Updated: November 3, 2023
Hello, my friends, after some reflection and also some reluctance I have decided to share my insights on the Brahma Sutras with you. Why the reluctance? Well, the reluctance comes primarily from my past experience that when I work have offered a fresh or new or original interpretation of either either spirituality or now, you know, science, quantum mechanics and the quantum mechanical body and quantum healing. Whenever I've done that, I have invited the criticism, the vilification, the condescension, the ridicule of mainstream scientists on the one hand and mainstream philosophers and actually mainstream spiritual people at the same time. Nevertheless, I decided I would not be true to myself if I did not share my own insights from my own experience and my own reflections and my own sadhana and my own practice. Of course, I look at all the classic texts and choose selectively which ones to use.
In the case of Bhrama Sutras I'm going to basically rely on people who are experts but who also are very classical. So in the Brahma Sutras, which I'm going to share with you. I'm going to be looking up the text from Adi Shankara, from people from the Ramakrishna mission, the Vedanta society, one particular Swami et cetera, et cetera. But do know that what I share with you is not necessarily consistent with the mainstream commentaries or even the original, I read a sutra and then I connect with my archetypal mentors or higher Self or whatever and then whatever, Śruti and Smriti, I experience, I share. So Śruti means that which is heard as revelation in nonlocal awareness and Smriti means that which is remembered, which is actually the basis of all the openings as well.
So I'm sharing my own Śruti and Smriti, but riding on the shoulders of giants as well, if this is agreeable to you, then I will continue. I'll wait for your feedback. Let me know if this is useful and you know, there are so many and if they continue to be useful, then I'll share them with you. And at any time, I feel that they're not having any beneficial effect to you based on your feedback, we can stop. So a little bit about the Brahma Sutras, they're also known as the Vedanta Sutras. And they are the foundational text in the Vedanta tradition. Vedanta deals with the culmination of all vedic knowledge. anta means end anta also means the blissful eternal. But in this case, the culmination and these Vedanta Sutras consist of about 555 short aphorisms or Sutras.
So if you all go all the way, it'll be a interesting and and you know, prolonged journey, but it could be fun. And these are the essential teachings of the Upanishads. They are also found in the Bhagvad Gita. They are also found in many other important Sutras. Of course, Adi Sankara the great reformer is very well known for having done an extensive examination of the Brahma Sutras. The Brahma Sutras are divided into four chapters. Each of which contains a series that explores different types or different aspects or different perspectives of what we might call the vita philosophy.
The Vedanta philosophy is fundamentally non dual with qualified dualism in sankhya but sankhya is not Vedanta. Nevertheless, there is some correlation and of course, you know, depending on the commentators, you will find different perspectives. The first chapter of the Vedanta Sutra is, is known as samavaya, and it discusses the central theme of which is the identity of the individual self. Jiva, what we might call the soul with the supreme self, Brahma Brahman with Atman and Brahman being actually more or less the same Atman is Brahman. So Atman is the unconditioned self and Jiva the soul is the conditioned self based on Karma, memory, desire, et cetera. So the first chapter presents arguments and evidence from various scriptures to establish the identity of Jiva as one with Brahman And it also refutes alternative views. We're not going to get into the discussions. I will just use the Sutras as a trigger for our journey together on Revelation and Awakening. The second chapter is also known as chapter discusses the compatibility of different scriptures and teachings within and resolves apparent contradictions between them.
It emphasizes the importance of a coherent and consistent, consistent understanding of Vedanta with an as non dual experience and non dual philosophy. Again, I will not be going much into the discussions on this except sharing what I feel are revelations and awakenings that I think will be practical. And the third chapter which is actually more interesting to me known as Sadhana, discusses the means of obtaining liberation or Moksha. Moksha means freedom from suffering through spiritual practices such as meditation inquiry. the experience of supreme love or devotion. It explores the role of karma and knowledge, Jnan yoga, Jnan yoga, which is the yoga of the intellect to correct the mistakes of the intellect. So it explores all these techniques in spiritual practice and provides guidance on how to cultivate the necessary qualities of the mind and the heart. And the fourth chapter known as Phala Phala chapter Phala chapter. Phala means fruit. Discusses the results of attaining liberation, including the attainment of ultimate reality.
