Sunday, July 13, 2008
Prostrations at the lotus feet of AMMA.
nishhedhanaM prapaJNchasya rechakaakhyaH samiiraNaH .
brahmaivaasmiiti yaa vR^ittiH puurako vaayuriiritaH ..
Meaning: Negating all the naama roopam is called rechakam . Having the thought that I am Brahman is called poorakam.
Explanation: In the earlier sloka the author sankarabhagavadpada has explained the definition of pranayamam. In this sloka and next sloka he explains porakam,rechakam and kumbhakam.
As per yoga pranayama involves poorakam,rechakam and kumbhakam. Pranayama is done by controlling the breath. Inhaling, exhaling and retaining air for certains intervals of time is done in pranayama. This helps in controlling of the mind.
Inhaling air till a certain period of time is called poorakam. Kumbhakam is retaining the inhaled air for some time. Rechakam is exhaling sir for some period of time.
Praanayama is practiced through inhalation, exhalation of air is done in a systematic manner as per the instructions over a period of time.
The same is explained in a vedantic perspective in this sloka. As per the author, Rechakam is negating all naama roopam in this world. The world is made up of naama roopam and Brahman the substratum of everything in the world. Naama roopam is temporary and will bring sorrow alone to a person. We cannot depend on anything in the world as one day it will lead to sorrow. This we have seen in our personal lifes
If we depend on TV for our happiness, when the power goes off, the same thing would bring us sorrow. Same applies to all entities in the world. So with this knowledge that naama roopam or names and forms are just an illusion in the reality of Brahman, one should negate all names and forms and know them to be nothing but all pervading Brahman.
Katha Upanishad says
Manasaiva idam aaptavyam neha nana asthi kinchana
Mrityoh sah mrityum gacchathi ya iha nana iva pashyathi
Self alone exists here and nothing else. A person who doesn’t realize this truth would be entangled in the birth death cycle.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Samsarah Swapnatulyo hi Ragadweshadi Samkulah
Swakaale Satyavatbhati Prabodhe sati Asadbhavet.
The world is like a dream, filled with dual experiences like likes, dislikes . It appears to be real as a long dream, until we wake up and know the truth .
When we know that world is unreal and the substratum of Brahman alone is real. We should practice is by negating all the naama roopam we see as unreal. This assertion should be done in the mind. One cannot stop doing any activities , knowing that world is unreal. One should do karma with the awareness that Brahman alone is real and everything is illusionary. This rejecting of naama roopam is actual rechakam by sankarabhagavad pada. This will make the mind calm and undisturbed by the results we get from the temporary objects in the world.
When one rejects what is harmful, what brings him sorrow, he should accept what would give him poornaananda , the eternal bliss. So accepting Brahman as the only truth, as the substratum of the illusionary world is called poorakam.
Mere rejected of the unwanted is not enough, one should take in what is needed for growth and happiness.So always understanding that everything is Brahman alone and he is also that Brahman, would bring bliss to the person. This is actual poorakam.
tatastadvR^ittinaishchalya.n kuMbhakaH praaNasa.nyamaH .
aya.n chaapi prabuddhaanaamaGYaanaa.n ghraaNapiiDanam.h .
Meaning: Having the constant thought of Brahman is kumbhakam. Ignorant people practice it which will cause only pain to the nostrils.
Explanation: In continuation with the earlier sloka , sankarabhagavadpada is explaining kumbhakam here. Kumbhakam as practice by retaining inhaled air for certain interval of time .
One may have the knowledge that the world is an illusion and reality is Brahman alone. But until he has a constant thought of this and implements it every moment, he cannot attain ultimate bliss. The mind would easily delude the person into the objects of the world. So pull ourselves out of the clutches of the mind, we should constantly ascertaining ourselves in the mind that Brahman alone is present here one without a second. Having this constant thought of Brahman is actual kumbhakam as per the author.
Thus negating all naama roopam, considering everything to be Brahman alone and fixing the mind onto the reality that Brahman alone is present here, would lead a person to niddhidhyasanam and thereby to self-realization. Only through knowledge of the ultimate truth and through constant contemplation of it, one would develop strong conviction about the truth .Once the strong conviction is attained, one perceives the world as what he believed in. Which brings him eternal bliss.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Ajnana Kalusham Jeevam Jnanaabhyasat Vinirmalam
Krutwa Jnanam Swayam Nasyet Jalam Katakarenuvat.
Thus through knowledge alone a person is purified. Once attaining the purification, knowledge itself vanishes as the alum dissolves in water and removes impurities in water.
Practicing pranayama as per yoga sastras involves physical strain to the body, as one has to constantly breath in a controlled which helps in loosening the veil of ignorance.
The author says a person who doesn’t understand what praanayamam is in right sense, would end up in troubling his nostrils.
vishhayeshhvaatmataa.n dR^ishhTvaa manasashchiti majjanam.h .
pratyaahaaraH sa viGYeyo.abhyasaniiyo mumukshubhiH
Meaning: Seeing everything as aatma, the mind merges with atman. This is
called pratyaharam. This is practiced by people who want to attain moksha.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada in this sloka explains the next sadhana of pratyahara.
As per yoga sastras pratyahara means withdrawal of sense organs from sense objects contact. This helps in control of sense organs.
As per the author, pratyaharam means perceiving what ever objects we see as Brahman.
Whatever we see in the world, ascertain that to be Brahman. An object externally cannot be Brahman, but the substratum of everything in the world is Brahman alone. So keeping this in mind, we should pierce through the Naama roopam and see only Brahman in all objects. We should understand the consciousness principle which is the driving force for the entire world to be in harmony. Thus perceiving the objects constantly for some period of time , the mind will merge into Brahman. So later without effort the mind will reside always in Brahman. It constantly think about Brahman alone and perceive the same everywhere. This is the what seeker of moksha in this spiritual try achieve through constant practice.
Until we do not understand the underlying truth behind all entities in the world, we will be deluded by maya. All the objects will appear real to us and bring us only sorrow.
As Krishna in Gita 7th sloka says
daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te
My maya is difficult to conquer, but only people who surrender to me will not be overpowered by maya.
So we need to seek surrender to the lord inorder to overcome Maya and always remind ourself of the truth, not getting deluded by the temporary objects of the world. Only through Guru’s or gods grace alone one can overcome Maya and always be in the constant thought of Brahman.
yatra yatra mano yaati brahmaNastatra darshanaat.h .
manaso dhaaraNa.n chaiva dhaaraNaa saa paraa mataa
Meaning: Whereever the mind goes, see Brahman alone. This is called dharana of the mind. Dharana is superior.
Explanation: Sankaracharya here explains the next sadhana of Dharana.
As per yoga sutras dharana to gain one-pointed concentration. Here the person tries to gain concentration by focusing on one point or object. This is when a person is all the time making the mind to be focused. This helps in attaining dhyana or one-pointed concentration. The main disadvantage of this sadhana is that a person cannot sit and try to gain focus all the time.
As per the author the dharana prescribed as per Vedanta can be done without any limitations. Dharana here means to perceive Brahman wherever the mind goes. We know that the mind is very wavery. It is the fastest moving object. Sitting at a place one can tour the entire world.Such is the power of the mind.
Mind deludes us in the world, as we perceive duality in the world. We develop likes and dislikes having come into contact with objects of the world. This creates impressions in the mind and are actions are influenced by these impressions of our mind. Thus we get entagled into the fruits of the actions performed in the world, until we realize the truth the world is unreal and is only an illusion in the substratum of Brahman.
Inorder to remain focused on the truth one should remind himself of the truth that Brahman alone exists in the world. Thus he sees oneness everywhere gradually. He sees himself in everything in the world. He sees world in himself and himself in the world. This brings equanimity of mind as mentioned in scriptures as
Saarva bhutasta aatmanam sarva bhutani cha aatmani ikshate yoga uktaatma sarvatra samadarshinaha
Such a person can alone have compassion and love to the entire beings in world and can serve the society selflessly , all other people’s actions are self-centered as they haven’t realized the true nature of themselves. Only one who has realized himself can be useful to the society.
As lord Krishna says in Gita 4th chapter
sanniyamyendriya-gramam sarvatra sama-buddhayah te prapnuvanti mam eva sarva-bhuta-hite ratah
Only who has controlled his sense organs and who has equanimity of mind towards every person in the world, he alone attains me and does welfare to the society.
