Location: India

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sloka 25 and 26

Hari OM

Thanks to Lord for all the comments. Analyzing about the thought process and generation of raga dwesha, kama krodha etc, are only due to the subtle body.
Buddhi means the intellect which is the discriminating component of the antahkaranam and manah or mind is the doubting one. Acharya Sankara in the 7th and 8th sloka of Laghu vakya vritti explains that all the notions of the good and evil hence likes, dislikes etc. are only creations of the intellect and are attributed to intellect (buddhi) alone. These are but various mental modes (as per Laghu vasudeva mananam) and arise only due to indiscrimination of the reality from non reality. Hence the attraction, aversion etc. would be only thoughts of the mind due to non discriminating intellect. These are attributed to Self due to the ego.
Hence when the subtle body which includes the mind and intellect ceases to exist as in deep sleep, there would be no desires or hatred and thus are perceived only in the waking state i.e. when the mind and intellect are active. Thus the translation of the sloka in italics by Swami Chinamayananda. But as pointed out, the buddhi in the sloka would mean the intellect only but since the various emotions and feelings are perceived due to the active antah karana alone, Acharya here may have pointed out to the antah karana in general through the word buddhi.

May the limited intellect be clarified of wrong knowledge through comments and corrections.

The next sloka of Atma Bodha is:


aatmanaH sachchidaMshashcha buddhervR^ittiriti dvyam.h .
saMyojya chaavivekena jaanaamiiti pravartate .. 25..

Pada artha:
Atmanaha: of the Self
Sat-chit-amshaha: the existence knowledge aspect
Cha: and
Budhyehe: of the intellect
Vrittihi: the thought wave
Iti: thus
Dwayam: the two
Sanyojya: blending
Cha: and
Avivekena: through indiscrimination
Jaanami: I know
Iti: thus
Pravartate: functions

By the indiscriminate blending of the two – the Existence-Knowledge-aspect of the Self and the thought-wave of the intellect – there arises the notion of “I know”.

The atman is sentient and the mind is inert. Self is but consciousness and the illuminator of all the activities of the mind and intellect. It is only due to consciousness that one is aware of the thoughts. The feelings and notions such as “I am hungry”, “I know” etc. are only due to this awareness or consciousness.

Acharya here is explaining that the experience of “I know” etc. is produced only when the thoughts are illumined by the consciousness. The inert intellect combined with the consciousness produces such wrong notions such as “I know” etc. Acharya explains this as ‘mutual superimposition’ in his Sareerika Bhasya. The blending of atman and the intellect which is an effect of ignorance can never be real, as no real union is possible between two contradictory things such as light and darkness, sentient and insentient and such a union has to be apparent and superimposition alone.
Hence, it is due to indiscrimination or when the reality of the Self is not known due to ignorance alone, that the sentient attributes of the Self are superimposed on the insentient such as the intellect and the thoughts which are only due to intellect are attributed on the attribute less Self.

Every thought or modifications of the mind and intellect are illumined by our awareness. The feelings of anger, hatred etc. are only the characteristics of the subtle body but due to ignorance of the true nature of Self, these are attributed to Self.

Acharya is here explaining that the Self which can never undergo any changes nor can be affected by the illusions of the world is thus perceived as “I am sad”, “I like this” etc. while the consciousness and existence of the Self is falsely imposed on the insentient and impermanent intellect due to indiscrimination arising out of ignorance.

Before starting the next sloka, a correction in yesterdays mail. There was a mistake in the transliteration of Accharya Shankara’s Brahma Sutra Bhasya as Saareerika Bhasya instead of Saareeraka bhashyam. (to be precise, Saareeraka mimamsa bhashyam.) Pardon all for the mistake.


aatmano vikriyaa naasti buddherbodho na jaatviti .
jiivaH sarvamalaM GYaatvaa GYaataa drashhTeti muhyati .. 26..

Pada artha:
Atmanaha: for the Self
Vikriyaa: action
Na: not
Asti: is
Budhyehe: for the intellect
Bodhaha: capacity to experience (intelligence)
Na: not
Jaatu: at all
Iti: thus
Jeevaha: the individuality
Sarvam: everything
Alam: enough
Jnatva: knowing
Jnaataa: the knower
Drushtaa: the seer
Iti: thus
Muhyate: deludes

Atman never does anything and the intellect of its own accord has no capacity to experience ‘I know’. But the individuality in us delusorily thinks he is himself the seer and the knower.

Yesterday we learnt that the notions such as “I know” etc. are only due to the indiscrimination of the sentient Self and the inert intellect. Acharya is explaining this in detail in this sloka. Atman or Self is never the doer of any actions; similarly, the intellect can never be aware of the changes and the thoughts as it is just a product of the matter. Hence, as we learnt in the previous sloka, it is only when there exists a superimposition that one is aware of feelings such as “I know” etc.

As we have learnt in Laghu vakya Vritti, all the feelings and emotions of anger, lust, sadness etc. arise only due to the mind body and the intellect complex. Hence it is only the jeeva which is associated with these adjuncts that seems to undergo such experiences while all along, the Self is never affected by the mental thoughts or any actions.
For any experience, there should be an external object or the experienced, experincer and the instruments of experience such as the senses, mind etc. but the Self is verily bliss and hence can never experience any thoughts. Similarly, for the awareness of changes, one must be conscious, but the intellect is insentient and impermanent only. Hence, the qualities of awareness and those of experiencing do not belong to the intellect and the Atman but are only superimposed because of ignorance.
It is the Self which is the true illuminator illumines all the activities of the intellect. Swami Vidyaranya describes this beautifully through the example of a lamp and the screen. Just as how the lamp illumines the drama played on the screen, the Self illumines all the activities of the intellect. It is Self which is but consciousness because of which one is aware of all changes in the thought process. It is only due to ignorance that one is deluded, into believing oneself as “I did this”, “I am angry” etc.

Thus Acharya is here explaining that the Jeeva or the individual which is but the pure consciousness reflected in the intellect, in its ignorance of the true nature of the Self, identifies itself as the gross and subtle bodies and hence superimposes the characteristics of Self on the inert mater and those of the inert matter on the Self. Thus it is only because of the ego and lack of discrimination that the individual is deluded and thinks Self as the enjoyer and doer.

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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