(Continued from page 5)
intellectual self). And within the vijnAnana-maya there is the Ananda-maya purusha (the blissful self). The word 'within' here in each case is an understatement, a failure of words. In each case the succeeding sheath fills up the preceding one. Each 'purusha' follows the preceding one, is more subtle than the preceding one, and fills up the preceding one. This subtle sequencing is referred to by the terminology 'anvayaM purusha-vidhaH' repeatedly by the Upanishad. In each case the particular purusha is imagined to be a bird with wings, head, tail, etc. We shall not get into these details here. Verse No.18: Sruti gItA - 5
In a 'pseudo-scientific' way we may understand the whole sequencing as follows. In every cell of the body it is the life-force that is functioning. This life-force in every cell sends responses to the mind from every sensation it receives. So the mind is permeating the life-force in every cell. But there is an agent of the mind, who cognizes that it is 'I' and that it is the owner of all these sensations and responses. That is the vijnAna-maya self. He is the agent and experiencer. He is proximate, in a metaphorical sense, to the Atman, the pure Spirit within. But it is not itself the pure Spirit. It has the notion of agency. Stripped of this notion of agency it is only the experiencer of joy. That is the bliss-self (the Ananda-maya koSa). Even this is not the Atman. The Upanishad says that the Atman is the support, base, substratum of even this Ananda-maya-koSa.
Coming back to our verse no.4 of Sruti-gItA, we notice that the same words 'purusha-vidhaH anvayaH' are used as in the Upanishad. Why not? It is the Upanishads (i.e., the vedas) that are speaking! So the vedas are saying here that You, the Absolute, who are the final (carama) support for the sheaths of Self, starting from the physical self, going all the way upto the bliss-self, each succeeding one having the same extent of permeation as the preceding one -- as described in the panca-koSa analysis.
udaram-upAsate ya Rshi-vartmasu kUrpa-dRSaH
parisara-paddhatiM hRdayam-AruNayo daharaM /
tata udagAd-ananta tava dhAma SiraH paramaM
punar-iha yat-sametya na patanti kRtAnta-mukhe //
Out of the many paths chalked out by the Seers, men of gross vision contemplate on (the spiritual center) in the abdomen, while the sons of the sage Aruna contemplate on the cavity of the heart, the organ
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