Format by A.K. Aruna, 2020 ver.1.0: UpasanaYoga. If downloaded, requires installed Devanāgarī Siddhanta1.ttf font, downloadable from UpasanaYoga. If run from UpasanaYoga website, it alternatively can use online Web Font. Any Devanāgarī in parentheses () is an alternate reading of text in Red. Top button "Collapse all panels" contracts the view in which individual items can be re-expanded, or again the top button "Restore all panels" reloads page to original view. This is the text called Pañca-Daśī (Having Fifteen), a later work by Swami Vidyaranya. The English translations marked with an ‘** ’ are adopted from Swami Swahananda of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai. Currently, there is an old pdf of the text with a Sanskrit commentary downloadable from here. For Hindi knowers, there is an online copy of a Hindi commentary of Panchadasi by Pandit Ramavatar Vidyabhaskar, which I was able to use to fix some typographical or printing errors, or maybe editing choices, for some words in several of the verses.
by A.K. Aruna
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🔗ओं, स॒ ह ना॑व् अवतु। स॒ ह नौ॑ भुनक्तु। स॒ह वी॒र्यं॑ करवावहै। ते॒ज॒स्विना॒व् अधी॑तम् अस्तु॒ मा वि॑द्विषा॒वहै᳚। ओं शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॒ शान्तिः॑॥ Om; tad, ha, asmad, √av. Tad, ha, asmad, √bhuj. Saha, vīrya, √kṛ. Tejasvin, adhīta, √as, mā, vi-√dviṣ. Om, śānti, śānti, śānti. सः ह नै अवतु। सः ह नौ भुनक्तु। सह वीर्यं करवावहै। तेजस्विनौ [=तेजस्विनोः आवयोः] अधीतं अस्तु (अथवा, नौ अधीतं तेजस्वि अस्तु)। मा विद्विषावहै। ओम् शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
Salutation to the (undefilable) lotus-like feet of my guru, Śrī Śaṅkarānanda, whose only job (karma) is to (teach others to) swallow the crocodile that is this grand delusion (mahā-moha, the māyā which is mistaking the unreal as real and the real as unsatisfying) along with its effects (sa-vilāsa, the mind’s notional-I, attachment, aversion, and fear).
This discussion regarding reality and truth (tattva) is presented for the easy understanding of those whose minds are least defiled via attendance (seva, service and studentship) at the two lotus-like feet of their (guru).
The knowable (vedyas, the sense objects) beginning with sound, touch, etc. are (mistaken as) separate (from each other, i.e., are many) in waking state due to their distinguishing characteristics (vaicitrya), whereas the knower (saṃvid, the I, the consciousness) of these which is distinct from all of them does not differ (i.e., is not many) because of its singular nature (eka-rūpya).
Similarly in the dream state. Whereas a known object was stable (sthira, remained beyond the moment) in waking, here it is unstable (only as long as its dream thought). Thus there is a difference (in nature) between them (the dream from the waking object). (But) the knower (saṃvid, in both states) having the same nature (eka-rūpā) does not differ (i.e., there is only one I, distinct from those many and different objects).
For the one waking from deep sleep, there is remembrance (smṛti) that (in dreamless, deep sleep) there was cognition of ignorance (tamas-bodha) in deep sleep (in the form of ‘I knew nothing,’ even time and space disappear there). A (remembrance always) has as its object a (prior) cognition. At that time (in deep sleep), that cognition is (in the form of) tamas (complete ignorance).
That cognition (bodha, the consciousness, the awareness, the I) is distinct from its object (the complete ignorance in deep sleep), but, like in dream, does not differ from itself. Thus the knower (the consciousness) remains one only in the three states (sthāna-traya, the waking, dream, and deep sleep states) in that same way (as distinct from the changing, but itself unchanging) throughout the day.
Throughout the countless months, years, ages and world cycles, both past and future, it neither rises (udeti) nor sets (astam eti). This one consciousness (saṃvid) is self shining (svayaṃ-prabhā, and hence, self revealing).
This (knower, cognition, consciousness) is oneself (ātman). It is ultimate fullness (para-ānanda), because it is the natural abode (āspada) of our greatest love (para-preman). Love is seen in the self as, “May I indeed never cease to be,” “May I always be.”
Only for the sake of oneself is that love (preman) directed towards another, thus love towards oneself is never for the sake of another. Therefore, that (love in oneself) is the highest. Hence the nature of the ultimate fullness (parama-ānandatā) belongs only to the self (ātman, as its abode).
In this way, by this logic, existence-consciousness-fullness (sat-cit-ānanda) is the nature of oneself. Similarly (as existence-consciousness-fullness) is the ultimate brahman (ultimate reality) taught in the śrutis (the Upaniṣads) as the complete identity of these two (oneself and limitless existence-consciousness-fullness).
If the ultimate fullness nature (parama-ānandatā) of the self was not evident (a-bhāna), there would be no ultimate love. (Yet) if it was (clearly) evident, there would be no attachment (spṛhā) towards the objects of experience (apart from oneself). Therefore, even though (self) evident, it is not (clearly) evident (i.e., it is normally misplaced upon objects of desire).
Like the chanting voice of one’s child amongst a group of students, even though (the ultimate fullness nature of the self) is evident, in regard to being (distinctly) evident (bhānasya prati), it is (as well) proper to take (yujyate) it as not (clearly) evident (a-bhāna), because of obstruction (pratibandha, because of its misplacement on objects of experience).
Toward any object is applicable the experience, “It (the existence) is” and it (the awareness) is evident” (asti-bhāti), (yet) there is an obstruction said to be the rejecting of this (tan-nirasya) and imposing its opposite (experience, “I am not their existence” and “I am not their appearance”).
The reason for that (obstruction) in regard to hearing the voice of one’s child is the mingling together as the same (samāna-abhihāra, with the other voices). Here, (the reason) is beginningless (uncaused) ignorance (a-vidyā, ignorance of one’s nature as the only limitless existence, consciousness). That alone is the obstruction leading to confusion (that things exist and appear independent of my existence-consciousness, i.e., that they independently exist and are not me).
Prakṛti (mother nature) consists of the three guṇas (attributes): tamas (density, ignorance, etc.), rajas (activity, agitation, etc.), and sattva (clarity, knowledge, etc.). It is imbued with a reflection (pratibimba, semblance, appearance) of brahman consisting of consciousness-fullness. This prakṛti has two forms (as follows).
From the perspective of its pure sattva alone, it (prakṛti) is called ‘māyā’ (appearance, in every mind, presenting a varied world). From the perspective of its impurity (a-viśuddhi, with rajas and tamas also), it is called ‘a-vidyā’ (individual ignorance, taking all these appearances as real). ‘Īśvara’ (the Lord) is the (brahman) presence (bimba) in that (sattva only aspect) māyā, controlling (vaśī-kṛtya, as pure intelligence, cosmic order) that (prakṛti), and (thus) is all-knowing (sarva-jña).
But the other (the jīva, the individual, the brahman presence in a-vidyā) is under the spell of a-vidyā, and, because of the variety (of rajas and tamas mixtures) in that (a-vidyā) is taken as many (as a plurality of jīvas). This (a-vidyā) is the causal body (kāraṇa-śarīra), and is the one who is identified in that (causal body). That is, (having not been able to distinguish itself from its ignorant notions about itself) it is called the ‘prājña’ (the knower consciousness, and in a daily context it is the deep sleeper).**(But contextually here, it is this knower consciousness immersed in a-vyakta, the unmanifest, ready to awaken by its karma to a continuance of its jiva-hood, its individuality, once the world of experience re-manifests.)
Per the (karma) order wielded by the Lord, for the (earned) experiences of that (jīva), from (the then unbalanced three guṇas wherein) tamas predominance of the aspects of prakṛti were born (in their subtle form) the elements (bhūtas): space (viyat, ‘reaching everywhere’, dimension), wind (pavana, movement), fire (tejas, heat and light), water (ambu, fluidity, chemical bonding remaining while in movement), and earth (bhū, solidity, granularity, gravity).
From the sattva (knowledge) aspect of each of these five (elements) are indeed born separately (kramāt – not as a whole) the five sensory organs (indriyas) called: hearing (from the sattva, knowing, aspect of the subtle element space, dimension), touching (from the sattva aspect of the subtle element wind, movement), (similarly) seeing, tasting, and smelling.
From (the sattva aspect of) all these (elements – as a whole, not separately) is (born) the antaḥ-karaṇa (the internal organ, the mind in all its facets) with different forms and functions (vṛtti-bheda, different thoughts that make up the mind). That (internal organ) is of two types. One type is called the manas (the mind in charge of the senses) where the thoughts have the nature of vimarśa (examination, consideration, reflection, i.e., fact finding the pros and cons of what the senses present while trying to make some sense out of the data). The other type is buddhi (the intellect, the mind in charge of knowledge) where the thoughts have the nature of niścaya (ascertainment, decision, conviction).
From the rajas (activity) aspect of the five (elements) separately (kramāt – not as a whole, SVSSS.375 & TatB.51) are born the five organs of action (karmendriyas, the powers of action) called: voicing (vāc, via vocal cords, etc., from space), handling (pāṇi, via hands, etc., from wind), moving (pāda, via feet, legs, from fire), excreting (pāyu, via the anus, etc., from water), and procreating (upa-stha, via the penis, etc., from earth).
From (the rajas aspect of) all these (elements) as a whole (sahita – not separately) comes the prāṇa (life energy, animating energy), which is of five types due to different forms and functions (vṛtti-bheda) called: outward energy (prāṇa, via outward breathing, etc.), downward energy (apāna, via inward breathing, etc.), assimilating energy (samāna, via digestion, etc.), upward energy (upāna, via retching, ejecting the prāṇa from the body, etc.), and circulating energy (vyāna, via circulatory system, etc.).
The manas (the fact gathering mind), buddhi (the intellect), along with the five each organs of sensing (five buddhi-indriyas) and of action (five karma-indriyas), plus the five prāṇas (life energies) – as seventeen make up the (jīva’s, the individual’s) subtle body (sūkṣma-śarīra), also called the liṅga-śarīra (the body where the self gets attached, is made known, and where a live individual can be inferred in an entity).
Through identification there (in the subtle body that travels in and out of waking and dream experiences, as well as from the unmanifest) this prājña (the knower in deep sleep, as well as the knower in the unmanifest, PancD.1.17) attains taijasatva (the nature of having its mind ‘lit-up’) at its (tayoḥ) individual level (vyaṣṭhitā, awakened to the state of its mind) and the nature of the Lord in the form of Hiraṇya-garbha at its (tayoḥ) cosmic level (samaṣṭitā).
The Lord (as Hiraṇya-garbha, the initial cosmic person) is the totality (samaṣṭi) of all this (which has becomes this universe) due to the sense of identification (tādātmya-vedana) in all of their natures, sva-ātman, their subtle bodies, or, rather in His cosmic subtle body). The one who is other than that one, though, in the absence of that (identification in the total) they (the wise) call the individual knower (vyaṣṭi-saṃjña, who knows little, simply by this one’s identification only with this individual body, instead of with the totality).
To provide objects of experiences for those (individual subtle bodies), and provide for births into more fit receptacles of these experiences (punar-bhogya-bhoga-āyatana-janmas), the Lord (bhagavat) mixed each one (of these elements), beginning with space, five-fold*.*(Making each of those original elements only predominantly that element with minority mixtures of the other four elements, which in turn makes these composite subtle element mixtures into gross elements perceptible to all these subtle body individuals. As an example, the subtle principal of space is dimension, whereas our common parlance of experience and understanding of space is mostly the outer space beyond the atmosphere, which has relative minor percentages of movement, heat and light, liquidity, and solidity. Currently outer space is understood, per Wikipedia, as a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles, predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, neutrinos, dust, and cosmic rays, and having a baseline temperature of about 2.7 °C above absolute zero temperature. Similarly, the subtle principle of wind is movement, whereas our experience and understanding of wind is the atmosphere as being predominantly movement or circulation, and relatively less amount of dimension compared to outer space, as well as of the other three elements present in the atmosphere. This is certainly a reasonably intelligent understanding of our entire universe, not displaced, though for other purposes elaborated upon by our current sciences. It’s good enough here to then understand how this universe can be completely subordinated because of its dependencies to the more unifying principles first of my mind, then the Lord’s mind [Hiraṇya-garbha], and finally the one existence-consciousness.)
(The five-folding to make one gross element is) proportioning into two portions and then the first portion into four portions*, so that the second (predominant) portion is (the one subtle element) itself alone and each of the other four portions are the other (subtle elements). From this combination (yogana) there are five (gross elements) each consisting of five (subtle elements, with each gross element being called its predominant subtle element component).*(The typically employed literal terms ‘division’, ‘halves’, and ‘quarters’ tend to confuse and limit this process in explaining the varieties in the universe we experience. Listening to this tends to make the eyes gloss over, and presenters can’t refrain from drawing static charts on the page or the white board. The confusion is that dividing an element would leave a portion of itself in the first half, but, not mentioned, that half loses its element and then is replaced by quarter, at this point eighth, portions with each of the other elements. The end result would be only five gross elements of exactly half itself and one-eighth each the other four, leaving no variety within each gross element. The better understanding is to take ‘into two’ as describing a predominance of itself for each element, with the balance ‘into four’ as minority portions for the other elements. So we don’t necessarily have five unique gross elements, but a spectrum of higher and lesser predominance of dimension, movement, etc. in different locations which, through our senses, the mind then names as more or less spacious, more or less gaseous, etc.)
As these (five subtle elements) was the source (aṇḍa, the cosmic egg). In that (egg), the universe (bhuvana) arose, which then became the abode for the (earned) experiences (of the jīva, the prājña, individuals awaiting in the unmanifest for this universe to manifest, as well as the knower in deep sleep who can awaken to the day). Hiraṇya-garbha (the knower reflected in the total subtle body) is then present in this (cosmic) gross (element body, who can then be called Virāj as the knower therein).* In the (individual’s) body it would be called the vaiśvā-nara (the common-world knower, the individual who can now experience the common manifest world, who awakens to the manifest day of experiences).*(The subtle elements and Hiraṇya-garbha do not transform into the gross elements and Virāj, but persist throughout the universe manifestation. All these are there as the Lord itself which are distinguished only because the limited perspectives of individual knowers who need to manufacture or hear explanations for why and how is all this. The answer manufactured here is directed to mature adults, but is not completely unlike the answer to children that it was a stork who brought you to us – it is what the recipient can find helpful for the time being).
(This same one, at the individual level) comes to be (called) the taijasas (the knowers who only light the mind within, the dreamers; the switch to plural here may be due to multiple, separate episodes of knowing different dreams before the waking day arrives) and they become known as the viśva (the pervading one, the dreamer manifesting throughout inside the dream) as a deity, animal, human, etc. (hence also the reason for the plural being used here). All of these (individual knowers: the deep sleeper, the waker, and the dreamer) experience (through the senses and mind) only the external (sense objects and thoughts in the mind) and are without true knowledge of the (knower) within (as being the same knower as Hiraṇya-garbha).
These (jīvas) do action to enjoy and enjoy to do action. Like worms swiftly moving in a river from one whirlpool to another, these individuals move from birth to birth (janman), never gaining peace (nirvṛti).
Due to the maturation of their good karma, a few (worms) are rescued (from the river) by someone who is a reservoir of compassion (karuṇā-nidhi). Gaining this shade of a tree on the bank, they rest in that pleasure.
Similarly, (a few jīvas by their good karma) gain this teaching (upadeśa) from a teacher (ācārya) who knows (as clear as seeing) this truth. Through the discernment (viveka) of (the following) pañca-kośa (the five levels, where entrapment is to be avoided), they attain ultimate peace (nivṛti, release from the force of the currents of saṃsāra).
These five kośas (locations where one identifies with and holds on to one’s elemental gross and subtle body, literally ‘treasure chests’) are: this (body made of) food (anna), energy (prāṇa), mind (manas, the examining aspect of the mind), knowledge (buddhi, the knowing aspect of the mind, and the home of one’s ego), and pleasure (ānanda). Trapped by these as though they were one’s very self, and oblivious (to one’s true nature) they undergo (remain in) saṃsāra (cycles of rebirth).
The gross body (sthūla deha) born of the five-folded gross (the tamas aspect of the) elements (pañcī-kṛta-bhūtas, PancD.1.27) is known as the anna (the food body). Whereas, within the liṅga (the subtle, PancD.1.23) body is the prāṇa (kośa) consisting of the rajas (aspect of all the five subtle elements) in the form of the (five) prāṇas, along with the (five) karmendriyas (PancD.1.21).
The mind having the nature of examining (vimarśa-ātman) (born) of the sātvaka (subtle aspect of the five elements), along with the (five) organs of perceptual knowledge, is known as the mental (mano-maya, kośa). The intellect (dhī) having the nature of resolve, also along with those (organs of perceptual knowledge), is known as the intellectual (vijñāna-maya, kośa).
The sattva (aspect of all the five subtle elements) in the causal body (kāraṇa, the unmanifest basis of this universe) is with modification of moda (degrees of pleasures), etc. (i.e., priya-moda-pramoda, TaitU.2.5.1), and is known as ānanda-maya (the kośa consisting of pleasure). Due to identification (tād-ātmya) with each one of the kośas (locations where identification mistakes are made) then the self would be assumed to have the natures of each one of them (tad-tad-maya, ‘I am skinny’, ‘I am sick’, I am unsure’, ‘I am not smart’, ‘I am not very happy’, and so on).
By discerning (the one essential nature) of each of the five kośas through anvaya-vyatireka (co-presence and co-absence methodology, which is discerning the essential, material or efficient cause that allows an effect to be present and without which an effect would be absent), then one draws out (of that self-kośa identification) just one’s self (as the only true nature of this identification complex) and arrives at limitless brahman (limitless reality-consciousness as my essential nature, not the limited locations it appears to be though mistaken discernment).
In dream (svapna), wherein there is the non-appearance (a-bhāna) of this physical body, the continued presence (anvaya) of ātman (existence-awareness, now with a dream body instead within the dream) is (said to be) the anvaya (co-presence, of the self, independent from the appearance of one’s physical body). (Whereas) the non-appearance of the physical body while that (self) is manifestly present (in dream) is (said to be) its vyatireka (co-absence, of the physical body while the self independently continues).
(Similarly) in deep sleep (suṣupti), wherein there is the non-appearance (even) of the subtle body (liṅga, the prāṇa, manas, etc., PancD.1.23), the continued presence of ātman (existence-awareness, with neither a waking nor a dream body) is the anvaya. Whereas, the non-appearance of the subtle body while that (self) is manifestly present is said to be its vyatireka (co-absence, of the subtle body while the self independently continues).
Those (subtle body) kośas consisting of prāṇa, manas, and intellect (dhī) are distinguished by this discernment (viveka) from that (co-present self). In that case, they are also distinguished (from each other also) simply by the difference in their natures and their location (avasthā, i.e., separately within the subtle body and together only in waking and dream, not deep sleep).
Whereas, in samādhi* (contemplation where there is only awareness that is oneself and no separation of knower-known) which is also without suṣupti (deep sleep), there is the anvaya, (continued presence, of the self, of existence-awareness alone). And the non-appearance of deep sleep (as well as of the causal ignorance of the prājña, PancD.1.28) while the self is manifestly present is (said to be) its vyatireka (co-absence, of the unmanifest, as well as one’s causal body without modification of moda, degrees of pleasure PancD.1.36, while the self independently continues).*(Samādhi is a term popularized in yoga treaties, and is not found in any of the twelve Upaniṣads: Iśā, Kena, Kaṭha, Praśna, Muṇḍaka, Māṇḍūkya, Taittirīya, Aitareya, Śvetāśvatara, Kaivalya, Bṛhadāraṇyaka, or Chāndogya. It is properly, within the Upaniṣad teaching tradition, taken as a concluding part of nididhyāsana, contemplation, which occurs in Bṛhadāraṇyaka as nididhyātavya, BrhU.4.5.5–6. Nididhyāsana is the repeated attempts to bring the teaching to the mind. When the mind in nididhyāsana eventually either drops cognizance of a separation between meditator-meditating-meditated, or comes to, at least for a time, doubtlessly appreciate the unreality of a distinction of meditator-meditating-meditated, even though they still appear in the mind, this may be called samādhi within nididhyāsana. And the Bhagavad Gītā sanctions this use of the term samādhi, BhG.4.24. Even the yoga tradition acknowledges that one arrives at samādhi through dhāraṇā and dhyāna, YS.3.1–2. We can take nididhyāsana, including the more general term dhyāna, as encompassing dhāraṇā, dhyāna, and samādhi, when the contemplated relates to oneself as brahman.)
Like the internal pith (iṣīkā, for making the upanāyana ceremonial waistband is separated with care) from the muñja grass, so the ātman is carefully separated by the wise (dhīras) with (the help of this teaching and supporting) logic (yukti) from (the kośas of) the three bodies (the gross, subtle, and causal bodies). Then one is (as though) reborn as the ultimate brahman alone (no longer limited by these kośas).
In this way is manifestly taught (saṃbhāvitā) with (the help of) logic one’s identity with the para-ātman (unlimited self) from the a-para-ātman (imagined limited self, as these kośas). (Similarly) this (identity) is indicated (lakṣyate) by eliminating (unequal) aspects (bhāga-tyāga) through the (mahā-)vākyas (pithy declarations from the Upaniṣads), such as ‘tat tvam asi’ (‘that you are’), etc. (see PancD.5)
By the word ‘tad’ (‘that’) is referenced brahman which has taken on māyā through her (predominantly) tamas (darkness) aspect which would be the material cause (upādāna) of the universe and through her pure sattva (knowledge) aspect which would be the intelligent cause (nimitta, of the universe).
By the word ‘tvam’ (‘you’) is referenced that same ultimate brahman, whenever it has taken on (māyā’s) sattva (knowledge aspect) mixed up (malina, with rajas and tamas, and thus limited) and (thus) defiled with desires and activities (to fulfill them), etc.
But eliminating these three features (tāmasī māyā upādānam plus the śuddha-sattvā māyā nimittam, and malina-sattvā māyā dūṣitā) that are incompatible with each other, no distinction (between tat and tvam, the Lord and myself) is indicated by this mahā-vākya (‘tat tvam asi’), which is their (compatible nature as) existence-consciousness-fullness (sat-cit-ānanda)*.*(The term ‘ānanda’ is equivalent to an-anta meaning ‘limitless’. To mistranslate ‘ānanda’ as ‘bliss’ is to frankly confuse it with ‘ānanda-maya’ PancD.1.36, as a high degree of pleasure, which modern teachers can successfully employ to market their emotional healing techniques. But such a ‘bliss’ cannot permanently remain with the student, every-day all-day, because it is emotional. Permanency can never be attributed to emotions. Permanency can only be brought about by knowledge, because it is factual. Nevertheless, one has to be emotionally stable for this knowledge to assimilate to the core of one’s being and not rejected because of one’s low self opinions about the body, emotions, and intellect.)
The same as in declarations such as, ‘That (past location Devadatta person) is this (present Devadatta person)’, by eliminating the two (incompatible) features (bhāgayoḥ tyāgena), in the form of ‘that’ and ‘this’, then the one basis (āśraya, ‘is Devadatta’) is indicated.
Eliminating (negating) both māyā and a-vidya (the cosmic and the not-knowing-individual) upādhis (apparently limiting adjuncts) of the Lord and the jīva (respectively), their non-distinction (a-khaṇḍa) is indicated as brahman only, which is their (compatible nature as) existence-consciousness-fullness.
(Objection:) If the nature of what is being indicated (lakṣyatva) is sa-vikalpa (having apparent features, the upādhis, not its real, essential nature), then the indicated lacks (independent) reality (apart from those features). But if the nature of what is being indicated is nir-vikalpa (having no apparent features), then (the indicated) is neither seen (dṛṣṭa, to the senses) nor (logically) possible (sambhavin, to the mind).
(Reply, assuming the above two objections are true:) If (brahman) having no features (nir-vikalpa) can (by the senses or mind) be figured out (vikalpa, can be featured), then this starts out (as an unresolvable) contradiction (vyāhati). If (brahman) having features can be figured out, then there will be (various logical fallacies, such as) anyatra-an-avasthā (mutual dependence, i.e., if the known features are dependent upon an unknown brahman, then the features are not fully known, and may themselves be equally unreal, if brahman happens to be unreal) or ātma-āśraya (self dependence, i.e., if brahman is completely independent from the features, then the features will tell us nothing about an unknown brahman), etc.
This same (idaṃ samam, uncertainty would then apply) towards any object (vastu) having a quality, having an action, having a category, having a substance, and having a relationship (i.e., the relative things of the world would only be relatively known). Hence, it is instead to be understood (through the authority of the scriptural teaching) that all this (relative and thus not absolutely real universe) is (superimposed) upon my very (undismissible, definitely real) nature (sva-rūpa, by experience as existence-consciousness, and by scripture, as limitless).
When the reality of the self is untouched by either (the presence of superimposed) attributes or the lack of them, then the nature of being attributed, of being logically indicated, of having any relationships, etc. are all assumptions (kalpatā vṛttis, imposed by our mind on one’s self, the knower of the mind).
Thus, what is called śravaṇa (listening to the teaching) involves scrutiny as to its meaning intended by these statements (mahā-vākyas). Whereas, manana (understanding) should involve scrutiny as to its validity (towards oneself and one’s life) by means of logic (yukti).
What indeed is called nididhyāsana (contemplation) is the abidance (eka-tānatva) of a steadied mind upon the doubtless meaning arrived at by these two (śravaṇa and manana).
In stages (kramāt, where initially one starts with a distinction of knower-knowing-known), eliminating (the notion of a distinction) as an agent and the action of meditating, where the mind, like a flame protected from the (vacillations of the) wind, has as its scope only the one dhyeya (the contemplated, self as limitless existence-consciousness, unswayed by doubts), is called samādhi (staying put only in oneself).
Although, at that time (initially as an experience, YS.3.9 & 1.46, before assimilated knowledge, PancD.1.62 & YS.3.8) this flow of thoughts, whose scope is only the self, are not (individually) known (i.e., even though they are there, they amount only to a single experiential quietude in oneself), and they, after one has arisen from being thus immersed (samutthita), are inferred to be there from a memory (of that quietude in the self, i.e., whose distinction from the quietude of deep sleep is that one entered with and emerged with a certain knowledge of oneself, unlike sleep where one starts from a forgetting of oneself).
The continuous flow (anuvṛtti, of thoughts on the same object during samādhi) is by previous effort (in śravaṇa, manana, and nididhyāsana to arrive at samādhi) and (then during the samādhi) by the assistance of latent tendencies (saṃskāras, in the unconscious mind, YS.3.10) created by repeated practice and (retained) as one’s unseen (karma, even from prior births).
This very same idea, Lord (Kṛṣṇa) pointed out to Arjuna in various ways by such statements, ‘Like the (flame of an) oil lamp in a windless place’ (BhG.6.18–9).
Here in beginningless saṃsāra are accumulated (sañcita, in one’s unconsciousness) countless karmas (as latent tendencies to later manifest). By this (śravaṇa, manana, and nididhyāsana, leading to samādhi) those (latent tendencies that are unhelpful, kliṣṭa, YS.1.5) are kept in remission (vilayaṃ yānti), and there arises (to the fore) pure (helpful sattva) dharma (supporting karma).
Experts in yoga call this samādhi a rain-cloud of dharma (YS.4.29), because it pours countless showers of immortal dharma (karma that relieves and helps you get out of the mortality of saṃsāra).
By that (dharma-megha, a blessing of the teaching), one brings about the complete abatement (discount, as to not affecting one’s self), by its very root (which is ignorance of one’s real nature), of one’s accumulated (sañcaya) karma, called puṇya-pāpa (favorable and unfavorable), which (one carries around) as a pool of vāsanās (in the citta, baggage, of one’s subtle body).
The true (sat) words of the teaching (vākya), freed from obstacles (of ambiguity and doubt, through śravaṇa and manana. respectively), which previously were viewed as parokṣa (beyond the scope of one’s senses), now bears fruit (prasūyate) as direct knowledge (a-parokṣam bodham, wherein the ‘experience’ of samādhi amounts to direct evidence that action and the mind are not required for this peace in oneself that one always seeks), like āmalaka fruit (the Indian gooseberry) in the hand (is directly, not remotely, known).
The assimilated knowledge (vijñāna) of brahman (limitless existence-consciousness, i.e., as oneself), which was (previously) indirect (parokṣa, as belonging to the Lord) and which was introduced by a teacher (deśika-pūrva, who can only point to the truth, not ‘give’ you the truth) through words (sābda, i.e., indirectly) – now, like a fire, completely burns up the pāpa (all karma, good or bad, that kept you in cycles of rebirths) committed prior to this knowledge.
The assimilated knowledge (vijñāna), having the nature of not being out of reach of one’s experience (a-parokṣa), which was introduced by a teacher (as someone required to guide and clarify your way in the scripture) through their words (sābda), like the bright light of the sun, (leads you) out of the darkness of ignorance that is the material cause of saṃsāra (unbecoming becoming).
Thus, one starts distinguishing through tattva-viveka (discernment of reality, from ignorance, from māyā and her effects, such as the pañca-koṣas) and begins to settle the instructed mind (in that reality). Before long, the retained notions of bondage come to an end and the person attains the ultimate abode (paraṃ padam, brahman only as oneself).
Since that (brahman), which is said to be non-dual reality according to scripture (śruta), can be known by distinguishing (it) from the five elements (pañca-bhūta-viveka), then the nature of the five elements is now pointed out in more detail.
The properties (guṇas, perceived by the senses) of the (gross) elements are sound (from space, as dimension, sensed by the organ of hearing through the ears), touch (from wind, movement, sensed by the organ of touch throughout the surfaces of the body), form (from fire, as heat and light, sensed by sight through the eyes), taste (from water, as liquidity, sensed by the organ of taste primarily through the tongue), and smell (from earth, as solidity, sensed by the organ of smell through the nose). These guṇas in space, etc. are accumulatively (kramāt, by five-fold physicalizing, PancD.1.26) one (guṇa, in space), two (guṇas, i.e., sound and touch, in wind), (similarly) three, four and five (respectively in the other three elements).
An echo is a sound in space (viyat, dimension, properly it is that which is the medium that allows sound waves to exist and travel). In wind is sound, such as ‘bīsi’ (a whooshing soundalike, made by the movement of air in space), and touch which is (intrinsically) neither cold nor hot, i.e., has not the qualities of fire, etc.). In fire is sound, such as ‘bhugu-bhugu’ (a cracking soundalike)…
…Also (fire, i.e., heat and light) has (the sensed qualities) touch (from wind) and heat (from itself). In water (liquidity) is sound, such as ‘bulu-bulu’ (a gurgling soundalike), and (has a sensed) touch (from wind), a cool temperature and clear color (from fire), and produces (īrita) a refreshing taste (from itself as clean water)…
…In earth (solidity) is sound, such as ‘kaḍa-kaḍā’ (a rumbling soundalike). It produces a solid touch (from contact), a varied color, such as blue, etc. (from fire via sight), a sweet, sour, etc. taste (from liquidity via the taste buds)…
…Also (in earth) are pleasant and unpleasant smells (from itself). (In this way) are the qualities (of the five elements via the senses) discerned (from each other). The five sense organs are hearing (via ears), touch (via the nerved skin surfaces on and inside the body), sight (via the eyes), taste (via the taste buds on the tongue), and smell (via the nose).
Each one of these has a receptor apparatus (golakas), starting with the ears (skin, etc.), that are connected to the (sense organ) graspers (of the elements’ guṇas) starting with sound, etc. in the same order (as their predominant subtle to grosser element). Due to (the sense organs’) subtility (saukṣmya, being made only of sattva guṇaPancD.1.19 and being dependent upon their gross receptor apparatus, and thus not perceptible to these senses), each one is only inferred (by our mind, based upon their effects on the mind). Generally they (the senses) move outwards (into the world of the objects)*.*(For example, the sense of hearing perceives outwards towards the direction of the source of a sound, and sight perceives outwards to reach a perceivable form and perceives its direction and distance. Even though our modern sciences infer that the sound and light waves enter inward to the receptor apparatuses, indeed our experience is that the mind starts from you out through respective sense organ to its object.)
(Also the senses move inward, such as) when the hearing (golaka, the ears) is plugged, an interior sound is heard during breathing and during digestion (jāṭhara-agni) when drinking water or eating food…
…interior sensations arise. When the eyes are closed one (‘sees’) interior darkness. When belching, there is taste and smell. Thus (iti), the senses perceive within (the body also).
There are (generally) five types of activities (kriyās): speaking (ukti), grasping, moving, excreting, and sexual. (All other activities, such as) agriculture, commerce, service, etc. are included within these five.
These activities are brought about by the (five) organs (akṣis, of action): speech, hands, feet, anus, and genitals, which reside in the mouth, etc. golakas (apparatuses). These (vāk, speech, etc.) are called the five karma-indriyas (organs of action).
The internal organ (antaḥ-karaṇa) is (in general called) the manas (the ‘mind’, which includes all thoughts that can be divided between examining thoughts or knowing thoughts, and those can be further divided into emotions, egos, memories, etc.). It is the overseer (adhy-akṣa) of the ten organs (of sensing and action, as part of its examining job). It is located in the lotus-like heart (hṛd, the center of the person, which is felt to be ‘working’ day and night) as its golaka (its apparatus)*. Because it lacks independence (a-svātantrya) from the (five) senses in regard to external (objects), then it is called ‘internal’.*(We may now say that the brain is the apparatus, but no arguing that if the choice is whether someone remains alive or not, it is the heart, not the brain that determines whether the subtle body remains in the body. And, one can be brain-dead, but still alive as long as the heart keeps beating.)
This (mind), when present in (the field of) the senses (akṣas), examines (vicāraka) the merits and defects in regard to their contacted objects. Its (the mind’s) constituents (guṇas) by which it does its job are sattva, rajas, and tamas.
The (mind’s sense of) non-attachment, accommodation, generousness, and so on are (thoughts) born of (predominance of) sattva (knowledge, objective reality). Requiring and anger, greed and contrivance, and so on arise from (predominance of) rajas (activity, clouded thinking).
Lethargy, confusion, drowsiness, and so on arrive from (predominance of) tamas (darkness, lack of critical thinking). By sāttvika (thoughts) there arises puṇya (lasting karma merit). By rājasa (thoughts) there arises pāpa (lasting karma demerit).
By tāmasa (thoughts) there is neither of these (karma merit or demerit), rather there would only be spending life’s energy idly. Among these (thoughts of the mind), any one that also includes a notion of ‘I’ (ahaṃ-pratyayin, such as ‘My non-attachment’, ‘I am desirous’, etc.) is called the kartā (the doer, doership). Thus, is our worldly experience (of how the mind reacts through its constituent nature).
