Hindu Gods

Transcript source of the talk "Hindu Gods" by Swami Paramarthananda Saraswati Ji. Grammatical and typos are mine & shall not be attributed to Swamiji.

Into the talk,

In our tradition, we have several functions, several festivals and pūjās occurring throughout the year. In each function or pūjā, we worship different deities like Rāma on Rāma navamī day, Kṛṣṇa on Kṛṣṇāṣṭamī day, Lord Shiva on Shivarātri day, Devi on navarātri etc. When we worship several deities like this, we may get a doubt how many gods are there in our religion. Are there many gods ? Or is there only one god ?

Once we accept many gods, there afterwards further problems will come, who is superior and who is inferior and you will find several groups coming into being, each group claiming his god is superior to all others. A vaiṣṇava will come and say, Viṣṇu alone is the ultimate god, all others are inferior. Of course, saivites will not be behind, he will say, Sivā alone is superior. Another will say, Devī is superior. Thus, it will lead to lot of groupisms, superiority complex, quarrel, all kinds of problem. So, we should be very clear about the basic principle of pūjā.

In our religion, in our vaidika dharma, we do not accept many gods at all. Because, God by definition is infinite, and all pervading, ananta brahmma and if god is infinite and all pervading, god can be only one. So, first we should understand that there is no question of many gods at all. If many gods are not there, there is no question of comparison also, which god is inferior or superior. If god is only one, then the question comes, why do we worship so many deities or so many idols on so many festivals ? For that we say, the infinite and one god does not have any form at all, and since the infinite god does not have any form, a beginner cannot conceive or imagine the formless god.

A beginner cannot conceive of anything abstract, a beginner requires something concrete. Just as a child cannot think of the abstract numbers and therefore the child has to use fingers to indicate each number. As children, we have used all the fingers counting one, two, three, four etc. Because, now it may be child’s play for us to think of numbers in abstract form, but child requires something concrete. Therefore, our religion recognized that a beginner requires something concrete to represent the abstract or subtle infinite formless attribute less eshwara. Therefore, the scriptures themselves provided concrete symbols to represent the abstract eshwara. Eshwara is abstract but the symbol representing eshwara is not abstract but concrete. There afterwards, the scriptures felt that everybody does not have the same type of mind, different type of people have got different take, different inclination. Therefore, if one and the same symbol is used to represent the lord, some people may like that particular form, some other people may not have a taste for that particular form. Because, the rule is bhinna ruci lokaha. That’s why we have got a buffet type of lunch or dinner.

We know that all the people do not like the same dish. One person takes puri, another person takes dosa, another person comes and take something else. Since, the taste differs from individual to individual our scriptures provided different types of forms to represent one and the same formless attribute less, infinite god.

Therefore, we have got many male forms, because some people naturally like male forms. Some people may like female forms, therefore, we have got varieties of female forms. In one Lakṣmī itself, we have got Aṣṭa Lakṣmīs. There are some people who don’t like human form at all, because they have faced lot of problems from human beings, therefore, if you don’t want human form, have a nice elephant form. You can have bird form, you can have cow form, and there are semi-cases everywhere, therefore, we have got Nārasiṃha form. There are some people who do not want any form of a living being at all, then we have got trees, we have got mountains, we have got rivers, we have got even flame to invoke the lord.

Therefore, what is important is not the form, so our scriptures suggested choose any particular form, but in that limited form, concrete form, you invoke the abstract limitless infinite eshwara. For this purpose, we have got endless pūraṇas. In fact, all the pūraṇas are teaching only one thing, that is, invoking one and the same infinite god in different finite forms. Thus, if you take Shiva pūraṇa, you will find that Shiva will represent infinite god and then all other devatās will indicate only finite powers of that infinite god or finite aspects of that infinite god. So, if you take Devi Bhāgavatam, Devi will represent the infinite god or infinite goddess principle and all other deities will represent various finite aspects of that infinite. Similarly, in Skānda Pūraṇa, Subramanya would be the supreme, therefore, there is no question of who is inferior and who is superior, it depends upon what you invoke. Just like in a cheque book, the first leaf of the cheque is superior or second book is superior ? All leaves are the same, the superiority and the inferiority depends upon what you are writing on the leaf. If you are going to write ten thousand rupees on the first leaf and in the second leaf you write ten rupees, and naturally first leaf is superior and the second leaf is inferior. Similarly, if you take Shiva form and invoke infinite, he is the ultimate god. Then Vishnu, Brahmma all the other deities will be finite. If you take Vishnu pūraṇa, you will find, on Vishnu we will be invoking the infinite, and therefore, Shiva will become a part of Vishnu and Brahmma will become part. Therefore, there is no question of quarrelling, it depends upon what we invoke.

In the pūraṇas, we get a story in which Shiva is considered to be the ultimate and infinite deity and according to that story, Lord Viṣṇu and Lord Brāhma wants to find out the dimensions or the limits of Lord Shiva. Brāhma goes up taking a bird form and Viṣṇu goes down taking a boar form and one is trying to find out the feet and the another is trying to find out the head of Lord Shiva and both of them miserably fails.

When they were not able to find the feet or the head, they were wondering, and at that time, it is said that, Lord Shiva appeared in the form of a liṅga and breaking upon the liṅga, Lord Shiva appeared in human form called Liṅgotbhava murti. Appearing in the form of Liṅgotbhava murti, the lord pointed out that you will not be able to find out my limit, because Aham anataha asmi, anAdi madhyAnta ananta vIryam, ananta bahu sachisurya netram.

Therefore, Lord Shiva appeared out of liṅga and revealed his anata svarUpa to Brāhma and Viṣṇu and that day of appearance of the Liṅgotbhava murti is considered to be a sacred day, and according to one version, this day is celebrated as the SivarAtri day. That is the day, when out of liṅga, Lord Shiva appears and points out that I’m the infinite God.

Therefore, this day is supposed to be an auspicious day, and in Sankrit, the word Shiva has got 2 meanings. One is Lord Shiva himself and another is something auspicious. Therefore, SivarAtri means a night on which Lord Shiva is worshipped or you can say SivarAtri is an auspicious night because we are worshipping Lord Shiva on this night.

What do we do by worshipping Lord Shiva on this day, or to be precise on this night ? If you see throughout the pūjā, one expression was repeatedly appearing, and that expression was, namaH. That’s why RudrAm itself is called nAmakam, nAmakam means a mantra in which namaH repeatedly occurs. Therefore, the pūjā is nothing but namaskAraha. What do you mean by namaskAraha ? NamaskAraha means surrender, surrender of what ? Surrender of my will, individuality or ego is called namaH. How do you surrender your ego ? How do you surrender your individuality or freewill ? This surrender has to take place in 2 places.

The first stage of surrender is, accepting to follow the teachings of the Lord in our life. The first surrender is accepting to follow the teachings of the Lord in our day to day life. What is the teachings of the Lord ? The teachings of the Lord is available to us in the form of the Vedas and in the form of dharma śāstra. Our dharma śāstras clearly prescribe what all should be done, the do’ and what all should not be done, the don’ts are prescribed with respective to our actions, the does and don’ts are prescribed. Satyam vada, dharmam chara, dharmama chara, svādhyāyān mā pramadaham satyānna pramadhi dhavyam. We find a set of do’s and a set of don’ts. A set of kāryam and a set of akāryam. By offering prostrations to the Lord or by uttering the word namaH, I’m promising the Lord that here afterwards my life will be governed by śāstra kāryam and akāryam, vachiyam and avachiyam, cintya and acintya. Do’s and don’ts at 3 levels. At the physical level there are certain do’s and don’ts, at the verbal level certain words should not be uttered, certain words should be uttered. anudhvey kakāram vākyam satyam priyaHi tanchayatu, swādhyāyā vyasanan chaiva vānghmayam tapaH ucHayathey At the verbal level what all should be done and what all should not be done. Similarly, at the mental level, what all thoughts are allowed one’s. What are all the thoughts that not allowed dhambo darpodhi mānascha krodā pārushyame vacha. Thus, at the physical, verbal, and mental level, Lord has prescribed certain do’s and certain don’ts called vidhi and niSedha. Before surrendering to the Lord, my life was not governed by vidhi and niSedha, my life was governed by rAga, dveSa, my likes and my dislikes. I did whatever I felt like doing, I uttered whatever I felt like uttering, I thought whatever I felt like thinking.

Therefore, by namaskara, I’m taking my ego, I’m taking my individuality, I’m taking my freewill away from my raga, dveSa and I’m giving a word to the Lord. Oh! Lord, Here afterwards, my life will be governed by not my will, it will be governed by your will. And what is Bhagvan’s will ? It is nothing but śāstra and what is śāstra ? Do’s and don’ts described. This is the first stage of surrender, changing the direction of my life from raga, dveSa to vidhi, niSedha. There afterwards, comes the second stage of surrender, which is the surrender of the very freewill itself where I go beyond both raga, dveSa as well as vidhi, niSedha. I go beyond the very individuality, the very ego, there afterwards, I myself do not exist, but Lord Shiva alone exist. That ātma alone is there. There is no question of first person, second person nor third person. In the second surrender, I myself disappear, in the first surrender, I don’t disappear but I live according to the will of God. That’s what we find as nimitta mAtram bhava savyasācin. These 2 namaskara, if I follow I attain, I merge into or I disappear leaving behind the Lord alone which is called Brahmma prAptihi, Ishwara prAptihi or moksha prAptihi. Keeping this aim alone, all the seekers worship Lord Shiva on this SivarAtri day for the sake of attaining mokSa.

Self Mastery

Transcript source of the talk "Self Mastery" by Swami Paramarthananda Saraswati Ji. Grammatical and typos are mine & shall not be attributed to Swamiji.

Into the talk,

The great poet Kālidāsa mentions in one of his works that, "We should not reject anything old or anything new just because it is old or just because it is new." Don’t blindly judge something because it is old or new. There are some people, especially the elder generation, they will say everything ancient is great and they are totally against anything that is modern, blind criticism of anything modern.

There is a younger generation which judges the other way, everything modern is great and anything ancient is outdated, therefore, should be rejected. Kālidāsa says, both approach is wrong. Never judge a thing based on its historical date. Study it thoroughly and see whether it is worthwhile, whether it is useful to us and if after objective study if a thing is worthwhile, we should accept it, whether it is old or new as long as a thing is worthwhile, valid, meaningful, relevant, you have to accept it.

Similarly, after an objective study, I find something is not worthwhile, something is detrimental to us, then we should be honest enough to reject that, whether it is old or new. Therefore, don’t be blind, use your discriminative power, Kālidāsa has said this centuries before " purānamityeva na sādhu sarvam, na chāpi kāvyam navamityavadyamsantaha parikshatart bhajante, muDhah parapratyayena buddhihī".

Thinking people will never reject blindly without going into that, whereas, mōdahā, only an unintelligent person will be carried away by other’s opinion and make a value judgement. When you look from this angle and study our ancient scriptures objectively without making any value judgement, we can find it is a treasure house of many varieties of teaching which are relevant even now. Certain teaching and aspects might be outdated, we may have to reject them, or at-least it might be irrelevant, there is nothing wrong in rejecting them, but we should be intellectually honest enough to study and take whatever is good. This is called hāṃsak shīran gyāyahā, it means, just as a mythological swan separates the milk from water, and absorb the milk, similarly never reject any ancient thing or modern thing, take whatever is good.

Among the many teachings in the scriptures, I will just take one aspect and try to analyse that. One important principle that all our scriptures emphasize is, "Success in any field is possible only when there is self-mastery, without ātma (self) jayaha (mastery) one cannot attain success in any field, whether it is spiritual field or material field, science, sports, music and any field. It is the foundation." The Bhagawad Gitā points out, "Un-mastered self is the biggest enemy to the individual, when I have not mastered myself, this un-mastered self is the greatest enemy to myself, in fact, Krsna goes one step further, it is not the greatest enemy but it is the only enemy of a human being."

When I have not mastered myself, not only I become inimical to myself, I will turn every other person, even I will turn the world as an enemy. Therefore, the world which is an ordinary neutral thing, I convert into an enemy if I have not mastered myself.

"Bandhur ātmātmanas tasya yenātmaivātmanā jita anātmanastu çatrutve vartetātmaiva çatruvat." A mastered self is a friend to myself which will assist me in accomplishing all my goal, whereas, an un-mastered self becomes an obstacle at every stage and it will destroy everything. If you want to have an example for this, it is like our immunity system.

If I keep my immunity in good condition, not only I enjoy an healthy body, but the world cannot cause any harm to me. We know, that in any place, there are varieties of infection, if you go out, air, water, everything is full of germs, how come we are able to move about and remain healthy ? Only because of one reason, my immunity gives me a protection. What happens to an AIDS patient ? AIDS is nothing but acquired immunity deficiency syndrome, what happens is, I have destroyed my immunity, the damage has taken place and I turn the whole environment as an enemy, which means, I’m vulnerable to all forms of diseases.

This vulnerability is caused not because of the world, since other people are living in the same world, the vulnerability is caused because of the lack of immunity. In-fact, if an AIDS patient dies, it not because of AIDS, but because of immunity deficiency, any disease that is surrounded, he is the first host. He dies of various diseases caused by the immunity deficiency.

Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says, "An un-mastered self means, I’m vulnerable to all types of problems caused by the world." Anger, trust, jealousy and all kinds of tension and psychological disease causing situation, I create out of the world. World remains the same, one person is extremely disturbed emotionally whereas the other person is able to remain calm, the difference is only immunity deficiency.

How to attain self-mastery ? What is self mastery ? What do you mean by the self ? For the purpose of self-mastery, our scriptures divide our personality into several layers. For the purpose of understanding and for the purpose of handling, the human personality is divided into several layers so that we can understand each layer and work for its fitness, like in medical sense, one human body itself is divided into different departments, there is an ophthalmologist he takes care of only one aspect of my personality the eyes, there is a dentist, neuroscientist etc.

Even though, the person is one for the sake of convenience of the study and handling, we have divided and in-fact the division has increased. Even in one eye itself there is one person concentrating only on retina, one person concentrates on the teeth but not the gum. If there is any little deviation, they will say, this is not my field. My guru tells, "Dermatologist is one who has skin deep knowledge, he can deal with the skin, a little bit down if there is a problem in the bone, there is a different person." It is good because for the sake of convenience we are dividing. Whenever, we have a problem, we can divide the problem into several areas, financial problem, health problem, relationship problem, don’t lump all of them together, when we divide problems into layers and handle, we can very easily handle that.

Now, an individual is divided into several layers. One type of division is, seeing the human being as six layers. A human being is divided into six layers and we are asked to understand each layer, what is its role and how to keep every layer in a fit and mastered condition. We cannot ignore any one layer because any one layer is affected in due course it will affect all others, like diabetes.

All the 6 layers must be given equal importance. This is holistic approach and then alone we can have self mastery. One of the problems with allopathic medicine they say, they take into account only the outermost physical layer, they never take into account the psychological aspect of the person, the family condition, the social condition aspect. When you go homeopathy or some other Indian system, they always take into account on every aspect. Now, what are those layers ? The first and foremost and outermost layer is called annamaya koṣaha, the physical and the grossest layer called the anatomy.

Our scriptures point out, never neglect your physical body. In our busy activities, we have to run around the world perhaps, different time zones, and we have different times in different countries and therefore, we ignore our physical health and when we are young our body has enough immunity to withstand all this misbehaviours, but sooner or later it affects the health. Therefore, the first lesson is "śarīram ādhyam khalu dharma sādhanam", any undertaking, or any good work you want to do, you require the physical health. They say, "When wealth his lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, everything is lost."

Therefore, we have several prayers asking for health. And dealing with the physical health, śastra talks a lot and the modern science also talks about 2 things, diet and exercise. These are the 2 fundamental, inevitable disciplines to be followed for maintaining the outermost layer and with regard to diet also, they give the rule, "hita, mita, medhya asanam" Hitam means, "Eat only what is good for your health, that means don’t eat junk food, that is the fashion now. Eat only what is nourishing." The second rule for maintaining annamaya koṣaha is mita asanam which is moderation. What do you mean by moderation ? We are suppose to eat only that much to remove the discomfort caused by hunger, hunger certainly causes a discomfort and I’m supposed to eat that much sufficient to remove the hunger. First thing, is the discomfort of hunger I should wait for, and I should feel the discomfort and eat enough to remove that discomfort If I’m going to overeat what will happen ? Discomfort caused by hunger is now replaced by another discomfort caused by overeating, you have not improved the situation.

Therefore, I should get rid of both the discomfort and that is called mita asanam measured moderate eating. Then finally, medhya asanam means, eating food which is sacred and holy. How to make the food sacred and holy ? Before eating, whatever you are eating, mentally offer to the lord because ultimately all the resources belong to the lord alone. Therefore, offer to the lord and look upon to the food as prasādhā coming from the lord.

When I look upon the food as prasādhā it will make the mind calmer. The very attitude can make the mind calm and that is why the holy food is called prasādhā. In fact, in Sanskrit, the word prasādhā does not mean eatable at all. Prasādhā does not refer to any eatable, prasādhā means tranquillity of the mind. And why it is called tranquillity ? Because when I receive anything as a gift from the lord, then the tranquillity from the lord is transferred to me through the food. Because, according to our scriptures, when we receive something from someone, in an invisible manner, we are receiving the character and the mental condition of the person also. If that person has disturbance negative thinking etc, according to the scriptures, through the food, that will also come. So, when we eat food, it is coming from different sources, how do I know what type of person is she or he ? What is the best remedy ? You eat the food not coming from disturbed human being, you eat only the food which is coming from the Lord who is embodiment of "Shāntākāram bhujaga shayanam" This is called hita mita medhya asānam.

Once I look upon the food as holy, naturally I should respect the food and since I’m supposed to respect the food, according to our tradition, when we eat the food, our attention should not be turned to anything else. That is disrespectful to the food. Imagine, a guest comes to your house, and you are doing some work, and he is talking to you, if you have respect for the person, you drop everything that you are doing, you exclusively turn your attention to the person, that is showing respect. When a visitor comes, you cannot afford to disrespect.

Similarly, if food is holy and it is coming from the lord, I’m supposed to respect and deliberately and consciously eat. But now, the practice is, every other work is done only during eating, mainly watching TV. It is not only disrespect to food, there is another problem also, when I do any other transaction, my mind may get disturbed, and when the mind is in tension, unhealthy enzymes like adrenaline and all those things, they are released from the glands, and they are all going to affect our digestive capacity.

When we eat with stress in mind, the food becomes not only non-nourishing food, but also becomes a poison. Therefore, they say, silently eat and respecting the annam you eat or even if you talk let it not be such talk with leads to mental disturbance. Thus, that holy attitude makes a big difference. Next is the exercise, our śastra doesn’t talk about that much because in the olden days, our very living itself involved exercises. They need not ask you to daily walk because, you have to walk. Now, since vehicles have come, we have to add it as a separate routine. Thus diet and the exercise will take care of the first and outermost layer called annamaya koṣaha.

The second layer is called prānamaya koṣaha which can be roughly translated as the physiological system, while annamaya is anatomical system, prānamaya is the physiological system which they have classified into prāna, apāna, udhāna, vayāna, samāna. All of them come under physiological system, prāna represents the respiratory system, apāna represents the excretory system, vyāna represents the circulatory system, udāna represents the reversing system like whenever there is a toxin in the body, it has to be thrown out by sneezing, vomiting etc. That reversal system is called udāna. Then, the samāna is the digestive system. The physiology is broadly classified into fivefold prānas, we call it prānic energy. According to śastra, if this prānic energy or the system is not fit, it will create all types of problems, it will affect the anatomy also, it will affect the other inner layers of personality like psychological, rational and all other systems. Now, how do we tone and refine the prānic layer ?

According to śastra, even though, there are 5 components of this prānic system, by handling any one component you can indirectly handle others. Of this 5, the primary and easier component is the breathing which is called prāna which is closely connected to excretion, circulation, digestion and the entire physiological system is hooked to the breathing or respiratory system.

Therefore, if a person handles the prāna, the respiration, then the second layer will be in a fit condition and therefore they prescribe the exercise of prānāyāmaha. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful and powerful system which is recognized by even modern science. There was an article in reader’s digest written by a western doctor, I have to say western doctor because only if they give certificate, we will accept, still that colonial attitude is not gone.

If I say Shankarāchārya tells it, it won’t have a value. If a western doctor comes and says, then people think that it must be right. He says, "Immunity and peace are right under your nose.", this is the title. He says, "It is one of the most efficacious and least expensive system.". After glorifying prānāyāma, he says, that this method has been invented by ancient Indians thousands of years ago. Thus prānāyāma is the breathing discipline, it is a very big science. But even simple practice of deep breathing in and breathing out will tone the second layer, called the physiological system, the prānāmaya koṣa.

If there is a table with 4 legs, and you want to drag the table, pull the table, you need not hold all the 4 legs, you catch hold of one leg and pull, then other 3 will come. Similarly, you are only catching hold of prāna it will take care of apāna hunger will be very good, evacuation will be very very good, circulation will be excellent. Thus, the second layer is the prānic layer called the prānamaya koṣaha. The discipline is prānāyāma.

For the first layer, annamaya koṣaha, the discipline is diet and exercise. Each layer influences the other. So, if one is fit the others will be benefited by that, if one is sick sooner or later it will affect the other. Vedic chanting is an indirect exercise of prānāyāma because we have to hold the breath and chant mantras, therefore it will improve the health.

The third layer is manomaya koṣaha, the psychological or emotional personality which is the place of all violent upheavals like depression, jealousy, anger, worries, anxiety and this is so sensitive that it can be easily affected, one person yesterday smiled at me 2 inches long, today it is one inch less and I’m upset. To get upset, we don’t even get any big reason, any small disturbance anywhere emotional upheaval and therefore, handling the manomaya koṣa emotional or psychological personality becomes another important thing.

Today, when you see people, all the time stress and all the time irritable, anger at the tip of the nose. Therefore, emotional personality has to be refined and toned, this is also is very very elaborately discussed in our śastras. I’m going to emphasize only one aspect, that is samatvam yoga uChyathey, emotional health is defined as emotional tranquillity, emotional balance even when the situations around is going haywire.

Kṛṣṇa’s definition of yoga is, "Samatvam yOga: ucchyathey". All our puranic stories are meant to give this training only. Rāma was offered the kingdom by Daśaratha and all the people were excited, they jumped and celebrated and it is said, when Rama received the news, of-course, he would have been happy but not carried away by that particular offer. He was not over excited. Then, sooner or later, he got the other news also, Kaikeyī asked the 2 boons and he was called and said, "You are not going to rule, and given the kingdom." Also said, "You have to live in the forest." from one extreme of emperor hood to the other extreme of a wayfarer in the forest.

This was the experience. Imagine, we get an order in the business and the next day, the order is cancelled, this fellow collapses. Then Valmiki describes the condition of Rāma " na vanam gantu-kAmasya tyajataSca vasundarAm | sarva-lokAtigasyeva lakshyathey chittha vikriya". When Rama received this news of the loss of kingdom and life in forest, that also he received with equanimity. You know who was disturbed ? The ayodhya people, they were so much attached. This upheaval is emotional sickness, emotional ill health and therefore, training or toning or refining the emotional personality is samatvam.

Now the question is, "Swamiji, it is very nice to say that, it is easily said than done, you can say it from the pulpit and go away. Come to my house or my office, you will know, how difficult it is." So, the question is, "How to accomplish or implement, how to maintain the samatvam ?." This is also another topic very elaborately discussed in the scriptures, I’m going to emphasize only 2 points.

One is recognizing that the lack of samatvam is a great danger for me. That awareness program. Awareness can change our attitude, similarly here also, first I should clearly understand, what are the different forms of damages that are caused by the fluid emotional condition. Firstly, when the mind is disturbed all the time, the first problem is, it affects my physical health. I’m not getting any benefit out of it, I’m spoiling my physical health. Anybody who has undergone some treatment for heart problem, the first advice the doctor gives is, take life easily, have the attitude of acceptance. So, what he says is, this is not for spirituality but for maintaining the health of your heart. You require samatvam.

First I should note that visamatvam is detrimental to my physical health. I should dwell upon this. Next thing I have to note is, when my mind is disturbed, whatever intellectual resources I have, my skill, my education, all of them are blocked when there is emotional disturbance. So, a disturbed mind blocks like a virus, the computer called our brain whoever uses a computer, you know you should be very careful about the virus, it blocks all the resources I have carefully collected and reserved. What is the use of gathering all those things if it is not available for me when I want.

Just as virus obstructs the computer resources, emotional disturbance obstructs my intellectual resources. There was a book whether EQ is important or IQ is important in life ? IQ means intellectual quotient your intelligence, education, degree etc. EQ emotional quotient means the high threshold of the mind, the resilience of the mind that it will not be easily disturbed by any amount of disturbances around. If a person doesn’t have EQ any amount of IQ becomes worthless, like some of our children they study very well at home, and the parents asks the question, the child answers. The child goes to the examination hall and sees the question paper, the first question the child doesn’t know answer, it panics and then the other answers which the child knew, they are all disturbed by the virus. All the knowledge is gone. Therefore, I should clearly remember EQ is more important than IQ. This is the second awareness.

When my intellectual resources are blocked, certainly my performance, my efficiency will be affected. Because, I don’t use right judgement, I don’t use my discrimination because intellect is fused out.

Therefore, all my reactions will be unhealthy, because they are not filtered by right thinking, but they are all impulsive actions and therefore, I will have to regret for almost every decision that I take. After the decision is taken and the damage is done, I remember everything. Like the children coming back home and says I knew all the answers, but I could not recollect in the examination. What is the use ? It must be available when I need.

"PustaksTA tu yā vidyā parHastagatam dānam kAryakAle samutpanne na sA vidyā na tad dānam" The knowledge that is in the book and the money which is elsewhere is not yours because it is not available when you want. Similarly, your knowledge will not be available if the emotional disturbance blocks the intellect. This is the third problem. My efficiency is diluted. The fourth problem is, at the sociological and the social level, an emotional person is a highly irritable person. Therefore, through his words and actions, even through his facial expressions, he hurts many people around which is a violence. Not only that, I slowly distance every person from me. Because, if I’m highly irritable and I’m going to hurt everyone and if I’m not a pleasant person which person will like to come near me.

