AbhAsa vAda

This is effectively Part 6 1/2 of 10 in the pratibandha series. It follows on from the heading of “The ‘mixture of Atman and mind’”. Apologies for the misleading and changing part numbers. This is the result of writing ‘as I go’ rather than completing the entire topic first.

Read Part 6

xi) AbhAsa vAda

This theory was mentioned briefly above in 2b, when bhAmatI and vivaraNa were discussed in the context of sources for mistaken views of Advaita. AbhAsa translates as ‘fallacious appearance’ and it is effectively the term that is used to describe this ‘mixture’ of Consciousness and intellect. Shankara addresses this in his upadesha sAhasrI, principally in chapter 18 ‘tat tvam asi’. The following analysis is with the help of Ref. 211.

As the chapter heading indicates, the topic is the mahAvAkya and how the knowledge of its truth is all that we need in order to gain enlightenment. We are already free and always have been, so once we realize this, there is nothing more that needs to be done. The idea that, after gaining ‘merely intellectual knowledge’ from shravaNa, we have somehow to gain ‘direct experience’ of Brahman before we are liberated, is called prasa~NkhyAna vAda. This is discussed and rejected in detail below, under the topic of ‘meditation’ but in this chapter Shankara introduces an objector who has these notions and the subsequent arguments are relevant to this topic of pratibandha-s.

The pUrvapakShin puts forward the following views in 18.9 – 18.18.

  • We know from our own perception and experience that we are a limited person, subject to the vicissitudes of life and doomed to death. The pronouncements of the scriptures contradict these experiences. 18.13: “The powerful impressions (saMskAra) arising from sense perception certainly contradict the knowledge ‘I am the real’ derived from hearing the text, and then one is (also) attracted towards the external by defects.” (Ref. 11) [‘Defects’ presumably refers to habitual desires etc.]
  • After gaining this knowledge, our experience of these limitations continues. 18:15; “No one is found to become free from pain merely through comprehending the meaning of a text.” (Ref. 11)
  • If hearing the mahAvAkya gives liberation, why do scriptures say that we must renounce everything afterwards? 18:16: “Indeed, if anyone could become free from pain through the mere comprehending of a text, it would follow that there is no Vedic warrant for our traditional discipline.” (Ref. 11)

Shankara argues that, although our experience may appear to contradict the message of the scriptures, that experience is mithyA. Something that is mithyA cannot impact upon the truth conveyed by the mahAvAkya. He gives two reasons why saMsAra is mithyA. We can never actually ‘know’ that we are bound and subject to rebirth etc. It is only a belief and it is a mistake. The second argument uses the ideas already discussed above. He asks whether the supposed bondage applies to Consciousness, the body-mind, or a mixture of the two – the Atman that is Consciousness (chit); the body-mind that is inert (jaDa or anAtman); or the ‘reflection’ or ‘false appearance’ (chidAbhAsa).

He asks to whom this bondage applies and sets out to show that it cannot belong to anything. Firstly, he has to establish the validity of the term (AbhAsa) itself.

He begins by saying that the one who listens to the scriptures being taught is a seeker who believes him or herself to be bound. This seeker cannot be Atman because Atman is eternally free. And the seeker cannot be anAtman because a) anAtman is inert and b) anAtman is not Brahman (so cannot gain the knowledge ‘I am Brahman’). Therefore, we need something else if we are to speak meaningfully about bondage and liberation; we need an AbhAsa.

Next, he asks whom the scriptures are addressing when they say ‘tat tvam asi’. Is it saying ‘you are Brahman’ to Atman or anAtman? It cannot be the former because Atman is not an ignorant seeker of liberation. Nor can it be the latter. Apart from the fact that it would not be very productive to tell a stone that it was Brahman, it would also render the shruti ineffective as a valid source of knowledge (shAstra pramANa). Therefore, a third element has to be introduced to provide the answer, namely AbhAsa.

Finally he says that, when we say ‘I know’, it means that there is an ‘I’ that is both conscious and subject to change (because I am ignorant before and knowing after). Brahman is conscious(ness) but not changeable (nirvikAra). Inert matter (anAtman) is changeable but not conscious. Accordingly, ‘I know’ cannot apply to either Atman or anAtman. AbhAsa provides the means by which the anAtman body-mind can be a seeker in bondage that can be liberated by the words of shAstra. The mechanism is that these characteristics (bound seeker, knower etc.) are superimposed upon the eternally free Atman.