Concerning these (sense experiences via the thoughts of the mind) consisting of sound, etc., the nature of their also being only products of the (five subtle) elements (bhautikatva) is not clearly known (due to their subtility (saukṣmya, PancD.2.7, as well as due to our identification with the mind and senses that we don’t recognize them as objects also). However, even in regard to the senses, etc. (mind, intellect, ego), there is ascertainment (of their elemental nature) through the scripture (śāstra) and (supporting) logic (yukti) on this topic.
Whatever is experienced through the eleven organs (of the five senses, of the five actions, and the one internal organ), plus that understood through logic and the scripture (as the third separate pramāṇa, means of knowledge, YS.1.7), is this world referred to as idam (‘this’, in the following quote).
Uddālaka Āruṇi taught (to Śvetaketu, in the sixth chapter of Chāndogya Upaniṣad, ChanU.6.2.1, 3.1) that before all “this” (idam) manifest universe (śṛṣṭi) “there was one reality only without a second” (ekam eva sad eva a-dvitīyam āsīt); there was no “name or form” (nāma-rūpa).
A difference (bheda, to make a second, dvitīya, a separate name and form) is (of three types): sva-gata (present within itself), such as of a tree by its leaves, flowers, fruits, etc.; sa-jātīya (between its same class), such as (of one tree) from another tree; and vi-jātīya (apart from another class), such as (of a tree) from a rock, etc.
In that way, the prospect that this entity called sat (reality itself) has any of these three differences (from within, between, and apart) is warded off in order by the three (words “one only without-a-second”: eka, eva, a-dvitīya, PancD.2.19) which express oneness (aikya, ‘eka’, no differentiation within itself), restriction (avadhāraṇa, ‘eva’, no differentiation from a similar), and denial of a second thing (dvaita-pratiṣedha, ‘a-dvitīya’, no differentiation from a dissimilar).
That reality (sat, brahman) could not possibly have had parts, since there was no discerning of such parts. Names and forms (nāma-rūpa) are not its parts, since before those (names and forms, before this manifest universe those) had not yet arisen.
Since manifestation is only the arising of names and forms, then before manifestation these two would not have yet arisen. Therefore, this reality (before creation) was partless, just like space (at the start of manifestation, before the other great elements).
Since differentiation (vailakṣaṇya) was lacking, there could have been no similarity (sa-jātīya) with another reality (i.e., a class of the same kind of realities). Difference (bheda) is due to the upādhi (limiting adjunct) of names and forms. Without (those), reality cannot have a difference (to be multiple realities).
Nor could one conceive of non-reality (a-sat) as vijātīya (belonging to a different class from reality). Since nothing can have opposition (pratiyogin) from this (reality, i.e., ‘existence’ includes everything that possibly or impossibly was, is, or will be, even the notion that there is a non-existence exists), then how could there be a difference (from reality) as a different class?
That reality (sat) is one only without a second has been established. But, in regard to this, some are confused (vihvalas, vyākulas, such as Vaināśikas, Buddhist Nihilists) choosing to say that there was non-reality (a-sat, non-existence) before (the manifestation of the universe).
Like sinking into the ocean (with nothing but water all around) one’s senses and mind are bewildered, upon hearing that reality is one without divisions (to cling to). These individuals have thus become stunned and very fearful.
The teacher Gauḍa-pāda talked about the great fear of some yogins (ManKa.3.39) who are dedicated only to brahman with a form (sākāra) when their contemplation becomes free of (mental) divisions.
All such yogins, who find what is called a-sparśa (without a sense or mental contact) yoga difficult to conceive, are afraid of it, seeing fear in the fearless.
The highly respected Bhagavat-pāda (Śaṅkara) calls the Mādhyamikas (Buddhists) who only have dry logic (lacking the Veda as the proper means of knowledge here) as confused regarding this reality-self which (as the witness) cannot be an object of thought.
These Buddhists, (seemly) out of dumbness (lack of a proper means of knowledge here) disregard the scripture (śruti, teachings) and remain in darkness. As they only look through logic, they arrive at the conclusion that they themselves are nothing (nir-ātmatva).
When you (Buddhists) say śūnya (nothingness) existed, did you mean that it has existence (sat-yoga) or that it is existence (sat-ātmatā)? In either case, nothingness cannot have any such association with existence, because both non-existence and existence are contradictory (to each other, but if they mean the same thing to you then you are simply naming existence as ‘śūnya’).
The sun cannot be attributed with darkness, nor does it consist of darkness. As existence and non-existence are (naturally) contradictory, how could you say non-existence existed (before creation)?
(The Buddhist says:) If (for you Vedāntins) the names and forms beginning with the element space, etcetera are completely imposed (on existence) by (the inexplicable magic of) māyā, then similarly (for us Buddhists) these are simply names and forms of non-existence (śūnya, imposed, produced, by māyā). (We reply:) May you live long! (i.e., you either are talking meaninglessly or at best not disputing us, since you are accepting a thing called ‘śūnya’ that has names and forms imposed on it).
You may say that both names and forms of reality are both imposed (by māyā upon non-existence), but an illusion (bhrama) is never seen anywhere without a substratum (e.g., mirage water requires a certain surface condition viewed at a certain angle; a phantom snake requires a crack on the ground, a rope, etc. in a darkened area by one who would suspect a snake could be there).
(Objection:) The (Veda text’s) two words ‘sat’ ‘āsīt’ (‘reality was’) either separately refer to two different entities (śabdārthas, hence there is duality), or the expression refers to no difference (a-bheda, and hence is meaningless tautology, like ‘one is one’). (Reply:)It should not be like that, since we see such expressions in common usage.
‘A deed is done,’ ‘A speech is spoken,’ ‘A burden is borne’ – towards one who is accustomed to such expressions, the verb ‘was’ (in ‘sat āsīt’) expresses being (sat).
The expression ‘before’ (purā, agre) in regard to (‘before creation’) which lacks time is directed toward a student accustomed to temporal thinking, and this usage (by the teacher) here does not intend duality (existence plus time).
A question (codya, pūrva-pakṣa) and its reply arise within our duality accustomed language (within nāma-rūpa, names and forms). Within a (supposed) non-duality (or non-existent) language, there can be no question or its response.
At that time (before creation) a ‘steady depth’ (‘gambhīra’,* a-dvaita vastu) pervaded without any tejas or tamas (opposition guṇas, light-dark, movement-stasis), nor name or manifest form apart from this reality (sat).*(For background, here is MacDonell’s translation of Ṛg Veda 10.1129 Hymn – The Origin of Things, indicated by the word ‘gambhīra’): Non-being then existed not nor being: There was no air, nor sky that is beyond it. What was concealed? Wherein? In whose protection? And was there deep (gambhīra) unfathomable water?(1) Death then existed not nor life immortal; Of neither night nor day was any token. By its inherent force the One breathed windless: No other thing than that beyond existed.(2) Darkness there was at first by darkness hidden; Without distinctive marks, this all was water. That which, becoming, by the void was covered. That One by force of heat came into being.(3) Desire entered the One in the beginning: It was the earliest seed, of thought the product. The sages searching in their hearts with wisdom, Found out the bond of being in non-being.(4) Their ray extended light across the darkness: But was the One above or was it under? Creative force was there, and fertile power: Below was energy, above was impulse.(5) Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it? Whence was it born, and whence came this creation? The gods were born after this world's creation: Then who can know from whence it has arisen?(6) None knows whence creation has arisen; And whether he has or has not produced it: He who surveys it in the highest heaven, He only knows, or haply he may know not.(7)
Question (nanu): Upon dissolution all the way to the atomic elements (paramāṇus) then the earth, etcetera may cease to exist, but how can I arrive at a notion that space (ākāśa) itself has no existence?
If in fact you can have such an abiding knowledge that there is a space completely without a universe (of names and forms), then why can't you abide in a idea that reality (sat) can be without space?
If you can perceive a space without a universe, then in that case, without (the contrast of) light and dark, where could you possibly perceive (a universe-less space)? Moreover, space is indeed unseen (na pratyakṣa, is not in fact an object of the eye).
Whereas, reality (sat, brahman) is pure existence (vastu) experienced (anu-bhūyate, literally ‘being in keeping with’) by all of us very clearly. When (the mind) remains quiet, we do not experience nothing, because there is no thought of a nothing (śūnya, at that time).
(Objection:) But neither do we have a thought of existence (at that quiet time). (Reply:) Let that thought not be there, because existence is self-revealing (sva-prabhatva) and because it is the witness (sākṣitva) of the lack of thoughts (at that time). Pure existence is easy to recognize for everyone (as everyone is effortlessly always shining and witnessing whatever is there or not in their mind – a quiet mind is just an aid to confirm this teaching that it is you alone who is shining and witnessing, not any of these objects witnessed).
When the mind is not opening up (to an external world) then the witness (the existence of oneself) appears to be without problems (nir-ākula). Similarly (as it is now, so it was then), before the opening up (of the universe by) māyā, reality (sat) was unruffled.
Apart (nis-ta-tvā, pṛthak) from manifesting its effects, māyā is (only inferred to exist within reality as) a śakti (power, to manifest the varieties of nature from the one reality), like the power of fire (to burn only is known by its perceived effects). Because, no one knows any power exists somewhere, before its effects (are noticed).
The power (śakti, māyā) of reality is not the reality itself. Nor can a power exist by itself (like) fire’s (power to burn does not exist apart from fire itself). If (this power, māyā) exists apart from reality, what could one say is its nature?
If (you say the power, māyā) is the nature of non-existence (śūnyatva), (then this contradicts) what you said before that it is an effect of māyā (PancD.2.34–5). (Māyā) is neither non-existence (śūnya) nor reality itself (sat) – whatever that is (yādṛk, neither sat nor a-sat), that (tādṛk) has to be considered its (māyā’s) nature (tatva = tattva, SG.2.64).
(Hence it was said in Ṛg Veda, PancD.2.40) There was neither a-sat nor sat at that time (before creation), but there was tamas (darkness, which was what māyā is before creation, PancD.1.44). Existence (‘was’) is attributed to tamas (that darkness) due to its association with (i.e., appearance within) existence (sat), not due to itself alone, since (existence) is denied to it (in that Ṛg Veda hymn).
Thus, like śūnya, (māyā) cannot count as a second entity (from existence, sat). In the world, an able person and his ability cannot be portrayed to live apart from each other.
If one’s life lengthens when one’s power increases, in that case, the act of ageing is not itself the power (to live, one’s prāṇa) but an effect of that power, such as making war or going agriculture, etcetera (are possible effects of one’s power to live). (Similarly, although māyā, the manifestation power of existence, is not an addition to that sat, the universe consists of separate effects, which do vary, of that non-addition māyā.)
Everywhere, a śakti (any subtle power) itself cannot count as being separate (from that existence, or whether an element, a person or the Lord) in which it manifests, and any effect of that śakti is not itself (the śakti). How could it act as a power separately (from where it manifests)?
This power (of brahman, reality) does not operate everywhere throughout brahman, but rather only occurs in some part (of existence). Just as the power in earth to (materially) produce clay pots only occurs in softened clay, not elsewhere.
“Everything (the effects of māyā, manifest to our senses and mind) is only one quarter of this (reality), the other three quarters…” (ChanU.3.12.6) are only this one self-revealing (svayaṃ-prabha, sat). Thus, the scripture reveals māyā as being only a portion (of reality).
“I remain sustaining this entire universe with (just) a fraction (of My self)” (BhG.10.42). Thus, Lord Kṛṣṇa indicates to Arjuna the fractional nature of the universe.
“This one envelops the entire universe, yet extends beyond by ten fingers” (i.e., innumerably, beyond what is the limit of the perceivable, Ṛg Veda 10.129 & SvetU.3.14); and “(Brahman) is without form (vikāra-avartin, not needing a form) here (beyond the universe of forms)” (BrS.4.4.19) – thus is the declaration made in scripture (śruti) and in the teaching aphorisms (sūtras).
Attributing (āropya) parts even upon the partless (sat), the śruti, for the benefit of the listener (who is still bound up in duality), answers with the same language of the question as to whether (māyā pervades) completely or only part (of reality).
Śakti (this māyā) whose truth is reality (sat-tattva) creates (kalpyayet, conjures as if by magic) differences in reality (the non-dual sat), like paints applied to a wall appear as (if a realistic, 3-D) complex painting on the wall.
The first modification (the first of the five great elements from māyā) was ākāśa (space). Space is that which gives room (avakāśa, provides dimension). (Being a modification of māyā) its truth also is only (the non-dual) reality (sat-tattva).
The nature of reality (sat-tattva) is only its own single nature (as existence itself). Space has two natures (as dimension and as existing). In existence itself there is no dimension. In space there is also that (dimension), and thus is dual.
Also sound (pratidhvani, perceptible by the sense of hearing) is a quality (guṇa) of space, but this (quality) is not perceived in reality itself. In space there are both sound and existence. So existence is a single (nature) and space is dual natured (dvi-guṇa)*.*(Here, although existence is the very nature of space, it is lumped in as another guṇa based on the common notion of people regarding ‘existence’ that it is merely an attribute which can be there or not be there, as in “the pot ‘is’”, or “the pot ‘is not’”, PancD.2.58).
The same śakti (māyā) that produces space, first produces the notion that existence and space are inseparable (that space exists) and then conjures up the opposite notion that the two are related as a quality and its possessor (dharma-dharmitva, that space has existence or existence has space).
It is existence that (initially) appears (by māyā) to have the nature of space (sataḥ vyomatvam, like clay has clay-potness). But logicians (tārkikas), from their worldly perspective (laukikas), then think instead that space has the nature of existence (vyomnaḥ sattām, that ‘space exists’ means space is an independent reality). That indeed would be expected due to māyā (the power of projection, which can conjure up unreal relationships).
It is common knowledge by a proper means of knowledge (mānataḥ, pratyakṣādi-pramāṇataḥ) that a thing appears as it is (i.e., tasmin tad-buddhiḥ), and to be otherwise (anyathātva) would be by error (bhrama, an illusion).
In this way, before inquiry into the scripture (which is here the appropriate means of knowledge, pramāṇa), something appears different afterwards by proper inquiry. Therefore, let us discuss what this space is.
Space and existence are different because their names (i.e., nāmans) are different and their understandings (i.e., rūpas) are different. Existence encompasses (anuvṛtta) space, but that is not the case for space (which does not encompass existence, i.e., existence was there before the manifestation of space, as well as space is only a ‘part’ of reality). That is their different understanding (bheda-dhī).
Existence, because of being completely inclusive (in time and place) of any entity, is the dharmin (the locus or substance of all entities), whereas space has the nature of being a dharma (a seeming attribute of reality, of this locus). By this understanding (dhiyā), once existence itself is distinguished (is abstracted, from space), then space has what kind of nature (if it is other than reality and is imposed by māyā upon reality)?
If you say that its nature is (not reality but is) whatever gives dimension (avakāśa-ātmaka), then it should be considered to be a-sat (not-real). If you say (vakṣi) that it (space) exists as other than reality yet it is not not-real (not a-sat), then you contradict yourself.
If you say (space) is evident (bhāti, to our mind and to the sense of hearing as distance and direction), then (we say) it is only what appears (but is not reality) – and that is the glory of illusion! Whatever is unreal (a-sat) yet appears (to our senses) – that is an illusion (mithyā, a product of universal māyā), similar to a dream elephant, etcetera (which is only a product of our dreaming mind).
Just as there is a distinction between a class and a single member of that class, between a dehin (a jīva, a living subtle body, that assumes a series of innumerable bodies) and its (current) body, and between a substance and a quality of the substance, so too between existence and space.* What is there to wonder?*(They cannot be the same thing, nor in the absence of the former can there be the latter, i.e., there is no member if there is no class, no living body if no subtle body to enliven or perceive it, and no quality if no substance to have it.)
If this (correctly) known difference has not arisen in the mind (through śravaṇa), then tell me, is its lack of staying put due to inattention (an-aikāgrya), or due to some remaining doubt?
If it is the first (inattention), then be undistracted by gaining a contemplative mind (dhyāna, i.e., by nididhyāsana, PancD.1.41), if the other (doubting) then keep inquiring with a proper means of knowledge (pramāṇa) and its logical application (yukti, i.e., manana, PancD.1.53 & BrhU.2.4.5). In that way may you become most accomplished (rūḍha-tama, i.e., jñāna-yogārūḍha)*.*(Rūḍhi also means ‘common knowledge’ which here applies, in that this teaching now becomes one’s own common knowledge, not a some come-and-go feeling or an academic philosophy.)
By (first) thinking over the teaching logically (mananāt yuktitaḥ api) and (then) contemplation (dhyāna, as one first has to have some clear knowledge before contemplation on that knowledge), when this difference between space and (one’s) reality becomes established (rūḍha, common sense), then space can never be taken as reality, nor can the reality (that one is) have the nature of space (i.e., have dimension).
For a knower (of this teaching), space ever only just appears (to one’s thought), just as before the person was unexposed to this teaching of the truth (of space and of reality), yet now for this one (who has been exposed and has assimilated this teaching) the reality (that is the Lord and oneself) vibhāti (shines everywhere, as the shinning consciousness that reveals that space, KathU.2.2.15) unaccompanied by any (limiting) nature of that space (i.e., that space no longer limits me, the limitless conscious-being).
When one’s effortless knowledge (vāsanā, latent tendencies, regarding reality) has matured (i.e., when the knowledge has permeated to the vāsanā level), this wise person (budha) looks on amazed at those who (claim to) know reality while arguing that space is a reality.
Thus, when the unreality of space and the reality of tat (that brahman) are both assimilated (vāsita, ‘both’ because a scholar’s academic knowledge of reality has not corrected their initial childhood vāsanā-based acceptance of the same reality to space), then with that same logic one should distinguish reality (that the Lord and oneself is) from vāyu, etcetera (wind and the other elements, plus everything made from them).
In reality, māyā pervades only one part (of reality). In that (māyā), space is only one part (of māyā). And in that (space), vāyu (wind or air, the element that expresses as movement) is figured to only be one part (of vāyu).
Dryness, contactability, movement, and force are considered to be the qualities of the (universal) element ‘wind’ (of ‘air’, not to be limited to just the movement of air, but movement however it manifests universally or atomically), and (being within, a part of, the previous three), vāyu also gains (inherits) the three natures of existence, of māyā, and of space (i.e., is not non-reality, but is unreal, and has dimension plus manifests to our senses as sound via space).
When we say vāyu exists, the existence only belongs to reality itself (sataḥ). If vāyu is taken separately (from sat) then it would lack reality, which (unreality) is the very nature of māyā. And the sound (in wind) properly only belongs to space (not to wind itself).
(Objection:) It was stated before that all encompassing (anuvṛtti) belongs to existence, but not to space (PancD.2.67). Now (you say) encompassing (over vāyu) belongs to space. How is that statement not a contradiction?
(Reply:) Previously we said that the all encompassing (of existence) does not belong to space, but here this encompassing (of space over vāyu) belongs only to sound (the sensed attribute, the guṇa of space, not the dimension avakāśa-svarūpa of space, PancD.2.80, or perhaps better understood if we take sound as a wave-dimension structure which allows energy, i.e., movement, to manifest, and in this way pervades all movement). From that statement, how could there be a contradiction?**(This importance of the difference of guṇa from svarūpa comes into play when discussing the products of māyā, because these elements are only assumed to be there because of their perceptibility by our senses. There are five universal elements only because we happen to have five sense organs, see PancD.2.84 below. Unlike existence, the distinct sva-rūpas of the elements are inferred from their distinct sensed perceptions. Actually there is only one real sva-rūpa of all these elements, and that is reality itself, PancD.2.86.)
Objection (nanu, ‘No indeed’): If, because of being distinct from reality, (an element, such as vāyu) is not real (a-sattva), then why not, because it is distinct (as a product) from unmanifest māyā and thus not being (unreal) māyā, (then it would be real)?
(Reply:) Here (in regard to an element, such as vāyu) it only lacks the nature of reality by partaking (prayojikā) of the (unreal) nature of māyā. That (unreality) is common to both śakti (māyā) and its effect, because both the unmanifest (māyā) and the manifest (elements) are distinct (from reality, tattva).
Because the discernment (viveka, PancD.1) of the unreal from the real was introduced as the topic (prastutatva) of this discussion (cintyatā), then what would be the purpose here in bringing up further sub-division from that unreality, and dwelling upon them?
What is real is brahman. Whatever else remains (śiṣṭoṃśa), such as (the element) space or air are just like (unreal) mithyā (from the root mith ‘to mix up’, it is falsely mixing up, mistaking, incompatibles, YS.2.22). By making the unreality (mithyātva) of (an element, such as) air a lasting impression (a correcting vāsanā, by proper inquiry and contemplation), then give it up (as being any part of one’s true nature).
In the same way, one should contemplate the element fire also, which has an even more limited extent than air. This inquiry into their limited extent applies in regard also to the rest (the water and earth) of the universe (brahma-aṇḍa).
The gradation (tāratamya, of extent) is mentioned in the Purāṇa literature (as well as elsewhere) in regard to manifestation of the elements as being a tenth part (of each prior element), such as fire is formed in air as limited to a tenth part of the air.
Heat and light are (the sensed properties) of fire, in addition to the continuance of the prior (properties): fire exists, is unreal, has sound, and has contactability (from reality, māyā, space and air, respectively).
Along with the (inherited) aspects (qualities) of existence, māyā, space and air, the natural property (nijo guṇaḥ) of fire is form (rūpa, i.e., because of its light we distinguish forms). All these (properties) here are other than reality and should be distinguished (from reality) by the intellect (buddhyā, not by feelings, though that is today’s popular spiritual spin – not that that is more advanced but is more $$$ marketable. Today, renunciation is reduced to vacation).
When fire is unreal (mithyātva), apart from reality (which is its logical co-absence), and it exists only when there is reality (its co-presence, PancD.1.37), then water (i.e., liquidity), being a tenth (a fraction, of fire, i.e., liquidity is possible only above absolute zero temperature, and heat is more pervasive than fluids in the universe), one should contemplate that it (water) is confirmed (logically) to be limited (nyuna, and not worth unnecessarily identifying with).
This water, being existent yet unreal, has perceptibility to the sense of hearing and touch, as well as has visual form (rūpavat) which flow from the qualities of the other (more pervading elements). The quality (guṇa) of having a taste properly only belongs to (water, as the refreshing, neutral taste by which we may judge other tastes).
When water, apart from reality, has the unreality of that (māyā) and it exists (only when there is reality), then earth (i.e., solidity), being a tenth (a fraction, of the presence of water), one should contemplate that it is confirmed (logically) to be limited (nyuna, and not worth unnecessarily identifying with this packet of carbon and water we call our body).
Earth has existence yet is unreal, has perceptibility to the sense of hearing and touch, and has visual form (rūpaka) and taste, which belong (respectively) to the other (elements). (Only the quality) smell properly belongs to it. Reality should be distinguished (from these elements).
Considered apart from reality, the unreality (mithyā, ‘the falsely taken as real’) of earth remains. As a tenth part (of water) the earth has limitation. This entire universe (brahma-aṇḍa, cosmic egg) has earth in its center (from our perspective).
Within this universe, there are fourteen worlds (bhuvanas). In these worlds (six heavens, earth, and seven hells) having life, are the live bodies appropriate (to live there, from most to least sublime).
When all the worlds and bodies within the universe are apart (from existence, as our analysis has shown), these entities starting from the cosmic egg appear (bhāntu) as unreal. Even if these continue to appear, what loss is there here (in my reality)?
When there is a deep impression that the elements and their derivatives are unreal by being distinct from reality (that I am), then the knowledge that (my) reality (as existence-consciousness) is without a second (a-dvaita, non-dual) could nowhere be contradicted (i.e., all these are only appearances within my consciousness, as if inward or outward).
While duality is distinct from the non-dual reality, still the forms of earth onwards retain this or that purposeful activity in this world, as was seen before (this knowledge).
By Sāṅkhyas (the elemental philosophers), Kāṇādas (the atomist philosophers, PancD.2.41), Bauddhas (the various flavors of Buddhism), etc., difference in the universe as being in this or that way is imputed only by their countless logics. Let this be (as long as they are having fun and don't harm, why care).
These unhesitating philosophers have disregarded (the means of knowledge regarding) the non-dual reality. (Since they are unable to blunt this means of knowledge, then) in this way, there is no harm for us who (knowledgeably) disregard their duality.
The intellect that can disregard duality can remain established in non-duality. This person who has that steady knowledge is proclaimed to be a jīvan-mukta (freed while living).
This is being firm in/as reality (brahman, sat), O Arjuna. Attaining this, one is not any longer deluded. Being firm in this, even just at the last moment, one attains liberation in/as brahman (BhG.2.72).
‘The last moment’ (anta-kāla) here can mean as clearly seeing the oneness of the mutual (dependent dualities), where the falsity of duality is the reality of oneness. It is the change of mind at that time (tad-bheda-buddhi), not otherwise (see next).
(…Otherwise, indirectly) ‘the last moment’ means at death, according to common parlance. Even at that time (“attaining liberation” is not due to physical death, since) there is no return of the delusion which had already left (or just then left).**(Moreover, this emphasizes no rebirth, even though the intellect dissipates. Hence, this alternate interpretation is not lacking purpose).
Whether (one dies) healthy or broken, whether wallowing on the ground or unconscious, having given up the life-energies, this one has no delusion in anyway.
What is learned is daily forgotten during dream and deep sleep, yet (remaining in the vāsanā level, in the citta) it does not become unknown the following day. Like that this knowledge (vidyā) is not lost.
Knowledge attained through a means of knowledge (a pramāṇa, such as perception or logic) does not vanish unless there is a stronger (prabala, non-defective, nirduṣṭa) means of knowledge. There is no stronger means of knowledge (māna) than Vedānta (the Upaniṣads, in regard to the nature of the world and oneself).
Therefore, the non-dual reality (knowledge) established by Vedānta does not vanish even at the last moment (in either sense above). Hence, due to this discerning of the elements (as unreal, apart from the reality that one is) this nirvṛti (freedom, loss of transitoriness, the loss of identification with duality) remains.
By discerning the brahman who has entered into the cave (guhā) as it were) from each of the five kośas (locations where mistakes can be made, which make up the cave), it is possible to gain knowledge (of brahman). Therefore, here the five kośas are investigated.
Within the (physical) body (deha) is the life energy (prāṇa). Within the prāṇa is the examining mind (manas). Within that (manas) is the doer (kartṛ, the intellect). Within that (kartṛ) is the enjoyer (bhoktṛ). This layering is the cave (guhā, where the light of knowledge is to be brought in).
Arisen from the potency born of the food eaten by the parents, and expanded only by more food, this body is only a modification of food (anna-maya, the first kośa). It is not oneself (ātman), because it (the food-body) does not exist before (its coming together) nor after (its falling apart).
This (body) was not existing prior to its birth, so how could it produce its birth (i.e., it wasn’t there to manifest itself)? (This body) not existing in any future birth, could then not enjoy its accumulated (sañcita) karma (so the activities of this body are for nothing after the body’s death).
Filling this body, giving it strength and energizing the senses, the vital air (vāyu, prāṇa) is called the prāṇa-maya (the second kośa). This also is not oneself (ātman), since it is devoid of consciousness (caitanya, i.e., it cannot be you, the seer).
The (mind) which forms the ideas of ‘I’ and ‘my’ towards this body, as well as towards house, etc., remains deluded while undergoing various states of desire, etcetera. (Being continually changing) this mano-maya (the third kośa) also is not oneself (ātman).
The intellect (dhī) endowed with a reflection of consciousness (i.e., it’s a subtle substance that appears conscious, although is not itself consciousness), appears in waking state as pervading the body up to the tips of the fingers, yet vanishes in deep sleep (līnā suptau). It enjoys the name vijñāna-maya (the fourth kośa). It also is not oneself (because it appears and disappears).
The interior organ (i.e., the antaḥ-karaṇa, the whole mind) functions as both the agent and the instrument. It is here divided into the intellect and the mind (the fourth and third kośas). The two operate (for the most part) in the internal and external world, respectively.
The mental function (vṛti, thought-form) which is only directed inward (antar-mukha) and enjoys just a reflection of ānanda (of the fullness of the ātman, and hence also is not the ānanda-ātman, oneself) is there (in varying degrees) during the experience of (past) puṇya (favorable karma) and when there is a peaceful experience, and abides (quietly unnoticed until waking) in the form of deep sleep. (This ānanda-maya is the fifth kośa.)
Because it has the nature of existing only when it appears (kādācitkatva), this ānanda-maya cannot be the ātman. The ānanda (fullness) itself, as the very being of this reflection (of fullness), is the ātman (oneself), since it always remains (in the past, present and future, as well as before time itself comes into being).
Objection (nanu, ‘No indeed’): Towards all entities from the (waking world) deha to the ānanda in the sleep world (nidrā), nothing else would be left out which could be experienced as oneself (ātmatva).
(Reply:) Sure (bāḍham). All things from sleep (nidrā) onward (to the body), and nothing else, are experienced (as oneself). But, who can deny that by which all these are in that way experienced?
Since all experience belongs to oneself (svayam) alone, it cannot be something experienced. Because there is no experiencer or experiencing apart from it, then (oneself) cannot be one of the knowables (a-jñeya). But not because it (svam) does not exist (a-sattā).
Each of the qualities (guṇas, of taste) impart its nature (sva-bhāva), such as sweet, etc., to others, but indeed does not need to impart it to itself (e.g., sugar can make others sweet, but does not require anything else to make itself sweet). Nor can anything else impart it (e.g., salt to sugar, etcetera).
Even without another flavorer (arpaka, imparter), these (flavors, i.e., the six rasas: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent and bitter) have their own nature. Similarly, while the nature of knowledge itself (bodha-ātman, caitanya) cannot be a thing to be experienced (by another), still it does not lose this (nature of knowledge, bodha-ātman, by not being an object of the mind, etcetera).
(The scriptures declares:) This (ātman, puruṣa, while dreaming) is “self-shinning (svayam-jyoti)” (BrhU.4.3.9). It shines before all this (was created). “That (brahma-ātman) alone shines and (everything else) shines after” (KathU.2.2.15) – by this shine, all that universe which comes after is revealed (bhāsyate).
How can that, by which all this (universe) is known, itself be known by anything else? By what can one know the very knower? (Since) an instrument (for knowing, such as the manas or buddhi) is only applicable to what is knowable (vedya, what it can objectify, what it can enclose within its thought form).
The (ātman, self) knows all that is knowable (including the manas and buddhi). Nothing else can be a knower of it. Different from the known and the unknown is that whose very nature is knowledge.
(If denying the existence of consciousness) someone has experience in knowing, yet does not know how (he knows), then in what way could that one be taught the scripture? It’s as if he’s a clod of dirt in the form of a person.
Just as it would only amount to an absurdity (lajjā) to say whether or not I have a tongue (since I wouldn’t have to complete the sentence to convey I have one, and I couldn’t say if I didn’t), so it would be to say ‘I do not have knowledge of what knowledge (bodha, caitanya) is, but I need to have it’.
While disregarding everything in the world (i.e., taking them as mithyā, as only nāma-rūpa, not as sat, not as oneself), then bodha (knowledge, consciousness, satyaṃ jñānam) alone exists (remains as the permanent reality, as oneself). This is the pure knowledge which is called brahman (the limitless source and reality of the universe). In this way (not hiding from the world, with eyes wide open) this understanding is clarity in reality (brahman-niścaya).
While giving up (the claim of reality towards) the five koṣas, since what remains is the knowledge that is the witness (the sākṣin, of them), then that alone would be one’s very nature (sva-sva-rūpa, as pure consciousness-being). It is unnatural (durghaṭa) to attribute non-existence (śūyatva) to it (to one’s very own self).
Oneself indeed surely exists (asti), since there is no scope here for arguing otherwise. Even if there were an argument regarding the (existence or non-existence of the) self, then who could possibly be the opponent (that argues that he himself is non-existent, and who would pursue a discussion with someone who makes such absurd claims)?
Aside from delusion, no one seriously entertains the notion that they don’t exist. Thus the scripture exposes the absurdity of one who argues for non-existence.
‘If anyone thinks that brahman (unlimited existence-knowledge) does not exist, that would only make that one himself or herself non-existent’ (TaitU.2.6.1). Thus, one can accept that while (brahman) would not be an object of knowledge (vedyatva, PancD.2.30), still it is as real as oneself (sva-sattva).
If one asks, ‘Then what sort of thing it it?’ Here we say it is not like anything. What is not like a this or that, you should clearly know it only as its own unique nature.
Whereas, an object of the senses is said to be ‘like this’, or if beyond the senses is said to be ‘like that’. The one who witnesses objects (the viśayin, sākṣin) cannot be an object of the senses (like ‘this’), and since it is oneself, it cannot have any remoteness (like ‘that’).
Even though it cannot be an object of knowledge (a-vedya), still it is immediate (a-parokṣa, as oneself). So it (brahma-ātman) must be self-shinning (sva-prakāśa, self-revealing). ‘Existence consciousness unlimited’ (satyaṃ jñānam an-antam, TaitU.2.1.1), this expression that indicates the nature of brahman is also applicable here (iha, to oneself).
Existence is what can never be negated (bādha-rāhitya). If (at the dissolution of the universe) the one witness of this perishing world itself perishes, then tell me who could be the witnesser (of that)? There would be no witnesser of that.
When all forms are destroyed, then the formless space remains. When all that can be destroyed (including space) ends, that which remains is only that (tad, that reality-brahman).
If you say ‘nothing’ exists upon the dissolution of the entire universe, then isn’t that ‘nothing’ in fact ‘that’ (tad, which is brahman where ‘no other thing is’, a-dvitīya). Only the verbiage differs, in as much as (you say) the dissolution indeed IS.
Because of this alone the scripture makes known that whatever remains after negating the negatable is that (adas, brahman). That very (brahman), which is ‘neti neti’ (‘not this and not that’ name or form, BrhU.2.3.6), is ātman (oneself). It is in the form of that (reality) which does not go away (a-vyāvṛtti).
Whereas, to which extent every ‘this form’ (every name and form) can be negated, that is not possible for what is not a ‘this form’. That is the ātman (the witness of all ‘this’) left after negation (of all else).
Here it has been established that in brahman is reality. Now, the fact that its nature is knowledge was clearly told earlier (purā) through the statements ‘svayam eva anubhūtitvāt’ (‘because there is no experiencer or experiencing apart from it’, PancD.3.13), and others (statements, such as PancD.1.8).
