Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sloka 51 and 52 and 53

In the last slokas we learnt from the teacher that until the direct experience of Mahavakyas such as ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ is gained, a seeker must practice self control and listen, reflect and contemplate on the truth propounded by the scriptures and the words of Guru and also that by grace of Guru and scriptures, the seeker will eventually gain clear conviction about the Self and will be liberated permanently from all the ignorance which is the cause of all the miseries in this world.


vishiirNakaaryakaraNo bhuutasuukShmairanaavR^itaH .
vimuktakarmanigaDaH sadya eva vimuchyate .. 51..

pada artha:

Such a man,
Visheerna-karya-karanaha: his gross and subtle bodies dissolved
Bhoota-sookshamav anaavruthaha: freed from the subtle elements
Vimukta karma nigadhaha: and released from the chain of actions
Vimuchyate: gets liberated
Sadhyaha eva: immediately

Such a man, his gross and subtle bodies dissolved, freed from the subtle elements and released from the chain of actions, gets immediately liberated.

The Guru is next explaining that such a seeker who has lost the ego completely, who’s gross and the subtle bodies are hence dissolved, is immediately released from the chain of actions and is liberated.

The gross and the subtle bodies seem to exist only because of the ignorance and the ego. It is only the ignorance that makes one forget the true nature of the Self and seems to bind the ever blissful Self to the limited gross and the subtle bodies and this limitation is what causes all the dualities and hence miseries. When a seeker, by the grace of Guru and through constant contemplation and spiritual discipline, gains conviction about the real nature of the Self, immediately, these bodies dissolve. The bodies and the entire world itself will be realized only as an illusion in the ever present Self.

The guru here is telling that such a person devoid of any ego immediately becomes free of all the actions and their results. When there is no doer ship then there can be no actions done and hence no results of any actions can cling to such a person. It is only ignorance that leads to actions and gives the sense of doer ship. When this ignorance itself is negated by the knowledge, such a person sees oneness everywhere and to such a realized one, there is no world nor any actions nor the ego of gross and the subtle bodies that seem to do the actions. When action itself is thus not there, there can be no result also.

Hence the Guru is here saying that such a person will be free from the chain of actions and gets immediately liberated from the ignorance and hence all the miseries of the world.

Let us learn about such a realized one more in the last two slokas tomorrow.


praarabdhakarmavegena jiivanmukto yathaa bhavet.h .
kiJNchitkaalamanaarabdhakarmabandhasya saMkShaye .. 52..


nirastaatishayaanandaM vaiShNavaM paramaM padam.h .
punaraavR^ittirahitaM kaivalyaM pratipadyate .. 53..

pada artha:
samkhyate: on the destruction of
anaaradhya karma bandhasya: the bondage due to the actions that have not begun to bear fruit, a man
bhavet: remain
praarabhdha-karma-vegena: by force of those actions that have begun to bear fruit
jeevan mukthaha: liberated in life
kischit kaalam: for sometime
yadaa: when
pratipadhyate: he comes by
kaivalyam: absolute oneness,
punaha-aavritti-rahitam: from which there is no return
paramam: which is the supreme
padam: abode
vaishnavam: of Vishnu the all pervading one
nirashta atishaya aananda: and bliss beyond which there is none greater.

One the destruction of the bondage due to the actions that have not begun to produce results a man remains, by force of those actions that have begun to produce them, liberated in life for some time, when he comes by absolute oneness, the greatest and ultimate Bliss called the supreme abode of Vishnu, from which there is no return.

From the previous sloka we learnt that once the ego is completely destroyed and the ignorance negated by the knowledge from the scriptures and the teachings of the guru, one gets liberated from the cycle of actions. The guru is here explaining that such a Jeevan mukta or one liberated-in-life remains for some time in the world till all the actions that have begun to produce their results are exhausted.

The guru also is explaining that such a liberated one is always immersed in the blissful state of Absolute oneness and that there is no returning to the ignorance once this blissful nature of Self is realized. The Bliss is described here as the greatest and ultimate one as there is infinite, immeasurable and never ending. Hence it is Bliss and verily Bliss for one who has realized Self as verily the indivisible, nondual, Existence-consciousness- Bliss.

Here ends the ‘Vakya Vritti’ by Acharya Sri Sankara.
May the Grace of guru always lead us to that ultimate bliss which is the very nature of Self.

