Science of the Absolute Chapter 8 - Verses
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Created on Monday, 20 October 2008 18:55
Last Updated on Friday, 23 May 2014 16:57
Published on Monday, 20 October 2008 18:55
Written by Patrick Misson
A GARLAND OF VISIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE
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,
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.
ANADAM-EVA, even bliss,
DHYAYANTI, do meditate,
NA (DHYAYATI), does not (meditate),
YAT, that which,
ANANDAPARAM, as pertaining to bliss,
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,
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,
YASYA, of whom,
NISCTADHIH (ASTI), there (is) sure awareness,
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,
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.
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.