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A PEEP INTO VEDIC LORE Swami Sundara Chaitanyananda Introduction Every man in this world wants a life of peace, joy and tranquility. He wants to live an eternal life of absolute happiness and when he is unable to live such a life he feels miserable. This is because, what he desires to have and enjoy is the very essence of his nature. Peace and bliss are man’s birth-right. Man is himself an embodiment of happiness. Oblivious of this truth he tries to derive unalloyed happiness from the world in which he lives. But the world itself being transitory can we give only temporary and fleeting pleasures. “Absolute and eternal happiness can be got only when you realise your true self”. This is the call of Vedanta to man. To know oneself means to know his true nature. The true nature of man is Sat-Chit-Ananda that is, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. Despite the fact that man sees death dancing around him at every step, he for himself hopes to live forever and forever. But there is nothing wrong or extraordinary about his wish. His imperishable self prompts him to do so. The very nature of man is Pure Existence and hence it is most natural for him to wish for a permanent existence free from death. If any one asks him who he is, he will respond immediately by giving his name. He will remember his near relatives and say that he is the father of a particular person and the son of another person. If anyone beckons him to go near him, he will immediately go to him and thus identify himself with the body. While thinking and reasoning he identifies himself with the mind and intellect. Inspite of the changing body-mind-intellect equipment, the “I” in him remains changeless. The body may change and perish but the I, the imperishable, underlying reality does not change or die. This permanent being of the self is known in Vedantic parlance as ‘Sat’ or Absolute Existence. Next comes man’s innate thirst for knowledge. Man is never content with a little knowledge. He is ever in the quest of more and more information. He strives to know about everything in the universe. He endeavours to know all the hows and whys of nature. And the more he comes to know of things the more conscious he grows of the things that he does not know. That is he is aware of his knowledge about things as well as his ignorance about them. This innate awareness that makes him conscious of his knowledge as well as his ignorance is the second aspect of the self. As the sun lights up the whole world revealing everything to us, so does the self or the Atma reveal everything, both visible and invisible. The self is the one thing that ought to be known, for by knowing it everything in the universe is but a reflection of that one self which is you. Therefore, knowledge of the self is knowledge of the universe. The moment you know your self you come to know everything.
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