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'THAT THOU ART! - 'Thus the Sruti emphatically and boldly voices forth the highest and most sublime truth that is the essence of all scriptures, nay, that is the goal of all scriptural teachings and assertions.

It is the greatest declaration ever made on the face of the earth. It is the profoundest teaching ever given since the dawn of creation. It is the only way of expressing and indicating the Truth that is beyond the reach of the mind and the senses. It is the one unique teaching that comforts the distressed humanity and infuses inner spiritual strength and courage into them to pooh-pooh the miseries and pains of mundane existence and soar high into the realm of non-dual, all-blissful eternal Existence.

If it be simple in the words that it employs, it requires the well-polished sharp intellect of the advanced aspirant to understand the subtlest Truth that it wishes to convey. If it be unostentatious in its expression, it is at once majestic and imperative in its utterance. If it be brief and blunt, aphoristic in its exposition of the highest Truth, it readily gets instilled deep in our hearts and minds, and from within us, it mysteriously raises our consciousness to that non-dual eternal plane of existence.

Such is the greatness of this Mahavakya, Tat-Tvam-Asi, which the Upanishadic Rishi, Uddalaka, employed to impart Brahma-Vidya to his son and disciple, Svetaketu.

The Means to Realisation

Man is essentially Divine. He is not different from that eternal, non-dual substratum, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. He is neither born into this Samsara, nor is he ever in a state of bondage. He is ever free, Nityamukta.

His present miseries and sufferings, his pains and limited pleasures, births and deaths, are all due to his erroneous identification with the five sheaths and the three bodies. And, in turn, this erroneous identification is the result of not-knowing of the truth, or the forgetfulness pertaining to it. This ignorance, Causal Ignorance, is at the root of all actions and reactions. Only the annihilation of this ignorance can lead us to our original state of non-dual blissful immortal existence.

This ignorance is not born of anything so that it can be destroyed through some action or other. It is simply a negative aspect. Just as absence of lights brings in darkness, absence of the sun brings in the night, so too, absence of Real Knowledge has brought in this Causal Ignorance.

No amount of fighting with darkness or night will destroy them. But, when the lamp or the sun is there, they disappear into nothingness, without leaving a trace. Similarly, where there is True Knowledge, there exists not even a trace of this Causal Ignorance. That True Knowledge is the Knowledge pertaining to our real, eternal, immortal Self which is not touched either by the causal ignorance or the effects of causal ignorance, just like the sun is not touched by the darkness of the night.

So, knowledge alone is the means for the Realisation of the Self; Self-Knowledge alone can liberate man from the meshes of Samsara.

The Mahavakyas

The scriptures, the Vedas and the Upanishads, exist to impart this Knowledge to all humanity so as to free them from this evanescent and ephemeral existence. Scriptural declarations can be grouped under three heads, viz., Vidhi-Vakya or injunctions; Nishedha-Vakya or prohibitions; and Siddharthabodha-Vakya or the Mahavakya that proclaim the highest Truth, the identity of the Jivatman with the Paramatman, of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul.

The first two exist to purify the deluded Jiva and make him fit to understand and assimilate the third; for, only in a purified mind intuition will dawn, and with that alone can one attain the Highest Knowledge.

There are four Mahavakyas, each of the four Vedas containing one of them. The four Mahavakyas are:

Prajnanam Brahma: 'Consciousness is Brahman.' This is called the Svarupabodha-Vakya or the sentence that explains the nature of Brahman or the Self. This is contained in the Aitareya-Upanishad of the Rigveda.

Aham Brahma Asmi: 'I Am Brahman.' This is the Anusandhana-Vakya, the idea on which the aspirant tries to fix his mind. This is contained in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of the Yajurveda.

Tat Tvam Asi: 'That Thou Art.' This is the Upanishadic Vakya contained in the Chhandogya Upanishad of the Sama Veda. The teacher instructs through this sentence.

Ayam Atma Brahma: 'This Self is Brahman.' This is the Anubhavabodha Vakya or the sentence that gives expression to the inner intuitive experience of the aspirant. This is contained in the Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda. Of these four Mahavakyas, Tat Tvam Asi is of great importance. It is the Upadesa-Vakya or Upanishad-Vakya. The Guru initiates the disciple into Brahma-Jnana only through this Vakya. This is also called Sravana-Vakya. This Mahavakya gives rise to the other three Vakyas.

The Guru instructs the disciple through 'Tat Tvam Asi, 'Thou art That. The disciple hears it (Sravana), considers it deeply and reflects over the idea contained in it (Manana), meditates on that idea (Nididhyasana) and enters into Samadhi which leads to the Aparoksha Anubhuti, signified in the assertion Aham Brahma Asmi. To this experience, he gives expression through the Mahavakya Ayam Atma Brahma, and also asserts the nature or Svarupa of Brahman or the Self that he intuitively experiences through the Mahavakya Prajnanam Brahma.

