AdvaitaVedanta Website - Introduction

Science of the Absolute

Science of the Absolute did 2

 

 

DARSANA-MALA

  

A GARLAND OF VISIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE

  

VI. KARMA-DARSANAM (VISION OF ACTION)

 

1. atmaiva mayaya karma karoti bahurupadhrk asangah svaprakaso'pi nidrayamiva taijasah

 

It is indeed the Self, though self-luminous
And detached, that through negativity
Does action bearing many forms,
Like the dream-agent in sleep.

 

ASANGA SVAPRAKASAH-API, although detached and Self-luminous,
NIDRAYAM TAIJASAH IVA, like the dream-agent in sleep,
ATMA-EVA BAHURUPADHRIK, the Self itself, bearing many forms,
MAYAYA KARMA KAROTI, by means of its negative principle does action

 

Because the Self, like the sky, is without taint and because it is Self-luminous like the sun, it cannot be reasonably thought of as capable of any action. In reality the Self does not do any action. If we now examine what it is that acts, we have to say it is Maya, because it is of the order of inert matter. It is not capable of any action independent of the Self. Therefore, because it is only capable of acting by the presence of the Self and is not different from the Self, and because for accomplishing any action there is nothing else, what effects all the various forms of action is the Self. That is to say, it is quite legitimate to think that it is the Self that effects all actions through Maya. In the state of sleep it is within everybody's experience that the subtle dream-agent is able to accomplish all action without possessing any outward organs of action. What the dream-agent accomplishes is experienced as if it is real, as long as the dream lasts. It becomes clear when coming out of the state of sleep that the work accomplished by the dream-agent is not real, but only apparent or virtual. The term bahurupadhrik (bearing many forms) is intended here to include within its scope all possible forms of action, the purport being that there is no action that is not attributed to the Self.

 

2. manye vadami grhnami srnomitiyadirupatah kriyate karma paramatmana cittendriyatmana

 

"I think, I speak, I grasp, I hear."
In forms such as these are actions accomplished
By the supreme Self, (which is also)
The Self of pure reason and the senses.

 

PARAMATMANA MANVE VADAMI GRIHNAMI, by the supreme Self  "I speak, I grasp",
SRINOMI-ITYADI RUPATAH," I hear", in such forms,
KARMA KRIYATE, actions are accomplished,
CITENDRIYATMANA, by the Self of pure reason and the senses (having the form of ego-sense with motor senses)

 

When action is accomplished it is the Self that remains and as the inner organs and the motor organs accomplishes all works. That is to say, it is the one Self as the reasoning Self (cidatma) that accomplishes acts of thought by saying to itself, "I think," and in the form of speech accomplishes the act of saying, "I speak", which is action in the form of the spoken word. As the Self of the hand accomplishes the action of taking which is of the form of grasping, and as the Self of hearing accomplishes the work in the form of "I hear." By reference to actions such as "I think" etc., we have to take it that all functions such as rising, falling, contracting, expanding and moving are also to be supposed. Because there is nothing other than the Self and because it is impossible that anything that is inert can accomplish any action, it is the ultimate Self (which is of the form of the reasoning Self with the senses), that accomplishes all actions, as expressly to be understood in this verse. 

 

3. atmaivah karmanah purvamanyat kincinna vidyate tatah svenaiva karmani kriyante nijamayaya
 
Prior to action, it is the Self (that exists);
There is nothing else at all.
Through the Self, by its own negative principle,.
By itself are accomplished all actions.
 
KARMANAH PURVAM, prior to action,
ATMA-EVA VIDYATE, it is the Self that exists,
ANYAT KINCIT NA, there is nothing else at all,
TATAH, through it,
SVENA-EVA, by the Self itself,
NIJAMAYAYA, by its own negative principle,
KARMANI KRIYANTE, (all) action is accomplished
 
Prior to action there is only the Self and nothing else. Therefore it is that very Self which accomplishes all action through its Maya. Any action accomplished posteriorly cannot possibly arise from anything else. If we say that before the tree there was the seed, is it necessary to assert again that the seed caused the tree? The Upanishads also support such a view when they say that existence was what was there in the beginning. In other words this was in the beginning the pure Self. 

 

4. saktirasyamanah kacid durghata na prthak svatah tayaivaropyate karma nikhilam niskriyatmani
 
From the Self, not different from itself
There exists a certain undefinable specificatory power
By that (power), all actions
Are falsely attributed to the actionless Self.
 
ATMANAH, from the Self,
SVATAH NA PRTHAK, not different from itself,
DURGATAH, an undefinable,
KACID SAKTIH ASTI, there exists a certain (specificatory) power,
TAYA-EVA, by that (power),
AROPYATE, is falsely attributed,
NIKHILAM KARMA, all action,
NISHKRIYATMANI, in the actionless Self.
 
The Self has a specificatory power which is not different from itself and is undefinable. It is because of this specificatory power that all actions are attributed to the Self. Because the Self is actionless no action can be compatible with it. Then how is it we say the Self performs action? We are obliged to answer that Maya is the cause of all action and is the specificatory power of the Self. It is also incongruous to say that Maya, which is by itself non-intelligent, is the cause of action, because it is impossible that there is anything outside the Self. We are forced to admit that Maya is not different from the Self. On closer examination we see that it (i.e. Maya) is a non-existent principle. Thus when looked at in one way it has agency, and when looked at in another way it has not agency. When viewed in one sense it is existent and in another sense it is non-existent. On further analysis it is also seen to be indeterminate. When viewed in one way it is capable of occupying a place in the Self which cannot in principle give any place to anything outside it; and when viewed in another way it has no existence in the Self. In one way it is different from the Self, and in another way it is non-different from the Self taken as a whole as what is unpredicable and indeterminate. It is because of these qualities that it is undefinable and unpredicable. It is this very Self that attributes all actions to the Self which is actionless. It is also by this very Self remaining as desire (icca) wisdom (jnana) and action (kriya) that the Self is made to be an agent or non-agent of action capable of taking on all forms. When it is subject to desire the Self is the actor. In the form of wisdom it is actionless. When it is in action it can assume all forms. 

 

5. sarvada'sanga evatma 'jnataya karma sangivat karoti na karomiti na jnah karmasu sajjate
 
The Self is always detached indeed.
One performs action as if attached due to ignorance.
The wise man, saying "I do nothing,"
Is not interested in action.
 
ATMA, the Self,
SARVADA, always,
ASANGA EVA, is detached indeed,
AJNATAYA, due to ignorance,
SANGIVAT, as if attached,
KARMA KAROTI, does the action,
JNAH, the wise man,
NA KAROM-ITI, saying "I do nothing",
NA KARMASU SAJJATE, is not interested in action
 
Here the word atma comprises both the living Self (jivatma) and the supreme Self (paramatma) without distinction. Like the supreme Self, the living Self is also always without attachment. It is because of ignoring the living Self as well as the supreme Self that it seems as if they participate in action. But wise men who have attained to true knowledge even when engaged in action know for certain that they are not performing any action at all. They never have any attachment to action. What has been praised in the Bhagavad Gita is the wise man who sees action in inaction and inaction in action. In reality there is no action at all in the Self. With those actions seeming to be present the Self has no relation. "But then where do these seeming actions exist? Who performs them? On what basis are they founded?" When such questions are asked, we say that because there is no possible place outside the Self there is no possibility of anything remaining outside it. We are obliged to admit that all actions merely seemingly exist in the Self and that the agency of all actions must be attributed to the Self. Furthermore the basis of all actions is the same Self and when it takes all possible forms it still remains as the great actor. 

 

6. jvalati jvalano vayurvati varsati varidah dharatma san dharati khalveko vahati vahini
 
The one (Self) alone as fire (it) burns,
As wind (it) blows,
As water (it) rains,
As earth (it) supports (and) as a river (it) flows.
 
EKAH KHALU, the one (Self) alone,
JVALANAH SAN JVALATI, as fire it
burns,VAYUH SAN VATI, as wind (it) blows,
VARIDAH SAN VARSHATI, as water it rains,
DHARATMA SAN DHARATI, as earth it supports,
VAHINI SAN VAHATI, as a river it flows.
 
It is the one Self that takes the form of the five elementals, each manifesting itself as the gross object by means of which all actions are accomplished. 

 

7. urdhvam prano hyadho'panah khalveko yati niskriyah nadyantarale dhamati krandoti spandati sthitah
 
The one (Self) alone, remaining actionless,
Moves (as) upward and downward vital tendencies
Within the nervous centres, indeed,
It beats, murmurs and pulsates.
 
EKAH KHALU, the one (Self) alone,
NISHKRIYAH STHITAH, remaining actionless,
PRANAH (SAN) URDHVAN, as upwards vital tendency,
APANAH (SAN) ADAH, as downward vital tendency,
YATI, moves,
NADYANTARALE, within the nervous centres,
DHAMATI KRANDATI SPHANDATI HI, indeed beats, murmurs and pulsates
 
Inside the body, although remaining in the form of vital tendencies which accomplishes organic actions such as breathing in and out, the Self remains one and actionless. 

 

8. astijanmarddhiparinatyapaksayavinasanam sadbhavamiha yo yati sa nanyo'vikriyatmanah
 
Here (in this visible world), as what exists,
Grows, transforms, decreases and attains its end-
As subject to six forms of becoming-
 
(That) is no other than the actionless Self.
 
IVA, here (in this visible world),
YAH, what,
ASTI JANMAR ADHI PARINATYA PAKSHAYA VINASANAM, as what exists, is born, grows, is transformed, decreases, attains its end,
SHADBHAVAM, six forms,
YATI, what is subject to,
SAH, that,
AVIKRIYATMANAH, from the actionless Self,
ANYAH NA, is no other
 
All the things we see in the world are subject to six forms of becoming. All these things subject to transformation are also subject to destruction and therefore they are unreal. It is only because of the existence of a changeless Self composed of pure existence that there is a semblance of the reality of things and their transformations. It is by dependence on such a changeless Self that the six transformations are possible. If there is no Self there is no world. It is for this reason that it has been said the world consists of the Self with its six transformations. 

 

9. svayam kriyante karmani karanairindriyairapi aham tvasangah kutastha iti janati kovidah
 
By means of the inner organs and the senses
Actions become Self-accomplished.
However, the wise man knows,
"I am the unattached, inner well-founded one"
 
KARANAIH-INDRIYAIH-API, by the means of the inner organ and the senses,
KARMANI SVAYAM KRIYANTE, actions become Self-accomplished, 
 
KOVIDAH TU, however, the wise man,
AHAM ASANGAH KUTASTHA ITI JANATI, knows "I am the unattached inner well-founded one"
 
The Self does not act and, if we say it is the inner organ and the senses that act because they are inert, they cannot accomplish actions as they are only the means of action. But if we examine how actions originate, we conclude that they are beginningless and accomplished by the presence of the Self ; in reality the Self does not act at all. The Self remains apart and is well-founded. The man using the double process of dialectical reasoning (uha-apoha) knows this reality with certitude.

 

10. drsyatvadbhasyamaham apyato'ham suktirangavat adhyastameka evadya svopi sarvoparisthitah
 
Because of being an object of experience,
Even the "I" is a conditioning factor,
Superimposed like the mother-of-pearl gleam.
Above everything else, today and tomorrow one alone is.
 
AHAM API, even the "I",
DRISYATVAT, because of being the object of experience,
BHASYAM, is a conditioning factor,
ATAH, because of this,
AHAM, I,
SUKTI-RANGAVAT, like the silver gleam in the mother-of-pearl,
ADHYASTAM, is superimposed,
ADYA SVOPI, today and tomorrow (i.e. always),
SARVOPARI-STHITAH, fixed above all things,
EKAH EVA, even one (is).
 
What is the object of consciousness is superimposition. (This verity has already been explained.) In other words, all things that constitute objects of consciousness are unreal. Even when so considered they have their basis in something real in order to express the unreal. Here the example of silver in the mother-of-pearl is given. When there is the superimposition of silver on the mother-of-pearl, although there is no actual silver it seems to be there. In spite of this the unreal semblance of silver is really based on the reality of the mother-of-pearl. In a similar way all actions and the egoism causing them are superimposed on the supreme Self. It is the supreme Self that is alone real, remaining one and eternal. The whole world consisting of action seems to be merely a superimposition on the Self. By the expression "fixed above all things" it is indicated that the Self is pure and other-worldly, transcending time and space as well as pleasure and pain, and that it is superior to all things.

 

 

VII. JNANA-DARSANAM (VISION OF AWARENESS)

 

1. jnanamekam hi nirupadhikam sopadhikam ca tat ahankaridhinam yajjnanam tannirupadhikam 

 

Awareness is one and unconditioned indeed,
There is also the conditioned.
Awareness without egoism, etc.
That is the unconditioned.
 
JNANAM-EKAM NIRUPADHIKAM HI, awareness is one and unconditioned indeed,
SOPADHIKAM CA TAT, that is also the conditioned,
YAT JNANAM AHAMKARADI-HINAM, awareness without egoism, etc.
TAT NIRUPADHIKAM,that is the unconditioned
 
By awareness we mean that which is in the form of mental consciousness inside the bodies of animals. This enables mental consciousness to have the awareness of all things within the intelligence. This awareness, which is an attribute of the Self, remains as one in its true state without any activities or conditionings of the intelligence. In spite of this, when in practical life it is connected with egoism and other operations of the mind it becomes conditioned. When it is unconnected with such factors as egoism it remains unconditioned.

 
 
2. ahantaya'ntarbahirasti yadevamidantaya bhanavrttya'nvitam yattu jnanam sopadhikam
 
That which is accompanied by egoism as if inside,
And which again as qualified by this-ness is
Accompanied by conscious activity,
Such awareness is to be understood as conditioned.
 
YAT, that which,
AHANTAYA BHANA VRITTYANVITAM ANTAH, accompanied by the active consciousness of egoism inside,
EVAM YATTU, that by which again,
IDANTAYA (BHANAVRITTYANVITAM CA) ASTI, as if accompanied by active consciousness (thisness) as outside,
(TAT) JNANAM, (that) awareness,
SOPADHIKAM (ITI) MATAM, is understood to be conditioned
 
The conditioning of awareness consists of function and activity. This functioning has been already stated in Chapter 5, where it is present with its own specific and generic aspects and with subtle and gross differences. Beginning from awareness of outside objects such as "this is a pot", "this is a cloth", and likewise, to awareness of inner 'objects' such as "I am the Absolute", all functions are to be included within the scope of the varieties mentioned above. All functional activities are the conditionings of that one awareness which treats them as objects of consciousness. This awareness, although in reality independent of conditionings, when functionally referring to corresponding objects is called conditioned awareness.

 
 
3. anatmanamahankaradinam yenanubhuyate saksi tadatmajnanam syadyenaivamrtamasyate
 
That by which are experienced all things
Of the non-Self, such as egoism, etc.,
And even by which immortality is enjoyed,
(As) the Witness, is Self-awareness.
 
ANATMANAM, of things pertaining to the non-self,
AHAMKARADINAM, such as egoism, etc.,
SAKSHI, the witness (i.e. the Self),
YENA-ANUBHUYATE, what is experienced,
YENA-EVA, by which even,
AMRITAM, immortality,
ASYATE, is enjoyed,
TAT-ATMA-JNANAM SYAD, that is (absolute) Self-awareness
 
There is a Witness remaining within the bodies of all beings able to take cognizance of all non-Self factors beginning with egoism and reaching out to external entities like pots and cloth. At the time of deep sleep this Witness is not subject to any change and is capable of cognizing the subtlest factors in consciousness. Such a Witness is no other than the Self. The awareness by which the witnessing Self is experienced is Self-knowledge. It is the final conclusion of Vedanta that liberation is attained through Self-knowledge. By the use of the word eva in the text, it is intended to point out the primary nature of this sole means of liberation. Such an awareness of the Self could be described as unconditioned awareness.

 


4. ahankaradi karyam yadanatmakamasankhyakam yenavagamyate'natmajnanam tadavadharyate 

 

As innumerable effects of egoism, etc.,
What as pertaining to the non-Self
Attains to awareness, that is said to be
Awareness of the non-Self.
 
YAT, what,
ANATMAKAM, as pertaining to the non self,
ASANKHYAKAM, as innumerable,
AHANKAR ADI KARYAM, as effects such as egoism etc.,
YENA, by what,
AVAGAMYATE, awareness attains,
TAT, that,
ANATMAJNANAM (ITI), as awareness of the non-self,
AVADHARYATE, it is said to be
 
The non-Self factors mentioned in the previous verse, such as the effects of egoism sense objects etc., are innumerable. They pertain to the non-Self, where all objects of knowledge are found. Without knowing the witnessing Self which is capable of understanding all the innumerable effects, what cognizes only these objective entities is the opposite of what has been described in the previous verse and constitutes the awareness of the non-Self. This awareness of the non-Self is conditioned.



5. yathavadvastuvijnanam rajjutattvabodhavat yattadyatharthavijnanamayatharthamato'nyatha
 
Knowing things as they really are,
As when one attains to the truth of the rope,
What makes for such is true awareness,
Wrong awareness is what is otherwise.
 
RAJJU-TATTVA-AVABODHAVAT, like the right knowledge about the rope,
YATHAVAT-VASTU-VIJNANAM, awareness of things as they really are,
YAT, which,
TAT-YATHARTHA-VIJNANAM, that is right awareness,
ATHAH ANYATHE, what is different from this,
AVATHARTHAM (CA BHAVATI), wrong awareness (too becomes)
 
It is possible to have a right or wrong awareness of a rope. That awareness which is capable of recognizing in the rope its own rope-character is right awareness; while that awareness which is capable of mistaking the same rope for a snake due to visual defects in contrary fashion is wrong awareness. Knowing things-as-they-are is distinguished as right awareness and cognizing them as-they-are-not is wrong awareness. These two forms of awareness are of a conditioned order.



6. yatsannidhyadeva sarvam bhasate svayameva tat pratyaksajnanamiticaparoksamiti laksyate
 
By the very presence of which everything looms
In consciousness by itself,
That awareness is indicated as empirical awareness,
And also as non-transcendental awareness.
 
YAT-SANNIDHYAD-EVA, by the very presence of which,
SARVAM SVAYAM-EVA BHASATE, everything looms in consciousness by itself,
TAT, that,
PRATYAKSHA-JNANAM-ITI, as empirical awareness,
APAROKSHAM-ITI CA, and also as non-transcendental awareness,
LAKSHYATE, is indicated
 
One and the same right awareness about a certain thing can be gained in two different ways which are: by inference or valid testimony, and also by the relation of the object with its causes. The first way is non-immediate but is accomplished by obstructing mediating factors. Such indirect knowledge is designated as mediate. The second type of right awareness has two names which are: perception (pratyaksha), and the non-transcendental or immediate (aparoksha), Here there are no obstructing elements. It is by this kind of awareness that we gain direct knowledge of things. Yet, even this is of a conditioned order.



7. yaya'nusadhakam sadhyam miyate inanarupaya vrittya sainumitissabacaryasamakarajanyaya
 
That function of awareness by which
The means to an end is appraised
And which arises but of associative innate disposition,
That is inferential awareness.
 
YAYA, that by which,
SHACARYA-SANISKARA-JANYAYA, as originating in associative innate disposition,
JNANARUPAYA, having the form of awareness,
VRITTYA, by function,
ANUSADHAKAM SADHYAM, means for ends,
MIYATE, are brought into awareness,
SA-ANUMITI, this is inferential (awareness).
 
That awareness establishing certitude through the use of specific marks of recognition (linga) is inferential awareness. When we see smoke in the kitchen we conclude that there is fire there. By constant association we understand that whenever there is smoke there is also fire. Thus we understand that in all places where there is smoke there is fire. This is associative awareness. It is described as associative and refers to innate dispositions of memory factors because of the necessary and eternal connection between the smoke and fire as seen in the kitchen. This kind of associative awareness pertaining to memory dispositions takes the form of functional activity.

Because of this functional activity established by associative memory factors we are able to be aware of the fact that there is also fire when we see smoke rising out of a distant mountainside. The awareness arising in this manner is called inference. Here the effect is the smoke and the cause is fire. The fire having the status of being the means is inferred by the effect which is the smoke and is compatible with it. Such an awareness is none other than inferential awareness.



8. gatva samipam meyasya miyate srutalaksanah yaya samvitsopamitirmrgo'yamiti rupaya
 
On going near to an object to be ascertained,
What - in the form of "this is the animal
known by such marks"-
Is the functional basis for certitude,
That is (said to be) analogical awareness.
 
MEYASYA, of the object to be known,
SAMIPAM, near,
GATVA, going,
SRUTA-LAKSHANAH MRIGAH-AYAM-ITI RUPAYA, in the form of " this is the animal having the marks I heard about",
YAYA (VRITTYA), by what (functional activity),
(MEYAH) MIYATE, (what is to be understood) is brought into awareness,
SA SAMVIT UPAMITIH, this is analogical awareness.
 
A man who has not seen a certain rare animal, on being told about it by another who has seen it, or on reading about it in a book, when he keeps his mind on the specific characteristics (of the rare animal) i.e. keeping in his mind certain analogous traits between the unseen rare animal and some other familiar animal; if he should then go to the forest where such a rare animal has its habitat and then sees it, he gets a functional form of awareness as indicated by the sentence. "This is the animal having the marks I have heard about". This kind of awareness resulting under such a circumstance is awareness by analogy. The word meya means the object to which something is compared. It (i.e. meya) refers to the object which is the referent for the analogy. When we say gavayam (cowness) is what resembles a cow, the latter is the referent analogy, while the former is a referring abstraction made from the actual cow. We have to understand here that in all cases where the mind operates from the object of analogy to that to which it refers is the awareness to be distinguished as awareness by analogy.

 


9. aham mameti jnanam yadidam taditi yacca tat jivajnanam tadaparamindriyajnanamisyate 

 

That awareness of "I" and "mine"
And that other as "this" or "that"-
The former as vital awareness, and the latter
As sense awareness, is declared.
 
AHAM MAMA-ITI JNANAM YAT, that awareness expressing itself as "I" and "mine",
TAT JIVA-JNANAM, that as vital awareness,
APARAM IDAM TAD-ITI JNANAM YAT, and that which also expresses itself as "this" and "that",
TAT INDRIYA JNANAM CA, that as sense awareness,
ISHYATE, is declared.
 
Living creatures have awareness (in regard to themselves) in the form of 'I" and "mind". This does not depend upon any of the external organs such as the ear, etc. Even deaf and dumb people are known to have this kind of awareness. This is commonly known throughout the world. Because of such awareness depending solely on the inner vital elements, such awareness as "I'' and "mine", depending on the vital principle, has been named vital awareness. We have to distinguish such vital awareness from awareness given to the senses which expresses itself in the form of "this" and "that" and is independent of any vitalistic elements being only dependent on the senses.



10. om tatsaditi nirdistam brahmataiyamupagattam kalpanadivihinam yattatparajnanamiryate
 
Designated as AUM, THAT EXISTS,
Attained to unity of Absolute and Self,
Devoid of willing and other functions -
That is said to be the ultimate awareness.
 
AUM-TAT-SAD-ITI NIRDISHTAM, that which is designated as "aum-that-exists",
BRAHMATMA AIKYAM, the unity of the Self and the Absolute,
UPAGATTAM, having attained,
KALPANADI VIHINAM, devoid of all willing,
(JNANAM) YAT, what awareness there is,
TAT-PARAJNANAM (ITI) IRYATE, that is said to be the ultimate awareness.
 
It is the same unconditioned awareness of the first verse that is also treated in this verse. The word Aum is what has been conferred by ancient sages (rishis) as designating the Absolute in the form of pure awareness. The sruti (original Vedic texts), smriti (traditional secondary texts) and puranas (epic or heroic lore) all present the same wisdom in applied form, and the word Aum is well known to be used in these texts as denoting a meaning everywhere referable to the Absolute. In other words, 'unlimited', 'absolute', and 'awareness' are the same as Aum, and this is the Absolute. Such phrases as "AUM the one eternal letter is the Absolute", "AUM is all that" and "Aum is the Absolute", are phrases indicating the same truth in the above body of literature. Patanjali also declares, "That Absolute remaining always untouched by harsh or painful activities is indicated by the descriptive sentence, "the uttered syllable Aum", and "The Lord has many names". Of all, the most superior and general in applicability, easy to utter by all persons, and the object of meditation by everyone is the syllable Aum. The word Aum has also the meaning of general assent. Any name applied to the Lord (isvara) who is of the form of pure consciousness is valid, when referred to by Aum. Because it is not capable of being referred to by any name at all, it is beyond the reach of mind and speech, it has been indicated by the relative pronoun "that" (tat). By "that" something is meant which is beyond all predications. Being eternal and essentially of the stuff of pure consciousness, it is called existent (sat). This term means it has an existent reality in all the three aspects of time. The philosophical principle indicated here is that all other things are not real, and the only reality is the Absolute. Therefore, what has been described as "Aum" or "that" or "existent" are three perspectives of the same. Thus the three syllables "Aum-tat-sat" have been accepted in such authentic literature as the Vedas as well known terms for absolute awareness (which is the same as the Lord or the Absolute). The ultimate goal of awareness is to establish the identity between the living Self and the Absolute. Within the scope of such awareness, there is neither room for such notions as brahma (the creator) nor for the willing of the phenomenal world. Therefore because of its superior nature and its identity with the supreme Self it has here been referred to as ultimate awareness.

 

 

VIII. BHAKTI DARSANAM -VISION BY CONTEMPLATION

 

1. bhaktiratmanusandhanamatma'nandaghano yatah atmanamanusandhatte sadaivatmavidatmana
 
Meditation on the Self is contemplation,
Because the Self consists of bliss,
A knower of the Self meditates by the Self,
Upon the Self, for ever.
 
ATMANUSANDHAMNAM, meditation on the Self,
BHAKTIH, contemplation,
YATAH, because,
ATMA, the Self,
ANANDAGHANAH (BHAVATI), consists of bliss,
TATAH, for that reason,
ATMAVID, a knower of the Self,
ATMANAM, the Self,
ATMANA, by the Self,
SADA-EVA, forever always,
ANUSANDHATTE, meditates upon.
 
Bhakti is meditation on the Self. The Bhagavad Gita (III.17) underlines the truth that a man who is always interested in the Self and satisfied in it has nothing else to do. Sankara in the  "Vivekachudamani" (Verse 32) also says that bhakti is meditation on the true form of one's Self. The reason why such great importance is given to contemplation on the Self is stated in this verse by the fact that the very nature of the Self consists of bliss. It goes without saying that it is the high value of bliss which deserves to be meditated upon. All living beings are naturally disposed to such meditation. Therefore the quality of representing this high value is what makes the Self fit to be meditated upon. In the world all people who have attained to Self-realization are in truth those who contemplate the Self.



2. anusandhiyate brahma brahmanandaghanam yatah sada brahmanusandhanam bhaktirityavagamyate
 
The Absolute is meditated upon
Because it consists of bliss.
Constant meditation on the Absolute
Is thus known as contemplation.
 
BRAHMA, the Absolute,
ANUSANDHIYATE, is meditated upon,
YATAH, because of this,
BRAHMA, the Absolute,
ANANDAGHANAM, consists of bliss,
SADA BRAHMA-ANUSANDHANAM, constant meditation on the Absolute,
BHAKTIHITI-AVAGAMYATE, is thus known as contemplation.
 
The Self is the same as the Absolute, and the meditation of the Self is therefore the same as the meditation of the Absolute. It is because the Absolute consists of bliss that a knower of the Self contemplates the Absolute. Such a constant and unbroken meditation is what is well known as contemplation.



3. anandameva dhyayanti sarve duhkham na kascana yadanandaparam dhyanam bhaktirityupadisyate
 
It is even bliss that all do meditate,
No one at all (meditates) suffering.
That which is meditation of bliss,
As contemplation it is thought.
 
SARVE, all,
ANADAM-EVA, even bliss,
DHYAYANTI, do meditate,
KASCANA, no-one,
DUHKAM, suffering,
NA (DHYAYATI), does not (meditate),
YAT, that which,
ANANDAPARAM, as pertaining to bliss,
DHYANAM, meditation,
(TAT), (that),
BHAKTIH-ITI, as contemplation,
UPADISYATE, it is taught.
 
All creatures in the world desire happiness. There is not even one living being wishing for suffering. As for the Absolute it is made of bliss. Therefore, the goal desired by all is the contemplation of the Absolute which is the contemplation of bliss, and this is (true) contemplation. Such is the teaching of all knowers of the Self.



4. atmaiva brahma bhajati nanyamatmanamatmavit bhajatiti yadatmanam bhaktirityabhidhiyate
 
It is the Self alone that contemplates the Absolute;
The knower of the Self
Meditates on the Self, and not on any other.
That which is meditation on the Self
Is said to be contemplation.
 
ATMA-EVA BRAHMA, it is the Self alone that is the absolute,
ATMAVIT, the knower of the Self,
ATMANAM, on the Self,
BHAJATI, meditates,
ANYAM NA (BHAJATI), does not (meditate) any other,
ATMANAM, on the Self,
BHAJATI-ITI-YAT, that which is meditation,
(TAT)BHAKTIH-ITI, (that) as contemplation,
ABHIDHIYATE, is said to be.
 
It is because a wise man is a knower of the Self that he meditates on the Self. Not only does he meditate on the Self, but he meditates on nothing other than the Absolute consisting of existence, subsistence and value (i.e. bliss). He does not meditate on the inert and unreal non-Self which is the cause of suffering. He does not (even) meditate on the world. Because of meditating on the Self it is called bhakti or contemplation. So, the man who meditates on the Self is the real contemplative. The Self is the Absolute, and the knower of the Self is the same as the knower of the Absolute. This is the same as saying he is a true contemplative. The characteristics of such a knower of the Absolute will be further described in the final chapter.



5. ananda atma brahmeti namaitasyaiva tanyate iti niscitadhiryasya sa bhakta iti visrutah
 
Bliss, the Self and the Absolute
Are said to be the names of this alone.
In whom there is such sure awareness,
He as a contemplative is well known.
 
