How can we experience the Atma? – Summary of Divine Discourse on 04 October 2016
The whole of Creation has emerged from Truth and finally the whole of Creation will merge back into Truth. There is no place in this universe, which is not impacted by Truth. If you ask the question, “What is Truth?” you will know it is nothing but absolute purity. Truth is the fundamental basis of this Creation. All things have emerged from Truth and ultimately all things will merge back into Truth. Truth is that which is never changing and is eternal and permanent. At this moment you are sitting in the hall. After the programme is over, you will go back to the hostel. Therefore, you saying “I am sitting in the hall” is true only for this moment and not afterwards. So, it is only a fact and not Truth. That which keeps changing depending on the time, place and circumstances is only a fact and not the Truth. This body is today a child, tomorrow a young man and later becomes an old person. Therefore, it is changing and is not the Truth. Depending on circumstances, this moment your mind may be happy, next moment it may be subjected to sorrow. Therefore, the changing mind cannot be called the Truth. Truth is only that which never changes and that which never changes is the Atma. In fact, Atma does not have a birth, growing up or death. It is eternal, permanent, ever-steady.
This Atma when enveloped by different qualities, looks different at different times. This Atma when mingles with the body and the mind, looks different. The body is an instrument, which is made up of five elements – earth, water, fire, wind and space – which get together to give it a shape. Similarly, because of five different qualities, the mind keeps changing. There are five things – first it is the mind, then the intellect, subconscious mind, ego and attachment. Because it has five attributes or five qualities, it keeps on changing. Atma does not have a name, a form or attributes. But because of the attributes of the mind and the body, it looks different. All these differences are external and not internal. We cannot see the Atma but through experience we can know it.
Upanishads in order to describe what is the Atma say “Not this, not this, not this,” but they never say “This is it.” It may tell you that the Atma is that which is eternal, but it can’t give you the experience of the Atma. If you want to know what the Atma is, you have to experience it. How can we experience the Atma? Atma is not different from highest love. When you develop love without any expectations, that is the testimony for the Atma. When we transcend our likes and dislikes and when we feel that everybody belongs to us, what we experience, to some extent, is the Atma. But because of our desires and expectations, this love becomes attachment, and is not pure love. If you want to attain pure love, you have to give up all your expectations. We have to give up the meanness of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and develop broad-mindedness of ‘we’ and ‘ours’. When we conduct ourselves in this way, to some extent, we can experience pure love. Swami has no expectations, no desires. I have only one desire that everyone should be always happy, joyful and blissful. I don’t have any other desires. You will experience permanent joy and happiness only when you experience the Atma.
Children will understand the concept of Atma better than adults because children’s hearts are like soft mud. We can shape it in any form we want. In the near future, all these children will grow up as Atmajnanis – knowers of the Atma – and they are going to teach this to the world and change the world completely. There is no scripture higher than the Bhagavad Gita. Once you know Gita, you need not study any other scripture. Gita is the very essence of all the Vedas and Upanishads. You have to demonstrate it and show it in your lives. People should be able to see the message of Bhagavad Gita in your lives.