Thus, socially also the person will get more and more isolated. Because, nobody would like to come near me. Dayānanda Swāmiji says, "When such a father comes home, even the children will say, father is coming, let us all run."

Another important thing required for the maintenance of the emotional balance is this, Kṛṣṇa emphasizes in the Bhagavad Gita, "However powerful the human being may be, there are many choice less situations in our life for which we have no remedy at all." No doubt, we are physically powerful , intellectually powerful, science is advanced, medicine is advanced, in all the fields the human beings have become powerful, but even now, there are many situations which we cannot control.

When a cyclone is going to hit the coast, the science has advanced enough to predict at least approximately where it may hit, but still we have no way of stopping the cyclone, human limitations. We have got so much advancement in medicine, we have found cure for many and still there are diseases in those cases, the doctor says, "We are helpless. You pray and I will also join." There are certain diseases I recently discovered that, there is a medicine for this disease but that particular medicine does not suit this person’s system, because he has got some other disease. Therefore, the doctor knows this is the medicine, but he cannot give that medicine because of some other complication.

There are so many situations over which we don’t have control because of our limited knowledge and because of our limited power, there are many unknown and uncontrollable factors and when such situations come, we have no other way except preparing ourselves to accept with least resistance.

The more we resist such situation, as the resistance increases, you know in the law of physics, it gets heated up in a wire, when the resistance is more the heat increases. Similarly, the more you resist a choice less situation, so you are blocked in a traffic jam, you cannot move forward, you cannot go backward and you have to catch a flight or train, I by fretting and getting anxious I’m not going to reach the airport faster, if there is a method we can certainly apply, but when there is a choice less situation we have to work within ourselves to change our attitude. When you cannot change the world, learn to change your attitude so that you can accept.

The acceptance is gained only through strengthening the mind. We have to collect emotional shock absorbers, shock-absorbers are there in vehicles because on the road potholes are there. Bangalore is better, come to Madras and see, when you cannot fix potholes, because it is corporation job, what best we can do ? We can fix our vehicle with shock-absorbers. Similarly, you cannot change other people, you cannot change the behaviour, you cannot often the government, many things you cannot change and then the best thing is instead of trying to make everything favourable which is not possible try to get a shock-absorbent, which is called emotional strength.

The emotional strength can be drawn from either ourselves through auto suggestion, the psychological method is the auto suggestion method, because the mind has the strength to withstand any amount of pressure. This is also proved scientifically. I repeat myself that I will be able to face any situation. I have the inner resources, I can. We go on repeating, we can prosper. This is the auto suggestion method and the second method prescribed is surrender to the lord and seeking strength from the lord.

I tell myself that I’m a weakling who cannot face but I have the backing of the lord. Like, Sugrīva challenged Vālī for battle, you know why ? Even Vālī was surprised, how can this fellow, every time he gets beaten by me, he is challenging me, Vaali was angry and when he was about to go, then Tāra said Sugrīva doesn’t have the strength to fight, but still he is now challenging you which means he has got strength and some other backing. That backing is Rāma, we are all Sugrīvas and all choice less situations are Vālī where we are utterly helpless and such challenges we can face if we take the help of Rāma or Kṛṣṇa’s or any name you call. So thus, develop, acquire a shock-absorber either by śaraṇāgati or by sangalpaha (auto-suggestion) then the emotional upheaval will not disturb the mind too much. This is the handling of manomaya koṣa, the psychological personality and fitness of the mind is its balance. Then we go to the fourth layer, vijJAnamaya koṣaha.

VijJAnamaya koṣaha, here alone the IQ is there, the rational faculty, the intellectual faculty which is a total faculty. There are many people who are emotionally sound but intellectually bankrupt. Then there are many people who have very high IQ, intellectually giants, but emotional dwarfs. So, if a person has to integrally develop, he has to take into account the emotional as well the intellectual faculty.

Intellectual faculty is learning through education, and in that we are all experts. We all have varieties of degrees but unfortunately all that education they are meant for earning our daily bread only. We never gain education to guide us in our life. To handle our life, to fix appropriate goal, to work in that direction, such an education was given in the olden gurukula vāsa, all these were taught. Before letting the student out in the society, because otherwise he will damage himself as well as others, so something like a quarantine, in gurukula vāsa he is trained well and sent out.

But now in the modern education, how to handle life, society, people it is not taught. How to handle problems in the family that is not taught. So, we have got all kinds of materialistic education, but the other knowledge is, the capacity to decide what are priorities of life. What do I want out of my life, what is my absolute goal, is it merely getting a degree which will useful for a five figure salary ? If this is the goal, animals are better.

Because, they do all these efficiently, so we are meant for something else, and therefore, I have to learn living skills and education for that. This is also a very big topic, for each layer in our scriptures we have got so much. Regarding the intellectual education, I will talk about 2 aspects. One thing is primarily being clear about the goal of life, What do I want ? What am I looking for ? Our scriptures suggest a goal, and according to our scriptures that must be the goal. If our goal coincides with that, then it is wonderful, otherwise we have to discover that goal and it is beautifully presented in one verse, "sarvam paravaśa dhukkām, sarvam atmavasa sukham, yetaD vidyā samasena lakṣaṇam sukha dhukkayodh."

Dependence is misery, any form of dependence is misery, it may be on external factors, situations, objects, people. Dependence is sorrow because when I depend on external factors, each factor becomes capable of hurting me. This watch, is a simple object in the creation, it doesn’t have any capacity to influence me at all, suppose I choose to buy this watch and I get used to this watch, a time comes when I connect my happiness, my fulfilment to the presence of this watch. The moment I depend upon this watch, this watch has got a power over me. This lifeless watch has got a power over me, you know what type of power ? It can make me happy when it is with me, and the watch can make me unhappy when it is away from me. By its presence it can switch on my happiness button, by its absence its switches on my sorrow button. Now, tell me if this watch is powerful or I’m powerful ? It has got a power to disturb me.

The more I depend on the external factors, I’m becoming weaker and weaker, I’m becoming slaver and slaver. This, our scriptures calls as saṃsāra. Sarvam atmavasa sukham, whereas, independence, not depending on any particular object or any person or situation is joy. If you want a happy life, learn to go from dependence to independence. Never choose dependence to more dependence. If this value is clear throughout my life, I will work for this independence.

Kṛṣṇa talks about an independent person in the gīta,"duḥkheṣu anudvigna manāḥ sukheṣu vigata spṛhaḥ vīta rāga bhaya krodhaḥ sthita dhīḥ muniḥ ucyate." If you take Rāmāyaṇa as an example, Rāma was not disturbed by the arrival and the loss of the kingdom only because of one reason, because Rāma’s fullness, Rāma’s contentment, Rāma’s happiness was not hooked to that. This is called internal freedom. In śastric language, it is called mokṣa.

Therefore, we have to develop our intellectual maturity to such an extent, that we should clearly see the goal as freedom and this is more important because the direction of my life will depend upon the goal that I have fixed. At the end of this seminar, which road you will have to take will depend upon the destination that you have fixed, therefore, if the destination is clear and fixed, you can direct your life appropriately now itself. As they give this slogan, "Start early, drive slowly, reach safely." Otherwise, at the 95th year I discover that my problem is my dependence on my children. Many parents depend upon the children and expect to them to spend some time with them.

One father was telling me, "Swāmiji I have 3 children, they are all well-off, they have provided everything, whenever I’m sick, they are ready to take me to the hospital, they are ready to spend any amount of money, but they don’t talk to me at all, Why can’t they come and ask, how are you ?" There fear is if they ask the question how are you, this old man starts from 1957 like when I was in that college and he continuously talks, that is the problem. But the thing is, he wants. If the father had some cold, you have to ask several days, how is your cold, if the children do not do that, this fellow is upset. This is dependence. Like that, so many varieties of expectations are there, every expectation becomes a bondage capable of hurting me any-time. This internal freedom must be kept as the goal. Thus goal fixing is the first thing at the intellectual level. Then, the next thing is, the intellect especially the human intellect has the capacity to remember the past and project the future which is a wonderful faculty, but it often becomes a very big problem. One problem is, I brewed over the past all the time, Why it happened ? Why he did to me ?

When you go on regret over the past, the past becomes a powerful retarding force which drags me in the present. When I want to go in future, it pulls. So, memory becomes a curse. Another problem is, I begin to visualize, foresee the future, how I will be in next few years, whether the children will take care of me, we go-on project and begin to worry and develop anxiety and that foreseeing capacity becomes another obstacle in the present. Thus, memory becomes one obstacle and worries with regard to future becomes another obstacle, I’m never allowed to efficiently work in the present.

Suppose I say, You live in the present, it’s an advice I often give. To live in the present, the problem is, even though I would like to live in the present, the past memories are not going to go away, it remains in me not because I want, but still haunts. Therefore, we require an intellectual training to make our memory of the past and our foreseeing capacity into a favourable force. How do you accomplish that ?

Use your past experience only for learning. Because, experience have got a wonderful capacity to teach beautiful things. That’s why in India we respect old age, because they have gone through a lot. Therefore, I use the past, not for producing regrets, but I use the past only for educating myself. If I use the past to educate, then it becomes a pushing force in the present, my efficiency increases when I learn from the past, my efficiency decreases when I brew over the past. Past remaining the same, past used for brewing over it dilutes the efficiency, past used for learning it increases the efficiency.

Therefore, like the sugar-cane bit, put in the mouth, chew it, suck the sugar-cane juice and spit it out. Similarly, put the past in your brain and then crush it then take the juice of wisdom from the past experiences then forget the past. Bhagavan has given me that experience to educate me. Similarly, the foreseeing capacity also is not used for worry and anxiety, it is used for intelligent planning. Planning is possible only because of our visualizing capacity.

Therefore plan well, and thereafter forget. I want to go on a tour, world tour perhaps, I have fixed the rooms, I have fixed everything. You can prepare everything, but ultimately the tour will happen or not I do not know. Anything can happen, If I’m going to worry whether it will happen or not, then the future becomes a burden. I plan and then forget, if it happens it is the will of good, if it doesn’t happen it is also the will of god. Thus, the intellect can turn past also into a positive force, future also into a positive force. This training on the part of the intellect is making the intellect healthy, in addition to that, of-course developing the reasoning power, developing communication skill that is also intellectual and not emotional. All these are there, taking care of intellectual health. This is the fourth layer vijJAnamaya koṣaha. The fifth one is ānandamaya koṣaha.

Ānandamaya koṣaha is the fifth layer, which in the language of psychology, they call the un-conscious mind, the inner mind, the deeper mind which is the store house of all our past emotional experiences. Whatever emotional experience we have underwent, pleasure, pain, tragedy, trauma all these are stored in our deeper mind and so of our emotional problems, we could not solve at all, and all the unsolved worries and problems, they remain. That’s why in the Indian culture, when somebody dies, they asks the relatives to cry, even if they don’t feel like crying, they will encourage and talk about the dead person and make sure that the person cries.

In English a poem is also there, "A warrior dies in the battle field and the dead-body comes, and the wife is shocked, and that shock has gone deep inside and if that shock is kept in the unconscious mind, she will die, because extreme shock is dangerous, she has to be made to cry. Everybody tries, all fails. An old woman brings their new baby, that baby is brought and placed over her lap, then suddenly she remembers that when the child grows it will ask for the father, how I will deal with that, gush of water flows and she cries, and every time a person cries, there is a release."

Similarly, there are many occasions where we are not able to release our emotions, when boss gets angry with us, we feel like shouting back. But for the safety of the job, we swallow. But that anger is inside, similarly, wife’s anger, husband\children’s anger towards parents, so many suppressed angers are there, that unconscious is the fifth layer. How do you know that ? Whenever our reaction to a present situation is not proportional to the situation, an un-proportional reaction indicates hidden anger. When I’m angry with a person for days together, it’s all suppressed. When a person commits a small mistake, it doesn’t require a violent explosion, but this person explodes. The mistake is small, the reaction is too violent. It indicates, like communal flair-up and all, what do the mob psychology ? It is a small thing only, but is a bottled up emotion that comes.

Thus, we all have got the bottled up emotions which we were not able to express due to various reasons, especially, in the present day, we have to present a false front, to be a gentleman you have to keep smiling, whatever the emotions you should not express, and if you are salesman you have to keep smiling all the time, even though, you are angry. One lady, came to my place, and I don’t know her at all, and just sat in front of me, kept her hands on her face, and started sobbing. I have never faced such a case before, I don’t know how to handle, there is only one way, you have to bring out. So, find some victim or the other and bring out, they talk about different methods, one method is writing out and then throwing it away. In our religious tradition, the best method is you go in front of the lord and express all your feelings, you can scold the lord, you can shout, but make sure nobody is around, because they will think you are mad. So, bring up by writing or by sharing or by talking to the lord, this ānandamaya koṣah will also should be handled if these 5 layers are handled, then this person is a composite integrated personality and then there is a sixth layer, which according to the śastra is our real core personality which is called ātmā.

If we have got an integrated personality, in which all these 5 layers are healthy and fit, then we can enter into the sixth layer which is called sat chit ānanda svarūpaha. Layer which consists of the pure consciousness, pure existence which is the only source of happiness, only source of security, only source of immortality. I’m not going to enter into the sixth layer deeply for that, we have to handle the first five layers properly. Handling the first five layers is the first part of our scriptures and the discovery of the sixth layer and the core is the last part of vedas. With these words, I will conclude my talk.