Thus a person who practices dharana as mentioned by author can through dharana gain focus of mind on the ultimate truth.
brahmaivaasmiiti sadvR^ittyaa niraalambatayaa sthitiH .
dhyaanashabdena vikhyaataa paramaanandadaayinii
Meaning: Having the thought of I am Brahman, which makes a man not independent is called dhyanam, which gives immense bliss.
Explanation: After explaining dharana Sankarabhagavad pada in this sloka explains Dhyanam. One who practices dharana where a person tries to gain focus on an object, over a period of time he would be able to gain one-pointedness this is called dhyanam which means mediating on a form or formless.
Yogic dhyanam is sitting in a position and focusing on a particular object. This helps in attaining Samadhi , where the meditator becomes one with the meditating object.
From a vedantic perspective dhyanam is having the constant thought of I am Brahman, the substratum of the entire world, always reveling in the truth of Brahman being the ultimate reality . This when achieved makes a person independent. No matter whatever circumstances, he can live independently, this gives him immense inner strength to him. He sees everything as pervaded by Brahman. So what to loose ,what to gain, what to like and what to dislike, what to do and what not to do. Always he rejoices in Brahman.
As lord Krishna says in Gita 5th chapter
kama-krodha-vimuktanam yatinam yata-cetasam abhito brahma-nirvanam vartate viditatmanam
A person who is devoid of likes, anger and all material desires, who is self-realized, who is self-disciplined and who always practice to be in Brahman and reside in Brahman
Such person sees oneness everywhere as he sees Brahman alone everywhere. He sees Brahman in each and everyone in the world.
Lord Krishna says in Gita in 5th chapter
vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini suni caiva sva-pake ca panditah sama-darsinah
A Brahmin, who is a scholar sees Brahman in cow, elephant, dog and a dog eater. He sees all as Brahman alone.
This is what is called as dhyanam , having one thought of Brahman all the time and always being immersed in it, because of which a person ever rejoices in bliss, as he devoid of all dualities.
Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
yanmuula.n sarvabhuutaanaa.n yanmuula.n chittabandhanam.h .
muulabandhaH sadaa sevyo yogyo.asau raajayoginaam.h
Meaning: That which is the basis of all human beings. That root cause is fixed upon in the mind. This Fixing of the mind is practiced by the yogi’s.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada explains the next sadhana of mulabandham.
As per patanjali’s yoga sutras. Mula bandham means control of sexual passions. Restraining oneself from entering into such activities. People practicing yoga, exercise restraint to such activities, in order to retain the energy gained out of yogic practices. This helps them be focused on the path.
In Vedanta mula bandham is interpreted in different way. The word mulam means root cause. The root cause of the whole, meaning the substratum of the whole world is Brahman. The whole world is manifestation of Brahman in various names and forms. All names and forms are just an illusion in the reality of Brahman. In this sadhana one should know this truth and thereby fix his mind onto this truth. Always ascertaining in his mind the truth of ultimate reality.
As chandogya Upanishad says “Sadeva soumya idam agra aaseeth ekam eva adviteeyam”.
Only existence existed before ,one without a second. There is nothing apart from it.
Sankarabhavadpada also mentions this in the mahavakhyam “Brahma satyam jagath mithya jeevo brahmaiva na paraha”
Practicing this fixing of the mind on the ultimate truth, a person always revels in the truth. He slowly is established in Brahman. What ever he perceives , he sees only Brahman in the entire world. There is no difference for him. He doesn’t see duality whatsoever. He goes beyond likes, dislikes as he sees only one entity everywhere. This is what is mentioned in Gita says “Siddhya assidhyo samo bhutva samatvam yoga uchathe”.
Yoga means union. Union of the individual and god. A person established in yoga sees himself in all and all in himself. He sees himself as an extension of all.
That which can be achieved and which couldn’t be is accepted in the same way, without any agitation in the mind.
As Isha Upanishad says
Yasthu sarvani bhutani atmani eva anupashyathi sarva bhuteshu cha aatmanam tato na vijugupsathe
Thus controlling the passions of the mind one may not be successful, as at any time the mind may play tricks and we may fall a prey to it. But fixing the mind onto the ultimate reality and developing strong conviction, helps a person to attain that state , where he sees nothing but Brahman everywhere in the world. This is what sankarabhagavad pada mentions as part of mulabandhanam.
aN^gaanaa.n samataa.n vidyaatsame brahmaNi liinataam.h .
no chennaiva samaanatvamR^ijutva.n shushhkavR^ikshavat.h
Meaning: Having steady body organs means that each and every organs residing in Brahman. Nothing else would lead to maintain an equilibrium of the body. It will just be equal to a dried tree without any juices.
Explanation: In this sloka sankarabhagavadpada explains the next sadhana of samatvam.
As per yoga sastras it is essential to maintain a straight and upright postion of the body , especially the backbone inorder to do yoga . This is essential , as doing such practices the kundalini shakti which is the dormanat serpent power in each person is aroused. This serpent power is said to travel along the sushumna naadi and reach the sahasraram, the place reaching which a person becomes immortal. So the postion of the body is very important in such practices, else it may lead to obstruction of the flow of kundalini shakti to the sahasraram.Through yoga practices and mediation, gradually rises up along the sushumna naadi in a person.
But for a person following Vedanta or knowledge path, the kundalini arouses immediately. A position of the body is not important. Here stability or maintaining the equilibrium of the body means a person always residing in Brahman. His mind always dwells on the truth of Brahman being the reality and whole world just being the illusion in the substratum of Brahman. As is the mind, so will be the action. The world we perceive passing through the conceptions, impressions of the mind and thus we see the world. So with the mind fixed on the ultimate truth a person, pierces through the Nama roopam and just seeing the underlying Brahman in everything in the world. Due to this a person is always blissful. Each part of his body eminates bliss. This is because he doesn’t see any duality. Only duality is the causes of sorrow in the world. Thus he always rejoices in bliss.
As mentioned in atma bodha by sankarabhagadpada
Sachitatmaani anusyoote , nitye vishow prakalpitaah
Vyaktayo vividha sarva, hatake katakaadivat
World is manifested from eternal vishnu , who is the satchitaananda. He is manifested in various names and forms, as a gold ornaments of various names and forms are gold alone.
Thus sankarabhagavad pada says that maintaining the body in a right postion, and trying to control the body and thereby control the mind, one will be like a dry tree without any juices. Controlling the mind through control of body , without knowledge of the ultimate truth, will prove to be like a dry tree without any juices.
Controlling the mind through knowledge of the ultimate truth is the actual definition of samatvam, or gaining equilibrium of the body, by always dwelling in Brahman, is what is being emphasized by the author.
dR^ishhTi.n GYaanamayii.n kR^itvaa pashyedbrahmamaya.n jagat.h .
saa dR^ishhTiH paramodaaraa na naasaagraavalokinii
Meaning: With a vision of knowledge one can perceive world of Brahman. This is the superior vision and not that is gained through having a point concentration at the tip of the nose.
Explanation: Sanakarabhagavadpada explains in this sloka the next sadhana of dristhi.
As we know as is the mind so are the thoughts as are the thoughts so is the vision. If one uses brown specs. He sees everything to be in that color, So his vision is impaired . Thus wrong impressions are created in the mind, due to improper knowledge.
So a person having right vision alone can have right vision of the world. To gain right vision , one should know the truth of the world i.e the nature of the world to be temporary. As Lord Krishna says in Gita as “Anityam asukham lokam” . Once a person knows this, he will understand that the world of names and forms is unreal and the driving force behind the whole world, which makes possible all the activities in the world to happen. Due to which the whole world seems to exist, the ultimate truth of Brahman , which is the supreme cause to be alone existing.
As Krishna says in Gita “yat aditya gatam tejo, jagat bhasayithee akhilamYat Chandramasi yat cha agnau tat tejo viddhi mamakam”
The power behind the sun, moon and the fire and other objects of the world, know that to be me alone.
He is the eye behind the eyes the ear behind the ears.
