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VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA (Categories in Vedanta)PART-02


ln Jagrata state or waking consciousness, the three bodies operate. In dream state, the physical body is at rest. The other two bodies function. In sleep the Karana Sarira only functions. In this connection it will not be out of place to mention about the three important Vrittis, Priya, Moda and Pramoda which belong to Karana Sarira. When you see grapes in the bazaar a desire arises. This is Priya. This Vritti emanates from the Karana Sarira. When you are in actual possession of the grapes, your affection is still deeper. This is Moda. When you actually eat them and get satisfaction, you get Pramoda. Similar is the case with you when you meet your intimate friend. When you meet him, you get Priya. When you talk to him and eat with him, you get Moda and Pramoda.

Just as the physical body

is

different

in

different

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

individuals, the mind also, the chief component of the astral body differs in different individuals. There are different types of minds with different tastes, temperaments, mode of thinking, etc., but there is one homogeneous, eternal, unchanging, immortal, ever pure, indivisible Chaitanya at the back of physical, astral and causal bodies. These three bodies float in that Adhisthana or support-Brahman, like particles of dust inside the water in a tumbler. Brahman unites everything. That unifying, etemal, all-pervading supreme consciousness is Brahman or Atman. That is your own self. Atman is distinct from these three bodies (Sariratraya Wlakshana). You are neither the physical body, nor the astral, nor the causal body. You are the Sat-Chit-Ananda-Amrita-Atman. There is no doubt of this. Constantly hammer the mind on these ideas. "I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am not the causal body. I am Chidananda-Rupah, Sivoham, Sivoham." This will lead to Moksha. The three bodies are illusory like Mriga- trishna (water in the mirage). The only reality is Brahman. The three bodies are simply superimposition (Adhyaropa) on Brahman, just as silver is super-imposed on mother of pearl (Suktika-rajata), snake on a rope (Rajju-sarpa),blue in the sky (Akasa-neeli), man in a post (Sthanur-manushyah). Do Apavada (eliminate, reject, sublate the three bodies). Do neti-neti (not this, not this). Body is not Atman. Mind is not Atman. Causal body is not Atman. Then the balance left is Kev al a (alone), C hidakas a, Suddha (pure), P aripurn a (all-fu ll), Chaitanya (pure consciousness), Sat-matra (existence alone), Chit-matra (consciousness alone). That is Kevala Astitva of Vedantins.

Linga-Sarira (Sukshma Deha-Astral Body)

The thinness of this Linga Sarira renders

it capable of

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PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

passing out, and its transparency (permeability) is the cause of its not being stopped by any gross substance. For these reasons, it, when passing out of the body, is not perceived by bystanders. For this reason it is not destroyed by the destruction of the gross body. On account of this very subtlety, this subtle body is not destroyed by what destroys the gross body, viz., burning and the like. To that same subtle body belongs the warmth which we perceive in the living body by means of touch. That warmth is not felt in the body after death, while such qualities as form, colour and so on continue to be perceived; it is on the other hand observed as long as there is life. From this it follows that the

warmth resides in something different from the body as ordinarily known. Scripture also says, "He is warrn if going to live, cold if going to die." Prana Does Not Depart in Brahmajnanis After Death 1. Either through the eye or through other places of the body, as nose, mouth, anus, etc., the Prana departs from the body after death in the case of ordinary men not possessing the highest knowledge.

2. "But as to the man who does not desire, who, not desiring, freed from desires, is satisfied in his desires, or desires the Self only, of him the vital spirit (Prana) does not depart-being Brahman, he goes to Brahman."

"Na tasya Prana utlcramanti"-81i. Up., IV, 4, " Atraiva s

6.

amav aliyan\s"

His Prana does not depart elsewhere (for trans- migration). From this express denial-it follows that the Prana does not pass out of the body of him who knows Brahman. Pancha Koshas (Five Sheaths)

-Bt1i.

Up., III, 2,

ll

.

l. Annamaya

Kosha

(Food Sheath)

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA 2. Pranamaya 3. Manomaya

57

Kosha (Vital Sheath) Kosha (Mental Sheath)

4. Wjnanamaya Kosha (Intellectual Sheath) 5. Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss Sheath) Maya means

"full of'. Kosha means a sheath or

layer.

Kosha represents the scabbard of a sword.

Atman amongst the Koshas is like the rarest and the most precious diamond, that is kept in a dark cave encircled and enveloped by five ranges of mountains, one overlapping the other.

