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Sunday, 9 June 2013

16. Overview of Tattvabodha

Over the last few sessions, we have covered the textbook of Tattvabodha in which all the important technical terms of Vedanta Shāstram have been beautifully presented. We saw all those topics in these classes.

Now we will wind up the Tattvabodha study by a bird’s eye view of all the important topics that we have seen. Just a consolidating summary.

That Tattvabodha text can be broadly classified into five portions.

The first portion deals with the qualifications required for self-enquiry or Vedāntik study. Qualifications is therefore the first potion. In Sanskrit it is called Adhikāritvam meaning eligibility or Yogyatā.

The second part is the analysis the individual. In Sanskrit individual is called Vyashtihi – microcosm. So Vyashtihi is the analysis of the micro.

The third portion is the analysis of the total. In Sanskrit, the Total is called Samashtihi. So Samashtihi Vichāra comes after Vyashti Vichāra. This is the analysis of the macrocosm.

The fourth portion is the essential one-ness of the individual and the total. The essential oneness of the individual and total. Vyashtihi Samashtihi Svarūpa Aikyam. Svarūpa means essential. Hence Svarūpa Aikyam means the essential identity of the micro and the macro.

The fifth and final topic is the knowledge of this essential identity and the benefit of this knowledge. Aikya Jnānam and Aikya Jnāna Phalam. Vyashti Samashtihi Svarūpa Aikya Jnānam – the knowledge of this essential oneness as well the benefit of this knowledge. In simple language Jnānam Phalam Cha.

16.1. Eligibility

What makes me qualified for spiritual enquiry. We saw four fold qualification or Sādhana Chatushtayam. These are

  • Discrimination
  • Dispassion
  • Desire
  • Discipline
Discrimination is between the real goal of life and all the other fake goals of life. There are so many fake or apparent or seeming goals and we should not be enamoured by these fake goals called Preyas. We should be able to identify the real goal. This capacity to differentiate the real goal of life from the fake goals of life is called Discrimination

Dispassion is reducing all the fake goals – like money position, possession, relation all of which are fake goals. Reducing all these fake goals into simple means only to attain the real goal. So converting the fake goals into means and consequently not giving them undue importance. When you look upon them as goals, you give over-importance, but when the goal is reduced to means you give only the due importance. This removal of the undue importance from fake goals is dispassion. Passion is gone. Obsession is gone with regards to the fake goals of life.

Desire is a burning urge for the accomplishment of the real goal. Nourishment of the desire for the real goal of life and even a re-orienting of our life, our associations, our activities all these are reshuffled and re-oriented to nourish the desire for the real goal. Initially the desire is only a feeble and vague desire. But only by nourishing it would we be able to make it burning.

Discipline is attuning of all our organs for the realisation of or accomplishment the real goal. So this attuning of all the organs or making all the organs spiritual-knowledge-friendly. All the organs include the physical bodies, the sense organs, the mind and intellect.

Without this eligibility, if I enter into spiritual enquiry what can happen is that the enquiry can become unsuccessful and merely an academic study. So whether the spiritual enquiry should become an academic study or whether it should become a self-transforming exercise will depend on whether I have the eligibility or not. Therefore eligibility is emphasised.

Tattvabodha does not mention how to acquire the eligibility. That we have to supply. Of the four eligibility factors, the first three – Discrimination, Dispassion, Desire – are accomplished through Karma Yoga. The fourth and final discipline is accomplished through Upāsana Yoga or Ashtānga Yogaha or Samādhi Yogaha.

Thus through Karma Yoga acquire the first three qualification and through Upāsana Yoga acquire the fourth qualification. And when I successfully go through Karma Yoga and Upāsana Yoga I am eligible for spiritual enquiry. If the first portion is called the Religious Way of life, spiritual enquiry is the Philosophical aspect of life. Religion gives me qualification and Philosophy gives me the wisdom.

