#Jagadguru #Shankaracharya #SriSri Vidhushekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji on the Knowledge of the Self


#Jagadguru #Shankaracharya #SriSri Vidhushekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji:
In this world, man endears himself to various objects and pursuits. When man thinks that something can give him happiness, he desires it. The desire for happiness itself is independent of any other desire. That is why Sukha or happiness is defined as the object of desire that is independent of all other desires – इतरेच्छानधीन-इच्छाविषयत्वम्. While everyone desires objects to be happy, the desire for happiness itself is never questioned. No one asks “Why do you want to be happy?”. This desire for happiness for one’s own self arises because one’s own self is the most beloved. This leads us to the question, “What is the Self?”

Self — The Most Beloved

In the #Brihadaranyaka #Upanishad, when Sage #Yajnavalkya is requested by his wife #Maitreyi to be instructed on That which confers immortality, he replies – न वा अरे पत्युः कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति, आत्मनस्तु कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति – It is not because of the love of one’s husband that a husband becomes dear. Rather, it is for the love of one’s own self that the husband becomes dear.

Eventually Yajnvalkya goes on to state that every entity that becomes dear is only because of the love of one’s own self, and not because of the love of that entity – न वा अरे सर्वस्य कामाय पतिः प्रियो भवति, आत्मनस्तु कामाय सर्वं प्रियो भवति.

Sage Yajnavalkya then states – आत्मा वा अरे श्रोतव्यो मन्तव्यो निदिध्यासितव्यः – that the knowledge of the Self (Atman) is to be had by Shravana (hearing the teaching from a Guru), Manana (reflection on what is taught) and Nididhyasana (contemplation).

And when the knowledge of the Atman is had, everything becomes known – आत्मनि खल्वरे दृष्टे श्रुते मते विज्ञाते इदं सर्वं विदितम्.

It is by knowing the Atman that all becomes known, for the Self alone is real. Explaining how this can be so, Sri Sannidhanam provided illustrations stating that we can, by a knowledge of clay, be aware of all objects made of clay. Likewise, by knowing gold, we can be aware of all objects made of gold, which is the the essence of all golden objects. Similarly, knowledge of the Atman, upon which all is superimposed, makes one aware of everything. This is because everything has the Self as its underlying essence. A person with such knowledge is termed a Jnani.

#sanatandharma #AdiShankaracharya #Vedanta #spirituality #Atman #Brahman