Continuing his teaching on Kaivalya Upanishad, Swamiji says, in Shlokas 5 though 7, Brahmaji gave instructions on the three levels of meditation. Everyone has to go through all three levels of meditation. First level is Eka Roopa Ishwara Dhyanam, second level is Aneka Roopa Ishwara Dhyanam and third level is Aroopa Ishwara Dhyanam.
At the third level, Aroopa Dhyanam, the meditator himself is the object of meditation. A person can go through levels one and two but then has to perform Vedanta Vichara under a qualified Guru. Only after performing this sadhana can he go to the third level of Aroopa Dhyanam also called Nididhyasanam. Swamiji declares that Aroopa Dhyanam is Nididhysanam.
Gita chapter 12 also describes the steps of meditation to be taken for Moksha.
Shloka # 8:
When one comes to the third level of meditation, the Aroopa Ishwara is same as the Meditator or Brahman or Atman. At this stage one becomes aware that Brahman and Atman are one and the same. Brahmatma is also called Paramatma.
Shloka 8 now describes the Paramatma.
The Paramatma is the one formless Brahman that assumes all types of forms. Many people think that Hinduism has many Gods, while in fact it is actually one god appearing with many forms. Brahma assumes forms due to influence of Maya. Every deity is a form of Brahman. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are all the same Brahman in different forms.
Transformation from Form to Formless is the real transformation. Transcending the form requires a subtle mind, until then one should continue with Eka Roopa or Aneka Roopa meditation.
What is Brahman’s original nature?
Its nature is formless. That Paramatma is a changeless one, one without a form or Akshara or the Ultimate one (Paramaha). Its nature is Self-luminous Consciousness.
The same Brahman is Prana, Kala, Agni and Chandrama. Everything is Brahman. It is “me” as well. Once you understand this, you will say “I am, All”. This “I” is not the body, mind and thought complex, rather it is the consciousness or illuminator of all.
Shloka # 9:
Everything in creation is Brahman. Everything in past, present and future is Brahma Chaitanyam. Brahman is eternal or Sanatanam. Just as a wave in the ocean may feel it is separate and distinct, however, once it realizes it is also water, it becomes one with the ocean.
By knowing Brahman as “myself” one crosses over mortality. It is really the crossing over the fear of death. In life, we cling to everything, including material and people, due to the fundamental fear of death. The older one gets, the greater is our sense of insecurity. This insecurity is also known as Samsara. Moksha is freedom from insecurity or Samsara.
Citing the wave and ocean example again, the wave looks at itself as an individual wave. It will always be afraid of mortality, as it knows it will die. So do human beings. Wave should understand that “I am water” and my waviness is an incidental form that can come and go. I am really water. So also, my humanness is really incidental. This human form will come and go but “I” the Atman will be forever. Thus, one has to know that Brahman as “ I”, myself.
Since this Gyana yoga is a difficult path, is there an alternate path to Gyana Yoga?
Upanishads say there is no other way of liberation other than Gyana Marga. Scriptures provide many paths for purification but there is only one path for moksha and that is Gyanam.
So, what is the solution to a gyana marga that is so difficult? Swamiji says we should try to make the gyanam easier. The best way to make it easier is to prepare yourself for gyana marga. Preparedness will help in any situation. Therefore, follow Karma Yoga, Upasana and then come to Gyana Marga.
Shloka # 10:
The wise person enjoys wisdom. What is his vision?
A wise person is one is who has gyanam having followed all stages of meditation. Such a person:
- Appreciates that atma is present in everything. All bodies are threaded together in one consciousness.
- He appreciates that the Atma is the sub stratum of everything. Everything is in Atma (Sarvaadhar).
Citing example of space, Swamiji says, it is enclosed in the walls of the temple. Thus, you have a large room or a small room. You can also say it is a one liter pot or a 10 liter pot. Space is within the container. The reality is that space is not within the container rather all containers are within space. So also, Consciousness is in every one of you. All of you are also in the one indivisible, non-dual Consciousness.
By knowing this, the knower becomes one with Brahman. The Knower becomes Brahman. Until now, the division between Brahman and me was a misconception. The dropping of this notion is attaining merger.
Is there any simpler path? As per Upanishad there is no other path. All paths lead to gyanam. Gyanam takes us to moksha. Hence, in our culture, we light a lamp to dispel our ignorance.
With best wishes,