Being pervasive (vyāpitva) this (brahma-ātman) is not limited by place (deśataḥ anta). Being persistent (nityatva, before, during and after the universe) it is also not limited by time (kālataḥ). Being the self of all (sārvātmya, the very nature of everything), it is not limited as an object (vastutaḥ). This is the three-fold limitlessness in regard to brahman (namely, deśataḥ, kālataḥ, vastutaḥ).
Since place, time, and another object are imposed (by us, by our thinking them as real) due to māyā (the ignorance of the limitless reality and the projection of the cosmic appearance, PancD.1.16), then whatever (limitation) is made from these three (e.g., this separate body here and now) would also not be a limit (to brahma-ātman). Thus the limitlessness of brahman is made clear.
This brahman which is unlimited existence-consciousness (PancD.3.28) is that (only) entity (vastu, and there is not other entity). Its (tasya) Lordship (Īśvaratva) and individuality (jīvatva) are non-intrinsic names and forms (upādhis) dually imposed (by us due to māyā and to a-vidya respectively, PancD.1.16–17).
Power (śakti, called māyā), which is attributed to the Lord (Īśvara), is the order (niyāmikā) within everything, beginning from the ānanda-maya (the fifth kośa). This (one unifying power) is hidden within all beings and entities.
If the (peculiar) attributes of entities were not ordered by this power (of the Lord), then due to a commingling of the attributes with each other (as if they each had their own separate minds, and the nature of ‘up’ choose to be ‘blue’ instead of obeying its nature, etc.), the universe would indeed be chaotic.**(That chaos would be different from sciences’ chaos, which is simply the non-binary nature of entities that are still in obeyance to a subset of possibilities).
This power (śakti, māyā as the total sattva of nature, PancD.1.16) by the pervasion of the reflection of consciousness (cit-chāyā-āveśataḥ) appears to be as though it is itself conscious. Due to the association with appearance of the śakti in that (reflection of consciousness), brahman indeed (apparently) gains the nature of being the Lord (i.e., as though gains omniscience).
Brahman gains the status of an individual (jīvatā) when the topic is the association (upādhi) with the kośas (the limiting locations). Just as the very same person gains the status of father or grandfather when in association with his son or grandson.
Just as a person is neither a father nor a grandfather when the topic is not his son, etc., so (brahman) is neither the Lord nor the individual, when the topic is not śakti (māyā, the power manifesting the appearance of the universe) nor the kośas (the individual abodes of personification).
The one who knows brahman (reality) in this same way, takes that brahman alone as oneself. Since brahman (reality) has no birth, then this one (oneself) cannot be born again.
Now is discerned the duality created by the Lord (Īśvara) and also by the individual (jīva). When this discernment is made, then the bondage (bandha) which is to be rejected by the individual is made clear.
“One should know māyā as mother nature (prakṛti), and the limitless Lord as having māyā within (māyin))” (SvetU.4.10), thus declare the adherents to the Śvetāśvatara (Upaniṣad) that the one (the Lord) who wields māyā creates.
“Ātman (the self) alone was all this in the beginning… That one envisioned, ‘I now create (sṛjai, sṛje, project the appearance of a world, the universe)’ ” (AitU.1.1.1) – by thought (saṅkalpa) alone He manifested these worlds. So say many such ṛcs (scriptural mantras).
“From this very self (ātman),” (TaitU.2.1.1) from brahman, was manifested all these bodies, in succession, from space, from air, from fire, from water, from earth (urvī), from plants, and from food.
From this thought (kāmataḥ), “ ‘Let Me be many. Let Me be born.’ Having thus contemplated, He manifested all this” (TaitU.2.6.1), the universe, says the Tittiri (the Taittirīya Upaniṣad).
“Existence alone was there before all this” (ChanU.6.2.1), thus declare the adherents to the Sāman (the Chāndogya Upaniṣad), and “That (reality) thought (aikṣata) to become many (names and forms), and created energy (tejas), water, food, and those born from eggs, etcetera (wombs, and so on)” (ChanU.6.2.3–.3.1).
“Just as sparks (visphul-iṅgas, outward expansions)” from (a well-lit) fire (by the thousands) arise “from the imperishable (a-kṣara, puruṣa) the varieties of entities” (MunU.2.1.1) both conscious and unconscious, says the scripture of the Ātharvaṇikas.
Before (pūrvam, agre, before creation) the universe “was unmanifested (a-vyākṛta) and now (adhunā) is in a state of manifestation (vyākriyatā)” (BrhU.1.4.7). By appearing only as perceptible name and form, these two (nāma-rūpa) manifest (sphuṭa) in everything beginning with Virāṭ (the first manifest cosmic being).
Virāṭ became each of the manus (the first progenitors), mankind, cows, mules, horses, goats, and so on in that way, as a pair (dvandva, male and female), down to the ants, say the Vājasaneyins (adhering to the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad).
The Lord, taking the different forms, entered into every body related to each jīva, say the scriptures (such as ChanU.6.3.2). This nature of being a jīva (‘what lives’) is because it holds together (in this body) the life energies (prāṇas, i.e., their seeming multiplicity is due to the appearance of separate packets of prāṇas).
The caitanya (consciousness) which is the abode (adhiṣṭhāna, of everything), plus (as the upādhi, limiting attribute which is) this subtle body (liṅga-deha: consisting of the prāṇa, manas and buddhi kośas, apart from the physical body) and the reflection (the limited presence) of consciousness (cit-chāyā) within that subtle body (which lights it up with knowledge) – that (three-fold) combination is called the jīva, the individual, who can transmigrate through countless bodies).
Māyā, on the other hand, who belongs to the Lord (māheśvarī), appears to have both the power to manifest (nirmāṇa) and the power to deceive (moha, to hide from everyone their essential nature). It (māyā as moha-śakti) is the one who causes the jīva to be deceived (into thinking it is not limitless consciousness-reality and is only the limited kośa).
Because of this delusion, (the jīva) becomes powerless (an-īśatā, loses its identity with the Lord), takes itself to be this body, and suffers (its limitations). This in brief is said to be the duality (dvaita) manifested by the Lord.
In the Saptānna Brāhmaṇa (the 1.5 section of Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad) there is presented the duality manifested by the individual (jīva, see PancD.4.17, the individual’s world of experience). Here the father (the jīva, individual) (as though, similar to the Lord Father) creates by its knowledge and activity the seven annas (experiences starting from food, BrhU.1.5.2).
One food is for humans, two foods are for the deities, the fourth food is for the animals, and the other three are for oneself (ātman, i.e., the jīva). Thus the (seven) foods are allotted.
Cooked rice and other grains (is the food only for humans), the new and full moon sacrifices (are the two foods for the deities), and milk (is the initial food for the animals also) (those are the eaten-foods, by which one is physically satiated), then (the eater-foods, the foods which enjoy other foods, by which one is satiated subtly, are) the mind, speech, and vital-energies (are for oneself the three ‘foods’ for consuming the intermediary world, the terrestrial world and the heavens, respectively). Thus the understanding regarding the seven kinds of foods (BrhU.1.5.2–7).
Even though all these are in reality created by the Lord, still the jīva made them his food through his (individual) knowledge and activity (jñāna-karma).
Being created by the Lord but only experienced by the individual, this (one) universe (here, the ‘food’) is understood to accordingly have these two (perspectives: its creator and its enjoyer). Like a young woman (as the māyā universe) is both a daughter to her father (her creator) and a wife to her husband (her enjoyer).
In the creation, the thought of the Lord (Īśa-saṅkalpa), which is a modification (vṛtti) of māyā, is the means (sādhana, for creation). Whereas, the thought of the jīva, which is a modification of the mind, is the means of enjoyment (bhoga, of the creation).
Towards a gem (maṇi), etc. created by the Lord, which exists in one way (to the Lord) as an entity, since the experience of that (entity) is through a variety of mental states of the individual experiencer, then it appears variously.
One who gets the gem becomes happy. Another, not getting it, becomes unhappy. Someone else having no interest towards it simply looks on, neither gets happy nor unhappy.
The jīva creates these three forms of being happy, unhappy, or indifferent, but the Lord created form (of the gem) remains common in those three.
As a wife, daughter-in-law, husband’s sister, wife of husband's brother, and mother – the same woman appears differently due to contrasting perspectives (dhīs), though she in reality is not herself different.
Objection (nanu): Let these perspectives (of the other individuals) be different, still the form (of the object of these perspectives) does not differ. In regard to the form of the woman, there doesn’t appear to be much created by the (other) individuals.
(Reply:) No so. As the woman has a physical body, she also has a mental body. Though her physical body may not change, still (due to others’ perspective of her) her own mental frame of mind (her jīva creation) does change (because of others).
(Objection:) Whereas, in (mental) delusion, dream, fancy and memory, the object is only mental (mano-maya, and is totally affected, completely changed, by the mental state), but as an (external) waking state (mental) object, it is not just the state of the mind (mano-mayatā, since the unchanged external object is also there to affect the state of the mind).
(Reply:) Sure (bāḍham). Due to coming in contact with the object would there be the image of the object (viṣaya-ākṛti) in the mind. This idea is acknowledged by the two teachers, Śaṅkara and Śuresvara.
Just as copper (tāmra) poured into a crucible, takes on its form (nibha), so too the mind, having reached the external forms, etc. then certainly appears as having their forms (here, the type of mind, like the type of copper, become more a part of that form by taking on the identity of the crucible-like object).
Or, just as (at a distance) a revealing light (āloka, from the sun, or lamp) would take on the form of what it reveals, so too the mind, since it reveals all objects, appears as having the forms of its objects (here, the light being uniform and less identified with its object, manifests more the varied features of the object than of itself).
From the cognizer (mātṛ, the jīva) the cognition (māna, a thought) is produced. Having been produced, it reaches out to its object (meya). Having come together with its object, it assumes the form of the object (YS.Appendix: Mind).
In this manner, there are two existent objects (viṣayas), such as a pot (ghaṭa) consisting of this clay (mṛd-maya, the clay in a certain form in this place and time) and the pot consisting of the understanding of it (dhī-maya). The material form (mṛd-maya) itself consists of the (material) form being encompassed by the mind (māna-maya)*. The understanding form (dhī-maya)** is that which is illumined by the witness (the sākṣin, the jīva-ātman, internally PancD.3.8).*(The manas-maya, PancD.1.20 & PancD.3.17, is the movement of the mind to reach and encompass the form of the object at this place and time, in other words, a material thing is only there to the extent our manas has carved it out from the universe as ‘this material form at this place and time’, where the carving by the senses and manas is the ‘-maya’ part of ‘mṛd-maya’).** (The buddhi-maya, PancD.1.20, is the understanding of that being a ‘pot’ at that place and time, which remains after the initial perception, about which one has purposes, desires, etcetera).
By the logic of co-presence and co-absence (anvaya-vyatireka, PancD.1.37), the understanding form (dhī-maya, how one understands the world and oneself) is what brings about the bondage (the limitation) of the jīva. Only when there is this (dhī-maya, and its understandings) is there these joys and sorrows, and when it is not there then this duality (dvaya, pairs of joys and sorrows, etcetera) is as well not there.
Even in the absence of external objects (bāhya-arthas) during dream, etc. (svapna-ādi, dreams, fancies, etc.), a person feels bound (limited). During samādhi (where one temporarily has no ideation, or if it is there, it is understood as being nothing other than one’s limitless self and thus non-binding), deep sleep or unconsciousness, at those times one is not feeling bound.
Towards a son who had gone to a distant land and remains living there, his father, by a lie from a deceiver, thinks him dead and wails.
Even if while living there (the son) had died, (his father) having not yet heard this news would not be wailing. Therefore, the cause of bondage for every jīva is only the mental world (the personal world of one’s understanding).**(“Mana eva manuṣyāṇāṃ kāraṇaṃ bandha-mokṣayoḥ, Mind alone is man’s cause for bondage and freedom” AmBU.2. “Cittam eva hi saṃsāraḥ tad praytnena śodhayet, yad-cittaḥ tad-mayaḥ bhavati guhyam etad sanātanam, The mind alone is one’s transient existence. One should make effort to clean it up. In whatever way one thinks, that one becomes. This is an eternal mystery” MaitU.1.9.)
(Objection:) Doesn’t this amount to an idealist philosophy (vijñāna-vāda), since it deprives external objects of any utility? (Reply:) No, because we accept that the form in the mind (hṛd, the buddhi) is dependent upon an external world.
Or, on the other hand, one can accept that the external world has no utility (at least in terms of one being completely free from bondage), still we are not able to do away with it (as we at least need a teaching and a teacher to gain freedom). Any means of knowledge (mānas, pramāṇa, of the external world) is not concerned with its usage (prayojana, the desired purpose, etc. of the object), but only with revealing what is there (sthīti).**(Or, This means of knowledge, our teachings here, are not concerned with how to make use of the world, the topic of the prior portion of the Vedas, but rather its reality, the topic of the Vedāntas, the Upaniṣads).
(Objection:) If bondage is the mental world (mānasa-dvaita), then peace is by withdrawing (nirodha) it (the mind from the world, YS.1.2). Therefore, only yoga should be practiced. What use is there to talk about knowledge of brahman?
(Reply:) In simply stilling the appearance of the world for a time, there is (temporarily) the stopping of creating new karma (āgāmin). But (eliminating all karma: sañcita accumulated, prārabdha fructifying, and āgāmin new) cannot be without brahma-jñāna (knowing oneself as the limitless reality that is naturally free of all karma, and thus free from birth and death). This is the ‘drumbeat’ (teaching) of Vedānta.
Even while the duality world manifested by the Lord (Īśa-śṛṣṭa) is not averted, still by knowing the unreal nature of that world, the non-dualist (vastu-aikya-vādin) is able to know the non-dual brahman (reality).
Even when that (universe) disappears at the dissolution (pralāya) and there is the absence of an opposing duality, still one cannot know non-duality, since there is no teacher or scripture (guru-śāstra, the means of knowledge and a guide), etc. (namely, one’s mind, to learn, is not there).
The duality manifested by the Lord (Īśvara-nirmita) is a help (sādhaka, a means in the form of a guru, etc.) instead of a hindrance (a-bādhaka, an obstacle). Moreover, no one (even if a great Yogī) is able to banish it. May it indeed remain. What reason is there to hate it (or even be sad, see commentary on YS.2.15)?
However, the duality created by the jīva (the individual) is of two kinds: in keeping with śāstra (the scriptural means of knowledge for ultimate reality), or not. One should take up the śāstrīya (the scriptural perspective of one’s dvaita) until the ultimate reality (tattva, taught in the scripture) is known (as oneself).
The mental world according to scripture (śāstrīyaṃ mānasaṃ jagat) is known as inquiry into both oneself and brahman. Finally, the scripture teaches that even this (the śāstrīyaṃ mānasaṃ jagat) is given up when the truth is known.
“Having studied the scriptures, the informed person (medhāvin) should repeat (i.e., analyze and contemplate) it again and again, and, having assimilated the knowledge of the ultimate brahman (as ātman, oneself), then (adha) one would (naturally) give up (the notion that there is more to study or gain), like one gives up a torch (having reached one’s destination)” (AmNU.01).
“Having studied the books (grantha), the informed person (medhāvin), having the assimilation of this knowledge (jñāna-vijñāna) as the ultimate (tat-para), would give up the (need for the) books completely, like one gives up the straw after extracting their grains” (AmBU.18).
“The wise (dhīra) and learned person (brāhmaṇa), having assimilated the knowledge of that very one and gained this knowledge (prajñā), would not dwell on even more (and other) texts, since that would simply be an (unnecessary) waste of words (vāc)” (BrhU.4.4.21).
“May you know that non-dual (eka, to be oneself). Any words (or ideas) that differ, give them up,” MunU.1.1.1. “The discerning person (prājña) should (resolve, reposition one’s identity from) speech (and the other organs) into the mind (manas)…,” (etcetera: the mind into the intellect, the intellect into that Lord, and that into the one’s peaceful self, KathU.1.3.13). Thus there are many such open statements in the scriptures.
Moreover, the duality (created by the jīva) that is not in keeping with śāstra (the scriptural means of knowledge for ultimate reality) is of two kinds: tīvra (intense, i.e., having excessive rajas guṇa) or manda (lazy or dull, i.e., having excessive tamas guṇa). The intense has the nature of craving for, anger against, etc.; and the other (the lazy or dull) is a world of fantasy (mano-rājya).
One needs to give up both these (tīvra and manda strivings, as one’s tat-para, the most important in one’s life) at the start of this study of ultimate reality (which will show one why and how to get away from these two) in order to complete this knowledge (bodha-siddhi). Therefore, śama (composure) and samāhitatva (attentiveness, respectively) are indicated in the scripture among the sādhanas (the preparations for gaining this knowledge).
And after attaining knowledge, in order to remain accomplished while living free (jīvan-mukti), that (tad a-śāstrīya, lifestyle contrary to the teaching) ought to be avoided (heya). For the one habituated by the hindering (kleśa) bonds of desire, etc. (YS.1.5), the freedom (through knowledge) is not appreciated (i.e., life remains as troublesome as before, at least for others around, even though one has the liberating knowledge, such as for sage Dur-vāsas).
(If one says) ‘Let there be no living free (after knowledge). I would be satisfied (kṛtin) in just not having another rebirth.’ In that case, still you will have a rebirth. (Because from the knowledge you have gained) you sir would be satisfied only by a stay in heaven (i.e., if your knowledge has not penetrated your unconscious, then that unconscious, the vāsanās, will bring you rebirth).
(And if heaven is thought to be okay:) Since heaven ought to be given up as being defective with gradations (kṣaya-atiśaya, downs and ups, of pleasures), then, (heaven) itself being defective, why not give up all that which has this kind of nature built from desires, onwards?
Even though knowing the reality, if you cannot completely give up (hindering) desires, etc., then your behavior will be ruled by your whims, and will transgress the (common) rule of laws (which will offend others and bring trouble to yourself).
For one who effortlessly (sva-tattva, nija-svarūpam, without much sādhana) has come to know the non-dual, and then lives (as before) according to one’s whim, then what is the difference between a dog and this seer of the truth in that they both only enjoy an unclean life (a-śuci-bhakṣaṇa)?
Before this (spiritual) knowledge, simply from the defects of the mind you continue to live a troubled life (kliśyasi), but now (having gained knowledge) you also suffer censure of the entire world (i.e., now you also become a hypocrite in everyone’s eyes). Alas, what a greatness from knowledge you have gained!
You sir, a knower of truth, should not seek the level of a pig in its own excrement, etc. By completely freeing yourself from all the defects of the mind, the people will honor (you) like a deity (which would be an encouragement to others and a non-hindrance to you, a win-win).
Well-known in the teachings meant for freedom (mokṣa-śāstras) are the means for freeing oneself from desires, etc. by the practices of seeing the defects of following desires, etc. (YS.2.33–4). Adhering to these (teachings), may you have a pleasant life (with this knowledge, while jīvan-mukta).
(Objection:) Let the (acting upon) desires, etc. be given up, but, what’s the harm in just fantasizing (mano-rājya, upon them)? (Reply:) The harm is because it (fantasizing) is the seed for the rest of the defects. This was indicated by Lord (Kṛṣṇa).
“For a person who mentally dwells on objects, attachment (saṅga) to them arises; from attachment (allowed to flame up) arises binding desire (kāma, requirements in order to be happy and anticipations of their fruition); from (thwarted) anticipations arises anger (krodha)” BhG.2.62).
This mano-rājya (fanciful thinking, where the manas, not the intellect, is given the keys to one’s kingdom, so to speak) can be overcome by contemplation (samādhi, with this teaching) on the attributeless reality (nirvikalpa, the nirguṇa brahman). Further, that can be eased into (susaṃpāda-kramāt) by contemplation on the attributed reality (vikalpa, the sa-guṇa brahman, Īśvara, the Lord, even though the attributes are unreal, PancD.1.16, .48 & PancD.3.40, and YS.1.23–7).
With the reality being known (enough to contemplate it), freed from the defects in thinking (that the unreal is real), and abiding long enough alone (without interruption), while contemplating praṇava (Om, YS.1.27–8) one overcomes mano-rājya, being ruled by the mind).
When that (mano-rājya) is overcome (and its chattering has calmed down), thinking may cease (for a time) and the mind remains like a mute. This state was variously described by Vasiṣṭha to Rāma (in the Yoga-Vasiṣṭha).
With the knowledge that the phenomenal (dṛśya universe) is unreal (na asti, is only its appearance and nothing more, PancD.3.21), clearing the appearances of the mind (as defining, limiting, oneself), if that (clarity) remains, then there is a profound (para) tranquility (from problems) called nirvāṇa (freedom, mokṣa).
Having thoroughly studied scripture for a sufficient time together (mithas, with a teacher) to make it understood, still without mauna (quietude, the practice of the ascetics, munis) by having completely freed oneself from (without identity with) the vāsanas (the unconscious binding fetters) the ultimate goal (as oneself unlimited by the conscious and unconscious mind’s fetters) is not in hand.
The mind (dhī, intellect) sometimes is thrown off (from its śāstriya perspective) due to karma bestowed from (past) experience (waiting as a vāsana to arise). (In that case) by the skillful practice (of attentive contemplation) again one should samāhita (gather back, the contemplative intellect, from the tamas of fancies back to satva, PancD.4.49–50).
The one whose (intellect) is not thrown off track (from knowing oneself as limitless) is considered not just a knower of brahman, but is brahman itself, thus say the far-seeing munis (ascetics, manana-śīlas, those who have mastered their mind).
Freed from sometimes seeing and sometimes not seeing (the truth), who remains oneself alone as one’s unitary nature, O Brahman, that one is self-evident (svayam) brahman, not merely a knower OF brahman.
The far measure (parā-kāṣṭhā) of living liberated (jīvan-mukti) starts from getting free from jīva-dvaita (the limited, binding world perspective of the individual, PancD.4.32 & .43). When that is attained, then this becomes the discernment of the Lord’s world (Īśvara-dvaita, the common factual world only as it appears, and living in this world as brahman alone).
(The first mahā-vākya:) That by which one sees all this, hears, smells, speaks, and distinguishes sweet and non-sweet is called ‘prajñānam (consciousness)’, (in “prajñānaṃ brahma,” ‘Consciousness is brahman’, AitU.3.1.3).
The one consciousness in Lord Brahma (the Lord with four faces), Indra, and all deities, as well as in humans, horses, cows, etcetera – is brahman (reality). Therefore, prajñāna brahman is in me also.
In this body fit (adhikārin) for that knowledge is the full (paripūrṇa), ultimate ātman (self). Existing as the witness of the intellect, it reveals (itself), proclaimed as ‘I’.
(The second mahā-vākya:) The natural fullness (pūrṇa) that is the ultimate self is encompassed here by the word ‘brahman’. The word ‘asmi (I am)’ (in “ahaṃ brahma asmi,” ‘I am brahman’, BrhU.1.4.10) indicates the identity with that brahman which I am.
(The third mahā-vākya:) Existing alone, one non-dual, devoid of name or form (nāma-rūpa) before the manifestation, and now still existing as that very same. This is indicated by the word ‘tad (that)’ (in “tat tvam asi,” ‘That (brahman) you are’, ChanU.6.8.7).
Transcending the body and senses of the one listening (to this teaching) is the vastu (entity) here indicated by the word ‘tvam (you)’. The word ‘asi (are)’ indicates the identity. That identity is to be intimately assimilated (anubhūyatām).
(The fourth mahā-vākya:) Its self-revealing, non-remoteness is understood by the word, ‘ayam (this, SG.4.8)’. The word ‘ātman (self)’ announces the one interior to this, beginning with the notion of ‘I’ and ending with this body (in “ayam ātmā brahma,” ‘This self is brahman’, ManU.2).
The very nature (tattva) of the entire apparent universe is indicated by the word, ‘brahman (limitless reality)’. That brahman has the nature of the self-revealing ātman (oneself).
Like on a picture canvas are seen four stages of manifestation (avasthā), similarly upon the ultimate reality (parama-ātman) are known to be four stages of manifestation (of the world).
Like a canvas (paṭa) is at first clean (dhauta), then prepared (stiffened with starch), then outlined, and finally colored in, similarly there is consciousness (cit, which is one only without a second), then (upon this is imposed) a Lord (antar-yāmin, the inner controller, which provides order everywhere), a subtle nature (sūtra-ātman, Hiraṇya-garbha, subtility manifestable to a mind), and finally a gross nature (Virāṭ-ātman, physicality manifestable to the subtle senses).
Here the ‘cleaned’ (dhauta) would be a naturally clear (canvas), the ‘prepared’ would be from covering with food-starch, the ‘outlined’ would be by the penciled forms, and the ‘colored’ would be by filling in with colors.
Consciousness (cit) is naturally (pure, without a second), whereas, when with māyā (the power of hiding the one and projecting the many) it is the Lord (antar-yāmin, the inner controller), which when manifested subtly it is called the subtle nature (sūtra-ātman), and when further manifested grossly (to the senses) it is called Virāṭ (the Lord manifested physically). This is the totality (para, which is brahman).
On this (para brahman) are all the living beings (prāṇins) starting with Lord Brahmā to a tuft of grass, as well as all the inanimate objects (jaḍas). They appear as being superior and inferior (to each other), like the painted images (citra) on a canvas.
People are imposed (arpita, by us) upon the painted images and they separately appear (ābhāsa) to have clothing. With their clothing these (prātibhāsika* appearances on the canvas imposed by our mind) are imagined as seemingly not different from (the vyāvahārika factual reality of) the painted canvas.*(The terms ‘imposed’, ‘imagined’, etc., indicate we are talking about levels of reality, which has two levels: unreal and real. In regard to our everyday life, here as the painting example, these appear as imaginary, prātibhāsika, and as factual, vyāvahārika. In regard to the goal of this teaching, here as they apply to the individual and to the one reality, these are the imaginary plus the factual as the unreal and the consciousness as the real, pāramārthika, see YS.2.22)
(Similarly) the (vyāvahārika, visual) appearances in (pāramārthika, real) consciousness of separate embodied people as if having their own separate consciousness (caitanya) are imagined by us as entities called jīvas (individual living being). They are imagined as being many and undergo coming and going (saṃsāra, transmigration through a succession of moments of time and births).
The unknowing talk like the (vyāvahārika) paints exist as the (prātibhāsika) appearances of clothes, etcetera, as if they have become (vyāvahārika) clothes stuck on the (vyāvahārika) surface (canvas). In that way, they think the (vyāvahārika) transmigration of the jīvas is there for the (pāramārthika) consciousness also.
The mountains, etcetera, represented in the painting are not drawn as having the appearance of clothing. Thus here, the earth, etcetera, present in creation indeed do not appear to us as having consciousness.
The delusion (bhrānti) that this transient life (saṃsāra) as absolutely real (paramārtha) is what I am stuck with (saṃlagna) in my reality (sva-ātma-vastu) would be the a-vidyā (ignorance), which this vidyā (in the form of the teaching here) removes.
Saṃsāra belongs to the jīva which is only a semblance of the self (ātma-ābhāsa, the appearance of consciousness limited to the mind within this body), not to the (unlimited) reality of the self (ātma-vastu) – this understanding would here be the vidyā. This is attained through discerning inquiry (vicāraṇa).
Therefore, one should continually inquire into the absolute nature (para-ātman) of the universe and the individual. When the (limited) nature of the individual and of the universe is negated (bādha, PancD.3.29), one’s self alone remains.
The negation is not their disappearance (a-pratīti, to the senses), but rather the clear understanding of their mithyātva (unreality, not being absolutely as real as oneself). If otherwise (their simply disappearing), then a person would effortlessly gain freedom after they go to deep sleep or go unconscious.
Moreover (besides the unreality of the individual and the universe), that one’s absolute nature alone remains (PancD.6.12) indicates the discernment of the real nature of this (ātman), not simply disregarding (vismṛti) the universe. Otherwise, jīvan-mukti (living while liberated) would not be possible.
The knowledge (vidyā) arising from inquiry is of two kinds: indirect (parokṣa) and direct (a-parokṣa, ‘not indirect’). Between these two, when knowledge is direct, then the inquiry has completed.
If one knows ‘brahman exists’, that is only an indirect knowledge (an acknowledgment that there is something limitless that is called ‘brahman’). If one knows ‘I am brahman (the limitless reality)’, that is direct appreciation (sākṣāt-kāra).
In order to establish the direct appreciation of the nature of oneself, it is here discerned as that by which one is immediately (sadya) freed from all of saṃsāra (notions of bondage, i.e., it is okay that there is a limitless brahman, but how does that help me, unless I am that same limitless).
The consciousness (cit) can be indicated in four ways: the kūṭa-stha (what remains unchanging in the changing, BhG.6.8) and brahman (the limitless reality), or the jīva (the nature of myself) and Īśvara (the nature of the Lord). In the same way respectively, (space) can be indicated as pot-space or limitless-space (as an example of kūṭa-stha and brahman), or as the sky (reflecting) in a (pot of) water or sky (reflecting) in (the moisture of) a cloud (as an example of jīva and Īśvara).
The sky in a pot (jala-ākāśa) is explained as what is reflected (pratibimbita) in the water inside the space limited (avacchinna) in a pot, which is the sky along with the clouds (in the day) and stars (in the night).
The sky in a cloud (megha-ākāśa) is explained as what is reflected in the water that is a body of water (megha-maṇḍala) in the vast space.
The water in the form of the cloud particles are present in the form of mist (tuṣāra), in that, due its nature of being water (that can reflect), one could infer that there would be the reflection (pratibimba) of the vast sky (in all directions).
The kūṭa-stha is said to be what remains unchanging like a mountain peak (kūṭavat, or a hardened iron hammer or anvil). It is the consciousness (cetana) limited (avacchinna) in both the (physical and subtle) bodies, as their (unchanging) substantive reality (adhiṣṭānatā).
On the kuṭa-stha is imposed (kalpita) the intellect (buddhi). Reflected in the consciousness, in that (buddhi), is the (notion of) the jīva (the individual) due to the support of the life-forces (prāṇas). That one (the jīva) is subject to saṃsāra (migration in time and births).
Just as the entirety the space within the pot is hidden (tirohita) by the (reflected) sky on the surface of water (in the pot), similarly, the (entirely of) kūṭa-stha (consciousness present in the mind, and everywhere) is hidden by the jīva (the notion of individuality reflecting in the intellect). That is called mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa, where the uninformed mind imposes limited individuality on oneself and that individual imposes the limitation of its reflection of the universe on the totality of space, of consciousness).
(By this mutual imposition) the jīva (on its own) will not ever discern the (totality of) kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness, as its real nature). This lack of discernment is beginningless (as is the nature of any kind of ignorance, such as it makes no sense to say that my ignorance of Chinese language started at some particular time). This (lack of discernment) is to be understood as the root ignorance (mūlā a-vidyā, from which all other problems of limitation evolve).
This ignorance appears in two forms as concealment (āvṛti) and projection (vikṣepa). The concealment (myself as limitless consciousness being unknown) is the material basis (āpādana) for (the projection, PancD.7.35–6 & PancD.6.33) ‘Consciousness (kūṭa-stha) is not seen so it does not exist’ (hence, I am only my body and mind that I can see, nothing else).
If a wise person asks someone who does not know about the kūṭa-stha, (the reply would be) “It is not known. It is not seen. The kūṭa-stha does not exist.” In this way that one would think and also admit.
From where could this ignorance (a-vidyā) come into one’s consciousness (sva-prakāśa, kūṭa-stha)? Without that (ignorance) how could there be concealment (āvṛti)? – Such are the webs of logic which one’s own experience swallows (i.e., it is useless to question what is already an obvious fact, namely, that this ignorance is already here, much like ignorance of Chinese language).
When one does not trust one’s own experience yet has (the trust) of a logic that can have no finality (that can be factually verified), then how could such a one, thinking he is a logician, gain any clarity in truth?
If logic (tarka) is meant for firming up the intellect, then, in that case, one should expect it to be like that. One should employ logic in keeping with one’s experience, not employ illogic (which confounds the intellect).
One’s experience regarding ignorance and its power of concealment was clearly shown (PancD.6.27). Therefore, one should employ logic based on this experience that the unchanging consciousness (kūṭa-stha-caitanya) is not opposed (to ignorance, i.e., we are aware of what we know, and also are aware of our ignorance regarding what we do not know).
If that (unchanging consciousness) is opposed to the concealing (by ignorance), then the latter is experienced by whom? Whereas, it is discerning knowledge (viveka, a form of vṛtti-jñāna, not svarūpa-jñāna) that is opposed to this (concealing, i.e., whenever knowledge of something comes then its ignorance goes, because they are opposing, while awareness witnesses the presence of both ignorance and its absence). This fact is seen in regard to a knower of the truth.
When the kūṭa-stha (limitless consciousness present within) is obscured (from our intellect) by ignorance, this consciousness is then (seemingly) endowed with the two bodies (the physical and the mental), imposed like (an imagined piece of) silver on a mother of pearl shell. This indeed is the erroneous predication (adhyāsa) called vikṣepa (projection, the example of silver on a shell is one of projecting a desirable piece of silver on an otherwise useless shell).
(In the example, “This is silver”) The ‘this’ is factual reality, but ‘silver’ placed on the shinny surface of the shell is (alone) seen. In the same way (in the delusion “this body and mind is real and it is me”) my-ness is the reality, but when projection occurs, it is placed on what is other (anya-ga, than oneself).
Just as the iridescent (nīla, blue) surface and triangular shape on the shell are obscured (tirohita), so too the absence of associations (a-saṅga) and fullness (ānandatā) within oneself (kūṭa-stha, the one who always remains the same) are obscured.
In the illustration (dṛṣṭānta), what is imposed has the (valued reality notion and) name ‘silver’. Similarly, is the certain notion that it is (an individual) with the name ‘I’ (aham) projected and imposed upon the consciousness within (the kūṭa-stha).
Naturally seeing the ‘this’ (here and now) aspect (only of the shell), yet one identifies it to be ‘silver’. Similarly, naturally seeing oneself (svam, the inherent nature of oneself and all entities), one identifies it as (an individual) ‘I’.
Both the natures of (perceptible) ‘this’ and (notional) ‘silver’ are different (as the first being common to everyone and the latter being peculiar to some), similarly is different the (obvious) self and the (notional) ‘I’. In both there is indeed a commonality (sāmānya) and peculiarity (viśeṣa).
One sees such common expressions as, ‘Deva-datta himself (svam) may go’, ‘You yourself (svam) see’, similarly, ‘I myself (svam) am not able’.
Just as (the demonstrative pronoun) ‘this’ is (common) in the expressions, ‘This silver’ and ‘This cloth’, similarly, (the reflexive pronoun) ‘self’ (svam) is identified (as common) in regard to the pronouns ‘he’, ‘you’, and ‘I’ (as himself, yourself, and myself).
