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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्

God and the Vedas (Excerpts from Satyarth Prakash- English Translations) (6)

*** AUM *** ओउम् *** AUM *** ओउम् *** AUM *** ओउम् *** AUM *** ओउम् *** AUM *** ओउम् ***

COMMUNION – UPASANA
Swami ji next discusses about Upasana. He quotes from Mytrayana Upanishad –

“The happiness of that person knows no bounds - it becomes almost inexplainable – who resting on himself is able to establish communion with the Lord after washing away the filth accumulated in him in the form of ignorance etc., through practice of of intense meditation. His happiness becomes inexplainable because, the soul experiences it in the heart of its heart.
The word Upasana implies sitting closure. It is through Ashtanga Yoga – the eight steps of Yoga, one is able to go nearer God and realize Him as an indwelling and all pervading Lord. We should take all such steps which help in expediting the process of God realization.

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Swami ji next refers to the Yog Sutras of Patanjali -

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

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Let him cease to bear malice to any living being, let him always love all.

Let him always speak the truth, never an untruth.

Let him never commit theft, and let him be honest in his dealings.

Let him practice self-control, never be lustful.

Let him be humble, never vain. "These five together comprise the first stage of Upaasanaa and are called Yamas." YOGA SHASTRA SADHANPAD, 30.

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Next come the Niyamas which are also five:-

" Let a man be clean internally by renouncing all passions and vicious desires, externally by the free use of water, etc.

Let him work hard righteously but neither rejoice in the resulting profit nor be sorrowful in case of loss. Let him renounce sloth and be always cheerful and active.

Let him keep his mind unruffled no matter whether he is happy or miserable, and do righteous deeds.

Let him always study the books of true knowledge, and teach them as well, and associate with good and pious men, and let him contemplate and mentally recite Aum which is the highest name of the Supreme Spirit.

Let him resign his soul to the Will of God." YOGA SHASTRA SADHANPAD, 32. These five together constitute the second stage of Upaasanaa Yoga.

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The remaining six stages can be studied from Yoga shastra or our book called "An introduction to the Exposition of the Four Vedas."

When a man desires to engage in Upaasanaa (communion), let him resort to a solitary, clean place and get comfortably seated, practise Praanaayaama (control of breath) reatrain the senses from the pursuit of outward objects, fix his mind on one of the following places:- the navel, the heart, the throat, eyes, the top of the head or the spine. Let him, then, discriminate between his own soul and the Supreme Spirit, get absorbed in contemplation of the latter and commune with Him. When a man follows these practices his mind as well as the soul becomes pure and imbued with righteousness. His knowledge and wisdom advance day by day till he obtains salvation. He who contemplated the Deity in this way for even one hour out of the twenty-four hours always continues to advance spiritually.

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THE PRACTICE OF COMMUNION

Upaasanaa is positive when God is contemplated as possessed of such attributes as Omniscience, and it is said to be negative when the human soul being deeply absorbed in the Supreme Spirit - who even pervades such a subtle thing as the human soul - contemplates on Him as free from such qualities as malice, colour, taste, smell and touch. Its result is that the soul, by coming close to God, is rid of all its impurities, sorrows and griefs, its nature, attributes and character become pure like those of God Himself, just as a man shivering from cold ceases to suffer from it by coming close to fire.
Therefore it behoves all to worship God - praise Him, pray to Him and commune with Him. Leaving out the other results that accrue from Divine Worship the gain in spiritual strength is such that even the approach of pain or sorrow of the greatest magnitude cannot disturb the mental tranquility of the devotee. He is able to bear it most patiently. Is this a trifling thing? Besides, he who does not worship God is ungrateful as well as most foolish, because it is nothing but extreme ingratitude and foolishness to forget the kindness of that Supreme Spirit who has freely given away all things of this world to his creature to cease to believe in His very existence.

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(Courtesy- "MAHARSHI DAYANAND's SATYARTH PRAKASH" (Saptam Samulas) translations by Sh Vande Matharam Ramachandra Rao & from Arya Samaj Jam Nagar)