Sravana – Hearing

From the shastras it is well known to consist of sravana, manana, nidhidhyasana and samadhi i.e., hearing the Truth, reflection, meditation and Blissful Peace. The Vedas themselves declare it to be so. “My dear, the Self must be heard from the master, reflected and meditated upon.” In another place it is said that in Blissful Peace the Self must be realised. The same idea has been repeated by Sri Sankaracharya in his Vakyavrtti, namely that until the meaning of the sacred text “I am Brahman” is realised in all its true significance, one must be practising sravana etc.

The Means of Accomplishment

In the body, senses etc., the concept “I” persists. With a one pointed mind turned inwards to look out for this “I” or the Self, which is the inmost Being within the five sheaths, is the enquiry into the Self. To seek elsewhere outside the body by an oral recital of Vedanta Shastra or a critical study of its words, cannot be called enquiry into the Self which can only be a thorough investigation into the true nature of the Self by a keen mind.

The Removal of Superimposition

The Supreme Truth is only the non- dual Brahman. All else is false and does not exist at any time. The srutis support it saying “Nothing is created or destroyed; there is no bondage or deliverance; no one is bound or desirous of release; there is no aspirant, no practiser and no one liberated. This is the Supreme Truth.” Removal of Superimposition thus consists in the knowledge of non-dual Reality, Pure Being, beyond Maya and its effects. Its realisation is Liberation while alive in the body (Jivanmukti).

On Superimposition

To mistake something which is, for something which is not — like a rope for a snake, a post for a thief, and mirage for water. The appearance of a false thing on a real is superimposition.