Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
yathaa mR^idi ghaTo naama kanake kuNDalaabhidhaa .
shuktau hi rajatakhyaatirjiivashabdastathaa pare
Meaning: As pot is an illusion in mud, as silver is an illusion in nacer, same way jeeva as an illusion in Brahman, can be known if seen from this perspective.
Explanation: The avasta trayam analysis proving that the illusory nature of the avasta’s and the truth of the atman as a witness of the three avasta’s was explained earlier. Thereby also saying that the world perceived in the waking state is also an illusion. After proving logically the mithya world, Sankaracharya gives illustrations in this regard to explain that the world is mithya.
Any vedantic work whether dvaita or advaita should cover 3 aspects , Esha, Jeeva and Brahman. Author proves the world as mithya explaining the three aspects in coming slokas. In this sloka author explains through examples about Jeeva being an illusion.
In this sloka he talks about jeeva and atman. Pot is made of mud. It a name given to the form of mud. Hence pot is not a different entity. Its essence is mud. There is no existence of the pot without mud. If we consider pot from being different from mud we will be deluded. Hence the form of pot seen is an illusion in mud. The reality is mud alone.
One may see silver in Nacer. But it really doesn’t exist. Nacer doesn’t contain silver. But we may perceive silver . But it doesn’t mean silver is present in nacer. It is just an illusion. When known that nacer doesn’t contain silver, we will not see silver any more. It is similar to the example of water seen in desert. Once we know there is no water in the desert, with that knowledge our intellect will be clear and we will not perceive and even though we might perceive water externally sometimes we know that its only an illusion and doesn’t exist.
We see many things in the world. But all are names and forms of Brahman alone. All names and forms are illusions and their substratum being Brahman. Hence we should never get deluded by the name and form of the world. This nature of the world is brought out with the example of mud pot as explained above.
Once we know that the whole is pervaded by Brahman of nature of consciousness alone, all the names and forms vanish. All the illusions created in the mind about the world vanish. The differences created in mind among various names and forms will vanish. We will perceive the all pervading Brahman everywhere. Till ignorance exists the illusions exist. As soon as we know that rope alone was there and snake was never present, We see the rope only. This is explained by the example of silver in nacer.
Thus the author with the two examples of mud pot and silver in nacer explains the outlook one should have about the world. This alone will help a sadhaka to come out of the illusion. As long as we are in the illusion we cannot perceive the truth. Truth can be perceived only when we move out of the illusion. Only when we do not see a snake in the rope , the rope is seen. When we view the snake we don’t see the rope.
Example of mud pot is of name and form in the world. One may see the name and form after realization of the truth also, but he would understand that its just an illusion. The illustration of the silver in nacer is and illusion. Once knowledge dawns about the truth behind we don’t perceive the illusion. So its called anirvachaneeyam or an illusion is that which cannot be explained. It is neither sat nor asat. Its not sat as silver never existed in nacer. Its not asat as silver is perceived till some time. Similarly Jeeva is just an illusion in the atman.
Sloka 60 :
yathaiva vyomni niilatva.n yathaa niiraM marusthale .
purushhastva.n yathaa sthaaNau tadvadvishva.n chidaatmani
Meaning: As mud gets the name of pot , as gold becomes ear rings. In Nacer an illusion of sliver is seen. So also in paramatham jeeva is seen .
Explanation: Author continues explanation that the jeeva is just an illusion in the atman and that he is the atman alone. He give few more examples to illustrate this view .
As pot is made of mud alone. Knowing the pot we know everything that is made of mud. As the essence is mud alone. Chandogya Upanishad says
“Yatha soumya ekena mrit pindena sarvam mrin mayam vijnaatham syaat
Vaachaarambhanam vikaaro naama dheyam mrittiketyeva satyam”
By knowing piece of mud all forms made of mud are known. All are but forms of the same mud. Mud alone is the reality.
As mud pot and wall are all made of mud , so also the whole world is made of Brahman alone.
So also any ornament made out of gold is gold alone. We may differentiate it as necklace, earrings and bangles, but in essence it is gold alone. The gold smith would treat any ornament as gold alone.
In nacer we see silver ,which is also an illusion as we have seen in the earlier sloka.
Thus jeeva is an illusion in the atman.
As a goldsmith sees gold in all ornaments made of gold, Likewise a jeevan mukta would see anything in the world as Brahman alone. In bhagavatham it is said that
“Vadanati tat tatva vidaha tattvam yat gnana advaiyam
Brahma ithi paramathethi Bhagavanithi shadbhathe”
Meaning the knower’s of the ultimate truth talk about the adviteeyam, that which is one alone and is all pervading as having different names like Brahman, bhagavan and paramatha. By whatever name it is called it’s the same fundamental principle of consciousness. Similarly Jeeva in essence is Brahman alone. Scriptures call it by various names Brahman, Jeeva, kutastha ,purusha,satchidananda etc. But in essence it is atman alone. The all pervading satchidananda.
yathaiva vyomni niilatva.n yathaa niiraM marusthale .
purushhastva.n yathaa sthaaNau tadvadvishva.n chidaatmani
Meaning: As the sky is blue in color, as water is seen in desert, as we see a person in a lamp post so also we see the whole world in consciousness.
