Key to enlightenment

March 11, 2018 08:30 pm | Updated 08:30 pm IST

The Isavasya states that Brahman who has created this prapancham and pervades it is seated in the hearts of all beings out of His unlimited greatness and compassion. Normally when one is preoccupied with the world of forms and names, and also experiences it in one’s consciousness through the gunas, senses, mind and intellect, the integral presence of Brahman is overlooked. Scriptures say that enlightenment is actually the perception of the truth of Brahman as an experience in one’s consciousness at all times and this leads to immortality, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse. Such a realised soul is known as a Paramahamsa, to denote the highest level of spiritual development in which union with the ultimate reality is attained. The reference to the bird ‘hamsa,’ the swan, which is endowed with the rare ability to separate milk from water, is perhaps symbolic of the high degree of viveka or discrimination that characterises a jnani. In this supreme yogic state, a realised soul is never confused about the real and the unreal. He transcends all misunderstanding and is freed from worldly bonds and obligations, has no likes or dislikes, has no needs and is steeped in God realisation. Tirumoolar conveys the essence of this vision which is a question of individual perception through the simple simile of a wooden elephant. Some may see only the intricate workmanship and the life like reality of the elephant in it, while some may see nothing more than a piece of wood. By extension, it amounts to what each one sees in this universe. It may be that initially one sees the five elements alone; but through meditation it is possible to gain the jnana of His all pervasiveness. Then the individual elements disappear from one’s perception and one sees only the Transcendent Lord inhering in all of them.

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