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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 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).
Similar is the dream state. Whereas a known object was stable (sthira, remained beyond the moment) in waking, is here 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 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) and thus the complete identity of the 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 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 is 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 nature of myself) is” and it (the consciousness nature of myself) 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) who 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 the one who is identified in that (causal body, i.e., having not been able to distinguish itself from its ignorant notions about itself) is called the ‘prājña’ (the knower consciousness, 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, 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). This (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) are born the five organs of action (karmendriyas, the powers of action) called: voicing (vāc, via vocal cords, etc.), handling (pāṇi, via hands, etc.), moving (pāda, via feet, legs), excreting (pāyu, via the anus, etc.), and procreating (upa-stha, via the penis, etc.).
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 the individual level (vyaṣṭhitā, awakened to the state of its mind) and the nature of the Lord in the form of Hiraṇya-garbha at the 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 our natures, sva-ātman, our 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 know 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), and 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 multiple, separate episodes of knowing different dreams before the waking day arrives) and may (in the dream) be a deity, animal, human, etc. (hence also the reason for the plural being used here). All of these (individual knowers: deep sleeper, waker, and 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 known as 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). 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 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 its 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 continued presence anvaya (of the self, 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 appreciates 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 the upanāyana ceremonial waistband is separated with care) from the muñja grass, so the ātman is carefully separated with (the help of this teaching and) 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 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.
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 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, 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 the 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, yet cannot permanently remain with the students every-day all-day, because it is emotional. 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 their being and not rejected because of their low self opinions about their body, emotions, and intellect.)
The same as in declarations such as, ‘That (person in the past location) is this (present person, Devadatta)’, 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, their non-distinction is indicated, as brahman only, which is their (compatible nature as) existence-consciousness-fullness.
(Objection) If the nature of what is being indicated 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, then –) If (brahman) having no features can be figured out (vikalpa, featured) (by the senses or mind), 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). (However) both (this universe and ultimate reality) is instead to be understood (through the authority of this scriptural teaching) that all this (relative and thus not absolutely real universe) is (superimposed upon) my very (undismissible, definitely real) nature (sva-rūpa, as existence-consciousness, and, by scripture, 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 this (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).
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 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 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, true knowledge (a-parokṣaṃ sat 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 (i.e., as oneself) knowledge of brahman (limitless existence-consciousness), 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) (indirectly) through words (sābda) – now, like a fire, completely burns up the pāpa (as all karma, good or bad, keeps 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 maya 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 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, in that they cannot perceive themselves nor each other), each one is only inferred (by our mind). Generally they 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 the sound and light waves enter inward to the receptor apparatuses, the mind starts from you out through respective sense organ to its object, which is indeed our experience.)
(Also the senses move inward, such as) when the hearing (golaka, the ears) is plugged, an interior sound is heard during breathing. 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, 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 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.)
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 arive 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, that this is ‘my non-attachment’, ‘I am desirous’) 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 (mind, intellect, ego), etc., 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 name and form) is (of three types): sva-gata (present within itself), such as of a tree from 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) which express oneness (aikya, no differentiation within itself), restriction (avadhāraṇa, no differentiation from a similar), and denial of a second thing (dvaita-pratiṣedha, 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 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 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 display a lot of fear.
The teacher Gauḍa-pāda talked about the great fear of some yogins 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 only the witness) cannot be an object of thought.
These Buddhists, 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, 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 without a substratum.
(Objection:) The (Veda text’s) two words ‘sat’ ‘āsīt’ (‘reality was’) either refer to two different entities (śabdārthas, hence there is duality), or the expression refers to no difference (and hence is meaningless tautology). (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).
An opening (question, pūrva-pakṣa) and its reply arise within our duality accustomed language. Within a (supposed) non-duality 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:) Upon dissolution all the way to the atomic elements (paramāṇus) then the earth, etcetera may cease to exist, but how can I have arrive at a thought 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 (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, before its effects, no one knows any power exists somewhere.
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.
(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 (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 of that non-addition māyā.)
Everywhere, a śakti (any subtle power) itself cannot count as being separate from that (existence, whether the 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…” (ChanU.3.12.6) are only this one self-revealing (svayaṃ-prabhu, sat). Thus, the scripture reveals māyā as only being 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., is beyond what is the limit of the perceivable, Rig Veda 10.129 & SvetU.3.14); and “(The ultimate Lord that oneself is) lacks change in that way (by being beyond the universe of change)” (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 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 thought to exist). 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 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 nature.
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). 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 (māyā, 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 for you this (correctly) known difference has arisen in your mind (through śravaṇa), then tell me, is its lack of staying put for you due to inattention (an-aikāgrya) or due to some remaining doubt?
If 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 a 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, 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 for the person unexposed to this teaching of the truth (of space and of reality), yet now for this (person 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 space.