As mentioned in kena upanishad
Yad vaacha anabhyuditam Yena vaag abhyudathe
Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi na idam yad idam upaasathe
That which is the behind speech, which is power behind speech and which cannot be expressed through speech, know that alone to be Brahman and not that which is mentioned as this or that.
As per yoga sastras, right vision is got by gaining concentration . This is achieved by focusing on the tip of the nose. This helps to gain one-pointedness. But as per the author this is not the right vision. But to know that Brahman alone is truth and everything else is just an illusion in the substratum of Brahman.
drashhtR^idarshanadR^ishyaanaa.n viraamo yatra vaa bhavet.h .
dR^ishhTistatraiva kartavyaa na naasaagraavalokinii
Meaning: Cessation of the seer, activity if seeing and the object seen. Right vision is not focusing on the tip of the nose.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada in continuation with the earlier sloka on right vision explains the right vision.
As per the author right vision is when the seer, the seen and the activity of seeing disappear. This doesn’t mean that one should stop seeing objects. When everything in the world is Brahman alone, When that is seen , that which is perceiving, the medium of perception all are but Brahman , then how can anything be perceived? If there is no duality, what is perception, and what is perceived ? and what is the object of perception?
In such a state all this 3 states cease to exist. In such a state a person perceives his self in all and all in his self. This is what is indicated in this sloka.
At a vyavaharika level, it means that one should remain a witness to all activities that happen in the world. As sun is witness to all activities happening in the world. He is not involved in any activity but in his presence all activities happen. A lantern is a witness to all activities happening under its light. Similalry one should remain in the self and be a witness to all activities. He should be like an actor performing his role in a play. An actor who is performing a role, knows that he isn’t the character he is playing for. He doesn’t identify himself with it all throughout the play. But at the same time he performs his role perfectly. One of the reasons for performing the role is that he is untainted by the activities performed as part of the play. Because he knows he isn’t the character. Hence he is unaffected.
Likewise in this world, we should be playing our roles and remain witness to all activities. Self is satchitaananda, which is nishkalam or without parts, ekam or one alone, nirupama or without comparision, niraakaram or without form.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Anadi avidhya anirvachya karanoopadhi uchyathe
Upaadi tritayaadanya aatmanam avadharayet
Ignorance is without any beginning, it is the cause of the karana shareera.
But atma is beyond all the three bodies.
Dehendriya mano buddhi prakrityobhi vilakshanam
Tadvrutti sakshinam vidya aatmanam raajavat sada
It illumines mind,intellect and senses. It is a witness to all its functions. Like a king who enjoys the plays enacted, but never acts in the play.
Thus author says that focusing on the tip of the nose to gain concentration , one cannot attain right vision, only through observing witnesshood , one remains unperturbed by the results of all activities, as he knows that his nature is ever eternal and blissful.
chittaadisarvabhaaveshhu brahmatvenaiva bhaavanaat.h .
nirodhaH sarva vR^ittiinaaM praaNaayaamaH sa ucyate
Meaning: All the thoughts of the mind should be thought of Brahman. Stopping all the thoughts of the mind is called pranayamam.
Explanation: Author sankarabhagavadpada explains the next step of sadhana namely pranayama in this sloka.
As per yoga sutras pranayama is control of breath, though which mind is controlled. Prana is the life force in human beings. Controlling prana leads to control of the mind. Practicing this would help one attain Samadhi . Attaining which a person becomes self-realized. Thus through control of prana, one tries to attain the liberated state.
As per the author, pranayama is when all the thoughts of the mind are considered to be Brahman. Thus all the thoughts of the mind are controlled and stopped. This leads one to perceive everything as Brahman .Thus a person attains the state of eternal bliss.
In the earlier slokas sankarabhagavadpada has explained how externally one has to perceive Brahman in the world, in order to have equanimity of mind and to be established in Brahman. In this sloka he explains how this is done internally.
Thoughts of the world are due to the perceiving the world. The thoughts later lead to actions. Actions lead to impressions of mind and create vasanas. This is all due to perceiving the dual nature in the world. Internally ascertaining the thoughts to be Brahman only, a person becomes devoid of all dual notions of good and bad, cold and hot, truth and false, likes and dislikes etc. If every thought is Brahman , then there is nothing to think about or analyse, thus all agitations in the mind are resolved. The mind remains calm. Thus all actions resulting also will be from a mind which is calm and unperturbed. As every thought is considered Brahman, so also everything will be perceived as Brahman alone.
As everything is perceived as Brahman, no thoughts are created about any activity performed. Hence thoughts are controlled slowly. Impressions are not created of the same. This is the pranayama which is achieved but understanding that the thoughts of the mind are also Brahman. We have considered the external world to be Brahman , every object of the external world to be Brahman, in order to avoid all dual thoughts of the world. Similarly, when we consider even the internal activities like thoughts to be Brahman, pranayama is achieved.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
Sloka 109 :
iti vaa tadbhavenmauna.n sataa.n sahaja sa.nGYitam.h .
giraa mauna.n tu baalaanaaM prayuktaM brahmavaadibhiH
Meaning: Great saints remain in the state of mounam , Initial seekers should always remains in mounam.
Explanation: As we have seen in earlier slokas sankaracharya explained the mounam as been in silence, due to the true knowledge of ultimate reality.
Great saints know that the world is an illusion and the substratum of Brahman is the only truth, hence they know the futility of words. As Brahman is beyond words, which cannot be explained through words as it is the substratum of everything. It is the eyes behind the eyes, the ear behind the ear etc. Hence it’s the subject, which cannot be perceived. As we cannot see our own eyes. So also subject cannot be described about. It is the illumination in each one which helps all the activities to happen. So one cannot speak about Brahman.
World is an illusion of names and forms in Brahman. So what can one speak about illusion. So both ways there is no reason to speak. Hence great saints remain in silence.
In kenopanishad it is mentioned
Yad vaacha anabhyuditam Yena vaag abhyudathe
Tadeva Brahma tvam viddhi na idam yad idam upaasathe
Taittiriya Upanishad says
Yatho vaacho nivarthanthe apraapya manasaa sah
Katha Upanishad says
Naiva vaacha na manasaa praapthum shakyona chakshushaa
Asthithi broovatho anyatra katham tad upalabhyathe
The silence spoken here is internal silence, where the mind doesn’t have any worldly thoughts , due to the strong conviction that the world is an illusion. There is only one constant thought of Brahman all the time. This is internal silence which shankarabhagavadpada is mentioning in this sloka.
This shouldn’t be interpreted in a wrong way, saying that without talking one cannot survive in this world. It just means that saints would talk only whenever necessary. What ever activity they do the are always abided in Brahman.
Here advise is given to the beginners that they should restrain themselves from talking whenever not needed. This would help a sadhaka to control his thoughts. To calm down his mind, to focus it or redirect the mind to contemplate on Brahman all the time. Thus a sadhaka should slowly practice to focus himself on Brahman. AMMA says mind is like a pond. When a stone is dropped ripples are created and pond is no more still, thus unnecessary talks will create ripples in the mind and will take time for the mind to reach the calm state again.
Thus sankarabhagavadpada says in this sloka that realized people find that its futile to talk and hence are always in the state of silence, whereas a beginner or an initial sadhaka should restrain himself into indulging into unnecessary talks.
aadaavante cha madhye cha jano yasminna vidyate .
yeneda.n satata.n vyaapta.n sa desho vijanaH smR^itaH
Meaning: World doesn’t exist in the beginning, middle or the end of the entity. It pervades everything , this is called desham.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada defines the sadhana of desham in this sloka.
The 3 limited adjuncts of the world as mentioned in one of the 6 schools of philosophy or shad darshanas are time space and causation. The world we know is a result of the cause and its effect. The cause of a pot is mud and the effect is the pot. Similarly the effect of the world has the cause of Brahman as its substratum. Similarly space and time. All the objects in the world occupy space and space is all pervading. There is no object which exists independent of space. Similarly is the case with time. Time is the basic measurement we have for the world.
In this sloka desham is defined as one which doesn’t have the world in the beginning , middle and the end. This means world doesn’t exist in it. Meaning world is an illusion in it. So the substratum is real and the world is an illusion in that. Also it alone pervades the entire universe.