ANANDAH ATMA BRAHMA-ITI, bliss, the Self and the absolute,
ETASYA-EVA NAMA, are the names of this alone,
TANYATE, is said to be,
ITI, thus,
YASYA, of whom,
NISCTADHIH (ASTI), there (is) sure awareness,
SAH, he,
BHAKTAH IVA VISRUTAH, so as a contemplative is well known.
 
It is the same ultimate reality having the attributes of existence-subsistence-value which is also referred to as the Self, the Absolute or bliss. Such a certitude is called contemplation (bhakti). The man possessing this certitude is the real contemplative (bhakta). In this verse the truth of the great dictum (mahavakya), "This Self is the Absolute" is indicated. We know by this that the Self referred to is in the form of bliss (anandarupa). The correct understanding of the meaning of this dictum is true contemplation and the man possessing this knowledge is the true contemplative.



6. anando'hamaham brahma'tma'hamasmiti rupatah bhavena satatam yasya sa bhakta iti visrutah
 
"I am Bliss, I am the Absolute, I am the Self."
In whom, in such forms,
There is always creative imagination,
As a contemplative he is well known.
 
AHAM ANANDAHA-ASMI , "I am bliss",
AHAM BRAHMA (ASMI), "I am the Absolute",
AHAM ATMA (ASMI), "I am the Self",
ITI RUPATAH, in such forms,
YASYA, in whom,
SATATAM, always,
BHAVANA (ASTI), there (is) creative imagination,
SA BHAKTAH ITI VISRUTAH, as a contemplative he is well known.
 
As stated in the previous verse, a contemplative having conceptually and intellectually understood the truth of the great dicta like "I am Bliss," "I am the Absolute, "I am the Self," as referring to the same reality when he realizes himself to be the Absolute through his own inner experience (perceptually) this state is said to be the most superior kind of contemplation. The man attaining to this kind of contemplation is the best of contemplatives.



7. bharya bhajati bhartaram bhartta bharyam na svanandameva bhajati sarvopi visayastitam
 
The wife does not merely adore the husband,
Nor the husband merely adore the wife,
It is Self-bliss alone that they adore,
As lodged within every sensuous object.
 
BHARYA BHARTARAM, the wife, the husband,
NAKEVALAM BHAJATI, does not merely,
BHARTTA-BHARYAM, the husband the wife,
NA BHAJATI, does not merely adore,
SARVAH-API, even every,
VISHAYA-STHITAM, lodged within every sensuous object,
SVANANDAM EVA, it is even Self-bliss,
BHAJATI, (they) adore.
 
Here the commentary explains how ordinary people think that when a husband takes care of his wife who ministers to him, it is merely in the interest of the husband or wife that they do so. The truth is that whatever pleasure they derive from sense objects is really felt as pleasure by the Self alone. The ignorant man considers the source of pleasure as existing in things and is attracted to them. But the wise man finds the source of pleasure in himself, and sees the universality of such a pleasure. The well- known instance of the dialogue between Yajnavalkya and his wife Maitreyi found in the "Brihadaranyaka Upanishad" (IV.51ff) supports this point. (See pages 699-700 above).



8. evam pasyati kutrapi vidvanatmasukham vina na kincidaparam tasya bhaktireva gariyasi
 
For the wise man who sees
Thus at any place whatever,
There is nothing at all other than Self-bliss.
(Such) contemplation verily is the highest.
 
EVAM, thus,
VIDVAN, the wise man (of Self-knowledge),
KUTRAPI, at any place whatever,
ATMA SUKHAM VINA, other than Self-bliss,
APARAMKINCID (API), (even) a little of anything else,
NA PASYATI, does not see,
TASYA BHAKTIH-EVA, his contemplation verily,
GARIYASI, is most exalted.
 
In the same way as worldly people enjoy sensual pleasures on the basis of the bliss of the Self, so too the wise man enjoys Self-bliss everywhere. He does not see anything but Self-bliss in any object of interest. Because a wise man knows the unity of the living Self and the Supreme Self, the bliss he enjoys everywhere is known by him to belong to the Self. What is more, he treats without any difference all such bliss anywhere and in any creature as belonging to himself. In other words the bliss of the creature is identical with the bliss of the Self. The wise man understands this verity. Because he is capable of seeing all bliss as pertaining to the Absolute, his contemplation is called the most exalted.



9. lokasya pitari svasyagurau pitari matari atyasya sthapitari ca tatpathenaiva yatari
 
Towards the Father of the World, to one`s
Spiritual teacher, father, mother,
Towards the Founders of Truth, and
Towards those who walk in the same path;
 
LOKASYA PITARI, towards the father of the world,
SVASYA, to one's,
GURAU PITARI MATARI, spiritual teacher, father, mother,
SATYASYA STHAPITARI, towards the founders of truth,
TAT-PATHENA-EVAYATARI, towards those who walk in the same path.



10. niyantari nisiddhasya sarvesam hitakarttari yo'nurago bhaktiratra sa para paramatmani
 
Towards those who put down evil,
And those who do good to all -
What sympathy there is, is devotion here,
(While) what here belongs to the Self Supreme is the ultimate.
 
NISHIDHASYA NIYANATARI, towards those who put down evil (i.e. towards those who control (their subjects) from forbidden actions),
SARVESAM HITA KARTTARI (CA), (also) towards those who do good to all,
ANURANGAH YA, what sympathy there is,
SA BHAKTIH, that is devotion,
ATRA PARAMATMANI, what belongs to the Supreme Self,
SA PARA, that is the ultimate (devotion).
 
All humans need adoration to a god for the sake of securing their happiness here as well as hereafter. Those who desire liberation also need the same for the sake of the purification of the Self. It is also important that all persons should respect their spiritual teacher with the same respect given to God, because of their help in removing ignorance and bestowing the light of wisdom. It is the duty, moreover, of every human being to have respect and regard for their mother and father because they caused his birth and suffered many inconveniences for his sake thereafter.
 
When truth and righteousness decline in the world there are people like Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Jesus who come for the regeneration of mankind to once again re-establish righteousness. There are also those who follow the footsteps of such men and who constitute good models. It is good that people have respect and regard for people who control and prohibit bad acts like murder, robbery, drunkenness and debauchery. By doing this they give protection to everybody and nurture goodness among men.
 
All the above-stated items are necessary to human life, and this is why we have set them forth as examples. In spite of this, however, what is indicated in this chapter as most important is devotion to the Supreme Self, being of the nature of existence, subsistence and value. All other devotions are customary or traditional only, but the one referring to the Supreme Self is the highest devotion.

 

  

IX. YOGA-DARSANAM (VISION OF MEDITATION)  

 

1. satatam yojayati yadyunakti ca cidatmani mano nirodharupo'yam sa yoga iti samsitah 

That which always unites the mind
With the reasoning Self, and also gets united with it,
And which is in the form of restraint,
That is praised as Yoga.
 
YAD, that which,
CIDATMANI, in the reasoning self (i.e. in the Absolute which is in the nature of wisdom)
MANAH, the mind,
SATATAM, always,
YOJAYATI, unites,
YUNAKTI CA, and gets united,
NIRODHA-RUPAH SAH AYAM, that which is of the form of restraint (of the mind),
YOGAH, Yoga,
ITI SAMSITAH, is praised to be.
 
The correct meaning of the word Yoga is the union of the mind, when rid of all gross of nescience, with the (reasoning) Self. This is Yoga or union. The mind has in it many activities which come under nescience etc. When all such activities have been countered by the means that have been indicated in the wisdom texts, and when the mind is thus made to unite with the pure Ultimate Self, such a branch of knowledge is called Yoga. The radical yuj is used in texts as meaning samadhi in the expression yuj-samadhau (union in samadhi) by Panini, the great ancient grammarian and linguistic authority, and we are therefore justified in treating Yoga and samadhi as pertaining to the same subject. 
 
The saying of Patanjali in one of his opening sutras that Yoga is the restraint of the mind, as well as the definition of Valmiki in the Yoga Vasishta which says that Yoga consists of the act or means of tranquilizing the mind, all indicate the same meaning of Yoga. Because Yoga mainly consists of restraint of the mind, it is referred to as consisting of this restraint in general terms. It is not enough however that the activities of the mind should be merely mechanistically restrained (in a unilateral sense), but it is also to be understood that the mind when restrained should be constantly joined to the reasoning Self (cidatma). What is more, such a union should also take place so as to justify the name of Yoga properly understood. 
 
 
 
2. na drashta darsanam drisyam vidyate yatra tatra hrit yojayedvasana yavadyogo´yamiti yogavit
 
Where the seer, the sight and the seen
Are not present, there the heart
Should be joined as long as incipient memory factors (are present);
Such is Yoga, (says) the knower of Yoga.
 
YATRA, where,
DRASHTA DARSANAM DRISYAM CA, the seer, the sight and the seen;
NA VIDYATE, are not present,
TATRA, there (i.e., in the ultimate Self);
HRIT, the heart (or mind);
YAVAT VASANA (VIDYATE), as long as incipient memory factors (are present);
YOJAYET, should be joined;
AYAM YOGA, such is Yoga;
ITI YOGAVIT (VADATI), (says) the knower of Yoga. 
 
The seer, the seen and the sight, or, in other words, the knower, knowledge and what is known are called in Vedanta triputi (tribasic prejudice). In the true form proper to the Self there is no triputi. When the outgoing activities of the mind have been restrained and the attitude of samadhi (peace) is reached, there is no room for the operation of triputi. In that state of peace, the form of the Self free from triputi becomes revealed without any hindrance. Patanjali has also described this stage as, "then takes place the attainment of the proper form of the seer". This form is free from triputi and is of the status of sat-cit-ananda (existence-subsistence-value or bliss). As soon as one comes out of the state of samadhi the tribasic prejudice (triputi) asserts itself and the many activities of the mind produce attachment and aversion and the consequent sensations of pleasure and pain. The incipient memory factors (vasanas) which remain in the inner faculty of the mind are the subtle and potential source causing all the varied activities of the mind. Therefore until such time as these vasanas are weakened and completely destroyed it is necessary to unite the mind with the Ultimate Self which is free from tribasic prejudice (triputi), and thus to practice (the art of) samadhi (i.e. the wisdom of supreme peace which is that of Yoga). It is such a kind of Yoga that has been stated by qualified persons who have experienced this type of peace as consisting of true Yoga. 

 

3. namarupamidam sarvam brahmaiveti viliyate yadbrahmani mano nityam sa yoga iti niscitah
 
All this consisting of name-form (knowing)
As Verily the Absolute, the mind ever merges
In the Absolute, what constitutes such
As Yoga is ascertained.
 
IDAM NAMA-RUPAM SARVAM, all this of name-form;
BRAHMA EVA ITI, as verily the Absolute,
MANAH, the mind,
NITYANI, always,
BRAHMANI, in the Absolute,
VILIYATE, gets merged,
(ITI)YAT, (such) what is,
SAH, that,
YOGAH ITI NISCITAH, as Yoga is ascertained.
 
As stated in the previous verse, it is not easy to restrain mental activity and to remain in the unconditioned and calm contemplation of the Absolute, fully free from tribasic prejudice (triputi) and the operation of the three nature modalities (triguna). It is difficult to remain always in a kind of peace which is without any mental activity at all. Even if we should repeat the word brahman (the Absolute) any number of times, the world of name-form made manifest by attributes does not disappear from being operative within consciousness. When the reasoning mind is distracted by interests of ordinary life consisting of worldly thoughts, the attainment of samadhi (peace) is not possible. Then how is it possible to accomplish such a Yoga?
 
This verse intends to give the answer to such a question for the aspirant who wishes spiritual progress through Yoga, and puts the question with an intense desire to know an alternative way. Instead of trying to see this visible world as consisting of name-form and thus as entirely false, it is recommended here as easier on the basis of the mahavakyas (great sayings) such as "Everything here is the Absolute," to look upon the whole phenomenal universe as consisting of the Absolute. It is not easy to turn from the long mental habit, enduring through many births, telling us the world is real. Even though to a discriminating mind the world is philosophically false, the appearance of the world as real still continues to be operative.
 
Narayana Guru now makes reference to a verse in his "Advaita Dipika" (Lamp of Non-Duality), which states that even when discrimination has abolished the reality of the World, it continues to be given to the senses just as to a man who has lost his sense of direction, the error could persist for some time even after the orientation has been intellectually corrected. A mistake might continue to persist for some time even after its recognition as a mistake merely by force of habit. There is also reference to another verse in the "Atmopadesa Satakam" where Narayana-Guru states the converse possibility and says that all things are real enough but that the man of philosophical disposition could comprehend the unity underlying all things.
 
This alternative case can be easily practiced and is here recommended in view of an aspirant, who, by practising this kind of Yoga for a long time until the incipient memory factors are eliminated, will accomplish the same purpose of Yoga otherwise more difficult. It is to underline the continued practice that the word nityam (always) has been used. Patanjali also underlines this same verity when he says that by long practice without interruption in a reverent spirit of service, one is capable of stabilizing certitude. Such an unceasing practice is itself Yoga. 

 

4. cittasya nirantaram tailadharavadvrittya'vicchannaya'tmani ramyate yatsayogo yogibhih smritah
 
That unbroken functioning of reason
Which in the Self, like a streak of oil
Finds incessant joy, such as Yoga
Is by yogis recognized.
 
TAILA-DHARAVAT, like the streak of flowing oil,
AVICCHANNAYA, unbroken,
CITTASYA VRITTYA, by the functioning of the reason,
ATMANI, in the Self,
NIRANTARAM, incessantly,
RAMYATE (ITI) YAT, (in that) it finds joy,
SAH YOGAH (ITI), that (as) Yoga
YOGIBHIH SMRITAH, is recognized by yogis.
 
The kind of Yoga practiced under conditions where no definite rules are observed, and where the mind still remains distracted, does not yield the results of the high state of samadhi (peace). It is not conducive to Self-realization, because of the many hindrances. Like the incessant flow of the streak of oil when poured from one vessel into another, there must be an unbroken continuity of the relation of a stilled mind, which has to be turned wholeheartedly towards its proper object of meditation with continuity And without any interruption, before Self-realization can be accomplished. In this way the practice must be continued until the goal is attained. Occasional meditation will not produce the desired result. It has been pointed out that the attainment of the goal of Yoga is accomplished only after many lifetimes of practice Thus there is the need for incessant practice. It is only when such a high state of attainment is reached that one can say that such a state as found in the texts is firmly established and one is not perturbed even by disasters.

  

5. yato yato mano yati sada'tmani tatastatah niyamya yojayedetatyogo'yam yujyatarniha
 
To which or which other (interest) the mind goes
From that or that others into the Self
Ever restraining it, it should be joined
In such Yoga here let it be united.
 
MANAH, the mind,
YATAH YATAH, from which or which other (interest),
YATI, goes,
TATAH TATAH, from that or that other,
ETAT, this (the mind),
NIYANIYA, having restrained,
SADA, always,
ATMANI, in the Self,
YOJAYET, should be joined,
AYAM YOGAH, this is Yoga,
IHA, in this here (Yoga),
YUJYATAM, let it be united (i.e. let it be joined, let samadhi be practiced).
 
As stated in the Bhagavad Gita (VI.26): 
"Whatever causes the changeful unsteady mind to go out (again and again), from each such, restraining (it again and again) it should ever be led to the side of the Self."
 
As it is difficult to keep the mind in a form of unbroken meditation on the Self, after the manner of the streak of oil that is unbroken and continuous, this alternative method of meditation is suggested in order to lighten such a difficulty. One should watch out carefully and incessantly for any change that might take place in the mind in its goings and comings. Without one being aware of it, the mind by its incipient memory disposition tends to follow one or other extraneous interest. In every such case one has to discover the straying of the mind and bring it back by force so as to establish it again in the Self. This Yoga is none other than the constant effort to bring back the mind and establish it in the Self. Such a Yoga has always to be practiced. As again stated in the Bhagavad Gita (VI.28): 
"Ever uniting thus the Self, that yogi, rid of dross, having contact with the Absolute, enjoys easily happiness that is ultimate."

  

6. sarvanarthakarah pumsam sankalpah kalpitaih saha unmulya vasanajalairyenatmani nirudhyate
 
7. drisyasya na drisostitvam ato drisyam drigatmakam iti yunjita drigrupe yah sa yogavidam varah
 
Uprooting those incipient memory factors of willing
The source of all human disasters, who
Together with their various willed objects
Restrains in the form of Self (saying):
 
What is seen has no existence as such
Thus what is seen is the Seer's self
He among knowers of Yoga
Is the most superior. 
 
6.
PUMSAM, for man,
SARVA-ANARTHA-KARAH, which is the source of all disasters, 
 
SANKALPAH, willing,
KALPITAIH, with the objects of wilful desire,
VASAN-JALAIH-SAHA, together with the various incipient memory factors belonging to the will,
UNMULYA, uprooted,
YENA, by whom,
ATMANI, in the Self,
NIRUDHYATE, is restrained.
 
7.
DRISYASYA, in visible objects,
NA ASTITVAM, there is no existence,
DRISAH (ASTITVAM ASTI), it is the seer (that has existence),
ATAH, thus,
DRISYAM DRIGATMAKAM (BHAVATI), the seen is the form of the Seer,
ITI, thus,
YAH, who,
DRIGRUPE, in the form of the Self,
YUNJITA, joins,
SAH YOGAVIDHIM VARAH, he is the knower of Yoga.
 
The act of the will is the source of all suffering. Every wilful act arises in accordance with the incipient memory factors corresponding to it. The act of willing arises in accordance with some deep seated incipient memory factor, having there lain rooted for a long time. Therefore the yogi or the man of meditation who is interested in avoiding suffering should find out by minute introspection those deep seated incipient memory factors and abolish them so as to become established in the unity of Yoga.
 
Yoga is not any form of self-torture. It is the union of the seer and the seen that is here referred to as Yoga. All that is visible is, in reality, unreal and what really exists is only the basis for such visible entities in the Self as has already been indicated in the second and third chapters. Therefore having first brought into union the visible with the seer, that is to say, seeing everything in the form of the seeing subject alone, he should remain in the form of that inner witness. It is a man who understands Yoga in this manner who is to be considered a superior kind of Yoga-knower. 
 
 
 
8. yada piban manobhringah svanandamadhumadhurim na spandati vasikritya yojito yogavayuna
 
When the mind-bee drinking
Of the nectar-sweetness of Self-
Is drawn into union with Yoga breeze
And does not flutter (Yoga takes place).
 
YADA, when,
YOGAVAYUNA, by the breeze of Yoga,
VASIKRITYA, being drawn to its side,
YOJITAH, having attained to Yoga Union,
MANOBHRINGAH, the bee that is the mind,
SVANANDA-MADHU-MADHURIM, the nectar sweetness of Self-bliss, 
 
PIBAN, while enjoying,
NA SPANDATI does not flutter,
(TADA YOGAH SYAT, then Yoga takes place).
 
The mind has been compared to the bee which keeps fluttering its wings and wanders from flower to flower attracted by any flower that it sees. The mind is also full of unsettled alternating motions and because of its random attractions to whatever interests are presented to it, has been compared to the bee for the reasons mentioned. When the bee is engaged in drinking the nectar from the flower, it attains to stillness; likewise the mind when it has attained to Self-bliss also becomes stilled. Just as the bee is carried along by the breeze, by the continued practice of Yoga the mind is also carried along to its goal of happiness. Just as the bee becomes still by the enjoyment of the honey, so the mind becomes still by the sweetness of the honey of happiness found in the Self. When such a stillness is firmly established, such a state is to be understood as Yoga. 
  
As for the term vasikritya (being attracted to its side), we have to remember that the natural tendency of the mind is to be dissipated by outward interests, and so this term applies to the withdrawal and canalizing of such dissipation. The mind is always restless and it is necessary that the yogi should insist with a determination to make it enter into union with itself. By the use of the term vayuna (by the breeze or wind), the reference is to be understood as recommending such practices as pranayama (restraint of the breath), etc. The term madhu-madhuri is to be understood as the highest bliss afforded by the Self. 

 

9. dhyanamantarbhruvordristirjihvagram lambikordhvatah yada syadkhecarimudra nidralasyadinasini
 
When meditation with gaze fixed between eyebrows,
And the tongue-tip touching beyond the uvula (take place),
Then happens (khecari mudra) that space-freedom attitude
Of drowsiness add fatigue-dispelling capacity.
 
YADA, when,
BHRUVAH, of the two eyebrows,
ANTAH, in the middle,
DHYANAM DRISTIH (CA), meditation and gaze
LAMBIKA URDHVATAH, placed beyond the uvula,
JIHVAGRAM (CA), the tip of the tongue (also),
(SYAD) take place,
(YADA) then,
NIDRA ALASYA ADI NASINI, of sleep, fatigue etc., dispelling potency,
SYAD, happens,
KHECARI MUDRA, an attitude enabling one to attain the freedom of space. 
 
What is known as khecari-mudra is a variety of meditation referring to the centre of the eyebrows. If refers to a special kind of yogic practice whereby the tongue is bent inwards as far as the roof or palate of the mouth while the tip of the tongue enters into the cavity that continues upwards from the roof part of the mouth, the insertion of the tongue being fixed above the point where the uvula starts. At the same time the centre of the eyebrows is its culminating target, and the vision and meditation are fixed together at such a centre. This practice however is to be undertaken only in the actual presence of a Guru who himself is a man who has practiced it and can actually demonstrate it to the would-be yogi. The practice of this kind of attitude called khecari-mudra is to destroy the basic tendencies which express themselves in active (rajasik) and insert (tamasik) tendencies constituting the main items such as fatigue and sleep which are hindrances to the attainment of Yoga perfection or peace (samadhi). The use of the word adi (and so on, etc.) in the above verse, is intended to cover the nine kinds of dissipations or distractions such as illness, doubt, confusion, etc., and the consequent indispositions or debilities which are five in number: depression, lassitude etc. This makes for fourteen subdivisions of hindrances. Because the centre of the eyebrows is the seat of consciousness it is very laudable to meditate with reference to that point.
 
Patanjali also says that all attainments or ends of Yoga are derivable from consciousness. It is also well known that discrimination is the guiding star for the unstable and alternating stages of phenomenal existence. It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that all the attainments derivable from other yogic practices are also inclusively covered by the cultivation of this supreme form of meditative practice which helps to magnify the power of positive consciousness, making it stronger, subtler, purer and of clearer penetration. It goes without saying that the attainment of wisdom is superior to any other form of spiritual attainment. The practice that leads to this attitude surely yields the benefits of all other secondary practices. Even by the conquest of sleep and fatigue the yogi becomes qualified in principle for all other spiritual attainments.

 

10. jnanam karmeti loke'smin dvidha yogah samasatah anayoryogavistarah, sarvah parisamapyate
 
As of wisdom or action, Yoga in this world
Is of two kinds, and within these summarily
The whole of the further elaboration of Yoga
Is comprised conclusively.
 
ASMIN LOKE, in this world,
YOGAH, Yoga,
JNANAM KARMAITI, as of wisdom and of action,
SAMASATAH, in summary fashion,
DVIDHA, in two kinds,
YOGAVISTARAH SARVAH, the whole of any further elaboration of Yoga,
ANAYOH, within these,
PARISAMAPYATE, is comprised conclusively.
 
The two divisions of Yoga are wisdom (jnana) and action (karma), characterized in the following way: 

The Yoga of wisdom is concerned with the reality underlying the principles of the Self - which are based on existence, subsistence and value or bliss. These principles have to be brought within the scope of one's experience in the form of Self-realization. This requires a discrimination between lasting and transient values in life belonging to the four prerequisites of the same kind mentioned in Vedantic texts. Such realization can take place only under conditions of detachment.
 
As for the Yoga of action (karma) it has the following characteristics: The carrying out of such necessary duties or actions which have the wisdom of the Self as the end in view and are done without any thought of enjoying the fruit and gain therefrom, as well as having no sense of bondage but rather keeping within the limit of righteousness as an offering to the Lord (isvara), such is the Yoga of action. 
 
The division made in the Bhagavad Gita (III.3) refers to this kind of principle of classification of the two kinds of Yoga and conforms and justifies the same when it says that the Yoga of wisdom of the Samkhyas and the Yoga of action of the Patanjali Yogins, are the two main disciplines found in this world since ancient times. The Yoga of wisdom has also other descriptive titles applied to it, such as jnana-yajna (the wisdom-sacrifice), samkhya-yoga (meditation based on. reason), thyaga (renunciation), sannyasa (more mature renunciation), buddhi (discrimination), buddhi yoga (meditation based on discrimination), akarma, (non-ritualism), naishkarmya (non-activity), and kevala-jnana (plain and simple wisdom).
 
In the same way the Yoga of action has other descriptive titles applied to it, such as yoga-yajna (the meditation-sacrifice) yajna (sacrifice), nishkamakarmayoga (the way of meditation which aims at no advantageous fruits thereof), and kevala-yoga (plain and simple yoga) as well as kevala-karma (plain and simple action). There is also the term dharma (righteous way of life) applied to both the Yoga of wisdom and the Yoga of action.  

In reality both are the same. The Bhagavad Gita (V.4 & 5) makes it clear that Samkhya and Yoga are to be looked upon as the same, and he who sees this alone truly sees. It also underlines that only children treat them as distinct and not well informed pandits. Even if one of these disciplines is properly accomplished the result of both of them accrues. These passages in the Bhagavad Gita treat wisdom and action as forming one discipline only. It is necessary however to have the guidance of wisdom as a primary condition. One has to recognize that all actions depend upon wisdom or intelligence. Thereafter when action is performed it has to be done with intelligence, detachment and the sense of non-active understanding. That is, one should be able to see action in inaction, and inaction in action. 

The one who is able to see these two disciplines as not being different is both a jnana-yogi and a karma-yogi. The Bhagavad Gita (IV.18) also says that the man who is able to see in action inaction; and in inaction action is a true yogi while still engaged in every kind of action. The gist of this statement and all the elaborations to which it is capable of being subjected, confirm the unity of these two disciplines.
 
All the further ramifications of the discipline of Yoga are comprised within the scope of jnana-karma-yoga (the Yoga of combined wisdom and action). Even this distinction in reality is not of much consequence. In spite of this however, in order to distinguish the way of life proper to those who adhere to philosophy and call themselves sannyasins (mature renouncers) and those who combine philosophy with their own activities correctly belonging to their own situation in life, can be more properly called karma-yogis. This distinction in nomenclature is commonly adopted in order to distinguish the two patterns of behaviour in ordinary life. On closer examination both are the same. As the Bhagavad Gita (V.5) puts it, the same point of attainment is reached by the Samkhya philosophers and the Patanjali Yogins. 
 
Although the Bhagavad Gita initially accepts the outward duality between the two disciplines, it stresses the inner unity based on the common end of both. In short, whatever action one might perform and whatever Yoga one might practise it has to be done under the auspices or guidance of intelligence. It is only for action done under such guidance that the name of karma-yoga or the Yoga of action can be applied. It is only when Yoga is accompanied by wisdom that it can be considered to be the supreme goal of human existence which is moksha (liberation) or nirvana (absorption).

 

Science of the Absolute did 1

DARSANA-MALA

 

A GARLAND OF VISIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

FOREWORD

What follows here is a transliteration and translation from the original Sanskrit of Narayana Guru's Darsana Mala. It is followed by a short commentary by his disciple Swami Vidyananda who took instruction each day from Narayana Guru so that he could strictly adhere to his own commentary. Each day the Guru had the commentary read back to him for correction and approval. Those phrases which happened to be extraneous were rejected while the rest of the commentary received his approval.

 

The present writer has been an eye-witness to this cooperative effort between Narayana Guru and his disciple. The feature of teacher-disciple collaboration undoubtedly enhances the value of the commentary, however brief it might seem to anyone trying to understand the Darsana Mala. Narayana Guru also tacitly indicates the double-sidedness of the responsibility for his work by a verse he wrote as envoi for the commentary which reads:

 

"Let this commentary called didhiti (gloss)
Coming from my disciple Vidyananda
Be looked upon graciously by the wise
As belonging to one of tender years."

 

The Guru's own hand is clearly visible in just those phrases where subtle epistemological or methodological aspects have to initially glossed over, at least tentatively, in view of further clarifications such as what we are attempting in this book. The rest of the commentary has only an incidental value for us, and is not so important. We have taken some liberty with it, taking care however, to put whatever additions we make within brackets. On the other hand, when we suspected Narayana Guru's own handiwork, we have tried to keep as close to the original as possible, so as not to spoil the perennial value of the interpretations and intentions coming directly from him.

 

I hereby recognize my deepest gratitude to Narayana Guru also my indebtedness to my fellow disciple, the late Swami Vidyananda, whose permission for following the broad lines of this commentary can now only be sought by way of courtesy. Wherever further clarifications have been felt to be necessary, the present writer has taken care to throw some light on them, either in the prologue of each chapter or in the epilogue.

 

In the present commentary translated by us, we have tried to adhere as strictly as possible to Narayana Guru's own words expressed through Swami Vidyananda. Swami Vidyananda, as he openly states in the preface to the Malayalam edition, claims no credit for himself in the matter of being responsible for this commentary and attributes almost the whole of it, even the naming of the title, didhiti (meaning "throwing light"), to Narayana Guru. He especially states that the Guru made the comments and these, when put on paper, were then corrected more than once by him. In the light of these circumstances, it would be safe to assume that the purport of these comments, though not the presented form, belongs to Narayana Guru himself.

 

I. ADHYAROPA-DARSANAM (VISION BY SUPPOSITION)

1. asidagre' sadevedam bhuvanam svapnavat punah sasarja sarvam sankalpamatrena paramesvarah

 

In the beginning, there was
Non-existence indeed!
Dream-wise then again, by mere willing
Everything existent created He, the Lord supreme.

 

AGRE, in the beginning (before creation),
IDAM BHUVANAM, this world
ASAD EVA, even as nothingness (as non-existence, indeed)
ASID, existed,
PUNAH, thereafter (at the time of creation),
PARAMESVARAH, the supreme Lord,
SARVAM, everything
SANKALPAMATRENA, by mere willing,
SVAPNAVAT, like a dream,
SA-SARJA, (he) created

 

228

 

In the beginning (i.e. at its upper limit which has to be distinguished together with other similar limits), there was non-existence. Posteriorly to this (in pure time), the Supreme Lord (Paramesvara) when creation was to begin, by His mere willing created all this (i.e. gave it a conceptual status different from what was merely nominal), just as in the case of a dream (having its own virtuality within consciousness).

