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ADVAITA

VEDANTA



Let there be peace and love among all beings of the universe. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.



DVAITA  | a Sanskrit word that literally means "not two" and denotes "the end of the Vedas"


Advaita is considered to be the most influential and most dominant sub-school of vedanta, one of the six orthodox schools of hindu philosophy. The first person to explicitly consolidate the principles of advaita was Adi Shankaracharya [788-820] in the 8th century, while the first historical proponent was Gaudapada [grand Guru of Shankara]. In the 8th century, Gaudapada wrote the earliest available systematic treatise on advaita, entitled Mandukya Karika or Gaudapada Karika.

Advaita vedanta says the one unchanging Reality [Brahman] alone exists and that changing entities do not have absolute existence, much as the ocean's waves have no existence in separation from the ocean. The waves rise within the ocean and there would be no waves without the ocean. In the same manner, the transient world rises within Reality and owes its existence to Reality. The world has no independent existence from Reality and that is why it is said to be unreal.

What is changing must always be unreal. This phenomenal world of names and forms is ever changing. Names and forms are subject to decay and death. Hence they are unreal and impermanent. What is constant and permanent must always be real. The Atman or eternal Self ever exists. It pervades all objects like ether. Even if the pot is broken, the ether that is within and without it cannot be destroyed. Similarly, if the bodies and all other objects perish, the eternal Self that pervades them cannot be destroyed; It is the living Truth and only Reality. Just as a swan lives in water but its feathers are never soiled by water, similarly an advaitin lives in the world but is untouched by its illusion.


The central teaching in advaita is that there is no duality; the mind, awake or dreaming, moves through illusion. Ignorance conceals the Truth that there is no becoming and no individual being, only a temporary delineation from one's real Self [Atman] or real "I". Contrary to perceptible experience, the Self is not an experience of individuality but a non-personal, all-inclusive awareness which is beyond knowledge. It is eternally present and one is only consciously aware of it as it really is when the self-limiting tendencies of the mind have ceased. Its nature is non-dual, one without a second, and is no different from Reality, the absolute substratum of all that exists. The word "advaita" essentially refers to the absolute unity of the Self and the Reality.

Self-realisation is of the nature of direct experience transcending all perceptions and notions, and will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real ceases. There is complete absence of the delusion of duality, which manifests as the notions of an ego, a mind, a body and an objective world. False notions alone constitute the illusion. If your assumption is that you are the Self, then thinking is not a problem, it can come and go as it pleases. However, if you think you are the body, then thinking is the only being, the only thing that keeps you away from the brink of the "terrible abyss" of non-being. When the sense of being an individual is transcended, you will know that you are the Self and that your true nature is being-consciousness-bliss. Being abides in itself, consciousness knows itself and bliss reposes in itself. The Self alone is.

The aspirant must be endowed with an intense desire for liberation. Having discerned what is eternal and the source of happiness, he should be non-attached to all that is transitory, all that is mutable, all that is mere, fleeting phenomenal appearance, all that depends upon the senses, all that depends on the mind, and all that depends on the individual self in order to be experienced. The aspirant should be endowed with the power of discrimination and should embrace the enquiry into the real nature of the Self. He should discriminate between the Real and the unreal so that he realises the Real ever is and the unreal never came to be. He should regard all that is transitory, changeful, objective, composed as parts, sporadic, or dependent as unreal. He should realise that that which is eternal, unchanging, non-objective, indivisible and partless, continuous and non-dependent is the ever-existent Reality. Just as a river does not continue to flow after its discharge into the ocean, so also a person loses all movements after he merges in the Self. Abandoning the notions of the external, which give rise to the appearance of the world, and the notions of the internal, which give rise to the delusions of a mind and an individual, the aspirant should have full faith in the sacred knowledge of advaita vedanta. True knowledge consists in possessing an eye of equality for all. That which is seen with the eyes and that which is beyond the eyes are both the same and not different. The creator and the creation are not two. The creator has not created creation, but has manifested or transformed himself into creation.

The whole being of a man should be surrendered to the Lord [Reality] without
reservation. Then there will be a marvellous transformation. He will have the vision of God everywhere. All sorrows and pains will vanish. His mind will be one with Him. He will for ever have his life and being in the Lord alone. The devotees who have dedicated themselves to the Lord, who are ever harmonious and Self-abiding, who adore Him with intense love, who are ever devout, obtain the divine Grace.

