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Isha Upanishad - Shloka 14
|by Dr. R. K. Lahri|
He, who understands at the same time
Asambhoot is something temporary, ephemeral. It is of the world and in the world. It is the manifestation of Sambhoot. Hence God is seen in such appearances. It is believed that God manifests in many forms, hence the proliferation of deities and rituals; customs and ceremonies. All lead to the worship of the unmanifest under manifestation. This brings about the worship of personal Gods with attributes. All gods are worshipped. Each god possesses and preserves its own representative significance. All appearances stand for Brahman, not only underlying It but also permeating It. Whatever god turn out to be, it can only be the Supreme that turn out to be and none else. He is the Infinite Existence, Infinite Consciousness and Infinite Bliss. The devotee remains conscious of the Absolute throughout the process. The more one grows up spiritually, he gains sensitivity to behold divinity even in the ordinary manifestation like flowers and leaves but at the highest level, it is rooted in Brahman, immersed in contemplation of Brahman and needs no manifestation to remind him of the Divine.
Offerings to gods like Varun, Rudra , Agni, who actually do not exist may seem to be a waste of energy but it becomes a social commitment useful in scheme of stress- management and social harmony. Even the clapping of hand-pans, the singing of bhajans and japas serve as treatment for heart ailments and stress. Puja- concept seems useful for secretion of Dhea or anti –aging. It is also in the perception of such acts that we believe that god exists in many forms.
It is irrational to rundown or reject any ritual or custom or form of worship because it is not to one’s liking, preference or understanding. Customs and rituals take shape only after a great deal of thought, practice and experience to contribute to the betterment and welfare of the physical and mental level of people on the path of spiritual advancement. At the same time, if we are stuck life-long to institutions such as of rituals and customs alone, It will be like building a new bridge and not crossing it. We remain fixed up where we are at present. Those who have minds attached to the unmanifest go through great strain as it is always difficult for the body mind conscious people to get attuned. A learned and knowledgeable person reaches the goal yet remains a little distance away from it. Such is the case of these bhakta devotees. There remains more often some demand in his prayers and some sort of duality. An unbroken flow of Bliss baffles them as even the jnanis fail to shirk their vanity and ego and the devotee –like concept of duality.
We all know the case of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa. He had to get rid of his obsession of Mother Kali; cut off her image by his own discretion and the moment he could do so, he got enlightenment. Obviously, there is no duality on the path of Salvation. The story goes that the divine mother Yogeshwari commanded him to take lesson from Swami Tota Puri. He taught him Upanishads, and about identification of soul with Brahman. Then he asked him to meditate on Atman, the Self alone. He failed to do so as the very thought of Mother Kali appeared before him as a living identity in his meditation. He failed to concentrate on the formless. Then his guru picked up a piece of broken glass from near him, pressed it between his eye-brows and asked him to concentrate the mind on this point. Then in the words of Sri Ramkrisna, ‘I began to meditate as directed, and when this time also the blessed form of the Mother Kali appeared before me, I used my sense of discrimination as a sword and severed her form in two. Then my mind soared immediately beyond all duality. It entered into Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the non-dual, unitary, Consciousness.” (Spiritual Heritage of India p 335).
We are led to conclude that an individual can reach beyond sorrow and death only through the integrated approach of devotion and knowledge or sambhoot and asambhoot both at the same time or in other words, by the synthesis of science, religion and spirituality. One has to transcend all notions and even destiny. One is bound neither by body nor its destiny. Self-realisation is the simple state of being that which is and yet it is a rare state unknown to seers and has only been glimpsed briefly only by the mystics. One has to understand the manifest and the unmanifest, sambhoot and asambhoot both at the same time; the cause of the manifestation and the destruction of the manifested in order to achieve Bliss in this world as well as in the other world. Then alone is attained the state which is not the consciousness of inner (subjective ) world, nor of the outer (objective ) world; not even that of which is the consciousness of both the worlds as mass of consciousness. It is neither a state of pure and simple consciousness nor that of unconsciousness. Such state is unperceived, unrelated ,incomprehensible, rare and non-descript. The consciousness manifests as Self when all phenomenon cease. It is a state of all Bliss, peace and non-duality. This is the state, one has to realise and it can only be realised when all notions are totally lost.
Lord Buddha says that the Tathagata does not cherish within his mind arbitrary concepts of phenomena such as one’s own self, other selves, living beings and a universal self. Even when the Tathagata refers to himself, he is not holding with his mind any such arbitrary thought. Only terrestrial human beings think of selfhood as being a personal possession ‘(The Teachings of Raman Maharishi )’. Even the term terrestrial being used is used as a figure of speech.
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