WITNESS CONSCIOUSNESS

April 20, 2012 Comments Off

The student of vedanta (the path of pure wisdom) develops saksi bhav (witness consciousness) through discrimination and self-analysis. The devotee develops nimitta bhava (the attitude “I am an instrument in the hands of God”) and surrenders everything at the lotus-feet of the Lord. Thus they attain a mental attitude of non-attachment to actions and their fruits.

This is the attitude of a karma yogi:

“God alone is. God alone acts. Not even a piece of straw moves without his will.”

“He is the doer. He alone is the enjoyer. I am but an instrument in his hands.”

“He is the power that resides in the senses and the mind; the power of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling – all these belong to him.”

“He utilises my mind and senses and works out his will.”

“My body, mind and senses belong to him alone.”

“All actions are done by the qualities of nature only. It is nature (prakrti) that acts. It is prakrti that works.”

“I am the pure Atman, the eternal Self. I am asanga, akarta, abhokta (unattached, non-doer, non-experiencer). I am the silent witness.”
“I am distinct from the mind and the senses. I am the eternally pure, perfect, immortal Atman.”

While serving others, the vedantin (the student of vedanta) should visualise his Self in others and the bhakta should see the Lord in other faces.

Understand these bhavas (attitudes) fully. Meditate on them daily. Act accordingly, without attachment to or identification with the work. You will soon attain God-realisation. This is jnana – this is the jnana-agni (fire of wisdom) which burns the fruits of all actions and liberates you from bondage.

In the practice of karma yoga, there is no loss of effort. There is no harm. There is no transgression also. Even a little practice can protect you from great fear of birth and death with its concomitant evils. You will doubtless reap the fruit of jnana (self-knowledge) in this path of karma yoga. There is no uncertainty here. Matter is indestructible. Energy is indestructible. Even a little practice with the right mental attitude will purify the citta (heart and mind).

- Swami Sivananda

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