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Vidya and Bhakti

Q. Swami, I have heard people use the word, Amanaska often. What does it mean?
A. This entire creation, when it is realised as but Seen by the eternal See-er, the Witness, simply disappears, as fog before the Sun. That stage is known as Amanaska.

Q. What happens to the knowledge?
A. Even that disappears!

Q. This Witness that you spoke of, where does it reside in the dream-stage?
A. It is in the Jivi; it not only witnesses but it also weaves and creates everything it sees.

Q. And during deep sleep?
A. It is in the Full (the Modification-less) Reality.

Q. And, in the fourth stage, the stage beyond deep sleep, the Thuriya?
A. It is merged in the Iswara-sthana, this changeless Entity.

Q. What is meant by the term, Paramaartha?
A. Parama Artha, that is to say, beyond and above this world limited by the body and the senses.

Q. They talk also of Parama-pada. How will that be?
A. It will be devoid of Nama-Rupa or Name-Form and Kriya-Rupa or Deed-Form.

Q. Swami! Is God transcending the Universe or immanent in the Universe?
A. He fills the Universe and is also beyond it; so there is no place outside Him; all places are inside Him; all Names are His; no Name is alien to Him.

Q. How is the Godhead who fills the Universe to be referred to?
A. He can be called by various names: Paramapada: the Limitless Open, the Paramaartha, the A-sarira (the Not-Body), the Paripoorna (the fullest Full), the A-vaabg-manogocharam (the Un-graspable by word or thought). He has many names.

Q. Is this Sath, this Entity, ancient or new, Sanathana or Nuthana?
A. Of course, it is Sanathana, not Nuthana.

Q. Which is the ultimate Purushartha?
A. Why, Moksha, of course.

Q. When talking of Vidya, Swami, I have heard people mention Four Vidyas. What are they?
A. Yes; they are Aanveekshaki, Thrayee, Vaartha, and Dandaneethi.

Q. These names are all new to me. What exactly is Aanveekshaki?
A. The Vidya by which one is able to discriminate between Atma and Anaatma.

Q. And Thrayee…?
A. The Vidya by which one can attain Swarga or Heaven through the appropriate rituals and Karma.

Q. What does Vaartha teach?
A. Agriculture and other productive efforts.

Q. What does Dandaneethi mean?
A. The rulers and guardians of society rule and guard, according to this Vidya; it is essential for earning and enjoying riches and crops.

Q. Which of these plunge man into the cycle of births?
A. All, except the first, the Aanveekshaki.

Q. The mastery of the mind is held essential for spiritual victory. But to purge the mind of all evil, what are the virtues which we have to cultivate?
A. There are four chief virtues: Maithri, Karuna, Muditha and Upeksha.

Q. I must trouble you Swami to explain these too.
A. Comradeship and the company of the humble and the good; affection for the Name and Form of the Lord - these are included in Maithri; Karuna is the kindness one feels towards the afflicted.

Q. What is the virtue called Muditha?
A. Muditha is the joy one feels when meeting people who are charitable, who serve others, who help those in distress, etc.

Q. Upeksha?
A. Non-involvement; the feeling of unconcern at the wicked; neither loving them nor hating them.

Q. Just like these four virtues, they also talk of four types of Bhakthi; what are they, Swami?
A. My dear man, all the multifarious types can be included under four categories; the Aartha, the Arth-aarthi, the Jijnaasu and the Jnani. The Aartha is the person who is tormented by agony or distress.

Q. What does Arthaarthi mean?
A. Those who desire Artha or wealth or spiritual power and for that sake, worship God and pray to Him for than boon.

Q. Jijnaasu, you said. Who are they?
A. Those who seek liberation steadily and strongly, and go in search of the Absolute.

Q. And the Jnani?
A. He who has escaped from the dual consciousness, the Dwandwa bhava; who has known his identity with the basic Truth of the Universe.

Q. Tell us the names of some who have achieved fame through these types of Bhakthi, Swami. Then it will become clearer to us.
A. Oh, there are plenty of names. Among Aarthabhakthas, I can tell you of Droupadi, Prahlada, Sakkubai; among the Arthaarththis, Dhruva, Arjuna and others; among the Jijnaasus, Uddhava, Radha; among the Jnanis, Suka, Sanaka, and others. Next