Atma Bodha

Location: India

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sloka 67 and 68

Hari OM,

hR^idaakaashodito hyaatmaa bodhabhaanustamo.apahR^it.h .
sarvavyaapii sarvadhaarii bhaati bhaasayate.akhilam.h .. 67..

Pada artha:
Hrud aakaashaha uditaha: which rises in the sky of the heart
Hi: verily
Aatmaa: the Atman
Bodhabhanuhu: the sun of knowledge
Tamaha: darkness
Aphrut: destroys
Sarva vyaapi: which is pervading everything
Sarvadhaari: sustains all
Bhaati: shines
Bhaasyate: makes everything to shine
Akhilam: everything

The Atman, the Sun of Knowledge that rises in the sky of the heart, destroys the darkness of the ignorance, pervades and sustains all and shines and makes everything to shine.

In this sloka, Acharya is next explaining about the rise of knowledge that removes all ignorance. Self Knowledge is here compared to the sun who removes all the darkness and illumines the entire world. It is because of this Sun that one can see various objects and the world is known, such a sun is here compared to Atman which is verily consciousness.

As we have learnt in the previous slokas also, it is only due to consciousness that all the other senses seem to perceive and function. It is consciousness alone that illumines everything and hence sustains everything. When such consciousness is realized as the very nature of Self, when such sun rises in the sky of heart, all the ignorance, affections, aversions vanish just like the darkness that vanishes with the rise of sun.

As at the approach of dawn the darkness dissolves off and the light brings everything clearly to our cognition; so too at the dawn of wisdom, all the ignorance is destroyed and the Self is realized as the all pervading, sole illuminator and sustainer.

Let us move on to the last sloka in the next mail.

In the previous slokas, Acharya explained the nature of Self and the nature of Brahman to us elaborately. In this concluding sloka, we learn that such a realized one who knows Self as Brahman becomes Brahman alone.


digdeshakaalaadyanapekshya sarvagaM
shiitaadihR^itrityasukhaM nira.njanam.h .
yassvaatmatiirthaM bhajate vinishhkriyaH H
sa sarvavitsarvagato.amR^ito bhavet.h .. 68..

pada artha:
Dik desha kaala aadi: direction, space and time
Anapekshaya: not depending upon
Sarvagam: which is present everywhere
Shaati aadi hrut: which destroys cold etc.,
Nitya sukham: which is Bliss eternal
Niranjanam: which is taintless
Yaha: who
Swa aatma teerthyam: the holy place of his own Atman
Bhajate: worships
Vinishkriyaha: renouncing all activities
Saha: He
Sarvavait: all knowing
Sarvagataha: all pervading
Amrutaha: immortal
Bhayet: becomes

He who renouncing all activities, who is free of all the limitations of time, space and direction, worships his own Atman which is present everywhere, which is the destroyer of heat and cold, which is Bliss-Eternal and stainless, becomes All-knowing and All-pervading and attains thereafter Immortality.

Acharya is here explaining that Atman is ever blissful and unaffected irrespective of the external events and the world. Self is ever free from all the limitations of time, space and all directions, as we have learnt it is that which is all pervading and ever present. Hence there can be no bondage nor limitations for Self. Just like the sun that is ever shining unaffected by the world and its happenings, Atman transcends beyond all limitations and is ever blissful. It is that which is ever present and is verily the substratum of all the illusory creations. It is but pure consciousness and hence the self illumining and illuminator of the entire creation. Or to summarize, Self is but Sat-chit-Anandam, the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss or verily Brahman or in other words, AHAM BRAHMASMI, I am ever and verily Brahman, the Existence- Bliss- Absolute

Acharya is here explaining that one who renounces all desires and ego and attachments to likes and dislikes of the world and its pleasures and one who is ever established in the reality of Self verily enjoys the eternal bliss and hence becomes Brahman alone.

As the Lord explains in many places in Gita about such a knower as;

anapekShaH shuchirdakSha udaasiino gatavyathaH
.sarvaarambhaparityaagii yo madbhaktaH sa me priyaH .. 12\-16..

He who is free from wants, who is pure, clever, unconcerned, untroubled, renouncing all undertakings, he who is (thus) devoted to Me is dear to Me.

samaduHkhasukhaH svasthaH samaloshhTaashmakaa~nchanaH
.tulyapriyaapriyo dhiirastulyanindaatmasa.nstutiH .. 14\-24..
maanaapamaanayostulyastulyo mitraaripakShayoH .
sarvaarambhaparityaagii guNaatiitaH sa uchyate .. 14\-25..

