Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sloka 1 and Sloka 2


The first sloka of Laghu vakya vrtti is thus. Acharya starts by first pointing out the upaadis or the adjuncts of the Atman and hence the substratum underlying these i.e. the Atman. This method is called as Chandra shaka Nayaaya in Vedanta. Here the branch is first shown and through it the moon is shown, i.e. the adjuncts are first pointed out and through them the Atman residing in these. The first sloka is:

sthuulo maa.nsamayo deho suukshmaH syaadvaasanaamayaH
.j~naanakarmendriyaiH saardha.n dhiipraaNau tachchhariiragau .. 1..

Mamsamayaha: the fleshy
Dehaha: body
Syath: is
Sthoolaha: the gross (adjunct)
Sookshmaha: the subtle (adjunct)
Vaasanaamayaha: consists of desires
Dheepranau: the intellect and the vital force
Saardhaha: together with
Jnaanakarmaadendriyai: the sensory and motor organs
Tat shareeragav : going on with that body

The fleshy body is the gross adjunct of the Atman and the one made up of desires together with the organs of perception and action, the pranas , the intellect and the mind constitutes the subtle adjunct.

Acharya Sankara says the same in Nirvanashtakam, as we have learnt as “ Na cha pranasamjno vai panchavayuhu; Na vaa saptha dhatu na va pancha kosha; Na vaak paani padam no chopasthapayu…”.

The first is the gross adjuncts. the gross body consisting of flesh, bones, blood etc. is the gross limitation of Atman. The body can never be Self, and the illusions that I am this body, this is my body, I am good looking etc. are illusory limitations only. That which is produced by the seeds from parents and grown on food can never be permanent. It is prone to death and decay and hence is insentient only. Hence the gross body is explained as the first adjunct.

The second adjunct Acharya explains, is the subtle body made up of desires consisting of the five organs of perception, i.e Jananendriyas, and the five organs of action, karmendriyas., the mind with the intellect and the prana. Now let us learn how these are only adjuncts are are not Self. The five janendriyas are the sense of hearing, the sense of touch, the sense of sight, the sense of taste and the sense of smell. The five Karmendriyas are organ of speech, organ of grasping, the organ of locomotion, the organ of generation and organ of excretion.The Antahkarana consisting of the manas, buddhi, Ahamkara and chitta bind the Self to the illusory external objects. All the indriyas are devoid of consciousness and require a person functioning them who is different from them.

Thus they are dependent on the functioning agent and thereby insentient and form adjuncts. The prana consists of the five vital airs. Based on the functionality they can be called as: Prana which causes expiration, Apana which causes inspiration, Udana which separates the physical and subtle bodies at death, Samana which digests the food taken in, and Vyana which causes circulation of blood in the body. These pervade through out the gross body and give it the power of movement. These are also devoid of consciousness and hence can also not be Self. The subtle body thus made up of desires is changing and insentient. Hence the subtle body is called as the second adjunct.

Adjuncts are those which are external, hence the gross and the subtle bodies which are just illusions on the Atman can never be the Self and the false recognition of them to Self makes them as limitations only. The ego binds this illusory body to Self. The gross body though an adjunct is mistaken for Self. Due to the ego, a person may think that eating tasty food, getting sensory pleasures, wearing ornaments, decorating the body and its so called 'beauty' will bring happiness. Such delusions arising from the attachment to the body and the cognition to it forms the first limitation. When the ego is not satisfied, or hurt or when desires are left unfulfilled, these seems to be sadness, the mind causes such all the feelings and this creates an limitation. Due to such an ego and mind forming the subtle body, the ever blissful nature of Self is forgotten and a person seems goes through all the pain and pleasures in the world. Hence these are called as the adjuncts and are illusory limitations to the Atman.

A few comments on the Nyaaya used as well as the process of removing or negating the Self from the not-Self.

First, what is Self and what is not-Self?????? Anandagiri in the katha Upanishad bhashya tika defines the word “Atma” as “Aaplru vyaapthau” (the verb formation) – Atma word is taken from the root Aaplru meaning “vyapthi” or “pervasiveness”. Thus Atman or Self is that which is all-pervasive.

Sankara defines Atman in the same sloka of Katha Upanishad by quoting from Linga Purana thus: Yat cha aapnothi yadaadathe yat cha atti vishayaan iha Yat cha asya santhatho bhaavah tasmaat atmethi keertyathe

That by which everything is pervaded – that which attracts all – that which enjoys everything – that by which this world gets its existence (the world is existent because of the substratum of Atman or Consciousness) – that is called Atman.

