Meditating on the Brahmaswarup Guru
Can you meditate on the guru? This question will be answered here. Angirã Muni says that the best way to associate with the guru is by meditating on him; contemplating on his divine form, which is above mãyã. This is true association with Brahman through contemplation. ‘ॐ इत्येवं ध्यायथाऽऽत्मानं स्वस्ति वः पाराय तमसः परस्तात्’– ‘Aum ityevam dhyãyathã’tmãnam swasti vaha pãrãya tamasaha parastãt’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 2/2/6). Meaning, Shaunak! If you want to overcome the deep darkness of mãyã, then meditate on the brahmaswarup guru who is ever above mãyã and the ãtmã of us all.
This sentence also has another meaning hidden within it. One should contemplate (dhyãyatha) on one’s ãtmã (ãtmãnam) as Aum, i.e., Aksharbrahman (Aum ityevam). One should unite oneself with Aksharbrahman while contemplating, ‘I am Akshar, I am Brahman.’
Thus, Maharshi Angirã instructs us to associate with Aksharbrahman through contemplation and be aware of oneself as brahmarup.
In this way, until now, we have seen how our relationship with the brahmaswarup guru should be in order to attain parã vidyã or brahmavidyã, i.e., to know Brahman and Parabrahman in their entirety.
He then explains what divine fruits gained by an aspirant who attains brahmavidyã and realizes Akshar and Purushottam as they are by associating with the brahmaswarup guru in this way.
The Divine Fruits of Brahmavidyã
One Becomes Brahmarup
‘ब्रह्म वेद ब्रह्मैव भवति’– ‘Brahma veda Brahmaiva bhavati’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 3/2/9). When an aspirant who desires to imbibe brahmavidyã knows (veda) ‘Brahma’ in the way this Upanishad has shown, then his own ãtmã also becomes brahmarup (Brahmaiva bhavati). For him, the bhakti and upãsanã of Purushottam no longer has obstacles. Furthermore, that devotee benefits from the darshan of Parabrahman.
Darshan of Blissful Paramãtmã
‘तद्विज्ञानेन परिपश्यन्ति घीरा आनन्दरूपममृतं यद् विभाति’– ‘Tadvignãnena paripashyanti dheerã ãnandaroopamamrutam yad vibhãti’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 2/2/8). ‘Tadvignãnena’ based on the context this means that the wise see that divine blissful Paramãtmã by attaining a thorough knowledge of Aksharbrahman, i.e., by becoming brahmarup.
A Living Experience of Liberation
Explaining the benefits a devotee who becomes brahmarup (aksharrup) and realizes Parabrahman, the controller of Akshar, gains in this very life, Angirã Muni says, ‘भिद्यते हृदयग्रन्थिश्छिद्यन्ते सर्वसंशयाः। क्षीयन्ते चास्य कर्माणि तस्मिन् दृष्टे परावरे॥’ – ‘Bhidyate hrudayagranthishchhidyante sarvasanshayãhã, ksheeyante chãsya karmãni tasmin drushte parãvare’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 2/2/8). Here, the word ‘parãvare’ refers to Paramãtmã – that to which even Aksharbrahman, who is above (para) jivas, ishwars, mãyã and muktas, is subordinate (avara). When one realizes that Parabrahman, who is the controller of Aksharbrahman, all the desires of the heart are overcome; all doubts are destroyed. One attains nirvikalp faith in the form of Paramãtmã and all one’s karmas are destroyed, i.e., one is freed from the ties of karmas.
To instil this, Angirã again says, ‘O Shaunak! To one who is satisfied and content in having imbibed brahmavidyã thoroughly: ‘इहैव सर्वे प्रविलीयन्ति कामाः’ – ‘Ihaiva sarve pravileeyanti kãmãhã’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 3/2/2). Here, in this body (Ihaiva), whilst still living, all misery-causing mundane desires (sarve kãmãhã), are destroyed (pravileeyanti). He experiences liberation whilst living.
Such a jivanmukta (one who is liberated whilst still alive) attains the same divine blissful fruit after death too.
Attains Purushottam in Akshardham
‘वेदान्तविज्ञानसुनिश्र्चितार्थाः संन्यासयोगाद् यतयः शुद्धसत्त्वाः। ते ब्रह्मलोकेषु परान्तकाले परामृताः परिमुत्व्यन्ति सर्वे॥’ – ‘Vedãntavignãnsunischitãrthãhã sanyãsayogãd yatayaha shuddhasattvãhã, te Brahmalokeshu parrantakãle parãmrutãhã parimuchyanti sarve’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 3/2/6). Meaning, O Shaunak! Those that have developed conviction in brahmavidyã (vignãna) that is explained in the Upanishads (vedãnta), such pure hearted yatis (those who have control over their senses) ultimately attain the abode in which Paramãtmã resides, Brahmaloka (Akshardham), and attain ultimate liberation. They never re-enter the course of this world.