He to whom pain and pleasure are alike, who dwells in the Self, to whom a clod of earth and stone and gold are alike, to whom the dear and the un-dear are alike, who is a man of wisdom, to whom censure and praise are same;
The same in honour and disgrace, the same towards friends and enemies, abandoning all undertakings – he is said to have crossed beyond the gunas.

As the Upanishads proclaim, the knower of Brahman becomes verily the Brahman. One who overcomes the attachments and aversions to the illusory world and realizes the real nature of Self as that of Existence Consciousness Bliss verily becomes bliss and hence becomes immortal. I.e. for such a knower, there is no death as Self is ever existence and no sadness as Self is but bliss and no limitations as Self is consciousness.

The Kaivalya Upanishad explains the same in various slokas as:
vedairanekairahameva vedyo vedaantakR^idvedavideva chaaham.h .
na puNyapaape mama naasti naasho na janma dehendriyabuddhirasti .. 22..

22. I alone am taught in the various Vedas, I am the revealer of the Vedanta or Upanishads, and I am also the Knower of the Vedas. For me there is neither merit nor demerit, I suffer no destruction, I have no birth, nor any self-identity with the body and the organs.

na bhuumiraapo na cha vahnirasti na chaanilo me.asti na chaambaraM cha .
evaM viditvaa paramaatmaruupaM guhaashayaM niShkalamadvitiiyam.h .. 23
samastasaakShiM sadasadvihiinaM prayaati shuddhaM paramaatmaruupam.h ..
yaH shataruudriyamadhiite so.agnipuuto bhavati suraapaanaatpuuto bhavatisa
sa brahmahatyaayaaH puuto bhavati sa suvarNasteyaatpuuto bhavati
sa kR^ityaakR^ityaatpuuto bhavati tasmaadavimuktamaashrito
bhavatyatyaashramii sarvadaa sakR^idvaa japet.h ..

For me there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air, nor ether. Thus realising the Paramatman, who lies in the cavity of the heart, who is without parts, and without a second, the Witness of all, beyond both existence and non-existence – one attains the Pure Paramatman Itself.

anena j~naanamaapnoti sa.nsaaraarNavanaashanam.h . tasmaadevaM
viditvainaM kaivalyaM padamashnute kaivalyaM padamashnuta iti ..

By means of this, one attains the Knowledge that destroys the ocean of Samsara or repeated transmigration. Therefore, knowing thus one attains the fruit of Kaivalya or liberation, verily one attains liberation.

.. iti sha.nkaraachaaryavirachita aatmabodhaH samaaptaH ..

Thus concludes Atma-Bodha.


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

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sloka 65 and 66

Hari OM

Thanks to AMMA for the comments and correction for the explanations in previous sloka. Let’s now move on to the next sloka which is:

sarvagaM sachchidaatmaanaM GYaanachakshurniriikshate .
aGYaanachakshurneksheta bhaasvantaM bhaanumandhavat.h .. 65..

Pada artha:
Sarvagat: which is present everywhere
Sat cit atmaanam: Atman which is pure and consciousness
Jnana chakshuhu: eye of wisdom
Nireekshte: perceives
Ajnaana chakshuhu: one whose vision is obscured by ignorance
Na: not
Ikshayate: sees
Bhaasyantam: which is shining
Bhaanum: the Sun
Andhavat: like a blind man

Though Atman is Pure Consciousness and ever present everywhere, yet It is perceived by the eye-of-wisdom alone: but one whose vision is obscured by ignorance he does not see It; as the blind do not see the resplendent Sun.

In the previous few slokas we learnt about a realized one, here in this sloka, Acharya is explaining to us about an ignorant one also. The importance of spiritual disciplines is also highlighted by Acharya. The absolute pure consciousness though all pervading is not perceived by everyone. Only those who have developed the inner eye of the wisdom and who are discriminative enough to reject the illusory world from the real, who are pure and are cleansed by the knowledge alone can apprehend the reality. The ignorant ones who are deluded by the dualities of the world, and who cannot discriminate the reality from the unreal can never realize the bliss of Self. Lord explains the same in Gita 15th chapter as:

utkraamantaM sthitaM vaapi bhu~njaanaM vaa guNaanvitam.h .
vimuuDhaa naanupashyanti pashyanti JnYaanachakShushhaH .. 15\-10..

Him who departs, stays and enjoys, who is conjoined with gunas, the deluded perceive not; they see, who possess the eye of knowledge.

yatanto yoginashchainaM pashyantyaatmanyavasthitam.h .
yatanto.apyakR^itaatmaano nainaM pashyantyachetasaH .. 15\-11..