16.2. Individual

The second part is the analysis of the individual. Here we have seen that every individual is broadly classified into two parts
  • Material part – Anātmā Amshaha
  • Spiritual part – Ātmā Amshaha
For the convenience of understand, the material part of the individual was divided into two ways.
  • Body division:

  1. Fine Gross,
  2. Finer Subtle and
  3. Finest Causal Body.
This division is purely based on the fineness of the matter. All are bodies and all are matter but the texture differs
  • Functional division:

  1. Anatomical part,
  2. Physiological part (functions of the Anatomy),
  3. Psychological part (emotional part),
  4. Rational (intellectual part dealing with the cognitive aspect)
  5. Unconscious or dormant aspect of personality which is not very clearly visible or perceptible
Tattvabodha points out that other than the material part, is the spiritual part which is the consciousness principle Chaitanya Amshaha which is different from the five or three layers. This is aware of all of these. This is called the witness consciousness or Sākshitattvam or Chaitanya Tattvam. This consciousness is neither part of the material Amshaha nor a property of the material body nor the product of the material body. It is a distinct entity. This consciousness has a nature that it is not limited by the material part and it is not affected by the activities of the material part etc. This has been dealt with in the Ātmā topic. This spiritual part is called Ātmā and is given another name called Brahman. 

16.3. Analysis of total

This topic is the analysis of the total, the Samashti, the Total or the universe. Jagat Vichāra or Srushti Vichāra are the words in Sanskrit. Here we say that the universe is never created. It is a very important idea which we have to receive and assimilate. This is because of the most important law that Matter can never be created or destroyed. Therefore Tattvabodha pointed out that the universe was there all the time. But it was not there in the same form all the time.

Now the universe is available in perceptible visible and transactable form. Previously the very same universe was existent in dormant unmanifest or potential form. And this potential form of this creation is called the causal universe otherwise known as Māyā. Māyā is another name for the universe itself but a name given when the universe is in dormant form. The universe is totally material in nature.

This causal universe at the appropriate time evolves. This evolution is wrongly called creation. Creation is a misnomer for the manifestation or evolution. Therefore we should never use the word creation but use the word manifestation. In Sanskrit this is called Āvirbhāvaha. Going into un-manifestation Tirobhāvaha. And it evolves in two stages

First stage of evolution is the causal universe becomes the subtle universe. Subtle universe means it is neither totally unmanifest nor totally manifest like twilight. Later the grossest universe is manifested – this is the most visible, transactable, handle-able, analysable universe. In fact scientists are only scratching the gross universe and have never been able to understand the subtle universe.

According to out Shāstram, this is an eternal process – causal evolving into subtle and gross, dances about for some time and again gets reduced into the causal form. This is just like us going to sleep everyday and then waking up. Wake state to dream (partial sleep) to deep sleep and then from deep sleep to dream (partial wake state) to fully awake state.

16.4. Aikyam

We have three factors to study. The micro individual consisting of three layers – causal body, subtle body and gross body. We have the macro universe also consisting of three layers - causal universe, subtle universe and gross universe. Thus we have micro and macro.

We also have a third entity called consciousness principle which is different from both micro and macro. Micro and macro are eventually matter only.

Interestingly, micro matter and macro matter both being matter are both insentient in nature. But even though they are insentient, both are capable of functioning as a medium for consciousness. In Shāstram it is called Upādhihi. Just as the bulb and the filament do not have light of their own, but they have a capacity that they can function as a medium for the electricity. When it functions as a medium for electricity, the bulb becomes bright bulb. In the same way Micro and Macro are able to serve as bulbs as it were for consciousness. In consciousness, there is not micro or macro. In consciousness, Vyashti Samashti Bheda is not there – electricity is one whether the bulb is 5W or 5000W.

And when the consciousness functions through these two media, in keeping with the nature of the media, the consciousness gets a distortion which we called Reflected Consciousness. Hence Original Consciousness becomes Reflected Consciousness at the micro level and Reflected Consciousness at the macro level also.

Naturally the reflection will have distortion and in both media, distortion takes place. In the micro medium, since the medium is inferior, its gets distorted and endowed with inferior quality - Nikrushta Gunaha. Original Consciousness does not have any Guna – Nirguna. At this stage when Original Consciousness is manifest in Nikrushta Upādhi, it gets endowed with inferior attributes and is named Jīvaha. Jīvaha is Reflected Consciousness obtaining in inferior medium.

The very same Original Consciousness is manifest and functioning in the Macro as well. Since the macro medium is superior – Utkrushta Upādhi, there the distortion is positive distortion. Instead of getting no Gunaha, this does end up getting Gunaha (distortion). But the Gunaha are Utkrushta Upādhitvāt Krushta Gunāhā – superior attributes are there in macro Reflected Consciousness. This macro Reflected Consciousness with superior attributes is called Īshvara.

