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Sunday, 19 May 2013

13. Creation

All the studies that we did till now, whether Sharīra Trayam or Avasthā Trayam are all associated with the individual or microcosm. In Sanskrit we use the word Vyashti. Today we are going to the next topic through which we are entering Samashti or macrocosm. The topic is Srushtihi or creation or cosmology.

How does the cosmos or creation come about and what was there exactly before creation came ?

First before understanding the topic of creation, we should clearly know that the very word creation is a misnomer. In fact that very word being a misnomer can create a lot of confusion. Creation creates confusion. Why do we say Creation is a misnomer ? That is because nothing can be created. By the very law of conservation of matter and energy which was accepted long before modern science came. In the Sānkhyā Satkārya Vāda, the Sānkhyā philosophers discussed the law of conservation of matter and evergy. In Māndūkya Kārika, it is beautifully presented that nothing can be created. And extending the same principle, nothing can be destroyed.

Then if at all we use the word Creation, it only refers to the manifestation of something which was potentially un-manifestly existent. So what is un-manifestly, potentially existent in dormant form, that can come to manifestation.

13.1. Manifest Vs Unmanifest

What is meat by the words manifest and unmanifest? The word unmanifest, we mean Pramānam Agocharam. Unmanifest is that which is existent but is not available for perception or transaction like the butter in the milk. Butter is there in the milk, but we cannot see it in the milk. But we know that milk has butter. So what can we say about butter being existent or not ? It is existent technically but for all practically purposes, since it is neither available for perception nor available for transaction, we assume that butter is non-existent. But we know butter is there.

We can extend this to everything in the creation. Nothing in the creation is non-existent. It was existent in potential manner. Later it becomes manifest, which means available for transaction. Our scriptures point out, before the origination of this cosmos, it should have existed because of this simple law of conservation. And if this creation existed before, it should have existed in unmanifest form or potential form or dormant form which we can call as the seed of the creation. In Sanskrit we use the word Bījam for this.

Bījasyāntari Vānkuro JagadidamPrān Nirvikalpam Punah
Nirvikalpam means un-differentiated and unmanifest in an un-transactable form. And we will use for the word Causal form of matter – matter in its causal form which is the source of all forms of energy and all forms of matter. Scientists are trying to arrive at one basic matter that can explain all the sub-atomic particles, that which can explain the micro and macro. The scientists want to reconcile the General Theory of relativity at Macro level and the Quantum Physics at Micro by a theory of everything.

According to our scriptures that basic stuff that is the source of all forms of energy and all forms of matter which includes all particles and molecules in the creation, we call it as causal matter. The causal matter is called Māyā. This includes Sharīra Trayam also. This means that before the creation originated, one thing was there which is Māyā.

Borrowing the idea from the previous session, we have to include one more thing before creation. In the previous class, we saw, Ātmā is the consciousness principle which is the non-material spirit, which does not come under matter and therefore which does not come within time and space. We also saw that consciousness is beyond time and space which mean consciousness has to be eternal. This means that before the creation, consciousness also existed.

So now we had arrived at two thing that were existing before creation

  • Principle 1 : Consciousness which is called Ātmā which is unconditioned by, un-influenced by, un-circumscribed by the time-space principle
  • Principle 2 : Whole creation in causal matter form called Māyā
Therefore Ātmā and Māyā existed. In the context of cosmology or creation, consciousness is given another name. In the context of the individual (Micro) consciousness is given the name Ātmā. The very same consciousness at the Macro level, consciousness is not difference but the nomenclature is Brahma or Brahman. Therefore Ātmā is equal to Brahman is equal to consciousness.

Why then have two names ? The basis of the two names is that one is from Micro angle Ātmā and another is from Macro angle Brahman. And the meaning also almost the same. Ātmā means Āpnoti Sarvam Iti Ātmā – the boundless all pervading one. The word Brahman means infinite derived from the root Bruh – to be big – therefore Brahman means the The Big One, the Absolutely Big One.

Therefore the study cosmology begins with two beginning-less principles knows as Brahman and Māyā – Consciousness or spirit + matter

Tattvabodha starts this way – Brahmāshrayā Sattva Rajas Tamo Gunātmikā Māyā Asti.

