Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Upadesa Sarah of Ramana Maharshi – Sloka 25

Vesha haanatah svaatma darshanam
Isha Darshanam Svaatmaroopatah

Word meaning
Vesha Haanatah – when the limitations or adjuncts of gross and subtle bodies are removed,
Sva atma Darshanam – that is one’s own vision (of the Self).
Isha Darshanam – This is vision of God
Sva atma roopatah – as the Self.

Sloka meaning
When the limitations or adjuncts of body and mind are removed, that is one’s own vision of the Self. This itself is vision of God as one’s own Self.

Maharshi here says that when the limitations are removed, the jeevatma which seems to be limited by the body and mind & which seems to be in bondage realizes its own real nature of Self or pure Consciousness. This Consciousness or vision of the Consciousness is vision of God (whose essence is Consciousness).

One should remember that what Maharshi and Vedanta wants to convey when it says that there is no real difference between Ishwara and Jeeva is that there is only one Consciousness which is absolute. It has no change, no qualifications, no limitations, no reflections because it is one without a second. There is nothing different from Consciousness so that it is limited or gets reflected. Therefore, there is really no difference between God and the individual and hence the difference is only an illusion created due to ignorance.

The moment a person whose real nature is Consciousness identifies himself with a body and mind, he seems to be converted or changed to a Jeeva. He thus considers himself as the doer of actions and enjoyer of actions. Due to the limitations, he finds himself as a mere individual with little-knowledge and not capable of attaining or realizing the Self (unless the grace of God is present). These thoughts are all illusions created because of the ignorance of one’s own nature of Consciousness. The moment a person realizes that I am not the individual, but I am pure Consciousness, one without a second, of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute – that very moment the illusory jeeva vanishes as limitations are broken off.

This only shows that the illusions of limitations are not real but only mere appearances in the reality of Consciousness. Even in usage of “I am the body, I am stout, I am thin”, the “I” remains the same without getting attached to the limitations of body, stoutness, thinness etc. This only shows that “I” am different from them and it is very well known that all these things dependent on “I” or Consciousness for their existence. If Consciousness is not present, then these cease to exist. But even when these are not present in deep sleep state, Consciousness is present. This clearly shows that these are dependent on Consciousness and are not real but mere illusions in the Consciousness.

Thus, when a person removes these illusions of limitations, what remains behind is the pure Consciousness – without any limitations. At that time, “I” remains without any qualifications of body, stoutness, thinness etc. This is the real state of “I” – without any limitations, without any superimpositions and hence blissful state of the Self. This natural state alone is capable of giving eternal bliss to the seeker. This is what naturally happens in deep sleep where all limitations are removed and the Self remains in its natural state of Consciousness. Therefore in deep sleep, eternal bliss is rejoiced and hence when one wakes up, he says “I slept well”. But in that state, there was ignorance in the form of unawareness of the bliss as he says “I did not know anything”. This ignorance causes the two states of waking and dream to be created and the Consciousness seems to become the Jeeva and suffers like anything.

The scriptures too proclaim that Ishwara and Jeeva are essentially the same only. These are indicated by the Mahavakyas used in the various Vedas.

The Rig Veda tells the Mahavakya or Prajnaanam Brahma or Consciousness is Brahman (here the jeeva can never be equal with Ishwara or Brahman because jeeva has limitations in its mind. Hence what is meant by Consciousness is pure Consciousness or the Self and not jeeva the Ego).

The Yajur Veda tells AHAM BRAHMA ASMI – I am Brahman (here also the “I” cannot be the jeeva as jeeva seems to be in bondage due to limitations which has its cause in ignorance. Therefore the “I” here mentioned is the essence of jeeva – the reality of Jeeva which is Consciousness without any attachments, identifications and limitations).

The Sama Veda tells TAT TVAM ASI – THAT THOU ART (the Guru tells the disciple that YOU ARE BRAHMAN, you are not the limited jeeva that you think yourself to be, you are not different from Ishwara or God because both these are mere illusions in the reality of Consciousness which is the essence of both Jeeva and Ishwara. Therefore that Consciousness YOU ARE ALREADY). It is due to ignorance that the difference seems to be present. When this ignorance veil is removed, the Self shines as Consciousness and as “I-exist, I-exist”.

