What is Joy?-part-3 (concluding part)

Declaration:         

☆The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my concept, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and teachings of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the sacred books/ancient texts, translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I have tried my best to share the subject matter as I understood. My intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. I am not good in English literature. Please give your valuable suggestions for the improvement and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind. 
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed.  Your positive feedback will be highly appreciated. NAMASTE

  • Recap: This post is the concluding part of the article ” What is Joy” 

  • Part-1:- What is Joy (Part-1)” In this part we have seen that section VIII of Brahmananda Valli, the second part of “Taittiriya Upanishad”  define the unit of Human Joy. Thereafter in the successive slokas, it has been shown that each time we go to the next higher world(Loka), joy is multiplied by 100. Finally, at the top most Loka, the joy has become 100,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00 units. However, according to Taittiriya Upanishad ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” in each loka. In Sanskrit, the sentence is : —” श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ –  which means a man well versed in Vedas (Scriptures) has equal Joy.
  • Part-2:- In part-2 we have discussed the real meaning of the statement ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” What revelation is that? Revelation means knowing Vedas. A brief description on Vedanta has been given in part-2. Brahma sutra “Topic-1” to “Topic-3′ was explained. Part-3 will cover Brahma Sutra “Topic-4” and some mantras from principal Upanishads.
  • Readers are requested to send queries on any part to my mail ID: arun7663@gmail.com

We will continue from last topic ( Topic-3/Chapter 1) of Brahma sutra that was discussed in part-2.

Knowledge of Brahman can not be gathered by mere reasoning. Knowledge can be attained through intuition or revelation. Intuition is the final result of the enquiry into Brahman. There are three stages which are very essential for progressing in this path. Three stages are as below:

1.Sravana :  Listening to the teachings of the sages on Vedanta. Now instead of Sravana, we can use the word Study of Vedanta, because Sravana was the practice during early Vedic period as no method of writing existed.

2.Manana : This stage is the reflection on the teachings. This means thinking about what has been heard and subjecting that into a reason based on experience gained.

3.Nididhyasana : Stage of meditation on the truth [MahaVakyas]. It is the culmination of the practice of Sravana and Manana. We may see what BRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad says  on Nididhyasana. ” The Self , my dear Maitreyi, should be realized-should be heard of , reflected on and meditated upon; by the realization of the self, my dear”.

Sravana, Manana, Nididhyasana leads us to intuition (aparoksha anubhuti). In this way, “Brahma Kara Vritti ” is generated from ” Sattvic anta Karana ” after following four means of Salvation (discussed in part-2) and teachings of Guru , who has understood the real significance of MahaVakyas. This ” Brahma Kara Vritti” destroys the mula-Avidya or primitive ignorance which is the root cause of all bondage, births and deaths. When this ignorance or veil is removed, Brahman which is Self effulgent reveals itself in its pristine glory and splendour. 

Part- 3 starts here with Brahma Sutra Topic-4 of Chapter-1 which says :-” Samanvayadhikaranam” [Sanskrit] which means Brahman is the main purport of all Vedantic texts. First statement is ” Tattu Samanvayat”  means Brahman is to be known only from Scriptures. ChAndogya Upanishad, chapter six beautifully explained the topic. In the next few paragraphs we will concentrate on famous lines from different Upanishads. These lines will give us more knowledge about Brahman.

A little about ChAndogya Upanishad:  Once upon a time, there lived one Shwetaketu, son of sage Uddalaka. One day Uddalaka said to his son ” My son! find a teacher and learn. None of our family has remained a Brahman in name only. So at the age 12, Shwetaketu was sent to “GURUKULA” for studying Vedas for 12 years. When Shwetaketu returned home after completion of studies, sage Uddalaka noticed that  Shwetaketu has become a stiff necked arrogant and self willed young man of 24 years. Watching his attitude, sage asked him    ” My son, you think such a big of yourself, but did you ask your teacher about that initiation ,which makes a man hear what is not heard, think that is thought of, know what is not known?  Shwetaketu gave a negative  reply. Shwetaketu said his father ” I have not learnt that. Please teach me that my Lord”. Then sage started teaching that lesson, by knowing which everything is known. This conversation between sage Uddalaka and his son is the main topic of ChAndogya Upanishad. One of the Four mahaVakyas “ tat tvam asi” has been quoted 9 times to deliver Brahma Gyan. We will see in the next paragraph a few mantras from ChAndogya along with mantras from other Upanishads where Brahman is the main purport.

