The Supreme Reality


Sri Swami Sivananda

This article is from the book God-Realisation.

Life is not a misery. One should live for hundred years by performing action without attachment. Life is not a bondage when it is looked with the proper light. Such a man of proper knowledge looks on all beings as his own Self and his Self as all beings. To him everything is his own Self, and he is not affected by grief, delusion or sorrow of any kind.

The Supreme Reality is indescribable. It is beyond the reach of the mind and the senses. It is beyond even the intellect. It is the light of all else and nothing is a light to it. Speech cannot express it. Mind cannot think it. Intellect cannot understand it. Senses cannot perceive it. Such a wonderful Being is the Truth. Brahma-Jnana is not a knowledge of something but becoming Absolute Knowledge Itself. It is the Infinite Subject, if speech can be permitted to express like that. It is an experience and not a perception. It is absoluteness and is, therefore, beyond the conception of duality and pairs of opposites. The greatest blessedness is to know That, and he is an unfortunate man who dies without the knowledge of it.

Mortal things are ephemeral and so are not worth pursuing. Even a whole life of many years is only very slight. It is nothing. There is no use of enjoying objects. Man is not satisfied with wealth. He craves to become Immortal even against his own conscience. Unfortunately he pursues after thepleasant as against the really good. The good is one thing and the pleasant another. The one liberates and the other binds. One should not catch the pleasant though it is tempting for a moment.

The Atman is not born, nor does it die. It has not come from anywhere and it has not become anything. Unborn, constant, eternal, primeval, this one is not slain when the body is slain. This Atman is hidden in the deep core of the heart of beings. It cannot be attained by any amount of reasoning, study or instruction. It comes only through the Supreme Grace. A man of bad conduct, who has not ceased from crookedness, cannot hope to attain the Atman.

The road to the Supreme is clothed with pricking thorns. It is sharp like the edge of a razor, hard to tread, a very difficult path. It can be trodden only with the help of knowledge obtained from men of wisdom. Knowing That, one is liberated from the terrible mouth of death.

The mind and the senses always run outwards. Only the men of self-discipline and perseverance can gaze inward and experience the state of the Atman as it really is. The children who have no knowledge of the Truth, run after external pleasures and they fall into the net of widespread Death. Only the wise, knowing the state of Immortality, seek not the Stable Brahman among things which are impermanent here.

One need not be anxious to possess things of the world. Whatever is there, that is here. He obtains death after death who perceive diversity in the world. There is nothing many here actually. The one Supreme Substance appears as many things, clothed in different names, forms and actions.

The Atma or the Brahman has no connection with the world of change. As the sun is not sullied by the faults of the eye, the Antaratman is not sullied by the defects of the world. As one fire has entered the world and becomes corresponding in form to every form, so the one Antaratman of the things is corresponding in form to every form, and yet is outside all these.

The goodness, the light, the pleasure and the beauty of the world is not to be found there even in name. Even the splendour of the Sun and the grandeur of the creator is superseded by the Absolute. That state is experienced when the senses cease to work together with the mind and when the intellect does not move, and when there is mere consciousness. When all desires that are lodged in the heart, are liberated, then the mortal becomes Immortal. Herein he attains Brahman.

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