(Continued from page 2)

the Universe is not very difficult. The logic that sustains the explanation above certainly appeals to one's intellect. There is a vague feeling that it is intellectually satisfactory. But what we fail to achieve is an emotional conviction of the whole thing. Mark the italicized words. We are deliberately not saying: 'intellectual conviction' or 'emotional satisfaction'. Usually the word 'conviction' is associated only with  intellect. But that is exactly the problem here. So long as it is only an intellectual conviction, it does not lead to an experience at the spiritual level. Unless the conviction reaches the heart, that is, unless the conviction almost merges with that type of innate yearning that is more of an intuitive kind than of the speculative reasoning kind, the spiritual experience that arises will be only academic and to that extent is not real. Real emotional conviction comes only from experience.
That experience goes through two processes of negation. Every time the Upanishads refer to this they use the phrase '
neti' - meaning, na iti, not thus - and they use it twice every time, as if to emphasize that there are two negations.  The first negation is a real negation that helps you transcend the mAyA which veils the Absolute  and projects this universe as a superimposition on Reality. To negate the Universe is therefore to see brahman in everything and everywhere. In other words we have to see the brahman, without its adjunct, mAyA. The second negation, however, is a different category of negation and is perhaps the more difficult one. It negates the adjuncts of the Self. In other words it transcends the five sheaths, which 'cover' the Inner Self.  These five sheaths are: in order of increasing subtlety, the physical, the vital, the mental, the intellectual and the blissful self. This negation is important in the understanding of the Self defined by  satyam, jnAnaM and anantaM.

We shall revert to this topic later. (Refer negation)


It is interesting to note, in this context, that the two words 'deha' and 'SarIra' used for 'the body' in Sanskrit carry in their meanings the transient character of the physical body. What is continuously being burnt, destroyed or consumed is the 'deha' - the root verb being 'dah' to burn or consume. What is continuously undergoing a process of decay is 'SarIra' - the root word being 'jharjhara' indicating decayal or the process of being digested. Thus the body has no permanence. The primary object of all teaching in Vedanta is to eradicate the feeling of 'I-ness' in this body-cum-mind-intellect

July 7, 99  ©Copyright  V. Krishnamurthy  Home   Contents  Next