Ramana Maharshi teaches that the Self is pure being, a subjective awareness of "I am" which is completely devoid of the feeling "I am this" or "I am that". There are no subjects nor objects in the Self; there is only an awareness of being. Because this awareness is conscious it is also known as "consciousness". The direct experience of this consciousness is, according to Sri Ramana, a state of unbroken happiness and so the term "bliss" is used to describe it. These three aspects – being, consciousness and bliss – are experienced as a unitary whole and not as separate attributes of the Self. They are inseparable in the same way that wetness, transparency and liquidity are inseparable properties of water.


ELLAM  ONDRE

The knower of Unity will act as one should. In fact, the knowledge of Unity makes him act. He cannot err. In the world, he is God made visible. All is One.


All action is God's. His power has fixed each thing into its own individual function. By His agency the insentient objects and the sentient beings do their work. All actions are His.

MANU  SMRITI

One should speak what is true; one
should speak what is pleasant; one should not speak what is true if it is not pleasant, nor what is pleasant if it is false. This is the ancient dharma.

SANT  SAMARTH  RAMDAS

Beware of the false prophets who pretend to be spiritual Gurus, but are as worthless as straw. Posing himself as an advaitic vedantin, he dismisses all distinctions of good and bad, right and wrong, holy and unholy and behaves as promiscuously as he wishes. One must take utmost care to see that the Guru he wishes to resort to is one who has himself realised God and who has the capacity to make others also realise Him.

The world is as good as unreal to him who is absorbed in the meditation on the name of Rama [God]; and then with the vision of Rama, the whole of the phenomenal world will appear as a dream.

To apprehend the absolute Reality is, no doubt impossible for the speech, the mind and the intellect. But what this really means is that It can be realised without their aid, and that Its bliss can be enjoyed without there being any prior want or desire.

If you wish to see God, you must cross the front gate in the form of this phenomenal world.

The chief characteristic of a saint is that he is always intent in looking at the vision of God, whatever may be his condition or activity while he is in society. He becomes as fearless as Reality and devoid of blemishes like anger, jealousy, sensuous desires and so on.

What is very essential in spiritual life is the combination of the realisation of the ultimate Reality and the renunciation of all other things. Without any disgust for godless things, there will only be a verbal knowledge about God, and the growth of God-realisation will be much hampered. And without God-realisation, renunciation will only be a pretence. One must therefore make himself free internally as well as externally.

SIDDHARAMESHWAR  MAHARAJ

Whatever ought to have been achieved is already achieved. Praise Him who attains That, the knowledge of Self-realisation. His parents also deserve to be praised because the family is saved.

There are many people who have studied millions of sciences, B.A, M.A. They are all for filling their stomachs. Dogs and cats also fill their stomachs. There is no rule for them.

Only those who have achieved true knowledge deserve praise. They lifted themselves and showed the path to the next generations. After ten million years we met our Self. The curtain in the form of duality was taken away. The curtain of countless number of births vanished at last. The sight became divine which saw all is Reality. He alone has got all these faces of elephants, monkeys, all beings, countless number of hands, feet, etc.

I reside everywhere and in all. There is nothing except that intuitive perception, "All is One and there is no duality." The indiviual self returned to his nature from where he had come.

One who has consciousness of the body is bound.

There is bondage in ignorance and liberation in knowledge, but when both ignorance and knowledge are not there, how could the idea of bondage or liberation exist?

The inner mind or inner sense of all is the same, while their minds are different.

When duality ends, there is no sin or merit. There is no difficulty if our spit is kept in our own mouth. There is no sin or virtue if we swallow it because it is our own. No one calls it "used up". Whatever belongs to us is all good. There is no sin nor virtue about it. We ourselves are all this, then why should there be any sin or virtue, heaven or hell?

No impurity can accrue to a man who has a understood oneness thoroughly. All differences, all duality vanished. The master sent all the six ghosts [five elements and ego] away. They were ghosts. Water, earth, heat, air, sky and ego all vanished and became gods.

As is your concept, so will you see.

Spiritual science is the science where Self is considered first and foremost.

Mind is a collection of determinants and doubts.

Who would give up the great benefit of realising unity with God by not doing the simple act of offering all actions to Him? This advice of spiritual life was given by Krishna to Uddhava and is the pinnacle of all devotion.

The Self is full of knowledge. Wherever consciousness exists, the Self exists. It is the speaker, as well as the listener, and it is also the one who understands the meaning. The Self is the doer of everything. The sun owes its status and light to the Self. If not for the Self, the sun would never even be called the sun.

The Self is the creator of the universe, as well as the one who labels everything as untrue. The one who realises this can reach the state of one's true nature. The transient world, which is based on good and bad concepts, continues to pass away. The knowledgeable know that it is the Self, Lord Vishnu, who is the sustainer and doer of everything, and that it is only He who gets everything done.

The one who experiences everything is only He, the Self, the only true experiencer.

TUKARAM

Of what material is the "I" made; how difficult it is to look into its nature. We cannot forget the idea, though it is nothing but ourself. When darkness overpowers light, the ground under our feet is changed. Tuka says, "If you take God with you, he will show you where you are."

The mind serves as a crucible wherein all pleasures are thrown together. One serves to make another deeper, but each returns at last to its native form. When a drop of rain falls into the sea, how can it be distinguished? Tuka says, "The new drops cannot be recognised even by God."

I have renounced all vehicles of sense; I shall not allow any trouble to come near me hereafter. Why should we have to clean our hands? Why should we put obstacles in a practised path? What has God not created for you? Everything is in its proper place. Tuka says, "When our pride disappears, with it goes the relation of I and you."

He knows not what is right; he is dragged along by the organs of sense; he continues prating in the words which he has learned. Such a one goes to hell himself and would take forty-two families and the world besides with him. He shuts his eyes and utters things unfit for speech; he talks idle nonsense to gratify his pride. Tuka says, "I have scrutinised him; I know him for one who dances in imitation of others."

If a man talks of divine knowledge, while his heart is full of pride in wealth, what pleasure does it yield the soul to serve Him? Many in this Kali age have turned saints to full their bellies. "Rare indeed", says Tuka, "is the man whom I fall down."

RAMAKRISHNA

The mind steeped in affection for woman and wealth is like the green betel-nut. So long as the nut is green, it remains adherent to its shell, but when it dries, shell and nut become separated; and on being shaken, the kernel moves within. So when affection for women and wealth dries up from within, the soul is perceived as quite different from the body.

The knowledge of oneness makes me see that everything is but a manifestation of God, the Absolute, on the plane of sense. Thus do I realise that all women are so many forms in which the divine Mother appears. Hence I revere all women alike – be it an unchaste woman, or an ideal wife who is an example to others of conjugal love and devotion.

Unless one becomes as simple as a child, one cannot reach divine illumination. Give up your vanity about the worldly knowledge you have acquired, and know it to be futile in the realm of higher Truth. Be as simple as a child, and then only you will reach the knowledge of the true.

Only two kinds of people can attain to Self-knowledge: those whose minds are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, not overcrowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realise that they know nothing.

Jnana never comes without the renunciation of lust and possession. With renunciation is destroyed all ignorance. Many things can be burnt by means of a lens held directly in the rays of the sun. But you cannot use it in the shadow of a room. Even so with the mind. You must take it out of the dark cell of this world and expose it to the full blaze of self-effulgent Divinity. Then alone will come true renunciation, and all ignorance will be destroyed.

KABIR

The mind is a nervous thief,
the mind is a pure cheat.
The ruin of sages, men and gods,
the mind has a hundred thousand gates.

Try your best with jewels,
decorate the clay.
Kabir came and went again,
Existence is a lie.

What's the world like?
A flock of sheep.
One falls in the ditch,
the rest jump in.

YOGASWAMI

Bear in mind the words that I shall tell you,
That the whole world may rejoice and your heart may be gladdened
One God, one world!
Always seek after what is good and put it into practise.
You are not gross matter; you are perfect consciousness.
'Tis difficult your greatness to describe!
Therefore – fire will not burn you;
The friendly breezes will not parch you;
Even the earth itself cannot harm you;
And much praised water will not chill you.
You are that which has no end.
Keep in your heart the happiness that never suffers change.
For you there is no caste and no religion.
Plant naught but justice in your mind,
And follow not the senses' path that will only bring you sorrow.
Never will danger come your way.
Let everything you have to do be well and truly done.
Long, long ago were you redeemed!
Now all the world lies in your grasp!
Of this there is no doubt. Thus I have said. Now hearken!
The Satguru is there to help you. You be but a Witness!
All hail to the feet of the wonder-working Lord!

SAGE  YAJNAVALKYA

Where the duality is present, there one can smell the fragrance, one can speak to others, one can listen to others, one will pay respect to others, and one can think and understand. But, where there is only Atman everywhere, what will he smell? Whom will he ask? What will he listen to? Whom will he pay respect to? What will he think about and understand?

YOGA  VASISTHA

Mind constantly swings like a pendulum between the Reality and the appearance, between consciousness and inertness. When the mind contemplates the inert objects for a considerable time, it assumes the characteristic of such inertness. When the same mind is devoted to enquiry and wisdom, it shakes off all conditioning and returns to its original nature as pure consciousness. Mind takes the very form of that which one contemplates, whether it is natural or cultivated. Therefore, resolutely but intelligently contemplate the state beyond sorrow, free from all doubts. The mind is capable of restraining itself; there is indeed no other way.

It is childish and ignorant to talk of duality and non-duality; the enlightened ones laugh at all this. However, without such a discussion based on duality and non-duality it is not possible to clean one's consciousness of ignorance. It is only in that spirit that I have dealt with all this, dear friend.

The mind abandons everything when the vision of the Supreme is gained. Hence, one should resolutely renounce everything till the supreme vision is gained. Not till one renounces everything is Self-knowledge gained: when all points of view are abandoned, what remains is the Self.

That which has no seed [cause] and which is indescribable is therefore not the cause of another – naught is born of that. Hence the Self is neither the doer nor the action nor the instrument. It is the Truth. It is the eternal absolute consciousness. It is Self-knowledge. There is no creation in the supreme Reality. One may theoretically establish the arising and the existence of a wave in the ocean on the basis of time of its arising and space in which it seems to exist as a wave; but who has tried to establish such a relationship between Reality and the creation? For in reality, time and space do not exist. Thus, the world has no basis at all.

It is the cessation of the awareness of action and of experience, the giving up of conditioning and thus the attainment of peace and the state of equilibrium that is known by the expression "abandonment of action".

The infinite consciousness which alone appears as all this is undying, unchanging and eternal. The unmoving consciousness remains, appearing to be whatever notion arises in it here and there. What is true and what is false? So let one experience bodies, actions, sorrow or pleasure as and when they arise – or let them all go. There is no meaning in all this. Let it be "this" way or "that" way, let it be or not – give up this delusion and remain enlightened.

What is enquiry? To enquire thus: "Who am I? How has this evil of repetitive history [samsara] come into being?" is true enquiry. Knowledge of Truth arises in oneself; and from such knowledge there follows tranquility in oneself; and then there arises the supreme peace that passeth understanding and the ending of all sorrow. Enquiry is not reasoning or analysis; it is directly looking into oneself.

Diversity has no real existence except in one's own imagination. "All this is indeed the absolute Reality" – remain established in this Truth. Give up all other notions. Even as the waves are non-different from the ocean, all these things are non-different from Reality. Even as in the seed is hidden the entire tree in potential, in reality there exists the entire universe for ever. Even as the multicoloured rainbow is produced by sunlight, all this diversity is seen in the One.

The universe is but a long dream. The ego-sense and also the fancy that there are others, are as real as dream-objects.

When the "I" concept perishes, the body-sense will necessarily perish like a great tree whose roots are sawn off.

Through Divine Grace, one can go beyond the influences of past actions.

Desires arising from latent tendencies connected with external objects constitute bondage. One who has got rid of his latent tendencies along with their root cause and attained equanimity, O Raghava, know him to be a person liberated from the objects of perception.

Reality, or the supreme Self, is one without a second, without a cause and without an effect, for it has no reason [motivation or need] to do anything. It is therefore not the doer, neither is there any action, instrument nor seed for such activity. Hence it is not the cause for this creation or the creator.

He who has no likes or dislikes towards pleasant and unpleasant objects, but goes about like one asleep, is said to be a liberated person.

Everything is consciousness. Nothing exists that is separate from consciousness.

TRIPURA  RAHASYA

The current notion that one cannot escape one's destiny is applicable to weak-minded and senseless wastrels.

Destiny seizes and holds only senseless people. Conforming to and following nature, destiny forms part of nature. Nature again is only the contrivance for enforcing God's will. His purpose is always sure and cannot be prevented. Its edge can, however, be blunted by devotion to Him and if it is not so blunted, the predisposing cause must therefore be considered a most powerful factor in a man's life. Therefore, eschew high vanity and take refuge in Him. He will spontaneously take you to the highest state.

True experience of the Self is the unawareness of even "I am". Can the world persist after such unawareness?

I will tell you the secret. The cycle of births and deaths is from time immemorial caused by ignorance which displays itself as pleasure and pain and yet is only a dream and unreal. Being so, the wise say that it can be ended by knowledge. By what kind of knowledge? Wisdom born of realisation : viz., "I am That".

BRIHADARANYAKA  UPANISHAD

When one has directly realised the Self [Atman] that "I am It", where is the need for one to follow the instincts and temptations of the body and mind and suffer with them? He, the knower of the supreme Self [Brahman] is enlightened by the realisation that "I am It", even while living in the body, which is heir to innumerable trials and tribulations. He is the support [creator] of the universe. He is the inspirer of all. He owns the universe, nay he himself is the universe, being one with Reality [Brahman], which is the very essence of it. Even while living in this body, we have realised That [Reality]. And we say from experience: Listen, those who fail to realise It now while living have great loss and destruction in store for them. He who realises It becomes immortal, while the others get only misery and sorrow. When Reality is realised as the essence of all, one instantly becomes aware of it's all-ness and spontaneously free forever from hatred and differention. As the all-consuming "time" is everyday moving towards one, one should worship Him, the Light of all lights, to ward off death and attain immortality.

That on which the five pranas and the five species of beings are established, including the universe which is their abode, is the supreme Self to be sure. The wise one who knows It reaches immortality. It is the Life of life, The Eye of the eye, the Ear of the ear, the Mind of the mind. Those who realise It as such verily reach the ancient One [Reality] in Its essence. By the purified mind alone the Self is to be realised. There is no duality in It as It is one without a second. The mind that is wedded to duality and is impure can never realise It. He who sees duality here goes from birth to death only to be born again repeatedly – they fail to achieve the goal of human life; That is to be realised as the unified consciousness of all – the unchanging Truth of undiminishing splendour, bereft of all impurities, beyond the five elements beginning from the void [akasa] and ending with the earth – unborn, the Self [of the universe], the great and eternal. The wise one – the brahmana – shall know That alone and compose himself [observe silence], and be established in Reality; he shall shun the futile study of books on the "many" which only exhaust the speech and mind of the spiritual aspirant.

SRIMAD  BHAGAVATAM

Whether the impermanent body is at rest or moves about, or whether by reason of prarabdha it clings to him or falls away from him, the Self-realised siddha is not aware of it, even as the drunken man blinded by intoxication is unaware whether his clothes are on his body or not.

RAMA  GITA

The conjuror deludes the world, while remaining undeluded himself. But the siddha deludes himself first, and then deludes others. How wonderful this is!

AMRITBINDU  UPANISHAD

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of Grace to all, the supreme soul of the universe, the limitless being – I am That.

CHANDOGYA  UPANISHAD

As the rivers flowing east and west
Merge in the sea and become one with it,
Forgetting they were ever separate rivers,
So do all creatures lose their separateness
When they merge at last into pure being.

The Self which is free from sin, free from old age, from death and from grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing but what it ought to desire, and imagines nothing but what it ought to imagine, that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand. He who has searched out that Self and understands it, obtains all worlds and all desires.

This is the Self. And That thou art.

All this is Reality. Let a man meditate on that visible world as beginning, ending, and breathing in It [Reality].

He who knows both the transcendent and the immanent, with the immanent overcomes death, and with the transcendent reaches immortality.

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in your Heart.

The Self is hidden in the lotus of the Heart. Those who see themselves in all the creatures go day by day into the world of Reality hidden in the Heart. Established in peace, they rise above body consciousness to the supreme light of the Self. Immortal, free from fear, this Self is Reality, called the True. Beyond the mortal and the immortal, he binds both worlds together. Those who know this live day after day in heaven in this very life.


SVETASVATARA  UPANISHAD

They are two birds, close companions, clasping the same tree. Of the two, one eats sweet fruit; the other looks on without eating. On this same tree a person, sunk and grieving in slavery, is deluded, but upon observing the Lord happy and great, becomes free of sorrow.

He who is beginningless and endless, who created all things in the midst of chaos, who pervades the universe – knowing Him one is freed from all fetters.