The Atharva Veda tells AYAM ATMA BRAHMA – This Self is verily Brahman only.

These four statements are not statements prescribing any action but these are mere informative statement which tell fact about one’s own reality.

Krishna mentions again and again in Gita that Ishwara resides in the heart of people.

Ishwarah Sarva Bhootanaam Hridheshe Arjuna Thisthathi
God resides in the heart of all beings

Ye Bhajanthi tu maam bhakthya mayi te teshu cha api aham
Those who worship me with devotion (knowing me as the Self and essence of all beings), they reside in Me and I reside in them.

And Krishna means Paramatma or Brahman when saying the word “I” or “Mine” and not the mere form of Krishna.

The Lord cannot put it more clearly that that all beings reside in ME and I reside in all beings – this only means that everything is one thing alone. The ultimate reality of oneness of Jeeva and Ishwara cannot be put much more clearer than this.

This is what the Sruthi (Upanishads) and Smrithi (Gita) has to say about the oneness of both Ishwara and Jeeva. All logic also proves it that both these cannot be two different entities as they have to be Consciousness in essence because whatever is present is only Consciousness (as it is not Conscious, it has no existence and becomes insentient like a rock). All objects depend on Consciousness for their existence. As Maharshi himself has told earlier that Consciousness is the only object which illumines existence. Therefore any object has to have Consciousness as its essence in order for it to become existent.

Thus through logic also, we conclude that there is only Consciousness here in essence. The jeeva and ishwara are only names and forms of the one Consciousness. Our very experience also tells that we are the Ishwara or creator in dream state where we create a total world. This only shows that Ishwara is not different from jeeva & that it is only ignorance which causes one to think that jeeva is different from Ishwara. If Ishwara was different from jeeva, then Ishwara ceases to exist in deep sleep, whereas jeeva exists. This is the experience of every person that he sees or perceives nothing in the state of deep sleep where only the jeeva exists in his true state of Consciousness.

Thus the “I” which is pulsating each and every moment is the Consciousness. It is what is known as Brahman, it is what is called Jeeva, it is what is termed Ishwara. All these are different terms of the one Consciousness alone. Whatever is being perceived is only Consciousness. It is due to ignorance that duality is being perceived – the same Consciousness is being wrong perceived as dual objects. Similarly the difference between jeeva and ishwara is only in limitations and not absolute or essential. Essentially both are one and the same only.

Maharshi thus concludes about Jeeva and Ishwara that when the limitations are removed, one’s own real nature of Consciousness is realized which is termed as Vision of the Self. The vision of God is nothing but vision of the Self alone. Both are the same only in essential nature.

Only foolish people will spent time thinking that “I am limited jeeva, God is powerful, I should pray him, I should seek him and all”. The wise will never spent time on such activities and he will realize the reality of God present within himself, he will realize the ultimate reality that both God and Me are one and the same Consciousness alone.

As foams, bubbles (which denote jeeva) and ocean (denoting God) are water alone with a name and form, similarly both jeeva and Ishwara are Consciousness alone with different names and forms and different instruments of working in the illusory, empirical world.

The Vedas thus proclaim that everything is pervaded by God alone (here God is not meant as only the sarvajna ishwara but it is Brahman or Consciousness that is mentioned here). This is what the great Christ proclaimed that the kingdom of God is in you, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mundaka Upanishad
Vijaanan vidvaan bhavathe na athivaadi
The wise person who knows the reality never argues or enters into debates.

Thus a true seeker should put all his effort to realizing God in the heart, realizing one’s own real nature which is not different from God. Thus Maharshi stresses here that it is good to seek God in temples but that is not the final stage. The final reality of God or Consciousness or Brahman is in the heart – it is one’s own real nature. Thus a person should try to realize God in one’s own heart rather than searching outside.

Yoga Vasistha thus says
Samtyajya hrid griha eeshaanam devam anyam prayaanthi ye
Te ratnam abhivaanchanthi hastastha kausthubam

Those who after renouncing (or not seeking) the God in the heart (meaning one’s own Self) go after attaining other Gods, they are like people who having the Kaustubha jewel (very divine) in hand go after other diamonds (this jewel is very powerful and which Krishna wears in his heart).

Thus, Maharshi also says the same thing that a person has to realize the Self who is the same as God, jeeva, Brahman, Paramatman etc.


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