Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 11

 

द्व्वन्द्वानि सर्वाण्यखिलास्त्रिपुट्यः

किन्चित्समाश्रित्य विभान्ति वस्तु ।

तन्मार्गणे स्याद् गलितम् समस्तम्

न पश्यताम् सच्चलनम् कदापि ॥—११

 

dvandvAni sarvANyakhilAstripuTayaH = all dualities and triads; ki~nchit = some

(indescribable); samAshritya = due basis;  vibhAnti = appear; vastu = reality; tanmArgaNe =

when that is inquired into; syAd galitam samastam = (dualities and triads) all resolve;

na pashyatAm sachchalanam kadApi = there is no wavering for those who see the truth.

 

All dualities and triads appear due to some indescribable basis, which is the reality. When that is inquired into, all (dualities and triads) resolve. There is no wavering for those who see the truth.

 

Any appearance needs a basis to be experienced. For e.g., a rope snake in semi darkness, needs the substratum of either a rope, or a hose or a crack on the ground. In the absence of these, the snake will not be perceived. So also, a mirage needs a dry land and silver seen on nacre cannot be seen without it. All these, the snake, mirage and silver on the mother- of- the- pearl are not really existent, nor can they be called absolutely non-existent (since they can be experienced). They appear by borrowing their existence from the substratum. In other words they have dependent existence….no existence of their own.

To arrive at the truth, meaning to arrive at the basis of these appearances amounts to the appearances getting resolved. Once the rope is enquired into, the snake vanishes. The preconceived notions of, whether the snake was a cobra or not etc, will become irrelevant. Did the snake run away on gaining knowledge of the rope? The snake did not run away. The snake was an appearance. It is no longer seen as the truth. The enquiry into the basis resolves all wrong notions of reality given to appearances. Rope enquiry is not the same as snake enquiry.

So also, if one enquires into the world or the ego while being attached to them, one will not gain anything. It is the substratum that one has to enquire into. Many people get misled by the ‘who am I’ question. If one is overly attached to the body mind, the “who am I’ question is only going to give him material answers like; I am 6 ft tall, father of so and so etc. The enquiry is deeper than this; it is an enquiry into the very basis of the material existence.  Hence, enquiry into the self is enquiry into the substratum of the ego. That substratum has to be the reality.  Once that truth is known, the appearances of the world, body and mind are resolved. Do they disappear? Does a wise man see no world? A wise man does perceive a world. Just as we see the sun rise in spite of knowing that it actually does not rise, so also a wise man will see a world, will have a functional body and mind but will clearly know them to be unsubstantial.

 

Will the knowledge keep wavering? Will one face misery again? Knowledge once gained is permanent. The misery was born of ignorance. The appearances of duality and triads were taken as the reality. Post knowledge, the substratum is known as the reality. A wise person will never waver. He has gained a firm conviction of the truth as his own self. Though he transacts in the world, he can never regard it as real.

Why two lifestyles don’t mean two paths (2/2)

iStock_000017914736XSmallIt might seem difficult to accept the Vedāntic assertion that knowledge is the one and only direct path to mokṣa. It might be difficult for some to accept that meditation isn’t a direct path to mokṣa, that yoga isn’t a direct path to mokṣa, that living a devotional lifestyle with prayer and hymns and attending temple / mosque / church isn’t a direct path to mokṣa. Too much has been invested in following these practices. So hearing that knowledge alone is what ultimately frees one from self-ignorance is something that raises resistance, because what’s meant by ‘knowledge’ is usually misunderstood. ‘The path of knowledge’ is seen as a dry undertaking that is suitable only for scholarly types, characterised by the need to understand Sanskrit, to follow convoluted arguments and study countless obscure texts. Continue reading

Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 10

भवन्तु सद्दर्शन साधनानि परस्य नामाकृतिभिः सपर्याः ।

सद्वस्तुनि प्राप्त तदात्म भावा निष्ठैव सद् दर्शनमित्यवेहि ॥ —१०

सद्दर्शन् साधनानि = means to vision of truth; परस्य = of the absolute; सपर्याः = worship;

नामाकृतिभिः = with names and forms; भवन्तु = let them be; सद्वस्तुनि = in reality; प्राप्त

तदात्म भावा = where abidance is as – ‘It is Me’;  निष्ठैव = clear abidance alone;  सद्

दर्शनमित्यवेहि = know as the vision of truth.

 

Let the worship of names and forms of the absolute, be means to the vision of truth. Know that, as the vision of truth where the abidance is abidance as – ‘It is Me’.

