Author Topic: adhyaasa upasa.nhaaraH - Conclusion of adhyaasa bhaashhyam  (Read 442 times)

Dr. Sadananda

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adhyaasa upasa.nhaaraH - Conclusion of adhyaasa bhaashhyam
« on: March 01, 2015, 02:02:22 AM »
adhyaasa upasa.nhaaraH - Conclusion of adhyaasa bhaashhyam

      It should be understood from the analysis presented so far that in all our transactions, we all have this problem of adhyaasa or error involving aatmaa-anaatmaa mithuniikaraNam - satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam - mixing up of real and unreal or aatmaa and anaatmaa. In should be recognized that we have one unitary experience, but unaware that in that unitary experience, we are mixing two things in all our transactions. This is exactly like the fellow, who mistakes that there is a snake, is not aware of the fact that he is mixing two things; a real rope as an existent entity and an unreal snake. In his vision there is one single entity or unitary experience that it is a snake. So when I say 'aham jaanaami', 'I know' it looks like there is one single entity, knower. But upon analysis there is mixing up of 'chetana aatmaa' conscious self and 'achetana vR^itti', inert thoughts are involved.

      Hence Shankara says in Atmabodha:

      aatmanaH sachchida.nshashcha buddher vR^ittiriti dvayam.h |
      sa.nyojya cha avivekena jaanaami iti pravartate ||
      Thus in 'aham jaanaami' - I know - there is 'aatmaanaH sat and chit a.nshaH', that is 'I am existent and conscious entity' is involved. At the same time 'vRitti', a thought process, in the intellect is involved. The changeless chit and sat belong to aatmaa and changing vR^itti belongs to anaatmaa- these two get mixed together, forming into one entity leaving me with the notion that 'I am the knower'.

      Thus we transact all the time, due to the notions about ourselves, based on adhyaasa. In the same text, Shankara says:

      aatmano vikR^iyaa naasti buddherbodho na jaatviti |
      jiivaH sarvamalam Gyaatvaa GYaataa drashhTeti muhyati ||
      aatmaa cannot be a knower since it cannot go through the knowing process (since it is 'avikaaraH', changeless), anaatmaa cannot be a knower because it is jaDam or inert. Then we create a new entity by combining aatmaa and anaatmaa, and thus, a 'knower' is born. Thus, there is a mix-up of aatmaa and anaatmaa - satya asatya mithuniikaraNam, real and unreal parts into one single unitary experience.

      Thus adhyaasa pramaaNa proves that there is satyaanR^ita mithuniikaraNam resulting in adhyaasa.

      In this last topic, Shankara says we are interested in this adhyaasa, not for an academic interest, but for our own evolution, because adhyaasa is harmful to the entire humanity, since adhyaasa alone brings in the notion that I am 'anityaH' or mortal. Therefore, because of this adhyaasa, there is a constant fear of death, and this fear in turn results into constant insecurity. Hence wealth becomes very important in life, since we have a strong notion that wealth brings some security - food on a plate to eat, a shelter above my head etc., through the wealth. But the fact of the matter is wealth only provides comforts and one can be comfortably insecure, since the basic insecurity does not go away even if one has any amount of money.

      The famous example is the terminal life of multi billionaire -Howard Hughes of the fifties. Thus because of adhyaasa only there is sa.nsaara. Since adhyaasa leads to pravR^itti and nivR^itti vyavahaara, we go after things or try to get rid of things. Because of the adhyaasa 'that I am limited', I go after for all those things that I like, to remove my limitations. Hence all types of actions, vyavahaara, are due to adhyaasa alone. These actions produce merits and demerits or puNya and paapa phalam. These, in turn, result in re-birth, thus cycle of birth and death. Thus adhyaasa propels one to action, karma, and karma leads to janma, birth. All karma-s are based on this error. This includes both laukika karma or worldly actions and vaidika karma or alaukika karma, or scriptural sanctioned actions, since both involve the notion of kartR^itva bhaava or the notion of doer-ship. To put it another way around, because of this adhyaasa alone, all the karma-s originate. Because of laukika and vaidika karma-s, worldly and ritualistic actions, one reaps different results. The laukika karma-s, the worldly actions, produce dR^ishhTa phalam or tangible results and vaidika karma-s produce adR^ishhTa phalam or intangible results. Because of this the cycle of birth and death, there is the associated suffering involving janma, jaraa, vyaadhi, duHkha, birth, old-age, disease and suffering, etc.

