Science of the Absolute Chapter 2 - Verses

 

DARSANA-MALA

 

A GARLAND OF VISIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE

 

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.

 

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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).

 

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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.

 

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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.
 

 

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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.

 

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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.