GEMS FROM THE OCEAN OF HINDU THOUGHT VISION & PRACTICE

Beach 2: First steps in the Ascent to the Divine

Wave 6: An Overnight Capsule of Dharma ( Part V)

Continued from Part IV   

[Note:  Please recall my style of writing Sanskrit verses: If Sanskrit is unfamiliar to  you, read only the English text in the order in which it is presented; it will make sense].

Let us now continue with Sanatsujata’s delineation of the Vedas as that which indicates Brahman as the supreme knowledge to seek, though just the knowledge of the Vedas is not  direct knowledge of Brahman.  And he who understands this as such is the *brAhmaNa*. He becomes the knower of Brahman.  This ‘brAhmaNa-hood’ is the result of standing firm to the Truth and does not occur if one is swayed by senses and sense-objects.

 

In writing his commentary at this point, Shankara quotes a verse:

 

vishhayAsh-cendriyANy-eva deho’hamkAra eva ca /

bAhyA AbhyantarA ghorAH shatravo yoginaH smRtAH //

 

which means: The sense-objects, the senses, the body as well as the ego are all dreadful enemies, external and internal, of a yogi. Therefore,

 

nAsya paryeshhaNaM gacchet pratyarthishhu kadAcana /

avicinvan-nimaM vede tataH pashyati taM prabhuM // II – 46.


na gacchet kadAcana :  Do not go, ever

paryeshhaNaM   (= paritaH eshhaNaM) :   searching all around

pratyarthishhu : after the obstacles  (i.e., after the body, the senses and sense-objects).

asya :  to this Atman.

avicinvan :   Not going after  (this object-searching)

tataH : thereafter

pashyati : one sees

tam prabhuM : that Supreme Lord

vede :  in the (MahAvAkyas of the) Vedas

imaM :   (as) this Inner Self

 

Shankara, in his commentary, not only gives the above meaning to this verse from the text, but gives an alternate meaning also:

 

na gacchet kadAcana :  Do not go, ever

paryeshhaNaM   (= paritaH eshhaNaM) :   searching all around

asya :  for  this Atman

pratyarthishhu : in the obstacles  (i.e., in the body, the senses and sense-objects).

(That is, do not take the dharmas of the BMI as belonging to the Self).

avicinvan : Not taking the dharmas of the BMI as those of the Self

tataH  :thereafter 

taM prabhuM :  ( looking) for the very  Witness of all of them, namely, the Supreme Lord

pashyati : one sees

vede :  through the (MahAvAkyas of the) Vedas

imaM :   this Inner Self ( itself as that Supreme).

 

tUshhNIM bhUta upAsIta na cecchen manasA api /

abhyAvarteta brahma asmai bahv-anantaram-ApnuyAt // (II – 47)

 

tUshhNIM bhUtaH : (Having renounced all sensory attractions and actions – in other words, having renounced all that is non-Self)  remaining by oneself,

upAsIta : propitiate (the world of Self alone) ;

na ca icchet  : let there be no desire (for the sense-objects)

manasA api : even by the mind.

Asmai : To such a person

Brahma : the Unknown

abhyAvarteta : comes back, presents itself

anantaram : after which

bahu :  the Infinite that is  beyond Ignorance; in other words, the brahman itself

ApnuyAt : is realised

 

In this connection, Shankara quotes the Upanishadic statement: (Katha U.I-ii-23 2nd part)

 

Yamevaishha vRNute tena labhyaH tasyaishha AtmA vivRNute tanUM svAM

Meaning: It is to be attained only by the one this one chooses.
To such a one the soul reveals its own self.


The  relevant full quote from Katha Upanishad  translates as follows: (translation by Sanderson Beck)

http://www.san.beck.org/Upan2-Katha.html

 

"This soul cannot be attained by instruction
nor by intellectual ability nor
by much learning.
It is to be attained only by the one this one chooses.
To such a one the soul reveals its own self.
Not those who have not ceased from bad conduct,
not those who are not tranquil,
not those who are not composed,
not those who are not of a peaceful mind,
can attain this by intelligence.
The one for whom the priesthood and the nobility are as food,
and death is as a sauce, who knows where this one is?”

 

Such a person is the ‘Muni’, is the ‘vyAkaraNi’ (meaning the Source of everything) and is the ‘all-knower’ – says Sanatkumara at the end of the 2nd chapter of  his teaching to Dhritarashtra.

Continued in Part VI

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Mar.28, 2007  Copyright Ó V. Krishnamurthy