Continuing his recap from last week of Mantra 13 in Part 2, Cantos 3, Swamiji reminded us that in this last and final section Yama is summarizing Brahma Vidya and enumerating some qualifications required for it, as well as, the benefits of this knowledge. With Verse # 13 the first two requirements of what is Brahma Vidya and qualifications
required for it have been completed. Faith in Brahman is required. Brahman is not available for objectification by the mind, senses or words. It is totally without attributes. Even Philosophers do not accept Nirguna Brahman. So Sraddha is very important until we absorb the teachings. This open mindedness is very important and is called
Shraddha. Now we are entering the description of the Phalam of obtaining Brahma Vidya.
Mantra # 14:
Phalam is freedom here and now. Freedom from what, asks Swamiji? It is not freedom from the physical body. It is the inner freedom from fear, anger, insecurity etc. all symptoms of Samsara. Above all it is freedom from Kama. Due to ignorance we identify with the body mind complex. Due to Ahamkara, ignorance expresses itself in life as something wanting. Since, I cannot withstand limitation, there is always a struggle to remove this limitation. Thus, we experiment and have long struggles to obtain Purnatwam. Kama freedom is freedom from this struggle. I do not do anything for this completion. I do everything out of this completion. Samsara is the binding desire while
non-binding desire is with completion. The binding desire goes away with Brahma Vidya.
All desires are located in the mind including desire for moksha or desire for desire less-ness. Even this goes away. Gyana recognizes I am That. Such a person is immortal, free from the cycle of births. Our next birth is decided in this life, at time of death, by our strongest desire. So he is beyond the cycle of life and deaths. It is the “I” who thought he is mortal, now thinks he is immortal. It is an intellectual journey, not a physical one. The notion of mortality is
lost. He becomes one with Brahman, here and now. Moksha is even while we are alive. This is known as Jivan mukta.
Other philosophies believe moksha is obtained only after death or dropping this body.
Mantra # 15:
Here a different aspect of Phalam is presented. With Brahma Vidya the Hridaya Grantha (knots) are destroyed. Shankara says ignorance is the knot. Like a knot it becomes firm and hence difficult to remove.
A knot is that which joins two things. I, the Atma, am associated with body mind complex due to Abhimana. Thus a knot is formed. I think of myself as the body. Ahamkara is the cause of the knot. Deha Abhimana is dropped due to this knowledge. So this mortal Jeeva notion now becomes immortal. Body is mortal but I am not mortal. The Abhimana in us is the Samsara. When somebody dies we do not feel anything. However, when it happens to somebody near, Abhimana comes in, including for my own body. The idea I am mortal is dropped. Yama now
concludes and says, this much is my teaching.
Mantra # 16:
In previous two mantras Yama taught the phalam of Brahma vidya. Now he talks about the second boon of Nachiketas called Nachiketa ritual (Karma with Upasana) that is conducted on Nachiketa Agni. Karma Upasana Samuchaya (combination); giving us an example of this, Swamiji says, when a mantra is chanted with a clear picture of it in mind, rather than blind chanting, it gives higher results. So, chanting the mantra is Karma. Chanting it with focus is Upasana. If one obtains Karma Moksha Mukthi, at death, he will go Brahma Loka via Sushumna Nadi. There, he will obtain Brahma Vidya. If one does Karma without Upasana, at death, he will be emerge from other Nadis and will be born again. Nadis are passages in our body. There are101 Nadis and only one emerges at top of crown.
Yama once again discusses Jeevan Mukthi or Brahma Vidya Phalam.
Antar Atma is as though the size of a thumb. It is also called Purusha (pure vasathi) it dwells in and beyond the body. It is also the Atma. It is present in heart and mind of every one as Consciousness, as the witness of all thoughts and absence of all thoughts. It is within the Anatma Shariram. Brahma Vidya separates the Consciousness from the
body mind complex. This must be clearly understood. Atma Anatma Viveka must dawn within us. It is an intellectual process of understanding. This requires a very subtle intellect. You cannot physically separate from body, only intellectually. Swamiji gives example of the Munja grass from which, very carefully, its tender shoot is separated.
Viveka is required for this separation. Twam pada Viveka or Aikyam is required. One should know this consciousness as Brahman described in scriptures. Separate yourself from body and thus identify with Brahman. This is Vedanta. This will give us Jivan Mukti. This concludes Yama Nachiketas Samvada.
Nachiketas obtained this knowledge from Yama. Yama also taught him Yoga Abhyasa. Having obtained wisdom he became one with Brahman. He became free from all impurities and free from mortality. Not only Nachiketas obtained Moksha, anyone who receives this wisdom in same manner also is freed and gets Moksha. Papam and Punyam both are impurities, per Vedas. Since there is no Karma there is no result as well.
Mantra # 19
This mantra concludes the Upanishad This mantra is a prayer to establish the teaching within us.
When chanting mantras try to visualize the deity and focus. This will be a very powerful Sadhana.
With my good wishes,