 

The stuff that dreams are made of is admittedly unreal to the extent that they belong to the world of ideas. In the same manner the world can be said to be unreal to the extent that its stuff is of the same order as His will. Whatever reality there was at this limiting point can be attributed to The Supreme Lord, rather than to his creation. The Taittiriya Upanishad supports this twofold point of view. The world as objectively manifested apart from the Lord was there equated to nothing, tentatively accepting the principle of contradiction between existence and non-existence.

 

In Vedantic parlance the upper limit set by the term agre (before creation or in the beginning) corresponds to the paramarthika or ultimate reality (i.e. the vertical), while puna (thereafter) refers to the vyavaharika or workaday practical reality (i.e. the horizontal).

 

It should be noted that according to Sanskrit convention a work of this kind has to indicate the subject-matter, and also imply something by way of adoring the most high value of the Absolute. This requirement is only tacitly fulfilled by virtue of his beginning the very first verse with the letter "a", which, according to the Bhagavad Gita (X.33), is equated with the Absolute: "Among syllabic letters l (i.e. the Absolute) am the A..."

 

The first word of the verse moreover, refers to something existing, because the word asid suggests something existent (in the ontological sense of sat). Because of referring to sat, this word, occupying the very first position in the verse, can also be considered as fulfilling the requirements of an auspicious beginning required by the same convention referred to above. Moreover, the verse later on equates existence with the Supreme Lord, and further confirms and complies with this same requirement.

 

229

 

2. vasanamayamevada vasididamatha prabhuh asrjanmayaya svasya mayavivakhilam jagat

 

In the beginning, in the form of incipient memory factors,
(All) this remained. Then the Lord,
By his own power of false presentiment, like a magician,
Created all this world (of change).

 

ADAU, in the beginning (at inception, before creation),
IDAM, this (visible world),
VASANAMAYAM EVA, in the form of incipient memory factors, (i.e. as samskaras, deep apperceptive masses in consciousness),
ASID, (remained) existent,
ATHA, thereafter (at the time of creation),
PRABHUH, the Lord,
SVASYA, (by) his own
MAYAYA, by (his power of) false presentiment,
MAYAVIVA, like a magician,
AKHILAM JAGAT, the whole world,
ASRIJAT,created.

 

At inception this visible world was in the form of vasanas (incipient memory factors). Thereafter, the Great Lord, by His power, which was of a non-existent (or merely conceptual order), after the manner of a magician, created all this phenomenal universe. Before creation this world had merely the status of pure samskaras (deep apperceptive masses in consciousness). The sankalpa (willing) mentioned in the previous verse is only an active version of the same vasana. At the time of creation the Lord created all this by his illusory power. This is like the magician, who while remaining all alone is able to make us believe there are multitudes of other things around him. There is in reality nothing apart from the magician, who is capable of manifesting visible things. Actual entities are not there, but only entities having the status of memory factors are not to be considered real. In the same way, there is nothing in the universe which is other than the Lord. What is in the Lord is only a certain power of specification or qualification called maya (the principle of false presentiment), having no (real) existence of its own. By the example of the magician, it has been shown that the phenomenal world is false.

 

230

 

3. pragutpatteridam svasmin vilinamatha vai svatah bijadankuravat svaysa saktireva'srjatsvayam

 

This (world) before creation was
Latent within Himself,
Thereafter, like a sprout from seed,
From Himself, by His power, by itself it was created.

 

IDAM, this (world),
PRAKUTPATTEH, before creation,
SVASMIN, in Himself (in the self, in the Lord),
VILINAM, was latent,
ATHA VAI, thereafter,
BIJAD ANKURAVAT, like sprout from seed,
SVATAH, from himself (from the Lord),
SVASYA SAKTIH, his power,
SVATAH EVA, by itself,
ASRJAT, created.

 

Before creation this world was only potentially present in the Lord. Thereafter, at the time of creation, His power, which was in Him by its own self-potence, created all this manifested world like a sprout from a seed. This power is capable of shrinking into nothingness, as well as expanding into elaborate sets of manifested entities. It is only the potent virtual entity which is present within the seed and is capable of manifesting itself as sprout, stem, branch, leaf, flower or fruit. Likewise, it is a potent power within the Lord who created this world. But the Lord is not subject to any process of becoming. It is that power alone, which is dependent on Him, that can be transformed (vikara) and is capable of creating this world.

 

4. saktistu dvividha jneya taijasi tamasiti ca sahavaso'nayornasti tejastimirayoriva

 

The power, however, as of two kinds
Is to be known, as the bright and the dark;
There is no co-existence between these two,
As with light and darkness.

 

231

 

SAKTIS TU, this power, however,
TAIJASI TAMAS ITI CA, and thus made of light and darkness,
DVIVIDHA, two kinds,
JNEYA, is to be known,
ANAYOH, as between these,
TEJASTI MIRAYOR IVA, so with light and darkness,
SAHAVASAH STI, there is no co-existence.

 

The aforesaid power of the Lord, however, is to be understood in two distinct ways: (first) as taijasi, or belonging to the light (i.e. heliotropic); and (secondly), as tamasi, as belonging to darkness (i.e. geotropic). We can divide the (specificatory) power of the Lord into two (ambivalent) divisions referring respectively to light (tejas) and darkness (tamas). Light and darkness cannot co-exist. It is the same with these two (ambivalent and specificatory) factors or powers of the Lord.

 

5. manomatramidam citramivagre sarvamidrsam prapayamasa vaicitryam bhagavan citrakaravat

 

In the beginning, this world,
Which was in the form of mind stuff, like a picture
Achieved with all this picturesque variety,
Like an artist, the Lord.

 

AGRE, in the beginning (before creation),
MANO MATRAM, in the form of mind-stuff (as made of mere mind-stuff),
IDAM, this (world),
CITRAM IVA, like a picture,
SARVAM IDRISAM, all this as such here,
VAICITRIYAM, (with its picturesque variety),
PRAPAYAMASA, achieved,
CITRAKARAVAT, like an artist,
BHAGAVAN, the lord.

 

The terms sankalpa (willing), vasana (incipient memory factor), and sakti (potent power), have been employed so as to be considered equivalent (vertically), each in itself, to the mind (manas), which occupies the central position in this verse. This world was merely of a mental status before creation. Just as an artist creates in respect of his painting, so the Lord also accomplished all this artistic variety (seen in the world). Before creation this world remained in the form of virtual mind-stuff. If it should be asked how; we say, it remained like a picture in the mind of an artist, before the picture was accomplished. In the same way it was in the mind (manas) or the willing (sankalpa) of the Lord that all this potentially resided. It is possible for an artist to produce works of art with many and varied elaborations or varieties. In short, the entire manifested world is only an (artistic) expression of the mind of the Lord.

 

232

 

6. asit prakrtirevedam yatha'dau yogavaibhavah vyatanodatha yogivasiddhijalam jagatpatih

 

Potentially, what even as Nature remained
Like the psychic powers of Yoga
Like a Yogi did He, the Lord of the world, work out
His varied psychic powers thereafter.

 

ADAU, in the beginning,
YATHA YOGAVAI BHAVAHA, as (in the case of) psychic powers,
IDAM, this (world),
PRAKRTIR EVA, as nature (itself),
ASIT, remained,
ATHA, thereafter,
YOGI SIDDHI JALAMIVA, as a yogi with his varied psychic powers,
JAGAT PATIH, the Lord of the world,
IDAM, this (world),
VYATANOD, worked out.

 

In the beginning the world was prakriti (nature), having the same status as the psychic powers of a Yogi (mystic of unitive inner experience). Thereafter, at the time of creation, the Lord made manifest his own nature in the same way as a yogi makes manifest his powers. The psychic powers of a yogi are in reality only incipient memory factors within himself. What we meant here by prakriti only refers to tendencies capable of functioning as contraction or expansion, which could be merely mental in status; or, otherwise stated, it is mind itself which is referred to as none other than prakriti, as we should here understand. All the manifold manifested powers of a yogi are only innate tendencies in his mind, belonging to his own nature, and later on to be expanded and elaborately manifested. In the same way it is prakriti that is virtually present in terms of mind-stuff that becomes transformed into this expanded universe as presented to our vision. What has been discussed so far under the terms of sankalpa (willing); vasana, (incipient memory factor), sakti (potent specifying power), manas (mind) and prakriti (nature) have one and the same meaning. The term avidya (nescience), to be used in the next verse, also falls into the same (verticalized) series. It is possible to refer to this same factor in many other ways. In view of simplicity and for the student's (apodictic) clarity and understanding, we have merely followed a graded series of terms with different designations.

 

233

 

7. yada'tmavidyasamkocastada'vidya bhayankaram namarupatmana'tyartham vibhatiha pisacavat

 

When Self-knowledge shrinks,
Then prevails nescience fearful;
Ghost-like, taking name and form,
In most terrible fashion looms here.

 

YADA, when,
ATMA VIDYA SAMKOCAH (BHAVATI), knowledge about the self shrinks,
TADA, then,
AVIDYA, nescience,
NAMA RUPA ATMANA, taking name and form,
PISACAVAT, ghost-like,
ATYARTHAM BHAYANKARAM, in most terrible fashion,
IHA, here,
VIBHATI, looms

 

234

 

In this verse it is pointed out how, because of the absence of right knowledge (avidya) about the Self, all beings find creation to have a terrifying aspect. When such knowledge is absent then nescience (lends support) to the appearance of name and form (nama-rupa). (This plurality of) name and form (entities) seem ghost-like in a most terrifying fashion, presenting themselves as appearances.

 

It is only because there is lack of Self-knowledge (atma-vidya) that the whole of the universe seems to be the seat of all fear and suffering. When the correct knowledge about the Self prevails, all apparent sufferings and their sources (in the world) disappear. There will not be any cessation of suffering until one realizes the true knowledge resulting from the realization of one's own self. Self-knowledge is the most superior of all means for release. In the same way as in cooking the only means is fire (or heat), so there is no salvation without Self-knowledge. This is what Sankaracharya has taught.

 

By this verse the man who is desirous of getting release from suffering, resulting from lack of Self-knowledge, is to be considered an adhikari (a person fit to study this science), and that the subject-matter of this present work is atma-vidya (the Science of the Self). Furthermore, between atma-vidya and this work there is the relation of subject-matter and object-matter. The final release from suffering due to nescience and the attainment of the goal of full Self-knowledge, is the aim and utility of this work as required by Sanskrit convention.

 

Suffering and ignorance apply not only to people in this world but to all created beings, whether seen or unseen, wherever they be in the universe. In principle this applies to all of them. (It is to be remembered that) even the creation undertaken by the Lord involves the same wonderful and terrifying elements of this very kind.

 

235

 

8. bhayankaramidam sunyam vetalanagaram yatha tathaiva visvamakhilam vyakarodadbhutam vibhuh

 

Terrible and empty of content
Like a city infernal,
Even as such a marvel
Did the Lord make the whole universe.

 

IDAM, this (visible world),
VETALA NAGARAM YATHA, like an infernal city,
BHAYANKAR IDAM SUNYAM (CA BHAVATI), terrible and empty of content both (remain),
VIBHUH, the Lord,
AKHILAMVISVAM, the whole universe,
TATHA IVA, even as such,
ADBHUTAM, a marvel,
VYAKAROD, made

 

This visible world is just like an infernal city, empty of content (sunya) and terrible (bhayankaram) in this most wonderful manner, with visible and invisible aspects referring to all possible worlds created by the Lord. Because the Lord is all-powerful and capable of accomplishing anything He was able to create something which had no basis in reality, but still could be seen as a wonderful appearance, because it is at once empty of content and terrible, though describable as a marvel (adhbuta).

 

The term vibhuh employed in the verses refers to the omnipresence, omnipotence, and everlasting eternity of the Lord. (vi, before; and bhuh, what exists: because it existed before, it is called vibhuh).

 

9. arkadyathakramam visvam tatha naivedamatmanah supteriva pradurasidyugapatsvasya viksaya

 

If from a sun in graded succession
This world came, such was not the case at all.
Presented as if out of slumber,
At one stroke, all came to be.

 

236

 

IDAM VISVAM, this world,
ARKAD, from the sun,
YATHA KRAMAM, as in a gradual manner,
PRADURASID (ITI CET), it is unmanifested (if it should be said),
TATHA NA IVA, thus not at all,
IDAM, this (world),
ATMANAH, from the self,
SVASYA, (by) its own,
VIKSHAYA, regard (i.e. will),
SUPTEH IVA, as if from sleep,
YUGAPAD, at one stroke,
PRADURASID, all came to be

 

If it be said that this world came to be in gradual steps out of a primordial sun, we say it is not so at all. From the Self, as if from sleep, all come into being at one stroke.

 

There is a traditional belief that there was an original sun and from that sun, by successive steps the universe was produced; the sky was produced, and from the sky the atmosphere, from the atmosphere the fire, from the fire the water, and from the water the earth.

 

This view is not correct. This world with all its features that we experience in practical life came by the willing of the Self out of the Self, coming out together all at once. Before creation, the Self had the character of being itself or alone (kevalam). When one wakes from deep sleep (sushupti), the whole world becomes presented all together. In the same way at the time of creation, by dint of the will of the Self all is manifested together, and projected from out of the Self. There is also the Upanishadic dictum which says, "The one Self thought "Let me be many!"." By this verse the theory of gradual creation (kramasrishti) is repudiated and that of instantaneous creation (yugapad-srishti) is upheld. What is implied herein is that the power of the Lord is so great that it could create all this world at one stroke.

 

237

 

10. dhanadiva vato yasmat pradurasididam jagat sa brahma sa sivo visnuh sa parah sarva eva sah

 

He from whom, like a fig tree as from seed
Came out this world manifested -
He is Brahma, He is Siva and Vishnu,
He is the Ultimate, everything is He indeed.

 

DHANAT, from a seed,
VATAH IVA, like a fig tree,
YASMAT, from whom,
IDAM JAGAT, this world,
PRADURASID, manifested,
SAH BRAHMA, he is Brahma,
SAH VISNU, he is Vishnu,
SAH SIVA, he is Siva,
SAH PARAH, he is the ultimate,
SAH EVA SARVAH, everything is he indeed

 

Just as from a (minute) seed a (large) fig tree arises (so too), that Lord from whom this whole wonderful universe became manifested. He is Brahma, He is Vishnu, He is Siva, He is the Supreme Self (paramatma), and He is everything indeed. By this Brahma, the creator (in the Vedic context) of the (Vedic gods) Indra and Varuna and others, as well as Vishnu who is the Lord of the Vaishnavas and Siva who is the Lord of the Saivites, and the Supreme Self of the Vedantins, are all treated as one and the same. Because of this reference to the threefold gods (trimurti), it is indicated that this world originates from the same Lord having this threefold character, and that it originates in Him, endures in Him and dissolves into Him once again. Further, by the statement that He is everything, it is affirmed that there is no world outside of the Lord. It further states that by the words, "sa parah" i.e. "He is the Ultimate," it is indicated that the Lord is not subject to any kind of transformation (vikara), and that he is without any kind of specific attributes, being Himself the Supreme Self. The world is only seemingly present in the Lord and it is indicated that the instrumental and material causes (nimitta-karana and upadana-karana are none other than the Lord.

 

238

 

In fact, the attribution (wrongly thought of) by the mind of the phenomenal aspect to that which is non-phenomenal is what is referred to as "superimposition" or "supposed position" characterizing this chapter called Adhyaropa. All gurus (spiritual teachers) and sastras (texts) are known traditionally to indicate and take an initial supposed position in respect of their subject-matter, before giving instruction about the attributeless Absolute (nirguna-brahman). Following the same tradition, the section on Adhyaropa has now been terminated. In the next vision of truth (darsana), the apavada (i.e. neutralizing this supposition) is to be dealt with.

 

238

II. APAVADA-DARSANAM (VISION BY NON-SUPPOSITION)

 

1. caitanyadagatam sthulasuksmatmakamidam jagat asti cedsadghanam sarvam nasti cedasti cidghanam

 

This world, which is both subtle and gross,
And which has come to be from living consciousness,
If existent, then everything is existent;
If non-existent, then it exists as consciousness.

 

CAITANYAT, from living consciousness (i.e. the Lord),
AGATAM, what has come to be,
STHULA SUKSHMATMAKAMIDAM, which is both subtle and gross,
IDAM JAGAT, this world,
ASTI CET, if existent,
SARVAM SADGHANAM ASTI, everything is existent,
NASTI CET, if non- existent,
CIDGHANAM ASTI, it exists as consciousness

 

This world, while seen as having both a subtle and a gross form, has come out of the Lord who is of the form of consciousness. In other words, it is the Lord who appears as the world. (But) the world does not really exist. The world which is none other than the Lord, if we should say it is real it consists of existence (sat). If we should say, on the contrary, that it does not exist because it still remains in the form of knowledge, it consists of the stuff of consciousness. Because it is both existent and made of consciousness it is none other than what the Lord is. Therefore, whether we say the world is existent or non-existent we have to admit that it is not different from the Lord; this is because the world is merely superimposed (adhyasa) on the Lord who is existence-subsistence-value (sat-cit-ananda). It has no real existence and that which really exists is the foundation which is the Lord alone.

 

370

 

2. anyanna karanatkaryam asadedadato'khilam asatah kathamutpattiranutpannasya ko layah

 

Other than the cause, the effect cannot be,
Therefore, all this is non-existent.
Of what is non-existent, how can there be an origin?
And of something unoriginated, how (can there be) reabsorption?

 

KARANAT, from the cause,
ANYAT, other,
KARYAM NA, there is no effect,
ATAH, before,
ETAT AKHILAM, all this (universe),
ASAT (BHAVATI), becomes non-existent,
ASATAH,of what is non-existent,
UTPATTIH KATHAM, how can there be origin,
ANUTPANNASYA, of something unoriginated,
LAYAH, reabsorbtion,
KAH, how can there be?

 

There is no effect independent of the cause. That is, when we examine it more closely all effects are unreal. Their causes alone are real. Therefore, the visible and invisible universe is unreal because of being an effect. That which is existent is what is real. It is what constitutes the one cause for everything, which is the Lord, or in other words, the Absolute (brahman). How can a non-existent world have an origin? In other words, it never originated at all. How can anything which does not originate have re-absorption? That is, there is no re-absorption. For something which has neither origin nor re-absorption there is no state of being. That is, in the Absolute this universe has no being at any time (either) in the past, present or future.

 

3. yasyotpattirlayo nasti tat param brahma ne'tarat utpattisca layo'stiti brahmatyatmani mayaya

 

To that which origin and dissolution is not,
That is none other than the ultimate Absolute.
(That there) is origin and re-absorption,
By Maya´s confusion in the Self (is supposed).

 

371

 

 

YASYA, to that which,
UTPATTIH LAYA CA, origin and reabsorption,
NASTI, is not,
TAT, that,
PARAM BRAHMA, (than) the ultimate Absolute,
ITARAT NA, is none other,
UTPATTIH LAYA CA, origin and reabsorption,
ATMANI, in the self,
ASTI ITI, as present,
MAYAYA, by Maya,
BHRAMATI, by confusion (one thinks)

 

Because origin and reabsorption have been mentioned, being (existence) is also to be understood as included. That one reality which has neither origin, being, nor reabsorption is none other than that supreme and ultimate Absolute. In that Absolute which is in the form of the Self the origin, being and re-absorption of the world is taken to be present because of confusion. This confusion is caused by the conditioning (upadhi) imposed by Maya. In the fourth darsana Maya will be further elaborated.

 

4. karanavyatiriktatvat karyasya kathamastita bhavatyataha karanasya kathamasti ca nastita

 

Because of non-difference from cause,
The effect, how could it have being?
How could there be, for the same reason,
For the cause also, any non-being?

 

KARANA VYATIRIKA TVAT, because of non-difference (of effect) from cause,
KARYASYA, for the effect,
KATHAM, how could there be,
ASTITA, (state of) being,
BHAVATI, come to be,
ATAH, for the same reason,
KARANASYA, for the cause,
NASTITA CA, non-being also,
KATHAMASTI, how could there be?

 

Because an effect is non-different from its cause the effect has no independent status in being. By the same reason, for the cause there is no non-existence either. That is to say, the world as an effect is given to the vision, but on further examination it is seen to be unreal. If there is an effect it should necessarily have a cause. That effect should not be different from its cause in principle. This is to say, when we examine it (still) further there remains only the cause and not the effect, because the non-existence of the effect as given to view is the unsublated reality of the cause itself. By virtue of such a reasoning the Absolute as the cause alone is real. The world as an effect is thus established as unreal without further argumentation.

 

372

 

5. karyatvadasato'syasti karanam nahyato jagat brahmaiva tarhi sadasaditi muhyati mandadhih

 

Being an effect, and thus non-existent,
An existent cause there is; the world is thus not indeed.
On the other hand, it is the Absolute alone that is existent,
That dull minds mistake as non-existing.

 

KARYATVAT, because of being an effect,
ASATAH, what is non-existent,
ASYA, for this (visible world),
KARANAM, an (existent) cause,
ASTI, there is,
ATAH, therefore (because there is a cause),
JAGAT, he world (which is an effect),
NA HI, is not (real) indeed,
TARHI, on the contrary,
SAT, existent (as a cause),
BRAHMA EVA, the Absolute it is indeed,
MANADHIH, dull minds,
ASAD ITI, as unreal,
MUHYATI, mistake

 

All things which constitute an effect are unreal. This is well known. Therefore the whole world is unreal and because of being unreal it must have a cause which is real. Because the cause alone has a status in reality, it naturally follows that the effect is unreal. That unique cause which represents real existence is the Absolute. Dull minds not capable of discrimination due to a confusion between existence and non-existence treat real existence as unreal. In other words, they mistake the Absolute for the world and thus suffer.

 

 

6. ekasyaivasti satta cedanyasya'sau kva vidyate satyastyamatmasrayo yadyapyasati syad asambhavaha

 

If one alone has reality,
Another in it how could there be?
If existence is posited in existence, tautology,
And if non-existence is so asserted, contradiction (comes).

 

EKASYA EVA, for one only (i.e. for the absolute alone which is the cause)
SATTA, existence,
ASTI, there is,
ANYASYA, for another (i.e. for the world which is an effect),
ASAU, in this existence,
KYA VIDYATE, where could it be,
SATI, within what exists,
SATTA, existence,
ASTI CET, if we say there is (existence is),
ATMASRAYAH, there is petitio principii, (i.e. tautology),
ASATI, within non-existence,
(SATTA ASTI, existence is),
YADI, if we should say,
ASAMBHAVAH, impossibility (i.e. contradiction),
API, also,
SYAD, would come to be.

 

 

373

 

If we press further along the foregoing reasoning concerning the relation between the effect and cause, we come to know there is only one thing that is real and that another can have no reality beside it. That is to say, only the Absolute which is the cause has reality and thence it follows that the world is an effect having no reality. In a certain reality, if the reality of another is predicated that is a tautology. Again in the Absolute, which is alone real, there is the existence of a non-existent thing; this is impossible and a contradiction. When one's own existence is posited in oneself, there is the defect of begging the question (petitio principii) which is, in principle, a tautology.

 

As an alternative, if one should state that in the world that is non-existent there is existence; this results in the logical error called contradiction. Familiar examples of such contradictions in the Vedantic context are gandharva nagaram, the city of quasi-celestial beings, the son of a sterile woman, the rabbit's horn, etc. Their (inherent) impossibilities could be referred to as contradictions.

 

 

7. vibhajya'vayavam sarvamekaikam tatra drsyate cinmatramakhilam nanyaditi mayaviduragam

 

Dividing all parts one by one,
Everything then is seen there
As mind stuff alone, and as no other,
As thus banishing Maya (relativity) far away.

 

AVAYAVAM, parts, limbs,
EKAIKAM, one by one,
SARVAM, all,
VIBHAJYA, having divided,
TATRA, then,
AKHILAM, everything, (i.e. the whole world),
MAYAVIDURAGAM, banishing Maya far away (i.e. without any taint of Maya),
CINMATRA, mind stuff alone (of the stuff of absolute consciousness),
ANYAT NA, no other thing,
ITI, thus,
DRSYATE, is seen

 

To understand this let us examine the reality of a cloth. In the first place we can divide the cloth into its threads. When the threads have been taken out there is no cloth to be seen. Thus we know that it is the threads that take the form of cloth, and the cloth (itself) has no reality. The reality of the cloth merely resides in the thread. If we proceed once again in the same manner to examine the thread we see that it gives place to cotton. Now we understand that it is cotton that appears like thread, and the reality of thread is not in the thread but in the cotton. If we further examine this cotton we find it consists of atoms composed of the five elements. Now the reality is not even in the cotton and (instead) it is in the atoms where reality resides. If we further examine these atoms by means of instruments, or even by the instrumentality of the mind, we find these atoms without being, given as objects for the instruments or even the mind which is subtler than the subtlest instrument, all perception hiding in a sort of darkness or ignorance, which is nescience. That is to say nobody is able to know how all this originated. Now by this kind of enquiry, cloth, thread, cotton, elemental atoms and ignorance we know that for all these there is only one reality and from cloth to atom everything is the effect of nescience. But even this nescience is capable of being abolished by knowledge or science. It is this aspect of knowledge that is attributed to the Lord. The absence of knowledge is what constitutes the stuff of ignorance. When knowledge operates nescience becomes abolished and with the help of such knowledge one is able to see the causal status in reality of each one of the items ranging from cloth to atom. Such awareness is a kind of ever-present and lasting witness, having an ultimate status of its own. Awareness itself is without further cause and is self-evident. All others have dependent causes, one behind the other. Therefore it is knowledge alone that is supreme and eternal. All other things are unreal.

 

375

 

8. cideva nanyadhabati citah paramato nahi yacca nabhati tadasadyadasattanna bhati ca

 

Thus, it is pure mind-stuff alone that shines,
There is nothing, therefore, beyond pure mind-stuff at all.
What does not shine is not real either,
And what is not real does not shine indeed.

 

CIT EVA, it is even pure mind-stuff,
ABHATI, shines;
ANYAD NA, not anything else;
ATAH, therefore;
CITAH PARAM, beyond pure mind-stuff (i.e. other than knowledge);
NAHI, nothing indeed;
YAT CA, that which also;
NA ABHATI, does not shine;
TAT, that;
ASAT, is non-real;
YAT, that which;
ASAT, is non-real;
TAT, that;
NA BHATI CA, also does not shine indeed.

 

All that enters consciousness is nothing other than what is real. That which is not real cannot enter consciousness. It is knowledge alone that remains real. That which is both real and consciousness is the Absolute which is none other than the Lord as consciousness. Therefore, what appears as this world is nothing other than the Absolute. Existence and subsistence are both the form of the Absolute. Existence-subsistence-value all have the characteristics of the form of the Absolute. What is both existence and subsistence is a High Value at the same time.

 

9. ananda evasti bhati nanyah kascidato'khilam anandaghanamanyanna vina'nandena vidyate

 

High Value (Biss) alone exists and shines,
Therefore nothing else at all,
Thus, everything is of the stuff of the High Value,
And besides this High Value, nothing else exists.

 

ANANDA EVA ASTI, high value (Bliss) alone exists,
(ANANDA EVA) BHATI, (it is high value alone that) shines,
ANYAH KASCID NA, not anything else,
ATAH, therefore,
AKHILAM, everything (i.e. the whole world),
ANANDA GHANAM, is of the stuff of this high value,
ANYAT NA VIDYATE, nothing else exists

 

This verse merely underlines the High Value content called Bliss or ananda as comprising the totality of the Absolute.

 

10. sarvam hi saccidanandam neha nana'sti kincana yah pasyatiha naneva mrtyormrtyam sa gacchati

 

All is indeed existence-subsistence-value,
Herein there is not even a little plurality.
He who sees (this) as pluralistic,
From death to death he goes.

 

SARVAM SACCIDANANDAM HI, all this is indeed existence-subsistence-value,
IHA, herein,
KINCANA, not even a little,
NANA, plurality,
NA ASTI, there is not,
IHA, in this (absolute),
YAH, he,
NANA IVA, as if pluralistic,
PASYATI, sees,
SAH, he,
MRITYOR, from death,
MRITYAM, to death,
GACCHATI, he goes

 

The meaning of the verse is sufficiently clear. The note on which it ends is reminiscent of an Upanishadic dictum as found in the Katha Upanishad. The Absolute is here reduced as comprised with the categories of Existence-subsistence-value.

 

 

 

II. APAVADA-DARSANAM (VISION BY NON-SUPPOSITION)

 

1. caitanyadagatam sthulasuksmatmakamidam jagat asti cedsadghanam sarvam nasti cedasti cidghanam

 

This world, which is both subtle and gross,
And which has come to be from living consciousness,
If existent, then everything is existent;
If non-existent, then it exists as consciousness.

 

CAITANYAT, from living consciousness (i.e. the Lord),
AGATAM, what has come to be,
STHULA SUKSHMATMAKAMIDAM, which is both subtle and gross,
IDAM JAGAT, this world,
ASTI CET, if existent,
SARVAM SADGHANAM ASTI, everything is existent,
NASTI CET, if non- existent,
CIDGHANAM ASTI, it exists as consciousness

 

This world, while seen as having both a subtle and a gross form, has come out of the Lord who is of the form of consciousness. In other words, it is the Lord who appears as the world. (But) the world does not really exist. The world which is none other than the Lord, if we should say it is real it consists of existence (sat). If we should say, on the contrary, that it does not exist because it still remains in the form of knowledge, it consists of the stuff of consciousness. Because it is both existent and made of consciousness it is none other than what the Lord is. Therefore, whether we say the world is existent or non-existent we have to admit that it is not different from the Lord; this is because the world is merely superimposed (adhyasa) on the Lord who is existence-subsistence-value (sat-cit-ananda). It has no real existence and that which really exists is the foundation which is the Lord alone.

 

370

 

2. anyanna karanatkaryam asadedadato'khilam asatah kathamutpattiranutpannasya ko layah

 

Other than the cause, the effect cannot be,
Therefore, all this is non-existent.
Of what is non-existent, how can there be an origin?
And of something unoriginated, how (can there be) reabsorption?

 

KARANAT, from the cause,
ANYAT, other,
KARYAM NA, there is no effect,
ATAH, before,
ETAT AKHILAM, all this (universe),
ASAT (BHAVATI), becomes non-existent,
ASATAH,of what is non-existent,
UTPATTIH KATHAM, how can there be origin,
ANUTPANNASYA, of something unoriginated,
LAYAH, reabsorbtion,
KAH, how can there be?

 

There is no effect independent of the cause. That is, when we examine it more closely all effects are unreal. Their causes alone are real. Therefore, the visible and invisible universe is unreal because of being an effect. That which is existent is what is real. It is what constitutes the one cause for everything, which is the Lord, or in other words, the Absolute (brahman). How can a non-existent world have an origin? In other words, it never originated at all. How can anything which does not originate have re-absorption? That is, there is no re-absorption. For something which has neither origin nor re-absorption there is no state of being. That is, in the Absolute this universe has no being at any time (either) in the past, present or future.

 

3. yasyotpattirlayo nasti tat param brahma ne'tarat utpattisca layo'stiti brahmatyatmani mayaya

 

To that which origin and dissolution is not,
That is none other than the ultimate Absolute.
(That there) is origin and re-absorption,
By Maya´s confusion in the Self (is supposed).

 

371

 

 

YASYA, to that which,
UTPATTIH LAYA CA, origin and reabsorption,
NASTI, is not,
TAT, that,
PARAM BRAHMA, (than) the ultimate Absolute,
ITARAT NA, is none other,
UTPATTIH LAYA CA, origin and reabsorption,
ATMANI, in the self,
ASTI ITI, as present,
MAYAYA, by Maya,
BHRAMATI, by confusion (one thinks)

 

Because origin and reabsorption have been mentioned, being (existence) is also to be understood as included. That one reality which has neither origin, being, nor reabsorption is none other than that supreme and ultimate Absolute. In that Absolute which is in the form of the Self the origin, being and re-absorption of the world is taken to be present because of confusion. This confusion is caused by the conditioning (upadhi) imposed by Maya. In the fourth darsana Maya will be further elaborated.

 

4. karanavyatiriktatvat karyasya kathamastita bhavatyataha karanasya kathamasti ca nastita

 

Because of non-difference from cause,
The effect, how could it have being?
How could there be, for the same reason,
For the cause also, any non-being?

 

KARANA VYATIRIKA TVAT, because of non-difference (of effect) from cause,
KARYASYA, for the effect,
KATHAM, how could there be,
ASTITA, (state of) being,
BHAVATI, come to be,
ATAH, for the same reason,
KARANASYA, for the cause,
NASTITA CA, non-being also,
KATHAMASTI, how could there be?

 

Because an effect is non-different from its cause the effect has no independent status in being. By the same reason, for the cause there is no non-existence either. That is to say, the world as an effect is given to the vision, but on further examination it is seen to be unreal. If there is an effect it should necessarily have a cause. That effect should not be different from its cause in principle. This is to say, when we examine it (still) further there remains only the cause and not the effect, because the non-existence of the effect as given to view is the unsublated reality of the cause itself. By virtue of such a reasoning the Absolute as the cause alone is real. The world as an effect is thus established as unreal without further argumentation.

 

372

 

5. karyatvadasato'syasti karanam nahyato jagat brahmaiva tarhi sadasaditi muhyati mandadhih

 

Being an effect, and thus non-existent,
An existent cause there is; the world is thus not indeed.
On the other hand, it is the Absolute alone that is existent,
That dull minds mistake as non-existing.

 

KARYATVAT, because of being an effect,
ASATAH, what is non-existent,
ASYA, for this (visible world),
KARANAM, an (existent) cause,
ASTI, there is,
ATAH, therefore (because there is a cause),
JAGAT, he world (which is an effect),
NA HI, is not (real) indeed,
TARHI, on the contrary,
SAT, existent (as a cause),
BRAHMA EVA, the Absolute it is indeed,
MANADHIH, dull minds,
ASAD ITI, as unreal,
MUHYATI, mistake

 

All things which constitute an effect are unreal. This is well known. Therefore the whole world is unreal and because of being unreal it must have a cause which is real. Because the cause alone has a status in reality, it naturally follows that the effect is unreal. That unique cause which represents real existence is the Absolute. Dull minds not capable of discrimination due to a confusion between existence and non-existence treat real existence as unreal. In other words, they mistake the Absolute for the world and thus suffer.

 

 

6. ekasyaivasti satta cedanyasya'sau kva vidyate satyastyamatmasrayo yadyapyasati syad asambhavaha

 

If one alone has reality,
Another in it how could there be?
If existence is posited in existence, tautology,
And if non-existence is so asserted, contradiction (comes).

 

EKASYA EVA, for one only (i.e. for the absolute alone which is the cause)
SATTA, existence,
ASTI, there is,
ANYASYA, for another (i.e. for the world which is an effect),
ASAU, in this existence,
KYA VIDYATE, where could it be,
SATI, within what exists,
SATTA, existence,
ASTI CET, if we say there is (existence is),
ATMASRAYAH, there is petitio principii, (i.e. tautology),
ASATI, within non-existence,
(SATTA ASTI, existence is),
YADI, if we should say,
ASAMBHAVAH, impossibility (i.e. contradiction),
API, also,
SYAD, would come to be.

 

 

373

 

If we press further along the foregoing reasoning concerning the relation between the effect and cause, we come to know there is only one thing that is real and that another can have no reality beside it. That is to say, only the Absolute which is the cause has reality and thence it follows that the world is an effect having no reality. In a certain reality, if the reality of another is predicated that is a tautology. Again in the Absolute, which is alone real, there is the existence of a non-existent thing; this is impossible and a contradiction. When one's own existence is posited in oneself, there is the defect of begging the question (petitio principii) which is, in principle, a tautology.

 

As an alternative, if one should state that in the world that is non-existent there is existence; this results in the logical error called contradiction. Familiar examples of such contradictions in the Vedantic context are gandharva nagaram, the city of quasi-celestial beings, the son of a sterile woman, the rabbit's horn, etc. Their (inherent) impossibilities could be referred to as contradictions.

 

 

7. vibhajya'vayavam sarvamekaikam tatra drsyate cinmatramakhilam nanyaditi mayaviduragam

 

Dividing all parts one by one,
Everything then is seen there
As mind stuff alone, and as no other,
As thus banishing Maya (relativity) far away.

 

AVAYAVAM, parts, limbs,
EKAIKAM, one by one,
SARVAM, all,
VIBHAJYA, having divided,
TATRA, then,
AKHILAM, everything, (i.e. the whole world),
MAYAVIDURAGAM, banishing Maya far away (i.e. without any taint of Maya),
CINMATRA, mind stuff alone (of the stuff of absolute consciousness),
ANYAT NA, no other thing,
ITI, thus,
DRSYATE, is seen

 

To understand this let us examine the reality of a cloth. In the first place we can divide the cloth into its threads. When the threads have been taken out there is no cloth to be seen. Thus we know that it is the threads that take the form of cloth, and the cloth (itself) has no reality. The reality of the cloth merely resides in the thread. If we proceed once again in the same manner to examine the thread we see that it gives place to cotton. Now we understand that it is cotton that appears like thread, and the reality of thread is not in the thread but in the cotton. If we further examine this cotton we find it consists of atoms composed of the five elements. Now the reality is not even in the cotton and (instead) it is in the atoms where reality resides. If we further examine these atoms by means of instruments, or even by the instrumentality of the mind, we find these atoms without being, given as objects for the instruments or even the mind which is subtler than the subtlest instrument, all perception hiding in a sort of darkness or ignorance, which is nescience. That is to say nobody is able to know how all this originated. Now by this kind of enquiry, cloth, thread, cotton, elemental atoms and ignorance we know that for all these there is only one reality and from cloth to atom everything is the effect of nescience. But even this nescience is capable of being abolished by knowledge or science. It is this aspect of knowledge that is attributed to the Lord. The absence of knowledge is what constitutes the stuff of ignorance. When knowledge operates nescience becomes abolished and with the help of such knowledge one is able to see the causal status in reality of each one of the items ranging from cloth to atom. Such awareness is a kind of ever-present and lasting witness, having an ultimate status of its own. Awareness itself is without further cause and is self-evident. All others have dependent causes, one behind the other. Therefore it is knowledge alone that is supreme and eternal. All other things are unreal.

 

375

 

8. cideva nanyadhabati citah paramato nahi yacca nabhati tadasadyadasattanna bhati ca

 

Thus, it is pure mind-stuff alone that shines,
There is nothing, therefore, beyond pure mind-stuff at all.
What does not shine is not real either,
And what is not real does not shine indeed.

 

CIT EVA, it is even pure mind-stuff,
ABHATI, shines;
ANYAD NA, not anything else;
ATAH, therefore;
CITAH PARAM, beyond pure mind-stuff (i.e. other than knowledge);
NAHI, nothing indeed;
YAT CA, that which also;
NA ABHATI, does not shine;
TAT, that;
ASAT, is non-real;
YAT, that which;
ASAT, is non-real;
TAT, that;
NA BHATI CA, also does not shine indeed.

 

All that enters consciousness is nothing other than what is real. That which is not real cannot enter consciousness. It is knowledge alone that remains real. That which is both real and consciousness is the Absolute which is none other than the Lord as consciousness. Therefore, what appears as this world is nothing other than the Absolute. Existence and subsistence are both the form of the Absolute. Existence-subsistence-value all have the characteristics of the form of the Absolute. What is both existence and subsistence is a High Value at the same time.

 

9. ananda evasti bhati nanyah kascidato'khilam anandaghanamanyanna vina'nandena vidyate

 

High Value (Biss) alone exists and shines,
Therefore nothing else at all,
Thus, everything is of the stuff of the High Value,
And besides this High Value, nothing else exists.

 

ANANDA EVA ASTI, high value (Bliss) alone exists,
(ANANDA EVA) BHATI, (it is high value alone that) shines,
ANYAH KASCID NA, not anything else,
ATAH, therefore,
AKHILAM, everything (i.e. the whole world),
ANANDA GHANAM, is of the stuff of this high value,
ANYAT NA VIDYATE, nothing else exists

 

This verse merely underlines the High Value content called Bliss or ananda as comprising the totality of the Absolute.

 

10. sarvam hi saccidanandam neha nana'sti kincana yah pasyatiha naneva mrtyormrtyam sa gacchati

 

All is indeed existence-subsistence-value,
Herein there is not even a little plurality.
He who sees (this) as pluralistic,
From death to death he goes.

 

SARVAM SACCIDANANDAM HI, all this is indeed existence-subsistence-value,
IHA, herein,
KINCANA, not even a little,
NANA, plurality,
NA ASTI, there is not,
IHA, in this (absolute),
YAH, he,
NANA IVA, as if pluralistic,
PASYATI, sees,
SAH, he,
MRITYOR, from death,
MRITYAM, to death,
GACCHATI, he goes

 

The meaning of the verse is sufficiently clear. The note on which it ends is reminiscent of an Upanishadic dictum as found in the Katha Upanishad. The Absolute is here reduced as comprised with the categories of Existence-subsistence-value.

 

 

 

III. ASATYA-DARSANAM (VISION OF NON-EXISTENCE)

 

1. manomayamidam sarvam na manah kvapi vidyate ato vyomniva niladi drsyate jagadatmani

 

All this (world) is of mind-stuff,
The mind, however, is not anywhere.
Therefore, like the blue and so on in the sky,
The world is seen in the Self.

 

IDAM SARVAM, all this (world),
MANOMAYAM, is of mind-stuff,
MANAH, the mind,
KVAPI, anywhere,
NA VIDYATE, is not,
ATAH, therefore,
VYOMNIVA, in the sky,
NILADI VA, like the blue and so on,
ATMANI, in the Self,
JAGAT, the world,
DRISYATE, is seen.

 

In the sky there are no colours such as blue, etc. In spite of this, however we know this verity as we actually perceive the blue colour in the sky. In reality only the sky is real, and blueness, etc. are fully unreal. In the same manner in the pure unqualified Self this world is perceived which is a presentiment of the will. It is the Self alone that is real, and the world consisting of mind-stuff is unreal.

 

2. manaso'nanyaya sarvam kalpyate'vidyaya jagat vidyaya'sau layam yati tadalekhyamiva'khilam

 

By nescience, which is no other than the mind,
All this world is a presentiment of the will.
This (nescience) by knowledge gets reabsorbed,
Then the whole world (becomes) a mere configuration.

 

MANASAH, from the mind,
ANANYAYA, which is no other,
AVIDYAYA, by nescience,
SARVAM JAGAT, all this world,
KALPYATE, is a presentiment of the will,
ASAU, this (nescience)
VIDYAYA, by knowledge (i.e. true knowledge of the Self),
LAYAM ITI, gets reabsorbed (ignorance is abolished and Self-knowledge prevails),
AKHILAM, the whole (world),
ALEKHYAMIVA (BHAVATI), then it (becomes)a mere configuration (drawing)

 

It is the mind that is to be considered the same as nescience It is because of this ignorance that the world seems to be real. For destroying this ignorance, which is nescience, there is no other way than through knowledge, that is, true knowledge of the Self. When nescience is abolished Self-knowledge prevails, and when nescience is abolished and science prevails, the whole world resembles a configuration (drawing) presented by the mind. In the same way by the power of nescience which is the form of mind, the whole world is willed. Therefore this world is non-existent. When Self-knowledge prevails the fact that the world is unreal becomes experienced.

 

3. vijrmbhate yattamaso bhiroriha pisacavat tadidam jagrati svapnalokavad drsyate budhaih

 

Here, what a coward finds through darkness
To be like a looming ghost,
The same is seen to be by the wise
Like a dream-world of a waking state.

 

IHA, here (i.e. from a workaday standpoint),
BHIROH, to a coward,
TAMASAH, through darkness,
PISACAVAT, like a ghost,

YAT, what,
VIJRIMBHATE, looms,
TAT IDAM, that same (i.e. what is visible),
BUDHAIH, by the wise,
JAGRATI, of the wakeful state,
SVAPNALOKAVAD, like a dream-world,
DRSYATE, is seen.

 

For a coward darkness is like a ghost, and this is a common experience. The ghost and its cause which is darkness are both non-existent. To the coward, however, because of his fear and lack of light it is darkness that is seen as a ghost. When a lamp is brought and one looks at it there is neither darkness nor a ghost. In the same way for those who are not aware of the principle of nescience, this world which is of the form of nescience (which is the same as ignorance), i.e. for a man who does not know this principle, it seems real. Just as in the same way as darkness becomes for a coward a ghost, through that ignorance which is of the nature of darkness, what looms in the form of this world is seen to be true only to those who have not attained to Self-knowledge. But to those who have Self-knowledge and who are wise, this world is like a daydream and seen to be unreal.

 

4. sankalpakalpitam drsyam sankalpo yatra vidyate drsyam tatra ca nanyatra kutracidrajjusarpavat.

 

This visible world results from a willing presentiment.
Where willing is present alone
Is this visible world seen, not anywhere else,
As a snake, too, when alone a rope is found.

 

DRISYAM, this visible world is seen (results),
SANKALPA KALPITAM, (as) a presentiment of the will,
YATRA, where,
SANKALPAH VIDYATE, willing is present,
TATRA CA, there alone,
DRISYAM VIDYATE, this visible (world) (exists),
ANYATRA KUTRACID NA, not anywhere else,
RAJJUSARPAVAT, as a snake too where alone a rope (is found)

 

All visible things are the product of willing. Only where there is willing is there any object. If there is no willing there is nothing at all. The snake imagined on the basis of a rope is merely a product of willing. For a man who has the presentiment of a snake, a piece of rope lying in a place badly lit seems like a snake. When a lamp is brought and the object is examined there is no snake in the rope. If we now inquire where the snake was, we can see that it has its being only in the will. This snake has neither a workaday reality (vyavaharika) nor an absolute reality (paramarthika). It has only a reflected eidetic (pratibhasika) status. In the same way as with this eidetic snake, if we consider any other of the many objects presented to us we conclude that they are only products of the will. Here we find the justification for what was said in the first chapter about the creation of the world by the mere will of the Highest Lord. In the same way as this eidetic snake came from the vitalistic will (of the individual), (so too) this workaday world is the product of the Highest Lord. All things as presentiment of the will are unreal. When knowledge comes they are destroyed. But the difference we should note here is that the snake-rope is of the nature of a vital presentiment of the will, when the right knowledge which belongs to the living being is operative they (i.e. snake and rope) get abolished. But in the case of this workaday world having its origin in the will of the Highest Lord, even after we come to know of it as unreal we cannot abolish it completely because the Lord's willing is stronger than individual vital willing and because all beings are caught and helplessly spun around by the will of the Lord. It is only the will of the Lord that can abolish altogether this collective presentiment (called) the visible world. In spite of this, however, those great souls who have attained to the experience of reality through Self-knowledge, know the unreality of the world in respect of the three aspects of time; whether past, present or future. Because it arises from the will and is also dissolved by the will the world is non-existent in the same way as the snake supposed in the basis of the rope. By bringing in the analogy of the rope and snake we have to understand that the world was not before or after but only present in the intermediate period when nescience prevailed and knowledge had not asserted itself. What is not present in the past and in the future can certainly be said to be non-existent in the present.

 

5. sankalpamanasoh kascinnahi bhedo'sti yanmanah tadavidyatmahprahkyam indrajalam ivadbhutam

 

Between the will and the mind,
There is no difference at all,
That which is mind and called nescience and darkness,
Like the magic of Indra, is a marvel.

 

SANKALPA MANASAH, as between the will and the mind,
KASCIT BHEDAH, any difference,
NA HI ASTI,there is none at all,
AVIYA TAMAH RAKHYAM, what is called nescience and darkness,
YAT MANAH, which is mind,
TAT, that,
INDRAJALAM IVA, like the magic of Indra,
ADBHUTAM, is marvel

 

What is given as the world, which is false in respect of the three aspects of time, is an appearance preserved with all the varied picturesqueness belonging to it, seems itself as created by that specific power which is the mind endowed with will. It is therefore described as a marvel (adbhutam) like the magic of Indra. Because this power remains in the form of darkness and nescience it is difficult to clearly determine the intrinsic nature of this factor which is itself unreal. Although all persons know that the objects produced by a magician are unreal yet they are taken to be real. Because it is difficult to find the truth about this unreality, it is said to be a marvel. In the same way, because it is not possible to understand the nature of the mind it is also said to be a marvel.

 

6. maricikavatprajnasya jagadatmani bhasate balasya satyamiti ca pratibimbamiva bhramat

 

Like a mirage, to a wise man,
The world looms in the Self,
Just as to an infant, by confusion,
A reflected image might real seem too.

 

PRAJNASYA, to a wise man, (who can discriminate between what is real and what is unreal),
JAGAT, the world,
MARICIKAVAT, like a mirage,
ATMANI, in the Self,
BHASATE, shines, looms,
BALASYA, to an infant(without discrimination),
BHRAMAT, by confusion,
PRATIBIMBAM IVA, like a reflected image,
SATYAM ITI CA, as if real too,
(BHASATE), might seem

 

For a child having no discrimination, when it sees a reflection in a mirror it thinks that there is another child in the mirror. The child treats the reflection as if it were a real child. This is due to confusion in the child's mind. By confusion we mean the erroneous comprehension of one thing for another. But a person who has attained to discrimination understands the reflection in the mirror to be non-existent. In the same way people of non-discrimination understand the world as real, but those with discrimination take it to be non-existent. The mirage that is seen in the desert in the form of water seems only real to animals while those who have knowledge and experience understand it to have no real existence. In the same way, the wise man who discriminates between the transient and eternal values in life arrives at certitude in knowledge. He treats this world like a mirage, or in other words, as having no real existence. It is only to people of non-discrimination that the world seems real. The world is a mere superimposition or epiphenomenon, of the Self. Therefore it is absolutely non-existent.

 

7. atma na ksiravadyati rupantaramato'khilam vivartamindrajalena vidyate nirmitam yatha

 

This Self, like milk (that turns),
Does not attain to another form.
Therefore, the whole (universe), as if created
By Indra's magic,
exists as (an eidetic) presentiment.

 

ATMA, the self,
KSHIRAVAT, like milk,
RUPA ANTARAM, to another form,
NA YATHA INDRAJALENA NIRMITAM, as if created by Indra's magic,
VIVARTAM VIDYATE, exists as (an eidetic) presentiment, (i.e. being non-existent, it appears as existent)

 

The Self is something that remains changeless and is without the states of birth, being, growth, transformation, decrease or destruction. Like milk that goes sour and changes over into curds or buttermilk, the Self does not change, taking the form of the world, because it is not possible for even an atom to be outside the Self. If one asks how this marvelous visible world originated and how it came about and on what basis it is established, the reply is that it exists in the Self in the form of an eidetic presentiment (vivarta). The things produced by the magician do not really exist. In the same way this world is really non-existent (i.e. it is false).

 

8. mayaiva jagatamadikaranam nirmitam taya sarvam hi mayino nanyadasatyam siddhijalavat

 

Maya itself is the prime (material) cause
Of the world, by that which is no other
Than the Maya-maker (Self) is all this
Created, as various magical effects.

 

MAYA IVA, Maya itself is,
JAGATAM, of the world,(with varied forms),
ADI KARANAM, the prime material cause,
MAYINAH NA ANYAT, what is no other than the Maya-maker, (i.e. the self),
SIDDHIJALAVAT ASATYAM, as various unreal magical effects,
SARVAM, everything,(i.e. the whole world),
TAYA HI, indeed by herself(i.e. by Maya),
NIRMITAM, created, made

 

Maya is what does not exist at all. When. we say that the non-existent Maya is the prime material cause of the world it goes without saying that the world is not real. Maya is not other than the Self and the resulting world which in its effect is not different from the Maya-maker which is the Self. The various unreal magical effects are none other than their author. Even thus they are unreal. In the same way the world is none other than the Lord, although it is non-existent.

 

9. vibhati visvam vrddhasya viyadvanamivatmani asatyam putrika rupam balasyeva viparyayam

 

To the mature mind, this universe
Looms like a sky-forest in the Self
Even as an unreal puppet-form
To a child (would seem) contrariwise.

 

VISVAM, the universe,
VRIDDHASYA, to the mature mind,
VIYADVANAM IVA, like a sky-forest,
ATMANI, in the Self,
VIBHATI, seems,
ASATYAM, unreal,
PUTRIKA RUPAM, puppet form,
BALASYA, to a child,
VIPARYAYAM IVA, as contrariwise (would seem)

 

Wise people look upon this world like a sky-forest imagined in the Self. In other words, they see everything in the form of the Self and they treat the world as unreal, because it is supposed in the Self. They understand that the Self alone is real. It is only unwise people who think the world is real. Children who lack understanding treat lifeless and inert puppets as equally real as themselves and play with them, carrying on a conversation. Only those of maturer years know that such things are inert and lifeless.

 

10. ekam satyam na dvitiyam hyasatyam bhati satyavat silaiva sivalingam na dvitiyam silpina krtam

 

One (alone) is real, not a second,
What is unreal, indeed, seems as being real.
The Siva Lingam is stone itself,
Not a second made by the mason.

 

EKAM SATYAM, one (alone) is real,
DVITIYAM NA, not a second,
ASATYAM HI, what is unreal indeed,
SATYAVAT BHATI, seems as being real,
SILA IVA SIVA LINGAM, the Siva Lingam is stone itself,
SILPINA KRITAM DVITIYAM NA, not a second made by a mason

 

It is the Self that alone is real. Anything other than the Self is not at all real. The unreal world merely has a semblance of the real. That which seems like the Siva-Lingam (i.e. the phallic emblem of Siva) is really the stone itself. As for the Siva-Lingam it merely seems as if it is a reality independent of the stone. What is real is the stone and the Siva-lingam is what is supposed on the basis of what really exists. The Siva-lingam, is not one that the mason made independently of the stone. It is the stone itself. The stone is real and the Siva-Lingam is unreal. In the same manner the Absolute is real and the world is unreal. The unreal world (only) seems real.

 

463

 

IV. MAYA-DARSANAM (VISION BY NEGATION)

 

1. na'vidyate ya sa maya vidya'vidya para'para tamah pradhanam prakrtirbahudha saiva bhasate

 

What is not real, that is Negation,
Which by itself, as by science-nescience,
Transcendence-immanence, darkness and prime potency
Of nature, in many forms looms.

 

YA NAVIDYATE, what is not real,
SA MAYA, that is negation,
SA EVA, itself,
VIDYA, science,
AVIDYA, nescience,
PARA, transcendance,
APARA, immanence,
TAMAH, darkness,
PRADHANAM, prime potency,
PRAKRITIH, nature,
(ITI) BAHUDHA, (thus) in many forms,
BHASATE, looms

 

The term Maya refers to what is not real. What really does not exist but seems to exist in practical life is what is to be understood here. It is this same Maya which is not real but in practical life seems to be the basis of science, etc.

 

2. pragutpatteryatha'bhavo mrdeva brahmanah prthak na vidyate brahma hi ya sa maya'mevaibhava

 

Just as for the origin of the pot the clay itself is
In its non-being,(so too before the origin of the world), as other than the world,
What had no being as the Absolute itself,
Such is Maya, the negative principle of indeterminate possibility.

 

YATHA, just as,
(GHATASYA) UTPATTEH PRAG, before the origin (of the pot), ABHAVAH, the non-existence,
MRID-EVA, is the clay itself,
(TATHA JAGAT UTPATTEH PRAK), (in the same way before the origin of the world),
YA BRAMANAH PRTHAK NA VIDYATE, what as other than the Absolute is not there,
YA BRAHMA HI, what is the Absolute indeed,
SA MAYA AMEYAVAIBHAVA, such is the negative principle of indeterminate possibility

 

Although the term abhava as used in ordinary language means nothingness according to the Nyaya (Logic) school of philosophy, it is counted as a padartha (i.e. a category of existence). Even according to the Advaita philosophy, abhava is non-different from its counterpart bhava (being). Before the pot originated, its non-existence is to be attributed to the clay. In other words, it is the clay that remains as the prior non-existence of the pot. Therefore the non-existence prior to the origination of the pot has its anterior existence which is stated to be the clay. To state this another way, the non-existence of the pot and the existence of the clay are the same. But in reality even after the origin of the pot what is the being of the pot is a supposition, and the being of the clay is real. The non-existence of a certain object always resides in the existence of another thing. As the clay constitutes the anterior non-existence of the pot, it remains as another entity. Similarly, before the origin of the world its non-existence remains something which is none other than the Absolute. In other words, it is the Absolute alone. But from the Absolute which is without change of form, how this world with all its different forms came about is a matter that cannot be decided on the basis of inferential reasoning (anumana), etc. Therefore, that non-existence which was the cause of the origination of the world and is non-different from the Absolute is described here as the principle of indeterminate possibility. In other words, Maya - is the non-existent - is the Absolute. That which does not really exist is Maya, as has already been stated in the previous verse. Within the scope of the term Maya it is not wrong to include also manas (mind), sankalpa (willing), and other faculties.

 

3. anatma na sadatma saditi vidyotate yaya sa vidyeyam yatha rajjusarpatattvadharanam

 

"The non-Self is unreal, the Self is real".
Thus what looms is vidya (knowledge),
As the reality of the snake (appearance)
(Superimposed) one the rope-reality is understood.

 

ATMA SAT, the Self is real,
ANATMA NA SAT, the non-Self is unreal
ITI YAYA VIDYOTATE, thus what looms,
SA IYAM VIDYA, that what is here is knowledge,
YATHA-RAJJU-SARPA-TATTVA-AVADHARANAM, as the reality of the snake superimposed) on the reality of the rope is understood.

 

That knowledge which sees things as they really are is knowledge or science. That knowledge which makes us aware that the Self alone exists and all else outside it does not exist is (also) knowledge or science. Maya has a bright-intelligent side and a dark ignorant side. Of these, the bright-intelligent side is here referred to as vidya or science, which is the way to salvation.

 

4. atma na sad anatma saditi vidyotate yaya saiva'vidya yatha rajjusarpayoryatharthadrk

 

"The Self is unreal, the non-Self is real."
Thus what looms is avidya (nescience) indeed,
As the erroneous cognition
As between rope and snake.

 

ATMA NA SAT, the Self is unreal,
ANATMA SAT, the non-Self is real,
ITI YAYA VIDYOTATE, that what looms (in awareness),
SA EVA AVIDYA, that indeed is nescience,
YATHA RAJJU-SARPAYOR-AYATHARTHA-DRIK, as the erroneous cognition as between rope and snake.

 

What has the form of knowledge is vidya (science), and what has the form of ignorance is avidya (nescience). That is to say, nescience is contrary to science. Patanjali has said (in the "Yoga Sutras", II.5):


"What is transient (anitya), unclean (asuci), having a seat of suffering (duhkham), and belonging to the side of the non-Self (anatma) are respectively to be taken to be (as the opposite, such as) lasting (nitya), clean (suci), happy (sukham), and consisting of the Self (atma). Such perverted awareness is produced by nescience (avidya)."

Wrong value-judgments are thus included under nescience.

 

5. indriyani manobuddhipancapranadayo yaya visrjyante saiva para suksmangani cidatmanah

 

The senses, the mind, intelligence and the five
Vital tendencies, what creates -
That is the transcendent (para) indeed, even (they being)
The subtle limbs of the reasoning Self.

