अनुभवस्य तुच्छत्वाय केचन तस्य जडत्वं दर्शयन्ति। तद्वचनन्तु ज्ञानस्य जडत्वमित्युक्त्या तुल्यम्। कथम्? स्मृतिभिन्नं ज्ञानम् अनुभव इति लक्षणात्। ब्रह्मव्यतिरिक्ते सर्वेषां मिथ्यायामनुभवस्यैव जडत्वं न वक्तुमिष्टम्। सत्यंज्ञानमनन्तमिति श्रुत्या ज्ञानलक्षणाच्च। भगवान्भाष्यकारैरपि तत्रतत्रानुभवशब्दस्य प्रयोगादपि।
सर्वेष्वनुभवेषु ब्रह्मैवानुभूयतयित्यपि यदि सत्यं तर्हि सर्वेषु ज्ञानोत्पत्तिष्वपि ब्रह्मैव ज्ञायते। तत्र कोऽपि विशेषभेदो न कर्त्तव्यः। किञ्च अनुभवानां भ्रान्तिश्शक्यते इति यदुक्तिः, तस्याम् एतत्प्रष्टव्यं किं ज्ञानानां भ्रान्तिर्नास्ति वा। एकस्मिन्विषये एकेन गुरुणा वाक्येन शिष्याणां विविधं ज्ञानोत्पत्तिः दर्शनात्। तत्रापि उभयोर्भेदो नास्ति।
ननु लक्षणवाक्ये तु ज्ञानमुक्तं न तु अनुभवम्। सत्यमेव तत्। तत्र भगवत्पादैः ज्ञानमिति शुद्धधात्वर्थो भावसाधनो न तु वृत्तिरुप इत्युक्त्यानन्तरं धातोः कारकापेक्षास्ति इत्यतः ज्ञानं धात्वर्थोऽपि न परन्तु लक्षार्थश्चिदिति सिद्धम्।
तस्मात् यदपि सामान्येन ज्ञानशब्देनोच्यते तस्यानुभवशब्दात् भेदं कृत्वा श्रेष्टमिति वक्तुं नार्हः। यथानुभवो वृत्तिरूपस्तथा ज्ञानमपि। द्वयोर्मध्ये एक एव भेदो यद्यदनुभवं तत्तज्ज्ञानं किन्तु यद्यज्ज्ञानं तत्तन्नानुभवम्।
ॐ तत् सत्।
(चैत्रमासे वसन्तनवरात्र्यां शुद्धसप्तमी)।
केचिदाहुः वेदान्ते यन्निर्विकल्पकसमाधिः सः योगसमाधेः भिन्नः इति। कश्चिदपि विषये शब्दे वस्तौ वा सः समाधिः शक्यते। यथा धारणध्यानसमाधिविषयमनु योगसमाधेः फलं स्यात्, तथा अत्र वेदान्तेऽपि समाधेः फलं विषयमनु शक्यते इति युक्तमेव। योगशास्त्रे समाधिरित्युक्ते सामान्येन योगस्य लक्षणं नाम चित्तवृत्तिनिरोध इति प्रसिद्धः। वृत्तिशून्यता वेदान्तस्य लक्ष्यं नास्ति, अतः निर्विकल्पसमाधिर्वृत्तिरूप एव भवति, न तु वृत्तिरहित इति केषामभिप्रायः।
अन्येषां निर्विकल्पसमाधौ वृत्तयः सन्ति वा न सन्ति वा इति प्रश्नः। तस्य समाधानरूपमुत्तरं तु भिन्नम्। केचित् वदन्ति-- यो योगसमाधिर्निर्बीजोऽथवा निर्वितर्कः सः वृत्तिरहितः किंतु यो वेदान्तसमाधिः सः वृत्तिसहित इति, तदसत्। यत्र निर्विकल्पसमाधौ त्रिपुटिभेदो नास्ति तत्र वृत्तिः कथं भवितुं शक्यते। अपिच सविकल्पनिर्विकल्पयोर्भेदोऽपि न सिध्यति। स एव सविकल्पो गहनस्थः निर्विकल्पो भवति इत्यप्यनाधारः। योगवेदान्तसमाधयोः धारणध्यानवस्तुभेद एव न तु वृत्तिभेद इति युक्तम्। योगशास्त्रेषु यद्यद् विभूतिरथवा फलं दृश्यते तत्तद् विषयभेदेन एव न तु समाधिभेदेन। किंच अविद्यानिवृत्तिर्महावाक्यस्य ज्ञानस्य फलमेव इति यद्यपि निर्विल्पेन न सम्भवति चेत्, सविकल्पेन तु सम्भवत्येव यतः सः वृत्तिसहितः। तदेव श्रीदत्तात्रेयेण परशुरामायोक्तम्
निवृत्तिस्तस्य तु ज्ञानादेवेति प्रविभावितम्।
तज्ज्ञानं सविकल्पं स्यादज्ञानस्य प्रबाधनम्॥१७.२६॥
निर्विकल्पकविज्ञानादज्ञानं न निवर्तते।
निर्विकल्पकविज्ञानं केनचिन्न विरुद्ध्यते॥१७.२७॥
