Upadesa Saram Verse 4: Comments by Dr. Suryanarayana Raju


Verse 4: kaya vang manah karyam uttamam pujanam japat chintanam krama
kaya-vak-manah: with body, speach and mind
karyam: acts
pujanam: worship
japa: chanting
chintanam: contemplation
kramat: order
uttama: better

“worship, japa, contemplation are the best activities in that order … performed respectively with body,speech and mind.”

Upadesha Saram Verse 4:

“Rituals done by the body, repetition of a sacred word, prayer, singing in the name of God done by the voice, self-enquiry done by the mind are effective in cleansing the mind and their effect of cleansing increases in that order i.e. self-enquiry is more effective than Japa, and Japa is more effective than rituals.”


Bhagawan is explaining various methods to be adopted to clean the mind and their effectiveness in this verse.

We are aware of three states of waking, dreaming, deep sleep states. But there is fourth state of mind also which is called Turiya when mind in its pure state when mind is empty of the contents. Fourth state of mind is filled with awareness only. To recognize fourth state purity of mind is necessary.

Rituals are gross form of worship done by the gross body. Ritual is not a goal in itself but an aid to spiritual progress. In devotion there is the surrender of the ego so mental activity is reduced which finally leads to the extinction of the ego. If we stop giving energy to the ego, the ego dies it’s natural death.

Rituals, repetition of a sacred word and self-enquiry stop the energy from feeding the ego; instead they divert our energy and attention Self wards. If we stop attending to the ego by whatever be the method, ego become tenuous and finally it loses its hold on us and later it will die a natural death.

Ego is Self consciousness “I am” with adjuncts. It identifies not only with the adjuncts like body, thought process, intellect, and memory but also the self consciousness “I am”. Mind is the identifying agent. It identifies with anything for security because it knows the transiency of thought. It wants something permanent in terms of time, so it invents god, nirvana, moksha. Our aim is to separate Self consciousness from mixing with the adjuncts by nullifying the identifying agency which is ego. If there is no identity of Self consciousness with the adjuncts there is no place for ego to exist.

Rituals, Japa, self-enquiry aids in nullifying the identifying agency and their effect of nullification is more in the order of rituals, Japa, self-enquiry. In self-enquiry the ego structure and mechanics are understood and we go beyond grip of ego  and our attention is paid only to the source of the ego and awareness falls on itself which is Self realization.

So in self-enquiry ego is attended to, but we do not give energy by identifying with it, so ego dries up because of lack of energy supply and one day it falls altogether. This is called Self realization because self consciousness disidentifies itself from the imagining as mere adjuncts and Self consciousness is left in it’s pure form. Prayer, singing the Lord’s greatness are part of action done by the voice in the service of God. So we have to do service to God with the three instruments of body, voice and mind to get rid of the identifying agency which is tying Self consciousness with the adjuncts and thus creating innumerable troubles arising out of this wrong identity.

So self knowledge is important in life because we do not identify with anything if we have self knowledge. In this way our mind is cleansed of the contaminants of thought matter in psyche effectively. Then we have empty mind (Amanaska sthithi), a mind devoid of contents like ideas, dogmas, degenerating factors which cause continuous leak of energy, tendencies which compel us to do self centered activity. Empty mind has the capacity to comprehend that which is eternal in us. Mind is a reflecting medium and it shows the presence of contents if they are there and it also mirrors pure consciousness if we are devoid of any contents.

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