So Jīva is also Reflected Consciousness and Īshvara is also Reflected Consciousness. From Reflected Consciousness angle, they are totally different because one has got inferior attributes while the other has got superior attributes. One is helpless, other is helper. One is Anāthaha, the other is Anāthaha Nāthaha. One is Dīnaha, other is Dīnha Bandhuhu. One is Dāsaha, other is Swami. So the micro Reflected Consciousness is Dāsaha while the macro Reflected Consciousness is Swami. Original Consciousness is neither Dāsaha nor Swāmi because it does not have inferior attributes nor superior attributes, it is neither Kāryam not Kāranam, neither micro nor macro. Therefore from Reflected Consciousness angle there is difference whereas if you know that Reflected Consciousness is nothing but Original Consciousness only but manifesting through a distorting medium.

An example is the effect of a concave and convex mirror on yourself. In one, there is an elongated face while in the other, there is a flat face. Now which one will I take as my true attribute ? Neither of them is my attribute. Elongation is one form of distortion while flatness is another form of distortion – I am free from both.

You cannot physically separate consciousness from the medium just as no physical thing can be separated from space which is all pervading. Similarly you can never separate micro medium or macro medium from consciousness. Therefore the separation has to be done in terms of understanding or wisdom. You separate the micro and macro medium and forget the distortions as incidental and own up the distortion free Original Consciousness.
Aham Brahma Ātmā Asmi.Aham Na Jīvaha Aham Na Īshvara.Aham Jīva Īshvara Vyatirikta Brahmātmā (Original Consciousness) Asmi.
This is called Vyashti Samashti Svarūpa Aikyam. Jivātmā Paramātmā Aikyam. This portion is called Mahā Vākyam portion of the Shāstram. In any portion, the essential oneness is discussed and is called Mahāvākyam portion.

16.5. Aikya Jnānam and Aikya Jnāna Phalam

I have to receive this wisdom. And it should become my wisdom, a fact for me. And the pursuit of this wisdom is called Jnāna pursuit and it is called Jnāna Yogaha.

By analysing the individual, by analysing the total, arriving at the essential nature and seeing the fact that the essential nature is only one. Reflecting media are different and Reflected Consciousnesses is different but Original Consciousness the essence is one. This Jnāna Yoga consists of threefold exercise which we studied while discussing Jnāna Yoga. Karma Yoga and Upāsana Yoga give me eligibility and Jnāna Yoga gives me wisdom.

Without eligibility, wisdom cannot come. Without wisdom eligibility is useless. Therefore you require Karma Yoga and Upāsana Yoga compulsorily to get eligibility and you have to necessarily Jnāna Yoga to attain wisdom. There is no choice among the three.

The threefold processes involved are
  1. Receiving the wisdom : systematic consistent study of the scriptures for a length of time under the guidance of a competent teacher – called Shravanam.
  2. Converting knowledge into conviction which is removal of any doubts regarding this doubt. Intellect should not raise any objection. I should be thoroughly convinced that I am only Original Consciousness in the guise of Reflected Consciousness. Reflected Consciousness life is therefore only a drama about which I am not overly worried – called Mananam or removing the intellectual obstacles for this knowledge
  3. Nididhyāsanam – assimilation of this wisdom by which I learn to get out of old habits of living. I have lived all my time as Reflected Consciousness – the Saamsarik way of life, rife with worries, insecurities and anxious. By living such a life it has become my second nature and I have been conditioned to live that way. Nididhyāsanam is the de-conditioning process and re-orienting. Just like de-twisting a telephone wire to make it normal. It is in the form of repeated hearing, reading the Shāstram, writing, discussing, teaching etc. Knowledge is now called Nishthā.
Hence the goal is converting knowledge into conviction and conviction into Nishthā – Nishthā is total transformation. Transformation can be translated as Transcending Form. When I own up I am Original Consciousness whose form is formless. Therefore converting the formed I into the formless I is transcending the form – transformation. This transformation is called Jīvan Muktihi. Thus one gets knowledge through Shravanam, Mananam and Nididhyāsanam.

Jnāna Phalam is the total transformation – not physical but psychological. Where life which was a burden before becomes a sport later. Problems will be converted into challenges. There is no change in the world and people, there is only change in my very way of looking. This transformed life is called Jīvan Muktihi and as a result of this Jnānam, a person gets over all the Punya Pāpa Karmāni as well. Sanchita Karma , Āgāmi Karma Prārabdha Karma.
  • Sanchita Karma – is burnt up
  • Āgāmi Karma – is avoided
  • Prārabdha Karma – is exhausted without adverse reaction
Once the three Karmas are gone, the body falls and a person is never reborn again. Another body is not required because no more Karma to be exhausted. And the absence of rebirth is called Videha Muktihi. Punar Janma Abhāvaha.

