Purpose of knowing Brahma
( ‘Bramha’, ‘Atman’ and ‘Self’ can be used interchangeably in this text. All denote the one and only Ultimate Reality.)
How and why should one know Brahma?
One who knows Atman does not grieve over different emotions and experiences that emerge, evolve and die as a result of the contact of senses with their objects.
These statements seem to convey that Atman is different from the senses. But it is not so. Atman is omnipresent.
Senses are subordinate to mind which is ruled by Intelligence. The intelligence is governed by Ego which serves the soul.
But the Atman, whose glimpse liberates mankind and grants immortality, is beyond soul. It pervades in whole existence but has no means of perception as there is nothing to perceive.
(Q) So something that does not perceive can-not be perceived?
(A) Atman cannot be perceived by senses. It cannot be seen by eyes. It can be glimpsed through mindful contemplation by self possessed intelligence that controls the mind. This knowledge liberates us from sufferings of mortality.
(Q) How can self possessed intelligence be developed?
(A) The absolute state of being is when the senses turn inward and become still along with the mind and when even the intelligence makes no attempt whatsoever.
This integrated state of being is called Yog. At that point the Yogi (one who attains such state) becomes centered, unaffected and quiet. Every event rises and falls in this state of consciousness.
(A)Atman can not be grasped by speech, sight or mind. How can it be attained by people who affirm that It is?
(B) Atman can be attained through faith and knowledge. The knowledge is revealed to those who develop faith that It is.
One who perceives Atman gets released from all the desires of the heart and becomes emancipated from the mortality while still being in the physical body.
(Q) When do the desires get eliminated?
(A) Only this much is declared that when all the knots ameliorate or dissolve in the heart while in this life, the mortal becomes immortal.
The thumbsize Atman is situated within the heart of all beings. It should be experienced by exercising discipline and patience, just as grass is peeled to reveal Culm.
Think of Atman as the purest nectar. Think of Atman as purest nectar.
Nachiketa, knowing all about Atman as elucidated by Yama, the god of Death, got established in Brahma and transcended dualities of birth & death and Dharma & Adharma.
Anyone who conceives Brahma and understands the way to attain It would also achieve this status.
May the Lord protect and nurture both of us, the Teacher and the taught. May we together cultivate capability to achieve knowledge. What we study should be light unto itself and not harbour malice.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
(thus concludes Kathopanishad)