Since Self is that which all pervasive and ever-existent – thus that which really exists is called Self. And so not-Self is that which really doesn’t exist but only seems to exist due to illusion.
Anything other than Self is not-Self only. The Self is Consciousness as per Prajnaanam Brahma and Brahma is Atma as per Ayam Atma Brahma. Thus Consciousness which is one alone is the ultimate reality of Self. This Self is non-dual or Advaya as per Mandukya Statement that “Ajam asvapna anidram advaitam buddhyathe tadaa” and as per the Yajur Veda statement “Neha nana asthi kinchana” – there is no duality whatsoever but only the Self alone.
Thus the not-Self is only an illusion in the Self.

Analysis of Self as per Mandukya is based on avastha traya analysis. We experience only three states daily – these three states completely gives us knowledge about everything (illusory knowledge and real knowledge too). The three states are jagrat or waking, svapna or dream and sushupthi or deep sleep. The jagrat has sthoola shareera, svapna has the sukshma shareera and sushupthi has the kaarana shareera or causal body of ignorance. These three bodies are the adjuncts which seems to limit the Self. It is like various pots limiting space (seemingly limiting). The space is never limited but seems to be limited when the adjunct of pot is there – remove the pot, the space becomes infinite & the “seemingly limited” feeling also vanishes…. Similarly when the adjuncts are removed from the Self, the Self alone remains as Paramaatman, Brahman and the ultimate reality of Consciousness.

What is the relation between Self and not-Self???? Vedanta says that Self and not-Self are bound by Adhyaasa or superimposition. The Self alone really exists. Thus the illusory not-Self is superimposed on the Self –this is called adhyaasa or adhyaaropa. This adhyaasa has to be removed by negating the not-Self from the Self – this is called apavaada or negation. The process of negation is Neti, Neti – not this, not this. Everything which is mentioned as “this” is an object & hence not-Self. The Self is the Subject which is never objectified. (Detailed analysis of neti cannot be had here as the mail will grow hugeJ).

When everything is negated, the negator or SAKSHI or witness of negation alone remains behind – this SAKSHI is the Self or the ultimate reality of Consciousness upon which everything is superimposed. As the substratum of rope is unaffected when snake is seen and many things are imagined, similarly the Self is not affected by the changes in the not-Self. As the substratum of rope is the witness to activities imagined in the snake, similarly Self is the witness to the changes in the not-Self.

Thus adhyaaasa or adhyaaropa and apavada are the process for realizing the ultimate reality of Brahman or Atman which is Consciousness.

Thus to realize the Self, first adhyaaasa or the adhyastha vasthu or not-Self has to be explained. This is what Upanishads do first. They first explain about the creation which is superimposed on the Self. Then afterwards, this is negated and the Self as SAKSHI is mentioned. This process of going from near to far (near means that which is currently known and far is that which is not known) – the adhyaastha not-Self is known now due to ignorance & hence it is mentioned first & then the Self is shown through them as the substratum and witness of the not-Self.
Sankara himself uses the word SAKSHI in the second sloka of Laghu Vakya Vritti after explaining the kaarana shareera.

The process of going from known to unknown, near to far is called Chandra shaaka nyaaya. A child is not eating food at night – so the mother pacifies it by telling “chanda maama is there, you can see it, do eat, my Dear!” etc. The child is small and hence it cannot directly see the sky. Thus the mother first shows a nearby branch (if the perception line is extended from the branch still into the sky, it will lead to the moon) and then through that shows the moon. The branch is not-Self and moon is the Self.

This nyaaya is also called arundhathi nyaaya which is used once a couple get married (a function or customary associated with marriage). The bride is shown the star arundhathi by the bridegroom through other stars. The groom first shows some stars & through them, goes further and shows the Arundhathi star (first star A is shown and then says see the star near A which is B and thus arundhathi is shown).

The sloka quoted for adhyaasa and apavaada is:
Adhyaaroopa apavaadaabhyaam nishprapancham prapanchyathe Mumukshoonaam moksha sidhyartham tattvajnaaih kalpitha kramah
By adhyaaaropa the unmodified Brahman is seemingly modified and world is seemingly created – this is removed by apavaada of creation from Brahman --- this is the way prescribed by knowers of reality for realization of the seekers.

In the first sloka we learnt the first two adjuncts of Atman as gross and subtle bodies and how these are only adjuncts and can never be the Atman. Today we shall learn the second sloka which explains the third adjunct, the causal body and the Self is only a witness.

aj~naana.n kaaraNa.n saakshii bodhasteshhaa.n vibhaasakaH .
bodhaabhaaso buddhigataH kartaa syaatpuNyapaapayoH .. 2..