It is neither female nor male, nor is it neuter. Whatever body it takes with that it is identified.

That person, who is of the measure of a thumb, is the inner Self dwelling in the hearts of men, limited by the heart, the understanding and the mind. Those who know this become immortal.

Its hands and feet are everywhere, its eyes and heads are everywhere, its ears are everywhere. It [Reality] stands encompassing all in the world.

When identified with the ego, the Self appears other than what it is. It may appear smaller than a hair's breadth. But know the Self to be infinite.

The Self which pervades all things, as butter pervades the milk, that which has its roots in Self-knowledge – that is Reality.

Meditate and realise this world is filled with the presence of God.

You are the supreme Reality, infinite, yet hidden in the hearts of all creatures. You pervade everything.

Subtler than the subtlest, greatest than the greatest, the Self is hidden in the Heart of the creature. By the Grace of the Lord the one who is freed from sorrow sees him who is actionless and majestic.

The Eternal which dwells in the soul has to be known. Beyond that there is nothing else to be known. By knowing the enjoyer, the object of enjoyment and the ruler, everything has been said. This is the threefold Reality.

He who is subtler than the subtle, who in the midst of chaos has created all things of manifold forms, who alone envelops everything – by knowing Him as the auspicious Lord one attains peace forever.

He is indeed the guardian of this world in time, the Lord of all, hidden in all things. In Him are united the seers of Reality as well as the gods. By knowing Him one cuts the cords of death.

Perishable is matter, imperishable and immortal is the Lord. He, the only God, rules over both matter and the soul. By meditating on Him, by uniting with Him and becoming one with Him there is in the end complete cessation of the illusion of the world.

The one who rules over every single cause, in whom all this comes together and goes asunder again, who is the Lord, the Bestower of blessings, the adorable God – by discerning Him one attains the eternal peace.

He is the eternal Reality, sing the scriptures, and the ground of existence. Those who perceive Him in every creature merge in Him and are released from the wheel of birth and death.


MUNDAKA  UPANISHAD

Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the same tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.

He is the unseen Seer, the unheard Hearer, the unthought Thinker, the unknown Knower. There is no other seer, hearer, thinker or knower, but He. He is your Self, the immortal.

When you have reached Him, the sages become satisfied through their jnana [direct knowledge of the Reality that is the Self]. They become perfectly tranquil and free from passion.

Indeed, one who knows the supreme Reality, becomes Reality Himself. He overcomes grief. He overcomes sin. Free from fetters of the heart, he becomes immortal.

Grand, divine, inconceivable – in form smaller than the smallest, It shines forth. It is farther than the far, and yet It is here at hand, hidden in the Heart.

The immortal Reality is before and behind, to the right and to the left; below and above – Reality indeed is everywhere.

Fetters of the heart are broken, all doubts are dispelled, all karmas are melted away, when He is seen, who is both high and low.

The sacred word OM is called the bow, the arrow is the soul and Reality [Brahman] is its target; He shall be pierced by him whose attention does not swerve. Then he will become one with Him as the arrow becomes one with the target whence it has pierced it.

That alone is the Self, on which are woven the earth, intermediate region and sky, the mind, together with all its breaths. Put away all other words, for OM is the channel to the immortal Reality.

That supreme Reality [Brahman] is infinite, and this conditioned Reality is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. If you subtract the infinite from the infinite, the infinite remains alone.


KENOPANISHAD

Reality is known to one who thinks it is unknowable and not known to one who thinks he knows.

Only the knowledge derived from the above hint is the real knowledge; as with this immortality is gained; from the indwelling Lord is obtained the power to know Him; and through knowledge the supreme Lord is obtained.

If in this life the Lord is known, it is well and good; if not, it is a great loss. So wise men taking the supreme Lord in every being, depart from this world and become immortal.

Verily, O friend, he who recognises the shadowless, bodiless, colourless, pure imperishable Self attains that supreme Self Itself. He, knowing all, becomes the all.

There neither the eye goes nor the speech about the result of concentration [the organs of action and perception as well are negated]; nor does the mind; how to teach what Reality is – we do not know from our own knowledge nor do we know through hearing from others because that is different from what is known and also from that which is not known from mind, etc., and which is above and apart from them.

KATHA  UPANISHAD

The Self is never born, nor does It die. It was born from nothing and nothing was born from It. It is unborn, eternal and primordial. It is not slain when the body is slain.