तदविद्यानिवृत्तिरूपेण सविकल्पस्य विज्ञानस्य दृष्टफलम्। ज्ञानोत्पत्तेः पश्चात् यत्समाधिसाधनं तत्सर्वं निदिध्यासनम्।
श्रवणमननपूर्वकनिदिध्यासनस्य महावाक्यं विषयः। निदिध्यासने यदा अखण्डाकारवृत्तिर्भवति, तदा वृत्तिरविद्यानाशं कृत्वा स्वतः क्षयमापद्यते। आनन्तरं निर्विकपकसमाधेः संस्कारशेष एव वर्तते। वृत्तिक्षयवृत्तिनिरोधयोर्मध्ये को भेदः? अन्यो वेदान्तवृत्तिरन्यो योगवृत्तिरिति न शक्यते खलु। यद्यपि वृत्तयोर्भेदो नास्ति, तदापि संस्कारविशेषो वर्तते। अतस्द्वयोर्फलभेदः। अदृष्टफलमपि सविकल्पस्य निर्विलपवद्धर्मरूपम्। तदेव निर्विकल्पे धर्ममेघम्। अदृष्टं वासनक्षयञ्च मनोनाशञ्च प्रति नयति अतः निष्ठां ददाति।
ननु योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोध इत्युक्तम्। विद्यारण्यैस्तु
वृत्तयस्तु तदानीमज्ञाता अप्यात्मगोचराः ।
स्मरणादनुमीयन्ते व्युत्थितस्य समुत्थितात्॥१.५६॥
इत्युक्तम्। तत्र योगवेदान्तसमाधयोर्भेदस्स्पष्टम्।
सत्यमेतदुक्तं किन्तु भेदो नोक्तम्। यो भेदो योगशास्त्रे सविकपनिर्विकल्पयोर्मध्ये, स एव अत्रापि वेदान्तानाम्। अन्ये वृत्तिनिरोधोऽन्ये निरोधो न। किंच यद्यपि वृत्तिनिरोधो निद्रायां वेदान्ते अङ्गीकृतस्तर्हि सूक्ष्मवृत्तिर्बीजरूपे मनसि वर्ततैव। निद्रापि योगशास्त्रे वृत्तिरेव। अस्तु तर्हि निर्भेदो योगवेदान्तसमाधयोर्तेन ज्ञानेन एव मोक्ष इति सिधान्तहानिर्न भवति।
ॐ तत् सत्।
Further to the blog entry रज्जुसर्प rope-snake about the Shruti examples used for the creation of the world, here are the specific mantras of the Upanishads in which the rope-snake example is used. Some of them are clearly in the context of creation itself while others are in the context of मोक्षकारक ज्ञान (liberating knowledge). Please note that all these Upanishads are considered authentic in the tradition since they occur in Muktika's list of 108 Upanishads. And since Shrutis have एकवाक्यता (status of being for the same highest goal) as per सिद्धान्त (traditional Advaita Vedanta stance), no Upanishad can be placed above the other to disqualify the same.
Most people seem to be unaware as to why Bhashyakara chose those 10 Upanishads only for commenting upon and not others. This is clearly seen in Muktikopanishad which lists Mandukya as enough for ज्ञानोत्पत्ति rise of knowledge, but if not so, then those 10 Upanishads listed, which are commented upon by Bhagavatpadacharya, are to be studied for मोक्ष (liberation). Even then, if knowledge is lacking, then the other Upanishads are introduced in groups till the number reaches 108. However, Upanishad Brahmendra Yogin, who is considered to follow Bhashyakara's interpretation, elaborating further, has commented on all 108 Upanishads. Those interested further may kindly refer the same.
