Gurudeva's Mahavakyas on Self Realization
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2003-02-19
Part 3 of 4 - Bodhinatha talks on Gurudeva's mahavakyas having to do with Self Realization, part of the focus of the moksha ritau (Winter Season)
We cannot introduce Moksha ritau without going deeper and talking about Self Realization.
As you will recall at the beginning of the Mahasamadhi Observance, my talk was on some of Gurudeva's Mahavakya. So I pulled two of them out here that relate to realizing the Self.
"The purpose of life is to realize the Self. The ultimate reason we are here on earth is to realize the timeless, formless, spaceless Self God within."
The unique aspect of this Mahavakyam is, it gives us a description of the Self, a very precise description. When you read in the Upanishads about realizing the Self, it does not say exactly what it looks like. What is the Self? Is it red, is it white? Is it light, is it dark? What is the Self? It tells you that you should realize it. It tells it is identical with God but it does not say what does it look like.
Here we have a description of it. We can call it that because it is not describing anything but it is enough of a description of a non-thing to give us a good sense of what it is - timeless, formless and spaceless.
Gurudeva says in the Self God, "It is the nothingness that is the fullness of everything." A wonderful paradox to ponder. How can nothing be a fullness, the nothingness that is the fullness of everything.
When it comes to realizing the Self, as we know, there is no consciousness during the moment of realization. It is only afterwards that we have the ability to know that we realized the Self. Just like in a deep dream, you don't know you are dreaming until you wake up. You wake up and say, "Oh, that was a dream." In a shallow dream you kind-of know you are dreaming. "I am dreaming. Shall I get up or not? Do I like this dream or not?" You know that is a shallow dream. But in a deep dream you are really involved in the dream. It is totally real to you and it is only when you wake up and you say, "Oh, that was just a dream."
In the aftermath of the experience, the immediate aftermath you are able to recognize that it is a dream. If you wait awhile, you will forget that you even had a dream. But right when you wake up from a deep dream you have the ability to say, "Oh, that was just a dream."
Similarly, the experience of the Self can be recognized in the immediate aftermath. Well, what are you recognizing? You are recognizing that you stepped outside of time, form and space. You stepped out of time, form and space. In other words, it is something that exists outside of time, form and space. Time, form and space is like a movie that is going on. It is like a 24-hour a day theatre. There is a movie going on constantly. Stepping outside of it is like going out the door for a few minutes and coming back in. Stepping outside of the progression, normal progression of events in time, form and space.
So that sense that you have stepped outside of time, that there is a reality that exists outside of time is a consciousness you have in the aftermath of realizing the Self.
But the main point of this Mahavakyam is, it describes the Self. It gives us a sense of what we are looking for. In other words we realize, "Gee, I am just not trying to go into the inner light and get this light brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter. No, that is not the Self. I am not trying to go into pure consciousness and permeate everything and see everything as one, see everything as a oneness. No, I am not trying to do that. It does not have to do with anything I can perceive. It has to do with stepping beyond what we can perceive. Not going more deeply into what we can perceive but stepping beyond it."
The second Mahavakyam, "We are in truth, the truth we seek. You are already that which you seek, there is none other."
This is a very interesting concept. You are already that which you seek. You are already the Self, you don't have to become it. You don't have to do something.
Our normal way of looking at attainment is that we have to do something. We go to school for x number of years and we graduate. To graduate we have to do something, we are not already graduated. To learn to read we have to do a lot, then we learn to read. So our normal consciousness of achieving something is that it takes time. That we start out with a lesser ability and eventually we have a greater ability.
Well, that applies to our soul body. Our soul body is maturing and becoming more and more like the Primal soul. That is the normal consciousness of becoming. Like a baby growing up, there is a becoming involved. The baby starts life without the ability to even move. It gains greater abilities as the person gets older and older. Just like the soul body becoming more and more like the Primal Soul.
But that does not apply to the Self. You are already that which you seek. You are just not aware of it.
It is like having money in a bank account that nobody told you that you ever had. You are not aware of it but it is already there. Your parents set up a bank account for you and forgot to tell you or they were not going to tell you till you were twenty-one. It is already there, you don't have to do anything. You just don't know about it. You just have to find out and then it is always been there. It is always the case.
What this means is we could realize the Self right now. We don't have to do anything necessarily before it happens. Any time we sit down to meditate we could realize the Self. Just because we had a poor meditation yesterday doesn't mean we could not realize the Self today. Because, it is already the case, we are the Self. We just have to go deeply enough at some point in time. Our karma has to be such, our consciousness has to such that we go deep enough to claim that which we already are.
That is an important point in approaching Self Realization, not to put it off. Not to think today is not the day, this moment is not the moment. You don't even have to be sitting in meditation. We could be walking down the street to realize the Self. Or, sitting under a tree enjoying nature.
We want to claim that which we already are at the earliest moment. Not put it off based upon some concept that we are not ready, we are not worthy, we are not this, requires more of this, requires more of that. None of those principles apply when it comes to realizing the Self. (And) Realizing the Self is important as Gurudeva explains so beautifully in 'Merging with Siva' because each time you realize the Self it causes certain inner processes to take place on the inside.
We will take a look at those in one of our talks in the near future, during Moksha ritau.
So, those are a few thoughts on the deeper side of Moksha ritau, Self Realization.