The three words contained in this Vakya have got to be carefully analysed and understood. Through Sravana and Manana of the meaning of this Sentence, indirect knowledge or Paroksha-Jnana is had, and that is enough to destroy all sins. This Knowledge helps the aspirant to disown all actions and reactions, to renounce all attributes that he has taken upon himself in ignorance. He can lead a care-free, unperturbed and detached life in this world.

Nididhyasana and Samadhi give him the direct Knowledge or Aparoksha Jnana that frees him from causal ignorance which is the cause of the successive recurrence of births and deaths.

Therefore, it is essential to study this Maha­vakya in all its details, word by word, taken separately and all together, and understand its meaning.

The A Priori Method

Prakriti, the cause of ignorance, is made up of three Gunas, and carries with her the reflection of that transcendent Reality, Satchidananda. This Prakriti is divided into two aspects, called Maya and Avidya. Maya is Suddha-Sattva-Pradhana or that state of Prakriti in which the principle of Purity or Sattva, predominates over the other two, Rajas and Tamas. Avidya is Malina-Sattva or that state of Prakriti in which Sattva is predominated and sullied by the other two.

When that pure Intelligence, Chit, is reflected through Maya or Suddha-Sattva, the reflected Consciousness is called Isvara. It is one only, and controls Maya. When that Chit is reflected in Malina-Sattva or Avidya, the reflected Consciousness is called Jiva. Due to the multifarious nature of Avidya, Jivas are too many, and being individualised and separated from one another, they are swayed by Avidya or ignorance. And this ignorance leads them to identification with the five sheaths and the three bodies. Thus, there is activity, pain and suffering for the Jiva.

In the sentence, Tat Tvam Asi, Tat refers to the reflected Consciousness in Maya and Tvam refers to the reflected Consciousness in Avidya. The word Asi proclaims their unity. It asserts that one Chit alone, reflected in a twofold way, goes under the names of Isvara and Jiva, when it is respectively qualified by the Upadhis of Maya and Avidya in its reflected State.

This, in short, is the a priori method of understanding the meaning of the Mahavakya, Tat Tvam Asi, the method arrived at from cause to effect.

The Story of Virochana

The foregoing analysis is not enough to convince an aspirant about his real nature and make him fix his mind in meditation upon the idea 'Aham Brahma Asmi' 'I am Brahman.' More often than not, men do misunderstand the real significance of the words employed to instruct them in Brahma Vidya. It will be worthwhile to recollect the story of Virochana.

Once Indra and Virochana approached Prajapati to learn Atma Vidya. They underwent the rigorous discipline of discipleship for a period of thirty-two years. Thereafter Prajapati addressed them: Look at yourselves in a cup of water and then whatever you do not understand about your Self, come and ask me.

After doing so they replied: We see ourselves as we are.

Prajapati then asked them to adorn themselves with the best of clothes and look again in the water. They did so, and reported to Prajapati what they beheld of themselves. Hearing that Prajapati said: That is the Self, the immortal Self.

They both went away to their respective abodes fully satisfied about the Vidya they had received. Prajapati said to Himself: They both go away without having perceived and without having known the Truth or the Self, and whoever of these two, whether the Devas or the Asuras, will follow this doctrine will perish.

Virochana with a satisfied heart preached among his followers: The self (body) alone is to be worshipped, and so on. But Indra, before he returned to the Devas, experienced difficulty in getting convinced about the doctrine that the body is the Self. So he went back to Prajapati, and after a second period of thirty-two years' discipleship learnt that the dreaming self is the true Self. Being dissatisfied still, he was told that the self in sleep is the true Self, finally, after an austerity of one hundred and one years, he learnt that the real Self is above all individualistic implications.

The above story is not quoted without a purpose. Many aspirants in the spiritual path have no patience to consider deeply the significance of the words employed to instruct them. As William Cobbett puts it, words are double-edged weapons. When properly understood, they will help one in all possible ways. When wrongly understood, they will be detrimental to one's progress. So, too, with the words Tat, Tvam and Asi. Their true significance can be well understood only after a long, detailed and careful consideration.

Vachyartha and Lakshyartha

The meaning of a word may be threefold. They are:

Vachyartha or primary meaning that is directly conveyed by the word; Lakshyartha or implied meaning or the meaning it conveys through implication; and Vyangyartha or suggested meaning, or the meaning hinted at or suggested by the word through its associations.

The relationship that exists between a word and its meaning is called Vritti. This Vritti is twofold, viz., Sakti Vritti and Lakshana Vritti.

That relationship which exists between a word and its meaning, and which has the power to generate Arthajnana or a knowledge of the meaning of the word is called Sakti Vritti. The meaning that is understood through the Sakti Vritti is called Vachyartha.