अज्ञानमिति च रज्जौ सर्पभ्रान्तिरिवाद्वितीये सर्वानुस्यूते सर्वमये ब्रह्मणि देवतिर्यङ्नरस्थावरस्त्रीपुरुषवर्णाश्रमबन्धमोक्षोपाधिनानात्मभेदकल्पितं ज्ञानमज्ञानम् ॥ १४ ॥
And [as to what is] अज्ञान is [answered as follows]: अज्ञान is the [delusory] knowledge, [that causes] superimposition of varieties of non-selves based on the manifold adjuncts, gods, animals, immovable (trees), women, men, varNas, stages of life, bondage and liberation, upon non-dual, all-pervasive, all-inclusive, ब्रह्म, like the delusion of snake in the rope.
Yogakundalinyupanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar
जायाभवविनिर्मुक्तिः कालरूपस्य विभ्रमः ।
इति तं स्वस्वरूपा हि मती रज्जुभुजङ्गवत् ॥ ७९॥
1.79: Like the conception of the snake in a rope, so the idea of the release from life and Samsara is the delusion of time.
Tejobindupanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar
गगने नीलिमासत्ये जगत्सत्यं भविष्यति ।
शुक्तिकारजतं सत्यं भूषणं चेज्जगद्भवेत् ॥ ७६ ॥
रज्जुसर्पेण दष्टश्चेन्नरो भवतु संसृतिः ।
जातरूपेण बाणेन ज्वालाग्नौ नाशिते जगत् ॥ ७७ ॥
4/6.76-77 (continues till 98): When the blueness of the sky really exists in it, then the universe really is. When the silver in mother-of pearl can be used in making an ornament, when a man is bitten by (the conception of) a snake in a rope, when the flaming fire is quenched by means of a golden arrow, ... then the world really is.
यः सर्वज्ञः सर्वविद्यो यस्य ज्ञानमयं तपः ।
तस्मादत्रान्नरूपेण जायते जगदावलिः ॥ ३३॥
सत्यवद्भाति तत्सर्वं रज्जुसर्पवदास्थितम् ।
तदेतदक्षरं सत्यं तद्विज्ञाय विमुच्यते ॥ ३४॥
33-35: From that all-knowing, omniscient Lord, whose being endowed with knowledge itself is the penance [=visualisation], the whole world is created in the form of food [that is consumed by all sense organs]. That entire [world] shines [=appears] as-if real, superimposed [on the Lord] just like a rope on a snake. That is this imperishable reality, knowing which, one is liberated.
Nirvanopanishad Translated by Prof. A. A. Ramanathan
अनित्यं जगद्यज्जनितं स्वप्नजगदभ्रगजादितुल्यम् ।
तथा देहादिसंघातं मोहगुणजालकलितं तद्रज्जुसर्पवत्कल्पितम् ।
28. The phenomenal world is impermanent as it is produced [from Brahman which alone is real]; it is similar to a world seen in a dream and an [illusory] elephant in the sky; similarly, the cluster of things such as the body is perceived by a network of a multitude of delusions and it is fancied to exist as a serpent in a rope.
Nadabindupanishad Translated by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar
अज्ञानं चेति वेदान्तैस्तस्मिन्नष्टे क्व विश्वता ।
यथा रज्जुं परित्यज्य सर्पं गृह्णाति वै भ्रमात् ॥ २६ ॥
26 (1/2) -27. As a person through illusion mistakes a rope for a serpent, so the fool not knowing the eternal truth sees the world [to be true]. When he knows it to be a piece of rope, the illusory idea of a serpent vanishes.
Katharudropanishad Translated by Prof. A. A. Ramanathan
अपञ्चीकृत आकाशसंभूतो रज्जुसर्पवत् ॥ १३॥
13/17. From this Self which is one with Brahman and which is possessed of Maya power arose the unmanifest Akasa like a rope-serpent.
Atmabodhopanishad Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier
विवेकयुक्तिबुद्ध्याहं जानाम्यात्मानमद्वयम् । तथापि बन्धमोक्षादिव्यवहारः प्रतीयते ॥ ११॥
निवृत्तोऽपि प्रपञ्चो मे सत्यवद्भाति सर्वदा । सर्पादौ रज्जुसत्तेव ब्रह्मसत्तैव केवलम् ॥ १२॥
प्रपञ्चाधाररूपेण वर्ततेऽतो जगन्न हि । यथेक्षुरससंव्याप्ता शर्करा वर्तते तथा ॥ १३॥
II-1-11-13. I know myself without a second, with discrimination. Even then bondage and liberation are experienced. The world has gone away that appears to be real like serpent upon rope; only Brahman exists as the basis of the world; therefore the world does not exist; like sugar pervaded by the taste of the sugarcane, I am pervaded by bliss. All the three worlds, from Brahma to the smallest worm are imagined in me.
