Res: The change and the changeless & Certainty
sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Fri Nov 7 07:49:16 CST 1997
I followed with some interest discussion on the above topics by Sri
Allan Curry, Prasant Sharma, Gummaluru Murthy, Govind Rengarajan and Greg
The questions are who recognizes whom and what is the litmus test that one
has realized and what is the role of intellect?
I want to share my understanding.
Role of intellect:
The truth is beyond the intellect - this statement should be understood
correctly. This only implies it is not by thought process or logic that one
can understand since it is not an object for understanding like any other
objective knowledge. This does not mean that intellect is not required.
Nitya anitya vastu viveka is the very first qualification required for the
sadhak. We have to use the intellect to go beyond the intellect - like pole
Walt - with the pole go beyond the pole. Let us face it - that is all what
we got - body, mind and intellect. In the Kena Upanishad - the
teacher-student dialogue is emphasizes this aspect so vividly. When the
teacher warns - those who understand understanding it not - He warns that
it is not an object for understanding - like chemistry or physics. The
student did not know how to express his understanding of his true nature.
Out of excitement he screams - I understand - then realizes the implication
of the statement - He again says -I understand it not - (not as object for
understanding) but again realizes that statement does not state the facts
- he again screams out that he definitely understands.
This is the limitation of the thought.
We understand when a blind man says -I am blind but yet, I see. I see that
I cannot see- andho unandho bavati. If I can see then how can I be blind -
yet I cannot see because I am blind. These contradictions are resolved if
one understands at what level one is referring the word seeing.
Then what is the litmus test for realization?
The test is not for testing others. There is no way one can test others.
There was a question - is there any one in this list who has realized? -
This is an invalid question in the sense that even if I say I have
realized, are you going to believe it? or are you going to deny it and on
what basis? I am sure many are familiar with the famous sloka of Shankara
in Bhajagovindam -
yogaratova bhogaratova sangara tova sanghaviheenaH
yadyat brahmani ramate chittam nandati nandati nandatyaiva|
One can appear to be a yogi or bhogi or one can in company or without a
company in remote Himalayas, what counts is where the mind is - one who has
his mind reveling and reveling in Brahman is the one who has realized.
Same thing Krishna says: atmani eva atmanaa tushTaH -
dhyaanena aatmani pasyanti kechit aatmaana atmanaa|
By meditation one sees oneself in oneself by oneself!
There is lot of confusion about shaastra pramana vs. role of intellect.
Please remember atma does not have to realize - It is ever pure and self
The mistaken notions are in the intellect. It is intellect that needs
re-education. Even the mistaken notions in the intellect are illumined by
the atma. It is like I cannot see the sun because of the clouds - but the
clouds are seen because of the sun that I can not see! Shastras are pramana
in the sense, that which cannot be objectively comprehended by the
intellect it analyzes and presents. But shaastras have to be understood
and assimilated by the intellect only. Intellect becomes a means of
knowledge for the shashtras. But what is indicated by the shastras cannot
be objectively understood, but subjectively realized. Then what is a
That I exist, every one knows to the core- Does that mean I have realized.
That I am conscious, everyone who is conscious also knows. Some are so
self-conscious about them selves.
Then what is the litmus test? I am not only sat and chit - I have to
realize that I am ananda too. And that is where the problem is. Everyone
is looking for happiness. A realized person will stop looking for
happiness because he found that he himself is the happiness that he has
been searching for. tat twam asi- Like the 10th man who was lost. This is
exactly what Krishna says in his the very first sloka in Ch.II on sthitah
prajNa lakshana - atmani eva atmanaa tushTaH. He revels in himself by
himself - prajahaati yadaa kaaaman sarvan partha mano gathan - all desires
from the mind are withdrawn. That is the only litmus test.
The mistaken notions about oneself falls down and one is keenly aware that
he is the awareness - the subject object distinction is only apparent.
Ramana says in his Upadesha saara:
ahami naashabag ahama ahama tayaa
spurati hR^it swayam parama purNa sat||
When the false notions that I am so and so falls since it is false, "I am",
"I am", I am" (sounds familiar I am that I am) thus raises spontaneously
in ones heart (core of ones personality). That realized I am is different
from the previous " i am" since it is paramam, purNam and Sat swaruupam - I
is supreme, hence it can not be displaced by some other I, and it is
complete - ( I am this and this and this - such miscomprehensions
about myself are no more there) and I am very existence or substratum on
which everything is based or projected.
So one will know oneself by oneself in oneself - by contemplation on
oneself - This is Krishna's declaration or shastra pramana.
This knowledge we gained by shaastras. Contemplation and meditation we
have to do. It is like going to sleep. We cannot really go to sleep since
it is not a place to go to. Yet we do the necessary preparation to go to
sleep by neti neti process. One who has slept has slept no two ways about
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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