Atman is like a diamond placed amongst the five caskets one containing the other, the inner one being the cleaner, the subtler and more expansive than the outer one. You have the set of 5 vessels one placed inside the other in Rukmini cooker, for cooking purposes. Similar is the case with the five sheaths. The five Koshas are like the five veils, that screen a light, the outer one being denser than the inner.

Annamaya Kosha is the physical body. Pranamaya, Manomaya and Vijnanamaya Koshas are in the astral body or Lingadeha. Anandamaya Kosha belongs to the causal body. Pranamaya Kosha contains the five Karma-indriyas or organs of actions. Manomaya Kosha and Vijnanamaya Kosha contain the five Jnana-indriyas. Priya, Moda and Pramoda are the Gunas or the attributes of the Anandamaya Kosha. Anandamaya Kosha contains the Moola Ajnana or Mula Avidya. Birth and death belong to Annamaya Kosha. Hunger and thirst belong to Pranamaya Kosha. Harsha and Soka (exhilaration and depression) belong to Manomaya Kosha. These are the Shad-urmis (six waves) in the ocean of Samsara. Passion, anger, greed, Sankalpa-vikalpa are Karmas of the Manomaya Kosha. Kartritva (agency), Bhoktrina (enjoyment)

5B

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

belong to Vijnanamaya Kosha. Sleep and Moha (delusion) belong to Anandamaya Kosha.

Pranamaya, Manomaya and Vijnanamaya Koshas co-exist. They form one body, the Linga-Sarira. They cannot be separated.

In

Manomaya Kosha the lccha Sakti

is working. In

Pranamaya Kosha the Kriya Sakti is working. In Vijnanamaya Kosha the Jnana Sakti is working.

In the Taittiriya Upanishad each Kosha is represented as a bird with five component parts-viz., head, two wings, tail and trunk (Atman). The Anandamaya Kosha is thus described. The attribute of Priya (love) is its head. The attribute of Moda Qoy) is its right wing. The attribute of Pramoda (reloicing) is its left wing. Bliss is the trunk (the Atman). Brahman is the

tail-support. Vijnanamaya Kosha (Knowledge Sheath) characterised by egoism has Kartritva and Bhoktrina. the two characteristics of an agent. It is endowed with the function of knowled,ge (Jnana Sakti) and always identifies itself with the body and organs, etc. This causes a man to come down again into the world. It is exceedingly effulgent and owing to its being very near to the Supreme self, deludes the Jiva to transmigration.

It is the Ananda from the Anandamaya Kosha that is transmitted to the mind and nay, to the physical body even. The Anandamaya Kosha, when put in motion through Priya, Moda and Pramoda Gunas at the sight, possession and enjoyment of pleasant objects gives a push to the mind, which in turn gives a push to the physical body also, as in the case of persons who begin to dance in joy at times.

The Ananda of the Anandamaya Kosha is shared by the mind and the physical body also. In the cases of the presence of undesirable objects as enemies , the Priya, Moda and pramoda Vriltis are inverted just as the flame that is inverted in a mirror owing to a wrong mental imagination.

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

59

The Anandamaya Kosha operates chiefly in dreamless, deep sleep, but at times, is observable in the waking and dreaming consciousness too. For instance, at the sight of the dearest and the most agreeable object or during the fruition of some of the most virtuous deeds, this Kosha operates. This sheath being the modification of Avidya (nescience) and having the pleasant attributes therein entraps an aspirant of Brahmajnana and impedes his further spiritual progress if he is not cautious and vigilant.

He should transcend this sheath and get at the Atman beyond.

Atman is Panchakosha Vyatirikta (distinct from the 5 Koshas). Atman is beyond the five Koshas. When you have a very strong conviction by analysis, introspection and Wchara, Sruti, Yukti andSvanub,hruri (Shastras, reasoning and one's own direct experience), that you are entirely separate from the five sheaths, all fears melt away. The 5 sheaths float in Brahman or Atman. Atman is in the five sheaths as it is all-pervading. Yet it is distinct from the five Koshas. The Koshas are illusory. Atman is only real. The Pancha Koshas have a relative, dependent existence. They are not in Atman, but Atman is in them without being affected in the least by their changes and impurities, just as the sun's rays are not in the least affected when they fall on filthy substances like cow-dung and pure things as water, flowers, etc. Through the Yedantic Anvaya Vyatireka method you must separate and take out the Atman from the Pancha Koshas. Nama-rupa is Vyatireka. Names and forms are different. When one name and form is present, other names and forms are absent then and there. Atman or Asti-Bhati-Priya (Sat-Chit-Ananda) is Anvaya. Nama-rupa (Vyatireka) is different in different individuals but Asti-Bhati-Priya (Anvaya) is the same in all persons. Just as you churn curd and take out the butter by the process of long

