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» மஹான் ஸ்ரீகாரைசித்தர் நூற்றாண்டில் தோன்றிய ஒர் கவி மாலை.
by nakasundaram Tue May 28, 2019 5:28 pm

» ஸ்ரீ ராமநவமி நாள் 13 04 2019
by nakasundaram Tue May 28, 2019 5:01 pm

» *MOVEMENT MANTRAS*
by arutsakthi Fri May 25, 2018 12:53 pm

» புதிய உறுப்பினர்
by Kalyani Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:43 pm

» பூஜ்யஸ்ரீ அருட்சக்திக்குருவின் அகவை எண்பதில் ஓர் கவிமாலை
by nakasundaram Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:38 am

» அறிவிப்புகள்
by Kalyani Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:04 am

» மகா சிவராத்திரி-பாமாலை
by aymkan Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:41 pm

» பார(தீ)தி........!
by Kalyani Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:33 am

» ஸ்ரீபாதஸப்ததி - ஸ்ரீநாராயணபட்டத்திரி எழுதியது
by arutsakthi Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:58 pm

» பரமபூஜ்ய ஸ்ரீசிதானந்தநாதர் அவர்கள் வரலாறு
by arutsakthi Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:06 pm

» introduction brief
by Kalyani Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:53 am

» தூங்கும் முறை பற்றி சித்தர்கள் கூறியது
by Kalyani Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:26 am

» Welcome to Vaikari Social
by nakasundaram Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:44 pm

» தமிழிலும் டைப் செய்யலாம்
by nakasundaram Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:10 pm

» WELCOME ADDRESS- Brahma Vidya Sathram
by nakasundaram Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:08 pm

» அன்றாட பூஜையில் தெரிய வேண்டிய சில விஷயங்கள்
by nakasundaram Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:07 pm

» நைமிசாரண்யம் - புனித யாத்திரையில் அனுபவம்
by nakasundaram Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:06 pm

» தானத்தின் பலன்கள்
by nakasundaram Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:05 pm

» வேதம் நிறைந்த தமிழ்நாடு - மஹா பெரியவா
by nakasundaram Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:04 pm

» ஸ்ரீஉபநிஷத் ப்ரஹ்மவித்யா-ஸ்ரீஸார் அவர்கள் செய்தது.
by arutsakthi Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:18 pm

» ஸ்ரீகாமேச்வரி துதி - ஸ்ரீதேவி பாகவதம்
by arutsakthi Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:11 pm

» Brahma Vidya Sathram -2016- Thanks
by arutsakthi Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:06 pm

» ஸ்ரீகாமேச்வரி-ஸ்ரீகாமேச்வரர் கல்யாணம் – ஒருவிளக்கம்
by arutsakthi Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:01 pm

» கேள்விகளும் பதிலும்
by arutsakthi Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:12 pm

» ஸ்ரீவரலட்சுமி நோன்புப்பாமாலை
by arutsakthi Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:21 am

» மஹான்களின் உரைகள்
by Kalyani Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:47 am

» ப்ரஹ்மவித்யாஸத்ரம் பற்றின அறிவிப்பு
by arutsakthi Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:10 am

» ப்ரஹ்மவித்யா ஸத்ரம்
by arutsakthi Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:32 pm

» ப்ரஹேலிகா என்றால் விடுகதை – Puzzle, Riddle
by Kalyani Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:16 am

» வாழ்த்துக்கள் ரவி
by Kalyani Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:21 am

» நைஷ்டிக பிரம்மசாரி யார்?
by karaikudiravi Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:25 pm

» நம் குணமும் காயத்ரி மந்த்ரத்தின் தொடர்பும்
by karaikudiravi Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:48 pm

» கிருஷ்ணர் தியான ஸ்லோகம்!
by karaikudiravi Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:47 am

» கீதையிலிருந்து மூன்று விதமான தவங்கள்
by karaikudiravi Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:41 am

» தன்வந்திரி பகவான் பற்றி படித்த சில தகவல்கள்
by karaikudiravi Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:31 am

» கேது பஞ்சவிம்ஶதி நாம ஸ்தோத்ரம்
by karaikudiravi Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:51 pm

» ராஹு பஞ்சவிம்ஶதி நாம ஸ்தோத்ரம்
by karaikudiravi Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:30 pm

» ஶனைஶ்சர ஸ்தவராஜ ஸ்லோகம்
by karaikudiravi Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:19 pm

» ஹிந்து குடும்பத்தை பற்றி தெரிந்து வைக்க வேண்டிய விஷயம்
by karaikudiravi Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:30 pm

» படித்ததில் ரசித்தது
by karaikudiravi Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:18 pm

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அறிவிப்புகள்

Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:34 am by Kalyani

அன்பான வாசகர்களே,

ரிதம்பர ஞானசபா என்ற சத்சங்க வாயிலாக கடந்த ஜூலைமாதம் 16'17 தேதிகளில் டெல்லியில் நடைபெற்ற ப்ரம்மவித்யா சத்ரம் விழா  எங்கள் …

Comments: 1

Welcome to Vaikari Social

Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:44 pm by nakasundaram

Welcome to Vaikari Social.

In another mile stone in our Ritanbhara Jnana Sabha with involving latest technology we have a dedicated social website which enables our members to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.(like Facebook). This is made for the purpose of using separate social media for ourselves and communicate/share each other to improve our …

Comments: 0

தமிழிலும் டைப் செய்யலாம்

Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:47 pm by nakasundaram

நமது சத்சங்கத்தில் தமிழிலும் டைப் செய்யலாம். திரையின் இடது புறத்தில் தமிழில் எழுத என்ற இடத்தில் சென்று ஆங்கிலத்தில் டைப் செய்தால் தமிழில் தானாக மாறிவிடும். பின்பு அதை காபி செய்து போஸ்ட்டிங்காக போடலாம்.
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Comments: 2


Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1

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Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1 Empty Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1

Post by arutsakthi Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:39 pm

Om
Narayanam padmabhavam vasishtam shaktim cha tat putram parasharam cha vyasam
shukam gowdapadam mahantam govinda pada yogindram atha asya shishyam sri
shankaracharyam atha asya shishyam padmapadam cha hastamalakam cha shishyam
tam totakam vartikakaram anyan asmad gurun santatam anatosmi
Salutations to the guru parampara - narayana to brahma to vasishta .. Sri
shankaracharya..., his disciples padmapada, hastamalaka, totaka and the
followers of this lineage of gurus.
Shruti smriti purananam alayam karunalayam
namami bhagavat pada shankaram lokashankaram
Shankaram shankaracharyam keshavam badarayanam
sutrabhashya kritou vande bhagavantau punah punah
Prostrations again and again at the feet of bhagavan shankara, the
storehouse of scriptures - shruti, smriti and puranas - and who is also
a storehouse of compassion, who confers happiness and prosperity, who
has written commentary on the sutras and belongs in the lineage of the
guru parampara of keshava, badarayana ..
First, having offered the traditional salutations to the guru parampara
(lineage of teachers), let us chant the following shanti mantra;
Om saha na-vavatu, saha nou-bhunaktu, saha-viryam karavavahai
tejasvi na-vadhitam astu ma vid-vishavahai; om shantih shantih shantih
Let us be protected together; let us be cultivated together; let us gain
strength and power together; let our study be successful; let us not
hate each other; om peace, peace and peace (for all).
The scriptures of sanatana dharma - called "darshana shastras" are
nyaya, vaisheshika, samkhya,yoga, mimamsa and vedanta, respectively the
sciences of logic, nature, knowledge, deep meditation or concentration
of mind, rituals of the veda and the philosophy of the self. Though
vaisheshika is regarded as the study of nature, nature is integral in
the study of all the six darshanas. A self evident thought common for
all of them is "the whole creation is ultimately intended for the
experience of the soul (atman)".
We are concerned here in the study of vedanta - the science of the self.
We have already said that nature is integral in the study of all
shastras, including vedanta. The nature and the body of beings are
inert; the vedanta shastra tells us that being inert, a power is
required to drive them (physical science also tells us that inert bodies
need an external force for change - newton's first law of motion).
Vedanta calls this power as "chaitanya" or consciousness. D.v. Gundappa,
a poet-philosopher from karnataka, india, captures the concept in a very
subtle way in his work "manku timmana kagga" (the ramblings of timma,
the dull) as follows.
Jiva jada rupa prapanchavana-vavudo
avarisikondu molaneredu mihudante
bhavakolapadadante alategalavadadante
a visheshake maniyo - mankutimma
An indefinable something envelops the living world
and the inert and appears to fill them to overflowing
it is not swayed by feeling and defies measurement
render obeisance to that specialty - oh! Manku timma (timma the dull)
This indefinable something - of the nature of pure consciousness - is called
brahman in vedanta.
So we have three entities here, jagat or universe, individual person or jiva
and brahman. The first two are in the tangible experience of all of us. The
third, brahman is not the tangible experience for most of us.
Every philosophy that man knows today, attempts to describe the relation
between these three entities.
Advaita vedanta also offers a very unique description of this
relationship - the jiva and jagat are not different from brahman, but
appear to be different because of ignorance ( ajnyana). The presentation
of this oneness of the three entities of jagat, jiva and brahman is the
subject matter of the study of advaita vedanta. Again, quoting from
manku timmana kagga,
Ihudo illavo tiliyagodadondu vastu nija mahimeyim jagavagi jivaveshadali
viharipudau olitembudu gahana tatvake sharano - mankutimma
An entity whether existing or not is not to be known
but by its innate power it transmutes itself into the world;
assuming the garb of life it sports itself; whether it is, or not is not, we know not,
bow down to that profound principle - oh! Manku timma
What is the benefit of this study? This is a question we all want to
have answered, as we undertake to the study of any text or thesis. There
are four issues contained in answering this question. They are (1)
subject matter, (2) benefit, (3) relationship and (4) pre-requisites.
Determination of the oneness of jiva, jagat and iswara (a synonym for
brahman) through scriptural interpretation is the subject matter of this
study.
The benefit of this study is the preparation of the reader in the quest
towards the realization of the oneness described above. This realization
will release the jiva from the cycle of births and deaths and the
associated pain and occasional pleasure. The realization will elevate
the jiva to a permanent state of absolute bliss. The taittiriya
upanishat offers a measure of quantification of this bliss. If a strong
and healthy human, living for hundred years or more, has all the
resources under his control and the support of all the people under him,
achieves all his objectives (yudhishtira is quoted as an example of such
a person), the happiness attained by him is one unit of human happiness
(ashishto dridishto balishtah..sa eko manusha anandah... - anandavalli).
The bliss of realization is indicated to be of the order of 1020 x
human happiness.
The relationship of any study is at three levels - between the subject
matter and the reader, between the subject matter and benefit and
between reader and the benefit. Application to the vedanta study, we
will understand the relation between jiva and jagat, jiva and brahman
and brahman and jagat.
What is the adhikara or pre-requisites for the realization? The
necessary and sufficient pre-requisites for the realization of this
oneness is a four step discipline (sadhana chatushtaya), which will
discuss in detail in the next unit.
Now a question arises to all of us - if the realization is so blissful,
why is the mankind not serious about achieving it. Arjuna also had the
same doubt, when he asked krishna in bhagavad gita the following;
Atha kena prayuktoyam papam charati purushah
ani-cchannapi varshneya baladiva niyojitah
Oh! Krishna, as if constrained by a force, what makes a man commit sin,
even against his wish? - (3-36)
Sri krishna answers;
Kama esha krodha esha rajo guna samudbhavah
mahashano mahapapma viddhi enam iha vairinam
Arjuna! It is the desire, it is the anger born of rajo guna (the impulse
of action), all consuming and all evil; know this as the enemy here. - (3-37)
Driven by these desires and feelings, we act. When the outcome is less
than optimal, we repent -
Kimakhagam sadhu nakaravam
kimaham papamakaravamiti
Why did i not do good deeds
why did i do bad deeds?
- taittiriya upanishad, anandavalli
Elimination of this desire and anger is the pre-requisite
(sadhanachatushtaya) discussed above. This will be the topic of
discussion in the next unit.
[ the material for the this study will be mostly drawn from the
following advaita texts
1) vedanta sara (kannada edition by swamy harshananda) of parivrajakacharya
sadananda yogindra
2) vedanta prabhoda by swamy paramananda bharati
3) vedantada jivala by hosakere chidambariah
Other quotes will be described when quoted].
We concluded unit -1 with krishna's response to arjuna that kama (desire) and krodha(anger) are the root causes of ignorance and hence man's inability to experience the divinity with in him. We will review the mechanics of this in this unit.
From our birth to death man (or woman), is engaged in various activities.
All the activities have the effect of producing the fruits of action.
Anishtam ishtam mishram cha tri-vidham karmanah phalam
bhavati atyaginam pretya na tu sanyasinam kvachit
The three-fold fruits of action , desirable (life of devatas), undesirable ( life of animals ) and mixed (human lives) accrue to
the non-renouncer (of fruits of actions),after death; but never to the renouncer (gita 18-12).
The individual has to experience these fruits of action (karmaphala) in the vehicle of devas, humans or animals. So this makes it necessary to be born
again to experience the fruits of action, be it desirable or non-desirable. This is the law of karma. Figure 1 illustrates this law of karma.

the law of karma and reincarnation to experience the karmaphala are the corner stones of the philosophies of sanatana dharma. We need to understand the three categories of karma (phala) in order to fully understand the law of karma.
1. Sanchita karma (karma in storage)
2. Prarabdha karma (karma that has begun to bear fruit)
3. Agami karma (karma resulting from future activities).
A man's current life comes his way to experience a fraction of the fruits of his activities in past lives, stored as sanchita karma. The fraction is called prarabdha karma or karma that has begun to bear fruit. The experiences of this life are the fruits of that fraction of past activities. As he go through this life, he does some good acts and some not so good acts and so on. These acts, if they are desire oriented will result in additional fruits to be experienced in future lives.
The karma, associated with the activities of this life is the agami karma, that gets added into and stored in the sanchita karma, after death. Desire is the motive for a man's activities, which is captured very succinctly in the following two verses of gita;
Dhyayato vishayan pumsah sanghah teshu upajayate
sanghat sanjayate kamah kamat krodhah abhijayate
Krodhat bhavati sam-mohah sam-mohat smriti vibramah
smriti brimshat buddhi nashah buddhi nashat pranashayti
As man dwells on sense objects, he develops an attachment to them; the attachment turns in to desire to possess them (a fulfilled desire will lead to indulge in it or creates higher desires); an unfulfilled desire creates anger in him;anger leads to delusion which in turn causes loss of memory; loss of memory results in destruction of discrimination; once he looses discrimination, he perishes. (gita 2-62 and 63)
(there is an anti-dote to this, which we will review a little later). -these two verses capture the basic message of the law of karma; being caught in the web of births and deaths is what krishna describes as "he perishes".
It is generally the story of most humans that the pot of sanchita karma keeps growing with each life. As more karma is added to the pot, it necessitates additional births to experience the fruits of action. This is because of man's ignorance that happiness is derived by sense objects, which he goes after every waking moment of his life. The loss of discrimination is what leads man to wrongly identify happiness as coming from sense objects. D.v. Gundappa says in kagga, that what man calls as happiness is a short interval between two long intervals of sorrow or happiness is absence of sorrow.
We said earlier that the prarabdha karma is only a small fraction of the sanchita karma. This fraction is generally understood to be proportional to the forbearing ability of the individual jiva to withstand misery and sorrow. If one's entire sanchita karma were to be translated to prarabdha for one life, the man will collapse under the weight of the misery (suicide!), that he will not fulfill the obligations of the prarabdha, which necessitates another life anyway. So god in his infinite mercy, will spare the human from such extreme encounters. So the jiva moves from life to life to experience his own desires, adding to the store of karma with each appearance, necessitating more births and so on.
What is the strategy for relief from the cycle of births and deaths? What is the exit strategy? Theoretically speaking, the answer seems to be simple enough - (1) do not add more agami karma to the karma in storage and /or neutralize the store of karma (sanchita) once and for all. [ here, an analogy can be made to an imaginary ring highway around a metropolitan area; this highway has no marked exits. A vehicle, with a perpetual source of energy, keeps going round and round with out any definite purpose. Such a vehicle, if it needs to get out, has to make a determined plan for and execute an exit strategy].
The rishis of sanatana dharma have determined such an exit strategy for a man to escape from the cycle of the law of karma. This strategy is a four step preparatory process called "sadhana chatushtaya" a four step spiritual discipline. The four steps are
1. Viveka (discrimination of real from unreal.)
2. Vairagya (detachment or dispassion from sense objects.)
3. Shamadi shat sampatti (a collective group of six behavior traits.)
4. Mumukshtva (intense desire to achieve permanent bliss).
This preparatory process is the subject matter for unit - 3.
The rishis of sanatana dharma have devised an exit strategy for a man to escape from the cycle of the law of karma. This strategy is a four step preparatory process called "sadhana chatushtaya" - a four step spiritual discipline, followed by shravana (study of scriptures), manana (living the scriptures) and nidhi-dhyasana (deep meditation on brahman).
The four step preparatory process is
Viveka (discrimination of real from unreal).
Vairagya (detachment or dispassion from sense objects)
Shamadi shat sampatti ( a collective group of six behavior traits)
Mumukshtva ( intense desire to achieve permanent bliss).
The sadhana chatushtaya is described by bhagavan shankara in viveka chudamani as follows;
Adou nitya-anitya vastu vivekah pariganyate
iha-amutra phalabhoga viragah tadanantaram
shamadi shatka sampittih mumukshatvam iti sphutam - verse 19.
the first discipline is the discrimination between the real and unreal. The next discipline is the detachment or dispassion from the enjoyments of
the world here and after death (heaven). The third discipline is the practice of the six behavior traits - shama, dama, uparati, samadhana, shradda and titiksha; the fourth discipline is the intense desire for escape from this samsara or realization of the divinity in her or him.
The order in which they are stated is also very important as we discuss below.
The first step is to understand what is real (nitya) and what is unreal (anitya). The mind generates several thoughts. The thoughts are debated internally in the mind. Intellect helps the individual to  sort out the thoughts into right (of having value) or wrong (not of any value). Accepting the useful one and rejecting the useless is the discrimination faculty (viveka). Any entity that undergoes change in time and space is unreal or anitya. An entity that remains unaffected in time and space is permanent and is called real or nitya. In the context of jiva, jagat and iswara (brahman - brahman is the vedantic word for iswara or god, not to be confused with the four headed creator brahma), it is our experience that jiva and jagat are affected by space and time; so they are anitya. The shruti declares that iswara is unaffected by time and space (we have to accept the shruti here, since we do not have the ability to determine the nature of iswara at this time) and hence is classified as real. This understanding that brahman is the only real entity and everything else is unreal is viveka. This is the first discipline in the pursuit of realization of divinity.
The second discipline is the detachment or dispassion from the objects around us, as these are unreal. Obviously if the seeker has firmly accepted brahman as the real and everything else is unreal, this leads to the second discipline of vairagya or dispassion towards those
unreal entities. This is possible only if the seeker has developed viveka as discussed above (for example if we have the discrimination that spicy food is not good to our health, we obviously are indifferent towards spicy food and develop detachment from it). Thus viveka leads to vairagya.
That is why viveka is prescribed ahead of vairgya. The dispassion in the enjoyment of karma-phala (fruits of action ) in this life and after death-heaven - is the discipline that follows from discrimination, since these are not lasting; the fruits of finite karma are also finite and return from heaven to take another life is inevitable ( kshine punye marthya lokam vishanti -after the good deeds are exhausted, the individual
returns to life of mortals , gita, 9-21). The seeker having understood the temporary nature of all kinds of happiness derived from unreal entities, has to develop dispassion from such temporary happiness.
The seeker's determination to develop dispassion is challenged continuously by the sense organs' attraction towards sense objects. The third discipline - collection of six traits - is the next step in the preparatory process to fight the challenge of the sense objects. They are
Shama - control of the mind away from sense objects, and focusing on the goal(here brahman).
Dama - the sense organs are directed outwards, toward the sense objects; so they naturally seek out sense objects. Diverting the sense organs and
organs of action away from the sense objects is dama. Dama is complimentary to shama in that, success in dama enhances shama.
Uparati - giving up desire oriented actions or karma; it is our common experience that we seek out activities that are helpful to us and avoid activities that are not helpful or hurtful to us. Desire oriented karma is not helpful to seeking brahman. Therefore a seeker of brahman has to give up desire oriented actions.
Titiksha - is the forbearance. Cultivating the ability to tolerate the dualities of life, like heat and cold pain and pleasure, profit and loss, friend and foe, honor and disgrace etc. These dualities are a part of life. Spiritual discipline becomes impossible by being agitated by these dualities. Bhagavan shankara describes titiksha wonderfully in viveka chudamani as follows; sahanam sarva dukhanam apratikara purvakam chinta vilapa rahitam sa titiksha nigadyate - verse 24. When various kinds of pain afflict a person, ability to forbear that pain without any remedial action and remaining unworried is tiiksha.
Shraddha - the nature of brahman cannot be understood by inference or any physical or mental effort. Brahman has to be understood only through shruti. Shankara describes shraddha as unwavering faith in the statements of shruti and guru ( a true teacher will only quote from authoritative shrutis)
Samadhana - seating the mind firmly in brahman is samadhana. Cuddling the mind with desired objects is not samadhana.
The above six behavioral traits are collectively called "shamadi shat-sampatti" (six attributes). These
Are generally complementary to each other. Gaining strength in one will
enhance the ability of the other traits.
Now where to begin on the practice of these six traits? Shankara, in bhaja govindam, describes in very simple terms, the practice of these six traits in the following verse;
Sat sangatve nissangatvam, nissngatve nirmohatvam
nirmohatve nischala tatvam, nischala tatve jivana muktih

divine company will help cultivate detachment and dispassion, detachment will eliminate delusion of mind. When mind is free from delusion, a clear
and firm understanding will prevail, which takes a person towards freedom from the cycle of samsara.
This is the opposite (and positive) path of the gita verse we reviewed in unit 2;
" dhyayato vishayan pumsah....". In contrast to the description there of how the desires will cause a jiva to perish in the cycle of births and deaths, the divine company suggested here will lead the jiva towards freedom.
Now what is a divine company? Any congregation that praises the glory of god is a divine company like bhajan singing, veda chanting, puja services at home or temple etc. This is where we begin the practice of the six disciplinary traits. A totally dispassionate person will accept outcomes of all actions as god's prasad.  He clearly understands that god facilitates success or failure, as stated in gita 18.-14;
Adhishtanam tatha karta karanam cha prithak vidham
vividhascha prithak cheshta daivam cha eva atra panchamam
In the accomplishment of karma, the five factors determining outcome are (1) the body or seat of action,  (2) the doer, (3) the various sense organs and organs of action, (4), various functions and (5) the presiding deity being the fifth.
When this conviction becomes firm, he is neither elated when success comes his way nor worries if he meets failure (na prahrishyet priyam prapya no dvijet prapya cha apriyam -gita 5-20).
The impact of desire or dispassion on an individual is illustrated in figure 2. The desires takes the individual towards destruction, while the dispassion takes the individual towards liberation.