The cause of mud doesn’t have pot in it , in any way. Pot is made of mud, but mud doesn’t contain pot. Also mud is all pervading the pot. It is the only entity present in pot. Similarly, the world is an illusion and Brahman alone is present as the substratum and is all pervading. So desham here is nothing but Brahman alone. That which is beyond space.
Chandogya Upanishad says
Sadeva soumya idam agra aaseeth ekam eva adviteeyam
Brahman alone exists here one without a second.
Space is supposed to have come from Brahman. Brahman is beyond space. It is all pervading. Nothing exists apart from it. As the nature of atman is Brahman alone, in the sadhana of desham one has to remember that atman is all pervading and the world is an illusion in Brahman. This is same as the mahavakhya “Brahma satyam jagath mithya”
Practicing this a person achieves samadristhi as he sees oneness ,i.e Brahman everywhere. This constant niddhidhyasanam on the truth of the mahavakya is what needs to be practiced by a sadhaka.
kalanaat sarvabhuutaanaaM brahmaadiinaa.n nimeshhataH .
kaalashabdena nirdishhTo hyakhaNDaanandako.advayaH
Meaning: One who is the creator of all beings in the world till Brahma in a split of second. He is called kalam. He is of the nature of indivisible, happiness without duality.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada after explaining space on of the adjuncts for the world. Now he explains time.
Time or kalam as per our understanding is a measurement of the time of creation of new life or activities in the world. But as per sankarabhagavadpada kalam is that which created the whole world, from which the whole world has come. Means it is the supreme cause.
Thus kalam is the cause of the whole world to be created. Without which the world doesn’t exist. Brahman exists independent of world. If world exists or not Brahman exists. But world is dependent on Brahman for existence. Thus kalam is defined.
It is of the nature of akhandam or partless, which cannot be divided .As it is one alone, there is nothing else apart from it. It is the only entity present in the entire universe.
It is of the nature of anandam. We all know that Brahman is of the nature of sat chit anandam.
Thus sadhana of kalam or time means a sadhaka should always remain in the knowledge that Brahman alone is the truth behind the whole world, as whole world depends on Brahman for its existence. If Brahman is not there world itself vanishes. Hence remembering the truth a person should practice sadhana of kalam. Seeing Brahman everywhere in all activities done.
sukhenaiva bhedyasminnajasraM brahmachintanam.h .
Meaning: Asana is that which is easy and comfortable and one gains a constant , uninterrupted thought of Brahman.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada in this sloka explains the next sadhana among the 15 steps , he mentioned earlier.
As per patanjali asana or posture is that which is stable or sthiram and comfortable or sukham. Through Patanjali yoga sutras control of mind is achieved by controlling the body. Ultimately a state of Samadhi is reached wherein a person goes beyond the mind. Thus control of the thoughts of the mind and going beyond the mind is what is achieved by controlling the body through patanjali yoga asanas.
As per the author asana is having an easy , uninterrupted thought of Brahman in mind.
It is controlling the mind and its thoughts by always having a constant thought of Brahman , inspite of doing all activities in the world. It does not mean that one should sit in a posture and control the mind. While doing all activities one should have an easy uninterrupted thought of Brahman all the time. This is the sadhana sankarabhagavad pada is mentioning through this sloka. Thus we can see the difference in both asana as per patanjali’s yoga and sankarabhagavad pada’s asana.
As per Ramana maharshi in upadeshasaaram
Aajya dhaarayaa srotasaa samamSarala chintanam viralatah param
As flow of ghee , as pure as water, continuous thoughts of mind are better than broken thoughts.
This means one should have constant thought like the flow of ghee , without any break of flow.
We all know how difficult it is to control the mind. In a second our mind can go in various directions. At one moment we may be thinking that we are in US , in the next moment we might be thinking we are in US and the kind of life we may lead there. So mind is very unstable and always active. Controlling the mind is of the most toughest thing to achieve. This is what is targeted by sankarabhagavad pada.
siddha.n yatsarvabhuutaadi vishvaadhishhThaanamavyayam.h .
yasminsiddhaaH samaavishhTaastadvai siddhaasana.n viduH
Meaning: Ever established truth that the substratum of all the beings in the world is Brahman .Siddhas are always established in this thought . This is called siddhaasanam.
Explanation: In this sloka the author explains about siddhasanam , the one of the asanas a person aspiring to be a siddha has to sit in. Siddha is a person who has got control over the sense organs. To gain control and become a siddha one should sit in that asana.
As per yoga asanas it is a particular posture which helps a person to control his sexual passions.
The substratum of world of names and forms is Brahman . The world we see is only an illusion in the reality of Brahman. Brahman is the only entity that is present in the entire universe.
As mentioned in atma bodha by sankarabhagavadpada
“taavat satyam jagadbhati shuktika rajatam yatha
Yavanna jnayate brahma sarvaadhistana adhvayam”
As silver appears in the shell, so also the world seems to be until we know the truth that Brahman which is indivisible and all pervading entity present.
Always being established in this knowledge , which is mentioned in the Vedas that Brahman is the only entity present in the whole universe, is what is called siddhasanam.
Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
Meaning: Knowing everything to be Brahman, controlling the sense organs is called
Yama. A seeker should practice it many many times, to achieve self control.
Explanation: From this sloka sankaracharya bhagavat pada explains all the 15 steps a person can follow for niddhidhyasanam.
The first and foremost step is “Yama”. We shall see yama as per the author sankaraharya bhagavat pada and as per patanjali’s yoga sutras.
As per Vedanta, yama means control of sense organs through the knowledge of the truth that Brahman alone is present everywhere.
If one perceives duality in the world, he sees various names and forms and gets deluded . All the names and forms are just an illusion in the substratum of Brahman. The fan cannot rotate without electricity. There is no use of fan without electricity. Hence electricity alone is the truth. The essence of all electric gadgets is electricity alone.
Sankaracharya says in atma bodha thus
Upadane akhiladhare jaganthi parameshware
Sarga sthithi layan yanhi budbudani iva varini
The substratum of the universe, the supporting factor is Brahman. He is the creator, protector and destroyer. World can be compared to a bubble in water.
Thus if we understand that in what ever we see Brahman alone is present as substratum, we cannot see any duality in the world. If there is only on entity present , then how can we differentiate one object with another? If there is no differentiations, then there cannot be any likes and dislikes developed on the objects of the world, as there is nothing apart from the only entity of Brahman present in the entire universe.
When there is aversions and attachments to anything in the world, the mind remains calm, without any cravings. Thus there is nothing to seek in the world, nothing to enjoy This automatically leads to control of sense organs. Restrain of sense organs from objects of the world. Thus through the knowledge that , Brahman alone is present in the entire universe and there is nothing apart from it, a person ever has samabuddhi or equanimity of mind towards everything in the world. Thus he excercises control of sense organs.
As per patanjali yoga sutras , Yama means activities a person should’nt perform. It includes non-killing or ahimsa, truthfulness or satyam , non-stealing or asteya, self-control or brahmacharyam , non-receiving apparigraha.
Thus we see that yama as per yoga sutras is different to that what Vedanta believes in.
Only through practicing Yama as per sankarabhagavad pada can one get control over senses and attain the state of seeing Brahman everywhere.
Meaning: Allowing right flow of thoughts of same kind and rejecting all wrong thoughts is called niyama . This is what is practiced by wise people.
Explanation: The next step of Niyama is explained by the author here. Niyama is to have a constant flow of thoughts of Brahman all the time and rejecting all other thoughts in the mind.
Having the constant thoughts of Brahman all the time , practicing this would help to calm down the mind and reduce the agitations of the mind. One have continuous thoughts of Brahman alone all the time ,all other thoughts brining in duality could be avoided or rejected in the mind. Thus mind is always made to dwell in the truth and become one with it.
As Krishna says in 12th chapter
“mayy avesya mano ye mam ,nitya-yukta upasate sraddhaya parayopetas ,te me yuktatama matah”
A person who always has a constant thought of me, who is ever steadfast in me, his mind is fixed in mind, he is the best among all as per me.
So one should not get involved in activities that would bring in thoughts of duality in this mind, that’s how all wrong thoughts should be avoided. Irrespective of whatever action a person is doing, his mind should be ever fixed unto the truth. Always one should be contemplating on the self . With constant effort, he should focus his mind on the self. Whenever the mind gets distracted one should again make it focused on the truth.