 

CIDATMANAH, of the reasoning Self (which is the vital principle), SUKSHMA-ANGANI, the subtle limbs,
INDRIYANI, the senses,
MANO-BUDDHI-PANCAPRANADAYAH, mind, intelligence, the five vital tendencies, etc.,
YAYA, that by which,
VISRJYANTE, is created,
SA-EVA PARA, that indeed is the transcendent aspect (of Maya)

 

JNANENDRIYAS:

The five organs of knowledge;
hearing (SROTRA),
sight (CAKSUS),
touch (TVAK),
taste (RASANA)
smell (GHRAND)

 

KARMENDRIYAS:

The five organs of action;
speech (VAK),
grasping (PANI),
legs (PADA),
excretory organs (PAYO)
sex organs (UPASTHA)

 

PANCA PRANAS:

The five vital tendencies;
the upward vital tendency, (PRANA),
the downward (APANA),
the equalizing (SAMANA),
the outgoing, (UDANA)
the evenly spread (VYANA)

 

All these are the subtle limbs of the reasoning Self (which is the same as the vital-principle). Both the vital principle and the Absolute together form the thinking Self.


When the limbless Absolute comes to have these subtle limbs, it is called jiva or vital principle. So, in this manner, the Absolute without limbs is that factor which created limbs causing the erroneous consciousness of a living being; that limbless aspect of Maya is called para or the transcendent.

 

6. aganyetanyavastabhya sukhi dukhiva muhyati cidatma mayaya svasya tattvato'sti na kincana

 

Adopting as its own these limbs, the reasoning Self,
By its own negative base of error, imagines
(Itself) as if happy or suffering,
In truth, there is nothing at all.

 

CIDATMA, the reasoning self (which is the vital principle),
SVASYA MAYAYA, by its own negative base of error,
ANGANI-ETANI-AVASHTHABYA, adopting as its own these limbs, SUKHI IVA, as if happy,
DUKHI-IVA, as if suffering,
MUHYATI, imagines,
TATTVATAH, in truth,
KINCANA NA ASTI, there is nothing at all.

 

When the vital principle (jiva) has happiness or suffering of a sensuous character, it considers them to belong to itself and that there is an agent behind such happiness and suffering. (It also) erroneously considers itself to be happy or suffering. But in reality this happiness and suffering are only presentiments and therefore unreal. The vital principle which is the reasoning Self is ever free from happiness and suffering. It is Maya which is the transcendental (para) that is at the basis of this wrong assumption.

 

7. indriyanam hi visayah prapanco'yam visrjyate yayasaiva para'dhyatmasthulasankalpanamayi

 

The objective data of the senses, which is the world,
What emanates forth - that indeed,
In the context of the Self, is the immanent (apara),
The basis of all gross presentiments of the will.

 

INDRIYANAM HI, of the senses indeed,
VISHAYAH, the objective data,
AYAM PRAPANCAH, which is the world,
YAYA, by what (Maya factors),
VISRIJYANTE, emanates forth,
SA-EVA, that indeed,
ADHYATMA-STHULA-SANKALPANAMAYI APARA, which in the context of the Self is the basis therein of all gross presentiments of the will, is the immanent

 

This visible world of the five elements has been already stated to be a product of the will. What remains in the Self in the form of gross presentiment and creates this world as presented to the senses is that aspect of Maya called the immanent (apara). What is called para or transcendent is subtle and what is called apara or immanent is gross.

 

8. suktikayam yatha'jnanam rajatasya yadatmani kalpitasya nidanam tattama ityavagamyate

 

As the ignorance about the mother-of-pearl
Is the basis of the silver-presentiment,
So too what in the Self is the basis (of the world),
That is known as darkness (tamas).

 

YATHA, as,
SUKTIKAYAM, in the mother-of-pearl,
KALPITASYA, what is a presentiment,
RAJATASYA, of silver,
AJNANAM, lack of knowledge
NIDANAM, the basis,
BHAVATI, is,
ATHA, so,
ATMANI, in the Self,
YAD, that which,
KALPITASYA, of what is imagined,
JAGATAH, as the world,
NIDANAM, the basis,
AJNANAM, lack of knowledge,
TAT-TAMAH-ITI-AVAGAMYATE, this is known as darkness

 

Some people see the mother-of-pearl and mistake it for silver. The reason for this error is ignorance. In the same way, ignorance, which is the cause of the presentiment of the world, is darkness. When the Self is properly understood we come to know that it alone is real and the world is only a presentiment in the Self and is unreal. Just as darkness is the cause of error in perceiving silver in the mother-of-pearl, so the cause of the supposition of the world in the Self is that aspect of Maya called darkness.

 

9. dhiyate'smin prakarsena bije vrksa ivakhilam atah pradhanyato va'sya pradhana miti kathyate

 

Because of being that aspect (of Maya) which is a marvel,
By containing all this (universe) like a tree in a seed,
Or by virtue of its importance (above others),
This here is known as the prime potent power (pradhana).

 

BIJE-VRIKSHA-IVA-AKHILAM, as the tree in the seed, everything,
ASMIN, in this (i.e in this aspect of Maya),
PRAKARSHENA DHIYATE, contains as a marvel,
ITI ATAH VA, or else it,
ASYA, of this,
PRADHANYATAH (VA), (or) its importance,

IDAM, this pradhana

MITI KATHYATE, is known as the prime potent power.

 

In the same way as a large banyan tree is contained in a small seed, the whole of this universe is contained within Maya. Because in a marvelous way it contains the whole universe in itself, it is called prime potent power. There is the further justification for calling it pradhana, the prime potent power, because it is a more comprehensive factor than science (vidya) and other factors already enumerated.

 

10. karotiti prakarsena prakrtyaiva gunan prthak nigadyate'sau prakrtiritihatrigunatmika

 

By its very nature, because in a marvelous way
It diversifies the three nature modalities,
This aspect (of Maya) consisting of the three
Modalities is well known as Nature (prakrti).

 

PRAKRTYA-EVA, by its very nature,
GUNAN, the nature modalities,
PRAKARSHENA in a marvellous way,
PRTHAK KAROTI-ITI, in that it diversifies,
ASAU, (this aspect of Maya),
TRIGUNATMIKA, as consisting of the three modalities,
PRAKRTIH-ITI-HA NIGADYATE, it is well-known as nature (PRAKRTI)

 

The three Nature modalities remain potentially united within Maya before creation. At the time of creation Nature separates them out in a surprising manner. Because it was separated out in a surprising way it is called Nature. The varieties observed in Nature are all due to the three nature modalities. Nature is no other than what is the basis of the variety seen in the world. In this darsana, the same Maya has been described under the eight items (including Maya) which are: vidya (science), avidya (nescience), para (the transcendent), apara, (the immanent), tamas (darkness), pradhana (prime potent power), and prakriti (nature). This is not the ultimate Reality, but instead it is called Maya; because it is the basis of the discrimination of the Self from the non-Self it is called vidya ; because it is the basis of contrary knowledge it is called avidya ; because it remains in the form of potentiality and creates the subtle limbs of the vital principle, such as the indriyas, it is called para ; because it remains in a gross form and creates-the sense data called the world it is called apara ; because it remains in the form of darkness forming the basis of wrong suppositions it is called tamas ; because it bears within itself the whole universe in a surprising manner it is called pradhana ; (and) because it remains in the form of the three nature modalities, and by its own nature it is able to separate them, it is called prakriti. These are only the main divisions, but if necessary we could elaborate them into further subdivisions.

 

556

 

 

V. BHANA-DARSANAM (VISION OF CONSCIOUSNESS)

 

1. antarbahirvadasinam sada bhramaracancalam bhanam dvidhaiva samanyam visesa iti bhidyate

 

Present equally within (and) without,
In constant bee-agitation,
Consciousness is of two kinds -
The generic and the specific.

 

BAHIRVAD ANTAH ASINAM, present as within (and) without,
SADA BRAHMARA-CANCALAM-BHANAM, in constant bee-agitation, consciousness,
SAMANYAM VISESAH ITI, as the generic and the specific,
DVIDHA-EVA BHIDYATE, is of two kinds

 

That which is called consciousness is what constitutes the basis of all events and is of the form of a mental activity. This consciousness remains both outside and inside. In other words, it seems to be both outside as well as inside. (Yet) on closer examination it is neither inside nor outside. Because it has no stable state of existence it is called most changeful. Conventionally it is capable of being referred to as having generic or specific aspects. This will be explained later.

For both consciousness and its basic counterpart, four grades of differences (are) known as the concrete (sthulam), subtle (sukshmam), causal (karanam), and absolute (turiyam). Because it is difficult to grasp what constitutes the generic and specific aspects without first knowing the factors of consciousness and its basis, we have first to consider these and afterwards explain how the generic and specific aspects enter into them.

 

2. sthulam suksmam karanam ca turyam ceti caturvidham bhanasrayam hi tannama bhanasyapyupyacaryate

 

As the concrete, the subtle, the causal and the Absolute,
Basic consciousness (is) of four kinds,
So these names even (of basic consciousness)
Are also applicable to consciousness.

 

STHULAM, (as the) concrete,
SUKSHMAM, the subtle,
KARANAM, the causal,
TURYAM CA ITI, and the Absolute,
CATURVIDHAM, (there are) four kinds,
BHANASRAYAM (BHAVATI), of basic consciousness,
TAT NAMA HI, these names too,
BHANASYA API, for consciousness also,
UPACARYATE CA, are applicable also

 

For consciousness, as well as for its basic counterpart, there are four divisions.


They are:
concrete basic consciousness,
subtle basic consciousness,
causal basic consciousness
and Absolute basic consciousness.

 

In the same way there are (four divisions for consciousness) and they are also concrete, subtle, causal and Absolute, respectively.

The difference of generic and specific belongs to all of the components of consciousness. They are broadly divided into two, giving four generic and four specific sets e.g., generic-concrete consciousness has its counterparts in specific-concrete consciousness as also, two such as generic-concrete basic consciousness and specific-concrete basic consciousness. As with the concrete, we have to extend such divisions as applicable to the subtle, the causal, and the Absolute.

 

3. drsyatmiha kayo'ham ghato'yamiti drsyate sthulamasritya yadbhanam sthulam taditi manyate

 

Lo, here, "I am the body, this is the pot,"
Depending on the concrete,
What looms in consciousness,
That is known as the concrete.

 

IHA, here (in a visible manner),
DRSYATAM, lo,
AHAM KAYAH, I am the body,
AYAM GHATAH ITI, this is the pot,
STHULAM-ASRITYA, depending on the concrete,
YAT BHANAM DRSYATE, what looms as consciousness,
TAT STHULAM ITI MANYATE, that is known as the concrete

 

That which is called concrete consciousness is in the form of "I am the body; this is the pot", because both derive their reality from visible concrete objects. In other words, that which looms in the form of concrete objects is concrete consciousness. This concrete consciousness is experienced by everyone in the wakeful state.

 

4. atra kayo ghata iti bhanam yattadvisisyate tatha'hamayamiti yat samanyamiti ca smrtam

 

Here, what is the consciousness of the body
And the pot, that is the specific,
Likewise too what is (the consciousness of) "I" or "this"
Is known as the generic.

 

ATAR, here (in what has been said above),
KAYAH, (of) the body,
GHATAH, the pot,
ITI BHANAM YAT, what is the consciousness,
TAT VASISHYATE, that is the specific,
TATHA, likewise,
AHAM, (of) "I",
AYAM, "this",
(BHANAM) YAT, what is (the consciousness),
(TAT) SAMANYAM-ITI CA SMRTAM, (this) as the generic is known

 

Because the body, pot, cloth, house, etc. each have a discrete specific status qualified by specificity in reference to each other, such items of consciousness are called specific.The body is specified by the differences implied in such ideas as pot, cloth, house, etc. The cloth is specified by the difference implied in such ideas as body, pot, house, etc. Thus each object has a discrete status of its own. Therefore, the consciousness of such is called specific. Such items as "I", "this", "that", etc. are called generic because they do not specifically distinguish such items as, body, pot, cloth, house, etc.; so they do not refer to their discrete individuality. For each of the four such as gross, subtle, etc. there are the generic and specific aspects to be considered.

 

5. indriyani manobuddhivisayah panca vayavah bhasyante yena tatsuksmam asya suksmasrayatvatah

 

The senses, mind, intellect, interest items
And the five vital tendencies,
By what are made conscious - that is (know as) the subtle.
Because of dependence on the subtle.

 

INDRIYANI, the senses (such as hearing),
MANO-BUDDHI, mind (and) intellect,
VISHAYAH, interest items, (like sound and form),
PANCAVAYAVAHA, the five vital tendencies,
YENA BHASYANTE, by what is made conscious,
ASYA SUKSHMASRAYATVATAH, because of dependence on the subtle,

TAT SUKSHMAM (ITI MANYATE), this (is known) as the subtle.

 

The subtle consciousness is what emerges from the subtle basic consciousness. Each of the senses has a specific capacity; such as the ear having the power to appreciate sound; the eye to appreciate form; the skin to appreciate touch; the tongue to appreciate taste and the nose to appreciate smell. It is by this subtle specific capacity that we are able to appreciate a sound originating from a distance. It is by the same subtle specific capacity that other senses such as the eyes come to appreciate objects of interest, as well as the mind being capable of thinking; the intellect of discriminating the recognizing for itself the functioning of the (five) vital tendencies. It is by the specific power that we are even able to feel the presence of these senses. But their real form is so subtle that it becomes difficult to fix it. It is on the basis of something very subtle that the senses, mind, intellect and five vital tendencies are brought within the scope of consciousness. Therefore, because this kind of consciousness has its origin in the subtle basic consciousness, it is called subtle consciousness. It is during the dreaming state of consciousness that we clearly experience this kind of subtle consciousness. Even when the organs are not in direct relation with the objects in the dream state we have the experience that these organs are capable of appraising those objects. This is a common experience of all people in the dream state. In other words, in the dream state all people experience this subtle consciousness.

 

6. ajno'hamiti yadbhanam tatkaranamudhartam atra'hamiti samanyam viseso'jna iti sphurat

 

"I am ignorant". Such a consciousness
Is said to be the causal.
Here, that aspect which stands for "I" is the generic,
And the specific what stands for "am ignorant".

 

AJNOHAM, "I am ignorant",
ITI BHANAM YAT, such a (specific) consciousness,
TAT KARANAM ITI UDAHRITAM is said to be causal,
ATRA, here,
AHAM-ITI YAT TAT SMANYAM, what stands for "I" is the generic,

AJNANAH ITI SPHURAT (YAT TAT) VISESHAH (CA BHAVATI), (and that which) makes for the consciousness "am ignorant" is the specific.

 

In this verse we go one step beyond what we were concerned with in the previous verse. Beyond the senses, mind, and intellect, veiling all knowledge in a certain way, there is an ignorance or nescience which has the function of revealing to consciousness what is implied in a sentence such as "I am ignorant." It is this nescience that is the causal basis for both the gross and subtle consciousness, as also their basis. It is because of this causal ignorance that we have the consciousness of what is implied in the sentence "I am ignorant." Therefore this consciousness is called causal consciousness. It is in the state of deep sleep that all men experience this kind of consciousness. "I slept well and knew nothing." This form of experience is well known to all persons who have experienced deep sleep. Here the "I'', because it is common to all people, is generic and unitive in character. The more definite awareness "am ignorant" applying as it does to the individual aspect of each person, while remaining infinite still, is called specific.

 

7. aham brahmeti yadbhanam tatturyamiti samsyate samanyamahamitiyamso brahmetyatra visisyate

 

"I am the Absolute." Thus what consciousness attains
Is praised as (the consciousness of) the Absolute.
Here, the element "I" is the generic,
And "Absolute" is its specific attribute.

 

AHAM BRAHMA-ITI BHANAM YAT, "I am the Absolute"- thus what consciousness makes,
TAT-TURYAM-ITI SAMSYATE, is praised as that absolute consciousness,
ATRA, here,
AHAM-ITI-AMSAH SAMANYAM, the element "I" is the generic,
BRAHMA-ITI (AMSAH) VISISHYATE, (the element that refers to the Absolute is the specific

 

In the case of contemplative yogis or mystics in their state of perfect samadhi (contemplative calmness) which is still conditioned by mental activity; what is experienced in the form of identity with the Absolute as a further state beyond the state of causal ignorance is what is here referred to as absolute consciousness. Although the Absolute cannot actively enter our conditioned consciousness, still in the case of those yogis who constantly engage themselves in the meditation of the Absolute, when they attain to a state of identification with the Absolute they experience a consciousness in the form of "I am the Absolute." The absolute consciousness comes into evidence only when the natural dispositions (vasanas) of the senses and the consciousness of "I am ignorant" belonging to the state of deep sleep have become weakened. The 'praise' alluded to here is used in connection with this state in order to extol its value as a desirable or significant spiritual goal. All varieties of consciousness are to be understood as comprised within the scope of the four states of consciousness, beginning from the simple ones like that of the pot which is in the common experience of any one person, and finally ending with the supreme experience given to the yogi in the form of consciousness of "I am the Absolute". There is not anything higher than this last state even for the most advanced man of spirituality. In this last stage we have also to distinguish that the "I" is common to all individuals while the specific attribute of the Absolute is of an individual character pertaining only to specially qualified yogis.

 

8. yatra bhanam tatra bhasyam bhanam yatra na samanyamahamitiyamso brahmetyatra visisyate

 

Where consciousness (exists), there the
Object of consciousness (exists), where
Consciousness exists not, its object neither.
Thus, both by agreement and difference, certitude comes.

 

YATRA BHANAM (VARTATE), where consciousness (exists),
TATRA BHASYAM VARTATE, there (exists) the object of consciousness,

YATRA BHANAM NA (VARTATE), where consciousness (exists) not,

TARA BHASYAM NA VARTATE, the object of consciousness (exists) not,
ITI-ANVAYENA VYATIRIKENA API BODHYATE, so by agreement and difference certitude comes

 

Agreement is when we appraise the fact that wherever there is consciousness there is also the object of consciousness. Agreement (anvayena) is defined as the inseparable association of ends and means. Here the ends are the object of consciousness while the means are consciousness (itself). By this method of agreement and difference we should understand that only where there is consciousness there is the object of consciousness and conversely wherever there is an object of consciousness there is also an accompanying consciousness that goes with it. Difference (vyatirekena) is defined as non-existence; that is the lack of a concomitant associative link as between ends and means. Where there is no object of consciousness there is no consciousness either. This is called difference or absence of agreement. Here the absence of ends is the absence of the object of consciousness, while the absence of means corresponds to the absence of consciousness (itself). By this method of difference we come to know that where there is no consciousness there is also no object of consciousness, and vice-versa, (thereby attaining to unitive certitude).

 

9. yatha drgdrsamatmanam svayamatma na pasyati ato na bhasyate hyatma yam pasyati sa bhasyate

 

As with the eye which cannot see itself,
(So) the Self does not see itself,
Therefore indeed, the Self is not the object of consciousness.
That which the Self sees is the object of consciousness.

 

YATHA DRIG-DRISAM SVAYAM NA PASYATI, as with the eye that cannot see itself,
(TATHA) ATMA ATMANAM (SVAYAM) NA PASYATI, (so) the Self does not see itself,
ATA ATMA NA BHASYATE HI, therefore indeed the Self is not the object of consciousness,
ATMA-YAM PASYATI SA BHASYATE, that which the Self sees is the object of consciousness

 

It is the Self that ever remains without becoming the object of consciousness, as the one ever-remaining reality, although by the mere presence of the Self all things enter into consciousness. Although by the very presence the Self remains alone in its loneliness as a witness devoid of all conditionings, it is without any limitations either. In the form of existence-substance-value it is beyond all states, without change or activity, and not graspable by the mind. There is no consciousness of the self in the Self. To explain this we take the example of the eye with the help of which we can see everything but (the eye) does not help us to see itself.

 

10. yadbhasyate tadadhyastam anadhyastam na bhasyate yadadhyastam tadasadapyanadhyastam sadeva tat

 

What is the object of consciousness, that is conditioned,
What is unconditioned, that is not the object of consciousness.
What is conditioned is non-existent,
But what is unconditioned, itself THE EXISTENT IS THAT.

 

YAD BHASYATE, what is the object of consciousness,
TAD ADHYASTAM (BHAVATI), that is conditioned,

YADANADHYASTAM, what is unconditioned,
TAT NA BHASYATE, that is not the object of consciousness,
YAD ADHYASTAM, what is conditioned,
TAT ASAD, that is non-existent,
API YAT ANADHYASTAM, and what is unconditioned (i.e. the Self),

TAT SAD-EVA, itself THE EXISTENT IS THAT

 

By this darsana the conclusion arrived at is that all things that are objects given to the senses, etc. and which enter consciousness are to be considered non-existent, and the only reality is that which is not the object of mental activity and is not the object of consciousness which is not conditioned but is the basis for all effects of consciousness, while itself remaining without any basis except in the Self.

 

657

 

Science of the Absolute Main Conclusions

AN INTEGRATED SCIENCE OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

MAIN CONCLUSIONS

 

Certitude spells happiness through human understanding. Fact, truth and value are three of the main perspectives through which certitude is attained about the high value giving purpose to life. This high value is none other than the total reality or truth considered in reference to a normalized notion of the Absolute. Theology and science, implicitly or explicitly, refer to this same normalized Absolute. Both physics and metaphysics presuppose this notion, whether as a referent or as a reference, yielding various disciplines which, when arranged in a methodical and epistemological order, enhance the degree of certitude about every branch of knowledge.

 

What can enhance such a certitude still further is the underlying structural unity as an interdisciplinary unitive factor linking the various perspectives possible of one and the same normative Absolute.



1275



Modern scientists have been thinking of a revision of the epistemology of science in general and are engaged in finding a way out of their present impasse. Some of them are openly turning to the philosophy of the Upanishads, Buddhism and Taoism. The Darsana Mala has been used by us as a basis for the discussion of a Science of the Absolute. Narayana Guru has been able to state the gist of ancient Indian wisdom- tradition in a manner lending itself to be integratively understood in a unified fashion. Our attempt in these pages has been mainly to justify Narayana Guru's version of the integration of absolutist and contemplative points of view. We have attempted a further integration in the light of the modern wisdom of the West which is seen at present to be in need of clearer restatement and reformulation. Some of the broad lines of such a restatement and revaluation have been suggested by us in the foregoing pages, especially in the first half of this work. Throughout the work we have kept in mind the need for interpreting ancient wisdom in the light of modern Western thought. Wisdom in India today, although it has been recognized to be precious for humanity, has at present a tendency to be neglected even by Indians, due to the impact of modern Western ideas. These ideas apparently are strong enough to put into the shade more ancient ideas now considered effete and outmoded. Such a trend, if it continues will mean the loss of a very rich heritage of wisdom.

 

It is therefore in order to bring ancient wisdom more in line with modern thought that we have attempted a close study of one in terms of the other. They are meant to enrich each other and even if at present there might remain dark corners or vague speculations still calling for further clarifications or elucidation on more correct scientific lines, we can at least claim to have made an honest though humble effort to bring ancient wisdom more in line with modern thought. It is always possible for future research on the same lines to accomplish this more fully.



1276



Our claim throughout has been that it is possible to integrate both physics and metaphysics by supplying what we call a protolinguistic structural reference which will put these two rival disciplines together within the scope of a unified and integrated Science of the Absolute. How far we have succeeded in doing this is better left for the reader to decide. One thing is however certain, and that is that the whole of what we have written is not vitiated by any major item of conflict or contradiction within it. We have covered many topics which at first seem to have nothing to do with each other. By ordering them in a certain sequence and by respecting the structural integrity of each, it will be admitted that we have at least indicated the broad lines of the possibility of relating different contemplative disciplines into a series of total visions. This is meant to be helpful in enhancing both the beauty and dignity of human nature which should naturally be expected to have conferred on it this gain in terms of Self-knowledge.

 

We, each of us, are ourselves the representative nearest to Absolute Reality. The certitude about such a conviction rests on each one of us. "Man is the measure of all things," and the measuring rods are also to be found within us. When interested in contemplative values, the units of the measuring rod mark pure inner states of the Self. When life is approached non-contemplatively many rival outer standards prevail and this can bring major or minor disasters to individual or collective life. Humanity is the creator of his own happiness and has to make a fresh and bold effort in this direction. Such are some of the suggestions contained in the present work. The task is both easy and difficult at once. It calls for an intelligence which is compatible with the full understanding of human nature and its own sense of dignity and fearless joy in the light of the Absolute.



1277



1. A RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW

Let us now pass in quick review what we have said in the various broad divisions of this book. In the Preliminaries to the first half we have tried to sum up the present position in respect of the question of human understanding which modern science is attempting to answer in fixing the position of man in relation to his environment. These developments are referred to as progress and characterized as scientific. We have confined ourselves to the items of progressive thinking which tend to abolish the mechanistic rigidity of the nature of the physical world and to view it in a form that scientific thought in its many-sided discoveries is now able to view in a new and more fluid light.

 

Time and space can enter into a mutual reciprocal relationship. A structural approach to the reality thus presented enables us to view them in a revised light with the help of which we are enabled to integrate and unify all branches of physical science and to treat the whole of science as conforming to the same linguistic and logical form or pattern. Our powers of communication about the overall value of physical reality attains thus to a precise and universal status.



1278



When this is understood we find that only one step further in the same direction is needed for the integration of physics and metaphysics. These two disciplines are now included under a common epistemology and methodology. The universal timeless reality that becomes naturally presupposed by us is no other than a revised and normalized notion of the Absolute applicable to both the perceptual and conceptual aspects of ultimate Reality. When a unitive or unified science of the Absolute is once admitted as possible by modern thinkers, this at once reveals a relationship that has always existed between ancient wisdom and science, both of which we have tacitly assumed to have the same norms and structural schemes.

 

Our task in the second half of the book has been to reveal those items of value more properly belonging to contemplative life with which the wisdom literature of the world deals. The Upanishads, as well as Buddhism and Taoism are commanding the attention of a few of the most progressive thinkers of modern science who seem to feel that much promise and possibility lie in this direction. Guided by the precise restatement of the Upanishadic way of thinking indicated by Narayana Guru, we have been able in the second half of the work to follow up further the same revaluation and restatement of more conceptual aspects of our subject matter. In our preliminary remarks to the second half of this work we have tried to relate scientific thought in its modern revised form to the Upanishadic way of thinking. We have also tried to clarify its implications in the light of Advaita Vedanta.



1279



We have followed the difficulties which such a line of thought takes in the long history of Indian thought and each of the last five chapters is devoted to the degrees of intimacy between the Self and the non-Self treated as dialectical counterparts. The various chapters have been examined as representing an instrumentality (organon), complementarity, reciprocity and a final unity of counterparts. All varieties of spiritual expression are comprised within these precise classifications. A structural unity runs through the whole series of visions. They are linked up in a totality because of their innate beauty and clarity. This is comparable to a garland strung by a common epistemological, methodological and linguistic thread running through all of them. The same truth is proved in two ways, as in the proof of the Pythagorean theorem. The degree of certitude attained is what justifies us in calling the total body of knowledge a unified and integrated Science of the Absolute. Thus the Absolute answers to a reality, truth or value by its own right. The precise content of this work as a whole and its importance to humanity is beyond question.

 

In the first chapter the ground is prepared for a view of reality not omitting the factual, rational or value implications. For purposes of getting the discourse started the cosmos is objectively treated as separate from its source in the Absolute. A total or global view of the cosmos is brought together so as to serve in anticipation the purposes of the discourse of the work. The world is both a source of wonder and of terror. it originates like a dream in an attenuated form, yet its full reality is not denied.



1280



In the second chapter a more intimate relation between the rigidly objective and the fluid subjective reality of the world is established. This chapter abolishes the duality or paradox implied by a methodology of its own through the central concept of the primary vital consciousness which is something like a vital substance linking inner and outer life. The methodology consists of a reduction of multiplicity into unity and of taking a verticalized rather than a horizontalized view of reality. The three categories of existence, subsistence and value are to be unitively understood here.

 

In the third chapter the notion of the mind is substituted for the notion of vital consciousness. The phenomenal world is what is given directly to the mind and consists of polarized sets of presentiments which are analyzed. The ontological basis of reality is arrived at.

 

In the fourth chapter this ontological reduction is further perfected by the avoidance of possible errors of a philosophical order. The ontology is examined with its full nature as an operating source of all functional activities. Its ambivalence, however, gives to this functioning a positive as well as a negative phase which is still characterized by a negativity and a horizontalizing tendency at one and the same time. The Absolute is revealed only when such asymmetrical features are abolished and full verticalization takes place.

 

In the fifth chapter the Self and the non-Self counterparts in consciousness are brought together into a one-to-one verticalized correspondence between their physical and metaphysical aspects. We are still in the domain of ontology, and at the end of this chapter all is ready for making reference to the positive side of the Self from its own ontological or negative aspect. It is still assumed here that metaphysics is less real than physics.



1281



In the sixth chapter the accentuation passes definitely from the ontological to the teleological. The Self is an instrument or an organon of action. The action is conceived as belonging to a pure context. The actor and action belong together to a contemplative context. These counterparts of actor and action belong to the total context in which the Absolute is the unmoved mover which is given an exalted positive position by the structural implications of this chapter. Ontology passes here to the recognition of less actual though more significant spiritual values.

 

In the seventh chapter we deal with pure reason under the notion of the Absolute. Conditioned and unconditioned reasonings form the counterparts of the dialectical revaluation. The mutual conditionings of the two aspects of the Self and the non-Self attain to the unconditioned perfection of the Absolute at the end of the chapter.

 

In the eighth chapter the relation between the two aspects of the Self is of a complementary order as in religious devotion or contemplation. The mystical joy resulting from such a contemplation is the absolute value implied here.

 

In the ninth chapter there is a reciprocity between the higher reasoning Self and the lower thinking Self or the mind. When they establish an osmotic interchange of essences between them there results the joy of contemplation which is no other than Yoga or the fusion of the two aspects of the self. This takes place more intimately than in the previous chapter.



1282



In the tenth chapter we have to think in terms of transcending both good and evil values. One who is capable of doing this resembles a Superman with a tragic or serene aspect pronounced in his personality. When both these traits are mutually cancelled out there results a form of perfection which marks the highest attainment a human being can aspire to. Such a man bridges the gap between himself and the Lord of the first chapter. In principle he abolishes all duality between them.

 

Thus a complete circle of scientific and speculative reasoning has been made within the scope of the ten chapters. This justifies the claim of Narayana Guru in calling this treatise a Darsana Mala or Garland of Visions of the Absolute.