(Doubt:) (The common) self (svam) is different from (the concept of the peculiar) ‘I’, but what has this to do in regard to the kūṭa-stha for you? (Reply:) The meaning of the word ‘self’ (svam) indeed is this ‘kūṭa-stha’ for me.
(Doubt:) Doesn’t the word ‘self’ (svam) just exclude otherness (exclude not-self, not just indicate oneself). (Reply:) Excluding other is the very nature (ātmatā) of (the one and only) ‘kūṭa-stha’. That (understanding) would indeed be acceptable (iṣṭa, to us).
Svayam (oneself) and ātman (the self) are alternative words (paryāya, synonyms), so in common parlance both these are not used together. Therefore, ‘oneself’ and the ‘self’ both exclude any other thing.
(Doubt:) But (the reflexive pronoun) ‘svam’ (self) is seen to apply to objects that lack consciousness such as a pot, etcetera, as in the expression ‘the pot itself (svayam) does not know’. (Reply:) Such usage is seen because of the reality (sattva) basis of the innate nature (ātman, of all entities, even the inanimate).
The difference between animate and inanimate is indeed not due to the kūṭa-stha or the ātman. Rather, (the difference) is only made by the reflection (ābhāsa, of consciousness) itself due to the mind (buddhi, a subtle entity present only in the animate that becomes conscious by the presence of consciousness) – this is how it is to be understood.
Just as the conscious reflection (limited to the mind) itself is an erroneous notion within the kūṭa-stha, so the unconscious pot, etcetera is a notion within that (the kūṭa-stha) alone.
(Doubt:) Even ‘that’ (tad) and ‘this’ (idam, pronouns), like ‘svam’ (it/your/one…self), can be applied everywhere to you, I, etc. (all three grammatical persons), therefore both (‘that’ and ‘this’) also are meaning ‘ātman’ (the self).
(Reply:) Even though both these pronouns, ‘that’ and ‘this’, can refer to the self (as ‘that self’ and ‘this self’), apart from that usage these two cannot refer only to the self, the same as the (general adjectives) ‘correct’, etc. (can refer to a noun, but cannot be limited to only refer to just one noun).
The pair of words ‘that’ and ‘this’, ‘itself’ and ‘other’, as well as ‘you’ and ‘I’ are well-know in common parlance as being mutually exclusive (of each other). No one doubts this.
The opposite of ‘other’ (anya) is oneself (svayam), which is recognized as the kūṭa-stha (one’s conscious being). The opposite of ‘you’ (tvam) is the ‘I’ (aham), which is imposed on oneself (on kūṭa-stha).
Like between ‘silver’ and ‘this’ (of the shell) is the distinction between ‘I’ (the notion of individuality) and ‘self’ (the consciousness being, kūṭa-stha). Even though clear, those who are overcome with delusion (moha, of a-vidyā) take them as identical.
This identity imposition (tād-ātmya-adhyāsa, between the ‘other’ and myself, PancD.6.50) is brought about by a-vidyā, beginningless ignorance of one’s limitless nature) which was explained before (PancD.1.13–4). When this ignorance is negated (by assimilated knowledge of oneself), its effects are discounted (as being mere temporary appearances, not touching upon the limitless consciousness self).
The concealing and identification due to ignorance are both removed by knowledge alone. But, the essence of the projections (i.e., māyā, the appearances of the world, PancD.1.16) is continued to be experienced until the end of one’s prārabdha (life-term karma, the fructifying karma that brought and keeps this body and mind here during this time).
Even the logicians say that when the material cause of something is destroyed its (subsequent) effect is seen the next moment. So why not for us (Vedāntins) this (continuation of the body and mind after destruction of a-vidyā)?
Those (logicians) even believe that (at least subtly the form of the cloth, which is an effect of its material cause, the threads) lasts the same amount of time as the last number of days of its threads. Similarly here for us, the innumerable effects of delusion may have their appropriate moments of survival.
Without any evidence (māna, pramāṇa) that can withstand a pounding (a questioning), they (the logicians) uselessly propose (this theory that an effect can survive a few moments beyond the destruction of its material cause). However, being based upon scripture, logic and experience, how could this (survival of the fructifying karma of an individual even after discerning unreality of this very universe itself) be impractical?
Me talking about this current topic (prakṛta) with unreasonable logicians (who do not accept the scriptures as a means of knowledge here) would be continuing an unending dispute (vi-vāda). The fact (siddha, from scripture, which is evidenced by us and is logical) is that oneself and ‘I’ is a (false) identification of the kūṭa-stha (the permanent consciousness) and the changing (pariṇāmin, body-mind complex), respectively.
All those who consider themselves learned and are world-bound logicians, without regard to the prominence of the scripture (as the pramāṇa, essential authority, in this topic) and dependent solely on logic, they only make themselves (and others) confused.
Among them, some (who accept some authority of the scripture) lacking reflexion on the context (pūrva-apara, on what what said before and after) unembarrassedly employ semblances of scriptures in arguing their own viewpoint alone (not the scripture’s).
Materialists (lokāyatas) and simple people (pāmara), dependent on a semblance (limitation, misremembrance and perversion) of their own experiences (pratyakṣa-ābhāsa), become themselves identified with this complex (saṅghāta) beginning with their conscious being to the gross body.
Similarly there are those who recognize as a means of knowledge the conclusion of Virocana (ChanU.8.7.2–.8.5) as their own opinion and treat it as if it was scripture that the only treasure (kośa) is this food body (anna-maya, PancD.1.33).
Other materialists (lokāyatas) say that since the death of the body here is seen when the essence (ātman) of the individual leaves it, then the self must be something other than the body.
From the expressions ‘I speak’ (vacmi), etcetera, as the notion of ‘I’ is recognized through the nature of sensing, another would conjecture the self to be these powers (indriyas, the organs of sensing and acting) separate from the body.
Heard in the scriptures is the quarreling among speech, etc. indriyas (ChanU.5.1.1–15, BrhU.6.1.1–15). By that, each must have consciousness (have an ātman). But apart from them (the prāṇa, the life-force was seen to be superior) so it must be the (superior) ātman.
But the followers of Hiraṇya-garbha argue that (from the same scripture above) the prāṇa alone is ātman. They say that even when each of the senses, starting from sight, fail, nevertheless one survives as long as the prāṇa remains.
The prāṇa remains awake even when one is deep asleep. Prāṇa’s superiority, etc. is indicated in the scriptures. The prāṇa-maya kośa is widely discussed in detail (elsewhere too).
Other people holding meditation (upāsana) as the ultimate consider the mind (manas) to be the ātman. The prāṇa clearly has no enjoyership, while this mind does have enjoyership (bhoktṛtva).
The scripture says, “Mind alone is mans’ cause for bondage and freedom” (PancD.4.35), and (thus) it discusses the mano-maya kośa. Therefore, (for these people) the mind is considered ātman.
Others (some Buddhists) clearly believe that vijñāna (intellect) is the ātman. They are (called) kṣaṇika-vādins (proclaimers that reality is momentary), because the mind (manas) is based on (momentary) thought (vijñāna, a distinct unit of knowledge).
The internal organ (antaḥ-karaṇa, the mind in general) is of two modes: an ‘I’-thought (any thought connected to the sense of I, ownership, etc.) and a ‘this’-thought (any thought connected to the sense of this that is other than I). The ‘I’-thought is (called) the vijñāna (intellect, such as ‘I know this’) and the ‘this’-thought is the manas (a technical name for any thought that is not an intellect thought, such as a thought that directs the senses to their objects or cognizes internal sensations, such as ‘this sadness’, apart from the intellection that ‘I am sad’, etcetera. In other words, the manas is the figuring-out or work-in-process mind and the vijñāna or buddhi is the settled, determined mind).
Clearly, a 'this’-thought has its origin from the ‘I’-thought (i.e., the idea of ‘other’ comes from the idea of a ‘me’). Without my self, there can never be an idea of an external (outside of my self).
Because the ‘I’-thought has a limit (mita) as moment by moment born-gone (and not a continuity), then vijñāna (the intellect) is momentary, and this intellect (miti) is self-luminous (not requiring another thought to illumine it).
Even the ancient texts (TaitU.2.4.1) claim that the vijñāna-maya kośa is the jīva. For this one alone is the entire saṃsāra (phenomenal appearance) consisting of births and deaths, and in between sorrows, etcetera.
The Mādhyamika (Buddhists) claim that vijñāna cannot be the (permanent) ātman as it is momentary, like lightning flashes in a cloud, or the blink of the eye, and since there is seen nothing other than these, then (the permanent) is nothing (śūnya, the void).
Even (your) scripture talks about this (śūnya), starting with, “(In the beginning) there was only this non-existence (a-sat)”, etc. (ChanU.6.2.1). Therefore, this entire jagat (impermanent phenomenal world) consisting of knowing and known is but an erroneous illusion (imagined permanence connecting the momentary).
(Reply:) (Logically:) Since there can be no illusion (no effect) without a substratum (adhiṣṭhāna, a substantive cause, such as a mirage water illusion requires a distant surface over which a layer of air reflects the blue sky above), the ātman (oneself) must have that nature of being the (substantive) reality (of even an illusion of permanency amongst the transitory). Moreover, since any (claim of) śūnya (nothingness, as the substratum of the phenomenal) requires a witness (to this fact), those (Śūnya-vādins) have no one (other than śūnya) to claim this (śūnya, and if śūnya itself is self-aware, then śūnya is simply another name for existent consciousness).
(Scripturally:) Internal to the vijñāna-maya is another (kośa) called ānanda-maya (the sense of fullness, which is there even in the nothingness of deep sleep, PancD.3.9, TaitU.2.6.1). And it (ānanda-maya) indeed does experientially exist, per the scriptural perspective.
Other disputants regarding this topic argue variously from scripture and logic that (ātman) is tiny, pervasive, or medium in size.
The Antar-ālas (the ‘Inside’ proponents) argue this (ātman) is tiny aṇu, since it abides and moves within the subtle nāḍīs (the prāṇa pathways inside the body), which are equal to a thousandth the width of a hair.
(Ātman) is “smaller than the small” (SvetU.3.20), “This is tiny” (MunU.3.1.9), “Subtler than the subtle” (KaivU.1.16) – hundreds and thousands of scripture quotes they recite to show its tiny nature.
And another scripture text says, “The individual (jīva, ātman) is to be known as (the size of) a fraction (bhāga) of a hundredth part of the tip of a hair (bāla = vāla) divided a hundred (more) times” (SvetU.5.9).
The Dig-ambaras say it is a medium size from the foot to the head, because it is clearly seen to be pervaded by consciousness, and also the because of the scripture, “Up to the tips of the nails” (BrhU.1.4.7).
Also, it abides within the subtle nāḍīs since it is subtle, and exists within each of the limbs (avayavas), like the hands of a large person can slip into (the sleeves of) a coat.
Even though determined to be medium sized (madhyamatva), it enters into small and large bodies through this coming and going, and accommodates itself to the parts of each of the bodies.
For what has parts, like a (constructed) pot, there would be a destruction (a deconstruction). So it is in this case (when the body, like the pot, is destroyed, the ātman likewise comes and goes) there would be the defect of the loss of what was earned (kṛta, the loss of the individual’s accumulated karma) and thus the arrival of what was not earned (i.e., the accumulated karma being lost, then one’s birth could not be the result of one’s prior accumulated karma).**(Amusingly, this is an obvious defect here to these thinkers, but is the common belief in the West, where there seemingly is a low sense of universal justice. In which case, God or pure chance is to be cursed for why one is born in one’s situation.)
Therefore, the ātman (the self) is neither large, small, nor medium. It is all pervasive, like space, and hence without parts (nir-aṃśa, shapeless). This is the well-discerned position of the scriptures.
Thus has been told the various ways they have come to quarrel (as to the location or size of the self). Now, as to whether it (ātman) is unconscious (a-cit) or conscious (cit), or even a compound of both.
The followers of Prabhākara (himself a Mīmāṃsaka, Veda textual scholar) and the Logicians (Tārkikas) say that it (ātman) is by nature unconscious. Ātman is a substance (dravya) and (is pervasive) like space, and consciousness is its quality (guṇa), like sound (is considered a quality of space).
They proclaim that, similar to having consciousness, it has other qualities, such as desire, aversion effort, virtue, vice, pleasure, pain, and other saṃskāras (latent tendencies) that belong to it.
When such an ātman (with its consciousness, desire, etc.) joins with a mind (manas), in accordance with its past karma (a-dṛṣṭa, from prior lives) those qualities are (accordingly) manifest. Then, due the depletion (of that day’s worth) of past karma (a-dṛṣṭa), then these (qualities) become unmanifest (pralīyante) during deep sleep state (suṣupta).**(Our author here describes a daily level concern for a Pūrva-Mīmāṃsaka follower knowledgeable in jyotiṣa, astrology.)
This (ātman) is conscious (cetana) because it possesses the quality of consciousness (citi), and (thus) has desire, aversion, effort (etcetera). It would then be the doer (kartṛ) of supportive and unsupportive acts (dharma-adharma, supportive of getting more pleasant births in heaven and in rebirths here), and would be the experiencer (bhoktṛ), because of thus gaining the sorrows, etc. (reactions of the mind to the results of one’s actions).
Just as in this life, in accordance with one’s (past) karma, sometimes there is some joy, etc., so too upon gaining a body in another world, (in accordance with one’s karma) there arises desires, etc. (to keep getting more of those moments of joy).
In this way, a coming and going would be possible (for ātman) despite (contradictorily) it being all pervasive (sarva-ga, like space). These (Pūrva-Mīmāṃsakas) claim here that the entirely of the karma-kāṇḍa (the Veda dealing specifically with ritual life and rites, which they take to be the purport of the entire Veda, including its Upaniṣads) is the means of knowledge (pramāṇa) here (regarding ātman).**(Whereas Vedāntins, called Uttara-Mīmāṃsakas, limit the pramāṇa regarding ātman to just the latter part of the Veda consisting of the Upaniṣads, alone having this unique topic of the ultimate nature of ātman.)
What remains even into deep sleep and is called the ānanda-maya kośa (conscious of joy) yet (at that time) is not conscious of anything else (a-spaṣṭa-cit) is for them (the Prābhākara school of Mīmāṃsakas) the very ātman. And it is one’s original condition (pūrva-kośa, the causal body) for manifesting (upon awaking and upon a rebirth) the other qualities (guṇas, retained in unmanifest form, PancD.6.90).
The Bhāṭṭas (followers of Kumārila-Bhaṭṭa, another Mīmāṃsaka), accepting that consciousness, caitanya) can be hidden, say the ātman has the nature of being both unconscious and conscious (jaḍa-bodha), because of one’s memory later upon waking (that at the previous time I was aware of being unconscious) one must accept that consciousness (as being unconscious too at that time).
“I became unconscious and then slept,” is our remembrance of being jaḍa at that time. Yet without something to experience this unconscious state, how could there be such (a memory, hence one must be able to be conscious and unconscious at the same time).
In sleep “for the seer (draṣṭṛ) there is no cessation of seeing,” says the scripture (BrhU.4.3.23). Thus ātman oneself has both a dark and light nature, like a fire-fly.
The Sāṅkhyas who discern (a distinction between the conscious puruṣa and unconscious prakṛti) say that the part-less (nir-aṃśa, i.e., the ātman) cannot in any way have a dual nature (ubhaya-ātmatva), and by that the ātman can only be in the form of consciousness (cit-rūpa).
Prakṛti has a form consisting of parts that are unconscious (jāḍya-aṃśa), and that form has modifications, which consists of (variations of) the three guṇas. This prakṛti exists for the sake of the conscious being’s experiences and release (apavarga, from the cycle of experiences).
The consciousness (citi, puruṣa) which by nature cannot interact (a-saṅga) is considered bound and then freed because of not grasping the difference (between that prakṛti and oneself, the puruṣa). Like for the preceding (philosophers), in order for there to be different states of being bound and freed, (there must be multiple puruṣas due to) a difference between these conscious beings.
(They quote) that prakṛti is called “the (total) unmanifest (a-vyakta, the total causal body, unmanifest to the mind and senses) and is other than (para, superior to) the mahat (the total manifest, the effect of prakṛti),” as mentioned in scripture (KathU.1.3.11). As well everywhere is clearly mentioned the unattached nature (a-saṅgatā, of the ātman, the puruṣa) such as, “Indeed it is unattached” (BrhU.3.9.26, etc.).
The Yogins say Īśvara is the inner controller (niyāmaka) of prakṛti, whenever prakṛti is in the presence (sannidhi) of consciousness (cit, of this Īśvara). Also that (Īśvara) is distinct from all jīvas (all individual intellects, KathU.1.3.10).
The scripture says that the Lord of the guṇas is the Lord of pradhāna (i.e., prakṛti) and of the individual knowers (kṣetra-jñas, SvetU.1.10). In the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad, “Being the inner controller (antar-yāmin)” is unmistakably imputed (to the self of all, BrhU.3.7.15).
In regard to this topic, there are also other philosophers who argue in accordance to their own logic, and with conviction they quote texts according to how they understand.
The Lord would be the special person (puṃ-viśeṣa) by being untouched “by the afflictions (kleśas) and the fruitions of (its own) karmas and by the storehouses (of anyone’s karma)” (YS.1.24). Yet, like ordinary persons (jīvas), is an unattached consciousness.
That being so, because of being this special person, it happens to have that nature of being the inner controller. Otherwise, it would here fall in (be subject to) a state of bondage or freedom (PancD.6.105, yet, being the controller within allows some to remain bound and others to become free).
“Out of fear (bhīṣā, or rather the mandate of their nature, of their role, in this creation) from this” (from the Lord, His order, everything in nature behaves accordingly, within its possibilities, not chaotically, TaitU.2.8.1). In this way and in other scriptures, it (the Lord) is shown to have the nature of being unattached yet the Over-Lord (para-ātman). Though connected to them (to their nature as its inner controller), is has no connection to their afflictions and actions.
Even though jīvas (by their real nature) are unattached and indeed do not have afflictions, etcetera, still, due to not grasping the distinction (of their consciousness nature from the manifest forms of nature) they (believe they) have afflictions, action, etc. as pointed out before.
The Logicians (Tārkikas) think that the Lord has qualities of eternal knowledge, eternal effort and eternal desire, and they say it is not possible for an unattached (Lord) to be a controlling power.
There is scripture that declares (the Lord) is having true-desire, true-resolve (i.e., whatever it desires is infallibly possible and whatever it determines is infallibly actualized, ChanU.8.7.1). Even though it may be a special person, His nature is not otherwise than through those three qualities alone (eternal knowledge, etc., PancD.6.109).
When the (Lord) has the nature of eternal knowledge, etc. (PancD.6.109) then its manifestation (śṛṣṭi) would always be continuing. The Lord would therefore be Hiraṇya-garbha endowed with the (total) subtle body.
The glory of that (Lord, as Hiraṇya-garbha, the mahā-prāṇa) is detailed in the Udgītha-Brāhmaṇa (BrhU.1.3). Even though being the total subtle body, since itself does not have any karma, etc., then it does not have individuality (jīvatva).
The worshipers of Virāj (the total manifest cosmos, as the cosmic person with its head being the heavens down to its feet being the earth) know that without its physical body nowhere can be seen its subtle body. Therefore, that (total) body everywhere starting from its head onwards is the Īśa (the awareful Lord).
Also there is scripture saying, “It has countless heads,” whose eye pervades everywhere (PurSuk and SvetU.3.14). Thus they meditate upon all this that is not the Lord as belonging to that viśva-rūpa (the Virāt form of the Lord).
If it is all hands and feet, then even bugs, etc. would have the nature of the Lord. Therefore, only the four-headed deity (Lord Brahmā, the creator in the holy trinity of Brahma-Viṣṇu-Śiva, its four heads being the four Vedas) is the Lord, and no one else.
In order to get children, the worshipers thus call it Prajā-pati (the Father of creatures) and quote such scripture saying It created the offspring, etcetera (PrasU.1.4).
The common Bhāgavata people (who understand through the Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, and who may not be scriptural scholars) say that since the lotus born Lord Vedas (Lord Brahmā) arose from the navel of Viṣṇu, then only Viṣṇu is the Lord.
The Śaivas who rely on the authority of their āgamas (the Śiva-Purāṇa, etc.) say that since the capable bow-bearing (Lord Viṣṇu) could not find the feet of Lord Śiva (as the liṅga of light reaching to the heavens), then only Śiva, not Viṣṇu, is the Lord.
The Gāṇa-patya followers worship Him (Gaṇeśa) as the Lord, saying this Vināyaka (the remover of obstacles) and thus Vighneśa (the Lord of obstacles) was worshiped as being able to defeat the (demons of the) three cities (on Earth, in the sky, and in the heavens).
Similarly, others, by being proud of their own respective side, propose it (the Lord) is like this or like that, relying upon their traditions (kalpas) and praises (artha-vādas) of their mantras.
There are those arguing to be the Lord (Īśa) anything beginning from the inner controller to inert objects, such as the Aśvattha (fig-tree), the sun, or bamboo – because they see those as their family deity (kula-daivata).
By those desiring to ascertain the truth, while inquiring through the traditional texts with supporting logic (nyāya-āgama), there would be only one understanding, and that is here and now being clearly set forth.
One should know that prakṛti (all of nature) as māyā (an appearance, not as real as one’s own reality). The supreme Lord is the Lord of māyā (the māyin), and this entire universe is pervaded as (if) parts of this Lord.
This depiction regarding the Lord is in keeping with scripture and is logically valid. In that way, there is no contradiction in terms of reality with those who hold that even inanimate things are the Lord (as for us, all are nothing but the Lord).
In the (Nṛsiṃha-Uttara)-Tāpanīya Upaniṣad (Chapter 9) it is said, “Māyā is in the form of tamas (darkness, ignorance),” From that statement, the scripture herself makes the claim that one’s own experience is evidence towards this (as the darkness before creation is māyā, the same darkness we experience in deep sleep).
The scripture points to our common experience of it (the nature of māyā) as insentience (jaḍa, in the inanimate) and delusion (mohātmaka, in the animate). It (the scripture) points out the pervasiveness of that (nature of māyā) as being clearly seen from (uneducated) children to (uneducable) dullards (go-pas, those qualified to just watch the cows graze).
Indeed the insentient (jaḍa) nature is what belongs to pots, etc., that cannot (reflect) consciousness. Everyone sees the delusion where intelligence is (variously) dull.
Thus, this is the common point of view admitted by everyone. Moreover, from the logical point of view it is not categorically definable (a-nirvācya), which is based on the scripture that it was not non-existent (na a-sat, neither absolutely real nor not-real, as it is something about which our opinions based on our limited experience and knowledge are innumerable and inconclusive).
It is not non-existent because it is variously experienced (vibhāta), nor (absolutely) real because it can be removed (bādhana, annulled by knowledge of brahman as oneself through help of scripture). From the point of view of the knowledge, according to scripture, it (all of māyā) is unreal (tuccha), since it can never have any effect (nitya-nirvṛtti, on one who is wise, KathU.2.1.11, and since it constantly dismisses itself by its continual change, which is obvious to everyone, and the scripture points out that this is why it has to be unreal, not absolutely real).
This māyā is to be looked at in three ways: as unreal (tuccha) by those who know its nature, as indefinable (a-nirvacanīya) by logicians, and as real (vāstavī) by ordinary people.
It (māyā) reveals the reality (in waking) and unreality (in deep sleep) of this universe, because it appears spread out and rolled up, like a picture on a canvas.
Māyā is dependent (a-sva-tantrā) without the cognition of a perceiver. Yet it is independent in a sense, because it makes the unattached (ātman, the perceiver) as being otherwise (than it itself is).
That (māyā seems to) make the ātman which is unchanging (kūṭa-stha) and unattached to be the same as the rest of the universe (changing and interconnected). Due to this taking its nature as the reflection of consciousness (cit-ābhāsa-svarūpa, in an individual mind or in the cosmic subtle body), (māyā as though, by incomplete knowledge) has created (a difference between) the jīva and the Lord (respectively).
Without (actually) diminishing the unchanging (kūṭa-stha, unchanging reality), it (appears to) manifest a world of differences (jagat-ādika, within the kūṭa-stha, like an imagined snake where there is only a rope). Māyā is what singularly manifests the impossible (durghaṭa-eka-vidhāyin). In regard to that, why be surprised?**(Māyā is not some proposed entity. It is simply a name to describe why we mistake the real nature of things. It is simply the inability to distinguish appearance from reality. And this is not recognized until the scripture points out that there is an absolute reality which is the unchanging, not different from the reality of oneself. Then only can the changing be appreciated as not reality, but as unreal.)
As is fluidity in water, heat in fire, and solidity in a stone, so is the impossibility (dur-ghaṭatva) of māyā. (Like water as fluidity, etc.) it uniquely establishes itself (māyā) as distinct from anything else.
Until which time a person does not recognize that (māyā, is the show before their eyes which lacks reality), until then (while its changes upset the show which they believed was real), surprise abides in the mind. But afterwards once this māyā (is known for what it is, as only a temporal show) then one attains calm (not constantly being surprised).
Among those who argue for the reality of this universe (jagat) then questions (codyas, regarding māyā) continue. But since (māyā) having a single (determinable) nature is itself questionable (codya), then there no (point in) questioning about māyā (such as, whether it exists, where it exists, how to fix it, etcetera).
If it is (always by it nature) questionable, then it would remain questionable. I would question your questioning. Questioning itself, then, is to be given up. Further questioning is not be be indulged.
Since māyā, which is a singular embodiment of wondering (vismaya), has a nature that is itself questionable (codya, is a continuing mystery), then the intelligent should make effort in seeking its removal (parihāra, i.e., instead of trying to solve the mystery, inquire instead into what makes this mystery seem unsolvable).
(Question:) Don't you have to determine māyā’s very nature, in order to make this determination (of how to remove it)? (Reply:) Then one should just accept that which is the common well known definition of māyā!
What is not able to be determined and yet clearly appears is that (which is called) māyā (a mystery). People accept this in regard to magic (indra-jāla, sorcery), etc.
And this universe clearly appears, yet its definitive nature cannot be determined (since it is subject to countless perspectives and an endless string of proposed determinations throughout mankind’s history). Therefore, the universe consists of a māyā. You should look upon this impartially (i.e., instead of taking useless sides, look into resolving the need to question this mystery).
Even if all the scholars together were to start trying to exactly determine (the mystery of this universe), they would only confront their ignorance in some kind of circular thicket (revolving back to their starting assumptions).
How did the body and senses, etc., come to be out of the seed (of the father and egg of the mother)? Or how did consciousness arise in them? Asked, what would be your answer?**(Keep in mind this author probably lived in 1300’s. If you today point to some scientists for your answer, please know they themselves certainly have even more unanswered, underlying questions than you can think of regarding these mysteries.)
If one says this is the very nature of the seed (and egg, to become these conscious things), then how would that be known by you (apart from your assumption that it is their nature)? If you say it is by anvaya-vyatireka (co-presence and co-absence methodologies, PrasU.1.37), those two break down when there is a barren fertility somewhere.
In the end you have to resort to, “I don't know why it is?” For this reason alone, the great-minded ones clearly say it is the mystery (indra-jāla, Indra’s snare of illusion) of this (universe).
What can be more magical than this seed seated in the womb becoming itself conscious; developing hands, head and feet, like so many sprouts; maturing variously and successively through the appearances of childhood, youth and old age; while perceiving, eating, smelling, coming and going?
Similar as that body, carefully think about a fig-tree seed, etc., how it looks. How could these be its seeds? How could this tree come from them? Therefore, please be clear that this is māyā.
Those logicians and others, who are attached to their pride in explanations, are schooled in the Khaṇḍana-Khaṇḍa-khādya (literally ‘Sweet Eatables of Refutations’) by Śrī Harṣa (who knocks down their constructions using their own logics).
Indeed the unfathomable (nature of these) entities (that make up the universe) should not be entrusted to these logics (that don’t appreciate the mystery). This universe is indeed a contrivance unfathomable by the mind.
Be clear that māyā is the seed of this unfathomable, contrived universe. That single māyā-seed is (unknowingly) experienced in deep sleep.
The waking and dream world is latent there (in deep sleep), like a tree in its seed. (Cultivated) from the entire (waking and dream) universe (of one’s previous experience) are present there (in deep sleep) the vāsanās (latent potentials, as ways of thinking that one is born with and has cultivated, like seeds of thought to be re-born in the morning).
Upon (each of) those latent impressions in the mind is reflected this consciousness. Like the sky (reflected but mostly hidden) by (the accumulated water drops of) a cloud, a (singular) unclear reflection of consciousness (cit-ābhāsa) is assumed (to be my limited self, based upon the accumulated latent impressions in this cloud-like mind).
That (māyā) seed (manifesting as the power of ignorance and projection when) associated with this reflection (ābhāsa) manifests as a (singular, separate) intellect. Because of that (association), there in this intellect, arises a distinct illusion of a cit-ābhāsa (a personal individuality).
In the scripture it is said that the individual and the Lord (jīva-īśa) are distinguished (in the mind) through the apparition (ābhāsa) of māyā. The Lord is likened to the space (reflected) in the cloud-bank and the individual is like the space (reflected) in the water droplets.
Māyā is likened to the cloud-bank (in terms of its blocking power). The impressions in the mind are like the droplets (mist) within the cloud. The cit-ābhāsa (a personal individuality) is like the space present (or reflected) in that mist (determined to be the presence of my reality enclosed by my notions that can reflect).
In the scripture it is said that this cit-ābhāsa (reflected or contained consciousness) is dependent (adhīna) on māyā (in that various perspectives in māyā provide the upādhis, the seemingly limiting adjuncts by which we believe consciousness also to be thus limited), whereas, the Lord has māyā (as the māyin, i.e., the Lord Maheśvara, SvetU.4.10, is superior to and encompasses māyā). That (Lord) is the antar-yāmin (the inner-controller of everything), (thus) is all-knowing (i.e., is the intelligent cause), and is the jagat-yoni (the ultimate source or womb of the universe, i.e., is the material cause).
The scripture has proclaimed, beginning with, “Sauṣupta… ānanda-maya (the location of joy is noticeably present in deep sleep, ManU.5)” to “Eṣa sarvesvara (this is the Lord, ManU.6).” Know that very one to be the Lord discussed here.
The omniscience, and other properties of that Lord (indicated by the scripture) cannot be wavered (confounded), since the subject matter of the scripture is not in the scope of logic and since in māyā all things are possible (i.e., logic cannot pin down or exclude what is in essence a mystery).
This Lord (sarva-īśvara is known as omniscient because it) creates all that, which no person has (hardly) any power to alter (i.e., total intelligence alone could be the actual source of everything, and everything must have a source).
The vāsanās (the subtle potentials for comprehending the waking and dream worlds) of the minds of all living beings are present there (in the total ānanda-maya which is called the Lord, PancD.6.158). Through those (vāsanās) everything is embraced (kroḍī-kṛta, āliṅgata). Because of that, this (ānanda-maya, the Lord) is called sarva-jña (all-knowing).
(Doubt:) Since vāsanās are indirectly known (i.e., I assume that I must have a vāsanā, a latent impression, to have manifested a particular thought long ago, or now, or sometime in the future), then their being omniscient is not evident. (Reply:) That (omniscience) in regard to the vāsanās is inferred in (that Lord who is) the one who directly sees into all minds (and, since that Lord is timeless, this means that it see at once the past, present and future vāsanās).
Because (the Lord) abides in the kośas, starting with the intellect (vijñāna-maya), it controls (them as the embodiment of the natural order of all things). Because of this, it is the inner controller.
Abiding in the intellect, it is internal (āntara) to it. The intellect cannot know (or control) the one (the Lord) whose body is the intellect, however, this one does control (is in charge of) the intellect. In this way the scripture proclaims.
Like a thread pervades throughout the cloth as its material cause, so (the inner controller, Lord) pervades everywhere since it has the nature of being the material cause (of everything).
The tread is internal to the cloth, and the fiber is internal to the thread. Wherever is the finality of this internality, that is inferred to be this (Lord, the material cause and the inner controller).
In investigating the thicket of internality two or three deep (and further down to molecules, atoms, particles, quarks, vibrating one-denominational strings, etc.), the (ultimate) interior is not directly seen. Therefore, only by scripture and supporting logic is reasoned this (Lord).**(The Lord is the very cosmic order by which we think of these internal things, i.e., inside all cannot be nothingness, and must be the intelligence by which we see all this. We here give to this the name ‘Lord’. An Einstein could appreciate this.)
Because of which (thread) that constitutes the form of a cloth, then that cloth becomes the (visible) body (vapus) of this thread. Similarly because of what (Lord) that constitutes the form of all, then that all (the universe) becomes the (visible) body of this (Lord).**(Want evidence of the Lord? Open your eyes and see the Lord. Close your eyes and the Lord is still there. Why deny the wonder?)
When the thread is contracted or stretched, so too necessarily indeed is the cloth (contracted, etc.). There is not the least independence in the cloth (from its internal thread).
Similarly, in regard to this inner controller, via its vāsanā (its residing tendency) each one would necessarily act. There is no doubt about it.
“O Arjuna, the Lord – causing all beings to spin around, (as if) mounted (āroha) on a machine (yantra, as on a wheel revolving (bhrāmayat) in saṃsāra, now up, now down) by māyā (the Lord’s power of projecting) – remains (unmoved, as the self of all) in the seat of the intellect of all beings” (BhG.18.61).
‘All beings’ (in the previous verse) indicates all the vijñāna-maya (kośas) situated in the heart (hṛdaya, buddhi, the intellect of all). In them, the Lord as the material cause of them indeed (appears to) undergo changes.
The word ‘yantra’ (machine) indicates the cage of the body, etc. The word ‘āroha’ (mounted) indicates being identified (abhimānin) with that (body, etc.). The word ‘bhramaṇa’ (revolving) indicates the performances of prescribed and prohibited acts.
The word ‘māyayā’ (by māyā) indicates the Lord through its śakti (appears to) revolve by being (the inner controller) in the form of the intellect with that intellect’s own pursuits (according each mind’s vāsanās).
The same idea alone is expressed in the scripture by saying, it (the Lord) controls from within everywhere from the element earth onwards (which don’t have a mind, BrhU.6.3.3–23). This logic is (understandable to us, since we all experience as animate beings that) the control is effected through intelligence.
“I know what is virtue, but the inclination is not mine. I know what is vice, but desisting is not mine. I am as if impelled by some god seated in my heart.” (Says Duryodhana in the Mahā-bhārata epic).
The idea is not that individual choice (puruṣa-kāra) has no efficacy. Rather, the Lord (as the material cause) manifests as that individual choice also.
