Still Confusion regarding Shankara's comments
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Mon Jan 27 09:34:54 CST 1997
My understanding for whatever it is worth.
There are no two kinds of consciousness. That consciousness which is
conscious of the two kinds of consciousness is the one that alone is
(existence) and that alone is the eka mevaa advitiiyam ( hence anantam
Consciousness of - this, this and this etc. occurs though local equipments
of body with indriyaas, manas and buddhi depending on their capabilities to
perceive, cognise and think. Consciousness is that because of which the
equipments are conscious of this and this and this.
Kena says again and again:
Yan manasa na manute yena hur mano matam |
tadeva twam viddhi nedam yadida mupaasate||
"That which the mind cannot think but because of which the mind has the
capacity to think that alone is Brahman not this that you worship"
"this is a pot" - involves perception, volition, cognition - in the
sequence - first that an object (is) and the recognition with an associated
thought that it is pot, if one knows that it is indeed a pot (based on
memory)- otherwise associated with a thought that "I do know what this is -
what this object that exists? "
Perception is instantaneous if the mind is behind the indriyaas ( not
running elsewhere) since the all pervading consciousness is all pervading -
it cannot run any where- achalam.
Objective reality and subjective reality - It is, therefore I see it - and
I see it. therefore it is. If one looks for the difference between these
two statements there is a difference. Rope is, therefore I see it -
Objective reality . I see a snake or even a rope, therefore there is a
snake or rope - subjective reality. We try (underline we) to make a
distinction between the objective and subjective realities - if I see it as
rope and you also see it as a rope and everyone else who sees it, he sees
it as a rope - we call this as objective reality! But if I see it as a
rope you see it as snake, and some one else as some thing else then we call
it subjective. I may be right or you may be right. But the common things
for both of us is that there is something - existence of object. - that is
part is objective reality. Since either one of us are not conscious of
all the attributes of that object other than it is long, thin, etc. our
volition and hence cognition are incomplete and hence recognition is in
error. Non-apprehension of complete truth causing misapprehension of the
truth. Since we both recognize the existence of an object, on the
existence we project either rope or a snake. Individual memory with all
its taints of individual vasanas comes into picture in the cognition and
recognition of the object with its name and form.
Let us go one step further. The pot is or the object is - involves not
just the object existence outside, but a conscious entity, I am or you are
etc. - a chaitanya vastu. Pot does not say I exist or I am a pot. - even
though it appears to be outside, the thought that it is a pot is in the
mind. Pot is outside, but pot thought is inside the mind. In fact I say
it is a pot because I see in my mind. Who see it - I as a conscious entity
- sees - The pot is in my consciousness. The existence of a pot is
recognized by the conscious entity, I am, which exists, since pot being a
jadam - or inert entity. In fact we can define jadam as Anya adhiina
prakaashatvam tat jadam or anya adheena satvam tat jadam. Whose existence
or awareness depends on the existence of an independent existence or
conscious entity which lends its existence or consciousness as its adhere
or support. In fact if we go deeply, the object outside is a thought
inside the mind, the thought is or thought is recognized because it is in
the consciousness. It does not matter even if you hit me with the pot!
The pot, you and the hitting action and the pain associated with it are in
my consciousness behind the mind that sees. If I am unconscious ( the mind
not lighted by the consciousness) even if you hit me with the pot or cut me
I won't know that you did. As for as I am concerned, neither the pot nor
you not the hitting has ever happened. Your mind which is awake and
available for the consciousness to enliven may be fully aware of hitting me
if you are doing this consciously, although may not be aware of the pain I
have because of your hitting, since it is my mind that feels the pain not
Now what is a thought. Thought is a perturbation in the
consciousness.(this itself is another thought!) When I look at a pot, and
recognize that this is a pot is a thought in my mind and I am aware of that
thought hence the pot thought is in my awareness. Each a thought is a wave
in the consciousness, the contents of each wave is nothing but
consciousness. Just as the contents of each wave in the ocean is nothing
but water - in and through. No wave can be away from water, in fact each
wave is nothing but water and water alone but with a name and form. Just
the same way each thought wave is nothing but consciousness and
consciousness alone. If one discards the name and form which are
superficial, what remains the brahma swaruupam only - the consciousness
which exists and which is infinite. In fact, I do not have to discard the
wave to see the water. All I have to do is to shift my attention from the
name and form to the very contents of the wave. So is the mind. I do not
have to suppress the thoughts. I have to shift my attention from the name
and to the very contents of the thoughts. Mind with the name and form
disappears, mind as part of the chaitanya swaruupa remains.