Those who strive, endued with Yoga, perceive Him dwelling in the self; though striving, those of unrefined self, devoid of wisdom, perceive Him not.

Acharya gives an example of a blind man for this. The Sun is ever shining in the day and is so bright that normal people cannot see it with naked eyes, still for a blind man; there is no light nor the sun. i.e. he does not perceive the glowing Sun due to his blindness.

It is the blindness of the person that makes the sun dark to him even though the sun shines ever bright and brilliant. Similarly, the real nature of the all pervading Atman is not perceived by those who are blinded by ignorance.
Lord Krishna in Gita explains this as:

naadatte kasyachitpaapaM na chaiva sukR^itaM vibhuH .
aGYaanenaavR^itaM GYaanaM tena muhyanti jantavaH .. 5\-15..
The Lord takes neither the evil nor even the good deed of any; wisdom is enveloped by un-wisdom; thereby mortals are deluded.

Acharya is here explaining that an ordinary mind turned outward in perception and feeling which is agitated by the thoughts of the sense objects of the world cannot apprehend the reality whereas one who is disciplined and discriminate apprehends the reality. Mundaka Upanishad explains this in 3.1.8 as:
na chakshushhaa gR^ihyate naapi vaachaa
naanyairdevaistapasaa karmaNa vaa
Jnyaanaprasaadena vishuddhasattva-statastu taM pashyate nishhkalaM
dhyaayamaanaH 8

It is not comprehended through the eye, nor through speech, nor through the other senses; nor is It attained through austerity or karma. Since one becomes purified in mind through the favorableness of the intellect, therefore can one see that indivisible Self through meditation.

Let us learn more in the next sloka.

shravaNaadibhiruddiiptaGYaanaagniparitaapitaH .
jiivassarvamalaanmuktaH svarNavad.hdyotate svayam.h .. 66..

Pada artha:
Shravana aadibhihi: by hearing and so on
Udreepya: kindles
Jnaana agnihi paritaapitaha: heated in the fire of knowledge
Jeevaha: the Jiva (individuality)
Sarva malaat: from all impurities
Muktaha: freed
Sarvaan vat : like gold
Dhodhate: shines
Swayam: of itself

The ‘Jiva’ free from impurities, being heated in the fire of knowledge kindled by hearing and so on, shines of itself like gold.

In the previous slokas we learnt that Atman though ever present is perceived only by the eye of wisdom and not by the ignorant ones. In the next two slokas Acharya is explaining that such an ignorant one when purified by the fire of knowledge, the Atman shines by itself just like Gold.

In obtaining knowledge, Vedanta recommends three courses, first is shravanam or listening to the truth from the scriptures, then mananam or reasoning of the truth heard and finally nidhidyasana which is deep contemplation on what has been heard and reasoned out. Such a systematic learning and contemplation is necessary to clean one from the impurities of thoughts and only when ignorance is removed thus, does the Self reveal itself in all glory. Acharya here gives the example of gold to explain this. Gold is ever shinning and bright, still due to its association with impurities, it may look tarnished. When it is heated and purified in fire, all the impurities are removed and the gold shines by itself.

Similarly, is the Jiva is one who is egoistic and possesses the impurity of ignorance. When one gets rid of all limitations by knowledge the true nature of Self is shines forth immediately. Just like the gold that is impure when it comes up from the gold mines and when is heated acquires its real glory and beauty. Just as how the fire destroys the dirt mixed with gold and reveals the pure metal. The knowledge obtained by spiritual disciplines also destroys of the impurities of the mind.

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

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sloka 63 and 64

Hari OM,


jagadvilakshaNaM brahma brahmaNo.anyanna ki.nchana .
brahmaanyad.hbhaati chenmithyaa yathaa marumariichikaa .. 63..

Pada artha:
Jagat vilakshanam: which is other than the universe
Brahma: the Brahman
Brahmanaha: apart from the Brahman
Anyat: other
Na: not
Kinchin: a little
Brahma anyam: other than the Brahman
Bhaati: shines
Chet: if
Mithyaa: unreal
Yatha: just as
Marumareecikaa: the mirage

Brahman is other than this, the universe. There exists nothing that is not Brahman. If any object other than Brahman appears to exist, it is unreal like the mirage.

In the previous slokas, Acharya explained that Brahman is the substratum of the entire creation, here in this sloka we learn that the Brahman is ever uncontaminated by the world as the world is illusory and Brahman is ever existent.