That Vritti which, with the help of the Vachyartha, is able to establish a long-standing relationship between the word and its meaning not directly expressed is called Lakshana Vritti. The meaning of a word that is understood with the help of the Lakshana Vritti is called the Lakshyartha.

This Lakshana Vritti is divisible into three groups, viz., Jahallakshana, Ajahallakshana and Jahadajahal-lakshana or Bhagatyaga Lakshana.

Jahallakshana: When the Vachyartha of a word is totally dispensed with and only the Lakshyartha is taken into account then it is called Jahallakshana. Jahat means 'to abandon.'

For example, consider the statement, 'Gangayam Ghoshah' - In the Ganga there is the village of the cowherds.

What the statement wishes to convey is not that the village is in the mid-stream or in the middle of the flowing river, but that the village is on the river bank. The direct meaning of the word 'Gangayam' (which denotes the actual flowing river) is totally abandoned and instead the implied meaning, 'Teere' (on the banks) is understood. The direct meaning refers to the river and the implied meaning to the bank. These two are totally different, one being water and the other earth. But, there exists a relationship between the river and the river banks.

Thus the Lakshana Vritti is that Vritti which generates the knowledge of a fit meaning (not directly had) in a word on the basis of the word's Vachyartha. And this new implied meaning bears a certain relationship to the Vachyartha, like the relationship between the river and the river banks.

Ajahallakshana: In this case, the Vachyartha is not abandoned but at the same time the Lakshyartha also is taken into account in combination with the Vachyartha.

Consider for example the statement, 'Sveto Dhavati' 'The White is running.'

Say, in a race-course someone is asking his neighbour which horse is running ahead. He may get the reply, 'The white is running.' It is known fully well that a colour cannot run. In this case the Lakshyartha of the word 'Svetah' is related to a horse. Therefore, it has got to be understood that a horse is running. But it is not enough if it is simply understood that 'a horse is running,' for it would not answer the question of the race-goer. So, the Vachyartha of the word Svetah (the white colour) is also retained, and the Lakshyartha, that is, 'the horse,' is combined with the Vachyartha, and the whole is understood together as 'the White horse is running.'

Jahadajahallakshana or Bhagatyagalakshana: In this we retain a certain portion or Amsa or Bhaga of the Vachyartha and discard the other portion.

Consider the statement: 'So(a) yam Devadattah' 'This is that Devadatta.'

A man saw Devadatta in the garb of a prince at Benares. Ten years hence, he sees Devadatta in the garb of a Sannyasin at Rishikesh. It is natural for him to exclaim, This is that Devadatta.

The word 'That' is associated with the idea of remoteness in space, and time, and of the garb of a prince. The word 'This' is associated with the idea of nearness in space and time, and of the garb of a Sannyasin. The Vachyartha of the word 'That' is a princely man who lived at Benares ten years before. The Vachyartha conveyed by the use of the word 'This' is a Sannyasin living at Rishikesh at that particular time.

In the above statement certain things are contradictory and certain things are not. In that case we avoid or eliminate the contradicting factors. The Sannyasin and prince are contradictory. So too, Rishikesh and Benares, and likewise, ten years before and ten years hence. In the statement 'This is That Devadatta,' we take only a portion of the Vachyartha of the two words 'This (Devadatta) 'and 'That (Devadatta).' From the Vachyartha of the word 'That' we eliminate the garb of the prince, the place Benares, and the time ten years before, but retain the person referred to. So, too, in the Vachyartha of the word 'This' we retain the person referred to and eliminate the other three factors of space, time and appearance which contradict the first set. When this elimination and retention is done, then alone we can identify that Devadatta with this Devadatta.

This is also called Lakshya-Lakshana-Bhava. The words 'This' and 'That,' after the elimination of contrary association from their meanings, stand in the relation of the 'implier' and the implied (with Devadatta, the person who is common to both).

The sentence 'Tat Tvam Asi' is to be understood only through the help of Bhagatyaga Lakshana.

Bhagatyaga Lakshana (As applied to Tat Tvam Asi)

In a foregoing context, while, concluding the details of the a priori method, it was said:

In the sentence Tat Tvam Asi, Tat refers to the reflected consciousness in Maya, and Tvam to the reflected consciousness in Avidya, the word Asi proclaiming their unity. It asserts that the one Chit alone, reflected in a twofold way, goes under the names Isvara and Jiva, when it is respectively qualified by the Upadhis Maya and Avidya in its reflected state.

Now, that conclusion is taken for consideration.

Vachyartha of the word

Tat refers to Isvara; He has the following qualifications and associations:

Undifferentiated Maya is the space for the activities of Isvara.

Creation, Maintenance and Destruction (Udhbhava, Sthiti and Samhara), are the three periods or Kala for Isvara.

