Swamini Svatmavidyananda Session #5 – Amruta Bindu Upanishad

Amruta Bindu Upanishad #5 – Feb 27th 2016


मनो हि द्विविधं प्रोक्तं शुध्दं चाशुध्दमेव च । अशुध्दं कामसंकल्पं शुध्दं कामविवर्जितम् ॥

Mind is said to be of two kinds, pure and impure. The impure mind is possessed of desire; the pure mind is free from desire. Suddha is without desires and longings. Sankalpa means fancies. “sankalpa prabhavaan kaamaan” – Bhagavad Gita. Mind is full of desirable fancies or longings.

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः । बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्त्यै निर्विषयं स्मृतम् ॥

Mind alone is the cause for people’s bondage and liberation. When attached to objects, it leads to bondage. When free from objects, it leads to liberation. Here, the term Manusyaanam indicates this is only for the humans. Animals do not have bandha – they don’t have attachment or the desire to accumulate for their families. Their level of self-understanding is limited. Animals do not go against the laws of their nature. Same with the trees – they live within the laws of Bhagavan. Humans have free will that is unbound. There is no programming. There is a problem centered on the nature of “I”. We have self-non-acceptance. There is no “अलम् – enough” buddhi – contentment. I project the need for approval from others. On the other hand, we find faults with others. We think others are also displeased with us. This is the notion of bondage. It originates from the same place where thoughts proliferate. Baby Rama wanted the moon to play with. The reflection in a vessel was water was given to him. Some intelligent upaaya or idea is required to get out of this seeming bondage. Uddaret atmanaa atmaanam na atmaanam avasaadayet. Atma eva atmano banduh atma eva ripuh atmanah –  Chapter 6 of Gita. Mind is one’s own friend and the worst enemy. Mind should be made as a tool for freedom. By listening to the shashtra, it can be put to use.

Vishayaasaktih – comes from the root sanj – to adhere, to cling to something.

निर्विषयं – निर्गताः आसक्तिः यस्मात् सः | One from which the objects have gone. The aashakti for the vishayaa is removed. The vishayaa itself is not getting removed. The attachment is being cut. Object could be a belief, ideology, notion not just an object. One cannot exist without thoughts. It is a process to remove the attachment. Reduce the dependency on people, events, situations. To develop it, study about the nature of the self and through the practice of meditation – viraagya. i.e., letting go of the thoughts even as they form.

Mind is a tool. We should not become the Mind’s tool.

Even the sages had to learn this. In Mahabharata, there is a story of a sage who decided to grow his own crops. He got a couple of bullocks. Once, a wild animal entered their quarters. The frightened bullocks ran away. The sage ran after the bullocks. Suddenly he realizes his foolishness in running after the bullocks. He says “I realize that this desire is coming from the sankalpa. and I am not going to go behind it”. In Vishvamitra and Menaka story also, he says that he has been arrested here by the kaama. Jadabharata’s story in the Mahabharata demonstrates how he got attached to a baby deer and had to take a birth due to this attachment.

The desire initially seems to be so innocent – not capable of creating any problem. Be careful about what you go after because it is going to take away your freedom. We would gradually become increasing dependent on it. This dependency is more in case of infants and elderly sick people that they cannot take disappointment.

The mind should just watch the sankalpa come and go, like the leaves falling on the moving stream. With vairagya, it has to be handled. Vairagya is based on facts. “It is not there”, “this is not good” — -these are facts. Poojya Swami Dayananda used to say a story – A businessman used to react this way even when facing major calamities in life – “What?” indicating shock and then recouping himself, he would say “So what?” indicating acceptance of the fact. Here Nirvishaya – means the free of subjectivity or removal of longing. My personal agenda is the longing. A binding desire is the one which when not fulfilled puts the person through much disappointment and trouble. It is alright to have desires that are not binding. Krishna says in the gita that he is the desire that is unopposed to righteousness dharmaaviruddho bhooteshu kaamosmi bharatarshabha | We are not talking about desire or kama. We are talking about aashakti which binds us into this bandha. An emotionally stable person should be able to say “it is ok if it is not there. I will have something else”. “I have to have that now” is the reaction of a person who is not mentally stable person. So, binding desires have to be changed to non-binding desires. “It is there? Well and good. It is not there? No problem”. Raaga and dvesha takes control of the person who has binding desires. Such people will be miserable by themselves and they will cause misery to others. They carry an unnecessary invisible excess baggage of binding desires.  This person is referred to as Baddhah. One who is devoid of such longing is Muktah.

First acknowledge that there are longings. Refusal to acknowledge is itself a problem. Only when you see the problem, you can take necessary actions. In this case, watch the desires. Write down all the things without which you can’t live. Have another list of what you can live without. Slowly start converting what you have on the “necessary” list to the “not-necessary” list. i.e., convert the binding desires into non-binding desires. Only such a person who is devoid of longings will be free – free enough to desire, free enough to go after desire, free enough to not be disappointed if the desires are not fulfilled, etc. It is not about controlling desire. You manage them. If you don’t manage them, they will start managing you.

यतो निर्विषयस्यास्य मनसो मुक्तिरिष्यते ।
अतो निर्विषयं नित्यं मनः कार्यं मुमुक्षुणा ॥ ३॥


yato nirviṣayasyāsya manaso muktir iṣyate

ato nirviṣayaṃ nityaṃ manaḥ kāryaṃ mumukṣuṇā

Since liberation depends on the mind being free from objects… the mind should always be made free from objects by one who seeks liberation.

This is a specially targeted advice for the students of Vedanta.

यतः निर्विषयस्य अस्य मनसः मुक्तिः इष्यते, अतः निर्विषयं नित्यं मनः कार्यं मुमुक्षुणा |

यतः अस्य निर्विषयस्य मनसः मुक्तिः इष्यते, अतः नित्यं मुमुक्षुणा मनः निर्विषयं कार्यम् |

Since the liberation of the mind is dependent upon being free from longings, therefore, the mumukshu or the seeker should keep the mind devoid of raga and dvesha. This is the work to be done by the desirer of freedom. Definition of Mumukshu – one who has तीव्र इच्छा | Mundakopanishad says that he is like the one whose head is on fire. He will not get distracted and he will focus only on solving his problem at the earliest possible time. It is said that there used to be a practice or शीरो व्रतम् where the student will carry live coal in their newly shaven head and go around the ashram three times and put it down only when the guru agrees to accept them as his disciple. Even in Buddhist ordination, after shaving off the hair, for the person who is taking up sansyasa, they burn in 2 or 3 places to test their commitment towards nirvana.  The unstoppable longing does not have any room for any other longing. If we choose atma vidya, we need to choose that alone. So we should have the right priority to choose just it. Here the commitment is being brought out.

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