Knowing Akshara Brahman

Source : The Hindu

As Suka begins narrating the Bhagavata Purana, he tells Parikshit that when one perceives the Supreme Brahman with a spiritual eye, one is released from all fear and sorrow. A wise aspirant, knowing Brahman to be the Supreme goal, should learn to shape his life and conduct himself in such a way that he can attain Him. Human birth is a valuable opportunity to cultivate enduring love for God. The same idea is reiterated in the Upanishads which speak of realisation of the Supreme Brahman as the only goal worth pursuing, pointed out Swami Paramasukhananda in a discourse. Sage Yagnyavalkya, who is acknowledged as the greatest expounder of Brahman in the court of king Janaka, describes the nature of Brahman as Akshara, the Unchanging Reality. He replies to the two questions of Gargi thus: “Ether pervades heaven and earth as well as the space above heaven and below earth and this Ether is held intact by what is known as Akshara Brahman. On the command of this Akshara, the sun and the moon follow their course; heaven and earth hold their position. Time and its paraphernalia follow their path; rivers issuing from snowy mountains flow in all directions.”

He then claims that if one fails to know about this Brahman during one’s lifetime, he is to be really pitied for, he lives in ignorance and continues in the cycle of birth. When beings, both believers and non-believers, seek many worldly objects which they assume will give them happiness, they are in fact searching for this Akshara Brahman, the essence of Sat-chit-ananda — Eternity, Consciousness, Bliss. For this Brahman is unseen but sees, unheard but is the hearer, unthinkable but is the thinker, unknown but is the knower. He who departs from this world knowing the Akshara is wise.

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