This discourse series by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha ji was part of the Gurupoornima Retreat held at Narayanashrama Tapovanam, Kerala in the year 2020. In this talk, Nutan Swamiji explains how the Upanishads try to transform our fragmented objective vision into an undifferentiated vision of consciousness.
There is no experience without the Consciousness. For anything to be known, it has to first appear in the Consciousness. It is this Consciousness which we refer to by the term 'I'. All our problems are due to the mistaken identification with the limited body identity. If we can detach from this mistaken body identity and rest in Consciousness, we will instantly become happy, peaceful and free.
Right now, body is the reality for us and the Soul just an inference. Our rumination and contemplation on Truth has to be so wholesome and complete that the Soul becomes the only reality for us. Swamiji points out that the clarity of understanding will dawn only when we grasp that all internal and external, gross and subtle phenomena are mere appearances in consciousness. When one sees all as appearances in Brahman, he becomes immortal!
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.