How to attain the Sword of Knowledge
Lord Sri Krishna says in the Shrimad Eknathi Bhagavat, “We should serve sadhus and saints. In fact, even among all sadhus, SatGuru alone possesses the most perfect saintliness and hence we should serve His holy feet. His Satsang and the service etc. rendered to Him break the bondage of Samsara (metempsychosis) as the Guru is the true saint and gentleman. His sweet and pleasant spiritual instructions expound the Shrutis only, which give us the sword of transcendental knowledge, with which we may arm our intellect. This weapon should then be sharpened on the sharpening stones of dispassion and renunciation of enjoyments. The strong hilt of patience thereafter ought to be attached thereto. This sword should then be held firmly without fear or doubt in one’s inner self (mind). One should practise wielding this sword heart and soul; and then aim perfectly to slay the Deha Abhimana (egoistic attachment to the body) with it.
This Deha Abhimana is the source of all doubts, from which bodily afflictions arise, due to which one remains ever addicted to sense pleasures, which nurture lust and anger, which increase the three gunas (i.e. sattva, rajas, tamas), which create the sense of being a Jiva (individual soul) in the pure Atman, which is causative of births and deaths, release from which is very difficult for the Jiva, which is the giver of all sufferings and evils, and whose dear daughter is the sense of ‘mine-ness’ (Mamata). Maya (sense of attachment) is the mother of Mamata which nurtures it and on whose strength the Jiva remains haughty. Therefore, the brave man should wield this sharp edged weapon in the battlefield and patiently and cautiously give such a powerful blow that all the three –Maya, Mamata and Dehambhimana get cut into pieces with a single stroke.
The triads of experience, the experiencer and the object of experience; action, performer of action and instrument of action; meditation, meditator and the object of meditation should be rooted out. Once the notions of self identity such as “I am”, “Who am I?” or “I am Brahman” are removed, the devotee attains to the supreme spiritual state of Mine, the Supreme Self. Thus he becomes Brahman himself. Here you might raise an objection: ‘The measure you have suggested is merely a jugglery of words. How can the ego be annihilated merely by babbling out words? If the ego could be annihilated just through words, then why would all great scholars be engulfed by egotism? If ego were visible to the eyes, one could easily rush and cut it down, but that’s totally illogical. Thus, words alone can’t annihilate it. Similarly, even Self-realisation isn’t possible through mere jugglery of words.’ So, listen to the reply of this objection, “One who attentively worships Me with devotion to none else (or single-mindedly) or who serves the pious feet of his SatGuru beholding Me in Him, who worships Me with the feeling that even up to the end of the Creation there is absolutely no difference between Me and the essential being of his SatGuru, attains knowledge effortlessly. As a result of being naturally engrossed in devotion to Me he attains the sword of knowledge. He attains effortlessly such a weapon whose sharp edge terrifies even Death. Scared of this sword, Maya, Mamata and Abhimana flee from the Jiva forever; while ego, attachment and Avidya (ignorance) cease to exist. Devotees, who come by so much Knowledge through their supreme sense of devotion unto Me, may find another question arising in their mind: ‘Where should one do the Bhajan (spiritual practice)? O Lord! Your form is incomprehensible (beyond reasoning), extremely subtle and without attributes. Thus, I do not understand where I should worship You.’ If your mind ever has such doubts, let Me tell you of a very easily attainable place for worship. That is the only matchless place of worship which is My abode where you can meet Me, the Supreme Self, at all times without going to any far off places and doing hard work, without crossing millions of peaks or going to mountain caves. That is a very easily attainable place of My residence for My devotees to take rest. The resting place of all bliss, the Atma Rama (Rama as the Self or revelling in Self) resides evenly and perpetually in one’s own heart. There itself, you should worship Him with love.
I alone reside in the heart of every creature right from Lord Brahma (the Creator) to a housefly - One who knows this is fortunate and this is the best worship for attaining Me. Nobody is intent on worshipping Me abiding in their hearts Who provide energy to their minds, intellects etc. for their respective functions, Whose revelation makes the absolute Knowledge easily available. But people grow weary and fall into various miseries by resorting to external forms of worship. In such a populace, it is some extremely rare person –a supremely fortunate one –who through due discernment resolutely gets engaged in worshipping Me abiding in his own heart. By worshipping Me, dwelling in the heart, he attains my Self-Knowledge embellished with total dispassion, after attaining which one can never fall from the Highest State. The Abhimana flees merely out of the fear of that Knowledge. I bestow that Knowledge of Mine on them who constantly worship Me dwelling in their hearts. The Knowledge, which upon attainment, eradicates physical and mental disorders; sanctifies the mind, body and speech; and clears all doubts; that Knowledge enables the devotee to attain the Spiritual state.