13.2. Differences between Māyā and Brahman

And what is the common feature of Brahman and Māyā ? Both are beginning-less. They have no origin. And what are their differences ? Differences are more to be noted

  • Brahman is the non-material consciousness whereas Māyā is material principle
  • Consciousness is property-less principle. It does not have any physical or chemical properties because it is non-material in nature – Nirguna. Whereas Māyā is matter and hence full of potential properties Saguna.
  • Brahman the consciousness being beyond time and space, is never subject to change. Therefore it is changeless. Whereas Māyā the matter principle can never remain the same.
  • The consciousness principle is Nirvikalpa not subject to spatial division – here one consciousness, there one consciousness : this can never arise. It is division-less and beyond time and space. Whereas Māyā the material is subject to multiplication and division. Māyā is like an amoeba where it multiples by division. Māyā can multiply into the cosmos by division.

These are the basic difference between Brahman and Māyā and out of this mixture alone is this universe manifests out of the seed which is Māyā. In our scriptures the word Creation is always replaced by the word Manifestation.

Srushtihi Nāma Abhivyaktihi : Abhivyaktihi means coming to manifestation for your recognition like you churn and bring out the butter which is then available tangibly for your transaction.

13.3. Stages of Manifestation

In the scriptures the evolution or manifestation of the cosmos is presented in two stages. Like a seed becoming a plant in the middle stage, and the plant becoming a full fledged tree in the final stages.

Therefore Māyā is a seed and then there is an intermediary stage called Sūkshma Prapancha Abhivyaktihi – the causal matter comes to the level of subtle matter. In other words, the causal universe comes to the level of subtle universe comparable to that of a plant. And then the subtle universe then again evolves or again manifests to become the gross universe fully available for all forms of transaction.

If you have to understand the difference between the subtle and gross creation you can compare your body and mind. Mind is also a creation or manifestation. Body is also a manifestation. But mind is a subtle manifestation not available for all. My mind is available only for me hence subtle and not tangible. But Body is gross.

Therefore causal universe to subtle universe to Gross universe. This is the creation. Of these, the causal universe is beginning-less, but the subtle and gross have a beginning.

Once it has become fully gross and moved about for some time, what happens to the whole creation ? Again it collapses, condenses or contracts, evolution will later end up in involution or dissolution. The gross become subtle and subtle again becomes gross. Thus unmanifest to manifest and manifest to Unmanifest the universe has been there always. Universe will be there always. The difference is there in the Avasthā Bhedhaha Na Tu Vastu Bhedhaha. There is no increase or decrease in matter but there is only change in its condition or state – manifest condition to unmanifest condition and unmanifest to manifest.

Avyaktādīni Bhūtāni Vyaktamadhyāni BhārataAvyakta Nidhanānyeva Tatra Kā Paridevanā
Krishna tell in the Bhagavad Gītā – why are you talking about death? Death is nothing but body going out of shape. Nothing is lost, Arjuna, but for whom are you crying.

The problem is that we have got attached to shape and lost sight of the substance. This is the layout of the cosmology. Let us now get into a little bit more of details.

We will go into the second stage. Causal universe is called Māyā which has to manifest into the subtle universe. The scriptures point out that first, out of the causal universe five subtle elements are born. These are the Pancha Bhūtāni. These are

  • Ākāshaha or space
  • Vāyu or air
  • Agni or fire
  • Jalam or water
  • Bhūmihi or Pruthvi : the earth
In the initial stages, they are in subtle form, which means they are not available for our transaction. They are note even visible. Subtle Pruthvi is not even visible to us.

In scientific form, Pruthvi does not refer to the earth itself but refers to the solid form of matter. And Jalam does not water alone, but refers to the liquid form of matter. Then the third is the vapour or gaseous form. The fourth state is the plasma state. In science we have only four. But in Shāstram, we have the fifth stage – Ākāshaha even beyond the plasma stage.

Now the scriptures point out that these five elements have evolved from Māyā and therefore whatever be the features of Māyā must be inherent in the elements. In other words, whatever are the features of Māyā , these must have been in the cosmos or universe and whatever must be in the universe must be in Māyā. Because the law is that the features of the cause inhere the effect – Kārana Gunāhā Kārye Anuvartante.