Atmopanishad Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier
अमुष्य ब्रह्मभूतत्त्वाद्ब्रह्मणः कुत उद्भवः ।
मायाक्लृप्तौ बन्धमोक्षौ न स्तः स्वात्मनि वस्तुतः ॥ २६॥
यथा रज्जौ निष्क्रियायां सर्पाभासविनिर्गमौ ।
अवृतेः सदसत्त्वाभ्यां वक्तव्ये बन्धमोक्षणे ॥ २७॥
नावृत्तिर्ब्रह्मणः क्वाचिदन्याभावादनावृतम् ।
अस्तीति प्रत्ययो यश्च यश्च नास्तीति वस्तुनि ॥ २८॥
II-26-27(a). Because that Yogin has become Brahman, how can Brahman be reborn? Bondage and liberation, set up by Maya, are not real in themselves in relation to the Self, just as the appearance and disappearance of the snake are not in relation to the stirless rope.
रज्जुसर्पदर्शनेन कारणाद्भिन्नजगतः सत्यत्वभ्रमो निवृत्तः ॥ १.१६॥
1.10 The delusion of the reality of the world, as different from its cause, is negated, by [way of example of negation of] the vision of the snake in the rope [as different from its cause].
Annapurnopanishad Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier
अधिष्ठाने परे तत्त्वे कल्पिता रज्जुसर्पवत् ।
कल्पिताश्चर्यजालेषु नाभ्युदेति कुतूहलम् ॥४.१०॥
4.10. (The whole world) is superimposed on the supreme Reality, the Ground, as the snake is on the rope. No curiosity is aroused as regards these superimposed wonders.
ॐ तत् सत्।
Today morning, I was thinking about प्रक्रियाभेद in Vedanta and how each one is so meticulously made to lead one to the non-dual truth, whether by Shruti or by commentators of the tradition. I was planning to jot down something about a साध्वी प्रक्रिया as a quotation, but I am happy to close the day with the same thought via this blog entry, thanks to an occasion that arose a while back. There was an interesting explanation I was subject to about the रज्जुसर्प rope-snake example and what is the point to be taken home from that. That one fears from a snake superimposed or projected subjectively on an existent rope is an example for निवृत्ति from the world. This example contrasts the प्रवृत्ति towards the world indicated by another example of शुक्तिरजक appearance of silver in nacre. Interestingly, some say that these examples do not serve any further purpose in explaining creation and therefore best left alone, although the tradition is said to use these for the latter!
Now, instead, clay-pot is talked about in Shruti itself and it best explains creation. True, but so is rope-snake! Bhashyakara is well-known to quote ideas that are covered across various Shrutis and this includes examples of रज्जुसर्प many a time. It is, therefore, no surprise to me that the रज्जुसर्प examples are dealt with for explaining creation itself in the following Upanishads themselves: Niralamba, Yogakundalini, Tejobindu, Rudrahridaya, Nirvana, Nadabindu, Katharudra, Atmabodha, Atma, Annapurna, all part of authentic 108 Upanishads, commented by Upanishad Yogendra, needless to mention that Karikakara used the example very fruitfully to serve a great purpose.
This brings us to the प्रक्रियाभेद। One shouldn't restrict oneself to one example of one प्रक्रिया and map everything under the sun on to it. The pot-clay example is undoubtedly a great example in शृष्टिदृष्टिवाद, but rope-snake is the best fit for दृष्टिसृष्टिवाद। Throwing this example out would be throwing the baby with the bath water, since there would go a gem of a प्रक्रिया, praised by great stalwarts of Vedanta such as Vidyaranyacharya, Appayya Dikshita, Madhusudhana Sarasvati and Prakashananda. And of course, the entire Mandukya Upanishad uses this very प्रक्रिया, leading the Karikakara to use the rope-snake example in two of His verses.
The following verse about प्रक्रियाभेद should be well understood and remembered for one's own successful pursuit of the goal.
