ASI HABLA VIVEKAYUKTANANDA
REMINDER FOR A SAMNYASIN
1. Oh Samnyâsin! Arise! Wake up to Reality! And tread steadily your chosen path. Be sincere and perform your Swa-Dharma. Do not betray yourself. Remember that your dream was to be a Samnyâsin. At every single moment, Renew your dream! in your heart and in your mind.
2. Oh Samnyâsin! Remember your goal constantly and use every endeavour to attain it here and now. Do not leave for a remote future life what you can get right now.
3. Oh Samnyâsin! Give up every unreal desire but maintain the Only Real Desire of God Realization,Brahma-Jnâna.
4. Oh Samnyâsin! Make use of your weapons. And if you had given them up, like Arjuna did in Kurukshetra, listen to the voice of Krishna, raise them up, and do your battle. Nobody could do it for you. It is Your Battle, and you have already known the face of your enemies. Conquer them. And if your body meets with death, be that you have attained Liberation in this life or not, you will have accomplished your Swa-Dharma.
5. Oh Samnyâsin! Be your own Avadhûta. Be frank with yourself, and, through Vichâra and Viveka, get to the very marrow of your bones and root out Ahamkâra.
6. Oh Samnyâsin! Nothing belongs to you. You belong to no one. None can be your owner. Isn't this a cause for Ânanda?
7. Oh Samnyâsin!
You are like the wind and nothing can make you stop.
You are like the waters of a river that finally enters the Great Ocean.
You are like the fire that purifies everything.
You are as generous as the Mother Earth.
You are as free as the ether.
8. Oh Samnyâsin! Be Happy! You expect nothing from this Maya, from this mirage. You already know that there is no difference between clay and gold.
9. Oh Samnyâsin! Through faith, devotion, discernment and Yoga get rid of the fetters of the body, which is a mere non-existent product of Avidyâ. Thus it is said in the Vedas.
10. Oh Samnyâsin! May your power of discrimination be the sharp-edged sword through which you can separate the Real (Brahman) from the unreal (Universe). Fix your mind in Viveka. May your desire for Liberation become as essential as the need of air is for the lungs of one who is drowning in a river.
11. Oh Samnyâsin! Nothing exists except Brahman. Even those pure ideas as Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, vanish when you (through Nirvikalpa Samâdhi) are in contact with That Existence. The veil will vanish, and you will have known that you had never gone out of that Eternal Ocean, which is Brahman Itself, and that you had only been dreaming in the world of Avidyâ.
12. Oh Samnyâsin! You are a Renouncer! But think, be frank and ask yourself: What have I renounced? And you will find out that the answer is you have not renounced anything. Because, how can one renounce what is non-existent? You have only given up this Maya and have devoted yourself to Brahman, The Only Real.
13. Oh Samnyâsin! Know that the one who lives in Avidyâ thinking this unreal universe to be real, is certainly a renouncer, because he has renounced his Real Essence.
14. Oh Samnyâsin! When you are in the waking state, repeat: "Brahma Alone Exists". When you are in the first stages of you dream state, and your body is resting, go on repeating "Brahman Alone Exists". Then, during your deep sleep, a very subtle particle inside your mind will repeat, amidst thousands of divine sounds, "Brahman Alone Exists". And when you wake up you will hear that your lips, very softly and firmly, will be saying: "Brahman Alone Exists".
15. Oh Samnyâsin! Be alert. Maya has many ways to draw you away from the path to your Goal, even more ways that you could think. But, don't be afraid, You Are a Mighty One and Âtma-Jnâna (Brahman Knowledge) is your Goal. May every beat of your heart say: "I am He", and may this words resound in your brain like the drum resounds through the battlefield. And so, Maya will vanish by the power of your firm conviction.
16. Oh Samnyâsin! Know that the Only Ultimate Goal for a man is Brahman-Jnâna. You can make use of all the means you want (Karma-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga, Jnâna-Yoga, Tapas, Japam or Kirtan) but beware Samnyâsin, make use of any of them Only as a Means. They are only crutches that will help you to take the first steps; then throw them away and make use of Pure Discrimination (Viveka), which will lead you to the Direct Realization. And remember that as a result of the habit and laziness a Karma Yogi may fall into error and let his mind become absorbed only in the tasks he uses to do, at such a point that he becomes blind and deaf to the Direct Truth. A Bhakti may fall into the error of fanaticism. A Jnâni may fall into the error of the most pure and refined intellectualism, but empty and unproductive. The one who does Tapas, Japam or Kirtan may fall into the error of a senseless mechanical act. For this reason, Samnyâsin, whatever be the crutches you use, make constant use of Viveka. Analyse yourself, Scrutinize yourself, and Strip your ego of all its limiting adjuncts and you will know in which point you are.
