[Advaita-l] Saakshii-Jiiva-Iswara Analysis - VII

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 21 10:20:49 CDT 2013

Analysis of
Saakshii, Jiiva And Iswara
Based on
Vichaarasaagara of Nischaladaasa - VII
We have mentioned that to recognize and shift
our attention constantly to the fact that I am the pure limitless-existence-consciousness
and the ahankaara and the mind are anaatma or not self, some degree of purity
of the mind is necessary. Mind being anaatma is never free from problems while
aatma being saakshii is ever free from problem. We the jiivas take the problems
of anaatma as our problems when we identify ourselves with our egos, ahankaaras.
All the problems will get detached when we shift our identification from
anaatma to aatma. This constant shift of one’s attention from anaatma to aatma is
nidhidhyaasanam until one abides in that knowledge –that I am always ever free
in spite of the apparent problems of anaatma. In fact from that vision even the
so-called problems of anaatma are understood as vibhuti or glory. To accomplish
this shift a subtle discriminative intellect, viveka, is required in order divert  the attention of the otherwise-extrovert
mind to the changeless existing-consciousness entity in every thought that
arises in the mind. Krishna says indeed this is difficult but can be done by
what He calls as abhyaasa and vairagya – abhyaasenatu kounteya vairaagyena ca
gRihyate. Thus, it can be done by constant practice and by giving up wrong
understanding that I am the ego or ahankaara or anaatma, since I am the subject
and everything other than I is object of my knowledge.  
We have used the moon and moonlight to
illustrate the need of moon to recognize the sunlight by using proper
knowledge. Nischaladaasa uses another example in the text to illustrate the
above concept. For example, he uses the example of the inner ear-space – karna
golaka aakaasham – or space enclosed in the inner ear, which is needed for the
transmittal of sound. Space itself is unconditioned, and yet here the
apparently conditioned space in the inner ear has a transactional utility and
differs from the total space. One can use pot-space that the Goudapada uses to
illustrate the same idea. From the point of space it is only one, while upAdhis
can differentiate one space from the other. Shakara uses this example in
Atmabodha – 
yathAkAsho hRiShIkesho nAnopAdhigatho vibhuH|
tat bedhAt bhinnavat bhAti tannAshe kevalo
Oneness of the all-pervading space in spite of
apparent divisions due to upAdhis or walls is accepted by all systems of Indian
philosophy, including nyaaya vaisheshikas, or the tarkikaas or the logicians.
While functions and properties of conditioned spaces (vishiShTa Akaasha) differ
depending on the upAdhis, space itself is considered as unconditioned, uncontaminated,
indivisible and all-pervading subtler entity compared to the apparently
limiting adjuncts, the upAdhis. Nischaladaasa uses this example later in
refuting the puurvapakshi. The relation between the pot-space and total space
is not of the type involving part and the total (amsha-amshI or avayava-avayavI
sambandha), since space cannot be parted. Consciousness is subtler than the
space, since existence-consciousness remains in deep sleep state even when
space and time are swallowed. Space is the first element that is born out of
aatma, in the order of creation, as per Tai. Up. 
In the deep sleep state although I am there,
the mind is not there to have self-knowledge. However nature has provided this
state to appreciate that one can exist independent of time and space. It also shows
that one is happy in deep sleep since there is no subject-object duality,
indicating that advaita or non-duality is the state of full happiness, where
one transcends both time and space. 
We must differentiate experience of advaita as
different from the knowledge of advaita. Some have wrong notions and claim that
we have studied enough of Vedanta and this is all intellectual stuff. What we
are looking for now is the experience of that Blissful state. Some even say, we
have experienced once and it was so beautiful that we are longing to have that experience
again. All we want to do now is to sit back and meditate to experience that
all-pervading, ever present, blissful aatma. If it is ever present and
all-pervading then there is no need to seek. The very seeking implies that the
problem lies in re-cognition or realization of what is there all the time.  It is important therefore to recognize that
what we are seeking is Knowledge of our true nature, since root cause for the problem
is ignorance or muula avidya. Ignorance can only be removed by the appropriate
knowledge. Knowledge can only be gained by appropriate pramANa or means of
knowledge.  In addition, any experience
is time-bound, that includes the advaitic experience. There is never a time we
are not experiencing - I am - since I am there in the waking, dream and deep
sleep states. What we have is the misunderstanding of who that - I am - is,
taking that I am as the ahankaara or ego. In addition, we are experiencing the
pure advaitic state every day when we go to deep sleep state. There is no
subject-object duality in the deep sleep state. Hence, what is lacking is not
advaitic experience, but the knowledge of that experience. Experience is not
knowledge. Sunrise and sunset is every day’s experience and knowledge negates
that experience as the truth and points out the truth that sun never raises nor
sets. Experiences can be contradictory but knowledge should resolve the
contradictory experiences. The knowledge can come only via intellect, since
that is the only instrument we have. Hence the scripture emphasizes shravanam
or the study of Vedanta under a competent teacher for a prolonged length of
time until the absolute truth indicated by Vedanta via mahaavaakyaas are
crystal clear and there are no doubts about the nature of reality and how that
non-duality exists in spite of the apparent duality. Nidhidhyaasana is required
after understanding to firmly abide in that knowledge that I am that absolute
self-existing self-conscious limitless entity or aham brahma asmi. We may point
out here that some of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s students have the notion that
we do not need to study the scriptures and all we have to do is to sit down and
inquire, who am I? There are many neo-advaitins who propagate this approach
without realizing that Bhagavan himself has prescribed several slokas of
Bhagavat Geeta for study and contemplation. Viviekachudamani was one of his
favorite Vedantic texts. What Bhagvan insisted was not to be contended with
mere studying of Vedanta but inquire within the truths expounded in Vedanta.
The very first sloka of Bhagavan in Satdarshan starts with 
sat pratyayaaH kinnu vihaaya santam .. 
Without the principle of existence how can I
think of existence of anything including Iswara – thus he packs the entire sat
vidya of Ch. Up. in the very first sloka itself, which is actually an
invocation sloka.  For those interested talks
on Satdarshan of Bhagavan Ramana are available at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=0013584923C5FC1Aand theaudios at http://www.chinmayadc.org/sadananda.htm.  
The fact is who am I inquiry can be done
without the scriptures using anvaya-vyatireka logic by discarding all that what
I am not and in the process ascertaining that I am existent-conscious entity.
In the process of this inquiry we reject first the world as not I, and then
slowly reject the body as not I, then the mind and then the intellect etc. In
the process we are rejecting everything that I am not and arrive at very
negator, the conscious entity that the subject I am, who cannot be negated. This
process only makes us realize who am I – which is only one aspect in the - tat
tvam asi - statement – you are that. By the process of elimination using the
subtle discriminative intellect I can arrive at who is that I that is being
referred to in the equation.  Thus by
process of exclusion of ahankaara I can arrive that I am the saakshii or the
witnessing consciousness or upahita chaitanya. However the self-realization
involves realization of the complete statement of Vedanta – you are that. In
the process of elimination I have excluded – that – as I am not that. In that process
I have become smaller and smaller by excluding everything as I am not. Now how
do I include all that that I have excluded also as I am, since when scripture says aham
brahmaasmi, I am Brahman, Brahman that I am cannot exclude anything. 
To understand this correctly only scripture
becomes a pramANa or means of knowledge. 
This will be discussed next. 
Hari Om!

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