By such an understanding that (the Lord acts through our mind’s choices), then the action of the Lord cannot be blocked (by human ‘choice’). Rather, through that understanding of the Lord, arises the understanding of one’s own non-attachment (a-saṅgatva, non-identity, with the actions of nature that belong only to the Lord, the māyin).
Both the scriptures and tradition (smṛtis, such as Mahā-bhārata) tell that by such (an understanding – that nothing is mine, all this is but the Lord) there is freedom (mokṣa). Even the Lord has said (in Varāha-Purāṇa), “The scripture and tradition are My instructions” (i.e., even the way out of bondage is My way).
The scripture indeed says, “Out of fear from it” (TaitU.2.8.1). This means that the (Lord’s) order is the (external) cause of fear (as it were, even in inanimate entities). This would be the very nature of the Lord of all (via the laws of nature, even in entities without ‘choice’), separate from being the inner controller (via vāsanās, of individuals who have ‘choice’).
There is scripture that says it is the command (praśāsana) of this imperishable (Lord, that the sun and moon, etc. act as they do, BrhU.3.8.9). There is another scripture that says that, having entered within, this is the controller of the people.
This (Lord) is the source (yoni, womb) of the universe, because it brings about its creation and destruction. By creation and destruction is meant its appearance (āvir-bhāva, to our senses and mind) and disappearance (tiro-bhāva, to our senses and mind).**(That is, it is not that non-existence becomes existence and later existence becomes non-existence. Existence in reality always is, and it is only appearances to the senses and mind that seem to change. And, this apparent change itself is due to the notion of time that is generated by the mind. Whereas, to a time-less Lord, there can’t even be an appearance of change. Even we notice no time and no change in deep sleep. Our own experiences, even before knowledge, bear out the truth of these teachings.)
The entire universe that existed unmanifest (vilīna) within this one is (later) made manifest (by the Lord), due to the karmas (whose results have to by their nature be fulfilled) of the creatures. Like the canvas (of the painting) unrolling.
Again, the entire universe that existed only within this one is (later) made to disappear (by the Lord), due to the exhausting of those karmas (that forced the manifestation) of the creatures. Like the canvas (of the painting) rolling up.
This creation and dissolution (of the universe) is like (the disappearing and reappearing of the universe in) the night and day (from sight) and the deep sleep and waking (from the mind), (and during the day) the closing and opening of the eyes, and quiescence and activation of the mind.
By reason of (the Lord inherently) possessing the power of manifesting and unmanifesting (of the universe), then there is no possibility of a questionable reason (codya) for the beginning, the evolving, etc. (of the universe, i.e., why does this universe occur).
In that way, the cause for the insentient objects would be the Lord through the dullness aspect (i.e., tamas of māyā). Whereas, the cause for the jīvas (the individualities of living beings) would be this same (Lord) through the reflection of consciousness (cit-ābhāsa) aspect (in māyā, PancD.1.15–7).
(It is said that the cause) of the bodies (kṣetras, the fields for experience) is the tamas predominance (of para-brahman), and of the sentient beings (cit-ātmans) is the intelligence (cit) predominance (of the para-brahman). Thus the ultimate (para, brahman) gains the nature of being their cause through (the sentient beings’) latent impressions (bhāvanās), understandings (jñānas), and actions (karmas).
In this way, the Vārtika-kāra (the commentary author, Sureśvara-ācārya) explained that the nature of being a cause of the inanimate and animate belongs to parama-ātman, and not to an Īśvara. In that case, listen (how to reconcile this with what we told).
(We reply:) Sureśvara, is taking for granted (siddhaṃ kṛtvā) here the (listener’s) mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa) of the Lord and brahman, like between the jīva (the individuality) and kūṭa-stha (ātman, reflected in the mind).**(So when he uses here the word ‘brahman’, the ultimate reality, he knows the listener is thinking it is the Lord, which he then proceeds to explain as the creator.)
The scripture says “satyaṃ jñānam anantaṃ brahma” (reality, knowledge or consciousness, unlimited is brahman, the ultimate). From that arose space, air, fire, water and earth (the five elements, i.e., their subtle natures that gain these names via our sense perceptions), and from that plants, food and our bodies (TaitU.2.1.1).
At first glance towards this (scripture), brahman appears to have the nature of being a cause (of these things). From that reality being given to causality, it must be understood this is a (temporary) mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa, of brahman being given the description of causality belonging to the Lord, and the Lord being given the reality of brahman, at the initial stage of this teaching beginning in the second adhyāya, chapter of Taittirīya Upaniṣad).
This mutual imposition is like the canvas (stiffened) by applying food-starch (required for the painting to occur, PancD.6.3). By that application they (the canvas and food-starch, brahman and Īśvara) become (as though) one. In that way here occurs the illusion of oneness (between brahman and the Lord).
As simple people (pāmaras) may determine the vast sky has become the space limited to the cloud-bank (one has to envision a complete cloud cover across the sky in this illustration, PancD.6.153–6), similarly, those who have an initial understanding (āpāta-darśins) perceive an identity between brahman (reality) and the Lord (whoever the creator is).
By analysis (vicāraṇa) of the intension (tāt-parya, of the whole of this section of Taittirīya Upaniṣad scripture) through the textual indications (liṅgas) of how the text begins and ends (upakrama, upakrama-upasaṃhāra), etcetera (and the other five liṅgas: abhāyasa, what is repeated; apūrvatā, what is original; phala, what is the benefit; artha-vāda, what is praised; and upapatti, what are the familiar examples), then this Ultimate Lord possesses māyā and thus (appears) to create, while brahman has no connection (a-saṅga, to that).
This (part, the intended topic, of the scriptural text) begins (upakramya) with, “Reality, knowledge, unlimited is brahman,” and ends (upasaṃhāra) with, “yato vāco nivartante, from which (brahman) speech (words) fall short, TaitU.2.4.1). By this is determined (nirṇaya) the a-saṅgatva (unconnectedness, of brahman from anything that words can convey).
Another scripture says, “The māyin (the one who wields māyā) creates all this” (SvetU.4.9), whereas the other (anya) there (within the creation, the jīva) is completely confined (sanniruddha, bound) by māyā (by ignorance of māyā’s unreality, PancD.1.16). Because of that, the Lord alone would be the creator.
This Lord, who is connected to the ānanda-maya (the location of joy, experienced without distraction in deep sleep), envisioned, “May I be many” (ChanU.6.2.3), and becomes (called) Hiraṇya-garbha (the shinning womb). As though being deep asleep, it starts to dream (svapna, here still like a dream, since Hiraṇya-garbha is the total subtle manifestation, not yet physicalized as the perceptible elements).
According to each scripture, this creation is known as either sequentially (e.g., first space, then air, etc., TaitU.2.1.1) or instantaneous (i.e., no sequence is indicated, AitU.1.1.2), since the coming to be of a creation can be in either of two ways, like we see in a dream both appearances (as an orderly, slow build up, or as spontaneous).
Sūtra-ātman (the thread of all, Hiraṇya-garbha, PancD.6.2–4) is also called the total subtle body, including the collection of all jīvas (as though strung on sūtra-ātman), and has the power to act, think etc., because it supports all I’s (therefore for everyone and itself, ‘I act’, ‘I know’).
Like at dawn or dusk, this world appears to be in partial (manda) darkness, so the universe appears indistinct (in Hiraṇya-garbha, at the start of creation).
Like the stiffened canvas completely outlined in pencil (PancD.6.3), similarly, everywhere this subtle body of the Lord is outlined (the subtle forms of things within the Lord start to appear to the understanding, but not yet to the senses).
Like a grain of corn or a tree bud is sprouted faint (komala) and soft (pelava) everywhere, similarly is this sprout of a universe.
Then, like world lit in sunlight, like a canvas fully colored in, like matured corn plant, similarly, is the clearly seen body (of the Lord) now call Virāj (variously showing, to the senses).
In the chapter called Viśva-rūpa (The Cosmic Form, BhG.11) this one is described there, as well as in the Puruṣa-Sūkta (Hymn to the Cosmic Person, PurSuk). These (following entities, PancD.6.206–8) are described as parts (avayavas) of (Virāj), from the Creator (dhātṛ, Brahmā) down to a clump of grass (stamba).
These are (the deities) Īśa, Sutra, Virāj, Vedhas, Viṣṇu, Rudra, Indra and Vahni. As well as (the deities, beings and demons) Vighna, Bairava, Mairāla, Mārikā, the Yakṣas and the Rākṣasas.
These are the (classes of people) Vipras, Kṣatriyas, Viś, and Śudras; cows, horses, deer and birds; various fig and mango trees; barley, rice, and grasses.
There are various waters, stones, clay, logs, and wood-working (house making) and earth-working (field making) tools. All these are forms of the Lord (īśvaras, deities) alone, are worshipful and beneficial.
In whatever way (and form) they worship that (Lord), in that way they would benefit. The better or lesser is the result, in keeping with the various forms of worships.
However, freedom (mokṣa, from saṃsāra) is only by knowledge of the nature of brahman (ultimate reality, as oneself), not in any other way (not by any form of worshiping merely a form of the Lord, as being other than the reality of oneself and of the all). Just as one’s dream (the mind’s projection) never goes away, without (waking up to) knowing it is only a dream.
In the nature of the reality which has no second (a-dvitīya), this entire animate and inanimate universe, in the form of the Lord and the individual, onwards, is but a dream (svapna, as being unreal, not the reality).
The ānanda-maya Lord and the vijñāna-maya individual are projected (kalpita) by māyā (as the apparent power to hide the One and project the many). And everything else (both the world of perception and the world of the mind) are manifested by those two.
The universe, from the Lord to Its entering into everything, is manifested by the Lord. One’s life (saṃsāra), from waking experience to freedom, is manifested by the individual.
Those who do not know that nature of the reality which has no second (no other) to be a-saṅga (unconnected, to this universe), uselessly quarrel over jīva and Īśvara, which really are projections due to māyā.
Surely, we rejoice in knowing anyone who always remains dedicated to this knowledge, sympathize the others, and do not wrangle with those (who are dedicated to remaining) deluded.
From those who worship grass to yoga practices, all remain deluded about the Lord. From materialists (lokāyatas) to Sāṅkhyas (followers of a dualist, atheist philosophy) all remain variously deluded about jīva (themselves).
As long as they do not know that nature of the reality which has no second (no other), until then they entertain all kinds of delusions. How could there be freedom, or even joy here in life?
Suppose they might enjoy greater or lesser degrees (of reality), but with that so what! One who awakens enjoys nothing from the reality (bhāva) of being a king or a beggar in a dream.
Therefore, those seeking freedom (mumukṣus) should not ponder about jīva and Īśvara (which can’t be thoroughly known). Rather, they should engage in pondering the nature of brahman (ultimate reality) which is worth knowing, and come to know that.
(Doubt:) By raising objections and resolving them about both (jīva and Īśvara), isn’t that the means towards clarity in truth? (Reply:) That may be so, but unwillingly don’t get stuck by so much of those two topics (which are about māyā, not reality).
(Doubt:) (Vedāntins say) the jīva (as puruṣa-ātman) is unconnected consciousness (a-saṅga cit) and is all pervasive (vibhu), but Sāṅkhya say the same (about puruṣa). And Yoga says that Īśvara (and jīva) are the meanings of ‘tat’ and ‘tvam’ (in ‘That you are’) as simply their purity (śuddha, their a-saṅga cit, being the same). (Reply:) In that case, listen.
Those meanings of ‘tat’ and ‘tvam’ are not our (asmad, Vedānta’s) final view (siddha-anta). Their thicket (of views) is only some kind of an attempt towards understanding non-duality.
Due to beginningless māyā, the deluded think the individual and the Lord are completely different. In order to eliminate that (delusion) there should be a complete examination (śodhana, cleaning up of any notions of differences) of these two (‘That Lord’ and ‘You the individual’).
Because of this, the previous illustration was presented in regard this topic for easy understanding. (The individual) is like the space inside a pot, while (the Lord) is like the vast space everywhere (in regard to respective pervasive existence). Or, (the individual) is like the sky reflected in water, while (the Lord) is like the sky reflected in a cloud-bank (in regard to respective reflection of consciousness).
The latter two (highlight) the dependence (adhīna, the degrees of the reflection of consciousness, like of the sky) upon the limiting conditions (upādhis) of the water and the cloud (where the reflection varies from orange, white, gray, and black, within a single day). Whereas, the prior two (highlight) the pure (mutually) unaffectedness of the receptacles of the space in a pot and the space everywhere (where the existence itself does not vary in the least).
In this way the ānanda-maya and the vijñāna-maya (the Lord and the individual) are conditioned (vaśa) by māyā and the intellect (respectively, like the reflection in cloud-bank and water). Whereas, the basis (adhiṣṭhāna, location or receptacle) of both those, which is the brahman and the changeless (kūṭa-stha, jīva-ātman, respectively), (both) remain pure (mutually) unaffected (i.e., unconditioned).
Both Sāṅkhya and Yoga doctrines (matis) employ the same kakṣas (examples, emulations of the truth which itself cannot be exactly expressed, encompassed, in words), still (for them) because of the expression of this being the (limited) food-body, then it is taken to actually be part of the nature of oneself (so that the self becomes limited and many).
Provided their three (doctrines) that there are different ātmans, the universe is real, and the Lord is separate (from oneself and the universe) are (eventually) given up by them, then there can be agreement between Vedānta and the followers of Sāṅkhya and Yoga doctrines.
If (according to them) a person becomes fulfilled (kṛta-artha) simply by knowing the individual is a-saṅga (unattached), then (it would be like) flowers, sandalwood, etc. become fulfilled simply because they partake of the eternity (of their source, prakṛti. mother nature).
Just like the eternity of flowers, etc. is impossible (nonsense) to establish, similarly, the unconnected nature of ātman is not possible as long as one holds to the nature of being a separate individuality (thus connected to other jīvas) as well as to the continuing (separate existences) of the universe and the Lord (that would then have to be related to somehow).
If prakṛti (being eternal) is unavoidable (a-vaśya), then connection (saṅga, with it) will continue like before (enlightenment). Also, the Lord will continue to lord over him. In that case, what freedom (mokṣa) could he have?
If attachment (saṅga, to the world of things and others) and control (niyama, by the Lord) are due to lack of discernment (viveka, i.e., ignorance, which could somehow go away if enlightened, even though they are as real as oneself), then on the strength of that one would have to accept our doctrine of māyā, and would entertain an idea contrary to Sāṅkhya.
(Doubt:) For the sake of establishing the possibility of bondage (for others) and freedom (for oneself), one must accept a plurality of individuals. (Reply:) This is not so, because we accept that it can be maintained as an aspect of māyā.
Don’t you see that making the impossible (dur-ghaṭa) possible is a contradiction (viruddha)? Rather, the scripture neither accepts the reality of bondage nor freedom (separately, for the ātman), nor together (at the same time in the same person).
(The scripture, through “neti neti,” not this nor that, PancD.3.32) declares that in truth (parama-arthatā) there is neither destruction, nor creation; neither bondage, nor one engaged (to get out of bondage); neither one who desires to get out of bondage, nor indeed on who is freed.
Māyā is called a wish-fulfilling cow (because it appears to be whatever one thinks it to be), and its two calves are jīva and Īśvara. May they both drink as they like its duality. However, truth is indeed only non-duality.
The difference between kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness, the real individual) and brahman (the limitless consciousness) is only due to name (nāma-mātra), and not indeed in reality. As there is not the least bit of space (viyat) between the space within the pot and the space within the universe.
(And in terms of time) The non-duality which is declared in the scripture was before the beginning (of time), exists now and even after (time disappears), as well as when one is freed (mukti). Māyā fruitlessly deludes all other people (by hiding this non-duality as the only reality).
(Doubt:) Even those who know in this way are seen (by all others) to wander around here (in duality). What’s the use of their knowledge? (Reply:) No. For them, in which way they were before, that delusion is gone (a-darśana, from their minds, but that wisdom which is non-duality would not be visible to anyone else).
The certainty of those who do not know (the non-duality) is that all saṃsāra (comings and goings), here and hereafter, is real. Therefore, non-duality does not even occur to their thinking.
It is clearly evident that the certainty (niścaya) of the ones who knower is completely opposite from those above. Depending upon one‘s own certainty, one thinks either ‘I am bound’ or ‘I am free’.
(Doubt:) Non-duality is not directly perceptible (na a-parokṣa). (Reply:) No, since it is evident as one’s awareness (cit-rūpa). (Doubt:) But it is not completely known (as limitless awareness). (Reply:) But is this duality universe (that you are certain about) (completely) known by you?
Both of these two (duality and non-duality) are equally only known in part. Like you establish (all is) duality, why not you establish (all is) non-duality (i.e., assume featureless consciousness, like in deep sleep, is the essential reality of everything, rather than assume perceptibility, like in waking, is the essential reality of everything)?
(Doubt:) Non-duality lacks duality, and since duality is obviously seen, then how could this (non-duality) exist? (Reply:) But awareness (which is non-duality) is evident, and yet (there is awareness) of duality, so it can't be opposed to it. Therefore both are not a pair of opposites (a-samas, like light and darkness).
So listen. Duality is unreal (a-sat, not reality, although it can appear to exist), since it has the nature of being a manifestation of māyā. Because of that, non-duality alone shines as being reality, since it alone remains (after dismissing duality as unreal, according to scripture).
The entire universe is but māyā, as an inscrutable (a-cintya) construct. Once convinced of this (withdrawing belief in the apparent reality of the world), one would only be left with reality in the non-dual.
(Doubt:) What if the belief in the reality of the dual again shows up (in my mind)? (Reply:) Then again you should habituate (reorient your intellect, down to the vāsanā level, to this understanding, PancD.6.251). How difficult here is that, in order for you to know?
(Doubt:) For how long? (Reply:) Difficulty can only be found in duality. That is not possible in non-duality, since all difficulties (which are products of one’s ignorance) are removed there.
(Doubt:) But hunger, thirst, and so on remain seen as before within me. (Reply:) The meaning of the word ‘me’ is to be seen as residing in the notional-I (aham-kāra). No one recognizes that (except a wise person).
(Doubt:) What if, due to mutual impositions (tād-atmya-adhyāsa), these (sufferings, of thirst, etc.) affect the self? (Reply:) Then don’t dwell (on these misunderstandings), rather, always remain discerning (of the difference between oneself and any dismissible notions about myself).
(Doubt:) What if this imposition comes on suddenly from established vāsanās (unconscious impressions deeply embedded in the mind)? (Reply:) Then continually return to your discernment (viveka) and make that firmly embedded in your mind.
During one’s discernment, do not claim that the unreality (mithyātva) of duality is proven only by logic, because oneself directly experiences the nature of this inscrutable (a-cintya) construct.
(Doubt:) But consciousness (cit) also is inscrutable (a-cintya). (Reply:) Okay, we also say consciousness is indeed not established by reasoning, but (it is not false) because it is the very basis for (knowing) the eternal.
The prior non-existence of consciousness can never be experienced, therefore consciousness can be called eternal (nitya, more aptly it is understood to be ‘timeless’, a-kāla). Whereas, the prior non-existence of duality (i.e., the deep sleep state) is experienced by our consciousness (as being retrieval from memory, as ‘I knew nothing’).
Having a prior non-existence, duality is indeed constructed, like a pot, etc. Still, its creation is inscrutable (as our mind cannot figure how duality can come from its absence), and thus is unreal (mithyā), like magic (not unlike magic).
Consciousness is always present (pratyakṣa, it can never be known as absent, or as away in anyway). What is other than that (is duality) and its unreality (mithyātva, PancD.2.70) is experienced. How could it not be contradictory that non-duality cannot be directly experienced (a-parokṣa)?**(The positive version of this convoluted last sentence is: It is certain that non-duality, i.e., oneself, is directly experienced.)
(Doubt:) Knowing in this way, how can some still not be satisfied? (Reply:) First tell me how educated materialists believe the body alone is ātman (their self)?
(Doubt:) Proper inquiry is not there (for the materialists), due to some kind of defect (or block) in the intellect. (Reply:) Similarly, those not satisfied regarding the scripture do not completely understand it (for the same kinds of reasons).
“When released from all desires which were previously fixed (clinging) in the heart…” (KathU.2.3.14), says the scripture. This not only states the goal (in the next half of that mantra, “…then a mortal is now known to be the immortal. Here in the heart one attains brahman”), but also is directly experienced (dṛṣṭa, right now, not in the future, KathU.2.3.15).
Regarding, “When all the heart’s knots are broken” (KathU.2.3.15), the commentary supplies the word ‘desires’ as being the ‘knots’ here.
The word ‘kāma’ here means desires (icchās), such as repeatedly thinking ‘This and that should be mine,’ which is a mixing up between a notional-I (ahaṁkāra) and the conscious being that is oneself (cit-ātman), due to a lack of discernment (a-viveka, so desire here becomes a problem when it amounts to misidentification).
Not infusing (the reality of) one’s conscious being (cit-ātman) upon a (temporary) notional-I, and thus seeing (knowing) oneself as distinct (from that notion), then even while (the mind is) desiring any number of objects there is no conflict (bādha), because the knot (of identity) has been broken (i.e., the mind naturally desiring what satisfies the mind and body is not a problem, if one’s reality-identification is not imposed on such thoughts).
By force of prārabdha (fructifying karma), even if defective, desires can arise in one who has severed the knot. Even if you knew them to be largely defective (pāpa), for you there would be no dissatisfaction.
Like trees (naturally) arising and falling in a forest (where you have no ownership notions), the happening of desires which lack the backing of a notional-I and diseases, etc. of the body matter not in one’s conscious being.
(Doubt:) But isn’t that true even before the knots are severed? (Reply:) Sure, but don’t ever forget that! This alone is the severing of the knot. By that you become fulfilled (kṛtī-bhava, nothing more need be accomplished to be ever-satisfied).
But if the confused (mūḍhas) do not know this as a fact, then that is exactly what this knot (this misidentification) is, nothing else (it’s not lack of IQ). The only difference between a confused person and a wise person, is simply this severing of the knot (of identification).
In terms of pursuits or avoidances, there is not the least distinction in the bodies, senses, minds or intellects between those who do not know (this teaching) and those who do know.
The difference between the multitudes and those who are scriptural learned (śrotriyas) is due to the prior having not studied and the latter having studied (pāṭha-kṛta). In all other regards from foods onwards, there is no difference. This same reason applies here (between those who do not and who do know this teaching).
“(The guṇa-atīta, who is beyond the guṇas) is not displeased when they (the guṇas) wax, nor longs for them when they wane, and remains seemingly indifferent (udādīna-vat)” (BhG.14.22–3). This one is said to have severed the knot.
(Doubt:) Does (the Gītā) enjoin indifference? (Reply:) But then the word ‘-vat’ (‘seemingly’) would lose its meaning. (Doubt:) Maybe his body, etc. has lost functionality? (Reply:) But then he would simply be ‘sick’, not ‘wise’.
These intellectuals who think that knowledge of truth is a disease of consumption (kṣaya) have an overly clever intellect. What aren’t they capable of saying? (sarcasm)
(Doubt:) Doesn’t the Purāṇa (the Bhāgavata-Purāṇa) speak of a Jaḍa-Bharata and others who were completely withdrawn? (Reply:) But then haven’t you heard in the scripture (of wise ones who are), “laughing, playing, pleasuring…” (ChanU.8.12.3).
Jaḍa-Bharata and others never gave up food, etc., and remained somewhere like sticks and stones. Rather, they acted indifferent out of apprehension of getting attached.
Indeed, in this world, one who is attached (saṅgin) is troubled (because attachments by nature are fragile). One who is not attached (niḥ-saṅga) would enjoy an easier life. Therefore, give up attachment (identifications with things and others), by so choosing, one will always be happy (satisfied).
Not understanding the essence (the heart) of the scripture, the confused explain it in various other ways. But let the judgment of the confused be as it is. Now is told our final conclusion.
Mastery over one’s desires (vairāgya), knowledge (bodha, of the nature of oneself and reality), and sufficient retirement from activities (uparama) – these mutually assist each other, and are generally found together, but here and there separately too.
These three are different in terms of their origin, their nature, and their effect (and hence have their separate justifications). The distinction (a-saṁkara) of these is to be accordingly understood. The nature of distinguishing them is a goal of the scripture.
These three pertaining to the peculiar origin, etc. of vairāgya are: (its origin is) seeing the defect (doṣa-dṛṣṭi) in all things (bhogas), (its nature is) the desire to give them up (jihāsā), and (its effect is) non-dependence (a-dīnatā, no weakness, a-kātaratā) towards them.
These three (pertaining to the peculiar origin, etc.) of bodha are (respectively): (its origin is) the three-fold listening, etc. (śravaṇa-ādi, PancD.1.53–4), (its nature is) the discernment of the real from the unreal (tattva-mithyā-vivecana), and (its effect is) the non-arising of the knot (of confused identity).
These three distinctions (pertaining to the peculiar origin, etc.) of uparati (uparama) are (respectively): (its origin is) yama, etc. (all eight limbs of yoga, YS.2.29), (its nature is) mastery of the mind (dhī-nirodha, YS.1.2), and (its effect is) the wane of ordinary life (vyavahāra, i.e., sannyāsa, a life of renunciation).
The knowledge of the nature (tattva-bodha, of oneself and reality) is the primary, because it directly yields freedom (mokṣa). The other two, vairāgya and uparama, are aids (upakārins) to this knowledge.**(Vairāgya is the beginning value to establish this teaching as the only goal in life, while uparama may be a latter stage to remove remaining vāsanā obstacles, PancD.1.61 & 6.247, to knowledge, or a following lifestyle after gaining knowledge.)
These three values, if fully matured, are the result of great discipline (tapas), and are hindered by a defect (durita) somewhere, at sometime, in any one of these (values).
However, even though vairāgya and uparama are matured (pūrṇa), if knowledge is obstructed, then this person would not have freedom (mokṣa). On the strength of this one’s tapas (discipline, which yields helpful karma, through vairāgya and uparama), this person would just gain (a rebirth in) a more pleasant world (BhG.6.40–5).
However, if one’s knowledge is matured, still, if ever the other two are hindered, this one is certainly liberated, but visible suffering does not go away (because of durita from the other two).
The limit of vairāgya is when one considers the highest heaven (brahma-loka) like it was straw. The completion of knowledge is when there is the same amount of conviction that one is the limitless ātman as was once there towards one’s body.
The maximum limit (sīman) of uparama would be total forgetfulness like in deep sleep (where the outside activities are as if nothing, cv. vismṛtiPancD.6.14). Certainly in other points of reference there are intermediate degrees (of maturity in these three values, by which one can checkup on one’s progress).
Due to their different fructifying karma, the minds (of the knowers) will choose to act variously. Because of that, the learned should not confuse (their different behaviors) to be related to the intent of the scripture.
Let them act in whatever way according to their separate karma. But the knowledge (regarding the limitless reality as oneself, which is the one purport of the scripture) of each (of these knowers) cannot differ. So it is established that their freedom (mukti) also is the same.
(Like the variety of behaviors of the wise) The manifest universe (jagat-citra, the world of duality) is imposed on one’s consciousness by māyā, like a picture (citra) on canvas. Simply by dismissing (upekṣya, seeing beyond) that (māyā imposed manifestation, the glitter of duality), then consciousness alone remains (like the ever fresh, open canvas).
When the intelligent regularly study this ‘Citra-Dīpa’ chapter, even though still seeing the manifest universe (jagat-citra) the same as before (this knowledge), they are no longer deluded (PancD.6.4–8).
“If a person (pūruṣa) clearly knows oneself as I am this (limitless Ātman), then desiring what and for whose sake would one identify with a (limited) body (śarīra)?” (BrhU.4.4.12).
Here in this chapter we fully analyze the meaning of this scripture (BrhU.4.4.12). In that way the satisfaction (tripti) of a living liberated person (jivan-mukta) is made clearly known.
According to what we have heard from the scripture, the individual and the Lord are conjured as an appearance (or reflection) in Māyā (the potential of projection within the unmanifest, PancD.1.16), and from the created individual and Lord are conjured all this (the private and shared universe).
Through the Lord is conjured (kalpita, determined to separately exist, PancD.3.376) the creation starting with the Idea (īśaṇa, the beholding of how the creation is to be according to the past karmas of the individuals) to entering into (or manifesting in) it (BrhU.4.4.13). Through the individual is conjured (according to one’s karma) saṃsāra (the individual’s life of unbecoming becoming, of becoming fraught with pain) starting with waking experience to being finally freed (from one’s saṃsāra).
The individual (jiva), called the Pūruṣa here (in this mantra), only exists (-stha) because of mutual imposition (anyonya-adhyāsa) in the intellect (as the appearance or reflection, ābhāsa) of the unattached (asaṅga) brahman (bhūtātman) which is the ground upon which illusion is possible, and which is in the form of immutable (kū̍ṭa-stha) and association-less (asaṅga) consciousness (cit).
The (illusory) individual (distinct from others) becomes eligible for seeking (ends such as) liberation, etcetera (any other human goal), by having that (kūṭa-stha, unchanging consciousness) as its ground of being (adhiṣṭhāna) – certainly not without it (kevala) – since there is no way to establish an illusion without it being grounded (on something phenomenally or absolutely real, like no desert mirage water without a specific combination of desert floor and light refraction).
When the individual resorts to its illusory aspect (its distinct individuality), even though that aspect is grounded (in unattached, unchanging consciousness), then it fantasizes in this way, ‘I am a saṃsārin (caught in a cycle of continuous change).’
When (the individual) by putting aside its illusory aspect and letting the ground of being become predominant, then it knows, ‘I am only of the nature of consciousness, unattached (unaffected by anything illusory).’
(Doubt:) How can what is by nature consciousness have the I-notion that ‘I am not unattached (am not my actual nature)’? (Reply:) The ‘I’ has three senses: one is primary, and two are secondary.
Due to mutual imposition (anyoya-adhyāsa, the one upon the other) of the kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness) and its presence or reflection (in the individual’s mind), taking them as the same (that the illusory is real and the real is this illusion*) – this would be the primary sense used by the deluded (the critically uninformed). *(E.g., sometimes taking the unreal as being the real present, so it cannot be changed; and at other times taking the real present as unreal, so it can be changed, etcetera, with their resulting conflicts.)
The wise use the term ‘I’ in the other two (secondary) senses as the ābhāsa (presence or reflection of limitless consciousness in the mind) in its worldly standpoint, vyāvahārika), and as the kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness) in its ultimate scriptural knowledge standpoint (pāramārthika), respectively.
In its worldly standpoint, the wise person uses expressions such as, ‘I am going,’ pointing out the cid-ābhāsa (presence or reflection of consciousness in the mind) – distinguishing that from the (location-less) kūṭa-stha.
In its ultimate scriptural knowledge standpoint, the wise person uses the word ‘I’ in expressions such as, ‘I am unattached,’ ‘My nature is consciousness alone’ – pointing out the kūṭa-stha alone (not in reference to the presence of consciousness in their mind or body).
(Doubt:) Whereas the terms wise or ignorant apply to the ābhāsa (the limited consciousness in the mind, the knower), they never apply to the ātman. In that way, how is to be understood the ābhāsa (the limited knower) saying, ‘I am kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness)’?
(Reply:) This is not a problem. The cid-ābhāsa has its sole existence in kūṭa-stha, since ābhāsa (the reflection or shadow part of this illusion) is mithyā (lacking existence on its own, like a reflection or shadow), and only its (essential) nature of being the kūṭa-stha (the unchanging) remains (timelessly permanent).
(Doubt:) The very idea that ‘I am kūṭa-stha (unchanging consciousness)’ (PancD.7.14) also is mithyā. (Reply:) Who would dispute that? Its (any idea in the mind, any movement of the mind, having) reality is indeed not accepted (as absolutely real), the same as for any snake-like motion of an (imagined) snake where there is only a rope.
(Nevertheless) By such a (helpful) idea (‘I am, in reality, kūṭa-stha’) one’s saṃsāra is countered (from the unhelpful notion, ‘I am a saṃsārin, a person caught up in cyclic time’). Common people say, ‘an offering is whatever is appropriate to the worshiped deity’ (i.e., an offering as well as a statement should be appropriate to the recipient).
Because of that, (since) the person with this ābhāsa is in fact (based in) kūṭa-stha, the scripture states that one is able to distinguish the latter (the ‘cit‘ from the ‘ābhāsa’) and understand ‘I am kūṭa-stha.’
In the same way (commonly) there appears undoubted and uncontested knowledge that oneself (ātman) is this body, that same (clarity, after this teaching) is proclaimed here (in oneself) that I am ‘this (kūṭa-stha).’
(The same conviction) towards oneself in the idea of identification with this body would be there towards the denial of that idea of identification with the body. The one who has this (latter) is free, even without needing to desire it.* *(I.e., it is an already accomplished factual knowledge, not a hope or desire, since only one’s own ignorance has to be denied. There is nothing more to do, nothing more to know.)
It is said that the term ‘this’ (PancD.7.19, PancD.7.1) refers to something a-parokṣa (not beyond one’s perception, na paro'kṣam indriyāsannikṛṣṭam, even though it is also said the eyesight cannot reach brahman), because self-evident (svayam-prakāśa) consciousness is always pratyakṣam (present, in every perception, and because infinite brahman being part-less, one cannot see only a part of brahman).
It is said to be both a-parokṣam jñānam and parokṣa a-jñānam (directly known and indirectly unknown), just like in the Tenth-man illustration.
When the tenth man (after the group crosses a river) has knowledge arrived from counting only nine (forgetting to count himself), does not know that ‘I am the tenth’ – even though (being the tenth one) seeing those other nine.
At the same time as knowing himself (who in fact is) the tenth man, he says the tenth one does not show and is missing – that block (āvaraṇa) the wise say is due to ignorance.
Grieving that the tenth has died in the river, he weeps. The wise know this act of weeping, etc. is a manifestation born of ignorance.
After listening to competent instruction that the tenth man has not died, he has an indirect (parokṣatva) knowledge about the tenth man, like (indirect knowledge) about (remote) worlds such as heaven.
After (objectively) counting and being shown that ‘you indeed are the tenth man,’ he now has direct (a-parokṣatā) knowledge, becomes relieved and ceases weeping.
(Like in the Tenth-man illustration*) The following are applicable in regard to oneself as only being (unchanging) consciousness: ignorance, blockage, projection, the two knowledges (indirect and direct), satisfaction, and removal of grief. *(In the tenth man case, he doesn’t yet know if everyone had crossed the river, he doesn’t see a tenth man, he fears the worst has happened, he is informed that everything is okay, he learns everything is okay, he is satisfied this is the fact, and he stops grieving.)
