One’s deep quest takes one to search for the Brahman, the ultimate truth. In this quest, the journey itself is the destination and the journey can transform the seeker forever. Our Upanishadic wisdom tells us about the quest of a young scholar to know about the ‘Brahman’. If the Guru answers any question, it becomes knowledge but when the disciple finds out for himself, it becomes the realised wisdom. Hence, the Guru desired the Shishya to follow the process, make the journey, and discover for himself. The Guru advised the disciple to ‘explore’ by meditating on the Brahman to know what it is.
A deep meditation by Shishya results in his understanding that the world is surviving through ‘Annam’ (the food). If one is deprived of food, even existence may become a challenge. Thus, his conclusion at that point was that Annam is the Brahman.
This was easily refuted by the well-meaning mentor who challenges that if one feeds the dead, no outcome happens! This puts the Shishya through another round of meditation. As the nuancing and differentiating factor between the living and the ‘other’ is ‘prana’, Shishya tentatively concludes that it is ‘prana’ that is Brahman. The ‘code’ appeared to have been cracked but for the valid question by the Guru. The one with Prana but in a vegetating state can hardly do anything and Brahman can’t be imperfect!
One more meditation round leads to ‘Buddhi’ (discerning ability) as the answer. Not really as what one does with Buddhi really matters! These iterations finally culminated with ‘Ananda’, the true bliss as the undisputed answer. Ananda is beyond the ‘Sukha’ (body-related) and ‘Santosha’ (of manas) and is deeper and truer.
Reverse engineering the issue, we find that when one is in a truly blissful state, the ‘awareness of self’ is totally absent. The ‘doing’ actor, secondly what is being acted upon, and thirdly the very act itself (the trio of Karta, Karma, and Kriya) converge, and the seeker is filled with ONENESS, the Ananda. This is the blessed state one can get into and aspire to stay in forever. It is the ‘converged’ state where the ‘Advaita’ is achieved. Anything that is second becomes absent and there is only one remaining, the vibration of ONENESS.
(Dr. S. Ainavolu is a professor at VPSM, Navi Mumbai. Views are personal. You can find more articles at: