Friday, October 22, 2010




(PART - 20 – VERSES 49,50,51,52)

In V.45 - We saw that ignorance-born delusions make us mistake  Paramathma also to be a Upaadhi-bound jeeva – until we know the truth of  thath-thvam-asi (being that-thou-art). Once we imbibe the truth, our true state becomes clear.

In V.46, we saw that – once the ignorance-born ego of ‘I’ and ‘mine” feelings are removed by the swaroopa anubhava, the experience of self, we stand in the state of Brahman and our self knowledge becomes permanent. Till Brahman is experienced and identified in self – delusion continues.

In V.47 – we saw that -  that the Yogi with wholesome self knowledge – will see the whole universe in himself and himself in the whole universe – with his eyes of wisdom, or Jnana Chakshu. The power of the eyes of wisdom is such.

From all this - we understand where our Nidhidhyasanam should lead us. Are we able to experience the whole universe in our Self and our Self in the whole Universe (everywhere all the time)? This is the ultimate test of Nidhidhyasanam. We now proceed further.

In V.48, we saw that – the Jnani sees every thing in the Universe as Atma Swaroopam.
49 Jeevan Muktastu Tat Vidvaan
Poorvopaadhi Gunaan Tyajet
Satchidananda Roopatvaat
Bhavet Bhramara Keetavat.

Who is Jeevan Muktha? We have seen earlier that liberation comes from attainment of Atma Jnanam or self Knowledge. The moment we attain Atma Jnanam through Sravana-Manana-Nidhidhyasanam of Sasthra Mahavakya (Vedic, profound revelations like Aham brahma Asmi), at that moment, we become free and totally liberated of all that binds us to Samsaara like desire, anger, Lust, greed, pride, envy and fear and all the dualities of Samsaara like happiness-sorrow, pleasure and pain etc.

We become free even as we reside in the body.  This is in contrast to Videha Mukthi – a liberation which a sadhaka may attain after the fall of the Body Mind complex. This happens when Prarabdha Karma phalam is dissolved totally. But Atma Jnani does not have to wait for the fall of the body-mind complex. He is liberated the moment he becomes a Atma Jnani. The body-mind complex may still be undergoing prarabdha karma phalam. But,  Atma Jnani is totally unconcerned with it. It does not touch him.

His poorva Upaadhis, like gross, subtle and causal bodies, the reflected consciousness and all of their vritthis (characteristic and actions) are automatically negated  as not ‘I’ and not ‘mine’. He can at will, separate himself from these Upaadhis. Many incidents from the lives of Brahma Jnanis (same as Atma Jnanis) are available to us on how they can freely separate themselves from these Upaadhis. Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi underwent a major operation without any painkilling drugs – as if the body is not ‘he’. Many such incidents are known and widely talked of in respect of many other such Brahma Jnanis. The moment they attain to Brahma Jnanam, all attachments and identification with these Upaadhis cease for them. They still reside in these Upaadhis and participate in all activities of life but from the stand point of the Atma or Brahman , i.e., from the stand point of a pure witness in whose presence all actions and transactions happen and not as one who is the actor or transactor.  For the rest of the world, the difference between Atma Jnani and others is not obvious.

But, how does this happen, merely by Nidhidhyasanam on Mahavakyas like Aham brahma asmi etc?

In Nidhidhyasanam, the sadhaka is always thinking of Brahman and striving to identify himself with Brahman.

Readers who have come up to this verse no.49 methodically, are aware of how the Sadhaka intensely strives to identify himself with Brahman.

What happens in this process? Adi Sankara gives the following example.

The wasp goes out and brings a type of worm to its nest. Not every worm, but a certain type of worm in which some of its own features probably pre-exist. The wasp goes on tormenting the worm hour after hour and day after day. The worm is therefore all the time intensely thinking of the wasp only – either out of fear (initially) or, after some time of proximity, even out of some kind of attachment to the wasp. As time goes on, due to its constant concentration on the wasp, the worm acquires all features of the wasp and itself becomes a wasp. This example is often quoted by ancient sages in such cases. They must have watched this phenomenon in their days. Presently, whether this type of wasps and worms are existing is however unknown.

But this example is illustrative of what happens to sadhaka in such intense Nidhidhyasanam. There is the saying – Yath Bhaavam, thath Bhavathi. As you think, so you become.

If you are intensely concentrating on Brahman, that too, as your own self, you do become Brahman in time. This is the Bhramara-keeta nyaya.

Initially you may experience Brahman within the body-mind complex – for, after all, if Brahman is all pervading, he is in the body-mind complex too. But soon, as Brahman, you experience yourself all over the universe, with all the characteristics of Brahman.

And, what are these characteristics of Brahman? Brahman is sath : the never changing and ever the same existence – chith : the supreme, all pervading consciousness witness – aananda : eternal bliss.
Brahman is beyond Sathva – Rajas – Thamas gunas and all dualities of Samsaara.

Hence, the words sath chith aananda are really not gunas and not even the characteristics of Brahman. Sath Chith Aananda is Brahman. It is beyond all names, forms, characteristics and gunas –as we have seen in Nidhidhyasanam.

50 Teertva Mohaarnavam Hatvaa
Raaga Dveshadi Raakshasaan
Yogee Saanti Samayuktah
Atmaa Ramo Viraajate

This is a Beautiful comparison with Lord Rama’s life – to illustrate what transformation comes when one becomes a Brahma Jnani.

Rama is compared with a seeker of Brahma Jnanam. Devi Sita (who is compared to Brahma Jnanam)was always with him as his inseparable better half.

