Shloka # 32:
Having reached within the heart, by the search, the “I” notion whose head is broken, falls. Then, another “ I” which is the main one shines forth. It is not ego, but it is Supreme fullness alone.
Continuing his teaching, Swami Paramarthananda said, here Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi presents the result of Self Enquiry or Atma Vichara in a poetic language. Here displacement of Ahamkara by the higher “I” is discussed. After Self Enquiry, now, Atma has become the master. The higher “I” replaces the lower “I”. So, how does this feel displacement in practical terms? Does one see a new & shining Atma? What does one feel in practice? Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi says the change is only in our understanding. Detachment of Ahamkara occurs only due to a change in our understanding. Originally, I thought, I was a mortal Jivatma and all transactions reflected this misunderstanding. However, I am now the immortal Atma. This radically changes all my transactions as the motive behind them has changed.
The second change is that removal of Ahmakara does not mean Ahamkara is totally destroyed or banished. It just means Ahamkara’s position has been scaled down. Master Ahamkara has been demoted to being just an instrument of transaction. The Swamy now is the higher “I”, Ahamkara has become only a means or medium for transaction. For a Gyani, a Jivan Mukta, the Ahamkara is only an incidental mithya medium. In a Videha Mukta, Ahamkara is completely dissolved.
For the Gyani, Mithya Ahamkara is required for all transactions. It is actually a “requirement” for performing transactions. Thus, even to say, “Aham Brahma Asmi” requires Ahamkara.
However, to be in Brahman, I do not require Ahamkara. Therefore, to say and teach Aham Brahma Asmi, I still need Mithya Ahamakara, knowing it is incidental.
Thus, Gyani uses Ahamkara. Ahamkara is not removed completely. It is a demoted version of the original. Gyani knows “I am the Atma behind it”.
Shloka # 33:
What is there that remains to be done for him who shines, having devoured ego? He knows nothing other than Self. Who is capable of conceiving his state of being?
Once this displacement takes place, the Gyani enjoys poornatvam. Gyani does not struggle any more to accomplish things in life. His mission in life is accomplished. Rest of his life is available to Lord to use him in anyway he wants. He is like a flute for Sri Krishna. The flute is empty inside with nine holes. A human being is also like a flute that once emptied of ego, God can play him and great music comes out. The same body flute when played by the ego emits Apasruti. Such a Gyani stands out in society. His face is without tension. This Gyani need not perform Dharma, Artha and Kama as they are all part of moksha. The infinite includes all finites. He is no more a karta or bhokta. He does not have any worldly duties to fulfill. In Indian society duty is a big burden on an individual. Vedanta says you can never complete your duties so long as you are a karta. If Gyani has duties, they are now transferred to mithya Ahamkara. It becomes part of a drama. He does not have sleepless nights for not fulfilling his duties. While he still performs, he does so in a relaxed manner. This is the description of a Jivan Mukta. He does not perceive anything other than Atma. Everything he sees is Atma. What about Anatma? They are seen as non-substantial Nama and Roopas imposed over the Atma.
Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi says I am struggling to describe a Gyani. To describe the state of mind of a Gyani is very difficult. Only way is to become one. So, become one says the Bhagawan.
Shloka # 34:
The Veda has said clearly, “That thou art”. Even then, not having obtained abidance in the Supreme Self, to inquire again indicates the debility of the mind. That Reality indeed shines always as one’s Self.
This is an important shloka. Here Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi gives an important clue to his thinking. He accepts Vedanta Vichara as Atma Vichara. Many believe Self Enquiry does not require Vedanta. Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi clarifies here how to use Vedanta Vichara. It is an important means. Any means is a blessing if handled properly. If not, then there are two problems:
- The method may not give expected result.
- It can create a negative result.
Vedanta Vichara is a sacred instrument if used properly. If not, its results can’t be good. What is Vedanta Vichara? It is meant for securing emotional independence from everything secular and sacred. Even dependence on God is dependence. Dependence by its very nature indicates Samsara. Vedanta also should not be an object of dependence. It should give independence from everything including Vedanta. I should use it to enlighten myself. If I forget this, then it becomes a means of enjoyment and entertainment. Vedanta is a means of revealing myself as a source of Joy. It itself is not a source of joy. If used as a source of joy, we become attached to Vedanta. It then becomes a source of dependence, causing anger, anxiety and stress.
Vedas say “ You are the Brahman” the source of Joy and peace. Even a Guru does not want his Shishya to be dependent upon him. If one loses purpose of Vedanta Vichara then Vedanta Vichara becomes an addiction. Therefore, performing continuous enquiry mechanically, losing sight of original purpose, is an addiction and is due to immaturity of mind.
If you remember the goal and continue enquiry it is purposeful. It will give us final independence. Any addiction makes mind weaker including on Vedanta Vichara.
That Paramatma is always accessible as your own nature for peace and joy. It is your own nature. Vedanta just tells you “You” are the source of the joy.
Shloka # 35:
“I am not myself” or “I know myself”… such expressions of man are a laughable matter. Is the Self two-fold, by the division of the Seer and the seen? In the knowledge of the oneness of one’s Self, indeed, there are no divisions.”
Here, Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi, talks of uniqueness of Atma Gyanam. It is distinct from all other knowledge. It also occurs in the intellect alone. Hence purification of mind is required. Body is not the locus of knowledge nor is Atma. Intellect alone is the locus of this knowledge. All knowledge requires an appropriate means to obtain it. In this, Self- knowledge is similar to other forms of knowledge. The uniqueness of Self Knowledge lies in the fact that in this knowledge the Subject and the Object are one and the same. I, the Self and I, the Object, are the knowledge. Logically, in any process, including the process of knowledge, subject and object can never be the same. It is a universal law that subject can never be the object. Citing examples of this, thus, the eyes can see everything but themselves; one can taste everything with the tongue but it cannot taste itself etc. Then, how does this Self-knowledge occur?
Best Practices: Since we are all practicing Vedanta Vichara we should keep following concepts always in mind:
- What is Vedanta Vichara? It is meant for securing emotional independence from everything secular and sacred.
- The uniqueness of Self Knowledge (Vedanta Vichara) lies in the fact that in this knowledge the Subject and the Object are one and the same.
- This (Self Knowledge) radically changes all my transactions as the motive behind them has changed.
With Best Wishes,
Foot Note: The Jivanmukta (one who is in Jivanmukti) has gained liberation while in the body, but in this case, the individual regains full awareness of the world, simultaneously with awareness of the “The god is within me and everyone, everything” state. According to Advaita, a liberated human being (jivanmukta) has realised Brahman as his or her own true self.
Videha mukti (Sanskrit, “liberation after death”) refers to the moksha, or “liberation attained by a person after death”. It is a concept found in Hinduism and Jainism in relation to ending the samsara (the cycle of rebirth), and the concept contrasts with Jivanmukti which refer to achieving “liberation while alive”.