Friday, May 5, 2023

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai

by Sri Sandip Dasgupta


Welcome to the Buddha Purnima edition of e-Sanai.

In this editorial, I will attempt to transliterate an interesting story that was narrated by our Master on Mar 19, 1988 in New Delhi.  Through this story, the Master was highlighting how the principles of Chemistry were imparted by a Guru to His disciples in the ancient world.

Once upon a time, a Guru asked his disciple to get Him some salt and a container of water.

Pointing to the salt, the Guru asked the disciple to describe what he was seeing. The disciple readily pointed out that the salt was solid, had a shape, a form that could be seen and felt.

Pointing to the container of water, the Guru asked the disciple the same question he had asked before.  The disciple pointed out that it was in liquid form (not a solid) – but could be seen through the eyes (like the salt).

The Guru then asked the disciple to once again confirm the existence of the salt. Once confirmed by the disciple, the Guru asked him to mix the salt into the water and return the next day.

When the disciple returned the next day, he couldn’t find the salt anywhere. He was dejected and asked the Guru where the salt was. The Guru pointed out that the salt was present when he had left the previous day – but now it could not be perceived either by his eyes or by touch.

The Guru then asked the disciple to taste the water – from various depths. The disciple reported that the water tasted salty. Thus, the existence of the salt was now established through the tongue/taste instead of the touch/sight before. The Guru’s message being that if an object changes state or enters a subtler state, then its existence cannot be denied.

From then on, the Master went on to state that our I-Reality/Brahman/Atman is the most subtle entity that pervades all and is ever-existent.  It provides shelter to all – and the existence of everything in this world is dependent on the existence of this I-Reality.

So, on this auspicious day, let us take a pledge to remember His words at every stage of our lives – and attribute our existence, our actions and results to that I-Reality that pervades all.

The Power of Silence


by Smt. Mandira Lahiri

During my childhood, my father who was a man of few words, harped on observing silence for a few minutes each day.  This, he said, would give us a feeling of peace. When I was a kid, I used to be a real chatterbox and loved to talk all the time. My father schooled me to talk less. Silence, he would say brings joy, brings peace, brings wisdom, brings contentment. Unnecessary talking does no good.  By maintaining silence, you conserve your energy.

When my children were growing up, I would use silence to show my disapproval of something that they had done which was not up to my liking.  It worked wonders.  Sri Sri Anandmayee Maa also advocated observing silence to a large extent. My mother-in law who was an ardent devotee of Mother, used to observe silence for an hour every day. Her face told me that she enjoyed every minute of it.  At times she would also use it as a tool to avoid unnecessary arguments.

Among Muslims during Janazaa time, there is pin-drop silence. No wailing, no sobbing - just quiet mourning…. accompanied by an acceptance of Allah’s Will.

You are supposed to observe silence when you go to a place of worship, a library, any class, or a place where last rites are performed.  You don’t even want to talk; you just want to be quiet.  In the beginning when you try to observe silence, the mental chatter continues, but slowly and steadily all distractions vanish.  Peace and joy prevail.

Now I will present before you the observations of great souls and eminent writers on silence.

Mother Teresa in her book “Love, Joy and Peace” reiterates — “The most important thing is silence. Souls of prayer are souls of deep silence. We cannot place ourselves directly in God’s presence without imposing upon ourselves interior and exterior silence.  That is why we must accustom ourselves to stillness of the soul, of the eyes, of the tongue.

God is the friend of silence. We need to find God, but we cannot find him in noise, in excitement. See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass grow in deep silence. See how the stars, the moon and the sun move in silence.

The more we receive in our silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. Silence gives us a new way of looking at everything. We need this silence in order to touch souls.”

Mr. M.K. Gupta in his book “How to Remain Ever Happy” writes — “Try to find some time daily when you are in solitude and in silence.  Devote this time solely for yourself.  Try to do self-introspection in this time so as to know in which areas you need improvements and strengthening, in which areas you are slipping.  By this self-analysis, give necessary suggestions to yourself to improve.

Through silence you conserve mental energy. Always speak less, speak in low and sweet voice and to the point. Avoid gossips, unnecessary arguments and discussions. Aimless talking should always be avoided.”

In the book “The Art of Happy Living”, Shri G.D. Budhiraja writes — “Silence is a positive force that can transform people from within, since it is in silence that one meets one’s Self authentically. And only an authentic encounter with one’s Self can lead one on the path of renewal.

Silence has always been an integral part of spiritual tradition. The story of the Buddha is captivating. He spent many years in silence and meditation, after which he got enlightenment. Jesus Christ is said to have spent forty days in the desert in silence, fasting and praying before he realized the Supreme Truth and then embarked on his mission.

