Saddharshanam, Class 6


Greetings All,

Shloka # 7:

Apart from the body made up of five sheaths, does the world shine? Let people explain. Without that five fold body who can perceive this world?

Continuing his teaching and refreshing our memory of last class, Swamy Paramarthananda said, in all these shlokas Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi is continuing his campaign against Ahamkara. This requires a big effort, as Ahamkara, which is a hero today, is actually a villain. Ahamkara has been hero for many lives. All our struggles are to support and nourish Ahamkara. Now Vedanta asks you to change your attitude. This is difficult for both student and teacher. Even if the student agrees, superficially, he still thinks in terms of improving Ahamkara, not eliminating it. Ahamkara can now claim to have studied Vedanta. So teacher’s goal is to attack Ahamkara. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi’s effort is focused on Ahamkara enquiry to pull it down. It is a Mithya and can be pulled down only by enquiry. Even as darkness cannot withstand light, so also Ahamkara cannot withstand enquiry.

Ahamkara in Dharma shastra is different from Ahamkara of Vedanta. In Dharma Shastra, Ahamkara means pride and superiority and it’s absence is humility.

In Vedanta, however, it means the sense of individuality.

Even a humble person can have Ahamkara. A humble Agyani still has individuality. This Ahamkara is “I” or individuality that is born out of identification with Pancha Kosha. Because of it Pancha Kosha becomes my localization. Virtues of Pancha Kosha are my virtue. Their humility is my humility. To say I am humble is philosophical Ahamkara as I am identifying with virtue of Anatma. Identifying with virtues and weaknesses is Ahamkara. This Ahamkara is born out of wrong identification, which is ignorance. Ignorance is the oil that sustains the Ahamkara flame. You dry up this oil by Knowledge. When ignorance goes, Ahamkara also goes.

Shloka # 8:

The entire world is of the form of sound etc. The existence of sound etc. is illumined by the functions of the sense organs. The existence of sense organs is  in the control of the mind. Therefore, we say that the world is made up of the mind.

We have a vast universe in front of us. It is almost limitless. Scientists have not yet found its limits. It is also expanding. The Lord created it. Even though this vast universe exists, only a very small segment falls in my range of experiences. Universe experienced by me is very small. The “experienced” universe alone binds us and not the vast existing universe. In some part of the world if something happens, I do not know it nor do I respond to it. I am a Jivana mukta with respect to them.

Therefore it is not the existing universe that disturbs me rather the one experienced by me. This experienced universe produces Raga, Dvesha and Asuya. It is this experienced universe that burdens me. We always look preoccupied. What is the preoccupation about? It is about my wife, husband, children, home etc. that bothers us. Therefore Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi says experienced universe (Jiva Srishti) is the bondage and not the existing universe (Ishwara Srishti)

The experienced universe is there due to Ahamkara. Prameya (experienced universe) is there due to Pramata (Ahamkara).  To tackle this binding universe go to Ahamkara, which is its reverse. The Ahamkara determines the quality of the experienced universe. If Ahamkara is Satva, the experienced universe is also Satva Pradhana. Duryodhana and Dharmaputra went back to check on the world. After returning, Dharmaputra said people were all wonderful, while Duryodhana said they were all treacherous.  Thus, quality of Ahamkara determines quality of experienced universe.

Don’t struggle with universe rather tackle Ahamkara. Swami Chinmayananda told a story. A boy was disturbing his father. Father tore up the newspaper and asked him to put it together. The boy brought the paper back after a short time. When asked how he did it so fast, he said in the back of the page was a picture of Tendulkar. He assembled the picture quickly. The world is also a jigsaw puzzle. Reverse the world and it is Ahamkara. Tackle Ahamkara. This is the essence of the shloka.

Details of shloka:

Universe is experienced in a five-fold manner. They are through Sound, feeling, form, taste and smell ( Shabda, Sparsha, Roopa, Rasa and Gandha).

How to prove the existence of the world? Existence is proved only through operation of the five sense organs. World is called Prapancha or that which exists in five fold segments. Each segment is distinct and present. Eye cannot hear sound. Thus, each segment reports separately. Existence of world is dependent on sense organs. Thus, for a totally blind person, form and color don’t exist.

Existence of sense organs depends on the mind. How? Sense organs can serve only when backed by the mind. Suppose in middle of a class if mind strays somewhere, even the ears don’t listen at that time.

Sense organs are under power of mind. When mind is withdrawn, sense organs don’t sense. Existence of world is dependent on sense organs. Sense organs are dependent on mind. Thus, existence of world depends on mind. They are interconnected, like two sides of one coin. This mind is called Ahamkara. The sense of individuality is located in the mind. Two methods are used to clarify this:

  1. Technically: Ahamkara is mind with reflected consciousness. (RM Reflected mind+ RC Reflected Consciousness).
  2. Practically: Mind alone is the “I” sense because only when mind is active individuality “I” is alive.

In waking and dream, the mind is functioning. I have individuality as localized “I”. Therefore Samsara is also there in both states.

In Sushupthi, when mind is temporarily dissolved ,“I ” is gone, my bio data is dissolved, Ahamkara is dissolved and world is also dissolved. Mind and Ahamkara are synonymous. Therefore Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi concludes that universe is a product of the mind. Therefore, it is a product of Ahamkara as well.

Shloka # 9:

The world arises and sets with the “I” thought. Therefore, this world is illumined by the “I” thought. The Reality is the abode of the birth and death of the “I” thought and the world. It is One, complete and without birth and decay.

It is further explanation of previous shloka.

Since Ahamkara and universe are interconnected, one proves the other. So, both arrive simultaneously and both disappear simultaneously as well. In Jagrat and Swapna states Ahamkara rises, as does Universe. In Sushupthi both of them dissolve.

The world that arises in front of you, it is you who allowed it to rise. By the same logic Samasra dissolves with Ahamkara. Elimination of Samasra means elimination of Ahamkara.

In deep sleep both dissolve. Unfortunately it is a temporary and dormant state. God has created this state to give us a taste of Moksha. Thus, Moksha equals sleep. Everything, Papam, punyam etc. are all gone in this state. The moment you wake up they all comes back. Enquiry, however, resolves them permanently.

The question comes, if Ahamkara is resolved, will it be suicidal?

Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi says Ahamkara is the villain. Once it is destroyed the real hero, Atman, emerges. The real “I” emerges.  Removal of Ahamkara is not suicidal. Many philosophers say Advaita is suicidal. You are only removing Pseudo “I”.

What is the real “I”?

The real “I” is the eternal principle, consciousness, non-dual, and division-less one. It is free from Punarapi Jananam and Punarapi Maranam. It is free from birth and death. It is Poornam while Ahamkara is always wanting or Apoornam. The real I is the substratum in which Ahamkara and world dissolve. Subject and Object are resolved in the real “I”.

Discussion & Take away:

The question was asked how does one practice Devarpanam? Many answers were given, all interesting one’s. I was taken by Dr. Katta’s answer. He said Swamiji has answered this question in the past. Swamiji says, pick one activity for Devarpanam. Say, before eating any food commit to performing Devarapnam. Practice this one activity, every time you eat, for a month or two till it becomes second nature. Then pick another activity to emulate. This way soon your daily activities will all become Devarpanam. Do consider adopting this idea.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy