I, Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath sa-shaktikaayai bow down at the lotus feet of my first Guru, my revered father Pandit Shri Murli Dhar ji Mishra, Vidya Guru Kaul Shiromani Shri Shivanand Nath ji, Yoga Guru Paramhamsa Shri Balendu Giri ji Maharaj, Tantra Guru Shri Shri Anta Devji Maharaj, Vama Guru Shri Kaleshwaranand Ji Maharaj and all the compassionate Masters, divine souls of Gurumandala.. I pray for their love, support and guidance always..
मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ॥ २-१४॥
maatraa-sparshaas-tu kaunteya sheetoshna-sukha-duhkha-daah|
aagamaapaayino-anityaas taans-titikshasva bhaarata||
O son of Kunti! By virtue of contacts between the sense organs, the sense objects give rise to certain perceptions of happiness (good) and distress (bad). These impressions are non-permanent, thus come and go like the seasons such as winter and summer. O descendent of Bharat! One must learn to tolerate these perceptions without being disturbed.
Krishna continues his discourse with Arjuna.. He says.
O son of Kunti! By virtue of contacts between the sense organs, the sense objects give rise to certain perceptions of cold and hot [happiness (good) and distress (bad)]. These impressions are non-permanent, they come and go like the seasons move in a cycle (after winter comes summer). O descendent of Bharat! You must learn to tolerate these perceptions without being disturbed. ||2-14||
Throughout the discourse of Gita, both Krishna and Arjuna call each other with different names. For you can observe in the first sentence Krishna has once called Arjuna as Kaunteya and then Bharat.. while in the next sentence he calls him Purusharbha. It is extraordinarily Amazing! isn’t it? I am leaving you at this observation for you to contemplate and find out, why?
For a person who has been in distress, extreme fear and anxiety etc. his consciousness becomes concentrated in the mind and body. He is unable to feel his existence beyond the two. For such a person there is no reference point available to observe the reality for he forgets his own presence beyond mind and body. Such person goes through all the sufferings and joys as being body and mind but your existence is beyond the body or mind, as an observer of both the states. The pleasures and pains are caused by the interaction of sense-organs with the sense-objects. Every normal human is blessed with 5 sense organs rooted in 5 tanmaatras , namely – Gandha Tanmaatra (sense of smell), Rasa Tanmaatra (sense of taste), Roopa Tanmaatra (sense of vision), Sparsh Tanmaatra (sense of touch) and Shabda Tanmaatra (sense of sound). Krishna is using the term maatraa-sparsha as representative of the above 5 cognitive functions. Some impressions are created by interaction of associated sense organs with the objects pertaining to their respective fields. None of these impressions are permanent.. you smell something good or bad and after a time it disappears. You experience a taste (good or bad) and that also dies out in some time.. likewise every sensation comes and goes. Here emphasis is on ‘coming and going’ the cycle of appearance and disappearance. So these senses come and go but are You these sensations? No! This is not You. You are that permanent entity (existence) that experiences these different impressions.
Krishna is pointing to the Truth of ‘Being’ that never ceases to exist whether sense impressions are there or not. Till the time You exist you will have to witness or experience this cycle of sensations.. Also all along you can not but categorize these experiences as your antah-karnans (inner organs like mind, intellect, ego etc.) will continue to analyze and decipher these experiences as good, bad or neutral. ‘Good’ being beneficial, pleasurable, comfortable, of some value, beautiful, feeling of expansion, bearable, expected and so on.. this is just the interpretation of antah-karanas. In normal circumstances it is just not possible for a living and normal human body-mind complex to not interpret, categorize the experiences – only dead bodies don’t do that.
Krishna is using a word ‘titikshaa’ which means bearing, ignoring or tolerating senseborne opposite experiences without reacting to them. In fact in Vedantic scriptures total eight steps have been mentioned for reaching the Truth (God or Brahmn). They are the following –
1. Viveka (विवेक)
2. Vairagya (वैराग्य)
3. Shamaadi-ShatSampatti (शमादि-षटसंपत्ति)
4. Mumukshataa (मुमुक्षता)
5. Shravan (श्रवण)
6. Manana (मनन)
7. Nididhyaasana (निदिध्यासन)
8. Tattva-Padaarth Sanshodhan (तत्त्व-पदार्थ संशोधन)
Viveka is ability of a person to separate sat (that does not change) from asat (that changes). Vairaagya is the outcome of Viveka where a person moves away from the material world and its ways completely understanding that these belong to asat.
Titikshaa (तितिक्षा) belongs to fifth practice in the third step. The Shamaadi-ShatSampatti (शमादि-षटसंपत्ति) has six practices in it. Those six practices are –
- Shama (शम)
- Dama (दम)
- Shraddhaa (श्रद्धा)
- Uparati (उपरति)
- Titikshaa (तितिक्षा)
- Samaadhaana (समाधान)
Withdrawing mind from the sense objects is known as shama. Keeping senses away from their sense subjects is known as dama. Having complete trust of God, Scriptures more than anything else is shraddhaa. When you train yourself to keep off from the worldly matters and pleasures your old habits (tendencies) change and that is known as uparati. Bearing the hunger, satiation, hot, cold, pain and pleasure without any reaction like prasaada from God is titikshaa. When your inner environment (antahkaran) becomes free from all kind of doubts and dualities about your own understanding of world that is known as samaadhaana.