  1. ” Being only this was in the beginning without a second”—-ChAndogya: VI-2-1.
  2. ” The Atman which is free from sin that it is which we must search out, that it is which we must try to understand”—-ChAndogya: VIII-7-1.
  3. ” In the beginning all this was Atman or Self only”— Aitareya -Aranyak-II-4-1-1.
  4. ” Let a man worship him as Atman or the Self” —- BRRihadAraNyaka : I-4-7 
  5. ” Let a man worship him as Atman only as his true state” —- BRRihadAraNyaka : I-4-15 
  6. ” This is Brahman without cause and effect, without anything inside or outside; this Self is Brahman perceiving everything.—– BRRihadAraNyaka : II-5-19 
  7. ” He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman—– Mundaka Upanishad—III-2-9.
  8. ” The wise who knows the Atman as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging  among changing things, as great and omnipresent does never grieve”                          –Katha Upanishad II-1-2 . [Such person is not attached to anything.]

Brahman cannot become an object of perception because it is extremely subtle, abstract, infinite and all – pervading. Senses and mind derive power from Brahman the ultimate source. Brahman is Self luminous, Self existent, Self knowledge, Self delight and Self contained. When one realizes Brahman, he is totally free from all sorts of miseries. He attains the Moksha( liberation from the cycle of birth and death). The state of moksha, the final emancipation is Eternal.

Thus we see Vedantic texts teach that Brahman is Eternal, all knowing , absolutely self-luminous and indivisible. Therefore proper understanding Vedanta leads a man to the final emancipation. This is the concept behind the line ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.”

Now in this concluding passage, let me describe a little about Vedas, without which the content will not be completed. Four Vedas are divided broadly into two parts. : 

  1. Karma Kanda: pUrva mimAMsA : The ritual portion:-  Mainly concerned with the earlier part of the Vedas. It is associated with the philosopher Jaimini, believed to be disciple of Maharshi Vyas regarded as original compiler of the Vedas. This part lays down various rituals and sacrificial acts to be performed for attaining specific goals like gaining enough wealth, progeny, expanding kingdom, heaven etc.. However this is not the intention of the Vedas that people should continue to perform these sacrificial, rituals to enjoy the results thereof.  These are teaching to divert one’s mind from improper way of life to a proper way of life. Ultimate teachings is that one should perform actions without desire and attain the purity of mind and thereby become fit for Self-knowledge. That is what Lord Krishna taught through Bhagavad Gita.
  2. Gyan Kanda : uttara mimAMsA : The knowledge portion : Mainly concerned with the later parts of the Vedas, the philosophical part popularly known as Upanishads and also as Vedanta, i.e., conclusion of Vedas. Philosopher Badarayana is said to be the author of Vedanta which includes Brahma Sutra.

Finally, Atman = Brahman is the purport of the entire Advaita philosophy. There is non-dual reality(Brahman), there is no separate existence of world and there is no second. This is the final Revelation.

References:

  1. Back to the Truth: 5000 years of ADVAITA by Dennis Waite.
  2. THE TEN PRINCIPAL UPANISHADS: Translated by Shree Purohit Swami and W.B.Yeats
  3. Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankaracharya: Translated by Swami Gambhirananda.
  4. You are the Universe; Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters: By Deepak Chopra & Menas Kafatos.
  5. THE TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD: SHIKSHAVALLI-ANANDAVALLI-BHRIGUVALLI with Sri Shankara’s Commentry By Sri Swami Satchidanandera Saraswati.
  6. Information available on internet.

What is Joy (Part-2)

☆The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and statements of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the sacred books/ancient texts translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I am trying to share the subject matter as I understood in very concise form.
You may find it boring or interesting, dull or exciting, but my intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. Please give your suggestions for the shortcomings and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
♡ Please share your feedback at — arun7663@gmail.com : Regards. Namaste.

Part-1 is summarised in the figure below:

Introduction: In the previous blog ” What is Joy (Part-1)” , we have seen that, according to second part of the scripture ‘Taittiriya Upanishad”, second section “Brahmananda Valli ” beautifully explained what is Joy? At first the definition and one unit of Human Joy has been described. Thereafter in the successive slokas, it has been shown that each time we go to the next higher world(Loka), joy is multiplied by 100. Finally, at the top most Loka, the joy has become 100,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00 units. However, according to Taittiriya Upanishad ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” Now what is that revelation? In Sanskrit, the sentence is : —” श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ –  which means a man well versed in Vedas (Scriptures) has equal Joy. So that is the essence of the sentence. This is our point of discussion here. I will try to project the subject according to Texts followed in Advaita Vedanta. Advaita (NON-DUALISM) is essentially a philosophical framework which make sense of the mysterious Universe. Traditional Advaita takes its authority from the Upanishads. Advaita Vedanta was systemized somewhere around 8th century by Shri Adi Shankaracharya. However essence of teaching originates in the Upanishads which were composed during 5000-6000 BC. No where it is mentioned about any author in the Upanishads and date of origin can not be fixed. Some scholar says Vedic period is 4000-5000 BC. Upanishads are known as Vedanta means essence of Vedas. Teachings of Vedas were transferred orally known as ” Sruti”. The principal book that attempts to explicate the actual philosophy of Upanishad is called ” Brahmasutra” . In the past 100 years, there have been a resurgence of interest in Advaita Vedanta in the West after the discovery of new field of physics known as Quantum Physics. Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) toured the world to spread the message of Vedantic truth with the aim of uniting all religions.

