Nature of Brahman: The Supreme Self By Prof. Harish C. Gaur

—- In," jagbir singh"
>"The supreme divinity, Lalita, is one's own blissful Self.”
> ~Bhavana Upanishad 1.27
>"This primeval power is Tripura,
> The supreme sovereign, Tripura;
> Goddess great with ear-rings adorned
> In sphere of fire abiding.”
> ~Tripura Tapini Upanishad 1.9
>"She alone is Atman. Other than Her is untruth, non-self. Hence is
> She Brahman-Consciousness, free from (even) a tinge of being and
> non-being. She is the Science of Consciousness, non-dual Brahman
> Consciousness, a wave of Being-Consciousness-Bliss. The Beauty of
> the three-great-cities, penetrating without and within, is
> resplendent, non-dual, self-subsisting. What is, is pure Being;
> what shines is pure Consciousness; what is dear is Bliss. So here
> is the Maha-Tripura-Sundari who assumes all forms. You and I and
> all the world and all divinities and all besides are the Maha-
> Tripura-Sundari. The sole Truth is the thing named 'the
> Beautiful'. It is the non-dual, integral, supreme Brahman.”
> ~Bahvricha Upanishad 1.5

Nature of Brahman: The Supreme Self
By Prof. Harish C. Gaur

About the importance of knowing Brahman, Yajnavalkya said—-"In this world, one without knowing the imperishable, may offer oblations into fire, perform sacrifices, practice austerities for thousands of years (but still) find all such acts unproductive (of result). Also, whoever departs from this world (meets death) without knowing the imperishable, is miserable, but he who departs after knowing, that as a knower of Brahman (Brahmavit), attains to Brahman.”

But how does one know, if It exists? It is said that just as"Oil exists in sesame seeds, butter in milk, water in (underground) rivers, fire in (Arani) woods, yet is not apparent. But one can obtain oil by compressing the sesame seeds, butter by converting the milk into curd and churning, water by digging the wells and fire by rubbing together two pieces of dry wood. Likewise, Self is realized as the Self (within) when one looks for it by truthfulness, observing austerity" (Svet. Up. I. 15-16).

It is emphasized that only the purified Antahkarana of a being is capable of 'revealing' the self by reflection (Abhasa) like the sun reflected in a (clean) mirror or in (still and clean) water. But if polluted by blemishes as attachment arising from contact of senses with respective objects and possessed of desire, anger, pride, greed, envy etc., it becomes non-transparent like a stained mirror or disturbed/polluted water in a lake and does not enable reality of the Self to be revealed even though it is so near.

Also, Supreme Self is not attained by (revealed to) one bereft of vigor (weak spirit), to one possessed of ignorance (from constant adherence to body as Self ), delusion (caused by attachment to mundane things) or from improper practice of austerities etc. The self of the enlightened (possessed of knowledge) who strives with diligence and possessed of proper means attains to union with (enters the abode that is) Brahman (Mund. Up. III. 2.4). In yet another context, Lord Yama told Nachiketa—-"One who has not desisted from activities prohibited (not sanctioned by scriptures), whose senses are not under control, whose mind may not be concentrated and is not free from anxiety (about the result of concentration) cannot attain to the Self (even) through knowledge" (Kath. Up. 1. 2. 24).

The favorable condition for the intellect is purity and transparency like a cleaned mirror or clean and still water. Thus, possessed of purified intellect (Antahkarana) freed from all desires and by prolonged and uninterrupted practices that lead to divine traits (also, subjugating non-divine traits), with control of mind and senses, one realizes the individual self through meditation (thinking of it alone) with concentrated mind, by a control of Prana repeating 'So' while inhaling and 'ham' while exhaling; Soham (I am He) being a reminder of oneness of the self with Brahman (Brihad. Up. I. 4. 1). Also it is emphasized that 'self' alone should be realized (Brihad. Up. I. 4.7). In the purified intellect, Self is said to reveal its true nature. About the necessity of freeing one's self from desires it was said—-"When all desires clinging to one's heart fall off, then a mortal becomes immortal and he attains to Brahman here (meaning in this life) (Kath. Up. II. 3.14). The cessation of bondage from desires is like blowing out a lamp. He attains to Brahman.

Realization of Self is facilitated by association with and the guidance of a qualified teacher (Guru), who besides being a knower of Brahman (Brahmavit), should have realized Brahman. The realization is accomplished in several stages by understanding the true significance of Sruti Mahavakya as 'yam Atma Brahma' (this individual self is the Supreme Self, Brahman) (Brihad. Up. II. 5. 19), atattawamasi' (Thou art That, Brahman), (Ch. Up. VI. 8.7), culminating in 'ham Brahmasmi' (I am Brahman) (Brihad. Up. I. 4.10). The man without desire, has no Karma and therefore no cause to go through yet another birth, his organs such as of speech etc., do not depart (with the subtle body). He is undifferentiated from the Supreme Self. It is said—-"Any one who knows the supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed" (Mund. Up. III. 2. 9). It is clarified that if the difference was real, Jiva could not become Brahman Itself. Knowledge. may destroy ignorance but not what is real. Because Jiva becomes Brahman, its identity was real, the ignorance having been destroyed by knowledge leaving only Brahman.

When one awakens up from deep (dreamless) sleep (Sushupti), he says he was not conscious of anything, meaning he did not know or was ignorant, but he did experience the bliss with no worries or pain. This is a momentary experience of oneness of individual self with the Supreme Self, albeit in ignorance. In present day medical practices, this bliss (freedom from pain) is artificially created when the body is unable to bear pain as during and after surgery. By administering anesthetic agents with sedative influence, the patient is induced to deep-sleep and unconsciousness, oblivious of the pain the body is undergoing. Realization of the Supreme Self is the attainment of that bliss while one is conscious (as in Samadhi) and without the adjunct of ignorance. This is realization of the Supreme Self by the self.

Nature of Brahman: The Supreme Self
By Prof. Harish C. Gaur

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