13.4. Three Features of Stages of Manifestation

And when we study the entire universe, we can see three common features which are widely present in the cosmos.

13.4.1. Jnāna Shaktihi

The first feature is Jnāna Shaktihi or Knowing faculty or sentiency faculty. This is especially found in living being through which they are able to sense or experience the world. If all the creation has been inert, there will be nobody to do any transaction.

13.4.2. Kriyā Shaktihi

Another feature we see is Kriyā Shaktihi – dynamism. This is the capacity to be active.

13.4.3. Dravya Shaktihi

In this feature, both Jnāna Shaktihi and Kriyā Shaktihi are absent or stultified. This is the inertia feature. Inertia means the absence of knowing faculty and absence of acting faculty. Neither can it act nor can it know. This is called Dravya Shaktihi.

Technically these three faculties are known as

  • Sattva Gunaha for Jnāna Shaktihi
  • Rajo Gunaha for Kriyā Shaktihi
  • Tamo Gunaha for Dravya Shaktihi

These three Gunāhā are inherent in Māyā. Therefore Māyā is defined as Tri Gunātmikā Māyā endowed with threefold features which are seen in the universe.

E.g. during a class, only the Dravya Shakti is being used – just grasping. Then based on this knowledge, acting is called Kriyā Shaktihi. Then during sleep neither you know things nor do things – this time Dravya Shakti is being used. If these features are seen in the cosmos, they must be there in Māyā. Therefore Māyā has three Gunāhā and these three Gunāhā inhere the five elements also.

Here interestingly, Guna should not be translated as property. They are to be translated as the components of Māyā. Three Gunāhā are like the three strands of a plaited string. Hence one of the meanings of Guna is String. These three features or Gunāhā are in unmanifest in the five elements also. Thus we have got Sāttvika component of space, Rājasik a component of space and Tāmasik component of space. Similarly we have Sāttvika component or air, Rājasik component of air and Tāmasik component of air. Same applies for Fire, Water and Earth

  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth
  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth
  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth
Hence we have fifteen items.

Hence the first form of creation is Sūkshma Bhūta Srushtihi – the creation or manifestation of the subtle elements.

13.5. Stages of Creation

13.5.1. Stage 1 – Sattva Guna as generator

Then the scriptures point out that out of the subtle elements alone, all the subtle bodies of the individual are manifested. Let us understand this better.

We have got five organs of knowledge – Pancha Jnāna Indriyāni. The faculty associated with this is, naturally, the Knowing faculty. They are born out of five elements. Five elements generate the five organs of action. Five subtle elements generate five subtle organs.

And when we say five subtle elements, which component must be responsible? The SattvaGuna which stand for Jnāna Shakti. The SattvaGuna component of the five elements are responsible for the generation of the five sense organs of knowledge.

What is the order of generation ?

  • The Sattva Guna component of Space is responsible for ears
  • The Sattva Guna component of Air is the generator of skin
  • The Sattva Guna component of Fire is the generator of Eye
  • The Sattva Guna component of Water is the generator of Tongue
  • The Sattva Guna component of Earth is the generator of Nose

Hence Ears, Skin, Eye, Tongue and Nose, the five subtle organs or knowing features or sensory faculties are born out of the five elements.

The fourfold mind or inner organ which coordinates or controls the five sense organs is born out of the Sāttvika component of all the five elements. The reason is that the mind has to control all the sense organs. In fact a sense organ functions only when the mind is behind it. Therefore the mind has to be behind the eye Ears, Skin, Eye, Tongue and Nose. Therefore it requires the Sattva Guna of all the five. The inner organ (mind) is born out of Sāttvika components of all the five elements.

13.5.2. Stage 2 – Rajas Guna as generator

Extending the same principle we have the Pancha Karma Indriyāni. Five sense organs of action are also generated out of five subtle elements. But the component is the Kriyā Shakti component called Rajas component.

In what order are these born ?

