God, Spirituality & Religion
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Crown Jewel of Sagacity: Adi Shankara’s Viveka Chudamani: part 6
Paramaatma is very small and it cannot be obtained through learning. It can be obtained by the learned one who has no raga or dvesha and who is in nirvikalpa samadhi only. Gold refined would lose all impurities. In the same manas with dhyana cleanses itself from all impurities and obtains the true nature, yadardha tatwa.
With intense practice, contemplating aham brahmasmi and experiencing the same one can attain nirvikalpa samadhi. His manas would lose itself in brahman. The samadhi state would enable one to experience absolute bliss. Samadhi severs the cord relating to the vasanas. All karmas would be destroyed. Without effort bliss is experienced.
Hundred times efficacious is manan than shravan and nidhi dhyasa a hundred thousand times more useful than that. Beyond all these the most unique is nirvikalpa samadhi.
shruteh shatagunam vidyaanmananam mananaadapi
nidhidhyasam lakshagunamanantam nirvikalpakam 365
With nirvikalpa samadhi, brahmatva is obtained clearly and fully. This is the only way for obtaining brahmatva. The movements of manas are unpredictable. Jnaana mixes easily with all things which we call anatma. Be one with restrained senses and keep your manas streadily on pratyagaatma with all vishayas quietened. Seeing brahman, destroy the darkness caused by avidya, which is without beginning.
Maunam(silence), aparigraham, not accepting any thing offered, freedom from desire and greed staying alone-all these need to be made a habit. This would be the first gate to Yoga, chitta vritti nirodha, restraint of the ways of chitta.
By being alone one would be preventing the senses straying in all directions. Dama is the way for restraining chitta. With shama, vasana, the form of ahankara, would be destroyed. With vasana gone, one can feel absolute bliss. So the Yogi or muni must try and restrain chitta.
samrodhe karanam shamena vilayam yaayaadaham vasanaa
tenaananda rasaanubhootirachala brahmee sadaa yoginah
tasmat chitta nirodha eva satatam karyam prayatnaan muneh 369
Let your vak, Speech, coalesce in manas and manas in buddhi and buddhi in chaitanya. Then let it be absorbed in paramatma and obtain the absolute bliss. When the senses, pranas and buddhi, which are upadhis, are combined with manas, the Yogi gets the feelings associated with those upadhis. For this reason the muni has to take care that the manas does not combine with those upadhis. With such a nivrutti, detachment, one gets comfort relating to upasanti, a kind of relief. Then one would be immersed in experiencing absolute bliss. Only for the one with pure vairagya would it be possible to give up the activity of the internal and external senses. He would leave these for the sake of obtaining moksha. Only one steady in brahman can sever all connection with these senses, internal and external.
O! Discriminating one! Viveki! To get to the top of the palace of moksha, there are two wings as for a bird to fly; one is vyragya and the other is jnaana. Without these things one cannot fly so high. For one who has total vairagya, nirvikalpa samadhi is possible. With that only sturdy jnaana comes. Only for the one who knows atmatatwa, liberation from the bonds of sansara is possible. Only for such, permanent joy and comfort come along with the experience of the brahman, brahmanubhuti.
There is nothing more comforting than vairagya for a yogi. When this is joined with jnaana of the atma, one would be able to experience the empire of bliss. This is the gateway for permanent, true liberation. For that reason do not have an idea of attaining only moksha but always be conscious of the highest goal, of obtaining parabrahma.