 

The scriptures have given out many methodologies for one to arrive at the truth. There is a synthesis between religion and philosophy; so much so that, for a lay man; philosophy is difficult (next to impossible) to be digested without religion. Religion as an independent dogma does nothing in the spiritual growth of a person. A person will remain the same insecure, ignorant mortal if he does not mature religiously as thought progresses.

To suit the needs of all people who are not ready for a dose of metaphysics, we have karma yoga and upAsana. One is engaged in activities and uses the very same activities to purify the mind and gain focus. Continue reading

Q.343 – Meaning of Ishopanishad mantra

Q : The second line in the first Shloka of Ishopanishad begins with ” Tena tyaktena Bhunjeeta”. The literal meaning appears to be ” therefore, enjoy with a sense of tyaga or renunciation (as everything created in this world is permeated by Ishwara) but Adi Shankaracharya has interpreted these words to mean ” protect ourselves”. Is there a satisfactory explanation for this interpretation? 

Also, the second word of first verse of Ishopanishad: is it vasam (is full) or vasyam (should be considered full). Shankara says vasyam. Vasam appears more logical to me.

A (Ramesam): In order to fully appreciate and admire the beauty and profundity hidden behind the simplicity of a cryptic statement, one ought to know the background and the context against which that expression gets developed.  It is as much true when we talk of an equation such as E = mc^2 or a routine proverb like ‘Still waters run deep.’ Continue reading

Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 9

 

So far, we have seen that ‘I’ thought = ahankAra= ego = sentient mind = mind with reflected consciousness. The ‘I’ thought (ahankAra) knows itself (ahankAra). It  is always present in all experiences as ‘I’. ‘I thought’ remains the same. It is experienced as ‘I am’ ‘I am’, for e.g. “‘I’ know the book”, “‘I’ know the laptop”, “’I am fat” etc.

The ‘This-thoughts’ are thoughts corresponding to objects. ‘This-thought’ is variable, based on the object perceived.

Since these three are unreal, they are not eternal. They have a rising time and a disappearing time.

In the previous verse we saw that the world is dependent on the mind. This verse further elaborates it by stating the exact mechanism of the mind.

The world rises and disappears  along with the ego; meaning the ‘This-thought’ depends on the ‘I-thought’. In other words, only when there is the ‘I-thought’ can then there be the ‘this-thought’. When the ‘I-thought’ is resolved, the ‘This-thought’ also resolves.

Hence, the appearance and disappearance of the world depends on the ‘I’ thought (ego). This is explained in the first two lines of the verse. This can be understood by considering the daily experience of sleep. In deep sleep, the mind (ego) is resolved. The ahankAra is temporarily not here. As soon as one gets ip, the mind is activated, the ego is ignited in the form of ‘I’. the ‘This-thoughts’ follow after this. The ‘This-thought’ does not directly come. The ‘I-thought’ is invoked first. The activities in the world are begun after this. Again, as soon as one goes to sleep, the mind is resolved and the the ego is not there temporarily. The ego gone, the world also does not exist. Hence, the world (this-thought) depends on the ego (‘I-thought’).

What then is the real ‘I’? We know that ‘I-Thought’ is not real, since it depends on consciousness. The mind has the ‘I-thought’ by the blessing of the consciousness otherwise it is inert matter. The origin of the ‘I-thought’ is in the mind , which is unreal. Hence, ‘I-thought’ is unreal, its origin being unreal and it being the kind which rises and sets.

The third line of the verse says that the real thing (self) is the substratum for the birth and death of the world (‘This-thought’) and the ego (‘I-thought’). The mind rises and resolves int eh basis, the self. Hence the world and ego finally depend on the Atma. everything rises, in the self, is sustained in the self and resolves in the self. The ego, the ‘I’ thought, the ‘this’ thought and the objects are all unreal. They are mere words with no substance, since, the basis is the self and they have no existence apart from the self.  The clay pot, the clay saucer, the clay plate, the clay spoon are nothing but clay. The forms are incidental. There is nothing but clay. So also, the mind and world are mere appearances. The truth is the self. The consciousness in which all these shine alone is the truth.

The self is further explained as one, whole which has not birth and decay. The real thing has to be one since otherwise it would be finite. It has to be infinite and hence the whole. Being so, it has to be birth-less and decay-less meaning changeless. If it changes, it cannot be eternal.

The substratum on which the world, mind and its functions rise and set is the self. All except the substratum are unreal. The only truth is the basis behind the play.

The important lesson learnt in this verse is that not only should the world be negated as unreal but even the ego has to be included in the same category.

Positive Thinking – Q. 341

Q: There are moments when I think I am the one that is creating my world with my specific positive thoughts – is that true?

