Vision Of Truth (sad darshanam) – Part 20


avIkshya tanmAnasikekshaNam syAt

na drashTuranyaH paramo hi tasya

vIkshA svamUle pravilIya niShThA—22


yadIshituH vIkshaNam = that (which)vision of Ishvara as an object; IkshitAram = Atma, the observer; avIkshya = not recognizing; tanmAnasikekshaNam syAt = will be a mental projection; drashTuranyaH paramaH na = No supreme other than seer; hi = indeed; tasya vIkshA = his vision; svamUle niShThA = abidance in one’s own nature; pravilIya = having resolved.


That vision of Ishvara (as an object), which is, without recognizing the observer Atma, is only a mental projection. There indeed is no supreme other than the seer. His vision is the abidance in one’s own nature having resolved the triad.


As long as Ishvara is considered as an entity separate from oneself, so long misery continues. Vision of Ishvara as an object, is merely a mental projection. If one has a vision, it is something other, external to him, meaning, the form of the vision has a beginning outside of him. Hence, there is a limited form to the Ishvara seen in a vision. Such an Ishvara is finite. How is that vision of any help?

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Who Slept Well – part 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the second of a four-part article by Acharya Sadananda of Chinmaya Mission Washington (edited by myself) clarifying the nature of the deep-sleep state and addressing a number of problems which frequently cause confusion in seekers.

When I enter into a pitch dark room I cannot see the presence of any object there as it is too dark. I need a light to illumine the objects. In a pitch dark room, the existence or non-existence of any object cannot be established; they may be there or they may not. In essence, their existence becomes indeterminate or anirvachanIyam. On the other hand, I can see that the room is pitch dark and understand that it is because of this that I do not see the presence or absence of any object. Darkness envelops both the known and the unknown.  However, I do not need a light to see the darkness.  In addition, I know that I am there even when the room is pitch dark.  I do not need a light to know that I am there. I am a self existent entity and therefore a self revealing entity, and hence I do not need any pramANa to know that I am present in the dark room. It is similar to saying that I do not need a light in order to see another light.  Being a conscious-existent entity, I am also a self-revealing entity or self-luminous entity or I am aprameyam, not an object of knowledge for which a pramANa is required. In addition, my presence as a self-luminous or self-conscious entity is required to illumine any other object – tasya bhAsA sarvam idam vibhUti; it is by that light of consciousness alone that all objects get revealed. Therefore, the light of consciousness that I am can illumine the darkness as well as the light that opposes the darkness.  Thus I am the light of lights, since I light the lights and darkness too – jyotir jyotiH. Therefore, I say that I see it is pitch dark which is covering the existence as well the absence of all objects. Continue reading

Review of article on Shankara by Ramakrisnan Balasubramanian

(This is a slightly modified article published here one year ago, which was improperly and incompletely posted. Ramesam had asked me to review the following article, with which I complied after much hesitation. The article is over 40 p. long and quite dense and complicated in parts – in other words, ‘academic’: for specialists only; one could add: cutting the slices so thin, that the substance is practically lost, or forgotten).

Review of ‘A New Approach to Understanding Advaita as Taught by ´Sa ˙ nkara Bhagavadp¯ada’ – by Ramakrishnan Balasubrahmanian. Continue reading

Mapping Emotions

Bodily Maps of Emotions (after Prof. L.  Nummenmaa et al, Dec 2013)

Bodily Maps of Emotions
(after Prof. L. Nummenmaa et al, Dec 2013)

Imagine yourself to be the Sun God.

Think that your entire body — the face, limbs and all – is made out of the Sun-stuff, as though you are a 3-D cutout of the Sun disc.

Visualize yourself as the brilliantly shining, dazzling-to-the-eyes, bright person with boundless effulgence all around with an intensely white lustrous contour line along the edges to your shape.

(Hint:  As a first step, you may think of yourself as an astronaut completely covered in a space suit. Then imagine the suit shining like the Sun). Continue reading

ahaMkAra – Killing the ego

However much you may try to kill the ego, it will only become stronger. So you have to approach it from the other end. Everybody understands in spite of the ego. The truth is that the ego automatically dies when you understand anything.

