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Existence, consciousness and Bliss



It is true that in the conscious state existence, knowledge and Bliss — all the three are there; and a feeling of their being interwoven is also there. The reason is that: (a) There is no being, or creature, which is not a combination of the three bodies. The heart, being at the centre, functions absorbing the effects of the higher and lower regions, which is its characteristic, (b) It is observed that breath comes out, goes in and stops. These are Rechak, exhalation, Poorak, inhalation and Kumbhak, suspension, which are going on every moment under all conditions. It is due to the knot of the three bodies being inter-linked. It should not be thought that there is no waking state in the dream state, and that there is no deep-sleep state in the waking state. Nor should it be thought that there is no waking or dream state in the deep-sleep state. But every one cannot know this. Only those who are spiritually advanced can know this. Mind is more often characterised by its thought function, and the soul by its peace and happiness. Otherwise the effect of the three is found in all these three. That is why action, knowledge and bliss (Karma, Jnana, Ananda) go hand in hand in all the spheres, Of course they seem to be different and separate from the point of view of their peculiarity and intensity.

The characteristic of the gross body is that there is action with stupidity. The characteristic of the subtle body is action, ignorance and knowledge (Jnana), anc only knowledge in higher conditions. The characteristic of the causal body is calmness, stability and peace Calmness and peace are nothing but happiness. When the mind settles or dwells on that stage it assumes the same form, and becomes peaceful and happy. This settling of it is called Upasana. The heart acts (behaves) with the spirit also. That which thinks an attained (obtained) thing as unattained, and is worried about obtaining it, must pass through the stages of practice and action. He who thinks a thing as already obtained does not feel the necessity of obtaining it. As an example: The golden bangles on the wrist slipping upward, and the wearer having the illusion of their being stolen. Such a search is called action and practice which are quite essential for the deluded mind. That which sits near, and sits in a particular posture, is the mind only. The mind quickly assumes the same form of the thing on which it settles.

Mind, hands, legs, eyes, nose, ears — all these are the dwelling places of the mind, not to speak of gross and subtle bodies. It settles on all these and performs Upasana. It is mind only that sits through its modifi­cations, Vritti, on all external things and scenes, and enjoys the three types of happiness. For example, there is a table before the eyes. The current of mind flows through the eyes and surrounds the table in the same way as the water of a canal surrounds the base of a tree and assumes the same form.

Action, knowledge and bliss are the three forms of happiness. The current flowing from the eyes sees a thing and strikes it continuously. This is action. The eye, by virtue of its action, Vritti, surrounds it and, turning its form, gets the knowledge regarding it. This is knowledge. The same eye settles on external scenes and enjoys them. This is bliss. Thus action, knowledge and bliss, which are the attributes of Sachchidananda, are all found together in some form or the other. They are all similar (have similar form) in action or Vyavahar, thought and spirituality so much so that this very principle of triplet (Trigunatmak — Siddhanta) is present in the union of man and woman (male and female).

In performing an action there is the primary and stupid movement. The mind cannot rest on it for a long time. The upasana of knowledge is the movement of thought above and below. Here, also, the mind cannot settle for long. This is the middle posture, but it settles firmly in the last stage and hence there is happi­ness in it. That is why much importance is given to this state of happiness.

Hearing the words of others is action. Thinking on those words and raising objections and doubts is knowledge. If the mind settles on the reality or the essence of those words, it is upasana, which gives happi­ness. These are called Sravana or hearing, Manana or contemplation, and Nididhyasana or deep meditation in the scriptures. The dictionary meaning of Nididhyasana is 'to sit in meditation' (Ni — before, first; Dhi-meditate; Asana — sitting).

Knowledge is no doubt light, but it is not an end in itself, but is merely a means to an end. We do not light a lamp at night for the sake of the lamp but to do some work by its light, which is the end or aim. So our knowledge also has some goal but it is not a goal in itself.

