Ch 2, anuvakaha # 6,shloka #1:
If he knows Brahman as non-existent, he becomes himself non-existent. If he knows Brahman as existent, then (they) the world knows him to be existent. Of the former (anandamaya kosa), the Self is the essence.
Swamiji said, with the end of anuvakaha # 6, the Upanishad concludes the topic of Pancha Kosha Viveka, a method used to obtain Brahma Gyanam. This method was presented briefly in the beginning as well. Even though Brahman is all pervading, one has to recognize it in one’s own mind as the witness conscious behind every thought.
This witness conscious is not available for objectification. One has to claim it as “I” the witness consciousness that observes all states “with thought” and “without thought”.
Turning the attention from body, very gross, to consciousness, very subtle, all of a sudden is difficult. It is like climbing a mountain; one needs to get acclimatized at different levels. In Pancha kosha viveka we were taken through such acclimatization at different levels of annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vignanamaya, and anandamaya respectively. What you think of, as the blank-less state is not really blank; even that is matter. Then I can go to the final “witness” to the blank state of thought, which is the atma. This is the ananda atma. It is satyam, gyanam, anantam and anandaha. With this Pancha kosha topic was concluded.
Now a student interrupted and asked a question. These questions are known as anuprashnaha.
Chapter 2, Anuvakaha # 6, Shloka # 2:
Thereupon arise the following questions:
Does the ignorant leaving the world, go There? Or does the knower, leaving this world, obtain That?
In the shloka there is a pluthi denoted by number 3. It means a very long vowel. The teacher answers the question, as he does not want to leave the student with a lingering doubt in mind. The questions are based on the teachings. Two questions are asked, about a wise person and an ignorant person. Both questions have been combined into one, in the shloka.
In the teaching Brahman has been presented as the cause of everything. It, Brahman, is the karanam (cause) and Samsara is the karyam (products, things, beings both sentient and insentient). The student applies a principle in the questioning process:
- At time of creation all products originate out of their cause. It is like the rivers and clouds that originate from ocean by evaporation.
- At time of destruction all products merge back into the cause. Thus, the river merges back into the ocean. So, if Brahman is the cause; at time of our destruction we will all merge into Brahman, our cause.
This is a choice-less situation. It is irrespective of the status of a being. All plants, animals, human beings, all must go back to the cause. So, whether a human being is wise or ignorant (one who has not performed any sadhana), after death they must all go back to Brahman.
Now merging into God has been defined as moksha. Keeping all these in mind student asks, “O guru, will an ignorant person merge into Brahman after death or not?”
The teacher is now faced with a dilemma. Whatever answers he gives will be problematic.
Suppose teacher says, ignorant person does not merge into Brahman; then, it means Brahman is not the cause of everything. Remember everything goes back to its cause upon destruction.
If Brahman is not the cause, even a wise person will not merge. Conversely, if I can merge as an ignorant person, why obtain Gyanam at all?
Shankaracharya makes a point here. It is a comment on a grammatical issue in the shloka that also addresses this question. The word anuprashnaha in the shloka indicates the questions are plural or more than two. Sanskrit grammar recognizes singular, two persons and plural, consisting of three persons or more. Reality in shloka is that we have only two questions from the student. Shankara says this means there is a third implied question as well. What is this implied question? If you go back to the previous shloka one will know the implied question. In previous shloka Upanishad says some people accept existence of Brahman while others don’t. The ones who do not accept existence of God say Brahman is not available for objectification since Brahman is considered beyond all transactions. This is the belief of the nastikas. Dvaitins also don’t believe in a nirguna Brahman. If so, is there a Brahman at all? Only after we answer this question can we answer the two questions raised by the student.
The Upanishad answers this implied question in anuvakahas 6,7, and 8 respectively. The answer is a long one. The Upanishad concludes Brahman exists. It gives seven reasons supporting this conclusion. We will take each one of the seven one by one now.
Chapter 2, Anuvakaha # 6, Shloka # 3:( Please note that only the first two lines of the shloka are discussed in the class today.)
He desired, “ I shall become many and be born. He performed tapas; having performed tapas, He created all this whatsoever (we perceive). Having created it, He entered into it. He became the manifest and the unmanifest, the defined and undefined, the housed and the houseless, knowledge and ignorance, truth and falsehood and all this whatsoever exists. Therefore, it is called Existence. In this sense, there is the following Vaidika verse”
Brahman is existent because it is the intelligent cause of creation.
The principle used here is: If I see a purposeful product, say a box, a mike etc., that has a function to perform, it means that product was visualized, designed and manufactured by an intelligent mind. It means there is an intelligent designer. Even if designer is not visible still we can say this cause existed.
Even behind an ordinary clip there must be a proportionately ordinary intelligence. Extending this idea everything available in front of me is a purposeful product. Thus, I have sense objects and I have food products. Every science reveals the purposeful design of creation. The universe is a well-designed universe. Life is possible due to this intelligent design. Then I infer that this purposeful design must have an organizing principle. Scientists say possibility of creation by chance is almost zero.
If you gave instruction to a computer it can write poetry. A human brain after all created the computer. Can we accept this computer as an accidental assemblage? If not, why should human brain be accidental? So, we think there is an organizing principle called Ishwara.
How would creation come out of this creator? Suppose one has to create cloth? One has to visualize the product. One has to create it in one’s mind. For this one has to consider many factors. Where should heaven, hell and earth be located etc.? This has to come in the Maya Tatvam or Total Mind. In Maya, design is visualized and a desire should come. Desire and visualization both are required. That Brahman desired, visualized and created this creation.
In Sanskrit every word has a gender.
With Best Wishes,
- Even though Brahman is all pervading, one has to recognize it in one’s own mind as the witness conscious behind every thought.