Author Topic: Knowing 'tvam' using anvaya-vyatireka method of logic...By Acharya Sadanandaji  (Read 1463 times)


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By Acharya Sanandaji

Jnaana yoga and Self Realization IV (Part 2/2)

How do we apply this knowledge for knowing tvam or the subject, you?

Everybody understands who they are. It is taken for granted and everybody has a bio-data describing who they are - as I am born on this and this date, and I have accomplished this, this and this, etc., Now applying anvaya, we have a case where this - is, and I am- is; that is, the co-presence of I am and this is - as in pot is, clay is. Now applying vyatireka, this is not, but I am still is, similar to pot is not, but clay is.  We can say that clay pervades the pot and not the other way. Pot is inner circle and clay is outer circle.  Similarly, "this is" is inner circle while "I am" is the outer circle. This is also a viShama vyaapti - I pervade all this, but I am beyond all this, like fire pervades all smoke, but there is a region where fire is but smoke is not. In addition, we have a region beyond the fire circle, where there is no fire, and no smoke, as on lake.  In the case of "I am" and "this is", we cannot have region which is beyond "I am" circle. The reason is the "I am" circle is infinite and therefore all inclusive; of course, the knowledge of the infiniteness nature of I am will come later through the application of mahaavaakya.

Now Vedanta applies this anvaya vyatiraka logic step by step starting from each of the koshas that every one of us identifies himself as I am this body, I am this mind, and I am this intellect. Everybody assumes I am the body, which is annamaya kosha - body is there, I am there, anvaya. One needs viveka to understand that I am not the body since body is an object of my knowledge. I am different from what I know since I am the subject knower and this is object of my knowledge that is different from I. Here anubhava or experience of deep sleep comes to our help in understanding I am there even when I am not conscious of the body. Thus using anubhava, that is the experience of the three states of consciousness, waking, dream and deep sleep states, and applying anvaya vyatireka logic, I can understand that I am not this, this and this but I am pure consciousness that pervades (vyaapaka) all this, this and this; yet I am beyond all this. That is the meaning of tvam 'you' the subject of the sentence, tat tvam asi or you are that. Hence mahaavaakya would make sense only if one has clear understanding of what I am that is being referred in the sentence. I should know without doubt that I am is the pure saakshii chaitanya or witnessing consciousness, which is different from saakshyam the witnessed objects, yet pervades the witnessed objects. To appreciate the last statement, we can go back to perceptuality condition discussed in the Knowledge series. The knowledge of perception of any of 'this' occurs only when the existence of this in the form of vRitti unites with the consciousness of the subject, I am, for me to be conscious of the existence of 'this', that is the saakshyam. I am not this, yet I pervade this.

With this knowledge of I am, I look at the Vedic statement, tat tvam asi - you are that - and recognize 'that' that is being referenced is the Brahman, which is limitless.  That includes both saakshii and saakshyam; then the knowledge becomes crystal clear, as though seeing and recognizing the fruit that is right in my hand.  "Aham brahmaasmi" becomes immediate knowledge since both the subject and the predicate in the sentence "you are that" is now known. Since the subject "I am" is immediate and direct, that knowledge is immediate and direct, aparoksham.

Now what else I need to do after knowing - I am that.  The clear understanding of I am that implies that I need not do anything else; nay, I cannot do anything. I cannot but (as though) scream out, "akartaaham abhoktaaham, aham evaaham avyayaH". That understanding implies that there is nothing more to understand, nothing more to do or not to do, to go or not to go, to renounce or not to renounce, to leave the body or not to leave the body, to meditate or not to meditate. The very knowledge that I am that or aham brahmaasmi, I realize that there is nothing more to know; "eka vijnaanena sarva vijnaanam bhavati" knowing this, everything is as well known; just as knowing gold, all golden ornaments are as well known. We have the essential knowledge of the jiiva, jagat and Iswara. Then, what about the body, mind and intellect (BMI) that was there and is still there functioning, and that requires constant maintenance? That question itself is invalid, since the BMI itself is given only to realize this truth, and therefore their main function in life is over. The life itself is fulfilled. Knowledge of aham brahmaasmi does not destroy anything; it destroys only the ignorance. Everything remains as they are. BMI will remain the same with all their limitations.  Knowledge that all ornaments are gold does not destroy the ornaments. Ring will still be ring and bangle will still be bangle. The naama and ruupa will remain as they were before the dawn of knowledge. Only now, I recognize that I am the ring, but yet I am not the ring; I am bangle, but yet I am not the bangle; in truth I am pure gold that pervades both ring and the bangle, yet different from the ring and the bangle. Gold can say, look at my glory, I can exist in varieties of names and forms. They are all in me, but I am not in them; that is, their individual sufferings do not affect me as I am pure gold, without any modifications in spite of all these apparent modifications. Since, the equipments are still in tact, Brahman that I am, can - as though - utilize them for my sake, since for my sake is the same as for the sake of Brahman only - that is for the benefit of the totality. That is what loka kalyaaNam means. Does jnaani do any action? Jnaani, by definition, understood that he is akarthaa and abhoktaa, yet we can say Brahman (which is now called Iswara when he takes the ROLE of a kartaa or bhoktaa) himself 'acts' as though he is a doer, just like an actor knowing I am an actor playing a different role in a drama. He sees, but he does not see, he acts but he does not act; everything becomes His glory "pasyam me yogam aiswaram" - Look at my glory Arjuna. Brahman acting as though  Iswara as the creator, sustainer and destroyer at the samaShTi level is the same as Brahman acting as though jiiva as local karthaa and bhoktaa at vyaShTi level. I am neither Iswara, nor jiiva nor the world, yet I am Iswara, I am jiiva and I am jagat too. Aham brahmaasmi - that pervades the jiiva, jagat and Iswara.

The do's and don'ts of worldly drama do not affect the actor, either at samaShTi Iswara level or vyaShTi jiiva level -  he is not really doing any action other than acting. Actually this is true whether one is jnaani or ajnaani, but jnaani understands he is akarthaa and abhoktaa, in spite of any action or enjoyment (or suffering), while ajnaani thinks he is the kartaa and bhoktaa and hence suffers as a consequence of that misunderstanding. Hence Krishna says "prakRityaiva ca karmaaNi kriyamaanaani sarvaShaH, yaH pasyati tat aatmaanam akartaaham sa pasyati".  All actions (without any exceptions) are done by prakRiti only. One who sees this clearly that I am neither doer nor enjoyer, he alone see the truth."mayaadhyaksheNa prakRitiH suuyate sa charaacharam" - Under my presidency the prakRiti puts forth all these varieties of movable and immovable entities. I am not really a kartaa or doer. In my very presence, the prakRiti manifests into the multitudes of kaleidographic projections.  It is similar to the self-shining Sun in the sky, but in its very presence the life becomes dynamic on the earth. What is that prakRiti?  That prakRiti is nothing but maayaa - maayantu prakRitim vidyaat - says Swe. Up. maayaa is that which is not there but appears to be there. For those who see the truth, the maayaa becomes apparent, and the whole creation becomes mithyaa. In pure Brahman there is no creation; in infiniteness there are no parts. It is homogenous mass of pure consciousness. I do not become Brahman, I understood as I am Brahman. Once understood, the whole creation then is seen as either Iswara vibhuuti or my own vibhuuti. aham vRiskhasya rerivaa, kiierthiH puShTam gireriva -declares sage Trishanku's , a realized master (Tai. Up. I-X). I am the very source of all this ever expanding tree of samsaara with branches spread all over the world-the very support for whole drama of life. I am the pinnacle of whole creation. There is nothing wrong with drama as long as it is understood as drama. That is what jnaanam involves. I do not get burned by making contact with the world with knowledge that -all is play. On the other hand, I will get burned if I make a contact with the hot world without the insulating gloves of jnaanam; says sadvidya of Ch. Up.

For those who understood the meaning of the words, tvam and tat, the equation tat tvam asi becomes immediate knowledge. Once knowledge arises, the ignorance of "I am this" is gone. He is jiivanmukta.  People after studying and discussing Vedanta for years, and even teaching others feel that they have not yet realized. A puurvapakshi says, that means a) either knowledge did not remove the ignorance, or b) it removed the ignorance temporarily during the class, but once back into the world, the knowledge has evaporated, meaning ignorance has comeback. Therefore, some say that one has to renounce the world for knowledge to take place. Others say jnaani is different from jiivanmukta. To become jiivan mukta one has to renounce the world. Some say enough of Vedanta discussions what we need to do now is to sit in solitary place and meditate, or move around the world without staying at one place (since you cannot get out of the world) as parivraajaka in order to become jiivanmukta - that is what scriptures says, nidhidhyaasitavyaH, etc. Look at all the great mahaatmaas of the recent past, Bhagavaan Ramana or Kanchi kaamakoti or Chandrashekara Bharati, etc. Their lives clearly show that renunciation is the only way for jiivanmukta. gruhasthaa jnaani, it is an oxymoron; argue some.

Well, we will address some of these issues form the point of truth, particularly the role of nidhidhyaasana, in the next post.

Hari Om!

« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 08:38:09 AM by Dr. Sadananda »