Acharya is here explaining that Brahman is that which is different from this word, but it is not to be taken that the world and Brahman exist differently, Difference is pointed out only w.r.t their existence, i.e. world is unreal and Brahman is real, hence Brahman is different from the illusory world; it is its very substratum. Hence Acharya immediately follows that whatever exists is but Brahman alone and there is nothing apart from Brahman. Thus the world that is perceived has to be illusory, like a mirage in desert.

The absoluteness of Brahman is explained in shruti is different ways. As chandogya Upanishad explains this in 6th chapter as

sadeva somyedamagra aasiidekamevaadvitiiyam.h
taddhaika aahurasadevedamagra aasiidekamevaadvitiiyaM
tasmaadasataH sajjaayata 6\.2\.1

‘In the beginning, dear boy, this was Being alone, one only, without a second. Some say that, in the beginning, this was Non-being alone, one only, without a second. From that Non-being arose Being.’

Brihadaranyaka upaniahad also explains this in 4.3.23 as:

yad vai tan na paśyati, paśyan vai tan na paśyati; na hi dra..ur viparilopo
vidyate, avin.śitv.t; na tu tad dvitiyam asti, tato’nyad vibhaktam yat paśyet.

That it does not see in that state is because, though seeing then, it does not see; for the vision of the witness can never be lost, because it is imperishable. But there is not that second thing separate from it which it can see.

Just as how the waters of mirage do not wet the sands of desert, similarly, the world of duality consisting of various names and forms can never affect or change the absolute consciousness. It is only the ignorant who mistake the water and assume it to be really existing while the wise ones know only the substratum as real and all the duality as only an illusion. A deluded mind alone sees the waters in a desert and apprehends them to be real, similarly it is only due to the ignorance that one sees the duality in the ever existent Self.

The nature of this duality as an illusion is explained by various Acharyas and different shrutis very beautifully.

Katha upaniahad explains this in 2.1.17 as:
manasaivedamaaptavyaM neha naanaa.asti ki.nchana .
mR^ityoH sa mR^ityuM gachchhati ya iha naaneva pashyati .. 11..

By mind alone is this attainable; there is no difference here whatsoever. Whoso here sees as though different, passes from death to death.

Thus all duality perceived has to be known as an illusion alone. This sloka can be beautifully summarized by Acharya Gaudapada’s Mandukaya Karaika’s sloka 1.17 as:

prapaJNcho yadi vidyeta nivarteta na sa.nshayaH
maayaamaatramidaM dvaitamadvaitaM paramaarthataH 17

If a phenomenal world were to exist, it should, no doubt, cease to be. This duality is but an illusion; in reality it is non-dual.


dR^ishyate shruuyate yadyad.hbrahmaNo.ayanna tad.hbhavet.h .
tattvaGYaanaachcha tad.hbrahma sachchidaanandamadvayam.h .. 64..

Pada artha:
Drushyate: which is perceived
Shrooyate: which is heard
Yad yat: all that
Brahmana anyam: apart from Brahman
Na: not
Tat: that
Bhavet: can be
Tatva jnaanat: from the knowledge of the reality
Tad brahma: that Brahman
Sat chit anandam: which is existence knowledge Bliss absolute
Adwayam: non dual

All that is perceived, or heard, is Brahman and nothing else. Attaining the knowledge of the Reality, one sees the Universe as the non-dual Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute.

In the last sloka we learnt that there is nothing apart from Brahman and all the dualities are just like a mirage in a desert. Acharya continues to explain the same in this sloka also. When all that exists is but Brahman, whatever is heard, seen or perceived through sense organs cannot be anything other than Brahman. One who knows this sees oneness everywhere and the entire universe is known as Brahman alone.

Mahanaraayanopanishad verse 13.5 says this beautifully as:
yachcha kiJNchijjagatyasmin dR^ishyate shruuyate.api vaa .antarbahishcha tatsarva.n vyaapya naaraayaNaH sthitaH .. 5..

Whatsoever there is in this world known through perception (because of their proximity) or known through report (because of their distance), all that is pervaded by Narayana within and without.

Just as whatever one sees in dream, state cannot be other than ones own waking state mind, all the objects cannot be different from the consciousness due to which all the activities of perception, thinking etc. are illumined. Hence the objects of world which we sense cannot have any existence apart from the consciousness. When all that exists in the body or mind or intellect or in the outer created are realized to be manifestations of Brahman alone, nothing else is seen nor perceived and all the differences dissolve. All that exists is known as Existence-consciousness-Bliss alone.

As Isha Upanishad explains,
yasminsarvaaNi bhuutaanyaatmaivaabhuudvijaanataH .
tatra ko mohaH kaH shoka ekatvamanupashyataH .. 7..
When a man realises that all beings are but the Self, what delusion is there, what grief, to that perceiver of oneness?

When a man realises that all beings are but the Self, what delusion is there, what grief, to that perceiver of oneness?

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sloka 61 and 62

Hari OM,

yad.hbhaasaa bhaasyate.arkaadi bhaasyairyattu na bhaasyate .
yena sarvamidaM bhaati tad.hbrahmetyavadhaarayet.h .. 61..

Pada artha:
Yad bhaasaa: the light of which
Bhaasyate: are illumined
Arkaadi: sun and other (luminous orbs)
Bhasaihi: by the luminous orbs
Yaha: that
Tu: indeed
Na: not
Bhaasate: is illumined
Yena: by which
Sarvam: all
Idam: this
Bhaati: shines
Tad Brahma: that to be Brahman
Ithi: thus
Avadhaarayet: realize

That by the light of which the luminous, orbs like the Sun and the Moon are illuminated, but which is not illumined by their light, realize that to be Brahman.

svayamantarbahirvyaapya bhaasayannakhilaM jagat.h .
brahma prakaashate vanhiprataptaayasapiNDavat.h .. 62..

Pada artha:
Swayam: itself
Anthaha: inwardly
Bahihi: outwardly
Vyapya: pervading
Bhaasayan: illumining
Skilam: entire
Jagat: universe
Brahma: Brahman
Prakashyatt: shines
Vahni prapyat asam pindavat: like the fire permeating a red hot ironball

Pervading the entire universe outwardly and inwardly the Supreme Brahman shines of Itself like the fire that permeates a red-hot iron-ball and glows by itself.

In the previous sloka, Acharya explained Brahman as devoid of all qualities, such nirvishesha Brahman is described here as Self illumining. It is that because of which even the sun and moon are illumined. That is to be known as Brahman.

Brahman is consciousness absolute, and it is only because of this consciousness that all objects of the world are known. All the creations including the celestial bodies are illumined only because of the consciousness. Thus even the Sun and moon that illumine the different worlds would not exist apart and independent of this all pervading consciousness.
Hence Acharya is here explaining that everything derives their power from Brahman while Brahman is independent of everything and needs no external illumination. That which illumines all others cannot be illuminated by anything other than itself. Brahman is ever the illuminator and illumines itself. As we learnt from the examples in previous slokas, unattached and unaffected like the street lamp, Brahman is the light of all lights and the illuminator of all illuminations.

The famous sloka of Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.10 proclaims this as:
na tatra suuryo bhaati na chandrataarakaM
nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kuto.ayamagniH
tameva bhaantamanubhaati sarvaM
tasya bhaasaa sarvamidaM vibhaati 10

There the sun does not shine, nor the moon or the stars; nor do these flashes of lightning shine there. How can this fire do so ? Everything shines according as He does so; by His light all this shines diversely.

The same is also explained by Lord in many places in Gita such as in 15.6:

na tadbhaasayate suuryo na shashaaN^ko na paavakaH .
yadgatvaa na nivartante taddhaama paramaM mama ..

That the sun illumines not, nor the moon, nor fire; That is My Supreme Abode, to which having gone none return.

Thus Brahman is that truth which shines of itself and penetrates the entire world of creation. It is not something other than the world of creation, for it exists in and through all as the consciousness. Acharya gives the example of a fire ball to state this.

Brahman is infinite, all pervading and self illuming while the objects of the world are insentient, dependent and illusory, thus opposite in nature. How then can one perceive existence-consciousness which is verily Brahman in these? Acharaya answers this through the example of a hot iron ball. An iron ball when in contact with fire for a long time comes to glow as fire itself, similarly, even though the insentient objects seem to exist only due to Brahman. Iron though black in color and cold to touch, acquire the redness and heat due to fire. So too the inert and insentient matter like the sun and moon also acquire their illuminating power only due to Brahman.

Gita says the same in 15.12 as:
yadaadityagataM tejo jagadbhaasayate.akhilam.h .
yachchandramasi yachchaagnau tattejo viddhi maamakam.h .. 15\-12..

That light which residing in the sun illumines the whole world, that which is in the moon and in the fire, that light do thou know to be Mine.

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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sloka 59 and 60

Hari OM,

tadyuktamakhilaM vastu vyavahaarastadanvitaH .
tasmaatsarvagataM brahma kshiire sarpirivaakhile .. 59..

