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THE STATE OF JEEVANMUKTHI
Our Acharya taught Advaita in order that all beings may be redeemed.
We who have come in that tradition are visiting all sorts of places. When we do so, we are reminded frequently of Him and of His
Now all of us have met here. At this time, the memory of Sri Bhagavatpada
comes to all of us. This is an important fruit of the tradition he has left for
us that we should be constantly wandering about.
This is not alone. There is
also another purpose. The Acharya
established our religion and the way of dharma
from the Cape to the Himalayas. He
has also given us a command. His
command to us is that we should expound the various topics connected with our
religion, when we perform the Pooja of Sri Chandramouliswara at the different
places to which we go. For this
purpose, He has also made us bear His name.
Therefore our main task is to spread the teachings of the Bhagavatpada,
being in the Sanyasa Asrama.
We call those as Acharyas who have established religion.
It is usual for those who have established religion to refer to our
Acharya as the Bhagavatpada. It is
not our habit to utter the name of those whom we revere.
is the wish in us, i.e., in all beings, right from the ant onwards, that we
should remain without dying but each and every being dies again and again and
also is born again and again. We
have heard from the epics that there were many great people who have conquered
death. In recent times, it is known
that there was one such great person of that nature, Sadasiva Brahmendra.
Now also there may be some great ones but they do not come to us and tell
us what is the medicine that will remove the disease called death.
It is this highly potent medicine that the Bhagavatpada has taught us.
We can acquire it even while living.
We do not have the sufficient power for getting it after death. Those of us who died formerly have taken birth again.
Is that not so? Even because of this what I stated just now is clear.
Similarly one who is not surviving cannot die.
Because we died previously, we should have taken birth.
If we probe thus still further our head will reel.
Let that be.
I said that we couldn’t acquire the medicine for not dying after death and that
is known from the fact that we have taken birth again.
In the same manner, we know that even in the previous births, when we
were living we did not discover this path.
The reason for this is this: Is that not so?
Thus the disease known as birth and death haunts us all and has been
baffling us. Lord Krishna says to
Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, II.27.
jatasya hi dhruvo mrityur dhruvam
janma mritasya cha.
If we find happiness in the process of repeatedly dying and taking birth we need not seek for the medicine which will give us the state of deathlessness. We do not see this to be the case.
For man there was set up a body by someone, somewhere.
As long as that lasts, hunger and thirst will continue to afflict him. In order to pacify them, everyone has to go in search of many
things. Because they are helpful
for our purpose, there arises in us the desire for them. If there is some hindrance in the way, we get angry.
It is in order to remove the disease consisting of hunger and thirst that
all of us go through so much difficulty. If
it is some other disease, it can be removed through some medicine. But this disease cannot be removed that way.
It arises time and again, and continues to give us trouble.
If some Siddha can give us
medicine for remaining without hunger, there will be no need to suffer in this
manner. Some days ago I was at a
place in Chittoor district which is a Theertha
for Bugga. Near that place there
are two springs, called Kailasa kone
and Sadasiva kone. The word “kone” in Telugu means a mountain stream.
There are Siva temples at those places.
I went there. They are merit affording and very pure waterfalls are there.
All around there is a quietude as well as peace.
When performing ablutions and taking bath there it would occur to the
mind “Let us stay here itself, hereafter we need not go anywhere.
There cannot be a better place. Yet
why do we come back from there? Is
it not because of the torture of hunger? Those
areas are so fine and mentally satisfying.
Since this came to my memory I spoke about it.
When for a man there happens relation to a body, it is called birth; when
the body relation is removed, it is death.
I said that as long as this body lasts hunger would not leave us.
Then it means that when the body goes the trouble will disappear.
There seems to be an easy way of achieving this.
Now a days when some people are guilty of some great mistake, or have to
face some unbearable sorrow they take a revolver, shoot themselves.
Can this be a way of removing the relation with the body?No, it cannot.
Although this gross body goes, there is some sort of another body.
One has to be wandering somewhere with that one.
Again one must take another lowly birth. Committing suicide is not the right way.
The dharma sastras say that
suicide is a heinous crime. We have suffered such difficulties earlier by committing many
sins. Along with them, if the sin
of suicide also joins, births and sufferings will only increase.
Even at the present time, committing suicide is thought to be a great
crime. If one person murders
another he is sentenced to death in the court.
