Guru: Nourishing the body, decomposition of the body after death and ejection of the child out of the womb in women are the functions of Dhananjaya.

Disciple: What are the two divisions in Prana? O Guru: Gross Prana and subtle Prana are the two divisions in Prana.

Disciple: What are the functions of these Pranas?

Guru: The Gross Prana does the functions of breathing, digestion, excretion, circulation, etc. The Subtle Prana generates thought.

Disciple: What is Manomaya Kosha?

Guru: Manomaya Kosha is the mind-sheath.

Disciple: What does the mind-sheath consist of?

Guru: The mind-sheath consists of the mind (Manas), the subconscious (Chitta) and the five Janendriyas or the sense-organs of knowledge.

Disciple: What is Vijnanamaya Kosha?

Guru: It is the intellectual sheath.

Disciple: What does the intellectual sheath consist of?

Guru: It consists of the intellect and the ego working with the help of the five Jnanendriyas or the sense-organs of know. edge.

Disciple: What is Anandamaya Kosha?

Guru: It is the bliss-sheath.

Disciple: Why is it called Anandamaya Kosha?

Guru: Because through it the Jiva or the individual soul experiences bliss during deep sleep and at the time of experiencing the effect of a Sattvic deed.

Disciple: What does the bliss-sheath consist of?

Guru: It is a modification of Prakriti and consists of the Vrittis called Priya, Moda and Pramoda.

Disciple: How many Koshas are in the physical body?

Guru: One Kosha-Annamaya Kosha..

Disciple: How many Koshas are in the Linga-shareera or subtle body (Astral body)?

Guru: Three sheaths, viz., Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya.

Disciple: How many sheaths are in the causal body or Karana Sarira?

Guru: One sheath, viz., Anandamaya Kosha. gizin

Disciple: How many sheaths operate during the waking state?

Guru: The five sheaths function during the waking state.

Disciple: How many sheaths function during the dream state?

Guru: Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and

Anandamaya Kosha function during dreaming state.

Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas function partially.

Disciple: How many sheaths function during deep sleep?

Guru: Only one, viz., Anandamaya Kosha.




Disciple: What Guna is found in the physical body?

Guru: Tamoguna.

Disciple: What Guna is found in the Pranamaya Kosha?

Guru: Rajoguna.

Disciple: What is the Guna found in the Manomaya


Guru: Sattva mixed with Tamas.

Disciple: What is the Guna found in the Vijnanamaya


Guru: Sattva mixed with Rajas.

Disciple: What is the Guna found in the Anandamaya Kosha?

Guru: Sattva, technically called the Malina-Sattva (mixed with Rajas and Tamas) in contrast with Suddha-Sattva of which Maya is the embodiment.

Disciple: Where are the Karmendriyas located?

Guru: In the Pranamaya Kosha.

Disciple: Where are the Jnanendriyas located?

Guru: In the Manomaya Kosha.

Disciple: Where does Jnanasakti rest?

Guru: In the Vijnanamaya Kosha.

Disciple: Where does Iccha Sakti rest?

Guru: In the Manomaya Kosha (mind).

Disciple: Where does Kriya Sakti rest?

Guru: In the Pranamaya Kosha.

Disciple: Please illustrate the function of Jana Sakti, Iccha Sakti and Kriya Sakti.

Guru: You get knowledge of milk through intellect. You come to know that milk nourishes the body. This is the work of the Jnana Sakti of the Vijnanamaya Kosha. Then a desire arises in the mind to possess milk. This is the work of the Iccha Sakti or the Manomaya Kosha. Then you exert to obtain milk.

This is the work of the Kriya Sakti of the Pranamaya Kosha.

Disciple: What are the attributes of the Anandamaya


Guru: Priya, Moda, Pramoda.

Disciple: What is Priya?

Guru. The joy you experience when you look at an object you like.

Disciple: What is Moda?

Guru: The great joy you feel when you possess the object you like.

Disciple: What is Pramoda?

Guru: The greatest joy you experience after enjoyment of the object you like.

Disciple: What are the Vikaras (modifications) of the Annamaya Kosha?

Guru: Existence, birth, growth, change, decay and death.

Disciple: What are the Dharmas of the Pranamaya


Guru: Hunger and thirst, heat and cold.

Disciple: What are the Vikaras of the Manomaya Kosha?

Guru: Sankalpa-Vikalpa (thinking and doubting), anger, lust, Harsha (exhilaration), Soka (depression) and Moha (delusion), etc. There are sixteen modifications of the Manomaya Kosha.

Disciple: What are the functions of the Vijnanamaya


Guru: Discrimination and decision or determination (iveka and Adhyavasaya or Nischaya), Kartritva and Bhoktritva (agency and enjoyership).

Disciple: What is the Dharma of the Anandamaya Kosha?

Guru: Experience of happiness.

Disciple: Please give the order of subtlety of the Koshas.

Guru: The Pranamaya Kosha is subtler than and pervades the Annamaya Kosha. The Manomaya Kosha is subtler than and pervades the Pranamaya and Annamaya Koshas. The Vijnanamaya Kosha is subtler than and pervades the Manomaya, the Pranamaya and the Annamaya Koshas. The Anandamaya Kosha is subtler than all the other four Koshas and pervades all of them.




Disciple: What is the relation between the Kosha and the

Guru: Anyonya-Adhyasa.

Disciple: What is Anyonya-Adhyasa?

Guru: Anyonya-Adhyasa is mutual superimposition. The attributes of the five sheaths are superimposed on the Atman. The attributes of the sheaths, e.g, change, pain, etc., are falsely attributed to the pure soul or the Atman. The attributes of the Pure Atman such as Existence, Knowledge, Bliss, Purity, Consciousness are transferred to the five sheaths.

Disciple: What is Adhyaropa?

Guru: Adhyaropa is superimposition. Just as the snake is superimposed on the rope, the five Koshas are superimposed on the Atman.

Disciple: What is Apavadayukti?

Guru: It is sublation or negation of the five sheaths through "neti-neti" doctrine.

Disciple: What are the Shad Urmis?

Guru: Birth and death (for the physical body), hunger and thirst (for the Pranamaya Kosha), grief and delusion (Soka and Moha) for the Manomaya Kosha.

Disciple: Why are they called Urmis?

Guru: Just as there are waves in the ocean, these Shad Urmis are the waves in the ocean of this Samsara.

Disciple: How to develop the Vijnanamaya Kosha?

Guru: Through Viveka (discrimination), Vichara (enquiry), meditation on Atman, Japa of Omkara, etc.

Disciple: What will be the use of this purified and developed Vijnanamaya Kosha?

Guru: It will serve as a fortress to prevent coming in of sensual Samskaras from without and prevent the Samskaras of the Anandamaya Kosha or Karana Sarira from coming outside. It will help you to enter into profound meditation and Atma Vichara.




Disciple: What is the cause of superimposition or


Guru: Avidya or ignorance.

Disciple: What is the Adhara or Adhishthana for Avidya?

Guru: Brahman.

Disciple: How can Avidya remain in pure Brahman.

Guru: Itis Anirvachaneeya. From the viewpoint of the Absolute there is neither Jiva nor Avidya nor the five sheaths. Avidya exists only for the Jiva.

Disciple: What is the other name for Avidya?

Guru: Anandamaya Kosha or Karanasarira of Jiva or individual soul.

Disciple: What does Avidya consist of?

Guru: It consists of Vasanas and Samskaras. The impressions of the whole Sanchita Karma of all your past births are lodged there.




Disciple: How to transcend the five sheaths?

Guru: Identify yourself with the Atman which is absolutely distinct from the five sheaths. You can transcend the five Koshas.

Disciple: What is the Vedantic Yukti for transcending the five sheaths?

Guru: Practice of Anvaya-Vyatireka.

Disciple: What is Anvaya and Vyatireka?

Guru: It is synthesis and analysis (positive and negative method).

Disciple: How to practise this?

Guru: The names and forms are different and illusory, but the one underlying essence of Atman is the same in all forms. is the only reality. Negate the forms and take out the essence by the churning of Meditation on Atman, just as you take out the essence of butter from the curd by churning. Draw or separate the Atman from the five Koshas, just as you draw the inner pith from the Munja grass or reed. Just as you take out the small diamond that is mixed with different kinds of pulses or cereals by separating it from them, so also take out this Atman by separating it from the five sheaths. Where the five sheaths exist, there the Atman also exists. Where the five sheaths do not exist, there also the Atman. exists. Therefore, the Atman is independent of the five sheaths.

Disciple: Is there any other Vedantic Yukti?

Guru: Yes, there is. That is Neti-Neti Yukti. Itis the practice of self-denial. "I am not this Annamaya Kosha, I am not this Pranamaya Kosha. I am not any of the five Koshas, 1 am the Atman. Chidananda-Rupah Sivoham!"

Disciple: Is there any preliminary method which will help this Vedantic realisation to be attained by transcending the sheaths?

Guru: Yes, there is. Try to bear heat and cold. You can control the Annamaya Kosha or the physical body. Bear hunger and thirst. You can have sway over the Pranamaya Kosha. Bear censure, disrespect; control Harsha, Soka. You can control the Manomaya Kosha. Conquer worries, sorrow and tribulation by discrimination or Vichara. You can control the Vijnanamaya Kosha. Control sleep and Tamas. You can conquer the Anandamaya Kosha.




Disciple: Why can this Annamaya Kosha not be the Atman?

Guru: The Annamaya sheath has a beginning and an end.

It has parts. It is Jada or inert and impure. It is finite (Paricchinna). Hence it cannot be the Atman.

Disciple: What is the nature of Atman?

Guru: Atman is beginningless, endless, timeless, partless, ever pure, eternal. infinite (Aparicchinna), all-pervading, Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Disciple: Why can you not take the Pranamaya Kosha as Atman?

Guru: Pranamaya Kosha is the product of Rajoguna. It has a beginning and an end. It is Jada. It is unconscious and cannot welcome a man when it is functioning in sleep. Hence it cannot be the Atman.

Disciple: Why cannot the Manomaya Kosha be the Atman?

Guru: Mind is a product of Sattvaguna mixed with Tamas. It is also inert or Jada. It has a beginning and an end. It is finite. There is death for the mind also. Hence it cannot be the eternal, infinite Atman.

Disciple: Why cannot the Vijnanamaya Kosha be the Atman?

Guru: Intellect also is a product of Sattvaguna mixed with Rajas. It also is inert. It borrows its light and power from the Sakshi or witness. It is a finite instrument only. It cannot be the Atman.

Disciple: Why cannot the Anandamaya Kosha be the Atman?

Guru: This sheath is Avidya or Ajnana. It also has an end. When one gets knowledg of the Atman, it perishes. How can ignorance which is the very absence of knowledge be the Atman which is Knowledge Absolute? It is not the Atman, because, if it were so, the individual in sleep would have Atma-darshana.




Disciple: What is my real essential nature?

Guru: Thy real essential nature is Satchidananda, Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute, Bliss-Absolute. You are distinct from the five Koshas which are only dependent on the Atman. When ignorance is destroyed through knowledge of the Atman, all the Koshas are burnt in the fire of knowledge. You become identical with the Supreme Soul. You become an illuminated sage or Jivanmukta.




Disciple: How does a Vedantic student start his Sadhana?

Guru: A Vedantic student starts from the Buddhi or

Vijnanamaya Kosha the Vichara or enquiry of Atman.

Disciple: How does a Hatha Yogi start his Sadhana?

Guru: A Hatha Yogi starts his Sadhana from the Annamaya Kosha and Pranamaya Kosha. He practises Asanas, Bandhas, Mudras and Pranayama and steadies the body and the Prana, removes the Rajas of Prana and then ascends upwards in the ladder of Yoga. Then he attempts to control the mind.

Disciple: What is the relation between Prana and mind?

Guru: Prana is the over-coat of the mind. They are inseparable. Wherever there is mind, there is Prana. Prana is grosser than the mind. Control of mind leads to control of Prana and Vice versa. Control of Prana cannot cause perfect annihilation of the mind (Manonasa). It is Vedantic Vichara and Vedantic

Nididhyasana and Samadhi alone that can destroy the mind in toto.

Control of Prana keeps the mind only in suppression for the time being like the bird kept in a cage. When the shutter of the cage is removed, the bird will fly out. Even so the mind-bird will again fly out in sensual grooves when the Prana is released. Control of Prana cannot destroy the Samskaras. It is only Brahmajnana that can fry in toto the Samskaras.

Disciple: Which is superior, Prana or mind?

Guru: Hatha Yogins hold that Prana is superior to mind, because the Prana is functioning even during deep sleep when there is no mind, and the mind functions only when the Prana vibrates. But Raja Yogins and Vedantins maintain that mind is superior to Prana because it is the mind that does Sankalpa, Vikalpa, and Prana obeys or carries out the orders of the mind. Mind has Jnanashakti. Prana has Kriyashakti. Mind can direct the Prana, but the Prana cannot direct the mind.

Disciple: What are the two seeds of Samskara or Chitta?

Guru: Vibration or fluctuation of Prana and the Vasana of the mind. These are the effects of Ajnana only.

Disciple: What is the nature of Vedantic Sadhana for the attainment of Moksha or the final emancipation?

Guru: Vasanakshaya ( annihilation of the Vasanas or subtle desires), Manonasa (annihilation of the mind), and Tattvajnana should be practised simultaneously for a protracted period. Annihilation of the Vasanas will lead to the annihilation of the mind.




Disciple: What is the nature of Moksha?

eri Guru: Sarvaduhkhanivritti (removal of all kinds of pain), and Paramanandaprapti (attainment of Supreme, imperishable, eternal Bliss of Brahman).

Disciple: What does Brahmajnana do?

Guru: It destroys Avidya and its effects (Karya), viz., the bodies and the whole Samsara. It frees you from the miseries of birth and death. It makes you absolutely fearless, free and in-dependent. All your doubts like "whether I am body or Prana or Buddhi" will vanish in toto. You will become Anamaya, free from disease, old age and death. You will have no fear of death or enemies. You will shine as the effulgent, resplendent Purusha Supreme.




Disciple: What are the three Avasthas?

Guru: Jagrat Avastha (waking state), Svapna Avastha (dreaming state), Sushupti Avastha (deep sleep state).

Disciple: What is meant by Avastha?

Guru: Avastha means a state.

Disciple: What is Jagrat Avastha?

Guru: It is the state of waking consciousness. That state in which objects are known through the senses is known as Jagrat.

Disciple: What is Svapna Avastha?

Guru: That state in which objects are perceived through the impressions produced during waking state is called Svapna or dreaming state. The consciousness of the subtle, inner, subjective Prapancha or world, which during the quiescence of the sense-organs arises in the form of the percipient and object of perception by virtue of the latent impressions of what is seen and heard in Jagrat is Svapna.

Disciple: What is Sushupti?

Guru: That state in which there is total absence of knowledge of objects is deep sleep state. It is a remembrance in Jagrat state of the kind of experience, "I enjoyed sound sleep. I knew nothing."


Disciple: Why can the man in deep sleep not express his bliss?

Guru: Just as the man who has dived in a well and found out the brass pot cannot say when he is under water that he has found out the pot as water is an enemy of the organ of speech which is fire (and as water may enter his mouth), so also the man cannot express his bliss as there is no organ of speech during deep sleep.

Disciple: What do we study from deep sleep?

Guru: The world is a mental creation. So long as there is mind, there is the world. Because there is no mind in deep sleep, there is no world. You are essentially an embodiment of bliss. The Non-dual Brahman alone exists. There is Kevala-Astitva alone. There is transcendental happiness independent of objects and senses, because there is neither object nor senses during deep sleep where happiness is experienced.

Disciple: Who is Visva?

Guru: The Jivatma who identifies himself with the gross body in the waking state is called Visva.

Disciple: Who is Taijasa?

Guru: The Jivatma who identifies himself with the subtle body in the dreaming state is called Taijasa.

Disciple: Who is Prajna?

Guru: The Jivatma who identifies himself with the causal body in the deep sleep state is termed Prajna.

Disciple: Who is Virat?

Guru: He is the Samashti (collective) Sthula-Sarira

Abhimani. He is the sum total of all Visvas in the macrocosm.

Disciple: Who is Hiranyagarbha?

Guru: He is Samashti (collective) Sukshma-Sarira

Abhimani. He is the sum total of all Taijasas in the macrocosm.

Disciple: Who is Isvara?

Guru: He is Samashti (collective Karana-Sarira

Abhimani. He is the sum total of all Prajnas in the macrocosm.

Disciple: What is Turiya?

Guru: It is the fourth state. It is the state of super consciousness which one experiences in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It transcends the three states of Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti.

Disciple: Where does the Jiva rest in sleep?

Guru: In Brahman or the Absolute.

Disciple: Why does he not remember that he is resting in Brahman?

Guru: Because he is veiled by ignorance or Avidya

Disciple: What is the difference between deep sleep and Samadhi?

Guru: In Samadhi there is perfect awareness. The aspirant returns from Samadhi with the highest Divine Knowledge. But in deep sleep state there is no knowledge. Samadhi fries the seeds of rebirths, and bestows immortality and eternal bliss. But in deep sleep the Samskaras persist.

Disciple: Where does the Jiva rest during dream?

Guru: To the Hita-Nadi.

Disciple Where is the seat of the Jiva during the waking state?

Guru: In the right eye.

Disciple: Where does the Jiva rest in deep sleep?

Guru: In the heart. The mind gets Laya or involution in Karana Sarira or Ajnana. sleep?

Disciple: Into what Nadi does the mind enter in deep

Guru: In the state of deep sleep the mind enters into the seventy-two thousand Nadis named Hitas running from the heart and then enters into the Puritat and then reposes in Brahman, but it is not conscious of Brahman.

Disciple: How to transcend the three states?

Guru: Identify yourself with the Sakshi or the silent Witness of the three states (Kutastha).

Disciple: What is the nature of Brahman or Atman?

Guru: Brahman is Avasthatraya-Sakshi. He is silent Witness of the three states.

Disciple: What are the seven states of ignorance?

Guru: Bija-Jagrat, Jagrat, Maha-Jagrat, Jagrat-Svapna, Svapna, Svapna-Jagrat, Sushupti.

Disciple: What is Bija-Jagrat?

Guru: When one is not wholly engrossed in the objective consciousness of the world, when he is slightly touched by objectivity, in the beginning of evolution. he is in Bija-Jagrat.

Disciple: What is Jagrat?

Guru: When one is newly evolved from the Absolute, and has got the feeling of ego and mineness, he is in Jagrat.

Disciple: What is Maha-Jagrat?

Guru: When one by passing through many births, gets attached to the notion of 'I and 'mine' very intensely, he is said to be in the Maha-Jagrat.

Disciple: What is Jagrat-Svapna?

Guru: The state of fancy or imagination of the mind is called the state of Jagrat-Svapna.

Disciple: What is a Svapna?

Guru: The impression that something is really experienced during sleep, although it is not so, is called Svapna.

Disciple: What is Svapna-Jagrat?

Guru: That very experience of dream when it, due to several repetitions, becomes dense and intense like real wakeful-ness, is called Svapna-Jagrat.

Disciple: What is Sushupti?

don Guru: The unconscious state of existence, when none of these six states are experienced, when there is potential world-experience and suffering still present, is called Sushupti.

Disciple: What are the seven states of Jana?

Guru: Subheccha, Vicharana, Tanumanasi, Sattvapatti, Asamsakti, Padarthabhavana, Turiya.

Disciple: What is Subheccha?

Guru: When one feels that he is in ignorance and sincerely wishes to acquire spiritual knowledge, he is in Subheccha.

Disciple: What is Vicharana?

Guru: When one is convinced of the worthlessness of the world, and deeply ponders over the method of destroying ignorance and attaining spiritual knowledge, he is said to be in Vicharana.

Disciple: What is Tanumanasi?

Guru: When the mind becomes thin like a thread due to distaste for objects of the world and is intensely engrossed in the contemplation of the Soul, he is in Tanumanasi.

Disciple: What is Sattvapatti?

Guru: When the mind becomes pure (Sattvika) and is established in the Self due to prolonged contemplation, he is said to be in Sattvapatti.

Disciple: What is Asamsakti?

Guru: When one becomes completely detached from the objective world due to the knowledge of the Self, he is in Asamsakti.

Disciple: What is Padarthabhavana?

Guru: When one realises that things armhe world are not reGuru: Wal things but only the One brantian, he is said to be in Padarthabhavana.

Disciple: What is Turiya?

Guru: When one completely negates the manifold distinctions of the world and realises the Undivided (Akhanda) One Essence (Ekarasa), Satchidananda (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss), he is said to be in Turiya. This state of Turiya is called the state of Jivanmukti or liberation-while-in-life.

Disciple: What is Videhamukti?

Guru: This is the eighth state when individuality does not exist even in appearance (as in the case of Jivanmukti) and the individual becomes one with the Satchidananda Brahman just as rivers become one with the vast ocean losing all names and


Disciple: What is Jagrat-Svapna?

Guru: Everything is a dream for the thirsty aspirant who is endowed with discrimination. The world is a long dream (Deergha-Svapna). This is Jagrat-Svapna

Disciple: Why Jagrat is unreal or a long dream?

Guru: It does not exist either during dream or deep sleep. A real thing exists at all times. Atman or Brahman alone is real. It exists at all times. Jagrat is as unreal as dream. The only difference is that it is a long dream (Deergha Svapna).

Disciple: What is Jagrat-Sushupti?

Guru: Even in the waking state the sage is dead to the world as he is established in his own Satchidananda Svarupa.

This is Jagrat-Sushupti, also known as Jnana-Sushupti.

Disciple: What is Bindu-Jagrat?

Guru: When one is slightly tinged by objective consciousness but is not completely engrossed in it, it is Bindu-Jagrat.

Disciple: What is Svapna-Jagrat?

Guru: When one remembers the dream in the waking State, he is in Svapna-Jagrat. When one is conscious that he is dreaming, it is also Svapna-Jagrat.

Disciple: What are the basic Tattvas of this universe? fouru: There are twenty four principles (Tattvas). They are the five subtle elements, the puncianendriyas, the five Karmendriyas, the five Pranas, the mind, the intellect, the sub-conscious mind and the ego. From these are evolved the Pindanda (Microcosm) and the Brahmanda (Macrocosm).


Hari Om Tat Sat


Om Santi Santi Santi.


Book Two





[Being Questions set for the First Year Vedanta Examination in the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy, with the answers.]


1. Q. What is Anubandhachatushtaya?

A. This is the fourfold theme of Vedanta philosophy. The first is the discussion about the Adhikari or the fit student of Vedanta. The student should have the necessary qualifications of the Sadhanachatushtaya. The second is the discussion regarding the Vishaya or the main subject of the Vedanta. The subject treated of is Brahman or the Absolute. The third theme is Sambandha or the relation that exists between the subject-matter and the text, i.e., the coherent exposition of the subject. The fourth is Phala or the fruit of the study of Vedanta. The fruit hereof is Moksha or Liberation.