There are only these words in the term 'Sachchi- dananda'—Sat, Chit and Ananda. Sat is action, Chit is knowledge and Ananda is the final state. But if Upasana' is not considered as Ananda, then some other word has to be included in the terminology of Sachehidananda, so that the final purpose or goal is made clear. But if it is done so, the ancient terminology proves to be wrong and useless, and some purpose has to be thought of for the fourth word. In this way it will lead to the fallacy of Reductio ad Infinitum or Anavastha, in which case it becomes impossible to arrive at Reality. Hence, Upasana or Satsang is union. This union is the goal and this bliss or pleasantness is the condition of intoxication. Nay! it is bliss or pleasantness or intoxication itself! It is now quite essential to know the meaning of the Vedanta.

The end of the Veda (knowledge) is pleasantness and bliss. The scriptures say that the goal of human life is to end misery totally, and to attain the highest (greatest) happiness. From this, it is proved that the Veda or knowledge is not an end in itself, its end being happiness and bliss.

In action, too, there is happiness. But there is difference even in happiness. One kind of bliss differs from another kind. The word 'greatest happiness' or highest bliss' is used, keeping this subtle difference in mind. That 'highest bliss’ is union, embrace, or Satsang which I have been calling Upasana all along. This word can doubtless be used to connote union. But the secondary and technical meaning of Upasana has been worship, and meditation or contemplation. Hence, instead of the word 'union' (Milap), it was thought sufficient to use the word upasana.

This bliss, or the highest bliss, is upasana provided that its reality or its true purpose is achieved. And for the same reason upasana is considered to be superior to knowledge.

Uptil now it seems that spirit (Atma) was the substratum or base; but now it is proved that it is the individual mind or the heart of the body. It has two characteristics: Ath — having movement, and Man — thinking or contemplating. The mind exists because of these characteristics. Attraction, repulsion, desire, happiness, knowledge and effort are all its peculiarities (peculiar qualities). Brahman means Bruh — to grow, to expand, and Man — to think or to contemplate. Hence it is cosmic mind. It, too, has body (individuality) which is a mere veil. Body is called Deha in Sanskrit, which is derived from 'Dih' meaning 'united' (brought together). All the three bodies viz., gross, subtle and causal, are like this only. Gross body is the union or combination of atoms which are manifest. Subtle body is the union or combination of atoms which are in between the outer and the inner, and it is called heart or mind. Likewise the causal body which is inner or unmanifest is the combination of causal atoms. It is called spirit. Spirit is the name for the reality or essence. As men's conception is limited to these three alone, as they cannot understand them as they are, and as their illusion cannot be removed, therefore these terms are being elucidated again and again. The sages say Neti, Neti meaning "Neither this, nor that." This is the translation of 'nothingness' — Nasthi. Whatever is said after this is mere suggestion or Ishara. But very few can understand suggestion. That which people aspire for, or that which the mind searches after, is neither God (Ishwara) nor Brahman, nor Para-Brahman (Parabrahma). 'Neti, Neti, Neti' — not this! not this! not this! How can the tongue utter it when even the mind and intellect cannot express it? This is the fourth state of the saints and is designated as Turiya. Generally people do not know about the causal body, the subtleties of upasana or Upasana Bheda, and the mystery of happiness. As such, the series of questions has to be maintained regarding this matter only.

The eyes see everything, but do not see themselves. The nose smells everything, but does not smell itself. The ears hear everything but do not hear themselves. You see everything but you do not see yourself. This is ignorance. To ward off this ignorance you will have to take the help of an artificial mirror which you are already using. The help has started. And gradually when you look at your image in the mirror, you will yourself be satisfied and keep quiet. Then the chain of questions will automatically stop.

One cannot experience it without following the opposite path. It is mere substratum; so much so that as long as you and I are seen in manifested form, we are all body-minded. That is why the soul, Brahman etc., are explained in terms of having body. All these, in fact, are bodies – whether they are gross or subtle or causal. All these three are respectively the names or definition of body. Name and form themselves are bodies. Formless, attributeless and having attributes also are bodies. Neti, Neti, Neti!