What for is this? By sentencing him to death will his sin be removed
completely? Not at all.
That punishment is not for his good.
If he continues to live he will murder many more.
Is that not so? Better than
the death of many in that manner is the death of one.
That is why the punishment is given.
Let this be.
The body is a great disease. Committing
suicide is sin. Remaining without
death is the supreme state. All
this I have said. What is the way
to reach that state? It is this
that the Bhagavatpada has taught us. In
each and every religion the respective preceptors have taught a particular
method for gaining this end. The
Saivas sponsor a method. Another
method is taught by Vaishnavas. Different
from these two, others show a third method.
Many other means have been expounded.
The Bhagavatpada does not discard any of them.
They are all acceptable. But
through them there can only be a temporary remedy for this disease.
The root-cause of the disease will remain attached to us.
A man gets malaria. We give
medicines like quinine. If these
are given the fever stops. But will
this do? If we are able to get some medicine, which will remove the
cause of this fever so that it will not recur, will that not be supremely
valuable? Curing the disease called
the body through the methods taught in other traditions is like taking quinine.
For temporary relief we must take that also.
Accepting all the various means the Bhagavatpada teaches another method,
which is superior to all of them. I
have already stated that we cannot take this medicine after death.
At that time all our faculties like the eyes, the legs, etc. would be
devoid of any power. The Purusha
suktha is chanted every day at the time of the Pooja.
In that suktha the following mantra
tam evam vidvan amritha iha bhavathi
nanyah pantha vidhyathe yanaya
meaning of this mantra is: He who has
known this Self very well becomes one who has attained the state of
deathlessness even in this birth. For
gaining this state there is no other way.
Amritha means moksha. To those who
have gained moksha there are no birth and death.
Therefore moksha is called amritha. The disease called the body is not something, which has come
to man anew. It has come from
countless time and without our knowledge. We
require only the experience of those who have had this disease cured by taking
the appropriate medicine. Even like
this disease the medicine which is meant for this is also stated in the
We write a book. Before the writing it was not there. The Veda is not
like it. It was not written by
someone. The conclusive view is
that it is like the perennial teaching. I
shall tell you about it when there is time.
In the passage cited above there is the word iha
(here). Therefore even while
this body lasts, it is clear, the state of deathlessness can be gained.
This way alone is the best. Why?
If as is stated in other traditions this state is to be gained in another
world, we cannot know about it now. Those
who have gained it will not come back and tell us about that experience.
The purport of the passage is that Self-knowledge is the means to the
state of immortality. I said that
the disease consisting of hunger and thirst is common to all beings.
In order to satisfy it there are required instruments such as eyes,
tongue, etc. The mind too is
needed. Through the mind we come to
know which objects are good and which are bad.
With the help of these instruments we acquire many objects.
In order to protect them there is required a house; in order to help us a
wife, son, relations, friends and others. Without
stopping therewith, we begin to have great conceit in them, thinking they are
ours. If there is pain for the
instruments—eyes, legs, etc. we imagine that the pain has come to us.
If the body gets emaciated, we think that the suffering is ours. From this, is it not clear that we have not understood our
true nature? Although sometimes we
say “This is my mind”, “this is my eye, my body”, etc. separating
ourselves from them, yet at the same time the conceit of identity does not leave
us as is evident from such statements as “I am tall”, “I am short”, etc.
The medicine, which will destroy this, is Self-knowledge alone.
It is customary always to find the proper medicine for a particular
disease. If one takes on oneself on
account of ignorance, the troubles which are not there and suffers as a
consequence, the proper medicine for that is the knowledge that these do not
belong to one. If we realise that
the body is not ours then the disease called the body will go of its own accord.
For the sake of this, one need not commit suicide nor is there required a
search for some other means. By
these methods, the connection to the body will become only all the more.
This I have stated already. The
Bhagavatpada has taught us that we should realise bodilessness even while the
body is there. This is immortality
(amritha), release (moksha).
--Sutrabhashya (I, I,4)
This is what he has said. You may have many friends.
So long as you think they are yours you will regard what are their
happiness and misery as yours. Let
us suppose that at some time later they themselves become our enemies, then we
will not have any relation with their happiness and misery.
May be, we may think that they should experience some misery.