Having established the viability and logical necessity of AbhAsa, Shankara then goes on to show that it is mithyA. To do this, he uses the metaphor of the reflection of a face in a mirror. He asks whether the reflection belongs to the face or the mirror (18.37 – 38):

“The reflection of the face in the mirror is a property (dharma) neither of the mirror nor of the face. If it were the property of either of them, it would persist in one or other of them when the two were parted. It might be thought that, because one speaks of the reflection of the face as ‘the face’ it must be a property of the face. But this is wrong. For on the one hand it conforms to certain characteristics of the mirror (which would not be possible if it were a property of the face). And on the other hand it cease to manifest when the face is still in existence (but parted from the mirror).” (Ref. 11)

Since the reflection does not belong to either the face or the mirror and does not exist independently, it has to be mithyA.

So is saMsAra satyam or mithyA? Following the above discussion, Shankara asks: ‘does saMsAra belong to Atman, anAtman or AbhAsa?’ It has already been pointed out above that it cannot belong to Atman, which is nirvikAra, and it cannot belong to anAtman, which is jaDa. So it would seem that it has to belong to AbhAsa.

But Shankara shows that it cannot belong to any of these (18.44):

“To whom, then, belongs the property of being the transmigrant (saMsArin)? Not to pure Consciousness, for it is not subject to modification (nirvikAra). Not to the reflection, for it is not a reality. And not to the ego-sense (the receptacle of the reflection) since it is (per se) non-conscious.” (Ref. 11)

He says simply that saMsAra cannot belong to the reflection either, because it is mithyA. He then concludes (18.45):

“Transmigration, therefore, must be mere ignorance (avidyA) arising from non-discrimination [i.e between Self and not-Self]. It only possesses being (AtmavAn) and appears to afflict the Self on account of (that) changeless (kUTastha) Self.” (Ref. 11)

And this is the logical conclusion of the ‘mixture’ idea. It has to be mithyA in the end. You cannot have a mixture of two things when only one of those ‘things’ is real! The idea was introduced (adhyAropa), used to provide a useful ‘explanation’ of a knotty problem, and then withdrawn (apavAda) once the difficulties had been resolved!

But the ‘final explanation’ is, of course, an ‘as if’ pAramArthika one. Ultimately, the answer is always going to be that there is only Brahman – sarvam khalvidam brahma. There is only Brahman in reality. From an empirical standpoint, chidAbhAsa and the concept of a mixture of Consciousness and body-mind continues to provide a meaningful explanation.

Read Part 7

 

18 thoughts on “AbhAsa vAda

  1. Thanks for this Dennis. US is actually a very good source of Sankara.

    Though on this point, I quite like his bhasya to BG13.2, which is more straightforward:
    “Opponent: To whom does ignorance belong?
    Reply: it belongs verily to him by whom it is experienced!
    Objection: In whom is it perceived?
    Reply: It is pointless to ask, ‘In whom is ignorance experienced?’
    Objection: How?
    Reply: If ignorance be perceived (by you), then you perceive its possessor as well. Moreover, when that possessor of ignorance is perceived it is not reasonable to ask, ‘In whom is it perceived?'”

    He refers to 18.50, the bhasya of which states:
    “Only the eradication of the superimposition of name, form, etc., which are not the Self, is what has to be undertaken, but not the knowledge of the Self that is Consciousness. For it is the Self which is experienced as possessed of the forms of all the various objects that are superimposed (on It) through ignorance . . . but no effort is needed for knowing Brahman (Consciousness), for It is quite self-evident! . . . Hence, effort is not needed for knowledge, but only for the removal of the notion of what is not-Self.”

    The verses following 18.50 describe the process for attaining Self-Knowledge:

    18.50 Understand for certain from Me, in brief indeed, O son of Kunti, that process by which one who has achieved success attains Brahman, which is the supreme consummation of Knowledge.

    18.51 Being endowed with a pure intellect, and controlling oneself with fortitude, rejecting the objects-beginning from sound etc, and eliminating attachment and hatred;

    18.52 One who resorts to solitude, eats sparingly, has speech, body and mind under control, to whom meditation and concentration are ever the highest (duty), and who is possessed of dispassion;

    18.53 (That person) having discarded egotism, force, pride, desire, anger and superfluous possessions, free from the idea of possession, and serene, is fit for becoming Brahman.

