Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam – 5)

 

Arbhyate jIva jagat parAtma

tattvAbhidhAnena matam samastam

idam trayam yAvadahamatiH syAt

sarvottamASham mati shUnya niShThA—4

 

Arbhyate = begins;  jIva jagat parAtma = divisions of individual, world and Ishvara; 

tattvAbhidhAnena = principles of the three tattvAs;  matam samastam = all philosophies; 

idam = this; trayam = three;  yAvat = as long as; ahamatiH = ‘I’ notion; syAt = is there;

sarvottamA = the greatest of all; aham mati shUnya = devoid of ego; niShThA = 

abidance; 

 

All philosophies begin based on the principles of the three divisions of individual, world and Ishvara. The abidance in self, devoid of the ego is the greatest abidance of all.

 

All religions are based on the three divisions of individual, total and world. These religions culminate in some philosophy which again is based on this triad only. Theology sticks to these divisions and does not attempt to go beyond.

Religion and philosophy include sAdhanAs to be done by aspirants and all of them presuppose the maintenance of individuality. Even if a person, goes into trance, he is still maintaing the division; his ego is maintained. He might be humble, yet, the humble ego is there. “I am an individual separate from the total and the world” is kept alive. As long as this is there, there will be fear, insecurity and feeling of limitedness. Where is liberation? There is only temporary abidance in a God separate from oneself. There is still dependency.

As opposed to this the abidance in the self with negation of ego is the greatest abidance of all. How is it so? Once the ego is known to be only functional; it is a relative reality needed to function in this world and in the human body that we have. Beyond this there is no other value to it. It is unreal. The self in whose presence the ego is, is the truth which is me. Basking in this essence is the greatest adherence, for that only is. Rest is all an appearance.

The notion of finitude has been cut asunder. All the divisions in the form of duality and triads are known to be only relative. The absolute is not away from oneself in space and time. There is mortality only to the body while one’s nature is known to be eternal.

One knows the truth not as apart from oneself. All the sAdhanAs that one does are means to arrive at this non dual truth. Though the divisions are kept alive while pursuing the means, they are of no value once the truth is recognized. Even the words of the scriptures are not required anymore.

 

satyam mRRiShA vA chididam jaDam vA

dukham sukham veti mudhA vivAdaH

adRRiShTa lokA niraham pratItiH

niShThA  avikalpA paramA akhileShThA—5

 

satyam = real; mRRiShA = false;  vA = or; chit = sentient; idam = this; jaDam = inert; vA =

or; dukham = sorrow; sukham = pleasure;  va =or;  iti = thus; mudhA = futile; vivAdaH =

arguments; adRRiShTa = not seen; lokA = world; niraham pratItiH = ego is falsified;

niShThA  = abidance; avikalpA = division less; paramA = ultimate; akhileShThA= desired

by all

 

Whether the world is real or false, sentient or inert, sorrow or pleasure are futile arguments. The abidance which is division less, where the ego and the world are falsified is the supreme state desired by all.

 

Instead of getting lost in philosophies advocating the world as either true or false; sentient or inert, sorrow giving or pleasure giving, one is better off abiding in the underlying truth which is the basis of the world as well as the individual. These prophecies do not deliver one to the truth. They are endless and futile. There is only one substratum, which is, the Atma. This is division-less and the appearing division created by the ego is illusional. The ego and ego created divisions are the cause of various theories and conformities. Abiding in the non dual truth, the essence of the individual is the greatest abidance. This is so because, it comes with the negation of the world and the ego. Once these two are negated, they cannot pose a problem since they have been falsified. The dream tiger cannot kill you after you have woken up. It might pose a danger to the dreamer, in that he might be scared, but upon waking it is unreal. So also, the divisions of the world and the finitude of the ego do not cause any insecurity to the one abiding in the self within.

7 thoughts on “Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam – 5)

  1. To Meenakshi:

    “Once the ego is known to be only functional; it is a relative reality needed to function in this world and in the human body that we have.”