 

2. A WORD IN SELF- DEFENCE

Before concluding these remarks we feel it necessary to point out that even when presenting the philosophy of Narayana Guru in the light of modern knowledge coming from the West, we have tried to be as loyal to the original as possible. We are conscious that there will still be many staunch or orthodox followers of Narayana Guru who might question the present commentator and think that he has strayed from the strict position of Advaita that Narayana Guru stood for.



1283



In order to banish any such doubts and questions and by way of self-defense we think it permissible to quote one of the important works of Narayana Guru. This is the Advaita Dipika (Lamp of non-Duality) which comprises nineteen verses and which covers many aspects of traditional Vedanta which require to be revalued and restated in a scientific spirit. He was never against the influence of modernism in its best form. We have translated these verses as closely to the original as possible and have only added under each verse a few remarks in order to help the reader to put the revaluations of Narayana Guru in correct relationship with what we have had to say more elaborately in the various parts of this present work.



1284



ADVAITA DIPIKA

The Lamp of Non-Duality

1
A thousand names, a thousand Intelligibles,
Between them comprised a thousand interest items.
Such the world is real enough when not inquired into;
Only until one wakes from the dream is it true;
When awake, the awakened one is all there is!
 

This verse contains a bold statement which only makes meaning when understood dialectically as establishing a bipolar relationship between the Self of the dreamer and its own non-Self counterpart which is the dreamer's psychic activity. Both these counterparts lie on the vertical axis of reference and are both given a thin or schematic epistemological status.

 

2
The visible here is not real. Viewed without the seer
One sees it as non-other; the universe makes thus
A mirage-wise flow of consciousness. What as effect stands
Without its cause is non-other;
what makes the wave is but water alone.

 

This verse, with its fourfold implications stresses the subtle participation, insertion or articulation between the intelligibles and the visibles; on a basis of interchangeable purity resulting in unity.



1285



3
From cloth to thread and cotton, and then
To complex prime elements thus traced back;
All is seen like a river in desert sand
To spring from consciousness;
The ultimate limit is consciousness alone.
 

One can adopt the method of tracing things or events to their source and then scientifically explain them. The source is not in the visible appearance, but in the invisible reality within consciousness. The search for the cause of things thus gives us a verticalized version of appearance, which latter is merely horizontal in import.



4
Given to a will in full functioning, there is no universe,
Nor even its seed of nescience.
When a lamp is there no darkness is near;
When the flame the wick abandons, the lamp goes out,
and lo, darkness comes!
 

The ambivalent or alternating functions which the structure of absolute human understanding imposes, is under reference here. The participation of the positive and negative aspects of understanding is located at the point of apperception, where pure horizontal and vertical functions meet in a bipolar participation.

 

5
Research reveals no world out there: nescience alone remains
Presenting itself as the world to a mind that can seek no truth
The ghost it is that the light can put out,
For the fear of darkness to a coward it is that a short semblance makes.
 

The equation of the negative function of darkness as the cause of the positive ghost-representation in a state of the passive understanding of a non-contemplative man, is here clarified in a dialectical language compatible with the four-sided schema implied here and in every verse of this composition. The ghost and darkness are complementary, reciprocal or cancelable counterparts in the total knowledge-situation found here. A paradox is implied between the passivity of a non-contemplative and the attitude of the same man in active contemplation. In this verse this is brought into full contrasting relief.

 

6
As being and non-being alternately cognized as real
The unreal and the real are both of primordial nescience.
On inquiry both are nought:
The snake is not in a piece of rope, but the rope alone exists.
 

Normalized ontology free from the ambivalent alternating presentiments is clarified here. One has to abolish duality of two kinds. A double correction is to be effected for an apodictic central certitude to result.



1287



7
One alone is above all ever asserting its being.
All else passes and is non-being
The forms of clay have no being
And what remains is but the clay itself.
 

The material cause and its possible ambivalent tendencies, extending both ways in the vertical axis, touches the neutral monistic absolute substance which is balanced between the plus and minus tendencies. The first half of the verse refers to the plus side and the second half to the minus side of the vertical axis.

 

8
Even at the time of ignorance the two factors
Of existing and subsisting are not recognized with value appreciation
As third; for the presentiment out there of a snake form with rope base
An adequate reference verily this makes.
 

It is evident that there are two sets of factors here, one that may be characterized as a referent and the other as a reference. The reference serves as the logical purpose of certitude. The referent is the horizontal appearance of something that is not real, though implying a basic ontological existence falling within the three categories of existence-subsistence-value.



9
Even when wisdom prevails and has effaced the whole world as meaningless
It can still persist as given to the senses.
Even after a man has recovered from his wrong orientation
For sometime thereafter he will continue to see the (wrong) directions as before.
 

This verse very realistically and in a fully scientific spirit points out that there is no use in again and again saying, as many Vedantins do, that the world is Maya and therefore unreal. The visible world does not melt away because of any doctrinal conviction. Nirvana or absorption takes place only at the very core of universal and timeless life when all polarity or duality has been cancelled out by equality, parity or purity of counterparts.



1288



10
The world has no truth in itself; as cancelled out
By wisdom every thing looms even after as before
In spite of knowing for certain of no water in a mirage
The presentiment continues to be given as ever before.
 

A subtler example of a mirage is used here to explain an ontological error as in the previous verse where the error was of a more teleological order.

 

11
For a wise man the world is existence; and subsistence is of value form
Untruth is not a source of joy; to an ignorant man this is not clear.
For one who sees, happiness is a sun that is real
And for one who cannot see, even the midday sun is a dark and empty thing.
 

The three levels of existence-subsistence-value imply each other, or one another, in a subtle reciprocal fashion in which horizontal and vertical aspects neutralize each other correcting and complementing any lopsided asymmetry belonging to any one level in a vertical series. What is lost at the bottom point of the scale is compensated for at the top point. Thus there is an interchange of essences whereby each point of the value world is absorbed by the higher and implies the lower. The reciprocal implications are here outlined.



1289



12
There is one seed alone, which in many forms manifests;
No possibility herein of any specific ambiguity at all
If one ignoring rope-nature should take it for a snake
Would it then have a reality distinct from the rope?
 

The seed referred to here is the normative Absolute, which then subjected to double correction is capable of no other version of the same with any attributes different from it. When all possible ambiguities are abolished within the scope of the total knowledge-situation, the certitude about the Absolute gains a fully unitive status.

 

13
On dividing one by one each part, when all
Is separated out, - Lo! the world is gone!
If one's inquiry is kept on of these separate parts
One finds nothing but one's proper consciousness alone.
 

This verse refers to an analytic approach to reality which is fully the method of modern science. We travel here from the radical or mechanistic world of discrete entities consisting of parts, to an attenuated world of ultimate particles that are neither mind nor matter but neutrally participate in both.

 

14
The thread into the cloth disappears, likewise water into foam.
Thus, alas, by nescience the whole world is lost.
As the object of understanding, even when all things disappear
Into their varied effects, still pure consciousness alone remains.



1290



Here the process is the reverse of what was mentioned in Verse 3. The synthetic a priori and the transcendental analytic refer to two opposite poles or limits. When they are reached the visible world is either merged backward or abolished forward. These limiting points are to be placed neutrally in a schematic vertical axis with a plus and minus involved in it.

 

15
Happiness exists; it looms in consciousness; it is one alone.
On treating oneself disjunct from it, nothing can exist
Or loom at all: the water of the mirage and the blue of the sky become unreal,
And a blossom in the sky, and the sky of a mirage gain ultimate meaning again.

 

The four possibilities of error which presuppose a structural quaternion are to be kept in mind, if this verse, with its four examples, each having a different epistemological function, is to yield any appreciable degree of certitude about what is being stated. The first two examples refer to existential aspects and therefore are horizontal values. The second pair has a vertical value reference. Even where, by exaggeration or distortion one abolishes the proper or normal vision of the Absolute, it still continues to be experienced in terms of the happiness of the Self.

 

16
The Self has no egoism: like a yogi, through maya in sport,
It is here engaged in varied ways.
Established in yoga and fully immobile, assuming many hypostatic bodies,
In creative sport the yogi here enjoys.



1291



The contemplative yogi referred to here is capable of estimating or stabilizing his personality at different levels on a pure vertical axis. Along this axis his nascent or active attenuated tendencies can also be made to ascend or descend. This gives him a certain type of freedom which is the basis of spiritual emancipation.

 

17
It is only the immature seeker of Self-knowledge
Who takes the converse position as against the man of doubt;
Not one who has attained a stable understanding.
The same presentiment as being snake or rope is a confused question,
fully settled when the rope is seen.
 

Here the need for a normalized version between two possible opposed positions taken by a philosopher as against his rival philosophers is underlined. By taking an opposite position, philosophical certitude remains merely speculative and does not attain to the apodictic character required by a correct scientific methodology. Philosophical speculation has been vitiated with this kind of non-normalized approach. When philosophy is not based on any rivalry in the certitude it tries to establish, it gains a fully unified and scientific status.

 

18
Penetrating ever forward through each presented object,
Mental activity removes at every step the evil of nescience.
Even the knowledge resulting thereafter following the lead of light,
Like the eye, it cannot itself see.



1292



The two movements under reference are: first of all, the negation of visibles so as to merge it into its cause which is the first stage in the process of travelling from the known (visible) to the unknown (invisible); and secondly, after touching in this way the vertical axis where all horizontal activity is abolished, in following the lead of the inner light by ascending or descending dialectics. One finds that he can stabilize himself only where the eye and its sight meet and cancel each other out. This is schematically the central point of origin in terms of the structure of the Absolute. The other aspects of this same structure are finally referred to in the last verse.

 

19
Lo! The eye now sees when opened. When closed, the blind man alone
Remains within, as awareness has not yet come out.
Knowledge cannot come out by itself;
It needs the eye to come as the eye the light.
 

The open eye refers to the horizontal world of values. The blind man, understood in a contemplative context, can have only a negative sense of value. It is the positive power of sight conferred by wisdom that gives appreciation of the highest Good. Open wisdom represents the plus side of the vertical axis which needs to be consciously cultivated. It cannot come by negative passivity.



1293



4. SOME ADDITIONAL EXPLANATIONS

We will also add that we have not put forward any doctrine of our own within the whole range of these comments. By doing so we would have only added to the quantity of speculative literature which is already large and full of words that connote or denote ideas. However precise or valid such ideas might be, words by themselves tend to the strange irony of babelization or the confusion of tongues referred to by Sankara in the Vivekacudamani as a forest. We have favoured another approach to this ironical situation arising from words by suggesting what we call a schematic structural or protolinguistic approach. This has the promise of reducing verbosity and substituting symbols by visible geometrical models that combine all characteristics of thought into a compact and global unit. Such a unit does not have any reality in itself but like the a globe is meant to serve as a reference for the correct guidance of thought. It has also an integrative and unifying function as to all physical and metaphysical knowledge.

Clarity, communicability and integration have been our watchwords throughout this present work which claims to be an integrated Science of the Absolute. If the certitude implied in the Pythagorean theorem can be proved in two ways and is considered scientific, then by the same reason the scientific status claimed for this work is equally legitimate. The common structure running through the whole work is the integrating factor. The aspects of the Absolute brought into such an integrated certitude have been outlined by Narayana Guru and is the blueprint of a foundation on which we have merely tried to erect a more elaborate superstructure.



1294



The resulting truth of the whole work, while referring to the total knowledge-situation represents the Absolute as a non-dual light which has in the Advaita Dipika been compared to a lamp actually present or seen in a picture. The schematic status of the notion of the Absolute, adopted here by us is not therefore a new one nor is it unknown to the non-dual tradition of wisdom. Such a vision can even be considered as potent enough to make one have a new attitude to life.
 
 
 

Science of the Absolute Chapter 10 - Epilogue

 
1229



AN INTEGRATED SCIENCE OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

 

10. EMANCIPATION

 

EPILOGUE

"Man is born free but is everywhere in chains." This sentence of Rousseau refers to the overall human predicament into which the subject of Nirvana is naturally to be fitted. We have already considered in the Prologue the implications of this chapter in terms of the Superman in the context of eschatology commonly associated with the release implied in Nirvana.

 

Man has to gain his happiness through freedom. This is not merely physical freedom but a freedom applying to the human spirit with all its hopes and aspirations. As in the case of physical strength or ability, here one thinks of more inward qualities such as bravery or firmness, which, at higher levels of life, lead to freedom understood in terms of intelligence or right conviction about the Self or reality treated as a whole. Bread and freedom mark the extreme limits of this kind of liberty and within this range the human spirit finds it possible to strive for full happiness. From the labours of a Hercules to the modern cosmonaut, we can think of different degrees of Supermen who gained the freedom they sought. Film stars also have their own sense of freedom or happiness involved in their roles and careers, as also sportsmen and heroes and heroines of various walks of life. In times of war or even peace, soldiers can also attain the freedom they seek. We can grade all of these according to their intentions and the purity of their motives. This chapter deals with the over-all purposes of human life in this sense. When they are treated together under the overall caption of Nirvana we are enabled to rightly appraise the scope of this chapter as Narayana Guru wants it to be understood. Because his own background was essentially Vedantic and Indian, the terms he uses most naturally call up the familiar pattern of behaviour known in the context of Indian spirituality. In this context the tyagi (relinquisher) or the sannyasin (renouncer), represent the culminating models of a purposeful and happy life



1230



In the same way as the Yogi of the previous chapter referred to a type of contemplative, here too, the person who seeks ultimate happiness through the release meant in this chapter is a sannyasin. He is characterized as having no fixed home or particular profession and does not even try to gain a livelihood. The begging bowl is a characteristic feature of this absolutist pattern of behaviour, whereby one has decided to be independent of social and even religious conventions and obligations. Just as professional sportsmen, film stars or even cosmonauts can be graded according to their lucrative motives, the sannyasin, tyagi or jivanmukta are also seen to be graded by Narayana Guru in this chapter. He places them under six grades (four qualified and two unqualified), arranged with reference to a central norm, each considered as representing possible degrees of positive and negative variation. The central representative type is mentioned in the fifth verse.

 

Neutrality can be further accentuated and also the nature of a final release without reference to any of these six types, as Narayana Guru shows in the last two verses of this chapter. Thus the whole chapter concerns itself with a superior person who is wholeheartedly determined to strive for final spiritual release regardless of whether his motives are still questionable or not. This wholeheartedness must necessarily imply its own intellectual counterpart of conviction. In the context of this work as a whole such a conviction cannot be any other than what could be expressed by the great Upanishadic dictum, "I am the Absolute" (aham-brahma-asmi).



1231



One might look out of the wrong end or the right end of a telescope, but either option is possible only to a person interested in using telescopes seriously or in fun. Narayana Guru does not judge any of these types in order to commend or condemn them. The absolutist outlook is not compatible with the mean spirit of judging others and thus getting judged oneself. What matters is the wisdom involved. Personal preferences to choose one or another type of Nirvana is left for the individual to decide. However, intentions certainly count in compromising or purifying wisdom and hence the reference in this chapter to a type of release called "doubly impure" (asuddha-suddha) along with its counterpart type on the positive side wherein the release is conceived on pure mathematical terms and is called "doubly pure" (suddha-suddha). Both types conform to the same structural requirements of treating the subject of this chapter in an integrated form with the rest of the work. Even in the first chapter, Isvara (the Lord) resembles a mathematician in the first few verses and is compared with a sprouting seed in the last verse. Here too, for the requirements of completing the garland, Narayana Guru reverses the order when he refers to the representative types of knowers of the Absolute, by putting actualities first and abstractions last. Both however belong to the same general context of the Absolute.

 

Life beyond death is not directly referred to by Narayana Guru. When, however as Bergson put it, "the universe is a machine for the making of Gods," the perfection implied in the most general and abstract of such products is at the last limit of their possibility as seen enumerated in this chapter. It is also possible to think of a superior man who wants only death to occur so that he can enter into the neutrality of the Absolute. As Alexis Carrel put it, there is a super-science belonging to the daring super-man of the future (see p.1136 above).



1232



In every instance the reciprocal or ambivalent tendencies, factors, and even pure functions are within the scope of this chapter. It is necessary to imagine here a full cancellation of counterparts. There is an equality of status between the counterparts, making this cancellation complete in each of the instances involved.

 

When impure motives are removed the transparent content of the Self must have an equal status in every single case. Conversely when axiomatic thinking is carried too far some kind of normalizing correction is again called for, in principle, to bring the man of Nirvana within the natural scope of a really living person. The two kinds of Nirvana (one pure and the other impure) are both held together by a neutral notion of Nirvana. This does not basically violate the unity of the subject matter.

 

1. THE TWO BRAHMANS INVOLVED IN EVERY STATE OF NIRVANA

In this chapter we find a graded series of six types of jivanmuktas (men liberated while still alive). They are enumerated according to different degrees of purity, strength, wholeheartedness and certitude of the wisdom of the Absolute. There are also two sets with an ambivalent polarity to be presupposed in the gradation and classification of these six representatives of finalized knowers of the Absolute. The gradations also involve degrees of experimental actuality or axiomatic virtuality. Each representative finds his correct structural position in these ten verses within the fourfold reference to which each is subjected as representing a stable pattern of behaviour as well as a recognizable type of understanding of the Absolute.



1233



Before we come to the examination of each of these types in the central verses of the chapter, we have to refer first of all to a problem that has troubled teachers of Vedanta from the earliest times. On page 771 above, we have quoted a paragraph showing the alternative positions regarding the importance of a higher Brahman and a lower Brahman. Ancient sages (rishis) like Audulomi say, "it (the Self) has only the characteristic of vital consciousness (caitanya)." Jaimini says, "the soul consists of exalted qualities". Badarayana favours a combination of both these positions. Jaimini also points out that after death the soul goes from ''the lower Brahman to the higher Brahman". Badari, whom Sankara agrees with, says, "it repairs to the lower Brahman only." There is also reference to the duality between the individual and the supreme Self. This has troubled Vedantins from time immemorial. We also have the names of ancient sages like Asmarathya, who stood for a difference-non-difference principle (bhedabhedavada), and Kacakritsna, who stood for absolute non-difference between the individual Self and the Absolute (Brahman).

 

Sankara upholds the claims of the higher Brahman. and later important commentators on Vedanta, like Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, and others take positions admitting of an either-or a both-together position with various degrees of duality or unity between them. This is all too complicated for us to go into detail, and we only make a passing reference to it.



1234



This kind of swaying from one side of the road to the other has been a source of disturbance and doubt in the course of Vedantic speculation about the Absolute. Narayana Guru's graded examination of six representative types of jivanmuktas is meant to settle this dispute without violating the methodological and epistemological requirements of a structurally integrated Science of the Absolute. Each type represents in itself an equilibrium, stability, strength, purity or certitude, all belonging together without contradiction and always referable to a pure vertical parameter where all variations can be considered equally justifiable, valid and permissible. This difficult task is accomplished by adhering to a uniform methodology and epistemology throughout the work. The justification therefore lies in the principle of integration on which the whole work is based It does not lie merely within the specific limits of this final chapter. The holding of the two aspects of the Absolute together when treated as a means to salvation, but showing a unified treatment running throughout, when judged by its end result, has also been underlined in the Bhagavad Gita (V.4-5) in a similar fashion. There the disciplines of Samkhya and Yoga are unitively treated as belonging to the same overall frame of reference. (1)
 
There are two texts in the Upanishads which are particularly interesting in connection with the dual factors that are to be cancelled out in the context of Upanishadic thought. The cancellation of the counterparts is also most directly evident in the quotations found in some of the "Yoga Upanishads". In the "Dhyanabindu Upanishad" we read:

" The tree is with parts and its shadow is without parts but with and without parts, Atman exists everywhere." (2)

Here the structure is very evident. The shadow of the tree and the tree itself represent the lower and higher Brahman (the Absolute). Another reference in the same context is found in the Mandalabrahmana Upanishad (II) where the counterparts are unitively brought together. We read:
 
"Having given up both bhava and abhava, one becomes a jivanmukta by leaving off again in all states jnana (wisdom) and jneya (object of wisdom), dhyana (meditation) and jnyeya (object of meditation), laksya (the aim) and alaksya (non-aim), drisya (the visible) and adrisya (the non-visible) and uha (reasoning) and apoha (negative reasoning). He who knows this knows all." (3)

 
There is still another favourite analogy of two special pieces of sacrificial wood called arani. In the Dhyanabindu Upanishad we read the following:

"Having made Atman as the (lower) arani (sacrificial wood) and pranava as the upper arani, one should see the God in secret through the practice of churning which is dhyana (meditation)." (4)



1235



The duality of ends and means is abolished together with the imaginary duality between the higher and the lower Absolutes. We reproduce below two other interesting quotations from the Upanishads. The first is from the "Brihadaranyaka Upanishad" (II.l.15-20):

"Ajatasatru said: "Verily it is contrary to the course of things that a Brahmin should come to a Kshatriya, thinking: "He will tell me Brahma". However, I shall cause you to know him clearly.
 
He took him by the hand and rose. The two went up to a man who was asleep. They addressed him with these words: 'Thou great, white-robed king Soma!' He did not rise. He (i.e. Ajatasatru) woke him by rubbing him with his hand. That one arose.
 
Ajatasatru said: 'When this man fell asleep thus, where then was the person who consists of intelligence (vijnana)?, Whence did he thus come back?

And this also Gargya did not know.

Ajatasatru said: 'When this man has fallen asleep thus, then the person who consists of intelligence, having by his intelligence taken to himself the intelligence of these senses (prana), rests in that place which is the space within the heart. When that person restrains the senses, that person is said to be asleep. Then the breath is restrained. The voice is restrained. The eye is restrained. The ear is restrained. The mind is restrained.

When he goes to sleep, these worlds are his. Then be becomes a great kind, as it were. Then he becomes a great Brahman, as it were. He enters the high and the low, as it were. As a great king, taking with him his people, moves around in his own country as he pleases, even so here this one, taking with him his senses, moves around in his own body (sarira), as he pleases.

Now when one falls sound asleep (susupta), when one knows nothing whatsoever, having crept out through the seventy-two thousand channels called hita, which lead from the heart to the pericardium, one rests in the pericardium. Verily, as a youth or a great king or a great Brahman might rest when he has reached the summit of bliss, so this one now rests.
 
As a spider might come out with his thread, as small sparks come forth from the fire, even so from this Soul come forth all vital energies (prana), all worlds, all gods, all beings. The mystic meaning thereof is "the Real of the real" (satyasya satya). Vital energies, verily, are the real. He is their Real." (5)



1237



In the same Upanishad (II.4.14) we read:

"For where there is a duality (dvaita), as it were (iva) there one sees another; there one smells another; there one hears another; there one speaks to another; there one thinks of another; there one understands another. Where, verily, everything has become just one's own Self , then whereby and whom would one see? Then whereby and whom would one see? Then whereby and whom would one hear? Then whereby and to whom would one speak? Then whereby and on whom would one think? Then whereby and whom would one understand? Whereby would one understand him by whom one understands this All? Lo, whereby would one understand the understander?" (6)

 
When read together these quotations not only reveal the structural levels within the same Absolute, but also underline the fact of the absolute unity of the Absolute in spite of the structural difference between them. In the context of Chinese Buddhism we are quoting this interesting piece from Huang Po. As we shall see the underlying structuralism is identical with that of the Upanishads:

"That Dharma was the wordless Dharma and that Buddha was the intangible Buddha, since they were in fact that Pure Mind which is the source of all things. This is the only truth; all else is false. Prajna is wisdom; wisdom is the formless original mind-Source .... Nothing is born, nothing is destroyed. Away with your dualism, your likes and dislikes. Every single thing is just the One Mind. When you have perceived this, you will have mounted the Chariot of the Buddhas" (7)



1238



As we have explained throughout the present work the structural implications of the Absolute were merely meant to serve as schematic or linguistic reference to the neutral Absolute, which is neither a concept nor a percept. The schematismus of Kant is a combination of intelligible categories and visible forms, and when names and form are thus juxtaposed they cancel themselves out into a neutral and normative Absolute. With this as a reference it is, however, also permissible to speak of polarized variations of a plus or minus order along a pure logical parameter linking the whole series.

 

2. POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE LIMITING TYPES

A modern man examining the descriptions of the two limiting types included in the present chapter might consider them somewhat abnormal, eccentric or exaggerated. This is because of the accentuation of realistic or pure and abstract characteristics that are mentioned. Here we have to remember that the scientific attitude cannot have any personal prejudice. After normative knowledge has been presented, the play of personal preferences can be allowed to everyone. It is therefore a rather striking peculiarity in the present chapter that Narayana Guru gives a place to a man whom he classified as an impure-impure representative of Nirvana. He goes even so far in his commentary to say that such a doubly impure person can be pushed to the very limits of tolerance for inclusion.



1239



He describes him as atyanta asuddha (extremely impure). This shows that he has no intention to take the side of the man who might be considered bad or evil by ordinary conventional moralists. By including this type, Narayana Guru directly recognizes some value even in persons of very low conventional morality.

 

Excessive asceticism can similarly indicate a form of self-torture which when attained marks the other limiting instance known to tragedy. This is a type of martyrdom known more to the East rather than the West. Indian yogis have immolated themselves in the market place to prove how lightly they considered their personal lives. Self-immolation of this type is a form of homicidal glory touching the negative axis within the amplitude of the tragic movement of absolutist life. The same tragic movement, although expressed differently, is also found in Greek tragedy as we have pointed out in the Prologue of this chapter.

 

Narayana Guru, in this chapter, does not envisage such extreme or freak instances, but with a correct scientific attitude, requires one to mark out clearly the positive and negative limits implied in the situation properly belonging to Nirvana. When treating of such a subject in the context of India it is natural to think of the various forms of renouncers, fakirs and holy men, as well other religious or semi-religious types where criminal and anti-social tendencies might sometimes be found for inclusion.

 

Even outright charlatans can be accommodated. They exist in every country and are not rare phenomena, The sannyasins (renouncers) of India avowedly follow a way of life dedicated to the Absolute. Still there might be among them persons whose interests are not yet fully directed towards the Kingdom of God.



1240



As Ramakrishna once said, there are those, who fly high but like the vulture have their eyes fixed on some carrion flesh lying in a dung heap. The height to which the vulture flies qualifies it in one way, but its low interest disqualifies it in another way.

 

Thus, it must be supposed, that even when legitimately considered bad or evil by conventional moralists, persons included as types in this chapter still fulfill, by some personal quality, an essential requirement necessary for Nirvana. The tragic touch is interesting in. itself and even when the sannyasin has wrong interests for the time being, like the man who might be looking through the telescope from the wrong end, it is still possible that he might be quickly converted and admitted into the hall where persons of higher spirituality are seated. His consent to turn the telescope the right way is all that is involved in his conversion. Because such a conversion has not taken place, and his intention to look rightly at values in life is not presupposed, he is like a person waiting in an anteroom in a government office, who has not yet been given even a form of application for his admission, but who might ask for it at any time. The impure-pure type of person in the context of Nirvana would thus be one who has taken the initiative to ask for an application form. His attention to affiliate himself to the context of the absolutist life has become evident. The intentionality is thus what qualifies him, while the absence of this gives an impure-impure status to his fellow contemplative of Verse 4.

 

The other positive limiting case is that of a superlatively pure man of spiritual attainment, whose consciousness has no reference to horizontal factors at all. His position is on the positive vertical scale of spiritual values and reaches a pure and almost mathematical limit.



1241



For all purposes he might be mistaken for a dead or dying man. Here we have to explain a favourite Vedantic analogy of the burnt seed which cannot sprout again. The seed is not totally destroyed and its potency is only abolished to the extent of eliminating the possibility of sprouting again. In other words pure vitalistic tendencies which do not imply the accompaniment of their horizontal counterparts are alone meant to be abolished by the burnt state of the seed. In the various lower types of spirituality this seed retains different degrees of fecundity depending on the possibility of horizontal tendencies asserting themselves again when the seed is only partially burnt. When such a possibility is abolished by more positive verticalization, the status of a burnt seed intended by the analogy is attained. The language. of structuralism helps us to clarify implications which are otherwise very cryptic or esoteric in character. In Chapter XX of the "Tao Te Khing", Lao Tzu describes the absolutist sage or man of Tao. This type of human approximates to the requirements of the limiting positive type. We read as follows:

"The multitude of men look satisfied and pleased as if enjoying a full banquet, as if mounted on a tower in spring. I alone seem listless and still, my desires have as yet given no indication of their presence. I am like an infant which has not yet smiled. I look dejected and forlorn, as if I had no home to go to. The multitude of men all have enough and to spare. I alone seem to have lost everything. My mind is that of a stupid man; I am in a state of chaos.

Ordinary men look bright and intelligent, while I alone seem to be benighted. They look full of discrimination while I alone am dull and confused. I seem to be carried about as on the sea, drifting as if I had nowhere to rest. All men have their spheres of action, while I alone seem dull and incapable, like a rude borderer. (Thus) I alone am different from other men, but I value the nursing-mother (the Tao)." (8)



1242



Note here that the introverted subjectivity here still accommodates items of universal concrete value.
 
The state intended to be marked by the reference to the burnt seed analogy is purer than this.
 
Such a man of perfection need not be considered a model for emulation on the part of all aspirants in contemplative life. Each person chooses what he can normally attain after reaching the previous type in this scale of spiritual attainment. An adolescent can normally aspire to fit into a Herculean type of superman, while a mature man preparing himself to go beyond the present life to any future state might find it more interesting to think of thinner purer or the superior limit of purity in the Absolute. A Science of the Absolute is only interested in stating all the possibilities without favouring any of them.
 
We have now to come to a clear understanding of the positive and negative limiting types applicable to the norm of the purposeful life implied in this chapter. The extremely negative type is recognized by Narayana Guru in his commentary, as one who prefers psychic powers (siddhis) to being directly interested in salvation (mukti).



