The Joy Of Tranquillity

By Rudra Shivananda

sunrise-phu-quoc-island-ocean.jpgIt is required of the yogic classics to point out the goal of the spiritual discipline, explain the method of practice and the observable result. These three parts usually take up most of the text.

The same three parts are given completely in just one famous verse of the Ishavasya Upanishad which has been quoted ever since by saints and sages for over two thousand years:

For one who constantly sees
everywhere all existence in the Self,
And the Self in all beings and forms,
Such a one can feel no hatred for anything.
Verse 6

The goal that is described in this verse is the achievement of Self-Realization and an observable result is the absence of hatred for any “other”. The seer has correctly diagnosed the disease as the mental concept of repulsion, dislike, fear and hatred for things in a universe that is comprehended as a multiplicity and plurality of beings similar separate to oneself. There arises in the mind an individual and personal opposition to other beings and objects around us. Such a mind is constantly in stress and overcome with feelings of unhappiness. The mind wavers between the twin blades of repulsion and attraction.

When the mind no longer apprehends the “other” in reality, when the person of wisdom has experienced and realized the Oneness of the Self, then the hatred disappears from the mind. Such a mind becomes tranquil and profound joy arises. As the experience of Oneness becomes more and more established, the tranquility and joy becomes more and more permanent.

The meditation given for achieving this mental tranquility and joy is two-fold.

First, one must practice seeing the Self, the Atman, pervading all existence – animate subjects and inanimate objects. The neighbor who said hello to you this morning, the cat that made a mess on your driveway, the dog that you just walked, the stone that hurt your toe, the air that you breathe, the mosquito that bit you, the bacteria all around and so on, and so on. The Self is everywhere in this country, and all the countries of earth, in the Sun and planets of our solar system, in the solar systems of our milky way galaxy, in the galaxies of our galactic cluster and so on throughout the universe. This is expressed succinctly by the later seers as, “THAT I AM.”

As one becomes established in the first mode of apprehension, one moves into the second phase of realization, when one sees One’s Self in all beings and forms everywhere. One then experiences that “I” am the neighbor, the drunken driver who smashed into the lamppost outside my house, the tiger in the zoo, the giant redwood and so on and so on. This can best be expressed if that is at all possible as, “I AM THAT.”

In one verse, our seer has summed up the work of a life-time, if not for many life-times. Even repeating this verse in its original Sanskrit is considered to bring one closer to the goal, such is its power and lofty vision.

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