    18.54 One who has become Brahman and has attained the blissful Self does not grieve or desire. Becoming the same towards all beings, he attains supreme devotion to Me.
    Sankara: Becoming samah, the same; sarvesu bhutesu, towards all being-i.e., he verily judges what is happiness and sorrow in all beings by the same standard as he would apply to himself (cf. 6.32)

    18.55 talks about steadfastness in knowledge, which is a repetition of the act of knowing, which is therefore continued negation of any idea of non-self (the balya of Brhad Up 3.5.1)

    Finally returning to 13.2 bhasya, Sankara makes the logical case for cessation of action of the jnani:

    “Objection: Well, in that case, if identification with action, cause and effect be naturally absent in the Self, and it they be superimpositions through ignorance, then it amounts to this that actions are meant for being undertaken only by the ignorant, not by the enlightened.
    Reply: It is true that is comes to this.”

    “The ignorant man engages in action owing to his desire for results. On the other hand, in the case of an enlightened person who has realized the changeless Self, engagement in aciton in impossible because of the absence of desire for results. Hence, when the activities of the aggregate of body and organs cease, HIS withdrawal from action is spoken of in a figurative sense”

    best,
    venkat

  2. Dear Venkat,

    Please pay attention to the last line of your quote. For this sake I am quoting your last para again

    ““The ignorant man engages in action owing to his desire for results. On the other hand, in the case of an enlightened person who has realized the changeless Self, engagement in aciton in impossible because of the absence of desire for results. Hence, when the activities of the aggregate of body and organs cease, HIS withdrawal from action is spoken of in a figurative sense””

    What is it saying ?

    “HIS (maintaining your capitalizing :-)), withdrawal from action is spoken of in a FIGURATIVE SENSE (introducing my capitalization :-))

    FIGURATIVE means

    figurative
    /ˈfɪɡ(ə)rətɪv/
    Learn to pronounce
    adjective

    departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical.

    So HIS (jnani’s) withdrawal from action is spoken of as metaphorically, not literally.

    Warm wishes,
    Anurag

  3. Thanks for those references, Venkat. THe BG 18.50 bhAShya is particularly clear – I’ve just copied that into the sub-topic ‘What happens on Enlightenment?’

    I was also a bit surprised by your final 13.2 quotation. This seems to openly admit that there is no need for any saMnyAsa following the gain of Self-knowledge. This is certainly in agreement with my own understanding but have you not been saying the opposite? I am just about to begin the saMnyAsa topic, incidentally so will definitely use this one! 🙂

    Best wishes,
    Dennis

  4. Anurag I suggest you read the whole sentence.

    It says activities of the body CEASE. That is not figurative; that is unambiguous. Therefore in the second part of the sentence Sankara is putting the “FIGURATIVE” emphasis on “his withdrawal” from action, because a jnani is stated to be a non-doer. So the withdrawal of action occurs naturally, because of a lack of interest in the world; rather than as a conscious act.

    • Could you possibly point to the exact location of the last paragraph of your quote (“The ignorant man engages…”) please, Venkat, as I haven’t managed to locate it. It does not follow the previous pargraph in my copy of Gambhirananda.

      • Dennis,

        I have consulted my Warrier edition, and he gives the same sense:
        “Had they perceived the immutable field knower, they would not have hankered after worldly experience and activity, seeking to make it their own. Experience and activity are nothing but mutation. `this being the case hankering after the fruits of action, the ignorant man acts. On the other hand, with the knower who perceives the immutable Self, and who is free from hankerings after fruits of actions, activity is inconsistent. When his body and organs cease to operate, he is figuratively said to withdraw from the sphere of activities.”

        Shastri’s translation is similar:

        Their learning consists in regarding the body itself as their Self!
        If, on the other hand, they really see the immutable Kshetrajna, they would desire neither pleasure nor action with the attachment ‘let it be mine’; for, pleasure and action are but changes of state.
        Thus, then, it is the ignorant man who, longing for
        results, engages in action.
        The wise man, on the contrary, who sees the immutable Self, cherishes no longing for results and does not therefore engage in action; and when, as a consequence, the activity of the aggregate-of the body and the senses-ceases, we say, only figuratively, that HE abstains from action.

        Shastri italicised the “HE”.

