Thoughts 112

Thoughts 112: Wisdom adds the 'w' in the whole, without which one is left holed up in संसार।


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।

शास्त्रानुग्रहः। Shastranugraha

As we all know शास्त्र is not a single book, authored by one or more persons, like in other religions. Our Hindu शास्त्रs are Shruti and derivatives thereof, Shruti being अपौरुषेय not authored at all! The Vedas are said to be the breath of Ishvara in Brihadaranyaka by अस्य महतः भूतस्य निश्वसितम्। Therefore, our शास्त्रs are the very breath of Paramatma; and needless to say, no one authors their own breath. This means that they are शब्दब्रह्म and therefore, incorruptible.
To start with, शास्त्रs being available to us is itself शास्त्रानुग्रह। This can also be seen when शास्त्र or its teaching is accessible at the right time. In the simplest experience for many of us, for example, sometimes, you're trying to find an answer to a lingering Vedanta question and the book opens at the exact page holding the answer, etc. One may call it coincidence, but one who has श्रद्धा in how कर्म works, there are no random coincidences.
प्रामाण्यबुद्धि towards the शास्त्र can also be seen threefold as शास्त्रानुग्रह along with ईश्वरानुग्रह-
one, in knowing that the शास्त्रs have एकवाक्यता, that the ultimate subject matter of all the शास्त्रs is जीवैश्वरैक्य, the अद्वैतज्ञान that I am ब्रह्म। To know that this is the single goal of Vedas, among an overwhelming variety of rituals involving मन्त्रs, यन्त्रs andतन्त्रs, involving so many deities representing a single तत्त्व, or several उपासनs with their own फल is not easy to see.
two, ज्ञानेन एव मोक्षः and and three, that there is no other प्रमाण for this ज्ञान। Moreover, we are used to thinking that my experience built across lives gathering data from all my senses goes against it. Naishkarmyasiddhi says: नायं शब्दः कुतो यस्माद्रूपं पश्यामि चक्षुषा। इति यद्वत्तथैवायं विरोधोऽक्षजवाक्ययोः॥ नै.सि. ३.८४॥ “This is not sound”. Why? “Because I see colour with my eyes”. Similar is the conflict between what is conveyed by perception and Shruti.

Even after one has all of the above, still with the same गुरु teaching, one doesn't understand or understands differently as Bhashyakara glosses on the Kena mantra. So there is need for शास्त्रानुग्रह along with ईश्वर-and गुरु-अनुग्रह so that Shruti reveals the right knowledge to us. Why else would juggernauts, who studied the same शास्त्रs, in the same संप्रदाय, who had great पाण्डित्य, who were great भक्तs tapping ईश्वरानुग्रह, go out and start their own philosophies?!

That leads us to the closing question: is शास्त्रानुग्रह really different from any other अनुग्रह? Of course, there is some overlap with others, but the most important अनुग्रह of शास्त्र is मुक्ति itself. In Vivarana tradition, it is accepted that the श्रुति in the form of महावाक्य, on its own, causes अपरोक्षज्ञान The ज्ञानवृत्ति, for which the subject is महावाक्य, destroys अज्ञान thereby resulting in मोक्ष।

Shruti, with Her grace, answers a really unanswerable question in all possible ways, using various प्रक्रियाs, examples and तर्कs so that at least one of them makes the knowledge perfectly clear, even calling herself as मिथ्या so that we don't end up holding on to something that is not real.

May we all be blessed by शास्त्रानुग्रह। 

ॐ तत् सत्।

Thoughts 109-111

Thoughts 109: One has to make a lot of wealth to finally give it all up. One has to earn a lot of virtues to cross over them all. One has to learn a lot to know that no learning is necessary.

Thoughts 110: The journey is from oneself to all-self.

Thoughts 111: There is कर्माभासः for the ज्ञानी but there is ज्ञानाभासः for one who thinks he is a ज्ञानी। 

Gradations of knowers of truth

There are many people who think that the gradations among ज्ञानिन्-s, knowers of truth, is made by those Acharyas who came much later after Bhagavatpadacharya; however, they seem to have ignored that Bhagavatpada himself uses the word मन्दज्ञानी in काठकभाषम् !

The orthodox tradition accepts such differences which others reject, perhaps due to misunderstanding gradations in knowers to mean gradations in knowledge! It is very clear that knowledge about one non-dual वस्तु is singular self-knowledge. All other differences in knowers of truth has to do with the निष्ठा, as to how much one can remain in the understanding of the self versus the level of absorption that is disturbed due to circumstances, be it when amidst crowds or left alone, both driven by प्रारब्ध so: the more the वासनs, safely called संस्कारs by some, more is the drifting out of abidance in the self. 

