Science seeks certitude. Man is naturally concerned with two most fundamental questions of existence, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Whence this world?’. When the latter is kept in mind we may be said to limit our enquiry to the visible world, perceived or perceptible. In its extended sense this domain can be said to comprise that of physics. When the former is taken into consideration, we have to rely more on concepts than on mere percepts derived from sense data. We speculate or introspects on general ideas, mostly taken for granted by common sense experience. …


Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, takes up the question of the meaning of life. He begins his study by putting the question, “What is it that distinguishes man from the rest of beings, and that determines the meaning of his life?” One thing that separates us from the rest is that we are the only animal that writes poetry, that builds schools and colleges, writes books and stores them, and has developed a vocabulary consisting of thousands of words covering all shades of meaning and embodying a large number of concepts. In short, we can say that man excels in…


When we get into a state of emotional crisis or a depression we might say “I don’t see any light” or “I am in a state of absolute darkness.” There is a contradiction in this statement that we miss to see due to our negative attitude, which is that for us to know we are in a state of ignorance implies a degree of knowledge. If there was no knowledge at all, one would not even see that one was in a state of darkness. There is a self-luminous light of knowledge always flickering within us. It is not which…


അറിവിലുമേറിയറിഞ്ഞീടുന്നവന്‍ തന്നു-
രുവിലുമൊത്തു പുറത്തുമുജ്ജ്വലിക്കും
കരുവിനു കണ്ണുകളഞ്ചുമുള്ളടക്കി
ത്തെരുതെരെ വീണുവണങ്ങിയോതിടേണം.

arivilumeriyarinnitunavan tannuruvilumottu purattumujjvalikkum karuvinu kannukal anchumulladakki terutere veenuvanangiyotitenam

Permeating the knowledge which brilliantly shines at once within and without the knower is the Karu; to that, with the five senses withheld, prostrate again and again with devotion and chant.

~ Sri Narayana Guru (Atmopadesha Shatakam — 1)

The world within and the world without is but one functional reality which Guru calls the Karu. The philosophy of Spinoza is very close to what is contained in the first verse of Atmopadesha shatakam. What Guru calls Karu appears in Spinoza’s philosophy as substance…


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The Gita is a wisdom dialogue of a non-religious and non-obligatory, contemplative and philosophical order, consciously and artfully inserted in the heart of the great epic called the Mahabharata by the ancient Sage-Bard Vyasa; in which the rarest of possible coincidences called absolutely just war is taken as presenting itself to be fought by its central character, Arjuna, who, being a sensitive and contemplatively disposed type of soldier, is about to adopt a negative, escapist attitude of regret and retrospection when it was actually too late for him to extricate himself from the situation that had already assumed a harsh…


India is a land of enigmas and wonders. Prevailing cults, doctrines and dogmas present a confused tangle. Their time-honored customs and manners challenge and baffle the most penetrating of inquirers. The Indian subcontinent may thus be said to present the aspect of a veritable museum, with endless variety of interesting features. Enjoying comparative isolation by natural frontiers, this land has preserved something of its ancient personality, surviving the cross-breezes of time that have more easily ruffled the atmosphere of neighboring regions. Exaggerations and superlatives are normal in this land of rolling planes and snow-capped mountain peaks. Humanity in South Asia…


Bhakti is often frowned upon by the students of contemplation as a path for the dull-witted, but this view is only from an uninitiated student who have not yet delved deep into the imports of Upanishadic injunctions. Great Sage-bard like Sri Veda Vyasa in his immortal Bhagavad Gita have sung the glories of bhakti and even have written independent sutras dedicated to bhakti known as Narada Bhakti Sutras. …


Man exposed to a variety of fields of experiences where he is faced with different sets of stimuli and consequent responses to it is called Life, having found a successful routine in life and even constant successes, he remains unfulfilled or never finds contentment. When he sees the futility of all his ephemeral achievements and the need for constant action to fulfill himself, driving him to a sense of dejection or despondency, is where he is unknowingly initiated into the realm of introspection or spirituality.

The only equipment available for an individual which is consciousness enmeshed within a biological organism…


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Aphorism: But that Brahman (is known) from the Upanishads (it) being the object of their fullest import.

Brahman, which is omniscient and omnipotent, which is the cause for the origin, existence, and dissolution of the universe, and which is known as such from the Upanishads. How? Because of being the object of their fullest import; for in all Upanishads the texts become fully reconciled when they are accepted as establishing the mentioned fact as their fullest import. For instance: “O amiable one, this universe, before its creation, was but existence one without a second” (Chandogya Upanishad VI.ii.1) “Before creation this…


अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा ।। 1.1.1 ।।

Athatho Brahmajijnasa || 1.1.1 ||

Translation: Hence (is to be undertaken) thereafter a deliberation on Brahman

A wish follows spontaneously from the knowledge that something is achievable by effort, here the wish cannot be begun like that of a discovery — where there is no prior knowledge of whatever is discovered. According to this, the word ‘atha’ (thereafter) is used in the sense of “sequence” and not “commencement”, for Brahma-jijnasa is not a thing to be commenced.

Brahman to be inquired here, being a pre-existing entity, its knowledge is not dependent upon human effort since…

amr·tasya putrā

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