Daily Satsanga
with Swami Krishnananda

January (from The Realisation of the Absolute)

1. Knowledge is Freedom

The attainment of the Infinite Life is the supreme purpose of finite life. Knowledge and meditation have both their dear aim in the realisation of the Absolute. Moksha is the highest exaltation of the self in its pristine nature of supreme perfection. Emancipation is the Consciousness of the Reality; not becoming something which previously did not exist, not travelling to another world of greater joy. It is the knowledge of eternal existence, the awareness of the essential nature of Pure Being. It is the Freedom attained by knowing that we are always free. Knowledge is not merely the cause for freedom; it is itself freedom.

2. The Upanishads are Thoroughly Spiritual

The Upanishads are thoroughly spiritual and, hence, advocate the most catholic doctrine of the yoga of Truth-realisation. Their teachings are not the product of an intellectual wonder or curiosity, but the effect of an intense and irresistible pressure of a practical need arising from the evil of attachment to individual existence. The task of the Seers was to remedy this defect in life, which, they realised, was due to the consciousness of separateness of being and the desire to acquire and become what one is not. The remedy lies in acquiring and becoming everything, expressed all too imperfectly by the words ‘Infinity’, ‘Immortality’, and the like.

3. A De-hypnotisation of the Consciousness

This Integration of Being can be achieved even in this very life. It is not necessary to take some more rounds of births and deaths for the purpose, provided the integration is effected before the shaking off of the physical sheath, through persistent meditation on Reality and negation of separative consciousness. The quickness of the process of Attainment depends upon the intensity of the power of such meditation, both in its negative and assertive aspects. A dehypnotisation of the consciousness of physicality and individuality is the essential purpose of all methods of spiritual meditation.

4. The Heroic Leap of the Individual Into the Unknown

The heroic leap of the individual into the unknown is the expression of the want of a superior joy. The dissatisfaction with limitedness in life directs the soul to catch the fullness of perfection in the truth of its Integrality, with which the individualised condition is not endowed. Hence, universal movement and individual effort, though differing in their altruism of nature, can be understood as a reflection of the tendency to Self-Perfection of Being. The pressure of the truth of the absoluteness of consciousness is the source of the force that compels individuals to transcend their finitude and find their eternal repose in it alone. This permanent Verity is the supreme object of quest through the cosmical endeavour in creation, wherein alone all further impulses for externalisation of forces are put an end to. The desire to become the All terminates in the experience of Infinitude.

5. The Supreme Silence

The delight of the Self is the delight of Being. It is the Bliss of Consciousness-Absolute. The Being of Consciousness is the Being of Bliss, Eternal. It does not lie in achievement but realisation and experience, not invention but discovery. The Consciousness is more intense when the objective existence is presented near the subject, still more complete when the subjective and the objective beings are more intimately related, and fully perfected and extended to Absoluteness in the identification of the subject and the object. This Pure Consciousness is the same as Pure Bliss, the source of Power and the height of Freedom. This is the supreme Silence of the splendid Plenitude of the Real, where the individual is drowned in the ocean of Being.

6. The Love for the Eternal

The love for the Eternal is the essential passion that burns in the heart of all things. Beings know it not, and so they suffer. When we turn our face away from this one Reality, we open the door to self-imprisonment. No achievement, either on earth or in heaven, no greatness pertaining to the world of name and form, is worth considering. The love of life is based on the love of the Self. All actions are done for the sake of the Self, not for external persons and things. “Not, verily, for the love of the all is the all dear, but for the love of the Self is the all dear."—Brih. Up., II. 4. 5. All actions are done for the sake of the Self, not for external persons and things.

7. Change is the Quality of Untruth

Change is the quality of untruth and the Upanishads assert that Reality is Self-satisfied, Self-existent, non-dual, tranquil and utterly perfect. An appeal to the inwardness of consciousness expanded into limitlessness is the burden of the song of the Upanishads. In this respect the Upanishads are extremely mystic, if mysticism does not carry with it an idea of irrationalism or a madness of spirit. The transcendental mysticism of the Upanishads is not the effect of an emotional outburst, but a calm transcendence of intellect and reason through a development into the integral consciousness.

