"That man has reached immortality who is disturbed by nothing material. " ~ Swami Vivekananda

Sacred Space: Reflections

Atmabodh or Self-realisation

Babaji speaks: Himalayan Tapaswi Yogi Sri Gorakh Babaji gives a spiritual discourse on the essence of atmabodh or self-realisation.

Beyond time, space and causality is the fourth or spiritual dimension, where energy and matter being inter-related can be converted into each other. Beyond physics is metaphysics. When we are in the fourth dimension of Turiya or pure consciousness, we are in the state of Atmabodh or Self-realisation.

Jagrat or the waking state is the state of being connected to the senses. In the state of swapna, or dream-state, the mind is kriya-oriented, even though the senses are not being directly engaged. Sushupti is the state of deep sleep, of rest, beyond the waking and the dream state. These three states together constitute the gross world.

Karma Yoga

Masters & Sages
Sri Babaji
Guru Gorakhnath

Pilgrim Trails
Legends of Kailash

Presence of Masters


Gorakhnath Babaji The fourth state is Turiya or consciousness, attained through deep meditation. This is a highly evolved state, where there is neither confusion, nor questions, there are no illusions and no delusions. There is no ahankar, (ego-attachment) nor the other vikritis of human nature - kaam (sexuality), krodh (temper), lobh (greed) and moh (worldly attachment).

Atma is the witness, omnipresent, omniscient, self-liberated, actionless, desireless, self conscious and in a state of harmony. While sansar or the world is divine play, it is perishable. He who knows what is sashwat or immortal, has 'bodh or conscious wisdom.

There are different levels of 'gyan' or knowledge - so Raja Janak, father of Mata Sita, Maharani of Ayodhya, displayed a higher level of knowledge than Arjun of the Mahabharat. Lord Krishna had to show Arjun his divine form before he could recognise him. Arjun then apologised for not having recognised him and for having treated him too casually as a friend. One who has bodh, does not ask a thousand questions, he is not weakened by conflict, swayed by confusion. Janak in contrast to Arjun, did not ask should I do this or that, how should I do this, but asked only for gyana, vairagya and moksha. Gyana is knowledge, vairagya is freedom from raga and dwesha, or the compulsions of attraction and repulsion. Moksha cannot be readily translated but the closest definition would be liberation.

One who has shastra gyan or knowledge of the scriptures is a pandit or a scholar, not a gyani. Vidhwan is different from gyan - as wisdom is different from academic learning. Bodh comes from the assimilation of direct experience. One who has bodh may not have formal learning, as Ramakrishna did not, whereas Vivekananda had considerable gyan or learning. Kabir had not touched pen or paper.

For Atmabodh, it is not necessary to perform kriyas. Atmabodh comes from chetna or consciousness - there is no process involved, it is not becoming, it is being. Mudras, kriyas are the process of preparation and purification. They are not needed for atmabodh. Gyan or knowledge pertains to the sansar or the material world of space-time. The Yoga of the Gita has Atma Bodh as it's central focus. The only merit for teaching is atma bodh. Direct experience (Shruti or revelation) is not a factor of time - it can happen in an instance, yet it can alternatively take lifetimes or even yugas (eras). Sukh Deva, son of Vyas was samadhisht from the womb, or conscious before he was born. Smirti is remembered wisdom or tradition as compared to shruti which is revealed knowledge.

Brahma drishti is different from sanasarik drishti - one is the physical vision, and the mental modifications that are caused by it, and the other is when the vision of the eyes is directed towards the third eye, or introverted introspective vision - and the vision is of pure light - when one sees as it is, without engaging the senses, without the mind interpreting and judging, vision then is unadulterated, it simply is. This is being the witness of consciousness.

There is an interesting tale of how Sukh Deva, reluctant to be initiated into formal learning, ran naked past a group of women bathing. They did not pay him any heed. Close at heels, ran his father, Ved Vyas. Seeing him, the women hurriedly clothed their bare bodies. Intrigued, Vyas stopped to ask them how come they had not hidden from his son who was a young man. They explained, "He has brahmadrishti, you see with sansarik vision".

Ashtavarka was similarly conscious even before he was born. Ashtavarka's father was reciting the scriptures to his mother, while Ashtavarka was still in the womb. When he made a mistake in the recitation, his son spoke out correcting him. The enraged father cursed him that he would be born with eight physical deformities, hence Ashtavarka's name.

Brahmabodh comes from brahmadrishti. This understanding comes from seeing beyond the senses and the mind, from perception without modifications, from knowing what is, rather than what is expected, from the pure vision of spiritual attainment. This understanding, when it matures, is Bodh. When one is no longer limited by the tattwas, or the elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth, of which the body is made, when one is aware of the consciousness that exists within and without, when a mirror sees a mirror, when the atma sees the atma, the light of pure consciousness is infinite consciousness, and this is called bodh.

Meditation is the process through which to achieve it. Yoga is the perfect medium for self-realisation. The body is a medium, a temple, in which the light of consciousness manifests. And therefore, it is imperative that we preserve that body, that we respect it and sanctify it through our actions. One has to be an 'adhikari' of atmabodh, to have it, one has to be deserving, have the necessary attributes, and behave in accordance to it, to prepare oneself to be an 'adhikari'.

It is important to remember that he who does not know, does not have the knowledge of whether he speaks the Truth or not. His words are barren philosophy. He does not have the merit to be a guru or spiritual master. Every individual has 'ahankar', and an enlightened master must respect the ahankar of the taught, so one must speak in liberal terms.

Home | Back | Top | Feedback

Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.