Explanation: The earlier two slokas we have seen the explanation of Jeeva with respect to the consciousness. In this sloka the author speaks about the world with regards to the substratum of Brahman.
The sky is blue in color and we all know that space is colorless and the blue color of the sky is attributed to the reflection and refraction of light. Hence the color of the sky we see in not the true color. It is just an illusion.
We all are well aware of water seen in a desert which is also an illusion. This examples show that we have a vision of something which actually in reality doesn’t exist but only seems to exist. Water is not present in the desert nor the sky color is blue.
Similarly in a lamp post , people are seen by the viewer. Depending on the mind of the viewer different objects are seen in the lamppost. A thief sees a police in the lamppost ,as all the time he is fearing of getting caught by the police, so also a police is always in search of thieves would see a thief in the lamp post. A lover would see his love in the lamppost and goes towards it. The author says similar is the world.
The world is seen in the substratum of consciousness. Nothing else is present here but Brahman ,but still we perceive duality. As a lover sees his love in the lamppost we are seeing objects in the world. Not only whatever we see is not true and is an illusion, we also interpret it as per our mindsets. We see what we would like to see in the world.
Brahman is that which is one alone, which is all pervading and is the essence of the whole world. In one of his works sankaracharya says
“Jaati neeti kula gotra doorakam
Nama roopa guna dosha varjitam
Desha kala vishaya ati vartiyat
Brahmam tattvamasi bhaava yatmani “
Brahman is beyond species, caste, names and forms, good and bad, space and time . It is the ultimate truth of “I am the atman of nature of supreme consciousness”.
Thus the perception of the world , is similar to the objects perceived in lamppost and depend on the person perceiving it.
Thus a jeevan mukta just perceives the substratum of Brahman in everything and is always blissful, whereas the other in the world perceive duality and hence are ever are suffering from sorrows.
yathaiva shuunye vetaalo gandharvaaNaaM pura.n yathaa .
yathaakaashe dvichandratva.n tadvatsatye jagatsthitiH
Meaning: As a person sees ghost in voidness, as a person thinks about city of gandharvas in the sky, as seeing two moons in the sky, so as is the truth of the world perceived.
Explanation: The author continues the analysis of the world as names and forms and as an illusion in the substratum of the world. As per scriptures “Neha nana asthi kinchana” , there is no duality whatsoever. Sankaracharya proves the same point through the analysis of the truth of the world.
The author explains with some more examples in this sloka.
As is our general experience to imagine a ghost in space, though we may realize later that it wasn’t a ghost, similarly after realizing the nature of the world, we will no more fear anything in the world.
One may imagine that a city of gandharva’s exists in the sky, contrary to the truth of space alone present. So also a person sees the world, even though Brahman alone is present.
As mentioned by sankaracharya in one of his works of brahma jnaanavali maala
Ghata kudhyadikam sarvam mrittaka matra meva hi
Tatvad brahma jagad sarvam ithi Vedanta dindima”
As Pot is mud alone, so also the world is Brahman alone.
Two moons can also be viewed in sky, but we know that there is one moon alone, likewise people see duality in the world, they differentiate between various names and forms , they develop like and dislike with them, not knowing that everything is just a name and form of the ultimate reality of brahman.
Brahman alone is present here and all we perceive in the world are just names and forms of Brahman. We are getting deluded by the names and forms, as we do not understand the substratum of all objects as Brahman alone. Once we realize this, we will see each and every object in the world as Brahman alone, this would make a person blissful all the time, no matter whatever he is doing, he will always see Brahman everywhere .Jeevan muktha’s are people perceive the world thus and always rejoice in bliss.
yathaa taraN^gakallolairjalameva sphuratyalam.h .
paatraruupeNa taamra.n hi brahmaaNDaughaistathaatmataa
Meaning: As waves are nothing but water alone, as copper vessels are copper alone, so also the whole universe is atman alone
Explanation: Author continues the analysis of the illusion of the world through few more examples. Repetition is one of the ways of driving in the concept in the minds of the readers and helps them to develop strong conviction of the truth of the world, which we have been percieveing as full of dualities, due to the superimposition of the ego over the self.
The waves seen in the ocean are water alone. The waves are just a name give to the water in the ocean. Wave is just another form of water.
The vessels made of copper are copper alone. Upon melting these vessels turn to copper only. Hence a name and shape or form is given to copper , and vessel is seen as a different object to copper, though in essence copper alone exists in copper vessel.
As we all know the scripture lines of “Brahma satyam, jagad mithya, jeevo brahmaiva na parah”
Brahman alone is the truth , world is an illusion and the various forms seen in the world are Brahman alone.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Slokas 59 to 63