Part 7 : THE IDENTITY – Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda

Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda

the lord is the creation, the physical creation is He. The thoughts are also the Lord. The consciousness behind the creation, behind the thoughts is satya, the truth, which is also the truth of the Lord. It is the truth of myself, which alone is the truth of everything, and therefore there is only one Lord. Where is another Lord? I would like to know

Until this truth is discovered, I need an altar where I can place my head and invoke the Lord, the almight, the all powerful, the all knowledge

I invoke the Lord in any given form, call it Rama, Krishna, Siva, or Ganesh; to invoke his grace, his blessings.

So I can come to know that there is only one Lord. In the beginning, I worship the Lord who is everything and then I discover the fact that I am everything. This is advaita. It is not shankara’s advaita, please understand. It is what our upanishads reveal

There were philosophers who had their own schools of thoughts, but shankara did not have a school of thought. Advaita is the fact, it is the truth, which cannot be shaken by anybody, nor can it be improved upon by anyone. No one can tell me his God is more than limitless. On the other hand we cannot accept a God who is less than limitless because it is against the experience of life. Until you are free from limitation, you will never rest content

Like the river finding her level, until she reaches the ocean, she cannot rest content. She cannot reconcile that there is a dam and that she need not flow any further, until she can continue her journey to the ocean. Thus she goes on all the time, because until the river reaches the ocean, until she has the vision of ocean, the flow does not stop. Understand the river has to lose her name and form

“as flowing rivers get themselves disappeared in the ocean losing their special names and distinct forms” (Mundaka upanishad, 3-2-8)

Giving up all the name and form she has to become one with the ocean. Once upon a time se was Ganga, Jamuna etc. But now that individuality is dissolved in the identity with the ocean.

Similarly, every individual’s heart is yearning for that freedom from limitations, a limitation which imposed upon himself due to ignorance and error rather than by a fact. And so the one who owns up to this knowledge, that man alone is called a wise man. Until then, everybody is “otherwise” and the otherwise has got to become wise.

And therefore, we invoke the Lord, sing his glories, sing his praise. What is wrong in that? His grace will bless me and will fill up my heart and make me see that I and the Lord are but one


Dear all, thus ends Swamiji’s fantastic book. My pranAms to Bhagwan, to the whole Guru shishya parampara starting with Dakshinamurti bhagwan, and especially to Guruji for giving me the chance of writing this book

hari om shri gurubhyo namah, harih om

Hari Om.

Part 6 : CREATION AND CREATOR – Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda

Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda


The creation of a chain involves two causes: One the material cause, the gold, and the other the efficient cause, the goldsmith who made it

Any creation involves a material cause as well as an efficient cause. The efficient cause should have the knowledge of what he creates and the purpose for which it is created.

The one who creates a pot must have the knowledge of the pot. And he also knows for what purpose he creates it. otherwise he could as well have made both the sides open! So he knows the purpose of that creation. Further he finds in himself the skill to create. He has got the skill to create the pot. In fact the creator of anything has got the knowledge of what he creates and also has got the power and the skill of creating it.

When I observe this world, I find it a useful creation. The sun, the moon, the earth; everything is useful. Nothing is redundant. If I feel something is useless, it is because I do not know its use. Even I am useful; at least at the time of election I become useful. The creation would be incomplete without me and that is why I am there. In this creation everything is useful; that is what a scientist is trying to understand: what a particular thing for being is and how it is useful.

He tries to understand the meaning of a set-up whether it is a cellular system or a nuclear system. What does that accomplish? We discover that everything is so orderly. It is such a useful creation. my eyes are a useful creation because there are forms and colours to see. My ears are a useful creation because there are sounds to hear. The digestive system too is a usefuul creation. I have created none of them and none of us can boast of this creation..

Even if I build a house, I must know better that it is not my creation. I may say I have created with my own hands; but the hands are not mine anyway. They were created. My mother and my father and even the cucumber that I can eat can claim authorship of those hands.

Many things that I can claim ownership of: what is it that I have got a claim over? Have I created this house? This land is not created by me, the bricks are not created by me. Even if I make bricks, the earth is not created by me. The fire that bakes the bricks is not created by me. That law that “fire should be hot” is not created by me… my God! then what have I created? Nothing. Neither can I boast of this creation nor can anybody else like me also boast of it. How can I create the world?

I am an individual who is himself created. I come and go. Creation was there when I came and it will remain even after I go. No one who existed before or anyone who is here in the present can be the creator. Therefore the question naturally arises “who is the creator?”

The creator must have knowledge of what he creates. The creator of the pot knows the pot, so the creator of everything must have the knowledge of everything. He must be omniscient. he must be all knowledge.

Now the question is, where is that omniscient one, the all intelligent being, whom we call ishvara or God? Where is that God?

A child asks his mother “mom tell me, who created the son?”

“God” she said

“mom, where is God?”

“he is in the heavens”

“In heavens? did you see?”

“no, I did not go to heavens”

“then how do you know?”

“that is what people say that is what our scriptures say, that god in heavens created the world”

“then mom, who created the heavens?”

“God! who else can create heavens? God created the heavens”

“mom, where was God before creation of the heavens?”

“shut up, dont ask silly questions! Go and study”

The boy went away, he did not understand why this was considered a silly question and the boy thought over. He being a youngster could not give it up and therefore he went on thinking trying to figure out things. One fine morning he came to the mother who was busy in the kitchen and said

“mom I have figured out”


“i know where God was before creating heaven”


“you told me that heaven and hell are two places up above, so before the creation of heavens God must be in hell!”

the mother remained silent

“mom you said that only bad people go to hell, why should god be in hell, why worship him if he’s bad?”

“shut up”

If before the creation of heaven, God was in hell, the question is still there “who created the hell and gave it to God?”

if you say God created hell, where was he before?… Nobody, none of these religions can answer these questions. You must be a vedantin to answer this question

Looking at any deliberate creation, let us say a cloth, I can appreciate that there must be an efficent cause, an intelligent being behind the creation of the cloth. It does not take a great intellect to understand that. But then there is an unfortunate omission on the part of those theologians who fail to recognize the second cause of creation. What is the second cause for creation? The material cause.

If I appreciate the material cause, if that is taken into account, then there is no problem..

The omniscient all powerful God created this world, accepted. Since the creation is complete, he might be almighty, all powerful, all knowledge. Now the question is, what is the material out of which he created the world?

Let us see wherefrom the letter Z created. We may say it was created from Y, so Z from Y, Y from X, X from W, and so on…

Now the question is from where was the material for A found? We have to say, from the Lord himself. It cannot be outside because there is nothing outside the lord. Even the “outside” is yet to be created and therefore the Lord is the efficient cause and also the material cause. This is what the upanishads say. Just as a spider creates (the web from itself) and folds up (unto itself), so out of the Lord does the universe emerge.

A spider who creates a web in the corner of a room is an intelligent being. He is intelligent enough to create the web and so the spider is the efficient cause for the creation of the web. And to get the thread for the web he does not have to go out to get the material, the substance from outside. Unlike a bird which goes out and picks up the straws and fibres to make the nest, the spider finds the substance in his own body in a gland out of which out comes the thread.

So who is the material cause for the web? It is Mr Spider. Who is the intelligent cause for the web? Mr Spider again. So God is the material cause as well as the intelligent cause of the universe

We will understand this better by the example of our dream world. Who is the creator of the dream world? the dream mountain, the dream rivers, the dream car etc. I created the dream world, and so I am the creator of the dream world. I created it just like that. I thought and it was there. And from where did I get the material for the mountains and rivers there in the dream? Did I go anywhere to collect it? No Then I must be the material cause too. My own memories are the material cause for the dream creation

also I am the efficient (intelligent) cause of the dream world

Now see this, the lord is the efficient and the material cause. Then where is the Lord now? Can the material cause ever be separate from the creation? Can cotton be separate from the cloth? No. The weaver, the efficient cause is different from the clot. That is why we buy textiles, we do not bring the weaver along !

But where the effect is, there the maeterial cause must be. The effect is the cloth. Where the cloth is, there the material cause- the cotton is. That is why however forgetful I may be, it is not possible that I leave the cotton behind and bring the cloth along!

I cannot forget to bring the clay when I bring the pot. Alongwith the pot, will come the clay, because pot is clay. The cotton is cloth, cloth is cotton

If lord is both the material and efficient cause, where is the Lord? The Lord is space, the lord is time, the Lord is moon, jupiter, mercury, mars… The Lord is the winds. The Lord is the earth, the Lord is the tree, the foliage, the cow, the child, the man, the woman, this hand. The Lord is this nose, and these eyes that read. The Lord is the thought behind these eyes, the Lord is the consciousness behind them all, behind the thought, behind the eyes, behind the creation.

Space, time, stars, galaxies, behind the whole thing. The Lord is behind everything. The Lord is everything and therefore where is God? Where is he NOT!

That is why our God is happily married. I prostrate to Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati who are the parents of our creation.

Like a word and its meaning, the Goddess, the material cause, and the God, the efficient cause are inseparable. Is there a creation without the material cause? The creation involves the material calls which is called Shakti, the Goddess and efficient cause is called the Purusha, Siva.

Purusha and Prakriti, Ishvara and mAyA. The creation is apparrent as I told you, and we must have an apparent cause for it.

This apparent cause is called mAyA. That is the material. The whole creation is ishvara. That is why one cannot appreciate Indian culture unless one knows what Ishvara is. Our ishvara is not up in the heaven. God cannot be outside the creation. God cannot be inside the creation. If he is inside the creation how is he going to create? If he is outside createion, there is NO such thing as “outside creation” therefore God is… God is creation. That is God can neither be inside nor outside creation

Therefore there is nothing outside creation, thus the reason why for a Hindu, the sun is God, the stars, planets, earth, tree, mountain, air, bird… EVERYTHING is God for him.

Everything is God,What is not God? suppose you want to touch me and you touch my little finger. Would I feel that I have been touched only a little? Again if you touch my middle finger, is it that I get a little more touch? and if you pull my hand a little more attention? In that case to get my full attention you should give me a massage! But that is not so. Even if you touch my little finger, you are touching me.

I am equally present everywhere in the body and every part of the body is “I”. Similarly any form is Lord’s form and so I can see the Lord in any form.

People say that Hindus are idolaters, that they have many Gods. But those who have only one God also have one God, pls the devotee because God is always taken to be different from the self. Whereas the Hindus have god ONLY the God. The devotee is not different from him. That is advaita

They, the dvaitins (dualists) have got one God plus man. They have made God an entity sitting somewhere in heaven. But it does not make sense. If God is only one thing, he is not this, he is not that. If I am different from God, then every living being and similarly inter things are also excluded from God. Then he must have his own physical body. Thus God becomes limited spatially. he becomes limited in power too. Because I have a certain power which he does not have. Every small little thing in creation has got some power which is excluded from God and therefore he should be a limited entity like my big uncle sitting somewhere!

And then why should I worship him? I also have got my ego and therefore I may ask him to worship me for a change. This does not make sense because if he is limited He cannot be called God

The Lord is the creation. He cannot be apart from the creation. Every form is his form and every name is his name. And naturally therefore I can invoke him in any name. in any form. That is why we accept any form to worship God. I may not accept your concept of God, but I would accept your form of worship

God must know all languages. If we pray in sanskrit he should be able to understand the language. Sanskrit is considered to be the language of Gods. It is a very well made language. But then he should be able to understand any language

Even without language also if we pray he should be able to understand. Well that is God and until I know him I worship him in form

How many Gods?
I will relate to you an event from my personal experience. Once as a brahachari I was traveling from delhi to madras in a train. There were two other persons besides me in the compartment. I occupied one corner. The other two corners were occupied by the other two. The man who was sitting in the other corner of my seat was reading a book and the other person asked him

“what are you readin?”


“what is Gita?”

“Gita is a scripture ”

“who gave out this scripture?”

“Lord Krishna”

“who is he?”

“he is God”

“what about Rama”?”

“he is also God”

“what about Siva?”

“he is also God”

What about Narayana?”

“Narayana is also God”

“then what about Ganesha and all the rest?”

“they are also Gods”

“ai, how many Gods have you got?”

this poor man did not know much. He said “we have many Gods”

“don’t you get confused?”

“I do not, in my Puja room I have all Gods, I do aarati to them, I have no problem, no confusion at all”

but the other man said “it must be confusing”

“no sir, it does not confuse me at all”

“it has to be confusing” the other man said, and he began telling a story. He seemed to be a long time appointed missionary. No reflection upon the person because this is common of all missionaries. Even every Christian should know this and a hindu should also know this. So then this missionary told a story

Two persons happened to be traveling together. One of them was a hindu, the other a Christian. On the way, there was a wide river.

Neither of them knew swimming but they discovered that there was only knee deep water in the river so they thought they could cross it. Thy entered the water, and all of a sudden, an upstream dam burst and there were flash floods. The water started rising and came upto the neck, there was water everywhere and they were in fear of drowning.

the hindu man started praying “O rama where are you please come and help me”

Lord Rama heard this call and rushed to help the man, but before Lord Rama could reach and save him,t he man lost patience and started calling Lord Krishna “oh krishna please come and save me” so lord Rama went away, then without waiting more for Krishna he called Lord Siva, and and then Lord Ganesha and before any of them could reach he called a different name out, and thus drowned.