2. Q. In what way Karma and Upasana prepare the aspirant for Vedanta?

A. Karma is performance of one's own prescribed duty without the desire for any fruit therefrom. This removes the Mala or the impurity that is in the mind. Upasana is worship and contemplation of Saguna Brahman. This removes the Vikshepa or the tossing or the distraction present in the mind. Only after removing these two defects can one take up the study of the Vedanta in order to remove the last defect, viz.. Avarana or the veil of ignorance. meaning.


3. Q. Give the best definition of Brahman and explain its meaning.

A. The best definition of the nature of Brahman is

"Satchidananda". Sat is eternal existence. Chit is eternal and infinite consciousness. Ananda is eternal bliss. Existence, consciousness and bliss are really one and indicate the transcendental character of the Absolute.


4. Q. What is the difference between Maya and Avidya?

A. Maya is the cause, whereas Avidya is the effect. Maya qualifies Isvara but does not limit him. Maya is the Viseshana and not the constituent of Isvara's existence. But Avidya is an Upadhi, a limitation, which enters into the very constitution of the Jiva. Maya is Suddha Sattva, Avidya is Malina Sattva or Sattva mixed with Rajas and Tamas. Maya is cosmic, Avidya is individual. Maya allows cosmic consciousness in Isvara. But Avidya limits the Jiva to body-consciousness.


5. Q. What is true Vairagya?

A. True Vairagya is born of discrimination and not of mere failure in life. Real dispassion is the effect of the perception of the impermanence of things, the falsity of the existence of happiness in objects, the knowledge of the distinction between reality and appearance. This Vairagya goes even up to Brahma-Loka, the highest phenomenal manifestation, and discards it as defective as a dry straw. In other words, Vairagya is distaste for everything that is objective.


6. Q. What is Jahad-Ajahad-Lakshana? How is it applied in Vedanta?

A. This literally means "leaving and taking." For example, in a statement like "This is that Devadatta", the words "this" and "that", though in fact they signify immediate and remote objects respectively, are known to indicate one common person Devadatta. The differences denoted by the two adjectives are rejected in order to identify the single person called Devadatta. This illustration is applied in Vedanta to identify the essential meanings of the words "Tvam" and "Tat" in the declaration of the Upanishad "Tat Tvam Asi." The limitations characteristic of the Jiva and Isvara are discarded and the underlying substra-tum, namely, the one consciousness which is unlimited is taken up as the sole reality.


7. Q. What is Sravanachatushtaya?

A. This is the fourfold process of Self-realisation, beginning with Savana or hearing of the Vedantic Truth from the Guru, Manana or deep thinking and reflection over what is heard, Nididhyasana or profound meditation on the Self, and ending with Sakshatkara or realisation.


8. Q. Explain the theory of the evolution of the universe.

A. There is an indescribable power in Brahman called Mula-Prakriti. This consists of three Gunas or modes called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Originally it is in Samya-Avastha or the state of equilibrium. It divides itself into Maya, Avidya and Tamasi through the three modes respectively. Maya gives rise to Isvara, Hiranyagarbha and Virat. Avidya gives rise to the individual Jivas. Tamasi divides itself into Avarana and Vikshepa. Avarana is twofold, viz., Asattva Avarana and Abhana Avarana. The Vikshepa Sakti gives rise to the five Tanmatras, viz., Sabda, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasa and Gandha. The Antahkarana is formed of the collective totality of the Sattvic portion of these Tanmatras. The Prana is made up of the collective totality of the Rajasic portion of these Tanmatras. The Jnana Indriyas and the Karma Indriyas are respectively formed of the Sattvic and the Rajasic portions of these Tanmatras differently. The five gross elements, viz., sky, air, fire, water and earth are the effects of the quintuplication of the Tamasic portion of these Tanmatras. Thus is the creation of the universe.


9. Q What is Duhkha Parampara?

A. This is the genealogy of pain. The original cause of all troubles is Ajnana or ignorance. From Ajnana comes Aviveka or non-discrimination. From Aviveka comes Ahamkara or egoism. From Ahamkara arises Raga-Desha or love and hatred towards objects. Raga and Desha beget Karma or action guided by its parents. Karma causes Janma or birth and from birth as an embodied being arises pain. Hence the cause must be destroyed in order to destroy the effects.


10. Q. Why is not pain the essential nature of the Atman?

A. The essential nature of a thing is called Svabhava. Its existence is called Svarupa. We cannot separate Svabhava from Svarupa. If pain is the Svabhava of the Self, destruction of pain would mean the destruction of Svabhava itself, i.e., the destruction of the Atman or the Self! To destroy the sweetness of sugar, the sugar itself has to be destroyed. Because destruction of the Atman is an absurd idea, and because destruction of pain is the only purpose of all endeavours, pain cannot be the essential nature of the Atman.


11. Q. Prove that Sat, Chit and Ananda are one and that they indicate infinity.

A. Sat is existence. Existence has a value only when it is conscious, and consciousness can never be separated from existence, as we see from our own experience. Since pain is the effect of a want, and since want is absent in Brahman because of its secondlessness, bliss must be the nature of Brahman. To put it concisely, consciousness which is bliss exists. Satchidananda indicates infinity, because everything that is finite is perishable. Because Satchidananda is imperishable, it must be infinite.


12. Q. Show that Atman is different from the three states.

A. In the dreaming state the waking state is not experienced. Yet, one feels his existence in dream. Hence waking state is different from the Self. In the deep sleep state dream is not experienced. Yet, the Self does exist in deep sleep as testified by the remembrance of the nature of sleep later on. Hence, the Self is different from the dreaming condition. In sleep there is the awareness of the absence of everything. Nothingness is the object of the sleep-consciousness. This proves that the sleep-consciousness is unlimited. Unlimited consciousness must be objectless Self Consciousness. Since such an absolute consciousness exists, and since awareness of existence is antagonistic to ignorance, the ignorance experienced in sleep cannot be the Atman. Further, in Samadhi the Self is experienced as different from the sleeping state.


13. Q. In what way is knowledge of Brahman different from ordinary knowledge?

A. In ordinary knowledge there is the knowledge of something which is different from the knower. Hence this knowledge is not unlimited and therefore perishable. But knowledge of Brahman is eternal knowledge, which means the union of the knower and the known. This is called infinite knowledge, knowledge, not of something, but pure knowledge merely without an object of knowledge.


14. Q. Why Brahma-Jnana alone can bring about Moksha and there is no other way?

A. Moksha is the realisation of the existence of unlimited bliss. Anything short of the realisation of absoluteness is not Moksha. There is no other way of attaining this state than knowledge. Absoluteness cannot be achieved through individualistic striving and no kind of relationship can be developed with the Absolute, because every relation limits absoluteness. Hence the only way is knowledge of this eternal Fact, simple awareness, and not any other way, because it goes against absoluteness.


15. Q What are Adhyaropa and Apavada?

A. Adhyaropa is the superimposition of something unreal on something real. In Vedanta it is the superimposition of the world on Brahman. Apavada is the refutation of this ignorant hotion through Vichara or self-analysis and introspection based on Viveka or right discrimination between the Real Branman and the unreal appearance of the universe.


16. Q. What is (i) Paramarthika (li) Vyavaharika

Pratibhasika Satta?

A. Paramarthika Satta is absolute reality. From the human standpoint the deep-sleep state is Paramarthika Satta. Realy, this is the Turiya or the Atman. This state may be compared to the ocean. Vyavaharika Satta is relative reality or the world experienced in the waking condition. This state may be compared to the wave of an ocean. Pratibhasika Satta is apparent or illusory reality or the experience of the dreaming state. This may be compared to the foam arising from the wave of the ocean. Just as the foam is based on the wave and the wave on the ocean and the coolness of the ocean is seen in the wave and the foam also, the Paramarthika Satta is the basis of the other two and the nature of Satchidananda which belongs to this is seen in the other two also.


17. Q. What is (i) Samsayabhavana (ii) Asambhavana (iii) Viparitabhavana?

A. Samsayabhavana is the doubt whether the Atman described in the different sections of the Sruti is one or different. Asambhavana is the notion of the impossibility of the unreality of Jiva, Isvara and Jagat in the face of their clearly perceived difference. Viparitabhavana is the persistent idea that the world is real in spite of hearing the meaning of various arguments against it. These three defects are removed through Savana, Manana and Nididhyasana.


18. Q. What are Shad Lingas?

A. These are the six methods of ascertaining the meaning of a text. They are (i) Upakrama-Upasamhara-Ekavakyata Of the unity between the ideas expounded in the beginning and the end, (il) Abhyasa or repetition of an idea several times. (iii) Apurvata or the uncommon nature of the subject treated of, i., uniqueness of the subject, (iv) Arthavada or glorification of the fruit of the study and practice of what is expounded, (V) Upapatti or illustration or reasoning, (vi) Phala or the fruit of the treatment.


19. Q. What is (i) Purusha Tantra, (ii) Vastu Tantra? Explain these with reference to Vedanta.

A. Purusha Tantra is dependence on the subject of action. To see God or only stone in the image in a temple is left to the will of the person concerned. Hence it is called Purusha Tantra as it is based on the will of the subject. To see one moon or two moons is not left to the subject, because one cannot see two moons and proclaim that there are two moons simply because it is his will. Moon is one, though someone may wish that it must be two. Hence this is called Vast Tantra as it is dependent on the object itself and not on the percipient. Knowledge of Brahman is Vast Tantra because Brahman should be known as it really is and not as one likes. All other methods like Yoga and Upasana are Purusha Tantra because they are dependent on the caprice of the individual. Only Brahma Jana is free from such capriciousness.


20. Q. Why Karma is not antagonistic to Avidya?

A. Avidya is ignorance of Non-Duality and perception of duality. Karma is not possible without the perception of duality and hence it is not against Avidya


21. Q. Why Svarupa Jana cannot remove ignorance?

How, then, is ignorance destroyed?

A. Svarupa-Jnana is indivisible indifferent consciousness. It is not concerned with either the existence or the non-existence of ignorance. There is Svarupa-Jnana in deep sleep, but the destruction of ignorance is not effected in this state. Removal of ignorance is possible only by an active consciousness and hence only the waking state is useful for this purpose. The waking consciousness may itself be unreal when compared with the Absolute Consciousness, but to remove an unreal ignorance this unreal consciousness is sufficient.


22. Q. What is (i) Krama Srishti (il) Yugapat Srishti?

A. Krama Srishti is the progressive creation of the universe (Vide No. 8). Yugapat-Srishti is the sudden or simultaneous appearance of the universe. The former theory is expounded only for the sake of the ignorant people who cannot understand that the whole universe is an absolute unreality based sheerly on the ignorance of the true existence of the one undivided reality. The latter theory hold that there is no creation at all in reality, that the appearance of the universe is an absurdity like the tooth of a crow, and that the moment ignorance is destroyed by the assertion of the nature of Brahman everywhere, the whole universe will shine as the one Brahman.


23. Q. Prove that the Self exists in past, present and future.

A. The present body has come from previous action. And this previous action could not have been done by the present body since this body is the effect of that action. Hence a previous body must have existed. This same self must have performed that action previously through another body, for one cannot experience the effects of some other's action. That previous body must have come out of some other previous action done through some other body still and thus ad infinitum. Hence the self must have existed since eternity. The present actions will give rise to a future body. And this future effect is to be experienced by this very self. The actions performed by the future body must again be experienced in a further future. Thus the Self exists in the infinite future also. Hence the Self exists in past, present and future.


24. Q What are the seven Jana Bhumikas?

A. Subheccha or wishing to become good, Vicharana or the state of enquiry, Tanumanasi or the condition of the thinness of the mind, Sattvapatti or the attainment of the light and purity of Sattva, Asamsakti or the complete detachment from every object. Padartha-Abhavana or the non-perception of materiality in things, i.e., perception of the spirit or the essence of things, Turiya or the last state of Jivanmukti where the individual realises the Absolute, are the seven states of Jana.


25. Q. What is (i) Pramana Grantha (ji) Prameya Grantha?

A. Pramana Grantha is a text book which deals with the proofs of knowledge. It mainly consists of logic and argumenta-tion. Examples are Khandanakhandakhadya and Advalla Siddhi. Prameya Grantha is a text book which deals with the object of knowledge, viz,. God, Brahman or Atman. Examples are the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita.


26. Q. What is (i) Vritti Vyapti (ji) Phala Vyapti?

A. Vritti Vyapti is the pervasion of the psychosis or the mental modification over an object in the process of the perception of something external. Phala Vyapti is the pervasion of the effect or the consciousness of the self which follows the Vritti in the process of perception. In the case of internal cognitions, i.e., awareness of the mental modifications, Vritti Vyapti takes the form of remembrance or inference, because here no perception of an external object is necessary. In the case of Brahma-Jnana, however, there is no Phala-Vyapti, because Brahman does not require another light to illumine itself.


27. Q. Explain Asti, Bhati, Priya, Nama, Rupa.

A. Asti, Bhati and Priya are the characteristics of the Self which exists, shines and is dear. This is the same as Satchidananda. These are eternal characteristics which belong to infinite being. But Nama and Rupa are name and form which are only apparent and are the characteristics of the world which is perishable.


28. Q. What is Avaccheda Vada? What is Pratibimba Vada?

A. Avacchedavada is the theory of division or the doctrine of limitation. It holds that the Jivas are parts or limited portions of Ishwara. According to this theory it would mean that all the miserable experiences of the Jivas also must exist in Ishwara in a collective form. Hence the theory of Pratibimba or reflection was developed which says that the Jivas are reflections of Ishwara in the lakes of the minds, and hence the pains of the Jivas cannot affect Ishwara since a reflection cannot affect the original.


29. Q. What is the nature of Moksha?

A. Moksha is Atyantika-Duhkha-Nivritti or absolute cessation of pain and Paramananda-Prapti or attainment of supreme bliss.


30. Q. Quote four declarations of the Upanishads regarding the fruit of Vedantic Nididhyasana.

A. "Brahmavid Apnoti Param"-The knower of Brahman attains the Highest. "Brahmavid Brahma Eva Bhavati-the knower of Brahman becomes Brahman itself "Tarati Shokam Atmavit"-The knower of the Self crosses over sorrow. "Brahmasamstho Amritattvam Eti"- One who is established in

Brahman attains Immortality.


Om Tat Sat !


Book Three





1. What is Bandha (bondage)?

The Atman (the Self) which is the Lord superimposes the body etc., which are not-Self upon itself. This superimposition is the bondage of the self.


2. What is Moksha (liberation)?

The freedom from that superimposition is Moksha.


3. What is Avidya (ignorance)?

That which causes this superimposition is Avidya.


4. What is Vidya (knowledge)?

That by which this superimposition is removed is Vidya.


5. What are the states of Jagrat (waking,) Svapna (dreaming), Sushupti (deep sleep) and Turiya (the fourth state)?

That is the Jagrat state of the Atman when it perceives the gross objects as sound, etc., through the fourteen active organs, (viz., the five organs of knowledge, the five organs of action and the fourfold Antahkarana, i.e., Manas, Chitta, Buddhi and Ahankara) as Manas, etc., having the Sun, etc., as their presiding deities.

That is the Svapna state of the Atman when it perceives through the four organs (Antahkarana) associated with the Vasanas of the waking state, sound and other objects which are of the form of the Vasanas, even if (the gross) sound and the others do not exist (there).

That is the Sushupti state of the Atman when it does not have any special knowledge due to the cessation of the functions of the fourteen organs.

That is called the Turiya-consciousness where the Atman Ira witness of the existence of the three states, because of the (relative) existence of the three states, though it (the Atman) is in itself without the changes of existence and non-existence and where it is the undivided oneness (of consciousness.


6. What are the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas (sheaths)?

Annamaya Kosha is the combination of the substances formed by food. When the fourteen vital energies, Pranas (the forms of Vayu) and the rest function in the Annamaya Kosha, then it is called the Pranamaya Kosha. When the Atman connected with these two sheaths does the work of grasping objects like sound, etc., and does Sankalpa and other functions through the four organs of Manas and others, then it is called Manomaya Kosha.

When it (the Atman) in connection with these three sheaths knows their particular and general conditions, and thus shines, it is called Vijnanamaya Kosha.

When, like the banyan tree hidden in its seed, these four sheaths exist in their cause, ignorance, then it is called Anandamaya Kosha.



7. What are Karta (doer), Jiva (the individual), Panchavarga (the five groups), Kshetrajna (the knower of the field), Sakshi (the witness), Kutastha (the immutable) and Antaryamin (the inner controller)?

Karta (the doer) is the one who ends with the body and is based on the notion of pleasure and pain. The idea of pleasure is the attachment of the idea to the object of desire. The idea of pain is the attachment of the idea to the object of aversion. The causes of pleasure and pain are sound, touch, form, taste and smell.

That is called Jiva when it is limited by an adjunct and when it, following the course of virtuous and vicious actions, considers the body obtained in this manner as though not so obtained.


(1) Manas, etc., viz., Manas, Chitta, Buddhi and Ahankara, (2) Prana, etc., i.e., Prana, Apana, Vyana, Samana and Udana, (3) Sattva, etc., i.e., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, (4) Ichha, etc., i.e., Ichha, Dvesha, etc., (5) Punya, etc., i.e., Punya and Papa, etc., are the Panchavargas or the five groups.

Without the knowledge that the Atman is the Dharmi and these groups are only its Dharmas and that the Atman is different from all these, this ignorance (in the form of superimposition) cannot be destroyed. The subtle body which is the adjunct hon carman and which appears to be eternal on account of its proximity to the Atman is called the knot of the hear (Hridgranthi).

The Chaitanya (consciousness) which shines in it is called Kshetraina (the knower of the field or the body).

Sakshi (the witness) is that self-luminous principle which is aware of the appearance and disappearance of the knower.

Ine knowledge and the known, and which is itself without appearance and disappearance.

Then it (the Atman) is called Kutastha (the immutable) when it is found without difference in the minds of all creatures from Brahma down to ants, and when it exists in the minds (or Buddhis) of all creatures.

Then the Atman is called Antaryamin when it, existing as the cause of the perception of the essential nature of the differences of Kutastha and the like associated with the Upadhis, is invariably present and is shining in all bodies as a thread connecting a host of beads.


8. What is Pratyagatma (the inner self)?

Being free from all Upadhis, the Atman which is independent and shines like gold, a mass of consciousness, of the form of Chit alone, is the meaning of the word "vam" and is called the Pratyagatman or the inner self.


9. What is Paramatma?

Truth, knowledge, infinity, bliss is Brahman. That is true and imperishable. That is imperishable which does not perish with things which are involved in name, place, time and individuality (or form). That is called real. Knowledge is that consciousness which has no origin and destruction. Infinity is the consciousness which fills and pervades the universe beginning with the unmanifested as clay is present in modifications of clay, gold in modifications of gold, threads in effects of thread. Bliss is the consciousness-bliss, the ocean of unlimited bliss, the form of differenceless (unqualified) bliss. That is called Paramatma, the Para-Brahman, whose essential nature is this fourfold essence, which is constant in space, time and individualities, which is the meaning of the word "TAT."


10. What is Atman?

That is the Atman, the self-luminous, the sole existence, the meaning of the word "ASI", which is different from the meanings of the words "TVAM" and "TAT" as limited by adjuncts, which is all-pervading like ether, which is subtle and absolute.


11. What is Maya?

That which has no beginning but has an end, which is common to both right knowledge and wrong knowledge, which is not existent, not non-existent, not existent-and-non-existent, which has no change but which is the cause of change, which is non-existent when tried to be proved and established, which is existent when not thus investigated, and which is indefinable, is called Maya.




Om. Prostrations to the blissful (or auspicious) Guru, the embodiment of Satchidananda (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss), who transcends the world and who is the peaceful, Supportless (self-supported or that which is not in need of any support) Effulgence.


He who rests upon the Supportless (Niralamba, i.e., that which is not in need of any support) and abandons that which is supported (Salamba) is a Sanyasi and a Yogi; he attains the state of Kaivalya. For the cessation of all evils of these ignorant creatures, I shall, with due consideration, impart (the knowledge of) everything that is to be known.


1. What is Brahman?

That which appears as Mahat (cosmic intelligence), Ahamkara (egoism), earth, water, fire, air and ether, constituting the great form of the universal egg (Brahmanda), and as action, knowledge and its object, which is secondless, free from all adjuncts, filled with all power, beginningless and endless, called variously as pure, blessed (or blissful), peaceful, attributeless and the like, which is (essentially) inexpressible (and indefinable), -that Consciousness (Chaitanya) is Brahman.


2. What is Ishwara?

Brahman alone, when it, working with its power called Prakriti, creates worlds, enters them and as the Inner Controller (Antaryamin) controls the Buddhis and Indriyas of Brahma and others, is (called) Ishwara.


3. What is Jiva?

(This Ishwara himself is) the Jiva when he appears through the names and forms of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Indra and others and falsely superimposes upon himself (these names and forms) with the idea "I am gross". That (Ishwara), the self, though one, appears as many Jivas on account of the differences in the causes originating the bodies.


4. What is Prakriti?

The power of Brahman itself, manifesting as the intellect (cosmic and individual) having the ability to create, on the basis of Brahman, variegated wonderful worlds, is Prakriti


5. What is Paramatma?

Brahman alone, as it is far superior to body, etc.,

Paramatma (the Supreme Self).


6. What is Brahma?

7. What is Vishnu?

8. What is Rudra?

9. What is Indra?

10. What is Yama?

11. What is Surya?

12. What is Chandra?

13. What are Suras?

14. What are Asuras?

15. What are Pishachas?

16. What are men?

17. What are women?

18. What are beasts, etc.?

19. What is the stationary?

20. What are Brahmanas, etc.?

That (Brahman itself) is Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Indra, Yama, Surya, Chandra, Suras (gods), Asuras (demons), Pishachas (lower spirits), men, women, beasts, etc., the stationary, and Brahmanas, etc. All this is verily Brahman. There is nothing diverse here.


21. What is Jati (Caste)?

Caste does not pertain to skin, blood, flesh or bone. There is no caste for the Atman. Caste is only a creation of convention.


22. What is Karma (action)?

That alone is Karma which is done through the organs of action with the self-ascription "I do the actions." (The meaning is that an action is an action only when it is predicated of the Atman).


23. What is Akarma (bad action)?

The performance of the obligatory actions, optional actions, sacrifices and austerities and observance of vows, giving gifts, etc., with a desire for the fruits of these which, on account of being done with the egoism of agency, enjoyership, etc., cause bondage, birth, etc., constitutes Akarma (bad action).


24. What is Jnana (Knowledge)?

The direct realisation and experience, through the control of the body and senses, worship of a good preceptor, hearing the truths, contemplation and profound meditation thereon, of the fact that except the consciousness which is of the form of the seer and the seen, which is in everything, which is equal in all, which is not changing like pot, cloth, and such objects, which is in things that change, there is nothing at all, is Jana (knowledge).


25. What is Ajnana (ignorance)?

As there is the deluded perception of the snake in the rope, the superimposition imagined, on account of the differences of the adjuncts of gods, beasts, human beings, the immovable, women, men, orders of life, bondage, freedom, etc., of many Atmans on the secondless, the omnipresent, the all-including Brahman, is ignorance.


