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Jan. 27, 2023

πŸ”’ Thoughts on the Upanishads - Isha Upanishad: Verses 4 - 6

πŸ”’ Thoughts on the Upanishads - Isha Upanishad: Verses 4 - 6
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Enjoy the 2nd episode of my Thoughts on the Upanishads. The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the Isha Upanishad, Verses 4 - 6.

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Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N. Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast episode. Today, we are continuing on with my thoughts on the Upanishads, and this series is exclusively for those on Patreon and Supercast and Apple Podcast subscriptions.

Every Saturday at 11:

00 AM Eastern Standard Time, there is a free virtual meditation session along with a discussion and q and a. Please find the details in the show notes and video description below. If you are interested in meditating with us. Sometimes we need help with our spiritual journey. There's some questions we have that we just want answered. You can as a friend ask me and I can help you through a virtual one-on-one meeting via Zoom, and you can find the details in the show notes and video description below. Please do like and comment and subscribe if you're watching this on YouTube and please do follow and subscribe if you'll listening to this on your favorite podcast streaming app. Please do share this new series with your friends and family who are looking for this deep dive into spirituality by looking into the Upanishads. Today we are going to continue on with the Isha Upanishad and we are going to be looking at verses 4 to 6. Verse four. That Self, the unmoving one, is quicker than the mind. Never indeed can it be reached by the senses for it is always ahead! In spite of standing still, it is the one that gives the wind of motion to the others who are running. Let's break that up a little. So first of all, it says that Self. So right now we need to experience the presence of the Formless Awareness right now because once it is said that Self, we should automatically start associating ourselves with it, or at least bringing it in front of us. That Self, and remember, it's right here. It's not somewhere in the future and it's not somewhere in the past. It's not somewhere behind you. It's right here. And once we say That Self, remember it is referring to Nirguna Brahman. That non-dual self, that non-dual awareness. And by also saying that Self, it is invoking our state to arise from the material to the Formless. That's essentially what we are looking to do. When we feel the first two words that self, that's what it automatically brings for us. Then it says the unmoving one. So it doesn't move anywhere. It is absolute stillness. It is stable in itself. Nothing can waver it in any way. Nothing can rock it in any way. Nothing can disturb it in any way. It's unmoved. Neither can our faith move it nor our faithlessness. It doesn't really matter because that self is dependent on nobody and no thing else. Nothing can move it and nor does it move anything. It doesn't care about moving anything. It doesn't care about listening to our prayers. It doesn't care about listening to what we want and what we desire on a material level. I'm not saying that we cannot feel that there is a God that cares for us. You can. It's a good consolation. But it's not the ultimate truth and it's not the truth that we talk about here on the deeper level because now awareness is something that you are, it's something that you have to empower within yourself. You are basically praying to yourself to improve your own circumstance that you know is ultimately unreal. Makes no sense when you look from a Vedantic level, more so from a deeper spiritual level. Its presence is everywhere. Hence it doesn't need to move. For example, if I need to go to see, a friend, I will have to travel to their address. I'll have to go to the very street, to the very house that they live in. However, even if I have to go to the temple, I have to put in the address, and there I can have the darshan of either the Guru or the deity. But with the Self, it's unmoving. It's everywhere. Wherever you go, it is present. We don't have to have an address to find this non-dual awareness. It's right here, right now. Readily available. Then it says is quicker than the mind. Although we can acknowledge that the mind processes at a very high speed, it's incredibly fast and it's incredible like how much processes are going on, you know, what our senses are processing, what our thoughts are processing, what images are processing, what our memories are processing. All this can be happening simultaneously. That's how magnificent the mind is and only doing that, but the brain itself, just allowing the whole body to function as it needs to is phenomenal. Even to the point of at one time, the thought can be processing so many different data points from the universe around it. For example, whatever our senses are processing that, any of the information that's hitting the senses and then for the senses then brings it to the mind for it to process is incredible and therefore we have this vision that we have right now. Think about the amount of data points required just to have the ability to just watch this podcast or listen to this podcast and look the room around you or the the park that you are in or whatever, it's incredible. However, even before the very energy of a thought is stirred up, that Self is present, so it's quicker than the mind before the mind can even have a single intention, Brahman is there, the Self is already there. . Therefore no emotion or thought or the senses is faster than Brahman, is faster than Formless Awareness. Impossible. They cannot be. No memory can take our attention before Formless Awareness is there. What is a screen that shows us memories, thoughts, feelings, sensory data. That very Brahman Itself, that very Self. So before even the image of a memory appears, it's appearing on the screen of the Self, the screen of Formless Awareness. That's why it's faster than the mind, because the screen is present before the image is. And then it says, never indeed can it be reached by the senses. That self can never be reached by the senses that's truly understood. Formless Awareness cannot be reached by the senses. The eyes cannot see it. The ears cannot hear it. The tongue cannot taste it. The skin cannot touch it. The nostrils cannot smell it. This. Formless Awareness is prior to all of that, and none of the senses can relay that information of Formless Awareness. And then it says, for it is always ahead. That Formless Awareness is always ahead. It's right here in front of us. Before your eyes see the screen, this Formless Awareness is. Before your ears hear the sound of my voice, Formless Awareness is. The Self is always ahead, and the question is, can you perceive it? Can you right now perceive this Formless Awareness? Take your time. Take a few seconds right now. And before the sound of my voice or before you even look at the screen or while you are looking at the screen, can you understand that awareness is there prior, before all of this and just be with That. That experience is what it's always about. Then it says in the verse, in spite of standing still, it is the one that gives the wind of motion to the others who are running. So although it doesn't move and it appears that it is standing still, that Self is the one that gives motion to all action. The reason behind all action is that Formless Awareness. For action to occur, Formless Awareness has to be, there has to be a 'Me'. There has to be an 'I'. We have to understand that the speed is, the motion is given by Formless Awareness by Brahman. Every action is given energy from this Self. That's all we need to remember. Then verse five. It moves and it moves not; it is far as well as near. It is the inner realm of everything, as well as the outer shell of everything. Now we enter into the world of paradox and paradox is an incredible tool that is used by a lot of the Upanishadic Sages and even by genuinely anyone that's had an enlightened experience. Paradox seems to be the best language to explain it. I dunno why, but do check out Swami Sarvapriyananda ji's talk on the, the language of paradox. It's really, really good, talk. The other thing with paradox is, is that we don't need to think about it. We go beyond thinking, and we go to the universe of insight when it comes to paradoxes and trying to understand them and trying to get to what it's trying to point to. We then go into the idea of trying to perceive where the words are trying to take us. Let me repeat the verse again. It moves and it moves not; it is far as well as near. It is the inner realm of everything as well as the outer shell of everything. It moves and it moves, not. That self through existence, through Sat, you know, Sat-Chit-Ananda Existence Consciousness Bliss. From the existence, part of it, that is moving through all the objects of the universe, that Shared Being, that Ground of Existence, is what's moving through all the objects of the universe. Whatever we see, in the universe as an object of sound or an object of a wave or an object of, a rock or a gas or a liquid. All of that is done through existence. So the Self is that as well. That's the way to understand it. So even though existence seems to be expanding and planets are rotating and stars are colliding into each other and atoms are colliding in into each other and all that. Although all that is happening, but the Formless Awareness is still, is not moving at all while all that is happening. So hope that's clear. For example, it moves in the Earth's rotation around the sun. It moves in the antelopes trying to escape the hungry wild cat. It moves in the clouds across the blue sky. Then it doesn't move because it is the absolute stillness in all motion. For example, it appears that the sun rises and sets, but it is in one place alone. It's not moving anywhere. Even if the body is sitting still, the blood is still circulating around the body, oxygen is still being circulating around the body. In all activity, in all doing, in all motion at the center is stillness. Due to the self being all pervading, it doesn't need to move to be somewhere. Okay? That's what we need to remember when it comes to that. Now, the next part of that verse is: it is far as well as near. Think of this Brahman, this Nirguna Brahman, this Formless Awareness being at the furthest place in the universe, the furthest point in the universe. Go to the absolute edge of the universe conceptually in your mind. See if you can get to the furthest edge. The Self is still there, and yet the Self is also absolutely near you and is the nearest thing. As I often say that it is the space between the eyeball and the eyelid, or even the space between the subtle, the very thin space between the two eyelids when they are closed. So it's that near. Yeah. It's so near that it's touching your skin and you're still not aware that it's touching your skin. That's how close this Formless is. How close this Formless Awareness is, how close Brahman is. It's both close to you, the closest thing and the farthest thing too, hence it's all pervading . I hope it's all starting to make sense now. Then next part of the verse, it says: it is the inner realm of everything as well as the outer shell of everything. It is a center within everything. Yeah. The, the heart of everything. That's what Brahman is. The essence of everything is Nirguna Brahman. It is Formless Awareness. The whole existence is filled of Formless Awareness, of Nirguna Brahman, and the way to understand this is that it's one the outer shell of everything. So even if we put this human body, say in a microscope, I, I once watched this TEDxTalk about it. You put the body through, , a huge microscope. And if the microscope had to keep zooming in and say it saw some cells, it sees some cells dancing. It goes deeper into the cells. Then you got the atoms. The atoms are all dancing. But if you zoom in even more into the atoms and what you see is, Formless energy, that's it. Emptiness. Even