Hence Jīvan Muktihi and Videha Muktihi are the two fold results of Jnānam. And this result a person will attain wherever he dies, and whenever he dies.
Om Pūrnamadah PūrnamidamPūrnāt PūrnamudachyatePūrnasya PūrnamādāyaPūrnamevāvashishyateOm Shānti Shānti Shāntihi
That (Brahman) is wholeThis (creation) is also wholeFrom that whole (i.e. Brahman only)This whole has come out (creation)But even though this whole has comeOut of that wholeYet that whole remains whole only


15. Law of Karma

In the last few sessions, we saw the central teaching of the Vedanta – namely Jīva Ātmā and Parama Ātmā Aikyam. Through this, I am given to understand that I am not the Reflected Consciousness which is the Distorted Consciousness through the medium. But I am the original Consciousness which is none other than Brahman. The distortions will be there as long as the medium continues to distort. But whether medium distorts or not, I in my original nature is undistorted Consciousness. And this is not only true with regards to me, this is true with regards to every individual. Therefore every one of us is nothing but Original Consciousness and not Reflected Consciousness.
And this is not only true with regard to me the Jīvāhā, it is true with regards to Īshvara also. Īshvara is also another form of distorted consciousness only because Īshvara also has certain superior Gunāhā and presence of Gunāhā is a distortion. Because the original consciousness does not have positive virtues also. So in the case of Īshvara, positive virtues is distortion, in the case of Jīva negative virtues or vices or properties are distortions.

And these two distortions are caused by the reflecting media (RM) and when we look at ourselves from the standpoint of ourselves, we are all Original Consciousness. This is Jīva Ātmā Parama Ātmā Aikya Jnānam given by the Vedanta. Having seen this knowledge, we will now see the Jnāna Phalam – what is the benefit of gaining this knowledge ? What do I get out of it ? What practically benefit can I derive out of gaining this knowledge.

In the Shāstram and in the Tattvabodha the benefit is presented as Jīvan Muktihi and Videha Muktihi. The knowledge is that I am not Reflected (limited distorted) Consciousness – otherwise called Ego - but I am Original Consciousness – unlimited and undistorted consciousness.
15.1. Jīvan Muktihi

How do I accomplish the freedom as to be derived from Jīvan Muktihi ?

All the problems and challenges of life belong to the Reflected Consciousness alone – the Jīva alone has all the challenges of life. They belong to the Ego alone – because every situation will affect either Reflecting Media 1 (Physical body) or RM2 or RM3. Through the Reflecting medium, the reflected consciousness may be affected but not the original. Therefore all problems belong to Reflected Consciousness and no problems belong to Original Consciousness. We know that Reflected Consciousness is insignificant compared to Original Consciousness because Reflected Consciousness is an incidental aspect of mind who am nothing but Original Consciousness.

Therefore when I go on invoking my higher nature, Original Consciousness nature, the Reflected Consciousness and the problems of Reflected Consciousness become insignificant. Not that they go away, but from a higher perspective, these will become insignificant. Like during the freedom struggle, when they invoked the patriot in themselves, the freedom of the country became so important and other miseries and going to jail were not significant at all. When we invoke a higher “I”, the lower “I” and its problems will not disappear but will become insignificant. In Sanskrit we call it Abhibhāvaha . So when the sun rises, the candle light is overshadowed but though it continues, the candle light is as good as not being there. Similarly in the discovery of the higher I, all the problems of Samsara are as good as not there. This inner freedom or immunity or shock absorber is given by the discovery of the higher “I”. This immunity enjoyed is called Jīvan Muktihi which is the benefit enjoyed while living. Jnānam serves as an armour against unhealthy responses.
15.2. Videha Muktihi