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


Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

We can very well remember here the Mundaka Upanishad statement which says thus:

Bhidhyathe hridaya granthi
Chidyanthe sarva samshayaah
Ksheeyanthe cha asya karmaani
Tasmin driste para avare

He who sees the jeeva as Brahman or Atman (or he who realizes the Self), his knots of the heart (which are the brahma granthi in mooladhaara denoting kaama, vishnu granthi in hridaya denoting karma and rudra granthi in broomadhya denoting avidya) are broken, all his doubts are expelled even as darkness is expelled when sun rises and all his actions or fruits of actions are nullified or made minimal.

Lord says the same in Gita 4th chapter as:
Sarvam karma akhilam paartha jnaane parisamaapyathe

All actions terminate in knowledge O Arjuna!

There is something subtle here also to understand which is Paroksha Jnaana and Aparoksha Jnaana. Paroksha jnaana is indirect experience through intellect from the Guru that I am Brahman and everything is Brahman.... But this isn't complete unless aparoksha jnaana dawns which is experiencing oneself as Brahman and the thought of Brahman never leaves the mind even for a second.

Vidyaranya in Panchadashi beautifully explains paroksha and aparoksha anubhava or jnaana through the story of ten fools crossing the river. A passer-by told that "you are the tenth" - this is paroksha jnaana or indirect knowledge. Then the tenth person counted each person and verified it -- this is aparoksha jnaana.

Again in panchadashi, Vidyaranya explains both in two slokas:
Paroksham brahma vijnaanam shaadbham desika poorvakam
budhipoorvakritham paapam kritsnam dahathi vahnivat

When a person gets indirect knowledge through the Guru's words and grace, all sins caused by him including all actions they are burnt like fire burns firewood.

Aparokshaatma vijnaanam shaabdham desika poorvakam
Samsaara kaarana ajnaana tamasah chanda bhaaskarah

When a person gets direct knowledge through Guru's words and grace, the ignorance which causes samsaara or avidya-kaama-karma cycle is destroyed like darkness dispelled by Sun.

To put it in brief -- paroksha jnaana destroys karma but still avidya persists and can cause doubts and confusions -- whereas aparoksha jnaana completely destroys avidya which can never come again.

Again, Sankara here mentions sadyo mukthi or instant liberation which is what Vedanta really believes in. The other type of mukthi found in scriptures is krama mukthi or gradual liberation through various lokas and all --- Bheeshma got this -- Sankara mentions in his Katha Upanishad bhashya that this is tough to achieve as Brahma loka has to be attained for which lot of ritualistic karmaas have to be done.... Sadyo mukthi is ever there and easy as compared to krama mukthi.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

8:21 PM  
Blogger vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Sankara in the last two slokas enters into a kind of controversial topic of Jeevan mukthas and videha mukthas. As we all are familiar with the two sub schools of Vedanta which are the bhamathi school and the vivarana school -- these two schools interpret jeevan muktha and videha muktha in different ways. There are mainly two views in place generally irrespective of schools - one view is that both are same as after jeevan mukthi, there is no ignorance and hence it is same as videha mukthi, the other view being that since prarabdha which has started giving fruit has to complete & thus jeevan mukthi is different from videha mukthi -- jeevan mukthi is when prarabdha alone is present or remains in the form of body, when body is left videha mukthi results.

:-)It is thus a highly controversial issue to analyze on jeevan mukthi and entering into prarabdha karma too.

Lord says in Gita that Jnaanagni destroys all karmas into bhasma -- similar statements are there in upanishads which kind of point out as to that mukthi is one alone. But again confusion arises as in such a case, it is tough to comment upon the actions of realized saints like sankara etc. who seem to be living in the world after realization.

Since this topic is controversial, will try to put forth a personal opinion on the same even as in the case of jeeva as per Advaita (the series where a personal opinion was posted -- pardon the personal opinion - if it isn't logical enough, objections or doubts are surely welcome and can be discussed out in the forum).

Mukthi cannot be many as Lord's statement clearly says that all karmas whether they are prarabdha or sanchita or agaami are destroyed by knowledge. Before entering into this, we need to know the three different types of karmas. The three types of karmas are sanchita, agaami and prarabdha.

1. Sanchita -- stored actions of previous births and which have not yet started giving fruit as such 2. Agaami -- the future actions or actions that will give future results.
3. prarabdha -- the karma which has started giving fruit and is the cause of the existence of the present body.

Tattva bodha of Sankara gives the opinion that sanchita and agaami are removed by jnaana but prarabdha which has already started giving fruit cannot be removed but has to enjoyed out.. This is also supported by Sankara's statement in Sadhana Panchakam that prarabdha has to be enjoyed out. Thus from this viewpoint, Lord's statement in Gita has to be taken in the case of sanchita and agaami alone -- not pointing to prarabdha at all. There are enough sruthi quotings to support this which is given in Vedanta Paribhaasha of Dharmaraja Adhvarindra.

But we are not here going to take sruthi view point as such because both the views are supported by sruthi quotings - we will try to analyze this through yukthi and other analysis.

Mukthi as explained earlier has to be one alone -- once a person realizes, it can never happen that the body still remains and karma still is present -- because karma is caused due to desire which in turn is caused due to ignorance. Thus if prarabdha is there, ajnaana is also there which means that jnaana has not become complete or realization has not happened -- thus this means there has been no mukthi at all contrary to our initial statement that mukthi has happened or the person has realized. Thus mukthi cannot be many and after realization, prarabdha also doesn't remain at all.

Here the other viewpoint supporting people can raise a valid objection thus: "An action which has started bearing fruit cannot be stopped in between and hence it has to completely give fruit....." This logic is also invalid and very easily answered --- there never is any action at all after realization.

When a person realizes, the realization dawns that there never was any body or any action at all in the first place -- all was only an illusion like dream world -- in such a case, there never arises the question of whether body remains or not -- because body never really existed in the first place. If body is still perceived, it doesn't matter at all because even water is perceived even though it is not there in desert -- thus a jnaani knows that there is no body or world even though he might perceive it or might not perceive it.

Thus it is but logical enough that after realization, there is no prarabdha or body at all........ If the objection is raised that "aren't sankara and others seen as doing actions" --- the simple answer is that "there are seen by the ignorant as doing actions" but for the jnaani there never is any world but only Brahman exists. Thus it is the ignorant's ignorance which causes him to see jnaani as doing action. This is very similar to the eka jeeva vaada theory -- the ajnaani sees jnaani as doing actions even as we may see realized saints working in the dream world --- the realized saints are as illusory as the unrealized people because there is nothing but the non-dual Self or Brahman alone, one without a second.

So, there is no two mukthis but only one mukthi -- which can be termed as jeevanmukthi or videha mukthi from the baddha jeevas view point through ignorance -- from the jnaani's viewpoint there is neither mukthi nor bandha but Self or Brahman alone.

But now the question comes as to then why does sankara take such a different stand differentiating between jeevan mukthi and videha mukthi (even so does the various other acharyas and saints liike dayananda saraswathi, chinmaya etc.)...... The answer is that they are speaking for the benefit of the ignorant and from the ignorant's perspective. The ignorant sees realized saints working & this can be explained only by putting forth that jeevan mukthas have body and they seem to be working. But once a person realizes, there is nothing but Brahman alone.

If a jnaani is questioned as to whether he is working or not???? and he answers that he is working which goes against the above theory that there is no mukthis -- the jnaani as well as his answer is for the ajnaani and from ajnaani's perspective. Jnaani's state cannot be really explained unless a person becomes jnaani. Jeevan mukthi is just mentioned to create attention and attraction in the ajnaani seeker and to avoid lot of counter questions --- and since the other theory of no two mukthis is from ajaathi vaada level or eka jeeva vaada level suited only for advanced seekers and tough to apprehend, therefore acharyas take a simple and easy stand of telling that there are two types of mukthi.

As Mallika has rightly pointed out, it doesn't matter whether the jnaani is acting or not because there is no action or jnaani but Brahman alone exists.

So concluding from "my personal opinion" (once again pardon the personal stand) -- there are no two mukthis as sankara says but there is only one mukthi which can be called as jeevan mukthi or videha mukthi -- better termed as SADHYO MUKTHI or instantaneous realization.

If there are any doubts/objections/differences in opinion about the above, those are welcome & we can discuss it out in the forum.

PS: Vedanta paribhaasha does deal a little about jeevan mukthi and videha mukthi -- madhusudana saraswathi's siddhantha bindu deals this in a bit detail - appayya dikshitar's sashtra siddhantha lesha sangraha deals in depth (currently dont have any of these books with me as they are in chennai and hence cannot quote from any of those).

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

5:22 AM  

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