(Regarding ignorance) The cid-ābhāsa (the presence or reflection of consciousness) (illumining) a mind always connected to the (perceptual) world, does not (have a mind that) knows ‘this’ self-evident, unchanging, and independent (from the mind and that world) being (as oneself).
(The blockage) is thinking that nothing else appears (except the changing mind and world) so there is no unchanging being, and as a result (the projection that) one assumes ‘I am a doer and enjoyer (an individual in this world).’
Through a teacher one learns indirectly (parokṣam) that there is an unchanging (kūṭa-stha), afterwards by discriminative inquiry (vicāra) one comes to (directly) know in this way that ‘I am in fact this kūṭa-stha.’
At that time, one is freed from the whole of grief starting with (thinking one is) a doer, enjoyer, and so on (a saint, sinner, etc.). One is indeed satisfied that one has done what is to be done (has gained this freeing knowledge), has attained what is to be attained (the end of all grieving).
Nir-aṅkuśā (freedom from the hooks of bondage) starts with ignorance, blockage, projection, (culminating in) indirect and direct knowledge knowledge, with its satisfaction and removal of grief.
These are the seven appearances or conditions (avasthās) of the cid-ābhāsa (the presence or reflection of consciousness in the mind). Among these (avashtās) are the appearances of bondage (bandha) and of freedom mokṣa. Between these two, the first three are told by scripture to be related to bondage.
Ignorance (ajñāna) is the cause of being indifferent (udāsīna) in the form, ‘I do not know’ (popular today in expressing, ‘I am an agnostic’), and is related to a prior lack of inquiry (i.e., being before inquiry, then a-jñāna here is a lack of knowledge, not just being wrong).
Blockage (āvṛti) has the effect of being in opposition (to truth) after inquiring with a wrong or inadequate methodology, in the form, ‘since that (kūṭa-stha, unchanging) is indeed not seen by me, then it does not exist’ (popular today in expressing, ‘I am an atheist’).
Imposition (vikṣepa, often called super-imposition, where ‘super’ means ‘upon’) is in the form of that cid-ābhāsa (oneself, the presence or reflection of consciousness) is this (seen) body-mind complex. Here, being replete with doership (belonging to the mind) one has (unavoidable) grief (from failures and unwanted consequences), etcetera, and is subject to the bondage called saṃsāra (cyclic unbecoming becoming connecting to countless, successive bodies).
Even though both ignorance (before inquiry) and blockage (after defective inquiry) are present before (the certainty of) vikṣepa, still those two states belong only to the vikṣepa (the projection of an individuality, the cid-ābhāsa), not to the (real) self (ātman, the kūṭa-stha).
Before the rise of the (current) imposition (of this body-mind complex upon oneself), there indeed existed the (subtle) impression (like a seed) laid down (from prior) impositions (from countless prior embodiments in one’s continuing saṃsāra). Therefore, it is not a contradiction for the (prior) two states as belonging to the (seemingly latter) state of that (vikṣepa, the projected individuality).
One should not think by imposing them on brahman that these two (avasthās, namely ignorance and blockage, PancD.7.34) are conditions of brahman (reality, and that only projection with its products belongs to the individual), since all these (avasthās, appearances, including ignorance and blockage) are (falsely) super-imposed on brahman alone (their reality basis).
If the (vikṣepa) notions, ‘I am a saṃsārin (a changing individual),’ ‘I am enlightened,’ ‘I am free from grief,’ and ‘I am satisfied’ (PancD.7.34) are latter conditions that take place in the jīva (the individual), and are not appearing as taking place in brahman,… then the two prior conditions (similar in the form as) ‘I do not know’ and ‘in perceiving the reality of brahman, from my perspective, it is not there’ (i.e., ignorance and blockage) both seem to also appear to take place in the jīva (in ‘I’, not in brahman).
Those (ancient teachers) recognized that, as the adhiṣṭhāna (the ground of being), the (changeless) brahman has to be the abode of ajñāna, yet (tentatively accepting the perspective of this ignorance) due to identification (abhimānitva) with this ignorance (everyone) has said ‘I am having this condition as a jīva.’ (In other words, individuality is an illusion thinking it is the abode of illusory ignorance. But that doesn’t change the fact that unchanging brahman alone is the abode of everything, perceptual and imaginary.)
By the two kinds of knowledge (indirect and direct, PancD.7.31), when this ignorance (of reality) disappears, then the resulting blockage (āvṛti) in the two-fold form, ‘it (unchanging reality) does not appear so it does not exist,’ also disappears.
By indirect knowledge the conditioning (hetutā) blockage in the form ‘(unchanging) reality does not exist’ would disappear, and by direct knowledge the conditioning blockage in the form ‘(unchanging) reality does not appear (for me)’ would disappear.
When the blockage disappears, since the imposition of individuality goes away, then all (resulting) grief starting with doership, etcetera, called (one’s) saṃsāra, also disappears.
Once one’s entire samsāra disappears, since there is the appearance of always being free (as always being brahman), then freedom (from the hooks of bondage) would be there; and due to the total non-arising of grief, then one has satisfaction (tṛpti, i.e., nothing more need be done, nothing more need be known, PancD.7.20).
The scripture mantra, ‘Ātmānaṃ cet…’ (PancD.7.1 from BrhU.4.4.12) points out both the two avasthās, direct knowledge (a-parokṣa-jñāna, the immediate cause of freedom) and removal of grief (śoka-nirvṛtti, the goal of freedom) present in the individual.
The word ‘this (ayam)’ (the limitless ātman, in the mantra) is used to present its immediateness (a-parokṣatvam) and that is in two ways: from directly revealing its own scope and (indirectly) via the intellect from the act of perceiving it as such (as being self-revealing).
Even during (a person’s) indirect knowledge (of brahman), there is the same (direct) self-revealing its own scope as the brahman self-revealing itself (manifesting itself), since (the scripture) teaches it in this way. (I.e., since brahman manifests as all this, then the intellect discovering this fact is just a facet of brahman revealing itself.)
Before taking up (the direct knowledge) ‘I am brahman,’ one should take up the indirect knowledge ‘brahman exists,’ as it would not lead one astray (na bhrānta), since (the scripture) does not describe them as contradictory. (I.e., the scripture says one has to first have the knowledge that brahman exists before one can know that I am that brahman, TaitU.2.6.1; and this is why the path of freedom starts with indirect knowledge, PancD.7.34.)
If there were a thought (māna, mentation taken as proof) that brahman does not exist, then there would certainly be its opposite denial (as any thought is refutable by adopting a different perspective). Therefore it cannot be doubted that in this way there clearly appears to be no strong (irrefutable) proof (denying the existence of brahman). (The idea is that in this relative world one can either believe in brahman or not, so the issue is which belief would not lead one astray, and thus would be more helpful.)
In case (the existence of brahman) is considered to be a delusion simply because of not taking up (not accepting) the specific expression (vyakti, direct 2nd/1st person that ‘you are that,’ ‘I am that’), then, because of not accepting it personally, the belief even in heaven would become a delusion, despite the fact that it is generally (sāmānya) accepted (because it is helpful to the person, in that it promotes a sense of universal justice whose reward, or punishment, will invariably come later if not in this life-time).
Indirect knowledge of directly knowable (brahman) is not a delusion (not false), since (brahman) is an object that can be indirectly known yet not taken as only indirect (parokṣa).
If not grasping part of an object is a delusion, then (direct, perceptual) knowledge of a pot (which includes not grasping the back part of the pot) would be a delusion (but this would unacceptably take direct perception as false, as not a valid means of knowledge). The part-less (brahman) also has this characteristic of (as-if) having parts, because (due to super-imposition) there is a (as-if) separate part which is dismissed (as being mithyā). (So, like for direct perception of a pot, there can also be direct knowledge of brahman while dismissing the ‘back part,’ all the seen and unseen details of the universe, as mithyā.)
Through indirect knowledge, the (doubt) ‘That (brahman) does not exist’ (a-sattva) aspect goes away. Similarly, by direct knowledge the (doubt) ‘That (brahman) does not appear (as me)’ (a-bhāna) aspect goes away.
The statement ‘the tenth man exists’ is not false and is seen as indirect knowledge. And (the indirect knowledge) ‘brahman exists’ similarly is not false (a-vibhānta, does not lead one astray, so that one can then know that one is that brahman). In both, the obstructing of ignorance (of doubt) is the same.
One makes complete the analysis into the meaning of the statement, ‘brahman is myself (ātman),’ by the specific expression (vyakti, direct 2nd/1st person) being taken up, just like from the statement, ‘you are the tenth man.’
When questioned ‘who is the tenth man,’ the reply is 'you alone.’ After counting including himself, he recognizes that he himself alone is the tenth man (which is direct knowledge, not an inference or assumption, or even a scriptural statement).
The knowledge that arises with the statement ‘I am the tenth man’ is never negated. Whether at the beginning, middle or end, the doubt of there being only nine is not there (while counting now or later). (I.e., there is trust in the objective witness, the wise teacher, that the tenth exists, and with that trust the tenth man did not and will not forget to count himself, like he had done before.)
After taking up indirectly (i.e., in the general third-person point of view) the fact that brahman (unlimited being-consciousness) is existence itself by means of the creation statement, ‘Existence (sat) alone (…was all this, one only without a second, ChanU.6.2.1),’ then one definitively takes up the specific expression (vyakti, direct 2nd/1st person) through the statement, ‘you are that (‘tat tvam asi,’ ChanU.6.8.7–16.3).
Whether at the beginning (as trust), middle (as confirmations) or end (after settled) this knowledge that myself has the nature of being brahman never goes astray. Because of that, the directness of the knowledge is established (cf. PancD.7.60).
After sage Bhṛgu long ago indirectly grasped (the reality of brahman) by the lakṣaṇa (the indirect argument) of what is called the cause (of all this) starting from its birth onwards, “yato vā imāni bhūtāni jāyante...” TaitU.3.1.1), by analysis (that at every level from the external universe of food inward, the changeless reality of it all remains as not other than oneself), he saw the direct manifestation (vyakti, of brahman as himself, TaitU.3.2.1–6.1).
Even though the father of Bhṛgu did not employ the teaching in the form ‘you are that,’ still he expressed (the same) on the grounds of inquiry into food, energy, etc. (from anna, prāṇa inwards which one tends to identify as oneself).
Well analyzing again and again (the presence of brahman reality) in the food body, the energy body, etc., he came to see directly the joy (ānanda, of himself innermost present even in deep sleep when the mind disappears), and contemplated it as the manifest sign (lakṣman) of brahman (as ‘I am everywhere and always brahman’).
Having first presented the very nature of brahman as reality (satyam), knowledge (jñānam), and infinite (anantam, TaitU.2.1.1), (the scripture TaitU.2.2.1–6.1) presents this one as being (as-if) hidden in the cave (lighting the heart) within the (five) embodiments (koṣas).
Lord Indra was indirectly taught (by Lord Prajā-pati) by means of a definition (of what is not) “the self which (…is not fraught with evil, deathless, etcetera that is, something positive, to be sought),” and (unsatisfied) desiring to gain this (self) directly returned to the teacher four times (ChanU.8.7.1–12.6).
“The ātman (self) indeed was all this (…one only in the beginning. That one envisioned, ‘I now create the worlds’ ” AitU.1.1.1) at the start (of that scripture) is an indirect (parokṣa) definition of brahman, after which is shown brahman as being prajñāna (knowledge, consciousness itself) through adhyāropa-apavāda (imposition of categories of “all this” and the subsequent denial of their continuing reality, e.g., AitU.1.3.12–13 & AitU.3.1.5).
By other scripture statements too an indirect understanding of brahman is available. But among all these (scriptures) the direct understanding comes from analysis (of statements in different words that we call) mahā-vākyas (‘You are…,’ ‘I am…’ brahman, the mahā).
In order to establish a direct understanding of brahman, knowledge of the mahā-vākyas is urged. Therefore, in the commentary on these vākyas (and thus in the prakāraṇa text called Vākya-vṛtti), it is said that there should indeed be no doubt whatsoever in regard to the direct knowledge of brahman.
What manifests as being the basis (ālambana) of both the thought and the word ‘I’ (asmad) is the consciousness limited (as the presence or reflection) in the mind and is the meaning (abhidha) of the word ‘you’ (tvam, yuṣmad). (In this way, ‘you are that’ when accepted equates to ‘I am that.’)
The reality (satya), etc. (jñāna, ananta, knowledge, limit-less) self, as the source of the universe via attribution (upādhi) due to māyā (primal ignorance and projection), is indicated partly indirect as the all-knowing, etc. (Lord) and is the meaning of ‘That,’ (in 'That Lord is you’).
Because the nature of being innermost (pratyak) and being remote (parokṣa) and of having duality (sa-dvitīya) and being fully complete (pūrṇa) of one and the same thing (eka) are (literally) contradictory, then indirect indication (lakṣanā) needs to occur (to see beyond the separate contradicting attributes, upādhis, to get to the one reality).
In such statements as ‘That (Lord) is you’ the indirect indication is called bhāga-lakṣaṇā (partial indication), the (indication of the part that is) not otherwise (na aparā) in examples where there are two (contradictory) words present in the statement, such as ‘that… is this…’*. *(The common example being: ‘That young Deva-datta is this older Deva-datta here,’ where the contradicting parts, bhāgas, namely, ‘that young' and ‘this older here’ are distinguished and overlooked, tyāga, to indicate the part, the one and the same person, called ‘Deva-datta.’ Hence the non-contradicting statement is understood as ‘(That) Deva-datta is (this) Deva-datta.’ )
Here the meaning of the statement (‘that Lord is you’) is not understood as being either a combination (saṃsarga, i.e., ‘you are a part of the Lord’) or a distinction (viśiṣṭa, between the two, i.e., ‘you other but similar to the Lord’). Rather, the meaning of the statement understood among the wise is through complete identity (a-khaṇḍa-rasa, i.e., ‘That Lord is you, and you are that Lord,’ KaivU.1.16).
What appears to be individual (pratyak) consciousness is indicated here to really be non-dual fullness (ānanda). And it is indicated to be the same (eka) in every individual consciousness as having the nature of non-dual fullness (recognized naturally in deep sleep).
When being essentially identical to each other is understood in this way, then the (notion of) not being brahman for the meaning of ‘you’ goes away; and because of that, the remoteness of the meaning of ‘that (Lord)’ (also goes away). So what? Listen. What remains is inner consciousness (myself, ‘I’) with the nature of complete fullness, non-dual (eka).
Such being the case, for those who promote that only indirect knowledge can come from this mahā-vākya (‘That Lord is you’), their understanding of the purport of the scripture is anything but brilliant.
(Doubt:) You were the one who concluded that from the scripture. Logically, from words there can only be indirect knowledge (only book knowledge), like that belonging to statements about heaven, etc. (Reply:) But in the case of the Tenth-man, this is not necessarily so.
Everyone has direct knowledge of themselves (–I don’t have to infer if I exist or ask anyone else if I am happy). Alas, it is some kind of great logic (you have) to argue that when someone desires to know their self as brahman then their direct knowledge that already exists would appear!
There is a well-known and meaningful proverb that in desiring its interest one could lose the capital investment. By your grace you provided a (failing) example. (In this case, desiring to know oneself as completely free one logically gets denied the possibility that one could know oneself. No, you do not possess consciousness as yourself, where it could get lost sometime later, you always ARE the conscious being.)
(Doubt:) The individual, being consciousness limited to the mind, is able to be directly known (as limited) because this attribute (upādhi, the mind) is taken as real (sad-bhāva). Whereas the nature of brahman (the limitless) cannot be taken as one’s attribute.
(Reply:) This is not the case, as it is only one’s knowledge of the nature of brahman that is conditioned by that upādhi, due to the upādhi not ceasing until there is complete freedom from embodiment (from wrongly believing that one is embodied).
The upādhi alone is the difference between being (i.e., thinking that one is) an individual (jīva) with a mind (antaḥkaraṇa-sāhitya) and being (i.e., knowing that one is) brahman without (that mind). Otherwise (apart from the belief in the upādhi being real) there is not (a difference between oneself and brahman).
If one grants (the mind is) a conditioning (upādhi), then would not even its (necessary) removal likewise (be a conditioning)? There is no difference in being a (binding) chain whether it is iron or gold (whether one struggles with a mind or struggles to be without it). (The mind is not a real limiting entity that has to go away, by being in denial or being in mindless samādhi, since either way one remains bound. The following is the proper understanding of the teaching methodology.)
The teachers have declared that the methodology of the Vedāntas (the Upaniṣads) is two two-fold: denying what that (brahman) is not, and directly granting (acknowledging) what it is.
By totally giving up all sense of ‘I’, how could one know, ‘I am brahman’ (you wouldn’t be there to know know ‘brahman is me’)? That is not the case, because only the (false) aspect of ‘I’ is given up, brought about by bhāga-lakṣaṇā (partial indication, PancD.7.74) .
When by completely leaving out the mind (as defining myself) there remains only consciousness (cit, the witness) as oneself (ātman), then one sees that ‘I am brahman’ means (I am) the witness (sākṣin), the very nature of (the non-agent) brahman.
A thought form (dhī-vṛtti) can encompass (i.e., distinguish) even this self-evident (sva-prakāṣa) witness (sākṣin), like any other (non-self-revealing) object (such as a pot, etc.). (However) the teachers of the scriptures have denied that it (the sākṣin, ātman) is revealed (phala-vyāpta, made known through this encompassing). (The word ‘phala’ here has a technical sense meaning ‘cid-ābhāsa’, so phala-vyāpya means cid-ābhāsa-vyāpya. A thought-form itself is considered jaḍa, inanimate and dark; whereas cid-ābhāsa is the consciousness-light which reveals the jaḍa thought-form. When the thought-form encompasses its object, then the cid-ābhāsa reveals this thought-form as currently being in the form of the object. Since pot-knowledge is the useful result, then perhaps the current form of the cid-ābhāsa may be called a ‘product or reward,’ phala, new knowledge.)
Both the thought-form (buddhi) and the reflection of consciousness (cid-ābhāsa) encompass a pot (for example). In this, ignorance (the indistinct presence of the pot in the field of perception) is removed by the (distinct) thought-form, and the (non-self-revealing) pot is revealed by the (cid-)ābhāsa (as the resulting knowledge of this particular pot).
For the removal of ignorance regarding brahman (what it is and what it is not), there is dependence upon a modification of the intellect (vṛtti-vyāpti, in the form of ‘I am brahman, not limited as this or that’), (however) since (brahman, the sākṣin) is self-evident, then (a distinct) (cid-)ābhāsa (for revealing) is not required.
In the general way when perceiving a (non-luminous object like a) pot, etc., both eye-sight and a (luminous) light are required, that is not the case in perceiving a light. Only eye-sight is required.
Even this cid-ābhāsa ultimately and completely exists as one in brahman (since cit is permanent, and its ābhāsa, its individualized appearance, is mithyā, MunU.3.2.8). Whereas, regardingbrahman there is no act of revealing (phalaṃ kuryāt, no phala-vyāpti), unlike for a pot, etc.
This (indirect knowledge of brahman, PancD.7.89–4) is indicated by the scripture, “(brahman) is immeasurable and beginningless” (Amṛta-bindu Upaniṣad 9, i.e., using neti neti in reference to all of the manifest universe to understand that brahman is not mithyā), and (directly) being able to be encompassed by the mind (dhī-vyāpti) is said by the scripture, “(brahman) can be attained by the mind” (KathU.2.1.11, as the self-evident satya, reality, that is oneself alone, unlimited by mithyā).
From (first hearing) the statement, “If one clearly knows oneself as I am this (limitless Ātman…,” PancD.7.1), by pointing out the manifest fact that brahman is none other than oneself, such a knowledge is here called (direct, a-parokṣa, PancD.7.21).
Thus it is here that direct knowledge comes from a mahā-vākya (śruti statement pointing out the ultimate), but if this (knowledge) does remain firm, therefore the teaching lineage prescribes repeated śravaṇādi (listening, scrutinizing and contemplating, PancD.1.53–4).
Until the understanding of the (singular) meaning of such statements, ‘I am brahman’ (‘You are that,’ etc. mahā-vākyas) remains firm (never lost in life’s changes), one should repeatedly listen (to the teaching, śravaṇa, etc.), while being endowed with śama (composure), etcetera (PancD.4.50, SVSSS.94–270, which pertain to being the best, adaptive student).
The reasons for the lack of remaining firm (in this direct knowledge) are the (seeming) contradictory nature of several scriptural (Vedāntas and other texts one takes as scriptural) statements (such as, ‘the Lord is myself’ and ‘the Lord is master and I am subservient’), and the (seeming) impossibility of its meaning (that ‘I am limitless’), and (one’s apparently) natural way of thinking (bhāvanā, that ‘I am insignificant’).
Due to different branches of the various scriptures (sākhas, from whatever tradition) and (one’s own unsettling) desires, various different activities (to satisfy these desires) have been heard. In this way, may one not be confused (śaṅkin) here. Thus may one approach a (good and clear) teacher (ācharya, who embodies what he or she teaches) to learn.
Śravaṇa (listening, here) should be understanding in the form of the actual intension (tāt-parya) from beginning, middle and end of all the scriptural teachings regarding brahman as oneself.
This is well pointed out in the section of the Brahma-Sūtras called Samanvaya (‘Connection,’ the intended purport of the separate scripture statements from beginning to their end by interconnecting the authoritive statements of the scriptures, BrS.1.1.4) by those (Veda-vyāsa, Ādi-Saṅkārācarya, and faithful sub-commentators) who have clarity of understanding. And the second chapter (of the Brahma-Sūtras, BrS.2) points out the correct way of thinking (sambhāvanā) on this topic (artha, on that samanvaya) by scrutinizing with various logics also (which is manana after śravaṇa).
Because of the repetition of firm (habits of thinking, bhāvanās, vāsanās) from countless rebirths (of the individual jīva), there repeatedly arises moment by moment a notion towards the body, etc. (health, mind, and the other koṣas) that it is oneself (ātman). And, in that way, also arises the notion that the changing universe (jagat) is real.
This contrary (to truth) tendency (viparītā bhāvanā) is what is counteracted by aikāgrya (fixed attention, on what is helpful towards laying down more truthful tendencies in the unconscious). And this (aikāgrya) comes about by mental worship (upāsana, of the Lord as all this in connection with certain Veda rituals, YS.1.49), even before one is taught the truth (of that Lord, as the brahman that is oneself).
Because of this (the forms of worship in the earlier Brāhmaṇas and Āranyakas) as a worship (of the Lord) even in here in the teaching on brahman (in the Upaniṣads) these meditations (cintitās) occur. For those who have not practiced these before, then subsequently that (aikāgrya, fixed attention, being essential to gain release from unconscious blocks) comes about by brahmābhyāsa (repeated contemplation on brahman, with and without attributes of this world, as indicated in the third chapter of the Brahma-Sūtras, BrS.3).
The wise know brahma-abhyāsa to be meditating on it, mutually conversing on and teaching it, and thus being fully attentive on it (etad-eka-paratva).
When an intelligent brāhmaṇa (one dedicated to ), knowing that (para-ātman, oneself as the ultimate), gains this wisdom (prajñā, settled clarity), then he or she would not ruminate on words (and ideas) expressing plurality (i.e., bahutvam, instead of aikyam, oneness), since that (ruminating) would only be a waste of speech (and thought, BrhU.4.4.21).
“For those people who are not separate (from Me), who contemplate Me and gain (Me), being always one (with Me), I procure what they want to acquire and protect” (BhG.9.22).
Thus scripture and tradition have both prescribed continuous single-pointed thinking (attention and contemplation) on ātman, in order to attenuate (kṣaya) erroneous tendencies of mind.
Viparīta-bhāvanā (erroneous tendencies of mind) would be ignoring the truth of something and taking it as other than it is, like holding inimical thoughts towards one’s father, etc.
This ātman (oneself) is other than the body, etcetera, and the universe is taken falsely (jagat mithyā). The viparyaya-bhāvanā (erroneous tendency of thinking of the unwise, manifests as) the notion regarding these two that oneself is the body, etcetera and (thus) the universe is real (satya).
By continually (a-niśam, literally ‘without a night,’ nurturing) the tendency to think truthfully (tattva-bhāvanā), one loses that (viyaryaya-bhāvanā), because the body (etcetera) are completely different from oneself. In this way, one (continually) nurtures (the thinking that) the universe (which includes this body) had been taken falsely (which can take awhile to fade from one’s unconscious tendencies of thinking).
(Question:) Would the thinking of one’s difference (from the body, etcetera) and of the unreality of the universe be like (the injunction for) mantra-japa (repeating the words or idea), or like mūrti-dhyāna (meditating upon a physical form, of the Lord)? Or is it (viparyaya-bhāvanā) to be removed by following some similar (scriptural injunction, niyama)?
(Reply:) Regarding (the need for a scriptural injunction for) another way (anyathā, to meditate for assimilating this teaching), you should know that here (contemplation for assimilating knowledge) has a (currently) experienced result (unlike mantra-japa and mūrti-dhyāna which have future karma-phala as their goal), like eating (where you know it is successful as you get full). For one who is hungry, no one needs an injunction to eat in a certain way, unlike japa.
One desires to take away hunger by whatever means, whether by eating or fasting (diverting the mind for a time) one satisfies (bhuṅkte) in anyway one wishes.
Japa should be done according to prescribed rules, since when not followed there is pratyavāya (a possible opposite result). When doing it otherwise (anyathā, than the rule), due to changing the pitch (given in the Veda) or mispronouncing the letters, then the meaning (of the japa-mantra) can be otherwise (an-artha). (This is also a WARNING to current, popular japa chanters. What you’re asking or teaching others in a japa-mantra by mispronunciation may be something else!)
Like hunger (kṣudhā iva), erroneous tendency in thinking brings about noticeable problems (unfulfilled desiring and resulting pains). As something to be known (jñeyā, the tattva-bhāvanā, or the reading is ‘jeyā, to be accomplished’) by any means, there is no fixed rule (krama, ritual) to be followed here.
The upāya (means to fixing this knowledge) has thus been expressed, as consisting of contemplating (thinking) on it and talking (acting) on it. In remaining solely intent upon it, there is indeed no fixed rule (nirbanddha), unlike for (mūrti-)dhyāna (meditation on a form of the Lord as a ritual, PancD.7.113).
Dyāna is the thoughts being the continuous thought of the mūrti (the mental image of the Lord) and without any other intermediate thought. There (as a ritual) occurs the complete fixing of the mind, which is (otherwise) naturally fleeting.
“O Kṛṣṇa, since the mind is very fleeting, distracting, strong, and well rooted, I think that its control is quite as difficult as that of the wind” (BhG.6.34).
“O Sādhu (Worthy Vasiṣṭha), it is more difficult (viṣama) to control the mind than to drink the ocean, uproot Mt. Sumeru, or eat fire” (YVas.1.16.24).
The attachment to talking, etc. (acting and contemplating of brahman) is not like one’s body being chained. Rather, it is an entertainment by the countless spiritual classics (Iti-hāsas, etc.), like our minds by a dramatic performance.
Since their resolution (paryavasāna) is only in oneself as (limitless) consciousness alone while the universe is mithyā (relative, dependent upon one’s reality – thus temporal and less real, like a play), then these stories do not become a distraction (vikṣepa) from one’s contemplation.
One can become distracted in (occupations) such as agriculture, commerce, services, poetry, dialectics, etcetera, because when one’s thoughts have become fully engaged by these (occupations) the mind can lose sight of the truth (of their unreality).
By continually being engaged (in contemplation on brahman) it is possible to engage in (simple required activities) such as eating, etc., because continual distraction is not there, and bringing the mind back (smṛti, to the teaching) comes quickly thereafter.
By the mere absence of memory of the truth, apart from vipāryaya (thinking wrongly), there is no problem. There is not (enough) time to ponder contrary thoughts (for the one committed to contemplation, pending knowledge), since bringing the mind back (smṛti) from wherever is quick enough (BhG.6.26).
The occasion to bring back the mind to the truth is not there for one who is habitually engaged elsewhere. Due to these destructive contrary engagements, the truth is forcibly neglected.
The scripture says, “May you know that non-dual to be oneself. Any words or ideas that differ, give them up” (MunU.2.2.5), in that otherwise they “waste one’s speech” (BrhU.4.4.21).
Giving up (essentials) such as eating, one cannot survive. But how it is that giving up your other studies you will not survive? Because of this, you develop an unhelpful clinging to them.
(Doubt:) How come King Janaka and others administered kingdoms? (Reply:) Because their (Vedānta) knowledge was already firm. If you have that, then study logic or engage in farming (or whatever you want, because you have already reached the goal of firm knowledge).
When the unreality (of the world) is ingrained to the level of the unconscious, the unbothered ones with an expectation of the playing out of the (body’s and mind’s) fructifying karma engage according to their own respective duties.
Please know that (even for animals) irregularity is not possible for those who live by force of their (fructifying) karma. Whatever happens here, who can prevent karma?
Fructifying karma is the same here for both the wise and the unwise. Due to the steadiness (in the conviction that all this is mithyā), the wise have no problem, whereas the unwise due to their unsteadiness (of understanding) have a problem.
Even though two travelers on a road may be equal in (physical) fatigue, knowing (the end) is not far off because of steadiness (of intellect) one would travel quickly (with a carefree mind), while the other (not clearly knowing where or what the end is) would linger with a despondent mind.
Properly having a mind that has already accomplished (its goal, oneness in brahman), one is not bothered by adversities. Desiring what and for pleasing whom would this person suffer along with the body?
Due to accomplishing a mind knowing the unreality of the world, both (worldly) ends and their seeker are expelled. In their absence, yearning would be extinguished, like the flame of a lamp without oil.
When (seemingly) in a city of celestial musicians, knowing it is created by a magician, a person would not seek anything there. Rather, laughing at it, he would let it go.
Similarly, one who has done proper inquiry would not seek apparently pleasing objects. Rather, seeing their defects (–temporal, insignificant, and distracting), would let them go.
All objects in some way have pain (kleśa) in their acquisition and their retention, as well as pain in their expense and (eventual) loss. Woe to these objects that bring these kleśas.
The opposite sex (strīs) are (visually) flesh-puppets in a moving contraption, a conglomeration of muscle, bone, and joints in a cage of parts. Like that, where’s the beauty?
** Such are the defects of worldly pleasures, elaborately pointed out by the scriptures. No wise man, aware of these defects, will allow himself to be drowned in afflictions caused by them.
** Even a man afflicted with great hunger does not wish to eat poison, much less one who is already satisfied with sweetmeats.
** If by the force of his fructifying Karma a wise man is compelled to enjoy the fruits of desires, he does so with indifference and great reluctance like a man who is impressed for labour.
** The wise, having spiritual faith, if forced by their fructifying Karma to live a family life, maintaining many relations, always sorrowfully think ‘Ah, the bonds of Karma are not yet torn off’.
** This sorrow is not due to the afflictions of the world but a dislike for it, for the worldly afflictions are caused by erroneous conviction about its reality.
** A man endowed with discrimination sees the defects of enjoyment and is satisfied even with little, whereas he who is subject to illusion is not satisfied even with endless enjoyments.
** ‘The desires are never quelled by enjoyment but increase more like the flame of a fire fed on clarified butter’.
** But when the impermanence of pleasure is known, the gratification of desires may bring the idea of ‘enough of it’. It is like a thief, who having been knowingly employed in service does not behave like a thief but like a friend.
** A man who has conquered his mind is satisfied with even a little enjoyment of pleasure. He knows well that pleasures are impermanent and are followed by grief. To him even a little pleasure is more than enough.
** A king who has been freed from prison is content with sovereignty over a village, whereas when he had neither been imprisoned nor conquered he did not attach much value even to a kingdom.
** (Doubt): When discrimination is ever awake regarding the defects of the objects of enjoyment, how can the desire for enjoyment be forced upon him by his fructifying Karma?
** (Reply): There is no inconsistency here, for the fructifying Karma expends itself in various ways. There are three kinds of fructifying Karma ‘producing enjoyment with desire’, ‘in the absence of desire’ and ‘through the desire of another’.
** The sick attached to harmful food, the thieves and those who have illicit relationships with the wives of a king know well the consequence likely to follow their actions, but in spite of this they are driven to do them by their fructifying Karma.
** Even Īśvara cannot stop such desires. So Śrī Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna in the Gītā:
** ‘Even wise men follow the dictates of their own nature. Beings are prompted by their own innate tendencies; what can restriction do?’
** If it were possible to avert the consequences of fructifying Karma, Nala, Rāma and Yudhiṣṭhira would not have suffered the miseries to which they were subjected.
** Īśvara Himself ordains that the fructifying Karma should be inexorable. So the fact that He is unable to prevent such Karma from fructifying is not inconsistent with His omnipotence.
** Listen to the questions and answers between Arjuna and Śrī Kṛṣṇa from which we know that a man has to experience his fructifying Karma though he may have no desire to experience it.
** ‘O Kṛṣṇa, prompted by what does a man sin against his will, as if some force compels him to do so?’
** ‘It is desire and (its brood) anger, born of the quality of Rajas. It is insatiable, the great source of all sins; know it to be your enemy.’
** ‘O Arjuna, your own Karma, produced by your own nature, compels you to do things, even though you may not want to do them’.
** When a man is neither willing nor unwilling to do a thing but does it for the feelings of others and experiences pleasure and pain, it is the result of ‘fructifying Karma through the desire of others’.
** (Doubt): Does it not contradict the text at the beginning of this chapter which describes the enlightened man as desireless? (Reply): The text does not mean that desires are absent in the enlightened man, but that desires arising in him spontaneously without his will produce no pleasure or pain in him, just as the roasted grain has no potency.
** Roasted grain though looking the same cannot germinate; similarly the desires of the knower, well aware of the unreality of objects of desire cannot produce merit and demerit.
** Though it does not germinate, the roasted grain can be used as food. In the same way the desires of the knower yield him only a little experience, but cannot lead to varieties of enjoyment producing sorrow or abiding habits.
** The fructifying Karma spends its force when its effects are experienced; it is only when, through ignorance, one believes its effects to be real that they cause lasting sorrow.
** ‘Let not my enjoyment be cut short, let it go on increasing, let not obstacles stop it, I am blessed because of it’ – such is the nature of that delusion.
** That which is not destined to happen as a result of our past Karma will not happen; that which is to happen must happen. Such knowledge is a sure antidote to the poison of anxiety; it removes the delusion of grief.
** Both the illumined and the deluded suffer from their fructifying Karma; the deluded are subject to misery, the wise are not. As the deluded are full of desires, of impracticable unreal things, their sorrow is great.
