Continuing his teaching on Saddarshana, Swami Paramarthananda said, Saddarshana means Brahma Vidya. The text is so called because it deals with this knowledge. The teaching is based on the Prasthana Trayam (Upanishad, Gita and Brahma Sutra). Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi is an Acharya of our tradition. The study of this text should be based on Sruthi Yukthi Anubhava. Sruthi means Vedas, Yukthi means Reasoning and Anubhava means our daily experiences. This is the traditional method of teaching.
Shloka # 1:
“ Can there be thoughts of the existence of objects without the existence principle? (No.)This existence named as Hrt is in the heart itself, free from thought. How can we remember that one immeasurable Existence? Its remembrance is in the form of firm abidance in It.”
The first two shlokas are Mangala Shlokas. Mangala shloka can be divided into three types; They are:
- Namaskara, offering prayer
- Vastunidesha roopa or statement of truth.
Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi is using the third type of mangala shloka. Many facts are there and stated. Spiritual fact stated here is definition of Brahma-lakshanam. Brahma is the only reality as the division-less, Sat principle. Brahman is the Adishtana of Jiva, Jagat and Ishwara. Satyam, Gyanam, and Anantham (divisionless & infinite) are Brahman.
Brahman is existent Satyam. Whenever we experience an object we also experience something else too. Generally we do not talk about this second thing. Whenever you experience your body you experience body and another thing that is taken for granted. It is the life principle that pervades the body. It is known only when life goes out. “It is the existence of the object.” It is experienced as, there is a book, a man, a child etc. “There is” is the existence principle that we experience with every object.
Thus: Man + existence=Man existence or existence experience.
If you have existence experience, it (existence principle) is possible only because it pervades every object. If existence principle is not permeating every object you cannot experience the object.
So, what is this principle?
- Existence principle is not part, product or property of any object.
- It is an independent entity but lends existence to objects.
- It is not limited by boundaries of the object and it survives even when the object ends. The surviving pure principle is not perceivable.
The experience of existence is experienced in “there is” of the principle.
Providing some definitions from the shloka Swamiji says,
Vihaya means without inherence
San means existence principle
Santam means without existence principle
Sat pratyaya means existence and its experience
Every experience presupposes an object of experience. Thus, man-experience presupposes a man outside. This experience principle is called Satyam Brahman.
Now, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi talks about Gyana Brahman.
The existence that permeates has to permeate “me”, the subject as well. So, every time I say, “I am” it reveals presence of existence in me. It is there in the heart of me, within my mind. In the mind, it is also available as the Consciousness, Witness or Awareness principle. When it is conscious in mind, it is called Hrid or witness consciousness. In mind there are innumerable thoughts. So, consciousness is available in association with every thought that arises in mind. Just as every person in room is enveloped in the light, the moment he or she enters the room, so also thoughts are coated with consciousness. This consciousness associated with thought is called an experience. Thus, we have, say Pot- thought, which is pot experience or Man-thought which is man experience. It is available infinitely in thoughts. In objects outside it is called Existence. In mind it is called Experience.
Every experience reveals Brahman inside. Thought consciousness is associated with every thought. The five principles governing this Consciousness are:
- It is in every thought but it is not a part, product or property of it.
- It pervades every thought and makes it a live experience.
- Consciousness is not limited by boundaries of thought.
- It survives departure of all thoughts.
- The surviving consciousness is blankness. It alone is the experience. The surviving consciousness cannot be objectified. It is called Chinta Rahitaha. It is not connected to any thought it pervades, though it pervades it all. If connected it would die with each thought. It survives every thought. Consciousness is called Asunga.
This is called Gyana Brahma or Chit or the Existence Consciousness that pervades every thought and not limited by boundaries of thought. This existence consciousness is non-dual or undivided. Thoughts are divided consciousness is not. Objects are divided Existence is not. Thus, Existence Consciousness is not limited.
If it is one undivided principle, why call it two names, Existence and Consciousness? If you can have many names why can’t Brahman have many names? Many names do not mean anything. Brahman with Objects is called Existence. Brahman with thought is called Experience. Brahman with thought or experience is called consciousness. So, when it is outside it is called Existence. When it is in mind it is called Consciousness.
The two different names are of one Brahman.
We have said, associated with object, it is Existence and associated with Subject, it is Experience. Suppose both Object and Subject are removed? What is Brahman? Here it is the Turium state, the silence. It is division-less Anantam.
Ameyam in shloka means unobjectifiable. If in division-less Brahman there can be no subject or object duality it is called not an object of knowledge or not objectifiable. So, don’t ask how to know the division-less Brahman. Satyam, Gyanam, Ameyam, Anantam are all descriptions of the Brahman.
Now Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi asks, how can it be an object of meditation if we cannot objectify it? What is Nidhidhyasanam? And, what is Atma Gyanam, Brahma Gyanam? Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi says meditation on Brahman is only abidance in Brahman without objectification.
Nishta means Abidance. What does this mean?
It means abidance in the knowledge that “I am” Brahman. This Brahman need not, should not and cannot be objectified.
What is abidance in knowledge?
Abidance is non-forgetfulness of the knowledge in and through all transactions. Firm abidance means even during transaction one does not forget.
What do you mean by non-forgetfulness? Does it mean repetition of word or thought?
It is not repetition of word or thought. It means effortless availability of this knowledge. Whenever you want it, it is your. Just like your name, you respond immediately. If this knowledge is accessible to you at all times, during all transactions, it is Brahma Nishta that “ I am Brahman”. This is the idea when we say Brahman is Satyam, Gyanam, Ameyam, and Anantam.
Shloka # 2:
“For those who, being afraid of death, have sought shelter in the conqueror of death, the “I” notion dies first. Thereafter in them (who are) by nature immortal, where is there any room for the notion of death?”
This is also a statement of a fact. This is called Shiva Puja Mahima. Glorifying Shiva worship by talking of this puja’s utility to a Samsari.
Who is a Samsari? An ignorant person who is ignorant of the division-less Brahman and as such remains in field of division that is Jiva (first person)-Jagat (second person)-Ishwara (third person).
Because he is in division or in finitude or in limitation, he fears mortality or fear itself. This Samsari is in grip of fear or sense of insecurity. Mrityubhihi means sense of death. Constant friend of Samsari is fear. Such Samsari’s if they worship Shiva to get security, what will happen?
For Shiva, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi, gives the name Mrithyunjaya or destroyer of mortality, insecurity and division. Markandeyapuranam is about Markandeya embracing Shiva Linga upon which Lord Shiva drove Lord Yama away. Markandeya thus became a chranjeevi.
With Best Wishes,
With Best Wishes,