As Krishna says in 12th chapter
ye tu sarvani karmani ,mayi sannyasya mat-parah ananyenaiva yogena ,mam dhyayanta upasate
As per patanajali yoga sutras niyama means external and internal purification,contentmet ,penance, study of Vedas and worship of god.
Practicing what is mentioned by sankarabhagavad pada a person would be able to achieve what is mentioned in the sutras.
Meaning: Renunciation of the names and forms of the world. Always concentrating on the self. This is what yogis appreciate.This would lead to moksha.
Explanation: The third step is tyaga or renunciation. Renunciation of all passions, all vasanas we have developed over many births. Renunciations of likes and dislikes, all cravings for the worldly objects, sense gratifications. This means not having any duality , like good or bad, hot and cold etc. This will purify the mind and a person goes beyondd all dualities. When mind is purified a person would perceive the atman.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Sada sarvagato apyatma na sarvatra avabhasate , budhaveva avabhaseta, svachesu pratibimba vat
Once the intellect is purified the atma is seen as a reflection seen in mirror.
Thus renouncing craving for wealth, woman, fame, power etc and focusing his mind on the goal of realizing the self a person slowly in due course of time gets the sadhana chatustayam to apprehend the truth. He understand that the world is unreal and only truth is Brahman alone that is present everywhere.
Renouncing the names and forms of the world. Considering all forms to be but an illusion in the substratum of the world. Understanding that chit alone is real and every thing else is jadam or insentient. As all gold ornaments are made form gold alone, so also everything in the world , the substratum is brahman alone and rest all is illusion.
Sankarabhagavad pada says so in atma bodha
Satchitatmanya anusyute nitye vishnau prakalpitah
Vyaktayo vividha sarvah hatake katakadivat
The entire world is made of one entity of nature of consciousness and which is eternal, all-pervading. All forms are manifestations, projection of the truth that Brahman alone exists.
Hence it indirectly says that projections in the mind are the reason for the world. Once the false vision is removed a person realizes his true self.
For people who have come out of the dream state, the dream state seems to be a play. But for people in dream, everything seems to be real. Thus is the vision of great sages who through renunciation have realized the truth.
Sloka 107 & 108:
Meaning: The speech returns from where, the mind cannot apprehend , that is mounam or silence. What can be said about the state which cannot be explained by words. There is nothing to be spoken about the world and hence there is no use of words and hence great people remain in silence.
Explanation: The author explains the next step of silence. Such a state in which great sages reside is one which cannot be explained in words, where the mind cannot apprehend, such state is silence. Atman is the subject and everything perceived is the object. So how can a subject be known or objectified. Hence its mentioned as beyond speech and mind. Atman is the illumining factor behind all the entities.
As mentioned in Gita 15th chapter by Lord Krishna
na tad bhasayate suryo ,na sasanko na pavakah yad gatva na nivartante ,tad dhama paramam mama
Neither the sun shines nor the moon, I am the illumining factor behind all. After reaching that state, there is no return.
In lalitha sahasranama one of the nama’s of devi is “manovacham agochara” meaning that which is beyond mind and speech.
Sankaracharya bhagavad pada also says in atma bodha
Dehendriya mano buddhi, prakrithibhyo vilakshanam
Tat vritti sakshinam vidhyat , aatmanam rajavat sada
Atman is different from mind, intellect and sense organs. It is the witness to all the functions of the mind, intellect and body. It is similar to the king who is the witness of drama ,but doesn’t act in it.
Once a person realizes that world is an illusion and Brahman alone exists, he sees no duality, so what to talk about and who to talk about, hence he remains in silence. Once we understand the futility of the world, then how can he talk about illusion? Hence he remains quiet.
Jnaani’s are in this state of complete internal silence. They may be seen as doing activities like any other worldly person. But their internal state is of silence.
Such a state of silence which cannot be explained through words I achieved by jeevan muktas.
Ramakrishna paramahamsa says that “ Once a salt doll went into the ocean to measure the depth of the ocean but couldn’t return to say that” . so similarly , people who are in that state, cannot say anything about it, as they have merged into it. They can just give some pointers to explain, so do the shastras talk about them in similar lines.
Taiitiriya Upanishad says in samelines
“Yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasaa saha,”
Thus the state of consciousness in which mahatmas live is state of silence.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
Meaning: If an ignorant person says that there is prarabdham even after realization.
It will lead to two absurdities. It is will contradict scriptures.
Explanation: we have seen an explanation in the earlier slokas by sankarabhagavdpada , that prarabdham cannot be there for a jeevan mukta. In this sloka he explains the consequences of assuming that prarabdham to be there for jeevan mukta.
We may have a question as to what happens if prarabdham is there for a jeevan mukta, or if a person through analysis draws conclusion that prarabdham is there for jeevan mukta.
This is answered in this sloka.
Considering prarabdham for a realized soul , would lead us to wrong absurd conditions.
If we consider prarabdham for a jeevan mukta , then it means that a person after realization would know Brahman and also have actions to performs i.e prarabdham due to vasanas from previous births. This means a person sees duality after realization. Our scriptures talk about non-duality. As a person having prarabdham karma should exhaust his karma through the body, though mind and intellect. It means he has body, mind and intellect. This means for him all the external objects of the world exist. This proves he is seeing duality everywhere. This hence contradicts the state of scriptures that there is only entity alone.
In aitreya upanishad
Atma Idameka evagra asit naanyat kinchana mishat
Here one entity alone exists and there is no duality whatsoever
In chandogya Upanishad it says
Sadeva soumya idam agra aseet, ekam eva adviteeyam. There is only one entity, that exists one without a second.
So all the scriptural statements will be wrong, If we consider prarabdham to be present for a jeevan mukta.
Another erroneous conclusion that would drawn would be, that a jeevan mutka would perceive many things apart from Brahman. This means that after realization a person has knowledge of Brahman and also external objects. But as per “Mundaka Upanishad “ it is said that “Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati.” .Meaning a person who knows Brahman will become Brahman alone. Meaning he becomes one with everything. If he perceives many objects how can he be Brahman. As he is perceiving duality, how can he exist in a state of non-duality?
Thus there will ambiguous statements drawn , contradicting the scriptures, incase we consider prarabdham to be present for a jeevan mukta.
Meaning: I shall teach 15 steps, practicing which one will attain liberation that was mentioned in the earlier slokas.
Explanation: When a student approaches a guru , for knowledge as mentioned in 4th chapter of gita.
tad viddhi pranipatena ,pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah
He does seva for the guru, follows the instructions of the guru and then the Guru imparts him knowledge, about ultimate truth, knowing which there is nothing else to be known.
This is called paroksha jnaanam. Paroksha means indirect. So once a student gets indirect knowledge of the truth from the guru, he strives hard to make it aparoksha Jnaanam meaning , this own intuitive experience. Sankarabhagavadpada till now has provided the paroksha jnaanam of the self, the not self, through various examples, illustrations.
He has explained the sadhana chatustayam a pupil should inculcate inorder to apprehend the truth. His mind gets purified after gaining the said qualification .Only a purified mind can apprehend the truth. With a purified mind a person through discrimination i.e nitya anitya vasthu vivekam , negates the not-self from the self. He understands that world is illusion and through “neti”, “neti” he negates anatman. After that he has to constantly focus on the truth ,which is called niddhidhyasanam. As said in atma bodha.
Parichinna iva ajnaanat, tannashe sati kevalah
Swayam prakashate hi atma, megha apaye anshuman iva
The self seems to be limited due to ignorance, once the clouds of ignorance I removed the sun of atman itself illumines.
We all know that once a person understand or apprehends and implements the import of the statement “Brahma satyam, jagath mithya, jeevo brahmaiva na parah” he will be realized. So till now sankarabhagavad pada has made us understand through lot of analogies “jagath mithya” i.e. world is an illusion .That we are not body and the self is ever present .Only when we develop this strong conviction that names and forms are just illusion in the substratum of Brahman. We are no more deluded by anything in the world. Happiness and sorrow resulting out of our day to day actions will not impact us, as we know that world is temporary so are also the experiences and the only permanent entity is Brahman , of the nature of bliss or poornandam which alone will give us eternal bliss. We will be ever focused in the attaining the state of liberation. Thus a pupil through paroksha jnaanam develops strong conviction about the truth and is ready to strive for aparokshaanubhti. One achieves aparokshaanubhava only through niddhidhyasanam. Thus through the slokas till now, sankarabhagavadpada, makes a student capable enough to have intuitive experience of the self.
