[Swami Ritavan completed a weeklong seminar on Intensive Meditation that was well received by those attending where he introduced the importance of rasana-buddhi. Through mindfulness and meditation, the experience of any perception can be transformed through entry into the subtle body and experiencing the sacred in buddhi. This art of joyful living will be the subject of the upcoming 10-day Entrance to the Subtle Body seminar at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh from 25th February through 5th March.]

Entering the subtle realms of Mind in the Buddhi

There is a word in the Sanskrit language. The word is RASA. The word, rasa means a juice, the flavor, as the essence. Rasa means that essence as the experience. That which you taste, not merely the object of taste but the object of taste, the process of tasting, and the experience of tasting.

The object of taste, the process, the interaction that occurs between the one who is tasting and that which is being tasted, and the experience of taste itself. The sense and the experience of the juice. The sensation of the experience and the juice of what you are tasting all combine together – not as divided ideas but as a singularity that is called RASA. And, when you know the art of tasting, the art of experiencing the juice, the flavor, the subtlest possible essence, then you know the art of life.

We have lost the art of enjoying life. In the ancient texts of the meditative tradition, there are some passages; and in the Bhagavad Gita 4:24, the verse Brahmar Panam… That (Brahman – God) is rasa. Brahman is the flavor, Brahman is the essence of everything. All pleasure that flows from Brahman, and Brahman alone remains. When any pleasure becomes an experience of Unified Consciousness- a Divine presence, then you are experiencing, you are enjoying, RASA. The yogi lives in the mental field of that RASA, that essence, that ecstasy, that flavor, that juice of universal existence — becomes so blissful. When you are enjoying your food, when you go to its subtle-most essence, you are then enjoying that omnipresent God which being omnipresent is also in the food.

People try to derive pleasure by paying attention to the object of enjoyment. The term RASA implies that you concentrate on the experience itself, not only on the object.
There are two sources of pleasure.

  1. One source is restraint so that you engage slowly with awareness from moment to moment.
  2. The other source of pleasure is concentration itself, absorption of the experiencer, the object of the experience, and the process of experiencing.

Moment to moment concentrate on the smallest, the littlest taste bud that has been touched. The RASA is the essence, revealing the universal principle, Brahman – God, the ever-present omniscient consciousness.

Then you have understood how to enjoy in the totality principle and this is the art of enjoying.

A yogi, whose awareness rests in atma-artha operates from the rasana-buddhi and is called a RASIKA — the enjoyer. It is a term used in the ancient literature as the enjoyer. The yogi’s game is the whole universe. He plays with universal consciousness as a game called reality. He can change water into wine, or feed a multitude out of five loaves. What a game, what a play, what ecstasies he enjoys and experiences.

The entire essence of the experience of body and mind is hidden in the subtlest faculty of buddhi. When the sattvic buddhi is filled with light, the rasa – enjoyment of this sublime illumination, becomes the flavorful juice(amrita) that assimilates into the entire personality. This nectar of immortality-rasa drop by drop is introduced throughout the body and mind as the experience of aliveness. The essence of our entire sense experience becomes a light, drop-by-drop, sent forth through every possible cell of the body. Then one enjoys not only the objects of senses but that faculty of mind from which enjoyment proceeds. His joy is not in the sensual pleasure of the physical act. Only the novice is aware of that enjoyment in a physical object. He is the master who enjoys the very principle that enjoys. That principle is rasana-buddhi, and that rasana-buddhi is the reflective mirror of the Atmartha, where Atman remains Brahman as pure Consciousness.

It is with that experience within the buddhi that the modification or alternations may occur through the practice of mindfulness and meditation. By imbuing any particular experience with something more pleasant, virtuous, sacred that the experience changes. Rightly or wrongly, by whatever samskaras and associations the experience changes. When you put the spiritual, the atmartha into that same normal ordinary meaningless experience, which caused attractions and aversions, the experience is transformed and now becomes a holy act.

To apply this principle in your life, there are two steps in your introspection, in your spiritual observation, examination, and analysis.

First ask yourself: “Does this emotion lead me to the sublime? Examine the feeling. and if not, then discard it for it is not worth pursuing. Next, ask yourself, does my present emotion lead others to the sublime?

These two questions are the basis of your examination and analysis: does it lead me to the sublime, and does this state of mind emanating from me lead others to the sublime? If not, discard it, It is not worth pursuing. When you have cultivated a sublime emotion within you, that sublime emotion becomes so filling, makes you so full that it overflows, you become so full, that you overflow with that- sublime emotion and carry everyone along who is near you into the flood of that emotion. Cultivating such a sublime emotion is an art; then you learn to learn this art of entering the subtle body and enjoying life.

(Adapted from HSP #2506 – 06-07-1984 from Yoga concept of God: Rasa – the Flavor of Essence by Swami Veda Bharati)