Faith

The self-effulgent atma

more-in

The Upanishads state that having created the world, Brahman entered into it. The entire creation is thus divine in essence. This inherent divine potential is at the core of every individual being, irrespective of one’s outward form. Realising this is atma jnana. This atma swaroopa is ever effulgent and there is no need for another light to reveal the atma. It is of the nature of bliss and is ever existent. But ajnana or ignorance prevents the jivatma from accessing this blissful truth at the heart of all existence and instead leads him into the cycle of birth.

The Chandogya Upanishad explains the jivatma’s dilemma in samsara as akin to that of a blindfolded man led away and left in a strange place, pointed out Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal in a discourse. The worldly attractions, the compulsions of daily duties, the sway of the gunas in the life of a jivatma, the paths of dharma or adharma, the scriptural teachings and philosophies, etc, verily constitute a thick forest. The confused jivatma turns in every direction and cries out for someone to remove the bandage and show him the way home. If by chance his cries are heard by somebody who loosens the bandage and gives him some relief, there is the likelihood that the jivatma can inquire and try to find the right way out of the forest. He is then able to reach home at last. The quest for Tatva Jnana is beset in a maze of delusion and doubt arising in the mind of a spiritual aspirant. Only an enlightened guru can guide one in this regard. Each individual has then to engage in sravana, manana and nidhidyasa to attain realisation.

That is the stage when he intuitively grasps the ultimate truth that he is the self-effulgent atma. This knowledge leads to liberation from bondage.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Faith
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:56:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/The-self-effulgent-atma/article14425990.ece

Next Story