Hence Bhaghavaan Ramana says in Upadesha saara:
Maanasantu kim maargane kRite naiva maanasam maarga arjavaat. -
If one inquires into the mind what is the mind - then there is no mind at
all and this is direct path of inquiry.
dR^isya vaaritam chittamaatmanaaH, chitta darshanam tatva darshanam|
discarding what is seen (the name and form) and what remains after that is
the very contents of the mind which is nothing but in reality is the
existence itself or realty it self.
Just a note for those who have not studied in depth of what Ramana tought -
There is no difference between what he tought and what Shankara tought as
advaita. Conclusion without experimentation is unscientific.
Asti bhaati priyam roopam naamam chaityancha panchakam.
adyaatram brahma ruupam, jagat ruupam tathaa dvayam|
existence, consciousness, like(or dislike), name and form are the five
aspects of each object. The first three are related to Brahman and the last
two related to the world.
There are two types of thoughts - this thought - this and this and this etc.
and I thought - ahankaara, which is also a thought that raises in the mind
since I do not know who am. I thought is the thought that tries to own all
other this thoughts. It is bhaavana or a notion. This and this thoughts
are centered on objects - saguna - This thought therefore includes this is
the Lord also. In contrast the I thought, ego is centered on I am - the
Brahman. Hence it is relatively more permanent. This is a pot is this
thought, and who says that I am, and that I am thought is centered on
Brahman. Who am I inquiry only leads to the same as I am not the same as
the I am as a thought - ahankaara but which is superficial with a name and
a form but the very contents of even I am thought is the consciousness
In summary, irrespective subjective or objective reality ultimately they
are all thoughts and the essence of each thought is nothing but
consciousness. If not, I can not be consciousness of the thought or
conscious of even Eswara also. There is nothing other than consciousness
because, if it is - that exists and a conscious entity has to be there to
recognize its existence hence it is in consciousness alone. Hence
consciousness has to be infinite and akhandam indivisible. Since
consciousness exists ( we cannot talk about non-existent consciousness -
since we are taking and we exist and we are consciousness). Hence
existence is consciousness, consciousness is anantam - ekameva advitiyam
brahma. one non-duel Brahman.
About Bhakti - sharaNaagati, or prapatti of vishishhTaadvaita ultimately
involves na aham -no more ahankaara - dissolution of I and mine notion
that I am since I am surrendering - sarvadharmaan partityajya. Everything
is nothing but Eswara. Lord alone is who obviously has to be a conscious
entity. Complete surrenderence should lead to JNaana - that in fact is
true bhakti. If the Eswara has to appear He can only give this knowledge.
Bhakti without the fanaticism leads to the purification of the mind which
is conducive for knowledge to take place. Bhakti is the most powerful path
for purification since it is easier to surrender oneself at the alter of
love. That is why Bhagavan Shankara himself wrote so many bhakti slokas
recognizing that in the ultimate there is only one. In fact any true love
involves complete identification with the object of love. That is the true
surrenderance or true papatti or sharaNaagati. Of course this is advaitic
interpretation of Bhakti. Shankara defines in fact in similar lines what
Bhakti means in VivEkachuuDaamaNi. Since all sadhana involves dvaita, it
does not matter what path one follows for purification. What that final
state is, one who has reached there will know.
About Nisargadatta MaharaJ --Studying his book " I am that" gives a clear
impression He is one of those who has recognized that I am not this, not
this and this but I am that - tat tvam asi. With the recognition comes with
the understanding also -
PrakR^ityevacha karmaani kriyamaanaani sarvashhaH
yaH pasyati tadaatmaanam akarram sa pasyati ||
That all actions are being performed by the prakriti alone. that one who
sees is the one who really sees.
Statement that he was using tobacco is ridiculous - actions at the body,
mind and intellect level does not belong to the consciousness or to the one
who is established in that state. Krishna died like any one and Shankara
and so all mahaatmaas - but those are the attributes of the body, mind and
intellect and does not touch the consciousness. In that state:
maya tata midam sarvam jagadayvakta muurthina|
mastaani sarva bhuutani na chaaham teshvavastitaH|
I pervade this entire universe ( this entire universe in the consciousness
alone) in an unmanifested form. All being exist in me but I am in them, in
the sense of their birth, decay - smoking non-smoking etc. )
Of course you can believe that he has not realized, but that is your belief
against others belief that he has realized.
For me contemplation of his teaching in the "I am that" is itself an eye
My humble prostrations to him for providing that kind of book based on his
own experience which can help me and generations to come for their sadhana.
My prostrations to Bhagavan Ramana who has provided teachings of the
great rushies in a such a simplified form.
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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