Discussion Summary – September 13, 2015


Continuing his overview of Part 2, Cantos 2, Swamiji says Yama promised to discuss “after death” of an Agyani as well as Brahmaswarupam a little more in mantra # 6. In Mantra 7, Yama describes the endless process of birth and rebirth or Samsara an Agyani has to go through. He describes Samsara as meaning constantly moving, sometimes up and sometimes down. Living in Samsara is a helpless state, says Swamiji.

Mantra # 8: Describing Brahmaswarupam, Swamiji says, it is not a new identity. It is the Consciousness that illuminates the external world, internal world and the state of total blankness (sleep). It is also known as the “I”, the Experiencer and Witnesser. Nothing exists beyond the Brahman.

Mantra # 9: Swamiji says all mantras starting with # 9 through # 15 are important because they describe Brahman.

Consciousness is aware of everything. It is in the formed body, but it itself is formless. Citing example of Light, Sawmiji says, it illuminates the hall; it is everywhere although light itself is formless and thus not located in a particular place. Body is located, but formless light is not located. It is all pervading and non-localized. The evidence for us is the perceptibility of the body by light.

The light seems to have a shape because of the body. This “one” light seems to be become plural by association with body. Yama says the same phenomenon happens to Consciousness. When Consciousness pervades the body, it seems it is located in the body. Thus, we have this feeling of one body and one consciousness. We also feel consciousness is only in our body and that another body has another consciousness. Each Atma also appears to be limited. That, after death, Atma travels, is another misconception, says Yama. He says, Atma is not limited; does not travel and does not separate.

Yama illustrates this phenomenon by providing the three examples of Fire, Air and Sunlight.

Fire or Heat does not have any form. It is everywhere. It is not located. However, it manifests itself in burning wood and this is associated with Agni. Because the burning wood is located in a place, we think Fire is also located in wood. In reality Fire is beyond location of wood. It only appears located because of the manifesting medium, the wood. This medium is also called Upadhi in Sanskrit.

Thus the unwise think Atma is in body, while wise understand that Atma is all pervading and it is only manifesting itself in a body. Swamiji also says, Consciousness beyond body is normally not experienced. He adds invisibility does not prove Consciousness does not exist.

Mantra #10: The mantra gives us the analogy of air in the same manner as used with fire. Air is manifest in different bodies and it is called Prana. It is in every living being. In between, it is without manifestation. So, here also we think it is plural.

Swamiji says, Scientists also think Consciousness is a limited faculty in an individual. They also believe, at death, it goes away.

Mantra # 11: Here describing Sunlight, Yama says, it is all pervading. It also cannot be polluted by anything. It also does not take the attribute of an object. The Sunlight does not distinguish between good and bad. The illumined one’s properties do not affect the illuminator. Thus, the light that falls on water does not make it wet. So also, Chaitnaya spreads over the body and mind but it does not become contaminated.

Describing impurities, Swamiji says, some are inner (and invisible) and some are outer. Inner ones are things that should not be seen and are known as Adhyathmika dosha (pscyological issues or sensory issues).  Consciousness, however, illuminates all objects.

Take away from today’s discussions:

My suggestion:

Our Atma cannot be polluted. Our inner self is always pure. Keep this thought always in mind in good times and bad.

With my good wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy