The First Verse – 1

Summary: The constant hankering after a new and better experience in our life is due to the inherent incompleteness of our goal. If we can live our life as an experiment towards finding the ultimate truth, we would eliminate this want.

As always, let us start at the beginning!

The first Verse of Dnyaneshwari is : Aum, Namoji Adya, Ved Pratipadya, Jai Jai Swasamvedya, Atmarupa.

Tanslation: Aum, Salutations to the one from which everything has evolved, the one about which Vedas talk, hail the one which can only be cognized by self-experience and which has taken the form of our inner being.

Let us think about: Jai Jai Swasamvedya (hail the one which can only be cognized by self-experience).

I feel that this phrase is trying to tell us how should we apply the abstract ancient Advaita philosophy in our everyday life.

Many of us think that if we live our lives in a morally right way, without causing unnecessary injuries to others and take care of our dependents to the best of our abilities, we have fulfilled the mission of our life. This is basically the idea of having a `clear conscience’ while we live our daily life. Is it all there is to it? If we have been lucky enough to practice the above philosophy and also be able to live a physically comfortable life, have we achieved all that there is to be achieved? If we look around us, we see many people (including ourselves!) who seem to have achieved this goal. Still, do we not feel as if something is missing in our life? Are we not still looking for some unknown thing without even realizing that we are doing so? Moreover, since almost everyone that we know is feeling this lacuna, it cannot be wished away as a particular idiosyncrasy of an individual. A feeling that holds true over a vast segment of people over a large amount of time must be accepted as a fact. So why are we feeling this?

I feel that an answer to this question lies in this word Swasamvedya (the one which can only be cognised by self-experience) in this verse of Dnyaneshwari.

It says that the ultimate truth of things can only be perceived by self-experience. We can only experience things that have a direct contact with one of our five senses and even then their perception in our mind is always clouded by the state in which it is in. In order to have a good reflection, the mirror should be clean. Likewise, if we would like to have a clearer perception of things that happen around us we must have a mind that is not prejudiced. Hence, in order to understand the real import of what has been sensed, our mind must act as a neutral observer. This must go on whenever there is an experience. Hence this must go on all the time. Going one step further, we can even argue that we live only to see things that happen around us as they actually are and that what we perceive is the current aspect of the one without beginning. Havent we heard that all saints say that whatever happens is the wish of the `God’? The Saint Dnyaneshwar seem to say that whatever happens IS God. Hence we are always directly in touch with the one about which Vedas are talking!
Of course, in order to realize it ourselves, we must be an impartial observer all the time. We will see what does that mean next time.


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