[Advaita-l] chid-aabhaasa

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Feb 25 11:10:05 CST 2009

Sri Sadanandaji,

Thank you for that generous exposition. I've 'got it' now ! 

Strange, that we should need the limited to know the unlimited..

It fills out that beautiful image and natya pose, of seeing the universe in a grain of sand..


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
kuntimaddi sadananda
Sent: 25 February 2009 16:40
To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] chid-aabhaasa

--- On Wed, 2/25/09, Michael Shepherd <michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

Michael - PraNAms

There is an introduction to Vedanta that Shree Dennis Waite has edited and included in his website - www.advaita.org - you may find answer to your question.

In simple terms:

Cit or consciousness is all pervading, eternal and partless.

Body-mind-intellect of an individual is finite. The jiiva notion is explained when the all pervading consciousness identifies itself with local BMI - just as in the dream the waking mind when it dreams and creates the dream world identifies with local subject inside the dream as 'I am seeing the world of plurality separate from me'. The dream is real for that subject and subject-object distinctions are real as long as dream lasts.

Similarly the waking state. How infinite 'as though' identifies with finite - is explained using the bimba-pratibimba analogy - original and reflected image. 

Pure all pervading consciousness 'as though' gets reflected in the pool of the intellect - The reflected light of consciousness is called chidaabhaasa. One can look at this way - if there is only light, that light cannot be seen unless there is an object that is reflecting that light. We say, we see the sunlight - but what we are seeing is the sunlight getting reflected by the objects around. Only by the reflection we know 1) that there is object out there and 2) there is sunlight out there. Same principle applies. The all pervading light of consciousness gets reflected by the intellect - from that reflection we have 1) knowledge of the intellect and 2)we have knowledge of the light of consciousness too, that is, we know we are conscious entities. The reflection depends on the purity of the reflecting medium. If the intellect is dull, the reflection is also dull. All yogas are intended to purify the intellect so that light of consciousness can beam
 through. If there is no intellect - no reflection and no awareness of the light of consciousness also - that is without intellect there is no realization also. Yet intellect itself is inert but intellect is required for realization. 

The general reflection of the light of consciousness by the intellect is chidaabhaasa.
Similarly when a thought wave rises in the intellect, that also get reflected in the light of consciousness and by that we become conscious of the thought. That is how knowledge of the thought arises (see the knowledge series posted for details).

Thus we have two reflections -a general reflection, cidaabhaasa and a specific reflection that give specific knowledge -  the reflection of a particular thought - giving rise to - this thought (which is loused on the object this) called idam VRitti. And background reflection by the intellect which results in the 'I am the knower' or aham VRitti. Idam changes as the thoughts change but background reflection will be there as long is intellect is awake. 

Meditation is now shifting our attention from idam VRitti to that aham VRitti - that is shifting from idam involving not this and paying attention to the I - which is pure chidaabhaasa without any idam attached. When I shift my attention, I realize that I am indeed that light of pure consciousness that is getting reflected in the pool of intellect. I need a mirror to see myself - similarly I need intellect and the reflection to realize who I am. 

When I abide myself fully in the knowledge that I am not this but pure consciousness that is reflection in the pool of intellect – that becomes abiding knowledge – or state of jiivan mukta. 

Some of this was dicussed in the introduction to Vedanta as well as in the Knowledge series which Dennis is editing and posting as part of Vedantaparibhaasha. 

Hope this helps.
Hari Om!
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