60

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

chuming with exertion, you will have to churn out the butter-Atman, from the five Koshas by the churning of long meditation on Pranava "OM" with its meaning and Bhava (feeling). This is Brahma-abhyasa. This is Jnana-abhyasa. This is Vedantic Sadhana. This is Jnanayogic meditation. Just as you take out the Moong-ki-dal (greengram) from a mixture of green dal, small pieces of stone, particles of straw, rice and wheat and throw out the other things, you will have to take out the Atman by Anvaya method and throw out the useless five Koshasby Vyatiretc method. Just as you take out the reed from the Munja grass, so also you will have to extract the pure Atman from the five Koshas. Just as you take out the rice from the paddy by husking and winnowing, so also you will have to take out the Atman from the Koshas by Sravana, Manana and Nididhyosana.

Note: A careful study of the Taittiriya-Upanishad will enable one to have a comprehensive understanding of the five Koshas. How to Transcend the Koshas Besides the Anvaya-Vyatireka method as described in the previous pages, there is another way by which you can transcend the five Koshas. Heat and cold are the Dharma,s of the Annamaya Kosha. If you develop a high degree of Titilrsha (power of endurance) like Swami Krishna Ashram of Gangotri, and if you can thereby bear heat and cold you have transcended the Annamaya sheath. If you have controlled hunger and thirst, the Dharmas of the Pranamaya Kosha, you have transcended this Kosha. If you can bear pain, insult, censure, disrespect, the Dharmas of the Manomaya Kosha, you have transcended this Kosha. If you remove the identification with the objects, body, wife, children, house, property by Mithyabhava, you have transcended the Vijnanamaya Kosha. Through indifferenc e (Udas inata), and by

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

61

giving up Moha and control over sleep you can transcend the Anandamaya Kosha.

Complete annihilation of the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya, and Anandamaya Koshas takes place only in Videha Mukti.In Rajasic persons whose minds are filled with lust, anger, greed and Moha, the Panchakosas do not vibrate harmoniously. You can meditate properly only if all these Koshas are in healthy and sound condition. Japa of any Mantra helps in keeping up the harmony of the Koshas. They vibrate in proper rhythm. Asanas make the Annamaya Kosha healthy. Pranayama purifies the Pranamaya Kosha, keeps it healthy and helps its rhythmical vibration. Wchara, Manana, Nididhyasana (meditation) develop the Vijnanamaya Kosha, and keep up its harmonious vibration. The Three Avasthas (Jagrata, SvaPna, SushuPti)

l. ness).

Jagrata Avastha (Waking state or waking conscious-

2. Svapna Avastha (Dream state). 3. Sushupti Avastha (Deep sleep State).

Jagrata Avastha is waking consciousness, wherein the mind operates along with the senses and gains the experiences and knowledge of the world of objects. The Abhimani is Wsva. In other words Visva is the consciousness associated with the individual gross body. Svapna Avastha is the dreaming consciousness wherein the mind alone operates independently. The Indriyas are at rest. The mind reproduces with some modifications the experiences of the waking consciousness. In this state the mind itself transforms itself into the dreaming objects such as rivers, mountains, flowers, gardens, chairs, etc. The Abhimani rs Taijasa.In other words Taijasa is the consciousness associated with the individual astral body.

62

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Sushupti Avastha is deep sleep state wherein the mind gets Laya (involved) into its cause the Moola Avidya.It is at perfect rest. The Abhimani of this state is Prajna.In other words prajna is the consciousness associated with the individuar Karana Sarira or causal body. The pictures of a dramatic curtain when it is unfolded and drawn down represent the Jagrata state. when the same curtain is folded up all the pictures are not seen. This corresponds to the deep sleep state. This can be illustrated in another way. The clean cloth represents Kutastha or sakshi (pure Self). when it is coloured blue it denotes Sushupti; when it is traced or sketched, it indicates the Svapna state; and when it is painted with various colours, it represents the Jagrata state.