On the other hand, this christian prayed to Jesus for help “oh jesus please save me!” and there came a log of wood floating in the river. He caught hold of it (and left the poor hindu drowning… this is my addition!) The christian crosssed the river and for a Hindu because there were so many Gods there was confusion.

When this story was concluded thus hindu who was reading Gita, listening to the story, was in a corner. He felt greatly cornered. He had no answer to give. The christian fellow, while telling the story was also covering me, looking at me now and then. Now he looked at me very triumphantly and victoriously with a winning smile.

I also smiled back and said to him “that is an interesting story”
“yes” he said and came towards me. As a brahmachari with a beard and a peculiar dress, I should be a real catch for him,

so he came and sat before me and said “see what a confusion there is?”

Then i said “it is really an interesting story. When did it happen?”

he said “well… well I.. I”

I said “ok, dont bother. Let us say it happened on a friday at four o clock. If it was any other day, any other time, that is also ok with me”

“Ok, go ahead” he said

Then I asked him “how many christians are there in the world?”

“o there are millions”

“ok, let us say on this friday at 4 o clock, there was in London a man who was knocled down by a car in the street and was crying “oh jesus please save me” there was another person who was attacked by somebody in the streets of paris, he too called out to Jesus to save him. Then one in south africa, in johannesburg, there was a woman in a maternity hospital in great pain. She also cried “oh jesus save me”

now please tell me, where will jesus go? if he goes to save one prson, the others will drown. On the other hand look at the hindu Gods. If lord rama goes to save the brahmin in india, Krishna can save the other, and Siva can save the third, Ganesha; the fourth, and so on. Isn’t it really wonderful how many gods who can come to the rescue, rather than being just confined to one?

Friends I must admit one thing. My logic is not particularly sound, infact it is more ridiculous than his. But when someone talks ridiculous you have to talk more ridiculous. That is all that is required in this kind of confrontation. Whether you call him Jesus, or Krishna, if the Lord wants to save you he will be invoked in any name and form.

A finger is just a finger. The little finger can be looked upon as a small part or aspect of the body. But the same finger becomes a means, by touching which someon can draw my attention by merely touching my little finger. Similarly a particular aspect of creation is called devatA, a deity and the same devatA can be a form in which we can invoke the whole Lord.

That is how it is. And therefore the “many” gods are only different aspects of the same Lord and the same Lord is invoked through all the deities just as the same person is invoked by contacting or worshipping any part of the body. There is only one God… there is ONLY God

Part 5 : THE TRUTH – Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda

Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda


Can truth be defined?

Once while giving a talk in a university in Western United States, I said that Vedanta is a teaching that is a means of knowledge which unfolds the nature of yourself, the word and the Lord. At the end of the talk, a professor of physics came to me and asked.

“Swami did you say that your teaching Vedanta is going to reveal truth?”

“Yes it reveals Truth”, I said


“Do you mean to say then that the words reveal Truth?”

“Yes, words reveal truth”

“do you mean to say that you are going to define Truth?”

“I want to define Truth”

“But then Swami is it not that any definition of anything can only be from a stand point and is subject to negation from another stand point?”

That is true. I also know that. Not knoy do I know, our forefathers also knew that and therefore I said “Yes, that is true”

An definition represents only a point of view. You can define this cloth in different ways. You can define this material as a cloth, as a scarf, as threads, as cotton fibers. That also can be reduced to more fundamental substances. You can go on defining. All the definitions are relevant from their standpoints and therefore no particular definition is final because it is always from a stand point. Therefore every definition is subject to negation from some other standpoint.

You can go on reducing a thing to another thing, to more basic things. Then definition also keeps on changing, and therefore no definition is possible about the truth. Once you define truth, it is subject to negation from another stand point. Thus truth is not available for definition.

“any definition is subject to negation. Therefore if you say you are defining truth, it is also subject to negation” he said “that is true”

“Then how are you going to reveal truth? How are you going to define truth?”

“well I am going to define truth right now. what is not subject to negation IS truth ”

He was shocked, “how come it didn’t strike me!”

Neither did it strike me. Somebody had to tell me. My Guru taught me, I told him

What is not subject to negation in all the three periods of time is truth. There is nothing new about it. It is called Satya. Because everything else is subject to negation and does not qualify to be called satya. What is not subject to negation in all 3 times is called satya.

The man came the next day, an hour before the talk and said to me

“swami ji I tried to shake your statement but it is impossible, and therefore swamiji, tell me one thing. Is there such a thing as truth?” he asked me

He was a scientist, so he could not remain with a doubt. A scientist with a doubt in head means he is finished. It is something like a bug in the ear, an active bug! so he could not sleep the whole night. He tried to shake this definition but could not, therefore he came to me and asked me

“Please tell me swamiji, s there such a thing as truth?”

“yes there is and I will tell you what it is, you please attend today’s talk”

“Swamiji I will attend not only today’s talk but all your talks, but you must tell me right now I cannot wait another hour”

“there is only one thing my dear sir, that you cannot negate”

“please tell me sir, what is it?”

“that is you”


“yes, you, try to negate yourself. you can negate time, you can negate space, but when you try to negate yourself in the attempt of negating yourself, you will wind up sitting there tightly. You cannot negate yourself. How will you negate yourself?”


I cannot negate the subject itself. An object is subject to negation. The subject is not subject to negation because who is going to negate the subject? The subject cannot negate himself. In the name of negation, the subject will be sitting there tight and therefore he cannot be negated

Thus the subject is something which is not bound by time, which is not bound by space. It is the one in which space is, in which time is. And the whole creation is ideed in the space-time frame work and so the whole creation is in “I” that which is called Brahman, the substratum of all the creation and naturally therefore it is sat

Things come and things go, but this one is present at all times. This is exactly the “is” in everything, that “is” in every form of existence.

When we say the sky is, the cloud is, the space is, the time is, the earth is, he is, she is, it is etc, I am also “I is” only. Where we say something “is”, there is a knowledge also involved in it. There is awareness of hte existence of that thing. The existence of anything- sky, clouds, time, space etc can be established only when I am aware of them. The awareness chit and the existence sat is the common plane in which the whole creation is

The sat and chit is at once limitless and formless and therefore it is fullness itself. That is the reason why whneever one is happy, one is with oneself. Whenever I am with myself, I am happy. In spite of the limitations of the body, mind etc, I am happy. When I am happy, I am full. When I am full, I am happy

If that happiness depends upon the negation of all the limitations or if it depends upon the filling up of all the limiations- physical, perceptual, intellectual limitation- I can never become full. Because how am I going to fill up my physical limitations? If I am here, I am not there. I can expand a little more but I cannot cover the entire space. I can gatther a little more strength, but I cannot lift a mountain. My intellectual knowledge is also limited.

The more I know, the more I come to discover what all I do not know. It is only the one who does not know anything who thinks he knows a lot. Thus by knowing more, I come to know that I have yet to cover better areas of observation; I have yet to rise to a better elevation of observation, I come to know many areas which still do not know. Many new areas of ignorance open up!

Thus endless research goes on and on. Therefore intellectually also I am limited and if I have to wait for the moment of fullness until these limitations are filled up my God, I can never get that fullness.

But this fullness is not denied to anybody, however tragic according to him- his life may be. Nobody is denied these moments of fullness. Because everyone does discover a moment of joy now and then and that time he is full, all full. From where do I pick up these moments of fullness in spite of the limitations which I have not yet filled up? I do discover for myself a fullness which is called joy, Ananda. From where do I pick this up?

where is happiness?

Well it certainly is not from outside. Because no object in the world can be called happiness. There is sun, there is moon- all definable from a standpoint but none of them is called happiness.

Is there any object called happiness? If there is one we will all go and get a bit of it. There is no such object and no objec can be considered a source of happiness also, because the same object is a source of unhappiness for somebody else. Sometimes the very object that I take to be a source of happiness for me also becomes my source of unhappiness also…

I know a man waiting to marry a particular girl, she was already married. Her husband was trying to get rid of her ! after having done it both are happy !
One heaves a sigh of relief to get rid of her, other heaves a sigh of relief to have her !

Both feel that God is great ! What does this mean? It means that the poor thing, the girl, does not have anything to do with the joy of one or the sorrow of the other

And therefore, the person herself (or himself) or any other object for that matter, cannot be considered a source of joy or a source of sorrow. A person or a thing is only an object. So there is no such object as happiness.

Nor is happiness an attribute to an object which we can perceive with our sense organs. Like the green leaf, like a big pot, there is no such thing called a happy leaf or a happy pot. Is it there as an attribute to an object? If it is, that object should give me happiness at all times and places. But such is not the case! Therefore happiness is not an object outside the world.

Happiness is not there at a particular place also. Is there happiness on the beach? We cannot say that, because beach is nothing but sand. There is nothing more than that. You may say the beach makes you happy, but the beach can make you unhappy too, because on this beach often we see a man sobbing. He has lost his wife and he often used to go to this beach with his wife and whenever he thinks of the beach, he remembers the tragedy and gets depressed

Happiness is not the place. If it is a place where happiness is, all of us can make a bee line to that place, so it is not a place that is a source of happiness.

Nor can we say that a particular time is a source of happiness. You cannot say “swamiji everyday at 5 I laugh and I’m happy and afterwards I become sorrowful again”

Such a thing is not there and so time cannot be said to be the source of happiness. Like the place, time can be a source of sorrow too.

Neither time, nor place, nor object is the source of happines, and the whole external world consists of time, place and objects. Then from that, where do you pick up happiness?

Someone says “from within”…

“what do you mean by within? In your intestines? your kidneys? Is happiness in your heart? Heart is subject to an attack, lungs are subject to get congested. What exactly do you mean is the source of happiness? Within means what?”

“Swamiji don’t take it literally. When I say within, I mean the mind”

“Oh, so the mind is the source of happiness. Then what is the source of sorrow?”

“swamiji, that is also my mind only”

“then how can it be both? Can it be a source of sorrow as well as joy? How can it? If you say the mind, when there is jealously there is mind, when there is hatred there is mind, and also frustration, restlessness and joy. Therefore from where do you pick up joy?”

“Swamiji, by mind I mean a particular frame of mind”

Look here is a garland in my hand, before I picked up this garland what was in my hand? Nothing. Then you did not see the garland. Now when you see the garland, what is on your mind? Elephant or garland? Garland of course.

For any perception, there is a relevant mode of thought which is called vritti in sanskrit. A vritti is as good as the object perceived. Therefore when a garland is seen what form of thought should be there? Garland thought. And when only my simple hand is seen, what is the thought? Hand thought. Therefore the form of our thought is always true to the object perceived

So correspondingly to a garland outside, there is garland thought in my mind, and I say “this is a garland”.

At that tme do we say “I am a garland?” No because if I am a garland, I am fit to be worn by people! So I see the garland and say “this is a garland” but am not the garland. Same applies for thoughts as well. This is a thought, this is a feeling, but I am not this thought/feeling


Now when you are happy, what is there in the mind? Happiness. Is it not? And do we say “this is happiness”? In case of a garland we say “this is a garland”, but when there is a thought of happiness in the mind, do we say “there is happiness” or do we say “I am happy” ?

Yes we say “I am happy” that is an entirely different thing, since I do not say “this is happiness” is happiness an object? “this” or is it the subject “I”? It is the subject “I” really. That is the truth of it.

That is why we do not say, “this is happiness. If happiness is an object you know what that means? the objserver of happiness must be different from happiness! So it is always away from me. Formerly it was “there” and now it is “here”, but still I am not happiness. I would always remain unhappy but that s not so. So happiness cannot be an object, it cannot be away from me. Happiness is my very nature.

Happiness means fullness. That fullness is experientially when the mind stops projecting, when the mind is resolved. That is why sometimes the sky makes me happy, because that that time the mind is non projecting.

I accept the sky as it is. The mind is non projecting when it is simple, when it is not willing, not assuming, not desiring for a change of set up outside or of anything inside. Thus a simple abiding mind picks up joy. That is what generally happens when we experience something desirable. The mind does assume that state when we pick up happiness for it is our nature. Our nature is fullness- Ananda

Someone may say “Swamiji, I cannot accept this argument because whenever I am unhappy, I also say “I am unhappy”. The mind is unhappy, so I am unhappy. Then which is the truth? whether “I am happy” is truth or “I am unhappy is truth” ?

That can be settled very easily. Listen to this dialogue. A man once went to an eye specialist and complained to him

“doctor please help me, I have a problem that my eyes see! ”

“what? what do your eyes see? do they see two things where there is one? or two as one?”

“No doctor, my eyes see one as one and wo as two”

“then what is the problem? Do you not see things that are near or is it things that are far? ”

“No I can read all those letters there and also see the things that are near, I can read a book also”

“is it that you do not see colours?”

“No i can see you are wearing a blue shirt, i see colours”

“then perhaps it is your problem that you do not see in the evening”

“i can see in the evening too, I have eyes like an owl”


“then what is the problem?”

“I told you in the beginning that my eyes see”

Then the doctor said “oh I see, you have come to a wrong doctor, in the next block here is a psychiatrist. Please try him”

I doubt if such a conversation would ever take place

So what is natural is not a matter for complaint. That my eyes see, ears hear, is not a matter for complaint. Nobody comples to a doctor because he gets hungry at regular intervals, because its natural. No one complains that they are healthy. Therefore, what is natural is not a matter for complaint; but then I complain about sadness. I do not want to remain sad.

