[Advaita-l] Jnaani and the Life-problems - I

kuntimaddi sadananda via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Mon Oct 27 10:05:48 CDT 2014

The following write-up is based on the Notes taken during Swami Paramarthanandaji’s class on Vicharasagara of Nischaladaasa – I attended  Swamiji’s class after 6 months gap. I am posting as 3-parts due to its length. 
My PraNAms to Swamiji. 
Aatma is adhiShTaanam or substratum for everything. It is the seer, experiencer but it cannot be seen or experienced.  Bri. Up statement says –na dRiShTeH draShTaaram pasyeH, na shruteH shrotaaram shRiNuyaat, na manteH mantaaram manveethaaH, na vijnaateH vijaataaram vijaaneeyaaH| Esha ta aatma sarvantarH. III-4-2.  That which sees but that which cannot be seen, that which hears but that which cannot be heard, that which thinks but that which cannot be object of thought, that which knows but that which cannot be known. That is your own self which pervades everything as the substantive of all.  

It is adhiShTaanam for the universe – universe is adhyaasa or superimposition on the adhiShTaanam aatma that you are. It is like snake is adhyaasa on rope. Snake is mithyaa. It is like the mirage waters on the dry-sand. 

The world is mithyaa that is, it is only apparently existing but not really existing. That which changes is only experientially real or transactionally real but not really real. Hence it comes under neither real nor unreal, sat asat vilakshaNam. Since it is neither sat nor asat it is called mithyaa. Every mithyaa vastu or object must have an adhiShTaanam or aadharam or support for its existence. I am, as pure existence-consciousness, is the very substratum for everything and I am the projector, sustainer and experiencer (PSE) of the whole universe. The above Bri. Up. mantras, for example, provides the scriptural support. 

World is mithyaa and samsaara therefore is also mithyaa. That which appears and experienced is not really real but apparently real, since it is ever changing. When there is something changing then there must be a changeless entity with reference which the changes can be noticed. Thus there are two realities one changing entity and the other the changeless substratum that supports the changing entity. The order of reality, therefore, must differ between these two. For example, at relative level, gold is the changeless substratum in all changing ornaments, such as rings, bangles, etc. A ring can become a bangle and a bangle can become a bracelet. However as gold there is no change in these changes. The order of reality of ring, bangle  bracelet, etc., must be different from the gold from which they came, by which they are sustained and into which they go back. Hence Gold is adhiShTaanam or substratum for all gold ornaments. Gold is more real than the
 rings, bangles, etc, the forms that Gold appears. Names and forms of gold are not gold as they are only appearances. The functions or utilities of these names and forms also do not belong to Gold.  The gunas or attributes of ring, bangle, etc, that differentiate one form from the other do not belong Gold. The same principle applies for the world that involves names and forms of all objects. These names and forms or attributes or gunas which differentiate one from the other do not belong to the adhiShTaanam or substantive of these names and forms of objects of the world.  

>From the scriptures we learn that the adhiShTaanam or substratum for the entire universe is sat alone, which is really real as it is changeless. Any finite can undergo a change since it is finite. Only infinite cannot undergo a change. Hence sat is infinite. Infinite cannot exclude anything, therefore sat is the essence of everything. Infinite cannot be perceived.  Therefore sat because of which the whole world exits is imperceptible. 

Elimination of mithyaa is not possible. Samsaara is mithyaa and therefore its elimination is not possible. Then the very seeking for moksha is futile since it involves elimination of the limitations and thus samasaara. Hence elimination of samsaara or negation of the perceptual world is not possible since it is mithyaa. Seeking to eliminate samsaara is therefore is wrong and illogical. In fact this notion that I want to eliminate all my problems forms one of the biggest obstacles for moksha. Hence any pursuit to eliminate the samsaara which is mithyaa is bound to fail since one is trying to eliminate that which has no reality of its own. 

The very seeking to eliminate samsaara or the world of appearance by a process itself will result in two problems. 
1. Seeking will not be successful since one is trying to eliminate samsaara or limitations which are not real.
2. More importantly the very effort to eliminate the mithyaa object or vastu gives more reality to the mithyaa object. By the very process to eliminate that which is not real or mithyaa will only give more reality to it but also makes problem more difficult. It is similar to trying to kill the rope-snake that is perceived. Rope-snake cannot be killed by any means. And the very pursuit to kill the rope-snake gives more reality to the snake than it deserves. Hence any pursuit to eliminate the rope-snake will bound to be a failure. What need to be understood is that it is really rope, and there is no snake at the place and time where the rope is.  

Similarly by the process of giving reality to day-to-day problems or samsaara, we hurt ourselves more since the problems that haunt us have become more real. Hence the statement is asked to uplift himself by himself.  uddharet aatmanaa aatmaanam, aatmaanamavasaadhayet, aatmaiva hyaatmano bandhuH atmaiva ripu raatmanaH|| I become my own enemy by giving reality to that which is not really real. The very effort to eliminate gives power to the world of plurality to empower us. That which appears has to disappear also. That which comes will go. Hence Krishna advises the ups and downs that come due to praarabda one has to forbear by ignoring them as apparent and not real. Going to the temples, doing prayers to relive the suffering, etc., all imply that I am giving more reality to the problems than what they deserve. Hence Krishna says aartho arthaatii are devotees alright but are of lower category. The highest bhakta is the jnaani who understands that he does
 not have any problems or samsaara. The problem becomes more intense since I cannot solve the problem by any process and I also cannot give up solving the problem. The real solution is to recognize that I have no problem to solve to begin with. This is not recognized easily while immersed in the problem. Surrender the ego that has the problem at the feet of the Lord is a suggested solution as sharaNaagati, suggests some daarshanikas. The real surrender occurs only when I recognize that I am free from all problems since I am the adhiShTaanam or the substratum for the whole universe, says scriptures. 
Continued in the next part

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list