Thursday, September 23, 2010
ATMA BODHA =(POST 11)= BY ADI SANKARA = SCIENCE / PROCESS OF KNOWING = ACTION FREE SELF= V.25&26: WHO AM I Contnd..
SRI ADI SANKARACHARYA
TEXT & COMMENTARY
(PART - 11 – VERSES 25 and 26)
We all want to get rid of ALL OF OUR SORROWS and achieve PERMANENT HAPPINESS. This is the goal of every one. Unfortunately, every one is searching for this in the outside world when sorrows and happiness actually arise and subside in the internal world. No one has succeeded in achieving this in the external world by any amount of efforts.
Atma Bodha is an extraordinary Science which points our attention at the very source of our Joys and Sorrows right inside us and assures us that all of our sorrows can be got rid of and permanent Joy can be attained by acquiring SELF KNOWLEDGE.
Atma Bodha lays great stress on the distinction between the Atma(Self) and the Anaatma(Non-self) Portions of Jeeva. This is called Atma-Anaatma Vivekam. This is also called Nithya – Anithya Vivekam, the distinction between the permanent and the impermanent.
This knowledge frees us from ALL SORROWS of the world (called Samsaara) permanently and liberates us from the effects of all DUALITIES which characterize the Samsaara.
In understanding this process, we have so far examined 24 verses out of a total 68 verses. With each succeeding verse, the distinction between Atma and Anaatma is becoming clearer.
In the last post, we dealt with V.23 and 24.
Why is Anaatma (Sareera thrayam) unable to experience Atma which is pervading the Sareera thrayam itself completely? V.23 clarified that – the dualities that create Maya or ignorance is us, namely, attachment (& Aversion), desire (& hate), Sukha and Duhkha (happiness/comfort and sorrow) – all these belong to the emotional mind and not to the Atma. These are experienced in the waking state when all the three 3 bodies (Gross, subtle and causal) are awake and in the Dream state when Gross body is not awake but a part of the Subtle body is awake. These are not experienced in Deep sleep state when both Gross and subtle bodies are asleep. This means that these dualities are experienced only by the Subtle body (the enjoyer of the pleasures and pains) and not by the ATMA which is awake and aware at all times. These dualities which create ignorance in Anaatma (in Ahankara) do not bind the Atma, being pure, eternal consciousness. This means, Anaatma fails to experience Atma because of its own dualities and gets carried away in the Samsaara created by these dualities.
Having understood Anaatma to a reasonable extent, it was now necessary to define Atma also.V.24 defines Atma as below:
Sat or Sath (Pure Existence) Plus
Chit or Chith (Pure Consciousness) Plus
Aananda (Eternal Bliss) Plus
Nitya (Eternal, Always existing) Plus
Nirmalatha (Ever Pure) =This is Atma.
Just as Light is intrinsic to Sun, Coolness is intrinsic to water and Heat is intrinsic to Fire, these five characteristics are intrinsic to Atma. The comparable qualities of Anatma are taken here as example to define Atma – because Atma is otherwise non-definable. If Atma and Anatma are so clearly definable, and Atma pervades the whole of Anatma, then, where from comes the Ignorance which clouds the vision of Atma?
Let us examine further in V.25 and 26.
25 Atmanah Satchidamsascha
Buddheh vruttiriti Dwayam
Samyojya cha Avivekena
Atma is both Sath and Chith (Pure existence and pure consciousness). As pure consciousness, it is the absolute, original consciousness (let’s call it “OC”).
The Sareera thrayam are inert and Jadam. But, it is the only Reflecting medium (let us call it the “RM”) available for the Original Consciousness(OC). All transactions take place through the Sareera thrayam(RM), which is in very close proximity to the Atma (the OC) - which actually pervades it totally.
Even when the ‘RM’ which is Jadam and inert is in close proximity with the ‘OC’, the ‘OC’ continues to remain action-less, transaction-less and changeless. Also, the ‘RM’ still remains inert only. But, their close proximity gives rise to a purely transient third entity called REFLECTING CONSCIOUSNESS (or “RC”) – by taking the consciousness part from the OC and reflecting part from the RM. This ‘RC’ is called Chith (consciousness) + Aabhasa(reflection) = Chidhabasa.
This ‘RC’ called Chidhabhasa is located in Buddhi – and this acts as the ‘knower principle’ or Jnatha for all Transactions and changes.
Now, this RC, acting as knower, can see the world and any object in it, through the eyes, hear through the ears and know the world through Sareera Thrayam’s Indriyas(Sense organs) and act through them. It is capable of transactions but through the RM again. What OC and RM cannot do directly, RC is doing.