So inorder to attain the state of liberation, which has been discussed in earlier slokas, the author is the coming slokas would explain the 15 steps a sadhaka should practice without fail inorder to do niddhidhyasanam and slowly attaining the state of liberation, where contemplation is natural and a person is ever established in atman. Being a very compassion Guru Sankarabhagavadpada, lays down the 15 steps for us for niddhidhyasanam. A person who has strong desire to get liberated this very moment and always be in a state of eternal bliss, would ardently follow the steps prescribed by him.
Sloka 101 :
Meaning: If not practiced constantly, one cannot attains the state of Brahman. Hence a sadhaka should always do niddhidhyasanam.
Explanation: The spiritual path consists of 3 steps. Sravanam, mananam and nidhhidhyasanam. Initially when a student approaches the guru, the guru teaches him. Thus a student listens about Brahman from the Guru. This is called sravanam. After that the student, analysis whatever he has learnt, using his own intellect. This is called mananam. Through mananam a person’s intellect becomes strong. All his doubts of world being an illusion are removed. His conviction of Brahman being the only truth becomes stronger. Thus mananam prepares the ground for nidhhidhyasanam. So once the person is completely convinced of the truth, inorder to realize whatever he believes in, he should constant contemplation as Krishna says in 4th chapter.
sraddhavan labhate jnanam , tat-parah samyatendriyah jnanam labdhva param santim ,acirenadhigacchati
A person who has faith attains the knowledge and after subduing the senses, attains the state of liberation.
He also says
na hi jnanena sadrsam ,pavitram iha vidyate tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah ,kalenatmani vindati
There is nothing more pure than self knowledge in this world. One who has this knowledge in due course of time attains the self.
So having attained the knowledge , to get aparokshaanubhuti which is the main purpose of this work, sankarabhagavadpada says one should constantly contemplate on the truth of “Brahma satyam, jagath mithya” . Always ascertaining himself that Brahman alone exists here , one without a second and there is nothing whatsoever .
As mentioned by Krishna in 12th chapter
mayy avesya mano ye mam ,nitya-yukta upasate sraddhaya parayopetas ,te me yuktatama matah
A person whose mind Is always fixed in me, Who is always steadfast in me, He is considered to be perfect by me.
He also says thus
Mayy eva mana adhatsva, mayi buddhim nivesaya nivasisyasi mayy eva ,ata urdhvam na samsayah
Always fix your mind me, engage all your activites in me. Thus u will ever be in me.
Thus we should always , through all actions contemplate on the ultimate truth. Whatever actions we do we should offer it the lord .This is niddhidhyasanam.
As Krishna says in 9th chapter
yat karosi yad asnasi ,yaj juhosi dadasi yat yat tapasyasi kaunteya, tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Do all activities as an offering to me and thereby make your mind always fixed onto me.
From the next sloka , the author explains the steps , to be followed to attain moksha in this very birth.
Sloka 102 & 103:
Meaning: Yama, Niyama, tyaga, mounam,desha,Kala, aasan,mulabandha, dehasamya, driksthiti
Pranasamyama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyanam, Samadhi are the successive steps.
Explanation: Being a compassionate Guru, sanakarabhagavadpada mentions 10 steps in this slokas. When we see a jeevan mukta, ever blissful, no matter in whatever situation he is in .He always rejoices as said in bhajagovindam as “nandati nandati nandati eva” . We may be awestruck, how/he she has attained such a state. We would be wondering, whether we shall ever be in that state of eternal bliss. To answer all these questions , the author lays down the path to be tread for niddhidhyasanam. If anyone follows these steps sincerely, one help in constant contemplation. The jeevan muktas, who impart this knowledge to us, themselves are the testimony to the truth, if anyone follows the steps , they will attain moksha this very birth.
All the steps mentioned here by sankarabhagavadpada in the coming slokas are terms commonly used in yoga sastra or patanjali astanga yoga like yama, niyama etc. But the steps mentioned here by the author are completely different to the astanga yoga. The astanga yoga by patanjali, emphasizes on controlling the body, prana etc. But as per advaita Vedanta, the focus is on Brahman and not the body, as the atman is the only reality. So through all these 8 sadhanas one tries to get focus on Brahman inorder to do niddhidhyasanam.
Before we discuss the 10 steps mentioned in this path, We should know that sankarabhagavadpada angas are different from what was preached by panini. We shall try to understand how each anga is different from the astanga yoga in coming slokas.
So the 15 steps sankarabhagavadpada spoke about here are.
1) Yama – control of sense organs. 2) Niyama –control of mind 3) tyagam – renunciation 4) mounam – silence 5) deshah – space 6) kalam – time 7) asanam – posture 8) mula bandham – controlling anus 9)deha-samya – holding steady body 10) drksthitih – steadiness of gaze 11) pranasamyama – controlling prana 12) pratyahara – withdrawal of mind 13) dharana – continuous reflection 14) atma dhyanam – contemplation 15) samadhi – total absorption.
Seven out of the 15 steps mentioned seem similar to astanga yoga. But we need to remember here that , the author’s explanation of the implementation for nidhhidhyasanam is different to the yoga sadhana’s.
So in the coming slokas we shall see each of the steps of niddhidhyasanam being explained by the author in detail.
Prostrations at the lotus feet of AMMA.
Meaning: Material cause of the world is ignorance and the material cause of the pot is mud, this is as per Vedanta. When the ignorance is destroyed the world is no more seen.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada has explained through logic that world Is just an illusion and substratum of the world is Brahman. He also explained through logic how one is not the body but the atman. Through many illustrations he explained , How due to ignorance one considers himself to be the body.
He gave the avasta traya analysis to show that the world we see only is illusion as the sleep state and for a person who has realized there are no actions to be performed. He explained how there is no prarabdham for a realized person, even though scriptures say so.
Explaining the perspective vision one should have to understand the right import of the scripture text.
In this sloka he explains that ignorance is the cause of the world. Till now we have see that the cause of the world is Brahman ,in which everything is created, lies and is destroyed and there is nothing else apart from him. So we may have a question that what ever is stated here is just contradicting whatever was stated earlier in the slokas. But Brahman the substratum of the world is at a vyavaharika level. Saying that ignorance is the cause of the world is at a paaramaarthika level. Once the ignorance is destroyed no world is seen. So there is no world only one entity brahman is present. This is what will be concluded at a paaramaarthika level.
We perceive the world of various forms, we see sufferings in the world, good and bad.All this duality perceived is due to the body, mind intellect. The thoughts in the mind are due to the past experiences. Mind and intellect are due to the vasanas in the previous birth which were carried to this birth. Based on these past vasanas we develop new vasanas. Our likes and dislikes are based on this. Our actions are propelled by the desires due to the vasanas. If there were no vasanas, there would be no likes and dislikes no activities to be performed for enjoying anything. There by there is no world created. If we have the knowledge that everything is one entity alone, and there is nothing apart from that entity. If we perceive everything as one, we don’t see any differences, hence there cannot be raga dvesham i.e attachments and aversions. This will lead to destruction of mind, as there is only one entity what to think about.
Thus due to the vasanas of the previous births , due to the mind intellect we perceive and create the world. Once we see only Brahman everywhere, there is prarabdham for the person. No duty, no actions to be performed.
So as the mud pot is made of mud alone, so also the only due to ignorance the world is seen. Only the ignorance completely vanishes , the world disappears. The same thing is said beautifully in atma bodha by sanakarabhagavadpada thus
Parichinna eva ajnanat, tannashe sati kevalah
Swayam prakashate hi atma , meghapaye amsumaniva
The individual seems to be limited due to ignorance, only on destruction of which the self shines. As when the clouds covering the sun pass away the sun shines, so also when the veil of ignorance is removed the atman in all shines. This is the state of realized person.
Meaning: If we forget the rope, the snake is seen due to illusion, do also, due to ignorance the world is seen.