The infatuation with desire is interestingly described by d.v. Gundappa in
the kagga as follows;
Beku bekadu beku bekidena-ginnodu
bekenuta bobbidutaliha ghatavanidanu
ekendu rachisidano bommani beku japa
sakenipu-dendigelo mankutimma "
---i want that, i want this and i want that other
this body which hangs on to a continuous howl of wants
why ever the creator made it - this incantation (japa) of wants
when is it we would feel that we have enough - thimma?
Such an avalanche of desires will not dry out at our will and an immediate total dispassion may not be possible; the seeker tempers his desires and incrementally practices dispassion; over a course of time, the desires subside and dispassion grows, ultimately eliminating desires and firmly established in dispassion. This incremental growth is illustrated in figure 3; during the early years (or lives), desire and dispassion coexist, each trying to overtake the other. As he progresses in dispassion , desire is eliminated, paving the way for the next step of the discipline, the intense desire for liberation (while desire for sense objects is a road block for liberation, desire for liberation itself is not a deterrent).
The fourth and final discipline is the mumukshtva - intense desire to exit the wheel of samsara  or the cycle of birth and death. This is one desire that a seeker will find useful in pursuit (unlike all other desires of objects around us). One of sri ramakrishna's disciple was pursuing spiritual discipline, but he was unable to make much progress. One day he asked sri ramakrishna why he has been failing. Sri ramakrishna asked him to follow him and led him in to the middle of the ganges river. Right there with the water up to their chest level, sri ramakrishna placed his both hands on the head of the disciple and pressed him into water totally immersing him. He held him there for a few seconds or so and released him. As the disciple came above water, the teacher asked the student - what was one intense thought in your mind during the time i had you in water, for which the student replied; i was intensely praying that you release your hand away from my head, so that i can breathe. Sri ramakrishna, then replied- "your desire for moksha should be so intense for you to make progress".
These four disciplines are the pre-requisites, called "adhikara" for understanding and experiencing the nature of brahman. These disciplines constantly practiced will prepare the seeker for spiritual realization. The disciplinary steps will cleanse the mind of all sense objects and prepare
the mind for the steps of sadhana - shravana, manana and nidhdhyasana.
every human is born with certain debts to be fulfilled during the course of his/her life. These debts are deva runa (divine debt), rishi runa (debt to sages), pitr runa (parental debt), acharya runa (debt to teachers) and bhuta runa (societal debt).
It is possible that these debts are a sub set of prarabdha karma; therefore some or all of them may be obligatory for a person to fulfill. These debts are fulfilled by the following karma.
Nitya karma
Naimittika karma
Nishiddha karma
Prayaschitta karma
Kamya karma
Upasana.
(in the vedantic context, karma is used both as an act or the fruit of an act. In unit 2 we studied the fruit of an act, like prarabda karma etc. What we study here is the act itself, which are listed above).
The nitya karma is the obligatory duties required of a person; for example, the sandhyavandana is expected of brahmin, kshatriya and vaishya men following initiation. Learning and teaching vedic chantings (svadhyaya) may also come under this category - "svadhyaya pravachanabhyam na pramaditayam - don't stray from learning and chanting vedas"
The most important benefit of nitya, naimittika and prayaschitta karmas is the cleansing of the mind. The upasana will help focus the cleansed mind on the object of meditation. It is also our experience that when we are agitated, we cannot focus on any activity. Sri sureshvaracharya has very beautifully described the progression from karma level to realization level in naiskarmya siddhi as follows;
" nitya karmanushtanat dharmotpattih, dharmotpatteh papa hanih, tatah chitta shuddhih,
Tatah samsarayathatmya avabodhah, tatah vairagyam, tatah mumukshatvam, tatah
tadupayapryeshanam,
Tatah sarva karma-tat-sadhana samnyasah, tatah yogabhyasah, tatah
chittasyapratyak-pravanata,
Tatah tatva samasyadi vakyartha parijnyanam, tatah avidyo-cchedah, tatascha
svatmani eva avasthanam "
- the discipline of nitya karma will create dharma, dharma destroys sins (fruits of bad deeds), this helps understand the helplessness of samsara, this creates vairagya or dispassion to samsara, vairagya leads to intense desire for liberation, leading to ways for achieving it. Then follows renunciation of karma followed by the discipline of yoga, then the internalization of the shrutis, leading to comprehension of statements like "tat tvam asi" - you are that. The seeker thus sheds ignorance and stays firmly seated in atman.
The value of the nitya karma lies in that it is said to reduce the impact of prarabdha karma. If the nitya karma is not performed, the undesirable fruits will exert with full force. That full effect of prarabdha is called pratyavaya.
Naimittika karma is the required rituals to be performed on special events, like birth of a child, death of a parent, the annual observance of parents' shraddha etc.
The nishiddha karma is the prohibited karma which includes homicide, being untruthful, promiscuity and alcohol consumption etc. While the former two are legally and socially prohibited also, the latter two are socially and legally condoned, if not acceptable. However, they are detrimental to spiritual progress and are listed under nishiddha karma.
Prayaschitta karma is the rituals performed to reduce the severity of or eliminate the effects of bad or prohibited deeds. Praya is austerity and chitta is firm resolution; a firm resolution to take up austerity and following thru with it is prayaschitta. As an example from our daily life, if one gets a ticket for traffic violation, he or she can decide to go under court supervision (attend a defensive driving class and pay up a small fee), the traffic violation will not be entered into records. This is an example of prayaschitta karma.
Kamya karma is the performance of rituals in anticipation ofr specific fruits of action, like to have a progeny - dasharatha's "putrakameshti yaga" or yajnya performed for rains - varsheshti etc. Doing satyanarayana puja desiring specific results is also of this category. Rituals performed to attain heaven after death is also kamya karma.
Upasana is a mind level activity - meditation or japa - focusing on a deity like sun, linga (a proxy for shiva), shalagrama (a proxy fro vishnu), srichakra (a proxy fro shakti). Upasana is performed to cleanse the mind, to allow for advancement in the quest for realization. This upasana is called saguna ( brahman visualized with a name and form) upasana. Advaita posits that brahman is nirguna (that is with out name and form). So, how does saguna upasana supposed to help in the realization of nirguna brahman? This is to be understood as a temporary concession to help seekers in the disciplinary activities to cleanse the mind. Cleansing the mind is equivalent to wash out the sense objects and interaction with them from the mind and replacing those thoughts with brahman. Saguna brahman upasana may therefore be considered as an initial stage of discipline to aid the seeker in help focus his upasana. Over time, the saguna upasana will lead to nirguna upasana.
The most important benefit of nitya, naimittika and prayaschitta karmas is the cleansing of the mind. The upasana will help focus the cleansed mind on the object of meditation. It is also our experience that when we are agitated, we cannot focus on any activity. Sri sureshvaracharya has very beautifully described the progression from karma level to realization level in naiskarmya siddhi as follows;
" nitya karmanushtanat dharmotpattih, dharmotpatteh papa hanih, tatah chitta shuddhih, tatah samsarayathatmya avabodhah, tatah vairagyam, tatah mumukshatvam, tatah tadupayapryeshanam, tatah sarva karma-tat-sadhana samnyasah, tatah yogabhyasah, tatah chittasyapratyak-pravanata, tatah tatva samasyadi vakyartha parijnyanam, tatah avidyo-cchedah, tatascha svatmani eva avasthanam "
- the discipline of nitya karma will create dharma, dharma destroys sins (fruits of bad deeds), this helps understand the helplessness of samsara, this creates vairagya or dispassion to samsara, vairagya leads to intense desire for liberation, leading to ways for achieving it. Then follows renunciation of karma followed by the discipline of yoga, then the internalization of the shrutis, leading to comprehension of statements like "tat tvam asi" - you are that. The seeker thus sheds ignorance and stays firmly seated in atman.
The necessity of a guru (teacher).
The shrutis declare that self realization is possible only through the support of a guru. It is our experience that even secular knowledge requires the help of a teacher or someone of a higher knowledge to guide us in achieving the educational objective. It is common experience that a the first step of a doctoral student is to choose an advisory committee headed by an advisor. So what to speak of brahma vidya? The seeker during or following his preparatory stage, should approach a guru. The role of guru in spiritual quest is described very well in the following
verse
" dhynamulam guroh-murthih pujamulam guroh padam
mantramulam guroh vakyam moksha mulam guroh kripa "
- meditate on the form of guru, worship the feet of guru; the guru's statements are the (vedic) mantras and his grace is the source of realization.
In approaching a guru, the seeker follows a protocol, documented comprehensively in the shrutis;
The verse (4-34) in gita sums it up; " tat viddhi pranipatena pariprashnena sevaya.."
- know that in seeking a guru, offer him salutations, offer him service and learn by questioning him; the questioning is not to challenge the guru, but to understand through clarification. In gita itself, arjuna asks questions here and there when he had difficulty in understanding or doubts came up.
The seva or service develops humility in the seeker. Learning and progress are possible only with a humble attitude. The seeker is also required to take samit - the firewood for sacrificial fire - in approaching the guru. It is said that when ever we go to see a guru or king or god, we should take something as an offer. When we go to temples, we offer some donation in the collection box; sudhama took poha - beaten rice, when he went to see sri krishna.
The scriptures say that, if the seeker comes to an understanding that the guru is unable to help him in the realization of atman, he should at once reject that guru and seek the help of a competent guru.
Success in the realization of brahman.
As we may have understood by now, the path to realization of brahman is a long and arduous path. Even with practice of the pre-requisites earnestly, and performing the obligatory duties, the difficulty of realizing brahman is captured in the following statement of krishna in gita;
"manushyanaam sahasreshu kaschit yatathi siddhaye
yatataamapi siddhaanaam kaschin maam vetthi tatvataha" (ch.7-3)
- among thousand of men/women, one will try to reach me; among those, one in thousands will attain me
(to put it in context, there are about six billion people in the world. If we assume that one in a 100,000 people try to seek him, which makes about 60,000 persons earnestly seek him. If one in 100,000 of earnest seekers reach him, then it takes a few generations before one will realize brahman). Generally recognized realized persons in recent times are bhagavan ramana maharshi (20th centuary) and sri ramakrishna (19th centuary)
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
Pramana
The knowledge of any object is called prama - ma is to measure and pra means very well. That is, a knowledge established by a thorough analysis and
review is prama. The knower is pramatru.
The object of prama is prameya
The source of prama is pramana.
As an example, looking at an ornament, the seer of the ornament is the pramatru, the eyes seeing it is pramana and the ornament is prameya; the firm knowledge that the object is an ornament is prama. Pramatru, prameya and pramana form a triad called triputi. In advaita, the three merge into one on realization - there is no bheda or difference between the three at the supreme level. Similarly, jnyana (knowledge), jnyatru(knower) and jnyeya (known) form a triputi and a realized person will not see any bheda among them.
The firm knowledge of different objects or issues are established differently and they are all recognized as pramanas. They are
Pratyaksha - direct knowledge
Anumana - inference by association
Upamana - comparison
Arthapatti - inference by removing inconsistency
Agama - scriptures.
We will discuss these in some details to understand the contexts they are used or applicable.
Pratyaksha pramana - all objects around us fall into one of the following five categories - sound, touch, form, taste and smell. The living beings
understand these five through their five organs of knowledge respectively as follows - ear, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose. A firm knowledge is established when the respective sense organ interacts with the object. The source of that firm knowledge, the mind in this case, is the pratyaksha pramana. Pratyaksha pramana is possible only when the sense organ, the mind and the context of the interaction are all in perfect
condition. A knowledge established by pratyaksha pramana under these conditions is called samyajnyana (samyak+jnyana); otherwise, even pratyaksha
may lead to mithya jnyana (mis-understanding) or uncertain knowledge (samshaya jnyana).
Anumana pramana - it is in our experience to know an object or issue by other than interaction with the sense objects. For example, if we see smoke, it is possible to infer that there must be fire; this is because, it has been our experience that, smoke is associated with fire. Thus, the ability
to know an object by its relationship with another object is anumana pramana. However, anumana has to be confirmed by pratyaksha pramana, because if we follow the smoke and visit the place of smoke, we may notice there is no fire, but the smoke coming from a tobacco product, in which case, the
anumana pramana, that it is fire, is negated. Pratyaksha pramana is therefore called the nirankusha pramana (independent pramana), for it cannot
be negated by any other pramana; on the other hand the anumana pramana can be negated by pratyaksha pramana.
Upamana pramana - the knowledge obtained by comparing an unknown object with that of a known object is called upamana pramana. For example a person knows a dog. However, he does not know a wolf. A friend tells him that a wolf looks like a dog. So, if the person spots a wolf in a forest or countryside, he identifies it as a wolf by comparing it to the knowledge of the dog he has. Upa is near or close (known
in this context) and mana is to understand; thus upamana is knowledge by comparing to a known object. Upamana has limitations and cannot be all encompassing.
Arthapatti pramana - arthapatti is an inference from circumstances, when the presented knowledge is inconsistent with the facts. For example, a child's parents claim the child is very intelligent; however, the child fails in every grade and progresses very slowly. So one has to understand that the child is not intelligent or is dull. Such a knowledge arrived at by removing the inconsistency between the presented knowledge and facts, is called arthapatti pramana. The legal system uses this extensively, when the statements of a witness are inconsistent with the findings, say by investigators.
Agama pramana - this is also called shruti pramana. When it comes to issues beyond the reach of human mind or intellect, shruti pramana is the only
means to acquire the knowledge of that issue or object. Shruti has been accepted as the final source, since it is apourusheya - not created by any human/humans. They are the statements of brahman, presented along with creation. The following five rationales have been offered to establish the apourusheya of agamas.
There is no authorship for vedas - if there was an author, the human ego would have revealed it.
It is so comprehensive that a single human could never have composed them.
There are no contradictions in the shrutis - so this rules out possibility of multiple human authors; if there were multiple authors, contradictions would be the norm.
Its spelling, punctuations and intonations have been retained over time; a human composition could not have survived in original form over time.
There are many facts in vedas that humans have come to recognize and understand only in recent times; if humans had composed vedas, they would
have known about these facts.
These rationales establish that the shrutis are not human creations. How did the shrutis come about?
Sri krishna gives a clue to this in gita 10-6.
"maharshayah sapta purve chatvaro manvah tatha
madbhava manasa jatah yesham loka imah prajah "
- the seven great rishis and four manus were born of my nature from my mind; and from them have come forth all these beings in the world.
The seven rishis and four manus are the most evolved souls of the previous kalpa or creation. These are the mantradrishta, to whom the vedas were
revealed in their meditation (they were not the creators). The veda has come to be handed down by them and maintained through generations.
Therefore issues related to dharma / adharma, nature of brahman and nature of jiva has to be understood from the agama only; such understanding is
agama pramana.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
The three gunas
What is guna?
During the course of hundreds of lives, the actions of the jiva will accumulate certain tendencies or impulses that make the jiva in the current life to react in a friendly or unfriendly attitude towards any object or entity (including living beings). Such a power or characteristic of the jiva expressing as a propensity in the prakriti (nature) is described as guna. Guna is therefore, the inborn impulse or propensity of a jiva that guides its behavior. This inborn propensity is an expression of the past samskaras (samskara is the training/experience in life management) of the jiva. Therefore the propensity fulfilled in this life, forms the seed for the guna in the next life. The guna is dynamic and not static. The discrimination that an individual exhibits may arrest the negative propensities and promote positive propensities. Even during a life time, guna can be managed through knowledge of the shastras and following the instructions there in.
Gita says
"satvam rajah-tama iti gunah prakriti sambhavah
nibhadnanti mahabaho dehe dehinam avyayam" - (14.5)
Three gunas - satva, rajas and tamas- born in prakriti, bind the jiva to the body (we will see the mechanics of binding shortly). The three gunas are described in gita (14-6,Cool.
Satva is of the nature of pure, divine, shining (or clear) and knowledge. Pure indicates absence of defects or blemishes. Contemplation, analytical and logical are the expressions of satva. This expression towards brahman is divinity. The consequence of such expressions is knowledge or jnyana (however, the jiva is yet to experience the brahman). The knowledge (worldly or spiritual) creates a sense of happiness in jiva. The jiva exults in such happiness and knowledge. Such identification with happiness arrests spiritual progress in the realization of brahman. The jiva comes back in another body to continue the spiritual quest - the jiva binding to the body due to satva.
Rajas is of the nature of action driven by passion and attachment. The rajas expresses as activity to fulfill the desires created by passion and
attachment. The actions lead to fruits of action, which need to be experienced. If all fruits are not experienced in the current life, jiva comes back in another body to experience the remaining fruits - jiva binding to the body due to rajas.
Tamas is of the nature of delusion, ignorance, negligence, carelessness and lethargy. The tamas expresses as inefficiency, excessive sleep, neglect of duty, shirking of work and idleness. Gita (14-Cool says tamas expresses as pramada - wasteful engagement in activities prohibited by shastra and ignorance of the consequences of undesirable fruits of such engagement. Tamas also binds the jiva to body, either because the jiva has not experienced the fruits of the current life (prarabda) or to experience the fruits of wasteful engagement.
Inert objects like rock etc. Are predominantly tamas with traces of rajas. Plants though are also mostly tamas, exhibit higher levels of rajas compared to inert objects. Animals exhibit a mixture of tamas and rajas. Only humans are endowed with satva guna. All humans exhibit a combination of satva, rajas and tamas in varying proportions from person to person; the proportions will also vary in an individual from time to time, based on the discrimination exercised in behavior over time.
An infant sleeps for most of the day, indicating predominantly tamas during the infancy. As the baby grows, it starts to show rajas in increasing proportions. As the child grows, rajas and satva increase per previous samskaras and activities of current life.
The three gunas cannot exist in pure form in any entity. Life is not possible in the pure form of satva, rajas or tamas ( like gold cannot be shaped in pure form; add impurities like copper to give it a form). Every individual has a certain mixture of satva, rajas and tamas in different proportions and this proportion varies from time to time (may be above and below a mean). When tamas predominates, the individual sleeps, when rajas dominates, he works and when satva predominates, the individual is calm and happy.
The three gunas do not exist in equal proportions either - satva dominates to overpower rajas and tamas; rajas dominates to overpower satva and tamas; and tamas dominates to overpower satva and rajas (gita 14-10). As an example, if a thought occurs in us to do a work, which may not be legal or ethical or in accordance with dharma, we may set out to do the work, in accordance with rajas. But there comes a doubt, whether it is the right thing to do (satva domination?); we ponder over it for some time, then unable to decide, we may put away the thought for a while; procrastination sets in (tamas predominates). The thought may come back again, when we may rationalize to do the work (rajas dominates). Finally we may or may not do the work, depending on which of the gunas has a dominant sway on us. Whatever action we undertake and how we undertake, the action will add to the data points that will influence our future propensity. In this way, an individual accumulates thousands (may be even hundreds of thousands) of data points in each life. These current data points along with the infinite data points of past lives make a composite of the guna for the next life. If we assume a guna continuum from zero (0) to 100, the approximate breakdown may be described as follows (an arbitrary division to illustrate the guna continuity);
Below 30 - predominantly tamas
30-50 - predominat tamas and rajas, with traces of satva
50-70 - predominantly rajas and sattva, with minor of tamas
Above 70 - increasing satva with lesser rajas and traces of tamas
The goal in each life should be to raise the guna composite towards satva to make progress in the spiritual journey. Predominantly endowed with satva at the time of death, the jiva goes to higher worlds (heaven - comes back to the human birth after experience of the heaven), while predominantly rajas, the jiva comes back to be born as a human; predominantly tamas takes the jiva to animal and plant births (again coming back to human birth after the animal/plant life). Satva, rajas and tamas are all binding as discussed above. Therefore, in the quest for realization of the self, the jiva must go beyond the gunas - gunatita (as described in gita, 14-22,26). Gunatita is the term that describes the state in which the jiva is not under the influence of satva, rajas and tamas.
We will begin with the study of jagat in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
Study of jagat
One of isaac newton's assistants was an atheist. One day, when he walked into the lab, he noticed a working model of the solar system. He asked newton, who made it. Newton replied; "it happened by itself". The assistant asked again; "really, who made it issac? It can't happen by itself". Newton replied; "if the solar system can happen by itself, why can't a model of it happen by itself?
The above conversation presents a nice drop back for the study of jagat and its creation. We will try to understand through some examples from our daily life.
One day a man was passing by through a village. He noticed a huge mass of wet clay in front of a house. When, he returned through the same path in the evening, the clay was not to be seen. There were a bunch of pots, plates, etc set for drying. He asked a boy there, what happened to the clay? Where did all these pots and plates come from? The boy said, they were made from the clay. The man asked who made it. The boy pointed to a middle aged person and said he made it. Next day, when the man passed through the same path again, he noticed that most of the pots and plates were dried and set aside, but a few pots and plates were broken and were tossed into a corner. We understand a few facts about this situation. A material cause and an intelligent cause is required in the creation of any object. In this case, clay is the material cause of the pots and plates. The pot maker is the intelligent cause of the pots and plates. The pots and plates are the effect or product. The same clay is present in the pots or plates. The clay retains its attribute as clay in the product, be it pot, plates or the broken pieces of the pots or plates.
This quality or characteristic of an object, which retains its unchanging attribute even as it appears differently, is called the svarupa of the object. Similarly gold retains its attribute as it is made in to bangles, chain or ear ring etc, allowing us to understand the svarupa of gold.
Now let us take another example. A spider builds a web around itself. What does it build the web from? It uses its own saliva to build the web. So, in this case, the spider is the material cause as well as the intelligent cause of the web.
In the advaita philosophy, the material cause is called the upadana karana and the intelligent cause (this is also referred to as efficient cause) is called the nimitta karana. The effect (product) is called karya (effect). Both the upadana karana and the nimitta karana are required in the creation of a karya or effect. The upadana karana, like clay, is generally insentient, but the nimitta karana is always sentient, like the pot maker or the goldsmith. The nimitta karana is the chetas or chetana (consciousness) in the pot maker or the goldsmith. Therefore it can be concluded that only a sentient entity can be a nimitta karana for any karya. So it is very clear that the intelligent cause for the creation of jagat is in the chetana or pure consciousness.
Now let us look at the jagat. What is jagat?
Before we attempt to determine the material and intellectual cause of the jagat, let us try to understand what jagat is. Krishna describes two aspects of jagat in gita - the apara prakriti (inferior or lower aspect) and para prakriti (higher aspect).
The verses are 7-4 and 7-5;
" bhumirapo analo vayuh kham mano buddhih eva cha
ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakritih ashtadha "
- earth, water, fire, air, ether(space), mind, intellect and ego - this eightfold unit is one aspect of my nature-(7-4)
" apareyam itah tu anyam prakritim viddhi me param
jivabhutam mahabaho yayedam dharyate jagat "
- oh arjuna! This (described in the previous verse) is my lower or inferior nature. Know my other nature, the higher (para prakriti) is the life element by which the universe is supported-(7-5).
So everything we see (and don't see) around us, including us, is jagat.
The mind is also classified under insentient, because it is made of the five insentient elements - earth, water, fire, air ether. The elements are insentient, so the modifications of them are also insentient. It is interesting to note from the spiritual point that since mind is insentient, it can be controlled like any other insentient object and it can never have power over the sentient. Knowing the difference between jada (insentient), and the chit (sentient), we can clearly understand that that the mind can be trained to what we want it to be.
In the next unit, we will look at the karana for jagat.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
The last unit, we studied the concepts of material and intelligent causes; in this unit, we will review the causes of jagat.
Brahman is the nimitta karana for jagat.
Bhagavan shankara comments in the sutra bhashya (1.1.10) -
" samanam eva hi sarveshu vedanteshu chetana karanavagatih "
- all upanishats declare with a single voice that chaitanya (brahman or pure consciousness) is the karana for the creation of the jagat.
Let us review some of these statements from the upanishats.
Mundaka upanishat - 1.1.8 and 9
" tapasa chiyate brahma tato annam abhijayate
annat prano manah satyam lokah karmasu cha amritam "
- brahman expands by tapas, which creates food, consumption of which causes prana and creation of mind; then follows the five great elements (satyam); the seven lokas (universe). The living beings, karma and the fruits of karma follow in succession.
" yah sarvajnyah sarva vidyasya jnyanamayam tapah
tasmat etad brahma namarupam, annam cha jayate "
- one who is omniscient and of the nature of knowledge, by him, this brahma, names, forms and food chain is created.
Aitareya upanishat - 1.1.1
" om atma va idameka evagra asit nanyat kinchana mishat | sa ikshata lokannu srija iti "
- om - this was only atma in the beginning (without any name and form); there was nothing else; it contemplated to create the jagat (an entity consisting of names and forms).
(contd)
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Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1 Empty Re: Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1

