Format by A.K. Aruna, 2020 ver.1.0: UpasanaYoga. If downloaded, requires installed Devanāgarī Siddhanta1.ttf font, downloadable from UpasanaYoga. If run from UpasanaYoga website, it alternatively can use online Web Font. Any Devanāgarī in parentheses () is an alternate reading of text in Red. Top button "Collapse all panels" contracts the view in which individual items can be re-expanded, or again the top button "Restore all panels" reloads page to original view. This is the text called Pañca-Daśī (Having Fifteen), a later work by Swami Vidyaranya. Currently, there is an old pdf of the text with a Sanskrit commentary downloadable from here. For Hindi knowers, there is an online copy of a Hindi commentary of Panchadasi by Pandit Ramavatar Vidyabhaskar, which I was able to use to fix some typographical or printing errors, or maybe editing choices, for some words in several of the verses.
by A.K. Aruna
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ओं, स॒ ह ना॑व् अवतु। स॒ ह नौ॑ भुनक्तु। स॒ह वी॒र्यं॑ करवावहै। ते॒ज॒स्विना॒व् अधी॑तम् अस्तु॒ मा वि॑द्विषा॒वहै᳚। ओं शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॑॥ Om; tad, ha, asmad, √av. Tad, ha, asmad, √bhuj. Saha, vīrya, √kṛ. Tejasvin, adhīta, √as, mā, vi-√dviṣ. Om, śānti, śānti, śānti. सः ह नै अवतु। सः ह नौ भुनक्तु। सह वीर्यं करवावहै। तेजस्विनौ [=तेजस्विनोः आवयोः] अधीतं अस्तु (अथवा, नौ अधीतं तेजस्वि अस्तु)। मा विद्विषावहै। ओम् शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
Salutation to the (undefilable) lotus-like feet of my guru, Śrī Śaṅkarānanda, whose only job (karma) is to (teach others to) swallow the crocodile that is this grand delusion (mahā-moha, the māyā which is mistaking the unreal as real and the real as unsatisfying) along with its effects (sa-vilāsa, the mind’s notional-I, attachment, aversion, and fear).
This discussion regarding reality and truth (tattva) is presented for the easy understanding of those whose minds are least defiled via attendance (seva, service and studentship) at the two lotus-like feet of their (guru).
The knowable (vedyas, the sense objects) beginning with sound, touch, etc. are (mistaken as) separate (from each other, i.e., are many) in waking state due to their distinguishing characteristics (vaicitrya), whereas the knower (saṃvid, the I, the consciousness) of these which is distinct from all of them does not differ (i.e., is not many) because of its singular nature (eka-rūpya).
Similarly in the dream state. Whereas a known object was stable (sthira, remained beyond the moment) in waking, here it is unstable (only as long as its dream thought). Thus there is a difference (in nature) between them (the dream from the waking object). (But) the knower (saṃvid, in both states) having the same nature (eka-rūpā) does not differ (i.e., there is only one I, distinct from those many and different objects).
For the one waking from deep sleep, there is remembrance (smṛti) that (in dreamless, deep sleep) there was cognition of ignorance (tamas-bodha) in deep sleep (in the form of ‘I knew nothing,’ even time and space disappear there). A (remembrance always) has as its object a (prior) cognition. At that time (in deep sleep), that cognition is (in the form of) tamas (complete ignorance).
That cognition (bodha, the consciousness, the awareness, the I) is distinct from its object (the complete ignorance in deep sleep), but, like in dream, does not differ from itself. Thus the knower (the consciousness) remains one only in the three states (sthāna-traya, the waking, dream, and deep sleep states) in that same way (as distinct from the changing, but itself unchanging) throughout the day.
Throughout the countless months, years, ages and world cycles, both past and future, it neither rises (udeti) nor sets (astam eti). This one consciousness (saṃvid) is self shining (svayaṃ-prabhā, and hence, self revealing).
This (knower, cognition, consciousness) is oneself (ātman). It is ultimate fullness (para-ānanda), because it is the natural abode (āspada) of our greatest love (para-preman). Love is seen in the self as, “May I indeed never cease to be,” “May I always be.”
Only for the sake of oneself is that love (preman) directed towards another, thus love towards oneself is never for the sake of another. Therefore, that (love in oneself) is the highest. Hence the nature of the ultimate fullness (parama-ānandatā) belongs only to the self (ātman, as its abode).
In this way, by this logic, existence-consciousness-fullness (sat-cit-ānanda) is the nature of oneself. Similarly (as existence-consciousness-fullness) is the ultimate brahman (ultimate reality) taught in the śrutis (the Upaniṣads) as the complete identity of these two (oneself and limitless existence-consciousness-fullness).
If the ultimate fullness nature (parama-ānandatā) of the self was not evident (a-bhāna), there would be no ultimate love. (Yet) if it was (clearly) evident, there would be no attachment (spṛhā) towards the objects of experience (apart from oneself). Therefore, even though (self) evident, it is not (clearly) evident (i.e., it is normally misplaced upon objects of desire).
Like the chanting voice of one’s child amongst a group of students, even though (the ultimate fullness nature of the self) is evident, in regard to being (distinctly) evident (bhānasya prati), it is (as well) proper to take (yujyate) it as not (clearly) evident (a-bhāna), because of obstruction (pratibandha, because of its misplacement on objects of experience).
Toward any object is applicable the experience, “It (the existence) is” and it (the awareness) is evident” (asti-bhāti), (yet) there is an obstruction said to be the rejecting of this (tan-nirasya) and imposing its opposite (experience, “I am not their existence” and “I am not their appearance”).
The reason for that (obstruction) in regard to hearing the voice of one’s child is the mingling together as the same (samāna-abhihāra, with the other voices). Here, (the reason) is beginningless (uncaused) ignorance (a-vidyā, ignorance of one’s nature as the only limitless existence, consciousness). That alone is the obstruction leading to confusion (that things exist and appear independent of my existence-consciousness, i.e., that they independently exist and are not me).
Prakṛti (mother nature) consists of the three guṇas (attributes): tamas (density, ignorance, etc.), rajas (activity, agitation, etc.), and sattva (clarity, knowledge, etc.). It is imbued with a reflection (pratibimba, semblance, appearance) of brahman consisting of consciousness-fullness. This prakṛti has two forms (as follows).
From the perspective of its pure sattva alone, it (prakṛti) is called ‘māyā’ (appearance, in every mind, presenting a varied world). From the perspective of its impurity (a-viśuddhi, with rajas and tamas also), it is called ‘a-vidyā’ (total, cosmic ignorance, taking all these appearances as real). ‘Īśvara’ (the Lord) is the (brahman) presence (bimba) in that (sattva only aspect) māyā, controlling (vaśī-kṛtya, as pure intelligence, cosmic order) that (prakṛti), and (thus) is all-knowing (sarva-jña).
But the other (the jīva, the individual, the brahman presence in a-vidyā) is under the spell of a-vidyā, and, because of the variety (of rajas and tamas mixtures) in that (a-vidyā) is taken as many (as a plurality of jīvas). This (a-vidyā) is the causal body (kāraṇa-śarīra), and is the one who is identified in that (causal body). That is, (having not been able to distinguish itself from its ignorant notions about itself) it is called the ‘prājña’ (the knower consciousness, and in a daily context it is the deep sleeper).**(But contextually here, it is this knower consciousness immersed in a-vyakta, the unmanifest, ready to awaken by its karma to a continuance of its jiva-hood, its individuality, once the world of experience re-manifests.)
Per the (karma) order wielded by the Lord, for the (earned) experiences of that (jīva), from (the then unbalanced three guṇas wherein) tamas predominance of the aspects of prakṛti were born (in their subtle form) the elements (bhūtas): space (viyat, ‘reaching everywhere’, dimension), wind (pavana, movement), fire (tejas, heat and light), water (ambu, fluidity, chemical bonding remaining while in movement), and earth (bhū, solidity, granularity, gravity).
From the sattva (knowledge) aspect of each of these five (elements) are indeed born separately (kramāt – not as a whole) the five sensory organs (indriyas) called: hearing (from the sattva, knowing, aspect of the subtle element space, dimension), touching (from the sattva aspect of the subtle element wind, movement), (similarly) seeing, tasting, and smelling.
From (the sattva aspect of) all these (elements – as a whole, not separately) is (born) the antaḥ-karaṇa (the internal organ, the mind in all its facets) with different forms and functions (vṛtti-bheda, different thoughts that make up the mind). That (internal organ) is of two types. One type is called the manas (the mind in charge of the senses) where the thoughts have the nature of vimarśa (examination, consideration, reflection, i.e., fact finding the pros and cons of what the senses present while trying to make some sense out of the data). The other type is buddhi (the intellect, the mind in charge of knowledge) where the thoughts have the nature of niścaya (ascertainment, decision, conviction).
From the rajas (activity) aspect of the five (elements) separately (kramāt – not as a whole, SVSSS.375 & TatB.51) are born the five organs of action (karmendriyas, the powers of action) called: voicing (vāc, via vocal cords, etc., from space), handling (pāṇi, via hands, etc., from wind), moving (pāda, via feet, legs, from fire), excreting (pāyu, via the anus, etc., from water), and procreating (upa-stha, via the penis, etc., from earth).
From (the rajas aspect of) all these (elements) as a whole (sahita – not separately) comes the prāṇa (life energy, animating energy), which is of five types due to different forms and functions (vṛtti-bheda) called: outward energy (prāṇa, via outward breathing, etc.), downward energy (apāna, via inward breathing, etc.), assimilating energy (samāna, via digestion, etc.), upward energy (upāna, via retching, ejecting the prāṇa from the body, etc.), and circulating energy (vyāna, via circulatory system, etc.).
The manas (the fact gathering mind), buddhi (the intellect), along with the five each organs of sensing (five buddhi-indriyas) and of action (five karma-indriyas), plus the five prāṇas (life energies) – as seventeen make up the (jīva’s, the individual’s) subtle body (sūkṣma-śarīra), also called the liṅga-śarīra (the body where the self gets attached, is made known, and where a live individual can be inferred in an entity).
Through identification there (in the subtle body that travels in and out of waking and dream experiences, as well as from the unmanifest) this prājña (the knower in deep sleep, as well as the knower in the unmanifest, PancD.1.17) attains taijasatva (the nature of having its mind ‘lit-up’) at its (tayoḥ) individual level (vyaṣṭhitā, awakened to the state of its mind) and the nature of the Lord in the form of Hiraṇya-garbha at its (tayoḥ) cosmic level (samaṣṭitā).
The Lord (as Hiraṇya-garbha, the initial cosmic person) is the totality (samaṣṭi) of all this (which has becomes this universe) due to the sense of identification (tādātmya-vedana) in all of their natures, sva-ātman, their subtle bodies, or, rather in His cosmic subtle body). The one who is other than that one, though, in the absence of that (identification in the total) they (the wise) call the individual knower (vyaṣṭi-saṃjña, who knows little, simply by this one’s identification only with this individual body, instead of with the totality).
To provide objects of experiences for those (individual subtle bodies), and provide for births into more fit receptacles of these experiences (punar-bhogya-bhoga-āyatana-janmas), the Lord (bhagavat) mixed each one (of these elements), beginning with space, five-fold*.*(Making each of those original elements only predominantly that element with minority mixtures of the other four elements, which in turn makes these composite subtle element mixtures into gross elements perceptible to all these subtle body individuals. As an example, the subtle principal of space is dimension, whereas our common parlance of experience and understanding of space is mostly the outer space beyond the atmosphere, which has relative minor percentages of movement, heat and light, liquidity, and solidity. Currently outer space is understood, per Wikipedia, as a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles, predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, neutrinos, dust, and cosmic rays, and having a baseline temperature of about 2.7 °C above absolute zero temperature. Similarly, the subtle principle of wind is movement, whereas our experience and understanding of wind is the atmosphere as being predominantly movement or circulation, and relatively less amount of dimension compared to outer space, as well as of the other three elements present in the atmosphere. This is certainly a reasonably intelligent understanding of our entire universe, not displaced, though for other purposes elaborated upon by our current sciences. It’s good enough here to then understand how this universe can be completely subordinated because of its dependencies to the more unifying principles first of my mind, then the Lord’s mind [Hiraṇya-garbha], and finally the one existence-consciousness.)
(The five-folding to make one gross element is) proportioning into two portions and then the first portion into four portions*, so that the second (predominant) portion is (the one subtle element) itself alone and each of the other four portions are the other (subtle elements). From this combination (yogana) there are five (gross elements) each consisting of five (subtle elements, with each gross element being called its predominant subtle element component).*(The typically employed literal terms ‘division’, ‘halves’, and ‘quarters’ tend to confuse and limit this process in explaining the varieties in the universe we experience. Listening to this tends to make the eyes gloss over, and presenters can’t refrain from drawing static charts on the page or the white board. The confusion is that dividing an element would leave a portion of itself in the first half, but, not mentioned, that half loses its element and then is replaced by quarter, at this point eighth, portions with each of the other elements. The end result would be only five gross elements of exactly half itself and one-eighth each the other four, leaving no variety within each gross element. The better understanding is to take ‘into two’ as describing a predominance of itself for each element, with the balance ‘into four’ as minority portions for the other elements. So we don’t necessarily have five unique gross elements, but a spectrum of higher and lesser predominance of dimension, movement, etc. in different locations which, through our senses, the mind then names as more or less spacious, more or less gaseous, etc.)
As these (five subtle elements) was the source (aṇḍa, the cosmic egg). In that (egg), the universe (bhuvana) arose, which then became the abode for the (earned) experiences (of the jīva, the prājña, individuals awaiting in the unmanifest for this universe to manifest, as well as the knower in deep sleep who can awaken to the day). Hiraṇya-garbha (the knower reflected in the total subtle body) is then present in this (cosmic) gross (element body, who can then be called Virāj as the knower therein).* In the (individual’s) body it would be called the vaiśvā-nara (the common-world knower, the individual who can now experience the common manifest world, who awakens to the manifest day of experiences).*(The subtle elements and Hiraṇya-garbha do not transform into the gross elements and Virāj, but persist throughout the universe manifestation. All these are there as the Lord itself which are distinguished only because the limited perspectives of individual knowers who need to manufacture or hear explanations for why and how is all this. The answer manufactured here is directed to mature adults, but is not completely unlike the answer to children that it was a stork who brought you to us – it is what the recipient can find helpful for the time being).
(This same one, at the individual level) comes to be (called) the taijasas (the knowers who only light the mind within, the dreamers; the switch to plural here may be due to multiple, separate episodes of knowing different dreams before the waking day arrives) and they become known as the viśva (the pervading one, the dreamer manifesting throughout inside the dream) as a deity, animal, human, etc. (hence also the reason for the plural being used here). All of these (individual knowers: the deep sleeper, the waker, and the dreamer) experience (through the senses and mind) only the external (sense objects and thoughts in the mind) and are without true knowledge of the (knower) within (as being the same knower as Hiraṇya-garbha).
These (jīvas) do action to enjoy and enjoy to do action. Like worms swiftly moving in a river from one whirlpool to another, these individuals move from birth to birth (janman), never gaining peace (nirvṛti).
Due to the maturation of their good karma, a few (worms) are rescued (from the river) by someone who is a reservoir of compassion (karuṇā-nidhi). Gaining this shade of a tree on the bank, they rest in that pleasure.
Similarly, (a few jīvas by their good karma) gain this teaching (upadeśa) from a teacher (ācārya) who knows (as clear as seeing) this truth. Through the discernment (viveka) of (the following) pañca-kośa (the five levels, where entrapment is to be avoided), they attain ultimate peace (nivṛti, release from the force of the currents of saṃsāra).
These five kośas (locations where one identifies with and holds on to one’s elemental gross and subtle body, literally ‘treasure chests’) are: this (body made of) food (anna), energy (prāṇa), mind (manas, the examining aspect of the mind), knowledge (buddhi, the knowing aspect of the mind, and the home of one’s ego), and pleasure (ānanda). Trapped by these as though they were one’s very self, and oblivious (to one’s true nature) they undergo (remain in) saṃsāra (cycles of rebirth).
The gross body (sthūla deha) born of the five-folded gross (the tamas aspect of the) elements (pañcī-kṛta-bhūtas, PancD.1.27) is known as the anna (the food body). Whereas, within the liṅga (the subtle, PancD.1.23) body is the prāṇa (kośa) consisting of the rajas (aspect of all the five subtle elements) in the form of the (five) prāṇas, along with the (five) karmendriyas (PancD.1.21).
The mind having the nature of examining (vimarśa-ātman) (born) of the sātvaka (subtle aspect of the five elements), along with the (five) organs of perceptual knowledge, is known as the mental (mano-maya, kośa). The intellect (dhī) having the nature of resolve, also along with those (organs of perceptual knowledge), is known as the intellectual (vijñāna-maya, kośa).
The sattva (aspect of all the five subtle elements) in the causal body (kāraṇa, the unmanifest basis of this universe) is with modification of moda (degrees of pleasures), etc. (i.e., priya-moda-pramoda, TaitU.2.5.1), and is known as ānanda-maya (the kośa consisting of pleasure). Due to identification (tād-ātmya) with each one of the kośas (locations where identification mistakes are made) then the self would be assumed to have the natures of each one of them (tad-tad-maya, ‘I am skinny’, ‘I am sick’, I am unsure’, ‘I am not smart’, ‘I am not very happy’, and so on).
By discerning (the one essential nature) of each of the five kośas through anvaya-vyatireka (co-presence and co-absence methodology, which is discerning the essential, material or efficient cause that allows an effect to be present and without which an effect would be absent), then one draws out (of that self-kośa identification) just one’s self (as the only true nature of this identification complex) and arrives at limitless brahman (limitless reality-consciousness as my essential nature, not the limited locations it appears to be though mistaken discernment).
In dream (svapna), wherein there is the non-appearance (a-bhāna) of this physical body, the continued presence (anvaya) of ātman (existence-awareness, now with a dream body instead within the dream) is (said to be) the anvaya (co-presence, of the self, independent from the appearance of one’s physical body). (Whereas) the non-appearance of the physical body while that (self) is manifestly present (in dream) is (said to be) its vyatireka (co-absence, of the physical body while the self independently continues).
(Similarly) in deep sleep (suṣupti), wherein there is the non-appearance (even) of the subtle body (liṅga, the prāṇa, manas, etc., PancD.1.23), the continued presence of ātman (existence-awareness, with neither a waking nor a dream body) is the anvaya. Whereas, the non-appearance of the subtle body while that (self) is manifestly present is said to be its vyatireka (co-absence, of the subtle body while the self independently continues).
Those (subtle body) kośas consisting of prāṇa, manas, and intellect (dhī) are distinguished by this discernment (viveka) from that (co-present self). In that case, they are also distinguished (from each other also) simply by the difference in their natures and their location (avasthā, i.e., separately within the subtle body and together only in waking and dream, not deep sleep).
Whereas, in samādhi* (contemplation where there is only awareness that is oneself and no separation of knower-known) which is also without suṣupti (deep sleep), there is the anvaya, (continued presence, of the self, of existence-awareness alone). And the non-appearance of deep sleep (as well as of the causal ignorance of the prājña, PancD.1.28) while the self is manifestly present is (said to be) its vyatireka (co-absence, of the unmanifest, as well as one’s causal body without modification of moda, degrees of pleasure PancD.1.36, while the self independently continues).*(Samādhi is a term popularized in yoga treaties, and is not found in any of the twelve Upaniṣads: Iśā, Kena, Kaṭha, Praśna, Muṇḍaka, Māṇḍūkya, Taittirīya, Aitareya, Śvetāśvatara, Kaivalya, Bṛhadāraṇyaka, or Chāndogya. It is properly, within the Upaniṣad teaching tradition, taken as a concluding part of nididhyāsana, contemplation, which occurs in Bṛhadāraṇyaka as nididhyātavya, BrhU.4.5.5–6. Nididhyāsana is the repeated attempts to bring the teaching to the mind. When the mind in nididhyāsana eventually either drops cognizance of a separation between meditator-meditating-meditated, or comes to, at least for a time, doubtlessly appreciate the unreality of a distinction of meditator-meditating-meditated, even though they still appear in the mind, this may be called samādhi within nididhyāsana. And the Bhagavad Gītā sanctions this use of the term samādhi, BhG.4.24. Even the yoga tradition acknowledges that one arrives at samādhi through dhāraṇā and dhyāna, YS.3.1–2. We can take nididhyāsana, including the more general term dhyāna, as encompassing dhāraṇā, dhyāna, and samādhi, when the contemplated relates to oneself as brahman.)
Like the internal pith (iṣīkā, for making the upanāyana ceremonial waistband is separated with care) from the muñja grass, so the ātman is carefully separated by the wise (dhīras) with (the help of this teaching and supporting) logic (yukti) from (the kośas of) the three bodies (the gross, subtle, and causal bodies). Then one is (as though) reborn as the ultimate brahman alone (no longer limited by these kośas).
