Location: India

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sloka - 37 and 38

Hari OM,

Thanks for the precious slokas. Swami Chainmayananda in his commentary uses “Changeless” for Satyam in the brief explanation of the sloka. Also when learning the import of the sloka, changeless as pointed out was taken as a derivative meaning for satyam and also to be in accordance with the explanation of Swami Chinamaya, changeless was only used through out.
Pardon the confusions caused.


evaM nirantaraabhyastaa brahmaivaasmiiti vaasanaa .
haratyavidyaavikshepaadrogaaniva rasaayanam.h .. 37..

Pada artha:
Evam: thus
Nirantara abhyasyataa: practiced constantly
Brahmaiva asmi: I am Brahman
Iti: thus
Vaasanaa: impression
Harati: destroys
Avidya vikshepaan: ignorance and agitation(caused by avidya)
Rogaan: disease
Iva: like
Rasaayanam: medicine

The impression “I am Brahman” thus created by constant practice destroys ignorance and the agitation caused by it, just as medicine or Rasayana destroys disease.

Acharya is here explaining that the constant practice of the knowledge of identity Brahman and Atman destroys ignorance and its effects.
Due to ignorance, a lot of vasanas or the tendencies are accumulated and a seeker has to get rid of them and must also eliminate the attachment and identification of Self with body-mind-intellect; which requires a lot of practice and hard work and constant remembrance of the reality for a normal seeker. Hence Acharya here is emphasizing on constant practice.

By constant contemplation of the knowledge of the identity of the Brahman and Atman obtained by the scriptural studies destroys ignorance just as medicine administered cures the disease and itself gets eliminated. Just as the medicine we take in, of its own accord gets ultimately eliminated from the body, so too the experience “I am Brahman” is also dissolved. Swami Chinmayananda gives another beautiful example to illustrate this as: So long as we are not asleep we “try to sleep” but when we reach sleep, all efforts end by themselves. So also is the knowledge of the nature of Self that removes all the duality and miseries due to ignorance.

It is only the ignorance of the real nature of Self and ego that binds one to the objects of the world and causes all miseries, hence if all the miseries are to be removed, it can be only by knowledge. So Acharya is here explaining that by constant practice we have to eliminate all the vasanas. As Swamiji puts in his commentary, the constant thought that “I am Brahman” is also a vasana but this constant remembrance will create a new set of divine vasanas which act as an antidote to the vasanas caused by ignorance and ego and quietens the mind. This process will continue till the last of the thoughts end and in the silence of the mind, the spiritual habits also end leaving the seeker to realize Self.

Thus the impression of “I am Brahman” created by uninterrupted reflection destroys ignorance and its distractions as rasayana destroys diseases.


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