Who obtains (aapnoti) the highest?
One who knows the Brahman
Who or what is that Brahman?
It is pure awareness/consciousness(jnana) unaffected by time (satya) and space (ananta)
Where can one find it?
In one's own lofty space in the heart cave, snugly residing.
What does one get when one finds It?
The satisfaction one may get by enjoying everything one desires/wishes...all at once, he being one with that Brahman.
How is that Brahman the greatest (Param)?
From that Brahman-- that Atman one is-- was born Akasa or space. Then came from that Akasa, Vayu or Air (or matter in the form of gas), thence came, agni or fire (or matter in the form of energy) thence came in succession, aapaH or water (matter in the form of liquid), then prithvi or earth (or matter in solid state). From earth evolved plants and from plants came food and then all creatures including the human being. So Brahman is the source of everything and the human being is the essence of food.
Well how to find and know the Brahman in this huge creation?
One can start with oneself. The human body has five parts or gross aspects. They are the head, the right wing or arm, the left wing or left arm, then the torso and finally the tail or the lower extremities. These are the five parts that are visible.
Ok Where is the Brahman in this body?
You have to get to the subtler levels of one's being.and transcend them.
Which one is next?
In the same mould as the physical body there is a subtler subsystem called the body/sheath of life force or Prana. This Prana sheath can be seen as made of five parts prana, apana, vyana udana and samana forming the five different parts of the life foce body.
Can you locate Brahman/Atman in this sheath?
No we have to get to a further inner sheath inside this life force or prana body. And that is the sheath of the mind. Or the body of the senses as mind controls all the senses. And subtler than that is the body of senses or mind is the body of intellect. Even that is visualized as having five parts or aspects. Firstly
earnestness/faith is the head, as one starts an inquiry with faith or sharddha . Then the right wing is what is right or ritam/dharma. Then the intellect has the left wing as truth as one finds truth only by employing buddhi or intellect. Then adesa or determination is the torso as that is the result of deep analysis and contemplation of buddhi. Then buddhi is based on or sustained by Mahat or universal intelligence.
So then we can determine the existence of Brahman and Atman by using one's intellect. Is it right?
Yes by patient contemplation and meditation.
Then one can realize the Brahman?
Yes and the Upanishad also explains the state of one's mind in that state
It gives an opportunity for the seeker to have a feel for the experience one gets after this determination.
The next subtle sheath referred to is the sheath of bliss/happiness. It has also five parts. In it Joy or priya is the head. When one reads about Brahman a certain joy arises in the mind of the sadhaka. It is called priya. Then understanding it with the intellect leads to two more endearing feeling, happiness (moda) and then extreme happiness (pramoda). And finally when the sadhaka realizes the Brahman one experiences unalloyed bliss or Ananda. Thereafter one loses the separateness from Brahman and becomes Brahman which is support of this sheath and every other sheath and everything else.
Can anyone achieve this. Has anyone attained this state?
Yes the Upanishad itself says that Bhrugu the son of Varuna with the prodding of his father was able to realize the Brahman. The Taittiriya Upanishad explains the step by step approach followed by Bhrugu with extreme concentration and how he realized the Atman/Brahman. And Brugu is venerated as one of the seven greatest vedic sages (sapta rishis)
Based on Taittiriya Upanishad. ( LINK Taittiriya Upanishad pdf )
In January 2017, I taught a 10 day 50 hour program on Bhagavat Gita for yogabhyasis based on my study with my Guru Sri Krishnamacharya. It was organized by Saraswati Vasudevan under the banner of Yoga Vahini Chennai. Very dedicated and patient group indeed.
Then I spent 6 days at Mini Shastri,s OmYoga Shala in New Delhi teaching Core Vinyasakrama and varied pranayamas to some very dedicated yogabhyasis. They did 120 pranayamas one day 80 in the morning and another 40 in the afternoon. And then many performed 32 suryanamaskaras to the chanting of suryanamaskara (aruna) mantras from yajur veda. Very dedicated participants
In February I am scheduled to teach a 15 day 100 hour TT program in Vinyasakrama Yoga at Yoga Vahini Chennai. The same program I will be doing at Yoga Institute in Sydney in Australia in April/May 2017. The registration is still on for the Sydney program Here is the link