In this way is manifestly taught (saṃbhāvitā) with (the help of) logic one’s identity with the para-ātman (unlimited self) from the a-para-ātman (imagined limited self, as these kośas). (Similarly) this (identity) is indicated (lakṣyate) by eliminating (unequal) aspects (bhāga-tyāga) through the (mahā-)vākyas (pithy declarations from the Upaniṣads), such as ‘tat tvam asi’ (‘that you are’), etc. (see PancD.5)
By the word ‘tad’ (‘that’) is referenced brahman which has taken on māyā through her (predominantly) tamas (darkness) aspect which would be the material cause (upādāna) of the universe and through her pure sattva (knowledge) aspect which would be the intelligent cause (nimitta, of the universe).
By the word ‘tvam’ (‘you’) is referenced that same ultimate brahman, whenever it has taken on (māyā’s) sattva (knowledge aspect) mixed up (malina, with rajas and tamas, and thus limited) and (thus) defiled with desires and activities (to fulfill them), etc.
But eliminating these three features (tāmasī māyā upādānam plus the śuddha-sattvā māyā nimittam, and malina-sattvā māyā dūṣitā) that are incompatible with each other, no distinction (between tat and tvam, the Lord and myself) is indicated by this mahā-vākya (‘tat tvam asi’), which is their (compatible nature as) existence-consciousness-fullness (sat-cit-ānanda)*.*(The term ‘ānanda’ is equivalent to an-anta meaning ‘limitless’. To mistranslate ‘ānanda’ as ‘bliss’ is to frankly confuse it with ‘ānanda-maya’ PancD.1.36, as a high degree of pleasure, which modern teachers can successfully employ to market their emotional healing techniques. But such a ‘bliss’ cannot permanently remain with the student, every-day all-day, because it is emotional. Permanency can never be attributed to emotions. Permanency can only be brought about by knowledge, because it is factual. Nevertheless, one has to be emotionally stable for this knowledge to assimilate to the core of one’s being and not rejected because of one’s low self opinions about the body, emotions, and intellect.)
The same as in declarations such as, ‘That (past location Devadatta person) is this (present Devadatta person)’, by eliminating the two (incompatible) features (bhāgayoḥ tyāgena), in the form of ‘that’ and ‘this’, then the one basis (āśraya, ‘is Devadatta’) is indicated.
Eliminating (negating) both māyā and a-vidya (the cosmic and the not-knowing-individual) upādhis (apparently limiting adjuncts) of the Lord and the jīva (respectively), their non-distinction (a-khaṇḍa) is indicated as brahman only, which is their (compatible nature as) existence-consciousness-fullness.
(Objection:) If the nature of what is being indicated (lakṣyatva) is sa-vikalpa (having apparent features, the upādhis, not its real, essential nature), then the indicated lacks (independent) reality (apart from those features). But if the nature of what is being indicated is nir-vikalpa (having no apparent features), then (the indicated) is neither seen (dṛṣṭa, to the senses) nor (logically) possible (sambhavin, to the mind).
(Reply, assuming the above two objections are true:) If (brahman) having no features (nir-vikalpa) can (by the senses or mind) be figured out (vikalpa, can be featured), then this starts out (as an unresolvable) contradiction (vyāhati). If (brahman) having features can be figured out, then there will be (various logical fallacies, such as) anyatra-an-avasthā (mutual dependence, i.e., if the known features are dependent upon an unknown brahman, then the features are not fully known, and may themselves be equally unreal, if brahman happens to be unreal) or ātma-āśraya (self dependence, i.e., if brahman is completely independent from the features, then the features will tell us nothing about an unknown brahman), etc.
This same (idaṃ samam, uncertainty would then apply) towards any object (vastu) having a quality, having an action, having a category, having a substance, and having a relationship (i.e., the relative things of the world would only be relatively known). Hence, it is instead to be understood (through the authority of the scriptural teaching) that all this (relative and thus not absolutely real universe) is (superimposed) upon my very (undismissible, definitely real) nature (sva-rūpa, by experience as existence-consciousness, and by scripture, as limitless).
When the reality of the self is untouched by either (the presence of superimposed) attributes or the lack of them, then the nature of being attributed, of being logically indicated, of having any relationships, etc. are all assumptions (kalpatā vṛttis, imposed by our mind on one’s self, the knower of the mind).
Thus, what is called śravaṇa (listening to the teaching) involves scrutiny as to its meaning intended by these statements (mahā-vākyas). Whereas, manana (understanding) should involve scrutiny as to its validity (towards oneself and one’s life) by means of logic (yukti).
What indeed is called nididhyāsana (contemplation) is the abidance (eka-tānatva) of a steadied mind upon the doubtless meaning arrived at by these two (śravaṇa and manana).
In stages (kramāt, where initially one starts with a distinction of knower-knowing-known), eliminating (the notion of a distinction) as an agent and the action of meditating, where the mind, like a flame protected from the (vacillations of the) wind, has as its scope only the one dhyeya (the contemplated, self as limitless existence-consciousness, unswayed by doubts), is called samādhi (staying put only in oneself).
Although, at that time (initially as an experience, YS.3.9 & 1.46, before assimilated knowledge, PancD.1.62 & YS.3.8) this flow of thoughts, whose scope is only the self, are not (individually) known (i.e., even though they are there, they amount only to a single experiential quietude in oneself), and they, after one has arisen from being thus immersed (samutthita), are inferred to be there from a memory (of that quietude in the self, i.e., whose distinction from the quietude of deep sleep is that one entered with and emerged with a certain knowledge of oneself, unlike sleep where one starts from a forgetting of oneself).
The continuous flow (anuvṛtti, of thoughts on the same object during samādhi) is by previous effort (in śravaṇa, manana, and nididhyāsana to arrive at samādhi) and (then during the samādhi) by the assistance of latent tendencies (saṃskāras, in the unconscious mind, YS.3.10) created by repeated practice and (retained) as one’s unseen (karma, even from prior births).
This very same idea, Lord (Kṛṣṇa) pointed out to Arjuna in various ways by such statements, ‘Like the (flame of an) oil lamp in a windless place’ (BhG.6.18–9).
Here in beginningless saṃsāra are accumulated (sañcita, in one’s unconsciousness) countless karmas (as latent tendencies to later manifest). By this (śravaṇa, manana, and nididhyāsana, leading to samādhi) those (latent tendencies that are unhelpful, kliṣṭa, YS.1.5) are kept in remission (vilayaṃ yānti), and there arises (to the fore) pure (helpful sattva) dharma (supporting karma).
Experts in yoga call this samādhi a rain-cloud of dharma (YS.4.29), because it pours countless showers of immortal dharma (karma that relieves and helps you get out of the mortality of saṃsāra).
By that (dharma-megha, a blessing of the teaching), one brings about the complete abatement (discount, as to not affecting one’s self), by its very root (which is ignorance of one’s real nature), of one’s accumulated (sañcaya) karma, called puṇya-pāpa (favorable and unfavorable), which (one carries around) as a pool of vāsanās (in the citta, baggage, of one’s subtle body).
The true (sat) words of the teaching (vākya), freed from obstacles (of ambiguity and doubt, through śravaṇa and manana. respectively), which previously were viewed as parokṣa (beyond the scope of one’s senses), now bears fruit (prasūyate) as direct knowledge (a-parokṣam bodham, wherein the ‘experience’ of samādhi amounts to direct evidence that action and the mind are not required for this peace in oneself that one always seeks), like āmalaka fruit (the Indian gooseberry) in the hand (is directly, not remotely, known).
The assimilated knowledge (vijñāna) of brahman (limitless existence-consciousness, i.e., as oneself), which was (previously) indirect (parokṣa, as belonging to the Lord) and which was introduced by a teacher (deśika-pūrva, who can only point to the truth, not ‘give’ you the truth) through words (sābda, i.e., indirectly) – now, like a fire, completely burns up the pāpa (all karma, good or bad, that kept you in cycles of rebirths) committed prior to this knowledge.
The assimilated knowledge (vijñāna), having the nature of not being out of reach of one’s experience (a-parokṣa), which was introduced by a teacher (as someone required to guide and clarify your way in the scripture) through their words (sābda), like the bright light of the sun, (leads you) out of the darkness of ignorance that is the material cause of saṃsāra (unbecoming becoming).
Thus, one starts distinguishing through tattva-viveka (discernment of reality, from ignorance, from māyā and her effects, such as the pañca-koṣas) and begins to settle the instructed mind (in that reality). Before long, the retained notions of bondage come to an end and the person attains the ultimate abode (paraṃ padam, brahman only as oneself).
Since that (brahman), which is said to be non-dual reality according to scripture (śruta), can be known by distinguishing (it) from the five elements (pañca-bhūta-viveka), then the nature of the five elements is now pointed out in more detail.
The properties (guṇas, perceived by the senses) of the (gross) elements are sound (from space, as dimension, sensed by the organ of hearing through the ears), touch (from wind, movement, sensed by the organ of touch throughout the surfaces of the body), form (from fire, as heat and light, sensed by sight through the eyes), taste (from water, as liquidity, sensed by the organ of taste primarily through the tongue), and smell (from earth, as solidity, sensed by the organ of smell through the nose). These guṇas in space, etc. are accumulatively (kramāt, by five-fold physicalizing, PancD.1.26) one (guṇa, in space), two (guṇas, i.e., sound and touch, in wind), (similarly) three, four and five (respectively in the other three elements).
An echo is a sound in space (viyat, dimension, properly it is that which is the medium that allows sound waves to exist and travel). In wind is sound, such as ‘bīsi’ (a whooshing soundalike, made by the movement of air in space), and touch which is (intrinsically) neither cold nor hot, i.e., has not the qualities of fire, etc.). In fire is sound, such as ‘bhugu-bhugu’ (a cracking soundalike)…
…Also (fire, i.e., heat and light) has (the sensed qualities) touch (from wind) and heat (from itself). In water (liquidity) is sound, such as ‘bulu-bulu’ (a gurgling soundalike), and (has a sensed) touch (from wind), a cool temperature and clear color (from fire), and produces (īrita) a refreshing taste (from itself as clean water)…
…In earth (solidity) is sound, such as ‘kaḍa-kaḍā’ (a rumbling soundalike). It produces a solid touch (from contact), a varied color, such as blue, etc. (from fire via sight), a sweet, sour, etc. taste (from liquidity via the taste buds)…
…Also (in earth) are pleasant and unpleasant smells (from itself). (In this way) are the qualities (of the five elements via the senses) discerned (from each other). The five sense organs are hearing (via ears), touch (via the nerved skin surfaces on and inside the body), sight (via the eyes), taste (via the taste buds on the tongue), and smell (via the nose).
Each one of these has a receptor apparatus (golakas), starting with the ears (skin, etc.), that are connected to the (sense organ) graspers (of the elements’ guṇas) starting with sound, etc. in the same order (as their predominant subtle to grosser element). Due to (the sense organs’) subtility (saukṣmya, being made only of sattva guṇaPancD.1.19 and being dependent upon their gross receptor apparatus, and thus not perceptible to these senses), each one is only inferred (by our mind, based upon their effects on the mind). Generally they (the senses) move outwards (into the world of the objects)*.*(For example, the sense of hearing perceives outwards towards the direction of the source of a sound, and sight perceives outwards to reach a perceivable form and perceives its direction and distance. Even though our modern sciences infer that the sound and light waves enter inward to the receptor apparatuses, indeed our experience is that the mind starts from you out through respective sense organ to its object.)
(Also the senses move inward, such as) when the hearing (golaka, the ears) is plugged, an interior sound is heard during breathing and during digestion (jāṭhara-agni) when drinking water or eating food…
…interior sensations arise. When the eyes are closed one (‘sees’) interior darkness. When belching, there is taste and smell. Thus (iti), the senses perceive within (the body also).
There are (generally) five types of activities (kriyās): speaking (ukti), grasping, moving, excreting, and sexual. (All other activities, such as) agriculture, commerce, service, etc. are included within these five.
These activities are brought about by the (five) organs (akṣis, of action): speech, hands, feet, anus, and genitals, which reside in the mouth, etc. golakas (apparatuses). These (vāk, speech, etc.) are called the five karma-indriyas (organs of action).
The internal organ (antaḥ-karaṇa) is (in general called) the manas (the ‘mind’, which includes all thoughts that can be divided between examining thoughts or knowing thoughts, and those can be further divided into emotions, egos, memories, etc.). It is the overseer (adhy-akṣa) of the ten organs (of sensing and action, as part of its examining job). It is located in the lotus-like heart (hṛd, the center of the person, which is felt to be ‘working’ day and night) as its golaka (its apparatus)*. Because it lacks independence (a-svātantrya) from the (five) senses in regard to external (objects), then it is called ‘internal’.*(We may now say that the brain is the apparatus, but no arguing that if the choice is whether someone remains alive or not, it is the heart, not the brain that determines whether the subtle body remains in the body. And, one can be brain-dead, but still alive as long as the heart keeps beating.)
This (mind), when present in (the field of) the senses (akṣas), examines (vicāraka) the merits and defects in regard to their contacted objects. Its (the mind’s) constituents (guṇas) by which it does its job are sattva, rajas, and tamas.
The (mind’s sense of) non-attachment, accommodation, generousness, and so on are (thoughts) born of (predominance of) sattva (knowledge, objective reality). Requiring and anger, greed and contrivance, and so on arise from (predominance of) rajas (activity, clouded thinking).
Lethargy, confusion, drowsiness, and so on arrive from (predominance of) tamas (darkness, lack of critical thinking). By sātvika (thoughts) there arises puṇya (lasting karma merit). By rājasa (thoughts) there arises pāpa (lasting karma demerit).
By tāmasa (thoughts) there is neither of these (karma merit or demerit), rather there would only be spending life’s energy idly. Among these (thoughts of the mind), any one that also includes a notion of ‘I’ (ahaṃ-pratyayin, such as ‘My non-attachment’, ‘I am desirous’, etc.) is called the kartā (the doer, doership). Thus, is our worldly experience (of how the mind reacts through its constituent nature).
Concerning these (sense experiences via the thoughts of the mind) consisting of sound, etc., the nature of their also being only products of the (five subtle) elements (bhautikatva) is not clearly known (due to their subtility (saukṣmya, PancD.2.7, as well as due to our identification with the mind and senses that we don’t recognize them as objects also). However, even in regard to the senses, etc. (mind, intellect, ego), there is ascertainment (of their elemental nature) through the scripture (śāstra) and (supporting) logic (yukti) on this topic.
Whatever is experienced through the eleven organs (of the five senses, of the five actions, and the one internal organ), plus that understood through logic and the scripture (as the third separate pramāṇa, means of knowledge, YS.1.7), is this world referred to as idam (‘this’, in the following quote).
Uddālaka Āruṇi taught (to Śvetaketu, in the sixth chapter of Chāndogya Upaniṣad, ChanU.6.2.1, 3.1) that before all “this” (idam) manifest universe (śṛṣṭi) “there was one reality only without a second” (ekam eva sad eva a-dvitīyam āsīt); there was no “name or form” (nāma-rūpa).
A difference (bheda, to make a second, dvitīya, a separate name and form) is (of three types): sva-gata (present within itself), such as of a tree by its leaves, flowers, fruits, etc.; sa-jātīya (between its same class), such as (of one tree) from another tree; and vi-jātīya (apart from another class), such as (of a tree) from a rock, etc.
In that way, the prospect that this entity called sat (reality itself) has any of these three differences (from within, between, and apart) is warded off in order by the three (words “one only without-a-second”: eka, eva, a-dvitīya, PancD.2.19) which express oneness (aikya, ‘eka’, no differentiation within itself), restriction (avadhāraṇa, ‘eva’, no differentiation from a similar), and denial of a second thing (dvaita-pratiṣedha, ‘a-dvitīya’, no differentiation from a dissimilar).
That reality (sat, brahman) could not possibly have had parts, since there was no discerning of such parts. Names and forms (nāma-rūpa) are not its parts, since before those (names and forms, before this manifest universe those) had not yet arisen.
Since manifestation is only the arising of names and forms, then before manifestation these two would not have yet arisen. Therefore, this reality (before creation) was partless, just like space (at the start of manifestation, before the other great elements).
Since differentiation (vailakṣaṇya) was lacking, there could have been no similarity (sa-jātīya) with another reality (i.e., a class of the same kind of realities). Difference (bheda) is due to the upādhi (limiting adjunct) of names and forms. Without (those), reality cannot have a difference (to be multiple realities).
Nor could one conceive of non-reality (a-sat) as vijātīya (belonging to a different class from reality). Since nothing can have opposition (pratiyogin) from this (reality, i.e., ‘existence’ includes everything that possibly or impossibly was, is, or will be, even the notion that there is a non-existence exists), then how could there be a difference (from reality) as a different class?
That reality (sat) is one only without a second has been established. But, in regard to this, some are confused (vihvalas, vyākulas, such as Vaināśikas, Buddhist Nihilists) choosing to say that there was non-reality (a-sat, non-existence) before (the manifestation of the universe).
Like sinking into the ocean (with nothing but water all around) one’s senses and mind are bewildered, upon hearing that reality is one without divisions (to cling to). These individuals have thus become stunned and very fearful.
The teacher Gauḍa-pāda talked about the great fear of some yogins (ManKa.3.39) who are dedicated only to brahman with a form (sākāra) when their contemplation becomes free of (mental) divisions.
All such yogins, who find what is called a-sparśa (without a sense or mental contact) yoga difficult to conceive, are afraid of it, seeing fear in the fearless.
The highly respected Bhagavat-pāda (Śaṅkara) calls the Mādhyamikas (Buddhists) who only have dry logic (lacking the Veda as the proper means of knowledge here) as confused regarding this reality-self which (as the witness) cannot be an object of thought.
These Buddhists, (seemly) out of dumbness (lack of a proper means of knowledge here) disregard the scripture (śruti, teachings) and remain in darkness. As they only look through logic, they arrive at the conclusion that they themselves are nothing (nir-ātmatva).
When you (Buddhists) say śūnya (nothingness) existed, did you mean that it has existence (sat-yoga) or that it is existence (sat-ātmatā)? In either case, nothingness cannot have any such association with existence, because both non-existence and existence are contradictory (to each other, but if they mean the same thing to you then you are simply naming existence as ‘śūnya’).
The sun cannot be attributed with darkness, nor does it consist of darkness. As existence and non-existence are (naturally) contradictory, how could you say non-existence existed (before creation)?
(The Buddhist says:) If (for you Vedāntins) the names and forms beginning with the element space, etcetera are completely imposed (on existence) by (the inexplicable magic of) māyā, then similarly (for us Buddhists) these are simply names and forms of non-existence (śūnya, imposed, produced, by māyā). (We reply:) May you live long! (i.e., you either are talking meaninglessly or at best not disputing us, since you are accepting a thing called ‘śūnya’ that has names and forms imposed on it).
You may say that both names and forms of reality are both imposed (by māyā upon non-existence), but an illusion (bhrama) is never seen anywhere without a substratum (e.g., mirage water requires a certain surface condition viewed at a certain angle; a phantom snake requires a crack on the ground, a rope, etc. in a darkened area by one who would suspect a snake could be there).
(Objection:) The (Veda text’s) two words ‘sat’ ‘āsīt’ (‘reality was’) either separately refer to two different entities (śabdārthas, hence there is duality), or the expression refers to no difference (a-bheda, and hence is meaningless tautology, like ‘one is one’). (Reply:)It should not be like that, since we see such expressions in common usage.
‘A deed is done,’ ‘A speech is spoken,’ ‘A burden is borne’ – towards one who is accustomed to such expressions, the verb ‘was’ (in ‘sat āsīt’) expresses being (sat).
The expression ‘before’ (purā, agre) in regard to (‘before creation’) which lacks time is directed toward a student accustomed to temporal thinking, and this usage (by the teacher) here does not intend duality (existence plus time).
A question (codya, pūrva-pakṣa) and its reply arise within our duality accustomed language (within nāma-rūpa, names and forms). Within a (supposed) non-duality (or non-existent) language, there can be no question or its response.
At that time (before creation) a ‘steady depth’ (‘gambhīra’,* a-dvaita vastu) pervaded without any tejas or tamas (opposition guṇas, light-dark, movement-stasis), nor name or manifest form apart from this reality (sat).*(For background, here is MacDonell’s translation of Rig Veda 10.1129 Hymn - The Origin of Things, indicated by the word ‘gambhīra’): Non-being then existed not nor being: There was no air, nor sky that is beyond it. What was concealed? Wherein? In whose protection? And was there deep (gambhīra) unfathomable water?(1) Death then existed not nor life immortal; Of neither night nor day was any token. By its inherent force the One breathed windless: No other thing than that beyond existed.(2) Darkness there was at first by darkness hidden; Without distinctive marks, this all was water. That which, becoming, by the void was covered. That One by force of heat came into being.(3) Desire entered the One in the beginning: It was the earliest seed, of thought the product. The sages searching in their hearts with wisdom, Found out the bond of being in non-being.(4) Their ray extended light across the darkness: But was the One above or was it under? Creative force was there, and fertile power: Below was energy, above was impulse.(5) Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The gods were born after this world's creation: Then who can know from whence it has arisen?(6) None knows whence creation has arisen; And whether he has or has not produced it: He who surveys it in the highest heaven, He only knows, or haply he may know not.(7)
Question (nanu): Upon dissolution all the way to the atomic elements (paramāṇus) then the earth, etcetera may cease to exist, but how can I arrive at a notion that space (ākāśa) itself has no existence?