Even my system doesnt accept alien bugs. If they enter the body, the system throws them out. Anything foreign is thrown out. That is the system. Similarly, when i have sorrow, do I welcome it? No. I want to get rid of sorrow as soon as I can. And if I am happy, I am not in a hurry to get rid of it. I am not tired of being happy. I am tired of being sorrowful

I avoid sorrow and frustration. evenin in our common dealings, we do not congratulate a person who is ad. Nor do we sympathize with someone who is happy. We do not say “this should not happen to you sir, why of all people are you happy? you are such a kind man, a benefactor of so many, I am so sorry that you are happy”

this would be ridiculous, so be clear about it. The common sense experience is good enough to know that I do not complain about being happy.


I complain of being sad. Therefore happiness is my nature. Aham sachchidananda: I am sat, chit, ananda. If I am sachchidAnanda, what is this world? The world shines after me. The world is, I am. The world is not, I am.

Look, suppose there is a golden chain in your hand. Now for the time being let us suppose that I do not know what a chain is, that I only know what gold is. Then if I ask you, “what is hanging in your hand?”
you say “a chain”. but I do not know what a chain is, I have never heard the word chain, but I know what gold is.

So I am surprised at your answer “is this a chain? where is it? I can see only gold in your hand and not a chain”.

You insist it to be a chain. Then how can it be two things simultaneously? How can two words be used for the same thing unless both the words are synonyms? If the chain and the gold are synonyms, like jala and udaka that is fine. Here if you say gold and chain are two words used for the same object then they should be synonyms. If they are synonyms, chain should be gold. Wherever there is chain, there should be gold.

But this is not the case; otherwise copper chain can be exchanged for gold, and therefore gold and chain are two different things

Chain, the word, the name (nAma) has got its corresponding object. Gold, the word (nAma) has its object. I have an object for my word gold. I find it is all gold- I touc gold, I pull gold, and therefore it is gold. You say it is chain. Then what is it? Chain is gold, is it or not? Yes, chain is gold. Suppose the chain is gone, where is gold? The chain is broken, resolved, melted and still the gold is.

Please understand well. When the chain is, the gold is. When the chain is gone, the gold is. Therefore what is satya? Gold is satya. And the chain is just the form and name. Chain is a word, a name for which there is a form. Before the creation of the chain the word chain with its knowledge was there in mind of the goldsmith. And he gave a form to the gold.

Therefore creation is nothing but a form with a name chain. The chain is not independent of gold

Now think. There is one tonne of gold. Out of this one tonne, I make thousands of chains, thousands of bangles, thousands of rings and place them all in a pile: Let us say a one tonne pile.

Before the ornaments were created, there was one tonne gold. After the chains and bangles and rings are created, there is still one tonne gold. Let us say there are some 50,000 pieces. Now let us count them. I cound first lAbham. lAbham means one. Number one is called lAbham. So I counted gold and took the whole thing, then what is left for you? Nothing. ou do not have anything.

Suppose I do not count gold, what do you have? 50,000 ornaments. Dvaita is if I count the ornaments as many, advaita is if I count ONLY the gold. Even when I count 50,000 one thing does not change there; that is gold. Gold… gold… gold… each of these are gold, the gold thought does not change.

The chain is definitely different from the ring because what the chain can do the ring cannot do. We cannot put the ring on the neck, however slim we may be! The chain has a reality about it. The ring has a reality about it. The bangle has a reality about it. It is not that theya re not real, but they dont really exist without gold!

That is the point. They do not have independent existence, but therefore they cannot be dismissed as non existent either

Chain cannot be dismissed as a man’s horns can be. How many have I got? How sharp are they? That cannot be answered because a man’s horns are non existent. But can you say that the chain is non existent? Chain has an existence though a dependent existence and therefore you cannot dismiss it as non existent. You cannot accept it as existent either, because it does not have an independent existence. And therefore what is it? It is called mithyA or unreal

So gold is satya or real, the chain is mithya or unreal. Bangle is also mithyA, ring is also mithyA

satya plus mithya is equal to what? One gold plus many forms (ornaments) is qual to what? It is equal to one

This is called advaita. It is what our upanishads say. Ekamevadvityam Brahma: bramhan is one without a second. A modification, like a pot of clay exists only in name depending upon the speech. Clay alone is true. It is the advaita or the truth, because that is the nature of creation. We examine any creation it is found to be like that. You say pot, I say there is only clay. You say chair, I say there is only woo, the substance of which the chair is made.

You say car, I say there is no car at all, what is there is steel, rubber, air, gas, water etc. None of them is a car, but then it is a name given to an assembly of a lot of things performing a certain function. Well, we call it a car, this is what we call mithyA. We often misunderstand what mithA is. MithyA does not mean non existent, mithyA means what is usefully existent, but not independently existent

Now look, when the space is, awareness is; time is, awareness is; earth is, awareness is; he is, awareness is; she is, awareness is.

Now when the time is gone, awareness is. Therefore what is satya? Awareness is satya, awareness is called brahman. Brahman satya; brahman is real… jagat mithya; creation is mithyA.

Therefore satya, which is one; plus mithya, which is manifold, is equal to what? It is only one

This is what we call the non dual (advaita)- not shankara’s advaita as people say. Shankaracharya was only an Acharya, he was the one who presented this truth to the people, in a way that can be understood. He captured the tradition of teaching in those beautiful sentences of his exquisite prose and kept alive the tradition for the future generations to come. He himself aquired this knowledge from his guru or teacher. His guru taught him and therefore the knowledge has been coming down traditionally

Our salutation to the line of great teachers which very well began with Lord sadAshiva, which has shankarAcharya as the middle link, and which extends right upto our teachers

Thus we do not know where this knowledge comes down from. I cannot find the sources. I know my guru had this knowledge, that is why I got it from him. He got it from his teacher, and so on. Every teacher is a disciple of his own teacher.

Someone asked me “who is the first teacher?” I asked him “who is the first father?” First father was a son of his father who himself had a father. Again, that father also ha a father. The first father is the Lord, the creator, and so also the first teacher must be the Lord himself

Part 4 : THE AWARENESS – Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda

Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda


I am aware of something, therefore I am called the awarer.

You are awrae of the object in my hand. So you are awarer, now this object is removed. Then you becme awarer of Swami. I am a seer with reference to an object seen, hearer with reference to a sound heard. Similarly I am awarer with reference to the objects that I am aware of; the objects that are seen, heard, known in general.

Now let us assume that the Swami , the object is removed from the awarer, what would be there? If the object is removed from awarer what would remain? If the object is removed from the subject the awarer, the object is gone, but the content of the awarer will remain. Object comes, object goes. When an object comes I become an awarer. When the object goes I am the content of the awarer. Let me call the content of the awarer as awareness.

Put it in another way, In awarerness are these words heard. You are awawreness, When the word is heard, awareness is, otherwise you cannot hear. When the word is no more spoken, is there awareness or not? Awareness is. Awarenses is when words are heard, awareness is when words are not heard. Awareness is when forms are seen, awareness is when forms are not seen. Eyes are closed, awarenss is. So also awarenesess is when thought is. Awareness is when a thought is gone. In awareness is the object, the thought. Even when the thought goes awareness still remains. An object of thought is, awareness is. The object of th thought is gone, means a thought is gone- awareness is.

Put it differently, the space is in awareness. The space is, awareness is. Space is not, suppose you are not aware of space in sleep, where there is no space, awareness is. I know that there is no time, no space, no memory in sleep. How do I know that? I know that in sleep I did not know anything. Not that I knew everything earlier, In sleep I did not know anything and that means I was there aware of the sleeping state.

And therefore, sleep is, awareness is, time is awareness is. Time is not, awareness is

Space is, awareness is. Space is gone, awareness is. Now does the awareness have a dimension? How many inches or how big is the awareness? This awareness has no form. All forms are objects of awareness. Awareness itself has no form

Since it has no form of its own, awareness is formless. It has no form to be called this big or that big. It has no height, it has no length. It has no breadth. It has no front, it has no back, it has no left, it has no right, it has no above, it has no below. Why? Because there is no form. Awareness is formless and therefore is spatially limitless

Now look at it this way, space is, awareness is. Therefore the star is, awareness is. And therefore the limitless awareness is, space is. Space is, the limitless awareness is. now between the limitless awareness and space, what is the distance? No distance. Between the space and the moon what is the distance? There is no distance.

Now tell me, the moon is in awareness because I’m aware of the moon. Between awareness, you and the moon, awareness is. What is the distance? There is no distance. Between I the awareness and the moon in awareness, if there is any distance, what should it be? Space? and the space is where? In awareness. Between awareness and space there cannot be any distance. Therefore in awareness is the space, in space is the moon, in space is the sun, in space are the stars, in space are all the planets.

All of them, the whole physical universe is in space and the space is in awareness. Therefore between awareness and any object in the world, what is the distance? There is no distance between awareness and this physical world.


Now please understand, isnt this physical body within the space, is it outside the space or within the space? It is within the space. Now in awareness is space, in space is this body, in space is that body. All bodies exist in space and space itself is awareness and therefore between awareness and this body, or any body that exists, there is no distance

Therefore where Am I? There is no location for I. Awareness is not located. The body is located in space and space itelf is located in awareness. And awareness is located where? The question does not arise. Awareness is not located anywhere. In awareness is located space with reference to which I say “here”, “there” and so on. And therefore in awareness is space, and in space is the body and everything else. So where is awareness? Where the akasha space is. Where akasha sines, there the awareness is. That is, awareness is not located in space. In awareness is space, therefore awaareness is called all pervasive.

This is what we mean by the term all pervasiveness. What we mean is that it is not located anywhere in space. Space is located in awareness. I am aware of space, space is not aware of me. I am aware of time, time is not aware of me. I am aware of the concept of time, the concept of space, but the concept itself is not aware of me. PLease understand that. Therefore I am awareness in which all concepts exist and all objects of concepts exist. So naturally I am limitless awareness.

Therefore how many I’s are there? There is only one limitless awareness and I am that limitless awareness. In english also there is no plural for awareness. How many awarenesseses are there? There is only one awareness. Because two limitless cannot be there. In limitless awarenes is the mind, this mind that mind, this memory, that memory, this space, time the whole creation. Think of anything and it is in awareness. Certain things look outside our awareness. They are not outswide awareness, they are outside the mind. Certain objects are outside the reach of my mind, outside my thought. That is good, because otherwise the whole creation would be in my mind. Awareness is common, no doubt.

In awareness is space and time, in space is an object. That object is outside my mind and therefore it looks to be outside me. It is not outside me, it is not outside awareness.

Just as we say we are all inside the compound with references to that compound wall, we all all inside and there are people outside too. But then from the stand point of space, who is outside and who is inside? From the standpoint of space there is nobody outside nor inside. All are inside, so also from the stand point of awareness. There is only one limitless awareness. There is no second limitless awareness

Therefore awareness is rightly called brahman. Ayam AtmA bramha. AtmA, the self, is but bramhan. Bramhan means limitless. The word bramhan is derived from the root brh, which is in the sense of growth or increase. So bramhan meanst he big. Big is an adjective which qualifies a noun. A big mountain, a big elephant, a big rat etc. Therefore qhen I use the word big, it reveals a dimension. The dimension of the word big is determined by the very noun it qualifies. Big mountain means the bigness of a mountain. When I say ‘big among rats’, the bigness has become rat bigness, not mountain bigness. From this it is clear that being an adjective, the word big assumes a dimension of the very noun it qualifies.

Now suppose we form a masculine or neuter noun out of the root brh. That noun is Bramhan. bramhan means big. It is a noun. A noun is an object, not an adjective. Therefore how big is the noun bramhan? It has no definitte dimension. It is limitlessly big. Therefore atmA is the awareness that is limitless, the big bramhan. Limitless big means bramhan. That is why Ayam AtmA bramha. This self, this “I’ is bramhan, and everybody’s AtmA is also bramhan. You cannot become bigger than what you are. You are limitless


The meaninfg of the word I, as unfolded by the Shruti, the upanishads, is simple. Unqualified Awareness. If I reduce the whole creation to two factors, the subject and the object, then the subject is revealed by the word I and the object can be referred to by the pronoun ‘this’. In sanskrit the equavalent words are aham and idam. Aham is I and idam is this. There is no confusion between aham and idam, so long as the word idam, the pronoun this, refers to an object external to the physical body. So, this object, this pole, this light, this music, this chair, this tree, this man, this woman, this sun etc- I never take any of these as myself

But when it comes to my physical body, I take this body as myself eventhough it is an object of my awareness. I am aware of my physical body. It is all right to say am tall or short far or lean with reference to the body. There is nothing wrong in it. Like even when having reached the destination by a car I tell my friend ‘from baraoda to ahmedabad, I did in two hours” it is not possible for anybody to cover the distance in two hours, centered on myself there was no action. I was related in the back seat of the car, so I myself did not perform any action but then I did it in two hours with reference to the car in which I was traveling.

Similarly, if I say I am tall, I am short, there is nothing wrong. but if I take the physical body itself as myself without an inquiry, without knowledge, then there is a confusion between the self and the body, between aham and idam. So too the restless mind is subject to objectification. The mind is an object of my awareness, cannot be the one who is aware of it. So too, memories, knowledge, ignorance, all of them are objects of my awareness, therefore the word “I” refers only to the subject which is but awareness.