    • Dear Venkat,

      Taking your quote,

      It says activities of the body CEASE. That is not figurative; that is unambiguous. Therefore in the second part of the sentence Sankara is putting the “FIGURATIVE” emphasis on “his withdrawal” from action, because a jnani is stated to be a non-doer. So the withdrawal of action occurs naturally, because of a lack of interest in the world; rather than as a conscious act.

      Now let’s examine it :

      You say, “It says activities of the body CEASE. That is not figurative; that is unambiguous. ”

      Now, if this is not figurative then, activities of the body ceasing mean that the body dies.

      Then you say, ” Therefore in the second part of the sentence Sankara is putting the “FIGURATIVE” emphasis on “his withdrawal” from action, because a jnani is stated to be a non-doer.”

      I perfectly agree to this 🙂 A Jnani withdraws ‘figuratively only’ because he ‘is’ a non-doer

      And lastly, you say, “So the withdrawal of action occurs naturally, because of a lack of interest in the world; rather than as a conscious act.”

      Agree to this too. The Jnani does not do any conscious act. He may be seen to be withdrawing or participating in the world activities. It does not matter either way.

      Warm wishes,
      Anurag

    • Hi Dennis,

      13.2 is rather long isn’t it?! The quote is towards the end, but before the discussion on who has ignorance. The full Q&A is:

      Objection: Then, what is this that even the learned say like the worldly people, ‘Thus [Possessed of aristorcracy etc.] am I,’ ‘This [Body, wife, etc.] verily belongs to Me’?
      Reply: Listen. This is that learnedness which consists in seeing the field as the Self! On the contrary, should they realize the unchanging Knower of the field, then they will not crave for enjoyment or action with the idea, ‘May this be mine.’ Enjoyment and action are mere perversions. This being so, the ignorant man engages in action owing to his desire for results. On the other hand, in the case of an enlightened person who has realized the changeless Self, engagement in aciton in impossible because of the absence of desire for results. Hence, when the activities of the aggregate of body and organs cease, his withdrawal from action is spoken of in a figurative sense.

  5. Dear Dennis,

    Abhasavada vs Ajativada :

    Abhasavad arises from three ontological categories – so as to speak: Consciousness (Satya), Reflected Consciousness (Abhasa) and Unconscious (Jada).

    So, using Occam’s razor, we can make things a little simpler: How?

    Reduce the number of ontological categories from three to two. Reflected Consciousness and Unconscious are both Maya (as you agree). Both are part of one perception called “error” or Maya. Now the error of snake on the rope arises at once – all and complete. The snake is having distinctions – head, body, and tail – svagata bheda – and these parts don’t arise one after another in an illusion. They all arise instantly. So why bother about Abhasa and Jada? Why have two categories and try to eliminate them, when they are part of only one category – Maya!

    So in Ajativada, we have two categories (not one, as people mistakenly interpret it to have. Just that the other category is not countable as two)

    The two categories are – Brahman and Maya

    What is Maya? Maya is born only when Brahman is misperceived. The misperception of Brahman is Maya, and misperception leads to the projection of the world of plurality. So again, we forget the projection part, as it is an effect of misperception and stick to Maya as misperception (error)

    Now, why do we say Brahman alone is, even when Maya exists?!

    Because Brahman is the only Real Entity (Satya) – it Exists eternally

    What about Maya?

    Maya does not exist eternally because it ends. If it did not, no one could be liberated and know Self. So Maya is not Satya. Also, Maya is a dependent reality. It cannot exist without a substrate. (This is where Advaita differs from Buddhism)

    But Maya is seen or perceived. It is not totally unperceived like a hare’s horns. So it is not asatya (unreal), either. Maya is like a mirage.

    It does not exist as Satya nor as Asatya So what is the status of Maya – Mithya – perceivable but not-existent.

    So we have Brahman (Satya ) and Jagat (Mithya).

    One cannot count Mithya along with Satya as two just in the same way you cannot say that the body of a person and his shadow make two people.

    Abhasavada is not wrong because ultimately it negates all but Brahman. But, I feel it still has traces of trying to find sentience in Maya or being bothered by the problem of sentience. In this model, one is actually using the model of a knot. Reflected Consciousness becomes the knot, tying Consciousness and Unconsciousness (Jada). And, as I said earlier, this problem arises when we are still trying to locate sentience objectively. It betrays an incredulity in saying that the stone and the Jiva are both Brahman and there is absolutely no difference between the two.