Purity, Activity and Inertia (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), are His means for creation, Srishti-Samagri

N.B.: Maya and the three Gunas are one and the same thing. So there exists oneness between the space for Isvara's creation and Srishti Samagris. Of course, the body of Isvara is also to be included within that oneness. It is like this:

Earth becomes the space for the potter to do his work. Earth becomes the material for the potter to do his work. Lastly, earth itself, in the form of bones, etc., becomes the body of the potter. Thus is the unity of the three things.

Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Avyakrita-Maya are three bodies of Isvara.

Isvara in identification with the three is respectively called Vaisvanara, Sutratma and Antaryami.

From the thought, 'I', the non-dual One, shall become many,' till the statement 'in the form of Jiva He entered,' all creation forms the Activity or Karya of Isvara.

Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Being One only, Freedom (Svatantrya), Efficiency (Samarthya), Parokshattva (Remoteness), and the possessing of Maya as the limiting adjunct, all the eight are the Dharmas of Isvara.

(a) Maya in combination with all the eight categories referred to above; (b) Chidabhasa or the reflection of Chit contained in them; and (c) Brahman, the substratum for them - All of these go together to make up the Vachyartha of the word Tat.

To sum up, Maya and the rest (the gross, subtle and cosmic bodies) the Consciousness associated with Her and endowed with omniscience, rulership, etc., (by Consciousness Isvara, Hiranyagarbha and Vritti are meant here), and Pure eternal Consciousness not associated with any of the foregoing things, when these three appear as an inseparable whole like a red-hot iron ball, they become the primary meaning of the word Tat.

Lakshyartha of the word Tat

That Pure, unassociated Consciousness which remains after avoiding Maya and Her retinue and Chidabhasa, and which serves as the substratum of all these things, i.e., of the limiting adjuncts and of Isvara limited by them, becomes the implied meaning or Lakshyartha of the word Tat.

At this point, it will be worth one's while to note the mutual Adhyasa (the recognition of something previously observed in some other thing, this recognition being apparent and not real) that exists between Isvara and Brahman. This Paraspara-Adhyasa is born of non-discrimination. The Real, Eternal nature of Brahman is apparently recognised in Isvara. Hence, Isvara appears as real. Because the nature of Isvara and his creatorship are apparently recognised in Brahman, Brahman appears to be the cause of the Universe. Thus there is Anyonya Adhyasa between Brahman and Isvara, and this Adhyasa can be annihilated only through knowledge born of discrimination.

(C) Vachyartha of the word Tvam

Tvam refers to the individual Jiva with the following qualifications and associations:

The eye, throat and the heart, these three form the Desa or place for the Jiva.

Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti - Waking, Dreaming and Deep Sleep states, these three form the three periods, Kala, or time for the Jiva.

Sthula, Sukshma and Karana - Gross, Subtle and Causal, are the three bodies for the Jiva.

The above three themselves become the Bhoga-Samagri or the means of enjoyment for the Jiva.

Visva, Taijasa and Prajna are the three names under which the Jiva goes in identification with the three bodies. The Samsara beginning from Jagrat and ending in Moksha becomes the Karya for the Jiva.

Limited power and knowledge and limitation in space (the three things opposed to Omnipresence, etc.), multiplicity, being subservient (Paratantratva), absence of Samarthya (or strength), Aparokshatva (immediacy) and possession of Avidya or ignorance as the limiting adjunct, these eight form the Dharma for the Jiva.

Avidya associated with the above seven things, Chidabhasa, the reflection of Chit in Avidya, and Kutastha the substratum for both of them, these three together become the Vachyartha for the word Tvam.

In short, individual ignorance or Avidya (including the three bodies), Consciousness (Visva, Taijasa and Prajna) associated with limited or partial knowledge, etc., and also the Pure Consciousness which is not associated with any of these attributes, these three, when they appear as an inseparable whole like a red-hot iron ball, become the primary meaning of the word Tvam.

(D) Lakshyartha of the word Tvam:

Kutastha who is the witness of the Jiva and who forms the substratum for the three bodies, etc., and who remains after avoiding the Chidabhasa combined with Avidya from the Vachyartha of the word Tvam, becomes the Lakshyartha for the word Tvam.

Like Brahman and Isvara, there exists mutual Adhyasa between Kutastha and the Jiva. The reality of Kutastha is recognised in the Jiva and hence the Jiva appears to be real. Likewise, the nature of the Jiva and his Dharmas are recognised in Kutastha who is non-attached, non-doer, non-enjoyer and eternally free, and hence Kutastha appears in the opposite way. Thus the mutual Adhyasa between Kutastha and the Jiva. This can be annihilated only through Viveka-Jnana.