This awareness itself does not have a form, all forms are objects of awareness. If awareness also had a form, how would I come to know of it?

suppose I say yesterday I saw in my meditation, the awareness, the “i”, in the form of a flame. People say that… how is it possible? Because the one I saw, the awareness, is the one that is the “I” we are talking about. I am not talking about the lights that you see, which are outside. People see lights inside. This is the beginning of all the troubles to come later. We are talking about the one who is aware of this light. That light is not something that comes and goes, that shines and everything else shines after it

My eyes and mind are bright, capable of sight and knowledge respectively. I the awareness, blesses the mind and so the mind is conscious. In the light of the sun, during the day, I see various objects and all the objects themselves being opaque, I would say shine after the sun. They have no original light. They shine for my perception because of the sunlight, reflecting the sunlight

I can put it this way: the sun shines (bhAti) and the other planets and satellites within the system ‘shines after’ (anubhAti) the sun. The sun itself shines because my eyes shine. The bright sun is no more bright for the one who is blind. There may be the hot sun for him, but not the bright one.

So the bright sun shines because my eyes shine, and my eyes shine because my mind is behind the eyes. That is the reason why, when th mind is elsewhere, eyes fail to see eventhough the object is there. I draw blank. This can be seen very clearly with reference to hearing. Ears shine meaning, they illumine the sound. The ears hear these words only when the mind is behind the ears.

Eventhough the ears are here within the scope of audibility, you may not hear these words if the mind is elsewhere. In the audience I see this now and then. When most people laugh about some remark I might have made, I notice someone- there is always one fellow- nudging his neighbour and asking, “what did the swAmi say?” Not that he has suddenly gone deaf, he had heard my earlier words. He will hear me again later

In between there was a black out, why? Because the mind was not behind the ears. There are some, I am sure, who have not heard even this sentence. Thus when the mind is shining behind the eyes, ears etc, they light up the respective objects of perception viz forms, colours, sounds etc

“He whose intelligence ‘flashes’ outside through the eyes and other sense organs, just like the bright light of a great lamp placed in a jar having many holes, and after whose shining the whole universe of objects shines to him, the divine teacher, sri dakshinAmurti is this prostration” (Sri Dakshinamurti Stotram-4 )

What a beautiful illustration! Here is a jar with holes, five of them, let us say. The jar itself is in a room which is dark and inside the stomach of the jar is kept a lamp. Five beams of light source emerge out of the five holes. Each beam of light illumines some objects, that lie on its path. But the light inside is one, not many. Similarly, my sense organs, five in number, light up their respective objects. Eyes light up the forms and colours, ears the sounds, nose the smells, tongue the tastes and the sense of touch the various forms of touch.

Each of them can be likened to a beam of light as it lights up the objects. Behind these sense organs there is one light called the mind. They all shine after the mind. The mind itself with its moving patterns of thoughts lights up the sense organs which in turn illumine their respective objects


In a text called panchadasi, there is a chapter called nAtaka dIpa prakaranam, wherein is employed the illustration of a theatre lamp. The mind is compared to a dance and this dancer dances on a circular auditorium wherein there is only one bright lamp above. The lamp ligthts up the audience in front, the sense objects, it also lights up the dancer, the mind; the mind is compared to a dancer since it moves. This dancer keeps on varying according to the mood. Just as there are many different rasas, moods, sentiments.

There are modes of the mind called vrittis. When an object is perceived, there is a mode in terms of the response to what is perceived. Thus the mind dances. The dancer herself is dancing. These vrittis dance and there is a light that lights up the mind which illumines the objects.

What is that light, one single light alone, which illumines the dancing mind and which shines even if the mind does not dance? That single light lights up anything that obtains in the mind. The dancer goes and comes back the other way and again dances. The light above illumines her as soon as she comes. The lamp lights up an empty auditorium.

It also lights up a filled up auditorium. And there is a master for whose sake the dance itself is arranged. He, is sittong on the very stage in one corner observes the audience (sense objects, the world) the musicians (the sense organs) and the dancer (the mind). The sense objects and sense organs are like the rhythms and instruments which set exactly what the vritti is going to be. Whenever an object is perceived by a given sense organ, there is a corresponding vritti, just as the compliments set the dancer’s rhythm, the steps, the moods, etc, the whole show is for the one sitting there, the master.

This is all for his entertainment. Many a times, he identifies with the dancer. He becomes very sad when the dancer expresses a mood of sorry, and that master is also illumined by the lamp above. That lamp shines bhAti. That lamp is aham. We can go back to the previous illustration of the lamp in a jar.

“whose intelligence ‘flashes’ outside through the eyes and other sense organs, just as the bright light of a great lamp placed in a jar having many holes”. Like even the beams of light which go out to light up the objects there is a light behind the light that is the mind and the sense organs.. gyAna is there so the mind shines, the sense organs shine. When the mind is not active the sense organs are resolved, withdrawn, like the sense organs of a tortoise.

Still “I”, the awareness lights up the mind as in dream where the senses are no more exposed to the external world but then there is a world created in the mind which the ‘I’ lights up. When that is also gone, the whole theatre is empty, as it happens in sleep, still the light lights up for you to say in the morning “I slept well, I had a good sleep. I did not see anything did not hear anything, did not know anything”

This recollection of the experience of the deep sleep indicates that there also the “I” is shining. Does it ever cease to shine? Is there a light that even illumines the ‘I’? No. Everything else shines after that. It itself shines of its own accord. It does not come, it does not go. The thought comes and thought goes, but the “I” remains shining. Space I am aware of, time I am aware of. Time gone, space gone for a split second- I become a flame of joy, I still find that I am shining. Thus that which survives time, that which survives space, that which survives any object shines (bhAti). Everything else shines after it (anubhAti)

There the sun does not shine, nor the moon, nor the stars; there lightnings also do not shine, what then to talk of this earthly fire? Verily, everything shines after Him who shines. This whole world is illumined with his light”

This beautiful verse occurs in two different upanishads- Katho and mundAko. This verse is traditionally chanted in temples by the priests while showing the light before the Lord (Tatra sUryah na bhAti;) there the sun does not shine, means the sun does not illumine it. (na chandratArakam) neither the moon, nor the stars (na imAh vidyutah bhAnti) even these lightnings do not light up whom (kutAh ayam agnih) then what to talk of this earthly fire? Verily everything shines after Him who shines.

This whole world is illuminated with His light. He is self- effulgent and to illumine Him I am holding this agni, this lamp, this flame… O Lord what a fool I am!


In south india there are many temples. Sometimes we wonder as we go inside a temple. the temple itself is a miniature creation There are open corridors, as we enter these corridors, we find there the sculptures depicting different aspects of life. There are musical instruments, there are dancing poses, people, men, women. We can see the entire world in sculpture.

Entering the mahAmandapam we find again various angels, gods etc. Still we proceed further and the mandapam becomes darker and darker. Finally we stand before the main shrine. In the shrine is a deity; there is an idol. People worship that idol. In fact nobody worships an idol, one worships the lord.

We know the idol is made only of stone, in spite of our knowledge that this is merely stone, we worship it and that means we are not worshipping the stone, but the lord behind the stone.

Now we stand there before the idol. The stone from which the idol is made is black. The place is dark. The who performs puja is also not particularly fair, he is dark and his clothes are also black. The idol has received a number of oil baths therefore it has become very dark.

And we stand there having been exposed to the bright light of the external world. our eyes are not attuned to see the Lord who is there. But we know he is there, how do we know he is there? An oil lamp is burning and in that light we see the dazzling jewellery, the precious stones, the ornaments with which the lord is decorated. We see only the dazzle of these ornaments called vibhutis, the glories.

Similar is the case in our life, I do not know where the lord is, I do not know who the Lord is, whether it is a he or a she event that is a question! But then I see the vibhutis, the glories. I see the sun, the moon, the order in creation. These are all his glories. They are the glitters seen in the small little flame of the pil lamp, in the light of my buddhi, my intellect. And with this I know and I become an astika, a believer, that there is a lord

I stand there in the temple in great vneration and hope that I will see the Lord. I will have the darshana, the vision of the Lord. Now there is a priest (who is in place of the guru)

He holds a light of camphor (which signifies the light of knwoledge)

capmphor is a peculiar substance in that it burns itself completely without leaving any traces behind, just as in the light of knowledge all ignorance is burnt

so in that light I see the lord whom I knew to be there. From the astika a believer, I now become a jnAni, the one who knows. I have darshana, the vision of the lord in the light of knowledge shown by the guru

As the priest shows the light, I see him from the feet to the head. The guru reveals to me the nature of the Lord and I see in that light nothing is left out. The ignorance is totally burnt. All my notions, my errors, totally get burnt in the light of knowledge, the jnAnagni. And in that flame, I see my lord and I say

“oh bhagavan! How did I ever miss you? Once I know, how could I ever miss you? That is my apraAdha, my fault. Oh Lord, please pardon me. What a fool I have been to have missed you.”

and thus at this time the priest chants this well known mantra “”na tatra suryo bhAti” oh! I hold a small light, a camphor light before you, oh lord, to light up the one who lights up everything: bcause of whom everything shines.

What light can I hold before you except the light of knowledge? And that knowledge is: The Lord, the Self, “I” shine and everything else shines after me


that self shining, self effulgent “I” is independet. It does not require a means of
knowledge to reveal itself. f I ask you “are you conscious?” what do you have to do to answer? Should you see something in order to say “I am conscious ? should you close your eyes and say “I am conscious”? or as usual would you say “I will consult her and tell you”?

When I ask whether you are conscious or not, there is no doubt in your mind that you are conscious.

It is not that I think therefore I am, I am therefore I think. Before a thought arises, I exist, after a thought is gone, I exist. There is a self effulgent being which remains when thought comes and thought goes. I exist as a self effulgent being and therefore everything else shines after me

The existence of everything else has got to be proven by pramAnas, the valid means of knowledge which are at my disposal

Thus the existence of colour is proven by- eyes, that of smell by the nose, etc… ad it is upto me to operate these pramAnas or instruments to perceive the respective objects. But there is one thing that need not be proven by anybody and that is that I exist, that I am conscious, that I am effulgent. All pramAnas means of knowledge, viz the sense organs and the mind shine after that which itself does not require any proof of its existence or effulgence

This self effulgent being is aham, I. Which itself has no form and therefore it is limitless. If it is limitless, it cannot be called brahman. It is brahman because bramhan means limitless, therefore they say ayam AtmA bramha. Ayam AtmA means this self, for which no proof is necessary. It is aparoksha AtmA or immediate self. The AtmA or “I” which does not require any means of knowledge to determine whether it exists or not

The self effulgent I, the self evident I, is limitless brahman, and it survives the time. Time shines only after this I, the awareness. time comes and goes.

The concept of time goes on changing , my mind can get into different scales of time and that is why sometimes the time hangs on and sometimes flies away. You know the relative nature of time very well. When you stand talking to your beloved at the bus stop, buses go like this, one after the other. You do not bother at all

But then when you wait alone for the bus you find buses never seem to come

A great scientist said that if you want to know the relative nature of time, do one thing. Stand on a hot plate for one minute

Just for one minutte, that is enough. On a hot plate, remember. On that hot plate, stand for a minute with a stop watch in hand, you will understand why it is called a stop watch. It does not move at all! because down below is a hot plate. So remember, this is waht is meant by relative nature of time. Whn the same man is talking to his beloved, the time acquires wings as it were. This is the relative nature of time

The mind gets into different time scales and then it has got its own time chronological or subjective time. The chronological time is that which is involved in motion etc and the subjective time is that which is created subjectively by our own mind. Whatever be the time it shines after what? After I, te awareness, the limitless

Nothing can be away from the limitless and therefore the awareness itself, the “I” is not bound by time. It is not mortal. It has nether a beginning nor an end. Before the beginning of everything there must be an awarer. To say that an event began, there must be an awarer, an observer who should be there before even the event began

That an event began and ended means taht its prior non existence should be known to the observer and also the posterior non existence. The observer is always there before the beginning of the event and also after the event has ended. Therefore if awareness itself is considered to have a beginning and an end then there should be another awareness to observe the beginning of the event and also after the event has ended. Therefore if awareness itself is considered to have a begining and an end, then there should be another awareness to observe the beginning and end of awareness.

We are talking of that ultimate awareness, anyway, which is not subject to time, not subject to beginning or end. That which is beginningless- not subject to beginining and which is endless- not subject to end, i.e which existns at all time is called ‘sat’ in vedanta, and the awareness is called ‘chit’, thus awareness, cit, is beginingless and endless

Part 3 : THE SUBJECT AND THE OBJECT- the world- an object

Talks on “Who Am I” – Swami Dayananda

THE SUBJECT AND THE OBJECT- the world- an object

The enquiry starts like this: To begin with, we can reduce the whole creation to two factors; one, the subject “I” and the other the object “you”. These two are the only things and there is no third factor in the creation. Just think I am the subject and everything else is object of my knowledge. Similarly, the earth, trees, plants, flowers, branches, roots, men, women, children are all objects of my knowledge. So all the things that I know are objects of knowledge

That things that I do not know now, they also when I come to know, will be what? Objects of knowledge. We are told by shruti, by the vedAs, that there are 14 lokAs in the field of experiences. BhUh, buhvah, svah, mahah, janah, tapah, satya are the seven lokAs up, and atal, vital, sutal, rasAtala, talAtala, mahAtala, and pAtAla are the seven lokas below. These are the 14 lokas.

