Monday, September 20, 2010




(PART - 10 – VERSES 23 and 24)


In the last Post No.9, we studied V.21 and 22.
In V.21, we saw that - All Gunas and Karmas (Characteristics and actions) belong to the Body and the Indriyas – which together means the Sareera thrayam.
Atma is totally free of all Gunas and Karmas (Amala) as it is Sat-chit – changeless existence -pure consciousness.
But Ignorance (aviveka) makes us ascribe all characteristics and Actions of the Sareera Thrayam(Anaatma) to the Atma (Self) due to Adhyaasa Dosha. It is very much like our assumption of sky being Blue in colour, when actually sky is colourless.

In V.22, we emphasized further that -   Doer-ship and Enjoyer-ship (Karthruthva and Bhokthruthva) of all actions happening to or in any part of the Sareera Thrayam actually belongs to the Ahamkara (Ego) part of the Manas (Emotional Mind). They do not touch the Atma in any way. Yet, we ascribe them to Atma (Self) due to Ignorance.
The example given is – that of the image of the moon on water which is moving in waves due a disturbance in the water. We begin to feel as though it is the moon that is moving this side and that side. In reality, neither the moon’s image in water, nore the moon in the sky – are actually moving, as we see in the disturbance of the waves.  These are all due to the upaadhi dosha of the disturbed water waves. We are not seeing either the moon or the Atma directly but only through the disturbed water in case of moon and through the disturbed mind (Ahamkara) in case of Atma. Thus comes the Upaadhi dosha (through the disturbed mind/ Ahamkara), misleading us from the actuality.

Atma is beyond all transactions, actions, doer-ship, enjoyer-ship etc and is totally changeless all the time.

But, what major factors disturb the mind? The answer comes in V.23.

23 Raageechaa Sukha Duhkhaadi
Buddhow Satyaam Pravartate
Sushuptow Naasti Tannaase
Tasmaad Buddhestu Naatmanah.

In this sloka, the word used is Buddhi, the determinative faculty, but then, the power of the determinative faculty is usurped by the emotional mind’s weaknesses constantly. Hence, here, it is to be understood as the Buddhi disturbed by the emotional mind’s weaknesses. What are these?
The first one mentioned in the sloka is ‘RAAGA  or attachments. Attachments also include aversions which are negative attachments. A person who is possessed by attachments / aversions  can not but always dwell mentally on the object or person of such attachment / aversion. There is another effect     of Raaga. Whatever affects the object or person towards whom we possess attachment – also tends to affect us.We suffer all his sufferings and enjoy all his happinesses, as if they are ours.
The second is Icchaa or desire. Desire also pertains to the emotional Mind but it disturbs the Buddhi out of its logical reasoning and decision making. In all these, the duality also counts. Hatred is thus another one mentioned without mentioning. Where Ichha is at work, sooner or later, hate also sprouts against some object /person. Dualities work in the mind in a wave pattern.
Next is Sukha – meaning pleasure or comfort, which lulls and dulls the mind -  and also the Buddhi equally.
The next (and the last) mentioned is Duhkha – meaning sorrow, sadness etc which takes away one’s strength, will power and  power of reasoning in a big way. The word ‘aadi’ indicates the inclusion in the list of all other dualities that affect the mind and through the mind, the Buddhi (Intellect).
All these produce varieties of effects on the Anatma (Sareera thrayam). These arise mainly due to the Deha+Abhimana or love of the Sareera thrayam and identification with them.
When do we enjoy or suffer them?
Only when the Sookshma Sareera (Subtle body) is active and awake. This means, we enjoy or suffer these dualities when we are in waking state or at least in Dreaming state (Jagradh and Swapna Avastha).
When we are in deep sleep state (Sushupthi Avastha), none of these dualities affect us. In deep sleep state, the gross body and the subtle body are both asleep. The seat of pleasures and pains and their enjoyer both are asleep now.
The Kaarana Sareera has nothing to do with them. Neither does the Atma which is the consciousness pervading the Sareera thrayam at all times. It is very clear that these DUALITIES  therefore pertain to the Sookshma Sareera (Subtle body) in which the Buddhi resides and which is constantly affected by these dualities suffered in the Manas( the emotional mind).
These dualities do not touch the Atma in any of the Avastha Thrayam (waking, dream and deep sleep states).
In Bhagavad Gita, first Chapter, Arjuna Vishadha Yoga, Arjuna represents the typical Buddhi affected by the dualities of Raaga, Dvesha etc of the Mind.  He comes with full vigour and anger to fight the war. But, his re-awakened love for his Grand father, Bhishma, for his Gurus, Drona and Kripa and for his other close friends who are providentially placed on the side of his enemies now – converts his anger into sadness and sorrow and creates deep aversion in him for the war. He is tossed between each of the dualities of life. He is deeply in “Samsaara”. But then, All of us too have the same problems as Arjuna.
Lord Krishna represents the Atma (or Paramatma) who is totally unaffected by the dualities. In expounding the Gita, his role is that of the purified Intellect (Suddha Buddhi) in presence of the Atman and reflecting it in all its splendor. The Gita is intended not merely for Arjuna – but for all of us.
Identification with Sareera Thrayam produces all these dualities and their attendant problems. Atma has no such attachments, and one whose identification rests in the Atman remains, ever unaffected by the dualities of life.

24 Prakaaso Arkasya Toyasya
Saityam Agner Yatha Ushnataa
Swabhaavah Satchidananda
Nitya Nirmalata Atmanah.

When we say that every thought, every feeling, every action and all characteristics belong to the Anatma (Sareera thrayam), the question that arises always is - what exactly belongs to Atma and what is its role at all?
The Atma, the real I,  is definable as below:
Sat  or Sath (Existence)               Plus
Chit or Chith (Consciousness)       Plus
Aananda (Bliss)                           Plus
Nitya (Eternal, Always existing)     Plus
Nirmalatha (ever pure)                = This is Atma

Sankaracharya reverts back to beautiful examples from the five great elements.
The first example is that of -
(a)       Light which is the intrinsic characteristic of the Sun. Therefore, Sun is eternally bright.
(b)      Coolness which is the intrinsic characteristic of water. And
(c)       Heat which is the intrinsic characteristic of fire.
These are inseparable characteristics of these elements. In the same way, Sath, Chith, Aananda, Nithya, Nirmalatha are intrinsic to Atma.
Can we now differentiate Atma from Buddhi ?
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