Pada artha:
Tadyuktam: pervaded by that(Brahman)
Akhilam: all
Vasthu: objects
Vyavahaaraha: actions
Tad avanthihi: are possible because of that
Tasmaat: therefore
Sarva gatam: permeating everything
Brahma: the Brahman
Ksheera: in the milk
Sarpihi: butter
Iva: like
Akhile: in everything

All objects are pervaded by Brahman. All actions are possible because of Brahman: therefore Brahman permeates everything as butter permeates milk.

Acharya is here pointing to the all pervading Brahman by giving the example of the butter in the milk. Brahman is but consciousness and everything that exists is but consciousness. Hence all the objects, world that is perceived exists only because of consciousness and in the consciousness. Hence it is Brahman i.e. consciousness alone that exists and pervades all the illusory objects of the world. All the actions are hence possible only because of this consciousness.

Acharya here gives the example of butter and milk. Butter permeates through the milk although it is not seen directly. Nor can we separate a part of milk as devoid of butter, similarly, all the objects are permeated by Brahman. Upanishads proclaim that just as how milk pervading butter is extracted by churning, so also the Atman has to be separated from the world of names and forms by intense meditation and Self knowledge.

Amrita Bindu Upanishad gives this same example in sloka 20 as:
dhR^itamiva payasi niguuDhaM bhuute bhuute cha vasati viGYaanam.h
.satataM manasi manthayitavyaM manu manthaanabhuutena .. 20..

Like the butter hidden in milk, the Pure Consciousness resides in every being. That ought to be constantly churned out by the churning rod of the mind.

Shvetaashvatara Upanishad also explains the same in 1.15 as:
tileshhu taila.n dadhiniiva sarpi\-
raapaH srotaHsvaraNiishhu chaagniH .
evamaatmaa.atmani gR^ihyate.asau
satyenaina.n tapasaayo.anupashyati .. 15..

As oil in sesame seeds, as butter in curds, as water in underground springs, as fire in wood, even so this Self is perceived in the self. He who, by means of truthfulness, self-control and concentration, looks again and again for this Self, which is all-pervading like butter contained in milk, and which is rooted in self-knowledge and meditation – he becomes that Supreme Brahman, the destroyer of ignorance.

anaNvasthuulamarhasvamadiirghamajamavyayam.h .
aruupaguNavarNaakhyaM tad.hbrahmetyavadhaarayet.h .. 60..

Pada artha:
Ananu: neither subtle
Asthulam: nor gross
Ahvstham: neither short
Adheergham: nor long
Ajam: without birth
Avyayam: without change
Aroopa guna varna aakhyaam: without form, qualities, color and name
Tadbrahma: that to be Brahman
Ithi: thus
Avadharayet: realise

Realise that to be Brahman which is neither subtle nor gross: neither short nor long: without birth or change: without form, qualities, colour and name.

In the last sloka we learnt that Brahman is the substratum of all objects and pervades everywhere, here in this sloka, Acharya is explaining further that the all pervading Brahman is neither gross nor subtle and cannot possess any qualities. Brahman can never be an object of any actions as it is verily the subject. Hence there can be neither birth nor any of the six changes. There can also be no name that can be given to that which permeates everything. Such limitless, Brahman which is devoid of any qualities is described here.

Gross, subtle, shapes, sizes, names and all such qualities can exist only for an object which is limited, i.e. we can point out as ‘this’ or ‘that’ to only that which is boundaries and is limited by space and time. But Brahman, as we have learnt is that which is the substratum of everything.

I.e. everything is in Brahman, and everything is permeated by Brahman, it hence can never be classified as gross nor subtle nor by any name. It is never the object of perception of any feelings or thoughts but verily the perceiver. It is THAT which exists and hence all that exits.

Hence the limitless Brahman is indescribable to any limited intellect. Acharya is describing this infinity to us by negation method. These terms are not the description of Brahman but only indicate to the Brahman.

The same explanation can also be found in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.8.8 as:

etad vai tad ak.aram, g.rgi, br.hma.. abhivadanti, asth.lam, ana.u,
ahrasvam, adirgham, alohitam, asneham, acch.yam, atama., av.yv an.k.śam,
asa.gam, arasam, agandham, acak.u.kam, aśrotram, av.k, amana., atejaskam,, amukham, am.tram, anantaram, ab.hyam; na tad aśn.ti ki. cana, na tad
aśn.ti kaś cana.

O Gargi, the knowers of Brahman say, this Immutable (Brahman) is that. It is neither gross nor minute, neither short nor long, neither red colour nor oiliness, neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor ether, unattached, neither savor nor odor, without eyes or ears, without the vocal organ or mind, non-luminous, without the vital force or mouth, not a measure, and without interior or exterior. It does not eat anything, nor is It eaten by anybody.