26. What is Sukha (pleasure)? edit hre lemois

That alone is Sukha which is the establishment in the state of bliss with the consciousness of the essential nature of Satchidananda (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss).


27. What is Duhkha (pain)?

That alone is pain which is the Sankalpa (willing) of objects, which is not-Self in nature.


28. What is Swarga (heaven)?

Company of (or association with) the good and the wise or pure Existence is Swarga.


29. What is Narka (hell)?

Association with sensually minded people reveling in the evil or illusion of Samsara is Narka.


30. What is Bandha (bondage)?

That thought "I am born" and such others caused by the Vasanas of the beginningless ignorance is bondage.

The thought of the veils of Samsara as mineness in father, mother, brother, wife, children, house, gardens, fields, etc. is bondage.

The thought of egoistic agency, etc., is bondage.

The thought generated by desire for the eight Siddhis like

Anima and the like is bondage.

The thought of desire for worship of gods, men, etc., is bondage.

The thought of Yoga with the eight limbs like Yama, etc., is bondage.

The thought of Karmas and duties pertaining to caste and order of life is bondage.

The thought that command, fear, doubt, etc., are attributes of the Atman is bondage.

Bondage is caused by the thought of the knowledge of the rules and methods of sacrifices, vows, austerities, gifts, etc.

The mere thought of the desire for Moksha is bondage.

Mere thought is the cause of bondage.


31. What is Moksha (liberation)?

The destruction of the bondage of mineness in all properties and objects causing pleasure and pain in this impermanent Samsara, through the enquiry into and the discrimination between the Eternal and the perishable entities is Moksha.


32. Who is Upasya (fit to be worshipped)?

The Guru who takes one to the Brahman-consciousness present in all bodies is fit to be worshipped.


33. Who is a Sishya (disciple)?

The Brahman alone which remains as the consciousness in which the universe which has been dispelled through knowledge is absorbed is the Sishya.


34. Who is Vidwan (knower)?

The knower of the essence of the consciousness of his own Self existing within everything is a Vidwan.


35. Who is a Mudha (ignorant)?

He who is mounted on the feeling of egoistic doership, etc., is a Mudha.


36. What is Asura (demoniacal)?

The austerity performed in the form of fasting, Japa, Agnihotra-sacrifice, etc., tormenting the inner self with extremely fearful craving, hatred, injury, vanity, etc., involved therein, for the sake of fulfilling the desire for the wealth of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Indra, etc., is Asura.


37. What is Tapas (austerity)?

The burning of the seed of thought generated due to the desire for the wealth of Brahma, etc., through the fire of the direct realisation of the fact that Brahman alone is real and that the universe is unreal is Tapas.


38. What is Paramapada (the supreme abode)?

The state of Brahman which is eternally free and is the essence of Satchidananda (Existence-Knowledge-Bliss), which is greater than the Gunas (qualities) the Pranas, the senses, the internal organ, etc., is the supreme abode (Paramapada).


39. What is Grahya (fit to be accepted)?

The essence of mere consciousness which is free from the limitations of space, time and objectness is what is to be accepted (Grahya).


40. What is Agrahya (not to be accepted)?

The thought of the reality of the world which is visible to the senses and the intellect produced by Maya which is other than one's essential nature is what is not to be accepted (Agrahya).


41. Who is a Sanyasi (ascetic)?

Who, having renounced all Dharmas, being free from mineness and egoism, taking refuge in Brahman which is desirable, having the firm conviction "I am Brahman alone", through the knowledge and experience of the meaning of the great dicta "That thou art," "I am Brahman", "All this indeed is Brahman," "There is nothing diverse here," and the like, moves independent as an ascetic in the state of Nirvikalpa-Sam-adhi, he is the Sanyasi, he is the liberated, he is the worshipful, he is the Yogi, he is the Paramahamsa, he is the Avadhuta, he is the Brahmana.

He, who studies, through the grace of the Guru, this Niralambopanishad, is pure like fire, pure like air. He does not come here again; he does not come here again. He is not born again; he is not born again. Thus is the Upanishad.


Om Tat Sat!


Book Four





The Prakriyas or the different categories in the Philosophy of Vedanta are the fundamental rudimentary principles with which its ethics and metaphysics are built up. They take into account both the Unmanifest and the manifest, Brahman, Maya, Isvara, Jiva and the universe. The nature of the Reality, the characteristics of the phenomenal appearance and the constitution of the individual self are the main themes of Vedantic discussion.


Sri Sankaracharya says that one must possess the fourfold qualification of Sadhana before entering into the study of Tattva-Bodha or the Knowledge of the Vedantic Categories and the Nature of the Atman. Sincere aspirants who have an ardent aspiration, faith, perseverance and purity of conscience will find a way of self-transformation through this knowledge. A thorough understanding of these different categories is necessary before starting to study the actual philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta which abounds with severe logic and penetrating reasoning over the eternal verities of existence.




1. There are twenty-four Tattvas or Principles of the manifestation of Mula Prakriti:

The five Tanmatras or rudimentary principles of the elements: Sabda (sound), Sparsha (touch), Rupa (form or colour), Rasa (taste), Gandha (smell).

The five Jnana-Indriyas or organs of perception: Shrotra (ear), Tvak (skin), Chakshu (eye), Jihva (tongue), Ghana (nose).

The five Karma-Indriyas or organs of action: Vak (speech), Pani (hand), Pada (feet), Upastha (genital), Payu (anus).

The five Pranas or vital forces: Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana.

The fourfold Antahkarana or the internal organ:

Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta (memory or subconscious), Ahamkara (egoism).


2. There are three bodies or Shariras: Sthoola-Sharira (gross physical body), Sukshma or Linga-Sharira (subtle body), Karana-Sharira (causal body).


3. There are five Koshas or sheaths covering the Jiva:  Annamaya (food sheath), Pranamaya

(vital sheath), Manomaya (mental sheath), Vijnanamaya (intellectual sheath),

Anandamaya (bliss-sheath).


4. There are six Bhava-Vikaras or modifications of the body:  Asti (existence), Jayate (birth), Vardhate (growth), Viparinamate (change), Apakshiyate (decay), Vinashyati (death).


5. There are five gross elements:  Akasha (sky), Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Apas (water), Prithivi (earth).


6. There are five Upa-pranas or subsidiary vital airs: Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta, Dhananjaya.


7. There are six Urmis or waves (of the ocean of Samsara):  Shoka (grief), Moha (confusion or delusion), Kshut (hunger), Pipasa (thirst), Jara (decay or old age), Mrityu (death).


8. There are six Vairis or enemies:  Kama (passion), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (infatuation or delusion or confusion), Mada (pride), Matsarya (jealousy).


9. Maya is twofold: Vidya (knowledge), Avidya (ignorance)


10. Vidya or knowledge is twofold: Para (higher), Apara(lower).


11. Avasthas or states of consciousness are three: Jagrat (waking), Svapna (dreaming), Sushupti (deep sleep).


12. Shaktis are two: Avarana (veil), Vikshepa (distraction).


13. Jnana-Bhumikas or degrees of knowledge are seven: Subheccha, Vicharana, Tanumanasi, Sattvapatti, Asamsakti, Padartha-Abhavana, Turiya.


14. Ajnana-Bhumikas or degrees of ignorance are seven: Bia-Jagrat, Jagrat, Maha-Jagrat, Jagrat-Svapna, Svapna, Svapna-Jagrat, Sushupti.


15. Sadhana is fourfold: (a) Viveka (discrimination); (b) Vairagya (dispassion); (c) Shad-Sampat (six virtues)-() Shama (tranquillity of mind), (il) Dama (self-restraint or control of the senses), (i) Uparati (cessation from worldly activity), (iv) Titiksha (fortitude or power of endurance), (V) Shraddha (faith in God, Guru, Scriptures and Self), (vi) Samadhana (concentration or one-pointedness of mind); (d) Mumukshuttva (yearning for liberation).


16. The nature of Atman or Brahman is threefold: Sat (ex-istence), Chit (consciousness), Ananda (bliss).


17. The Granthis or knots of the heart are three: Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire), Karma (action).


18. The defects of the Jiva are three: Mala (impurity), Vikshepa (distraction), Avarana (veil of ignorance).


19. The Vrittis or modes of the mind are two:

Vishayakara-Vritti (objective psychosis), Brahmakara-Vritti (In-finite Psychosis).


20. Gunas or qualities of Prakriti are three: Sattva (light and purity), Rajas (activity and passion), Tamas (darkness and inertia).


21. The Puris or cities consisting the subtle body are eight: Jnana-Indriyas, Karma-Indriyas, Pranas, Antah-karana, Tanmatras, Avidya, Kama, Karma.


22. Karmas are three: Sanchita, Prarabdha, Agami.


23. The nature of a thing is fivefold: Asti, Bhati, Priya, Nama, Rupa.


24. Bhedas or differences are three: Svagata, Sajatiya, Vijatiya.


25. Lakshanas or definitions of the nature of Brahman are two: Svarupalakshana, Tatasthalakshana.


26. Dhatus or constituents of the body are seven: Rasa, (chyle), Asra (blood), Mamsa (flesh), Meda (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (marrow), Shukra (semen).


27. There are four states of the Jnani: Brahmavit, Brahmavidvara, Brahmavidvariyan, Brahmavidvarishtha.


28. Anubandhas or matters of discussion (themes) in Vedanta are four: Adhikari (fit aspirant). Vishaya (subject), Sambandha (connection), Prayojana (fruit or result).


29. Lingas or signs of a perfect exposition of a text are six:

(i) Upakrama-Upasamhara-Ekavakyata: Unity of thought in the beginning as well as in the end: (ii) Abhyasa (reiteration or repetition); (ili) Apurvata (novelty or uncommon nature of the proof); (iv) Phala (fruit of the teaching); (V) Arthavada (eulogy. praise or persuasive expression): (vi) Upapatti or Yukti (illustration or reasoning).


30. Bhavanas or imaginations of the mind are three:

Samshaya-bhavana (doubt), Asambhavana (feeling of impossibility), Viparita-bhavana (perverted or wrong thinking).


31. Malas or impurities of the mind are thirteen: Raga, Dvesha, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya, Irsha, Asuya, Dambha, Darpa, Ahamkara


32. Kleshas or worldly afflictions are five: Avidya, (igno-rance), Asmita (egoism), Raga (love), Dvesha (hatred), Abhinivesha (clinging to body and earthly life).


33. Tapas or sufferings are three: Adhidaivika, Adhibhautika, Adhyatmika.


34. Pramanas or proofs of knowledge are six: Pratyaksha (perception), Anumana (inference), Upamana (comparison), Agama (scripture), Arthapatti (presumption), Anupalabdhi (non-apprehension).


35. Minds are two: Ashuddha (impure), Shuddha (pure).


36. Meditations are two: Saguna, Nirguna.


37. Muktas are two: Jivanmukta, Videhamukta.


38. Muktis are two: Krama-Mukti, Sadyo-Mukti


39. Samadhis are two: Savikalpa, Nirvikalpa.


40. Jnana is twofold: Paroksha (indirect), Aparoksha (direct).


41. Prakriti is twofold: Para, Apara.


42. Apara Prakriti is eightfold: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether, Mind, Intellect, Egoism.


43. Prasthanas or the regulated texts of Vedanta are three: Upanishads (Shruti), Brahmasutras (Nyaya), Bhagavad Gita (Smriti).


44. There are two varieties of Granthas or Texts:

Pramana-Granthas, Prameya-Granthas. The texts are again divided into twO sections: Prakriya-Granthas and Shastra-Granthas.


45. Eshanas or desires are three: Daraishana (desire for wife), Vittaishana (desire for wealth), Lokaishana (desire for this world and the other world).


46. Species of beings are four: Jarayuja (born of womb), Andaja (born of egg), Svedaja (born of sweat), Udbhija (born of earth).


47. The sentinels to the door of salvation are four: Shanti (peace), Santosha (contentment), Vichara (enquiry or ratiocination), Satsanga (company of the wise).


48. States of the mind are five: Kshipta (distracted), Mudha (dull), Vikshipta (slightly distracted), Ekagra (concentrated), Niruddha (inhibited).


49. Gates of the body are nine: Two ears, two eyes, mouth, nose, navel, genital, anus.


50. Avarana-Sakti is twofold: Asattva-Avarana, Abhana-Avarana.


51. Vikshepa-Shakti is threefold: Kriyashakti, Icchashakti, Jnanashakti.


52. Satta or existence is of three varieties: Paramarthika (absolutely real), Vyavaharika (phenomenal), Pratibhasika (ap-parent or illusory).


53. Knowledge is of two varieties: Svarupajnana (knowledge of the essential nature), Vrittijnana (psychological or intellectual knowledge).


54. Obstacles to Samadhi are four: Laya (torpidity), Vikshepa (distraction), Kashaya (attachment), Rasasvada (enjoyment of objective happiness).


55. The nature of the cosmic (Samashti) person (Isvara) is threefold: Virat, Hiranyagarbha, Ishvara.


56. The nature of the individual (Vyashti) person (Jiva) is threefold: Vishva, Taijasa, Prajna.


57. Cognition is effected through two factors: Vritti-Vyapti (pervasion of the psychosis), Phala-Vyapti (pervasion of the result or consciousness).


58. The meaning of the Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakyas is two-fold: Vachyartha (literal meaning), Lakshyartha (indicative meaning).


59. Vedantic enquiry is practised through the methods of: Anvaya-Vyatireka, Atadvyavritti,

Neti-neti doctrine, Adhyaropa-Apavada, Nyayas (illustrations), etc.


60. The meaning of the great dictum Tat-Tvam-Asi is ascertained through the considerations of Jahad-ajahallakshana or Bhagatyaga-lakshana, Samanadhikarana, Visheshana-visheshyabhava, Lakshya-lakshanasambandha.


61. The important Vadas in Vedanta are: Vivartavada, Ajativada, Drishti-Srishtivada, Srishti-Drishtivada, Avacchedavada, Pratibimbavada, Ekajivavada, Anekajivavada, Abhasavada.


62. Vedantic Contemplation is threefold: Sravana, Manana, Nididhyasana.





(Discrimination between the Seer and the Seen)


[This is otherwise known as Vakya-Sudha. This is a very useful book on Vedanta for aspirants. This was written by Sankaracharya. Some say that Swami Vidyaranya is the author. There is a beautiful description of six kinds of

Samadhi in this book.]


1. The form is the seen (Drisya) and the eye its seer (the Drik). Again, the eye is Drisya (the seen) and the mind its drik (the seer). Then again the mind with its Vrittis (modifications) is the seen (Drisya) and the Sakshi (witness), Atma, is in truth the Seer. But this Seer (the witness Atma) is not seen by any other.


2. The forms appear variegated because of such differences in them as blue, yellow, gross, subtle, short, long, etc. But these are perceived by the eye, itself remaining one and the same.


3. The mind perceives the Dharmas or characteristics of the eye such as blindness, dull vision and acuteness because it is one. This is applicable also to the senses of hearing, touching, etc. (i.e., the mind perceives them as one).


4. Consciousness, because It is one, illumines (cognizes) the different mental states (Mano-dharmas) such as desire, resolve, doubt, faith, non-faith, firmness, unfirmness, modesty, understanding, fear and others.


5. Nor does it undergo any decay. This (being self-luminous), illuminates everything else without any extraneous help whatsoever.


6. Buddhi (intellect) seems to be endowed with light (intelligence) because of the entry of the reflection of consciousness (Chidabhasa or Chitchaya) in it. The Buddhi is of two kinds: One is called Ahamkara (Egoism or "*-ness) and the other is named Antahkarana (Manas or mind).



7. It is like the identity of the fire and the red-hot iron bail that the ego (Ahamkara) and the Chidabhasa (the reflection of intelligence) have become identical (or one and the same). The body, being connected with that Ahamkara (which mistakes the body for the real Self) and thereby getting identified with it, is regarded as a sentient being (appears sentient, though Jada or non-sentient in reality).


g. The identification of the Ahamkara with Chidabhasa (reflection of consciousness) is termed Sahaja (natural); with the body it is termed Karmaja (born of Karma); and with the Sakshi (witness) it is termed Bhrantija (born of illusion or misconception or nescience), and thus it is of three kinds.


9. There is no annihilation of the Sahaja-identification so long as there is the notion of reality (cherished in regard to them). The other two identifications, viz., Karmaja and Bhrantija disappear after the exhaustion of the fruits of Karma and attainment of knowledge of Brahman respectively.


10. In deep sleep when Ahamkara gets dissolved, the body also becomes unconscious (Achetana). When there is half expression of Ahamkara it is termed dream state (Swapna-avastha). When there is full expression of Ahamkara, that state is termed as waking consciousness (Jagrat-avastha).


11. The Anatahkaran-Vritti having identified itself with Chidabhasa, creates (through the aid of Poorva Vasanas) (the inner world of ) Vasanas in dream and the (external world of) objects outside in the waking state, in conjunction with the senses.


12. The Linga Sarira (astral body) which is the material cause of the mind and egoism is one and insentient. It experiences the three states (viz., waking, dreaming and sleeping), and it is born and also dies.


13. In Maya undoubtedly exist two powers, namely, Vikshepa Shakti (projecting power) and Avarana Shakti (veiling power. The projecting power (Vikshepa Shakti) creates the (whole) universe from the subtle body (Linga Sarira) to the (gross) Brahmanda.


14. Creation is the manifestation of all names and forms in the Being of Sat-Chit-Ananda which is the essential nature of Brahman, like foams, etc., in the ocean.


15. The other power (Avarana Shakti) veils the difference between the seer and the seen inside and the difference between Brahman and the external universe outside. This (Shakti) is the cause of Samsara.


16. The astral body (Linga Sarira), on account of the entrance of the reflection of consciousness in it, shines, in conjunction with the (gross) body, before the Sakshi (Witness-Self) and appears as the Vyavaharika Jiva (phenomenal self or individual).


17. The nature of this empirical self (Jivatva) appears because of false superimposition (due to the projecting power of Maya), even in the Sakshi (the witness). When the difference (between the perceiver and the perceived) becomes vivid as soon as the veiling power vanishes, the Jiva nature of the Sakshi also vanishes (along with it).


18. Likewise (as in the case of the witness and the object), on account of the veiling power (of Maya) that hides the distinction between (the real nature of) Brahman (without any attributes whatsoever) and the phenomenal universe, Brahman appears as a modification as it were.


19. Here also when the Avarana Shakti disappears, the distinction between Brahman and the world becomes vivid. And so modification (names and forms) is seen in the universe, but not in Brahman even in the least.


20. The five aspects or parts (which constitute every object) are Sat-Chit-Ananda-(Asti-bhati-priya)-Namarupa

(name-and-form). Of these the first three are the characteristics of Brahman and the next two are of the phenomenal universe.


21. The essences of Sat-Chit-Ananda

are undifferentiatedly common (or the same) in (all the five elements) ether, air, fire, water and earth and in gods, animals, men, etc. But the names and forms differ (in different beings).


22. Therefore making oneself indifferent to names and forms and being devoted to Sat-Chit-Ananda, one should always practise Samadhi either within, in the heart or without.


23. The Samadhi that is to be practised (within, in the heart) is of two kinds, viz., Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa. Again Savikalpa (Samadhi) is of two kinds, viz., Drishyanuviddha (when it is associated with an object) and Shabdanuviddha (when it is connected with a sound).


24. One should meditate on the consciousness as the witness of the modifications of the mind such as desire, etc. which are to be regarded as perceivable objects. This is (inner) antar-Drishyanuviddha-Savikalpa-Samadhi.


25. I am Asanga (unattached), Sat-Chit-Ananda, self-luminous, free from duality. (Advaita Swaroopa). This is Antah-Shabdanuviddha-Savikalpa-Samadhi.


26. That steady state of mind like the unflickering flame of a light kept in a place free from wind wherein one gets indifferent to both objects and sounds owing to his total merging in the experience of the essence (realisation) of his own real Self (Brahman) is termed Antar-Nirvikalpa-Samadhi.


27. As within, in the heart, outside in space too, the first (variety of) Samadhi consists in the separation of names and forms from the Sat-Vastu (Brahman) in any external object whatsoever (that is perceived). This is termed Bahir-Drishyanuviddha-Savikalpa-Samadhi.


28. The uninterrupted reflection that the essence, the Sat-Chit-Ananda Vast is the one undivided essence, is the middle kind of Samadhi (or



29. (By the practice and experience of the above two kinds of Samadhi) that steady state of mind produced owing to the realisation of bliss (like the ocean without waves) as before (in Antar-Nirvikalpa) is called the third kind (of Samadhi or Bahir-Nirvikalpa-Samadhi). One should always spend his time in these six kinds of Samadhi.


30. (By these Samadhis) when the identification with the body vanishes and the Highest Self is realised, the mind is always in Samadhi, wherever (or to whatever place) and to whatever object it directs itself (or runs on).


31. When He who is high and low (creator and the created) is realised the knot of the heart (consisting of ignorance, desire, etc.) is cut asunder, all doubts are cleared and all Karmas perish.


32. Avachchinna (limited), Chidabhasa (reflection of consciousness) and the third Swapnakalpita (the imagined consciousness as in dream) are to be understood as the three views about the Jiva. Among them the first one is the Paramarthika (real nature of the Jiva).

(Note: This is one view and does not constitute the final declaration of Vedanta).


33. Limitation is unreal (imagined). But that which appears to be limited (Brahman) is real. In that (Brahman) on account of superimposition the Jivatva appears, but the essential reality is Brahmatva (Being of Brahman).


34. The Vedic sentences such as "Tat Twam Asi" (That Thou Art) pronounce the identity with the unconditioned Brahman of the Avachchinna-jiva (Paramarthika) and not of the other two kinds of Jiva.


35. Maya which is (Anadi-kalpita-bhava-rupa) in Brahman and which is endowed with both the projecting and veiling powers conceals the indivisibility in Brahman and creates the universe and the Jiva (therein).


36. The Chidabhasa seated in the intellect becomes the actor and enjoyer and so is called Jiva. And all these that consist of elements and their products, which form the objects of enjoyment, are termed Jagat (world).


37. These two have only relative or empirical existence from time immemorial till one gets liberation. Therefore both are empirical in their nature.


38. Nidra-Shakti or sleep that exists in the Chidabhasa and is endowed with the projecting and veiling powers conceals the Jiva and the world first and then again creates them afresh (in dream).


39. These two (Jiva in dream and the dream-world) are illusory because they exist during dream-experience only and no one after waking up sees those objects when he dreams again.


40. The Pratibhasika (illusory) Jiva thinks that the dream-world is real but the other, the Vyavaharika-Jiva (the empirical self (knows that the dream experience) as unreal.


41. The empirical self (the Vyavaharika-Jiva) takes this empirical world to be real but the Paramarthika-Jiva (the witness self) knows it to be unreal.


