An Introduction to the Brahma Sutras.

Xavier's picture

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An Introduction to the BHRAMHA SUTRAS
(Classes of Swami Probuddhananda Puri.)
Part 1.
Today we start the Brahma Sutras. Its a very important text of Spirituality or Vedanta. The Vedic religion or the religion prevalent in ancient India was depended on three texts or the three authoritative texts, one is the Sruti or the Vedas, the next is Smriti or the Bhagavat Gita, where Lord Krishna delivers His great teachings to Arjuna in the battle field, and the third one is the Vedanta Sutra or Bhramha Sutras or Nyaya. Vedanta Sutras means - these are aphorisms, these short of very small words, wherein the whole essence of the Vedas or spirituality has been poured in. Its believed that this Vedanta sutras or the Bhramha Sutras were composed by Vyasa because whenever we talk about these texts, we come across a name called Vadarayana. Vadarayana is the other name of Vyasa, the same person who has transcribed the whole Vedas, the Mahabharata epic including the Bhagavat Gita, the 18 Puranas where Bhagavatam also is one of them and Adhyatma Ramayana. Because He had compiled the whole vedas into words, so, He is also known as Veda Vyasa. He is the unanimous Master of the Vedic Spiritual tradition. All the vedic school of thoughts regard Veda Vyasa as their Master. So Vedanta sutras is the Authoritative texts because this is the Nyaya or the grammar of Vedanta.
Today I chose to read this Vedanta Sutras to you, why? Because as I mix with you, or talk to you, I see two different thought process going on simultaneously in your mind. One thought or one force is very very very powerful force or thought, which is always pulling you towards the Self or the Knowledge, but the other one is a lot of confusion, doubts which creeps up into your mind and sometimes I see that you suffer. But these doubts are very normal because the mind is like a wave, sometimes it will be high, sometimes it will be low. Its like tides, so theres nothing to worry. Because you don't have a very detailed understandings about the spiritual back grounds, what happens, why it happens, that is why you get confused and I have seen that you suffer a lot.
But there is no reason to suffer at all. Because once you have come to this question that I want to realize the self or God, it is very much evident that you will know the truth. The first thing that I want to tell you is that to know the truth we need three qualifications, one is a human birth, a cow cannot have self realization, why? Because she doesn't have that mental level which she can transcend her mind, she can go beyond the limits of the mind, she cannot discriminate. Any other creature in this world doesnt have that capacity to discriminate their mind which will take them beyond the realms of mind, beyond the limitations of the mind.
We all know mind, mind, a group of thoughts, group of all cloudy thoughts, is taking us always into the external world. when this group of thoughts act upon us, we get distracted, but we also have the capacity within us by which we can cut this distraction and this faculty of ours is called discrimination. Because of this discrimination, we can cut all the thoughts can we can go beyond the limitations of the mind. We can reach that unlimited Brahman and that is why human being is so much valuable. He is held equivalent to God. In the puranas if you see, you will see that the Lord residing in the heaven also cannot become enlightened, if they want to become enlightened, they have to take a human birth. So, here we have to know that though we remain amongst sufferings and miseries, we are superior to any other creature in the whole scheme of creation. Why? Because it is only the human being who can get enlightened and liberated. so, the first thing that we need for enlightenment is a human birth, it doesnt say that you have to take birth in India or become a Brahmin, but it says you should have a human birth. Next is the extreme urge for freedom or enlightenment, I have to have this strong urge which will tend me towards enlightenment, liberation, freedom. Everybody wants to be free. The first thing that every human being wants is to become free, because he is always free by nature. But, he doen't know this. Why do we always want to become free, to sleep? Sleep is the only state which we love the most, whatever we do, we do that for a good sleep, why? Because the sleep gives us the taste of freedom, freedom from our thoughts, mental distractions and sufferings, from physical sufferings also. We get freedom in such a state about which we have no idea, we feel refreshed after we come back from sleep. Enlightenment or Samadhi, where there is a union with ourself or God, the highest state of a human being is Samadhi, that state is nothing but conscious deep sleeping. I am sleeping but I am conscious about the sleep. We sleep but we dont know what happens, but the man who is conscious about his sleep is an enlightened man. We are all talking about freedom, enlightenment, how to achieve that? We have to elevate ourself to such a plane of consciousness where we remain conscious in the sleep. This urge to realize God will take us upto that point, so the next quality required is the urge to liberation. The third factor is a contact with an able Master. It says if you have these earlier two qualities, the human birth and un urge for liberation, then only you will come in contact with an able Master. When these three conditions are fulfilled, you get liberated. You go beyond your mind, the cycle of birth and death, time, space and casualty. A man who goes beyond the limitations of his mind goes beyond birth and death.
Now we have to see ourselves. When we come together, practice vedanta, take classes, where do we stand? We have seen that we have this urge to know the Self. Everybody of us who are present here today have a genuine urge to know the Self and we are working very hard for that. Now we have to see what the scriptures tell us about this state of ours, where do we stand, where a man stands when this self search comes to him? Where does the man stand when this question comes to him that I want to know myself , O my Lord, tell me, tell me. We have to study Sankaracharyya also. We have to know the Vivekchudamani where we will find that the disciple comes to a Master and prays to be taken away from the realms of this world because he is bewildered by the fire of this world. He wants to get that peaceful state, wants to get liberated from these burnings. The first thing that the Master tells Him is -don't worry. Fear not. The first words of the Vedas or the Upanishads is this- Fear not. whatever happens to us, everytime we should know, fear not, there is way, there is way. So when this opposite thoughts comes to us, I know that in everybody's mind, this is very obvious, till you know the Self confirmedly , hold on, fear not. Upanishads means remaining near the self with full confirmation. It means that he is totally confirmed that there is the Self, that He is the Self, the unity, the oneness, the abode of peace, bliss, joy, happiness , freedom, of knowledge, of truth of infinity, of divinity, of eternity. This is the place, he knows it.Upanishads means the knowledge by which we stay near the truth with full assurance.

Laura Johnson's picture

such an enlightening words.

such an enlightening words. Thanks Xavier for posting this article. Love always, L

Laura Johnson | Sat, 01/17/2009 - 03:38
Omkaradatta's picture


It's good to see Swami P.B. is recommending discrimination. Meditation is good, but not if over-done to the exclusion of exercising ability to discriminate between truth and falsehood. The mind cannot settle down for long without knowing why it should.

Omkaradatta | Sat, 01/17/2009 - 04:23
Xavier's picture

well, discrimination is the

well, discrimination is the essential part of self knowledge. Without discrimination, one cannot approach. Thanks for the comment.

Xavier | Sat, 01/17/2009 - 17:42