(E) The inapplicability of Jahallakshana and Ajahallakshana:

In Jahallakshana we avoid the whole of the Vachyartha. If we are to apply the Jahallakshana with reference to the two words Tat and Tvam, the following absurdities result, viz.,

1) The Pure Consciousness, Transcendent Brahman, included in the Vachyartha of the word 'Tat' should be avoided, and, 2) As a result we shall have to take the insentient universe, or (by avoiding the entire universe along with the Pure Consciousness) we shall have to take only Sunyata or Voidness.

Because of these two, only disaster will result and Moksha cannot be attained.

In Ajahallakshana we do not avoid any part of the Vachyartha but take the entire meaning. In doing so, while retaining the full Vachyartha, for the Lakshyartha portion we shall have to take again only Sunyata. It does not help us in any way towards our goal. Thus both Jahallakshana and Ajahallakshana are inapplicable in the case of the Mahavakya, Tat Tvam Asi.

In Bhagatyaga-Lakshana we avoid the contradicting portions but retain the non-contradicting portion. In applying this in the case of the two words, Tat and Tvam,

We avoid Maya and Avidya, the portions that contradict, from the respective Vachyarthas, and Retain the Pure Consciousness that is non-contradicting.

Hence there exists a means for the goal.

So, Bhagatyaga-Lakshana alone is admissible in the case of the Mahavakya Tat Tvam Asi.

The Identity between Tat and Tvam

In discussing the Bhagatyaga Lakshana, it was observed that Isvara and Brahman, and Jiva and Kutastha, respectively become the Vachyartha and Lakshyartha of the two words Tat and Tvam. Now it is proposed to establish the unity that exists between the two Lakshyarthas, that is, between Kutastha and Brahman.

Both of them refer to unassociated Pure Consciousness. Both of them are of the nature of Pure Consciousness. Consciousness is Consciousness wherever it be. Therefore, they are identical. That identity can be explained through the following examples:

There is difference between Ghatakasa (ether in a pot) and Mahakasa (ether in the vast expanse outside). The difference in this case is not born out of any difference in the quality of the ether present in the pot and in the vast space outside. Ether is the same everywhere. The difference is solely born out of the angle of vision. When the angle of vision is directed from the limiting adjunct, the pot, and fixed upon the ether, then the difference between Ghatakasa and Mahakasa ceases to exist, and oneness alone is seen.

Likewise, difference exists between Ganga water that flows in the river and the Ganga water that is stored up in a small pot. One can talk about the river water and the pot water when one's angle of vision is directed towards the container. But, when the water, i.e., the contained, is considered in itself, in both the cases it is water and water alone that cannot be differentiated.

Similarly with an oil lamp made of clay and another made of glass. There definitely exists a difference between the two lamps. But the flame is identical when considered in its nature as fire.

The same man is addressed as the father and the son respectively by his son and his father. Being the son and being the father are two different things. This difference exists when he is respectively qualified by the relation that he bears to his son and the relation that he bears to his father. But, his nature of being a man is not affected by either of the two relationships or attributes. Considered by himself, he is a man, and man alone.

Such is the identity, the oneness, that exists between Kutastha (the Lakshyartha of the word Tvam) and Brahman (the Lakshyartha of the word Tat). Thus the identity between the two words Tat and Tvam is established by the help of the Bhagatyaga Lakshana.

This method of establishing the identity between Kutastha and Brahman is technically called Mukhya-Samanadhikarana. There is the other type of Samanadhikarana which goes under the name Badha-Samanadhikarana. This helps us to establish the identity between Jiva and Brahman.

In this case we negate the attributes and limiting adjuncts of one of the two given things, and identify the remaining (non-negated) portion with the second thing through Mukhya-Samanadhikarana.

Here, to establish the identity between Jiva and Brahman, first we negate the limiting between Jiva and Upadhis of the Jiva and then identify the Pure Consciousness left over with Brahman. This is like establishing the relationship between Jalakasa (space reflected in water) and Mahakasa (space external to water).

Inapplicability of Viseshana Viseshya Bhava

It is open for anyone to contend that the words Tat and Tvam may be interpreted and identified through the use of either solely Samanadhikarana or Viseshana Viseshya Bhava as in the case of a Blue Lotus, without the help of Bhagatyaga Lakshana. The answer to that is that the literal meaning, as understood in the statement 'the blue lotus,' does not fit in with the sentence Tat Tvam Asi.

In the assertion 'the blue lotus,' the two words 'blue' and 'lotus,' by themselves, are two contrary ideas, but still they qualify each other so as to signify a common object. This mutual qualification is Viseshana Viseshya Bhava.

All lotuses are not blue and all blue things are not lotuses. But in this particular case, blue qualifies the word lotus and lotus qualifies the word blue. Thus they qualify each other and there exists a mutual qualifier-qualified relationship. Thus, temporarily avoiding all their distinctions, they unite together to mean that thing which we call the blue lotus, the Samanadhikarana.

This type of interpretation cannot be given to the sentence 'Tat Tvam Asi.'