Key words: “Brahman” ; ” Brahma sutra”; ” Advaita Vedanta” ; Upanishad;

The word “Brahman” will be used repeatedly. Meaning of Brahman is VAST. This is to be noted here that the word “Brahman” does not refer to any Cast , Creed or Sect. According to Vedanta the word ” Brahman” has been derived from the root word “brh” which means growing or expanding and suffix “man” added to it signifies absence of limitations. In Vedanta, the word Brahman is a neuter gender and hence it is referred as pronoun ” That”. It is very difficult to describe Brahman which is ultimately indefinable, indescribable and utterly beyond all human comprehension. Brahman can not be described through senses alone. Vedanta has however taught us how to realize Brahman which is “Supreme Consciousness”. In this article I will try to explain what I understood after reading different Scriptures. Hope readers will find it interesting and worth reading.

To start with our topic of discussion in part-2 here, we need to know the real meaning of the statement ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” What revelation is that? Revelation is knowing Vedas. Since knowing Vedas is beyond our scope in this space, but we can have some glimpses of famous lines from Vedas. Let us read following paragraphs quoting few lines from different Vedantic Texts

satyam jnanam anantam brahma” : which literarily means ‘the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme.” Taittiriya 2.1.1 which is the opening sentence of Taittiriya Upanishad. (This has been explained in my earlier blog ” THE WISDOM OF THE FIVE SHEATHS (FIVE LAYERS~ Pancha Kosha)”

First of all we need to know the true meaning of “Brahman”. From Upanishads we can learn about Brahman. Five great Acharyas have explained about Brahman. One of them, founder of Advaita Vedanta, 8th century scholar, Shri Adi Shankaracharya said: ” there Exists one Absolute Brahman, who is “Sat-Chit-Ananda” and homogeneous in nature .” **** However the origin of entire Vedanta philosophy which is part of the four Vedas are believed to be composed and orally transferred, goes back to 5000 years. The oneness of Soul and GOD, the ultimate Truth is the principal essence of Vedanta philosophy. In the next paragraphs we will see what teachings we receive from Vedas.

There are four great statements (Maha Vakyasgreat sayings), one each taken from four Vedas by ancient scholars. These are most famous mantras and gives the core knowledge of Veda. Traditionally these well known MahaVakyas are pointers for the aspirants seeking liberation from the cycle of births. Four MahaVakyas are as below:

1) ” prajnAnaM brahma ” which means consciousness is Brahman. This has been taken from Rig Veda ( Aitareya Upanishad): The essence is that Brahman is Supreme knowledge. The absolute reality is the essence of what you really are.

2) ” tat-tvam-asi” which means “You are that” which is from Sama Veda (ChAndogya Upanishad).

3) ” ayamAtma brahma” which means This Self is Brahman. It has been selected from Atharva Veda ( maNDukya Upanishad). Atman and Brahman are the same like the waves and the ocean are one.

4) ” aham brahmAsmi” which means “I am Brahman” has been taken from Yajur Veda (bRRihadAraNyaka Upanishad ). Who I am is that absolute reality.

Now, to understand the subject ,one has to study Vedanta . Vedanta consists of three basic Texts. Together they are referred as ” PRASTHANA TRAYA” , triple canon of Vedanta.

  1. Upanishads ( Shruti Prasthana):
  2. Bhagavad Gita( Smriti Prasthana : Quintessence of the teaching of entire Veda: “samasta-vedanta-sarasangraha-bhutam”).
  3. Brahma Sutra (Nyaya-Prasthana also known as uttarmimamsa sutra).

Those who wish to study the philosophy of Vedanta, may read ” The Ten Principal Upanishads” and the “Brahma Sutra” after reading the “Bhagavad Gita”. In the following paragraphs, I will write brief introduction about Brahma sutra. Rather I will emphasize on Brahma sutra because it is essential to understand the concept of Advaita Vedanta. While explaining Brahma sutra, some references of Upanishads obviously will follow.

