Meditation on Atma Bodha
This morning I meditated on a passage from Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati’s book Self Analysis and SELF KNOWLEDGE, based on Atma Bodha of Shankaracharya. Â I have a special connection to a handful of books and pamphlets that I received from my teachers in the early days of my yoga study. Â Atma Bodha was the text that the ashram teachers chanted from the first night that visited Ananda Ashram, Â and the teachings that they shared on that night have forever changed the way that I view myself and the world around me. Â Like most of my books from ‘back in the day’, my copy of Atma Bodha is well worn, with excited scribblings of yoga philosophy in margins and occasional coffee spills or water marks on random pages. Â Regardless of the condition of text, my reverence for this depth of understanding and wisdom holds strong. Â When I lose my way, this text always brings me hOMe.
A bit from this morning’s passage:
Birth, death, class, creed, gender, and nationality belong to the body. Â Since the Self, I, is identified with the body, the characteristics of the body are superimposed on the Self in the same way as qualities of color and flavor are superimposed on water.
On account of the identification of One’s Consciousness with uphadhis such as class creed, color, country, east, west, infancy, youth, adulthood, old age, etc., which are superimposed on Atman one feels the duality and multiplicity of the world in the same way as one percieves in a mixture uch as water the characteristics of color and flavor.Â The multiplicity is superfical appearance only:Â they belong to the the body and not to the Soul.Â As water is tasteless and colorless, so is the Soul beyond all characteristics which belong to the realm of Nature.
Every apparent, finite existence is turned into infinite Existence when it is investigated fully and completely.Â “That perfect; this is perfect.Â The perfect comes out of the perfect.Â Taking the perfection from the perfect, the perfect itself remains.”
This fullness is hidden, due to defective perception which gives a finite appearance to what is already Infinite.Â When defective perception is checked by right perception, this fullness is realized.Â Reality and unreality cannot stand together.Â When Brahman is recognized and identified, maya disappears.Â The multiplicity of the world is then transformed into Brahman; hence the world is Brahman.Â The question of multiplicity, subjectivity, and objectivitiy arises only when the world of experience is accepted as Reality in itself and by itself in it’s relative form.Â When the fullness of the Absolute Reality is realized, all names and forms of the relative world disappear into one Existence – Brahman.
- Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati