[Advaita-l] YogAmRRitaM by R. Visvanatha Sastri - 6
profvk at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 25 08:21:16 CST 2005
Special note added by VK: These shlokas, that are either
extracts of whole lines from Mandukya KarikA or are
slight modifications of such shlokas with the same words
and spirit of the text of Mandukya Karika, are very
important for the understanding of the subtle difference
between the yogic samAdhi and the Atmaikya-j~nAna-yoga of
Vedanta. I therefore attach here some supplementary
remarks made by Swami Nikhilananda of the Ramakrishna
Ashram, while translating Acharya Sankaras Bhashyas of
these Karika shlokas. These remarks will also show why the
author of YogAmRRitam chose to quote Gaudapada verbatim in
Atma-satyAnubodhena manastattvaM cha chintayet .
nAtma-bhAvena nAnedaM na svenApi kathaM cha na .. 63 ..
In the light of Realisation of the truth that is the
Self (Mandukya Karika: 3-32 - a) , one should think about
the nature of the mind. This manifold does not exist as
identical with Atman nor does it ever stand independent by
itself. (M.K.: 2-34 - a)
Note by VK: The identity of the Real with the Unreal is
not possible. The Real alone exists. The rope alone
exists. There is no snake and so there is no question of
its being identical with the rope.
manassa~Nkalpite dRRishye mana eva charatyaho .
manaso hyamanIbhAve dvaitaM naivopalabhyate .. 64 ..
The mind projects itself and sees what it projects. When
the mind ceases to be the mind, there cannot be any
duality. (M.K. 3-31 - b)
svApnaM vishvaM yathA nAsti tathaivehApi jAgaraM .
viShayo yatra nAstIha cittaM taM ca kathaM spRRishet .. 65
Just as there is no dream-world so also there is no world
even in the waking state. When the objects are not there
what can the mind dwell on?
VK: cf. M.K.2 - 31
saMspRRishya vastvabhAvAcca cittameva na jAyate .
nigRRihItasya manasaH nirvikalpasya dhImataH .. 66 ..
The mind does not go anywhere because there is nothing for
it to go to. (This is so) for the brave ones endowed with
discrimination whose mind is under control and is free
from all ideation. (M.K.3-34 - a)
Note : Swami Nikhilananda, commenting on the Shankara
Bhashya of this verse, draws our attention to the fact that
Shankara in his Bhashya of Brahma Sutra 2.1.9 and in
other places, puts Yogic samAdhi and deep sleep under the
[ VK: In Shankara bhashya of Brahma Sutra 2.1.9 he says
*yathA hi suShupti-samAdhyAdau api satyAM svAbhAvikyAM
avibhAga-prAptau mithyA-j~nAnasya anapoditatvAt pUrvavat
punaH prabodhe vibhAgo bhavati*, meaning: *As in natural
slumber and samAdhi though there is a natural eradication
of differences, owing to the persistence of the unreal
nescience, differences occur over again when one wakes
suShupte lIyate tacca nigRRihItaM na lIyate .
manaso nigrahAyattaM abhayaM sarva-yoginAM .. 67 ..
upAyena nigRRihNIyAt vikShiptaM kAma-bhogayoH .
suprasannaM laye caiva yathA kAmo layastathA .. 68 ..
Mind loses itself in deep sleep; but when controlled (by
Atmaikya-jnAna-yoga) does not lose itself. (M.K. 3-35 -
a) The fearlessness of yogis is dependent on (their
mechanical) control of the mind. (M.K. 3-40 - a). By the
pursuit of proper means one should bring under discipline
the mind distracted by desires and enjoyment as also the
mind that is in peace in sleep. For sleep is as bad as
desire.. (M.K. 3-42)
laye saMbodhayeccittaM vikShiptaM kShamayet punaH .
nishcalaM nishcaraccittaM ekIkuryAt prayatnataH .. 69 ..
yadA na lIyate cittaM na ca vikShipyate punaH .
ani~NganamanAbhAsaM niShpannaM brahma tattadA .. 70 ..
When the mind is dormant, wake it up; when it scatters,
calm it down. (M.K. 3-44 - a). By proper effort it must
be unified to be neither dormant, nor scattered. (M.K.
