by Swami Krishnananda
This is another symbol for meditation. Meditate on that Being as truth 'the true'. That alone can be true and nothing else can be true. Regard the Ultimate Being, or Reality, as true, for That alone was. Tad vai tat, etad tad ᾱsa: The word Tat is repeated three times here. 'That, That alone that existed, and what existed was true.' 'This is the most adorable of all beings' – mahad yakṣam. Yaksam means adorable, worthy of worship and veneration. Great venerable Being is Mahad Yakṣam. It is the first of all existences, 'the primeval Reality' – prathamajaṁ. Nothing existed prior to it. A thing that can be absorbed into its cause cannot be called ultimately true because it is an effect of some other cause. The true is that which can maintain its status for all times. There is nothing in this world that can maintain such a status. Everything changes. Everything transforms itself into something else because everything is an effect of some other cause. There comes a time when the effect will go back in to the cause. Inasmuch as everything in the world seems to modify itself into something else, it is apparent that the whole world is an effect and not a cause by itself. Therefore the world cannot be regarded as true. The evolutionary process will reveal that nothing anywhere in the process of evolution can be regarded as true, because when A is absorbed by B, B can be absorbed by C, C can be absorbed by D, and so on and so forth. There is a chain action of one thing absorbing another. There must be an end for this somewhere. A small stream goes to a rivulet and the rivulet enters the river and the river goes to the ocean, but the ocean does not go anywhere. It is self-contained, self-sufficient, self-complete. So, likewise, everything goes to something else. Everything hangs on something else, everything tends to something else in the evolutionary process, but there is a stage where everything stops. The end of evolution is reached. That cannot be called an effect of anything, because it is not modified into something else. It exists in its own status. It is precise Existence, and therefore That is what is true.
That Being is true. Contemplate thus. Prathamajaṁ – 'the original Being'. Satyam brahma – 'Truth is Brahman.' If this can be conceived, it will be an adequate symbol for meditation. Satyam brahmeti jayatīmāṁl lokān: 'Just as truth succeeds everywhere, he succeeds everywhere who meditates thus.' Everywhere, wherever you touch, you will have success. There can be no suffering, no defeat, no withdrawal, no setback. Everywhere you shall win victory provided you are able to contemplate the Supreme Brahman as truth, because truth triumphs and you shall also triumph wherever you go, wherever you are, whatever you do. Jayatīmāṁl lokān: 'The whole world you conquer,' says the Upaniṣhad, because of this contemplation on truth as the Absolute. Jita in nv asāv asat: 'You cannot have any opponent afterwards. Nobody can oppose you. Nobody can oppose truth.' If you contemplate truth as Brahman, you become an embodiment of truth. None can then oppose you, for no one can oppose truth. You will have no enemies afterwards. There can be no adversary. The adversary becomes a non-existent something. Asat he becomes, because you contemplate Sat. No Asat can stand before Sat. So, inasmuch as you contemplate Sat as Brahman, Asat cannot be before you. So everyone who is an object, who is in the position of an external, ceases to be before you. You conquer everything. There cannot be any adversary or enemy or opponent before you, afterwards. Jita in nv asᾱv asat, ya evam etan mahad yakṣam prathamajaṁ veda: 'Who conquers all things?' 'He who contemplates truth as Brahman as the most adorable all-Being, most venerable, most desirable, the origin of all things, the cause of all causes into which everything returns in the end. One who knows this truth as Brahman becomes truth veritably' – Brahmeti. Prathamajaṁ veda; satyam brahmeti. satyam hy eva brahma: 'What else can be Brahman but true? How can you define it in any other way except that it is true? The highest characterisation of Brahman would be that it is true, and truth is God. While someone may deny that God exists, none can deny that truth exists. And when you say that truth is God, no one has anything to say to it. Such a contemplation would lead to the success of all enterprises in life because success is the prerogative of truthfulness, and when you are in consonance with the highest Reality which is truth, you shall meet success wherever you are and whatever you do. Thus is the symbolic meditation on truth as Brahman. Just as you had a symbolic meditation on Hṛdaya, the heart, as Brahman in its linguist connotation, here you have another meditation on truth as Brahman.
As we noted, contemplations of this kind are not easy. You have understood the meaning of these instructions, but you cannot easily set your mind to the task of contemplation in this manner, because no one can whole-heartedly get oneself absorbed in a particular thought unless one is convinced that thought is the whole thought and not a partial thought. All failure in meditation is due to the incompetency of oneself in convincing one's own self that the thought of meditation is a complete one. You have always a subconscious doubt that it is only one of the thoughts among many other possible thoughts that you are entertaining in meditation. You may not logically argue out this kind of conclusion, but the subconscious mind pinches from inside. The unconscious revolts. It says, this is only one of the thoughts that is possible, why not have some other thoughts instead of this? So the meditation fails. If some other thoughts also are possible in addition to the thought that you are trying to entertain in meditation, and if any other thought can be equally good, as good as the one that you are thinking of, entertaining in meditation, why not go to the other thought? If that shop is as good as this, I can as well make purchases from the other shop. But if you know that this is the only shop where you can have everything and this is the shop where everything is available, then you need not go to the other shop. It is so hard to reconcile oneself to the feeling that the thought entertained in meditation is the whole thought.
We are psychologically poor and philosophically bankrupt; therefore meditation is hard. Hard task is meditation of course, because who can convince oneself that the thought in meditation is a comprehensive thought? Even if it is a thought of God, you will have a subconscious possibility, an alternative provided, to think of what is other than God. You cannot, at that time, argue that there is nothing other than God. The mind falls from its original conviction and philosophical conclusion that God is All. Though the conclusion, the idea with which you started to contemplate was that God is All and outside it nothing can be, something begins to crop up outside God when you start meditation. Then you think of the tree, you think of the dog, you think of the mountain, you think of the shop, you think of anything. Now, the idea that it is possible to have something other than or external to the Being of God is a frailty of meditative consciousness. It is a weakness in our thought. You are not up to the mark to meditate. It only means that. How did you convince yourself that God is All and now begin to say that there is something other than God, and let the mind go out? How can it go out when you have already satisfied yourself that it is the All on which you are contemplating? How can there be something more than the All, external to the All, other than the All? So, psychological weaknesses persist even in advanced types of meditations. What I point out is that meditations are not easy. Though the understanding of these techniques may appear to be intelligible to you, the heart will revolt because of the old habit of thinking in terms of particulars, and the habit of mind to imagine, to entertain the notion that whatever be the characterisation of the All in your meditation, there is something outside the All. However illogical that concept is, it does persistently present itself in meditation and brings you down to the level of the so-called other, which is a travesty in meditation and from which one has to guard oneself.
Philosophically, you have to be unshakable. No one should be able to shake your thoughts and conviction by any amount of logic. Your logic should be superior to every other logic in the world. Only then you can start meditating. If somebody tells you something else, your mind wonders, 'Oh, perhaps he is right!' That means you have never understood anything. Why do you meditate? So, first of all, be sure that your logic is unshakable, that no other logic can shake your logic; you have understood all the aspects of logical thinking, and that you have come to a final unshakable conclusion. No question of the mind thinking something else as an alternative or a different possibility should then arise. With such conviction, meditation should commence and it shall surely reach the required result.