There are four chapters in Brahma sutra. First chapter unifies Brahman. Second chapter shows no conflicts between Vedanta and other sastras (sacred texts). The third deals with practice to attain Brahman and the fourth one is result of attaining Brahman which is nothing but fruits of Self realization. The first topic of first chapter of Brahma sutra is “Jijnasadhikaranam” [ Topic-1/first chapter] which means ” The enquiry into Brahman and it’s prerequisites“. The first sentence of this chapter is ” Athato Brahmajijnasa” (Hence thereafter a deliberation on Brahman.1.1.1)

Now the Text is for whom? A little explanation is essential here. The Vedanta is for the person who is competent to understand and study sastras(Scriptures) ,has tranquil mind, with required attributes as described in Vedanta. After attainment of certain preliminary qualifications which are known as four salvations ,one can progress towards the direction of knowing Brahman. Four salvations are:

  1. “Nitya-anitya-vastuveveka” which means discrimination between the eternal and non eternal.
  2. ” IhamutrarthaphalabhogaViraga” : Indifference to the joys in this life or in in Heaven, and of the fruits of one’s action.
  3. ” Shatsampat” : Six fold virtues that are : i) Sama (Control of mind), ii) Dama ( Control of senses),iii) Uparati (Cessation from worldly enjoyments), iv) Titiksha ( Endurance of pleasure and pain, heat and cold), v) Sraddha (Faith), vi) Samadhana (Deep concentration).
  4. “Mumukshautva” (Desire for liberation).

Even without possessing the knowledge of “Karma Kanda” (Rituals, religious ceremonies), a desire for attaining the knowledge of Brahman( BrahmaGyan) will arise direct from the study of “Srutis”. Therefore, I will recall here the sentence ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” which is written in sanskrit as श्रोत्रियस्यचअकामहतस्य “ means well versed in “Srutis”. Hence it implies that the enquiry of Brahman does not depend on the performance of any act but through study of Vedas. That is the essence of the section ” Ananda Valli” of Taittiriya Upanishad.

Why one should enquire Brahman? Why? Most of the religions believe that life in earth or life in heaven are attained on the basis of one’s virtuous deeds(“KARMA”) which is transient. But once you know Brahman, you will enjoy everlasting bliss and immortality. Knowledge of Brahman destroys ignorance which is the root cause of all sufferings. We will continue our study of Vedanta a little more in the following paragraphs. I admit that this will be lengthy for the readers, but it is essential part of Vedas which needs to be presented.

“Janmadyadhikaranam“: Definition of Brahman[Topic-2/First chapter of Brahma sutra]. First sentence here is ” Janmadyasya yatah” 1.1.2(2) means Brahman is that from which the origin, sustenance and dissolution of this Universe proceed. Brahman is eternally pure, wise and free. He is Omnipotent and Omniscient. One can attain knowledge of brahman through reflection on it’s attributes. Would like to refer here Taittiriya upanishad-iii-1: Conversation between Varuna and his son Bhrigu Varuni on enquiry into Brahman. Bhrigu is asking his father- ” Sir, teach me Brahman”. Varuna said ” that from whence these beings are born, that by which, when born they live, that into which they enter at their death, try to know that“. That is Brahman. Here the point to be noted is that the origin, sustenance and dissolution of the Universe are characteristic of the Universe because of changing (cyclic) in nature. They do not pertain to the eternal unchanging Brahman, yet they indicate Brahman which is the cause of this universe. Sruti has another definition of Brahman. ” Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahman” means Truth, knowledge, Infinity is Brahman.

” Sastrayonitvadhikaranam” : Brahman is realisable only through the scriptures [Topic-3/First chapter of Brahma sutra]. “Sastrayonitvat”: 1.1.3(3) means the scripter is the source of right knowledge. The scriptures illumine all things like a search light. Through scripture only we get a comprehensive understanding of the nature of Brahman. Brahman is formless, colourless, attribute less. Hence it can not be grasped by the senses alone. Brahman is ONE, infinite and without second.

Hope readers have found the reason why the sentence ” A man full of revelation, but without desire has equal joy.” is so important which has been repeated many times in the scripture Taittiriya Upanishad. I request to my readers to give me feedback for improving the content. Please send your comments/suggestions for improvement to my email; arun7663@gmail.com

“More on part-3 .This is the end of Part-2.”

What is Joy? (Part-1)

My humble request to the readers is that, before you start reading, please consider this statement of mine.

☆The article is purely based on my studies, my thoughts, my experiences and self realization.
☆I found some link between modern science and statements of ancient sages as mentioned in Vedanta, regarding Universe, Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth whatever we say.
☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as “HUMAN” irrespective of gender differences.
♡ Having gone through the sacred books/ancient texts translated by different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic, I am trying to share the subject matter as I understood in very concise form.
You may find it boring or interesting, dull or exciting, but my intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. Please give your suggestions for the shortcomings and valuable inputs to make the text beneficial for mankind.
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  There is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
♡ This is my second blog. Will be waiting for your support and encouragement.
Please share your feedback at — arun7663@gmail.com : Regards. Namaste.

