Swami ji and Geeta ji gives importance to Atma, being our SELF. I am very confused I want to realise the same. But failed to understand Atma, what Atma can do with out mana, Budhi, and body.
How I should love Atma.
Shree Hari Ram Ram
Attached from previous SADHAKA message may provide some insight into Atma / Self.
Question: What does it mean to know one's self (Atma)?
Answer: To know one's Self means that just like you have worn clothes, then are you the clothes ? No! Is the skin, you? No! Are you the flesh? No! Are you the blood? No! Are you the Pulse? No ! Are you the waste-matter in the intestine-bowels? No! Are you the one who arrives? NO! No I am not any of these ! In other words, that which you are not, do not accept is as "I am". Then you will know your self. It is such a simple and easy point! One time if you have accepted that "these I am not", thereafter, do not accept them as "I am". Do not spit out and later lick it again. To know one's self, to do nothing for one's self and to attain Paramatma (God) all three of these are very easy. What ever direction you wish to walk, is up to you.
See! I am telling you a point. This point is one of pride, but my intent is not to say it with pride. I have searched and am still searching on the subject - Ease of Realization. According to the scriptures the steps laid out are shravan (listening/hearing the divine names/qualities of the Lord), manan , niddhiyaasan , dharana (concentration), dhyaan (meditation), and samadhi (mystics absorption) - savikalp aur nirvikalp samaadhi, then sa-beej and nir-beej samaadhi and there after one attains realization. All these steps have been learned by me. I have also become quite immersed in these. I have done quite a bit of shravan, manan, niddhiyaasan, dhyaan, but the point is only one - "I am not that". Now for just this point why dig out a mountain?
I am telling you a simple point, but brothers and sisters, you do not have faith in it. Oh! Brothers ! I am not intent on cheating you. I am not intent on deceiving you ! I am not ambushing your trust ! I am sharing with you that by which you can realize as quickly as possible. In this you create your own obstacles, by saying - how is it possible for realization to take place so quickly? It did not happen with this other person, then how can it happen to us? What I am suggesting is try it out and see for your self. If you are unsuccessful, you can take the long road. I do not stop or object if you take the long path. Do as I say! If you realize quickly than it is nothing but gains. If not the long route is ever open and available for you. What is coming in the way? If you do as I say, then even for the long step by step approach you will it find easier. If you ask me, there will be no need for you to take the longer path. Earlier I, myself did not know about this. Without any abilites, knowledge, meditation, samadhi etc to directly attain that state, thereafter which nothing remains to be known, to be done and to acquire, this I was not aware off. When I was not aware of it, I engaged in many disciplines and restrictions, I stayed in solitude, I gave up meeting any one. You will be surprised to know that I even weighed the roti (indian bread) before eating, to avoid eating more than absolutely essential. Same with sleep, to sleep only a limited time. I kept very few possessions with me. I did not ask anyone for anything. "I do not have this thing.".. I never said this to anyone. I stayed like this for many years. I underwent many hardships. If I share with you, you will be shocked.
I know that when a sadhu does not ask for anything, he is better received, and there is great peace around him. And if he seeks something from another, then he will be lowered in the eyes of the others. Whoever he asks from, he will become lowered in their eyes and he will become a "taker". And the one he is asking from, he will become their slave. Saying all these things is not good, but I am saying this to make you believe, and have faith in the fact that I have tried all of these things and seen for myself. This too is a path, but it is a long path. Whatever spiritual disciplines you engage in, will never go to waste. But it will take a long time. My passion is around how to quickly and with ease one can attain realization / salvation? I continue to search on this even today !
Simply speaking, I have concluded by this one sentence which says it all - IF YOU WANT ANYTHING FOR YOUR SELF ! IT IS DEATH.
From "Bhagavat Praapti ki Sugamtaah" in Hindi by Swami Ramsukhdasji pg 67-69.
Question: What does it mean by 'To know One's self'?
Wanting something for ourselves, that itself is "death" (not knowing
one's true Self). We want medicine, we want clothes, we want a
house, we want something for transportation, then all this is very
lowly. When we have become a slave to things, then we have become
super inferior, simply base. How can we be elevated? I feel very
bad when someone asks for things. It feels as if, some one has
thrown a shoe at me. The ascetics who stay with me, when they ask
me for a particular thing, then this is a great insult; it is not
the quality of an ascetic to ask. Rather it is not even humanity !
Man is needed by others. Even if daily roti (bread) is not
available, so be it. You say that if we don't eat, we will die,
then are we not going to die after eating rotis? Whether you die
eating, or you die without eating, you have to definitely die. Then
why die being a slave ? Being contemptible, being oppressed why
should we die? Die, then die with dignity ! By not asking for
anything, results in immense peace. There is great Joy ! Life is a
success ! There is so much gain that there is no end to it. There
is such immense benefit, one that could not be experienced in any
I heard the story of a sadhu (ascetic). Some sadhus had gone to
Badrinarayan. There, one of the sadhus had pain in one of his
fingers. Someone told him that since you are in pain, there is a
hospital nearby, where all are treated for free. You go there and
get the dressing for this wound. The sadhu said, that this pain I
will bare, but the pain of asking someone to dress the wound, will
not be tolerable. This is the example that came to my mind of true
sacrifice. This point appeared so great and appealing to me, that
this is true ascetism, true humanity. Just like a dog that goes
wandering around from place to place for morsel of food, similarly
one who goes from place to place, does not have true humanity.
Asceticism (state of a sadhu) is out of the question. Sethji (Shri
Jayadayalji Goendka) was a householder, he too used to say that if
you want to engage in worship of God, first ask your mind, is there
anything you want? Then say - no I don't want anything, After
saying so, then engage in worship and devotion of God. If a
householder says these things, then what is there for a sadhu to
Questioner: Maharajji, how will our work/life go on?
Swamiji: Why do we want work to go on, we want to stop it.
Questioner: If this body becomes diseased, then without medicines
how will our work/life continue?
Swamiji: If it doesn't work, then what happens? It will die !
then those who take medicines don't they die ?
Questioner: Without medicines they will die suffering
Swamiji: Do those that take medicine, don't suffer or what? Taking
medicines, in the end feeling defeated, feeling tired they die, then
they too die after going through suffering. The point is the same
and same only ! From within having no want / desire, then you will
not experience the pain of dependency. It will be joyful ! It
will be blissful !
There is one man who has renounced everything and one who is poor.
Both don't have any money. No shoes, no umbrella, nothing ! Both
are in the same state, but are they the same from within? A
renunciate is very blissful from within, not possible in one who is
dependent. He who needs somethings, some medicines, is highly
Questioner: But disease causes pain !
Swamiji: During the hot months, when the Sun is directly overhead,
a person having lit fire on all four sides, is sitting in the
center, the austere one, does he not experience pain? The pain
from austerities is out of his choice, whereas the pain resulting
from disease, is an austerity that God has showered upon us. Tell
me, which austerity is better? Therefore when faced with an
illness, a disease, if one believes that it is by God's will that
this austerity is happening, then there is joy even in pain and
suffering. A person, maintains a fast and does not eat any food,
and another being poor, does not get any food and therefore does not
eat. Both remain hungry, but the one who had maintained a fast, he
does not feel unhappy on not eating, rather he is joyful in not
Renounce Relationship by the Self
We have discussed earlier that bondage is the relation between body and world which we have assumed. Now this relation is assumed by the Self and it can be broken only by the Self. The mind and intellect can assist in breaking it, but the complete breaking takes place only when the Self breaks it. The intellect only assists in breaking this relation. I speak about karan nirpeksh - because this relation can be broken without the assistance of the intellect also. It can
be broken independently by the Self - because it is the Self which has assumed this relation.
The Self is a part of God that is Real. Therefore, the Self is also Real. Like coal starts shining when you put it in fire - the assumption of the unreal seems as real because the assumption is by the Self (which is Real). The accepted relation cannot be changed by practice. The relation will change only through acceptance by the Self. I am God's and God is mine. This body is not me nor mine. Like a married man's relationship with the wife's family is only because
of the relation with the wife. If the wife dies, the relation with the in-laws becomes distant. Similarly the body is like the 'wife'. Break your relation with the body and the relation with the world will also break-off. This relation is a future invitation for birth and death. This relation is the assumption of me and mine.
Changing 'yourself' is a very good spiritual practice. Accept that the body is not me, nor mine and not for me. I am God's. We may study and gain spiritual knowledge, but this will achieve nothing except inflate our ego, and ultimately nothing will be attained. All that will happen is that we will attach to another relation (i.e. I am so knowledgeable). We have to leave the relation by the Self
- not by the body. If simply by breaking the relation with this body was required all who died would have attained salvation. The body is not yours. It is for service of others only. By serving others your feeling of 'mineness' (mamta) will go away. Nothing in this world is yours. You say 'my wife' - so is she only your wife? No. She is someone's sister, mother, daughter, aunt etc.
Q. The relation will be left only when the Self leaves it, so what is the use of the intellect? A. Intellect is only for service of others. Leaving by Self is best and in the end it has to be left by the Self. The intellect assists in renunciation. That is why I say it is karan nirpeksh, i.e. You are not dependent on it. The relation is made by the Self, not by the intellect. It has to be broken by the Self. The relation with the world is only for it's service. You can renounce
only in human life. Human life is for renunciation only. You get instant peace by renunciation (Gita 12:12). Renounce from within. It is of no use just wearing orange robes, if renunciation is not happening from within.
Q. The intellect helps in renouncing the world. Does the Self renounce
A. The Self renounces the ego (Aham) - the my-ness, the 'I'. Leaving of 'me' and 'mine' is by the Self. If the 'I' goes, the 'am' will become 'is'. This cannot be attained by practice. Practice will make you reach a new situation. But attainment is by acceptance only.
You may read the following Gita Talk discussions -
Relationship between Atma and Paramatma
Why "atma" has assumed affinity with nature (prakriti) ?
Related Link: http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.net (english)
Related Link: http://www.swamiramsukhdasji.org (hindi)
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A list of all topics discussed in 2009 along with their links are at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gita-talk/message/3189