Location: India

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sloka - 43 and 44

Hari OM,


aruNeneva bodhena puurvaM santamase hR^ite .
tata aavirbhavedaatmaa svayamevaa.nshumaaniva .. 43..

Arunena: by the lord of the early dawn (aruna)
Iva: like
Bodhena: by the knowledge
Poorva: beforehand
Santamase: the universal darkness
Hrte: destroyed
Tataha: then
Avirbhavate: rises
Aatmaa: the Self
Swayameva: of its own accord
Anshumaan: the sun
Iva: like

The Lord of the early dawn (Aruna) himself has already looted away the thick darkness, when soon the sun rises. The Divine Consciousness of the Self rises when the right knowledge has already killed the darkness in the bosom.

In the previous sloka Acharya explained that by constant meditation, Self knowledge arises which destroys the ignorance. In this sloka Acharya is explaining that it is only when the ignorance is negated by this knowledge that the divine consciousness rises by itself just like the Sun raising after the dawn.

In Mythology, Aruna drives the chariot of the Sun God everyday thus bringing light to the world. Aruna is Dawn. Being the charioteer, he arrives before the Sun. It is our experience that in the early dawn, after the darkness is removed by the dim light of dawn, the sun slowly rises illuminating the world. The golden light of the dawn itself signals the rising of the sun that will follow soon. Aruna, the dawn heralds up the sun.

Similarly, it is only when the knowledge of Self negates the ignorance does the Blissful Atman reveals itself to the seekers. Ignorance here is compared to the darkness. It is only when the ignorance that causes all miseries is removed that the ever blissful and Self illuming nature of Atman is realized. Thus Acharya here is instructing that by constant practice and meditation, this darkness has to be negated by knowledge before Self realization.
Lord says this in Gita fifth chapter, 16th sloka as “For those in whom this ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of the Self that knowledge like Sun reveals the supreme”.

Thus when the knowledge dawned by quieting of the mind and thoughts through constant practice of meditation negates the ignorance, Self reveals itself to the seeker just like the rising Sun that follows after the darkness is removed by the dawn.


aatmaa tu satataM praapto.apyapraaptavadavidyayaa .
tannaashe praaptavad.hbhaati svakaNThaabharaNaM yathaa .. 44..

Pada artha:
Atmaa: the Self
Tu: verily
Satatam: always
Praptaha: (the reality) that is present
Api: yet
Apraptavat: is not realized
Avidhyaya: because of ignorance
Tat naasahe: at the destruction of that (ignorance)
Praptavat: like an object newly gained
Bhaati: appears
Swa kanta aabharanaat: the ornament of one’s neck
Yatha: just as

Atman is an ever-present Reality. Yet, because of ignorance it is not realised. On the destruction of ignorance Atman is realised. It is like the missing ornament of one’s neck.

In the previous sloka we learnt that “The Divine Consciousness of the Self rises when the right knowledge has already killed the ignorance, just as the Lord of the early dawn (Aruna) himself has already looted away the thick darkness, when soon the sun rises.” Here one may get the doubt that if Atman is ever present and reality is always perceived directly and intitutitly then why should one destroy the ignorance in order to realize it? Acharya answers this through this sloka that the ever Blissful Atman is ever present but it is only due to ignorance that it seems to be
forgotten. It is only seemingly forgotten but never actually forgotten. And it is only when the ignorance is destroyed or negated that Atman is realized as Existence-consciousness and Bliss.

The Self knowledge or awareness of the real nature of Self is veiled by ignorance. Hence there is never any need to acquire anything new. Swami Chinmaya gives us a beautiful example for this as, “Just as no one can give the dreamer his experience as a waker as he himself is the waker, Self which is ever present is only realized or rediscovered.” Swami Vidyaranya also explains this beautifully in Panchadashi first chapter that it is only due to ignorance that the ever present self illumining Atman seems to be unknown and when this ignorance is completely negated by knowledge Atman is realized.

Here an example of a person who has worn an ornament and has completely forgotten about it and is searching in all places for the ornament is given. In the end the ornament is realized to be present in one’s own neck from the beginning. Similarly, Atman is realized as ever existent and all pervading when ignorance is removed.

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


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