Acharya here is explaining that such a Brahman devoid of qualities is to be realized as Self. As the Katha Upanishad 1.3.15 also proclaims:

anaadyanantaM mahataH paraM dhruvaM
nichaayya tanmR^ityumukhaat.h pramuchyate .. 15..

By knowing that which is soundless, touchless, formless, undecaying, so also tasteless, eternal, odourless, beginning less, endless, subtler than Mahat and constant, man is liberated from the jaws of death.

Let us learn more in the next slokas.

And also, Happy Christmas to all J
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

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sloka 57 and 58

Hari OM,

atadvachyaavR^ittiruupeNa vedaantairlakshyatedvayam.h .
akhaNDaanandamekaM yattatad.hbrahmetyavadhaarayet.h .. 57..

Pada artha:
Atat: not this
Vyaavrithi roopena: by the process (of negation)
Vedaantaihi: by the Vedanta philosophy
Lakshyate: indicated
Adwayam: non dual
Akhanda anandam: indivisible and blissful
Ithi: thus
Avadhaarayet: realize
Ekam: one
Yat: which
Tad Brahma: that to be Brahman

Realize that to be Brahman which is Non-dual, Indivisible, One and Blissful and which is indicated in Vedanta as the Immutable Substratum, realized after the negation of all tangible objects.

In these two slokas, Achraya is continuing the explanation of the nature of Brahman. Brahman has to be realized as that which is indicated by the process of negation in Vedanta. The Non dual and indivisible Brahman can never be known by the thoughts or by any actions as it can never be an object of cognition and is verily the subject and the illuminator of all the thoughts and actions.
Acharya is here explaining that it is that which is the very substratum for all existence.

Kaivalya Upanishad proclaims the same about Brahman as:
yatparaM brahma sarvaatmaa vishvasyaayatanaM mahat.h
suukShmaatsuukshmataraM nityaM tattvameva tvameva tat.h .. 16..

That which is the Supreme Brahman, the soul of all, the great support of the universe, subtler than the subtle, and eternal – that is thyself, and thou art That.

mayyeva sakalaM jaataM mayi sarvaM pratiShThitam.h
mayi sarvaM layaM yaati tad.hbrahmaadvayamasmyaham.h .. 19..

In me alone is everything born, in me does everything rest, and in me is everything dissolved. I am that Brahman, the second less.

The great support of all creations, the Brahman, being one without second does not admit any differences nor can undergo any changes and hence is described here as indivisible, non dual and immutable. The Upanishads indicate that the Brahman is reached by a process of negation of what is not and of assertion of what it is. i.e. by the direct method and the method of negation. This is explained in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.3.6 as “Now therefore the description (of Brahman) is: ‘Not this, not this’. Because there is no other and more appropriate description than this ‘Not this’. Now Its name: ‘The Truth of truth’. The vital force is truth, and It is the Truth of that.”

Here it is explained that Brahman is that which is realized after the process of negation. When all the objects of the world are negated as illusory, that which remains as the witness, as the substratum to all the illusions, that is to be realized as Brahman. Acharya continues to explain the swaroopa lakshana in the next sloka as:

akhaNDaanandaruupasya tasyaanandalavaashritaaH .
brahmaadyaastaaratamyena bhavantyaanandino lavaaH .. 58..

Pada artha:
Akhanda ananda roopasya: whose nature is unbroken Bliss
Tasya: His
Ananda laya ashritaha: depending only upon a particle of Bliss
Brahma adhyaha: the creator and other deities
Taaratmyena: in proportion
Bhavanti: are
Anandinaha: enjoying the bliss
Akhilaha: all

Deities like Brahma and others taste only a particle, of the unlimited Bliss of Brahman and enjoy in proportion their share of that particle.

Acharya here is explaining the Brahman which is verily bliss by giving a relative picture. It is difficult for a limited intellect to even imagine the vastness of the unlimited bliss of reality. Hence Acharya here is explaining that the devas like the creator Brahma himself tastes only a particle of that limitless and unbroken bliss.

This limitless joy is not measured here but we are only shown here how the ethereal joy of even the Gods is but negligible compared to it. As learnt in the previous slokas also, this is the supreme bliss after attaining which there remains a desire for nothing. Shruti explains the absoluteness of Brahmananda in Brihadaranyaka upanishad. 4.3.32 as:

eshhAsya paramA gatir
eshhAsya paramA saMpad
eshho.asya paramo loka
eshho.asya parama Ananda
etasyaivA.a.anandasyAnyAni bhUtAni mAtrAmupajIvanti

This is its supreme attainment, this is its supreme glory, this is its highest world, this is its supreme bliss. On a particle of this very bliss other beings live.