42. But the Paramarthika-Jiva knows that its identity with Brahman (alone) is real. It does not see any other. If at all it sees (the other) it knows it to be illusory.


43, 44. Just as sweetness, liquidity and coldness, the characteristics of water, appear as inherent in the waves, and then also in the foams (of which the waves form the background), so also Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence, Knowledge and Bliss) which are the natural characteristics of the Sakshi seem to inhere in the Vyavaharika-jiva because of its relation with the Sakshi and likewise in the Pratibhasika-jiva also through the Vyavaharika-jiva.


45, 46. Just as on the disappearance of foam, its characteristics such as liquidity, etc., exist in the wave, and again as with the merging of the wave these exist in water as before, so also Sat, Chit and Ananda exist and shine after the disappearance (or vanishing away) of Pratibhasika-Jiva (with all its characteristics) in the Vyavaharika-jiva and then again, on the dissolution of the Vyavaharika-Jiva (with all its characteristics in the Sakshi or the witness) (they) merge in the Sakshi (Witness Self or Brahman).


Book Six







1. This (brochure called) Atma-Bodha, Knowledge of the Self, is written for the sake of those whose sins have been destroyed by penances and who are calm and free from attachment and who seek after Moksha (emancipation).


Means for Moksha


2. When compared with other means, Bodha (Knowledge of the Self) is the only direct means to freedom. As cooking is not possible without fire, so is emancipation not possible without Knowledge of the Self.


3. Karma (i.e., rituals) cannot destroy ignorance, because they (two) are not hostile to each other. But Knowledge certainly destroys ignorance, as light destroys the thickest darkness.


4. The Self appears to be finite on account of ignorance. But when the ignorance is dispelled, that one absolute (Atma) shines by its own light, like the sun when the clouds are dispelled.


5. Making pure through the practice of knowledge the Jiva which is impure on account of ignorance, knowledge itself dies (with ignorance) as the particles of the clearing nut (precipitate) in water.


Nature of the World


6. (This) Samsara (sense-universe) which is filled with love, hatred, etc., is really like a dream. It appears to be real so long as one is involved in it, but when one awakes by acquiring true knowledge, it becomes unreal.


7. Like silver in the mother-of-pearl, this world appears to be real so long as the All-supporting, immutable Brahman (the Absolute) is not realised.


8. Just as bubbles rise from, exist and dissolve in water, so also worlds rise from, exist and dissolve in the supreme Lord who is the material cause (of everything) and the support of evervthing.


9. On the eternal Vishnu (who is all-pervading or omni-present), who is in everything, the Satchidananda Swaroopa Atma, all these diverse appearances are superimposed like bracelets, etc., on gold.


10. Hrishikesha, who is all-pervading like Akasa, possessing various limiting adjuncts, appears to be different (many) on account of differences in the limiting conditions, but is really one when the limiting conditions are destroyed.


11. Just as taste, colour and other distinctions are superimposed on water, so also caste, name, order of life, etc., are superimposed on the Atma on account of various limiting conditions.


Sthula Sarira- Gross body


12. (Sthula) Sarira is that which is made up of the fivefold compounds of the great elements, which is acquired as the result of (past) actions and which is the seat of the enjoyment of pleasure and pain.

Sukshma Sarira- Subtle Body b a


13. The subtle body (Sukshma Sarira) which consists of the five Pranas, mind, intellect and the ten senses, and which is made up of the uncompounded elements (Apanchikrita) is the instrument of experiencing pleasure and pain.


14. The beginningless ignorance which is indescribable is called the causal body (seed-body) or Karana Sarira. One should understand the Atman as distinct from these three bodles (Upadhis or limiting adjuncts).


15. The pure Atman, by the contact with the five sheaths etc., appears to put on their respective qualities just as a crystal (reflects blueness, etc.) by coming in contact with blue cloth and the like.


16. One should separate the grain of the pure, inner Atman involved in the husk of the sheaths like the body, etc., by the threshing of reason (Yukti), as rice (is separated from the husk outside).


17. Although the Atman exists at all times and in all ob-jects, yet it does not shine in everything. It shines in the intellect (Buddhi) alone just as a reflection manifests in polished things.


18. Know that the Atman is always like a king, distinct from the body, organs, mind, intellect and Prakriti, the witness of their activities.


Adhyasa (Superimposition)


19. Just as the moon appears to be running when the clouds move, so also the Atman seems to be active to the non-discriminating, while in truth, the organs alone are working (busy or engaged or active).


20. The body, organs, mind and intellect perform their respective functions by depending on the consciousness of the Atman just as men (carry on their activities by depending on) the light of the sun.


21. Just as they (people) attribute blue colour to the sky, so also they attribute on account of indiscrimination the qualities and activities of the body and the organs to the pure, Satchidananda Atman.


22. Just as the motion, etc., of water is superimposed on the reflection of the moon in the water, so also agency, etc., that belongs to the limiting adjunct, the mind, is superimposed, on account of ignorance, on the Atman.


23. Passion, desire, happiness, misery, etc., exercise their functions (during waking and dreaming states) only when the intellect is present and are not present in deep sleep when intellect is absent. They, therefore, belong to the intellect and not to the Atman.


24. As light is the essential nature of the sun, coldness of water, heat of fire, so are Satchidananda (Existence, Knowledge, Bliss) Nityatva (eternity) and Nirmalatva (purity) the essential nature of the Self.


Adhyasa (Superimposition)


25. (Egoism and the idea 'I know' crop up by indiscriminately mixing up the Sat-chit aspect of the Atma with the functioning of the intellect.


26. Atman has no Vikara (modification or change); the intellect has no knowledge; and yet, the Jiva (individual soul ignorantly imagines that it is the perfect knower, doer and observer of everything.


27. One is subject to fear by mistaking himself to be the Jiva or individual soul, just as a rope is mistaken for a serpent. But if he realises, "I am not Jiva (the individual soul)", but "I am Paramatma (the supreme Self", then he is free form fear.


28 The Atman alone illumines the intellect, senses, etc., just as a light illumines the pot and other objects; but the Atman is not illumined by these which are insentient (intellect, mind, senses, etc.)


29. Just as one light does not require the help of another light to make itself known, since it illuminates itself, so also the Atman, whose very nature is knowledge itself, does not depend for a knowledge of itself on any other knowledge.


Neti-Neti Doctrine


30. One should realise the identity (or oneness) of the individual soul and Supreme Soul (Jiva-Brahma-Aikyata) by means of the Mahavakyas (great sentences of the Upanishads), after eliminating all limiting adjuncts (Upadhis like mind, Buddhi, senses, Prana, body, etc.) with the help of (the Sruti) Vakya. 'not-this' 'not-this' (Neti-Neti).


31. The body and other objects of perception are the imaginary products of ignorance and are perishable as the bubbles. The Atman that is pure and distinct from these should be known as 'I am Brahman.'


32. As I am distinct from the body (which is Jada and Drishya, i.e., insentient and perceptible by the eyes), birth, old age, decay, death, etc., are not for me. As I am distinct from the senses, sound and other objects of sense have no connection with me.


33. I am not the mind, and therefore grief, desire, hatred, fear, etc., are not for me; for the Srutis (scriptures) declare that the Atman is without Prana and mind, and is pure.


34. I am without attributes, without function, eternal, doubtless, spotless, changeless, formless, eternally free and pure.


35. Like ether, I pervade everything, inside and outside. I am unchanging, ever the same (eternally homogeneous), pure, unattached, taintless and motionless.


36. I am that Supreme Brahman alone which is eternal, pure, free, the one undivided secondless bliss, truth, consciousness and infinite.




37. Thus, the uninterrupted practice of meditation I am Brahman' destroys the Vikshepas of Avidya (tossing or distraction caused by ignorance), just as the elixir of life (Rasayana) cures all diseases.


38. Sitting in a solitary place, free from all passions, curbing the Indriyas (senses), one should meditate on that one infinite Atman, without thinking of anything else.


39. A wise man should by his intelligence submerge in the Atman all that is seen and should always meditate on the One Atman that is like the pure, infinite ether.


Fruits of Self-Realisation


40. He who has realised the Paramartha-Tattwa (the real Atman) gives up all like form, colour, etc., and rests in his own Swaroopa that is all-full, pure consciousness and bliss.


41. The distinction of knower, knowledge and knowable does not exist in the Supreme Atman. As it is pure consciousness and bliss, it shines by itself alone.


42. The fire of knowledge that is caused by the constant rubbing of contemplation on the wood of the Atman will burn away all the fuel of ignorance.


43. If the ignorance is annihilated by knowledge, the Atman will manifest itself of its own accord, just as the sun manifests as soon as the dawn of the day has dispelled the darkness which existed previously.


44. The Atman, although it always is attained, seems, by ignorance, as if it were not attained; when the ignorance is annihilated it appears to be attained like one's own necklace.


45. The state of Jivahood has been superimposed on Brahman by illusion (Bhranti) as the form of a man on a post, but disappears when that true nature of the Jiva is realised.


46. As sunrise helps a man who is groping his way in utter darkness and who is ignorant of sides and directions, so also the knowledge that results from the practical knowledge of That (the identity of Jiva and Brahman) instantly destroys the illusion of 'l' and 'mine').


Vision of Jnani


47. The Yogi who has correct knowledge (direct knowledge of the Self sees all things by the eye of wisdom as existing in his own Self, and the one Self in all things.


48. All this universe is only the Atman; there is nothing other than the Atman; he sees all things as his own Atman, just as one sees pots, etc., as mere clay.




49. The knower of That, having attained liberation while living in this state gives up the qualities of the previously limiting adjuncts (of the Jiva) and becomes Satchidananda-Brahman, just as the worm assumes the form of the wasp (Bhramara-keetavat).


50. Having crossed the ocean of ignorance (delusion) and having killed the demons of likes, dislikes, etc., the Yogi, united to peace, rejoices in the bliss of his own Atman (Self).


51. Having renounced all attachments to the external transient pleasures, and happy in the bliss of the Atman, (the Jnani) shines within for ever like a light within a pot.


52. The Jnani or sage, though he is amidst limiting adjuncts, is not affected by their qualities, like Akasa. Though he knows everything, he is like an ignorant person and roams about unattached like the wind.


53. As water mixes with water, ether with ether, light with light, so also when the limitations disappear, the sage becomes one with the Supreme Vishnu (the all-pervading), without distinction.


Nature of Brahman


54. That, than possessing which there is nothing more advantageous to be possessed, than whose bliss there is no greater bliss, than knowing which there is no greater knowledge, should be known as Brahman.


55. That, after seeing which there is nothing more to be seen, after becoming which there is nothing more to become, after knowing which there remains nothing to be known, should be known as Brahman.


56. That, which is all-full, around, above, below, which is Satchidananda (existence, knowledge and bliss), which is without a second, endless, eternal and one, should be known as Brahman.


57. That, the one continuous bliss, which is indicated by the Vedanta by sublating what is not it, should be known as Brahman.


58. Brahman and all others who depend on a fraction of the bliss of that Brahman which is of the essence of continuous bliss, enjoy happiness proportionately (by getting a very small amount of that bliss).


59. All objects are united with That. All activity is united with Consciousness. Therefore, Brahman pervades everything, just as butter is in the whole of milk.


60. That, which is neither subtle nor gross, neither short nor long, which is unborn, unchanging, free from form, quality, colour and name, should be known as Brahman.


61. By whose light the sun, etc., shine, but which is not illumined by these which are illumined, and by whose light this everything shines, should be known as Brahman.


62. Like an iron ball heated by fire, Brahman, pervading the whole world both internally and externally, illumines it, and (without being illumined by anything else) shines by its own light.


63. Brahman is different form the world; yet there is nothing second to Brahman. If anything other than Brahman appears, it is as illusory as water in the mirage.


64. Whatever is seen or heard is no other than Brahman. Through Tattwa-Jnana, this (world) is Satchidananda, the secondless Brahman only.


65. He who has the eve of wisdom sees

Satchidananda-Brahman pervading all things; but he who has not the eye of knowledge cannot see it, just as a blind man cannot see the brilliant sun.


66. The Jiva (individual soul) burnt in the fire of Jnana, kindled by Savana, etc., is cleansed of all impurities and shines by itself like burnt (burnished) gold.


67. The Atman, the sun of knowledge that rises in the Akasa of the heart, destroys the darkness (of ignorance), permeates all, supports all, shines and makes everything shine.


68. That actionless (Paramahamsa) who gives up the limitations of direction, place, time, etc., who resorts to the holy water of the Atma which is all-pervading, eternal, bliss, spotless, and which destroys cold, etc., becomes all-knowing, all-pervading and immortal.


Hari Om Tat Sat


Om Santi! Santi!! Santi!!!


Book Seven




This is a world of diversity. Intellects are different. Faces are dif-ferent. Religions are different. Sounds are different. Faiths are different. Colours are different. But one thing is common in all.

Everyone of us wants Nitya Sukha (eternal happiness), infinite knowledge, Immortality, freedom and independence. These things can be obtained by knowledge of the Self alone.


Everybody wants eternal happiness or happiness that is not mixed with sorrow and pain. Every human effort is to achieve this happiness. But, he does not know the place wherefrom he can get this supreme Bliss. If you want to enjoy supreme bliss, you will have to realise the Self or get knowledge of Atma. The best means to acquire this knowledge is the enquiry of "Who am I". "Who am I?" enquiry has the potentiality of producing the quiescence of mind which will enable it to wade through this ocean of Samsara. But this enquiry demands a subtle, sharp, pure intellect, bold understanding and gigantic will. Enquiry of "Who am I?" is the Vedantic method of Atma-Vichara.


This commonplace 'l' that everyone is glibly talking about and relishing acutely every moment of his life from the babbling baby to the garrulous old man must be clearly analysed.




This physical body or Sthula Sarira is not the l. It is the product of food. It comprises the material sheath. It is called by the name Annamaya Kosha or food-sheath. It lives on food and dies without it. It is formed by the combination of Sukra and Sonita (semen and the discharge from the ovary of a female). It is made up of seven components or Dhatus or five elements. I is a bundle of skin, flesh, fat, bones, marrow, blood and lots of other filthy things.


It does not exist before birth or after death. It lasts only for a short intervening period. It is transient. It undergoes change such as childhood, youth and old age. It has the six changes (Shad-Vikaras), viz., existence, birth, growth, modification, decay and death. It is not of one homogeneous essence. It is manifold, inert or insentient (Jada). It is an object of perception like the table or chair. You continue to live even when hands or legs are gone.


How can the body, a bundle of flesh, bone, fat and filth, be the self-existent, eternally pure Atma, the knower, the silent witness of changes that take place in the body and all things, the inner-ruler of all. That the Atma is certainly different from the body, its characteristics, its activities and its states, is self-evident and needs no demonstration.


This perishable body is not 'l'. It remains as a log of wood after the Prana has departed from the body. It decomposes and disintegrates. It cannot move. It cannot talk. In dream and sleep states the body remains like a log on the bed. Even if the leg is amputated, the 'I' still remains. The body is ever changing. It is Jada. It has a beginning and an end. It is the result of Karma. It is an effect of Avidya. It is a modification of Tamo-Guna. It is an object or Drishya (that can be seen by the physical sense). It is full of impurities. It has a cause. You say always, 'My body. This indicates that you are different from the body and the body is your instrument. It indicates that the body is the property and the possessor is distinct from the body. You are holding it just as you hold a walking stick in the hand. Occultists have demonstrated in the West of their existence apart from the physical body by separating the astral body from the physical one and showing it to the audience. In dreams you operate through the astral body without having any concern with the fleshy body. Sri Sankara, Hastamalaka and Vikramaditya had separated themselves from their physical bodies and entered other bodies (Parakaya Pravesha). Spirits materialise. Various photographs of spirits have been taken. They possess media and prescribe medicines as doctors in clinics in England. They typewrite and do various sorts of activities. These instances demonstrate that you are entirely distinct from the physical body and you have mistaken it for the real 'I' which is ever pure, all-pervading, self-existent, self-luminous and self-contained, which has neither beginning nor middle nor end, which is changeless, which is beyond time, space and causation and which exists in the past, present, and future (Sat, Satta-Samanya, Chit-Samanya).


Yogi Sadasiva Brahman of Karur, South India, who is the author of Adwaita-manjari and who has written a Vritti or gloss on the Brahma Sutras; Mansoor Shams Tabriez, the Sufistic Fakirs of Multan in Punjab, have practically demonstrated their existence apart from the body. A Nawab cut one hand of Sadasiva Brahman. He was not the least affected as he was dwelling in Brahman or the Supreme Spirit. He went away in a laughing mood. When Shams Tabriez was skinned out, he did not express any pain at all. He uttered 'Analhaq' which corresponds to the Hindu 'Soham' (I am He). Every drop of blood that fell on the ground produced the sound 'Analhaq'. So body is not the 'l'. Body is like the shell of a coconut. It is a house in which the Atman lives.


Hence this body is not 'l'. How can you apply the term T to the body which is inert and ignorant? If the body is the soul, your hopes and expectations must increase or decrease, if the energy increases or decreases on account of good health or disease. But this is not so. Even if you are in a dying condition your hopes do not come to an end. You still hope to get better. You do not like to part with your possessions. This clearly indicates that the soul in the body must be quite distinct from the body itself. It does not come to an end even if the body perishes.


You say I am a Brahmin. I am a householder. I am a Hindu. I am a Raja. I am a doctor. This clearly proves that l' is a separate entity. Brahmin, householder, Hindu, Raja, doctor are various descriptive epithets. How can 'I' be a Brahmin or a householder? 'l' is one thing. Brahmin is entirely another thing. 'Tam' gives the clue to the existence of the real Immortal Self or Atma. All the epithets are added by ignorance to 'I am'. There is an inherent feeling in every body, 'I am', 'I exist', 'Aham Asmi.

You can never think of your entire annihilation. No one feels 'I am not', or 'I do not exist'. 'I am' is always constant. Body only always changes. It does not shine by itself. It only shines by the light of the 'I am'. It appears in the Jagrat state or waking condition and disappears in dream and sleep.


The stupid man thinks he is the body. The man of book-learning takes himself for a mixture of body, mind and soul. The sage who has self-realisation knows that he is distinct from the body and looks upon the eternal Immortal Atma as his own Self and feels 'I am Brahman'.


You may know the whole Vedanta Sutras and the Upanishads by heart and yet there is no hope of salvation for you if you identify yourself with the physical body and if you do not attain the knowledge of the Self.


The self-identification of 'l' with the body causes bondage. After the idea of l' vanishes, the mind beholds all things equally.


After this idea of 'l' is destroyed through Atma-Jnana or the enquiry of 'Who am I?-this idea which is the source for all pains, the seed for birth and death, then this very destruction is the seat of the stainless Jivanmukti state.


O foolish man! Do not identify yourself with this bundle of flesh, fat, bone, skin, blood and filth. Destroy this strong Deha-Adhyasa. The identification with the body is the root cause for human sufferings and for birth and death with its concomitant evils. If you give up this identification, you will be freed from the round of births and deaths. Identify yourself with the self-effulgent Atma, the Self of all, the inner Reality of all beings and thus attain eternal bliss and supreme peace.




Again can the term 'l' be applied to the ten organs which vitalise the body, the five organs of knowledge, viz., ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose, the five organs of action, viz., organ of speech, hands, feet, genital and anus? No; the ten inert organs are moved by the mind. They are the products of Tanmatras. They are inert. They are not self-luminous. They are not self-sustained. They cannot work without the help of the mind They have a beginning and an end. The five organs of knowledge are the effects of Sattva Guna. The five organs of action are the effects of Rajo-Guna. Even if the eyes, hands or feet are removed the l' still remains. In deep sleep the senses do not function. Yet when you wake up you say "I enjoyed a sound sleep last night." This blissful experience is not possible if the senses go to constitute the 'l'. You say, 'My eye. This gives the clue that the organs are the instruments or the property and the possessor is distinct from the senses. Therefore the organs are not the 'l'.




Again can the term 'I' be applied to Prana or the life-breath which vitalizes the body? Prana also is not the 'l'. It is an effect of Rajo-Guna. It is Jada or insentient. When you are sleeping your breath cannot welcome your friend and say, "Take your seat, Mr. Ramakrishna." It does not know either its own weal and woe or those of others. The physical body permeated by Prana engages itself in all activities as if it were living. Prana has a beginning and an end. You can control or suspend the breath by the practice of Pranayama. This indicates that the controller is distinct from the controlled. Some Yogis bury themselves underneath the ground for a month. Their breathing gets completely suspended. Yet they wake up with a continuing sense of personality. Yogi Hari Singh who was buried in a box in Ranjit Singh's court for some months woke up with a continuing sense of individuality. The drowned man in whom there is total suspension of breathing is resuscitated by artificial breathing. He comes back to life with the continuing sense of personality. You say, 'My Prana.' This indicates that Prana is the instrument or property and the possessor is distinct from the Prana. Therefore, Prana is not the 'I'.




Again can the term 'I' be applied to the mind? Mind also is not the T. It is Jada. The mind is a bundle of thoughts. All the thoughts are connected with the personality. The root of all thoughts is the ‘l'—thought. There is no thought without a thinker. All the thoughts are centred round this ‘I'-thought. Mind gropes in darkness. It forgets. It is changing every second. If food is withdrawn for a couple of days, it cannot think properly. There is no functioning of the mind during deep sleep (Dridha Susupti). It is full of impurities, Vasanas, Trishnas (cravings). It gets puzzled during anger. In fear it trembles. In shock it sinks. How can you take the mind then as the pure-Self?

The mind is an effect of Sattva-Guna. It is your instrument. You say, 'My mind.' The mind is therefore different from the 'l'. It has a beginning and an end. It is full of changing ideas. It is subject to modification. It is characterised by pain and suffer-ing. It is an object cognisable by the self which can never be identified with the object of knowledge. Again you can control the mind and the thoughts. The controller is different from the controlled (mind). It is as much your property and outside of you as the limbs, hands, etc., or the dress, tables, chairs or the house you live in. In sleep there is no mind. Yet, you wake up with a feeling of continuing sense of personality. In coma or state of unconsciousness and swoon there is no mind. When you regain consciousness you wake up with a feeling of continuing sense of personality. Watch the cases of delirium and those cases wherein partial and complete paralysis of mental functions takes place. They lose their memory and other faculties partly or entirely, yet 'l' remains. Sometimes they regain their lost mind

When your mind goes in the wrong direction to do some evil action it is checked or threatened by conscience or self. This goes to prove that you are distinct from the mind. So the mind also is not the 'l'.




Buddhi is subject to change. It is insentient. It is a limited thing. It is an object of the senses. It is not constantly present. It is not present during deep sleep. It has a beginning and an end. It is the effect of Sattva Guna. It is not self-existent or self-sustained. It borrows its light form the Self within. Therefore it cannot be the 'l'. Intellect is not the essential being of a man. It is an instrument only. It is finite. It is conditioned in time, space and causation. It is not self-luminous. It borrows its light from the self-luminous Atman within. It cannot solve the riddle of life or the riddle of the Universe. It will take you to the door of intuition. It will guide you sometimes. It may betray or mislead you at other times.