If in fact you can have such an abiding knowledge that there is a space completely without a universe (of names and forms), then why can't you abide in a idea that reality (sat) can be without space?
If you can perceive a space without a universe, then in that case, without (the contrast of) light and dark, where could you possibly perceive (a universe-less space)? Moreover, space is indeed unseen (na pratyakṣa, is not in fact an object of the eye).
Whereas, reality (sat, brahman) is pure existence (vastu) experienced (anu-bhūyate, literally ‘being in keeping with’) by all of us very clearly. When (the mind) remains quiet, we do not experience nothing, because there is no thought of a nothing (śūnya, at that time).
(Objection:) But neither do we have a thought of existence (at that quiet time). (Reply:) Let that thought not be there, because existence is self-revealing (sva-prabhatva) and because it is the witness (sākṣitva) of the lack of thoughts (at that time). Pure existence is easy to recognize for everyone (as everyone is effortlessly always shining and witnessing whatever is there or not in their mind – a quiet mind is just an aid to confirm this teaching that it is you alone who is shining and witnessing, not any of these objects witnessed).
When the mind is not opening up (to an external world) then the witness (the existence of oneself) appears to be without problems (nir-ākula). Similarly (as it is now, so it was then), before the opening up (of the universe by) māyā, reality (sat) was unruffled.
Apart (nis-ta-tvā, pṛthak) from manifesting its effects, māyā is (only inferred to exist within reality as) a śakti (power, to manifest the varieties of nature from the one reality), like the power of fire (to burn only is known by its perceived effects). Because, no one knows any power exists somewhere, before its effects (are noticed).
The power (śakti, māyā) of reality is not the reality itself. Nor can a power exist by itself (like) fire’s (power to burn does not exist apart from fire itself). If (this power, māyā) exists apart from reality, what could one say is its nature?
If (you say the power, māyā) is the nature of non-existence (śūnyatva), (then this contradicts) what you said before that it is an effect of māyā (PancD.2.34–5). (Māyā) is neither non-existence (śūnya) nor reality itself (sat) – whatever that is (yādṛk, neither sat nor a-sat), that (tādṛk) has to be considered its (māyā’s) nature (tatva = tattva, SG.2.64).
(Hence it was said in Rig Veda, PancD.2.40) There was neither a-sat nor sat at that time (before creation), but there was tamas (darkness, which was what māyā is before creation, PancD.1.44). Existence (‘was’) is attributed to tamas (that darkness) due to its association with (i.e., appearance within) existence (sat), not due to itself alone, since (existence) is denied to it (in that Rig Veda hymn).
Thus, like śūnya, (māyā) cannot count as a second entity (from existence, sat). In the world, an able person and his ability cannot be portrayed to live apart from each other.
If one’s life lengthens when one’s power increases, in that case, the act of ageing is not itself the power (to live, one’s prāṇa) but an effect of that power, such as making war or going agriculture, etcetera (are possible effects of one’s power to live). (Similarly, although māyā, the manifestation power of existence, is not an addition to that sat, the universe consists of separate effects, which do vary, of that non-addition māyā.)
Everywhere, a śakti (any subtle power) itself cannot count as being separate (from that existence, or whether an element, a person or the Lord) in which it manifests, and any effect of that śakti is not itself (the śakti). How could it act as a power separately (from where it manifests)?
This power (of brahman, reality) does not operate everywhere throughout brahman, but rather only occurs in some part (of existence). Just as the power in earth to (materially) produce clay pots only occurs in softened clay, not elsewhere.
“Everything (the effects of māyā, manifest to our senses and mind) is only one quarter of this (reality), the other three quarters…” (ChanU.3.12.6) are only this one self-revealing (svayaṃ-prabha, sat). Thus, the scripture reveals māyā as being only a portion (of reality).
“I remain sustaining this entire universe with (just) a fraction (of My self)” (BhG.10.42). Thus, Lord Kṛṣṇa indicates to Arjuna the fractional nature of the universe.
“This one envelops the entire universe, yet extends beyond by ten fingers” (i.e., innumerably, beyond what is the limit of the perceivable, Rig Veda 10.129 & SvetU.3.14); and “(Brahman) is without form (vikāra-avartin, not needing a form) here (beyond the universe of forms)” (BrS.4.4.19) – thus is the declaration made in scripture (śruti) and in the teaching aphorisms (sūtras).
Attributing (āropya) parts even upon the partless (sat), the śruti, for the benefit of the listener (who is still bound up in duality), answers with the same language of the question as to whether (māyā pervades) completely or only part (of reality).
Śakti (this māyā) whose truth is reality (sat-tattva) creates (kalpyayet, conjures as if by magic) differences in reality (the non-dual sat), like paints applied to a wall appear as (if a realistic, 3-D) complex painting on the wall.
The first modification (the first of the five great elements from māyā) was ākāśa (space). Space is that which gives room (avakāśa, provides dimension). (Being a modification of māyā) its truth also is only (the non-dual) reality (sat-tattva).
The nature of reality (sat-tattva) is only its own single nature (as existence itself). Space has two natures (as dimension and as existing). In existence itself there is no dimension. In space there is also that (dimension), and thus is dual.
Also sound (pratidhvani, perceptible by the sense of hearing) is a quality (guṇa) of space, but this (quality) is not perceived in reality itself. In space there are both sound and existence. So existence is a single (nature) and space is dual natured (dvi-guṇa)*.*(Here, although existence is the very nature of space, it is lumped in as another guṇa based on the common notion of people regarding ‘existence’ that it is merely an attribute which can be there or not be there, as in “the pot ‘is’”, or “the pot ‘is not’”, PancD.2.58).
The same śakti (māyā) that produces space, first produces the notion that existence and space are inseparable (that space exists) and then conjures up the opposite notion that the two are related as a quality and its possessor (dharma-dharmitva, that space has existence or existence has space).
It is existence that (initially) appears (by māyā) to have the nature of space (sataḥ vyomatvam, like clay has clay-potness). But logicians (tārkikas), from their worldly perspective (laukikas), then think instead that space has the nature of existence (vyomnaḥ sattām, that ‘space exists’ means space is an independent reality). That indeed would be expected due to māyā (the power of projection, which can conjure up unreal relationships).
It is common knowledge by a proper means of knowledge (mānataḥ, pratyakṣādi-pramāṇataḥ) that a thing appears as it is (i.e., tasmin tad-buddhiḥ), and to be otherwise (anyathātva) would be by error (bhrama, an illusion).
In this way, before inquiry into the scripture (which is here the appropriate means of knowledge, pramāṇa), something appears different afterwards by proper inquiry. Therefore, let us discuss what this space is.
Space and existence are different because their names (i.e., nāmans) are different and their understandings (i.e., rūpas) are different. Existence encompasses (anuvṛtta) space, but that is not the case for space (which does not encompass existence, i.e., existence was there before the manifestation of space, as well as space is only a ‘part’ of reality). That is their different understanding (bheda-dhī).
Existence, because of being completely inclusive (in time and place) of any entity, is the dharmin (the locus or substance of all entities), whereas space has the nature of being a dharma (a seeming attribute of reality, of this locus). By this understanding (dhiyā), once existence itself is distinguished (is abstracted, from space), then space has what kind of nature (if it is other than reality and is imposed by māyā upon reality)?
If you say that its nature is (not reality but is) whatever gives dimension (avakāśa-ātmaka), then it should be considered to be a-sat (not-real). If you say (vakṣi) that it (space) exists as other than reality yet it is not not-real (not a-sat), then you contradict yourself.
If you say (space) is evident (bhāti, to our mind and to the sense of hearing as distance and direction), then (we say) it is only what appears (but is not reality) – and that is the glory of illusion! Whatever is unreal (a-sat) yet appears (to our senses) – that is an illusion (mithyā, a product of universal māyā), similar to a dream elephant, etcetera (which is only a product of our dreaming mind).
Just as there is a distinction between a class and a single member of that class, between a dehin (a jīva, a living subtle body, that assumes a series of innumerable bodies) and its (current) body, and between a substance and a quality of the substance, so too between existence and space.* What is there to wonder?*(They cannot be the same thing, nor in the absence of the former can there be the latter, i.e., there is no member if there is no class, no living body if no subtle body to enliven or perceive it, and no quality if no substance to have it.)
If this (correctly) known difference has not arisen in the mind (through śravaṇa), then tell me, is its lack of staying put due to inattention (an-aikāgrya), or due to some remaining doubt?
If it is the first (inattention), then be undistracted by gaining a contemplative mind (dhyāna, i.e., by nididhyāsana, PancD.1.41), if the other (doubting) then keep inquiring with a proper means of knowledge (pramāṇa) and its logical application (yukti, i.e., manana, PancD.1.53 & BrhU.2.4.5). In that way may you become most accomplished (rūḍha-tama, i.e., jñāna-yogārūḍha)*.*(Rūḍhi also means ‘common knowledge’ which here applies, in that this teaching now becomes one’s own common knowledge, not a some come-and-go feeling or an academic philosophy.)
By (first) thinking over the teaching logically (mananāt yuktitaḥ api) and (then) contemplation (dhyāna, as one first has to have some clear knowledge before contemplation on that knowledge), when this difference between space and (one’s) reality becomes established (rūḍha, common sense), then space can never be taken as reality, nor can the reality (that one is) have the nature of space (i.e., have dimension).
For a knower (of this teaching), space ever only just appears (to one’s thought), just as before the person was unexposed to this teaching of the truth (of space and of reality), yet now for this one (who has been exposed and has assimilated this teaching) the reality (that is the Lord and oneself) vibhāti (shines everywhere, as the shinning consciousness that reveals that space, KathU.2.2.15) unaccompanied by any (limiting) nature of that space (i.e., that space no longer limits me, the limitless conscious-being).
When one’s effortless knowledge (vāsanā, latent tendencies, regarding reality) has matured (i.e., when the knowledge has permeated to the vāsanā level), this wise person (budha) looks on amazed at those who (claim to) know reality while arguing that space is a reality.
Thus, when the unreality of space and the reality of tat (that brahman) are both assimilated (vāsita, ‘both’ because a scholar’s academic knowledge of reality has not corrected their initial childhood vāsanā-based acceptance of the same reality to space), then with that same logic one should distinguish reality (that the Lord and oneself is) from vāyu, etcetera (wind and the other elements, plus everything made from them).
In reality, māyā pervades only one part (of reality). In that (māyā), space is only one part (of māyā). And in that (space), vāyu (wind or air, the element that expresses as movement) is figured to only be one part (of vāyu).
Dryness, contactability, movement, and force are considered to be the qualities of the (universal) element ‘wind’ (of ‘air’, not to be limited to just the movement of air, but movement however it manifests universally or atomically), and (being within, a part of, the previous three), vāyu also gains (inherits) the three natures of existence, of māyā, and of space (i.e., is not non-reality, but is unreal, and has dimension plus manifests to our senses as sound via space).
When we say vāyu exists, the existence only belongs to reality itself (sataḥ). If vāyu is taken separately (from sat) then it would lack reality, which (unreality) is the very nature of māyā. And the sound (in wind) properly only belongs to space (not to wind itself).
(Objection:) It was stated before that all encompassing (anuvṛtti) belongs to existence, but not to space (PancD.2.67). Now (you say) encompassing (over vāyu) belongs to space. How is that statement not a contradiction?
(Reply:) Previously we said that the all encompassing (of existence) does not belong to space, but here this encompassing (of space over vāyu) belongs only to sound (the sensed attribute, the guṇa of space, not the dimension avakāśa-svarūpa of space, PancD.2.80, or perhaps better understood if we take sound as a wave-dimension structure which allows energy, i.e., movement, to manifest, and in this way pervades all movement). From that statement, how could there be a contradiction?**(This importance of the difference of guṇa from svarūpa comes into play when discussing the products of māyā, because these elements are only assumed to be there because of their perceptibility by our senses. There are five universal elements only because we happen to have five sense organs, see PancD.2.84 below. Unlike existence, the distinct sva-rūpas of the elements are inferred from their distinct sensed perceptions. Actually there is only one real sva-rūpa of all these elements, and that is reality itself, PancD.2.86.)
Objection (nanu, ‘No indeed’): If, because of being distinct from reality, (an element, such as vāyu) is not real (a-sattva), then why not, because it is distinct (as a product) from unmanifest māyā and thus not being (unreal) māyā, (then it would be real)?
(Reply:) Here (in regard to an element, such as vāyu) it only lacks the nature of reality by partaking (prayojikā) of the (unreal) nature of māyā. That (unreality) is common to both śakti (māyā) and its effect, because both the unmanifest (māyā) and the manifest (elements) are distinct (from reality, tattva).
Because the discernment (viveka, PancD.1) of the unreal from the real was introduced as the topic (prastutatva) of this discussion (cintyatā), then what would be the purpose here in bringing up further sub-division from that unreality, and dwelling upon them?
What is real is brahman. Whatever else remains (śiṣṭoṃśa), such as (the element) space or air are just like (unreal) mithyā (from the root mith ‘to mix up’, it is falsely mixing up, mistaking, incompatibles, YS.2.22). By making the unreality (mithyātva) of (an element, such as) air a lasting impression (a correcting vāsanā, by proper inquiry and contemplation), then give it up (as being any part of one’s true nature).
In the same way, one should contemplate the element fire also, which has an even more limited extent than air. This inquiry into their limited extent applies in regard also to the rest (the water and earth) of the universe (brahma-aṇḍa).
The gradation (tāratamya, of extent) is mentioned in the Purāṇa literature (as well as elsewhere) in regard to manifestation of the elements as being a tenth part (of each prior element), such as fire is formed in air as limited to a tenth part of the air.
Heat and light are (the sensed properties) of fire, in addition to the continuance of the prior (properties): fire exists, is unreal, has sound, and has contactability (from reality, māyā, space and air, respectively).
Along with the (inherited) aspects (qualities) of existence, māyā, space and air, the natural property (nijo guṇaḥ) of fire is form (rūpa, i.e., because of its light we distinguish forms). All these (properties) here are other than reality and should be distinguished (from reality) by the intellect (buddhyā, not by feelings, though that is today’s popular spiritual spin – not that that is more advanced but is more $$$ marketable. Today, renunciation is reduced to vacation).
When fire is unreal (mithyātva), apart from reality (which is its logical co-absence), and it exists only when there is reality (its co-presence, PancD.1.37), then water (i.e., liquidity), being a tenth (a fraction, of fire, i.e., liquidity is possible only above absolute zero temperature, and heat is more pervasive than fluids in the universe), one should contemplate that it (water) is confirmed (logically) to be limited (nyuna, and not worth unnecessarily identifying with).
This water, being existent yet unreal, has perceptibility to the sense of hearing and touch, as well as has visual form (rūpavat) which flow from the qualities of the other (more pervading elements). The quality (guṇa) of having a taste properly only belongs to (water, as the refreshing, neutral taste by which we may judge other tastes).
When water, apart from reality, has the unreality of that (māyā) and it exists (only when there is reality), then earth (i.e., solidity), being a tenth (a fraction, of the presence of water), one should contemplate that it is confirmed (logically) to be limited (nyuna, and not worth unnecessarily identifying with this packet of carbon and water we call our body).
Earth has existence yet is unreal, has perceptibility to the sense of hearing and touch, and has visual form (rūpaka) and taste, which belong (respectively) to the other (elements). (Only the quality) smell properly belongs to it. Reality should be distinguished (from these elements).
Considered apart from reality, the unreality (mithyā, ‘the falsely taken as real’) of earth remains. As a tenth part (of water) the earth has limitation. This entire universe (brahma-aṇḍa, cosmic egg) has earth in its center (from our perspective).
Within this universe, there are fourteen worlds (bhuvanas). In these worlds (six heavens, earth, and seven hells) having life, are the live bodies appropriate (to live there, from most to least sublime).
When all the worlds and bodies within the universe are apart (from existence, as our analysis has shown), these entities starting from the cosmic egg appear (bhāntu) as unreal. Even if these continue to appear, what loss is there here (in my reality)?
When there is a deep impression that the elements and their derivatives are unreal by being distinct from reality (that I am), then the knowledge that (my) reality (as existence-consciousness) is without a second (a-dvaita, non-dual) could nowhere be contradicted (i.e., all these are only appearances within my consciousness, as if inward or outward).
While duality is distinct from the non-dual reality, still the forms of earth onwards retain this or that purposeful activity in this world, as was seen before (this knowledge).
By Sāṅkhyas (the elemental philosophers), Kāṇādas (the atomist philosophers, PancD.2.41), Bauddhas (the various flavors of Buddhism), etc., difference in the universe as being in this or that way is imputed only by their countless logics. Let this be (as long as they are having fun and don't harm, why care).
These unhesitating philosophers have disregarded (the means of knowledge regarding) the non-dual reality. (Since they are unable to blunt this means of knowledge, then) in this way, there is no harm for us who (knowledgeably) disregard their duality.
The intellect that can disregard duality can remain established in non-duality. This person who has that steady knowledge is proclaimed to be a jīvan-mukta (freed while living).
This is being firm in/as reality (brahman, sat), O Arjuna. Attaining this, one is not any longer deluded. Being firm in this, even just at the last moment, one attains liberation in/as brahman (BhG.2.72).
‘The last moment’ (anta-kāla) here can mean as clearly seeing the oneness of the mutual (dependent dualities), where the falsity of duality is the reality of oneness. It is the change of mind at that time (tad-bheda-buddhi), not otherwise (see next).
(…Otherwise, indirectly) ‘the last moment’ means at death, according to common parlance. Even at that time (“attaining liberation” is not due to physical death, since) there is no return of the delusion which had already left (or just then left).**(Moreover, this emphasizes no rebirth, even though the intellect dissipates. Hence, this alternate interpretation is not lacking purpose).
Whether (one dies) healthy or broken, whether wallowing on the ground or unconscious, having given up the life-energies, this one has no delusion in anyway.
What is learned is daily forgotten during dream and deep sleep, yet (remaining in the vāsanā level, in the citta) it does not become unknown the following day. Like that this knowledge (vidyā) is not lost.
Knowledge attained through a means of knowledge (a pramāṇa, such as perception or logic) does not vanish unless there is a stronger (prabala, non-defective, nirduṣṭa) means of knowledge. There is no stronger means of knowledge (māna) than Vedānta (the Upaniṣads, in regard to the nature of the world and oneself).
Therefore, the non-dual reality (knowledge) established by Vedānta does not vanish even at the last moment (in either sense above). Hence, due to this discerning of the elements (as unreal, apart from the reality that one is) this nirvṛti (freedom, loss of transitoriness, the loss of identification with duality) remains.
By discerning the brahman who has entered into the cave (guhā) as it were) from each of the five kośas (locations where mistakes can be made, which make up the cave), it is possible to gain knowledge (of brahman). Therefore, here the five kośas are investigated.
Within the (physical) body (deha) is the life energy (prāṇa). Within the prāṇa is the examining mind (manas). Within that (manas) is the doer (kartṛ, the intellect). Within that (kartṛ) is the enjoyer (bhoktṛ). This layering is the cave (guhā, where the light of knowledge is to be brought in).
Arisen from the potency born of the food eaten by the parents, and expanded only by more food, this body is only a modification of food (anna-maya, the first kośa). It is not oneself (ātman), because it (the food-body) does not exist before (its coming together) nor after (its falling apart).
This (body) was not existing prior to its birth, so how could it produce its birth (i.e., it wasn’t there to manifest itself)? (This body) not existing in any future birth, could then not enjoy its accumulated (sañcita) karma (so the activities of this body are for nothing after the body’s death).
Filling this body, giving it strength and energizing the senses, the vital air (vāyu, prāṇa) is called the prāṇa-maya (the second kośa). This also is not oneself (ātman), since it is devoid of consciousness (caitanya, i.e., it cannot be you, the seer).
The (mind) which forms the ideas of ‘I’ and ‘my’ towards this body, as well as towards house, etc., remains deluded while undergoing various states of desire, etcetera. (Being continually changing) this mano-maya (the third kośa) also is not oneself (ātman).
