[Advaita-l] Kutchu and his glasses - realising Brahman
Siva Senani Nori
sivasenani at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 8 06:14:27 CDT 2008
Brahma Sri Marko
To the extent I was told, and to the extent that I could grasp within that and reproduce here, neither perception nor restlessness is Brahman; Brahman is the witness, when the subject, object and action are spoken of differently.
I find the concept of reference frames very useful. Is Newtonian physics correct? Yes, with Earth as the reference frame. With a fixed star as the reference frame, Newtonian physics is incorrect. Or to put it more elaborately, let us say two trains, T1 and T2, start from Point A to Point B and travel at different speeds. Let us say T1 travels 100 km more than T2 in an hour. Then for somebody who is on ground between points A and B, T2 is heading TOWARDS him. If this somebody then boards T1, he will suddenly discover that T2 is racing AWAY from him. What is the truth? It depends on the reference frame. If the frame is fixed to earth, T2 is racing towards the observer, who by definition is fixed to the reference frame; if the reference frame is fixed to the faster train T1, T2 is racing away from the observer.
Similarly, when perception is spoken of as separate and distinct from the perceiver and the perceived, implicitly the reference frame is fixed to this world, that ultimately is mithyaa. The short-cut for this is "the worldly view" or the loukika view; and since the worldly view is implicitly assumed, within the influence of maayaa, perception is not Brahman. Similarly restlessness.
In the Absolutist view, or the paaramaarthika view, with maayaa not operating, there is no perceiver, nor the perceived and of course no perception. Only Brahman is.
Is the train speeding away from me, or is it rushing towards me? It depends on whether I am subject to the influence of avidyaa or not. I am firmly under the influence of avidyaa, so, to me, the train is speeding away from me; perception and restlessness are not Brahman. You, (as you acknowledged), having realised Brahman are beyond the influence of avidyaa and therefore it is very clear to you that the train is coming towards you; that perception and restlessness are, but, Brahman.
Traditionally, the self-realised do not declare so, and very nicely play-act as if they are subject to maayaa, for the benefit of poor souls who are still subject to maayaa. Even the most reverred achaarya, bhagavatpaada, Sri Sankara, in hundreds of pages of tight philosophical exposition let it slip only once that "even those like us who have realised Brahman do such and such".
While I fully understand the underlying refrain of all your posts - Fool!, realise that you are Brahman - the moment one finds it difficult to reconcile it - say, as Sri Jaladhar Vyas puts it, the inability to treat my bank balance as yours and transfer all my money to you - one ought to acknowledge that one's realisation is not sound, that one is still under the influence of avidyaa and thinks that there is something called mine, his, hers and so on.
As long as I believe, declare, and act as if my wife is my own, my children my own, my friends my own, mine this and mine that, and cannot give up joy on seeing them, touching them, cannot give up hurting when they do not reciprocate, do take up the duty of standing up for them, I remain ineligible for enlightenment. The day I don't care when my son is half naked on the streets and begging, any more than I do when I see other children of similar age doing so, I remain ineligible for enlightenment. The day I don't feel a moment of sadness when I see my mother dying, as do die so many ladies of her age every day, I am eligible for enlightenment. The day I am indifferent to my daughter being feted by her school, as are so many schoolgirls around the world, I am eligible for enlightenment. The day all my bonds break, I am eligible for enlightenment.
Till then, I am not eligible for enlightenment. Till then, I remain under the influence of avidyaa and maayaa. Perception and restlessness are, to such a person, not Brahman. The train is racing away.
----- Original Message ----
> From: Marko Gregoric <markogregori at gmail.com>
> To: Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>; A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
> Sent: Friday, August 8, 2008 3:08:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Kutchu and his glasses - realising Brahman
> Dear Senani
> Thank you for the nice story, but I still think Brahman does not
> percieve anything at all. He alone is. Perception and restlessnes are
> Brahman too, aren't they?
> Best regards
> On 8/8/08, Siva Senani Nori wrote:
> > Long years back, when I was in Standard 2
> > We had a lesson, Kutchu and His Glasses.
> > Mr. Kutchu lost his glasses,
> > so hither, tither and everywhere
> > searched everybody in his home.
> > Scared were the children and servants
> > the wife was tense, Mr. Kutchu, restless
> > and quiet stayed the guests.
> > Only for them to realise,
> > at the end of all the frenzy,
> > that he always had them on his forehead.
> > I guess, short poems are not my cup of tea, but the above is a good base to
> > examine how the Atman, Brahman itself, 'realises' its own self. (Actually I
> > need not have brought Mr. Kutchu into the picture, because the bhashyas have
> > two examples that readily come to my mind: daSamo`ham and the lady of the
> > house 'finding' her necklace in her own neck after frantic searching;
> > still, let it be as I can't access the Bhashya immediately and can't
> > reconstruct it all from memory.)
> > Now for the examination of 'praapti', getting, finding or realising:
> > Did Kutchu 'lose' his glasses?
> > Yes, he did. That is why he and everybody else searched for them.
> > But, did he not always have them on his forehead?
> > Yes, he did, but he did not know that. And, that fact did not make him
> > search with less frenzy.
> > But, then, his "finding" them is not really finding them. He always had
> > them.
> > Yes, he always had them on his body, but he "found" them only when he
> > realised that fact.
> > So, the truth does not matter, only the perception matters?
> > Yes, to Mr. Kutchu, only the perception matters.
> > But, the truth remains that he always had his glasses on his body?
> > Yes. Only Mr. Kutch did not 'realise' the truth. He and his people were
> > anxious till the truth was realised.
> > The Atman realising its true nature is something similar. The actual truth
> > remains that the Atman is Brahman, but as long as that is not realised, the
> > Atman will have the same anxiety, restlessness and the resultant sorrow that
> > Mr. Kutchu had.
> > The "anubhooti prakaaSikaa" of Sri Suresvaracharya ends on a similar note:
> > that the relased thus attain release.
> > Regards
> > Senani
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