Why is it so? In regard to
them, the conceit “mine” has gone. In
the same manner, we must treat our body. Here
before us there hangs a plantain/stem. If
that dries up do we dry up? We must
often think of our body as a piece of flesh, which is tied up, nearer than the
plantain/stem. Because we have the
conceit “I”, “I” it has taken root in us.
We must constantly reflect thus. Desire,
anger, hatred, fear, all these belong to the mind and not to me. Hunger, thirst, etc. belong to the body, they are not mine.
If we do so then the deep-seated conceit will disappear little by little.
In the Upanishads it is taught
that our Self is extremely pure. Iswara
is the one Reality that is all-pervasive, pure and blissful. Everyone should realise that we are truly that Isvara.
The body, etc. that are seen by us are different.
We are different. Thus we
must know the distinction.
tam svaccharirat pravrheth munjadivesikam
dhairyena tham vidhyacchukram amritham
Upanishad vi, 17.
Just like drawing out pulp from the munja grass the Self should be separated bravely from the body. Then it will be seen to be pure and deathless. This is the meaning. We see a thing here – there are two: the object and the subject.
What is seen is different from that which sees.
The body is what is seen, therefore the one who sees, the Self, is
different from it. He who thinks
that the Self is what is seen is an ignorant person.
This is stated in the Kenaupanishad:
avijnatham vijanatham, vijnatham avijnatham
them who think they know, it is not known.
To them who think they do not know it is known.
This is the meaning. Let
we wish to remain without death, the disease consisting of the body, etc. should
go. He who is without body is
Iswara. So we should always have
the contemplation “I am He”. Some
persons would say verbally “Iam He” (soham,
soham) while sitting and while standing up.
Unlike this it is better to utter the statement after knowing its
meaning. It is very easy to say that we should think that the body is
not ours. It is difficult to
realise this in practice. If
somebody beats us is it possible for us to think that there has been no beating,
that there is no beating, that there is no pain?
By what means can we achieve this? If
it is not possible to think that there is no body, we must begin to think that
all the bodies in the world are ours. This
is the remedial means. By thinking
so, when others suffer we will think of going to their help.
The happiness and sorrow of others will become ours.
The thought that whatever we do is not for us will automatically arise.
is this that is taught by the Lord to Arjuna in the Bhagawad
Gita. All things should be
performed as an offering to God. Therefore
we must toil for others always. Every
action that we do must be offered to God. Always
we must have the contemplation “I am He”.
As I said yesterday, we must constantly raise the slogan, “namah parvathi pathaye”.
This is the state of having left the body even while living.
In the sastra this is called jeevanmukthi.
asariram vava santham na priyapriye sprisata
passage of the Chandogya (viii, xii, I) gives the same teaching.
The meanings are pleasure and pain never approach a man who lives without
body. This is the meaning.
The medicine taught to us by the Bhagavatpada for remaining without death
is the same. This is given in the form of a verse by a great person.
This verse has been cited by the Bhagavatpada in his Brahmasutra
bhashya (I, I, 4).
gaunamithyathmano satthve putradehadhi badhanat,
sadbrahmathmahamithyevam bodhe karyam katham bhavet.
Self usually is distinguished into three. Gaunathma
(the figurative self), mithyathma
(the illusory self), and mukhyathma (
the principal Self). Our son,
friends etc. their pain and pleasure are ours.
This conceit is in every one. Have
I not said this? This is gaunathma. Gaunathma means
figurative self. We know we are
different from the son, friends and others.
Even then, the conceit that we are they come to us.
So, this has been stated to be gaunathma.
The conceit of “I” in the body etc. is mithyathma. Separating the pure Self and realising it to be Brahmin and
that we are. That is mukhyathma. If the two gaunathma
and mithyathma are given up the relation to the son, friends, the body,
sense organs, etc. will be removed. Then
there will arise the knowledge “remain as the true Brahmin"
After that there is nothing that has to be done. This is the meaning of
the verse cited above. Therefore
all of us should endeavour to acquire this medicine which is true knowledge as
taught by the Bhagavathpada, our supreme Preceptor.
Then we shall gain always the pure state of bodilessness and the supreme
bliss without any blemish. In order
to achieve this, we must always think of God and perform good deeds. Sri Chandramauliswara should bestow His grace on us for this.
This is our prayer.