The intellect (dhī) endowed with a reflection of consciousness (i.e., it’s a subtle substance that appears conscious, although is not itself consciousness), appears in waking state as pervading the body up to the tips of the fingers, yet vanishes in deep sleep (līnā suptau). It enjoys the name vijñāna-maya (the fourth kośa). It also is not oneself (because it appears and disappears).
The interior organ (i.e., the antaḥ-karaṇa, the whole mind) functions as both the agent and the instrument. It is here divided into the intellect and the mind (the fourth and third kośas). The two operate (for the most part) in the internal and external world, respectively.
The mental function (vṛti, thought-form) which is only directed inward (antar-mukha) and enjoys just a reflection of ānanda (of the fullness of the ātman, and hence also is not the ānanda-ātman, oneself) is there (in varying degrees) during the experience of (past) puṇya (favorable karma) and when there is a peaceful experience, and abides (quietly unnoticed until waking) in the form of deep sleep. (This ānanda-maya is the fifth kośa.)
Because it has the nature of existing only when it appears (kādācitkatva), this ānanda-maya cannot be the ātman. The ānanda (fullness) itself, as the very being of this reflection (of fullness), is the ātman (oneself), since it always remains (in the past, present and future, as well as before time itself comes into being).
Objection (nanu, ‘No indeed’): Towards all entities from the (waking world) deha to the ānanda in the sleep world (nidrā), nothing else would be left out which could be experienced as oneself (ātmatva).
(Reply:) Sure (bāḍham). All things from sleep (nidrā) onward (to the body), and nothing else, are experienced (as oneself). But, who can deny that by which all these are in that way experienced?
Since all experience belongs to oneself (svayam) alone, it cannot be something experienced. Because there is no experiencer or experiencing apart from it, then (oneself) cannot be one of the knowables (a-jñeya). But not because it (svam) does not exist (a-sattā).
Each of the qualities (guṇas, of taste) impart its nature (sva-bhāva), such as sweet, etc., to others, but indeed does not need to impart it to itself (e.g., sugar can make others sweet, but does not require anything else to make itself sweet). Nor can anything else impart it (e.g., salt to sugar, etcetera).
Even without another flavorer (arpaka, imparter), these (flavors, i.e., the six rasas: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter) have their own nature. Similarly, while the nature of knowledge itself (bodha-ātman, caitanya) cannot be a thing to be experienced (by another), still it does not lose this (nature of knowledge, bodha-ātman, by not being an object of the mind, etcetera).
(The scriptures declares:) This (ātman, puruṣa, while dreaming) is “self-shinning (svayam-jyoti)” (BrhU.4.3.9). It shines before all this (was created). “That (brahma-ātman) alone shines and (everything else) shines after” (KathU.2.2.15) – by this shine, all that universe which comes after is revealed (bhāsyate).
How can that, by which all this (universe) is known, itself be known by anything else? By what can one know the very knower? (Since) an instrument (for knowing, such as the manas or buddhi) is only applicable to what is knowable (vedya, what it can objectify, what it can enclose within its thought form).
The (ātman, self) knows all that is knowable (including the manas and buddhi). Nothing else can be a knower of it. Different from the known and the unknown is that whose very nature is knowledge.
(If denying the existence of consciousness) someone has experience in knowing, yet does not know how (he knows), then in what way could that one be taught the scripture? It’s as if he’s a clod of dirt in the form of a person.
Just as it would only amount to an absurdity (lajjā) to say whether or not I have a tongue (since I wouldn’t have to complete the sentence to convey I have one, and I couldn’t say if I didn’t), so it would be to say ‘I do not have knowledge of what knowledge (bodha, caitanya) is, but I need to have it’.
While disregarding everything in the world (i.e., taking them as mithyā, as only nāma-rūpa, not as sat, not as oneself), then bodha (knowledge, consciousness, satyaṃ jñānam) alone exists (remains as the permanent reality, as oneself). This is the pure knowledge which is called brahman (the limitless source and reality of the universe). In this way (not hiding from the world, with eyes wide open) this understanding is clarity in reality (brahman-niścaya).
While giving up (the claim of reality towards) the five koṣas, since what remains is the knowledge that is the witness (the sākṣin, of them), then that alone would be one’s very nature (sva-sva-rūpa, as pure consciousness-being). It is unnatural (durghaṭa) to attribute non-existence (śūyatva) to it (to one’s very own self).
Oneself indeed surely exists (asti), since there is no scope here for arguing otherwise. Even if there were an argument regarding the (existence or non-existence of the) self, then who could possibly be the opponent (that argues that he himself is non-existent, and who would pursue a discussion with someone who makes such absurd claims)?
Aside from delusion, no one seriously entertains the notion that they don’t exist. Thus the scripture exposes the absurdity of one who argues for non-existence.
‘If anyone thinks that brahman (unlimited existence-knowledge) does not exist, that would only make that one himself or herself non-existent’ (TaitU.2.6.1). Thus, one can accept that while (brahman) would not be an object of knowledge (vedyatva, PancD.2.30), still it is as real as oneself (sva-sattva).
If one asks, ‘Then what sort of thing it it?’ Here we say it is not like anything. What is not like a this or that, you should clearly know it only as its own unique nature.
Whereas, an object of the senses is said to be ‘like this’, or if beyond the senses is said to be ‘like that’. The one who witnesses objects (the viśayin, sākṣin) cannot be an object of the senses (like ‘this’), and since it is oneself, it cannot have any remoteness (like ‘that’).
Even though it cannot be an object of knowledge (a-vedya), still it is immediate (a-parokṣa, as oneself). So it (brahma-ātman) must be self-shinning (sva-prakāśa, self-revealing). ‘Existence consciousness unlimited’ (satyaṃ jñānam an-antam, TaitU.2.1.1), this expression that indicates the nature of brahman is also applicable here (iha, to oneself).
Existence is what can never be negated (bādha-rāhitya). If (at the dissolution of the universe) the one witness of this perishing world itself perishes, then tell me who could be the witnesser (of that)? There would be no witnesser of that.
When all forms are destroyed, then the formless space remains. When all that can be destroyed (including space) ends, that which remains is only that (tad, that reality-brahman).
If you say ‘nothing’ exists upon the dissolution of the entire universe, then isn’t that ‘nothing’ in fact ‘that’ (tad, which is brahman where ‘no other thing is’, a-dvitīya). Only the verbiage differs, in as much as (you say) the dissolution indeed IS.
Because of this alone the scripture makes known that whatever remains after negating the negatable is that (adas, brahman). That very (brahman), which is ‘neti neti’ (‘not this and not that’ name or form, BrhU.2.3.6), is ātman (oneself). It is in the form of that (reality) which does not go away (a-vyāvṛtti).
Whereas, to which extent every ‘this form’ (every name and form) can be negated, that is not possible for what is not a ‘this form’. That is the ātman (the witness of all ‘this’) left after negation (of all else).
Here it has been established that in brahman is reality. Now, the fact that its nature is knowledge was clearly told earlier (purā) through the statements ‘svayam eva anubhūtitvāt’ (‘because there is no experiencer or experiencing apart from it’, PancD.3.13), and others (statements, such as PancD.1.8).
Being pervasive (vyāpitva) this (brahma-ātman) is not limited by place (deśataḥ anta). Being persistent (nityatva, before, during and after the universe) it is also not limited by time (kālataḥ). Being the self of all (sārvātmya, the very nature of everything), it is not limited as an object (vastutaḥ). This is the three-fold limitlessness in regard to brahman (namely, deśataḥ, kālataḥ, vastutaḥ).
Since place, time, and another object are imposed (by us, by our thinking them as real) due to māyā (the ignorance of the limitless reality and the projection of the cosmic appearance, PancD.1.16), then whatever (limitation) is made from these three (e.g., this separate body here and now) would also not be a limit (to brahma-ātman). Thus the limitlessness of brahman is made clear.
This brahman which is unlimited existence-consciousness (PancD.3.28) is that (only) entity (vastu, and there is not other entity). Its (tasya) Lordship (Īśvaratva) and individuality (jīvatva) are non-intrinsic names and forms (upādhis) dually imposed (by us due to māyā and to a-vidya respectively, PancD.1.16–17).
Power (śakti, called māyā), which is attributed to the Lord (Īśvara), is the order (niyāmikā) within everything, beginning from the ānanda-maya (the fifth kośa). This (one unifying power) is hidden within all beings and entities.
If the (peculiar) attributes of entities were not ordered by this power (of the Lord), then due to a commingling of the attributes with each other (as if they each had their own separate minds, and the nature of ‘up’ choose to be ‘blue’ instead of obeying its nature, etc.), the universe would indeed be chaotic.**(That chaos would be different from sciences’ chaos, which is simply the non-binary nature of entities that are still in obeyance to a subset of possibilities).
This power (śakti, māyā as the total sattva of nature, PancD.1.16) by the pervasion of the reflection of consciousness (cit-chāyā-āveśataḥ) appears to be as though it is itself conscious. Due to the association with appearance of the śakti in that (reflection of consciousness), brahman indeed (apparently) gains the nature of being the Lord (i.e., as though gains omniscience).
Brahman gains the status of an individual (jīvatā) when the topic is the association (upādhi) with the kośas (the limiting locations). Just as the very same person gains the status of father or grandfather when in association with his son or grandson.
Just as a person is neither a father nor a grandfather when the topic is not his son, etc., so (brahman) is neither the Lord nor the individual, when the topic is not śakti (māyā, the power manifesting the appearance of the universe) nor the kośas (the individual abodes of personification).
The one who knows brahman (reality) in this same way, takes that brahman alone as oneself. Since brahman (reality) has no birth, then this one (oneself) cannot be born again.
Now is discerned the duality created by the Lord (Īśvara) and also by the individual (jīva). When this discernment is made, then the bondage (bandha) which is to be rejected by the individual is made clear.
“One should know māyā as mother nature (prakṛti), and the limitless Lord as having māyā within (māyin))” (SvetU.4.10), thus declare the adherents to the Śvetāśvatara (Upaniṣad) that the one (the Lord) who wields māyā creates.
“Ātman (the self) alone was all this in the beginning… That one envisioned, ‘I now create (sṛjai, sṛje, project the appearance of a world, the universe)’ ” (AitU.1.1.1) – by thought (saṅkalpa) alone He manifested these worlds. So say many such ṛcs (scriptural mantras).
“From this very self (ātman),” (TaitU.2.1.1) from brahman, was manifested all these bodies, in succession, from space, from air, from fire, from water, from earth (urvī), from plants, and from food.
From this thought (kāmataḥ), “ ‘Let Me be many. Let Me be born.’ Having thus contemplated, He manifested all this” (TaitU.2.6.1), the universe, says the Tittiri (the Taittirīya Upaniṣad).
“Existence alone was there before all this” (ChanU.6.2.1), thus declare the adherents to the Sāman (the Chāndogya Upaniṣad), and “That (reality) thought (aikṣata) to become many (names and forms), and created energy (tejas), water, food, and those born from eggs, etcetera (wombs, and so on)” (ChanU.6.2.3–.3.1).
“Just as sparks (visphul-iṅgas, outward expansions)” from (a well-lit) fire (by the thousands) arise “from the imperishable (a-kṣara, puruṣa) the varieties of entities” (MunU.2.1.1) both conscious and unconscious, says the scripture of the Ātharvaṇikas.
Before (pūrvam, agre, before creation) the universe “was unmanifested (a-vyākṛta) and now (adhunā) is in a state of manifestation (vyākriyatā)” (BrhU.1.4.7). By appearing only as perceptible name and form, these two (nāma-rūpa) manifest (sphuṭa) in everything beginning with Virāṭ (the first manifest cosmic being).
Virāṭ became each of the manus (the first progenitors), mankind, cows, mules, horses, goats, and so on in that way, as a pair (dvandva, male and female), down to the ants, say the Vājasaneyins (adhering to the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad).
The Lord, taking the different forms, entered into every body related to each jīva, say the scriptures (such as ChanU.6.3.2). This nature of being a jīva (‘what lives’) is because it holds together (in this body) the life energies (prāṇas, i.e., their seeming multiplicity is due to the appearance of separate packets of prāṇas).
The caitanya (consciousness) which is the abode (adhiṣṭhāna, of everything), plus (as the upādhi, limiting attribute which is) this subtle body (liṅga-deha: consisting of the prāṇa, manas and buddhi kośas, apart from the physical body) and the reflection (the limited presence) of consciousness (cit-chāyā) within that subtle body (which lights it up with knowledge) – that (three-fold) combination is called the jīva, the individual, who can transmigrate through countless bodies).
Māyā, on the other hand, who belongs to the Lord (māheśvarī), appears to have both the power to manifest (nirmāṇa) and the power to deceive (moha, to hide from everyone their essential nature). It (māyā as moha-śakti) is the one who causes the jīva to be deceived (into thinking it is not limitless consciousness-reality and is only the limited kośa).
Because of this delusion, (the jīva) becomes powerless (an-īśatā, loses its identity with the Lord), takes itself to be this body, and suffers (its limitations). This in brief is said to be the duality (dvaita) manifested by the Lord.
In the Saptānna Brāhmaṇa (the 1.5 section of Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad) there is presented the duality manifested by the individual (jīva, see PancD.4.17, the individual’s world of experience). Here the father (the jīva, individual) (as though, similar to the Lord Father) creates by its knowledge and activity the seven annas (experiences starting from food, BrhU.1.5.2).
One food is for humans, two foods are for the deities, the fourth food is for the animals, and the other three are for oneself (ātman, i.e., the jīva). Thus the (seven) foods are allotted.
Cooked rice and other grains (is the food only for humans), the new and full moon sacrifices (are the two foods for the deities), and milk (is the initial food for the animals also) (those are the eaten-foods, by which one is physically satiated), then (the eater-foods, the foods which enjoy other foods, by which one is satiated subtly, are) the mind, speech, and vital-energies (are for oneself the three ‘foods’ for consuming the intermediary world, the terrestrial world and the heavens, respectively). Thus the understanding regarding the seven kinds of foods (BrhU.1.5.2–7).
Even though all these are in reality created by the Lord, still the jīva made them his food through his (individual) knowledge and activity (jñāna-karma).
Being created by the Lord but only experienced by the individual, this (one) universe (here, the ‘food’) is understood to accordingly have these two (perspectives: its creator and its enjoyer). Like a young woman (as the māyā universe) is both a daughter to her father (her creator) and a wife to her husband (her enjoyer).
In the creation, the thought of the Lord (Īśa-saṅkalpa), which is a modification (vṛtti) of māyā, is the means (sādhana, for creation). Whereas, the thought of the jīva, which is a modification of the mind, is the means of enjoyment (bhoga, of the creation).
Towards a gem (maṇi), etc. created by the Lord, which exists in one way (to the Lord) as an entity, since the experience of that (entity) is through a variety of mental states of the individual experiencer, then it appears variously.
One who gets the gem becomes happy. Another, not getting it, becomes unhappy. Someone else having no interest towards it simply looks on, neither gets happy nor unhappy.
The jīva creates these three forms of being happy, unhappy, or indifferent, but the Lord created form (of the gem) remains common in those three.
As a wife, daughter-in-law, husband’s sister, wife of husband's brother, and mother – the same woman appears differently due to contrasting perspectives (dhīs), though she in reality is not herself different.
Objection (nanu): Let these perspectives (of the other individuals) be different, still the form (of the object of these perspectives) does not differ. In regard to the form of the woman, there doesn’t appear to be much created by the (other) individuals.
(Reply:) No so. As the woman has a physical body, she also has a mental body. Though her physical body may not change, still (due to others’ perspective of her) her own mental frame of mind (her jīva creation) does change (because of others).
(Objection:) Whereas, in (mental) delusion, dream, fancy and memory, the object is only mental (mano-maya, and is totally affected, completely changed, by the mental state), but as an (external) waking state (mental) object, it is not just the state of the mind (mano-mayatā, since the unchanged external object is also there to affect the state of the mind).
(Reply:) Sure (bāḍham). Due to coming in contact with the object would there be the image of the object (viṣaya-ākṛti) in the mind. This idea is acknowledged by the two teachers, Śaṅkara and Śuresvara.
Just as copper (tāmra) poured into a crucible, takes on its form (nibha), so too the mind, having reached the external forms, etc. then certainly appears as having their forms (here, the type of mind, like the type of copper, become more a part of that form by taking on the identity of the crucible-like object).
Or, just as (at a distance) a revealing light (āloka, from the sun, or lamp) would take on the form of what it reveals, so too the mind, since it reveals all objects, appears as having the forms of its objects (here, the light being uniform and less identified with its object, manifests more the varied features of the object than of itself).
From the cognizer (mātṛ, the jīva) the cognition (māna, a thought) is produced. Having been produced, it reaches out to its object (meya). Having come together with its object, it assumes the form of the object (YS.Appendix: Mind).
In this manner, there are two existent objects (viṣayas), such as a pot (ghaṭa) consisting of this clay (mṛd-maya, the clay in a certain form in this place and time) and the pot consisting of the understanding of it (dhī-maya). The material form (mṛd-maya) itself consists of the (material) form being encompassed by the mind (māna-maya)*. The understanding form (dhī-maya)** is that which is illumined by the witness (the sākṣin, the jīva-ātman, internally PancD.3.8).*(The manas-maya, PancD.1.20 & PancD.3.17, is the movement of the mind to reach and encompass the form of the object at this place and time, in other words, a material thing is only there to the extent our manas has carved it out from the universe as ‘this material form at this place and time’, where the carving by the senses and manas is the ‘-maya’ part of ‘mṛd-maya’).**(The buddhi-maya, PancD.1.20, is the understanding of that being a ‘pot’ at that place and time, which remains after the initial perception, about which one has purposes, desires, etcetera).
By the logic of co-presence and co-absence (anvaya-vyatireka, PancD.1.37), the understanding form (dhī-maya, how one understands the world and oneself) is what brings about the bondage (the limitation) of the jīva. Only when there is this (dhī-maya, and its understandings) is there these joys and sorrows, and when it is not there then this duality (dvaya, pairs of joys and sorrows, etcetera) is as well not there.
Even in the absence of external objects (bāhya-arthas) during dream, etc. (svapna-ādi, dreams, fancies, etc.), a person feels bound (limited). During samādhi (where one temporarily has no ideation, or if it is there, it is understood as being nothing other than one’s limitless self and thus non-binding), deep sleep or unconsciousness, at those times one is not feeling bound.
Towards a son who had gone to a distant land and remains living there, his father, by a lie from a deceiver, thinks him dead and wails.
Even if while living there (the son) had died, (his father) having not yet heard this news would not be wailing. Therefore, the cause of bondage for every jīva is only the mental world (the personal world of one’s understanding).**(“Mana eva manuṣyāṇāṃ kāraṇaṃ bandha-mokṣayoḥ, Mind alone is man’s cause for bondage and freedom” AmBU.2. “Cittam eva hi saṃsāraḥ tad praytnena śodhayet, yad-cittaḥ tad-mayaḥ bhavati guhyam etad sanātanam, The mind alone is one’s transient existence. One should make effort to clean it up. In whatever way one thinks, that one becomes. This is an eternal mystery” MaitU.1.9.)
(Objection:) Doesn’t this amount to an idealist philosophy (vijñāna-vāda), since it deprives external objects of any utility? (Reply:) No, because we accept that the form in the mind (hṛd, the buddhi) is dependent upon an external world.
Or, on the other hand, one can accept that the external world has no utility (at least in terms of one being completely free from bondage), still we are not able to do away with it (as we at least need a teaching and a teacher to gain freedom). Any means of knowledge (mānas, pramāṇa, of the external world) is not concerned with its usage (prayojana, the desired purpose, etc. of the object), but only with revealing what is there (sthīti).**(Or, This means of knowledge, our teachings here, are not concerned with how to make use of the world, the topic of the prior portion of the Vedas, but rather its reality, the topic of the Vedāntas, the Upaniṣads).
(Objection:) If bondage is the mental world (mānasa-dvaita), then peace is by withdrawing (nirodha) it (the mind from the world, YS.1.2). Therefore, only yoga should be practiced. What use is there to talk about knowledge of brahman?
(Reply:) In simply stilling the appearance of the world for a time, there is (temporarily) the stopping of creating new karma (āgāmin). But (eliminating all karma: sañcita accumulated, prārabdha fructifying, and āgāmin new) cannot be without brahma-jñāna (knowing oneself as the limitless reality that is naturally free of all karma, and thus free from birth and death). This is the ‘drumbeat’ (teaching) of Vedānta.
Even while the duality world manifested by the Lord (Īśa-śṛṣṭa) is not averted, still by knowing the unreal nature of that world, the non-dualist (vastu-aikya-vādin) is able to know the non-dual brahman (reality).
Even when that (universe) disappears at the dissolution (pralāya) and there is the absence of an opposing duality, still one cannot know non-duality, since there is no teacher or scripture (guru-śāstra, the means of knowledge and a guide), etc. (namely, one’s mind, to learn, is not there).