Sever or snap desire and greed for poisonous vishayas. Those bring only death. Shed the affection that this is my caste, my race, my 'ashram' etc. Keep away karmas relating to them. Show prajna in pratyagatma. Don't be under the delusion that body etc., are atman. You are a visionary. You are pure. By nature you areparabrahma, second to none.
ashaam chindi vishopameshu vishaye shveshvaiva mrutyoh smrutih
tyaktvaa jaati kulaashrameshvabhimatim munchati duratkriyah
dehaadaavasathi tyajatma dhishanam prajnaam kurushvaatmani
twam drashtasyamalo si nirdvaya param brahmaasi yadvastutah 378
Keep the manas steady on your goal, the parabrahman. Keep steady the senses in their proper places. Keep your body stable. Don't pay attention to the condition of your body. Get union with brahman. Full of brahman, with manas undivided, in your manas enjoy absolute bliss to your heart's content. What good are the empty illusions!
lakshye brahmani manasam drudhataram sansthapya bahyendriyam
swasthaane vinivesya nischala tanuschopeksha deha sthitam
brahmatmaikya mupetya tanmayatayaa chakhanda vrittyannisham
brahmaananda rasam pibaatmani mudaa shoonyaih kimanyairbhramaih 379
Thinking of things anatma as filthy; only a cause for grief: think only ofpratyagatma, the reason for mukti in the form of bliss. That pratyagaatma is self- effulgent. It is witness to indriyas etc. It is always brightly shining in vijnanamaya kosha contemplating paramatma. Without having the idea that there is something other than brahman, clearly know that that is your form. Making this feeling strong, shed ahankara and relating it to atman in the wrong way. Ego sense is like a ghatam, pot, or cloth. Don't be interested in them, ignore them.
You have to experience the undivided, whole parabrahma gradually absorbing all jnaana in pure antah karana. The body, senses, prana, manas and ahankara are created by ajnaana when they are separated from their upadhis, you can see the undivided full sky of paramatma.
In a pot, vessel, needle-and hundred other upadhis stays the sky. But then away from these, the sky, remains second to none. It is in no position to be in different ways. Like that sky is pratyagaatma. It is pure, absolute and different from 'my' etc. Right from brahman down to a blade of grass all upadhis are unreal. So you have to see paramatma, which is one, undivided and your own form without fail.
This universe is created only by a bhranti, an illusion. With viveka, bhranti is destroyed. Then the universe would appear as brahman. It is only because of bhranti that a rope appears as a serpent, When bhramti is removed the "serpentness" would disappear. It remains a rope that it is. When one has nityaanitya viveka everything is revealed as brahman. When illusion is removed, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and this whole universe would be You only. That is- you are parabrahma. There is nothing that is not parabrahma.
All is that.
In this whole universe, above, below in the East and West North and South what is is yourself. Paramatma it is. The waves, foam and bubbles are all water. In the same way, starting from the body upto ahankara all is chit. It is brahman that is pure and second to none.
What speech and manas reveals is all sat. Everything in creation that is in the form of maya is sat. There is nothing different from sat. The vessel, the pot and the huge pot are all clay. Is any of those different from clay? Intoxicated by maya one says 'I'.
While arranging kriyas the shruti tells us that there is no duality and it asks us to get-rid of adhyasa caused by illusion, bhranti. The implication is that there is nothing that is different from paramatma.
Parabrahma is pure like the sky. It has no alternatives. It has no limits. It has no movement at all. It does not undergo any change. It is empty within and without. It is second to none. Such parabrahman are you. Is there anything else worth knowing? Where else is more that is to be said about paramatma? Jeeva is in itself parabrahman. Right from the atom upto this universe it is parabrahman only. Brahman is second to none, says the shruti or Veda. Those jnanis who declare aham brahmasmi left everything that is bahya outside, when they attain brahmatwa they would be in the form of absolute bliss. This is definite, absolutely certain.
vaktavyam kimuvidyate atra bahudhaa brahmaiva jeevah swayam
brahmai tajjagadaa paraanu sakalam brahmaadwiteeyam shruteh
brahmaivaahamiti prabhuddhamatayah santykta bahyaah sphutam
brahmeebhooya vasanti santata chidaanandaa tmanaiva dhruvam 395
The sthoola deha is full of excreta and then pranamaya - full of praanas is linga deha- in both greed is fostered by ahankara, egosense, leave that; shed that. Be brahman knowing that you are the pratyagatma which is everlasting true, and one with the form of bliss, as describe d by Veda. So long as one feels that this corpse-like body is 'him', he is impure. He would obtain or suffer grief from others. He would have birth, disease and death. Later he suffers in hell also. The one who feels that he is pure, stable, and the form ofparameshwar, would be liberated from sansara. This is what shruti, the veda, told us. By rejecting the thing ascribed in him, the conviction comes that he himself is full, second to none, actless parabrahma.