  • The Rājasik component of Space is responsible for Organ of Speech - Vāk
  • The Rājasik component of Air is the generator of Organ of Hands – Pāni
  • The Rājasik component of Fire is the generator of Organ of Legs – Pāda
  • The Rājasik component of Water is the generator of Organ of Anus – Pāyuhu
  • The Rājasik component of Earth is the generator of Organ of Genitals - Upastha
Then behind the five Karma Indriyāni or five sense of action, what is required is Prāna Shakti or Life force. Without Prāna Shakti, no organ can act. Therefore during days of fasting, when we have not eaten, we cannot even speak or act properly. Therefore The Prāna Shakti or Pancha Prānāhā which support all the Pancha Karma Indriyāni must be born out of the Rājasik component of all the five elements. Just as the mind is born out of total Sattva elements, Prāna is born out of out total Rajas elements, whereas individual sense organs are born out of individual elements.

The entire Sūkshma Sharīram is born out of Sattva Guna and Rajo Guna of the five subtle elements. Therefore we have seen Sūkshma Bhūta Srushti and Sūkshma Sharīram Srushti – in short the entire subtle universe. If there are any other subtle worlds or creation, they are all born out of the combination of subtle elements only

13.5.3. Stage 3 –Tamo Guna as generator

We then come to the third and final stage of creation – the gross visible and tangible universe. The scriptures explain how it comes about. We have utilised the Sattva components of the five components of the five elements. We have also utilised the Rajas components of the five components of the five elements. We have not yet used the Tamas component of the five elements.

The scriptures point out that the Tamas component of the five elements alone get grossified to become the five gross elements – Pancha Sthūla Bhūtāni. The five gross elements are born out of or manifest from the Tamo Gunaha of the five subtle elements.

Eteshām Pancha Sūkshma Bhūtānām Tamo Amshāt Pancha Sthūla Bhūtāni
The scriptures point out is, until grossification, each element was isolated and pure. One element was not adulterated or mixed with others. But when grossification takes place, the Tamo Guna of these five elements get intermixed. This is just like eating a salad. Sūkshma Prapancha is like eating grapes separately, bananas separately etc. Grossification means eating all together. Once we come to five grossified elements, each element has got a mixture of all the five. So Earth has got five elements, space has got five elements. Same way for Air, Fire and Water.

Now the question arises if each element is a mixture of five, how will you name the elements ? The scriptures say that the naming is done based on the predominance of the elements. Therefore scriptures point out, Gross Space has got all the give elements in the following proportion.
- 50 % is Space part
- The other four elements will be only in one eighth proportion i.e. 12.5%

This process of “salad making” is called Panchī Karanam or Grossification. The same applies for the other gross elements as well. Gross air has 50% air etc.

Once the five gross elements are born, out of that the entire cosmos including all our physical bodies are created. This is called Sthūla Srushtihi or Sthūla Abhivyaktihi.

Thus Māyā is causal universe. And out of that comes subtle universe called Sūkshma Abhivyaktihi. And out of that comes gross universe which is called Sthūla Abhivyaktihi. Thus the entire creation comes out.

It will last for some time and again collapse to Māyā. What will be Brahman doing? Consciousness remains. When appropriate condition comes it manifests in the form of life. When the manifesting conditions are not there (cells are not formed), consciousness remains unmanifest. This is Vedic Cosmology

Space ( Ear )Air ( Skin )Fire ( Eye )Water ( Tongue )Earth ( Nose )
Space ( Speech )Air ( Hands )Fire ( Legs )Water ( Anus )Earth ( Genitals )
Space ( Mixture )Air ( Mixture )Fire ( Mixture )Water ( Mixture )Earth ( Mixture )
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12. Ātmā

Till now we dealt with the following from Tattvabodha

  • Sādhana Chatushtayam – Four fold qualification
  • Sharīra Trayam – Threefold body
  • Avasthā Trayam – Threefold states of experience
  • Pancha Koshaha – Fivefold personality layers of an individual

We also saw that Sharīra Trayam and Kosha Panchakam both refer to the same personality alone. The Sharīra Trayam itself looked from another angle is called Kosha Panchakam and are practically one and the same.

We will now go to the next and important topic of Tattvabodha namely Ātmā. Translated in English as Self or Soul. We will however maintain the usage of only Ātmā or Ātmān.

From the previous topics, we come to know that all the three bodies, Sharīra Trayam, are made up of matter. The gross body is made of gross elements – Pancha Bhūtāni – and since all the five elements are matter only, the gross body is made up of matter and hence is material in nature. Material meaning a product of matter. In Sanskrit we can translate matter as Bhūtam and material as Bhautikam. The Sthūla Sharīram is Pāncha Bhautikam material in nature.