In the statement 'the blue lotus,' though the word 'blue' and 'lotus' are two contrary ideas, yet, they exist on one and the same substratum, Samanadhikarana, and further stand in the mutual relationship of qualifier and qualified to denote a common basis.

In the case of Tat and Tvam, they are two contrary ideas respectively associated with remoteness and nearness. As such, their co-existence in one and the same individual is not possible. Further, it cannot be argued that after eliminating their mutual distinctions they stand in the mutual relationship of the qualifier and the qualified, on the same substratum, so as to mean that substratum.

In the sentence Tat Tvam Asi there is no effort to bring two contrary ideas in the relationship of the qualifier and the qualified, and thus to effect a unity between two contrary ideas, so as to bring out the meaning of the substratum. The true significance of the sentence Tat Tvam Asi is an absolute homogeneous Consciousness.

The inadmissibility of Jahallakshana and Ajahallakshana were discussed before. Now the inadmissibility of Samanadhikarana and Viseshana Viseshya Bhava have been discussed.

Thus, Bhagatyaga Lakshana or Jahadajahallakshana alone is admissible in getting at the true meaning of the sentence Tat Tvam Asi.


When the true significance of the words Tat and Tvam are heard and considered through the method of refutation of superimposition and identification of the Consciousness, there arises in the mind of the aspirant an idea pertaining to that state of Absolute Oneness. There is a perfect and unswerving idea and feeling in the aspirant that he himself is Brahman. 'Aham Brahma Asmi' (I am Brahman), he feels He meditates over that idea continuously and enters the state of Samadhi and Self-realisation.

Now, it may be asked as to whom this Knowledge comes, whether to the Kutastha or the Chidabhasa.