    I elaborated a question this morning, but due to the complications with the ‘Captcha’ it has apparently been lost. Is the above statement applicable to a realized ‘person’, a non-doer? Is the ego something necessary for him or her to “function in this world”? I take it you meant ahankara (ego sense) by ‘ego’. This seems to be the position of R. Balsekar, his argument being that on calling out his/her name a sage will turn their head. Is this an argument? According to him the sage is attached to or dependent on his individual ego or personality for the duration of his or her life. Thank you.

    • Hello,

      I am breaking up the questions for ease of replying. Hope that is OK.

      //*Is the above statement applicable to a realized ‘person’, a non-doer? *//
      This statement is applicable to a wise person. For an ignorant one, the ego is THE only truth. For a wise man, ego is a transactional reality (relative reality).

      //* Is the ego something necessary for him or her to “function in this world”?*//
      Ego is necessary for anyone to function in the world, wise or not. A wise man will continue to fill in application forms with his name, date of birth etc, all the while knowing that he is essentially birth-less. He has to maintain a name in the passport. He has to buy a ticket etc etc. The only difference between a wise man and ignorant one is, that the status he gives to the ego and the world is only a relative one. There is only one absolute and that is oneself already. This is known with conviction. The world and ego continue to exist and hence his experiences and functions continue. It is just like how we know that sun never rises or sets. It is the earth that moves. Yet, we use the terms ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’. We know earth is round in spite of its appearance as flat. We know that sky is not blue as such. It appears blue (due to a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering). So also, in spite of the ego and world, he knows what he is in essence.

      //* I take it you meant ahankara (ego sense) by ‘ego’.*//

      Yes, i meant ahankAra. There are many other terms for it which include, chidAbhAsa, chidAbhAsa sahita antahkaraNam, sAbhAsa antahkaraNam, to name a few. A sentient mind continues after knowledge. As you might already know, one should not take the general meaning of pride for ego. We are not looking at an ethical sense of the term. We are discussing the vedantik term.

      //*This seems to be the position of R. Balsekar, his argument being that on calling out his/her name a sage will turn their head. Is this an argument? According to him the sage is attached to or dependent on his individual ego or personality for the duration of his or her life.*//

      I have never read Shri R Balsekar’s works. If he is a vedAntin, then I am assuming that he might have used the word ‘attached’ in a general sense. I do not have the authority to comment on what he said but can tell you what traditional vedanta says….

      A wise person is no longer attached to the body, the mind, the organs, the world including possessions, duties, family, friends etc. He continues to live till the end of prArabdha, using his body mind etc and interacting the world, yet he does not give it an iota of reality. He will answer if his name is called out, not because he is attached to the body or name but since he knows that the ego is a transactional reality which he uses to function. The ego and world both enjoy a status of empirical reality. Traditionally, this status is called mithyA.

      Regards,
      Meenakshi

  2. Thank you. Yes, all that is mithya, and the teaching itself, moving as it does within duality, is mithya also (all language, all concepts are), as is well known. Yours is a good explication of the ego from the traditional Advaitic approach. There is a deeper understanding (you can call it the ‘direct approach’) by which the previous one is sublated, though it undoubtedly contains this last. I will only give some references: Francis Lucille states that “mind is a concept which, like any other concept, refers to other concepts or to perceptions” (mind is the container, and it is nothing more than awareness). For Bob Adamson mind is a just a translator… but “the knowing is still there without the translating”. As to the ego, a false reference center “that everything is evaluated from, is a fiction”
    In the wonderful conspectus, ‘Atma-Nirvriti’, Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, writes: ‘I am no body – I have no body. I am no mind – I have no mind.. I am no doer…’ (ch.1). Thus, I am not a person. I am a totality, chit-akasha. Any number of other concepts (like ‘intelligence energy’ – Bob A) may be used here.

