Monday, April 17, 2006

Sloka 21 and 22

Hari OM to all,

Firstly thanks to Lord for all the doubts and answers about the existence of the mind. And also pardon for the long break in learning the slokas. I pray to Lord to give us strength to overcome all obstacles and to aid us dissolve all the confusions. Let the mind always be fixed on the thought of reality alone.

To recap, in the last slokas, we were learning from the guru, the only way to overcome all the sorrows of the world is by knowing the reality, by knowing the true Self. The guru is explaining the import of Mahavakyas to the student by instructing the student to know the Self as that which is beyond the senses, mind, body and intellect. The teacher is asking the student here to ascertain the true nature of Self as that which is the illuminator of everything, which is only a witness to all the actions. Let us now move on to the next slokas.


agamanme mano.anyatra saamprataM cha sthiriikR^itam.h .
evaM yo vetti dhiivR^ittiM so.ahamityavadhaaraya .. 21..

Pada artha:
Aham: I am
Saha: he
Yaha: who
Vethi: knows
Dhee-vrittim: the functions of the intellect
Evam: such as
Me: my
Manaha: mind
Agamat: went
Anyatra: elsewhere
Cha: and
Sthirikrutam: it is brought to rest
Saampratam: now
Avadharaya iti: ascertain that
Have no doubt about the fact that you are not other than the consciousness which is the Self illumining the modifications of the mind such as ‘my mind went elsewhere but it is now brought to rest’,

In this sloka, the guru is explaining the nature of Self as the light illumining all objects. It is only because of the consciousness that the intellect can function. It is only because of this consciousness that we can witness the changes in the mind and the intellect. Experience and logic says that there should be something constant, unchanging and ever present witness to acknowledge the changes. Hence to say that “I had this thought or I was thinking that etc.” the ‘I’ has to be constant, immutable and should be a witness. And that which witnesses all the changes of the mind and hence the entire world is the Atman. The nature of this ‘I’ has to be known as only a witness. Hence the Guru is here telling the student to be sure of the nature of Self as only the witness and illuminator. It is the consciousness due to which the insentient intellect also appears to be conscious.

Here we can recall the 6th sloka of Laghu vakya vritti. Just as the water heated by the fire gets the heat to scald a body, similarly, the intellect illumines the objects only due to the consciousness that illumines it. Hence, One has to know Self as neither the body, nor the mind, nor the senses, nor the vital airs nor the combination of these, but as that which illumines all these and that due to which all these appear to be conscious.

In the next sloka, the guru explains Self as that which is beyond the three states of waking, dream and sleep which we shall learn on next.

After explaining the Self as that which is distinct from the three illusory bodies, i.e the gross, subtle and the causal bodies, the guru here is explaining to the student that the Self as related to the three states.


svapnajaagarite suptiM bhaavaabhaavau dhiyaaM tathaa .
yo vettyavikriyaH saakShaatso.ahamityavadhaaraya .. 22..

Pada artha:
Aham: I am
saha: he
yaha: who
avikriya: changeless by nature
saakshaat: and directly cognized
vethi: knows
swapna jagarite: dream, waking
suptim: and deep sleep
tatha: and also
bhava abhavav: the appearance and disappearance
dheeya: of the intellect
avadharaya iti: ascertain this.

Make sure that you are the changeless Self immediately cognized that illumines the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep as well as the appearance and disappearance of the intellect and its modifications.

The Self is discriminated here from the states of waking, dream and deep sleep, and also from the intellect and thus it is shown to be distinct from all of them. Atman is that which exists beyond the three states. Let us first know what these three states are. The waking state or the Jagratha avastha is that when all the senses are active and aware of the external world. Dream state or Swapna Avastha is that when the experiences of the waking state as impressions on the mind take form of the objects and the observer also. The Deep sleep state or the Shushpta avastha is when the gross and subtle bodies are absorbed in their source, i.e. the causal body. At this state, there are no senses, no mind nor the thoughts. The Self is a witness only to the ignorance at this deep sleep state. Atman who is always distinct from the three bodies remains always as a witness to the various activities in the three states.

One may say that "I dreamt this", "I had a good sleep", "I see this" etc. This is possible only of there is a witness distinct from the doer at all the three states. The Self is hence described here as the illuminator of all the three states.

It is only the jeeva which goes through all these states. As we have learnt in the technical definitions of Mahavakyas, it is only the jeeva that assumes the three bodies and becomes the Visva, Taijasa and Prajna, but the Brahman which is the substratum of this jeeva remains unchanging. The Guru here is explaining to the student to ascertain that Self is the Brahman which is unaffected by all the three states and is here asking the student to know for sure the Atman as the witness to the three states.

The Atman is also described as that which is the witness to the activities of the intellect. In the deep sleep state, there are no thoughts nor the intellect. The intellect along with the anthah karanas are absorbed into the causal body. Hence the Guru here says, You are that witness to this appearance and disappearance of the intellect and hence neither the intellect but nor the experiencer of the three states but the all illuming Atman distinct from them.

Hari OM

With regards,
Mallika R
What you have is God's gift to you and what you do with what you have is your gift to God


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