Post by arutsakthi Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:46 pm

Taittiriya upanishat - 2-6
"so-kamayata | bahu syam prajayeyeti | sa tapo atpyata "
- he desired to become many; to be born. (i will show myself in many forms, i will be born in many forms); so he did tapas.
The above statements of shruti declare that this chetana is the nimitta karana for the jagat. This chetana must be there prior (between the kalpas) to the creation. Therefore brahman is the nimitta karana of this jagat. Here a question may arise as to why brahman even wanted to create the jagat of names and forms associated with all pains and sorrows. We will study later that the jagat is created for the benefit of jivas-for them to enjoy the fruits of their karma.
Brahman is the upadana karana of jagat
We concluded above that brahman is the nimitta karana of this jagat. But this does not help us understand the svarupa of jagat. We saw in the examples in the last unit that we will understand the svarupa of pot or ornament, only when we know the clay or gold; that is when we know the upadana karana of the pot or ornament. Likewise we will understand the svarupa of jagat only when we understand the upadana karana of jagat- that is when we understand the material out of which the jagat is made. Once again we turn to shruti for an understanding of the upadana karana.
" shounako ha vai mahashalo angirasam vidhivadupasannah papriccha kasminnu bhagavo vijnyate sarvamidam vijnyatam bhavatiti "
- shounaka, in a tone of humility, asks angiras; oh! Bhagavan, knowing which, all this (jagat) is understood? - mundaka upanishat (1-1-3)
Angiras replies;
"yathornanabhih srijate grihnate cha yatha prithivyam oshadhayah sambhavanti yatha satah purushat keshalomani tatha aksharat sambhavtiha viswam "
- just as the spider creates and retracts the web, just as the trees and plants grow in the world, just as man grows small and large hair, so does all this comes out of akshara - that which does not die - a synonym for brahman. - mundaka upanishat 1-1-7.
In chandogya upanishat (6-1-3), aruni asks his son shvetaketu (this conversation is reported to have taken place when the son had returned from gurukula; the father asks him what he learnt there. The son discussed all the transactional knowledge he had learnt, which was all he had learnt);
"tam adesham aprakshyo yena shrutagam shrutam bhavatyamatam matam avijnyatam vijnyata-miti katam nu bhagavah sa adesho bhavatiti"
- that which is understood, which was not understood before, that which was not discussed becomes discussed, that which was unknown becomes known, do you know "that" ?
Aruni continues to answer the question himself (6-1-4);
" yatha somyaikena mritpindena sarvam mrinmayam vijnyatam syad-vacharambhanam vikaro namadheyam mrittiketyeva satyam, "
- oh! Somya, just as by knowing a lump of clay, all products made out of clay are known; the various products are name sake only (vacharambhana) and the clay is the real thing,
" sadeva somyedamagra asidekamevadvitiyam "
- this (jagat) was earlier the 'one and the real' brahman (6.2.1).
In the above illustrations, the objective is to describe brahman; but what is described is jagat. This can only be possible if the brahman is the upadana karana (material cause) of jagat. Because by knowing the material cause (gold) all its effects (ornaments) are known.
So brahman is the abhinna-nimitta-upadana karana (undifferentiated or one and only material and intelligent cause) of this jagat.
The relation between karya (effect) and karana (cause).
If gold(cause) can be removed from the ornament(effect), there is no cause (gold) any more. However, if the ornament (effect) is melted away, the gold(cause) is unaffected. Therefore it can be concluded that the karya (effect) is not different from karana (cause), but karana is different from karya. Similarly, jagat is not different from brahman, but brahman is different from jagat - statement 1.
We will review the views of other philosophies regarding the existence of jagat and its karana and vedanta's interpretation of those views. Most of these interpretations are offered by no other than bhagavan shankara in his commentaries on brahmasuta. Shankara's commentaries have been summarized in some of the vedanta texts; the following is a brief version of those summaries.
The buddhist view.
There are two groups in buddhism - shunyavada and vijnyanavada. We will not discuss the shunyavada here. The vijnyanavada argues that there is no jagat outside of our experiences, just like we experience an outside world in dream though there is no world outside of the dream. They therefore argue that there is no need to find a karana for this jagat. There is an inconsistency in the buddhist statement itself. The affirmation of an appearance of an outside world in the dream amounts to accepting an outside world in the waking state (the logic here seems to be that, if there is no outside world in the waking state, where is the need to even talk about it in the dream context? So by talking about it in the dream state, they are implicitly accepting the existence of an outside jagat). In addition, the existence of an outside world is accepted by everyone, since they transact business with the outside world. For example, humans and animals alike search for food outside in order to quench the hunger inside. No one goes after food, where it does not exist. Denying the existence in the waking state by comparing to a dream state is inconsistent logic. After all, the dream is a reflection of experiences in the waking state.
Following the dream, in the waking state, the difference (between dream and waking) is obvious - for example, seeing a friend or relative in the dream does not negate the existence of that friend or relative in the waking state, though that friend or relative does not exist outside of the dream during the dream. Vedanta, therefore rejects the buddhist view that the jagat does not exist.
The mimamsa view.
A mimamsaka is a follower of veda. He believes only in the karma kanda - sections of veda dealing with karma only - and do not believe in jnyana kanda. A mimamsaka argues that the jagat is not created; it has existed (in steady state) like this for ever from beginning-less time and so there is no need to go after a karana for the creation of jagat. Since they are believers in veda, shruti pramana is invoked to counter the inconsistency in their logic and reject their view. For example, the shruti clearly says there is an unseen karana for the jagat in the following shruti statements;
"sadeva somya idam agra asit ekam eva advitiyam"
- in the beginning, this (jagat) was the non-dual reality (chandogya upanishat,6.2.1)
" atma va idam eka eva agra asit "
- in the beginning, this (jagat) was only atman - ( itareya upanishat, 1.1.1).
Other shruti statements even describe that this jagat is subject to creation, sustenance and dissolution, as describe below.
" anena jivenatma nanu pravishya nama rupe vyakaravani"
- i enter as this jiva form of atma and classify the names and forms (of this jagat) (chandogya 6-3-2). Here, in saying "this jiva", the jiva must be existent even before the name and form. If jiva exists, then a jagat must exist to support jiva.
" yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani jivanti yat prayant-yabhi-sam-vishanti "
- these living entities (bhuta), by which they are born, by which they are sustained and into which they merge, describe brahman (taittiriya 3.1.3).
"surya-chandra-masou dhata yatha-purvamakalpayat divam cha prithivim cha-antariksham-atho suvah "
- ishwara created the sun and the moon, dyuloka, earth, space and heaven as usual (rigveda samhita 10-190-3). Here "as usual" points to the cycle of creation and dissolution.
These shruti statements negate the mimamsa view; the jagat has an intelligent and material karana for its existence.
We will continue with the remaining views in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In the last unit, we determined that brahman is the material and intelligent causes of jagat.
We also reviewed a couple of other views of the causes of jagat. We will continue with the review of what other philosophies say about the causes of jagat.
The vaisheshika view.
A vaisheshika is an ancient scientist. He posits that the gross universe we see is made of four elements - gross earth characterized by smell, taste, form and touch; subtle water characterized by taste, form and touch; subtle fire characterized by subtle form and touch; and subtle air characterized by touch only. During the time of dissolution, they divide and disintegrate continuously until they are like atoms, beyond which no further division is possible. At the time of the next creation, these atoms integrate to become the four elements described above. So the vaisheshikas say that these atoms are the karana for the jagat; by which they also mean that the atoms are the svarupa of the jagat. Vedanta addresses these statements as follows;
(i) the atoms being inert, cannot integrate without the support of intelligence during the time of creation. The vaisheshika believes in an atma who is the doer and enjoyer and is the nimitta karana for the integration of the atoms. However, the advaitin claims that this atma needs tools and medium of a body to do so. However, this body has to come out of the integration of the atoms. So there cannot be a medium of a body before creation. Therefore the effort required for the integration cannot be provided by this atma.
(ii) if one concedes that somehow the atma has obtained a body, the dissolution has to be initiated by this atma, who is also the enjoyer according to the vaisheshikas. The jagat is created for his enjoyment only. Then why would he dissolve this universe, forsaking the enjoyment?
(iii) the union of atoms - two kinds of union is possible (a) complete integration and (b) partial / localized union - complete union of two atoms results in the fusion of two atoms and remain the size of an atom. So how can they come together and keep increasing the size to become the gross jagat? Partial/ localized union posits that the atoms have parts, which is contrary to the vaisheshika theory.
(iv) the characteristics of the atoms - touch etc. And the reality (nitya) of them contradict each other. Our experience suggests that all objects
exhibiting touch etc. Are effect (karya) and not cause (karana). For example, the cloth is the karya of fiber; the fiber is the karya of cotton etc. The fiber is more real than the cloth (if the cloth is destroyed, fiber still remains); cotton is more real than the fiber (if fiber is destroyed, cotton still remains). Likewise the atoms exhibiting the characteristic of touch can only be a karya and cannot be a karana. Being a karya, they cannot be real.
A point to be noted here is that shankara has not rejected atoms. What he has discarded is the theory that the atoms are the karana of the jagat and the characteristics of atoms as described by vaisheshikas.
The naiyayika view.
The followers of the science of logic are naiyayikas. They believe in a god defined by logic and not in the vedic view of god. They define three entities - purusha (jiva), iswara (god) and prakriti (nature). According to them all the three are mutually independent and infinite. In addition, the prakriti is inert and iswara is omniscient. The naiyyayikas posit that the prakriti is the material cause (upadana karana) and iswara is the intelligent cause (nimitta karana). The purusha is the enjoyer. Though they invoke vedas in arguments, they will not accept veda as an independent pramana. Vedanta explains the following inconsistencies in the naiyaayika view;
( i ) prakriti being inert, cannot by itself be the material cause of the jagat. This can only be possible if iswara is tasked for the creation of the jagat; if so, iswara's role violates the independency of prakriti.
( ii) iswara is omniscient, prakriti, purusha and iswara are independent.this violates the omnisciency of iswara, since he has no control over the form of prakriti and purusha. However, even if it is conceded that iswara has control over prakriti and purusha, (a) then the infiniteness of prakriti and purusha is violated, and (b) if the infiniteness of purusha is violated(ie. The number of purushas), then a finite number of purushas, when they all get liberated from the cycle of birth and death, where is the need for creation of jagat? Then iswara looses his role of creation! This violates that iswara is omniscient. Therefore the naiyayika view is contradictory (sutra 2.2.39-41). In here, the logic of naiyayika is used to show the inconsistency of his view. This is called ushtra laguda nyaya (logic of camel and the club) - using the firewood load on the camel as a club to control the straying of the camel.
The sankhya view.
The sankhyas also use logic as their basis; that is, they use anumana pramana, though they invoke veda in arguing with vedantins. There is no ishwara in this view. They posit that there are two entities - jada (inert) and chetana (consciousness). They claim they don't see jada being the cause of chetana or chetana being the cause of jada. They therefore conclude that the material cause of jagat should be jada. The jagat appears to be a composite of satva, rajas and tamas ( we will take up the review of gunas later in the study. At this point, we can understand that satva is divine quality, rajas is characterized by activity and tamas is laziness or lethargic). Therefore the material cause of jagat should also be composite of satva, rajas and tamas. They call this composite of gunas (trigunatmika or triad) as pradhana or prakriti. The other is the consciousness or purusha, (a proxy for jiva). They posit that in each living being, there is a separate purusha. This purusha is only a witness, non-engaging, remains detached and does not have any attributes. The pradhana, by itself automatically transforms to jagat for the enjoyment of purusha. The three gunas of pradhana, when they are out of balance, creation happens; when they are in balance, it is dissolution. There are three objections to this theory;
(i) how does pradhana, being jada, transform by itself to jagat? They respond that it is like water flowing by itself? Water can flow on a downward slope, which must have been created by an intelligent force. Or need external agency like a pump to make it flow. So the flow of water is the result of intelligence behind it!
(ii) the purusha, being inactive, cannot be the cause behind the transformation of pradhana to jagat, like the potter transforming the clay to a pot.
(iii) pradhana, being jada, obviously has no benefit in transforming itself to jagat. Even if so, the purusha also has no benefit, since he is unattached and has no enjoyment; since he is unattached, even the benefit of self realization over time is absurd (the purusha, being detached, no desire to live or even attain self realization, what is the purpose of his existence?).
These arguments make the sankhya view flawed and unsustainable.
Contemporary scientific view.
The contemporary scientific view, like the sankhya view, believes that the cause of this jagat is jada. They cite the example that the atoms in a gas are continually in a state of motion and are responsible for the enjoyment of purusha! Or the atoms explode by themselves. If this were true, then the atoms must always be moving in a uniform path or speed. However, it has been a scientific observation that the temperature changes cause the atoms to move faster or slower. In fact it is thus controlling the movement of the atoms that the purusha uses it for his enjoyment. So the movement is controlled by heat and heat is controlled by an external agency or chetana; so chetana should be the cause of the movement of atoms.
Again, the movement of the atoms cannot be stopped at all, even by controlling temperature, for at some low temperature, the movement of atoms attains a certain state, beyond which any further decrease of temperature does not change the movement of atoms. The scientist counters then, that this is its natural behavior (jada undergoing no change even with application of heat - external force or chetana). The vedantin argues that the chetana of the scientist is overpowered by a higher chetana in subduing further change in movement. Similar logic applies to the explosion of atoms also.
The scientist is contradicting himself when he says that an inert body needs an external force to change its state of rest or of uniform motion and at the same time saying that the inert atoms move by its own.
In summarizing these views, the following observations can be made. As much as the jagat is visible, the cause of the jagat is invisible. Therefore none of the visible pramanas can be applied to determine the cause of the jagat. Inference and arthapatti (inference by removing inconsistency) are also helpless, since there are no telltale signs for the jagat; since jagat being unique, even a simile fails to describe jagat. Therefore its cause has to be determined by shruti statements only, as has been proposed by advaita vedanta, that we studied earlier.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
So far we have understood that brahman is the material and intelligent causes of jagat.
We reviewed causes of jagat as posited by other philosophies and countered them. In this unit, we will revisit the advaita view of cause of jagat to firmly establish the validity of the advaita view.
Further review of brahman as the karana for jagat.
We established earlier that brahman is the material and intelligent cause of the jagat. We also countered all other views on the cause of jagat, systematically rejecting either the logic or the inconsistency in the hypothesis. We will now firm up the advaita view that brahman is the material and intelligent cause of jagat by posing some objections that one may raise and defending the view against those objections. Shankara, in his brahmasutra bhashya, has adopted the sthuna nikhanana nyaya -firm anchor logic (firming up an anchor by repeatedly shaking it, driving it down further until the anchor is firm and does not shake any more). Here bhagavan shankara has himself advanced the kind of objections any one could raise and has provided firm rejoinders to those potential objections, to establish that the shruti pramana is the only reliable basis for establishing the jagat karana. Prior to reviewing the objections, we will revisit the chandogya statement we reviewed earlier;
" sadeva somyedamagra asidekamevadvitiyam "
- this (jagat) was earlier the 'one and the real' brahman (6.2.1).
This chandogya statement established that karya is not different from karana (ananya) and hence jagat is not different from brahman (statement 1).
If brahman alone existed before creation, then it is possible to say that what ever exists now is not different from brahman; this includes jagat (the karya) and jiva (which is not a karya). We still have not studied jiva yet; however, we will make a statement here about jiva and brahman (to understand the objections and the responses), that we will establish when we study the subject of jiva. The statement is
Jiva is not different from brahman; brahman is different from jiva --- statement 2.
Objection 1 - no difference between the enjoyer and the enjoyed.
If brahman is the karana for jagat is accepted, then nothing is different from brahman. That means, the enjoyer jiva is brahman and the enjoyed jagat is brahman. So there is no difference between the enjoyer and the enjoyed. However, we experience the difference universally in the daily life. So the vedantic view of "brahman is the karana for jagat" is objectionable.
Vedantin: this objection is not valid, because though jagat and jiva are identical in svarupa, they are different in presentation. The transaction of enjoying is in the presentation and not in the svarupa. As an example, steel is the material cause of both the anvil and the hammer. The svarupa of both is steel, but in presentation, anvil is not hammer, hammer is not steel. There is no objection to the transaction between them - hammer is the banger and the anvil is the banged. The steel (svarupa) neither bangs nor is banged. Similarly, though the jiva(enjoyer) and the jagat(enjoyed) are identical in svarupa (brahman), they are different in presentation and there is no objection to a transaction in the presentations.
Objection 2 - non-beneficial (hitakarana).
If nothing is different from brahman, even the ever suffering jiva is also brahman.
Since brahman is the creator of jagat, then jiva is also creator of jagat. So the jiva creates a jagat that is not beneficial to him. This is contradictory. In addition, it is known that jiva has no role in creation, sustenance and dissolution. So the theory that brahman is the karana for the jagat is not correct.
