Friday, April 15, 2011

To Abide in One's True Nature: Satchitananda

"Do not be conformed to the
world; rather, be transformed
by the renewal of your mind."

(Romans 12:2)
"What is the true nature of man?," asks Swami Prabhavananda, co-author (with Christopher Isherwood) of "How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali."

"Satchitananda brahman," he says, in the attached video. "Pure consciousness, life eternal, and abiding love, and infinite joy. That is your true nature, which is one with Brahma. And when . . . the mind is kept under complete control, your true nature is revealed to you."

There are two types of knowledge, Prabhavananda notes, "scientific or analytical knowledge" and "transcendental vision" or "yogic knowledge, realization and experience." This second type of knowledge, he notes, can only be attained when a man realizes and abides in his true nature as satchitananda brahman. "Then it is," says Prabhavanda, "that he has attained the purpose, the fulfillment of human birth (and) human life."

In "How to Know God," Prabhavanda and Isherwood explain that, "(k)nowledge or perception is a thought wave (vritti) in the mind," and that "(a)ll knowledge is therefore objective."
"When an event or object in the external world is recorded by the senses," they explain, "a thought-wave is raised in the mind. The ego-sense identifies itself with this wave. If the thought-wave is pleasant, the ego-sense feels, "I am happy;" if the wave is unpleasant, "I am unhappy."
"This false identification," they note, "is the cause of all our misery - for even the ego's temporary sensation of happiness brings anxiety, a desire to cling to the object of pleasure and this prepares future possibilities of becoming unhappy."

"The real Self, the Atman," they observe, "remains forever outside the power of thought waves, it is eternally pure, enlightened and free - the only true, unchanging happiness."

"It follows, therefore," they say, "that man can never know his real Self as long as the thought-waves and the ego-sense are being identified. "In order (for us) to become enlightened," they conclude, "we must bring the thought-waves under control so that this false identification may cease."
"Do not be conformed to the world; rather, be transformed by your mind," says Saint Paul: (Romans 12:2). "We have to  . . . unlearn the false identification of the thought-waves with the ego-sense," say Prabhavananda and Isherwood. "This process of unlearning involves a complete transformation of character, a "renewal of the mind," as St. Paul puts it."
["How to Know God," pages 18-19.]

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