(This is a guided discussion on the essence of Vedanta which shows us how to deliberate and reach the conclusion that the real I is actually Divine and not the mind-body-intellect complex.)
I AM PURE, FULL, ETERNAL AND ONE.
On the whole, we have deliberated and proved that the Self is Pure ( Shuddha ); and He doesn’t have an iota of impurity either of the worldliness or of the inert world. There is no valid evidence to tell that the Self is bound by wakefulness, dream and deep-sleep states; and the states are tagged to the Self. For the Self remains to exist as He is, in spite of appearing and disappearing of the states in Him, the Self is Full ( Poorna ). It is a wrong concept that He exists somewhere else in the world and He is bound by time and space; and He is suffering ! Really, there is no place where the Self doesn’t exist; and the place is also imagined in the Self and it appears in Him; and therefore, the concept of place doesn’t agree with Him in the least. Similarly, the Self is not bound by time; for, the time is also imagined in the Self. That which is bound by time and space, at a particular point of time is destroyed by either the destruction of its parts or the separation of its parts; but the Self is not bound by either time or space; and therefore, the Self is Eternal One ( Nitya ). For all these reasons, the Self is One alone ( Eka ), that means, the Self doesn’t have a second entity including the self and the inert. When the self and the inert objects appear, as we have shown already, these have a mere appearance; and in the deep sleep there is no trace of living and non-living. If the dream is off, the dreamer alone remains and so the delusion is off; the rope, etc. the support of the delusion alone remain; and in the deep-sleep which is bereft of the appearance of the wakefulness and the dream, this Self alone remains; and therefore, the Self, Himself, alone is the essence of the states. Therefore, the Self, in all respects, is the One without the second.
I AM THE AUSPICIOUSNESS (SHIVA).
Therefore, it is decided that I am really the Auspiciousness ( Shiva ), the scripture tells that the Supreme Lord is the Cause for the birth, etc. Of the world. Similarly, our Self-Form is the Cause for the birth, appearance and disappearance of the world. As the scripture has told that the Supreme Lord has become everything; so our Self-Form has become everything. As the scripture describes that the Supreme Lord is of the Nature of Eternally Pure-Awareness-Liberation ( Nitya-Shuddha-Buddha-Svabhaava ); similarly, the reason supported by the experience has proved that our Self also exists so. Therefore, the Self of us is the Auspiciousness ( Shiva ) as mentioned in the scripture.
IV. THE REMOVAL OF THE DELUSION OF THE STEADINESS OF DUALITY.
The snake of the rope and the dream are not completely the proper examples to illustrate the delusion of the self and the inert world. For, the world appears to exist even after the one has obtained the Self-Knowledge. But the snake of the rope disappears after the reality of the rope is known, and the dream world disappears in the wakefulness. If the Vedantins tell that the world really disappears after the one obtains the Knowledge of the Self; this saying of theirs may not be the proper one. For, according to the vision of the knower of the Self none exists other than Himself. Then, the Knower cannot preach the reality to anyone. Then, the empirical activity of the Teacher and student doesn’t exist. In order to solve this doubt of anyone, the following verse is quoted:
Matto Naanyat-kinchid-atraasti Vishvam Satyam Baahyam Vastu Maayopa-klrptam I
Aadarsha-antar-bhaasamaanena Tulyam Mayyadvaite Bhaati Tasmaachhivoham II
Meaning- Atra: here, mattah: than me, anyat: other than, satyam: real, vishvam: the world, kinchid: anything, naasti: doesn’t exist, baahyam: external, vastu: object, maayopa-klrptam: imagined due to delusion, aadarshaantah: in the mirror, bhaasamaanena: to the appearing ( image ), tulyam: equal, advaite: in ( me ) who don’t have the second thing, mayi: in me, bhaati: appears, tasmaat: therefore, aham: I , shivah: Auspiciousness.
4. No real world, apart from me exists here. All external objects are imagined due to delusion; and this appears in Me who am not having the second thing; and this appearance is similar to the image in the mirror. Therefore, I am Auspiciousness.
EXPLANATION: NO WORLD EXISTS APART FROM ME.
There is one main objection to tell that the Self is not having a second one. When the world appears clearly, in front of us, can it be negated? If the world exists really, then, how does the Self become the Unique One?
(Relief: -) It is wrong to believe that the world exists along with the Self. For, the world doesn’t exist independently apart from the Self. The Self and the world are not two objects. For, the Self and the world don’t belong to the same kind of entity. If they don’t belong to the same species we cannot count them as two. If a chair is added with the other one, they become two chairs. If a chair is added with a bench, then it becomes two wooden articles of furniture. But, there is no answer to the question: what does happen when the world is added with the Self?
(Objection: -) Why there is no answer? The Self and the world are two entities. Why don’t we tell two?
(Relief: -) We should not tell so. For, the Self is not an object (Padaartha). Here, pada- artha means the meaning of a word. A thing which is grasped by the mind can be identified by means of a word; and that thing is the meaning of the word. But the Self is not grasped by the mind. The Self, himself, illumines the mind. Therefore, the Self is not an object. For this reason alone, the words: Self, Auspiciousness, etc. Of the Vedantins appear meaningless for many others. If the word ‘Self’ is meaningless, none can tell that the Self doesn’t exist. For, the Self appears in the experience and by the support of the experience of the Self alone we identify the mind and the word that appears to the mind.
(Objection: -) If the Self is not an object, let it be so. By the experience of the Self and that of the world alone, don’t we decide the existence of the two?
(Relief: -) No, not at all. For, objects exist in a place or in the same time can be counted in the manner, ‘one, two, three, etc.’ The Self and the world don’t exist either in the same time or in the same space; and both of them don’t belong to the same species. Then, how, at all, numerical can be applied to the Self and the world?
(Objection: -) If both of them are not separate two things, how could this usage of words be possible? Is it possible to tell that the Self and the world are one?
(Relief: -) The One Principle can be seen in two ways. Therefore, we use two words. From the view point of the wise, the Principle is the Self and from the view point of ignorant people, the Principle is the world. They call the Self as the world.
(Objection: -) If the One Self, himself, appears in two ways, why are the two not real?
(Relief: -) We have already answered this. The world is not real. The ignorant people misconceive the false world in the Self.
(Objection: -) If the world is unreal, why do the people who know the Self also see it? As the dream world disappears in the wakeful state, why doesn’t this world disappear, when the Knowledge of the Self is dawned?
(Relief: -) If we really view the world, certainly, it disappears. Or, instead of telling that it vanishes after the dawn of the Knowledge; say that the world never exists itself is the correct statement. Therefore, the world that has to be vanished, does never exist at all.
(Objection: -) Then, why does the world appear?
(Relief: -) The reason for which the world appears need not be given. The world is not real, it is a mere appearance. It is enough to know this much.
(Objection: -) Let it be an appearance. After knowing the reality, why should not the appearance go as the dream does?
(Relief: -) There is no such a rule that all the appearances disappear by knowing the reality. There is a rule for all appearances: At first, we consider that appearance, itself, is real; and after the dawning of the knowledge the reality applied to it alone vanishes.……to be continued in the next edition of Venugaanam
(Shri Lakshminarayan Aithal has served for over 3 decades in Swami’s institution and is the former Principal of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Institutions at Muddenahalli. Inspired by Swami’s direct message to study the Upanishads, he first learnt Sanskrit and then studied the direct works of Adi Shankaracharya and Swami. Sincere perseverance led him to the reality of Aham Brahmasmi and He realized and experienced Swami’s words: “I am God and so are you”. He shares the import of the Upanishadic teachings with us in this series of articles.)