In Yoga Vasishtha it is said that the repeated imaginations (Spoornas) are solidified into a world of our waking state. The impressions of the waking state when photographed in the mind reappear as dreams in the Svapna Avastha. Atma purana says: "WhenBuddhi Maharani accompanied by herbeloved husband Jivatma is sitting in the eye-window, the panorama of the physical world comes to view. This is the waking state. When tired of this scenery of this physical plane she changes her seat to the Hita Nadi in the throat and enjoys the dream world. She again retires to her inner apartment, her bed chamber and all are withdrawn into the original source, the Moola Avidya.,,Here everyone is in very close contact with the pure Atman. A very thin veil of ignorance separates the individual soul from the Atman. The bliss of Sushupti is like but a drop in the ocean. In waking state you enjoy a small particle of this drop. Can you imagine the nature of Ananda in Brahman or Atman? It is the ocean of Bliss. It is unfathomable, immeasurable and indescribable.

Manorajya or Manoralfra (building castles in the air), reverie, etc., are really dreams in the Jagrata state. Absent-mindedness is Sushupti in the waking consciousness.

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

63

There is a fourth state called Turiya wherein you are a Sakshi for the 3 other states above described. Turiya means fourth. Jnanins only enjoy this state. This is Savikalpa Samadhi of Vedantins. Tilriyatita is the highest Nirvikalpa state wherein all the above three Avasthas entirely disappear. In fact this is no state at all. It is beyond all states. lt is Ekarasa (one homogeneous essence). This Ekarasa-turiyatita is common to the Jiva and Isvara. Turiyatita is Brahman or Atman. Atman or Brahman is Avastatraya Sakshi (witness of the three states). He withdraws the innumerable Jivas into His womb at night during sleep (daily Pralaya) and remains as a silent Sakshi and projects them through the Wkhepa Sakti inthe following morning into their variou s Samsaric activities. How to Transcend the Three Avasthas There are stages to transcend the three states one by one. The spiritual aspirant in the Vedantic path begins to look into the world as a dream. The idea of reality of the world slowly vanishes. His angle of vision changes. Gradually he will be established in the Jagrat-Svapna state. He works and sees the world. But everything is a dream forhim. He will pass on for an ordinary man. No one save a Jnani can understand his mentality. The work is Lila (play) for him. He is a Sakshi for the activities of the mind and body. This Jnani-aspirant will forcibly drill into his mind these four ideas-Svapna-Sakshi-Akarta- Lila. Even if a Jnani works, he does not work at all, because he has got the above Bhava. Even if he eats delicaciesand sweets it isno Wshaya at all. He is established in the idea"Abhokta".He identifies himself with Brahman. There isno Kama-Sankalpain him. It is very difficult for worldly persons to understand the state of a Jnani.

After one is established in the Jagrat-Svapna, he should

try to get at the Jagrat-Sushupti by becoming entirely indifferent to all objects and by getting established in the one idea that nothing exists except Brahman.

64

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

"Sarvam khalu idam Brahma;

Na iha nana asti kinchana. "

"All is Brahman only. There is no such thing as diversity." He will slowly have this experience of the Upanishadic sages and seers. There are no Spoornas now. Deha Adhyasa (identification with the body) has vanished. This is Jnana Sushupti.

In the beginning, in the struggle to get over Deha-adhyasa, sometimes you will get over the body consciousness when you are as a Sal<shi. While at other times you will drop down again for a short time to the body consciousness. The Deha Vritti (idea of body) will overpower you. This is the struggling stage. Through constant and intense Sadhana you will have to get over this trouble. Eventually you are bound to succeed by strong will. This is the established stage.

Five Parts of An Object

l. Nama (Name) 2.

Rupa (Form)

(Existence!-Sar 4. Bhati (Knowledge)-Chit 5.

3.Asti

Priya (BlissfAnanda

Nama-Rupa-Name and form is Mithya (illusory). This is Hetu (cause) for Duhkha (misery and pain) for men without Wchara and Wveka (enquiry into Atman and power of discrimination between real and unreal, Sat and Asat). Asti-Bhati-Priya is Hetu for Duhkha Nivritti (removal of pain) and Paramananda Prapti (attainment of Supreme Bliss). Nama-Rupa differs in every individual but the Asti-Bhati-Priya is the same in all. You will have to reject the Nama-Rupa by Vyatireka and take out Asti-Bhati-Priya (Sat-Chit-Ananda) which is your real Svaroopa by Anvaya method.

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

Anvaya-Vyatireka are the two Vedantic processes for realisation of Brahman. These two processes always go together. They are the positive and negative methods which an aspirant on the Jnana Yogic path uses during the course of his Sadhana. Anvaya is co-existence. Vyatireka is disjoined existence. Just as you separate and take out the green gram from mixture of black-gram, Bengal-gram, Tur-ki-dal, etc., you will have to separate and take out (realise) Atman from the mixture of Atman and Pancha-Koshas (five' sheaths) through the Vedantic processes of Anvaya-Vyatireka.

