All the Upanishads refer paramatma as Brahman. It is said that the universe that is made of earth, air, water, fire or akash is held by Brahman. The living beings are not specifically referred here as all that exist in this universe are made up of these five elements only. The atma of a person is part of the Supreme atma, which is called Brahman. Since jivatma is the creation of paramatma, universe cannot be held by jivatma, which is inferior to paramatma as jivatma is bound by karmas. Paramatma is beyond everything. The creation of jivatma from paramatma is compared to a spark of fire coming out from huge flames of fire. Please remember that jivatma is called soul and paramatma is called the Brahman or God. Why it is said that we should realize the Brahman? Any life born in this universe is bound to suffer and the intensity of the sufferings varies depending upon one’s own karmas. Sufferings are associated with birth. If we try to avoid at least future births, we need not suffer in future.
In order to get away from the sufferings and to avoid rebirths, we are trying to realize the Brahman. What is the significance of Brahman and why we should realize him? We have discussed in detail about this in our various posts. Since Brahman is the cause for creation, sustenance and dissolution, he is considered as the Supreme. Brahman can be realized only by our knowledge. This knowledge comprises of two parts. The first part is to remove maya or illusion and the second part is to realize the Brahman. This happens one after another. We have earlier seen that atma is located in a cave near the heart. Cave is known for darkness. Lack of knowledge is also called darkness. When darkness is dispelled you see light. That is why Brahman is explained as light, as light alone can dispel darkness. Darkness is lack of knowledge or ignorance and light is knowledge, the knowledge about Brahman. The heart we are talking about is not our physical heart. This heart which does not beat is situated in the centre of our spinal cord, which is called heart chakra. Its radiance is felt more on our front side. That is why when we say something from the heart, we touch this centre portion. It is said that there are 101 nerves and blood vessels originate from this place. Only one out of these 101 enters our brain, establishing a connection between the divine heart and divine mind. Unless this channel is opened, knowledge of Brahman cannot be realised says Mundaka Upanishad.
Brain is considered as the Supreme functional area of our body. Opening of this channel establishes a link between the Brahman and our mind. This place appears like a lotus bud. This lotus will blossom into a flower only through knowledge about Brahman. Once this lotus is made to blossom fully, inside this flower Brahman can be realized in a small space representing the element of akash, says this Upanishad. Having said about the way to realize the Brahman, the effect of such realization is also described. There are three types of effects. Your mind gets cleared of all doubts and the impressions on the subconscious mind also vanish. Secondly, all your doubts get clarified. When we talk about doubts, it means doubt about the Brahman and the ways and means to realize him. Though these doubts can be clarified by Upanishads, etc, we cannot get all our doubts clarified in our path to spirituality. Ultimate knowledge can be given only by the Brahman. Thirdly, the intensity of your karmas will be reduced. One has to surely undergo the effects of karma as this is the law of the Lord. Assuming that my karma makes me fall and get my leg fractured, instead of fracture I may get only bruises. There is bound to be road blocks on our way to spirituality, and only with determination and will power we can pass through the path and reach the final destination.