Swami Veda Bharati holds the prestigious title of Mahamandaleshwara in the Swami order of monks. He is also the Chancellor of HIHT University, Dehradun, which was established by Master Swami Rama. He has authored approximately 18 books on Indian spirituality including a 1500 page comprehensive commentary on two of the four chapters of Patanjali’s Yoga-sutras. Before taking the vows of Swamihood in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya.
We have made our mind a place of noise. Whenever we do something that is not natural to us, we are unhappy. When we are unhappy we should know that the unhappiness is a symptom of something we are doing that is not natural to us. Therefore, whenever we are unhappy we should dive into ourselves and discover, search and find, what is natural to us; what is not in our temporary nature. That which is not nature, which is habit. We must learn to distinguish between our nature and our artificially cultivated and formed habits.
Our true nature is beyond those habits. That we like something is a habit. That we dislike something is a habit. Habits change. Same things we liked once, we begin to dislike later. Something we dislike at first, we begin to like later. That shows that we are capable of changing our habits and we change our habits all the time.
I pause so that you can think over it, contemplate and look at yourself in the light of what I have said.
What I am referring to as our nature is something far below our habits, our habit-forming patterns. Not of the samskaras, the imprints we gathered from many lifetimes and this life.
Often when we make a statement and say, “This is the way I am,” whether we say it to others or we say it to ourselves, we reinforce thereby what we think we are. Actually. in those instances what we are referring to is not our nature but our conscious and unconscious habits. Our likes, dislikes, preferences, attractions, aversions, fear about something, anxiety about something, intense desire for some things. These are all mental habit patterns we have formed.
These are temporary. Some of these may last us a lifetime but they are still temporary. We may change them, we may not change them. They are still temporary.
When I refer to nature, I refer to that which is an intrinsic part of our being; which is perennial, eternal, from beginning-less times to endless times. That nature, being intrinsic, is not alterable. It is not mutable. It is forever that; it is our very being.
The meditator meditates to dive through the surface habits, to the depth where our nature, our Svabhava and Svarupa lie hidden.
In our philosophy we use these two words frequently. Svabhava – our own being. Our own intrinsic permanence of nature. Our own aspect that is not of learnt behavior. It simply “Is” and through that I simply “Am.” Svabhava, one's own very being which is the word we use in our philosophy for nature. Our nature. The perennial nature which is ever sacred, satvic, serene, of true silence.
The other word which is often used in our philosophy is Svarupa. The word rupa means form, configuration. Form - like that of a body; configuration – like that of a face.
But we are also told that the consciousness principle - Purusha, Atman, the Self - that some prefer to translate as the very soul of our being, is arupa – formless. Then how can this arupa being formless, in the same philosophy, have a Svarupa, its own form? Here we are taught in the philosophy, that therefore Atman, the spiritual self, being Arupa, formless, is a Svarupa, its own form.
In Vedanta, they speak of Brahman, the Absolute Reality as:
Sat - total, pure, perennial, eternal, absolute existence, being;
Chit – Consciousness, which has no antonym, no opposite in the Unconscious because it is total, pure, absolute, eternal, complete in itself, perfect;
Ananda – joy, bliss, which is not part of the duality of pain and pleasure, not a pleasure for which an opposite pain exists, but total, pure, the absolute, eternal.
Sat, Chit, Ananda.
So the great Shankaracharya asked a question. "We are repeatedly told that Brahman, the transcendent absolute, is Nirguna, beyond conditions, beyond qualities, beyond attributes. That being the case, are you not imposing the concept of attributes - Sat, Chit, Ananda, upon Brahman, the transcendent absolute?"
The answer given is that these are not conditions, qualities, attributes, gunas, being imposed upon the nirguna – Brahman. These are the very Svabhava and Svarupa of Brahman. The very being, the very nature, what you would call the very form, the very existence that is the nature of Brahman, Atman.
This ever-pure Nityashuddha; ever-wise, ever-enlightened Nityabuddha; ever-free, ever-liberated Nityamukta; ever-pure, ever-free, ever-wise and enlightened, ever-liberated, by nature – Svabhava.
Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Svabhava.
Such a one becomes Jivatman, giving life to buddhi, mind, prana, and physical body. We begin to attribute the gunas, the qualities, conditions, attributes of the physical body, of prana, mind and Buddhi; we begin to attribute their conditions, qualities, attributes - to this Atman - becomes Jivatman, our individuated soul. But it never truly loses its nature.
Whatever we think we are at the moment and whatever terms we identify ourselves to the identification principle, Ahamkara. That kind of “we” lost in the maze, the tangled vines of the jungle of conditions of qualities, of attributes, of non-perennial temporary time-bound, space-bound, causation-enslaved habit patterns. This kind of “we." Learn to dive into the depths of our true nature.
We call that meditation. We call that practicing stillness. We call that the practice of silence.
Through the interstices, in the tangles of our noises, we sometimes enter moments of silence. For that silence we sleep but in that sleep you are not aware of that silence. That silence which is not an emptiness, not an absence of noise alone but a stream of the serene silence that is a completeness, a fullness of Sat, Chit, Ananda; our very Svabhava and Svarupa.
Sat, chit, ananda – their plenitude, bhumau; their fullness, completeness, purnatwam. Total and perennial self-pacification – Shamau – expressed by the bija mantra, seed mantra – Om Sham. We learn to dive into that sea of silence that is our nature - Svabhava, Svarupa.
It is not of forming a new habit pattern. It is of eliminating, erasing, deleting, the time-bound, the space-bound; the time-bound, the space-bound, the causation-enslaved habit patterns. For someone who has rediscovered, who has re-dis-covered his once atman’s nitya, shuddha, buddha, mukta, svabhava; who has reawakened, re-awakened to his once Atman’s sat, chit, ananda’s, Svarupa. He thereby knows that the ever-disturbing noises of the surface mind, are not his own. They are of the superimpositions of what is our non-nature. Knowing this he dwells ever in silence, even while teaching, singing, dancing, letting the senses do their duties. But he remains a non-doer, an absolutely still point in the centre of all riotous commotions.
When you will walk the world with this awareness of your Svabhava and Svarupa, these habit patterns, these noises of the mind, these riotous commotions around you, will no longer be your masters. They will become your instruments, wield your servants to command. And you - the transcendent, the absolute.
Go into that silence for now.
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