1243



These siddhis can be thought of under three different perspectives. First of all there are the eight aisvaryas, referred to as anima (capacity of attaining minute or atomic size), mahima (capacity of attaining infinite largeness), laghima (capacity of attaining to lightness), garima (capacity of attaining to great heaviness), prakamya (the power to manifest oneself anywhere), isitva (over-lordship, i.e. the power to dominate others), vasitva (the power to make people take one's side), and pranti (the full attainment of ends of intentions). At other times these siddhis refer to such factors as clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, prognostication, etc. They are basically parapsychological powers, beyond the frontiers of the rational mind. Miscellaneous miracles are also said to be performed by yogis and ordinary magicians. Sankara often refers to the existence of such magicians or persons with semi-divine powers. Rope tricks and juggling have an interest in the Indian religious context, whether they be considered strictly scientific or not. Even in the West, literature on psychic occurrences refer to hallucinations, hypnotic trances, water divining, E.S.P., and even materialization. The empirical status at least of all these is not beyond question.
 
 
Contemplative values must necessarily belong to a context where mind and matter enter together as factors capable of mixing more intimately than in the context of the rigid impenetrability of matter more acceptable to commonsense. What is called le monde affiné (the refined world) is where mind and matter participate in a more fluid manner as a flux in the proper verticalized view of the universe.

 

It is therefore possible even for a modern man to imagine the possibility of siddhis. Whatever the epistemological status of these siddhis may be, they do not directly concern the spiritual progress of those desirous of emancipation in the sense intended by Narayana Guru. He takes care to clarify this, fully supported by other authorities, in his commentary to Verse 4.



1244



3. A NORMALIZED VERSION OF NIRVANA

Having examined the limiting or extreme instances we now pass on to the consideration of the normalized version of Nirvana. This represents the central or neutral attitude proper to the representative absolutist of this chapter who may set the standard while all others are only eccentric or abnormal variations, however valuable in themselves. Their superiority or inferiority reveal the overall context they can be fitted into for purposes of nomenclature and graded recognition. This is necessary, but the central or neutral representative is always most important to keep in mind.

 

When we know a person by name and also recognize him as one seen before, the name and form together yield a double certitude or apodictic conviction. Grading and naming the types reviewed and labeled here give us a basis for further elaboration and study. This study can be pushed to any limit when space and leisure permit. Narayana Guru is content to make a skeleton outline only, but he has indicated in his own commentary how further elaborations might be made. He has relied on the Bhagavad Gita for this purpose.



1245



We can think however of other texts well known in the West. Dante's "Divine Comedy" has an eschatological gradation based on personal value factors. This is intended to be analytically presented under the labels of a vertical series of value worlds ranging from Inferno through Purgatory and finally to Paradise, each circle representing a pit, an abyss or an elevated heaven. Without entering into the detailed structure of such a work let us instead examine the 18 verses found in Chapter II of the Bhagavad Gita which, according to Narayana Guru, answer to his own view of a normalized man of Nirvana. The verses are 11. 55 to 7:

"When one banishes all desires that enter the mind 0 Partha (Arjuna), satisfied in the Self by the Self alone, then he is said to be one of well-founded reason.

He whose mind is unaffected by mishaps, who on happy occasions too evinces no interest, rising above attachment, anxiety or anger, such a sage-recluse is said to be of well-founded reason.

He who remains in all cases unattached on gaining such or such desirable-undesirable end, who neither welcomes (anything) nor rejects in anger, his reason is well-founded.

Again as when a tortoise retracts its limbs from all sides the senses are (withdrawn) from objects of sense-interest, his reason is well-founded.

Objective interests revert without the relish for them on starving the embodied (Of them) even the (residual) relish reverts on the One beyond being sighted.

Even with a man of wisdom, 0 Son of Kunti (Arjuna), in spite of his effort, excited sense-interests (can) forcibly distract the mind.



1246



Restraining every one of them he should rest unitively established, having Me for his Supreme (ideal). He in whom sense-interests are subdued, his reason is well-founded.

Meditating on objects of sense-interest, there is born in man an attachment for them; from attachment rises passion; in the fact of passion (frustrated) arises rage.

From rage is produced distortion of values, and from distortion of values memory-lapse, and from memory-lapse comes lose of reason, and from loss of reason he perishes.

But he whose Self is subdued, whose attachment and aversion are both within the sway of the Self, although his senses still move amidst sense-interests, he wends towards a state of spiritual clarity.

By spiritual clarity there takes place the effacement for him of all sufferings, and for one whose spirit has become lucid, very soon reason becomes properly founded.

For one unbalanced there can be no reason, Nor is there any creative-intuition for the unbalanced, and for one incapable of creative-intuition there could be no peace, and for the unpeaceful where could there be happiness?

Still moving amid sense-interests that (item) to which the mind submits, that very item draws away the reasoning as the wind does a ship on the waters.

Therefore, 0 Mighty-Armed (Arjuna), he whose senses have been in every way withdrawn from sense-interests, his reason is well-founded.

What is night for all creatures, the one of self- control keeps awake therein; wherein all creatures are wakeful, that is night for the sage-recluse who sees.



1247



Still getting filled, while fixed firm in mobility, the ocean remains; so too he into whom all interests enter, he attains to peace, not the craver of desires.

That man who, giving up all attachments, moves about desirelessly without owning anything and without egoism, he goes to peace.

This is the state of being in the Absolute (Brahman), 0 Partha (Arjuna), on reaching which one suffers from delusion no more.

Established in this at the very last moments of life, one reaches that final state of pure being (Nirvana) in the Absolute (Brahman)." (9)

 
It is important to note how there is always present here a cancellation of counterparts involved in almost all of the verses, whether implicitly or explicitly. While ordinary men would give to activities during the day an importance over the inactivity of life at night, in the case of the contemplative the position is reversed by a verticalization of values.
 
In the instance of the tortoise and the analogy of the ocean ever being filled by efferent rather than afferent impulses or interests prompting horizontalization, we have what one might call a verticalized form of plentitude of the spirit established in the peace and understanding of the Absolute. Other similar suggestions and implications can also be discovered. Even action is noted to be fully transcended, but accepted with a neutralized attitude which is motivated not by personal interests but rather by a sympathy that extends to all humanity and even to creatures beyond the limits of the human species.



1248



When thus balanced and universalized with its own wisdom- counterpart the representative contemplative is absolved from all possible blemish, blame or sin that might arise from good or bad actions. In the case of most human beings such an ideal is already a very laudable one to attain. The counterparts are here cancelled out completely into the neutrality of the Absolute and the effect of the Upanishadic dictum, "The knower of the Absolute becomes the Absolute," is fully accomplished.

 

4. THE NIRVANA THAT IS ONE DEGREE SUPERIOR

We must also observe the implicit difference between the normal man of Nirvana and the next superior man, so that the positive implications of transcending even good works will be justified. The magnetic needle may be said here to point definitely to the north without any hesitant vibrations. The "Yoga Upanishads" also refer to this subtle point of demarcation in the vertical axis, wherein even works become transcended. A true contemplative needs no goad for helping him in his spiritual progress. The joy of self-absorption carries him forward like a favourable wind towards final emancipation. There is no more stormy sea for him wherein he might be tossed and shipwrecked among the rocks. He has conquered himself one degree better than the man who is still open to temptations. Here again the counterparts have to be cancelled out even when applied to his relations with society. He should not hurt society, but society should not find him easily within its reach in case it wants to hurt him as it is well known in the historic cases of Socrates, Jesus, Hypatia, Bruno, Galileo and a host of others.



1249



All activities are transcended by one who places himself at a higher level than the point of intersection of two structural correlates. In the case of the prophet Muhammad, his story is typical of a hero who waged war against social forces opposed to his uncompromising love of the Absolute.

 

It is open to a mystic or a contemplative to go still higher in the scale of emancipation and become as pure and perfect as a mathematical God. He then leaves actualities far behind and himself has only an axiomatic or theoretical status. In the "Yoga Vasishta" and some of the "Yoga Upanishads" there are striking structural references to a pot or bucket immersed within the water of a well, with water inside and outside the bucket, and which, when pulled above water level, could be filled merely with air within and without. These two pots, one at the top and the other at the bottom, represent cancelable counterparts to which we can add the instance of a third bucket half-immersed in water, which would correctly answer to our normalized structural requirements. This will serve as a normal reference in the matter of clarifying grades of purity or impurity, activity or its transcendence, and the dominance of the horizontalized or the verticalized tendencies implied in each of the verses representing the graded types. Here in this section we are concerned with a type of person who is just above the zero point. He is known as the elect knower of the Absolute. Narayana Guru considered this type as fitting into the description of the contemplative found in the Bhagavad Gita (XII-13-19). See Verse 6 with commentary on pages 1220-1221.



1250



We can easily see in these verses in the Bhagavad Gita, from such terms as "forgiving" and "fully resolved", as well as from the love of purity and seclusion and wanting no fixed abode, that the type of contemplative under reference is one who has attained to a positive level. When this positive level has been noticed it is easy for us to appreciate the implications of the other remaining types, labeled or described with the attributes proper to each one.

 

5. OTHER PRECIOUS ESCHATOLOGICAL INDICATIONS

Before we can even approximately claim to have done justice to all important questions properly falling within the scope of this chapter there are many matters needing a short reference, as also many loose ends of questions already partially referred to which need to be gathered up and dealt with in order to complete our clarifications.

 

In the first place eschatology is the science of transcending the limits of this life or attaining to some kind of perfection within the limits of personal life. There are varieties of mukti (emancipation). Some of them are the videhamuktas (those who have emancipation only after death), sadyomukta (one who has immediate emancipation),and karmamukta (who has gradual emancipation).

There is also the question of the abolition of three kinds of karma (action) referring to the past, present and future. They are called prarabdha karma (action initiated in the past), sancita karma (accumulated store of action) and agami-karma (action with a teleological reference). Then there is the question of what happens to a man fallen from his spiritual ascent and whether the negative type of emancipation applicable to one of' inert or active temperament has any saving factor implied in it, or whether all such should perish by a stern law involving no pardon or grace.



1251



What is the principle that causes a person to be born with a superior status in his next life, if any? Is heredity always rigidly fixed in this matter and are its laws capable of adjustments? Is there a margin for the transformation that would convert or change men into Supermen by some process of evolution, and is such a transformation the same as the mechanistically conceived Darwinian evolutionary process? Is creative evolution possible for humanity?

 

Modern humanists like Julian Huxley also believe in an evolution combining mechanistic and creative forces operating together in the process. Religious evolutionists like Teilhard de Chardin have their own version of the process. Transcending good and evil within the limits of life or beyond life must have some theory of evolution implied in it. It is not easy to give all these matters the treatment they legitimately deserve and we can only attempt to discuss the implications of some of them found in the present text and in allied contemplative literature. The present text in its terminating verse suggests that the man of full emancipation does not come back. This evidently presupposes what is popularly and loosely referred to as the theory of reincarnation.

 

Without attempting to be systematic or orderly we shall touch upon some of the precious indications found in some of the Eastern wisdom books, beginning with those putting forward comprehensive theories and ending with more miscellaneous references which throw some sidelights on one or other particular aspect of such problems.



1252



I. THE SEVEN BHUMIKAS OF THE YOGA VASISHTA

The word bhumika means a contemplative grade in reality. According to the "Yoga Vasishta" the first bhumika is described as different from that of a person who has not desired liberation at all. The former is not included among the list of people who have attained any contemplation worthy of being included in the list. His state has been compared to that of a tortoise who, having burrowed a hole for itself in a sand dune within the reach of the advancing and receding waves, is ever caught in alternative states and does not escape the disturbance. The man of good aspirations and intentions by his gentle contemplative ways qualifies himself for the first bhumika. The seven bhumikas are as follows:

 

  1. Arya, a man of pure ways. (literally "noble").
  2. Vicara, ("questioning") one who is interested in learning from noble men all about wisdom. Such a type also avoids getting involved in egotistic and passionate events,.
  3. Asamsanga, (solitary) a man who stays, in the company of yogis and recluses, who himself cultivates meditative detachment thus leads a contemplative life continuing his researches into the nature of the Absolute.
  4. Svapna, ("dreaming") is different from the waking state, the world is now treated on a par with the dream world attained by the person in this state. This bhumika is normally attained by men who are reborn after the first three relativistic bhumikas have been crossed in a previous life, after an intermediate period of life in a world of heavenly values where usual enjoyments are also found.(1253)
  5. Sushuptapadam ("sleep-based") In this state the man becomes identified with true and pure existence. The visible world does not affect him, nor does any sense of duality. Even if he is active, he resembles a somnambulist.
  6. Turiya (the "fourth"). In this state opposites such as having form and not having form (rupa-arupa) are cancelled out and mental activities cease, and the person remains like a lamp in a picture, He resembles two pots, one above water and the other below the water.
  7. Videhamukta-avastha (state of incorporeal freedom). This is the ultimate state of all phenomenal becoming. It is not attained by thought nor word. Various names have been given to this state, such as Siva, Brahma, Vishnu, Time, Existent Object, Nothingness, etc.


By way of comparison with these seven bhumikas of the "Yoga Vasishta", we now quote the seven bhumikas outlined in the "Varaha Upanishad" (IV):

"In the seven bhumikas (or stages of development of wisdom) there are four kinds of jivanmuktas. Of these the first stage is subhechchha (good desire); the second is vicharana (inquiry); and the third is tanumanasi (or pertaining to the thinned mind); the fourth is sattvapatti (the attainment of sattva); the fifth is asamsakti (non-attachment); the sixth is the padarthabhavana (analysis of objects); and the seventh is the turiya (fourth or final stage)."



1254



The "Varaha Upanishad" continues, describing the various kinds of spiritual aspirants:

"One who functions in the (first) three bhumikas is called mumukshu; one who functions in the fourth bhumika is called a brahmavit; one who functions in the fifth bhumika is called a brahmavidvara; one who functions in the sixth bhumika is called a brahmavidvariya; and one in the seventh bhumika is called a brahmavidvarishta." (11)

 
We can see how Narayana Guru has apparently adhered to the structure found in the "Varaha Upanishad", with slight touching up here and there. There is a difference though, between his own definitions and those found in the "Yoga Vasishta". Narayana Guru does not put turiya outside the scope of jivanmukti. Between the third and fourth bhumikas there is no intervention of heaven, but a normalized two-sided status is given to the man of Nirvana. Finally, the possibility of evil in the context of the Absolute is more openly recognized by Narayana Guru.

 

II. REINCARNATION

We have already pointed out that it is Isvara (the Lord) who should be referred to as reincarnated. Since "mankind is made in the image and likeness of God". he participates in the same absolute substance. Both Isvara and mankind find their place in reference to the same vertical parameter, and there is a dichotomy or polarity between any two levels, one being positive and the other negative, like a broken magnet. When spirit assumes the adjuncts of matter or vice-versa, the two polarities persist inseparably together, alternately manifesting one or the other of these ambivalent features.



1255



This subtle mechanism is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita (XV.8-11):

"When the Lord takes a body and when He leaves it He takes these (mind and senses) and goes even as the wind gathering scents from their retreats.

Presiding over the ear, the eye and touch, taste and smell, and also the mind, this one avails himself of the values relating to the senses.

Whether departing, staying or experiencing, conditioned (as they are) by the modalities of nature, the foolish cannot see; the wisdom- eyed can see.

The yogis striving also perceive this One established in the Self; though striving, those yogis of imperfected Self, lacking wisdom, do not see this One." (12)

 
It is clear from the first words that it is the Lord that incarnates and disincarnates. In each case the subtle essences accompany the two movements. The complementary position is reflected in the ninth verse. The reciprocal concomitance of the positive and negative aspects is clearly implied in Verse 10.

 

In Verse 11 the paradox between striving yogis and wise yogis, both of whom have an implied reciprocity, cancelable into terms of final vision, are under reference. Thus there is a two-sided subtlety implied in the mechanism regulating the process of reincarnation.



1256



Any unilateral view of reincarnation is thus ruled out by the theory presented in the Bhagavad Gita. Both the "Yoga Vasishta" and the Bhagavad Gita assume that reincarnation takes place by the fully verticalized interest at the last moments of a dying person, when he cannot tell a lie to himself about what he deserves. A bee in a lotus flower crushed by an elephant becomes the elephant in its next birth according to the "Yoga Vasishta" because of the wholehearted attention focussed on the elephant by the bee at the point of death. In the Bhagavad Gita (VIII.9,10) we read the following;

"He who meditates on the Post-seer, the Ancient, the Ordainer, minuter than the atom, the Dispenser of all, of unthinkable nature, sun-coloured, beyond the darkness.

Who meditates at the time of departure with a steady mind possessed of devotion, as also of the strength that comes from yoga, well-fixing the life-breath between the eyebrows, reaches that supreme divine Person." (13)

 

III. THE REINCARNATION OF EVILDOERS

The Bhagavad Gita contains specific references to extreme evil doers and to persons who have fallen from Yoga. Neither of these types are doomed forever to an eternal hell, but are given the hopes of salvation if their spirits become oriented in a bipolar fashion to the supreme absolute Value. The Bhagavad Gita (IX.29-32) says:

"I regard all beings equally. To Me there is none hateful or dear. They however who worship with devotion, they are in Me and I too am in them.
 
Even if one of very evil actions should worship Me with a devotion exclusive of all else, he should be accounted to be good all the same merely by the fact that he has a properly settled determination.



1257



Instantaneously he becomes established in his own right nature and enters into eternal peace. Believe Me in all confidence, 0 Son of Kunti (Arjuna), that one affiliated to Me with fidelity knows no destruction.

They too who resort to Me for refuge, 0 Partha (Arjuna), whoever they might be, (whether) women, workers (sudras), as well as farmer-merchants (vaisyas) (all) of sinful origin, they too attain to the supreme goal." (14)

 
In respect of the rebirth of a person fallen from yoga in a previous birth, the Bhagavad Gita, without resorting to a theological divine grace enunciated as an eschatological law, says that once progress is made in terms of ascent in the vertical axis it is never again lost. One only has to begin all over again from the point attained in the previous birth. His birth will depend on what he basically deserves as the Bhagavad Gita points out in VI 40-42. The reference in Verse 41 which says "he is born into a house of the well-to-do," is only incidental in the law of reciprocal rewards. Each person can only receive what he deserves.



1258



IV. HEREDITARY BIRTH BY JATI OR CASTE

One often hears in India about the caste system which is also referred to in more sonorous terms as varnasramadharma (duties referring to race, colour or birth, or stages of discipleship or spiritual status called the four asramas. The varnas (castes) are also referred to as four. They are brahmin (priestly), kshattriya (warrior), vaisya (farmer-merchant) and sudra (workers). The stages of life (asramas) which are also four, should not be mixed up with the varnas. The latter are based on birth and there is a great deal of confusion about this subject. The Bhagavad Gita (IV.13) clarifies this matter when it says that the four castes have been created by the Absolute on the basis of the three gunas (nature modalities) and are compatible with the professions that match these inner modalities. The same verse says that such classifications are capable of being abolished altogether.

 

We know from common experience that four sons born to a brahmin may not be of the same psychological type. There is an actual outwardly recognizable type called "brahmin". Sankara talks about the bahya-brahmanatva or outer characteristics belonging to a brahmin, and says they need not all belong to the same type judged according to the gunas or occupations. A brahmin's son could be a good mechanic, and likewise a mechanic's son could even go beyond what is usually considered to be a brahmin´s role and become a great rishi (sage). When we think of the four classifications as belonging to inner dispositions that might be arranged on a vertical scale where values tally with personal interest, we get quite another picture of the scheme of the four main divisions of caste.

 

These basic four types (three classes of citizens and the sage-ruler) are also referred to in Plato's "Republic" (IV.441) and mark the points where necessary and contingent factors meet from opposite poles to determine the types and their positions in the vertical scale of values. Here the same law is operative as in the case of yogis and sinners referred to above.



1259



It is stated in the "Purusha Sukta" of the Veda that the brahmin arose from the mouth, the kshattriya from the arms, the vaisya from the hips, and the sudra from the thighs of the same cosmic man. Viewed as a structural gradation the theory of the four castes becomes understandable. Further elaboration on the same theory is found in the Bhagavad Gita (XVIII.40-41) where it shows that no heredity enters rigidly into it, but rather the modalities of nature.

 

Some hereditary considerations however can be thought of as being indirectly involved, in principle at least, and thus heredity need not be ruled out altogether. Family background counts even when police-constables have to be recruited. The Bhagavad Gita (XV.III.42-44) does not underline the hereditary factor but is content to say that the traits are svabhavajam (born out of ones own nature).In this way the rigidity of caste is abolished.

 

V. TRANSCENDING BIRTH AND REBIRTH

The theory of reincarnation is not a binding tenet or doctrine of Hindu religion. This is revealed by the fact that the guru of the Bhagavad Gita states that reincarnation applies only to the relativistic aspect of the phenomenal world. When properly affiliated to the Absolute, the question of reincarnation does not arise. This is categorically stated in the Bhagavad Gita VIII.16. The eternal life without rebirth which is part of the beliefs of the Semitic or prophetic religions is also found side by side with the theory of reincarnation and is applicable only to relativistic life in nature as stated in the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads.



1260



From Paul Deussen's analysis of Vedantic eschatology we find that besides the way of the Gods (devayana) and the way of the ancestors (pitriyana) there is an absolutist absorption in which one attains to never-returning life eternal. Thus there is no clash of doctrine between Semitic and scientific religions when understood in both the relativistic and absolutist implications. Absorption is a bilateral cancellation of counterparts in the proper context of a Science of the Absolute.

 

Besides the "Yoga Vasishta", which we have quoted and whose grades of transcendent attainment bear a close resemblance to those enumerated by Narayana Guru, there are other sources, some of them outside Hinduism, such as Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Taoism where the same subject of Nirvana is presented in varied versions, but implying the same fundamental cancellation of counterparts. Milarepa was one of the greatest spiritual teachers connected with Tibetan Buddhism. Before entering fully into the complete absorption of Nirvana, Milarepa composed a series of religious-philosophical poems. In the one we are quoting in full, we see how he has passed beyond the duality of opposites. We quote this poem in full because of its beauty and relevance to this chapter:

"Obeisance to the honoured Feet of Marpa the Translator!
May I be far removed from arguing creeds and dogmas.
Ever since my Lord's Grace entered in my mind,
My mind hath never strayed seeking various distractions.
Accustomed long to contemplating Love and Pity,
I have forgot all difference between myself and others.



1261



Accustomed long to meditating on my Guru as enhaloed over my head,
I have forgot all those who rule by power and by prestige.
Accustomed long to meditating on my Guardian Gods
as from myself inseparable,
I have forgot the lowly fleshy form.
Accustomed long to meditating on the Whispered Chosen Truths,
I have forgot all that is said in written and in printed books.
Accustomed, as I've been, to the study of the Common Science,
Knowledge of erring Ignorance I've lost.
Accustomed, as I've been, to contemplating
The Three Bodies as inherent in myself,
I have forgot to think of hope and fear.
Accustomed, as I've been, to meditating
on this life and the future life as one,
I have forgot the dread of birth and death.
Accustomed long to studying, all by myself, mine own experiences,
I have forgot the need of seeking the opinions of friends and brethren.
Accustomed long to application of each new experience
to mine own growth spiritual,
I have forgot all creeds and dogmas.
Accustomed long to meditating on the Unborn,
the Indestructible, and the Unabiding
I have forgot all definitions of this or that particular Goal.
Accustomed long to meditating on all visible phenomena
as the Dharma Kaya,
I have forgot all mind-made meditations.



1262



Accustomed long to keep my mind in the Uncreated State of Freedom,
I have forgot conventional and artificial usages.
Accustomed long to humbleness, of body and of mind,
I have forgot the pride and haughty manner of the mighty.
Accustomed long to regard my fleshy body as my hermitage,
I have forgot the ease and comfort of retreats in monasteries.
Accustomed long to know the meaning of the Wordless,
I have forgot the way to trace the roots of verbs
and source of words and phrases;
May thou, 0 learned one,, trace out these things in standard books." (17)


 
Saraha was also a Mahayana Buddhist who lived in India about 850 AD. By way of contrast we quote a short part from his "Treasury of Songs":

"He who clings to the Void
And neglects Compassion,
Does not reach the highest stage.
But he who practices only Compassion
Does not gain release from toils of existence.
He, however, who is strong in practice of both,
Remains neither in Samsara nor in Nirvana."



1263



In Chinese Buddhism we have this fine reference to what nirvana is, in so far, as the Chinese Buddhists are always pointing out, as any description is at all possible. The following is from the Cheng-Tao Ke:
 
"Like the empty sky it has no boundaries,
Yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear,
When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.
You cannot take hold of it,
But you cannot lose it.
In not being able to get it, you get it.
When you are silent, it speaks;
When you speak, it is silent.
The great gate is wide open to bestow alms,
And no crowd is blocking the way."


These are only a few of the many quotations that can be found in all the different schools of Buddhism. We have only quoted from them to show the similarity of thought between Buddhism and Vedanta.

 

In the "Yoga Upanishads" and in the general body of the major Upanishads there are some precious indications throwing valuable side lights on the subject. They are specially interesting to us in relation to our own structuralism. We have already referred on page 115 to the colour solid of the "Svetasvatara Upanishad", as well as the structuralism of the crystal found in Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras" (see pages 1120-1222).

 

Nirvana implies a process of a very subtle and pure variety of evolution. A Superman or even a God are its end results. This implies a kind of transcendence of good and bad which takes place along a vertical axis, or parameter. There is a lower level and a higher level necessarily implied in such a transcendence, whether in this life or in bridging the gulf between the present life and whatever comes after it.



1264



There is a very thin living link to be established between the life elements involved. Physics and metaphysics have to be reciprocally involved, within this bilateral linking factor. The heart, as the centre of all life in a physiological sense can have a negative pole, often referred to in Vedantic literature as the cavity of the heart. Its own positive pole or counterpart will be situated peripherally in the pericardium at a higher level in the vertical axis. The lower centre indicates any number of radiating lines or forces of tendencies which are called nadis (centres or channels of vitality). They are comparable to the legs that Einstein refers to in relation to his own structure of space.

 

In describing the spiritual effort that one has to make in transcending these levels, the Upanishads bring in the analogy of a horse that shakes off its loose hair. This is evidently a verticalized version of a pure act by which Nirvana is established in the heart of a yogi. Instead of referring to an Inferno and a Paradise far removed from each other in poetic imagination, we find here that everything takes place within the limits of the heart itself. Heaven and hell are both transcended by a superior kind of space that is both physical and metaphysical at once. Heaven and hell are brought as close together as possible within such a space which is itself independent of bigness or smallness, part or whole, far or near, gross, subtle one or many etc.



1265



The transition from this to the next world is also very delicately indicated in another analogy wherein the soul is compared to a caterpillar that tries to reach from the tip of a blade of grass to the tip of another blade above it. The point to be underlined here is that it is only after gaining a foothold on the upper tip that the caterpillar lets go its hold on the lower blade. At no time in the process of transcending is there loss of any hold altogether. The fear of death coming from such a possible entry into nothingness is minimized by this analogy.

 

Another favourite example of Vedanta is the spider that alternately projects its web and is capable of absorbing it within itself. The web is the horizontal structural version of the manifested world which is capable of being inside or outside the spider. A further example is the king and his retinue. The king retires into the palace with his courtiers having a virtual status within or comes out into the public hall where the same courtiers have a more positive structural relationship with him.

 

Another precious analogy which will be helpful in clarifying the transition from one life to another is that of the beehive. The queen bee goes first and the hive of workers and drones follow to the place where a new hive is to be established. The positive and negative factors of the Self are thus kept together in the process of transition as has already been suggested.

 

The familiar picture of an anthill where the snake sheds its skin and then leaves shows how the essential vertical element of life has nothing to do with its own horizontal counterpart.



1266



Another case is a big fish swimming gently in the flow of the stream without having to move its fins at all. This is meant to bring out the state of equilibrium implied in the notion of Nirvana. One of these applies to a Nirvana involving no long duration or effort. It is known as the path of vamadeva; one who only attained perfection after long and arduous periods of discipline. The other refers to the suka path of one who quickly attained perfection as being instructed by his own father, who was Vyasa, the author of the Bhagavad Gita. This is stated in the Yoga Vasishta and is meant to refer to a perfection that is attained in a comparatively short time.

 

As in the case of eternity and the moment, both these types of emancipation could be viewed under the perspective of an eternal moment. These two versions of the process of perfection can be dialectically treated together. The equilibrium, homogeneity, abolition of duality or ambivalence involved in the notion of Nirvana can be compared to the homeostasis of cybernetics, to thermodynamic equilibrium, or even to the electromagnetic homogeneity between waves and the field when treated unitively. A crystal and the mother liquid forming it belong together when the process involved is thought of as a reversible one. These and other structural implications are helpful for us to keep in mind in connection with this notion of the transcendence of Nirvana elaborated by us in our other writings or in parts of this present work. It is enough for us to recall them in summing up all such precious sidelights and indications here.



1267



6. CONCLUDING REMARKS

 

Nirvana has been compared to the extinction of a lamp when the oil has been spent. It has also been compared to "The dewdrop slipping into the shining sea". In the former example the positive and negative aspects referring to the vertical axis become equalized and the Self and the non-Self become absorbed in the Absolute. In the second analogy it is the horizontal expanse of the ocean into which the individual soul at any place on the vertical axis is absorbed or merged. To accommodate both these favourite examples that come to mind, we can think of the final implications of what is here called Nirvana, in a vertico- horizontal scheme of correlation.

 

Nirvana is a process in which two aspects of the same Self participate. If we are permitted to repeat what we have already said, the process can be compared to osmosis in biology, thermodynamic equilibrium in physics, or even to homeostasis in cybernetics. Biology speaks in terms of an ambivalence, but in the electromagnetic context we can more naturally think of positive and negative poles. We can also think of a simple magnetic needle which is moved up and down between the two poles, by which the compass will show north at the top and south at the bottom, while the needle would vibrate with uncertainty when passing the middle region. We can also think of an electric current as the basis of the magnet with two poles at opposite ends of a straight line having a central point.. The electric current is one, but is nominally referred to for purposes of nomenclature as plus or minus, from the plus or minus ends of the conductor.