Let us learn more in the next sloka.

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

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sloka 55 and 56

Hari OM,


yad.hdR^ishhTvaa naaparaM dR^ishyaM yad.hbhuutvaa na punarbhavaH .
yajGYaatvaa naaparaM GYeyaM tad.hbrahmetyavadhaarayet.h .. 55..

Pada artha:
Yat drushtvaa: which when seen
NaAparam: : not anything else
Drushyam: to be seen
Yat bhootvaa: which having become
Na: not
Punaha: bhavaha: to be born again (in the world)

Realise that to be Brahman which, when seen, leaves nothing more to be seen, which having become one is not born again in this world and which, when knowing leaves nothing else to be known.

Acharya is continuing the explanation from the previous sloka. As one’s true nature is known as Brahman, there is no further demand from within to gain anything else to make more perfection. All the endeavors to gain or achieve something which are only thoughts due to ignorance are completely negated once the Self knowledge arises.

Acharya is here explaining that having known that pure awareness nothing more remains to be known. Having obtained a glimpse of that reality, there is nothing to be understood or seen.

Brahman has to be known as that having become which one is not born again into the world and which when seen there is nothing else to be seen as all that exists is verily Brahman.

Lord explains the same in Gita 15.6, in the second line as
na tadbhaasayate suuryo na shashaaN^ko na paavakaH .
yadgatvaa na nivartante taddhaama paramaM mama ..

That the sun illumines not, nor the moon, nor fire; That is My Supreme Abode, to which having gone none return.

tiryaguurdhvamadhaH puurNaM sachchidaanandamadvayam.h .
anantaM nityamekaM yattad.hbrahmetyavadhaarayet.h .. 56..

Pada artha:
Tiryak: all the quarters
Urdhvam: above
Adhaha: below
Poornam: fills
Sat chit anandam: which is existence consciousness bliss absolute
Advayam: non dual
Anandam: infinite
Nityam: eternal
Ekam: one
Yat: which
Tad Brahman: that to be Brahman
Iti: thus
Avadarayet: realize

Realize that to be Brahman which is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute, which is Non-dual, Infinite, Eternal and One and which fills all the quarters – above and below and all that exists between.

Acharya in this sloka is explaining the all pervading Brahman as the Existence-knowledge and Bliss. Our scriptures proclaim the same about Brahman as that which is infinite, eternal, and absolute. i.e. that which is complete and all pervading.

The very shanti mantra of the Upanishads proclaim the absoluteness or completeness of Self or Brahman as:
AUM puurNamadaH puurNamidaM puurNaat.h puurNamudachyate .
puurNasya puurNamaadaaya puurNamevaavashishhyate ..

Om ! That (the Supreme being Brahman) is full; this(the limited Self, jeeva) is full, (for) from the full the full (indeed) arises.When the full is taken from the full, what remains is full indeed.

Such an infinite and complete Brahman should be all pervading and all permeating and non dual only. It is all that which is existing. Hence there can be nothing beyond it or apart from it.
Directions, parts, or sides can exist for a limited thing alone, but not the absolute consciousness. Such infinite and non dual Brahman can thus never have any front nor back nor any limitations. Hence Acharya here is explaining that east, west, all directions, here and everywhere, it is but Brahman that pervades.

Sruti explains the same in various places such as Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.11 sloka as:
brahmaivedamamR^itaM purastaad.h brahma pashchaad.h brahma dakshiNatashchottareNa adhashchordhvaM cha prasR^itaM brahmaivedaM vishvamidaM varishhTham.h 11

All this that is in front is but Brahman, the immortal. Brahman is at the back, as also on the right and the left. It is extended above and below, too. This world is nothing but Brahman, the highest.

And in chandogya Upanishad 7.25.1 as:
sa evaadhastaatsa uparishhTaatsa pashchaatsa purastaatsa
dakshiNataH sa uttarataH sa eveda sarvamityathaato.ahaMkaaraadesha
evaahamevaadhastaadahamuparishhTaadahaM pashchaadahaM purastaadahaM
dakshiNato.ahamuttarato.ahameveda sarvamiti 7\.25\.1

‘That infinite alone is below. That is above. That is behind. That is in front. That is to the south. That is to the north. That alone is all this. So next is the teaching in regard to the self-sense. I alone am below. I am above. I am behind. I am in front. I am to the south. I am to the north. I alone am all this.

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