Silence is at the heart of all realities. All growth takes place in the hush of silence:  a seed opens itself in the depths of silence, a bud blossoms in silent moments, the growth of an animal takes place in a silent manner, as also the growth of a child. It is silence that dominates in all forms of life and growth; that is why sages and enlightened souls always recommend silence as a pre-requisite for Self-realization.”

In the book “Talks”, Sri Ramana Maharshi says — “Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. The silence of Dakshinamurti removed the doubts of the four sages. ‘Mouna Vyakhya Prakatita Tattvam’ (Truth expounded by silence). Silence is said to be exposition. Silence is so potent.

For vocal speech, organs of speech are necessary, and they precede speech. But the other speech lies even beyond thought. It is in short transcendent speech or unspoken words, Paravak.”

Sri Bhagwan further points out that Thayumanavar mentions ‘Mouna’ (silence) in numerous places but defines it in only one verse. Mouna is said to be that state which spontaneously manifests after the annihilation of the ego. That state is beyond light and darkness, but is still called light since no other proper word could be found for it.

Maharshi states “When Sita was asked who was her husband among the rishis (Rama himself being present there as a rishi) in the forest by the wives of the rishis, she denied each one as he was pointed out to her, but simply hung down her head when Rama was pointed out.  Her silence was eloquent.

Similarly, the Vedas also are eloquent in ‘neti’ - ‘neti’ (not this - not this) and then remain silent. Their silence is the Real State. This is the meaning of exposition by silence. When the source of the ‘I thought’ is reached it vanishes and what remains over is the Self.”

Maharshi says that Dakshinamurti revealed this Truth that Reality is all-pervading; thus, Ishwara pervades the Jiva; therefore, the Jiva has Eternal Being. His knowledge is not limited. Limited knowledge is only imagined by him. In truth, his is Infinite Knowledge. Its limit is silence.

Once a visitor asked Maharshi — What is Mouna (silence)?

Maharshi — That state which transcends speech and thought is Mouna.

Visitor — How to achieve it?

Maharshi — Hold some concept firmly and trace it back. By such concentration silence results. When practice becomes natural it will end in silence. Meditation without mental activity is silence.  Subjugation of the mind is meditation.  Deep meditation is eternal speech.

Visitor — How will worldly transaction go on if one observes silence?

Maharshi — When women walk with water pots on their heads and chat with their companions, they remain very careful, their thoughts concentrated on the loads on their heads. Similarly, when a sage engages in activities, these do not disturb him because his mind abides in Brahman.

Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur says, ‘You must first try to be silent with calmness, for that will help to control the senses and mind as well as it enables one to see Divine everywhere, in everything at any moment— in the midst of contradictions. In that way one learns to keep mental equanimity, tranquility, serenity and equilibrium within. Silence, in that way, also helps one to accept all, embrace all and to overcome all opposites such as pleasure/pain, success/failure, gain/loss, happiness/misery, virtue/vice, good/evil, positive/negative, yes/no etc. with equal spirit. From silence you can realize your Self, realize all in your Self, and your Self in all. That is the perfect unification and identification— the true aim of life.’

The dictionary meaning of silence is — complete absence of sound.  Whereas, Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur has given the meaning of silence as ‘Nirav Mouna’, that is the language of the Absolute.

Divine Sadguru, help me to dwell little more each day on this magical power of silence, so that I am able to experience That Ultimate Peace and Joy which we all yearn for.


Contemplation of the Absolute-I


The following is an excerpt on ‘Contemplation of Absolute-I’ from Brahma-Atma Vidya Vol-2, pages 110-112 (compiled originally in Bengali by Shri Tushar Bhattacharya) transliterated by Sri Ramen Basu.

1.        There never was any difference between the living universe and the Self, nor is there any, now. The manifestation of everything is perfected verily by the Consciousness. You all are used to finding fault with each other in and through the senses, mind and intellect. That is, the shortcoming of the senses, mind and intellect. This shortcoming is nourished and grows by the thought that the body is one’s all-in-all. The directive of the Realizer of the Reality is to apply the mind earnestly at the center of Self I-Consciousness instead of the body, senses and the rest.

2.        One must take shelter under the Self I-Consciousness in order to overcome the influence of mine-Consciousness. That is possible when one practices sitting quietly in a self-composed manner for some time, without giving any indulgence to the ideas or feelings of the senses and mind i.e., to the imagination and thoughts of the mind; it means the practice of total relaxation at a particular time each day. Once this habit is somewhat firmed up, then to contemplate one’s own I to be outside the body like the sky i.e., the I is stainless, all-pervading like the sky and the Infinite Conscious Being or the ever-Existent Consciousness.