Vedantin: even if the unhappy jiva is brahman, brahman is different from
jiva (statement 2); as much as they are identical in svarupa, jiva does not
have the abilities of brahman at any time. As an example, coal and diamond
are both carbon in their svarupa; however diamond is much more precious and
valuable than coal. Likewise brahman is invaluable (shreshta) in comparison
with jiva. Regarding the other objection of jiva's role as creator etc.,
Shankara says the following in the sutra bhashya (1.1.2);
" na jagatah yathokta visheshanam iswaram muktva anyatah samsarinova utpatyadi sambhavayitum shakyam "
- apart from the iswara with special attributes described, the jiva has no capability of creating this jagat (as a side note, if jiva can be karana for jagat, each jiva may want the jagat to his or her liking; so we would have multiple jagats, which is absurd). So this objection is invalid.
Objection 3 - brahman has no supporting tools.
We observe tools in support of many intelligent causes, like the potter's wheel, the goldsmith's anvil etc. Brahman does not have any such supporting tools (we will study this later). So brahman cannot be the cause of jagat.
Vedantin: supporting tool is not a necessity for all activities. For example, we need eyes, light and mind to see an object. However some night
animals can see with eyes and mind only. A yogi is known to see by mind only. One may need a roller to make flat bread; however some may do with hand only (like a pizza cook or nan maker). This objection is not supportable.
Objection 4 - brahman has no body/limbs.
If not supporting tools, brahman at least needs a body with limbs of action and organs of knowledge. Since he does not have these (again, we will study this in the subject of brahman), brahman can not be the cause of jagat.
Vedantin: the same shruti that says brahman is the cause of jagat also says that brahman has no body or limbs. A vedantin cannot accept one statement of shruti and reject another statement of shruti. So the vedantin ignores this objection. The shrutis declare that even without a body, creation of this world is testament to the omnipotence of brahman. The limitations of jiva cannot simply be applied to brahman.
Objection 5 - usefulness / uselessness of creation.
The chetana will engage in the creation of jagat only if there is a utility; otherwise not. Then what is the purpose of creation? If the creation is for its satisfaction, then it suggests that brahman was dissatisfied before the creation. This is against the renunciation of all desires (aptakama) of brahman. Is it without any purpose? That would be a foolish play, which violates the omniscience of brahman - then brahman cannot be the karana for jagat.
Vedantin: the real purpose of creation is as follows;
The jivas of the previous cycle of creation, with all their karma would be merged with the brahman during the period of dissolution. These jivas need an environment to enjoy the fruits of their karma during the creation before. So brahman creates the jagat for the usefulness of jivas to enjoy the fruits of their past karma.
We will take up the remaining objections in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
So far we have understood that brahman is the material and intelligent causes of jagat.
We reviewed causes of jagat as posited by other philosophies and countered them. In this unit, we will continue to revisit the advaita view of cause of jagat to firmly establish the validity of the advaita view.
Further review of brahman as the karana for jagat.
Objection 6 - brahman is partial and cruel
There is wide range of differences in the creation of jagat. There are some who are very happy. Some of the animals undergo immense hardship and distress. Some others would have a mix of happiness and sorrow. So is brahman partial? In addition, at the time of dissolution, all jivas experience extreme distress. So is brahman very cruel? If so, brahman cannot be the karana for jagat!
Vedantin: the jagat creation with differences in the happiness among jivas is organized according to their karma. The variations, in the level of happiness among jivas, is a result of their own making. Brahman is not responsible for this (in business life also, every one is rewarded according to their contributions!). The cause of dissolution is the aggregate karma of jivas. So this objection of brahman's partiality or cruelty is not accurate.
Objection 7 - awkwardness (contamination) of brahman
(i) when the karya (jagat) is dissolved, it merges in its upadana (brahman). So at the time of dissolution, all the contamination of the jagat, merges into brahman. This destroys the svarupa of brahman. So brahman cannot be the karana for jagat.
Vedantin: when the ornament dissolves into gold, the gold is not contaminated in any way; likewise, no karya will contaminate its upadana (karana). In addition, even in sustenance, the upadana is not affected. Little jewel, big jewel, loose jewel, tight jewel will not likewise translate to gold(little gold or big gold has no meaning). This is the nature of upadana. So brahman is not contaminated during dissolution.
(ii) brahman being of the nature of consciousness, though its intelligent cause (nimitta karana) for the jagat is acceptable, its material cause cannot be accepted for the jagat which is jada (opposite characteristic from that of brahman). The karya cannot be different in characteristics from karana. The karana should carry its characteristics into karya. But the jagat does not exhibit the characteristics of brahman. Therefore brahman cannot be the cause of jagat. There are possibly three aspects of this objection; the vedantin addresses the three aspects as follows;
Vedantin: (a) all characteristics of brahman should be found in the jagat - if all characteristics of a karana are to be found in a karya, then there is no difference between karya and karna and karya has no opportunity to show itself. The expectation of all characteristics of karana to be found in karya is untenable. If all the characteristics of brahman follow into jagat, there is no difference between brahman and jagat. Then there is no creation. So this aspect of objection is invalid.
Vedantin:(b) at least one characteristic of brahman should be found in the jagat; none of the characteristics of brahman is found in jagat - the vedantin accepts this is a fair objection. If even a single characteristic of the karana is not found in the karya, the karana is invalid. An example would help. Sweet drink is the karya, water and sugar are the upadana karana (material). The sweet drink is watery; so water is the material cause is obvious. However, the crystal touch and the white form of sugar are not obvious in the drink. However, tasting the drink will confirm the sugar as its material cause. Likewise it is necessary that at least one characteristic of brahman follow into the jagat. Which of the characteristics of brahman follows into jagat is determined as follows - brahman 'is' changeless, jagat 'is' changing; brahman 'is' consciousness, jagat 'is' inert. The characteristic 'is' of brahman is found in the jagat as 'is' [ brahmano api satta lakshanah svabhavah akashadishu anuvartamano drishyate - satta(is) of brahman is followed into sky etc, sutra 2.1.6]. So the objection that even a single characteristic of brahman is not found in jagat is not valid.
Vedantin:( © brahman's consciousness must be found in jagat to accept brahman is the karana for jagat; jagat is jada, so brahman is not karana for jagat- what is the basis for this requirement? Does the crystalline touch of sugar follow in to the sweet drink? Still the sugar is upadana of the drink is obvious. So this objection is rejected.
Objection 8 - insentient from consciousness ?
How can brahman of the svarupa of consciousness be the upadana of the jagat which is inert? This question may arise to any one. This is being answered using a familiar example from contemporary science. According to science, the material cause of water is the two gases, oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is a highly combustible gas and oxygen is a supporter of combustion. The effect (karya) of these - water - does not have either one of these characteristics. A flame is put off if dipped in water. In this example, the liquidity (of water) is not in the cause, but is present in the effect. The combustibility of cause is not in the effect. So it is no surprise if characteristics of karya and karana are different. So the shruti statement that the consciousness brahman is the material cause of the inert jagat is not troublesome.
Objection 9 - conflict of limbs / organs
The chandogya upanishat says of the jagat -
" tavanasya mahima ato jyayamscha purushah pado asya sarva bhutani tripadasyamritam divi ":
All the living beings are his one fraction (quarter), the remaining three quarters are in the outer world (3.12.6). Brahman is thus described as having limbs or parts in this shruti. There are other shrutis which say brahman is niravaya - limbless or organless. These are conflicting statements and therefore it cannot be accepted that brahman is the cause of jagat.
Vedantin: again this objection is resolved through an example. Say gold has taken the form of a ring. Gold is gold weather it is in the form of ring or not in the form of ring. Either way gold itself, is not impacted. So it is obvious that "gold is in the ring and is beyond it (gold transcends ornament)". Similarly what the chandogya shruti is saying is brahman is also jagat and transcends jagat. It should not be interpreted as brahman having parts. He is niravaya.
Objection 10 - which is the authority?
The doctrine of vedanta is conflicting with sankhya, yoga and other smritis. These smritis are works of great people. So it is difficult to accept brahman as the cause of jagat.
Vedantin: manu, apastamba, vyasa etc. All have reiterated that brahman is the cause of jagat. Wherever there is a conflict between smriti and shruti, shruti is authoritative. Everyone has to also accept those sections of smritis which are not in conflict with shruti.
In countering the above objections, the thrust of the argument is that "the karya is not different from karana, but karana is different from karya". The difficulty in understanding this concept is alleviated through the use of a term "upadhi".
Upadhi
Let us consider the ring again. It is a form to identify the gold. The ring is a name for gold in that form (vacharambhana). Even though gold is identified in the form of ring, the form itself will not affect gold; the gold is completely independent of ring. The knowledge of gold, thus obtained is not influenced by the ring. That knowledge is one and the same, whether the knowledge is derived from ring, bracelet or necklace. The ring, - which is not a part of gold, but used to identify gold - is called the upadhi of gold.
Now let us take another example, say a crystal. The crystal is not likely visible in isolation. However, if a red flower is placed behind the flower, the crystal becomes clearly visible in red color. In association with the red flower, the crystal appears red, though it is not actually red. In this case the red flower is the upadhi for the crystal. In this case the red flower is not attached to the crystal, like the ring was attached to gold. If a different color flower, say blue, replaces the red flower, the crystal now appears blue. So by the crystal appearing as different color, in association with different colored flowers, we conclude that the crystal is transparent. Whereas the crystal was not visible by itself, the upadhi helps us see the crystal (a safety decal placed on clear glass doors, helps people avoid bumping into the glass door - the sticker - which helps to see the glass as a glass door - is the upadhi for the glass; birds many times bump into clear glass panes and die). This is the benefit of upadhi. The following statement can be made regarding upadhi;
Upadhi, though attached to object, is not attached; upadhi though appears to be in object, is not in object. - statement 3.
Likewise, the names and forms of jagat are upadhis for brahman. Brahman is able to be identified only through the upadhi of names and forms. If brahman had not created the jagat, we would not have known its svarupa (we would not have been here to debate this!). Yet, brahman is not affected by the awkwardness of jagat, just as gold is not affected by the ring or the crystal is not affected by an association with a colored object near it.
Brahman is jagat and is beyond jagat is equivalent to saying that jagat is the upadhi for brahman. We may recall here the declaration of krishna in gita
"mat sthani sarva bhutani na cha aham teshu avasthitah"
- all beings are in me and i am not placed in them (9-4) [brahman is jagat and is beyond jagat]. Clay is in all pots; yet, if the pot is broken, clay is not impacted; clay is still clay (the name and form is lost, yet the substratum is not affected). So, the pot is not in clay. The pot is an upadhi of clay. Similarly the jagat is an upadhi of brahman. A heap of clay is also a form; one should not consider this as different from a pot or a pan; it is form resulting from the intelligence that it occupies the smallest floor area vs. A bed of clay for example.
If the heap is disturbed the clay remains as clay. Similarly a nugget of gold is also a form, like an ornament, cast into the form of a nugget using a mold (think of intelligence in preparing the mold and casting into it!).
We may review another example to understand upadhi. I am a son, a father, a husband, an employee etc. But father, son, husband etc. Are not in me. These are roles only. These roles are the upadhis that make me appear as a father, husband etc.
We have now understood, that brahman is the "abhinna nimitta upadana karana" (undifferentiated material and intelligent cause) of the jagat. We need to next look at the mechanics of the jagat coming into being. This is a difficult task. We need to understand a power of brahman, called maya in order to understand the jagat coming into being.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
So far we have understood that brahman is the material and intelligent causes of jagat.
We reviewed causes of jagat as posited by other philosophies and countered them. We established that brahman is the one and only (undifferentiated) material and intelligent cause of the jagat.
In this unit, we will begin to understand the mechanics of creation, that brings us to understand maya.
The play of maya.
We reviewed in the previous units, that brahman is the " abhinna nimitta upadana karana " (non-differentiated or [one and the same] material and intelligent cause) of the jagat. In this section, we will try to understand the mechanics of how the jagat came into being. This is a difficult task, since the humans, conditioned by space and time, are experiencing jagat posterior to jagat coming in to being. So the only recourse to understand this mechanics is the upanishads. However, the upanishadic point of view seems to be different in different upanishads. But there can only be one mechanism of this jagat coming into being; so which of the upanishads describe the correct mechanics? Why such seemingly different views among upanishads?
Before we try to understand these various upanishadic views, it is instructive to understand why vedanta even discusses the creation of jagat. After all jagat is jada; there is no value in understanding the creation of jagat other than the inquisitiveness of the jiva. From a vedantin's perspective, as such there is nothing to be gained by understanding the mechanics of the jagat coming into being. The goal of vedantin is to present brahman, whose understanding is necessary in the realization of brahman. However, brahman cannot be presented without the presentation of jagat, because the invisible brahman has to be understood only through the visible jagat. So it is inevitable for vedanta and the vedantin to understand the creation of jagat.
A fact of creation of an object has a definite mechanism of creation. Its description also will be consistent. Advaita's view is that this jagat was not created in the traditional sense. Then what to talk about the mechanics of its creation? However, it is the general belief of jivas that this jagat was created. Vedanta follows this track of jiva's understanding in initially supporting this concept of creation of jagat; as the understanding becomes firm, vedanta presents how the jagat actually came into being . This is the method of teaching of vedanta.
The upanishats have presented several mechanics of creation, as deemed necessary, consistent with seeker's experience of jagat. As the seeker's knowledge and ability in judgment and reasoning intensifies, it helps him to understand that the jagat we see is the play of maya. This is the method of vedanta. This method and the fact that the jagat is not created are consistent with the nature of brahman.
What is maya?
Now let us look at the following mantra from the taittiriya upanishat -
"agnih purva rupam, aditya uttara rupam, apah sandhih, vaidyutah sandhanam (1.3)
- fire is the first form, sun is the second form, union of these two is water and the force or power that causes the union is the lightening (electric potential). We know a similar phenomena in science. Hydrogen and oxygen combine to form water with the application of electricity. Hydrogen is a gas and combustible (characteristic of agni). Oxygen is a gas and supporter of combustion (characteristic of sun - caused by temperature differences resulting in wind currents, supporting combustion). Water is the resulting union, caused by electricity (vaidyutah) - the medium or power that helps in the union to form water.
Water is a liquid and puts out fire. The two gases - hydrogen and oxygen - are combustible and supporter of combustion respectively. How did water, which puts out fire result from two gases which are combustible and supporter of combustion? That is the power in electricity. Science tells us here that it is the power of electricity, by which the karya (water) is of a totally opposing characteristic from the karana (oxygen and hydrogen - upadana). Vedanta also presents that such a power exists - a power in brahman. Brahman is of the nature of consciousness and limitless in space and time, and actionless, is the karana for the jagat, which is of the nature of inert and limited in time and space. Such power of brahman, which hides its characteristics of consciousness and limitlessness and presents itself as the inert limited jagat is maya.
Sri shankara, in prashna upanishat (1.16) comments as follows;
"bahiranyatha atmanam prakashya anyathaiva karyam karoti sa maya"
- maya is that power of brahman that enables an outward presentation different from the internal characteristics.
Following the taittiriya mantra, brahman is the first form (purva rupa), iswara is the second form (uttara rupa), jagat is the sandhi and maya is the power causing the sandhi.
We will focus on understanding what this maya is, the play of this maya and how it helps in nderstanding the jagat coming into being. However, it should be noted that maya is not invented by advaita to explain some aspect of jagat. The shrutis and smritis extol this maya in several contexts like;
Indro mayabhih pururupa iyate
- indra (brahman) appears to be of many forms due to maya ( brihadaranyaka upanishat - 2.5.19)
Mayam tu prakritm vidyat, mayinam tu maheshvaram
- the prakriti should be understood to be maya and the iswara as mayavi (swetasvatara upanishat - 4.10)
Daivi hi esha gunamayi mama maya duratyaya
- this divine maya of mine, caused by the gunas is difficult to crossover (gita - 7.14).
In the next unit, we will review some of the statements of scriptures regarding the creation of jagat.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
So far we have understood that brahman is the material and intelligent causes of jagat. We reviewed causes of jagat as posited by other philosophies and countered them. We established that brahman is the one and only (undifferentiated) material and intelligent cause of the jagat. In the last unit, we understood what maya is.
In this unit, we will review some of the statements of scriptures regarding the creation of jagat.
Mandukya upanishat (3-20, 24).
Some argue that the jagat was born by brahman, who is of the nature of unborn and undying. A jagat born out of an undying entity (brahman) indicates that the brahman has to be of the nature of dying (when the jagat ends). How can brahman of undying nature be dying? Should an undying brahman transform into a dying jagat, then the initial statement of undying brahman is violated. Brahman is the only unborn and undying entity. Therefore the creation of jagat is to be understood as the manifestation of brahman (appearance of creation) caused by the power of maya. Otherwise it leads to the absurdity of an entity to be dying and undying. How can fire be of the nature of hot and cold?