PEACE MANTRA “May HE protect us both. May HE take pleasure in us both. May we show courage together. May Spiritual knowledge shine before us. May we never hate one another. May peace and peace and peace be everywhere”.

This article is about “Joy”. Definition of One unit ofHuman Joy” as mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad.

Lets look into the section VIII of Brahmananda Valli, the second part of Taittiriya Upanishad which is one of among 10 Principal Upanishads.

We all know that our fundamental aim is to be always happy, joyous in our life. We always think of overcoming sufferings, miseries during different phases of life. We need permanent happiness which ordinarily is never seen. Any living creature will seek comfort zone with all good happenings all the time. Among all creatures, Human is considered to be the most intelligent creatures of this world. We the human being, though always search for joy and always try for a life with full satisfaction, yet we can not achieve both joy and satisfaction permanently. Joys and sorrows come and go like waves’ crest and trough.

According to Vedanta, the goal of Human is ” Attyantika Dukshya Nibritti, Paramananda praptyachya”. Complete cessation of sufferings and attainment of Bliss is the goal of everyone. In the Second part of the Brahmananda Valli, there is one section(section eight), known as Ananda Mimamsa which means an enquiry into the form of Supreme Bliss(Ananda). The Text first defines what is human joy and defines one unit measure, a standard unit of human joy. Then it explains about multiple units of this Joy at different levels and compare those amount of Joys(Bliss) with one revelation. According to measurement model, it will take us to the highest level for clear conception about Joy. Very interestingly and mathematically described in such a fashion that one will understand and find what is Joy in reality.

Part of Sloka starts like this:- 2. seisa ananda mimamsa bhabati….which means ” This is the enquiry for Joy(Bliss)

3. yuvaasyaatsaadhuyuva aadhoayakaha aashishtho drathistho balishthah tasyeyam pruthvi sarva vittasyapoomasyaat sa eko maanusha aanandah”

Above sloka defines measurement of one unit of human joy this way:-Think of a young man, well educated ,ambitious, firm, strong, noble, and poses total wealth of this world. Call his joy as “eko maanusha aanandah” means one unit of human joy” . Thus the standard unit of Human joy is defined. We will now see what next is in the sacred text.

So we have now one unit of human joy for further enquiry, further analysis. Before proceeding further, we will analise the definition of one unit of human joy. The first point to be noted here is that, the first condition is, the Man should be young. Why young? Because youth is the ideal condition in one’s life to enjoy ,since at young age , body holds full strength, vigor and vitality. Looks very attractive, body heals faster and posses all the benefits of physical works. Second condition is that the youth should be well versed, ambitious, firm, strong, noble and have the wealth of the entire world. We may imagine him as the King of this world. The Joy of such a person may be assumed as one unit of human Joy which is maximum possible Joy of any human in this world. According to Vedanta, even more than this Joy is possible, but not in this world ( loka /plane/heavens and also known as Astral Planes ). There are higher worlds beyond this world like heavens which is believed by most of the religions. I will write about those Astral planes in my other blog. However we should understand the concept of Joy in actuality.

Now we will move to the next part of the sloka.

Sloka continues :-

A hundredfold of that Human joy is now unit measure of Human Gandharvas, joy of those brought to the celestial choir (Gandharva loka) by their good deeds. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

A hundredfold joy of Human Gandharvas is now unit measure of joy of celestial Gandharvas. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

A hundredfold joy of celestial Gandharvas is now unit measure of joy of manes (fore fathers), living in their eternal paradise (pitri loka). A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that one unit of joy of pitri loka hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Heaven born gods. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that one unit of joy of Heaven born gods hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Gods brought to godhead by their good deeds . A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of gods brought to godhead by their good deeds. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of ruling gods . A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of god Indra (known as King of Heaven and also known as God of Thunder). A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Brihaspati, who is known to be Guru of gods. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Prajapati, who is known to be maker of gods. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Multiply that joy a hundred times and call it one unit of joy of Spirit. A man full of revelation but without desire, has equal joy.

Sloka ‘He who lives in Man, He who lives in the Sun are one. He who knows this spiritual joy, mind cannot grasp, nor tounge speak, fears nothing.
He who knows this, cries goodbye to the world, goes beyond elemental Self, living Self, thinking Self, knowing Self, joyous Self. Here is my Authority. ” [** End of Sloka 2.8 of Taittiriaya Upanishad.]