Or is it the concsiouness bringing me those positive thoughts or negative thoughts? I know that I don’t have to ask for anything because in that way there is an infinite possibility of something fresh and new and totally different.

How do I pray?  In silence only doing meditation?

A (Sitara): Yes, it is true. Your experiences (positive as well as negative ones) are constructs of your mind. The question is, what do you do with this information?

 It seems that all of your questions are about, how to get a different life. For that you would like to know the mechanism of what in New Age (or Yoga, magic etc.) is called materialization of things, events, persons etc. Continue reading

Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 8

dhiyA sahodeti dhiyAstameti

lokastato dhI pravibhAsya eshaH

dhI loka janma kshaya dhAma pUrNam

sadvastu janma ksaya shUnyamekam—9

 

eshaH = this; lokaH = world; dhiyA = with ahankAra; sahodeti = rises;  dhiyA = ahankAra; 

astameti = disappears;tataH = therefore; dhI = ahankAra; pravibhAsya = illumined; dhI = 

ahankAra; loka = world; janma kshaya = birth and decay; dhAma = substratum; pUrNam = 

whole;sadvastu = real thing; janma ksaya shUnyam = free from birth and decay; ekam = one.

 

This world rises and sets with the ahankAra (ego). Therefore, this world is illumined by the ‘I-thought’. The real thing (reality, truth) is the substratum for the birth and decay of ‘I-thought’ and world; the real thing is one; free from birth and decay.

 

The word ahankAra (ego) is often misunderstood. In normal parlance, it means pride. It does not carry the same meaning in vedanta. Vedantically, ahankAra means the individuality, the notion of finitude. Continue reading

The Play of Life

564097_web_R_K_B_by_Katharina Bregulla_pixelio.de

Lets look at the play of the universe. Pauli’s exclusion principle, fundamental to quantum mechanics, basically states that two electrons can never occupy the same space at the same time. As all matter in the universe contains electrons, it means that what we call life (including the play of the lifeless) is nothing but an ever-whirling dance: a dance of electrons in which there are no clashes. If you rub your hands together, the heat indicates that electrons have been displaced and thus every electron in the whole universe will need to adjust position to accommodate the displaced electrons. With every displaced electron, other electrons move in to take their places which necessitates yet other electrons move in to fill their deserted positions and in this way every electron in the universe changes position. Infinitely, eternally. Continue reading

Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 7

shabdAdi rUpam bhuvanam samastam

shabdAdisattendriya vRRitti bhAsyA

sattendriyANAmmanaso vashe syAt

manomayam tad bhuvanam vadAmaH

 

shabdAdi rUpam = of the form of sound etc;  bhuvanam = world; samastam = entire; 

shabdAdisatta = the existence of sound etc; indriya = organs;  vRRitti = functions;

bhAsyA = illumined;sattA = existence; indriyANAm = of the sense organs; manaso = of

the mind; vashe  = control; syAt = is; manomayam = made of mind;  tad = (here tad=

tasmAt) therefore;  bhuvanam = world;  vadAmaH = we say.

 

The entire world is of the form of sound etc. the existence of sound etc is illumined by the functions of the organs. The existence of sense organs is in the control of the mind. Therefore, we say that the world is made of the mind.

The entire world and the whole gambit of transactions that take place within it are but divided only into five categories viz. sound, sight, smell, taste and touch. There cannot be any transaction beyond these five divisions. The world is rightly called prapa~ncha – a division into five categories (pa~ncha means five). The world therefore is five -fold based on the five sense organs. Continue reading

Īśvara (The Lord), prayer and worship 2/2

worshipSee Part 1

In the previous extract from her talks to London students, Swāminī Ātmaprakāśānanda, laid out a more liberating vision of Íśvara – liberating in the sense that it gets away from the old man in the sky image or some force-field etc. From the perspective of traditional advaita vedānta Íśvara is seen as the sum total of the universal natural law and order.

“Every natural law is Īśvara. The law ordaining grace is Īśvara. Action is Īśvara. The results of actionis Īśvara. Merit is Īśvara. Demerit is Īśvara. Pain is Īśvara. Pleasure is Īśvara. Right and wrong action is Īśvara. Punishment for the wrong action is Īśvara. Good is Īśvara. Evil is Īśvara – don’t say that evil is not God. Everything is Īśvara.”

The universal law and order is what determines the fruits of actions. You can’t see this with physical eyes, but you can understand the laws being manifest. Anything done, knowingly, unknowingly, intentionally, unintentionally – however it is done – any action has to result in a reaction, has to cause some effect.

If this be the case, what is the role of prayer or worship? With simple logic and reason Swaminiji once more breaks down resistance to these activities… Continue reading