Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sloka 27 and 28


dehendriyamanaHpraaNaahaN^kR^itibhyo vilakShaNaH projjhitaasheshaShaDbhaavavikaarastvaMpadaabhidhaH .. 27..

Pada artha:

Tvam-pada-abhidaha: what is meant by the word ‘thou’
Vilakshanaha: is quite distinct
Deha-indriya-manaha-pranaha-ahumkrutibyaha: from the body, the senses, the mind, the vital force and the ego,
Projita-ashesha-vikaraha: and is absolutely free from all the six changes to which all the non conscious things are subject.

What is meant by the word ‘Thou’ is quite distinct from the body, the senses, the mind, the vital force and the ego, and is absolutely free from the six changes to which all the non conscious things are subject

By this sloka, the teacher completes explaining the discrimination of the Self from the subtle body. The Guru is here again explains the nature of the Self as distinct from the subtle bodies and also from all the objects in the world as it is free from all modifications.

The guru here is explaining that the Self does not undergo the six changes that all the insentient objects undergo. All objects of the world that are temporary and prone to change will undergo these six changes. These are called as Shadroomi. They are janma-birth, astitva-existence, vriddhi-growth, parinaama-change, apakshaya-disease and Naasha-death. It is very well known from our experience also that anything that is born has to perish. This is applicable to all the objects and the world itself, since these are ever changing, they will be prone to all these changes and hence will eventually perish also. Thus the world and all its objects including the gross, subtle and causal bodies have to be known as temporary and illusory only.

But Atman is verily existence-consciousness-bliss and hence which is ever existing and thus beyond the birth and death. The Self has to be known as that which is beyond time and all modifications. Only that which is unchanging and ever present can be real. Only that which is ever present is conscious of its existence, any object that is prone to these changes has to be insentient and unreal only and also all insentient objects are prone to these six changes. Thus it has to be known that the only reality is the Atman.
We can take the gross body for example, one may say “I was born in this day”… “I was grown up here” etc. etc.. if we analyze, there is a I present in each of these and it is ever present. Even to say that birth, growth or death has taken place there has to be a ever present witness distinct from it. Hence as we have learnt in previous slokas also, the sentiment Self has to be known as free from all the changes that the insentient objects are prone to.

The Guru hence repeats this here again in this sloka as this discrimination must be made very clear before one tries to understand the sentence “Thou art that”


tvamarthamevaM nishchitya tadarthaM chintayetpunaH
atadvyaavR^ittiruupeNa saakShaadvidhimukhena cha .. 28..

Pada artha:

Evam: thus
Nishitya: ascertaining
Tvam-artham: what is denoted by the word “thou”
Chinteyet punaha: one should think over again
Tat artham: what is meant by the word “That”
Atat-vyavritti-roopena: by way of negating what is other than “that” (Brahman)
Cha: and also
Sakshaat vidhi mukhena: directly in the positive method

When the meaning of the word “Thou” is thus ascertained one should think over what is meant by the word “That” by negating what is other than Brahman and also according to the direct positive method.
In the previous slokas, we learnt the real meaning of ‘Tvam’ or ‘Thou’. After knowing the real Thou and ascertaining the nature of Self, the Guru is next instructing the disciple to know the meaning of ‘That’ which is the Brahman through the positive and negation methods.

Brahman is not something that can be described in mere few words not can it be pointed out only as this or that. The Upanishads describe Brahman as that which gives power of speaking and not just that which is worshipped as ‘THIS’ i.e. as any name or form of God. We can never define Brahman by describing the qualities which are again obtained by various objects of the world. To explain this, lets take example of a flower.. How to describe a flower? That it is red in color, it smells nice etc. but these qualities of red color, sweet smell etc. are those known only by other objects of the world and through senses only. Hence to explain Brahman which is the substratum of this illusory world and all the senses itself, would not be possible. Thus we cannot describe or give proof to the existence of Brahman, it is that from which everything else has come. Hence it is impossible completely define what it is by mere words or proofs.

To know that ultimate reality, the Upanishads have used two ways to ascertain the nature of Brahman. This is what is mentioned by the guru here. One is the positive method and other, the negative method. The positive method is directly pointing out to the very nature as SAT-CHIT-ANANDA i.e. existence-Consciousness-Bliss. These would invariably also lead to the conclusion that Brahman is one with out the second. We also have to remember that these are not the characteristics of Brahman but verily Brahman. And neither can Brahman be described as only existence or only consciousness or just bliss. One would be definitely lead to the other two also. Hence Brahman is described by the positive method as Satchitanandam.

Since Brahman cannot be defined as ‘This’ or ‘that’ nor pointed out as it is the proof of all proofs, we can only infer as THAT because of which everything else is by negating everything else.. This method of negation is called the negation method or Neti Neti (not this, not this) method. Brahman can only be inferred by negation as not this not this or not that or nothing that is sensed or nothing that is grasped, or nothing that is expressed by words. Thus by eliminating all the objects that can be sensed, expressed or all those that are impermanent are negated and known only as superimpositions on the Self. Only the negator remains which is known as the Atman, who is ever existence, sentient and ever blissful and verily Brahman.

The Guru hence in this sloka is instructing the disciple to first ascertain the nature of Self or Self indicated by ‘TVAM’ and then by these methods, ascertain the nature of Brahman indicated by ‘TAT’ in the Mahavakyas and thereby ascertain their identity. Let us learn these two methods in detail in next slokas.

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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