Let us now analyze the amount of human joy which is One unit in this world. More happiness is possible. but not in this world. As we believe, beyond this world, there are higher worlds, higher planes commonly known as Etheric plane, Astral planes of different vibrational frequencies. All the planes are in ascending order according to the energy densities. Commonly we call it as Gandharva loka, Pitri loka, Deva loka, Indra loka, Brihaspati loka, Prajapati loka, Brahma loka etc. All these lokas* are in ascending order. According to description, joy of each loka is multiplied by hundred to that of joy of previous loka. Finally the figure of joy becomes billions of times greater than that of maximum human happiness. {*I will write about the lokas, higher worlds or higher planes separately with full details}

For the time being, let us assume and believe that those higer worlds exist and also believe in the text of the sloka. We may concentrate on the concept. What we have learnt from the above sacred text? We can have discussion over it. In the sloka, every time it has been pointed out that the amount of Joy in the new loka, remains same. The statement is “A man full of revelation, but without desire, has equal joy”.

Continue reading What is Joy? (Part-1)

THE WISDOM OF THE FIVE SHEATHS (FIVE LAYERS~ Pancha Kosha)

My humble request to the readers of my blog that before you start reading, please consider this statement of mine.

☆Whatever I have written in the following article is purely based on my studies, my experiences and my personal development in the field of the particular subject.
☆ While studying ancient sacred texts (Advaita Vedanta), I found the statements of ancient sages regarding Universe and Supreme Consciousness or the Ultimate truth whatever we say, is similar to the statements of modern physics, the quantum physics
  ☆ The term “MAN” wherever used in this entire text is intended to consider as HUMAN irrespective of gender differences (without any distinguish, until unless quoted)
♡ The article is just outcome of my studies on the subject.  I have gone through the books of different writers, translators, publishers on the same topic. After studying thoroughly and after self-satisfaction, I have tried to project the subject matter in very concise form.
You may find it boring or interesting, dull or exciting, but my intention is to reach to you with the topic that I found very useful for human lives. Please give your suggestions for the shortcomings. 
☆ The Spiritual context is purely based on ancient sacred texts.  This is no discrimination against any religion, race, cast or creed. 
♡ This is my first blog. Will be waiting for your support and encouragement.
I will be happy to receive your comments, suggestions regarding the topic. Please send your comments to my    mail id:     arun7663@gmail.com

Namaste.

THE WISDOM OF THE FIVE SHEATHS (FIVE LAYERS~ Pancha Kosha)

 The opening sentence of Taittiriya Upanishad Section-2 is “Satyam jnanam anantam Brahman” which literarily means the knower of Brahman attains the Supreme.

 Let us know about the five sheaths that surround our true essence, our true nature as described in the traditional Advaita Vedanta that uses a model to illustrate the successive layers of identification which obscure our real nature.

 Our true nature is covered by the sheaths~[SHEATHE means KOSHA in Sanskrit ] known as “panchakosha prakriya”.

 According to Taittiriya Upanishad, our true essence is covered by these sheathes in the same way that a scabbard encloses the blade of sword. Self is hidden behind the mask of the personality.
The second chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad “BrahmanandaValli” teaches about the five sheathes. Concept of whole of this Five Sheaths model is highly symbolic and metaphorical.
Five sheaths are as follows:-
1) AnnaMaya Kosha
2) PranaMaya Kosha
3) ManoMaya Kosha
4) VijnaMaya Kosha
5) AnandaMaya Kosha

 

The First Layer:  “AnnaMaya Kosha” : From food (food= anna) arise all the creatures, which live on earth, and through food alone do they live, and finally they return to the food in the end.
 The first layer, the grossest one with which we first identify ourselves as the body, is made up of food and known as “AnnaMaya Kosha” (অন্নময়কোষ). The body takes birth, grows old, dies and decays back into the food from which it was produced. This has nothing to do with the real “Self”. This body alone is not the “Self”.

The Second layer: “PranaMaya Kosha” This is vital life force for which the body is animated and actions are performed. This layer is made of “Prana” the breathe which known as “PranaMaya Kosha”(প্রানময়কোষ). We are multilayered being, composed of physical body, subtle body and causal body .The first mentioned sheath, the AnnaMaya Kosha is permeated by four Koshas.
The next layer the Second layer is “PranaMaya Kosha”. The AnnaMaya Kosha is the effect of Prana. PranaMaya Kosha controls AnnaMaya Kosha.

## Prana is vital energy and invisible to us. It is like Electric Power ,which gives life to the machines and machines run, animates.  Same way this vital energy “Prana” animates us, the live bodies.  It runs the 1st layer the Physical body. This prana is external to further subtler energy which is Mind. The mind is so subtle and transparent, that  mind can reflect consciousness. 