3-45 - b) . When the mind is neither dormant nor
dispersed, motionless and does not appear in the form of
objects, that is when it is in brahman. (M.K. 3-46)
Quote (from Swami Nikhilananda):
This is the warning given against pursuing the Yogic
Samadhi as the state of the highest spiritual realisation.
The mind seeking Truth and frightened at the immensity of
effort necessary for its realisation seeks relief in
Samadhi. The Acharya exhorts us to practice discrimination
even when the mind passes into the passivity of Samadhi and
to extricate from that state by cultivating the spirit of
non-attachment to any pleasure experienced in the state of
samadhi. The object of life is not to enjoy any bliss
arising out of inactivity as one experinces in samadhi or
deep sleep, but to know the real nature of the Self.
The yogic method may be followed with certain advantage by
the student of mediocre intellect who wants to turn his
turbulent mind from the pursuit of external objects. The
yogic method gives him control over his mind But even in
such a case Yoga serves only a temporary or subordinate
In the state of samadhi, the yogi fails to see that the
non-dual brahman alone exists. He seeks samadhi because he
believes in the existence of the mind as separate from
Atman, and therefore tries to control it. By some
mechanical means he brings the mind to a state of
inactivity and thus makes himself free from all worries.
But this is not the Vedantic goal of Truth.
na ca vikShipyate punaH: not dispersed again: This
steadiness is quite different from the condition of
samadhi. In this steady condition the mind realizes the
non-dual brahman everywhere.
Note by VK as supplement to the above quote: In the light
of my understanding of the author of yogAmRRitam, I would
humbly change the underlined word realizes by is one
evaM cittam ca taddRRishyaM yathA svApnamavastukaM .
dharmAssarve ajA eva ekaM j~nAnaM ajAcalaM .. 71 ..
Thus the mind , its activities and its creations are all
like dream-objects. The entities that are supposed to have
been born are not born in reality. And the unique Knowledge
(of the Self) is the firmest of the unborn.
cittaM vApi tadartho vA na jAtashca savAsanaM .
avastu gRRihyate mouDhyAt abhUtAbhiniveshataH .. 72 ..
The mind or its contents are non-entities (avastu) . Only
by Ignorance we take them as existing (separate from
Atmaiva sat . manaH asat . nAsato vidyate bhAvaH .
tannigRRiha iti mRRitasarpa-prahAravat . kadalIvane rAtrau
sthANAveva kadalIvRRikShe coraM kalpayitvA tasmAt yathA
bibheti tathA svakalpitasaMsArAcca kila bibheti janaH .
mAyA-kalpita-manaH-kalpanaiva jagat . apUrvadeshakAla
padArthAdayaH kalpyante kila svapne . antarvilIne ca manasi
jagaditi kathaivAstamayate supti-mUrcAdiShu .
jalashUnya-marIcikAyAM agAdhatA-vicAravat shUnyAtmakaM
manaH kathaM nigRRihItavyaM iti kimartho.ayaM vicAraH
kAkadanta-parIkShAvat . savAsanasya manaso.apyabhAvAt
pUrNAmRRita-mahodadhau manonAsha-vAsanAkShayau sukhameva
bhavataH etAvatI vidyaiva Atmaikya-j~nAna-yogaH iti
Synopsis: Mind being non-real, its creation, the cycle of
births and deaths is also non-real. Just like out of
ignorance one mistakes a tree in a plantain grove to be a
thief in the dark and is afraid of the apparition, so also
we create the samsAra out of our mind and keep worrying
about it. Just as dream events merge back in the mind from
where they were created, the entire universe merges into
the mind. When there is nothing real, what is it that one
worries about? It is like measuring the depth of the
water in a mirage! So the entire mind with all its supposed
aggregate of vAsanAs is simply to be negated and then there
is nothing but bliss. This vidyA is the
Atmaikya-j~nAna-yoga, says the Bhashya of the Acharya.
(To be continued)
PraNAms to all advaitins on this list and to my father.
Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
You are welcome to have a look at any of the following books on my website:
1. Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision & Practice
2. Live Happily, the Gita Way
3. Advaita Dialogue for beginners.
4. Discourses of the Paramacharya on Soundaryalahari.
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