Mandukya upanishat (4-3, 5).
Among the philosophies that believe in the actual creation, there are two groups; one group says the existent jagat is created, while the other group claims that the non-existent jagat is created. In the philosophical plane, an existent entity is always existent - past, present and future and a non-existent entity is always non-existent - past, present and future. The vedantic reality is, an existing entity is never non-existing and a non-existing entity is never existing.
"nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayorapi drishto antah tvanayoh tatva darshibhih "
- the unreal has no existence and the real has no non-existence. The final truth of these two, have been experienced by the knower of the truth (gita 2-16).
Therefore the jagat must be of the nature of existence or non-existence. If it is of the nature of existence, then there can not be a state of non-existence; if it is of the nature of non-existence, it can not have a state of existence. That is, it cannot be created. So how should we understand this jagat coming into being? One group of philosophers claim creation of an existing jagat. This is contradictory in the fact that how can an existing jagat be created? On the other hand, another group claims a non-existent jagat has been created. This is objected to by the former group, saying it is like horn on a rabbit; the non-existent cannot be created. The advaitins differs from these two groups in postulating that the creation is a manifestation of brahman, facilitated by the power of maya.
Krishna says in gita (9-10)
" maya adhyakshena prakritih suyate sacharacharam
hetuna anena kaunteya jagat viparivartate"
- o arjuna! With me as the supervisor or presiding officer, this prakriti (nature) brings forth moving and unmoving (entities or objects - jagat); by this cause (by my supervision), the jagat revolves.
This verse is key to understanding maya, in that it highlights the non-doership (akartru) of brahman. Prakriti is jada or insentient. Paramatma is of the nature of consciousness. By the presence (or supervision of iswara or brahman), prakriti (prakriti is synonymous with maya) causes this jagat. The word "adhyakshena" indicates the non-attachment or indifference (udasina) of brahman. Just as iron particles move and arrange into a pattern in the presence of a magnet, in the presence of the lord, the prakriti (maya) brings forth jagat. The magnet itself has no role, but its presence causes the movement of the iron particles. The lord is always present, adhyakshena indicates a volition in the creation (an assembly comes to life only when the speaker or president takes the chair); likewise prakriti is animated by the volition of the lord, which then brings forth the jagat.
The prakriti, a power composed of the three gunas - satva, rajas and tamas is nothing other than the maya. Maya is also referred to as bija (seed). Maya is jada and by itself cannot be the creating power of the jagat. However, it can do wonders through the support of the brahman that is always existent. Our experiences in the jagat are a reflection of the witness of brahman in our intellect. Similarly the witness of brahman in maya enables the creation of jagat. Elsewhere in gita (13-26), krishna says -
"yavat sanjayate kinchit satvam stavara jangamam
kshetra kshetrajnya samyogat tat viddhi bharatarshabha"
- o arjuna, in this world, whatever being - moving or unmoving - is born, know that to be created from the union of kshetra (field) and kshetrajnya(knower of the field).
At the individual level (vyashti), kshetra is the body and the kshetrajnya is the jivatma; at the aggregate level (samashti), kshetra is the prakriti and kshetrajnya is the purusha or brahman. The characteristics of kshetra and kshetrajnya are different. The kshetra is visible and inert; the kshetrajnya is invisible and of the nature of consciousness. What does the union of two distinctly different objects mean? It is not like the union of a pot with a rope, for the atman(kshetrajyna) is without limbs or organs. Is it like the union of a cloth and yarn? It can't be so! The cloth is made out of the yarn; so there is a natural union between the two. But the body and the knower of the body have no such natural union. Bhagavan shankara pronounces in the gita bhashya that this union is the wrong identification of the jiva (kshetrajnya) that it is the body(kshetra). Are then the jivas responsible for the jagat? If the jiva is the karana for the creation of the jagat (since the jagat exists for the experience of the jivas), how can such a jagat be existent, caused by the ignorance of the jivas? Therefore it stands to reason that the jagat is not created at all and it is a manifestation of brahman.
Mandukya karika
If an object is created, it is necessary to understand what preceded it. An object that is born, cannot be born by itself; it is also absurd to think it is created by another inert object - a pot is not created by itself; one cannot be born by another inert body as cloth is not born out of cloth. In the empirical experience, it is said that the pot is born of clay or a son is born of father. However, when examined carefully, the pot, son are only a form. So it is very clear that nothing is born in the jagat. So where is the question of jagat itself being born.
If jagat were to be born, how, why, where and when are obvious follow-up questions. How can these questions be answered of a really unborn entity? Maya is the power that helps explain these questions. We need to understand how the maya causes brahman to appear as jagat.
There are two powers associated with maya - avarana shakti and vikshepa shakti. That power which covers the nature of paramatman- real, consciousness and blissful -is the avarana shakti; that power which projects or superimposes the jagat over the atman is vikshepa shakti ( 'vikshipati' is to throw ). These two powers are the two faces of ajnyana.
Avarana shakti: as an example, a small or finite patch of cloud appears to cover the entire sun from the sight of the seer. Similarly the ajnyana, though limited, has the power to cover the infinite atman by covering the intellect of the seer. Ajnyana is limited, inert and tamas. Atman is infinite, consciousness and full. How can such an ajnyana cover the conscious atman? The answer is in the example of the cloud above. The cloud does not have any effect on the sun itself; the sun continues to shine. The cloud does not cover the sun, but the sight of the seer. Similarly, though the atman is ever consciousness, the avarana caused by ajnyana, by covering the intellect prevents the jiva from the experience of the atman. It is an apparent cover, impacting the seer and not the atman. The jiva thus experiences doership, enjoyement, pain and pleasure etc.
Vikshepa shakti: in the example of the rope and snake, the rope itself is the karya of ajnyana (rope itself is a superimposition due to ajnyana). So in reality, the ajnyana cannot cover the rope. What it is covering is the jnyana of the seer. In the darkness, it not only covers the svarupa of the rope (brahman), but also superimposes a snake in the rope. This is the vikshepa shakti. Vikshepa is that power by which the ajnyana not only covers brahman, the reality, but also superimposes the jagat.
In the next unit, we will continue with further discussion of maya.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
So far we have understood that brahman is the material and intelligent causes of jagat.
We reviewed causes of jagat as posited by other philosophies and countered them. We established that brahman is the one and only (undifferentiated) material and intelligent cause of the jagat. We understood what maya is and its two powers - the power of covering the reality and the vikshepa shakti - the power of superimposition. In the last unit, we reviewed some of the statements of scriptures regarding the creation of jagat.
We will continue with maya and conclude the section on jagat in this unit.
The process of creation.
Brahma (chaturmukha or four headed) is the designated vehicle (deity having the pre-requisites) for overseeing the creation. Brahma is an appointed position in each creation. He represents the most evolved jiva of the previous creation and is the aggregate intellect of all the jivas. Of course he does not have a body and organs as humans have. Brahman with the upadi of maya is brahma (covering brahman - avarana shakti) . The five subtle elements - space, wind, fire, water and earth - form the body of brahma; in other words, these five elements are the superimposition on brahman due to maya. The taittiriya upanishat describes the process -
Atmana akashah sambhutah, akashat vayuh, vayoragnih, agnerapah, adbyah prithivi..
- the vikshepa shakti, predominantly tamas, superimposes the five elements - space, wind, fire, water and earth. These elements are predominantly tamas, though they have small amounts of satva and rajas. Among them space exhibits the highest satva and lowest tamas while the earth exhibits the lowest satva and highest tamas. The five elements in subtle form combine to become gross elements through the process of panchikarana (five fold composition). During the time of dissolution, the process is reversed, in exactly the opposite order.
The atman is akartru and asanga - non-doer and detached. The upadhi of ajnyana (maya) not only covers the atman, but also superimposes a jagat by the powers of avarana and vikshepa.
The consciousness (brahman) having the upadhi of ajnyana composed of the two powers - avarana and vikshepa - becomes the nimitta karana (of jagat) when considered the principal; when the upadhi is considered the principal, becomes the upadana karana (of jagat).
Jagat is of the gross form. Maya is of the seed form and is the power of brahman. The jagat is an outward expression of names and forms, emotions of happiness and sorrow and attachment - all resulting from maya. Maya is trigunatmika - triad of three gunas ( satva, rajas and tamas). Krishna describes this maya as two kinds - para prakriti and apara prakriti (gita 7-4,5). Apara is of the lower form and para is of the higher form; apara prakriti is karana for the jagat and para prakriti is the karana for the jivas. Brahman is therefore the karana for the creation, sustenance and dissolution of jagat. Brahman associated with the upadi of maya is called by several names like iswara, aparabrahma and hiranyagarbha.
With the upadi of bhaga, brahman is also called bhagavan. Bhaga is a combination fo six qualities, which are jnyana (omniscience), bala (omnipotence), aishvarya (lordship), shakti (creative power), virya (immutability) and tejas (splendour). Iswara, bhagavan are synonymous terms - bhaga as an upadhi is not generally used in the advaita context (it is folded in maya).
So maya is a supporting karana for jagat, in addition to brahman; however, their roles are different. Brahman is like father and maya is like mother. Brahman provides the seed (hiranyagarbha) and places in maya (not a physical placing, but a sankalpa ) - gita 14-3. This verse explains the union of kshetra and kshetrajnya (gita 13- 26 or 27).
The origin of maya cannot be determined. It is as old as brahman. The jagat is the playground for the jivas to enjoy the fruits of action. So every kalpa is created for the fulfillment of karma of the jivas of the previous kalpa. The previous kalpa was created for the fulfillment of karma of the jivas during the kalpa previous to it. Similarly the next kalpa will be created for the fulfillment of the karma of jivas in this kalpa. Even though if one or a few jivas are liberated from the cycle of birth and death in a kalpa, there are other jivas whose karma need to be fulfilled. So the jagat creation and dissolution is a continuous process with no beginning (anadi) and no end (ananta). Accordingly maya is ever present to facilitate creation and is undying. The maya presents itself as jagat during creation and becomes unmanifested during dissolution. So maya is parinami nitya (ever present in a resultant form), where as brahman is kutasta nitya (ever present and changeless). Though the maya is timeless, it is certainly possible to transcend it at the individual level (it is here; there is no value in trying to find its origin. What is of value is to understand how to transcend it). While the jivas are under the influence of maya, maya is under the control of brahman.
Maya is anirvachaniya - it cannot be precisely defined. We said earlier that maya is the power of brahman and also it is the upadi which presents the nirguna brahman as iswara; that is, maya is the marker that helps jivas identify brahman, without producing any change in it. This begs a question - does maya belong to brahman or is it outside brahman ? The madhya mani nyaya (logic of the middle bead) is applicable here; the middle bead can be associated with either side of the necklace. Similarly maya can be associated either with the karana (brahman) or karya (jagat). As an example, consider a glass plate, on one side of which is applied a mercury paste resulting in a mirror. The glass is karana, mirror is the karya and the mercury paste is the relating compound. Does the paste belong to the glass or to the mirror? The answer is either way. By belonging to glass, it facilitates a mirror. As a part of mirror, it makes the mirror a mirror. Still, the paste is an upadhi for glass. The paste helps identify the glass (as a form). The paste in no way adds or takes away the value in the glass. Now let us come to the context on hand. The glass is brahman, the mirror is jagat and the paste is maya. When maya is associated with jagat, it is unreal, has organs, limited and inert. When maya is associated with brahman, it is real, has no organs, of the nature of consciousness, unlimited etc. Therefore maya is anirvachaniya. Bhagavan shankara very poetically describes maya in viveka chudamani as follows;
"sannapyasannapyubhayatmikano
bhinnapyabhinnapyubhayatmikano
sangapya nangapyubhayatmikano
mahadbhuta! Anirvachaniya rupam ( verse 109)
- (this maya) sat na = not real (if maya is real, then jnyana cannot destroy it) api=and asat na =not unreal (if it is unreal, then it cannot produce any karya) api = and ubhayatmika no = neither of these two (same entity cannot have opposing characteristics); bhinna api abhinna api ubhayatmikano = not different from brahman, not same as brahman, neither of these two (if it is different from brahman, it violates non-duality, it is not same as brahman, because for example, fire and its burning power cannot be the same); sanga api ananga api ubhayatmikano = not with limbs, not without limbs, neither of these two (anything that has limbs should have a birth; not without limbs, because it is trigunatmika - is of the nature of three gunas); mahadbhuta = very wonderful, anirvachaniya rupa = unable to determine its svarupa (it is indeterminate, because any of its characteristics or lakshana can be defined)].
We will conclude the study of jagat with a verse (85) from dvg's manku timmana kagga:
"nabhada bayalola-nanta manada guheyola-natha
vubhayada naduve sadyanta jiva kathe
vibhuvobbani gali-buddegalanuduvanu
habe gulleyo srishti - manku timma "
----- translated as
The sky's vacuity is infinite, mind's cavern is endless
between the two is the whole gamut of life affair
only the lord fills these balloons with his breath
a vaporous bubble is this creation.
There is no limit to the outer space as well as the depth of the mind. The jiva's life is experienced between the two (jaga). This creation is like a steam balloon; its existence is true while the balloon lasts and is at the whim of the lord.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
Brahman
" sri vishnu vishvadi mula mayalola
deva sarvesha parabommanendu janam
avudanu kanadoda-maltiyim nambihudo
a vichitrake namiso - manku timma "
Sri vishnu, the source of the universe
who revels in maya and is the lord of all things
whom men though they know him not, believe and revere
salute that mystery - oh manku timma (manku timmana kagga - 1).
This mystery that we think is - brahman, is the subject of our study.
In the discussion of jagat, we understood that its svarupa is brahman, though its appearance in names and forms is the empirical experience. In order to understand brahman, we will follow the jagat to its karana, when we expect to understand brahman in its real form. If there is a doubt to the existence of brahman, chandogya upanisaht narrates a story. The guru, understanding that his disciple is doubtful of brahman, asks him to fetch a pot of water. He asks the disciple to add a fistful of salt to the water. Next morning, the guru asks the disciple to fetch the same pot of water that he had added salt the previous evening. The guru asks him to take out the salt, which obviously he could not do. The salt has dissolved in the water. The guru said, never mind! There is another way to understand the presence of salt in the water. He asks the student to take a spoon of water from different sections of the pot and drink each of those spoonful of water, which the student followed; on enquiry, he then replied that each spoon of water was salty, which confirmed the presence of salt in the water. The salt had transformed from the gross form to the subtle form in the medium of water. However, what could not be seen by the eye (gross form) was perceived by the tongue (subtle form). The guru tells the student, likewise brahman, which is subtle can be experienced in the gross jagat through enquiry. This enquiry is facilitated by ignoring the names and forms of the karya (effect) and focus on the substratum, which is brahman.
It is easy said than done to ignore the names and forms, because (1) the sense organs directed outwards ( paranchi kani vyatrunat svayambuh tasmat parang pashyati -kata upanishad 2.1.1) explores names and forms. So we are surrounded by brahman in the form of names and forms and we will have to identify this brahman amidst us. The shastras help us with two contrivances - visheshana and lakshana - to help us understand brahman.
Visheshana is that characteristic by which an object can be separated (or marked out) from other objects that belong to the same class. Examples are the color of a flower that distinguishes it from other flowers, like yellow color separating a yellow flower from red flower. Yellow or red color is the visheshana among the class of flowers. Similarly the thick soft skin in the neck of a cow is the visheshana that distinguishes the cow from other four leg animals.
Lakshana is a marker (or a quality) that separates an object from all objects that does not belong to its class.
For example, space allows all objects to be contained in it, yet none of the objects have this quality of space. So the lakshana of space is to contain all objects. Similarly receptivity is the quality or marker of an ocean which receives water from all rivers and streams. No other object has this characteristic. Therefore, receptivity is a lakshana of ocean.
In the following sections, we will apply the markers of visheshana and lakshana to separate brahman from the multitude of nama and rupa.
There are two classes of visheshanas - bhava rupa (of the type of "is") and abhavarupa (of the type of "is not") - we will use to sort out brahman from the names and forms.
Among the class of humans, it is evident we have knowledge (we engage in actions, because of knowledge). Brahman, being the creator, also has knowledge. So brahman and humans belong to the same class. Infinity is the bhavarupa visheshana that separates brahman from humans; humans have limited creativity, whereas brahman has infinite creativity; humans have limited knowledge, while brahman is omniscient (infinite knowledge); humans accomplish partial desires, brahman's accomplishments are total and infinite. Bhaga is a group of six characteristics, the possessor of which is bhagavan. They are jnyana (omniscience), bala (omnipotence), aishvarya (lordship or sovereignity), shakti (creative power), virya (immutability) and tejas (splendour). Brahman with the upadhi of maya is bhagavan, who has all these qualities infinitely. This infinite wealth is what separates brahman from names and forms of humans. Thus infinity is the bhavarupa visheshana of brahman that separates him from the humans.
Now let us look at the abhava rupa visheshana of brahman. Brahman is described as
Apahatapapma vijaro vimrutyu vishoko vijighatso apipasaha
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Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1 Empty Re: Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1