Similarly we saw the Sūkshma Sharīram or subtle body that is also made up of five subtle elements, only difference being that Sūkshma Sharīram is made out of subtle elements but that is also Pāncha Bhautikam and therefore material in nature. So gross body is material and subtle body is also material.

Also the causal body is the subtlest form of matter only because causal body is only the seed form of gross and subtle bodies. So before the gross and subtle bodies are generated, they should exist in potential form by law of conservation of matter and energy. Therefore before Srushti the gross and subtle body must have existed in potential form. That potential gross and subtle body is called causal body. Therefore that causal body must also be potential matter. Therefore Kārana Sharīram is also material.

What we arrive is that Sharīra Trayam is material in nature. In Sanskrit matter is called Jadam. And once we understand that the three Sharīrams are Jadams, we have to derive certain important corollaries.

Firstly, any matter or material is inert in nature. According to Vedanta Shāstram, the definition of inertness is that which does not have consciousness and that which cannot produce consciousness. In Sanskrit we say we say it is neither Chaitanya Gunakam nor Chaitanya Janakam – does not have consciousness of its own and it cannot produce or generate consciousness also respectively. Since Sharīra Trayam is Jadam, material in nature, it does not have consciousness and does not produce consciousness. Therefore according to Shāstram, all the three Sharīram by their intrinsic nature are inert, non-consciousness, insentient in nature. This means that not only the body is inert and insentient, according to Shāstram, the mind also being part of Sūkshma Sharīram is also inert matter and therefore insentient. So according to Vedanta, mind does not have its own consciousness and mind cannot produce consciousness also. Same with Kārana Sharīram also. So all the three bodies are intrinsically insentient. So Kasmāt ? Bhautikatvāt. So Sharīra Trayam Jadam Bhautikatvāt Ghatavat. This is the corollary we get from the study of the three bodies.

Even if this is the logical corollary, we find our experience is otherwise. Even though the three bodies must be insentient logically, I experience the three bodies as sentient ones – Chetana Sthūla Sharīram I experience the body as a conscious body, conscious of the surroundings. Similarly I experience the mind as very much sentient. In short Sharīra Trayam is experienced as sentient one.

But logically Sharīra Trayam must be insentient one. How do we reconcile to this ? Logically Sharīra Trayam is insentient. By experience Sharīra Trayam is sentient. Vedānta Shāstram say this is possible. Suppose we know that a person is extremely poor but comes to a function with lot of ornaments. What is to be inferred ? If he does not have his own and if he is still wearing them, the ornaments must be borrowed ones. A person is naturally ugly but now looks beautiful. This is possible through made up beauty or make-up. So very simply, in the same way Shāstram point out Sharīra Trayam does not have Svābhāvika Chaitanyam. It does not have natural consciousness and therefore they have Āgantuka Chaitanyam or borrowed consciousness.

With borrowed consciousness these three Sharīram are strutting like a peacock very proudly otherwise, there is not difference between a statue and our physical body. From the Shāstram angle we say Pancha Bhūtāni, from a scientific angle we say Body is made up of Chemical. How come that bundle of chemical is inert and this bundle of chemical is sentient. The only reason is that these enjoy borrowed consciousness.

To recapitulate, the stages of development are as follows :

Firstly we said Sharīra Trayam Bhautikam.
Therefore Sharīra Trayam Jadam.
And they appear as though sentient and therefore Sharīra Trayam has borrowed consciousness.

If Sharīra Trayam has borrowed consciousness, borrowing is possible only when there is a lender. We require a consciousness which has to lend consciousness. And this lender of consciousness is the fourth factor in human personality. The other three being

  • Sthūla Sharīram
  • Sūkshma Sharīram
  • Kārana Sharīram

Sthūla Sūkshma Kārana Sharīrat Vyatiriktaha – other than these three there is a fourth factor which is the lender of consciousness.

What is that factor ? Who is the lender of that consciousness ? Enter Ātmā.

12.1. Fourth factor in human personality

Ātmā is the fourth factor in human personality which is the lender of consciousness to the first three factors – Sharīra Trayam. Therefore we can say Ātmā makes Sharīra Trayam aglow with consciousness. Ātmā makes Sharīra Trayam alive with consciousness. Ātmā makes Sharīra Trayam sentient with consciousness.

