Starting Part 2, Cantos 2, Swamiji says Yama continues his discourse on Atmaswarupa. Atma is very subtle and understanding it is not easy. To further enhance Nachiketas’ understanding of the subject Yama is continuing his commentary on the subject, however, from a somewhat different perspective.
In Mantra # 1, comparing our body to a city and Jiwatma to be its King, Swamiji says, our body also has many attributes of a city. Thus, it has people; it has roads, drains, essential functions that work round the clock and an industry as well. This city has 11 gates and they are: the Eyes, Ears, Nostrils, Mouth, 2 openings for waste matter, one Nabhi (used only during pregnancy for feeding the child) and one at Crown of head. Swamiji says the opening at head only opens when an Up asaka dies and goes to Brahmaloka.
Swamiji now says while the Body is changing the Jivatama does not change. He says our aim in life should be to claim: “ I am the Puraswamy and not the Puram” or I am the Atma and not the body. Puram, the city is our body and Puraswamy, its king, is the Jiwatma.
Swamiji strongly recommends we practice Sravanam, Mananam and NididhyAsanam on this subject. The focus of this exercise is to be aware at all times that the body-mind-thought complex is not the same as Atma. Once we realize this truth we will have no sorrow in life. You will become a Jivanamukta or liberated soul in this very life. You
will also obtain the freedom from the cycle of rebirth.
In Mantra # 2, Swamiji says, the Jivatama that pervades my body also pervades everybody else’s bodies as well. Jivatama is like space it pervades everything. Swamiji points out that while Bodies are referred to in plural, Jivatma is referred to in singular or as One Atma that pervades many bodies. Yama, describing Jiwatma, says it is the all pervading one that also pervades the Sun, the Air, the Sacred Fire, the Devas and the Humans.
Further describing Jivatma, Swamiji says The Body-Mind Complex is inert. The Atma blesses the Sukshma Sharira with Chidabhasha, which in turn blesses the Sthula Sharira or our physical body. This is what energizes our body.
Atma>Sukshma Sharira> Sthula Sharira.
(My note: Chidabhasa is the term used to denote the reflected Universal Self in the Jiva, the Individual Self. Swamiji also calls it Reflected Consciousness.)
At death, since Sukshma Sharira quits the body, the blessing of Atma is not available anymore to the Sthula Sharira and hence our physical body dies. Swamiji says your breath is proof of Atma’s blessing. It is this Atma that gives us life. How can you forget this Atma, asks Swamiji.
Note: In this mantra “Pranam” is breath going out and “Apanam” is breath coming in.
Take away from today’s discussions:
- Be aware at all times that the body-mind-thought complex is not the same as Atma. You are the Atma. This should be part of one’s ongoing Sravanam, Mananam and NididhyAsanam.
With my good wishes,