      If we want to get rid of sa.nsaara, we need to get over the adhyaasa or committing the error. Only remedy to sa.nsaara is adhyaasa nivR^itti. How does adhyaasa go away? - Only by eliminating the cause of adhyaasa. Cause for adhyaasa is aGYaanam or ignorance. Ignorance will go away only with knowledge - hence athaato brahma jiGYaasaa - inquiry into the nature of Brahman.

      This adhyaasa occurs at various levels. The first adhyaasa is that 'ahaM pramaataa' or I am a knower' caused by the mixing up of aatmaa and the antaH karaNam, mind and intellect. Through the mind, the error, as if, flows down to sense organ level. At that level, there is further mixing up I and the sense organs resulting in the second level of adhyaasa. For example, if I say 'I am blind' - the problem of the sense organ is super imposed on aatmaa.

      Through the sense organs the error further flows down to the level of the body - ahaM purushhaH, aham strii, aham sthuulaH, aham vR^iddhaH, I am a man, woman, fat, old, etc. The properties of the upaadhii-s, equipments, are taken as my property by the superimposition on aatmaa. aatmaa in principle is naiva strii na pumaan eshha na chaivaayam napu.nsakaH | yadyat shariiram aadatte tena tena sa rakshyate || as stated in shvetaashvatara upanishhad V-10. He is neither female, nor male, nor neuter. Whatever body he assumes he becomes identified with that.

      This is further echoed as:

      na asat na sat na sat asat na mahat na jaanuu |
      na strii pumaan naja napu.nsakam eka-biijam.h ||
      I am neither non-existent (from aatmaa a.nsha) nor existent (from anaatmaa a.nsha), neither existent and non-existent (mixture of both aatmaa and anaatmaa), neither female nor male nor neuter - I am none of these - those properties of the body are superimposed on the self and properties of the self are superimposed on the non-self - all due to adhyaasa. Just like the long, curved, poisonous, fearful snake, where there is only a rope.

      Through the physical body, the adhyaasa goes to surrounding environment. Through the body I get relationships with all types of people - father, mother, brother, uncle, grand father etc.,. etc. In this process, one develops aha~Nkaara adhyaasa and mamaakaara adhyaasa, I-ness and my-ness in the upaadhiis or equipments and the surroundings. Really speaking aatmaa being asa~NgaH with no associations, it is relation-less. But because of this adhyaasa, the roots of sa.nsaara spread all over - Krishna comparing the sa.nsaara as an ashvattha or peepal tree says (15-2):

      adhashchordhvaM prasR^itaastasya shaakhaaH guNapravR^iddhaa vishhayapravaalaaH |
      adhashcha muulaani anusantataani karmaanubandhiini manushhyaloke ||
      Its branches extend both above and below, nourished by guNa-s they indulge in sense objects. Their secondary roots extend downwards resulting in actions that bind the human beings. The root of sa.nsaara spreads all over the world - some even to America - families spreading from east coast to west coast.

      One has to work for the removal of adhyaasa. How does adhyaasa start? adhyaasa is born of ignorance - since the error is centered on the self 'I', and therefore the self-error is born out of self-ignorance. It is not ignorance of any thing or any subject - That is why any amount of removal of other ignorance such as the ignorance of chemistry, physics, etc. will not remove the self ignorance. In spite of all the degrees that can be attached to the name, he will be only an educated sa.nsaari or an erudite sa.nsaari since he has gained an anaatmaa GYaanam which cannot remove sa.nsaara.