8. The Great Root of Life

The Truth, “knowing which everything becomes known” is the subject of enquiry and the object of quest in the Upanishads. The Seers dived into the very depth of Existence and tasted the nature of the Limitless Life. They entered into the Root of the universe and the branches could easily realise their inner being through an investigation into the essential workings of the Great Root of Life. When the root is watered, the branches are automatically watered; when gold is known, all the ornaments also are known; when Truth is realised, everything is realised; for, Truth is One. Whatever system of philosophy may be derived from the Upanishads, the obvious truth goes without saying that they propound a theory that holds Reality to be indivisible, objectless and transcendent.

9. The Experience of the Jivanmukta

The Jivanmukta experiences his being the lord of all, the knower of all, the enjoyer of everything. The whole existence belongs to him; the entire universe is his body. He neither commands anybody, nor is he commanded by anybody. He is the absolute witness of his own glory, without terms to express it. He seems to simultaneously sink deep into and float on the ocean of the essence of being, with the feeling “I alone am”, or “I am all”. He breaks the boundaries of consciousness and steps into the bosom of Infinity. At times he seems to have a consciousness of relativity as a faint remembrance brought about by unfinished individualistic experience.

10. The Liberated One has No Relatin to the Universe

If the Absolute does not have any external or internal relation to itself, the liberated one cannot have any such relation to the universe, because the distinction of the individual and the universe is negated in the Absolute. It is illogical to say, at the same time, that “liberation means Absolute-Experience” and that “the liberated soul is concerned with the work of redeeming others, and even on getting liberated, retains its individuality.” Relative activity and Absolute Being are not consistent with each other. If it is argued that both these are compatible, it is done at the expense of consistency. The Absolute has nothing second to it, and hence no desire and no action. Anything that falls short of the Absolute cannot be regarded as the state of Liberation.

11. The Network of Diverse Consciousness

The world is a presentation of outward variety and seeming contradiction in existence. It is a disintegrated appearance of the Absolute, a limited expression of Infinitude, a degeneration of the majesty of immortal Consciousness, a diffused form of the spiritual Completeness, a dissipated manifestation of changeless Eternity. Each of such separated entities of the world claims for itself an absolutely independent existence and regards all objective individuals as the not-Self. The not-Self is always considered to be in absolute contradiction to or at least absolutely distinguished from the self’s own localised being. The exclusion of other limited objective bodies from one’s own subjective self involves a relation between the two, and this relation is the force that keeps intact the network of diverse consciousness.

12. Pre-existing Link Between the Subject and the Object

The life of every individual bears connections with the lives of other individuals in varieties of ways, in accordance with the degree of its awareness of Reality. Every thought sets the surface of existence in vibration and touches the psychic life of other individuals with a creative force the capability of this action which is dependent on the intensity of the affirmation of the mind generating that thought. Objects entirely cut off from one another can have no relation among themselves. Sense-perception, cogitation and understanding are messengers of the fact that there exists a fundamental substratum of a uniform and enduring Consciousness. Cognition is impossible without a pre-existent link between the subject and the object.

13. Being is Truth

Being is truth in the transcendent sense without reference to anything else. It does not pay heed to the difficulty of man that he cannot transcend the limitations of relativistic consciousness and so naturally takes the value and meaning of the relative order to be the truth. The highest value of truth is equated with pure being, for non-being can have no value. Consciousness is the most positive of facts, the datum of all experience. It transcends all limits of space, time and causality. Consciousness is never limited, for the very consciousness of the fact of limitation is proof of its transcendental unlimitedness. The most fundamental experience is consciousness or awareness, pure and simple, free from the self-contradictory divisions and fluctuations of thought.