Anandamaya Kosha is the Karana Sarira or causal body. It is also known by the name Moola Ajnana. This has its fullest play during deep sleep. When you return from sleep you have no illumination of spiritual knowledge. During waking and dreaming states also the Anandamaya Kosha has a partial play. This is a modification of Prakriti. It is endowed with changeful attributes. It is the effect of past deeds. It is Jada or insentient. It has a beginning and an end. Therefore Anandamaya Kosha is not the ‘I,

When I say '', I really feel 'l am' or 'I exist' (Sat aspect). I understand or comprehend that 'I am'. I feel l am pure consciousness.' (This is Chit aspect). I feel 'I am all bliss', (Ananda aspect). By careful analysis and by introspection this little T dwindles into an airy nothing just as an onion is reduced to nothing when the different layers are peeled off. But we get at the 'core' or 'essence', the big infinite 'l', Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman, the substratum or background for all these appearances of many little 'l's.

There is no 'l' for a block of stone. Thus proceeding with the analysis of 'l' and endeavouring to discover the core of the

"I' by peeling off, as it were, the gross sheaths, and then the fine, finer and finest sheaths, just as you peel off the different layers of the onion, we have found out now that the core or essential nature of l' is Sat-chit-ananda. The little T or ego that was troubling you from time immemorial has dwindled now into an airy nothing and we have come across a very big infinite l' which exists in past, present and future, which is changeless, deathless and decayless, which is beyond time, space and causation. This is your real nature. That is your Swaroopa. Just as you have forgotten the chain on your neck, so also you have forgotten your real nature. You have to know now your essential nature by removing the veil of Ajnana. That is all. It is not a thing to be achieved.




Albeit everything is transitory in this world, people purchase enormous plots of land, build bungalows in various places and erect five storied houses. They want to establish eternal life in this sense-universe. This is the Sat-aspect. This indicates that in essence they are immortal. Owing to Anyonya-Adhyasa or mutual superimposition they have mistaken the Anitya (non-eternal) for the Nitya, Asuchi (impure) for Suchi (purity-pure Atma), Duhkha (misery) for Sukha (happiness), Anatma (non-self) for Atma (pure self). This Anyonya Adhyasa is due to Avidya. This is the reason why a man thinks 'I am holy, I am beautiful', even though he knows that the body is full of impurities. Even though a man knows that he will die at any moment, still he thinks that he will live for ever and makes very grand arrangements here to perpetuate his life here. This is also Sat-aspect of the essential Sat-chit-ananda.

Even a fool thinks he is very wise, because in essence he is all wisdom. This is the Chit-aspect of Sat-Chit-Ananda. A growing child is full of curiosities. It worries the mother whenever it comes in contact with any new thing, "Mamma, what is this, what is that?" There is an intense craving for knowledge. This is also the Chit aspect. Everybody desires for knowledge. This is Chit aspect.


Everybody wants eternal life, infinite knowledge and infinite Ananda (bliss). This is Sat-chit-ananda. Everybody runs after pleasure. This is Ananda aspect. You love a mango fruit because it gives you pleasure. Amongst all things, you love your Atma most. This gives the clue to the fact that the nature of the Atma must be Ananda-Swarupa (all-bliss), Ananda-Ghana (mass of bliss). Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Sat is Truth. That which exists in the past, present and future is Sat. It has no beginning, middle and end. It is Swayambhu (self-existent, self-created). It is that which never changes (Nirvikara, Kutastha). In Truth the world abides, from Truth the world comes forth, and in Truth the world is again dissolved. Truth is the

only Essence or Substance that underlies and pervades this world of beings. Truth is and gives immortality and fearlessness (Amritatvam, Abhayam of Upanishads). Chit is Self-knowledge. There are no Indriyas in Chit. It is self-luminous and imparts light to mind, Buddhi, Indriyas, skin of the body, sun, moon stars, fire, lightning, and all objects. Ananda is Bliss itself or self-delight. There is no enjoyer in Ananda. It is enjoyment itself. This l' is connected with existence, knowledge and bliss.

Everybody wishes to be independent. Everybody wants to be a supreme ruler. Everyone wishes others to be guided by him and to follow his wishes. No one likes to be guided by the wishes of others. Everybody in his heart of hearts really desires to rule over all others, if only he could. Everybody wishes to have no rival to himself. The real cause is that there is in you the immortal, self-effulgent soul or Atma which is one without a second, which has no rival, which is the Inner Ruler, which is the support for the whole universe. In reality you are this Atma.

That is the reason why you have such a feeling and desire. Suzerainship is quite natural to you. Suzerainty is an attribute of Atma. On account of ignorance you have mistaken the body for Atma, and you try to have no rivals in the body, in business, in office, in college, in games, in dominions, and in any field of activity. You can have absolute suzerainty only by realising the Atma. Atma-Swarajya only can make you absolutely independ-ent. Atma-Swarajya only can make you supreme ruler or absolute monarch of the whole universe. Therefore realise this wonderful Atma and become a veritable, mighty potentate of the three worlds.




What varies not nor changes in the midst of things that vary and change is different from them. Therefore the 'I' consciousness which persists unchanged and is one throughout all the changes of the material body and of all its surroundings is different from them all. 'I' who played and leapt and slept as an infant on my parent's lap so many years ago have now infants of mine. What unchanged and persistent particle of matter continues throughout these years in my physical organism? What identity is there between that infantine and this adult body of mine? But 'l' has not changed. It is the same Talking of my self I always name my self as I and nothing more or less. The sheaths in which I am happy, am young, am old, I am black, am white, I am a Brahmin, I am a Sannyasin, are incidents in the continuity of the 'l'. They are ever passing and varying. The 'I, remains the same. Conditions change, but they always surround the same 'T, the unchanging amidst the changing.

The house, the town, the country, the earth, the solar system which 'I' live in and with which I identify myself are all changing momentarily but I feel myself persisting unchanged throughout all their changes. T am never and can never be conscious of myself as having ever been born or dying or experiencing a beginning or an end. T is indeed the very foundation of all existence.

Ask anyone and everyone in the dark, behind a screen, through the closed door: "Who is that?" The first impulsive answer is 'It is l'. Thus potent is the stamped impress, the unchecked outrush, the irresistible manifestation of the common 'I' that is expecting others to recognise it as surely as it recog-nises itself.

The immortality of the l' necessarily follows from and is part of the very nature of the 'l'. What does not change, what is not limited, of which we know neither the beginning nor end, that is necessarily immortal.

We say 'Our world, our consciousness. That another has a consciousness, that another has a world, that there is another at all, is still only our consciousness. As this holds true for every point, it follows that all these 'every ones' are only one, that all these 'our' consciousnesses, which make all this appearance of mutual intelligence and converse possible are really only the one talking to itself in different guises.

Everybody has an innate feeling: I exist-Aham Asmi.

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are dead. You can never do so. You will be still watching the dead body of yours that is lying down. This clearly shows that you are always the Sakshi or Drashta or the subject.

Birth and death belong to the physical body. Hunger and thirst are Dharmas of Prana. Harsha and Soka (joy and grief) are attributes of the mind. Sleep belongs to the Anandamaya Kosha (Karana Sarira). You are entirely different from these sheaths.

You dream sometimes that you are dead and that your relatives are weeping. Even in that supposed death state, you see and hear them weeping. This clearly indicates that even after apparent death, life really persists. You exist even after the physical sheath is thrown out. That existence is Atma or the big 'l'.

In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, II.4.14 you will find, "Then by what should one see whom?" This clearly indicates that Atman is not an object of perception. I-is always the knowing subject. There is neither an agent nor an object of action, nor an instrument. In the physical plane only there is the Triputi or the triad, viz., seer, sight and seen. Who can know the knower? How should one know him by whom all this is known? You could not see the seer of sight; you could not hear the hearer of hearing; you could not perceive the perceiver of perception; you could not know the knower of knowledge.

Believe in the glory of your own Self. "Thou art That", this Atma was never born and will never die. Abandon all superstitions and doubts. Scorch out all wrong Samskaras and wrong suggestions. Man or woman can realise this Atma. Burn all false differences. There is no low, no big, no great, no superior, no inferior, no animate, no inanimate. Behold your own Self everywhere. There is nothing but Self.




If you are equipped with the fourfold discipline, Viveka, Vairagya, Shat-sampat and Mumukshutva you will be able to make enquiry of who am I? f you have proper ethical training only you will be able to practise deep meditation. If you possess moral qualifications you will be able to comprehend the deep truths of the true T. If you have moral stamina only you will be eligible to approach Brahman or the Absolute. Ethical discipline is an indispensable requisite for the enquiry of who am I? You can be a wonderful scientist or a philosopher of great repute without any moral qualification but you cannot be a student in the path of knowledge without ethical discipline. An immoral man can never realise his Self.

Give up identification of your self with the physical body. Identification of one's self with the body is the greatest crime. Give up planning and scheming. Abandon speculation. Relinquish cherished hopes and expectations and worldly ambitions. Give up completely thinking about yourself. Do not expect appreciation or approbation. Burn the desire for name and fame. Scorch the fears of disease and public criticism. Do not hoard up wealth or anything. Do not care for the morrow. Do not pay any attention to insults or stinging remarks or abuses.

Become impervious to ridicules and rebukes. Give up your rights and claims to worldly possessions. Burn all worldly attachment. You can enter now the vast domain of eternal bliss or kingdom of Truth. You will be the emperor of the three worlds. All Devas will pay their homage unto you now.

Wake up from the dream of forms. Give up this clinging to false names and forms. Do not be deceived by these illusory names and forms. Cling to the solid, living reality only. Love your Atma only. Atma or Brahman is the living Truth. Atma only persists. Live in Atma. Become Brahman. This is real life.




The mind is like a wheel which revolves endlessly with tremendous velocity. It generates new thoughts with every revolution. This wheel is set in motion by the vibration of psychic Prana or subtle Prana.

The idea of 'l' is the seed of the tree of mind. The sprout which at first germinates from this seed of Ahamkara originates without form and is ascertainable only by internal experience.

This sprout is Buddhi or intellect. From this sprout the ramifying branches called Sankalpas or thoughts take their origin.

Mark how one Sankalpa expands into many Sankalpas (Vistara) in a short time. Suppose you get a Sankalpa to have a tea party for your friends. One thought of tea invites instantaneously the thoughts of sugar, milk, teacups, tables, chairs, tablecloth, napkins, spoons, sweetmeats, salted things, etc. So this world is nothing but the expansion of Sankalpas. The expansion of thoughts in the mind towards objects is bondage. Renunciation of Sankalpas is liberation (Moksha). You must be ever watchful in nipping the Sankalpas in the bud. Then only you will be really happy. Daily chop off the branches of this dire tree of mind and finally destroy the tree at its root completely. If you destroy the idea of 'l' at the root of the tree (mind), then it will not again spring up. The chopping off of the branches is only a secondary thing. The primary thing is the eradication of the tree at its root.

Sankalpa only is Samsara. Its destruction is Moksha. It is only Sankalpa destroyed beyond resurrection that constitutes the immaculate Brahmic seat. As the cause of bondage is Sankalpa you should root it out from you as completely as possible. This destruction of Sankalpas should be intelligently practised. Do not become the form of objects or the knower enjoying the same. When there exists the conception of the objects and the enjoyer of the same, you should gradually and at all times destroy this Sankalpa. After destroying all Sankalpas become That which remains.

Thoughts gain strength by repetition. If you entertain an evil thought or a good thought once, this evil thought or good thought has a tendency to recur again. Thoughts crowd together. Just as the birds of the same feather flock together, so also if you entertain one evil thought all sorts of evil thoughts join together and attack you. If you entertain any good thought all good thoughts join together.

Like attracts like. If you entertain an evil thought, that thought attracts all sorts of evil thoughts from others. You pass on that thought to others also. Thought moves. Thought is a living dynamic force. Thought is a thing. If you allow your mind to dwell on a sublime thought this thought will attract good thoughts from others. You pass on that good thought to others. You pollute the world with your bad thoughts. You help the world with your good thoughts.

When you reach your spiritual summit of thoughtlessness, you will reach the abode of Immortality and eternal peace and supreme bliss.

O ye of little faith! Wake up from your long sleep of ignorance. Get knowledge of Self. O wanderer in this quagmire of Samsara! Go back to your original abode of eternal peace, the fountain of infinite joy and power, the spring of boundless ecstasy, the source of life, the origin of light and love, the immortal, blissful Brahmic seat of illimitable splendour and pristine glory. Fill the mind with thoughts of Self. Saturate your feelings with purity and divinity. Let the Light of lights shine in every hair of your body. Let the infinite Godhead vibrate in every cell of your body. Let every breath sing the song of infinity and eternity with Soham.

This 'I' should be identified with That which remains after eliminating all the five illusory sheaths. It is by nature Sat-chit-ananda. This is the Immortal Soul or Atma or Brahman. Through ignorance, through superimposition you have mistaken these five illusory sheaths for the pure immortal Atma. Transcend these five sheaths by attaining knowledge of the Self and be free. Rest in your own Sat-chit-ananda Svarupa by knowing "Who Am I?"


Om Santi! Santi!! Santi!!!


Book Eight





Vedanta is the culmination of the Vedas. It is entering into the study of Brahman. It is the science which raises man above the plane of worldliness. It is the rational method of meditating on the Supreme Absolute, the Eternal, the Infinite. Vedanta is the culmination of human experience and is the end of the faculty of thinking. It is the greatest and the highest knowledge. This wisdom was revealed to the ancient sages.

The Rishis and sages of yore have made experiments and researches in meditation and given to the world their spiritual experiences. These are all authoritative. You must not spend much time in making the preliminary experiments once more.

Your whole lifetime is not sufficient for making these experiments and researches. The experiences of sages are like ready-made compressed tablets. You will have to simply follow their instructions implicitly with perfect, unswerving faith and devotion. Then alone can you make any progress in the spiritual path and attain the goal of life.

In order to practise Sadhana for the attainment of absolute freedom, you should know in the beginning itself its technique and method. You should know the nature of bondage, the cause of bondage and the way of getting rid of bondage. You have to make a searching study of life and know its mysteries.




You are born on this earth-plane on account of your Karmas (actions) done in previous births. This body and this condition of mind are both the results or effects of past Karmas. What is Karma?

A Vasana or desire arises. Then you exert to possess the object. This is Karma. Thought itself is the real Karma. Physical action is only its manifestation. Then you enjoy the object. This

is Bhoga. This Bhoga strengthens and fattens the Vasana. The Chakra or wheel of Vasana, Karma, Bhoga, is ever revolving. Give up Bhoga. Practise renunciation, discrimination and dispassion. Destroy the Vasanas by eradicating ignorance (Ajnana) through Brahma-Jnana, the Knowledge of the Imperishable. Then alone the wheel which binds a man to this Samsara will stop revolving. Then alone you become an Atmavan or Knower of the Self.




Forgetting the Self by indulging in sensual pleasures, is killing of Atman. Even after somehow getting this rare human birth, with an innate tendency for Nivritti, he who does not strive for the liberation of his soul, is a killer of Atman. He is not an Atmavan but an Atmaha.




The Atman can be realised only through renunciation. You have enjoyed sensual objects in millions of births. You have enjoyed sensual objects for so many years in this birth. If there has not come satisfaction in you till now, when will it come, then? Do not run after the mirage of sensual objects. The senses are deluding you. Develop dispassion and renuncia-tion. Realise your Atman. Then only you will get eternal satis-faction, everlasting peace and immortal bliss. Wake up from your slumber of ignorance, O worldly fool!

If your body-clothes catch fire, with what celerity you want to run towards water for cooling you? You must feel like this from the burning fire of Samsara. You should feel that you are roasted in the fire of Samsara. Vairagya (dispassion) and Mumukshutva (strong yearning for liberation) should dawn in you. You should run to the Guru for saving you.

Enjoyment of objects strengthens the Vasanas or Trishnas (cravings) and makes the mind more restless. Enjoyment cannot bring satisfaction of desires. Further, Trishna drains the energy and weakens the senses.

When you dream, you see the events of fifty years within an hour. You actually feel that fifty years have passed. Which is correct, the time of one hour of waking consciousness or the fifty years of dreaming consciousness? Both are correct. The waking state and the dreaming state are of the same quality or nature. They are equal (Samana). The only difference is that the waking state is a long dream or Deerghasvapna. It will be realised that this life on earth is only a fantastic dream of the mind when the Supreme Absolute or Para-Brahman is realised.




Practise Upasana for acquiring concentration of mind. Upasana is of various kinds, viz., Pratika Upasana, Pratima Upasana (worship of idol), Panchopasana worship of the five deities: Ganesha, Siva, Vishnu, Durga and Surya), worship of Avataras like Rama and Krishna, and Ahamgraha Upasana.

Ahamgraha Upasana is Nirguna Upasana. The aspirant meditates on his own Self as Brahman. He identifies his individual self with the Supreme Self or Brahman. He tries to take out the Self that is hidden within the body of five sheaths. Hence the significant name, 'Ahamgraha' Upasana.

'Food is Brahman'. 'Akasa is Brahman'. 'Surya (Sun) is Brahman'. 'Mind is Brahman'. 'Prana is Brahman'

‚—All these are Upasana-Vakyas of the Upanishads. These are all Pratika Upasanas. Pratika is a symbol of Brahman. All these are symbols of Brahman. You can realise Brahman through worship of these Pratikas. You will have to feel that Brahman is hidden in these Pratikas. You will have to think that the Adhishthana or substratum of these Pratikas is Brahman. These are some of the ways of doing the Upasana of Brahman.




The senses should be perfectly controlled in order to be able to concentrate on Brahman. The eyes and ears also are as much turbulent and mischievous as the tongue. The eyes always want to see new forms, new scenes, new pictures and new places which the mind has heard of during conversation with other people. If you have not seen Kashmir, if you hear from those who visited Kashmir, "Kashmir is a lovely place. The springs and sceneries are wonderful," the eyes helped by the mind will agitate you again and again till you actually see Kashmir. The eyes and the ears should cease from desiring.

The two most troublesome of the senses are the tongue and the genital. One who has got an appetite for the objects of the tongue and the genital is unfit for the practice of Vedantic

Sadhana. The four means of Sadhana should be well practised and only a master of these Sadhanas can take up the practice of Vedantic Sadhana.




Mind is Jagat. The mind moves the senses, the Pranas, etc. Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. A keen study of the mind and its works is necessary for the study of Vedanta. The presiding deity of the mind is Moon or Soma. Moon is cool. It is formed of Apas-Tattva (water). Water has a tendency to run downwards. So also the tendency of the mind is always to run downwards towards sensual objects.

The external ear, the eyeballs, etc., are only instruments. They are not the real senses of Indriyas. The real centres or senses are in the brain or most correctly in the astral body (Sukshma Sarira). If the auditory nerve and the vision-centre in the brain are affected you can neither hear nor see. So is the case with the other senses also.

During dream the mind itself does the function of all the senses, despite the absence of the external instruments or the senses, such as eyeballs, etc. In the mind all the senses are blended. Really it is the mind that hears, tastes, feels, etc. This proves that the real senses are within. The eyeballs, tongue, external ears, nose, hands, legs, etc., are mere instruments (Karanas).

The mind does the function of Sankalpa and Vikalpa. It thinks: "Whether I can go to Dehra Dun or not?" The Buddhi or the intellect decides: "I must go." Ahamkara, the ego, arrogates. Chitta which is the storehouse of Samskaras or impressions makes the preparation and gives orders to the senses.

Then the senses act. The legs move. The eyes see. After you reach Dehra Dun the Vritti or wave of thought that was agitating you to see Dehra Dun subsides or gets dissolved (Laya). Then you get a temporary peace, after the gratification of your desire. Strike a vessel made up of bell metal with the tuning fork. It will vibrate. Even so the mind vibrates if any one abuses or praises you, if you feel pain or pleasure. During praise and pleasure, the mind expands. During censure and pain it contracts.

Mind is miniature-Maya. When the functioning of the mind stops, and when the mind is dissolved into the Absolute, there is Self-realisation.




The aspirant in olden days used to approach the Guru, with a bundle of sticks (Samit) in his hand, for spiritual instruction. What does this indicate? He prays to his preceptor, "O adorable Guru! Let my bundle of sins and worldly Vasanas be burnt in the fire of wisdom through thy grace. Let the divine flame grow in me. Let me attain the highest illumination. Make me realise the Inner self-effulgent Atman. Let my senses, mind, Prana and egoism be given as oblation in the fire of wisdom. Let me shine as the Light of lights!"

It is Guru's grace that removes the veil of ignorance of the disciple. The Guru's grace penetrates the heart of the disciple and raises the Brahmakara-vritti in him. The highly exalted Brahmanishtha Guru, for whom there is no world, comes down from his exalted state to teach the disciple.




If you want to practise Vedanta or Jnana Yoga smile always, be cheerful always. He who is gloomy, he who is cheerless, he who has a castor-oil face or Sunday-face cannot become a Vedantin. He is not an Adhikari or qualified person for the practice of Vedanta. Such a man should be shut up in a cell, as he is a source of infection or contamination for others. Shun the company of such a negative person. A man of Viveka alone is fit for the practice of Vedantic Sadhana and a man of Viveka is always peaceful and joyful.




Brahman is the Absolute-Existence which is of the Nature of Knowledge-Bliss.

The world itself shines as Brahman when the veil of ignorance is torn down by the dawn of Knowledge of the Imperishable. See Brahman in your Guru, Brahman in the world, Brahman in everything.

In reality there is no creation. The world itself is an appearance of Brahman. The world is superimposed upon Brahman through Adhyaropa. Through Apavada-Yukti the superimposition is sublated or negated and everything is realised to be the Absolute Brahman.

Only the train moves, but you do not move. Only the boat moves, but you do not move. Even so, only the body moves, but the Indweller or the Silent Sakshi, the Witness, which is identical with the Absolute Brahman or Atman, never moves.

The word 'Atman' is used with reference to the Soul in the individual. The term 'Brahman' is used with reference to the same Soul as the Soul of all beings and objects in the universe.




The king returns from his long journey to his palace at night. He is dead tired. He wants immediate rest. He does not want to talk even to the Maharani or the queen. The objects do not afford him any pleasure. He wants to enjoy the bliss of sleep. From where does bliss come in deep sleep, when there are no objects of enjoyment? The king (or the Jiva) in deep sleep comes in contact with the All-blissful Supreme Soul and refreshes and strengthens himself. Brahman is the source of all peace and bliss.




The causal body (Karanasarira) of the individual soul and of Isvara is one and the same. In the Jiva it is individual Avidya. Isvara's causal body is cosmic and is called Maya.

The Jiva is called Visva, Taijasa and Prajna in the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep experiences, and the corresponding name for the Cosmic Principle is Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Isvara. The Kutastha-Atman in the Jiva is identical with Brahman, the Absolute.




Maya is Trigunatmika. Tamoguna is darkness and inertia. Rajoguna is passion and activity. Sattvaguna is divine light and purity.