The one ruler, the Self with all beings, who manifests Himself in many forms – the wise perceive Him within themselves.

The Self is not certainly adequately known when spoken of by an inferior person; for It is thought of variously. When taught by one who has become identified with It, there is no further cogitation with regards to It. For It is beyond argumentation, being subtler even than the atomic quantity.

The intelligent Self is neither born nor does It die. It did not originate from anything, nor did anything originate from It. It is birthless, eternal, undecaying, and Ancient. It is not injured even when the body is killed.

One who has not desisted from bad conduct, whose senses are not under control, whose mind is not concentrated, whose mind is not free from anxiety, cannot attain this Self through knowledge.

MANDUKYA  UPANISHAD

Self-knowledge together with renunciation is the means to immortality.

The knower can not become an object to be known.

Realisation of Reality is brought about by the mere cessation of ignorance.

The immortal Reality is before and behind, to the right and to the left; below and above – Reality indeed is everywhere.

Fetters of the heart are broken, all doubts are dispelled, all karmas are melted away, when He is seen, who is both high and low.

As long as there is mental preoccupation with causality, so long does the worldly state continue. When engrossment with causality is exhausted, one does not attain the worldly state.

Since it is stated in the Vedas, "There is no diversity here", "The Lord on account of maya [illusion] is perceived as manifold", and "The Self, without being born, appears to be born in various ways", it follows that He is born on account of maya alone.

ADI  SHANKARACHARYA

I always bow down to those masters who are conversant with words, sentences and sources of knowledge and who, like lamps, have shown clearly to us Reality, the secret of the Vedas.

The conception of the existence of the non-Self is what is called ignorance, the destruction of which is known to be liberation. This destruction is possible by means of knowledge only, which is incompatible with ignorance. Actions compatible with ignorance cannot destroy it.

The learned know the Vedas to be one continuous whole the only purpose of which is to demonstrate one thing viz., Knowledge inasmuch as the oneness of the Self is to be known by the understanding of the vedic sentences.

It is, therefore, reasonable that this universe is unreal. Existence-knowledge only is Real. Existing prior to everything, It is both the knower and the known. It is the forms that are unreal.

Unperceived in deep sleep but perceived in waking and dreams by those who are ignorant, the whole of this universe is an outcome of ignorance and therefore unreal.

It is said in the scriptures that the consciousness of the oneness of the individual self and Reality is knowledge, and that of a difference between them is ignorance. Knowledge is, therefore, demonstrated in the scriptures with great care.

What is called deep sleep, darkness or ignorance is the seed of the waking and dream states. It gets perfectly burnt by the fire of Self-knowledge, and it no more produces effects, like a burnt seed that does not germinate.

That one seed, called maya, is evolved into the three states which come one after another again and again. The Self, the substratum of maya, though only one and immutable, appears to be many, like reflections of the sun in water.

O deluded one, give up the thirst for accumulation of wealth. Create in your mind the thought of Reality, without any thirst. What you get, the wealth acquired through your past deeds, with that, satisfy your mind.

The water on the lotus leaf is very unsteady, likewise life is extremely fickle. Know that the whole world is devoured by disease and infatuation, and assailed by sorrow.

As long as one is fond of acquiring wealth, so long one's circle is devoted. Later, one lives in a decrepit body, and none in the house enquires about one's well-being.

As long as breath abides in one's body, so long she enquires about one's health in the house. When the breath has departed on the loss of one's body, the wife is afraid of that body.

As a child, one keeps on being attached to playing. As a youth, one keeps on being attached to maidens. Growing old, one keeps on being attached to anxiety. To the supreme Reality, none is attached!

Who is your wife? Who is your son? This transmigratory world is very strange! To whom do you belong? Who are you? Whence have you come? Think of what is the Truth, bewildered as you are.

When there is attachment to saints, there comes non-attachment. When there is non-attachment, there comes absence of delusion. When there is absence of delusion, there comes steadiness. When there is steadiness, there comes liberation in life.

When youth has gone, what play of desire is there? When water has evaporated, what pond is there? When wealth has decreased, what circle is there? When the Truth is known, what transmigration is there?

Do not take pride in wealth, people and youth. Time takes away everything in the twinkling of an eye! After leaving all this which is illusory, having realised the state of Reality, enter into That.

Who are you? Who am I? Wherefrom have I come? Who is my mother? Who is my father? Reflect over this, having left aside all the universe which is an essenceless dream perception.