Explanation: The author continues the explanation of why the and how the world is seen .In the earlier sloka he mentioned that it is due to ignorance, the same is presented in a different way.
Due to illusion a person sees a rope and thinks it to be a snake. This illusive perception causes fear and suffering in him. The improper vision is due to the improper knowledge of the object. Due to the improper vision he suffers.
Similarly due to ignorance , due to lack of knowledge of the world and its true nature a person gets deluded to thinks that the world is permanent and would give happiness always. He searches for happiness in the world, forgetting that the happiness lies within him. He doesn’t understand that the world is an illusion in the substratum of Brahman. Forgetting this truth will lead him to sufferings in this impermanent world.
He thinks he is the body, mind and intellect, he doesn’t consider himself to be the all pervading atman. Brahman is the illuminating power behind the intellect and mind. He is alone true and our very nature. It is thus said in nirvanamanjari
Yadaaseeth vilaasth vikaaram, jagad vikarashrayam , naadviteeyayam ,syaath
Mano buddhi chitta ahamkara vrithim ,pravrittih yatah syaath tad eva aham asmi
The play of the world full of modifications , si not because of me as I am one entity only.
I am the illuminating factor behind mind,intellect and memory. I am behind all actions.
Hence the body, mind and intellect are but illusions .Once we are out these illusions created by the illusory mind and intellect. Mind gets destroyed our ego gets destroyed and we ever get established in Brahman. This is the state to be aspired for.
So as long as we are suffering due to the ignorance of the mind and intellect. We shall always perceive the world.
Meaning: Once knowing that it is rope, we do not see snake in it. Once we know that Brahman is the substratum, the world ceases to exist for us.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada continues the explanation ,where explains how a person can get rid of the vision of the world of duality. How he can perceive oneness everywhere. Earlier he said that ignorance is the cause and as we see snake in the rope so also world is seen in Brahman.
In this sloka he explains how we can get rid of the vision of the world.
Initially a person might see a snake in the rope, but when someone shows him that it is rope alone and he neednt be frightened, he views it again and sees that infact it was rope alone all the time and that he was perceiving it as rope due to wrong vision.
Due to the dualities we perceive in the world we are suffering. We see each and every person different from us. We develop likes and dislikes because of that. This will result in emotions and attachments in the mind. We start analyzing, reasoning , which will finally lead us to sorrow. All these thoughts and emotions , due to past vasanas make us do lot of actions.
This wrong vision only can erased by the knowledge of the self. As atma bodha beautifully puts it as
Avirodhitaya karma, na avidhyam vinivartayet
Vidhya avidhyam nihantyeva tejas timira sanghavat
Ignorance cannot be removed by actions as actions are not the opposite of ignorance.
With knowledge alone the ignorance is removed. As light dispels darkness.
So only through knowledge a person would learn that the world is just an illusion. In due course of time would realize. As Lord Krishna says in 4th chapter.
na hi jnanena sadrsam ,pavitram iha vidyate tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah ,kalenatmani vindati
A realized person sees only his self in all and all in his self. He cannot see anything apart from himself. So what action to perform?. Hence he has no prarabdham. How can he have prarabdham, when he has identified himself with the self and gone beyond birth and death as Krishna says in 4th chapter.
ajo 'pi sann avyayatma ,bhutanam isvaro 'pi san prakrtim svam adhisthaya ,sambhavamy atma-mayaya
I am unborn , cannot be destroyed ,I am the lord of all beings ,I take birth many times out of my own maya.
So for a person who is unborn , how can he have births? ,if he cannot have births , how can he have prarabdham?
Meaning: This body which is a part of the universe , how can there be prarabdham? Its only for ignorant people prarabdham is spoken about.
Explanation: In the earlier few slokas sankarabhagavadpada has mentioned , how a person sees the world and how can he get rid of the illusory vision of the world. It has also be proved that there cannot be any prarabdham for a jeevan muktha.
In this sloka he explains why scriptures mention that prarabdham is present for a jeevan mukta.
The world as we have seen in the earlier slokas is due to created by the perceiver, as a dream world is created and is in the dreamer, so also the world in the jagrat avasta or awaken state. This creation is due to we considering ourselves to be the body, mind, intellect due to which lot of disturbances, impressions the mind and intellect goes through thus the world is created. From a jnaani’s perspective, everything is one. There is one Brahman alone present in everything. Thus vanishing of the body mind complex the world itself vanishing as mentioned in earlier sloka.
For a person who has attained a state where he is a witness to all, he doesn’t have a body, how can there be world and prarabdham?
Shruthi explains that prarabdham is present for a jnaani from an ignorant person’s perspective. A ignorant person , who cannot apprehend the state of jeevan mukta , wouldn’t understand that there is no prarabdham. He sees the jeevan muktha doing actions as any other worldly person, so he cannot understand and apprehend his actions.
If a 1st standard student is taught the concept of 10th standard , then he will not understand. Slowly he moves from one class to another and reaches 10th. So to systematically take the student from an initial state to final, shruthi says thus.
If a student is told initially that there is only prarabdham for a jeevan mukta and that doesn’t matter as he remains unaffected and blissful in all circumstances, he will be able to accept it and proceed towards the direction. Once he realizes he himself understands that there is no prarabdham.
Meaning: All the actions will fall off , for a person who has no vision of duality , who is ever established in atman and sees it all pervading, this is as per scriptures .
Explanation: We have seen that sankaracharya mentions that prarabdham is not there for realized people, and its only for ignorant people to understand, scriptures say that prarabdham is present for a jeevan mukta. In this sloka he supports its statements through some of the scriptural statements.
This sloka is similar to one in Mundaka Upanishad which goes like this.
Bidhyanti hridaya granthi, Chidyanthe sarva samshayaha
Ksheenatecha asya karman,Tasmin driste para avare
He who is ever established in the atman , he sees everything is Brahman, for him ,the knot at the heart is broken, all the doubts are cleared and Actions reduce slowly.
There are 3 knots along the shad chakras along the spine. Brahman granthi, Vishu granthi and rudra granthi. Brahma granthi is located at mulaadhara and it represents actions such as sexual activities. Vishnu granthi is at the heart, which represents desires. Rudra granthi is present in the mind , where ignorance resides.
For a jeevan mukta all the knots are broken. For an ignorant person his actions are driven by desires and ignorance. But for a jeevan mukta , there is no ignorance. He is the knower of the truth. “Brahma satyam jagath mithya, jeevo bramhaiva na parahah “ . Hence he has no desires and no actions to be performed. He is the self, beyond birth and death.
Though a jeevan mukta is seen as performing actions in the world, he has no actions to perform as he is unborn, has no desires and hence he cannot do any actions.
Prostration at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
Sloka 89 :
aatmaanaa.n satata.n jaanankaala.n naya mahaadyute .
praarabdhamakhilaM bhuJNjannodvega.n kartumaha.rsi
Meaning: Contemplate on the atman or Brahman all the time and exhaust all the praradha karma , one neednt be anxious about it.
Explantion: Sankarabhagavatpada has said that the body cannot be the atman, till now. He said that its only due to ignorance that we consider ourselves to be the body.
In the next 5 slokas he enters into a different subject of praradham for a person who has realized himself. He puts forth logic and analysis to explain about the prarabdham of a jnaani after realization.
In this sloka he explains that to always abide in the state of Brahman , which gives us eternal bliss in contrast to the wordly objects which are temporary, a person should constantly contemplate on Brahman. In due course of time he naturally contemplates on Brahman and becomes self-realized. Such a person after realization , has to exhaust all his prarabdha karmas . He is in a state where he perceives oneness everywhere, hence there is nothing to be liked or disliked or be effected, so no matter what ever good or bad he has to face as a result of the prarabdham , he accepts everything with a smile. Nothing deters him , as he ever established in Brahman. This is the state of a jnaani. He remains unaffected by the activities performed. He offers all the fruits of action to the lord. Thus lord Krishna says thus in gita 4th chapter
tyaktva karma-phalasangam ,nitya-trpto nirasrayah karmany abhipravrtto 'pi ,naiva kincit karoti sa
Thus a jnaani does all actions but does not enjoy the fruits of actions.
