Samadhi graces one with intense dispassion. One whose mind is firmly established in samādhi, attains unshakable knowledge of the Supreme Reality. Only such a one, who has realized the Self, attains freedom from the bondage of worldliness. One who has attained this freedom alone experiences eternal delight.
Points for Introspection
In this world full of tension, anxiety, and fear, man’s mind always remains burdened. The supreme goal in human life is to attain freedom from all shackles of the mind and become completely free. When the mind attains freedom from all that binds and constricts it, the seeker enjoys eternal unbroken happiness.
How does one attain the so-called freedom, liberation? What are the steps in a spiritual seeker’s life that lead him steadily to the supreme goal of freedom and felicity?
Shankaracharya explains in this verse that only when one attains the knowledge of the Self, one becomes liberated. That knowledge of the Self or the Supreme Reality or Brahman, must be unshakeable. That is, the seeker must be firmly established in that Knowledge. Only then the seeker realizes that he is not the changeful, perishable body, but he is in reality the eternal, imperishable Soul, which again is nothing but the all-pervading One Universal Soul, the Brahman.
How does one attain the supreme knowledge and get firmly established in it?
This verse says that only through samādhi, one is able to clearly understand and realize the Truth, and not otherwise. So, a seeker must strive again and again to withdraw the mind from the plural, changeful, unreal, objective world. He should, instead, focus repeatedly on his own changeless, eternal Self, until he attains samadhi by merging in the Brahman, the Knowledge Absolute.
The question now arises: To be able to attain samādhi, one must have one-pointed, exclusive focus on realization of the Self; but, how does one become exclusively devoted to the contemplation on the Self?
A seeker, who by discrimination understands the unreal and transitory nature of the world, grows vairāgya (dispassion) for everything in this objective world. He understands that happiness derived from the objects of the world is always perishable, at the end of which one again gets immersed in unhappiness. Eternal happiness is had only when one merges into one’s own real Identity.
When vairāgya towards worldly objects and situations adorns the mind, a seeker of liberation should, by repeated vicāra (introspection), make the vairāgya more and more intense and deep. As vairāgya gets intensified, all desires regarding worldly affairs get sublimated. In the absence of desires, the mind becomes calm and peaceful. Having no source of disturbance in the mind, the mind is able to contemplate exclusively and steadfastly on the Self, by virtue of which it attains samādhi.
This verse describes how through samādhi a seeker attains firm Knowledge of the Self, which leads him to liberation, which in turn bestows experience of unbroken delight. By chanting this verse repeatedly, one grows strong aspiration for intense dispassion, which leads him to unshakable knowledge of the Self, and hence to the state of eternal delight.
अत्यन्तवैराग्यवतः (atyanta-vairāgyavata:) = one who has intense vairāgya (dispassion); समाधिः (samādhi:) = the state of withdrawal in the Self; समाहितस्य (samāhitasya) = for one, who is established in samādhi; एव (eva) = indeed; दृढप्रबोधः (dṛḍhaprabodha:) = unshakable knowledge of the supreme Reality, as a result of Self-realization; प्रबुद्धतत्त्वस्य (prabuddha-tattvasya) = for one who has realized the Self; हि (hi) = indeed; बन्धमुक्तिः (bandha-mukti:) = freedom from the bondage of worldliness; मुक्तात्मनः (muktātmana:) = for a man of such freedom; नित्यसुखानुभूतिः (nitya-sukhānubhūti:) = is the experience of incessant delight;
अत्यन्तवैराग्यवतः समाधिः । समाहितस्य एव दृढप्रबोधः । प्रबुद्धतत्त्वस्य हि बन्धमुक्तिः । मुक्तात्मनः नित्यसुखानुभूतिः ।
atyanta-vairāgyavata: samādhi: . samāhitasya eva dṛḍhaprabodha: . prabuddha-tattvasya hi bandha-mukti: . muktātmana: nityasukhānubhūti:
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