Further, Vidyaranyacharya provides a great guide to the categories of knowers in his excellent work Jivanmuktiviveka (JMV), so much so that he explains these gradations well, based on differentiating Videhamukti from जीवन्मुक्ति। There also seems to be confusion among many that lack of जीवन्मुक्ति means lack of मुक्ति, meaning विदेहमुक्ति, itself and that is not the case as is clear in JMV. The clarity of knowledge that guarantees freedom from cycle of birth and death does not guarantee firmness in abidance, thereby making scarce the स्वरूपानन्द which reflects in the चित्त as सुखाकारवृत्ति। The traditional means to deal with such scarcity owing to obstacles is explained in JMV.

ॐ तत् सत्।

गुण need not exclude जाति for political correctness.

The goal of life being moksha and only one with सात्विक गुणs, that is, a गुणब्राह्मण gets the knowledge and is freed, so the effort needed is for everyone to become a गुणब्राह्मण। There is no dispute in this regard. A person who progresses to become one who has such qualities either gets moksha in this very life or is born in a family where this journey progresses. This is not a point of disagreement either. What this essentially means is that the person who needs to put an effort to develop particular qualities is not born in a family where there are already such qualities present. Therefore, it is also clear that a natural गुणब्राह्मण is born in a ब्राह्मण family, that is, as a जातिब्राह्मण। It is a different matter that if he feeds his रागद्वेषs, he is taken away from the goal into another and therefore might degrade to a गुणशुद्र too, akin to how a person born in a शुद्र family can progress to a गुणब्राह्मण। Else, the function of कर्म and कर्मफल as described in all scriptures, which includes जन्म, would stand contradicted. 

This whole thing said above is, unfortunately, amiss among many!

ॐ तत् सत्।

The means for चित्तशुद्धि

A wet log of wood doesn't burn even when lit however many times. It catches fire only when it is dry. Of course, drying of wood itself can be attained by continuous efforts to burn wooden log. However, that is a long process likely to fail and the reason is because lighting the wood is not meant to dry wet wood. To dry a wet wooden log, putting the log out in the sun is the means. Though the goal is to burn wood, the means to dry wet wood is not lighting wood on fire. Similarly, although knowledge alone gives moksha, the means for knowledge to take place is चित्तशुद्धि। That चित्तशुद्धि may come from श्रवण, but it is not a direct means for the same. What indeed is the means for सत्त्वशुद्धि is साधनचातुष्टय। To cut short the same and to assume that श्रवण would result in चित्तशुद्धि is a sure means to disaster. Neither will knowledge arise nor is there likelihood of अन्तःकरण attaining a level of purity needed any time soon. What is understood would only be what is thought to be understood, but not अविद्याविरोध ज्ञान। Bhagavatpadacharya says at multiple places that the rise of knowledge for one bereft of purity of the mind is impossible. Therefore, one should not treat श्रवण as the means to the same, akin to trying to dry wet wood by fire.

ॐ तत् सत्।


ॐ श्रीगुरुभ्यो नमः ।

भजगोविन्दे श्लोके, भगवत्पादाचार्य अवदत् "नहि नहि रक्षति डुकृञ्करणे” इति । बहवः जना अस्य पादस्य अर्थं वदन्ति यत्-- "व्याकरणेन मोक्षप्राप्तिर्न भवति", "व्याकरणस्य मोक्षहेतौ, मोक्षविषये, किमपि उपयोगो नास्ति" इति च । ते "व्याकरणं क्या करणम्?” इति चेष्टामपि कुर्वन्ति यतः संस्कृतभाषां न जानन्ति। वस्तुतोऽस्य वाक्यस्य एषोऽर्थोऽयोग्यः। कथं तत्? व्याकरणं वेदस्य मुखं‌ प्रोक्तम्। मुखं विना कथं श्रुतिर्वक्तुं शक्नोति? कथं च वयं श्रोतारः श्रोतुं‌ शक्नुमः? ज्ञानाय व्याकरणमवश्यकमेव।

 डुकृञ्करणे-शब्दः महर्षिपाणिनिकृतः पारिभाषिकश्चास्ति । किन्तु कोSपि कथं न चिन्तयति "केन कारणेन भगवत्पादः‌ द्विसहस्रधातुनां मध्ये अस्य डुकृञ्-धातोरेव प्रयोगं कृतवान्"? अत्र डुकृञ्, अथवा कृ- धातुः, करणे अर्थे अस्ति । अर्थात् कृधातोरर्थः‌ "कर्मणः करणम्" इत्यस्ति । अतो भगवत्पादः‌ "ज्ञानेन एव मोक्षो भवति" इति लक्षयित्वा, कृधोतोः प्रयोगं कृतवान् । ततः श्लोके यो वाक्यः‌ तस्य एषोऽर्थो भवति-- "कर्मणा मोक्षप्राप्तिर्न सम्भवति। नापि कर्मणा समुच्चयेन"। अर्थात् "‌नहि नहि रक्षति डुकृञ्करणे" अस्य वाक्यस्य अर्थः‌ "नहि नहि रक्षति कर्माणि" इत्येव योग्यः।

 ओम् तत् सत् ।