Prostrations at the Lotus feet of AMMA.
ghaTanaamna yathaa pR^ithvii paTanaamnaa hi ta.ntavaH .
jagannamnaa chidaabhaati GYeya.n tattadabhaavataH
Meaning : As that which is called a pot is mud alone and that which is called a cloth is thread alone, similarly the world in the consciousness alone shines, Know the truth by negating the names and forms .
Explanation: Through our experience we know that the pots are nothing but mud alone and the name pot is given to the form of this mud. Thus negating the name and form of the pot we will come to know that its mud alone and pot was just a name assigned to the form by us.
With thread alone a cloth is woven. Without thread there is no cloth. If we deny the fact that the cloth is thread alone, we are denying the very existence of the cloth.
Similarly the world is filled with Brahman alone of the nature of consciousness, existence and bliss . It’s the underlying substratum of whole universe. Krishna says in Gita 15th chapter thus
Gam avishya cha bhutani dharayami aham ojasahPushnami osadhih sarvah somo bhutva rasatmakaha
It means that Brahman alone is present in the whole creation, he is present in the earth, sustains the vegetation of the earth, thus supports life on earth. He is alone present as the pancha bhutas air, water, fire, earth and space.
It is the eye behind the eyes, the ear behind the ears. Its said in the 15th chapter that
yat aditya gatam tejo, jagat bhasayithee akhilamYat Chandramasi yat cha agnau tat tejo viddhi mamakam
Brahman alone is the light for the sun ,light and moon. They depend derive their strength from Brahman alone. He is all pervading only entity present in the entire universe. Whole universe is contained in him.
A person can realize this truth only by negating the names and forms he sees in the world. Ascertaining himself in the beginning that Brahman alone is the reality behind all the forms and dualities seen in the world. Through constant practice over a period of time, he would reach such a state, wherein he wouldn’t perceive any duality whatsoever. His perspective of the world will completely change. This change in perspective would bring him the eternal bliss. Jnaani’s are in such a state where they reveal in the bliss of brahmam. They see everything to be themselves. They do not have any notion of “my body”. They consider everyone as his or herself. They find themselves as dwelling in every individual. This is the state wherein there is no duality, hence no sorrow but eternal bliss alone exists. This is what is the state we all should aspire to be in.
sarvo.api vyavahaarastu brahmaNaa kriyate janaiH .
aGYaanaanna vijaananti mR^ideva hi ghaTaadikam.h
Meaning: All the activities done in the world are done through Brahman alone. Ignorant people do not understand this as they consider the mud as pot only.
Explanation: Sankaracharya till the earlier few slokas gave various examples to explain that Brahman alone is present here and a person should negate all names and forms to understand the truth of ultimate reality. In this sloka he explain the perspective vision of the world by a person with knowledge of Brahman and an ignorant person.
A person having the knowledge of ultimate truth ,that Brahman alone is present in the entire world and there cannot exist anything apart from Brahman see’s no duality. He is never deluded by the names and forms and hence remains blissful. On the contrary a person lacking this knowledge would see duality in the world and would suffer in the world. He considers the pot as real and ignores mud from which pot is made. So when pot is destroyed , he grieves forgetting that mud alone had become the pot and it alone remains when the pot vanishes.
As mentioned in the 4th chapter of Gita
brahmarpanam brahma havir ,brahmagnau brahmana hutam brahmaiva tena gantavyam ,brahma-karma-samadhina
Here it means the whole world is like a homa(sacrificial offerings) where in the offerings are done to Brahman. That which is offered is Brahman, the fire unto which offerings are done is Brahman, the person who offers is also Brahman, the fruit to be achived out of the offerings done is also Brahman only. Thus a person should perform all his activities in the world as an offering to the lord ishwara, this would give him liberation.
This is the attitude a person should have while executing his duties in this world. If such is the case, no matter whatever action he does, whether it is a good action or bad action , he is not effected by it, as he offers everything to Brahman alone. He doesn’t consider himself the doer of activities hence wouldn’t enjoy the fruits of it. Thus anything favorable or unfavorable incidents happen in his life, he considers them to be the “prasad” of Ishwara. Such a person has the attitude of complete surrender to the lord. He sees god as the doer of actions and enjoyer of fruits. Thus he gets liberated from the fruits of the action done and thus from the life chain of birth and death.
Incase of an ignorant man, he gets attached to the activities he does, seeks some results, and enjoys the results of it and desires for more.He is never satisfied with what ever he has, no matter how much ever he has in life.He will always feels a sense of lacking or unfulfillment in life. He does actions seeking some results and enjoys the fruits of it and inturn does some more activites and thus takes births to enjoy all the fruits of action done. Thus he gets entangled in birth and death cycle.
kaaryakaaraNataa nityamaaste ghaTamR^idoryathaa .
tathaiva shrutiyuktibhyaM prapaJNcha brahmaNoriha
Meaning: The cause and effect is present always in case of pot and mud . Similarly as per scriptures , the same exists for world and the Brahman.
Explanation: The author continues the analysis after explaning that all actions are done through Brahman alone. He explains the cause and effect of the world.
All gold ornaments are made of gold alone, the ornaments are forms of gold. Here the cause of the ornaments is gold, the effect produced is the ornament. Similar is the case with world and Brahman. The effect of the world is from the substratum of Brahman. As per mundaka Upanishad it is said that as a spider weaves its own web , where the material and the maker is the spider alone, so also the world is from Brahman alone.