      Instead of being an unintelligent fool, I will be an intelligent fool. sa.nsaara can only be removed by aatmaa GYaanam, since we have an error with regard to aatmaa. That is the reason in Ch. U. in the seventh chapter known as bhuumaa vidya, we find Naarada approaching Shri Sanatkumara to learn Brahma vidya. Narada gives a long list of degrees he has so far received.

      He has a Ph.D. in every subject possible in this world. But then he says in the end: so.aham bhagavan shochaami- 'I am still suffering'. Sanatkumara says 'tarati shokam aatmavit' grief can go away only by self-knowledge. Hence Shankara says 'aatmaa ekatva vidyaa pratipattaye sarve vedaantaaH Aarabhyante | asyaaH anartha hetoH prahaanaaya |' all the Upanishads begin with an intention of giving only, the knowledge of aatmaa or knowledge of oneself alone removes the suffering resulting from adhyaasa. In Mundaka Upanishad - the student approaches the teacher, realizing that no amount of objective knowledge is making him wiser, asks the teacher 'kasminnu bhagavo viGYaate sarvam idam viGYaatam bhavati' - 'Oh bhagavan, please teach me that knowledge, knowing which everything of 'this' is known. The teacher teaches him self-knowledge which makes him realize that he is the very essence of all knowledge. He is the very GYaanam in all GYeyam.

      When we say aatma GYaanam, self knowledge, has to be gained to remove aatmaa aGYaanam, self ignorance, one point has to be noted. We already have partial knowledge or partial ignorance of the adhishThaanam, the substratum.

      It is not total ignorance. Remember, if the rope is totally not seen there will not be an error. There is a partial knowledge that 'there is' - some object is there, the satya a.nsha or real part. Only the ignorance is about the visheshha a.nsha or 'rope-ness' of the object. Similarly the self-error is because of partial ignorance. I know 'aham asmi' - the sat part is known and the chit part is known. What is not known is " aham brahma asmi' or brahmatva a.nsha is not known. The Brahman feature or Brahmanhood or Brahman status of mine is not known. Thus whenever we say Brahma GYaanam it is not that we are going to know a new thing called 'Brahman', it is knowing the Brahman status of mine. We are only knowing the full real status of 'I'. Hence 'Brahma GYaanam means 'aatmanaH brahmatva GYaana' the knowledge of my real status as Brahman. When the real status is not known, a false status is taken up as real that is my jiivatva status. Hence what is required is a self-correction involving knowing my Brahman status and in the process displacing my jiivatva status. Hence 'athaato brahma jiGYaasaa' therefore inquiry into the nature of myself as Brahman - athaataH aatmanaH brahmatva jiGYaasaa - I should learn my own superior status as Brahman. For this purpose alone all the Upanishads begin teaching. This is the difference between vedaanta shaastra and all other shaastra or sciences. All other shaastra-s take our inferior status as a fact. Then they prescribe the methods of improving the status. Some religions follow the same methodology. They start with the statement that we are sinners. Only a sage of the Upanishad screams at the top of his voice - 'shruNvantu vishve amR^itasya putraaH' addressing all of us as 'Listen you all, Oh! Sons of Immortality!' implying that immortality is our birth right! He even dares to address the Gods in the Heavens - 'ayo dhaamaani divyaani santi - you too the indwellers of the heavens!' That is the goal of Vedanta - to make us inherit our own true divine nature. We waste our whole life in working to improve our status symbol. Even the karmakaanDa is promoting this status enhancement assuming an inferior status of us as a fact. All sciences take the view that our inferior status as a fact. Only Vedanta raises the very fundamental question- whether this, my present inferior status, is a fact or a presumption on my part. Upanishads instigate us to inquire saying that you do not have to work for improving your status. You as you are 'a nitya shuddha budhha mukta swabhaavaH' -you are eternal, pure, free from any limitations- there is no competitor for you since you are ekaH, one without a second. It is not an image building but for removal of superimposed low image. This is done by instigating us to inquire into the nature of Brahman - which is the nature of our own self - athaato brahma jiGYaasaa - to remove the superimposed error or misunderstanding on our part by correct understanding of our own nature. Hence the inquiry into the nature of Brahman.

      This ends the essence of adhyaasa bhaasya.