Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sloka 7 and Sloka 8


In the last sloka we learnt how it is the pure consciousness only that illumines all the objects. In this sloka Acharya explains that the objects illumined are associated and hence dear only to the reflection while the pure consciousness though is the illuminator stays unaffected.

ruupaadau guNadoshhaadivikalpaa buddhigaaH kriyaaH
taaH kriyaa vishhayaiH saardhaM bhaasayantii chitirmataa .. 7..

Gunadoshaadivikalpaaha: Notions of good and evil
Roopadav: in form etc. (in objects of senses etc.)
Kriyaha: activities
Budhigaahaha: going with the intellect
Chitihi: the pure consciousness
Mataa: is considered
Bhaasayanti: as illumining
Taaha: those
Kriyaha: activities (of the mind)
Saardhyam: together
Vishayaihi: with objects (of the senses)

Notions of the good and evil in respect of the senses- objects are the creations of the intellect. The pure consciousness however simply reveals those activities of the intellect together with the external objects.

Acharya here explains that objects are attributed good or bad qualities only by the antahkaranas. It is the mind that says an object is good or bad, these are result of the intellectual activities which create the duality and hence hatred, or liking to any objects. But the pure consciousness which illumines these functions (i.e. the activities of the mind together with the objects of the senses such as forms’ etc.) is ever free from any modifications.

Vidyaranya Swami gives a beautiful example of a precious stone to explain this in the 4th chapter of Panchadashi. A precious stone creates pleasure in the mind of a person who desired it and possess it but the same will create misery and anger ( or even jealousy J ) in the mind of a person who desired it but could not possess it. The same stone which creates pleasure and misery thus may also create an attitude of indifference in a third person who neither desired it nor is attached to it. Hence it cannot be said that the stone has the value of happiness or sadness or indifference, nor can it always bring the same feelings to a person at all times, (as in case of the stone, there will be misery to the same happy person if stone is lost) but it is the mind which goes through all these changes. The same can be said of the world and the objects in it.

That which is good for one person may be evil for another. Thus insentient and illusory objects of the world can never possess any emotions nor are capable of bringing any emotions by themselves. It is the Jeeva who gets associated with the objects and forms and seems to go through all the emotions of liking and disliking. Evil, good, bad, etc. are hence creations of the mind only.

The presence of the object and the feelings towards it are experienced only because of the consciousness. If consciousness is not present then we can never say ‘I hate this’ or ‘I like that’ etc. The consciousness thus is the illuminator of all activities of the intellect and the objects also.
This pure consciousness which illumines all the objects through the intellect never gets affected, as it is complete in itself and is self illuming. The pure consciousness is by itself free from all modifications, and is part less and all pervading as we have learnt by the vakya ‘Ekam eva Adviteeyam’. Like the Sun God who gives light to the world but still remains unaffected by its happenings in it or by the clouds or the rain that seem to block the Sun; the pure consciousness, illumines all activities and the objects but can never be a subject of any attachments nor get affected by external objects and stands only as a witness; unaffected and untainted.

In certain advaitic works, it is clearly mentioned that Buddhi seems to be conscious because of Consciousness getting reflected – thus buddhi starts working as if it is conscious (yes, the jeeva comes into picture here but that doesn’t mean we can replace jeeva with buddhi because buddhi is insentient but jeeva has sentience associated as if through the original consciousness and is that part of original consciousness which is associated with the insentient buddhi).

The above explanation seems to follow the view upheld by bhamathi school as well as vivarana school that Jeeva is affected by things whereas Brahman or OC is never affected at all. This is criticized by many vivarana acharyas like chitsukha, nrsimhaasrama and other acharyas like Vimuktatman, author of Ista siddhi. There is no jeeva apart from OC. This means that jeeva just seems to get affected and never is really affected at all (because jeeva itself has no separate existence at all). Thus “thoughts” are dear to that jeeva who thinks himself as the body, mind etc. and in bondage. For that jeeva who has realized himself as OC and not the reflection called JEEVA – there is no bondage and thoughts are not dear at all.

Thus it is better not to differentiate by saying that jeeva is affected and Consciousness or Brahman is not at all affected. But it is better to take the view that jeeva also is not affected because it has no real existence apart from the original consciousness (almost like aabhaasa vaada). Thus jeeva seems to be affected but is never affected.

It is the mind or intellect which has jeeva or reflection in it which is really affected – whereas the reflection is that which takes the shape of the medium – thus jeeva seems to be affected but consciousness is never affected – that which is affected is the intellect or mind alone.

Vide the sruthi statement
Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoh – mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation. That mind which is devoid of thirst for pleasures/objects is in liberation whereas that which seeks the objects is in bondage.

By this sloka Acharya explains us that the pure self luminous consciousness is not capable of being affected by any of the modifications of the mind and the intellect and the different forms and objects, which by their very nature are unreal, insensate and limited. The liking and disliking leading to all the misery and pleasure from such external objects is caused due to the antahkarana only.


ruupaachcha guNadoshhaabhyaa.n viviktaa kevalaa chitiH
saivaanuvartate ruuparasaadiinaa.n vikalpane .. 8..

Kevalaa: the absolute
Chitihi: pure consciousness
Vivikta: distinct
Roopat: from the form
Cha: and
Gunadoshabyam: from notions of good and evil
Saa: she (i.e the pure consciousness)
Eva: verily
Anuvartate: stands behind
Vikalpena: the cognitions
Rooparasaadinaam: of form, taste etc.

The absolute pure consciousness is distinct from the objects of senses as well as from the notions of good and evil attributed to them by the intellect, yet she ( pure consciousness) is that stands behind the cognition of them all is the sole illuminator.

The absolute consciousness is distinct from the sense objects, such as, ‘form’ etc. as we have learnt in the first sloka. The consciousness is always free from all sense objects and their attributes of good and bad as these are created only by the adjuncts, i.e. by the mind and the intellect. The substratum can never be affected by the modifications to the reflection. Like the ripples water surface unaffecting the sun, the modifications of the intellect causing all duality and the attributes of likes and dislikes to them, do not affect the substratum.
The consciousness which is free from all the illusory adjuncts is hence never affected by the modifications. It is that which is beyond all the names, forms and likes and emotions. Pure consciousness is that which illumines all the senses and objects and is the sole illuminator.

Thus the self luminous consciousness though being the illuminator of all the objects (and their qualities) through the medium of adjuncts, like the intellect etc. can never be a subject of all modifications.

In the last two slokas of Laghu vakya vritti, we learnt that absolute consciousness remains unaffected by the illusory world and its objects, and how the attributes of likes and dislikes arise due to the intellect only. In the next two slokas, Acharya explains that the pure consciousness permeates through all the modifications and remains unchanged and though hidden by the modifications of the intellect can be clearly perceived between them.


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