Shloka # 24:
The Supreme, having distributed light to the intellect, Himself shines hidden inside the intellect. Having turned the intellect inwards, here within the intellect, by uniting, the vision of the Lord takes place, not by any other method.
Continuing his teaching, Swami Paramarthananda said, in this shloka Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi is pointing out that the Atma alone lends consciousness to the mind. Thus, the mind with this borrowed consciousness appears as if it is Self-effulgent. This mind is then capable of illuminating the external world. It has to work to know the external world. It, however, does not have to work to know the Atma, as the Atma is self -evident. Therefore, Self- knowledge involves turning attention to the ever-experienced Consciousness and understanding the fact that the ever-experienced consciousness is limitless. Intellect is not required for understanding Self Consciousness.
The word Dhiye in the shloka means giving Consciousness to the mind.
This ever- experienced Consciousness is ever present behind the mind. So, how does Atma remain hidden? If Atma is ever experienced, how can it remain hidden? This is a contradiction, says Swamiji. Citing an example, it is like the movie screen. Without the movie screen the characters in the movie cannot be experienced. In life the screen is never noticed because of our preoccupation with the movie. Experiencing a thing is different from deliberately paying attention to something. This also true with space to which we do not pay attention to. If asked, what is on my hand, most of us will mention the hair, the fingernail etc. We will never mention the light on the hand that allows us see the hand. Due to our extroverted-ness we are preoccupied with the movie and don’t pay attention to the screen. The same phenomenon occurs with our mind. We are so busy with our thoughts that we don’t pay attention to the Consciousness, which is silence. So the two steps towards Self-knowledge are:
- To pay attention to the ever experienced Consciousness.
- With the help of scriptures negate all limitations of Atma and become aware of its limitless nature.
So, turn your attention away from all inert things (Samsara, body, mind and thought) and turn your attention to the ever-experienced Consciousness that illumines (makes known) the thought. Just as during watching the movie, you are asked to pay attention to the screen, the process followed here is also similar. It is one of changing the attention of the intellect. This is not a new experience rather it is just new information that the screen is not affected by the events in the movie. Tragedies and comedies do not affect it. Similarly, I, the ever-experienced Consciousness, is not affected by the events going on in my life. Don’t be carried away by the events happening to you. Intellect alone can reveal this to you.
Guptaha in shloka means not paid attention to.
Na Anya means no other darshanam.
Therefore, turn your attention within your mind and connect the Budhi to the ever-experienced Consciousness.
This alone is Ishwara Drishti. Conscious attention to Consciousness is this Drishti. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi does not consider all other Darshanam’s real. He says they don’t liberate you. Therefore, change your understanding of yourself. Anatma Ishwara is only a Prathibhashika Ishwara or Vyavaharika Ishwara.
Shloka # 25:
The body does not say, “I am”. Nobody says, “I was not”, in deep sleep. Search with your intellect, the birthplace of that “I”, upon whose rise, everything rises!
Here Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi talks about the mysterious nature of the ego. Ego is a misconception born out of ignorance. On enquiry it will disappear. Discussing Ahamkara, Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi asks, who is saying, “I am”?
Body can’t say it and Atma can’t say it either. Anatma body is inert as such it cannot say, “ I am”. Atma cannot say, “I am” as it does not have a mouth. Saying involves an action, the motion of the mouth. Therefore Atma can’t say it. If so, who is saying it? It must be an entity different from Atma or Anatma. Unfortunately there is no other such entity. If so, then who is saying it? The answer is it must be an entity that is a mixture of Anatma and Atma. This is called Ahamkara. It is the one that says, “I am”. Citing example of a bowl of salad, one can say there is mango, there is orange, there is cucumber etc., but there is no substance called salad. Salad is only a verbal expression. Ahamkara is also a mysterious entity with only a verbal existence.
If body had sentiency, death will never happen. So, someone else is saying, “I am this body”. Nobody would say I was non-existent in sleep. We know “ I” exist in three states of existence. If sleep becomes our death (a state of death), we will never sleep. So, the real “I” exists in all three states. Does Atma say, “I am”? Atma also does not and cannot say that. If it said so, in Sushupthi, Atma does not say, “I am”. Therefore there is someone other than Atma and Deha, called Ahamkara that is asleep in sleep, but awake in waking state. It is the cause of “I am”. The Samsari “I” is neither body nor Atma.
All transactions and limitations arise with Ahamkara. So, attack Ahamkara. So, find the source of Ahamkara (by enquiry) with the help of intellect. Swamiji says it is a misconception that one has to transcend the intellect. As per Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi you require intellect for Self-Knowledge. Intellect is, however, not required to experience the Atma. The Atma is ever experienced. Intellect is required to pay attention to the ever-experienced Consciousness.
Knowledge comes to us during Vedanta Sravanam. In meditation this does not happen. No new knowledge comes from meditation. For knowledge, one needs Guru Shastra Upadesa. This is the Vedantic parampara.
The body does not know. Of the Truth, there is no birth. In the middle of these two, another of the size of the body rises, which is of the names ego, knot, bondage, subtle mind, mind, the realm of becoming and the individual.
Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi continues on the mysterious Ahmakara. Ahamkara has some features of Atma as well as some features of Anatma. Upto Shloka # 27, he discusses Ahmakara.
The inert body can never say, I am. If it can say so, then it will become sentient and it wont die. Can Atma say “I am” the Conscious Being? Atma cannot undergo any modification. If it were to say, it would be “ I am the eternal Consciousness” because it is birth-less. Atma is not mortal.
So this entity has taken properties of body and Atma and is called Ahamkara. It is the one that says I am a mortal sentient being. So this third entity comes into being. It is of the size of the body. It is a localized Ahamkara. It is an imposter I or false I. It has several names. It is called the Knot, as it cannot be easily removed. It has been placed a long time ago. Ahamkara cannot be removed easily.
In spite of Vedantic knowledge Ahamkara will be difficult to remove, hence it is called Granthi. Ahamkara is formed by joining of the two ( Mortal + Consciousness). It is called a Knot or Granthi. A third name is bondage. So, Ahamkara is bondage or Vibhandi. Ahamkara is not freedom.
With Best Wishes,
- Pāramārthika (paramartha, absolute), the absolute level, “which is absolutely real and into which both other reality levels can be resolved”.[web 5] This experience can’t be sublated by any other experience.
- Vyāvahārika (vyavahara), or samvriti-saya (empirical or pragmatical), “our world of experience, the phenomenal world that we handle every day when we are awake”.[web 5] It is the level in which both jiva (living creatures or individual souls) and Iswara are true; here, the material world is also true.
- Prāthibhāsika (pratibhasika, apparent reality, unreality), “reality based on imagination alone”.[web 5] It is the level in which appearances are actually false, like the illusion of a snake over a rope, or a dream.