618 – Brahma Vidya

What does Vidya mean? Vidya means correct knowledge in any field of science, learning, philosophy or any factual knowledge that cannot be disputed or refuted. Its root is Vid (Sanskrit) which means to reason upon, knower, finding, knowing, acquiring or understanding. Vidya is also the name of Saraswati.

Brahma Vidya is the spiritual study of Hindu scriptures with the aim of realizing the ultimate reality. It guides the seeker to discover the truth within himself. It is revealed by the Guru and is expressed as his grace.

Mundaka Upanishad highlights many unique characteristics inherent in the tradition of handing down knowledge of Brahman from Guru to shishya. This lineage is traced to Brahma who has received it from the Guru, Vishnu (primordial guru).

Brahma vidya is defined as the highest knowledge, knowing the Brahman; lower knowledge is science. There are two sorts of knowledge—principle and secondary. The unessential is that part of the Vedas, dealing with worship and ceremonies and also all secular knowledge. The essential is that part by which we reach the absolute. – Swami Vivekananda.

Brahma Vidya Sadhana as given by Swami Sivananda

Close your eyes. Withdraw your senses. Calm the mind. Silence the bubbling thoughts. Make the mind blank. Merge deep into the Atman, the self, the supreme soul, the light of lights, the sun of sun. All knowledge will be revealed to you. All doubts will vanish. You will be fearless. Peace, bliss, eternal happiness and knowledge will alone remain.

How can we perform this sadhana?

We have to develop self-awareness. Self-awareness means self-observation and detachment in our activities. Become a witness and watch your breath. Close your eyes. Visualise the breath with prana, while inhaling and visualize the breath while exhaling. Count backwards from 54 to 0. Listen to the external sounds without identifying who or what is making the sounds. The softest sound and the loudest sound. This is external awareness. Shift to internal awareness listen to the sound of your breath. Again, count your breath backwards. No mistakes in the counting. Go back and forth with external awareness and internal awareness. Find a symbol, concentrate upon it after about ten minutes of breath awareness. Symbols are given by Gurus or one has to seek one’s own symbol. Symbols can be a star, sun, moon, flower, Gods, Gurus or a mantra. Stay with it. The practice is unconditional. It means no expectations. Gradually one’s impressions will be transformed into spiritual samskaras. Open eyes. Stay with the sadhana, be non-judgemental, empathetic, and compassionate to all.

Aim Hrim Klim


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