When the body and the workings of chitta are lost in parabrahma, the body and universe, nothing appears. Everything shines as brahman. Then any alternative remains only as a word. To say that the one and second to none brahman has the universe is an untrue, artificial statement. How can there be any difference in the parmatma which is without change, without form and without any uniqueness. There is nothing like drashtha, darshan and drisyam in parabrahman.
How can there be any difference in paramatma which is full, complete, like the ocean in the end of the kalpa (a great length of time comprising many yugas) Everything loses itself in paratattwa. In that how can there be difference? Difference is impossible in paratatwa. Does any one see difference in the deep sleep state where there is only sukha (comfort). When brahmajnaana is obtained in nirvikalpa brahma there is no universe at all. Is it not that the serpent is visible in the rope during all the tree kaalas, (past, present and future time). Would there be a single drop of water in a mirage? The duality or difference is only maya. The Veda tells us that what the ultimate is only non-duality, advaita. In the deep sleep state only advaita is being experienced. Only scholars in sciences (shastras) say that brahman is different from the universe etc. ascribed to superimposed brahman. But this is not true. Serpent in the rope, water in the mirage and silver in the pearl shell are all caused by bhranti. This alternative is only because of chitta. If there is no chitta this would not arise. So keep your chitta steady in pratyagaatma.
The learned one sees in his heart the paripoorna, complete, parabrahma. This is always the form of jnaana. It is just the form of absolute bliss. It has no limits. It is always open. This has no desire, it is nireeha. It is pure like the sky. This has no prakriti or vikruti, nature or abnormality. It transcends imagination. It is absolutely neutral (samarasa). It is a detail of an experience relating to the inner understanding. It is far removed from all bonds. It is obtained from the declarations in the shruti (the Vedas). It has no old age or death. It is the form of things when all the alternatives remove themselves. It could be stated that it is the stable water body. It has no name; it appears when all mutations and all the gunas are subsided. This is permanent, peaceful and second to none.
See the resplendent, magnificent paramatma keeping your antahkarana on him. Paramatma is your own form. Try and snap bonds with sansara which has foul smells. Make your masculine birth meaningful. Contemplate on the absolute bliss in your own heart. If you do so you would not be drawn into sansara again.
The body follows man like his own shadow. That is only appearance. It is not true. The body is formed for experiencing karma. The learned man keeps that body aloof, as he would a corpse. He would not accept the body again. Obtain the form of the true, pure jnaana. Keep aloof this body which is made up of filth. It is revolting, disgusting. The knowing one, jnaani would rout it out along with the vasanas of the earlier births is the fire of nirvikalpa parabrahman, the absolute reality with no alternative. After that he would be in his own Natural form of jnaananda-the bliss of knowingness. He would obtain unity with the brahman. The cow can not see whether the garland in her neck is following her. In the same way, the knower of tattwa, who is the form of bliss with all the wanderings of his chitta coalesced in brahman would not turn around to see if the body tied to his form is following him or not. When once realizing the brahman, who would want a body! The fruit of an accomplished and fulfilled yogi is to just experience bliss in the manas and outside.
The fruit of vairagya is jnaana. the fruit of jnaana is uparati, withdrawing the senses from their pursuits. The fruit of uparati is to experience his own form of bliss. One after another these should fellow, otherwise the earlier ones would be useless. If jnaana is not obtained vairagya, if uparati is not obtained jnaana, if shanti is not obtained, uparati are futile. When there is escape from the experience of vishayas, absolute contentment comes. That is one's own self: incomparable bliss.