When one’s effortless knowledge (vāsanā, 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. In that (māyā), space is only one part. And in that (space), vāyu (wind or air, the element that expresses as movement) is figured to only be one part.
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 the previous three), vāyu also gains the three natures of existence, māyā, and space (i.e., is not non-reality, but unreal, and has dimension and manifests to our senses as sound).
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) does belong 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). 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:) If because of being distinct from reality (an element, such as vāyu) is not real (a-sattva), why not, because it is distinct (as a product) from unmanifest māyā and thus not being (unreal) māyā, then it is (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 distinction 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?
What is real is brahman. Whatever else remains (śiṣṭoṃśa), such as (the element) space or air are just like (unreal) māyā. By making the unreality (mithyātva) of (an element, such as) air a lasting impression (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 (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 the prior, such as fire is formed limited from a tenth part of air (and further down to one’s infinitesimal tiny body).
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 properties from existence, māyā, space, and air, the natural property (nijo guṇaḥ) of fire is form (rūpa, i.e., because of its light we can see 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 the logical co-absence) and it exists only when there is reality (the co-presence, PancD.1.37), then water (i.e., liquidity), being a tenth (a fraction, of fire, i.e., liquidity is there only above absolute zero temperature, while 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).
Water being existent yet unreal, having perceptibility to the sense of hearing and touch, as well as having 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 has the unreality of that (māyā) apart from reality 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, has visual form (rūpaka), and taste, which belong (respectively) to the other (elements). Its (quality) of having a smell properly only belongs to itself. Reality should be distinguished (from these elements).
Considered apart from reality, the unreality (mithyā, ‘falsely taken as real’, appearance mixed up with one’s reality) 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 all be as so many (theories – 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) 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 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 at 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, ‘the last moment’ means at death, according to common parlance. Even at that time, there is no return of the delusion which had already left (i.e., no rebirth).
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 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 (as it were) from 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, not the seer).
The (mind) which creates the ideas of ‘I’ and ‘my’ towards this body, as well as towards house, etc., remains deluded while undergoing various states of desire, etc. (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 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 third and fourth 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’): When all entities from the (waking world) deha to the ānanda in the sleep world (nidrā), nothing else would remain which could be experienced as oneself (ātmatva).
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., sweetness to sugar, etcetera).
Even without another flavorer (arpaka, imparter), these (flavors) 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 is shinning’ (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 to say that one does not know whether ‘I have a tongue’, 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 this (brahma-ātman) is 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 perishing)? 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’). Only the verbiage differs, in as much as 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 is not removed (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, it being 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 (such as PancD.1.8).
Being pervasive (vyāpitva) this (brahman-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), is is not limited as an object (vastutaḥ). This is the three-fold limitlessness in regard to brahman.
Since place, time, and another object are imposed (by us, by our thinking them as real) due to māyā (the cosmic appearance, PancD.1.16), then whatever is made from them (i.e., this body here 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.
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 associations (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 it 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” (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, “ ‘Let Me be many. Let Me be born.’ Having thus contemplated, He manifested all this” (TaitU.2.6.1) 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 to become many (names and forms), and created energy (tajas), water, food, and those born from eggs, etcetera (womb, etc.)” (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 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 each body as the jīva (individual), 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).
The caitanya (consciousness) which is the abode (adhiṣṭhāna, of everything), plus (as an upādhi, limiting attribute) this subtle body (liṅga-deha, the kośa, less the physical body) and the reflection (the limited presence) of consciousness (cit-chāyā) within that subtle body – that 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), like a young woman 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). 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, sister-in-law, 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 individuals) be different, still the form (of the object of these perspective) 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 also only mental (mano-maya, and is totally affected 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 external object is also there to affect the state of the mind).
(Relpy:) 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, i.e., manas-maya, PancD.1.20 & PancD.3.17, 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 was 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 understanding form (dhī-maya, i.e., buddhi-maya, PancD.1.20, the understanding of that being a ‘pot’ at that place and time, which remains after the initial perception) is that which is illumined by the witness (the sākṣin, the jīva-ātman, internally PancD.3.8, about which one has purposes, desires, etcetera).
By the logic of co-presence and co-absence (anyaya-vyatiraka, 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 (our mental constructions) are there is there joys and sorrows, and when they are not there then this duality (dvaya, pairs of joys and sorrows, etcetera) are 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 mans’ cause for bondage and freedom” AmBU.2).
(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, The 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, 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 the 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. (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 oppose it?
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 (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 (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 (a-śāstrīya, lifestyle contrary to the teaching) ought to be avoided (heya). Habituated to 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 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. (For the knowledge you have gained) you sir would only be satisfied from 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 is 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).
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 happy 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).
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).
That by which one sees, 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 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.
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,” ‘You are that’, 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).
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).