Tuesday, September 14, 2010
ATMA BODHA =(POST 8)= BY ADI SANKARA = EFFECT OF IGNORANCE & DELUSION = ATMA THE WITNESS : WHO AM I Contnd..
SRI ADI SANKARACHARYA
TEXT & COMMENTARY
(PART - 8 – VERSES 19 and 20)
In the previous Post, we examined verses 17 and 18. In v.17, we saw that the Suddha Atma can only be perceived and reflected in the Suddha Buddhi, the purest Buddhi or Intellect and in no other organs of the Sareera Thrayam, even though the Suddha Atma (Pure consciousness) is present everywhere.
Why is this so? This is because, Suddha Buddhi is the only discriminative faculty, which can differentiate between Atma and Anatma. Other parts of the Sareera thrayam have no such skill in them. But the Buddhi has to be pure to perceive and reflect the Atman. A buddhi tainted by Ignorance is not capable of reflecting the pure consciousness.
It is much like a clean, clear, perfect mirror that can reflect the object before it clearly and faithfully. A tainted, imperfect mirror shows the object with all of the mirror’s own taint and imperfections. The mirror’s image then does not reflect reality at all.
In V.18, we further saw that the Atma is the all pervading witness of all activities of the Sareera thrayam but does not participate in their activities. It is like a king who sits in his own court when all the courtiers are actively participating in many activities but the king remains only a witness, and not a participant in the activities of the courtiers. The Chaithanyam or Atma (Consciousness) does not depend on the Sareera thrayam for its existence.
This is what knowledge of self clarifies. But how does the ignorant person behave?
19 Vyapruteshu Indriyeshu Atmaa
Drusyate Abhreshu Dhavatsu
Dhavanniva Yathaa Sasee.
The Atma Chaitanyam is all pervading but it does not travel anywhere. It is the Sareera thrayam that is travelling. But, it appears to us that the Atma Chaitanyam (consciousness) is travelling along with the Sareera thrayam. This is a delusion born out of Ignorance of the Self vis a vis the Sareera thrayam.
When the Sareera thrayam is alive, the three bodies comprising it all move and travel and indulge in various activities.
After death, the Gross body dies and gradually merges into the five elemental forces. The Sookshma and Kaarana Sareerams (Subtle and causal bodies) do travel to…, wherever their Karma Phalam takes them. It may be to a different birth on earth, or to a different Loka (any one of the many heavens), for enjoying the unexpired fruits of their Karma. It is the Sookshma Sareeram which is moving like this, along with the Kaarana Sareeram, but the Atma Chaitanyam has no part in all this travel.
As we have said - while living, the body travels from place to place. The gross body, the subtle body and also the causal body all move together – This is our experience and this is also the truth.
But, the Atma Chaitanyam, which is available here, there and everywhere (being all pervading) need not, cannot and does not travel along with Sareera thrayam from here to there or any where – for the simple reason that it is already available at all places. It is not subject to any change of time, space, or shape etc. This major characteristic of the Atma Chaitanyam needs to be understood clearly.
Yet, if we want to give it a name when the Sareera thrayam express themselves because of the Atma chaitanyam, we can say - within the Body, we experience the chaitanyam as Vyaktha Chaitanyam (consciousness which we are able to feel through the existence of the Sareera thrayam) and the one outside of it is Avyaktha chaitanyam (One which is beyond our experience) for us.
To make understanding a little more clear – we also need to remember that Atma Chaitanyam by itself, is TRANSACTIONLESS. But, all transactions can occur only in its presence. The Sareera thrayam acts in presence of this vyaktha chaitanyam.
For an example, Sankaracharya talks of the moon and the clouds. On a day when moon is shining in the sky and clouds are moving in the sky (faster than moon, relatively speaking), we on earth begin to feel that the moon who is relatively stationary is moving and not the clouds. The delusion of the moving Atma Chaitanyam is equally so. This delusion arises due to ignorance of the facts which takes away our discriminating faculty.
What exactly is the role of Atma Chaitanyam in the actions of Sareera Thrayam?
20 Atma Chaitanyam aasritya
Deha indriya Manodhiyah
Swakriya ardheshu Vartante
Surya aalokam Yatha Janaah.
If we say, Atma Chaitanyam does not play any role in the work of Sareera thrayam, why do we need it at all?
The reason is - Sareera thrayam can do all their work only in the presence of Atma Chaitanyam. Without Atma Chaitanyam’s presence, no work, no transactions, no movement can occur at all.
Some of the words used here for the Sareera Thrayam are - Deha (physical Body or Sthoola Sareeram), Indriya (5 Jnana + 5 Karma Indriyas), Manas (emotional mind) and buddhi (Intellect). These are all dependent (Asrithya) on Atma Chaitanyam for their very existence, for their (reflected) consciousness and for all of their movements and work. These parts of Sareera thrayam borrow their functional capabilities and their existence from the Atma Chaitanyam.
Atma Chaitanyam is thus the Source of the capabilities, functioning and movements of Sareera thrayam – but by its mere presence. It does not participate in any of these activities. All these activities belong to the Sareera thrayam totally(swakriya = for their own purpose/ work).
The example given is – of SUN, in the presence of whose light, all people can do their work. But, SUN does not participate in any of this work of the people. But, people can work and live only if sun’s presence and his light is available on earth and ensures life and movements on earth.
In the previous example, the example used was moon, which has no original light, but only has a reflected light – like the reflected consciousness shining in the Sareera thrayam.
In the present example, we are talking of the Atma Chaitanyam and the example given is that of Sun, which possesses original light.
We will continue the discussion further in V.21 in next post with new examples.
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