3.       There is not any birth, death, decay and changes of the sky i.e., no culminating result or transformation. That is eternally pure, free, permanent, changeless, formless, all-pervading, inactive and support-less. Contemplating on these words try to experience yourself in that Consciousness. Comparing one’s own I with the sky in this manner strive to experience yourself like the sky.

4.        Contemplating I as the Infinite, indivisible, the One without a second, the Absolute Manifester of all, the Revealer Being and the Self I-Reality, practice to dwell in that Consciousness. Gradually increase the time of practice and try to stay in that Consciousness as long as possible. Think that in this I there’s no fatigue or exhaustion, hence It has no alternative or substitute also.

5.        This I has no rival and has no adversary — like there cannot be another sky as the substitute or alternative of sky, there’s only one sky. This one sky is everywhere in the creation, similarly there’s only one I within the individual (Jiva). I means the ever Conscious Being or the Existent Consciousness.

6.        Under all circumstances and always you can remember the Consciousness; while moving, standing, sitting or lying down, the I is always there within the I. Be sure! You cannot go out of your I, you cannot know anything out of your I and this I is birthless and deathless.

7.        I is eternally changeless.  In Me, nescience/ignorance-science-prescience, agency and gratification are utmost impossible. I is bodyless, I has no body. I is dissociated i.e., I has no companion — ‘Eternally non-dual’. I is unbroken i.e., birth, death, decay and disease etc., the sixfold modification are absent in I. I is the Absolute i.e., beyond reals/Gunas, beyond conflict, beyond emotions/ideas, eternally permeated by Saccidananda.

8.        I is the Truth, I is the Eternal, I is all-Perfect, I is indivisible, I is the Absolute, I is non-dual, I is ‘Eternally non-dual’, I is Saccidananda Itself—this verily is the mystic formula (Mantra) of I. If each one can contemplate to some extent on these words each day, then one will observe that there has been a total personality change within a month; and by doing any mumbo-jumbo for the whole life nothing will be attained.

9.        The very nature of the Ishwara-Atma (God-Self) Consciousness is the very nature of the Absolute I-Consciousness. The Absolute Truth is one’s Own Self I-Consciousness which verily is Immortal Bliss and the Ocean of Supreme Divine Essence. For complete unification and identification with this Ocean of Supreme Divine Essence, the Science of this ‘Real Self I-Consciousness’ has been expressed as far as possible in a simple and lucid language.

10.     If one dives deep in the indivisible Ocean of Supreme Divine Essence i.e., Ocean of I- Absolute, then life is permeated by the Supreme Divine Essence, the Self I-Reality and Absolute Immortality. This Absolute-I of Ishwara-Atma is the Supreme Truth Itself, the Reality Itself, the indivisible profound Saccidananda, Love Itself, Absolute Itself and Peace Itself. If one dives in this indivisible Bliss of Divine Essence, then there is death of death itself i.e., Immortal Life-Divine is attained.

11.      In the Immortal Life-Divine, the supra-sattvic Self -Consciousness and the I of Consciousness is directly experienced below and above, in front and behind, to the right and to the left in all the states in One’s Own Consciousness.  Life then comprises the essence of Bliss Consciousness and is full of the essence of Bliss Consciousness like the sweet and juicy cottage cheese ball (rassogolla) is full of the sweetness through and through i.e., the Bliss Consciousness Itself is Its right identity. Wherever you taste there will be the experience of the same One Essence. The vision of all-even Consciousness and of the same One Essence everywhere shall open. This vision of One Essence is called ‘Rishi-Drishti’. That verily is the significance of the Absolute Realization- Brahman-Atman-Ishwara Consciousness.

12.      Experience yourself as the Saccidananda Itself by becoming One with the indivisible Ocean of Saccidananda, the Ocean of Supreme Divine Essence, just like the sweetness of a rassogolla is one with the rassogolla. Saccidananda is verily your Real Identity. In That, there is no defect of partiality, perception of difference and conflict, doubt or apprehension, fear or illusion— nothing is possible therein. After all these are removed through spiritual discrimination between the Self and non-self, the direct experience and realization of the existence of the Absolute I, the Self-Divine (Atmaram), the Self I-Reality (Paka Ami) at the root of the ego gets perfected; and the ego also is terminated forever.


Transliterated by Sri Ramen Basu and edited by Sri P.C. Lahiri, this work is submitted at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Babathakur.