Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Moksha (Liberation)

Upadesa saar – verses 26 to 30

Maharishi has stated in verse 25 that knowledge of one’s Self as Sat-Chit Athma is also the knowledge of Iswara as Iswara and Jiva are one in their intrinsic nature and the difference between them is caused by their respective upadhis only. There is a difference between knowledge of one’s Self and knowledge of other objects.  In respect of the knowledge of other objects, there is a subject-object differentiation.  But in respect of knowledge of one’s Self there is no such differentiation as here Self itself is the subject and the object as well.  Further we are conscious of our own selves and so Self is not unknown to us. But we do not know the Self as Athma and we understand ourselves as body-mind complex only. So Self is not Unknown and also not known as well at the same time.  So what is meant by Self-knowledge needs to be further elucidated. Maharishi explains further the nature of Self-knowledge in the next two verses 26 & 27.
Verse 26:
आत्मसंस्थितिः स्वात्मदर्शनम् | (Atma Samsthithih Svaatma Darshanam)
आत्मनिर्द्वयादात्मनिष्ठता || (Atma nirdvayaat Aatmanisthathaa)

Abiding in one’s own Self or Consciousness is the vision of the Self.  As the Athma is non-dual or one without a second, there is natural or effortless establishing in the Self.

Verse 27:
ज्ञानवर्जिताज्ञानहीनचित् (Jnaana varjita ajnaana heena chit)
ज्ञानमस्ति किं ज्ञातुमंतरम्|| (Jnaanam asthi kim jnaatum antharam)

Consciousness is free of the thought or vritti of ignorance and of knowledge also. Is there any knowledge other than the Self to know the Self? There is not. (The Self is self-knowing and hence doesn’t require any special knowledge to be known).

Maharishi discusses the nature of Self-knowledge in the above two verses. He first clarifies that Self-knowledge means not mere knowing but abiding in the knowledge at all times. Abiding means shedding the notion “I am the body-mind complex with an Athma” and being firmly established in the conviction “ I am the Athma with a body-mind complex” at all times, For instance we do not forget our name, physical form, body problems, mental worries, intellectual accomplishments etc., and remember them always in our actions and this is abiding in the knowledge of our self as body-mind complex. A Jnani, in the same way, is established in the knowledge that he is not the limited body-mind complex but is the limitless Athma that lends sentiency to the body-mind complex and devoid of upadhis he is no different from Iswara. So though he interacts with the world, he does not react to the world taking the opposites of joy and grief, pain and pleasure, gain and loss, heat and cold, wealth and wants with equanimity. So he feels calm and secure always in this knowledge that he is not the perishable, vulnerable body-mind complex but the eternal, limitless, non-dual Sat-Chit Athma and the salient features of his attitude can be summed up as: 

1)    I am of the nature of eternal and all all-pervading Sat-Chit Athma
2)    I am not affected by any event happening in the material world or happening to the material body-mind complex.
3)    By my mere presence, I lend sentiency to the inert body-mind complex and through the body-mind complex thus made sentient I experience the material world
4)    When I forget my real nature, life becomes a struggle; while remembering it the life remains a lila
5)    I am the only source of permanent peace, happiness and security for myself
In verse 27, he describes Chit, as Jnanavarjitha, free from objective knowledge and Ajnanahina, free from ignorance as well. Athma as Chitswarupa, and Satswarupa, he has so far described.  Now he adds another dimension in the next verse where he describes Athma as Aananadaswarupa as well, thus completing Athma’s description as Sat-Chit-Aananda.
Verse 28:
किं स्वरूपमित्यात्मदर्शने |   (Kim svaroopam ithi Atma darshane)
अव्ययाभावापूर्नाचित्सुखम् || (Avaya abhava aapurna chit sukham)
What is the nature of the Athma?  Thus enquiring, one realizes the Athma as indestructible, unborn, perfect (ever fulfilled), Consciousness and happiness (Bliss).

Earlier in verse 20 Maharishi described Athma as Satswarupa (Paramapurnasat), Existence and in verse 27 as Chitswarupa (Ajnanahina chit), Consciousness.  Here he reveals it as Aanandaswarupa (Avaya, abhava, aapurna, sukham) as well.  In deep sleep you are  unknowingly under the spell of Sat-Chit Athma only and this is a state of perfect Bliss, with no cares, no worries etc., in short with no samsara. You do not recognise it at that time as your faculties are temporarily resolved at that time. Further whenever your mind is calm and satvic, your mind is not agitated and reflects Sat-Chit Athma without any distortion and you feel peaceful and happy.  This is what happens when you feel happy with objects or in relations, for happiness is not intrinsic to them.  You are only enjoying the natural happiness of your Self reflected in the calm mind taking it to be from the object or relationship. It is like the dog enjoying the blood flowing from its jaw, imagining it to be from the bone it is trying to chew, while the bone is really hurting the jaw and causing the flow of blood.   Athma being one without a second has no wants and so is described as fulfilled.  Further being eternal it has no birth or death nor does it undergo any change. Having explained Athma in detail, now Maharishi discusses Moksha in the next verse 29.
बन्धमुक्त्यातीतं परं सुखं | (Bandha Muktyatheetham param sukham)
विन्दतीह जीवस्तु दैविकः || (Vindhathi iha jeevah thu daivikah)
The Individual Jiva (who has acquired the knowledge of the Self) realizes the divine state (his own real nature) which is supreme, blissful and beyond bondage and liberation here in this world itself.

Jiva before Self-realisation thinks he is a limited bound samsari.  So he seeks freedom from all wants and bondage.  Self-realisation removes this limited bound feeling through the knowledge that his true nature is Sat-Chit,Aananda Athma, which is a free, eternal, changeless, fulfilled, blissful non-dual one.  Being firmly established in this knowledge he is aware that he was never bound and always liberated and the feeling of bondage and limitedness has arisen due to wrong identification with body-mind complex. So he feels “I am bound is a misconception and therefore there is no question of getting liberation.”  So Liberation is dropping through Self-knowledge the idea that one is bound.  Such a person who has attained Self-realisation is called Jivanmuktha, a liberated person, while living and his state is called Jivanmukthi.  And in the state of Jivanmukthi, he enjoys Athmananda here  and now. This verse is like a phala sthuthi for the discussion on Jnana Yoga, giving the supreme benefit of Self-knowledge. He concludes the discussion with a declaration in the next and last verse 30.
अहमपेतकं निजविभानकम्| (Aham apethakam nija vibhaanakam)
महदिदंतपो रमणवागियम् || (Mahad idam tapo ramana Vaageyam)
The destruction of ahamkara (as a result of Self-enquiry) leading to the shining of the Self (Self-knowledge) is the greatest penance. So says Ramana. 

Self-knowledge is a penance as one has to make sacrifices to cultivate the four-fold qualifications of Sadhana Chathushtayam that renders the mind and intellect subtle to receive the knowledge and that too greatest form of penance since this knowledge removes ignorance that one is bound and limited, leading to Liberation here and now.  Tapas is the word used by Maharishi and Tapas means ‘to burn”.  Here ignorance is burnt in the fire of knowledge and In that process Real ‘I’ is revealed resulting in the destruction of the imposter, ahamkara.  With this declaration, based on his experience, Ramana Maharishi  concludes not only the discussion on Jnana Yoga but also the entire work “Upadesa Saar”



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