Primarily, this knowledge dawns in Chidabhasa. The Chidabhasa who is associated with the Buddhi or intellect, firstly negates his Svarupa as such. Because of this negation, he knows himself as the Kutastha who is the Lakshyartha of the word 'Aham' (I). When once he knows himself to be Kutastha, there is no difficulty for him to know that he is Brahman, for, verily, Kutastha Himself is Brahman------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT IS VRITTI?- Vritti means a whirl-pool. It is a wave of thought that arises in the Antahkarana. Vrittis are modifications of the mind. They are the effect of Avidya. When Avidya is destroyed by Jnana, Vrittis get absorbed in Brahman (Laya), just as water thrown in a heated pan is absorbed in the pan.Wherefrom does a Vritti arise? From the Chitta or mind. Why does a Vritti arise? It is Svabhava of Antahkarana. What is its function? It causes Avarana-Bhanga (removes the veil of Sthula Avidya that envelops the objects). It helps the evolution of a man till he attains perfection (Jivanmukti). It is Vritti that opens the Kundalini in a Jnani in the Ajna Chakra and joins it in Sahasrara. This is one path.The Chitta is the mind stuff. It is the mental substance. Vritti or thought-wave is a modification of that mental substance. It is a process. Just as waves and bubbles arise from the surface of the ocean, so also these Vrittis arise from the surface of the mind-ocean. Just as rays emanate from the sun, so also these mental rays (modification of Vrittis) emanate from the mind-sun. Just as the sun merges itself in the horizon at sunset by collecting all its rays, so also you will have to merge in that Sun of suns, Absolute Consciousness, Eternal Peace by collecting all the dissipated mental rays and dissolving the mind itself.The function of a Vritti in the mind is to cause Avarana-Bhanga (removal of the veil of ignorance covering objects). Sthula Avidya or gross ignorance is enveloping all objects. When the veil is removed, perception of objects becomes possible. The Vritti removes the Avarana or layer of ignorance. When you pass through a big crowd or persons, you are able to notice a few persons. You do not see some persons, though they happen to come in front of you. Why? Because there was not complete Avarana-Bhanga. When this is done, the object shines before you. According to Raja Yoga of Maharshi Patanjali, Pramana (right notion or right proof), Viparyaya (misconception), Vikalpa (fancy or imagination), Nidra (sleep) and Smriti (memory) are the five mental Vrittis or mental functions. If these five mental functions are suppressed, the suppression of desires and other functions will follow. Vishayakara Vritti And Brahmakara Vritti;- Through its own efforts, the mind assumes the shape of any object, it concentrates itself upon. If it thinks of a woman, it assumes the shape of a woman. This is termed Vritti Tadakara. If it thinks of God or Brahman, Brahmakara Vritti develops. In the former case, Rajas (passion) will be infused into the mind; while in the latter, Sattva (purity) will be infused.When the mind thinks of objects and dwells on them, it assumes the shape of those objects. It is termed as Vishayakara Vritti. When it thinks of Brahman or Infinity, the Brahmakara Vritti is formed. The Sadhaka should be very vigilant and circumspect in watching the mind and its activities. He must convert Vishayakara Vritti into Brahmakara Vritti. As soon as the mind drops down from Brahmakara Vritti into Vishayakara Vritti, he should again make the mind assume Brahmakara Vritti. There is very hard struggle, indeed.You cannot have Vishayakara Vritti as Ghatapatadi Vritti (modification of pot, cloth, etc.) and Brahmakara Vritti (thought of Brahman) also at the same time. It is Sruti Virodha (i.e. against the utterances of the Srutis). It is against practical experience also.It is not the object that binds you. It is Vritti and identification (Tadatmya Sambandha) with the Vritti that causes attachment and bondage. It is through Avidya or ignorance that you identify yourself with Vritti as, for instance, when you say: "I am angry."Kinds Of VrittiVrittis have been classified into five kinds: (1) Mano-Vritti, (2) Buddhi Vritti, (3) Sakshi Vritti, (4) Akhandakara Vritti and (5) Akhanda Ekarasa Vritti. No. 1 belongs to the instinctive mind. Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 belong to the Sattvic mind. Mano-Vritti is the Vishayakara Vritti of worldlings. Buddhi Vritti belongs to Vivekins. When you identify yourself with the Sakshi Vritti, you can witness the modifications of the mind. When you try to feel that you are the Infinite Self, the Akhandakara Vritti is generated. It is also known as Brahmakara Vritti. There is no Vritti in Brahman.From Mano-Vritti, you must jump to Viveka Vritti. Mano-Vritti concerns Manomaya Kosha. Viveka Vritti belongs to Vijnanamaya Kosha. By developing the Vijnanamaya Kosha, Mano-Vrittis are conquered. From Viveka Vritti, you must jump to Sakshi Vritti. From Sakshi Vritti, you must jump to Akhandakara Vritti. From Akhandakara Vritti, you must jump to Akhanda Ekarasa which is Brahma Svarupa. This is Kaivalya or final goal of life.Antarmukha Vritti And Bahirmukha VrittiWhen the outgoing tendencies of the mind are arrested, when the mind is retained within the heart, when all its attention is turned on itself alone, that condition is Antarmukha Vritti. The Antarmukha Vritti is the indrawing energy of the mind owing to increase in Sattva. The Sadhaka can do a lot of Sadhana when he has this inward Vritti.The Bahirmukha Vritti is the outgoing tendency of the mind due to Rajas. When the vision is turned outward, the rush of fleeting events engages the mind. The outgoing energies of the mind begin to play. Further, on account of force of habit, the ears and eyes at once run towards sound and sight. Objects and desire are externalising forces. A Rajasic man full of desires can never dream of an inner spiritual life with Antarmukha Vritti. He is absolutely unfit for the practice of introspection.You will get Antarmukha Vritti (inward-moving mind) only after you have destroyed all the externalising powers of the mind. Vairagya and introspection help a lot in the attainment of this mental state. You must starve the mind by Vairagya and Tyaga (renunciation of desires, objects and egoism). You must learn the art of making the mind introspective or turned inward upon itself through the Yogic Kriya, Pratyahara (abstraction). Just as you have to take back with care your cloth that is fallen on a thorny plant by removing the thorns one by one slowly, so also you will have to collect back with care and exertion the dissipated rays of the mind that are thrown over the sensual objects for very many years.You will have to gather them patiently through Vairagya and Abhyasa, through Tyaga (renunciation) and Tapas and then march boldly with indefatigable energy towards God or Brahman. Those who know this practice can really be peaceful. They only can be