You will never succeed in bringing in light, if you insist upon removing all the darkness from your room before you do so. Therefore simply ignore the ego and try to understand, and the understanding itself will remove the ego. (Note 847)

Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda, taken by Nitya Tripta, Vol. 2, Non-Duality Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9563091-3-6. Buy from Amazon US, Buy from Amazon UK

ahaMkAra – fixed quality

ahankaraWhen it comes to identity, we try to find something that we are, somewhere we can plant our flag and say: “This is me. ” The verb ‘to be’ implies a stationary, fixed quality. For instance, “I am a radio show host” has a very different quality from “I host a radio show.” The words ‘I am’ imply that whatever follows is a fixed quality of being, not something that comes and goes.

Nothing Personal: Seeing beyond the illusion of a separate self, Nirmala, Endless Satsang Foundation, 2001. ISBN 978-0-6151-8767-9. Buy from Amazon US, Buy from Amazon UK

upadesha sAhasrI – part 15


Part 15 of the serialization of the  presentation (compiled by R. B. Athreya from the lectures given by Swami Paramarthananda) of upadesha sAhasrI. This is the prakaraNa grantha which is agreed by most experts to have been written by Shankara himself and is an elaborate unfoldment of the essence of Advaita.

Subscribers to Advaita Vision are also offered special rates on the journal and on books published by Tattvaloka. See the full introduction

Vision Of Truth (saddarshanam) – Part 13

बोद्धारमात्मानमजानतः यः

बोधः स किम् स्यात् परमार्थ बोधः ।

बोधस्य बोध्यस्य च सम्श्रयम् स्वम्

विजानतस्तद् द्वितीयम् विनश्येत् ॥—१३

boddhAramAtmAnamajAnataH yaH

bodhaH sa kim syAt paramArtha bodhaH

bodhasya bodhyasya cha samshrayam svam

vijAnatastad dvitIyam vinashyet—13

बोद्धारम् = knower आत्मानम् = oneself; अजानतः = of one who knows not; यः बोधः = whichever knowledge (other than self knowledge);  परमार्थ बोधः = highest knowledge;  स्यात् किम् = is it;  बोधस्य बोध्यस्य च = of knowledge and the object of knowledge; सम्श्रयम् = basis; स्वम् विजानतः = for one who knows oneself;  तद् द्वितीयम् विनश्येत् = for that (person) the two are negated.

Is any knowledge( other than self knowledge) the highest when the knower knows not oneself? For the one who knows oneself, the basis of the knowledge and the object of knowledge, the two are negated.

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Vision Of Truth (saddarshanam) – Part 12

विद्या कथम् भाति न चेदविद्या

विद्याम् विना किम् प्रविभात्यविद्या ।

द्वयम् च कस्येति विचार्य मूल

स्वरूप निष्ठा परमार्थ विद्या ॥—१२

vidyA katham bhAti na chedavidyA

vidyAm vinA kim pravibhAtyavidyA

dvayam cha kasyeti vichArya mUla

svarUpa niShThA paramArtha vidyA—12


विद्या कथम् भाति = how does knowledge shine? चेदविद्या = if there is no ignorance; विद्याम् विना = without knowledge; किम् प्रविभात्यविद्या = does ignorance shine; द्वयम् कस्येति = the two; विचार्य = having enquired; मूल स्वरूप = original nature; निष्ठा = abidance; परमार्थ विद्या = knowledge that ‘I am the self’


If there is no ignorance, how does knowledge shine? Without knowledge, does ignorance shine? And whose are the two? Having enquired thus, abidance in the original nature is the knowledge that ‘I am Atma’.


Everything in the universe is in duality. When one talks of happiness, it is a relative term, relative to sorrow. With respect to sorrow, we can say there is happiness. The term happiness has no meaning in the absence of sorrow. Light is opposed to darkness. It exists since darkness also exists. No darkness implies, there is no existence for light. This is the world of opposites, the world of duality. Joy-sorrow, victory-loss, peace-agitation, like-dislike, worry-security etc are some such antithetical couples. They mutually exist because of the other and have no meaning without the other.  Continue reading