The nearest comparison is that just as electricity makes the bulb aglow with light or brilliance. We know that the bulb cannot glow by itself. The filament cannot glow by itself. Therefore other than the bulb and filament, there is another principle called electricity which makes the filament glow first, and through the filament it makes the bulb also brilliant. But the only thing is that the electricity part is invisible, the glowing filament and bulb alone are visible. Thus the visible bulb and filament are made glowing because of the invisible electricity “blessing” the bulb.

What is the nature of this Ātmā ?

12.2. The blessing principle

In Kenopanishad, Ātmā is called Devaha. We will see the important features of the Ātmā.

12.2.1. Ātmā Chaitanya Svarūpaha

Ātmā is of the nature of consciousness itself. It is a non-material principle. We say so because if Ātmā is also another matter, like the Sharīra Trayam, then Ātmā also will be Jadam and Ātmā will have to borrow consciousness from another principle. This will be never ending. So the original lender must be a non-borrower. A borrowing lender is not the original lender.

Ātmā being the original lender, Ātmā should not be borrowing consciousness from elsewhere. This means that Ātmā must be non-material in nature. In English they use the word Spirit as opposed to matter. Ātmā is said to be spiritual in nature.

Hence the first feature of Ātmā is that it is the non-material principle, spiritual principle of the nature of consciousness – Chaitanya Svarūpaha or Chit Rūpaha.

12.2.2. Ātmā Svatantraha

Ātmā is Svatantraha. It is an independent principle because it is of the nature of consciousness which is not dependant on matter for its production or existence. Consciousness does not depend on matter for its existence as well as production.

Previously we said, matter does not have consciousness. If matter has consciousness then consciousness will depend on matter. If matter produces consciousness then also consciousness will depend on matter. Since consciousness does not belong to matter and is not produced by matter, consciousness is an independent entity and does not depend on matter either for production or existence. This is the independent principle.

12.2.3. Ātmā Nirgunaha

Since Ātmā is non-material in nature, it does not have any of the attributes belonging to matter. In fact whatever attributes we know, are all material attributes either perceived directly by our eyes or various instruments. All attributes we know belong to matter. Shabda, Sparsha Rūpa, Rasa and Gandha belong to the five elements of Ākāshaha, Vāyuhu, Agni, Āpaha and Pruthvi and the five elementals i.e. their products.

Ātmā is free from all these attributes. Ātmā is therefore Nirgunaha – attribute-less and property-free.

12.2.4. Ātmā Nityaha

Since Ātmā does not depend on matter or Sharīra Trayam for its existence or production, even when matter perishes or collapses, Ātmā the consciousness principle continues to survive. Just as the electricity continues to survive even after the filament is destroyed, electricity is there. You do not feel the glow of the bulb and this is not because electricity is not there, but the bulb or filament is gone. Non-manifestation of electricity in the form of light is not non-existence of electricity.

Even when the matter Sharīra Trayam collapse, Ātmā the consciousness principle continues to survive. Therefore Ātmā is Nityaha. In a scientific language, the scientists point out that the universe is four dimensional. Three are spatial dimensions. The fourth one is called Time dimension. Form this we come to know that time is the property or the fourth dimension of the material universe and consciousness being non-material, it does not have the property of time also. It is beyond time and is unconditioned by time – unlocatable time wise.

In simple language, Nityaha or Kāla Atītaha.

12.2.5. Ātmā Sarvagataha

Time and space are closely interconnected. Therefore Ātmā is not bound by time. It is invariably not restrained by, not conditioned by, not circumscribed by space also. Therefore Sarvagataha. It is not located in the Sharīra Trayam. It is behind Sharīra Trayam also. Just as the electricity is not the behind the small bulb, in fact one electricity is behind all the bulbs. It is there in between as well but we don’t see because there is no bulb. Similarly, Ātmā Sarvagataha or Sarvavyāpi and it is behind all the Sharīra Trayams.

So bodies are many and of difference shapes (like small or big bulb). So we have a small Sharīra Trayam e.g. of an ant as well as a big one as that of an elephant and behind all of these, there is an Ātmā. Therefore Ātmā Sarvagataha.

