Greetings to you all. Last week we have seen the succession of steps which will spell our destruction. We will be continuing on the same idea for a while. Let us see how Jagad Guru Sri Sankaracharya has explained similar idea using a corollary of what is instructed by Veda Vyasa (see last post).
The following verse is from the famous 'Bhaja Govindam' by Sri Sankaracharya - Here, the Acharya explains the sequence of steps which will lead us to the 'Goal' - the state of permanent happiness. Bhaja Govindam is also known as 'Mohamudgaram' (Moham+ut+garam = that which dispels our Illusion). Please read the verse and listen to the audio file. The meaning follows.
निर्मोहत्वे निश्चल तत्त्वं
నిర్మోహత్వే నిశ్చల తత్త్వం
nirmohathvae nishchala thaththvam
Purport or Bhaava
Step 1 Attachment with the 'REAL' (Sat-Sangatwam) leads to detachment (Nis-Sangatwam) with the 'UNREAL'
Step 2 This detachment (with UNREAL) extinguishes the Illusion (Nir-Moha-twam)
Step 3 Devoid of the Illusion (false body ideation & ego) we attain the stability of mind (Nits-Chala-Tat -Twam)
Step 4 This stability of mind and focus on the inner - Self Supreme (Nits-Chal -Tat -Twam) results in understanding firmly that every one of us is a form of the Almighty and that we are all equally created. This results in the ultimate happiness here itself, while we are alive (Jeevan Mukti), because we no more divide ourselves on any basis like caste, creed, gender, colour, wealth and so on. Then, all the evils of in fighting and inner fighting, we are rid of. Isn't it the happiness par supreme !!
We have to clearly reflect on the deeper purport of the word 'SAT' and A-SAT here.
Normally, we all understand the meaning of 'Sat-Sangatwam’ as association with good and godly natured people or engaging ourselves in recitals, rituals and chants etc. True, may be these are essential stepping stones to calm our mind and help us reach the ‘Goal’ of Happiness. In fact, nine types of means are prescribed in the Bhagavatam by Veda Vyasa (see 7th canto – verse 47 and 48) to attain to the final Goal. These means are only the means but are not the end (goal) by themselves. We are always confused and interchange these means for the Goal and get more preoccupied and become anxious about the means and lose sight of the real Goal. We have been strongly warned about this in Srimad Bhagavad Geeta itself (chapter 2, verses 42-44 and chapter 17, verse 6)
When we look at the commentaries and analysis on Bhaja Govaindam, we are given to understand the word ‘Sat’ means - the REAL. The concept of the REAL is elucidated in Viveka Choodamani by Sri Sankaracharya – REAL perception is the understanding that every creature is a reflection of God and we are all equal. The body-centric ideation and ego with all the associated divisions in our mind is the A-SAT (unreal) to which we all cling.
So, the Staircase for our ascent to the ultimate Happiness is in our clear understanding of the SAT and A-SAT and developing intense attachment with the SAT and equally strong detachment with the A-SAT - The 'Satsangatwae Nissangatwam'. Step by step - this leads to Jeevan Mukti.
Bye till next week, Best wishes to all,