The present, ready, fruit of the knowingness of atman, atmatatmajnana is to be unaffected by the grief being experienced. When ajnaana (ignorance) envelopes, many types of disgusting deeds are done. Once enlightened, how can a jnaani perform any such deeds! The fruit of jnaana is to be freed from asat. The fruit of ajnaana is getting into pravritti, the nature of the senses and the trigunas. One can clearly see the difference between a jnaani and ajnaani in the way each looks at the mirage. Jnaani knows it as unreal. What more could be a fruit for his jnaana? The ajnaani believes that the mirage is real and gets enlarged. When the ajnaana grandhi is destroyed, when there are no desires, what does anyone desire! Nothing would draw him into sansara.
The ultimate goal of jnaana is not to have a liking for a thing that could be experienced. For Yogi's uparati the goal is the non-repetition or, cessation of chitta vrittis (the wanderings of chitta).
Brahmajnaani -The one who knows atman
Brahmajnaani is rare. Such a one experiences endless fruit of his merit (punya). He gives up the knowledge of the external things. He experiences brahman and nothing else. He believes that the world around is what he has seen, like one who is always asleep or a like boy. Such a great person is highly revered in this world.
brahmaakaaratayaa sadaa sthitatayaa nirmukta baahyarddhadhee
ranyavedita bhogya bhogakalano nidraaluvadbaalavat
swapnaa lokita lokavajjagadidam pasyan kvachilladdhdhee
raaste kaschidamanta punya phalabhugdhanyah sa maanyo bhuvih 426
Yati is a sthitaprajna who would experience only bliss all the time without deeds and without change keeping his manas coalesced in brahman.
Jeevan mukta -The one liberated alive
Prajna is said to be the chitta vritti that is immersed in the feeling of unity of the jeeva and brahman. The one who obtains that always is the one liberated while being alive.
brahmaatmano shoditayoreka bhaavaavagaahinee
nirvikalpa cha chinmatraa vrittih prajneti kathayate
saa sarvadaa bhavedyasya sa jeevanmukta ishyate 428
The one in whom prajna is stable and steady and the one who always enjoys absolute bliss and for whom world is worth forgetting is called jeevanmukta. Leaving all experience of the sense in the wakeful state coalescing buddhi in pratvyagatma and being ever wakeful is a jeevammukta. His jnaana is free from all vasanas. He is the one whose sansara, the bond with the external world is cooled down. Though learned, he is without learning: though he has chitta, he is free from it. His chitta would not go about its usual wonderings.
Though he has body that fellows him like a shadow, the jeevana mukta has no egosense or myness.
Sthitaprajna is one who steadily establishes buddhi in aatman with vyragya. He lives ever in atmananda, the absolute bliss of this atman.
vartamanepi dehesmin chaayaavadanuvartini
ahantaa mamataa bhaavo jeevanmuktasya lakshanam 432
A jeevanmukta gives up all connection with whatever has happened earlier. He would not think of the future.
He does not care for what is happenning to him: he ignores all. He sees everywhere, all around, paramatma alone. He has no likes or dislikes for anything or anybody. He is neither excited nor depressed. His manas constantly stays coalesced in experiencing absolute bliss. He does not have the awareness of either the external or internal. This is the nature of a jeevan mukta. He is neutral (udaseen) unaffected by the body, the senses and all karma, deeds.
He is the one who knows by the statement of the Veda that jeeva is brahma. He is released from all bonds. He is jeevan mukta. He does not have the feeling that he is his body or his senses. With prajna he is aware of the fact that there is no difference between pratyagatma and brahman and brahman and the universe. He keeps total equanimity either when being honoured or hurt. Like the flow of rivers ecoalesce in the sea, things and feelings get into him with no trace of effort. They do not cause any change in him. Such yati is a jeevan mukta.