1268



Modern developments in electromagnetics suggest to as a still more subtle and more general unified field of electromagnetic energy with its diffusion in space through waves that can travel with speeds approximating to the velocity of light. If we keep in mind these four grades of electromagnetic phenomena and try to build a structural unit involving them all, we can imagine them to be piled or placed one over the other. When we do this by schematic abstraction and generalization applied to the total situation, we can speak clearly of the four grades of polarities which express themselves together in the typical representatives of Nirvana who are referred to in this chapter for correct grading and naming.

 
The man of Nirvana is a living human being whose thought and behaviour can be observed or diagnosed for purposes of classification Activity, purity, joy and a complete cancellation of counterparts are the four grades of diagnostic characteristics outwardly visible or inwardly assumed in each type of Nirvana. Narayana Guru departs from both the positions of the "Yoga Vasishta" in order to adhere more strictly to the fourfold considerations just mentioned, and in order to respect the varieties and grades of possible dichotomy, polarity, ambivalence etc. In the fourth and purest of grounds there is no evidence of ambivalence at all, the counterparts being cancelled out into the perfect neutrality of the Absolute.

 
Such a neutrality is an inner state of mind to be understood by definition only. It belongs to the person of a complete and most superior kind of Self-absorption, mentioned as the last of the types it present graded series. The more simple instance of a man of Nirvana who, though less superior in the purity of his Self absorption combines in his self both the visible and intelligible aspects of Nirvana, is given a central position in the series for purposes of establishing a normative reference. Thus Narayana Guru respects the requirements of a structuralism that is based on a normative notion of the Absolute in order to give to the grades and varieties of Nirvana a unity of treatment as well as an integrated status. By doing so he also relates this chapter with the rest of the work.



1269



The normal type of a man of Nirvana who combines both action and wisdom is given his full place in the classification, while the general tendency in other classifications is to mention action and inaction as distinct paths. We see this in the classification of the seven bhumikas, classically understood in the "Yoga Upanishads" and "Yoga Vasishta". The perfect symmetry of the revised and rearranged classifications adopted here becomes clear when we keep in mind the fact that all variations are referable to a central normative type.

 
 
We now refer to the verses individually:
 

Verse 1. This verse divides Nirvana into two main classes without stressing the central normative class at all. The fusion of counterparts is so complete that the ambivalence is already supposed to be within the same Self without duality. One pole however can be darker than the other. Thus the twofold initial classification is justified as held together unitively. The reference to purity might imply either action or wisdom or both. The dark or impure side of Nirvana when it predominates indicates the presence of incipient memory factors (vasanas) implying a reference to the ego or the self in a narrow sense.



1270



Verse 2. The two broad divisions of the first verse are here subdivided into two categories, making four in all. These four have a very pronounced ambivalence between them. Structural requirements are fully respected by giving symmetrical status to the plus and minus sides referable to four points of the negative and positive sides of the vertical axis. The pure-impure type is generally omitted in other classifications as seen in the "Yoga Vasishta" which does not respect structural requirements to the same degree as here.

 
Verse 3. Before characterizing any of the negative grades mentioned here we now pass on to three grades that are to be placed at points higher than the superior grade of the plus side already mentioned. Each of these three grades, which are: elect, more elect and most elect, are sub-varieties under the extra-pure. Together with the plain pure variety there are thus four divisions in all on the plus side.
 
This gradation can be understood only if we think of an extrapolation of the superiority implied. The ambivalence of a magnet has a duality stronger than the nominal polarity of an electric current. The superiority here referred to is therefore to be looked upon as belonging to a subtler, more abstract and more generalized order than the ambivalence belonging to the context of the simple magnet. This same principle of extrapolation can be applied to the two other comparative and superlative degrees of purity in Nirvana.



1270



Verse 4. Here the impure varieties are characterized by the attributes proper to them. The one nearest to the norm placed at the centre of the vertical axis conforms to a type that is qualified by the intention of gaining liberation through wisdom. This is called the pure-impure. Inferior to this and away and below from the norm, but still placed on the vertical axis is the impure-impure which is still more perverted in its intentions. It is however included in the possible varieties of Nirvana because such a type, by its intensity and wholeheartedness of life urges, however perverted, is capable, on sudden correction, of catching up with superior types at some future date. As a Science of the Absolute cannot make a distinction between good and evil, the devil as it were is given his due.

 
Verse 5. Here we have the central and most normative type, as we have already pointed out. In principle it should be noted that although this type of Nirvana implies the continuation of natural or normal occupations necessary to life, they are supposed to be burnt out so that their non-intentionality or perversion of purpose will not have any ill effect on the person. He is not deliberately immoral yet he does not attach too much importance to conventional or social morality. He does all action according to the norm and standards of a good life found in the contemplative text books.
 
The word vidhivat (what is considered as right) is to be understood as also excluding whatever is harmful to humanity. Like the pot half- immersed in water, the structural position here is at the point of intersection of the correlates.



1272



Verse 6. The elect knower of the Absolute is one who has definitely transcended action. When he knows that the Absolute is all there is and that he has no other motive than to represent in himself the highest of absolute values for the emulation of all humanity, he becomes himself one of great price and does not have to perform any good works. His life on earth lasts as long as vital urges rising from past habits remain operative.

Verse 7. This verse represents a still higher type of Self-absorption where the counterparts belong to an order similar to the electric current in the above analogy. The duality between the Self and the non-Self lingers very faintly and nominally here in one and the same Self-consciousness as in the case of a sleeping man who has to be touched before he can respond. The absorption is here move complete than in the previous instance.
 
Here it is the inner enjoyment of the high value implied in the notion of the Absolute that serves as the diagnostic factor. The outer evidence of such enjoyment might be feeble in the eyes of an onlooker who is not conscious of the bliss of contemplation of the Absolute.



1273



Verse 8. This verse refers to the highest possible type of Nirvana where Self-absorption is so complete that it corresponds to a universe such as that of modern thermodynamics where both matter and energy are indistinguishable. Such a state is referred to as the turiya (absolute state) according to the classifications of the states of consciousness found in the "Mandukya Upanishad". There is no question here of even a nominal duality. Existence, subsistence and value merge into the same homogeneous matrix which is one alone without any second. Being and becoming are non-distinct in this state of consciousness. As photographic positives and negatives can exist together potentially in a raw film or as when under-focussing and over-focussing can reveal a central truth which is neither one nor the other; so too all relations and relata exist within such a consciousness as in a liquid where all crystals have been fully dissolved.
 
We attain here to the world called le monde affiné (the refined world) as opposed to the world that is known as 'classical' or 'radical'. All visible and intelligible things are put as it were into the melting pot. As a pinch of salt in the ocean cannot be thought of as a limited entity in time and space, so, too the personal individuality of the contemplative if any, is altogether lost for ever within the expanse or minuteness of such an over-refined world. Such a world can even be called a tremendous mystery.

 
Verse 9. Verses 9 and 10 belong together and are evidently meant to serve as the grand summing up of the whole of this work. This ninth verse underlines the verity that the world as really non-existent needs no abolishing by special contemplative effort. The horizontal axis thus stands self-abolished. The vertical, which refers directly both to the plus and minus aspects of the Self, attains to unity by double negation of the negative and by the double assertion of the positive and thus abolishes all vestiges of duality between them. When once such a unitive understanding is established duality cannot assert itself any more. This state requires no effort and takes place when neither the negative nor the positive dominates the other in a normal state of consciousness. Certitude in respect of this normality is all that is needed.



Verse 10. The same truth is here repeated not with a contemplative in mind but an referring to a well-instructed man called vidvan. He also is capable of the same certitude as the contemplative. As the Darsana Mala pertains to the context of instruction and learning it is but natural that this terminating verse should put the central teaching as a whole in a form natural to it. Narayana Guru has taken care to explain at the end of his commentary the implications of every term as a means to clarify the notion of the normative Absolute. Duality is the one overall error or prejudice to be abolished through certitude on the part of a person who has gained a knowledge of this Science of the Absolute.

 


FOOTNOTES

[1] See our commentary in Bhagavad Gita p.261

 

[2] Aiyar, p.202.

 

[3] "Thirty Minor Upanishads" p.249

 

[4] ibid. p.303

 

[5] Hume, p.95

 

[6] Hume, pp.101-102

 

[7] J. Blofeld (trans.), "The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of the Mind", London, 1959, p.44.

 

[8] Legge, pp.62-63. "The Texts of Taoism Vol. l: The Tao Teh Khing",

 

[9] Bhagavad Gita,pp.163-173.

 

[10] Aiyar, p.232. (1967 ad., p477)

 

[11] Aiyar, p.233 (1967 ed.p.478)

 

[12] Bhagavad Gita, pp.603-606.

 

[13] Bhagavad Gita, p,364.

 

[14] Bhagavad Gita, pp.408-411

 

[15] Deussen, Phil. Up., pp.408-412

 

[16] The translator, in a footnote, says: "Or, "That which hath neither commencement, nor negation, nor place"; that is, Nirvana".

 

[17] W. Evans-Wentz, "Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa",Oxford,1958, pp. 245-247

 

[18] B.Conze (trans.), "Buddhist Scriptures", Penguin ed., London,1960, p.180

 

[19] A.Watts, "The Way of Zen", Vintage pbk. Ed., New York, 1957, p.145
 
 

Science of the Absolute Chapter 10 - Verses

 

 

DARSANA-MALA

 

A GARLAND OF VISIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

X. NIRVANA DARSANAM (VISION OF EMANCIPATION)

 

1. nirvanam dvividham suddhamasuddham ceti tatra yat suddham nirvasanam tadvadasuddham vasananvitam
 
Emancipation is of two kinds -
What is pure and what is impure.
What is without incipient memory-factors, that is pure,
Likewise, what is qualified by incipient memory-factors is impure.
 
NIRVANAM, emancipation (i.e. absorption),
SUDDHAM-ASUDDHAM-CA-ITI, as pure and impure,
DVIVIDHAM, of two kinds,
TATRA, of these,
YAT NIRVASANAM, what is without incipient memory factors,
TAT SUDDHAM, that is pure,
TADVAT, likewise,
YAT-VASANA ANVITAM, what is qualified by incipient memory factors,
(TAT) ASUDDHAM (CA BHAVATI), (that becomes) the impure.
 
The topic of this chapter is concerned with the one ultimate purpose and value which has been reviewed in all the nine previous chapters. For this reason, this version of Nirvana is of greater importance than any of the previous visions. It is with this vision that this work comes to an end. Nirvana refers to the highest point that is attainable by man. In other words, it represents the perfection of life. Although the term is used more properly in the context of Jain and Buddhist thought, those who adhere to the thought of non-dual Vedanta can also use this term as having the same connotation. The following terms are synonyms for Nirvana; nirvriti, escape or absolution; nirvritti, release, absence of functioning; nivritti, withdrawal, paramagati, ultimate goal; paramapadam, ultimate state; moksha, liberation; kaivalya, aloneness; mukti, salvation; amritam, immortality; apavargam, salvation; nishsreyas, ultimate state; sreyas, spiritual progress; santi, peace; brahmabhuyam, attaining the Absolute, brahmatvam, absoluteness; brahmasayujyam, union with the Absolute; brahmasamsparsam, participation with the Absolute; brahmanirvanam, absorption in the Absolute; paripurnata, plenitude.
 
The Nirvana usually described under the term jivanmukti (release while yet in life) refers to the same state. That is to say, when a man has, by means of Self contemplation, attained to (absolute) wisdom and after attaining the practice of Yoga, etc., and while still in life is able to be free from all sufferings, what refers to this ultimate goal of a spiritual aspirant is called Nirvana.
 
Although Nirvana refers to one and the same subject, as depending on the maturity of certain types of spiritual aspirants qualified for it, and the conditions applying to them, it has here been divided into many divisions, according to the types of expression proper to each. Initially in. this verse it has been divided into two (divisions) called the pure and the impure. What is "free from incipient memory factors" is the pure and what is "qualified by incipient memory factors" is the impure.



2. atisuddham suddhamiti suddham ca dvividham tatha asuddhasuddhancasuddhamasuddhasuddhamucyate
 
As pure and extra-pure, thus
Are two kinds, likewise,
The impure also as impure-pure
And impure-impure is spoken of.
 
SUDDHAM CA, the pure also,
ATISUDDHAM-SUDDHAM ITI, (as) the extra-pure and the pure,
DVIVIDHAM, of two kinds,
TATHA, likewise,
ASUDDHAM-CA, the impure also,
ASUDDHA-SUDDHAM ASUDDHA ASUDDHAM (ITI DVIVIDHAM) UCHYATE, pure-impure and impure-impure are spoken of.
 
It will be hereafter described in detail that pure Nirvana belongs to liberated men while still in life, and impure Nirvana belongs to those who are attached to psychic powers and who merely desire liberation. It is based on the superiority or inferiority of liberated people in life that the divisions of pure Nirvana have been made. Under the impure class of Nirvana there are only two subdivisions.



3. atisuddham tridha pascadvare caikam variyasi ekamekam varisthe'tha suddham brahmavidisthitam
 
The extra-pure is again of three kinds -
One is the elect, one is the more elect,
One is the most elect - while the pure
Exists in the (simple) knower of the Absolute.
 
ATISUDDHAM, the extra-pure,
PASCAT TRIDHA, again is of three kinds,
EKAM VARE, one in the elect (knower of the Absolute),
EKAM VARIYASI, one in the more elect (superior knower of the Absolute),
EKAM VARISHTHE, one in the most elect (most superior knower of the Absolute),
STHA, while,
SUDDHAM, the pure,
BRAHMAVIDICA STHITAM, exists in the (simple) knower of the Absolute.
 
The extra pure (i.e. the superior Nirvana) under reference here has three grades: the elect, the more elect, and the most elect. Thus those who have attained liberation while yet in life are of four kinds. Among them the pure abides in the knower of the Absolute; the positively pure abides in the elect; the comparatively pure abides in the more elect; and the superlatively pure abides in the most elect. The personal characteristics that distinguish these four jivanmuktas (those attaining liberation while still alive) will be described below.



4. asuddhasuddham virajastamo'nyatsarajastamaha mumuksau prathamam vidyat dvitiyam siddhikamisu
 
The impure - pure is without passion and inertia,
- the other is with passion and inertia.
The former as in one who desires liberation,
While the latter as in one who desire psychic powers is to be known.
 
ASUDDHA-SUDDHAM, the impure-pure,
VIRAJAS-TAMAH, is without passion and inertia,
ANYAT, the other (i.e. the impure-impure),
SARAJAS-TAMAH, is with passion and inertia,
PRATHAMAM, the former,
MUMUKSHAU, (as) in one who desires liberation,
DVITIYAM, the latter,
SIDDHIKAMESU, (as) in those who desire psychic powers,
VIDYAT, is to be known.
 
It has been stated that the type of Nirvana which characterizes a person who has got rid of the stains coming from inertia and passion, and whose spirit by its purity of bright and intelligent qualities (i.e. sattva guna) begins with the desire for liberation and a wholehearted aloneness towards full liberation, is named-the impure-pure. By the term mumukshau (one who desires liberation) as stated above, one has to think of a type of person whose passionate and inert tendencies have been abolished, and what remains is the bright and intelligent tendency which alone is characterized by the desire for liberation.
 
Although such a person is still under the sway of some sort of desire, however pure, and because his attainment of Nirvana is not yet fully perfect, it would not be wrong to class it under impure Nirvana. Though such a person is called impure-pure because of the fact that he has the end of perfection in view, and because his desire is characterized with reference to liberation it is not wrong to qualify it as also being impure. When subjected to such a close examination, there is seen to be present the impurity coming from desire and the purity consisting of the pure tendency referring to emancipation as the goal. As these two traits abide together, the combined epithet of impure-pure has been applied to this type of Nirvana.
 
When a person, through his long habit of contemplation or by the practice of Yoga, becomes qualified for Nirvana, the secondary signs or symptoms of the state into which he has entered are developed in. him through psychic powers, such as knowledge about past and future events or happenings. These symptoms come by themselves and indicate the degree of success of the spiritual progress of the aspirant. Patanjali says in the "Yoga Sutras" (III.38):
 
"These (psychic attainments) are obstacles to Samadhi. Psychic attainments (cause) excitement."

And Valmiki in the "Yoga Vasishta" also cautions:
 
"Again drugs and incantations can produce psychic powers, none of them favourable to the attainment of the supreme state of the Self. Is it not when the love of desires and gains have been cancelled that the great gain of the Self takes place? How can it come to a person whose mind is immersed in desire for psychic powers?"
 
There are also many other texts discountenancing the importance of such psychic powers. Therefore, we have to understand that these powers are not commendable because they have been vitiated by passionate and inert attitudes. They are capable of making one who has attained to a high state of Nirvana fall from such a state, after making him swerve from the path of salvation. Therefore the Nirvana of the man who desires psychic powers has been classified as impure among the impure. In other words, because the psychic powers as well as the desire for them are both impure, the Nirvana qualified by such powers or desires has been called doubly impure. There is no harm in naming this kind of Nirvana as extremely impure.



5. dagdhva jnanagnina sarvamuddisya jagatam hitam karoti vidhivatkarma brahmavidbrahmani sthitah
 

Established in the Absolute, a knower of the Absolute,
By the fire of wisdom having burnt everything up,
Aiming at the good of the world,
Performs action according to what is considered as right.


BRAHMANI STHITAH, established in the Absolute,
BRAHMAVIT, a knower of the Absolute, (i.e. a man who is emancipated while still alive),
JNANAGNINA, by the fire of wisdom,
SARVAM DAGDHVA, having burnt everything up,
JAGATAM HITAM UDDISYA, aiming at the good of the world,
VIDHIVAT KARMA KAROTI, performs actions according to what is considered as right

 
Here the term brahmavit (knower of the Absolute) refers to one who has attained to salvation and has no need to perform actions, but nonetheless continues to do actions without any selfish motives which are conducive to the happiness of the world. The knower of the Absolute, although he has merged his intelligence in the bliss of the happiness of contemplating the Absolute, is still in the context of Nirvana, while continuing at the same time to act in the interests of kindness to all living things. Although he is detached from all actions, he will not engage himself in wrong action. Vidhivat means what is compatible with the rules laid down for conduct. This indicates (a knower of the Absolute) will not engage in wrong action. He will however remain untouched by both good and bad action because of his neutrality to both.
 
In three different contexts the Bhagavad Gita refers to the fire of wisdom burning up all karma (action) which explain the position here:
 
"That man whose works are all devoid of desire and wilful motive, whose (impulse of) action has beet reduced to nothing in the fire of wisdom, he is recognized as a knowing person (pandit) by the wise. (IV.19).
 
Relinquishing attachment for the benefit of works, ever happy and independent, though such a man be engaged in work, he (in principle) does nothing at all. (IV.20).
 
Just as fire when kindled reduces to ashes the fuel, 0 Arjuna, likewise the fire of wisdom reduces all works to ashes. (IV.37)
 
(For a description of the brahmavit (knower of the Absolute) see Chapter II, verses 65-72 in the Bhagavad Gita).
 
The eloquent description on the part of Lord Krishna correctly answers to what constitutes a brahmavit as intended (by us) in this chapter. In various contexts found in the wisdom texts, a knower of the Absolute has been described and praised in the following ways:
 
"The knower of the Absolute becomes the Absolute."
"The knower of the Absolute attains the Ultimate."
 
Established firmly in his understanding, without having any false notions, that man who has established himself in the knowledge of the Absolute is called the knower of the Absolute. He does not become glad when obtaining favourable results, nor does he become sorry when. obtaining bad results.



6. samnasya sarvakarmani satatam brahmanisthaya yascaratyavanau dehayatrayai brahmavidvarah
 
(He who) renouncing all action,
Always established in the Absolute,
Continues the course of the bodily life,
In the world - (he) is the elect knower of the Absolute.
 
YAH, he who,
SARVA-KARMANI SAMNASYA, renouncing all action,
SATATAM BRAHMANISHTHAYA, always established in the Absolute,
DEHA YATRA YAI, continuing the course of the daily life,
AVANAU CARATI, wandering in the world,
(SAH) BRAHMAVIDVARAH, (he) is the elect knower of the Absolute.
 
This is the distinguishing characteristic of the man who has attained to the first stage of those who are called elect knowers of the Absolute. This type of knower of the Absolute has only that degree of responsibility about carrying the burden of the body he has come to possess because of actions from the past only till the moment such actions with their beginnings in the past have been expended thus causes the body to drop off of itself. In the Bhagavad Gita (III.17) we read:
 
"But for him who happens to be attached to the Self alone,
who finds full satisfaction in the Self,
For such a man who is happy in the Self as such, too,
there is nothing that he should do."
 
What has just been stated also answers to the description of an elect knower of the Absolute. It is this type of elect knower of the Absolute that can correctly be called a Sannyasi (renouncer).
 
In XII.13 to 19 of the Bhagavad Gita we read;
 
"He who has no hatred to all creatures, who is also friendly and compassionate, who is free from possessiveness (mine-ness) and egoism, who is equalized in pain and pleasure, and forgiving,
Such a unitively-disciplined one (yogi) who is always contented, self-controlled, firmly resolved, whose mind and reason are dedicated to Me, he My devotee, is dear to Me.
 
He who does not disturb (the peace of) the world and (whose peace) is not disturbed by the world, and who is free from exaggerations of joy, hate and fear, he too is dear to Me.
 
He who expects no favours, who is clean, expect, who sits unconcerned, carefree, who has relinquished all undertakings, he My devotee is dear to Me.
 
He who is the same to friend and foe, and also in honour and dishonour, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, and who is free from attachment;
 
He who neither rejoices nor hates, nor grieves nor desires, and who has relinquished (both) the beneficial and the harmful, such a one endowed with devotion is dear to Me.
 
To whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent (in manner), content with whatever happens to come, having no fixed abode, mentally constant, such a man of devotion is dear to Me."
 
The person described in these seven verses in Chapter XII called bhakti yoga (Unitive Devotion and Contemplation) refers to the elect knower of the Absolute who has renounced all undertakings in life. Because the contemplative state of this type of knower of the Absolute is free from action, public-mindedness, etc., without even the least touch of urgency to action and attachment to public life, and because he is always in the enjoyment of the bliss of emancipation, this type of Nirvana has been put in the category of an elect kind of emancipation or absorption.



7. anyena vedito vetti na vetti svayameva yah sa variyan sada brahmanirvanamayam asnute
 
(He who) being informed by another is able to know,
But (he) himself does not know-
He is the more elect, who always
Enjoys absorption in the Absolute.
 
YAH, he (i.e. the jivanmukta or man attaining liberation while still alive,
ANYENA VEDITAH, being informed by another,
VETTI, is able to know,
SVAYAM-EVA, then by himself,
NA VETTI, does not know,
SAH VARIYAN, he is the more elect,
AYAM, such a one,
SADA, always,
BRAHMANIRVANAM, absorption in the Absolute,
ASNUTE, enjoys.
 
The (plain) knower of the Absolute, while engaged without passion or motivated by any (personal) gain, enjoys the bliss of Nirvana while doing works beneficial to the world. As for the more elect knower of the Absolute, he, abandoning all works, accomplishes his journey here fully and consciously awake. If we now think of the second type called the more elect (variyan) knower of the Absolute, he is one without any attachment to the world and without being interested in doing any acts, nonetheless with his activities turned inwards (introspectively) and without any consciousness of outward things, silently remains in the bliss of emancipation or absorption. He attains to outward consciousness only when prompted by somebody else, and thus comes to be conscious of such matters as sounds or touch. Thereafter he again relapses into his own natural state of silence and again enters into the bliss of Nirvana. In this state of profound peace (he) enjoys uninterruptedly the bliss of the Self. This kind of Nirvana has been termed as the more elect kind of emancipation. This more elect knower of the Absolute is referred to as one who has transcended the sphere of the operation of the three nature modalities (gunas). It is this very type of jivanmukta (man attaining liberation while still alive) who has transcended the nature modalities that is described in the Bhagavad Gita in XIV 22-26.



8. svayam na vetti kincinna vedito'pi tathaiva yah sa varisthah sada vrttisunyo'yam brahma kevalam
 
(He who) by himself does not know anything,
And even when made to know (knows) not -
Such a one, always void of activity,
The most elect, is the Absolute alone (in itself).
 
YAH, he who,
SVAYAM, by himself,
KINCIT, anything,
NA VETTI, does not know,
TATHAIVA VEDITAH-API, and likewise even when made to know,
NA (VETTI), (he) knows not,
SA VARISHTHAH, he is the most elect,
NYAM, such a one,
VRITTI-SUNYAH, void of activity,
KEVALAM BRAHMA, is the Absolute alone (in himself).
 
The most elect knower of the Absolute is he who, without having any outer consciousness of things, has a mental life whereby he is always merged in the state of Nirvana. This most elect knower of the Absolute is not affected by any incipient memory factors (vasanas) which refer to his body or the physical world.
 
He has no alternating activities of the mind each as right or wrong volitions. All acts which arise from one's preferences or hatreds of things are always motivated by the prevalence of the three nature modalities, whether they be easy or difficult. Because of transcending the influence of the three nature modalities, this most elect knower of the Absolute is not subject to any functional activity arising in his mind. Only the basic functions of life continue to operate. Even when, by virtue of life functions persisting in him, he is seen to move, he is not aware of them. What is more, even when he is prompted by others he does not gain any consciousness of them. The normal experiences of life, such as thirst and hunger, are not felt by him. He does not even have the consciousness of possessing a body. He will not take food by himself. His earthly body has attained to natural inertness because the Self has attained to its proper state of aloneness.
 
Thus the most elect knower of the Absolute is no other than a person who, while remaining in a body having minimum life functions, is himself merged in the highest bliss of Nirvana. This bliss is of eternal and everlasting purity. Without any possibility of ever returning to life, he attains to the term of what all activities are meant to reach. In other words, he is the Absolute. As the Upanishads declare: "He does not come back". "On attaining that there is no return at all, that is my supreme abode." In such words what has been extolled in the wisdom texts (sruti) and even in the obligatory texts (smriti) refers to this most elect knower of the Absolute. It is this same aloneness (i.e. supreme purity of the Self) which has been referred to by Patanjali as consisting of the equality of purity between the intelligent element (buddhi) and the Self (atma). Here the purity of the buddhi should be understood as the state of non-action attained by transcending the three nature modalities. Thus when the intelligent element attains an equality of purity with the Self, the aloneness from the establishment of the Self in its own true form results. This aloneness is the same as the ultimate emancipation or absorption (paranirvana) or the most elect of all Nirvanas. There is no Nirvana higher than this. There is no living man of Nirvana who is more elect than this most elect knower of the Absolute. Such a state is a very rare one to attain.
 
The term sada-vritti-sunya (always void of activity) can also be read as sada avartti-sunya (always without return). Then we get the meaning that such a man does not come back to earthy life anymore. This interpretation is also permissible.



9. heyopadeyata nahyasya'tma va svaprakasakah iti matva nivartteta vrttirnavarttate punah
 
Of this (world) there is certainly nothing to be accepted or rejected,
As for the Self, it is self-luminous.
Having understood (thus), one should withdraw (from all functionings),
Thereafter, function does not repeat (itself).
 
ASYA, of this (world),
HEYA UPADEYATA, rejection or acceptance,
NA-HI, certainly there is not,
ATMA-VA, as for the self,
SVA PRAKASAKAHA, it is self-luminous,
ITI MATVA, having understood thus,
NIVARTTETA, one should withdraw (from all activity),
PUNAH, thereafter,
VRITTIH, function,
NA AVARTATE, does not repeat (itself).
 
Because the world is not real there is nothing to be rejected nor accepted. It is the Self that is real. Therefore it is the Self that we should attain to. One should know in the first instance that the Absolute is true and the world is false. Thereafter one should meditate on the fact that the Self is self- luminous.



10. ekameva'dvitiyam brahmasti nanyanna samsayah iti vidvannivartteta dvaitannavartate punah.
 
The one Absolute alone there is without a second,
Nothing else there is, no doubt herein.
Having thus understood, the well-instructed one
From duality should withdraw, (he) does not return again.
 
ADVITIYAM, without a second,
BRAHMA EKAM-EVA (ASTI), one Absolute alone (there is),
NA ANYAT ASTI, nothing else there is,
(ATRA) NA SAMSAYAH, (here) is no doubt,
ITI MATVA, having thus understood,
VIDVAN, the well-instructed one,
DVAITAT, from duality,
IVARTTETA, should withdraw,
SAH) PUNAH NA-AVARTTATE, (he) does not return again.
 
The words "one Absolute only without a second" is a teaching found in the Chandogya Upanishad. Its meaning is that the Absolute is without any difference between entities of the same kind.. To say that there is only one Absolute and that there is no other Absolute like it, is the negation of difference between entities of the same kind. To say that besides the Absolute there is no second entity at all constitutes the non-difference between entities of different kinds. That the Absolute has no changes within itself such as origin, growth, transformation, etc. is what amounts to saying there is no internal difference in the Absolute. In the above dictum the term ekapi (one) refutes any difference. The term advitiyani (without a second) underlines the absence of the difference between different kinds of entities. The term eva (itself) is meant to underline the absence of any difference within itself of the Absolute.
 
Even in the Taittiriya Upanishad we see it often repeated that, "He, the Absolute is only one." With the help of the meditation on these truths, one should abolish all doubt and attain firm certitude about the unique status of the Absolute. The one who has attained to the state of Nirvana is the real learned one. He will nevermore have the confusion arising from duality. He will be finally released from the suffering arising from dualistic belief. Then, by itself, that kind of happiness which is of a never returning order happens and no more suffering can take place.
 
In the Katha Upanishad it is also stated that a wise man is never born nor does he ever die. The released man enters into such an eternal state forever.
 
The Mandukya Upanishad says that when the vision of the ultimate Self takes place, the knots of the heart are severed, all doubts are cut off, and all actions weakened. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad we also read, "for them there is no return."
 
In the Chandogya Upanishad it says, "He attains to the world of the Absolute (and) this is Nirvana." The same type of wise man is mentioned similarly in many parts of the wisdom texts. He enjoys the ultimate bliss of Nirvana which is ever auspicious, most bright, and desirable.