The twenty three chapters of the eleventh skandha of “Srimad Bhagawatham” from the 7th chapter to the 29th, are popularly known as “Uddhava Gita.”
It is not the aim of religion to raise the economic standards or to achieve scientific advancement. It is the aim of religion to bring of mind to the individual subjectively.
Hindu philosophy contained in the Upanishads discusses the eternal verities in the life of man and comes to the conclusion (Mana Eva Manushyanam Karanam Bandha Mokshayo) that the mind of man is the cause for all his sufferings and that the remedy to get out of sufferings is to annihilate that mind.
Bhagawan Srikrishna had given to Arjuna in the battle field, Srimad Bhagawad Gita which is the quintessence of the Upanishads. Bhagawan Gita which is the quintessence of the Upanishads. Bhagawan again gives the same to Uddhava just before he leaves the world and concludes by the advice “without any shame, prostrate like a log of wood on the ground in front of the dog, paraya, cow or donkey”.
Uddhava Gita contains, in additions to various disciplines (yogas) for self-realization given in the Bhagawad Gita, the supreme yoga of Nadanusandhana to concentrate the mind- it also discusses the duties of various asramas or stages in the life of man.
I feel that to the ordinary man, Uddhava Gita is more welcome as the terse philosophical language is made simpler and greater stress is made on the path of devotion.
The Jeevatma gets a human body and mind, after having been embodied in eighty four lakhs of inferior births. Prior to the Jeevatma acquiring this body, he had undergone births and deaths and births and deaths, as trees, insects, worms, beasts and assumed many other bodies like those of bugs and buffaloes and bees and beetles. At long last, by the grace of GOD, he came to acquire a human body. To acquire a human body again after death, he has to undergo another long cycle of births and deaths through various unpleasant vicissitudes. Thus, our life as a human being, is preceded by and succeeded by, many years of innumerable other lives.
The main purpose of this rare and precious life as a human being, should be to know, who we are and to realise the Self and thereby, cut off all sorrows at one stroke. This is not possible in any other life, because, among all creatures, man alone has the wonderful equipment of the intellect with its great potentiality developed to the highest.
The profound thinkers of India, the ancient Rishis, in olden days, sat in the calm solitude of lonely jungles and controlling the outgoing sense organs and mind, contemplated for long, on how to get total relief from all miseries and sorrows. They formulated different methods which culminated in the six schools of Indian thought, the Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Samkhya. Yoga , Poorva Meemamsa and Uttara Meemamsa. Each was good and correct as far as it went. But, the Uttara Meemamsa, also known as the Vedanta, which occurs at the end of the Vedas, reached the pinnacle. The Vedanta consists of Upanishads. Hundred and eight of them are well known; ten of them called major Upanishads and the rest, minor Upanishads. Vedanta is so called, because it is the end of all knowledge (Veda to know. Antha the end). The study of Vedanta gives us the knowledge of THAT, by knowing which, nothing else remains to be known. That is the Ultimate Reality called by various names such as the Self, Atman, Brahman, Paramatman, Parabrahman, Bhagawan and so on. Vedanta therefore, is the Science which enables us to know the Self and like any other Science which enables us to know the Self and like any other Science, a theoretical study must be followed by practical sadhana or anushtana. The theoretical study of it, will take us to lofty elevations. To remain at these dizzy heights, constant and unceasing Anushtana must be practiced. The Herculean efforts put in, to master the subject and the ability to talk Vedanta with meticulous precision and the skill displayed in clearing perplexing doubts and the zeal with which others are taught this science, are all of no avail, unless it is substantiated by devoted practice.
It has already been said that total cessation of all miseries, is possible only when we know the Self. “Tham eva viditwa, Amruthatwam Eti.” The Self is called “the Atma” because it permeates everything and is called “the Brahman” because it is the greatest. Atma is spoken of as the Jeevatma and the Paramatma. Jeevatma denotes the individual Self and Paramatma denotes the Cosmic Self. The Jeevatma is small in every respect. The knowledge of the Jeevatma is extremely limited by time, space and matter. The knowledge of the Paramatma is unlimited. The Jeevatma is a miserable creature a pendulum betwixt a tear and a smile, elated at every small gain and dejected at every small loss. He is unable to bear the inclemencies of the weather and the strokes of adverse fortune. The Paramatma carries on the mighty actions, of creation, preservation and destruction of the huge Cosmos, consisting of innumerable Universes, separated by innumerable light years, by employing his power called MAYA which is under His control. Paramatma is the master and Maya is his servant. The Jeevatma Paramatma is the master and Maya is his servant. The Jeevatma is oppressed by his Maya and under its control, is constantly moving about in the three states of the mind-waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna) and dreamless sleep (sushupti) and is subject to the dual experiences of joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure.
The Paramatma is beyond all joys and sorrows. Thus there is apparently a vast different between the petty Jeevatma and the mighty Paramatma. Yet, Vedanta proclaims that the Jeevatma and the Paramatma are identically the same and that there is not the least difference between them and that the Atma is ONE only and is ever immutable and the unchanging substratum for all visible and invisible changes in the manifested world of multiplicity.
When we acquire this knowledge, that the Jeevtma and the Paramatma are one and the same, we will be freed from all miseries and pains. By the word “Knowledge”, we do not mean an intellectual conviction or the ability to repeat like a parrot or a gramophone box, but the actual experience which cannot be expressed in terms of words. Vedanta says that only by knowing the Self, there will be liberation from misery. Paradoxically enough, the same Vedanta says the Self cannot be expressed in terms of words nor can be thought of by the mind. “Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe apprapya manasa saha” If the self must be known and if it cannot be known by any of the equipments we possess, there is a contradiction. This apparent contradiction exists for us now and will continue to exist for a long time till we realise the Self. The contradiction will dissolve itself when we realise the self. To know anything, our highest equipment is the mind and mind only. The word “darsan” meaning to see or to know the Self, does not mean seeing the Self as I see an external object like a tree, by the aid of sunlight When I see a tree, I am the seeing subject, the tree is the seen object and the connecting action is seeing. Thus, for every experience in the world, there must be three factors, the experience, the experienced and the experiencing. In knowing the Self, all the three factors are absent. In this unique experience of the realized man, the subject and the object are one and the same. The Jeevatma who once thought, that he was searching for a Paramatma who is different from him, will have the undifferentiated experience that he himself is the Paramatma sought after, when he was under the delusion of Maya. The realized man himself cannot express his unique experience in words, because his mind of Vasanas is altogether dissolved at that stage. In that case, is Self-realisation as propagated by the divine incarnations and the rishis, an impossibility? We must have faith in their words. Yes, faith. And faith is blind and beyond reasoning. If with faith, we proceed, we shall realize the Self. The mind is the most important organ in the jeevatma and is discussed below.
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