For the one who knows brahma, brahmavetta, there is no sansara, worldly bond. If he were to have it, he is no brahma vetta. The vetta would not be attached to anything external. He is in the world simply because of the vasanas of the earlier birth. His vasana (tendency) is weakened by the awareness of brahman. Though a lecher, just as one does not have such a feeling for his mother, when once brahman (bliss) is experienced, the vasana in him becomes ineffectual, for one in nirvikalpa samadhi the awareness of the external may be there. In such the experience of prarabda karma is there. As long as comfort joy etc. are experienced prarabda karma is believed to exist. If a fruit is obtained, it means that 'deeds' are performed. There would be none who has not performed any deed when one is awake and, all the deeds in the dream state are destroyed. In the same way, with the jnaana that 'I' am brahman, the sanchita karma all the deeds done in all the previous births would be destroyed.
The acts done in the dream, good or bad, would not give heaven or hell. The yogi is un attached, asanga. He would not have any relation to the acts in the future. He is like the sky, unattached to anything. Though the sky has the upadhi of the pot it does not have the foul smell of the liquor. For the pot of liquor, pot is the upadhi. In the same way for atman, the body is upadhi. But the properties of the body do not touch the atman. When an arrow is shot at a target, the arrow has to give some fruit or result. It would hit the target. In the same way acts done before jnaanodaya, the attainment of jnaana, would not die without yielding fruit. If one shoots an arrow at a cow thinking that it is a tiger, it hits the cow. It does not stop midway even if it were to realize that it is a cow.
Prarabda karma, karma in the earlier birth is very powerful. Its fruit has to be experienced. Even for jnaani experiencing it alone would make if weak and get extinct. With samyag jnaana, sanchita and agaami karmas would be destroyed for those who live in unison with brahman always. None of the three karmas would touch them. Such people become nirguna parabrahma.
praarabdhambalavattaram khaluvidaam bhogena tasya kshayah
samyag jnaana hutaashanena vilayah praak sanchitaagaaminaam
brahmatmaikamaavekshya tanmayatayaa ye sarvada sansthitaah
steshaam tattritayam na hi kwachidapi brahmaivate nirgunam 454
Without identifying one's self with upadhi (without the feeling that the deha is 'I') when feeling aham brahmasmi would be in the experience of the non-dual, one becomes a muni. For him, there would be no experience of prarabdakarma as there would be no dream state in the wakeful state.
The one who wakes up from sleep would not get the feeling of having experienced the things with his body. In the wakeful state he would be as himself only. He would not have the desire to justify that what he had seen or experienced is real. He would not keep those things seen in the dream safe; he would not see that world again. If he were to behave in favour of those he had seen in the dream, it means that he is not wakeful. In the same way one experiencing brahman would stay as brahman always. He would not see other things. Like the thing seen in the dream, for the one who knows brahman, taking or leaving food is only a memory.
This body is made by karma. Prarabda is created for that. There is no relation between prarabda and karma. Atma is not built of karma. "Ajonityah" says the shruti meaning atman is true, everlasting and without birth. That is a wonderful declaration, statement. For the jnaani who feels that he is brahman, there would be no prarabda karma. As long as one feels that he is the body, there is this prarabda karma. Jnaani does not like the state of thinking that he is the body. So one must stop saying that a jnaana has it. Prarabda karma for his body is also an illusion since the body itself is an illusion. It is untrue; how can it, the body, be born? When it is not born how would it decay? In that case how can there be prarabda karma for the body which is asat?
With jnaana, ajnaana and its action too are destroyed. When this is said, how did body come? For those who doubt like this the answer is: with external attitude shruti talks about prarabda karma but not to say that the body etc. are true for the learned ones. The purport of the statement in the Veda is to show paramardha. If there were to be no prarabda karma there should be no body for jeevan mukta. But he has body. The answer for this doubt is that though he has body he has no illusion of the body. For the sleeping one, we think that is body but he does not have that illusion.
... to be continued
Dr V.V.B. Rama Rao (b.1938) is a retired ELT, English Language teaching, professional with more than sixty books in all genres both in English and Telugu besides hundreds of
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