Mystic awareness

Krishna sums up the yogi’s awareness thus: ‘To him who

yields to his senses, the world is like daylight. To him who

has conquered the senses, the awareness of Brahman is like

daylight.’ The yogi’s mind is unable to relish anything

worldly and revels only in the awareness of Brahman.

Nobody knows for sure how this state of mind is achieved by

some Mahans. Neither is it possible to guess what kind of

penance could bring about such a result that is characterised  by tranquillity and peace of mind. The passions are subdued and the mind is engrossed only in Brahman.

In a discourse, Sri Kesava Dikshitar drew attention to the

lives of great people such as Appayya Dikshitar, Sadasiva

Brahmendra, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana

Maharishi and others who have striven in this path and

attained realisation. Appayya Dikshitar, a great yogi, a bhakta and a scholar and exponent of Advaita who belonged to the 16 century, is said to have tested the intensity of his devotion in a novel way. He was a staunch Siva devotee engaged in the worship of Siva. But he was unsure whether he really prayed or was pretending.

It is said that he once swallowed the datura seed which

could cause intoxication since he believed that one’s inner

yearnings surface without inhibitions in the mad state. He

then got his disciples to record whatever he uttered. This

turned out to be an exquisite poetic work of devotion in 50

stanzas and came to be known as the Atmarpana Stuti. It is

also known as Unmatta Panchasati and is noted for its

mysticism. The verses reflect the nature of true and ripe

devotion. Mystic awareness that reflects the inner mental

state of a great devotee in whom the ego has become fully

extinct leads to salvation.