तितिक्षा / titikshA

हरि: ॐ ||

Its been a long time since I've blogged, especially anything adhyAtmic. Today, while reading something, I recalled one of my favourite verses from the Bhagavad Gita:

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः।

आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत।।2.14।

mAtrAsparshAstu kaunteya shItoShNasukhadu:khadA: |
AgamApAyinoSnityAstAMstitikshasva bhArata ||

2.14 But the contacts of the organs with the objects are the producers of cold and heat, happiness and sorrow. They have a beginning and an end, (and) are transient. Bear them, O descendant of Bharata. (Translation: Swami Gambhirananda)

What it meant to me earlier is that the opposing pairs such as happiness & sadness, heat & cold, etc, are indicative of dvandva. The contact of the senses with the objects drag along the jIva as being in contact with them and give rise to these feelings of opposing pairs, while truly the jIva has nothing to do with them, its always free. All of these pairs have a beginning and an end, so one must bear them out with patience. However, a deeper meaning shone on me now. The dvandva bhAva not only drags the jIva into association with these emotions or feelings, opposed when weighed against each other, but they in turn lead to dvaita-bhAva or duality. Left to itself, the jIva is brahman, but when associated with objects via the sense organs, duality is born.

Imagine a different set of opposites such as past & future. The mind with its tools drags the jIva into (living the) past and (planning the) future. Not only bearing them out with titikshA but weaning itself out from them, as pratyAhAra, if I may say that, jIva would be left alone in the present. While past had started and ended too, future is yet to start, but that too would end. The present, come what may, is always there. This present is the now. The ever-lasting, nityaM. The jIva. The Atman! The brahman! So only the contact of the senses with the objects gives rise to duality, but the jIva on its own is without a second. Its ekameva advitiya.

Of course, there's a contrary, critical viewpoint to the above, which is: how can the sensual contact be the reason for duality, since the object itself lies out there as a dual, doesn't it? Then again, the object as a dual, other than one's own self, comes into picture due to contact with it, via the senses, which associate the intellect to the senses via the mind. The intellect itself is a result of association of the ego with it, whereas the ego is an *OBJECT* for the jIva. This ego is the closest object which has no existence besides its individuality. And being an individual, without a second me, I am separated from another as a sentient being or an insentient object only when I, as a jIva, have an ego to separate me. The ego but has only a ghostly existence, a delusion, that vanishes in suShupti or deep sleep, where I am truly left to myself.

That brings me to conclude this post so: if this first opposing pair of individuality of ego contrasted against the other were not to happen, there would be no jIva separate as jIvAtman from brahman. Then, I could remain as what I really am: ekameva advitiya brahman. However, this root association is naisargika as Bhagavatpada Adi Shankaracharya says, so there's nothing I can do about it right away. Instead, the solution lies at the other end of the spectrum where I can bear out the opposing pairs of heat & cold, happiness & sadness, past & future, which would lead to remaining neutral in the present, the now, which in turn ends all the duality there is, right from those "objects out there" through my "mind out there" to my own "ego out there". Without the contact with those objects (of the jIva), there would be no duality.

श्रीगुरुपादुकार्पणमस्तु ||
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