Post by arutsakthi Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:47 pm

(ishavasya upanishad - Cool;
Brahman is not affected by dharma and adharma, he is not subject to old age, he is not subject to death, he does not have sorrow, hunger and thirst. A human is affected by dharma/adharma, is subject to oldage and death, has sorrow, hunger and thirst. For all these human qualities of "is", brahman exhibits "is not". So "is not" is the abhavarupa visheshana that separates brahman from humans (of names and forms).
We have understood from the above that the visheshanas "infinite and "is not" separate brahman from the humans, the most evolved of the names and forms of brahman.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace)
In unit 15, we started with the understanding of brahman; we reviewed the visheshana , visheshya relationship.
In this unit, we will review the lakshanas that help us understand brahman.
The lakshanas (characteristics) of brahman are described by " satyam jnyanam anantam brahma"- brahman is of the characteristics of real,
consciousness and infinite (taittiriya upanishad, 2.1.1).
Brahman is satya = brahman is real.
The karya is a variation in name and form; the essence only belongs to the karana. The variation of form in karya is not there before the karya, appears during the period of karya and disappears again when the karya dissolves. However the upadana karana of karya always maintains its svarupa (clay or gold). So we conclude that karya is asatya (unreal) and karana is satya (real).
" yat rupena yat nischitam tat rupam na vyabhicharati tat satyam
- once an object known in a form always maintains that form is real.
" yat rupena yat nischitam tat rupam vyabhicharat tat anritam "
- an object once known in one form, fails to present in that form always, is unreal.
So jagat as karya is unreal; brahman as karana is real. This is the first lakshana separating brahman from jiva.
Brahman is jnyanam = brahman is of the nature of consciousness.
By the statement that brahman is the karana for jagat. Jagat is jada and so could brahman be jada? However, we know that jada cannot be the intelligent cause (nimitta). As much as we know this, in the context of the lakshana, we need to separate out brahman from all the objects that are jada. For this we need to identify a characteristic of brahman that separates it out from all jada.
When we use the word jnyana in the context of knowledge, we may say the knowledge of pot, knowledge of cloth etc. Such knowledge varies from object to object. In deep sleep, there is no pot, no cloth; therefore there is no knowledge of pot, cloth or any object. Therefore the knowledge of pot or cloth is unreal; being unreal, object knowledge is opposed to brahman which is of the nature of real. The jnyana of brahman must also be real for it to be a lakshana (to be separate), which therefore precludes pot knowledge, cloth knowledge etc. As consciousness; these are vritti jnyana or mode of mind. The distinction between vritti jnyana and knowledge can be understood as follows.
The intellect perceives the knowledge of pot, cloth etc. These are distinctive knowledge, specific to the pot, cloth respectively. This vritti jnyana or mode of mind is a specific attribute of the object like pot or cloth. The pot, cloth etc. Are substantive (visheshya) and the specific knowledge of pot cloth etc. Are attributive knowledge (visheshana). The attributive knowledge is unreal because the pot, cloth etc. Appear and or disappear from time to time (without substantive, there cannot be attribute knowledge). So when shruti declares that brahman is knowledge (consciousness), it cannot be the vritti jnyana, because brahman is real; the consciousness that is described in the shruti is the attributive to the substantive brahman, which is real.
During deep sleep, there is no pot, no cloth etc. So there cannot be any attributes; only consciousness prevails (we will study this later in the study of jiva- the three states). So when unreal attributes are separated, the remaining reality to be distinguished is the knowledge being described here. This knowledge is not absolutely jada. It is of the nature of consciousness. This is the second lakshana of brahman separating brahman from jiva. Brahman is consciousness is reinforced in the following gita verse(2.16);
"nasato vidyate bhavo nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayorapi drishto antah tvanayoh tatva darshibhih "
- the unreal has no existence and the real has no non-existence. The final truth of these two, have been experienced by the knower of the truth. The knower of a truth is one who has directly experienced the final truth, which is a direct perception and not a hearsay.
Brahman being of the nature of consciousness and not jada, it also establishes that the knowledge is one and only one; knowledge cannot be multiple. There is no meaning in saying that one knowledge perceives another knowledge. Knowledge being of the nature of perception, everything else is perceived.
Brahman is ananta = brahman is limitless.
Brahman being real, is different from all karya or effects. Brahman being of the nature of consciousness, is different from jada. Now there is the jiva who is neither karya nor jada. So if brahman is shown to be different from jiva, then we have separated brahman from everything else, for which we have to focus on the lakshana which separates brahman from the jivas. The scriptures call brahman as anantha or limitless.
This is established as follows. In understanding the layers of jagat, the jiva is the knower, the objects of jagat are the known, and what the jiva has achieved is the knowledge. In this triad of knowledge, knower and known, each is different from the other and no one can pervade the other two. This is the limiting characteristic of jiva. Brahman is not affected by such limiting characteristic, because the knower, known and knowledge are one and the same in (not different from) brahman (statement 2. --- jiva is not different from brahman; brahman is different from jiva ).
The limiting characteristic may be seen in space, time, or object. Limited in space is fairly evident, when we notice boundaries of the object. Being a karya, the object is time limited - nonexistent before creation and after death. Object limited is obvious, because a wall is not door or vice versa. Brahman is not affected by any of these limiting factors. It being material cause for space, which is limitless, brahman is limitless in space. Since brahman is not a karya, is not time limited. Brahman being material cause for all objects, it is not object limited. Therefore brahman is ananta or limitless is the third lakshana that separates it from jiva. We can now make another statement
Nothing other than brahman exists; but brahman is different from all --- statement 4.
The three lakshanas - satya (real), jnyana (consciousness) and ananta (limitless) separate brahman from the jivas.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In unit 15, we started with the understanding of brahman; we reviewed the visheshana , visheshya relationship.
In unit 16, we reviewed the lakshanas that help us understand brahman.
In this unit, we will look at some of the scriptural statements describing brahman.
Scriptural statements on brahman.
As much as we are unable to comprehend and understand brahman, challenging him is a challenge to our own existence. It is the statements of shruti that, though brahman can not be marked, he is the substratum that supports all activities in this jagat. Knowing him is the basis of existence. The shruti points at some of the markers that help us understand brahman. We will review some of those markers in this unit.
Katha upanishat - 3.12
" esha sarveshu bhuteshu gudho atma na prakashate
drishyate tvagryaya buddhyasukshmaya sukshma-darshibhih"
- "the atman, though present in all living beings, is hidden and does not shine forth. However, he reveals his presence to the subtle intellect of the discerning person." the atman, though present in all living beings supporting the sense organs, is invisible through the power of maya to the ignorant jivas. He is visible only to the jivas with the subtlety of discernment. We may recall here krishna's statement in gita 7.25 - enveloped by my yogamaya (cosmic illusion), i am not manifest to all; this world, deluded, knows me not, the unborn and imperishable.
Katha upanishat - 3.10
"indriyebhyah para hi artha arthebhyascha param manah
manasastu para buddhih buddheh atma mahan parah"
- the outer sense organs are gross. The sense objects of sound, touch, form, taste and smell are subtler than the sense organs. The mind that processes these sense objects is subtler than the sense objects. The intellect is subtler than the mind. The atman, referred here as mahan (great atman) is subtler than the intellect. In verse 3.11, this chain of thought is expounded further as follows - the unmanifest is beyond (subtler than) the great atman, the purusha is beyond the unmanifest. Purusha is the supreme goal and there is nothing beyond him.
Kena upanishat - 1.1 and 1.2
"keneshitam patati preshitam manah
kena pranah prathamah pryiti yuktah
keneshitam vachamimam vadanti
chakshuh shrotram ka u devo yunakti
- the disciple asks of the teacher - by whose will does the mind proceed to its object? At whose command does the prana, the foremost do its duty? At whose will do men utter speech? Who is the god that directs the eyes and the ears?"
"shrotrasya shrotram manaso mano yad
vacho ha vacham sa u pranasya pranah
chaksushah cha chakshuratim uchya dhirah
pretyasmah lokat amrita bhavanti"
- the teacher replies - it is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of the speech, the life of the life and the eye of the eye. Having detached the self (from the sense organs) and on discarding of the body (renounced the world), the wise attain to immortality.
Mandukya upanishat - 2.11
" ubhayorapi vaitathyam bhedanam sthanayoh yadi
ka etan budhyate bhedanko vai tesham vikalpakah"
- if the objects cognized in both the conditions of dream and of waking be illusory, who cognizes all these illusory objects and who again imagines them? The answer is in the next verse that the self-luminous atman alone is the knower of the objects created through the powers of its own delusion (maya).
Mundaka upanishat - 2.2.7
" yah sarvajnyah sarvavid yassyaisha mahima bhuvi
divye brahmapure hi esha vyomanyatma pratishthitah"
- he who knows all (omniscient) and understands everything, and to whom belongs all the glory in the world, he, atman, is placed in the space in the effulgent abode of brahman." (he assumes the forms of the mind and leads the body and the senses. He dwells in the body, inside the heart. By the knowledge of that which shines as the blissful and immortal atman, the wise behold him fully in all things).
Bhagavad gita - 13.16
" avibhaktam cha bhuteshu vibhaktamiva cha sthitam
bhutabhartru cha tat jnyeyam grasishnu prabhavishnu cha"
- that which is to be known (jnyeyam) is undivided, yet exists in beings as divided; it is the supporter of all beings, it is destroying and also generating - creator and destroyer. (verses 13-13 to 13.17 describe the characteristics of that to be known).
Katha upanishat - 5.15
"na tatra suryo bhati na chandra tarakam
nema vidyuto bhanthi kutoyamagnihi
tameva bhantam anubhati sarvam
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati"
- the nature of brahman is such that the sun, the moon and the stars do not have the ability to illuminate him; so what to talk about the lightening and fire ? He alone makes others shine and his shine helps everything else to be seen. This pure consciousness is described as brahman, which is the nature of every living being."
For example if there is an object in a room, it by itself has no intrinsic ability to show itself. It needs the help of a light source like the sun light through the windows or a lamp or light bulb to be seen. Likewise, the above mantra says that even the sun by itself has no intrinsic ability to show itself. It depends on the effulgence of the pure consciousness to be seen. The upanishads affirm that, that entity, which does not need the support of any other agent to be seen is brahman.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In unit 15, we started with the understanding of brahman; we reviewed the visheshana , visheshya relationship.
In unit 16, we reviewed the lakshanas that help us understand brahman.
In unit 17, we looked at some of the scriptural statements describing brahman.
In this unit, we will understand that brahman is nirguna and why so.
Brahman is nirguna.
We identified brahman by the markers of visheshana and lakshana. Jiva's first encounter with brahman is through visheshana in the form of worship. The next step is the identification of brahman with lakshanas. This is more difficult, since brahman has to be separated from everything else. This takes the jiva one step closer to understanding the identity of brahman. At this closer distance, the jiva identifies brahman through dhyana or meditation. Dhyana is more difficult compared to worship. So the shastra says that one has to begin with worship and graduate to dhyana over a period of time. However, identifying brahman by the markers of lakshana will not help us understand the svarupa or inherent characteristic of brahman. What the lakshana tells us is that it is different from jiva, but does not really tell what it is (knowing so and so is one's father does not let us know who he is). So we need to understand brahman directly without reference to any entity. This is an impossible task even for the scriptures ( "yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasa saha" - the speech returns empty handed without an understanding of brahman and so does the mind). However the scriptures try in many ways to convey brahman through speech only. Though brahman is described by lakshanas - satya, jnyana and ananta -, one should not try to understand brahman by these lakshanas only. To show the small arundhati star, attention is drawn to a bigger star in the vicinity and to look for the arundhati star beyond that (sthularundhati nyaya). Likewise one has to go beyond the lakshanas in understanding brahman. Brahman is not an entity to be understood by debate or mental logic. The shruti offers many tactics to help remove this misnomer.
Shruti describes brahman with distinctive characteristics (savishesha) as well as without distinctive characteristics (nirvishesha). For example, "asthulam ananvam ahrasvam adirgham" - it is not big, it is not atomic, it is not short, it is not long; "ashabdam asparsham arupam avyayam tatharasam nityam agandhavacca" - it is soundless, untouchable, formless, immutable or imperishable, tasteless, always existing, and without smell; "apurvam anaparam anantaram abahyam" - not having existed before, not to exist in the future, not inside and not outside etc.
If shruti describes brahman both with and without distinctive markers, what should be followed and why?
It depends on the spiritual progress of the seeker. A beginner must follow the savishesha brahman through worship and karma. An advanced seeker will then be able to give up karma and focus on the nirvishesha (or nirguna) brahman through meditation.
Is brahman saguna (with guna or characteristics) or nirguna (without gunas)? Brahman in its svarupa is nirguna. It is saguna in association with upadhi.
Brahman is only describable by "neti, neti" - not this, not this. Any description of brahman is in association of an upadhi. Then is it shunya (nihil)? Definitely not. All that we see and feel, is emanating from brahman. So how can it be nihil? Brahman exists, but it is so nirguna that it can not be described.
To highlight that brahman is nirguna, the shruti describes brahman by a pair of opposites. For example,
"anejadekam manaso javiyo tat dhavatah anyan atyeti tishtati"
- it does not quiver, it is only one, faster than mind, it overtakes others running while standing in a location (isavasya -4);
"tadehjati tannaijati taddure tadvantike "
- it quivers, it does not quiver, it is far away, it is very near (isavasya -5);
" duratsudure tat ihantike cha"
- it is farther than the farthest and is right here (mundaka 3.1.7);
"apanipado javano grahita pashyati achakshuh sa shrunoti akarnah"
- he walks very fast without hands and legs, will see without eyes and will hear without ears (svetasvatara 3.19);
"brahma tejomayo atejamayah kamamayo akamamayah krodhamayo akrodhamayah dharmamayo adharmamayah"
- brahman is splendid and is not splendid, he is desirous, he is not desirous, he is wrathful, he is not wrathful, he follows dharma, he does not follow dharma (brihadaranya -4.4.5).
These descriptions of brahman should drive home the point that brahman is nirguna, for the same glass cannot be red or blue, unless associated with a red or blue upadhi; the glass itself is colorless. Brahman without upadhi is one and only one - does not quiver, is there and is here(if it is one and only one occupying the entire space, where is the question of movement?-there is no space for movement!). As a karya with upadhi, moves fast or slow, is far away (for the ignorant), is close by (for the jnyani). Is angry with an angry upadhi and is peaceful with a peaceful upadhi etc. We may wonder how can brahman be so nirguna? This is the characteristic of all karanas. For example, in the world we see solid, liquid and gaseous entities; at the molecule level we don't see solid, liquid gas etc. Though we see the gunas of the entity at the molecule level, at the atom level, even this disappears. The same phenomena is with brahman. The jagat, being a composition of all gunas, is a karya of brahman. If all gunas have to come from the karana, the karana must be nirguna (light being colorless, has all colors in it; clay being formless, creates all forms etc.). Similarly, brahman being distinction-less stems from the fact that attributes arise out of association with and dependent on upadhi - brahman is omnipotent etc. Jagat is different from brahman at the karya level, but the same as brahman at the karana level. So everything is brahman at the svarupa. So if everything is brahman, where is the scope for upadhi? At the karana level, even the upadhi is of the svarupa of brahman and so at the svarupa level, it cannot even sustain as an upadhi ( imagine a crystal beside another crystal; the second crystal has no impact on the first crystal - so at the karana level, everything is nirguna). There is only brahman. So if there is no upadhi, there are no attributes; so brahman is distinction-less. As much as it is distinction-less, it is real, because we have known that brahman is the karana for jagat.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In ?unit 15, we started with the understanding of brahman; we reviewed the visheshana , visheshya relationship.
In ?unit 16, we reviewed the lakshanas that help us understand brahman.
In ?unit 17, we looked at some of the scriptural statements describing
brahman.
In ?unit 18, we understood that brahman is nirguna and why so.
In this unit, we will conclude the study of brahman, by understanding that jagat is a projection (adhyaropa) and negation of it (apavada) helps us understand the svarupa of brahman.
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Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1 Empty Re: Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1