After realizing that the world is asat and temporary a desire to crossover, transcend the samsaara or understand the Truth is ignited. When one wants to become free from the bondage of this world that state is known as mumukshataa.
Once mumukhshataa becomes strong one goes in search of an able Guru. Unlike today’s seekers who go to the Gurus for gaining more power, money, health, stress reduction and gaining more confidence and capacity (and surprisingly modern Gurus have decided to cater to such people in a big way!) to engage in the worldly matters with renewed enthusiasm (smiles). While in company of Guru, listening to his words of experiential wisdom, his commentaries on scriptures etc. is known as shravana. Here listening is not about listening spontaneously but also about keeping these words of wisdom in one’s memory to be guided at every step of life. It is said that by sharavanam of Gurus words the doubts arising in mind due to one’s own direct experiences of life are removed. Contemplation on these words and to attempt to reach the Truth using these teachings is called manana. This process removes hypothetical and imagined doubts. Now the penultimate step – nididhyaasana; When we believe the world to be true and existence of God (the causeless cause to this world) to be untrue this is known as vipareeta bhavanaa. In fact nididhyaasana is practice of continuous effort to not let this vipareeta bhaavanaa set in.
And finally, when one is able to separate the matter (padaartha) from the cause (chaitanyam) and what remains is only chaitanyam this process is known as tattva-padaarth sanshodhana.
It is seen that Krishna is superficially dealing with the subject matter here and merely touching one practice out of the complete sequence of 8 steps. Some learned people may say Krishna is touching one practice out of a system to represent the whole system. The titikshaa being the representative of that system but I view it differently.
If you go back to the end of first chapter you would know that Arjuna has already been experiencing a state of vairaagya (The name of the chapter given by Maharshi Vedvyaasa is – Arjuna Vishaada Yoga). It is through his own Vishaada, deep sorrow Arjuna took to dropping his bow & arrow and decided not to fight. He virtually took karma sanyaasa or at least contemplated doing so when he said ‘I will prefer to live by alms rather than killing our own men for this kingdom or I will happily want to be killed by these men rather than killing them’. Now a Guru in Krishna is doing both, touching upon the essentials of sanyaasa in and also testing the mindset of his disciple, Arjuna. Krishna knows that Arjuna’s ‘Karm-Sanyaas’ is not rooted in its principles but just the natural (and temporary) aversion from karma owing to his inability to handle the deep sorrow. Therefore Lord touches upon this topic pertaining to modality of Sanyaasa.
Just another take of mind in support the view of other learned saints about this shloka is that just in the next verse krishna is giving out a complete system of Yoga based on just one practice i.e. titikshaa and He says –
यं हि न व्यथयन्त्येते पुरुषं पुरुषर्षभ ।
समदुःखसुखं धीरं सोऽमृतत्वाय कल्पते ॥ २-१५॥
yam hi na vyathayantyete purusham purusharshabha|
sama-duhkha-sukham dheeram so-amritatvaaya kalpate||
O Arjuna! noblest amongst men! That person who is not affected by happiness and distress, remaining steady in both, becomes eligible for receiving state of immortality or liberation.
From time immemorial whenever Lord has assumed the role of Guru he only makes things simpler and doable for the seekers. Now take up this declaration from Him wherein he is not insisting Viveka, Vairaagya, Shama, Dama, Shraddha, Uparati etc. he is directly choosing the practice of titikshaa Why? I presume Guru in Krishna clearly knew that coming generations will not be able to generate shraddhaa in them then what is the point of giving this as a practice. Let shraddhaa appear as the outcome of the practice of titikshaa. Out of this deep equanimity viveka and vairagya are bound to arise. As soon as viveka is born it will automatically transform the person and all necessary qualities will come to him.
In support of my this view I will draw your attention to the story of Srimadbhagwatam wherein it is said Gyaana (Higher wisdom. Isn’t it hinting at Viveka?) and Vairaagya are two sons of mother bhakti. In fact 18 chapters of Gita, each one of them have been referred to as a Yoga. For example the first chapter is – Vishaada Yoga. And i have seen many people having used Vishaada for their spiritual growth and acumen in life. Yes it is true! If you know how to contemplate over your sorrow. I belong to Tantric tradition wherein nothing, literally NOTHING has been barred from its use in spiritual growth of a person. It only validates the point that I am making; Any (one) practice can elevate your eligibility of receiving the ultimate Truth. One practice means the one that has been chosen for you. There is nothing like ‘one size fits all’!
Without an iota of doubt ‘one mantra for all’ or ‘one practice that works for all’ are biggest mirages. So when your mumukshataa is ignited search and find an able Guru. Don’t follow the Puraana vachan : महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः . When you come face to face with your teacher, request Him to give you ‘Your Way’, ‘Your mantra’, ‘Your method’. If he is not running a ‘Disciple-Acquisition Mission’ he will surely attend to your request and bless you with a personalized beginning practice I am sure. Any personalized practice works wonders!
Enough for today..
– Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath
Ach. Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath is master of SriVidya, Yoga and Tantra. He along with his beloved consort Ma Shakti Devpriya, initiates interested seekers in Tattva Shakti Vigyaan, Kriya, Yoga, Tantra, Swara & Yantra Vigyaan. To know more about upcoming workshops visit www.shaktimultiversity.com To get assistance on which practice or workshop to choose, email us at: email@example.com To join LIVE Shiva Sutra discourses by Acharya Shri Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ji please register on: www.shaktimultiversity.com