Sense-Control by Swami Krishnananda

Baba Times Digest© | 4 April 2014 17:14 EST | New York Edition


Divine Life Society Publication: - Essays on the Upanishad - Kathopanishad by Sri Swami Krishnananda

“Meditation is the way to perfection, knowledge, power and bliss”

 The Subject and the Object

The senses are always projected outward to their respective objects. Therefore, no individual has consciousness of the Self. By aspiring for immortality and turning the consciousness to itself within, the Atman is beheld. It is not possible to have at the same time the consciousness of both the subject and the object. The subject can know itself only when it does not know the object. When the object is known fully, the subject is entirely forgotten. Because true bliss is found in the subject alone, this bliss is, never experienced as long as the subject is not known, i.e., as long as there is consciousness of an object. The whole universe is not an object of the Subject that is Consciousness. Self-realization, therefore, is the absorption of the consciousness, of objectivity into Simple Consciousness not infected by thought or affected by any object. The doors of the senses and the intellect have to be closed if the light is to be beheld within. The light of the Self is dissipated ordinarily because of external consciousness. These rays of consciousness should be collected and centered in one thought or one idea of one nature. This practice puts an end to external awareness and makes the mind break its boundaries and expand itself beyond the limitations of causation. Further, when concentration is practiced, all rajas is put an end to, and there is the revelation of sattva through which the bliss of Truth is reflected. Bliss always comes after knowledge, and knowledge is always accompanied by power. This means that meditation is the way to perfect, knowledge, power and bliss, which know no decay.

Sense-knowledge and Self-knowledge

Since it is evident that worldly consciousness and Divine Consciousness do not co-exist, it is also clear that sensuality is the opposite of Self-knowledge. Sense knowledge is natural to the individual, whereas Self-knowledge is extra-ordinary. This is the reason why everyone is by force made to experience the Anatman or something objective. They are children who follow the course of the objects of the senses. They fall into the widespread net of destruction. Those who have consciousness of the Immortal do not ever seek it among things impermanent. Since all desires are connected with their respective objects and not with the entire existence, it is not possible for one who desires, to escape death. Death is the process of the extension of one’s consciousness by casting off the obstructing factors, viz., limited experiences. The spiritual heroes do not find Reality among shadows, because the Infinite Subject, viz., the Atman, never becomes an object of itself. This Self does neither increase by good action nor decrease by bad action. Its glory is eternal, because it is independent of all externals. The wise ones, therefore, have no desire for anything at all, for they do not find anything as valuable as their own essential consciousness. They experience every objective condition as an intense opposition to what is absolutely Real, and cast it off as pain. In short, absorption into the Self is the same as absence of sense-experience and the negation of thought in pure awareness.

Self is absolutely Perfect

The Self has the knowledge of every kind of existence. This knowledge, however, is not the pain-giving temporary knowledge acquired through contact, but the knowledge of every fiber of being, in essence. Every constituent of existence is known by it in the most perfect manner, because all these constituents are parts of itself alone. Its knowledge is knowledge of itself, and is not separative knowledge that is possible only in terms of space, time and causation. Hence the Self is omniscient and, therefore, absolutely perfect.

Experiences and Desires

Whatever is here is there, and whatever is there is here. He goes from death to death, who perceives diversity here. The substance of immediate existence is the same as that of remote existence. Persons move from place to place in search of things, because of the ignorance of the fact that everything can be found everywhere. The different forms of experience do not mean that they are really different. These differences belong to the cognitive organs or the modes of knowledge, and not to the objects of knowledge.

The whole universe of creation is a gradual unfoldment of one substance alone. Through meditation on this Reality of oneness of substance, it is possible for one to actualize or make manifest anything, at any place, in any form. Truly, there is no diversity here. Those who perceive diversity due to the defects of the inner organs experience birth and death, as they have to conform to what they believe in. What one intensely believes in, that one experiences, because every belief pertains to an aspect of reality. But because individual beliefs are partial, the experiences corresponding to these, too, are partial. This is the reason, why desirers or perceivers of quality and multiplicity do not have absolute experience, but are caught in the meshes of the effects of their own desires. Meditation should, therefore, be practiced in the form of the affirmation of the divisionless being which is full, and which includes everything. This is the same as meditation on one’s own Self.

The Absolute Self as One whole being

Even as water that is dropped by rain on the top of a mountain runs here and there, and is wasted, one who perceives manifoldness and follows different paths runs to waste with them. But, even as pure water poured into pure water becomes pure water alone, the sage who knows the Self as one whole being becomes the whole being itself, without dissipating his energy. Whenever there is thought of something, at once energy is sent, to that thing, whereby the energy is spent out. Weakness and distraction are caused by spending out energy in contemplation of external objects and states. But, true withdrawal of thinking of externals means complete conservation of energy and the dissolution of itself in Self-consciousness. The mind should not be allowed to follow diverse methods of practice, as, thereby, it distracts itself and attains nothing substantially. But, when it follows one method of practice, concerned with one goal, and concentrates itself completely on this goal, it integrates itself and becomes identical with the Absolute.

The Atman - The Self of all

A person does not live by prana or apana, but he lives by something on which prana and apana, also, depend. A person lives by the conscious Spirit within. The pranas move the senses, because they themselves are moved by the internal consciousness. This means that all life belongs to the Atman, and all values also belong to it. Even as fire which has got only one form appears in form corresponding to the media through which it burns, this Atman, which is one, appears in form corresponding to the form through which it manifests. Even as the sun who is the eye of all is not sullied by the defects of the eye, the one Atman, the Self of all, is not sullied by the defects of the world, because it is transcendental and unconnected with objective experiences. The Atman, the controller of all, the Self of all, is really the essence of all the diverse forms of existence. Happiness belongs to those who realize the Self within themselves, not to anybody else, who is busy with the externals. The peace belonging to those is eternal, who realize the Self within, the eternal among all impermanent beings, the one consciousness beyond all ordinary consciousness, and the one goal of all aspirations and desires. Peace does not belong to anyone else. The sun does not shine there, nor the moon and the stars; these lightnings, too do not shine; what to speak of this fire! Everything shines after Him who shines. This whole universe is illuminated by His Light. 

Excerpts from:

Sense-Control - Essays on the Upanishad - Kathopanishad by Sri Swami Krishnananda

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