Having given up desire, anger, greed and delusion, enquire into the Self – "Who am I?" Being without Self-knowledge and the prisoners of hell, the deluded are tormented.

Being devoted completely to the lotus-feet of the Guru, be liberated from transmigration without delay! Thus, by controlling the mind and the senses, you will see the Divine who is dwelling in your Heart.

All that is heard is non-existent. Understand that there is nothing upon which to reflect. The knowledge of the non-existence of anything upon which to meditate is the profound meditation on the Self. Abidance in the Self, is to be free of all errors and all misconceptions.

That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that non-dual supreme Reality – That thou are.

That is the Truth which the wise realise as the Self, the residuum left over on withdrawing from external objects, with or without form [ether, air, fire, water and earth], by a careful application of the scriptural text "Not this, not this". That thou art!

That is the Truth which, after generating the fundamentals [ether, air, fire, water and earth], and entering the world, lies hidden beneath the five sheaths, and which has been threshed out by the wise with the pestle of discernment, just as the grain is recovered by threshing and winnowing the chaff. That thou art!

Just as wild horses are broken-in by whipping and stabling them, so also the unruly senses, straying among objects, are lashed by the whip of discrimination, showing that objects are unreal, and are tethered by the rope of pure intellect to the Self by the wise. Such is the Truth. That thou art!

The Truth has been ascertained by the wise to be the substratum which is different from the waking, dream, and deep sleep states, its own expanded modes, which indeed are held together by it like the flowers strung together on a garland. That thou art!

That is the Truth which the scriptures show to be the primal cause of all, elucidating the point clearly by such texts as "Purusha is all this", "like gold in ornaments of gold", etc. That thou art!

The Truth has been forcefully proclaimed by the scriptures in such texts as "He who is in the sun, is in man." "He who shines in the sun, shines in the right eye," etc., That thou art!

What pure brahmins seek so eagerly by repetition of the Vedas, by religious gifts, by earnest application of their hard-earned knowledge and by renunciation, is the Truth. That thou art!

That is the Truth which the valiant have got by seeking, with controlled mind, with abstinence, penance, etc., and by diving into the Self by the self. Realising it, they are considered to be heroes with their highest purpose accomplished. That is the transcendental sat-chit-ananda [being-consciousness-bliss] after gaining which there is nothing more to worry about since perfect peace reigns. That thou art!

Who are you? Whose child are you? Whither are you bound? What is your name? Whence have you come? Oh child! I should like to hear your reply to these questions.

I am neither man, God, yaksha, brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmachari, householder, forest-dweller, nor sannyasi; but I am pure awareness alone.

Just as the sun causes all worldly movements, so do I – the ever-present, conscious Self – cause the mind to be active and the senses to function. Again, just as the ether is all-pervading, yet devoid of any specific qualities, so am I free from all qualities.

I am the conscious Self, ever-present and associated with everything in the same manner as heat is always associated with fire. I am that eternal, undifferentiated, unshaken consciousness, on account of which the insentient mind and senses function, each in its own manner.

I am that conscious Self of whom the ego is not independent as the image in a mirror is not independent of the object reflected.

I am the unqualified, conscious Self, existing even after the extinction of buddhi, just as the object remains ever the same even after the removal of the reflecting mirror.

I am eternal consciousness, dissociated from the mind and senses. I am the mind of the mind, the eye of the eye, ear of the ear and so on. I am not cognizable by the mind and senses.

I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is reflected on the surface of various sheets of water.

I am the single, conscious Self, illumining all intellects, just as the sun simultaneously illumines all eyes so that they perceive objects.

Only those eyes that are helped by the sun are capable of seeing objects, not others. The Source from which the sun derives its power is Myself.

Just as the reflection of the sun on agitated waters seems to break up, but remains perfect on a calm surface, so also am I, the conscious Self, unrecognisable in agitated intellects though I clearly shine in those which are calm.

Just as a fool thinks that the sun is entirely lost when it is hidden by dense clouds, so do people think that the ever-free Self is bound.

Just as the ether is all-pervading and unaffected by contact, so also does the ever-conscious Self pervade everything without being affected in anyway. I am that Self.

Just as a transparent crystal takes on the lines of its background, but is in no way changed thereby, and just as the unchanging moon on being reflected on undulating surfaces appears agitated, so is it with You, the all-pervading God.

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