The Pure Consciousness, which witnesses both being and becoming, is real7 min read

These elephants , horses, youth, chariots, wealth, large houses and luxuries will not avail in the long run. They are liable to be lost in a moment. They are unreal like the figures in a passing cloud. O my mind, knowing this fact, leave them aside at a distance and, in order to obtain Self-realization through the words of the Teacher, worship the Lord of Parvati. OM. (Shri Shankaracharya “Hymn for Forgiveness” Verse 12).

There are two states that the mind undergoes and notices all the time. The mind creates a dream, and in the dream it creates the dream-mind and observes and notices the dream. In every dream, the mind creates the personality of the dreamer which he sees acting in it; there is no dream without it. The whole dream, including the dreaming personality, has only an illusory existence. The two states, being and becoming, are relative; being depends upon becoming, and vice versa.

All that is relative is an illusion; because it is passing, it has no stability but the Pure Consciousness, which witnesses both being and becoming, is real. It does not pass because time, space and causation, through which changes take place and in which the whole world exists, exist in the Pure Consciousness. Time and space are referred to the unchanging Consciousness, so we say it is “half the time”, “the full time” or “a fraction of the time”. You refer space to the Pure Consciousness and say “this is nearer than that” and you know it is the space in the house, the room, the town or absolute space. Causation is something which is constantly moving.

These three states constitute the whole world but they do not affect Consciousness, which is their subject. Therefore Pure Consciousness alone is, and is real, and all other than Pure Consciousness is merely words, words, words. This is undeniable truth and the mind should be focussed in the contemplation of this truth; and when it is focussed on the state of Pure Consciousness, the mother of the mind, then the flashes of realization come and lead to the state called jivanmukti, Atman-darshana.

Stithaprajna, Atman-darshana, is a fact; no logical reasoning can contradict it. It is explained in a Shruti of the “Amritabindu Upanishad” (verse 10) which has been adapted in “Panchadasi”, “Vivekachudamani” (Verse 574) and other classics (e.g. “Karikas” 2.32.): “What is Paramartha, the spiritual reality, the absolute truth? There is no dissolution and no genesis of the world. Nobody is in bondage and verily none is free. There is no mumukshu and there is no mukta.” In the one Pure Consciousness, no change is possible and no change can ever occur. To let the mind dwell upon this state and be established in this state leads to samadhi, the awakening from the dream of sansara. OM.

When the intellect is active, it creates the illusion of sansara. When the intellect is passive, then the whole world is absorbed and does not exist. Shri Gaudapada in the “Karikas of Mandukya” (4.47.) says: “A lighted firebrand, when given a circular motion, creates a circle of fire. It can create a straight line of fire; it can create a triangle of fire.” Is there a circle in the firebrand? No. In space? No. Where does the circle come from? No one can say; in reality it does not exist. There is no circle; there is only the firebrand. Similarly, when the intellect is in motion, then mountains, rivers, learning, ignorance, kingdoms, laws, governments, families and relatives come into being. And when the intellect is passive, as in the state of deep sleep, they all cease to exist. Shri Vasishtha says again and again: “O Ramaji, this world is only a play of the intellect.”

Gita 6.47.: (Anybody who tries to know the truth is called a yogi. One who worships, gives charity, who does pilgrimage, studies, meditates, who strives with deep interest to know Truth, is called a yogi.) “Among all the yogis, he who has by-contemplation united himself with Me (Shri Vishnu, Virat, Hiranyagarbha i.e. who contemplates Me with his soul devoted unto Me), who has faith (in the intrinsic divinity of himself, faith in the validity of the scriptural knowledge, faith in the explanation given by the Teacher of the scriptural truth), who worships Me and devotes himself exclusively to Me (I am the object of his thought, his feeling, the inspirer of his will. In cause and effect, he sees Me alone; he sees that all and everything are pictures painted by the mind on the canvas of Me and that I enliven each and every picture), he is most highly established in Me.”

Napoleon was established in ambition, to become the ruler of the world. Newton was established in learning, in discovery of the laws governing Nature. Don Quixote was established in his illusory grandeur of knighthood. Madame Dubarry was established in her power to control entirely Louis XV. In what are we established? If in a little daily pleasure, a little gain here and there, in supremacy over this heart or that, we are puerile.

Let us be established in Vasudeva, the universal Consciousness, by means of faith, self-control, by uniting ourselves with the supreme spirit. When we are illumined, the only duty that is left for us is to carry illumination to countless others by word of mouth, writing and meditation. This is the highest state. The little interests have to be resigned in favour of the greater interests. I have to stop playing truant or the lessons in history, literature and science will be wasted. Playing in the fields on a fine spring day and attending a class in arithmetic do not go together. In this greater interest of Yoga, let all petty interests go without fear. The one supreme Cause of this whole universe is the Lord Himself. By His order, the earth revolves. We should not worry how things will go. Our one duty is to unite our soul in meditation with Him, to be established in Him. He is in all and will provide. OM.

Shri Shankara says: “Let one drink the water in which the feet of the Guru have been washed. It removes the root cause of ignorance. It negates the forces which lead to rebirth and karma.” In order to produce knowledge and vairagya, the greatest instrument of knowledge, let him follow, let him meditate upon and listen to the Guru, and through the Guru we will have glimpses of enlightenment. OM.

Swami Sacchidananda Maharaja, in 1908 in the city of Meerut, was sitting in the roof garden of his fellow-disciple Pandit Baijnath. He said to a visiting Pundit: “You say you are of Brahman.” The Pundit said: “Oh no, Swamiji, I am not Brahman, am day and night roasted with woes. I was once a virile youth; now I am an old man, supporting myself on a stick. The Shruti says ‘Brahman is ever-blissful and immortal.’ How can I be Brahman? Brahman is all-powerful. I am not powerful. I am changing, getting old all the time.” The Pundit forgot that the description was not of himself but of the body. It was never suggested that the body was Brahman. The body becomes old, and not the consciousness which experiences the body as an old instrument. In consciousness there is no time or space; it is consciousness. Swamji said: “If you say that you are not Brahman, this shows that you must know what Brahman is! Your negation implies a knowledge of Brahman. Please tell me what is that Brahman which you are not, and what you are. Brahman is “That from Whom the world springs forth, in Whom it stays and in Whom it is finally absorbed.” (“Chandogya Upanishad” 3.14.1.). If you are not That, then tell me, are you the subject of Brahman or the object of Brahman? Everything in the world is governed by the subject-object relationship.” The Pundit became silent. Swamiji said: “Then, give up this importunity and your impudence that you do not know what you are, and say ‘I am Brahman, Shivoham, Shivoham.'” OM.