    Moreover from your article, it is not clear as to why samsara cannot belong to anatman as you say here,

    “So is saMsAra satyam or mithyA? Following the above discussion, Shankara asks: ‘does saMsAra belong to Atman, anAtman or AbhAsa?’ It has already been pointed out above that it cannot belong to Atman, which is nirvikAra, and it cannot belong to anAtman, which is jaDa.”

    A clearer explanation is that Sentience is only the Subject. You are Sentience/Consciousness. So in Ajativada, there is no need for the “knot” or “mixture” model. Rather it is contactless. Maya never contacts Brahman, just as the mirage waters never wets the desert sands or the snake never contacts the rope.

    The stone does not gain liberation and it does not matter because liberation is also Maya. So a Jnani and Stone are both Maya, and a Jnani and stone are both Brahman in essence. So they are both same.

    So, I would say that though Abhasavada is a very advanced prakriya, but Ajativada is the ultimate.

    Warm wishes,
    Anurag

  6. Hi Dennis,

    I agree 18.50 is very clear. But it does put the final emphasis on the removal of what is not Self, and 18.55 makes the point of steadfastness in Knowledge, which is how I think you have to reconcile his words in Brhad Up 4.4.21 about practising the means of knowledge.

    In 18.55 bhasya, Sankara writes:
    “It is not proper that those texts [talking of sannyasa] should be meaningless. Nor are they merely eulogistic, since they occur in their own contexts. Besides Liberation consists in being established in the changeless real nature of the indwelling Self. Indeed it is not possible that one who wants to go to the eastern sea, and the other who wants to go in the opposite direction to the western sea can have the same course!

    AND STEADFASTNESS IN KNOWLEDGE CONSISTS IN BEING TOTALLY ABSORBED IN MAINTAINING A CURRENT OF THOUGHT WITH REGARD TO THE INDWELLING SELF. [V To Dennis: Given what Sankara has said in 18.50, I interpret this to mean continuing effort to remove the notion of what is not-Self, just as BU 3.5.1 talks about balya – agree?].

    I have addressed your 13.2 point on renunciation in my response to Anurag. Dennis, I think you have to concede the extent to which Sankara and Suresvara have talked of renunciation, both mental and physical; and the logic that one who has turned away from the world, no longer has a reason to act.

    I’d also note that 18.51 et seq describe a man who is fundamentally different in behaviour from an ignorant man, which is the purpose of sadhana pre-Knowledge.

    Also, you might not have read my comment to you here, which is in congruence with this steadfastness in knowledge:

    https://www.advaita-vision.org/bhagavad-gita-on-ajata-vada-jnana-yoga-and-sarva-karma-sannyasa/#comment-8169

    • Dear Venkat,

      “AND STEADFASTNESS IN KNOWLEDGE CONSISTS IN BEING TOTALLY ABSORBED IN MAINTAINING A CURRENT OF THOUGHT WITH REGARD TO THE INDWELLING SELF. [V To Dennis: Given what Sankara has said in 18.50, I interpret this to mean continuing effort to remove the notion of what is not-Self, just as BU 3.5.1 talks about balya – agree?].”

      All this is before the dawn of direct knowledge

      “I have addressed your 13.2 point on renunciation in my response to Anurag. Dennis, I think you have to concede the extent to which Sankara and Suresvara have talked of renunciation, both mental and physical; and the logic that one who has turned away from the world, no longer has a reason to act.”

      I have addressed your response to my response. Also Sankara does talk about physical/mental renunciation. These are his guidelines for sannyasis. But he also talks about action continuing due to prarabdha for people who are not sannyasis. Whether sannyasis or not sannyasis – all Jnanis are non-doers.

      Then you say, “that one who has turned away from the world, no longer has a reason to act.”

      The one who turns away from the world is not-Self: he is a doer. The Self never engages in any action.

      Also when you say “no longer has a reason to act”, you are still identifying with the “reasoner/thinker”. The “thinker/doer/experience” is not Self from the paramarthika point of view.

      Warm wishes,
      Anurag

  7. Why stop there, Anurag? Occam’s Razor leads us to ‘sarvam khalvidam brahma’. There is only Brahman. End of discussion.

    The point about the teaching of Advaita is that we begin from where we are – separate individuals in a dualistic world – and take things one step at a time. We only throw away the ladder when we step out onto the roof.