14. Absolute Being is the Highest Perfection

Absolute Being is the highest perfection. Perfection is Bliss. The Self is the seat of Absolute Love, Love without an object outside it. It is Bliss without objectification, for Brahman-Bliss is not derived through contact of subject and object. Here, Love and Bliss are Existence itself. That which is, is Bliss of Consciousness which is Being. The highest aim of all endeavour is deliverance from the present condition of limited life and the reaching of the Bhuma which is Bliss. Absolute Existence which is Absolute Knowledge is also Absolute Bliss. The Consciousness of Bliss experienced is in proportion to the growth and expansion that we feel in the conscious being of ourselves. Sat-chit-ananda does not imply a threefold existence, but is Absolute Self-Identity.

15. To Assert Diversity is to Deny Absoluteness

To assert diversity is to deny absoluteness. It does not, however, mean that the Absolute excludes the diverse finitudes, but the finite is eternally dissolved in or is identical with the Absolute, and therefore, it does not claim for itself an individual reality. It is argued that to ignore differences is to reduce the Absolute to a non-entity. The Absolute does not depend upon the reality of egoistic differences. By cancelling the relative we may not affect the Absolute, but we, so long as we are unconscious of the fundamental Being, improve thereby our present state of consciousness. Individuality is in every speck of space and these egos must be so very undivided that diversity becomes an impossible conception and homogeneity persists in every form of true reasoning in our effort to come to a conclusion in regard to the nature of the Absolute. We may blindly assert difference, but it is not possible to establish it through any acceptable reasoning.

16. Even Space is Brahman

Brahman which is the cause and the world which is the effect are basically identical, and hence change and causation lose their meaning. The phenomenal world is caught up in space, time and causation, which scatter themselves without a past or a future. One thing is in relation to the other, and the world-process seems to be eternal. An eternal multiplicity is an impossibility, and an individual cannot be an enduring being. The world, thus, proves itself to be a naught and gives way to the being that is one and that does not change. Since samsara as a whole has neither a beginning nor an end, except with reference to the individuals, the ideas of a real creation and destruction fall to the ground. Absolutism satisfactorily solves all the problems of life.

17. Absolutism Satisfactorily Solves All the problems of Life

Brahman which is the cause and the world which is the effect are basically identical, and hence change and causation lose their meaning. The phenomenal world is caught up in space, time and causation, which scatter themselves without a past or a future. One thing is in relation to the other, and the world-process seems to be eternal. An eternal multiplicity is an impossibility, and an individual cannot be an enduring being. The world, thus, proves itself to be a naught and gives way to the being that is one and that does not change. Since samsara as a whole has neither a beginning nor an end, except with reference to the individuals, the ideas of a real creation and destruction fall to the ground. Absolutism satisfactorily solves all the problems of life.

18. There is a Difference among Individuals in their Perception

The form of the world is the projection of the objective force of the Universal Consciousness or the World-Mind. Everything in the world is a network of unintelligible relations. Things are not perceived by all in the same fashion. The perceptions of a chair by many individuals are not of the same category of consciousness. They differ in the contents of their ideas which are the effects of the particular modes of the tendency to objectification potentially existent in the individuals. The forces of distraction which constitute the individual consciousness are not of the same quality in everyone. There is a difference among individuals in their perception and thinking. It is impossible to have a knowledge of anything that does not become a content of one’s own consciousness.

19. The Infinite Bhuma Alone Hails Supreme

The Upanishads deny the reality of the form of the world of plurality and duality. According to them, except the non-dual Brahman, nothing is. The universe is explained by them as the imagination of the Absolute-Individual. We can only understand that this Absolute imagination is merely figurative and it can have meaning only with reference to individuals in the world, and not in itself. The infinite Bhuma alone hails supreme. It is established on its own Greatness. It is not dependent on anything else, for anything else is not. There cannot be imagination in the Absolute. Imagination may differ in degree or intensity, but even these degrees are but imagination. Even the acceptance of such a difference is ultimately invalid. The experience of external objects depends on the strong belief that they exist.