The duality manifested by the Lord (Īśvara-nirmita) is a help (sādhaka, a means in the form of a guru, etc.) instead of a hindrance (a-bādhaka, an obstacle). Moreover, no one (even if a great Yogī) is able to banish it. May it indeed remain. What reason is there to hate it (or even be sad, see commentary on YS.2.15)?
However, the duality created by the jīva (the individual) is of two kinds: in keeping with śāstra (the scriptural means of knowledge for ultimate reality), or not. One should take up the śāstrīya (the scriptural perspective of one’s dvaita) until the ultimate reality (tattva, taught in the scripture) is known (as oneself).
The mental world according to scripture (śāstrīyaṃ mānasaṃ jagat) is known as inquiry into both oneself and brahman. Finally, the scripture teaches that even this (the śāstrīyaṃ mānasaṃ jagat) is given up when the truth is known.
“Having studied the scriptures, the informed person (medhāvin) should repeat (i.e., analyze and contemplate) it again and again, and, having assimilated the knowledge of the ultimate brahman (as ātman, oneself), then (adha) one would (naturally) give up (the notion that there is more to study or gain), like one gives up a torch (having reached one’s destination)” (AmNU.01).
“Having studied the books (grantha), the informed person (medhāvin), having the assimilation of this knowledge (jñāna-vijñāna) as the ultimate (tat-para), would give up the (need for the) books completely, like one gives up the straw after extracting their grains” (AmBU.18).
“The wise (dhīra) and learned person (brāhmaṇa), having assimilated the knowledge of that very one and gained this knowledge (prajñā), would not dwell on even more (and other) texts, since that would simply be an (unnecessary) waste of words (vāc)” (BrhU.4.4.21).
“May you know that non-dual (eka, to be oneself). Any words (or ideas) that differ, give them up,” MunU.1.1.1. “The discerning person (prājña) should (resolve, reposition one’s identity from) speech (and the other organs) into the mind (manas)…,” (etcetera: the mind into the intellect, the intellect into that Lord, and that into the one’s peaceful self, KathU.1.3.13). Thus there are many such open statements in the scriptures.
Moreover, the duality (created by the jīva) that is not in keeping with śāstra (the scriptural means of knowledge for ultimate reality) is of two kinds: tīvra (intense, i.e., having excessive rajas guṇa) or manda (lazy or dull, i.e., having excessive tamas guṇa). The intense has the nature of craving for, anger against, etc.; and the other (the lazy or dull) is a world of fantasy (mano-rājya).
One needs to give up both these (tīvra and manda strivings, as one’s tat-para, the most important in one’s life) at the start of this study of ultimate reality (which will show one why and how to get away from these two) in order to complete this knowledge (bodha-siddhi). Therefore, śama (composure) and samāhitatva (attentiveness, respectively) are indicated in the scripture among the sādhanas (the preparations for gaining this knowledge).
And after attaining knowledge, in order to remain accomplished while living free (jīvan-mukti), that (tad a-śāstrīya, lifestyle contrary to the teaching) ought to be avoided (heya). For the one habituated by the hindering (kleśa) bonds of desire, etc. (YS.1.5), the freedom (through knowledge) is not appreciated (i.e., life remains as troublesome as before, at least for others around, even though one has the liberating knowledge, such as for sage Dur-vāsas).
(If one says) ‘Let there be no living free (after knowledge). I would be satisfied (kṛtin) in just not having another rebirth.’ In that case, still you will have a rebirth. (Because from the knowledge you have gained) you sir would be satisfied only by a stay in heaven (i.e., if your knowledge has not penetrated your unconscious, then that unconscious, the vāsanās, will bring you rebirth).
(And if heaven is thought to be okay:) Since heaven ought to be given up as being defective with gradations (kṣaya-atiśaya, downs and ups, of pleasures), then, (heaven) itself being defective, why not give up all that which has this kind of nature built from desires, onwards?
Even though knowing the reality, if you cannot completely give up (hindering) desires, etc., then your behavior will be ruled by your whims, and will transgress the (common) rule of laws (which will offend others and bring trouble to yourself).
For one who effortlessly (sva-tattva, nija-svarūpam, without much sādhana) has come to know the non-dual, and then lives (as before) according to one’s whim, then what is the difference between a dog and this seer of the truth in that they both only enjoy an unclean life (a-śuci-bhakṣaṇa)?
Before this (spiritual) knowledge, simply from the defects of the mind you continue to live a troubled life (kliśyasi), but now (having gained knowledge) you also suffer censure of the entire world (i.e., now you also become a hypocrite in everyone’s eyes). Alas, what a greatness from knowledge you have gained!
You sir, a knower of truth, should not seek the level of a pig in its own excrement, etc. By completely freeing yourself from all the defects of the mind, the people will honor (you) like a deity (which would be an encouragement to others and a non-hindrance to you, a win-win).
Well-known in the teachings meant for freedom (mokṣa-śāstras) are the means for freeing oneself from desires, etc. by the practices of seeing the defects of following desires, etc. (YS.2.33–4). Adhering to these (teachings), may you have a pleasant life (with this knowledge, while jīvan-mukta).
(Objection:) Let the (acting upon) desires, etc. be given up, but, what’s the harm in just fantasizing (mano-rājya, upon them)? (Reply:) The harm is because it (fantasizing) is the seed for the rest of the defects. This was indicated by Lord (Kṛṣṇa).
“For a person who mentally dwells on objects, attachment (saṅga) to them arises; from attachment (allowed to flame up) arises binding desire (kāma, requirements in order to be happy and anticipations of their fruition); from (thwarted) anticipations arises anger (krodha)” BhG.2.62).
This mano-rājya (fanciful thinking, where the manas, not the intellect, is given the keys to one’s kingdom, so to speak) can be overcome by contemplation (samādhi, with this teaching) on the attributeless reality (nirvikalpa, the nirguṇa brahman). Further, that can be eased into (susaṃpāda-kramāt) by contemplation on the attributed reality (vikalpa, the sa-guṇa brahman, Īśvara, the Lord, even though the attributes are unreal, PancD.1.16, .48 & PancD.3.40, and YS.1.23–7).
With the reality being known (enough to contemplate it), freed from the defects in thinking (that the unreal is real), and abiding long enough alone (without interruption), while contemplating praṇava (Om, YS.1.27–8) one overcomes mano-rājya, being ruled by the mind).
When that (mano-rājya) is overcome (and its chattering has calmed down), thinking may cease (for a time) and the mind remains like a mute. This state was variously described by Vasiṣṭha to Rāma (in the Yoga-Vasiṣṭha).
With the knowledge that the phenomenal (dṛśya universe) is unreal (na asti, is only its appearance and nothing more, PancD.3.21), clearing the appearances of the mind (as defining, limiting, oneself), if that (clarity) remains, then there is a profound (para) tranquility (from problems) called nirvāṇa (freedom, mokṣa).
Having thoroughly studied scripture for a sufficient time together (mithas, with a teacher) to make it understood, still without mauna (quietude, the practice of the ascetics, munis) by having completely freed oneself from (without identity with) the vāsanas (the unconscious binding fetters) the ultimate goal (as oneself unlimited by the conscious and unconscious mind’s fetters) is not in hand.
The mind (dhī, intellect) sometimes is thrown off (from its śāstriya perspective) due to karma bestowed from (past) experience (waiting as a vāsana to arise). (In that case) by the skillful practice (of attentive contemplation) again one should samāhita (gather back, the contemplative intellect, from the tamas of fancies back to satva, PancD.4.49–50).
The one whose (intellect) is not thrown off track (from knowing oneself as limitless) is considered not just a knower of brahman, but is brahman itself, thus say the far-seeing munis (ascetics, manana-śīlas, those who have mastered their mind).
Freed from sometimes seeing and sometimes not seeing (the truth), who remains oneself alone as one’s unitary nature, O Brahman, that one is self-evident (svayam) brahman, not merely a knower OF brahman.
The far measure (parā-kāṣṭhā) of living liberated (jīvan-mukti) starts from getting free from jīva-dvaita (the limited, binding world perspective of the individual, PancD.4.32 & .43). When that is attained, then this becomes the discernment of the Lord’s world (Īśvara-dvaita, the common factual world only as it appears, and living in this world as brahman alone).
(The first mahā-vākya:) That by which one sees all this, hears, smells, speaks, and distinguishes sweet and non-sweet is called ‘prajñānam (consciousness)’, (in “prajñānaṃ brahma,” ‘Consciousness is brahman’, AitU.3.1.3).
The one consciousness in Lord Brahma (the Lord with four faces), Indra, and all deities, as well as in humans, horses, cows, etcetera – is brahman (reality). Therefore, prajñāna brahman is in me also.
In this body fit (adhikārin) for that knowledge is the full (paripūrṇa), ultimate ātman (self). Existing as the witness of the intellect, it reveals (itself), proclaimed as ‘I’.
(The second mahā-vākya:) The natural fullness (pūrṇa) that is the ultimate self is encompassed here by the word ‘brahman’. The word ‘asmi (I am)’ (in “ahaṃ brahma asmi,” ‘I am brahman’, BrhU.1.4.10) indicates the identity with that brahman which I am.
(The third mahā-vākya:) Existing alone, one non-dual, devoid of name or form (nāma-rūpa) before the manifestation, and now still existing as that very same. This is indicated by the word ‘tad (that)’ (in “tat tvam asi,” ‘That (brahman) you are’, ChanU.6.8.7).
Transcending the body and senses of the one listening (to this teaching) is the vastu (entity) here indicated by the word ‘tvam (you)’. The word ‘asi (are)’ indicates the identity. That identity is to be intimately assimilated (anubhūyatām).
(The fourth mahā-vākya:) Its self-revealing, non-remoteness is understood by the word, ‘ayam (this, SG.4.8)’. The word ‘ātman (self)’ announces the one interior to this, beginning with the notion of ‘I’ and ending with this body (in “ayam ātmā brahma,” ‘This self is brahman’, ManU.2).
The very nature (tattva) of the entire apparent universe is indicated by the word, ‘brahman (limitless reality)’. That brahman has the nature of the self-revealing ātman (oneself).
Like on a picture canvas are seen four stages of manifestation (avasthā), similarly upon the ultimate reality (parama-ātman) are known to be four stages of manifestation (of the world).
Like a canvas (paṭa) is at first clean (dhauta), then prepared (stiffened with starch), then outlined, and finally colored in, similarly there is consciousness (cit, which is one only without a second), then (upon this is imposed) a Lord (antar-yāmin, the inner controller, which provides order everywhere), a subtle nature (sūtra-ātman, Hiraṇya-garbha, subtility manifestable to a mind), and finally a gross nature (Virāṭ-ātman, physicality manifestable to the subtle senses).
Here the ‘cleaned’ (dhauta) would be a naturally clear (canvas), the ‘prepared’ would be from covering with food-starch, the ‘outlined’ would be by the penciled forms, and the ‘colored’ would be by filling in with colors.
Consciousness (cit) is naturally (pure, without a second), whereas, when with māyā (the power of hiding the one and projecting the many) it is the Lord (antar-yāmin, the inner controller), which when manifested subtly it is called the subtle nature (sūtra-ātman), and when further manifested grossly (to the senses) it is called Virāṭ (the Lord manifested physically). This is the totality (para, which is brahman).
On this (para brahman) are all the living beings (prāṇins) starting with Lord Brahmā to a tuft of grass, as well as all the inanimate objects (jaḍas). They appear as being superior and inferior (to each other), like the painted images (citra) on a canvas.
People are imposed (arpita, by us) upon the painted images and they separately appear (ābhāsa) to have clothing. With their clothing these (prātibhāsika* appearances on the canvas imposed by our mind) are imagined as seemingly not different from (the vyāvahārika factual reality of) the painted canvas.*(The terms ‘imposed’, ‘imagined’, etc., indicate we are talking about levels of reality, which has two levels: unreal and real. In regard to our everyday life, here as the painting example, these appear as imaginary, prātibhāsika, and as factual, vyāvahārika. In regard to the goal of this teaching, here as they apply to the individual and to the one reality, these are the imaginary plus the factual as the unreal and the consciousness as the real, pāramārthika, see YS.2.22)
(Similarly) the (vyāvahārika, visual) appearances in (pāramārthika, real) consciousness of separate embodied people as if having their own separate consciousness (caitanya) are imagined by us as entities called jīvas (individual living being). They are imagined as being many and undergo coming and going (saṃsāra, transmigration through a succession of moments of time and births).
The unknowing talk like the (vyāvahārika) paints exist as the (prātibhāsika) appearances of clothes, etcetera, as if they have become (vyāvahārika) clothes stuck on the (vyāvahārika) surface (canvas). In that way, they think the (vyāvahārika) transmigration of the jīvas is there for the (pāramārthika) consciousness also.
The mountains, etcetera, represented in the painting are not drawn as having the appearance of clothing. Thus here, the earth, etcetera, present in creation indeed do not appear to us as having consciousness.
The delusion (bhrānti) that this transient life (saṃsāra) as absolutely real (paramārtha) is what I am stuck with (saṃlagna) in my reality (sva-ātma-vastu) would be the a-vidyā (ignorance), which this vidyā (in the form of the teaching here) removes.
Saṃsāra belongs to the jīva which is only a semblance of the self (ātma-ābhāsa, the appearance of consciousness limited to the mind within this body), not to the (unlimited) reality of the self (ātma-vastu) – this understanding would here be the vidyā. This is attained through discerning inquiry (vicāraṇa).
Therefore, one should continually inquire into the absolute nature (para-ātman) of the universe and the individual. When the (limited) nature of the individual and of the universe is negated (bādha, PancD.3.29), one’s self alone remains.
The negation is not their disappearance (a-pratīti, to the senses), but rather the clear understanding of their mithyātva (unreality, not being absolutely as real as oneself). If otherwise (their simply disappearing), then a person would effortlessly gain freedom after they go to deep sleep or go unconscious.
Moreover (besides the unreality of the individual and the universe), that one’s absolute nature alone remains (PancD.6.12) indicates the discernment of the real nature of this (ātman), not simply disregarding (vismṛti) the universe. Otherwise, jīvan-mukti (living while liberated) would not be possible.
The knowledge (vidyā) arising from inquiry is of two kinds: indirect (parokṣa) and direct (a-parokṣa, ‘not indirect’). Between these two, when knowledge is direct, then the inquiry has completed.
If one knows ‘brahman exists’, that is only an indirect knowledge (an acknowledgment that there is something limitless that is called ‘brahman’). If one knows ‘I am brahman (the limitless reality)’, that is direct appreciation (sākṣāt-kāra).
In order to establish the direct appreciation of the nature of oneself, it is here discerned as that by which one is immediately (sadya) freed from all of saṃsāra (notions of bondage, i.e., it is okay that there is a limitless brahman, but how does that help me, unless I am that same limitless).
The consciousness (cit) can be indicated in four ways: the kūṭa-stha (what remains unchanging in the changing, BhG.6.8) and brahman (the limitless reality), or the jīva (the nature of myself) and Īśvara (the nature of the Lord). In the same way respectively, (space) can be indicated as pot-space or limitless-space (as an example of kūṭa-stha and brahman), or as the sky (reflecting) in a (pot of) water or sky (reflecting) in (the moisture of) a cloud (as an example of jīva and Īśvara).
The sky in a pot (jala-ākāśa) is explained as what is reflected (pratibimbita) in the water inside the space limited (avacchinna) in a pot, which is the sky along with the clouds (in the day) and stars (in the night).
The sky in a cloud (megha-ākāśa) is explained as what is reflected in the water that is a body of water (megha-maṇḍala) in the vast space.
The water in the form of the cloud particles are present in the form of mist (tuṣāra), in that, due its nature of being water (that can reflect), one could infer that there would be the reflection (pratibimba) of the vast sky (in all directions).
The kūṭa-stha is said to be what remains unchanging like a mountain peak (kūṭavat, or a hardened iron hammer or anvil). It is the consciousness (cetana) limited (avacchinna) in both the (physical and subtle) bodies, as their (unchanging) substantive reality (adhiṣṭānatā).
On the kuṭa-stha is imposed (kalpita) the intellect (buddhi). Reflected in the consciousness, in that (buddhi), is the (notion of) the jīva (the individual) due to the support of the life-forces (prāṇas). That one (the jīva) is subject to saṃsāra (migration in time and births).
Just as the entirety the space within the pot is hidden (tirohita) by the (reflected) sky on the surface of water (in the pot), similarly, the (entirely of) kūṭa-stha (consciousness present in the mind, and everywhere) is hidden by the jīva (the notion of individuality reflecting in the intellect). That is called mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa, where the uninformed mind imposes limited individuality on oneself and that individual imposes the limitation of its reflection of the universe on the totality of space, of consciousness).
(By this mutual imposition) the jīva (on its own) will not ever discern the (totality of) kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness, as its real nature). This lack of discernment is beginningless (as is the nature of any kind of ignorance, such as it makes no sense to say that my ignorance of Chinese language started at some particular time). This (lack of discernment) is to be understood as the root ignorance (mūlā a-vidyā, from which all other problems of limitation evolve).
This ignorance appears in two forms as concealment (āvṛti) and projection (vikṣepa). The concealment (myself as limitless consciousness being unknown) is the material basis (āpādana) for (the projection, PancD.7.35–6 & PancD.6.33) ‘Consciousness (kūṭa-stha) is not seen so it does not exist’ (hence, I am only my body and mind that I can see, nothing else).
If a wise person asks someone who does not know about the kūṭa-stha, (the reply would be) “It is not known. It is not seen. The kūṭa-stha does not exist.” In this way that one would think and also admit.
From where could this ignorance (a-vidyā) come into one’s consciousness (sva-prakāśa, kūṭa-stha)? Without that (ignorance) how could there be concealment (āvṛti)? – Such are the webs of logic which one’s own experience swallows (i.e., it is useless to question what is already an obvious fact, namely, that this ignorance is already here, much like ignorance of Chinese language).
When one does not trust one’s own experience yet has (the trust) of a logic that can have no finality (that can be factually verified), then how could such a one, thinking he is a logician, gain any clarity in truth?
If logic (tarka) is meant for firming up the intellect, then, in that case, one should expect it to be like that. One should employ logic in keeping with one’s experience, not employ illogic (which confounds the intellect).
One’s experience regarding ignorance and its power of concealment was clearly shown (PancD.6.27). Therefore, one should employ logic based on this experience that the unchanging consciousness (kūṭastha-caitanya) is not opposed (to ignorance, i.e., we are aware of what we know, and also are aware of our ignorance regarding what we do not know).
If that (unchanging consciousness) is opposed to the concealing (by ignorance), then the latter is experienced by whom? Whereas, it is discerning knowledge (viveka, a form of vṛtti-jñāna, not svarūpa-jñāna) that is opposed to this (concealing, i.e., whenever knowledge of something comes then its ignorance goes, because they are opposing, while awareness witnesses the presence of both ignorance and its absence). This fact is seen in regard to a knower of the truth.
When the kūṭa-stha (limitless consciousness present within) is obscured (from our intellect) by ignorance, this consciousness is then (seemingly) endowed with the two bodies (the physical and the mental), imposed like (an imagined piece of) silver on a mother of pearl shell. This indeed is the erroneous predication (adhyāsa) called vikṣepa (projection, the example of silver on a shell is one of projecting a desirable piece of silver on an otherwise useless shell).
(In the example, “This is silver”) The ‘this’ is factual reality, but ‘silver’ placed on the shinny surface of the shell is (alone) seen. In the same way (in the delusion “this body and mind is real and it is me”) my-ness is the reality, but when projection occurs, it is placed on what is other (anya-ga, than oneself).
Just as the iridescent (nīla, blue) surface and triangular shape on the shell are obscured (tirohita), so too the absence of associations (a-saṅga) and fullness (ānandatā) within oneself (kūṭa-stha, the one who always remains the same) are obscured.
In the illustration (dṛṣṭānta), what is imposed has the (valued reality notion and) name ‘silver’. Similarly, is the certain notion that it is (an individual) with the name ‘I’ (aham) projected and imposed upon the consciousness within (the kūṭa-stha).
Naturally seeing the ‘this’ (here and now) aspect (only of the shell), yet one identifies it to be ‘silver’. Similarly, naturally seeing oneself (svam, the inherent nature of oneself and all entities), one identifies it as (an individual) ‘I’.
Both the natures of (perceptible) ‘this’ and (notional) ‘silver’ are different (as the first being common to everyone and the latter being peculiar to some), similarly is different the (obvious) self and the (notional) ‘I’. In both there is indeed a commonality (sāmānya) and peculiarity (viśeṣa).
One sees such common expressions as, ‘Deva-datta himself (svam) may go’, ‘You yourself (svam) see’, similarly, ‘I myself (svam) am not able’.