You cannot detect your own faults on account of the force of Avidya. Avidya is the name for Maya in the individual or the Jiva. You always think that you are free from defects, that you are full of virtuous qualities, that you are the most perfect man in the world. This is Maya.

Maya is Satya or truth for a worldly-minded man. It is Anirvachaneeya or inexpressible for a Viveki or a man of discrimination. It is Tuchha or nothing for a liberated sage or Jivanmukta who is identifying himself with Satchidananda Brahman.

Vasanas and Trishnas, desires and cravings, can be destroyed in toto only by annihilating Avidya or Ajnana, the source for this Samsara, just as a tree can be destroyed only by annihilating its root. If you cut the branches of a tree, again they will grow. So you must pluck out the root itself. Avidya can be destroyed by knowledge of the Imperishable or Brahman, and not by indiscriminate suppression of the senses.

Destruction of Avidya will lead to the destruction of Raga-Dvesha. Raga and Dvesha are the modifications or effects of Avidya or ignorance.

Ajnana is absence of the Knowledge of Brahman. Just as the trees born on the soil of the mountain hide the mountain, just as the clouds born through the sun's rays hide the sun itself, so also Ajnana born from the Shakti of Brahman hides the Chaitanya or Brahman.

Ajnana is twofold: Toola and Moola. Toola-Ajnana is ignorance in regard to the objects outside. Moola-Ajnana is ignorance covering the Self within.




In summer the whole earth is parched. As soon as there is a shower the seeds sprout and plants come out. They were in an unmanifested state (Avyakta) before the rains. Even so the world which is in a manifested state had an unmanifested state and will become unmanifest again. It has come out of Maya, the causal body of Isvara, and will return to it in the end.

The earth, water, fire, air and ether are all productions of Maya. Water is more subtle and pervasive than earth. Fire is more subtle and pervasive than water. Air is more subtle and pervasive than fire. Akasa is more subtle and pervasive than air.

If you keep some jasmine flowers on your table, the aroma or fragrance spreads throughout the room. The fragrance is more pervasive than the flower. The flower is in one spot, but the fragrance pervades the atmosphere. The moisture of vapour is more pervasive than the earth. Sun's light is more pervasive than water. Akasa which is the mother-substance for the other four Tattvas is all-pervading. All the four elements are rooted in the all-pervading Akasa.

From Brahman or the Supreme Being sprang the five elements. Akasa was born first. Akasa is ether or space. It is Akasa or space that is the abode for the four other elements. It is the vessel or the container. There was Gati or motion in Akasa. That motion is Vayu or air. There was heat during motion of air. Fire was born from air. Fire cannot burn without air. Fire cooled and became water. Water solidified and became earth.




Five sheaths are covering the individual soul. They are the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Kosas. The Antahkarana or the internal organ takes four forms, viz., mind, intellect, ego and subconscious mind (Chitta).

Ahamkara or the ego has connection with the intellect (Buddhi). Their abode is the Vijnanamaya Kosa. Mind (Manas) has connection with the Chitta. Their abode is the Manomaya Kosa.

The light of Surya (sun) brightens the intellect. The heat of Surya gives heat to Prana and thus maintains the heat of the body.

Just as the mind is the dividing wall between the soul and the Prana, so also Prana (vital air, energy) is the boundary-wall between the mind and the body.

Above the mind is the Buddhi. The Buddhi or intellect is made up of Agni-Tattva (fire-principle). Below the mind is Prana which is also made up of fire. Between fire (intellect above) and fire (Prana below) is the mind (water). The presiding deity of the mind is moon (Chandra). Dry up this mind (water) through the fire of Vichara (intellect), or the fire of Prana (Pranayama), or both. You will attain eternal peace, everlasting bliss.




Samadhi is the Turiya or the Fourth State which is Pure Consciousness or the Supreme Absolute where even a tinge of dual consciousness does not exist.

Raja Yogis practise Nirodha-Samadhi. Jnana Yogis or Vedantins practise Badha-Samadhi. In the practice of Nirodha-Samadhi the Raja Yogi stops all the Vrittis of the mind by concentrating on one form. In the practice of Badha-Samadhi the Jnana Yogi abandons all names and forms and takes up the one essence, viz., Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman that is the substratum for all these names and forms. There is Vyapakata in the Sadhana of a Jnana Yogi. He does Sadhana even while walking. Wherever he sees he tries to see the one underlying essence and rejects the names and forms. He is in Sahaja-Samadhi even while moving. But, a Raja Yogi sits and meditates. He is in need of a steady, definite pose. He cannot be in Samadhi while walking or moving.

In Vedanta, meditation is termed as Nidichyasana.

Nididhyasana leads to Sakshatkara or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. One who has experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi will not return to the state of embodiment once again.




Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana are the three stages of Vedantic Sadhana.

Sravana is hearing of the Truth. The Abheda-Bodha-Vakya should be heard from the Brahmanishtha-Guru. Then Vedantic scriptures and treatises have to be carefully studied for the purpose of properly grasping the meaning of the great Mahavakyas.

Vedantic Granthas are of two kinds: the Pramana-granthas and the Prameya-granthas. One should always study standard works on Vedanta. A complete and exhaustive treatise on the subject has to be studied with the greatest care. Then only the full knowledge of Vedanta will dawn. Works like the Advaitasiddhi, Chitsukhi, Khandana-khandakhadya, Brahmasutras, etc., are Pramana-granthas, for they refute other theories and establish the Advaita-Tattva through logic and argumentation. Works like the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Yogavasishtha are Prameya-granthas, for they merely state the Absolute Truth with authority and do not indulge in reasoning for refuting or establishing anything. They are intuitional works, whereas the former are intellectual.

The mind should be pure and tranquil before starting Vedantic Sadhana. Keeping the Vasana in the mind is keeping a black cobra within and feeding it with milk. Your life is ever in danger. Kill these Vasanas through Vichara, Vairagya and meditation on the Atman.

The Sruti texts that deal with creation, such as "From the Atman sprang Akasa, from Akasa Vayu, from Vayu Agni," etc., are only intended for giving preliminary instructions to the neophytes or young aspirants; for they cannot grasp at once the Ajatavada or the theory of non-evolution. When you read the passages which treat of creation, always remember that all this is only Adhyaropa or superimposition. Never forget this. Never think even for a second that the world is real. Only through Apavada-yukti or refutation of superimposition can you establish the Kevala-Advaita-Siddhanta. If the world is real, if duality is real, you cannot have experience of Advaitic Realisation.

If the impurity of egoism or Ahamkara-Mala is destroyed, the other two impurities, viz., Kama-Mala (impurity of desires) and Karma-Mala (impurity of actions) will be destroyed by themselves. How, then, can there be Prarabdha for a Jivanmukta or the liberated sage? He is one with the Supreme Absolute.




Ahamkara is the greatest obstacle to Self-realisation. "I know everything. My view or opinion alone is correct. What I do is right. That man does not know anything. Everybody should follow what I say. Everybody should obey me. I am free from any kind of fault. I am full of auspicious qualities. I am very intelligent. That man is very stupid. That man is wretched. That man has got many defects. I am wise. I am beautiful." Thus says the egoistic man. This is the nature of Rajasic Ahamkara. He hides his own faults. He exaggerates and advertises his own abilities and qualities. He belittles others. He condemns others. He superimposes faults on others which they have not got. He sees not good but evil in others. He superimposes on himself several good qualities which he does not possess. That man cannot practise Vedantic Sadhana. He is unfit for the path of Jnana.

Raga and Dvesha constitute the great Samsara of the Jiva. They have to be destroyed through the knowledge of the Supreme Brahman. Either through proper understanding and discrimination or through Pratipaksha Bhavana these currents should be destroyed. Liberation is attained by simplicity, by carefulness, by purity, by controlling the passions and by following the footprints of saints and sages.

Through Vedantic Sadhana the Brahmakara-Vritti is generated. The bamboo strikes against the other bamboos and fire is generated. The whole forest is burnt. There is a huge conflagration. Then the fire subsides by itself. Even so, the Brahmakara-Vritti that is generated in the Sattvika-Manas through meditation on Brahman or the significance of the

'Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya destroys Avidya or ignorance and its effects and leads to the attainment of Brahma-Jnana, and finally dies by itself when the Supreme Brahman is realised.

The paste of strychnos potatodum (Nirmala seeds) removes all dirt in the water and helps it to settle at the bottom of the vessel. Along with the dirt the paste also disappears. Even so, the Brahmakara-Vritti destroys all worldly (Vishayakara) Vrittis and finally perishes by itself after the dawn of the knowledge of the Imperishable.




The Jnana Yogi practises neither Pratyahara nor Chittavrittinirodha like the Raja Yogi. He tries to behold the One Undivided Essence of Satchidananda in all names and forms. He stands as a witness or Sakshi of all the Vrittis. All Vrittis gradually die by themselves. The Jnani's method is positive (Samyagdarshana), whereas a Raja Yogi's method is negative (Nirodha).

There is no body from the Drishti or view of the sage. How can there be Prarabdha then, for a Jnani? The Jnani is one with the Absolute and hence no change takes place in his being. He is Santam, Sivam and Advaitam. He is a Jivanmukta. He is liberated in this very life itself. His body is like a burnt cloth or a sword that is changed into gold through the touch of the philosopher's stone. His ego is burnt by the fire of Supreme Wisdom.




प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म        =  Consciousness is Brahman.

अहं ब्रह्मास्मि     =   I am Brahman.

तत्त्वमसि          =   That thou art.

अयमात्मा ब्रह्म   =   This Atman is Brahman.

सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म=   All this, indeed, is Brahman.


Om Santi! Santi! Santi!




Raga and Dvesha (likes and dislikes) only constitute this Samsara or this world of phenomena. It can be totally destroyed by knowledge of Brahman.

Raga-Dvesha is a Vasana. It has four states. Raga-Dvesha, Vasanas, Samskaras and Gunas are intertwined.

They coexist. The seat of Raga-Dvesha is the mind and the senses. Destruction of one will lead to the destruction of others.

But the destruction of the source, Avidya or Ajnana, the seed of Samsara, through Brahma-Jnana will destroy everything to the very root.

The cultivation of virtues like Maitri (friendship), Karuna, (mercy), Mudita (complacency) and Upeksha (indifference) can thin out or attenuate Raga-Dvesha.

This is the

Pratipaksha-Bhavana method or cultivation of the opposite positive qualities, of the Raja Yogins.

Destruction of Avidya will lead to the destruction of Raga-Dvesha. Raga and Dvesha are the modifications or effects of Avidya or ignorance.

The fire of devotion also can burn in toto Raga-Dvesha.

The practice of Nishkama Karma Yoga or disinterested selfless service can thin out Raga-Dvesha to a very great ex-tent.

Kill Raga (attachment) by the sword of Vairagya (non-attachment or dispassion or indifference to sensual objects) and Dvesha by developing cosmic love.

Raga-Dvesha assumes various forms. You like certain foods and dislike certain other foods. You like certain clothing and dislike certain other clothing. You like certain persons and dislike certain other persons. You like certain places and dislike certain other places. You like certain sounds and dislike certain other sounds. You like certain colours and dislike certain other colours. You like soft things and dislike hard things. You like praise, respect, honour, and dislike censure, disregard, dishonour. You like a religion, view, opinion and dislike other religions, views and opinions. You like comforts, pleasures, and dislike discomforts and pain. Thus there is no peace of mind for you as the mind is ever restless and agitated. The waves of Raga-Dvesha are ever disturbing the mind. One wave of Raga-Dvesha arises in the mind and subsides after some time.

Again another wave rises, and so on. There is no balance of mind. There is no peace. He who has destroyed Raga-Dvesha will be ever happy, peaceful, joyful, strong and healthy. Only he who is free from Raga-Desha will have a long life.

Raga-Dvesha is the real cause for all diseases (Adhi and Vyadhi).

Wherever there is pleasure, there is Raga; wherever there is pain, there is Dvesha. Man wants to remain in close contact with those objects which give him pleasure. He shuns those objects which give him pain.

Though the objects that give pain are far away from you, the memory of the objects will give you pain. It is only the removal of the currents of Dvesha that will give you happiness. It is the Vritti or thought-wave that gives pain but not the objects.

Hence try to destroy the current of Dvesha by developing cosmic love and Brahma-bhavana or Isvara-bhavana in all objects. Then the whole world will appear to you as the Lord in manifestation. The world or the worldly object is neither good nor bad, but it is your lower instinctive mind that makes it good or bad. Remember this point well, always. Do not find fault with the world or the objects. Find fault with your own mind.

Destruction of Raga-Dvesha means destruction of ignorance or mind and the idea of the world.

No meditation, no peace, no Samadhi is possible for a man who has not removed these two currents, two foes of peace, knowledge and devotion. He who says "I enter into deep meditation. I have attained Self-realisation and Samadhi.

I can also help you to enter into Samadhi" is a confirmed hypocrite. If you find in him Raga-Dvesha, attachment, hatred, prejudice, intolerance, anger, irritability, know him to be a Mithyachari. Shun his company. Remain at a respectable distance from him, because you also will catch the infection or contagion from him. Beware. Beware. Be cautious, friends!




Arthyaropa is superimposition! This is one of the fundamental principles of Vedanta. You cannot proceed with the study of Vedanta without understanding Adhyaropa. In reality, this world was never created. This world is superimposed on Brahman. This world is imagined where there exists only Brahman. This is Adhyaropa. This superimposition is sublated through the Yukti called Apavada.

You want to meet your friend Sri Rampratap. When you go to his house, he is not there. Somebody tells you that he has gone to a particular shop in the bazaar. You wait at his door and in a short time you see someone coming, who looks like Rampratap. From a distance you determine in your mind that the person coming is none but Rampratap. But after some time when he actually comes near you, you find that he is not Rampratap but Krishnagopal.

You have superimposed Rampratap on Krishnagopal. This is Adhyaropa.

Even in case the person coming is Rampratap himself really, you think, sometimes, that the person coming is somebody else, but when he comes nearer, he happens to be Rampratap himself. This is another kind of negative superimposition. The instance in the previous case was one of positive superimposition. In each of these cases, there has been a mistaken notion that one thing is another. This is called Adhyaropa or superimposition.

Adhyaropa is the result of ignorance of the real object. Generally people mistake a rope for a snake, a post for a man, the mother-of-pearl for silver, the mirage for water, etc. In hazy light of dusk you mistake a rope to be a snake. You are terribly afraid of it. But a friend of yours who comes with a light assures you that it is only a rope. Now you look at the supposed snake once again and find it to be unmoving and that it is really a rope and not a snake. Now the Adhyaropa vanishes. In this instance there was no snake at all. It was only the rope that appeared as a snake. The snake was not there in the past, is not in the present and will not be there in the future (three periods of time), i.e., neither before you saw the snake, nor when you were actually seeing the snake, nor, again after your friend came with the light and assured you that it was only a rope. Was there really a snake? Why was it that you saw the snake when there was only a rope? This is beyond your capacity to understand. You will simply say, it appeared to me to be a snake. So also everything that you see in this world in the form of diverse objects is only Brahman. It was Brahman only in the past and it will remain so even in the future. To a Jnani there is no world at all. This world appears to be so only to an Ajnani. Till the dawn of knowledge everyone is under the spell of ignorance only. One sees diverse objects. He feels pleasure and pain. He undergoes sufferings and tribulations. He is subject to likes and dislikes. The five organs of knowledge and the five organs of action, all work, and you cognise diverse objects, hills, mountains, rivers, men, animals, and everything else. But when, through the grace of the preceptor and through Sadhana performed untiringly until purification, through hearing, reflection and meditation, you cognise the reality, then, no more the world appears to be real. You see Brahman alone everywhere. Then you cannot hate anyone. You cannot dislike anyone, because you see your own Self or Brahman in all. Can you ever dislike yourself? You may dislike any thing second to yourself, but you cannot dislike yourself. When you see everything else also to be your Self, then whom can you hate? You will become an embodiment of pure cosmic love.

You are in search of a rope. You find one. But in the dark you mistake it to be a snake. You run away from it. You search all other places in the house and fail to find a rope. Your brother brings a light and shows you the rope which you mistook for a snake. You now see the rope. Just as you found the rope in the snake itself, even so, you will see Brahman in the objects of the world themselves. You cannot run away to the mountain-caves in search of Brahman. You have to practise seeing the Lord or Brahman in each and every object around you. When you are able to cognise the Reality underlying the objects, you will no more be deluded.

The highly exalted Brahmanishtha-Guru for whom there is no world comes down from his exalted state to teach the disciple. He is even then fully conscious of his identity with Brahman. He is fully aware that he is himself Brahman, and the disciple too. But out of compassion and love he sheds his grace on the fit disciple by imparting to him the knowledge of Brahman.

It is Adhyaropa that is to be well understood. If you can thoroughly grasp this principle, you can easily understand Vedanta. If you can dwell upon the simple truth that the whole world is merely superimposed on Brahman, if you can meditate on the idea, ' "This body is a house made of five elements just as a house is made of brick, cement, wood and iron; the Self within me is the Self in every other being; the flickering mind is the cause for all misery and unhappiness," you will ever rest in joy, peace and eternal bliss.

May you ever dwell upon this truth and remain happy amidst all changing circumstances, joys and sorrows of the busy worldly life! May you root yourself in Brahman, the Substratum for this body, mind and soul, Jiva and Jagat, Maya and Isvara, cause and effect!



A sense is not soul, because you can apprehend an object through any other sense, e.g.,

"Previously I saw a tree and now

I touch it;"- such an expression will be meaningless if T'is not different from the eye which cannot touch, and from the skin which cannot see. The 'l' or the Soul is distinct from the senses.

There is a fixed relation between the senses and their objects, e.g., between the eye and colour, the ear and sound, and so on. It is the eye and not the ear that can apprehend colour, and it is the ear and not the eye that can apprehend sound. If a sense were the Soul, it (the Soul) could apprehend only one object, but the T can apprehend many objects;

the 'I' can see colour, hear sound, and so on. Therefore, the 'I' or the Soul which confers unity on the various kinds of apprehension is different from the senses, each of which can apprehend only one object.

If we do not admit a permanent Soul beyond our frail body, we shall be confronted with many absurdities such as loss of merited action (Kritahani) and gain of unmerited action (Akritabhyagama). A man who has committed a certain sin may not suffer its results in this life, and unless there is a Soul continuing in the next life, he will not suffer them at all. This is loss of merited action. Again, we often find a man suffering the results of actions which he never did in this life. This would be a gain of unmerited action, unless we believe that his soul did exist previous to this life and that he did the action in his previous life.

A thing seen previously by the left eye is recognised now by the right eye. This would have been impossible if the Soul were identical with the left eye alone or the right eye alone, on the principle that the seat of recognition must be the same as the seat of perception. Hence we must admit that there is a Soul which is distinct from the left and right eyes and which is the common seat of perception and recognition.

The Soul is distinct from the senses, because there is an excitement of one sense through the operation of another sense. When you see a mango fruit or lime pickle, there is salivation in your mouth. The sense of taste is excited. There is an excitement of the sense of taste on account of the operation of the sense of sight. This would be impossible unless there is a Soul distinct from the senses and uniting the senses. The Soul sees the fruit or the pickle and remembers its properties. The remembrance of the properties of the object excites the sense of taste.

You can remember only that object which you have seen. You remember the smell of an object by seeing its colour. This would be impossible if remembrance is a quality of a sense, e.g., the eye, which has never smelt the object. Therefore, remembrance must be admitted to be a quality of a distinct entity called the Soul which is the common seat of perception of colour and smell. The Soul is the absolute Seer and is Consciousness in nature, whereas all other things,-objects, body, senses, Pranas, mind, intellect, etc., are the seen and are inert in nature. The Soul is the Imperishable Reality, while everything else is perishable and false.






The Vedanta Philosophy is best taught through practical illustrations of daily life, because its abstract truths cannot be understood by the finite intellect very easily. The main purport of Vedanta is that Brahman alone is real and the whole world of appearance is unreal, and that the Jiva is nothing but Brahman Itself. This abstruse theory cannot be comprehended by ordinary men of small understanding, who are immersed in the life of relativity and ignorance. They are taught this sublime Truth by means of illustrations suitable to them, so that they may fix their minds on the Reality through various angles of vision.


Section I




In the twilight a man treads upon a rope, and mistaking it for a poisonous snake, jumps in hurry, and cries out in fear. His heart throbs quickly. But when a light is brought by a friend of his, he finds that it is not a snake but only a rope, and then all his fears vanish. This is to illustrate the unreality of the world and its superimposition on the supreme Brahman. Brahman is the Reality and the world is only a superimposition on Brahman just as the snake is a superimposition on the rope.




In the desert a traveller sees at noon a mirage where water, meadows, trees and mansions are seen. He believes the sight to be a true one and pursues the spot. The nearer he thinks he is to the spot the further it retreats from him. He leaves his way out far and wanders in the desert. Then he realises that he has done a mistake in straying away from his path in search of this false appearance of water. He once again does not get deceived by this kind of mirage. This is given, in Vedanta, to illustrate the falsity of the universe which appears to give pleasure, with objects for indulgence, to the wanderer, the Jiva. When the Jiva realises through Jnana or Knowledge of the Self, that this world is unreal and that he had done a mistake in turning away from the true path leading to his original State of Perfection or Svarupa, he stops from running after the false mirage of this life of sensual pleasure on earth. The world is only an appearance, just like a mirage which is only an appearance of the sun's rays.




This is similar to 'Akashanilima-Nyaya' or 'Stambha-Nara-Nyaya' (Man in the post). These are also similar to Rajjusarpa-Nyaya. These illustrate the superimposition of the unreal on the real. The mother-of-pearl is mistaken for pure silver, the attributeless sky appears blue, the post is mistaken for a man at night. The knowledge of the Supreme Brahman, the Reality, comes after proper understanding, through discrimination, patience, endurance, renunciation and meditation. The world is an appearance of Brahman, just as the man in the post is only an appearance of the post, and the silver in nacre an appearance of nacre.




This is similar to Mrittika-Ghata-Nyaya and the analogy of iron and implements. All the ornaments are made of one type of gold, but they are of diverse forms. They are all gold only in reality. There are various kinds of jars, pots and vessels, big and small, round and narrow, and of all forms, but all of them are but mud in reality. Various kinds of implements and tools are manufactured, with various forms and uses, but all of them are iron only in reality. The names of those various formations and their forms are false, since they are, in reality, only the original source, the gold, mud or iron. This is to illustrate that the various names and forms of this world and its contents are simply false, for all are in essence Brahman only. Brahman alone is appearing in many names and forms.




There are countless waves rolling in the vast ocean. Each wave is distinguished from the other and each wave can be perceived separately, one by one. But all are water only, and are not separate from the great ocean. All are one only in reality. The difference is only apparent. This illustrates that all the innumerable Jivas that appear in this universe, though apparently they are perceived to be separate from one another, are in reality that one Ocean of Satchidananda and are all identical with it. There is no difference or diversity.




