Letter 90

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8th February, 1947
I went to the Hall at about 7-30 this morning. It was all silent inside. The aroma of the burning incense sticks coming out of the windows indicated to the new visitors that Bhagavan was there. I went inside, bowed before Bhagavan and then sat down. Bhagavan, who was all along leaning on a pillow, sat up erect in the Padmasana pose. In a moment his look became motionless and transcendent and the whole hall was filled with lustre. Suddenly someone asked, “Swamiji! Do the Jnanis have a mind or not?

Bhagavan cast a benevolent look at him, and said, “There is no question of one realising Brahman without a mind; realisation is possible only if there is a mind; mind always functions with some upadhi (support); there is no mind without upadhi; it is only in connection with the upadhi that we say that one is a Jnani. Without the upadhi, how can one say that some one is a Jnani? But how does the upadhi function without mind? It does not; that is why it is said that the Jnani’s mind itself is Brahman. The Jnani is always looking at Brahman. How is it possible to see without a mind? That is why it is said that the Jnani’s mind is Brahmakara and akhandakara. But in reality his mind itself is Brahman. Just as an ignorant man does not recognise Brahman within but only recognises the external vrittis (things), so also though the Jnani’s body moves about in the external vrittis, he always recognises only the Brahman within. That Brahman is all- pervading. When once the mind is lost in the Brahman, to call the mind Brahmakara is like saying that a river is like the ocean; when once all the rivers get lost in the ocean, it is all one vast sheet of water. Can you then distinguish in that vast sheet of water, ‘This is the Ganges, this is the Goutami, this river is so long, that river is so wide’, and so on? It is the same with regard to the mind also.”

Someone else asked, “They say that satvam is Brahman, and that rajas and tamas are abhasa; is that so?” Bhagavan replied: “Yes! Sat is what exists; Sat is satvam; it is the natural thing; it is the subtle movement of the mind. By its contacts with rajas and tamas it creates the world with its innumerable forms. It is only due to its contact with rajas and tamas that the mind looks at the world which is abhasa, and gets deluded.

If you remove that contact, satva shines pure and uncontaminated. That is called pure Satva or Suddhasatva.

This contact cannot be eliminated unless you enquire with the subtlest of the subtle mind and reject it. All the vasanas have to be subdued and the mind has to become very subtle; that means, subtle among the subtlest --- they say anoraneeyam (atom within an atom). It should become atomic to the atom.

If it becomes subdued as an atom to the atom, then it rises to the infinite among infinities, ‘mahato maheeyam’. Call it the mind seeing, or the mind acquiring powers; call it whatever you like. By whatever name it is called, when we sleep the mind, with all its activities lies subdued in the heart. What do we see then? Nothing. Why? Because the mind lies subdued. We wake up from our sleep, and as soon as we wake up there is mind, there is Sat and Brahman. As soon as the mind that is awake is attached to the gunas, every activity emerges. If you discard those guna vikaras, (vagaries of the mind), the Brahman appears everywhere, self-luminous and self-evident, the Aham, ‘I’. Then everything appears thanmayam (all pervading). See the technical language of the Vedanta: they say, Brahma-vid, (Brahman-knowing), Brahma Vidvarishta, (supreme among the Brahman-knowing), and so on, and then they say, Brahmaiva Bhavati, (he becomes Brahman itself). He is Brahman itself. That is why we say that the jnani’s mind itself is Brahman.”

Someone else asked, “They say that the Jnani conducts himself with absolute equality towards all?” Bhagavan replied, “Yes! How does a Jnani conduct himself?”

Maitri (friendship), karuna (kindness), mudita (happiness) and upeksha (indifference) and such other bhavas become natural to them. Affection towards the good, kindness towards the helpless, happiness in doing good deeds, forgiveness towards the wicked, all such things are natural characteristics of the Jnani.

-- Patanjali Yoga Sutra, 1: 33

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