Science of the Absolute Chapter 7 - Verses

 

 

DARSANA-MALA

 

A GARLAND OF VISIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

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.



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