Just as (the demonstrative pronoun) ‘this’ is (common) in the expressions, ‘This silver’ and ‘This cloth’, similarly, (the reflexive pronoun) ‘self’ (svam) is identified (as common) in regard to the pronouns ‘he’, ‘you’, and ‘I’ (as himself, yourself, and myself).
(Doubt:) (The common) self (svam) is different from (the concept of the peculiar) ‘I’, but what has this to do in regard to the kūṭa-stha for you? (Reply:) The meaning of the word ‘self’ (svam) indeed is this ‘kūṭa-stha’ for me.
(Doubt:) Doesn’t the word ‘self’ (svam) just exclude otherness (exclude not-self, not just indicate oneself). (Reply:) Excluding other is the very nature (ātmatā) of (the one and only) ‘kūṭa-stha’. That (understanding) would indeed be acceptable (iṣṭa, to us).
Svayam (oneself) and ātman (the self) are alternative words (paryāya, synonyms), so in common parlance both these are not used together. Therefore, ‘oneself’ and the ‘self’ both exclude any other thing.
(Doubt:) But (the reflexive pronoun) ‘svam’ (self) is seen to apply to objects that lack consciousness such as a pot, etcetera, as in the expression ‘the pot itself (svayam) does not know’. (Reply:) Such usage is seen because of the reality (sattva) basis of the innate nature (ātman, of all entities, even the inanimate).
The difference between animate and inanimate is indeed not due to the kūṭa-stha or the ātman. Rather, (the difference) is only made by the reflection (ābhāsa, of consciousness) itself due to the mind (buddhi, a subtle entity present only in the animate that becomes conscious by the presence of consciousness) – this is how it is to be understood.
Just as the conscious reflection (limited to the mind) itself is an erroneous notion within the kūṭa-stha, so the unconscious pot, etcetera is a notion within that (the kūṭa-stha) alone.
(Doubt:) Even ‘that’ (tad) and ‘this’ (idam, pronouns), like ‘svam’ (it/your/one…self), can be applied everywhere to you, I, etc. (all three grammatical persons), therefore both (‘that’ and ‘this’) also are meaning ‘ātman’ (the self).
(Reply:) Even though both these pronouns, ‘that’ and ‘this’, can refer to the self (as ‘that self’ and ‘this self’), apart from that usage these two cannot refer only to the self, the same as the (general adjectives) ‘correct’, etc. (can refer to a noun, but cannot be limited to only refer to just one noun).
The pair of words ‘that’ and ‘this’, ‘itself’ and ‘other’, as well as ‘you’ and ‘I’ are well-know in common parlance as being mutually exclusive (of each other). No one doubts this.
The opposite of ‘other’ (anya) is oneself (svayam), which is recognized as the kūṭa-stha (one’s conscious being). The opposite of ‘you’ (tvam) is the ‘I’ (aham), which is imposed on oneself (on kūṭa-stha).
Like between ‘silver’ and ‘this’ (of the shell) is the distinction between ‘I’ (the notion of individuality) and ‘self’ (the consciousness being, kūṭa-stha). Even though clear, those who are overcome with delusion (moha, of a-vidyā) take them as identical.
This identity imposition (tād-ātmya-adhyāsa, between the ‘other’ and myself, PancD.6.50) is brought about by a-vidyā, beginningless ignorance of one’s limitless nature) which was explained before (PancD.1.13–4). When this ignorance is negated (by assimilated knowledge of oneself), its effects are discounted (as being mere temporary appearances, not touching upon the limitless consciousness self).
The concealing and identification due to ignorance are both removed by knowledge alone. But, the essence of the projections (i.e., māyā, the appearances of the world, PancD.1.16) is continued to be experienced until the end of one’s prārabdha (life-term karma, the fructifying karma that brought and keeps this body and mind here during this time).
Even the logicians say that when the material cause of something is destroyed its (subsequent) effect is seen the next moment. So why not for us (Vedāntins) this (continuation of the body and mind after destruction of a-vidyā)?
Those (logicians) even believe that (at least subtly the form of the cloth, which is an effect of its material cause, the threads) lasts the same amount of time as the last number of days of its threads. Similarly here for us, the innumerable effects of delusion may have their appropriate moments of survival.
Without any evidence (māna, pramāṇa) that can withstand a pounding (a questioning), they (the logicians) uselessly propose (this theory that an effect can survive a few moments beyond the destruction of its material cause). However, being based upon scripture, logic and experience, how could this (survival of the fructifying karma of an individual even after discerning unreality of this very universe itself) be impractical?
Me talking about this current topic (prakṛta) with unreasonable logicians (who do not accept the scriptures as a means of knowledge here) would be continuing an unending dispute (vi-vāda). The fact (siddha, from scripture, which is evidenced by us and is logical) is that oneself and ‘I’ is a (false) identification of the kūṭa-stha (the permanent consciousness) and the changing (pariṇāmin, body-mind complex), respectively.
All those who consider themselves learned and are world-bound logicians, without regard to the prominence of the scripture (as the pramāṇa, essential authority, in this topic) and dependent solely on logic, they only make themselves (and others) confused.
Among them, some (who accept some authority of the scripture) lacking reflexion on the context (pūrva-apara, on what what said before and after) unembarrassedly employ semblances of scriptures in arguing their own viewpoint alone (not the scripture’s).
Materialists (lokāyatas) and simple people (pāmara), dependent on a semblance (limitation, misremembrance and perversion) of their own experiences (pratyakṣa-ābhāsa), become themselves identified with this complex (saṅghāta) beginning with their conscious being to the gross body.
Similarly there are those who recognize as a means of knowledge the conclusion of Virocana (ChanU.8.7.2–.8.5) as their own opinion and treat it as if it was scripture that the only treasure (kośa) is this food body (anna-maya, PancD.1.33).
Other materialists (lokāyatas) say that since the death of the body here is seen when the essence (ātman) of the individual leaves it, then the self must be something other than the body.
From the expressions ‘I speak’ (vacmi), etcetera, as the notion of ‘I’ is recognized through the nature of sensing, another would conjecture the self to be these powers (indriyas, the organs of sensing and acting) separate from the body.
Heard in the scriptures is the quarreling among speech, etc. indriyas (ChanU.5.1.1–15, BrhU.6.1.1–15). By that, each must have consciousness (have an ātman). But apart from them (the prāṇa, the life-force was seen to be superior) so it must be the (superior) ātman.
But the followers of Hiraṇya-garbha argue that (from the same scripture above) the prāṇa alone is ātman. They say that even when each of the senses, starting from sight, fail, nevertheless one survives as long as the prāṇa remains.
The prāṇa remains awake even when one is deep asleep. Prāṇa’s superiority, etc. is indicated in the scriptures. The prāṇa-maya kośa is widely discussed in detail (elsewhere too).
Other people holding meditation (upāsana) as the ultimate consider the mind (manas) to be the ātman. The prāṇa clearly has no enjoyership, while this mind does have enjoyership (bhoktṛtva).
The scripture says, “Mind alone is mans’ cause for bondage and freedom” (PancD.4.35), and (thus) it discusses the mano-maya kośa. Therefore, (for these people) the mind is considered ātman.
Others (some Buddhists) clearly believe that vijñāna (intellect) is the ātman. They are (called) kṣaṇika-vādins (proclaimers that reality is momentary), because the mind (manas) is based on (momentary) thought (vijñāna, a distinct unit of knowledge).
The internal organ (antaḥ-karaṇa, the mind in general) is of two modes: an ‘I’-thought (any thought connected to the sense of I, ownership, etc.) and a ‘this’-thought (any thought connected to the sense of this that is other than I). The ‘I’-thought is (called) the vijñāna (intellect, such as ‘I know this’) and the ‘this’-thought is the manas (a technical name for any thought that is not an intellect thought, such as a thought that directs the senses to their objects or cognizes internal sensations, such as ‘this sadness’, apart from the intellection that ‘I am sad’, etcetera. In other words, the manas is the figuring-out or work-in-process mind and the vijñāna or buddhi is the settled, determined mind).
Clearly, a 'this’-thought has its origin from the ‘I’-thought (i.e., the idea of ‘other’ comes from the idea of a ‘me’). Without my self, there can never be an idea of an external (outside of my self).
Because the ‘I’-thought has a limit (mita) as moment by moment born-gone (and not a continuity), then vijñāna (the intellect) is momentary, and this intellect (miti) is self-luminous (not requiring another thought to illumine it).
Even the ancient texts (TaitU.2.4.1) claim that the vijñāna-maya kośa is the jīva. For this one alone is the entire saṃsāra (phenomenal appearance) consisting of births and deaths, and in between sorrows, etcetera.
The Mādhyamika (Buddhists) claim that vijñāna cannot be the (permanent) ātman as it is momentary, like lightning flashes in a cloud, or the blink of the eye, and since there is seen nothing other than these, then (the permanent) is nothing (śūnya, the void).
Even (your) scripture talks about this (śūnya), starting with, “(In the beginning) there was only this non-existence (a-sat)”, etc. (ChanU.6.2.1). Therefore, this entire jagat (impermanent phenomenal world) consisting of knowing and known is but an erroneous illusion (imagined permanence connecting the momentary).
(Reply:) (Logically:) Since there can be no illusion (no effect) without a substratum (adhiṣṭhāna, a substantive cause, such as a mirage water illusion requires a distant surface over which a layer of air reflects the blue sky above), the ātman (oneself) must have that nature of being the (substantive) reality (of even an illusion of permanency amongst the transitory). Moreover, since any (claim of) śūnya (nothingness, as the substratum of the phenomenal) requires a witness (to this fact), those (Śūnya-vādins) have no one (other than śūnya) to claim this (śūnya, and if śūnya itself is self-aware, then śūnya is simply another name for existent consciousness).
(Scripturally:) Internal to the vijñāna-maya is another (kośa) called ānanda-maya (the sense of fullness, which is there even in the nothingness of deep sleep, PancD.3.9, TaitU.2.6.1). And it (ānanda-maya) indeed does experientially exist, per the scriptural perspective.
Other disputants regarding this topic argue variously from scripture and logic that (ātman) is tiny, pervasive, or medium in size.
The Antar-ālas (the ‘Inside’ proponents) argue this (ātman) is tiny aṇu, since it abides and moves within the subtle nāḍīs (the prāṇa pathways inside the body), which are equal to a thousandth the width of a hair.
(Ātman) is “smaller than the small” (SvetU.3.20), “This is tiny” (MunU.3.1.9), “Subtler than the subtle” (KaivU.1.16) – hundreds and thousands of scripture quotes they recite to show its tiny nature.
And another scripture text says, “The individual (jīva, ātman) is to be known as (the size of) a fraction (bhāga) of a hundredth part of the tip of a hair (bāla = vāla) divided a hundred (more) times” (SvetU.5.9).
The Dig-ambaras say it is a medium size from the foot to the head, because it is clearly seen to be pervaded by consciousness, and also the because of the scripture, “Up to the tips of the nails” (BrhU.1.4.7).
Also, it abides within the subtle nāḍīs since it is subtle, and exists within each of the limbs (avayavas), like the hands of a large person can slip into (the sleeves of) a coat.
Even though determined to be medium sized (madhyamatva), it enters into small and large bodies through this coming and going, and accommodates itself to the parts of each of the bodies.
For what has parts, like a (constructed) pot, there would be a destruction (a deconstruction). So it is in this case (when the body, like the pot, is destroyed, the ātman likewise comes and goes) there would be the defect of the loss of what was earned (kṛta, the loss of the individual’s accumulated karma) and thus the arrival of what was not earned (i.e., the accumulated karma being lost, then one’s birth could not be the result of one’s prior accumulated karma).**(Amusingly, this is an obvious defect here to these thinkers, but is the common belief in the West, where there seemingly is a low sense of universal justice. In which case, God or pure chance is to be cursed for why one is born in one’s situation.)
Therefore, the ātman (the self) is neither large, small, nor medium. It is all pervasive, like space, and hence without parts (nir-aṃśa, shapeless). This is the well-discerned position of the scriptures.
Thus has been told the various ways they have come to quarrel (as to the location or size of the self). Now, as to whether it (ātman) is unconscious (a-cit) or conscious (cit), or even a compound of both.
The followers of Prabhākara (himself a Mīmāṃsaka, Veda textual scholar) and the Logicians (Tārkikas) say that it (ātman) is by nature unconscious. Ātman is a substance (dravya) and (is pervasive) like space, and consciousness is its quality (guṇa), like sound (is considered a quality of space).
They proclaim that, similar to having consciousness, it has other qualities, such as desire, aversion effort, virtue, vice, pleasure, pain, and other saṃskāras (latent tendencies) that belong to it.
When such an ātman (with its consciousness, desire, etc.) joins with a mind (manas), in accordance with its past karma (a-dṛṣṭa, from prior lives) those qualities are (accordingly) manifest. Then, due the depletion (of that day’s worth) of past karma (a-dṛṣṭa), then these (qualities) become unmanifest (pralīyante) during deep sleep state (suṣupta).**(Our author here describes a daily level concern for a Pūrva-Mīmāṃsaka follower knowledgeable in jyotiṣa, astrology.)
This (ātman) is conscious (cetana) because it possesses the quality of consciousness (citi), and (thus) has desire, aversion, effort (etcetera). It would then be the doer (kartṛ) of supportive and unsupportive acts (dharma-adharma, supportive of getting more pleasant births in heaven and in rebirths here), and would be the experiencer (bhoktṛ), because of thus gaining the sorrows, etc. (reactions of the mind to the results of one’s actions).
Just as in this life, in accordance with one’s (past) karma, sometimes there is some joy, etc., so too upon gaining a body in another world, (in accordance with one’s karma) there arises desires, etc. (to keep getting more of those moments of joy).
In this way, a coming and going would be possible (for ātman) despite (contradictorily) it being all pervasive (sarva-ga, like space). These (Pūrva-Mīmāṃsakas) claim here that the entirely of the karma-kāṇḍa (the Veda dealing specifically with ritual life and rites, which they take to be the purport of the entire Veda, including its Upaniṣads) is the means of knowledge (pramāṇa) here (regarding ātman).**(Whereas Vedāntins, called Uttara-Mīmāṃsakas, limit the pramāṇa regarding ātman to just the latter part of the Veda consisting of the Upaniṣads, alone having this unique topic of the ultimate nature of ātman.)
What remains even into deep sleep and is called the ānanda-maya kośa (conscious of joy) yet (at that time) is not conscious of anything else (a-spaṣṭa-cit) is for them (the Prābhākara school of Mīmāṃsakas) the very ātman. And it is one’s original condition (pūrva-kośa, the causal body) for manifesting (upon awaking and upon a rebirth) the other qualities (guṇas, retained in unmanifest form, PancD.6.90).
The Bhāṭṭas (followers of Kumārila-Bhaṭṭa, another Mīmāṃsaka), accepting that consciousness, caitanya) can be hidden, say the ātman has the nature of being both unconscious and conscious (jaḍa-bodha), because of one’s memory later upon waking (that at the previous time I was aware of being unconscious) one must accept that consciousness (as being unconscious too at that time).
“I became unconscious and then slept,” is our remembrance of being jaḍa at that time. Yet without something to experience this unconscious state, how could there be such (a memory, hence one must be able to be conscious and unconscious at the same time).
In sleep “for the seer (draṣṭṛ) there is no cessation of seeing,” says the scripture (BrhU.4.3.23). Thus ātman oneself has both a dark and light nature, like a fire-fly.
The Sāṅkhyas who discern (a distinction between the conscious puruṣa and unconscious prakṛti) say that the part-less (nir-aṃśa, i.e., the ātman) cannot in any way have a dual nature (ubhaya-ātmatva), and by that the ātman can only be in the form of consciousness (cit-rūpa).
Prakṛti has a form consisting of parts that are unconscious (jāḍya-aṃśa), and that form has modifications, which consists of (variations of) the three guṇas. This prakṛti exists for the sake of the conscious being’s experiences and release (apavarga, from the cycle of experiences).
The consciousness (citi, puruṣa) which by nature cannot interact (a-saṅga) is considered bound and then freed because of not grasping the difference (between that prakṛti and oneself, the puruṣa). Like for the preceding (philosophers), in order for there to be different states of being bound and freed, (there must be multiple puruṣas due to) a difference between these conscious beings.
(They quote) that prakṛti is called “the (total) unmanifest (a-vyakta, the total causal body, unmanifest to the mind and senses) and is other than (para, superior to) the mahat (the total manifest, the effect of prakṛti),” as mentioned in scripture (KathU.1.3.11). As well everywhere is clearly mentioned the unattached nature (a-saṅgatā, of the ātman, the puruṣa) such as, “Indeed it is unattached” (BrhU.3.9.26, etc.).
The Yogins say Īśvara is the inner controller (niyāmaka) of prakṛti, whenever prakṛti is in the presence (sannidhi) of consciousness (cit, of this Īśvara). Also that (Īśvara) is distinct from all jīvas (all individual intellects, KathU.1.3.10).
The scripture says that the Lord of the guṇas is the Lord of pradhāna (i.e., prakṛti) and of the individual knowers (kṣetra-jñas, SvetU.1.10). In the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad, “Being the inner controller (antar-yāmin)” is unmistakably imputed (to the self of all, BrhU.3.7.15).
In regard to this topic, there are also other philosophers who argue in accordance to their own logic, and with conviction they quote texts according to how they understand.
The Lord would be the special person (puṃ-viśeṣa) by being untouched “by the afflictions (kleśas) and the fruitions of (its own) karmas and by the storehouses (of anyone’s karma)” (YS.1.24). Yet, like ordinary persons (jīvas), is an unattached consciousness.
That being so, because of being this special person, it happens to have that nature of being the inner controller. Otherwise, it would here fall in (be subject to) a state of bondage or freedom (PancD.6.105, yet, being the controller within allows some to remain bound and others to become free).
“Out of fear (bhīṣā, or rather the mandate of their nature, of their role, in this creation) from this” (from the Lord, His order, everything in nature behaves accordingly, within its possibilities, not chaotically, TaitU.2.8.1). In this way and in other scriptures, it (the Lord) is shown to have the nature of being unattached yet the Over-Lord (para-ātman). Though connected to them (to their nature as its inner controller), is has no connection to their afflictions and actions.
Even though jīvas (by their real nature) are unattached and indeed do not have afflictions, etcetera, still, due to not grasping the distinction (of their consciousness nature from the manifest forms of nature) they (believe they) have afflictions, action, etc. as pointed out before.
The Logicians (Tārkikas) think that the Lord has qualities of eternal knowledge, eternal effort and eternal desire, and they say it is not possible for an unattached (Lord) to be a controlling power.
There is scripture that declares (the Lord) is having true-desire, true-resolve (i.e., whatever it desires is infallibly possible and whatever it determines is infallibly actualized, ChanU.8.7.1). Even though it may be a special person, His nature is not otherwise than through those three qualities alone (eternal knowledge, etc., PancD.6.109).
When the (Lord) has the nature of eternal knowledge, etc. (PancD.6.109) then its manifestation (śṛṣṭi) would always be continuing. The Lord would therefore be Hiraṇya-garbha endowed with the (total) subtle body.
The glory of that (Lord, as Hiraṇya-garbha, the mahā-prāṇa) is detailed in the Udgītha-Brāhmaṇa (BrhU.1.3). Even though being the total subtle body, since itself does not have any karma, etc., then it does not have individuality (jīvatva).
The worshipers of Virāj (the total manifest cosmos, as the cosmic person with its head being the heavens down to its feet being the earth) know that without its physical body nowhere can be seen its subtle body. Therefore, that (total) body everywhere starting from its head onwards is the Īśa (the awareful Lord).
Also there is scripture saying, “It has countless heads,” whose eye pervades everywhere (PurSuk and SvetU.3.14). Thus they meditate upon all this that is not the Lord as belonging to that viśva-rūpa (the Virāt form of the Lord).
If it is all hands and feet, then even bugs, etc. would have the nature of the Lord. Therefore, only the four-headed deity (Lord Brahmā, the creator in the holy trinity of Brahma-Viṣṇu-Śiva, its four heads being the four Vedas) is the Lord, and no one else.
In order to get children, the worshipers thus call it Prajā-pati (the Father of creatures) and quote such scripture saying It created the offspring, etcetera (PrasU.1.4).
The common Bhāgavata people (who understand through the Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, and who may not be scriptural scholars) say that since the lotus born Lord Vedas (Lord Brahmā) arose from the navel of Viṣṇu, then only Viṣṇu is the Lord.
The Śaivas who rely on the authority of their āgamas (the Śiva-Purāṇa, etc.) say that since the capable bow-bearing (Lord Viṣṇu) could not find the feet of Lord Śiva (as the liṅga of light reaching to the heavens), then only Śiva, not Viṣṇu, is the Lord.
The Gāṇa-patya followers worship Him (Gaṇeśa) as the Lord, saying this Vināyaka (the remover of obstacles) and thus Vighneśa (the Lord of obstacles) was worshiped as being able to defeat the (demons of the) three cities (on Earth, in the sky, and in the heavens).