Ajnaanam: ignorance
Kaaranam: the cause ( the causal body)
Bodhaha: pure consiousness Sakshi: the witness
Tesham Vibhasakaha: of them, the illuminator
Bodhabhasaha: reflection of pure consiousness
Budhigataha: attached to the intellect
Syat : is
Karta : the agent Punyapaapayoho : of good and evil actions.

Ignorance makes the causal adjunct. Pure consciousness stands behind them all, i.e. behind all the three adjuncts as the witness and the illuminator. The reflection of the pure consciousness on the intellect (acquiring the sense of individuality due to ignorance) becomes the Jiva, the agent of good and evil.

Acharya in this sloka explains the third adjunct. The Causal body indicated by the words ‘Ajnanam kaaranam’ is the third adjunct. Ajnaam kaaranam means that which is due to ignorance. Ajnanam or ignorance, is the cause of the creation of the world. The causal body born out of ignorance which in turn gives birth to the subtle and gross bodies forms the third adjunct. AJNAANA is just ignorance of the Self or not knowing the Self.

When the ever blissful nature of Self is forgotten, duality is perceived. And a person seems to go through all the troubles due to this ignorance only. The causal body and hence the other adjuncts is due to ignorance of one’s nature only. Causal body itself is ignorance. Thus CAUSAL Body is not due to ignorance but CAUSAL BODY itself is ignorance. It is called causal because it is the cause for the other two bodies (see Mandukya or Panchikarana vartika where this is mentioned clearly). Thus the word used is KAARANAM or CAUSE. This KAARANA SHAREERA itself is ignorance.

This ignorance can be neither termed as present nor absent. It is present as duality, which is not the nature of Self is percieved, but it is also absent as this duality is not perceived always at all times as in deep sleep, in extreme happiness etc. Hence it is said to be of the nature ‘Asat’ i.e. that which is non existing. Ignorance is also an illusion only and is beginning-less. So the causal body which is due to ignorance alone is also illusory and insentient. This causal body is a result of Ajnana, will surely perish, hence it can never be Sat or Self. The three adjuncts are thus explained by Acharya as insentient and impermanent. Ignorance has two powers which is Aavarana or veiling power and Vikshepa or projecting power….. Avarana power veils the reality and this is what is experienced in deep sleep where only veiling power is there. But in dream and waking states, there is veiling as well as projecting power which projects the duality. Thus duality is vikshepa shakthi of Ajnaana or ignorance. As per Vidyaranya, Vikshepa is the cause of sorrow as when there is no vikshepa but aavarana is there (as in deep sleep, unconscious state etc.), still there is bliss of the Self enjoyed. But when vikshepa or duality comes – that’s when all sorrows and sufferings start.

Any changing object must have a changeless substratum. That which illuminates these three adjuncts and forms the substratum is the pure consciousness alone, indicated here by the word ‘bodha’. Consciousness is here explained as Sakshi or witness, as it can never be affected by anything and is a witness to the three bodies.

Acharya next explains Jeeva as the reflected consciousness. The reflection or Aabhasa of the pure bodha i.e. consciousness on the intellect becomes the jeeva.

It is because of this consciousness that is the substratum, that the gross, subtle and causal bodies seem to exist and undergo various experiences in the world. Jeeva hence has a beginning and an end also & would be unconscious if not Consciousness is not present as reflection of consciousness on intellect is called Jeeva and reflection of Consciousness is not there in Jeeva which is RC or Reflected Consciousness.

Hastamalaka defines jeeva as “Chidaabhaasako dhishu jeevah” – the reflection of Consciousness in intellect is called JEeva. The definition acharyas give for Jeeva is “Chitta gatha, chitprathibimba lakshano jeevah” – the reflection of Consciousness which is in intellect is called Jeeva.

This jeeva due to its association with the intellect and other antahkarana becomes an agent of good and bad. Here good and bad can be interpreted as actions. The pure consciousness or Atman which is only the witness when reflected on the intellect becomes an agent of all actions. The Jeeva seems to be doing work through the antahkarana. This occurs due to avidya only. A seeker has to know that the jeeva is just a mere reflection of the consciousness and the true Self which is verily consciousness can never do any actions nor get affected by actions. It is only jeeva due to its association with the ego that gets affected by all activities, evil and good but the Self is always present only as a witness. Jeeva can be considered as EGO itself – this jeeva or Ego gets affected when associated with the mind or gross objects.

Jeeva is real as it is a reflection of the consciousness which is real but also unreal as it is just a reflection and an illusion only. The Substratum which is the pure consciousness is that which has to be known by removing all the adjuncts and limitations. This is what is called apavaada or negation process.


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