This is the analogy of colour in crystals. The Sphatika or the brilliant crystal is pure in itself and has no particular colour of its own. But when a coloured object is brought near it, it reflects the same colour and itself appears to be of that colour,—blue, red or whatever it be. In the same manner, Brahman or the Atman is colourless, taintless and attributeless, but only the Upadhis or the limiting adjuncts make it appear as different and of various qualities, names and forms.




This is the analogy of the lotus leaf and water. Rain water often falls on a lotus leaf but the water drips down and the leaf does not get stained by or attached to the water on it. In the same manner, this Atman or Brahman is untainted, though there are countless worlds rolling in it, and countless bodies are seen to be put on by it.



The wind carries whatever scent is exposed to it and spreads it everywhere. But the air is pure and is not defiled by a bad scent or ornamented by a good scent therein. This is similar to the illustration of the lotus leaf and water to show the unattached state of the Atman or the Brahman, though it puts on various names, forms and actions in the appearance of phenomena.




The spider brings forth the thread from its mouth to weave its web and withdraws it again into its mouth. But the thread is nothing but the body of itself and is one with it. Even so this world is projected forth by Brahman and then again withdrawn by Brahman. But the world is nothing but the Being of Brahman only appearing. This shows that all is Brahman alone in reality.




There is only one sun illumining all the worlds. But there are perceived as many different reflections of the sun, as there are ponds, tanks, rivers, mirrors, etc. The sun is reflected in all waters, but there is only one real Sun. So also there is only one Supreme Existence-Absolute, the infinite Brahman, but that One Reality is reflected through the Upadhis of Maya and Avidya as various worlds and Jivas. This is false, for it is only the appearance of reflections. The Truth is only One.




This is the analogy of ether in a pot. There is the great Ether or the Mahakasa pervading the whole universe and there is the same ether inside a jar also. But the ether in a jar can be differentiated from the great ether on account of the ether being enclosed and contained by the jar. But the ether is in no way affected even in the least by the partitions made by the walls of the jar. When the jar is broken the ether in the jar becomes one with the great ether, having undergone no change at any time.

Even so, the Atman in the individual is partitioned by the mind and the body, but, in reality, it is one with the great Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. When the body is broken and the mind is destroyed the Atman becomes one with the Supreme Brahman, having undergone no change due to the appearance of the mind and the body, the products of Avidya or Upadhi or ignorance.




The Bhramara or the wasp is said to sting the insects or the Kitas which it brings to its hive and through stinging them and poisoning them makes them feel its presence alone everywhere, at all times. The insects, so to say, meditate on the presence of the wasp, at all times, and in turn become wasps themselves thereby. This is to show that by meditating on the formula 'Aham Brahma Asmi' or 'I am Brahman' the Jiva becomes Brahman itself in the end.




This is the analogy of the burnt cloth. If a cloth is burnt you will see, even afterwards, that there is the same form of the cloth appearing. But when touched with the hand even slightly, it is reduced to ashes. Even so is the body of the Jnani or the Jivanmukta. He does possess a body, but it is like the burnt cloth. It only appears, but it has no reality. It is burnt by the fire of Wisdom and there is no ego to sustain it. The Jnani is untouched by worldly taints and leaving that appearance of a body he attains Sadyo-Mukti or Kaivalya-Mukti.




To show to a person the star Arundhati in the sky, one points out at first to a big star above and says that that big star is Arundhati. The person is first led to a big star that is clearly seen and is said that that is the Arundhati. Then after rejecting that star the real star is shown. Even so, the aspirant is at first shown a physical method of approaching the Reality through service and formal worship of forms, but afterwards he is led gradually to the Supreme Truth which is formless and impersonal.




The seed is the cause of the tree and the tree is the cause of the seed. It cannot be said which is the cause of which. This is to illustrate that every question and statement has got a counter question and counter-statement, that every this is also every that, that the whole world is bound in relativity, and that the Ultimate Truth is Silence, which Dakshinamurti followed.




The child of a monkey catches hold of the mother's breast and never leaves it even in times of extreme danger. It does not rely upon the mother for its safety, but struggles for itself. This is to illustrate the nature of the aspirant on the path of Jnana-Sadhana, who does not rely upon any external help or grace for his salvation, but struggles for himself and attains Wisdom of the Self.




This is the analogy of stone and mud. Mud is very hard when compared to cotton but it is very soft when compared to stone. This is to show that a thing may be bad as compared with better things, but is good when compared with inferior things, and vice versa. This is used to illustrate that there is no quality in things by themselves, that there is no plurality in life, and that difference is caused only through imagination.




This is akin to Vandhya-putra-Nyaya, Gaganaaravinda- Nyaya, Gandharvanagara-Nyaya or Shashavishana-Nyaya. It is useless to search for the teeth of a crow, for it has no teeth. Similar is the case with the son of a barren woman, a lotus grown in the sky, a city in the clouds, and the horns of a hare. This is to show that it is meaningless to question about the contradictions and mysteries of existence like "Why did the Perfect God create an imperfect world?" etc., for there is no real change and there is no creation at all in reality, and that these questions arise so long as the Sun of Wisdom has not arisen.




When many cakes are tied to a stick and one says, "the stick has been pulled down and is not to be found", it naturally follows that the cakes also are missing. This is to illustrate that all doubts are cleared and desires pacified when it is known that Existence is Eternal, Infinite and Changeless, Undivided, Intelligence and Bliss! For, doubts and desires arise only when there is change or evolution.



A king asked a barber to bring the most beautiful boy in his kingdom. The barber searched in the whole country but could not find a really beautiful one. He felt very sorry and came to his house in distress. But finding his own son in his house, who was actually an embodiment of ugliness, he thought that his son was the most beautiful in the world and brought him to the king. This is to illustrate that whatever is dear to one and whatever is one much attached to, is found to be the best and the most precious and that men have love only for the world, as chey are strongly attached to it. Everyone is shut up within his own limited individual experience.




Worms revelling in poisonous substances are not affected by that poison and are happy there. This is to denote that, though a thing is worthless and low to one, it may be very good to another and may be the very thing that the other wants and craves for, and also vice versa. It illustrates that creatures of the world are happy in it, for they know not anything higher.




A crow came and sat on a palmyra tree, and just at that time, a fruit of that tree fell on its head and killed it. The falling of the fruit had really no connection with the crow's sitting on the tree. The coincidence of the two events was merely accidental. This illustration is used to describe anything which is purely accidental and has no reason behind it. It is said in the Yogavasishtha that the appearance of a common world to many Jivas, each of whom has really an independent world of itself, is only accidental (Kakataliya) and has no reason or any other meaning for it whatsoever.


Section II



Butter or ghee exists in milk. But where is it? It cannot be perceived. But it is present everywhere in milk, in each and every drop of milk. There is no particle of milk where butter or ghee is not present. In the same manner Brahman is present everywhere; and there is no speck of space where Brahman is not. But Brahman cannot be perceived and it seems to be nowhere. It is the very essence of cream or existence, but it is nowhere to the eyes of a worldly-minded man. This illustrates the omnipresence of Brahman.




Fire is present in all parts of wood, just like butter in milk. It is only one fire that is existent in all woods, but it becomes various in name, form and action when it manifests into visible fire. Even so Brahman which is the Reality in all things appears as many in name, form and action when manifest in various Jivas and countless worlds. But the Truth is only One; it only appears to be many.




Smoke emanates from fire. The dense smoke covers the bright fire and the fire cannot be seen. But the smoke comes only from the fire and is only a part of the burning fire. It is one with fire. Similarly Maya projects itself forth in the being of Brahman and clouds the appearance of Brahman so that Brahman is not perceived and there is variety in existence. But Maya is one with Brahman and is Brahman only appearing, the Effulgent, Consciousness-Bliss.




The necklace contains many beads of various forms, but there is one single thread that connects them all and keeps them in unity. The thread is their very support and being. Even so in the diverse Jivas and worlds that exist, there is one common Life-Principle, the Supreme Brahman, as it is called, that unifies the entirety of Existence, and is the very support and being of all that is.




The old and used clothes are thrown away and new clothes are put on by man. In the Bhagavad Gita this is given to illustrate that the Jiva throws off an old and used-up body and assumes a new one, and that the Jiva therefore does never die in reality.




The chameleon is an animal which changes its colour at any time according to the colour of the surface it moves on. A person who has seen the chameleon when it is assuming the colour red says that the chameleon is red. But the other one who has seen it only when it is assuming the colour green says that the chameleon is green. But a person who has watched the chameleon all along, carefully, under the tree, knows all its colours, and does not have any more doubts. This is to illustrate that people who have only a partial understanding of the Nature of God quarrel among themselves that this is right and this is wrong, God is like this, God is like that, etc. But a Brahma-Jnani who has calmly watched the nature of the whole existence knows its true nature and does not have any more doubts regarding the nature of the Absolute.




A particle of salt dropped in a large vessel of water dissolves itself in the water and is no more perceivable to the eye. But any part of that water, if tasted, is felt to be saltish. In the same manner the Jiva, on attaining Wisdom, dissolves itself in the ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss and becomes one with the All. All is felt to be the Supreme Bliss. It is everywhere the same.




If a thorn gets stuck to the leg, it is carefully removed with the help of another thorn. But after the work is over, both the thorns are thrown away and one becomes happy. Even so, the evil qualities and ignorance born of Avidya should be removed by virtuous qualities and knowledge and after attaining Peace, one has to discard them both and transcend all differences.




At the very touch of a philosopher's stone the sharp iron sword is turned into gold and afterwards it does not cut, even if it has the appearance of a sword. Even so, the ego of the Siddha-Jnani or the Jivanmukta, though it has the appearance of individuality and presents a physical body, cannot bind the Siddha again to rebirth, for it is transformed into Suddha-Sattva by the touch of the Supreme Wisdom of the Absolute.




In a chandelier various bulbs of different colour are seen and there is a grand diversity in their forms. But the basis of the entire light is the one power of electricity charged from the dynamo, which is the common force of all bulbs, and which has no colours or varieties. Even so, there are various worlds and creatures of multifarious names and forms, but all are having their basis or support in the one Power, the Supreme Brahman which is Indivisible and Attributeless, Nameless and Formless.




Two birds live in the same tree as comrades. But one of them eats the sweet fruit of the tree and gets bound in delusion. But the other bird does not eat anything and remains an eternal witness. This analogy occurs in the Rigveda and the Mundaka Upanishad. This is to illustrate that the Jiva and the Paramatman are both in the same body, but the Jiva enjoys through contact the pleasures and pains of Samsara and gets bound, whereas the Paramatman or the Supreme Soul, the Kutastha, remains as a Sakshi or a witness and exists ever in Absoluteness.




A person wears round his neck a gold necklace and in excitement and confusion searches for that necklace here and there. He walks and runs this side and that side but nowhere does he find the necklace, though it is around his own neck. Similarly, the individual or the Jiva searches for Perfection and Bliss out-side, everywhere, forgetting the fact that the Immortal Seat or Brahman is its very being itself and that it is identical with that Brahman.




The silkworm projects forth a certain thread from its mouth and then binds itself within a cocoon. Similarly, the Jiva binds itself through ignorance and attachment, and suffers from the bondage of embodied life through births and deaths.


Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!






Both in waking and in dream

Objects are "perceived"

As different from the subject.

The character of "being seen"

Is common to both kinds of experience.

There is subject-object-relationship

In waking as well as in dream.

This is the similarity between the two.

"Something is seen as an object" means

"Something is other than the self."

The experience of the not-self is illusory;

For, if the not-self were real, The self would be limited and unreal The illusory experience of the not-self Is common to both waking and dream.

In waking, the mind experiences through the senses:

In dream, the mind alone experiences.

In both the states, the mind alone experiences, Whether externally or internally.

Dream is transcended by waking;

Waking is transcended by Turiya.

Hence, both dream and waking are contradicted.

Waking contradicts dream,

And dream contradicts waking.

When the one is, the other is not.

Neither of the two is continuously existent.

This proves the unreality of both.




Duality is not real,

Because duality is the opposite of eternity.

Without duality there is no perception.

Hence, anything that is perceived is unreal,

Whether in dream or in waking.

Dream is real when there is no waking.

Waking is real when there is no dream

Hence,  both are unreal experiences.

They depend on one another for their existence.

One cannot say whether he is dreaming or waking, Without referring one state to another state.

Desires are the rulers of all experiences,

In waking and also in dream.

Waking is physical functioning of desires,

Dream is mental functioning of desires.

The senses are moved by desires in waking;

The mind is moved by desires in dreaming.

Both the states are like flowing streams.

They do not persist for ever in one state.

That which persists for ever is real.

Dream and waking have a beginning and an end.

Change is the character of all perceived objects.

Change implies non-existence at the beginning

And also at the end.

That which does not exist at the beginning,

And does not exist at the end

Does not really exist in the middle also.

Therefore waking is unreal like dream.




It may be objected by some that

Waking is real, because it is the cause of dream, And dream is not the cause of waking.

But this objection is without support.

If waking is a cause,

It must be real.

If it is real,

It must exist for ever.

Waking itself is without reality,

For it does not exist always.

If the cause itself is unreal,

How can it produce a real effect?

Both these are unreal states.

One who eats bellyful in the waking state

May feel hungry in the dream state.

And vice versa.

Things appear to be real only

In a particular condition.

They are not real always.

That which is not always real

Is an appearance, and so, unreal.




Anything that has got a form

Is unreal.

Forms are special modes of cognition and perception.

They are not ultimate.

In waking there are physical forms.

In dreaming there are mental forms.

Anyhow all are forms only,

Limited in space and time.

A form lasts only so long

As that particular mental condition lasts.

When there is a different mental condition,

The forms of experience also change.

This is why the form of the world vanishes

When Self-realisation is attained.




Both in dreaming and waking

External perceptions are considered as real

And internal functions as unreal (i.e., they are ignored).

If in waking we make a distinction

Between real and unreal,

In dream also we do the same thing.

Dream is real as long as it lasts;

Waking also is real as long as it lasts.

Dream is unreal from the standpoint of waking.

Waking is unreal from the standpoint of dreaming.

From the standpoint of the highest Truth,

Waking is as false as dream.




It may be said that objects in the waking state

Serve some definite purpose,

And these of dream do not serve a purpose.

This argument is incorrect.

Because, the nature of serving a purpose

Which is seen in objects of waking

Is contradicted by dream, and vice versa.

The utility and objective worth

Of things, states, etc., in waking,

Are cancelled in the dream state,

Even as the conditions and experiences in dream Are invalidated in waking.

Objects act as means to ends

Only in a particular condition

And not in all conditions.

The causal relationship of waking

Is rendered nugatory in dream, and vice versa.

The logical sequence of waking

Is valid to itself alone and not to dreaming

So is dream valid to its own state.

Waking and dreaming have their own notions of propriety;

And each is stultified by the other

Though each appears to be real to itself.

Thus, the validity of both the states

Is rejected.




It may be contended that

Objects of dream are queer, fantastic and unnatural, And, hence, waking cannot be like dream.

But the experiences in dream,

However grotesque or abnormal,

Are not abnormal to the dreamer.

They appear fantastic only in

A different state, viz., waking.

One cannot say what is really fantastic

And what is normal and real.

The mind gives values to objects;

And its conception of normality and abnormality Changes according to the state in which it is.

There is no permanent standard

Of normality, beauty or decorum,

Either in waking or in dreaming,

Which may hold good for all times.

The dreamer has his own conception

Of space, time and causation,

Even as the waking one has his own notions of them.

One state seems absurd when compared to the other.

This shows that both states are ultimately illogical And absurd from the highest standpoint.




The world of waking experience is unreal,

Because it is the imagination of the cosmic mind.

The fact that in Self-realisation

There is absolute cessation of phenomenal experience

Shows that all phenomena are unreal.

External forms are the expressions

Of internal Sankalpas or. willings.

Therefore, external objects have no real value.

They appear to exist only

As long as the Sankalpas exist.

The senses externalise the internal ideas

And present them in the forms of objects.

When the Sankalpas are drawn within,

The world of objective experience vanishes in toto.

The Infinite Subject, viz., the Self, alone remains.

There is no such thing as

Externality and internality in reality.

The ego and the non-ego,

The subject as well as the object,—

All are imaginations of the mind alone.




It may be said that

Objects seen in waking are not

Mere mental imaginations,

Because, the objects of waking experience

Are seen by other people also,

Whether or not one's mind cognises them.

But it is seen that

In the dream state also

Objects of experience are open to

The perception of other people,

Though the people as well as the objects

Are all subjective imaginations.

It may be said that in waking

We perceive things through the sense-organs

And not merely through ideas.

But it is seen that in dream also

We perceive things through the sense-organs

Belonging to the dream state,

Which are not less real than those of the waking state.

As dream is unreal,

Waking also must be unreal.




The objective world of waking experience

Cannot have independent existence,

Because, it is relative to the subject

Which cognizes or perceives it.

The object is called an object

Just because there is a perceiving subject.

Similarly, a subject is called a subject

Just because there is a perceived object.

Neither of the two is self-existent,

And, therefore, both prove themselves to be unreal.

Subject and object appear

In the form of cause and effect.

Without a cause there is no effect.

The conception of causation itself is illogical.

The mind perceives and recognises objects

Only by relating one thing to another.

The whole world of perception

Is a bundle of unintelligible relationships

Which the mind tries to organise into causes and effects.

Further, there is no causation at all,

Because, cause and effect are continuous.

There cannot be a lapse of time

In which the cause remains unchanged

If the cause can exist unchanged for some time,

There is no reason why it should change at any time at all.

Either there is continuous causation,

Or no causation at all.

If causation is continuous,

Cause and effect become identical,

Being inseparable from one another.

If they are identical,

It means there is no causation at all.

If there is no causation,

There is no world of experience, also.

The whole of the causal scheme is illogical,

Because it either requires the existence

Of a first uncaused cause,

Or it itself is meaningless.

There is no meaning in saying that

There is a first uncaused cause,

For, thereby, we create a beginning for time.

If causation were real,

It would never be possible to get rid of it.

But Self-realisation breaks the chain of causation.

Hence, causation is false,

And, consequently, the world of experience

Also is false.

As in dream also there is experience

Of the causal series,

The waking world is false like the dream world.






Waking experience is like dream experience

When judged from the absolute standpoint.

But it has Vyavaharika-Satta

Or relative reality.

From the standpoint of waking

Dream is Pratibhasika-Satta

Or apparent reality.

Turiya or Brahman is Paramarthika-Satta

Or Absolute Reality.

Waking is relatively more real than dreaming.

Turiya is more real than waking.

From the point of view of Turiya,

Both waking and dreaming are unreal.

But waking, taken by itself,

In relation to dream experience,

Has greater reality than dream.

To a certain extent,

As Turiya is to waking,

Waking is to dream.

Waking is the reality behind dream.

Turiya is the reality behind waking.

Dream is no dream to the dreamer.

Only by one who is awake

Dream is known to be a dream.

Similarly, waking appears to be real

To one who is still in the waking state.

Only to one who is in Turiya

Waking is devoid of reality.

Waking is Deergha-Swapna,

A long dream, as contrasted with

The ordinary dream which is short.




Waking is a part of Virat-Consciousness,

Though, in waking, due to ignorance,

The Virat is not directly realised.

Waking consciousness is the connecting link

Between the Jiva and the Virat.

Man reflects over the world and the Reality,

When he is awake,

And when his consciousness is active.

In dream; the intellect and the will

Are incapacitated due to Avidya,

And deliberate contemplation becomes impossible.

The Vishwa or the Jiva in the waking state

Is possessed of intelligence and free-will.

The Taijasa or the Jiva in the dreaming state

Is destitute of the same powers of free thinking.

Dream experience is the result of

Impressions of waking experience;

Whereas, waking experience is independent of

Dream experience and its effects.

There is a kind of order or system

In the waking experiences:

At least, more than in dream.

Everyday the same persons and things

Become the objects of waking experience.

There is a definite remembrance of

Previous days' experiences and of

Survival and continuity of personality

In waking experience.

The consciousness of this continuity,

Regularity and unity

Is absent in dream.

Dream is not well ordered,

While waking is comparatively systematic.




There are degrees of reality

In the experiences of the individual.

The three main degrees are

Subjective, Objective and Absolute.

Dream experience is subjective.

Waking experience is objective,

When compared to dream.

The realisation of the Atman or Brahman

Is experience of the Absolute Reality.

The individual is the subjective being

In comparison with the objective world.

The subject and the object have equal reality, Though both these are negated in the Absolute.

The objective world is the field of waking experience And, therefore, waking is the relatively real.

But, dream is less real than waking,

Inasmuch as the direct contact

With the external world of waking experience

Is absent in dream.

Though there is an external world in dream also, The value of it is less than that of the world in waking.

Though the form of the dream world agrees with

That of the waking world,

In quality the dream world

Is lower than the waking world.

Space, time, motion and objects,

With the distinction of subject and object,

Are common to both waking and dreaming.

Even the reality they present

At the time of their being experienced

Is of a similar nature.

But, the difference lies in

The degrees of reality manifested by them.

The Jiva feels that it is in a higher order of truth

In waking than in dreaming.




The argument that is advanced

To prove the unreality of waking

Is that waking also is merely mind's play

Even as dream is mind's imagination.

But, the objects seen in dream

Are not imaginations of the dream subject

Which itself is one of the imaginary forms

That are projected in dream.

The dream subject is not in any way

More real than the dream objects.

They both have equal reality

And are equally unreal.

The dream subject and the dream object

Are both imaginations of the mind of Vishwa

(waking consciousness)

Which synthesises the subject and objects in dream.

In a like manner, the waking individual

Is not the cause of the objects seen by it in the waking state,

For both these belong to the same order of reality.

Neither of them is more real than the other.

The virtues and the defects that characterise things Are present in all subjects and objects

That are experienced in the waking state.

The subject and the objects in waking

Are both effects of the Cosmic Mind

Which integrates all the contents of the universe.

The Cosmic Mind has greater reality

Than the individual mind.

Thus the waking state is relatively

More real than the dreaming state.




It cannot be said that

Taijasa is related to Hiranyagarbha

In the same way as

Vishwa is related to Virat.

Taijasa has a negative experience

Characterised by fickleness, absence of clearness, Lack of will-power and cloudedness of intelligence.

To express with certain reservations,

The relation of Taijasa to Hiranyagarbha

Is something like that of minus two to plus two;

Whereas, Vishwa is to Virat

As minus one is to plus one.

As minus one has a greater positive value

Than minus two,

And the distance between minus two and plus two

Is greater than that between

Minus one and plus one,

Vishwa has greater relative value than Taijasa,

And is more intimately connected with Virat

Than Taijasa with Hiranyagarbha.

Taijasa and Prajna are respectively

The parts of Hiranyagarbha and Ishwara,

Only as limited reflections with negative values

And not positively and qualitatively.

Otherwise Ishwara would have been only

A huge mass of ignorance,

As He is depicted as the collective totality

Of all Prajnas whose native experience is a state of sleep

Where ignorance covers the existing consciousness.

Prajna and Ishwara are like minus three and

plus three respectively,

And their relation is quite obvious.