Moreover, O Shaunak! One who knows brahmavidyã as it has been explained in this Upanishad, i.e., fully understands the forms of the two divine entities Akshar and Purushottam, ‘विद्वान् नामरूपाद् विमुक्तः परात्परं पुरुषमुपैति दिव्यम्’– ‘Vidvãn nãmaroopãd vimuktaha parãtparam Purushamupaiti divyam’ – ‘That wise person is freed from these mundane things, he goes to Akshardham, and attains the divine Paramãtmã who is above even Akshar’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 3/2/8).
Thus, the fruit of ultimate liberation that cannot be achieved by other means is achieved by brahmavidyã.
This is the Eternal Truth
In this way, having pledged to explain brahmavidyã with the words ‘अथ परा’– ‘atha parã’ – ‘I will now explain what parã vidyã is’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 1/1/5), and defining brahmavidyã as ‘येनाऽक्षरं पुरुषं वेद सत्यं प्रोवाच तां तत्त्वतो ब्रह्मविद्याम्’ – ‘Yenã’ksharam Purusham veda satyam provãcha tãm tattvato brahmavidyãm’ – ‘That by which ‘Aksharam’, i.e., Aksharbrahman and ‘Purusham’, i.e., Purushottam both entities are known is called brahmavidyã’ (Mundaka Upanishad: 1/2/13). Angirã has explained the divine forms, qualities and grandeur of Akshar and Purushottam throughout this Mundaka Upanishad. He has also explained the method to realize those divine qualities and grandeur, and finally he also acquainted us with their divine blissful fruits. Thus, having comprehensively revealed brahmavidyã, Angirã Muni closes with the words, ‘तदेतत् सत्यम्’– ‘Tadetat satyam’ – “O Shaunak! Whatever I have said till now is the supreme truth. This is the ultimate eternal principle. Do not doubt it” (Mundaka Upanishad: 3/2/11).
Thus, this Upanishad concludes with the explanation of the supreme truth, the ultimate eternal principle. And finally, with the words ‘नमः परमऋषिभ्यो नमः परमऋषिभ्यः’ – ‘Namaha paramarushibhyo namaha paramarushibhyaha’ the proclaimer Rushi of the extraordinary Akshar-Purushottam principle has also been bowed to. Let us also bow to him.
We have learnt and savoured the precepts of brahmavidyã which fill the Mundaka Upanishad. In the Vachanãmrut, Bhagwan Swaminarayan has given these same precepts in a brief and simple way. Here are his words: “Now, on the path of ‘brahma-gnãn’, one should understand in the following manner: Brahman is not subject to change and is indivisible. Thus, it does not undergo change, nor can it be divided. When that Brahman is equated with all forms, it is because that Brahman is the cause of all – Prakruti-Purush, etc. It is their supporter and pervades all through its antaryãmi powers. Furthermore, that which is the cause, the supporter and the pervader cannot be distinct from its effect. It is in reference to this context that the scriptures equate that Brahman with all forms. However, one should not believe that that Brahman itself undergoes change and assumes the forms of all mobile and immobile beings. Transcending that Brahman is Parabrahman, Purushottam Nãrãyan, who is distinct from Brahman, and is the cause, the supporter and the inspirer of Brahman. With such understanding, one should develop oneness with one’s jivãtmã and with that Brahman, and worship Parabrahman while maintaining a master-servant relationship with him. With such understanding, ‘brahma-gnãn’ also becomes an unobstructed path to attaining the highest state of enlightenment” (Vachanamrut Gadhada II- 3).
Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj (Swami Yagnapurushdasji) has made this brahmavidyã which is described in the Upanishads and the Vachanãmrut manifest by consecrating the murtis of Akshar and Purushottam in majestic traditional mandirs. Furthermore, he pronounced across the world that the Aksharbrahman that has been described in the Upanishads and other shastras is Gunãtitãnand Swami himself, and Purushottam Parabrahman is Shri Sahajãnand Swami Shri Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Today, the manifest form of that very Aksharbrahman, Brahmaswarup Guruhari Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj, continues to deepen and strengthen the foundations of these eternal principles.
We are all extremely fortunate that we have come into contact with the embodiment of parãvidyã, brahmavidyã, adhyãtmavidyã – the Akshar-Purushottam principle through the manifest guruhari.
In the manner of this Upanishad let us end with obeisance to the shrotriya, Brahman, nishtha Guruhari: ॐ नमो नारायणस्वरूपाय। – Aum namo Nãrayãnaswaroopãya.
Translated by: Sadhu Paramvivekdas