really happy. When the mental rays are concentrated, illumination begins. Mind cannot do any havoc now. The mind cannot externalise itself. It can be kept inside the Hridaya-Guha (cave of the heart).Destruction Of Vrittis Leads To Mental StrengthMind gains great strength when the Vrittis are destroyed. It is not easy to destroy Vrittis (thought-waves) because they are innumerable. They should be taken up one by one and dealt with separately. Some Vrittis are very strong. They demand strong efforts for their destruction. Most of the Vrittis are very weak. Weak Vrittis melt away like rent clouds. Strong thoughts remain and frequently recur daily in the morning as soon as you rise from your bed.Be silent. Enter silence. Silence is Atman. Silence is Brahman. Silence is centre. Silence is the Hridaya-Guha (heart-cave). When the mind runs from one object to another, that state in the interval wherein you become mindless for a very short time is Svarupasthiti. That is Brahman. When the mind is controlled fully, Vrittis cease. When all the modifications subside, you enter into the silence then and then alone. Realise this, this very moment. Feel the divine glory and Brahmic splendour now by closing the eyes, by drawing the Indriyas, by stilling the mind, by silencing the thoughts, by sharpening the intellect, by purifying the Chitta, by meditating on Om, by chanting Om with Bhava (feeling). Keep up the continuity of Brahmic consciousness throughout the 24 hours. Have an unceasing flow of Atmic consciousness. This is very, very important. This is a sine qua non. This is a great desideratum.When all the Vrittis die, Samskaras and the frame of the mind remain. Samskaras can only be fried up by Nirbija-Samadhi. WHAT IS THE RELATION BETWEEN SOUND &VRITTI?- 02 FACTS;- 1-The relation between sound and its meaning is the Vritti of the sound. This Vritti is of two kinds, viz., A-SHAKTI VRITTI B-LAKSHANA VRITT 2-There is a power in the sound to generate the knowledge of the meaning of the sound. The direct connection between a sound and its meaning is its Shakti Vritti. Thetraditional( Parampara) relationship between sound and its meaning, through the meaning known through the Shakti Vritti is the Lakshana Vritti of the sound. The meaning that is understood through the Shakti Vritti is the Vachyartha of the sound. The meaning that is understood by the Lakshana Vritti is the Lakshyartha of the sound. THE THREE KINDS OF RELATION;- There are three kinds of relations, viz., 1-Samanadhi Karanya(Appositional;-the positioning of things side by side):- The relation between two words having the same substratum(A foundation or groundwork). 2-Visheshana-Visheshya: (The definitive);- The relation between the two words qualifying each other so as to signify a common object and 3-Lakshya Lakshana Bhava: (The connotive;- the associated or secondary meaning );- The relation between two words and an identical thing implied by them (here Brahman). DESCRIPTION OF SAMANADHI KARANYA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-Samanadhi Karanya is the relationship between two words having the same substratum. When by way of illustration take the sentence, This is that Devadatta(Given by God). The word that indicates Devadatta connected with the past and the word this indicates Devadatta connected with the present. 2-Both refer to one and the same person called Devadatta. Likewise, in the sentence Thou art That, the word That indicates consciousness characterised by remoteness, and the word Thou denotes consciousness characterised by nearness. Both refer to one and the same consciousness viz., the Brahman. DESCRIPTION OF VISHESHANA VISHESHYA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-The second relation is Visheshana-Visheshya Bhava. In the sentence, This is that Devadatta, that meaning a person endowed with the attribute of having been seen before is a conception of the past. They are dissimilar ideas but still they qualify each other so as to indicate a common object. 2-Likewise in the Vedic sentence Thou art That, the meaning of the word Thou is consciousness characterised by nearness. They are dissimilar ideas but they qualify each other so as to indicate a common object. DESCRIPTION OF LAKSHYA-LAKSHANA;- 03 FACTS;- 1-The third relation is Lakshya-Lakshana Bhava. In the sentence This is that Devadatta, this endowed with the attribute of having been seen at a particular place or in a particular dress or a particular time cannot be entirely identical with that endowed with the attribute of being seen at a different place, in a different dress in a different time. 2-To equate them, therefore, we must abandon the inconsistent attributes and see the identity of the individual who has those varying attributes. Similarly in the Vedic sentence, Thou art That, to equate That, the omniscient, unmanifested Atman with Thou, the little-knowing, manifested, Jiva, we must abandon the inconsistent attributes such as omniscience and little knowledge etc., associated with That and Thou respectively and take up the pure consciousness which is common to both. 3-Though the words That and Thou may indicate distinct conceptions, they must be taken to connote the same underlying reality or common consciousness. THE THREE KINDS OF LAKSHANA;- There are three kinds of Lakshana:- 1-Jahallakshan:- Here the direct meaning of a sentence is abandoned completely in favour of an indirect meaning. For example, Gangayam Gosha, The village is on the Ganga. The direct meaning of The village is on the Ganga is abandoned in favour of the indirect meaning near the Ganga. There cannot be any village on the Ganga. There can be a village near the Ganga only. This Lakshana is not suitable for explaining Tat Tvam Asi Mahavakya because if the Kutasta Chaitanya, the Lakshyartha of Tvam Pada is abandoned, there is no Svarupa for the aspirant. 2-Ajahallakshan:- Here the direct meaning of a sentence is not abandoned but amplified. As for example, The red is running. Here we have to add the word horse, and understand as The red horse is running, because, redness being but a quality cannot run. This Lakshana also is not suitable to explain the identity of Jiva and Brahman in Tat Tvam Asi Mahavakya. 3-Jahadajahallakshan:- This is also known by the name Bhaga Tyaga Lakshana. Here a part of the direct meaning of a sentence is abandoned and another part is retained. As for example, This is that Devadatta, the associations regarding time and place are abandoned, but the person called Devadatta is retained. Likewise, in the great saying Thou art That the inconsistent attributes of remoteness and nearness, omni-science and little-knowledge, etc., associated with That and Thou respectively are abandoned and pure consciousness or Brahman, which is common to both is retained. The real meaning of the Vedic sentence is obtained by applying this Lakshana only. Identity of Jiva and Brahman is shown by applying this Lakshana. ....SHIVOHAM...

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