The second benefit is Videha Muktihi. This means freedom from Punar Janma or rebirth. To understand this freedom from rebirth, we should know the Law of Karma. Because Law of Karma is the principle behind rebirth as well as Freedom from rebirth. Videha Muktihi is understood only when the Law of Karma is understood. We will study the Law of Karma as an Anga of Videha Muktihi.
15.2.1. Law of Karma
The Law of Karma is one of the most important laws of Vedic teaching and is the unique to Vedic teaching. First Principle
The first principle that we should remember in understanding the Law of Karma is that every deliberate or wilful action that we do, the Shāstram point out, produces two forms of result. One is called the Visible result – Drushta Phalam - and the other is the invisible result – Adrushta Phalam.
And if the action is a good action, there is a good visible and invisible result, and if there is a bad action, there is a bad visible and invisible result. E.g. if I do something for a charitable cause, firstly the visible result is that someone is benefited from it. The second result is that since I have done a noble action of helping others, it produces an invisible result called Adrushtam. And since the action is good, it is called Su-Adrushtam – good invisible result.
On the other hand, when I cheat someone to earn money, the visible result is quite evident-increase in bank balance. The invisible result is negative arising from this is called Dur-Adrushtam - negative invisible result.
The Su-Adrushtam is called Punyam and the Dur-Adrushtam is called Pāpam. Thus every deliberate action in addition to visible result produces Punyam and Pāpam. One won’t see Punyam and Pāpam because they are invisible. This is the first principle of the Law of Karma – Punyam and Pāpam. Second Principle
The next principle to be remembered is what produces Punyam and Pāpam. This is determined based on two norms.
The first norm is the scriptural injunction. Whatever the scriptures promote or enjoin – those actions will produce Punyam. Whatever the scriptures prohibit – such actions will produce Pāpam. Supposing an action produces visible good result and suppose that action is prohibited by the scriptures, then we say such an action will produce Pāpam even though it may produce a visible good result.
The second norms : Suppose I am doing an action which is not discussed in the scriptures at all – travelling by train – what would be the norms for judgement of such activities ? The norm is based on the motive. What is the motive of my actions ? If my motive is good and noble, that Karma will produce Punyam and if it is ignoble it produces Pāpam.
Therefore based on the norm of Shāstrik injunction and motive, we decide whether a Karma is Punyam or Pāpam. Third Principle
All the invisible Punyam and Pāpam in due course will be converted into visible Sukham and Duhkham – Drushta Sukham and Drushta Duhkham respectively.
In this we can never say, how long a particular Punyam will take to get converted into Sukham. The duration for conversion is not uniform. Today’s Punyam can become tomorrow’s Sukham or day-after-tomorrow’s Sukham or next decade’s Sukham or it can become even in the next Janma. The duration will never be known by us. Some Punyams can give immediate Sukham while some Punyams can give delayed Sukham.
The example given in the Shāstram is the different types of seeds that are planted on the same day. A papaya seed or mango seed and coconut seed. Even though the date of planting is the same, different seeds take different duration of time to become full-fledged results.
Because of this, we have to derive another corollary. Since the Punyam and Pāpam can fructify at different duration, some of the Punya Pāpam may not fructify in this Janma itself. This means that un-fructified Punya Pāpams remain in the case of every Jīva. And because of the un-fructified Punya Pāpam, we will have to take Punar Janma and an appropriate for the fructification of these un-fructified ones for reaping the result of our actions.
The scriptures say that nobody can escape from the moral Law of the Lord. One can escape from the criminal law of the country but never from the cosmic Moral Order and Law of the Lord.
Therefore the Law of Karma necessitates repeated Birth and Death and therefore the preset birth is one of the long chain of birth and death. Thus the cycle of birth and death is caused by the law of Karma.
Our scriptures point out that this has to be very clearly understood and assimilated by every individual. This is even more fundamental than self-knowledge. The more we assimilate this law, the more healthy will be our attitude towards problems of life.
15.2.2. Advantages of Law of Karma
If I assimilate the Law of Karma, what are the advantages? What attitudinal changes will it bring. The assimilation of the Law of Karma will bring some healthy attitudinal changes.

First advantage is that the Law of Karma explains the disparity and differences in the living being. Why are living being born differently. Some are animal while some are plants and some human beings. And among human beings, some born with silver spoon or some in the slums. This is because of the Law of Karma.

If this Law of Karma is not accepted, then people will have to resort to the principle of chance. I see the creation being orderly. Science proves everyday that the creation is governed by laws and wherever law is there, there is order. Then how can I say that the disparity alone is chance?

Second advantage, Law of Karma helps in accepting the inexplicable sufferings. When I am not able to accept my problems and go on asking “Why me?”, Law of Karma helps in accepting. I know that I am responsible for every one of my suffering through my immediate past action or through my remote past action. I may not remember which remote past action for my current state – good or bad. I will not blame anyone in the world. Blaming is the most natural tendency. Thus, resistance and not taking responsibility is sorrow.

