Continuation of verse 3

5. Believe and remain in affirmations of Upanishads – I am Brahman. Upanishads reveal the path to Liberation in unambiguous way. They do not advocate rituals or mantras. They ask us to look within. Chāndogya Upanishad says, “That which is the subtlest of all is the Self of all. It is the Truth. It is the Self. You are that Self.” Kena Upanishad cautions us. “Those who mechanically perform sacrifices go into darkness. But those who merely worship gods and goddesses go into deeper darkness.” Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upanishad says, “Through the mind alone, Brahman can be realized. It should be realized only in one form which is unknowable and eternal. It is taintless.” Kaṭha Upanishad says, “This Self is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. It lies in the heart of every being. It is present in all forms, yet It is formless. Meet wise people and learn from them, about the Self. Only in the purified mind, this Self can be realized.” Thus, Upanishads talks about Brahman in one’s pure mind and pure mind can be attained through sincere meditation. Those who seek Liberation should read Upanishads, particularly the commonly known “daśa Upanishads.”

6. Destroy deceptive ego and pride. The Self is beyond everything. Antaḥkaraṇa induce a person to identify with the body and not with the Self within. Primarily, one’s ego makes a person to discover himself with everything else, except the Self. It is therefore, essential for those who follow the path of spirituality, not only to acquire knowledge, but also to practice through meditation, a process that enables the mind to make itself disassociated from the senses.  It is only the senses that carry the images of the materialistic world to the mind. It is the māyā that makes the ego to work in coordination with the three guṇas (sattva, rajas and tamas). Ego is not our enemy, but the very cause of our existence. Ego cannot be totally eliminated but can be transcended. As a matter of fact, none of the features of māyā can be eliminated as long as a man exists. However, they can be transcended with the will of mind to realize the Ultimate Reality. Mind is the beginning and the end of spirituality. The mind should be so trained, that it should not identify the unreal as the Real. The illusionary effect of the māyā is unreal. When the Self within is the cause for our activities, how can one say “I have done this; this is mine; etc.”  This is a typical example of ego, where the mind falsely identifies the body as the doer and enjoyer. A bulb cannot say that it is the cause for the light. Bulb is only an appliance that converts the electric energy into light energy. Without electricity, how can light function? The thought of the bulb is ego and reality is the electricity. In the same way, thought of man falsely identifying himself with the three types of bodies, five types of sheaths, etc. is ego, whereas in reality Brahman is the true cause.

7. Get rid of the idea that you are body. Physical body is perishable. It is like bubbles in water. Bubbles exist only for some time and then burst to become one with water. Similarly, all bodies, let it be physical or subtle, they exist only for certain time. Because of avidyā (innate spiritual ignorance) we consider different shapes and forms as real and permanent. Only because of this ignorance, we develop attachment, desires, ego, arrogance, etc. and in the process never attempt to know the reality or truth. If we go past avidyā, we realize the Self. Thus, the mind plays a significant role in realizing Brahman, as avidyā is present only in an afflicted mind. Brahman is free from time and shape. Brahman is neither body, nor senses. It does not change, become old, or die. Brahman is omnipresent and Brahman alone is omnipresent. We feel that sensory organs are superimposed on the Self and in fact, It is free from all superimpositions. It is unique in every way. Therefore, Brahman is in no way identified with perishable bodies.

8. Never argue with learned men. Only Self-realized persons can teach us about Brahman. They are known for patience. Out of incapacity to understand their teachings, we should not pester them with repeated questions. Most of these questions arise due to lack of attention or ignorance. When a Guru is revealing the path to Liberation, listeners should be attentive and should not ask unnecessary and undesirable questions. Before going to a learned man to understand the path of Liberation, we have to prepare ourselves with knowledge revealed by Upanishads. Further, we have to meticulously follow his teachings. However, this does not mean that there should be no interaction with a learned Guru. Instead of trying to find out answers by ourselves, we should not approach the Guru out of laziness. Knowledge is vast like an ocean. We have to work hard to gain absolute knowledge to realize Brahman. Finally, we have to approach a Guru for final path to Liberation. Without studying anything, approaching a Guru for Liberation is not appropriate. Ignorance is the cause for undesirable arguments.

Further Readings: