Tat Tvam Asi – Thou art That

At the macro level in the universe, there are five elements known as pancha bhutas (earth, water, fire, air and ether). At the micro level, all living beings have 5 jnanendriyas (eyes, ears, skin, tongue and nose), 5 karmendriyas (mouth, hands, legs and the 2 body organs for excreta) 5 tanmatras or subtle elements (sound, touch, form, taste and smell) and 4 anatahkaranas (mind, memory, intellect and ego).

While the janendriyas, karmendriyas and tanmatras are the same for all the living beings man alone has an elevated level of anathkaranas and this gives him the power to exercise supremacy over all other living beings. The six enemies of the mind known as arishad vargas– lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy are in turn influenced by three basic subtle components known as trigunassattva, raja and tama. These three basic subtle elements determine the lifestyle choices and behaviour of a person.

While sattva guna- a positive attribute in a person, leads him to happiness, contentment and spirituality, tamo guna- a negative attribute, leads a person to laziness, greed and attachment. Rajo guna is energy and it acts as fuel for both sattva and tamo gunas. If one is sattvik then the energy in rajo guna ignites more of positive qualities in that person and if one is tamas then the energy in rajo guna similarly ignites more of negative qualities.

A sattvik person will be able to control the six enemies i.e., arishad vargas whereas a tamasic person will succumb to those six enemies and will be in turn controlled by them.

sadrsam cestate svasyah prakrter jnanavan api
prakrtim yanti bhutani nigrahah kim karisyati

(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3: Karma-yoga text 33)

“Every living being will perform karma according to his nature (swabhava) including a wise man. No one can discard the karma.”

yas tvindriyāṇi manasā niyamyārabhate ’rjuna
karmendriyaiḥ karma-yogam asaktaḥ sa viśhiṣhyate

(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3- Karma- yoga text 7)

“One who controls the senses with his intellect, is unassuming, detached and yet through the senses performs his Karma, is the wisest person.”

indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir yo buddheh paratas tu sah

(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3- Karma –Yoga text 42)

“Senses are stronger than the body and they control the body. Mind is stronger than the senses and intellect is stronger than the mind. Soul (ego) is stronger than the intellect though it is like a very small particle. Yet it is the most powerful one.”

In order to control the senses, one must control his mind. Mind is the home for emotions. When the mind is controlled one is able to control his emotions. A person who is able to control his emotions becomes detached and devoid of possessiveness on people and material things. Such a person’s mind is like a lamp that illuminates in a stable manner when there is no wind.

A detached mind always explores to travel beyond the material world and thus, gets connected with intellect. Devoid of emotions and attachment with the material world the intellect discovers it’s origin i.e., the soul and re-joins with it. Soul by nature is an observer with consciousness. A soul that is free from the entanglement with mind and intellect goes into serious observation in meditative mode.

A silently meditating soul realises that its consciousness is a part of the supreme consciousness that is all pervading across the universe. The supreme consciousness always emits vibrations but the soul though part of the supreme consciousness needs to get tuned to the frequency of that vibrations in order to get connected to its original source- supreme consciousness.

Through rigorous practice (sadhana) of meditation (dhyana) the soul will catch the level of frequency of the vibrations of the supreme consciousness and gets connected to it. When one’s soul gets connected to the supreme consciousness it realises that it is part of that supreme consciousness- “Tattvamasi” (i.e., Thou art That) as said in Chandogya Upanishad.

(Featured image source: pinterest)


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About the Author

Dr. B.N.V. Parthasarathi
Ex- Senior Banker, Financial and Management Consultant and Visiting faculty at premier B Schools and Universities. Areas of Specialization & Teaching interests - Banking, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Global Business & Behavioural Sciences. Qualification- M.Com., M.B.A., A.I.I.B.F., PhD. Experience- 25 years of banking and 14 years of teaching, research and consulting. 100 plus national and international publications on various topics like- banking, global trade, economy, public finance, public policy and spirituality. One book in English “In Search of Eternal Truth”, two books in Telugu and 20 short stories and 27 articles published in Telugu. Email id: [email protected]