Third advantage is that the Faith in God will not be shaken if I accept the Law of Karma. This is because I know that even though I am a good person now, if I suffer my suffering is not because of an unjust God. The suffering is because of my remote past actions which I don’t remember now. God can never be unjust. There is no injustice in the world. There seems to be injustice because we do not recollect the past Pāpam Karma.

Otherwise when I suffer I begin to question the Lord’s sense of justice. There have been many religious people who did not understand the Law of Karma and therefore blame God for their suffering and turn atheists.

Fourth advantage is if I accept the Law of Karma, I can take responsibility for my future. I can take charge of my life. This is because the Law of Karma says my present situation is the result of my past action. You can extend this and say that my future situation will depend on my present action. Therefore if I can intelligently live in the present, I can influence my future. If I cannot totally control, I can greatly influence my future. Thus I can avert fatalism. I can accept my freewill. I have a freedom to choose my future because my future is dependent on my present Karma. Therefore Law of Karma restores my freewill and averts fatalistic tendencies.

People think Law of Karma leads to fatalism. In fact, Law of Karma alone is the antidote to fatalism because Law of Karma tells me I am responsible for my present situation by my past action and therefore am responsible for my future. If I don’t accept the Law of Karma, my conclusion will be that somebody is responsible for my present situation. And if somebody else is responsible for my present situation, then somebody else will be responsible for my future situation.

Therefore if I don’t accept the Law of Karma, I give my life to chance and fatalism. If I accept Law of Karma I am accepting my will and freedom to shape my future.

Fifth advantage is this answers one of the fundamental questions asked by many questions – especially youngsters. When we talk about ethical way of life or good way of life, one of the questions asked by youngsters is – if you say ethical life is a blessing and unethical life is harmful, how come many good people are suffering and how come many corrupt people are having a good time. You can restore morality in society only if you bring in Law of Karma. Law of Karma will explain this phenomenon properly. It will say – the present ethical person is suffering because of past unethical action. Therefore the universal rule that Unethical Actions hurt is true irrespective of whether you are good in the preset Janma or not. Even the current corrupt person enjoys because of past ethical actions. Therefore the rule is that Ethical Action Blesses and Unethical Action Hurts.

Thus Law of Karma is required for moral order in society.

We have to come back to Videha Muktihi. The Punya Pāpam or Adrushtam that a person acquires is divided in to three types.

All the Punya Pāpams accumulated in the past Janma are called Sanchita Punya Pāpam or Sanchita Adrushtam. Sanchita means accumulated. And of all those accumulated, a portion alone is ready for fructification at a particular time. That maturing Adrushtam – Punya Pāpam - is called Prārabdha. Sanchitam will not affect you now because it is not matured. Whereas Prārabdha being matured, it is responsible for the present physical body. Your present body is determined by Prārabdha – human or animal, male or female, healthy or with congenital diseases, parentage, place of birth. And when Prārabdha gives you a human body, not only you reap your Prārabdha, but while reaping your Prārabdha, you are doing fresh actions. As a human being you do a lot of deliberate actions which will produces fresh Punya Pāpams. That fresh acquisitions or earning are called Āgāmi.

Therefore your present life is a result of your Āgāmi and Prārabdha. Because Āgāmi also produce result in this Janma. Prārabdha also produces result. Āgāmi and Prārabdha produced together will give you experiences. And some of the Āgāmi are not reaped in this Janma - so at the end of the Janma , Prārabdha is exhausted, some Āgāmi are exhausted, some Āgāmi Karma remain. They will join the Sanchitam and out of the Sanchitam, the next one gets ready giving you Punar Janma. There also you exhaust the Prārabdha and acquire Āgāmi, some of them are exhausted while some of them are kept back and they join Sanchita – the cycle will go on and on and on. This is the case of an ignorant person.

In the case of a wise person, the Shāstram point out, Jnānam is such a powerful radiation that it destroys all the Sanchita Karmāni.
Sanchita Pāpa Vināshana LingamTat Pranamāmi Sadāshiva Lingam.
Because the Jnani, does not have identification with Reflected Consciousness – as he invokes the Original Consciousness all the time – Jnani does not acquire Āgāmi. Since he does not have Ahankāra or Abhimānam, he does not acquire Āgāmi. Hence even when Sanchitam is gone and Āgāmi does not come, only one remains which is the Prārabdha. Since it has started, it will continue to give pleasurable and painful experiences but these experiences will affect only the Reflecting Medium and Reflected Consciousness but Jnani being established in the highest “I” or Original Consciousness he does not bother much about these insignificant problems and therefore he does not have any unhealthy response. Therefore he is immunised against Prārabdha.