Prana (Breath) is verily the life of beings and hence it is called the Universal life. It is matter of common knowledge that life becomes possible only so long as the vital energy keeps the different organs of the organism alive.
” Though this vital life force makes the body animated and actions are performed but this is not the “Real Self“. This PranaMaya Kosha separates life from death once the “Prana” leaves the body. This sheath is composed of five Pranas (prana, udana, vyana, samana, apana). These pranas have their own importance to operate The Body perfectly. Through practice of Pranayama (pranayama is breathing exercise, part of Yoga as described in the ancient texts) , we can transcend to the next layer “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ). But this is not the real Self.

The Third layer: – “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ)
This Self is embodied in the previous one (Prana) which is   the mental sheath consisting of the thinking mind.  This MIND (Manas” মন”) and the organs of perception is known as “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ). This is the sheath which limits us and blocks us to go beyond.

Pancha Koshas(FIVE SHEATHS) can be divided into the three bodies: These three bodies are the objects of experience in deep sleep, dream and waking conditions respectively. It is the causal body that is experienced in deep sleep. The subtle body in dream and the physical body in waking condition.

Three bodies are as follows:–
A) The gross body “Sthula sarira”=(~ Sanskrit word) consists of first two layers AnandaMaya Kosha and pranayama Kosha.
B) The Subtle body “Suksma sarira”( ~ Sanskrit word) consists of ManoMaya Kosha and VijnaMaya Kosha. Also known as Astral body.
C) The causal body “Karana sarira”(~ Sanskrit word) consists of AnandaMaya Kosha.
“ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ).
This Self is embodied in the previous one (Prana) which is   the mental sheath consisting of the thinking mind.  This MIND (Manas” মন”) and the organs of perception is known as “ManoMaya Kosha”(মনোময়কোষ). This is the sheath which limits us and blocks us to go beyond.
This Kosha is powerful, because bondage and liberation depends on the mind. It pervades the PranaMaya Kosha.
Basically, this body is consisting of Mind through which we perceive the world via five agents (sense organs).Mind functions in three levels.
 1. Conscious mind
 2. Subconscious mind
 3. Unconscious mind.
All the above three minds are subsets of Universal mind.
Human being is stuck in this sheath as always people are abducted by the mind (monkey mind).
In the Patanjali yoga sutras 1.2 ” yoga is the stilling of modifications of mind’~” “yogass chitta vritti nirodaha”.
When the fluctuations of mind are stilled, our true nature is revealed.  We have then enough clarity to perceive the Self beyond the mind. Through pranayama and pratyahara (mental withdrawal of senses) we can pervade to the next layer.

 But this is not the real Self.

The Fourth layer:- VijnaMaya Kosha (বিজ্ঞানময় কোষ)

Beyond Mind (Manas~ Sanskrit word) there are higher levels of mind responsible for discriminations recognizing the truth and the false fruit real or unreal. In silence it knows without needing to think. This is intellect (buddhi~ Sanskrit word). This intellectual sheath is known as “VijnaMaya Kosha”.

VijnaMaya Kosha (~Buddhi) Sheath of wisdom. This is part of subtle body. When subtle body is disciplined, the physical body also becomes very healthy and strong. The mind which is ruler of the subtle body gets flattened by worldly affections, attachments, desires etc. Through practice mind comes under control by this sheath.
This self is embodied in the previous one that is ManoMaya Kosha. But this is not the real Self.

 I AM (the Real Self) the witness of this sheath.
Mind is mostly engaged with the first layer which is nothing but the body, the false identity with ego. It has a shape, size, name, fame everything.  Very much visible to self, to inner self, outer self and to others of this samsara (সংসার).
• The unwavering peace we seek is realized by experiencing the unlimited and eternal Peace that is our True Identity. Though obscured by ignorance, it exists within us, waiting to be revealed. This experience is enlightenment—Self-realization.{Experience to be gained with the help of 4th layer }
• Self-realization can be attained by mastering the mind. Just as only a clean, undistorted mirror can reflect our face as it truly is, only a one-pointed and tranquil mind can part the veils of ignorance to reveal and reflect the Self.
The effort to free the mind from the limitations of ignorance is a drama that has been repeated since time immemorial.
But if the mind leads one towards the VijnaMaya Kosha by pervading itself, then what will happen? 
Let’s look beyond the mind.
Beyond the mind (Manas), there are higher levels of mind responsible for discriminations, recognizing the truth and the false, real or unreal. In silence it knows without needing to think which is intellect (Buddhi~বুদ্ধি). This intellectual sheath is known as “VijnaMaya Kosha “~sheath of wisdom.
According to Vedanta, the study of scriptures helps in realization of truth, when one is equipped with necessary fourfold discipline:-
1. Discrimination between real (nitya নিত্য~ eternal) and unreal (anitya অনিত্য~transitory).
2. Renunciation of the unreal (Viraga~বৈরাগ্য)
3. Six fold qualities.
4. Longing for liberation (Moksha ~মোক্ষ প্রাপ্তি to escape from the cycle of births and deaths)

