When the body falls finally – there is no more birth – and this becomes vidheha Mukthi for me.
This verse talks of Jeevan Mukthi which I get out of constant practice of Nidhidhyasanam. My liberation is here and now – not at some later point of time in this birth and not after death and not in some future birth.
For this, I must perform the Nidhidhyasanam always (Sathatham).
I must burn out my total ignorance (of all types) in the burning fire of my constant Nidhidhyasanam.
In vedic rituals (Yagas) – fire is materialized by creating friction in a special wooden block (called Adhorani or lower wooden block) with a long, rod-like wood called uttara arani (upper wooden block) and then transferring the Agni (fire) to the ritual fire place . The churning like process between the uttara arani and adhorani is continued non-stop till the fire materializes.
In a similar way, the churning in us with Nidhidhyasanam must continue non-stop until the fire of knowledge comes out and burns away our Ignorance in its flames. This process of Jnana Yoga is compared to Arani madhanam of the Vedic rituals. Sankaracharya calls it as Dhyana Madhanam.
The Jnana-agni that generates in us has similar goal as the ritualistic fire.
Nidhidhyasanam is the upper arani and the Maha vakyams of Vedas and similar purpose verses like v.31 to 41 here must be constantly repeated with total involvement and absolute lack of any doubt.
The fire of knowledge that arises in Nidhidhyasanam burns away our ignorance / avidya totally with certainty. Which is the Adhorani or lower arani? It is our anthahkaranam or Buddhi – in which the reflected consciousness of atman remains closest to us for burning away the ignorance. The word Atma used in the verse is used in this sense.
Who can effectively churn away the upper arani of Mahavkya Nidhidhyasanam on the lower arani of Antahkaranam or Buddhi where the Ignorance resides in us?
The Guru who teaches us Sravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhysanam in a methodical manner can be the best churner – to burn away our Ignorance. But, ultimately, it is I, the individual, who does the Nidhidhysanam within himself and Guru is only the external help in the Madhanam / churning process.
The Sun is adored by many as the Lord of knowledge whose rise in the morning removes the darkness from human lives in many ways. Just as the rise of Sun removes all darkness from the world, so also, the rise of Brahma Jnanam removes all ignorance from us and the Brahman in us shines brilliantly.
The Vedic prayer ‘thamaso ma jyothir gamaya’ – means, o lord, lead us from darkness to light. The darkness meant here is the darkness of ignorance in us. Light meant here is the wisdom that removes our ignorance. Sun leads us from physical darkness to physical light. Self knowledge arising in us leads us from the darkness of Ignorance to the light of the Brahman.
The stress here is that – thamas or darkness will continue to remain until the rise of the sun (or the sun of self knowledge in us).But, once self knowledge arises, we are liberated totally from the darkness of Ignorance.
But then, why does it look so difficult to attain, even though it is ever available to us? It is because of Avidya or Ignorance. We have already seen that the Atma is none other than MY OWN SELF (FOR ANY ONE, IT IS ONE’S OWN SELF).There is no way that I could have actually ever lost it so that I have to find it again.
But, this happens due to avidya. When Avidya rules in us, Atma is under its cloud. We are unable to find it in us due to the darkness of ignorance in us. When self knowledge is regained, Atma shines forth in all its brilliance.
Some one was searching furiously for an ornament which she could not locate in her house. She was very sure that it was available, but the search all over the house did not yield any result. Finally, she put her hand on her neck, and lo, the ornament was ever there but was just not visible to the person’s eyes.
So is the case with the Atma. Search must be within you. Start negating everything outside, as the NOT YOU. I am not this, I am not this. And, so on. Get deeper and deeper inside you. Negate all that you come across and can objectify. Ultimately, after negating everything that you can objectify, you find that the one who is searching is himself the one for whom he is searching. Meditate on the meditator and find your SELF.
Why is this?We are always in an outward search for everything. Our sense organs are always outward bound. Our organs of action too are outward bound. This leads to various types of karma and the resultant Karma phalam. This leads to more and more avidya or ignorance in us and we are led farther and farther away from our self.
Buddha says – we are always out for gathering more and debris around us. Of course, this continues until we become debris our self. But, as we have seen in Atma Bodha so far, this happens to Sareera thrayam and Chidhabhasa constantly.
Once the search for the self starts in the way outlined in Atma Bodha and the upanisadic texts, our urge to gather debris around us stops gradually and we attain to self liberation or Jeevan Mukthi. We attain to our self as the Brahman.