** The illumined man knows that the enjoyment of desires is unreal. He therefore controls his desires and prevents impossible or new ones from arising. Why should such a man be subject to misery?
** The wise man is convinced that worldly desires are like dream objects or magical creations. He knows further that the nature of the world is incomprehensible and that its objects are momentary. How can he then be attached to them?
** One should, when awake, first picture to himself vividly what he has seen in a dream and then carefully and constantly think over the conditions of dreaming and wakefulness.
** An aspirant must observe long and find out the essential similarity of the dream and waking worlds. He should then give up the notion of the reality of worldly objects and cease to be attached to them.
** This world of duality is like a magical creation, with its cause incomprehensible. What matters it to the wise man who does not forget this, if the past actions produce their results in him?
** The function of knowledge is to show the illusory nature of the world and the function of fructifying Karma is to yield pleasure and pain to the Jīva.
** Knowledge and fructifying Karma are not opposed to one another since they refer to different objects. The sight of a magical performance gives amusement to a spectator in spite of his knowledge of its unreality.
** The fructification of Karma would be considered to be opposed to the knowledge of truth if it gave rise to the idea of the reality of the transitory world; but the mere enjoyment does not mean that the enjoyed thing is real.
** Through the imaginary objects seen in a dream there is experience of joy and sorrow to no small extent; therefore you can infer that through the objects of the waking state also there can be the same experience (without making them real).
** If the knowledge of truth would obliterate the enjoyable world, then it would be a destroyer of the fructifying Karma. But it only teaches its unreality and does not cause its disappearance.
** People know a magical show to be unreal, but this knowledge does not involve the destruction of the show. So it is possible to know the unreality of external objects without causing their disappearance or the cessation of enjoyment from them.
** (Doubt): The Śruti passages say that he who perceives his own Self to be all, ‘what can he hear or see, or smell or speak?’
** Therefore knowledge arises with the destruction of duality and in no other way. This being so, how can the knower of truth enjoy the objective world?
** (Reply): The Śruti upon which this objection is based applies to the states of deep sleep and final liberation. This has been amply cleared in aphorism 4-4-16 in the Brahma Sūtras.
** If this is not accepted, we cannot account for Yājñavalkya’s and other sages’ efforts to teach. Without a recognition of duality they could not teach and with it their knowledge is incomplete.
** (Doubt): Direct knowledge is achieved in subject-objectless contemplation in which there is no duality. (Reply): Then why not apply the same argument to the state of deep sleep?
** (Doubt): In the state of deep sleep there is no knowledge of the Self. (Reply): Then you admit that it is not mere absence of duality but the knowledge of the Self that really matters.
** (Doubt): In the state of deep sleep there is no knowledge of the Self. (Reply): Then you admit that it is not mere absence of duality but the knowledge of the Self that really matters.
** Then the pots are superior to you, for even the buzzing of mosquitoes often distracts your attention and they have no such awareness of duality!
** If, however, you admit, the knowledge of the Self alone constitutes realisation you have accepted our position. Again if you say, to have realisation the troubling mind is to be controlled, we bless you. Be happy, do control the mind.
** We also like it, for the control of the mind is essential for the realisation of the illusory character of the world. But although the wise man may have desires, they are not binding as are the desires of an ignorant man. This is the drift of the text ‘Desiring what?’.
** There is therefore no contradiction between the two statements in the scriptures that ‘desires are a sign of ignorance’ and that ‘the wise man may have desires’, because the desires of a wise man are too weak to bind.
** Since he is convinced of the associationlessness of the Self like the illusoriness of the world, the knower has no idea of himself as a doer and enjoyer. The verse quoted at the beginning of this chapter, ‘For whom should he desire?’ applies to him.
** Many Śruti texts declare that a husband loves his wife not for her sake and the wife loves him not for his sake, but for their own sake.
** Many Śruti texts declare that a husband loves his wife not for her sake and the wife loves him not for his sake, but for their own sake.
** Enjoyment signifies the change that results from identification with the sensations of pleasure and pain. If the immutable Kūṭa-stha is the enjoyer, it becomes mutable, then would it not be self-contradictory?
** Cid-ābhāsa is subject to the changing conditions of the intellect and he undergoes modifications; but Cid-ābhāsa being illusory exists only by virtue of his real substratum and therefore he cannot by himself be the enjoyer.
** In common parlance, therefore, Cid-ābhāsa in conjunction with Kūṭa-stha is considered to be the enjoyer. But the Śruti begins with both the types of Self and concludes that Kūṭa-stha alone remains.
** When King Janaka asked Yājñavalkya about the nature of the Self, the sage first told him of the sheath of intellect and then, pointing out its inadequacy (to be the Self), ended in teaching him of the immutable Kūṭa-stha.
** In fact, Aitareya and other Śruti texts, concerned with the consideration of the Self, begin with an enquiry into the nature of the enjoyer and end in a description of the immutable Kūṭa-stha.
** Owing to ignorance the enjoyer superimposes the reality of Kūṭa-stha on to himself. Consequently he considers his enjoyment to be real and does not want to give it up.
** The enjoyer desires to have a wife and so forth for his own pleasures. This popular notion has been well described in the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad.
** The Śruti says that since the enjoyable objects are for the sake of the enjoyer, they should not be loved for their own sake. Since the enjoyer is the central factor, love should be given to him.
** Prahlāda prays in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa: ‘Let the unending love which the undiscriminating have for transient objects, be not removed from me, O Lord but directed towards Thee so that I may have incessant flow of Thy remembrance’.
** Following this method an aspirant should become indifferent to all enjoyable objects in the external realm and direct the love he feels for them towards the Self and desire to know It.
** As the fallen ones keep their minds ever concentrated on objects of enjoyment, such as garlands, sandal ointment, young women, clothes, gold and so forth, so an aspirant for liberation ought to keep his attention fixed on the Self and never falter.
** As a man desirous of establishing his superiority over his opponents engages himself in the study of literature, drama, logic and so forth, so an aspirant for liberation should discriminate about the nature of the Self.
** As a man desirous of heaven repeats the holy formula and performs sacrifices, worship and so forth with great faith, so should an aspirant for liberation put all his faith in the Self.
** As a Yogī devotes himself with perseverance to obtaining concentration of the mind in order to acquire supernatural powers, like making oneself small or great, so should an aspirant for liberation (perseveringly) differentiate the body from the Self.
** As these people through perseverance increase their efficiency in their fields, so for the aspirant for liberation through continuous practice the idea of separateness of the Self from the body becomes stronger.
** The real nature of the enjoyer can be understood by applying the method of distinguishing between the variable and the invariable. In this way an aspirant comes to know that the witness of the three states is ever detached.
** It is common experience that the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep are distinct from one another, but that the experiencing consciousness is the same.
** The Śruti trumpets that whatever objects are cognised by the Self in any state, whether meritorious or unmeritorious, producing pleasure or pain, are not carried over from one state to another.
** ‘When a man realises his identity with that Brahman which illumines the worlds of the waking, dreaming and sleeping states, he is released from all bonds’.
** ‘One should consider the Self to be the same in the waking, dreaming and sleeping states. That Ātman which knows itself as beyond the three states is free from rebirth’.
** ‘That Self which is not subject to experience in any of the three states, which can be called pure consciousness, the witness, the ever blissful and which is neither the enjoyer nor the enjoyment or the object of enjoyment, That I am’.
** When the Self has been differentiated in this way, what remains as the enjoyer is Cid-ābhāsa or Jīva who is also known as the sheath of the intellect and who is subject to change.
** This Cid-ābhāsa is a product of Māyā. Śruti and experience both demonstrate this. The world is a magical show and Cid-ābhāsa is included in it.
** In deep sleep the unchanging witness consciousness perceives the absorption of Cid-ābhāsa who is therefore unreal. By continually differentiating the Cid-ābhāsa one comes to understand his unreality and his separateness from Kūṭa-stha.
** When Cid-ābhāsa or Jīva convinces himself that he is liable to destruction, he no longer has a desire for pleasure. Does a man lying on the ground in death-bed, desire to marry?
** He is ashamed to speak of himself as an enjoyer as before. He feels ashamed like one whose nose has been cut off and just endures the experience of his fructifying Karma.
** When Cid-ābhāsa is ashamed to think of himself as the enjoyer, how meaningless it is to say that he will superimpose the idea of being the enjoyer on to Kūṭa-stha.
** Thus the words ‘for whose gratification’ in the first verse, are intended to denote that there is no enjoyer at all and consequently, to the enlightened there are no bodily miseries.
** Bodies are known to be of three types, viz., gross, subtle and causal. And, of course, there are correspondingly three kinds of afflictions or affections.
** The physical body, composed of wind, fire and water (the three-humours of the body), is subject to scores of diseases and also to many other troubles such as bad odour, deformity, inflammation and fracture.
** The subtle body is affected on the one hand by desire, anger and so forth and on the other by inner and outer control, peace of the mind and serenity of the senses. The presence of the former affections and the absence of the latter lead to misery.
** In deep sleep, the state of the causal body, the Jīva knows neither himself nor others and appears as if dead. The causal body is the seed of future births and their miseries. So saw Indra, as declared in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad.
** These affections are said to be natural to the three bodies. When the bodies become free from them, they cease to function.
** As there is no piece of cloth without cotton threads, no blanket without wool and no pot without clay, so the three bodies cannot exist without these affections.
** Yet, as a matter of fact, these affections are not natural to Cid-ābhāsa. (They belong only to the bodies with which Cid-ābhāsa is identified.) It is to be noted that the reflected consciousness is not different from pure consciousness and both are self-luminous by nature.
** None of these affections are natural to Cid-ābhāsa. How then can they be attributed to Kūṭa-stha? The fact is that through the force of ignorance (Avidyā) Cid-ābhāsa imagines himself to be identified with the three bodies and is affected.
** Cid-ābhāsa superimposes on the three bodies the reality of the Kūṭa-stha and imagines that these three bodies are his real Self.
** As long as the illusion lasts Cid-ābhāsa continues to take upon himself the states which the bodies undergo and is affected by them, as an infatuated man feels himself affected when something affects his family.
** An ordinary man is afflicted when his son or wife suffers; similarly Cid-ābhāsa unreasonably thinks that he is afflicted by bodily ailments.
** By discrimination ridding himself of all illusion and without caring for himself the Cid-ābhāsa always thinks of the Kūṭa-stha. How can he still be subject to the afflictions pertaining to the bodies?
** When a man takes a rope for a serpent, he runs away from it. When the illusion is negated and the true nature of the rope is known, he realises his error and is ashamed of it.
** As a man who has injured another through ignorance humbly begs his forgiveness on realising his error, so Cid-ābhāsa submits himself to Kūṭa-stha.
** As a man does repeated penance of bathing etc., for repeated sins, so Cid-ābhāsa too, repeatedly meditates on Kūṭa-stha and submits to It as his witness or substratum.
** As a courtesan suffering from a certain disease is ashamed to demonstrate her charms to a lover who is acquainted with her condition, so Cid-ābhāsa is ashamed to consider himself as the doer and enjoyer.
** As a Brāhmaṇa defiled by contact with a vicious man of low caste undergoes penance and subsequently avoids the risk of touching such a man, so Cid-ābhāsa, having known of his difference from the bodies, no longer identifies himself with them.
** An heir-apparent imitates the life of his father, the king, in order to fit himself for accession to the throne. So Cid-ābhāsa continually imitates the witness Kūṭa-stha with a view to his being one with It.
** He who has heard the declaration of Śruti: ‘The knower of Brahman becomes Brahman’, fixes his whole mind on Brahman and ultimately knows himself to be Brahman.
** As people desirous of acquiring the state of the deities immolate themselves in the fire, so Cid-ābhāsa renounces his identity in order to be absorbed in Kūṭa-stha.
** In the course of self-immolation a man retains his manhood until his body is completely consumed. So the idea of Cid-ābhāsa continues as long as the body, the result of fructifying Karma, continues.
** After a man has realised the nature of the rope, the trembling caused by the erroneous idea of the snake disappears gradually only and the idea of the snake still sometimes haunts him when he sees a rope in darkness.
** Similarly the fructifying Karma does not end abruptly but dies down slowly. In the course of the enjoyment of its fruits, the knower is occasionally visited by such thoughts as ‘I am a mortal’.
** Lapses like this do not nullify the realisation of truth. Jīvanmukti (liberation in life) is not a vow, but the establishment of the soul in the knowledge of Brahman.
** In the example already cited, the tenth man, who may have been crying and beating his head in sorrow, stops lamenting on realising that the tenth is not dead; but the wounds caused by beating his head take a month gradually to heal.
** On realising that the tenth is alive, he rejoices and forgets the pain of his wounds. In the same way liberation in life makes one forget any misery resulting from the fructifying Karma.
** As it is not a vow and a break does not matter, one should reflect on the truth again and again to remove the delusion whenever it recurs, just as a man who takes mercury to cure a certain disease eats again and again during the day to satisfy the hunger caused by the mercury.
** As the tenth man cures his wounds by applying medicines, so the knower wears out his fructifying Karma by enjoyment and is ultimately liberated.
** In the first verse, the expression ‘Desiring what?’ indicates the release from suffering. This is the sixth state of Cid-ābhāsa. The seventh state, which is now described, is the achievement of perfect satisfaction.
** The satisfaction by external objects is limited, but the satisfaction of liberation in life is unlimited. The satisfaction of direct knowledge engenders the feeling that all that was to be achieved has been achieved and all that was to be enjoyed has been enjoyed.
** Before realisation one has many duties to perform in order to acquire worldly and celestial advantages and also as an aid to ultimate release; but with the rise of knowledge of Brahman, they are as good as already done, for nothing further remains to be done.
** The Jīvanmukta always feels supreme self-satisfaction by constantly keeping in view his former state and present state of freedom from wants and duties.
** Let the ignorant people of the world perform worldly actions and desire to possess wives, children and wealth. I am full of supreme bliss. For what purpose should I engage myself in worldly concerns?
** Let those desirous of joy in heaven perform the ordained rituals. I pervade all the worlds. How and wherefore should I undertake such actions?
** Let those who are entitled to it, explain the scriptures or teach the Vedas. I am not so entitled because all my actions have ceased.
** I have no desire to sleep or beg for alms, nor do I do so; nor do I perform the acts of bathing or ablution. The onlookers imagine these things in me. What have I to do with their imaginations?
** Seeing a bush of red guñjā berries from a distance one may suppose that there is a fire, but such as imaginary fire does not affect the bush. So the worldly duties and qualities attributed to me by others do not affect me.
** Let those ignorant of the nature of Brahman listen to the teachings of the Vedānta philosophy. I have Self-knowledge. Why again should I listen to them? Those who are in doubt reflect on the nature of Brahman. I have no doubts, so I do not do so.
** He who is subject to erroneous conviction may practise meditation. I do not confuse the Self for the body. So in the absence of such a delusion why should I meditate?
** Even without being subject to this delusion, I behave like a human being through the impressions and habits gathered over a long period.
** All worldly dealings will come to an end when the fructifying Karma wears out. If it does not wear out, thousands of meditational bouts will not stop the dealings.
** To bring to an end your worldly dealings, you may practise contemplation as much as you like, but I know the worldly dealings to be perfectly harmless. Why should I then meditate?
** There is no distraction for me, so for me there is no need of Samādhi too. Both distraction and absorption are states of the changeable mind.
** I am the sum of all the experiences in the universe; where is the separate experience for me? I have obtained all that was to be obtained and have done all that was to be done. This is my unshakable conviction.
** I am associationless, neither the doer nor the enjoyer. I am not concerned with what the past actions make me do, whether in accordance with or against the social or scriptural codes.
** Or, there is no harm if I engage myself in doing good to the world following the scriptural injunctions even though I have obtained all that was to be obtained.
** Let my body worship God, take bath, preserve cleanliness or beg for alms. Let my mind recite ‘Om’ or study the Upaniṣads.
** Let my intellect meditate on Viṣṇu or be merged in the bliss of Brahman, I am the witness of all. I do nothing nor cause anything to be done.
** How can there be any conflict between the actor and myself? Our functions are as apart from each other as the eastern from the western ocean?
** An advocate of action is mainly concerned with the body, the organs of speech, the intellect and with Karma; he is not concerned with the witness-consciousness, whereas the illumined one is concerned with the associationless witness, not with other things.
** If the advocates of Karma and Jñāna, without understanding the difference of their topics, enter into a dispute, they are like two deaf persons quarrelling! The illumined ones only laugh at seeing them.
** Let the knower of truth know the witness-consciousness whom the Karmī does not recognise, as Brahman. What does the Karmī lose by this?
** The illumined man has rejected the body, speech and mind as unreal. What does he lose if a believer in action makes use of them?
** (Doubt): The knower of truth has no use for getting engaged in action. (Reply): What use has actionlessness? (Doubt): Absence of action is a help to the acquisition of knowledge. (Reply): Action too is helpful in the search after knowledge.
** (Doubt): Once the truth is known, there is no further desire to know it (and so he has no need for action). (Reply): He has not to know again (and so he has no need for inaction). The knowledge of truth remains unobstructed and needs nothing further to revive it.
** Nescience (Avidyā) and its effects (the realm of duality) cannot negate the knowledge of truth. The dawn of truth has already destroyed them for ever in the case of the knower.
** The realm of duality, destroyed by knowledge, may still be perceived by the senses, but such perception does not affect illumination. A living rat cannot kill a cat; then how can it do so when dead?
** When a man is so invulnerable that even the mighty weapon Pāśu-pata cannot kill him, how can you say that he will be killed by an edgeless weapon?
** The knowledge of truth has fought and overcome ignorance even when it was at the height of its power being helped by a variety of wrong notions produced by it. How can that knowledge, firmer now, be obstructed?
** Let the corpses of ignorance and its effects, destroyed by knowledge, remain; the Emperor, the conqueror, has no fear of them; on the contrary they only proclaim his glory.
** To one who is not separated from this all-powerful knowledge, neither engagement in action nor actionlessness does any injury. They relate only to the body.
** He who is without knowledge of truth must always be enthusiastic about action, for it is the duty of men to make efforts for heaven or for liberation.
** If the knower of truth is among people who are performing actions, he too performs all actions required of him with his body, mind and speech, so as to be in accord with them.
** If on the other hand he happens to be among people who are aspirants to spiritual knowledge, he should show defects in all actions and himself give them up.
** It is proper that the wise man when with the ignorant should act in accord with their actions, just as a loving father acts according to the wishes of his little children.
** When his infant children show him disrespect or beat him, he neither gets angry with them nor feels sorry, but, on the contrary, fondles them with affection.
** The enlightened man when praised or blamed by the ignorant does not praise or blame them in return. He behaves in such a way as to awaken a knowledge of the real entity in them.
** With the ignorant a wise man should behave in such a way as will enable them to have realisation. In this world he has no other duty except awakening the ignorant.
** As he has achieved all that was to be achieved and nothing else remains for him to do, he feels satisfied and always things thus:
** Blessed am I (Dhano’ham), blessed, for I have the constant vision of my Self! Blessed am I, blessed, for the bliss of Brahman shines clearly to me!
** Blessed am I, blessed, for I am free from the sufferings of the world. Blessed am I, blessed, for my ignorance has fled away, I know not where.
** Blessed am I, blessed, for I have no further duty to perform. Blessed am I, blessed, for I have now achieved the highest that one can aspire to.
** Blessed am I, blessed, for there is nothing to compare with my great bliss! Blessed am I, blessed, blessed, blessed, again and again blessed!
** O my merits, my merits, how enduringly they have borne fruit! Wonderful are we, the possessors of this great merit, wonderful!
** O how grand and true are the scriptures, the scriptures, O how grand and great is my teacher, my teacher! O how grand is this illumination, this illumination, O how grand is this bliss, this bliss!
** The wise who study repeatedly this chapter called the 'Lamp of perfect Satisfaction' will dive in the bliss of Brahman and remain in perfect bliss.
** Just as a wall illumined by the rays of the sun is more illumined when the light of the sun reflected in a mirror falls on it, so the body illumined by Kūṭa-stha is more illumined by the light of Kūṭa-stha reflected in the intellect (Cid-ābhāsa).
** When many mirrors reflect the light of the sun on to a wall which is already illumined by the sun, spaces between the various reflections are illumined by the light of the sun alone; and even if the reflections are not there, the wall still remains illumined.
** Similarly, both in the intervals between the modifications of the intellect (Vṛttis), in which Cid-ābhāsa is reflected and during their absence (in deep sleep) Kūṭa-stha abides self-illumined; and Kūṭa-stha is therefore to be known as different from Cid-ābhāsa.
** An external object, such as a pot, is cognised through the Vṛttis (modifications of the intellect) assuming its form, but the knowledge ‘I know the pot’ comes (directly) through pure consciousness, Brahman.
** Before the rise of the Vṛtti (i.e., before the intellectual operation) my experience was ‘I do not know that there is a pot over there’; after the rise, the experience is ‘I know that there is a pot over there’. This is the difference the intellectual operation or Vṛtti brings about. But both the above experiences of knowledge or non-knowledge of the pot are due to Brahman.
** Cognition or knowledge (of external thing) is the action (thereon) of the intellectual modification tipped with Cid-ābhāsa like the steel-head of a spear. And non-cognition is the (beginningless but not endless) dullness (of an external thing) covering its revelation. Thus an external thing is spoken of in two ways, as a thing (pot) known or unknown as the intellectual modification spear-headed by Cid-ābhāsa pierces its cover of dullness or not.
** If the cognition of an unknown pot can be had through Brahman why not that of a known pot? It does produce the cognition, for the Cid-ābhāsa ceases functioning, as soon as the pot is made known.
** If the intellect is without Cid-ābhāsa, the cognition of an object cannot take place. For how does intellect in such a case differ from a lump of clay which is unconscious and insentient?
** Nowhere is a pot said to be known when it is besmeared with clay. Similarly when a pot is besmeared or covered by a Vṛtti only (not along with Cid-ābhāsa) it cannot be said to be known (for both the clay and the Vṛtti are themselves unconscious and insentient).
** Hence cognition (of a pot) is that reflection of consciousness (on the pot) which is produced as a result of the enveloping operation of the Vṛtti-cum-Cid-ābhāsa. Brahman or pure consciousness cannot be this resultant reflection of consciousness inasmuch as it (being the eternal and immutable existence) exists prior to cognition.
** (But will it not go against Sureśvarācārya’s opinion expressed in the following Vārttika?) ‘According to the authoritative books on Vedānta an object of cognition, in matters of external objects, is that Saṃvit or consciousness which is the result of the act of cognition.’
** Here by ‘Saṃvit or consciousness which is the result of the act of cogni’ or consciousness what Sureśvarācārya means is the resultant reflected consciousness, for the great Śaṇkarācārya himself (Sureśvarācārya’s guru) in his Upadeśa-sāhasrī has made the distinction between Brahman-Caitanya and the ‘resultant’-Caitanya amply clear.
** Therefore the reflection of consciousness produced on the pot is the cause of its cognition; and the knownness or knowledge of this cognition, exactly as its ignorance, is the work of the Brahman-Caitanya.
** The Vṛtti of intellect, the reflection of Cit on the pot and the (object) pot – all three are made known by Brahman-Caitanya; whereas the (object) pot’s existence (at a particular place) is known by the reflection of Cit on the pot, inasmuch as it is the ‘resultant’ consciousness.
** So the knowledge of a pot involves a double consciousness, viz., Brahman-consciousness and Vṛtti-cum-Cid-ābhāsa-consciousness (covering the pot). Brahman-consciousness corresponds to the consciousness which accompanies what the Naiyāyikas call ‘knowledge of knowledge’ (Anuvyavasāya), the knowledge which follows the cognition of objects (that I know my knowledge or existence of objects).
** The cognition ‘This is a pot’ is due to Cid-ābhāsa, but the knowledge ‘I know the pot’ is derived from Brahman-consciousness.
** Just as in objects outside the body, Cid-ābhāsa has thus been differentiated from Brahman, so within the body too Cid-ābhāsa is to be differentiated from the immutable Kūṭa-stha.
** As fire pervades a red-hot piece of iron, so Cid-ābhāsa pervades I-consciousness as well as lust, anger and other emotions.
** Even as a red-hot piece of iron manifests itself only and not other objects, similarly the modifications of the intellect (Vṛttis), aided by Cid-ābhāsa, manifest themselves only, i.e., the things which they cover and not others.
** All modifications are produced one after another (i.e., with gaps in between); and they all become latent during deep sleep and in the states of swoon and Samādhi.
** That consciousness which witnesses the interval between the disappearance and the rise of successive Vṛttis and the period when they do not exist and which is itself unmodifiable and immutable, is called Kūṭa-stha.
** As in the (cognition of an) external pot, there is the play of double consciousness, so also in that of all internal Vṛttis. This is evident from the fact that there is more consciousness in the Vṛttis than in their intervals.
** Unlike a pot, the intellect is neither an object of cognition nor of non-cognition. For it cannot grasp itself – no object can do so – so it cannot be cognised; since, again, it removes ignorance settled on objects it cannot be said to be non-cognised (for if you know what is produced you know what produced it as well).
** Since Cid-ābhāsa is a double consciousness we see it manifested and unmanifested, therefore, it cannot be called immutable, Kūṭa-stha; whereas the other is Kūṭa-stha, for it undergoes no such change.
** The earlier teachers have made it clear that Kūṭa-stha is the witness in passages like ‘(It is) the witness of the intellect (Antaḥ-karaṇa) and its operations (Vṛttis)’.
** They have also declared that Kūṭa-stha, Cid-ābhāsa and the mind are related in the same way as the face, its reflection and the mirror. This relationship is proved through scriptures and reasoning. Thus Cid-ābhāsa also has been described.
** (Objection): Kūṭa-stha conditioned by the intellect can pass to and return from the other worlds, like the Ākāśa enclosed in a pot. Then what is the necessity of postulating Cid-ābhāsa?
** (Reply): Being merely conditioned by an object (such as the intellect), Kūṭa-stha does not become a Jīva. Otherwise, even a wall or a pot which is also pervaded by Kūṭa-stha would become a Jīva.
** (Objection): The intellect is different from the wall, for it is transparent. (Reply): It may be so, but why do you bother about the opaqueness or transparency of the conditioner? (For your concern is with the condition, not with the conditioner).
** In measuring out rice and other grains, it makes no difference to their quantity whether the measure be made of wood or metal.
** If you say, though it makes no difference in measuring, the metallic measure does give reflection, we reply that such is the property of the inner organ (Antaḥ-karaṇa), in that it can reflect consciousness as Cid-ābhāsa.
** ‘Ābhāsa’ means slight or partial manifestation, ‘Pratibimba’ is also like that i.e., partial manifestation. It does not have the properties of the real entity but resembles it in having some of them.
** As the Cid-ābhāsa is associated and variable, it is devoid of the characteristics of Kūṭa-stha. But as it renders objects capable of being cognised, it resembles Kūṭa-stha. Such is the opinion of the wise.
** (Objection): Cid-ābhāsa is not different from the intellect because its existence depends on the existence of the intellect. (Reply): You say little, for the intellect itself might also be similarly regarded as not different from the body.
** (Objection): The scriptures declare the survival of the intellect after the body falls (and therefore the intellect is the same as Cid-ābhāsa). (Reply): According to the Śruti passages which declare the entry of the Ātman or the Self into the body, Cid-ābhāsa is distinct from the intellect.
** (Objection): Cid-ābhāsa and the intellect enter the body together. (Reply): This is not so, for in the Aitareya Upaniṣad it is said that the Self enters the body by its own will apart from the intellect.
** The Upaniṣad says that the Self (Ātman) thought: ‘This body with the organs cannot live without me’, and so cleaving the centre of the skull it entered into the body and started experiencing the changeable states (e.g., wakeful, dreaming etc.).
** (Objection): How can the associationless Kūṭa-stha be said to animate the body by entering it? (Reply): Then how did It create the universe? (Objection): Both the acts of creation and entering the body are caused by Māyā. (Reply): Then they vanish too when Māyā is destroyed.
** The Self becomes the ego identifying itself with the body composed of the five elements and when the body perishes (once for all) the ego too perishes with it. Thus said Yājñavalkya to Maitreyī.
** ‘This Self is not perishable’ – thus the Śruti differentiates the Kūṭa-stha from everything else. ‘The Self is associationless’ – such statements sing the ever-detached state of Kūṭa-stha.
** The passage which says that the body only dies and not the Jīva does not mean that he is released but only that he transmigrates.
** (Objection): How can the changeable Jīva say ‘I am Brahman’ since Brahman is immutable? (Reply): He can, because, in spite of apparent discrepancy between Jīva and Brahman, the identity is established by giving up the false notion about the Jīva. (What appeared, under the influence of Māyā, as Jīva is really none other than Brahman).
** A man may be mistaken for the stump of a tree; but the notion of the stump is destroyed when the man is known to be a man. Similarly, when the Jīva knows ‘I am Brahman’, his notion ‘I am Buddhi (the ego-consciousness in the mind)’ is destroyed.
** Ācārya Sureśvara in his Naiṣkarmya Siddhi describes clearly how Jīva and Brahman are found to be identical when the false notion about the Jīva (viz., its identity with the Buddhi) is destroyed. Therefore, the text ‘I am Brahman’ is to be understood in this sense.
** In another Śruti text: ‘Everything is Brahman’, Brahman and the universe are shown to be identical; it also is to be interpreted in the above sense, viz., what appears to be ‘all this’, i.e., the universe, is really Brahman. Similarly, in the text ‘I am Brahman’ the same identity of Jīva and Brahman is indicated.
** It is true that the author of the Vivaraṇa gloss has denied the Bādha-Sāmānādhikaraṇya interpretation (and has accepted the Mukhya-Sāmānādhikaraṇya interpretation) of ‘I am Brahman’. It is because he has taken the ‘I’ in the sense of Kūṭastha-Caitanya (which is Mukhya) and not in the sense of Cid-ābhāsa (which is subject to Bādha).
** In the text ‘That thou art’ the word ‘thou’, freed from all adjuncts, is Kūṭa-stha; and in Vivaraṇa and other (advanced) works attempts are made to establish its identity with Brahman.
** The consciousness, the substratum on which the illusion of Cid-ābhāsa together with the body and the sense organs is superimposed, is known as Kūṭa-stha in Vedānta.
** The substratum, on which stands the illusion of the whole world, is described in the Vedānta by the word Brahman.
** When the whole world of Māyā is recognised as a superimposition on this one consciousness, Brahman, what to speak of Jīva who is only a part of this world.
** The difference between the entities indicated by ‘that’ and ‘thou’ is due to that of the superposed world and Jīva, which is only a part of it; in reality they are one consciousness.
** (That it is a genuine case of superposition is proved by the fact that) Cid-ābhāsa, the reflected consciousness, partakes of the characteristics of both, the superposing intellect, such as agentship, enjoyership, etc., and the superposed Ātman, which is consciousness. So the whole Cid-ābhāsa is a creation of illusion.
** ‘What is the intellect?’ ‘What is the reflected consciousness?’ ‘And what is the Self?’ ‘How is the world here?’ – Because of indecision about these questions ignorance has arisen. This illusion is also called Saṃsāra.
** He is the knower of truth, the liberated, who knows the true nature of the intellect, etc., mentioned above. Thus the Vedānta has decided.
** The piece of sophistry advanced by the logicians and others, viz., ‘Whose is the bondage?’ must be met by adopting the method of Khaṇḍana-Khaṇḍa-Khādya by Śrī Harṣa Miśra.
** It is said in the Śiva Purāṇa that pure consciousness (Kūṭa-stha) exists as a witness to (the rise and fall of) the mental modifications (Vṛttis), their prior (and posterior) non-existence and the state of ignorance prior to inquiry about truth.
** As the support of the unreal world, its nature is existence; as it cognises all insentient objects, its nature is consciousness; and as it is always the object of love, its nature is bliss. It is called Śiva, the infinite, being the means of revelation of all objects and being related to them as their substratum.
** Thus in the Śaiva-Purāṇas Kūṭa-stha has been described as having no particular characteristics of Jīva and Īśvara and as being non-dual, self-luminous and the highest good.
** The Śruti declares that Jīva and Īśvara are both reflections of Brahman in Māyā. They are, however, different from material things in that they are transparent (i.e., revealing) just as a glass jar is different from earthen ones.
** Though both are products of food, the mind is subtler and purer than the body. Similarly, Jīva and Īśvara are more transparent than the grosser products of Māyā.
** Jīva and Īśvara, because they manifest the power of revealing, must be considered to be endowed with consciousness. For, nothing is difficult for Māyā, that is endowed with the power to create all things.
** When we sleep, our dreams create even Jīva and Īśvara. What wonder is there then that the Great Māyā creates them in the waking state?
** The Māyā creates omniscience and other qualities too in Īśvara. When it can create Īśvara, the receptacle of these qualities, is it difficult to conceive that it can also create these qualities in Him?
** If you raise the improper doubt about Kūṭa-stha, we say: do not imagine that Kūṭa-stha is also a creation of Māyā. There is no evidence for that assumption.
** All the classics of Vedānta proclaim the reality of Kūṭa-stha and they do not admit the existence of any entity other than It.
** These verses show the real meaning of the Śruti and do not consider the matter from a logical point of view. The doubts of the logicians are not considered here.
** The aspirant for release should give up sophistry and should base his conviction on the Śruti, which says that Jīva and Īśvara are creations of Māyā.
** Īśvara’s creation extends from His willing to create the world to His entrance into His creation; Jīva’s creation includes everything from the world of the waking state to his release from ignorance.
** Kūṭa-stha is ever associationless, it does not change. Thus one should always meditate and reflect.
** ‘(For Kūṭa-stha) there is no death and no birth, none in bondage and none engaged in working out release (Sādhaka), no aspirant for release (Mumukṣu) and none liberated (Mukta). That is the supreme truth’.
** The Śruti tries to indicate the reality which is beyond the body and the mind by using the conceptions of Jīva, Īśvara and Jagat.
** Ācārya Sureśvara has said that whatever method helps one to understand clearly the indwelling Ātman is approved by the Vedantic classics.
** The dull-witted, ignorant of the real meaning of the Śruti, wanders here and there, whereas the wise, understanding its purport, ever abides in the ocean of bliss.
** Like a cloud which pours out streams of rain, Māyā creates the world (Jagat). As the ether (Ākāśa) is not affected by the rain, so pure consciousness (that I am) suffers neither gain nor loss from anything in the phenomenal world. That is the conviction of the wise.
** He who always reflects on this ‘Lamp of Kūṭa-stha’ ever abides as the self-revealing Kūṭa-stha.
** One may perchance obtain a thing by following a wrong line by mistake; so also even by worshipping Brahman one may get release, the desired goal. So various ways of worship are described in the Nṛsiṃha-Uttara-Tāpanīya Upaniṣad.
** A man sees a gleam of light emitted by a gem and another sees a gleam of light coming from a lamp; and both imagining that they are gems run to get them. Though (in both the cases) the notions are wrong, the results are different.
** There is a lamp inside the house, its light is visible from outside. Similarly elsewhere the light of a gem is seen (from outside).
** On seeing the two gleams at a distance, both (the men) took them for gems and ran after them. Their notions are equally wrong, in that they took the gleams for gems.
** The man who ran for the gleam of the lamp did not find the gem, but the man who ran for the gleam of the gem got it.
** Mistaking the gleam of a lamp for a gem is called a Visaṃvādi-Bhrama, ‘misleading error’ (or an error that does not lead to the goal). Mistaking the gleam of a gem for a gem is called a ‘leading’ or ‘informative’ error, though both are errors (or wrong observations).
** On seeing a mist and mistaking it for smoke, if a man argues the existence of fire there and goes for getting charcoal and accidentally finds it, his mistake is called a ‘leading’ error, a chance coincidence.
** Sprinkling on himself the water of the River Godāvarī thinking it to be that of the River Ganges, if a man is actually purified this is ‘leading’ error (Saṃvādi-Bhrama).
** A man suffering from a high fever repeats ‘Nārāyaṇa’ in delirium and dies. He goes to heaven. This is again a ‘leading’ error.
** In direct perception, in inference and in the application of scriptural authority, there are innumerable instances of such leading errors or chance coincidences.
** Otherwise, how could images of clay, wood and stone be worshipped as deities or how could a woman be worshipped as fire?
** From the knowledge and (or) adoption of a wrong means, sometimes, by accident, as in the sitting of a crow on the branch of a palm tree and in the instantaneous fall of a fruit thereof, a desired result is obtained. This knowledge and (or) adoption of a wrong means is called a Saṃvādi-Bhrama or a ‘leading’ error, or error leading to a right knowledge.
** The ‘leading’ error though a wrong notion is potent enough to give the correct result. So also the meditation or worship of Brahman leads to liberation.
** After indirectly knowing the one indivisible homogeneous Brahman from the books on Vedānta, one should meditate on or think repeatedly ‘I am Brahman’.
** Without realising Brahman to be one’s own Self, the general knowledge of Him derived through the study of the scriptures, viz., ‘Brahman is’, is here called indirect knowledge, just as our knowledge of the forms of Viṣṇu etc., is called.
** One may have knowledge of Viṣṇu from scriptures as having four arms etc., but if one does not have a vision of Him, he is said to have only indirect knowledge, inasmuch as he has not seen Him with his eyes.
** This knowledge because of its defect of indirectness is not false, for the true form of Viṣṇu has been revealed by the scriptures which are authoritative.
** From the scripture a man may have a conception of Brahman as existence, consciousness and bliss but he cannot have a direct knowledge of Brahman unless Brahman is cognised as the inner witness in his own personality.
** As the knowledge of Sat-Cit-Ānanda has been acquired in the scriptural method, it, though an indirect knowledge, is not an illusory one.
** Though Brahman has been described as being one’s own Self in the scriptures and the great Saying, still, one cannot understand It without the practice of enquiry.
** As long as the delusion that the body is the Self, is strong in a man of dull intellect, he is not able at once to know Brahman as the Self.
** As the perception of duality is not opposed to an indirect knowledge of non-duality, a man of faith, expert in the scriptures, can easily have the indirect knowledge of Brahman.
** The perception of a stone image is not opposed to an indirect knowledge of the deity whom the image represents. Which devotee contradicts the idea of Viṣṇu in the image?
** The disbelief of those who have no faith need not be considered, for the believing alone are authorised to perform the Vedic actions.
** An indirect knowledge of Brahman can arise even through a single instruction by a competent teacher. It is like the knowledge of the form of Viṣṇu which does not depend on intellectual enquiry.
** As there may be doubts about them, ritualistic works and methods of worship have been discussed (in the scriptures). Who otherwise could have synthesised the directions about them, scattered as they are over many branches of the Vedas?
** Such rituals and methods of worship have been collected and co-ordinated in the Kalpa-Sūtras. With their help man, who has faith, may practise them without further enquiry.
** The methods of worship are described in other works by the seers. Those who are dull of ratiocination go to a teacher and learn the methods from him.
** To determine the correct meaning of the Vedic texts let the learned resort to enquiry, but practical worship can be performed (with benefit) according to the teachings of a competent teacher.
** The direct realisation of Brahman, however, is never possible only from the instructions of a competent teacher without the practice of inquiry (vicāra).
** Want of faith alone obstructs the indirect knowledge; want of enquiry is however the obstacle to the direct knowledge.
** If even by enquiry one does not get the direct knowledge of Brahman as the Self, one should repeatedly practise enquiry, for enquiry, it is prescribed, should continue until direct knowledge dawns.
** If a person does not realise the Self even after practising till death, he will surely realise it in a future life when all the obstacles will have been eliminated.
** Knowledge will arise either in this birth or the next, says the author of the Brahma Sūtras. The Śruti also says that there are many who listen to the teachings on non-duality and yet do not realise in this life.
** By virtue of the practice of spiritual enquiry in a previous birth, Vāma-deva had realisation even while in his mother’s womb. Such results are also seen in the case of studies.
** In spite of reading many times a boy may not be able to memorise something, but sometimes, next morning, without any further study, he remembers all that he has read.
** As the seed in the field or in the womb matures in time, so in the course of time the practice of self-enquiry gradually ripens and bears fruit.
** In spite of repeated enquiry a man does not realise the truth because of three kinds of impediments. This has been clearly pointed out in his Vārtika by Ācārya Sureśvara.
** If you ask why the realisation (which did not arise before) comes now, we shall reply that knowledge comes only with the total removal of impediments which may be past, present or future.
** Therefore only by studying the Veda and its meaning a man is not released. This has been shown in the example of hidden gold.
** There is the popular song saying that a monk could not realise the truth, the impediment being his past attachment to his queen (or a she-buffalo, mahiṣī).
** His teacher instructed him of Brahman knowing his attachment to her (by telling him that Brahman was her substratum). When the impediment was removed, the monk realised the truth properly.
** The impediments of the present are (i) binding attachment to the objects of the senses, (ii) dullness of the intellect, (iii) indulgence in improper and illogical arguments and (iv) the deep conviction that the Self is an agent and an enjoyer.
** Through the practice of inner control and other qualifications and through hearing the truth and so forth, suitable for counteracting the impediments, the latter slowly perish and one realises his Self as Brahman.
** The future impediment has been well illustrated in the case of Vāma-deva. He overcame it in one birth and Bharata in three births.
** In the Gītā, it has been told that a Yogī who has not attained illumination in this life may be freed from the impediment after many births. Yet his practice of enquiry is never fruitless.
** Because of his practice of enquiry such a Yogī enters into the heaven of the meritorious and then if he is not freed from desires, he is born again in a pious and prosperous family.
** Or, if he has no worldly desires, he is born in a family of Yogīs who have pure intellect due to their practice of enquiry into the nature of Brahman, for such a birth is hard to obtain.
** He regains the Yogic intellect acquired in his previous birth and so strives more vigorously; this birth is indeed hard to achieve.
** He is borne on by the momentum of his Yogic practices in the previous birth even against his inclination. Thus after many births he achieves perfection and as a result is liberated.
** A man who has a strong desire for Brahma-loka, but suppresses it and practises enquiry about the Self, will not have realisation.
** As the scriptures say, the monk, who has well ascertained the meaning of Vedānta, goes to the realm of Brahmā and is released at the end of the four Yugas along with Brahmā.
** In some cases the enquiry itself is impeded because of the result of their evil deeds as the Śruti says: ‘Even to hear about Him it is not available to many’.
** If a man cannot practise enquiry, either due to extreme dullness of intellect or for want of other favourable circumstances, let him always keep the mind on Brahman.
** As it is possible to continue the thought-current regarding Brahman with attributes, meditation on the attributeless Brahman also is not impossible.
** (Doubt): Brahman is beyond speech and mind and so cannot be meditated upon. (Reply): Then there can be no knowledge of Brahman too.
** (Doubt): Brahman is known as beyond speech and mind. (Reply): Then why cannot Brahman be meditated upon as beyond speech and mind?
** (Doubt): If Brahman can be meditated upon He becomes invested with attributes. (Reply): That happens if He is taken as knowable. (Doubt): Brahman is knowable by Lakṣaṇa, indirect indication. (Reply): Then meditate upon Brahman that way, i.e., by Lakṣaṇa.
** (Doubt): The Śruti saying, ‘Know that alone to be Brahman which is beyond the range of speech and mind and not that which the people worship’, prohibits meditation on Brahman.
** (Reply): Equally Brahman cannot be an object of knowledge, for the Śruti says: ‘Brahman is other than that which can be known’. (Doubt): The Śruti also says that Brahman can be known. (Reply): So also it says that He can be meditated upon. So meditate on Him basing upon those Vedic texts.
** (Doubt): But Brahman as an object of knowledge is unreal. (Reply): Why not as an object of meditation too? (Doubt): Covering and apprehending by Vṛttis is knowledge. (Reply): Similarly, doing that is meditation.
** (Doubt): Why are you so devoted to meditation on the attributeless Brahman? (Reply): Why are you so opposed to it? Say that. As there are many Śruti texts prescribing meditation on the attributeless Brahman, it is not proper to say that there is no authority for it.
** Meditation on the attributeless Brahman has been prescribed in the Nṛsiṃha-Uttara-Tāpanīya, Praśna (Śaibya’s fifth question), Kāṭha, Māṇḍukya and other Upaniṣads.
** This method of meditation of the attributeless Brahman has been in the Pañcīkaraṇa Vārtika by Sureśvara. (Doubt): This meditation is the means of indirect knowledge of Brahman (but not of liberation). (Reply): We don’t say that it is not so.
** (Doubt): But most of the people do not practise this type of meditation. (Reply): Let them not do. How can the meditation be blamed for the short-comings of the meditator?
** People of spiritually dull intellect repeat sacred formulas to acquire power over others, finding it more immediately fruitful than meditation on Brahman with attributes. There are people still more dull-witted who concentrate only on agriculture.
** Let the dull-witted do what they like! Here we speak of meditation on the Absolute. Since it is of one Vidyā or Upāsana, all the qualifications of Brahman described in the various branches of the Veda must be gathered for meditation.
** The positive qualities of bliss etc., are all to be co-ordinated into meditation on Brahman. This has been told by Vyāsa in the ‘Ānandādaya..’ Sūtra.
** Similarly Vyāsa speaks of all the negative indications of Brahman such as ‘not gross’ in the ‘Akṣaradhiyam’ Sūtra.
** (Doubt): Combining and thinking of these indications do not fit in with meditation on the attributeless Brahman. (Reply): Then your doubt is directed against Vyāsa himself and not against me alone.
** (Doubt): As (Vyāsa) has not asked for the inclusion of the forms such as of the sun with golden beard etc., meditation on the attributeless is not contradicted. (Reply): Be satisfied with that; we also do not ask for that.
** (Doubt): Qualities are only indirect indications; they cannot enter into the true nature of Brahman. (Reply): Let them be so. Meditate on Brahman thus indicated.
** The Self is here indirectly indicated by positive qualities like ‘bliss’ etc., and by negative qualities like ‘not gross’ etc. One should meditate on the indivisible, homogeneous Self as ‘That I am’.
** (Doubt): What is the difference between knowledge and meditation? (Reply): Listen; knowledge depends on the object, whereas meditation depends on the will of the person meditating.
** By the practice of enquiry, the knowledge of Brahman arises; then it cannot be prevented whether one likes it or not. Such knowledge, by the mere fact of its arising, destroys all ideas of the reality of the world.
** On acquiring knowledge the aspirant experiences unbroken satisfaction and a feeling of having accomplished all that was to be accomplished. He becomes liberated in life and awaits the wearing-out of his fructifying Karma.
** On the other hand, a believing man, putting his faith in the teachings of his teacher and without practising enquiry, should meditate on the object prescribed without being distracted by other thoughts.
** He should continue the practice of meditation until he realises himself to be identical with his object of meditation and then continue this thought till death.
** A certain Brahma-cārī used to go for alms keeping in his mind his identity with the vital air within him.
** Meditation depends on the will of a man whether he is to do or not to do or to do it in a different way. One should therefore always continue the thought current.
** A student, diligent in reciting the Vedas, reads or recites them even in his dreams through the force of habit. Similarly, one who practises meditation, continues it even in his dreams.
** Giving up contrary thoughts, if a man ceaselessly meditates, he meditates even in his dreams because of the deep impression.
** There is no doubt that while experiencing the results of his fructifying Karma a man, because of his strong impression, is able to meditate without intermission, just as a man attached to worldly objects always thinks of them.
** A woman devoted to a paramour, though engaged in household duties, will all the time be dwelling in mind on the pleasures with him.
** While enjoying in mind the pleasure of the company of her lover, her household duties though not much disturbed, are managed indifferently.
** The woman with attachment to a paramour cannot fully do the work as a woman attached to her domestic duties does, with enthusiasm.
** Similarly, a man who practises meditation one-pointedly, indifferently performs his worldly affairs; but a man who has realised the truth fulfils his worldly duties well, as they do not come in conflict with his knowledge.
** This world is illusory, Māyā and the Self is by nature pure consciousness. How can such knowledge be opposed to his worldly activities?
** To perform activities, the world need not be thought real nor Self as insentient matter. To do so the right means only are necessary.
** These means are the mind, the speech, body and external objects. They do not disappear on enlightenment. So why can’t he engage himself in worldly affairs?
** If he controls and concentrates his mind, he is a meditator and not a knower of truth. To know a pot the mind need not be controlled.
** (Doubt): A pot once known by a modification of intellect, Vṛtti, remains so always. (Reply): Is not the self-illumined Self also ever manifest?
** (Doubt): Does the self-luminous property of the Self give you the knowledge of Brahman? The Vṛtti with Brahman as the object is the cognition of truth, but the Vṛtti perishes in a moment. (Reply): This objection also applies to the cognition of a pot.
** (Doubt): Once an intellectual conviction of the pot’s existence is established, the cognition (Vṛtti) of the pot perishes. Afterwards it can be recognised at the will of the cogniser. (Reply): The same applies to the cognition of the Self.
** Once the nature of the Self has been conclusively determined, the knower can speak of it, think of it or meditate on it at will.
** (Doubt): The knower too, like a meditator, forgets worldly affairs in his contemplation. (Reply): Let him forget. This forgetfulness is due to his meditation and not because of his knowledge of the Self.
** Meditation is left to his will, for his release has been achieved through knowledge. From knowledge alone comes release. This the scriptures announce with drum-beats.
** (Doubt): If a knower does not meditate, he would be drawn to external affairs. (Reply): Let him happily engage himself in them. What is the objection for a knower to be so engaged?
** (Doubt): This sort of reasoning is wrong, for there the scriptures will be violated. (Reply): If so, what is right reasoning please? (Doubt): Right reasoning is to follow the injunctions and prohibitions of the scriptures. (Reply): But they do not apply to the enlightened.
** All these injunctions and prohibitions are meant for those who believe themselves to belong to a certain caste or station and stage of life.
** The knower is convinced that caste, station etc., are creations of Māyā and that they refer to the body and not to the Self whose nature is pure consciousness.
** The clear-sighted knower from whose heart all attachment has vanished is a liberated soul whether he performs or not concentration or action.
** He whose mind is free from all desires or former impressions has nothing to gain from either action or inaction, meditation (Samādhi) or repetitions of holy formulas.
** The Self is associationless and everything other than the Self is a display of the magic of Māyā. When a mind has such a firm conviction, wherefrom will any desire or impression come in it?
** Thus when for an illumined sage there is no injunction on prohibition, where is his violating them? Only for him can violation be possible who is bound by them.
** As a child is not subject to any injunctions and prohibitions, he cannot be charged with their violation. In their absence, in the case of a man of realisation too, how can there be any violation?
** (Doubt): But a boy does not know anything. (Reply): A knower of truth knows everything. The law applies to one who knows a little, not to the other two.
** (Doubt): He is a knower of truth who can bless or curse with effect. (Reply): Not that, for these powers result from the practice of austerities.
** (Doubt): Vyāsa and others had these powers. (Reply): But these were produced by some austerities. Austerities meant for knowledge are different from them.
** Those who practise both the types of austerities possess both powers and knowledge. So each type of practice will produce the result appropriate to it.
** (Doubt): Ascetics and ritualists, despise the saintly monk who has neither such powers nor follow the injunctions. (Reply): Their austerities and rituals are also despised by the votaries of worldly pleasures.
** (Doubt): Monks too find a pleasure in the acquisition of alms, clothes and shelter. (Reply): Then what wonderful renunciation they must have being unable to move as it were with their dispassion!
** (Doubt): It does not matter if the ritualists observing the scriptural rules are abused by the ignorant. (Reply): It also does not matter if a man of realisation is abused by the ritualists who identify themselves with the body and so observe the rules.
** Therefore as knowledge of truth does not affect the means, such as the mind and so forth, a man of realisation is able to do worldly activities such as ruling a country.
** (Doubt): He may not have any desire for worldly affairs since he is convinced of the unreality of the empirical world. (Reply): Let it be; let him be engaged in meditation or work according to his fructifying Karma.
** On the other hand, a meditator should always engage himself in meditation, for through meditation his feeling of identity with Brahman arises, as a devotee has it by meditating on Viṣṇu.
** The feeling of identity, which is the effect of meditation, ceases when the practice is given up; but the true Brahmanhood does not vanish even in the absence of knowledge.
** The eternal Brahmanhood is revealed by knowledge and not created by it, for even in the absence of the revealer the real entity does not cease to exist.
** (Doubt): But the Brahmanhood of a meditator also is real. (Reply): True, is not the Brahmanhood of the ignorant and the lower creatures also real?
** Since nescience is common, they do not realise the purpose of their life. But just as begging is better than starving, so also it is better to practise devotion and meditation than to engage in other pursuits.
** It is better to perform the works ordained in the scriptures than be engrossed in worldly affairs. Better than this is to worship a personal deity and meditation on the attributeless Brahman is still better.
** That which is nearer to the realisation of Brahman is superior; and meditation on the Absolute gradually becomes like direct realisation of Brahman.
** A ‘leading’ error leads to the desired goal, when it becomes knowledge. Similarly meditation on Brahman when ripened, leads to release and becomes real knowledge.
** (Doubt): A man working prompted by a ‘leading’ error gets correct knowledge not by the leading error but by another evidence. (Reply): The meditation on the Absolute may also be taken as the cause of other evidence (Nididhyāsana leading to direct realisation).
** (Doubt): Meditation on the form of a deity and repetition of a sacred formula also lead to the goal. (Reply): Let it be so; but the speciality of meditation on the Absolute is that it is nearest to the goal of Self-realisation.
** When meditation on the attributeless Brahman is mature it leads to Samādhi. This state of intense concentration at case leads on to the Nirodha state in which the distinction between subject and object is eliminated.
** When such complete cessation of mental activity is achieved, only the associationless entity (Ātman) remains in his heart. By ceaseless meditation on It based on the great Sayings, arises the knowledge ‘I am Brahman’.
** There is then a perfect realisation of Brahman as the immutable, associationless, eternal, self-revealed, secondless whole, as indicated in the scriptures.
** The Amṛta-bindu and other Upaniṣads recommend Yoga for the same object. It is clear therefore that meditation on the attributeless Brahman is superior to other types of worship.
** Those who give up meditation on the attributeless Brahman and undertake pilgrimages, recitations of the holy formulas and other methods, may be compared to ‘those who drop the sweets and lick the hand’.
** (Doubt): This applies also to those who meditate on the attributeless Brahman giving up enquiry into Its nature. (Reply): True, therefore only those who are not able to practise enquiry have been asked to meditate on the attributeless Brahman.
** Those who are very fickle-minded and agitated do not have the knowledge of Brahman by the practice of enquiry. Therefore control of the mind is the chief means for them. By it their mind becomes free from distractions.
** For those whose intellects are no longer distracted nor restless but are merely covered by a veil of ignorance, the analytical system called Sāṅkhya (intellectual enquiry) is prescribed. It will quickly lead them to spiritual illumination.
** ‘The state of spiritual balance is obtainable by both the Sāṅkhyas (those who follow the path of enquiry) and the Yogīs (those who practise meditation). He really knows the meaning of the scriptures who knows that the paths of enquiry and meditation are the same’.
** The Śruti too declares that with both enquiry and meditation people know the Highest; but whatever in the books of Sāṅkhya and Yoga are against the Śruti are to be rejected.
** If one fails to perfect the practice of meditation in this life, one does so either at the time of death or in the region of Brahmā. Then, obtaining direct knowledge of the reality, one is liberated.
** The Gītā says that a man attains that which he thinks of at the time of death. Wherever his mind is fixed, there he goes, says the Śruti too.
** So the future life of a man is determined by the nature of his thoughts at the time of death. Then as a devotee of the Personal God is absorbed in Him, so a meditator on the attributeless Brahman is absorbed in It and obtains Liberation.
** Brahman is called ‘eternal’ and ‘attributeless’ but in fact It is of the nature of liberation itself, just as ‘leading’ error is an error in name only, for it leads to the desired object.
** As by meditation on the Personal God knowledge of the nature of Īśvara arises, so by meditation on the attributeless Brahman, knowledge of Its nature arises and destroys the ignorance which is the root of rebirth.
** A meditator becomes Brahman who is ‘unattached, desireless, free from body and organs and fearless’. Thus the Tāpanīya Upaniṣad speaks of liberation as the result of meditation on the attributeless Brahman.
** By the strength of meditation on the attributeless Brahman knowledge arises. So the scriptural verse, ‘Verily there is no other path to liberation (except knowledge)’ does not conflict with this.
** So the Tāpanīya Upaniṣad points out that liberation comes from desireless meditation. The Praśna Upaniṣad also says that by meditation with desire one enters into the region of Brahmā.
** The Praśna Upaniṣad says that he who meditates with desires on the three-lettered ‘Aum (= Om)’, is taken to the region of Brahmā. There he comes to know the attributeless Brahman who is beyond Hiraṇya-garbha, the sum total of souls and becomes free.
** The Brahma Sūtras in the Apratikādhikaraṇa say that he who desires the region of Brahmā and meditates with desires on the attributeless Brahman attains that region.
** Such a worshipper, by virtue of his meditation on the attributeless Brahman, enters the world of Brahmā and there obtains direct knowledge of Brahman. He is not born again, he gets ultimate release at the end of the four Yugas.
** In the Vedas meditation on the holy syllable Om in most places means meditation on the attributeless Brahman, though in some places it means meditation on Brahman with attributes.
** Pippalāda being asked by his pupil Satya-kāma says that Om means Brahman both with and without attributes.
** Yama too, questioned by his pupil Naciketas, replied that he who meditates on Om knowing it as the attributeless Brahman obtains the fulfilment of his desires.
** He who meditates properly on the attributeless Brahman gets direct knowledge of Brahman either in this life or at the time of death or in the world of Brahmā.
** The Ātmā Gītā also clearly says that those who cannot practise discrimination should always meditate on the Self.
** (The Self as if says): ‘Even if direct knowledge of Me does not seem to be possible, a man should still meditate on the Self. In the course of time, he doubtlessly realises the Self and is freed’.
** ‘To reach treasures deeply hidden in the earth, there is nothing for it but to dig. So to have direct knowledge of Me, the Self, there is no other means than meditation on one’s Self’.
** ‘A man should remove the stones of body consciousness from the field of the mind and then by repeatedly digging with the pick-axe, the intellect, he can get the hidden treasure of the Self.’
** Even if there is no realisation, think ‘I am Brahman’. Through meditation a man achieves even other things (like the Deities), why not Brahman who is ever-achieved?
** If a man, who is convinced by his experience that meditation, practised day by day, destroys the idea that the not-Self is the Self, nevertheless becomes idle and neglects meditation, what difference, tell us, is there between him and a brute?
** Destroying his idea that the body is the Self, through meditation a man sees the secondless Self, becomes immortal and realises Brahman in this body itself.
** The meditator who studies this Chapter called the ‘Lamp of Meditation’, is freed from all his doubts and meditates constantly on Brahman.
** Before the projection of the world the Supreme Self, the secondless, all-bliss and ever complete, alone existed. Through His Māyā He became the world and entered into it as the Jīva, the individual Self.
** Entering the superior bodies like that of Viṣṇu, He became the deities; and remaining in the inferior bodies like that of men He worships the deities.
** Due to the practice of devotions in many lives the Jīva desires to reflect upon his nature. When by enquiry and reflection Māyā is negated, the Self alone remains.
** The duality and misery of the secondless Self, whose nature is bliss, is called bondage (bandha). Abiding in Its own nature is said to be liberation (mukti).
** Bondage is caused by want of discrimination and is negated by discrimination. Hence one should discriminate about the individual and supreme Self.
** He who thinks ‘I am’ is the agent. Mind is his instrument of action and the actions of the mind are two types of modifications in succession, internal and external.
** The internal modification of the mind takes the form of ‘I’. It makes him an agent. The external modification assumes the form of ‘this’. It reveals to him the external things.
** The external things (that are cognised by the mind in a general way, their special qualities having been jumbled up) are cognised by the five sense-organs quite distinctly as sound, touch, colour, taste and smell.
** That consciousness which reveals at one and the same time the agent, the action and the external objects is called ‘witness’ in the Vedānta.
** The witness, like the lamp in a dancing hall, reveals all these as ‘I see’, ‘I hear’, ‘I smell’, ‘I taste’, ‘I touch’ as pieces of knowledge.
** The light in the dancing hall uniformly reveals the patron, the audience and the dancer. Even when they are absent, the light continues to shine.
** The witness-consciousness lights up the ego, the intellect and the sense-objects. Even when ego etc., are absent, it remains self-luminous as ever.
** The unchangeable witness is ever present as self-luminous consciousness; the intellect functions under its light and dances in a variety of ways.
** In this illustration the patron is the ego, the various sense-objects are the audience, the intellect is the dancer, the musicians playing on their instruments are the sense-organs and the light illumining them all is the witness-consciousness.
** As the light reveals all the objects remaining in its own place, so the witness-consciousness, itself ever motionless, illumines the objects within and without (including the operations of the mind).
** The distinction between external and internal objects refers to the body and not to the witness-consciousness. Sense-objects are outside the body whereas the ego is within the body.
** The mind seated within goes out again with the sense organs. In vain, people seek to impose the fickleness of the mind illumined by the witness-consciousness on the latter.
** The streak of sunlight coming into the room through an opening is motionless; but, if one dances one’s hand in the rays, the light appears to be dancing.
** Similarly, the witness-consciousness, though really fixed in its own place and neither going out nor returning within, yet appears to move owing to the restless nature of the mind.
** The witness-consciousness can neither be called external nor internal. Both these terms have reference to the mind. When the mind becomes fully tranquil, the witness exists where it shines.
** If it be said that (when all mental operations cease) there is no space at all, we reply: let it have no space. It is called all-pervasive, because of the mind’s creation of space.
** Whatever space, internal or external, the intellect imagines, is pervaded by the witness-consciousness. Similarly will the witness-consciousness be related to all other objects.
** Whatever form the intellect imagines, the supreme Self illumines it as its witness, remaining Itself beyond the grasp of speech and mind.
** If you object ‘How such a Self could be grasped by me?’, our answer is: Let it not be grasped. When the duality of the knower and the known comes to an end, what remains is the Self.
** Since Ātman is self-luminous in its nature, its existence needs no proof. If you need to be convinced that the existence of Ātman needs no proof, hear the instruction of the Śruti from a spiritual teacher.
** If you find the renunciation of all perceptible duality impossible, reflect on the intellect and realise the witness-consciousness as the one witness of all internal and external creations of the intellect.
** We now describe the bliss of Brahman, knowing which one becomes free from present and future ills and obtains happiness.
** ‘A knower of Brahman achieves the Supreme’; ‘A knower of the Self goes beyond sorrow’; ‘Brahman is bliss’; ‘One becomes blissful through the attainment of the blissful Brahman’ and in no other way.
** He who establishes himself in his own Self becomes fearless, but he who perceives any difference from the Self is subject to fear.
** Even Wind, Sun, Fire, Indra and Death, having performed the religious practices in earlier lives, but failing to realise their identity with Him, carry out their tasks in fear of Him.
** One who has attained the bliss of Brahman experiences fear from nothing. Anxiety regarding his good and bad actions which consumes others like fire, no longer scorches him.
** Such a knower through his knowledge takes himself beyond good and evil and is ever engaged in meditation on the Self. He looks upon good and bad actions done as the manifestations of his Self.
** ‘When a man has seen the Highest the knots of his heart are sundered; all his doubts are dispelled and all his actions perish’.
** ‘Knowing Him, one crosses death; there is no other path than this’. ‘When a man has known the effulgent Self, all his bonds are cut asunder, his afflictions cease; there is no further birth for him.’
** ‘The man of steady wisdom, having known the effulgent Self, leaves behind, even in this life, all joys and sorrows’. ‘He is not scorched by thoughts of the good or bad deeds which he may have done or omitted to do’.
** Thus many texts in the Śruti, Smṛtis and Purāṇas declare that the knowledge of Brahman destroys all sorrows and leads to bliss.
** Bliss is of three kinds: The bliss of Brahman, the bliss which is born of knowledge and the bliss which is produced by contact with outer objects. First the bliss of Brahman is being described.
** Bhṛgu learnt the definition of Brahman from his father Varuṇa and negating the food-sheath, the vital-sheath, the mind-sheath and the intellect-sheath as not being Brahman, he realised Brahman reflected in the bliss-sheath.
** All beings are born of bliss and live by It, pass on to It and are finally reabsorbed in it; there is therefore no doubt that Brahman is bliss.
** Before the creation of beings there was only the infinite and no triad of knower, known and knowing; therefore in dissolution the triad again ceases to exist.
** When created, the intellect-sheath is the knower; the mind-sheath is the field of knowledge; sound etc., are the objects known. Before creation they did not exist.
** In the absence of this triad, the secondless, indivisible Self alone exists. The Self alone existed before the projection of the world. Similarly It exists in the states of Samādhi, deep sleep and swoon.
** The infinite Self alone is bliss; there is no bliss in the finite realm of the triad. This Sanat-kumāra told the grieving Nārada.
** Even though Nārada was versed in the Vedas, the Purāṇas and the various studies, he was full of grief because of not knowing the Self.
** Before he began the study of the Vedas he was subject to the three usual kinds of misery, but afterwards he was more grieved because of the added afflictions of the practices of the study, the fear of forgetting and slips or defeat and conceit.
** ‘O Sage’, said Nārada to Sanat-kumāra, ‘learned as I am in the studies, I am subject to grief. Please take me beyond this ocean of misery’. The Ṛṣi told Nārada in reply that the farther shore of the ocean of misery is the bliss of Brahman.
** As the happiness derived from sense-objects is covered by thousands of afflictions, it is misery only. There is therefore no happiness in the limited.
** (Objection): Granting there is no happiness in duality, there is no happiness in non-duality either. If you maintain that there is, then it must be experienced and then there will be the triad.
** (Reply): ‘Let there be no experience of happiness in the state of non-duality. But non-duality itself is bliss.’ ‘What is the proof?’ ‘The self-revealing requires no other proof’.
** Your objection itself is evidence of the self-revealing nature of the existence of self-conscious non-duality; for you admit the existence of the secondless and merely contend that it is not bliss.
** (Objection): I do not admit non-duality but only accept it as a hypothesis to be refuted. (Reply): Then tell us what existed before duality emerged.
** Was it non-duality or duality or something different from both? It cannot have been the last because it is impossible to conceive so. It cannot have been duality because it had not yet emerged. Hence non-duality alone remains.
** (Objection): The truth of non-duality is established by argument only and not by experience, it cannot be experienced. (Reply): Then tell whether your argument can or cannot be supported by illustration; it must be the one or the other.
** You deny (the possibility of) the non-dual experience. (At the same time if you say) there is no illustration (in support of the argument that establishes non-duality) it would be a wonderful logic! (You cannot say there is no illustration in its favour, for an argument must be supported by an illustration). In case there are examples please give us an acceptable one.
** (Objection): (Here is the argument with illustration). In dissolution there is non-duality, since duality is not experienced there, as in deep sleep. (Reply): Please give an illustration to support your affirmation of the absence of duality in deep sleep.
** (Objection): The sleeping state of some other person may be an illustration. (Reply): You are indeed a clever man; you have no knowledge of your own experience in deep sleep, which you are going to prove by giving the illustration of another’s deep sleep and yet you profess to know that of another.
** (Objection): The other person is in deep sleep since he is inactive as in my case. (Reply): Then from the force of your illustration you admit the self-revealing nature of the non-dual truth in your own sleep.
** (How?) There are no sense-organs (for you say you are inactive); there is no illustration (for the illustration adduced by you is inadmissible) and yet there is the non-dual (which you admit); this is what is known as the self-revealing nature of the non-dual. So you are forced to admit it.
** (Objection): Admitted that there is the non-dual in deep sleep and that it is self-revealing, what about the bliss you spoke of? (Reply): When all misery is absent, that which remains is bliss.
** In deep sleep the blind are not blind, the wounded not wounded and the ill no longer ill, say the scriptures. All people too know this.
** (Objection): The absence of misery does not necessarily imply bliss, since objects like stone or clay are not seen to experience either misery or happiness. (Reply): This is a false analogy.
** One infers another’s grief or joy from his face, melancholy or smiling, but in clay this inference of grief etc., from such indications is impossible.
** Our happiness and misery, however, are not to be known by inference; both their presence and absence are directly experienced.
** In the same way the absence of all miseries is directly experienced in deep sleep and since they are the opposites to bliss their total absence is unhindered bliss which has to be accepted as our experience.
** If sleep does not produce an experience of bliss why do people make so much efforts to procure soft beds etc.?
** (Objection): It is only to remove pain. (Reply): That is true for the sick alone. But since healthy people do so too, it must be to obtain happiness.
** (Objection): Then the happiness in sleep is born of objects due to the bed etc. (Reply): It is true that the happiness before going to sleep is due to these accessories.
** But the happiness experienced in deep sleep is not obtained from any object. A man may go to sleep expecting to be happy, but before long he experiences a happiness of a higher order.
** A man fatigued in the pursuit of worldly affairs lies down and removes the obstacles to happiness. His mind being calm, he enjoys the pleasure of resting in bed.
** Directing his thoughts towards the Self, he experiences the bliss of the Self reflected in the intellect. But experiencing this, even here he becomes tired of the pleasures derived of the tri