Brahma Vidya - Science of Soul

A laconic speech by His Holiness Shri Jagatguru Shankaracharyji Maharaj of Dwarka Sharada Peeth in Rajnandgaon Yoga Vidyalaya, on 6th January 1975

Spiritual seekers, devotees aspirants and helpers to Yoga vidyalaya.

I am very much pleased to see the workings and organization of this Ashram. Spiritual knowledge or Brahma Vidya is the best of all in life. Yoga is included in this knowledge. One should not forget this. One's life is totally useless without it. There is no difference between man and animal if he spends his life in taking food and giving response to the natural calls and nothing more. There is no difference if one leads a life of the same status as animals. One should rise from this level to reach his actual goal of life.

There are eighty four lakhs animate creations of God in the universe. The best is human being, but he is mortal. There is no certainty of life. At any time anybody's life may come to an end. Nowadays heart fail is very common. One has to face this, at any moment without any notice.

Who am I? From where I have come? Where should I go? These are the questions to think over. First Shankaracharya Maharaj told about this. But very few take time to think over it.

Man has got power of thinking. He is full of desires. The desire of long life is common in all. Nobody wants an early departure from this physical world. This is called sat or existence. It is one of the qualities of three forms of God.

Man is nothing but a part and parcel of all mighty. So desire for long life is not a crime. Physical body is mortal but not the soul. Soul is immortal. This is the main teaching in Gita and Upanishads.

The small boy named Nachiketa in Kathopanishad went to yamaloka through some unusual course. Yamraj was not at his head quarter. Nachiketa waited for him for three days without food and water. He might be the first man to do hunger strike. During those three days he lived in Agnishala.

According to Hindu mythology a guest is supposed to be the representative of God, one must worship and welcome him. With this reference there is a sloka in Kathopanishad, the meaning is that the result will be very bad if one does not care of his guest, especially if a Brahmin, is compelled to go on fasting.

After three days Yamraj returned and was very sorry for Nachiketa. He asked him for three boons. Nachiketa was very intelligent, religious and of spiritual nature, he demanded the following three boons:

  1. Age up to hundred years.
  2. Agni Vidya.
  3. Brahma Vidya.

Nachiketa's father sent him in temper to Yamraj. So the first boon he demanded was in connection to his father.

Agni Vidya is a great knowledge. One gets it through long practice and after difficult Sadhana.

Brahma Vidya is a science of immortal soul. Nachiketa wanted to know about soul. What happens to it after death? Does one return after death? What is the science about incarnation? These were the questions in his mind.

Yamaraj was in a great surprise with these three boons. He requested him for another three boons instead. He advised him for so many good, uncommon and rare things. But the boy did not change his mind. At last Yamraj happily granted all the three boons.

There are eighteen chapters in Bhagwatgeeta. Second is the main in which immortality of soul has been described. Soul is one which can never be destroyed even by weapon, fire, water or death.

Soul is immortal, everlasting, undecayable, deathless, eternal form, permanent from time immemorial its presence is everywhere.

Physical body is made of five elements and is mortal. Today or tomorrow it will come to an end. Nobody knows the time, day or date of his death.

With reference to this an incident comes to my mind.

There was a poor man. He bought a lottery ticket, fortunately he got first prize. He was a heart patient. So it was dangerous to give him the good news. His heart might fail due to extreme happiness. So at first his family doctor was informed of the news. He made all the necessary arrangement for the patient and asked the man about the lottery indirectly. "How much will you give me if you get first prize?" This was his last question. "Two lakhs" replied the man. Hearing this the doctor died of heart failure. There was suspicion and nobody believed on doctors death.

This is an example of mortality of physical body. Life has no fixability. Hence people must think on this point, knowledge of Atman is necessary. Through Sadhana one can make discovery of it. For this reason Yoga practice is of great importance. It gives peace and bliss. Union of Jiva and Brahman is Yoga. To differentiate them is Dwait which is the cause of ignorance and cunningness. Reverse to this one, with no difference between Jiva and Brahman gets peace and happiness. It is called Adwait.

One who practices to unite with his own Atman is man full of patience. This is why Yoga Practices are very important and useful. A man must do Yoga Sadhana.

Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali are of much importance. Adi Shankaracharyaji Maharaj was also in favour of this practice. One can reach to the stage of Samadhi through these practices.

There are so many ways in Yoga for Atma Darshan or development of Atman. Many experiments are going on in Munghyr, in the Ashram of Satyanand Swami. I inaugurated the international convention in Raigarh and Godia. I am sorry that I could not attend the Golden Jubilee convention, as I never go out during Navaratri. Swamiji is working hard for the welfare of all the human beings. His Mission aims to introduce Yoga shore to shore and door to door.

I am pleased to visit this Ashram. May Lord Shree Chandramouleshwar and Shree Dwaraka Peeth Bhagwan shower the blessings on this Ashram and on all the truth seekers.