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Kathopanishad – Part III

Wisdom in Being Self-Conscious

Jan. 16 – Jan. 20, 2012

(Discourses conducted by Swami Sarveshananda at Chinmaya Saaket, CM D/FW) mp3

After a thorough test of Nachiketa’s readiness to be a qualified seeker, Lord Yama responds to his question of What is the Truth? Lord Yama clarifies that all religious practices alone doesn’t make one spiritual. He distinguishes between the wise mature people and the ignorant immature people. While most of us pursue happiness, the wise know that you cannot experience true contentment in fulfilling desires. They know that they are they are the source of knowledge themselves.

As a spiritual seeker, if Vedanta shravana (listening), mananam (reflection) and niddhidhyasan (contemplation) are on track, we acquire a lot of dheera (patience and wisdom). Understand the subtle distinction between the illumined fleeting world of objects and the Illuminator – Supreme Consciousness. Learn the techniques spiritual seekers use to focus on the latter while still basking and relishing the joy of each unfolding moment of former. Be the illuminator and witness of these moments.

This vision expands into understanding that the entire creation is an expression of Paramatma in various forms. The Supreme Consciousness expresses as either the unmanifest or the manifest world of existence. The conscious principle not only illumines our three worlds of existence (waking, sleeping and dream state), but that same principle pervades and enlivens every expression in this existence, including you and me. That alone is the Truth.

The various sadhanas described thus far help the spiritual aspirant to prepare for mediation. Benefits of these practices cannot be undermined. For example, daily puja helps us replace the body identification; japa increases our focus and ability to concentrate on one thought while chintana brings in clarity and conviction. With a strong foundation in these three, the seeker can then sit on the seat of meditation and revel in the nectarine truth.

Finally, Lord Yama shares tips-n-tricks to help the seeker for the practice of meditation. (e.g. Gaganopasana – contemplate on Space) and other contemplative thoughts can help the aspirant glide into samadhi and remain Self-consciousness. Knowing that I express as existence, illuminating and enlivening all the worlds of thoughts, objects and beings, … THAT alone is the Truth.

In the darkness of ignorance, we attach ourselves to the unreal and the fleeting. In the light of knowledge, we identify ourselves with the real and permanent.

–– Swami Chinmayananda