Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Upadesa Sarah of Ramana Maharshi – Sloka 16

Drishya vaaritham chittam atmanah
Chittva darshanam Tattva darshanam

Word meaning
Drishya vaaritham chittam – the mind withdrawn from SEEN or external sense objects
Atmanah Chittva darshanam – is the vision of one’s own Consciousness.
Tattva darshanam – that is vision of reality also.

Sloka meaning
The mind withdrawn from the seen is the vision of Consciousness. That is the vision of reality also.

Maharshi starts the description of Jnaana Yoga from this sloka.

Vedanta splits the experience of the world into two distinct entities. These are the Drik or the Seer and the Drishya or the Seen. Drik is the Self which is the Subject and never becomes object to any experience. Drishyas are the objects which become experience for the Seer. The external world, the mind, the intellect, the body, the various Gods of Vishnu, Brahma, Siva all are Drishyas alone. Drik or Seer is that which is not experienced but is the experiencer of all the experiences.

Such a Seer is called Brahman or the Self in the Vedanta. Brahman or the Self can never be experienced because it is the experiencer of all experiences. The “I” can never be experienced because it is the basis for all experiences. The “I” existing, all other objects exist. If the “I” ceases to exist, all objects vanish. Vedanta thus says that the Seer alone is the real and changeless entity. The objects or Seen are changing and temporary. They depend on the Seer for their existence. They always undergo changes. Any object which undergoes change is subject to birth and death. Hence, the objects in the world whether they be the body of a beautiful woman or cash in the form of God are all subject to birth and death.

Objects which are changing and temporary can never give a person permanent happiness. It is happiness that is being searched by each and every person. Everybody has the same goal of eternal bliss. This eternal bliss cannot be got from temporary and changing objects. Hence Vedanta tells that eternal bliss can be got only from the Seer and not from the changing Seen.

Vedanta goes further and tells that one should identify the Seer and Seen and contemplate the mind on the Seer. This is what Maharshi is explaining in this sloka.

The Seen are just illusions seen in the Seer. The Seen don’t have any independent existence. They are just seemingly existing in the reality of Seer. A person dreams that he is walking in the road & meeting lot of people. But in reality, there neither was any road nor the persons. Whatever was present in the dream state was the person or Consciousness alone. The dream world was just an illusion seen in Consciousness. Similarly the world that we perceive now is just an illusion seen in the reality of the Self. The Self can be realized only when the mind is withdrawn from the external objects.

When the reality of Self is forgotten through ignorance, mind comes into picture. This mind thus creates objects and directs the sense organs towards the sense objects. As long as the mind is extroverted, the reality or the source of the mind cannot be realized. Hence the one and only way to realize the Self is to withdraw the mind from the external sense objects and contemplate on the reality of Consciousness.

When thus the mind is withdrawn, it merges into its source of Consciousness. This is the vision of Consciousness, one’s own nature & vision of the ultimate reality.

It should be remembered that withdrawing the mind doesn’t mean one has to close his eyes and remove objects from the mind. The objects in the world are nothing but names and forms of Brahman or Consciousness. Thus, when a person withdraws the mind from the names and forms & concentrates on the substratum or reality of the objects which is Consciousness, he gets the vision of reality. Such a vision is the real vision of the ultimate reality behind the illusory dreaming waking world.

Yoga Vasistha says
Chit chetya kalanaa bandhah tanmuktaa muktiruchyathe
Chit achetyaa kila atmethi sarva Vedanta sangrahah

Consciousness when mixed with thoughts (in the mind) is called bondage & liberation is removal of the thoughts of the mind. Consciousness when not mixed with thoughts (or mind devoid of thoughts) is called the Self – this is the essence of Vedanta or Upanishads.

In order to withdraw the mind from the Seen and view the Seer – one first needs to identify what is Seer and what is Seen. One needs to discriminate between the reality of Seer and unreality of Seen. This is what is termed Viveka which is one of the pre requisites for getting knowledge about Brahman.