यया यया भवेत् पुंसां व्युत्पत्तिः प्रत्यगात्मनि।
सा सैव प्रक्रिया साध्वी विपरीता ततोऽन्यथा ॥
ॐ तत् सत्।
The attributes अस्ति, भाति and प्रिय are ब्रह्मरूप says Vidyaranyamuni in दृग्दृश्यविवेक। प्रिय among these is the most difficult to see when related to जगत् and that प्रियत्व in the जगत् belongs to oneself alone. One may say that the जगत् or many of the objects in the world are अप्रिय, how then can there be प्रियत्व? The world exists despite one going into deep sleep [of course, only in the सृष्टिदृष्टिप्रक्रिया], despite one's seeing the world/thing existing. Similarly, even when one doesn't find the world/ object प्रिय, it is still प्रिय।
The way existence and consciousness are lent by one's own self to the world; similarly, प्रियत्व is lent by oneself alone, even when it is अप्रिय to one! The world/ thing by itself is neither existent nor conscious, and so too, the thing by itself is neither प्रिय nor अप्रिय। The way anything is seen to be existent and one cognizes it is because one sees oneself projected differently, so too that thing which is attributed to have अप्रियत्व is because it takes away one from one's own प्रियस्वरूप। It blocks the स्वरूपानन्द because the वृत्तिs that the object cause keep one away from स्वरूपानन्द manifesting itself. So अस्ति, भाति and प्रिय all belong to आत्मा alone.
Yajnavalkya says in Brihadaranyaka-- आत्मनस्तु कामाय सर्वं प्रियं भवति। This is a clincher that shows that every thing is really अप्रिय, whether it appears प्रिय or अप्रिय, unless आत्मा lends the प्रियत्व to it. The manifestation of प्रियत्व for any object in one's अनुभव depends on what kind of other वृत्तिs block one's स्वरूपानन्द manifesting as प्रतिबिम्बानन्द।
ॐ तत् सत्।
सत्, चित् and आनन्द are स्वरूपलक्षण, meaning the defining attributes or the very nature, of ब्रह्मात्मा । This is in contrast to the तटस्थलक्षण which is an incidental attribute of ब्रह्म। The stock example for the latter is the "house with the crow sitting on the roof". The house is known by the the crow sitting on top of the roof at the moment when it is shown, but the crow is obviously neither the part of the house nor the nature of the house. An example for the former is the sweetness of sugar. There is no sugar without sweetness, so it is the defining attribute or the very स्वरूप of sugar. So that becomes the स्वरूपलक्षण of sugar. In the case of ब्रह्मात्मा, सत्, चित् and आनन्द define the nature. What is to be noted that when a particular thing is said to be a defining attribute of something, its impact is two fold-- for one, that attribute is not seen elsewhere and for another, wherever that attribute is seen, it is due to that very thing! Sugar is the only sweet thing and any sweetness experienced anywhere is due to sugar alone. This would mean that existence, consciousness and bliss belong only to ब्रह्मात्मा and the corollary of that statement is that wherever any of existence, consciousness and bliss is seen, it is all due to ब्रह्मात्मा alone. These three different words characteristic of ब्रह्मात्मा each have a different sense in regular usage, how then can they be defining the same ब्रह्म which is आत्मा? This is discussed further.
For these three defining words to be in समानाधिकरण्य (grammatical apposition) and represent the same वस्तु ब्रह्मात्मा, they have to have an overlap over one another in one way or the other. This is clear when you analyse the other two from the point of any one. Lets start with सत् which is easily explained so. Both, consciousness and bliss to really mean anything concrete, more so, to be used as a defining attribute, they need to be existent first! So consciousness is not an absence but existent consciousness. So too, bliss is existential bliss. Next, consciousness. For one to know that one is existing, one doesn't need anything or anyone else. I have to be conscious, that is self-conscious, to know that I exist. And I know I exist. So mine is a conscious existence. Similarly, I know when happy or waking up from deepest of sleep, that I slept happily. That knowledge is a recollection of sleep-happiness. Only that can go in memory and recollected which is collected first. So happiness was collected during sleep and recollected on waking up. And collecting experience of happiness is possible only for a conscious entity. So the happiness was conscious happiness. That lands us on bliss. This is the most difficult to see, but no one can deny the fear of anything, particularly, death. The very idea that I may not exist some day is scary. Also such a fear brings sadness, that is, it takes away my happiness. That which when lost makes one sad has to be of the nature of happiness. So existing is blissfully existing, not otherwise. Lack of knowledge of something also results in fear or sadness, so knowledge also is blissful, making it blissful consciousness.
This is how all three attributes are related and talk of one's own real nature which is only but one ब्रह्मात्मा। Wherever anything is seen to be existent, conscious or source of happiness, it is all owed to the self alone, nay, it is self alone.
ॐ तत् सत्।