17. Oh Samnyâsin! Always remember this: Whenever impure thoughts assail your mind, do not exert yourself to fight against them, taxing your strength, because the thoughts will be intensified, nourished by the energy you lose whenever you give them importance. To ignore them is the principle. Do not give them the importance they want you to think they have. Settle your heart and your mind firmly in Brahman, and make use of Viveka, which will reveal you that all those thoughts are illusory, and therefore non-existent. And so you would have won once again, and through the purest discrimination, you would have found Peace and Wisdom in your heart and in your mind.
18. Oh Samnyâsin! Do not feel superior to the others because of being a celibate. There are some householders who, regarding their wives as the Divine Mother, have reached the goal that you are still longing to achieve.
19. Oh Samnyâsin! Neither man is superior to woman, nor woman is superior to man; both are one thing alone. Because, is there any distinction of sex in the Âtman? Moreover, as if that were not enough, which is the reality of the bodies? Who can assert the existence of this dual Universe? Nobody will be able to answer these two questions in the affirmative. Because, where is the one who can give any opinion about a non-existent thing? Only a fool would do this.
20. Oh Samnyâsin! Do not judge nor criticize anybody. You must never do it. You can only judge yourself. And do not be shocked at looking at somebody who eats meat or any other food of the kind that you consider being impure; because maybe he, who is eating those foods, no longer makes any difference among those things, and he might have offered those foods to the Âtman, and not to his physical body. While you, Oh Samnyâsin! are still making impure those foods, that you consider being sattwic, with the dirty mud of desire, for greed or for fear of dying of starvation. And remember also, Oh Samnyâsin, that whatever enters by the mouth may cause, or not, some physical disorder, but it is whatever comes out of the mouth (to judge, to tell lies, to say hard words), what is really harmful to you.
21. Oh Samnyâsin! Stop making differences. When you are capable of respecting in the same way the most honest woman and the prostitute, whom you think the most impure woman (since you are living in Avidyâ); when you are capable of respecting in the same way the more holy man and the most abject sinner, you will have realized, through the utmost discrimination, that all is Brahman.
22. Oh Samnyâsin! Neither likes nor dislikes Samnyâsin. Get rid of these two deceitful states which trap you and do not let you be free from the state of bondage of repeated births and deaths.
23. Oh Samnyâsin! Know that a Guru who is ever established in Brahman (Nirvikalpa Samâdhi) will tell you: You and This Are One. Since you are still in Avidyâ you see two, an Enlightened one and a seeker after Enlightenment; but know that when you have gone beyond the limits of this Unreal Universe through the Yoga of Discernment, you will also say, You and I Are Only One, because Brahman is Undivided, the One without a Second, That Existence.
24. Oh Samnyâsin! That Guru who is ever established in Brahma can say, "I am that one who was Jesus, Buddha, Râma, Krishna, or any other Avatâr." Do not interpret he means he had been that particular person in any previous life, but that since he has fully realized his identity with the One without a Second, with Brahman, he is Everything and Everyone, because he is the Beginning, the Middle and the End. And remember that, as Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: "Whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness prevails I manifest myself for the establishment of righteousness." This is the reason why you must have equal respect, Oh Samnyâsin, for all the Avatârs, since all of them represent Brahman, the Indivisible Unique, the One without a Second. Be one with them, Oh Samnyâsin, and so you will be One with Brahman. This is what Lord Jesus meant too, by saying: "Nobody will approach the Father (God except through Me". On saying this he was not referring to himself as Jesus, but to the state he was established, Nirvikalpa Samâdhi. Moreover, according to the Holy Bible (New Testament), in several occasions he asserts more than once: "I and my Father (Brahman) are One", asserting his state of Awareness of Total Unity with the One without a Second".
25. Oh Samnyâsin! There is not any religion, neither sacred book, nor cult, nor offering to lead you to the Ultimate Liberation. Know that there are only two things that will lead you to the Great Ocean, to Brahman, to the One without a Second, to That Existence. The two things are the word of that Guru who is ever established in Brahman and the constant use of your discriminative faculty, Viveka.
26. Oh Samnyâsin! When you be established in that state (Nirvikalpa Samâdhi), you will know that there has never been birth nor death, neither a seeker after Liberation, nor a liberated one - this is the Ultimate Truth. Realize It, Oh Samnyâsin!
27. And so, Oh Samnyâsin! by means of Brahman Knowledge, you will be able to breathe new life into the Vedas and into the Only and Eternal Truth, that one which sets forth that except Brahman Realization, all the rest is Avidyâ.
Samnyasin Vivekayuktananda Saraswati
Writen on August 1st, 1992 during a visit to Shivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, Himalayas, INDIA.
ASI HABLA VIVEKAYUKTANANDA