Similarly, others, by being proud of their own respective side, propose it (the Lord) is like this or like that, relying upon their traditions (kalpas) and praises (artha-vādas) of their mantras.
There are those arguing to be the Lord (Īśa) anything beginning from the inner controller to inert objects, such as the Aśvattha (fig-tree), the sun, or bamboo – because they see those as their family deity (kula-daivata).
By those desiring to ascertain the truth, while inquiring through the traditional texts with supporting logic (nyāya-āgama), there would be only one understanding, and that is here and now being clearly set forth.
One should know that prakṛti (all of nature) as māyā (an appearance, not as real as one’s own reality). The supreme Lord is the Lord of māya (the māyin), and this entire universe is pervaded as (if) parts of this Lord.
This depiction regarding the Lord is in keeping with scripture and is logically valid. In that way, there is no contradiction in terms of reality with those who hold that even inanimate things are the Lord (as for us, all are nothing but the Lord).
In the (Nṛsiṃha-Uttara)-Tāpanīya Upaniṣad (Chapter 9) it is said, “Māyā is in the form of tamas (darkness, ignorance),” From that statement, the scripture herself makes the claim that one’s own experience is evidence towards this (as the darkness before creation is māyā, the same darkness we experience in deep sleep).
The scripture points to our common experience of it (the nature of māyā) as insentience (jaḍa, in the inanimate) and delusion (mohātmaka, in the animate). It (the scripture) points out the pervasiveness of that (nature of māyā) as being clearly seen from (uneducated) children to (uneducable) dullards (go-pas, those qualified to just watch the cows graze).
Indeed the insentient (jaḍa) nature is what belongs to pots, etc., that cannot (reflect) consciousness. Everyone sees the delusion where intelligence is (variously) dull.
Thus, this is the common point of view admitted by everyone. Moreover, from the logical point of view it is not categorically definable (a-nirvācya), which is based on the scripture that it was not non-existent (na a-sat, neither absolutely real nor not-real, as it is something about which our opinions based on our limited experience and knowledge are innumerable and inconclusive).
It is not non-existent because it is variously experienced (vibhāta), nor (absolutely) real because it can be removed (bādhana, annulled by knowledge of brahman as oneself through help of scripture). From the point of view of the knowledge, according to scripture, it (all of māyā) is unreal (tuccha), since it can never have any effect (nitya-nirvṛtti, on one who is wise, KathU.2.1.11, and since it constantly dismisses itself by its continual change, which is obvious to everyone, and the scripture points out that this is why it has to be unreal, not absolutely real).
This māyā is to be looked at in three ways: as unreal (tuccha) by those who know its nature, as indefinable (a-nirvacanīya) by logicians, and as real (vāstavī) by ordinary people.
It (māyā) reveals the reality (in waking) and unreality (in deep sleep) of this universe, because it appears spread out and rolled up, like a picture on a canvas.
Māyā is dependent (a-sva-tantrā) without the cognition of a perceiver. Yet it is independent in a sense, because it makes the unattached (ātman, the perceiver) as being otherwise (than it itself is).
That (māyā seems to) make the ātman which is unchanging (kūṭa-stha) and unattached to be the same as the rest of the universe (changing and interconnected). Due to this taking its nature as the reflection of consciousness (cit-ābhāsa-svarūpa, in an individual mind or in the cosmic subtle body), (māyā as though, by incomplete knowledge) has created (a difference between) the jīva and the Lord (respectively).
Without (actually) diminishing the unchanging (kūṭa-stha, unchanging reality), it (appears to) manifest a world of differences (jagat-ādika, within the kūṭa-stha, like an imagined snake where there is only a rope). Māyā is what singularly manifests the impossible (durghaṭa-eka-vidhāyin). In regard to that, why be surprised?**(Māyā is not some proposed entity. It is simply a name to describe why we mistake the real nature of things. It is simply the inability to distinguish appearance from reality. And this is not recognized until the scripture points out that there is an absolute reality which is the unchanging, not different from the reality of oneself. Then only can the changing be appreciated as not reality, but as unreal.)
As is fluidity in water, heat in fire, and solidity in a stone, so is the impossibility (dur-ghaṭatva) of māyā. (Like water as fluidity, etc.) it uniquely establishes itself (māyā) as distinct from anything else.
Until which time a person does not recognize that (māyā, is the show before their eyes which lacks reality), until then (while its changes upset the show which they believed was real), surprise abides in the mind. But afterwards once this māyā (is known for what it is, as only a temporal show) then one attains calm (not constantly being surprised).
Among those who argue for the reality of this universe (jagat) then questions (codyas, regarding māyā) continue. But since (māyā) having a single (determinable) nature is itself questionable (codya), then there no (point in) questioning about māyā (such as, whether it exists, where it exists, how to fix it, etcetera).
If it is (always by it nature) questionable, then it would remain questionable. I would question your questioning. Questioning itself, then, is to be given up. Further questioning is not be be indulged.
Since māyā, which is a singular embodiment of wondering (vismaya), has a nature that is itself questionable (codya, is a continuing mystery), then the intelligent should make effort in seeking its removal (parihāra, i.e., instead of trying to solve the mystery, inquire instead into what makes this mystery seem unsolvable).
(Question:) Don't you have to determine māyā’s very nature, in order to make this determination (of how to remove it)? (Reply:) Then one should just accept that which is the common well known definition of māyā!
What is not able to be determined and yet clearly appears is that (which is called) māyā (a mystery). People accept this in regard to magic (indra-jāla, sorcery), etc.
And this universe clearly appears, yet its definitive nature cannot be determined (since it is subject to countless perspectives and an endless string of proposed determinations throughout mankind’s history). Therefore, the universe consists of a māyā. You should look upon this impartially (i.e., instead of taking useless sides, look into resolving the need to question this mystery).
Even if all the scholars together were to start trying to exactly determine (the mystery of this universe), they would only confront their ignorance in some kind of circular thicket (revolving back to their starting assumptions).
How did the body and senses, etc., come to be out of the seed (of the father and egg of the mother)? Or how did consciousness arise in them? Asked, what would be your answer?**(Keep in mind this author probably lived in 1300’s. If you today point to some scientists for your answer, please know they themselves certainly have even more unanswered, underlying questions than you can think of regarding these mysteries.)
If one says this is the very nature of the seed (and egg, to become these conscious things), then how would that be known by you (apart from your assumption that it is their nature)? If you say it is by anvaya-vyatireka (co-presence and co-absence methodologies, PrasU.1.37), those two break down when there is a barren fertility somewhere.
In the end you have to resort to, “I don't know why it is?” For this reason alone, the great-minded ones clearly say it is the mystery (indra-jāla, Indra’s snare of illusion) of this (universe).
What can be more magical than this seed seated in the womb becoming itself conscious; developing hands, head and feet, like so many sprouts; maturing variously and successively through the appearances of childhood, youth and old age; while perceiving, eating, smelling, coming and going?
Similar as that body, carefully think about a fig-tree seed, etc., how it looks. How could these be its seeds? How could this tree come from them? Therefore, please be clear that this is māyā.
Those logicians and others, who are attached to their pride in explanations, are schooled in the Khaṇḍana-Khaṇḍa-khādya (literally ‘Sweet Eatables of Refutations’) by Śrī Harṣa (who knocks down their constructions using their own logics).
Indeed the unfathomable (nature of these) entities (that make up the universe) should not be entrusted to these logics (that don’t appreciate the mystery). This universe is indeed a contrivance unfathomable by the mind.
Be clear that māyā is the seed of this unfathomable, contrived universe. That single māyā-seed is (unknowingly) experienced in deep sleep.
The waking and dream world is latent there (in deep sleep), like a tree in its seed. (Cultivated) from the entire (waking and dream) universe (of one’s previous experience) are present there (in deep sleep) the vāsanās (latent potentials, as ways of thinking that one is born with and has cultivated, like seeds of thought to be re-born in the morning).
Upon (each of) those latent impressions in the mind is reflected this consciousness. Like the sky (reflected but mostly hidden) by (the accumulated water drops of) a cloud, a (singular) unclear reflection of consciousness (cit-ābhāsa) is assumed (to be my limited self, based upon the accumulated latent impressions in this cloud-like mind).
That (māyā) seed (manifesting as the power of ignorance and projection when) associated with this reflection (ābhāsa) manifests as a (singular, separate) intellect. Because of that (association), there in this intellect, arises a distinct illusion of a cit-ābhāsa (a personal individuality).
In the scripture it is said that the individual and the Lord (jīva-īśa) are distinguished (in the mind) through the apparition (ābhāsa) of māyā. The Lord is likened to the space (reflected) in the cloud-bank and the individual is like the space (reflected) in the water droplets.
Māyā is likened to the cloud-bank (in terms of its blocking power). The impressions in the mind are like the droplets (mist) within the cloud. The cit-ābhāsa (a personal individuality) is like the space present (or reflected) in that mist (determined to be the presence of my reality enclosed by my notions that can reflect).
In the scripture it is said that this cit-ābhāsa (reflected or contained consciousness) is dependent (adhīna) on māyā (in that various perspectives in māyā provide the upādhis, the seemingly limiting adjuncts by which we believe consciousness also to be thus limited), whereas, the Lord has māyā (as the māyin, i.e., the Lord Maheśvara, SvetU.4.10, is superior to and encompasses māyā). That (Lord) is the antar-yāmin (the inner-controller of everything), (thus) is all-knowing (i.e., is the intelligent cause), and is the jagat-yoni (the ultimate source or womb of the universe, i.e., is the material cause).
The scripture has proclaimed, beginning with, “Sauṣupta… ānanda-maya (the location of joy is noticeably present in deep sleep, ManU.5)” to “Eṣa sarvesvara (this is the Lord, ManU.6).” Know that very one to be the Lord discussed here.
The omniscience, and other properties of that Lord (indicated by the scripture) cannot be wavered (confounded), since the subject matter of the scripture is not in the scope of logic and since in māyā all things are possible (i.e., logic cannot pin down or exclude what is in essence a mystery).
This Lord (sarva-īśvara is known as omniscient because it) creates all that, which no person has (hardly) any power to alter (i.e., total intelligence alone could be the actual source of everything, and everything must have a source).
The vāsanās (the subtle potentials for comprehending the waking and dream worlds) of the minds of all living beings are present there (in the total ānanda-maya which is called the Lord, PancD.6.158). Through those (vāsanās) everything is embraced (kroḍī-kṛta, āliṅgata). Because of that, this (ānanda-maya, the Lord) is called sarva-jña (all-knowing).
(Doubt:) Since vāsanās are indirectly known (i.e., I assume that I must have a vāsanā, a latent impression, to have manifested a particular thought long ago, or now, or sometime in the future), then their being omniscient is not evident. (Reply:) That (omniscience) in regard to the vāsanās is inferred in (that Lord who is) the one who directly sees into all minds (and, since that Lord is timeless, this means that it see at once the past, present and future vāsanās).
Because (the Lord) abides in the kośas, starting with the intellect (vijñāna-maya), it controls (them as the embodiment of the natural order of all things). Because of this, it is the inner controller.
Abiding in the intellect, it is internal (āntara) to it. The intellect cannot know (or control) the one (the Lord) whose body is the intellect, however, this one does control (is in charge of) the intellect. In this way the scripture proclaims.
Like a thread pervades throughout the cloth as its material cause, so (the inner controller, Lord) pervades everywhere since it has the nature of being the material cause (of everything).
The tread is internal to the cloth, and the fiber is internal to the thread. Wherever is the finality of this internality, that is inferred to be this (Lord, the material cause and the inner controller).
In investigating the thicket of internality two or three deep (and further down to molecules, atoms, particles, quarks, vibrating one-denominational strings, etc.), the (ultimate) interior is not directly seen. Therefore, only by scripture and supporting logic is reasoned this (Lord).**(The Lord is the very cosmic order by which we think of these internal things, i.e., inside all cannot be nothingness, and must be the intelligence by which we see all this. We here give to this the name ‘Lord’. An Einstein could appreciate this.)
Because of which (thread) that constitutes the form of a cloth, then that cloth becomes the (visible) body (vapus) of this thread. Similarly because of what (Lord) that constitutes the form of all, then that all (the universe) becomes the (visible) body of this (Lord).**(Want evidence of the Lord? Open your eyes and see the Lord. Close your eyes and the Lord is still there. Why deny the wonder?)
When the thread is contracted or stretched, so too necessarily indeed is the cloth (contracted, etc.). There is not the least independence in the cloth (from its internal thread).
Similarly, in regard to this inner controller, via its vāsanā (its residing tendency) each one would necessarily act. There is no doubt about it.
“O Arjuna, the Lord – causing all beings to spin around, (as if) mounted (āroha) on a machine (yantra, as on a wheel revolving (bhrāmayat) in saṃsāra, now up, now down) by māyā (the Lord’s power of projecting) – remains (unmoved, as the self of all) in the seat of the intellect of all beings” (BhG.18.61).
‘All beings’ (in the previous verse) indicates all the vijñāna-maya (kośas) situated in the heart (hṛdaya, buddhi, the intellect of all). In them, the Lord as the material cause of them indeed (appears to) undergo changes.
The word ‘yantra’ (machine) indicates the cage of the body, etc. The word ‘āroha’ (mounted) indicates being identified (abhimānin) with that (body, etc.). The word ‘bhramaṇa’ (revolving) indicates the performances of prescribed and prohibited acts.
The word ‘māyayā’ (by māyā) indicates the Lord through its śakti (appears to) revolve by being (the inner controller) in the form of the intellect with that intellect’s own pursuits (according each mind’s vāsanās).
The same idea alone is expressed in the scripture by saying, it (the Lord) controls from within everywhere from the element earth onwards (which don’t have a mind, BrhU.6.3.3–23). This logic is (understandable to us, since we all experience as animate beings that) the control is effected through intelligence.
“I know what is virtue, but the inclination is not mine. I know what is vice, but desisting is not mine. I am as if impelled by some god seated in my heart.” (Says Duryodhana in the Mahā-bhārata epic).
The idea is not that individual choice (puruṣa-kāra) has no efficacy. Rather, the Lord (as the material cause) manifests as that individual choice also.
By such an understanding that (the Lord acts through our mind’s choices), then the action of the Lord cannot be blocked (by human ‘choice’). Rather, through that understanding of the Lord, arises the understanding of one’s own non-attachment (a-saṅgatva, non-identity, with the actions of nature that belong only to the Lord, the māyin).
Both the scriptures and tradition (smṛtis, such as Mahā-bhārata) tell that by such (an understanding – that nothing is mine, all this is but the Lord) there is freedom (mokṣa). Even the Lord has said (in Varāha-Purāṇa), “The scripture and tradition are My instructions” (i.e., even the way out of bondage is My way).
The scripture indeed says, “Out of fear from it” (TaitU.2.8.1). This means that the (Lord’s) order is the (external) cause of fear (as it were, even in inanimate entities). This would be the very nature of the Lord of all (via the laws of nature, even in entities without ‘choice’), separate from being the inner controller (via vāsanās, of individuals who have ‘choice’).
There is scripture that says it is the command (praśāsana) of this imperishable (Lord, that the sun and moon, etc. act as they do, BrhU.3.8.9). There is another scripture that says that, having entered within, this is the controller of the people.
This (Lord) is the source (yoni, womb) of the universe, because it brings about its creation and destruction. By creation and destruction is meant its appearance (āvir-bhāva, to our senses and mind) and disappearance (tiro-bhāva, to our senses and mind).**(That is, it is not that non-existence becomes existence and later existence becomes non-existence. Existence in reality always is, and it is only appearances to the senses and mind that seem to change. And, this apparent change itself is due to the notion of time that is generated by the mind. Whereas, to a time-less Lord, there can’t even be an appearance of change. Even we notice no time and no change in deep sleep. Our own experiences, even before knowledge, bear out the truth of these teachings.)
The entire universe that existed unmanifest (vilīna) within this one is (later) made manifest (by the Lord), due to the karmas (whose results have to by their nature be fulfilled) of the creatures. Like the canvas (of the painting) unrolling.
Again, the entire universe that existed only within this one is (later) made to disappear (by the Lord), due to the exhausting of those karmas (that forced the manifestation) of the creatures. Like the canvas (of the painting) rolling up.
This creation and dissolution (of the universe) is like (the disappearing and reappearing of the universe in) the night and day (from sight) and the deep sleep and waking (from the mind), (and during the day) the closing and opening of the eyes, and quiescence and activation of the mind.
By reason of (the Lord inherently) possessing the power of manifesting and unmanifesting (of the universe), then there is no possibility of a questionable reason (codya) for the beginning, the evolving, etc. (of the universe, i.e., why does this universe occur).
In that way, the cause for the insentient objects would be the Lord through the dullness aspect (i.e., tamas of māyā). Whereas, the cause for the jīvas (the individualities of living beings) would be this same (Lord) through the reflection of consciousness (cit-ābhāsa) aspect (in māyā, PancD.1.15–7).
(It is said that the cause) of the bodies (kṣetras, the fields for experience) is the tamas predominance (of para-brahman), and of the sentient beings (cit-ātmans) is the intelligence (cit) predominance (of the para-brahman). Thus the ultimate (para, brahman) gains the nature of being their cause through (the sentient beings’) latent impressions (bhāvanās), understandings (jñānas), and actions (karmas).
In this way, the Vārtika-kāra (the commentary author, Sureśvara-ācārya) explained that the nature of being a cause of the inanimate and animate belongs to parama-ātman, and not to an Īśvara. In that case, listen (how to reconcile this with what we told).
(We reply:) Sureśvara, is taking for granted (siddhaṃ kṛtvā) here the (listener’s) mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa) of the Lord and brahman, like between the jīva (the individuality) and kūṭa-stha (ātman, reflected in the mind).**(So when he uses here the word ‘brahman’, the ultimate reality, he knows the listener is thinking it is the Lord, which he then proceeds to explain as the creator.)
The scripture says “satyaṃ jñānam anantaṃ brahma” (reality, knowledge or consciousness, unlimited is brahman, the ultimate). From that arose space, air, fire, water and earth (the five elements, i.e., their subtle natures that gain these names via our sense perceptions), and from that plants, food and our bodies (TaitU.2.1.1).
At first glance towards this (scripture), brahman appears to have the nature of being a cause (of these things). From that reality being given to causality, it must be understood this is a (temporary) mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa, of brahman being given the description of causality belonging to the Lord, and the Lord being given the reality of brahman, at the initial stage of this teaching beginning in the second adhyāya, chapter of Taittirīya Upaniṣad).
This mutual imposition is like the canvas (stiffened) by applying food-starch (required for the painting to occur, PancD.6.3). By that application they (the canvas and food-starch, brahman and Īśvara) become (as though) one. In that way here occurs the illusion of oneness (between brahman and the Lord).
As simple people (pāmaras) may determine the vast sky has become the space limited to the cloud-bank (one has to envision a complete cloud cover across the sky in this illustration, PancD.6.153–6), similarly, those who have an initial understanding (āpāta-darśins) perceive an identity between brahman (reality) and the Lord (whoever the creator is).
By analysis (vicāraṇa) of the intension (tāt-parya, of the whole of this section of Taittirīya Upaniṣad scripture) through the textual indications (liṅgas) of how the text begins and ends (upakrama, upakrama-upasaṃhāra), etcetera (and the other five liṅgas: abhāyasa, what is repeated; apūrvatā, what is original; phala, what is the benefit; artha-vāda, what is praised; and upapatti, what are the familiar examples), then this Ultimate Lord possesses māyā and thus (appears) to create, while brahman has no connection (a-saṅga, to that).
This (part, the intended topic, of the scriptural text) begins (upakramya) with, “Reality, knowledge, unlimited is brahman,” and ends (upasaṃhāra) with, “yato vāco nivartante, from which (brahman) speech (words) fall short, TaitU.2.4.1). By this is determined (nirṇaya) the a-saṅgatva (unconnectedness, of brahman from anything that words can convey).
Another scripture says, “The māyin (the one who wields māyā) creates all this” (SvetU.4.9), whereas the other (anya) there (within the creation, the jīva) is completely confined (sanniruddha, bound) by māyā (by ignorance of māyā’s unreality, PancD.1.16). Because of that, the Lord alone would be the creator.
This Lord, who is connected to the ānanda-maya (the location of joy, experienced without distraction in deep sleep), envisioned, “May I be many” (ChanU.6.2.3), and becomes (called) Hiraṇya-garbha (the shinning womb). As though being deep asleep, it starts to dream (svapna, here still like a dream, since Hiraṇya-garbha is the total subtle manifestation, not yet physicalized as the perceptible elements).
According to each scripture, this creation is known as either sequentially (e.g., first space, then air, etc., TaitU.2.1.1) or instantaneous (i.e., no sequence is indicated, AitU.1.1.2), since the coming to be of a creation can be in either of two ways, like we see in a dream both appearances (as an orderly, slow build up, or as spontaneous).
Sūtra-ātman (the thread of all, Hiraṇya-garbha, PancD.6.2–4) is also called the total subtle body, including the collection of all jīvas (as though strung on sūtra-ātman), and has the power to act, think etc., because it supports all I’s (therefore for everyone and itself, ‘I act’, ‘I know’).
Like at dawn or dusk, this world appears to be in partial (manda) darkness, so the universe appears indistinct (in Hiraṇya-garbha, at the start of creation).
Like the stiffened canvas completely outlined in pencil (PancD.6.3), similarly, everywhere this subtle body of the Lord is outlined (the subtle forms of things within the Lord start to appear to the understanding, but not yet to the senses).
Like a grain of corn or a tree bud is sprouted faint (komala) and soft (pelava) everywhere, similarly is this sprout of a universe.
Then, like world lit in sunlight, like a canvas fully colored in, like matured corn plant, similarly, is the clearly seen body (of the Lord) now call Virāj (variously showing, to the senses).
In the chapter called Viśva-rūpa (The Cosmic Form, BhG.11) this one is described there, as well as in the Puruṣa-Sūkta (Hymn to the Cosmic Person, PurSuk). These (following entities, PancD.6.206–8) are described as parts (avayavas) of (Virāj), from the Creator (dhātṛ, Brahmā) down to a clump of grass (stamba).
These are (the deities) Īśa, Sutra, Virāj, Vedhas, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Indra and Vahni. As well as (the deities, beings and demons) Vighna, Bairava, Mairāla, Mārikā, the Yakṣas and the Rākṣasas.
These are the (classes of people) Vipras, Kṣatriyas, Viś, and Śudras; cows, horses, deer and birds; various fig and mango trees; barley, rice, and grasses.
There are various waters, stones, clay, logs, and wood-working (house making) and earth-working (field making) tools. All these are forms of the Lord (īśvaras, deities) alone, are worshipful and beneficial.
In whatever way (and form) they worship that (Lord), in that way they would benefit. The better or lesser is the result, in keeping with the various forms of worships.
However, freedom (mokṣa, from saṃsāra) is only by knowledge of the nature of brahman (ultimate reality, as oneself), not in any other way (not by any form of worshiping merely a form of the Lord, as being other than the reality of oneself and of the all). Just as one’s dream (the mind’s projection) never goes away, without (waking up to) knowing it is only a dream.
In the nature of the reality which has no second (a-dvitīya), this entire animate and inanimate universe, in the form of the Lord and the individual, onwards, is but a dream (svapna, as being unreal, not the reality).
The ānanda-maya Lord and the vijñāna-maya individual are projected (kalpita) by māyā (as the apparent power to hide the One and project the many). And everything else (both the world of perception and the world of the mind) are manifested by those two.
The universe, from the Lord to Its entering into everything, is manifested by the Lord. One’s life (saṃsāra), from waking experience to freedom, is manifested by the individual.
Those who do not know that nature of the reality which has no second (no other) to be a-saṅga (unconnected, to this universe), uselessly quarrel over jīva and Īśvara, which really are projections due to māyā.
Surely, we rejoice in knowing anyone who always remains dedicated to this knowledge, sympathize the others, and do not wrangle with those (who are dedicated to remaining) deluded.
From those who worship grass to yoga practices, all remain deluded about the Lord. From materialists (lokāyatas) to Sāṅkhyas (followers of a dualist, atheist philosophy) all remain variously deluded about jīva (themselves).
As long as they do not know that nature of the reality which has no second (no other), until then they entertain all kinds of delusions. How could there be freedom, or even joy here in life?
Suppose they might enjoy greater or lesser degrees (of reality), but with that so what! One who awakens enjoys nothing from the reality (bhāva) of being a king or a beggar in a dream.
Therefore, those seeking freedom (mumukṣus) should not ponder about jīva and Īśvara (which can’t be thoroughly known). Rather, they should engage in pondering the nature of brahman (ultimate reality) which is worth knowing, and come to know that.
(Doubt:) By raising objections and resolving them about both (jīva and Īśvara), isn’t that the means towards clarity in truth? (Reply:) That may be so, but unwillingly don’t get stuck by so much of those two topics (which are about māyā, not reality).
(Doubt:) (Vedāntins say) the jīva (as puruṣa-ātman) is unconnected consciousness (a-saṅga cit) and is all pervasive (vibhu), but Sāṅkhya say the same (about puruṣa). And Yoga says that Īśvara (and jīva) are the meanings of ‘tat’ and ‘tvam’ (in ‘That you are’) as simply their purity (śuddha, their a-saṅga cit, being the same). (Reply:) In that case, listen.
Those meanings of ‘tat’ and ‘tvam’ are not our (asmad, Vedānta’s) final view (siddha-anta). Their thicket (of views) is only some kind of an attempt towards understanding non-duality.
Due to beginningless māyā, the deluded think the individual and the Lord are completely different. In order to eliminate that (delusion) there should be a complete examination (śodhana, cleaning up of any notions of differences) of these two (‘That Lord’ and ‘You the individual’).
Because of this, the previous illustration was presented in regard this topic for easy understanding. (The individual) is like the space inside a pot, while (the Lord) is like the vast space everywhere (in regard to respective pervasive existence). Or, (the individual) is like the sky reflected in water, while (the Lord) is like the sky reflected in a cloud-bank (in regard to respective reflection of consciousness).
The latter two (highlight) the dependence (adhīna, the degrees of the reflection of consciousness, like of the sky) upon the limiting conditions (upādhis) of the water and the cloud (where the reflection varies from orange, white, gray, and black, within a single day). Whereas, the prior two (highlight) the pure (mutually) unaffectedness of the receptacles of the space in a pot and the space everywhere (where the existence itself does not vary in the least).
In this way the ānanda-maya and the vijñāna-maya (the Lord and the individual) are conditioned (vaśa) by māyā and the intellect (respectively, like the reflection in cloud-bank and water). Whereas, the basis (adhiṣṭhāna, location or receptacle) of both those, which is the brahman and the changeless (kūṭa-stha, jīva-ātman, respectively), (both) remain pure (mutually) unaffected (i.e., unconditioned).
Both Sāṅkhya and Yoga doctrines (matis) employ the same kakṣas (examples, emulations of the truth which itself cannot be exactly expressed, encompassed, in words), still (for them) because of the expression of this being the (limited) food-body, then it is taken to actually be part of the nature of oneself (so that the self becomes limited and many).
Provided their three (doctrines) that there are different ātmans, the universe is real, and the Lord is separate (from oneself and the universe) are (eventually) given up by them, then there can be agreement between Vedānta and the followers of Sāṅkhya and Yoga doctrines.
If (according to them) a person becomes fulfilled (kṛta-artha) simply by knowing the individual is a-saṅga (unattached), then (it would be like) flowers, sandalwood, etc. become fulfilled simply because they partake of the eternity (of their source, prakṛti. mother nature).
Just like the eternity of flowers, etc. is impossible (nonsense) to establish, similarly, the unconnected nature of ātman is not possible as long as one holds to the nature of being a separate individuality (thus connected to other jīvas) as well as to the continuing (separate existences) of the universe and the Lord (that would then have to be related to somehow).
If prakṛti (being eternal) is unavoidable (a-vaśya), then connection (saṅga, with it) will continue like before (enlightenment). Also, the Lord will continue to lord over him. In that case, what freedom (mokṣa) could he have?
If attachment (saṅga, to the world of things and others) and control (niyama, by the Lord) are due to lack of discernment (viveka, i.e., ignorance, which could somehow go away if enlightened, even though they are as real as oneself), then on the strength of that one would have to accept our doctrine of māyā, and would entertain an idea contrary to Sāṅkhya.
(Doubt:) For the sake of establishing the possibility of bondage (for others) and freedom (for oneself), one must accept a plurality of individuals. (Reply:) This is not so, because we accept that it can be maintained as an aspect of māyā.
Don’t you see that making the impossible (dur-ghaṭa) possible is a contradiction (viruddha)? Rather, the scripture neither accepts the reality of bondage nor freedom (separately, for the ātman), nor together (at the same time in the same person).
(The scripture, through “neti neti,” not this nor that, PancD.3.32) declares that in truth (parama-arthatā) there is neither destruction, nor creation; neither bondage, nor one engaged (to get out of bondage); neither one who desires to get out of bondage, nor indeed on who is freed.
Māyā is called a wish-fulfilling cow (because it appears to be whatever one thinks it to be), and its two calves are jīva and Īśvara. May they both drink as they like its duality. However, truth is indeed only non-duality.
The difference between kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness, the real individual) and brahman (the limitless consciousness) is only due to name (nāma-mātra), and not indeed in reality. As there is not the least bit of space (viyat) between the space within the pot and the space within the universe.
(And in terms of time) The non-duality which is declared in the scripture was before the beginning (of time), exists now and even after (time disappears), as well as when one is freed (mukti). Māyā fruitlessly deludes all other people (by hiding this non-duality as the only reality).
(Doubt:) Even those who know in this way are seen (by all others) to wander around here (in duality). What’s the use of their knowledge? (Reply:) No. For them, in which way they were before, that delusion is gone (a-darśana, from their minds, but that wisdom which is non-duality would not be visible to anyone else).
The certainty of those who do not know (the non-duality) is that all saṃsāra (comings and goings), here and hereafter, is real. Therefore, non-duality does not even occur to their thinking.
It is clearly evident that the certainty (niścaya) of the ones who knower is completely opposite from those above. Depending upon one‘s own certainty, one thinks either ‘I am bound’ or ‘I am free’.
(Doubt:) Non-duality is not directly perceptible (na a-parokṣa). (Reply:) No, since it is evident as one’s awareness (cit-rūpa). (Doubt:) But it is not completely known (as limitless awareness). (Reply:) But is this duality universe (that you are certain about) (completely) known by you?
Both of these two (duality and non-duality) are equally only known in part. Like you establish (all is) duality, why not you establish (all is) non-duality (i.e., assume featureless consciousness, like in deep sleep, is the essential reality of everything, rather than assume perceptibility, like in waking, is the essential reality of everything)?
(Doubt:) Non-duality lacks duality, and since duality is obviously seen, then how could this (non-duality) exist? (Reply:) But awareness (which is non-duality) is evident, and yet (there is awareness) of duality, so it can't be opposed to it. Therefore both are not a pair of opposites (a-samas, like light and darkness).
So listen. Duality is unreal (a-sat, not reality, although it can appear to exist), since it has the nature of being a manifestation of māyā. Because of that, non-duality alone shines as being reality, since it alone remains (after dismissing duality as unreal, according to scripture).
The entire universe is but māyā, as an inscrutable (a-cintya) construct. Once convinced of this (withdrawing belief in the apparent reality of the world), one would only be left with reality in the non-dual.
(Doubt:) What if the belief in the reality of the dual again shows up (in my mind)? (Reply:) Then again you should habituate (reorient your intellect, down to the vāsanā level, to this understanding, PancD.6.251). How difficult here is that, in order for you to know?
(Doubt:) For how long? (Reply:) Difficulty can only be found in duality. That is not possible in non-duality, since all difficulties (which are products of one’s ignorance) are removed there.
(Doubt:) But hunger, thirst, and so on remain seen as before within me. (Reply:) The meaning of the word ‘me’ is to be seen as residing in the notional-I (aham-kāra). No one recognizes that (except a wise person).
(Doubt:) What if, due to mutual impositions (tād-atmya-adhyāsa), these (sufferings, of thirst, etc.) affect the self? (Reply:) Then don’t dwell (on these misunderstandings), rather, always remain discerning (of the difference between oneself and any dismissible notions about myself).
(Doubt:) What if this imposition comes on suddenly from established vāsanās (unconscious impressions deeply embedded in the mind)? (Reply:) Then continually return to your discernment (viveka) and make that firmly embedded in your mind.
During one’s discernment, do not claim that the unreality (mithyātva) of duality is proven only by logic, because oneself directly experiences the nature of this inscrutable (a-cintya) construct.
(Doubt:) But consciousness (cit) also is inscrutable (a-cintya). (Reply:) Okay, we also say consciousness is indeed not established by reasoning, but (it is not false) because it is the very basis for (knowing) the eternal.
The prior non-existence of consciousness can never be experienced, therefore consciousness can be called eternal (nitya, more aptly it is understood to be ‘timeless’, a-kāla). Whereas, the prior non-existence of duality (i.e., the deep sleep state) is experienced by our consciousness (as being retrieval from memory, as ‘I knew nothing’).
Having a prior non-existence, duality is indeed constructed, like a pot, etc. Still, its creation is inscrutable (as our mind cannot figure how duality can come from its absence), and thus is unreal (mithyā), like magic (not unlike magic).
Consciousness is always present (pratyakṣa, it can never be known as absent, or as away in anyway). What is other than that (is duality) and its unreality (mithyātva, PancD.2.70) is experienced. How could it not be contradictory that non-duality cannot be directly experienced (a-parokṣa)?**(The positive version of this convoluted last sentence is: It is certain that non-duality, i.e., oneself, is directly experienced.)
(Doubt:) Knowing in this way, how can some still not be satisfied? (Reply:) First tell me how educated materialists believe the body alone is ātman (their self)?
(Doubt:) Proper inquiry is not there (for the materialists), due to some kind of defect (or block) in the intellect. (Reply:) Similarly, those not satisfied regarding the scripture do not completely understand it (for the same kinds of reasons).
“When released from all desires which were previously fixed (clinging) in the heart…” (KathU.2.3.14), says the scripture. This not only states the goal (in the next half of that mantra, “…then a mortal is now known to be the immortal. Here in the heart one attains brahman”), but also is directly experienced (dṛṣṭa, right now, not in the future, KathU.2.3.15).
Regarding, “When all the heart’s knots are broken” (KathU.2.3.15), the commentary supplies the word ‘desires’ as being the ‘knots’ here.
The word ‘kāma’ here means desires (icchās), such as repeatedly thinking ‘This and that should be mine,’ which is a mixing up between a notional-I (ahaṁkāra) and the conscious being that is oneself (cit-ātman), due to a lack of discernment (a-viveka, so desire here becomes a problem when it amounts to misidentification).
Not infusing (the reality of) one’s conscious being (cit-ātman) upon a (temporary) notional-I, and thus seeing (knowing) oneself as distinct (from that notion), then even while (the mind is) desiring any number of objects there is no conflict (bādha), because the knot (of identity) has been broken (i.e., the mind naturally desiring what satisfies the mind and body is not a problem, if one’s reality-identification is not imposed on such thoughts).
By force of prārabdha (fructifying karma), even if defective, desires can arise in one who has severed the knot. Even if you knew them to be largely defective (pāpa), for you there would be no dissatisfaction.
Like trees (naturally) arising and falling in a forest (where you have no ownership notions), the happening of desires which lack the backing of a notional-I and diseases, etc. of the body matter not in one’s conscious being.
(Doubt:) But isn’t that true even before the knots are severed? (Reply:) Sure, but don’t ever forget that! This alone is the severing of the knot. By that you become fulfilled (kṛtī-bhava, nothing more need be accomplished to be ever-satisfied).
But if the confused (mūḍhas) do not know this as a fact, then that is exactly what this knot (this misidentification) is, nothing else (it’s not lack of IQ). The only difference between a confused person and a wise person, is simply this severing of the knot (of identification).
In terms of pursuits or avoidances, there is not the least distinction in the bodies, senses, minds or intellects between those who do not know (this teaching) and those who do know.
The difference between the multitudes and those who are scriptural learned (śrotriyas) is due to the prior having not studied and the latter having studied (pāṭha-kṛta). In all other regards from foods onwards, there is no difference. This same reason applies here (between those who do not and who do know this teaching).
“(The guṇa-atīta, who is beyond the guṇas) is not displeased when they (the guṇas) wax, nor longs for them when they wane, and remains seemingly indifferent (udādīna-vat)” (BhG.14.22–3). This one is said to have severed the knot.
(Doubt:) Does (the Gītā) enjoin indifference? (Reply:) But then the word ‘-vat’ (‘seemingly’) would lose its meaning. (Doubt:) Maybe his body, etc. has lost functionality? (Reply:) But then he would simply be ‘sick’, not ‘wise’.
These intellectuals who think that knowledge of truth is a disease of consumption (kṣaya) have an overly clever intellect. What aren’t they capable of saying? (sarcasm)
(Doubt:) Doesn’t the Purāṇa (the Bhāgavata-Purāṇa) speak of a Jaḍa-Bharata and others who were completely withdrawn? (Reply:) But then haven’t you heard in the scripture (of wise ones who are), “laughing, playing, pleasuring…” (ChanU.8.12.3).
Jaḍa-Bharata and others never gave up food, etc., and remained somewhere like sticks and stones. Rather, they acted indifferent out of apprehension of getting attached.
Indeed, in this world, one who is attached (saṅgin) is troubled (because attachments by nature are fragile). One who is not attached (niḥ-saṅga) would enjoy an easier life. Therefore, give up attachment (identifications with things and others), by so choosing, one will always be happy (satisfied).
Not understanding the essence (the heart) of the scripture, the confused explain it in various other ways. But let the judgment of the confused be as it is. Now is told our final conclusion.
Mastery over one’s desires (vairāgya), knowledge (bodha, of the nature of oneself and reality), and sufficient retirement from activities (uparama) – these mutually assist each other, and are generally found together, but here and there separately too.
These three are different in terms of their origin, their nature, and their effect (and hence have their separate justifications). The distinction (a-saṁkara) of these is to be accordingly understood. The nature of distinguishing them is a goal of the scripture.
These three pertaining to the peculiar origin, etc. of vairāgya are: (its origin is) seeing the defect (doṣa-dṛṣṭi) in all things (bhogas), (its nature is) the desire to give them up (jihāsā), and (its effect is) non-dependence (a-dīnatā, no weakness, a-kātaratā) towards them.
These three (pertaining to the peculiar origin, etc.) of bodha are (respectively): (its origin is) the three-fold listening, etc. (śravaṇa-ādi, PancD.1.53–4), (its nature is) the discernment of the real from the unreal (tattva-mithyā-vivecana), and (its effect is) the non-arising of the knot (of confused identity).
These three distinctions (pertaining to the peculiar origin, etc.) of uparati (uparama) are (respectively): (its origin is) yama, etc. (all eight limbs of yoga, YS.2.29), (its nature is) mastery of the mind (dhī-nirodha, YS.1.2), and (its effect is) the wane of ordinary life (vyavahāra, i.e., sannyāsa, a life of renunciation).
The knowledge of the nature (tattva-bodha, of oneself and reality) is the primary, because it directly yields freedom (mokṣa). The other two, vairāgya and uparama, are aids (upakārins) to this knowledge.**(Vairāgya is the beginning value to establish this teaching as the only goal in life, while uparama may be a latter stage to remove remaining vāsanā obstacles, PancD.1.61 & 6.247, to knowledge, or a following lifestyle after gaining knowledge.)
These three values, if fully matured, are the result of great discipline (tapas), and are hindered by a defect (durita) somewhere, at sometime, in any one of these (values).
However, even though vairāgya and uparama are matured (pūrṇa), if knowledge is obstructed, then this person would not have freedom (mokṣa). On the strength of this one’s tapas (discipline, which yields helpful karma, through vairāgya and uparama), this person would just gain (a rebirth in) a more pleasant world (BhG.6.40–5).
However, if one’s knowledge is matured, still, if ever the other two are hindered, this one is certainly liberated, but visible suffering does not go away (because of durita from the other two).
The limit of vairāgya is when one considers the highest heaven (brahma-loka) like it was straw. The completion of knowledge is when there is the same amount of conviction that one is the limitless ātman as was once there towards one’s body.
The maximum limit (sīman) of uparama would be total forgetfulness like in deep sleep (where the outside activities are as if nothing, cv. vismṛtiPancD.6.14). Certainly in other points of reference there are intermediate degrees (of maturity in these three values, by which one can checkup on one’s progress).
Due to their different fructifying karma, the minds (of the knowers) will choose to act variously. Because of that, the learned should not confuse (their different behaviors) to be related to the intent of the scripture.
Let them act in whatever way according to their separate karma. But the knowledge (regarding the limitless reality as oneself, which is the one purport of the scripture) of each (of these knowers) cannot differ. So it is established that their freedom (mukti) also is the same.
(Like the variety of behaviors of the wise) The manifest universe (jagat-citra, the world of duality) is imposed on one’s consciousness by māyā, like a picture (citra) on canvas. Simply by dismissing (upekṣya, seeing beyond) that (māyā imposed manifestation, the glitter of duality), then consciousness alone remains (like the ever fresh, open canvas).
When the intelligent regularly study this ‘Citra-Dīpa’ chapter, even though still seeing the manifest universe (jagat-citra) the same as before (this knowledge), they are no longer deluded (PancD.6.4–8).