though we have this body right now, this outer shell, but deep within, it's actually just emptiness. Formless emptiness. That's incredible. That basically this Formless energy suddenly has this outer shell. Yeah. Now think of all of existence as the outer shell, and yet the inner is Formless Awareness. Deep within everything is Formless Awareness is Nirguna Brahman or is God, if we must use that word in the right sense now. Even the appearance of everything is this Brahman. Absolutely everything is Brahman. Nothing is false. This is a life affirmative, teaching that sees everything as God. Or see that God is everything, or God is the only thing and everything appears in it. That's a way you can interpret this. Then verse six, which is final verse of today. They who see all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings do not have to hide or shrink from anything. The Rishis of the Upanishads really want us to understand this point very clearly. The Absolute Reality is oneness. It's all one, all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings, Absolute Oneness. There's no doubt about this. All objects, all beings of this universe is the Self, is Formless Awareness, nothing less. And remember that the Rishis even considered stars to be a being. They were that attuned to what they consider to be a being. Planets are a being. They never see something that is inanimate or what we think has no Consciousness as not being a being. It could still be a being. Remember when it says all beings in the Self and the Self in all beings, it's considering everything in Existence. Nothing from existence is exempt from this both Formless and with form. If all the objects of this universe, including you, is the Self, is this Formless Awareness, then the Formless Awareness must be seen in all beings. It's a natural byproduct. It's not something that, you can escape from, practicing. If you escape from practicing that, then there's a problem with what you've understood. But yeah, once you understand what you are, you understand that that is the same for everyone. It's not literally that, oh yeah, I'm an enlightened being, but the next person isn't, an enlightened being will see everyone as enlightened. The only difference is they know it, the other person doesn't. So it's just a matter of removing the ignorance and that's what the, Sage does, it removes, they remove their ignorance. If we see the self in all beings, then that is truly namaskar, that is truly, you know, Namaste in the, in the true sense, in the true meaning because it doesn't matter if you are young or old, we should always do our pranaam to everyone. There is a thing in Indian culture where they find it strange for an older person to bow down to a younger person, they'll always say that an older person should never touch the feet of a younger person. And I think that's silly because when you say Namaste, when you say namaskar, you are literally praising the divine in everyone. Does the divine have an age? And if you're doing pranaam to a body, then you're not really doing namaste and you're not really doing namaskar. So we have to really think about what we are doing. When we honor the Formless in all, then we see everything and everyone as divine. So that's what it comes down to, because as we know, the Self is Formless. It's awareness. Therefore, you know, once we see that in everything and everyone, then divinity is everywhere and maybe it's, I dunno if it, if it's too soon for me to say this, but even the things that we consider to be the worst things in our lives, even that has an aspect of divinity in it. For us in, that's part of Sanatana Dharma, even that which looks bad has a hidden blessing, and that which we consider to be a blessing may have a hidden curse. So we understand the balance of everything. What I would say here is, from what I'm seeing in this verse, is that even if we consider all beings as our concepts, even then we should see that Formless Awareness is the purest of all concepts and the purest of all, even though we cannot call it a concept, but the, when we put it on paper or in words, it becomes a concept, by, an unfortunate concession. Only the Rishis knew this before, but today you can know it, you can know this Truth. This is no longer a, a knowledge that is hidden. It's right here, right in our faces. It's just about having someone teach it to us so we can understand it properly. Therefore, understand that you are the Self, and the Self is in you. There is no need to hide from any situation face it! There's no need to hide from a challenge. Take it. There is no need to hide from spiritual attainment. Be free from it. Nor do you need to shrink away from social ills, correct it. Nor do you need to shrink away from injustice, fight for social justice. That is the power you get by being the Self. Initially it goes back to the first point, the first verse that we looked at today, verse four, where we said that self, if you leave this episode today, just by remembering that you are that self, you are that Formless Awareness, then you've got to where you need to get to. If you remember the close proximity of this Formless Awareness, even better. That is the end of the episode. Please do share this podcast with your friends and family who may enjoy this content. Follow me on social media to keep getting updates. Join the Bearded Mystic Podcast WhatsApp community group to continue the podcast discussion details in the show notes and video description below. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, check out the podcast Patreon page details in the show notes and video description below. Please rate and review the podcast on our website www.thebeardedmysticpodcast.com Please like and comment on this video and subscribe to this YouTube channel. Please follow or subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast streaming app. Thank you very much for listening. Let's end with the Soham and Shanti Mantra. Soham Soham I am That. I am That Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum Peace Peace Peace Namaste.