Amṛtabindu Upaniṣad Session #1 by Sri Swamini Svatmavidyananda
Here is the video of the recording of the session —
Upanishad is the most authentic autobiography of the self. It refers to “You”.
Upa+Ni+Shad – “उप” and “नि” are the prefixes उपसर्गः, ‘सद्’ धातुः Sad is the root.
Visharana-avasaadana-gati-arthe = षदॢ विशरणगत्यवसादनेषु = Used in these three senses.
Visarati विशरति = dissipates
Avasaadayati अवसादयति = unmoolayati उन्मूलयति = uproots i.e., it goes away without a trace.
Gamayati गमयति = takes somewhere
What is being destroyed? What is being uprooted? Who is taking whom and where? All these are indicated by the word “Shad”.
उप = closer, नि = definitely, shad = destroys
The same set of problem is faced all the individuals though each person is different. “not enough” and “I want” is the common false autobiography. Hence the real autobiography of these numerous selves is a common one. Upanishad ignores the minor differences of the individuals which are not relevant.
The subject matter of the Upanishad is an attempt to correct the subjective vision मित्या mityaa. प्रातिभासिकम् is the technical word which means “existing only in the appearance”.
There are two categories of things that we see. It is there and so I see it. We can’t ignore by saying that it is Mitya and that we do not see the pot-holes. It has to be accepted and we need interact with it. This is called “a dependent reality”.
The second category – I see it and therefore it must be there. I see a frown on my friend’s face. This person is mad at me. And immediately all the thoughts start to build a home with the doors, windows, interior décor, etc. A single frown causes a thought mansion to be built. We don’t remember the memories of the first frown we saw. But we excavate all the memories of the frowns that were seen right from birth. The cause of the frown by the friend could have an entirely different reason than your arrival. A third person could come to clarify this. Like this, we have many thought mansions in our head. Once we realize our folly, we destroy the mansion. But these dismantled pieces become ready to construct the next mansion.
Because I don’t the truth. It is over-laid with the series of my own perception. “स्थाणुरेवपुरुषः” | A woman, who moved to a new neighborhood, sees a man standing outside her house during the entire night. In the morning, when the light is shown, she realizes that it is the stump of a tree. The man was really located only in the thoughts.
This is the problem. It is old “whine” in new bottle. This is where Upanishad helps. Upanishad clears up the subjective mansions. No more fear. No more sorrow. Upanishad takes you by the hand to the Brahma – ब्रह्म गमयति. You are free, you are limitless. Upa – taking you closest to yourself.
Upanishad has an inherent suffix. क्विप् प्रत्यय kvip pratyaya – indicates that it is the agent. Thinker – “er” indicates that it is an agent.
When we enter these mansions, we are locked in it. If we manage to get out, we just end up getting into another mansion. The old die-hard memories form the load-bearing walls. Mansion – Raga, dvesha – all kinds of binding desires.
Our understanding of “I” is different from that which is given by the Upanishad. If we do not believe in the Upanishadic truth, we would be building yet another mansion built out of Ashradaa – अश्रद्धा
An Ayurvedic doctor, after checking the pulse of a patient, enquired if he had been dropped when he was a baby. You are not getting healed as you have distrust. There is a resistance to the medicine. You might be thinking what if the medicine also drops me or fails me. We teach distrust to children by telling the children not to go with strangers.
The condition of the human being is like one on a self-sabotage. Here is one remedy provided by the Upanishad. It is offering an hand to remove us from these mansions of fear and despair. You will become your own true self. In sleep – nidraa avastaa, it is so wonderful. Even in the waking stage, we should be able to live and be happy. Here is a remedy to the series of misperception.
Why should we take this upanishadic suggestion? Why not other ways?
योगः चित्त-वृत्ति-निरोधः। yogaḥ citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ । – the second sutra in the yoga system of philosophy by Patanjali. Yoga means, at a very superficial level – stop the thoughts. Chitta – mind / emotions. Vrutti – is the movement of the mind i.e., the thoughts. Nirodhah – stop. So instead of learning Upanishad, can we just stop the thoughts?
A patient had migraine head. The doctor suggested that the head be removed. When there is no raw material, there will not be any mansion. But, it is not possible to stop the thoughts. Even after Samadhi, the thought “I was in Samadhi “ comes. Samadhi is a temporary solution. Thus “not think” is not a solution.
Someone asks Swami Vidyaaranya, the author of Panchadasi, why one should not have these thoughts which are quite pleasant at times. Swami cautions that those mansions (mano raajya – day dreaming) are also built of those raw materials – these longings, old memories of mistrust, distrust, fear. They will not take too long to become unpleasant themselves. Hence we need something else to change the unpleasant thoughts to the pleasant.
If the stump of a tree was known in the right sense, she would not take it to be a man. The subjective perception has only limited scope. When something is totally known or totally unknown, subjective perception does not have any role to play there. We are partially familiar. We don’t say “I am a believer in my own existence”. We just say “I exist” as we know. But it is not totally known too. We can neither say that the self is unknown nor can we say that the self is known.
This Upanishad is all set to demolish our fears. We have so many misconceptions. This is anivaarya – अनिवार्य. It is compulsory. So we need to give this Upanishad a chance.