    • Dear Martin,

      Thanks for the references. The teaching of advaita vedanta is no different from what you mentioned. I would also like to bring forth references from BhagavAn Shankara’s works in which he puts forth the very same ideas, the most popular that come to my mind are dashashloki and nirvANa ShaTkam. Then there is the ajAti vAda which is explained by Gaudapadacharya in Mandukya Karika.

      The ‘direct approach’ is nothing but ‘jIva vichAra’. The immediate reference that I can point out is ‘pratibodhaviditam matam’ mantra of Kena Upanishad. How traditional advaita differs is, that the background needs to be known before enquiry. One cannot randomly enquire into oneself, for, he will be more confused than before. So, a strong foundation is laid. Since the student is stuck in duality in the initial stages, hence that very same duality is used to pull him out. This is a temporary arrangement. GaudapAdAcharya says, “upadeshAt ayam vAdaH, j~nAte dvaitam na vidyate”; creation etc is talked about only for the sake of teaching initially, once the truth is known, duality exists no more.

      The commentary of BhagavAn shankara on the pratibodha viditam mantra is my personal favorite.
      He says that there is no other way of knowing the atma than knowing it to be the non variable among the varying thoughts. (“antarAtmanaH vi~jnAnAya any at dvAram nasti”). Later, he goes on to refute other objections which include, bhartRRi prapancha, vaisheshika and kshaNika vij~nAna . He summarizes saying that whether one talks of consciousness as an intuition, or cognition the unchanging principle is Atma which is brahman.

      Even to do the ‘who am I?’ enquiry one needs to have the mind. Any enquiry presupposes the mind.

      Regards,
      Meenakshi

  3. pratibodha viditam mantra

    Dear Meena: Thank you for your useful comments and references, which I find quite useful (I am still at it). I have read a few Upanishads, Gaudapada’ karikas, BG, and am reading ‘The Roots of Vedanta – Selections from Shankara’s Writings’ (Penguin Classics, 2012), but not the Ke U until today. I will study Shankara’s comments on part ll, with the mantra you mention. That must be in reply to the para.: “If you think that you know well the truth of Brahman, know that you know little, etc”. Since I have all the Upanishads, including the Kena, with the Commentary of Shankara, I will study it promptly. Not knowing Sanskrit, I take it that that mantra begins with the words: “It (i.e. Brahman) is really known when it is known with/as the Self of each state of consciousness… “.

    In the partial translation of the principal Upanishads by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester, there are the beautiful utterances, “That which is not comprehended by the mind but by which the mind comprehends…, etc.” And afterwards, “He truly knows Brahman who knows him as beyond knowledge; he who thinks that he knows, knows not…”. Much appreciated, Alberto Martin.

    Undoubtedlly, the mind is a most useful instrument, in empirical life, even though it is ultimately reducible to Atman/Brahman – without ceasing to be mind.

    • Dear Alberto,

      The mantra I talked about is Kena Up. 2.4.

      Yes, indeed, mind is the most useful instrument; having got a human birth, not making use of it, is a gross misuse. 🙂

      All the best in your study. I myself am currently studying Kena Up. commentary. Not being proficient in Sanskrit, I take help from traditional teachers to understand better.

      Regards,
      Meenakshi

  4. Meenakshi: “He says that there is no other way of knowing the atma than knowing it to be the non variable among the varying thoughts.”

    Dear Meena:

    Yes, this is a real key: The Self or Consciousness as the invariable witness of all cognitions. And all perceptions (“external” and inner) are cognitions in the last analysis. A foot-note in ‘Atma Nirvriti’, by Sri Atmananda, states: “DRISHYAM is an object seen, with the accent not on the thing which has no existence of itself, but upon the seeing as a result of which the thing comes into existence.”. Please allow me to quote further from that book (ch. 18): (And thank you for your stimulus)

    “As soon as you turn behind to see Me, I will take you ino the inmost core of your being and there you will see Me.

    Later on, you will see Me in your thoughts and feelings.

    Still later, you will see that the thoughts and feelings are none other than Myself.

    Since al objects are mere thought-forms, they will also be seen in the end as Myself… Then you will not se Me different from yourself.”

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