    It is simply not meaningful to conflate AbhAsa and ajAti vAda. The former is half way up the ladder and the latter is close to the top. Also, without wanting to appear rude, I am interested in learning from Shankara…

    Best wishes,
    Dennis

    • Dear Dennis,

      I understood and totally appreciate your comment. I don’t think you and I differ conceptually in our comments, as I wrote that Abhasavada is a very advanced prakriya followed by the more advanced Ajativada.

      However:

      Could you please point out anywhere I am conflating Ajativada and Abhasavada. My very topic was Ajativada vs Abhasavada.

      I did not understand what triggered you to say, “Also, without wanting to appear rude, I am interested in learning from Shankara…”

      Why should you appear rude, if you want to learn from Shankara?!!

      Personally speaking, I love him. Just that I am not quite in line with his emphasis on physical renunciation.

      Warm wishes,
      Anurag

  8. Dear Anurag,

    Sorry, ‘conflate’ was not really the right word. What I meant is that it is not appropriate to talk about AbhyAsa and ajAti vAda at the same time. They are not related teachings.

    The ‘rudeness’ was in the implication that I was not interested in your teachings but in Shankara’s, Apolgies! 😉

    Best wishes,
    Dennis

    • Dear Dennis,

      Thank you so much for your clarification.

      My apologies for asking the question because I simply could not discern the context from where those words arose. I spent an hour thinking about it and then I understood it finally. I see that whatever I concluded is exactly what you have communicated in your comment above.

      I took so long a time to understand it because I am not taking myself as a teacher in this group at all. I speak here as a philosopher of Advaita. I was comparing the two philosophies of Ajativada vs Abhasavada – and that clearly was the topic. I never give topics to my comments but I gave one to this one, to make my comment’s intention clear.

      I was actually unaware that you were learning from Shankara. Now that you have shared it, I have a definite frame to read your articles and comments; and also respond to them.

      A wise man does not disturb the world.

      I do teach Advaita to seekers. I have a separate FB group for that. I do not teach anyone on my own accord. Only if a seeker explicitly asks me to teach him/her, I relent to teach and love it too. Other than that I never adopt a teacher’s attitude. But since I love Advaita as a philosophy too, I take this space to discuss the philosophy and the dialectics.

      I thought I should make my intentions known very clearly too so that no confusions arise and others have the right frame to view my comments here.

      Warm wishes,
      Anurag

  9. Dear Venkat,

    Apolgies for delay in responding to your comments – I have been reading the Gita! Here are brief comments on two verses:

    BG18.55 bhAShya: “and steadfastness in knowledge consists in being totally absorbed in maintaining a current of thought with regard to the indwelling self”.

    I interpret this as meaning that the seeker (mumukShu) has to be totally committed (abhinivesha) to the pursuit of Self-knowledge if he or she is to gain j~nAna-niShThA. This means that ‘commitment to action’ is correspondingly denigrated. Hence the idea that saMnyAsa is the lifestyle most suited to the seeker – sarva-karma-saMnyAsa.

    BG13.2 bhAShya: “On the other hand, in the case of an enlightened person who has realized the changeless Self, engagement in action in impossible because of the absence of desire for results. Hence, when the activities of the aggregate of body and organs cease, his withdrawal from action is spoken of in a figurative sense.”

    The enlightened person knows that he is the Self and hence does not act. He does not ‘withdraw’ from action because that would also be an action. Doership of any kind is ‘surrendered’ – there is nothing to be done, not even refusing to do anything. The guidance of scriptures – what should be done and what not done – only applies to those who are still ignorant.

    What is appropriate to be done is simply done courtesy of the guNa-s, in accordance with the working out of prArabdha karma.

    Best wishes,
    Dennis

  10. Dear Dennis,

    In addition to your comment, I would like to re-quote Shankara, from Brahma Sutra Bhashya, whom I had quoted in my last article – “The Rise of Jnana: Destruction of Good Works and Bad Works.” This quote is actually very conclusive,

    “The knower of Brahman has this realization: “As opposed to the entity known before to possessed of agentship and experience by its very nature, I am Brahman which is by nature devoid of agentship and experienceship in all three periods of time. Even earlier I was never an agent and experiencer, nor am I at present, nor shall I be so in future”. From such a point of view alone can liberation be justified.”

    – Bs.Bh – IV.i.13

    It shows that not only that one was actually never the doer and shall never be (i.e, not a doer in all three periods of time)

    I was actually going to comment on your doership being ‘surrendered’, but then I noted your quote marks 😉

    Warm wishes,
    Anurag

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