You are Nitya Shuddha Atman

H. H. Shri Swami Sivananda

Your real nature is Satchitananda. You are Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and Bliss Absolute. You are identical with Brahman. You are the Lord of Nature. You are Kaivalya. You are Kevala. You are Chinmatra. You are Nitya, Shuddha, Siddha, Buddha, Mukta. You are Chaitanya. You are Satyam, Sivaro, Subham, Sundaram, Kantara. Moksha is not something to be achieved. You are already free. It is already achieved. Every being is one with the Absolute. This is your birth right!

These are, indeed, great and inspired sayings, the sayings of great men of wisdom, God-like men who have been before us; and in the light of the visions they have had, these truths have been bequeathed to the world.

Mere repetition of these sayings will not really help you. We read about God and Soul in books written by individuals who saw them or hear about them from such persons, until we come under the delusion that we have a real conception of them. This is a wrong understanding of facts which will take us nowhere. You will have to know and experience the truth of this yourself. The taste of an apple can never be made known to one who has not himself tasted it. Similarly the nature of Brahman cannot be known without direct intuition or realisation (Pratyakasha). The Divinity latent in man; as a tree in a seed, as butter in milk; can be intensely felt and realised only when it fully manifests itself through spiritual unfoldment.

Difficult it is to understand the nature of Brahman or the Eternal. Still more difficult is Sadhana or the practice to attain Brahman. Sharp as the razor's edge is the path to the Truth or Brahman. Buddha, Bhartrihari and Raja Gopichand had to renounce their kingdoms and dear ones in search of Truth. Jesus Christ had to shed his blood and allow himself to be crucified on the cross for the sake of Truth.

Spiritual life is a life of perpetual struggle. One will have to fight with the mind and the senses day and night. The spiritual path is toilsome and demands long perseverance and great patience. He who is steadfast and firm, who is not upset by obstacles and difficulties, will reach the goal.

We are Nitya Shuddha Atman. But if a mosquito bites us we get shivering and have to go to a hospital and take quinine. Yet it is a real fact that we are Satchidananda Atman. This fact is true at all times. But practically it is of no use. We are unable to make use of it, because of our lack of correct understanding, sincere efforts and intense longing to know the truth.

Let us suppose, in a certain country there is a man living in utter poverty and with great difficulty he is managing to keep himself alive. When he is in this condition, a multimillionaire from a distant country, who happens to be traveling round the world, accidentally comes in contact with this person and makes his acquaintance. Curiously enough, the man of unlimited wealth leaves in his will his entire fortune to the poor man as a legacy, subject to the fulfilment of a few conditions which are: that the inheritor has to go to the place where the rich man was living, establish his identity and claim this fortune; and also states in his will the whereabouts of the man to whom he is leaving the fortune. Then the rich man dies and his solicitors who have got the will in their hands locate the man concerned and send word to him to the effect that he has got to come to the place and take the wealth. News reaches our poor fellow by cable which reads: "You are the richest man in the world. You have inherited unlimited wealth and property. Come personally, establish your identity and take the wealth." Now, our friend knows that he is a multimillionaire. So he will have no wants. He can buy anything that he likes. But at the moment he is virtually penniless. He has to work hard for livelihood. In his present condition he cannot manage to get even one meal by merely saying that he is the richest man. Yet, undeniably, it is a fact that he is the wealthiest man though he is not able to make use of his riches.

Now what has he to do? Supposing the place where he has to reach in order to claim the wealth is some fifteen thousand miles away, it will be certainly impossible for him to arrange the fare for the trip. He has to work very hard to meet the expenses for his travel. Though, in all earnestness, he goes about saying that he is the richest man in the world, nobody will trust him and advance him any money. The only way open to him to achieve his objective is to work strenuously and earn his passage money. It may take him six months or even six years. Further he has to undertake the trouble of procuring the ticket and face all the hazards of travel and when at last he actually reaches the place and proves his identity, only then the fact of his being wealthy becomes turned into a concrete, practical, effective, living fact, and not otherwise. But theoretically, even before he reached the place where he has to claim the wealth, there is no denying the fact that as the rightful heir to the property, he has been the richest man.

Similarly, even now, the fact is there that you are the Satchidananda Atman whom 'sword cannot pierce, wind cannot dry, water cannot wet'. But if these very same facts have to become a vibrant, thrilling and vital experience, all these have to be personally demonstrated and experienced as an actual fact. Therefore the necessity for doing Sadhana. Sadhana is the claiming of the wealth on the actual spot. Unless this is done, the fact of one being the possessor of all the wealth of all the fourteen worlds is useless to him, only a theoretical fact.

That is exactly the condition of the Jiva, who is in full possession of the knowledge that he is the Mahakorn (the Source of all things), the Lord of Nature, the Illuminator the Supreme. Such knowledge is useless to him until the condition of the will is fulfilled. And what is the will? It is that you are deathless, eternal, immoral Atman, the light of lights, Para Brahman. You are That from which countless universes arise. That is the ultimate will, and god himself has bequeathed it. And if we have to make this knowledge a vital experience, labour, earning passage money, undertaking the journey, reaching the spot and identifying one's real nature, are the conditions to be fulfilled. What it that? That is Yoga or Sadhana and everything that Yoga implies.