When any action happens, it creates thoughts. The thought is a part of the mind. Just as the Mind itself is a REFLECTING MEDIUM (RM), so also, thoughts created in Mind act a smaller Reflecting Mediums (RMs). So, 2 RMs are there now – the mind and the thoughts.
Reflecting Medium’s Role is that of a Mirror. The Mirror reflects objects placed before it faithfully, to the extent, the mirror itself is clear and pure. The objects are outside. The reflection is in the Reflecting Medium.
The knower is the chidhabhasa (RC) formed by the proximity (but not combination) of the Atma (OC) and the Sareera thrayam (RM). The reflections formed in the RM of the thoughts is called knowledge or Jnanam.
Ex : The thought of a friend is a smaller RM formed in the larger RM of the mind. The knowledge (Jnanam) of the friend is the CHIDHABHASA (RC), which is actually a reflection of the friend in the RM of the thoughts. It gives us the knowledge of the friend, which is a reflected consciousness.
The knower (Jnatha) is the chidabhasa sitting in Buddhi (Intellect).
The Knowledge or Jnanam is the chidhabhasa sitting in the thoughts in the mind. This means – 2 RCs are formed – one acting as knower, the other acting as knowledge.
The knower and the knowledge come together for transactions to take place with the world.
When Buddhi and Mind are asleep, there is no knower or knowledge. But OC, the Atma continues as ever.
Because of the Reflected consciousness only – Ignorant Mind feels “I am knowing”. It is a reflection of the consciousness in this reflecting medium. It is not the original consciousness, or the Original “I”. Reflection always creates a false feeling of I. And a process of cognition. But, the real “I” is not RC (chidabhasa). “I” am the Sath and the Chith. “I” am beyond all transactions and beyond all that happens to the reflections. All transactions are occurring in the RM of the Sareera thrayam due to the RC of Chidabhasa.
If this appears bit complicated, let us not worry much. The clarifications will arrive in time.
26 Atmano Vikriyaa naasti
Jeevah Sarvam alam Jnatwa
Jnataa Drusteti Muhyati.
Atma and Anaatma need a very clear understanding. Therefore, the same point is repeated, but from a new angle here.
The Atma is absolutely changeless, action-less and transaction-less. So, No transaction occurring in Sareera Thrayam or in the world can be attributed to Atma. But then, it is the only repository of original consciousness and without its presence, no transaction or action can happen. “I” won’t do any thing. But without my presence, nothing can happen!! A huge paradox indeed – relating to Atma.
Let us see the Sareera thrayam now. The Mind (and Buddhi etc) are inert and Jadam and have no inherent knowledge or consciousness. Being inert, they too cannot perform any transactions and cannot KNOW ANYTHING by themselves. But –
(a) transactions and KNOWING are occurring.
(b) Gross Body is the seat of all pleasures and pains.
(c) Subtle Body(mind) is the enjoyer of these pleasures and pains, which arise out of so many transactions occurring.
So, Knowing and knowledge are occurring somewhere in or in the proximity of the Sareera Thrayam. Who is the knower and who / what is the known – if neither Atma (OC) nor Mind(RM) can individually accomplish this?
The knowing process is a fact. It cannot be connected to OC or RM. But, together, without losing their individual qualities, they have given rise to RC or Chidhabhasa. It is different from Pure OC and pure Mind both.
This is explained further. Knowing process cannot be associated with Atma as any process involves some modification(vikaara) and Atma is nir-vikara, or Changeless.
Knowing process cannot also belong to inert, Jadam principle of Mind / Buddhi – which being inert, cannot accomplish the knowing. It has no consciousness which can enable this.
But, the combination of consciousness from OC and the capability for reflecting in the RM of Buddhi/Mind – gives rise the RC of Chidhabhasa, which acts as consciousness and can also do the reflecting role. Thus, this RC acts as the KNOWER PRINCIPLE (Jnatha).
But, the Jeeva has no clear knowledge of how the perception is going on and how knowledge is being acquired. It deludes itself saying ”I’ am Knowing this. It deludes itself saying – I am the Jnatha(Knower), Kartha (Doer), Bhoktha(Enjoyer), the Jnanam (Knowledge) etc. Why is this so? The Mirror can reflect faithfully – only if it is clear and pure! But, is this Chidhabhasa mirror pure? As the reader can see – we are systematically trying to understand “the process of understanding” and thereby understand and separate our SELF from the NON-SELF.
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