The word “Self” is generally meant to “Atman” (soul). But the Sanskrit word is “Atman”, which cannot be translated.  This Atman is deathless, birthless, eternal and real for every individual.  It is the unchanging reality (sat ~সৎ) behind the changing body, sense organs, mind and ego. It is Spirit, which is pure Consciousness (চিত্) and is unaffected by time-space causality. It is infinite and it is ONE without the second.
As the unchanging reality in the individual is known as Atman, same way the unchanging reality in the Universe is known as “BRAHMAN”. Vedanta says This BRAHMAN and ATMAN are one and the same.
VijnaMaya Kosha consists of the intellect in conjunction with the five organs of knowledge (জ্ঞানেন্দ্রিয়).

The Fifth layer:-  “AnandaMaya Kosha”
This Self is embodied in the previous one. The self-consisting of Bliss and is filled by it. Here is the presence of most profound peace and silence when mind becomes no mind.  This is State of Bliss 
Let us recall the first sloka (1ST verse) of “Taittiriya Upanishad” second chapter which is known as “Brahmananda Valli”.
Quoting the sentence again: —
“Satyam jnanam anantam Brahman” which means “The knower of “BRAHMAN” attains the Supreme”.  BRAHMAN is Truth, knowledge and Infinity, which is our own very Self, the Atman.  Brahman is not an object of knowledge.  It is always witnessing subject. (দ্রষ্টা~The Seer).
In the second chapter of Taittiriya Upanishad, there is the definition of “Human JOY”. One unit of Human Joy. Will write that in my next blog very shortly.

The Self is infinite. There is in fact no multiplicity or plurality in that ONE, Homogeneous Being, the Supreme Being and the Ultimate. Because of superimposition and our ignorance, we have forgotten our true nature.  It alone
exists as the illuminator. This “Atman” the Real “Self” in its glorious existence, reveals its own Sat-Chit nature which is Anandamaya. That is why this Sheath is referred to “Anandamaya Kosha”. Actually, this Five Sheath model as mentioned in Taittiriya Upanishad is just an idea for understanding the different levels of the Self. The eternal nature of Self is Bliss only.

Through identification of five layers or sheaths the Self is revealed.  This reveals that:-
“I AM NOT THE PHYSICAL BODY”
“I AM NOT THE PRANA (BREATH)”
“I AM NOT THE MIND”
“I AM NOT THE INTELLECT (BUDDHI) “
“I AM ALSO NOT THE ANANDAMAYA KOSHA” too. ☆☆
Then who I AM?


☆☆ I am The Witness of these five sheaths.
Our true nature is beginning less, endless, non-dual, unbounded, ever free, pure, aware, Supreme Bliss. Due to ignorance known as Maya (Avidya), we pass through cycles of births and deaths and that is the cause of pain, sufferings, and miseries. Maya is compared as veil in Vedanta.
The ignorance of the real nature of the Self constitutes this causal body or the seed-body. It projects the appearance of the whole Universe through the subtle sheath.
This Anandamaya Kosha or the causal body is impersonal, formless, Universal, a blissful space usually identified within deep sleep (sushupti~সুসূপ্তি) ★★
★★The Mandukya Upanishad explains about 4 states of Atman. There is one state the 3rd state, known as deep sleep. The second state is known as dream state (    ). The first state is known as Awaking state.
4th state is known as Turiya.

We have to rise above these five sheaths to realize the identity with Pure Consciousness. So we need to strip off all the layers one after the other, to take out the innermost essence of the Atman from all objects of perception. When the identification with the sheaths ceases, the self realizes the Infinite Being and gets liberated beyond death.

I am trying to project the concept p the figure drawn below:-

Notes:-

Maya (~ Sanskrit word) :–

According to Vedanta, our real nature is divine, pure, perfect, eternal and free.  We do not have to become Brahman, because we are That. But Maya is the veil which covers our real nature. Maya is beginning less. Time arises only with Maya. It is unthinkable, indescribable (Anirvachaniya). The word illusion is often used as meaning of Maya, but scholars says it is improper. There is no equivalent word in English to mean it.
What is known to us, according to ancient sacred texts, that Maya disappears when we realize our true nature.

^^Atman & Brahman:-
According to Vedanta, The ultimate in us is ATMAN The ultimate in Cosmos is BRAHMAN. This is the Universal Reality. Total Substance is Brahman. The same substance, when conceived as the essence of particular being is Atman. The Universe has been manifested out of this Total Substance can be said as Brahman. This is Atman, the Self of the universe. This Brahman is without a prior or a posterior, without interior or exterior. This Atman is Brahman, the perceiver of everything.

Thank you

Namaskar