Post by arutsakthi Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:47 pm

Adhyaropa and apavada.
The seeker, in the beginning understands that brahman is the intelligent cause of jagat and the jagat is different from brahman. This understanding makes him identify brahman with attributes only. The shastras take him from here, closer to brahman, through the understanding of brahman as real (satya), consciousness (jnyana) and infinite(ananta); finally, brahman being also the material cause of jagat, describes him as neti, neti ( not this, not this logic) and takes the seeker to brahman. This method is described in the shastras as adhyaropa and apavada. The study of shastras helps the seeker understand that brahman is independent of all transactions, even though the creation and dissolution are happening through him. Without a firm knowledge (without internalizing) that brahman is the material cause of jagat, the seeker believes that the jagat is independent and its creator is brahman. Adhyaropa is the process of following this thread of the seeker in attaching creation, visheshana, lakshana and transactions to brahman. Following this, the shastra, through the discussion of karya nad karana, helps the seeker understand that the jagat is not different from brahman - brahman is the upadana karana of jagat. Then the seeker comes to ignore the unreal names and forms and firmly experiences the only real brahman. The seeker comes to understand that the jagat, not different from brahman, cannot be an upadi of brahman. Without upadi, he understands that there are no creation, visheshana, and lakshana. Upon this realization, the seeker experiences the svarupa of brahman and all the attached transactions disappear. Then, even though he is transacting in the unreal jagat, he does not move away from the experience of the svarupa of nirguna brahman. This state of rejecting the adhyaropa on realizing the knowledge of svarupa of brahman is apavada.
In summary, adhyaropa is due to seeing the jagat as a karya. Once he understands the teachings of shruti, he starts to see jagat from the view of karana. Then he firmly rejects (apavada) all transactions in brahman, though the sense organs are transacting with sense objects.
Three levels of reality.
We have understood that brahman appears in different forms in association with upadhis, though he is not subject to any limitation and can not be described at the speech and mind level. The truth at the supreme level (paramartha) is the only reality, while what is observable at the transactional or relational level is not the reality. However the common experience of people is to recognize the body / mind level experiences as reality. Keeping this in mind, the vedanta recognizes three levels of reality as follows;
Paramarthika satya or supreme reality
Vyavaharika satya or trancactional reality
Pratibhasika satya or apparent reality.
These three levels of reality can be better understood through an example. An image of an object can be captured on a screen through a lens. The clarity of the image is dependent on the distance between the lens and the screen, the orientation of the screen, lighting conditions etc. This image is available to everyone's experiences. Under other circumstances, an apparent image of the object (virtual image) can be seen, by a select few in some specific orientation (this will not be the experience of all, as in the lens image above).
It is not possible to capture this image and cannot be a transactional experience, though can be seen (think of a creative artwork, which at an angle, will look something differently). In this example, the object is the paramarthika satya, the lens image is the vyavaharika satya and the apparent image is the pratibhasika satya. In the backdrop of this example, we can understand the three levels of reality in the philosophical plane.
Brahman is real is the paramarthika satya. This is the statement of shrutis. The experience of the sense organs keeps changing from time to time or person to person; what is changing can only be the experiences of the sense organs as science has demonstrated to us. Even in ordinary experiences this is true - like the change in the musical speed can only be determined with respect to a metronome. Brahman is beyond sense organs and is unchanging and is the supreme reality.
The jagat is constantly changing and this change is experienced by the five sense organs. This change is the common experience of all (without defects in sense organs). The knowledge thus established through the sense organs is the basis of all transactional activities. The shastra classifies this changing jagat experienced by all and being the basis of all transactions as vyavaharika satya.
A traveler, on a hot afternoon, sees water at a distance. When he arrives at that location, the water that we all have come to know is not to be seen. The water is a mirage. It appears to be there, but it is not there. This experience, dependent on time and space, is called pratibhasika satya. This experience is also called "satya", though it is an apparent experience, because brahman is the substratum supporting this apparent experience - the laws of nature support the mirage.
Though the three levels of reality are conceded by the shastra, the paramarthika satya is the supporting reality for the transactional reality and the apparent reality. As much as the apparent reality is unreal with respect to the transactional reality, so is the transactional reality is unreal with respect to the supreme reality.
Summary.
Brahman, though is the karana for the jagat, is different from jagat, in that the jagat is jada and brahman is consciousness. Vedanta's approach in explaining brahman, obviously, has to be, to take the student from the known to the unknown. Jagat is the known, brahman is the unknown. The vedanta takes the seeker from the jagat, through the maya to the brahman. The first experience to the seeker is the brahman with upadhis. Then the seeker experiences the lakshanas of brahman - satyam, jnyanam and anantam. Here the seeker understands the supreme reality of brahman. He understands that the transactional reality (jagat) and the apparent reality are nothing but the supreme reality that is brahman. The adhyaropa that brahman is the intelligent cause of jagat, and the jagat is different from brahman is negated (apavada) and establishes himself in brahman, the supreme reality, beyond speech and mind.
We will take up the study of jiva in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
Jiva
We have now discussed jagat and brahman. As we said in the introduction, every philosophy tries to understand the relation between universe, god and the individual. Understanding jiva (individual) is the remaining entity in our study of advaita vedanta. Advaita starts from our current understanding of what we are - adhyaropa (our secular understanding is that we are body, mind and intellect); it then presents the scriptural view of the svarupa of jivas ; finally vedanta helps us negate (apavada) our delusional understanding based on the shruti pramana, to clearly help us understand our svarupa.
Sharira thraya - three body forms.
Three body forms are associated with the jiva - sthula sharira or gross body, sukshma sharira or subtle body and karana sharira or causal body.
Sthula sharira or gross body:
Four kinds of gross bodies are classified; - chaturvidha sharirani tu jarayuja, andaja, svedaja, udbijja khyani. They are
Jarayujani jarayubhyah jatani manushya pashvadini - taking birth in a womb, like humans, mammals.
Andajani andebhyo jatani pakshi pannagadini - taking birth through an egg like birds and reptiles.
Svedajani svedebhyah jatani yukamashakadani - taking birth through moisture like some flies and insects.
Udbbijani bhumim udbhidya jatani lata-vrikshadini - taking birth by breaking the earth like plants and trees.
A jiva can take birth in any one of the four gross bodies, in accordance with his karma and karma phala.
There are similarities in the different gross bodies, as well as some differences. The jarayuja is the most evolved sthula sharira. We will focus our attention on this sthula sharira in the discussion below.
Shiryate iti sharirah - that which decays or is lost is the gross body. The physical body with limbs, head and body is the gross body. All names and forms - man or woman, hindu, christian etc., young and old are the descriptors of this body. This body consisting of bones, skin, flesh, blood, fat, bone marrow, and excretions is born and bred of food; so is called the body of food - annamaya sharira. The source of these body components are the five great elements - earth, water, fire, air and space. The gross body communicates with the jagat through nine outlets - two eyes, two nasal nostrils, two ears, mouth and two lower outlets. This body goes through six changes (shadvikara) - (1) asti or present in the womb, (2) jayate or born, (3) vardhate or grows, (4) parinamate or becomes old, (5) apakshiyate or decays and (6) vinashyati or dies.
Among the animals and humans, the gross body is animated by the vital airs and mind. The plants possess only vital airs and no mind.
The gross body is also called the annamaya kosha- food sheath - because of its dependence on food for birth as well as growth. The annamaya kosha is the outermost sheath or casing. The other koshas in the order are pranamaya kosha - sheath of vital airs, manomaya kosha - sheath of mind, vijnyanamaya kosha - sheath of knowledge, and anandamaya kosha - sheath of happiness. We will learn more about these in appropriate contexts.
What is the purpose of the gross body? - the gross body is the medium for the jiva to communicate with the outside world or jagat. The jiva needs this medium to experience the fruits of action of previous lives.
The previous life was for the experience of fruits of its previous life or lives. So the life experience for the jiva is beginningless - having a gross body anytime is a result of a previous life existence. So there is no description of first life. The jiva, through the body, experiences the fruits of the previous life only or do more karma, guaranteeing a future life with another gross body. Good deeds only beget a divine body, mixed deeds beget a human body or bad deeds only beget an animal or plant body. Suffering from continuous births and deaths, at some point, the jiva recognizes the futility of the cycle of birth and death from the beginning-less time; he then begins the quest for liberation from this cycle of birth and death and over time will become a realized person or jnyani.
Is the jiva, the gross body? - if the jiva is acquiring new bodies every time he is born, obviously the gross body is not the jiva. Just as humans discard old torn clothes and acquire new clothes, the jiva discards old and frail bodies and acquires new bodies to experience the fruits of his action (gita 2-22 - vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya..). Just as a human does not change when he acquires new clothes, so the jiva does not change with the acquisition of a new body.
This is also obvious from our life experiences. As the individual is growing from child to adolescent to adult to oldage, the individual is the same individual. During sleep the individual has no association with the body. During surgery under anesthesia, the individual has no experience of cuts on his body. So the jiva is not the gross body. This rejects or negates (apavada) the understanding that the jiva is the gross body(adhyaropa)
We will discuss sukshma sharira (subtle body) in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In unit 20, we discussed sthula sharira.
We will discuss sukshma sharira (subtle body) in this unit.
Sukshma sharira or subtle body.
An entity, inside the gross body that is not cognizant to the sense organs and responsible for all the activities of the gross body is the subtle body. The activity is the marker for identifying the jiva in the body, and hence is also called the marker body or linga sharira. During sleep, the subtle body withdraws inwards and hence no activities of the gross body is experienced during sleep. Death is marked by the total withdrawal of the subtle body. The subtle body experiences the fruits of activities (karma) of the gross body and hence is the store house of the fruits of action. At death, the subtle body leaves the gross body with the store of the fruits of action; following death, this subtle body takes another gross body in accordance with its fruits of action (karma) and the law of karma to experience those fruits. What is this subtle body made of?
The constituents of the subtle body are (1) five sense organs - eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, (2) five organs of action - hands, legs, speech, and two lower organs, (3) five vital airs - prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana, and (4) antah-karana - the seat of thought and feeling consisting of manas (mind), buddhi (intellect), chitta (memory bank) and ahankara (ego). Thus the subtle body has a total of 19 constituents - these are the "panchikrita" constituents - gross space formed by the combination of subtle space, subtle air, subtle fire, subtle water and subtle earth etc. The five pranas contain the panchikrita vayu and is called the five vital airs; the five sense organs consist of the pancikrita fire and the five organs of action contain the pancikrita earth; the mind consists of panchikrita space. This being the case, the material cause of the subtle body is also brahman, as is the case with gross body.
The activities of the gross body could be physical or sense organ driven actions. Some of the physical activities are under the control of the jiva, but some are not; the actions under control are driven by the five organs of action; the actions not under control are driven by the five vital airs. The 19 constituents of the subtle body are called adhyatmika (relating to the self), their actions are called adhiboutika (relating to the physical environment) and the presiding deity driving the activity is called the adhidaivika (relating to deity - a function of individual karma). The presiding deity is the driver and controller of the activities of the subtle body. We may recall here the following verse (18-14) from bhagavad gita;
"adhishtanam tatha karta karanam cha prthak vidam
vividhah cha prithak cheshtah daivam cha iva atra panchamam "
- in the accomplishment of karma, there are five factors - the body, the doer, the various senses, the various different functions and the presiding deity being the fifth.
Antah-karana
The literal meaning is "internal tool". The outer sense organs are the bahya-karana or "external tool". The information captured by the external tool is captured by the internal tool, processed and offered to the jiva for his experience/decision. The most subtle part of the food the jiva consumes forms the fuel for the antahkarana (the most gross portion is excreted, the middle portion transforms to flesh). So food is an essential ingredient for proper function of the antahkarana. The antahkarana is impacted by the type of food we eat. Satvika, rajasa, and tamasa foods(gita 17-8,10) promote respective gunas in the antahkarana and drive respective reactions in the jiva. This is why many seekers carefully choose what they eat.
As stated earlier, the antah-karana consists of manas (mind), buddhi (intellect), chitta (memory bank) and ahankara (ego). The mind is the origin of thoughts - "sankalpa vikalpatmakam manah"; sankalpa pertains to imagination, volition, mental resolve, intention, determination etc.; vikalpa relates to doubts, uncertainty, indecision, hesitation, suspicion etc. The mind is a tool for the conduct of the jiva and is also called manomaya kosha - manomayah iccha shaktiman karana rupah. The buddhi sorts the thoughts and helps in deciding them in to right and wrong (nischyatmika buddhih). The buddhi has the agency of doing and is called vijnyanamaya kosha - vijnyanamayo jnyanashaktiman kartru rupah. The chitta stores the thoughts. The ahankara provides an identification - i am a man, i am a woman, i did this, i am rich, i am poor etc. The presiding deities of mind, intellect, memory and ego are moon, brahma (chaturmukha brahma- four headed brahma), vishnu and rudra respectively. Any action originates as a sankalpa in the mind, going through the stages of deciding and storing the thought/action and expresses in ego - i did this, i did not do this etc. So it is in the anthah-karana that the fruit of the action accumulates.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
unit 20, we discussed sthula sharira.
In unit 21, we started with the study of sukshma sharira (subtle body); we will continue with sukshma sharira.
Sukshma sharira or subtle body.
Panch prana - five vital airs.
The prana is supported by the subtle part of the water we drink (the gross portion of the water is discharged, while the middle portion adds to the blood).
The five pranas are (1) prana vayu - located in the face, regulates breathing; (2) apana vayu - located in the anus, regulates excretion; it is the apana vayu that helps inhalation and experiencing smell; (3) vyana vayu - located in the nerves throughout the body; its function is between the inhalation and exhalation, like holding the breath, facilitating speech, carrying heavy objects and hard labor.(4) udana vayu - located from the forehead to the feet, it is responsible for determining the next life (5) samana vayu - located in the navel, supports distribution of food and water throughout the body.
Five organs of action.
The adhyatmikas of this group are tongue, hands, feet, and two lower organs. The respective adibhoutika activities are speech, give and take, walk and excretion. The respective presiding deities are agni, indra, upendra, yama and prajapati. The speech is supported by the fat content of the food (the gross part of the fat supports bones, the middle part supports bone marrow and the subtle part of fat supports speech - it is generally known that musicians and shrotriyas consume a larger amount of ghee).
The eight of the 19 subtle body constituents - five sense organs, mind, tongue and hand are together called grahas. The five sense objects - sound, touch, form, taste and smell, the desires of the mind, the speech of the tongue and the actions of the hand are called atigrahas. The grahas are captives of atigrahas. The grahas and atigrahas are the shackles (or fetters) of the jiva. A person who has freed himself from this shackle is a liberated person, experiencer of the self.
The organs of action and the five vital airs together are called the pranamaya kosha - sheath of vital airs; the vital airs are responsible for all activities in the gross body. Therefore the pranamaya kosha is a product of the rajas guna in the jiva - idam pranadi panchakam karmendriyaih sahitam sat pranamaya kosho bhavati; asya kriyatmaktvena rajo amshakaryatvam.
Five sense organs.
The five sense organs are ears for hearing, skin for touch, eyes for seeing, tongue for tasting and nose for smelling. The outer sense organs are only hardware. Their presiding deities are dik devatas, vayu, sun, varuna and ashwini devas respectively. Each organ can capture its own information - eyes cannot hear, ears cannot see etc. In addition, they cannot function simultaneously - when the eye is seeing, the ear cannot hear. This is because, the mind that processes the information from each, can interface with only one organ at a time. However, the speed at which the mind can switch between them makes us feel that we are experiencing the activities of more than one sense organ at a time.
The sukshma sharira or subtle body encompasses the pranamaya kosha, manomaya kosha and vijnyanamaya kosha.
Is the jiva the subtle body ?
The 19 components of the subtle body are inert. They are functioning in the body on a cooperative basis. For whose benefit is this functioning? It is clear that it is for the benefit of the jiva. So the subtle body has to be apart from jiva. The jiva is experiencing the variations in the state of the sense and action organs, and pranas. One can control pranas by breath control (pranayama). So the organs and pranas are tools available to the jiva; they are therefore separate from the jiva and are not the jiva. How about the antah-karana? As much as the jiva is witnessing the mind, (sankalpa/vikalpa), intellect, chitta (memories) and ego (i am this etc.), he has difficulty in separating himself from these witnessed entities. This is resolved from the experiences of the deep sleep state. It is the antah-karana that is responsible for the cognizance during waking and dream states. However, it is everyone's experience that during deep sleep, no cognizance is experienced. Still, when he wakes from deep sleep state, he relates that he slept well. Sleeping well is a cognizance absent during sleep, but the cognizance is reported when awake from deep sleep. Therefore the jiva is an entity other than the antah-karana, witnessing the cognizance of the antah-karana during deep sleep and reporting it to the antah-karana when awake. So the jiva has to be different from the antah-karana.
In the foregoing, it is demonstrated that the components of the subtle body - action and sense organs, pranas as well as antah-karana - are witnessed by the jiva and are different from the jiva. It is therefore rejected that the jiva is the subtle body.
Karana sharira or causal body.
By rejecting that the jiva is not the gross body or the subtle body, what normally the jiva thinks he is, is negated. So the jiva is ignorant of who he actually is! This is his ignorance. By associating himself with the gross body - i am a man, woman, etc, he develops desires, feelings of love, hatred, jealousy etc. These desires and feelings drive him to action. The actions result in accumulation of fruits of action in the antah-karana. Inability to experience these fruits in this life (he is experiencing the fruits of past life or lives), he has to take another life to experience those fruits. He is thus caught in the cycle of births and deaths due to the ignorance - ajnyana - of who he is. This ajnyana is the prime cause of the cycle of births and deaths. This ajnyana is therefore called the karana sharira or causal body. The jiva is not this karana sharira either, which will be addressed below.
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Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1 Empty Re: Adhvaitha Vedantha -part-1

