Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sloka 5 and Sloka 6


In the last sloka, we learnt how the activities of the jeeva are restricted only to the dream and waking state and the pure consciousness illumines on the ignorance in the deep sleep. Now we shall learn in the fifth sloka how it is only the pure consciousness that illumines even in the waking state.

jaagare.api dhiyastuushhNiiMbhaavaH shuddhena bhaasyate
dhiivyaapaaraashcha chidbhaasyaashchidaabhaasena sa.nyutaaH .. 5..

Jaagare:: In wakefulness
Api: also
Tushnimbhavaha: the calm or unmodified state
Dhiyaha: of the intellect
Bhasyate: is illumined
Shudhena: by the pure consciousness
Dheevyaaparaha: the activities of the intelellect
Cha: too
Chid bhasyaha:the objects of illumination of pure consciousness
Sayuthaha: in conjunction
Chidbhasena: with the reflection of pure consciousness (i.e. with the jeevatman)

Even in the wakefulness, the calm of the intellect is lit up by the pure consciousness. So also the activities of the intellect together with the reflected consciousness are subject to manifestation by the pure consciousness.

Here Acharya states that it is the pure consciousness that illumines everything even in the waking state and one can experience this pure consciousness even while awake in the tranquil state, by the words ‘Jaagareepi’. The intellect with out any modifications is witnessed by the pure consciousness while the functioning mind becomes an object of illumination of both the pure and reflected consciousness.
The ‘activities of the intellect’ mentioned here (by words Dheevyaaparaha) can be attributed only to the Jeeva as we have learnt earlier. Hence the intellect with its modifications has to be illumined by the reflected consciousness also.

This reflected consciousness is in turn illumined only by the pure consciousness as any reflection needs a substratum; and the reflection by itself cannot illumine any object nor can various objects be perceived independently with out the consciousness illumining them. Thus there should be a source of illumination that is not tainted by any objects and activities and is independent of the reflection. That is the pure consciousness, the Brahman which forms the substratum of all objects and that which is Self illumining.
Thus the activities of intellect are an object of illumination of both the pure and reflected consciousness.

Swami Vidyaranya in Panchadashi 8th chapter explains this through a example as: Just as a wall that can be lighted directly by the Sun as well as its reflection through a mirror, and we as can observe the natural sunlight on the wall existing in the middle of the different patches of light, similarly, we can also observe the natural consciousness that is the true nature of Self in between the thoughts and feelings or in tranquil state. Thus, the intellect with its modifications is illumined by both the mutable and immutable consciousness; whereas the intellect in its state of tranquility is illumined by the pure consciousness alone. Controlling of thoughts is not what is required – what is required is “focusing” the thoughts into “one single thought”. Controlling is almost impossible and can be achieved only through concentration on one thought which is what Vedanta as well as Yoga system of Patanjali follow. When “one thought” is maintained for some time, that thought too vanishes & only the thinker remains as pure Consciousness.

A couple of words on Sakshi or witness or Original Consciousness (OC). Any activity requires the triputi which consists of Subject, Object and action. The activity of Jnaana or getting knowledge involves JNAATAA (knower), JNEYA (that which is to be known) and JNAANA (process of knowing). In normal activities, the JNAATA is the Ego or RC (Reflected Consciousness), JNEYA is the vishayaas or sense objects and JNAANA is through the KARANA or instruments. For these activities to happen (as these are also changing as per activities), there should be something stable or constant which is the SAKSHI or witness or substratum of these illusions. This SAKSHI ceases to be a witness if it is involved in the activity.

“I” cannot be a witness to cricket match if I am part of the match and playing in it – because then I have a role in it & will be identified with that role – thus there cannot be witnesshood for me in that case.

Thus SAKSHI or OC is never affected as it is not involved in the activities of EGO or RC. This SAKSHI is what illumines the activities as Consciousness or CHIT. RC is called CHIDAABHAASA as AABHAASA means reflection. SAKSHI thus illumines the RC, the vishayaas and the action also.

In short, that which witnesses cannot be part of the event which it witnesses ---- that which is part of the event cannot be a witness of the event. Thus OC is called KUTASTHA – that which is unaffected by activities but still is the original and real light illumining all illusory activities in the world.

Sankara does mention about the above logic of Sakshi in one of his Upanishad bhashyas (forgot which one) and this comes in Lakshmidhara’s Advaita Makaranda as well as in the sub commentary Rasaabhivyanjika of Svayamprakaasha yathi on the same.
In the next sloka we will learn in detail how it is the pure consciousness only that illumines all the objects.


vahnitaptajala.n taapayukta.n dehasya taapakam.h .chidbhaasyaa dhiistadaabhaasayuktaanyaM bhaasayettathaa .. 6..

Jalam: water
Vahnitaptam: boiled on fire
Taapayuktam: being associated with heat
Taapakam: the cause of scalding
Dehasya: of the body
Tatha: likewise
Deehi: the intellect
Chit bhasya: made radiant by the pure consciousness
Tat aabhaasayuktaa: conjoined with the reflection of that ( i.e with the pure

Bhaasayet : reveals
Anyam: other objects

Water heated on fire acquires heat and so becomes capable of heating the body; in like manner, the intellect illumined by pure consciousness acquires its luster and thereby illumines all other external objects.

Acahraya here explains that the experience and perception of external objects is possible by the intellect only if it is illumined by the consciousness. The words by heating on fire indicates that just as water being boiled on fire acquires heat so also the intellect illuminated by the pure consciousness and the reflection, becomes capable of manifesting the external objects referred here by word Anyam.
Intellect seems to be conscious because OC falls on it and becomes RC. Thus it is RC which gives intellect its light or Chaitanya (this RC itself is a creation of OC only).

All our knowledge of external objects, like an earthen jar, etc. is given by the intellect when it is illumined by the consciousness. Just as how the water can scald a body due to the heat it acquires from fire, similarly intellect illumines all objects due to the consciousness illuminating it. Water by itself cannot scald a body but when it acquires heat from the fire, it can scald. So also the intellect which is just an adjunct cannot illumine the object by itself but when consciousness shines on it, all the external objects are perceived.
Any object has its existence only when there is someone conscious of it. Thus the knowledge that ‘this is a pot’, ‘this is a jar’ etc. is due to the consciousness only. Hence any object is illumined by the consciousness alone. Intellect by itself cannot illumine things, it requires a substratum, a source of illumination, and that is the Consciousness. If consciousness is there the world and other objects are there, if the consciousness is not there, the world is not there. Thus all objects co exist with the consciousness. Intellect is that which perceives these objects due to the consciousness. Hence it is the Consciousness that illumines all other objects through the intellect.


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