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.

The mind, as such, is inert and made sentient by the consciousness.The consciousness, ‘as though’ reflects in the mind and enlivens it. Such a mind is called ahankAra. It is also called reflected consciousness in certain vedantik texts. In technical terms the following names are given to it- sAbhAsa antaHkaraNa, ahankAra, chidAbhAsa, chidAbhAsa sahita antaHkaraNa etc.

One should not consider a real ‘reflection’ taking place in the mind because that will reduce consciousness to an object that is causing reflection. The term ‘reflection’ only indicates that the all pervading consciousness enlivens the mind. The mind, on the other hand cannot limit the consciousness, hence no real reflection is possible.  The consciousness which is within and without is the enlivener of the mind. The capacity of the mind to carry out all its functions is borrowed from the consciousness.

The self is invisible, all pervading and substratum of all. It cannot, hence involve in transactions. The gross world can be contacted only through the organs. The organs, being inert depend on the mind. The mind, in turn being inert depends on the consciousness. The mind medium interacts with the world by the power of Atma.

This mind which carries the notion of being limited and is identified with the body and world is the cause of misery. The mind with consciousness is itself called ahankAra in Vedanta.
It is important to note here that a wise man also will have a fully functional mind. Just because he knows the truth does not mean he will lose his mind. The mind continues to exist as everything else. The only difference is the identification that he had prior to knowledge is no longer there and hence there is no more misery for him.

How does the mind function?

It functions in 2 ways. The mind has thoughts. All the thoughts that the mind has can be reduced to two categories – the ‘I – thought’ and ‘this-thought’.  All thoughts referencing objects come under ‘This-thought. For e.g.; a ‘book’ thought is a ‘This-thought’ because it has a corresponding ‘book’ object. A ‘laptop’ thought has a corresponding ‘laptop’ object; a ‘joy’ thought has joy as the object etc. The objects, book, computer, laptop, joy etc are known by the knower. (Thoughts are also objects in Vedanta since they can be known).

The ‘I-thought’ is in the form of ‘I’ ‘I’ incessantly within. The ahankAra(ego) is the finite, mortal being that one considers oneself to be. The ‘I-thought’ references the ahankAra itself. In the previous case there is always a corresponding object for ‘This-thought, while in this case, the ‘I-thought’ refers to the ahankAra(ego) itself.

In the previous case, there is a knower who knows the known (objects). In this case the knower (ahankAra) knows the known (ahankAra); meaning the knower and known are same here. In the ‘This – thought’ the objects are unreal. So also, the ‘I-thought’, the knower (ahankAra) and the known (ahankAra) are all unreal.


Knowing through… Known (objects known) Knower (subject) Locus
A)’This-thought’ objects ahankAra (ego) ahankAra (ego)
B)’I-thought’ ahankAra (ego) ahankAra (ego) ahankAra (ego)



In A) The subject (knower) ahankAra, knows the objects through the ‘This-thought’. All three, knower, known and instrument of knowing are unreal.

In B) The subject (knower) ahankAra knows the object (which is ahankAra itself) through the ‘I-thought’. Again the knower, known and instrument of knowing are unreal.

To be contd…