Brahman, freedom from suffering and the realization of one's true nature as the supreme self. So overall, these Brahma Sutras provide very comprehensive and systematic explanation and discussion and exposition of that which has been a passion of mine for now several decades. And of course, these trials have been widely studied and commentated by many practitioners and experts. And so don't feel that my commentary is in any way authoritative. But we are going to start a journey together now on one of the most comprehensive and important texts in Vedanta and I hope that this experience will be an inspiration to you on your spiritual path.
So let's begin with the first sutra and I will just read it as as originally expressed in Sanskrit, Hindi अथातो ब्रह्माजिज्ञासा
athāto brahmājijñāsā अथातो ब्रह्माजिज्ञासा
athāto brahmājijñāsā best I can do here as I read my Sanskrit and it begins with direct translation as follows. Now, the inquiry into the real nature of Brahman begins. Now, I'm reading a little bit from Swami Vireswarananda. He says, now, after the attainment of the requisite spiritual qualities, therefore, the result of the knowledge of Brahman, which is eternal, the inquiry into the real nature of Brahman, which is beset with doubts owing to conflicting views of various schools of philosophy should be taken up.
OK. So let's leave it at that the original text, but let's explore what the inquiry will be starting with this first sutra. So if Brahman, which is best translated as universal consciousness, is the ultimate reality, then and, and we are an aspect of Brahman, you and I as awareness as, as soul, as fundamental reality. Then the inquiry and the experience of Brahman should lead us not only to freedom but pure knowledge.
Pure knowledge means that which is the source of all knowledge. So here I will express something from the original which has been repeated many times in many commentaries. And that is know that one thing by knowing which everything is known, know that one entity by knowing which everything is known. And what is that? That's the source of all experience. If you know that one thing which is the source of all experience, then you will know all things. But this has to be both through experience and knowledge. As I've said before, experience without knowledge is confusing and knowledge without experience is also useless, irrelevant. So let us begin our journey. And what the teachers of Vedanta is that in order to start this journey, there are certain prerequisites. OK.
So the first is discernment with things that are permanent discernment between things that are permanent and transient. So this experience you're having right now is transient. The experience of the body that you're having is transient. Everything you experience in the mind is transient thoughts, feelings, emotions, images, sensations, there is no experience that is not transient, but the source of all experience is eternal and timeless. So any time we do inquiry, ask, am I exploring the transient or am I exploring the eternal? The second prerequisite is detachment from the outcome of inquiry and even the outcome of our exploration. Because when you focus on the outcome, then it takes away from the process. So detachment from the outcome and totally focused on the process, the, as they call it the practiced and then actually focusing on these six treasures as they are called for our exploration, the six treasures.
So what are these six treasures? Again, if you read the classical text, you'll find maybe interpretations different from what I'm sharing with you. But here is what I want to share. The six treasures are as follows. Number one, the selective use of a sensory apparatus, whatever we focus on will become more dominant, whatever we take our attention away from will recede. So experience can be selectively chosen by putting attention to a sensory apparatus and focusing on what is the outcome we desire. But at the same time being in the process, so let's say the first treasure is selective use of our senses. The second. And since this is a journey, patience, do not be restless for results. Immediately, patience means enjoy the journey, make the journey, your destination, make the journey your destination.
The third treasure is daily practice daily, sadhana. In my case, by the way, that includes everything I've been speaking about eight limbs of yoga, meditation inquiry, actually even journeys into astral domains which we can get into in time. But the third treasure is daily practice. The fourth is what I call surrender to mystery Surrender to the incomprehensible. We may not be able to understand it, but we may actually dive into it and become one with it. And to the extent that we dive into the knowledge, directly we become that knowledge. So I would say surrender, the last and the last what do you call it? surrender to mystery number five, I would say faith and not belief. So belief can be an idea that you hold to be true, whether it's true or not. But faith is something very different. Faith is the certainty, true experience of the invisible without which there is no invisible.
OK? What is that, that which is speaking right now is invisible. OK? But it is speaking through this apparatus which is visible but that, which is speaking and that, which is hearing right now or watching you are also invisible. But you know, you're using a user interface that is your body mind and also an extension of that. In this case, your computer, your handheld device or whatever. But this is what faith is. Faith is the direct knowing of the invisible without which the visible is not possible. And the sixth treasure here today is the deep desire for freedom, deep desire for freedom. So having heard what I just share it with you. Let me know. Are you ready, are you ready to explore the Brahma Sutras?.