Once Prārabdha is exhausted : Sanchita is gone, Prārabdha is exhausted and Āgāmi avoided and therefore there is no Karma. Since there is neither Punyam nor Pāpam, he does not acquire a new birth. This called Videha Muktihi. Thus Jnani as a result of Jnānam enjoys Jīvan Mukti and Videha Mukti. This is Jnāna Phalam and with this Jnānam Phalam, Tattvabodha completes its teaching.

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14. Jīva Īshvara Aikya

In the previous sessions, we have seen the main theme of the Vedāntik Teaching – Jīva Ātmā Parama Ātmā Aikyam. The idea conveyed is that Ātmā the Chaitanyam is only Ekam. Aikyam means oneness. Therefore Ātmā the Chaitanyam is only one and that one Chaitanyam alone is expressing through the matter principle. And when that Chaitanyam is functioning through individual matter called Sharīra Trayam, then the consciousness gets the name Jīva Ātmā. And when the very same consciousness is functioning behind total matter or Prapancha Trayam, then the very same Ātmā is called Parama Ātmā.

Therefore one Ātmā alone is called Jīva Ātmā as well as Parama Ātmā from the standpoint of the medium through which it functions. Once the Anātmā medium is removed the matter medium is removed, there is neither Jīva Ātmā nor is there Parama Ātmā. There is only Ātmā which is neither called Jīva Ātmā not Parama Ātmā.Therefore one Ātmā functioning through Anātmā get the two names Jīva Ātmā and Parama Ātmā. And that one Ātmā I am.

I am called Jīva Ātmā when I am functioning behind this body. I myself am Parama Ātmā when I am functioning behind the whole universe.
This is the basic teaching of Jāgrat Avasthā Parama Ātmā Aikyam or Ātmā Ekatvam.

There is one more important topic which we will briefly go through. It is a topic by itself. That topic is the relationship between Ātmā and Anātmā. Because we say there is only one Ātmā. We know the relationship between Jīva Ātmā and Parama Ātmā as being one and the same. Now we are asking what is the relationship between Ātmā and Anātmā – the Spirit and Matter and the Vedanta point out that their relationship is Depender and Depended relationship, supporter – supported relationship. This means that matter depends on consciousness. Even to prove its existence matter depends on consciousness.

To say there is a clock in front of me, I have to see the clock to prove whether it is existent or not. To prove the existence of anything in the creation, I have to see it or know it directly or indirectly. Whereas to show or to prove that I am existent I don’t require any proof because my existence is very evident. Therefore matter depends on consciousness for both to prove its existence as well as for its functioning. Whereas consciousness does not depend upon matter for its existence. Therefore the scriptures point out that consciousness is Satyam and matter is Mithyam. Satyam means independent or Svatantraha. Whereas matter is Mithyam or Para Tantraha (opposite of Svatantraha).

The example we generally give is that of clay and pot. Clay exists independent of pot that even if the pot is broken the clay can continue to exist. Whereas the pot cannot exist independent of clay. Therefore clay is called Satyam and pot is called Mithyam. Wood is called Satyam and furniture is called Mithyam. Gold is Satyam and ornaments are Mithyam. Water is Satyam whereas waves oceans and tanks and lakes are Mithyam.

Hence Satyam means independent and Mithyā means dependent. Ātmā is one and Anātmā are many. Ātmā is Satyam and Anātmā are Mithyam. And this one Ātmā appears as Jīva Ātmā at individual levels and Parama Ātmā at total level.

Therefore the Vedāntik teaching can be presented in three statements. The whole Vedāntik teaching can be presented in
  • Parama Ātmā is Satyam
  • Anātmā is Mithyam
  • Jīva Ātmā is identical with Parama Ātmā.
This is the Vedanta Sāraha

We will deal with the means and benefits of getting this knowledge.

14.1. Means of Acquiring Knowledge

The means is called Jnāna Yogaha. This Jnāna Yoga which is the means of getting this knowledge is presented in three stage – these are
- Shravanam means listening
- Mananam means reflection
- Nididhyāsanam means contemplation

Once I have removed doubts in the intellectual level through Mananam and removed the emotional weakness through Nididhyāsanam, then the knowledge is called assimilated knowledge – Jnāna Nishthā.