Post by arutsakthi Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:48 pm

Ajnyana or avidya.
In the vedanta terminology, ajynana, avidya or karana sharira are synonymous terms.
The jiva attaches to different upadhis and identifies himself with some thing, he is not, as follows;
Upadhi of body makes him believe he is a man, woman, handsome, beautiful etc.
Upadhi of buddhi makes him believe he is happy or unhappy, intelligent, sinner, yogi, ajnyani etc.
Upadhi of relation makes him a father, son, sister etc.
Upadhi of money and property makes him rich, poor etc.
The jiva is cognizing the above as a witness. So how can he be any of these? His svarupa (the nature that is unchanging and always remaining same) cannot even be that of a knower, since in deep sleep his knowingness is absent. So what is the svarupa of jiva and where/how to understand it?
His svarupa can only be understood in deep sleep. Void of all upadhis, he stands alone in deep sleep. So the jiva's svarupa is his experience in deep sleep. His svarupa is disguised in waking and dream states by association with upadhi. Though he is unable to experience his svarupa in deep sleep, his narration in the waking state - that he slept well - attests to his presence (the mind and body are not present in deep sleep to either experience or narrate it later on). From the beginningless time, he has come to identify himself with upadhis and is at a loss to know his svarupa without upadhis.
The jiva cannot avail his body beyond waking state. His mind is not available beyond dream state. He cannot himself experience his svarupa in deep sleep. Then how should he understand his svarupa? The shruti is the only recourse, as in the determination of jagat. We will review some statements of shruti to understand the svarupa of jiva. Before we review the statements of shruti, we will take a look at the views of other philosophies with respect to jiva.
We will continue with this in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In unit 20, we discussed sthula sharira.
In units 21 and 22 we reviewed sukshma sharira (subtle body).
In this unit, we will look at how other philosophies describe the svarupa of jiva: we will then examine them in the light of the shruti.
Various views about jiva.
Charvaka view.
Charu - agreeable or pleasing, vaka - speaker; one who speaks agreeably and/or pleasantly is a charuvaka. Without dwelling deep into philosophy,
they advance a theory that is pleasant to hear. So this name seems appropriate. A charvaka says "atma vy putrah - he will be born as son"; " svasmin iva putre api premadarshanath putre pushte nashte cha aham eva pushto nashta-scha ityadi anubhavacca putrah atma iti vadati - just as a jiva has love for his son, as he has for himself and as the son progresses or is dying, the jiva feels that he is progressing or is dying (the jiva identifies with the emotions of son), the son is the atman or self". This line is pleasing for all of us who love our children. So the charvaka says his child is self. Other charvaka statements include the gross body is self (sa va esha purusho anna rasa mayah), the sense organs are self , the pranas are self (anyo antara atma pranamayah), the mind is self (anyo antara atma manomayah) etc.
[ the charvakas and buddhists don't believe in the shruti; the shruti
statements cited above and below is for the benefit of the vedantin to
reconcile an association ].
Buddhist view.
" bouddhastu - anyo antara atma vijnyana mayah ityadi shruteh kartuh abhave karanasya shakti-abhavat aham karta aham bhokta ityadi anubhavaccha buddhih atma - iti vadati" - the buddhist says atma is the vijnyanamaya which is inside the manomaya. The buddhist says, "i am the doer, i am the experiencer is the general experience of all jivas": therefore buddhi is the atma (the buddhi here is not the part of anthahkarana discussed previously; it is the waves of knowledge). This is the view of the vijnyanavadi buddhists. The soutantrika buddhists believe the outside jagat as satya or real and so also the mind. The madhyamika buddhists declare that there is no "satya" or real entity. Every thing is shunya or void. This buddhist argues that this jagat was unreal before creation, nothing exists in deep sleep; so the self is shunya.
Mimamsa view.
Prabhakara tarkitou to "anyo antara atma ananada mayah ityadi shruteh buddhyadinam ajnyane layadarshanat aham ajnyah aham jnyani ityadi anubhavaccha ajnyanam atma iti vadatah".
Bhattastu "prajnyanaghana evanandamayah (mandukya upanishat -5) ityadi shruteh sushuptou prakasha-aprakasha-sadbhavat mam aham na janami ityadi anubhavaccha ajnyanopahitam chaitanyam atma iti vadati".
Shabara muni has written a commentary on jaimini mimamsa. Prabhakara misra and kumarilla bhatta have written interpretations on the shabara muni commentary. Followers of prabhakara interpretation are prabhakaras and followers of bhatta interpretation are bhattas.
The prabhakara argument goes like this - the taittirita says vijnyanamaya encloses the self anandamaya; the buddhi merges (lost) in ajnyana and the experience of the jiva that i am ignorant (ajnya), i am knowledgeable(jnyani); so the prabhakaras say "ajnyana is jiva ".
The bhatta argument goes like this - the jiva is prajnyana ghana and anandamaya (mandukya); in deep sleep jnyana and ajnyana are both present - waking from deep sleep, he says "i slept well, did not know a thing"; i did not know a thing is the ajnyana; however, even to recall good sleep, there should be jnyana; so both jnyana and ajnyana are both present in deep sleep. So the bhatta argues that atma is the consciousness having the upadhi of ajnyana; the atma is neither totally insentient nor totally consciousness; it is a mix of both.
All the above views contradict each other and therefore none of them identify the svarupa of jiva. The above views have already been refuted (logically) in rejecting the gross body, subtle body and the causal body as the svarupa of jiva. The refutation of the above views based on shruti pramana follows below.
"kaschit dhirah pratyagatmanamaikshat avritta chakskuh amritatvam icchan"
- seeking immortality, a wise person withdrew from the sense organs and focused inwards on the atman - (katha upanishat 4.1)" - this rejects that the son is the atman, since son is outside him.
" asthulah ananuh."
Not gross, not atomic (brihadaranyaka upanishat 3.8.Cool - this rejects that the gross body is atman.
" aprano hya manah shubrah"
- void of prana and manas, he is supreme (or pure) (mundaka upanishat 2.1.2) - this rejects that prana and manas are atman.
"achakshuh-shrotram tadapanipadam"
- it has no eyes, eyes or limbs (mundaka upanishat 1.1.6) - this rejects that organs are atman.
"anantaschatma vishwarupo hyakarta"
- atman is limitless, cosmic and non-doer (shvetashwatara upanishat 1.9) - this rejects that buddhi (knowledgeable doer) is atman.
"na chasti vetta mama chitsada aham"
- none know me, i am the permanent bliss (kaivalya upanishat- 21) - this negates that ajnyana is atman.
"chinmatro aham sadashivah"
- i am ever auspicious pure consciousness (kaivalya upanishat 18) - this rejects the argument that atman is a mix or composite of inert and sentient.
"tat satyam sa atma"
- it is real, he is atman (chandogya 6.8.7) ,
"sadeva soumyedamagra asit"
- "soumya!, prior to creation, this jagat was the reality" - these statements reject that atman is shunya or void.
These statements of shruti negate the views of other philosophies about atman. Logically also, it is evident that any object that needs the the support of an external source of light (consciousness) to be cognized (like light coming from a window to cognize an object) is inert; all inert objects are impermanent and unreal. So the son, gross body, sense organs are all impermanent and unreal and cannot be atman.
Until now we discussed what atman is not. The review is incomplete without
discussing what atman is!
We will take up this study of discussing shruti's declaration of the svarupa of jiva or who jiva is in the next unit.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
In unit 20, we discussed sthula sharira.
In units 21 and 22 reviewed sukshma sharira (subtle body).
In unit 23, we understood other philosophies' description of the svarupa of jiva. In this unit, we will study the shruti statements of the svarupa of jiva.
Svarupa of jiva.
In discussing the subtle body, we understood that "the jiva is an entity other than the antah-karana, witnessing the cognizance of the antah-karana during deep sleep and relating it to the antah-karana when awake". So where is the jiva during deep sleep? The shruti statements answer as follows;
"sada tada sampanno bhavati, svam apito bhavati"
- he is united with reality (sat), he is merged with atman " - chandogya 6.8.1
"pare atmani sampratishthte"
- he is united with paramatma" - prashna upanishat 4.7
"antar hridaya akashastrasminchate"
- he is lying in the space of antar-hridaya" - brihadaranyaka 2.1.17
"prajnyenatmana samparishvaktah
- he is embraced by the wise atman " -brihadaranyaka 4.3.21.
Shruti statements like these declare that the jiva in deep sleep is united with brahman. So the daily experience of jiva in deep sleep is brahman. It does not mean that the jiva in waking and dream states is not brahman (the jiva's focus being external, he is unable to experience it). This is confirmed in the chandogya (6.8.7)
"sa atma tat tvam asi shvetaketo"
- that atman, shvetaketu, you are
"nanyo ato asti drishta, nanyo ato asti shrota, nanyo ato asti manta, nanyo ato asti vijnyata"
- there is no other seen, there is no other heard, there is no other to realize, there is no other knower (other than the atman) - chandogya 3.7.23.
"sa va esha mahan aja atma yo ayam vijnyanamayah"
- this knower (accumulating knowledge in the waking and dream states) is the supreme unborn atman - brihadaranyaka 4.4.22.
These statements of shruti guide us to understand the svarupa of jiva.
Mahavakyas.
Two of the four mahavakyas (distinguished statements) of advaita philosophy point to the svarupa of jiva. They are
"tat tvam asi"
- you are that - chandogya (6.8.7) and
"aham brahmasmi"
- i am brahman - brihadaranyaka (1.4.10).
Both these distinguished statements are indicators of the svarupa of jiva. The "tat tvam asi" statement is described as an instructional statement - the teacher advising the student that you are brahman. The "aham brahmasmi" statement is described as an experience statement - the student following the instructions of the teacher, contemplates on the nature of the self and experiences brahman. The meaning of these statements are further described.
Tat tvam asi
This phrase appears as part of several statements in chandogya upanishat. Two meanings-
Literal meaning - describing consciousness associated with upadhi
Intended meaning - describing the pure consciousness are analyzed for this and all mahavakyas.
This is explained with an example below.
A red hot iron ball will burn our finger when it is touched. Descriptions of "iron ball burnt my finger" or "the heat of the red hot iron ball burnt my finger" both indicate that the burning principle is the fire aspect and not the iron aspect. The first description is conversational description, which combines the fire and iron aspects. The second is logical description; in this the object (iron) and upadhi or association (fire) are separated. Similarly, in the mahavakya "tat tvam asi - that you are",' that' suggests brahman, 'you' suggests jiva.
"jiva is brahman" is the literal meaning. This does not separate the atman and the jiva (atman associated with the upadhis of body, sense organs and mind). The intended meaning is "the consciousness in the jiva (separating the upadhis from the jiva) is the pure consciousness brahman. "that you are" suggests the pure consciousness brahman through three relational aspects as follows ('tat' and tvam' are both in the nominative case;the relational aspects help understand the interpretation of the two subjects).
"sambandhatrayam nama padayoh samanadhikaranyam pada arthayoh visheshana
visheshya-bhavah pratyagatma lakshanayoh lakshya-lakshana bhavascheti" -
The three relational aspects are -
(1) samanadhikaranya - identical power or identical support; in the phrase "blue lotus", the blueness and lotusness are both supported by the blue lotus. The blue lotus supports blue and lotus identically; blue and lotus identically empower blue lotus
(2) visheshana - visheshya bhava - the adjective describing the quality and the object to which the adjective is associated
(3) lakshya-lakshana bhava - the lakshya/lakshana bhava between pratyagatma (individual self) and the intended meaning of 'tat tvam asi'
In this context, it is said as follows;
"samanadhikaranyam cha visheshanavisheshyata
lakshya lakshana sambandah padartha pratyagatmanam iti"
Identical power/support, adjective and noun relationship and lakshya-lakshana relation exists between object (meaning of tat and tvam) and pratyagatma. Identical power/support in the statement "sah ayam devadadattah - "he is this devadatta"; 'he' refers to a devadatta having an adjective of prior time, and the 'this'adjective describing present time devadatta. Both devadattas of prior and present time are supported by the same person devadatta. Similarly, in the mahavakya, the 'tat' having an adjective of 'that' and describing the pure consciousness and the consciousness described by the adjective visible and described by 'tvam', have both same support in the pure consciousness.
Visheshana-visheshya relation
He is the devadatta related to a prior time; this is the devadatta related to the present time. By rejecting any difference between the prior time devadatta and the present time devadatta, a relationship is established between 'he' and 'this' devadatta. This relation is visheshana-visheshya relation. Similarly, between the 'tat', having an adjective of invisibility (pure consciousness) and 'tvam', having an adjective of visible etc., if the mutual difference is rejected, the relationship is visheshana-visheshya bhava relation.
Lakshya-lakshana relation
'He' is the devadatta of the prior time; 'this' is the devadatta of present time. The intended person is the same devadatta. So by eliminating the attributes 'he' and 'this', the relation with the undifferentiated devadatta is the lakshya-lakshana relation- the intended and literal person is the same devadatta. Similarly in the mahavakya, by rejecting the attributes invisible and visible between 'tat' and 'tvam', the undifferentiated consciousness is the lakshya-lakshana relation between 'tat' and 'tvam' - the intended and literal entity is the pure consciousness. Another classification of lakshana (distinctive or identifying mark) is also described; it is of three kinds.
(1) jahat lakshana - ignoring (jahat) the literal meaning and taking only the intended meaning; for example, in the phrase "gangayam ghoshah - village is in ganga" , obviously the village cannot be in the midst of the ganga river; the intended meaning is 'the village is on the banks of the ganga. Here the intended meaning is extracted by ignoring the literal meaning. This is jahat lakshana
(2) ajahat lakshana - interpreting the intended meaning by retaining (ajahat) the literal meaning; in the phrase "shonah dhavati - red color is running", since red color cannot be running, an animal having red color is running is the intended meaning. Here the literal description 'red' is retained and the intended meaning is extracted. This is ajahat lakshana
(3) jahat-ajahat lakshana - ignoring a part of the literal meaning and retaining a part of the literal meaning; in the statement 'sah ayam devadattah', since it is the same devadatta, ignoring the reference to time, 'he and this' and retaining the person devadatta, the jahat-ajahat lakshana is established. This is also called bhaga lakshana or bhaga-tyaga-lakshana. The mahavakya "tat tvam asi" cannot be interpreted by jahat lakshana or ajahat lakshana. It has to be interpreted by jahat-ajahat lakshana only to extract that 'tat' and 'tvam' identify the same pure consciousness as follows. The statement 'tat tvam asi' indicates the union of visible and invisible consciousness. The opposing visible and invisible attributes are dropped. By doing so, the undifferentiated pure consciousness only is retained is suggested.
The mahavakya - aham brahmasmi
This mahavakya states "i am brahman". Here again, the union of the jiva consciousness 'aham' and the pure consciousness brahman have to be inferred by bhagalakshana as in 'tat tvam asi'. This statement is described as an experience statement versus the instructional statement of 'tat tvam asi'. When the teacher has instructed the student, following the teachings of shruti, the student contemplates on the description of brahman described in the shruti. When he experiences that pure bliss, he exalts "aham brahmasmi" - i am that brahman. This is the culmination of the quest of the student in the realization of brahman. We will pick up the process of contemplation down the road. So far, we negated that jiva is the shtula sharira, or the sukshma sharira or the karana sharira. We also understood the svarupa of jiva - that his svarupa is the pure consciousness or brahman. What is it that prevents the jiva from experiencing this svarupa? This is the avidya or ajnyana. We will next study the nature of ajnyana.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
Nature of ajnyana.
In the study of jagat and the jiva, we have understood that the names and forms of jagat as well as the jiva acting with an understanding of he is the body, mind or intellect are appearances only; in their svarupa, they are identical with brahman. The jiva is not aware that he is brahman. This unawareness that he is brahman is the avidya or ajnyana of the jiva. This avidya leads him to misunderstand himself. This misunderstanding is adhyasa - ajnyana is the cause of adhyasa. In other words, misunderstanding that he is, when he is not, is adhyasa. The mis-understanding (projection or superposition) that he is the body - adhyasa- , makes him experience pain and pleasure, happiness and sorrow etc., caused by the attachment to and fear from the multiplicity. This adhyasa makes him imagine or conceive other bodies, material wealth etc. These he cannot create himself; these are created by brahman by the power of maya, for the experience of karma of the jiva. In the absence of other bodies or material wealth, the jiva has no scope for the experience of karma. So the adhyasa, created by avidya is supported by jagat (caused by the maya). In addition to supporting the birth and death cycle of the jiva, the jagat also supports jiva's quest for liberation through the practice of sadhana chatushtaya and shravana, manana and nidhidhyasana.
Avidya itself is not the culprit; but the adhyasa arising out of avidya is the culprit - not knowing who he is (avidya), he conceives man woman, induced by desires (adhyasa) moves from body to body. For example, not knowing (ajnyana) there is a pit, is not dangerous by itself. But driven by some desire, going towards the pit (adhyasa) could be dangerous. What this tells is that, the adhyasa is of the 'bhavarupa'- of the form of 'is' in the antahkarana (wife is there, wealth is there etc.). The awareness in the misunderstanding is bhavarupa. But the karana for this, the ajnyana - lack of knowledge - is of the 'abhavarupa' - of the form of 'is not'. So the atman does not have any relation to the karana sharira called ajnyana (with the advent or dawn of jnyana, the ajnyana disappears). So the ajnyana or avidya is not in the atman. All that is in the atman is bhava rupa - like paramarthika satya. The vyavaharika satya is bhavarupa of names and forms; the pratbhasika satya is bhavarupa of mirage. That which is opposed to all these and is really not in the atman is abhavarupa; avidya belongs to this abhavarupa category.
How does bhavarupa adhyasa come from abhavarupa ajnyana? This is resolved when one notes that the ajnyana as karana of adhyasa is a pretext, and not a nimitta or upadana. As an example, an abandoned house invites a homeless person to occupy the house. The abhava of the owner did not create the homeless person (neither nimitta nor upadana). When the owner comes back to claim the house, the homeless person quits the place. In this example, the intellect of the ajnyani is the abandoned house, and the jnyana is the owner. When the jnyana is realized (owner comes back), ajnyana disappears (homeless person quits). That is why it was said that adhyasa - awareness (he is body, intellect etc.) In ajnyana - is bhavarupa. Only because ajnyana is abhavarupa, it can be totally eliminated. If it is of the bhavarupa, it cannot be totally eliminated when jnyana takes over or then it has to find place in another jiva, which is absurd. The avidya induced (desire oriented) actions of current life begets next life; like wise the desire oriented actions of previous life(or lives) got us this life. The previous life was derived from its previous life etc. Therefore avidya is anadi or beginning-less, spanning back to many previous kalpas. There is no beginning for avidya. If there were to be a beginning for avidya, that would be synonymous with brahman loosing his svarupa, jnyana and ananda and acquiring avidya. How can it be brahman, if it were to loose its svarupa? (brahma satya). Therefore avidya is anadi or beginning-less; however, the blessed situation is that avidya has an end - it is santa (sa anta), through vidya. Avidya is an affliction with the jiva and not brahman. Krishna tells arjuna
"bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava cha arjuna
tani aham veda sarvani na tvam vettha parantapa "
- arjuna, we both have crossed many lives; i know all of them, but you don't know them - (gita 4-5).
The jiva sheds avidya and realizes brahman. Brahman cannot loose jnyana and become jiva. Vidya can be acquired and not lost. Avidya can be lost and not acquired. Here we can recall a parable from sri ramakrishna. Some tigers came to attack a cow heard. The villagers came to protect their cow heard. In the scuffle, all tigers escaped, except a pregnant tiger that got tired, delivered the baby tiger and died. The villagers took custody of the baby tiger and looked after the baby tiger. It grew with the cow heard, and became a big tiger. One day when this tiger was grazing in the forest with other cattle, another forest tiger was surprised at this domesticated tiger grazing grass. The forest tiger came up to the domesticated tiger and said "what is wrong with you? You are a tiger! You should be attacking the cows, not graze with them". The domesticated tiger did not believe the forest tiger. The forest tiger took the domesticated tiger to the nearby pond and asked it to look at its image in the water. It then said, "what do you see in the image? A tiger face like me or a cattle face like them?". The domesticated tiger realized it is a tiger and not a cattle and went to the forest. The tiger shed its ajnyana and realized its tiger-hood. However, it did not acquire ajnyana and become a cattle (its ajnyana only made it think it is a cattle). So brahman cannot acquire ajnyana and become a jiva.
Avidya-imagined or avidya-fabricated (avidya kalpita)
The witnessed names and forms as a result of avidya are abhava rupa like avidya itself. So the perception itself is avidya-fabricated. The jagat of names and forms is of the svarupa of brahman. This knowledge itself is vidya (jnyana). Prior to this jnyana, the brahman was non-brahman for our perception. So the names and forms were avidya-fabricated during avidya. When it was rejected, the non-brahman(ness) disappeared. With jnyana, the names and forms don't disappear, but the attitude or spirit of understanding changes - seeing brahman in its svarupa and not the names and forms (seeing gold, while looking at the ornament). For example a married man has a wife, mother-in-law, brother-in-law etc. If the marriage is divorced, the above relations don't exist any more; however those people don't die and are still very much alive. The shruti describes jagat of names and forms by both descriptions - (1) at the karana (causal) level, the jagat is brahman; at the karya (or effect) level, jagat is avidya-fabricated. The anatma is fabricated by avidya and there is nothing apart from atma.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih (om peace, peace, peace).
In unit 25, we studied the nature of ajnyana and understood that ajnyana is abhavarupa. In this unit we will continue with the ajnyana and see how it differs from maya. In this unit, we start a new topic - the three states of the jiva.
Karana for jagat - maya or avidya?
We have known from our foregoing study of jagat and brahman that
Maya is the karana for the creation, sustenance and dissolution of jagat, and
The transactions of jagat are superimposed on nirguna brahman due to avidya.
So the question arises - is jagat, karya of maya from (1) above or is it the karya of avidya from (2) above. Is the first correct, the second correct or both correct? If so, are maya and avidya synonymous?
The adyharopa-apavada process clearly leads us to the following without any doubt. Vaishnavi maya (not avidya) is the upadana for the jagat. Brahman, with its power of maya creates the jagat for the benefit of jivas, associated with avidya, to experience their karma. The number of jivas are infinite; even, if one or two were to shed avidya and are not reborn, the creation, sustenance and dissolution of jagat (by the power of maya) continues from beginningless time (anadi) to endless time (ananta) for the benefit of the jivas still in samsara.
Avidya cannot be the karana for jagat for the following reasons.
A) it is the awareness of every individual that he/she is not the creator of jagat
b) how does a single jagat come out of the varieties of avidya of different jivas?
C) multiple jagats from multiple avidya would create a chaos
d) avidya-free jnyanis like vyasa have also lived and interacted in this jagat; so avidya-free individuals also interact in jagat. So how can
avidya be the karana for jagat?
Similar arguments establish that the jagat is not the karya of ajnyana, but it is the karya of maya. This begs a question - then what is the meaning of jagat being imagined by avidya? It is answered as follows. With or without avidya, the jagat is not different from brahman. However, a
person afflicted by avidya experiences that jagat is different from brahman; a person free from avidya will experience jagat as not different from brahman. With this knowledge, he recognizes that nirguna brahman is the only reality. So avidya imagines a jagat (of names and forms) and does not cause a jagat (even vidya cannot cause jagat, so what to speak of avidya?); avidya makes a person believe that the jagat is independent (this is an imagination). So the enquiry helped him understand that the jagat is the karya of maya. On realization (advent of jnyana), this imagination that the jagat is independent disappeared. With the advent of jnyana, he comes to realize that the jagat he had come to experience was imagined due to avidya. With jnyana, he still interacts with jagat; however, this interaction is with a jagat that is not different from brahman (jagat is not independent).
Maya and avidya
Are maya and avidya synonymous? Absolutely not. Maya is associated with iswara and not jiva; avidya is associated with jiva and not iswara. The jagat resulting from maya is identically seen by everyone; the imagination or projection (adhyasa) of jagat due to avidya is an individual experience. Maya helps jiva see brahman in the form of jagat; avidya impels him in the cycle of births and deaths. Maya is the power of brahman, while avidya is a weakness in the jiva. Crossing maya results in liberation, while dropping avidya results in liberation. Maya is supported by brahman, while avidya is supported by maya. Many more differences can be listed to show that maya and avidya are not synonymous. This completes the study of ajnyana (or avidya), which is also called karana sharira.
Three states of jiva
The jiva experiences three states - waking, dream and deep sleep states.
Waking state.
During the waking, the 19 principles activate the gross body - his sense organs, organs of action and the inner organ -antahkarana are all activated. During the waking state, he interacts with the outside world through the organs of the gross body.
Dream state.
As he gets tired of the waking activities, the activities of the gross body are suspended, the mind is still engaged in its activities. This is the dream state. During the dream state, the vital airs are still protecting the gross body. The experiences of the dream state are driven by the imprints (vasanas) within him. All the activities of the waking state are present in the dream state. He creates his own jagat, though this jagat is not experienced by others. This jagat is not the jagat of the five elements created by brahman (through the power of maya). So the good or bad deeds of the dream state do not accrue to the karma of the jiva. There is no difference between the waking and the dream states at the mind level. As much as the outside environment of the jagat controls the mind in the waking state (spatial or temporal limitations), there is no such control of the mind in the dream state - the mind does not experience the limitations of the physical space and the time. The experiences of the dream world are false, while the experiences of the waking world are for true. The jiva is the creator of the dream - the experiences of the waking state manifest as dream.
The mind is the upadhi in the creation of jiva's dream. The light that illumines the dream is the light of the atman - " tam eva bhantam anubhati sarvam tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati" (katha upanishad 2.2.15). It is the same light that illumines the activities in the waking state. However, in the waking state, the light from the sun or moon (light of the atman supported by the upadhi of sun or moon), appears to overpower the light of the atman; therefore it appears to takes backseat.
Deep sleep state.
The activities of waking state through the gross body and mind and in the dream state via the mind will tire the jiva and he is immersed in deep sleep, to rest. In deep sleep, the jiva has no association with either the gross body or the subtle body. Here the jiva is embracing brahman; however, he is still in the lap of ajnyana - because, when he wakes up, he again identifies with the body and mind etc. There is one difference in the deep sleep state vs. The waking and dream states - the experiences of waking and dream states of all jivas are different as narrated by their own experiences; however, the deep sleep experience is the same for all jivas, since all jivas embrace the one and only brahman in deep sleep. Because, "i slept well" does not need additional explanation between jivas; there is no second question like "how well was sleep" to understand the experience of sleeping well (the need for additional explanation to narrate the waking state experience of taste or sight etc. Experiences between jivas is obvious). So in deep sleep, there is no difference in the experience of jivas. So in the absence of association with body and mind (upadhis), there is no difference in the experience - the same happy state; there is no pain in deep sleep state. This happiness or bliss ends with the end of deep sleep state. Back in the dream or waking state, the upadhis of gross and subtle bodies bring in the associated pain or pleasure. This is the only deficiency of the deep sleep state.
The bliss of the deep sleep state is not exceeded by any other bliss. He is alone, without the second. This is the state without any fear; this is paramatma, this is supreme bliss. How to know this? It has been our experience that interaction with (external) sense objects provides happiness for some finite time, beyond which continued indulgence in the sense objects may not continue to provide the same level of happiness. With the loss of happiness, we may not even be inclined to associate with those sense objects again to regain the happiness. There may or may not be happiness in association with sense objects; even the happiness derived, is from the sense object or not cannot be firmly determined. However, it is clear that there is happiness in deep sleep, without any association with sense objects. In reality, the happiness arising out of contact with sense objects is not different from the happiness of svarupa (of the self); however, it appears as the happiness derived from sense objects, caused by the disappearance of the layers of ignorance covering the svarupa. So the transactional happiness (from sense objects) is a subset of the bliss of brahman.
The levels of bliss.
Void of all upadhis in deep sleep, atman is alone, with the disappearance of many. This characteristic of deep sleep is the reason for that bliss in that state. This supreme bliss is not just the domain of deep sleep. A jiva, knowing its svarupa has shed the many; he experiences this supreme bliss in waking, dream or deep sleep states. This happens in stages, as the jiva drops the coverings enclosing the self. As all the coverings are shed, the differences disappear and the same bliss is experienced (unity with the brahman). One, whose all desires are destroyed, enjoys the supreme bliss, in this life in all states.
Om shantih, shantih, shantih ( om peace, peace, peace).
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