(मुञ्डकोपनिषत्) MundakaUpanishat 3-2-9
“Anyone who knows that supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed……….”
My search for Brahman started with aparokshAnubhUti (supposedly written by Shankaracharya) where it is stated that knowledge of liberation is obtained through enquiry. It then goes on to explain what constitutes enquiry: (अपरोक्षानुभूती) aparokshaAnubhUti (Shloka #11 & #12) (translation by Vimuktananda)
“Knowledge is not brought about by any other means than Vichara (Enquiry), just as an object is nowhere perceived (seen) without the help of light”.
“Who am I? How is this (world) created? Who is its creator? Of what material is this (world) made? This is the way of that Vichara (Enquiry)”.
Advaita – prescribed Self Enquiry is done through shravanam (listening) & mananam (reflection) of Upanishads & Prakaran Granthas (expert commentaries). As i started digging deeper into Shruti & commentaries, i am beginning to feel that the very Enquiry itself is turning into an obstacle.
PanchadashI by Vidyaranya, one of the advanced Prakaran Grantha, cautions that dwelling on this world which is mithya (not real) and annirvachniya (beyond real and unreal) will only suck you into more confusion. The best thing to do is to ignore it!
(पञ्चदशी श्रीविद्यारण्यमुनि) panchadashI by Vidyranya – Chitradeep 6.0 (Swahananda translation) – 138. By raising objections to the wonderfulness of Maya we do not solve the mystery. Besides, we also can raise serious counter objections. What is essential is that we should eradicate Maya by systematic enquiry. Further arguments are useless, so do not indulge in them. 139. Maya is an embodiment of marvellousness and doubt; the wise must carefully find out means and make effort to remove it. 143. Even if all the learned people of the world try to determine the nature of this world, they will find themselves confronted at some stage or other by ignorance. 146. In the end you will have to say, ‘I do not know’. ….
And regarding Brahman, Shruti seems to be saying to me that i can never know Brahman:
(केनोपनिषत्) kenaUpanishat 2.3 (Nikhilananda translation) – “He by whom Brahman is not known, knows It; he by whom It is known, knows It not. It is not known by those who know It; It is known by those who do not know It”.
(बृहदारण्यकोपनिषत्) brihadAraNyakaUpanishat 4.5.15 (Madhavananda translation) – “When to the Knower of brahman, everything has become the Self, then what should one see and through what, what should one smell and through what, what should one taste and through what, what should one speak and through what, what should one hear and through what, what should one think and through what, what should one touch and through what, what should one know and through what? Through what should one know that owing to which all this is known? This self is That which has been described as ‘not this, not this.’ It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived….”
In fact, the very concept of bondage & liberation is being ruled out:
(मान्डुक्योपनिषत गौडपादकारिका) mandukyaUpanishat gaudpAdkArikA 4.98 (Gambhirananda translation) –“All jIva-s are ever free from bondage and are pure by nature. They are ever illumined and liberated from the very beginning. Still the wise speak of the jiva-s as capable of knowing (‘the Ultimate Truth)”.
(मान्डुक्योपनिषत गौडपादकारिका) mandukyaUpanishat gaudpAdkArikA 2.32 (Gambhirananda translation) –“There is neither dissolution nor creation, none in bondage and none practicing disciplines. There is none seeking Liberation and none liberated. This is the absolute truth”.
(वसिष्ठयोग) vasisthaYoga 6-2-192 sums it all: Rama said ….”There is no seer, no object, no creation, no world, and not even consciousness; no waking, nor dreaming, nor sleep. What seems to be is also unreal. If one enquires, ‘How has this illusory perception of unreality come into being’, such an enquiry is inappropriate. Illusion does not rise in consciousness which is incorruptible”.
I understand that experts can qualify and interpret these verses in different ways to come to different conclusions. But for me personally, i see a message that is coming loud and clear: Any attempt to know Brahman (as an object) will only create more duality and therefore ignore/drop desire to know Brahman and the same thing goes for the maya. In other words, just ignore what was said in the beginning (about Enquiry) and just drop it! Only then you will REALLY KNOW IT or BE IT.
The question for me now Is ~
Is there anything to-do/not-to-do to know/not know/be Brahman???????????????
Bloggers and visitors please respond!