Suppose I go to these lokas, then every loka I visit is going to be what? Object or subject? “Object”. What we call hell- naraka, that also will be object only. If it is subject, I am naraka, everybody will be naraka ! Therefore everything including hell is an object of my knowledge. Heaven also is an object of my knowledge.

God too, an object?

Now suppose I happen to go to the heavens which is considered to be the abode of God or bhagavAn. Rows of very faithful devotees have been waiting there for long time and they all seem dejected. But now they all are given an opportunity to see God. They are sitting there. Somehow I have gone there out of interest and I sit somewhere in the ninth row in the back. And bhagavAn gives darshana. All right, I look at bhagavAn. All the devotees are quiet. There is pindrop silence because nobody talks. There is bhagavAn seated so I also cannot talk to anybody. Naturally all of us with our eyes upon God, look at God.

How long will I look at, this way? I am also looking at God. It is what? That thing is over. And now I have to go near Him and see Him closely. Just another view of God. That also I can do immediately. Then I want to go behind him also. Because when I am in front of Him I cannot see his Back. How does his back look? Does he look the same as others from the back? So I go behind and notice a person sitting there. Who is this fellow? My God? He is a great sinner. I know him well and I also know what all things he did

Somehow he must have managed to come to heaven right in the presence of God. I am unhappy because the God is seated there is an object. Since he is an object, he can go out of my mind and that has happened already, as another object has occupied my mind. Any object out of mind is out of sight. Out of sight is not necessarily out of mind, but definitely vice versa

Thus bhagavAn comes in my mind and goes. Therefore I am definitely better than God, because I am more powerful than God. I can dismiss God from my mind!

So understand well that this kind of God is not much different from my big uncle, who has got a number of industries, mills etc and feeds a number of people. Therefore like my big uncle, God is another might being, but not almighty. How can he be almighty when he is different from me?


I have got only a limited power, but that power is definitely mine, and not God’s. You also have got some power. Even an ant has got a little power. Therefore he is different from everything else. Thus God is another person, he is an object for me. He is just another mighty being, and so he becomes limited. We will talk about God later

Well, my concern at the moment is only to discuss with you the God whom we see as a person. It is one thing to invoke God in a particular form. We can invoke the Lord even in a milestone or in any other form: It depends upon how we look upon a symbol. But to accept that God is different from me is a different thing altogether. If he is different from me, he is an object, therefore heaven is an object and then anything that we see or experience in heaven is also an object. All of them will be objects alone and therefore there is only one subject, viz. I.

The sounds are many, the forms are many, the colours are many, the smells are many the scenes are many, the forms of touch are many, all of these are many. What i can perceive is many cells are many, atoms are many…. who is aware of all of these objects? the only awarer “I”. How many “I”s are there? There is only one “I”. If we think of another subject, what does the subeject become? ? The moment we think of another subject it becomes an object.

Therefore I am the subject and everything else is the object. Now you, the object may say that “swamiji, i look at you and you look at me so there are two subjects” but that is not true. Because when you are looking at me, what do you really look at? The physical body. You are looking at my physical body and similarly, I am also looking at your physical body only. That is how enquiry starts. We are looking at the physcal body only. We know only the physical body. So it is indeed an object of knowledge

I am not this body

As far as the objects other than my pohysical body are concerned, I have no confusion whatsoever. I may mistake one object for the other, but I do not commit the error of taking an object as the subject I. That type of mistake I do not commit at all. Does anyone commit?

My dear child and my dear wife and my dear house are the most beloved things. These are all very dear to me. But I do not say “I am the child” when the child is born, I am not born! I see the child, I do not become the child, nor do I commit the error of taking the child as myself. If I take the child as myself then when I feed te child I should be feeding myself too. Such confusion does not arise.

I know the child as the child and not as myself. Confusion of taking an object for myself does not happen. Therefore the whole world other than my physical body is kshetra, an object, which i refer to by the pronoun ‘this’. Therefore this tree, this plant, this sky, this star, this heaven… everythin can be referred to by the word “I”. I alone can be referred to by the word “I”. An object can never be referred to by the word “I”. It is always refer to by the word ‘this’.

Now I ask the question, “who are you?”
“I am the son of so and so”.
this means the son reveals the nature of “I”. If you are only the son of so and so, then you will always be the son and never a father. But you are a father too. Therefore are you the son or are you the father? You cannot call yourself the father without having a son. You are not a father to your father but you are father to your children. Therefore I am the son with reference to somebody and father with reference to somebody else.

So also I am uncle, cousin, neighbour etc, with reference to some friend, foe, etc, with reference to others. But with reference to myself, who am I? All the previous answers are related to the physical body. Therefore I can say, I am this physical body. That is all I can say

Why? Because in this physical body I have the “I” sese. In everything else, other than the physical body, I have ‘this’ sense. There is this cloth which is very close to my body but I do not have this “I” sense in it, I never say “I am the cloth”. I take it as ‘this’ cloth, ‘my’ cloth. I can say these are my clothes. The clothes are not me. Nobody has this confusion.
But hwen I touch your body then you do not feel your body is touched. Instead you feel you are being touched. I feel I am touched. Simple, where this body is walking somewhere, it is not that somebody else is walking, but then I am walking. If the body is tall, I am tall. If it is fair, I am fair, dark, I am dark. Fat, I am fat… If the body is here, I am here, it is not that body remains here and I walk away! So i do not keep the body, where the body is, there I am. Therefore when the body sleeps, I sleep. When the body stands, I stand. Wherever the body is, that I am; whatever the body does, that I do. So I am the physical body.
Therefore when the question is asked, ‘who are you’? the answer should be, I am the physical body.
Nothing else is me. When the body is healthy, I am healthy. When the body perishes, I perish. But this conclusion is a little too hasty. When I say I am tall, is it not because this body is tall? Do i know the tall body or not? If I do not, then how do I say I am tall? I know that it is the body that is tall. I know the tall body which is like even knowing the sky and the stars therein. When I see a tall tree, I do not say I am tall.
I do not take a tree for myself, because a tall tree is an object of knowledge. And similarly, this tall body is the object of knowledge. Without it being the object of knowledge, I would not know anything about it and since I know this body- tall, fat, short etc- naturally I am the knower of this body. On seeing a tall tree, I do not say I am tall, but seeing a tall body, I say I am tall. How do I say that? I commit an error because I do not know. That is ignorance.

If I know that I do not know, I better know it. I cannot accept confusion.

Ignorance is not a sin. Because no one chooses to be ignorant. Everybody is born ignorant. Therefore, that is one thing you need not work for; you need not join a university to pick up ignorance. Ignorance is something I am born with. When I am born, I am ignorant of everything including my mother tongue. I am ignorant of my father, mother, everything. Therefore I start with ignorance and then keep on shedding the ignorance
Hence this ignorance is not something unusual. What is unusual is that I draw conclusions without proper inquiry. I should not conclude without a proper inquiry
My physical body is as good an object of knowledge as any other physical body, in fact I know my body more intimiately than you do. That is the reason why I am able to say I have a back pain and I apply for leave. I know my pain very well. I know where the pain is. I know my physical body more intimiately than yours. “I” cannot be the object of my knowledge, but the body definitely is. Therefore I am different from the body. I can be tall, or s hort, or fat or lean with reference to somebody. This physical body is as good as an object of knowledge as any other object.
You can say “swamiji I am the sense organs with the help of which I see this body, I touch this body” and So i must be the sense organs. This conclusion is again not true. I cannot be the eyes because I very well know that the eyes are blind, the eyes are sharp, etc. Therefore since I know the eyes I am the knowler, I am the seer

Neither mind nor the intellect
And now I may conclude I am the mind- mind or thoughts coming from the mind. All conclusions take place in the mind alone and then this is also being the conclusion, naturally I should be the mind. And experientially, when the mind is restless, I am restless. WHen the mind is quiet, I am quiet. When mind is sorrowful, I am sorrowful. Angry, then I’m angry. Therefore mind and I are identical?

But how do I say I am restless when mind is restless? How can I make this statement? Well, I do not know, it is my experience.

Experience is not final, it is not knowledge and that is why experientially I know and still I do not know. Experientially I know but knowledge wise I do not know. What is this experience? Here is an expereince. One man came to see mee

“Swamiji I am restless, I want peace”

“You are not restless, you are silence. you ARE peace”, I told him

“swAmiji, I am restless”, the man said.

Although I see the fellow is restless I say
“you are all silence, you are fine”

swAmi (earlier he used swAmiji, now he uses only swAmi” swAmi, I am restless, I am telling you I am restless

“no, you are silence” I replied

and the man told me “I am not only restless but now also losing my temper, So I say again that I am restless, I am now also angry. Please do not go on with this, you are a swAmi, I do not want you to be the target of my anger. Please do not keep on repeating. I am restless and you do somthing about it”

“OK, I will tell you. How do you say you are angry?” I asked him

“because I know my mind”

“Do you know your mind?”

“Yes I know my mind, it is restless”

“if your mind is restless how can you say that “you” are restless”?

“why? Why should I not say?”

“suppose you see a tree, and because the tree is restless, do you say “I am restless?” ?

“No I do not say I am restless when the tree is restless”

“Then how can you say you are restless?”

Because I know the restless mind

“You know the restless mind and you know a restless tree, then you are no more the restless mind. How do you conclude “I am restless”? ”

“Well I do not know”

“That is better. That is a better statement than the previous one. You cannot make a statement that you are restless when all the time you know that the mind is restless.”

An unknown restless mind cannot make me restless. When it is unknown, I would not say “I am restless”, because I do not know anything about the restlessness of the mind. If I know the mind is restless, it is an object of knowledge and I cannot make the statement, “I am restless”. I am the witness of the restless mind. When I say I am restless, I am committing the mistake of taking an object for the subject. When the eye is blind and I say I am blind, I take the object viz the eye as the subject, I. When the body is tall and I say I am tall then again I am taking the object for the subject. This is what we call a mistake, an error; subject-object error, in which an object is taken for the subject.

Then if you say “I am memory” that also is not true. Because I am there to recollect the memory. Not that I have gone with the memory. I have collected them in the past and those are the memories I can recollect. That means I am the one who recollects. Before I recollected the memories, present I was to recollect the memories, to objectify the memories. I can just recollect exactly what I did at an earlier time; what I ate. I can make a list of all the items in lunch. Anyone can do it. Therefore I am the one who is aware of what had happened and naturelly therefore memories cannot be I. So to say that I am memory is not true.

Again to say that I am a doctor of mdicine, doctor of law, etc is also not true, because I am aware of that. I am aware of the knwoeldge of law. I am aware of the knwoledge of medicine. Therefore with reference to the knowlewdge of medicine I am a doctor of medicine or with reference to knowledge of law, I am a doctor of law. But I am not born a doctor nor born a lawyer,I am the one who has gatehed knwoledge. Infact I know what all I know

And you cannot also say
“swamiji now I know”.
“I am ignorance”
That is also a wrong conclusion. I cannot be ignorance, because I am kowledgeable. When I make a statement, “i am ignorant”, it means that I have at least the knowledge that I am ignorant. And therefore I cannot say that I am ignorance. I am knowledgeable with reference to what I do not know. I know what I do not know. THerefore I am neither knwoledgeable nor ignorant with reference to knowledge, knowledgeable. With reference to ignorance, ignorant
Therefore what am I? From one standpoint I am knowledgeable, from another stand point I am ignorant. Therefore I am not the one who is neither ignorant nor knowledgeable and therefore who is that “I” because of which I am aware of everything? I am aware of ignorance, aware of knowledge, aware of memory, aware of emotions, aware of sense organs, aware of hunger and thirst, aware of this physical body. I am the subject, I am the awarer.
Everybpody has to say “I am the awarer”. I am awarer, you are awarer, he is awarer, she is awarer. Even an ant has to say “I am awarer”. If I ask an ant, an ant is aware of the ant mind, ant body, etc. A mosquito is aware of mosquito mind, mosquito body, therefore every creature would say I am awarer. Every cub can say I am awarer, if I can make a cub speak
Now if all of us are awarers, where should the differences exist? Differences exist only in memory. Differences should exist in knowledge. Knowledge itself is not different, but you may not know what I know, I may not know what you know. Therefore ther eis a difference between actions, difference between knowledge, difference between areas of ignorance, difference between areas of knowledge, difference in sense organs, difference in the body and so on
But in awarer, is there a difference? Is there a difference between I the awarer and he the awarer and any other awarer? No, there is no difference between the body awarer and vice wise man awarer, the he awarer and the she awarer.

That is a question. How many awarers are there? Like a chil, each child is like another child. Is there any difference between two children? NO difference. There is no “variety” in chilren but there is a number. In sanskrit also we have nAnAvidham- nAnA is many in number and vidham is variety. If all the chairs are identifical in size, in colour, in material from which they are made well you can say many but not various. Similarly I am awarer, you are awrer, he is awarer, she is awarer, very bug everything is awarer. There is no variety in the awarers. One may say that there is no variety, but there is a number of awarers. Are there a number of awarers?