[Advaita-l] A persepctive - 18-1

Kuntimaddi Sadananda ksadananda108 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 2 20:18:16 CST 2010

tat tvam asi: IX-1

First, some clarification based on the discussion in the advaitaL-list. The
analysis presented appears to be logical but the truth is beyond logic or
anumaana pramaaNa, since validity of logic or anumaana is established by
pratyaksha or direct perceptual data. Brahman/aatman or the subject is I
cannot be objectified and therefore cannot be known via pratyaksha and hence
by anumaana or logic. Hence scripture itself says this – naiShaa tarkena
matiraapaneya. Hence Scripture only becomes a pramaaNa for this truth.
Second, when we say it is beyond the intellect, what it implies the above
statement that it cannot be intellectually or logically deduced. Hence what
was presented although logical but the truth is based on scripture and what
we followed is shaastriiya anumaana or logic supported by shaastras not by
perceptual data. Third, even though it is the truth is not intellectual, the
truth can be known only by intellect. Hence the primary requirement to gain
this knowledge is Viveka – picturized in the scriptures as celestial Hamsa
or swan which can differentiate milk from water. We need the subtle
intellect which integrates, suukshma buddhi and not sharp intellect
(thiikshNa buddhi, which differentiates) to recognize the truth of the
substantive underlying the subject-object duality. Finally when Bhagavaan
Ramana says mind get destroyed what he meant is the destruction of notional
mind or ignorant mind not the mind that is the instruments that is needed
for objective transactions as in composing Sat Darshanam or Upadesha saara
or communicating the knowledge to the disciples when some one say Bhagavaan
Ramana said this or that. The truth as we discussed is from the jnaani’s
point he has understood that he is not the BMI since that misunderstanding
is gone (or that notional mind is destroyed – manasantukim maargane kRite,
naiva maanasam maarga aarjavat, says Ramana using the mind); that is why he
is a jnaani. He understood he is not the mind while using the mind. One can
say Brahman or Iswara himself is using that BMI now available. Hence the
point is the knowledge destroys the ignorance which causes notions in the
mind that I am this or that etc. That destruction of knowledge is
accompanied by the realization that I am sat chit aananda swaruupa. In that
recognition the BMI becomes the vibhuuti – as they are in me but I am not in
them. Because of the need for clear understanding of the process we present
the relevant facts. For those who are interested video discourses on
SaddarShaNam text of Bhagavaan Ramana can be found in www.advaitaforum.org.
where 40 slokas on the nature of the truth as revealed by Bhagavaan is
presented in the light of Vedantic teaching.

We have discussed how the knowledge takes place. Existence-consciousness
that I am, who is all-pervading, (as though) illumines the mind (or more
correctly the mind gets illumined in the presence of all-pervading
consciousness) as saakshii. Since the process is occurring in the platform
of muula avidya, which is same as maayaa, the mind, which is a material
product of maayya, appears to gain sentiency which is otherwise inert. Since
saakshii and the mind are ontologically different, they do not or cannot
affect each other in this process.  It means saakshii does not undergo any
modification by the apparent process of illumination. The light of
consciousness - as though - gets reflected by the mind to make the mind a)
knowable b) transactable and c) an agent for subsequent transaction (ego or
ahankaara). The relation between the saakshii and the mind is called
reflector and reflected or avabhaasya-avabhaasika sambandha, which is a
relation-less relation. This is in contrast to the relation between a
quality and object (guNa-guNi) which are inseparable as in a blue-cloth,
where blueness is insuperable from cloth-ness, which Nayyayikaas call as
samavaaya sambandha. The light of consciousness that is getting reflected by
the mind and makes it known is called chidaabhaasa. This is also called aham
vRitti, or ‘I- thought’ or ahankaara (Sureswara calls this as idam vRitti –
Naiskaryma Siddhi, III-60) – the essential point is, it is a vRitti or
similar to a thought since mind forms an object for reflection of
consciousness. Reflected light is not really distinct from the original
light other than the fact it makes the object, i.e, the mind, known.  We
have discussed the fact that without getting reflected, the all-pervading
light of consciousness cannot be known since it cannot be an object of
knowledge. Hence, even the existence of consciousness cannot be established
without the mind and its reflection, just as the existence of light cannot
be established without an object reflecting it. The object is not the light
but the object makes the light known. On the other hand the object cannot be
known without the light. Whether the objects exist when they are not known,
is an academic question only. The question is similar to - Are there unknown
objects existing in a pitch dark room? We will never know whether they exist
or not unless I perceive them by turning the light on. Thus mind is
essential for knowledge to take place.

The reflected light from the mind gets further reflected by the thoughts or
vRitti that arise in the mind, as one perceives the world of objects. The
objects thoughts become idam vRitti or these thoughts. Hence knowledge
process involves a) first mind getting reflected by the light of
consciousness and b) the reflected light from the mind further reflecting
the thoughts of objects of the world that arise due to sense-input. These
thoughts of the worldly objects become - my thoughts- with an associated
stamp of ownership – resulting in mamakaara. Thus ahankaara is chidaabhaasa
the original reflection of the mind by saakshii and the mamakaara is
subsequent reflection of the reflected light from the mind by the worldly
thoughts. The relation between the mind-and the objects thoughts of the
world is not only the reflector-reflected relation, but in addition the
thoughts get coated with likes and dislikes due to vaasanaas. Hence unlike
the saakshii and the mind, the mind and objects are ontologically in par and
therefore get mutually affected by these likes and dislikes.  Hence the
world of objects can be perceived as source of happiness or unhappiness
depending not on the object, but based on my likes and dislikes.

A better way of looking at this process is that as saakshii using the mind
illumines the thoughts of the world, similar to seeing the microorganisms
using a microscope. In this out-look, I am not giving that much importance
to the intermediary agent, the mind, other than as necessary tool, but
giving complete credence to the source of light, the saakshii, in whose
original light of consciousness alone everything gets illuminated or known.
The mind is reduced to a necessary instrument for saakshii. This shift in
understanding is the self-realization. This is similar to the understanding
that the Sun via the moon making the objects visible during a full-moon
night, since moon does not have light of its own and sun cannot be seen
directly during the night. In order for me to recognize the presence of the
sunlight as I see the objects getting illumined during the full-moon night,
I need to understand clearly that it is the sunlight that is getting
reflected, and I should be able to shift my attention to the original light
from intermediary reflected light from the moon, as I know that moon does
not have light of its own. Hence any knowledge of any object occurs due to
the consciousness getting reflected from the vRitti of the object. Thus in
any perceptual knowledge there are two things that come into contact to make
the knowledge possible – a) the existence of the object in the form of the
vRitti or a thought with attributive content of the object, and b) the light
of consciousness that I am getting reflected by the vRitti. This is
expressed as perceptuality condition by Vedanta paribhaasa as the existence
of the object and consciousness of the subject get united for me to be
conscious of the existence of the object.

This is also the essence of the sloka chanted during Vedic aarati:

na tatra suuryo bhaati na chandra taarakam

nemaa vidhyuto bhaanti koto2yam agniH|

tamevabhaantam anubhaati sarvam

tasya bhaasaa sarvam idam vibhaati|

Nether the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, nor the electricity illumine
you, how this silly lamp can illumine you. You are the self-existent,
self-luminous entity and in your light only all things get illumined either
directly or indirectly. Thus the existence of every object in the world is
known only by the light of illumination by the consciousness that I am, that
includes my mind and via the mind the other objects in the world.


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