A child tries to touch fire with his hand. But when he gains experience and becomes mature, he doesn’t touch fire with his hand. Initially the child didn’t have discrimination but now it has discrimination.

When the discrimination between real and unreal is not there, then the person cannot concentrate on the real. Most of the people today are concentrating on the Seen (which is unreal like water seen in desert). They run after the external objects in search of happiness. But finally they find out that there is no happiness but only sorrow in those objects. Those are to be considered as fools who don’t understand the illusory nature of the world & thereby try to realize the unchanging, ever-blissful Self.

Krishna says in Gita Chapter 9
Anityam asukham lokam imam praapya bhajasva maam

This world is temporary & hence unreal as well as sorrowful in nature. Having attained this world, take refugee in Me (as the Self or Consciousness).

Thus, one should discriminate between the Subject or Seer or Consciousness and the illusory Seen or objects of names and forms. Only when names and forms are removed, the reality of Consciousness can be realized.

A person cannot identify the gold chain to be gold until he removes the name of chain and the form of gold chain. Only then can he identify the reality of Gold. The name and form are only temporary – they are just illusions seen in gold. The reality was, the reality is and the reality ever will be Gold alone (in the case of ornaments). Similarly the world is just names and forms of Brahman or Consciousness alone. When a person removes the names and forms, he perceives the reality of Consciousness, one without a second. Thus, all the seeming dualities and diversities are only illusory names and forms seen in the reality of Consciousness.

Realizing this reality of Consciousness is termed as Realization or Liberation or Enlightenment. This can be realized only when the names and forms are removed. These names and forms are unreal and are termed as the Seen or Drishya. When the names and forms are removed from the mind, the mind merges into the Self & the reality is realized. When dirt is removed from a mirror, one’s face is seen perfectly. But when the mirror is filled with dirt, the face is not perceived. Similarly when the mind is purified and seen is removed, the reality of Consciousness is realized. The mind itself has no existence of its own but seems to exist in the reality of Consciousness alone.

But somehow ignorance came into picture (seems to have created or come) and because of this ignorance dualities are perceived & sorrow-sufferings follow. But when knowledge about the reality is realized, ignorance which itself is illusory alone vanishes & only pure Self exists, one without a second.

Maharshi in this sloka puts forth what is meant by realization and in the further slokas, Maharshi explains the path to realize the reality.

A person should always remember that Consciousness or “I” alone is the reality. The other objects are just illusions seen in Consciousness. They come and go, but Consciousness alone remains without any change or modification. This Consciousness or Self is not something to be newly attained but it is ever-realized. What is to be done is removal of the obstacles to one’s own real nature of Consciousness. This can be done only when the mind is withdrawn from the seen and contemplates on the Seer. When this is done, the Self alone shines as Absolute existence, Consciousness and Bliss. This is the ultimate reality and goal of human life.

Everybody is Consciousness or the Self alone. In fact, there is no everybody but only Consciousness. This reality has to be realized here and now itself – if not, man will have to suffer in the vicious circle of birth and death. And there will be sufferings at all times.

Isn’t it pity that we all are bliss absolute in nature but still go around the world searching for happiness & crying helplessly & suffering & fighting with each other. And at times, crying out to the Almighty (after all faults have been done by us alone) that he may help us out J As AMMA (my Guru) says sorrows and sufferings are not created by God but they are our own creations. They are created only because of ignorance of our own very nature. The reality about one’s own nature alone will lead one to eternal bliss. The scripture calls people who don’t realize their own very nature as “MOODAH” or FOOLS.

This is the reason why Adi Sankaracharya said
Bhaja govindam bhaja govindam govindam bhaja moodamathe

O Fool!!! Realize the Self, realize your own very nature of Consciousness (Govindam means controller of Go or sense organs which is the Self alone).

Maharshi has explained in short what is vision of Consciousness or realization & vision of reality in this sloka. Maharshi also has explained in short how is this reality realized. In the next few slokas, Maharshi gives the definite path of Self-Enquiry to realize the Self.


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