Shravanam is done with the help of the teacher. Mananam is done both independently and with the help of the teacher. Whereas Nididhyāsanam has to be done independently alone – no teacher can help. One has to apply the knowledge during the Nididhyāsanam phase. We have to remember that assimilated knowledge alone will give me benefits just like assimilated food alone nourishes me.

Krishna warns in the Gītā that any amount of study is of no use unless it is assimilated through Mananam and Nididhyāsanam.

14.2. Jnāna Phalam

The next topic is Jnāna Phalam – the benefit of this knowledge. The benefit is presented in two forms in the Shāstram
- One is the benefit while we are living i.e. before death
- The other one is the benefit after death.

14.2.1. Jīvan Muktihi

This is the benefit while we are still living. This is the virtue or Phalam enjoyed at the mental level in various forms. The problems faced at the mental level include insecurity, fear, sense of inadequacy, jealousy and anger – all these are psychological problems called Samsara. It is purely at the mental or psychological level and not at the physical level – because it is knowledge and therefore gives benefit at the mental level.

Jīvan Muktihi means that I continue to face the challenges in life. At the same time, I am free from these unhealthy responses. All unhealthy responses are emotional problems called Samsara.

The benefits of Jīvan Muktihi are : Independence –Svatantriyam
The first and most important benefit is independence. I am mentally emotionally or psychologically an independent person. This means that the presence or absence of things will not affect me emotionally. Only when I am dependent on external factors, their presence and absence will affect me emotionally. Jnānam give me independence from all setup – whether it is a person or situation or an object. I don’t seek company nor do I feel lonely. Fullness – Pūrnatvam
The second benefit is Pūrnatvam – sense of fulfilment in life. I know I am the Ātmā which is not confined to this body but I am the Ātmā which is Sat Chit Ānanda Svarūpaha and therefore I am free from limitation. Nothing is away from me. Everything belongs to me. There is no sense of isolation or rejection. Because if I am a person, I can be rejected. But nobody can reject me because I am all pervading. Sense of isolation, sense of rejection and sense of limitation go away just as space cannot be rejected by anyone, I the Ātmā cannot be rejected by anyone. Balance of Mind – Samattvam
The third benefit is Samattvam. This means the emotional strength to face ups and downs of life. Jnānam becomes a great shock absorber. Similarly in life I cannot control my future situation where many things are beyond my control. But by Jnānam even the worst troubles may affect me sometimes, but not permanently.
It is to be noted that physically we will surely have to depend on the world. We require food, clothing and shelter. We will never get physical independence. But psychologically we may be able to become independent. This is called Jīvan Muktihi. The word literally means Freedom while Living.
14.2.2. Videha Muktihi

To understand this, we have to know what happens to an ignorant person after death. Then only we can understand to an Jnani after death.

In the case of Ajnani, at the time of death, the physical body is dropped. There is separation from physical body. The very definition of death is separation from physical body. That is why the physical body decays and merges into Pancha Bhūtāni or five elements.

But even thought the physical body perishes, the subtle body and causal body continue to exist. This subtle and causal body along with Ātmā – all pervading everywhere – continue to survive even after the fall of the body. It acquires another body to continue the journey. And it may acquire the body here itself or it may acquire the body elsewhere. Therefore an Ajnani travels after death. In other words his Sūkshma Sharīram and Kārana Sharīram travel and acquire another physical body and this is called Punar Janma or rebirth.

The Sūkshma Sharīram and Kārana Sharīram will again go through life and again die and again acquire another body. But death and birth is only at the level of the physical body.

In the case of a Jnani, it is said in the scriptures that at the time of death, all the three bodies merge into the Samashti. The Sharīra Trayam will merge into Prapancha Trayam. Sthūla Sharīram merges into Sthūla Prapancha. Sūkshma Sharīram merges into Sūkshma Prapancha and Kārana Sharīram merges into Kārana Prapancha. That means Jnani does not survive as an individual but he survives as the Samashti the total. And he is no more called Jīva Ātmā – because only when the body is there you can call it as Jīva Ātmā – when the Sharīra Trayam is gone, he is one with Parama Ātmā. Jīva Ātmā has become Parama Ātmā losing the individuality just as the river loses its individuality when it merges into the ocean. Also there is not question of Punar Janma . There is no Sūkshma Kārana Sharīram surviving to acquire another Sthūla Sharīram.

Therefore Videha Muktihi is freedom from Punar Janma . And who does Jnānam give the benefit of Videha Muktihi? The scriptures present this topic in a particular way. They say Jnānam stops Punar Janma by destroying all Karmas.

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