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.