Garland of Vedanta
Sri Swami Sivananda
Message from the book Lectures on Yoga and Vedanta.
A Vedantin says, ‘Nothing is mine and everything is mine’. As the world is a mere appearance he is quite right in saying, ‘nothing is mine.’ As he has realised the Self, as the world has no independent existence apart from Brahman or the Self, he says, ‘everything is mine.’ He has controlled the organ of smell and Prithvi Tattva (Earth element) and so all objects of smell and sense belong to him. He has controlled the palate or tongue and the Apas Tattva (Water element) and so all objects of taste, fruits and other dainties belong to him. He has controlled the organ of sight or eye and Agni Tattva (Fire element) and so all objects of sight and beauties and gardens belong to him. He has controlled the organ of touch and Vayu Tattva (Wind element) and so all objects of touch belong to him. He has controlled the organ of hearing and the Akasa Tattva (Ether element) and so all the sounds and music belong to him.
Identification with the body (Deha Adhyasa) brings pain. When one attains knowledge of the Self, he will experience no pain although there is some disease in the body. He is above body consciousness. A highly developed Hatha Yogi only, who has control over the atoms and Kaya Siddhi, can keep his body without ailment. Rise above body and always identify yourself with the painless, diseaseless Atman. You will be free from pain. When you are in deep sleep there is no pain even if you are suffering from any disease. When you are under chloroform there is no pain even if the leg is amputated. It is the linking of the mind with the body that causes pain. If the mind is taken away from the body consciously and fixed on all-blissful Self through constant meditation you will have no pain even if the body is subject to any kind of ailments. This is Jnana Yoga Sadhana. Prarabdha has to be worked out. Therefore the body will be subject to diseases. The Jivanmukta will not experience any pain. The onlookers may wrongly imagine that the sage is also suffering. It is a serious mistake. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had cancer in the throat. Buddha had chronic dysentery. Sankara had piles. But they experienced no pain. When doctors asked Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: “Why do you suffer like this? Can you not undergo the operation”? He replied, “I have given my mind to Mother Kali. How can I think of my body? How can I bring my mind back to the cage of flesh? I am always in bliss.”
If you are deluded by a mirage for some time, you will not be affected by it again when you come to know that it is a mirage only but not water. Even so the world will appear for a Jivanmukta but he knows that it is unreal. He will not be attracted a bit by the objects. It is no more the world of sorrow for him. He knows fully well that it is mere appearance owing to the play of Maya.
The will of a Jivanmukta becomes one with they cosmic will. He experiences the bliss of cosmic consciousness. He feels that all ears are his ears, all eyes are his eyes, all mouths are his mouths, all tongues are his tongues, all hands are his hands, all legs are his legs, all minds are his minds. This will be a magnanimous experience indeed. Words will fail to describe adequately the grandeur of this experience. Realise this experience and be free.
O man! In essence thou art the blessed divinity. Thou art the immortal blissful Self. Why are you attracted towards the physical beauty, the beauty of landscapes and flowers when you are yourself the Beauty of beauties, the fountain-source of all beauties? Why do you admire the sun, moon, stars and lightning, when you are yourself the Sun of suns, the Light of lights? Why do you say ‘I am 40 years of age’, ‘I am at death’s door’, ‘Time has passed away’, when you are yourself the Eternity? Why do you say ‘I am fat’, ‘I am 5 feet 6 inches’, when you are the Infinite? Why do you say ‘I have no money’, ‘I am very poor’, ‘I am penniless’, when you are the Emperor of the three worlds, the source of all wealth? Why do you say ‘I am helpless’, ‘I am your most obedient servant’, when you are the Director and Governor of the whole world? Why do you say, ‘I am miserable’, ‘I am restless’, when you are the embodiment of Bliss and Peace? Why are you afraid of death or Lord Yama, when you are Existence Absolute? Why do you say ‘I am unwell’, ‘I am suffering from a chronic disease’, when you are all-health? Why do you say ‘I am ignorant’, ‘I know nothing’, when you are Knowledge Absolute? Realise the mysterious Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman through purification, concentration, meditation and identification. Rejoice in this wonderful Self and be free. Tat Tvam Asi–Thou art That, O dear Satyakama bold.