हमारे यहां तो जैसा भक्‍त वैसा भगवान है।…

हमारे यहां तो जैसा भक्‍त वैसा भगवान है। अगर भक्‍त पहलवान है, तो भगवान हनुमान है। और भक्‍त अगर पैसों का पुजारी है, तो भगवान लक्ष्‍मी जी है। अगर भक्‍त ज्ञान में रूचि रखता है तो भगवान सरस्‍वती है। यानी हमारे यहां जितने भक्‍त, उतने भगवान इस प्रकार का माहौल है।

-Narendra Modi, Valedictory function of the 6th World Ayurveda Congress 2014

Janaka and Ashtavakra

In ancient India there was a King called Janaka, who was also a sage. One day Janaka was taking a nap
on his flower-strewn bed with his servants fanning him and his soldiers standing guard outside his door.
As he dozed off, he had a dream in which a neighboring King defeated him in battle, took him prisoner,
and had him tortured. As soon as the torture began, Janaka woke with a start to find himself lying on his
flower-strewn bed with his servants fanning him and his soldiers on guard.

Once again he dozed off and had the same dream. And once again he woke up to find himself safe and
comfortable in his palace.

Now Janaka began to be disturbed by several thoughts: While he was asleep, the world of his dreams
had seemed so real. Now that he was awake, the world of the senses seemed real. Which of these two
worlds is the real one, he wanted to know.

None of the philosophers, scholars, and seers he consulted could give him an answer. And for many
years he searched in vain, till one day a man called Ashtavakra knocked at the door of the palace. Now,
Ashtavakra means “entirely deformed or crooked,” and he got that name because that is exactly what his
body had been from birth.

At first the King was not disposed to take this man seriously. “How can a misshapen man like you be the
carrier of a wisdom denied to my seers and scholars?” he asked.

“Right from my childhood, all avenues have been closed to me – so I avidly pursued the path of wisdom,”
was Ashtavakra’s reply.

“Speak, then,” said the King.

So this is what Ashtavakra said: “O King, neither the waking state nor the dream state is real. When you
are awake, the world of dreams does not exist and when you dream the world of the senses does not
exist. Therefore, neither is real.”

“If both the waking and the dream states are unreal, then what is real?” asked the King.

“There is a state beyond these two. Discover that. It alone is real.”

aham brahmāsmi I am Brahman or …

aham brahmāsmi – “I am Brahman”, or “I am Divine”

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 , Yajur Veda

A Mahâvâkya from the Yajurveda

Brhadâranyaka Upanisad 1.4.10

aham brahmasmi

brahma vâ idam agra âsît, tad âtmânam evâvet, aham brahmâsmi iti; tasmât tat sarvam abhavat.Olivelle (p. 15): “In the beginning this world was only brahman, and it knew only itself (âtman), thinking: ‘I am brahman.‘ As a result, it became the Whole.”

Hume (p. 83): “Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma. It knew only itself (âtmânam): ‘I am Brahma!’ Therefore it became the All.”

Radhakrishnan (p. 168): “Brahman, indeed, was this in the beginning. It knew itself only as ‘I am Brahman.‘ Therefore it became all.”

A variant of this mahâvâkya is so ‘ham, “I am that,” which in its inverted form hamsa has connections with the goose used as a symbol of the Srngeri monastery founded by the nondualist master Sankara, and with the Paramahamsa line of ascetics tracing their lineage to him and including nondualist teachers such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

tat tvam asi – That Thou art

tat tvam asi – “Thou art That”

Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, Sama Veda

A Mahâvâkya from the Sâmaveda

Chândogya Upanisad 6.8.7, etc.

sa ya eso ‘nimâ aitadâtmyam idam sarvam, tat satyam, sa âtmâ. tat tvam asi, Svetaketo.
Olivelle (p. 152): “The finest essence here—that constitutes the self of this whole world; that is the truth; that is the self (âtman). And that’s how you are, Svetaketu.”

Hume (p. 246): “That which is the finest essence—this whole world has that as its soul. That is reality (satya). That is Âtman (Soul). That art thou, Svetaketu.”

Radhakrishnan (p. 458): “That which is the subtle essence (the root of all) this whole world has for its self. That is the true. That is the self. That art thou, Sv