12.2.6. Ātmā Ekaha

If Ātmā is one consciousness principle behind all the bodies, Ātmā has to be only one even though bodies are many. Ātmā Ekaha. Ātmā Advaitaha. Ātmā Advitīyaha – non-dual. So this Ātmā is the fourth factor in the personality of every individual.

Interestingly enough lot of scientific study is going on the field of consciousness. Some scientists have made statements very close to Vedāntik teaching.

12.3. Ātmā Anātmā Vivekaha

Since this non-material consciousness is called Ātmā, the material Sharīra Trayam is called Anātmā. The first step in Vedāntik study is Ātmā Anātmā Vivekaha. Understanding that there are three factors within Anātmā range and one factor known as Ātmā and I the individual am a mixture of the material Anātmā and non-material Ātmā. Time-space-bound Anātmā and time-space-beyond Ātmā.

Learning this is the first lesson of Vedanta. For further appreciation of Vedanta, we have to go through some exercise or discipline or Sādhanā for going further into the teaching. The word Ātmā literally means Self. Self means I. Naturally the word Anātmā means non-self.

By using this expression Ātmā and Anātmā, what the scriptures want us to do is that we should train ourselves to claim the Ātmā as myself. Also the Upanishad teach us that we should gradually train to renounce our identification with the material perishable incidental Anātmā aspect. So discipline-identify from Anātmā and learn to identify with Ātmā. In Sanskrit Anātma Abhimāna Tyāgaha, Ātmā Abhimāna Nishthā.

So this is a new training to be practiced by Vedāntik seeker. In fact, all Vedāntik Sādhanāni are meant for this switchover of identification. If somebody asks for your bio-data, we give date of birth, graduation etc - in fact our entire bio-data is Sharīra Trayam oriented bio-data. And keep this bio-data for worldly transactions but within yourself, a transformation should take place. This transformation is that the regular bio-data is for the sake of the world and my real bio-data is :

Aham Chaitanya SvarūpahaAham SvatantrahaAham NirgunahaAham NityahaAham SarvagatahaAham Ekaha
So this claiming of my real bio-data is claiming my birthright and I should learn to claim. And only as I claim this, further Vedāntik teaching will penetrate. This is the first lesson.

The next question is – How can I train myself for that ? For this training, the scriptures give a method or Upāyaha. An Upāyaha is given for assisting this training which is called Druk Drushya Viveka. This is the methodology of training the mind to disown or disclaim the material Anātmā. You can use the material Anātmā but claim the non-material Ātmā.

We don’t say you should not own the scooter, but you should not say I am the scooter. This method involves application of two important fundamental laws of Vedanta.

12.3.1. Fundamental Law – 1

I am different from whatever I experience.

Whatever I experience is the experienced object. I the experiencer am the subject and therefore I the experiencer subject am different from whatever is the experience object. I experience a fan but am not the fan. I experience the entire world and I am not that.

Extending this principle, if the world that I experience is not me, I experience my body and I experience my mind and therefore the body mind also are the object of my experience. Therefore I am the experiencer of Sharīra Trayam. Sharīra Trayam is the object of my experience and I am the subject behind the experienced object. I am ever the observer and never the observed.

12.3.2. Fundamental Law - 2

I the experiencer am free from the attributes of the experienced objects.

And in fact all the attributes I experience belong either to the experienced world, the experienced body or the experienced mind. Therefore all known attributes belong to known material Anātmā. I am the knower of the attributes and therefore free from all these known attributes.

Mano Buddhyahankāra Chittāni NāhamNa Cha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrāna NetreNa Cha Vyoma Bhūmir Na Tejo Na VāyuhuChidānanda Rūpaha Shivoham Shivoham

I am not the mind, nor the intellect, neither the ego nor the subconsciousI am also not the ear, not the nose, not the eyeI am neither the ether nor the earth, neither the fire nor the airI am the form of pure bliss, I am Universal Consciousness
Thus by applying these two laws, I am different from whatever I experience, I am free from the attributes of the objects that I experience.

Therefore I am the following

  • Chaitanya Svarūpaha
  • Svatantraha
  • Nirgunaha
  • Nityaha
  • Sarvagataha
  • Ekaha

…Ātmā Asmi

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