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Advaita for the 21st Century

Tattvabodha - Part 25


Notes on Tattvabodha
तत्वबोधः
Dr. Vishnu Bapat


Dr. Bapat (72) was the co-founder of an Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Industry and served as its Managing Director for 26 years until retirement. He is associated with several professional and spiritual bodies. He is now fully engaged in the study and practice of Vedanta.

 

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49. Who is Jivanmukta? (continued)

Yoga Vasishtha (योग वासिष्ट) speaks of three types of Akasha.

भूताकाश – dealing with the gross matter. “It is the space outside in the world where the objects and the senses meet”.

चित्ताकाश – dealing with the mental concept. “It is the field of the mind which provokes a deeper enquiry because there is still in it duality of the ‘seer’ (द्र्ग्) and the ‘seen’ (द्रश्य)”.

चिदाकाश – dealing with Atman. “This duality ceases to exist in Chidakasha which is a field of pure consciousness viewed by the mind non-casually. Teachers of transcendental meditation speak of Chidakasha as the space behind the forehead which is the seat of visualization that links the man with consciousness, sub-consciousness and super-consciousness. It is the seat of mediation of personal God (इष्ट देवता). It helps to gain insight into the connection between the two confronting worlds the higher that is beyond all objects and thoughts and the lower which is the material world of senses.” The knower, knowledge and the instrument of knowledge become one.

इति द्रढ्निश्चयः अपरॊक्ष ज्ञानवान् – a man with intuitive knowledge as above and a firm conviction of his opinion. अपरॊक्ष ज्ञान means not visible or perceptible to the eye or to any instruments. It refers to the direct intuitive knowledge. It is a subjective knowledge not objective. According to Indian philosophy there are three kinds of knowledge.

प्रत्यक्ष empirical or direct knowledge. It is a sense organ perceived knowledge. It is known directly or by instrumentation by the sense organs. It is the study of science, arts and all faculties of the knowledge taught in the universities. आकाश प्रति. It is knowledge about something nearby.

परॊक्ष Conventional or indirect knowledge. The object does not fall within the sense organs. The knowledge is gained by inference. By seeing smoke we assume there is a fire परः आकाश is परॊक्ष. परः means beyond. It is that which is gained from hearing from others or by reading. It is the knowledge that is far away or not within the reach of sense organs. Direct knowledge can become indirect knowledge and vice versa. For example I had heard about Taj Mahal but when I see it in person, it becomes a direct knowledge.

अपरॊक्ष Transcendental or intuitive or immediate knowledge. It is neither direct nor indirect. It is not about an object either near or far away. It is the knowledge about my own self, “who am I”. The senses or any supportive instruments are not good to know about it. Words cannot describe it. It is not an intellectual concept. It is an experience gained by several Sadhanas and disciplines indicated in the scriptures; the experience that “I am infinite self, truth, nature of existence-consciousness-bliss. It is the knowledge of अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि. With this one becomes freed from all bondages of karma.

जीवन्मुक्तः – is a person liberated while living. This knowledge stays with him forever. Even at the time of death of his body, he knows that he is immortal self. He may even appear to be very ordinary or a child or insane, but his mind is quite opposite of the ordinary man. The liberated person all the time experiences Brahman and knows that the world is unreal.

 

The gist of this paragraph is that a realized person does not identify with his body or its status. He is ever connected to Brahman.

 

50. Removal of ignorance

कर्मबन्ध विनिर्मुक्तः स्यात्

ब्रह्मैवहमस्मीत्यपरोक्षज्ञानेन निखिलकर्मबन्ध विनिर्मुक्त स्यात् ।।

ब्रह्म-एव-अहम- अस्मि – I am Brahman itself इति अपरोक्षज्ञानेन – by intuitive or transcendental knowledge alone निखिल कर्मबन्ध – all bondages of karma विनिर्मुक्तः स्यात् – becomes free

By the intuitive knowledge that ‘I am Brahman’ one becomes freed from all bondages of karma.

In the previous paragraph the definition of a man liberated in life was given. Now the author explains what is the benefit of such a transcendental liberation? He says the yogi becomes freed from all karmic bondages. He has amnesty from karmas, his jiva lives in sync with Ishwara. He has no personal identification with his present body, or its activities and results; he just lives in the body till his prarabdha is tapered off. The knowledge of Brahman does not endow us with some special powers or rewards. It does not create anything new. It only removes the ignorance of the self. The yogi does not stop from performing any of his duties. The only difference is that he does all the activities but with no sense of attachment or self interest. All he does is for public good. So no vasanas are accumulated.

 

ब्रह्म-एव-अहम- अस्मि – I am Brahman itself

इति अपरोक्षज्ञानेन – by indirect knowledge or transcendental knowledge. This is a subjective knowledge

निखिल कर्मबन्ध विनिर्मुक्तः स्यात् –The yogi becomes free from all karmic bondages. Here liberation is studied from the angle of nullification of karmas. No karma balance is equivalent to no rebirth.

 

Contact Dr. Bapat at vrbapat@yahoo.co.in if you have any comments or questions.

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To be continued...

 

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