20. The Conscious Mind Acts as the Ultimate Subject

The world of objects in its presented state is false, being dependent on relative perceptions; its form is unreal because form is an imaginary construction of the objectified centres of consciousness in the universe driven by potent desire-impulses. The Cosmic Mind acts as the ultimate subject whose consciousness is the creator of all norms, in all the degrees of manifestation. The worldness in what is manifested, or, in other words, the very act or process of manifestation itself, is to be construed in the sense of what is illusory, though the world-essence or the ultimate substance of the world is eternal. It is the form and not the essence that is unreal.

21. There is No Duality

There is no duality. All modification is illusory. Differentiation cannot be established. Where there is no duality there is no death. That which did not exist in the beginning (Ait. Up., I. 1.) and does not exist in the end (Brih. Up., II. 4. 14., Chh. Up., VII. 24), cannot exist in the present (Katha Up., IV. 11). Since Brahman does not create a world second to it, the world loses its reality. The central tone of the Upanishads reveals everywhere a disbelief in the world of forms ever since the Rigveda declared that the sages give many names to that which is essentially One (Rigveda, I. 164. 46). This leads further to the conception that plurality is only an idea and that Unity alone is real.

22. Truth Transcends Ideas of Omniscience and Omnipotence

It is not possible to rest contented that a personal God is the ultimate Reality, however displeasing this may be to those who do not want to dispense with thinking in terms of the categories of the world. The philosopher-aspirant who is possessed of a flaming passion for integrating himself in Existence does not have the dull patience to linger on with the slow process of progressive self-transcendence through the channels of the different degrees of reality. The highest scientific mind always tries to cling to the Whole, and not to even the biggest part, for, according to it, partiteness in existence is illogical and an ignorant conception. Truth, dependent on its own Self, transcends even the ideas of omniscience and omnipotence, for these involve relations which are a limitation on the Absolute.

23. Thought is Objectified Consciousness

The knowledge of everything through the knowledge of One Thing implies that everything is made up of that One Thing. That the misconception of things being really made of differing natures has to be set aright is pointed out by the disgust that arises in clinging to the notion of the multiple permanence of beings and a passion for catching completely whatever that must exist. The growth of intelligence tends towards urging the individual to grasp the totality of existence at a stroke. This constructive impulse is inherent and is vigorously active both in the instinctive mind and the scientific intellect. The individual is a consciousness-centre characterised by the imperfections of limitation, birth, growth, change, decay and death. Thought is objectified consciousness. The greater the objectification, the denser is the ignorance and the acuter are the pains suffered.

24. The Perception of Unity Leads to the State of Immortality

Truth does not shine as Truth, owing to the inner instruments, the clogging psychological modifications. The crossing the barrier of these limiting adjuncts seems to lead one to a vaster reality, greater freedom and fuller life. There is a common desire-impulse in every being to exist forever, to know all things, to domineer over everything, and to enjoy the highest happiness. The statement of the Upanishads that the cognition of manifoldness is the path leading to self-destruction is adorned by the supreme exhortation that the perception of Unity leads to the exalted state of Immortality.

25. True Love is Never Expressed

The seekers who austerely transform the objectifying energy into the Conscious Power that causes the blossoming of the self-sense into the objectless Consciousness are the integrated aspirants of the Absolute, whose power is used to carry on profound spiritual meditation. The Chhandogya Upanishad says that, when purity and light are increased, there is a generation of steady consciousness which shatters open the knots of the self. Such glorious aspirants glow with a lustrous spiritual strength which handles with ease even the most formidable forces of nature. They are the heroes who have girt up their loins with the vow of leaping over phenomenon into the Heart of Existence. Love that wants an object is not perfect. True love is never expressed. It simply melts in experience.

26. Positive Bliss is Found Only in the Self

All actions are done for the sake of the Self, not for external persons and things. It is not the existence of joy in the object as such that brings pleasure to the individual enjoying it, but the cooling of the fire of craving that is brought about by its contact with a particular object which is specially demanded by that special mode of desire generated in the ego-consciousness. The satiation is caused by a temporary turning back of the mind to the Self. The whole of the happiness of the world is, thus, purely negative, an avoiding of the unpleasant, and not the acquirement of any real, positive joy. This positive bliss is found only in the Self, the root of existence. The bustle of life’s activity is a struggle to respond to the cry of the anxious ego which has lost itself in the wilderness of its separation from the Eternal Principle. The grieving self bound by fetters in the prison of life is ransomed by the knowledge of the non-dual nature of Existence.

27. No Human Being can Claim to be Omniscient

Even the highest intellectual perception belongs only to the realm of relativity. No human being can claim to be omniscient and so he has no occasion to rejoice at his profits or grieve at his losses here. The real is not this; the attainment of That alone can liberate the soul from sorrow. Even death is not a bar in the process of the realisation of Truth. Death is a reshuffling of consciousness to adjust and adapt itself to a different order of life. The love for the knowledge of the Self cares not for such insignificant phenomena as the birth and the destruction of the body. The need for the higher illumination is more serious a matter than the birth and the death of the overcoat, and the quest for the Absolute should be undertaken even sacrificing the dearest object, fearless of even the greatest pain and loss that may have to be encountered in the world.

28. Whatever We Want, that Alone We See and Obtain

The desire-centres shift themselves from one object to another and the pleasure-seeker is left ever at unrest. The chain of metempsychosis is kept unbroken and is strengthened through additional desires that foolishly hope to bring satisfaction to the self. Living in the midst of ignorance and darkness, conceited, thinking themselves learned, the deserted individuals seek peace in the objects of sense that constantly change their forms and natures. The objective value in an object is an appearance created by the formative power of the separative will to individuate and multiply itself through external contact. The nature of that which is perceived is strongly influenced by the nature of that which perceives. The moment the form of the desire is changed, the object also appears to change itself to suit the requirements of the centre of consciousness that projects forth the desire. Whatever we want, that alone we see and obtain.

29. Becoming the Object Seems to be the Aim of the Subject

Becoming the object seems to be the aim of the subject in its processes of desireful knowledge. The greater the proximity of the object to the subject, that is, the lesser the distance between the subject and the object, the greater is the happiness derived; whereby we are able to deduce that the least distance, nay, the loss of distance itself in a state of identity, a state of infinite oneness, where things lose their separateness, where perception and relatedness are no more, where the subject and the object coalesce and mere ‘Be’-ness seems to be the reality, should be the abode of supreme bliss. This consciousness-mass is the one integration of knowledge where it is no more a means of knowing but the essence, the existence and the content in itself. The Upanishads are keen about turning our attention to this truth.

30. The Self is Imperishable

The ordinary man of the world has his mind and senses turned extrovert. Childish, he runs after external pleasures and walks into the net of death which pervades all created things. The wise, however, knowing the Immortal, seek not that Eternal Being among things fleeting here. Some blessed one turns his gaze inward and beholds the glorious light of the Self. This Self is dearer than the dearest of things, this Self is nearer than the nearest. If one would speak of anything else than the Self as dear, he would certainly lose what he holds as dear. One should adore the Self alone as dear. He who adores the Self alone as dear does not lose what he holds as dear. The Self is Imperishable.

31. The Being of Reality

The Being of Reality consists in Experience, uncontradicted by transcendence and untrammelled by modification. In this One Whole all appearances get fused, and they vanish into it. This Reality-Experience is one and attributeless, true to itself which is Alone, above thought, and above every partial aspect of being, but including all, none of which can be complete without getting itself merged in the fully real, which is the Absolute. This Being can only be One, because experience is always a Whole, and because dissatisfaction is the effect of a faith in all independent pluralities and external relations which endlessly contradict themselves. The Absolute is experienced as the same Illimitable Immensity, even if it is approached in millions of ways.