Arunāmbara – Deva Sambhāṣaṇa is a discourse and discussion about Self-Enquiry and Self-Surrender, the four types of mukti, Aksara Vijnāna, the truth about the Absolute and other subjects between Guru and shishya.
Like all the Puranas, Arunāmbara – Deva Sambhāṣaṇa has its origin in the forest namely Swethāranya meaning White Forest where Guru finds shishya in contemplation about the Supreme Being but bogged down by doubts about the Absolute.
Guru approaches shishya and finds him lost in thought staring aimlessly into the dense forest of Swethāranya. The shishya suddenly experiences a deep bliss descending upon him and realizes that a great being has arrived. He turns around to find the ever-blissful radiant Guru standing near him. The shishya prostrates and pays homage to Guru. After washing His Lotus Feet and offering Him water and dried leaves and fruits from the forest, he sits at the Lotus Feet of his Guru.
Guru asks, “Dear child, what plagues your mind?”
Shishya replies, “O Great Guru of the Rishis! You are the all-knowing One. You are privy to the secrets of the Absolute and your penance is as legendary as your birth. I submit myself at your Lotus Feet and beseech you to help me if you deem me a worthy student. I am deeply troubled as to the purpose of one’s existence, nature of existence and how to spend time from the moment of one’s conception till his inevitable physical demise. O venerable Guru, please enlighten me.”
Guru says, “Dear child, you have asked me the two most important questions that every being created by Bhagawan should ask and seek answers for. The purpose of one’s existence is to realize the Self and one should spend all their time (i.e., action and inaction, fruits of the action and inaction, word and thought) thinking about the Supreme Self and surrendering to the Supreme Self. Every second thinking and immersing one’s self in the contemplation of the Supreme Self will lead to absorption into that Supreme Self.
Practice, knowledge, meditation and renunciation of the fruits of action and duty will lead to immersion in the Supreme Self. This is the Truth.”
Shishya asks, “O Wise One! Who is that Supreme Self? What is IT’s state? How is it known, understood, realized and experienced?”
Guru replies, “Child! The Supreme Self is Aksharam Paramam Brahma. But what is the meaning of aksharam? What is this aksharam? Is it an alphabet or is it the Imperishable? Is it self-manifested? Or does it have an origin?
Aksharam means Imperishable which is the undying and unknown. All creation is in this Aksharam and this Aksharam is in every created being and yet no created being is in Aksharam and Aksharam is in nothing and remains elusive.
The aksharas (alphabets) are manifested as self-luminous entities from Aksharam. These self-luminous aksharas have inherent nada (sound) and matter and eventually take the form of various beings that one sees in creation. These self-luminous aksharas in their various capacities and forms joined together to create this wide expanse of the universe with differentials of time, space, matter, five-fold attributes (sabda, sparsa, rupa, rasa and gandha), five-fold elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) and other elements of nature (ego, mind, intellect, sensory organs, movement, action and inaction, word, thought and reaction or fruits of the action and inaction).
These aksharas have their origin in the Aksharam and hence, this self-luminous entity of Aksharam exists in all beings created in the universe. Hence, it is thought that one will realize the Aksharam through the aid and help of these self-luminous aksharas.
The union of these aksharas with their inherent self-luminosity, sound and matter created crescendos and diminuendos and thus, was born the various types of beings in the universe along with their assigned duty and purpose in the universe and creation. The union and merger of these self-luminous aksharas among themselves created more attributes of the universe thereby expanding the created universe. The merger of these self-luminous aksharas among themselves gave rise to mantras, Vakyas, swaras, chandas, devatas, the six-fold or sadanga of a mantra and other aspects of recitation and enunciation and the myriad forms of the Supreme Self.
Each being is a self-luminous entity of the Aksharam and used different attributes of his self-luminosity to understand and realize his origin and thus, was born myriad forms of the Supreme Self, rituals, enunciation, worship and fundamentals of sadhana (practice). The perception and experience of the myriad forms of the Supreme Self seen as the expanse of prakriti (nature) which is the self-luminous aksharas has its origin in the Supreme Self and this jnāna (knowledge) will lead one to contemplate upon his origin leading to dhyāna (meditation).”