But Lord Rama (the seeker) lost his Sita (the Brahma Jnanam) to the Raakshasaas or daemons  like Kumbhakarn, Indrajith etc (who are compared with dualities of Maya like raga-dvesha  or attachment-hatred), whose supreme King is Ravana (who is compared to Ignorance or Avidya,  the chief cause of all sorrows and dualities of Samsaara).

So, first, Rama has to kill all the daemons – just as a sadhaka has to gain total victory over his dualities-daemons, which are tormenting him every moment. Unless these dualities-daemons are defeated, it is not possible for Sadhaka to defeat the chief daemon, namely Ignorance, avidya or Maya ( for Rama, it is Ravana). After the other dualities-daemons are defeated, the Mind becomes Santha chittha or absolutely peaceful mind.

Now, the last of the enemies but the worst of them all, namely IGNORANCE, remains. For Rama, the field is now clear – and only Ravana remains to be defeated and killed. Ravana has ten heads – each in Vedanta parlance represents a vasana or weakness of mind (like desire, anger, fear etc) and Rama tries to behead each head of Ravana. But, Rama is unsuccessful in it. The heads start coming back even as they are chopped off. In Vedanta parlance, the reason is – as long as Ignorance, which is the main villain, persists, the dualities of Samsaara keep coming back. So, it is said, Rama was advised to use the Brahmasthra (the weapon of Brahma) – which effectively killed Ravana once for all and restored Sita to Rama.

As the reader can easily see for himself – the sadhaka must, without any doubt, strive for control over his mind and all its dualities. But, as long as Ignorance or Maya persists in him, his victories over the dualities will be temporary. They will keep coming back again and again until Ignorance is totally killed with the weapon of Brahma Jnanam.

On killing Ravana along with all the Rakshasas, Rama got back his Sita and became ever lustrous and illustrious (in the company of Sita).

The Sadhaka – after gaining total control over chittha vrittis and dualities becomes Santha Chittha. He must now vanquish and eliminate Maya /  ignorance through Brahma Jnanam and regain his state of Sath chith Aananda.

In his state of Sath chith Aananda, the Brahma Jnani is ever his own shining and illustrious self. Atmaa Rama means one who revels in himself. The Jnani revels in himself – and is free from all actions, transactions and changes happening all around him.
51 Baahya Anitya Sukhaasaktim
Hitva Atma Sukha Nirvruttah
Ghatastha Deepavat Svasthah
Swaantareva Prakaasate.
In this verse, Adi Sankara clearly distinguishes between two types of sukham (happiness).

First is Happiness coming from external sources like – people, utilities, implements, wealth and so on. If happiness depends on these external sources – which are ephemeral and will come in and go out of our lives at intervals - our happiness also will be temporary and  will be intertwined with periodical unhappiness. That is why  these are called dualities of life. Adi sankara, for this reason, calls the happiness from these external, ephemeral sources as – Bahya, Anitya sukham.

A Brahma Jnani will not get attached to these source of happiness. Swami Paramarthananda calls these sources of happiness as uncontrollable, unpredictable, unsustainable and unreliable. These are very obviously so. But the man in ignorance is always hankering for them and getting tossed between happiness and unhappiness with a peace-less state of mind. But, Brahma Jnani remains unattached to these sources of happiness. When such happiness comes, he is not elated. When it goes, he is not depressed. It is to be emphasized that it is not possible to do away with these external sources of happiness completely as long as we are alive. Even a Brahma Jnani has to retain body and Mind and indulge in food, drink, sleep etc at the minimum. All these do give temporary happiness. The difference between Jnani and Ajnani is – Jnani is aware fully and is unattached to these sources of happiness. Their coming and going do not matter much for him.

The second type of sukham is Atma sukham. Atma sukham arisis from Brahma Jnanam. It arises from total awareness of one’s own nature as Sath – Chith – Aananda. This Aananda is ever lasting and incomparable. It does not depend on external sources. For Jnani – peace and happiness are his natural, permanent  state of mind.

The word for complete health in most Indian languages and Sanskrit is –Swasthatha or Swasthya. What does this word mean? It means – when you are in your own self, you are in health. Its opposite word – Aswasthya or ill health, also means, you are not in your own SELF. Health, physical and mental is as simple as, residing in your own self. When you are not in your own self – automatically, you are in Ill-health.

Adi Sankara is so fond of explaining with apt examples. For this also, he cites a lamp  lighted inside a pot. The  lamp burns and emits light steadily and without a flicker inside the pot. Likewise, Jnani’s mind shines with happiness in himself, without undergoing ups and downs due to external factors.
52 Upadhisthopi Tatdharmaih
Alipto Vyomavanmunih
Sarvavit Moodhavat Tishteth
Asakto Vaayuvat Chareth.

Both Jnani and Ajnani are bound to Upaadhis like Sareera thrayam by the Prarabdha karma. They do undergo the Karma Phalam of their Prarabdha.

They both grow old, get diseases, decay and die. Other external factors like rain and sun shine also have their effect on the body and mind of both.

Then what is the difference between Jnani and Ajnani in respect of body and mind complex. Jnani is like the sky (or space) which remains unaffected by the clouds that try to hide the sky. The sky is always clear. Jnani likewise remains unaffected by prarabdha karma phalam which attacks his body and mind. He remains unaffected within himself.

Even though, he is the wisest of all, externally, for others, he looks like a fool who moves around, disinterested in everything around him. He appears to move around like air, which is free and not tied down to anything on earth. His non-attachment is not easily understood by people around him. Even when he does different types of Kayika, Manasika and vachika karma (actions of body, mind and tongue), he still remains unattached to their fruits and looks like a fool for others.

We will continue on how the Jnani leads his life…in the next Post.
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