[Advaita-l] Advaita vEdAnta - Unit (32)
puttakrishna at verizon.net
Tue May 22 13:53:25 CDT 2007
In Unit 28, we studied turIya
In Unit 29 and 30 we reviewed the pancha kOsha - the five sheaths
surrounding the jIva; arrived at jIva as a sAkShi in the vyaShTi realm.
In Unit 30, we arrived at who jIva is - He is none other than Brahman.
In this unit, we will look at samAdhi.
When the contemplation progresses, the state in which only the contemplated
entity remains is samAdhi. samAdhi is the supreme state of dhyAna. In
contemplation (dhyAna), there is cognizance of the goal and the process of
contemplation. At the supreme state, there is no cognizance of the goal or
the process of contemplation. The goal (Brahman), the process (dhyAna) and
the seeker all merge in to one entity (only the goal is there and nothing
Generally two levels of samAdhi are described.
1. savikalpa samAdhi
2. nirvikalpa samAdhi.
In savilkapa samAdhi , the experience of the knower (jnyAtr) and knowledge
(jnyAna) are not lost or retired. The seeker experiences the non-dual
Brahman along with the experiences of the knower and the known. The
experience of non-dual Brahman being supreme, the experiences of the knower
and the known are secondary and take a back seat, but are not completely
retired. In such a state, the knower, though sees a clay doll, also sees
along with it the clay; that is he sees the kAraNa along with the kArya. He
sees the dual universe along with the non-dual Brahman. Brahman
co-experienced along with the experience of the triad - knower, known and
In nirvikalpa samAdhi, the separation of knower and the knowledge are lost
or retired. The waves of thoughts are totally focused on Brahman and Brahman
only is experienced. Just as salt dissolved in water is visibly lost, the
knower looses identity with himself and the non-dual Brahman alone is
experienced. The waves of thoughts (chitta vritti) take the seeker up to its
goal of Brahman and drops him off there.
[The difference between nirvikalpa samAdhi and deep sleep is that, in deep
sleep, the chitta is not present and therefore there is no experience of
anything; in nirvikalpa Samadhi, though the chitta is present, it is
absorbed in Brahman and does not experience anything other than Brahman,
just as the invisible salt dissolved and absorbed into water, though is
present, cannot be seen].
What is mOksha? The state of freedom from sorrow is generally accepted as
the condition of mOkSha. However, there seems to be differences in
understanding the svarUpa or inherent nature of mOkSha. The atheists believe
death is mOkSha ( no rebirth leads to freedom from sorrow). The Buddhists,
though accept rebirth, they consider nihil (shUnya) as mOkSha. The Realists
say a happy life now is mOkSha. Some Theists say vaikunTha is mOkSha;
however, Jaya and Vijaya were the target of wrath of Sanaka munis and were
born as enemies of VishNu three times. Even heaven is not permanent or
mOkSha - YayAti and NahuSha were driven out of heaven. Even companionship of
bhagavAn is not mOkSha, for Arjuna, even in the company of Krishna was
sorrowful. None of these are supported by shruti.
The shruti says that mOkSha is that state of permanent unsurpassed bliss;
therefore mOkSha is the svarUpa of jIva - the experience of jIva in the deep
sleep without any association (of upAdhi). Another name for mOkSha is bhUma
(infinity or limitlessness). Fear or sorrow is present only in the realm of
duality (in non-duality, what to fear of?).
"yatra anyat pashayti anayt shruNOti anyat vijAnAti tat alpam - where
another is seen, heard or known is limited; yatra nAnyat pashayti nAnayt
shruNOti nAnyat vijAnAti sa bhUmA - where another is not seen, not heard or
not known that is bhUmA " - chAndOgya 7.24.1. Other shrutis also proclaim
that amritatva - immortality is that state of non-duality. This non-duality
is experienced when the association with body is rejected (un-embodiedness).
Such a state is achieved as follows;
1) practice the discipline of sAdhana chatuSTaya - four step discipline
of vivEka, vairAgya, shamAdi shat sampat and mumukShatva
2) shravaNa - learning scriptures through a teacher
3) manana - reflecting on and confirming the knowledge learnt thru
4) nidhi-dhyAsana - internalizing the knowledge of scriptures through
" vijAtIya dEhAdi-pratyaya-rahita advitIya-vastu sajAtIya pratyaya pravAhah
nididhyAsanam " - The train of thoughts focused (at the level of) on the
non-dual Brahman, excluding the non-Brahman entities like body etc. is nidhi
What is mOkSha? mOkSha is liberation. mOkSha is liberation from the cycle of
births and deaths.
mOkSha is not achievable by karma; karma is organized by the desires of
puruSha; the fruits of karma can be had by creating a new karma (utpAdya),
or changing the course of an ongoing karma (vikArya), or obtaining
elsewhere (Apya) or adding guNa (samskAra) / removing defects. However,
mOkSha is permanent (nitya) and is not conditioned by the above four methods
of obtaining fruits of karma.
The cause of the cycle of births and deaths is ajnyAna. Only jnyAna can
remove ajnyAna and nothing else. So liberation (mOkSha) is achievable by
jnyAna and jnyAna alone. The jnyAna is the union of jIva and Brahman. The
experience of "aham BrahmAsmi"and "sarvam khalvidam Braqhma" is jnYana.
shruti statements like " tam Evam vidvAn amritam iha bhavati! nAnya panthA
ayanAya vidyate" and the gIta statements like 'tatO mAm tatvatO jnyAtvA
vishatE tadantaram (18-55)" attest to the achievement of mOkSha by jnyAna
Om shAntih, shAntih, shAntih
( Om peace, peace, peace).
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