As per mundaka Upanishad
“yatha oornanabhi srujathe grinhathecha yatha prithivyam oshadhayah sambhavanthi
yathaa sathah purushaath keshalomaani thatha aksharaath sambhavathi iha vishvam”
The cause lies in the effect alone. It is always present. The mud is in the pot, but we fail to perceive mud in the pot and get deluded by the form of the pot. We get deluded by different gold ornaments and like some ornaments do not like other ornaments, forgetting that every ornament is made of gold alone.
Brahman alone is present in each individual as satchitananda. We fail to know this and dislike some people and like others. This leads us to sorrow.
This is mentioned in chandogya Upanishad as
Yatha soumya ekena mrit pindena sarvam mrin mayam vijnaatham syaat
Vaachaarambhanam vikaaro naama dheyam mrittiketyeva satyam
Knowing mud we come to know all forms of mud. Thus knowing the substratum, the names and forms are known. Thus Brahman alone exists in the world and whatever we see is just names and forms. Thus the relation between the cause of Brahman and the effect of world is proved beyond doubt in scriptures.
gR^ihyamaaNe ghaTe yadvanmR^ittikaa.ayaati vai balaat.h .
viikshamaaNe prapaJNche.api brahmaivaabhaati bhaasuram.h
Meaning: As a person endowed with knowledge would see mud alone in the pot, similarly Brahman alone can be perceived in the world, if seen from that perspective.Explanation: Sankaracharya till now has explained with various examples logically to prove that Brahman alone is present in the world. A sadhaka can have questions like1) Will world look something different to what I see now, Incase I view only Brahman in the world .2) How should one practice it? These questions are answered in this sloka and coming slokas.Till now it is proved beyond doubt that the ultimate truth of the world is Brahman alone. When one is logically convinced that Brahman alone is present in the world, to experience the same i.e Brahman alone is present in the world a person should ascertain whatever he says as Brahman all the time and that names and forms are just an illusion in the substratum of Brahman. Our current day experience of the world is due to the superimposition of the Ego over the self, to overcome this , one should constantly remind himself of the truth of ultimate reality.Whenever a person views pot as mud, he wouldn’t he deluded by the name and form of mud. Knowing that all gold ornaments are gold alone a person would see only gold in all ornaments, It wouldn’t matter to him what ornament it is. He sees all as gold.Similarly endowed with the eyes of knowledge a person should see Brahman as all pervading in the world. When he sees oneness in everything in the world, the person has no sorrow at all, as nothing exists apart from his self and everyone loves oneself, hence such a person loves the whole world .For him everyone is the same, he shows equal love to all. He has pure love to one and all without any expectations from them. Such a person is said to be a yogi, a person having sama dristhi or equanimity of mind.
In gita 2nd chapter Krishna says about an yogi thus
“sidhyasidhyo samo bhuthwa samathwam yoga uchyathe”
Thus changing our perspective towards the world is what is intended .The world would remain the same, the circumstances would remain the same .All the troubles we might face wouldn’t cease to exist, but only we wouldn’t be effected by anything that happens and will remain ever blissful, irrespective of the circumstances.
sadaivaatmaa vishuddho.asti hyashuddho bhaati vai sadaa .
yathaiva dvividhaa rajjurGYaanino.aGYaanino.anisham.h
Meaning : Atman is always free from bondages. But its perceived as bonded. Similarly perspective vision of a rope by a jnaani and an ajnaani is different.Explanation: Sankaracharya in the earlier sloka speaks about what a sadhaka should do to perceive world as Brahman. In this sloka through an example he illustrates how it can be achieved.We are not the body but the self, but due to superimposition for over period of time we have considered ourselves to be the body. So it might sound impossible for us to practice what sankaracharya propounds as “Brahma satyam jagath mithya” in half a sloka the entire essence of the Upanishads.But ancient sages and mahatmas have proved that it isn’t impossible and it isn’t something to be achieved as its one’s own self and not different from his self.To explain how it needs to be implemented, he gives the example of snake and rope.A person who sees the rope as a snake thinks that it is a real snake and gets scared. He runs away. But a person who sees the rope as rope, isn’t deluded. Here we see two perspectives, a perspective of a jnaani and an ajnaani. A jnaani is like a person who knows that it’s a rope and not snake, whereas an ajnaani who doesn’t takes the world to be real and is deluded by the world and suffers.Jnaani is unaffected by anything that happens around him in the world. As he knows that the only truth is Brahman. So the world doesn’t change for a jnaani. Its the same world seen by both a jnaani and an ajnaani, but the perspective of looking at the world is different. Internal vision of the world is what makes the difference, thought the world is seen as filled with names and forms by both. A jnaani would see the substratum of everything he sees in the world as brahman. A ajnaani would only perceive the world with duality.
Even though atman is ever liberated and is only a witness to all the activities in the world , a ajnaani not knowing his real nature of self, thinks he is bonded ,he associates himself with objects of the world, which bring him sorrow finally. On the contrary jnaani knows that atman is his true nature and that atman is untainited and is eternal and he remains as a witness to all the activities performed by him.Thus he doesn’t enjoy the fruits of actions and gets liberated from life cycle of birth and death.So one should strive to attain this attitude of seeing Brahman in everything in the world, this would help a seeker in self-realization.