There are 3 types of karmas sanchita, prarabdha and agami karmas. Sanchita karma is the fruits of the past deeds that we have accumulated from previous births. Part of this sanchita karma gets fruitified and becomes prarabdha karma, the fruits of which we enjoy in the current birth. Agaami karma is the results of our actions in this current birth.
When a person realizes all his sanchita and agami karmas are burnt like the wood in fire. He has just the prarabdha karma , that he has to face in the current birth. Prarabdha karma is said to be like a arrow that is released from the bow, which cannot be taken back. Thus it needs to be exhausted. Lord Krishna says thus in gita 4th chapter about karmas of the jnaani’s getting burnt.
yathaidhamsi samiddho 'gnir bhasmasat kurute 'rjuna jnanagnih sarva-karmani bhasmasat kurute tatha
Thus sankarabhagavatpada says that a jnaani would exhaust all his prarabdha karmas and leaves the body and become one with Brahman.
utpanne.apyatmaviGYaane praarabdha.n naiva muJNchati .
iti yachchhR^Iyate shaastre tanniraakriyate.adhunaa
Meaning: After getting the knowledge of the atman, prarabdham doesn’t vanish. This is what is said by the scriptures and I am going to refute this.
Explanation: Sanakarabhagavatpada has explained in the earlier sloka that prarabdham is exhausted by the jnaani ones he realizes. He just maintains the body in order to undergo all the prarabdha karmas. Now in this sloka sanakarabhagavatpada says that he refutes the opinion of the scriptures which say that prarabdham is present for jnaani.
Once a person attains the state of realization, his sanchita and agami karmas which we have seen in the earlier sloka vanish . But the prarabdham remains behind is what the scriptures proclaim. Here we have to understand that the author is not going against the scriptures, as he himself is an embodiment of the scriptures. He is trying to give the right perspective of what the scriptures have said and why is it mentioned so in the scriptures.
An ignorant person sees water in a desert and thinks it is real. Even though it is desert only and nothing else. Similarly the world is seen as real by an ajnaani. A jnaani knows that the water in the desert is unreal, he knows that it’s the desert that’s present and nothing else. Similarly the jnaani sees the world as pervaded by Brahman alone and nothing else. The ignorant person has wrong vision of the world. So the scriptures are for an ignorant person , to know the truth. A jnaani already knows the truth , hence he doesn’t need any scriptural study. So the scriptures talk from an ajnaani perspective to explain him the world and its nature. So as the ajnaani sees a jnaani working in the world , he questions about the prarabdha karma of a jnaani. So in order for him to grasp things ,scriptures says that prarabdham would exist for a jnaani too, but he isn’t effected by any, hence it doesn’t matter what he does or he suffers due to prarabdham. Only when the sadhaka realizes would he understand that there can be no prarabdham for jnanni who always sees nothing else here but Brahman alone.
As aitreya Upanishad says
Atma Idameka evagra asit naanyat kinchana mishat
So sanakarabhagavatpada in the next few slokas gives logical explanation for the same.
tattvaGYaanodayaaduurdhvaM praarabdha.n naiva vidyate .
dehaadiinaamasattvattu yathaa svapno vibodhataH
Meaning: After attaining the knowledge of the self, prarabdham is not there, as its dependent on body , like in a dream.
Explanation: Here the author though logic tries to prove how a jnaani has no prarabdham. To perform any action or enjoy fruits of action body is the medium.
Jnaani is ever established in the state of Brahman and hence there is not birth and death for him. He has gone beyond all dualities, but for an ajnaani who sees a jnaani or mahatmas like AMMA doing activities in the world, he may doubt about the prarabdha karma for them. Hence sankarabhagavatpada explains it.
As karmas need a body and a jnaani has no body , so it is said that he has no prarabdha karma. It is similar to a dream state. In dream state we have all experiences and we think its real, we do not know that we are dreaming until we come out of it. Once we comes out of , we understand that it’s a dream and we are not effected by it. In dream state all the experiences of the dreamer are on the body in the dream state. But once the dreamer wakes up, he doesn’t have dream body.
An ignorant person perceives the world as real and hence identifies himself with all activities. A jnaani knows that world is like a dream , hence there are no actions for him to perform.
We may see mahatmas appear in our dream and as doing activities, it is similar to seeing them doing activities in the world . As the dream is just an illusion so also the world. Until we are in the dream world , we cannot understand that state attains which no actions are performed anymore. Lord Krishna says thus in 4th chapter of gita that a jnaani doesn’t do any actions.
tyaktva karma-phalasangam ,nitya-trpto nirasrayah karmany abhipravrtto 'pi , naiva kincit karoti sah
Thus through logical analysis that without a body actions and after waking from a dream there is no dream body so also actions cannot be performed by jnaani thus its proved by the author that there is no prarabdham for a jnaani. He gives some more ways of explaining the same in the next 2 slokas.
karma janmaantariiya.n yatpraarabdhamiti kiirtitam.h .
tattu janmaantaraabhaavaatpu.nso naivaasti kahi.rchit.h
Meaning: Actions are due to previous births. This is called prarabdham. But there are no previous births , such things do not exist.
Explanation: Prarabdham is the fruits of past actions, which drive our current birth. The place we are born, to whom we are born and the life we live is all determined by the parabdham. Prarabdham is due to the previous birth vasanas we have accumulated. So through the medium of the body all this vasanas are exhausted. But a jnaani is a person who doesn’t consider himself to be the body as we have seen in the earlier slokas. He has no body. He is unborn. He is ever present as lord Krishna says in the 4th chapter
ajo 'pi sann avyayatma ,bhutanam isvaro 'pi san prakrtim svam adhisthaya ,sambhavamy atma-mayaya
I am unborn and all pervading and present in all being in the world and appear in the world through my own maya.
For a person who is unborn ever present how can there be previous and next births?, If all the previous births are not there , then how can he have karma. This is the argument sankarabhagavtpada puts forth in this sloka. One a person realizes and knows that he is the ever present all pervading Brahman ,who is unborn, all his karmas of sanchita and agami are burnt away as we have seen in the earlier slokas. He goes beyond all his births.
Hence he has not previous births and no karmas. So can we say that he is performing actions?.He doesn’t see any duality whatsoever.
So when archarya’s say in works like tattvabodha that prarabdham exists for a jnaani, then we need to understand that its from the perspective of an ignorant person.
svapnadeho yathaadhyasthastathaivaaya.n hi dehakaH .
adhyastasya kuto janma janmaabhaave hi tatkutaH
Meaning: As the dream body is superimposed in the dreamer , so also waking state body is just a superimposition and not real.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavatpada gives another logic here to prove that there is no prarabdham for a jnaani.
The dreamer experiences all dream through a dream body. The whole dream is in the dreamer. This is called superimposition. Dream body is superimposed on the dreamer. The dream body is not real it vanishes once he is out of dream. Dreamer is the cause of the dream ,the dream exists and vanishes in him. Hence it is just an illusion.
As the dream world vanishes once we are out of dream, so also once we realize that the world is just a dream, when we realize. As the dream body doesn’t exist in waking state, so also a jnaani is never associated with the body which was just a superimposition.
Until one has body, he has previous births and karmas. Then he would suffer due to the vasanas accumulated over the births.Once he is above the body, he has no karmas and is a liberated soul.
Until we know that the water seen in the desert is just an illusion, we will get deluded and suffer. But once we understand that the water is just an illusion and the desert is the only truth , we are not effected. So a jnaani knows that world is pervaded by Brahman alone and that world is illusion, hence for him there is no body, no pervious births and no prarabdha karma too.
They are just the witness of all the actions , they are not the doer or the enjoyer of action . As lord Krishna says in 15th chapter
yad aditya-gatam tejo , jagad bhasayate 'khilam yac candramasi yac cagnau ,tat tejo viddhi mamakam
He is the light behind all lights, he is the illuminator,but is just a witness to all activities and is not inlvolved in any activities.
So also a jnaani remains as a witness to all activities in the world, always remaining in blissful state. Everything he accepts as a blessing from eshwara and hence there are no actions performed by him.
Thus sankarabhagavatpada through three different reasonings proves that there is no prarabdham for a jnaani, even though the scriptures say so. It is explain thus in scriptures only from an ignorant persons perspective. Thus he concludes the subject of prarabdha for a jnaani.