As when a man stands on a river bank

And looks at his own reflection below,

That which is the highest appears as the lowest-

The original head is farthest from the reflected head.

That which is the lowest appears as the highest—

The original feet are nearest to the reflected feet.

In the same manner, Ishwara,

Who is the highest among the manifestations of the Reality,

And is omniscient and omnipotent,

Is the positive counterpart

Of the negative sleeping experience

Of complete ignorance and absence of power.

In the above illustration,

Virat corresponds to the foot of the man

Standing on the bank of the river,

And Vishwa to the reflected foot.

Vishwa is more consciously related to Virat

Than Taijasa to Hiranyagarbha

Or Prajna to Ishwara,

As the foot is nearer to the reflected foot

Than the waist to the reflected waist

Or the head to the reflected head.

These illustrations show that

Waking is relatively more real

Than dream which has only a negative value.

The illustrations used here

Are to be taken in their spirit, and not literally;

For, Vishwa, Taijasa and Prajna

Are not merely reflections

Of Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Ishwara respectively,

But also their limitations, With qualities distorted

And experiences wrested from truth.




As far as the manner of

Subjective experience is concerned,

It is true that what is within the mind

Is experienced as present in external objects.

But the objects themselves are not

Creations of the subjective mind.

There is a great difference between

Ishwara-Srishti and Jiva-Srishti.

The existence of the objects

Belongs to Ishwara-Srishti.

But the relation that exists between

The objects and the experiencing subject

Is Jiva-Srishti.

The Jiva is one of the contents of the

Jagat Which is Ishwara-Srishi.

Hence, the Jiva cannot claim to be

The creator of the world,

Though it is the creator of

Its own subjective modes or

Psychological experiences.

Waking experience is a cognition or a perception.

Dream-experience is a memory.

As cognition or perception precedes memory,

Waking precedes dream;

That is, dream is a remembrance

Of waking experiences,

In the form of impressions.

To Brahman, the waking world is unreal.

But, to the individual or the Jiva,

It is a relative fact

Lasting as long as

Individuality or Jivahood lasts.




That the waking world has a relative reality or Vyavaharika-Satta

Does not prove that it is real In the absolute sense.

Comparatively waking is on a higher order

Than dream experiences,

For reasons already mentioned.

But, from the standpoint of the highest Reality Waking experience also is unreal.

As dream is transcended in the state of waking,

The world of waking, too, is transcended In the state of Self-realisation.




I am the water of Immortality.

I am nectar.

I am sweet ambrosia.

I am bliss eternal.

I am unalloyed felicity.

I am infinite joy.

I am ocean of peace. am fountain of happiness.




I am one.

I am  the only one.

I am alone.

I am secondless.

I am non-dual.

I am Adwaita.

I am Adwitiya.

I am one without a second.




Ye kings, emperors and dictators,

Ye sun, moon and stars;

Ye deities, Indra and Varuna, etc.

I am your sole Ruler.

I am your supreme Ruler.

I am your Lord.




I have realised the Supreme Atman;

Therefore I am happy.

I am free from worldly ties;

Therefore I am happy.

I am free from all afflictions;

Therefore I am happy.

I am free from the bonds of Karma;

Therefore I am happy.

I am free from the chains of delusion;

Therefore I am happy.

I have attained the highest;

Therefore I am the happy.

I am enjoying the Supreme Bliss;

Therefore I am the happiest of the happy.




Waking state is different from dreaming state;

Dreaming state is different from deep sleep state;

Waking state is different from deep sleep state;

But there is one continuity of consciousness.

' is the same in all these states.

'I' is common.

One says:—

"I was waking", "I dreamt", "I slept".

Without continuity of consciousness

Remembrance is not possible.

That continuity of consciousness is the Atma.

It is the silent witness of the three states.




भद्रं कर्णेभिः शृणुयाम देवाः भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः स्थैरंगैस्तुष्टुवांसस्तनूभिः व्यशेम देवहितं यदायुः


शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः


Om! O gods! may we, with our ears, hear what is auspicious! O ye, fit to be worshipped! May we, with our eyes, see what is auspicious! May we enjoy the life allotted to us by the gods, offering our praise with our bodies strong of limbs!


Om Peace Peace Peace!


यदेतन्नामरूपात्मकं जगत् तदाभासमात्रम्

तद् ब्रह्मणः पुरस्तात् प्रतितिष्ठति

रज्जुसर्पन्यायेन ब्रह्मणि जगतोऽध्यासः देहाध्यायसश्च ॥१॥


1. This world of names and forms is a mere appearance. It has no independent existence apart from Brahman. Just as a snake is superimposed on the rope, this world and body are superimposed on Brahman.


यथा रज्जुज्ञानात् सर्पभ्रान्तिर्निवर्तते सह तन्मूलेन भयेन तथा ब्रह्मज्ञानान्निवर्ततेऽविद्या सहैव जनिमरणभयेन


2. Just as knowledge of a rope removes the illusion of a snake in the rope and the consequent fear, so also the knowl- edge of the Self (Brahman) removes Avidya or ignorance and the fear of birth and death.


तद् ब्रह्म तत् सच्चिदानन्दस्वरूपं स्वयंज्योतिर्नित्यं

अनाद्यन्तं निर्विकारं अमृतं अभयं निरंजनम्


3. Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa. It is self-luminous (Svayam-Jyoti). It is eternal (Nityam), beginningless (Anadi), endless (Ananta), changeless (Nirvikara), deathless (Amritam), fearless (Abhayam) and spotless (Niranjana).


निर्गुणं निराकारं निर्विशेषं अखण्डं निरुपाधिकं

एकमेवाद्वितीयं स्वतन्त्रं नित्यमुक्तं परिपूर्णम् ॥४॥


4. Brahman is attributeless (Nirguna), formless, (Nirakara), without special characteristics (Nirvisesha), without parts (Akhanda), without any limiting adjunct (Nirupadhika), one without a second (Ekam eva Advitiyam), independent (Svatantra), ever free (Nitya-mukta) and all-full (Paripurna).


शरीरत्रयव्यतिरिक्तं, पंचकोशेभ्यः पृथक्,

अवस्थात्रयसाक्षिभूतं, त्रिगुणातीतं, द्वन्द्वनिर्मुक्तम्।

सच्चिदानन्दात्मकं, सर्वत्रसारभूतं, अन्तःकरणस्य योनिः

तथा प्राणेन्द्रियशरीराणां अस्य जगतः ॥५॥


5. Brahman is distinct from the three bodies and five sheaths (Koshas). He is the silent witness of the three states. He transcends the three Gunas and the pairs of opposites. He is an embodiment of Sat-Chit-Ananda. He is the essence or Swarupa. He is the source or womb for the mind, Prana, Indriyas, body and this world.


ओमित्येष प्रणवो ब्रह्मणः प्रतीकः

वीर्यवच्चैतस्योच्चारणं ओंकारादेष प्रपंचः संवृत्तः

ओंकारे प्रतितिष्ठति ओंकारे प्रलीयते महाप्रलये। ओंकारश्चतुर्णां वेदानां सारभूतः ॥६


6. Om or the Pranava is the symbol (Pratika) of Brahman. It is the word of power. From Om this world is projected; in Om it exists and in Om it is again involved during the cosmic Pralaya. Om is the essence of the four Vedas.


योऽसौ प्रयतमानः साधनचतुष्टयसम्पन्नः

निरस्तचित्तदोषः स्थिरीकृतचित्तवृत्तिः

सात्त्विकगुणविशिष्टः एव ज्ञानयोगमर्हति ॥७॥


7. That aspirant, who is endowed with the four means of Sadhana, who has removed impurities and tossing of the mind, who is equipped with Sattvic virtues is alone fit for the path of Jnana Yoga.


जाग्रतया प्रयत्नसाधितेन दीर्घणाविच्छिन्नेन

ध्यानेन यथाक्रमं भूमिकाः समारोहेत्।

अप्राप्य भूमानं नाभियोगाद्विरमेत्। सविकल्पसमाधिमात्रेण सन्तोषाभासमुपलभ्य साधनमपहस्तयेत् ॥८


8. By careful, diligent, protracted and unceasing practice of meditation gradually ascend the steps (Bhumikas). Do not relax the efforts till you attain the Bhuma (Highest). Do not stop the Sadhana when you get some false contentment from the Savikalpa Samadhi.


सानुभवं सार्थानुसंधानं प्रणवमाम्रडयन्।

अध्यात्ममार्गे तरति सर्वानन्तरायान् हस्वः प्रणवः

सर्वपापापनोदनः। दीर्घो मुक्तिप्रदः प्लुतोऽखिलसिद्धिहेतु


9. Repetition of Om with meaning and Bhava will remove all obstacles in the spiritual path. The Hrasva (short) Pranava destroys all sins. The Dirgha (long) Pranava gives Mukti, the Pluta gives all Siddhis.



लक्ष्यार्थानुसन्धानमात्मबोधस्यातित्वरितः पन्थाः ॥१०॥


10. Meditation on the Lakshyartha (indicative meaning) of Tat Tvam Asi (That Thou Art) Mahavakya (great sentence) is the direct means for attaining Self-realisation.


साधनचतुष्टयसम्पन्नो मुमुक्षुः श्रोत्रियाद् ब्रह्मनिष्ठात्

अधीत्य श्रुतीः षड्लिंगप्रतिपत्त्या ब्रह्मविचारं

कृत्वा ध्यानसमाधी अनुप्रविशेत् ।। ११ ।।


11. That aspirant who is endowed with the four means of Sadhana should hear the Srutis from a Brahma-Shrotri- Brahmanishtha and enquire into the nature of Brahman through the help of Shad-lingas and then reflect and meditate.


साधनचतुष्टयसम्पन्नस्य साधकस्य मुमक्षोः सात्त्विकभावप्रभवा ब्रह्माकारवृत्तिः अज्ञानावरणं विभिद्य स्वयमपि नश्यति ॥१२॥


12. The Brahmakara Vritti that arises from the Sattvic mind of the aspirant who is equipped with the four means, destroys the veil of ignorance and dies by itself.


मनश्चापि जडम् सत्त्वगुणकार्यभूतम् ब्रह्मणो मूलभूतात् स्वप्रकाशमादत्ते तदेतत् सादि सान्तं ॥१३॥


13. Mind also is Jada. It is an effect (Karya) of Sattva Guna. It borrows its light from its source, Brahman. It has a beginning and an end.


तिस्रो भावनाः, निद्रा, चित्तविक्षेपो, विषयासक्तिः, चित्तावसादो, मनोराज्यं, व्याधिरित्यादयो नित्यमात्मसाक्षात्कारस्यान्तरायाः ॥१४॥


14. The three Bhavanas, sleep, tossing of the mind, running of the mind towards objects, depression, building castles in the air, diseases, etc., are the chief obstacles in the attainment of Self-realisation.


साक्षात्कृतपरिपूर्णस्वरूपो ज्ञानी सर्वप्राणिजातमात्मनि, सर्वस्मिन्नपि प्राणिजाते चात्मानं पश्यति तस्मै ब्रह्मणोऽन्यत् किमपि विद्यते नि:शंकं लोके संचरति ॥१५


15. The Jnani who has Self-realisation sees all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings. There is nothing other than Brahman for him. He moves about fearlessly in the world.


स्वसंकल्पमहिम्ना ज्ञानी सर्वमिच्छाविधेयमधिगछति

यदनुसंदध्यात् तस्य तदेवाविर्भवति महामहिम्नामाकरः ॥१६॥


16. A Jnani gets anything he likes through the power of his Sat-Sankalpa (perfect will). A Jnani wills and everything comes into being. A Jnani has tremendous powers.


ज्ञानाधिगमे कर्मणां प्रविलयः

ज्ञानिनः प्रारब्धकर्मापि विद्यते ॥१७॥


17. When one gets Jnana, all Karmas are destroyed. There is no Prarabdha (fructifying) Karma for a Jnani.


जीवत एव ज्ञानिनः तुरीयातीतदशायां विदेहमुक्तिर्भवति ॥१८॥


18. Videha Mukti comes when a Jnani is living. A Jnani gets disembodied salvation (Videha Mukti) when he enters the state of Turiyatita.


त्रैकालिकं ज्ञानं सर्वतो निर्भयता, सर्वथा निष्कामता, कथंचिदपि पीडानधिगमः, समतादृष्टिः द्वन्द्वेषु समता, अत्यानन्दशोकाद्यगोचरता, इत्यादीनि लिंगानि जीवन्मुक्तस्य ॥१९॥


19. The chief marks (Lingas) of a Jivanmukta are knowl- edge of the past, present and the future, absolute fearlessness, absolute desirelessness, absolute painlessness, equal vision, balanced mind, freedom from exhilaration and depression, etc.


जन्ममृत्यू बन्धमोक्षौ साधनसमाधी ध्यातृध्येयौ मुमुक्षुमुक्तौ इत्येतदेव पारमार्थिकं तत्त्वम् ॥२०॥


20. There is neither birth nor death, neither bondage nor freedom, neither Sadhana nor Samadhi, neither the meditator nor the meditated, neither seeker after liberation nor the liber- ated this is the ultimate truth.


Om Santi! Om Santi! Om Santi!




Khanda I




Om! Brahman or Siva or the Impersonal Absolute is the Source and Substratum for the world of phenomena. He is the Source of the Vedas. From Him this world proceeds. In Him it lives. In Him it gets dissolved. He is Eternal, Self-existent, Self-luminous and Self-contained. He is all-Full. He is beyond Time, Space and Causation. He is birthless, deathless and decayless.


Khanda II




He moves and moves not. He moves in His manifested or Saguna aspect. He moves not in His transcendental aspect. He is smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. He is smaller than the smallest because He is the Soul of even the ant, the mustard and the atom, and He is extremely subtle. He is greater than the greatest because He is the Soul of this entire universe and extends beyond this universe, also, and He is Infinite. He is nearer than the nearest and farther than the farthest. He is nearer to the thirsty aspirants, but He is farther to those who are worldly-minded. He is nearer than the nearest because He is the Inner Soul of everything. He is farther than the farthest because He is Infinite. He is beyond the reach of the mind and the senses (Avangmanogochara). He cannot be reached by people of gross mind and outgoing senses. But He can be attained by that aspirant who is endowed with a subtle, sharp, one-pointed intellect (Manasaivaanudrashtavyam), and who is equipped with the four means, and the grace and the instructions of a Brahma-Srotri, Brahma-Nishtha Guru, on Tat-Tvam-Asi Mahavakya.


Khanda III




Brahman is the only Reality. He is the only living Truth. The Liberated Sage or Jivanmukta beholds Brahman only everywhere. There is no world for him in the three periods of time. But the ignorant man sees only the five elements and the forms. The world of names and forms only is real for him. He denies Brahman altogether.


Khanda IV




The man who moves in a desert in the noon sees the mirage at some distance and mistakes it for water. He runs there to drink water but is disappointed. The rays of the sun fall on the bed of sand and generate the mirage. The mirage appears as a sneet of water and deludes man. Even so the worldly man beholds the five elements and their combination, i.e., names and forms, on account of Avidya. Avidya hides the real and makes the unreal appear as real.

In the twilight a man mistakes a rope for a snake, gets frightened and cries. When a friend brings a light his fear vanishes. He sees a rope only. Even so a worldly man mistakes the impure, perishable body for the Pure, Imperishable Atman and suffers in diverse ways on account of this erroneous notion or superimposition (Adhyasa) caused by Avidya. When the Avidya is destroyed through Brahma-Jnana or Knowledge of the Eternal through initiation into the significance of "Tat-Tvam-Asi" Mahavakya by the Preceptor or Brahma-Vidya Guru, he becomes identical with the Supreme Soul. The world of names and forms vanishes in toto. He sees Brahman only.

All his fears terminate.


Khanda V




The feeling of pleasure is an internal feeling. There is no pleasure in physical objects, though they excite pleasure in man. Sensual pleasure is only a reflection of the Bliss of the Atman. When a desire is gratified the mind moves towards the Atman and rests in the Atman for a very short time, and the man experiences pleasure . Atman or Brahman only is the embodiment of Bliss (Ananda Svarupa). Atman is full of Bliss (Anandamaya). Atman is a Mass of Bliss (Ananda-Ghana).


Khanda VI




Brahman is both the material and the efficient cause of this universe (Abhinna-Nimitta-Upadana-Karana). He is the fictitious material cause (Vivarta-Upadana). He somehow appears as this universe through Maya, without Himself being affected in the least, by names and forms. This is a mystery. This is indescribable.


Khanda VII




Just as the crystal is not affected by the coloured objects, though it reflects them, just as the sun is not affected by the defects of the eye and other objects, just as ether is not affected, by reason of its subtlety, so, seated everywhere in the body, this Atman is not affected.


Khanda VIII




He who is equipped with the four means, who has purified his heart through selfless service (Nishkama Karma Yoga); service of Guru, Japa, Kirtan and Upasana, who is calm, dispassionate, reflective, discriminative, fearless, straightforward, humble, large-hearted, compassionate, generous, truthful, pure and who is free from pride, egoism, arrogance, will realise this Mysterious, Indescribable, Unthinkable Brahman or the Imperishable.


Khanda IX




Kaivalya-Mukti or final emancipation can be attained through knowledge of Brahman. Krama-Mukti is attained through Bhakti.

Mukti is not a thing to be achieved or attained. It is already there. You will have to know that you are free, by removing the veil of ignorance.


Khanda X




I am All-blissful Siva                                                                    OM!

I am Immortal Brahman                                                            OM!

I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute

(Satchidananda Svarupoham)                                    OM!

I am Infinite (Ananta)                                                                 OM!

I am Eternal (Nitya)                                                                    OM!

1 am ever pure (Suddha)                                                          OM!

I am perfect (Siddha)                                                                  OM!

I am ever free (Mukta)                                                               OM!

I am unattached (Asanga)                                                         OM!

I am witness (Sakshi)                                                                 OM!

I am non-doer (Akarta)                                                              OM!

I am non-enjoyer (Abhokta)                                                    OM!

I am not this body                                                                        OM!

I am not this Prana                                                                      OM!

Satchidananda-Svarupoham                                                   OM!


This is the Quintessence of Kevala-Advaita Vedanta or Absolute Monism.


Thus ends the glorious Siva Vidya! OM!




A young aspirant says: "I have taste for Vedanta only. I do not like either Bhakti or Karma Yoga. They are far inferior to Vedanta. Only Vedanta elevates me. Only Vedanta inspires me and raises me to the magnanimous heights of Divine Splendour and Glory."


This foolish Vedantic student is like the greedy typhoid patient with ulcers in his bowels, who wants to eat and says, "I have taste for sweetmeats. I want to eat them now." What will be the result if he eats Rasagullas and Laddus at this stage?

The bowels will rupture and he will die of bleeding from the bowels or intestinal haemorrhage immediately.


He is also like the patient who selects himself a medicine from the almirah, Liquor Arsenicalis or Tr. of Opium, and says, "I like this medicine only. I want to taste this now." What will happen if he tastes this medicine without consulting the doctor? He will die of arsenical or opium poisoning. He does not know the dose of the medicine. Instead of taking a few drops he may take them in a large quantity and give up his vital breath at once. It is the doctor alone who can select the right medicine for the patient.


Everybody cannot want to become a Commissioner or District Collector or Governor without possessing the necessary qualifications. Can anyone become an M.A., Ph.D., without undergoing the course for Matriculation, F.A. and B.A.?


It is the Guru alone who can select the right type of Yoga for the aspirant and right kind of books for him. He knows the degree of evolution of the student and he alone can chalk out the right path for the aspirant. He will ask him to study first Atma-Bodha, Tattva-Bodha, Atma-Anatma-Viveka. But the raw self-willed student goes to the library and at once takes up the highly advanced books, Yoga-Vasishtha and Brahma-Sutras, for his study! He becomes a pseudo-Vedantin or lip-Vedantin within six months and enters into discussions with elderly aspirants.


A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. After studying Yoga-Vasishtha and the Karikas on Mandukya Upanishad for six months, he says: "There is no world in the three periods of time. Aham Brahma Asmi—Sivoham—Sivah Kevaloham." He is puffed up with empty pride, vanity and hollowness, and walks in the streets with his head erect. He will never make any prostration to elderly Sannyasis and Sadhus, but chant the formula very often, "Sivoham, Sivoham."


Such aspirants are formidable Asuras on this earth. They are a great burden on this earth. They pollute the atmosphere and create dissensions and quarrels everywhere, by entering into heated debates with sincere devotees and Karma Yogis.

They cannot prosper in the spiritual path.


Vedanta in the hands of raw and unregenerate persons who lack purity and devotion and who have not removed the impurity of their hearts through untiring selfless service with Atma-Bhava and Kirtan and prayer, is perilous. It is like a sharp razor in the hands of a child. Instead of expanding their hearts the Vedantic study will thicken and fatten their egoism. They fall into the deep abyss of ignorance. There is no hope, for them, of being lifted up, as their heart is filled with foolish, Tamasic, obstinacy, false Vedantic pride and self-superiority and false Tushti (satisfaction).


May this land be free from such impotent, pseudo lip-Vedantins! May this world abound with real Vedantins like Dattatreya, Yajnavalkya and Sankara!




Aparoksha-Brahma-Jnana is direct realisation of the Self through intuition.


Brahmakara-Vritti is generated from the pure mind which is equipped with the four means, by meditation on the Self.


Chit is pure consciousness or Knowledge-Absolute.

Dama is restraint of the senses.


Ekamevadvitiyam Brahma: Brahman is one alone

without a second.


Faith in the teachings of the Shrutis and the Guru and in one's own Self is very essential for the attainment of Self-realisation.


Gaudapada was the first systematic exponent of Vedanta.


Hridaya-granthi or the knot of ignorance is annihilated by attainment of Brahma-Jnana.


Ishvara is Sopadhika-Brahman, associated with Maya.


Jiva is identical with Brahman, when its ignorance is detroyed by knowledge of the Self.


Kutastha is Sakshi or silent witness of the mind.

Laya of the mind cannot give you salvation.


Mahavakyas or the great sentences of the Upanishads are four in number; "Prajnanam Brahma," "Aham Brahmasmi," "Tat Tvam Asi," and "Ayam Atma Brahma."


Nididhyasana is constant and profound meditation on the Self or Brahman, after reflection (Manana).


Om is the symbol of Brahman.


Para-Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda-Swarupa, Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute and Bliss-Absolute.


Quintessence of Vedanta is the identity of Jiva with Brahman.


Rajas is passion which obstructs the dawn of knowledge.


Soham, "I am He," is a good formula for Vedantic meditation or Ahamgraha Upasana.


Titiksha is power of endurance.


Uparati is satiety or renunciation of works and taking up of Sannyasa.


Viveka is discrimination between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the impermanent.


Wealth of the Atma is real inexhaustible wealth.


X'mas holidays must be well utilised in Vedantic Sadhana.


Yathartha-Brahma-Jnana or real knowledge of Brahman alone can give you Moksha.


Zeal and earnestness are indispensable, if you wish to have quick progress towards Atma-Sakshatkara.