Puriashtaka Body

This is another name for astral body. (1) 5 pranas, (2) 5 Jnana Indriyas, (3) 5 Karma Indriyas, (4) Mind and Buddhi, (5) 5 Tanmatras, (6) Avidya, (7) Kama (desire) and (8) Karma-these 8 items constitute the Puriashtaka body. Study Yoga Vasishtha; you will have a comprehensive understanding of this Puriashtaka. Three Doshas of the Mind

L Mala 2. 3.

(Impurity as Kama, Krodha, etc.) (tossing of mind)

Wl<shepa

Avarana

(veil of ignorance)

There are three Doshas or defects of the mind. Mala can be removed by Nishkama Karma (selfless disinterested works), practice of Daya (compassion) and Mantra Japa. Vikshepa (oscillation of mind) can be removed by Upasana (devotion), Pranava Japa, lapa of Soham Mantra, Maha ValEa Artha Chintana (meditation and thinking on the meaning of Maha Valgtas or great sayings of the Upanishads as "Aham Brahma Asmi" or "Tat Tvam Asi"). Avarana can be removed by study of Vedantic literature, practice and realisation of Brahman. Only he who has removed Mala and Vikshepa is fit for Vedantic study and practice. It is owing to this veil of ignorance (Avarana) that

66

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

you are unable to comprehend your essential SarChit-Ananda nature. It is a wall, as it were, between you and the Atman. Remove this veil or pull down the wall by Brahma Abhyasa. You will shine in your own glory. The Three Gunas

l.

Sattva Guna

(Sattva) (Rajas) (Tamas)

2. Rajo Guna

3. Tamo Guna

The world's process or Samsara is Trigunatmic. Sattva is light, bliss, goodness. Rajas is passion, action. Tamas is inertia, darkness. Each Guna cannot exist by itself. When Sattva manifests, Rajas and Tamas become hidden or controlled. When Rajas is in force, Sattva and Tamas get concealed. When Tamas exhibits, Sattva and Rajas become controlled. People with Sattva Guna are very very rare. The whole world may contain 1,000 Sattvic people and 30 Jivanmuktas. When Sattva preponderates with a small percentage of Rajas and Tamas, it is termed Sattva Guna Pradhana. When Tamas predominates with a small amount of Sattva and Rajas, it is termed Tamo Guna Pradhana. When Rajas predominates with a small quantity of Sattva and Tamas, it is termed Raio Guna Pradhana. Vast majority ofpersons in the West are Rajasic. Sattva is white colour. Rajas is red. Tamas is black. Lord Vishnu is full of Sattva as He represents the preservative aspect of Brahman. Brahma has more Rajas as he represents the creative aspect of Brahman. When the equilibrium is disturbed by the Will of Lord (Brahma-Sankalpa) and the force of Karma of Jivas (Adrishta), three Gunas get the Vaishamya Avastha. Rajas is in a pure and calm state when it is in a state of equilibrium along with the other two Gunas. When it gets developed only, it becomes impure and disturbed. Mind and five Jnana Indriyas are born of Sattva Guna. Prana and five Karma Indriyas are born of Rajo Guna. The five gross elements are born of Tamo Guna. Convert Tamas into Rajas by doing incessant active work. Convert Rajas

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

67

into Sattva by doing virtuous actions, Japa, charity, selfless work, meditation, devotion, study of religious and philosophical books. It is impossible to jump to Sattva from Tamas directly. You will break your legs. Deep or intense Rajas takes a Sattvic furm. Kshama, Sonti, Daya, Karuna, humility,

Ahimsa, Arjava, Satyam, Brahmacharya are all Sattvic qualities. Anger, lust, jealousy, hatred are all Rajasic qualities. Tandra, Alasya (laziness), Pramoda (carelessness), Moha (delusion or infatuation) are all Tamasic qualities.

Atman is beyond the three Gunas (Trigunatita).He is Trigunatita. He is Trigunatita Ananta Brahman. You will have to transcend the three Gunas to become one with the Atman. You will have to give up Sattva Guna also. Saffva Guna also leads to bondage. Virtuous actions will bind you so much as vicious actions do. They will take you to heaven only. They cannot give you Mukti (release from Samsara). Mukti comes from knowledge of Brahman by transcending the three Gunas. Linga Sarira Sarira is astral body or Sul<shma Deha.It is made up of 17 faculties or Tattvas, viz.: Jnana Indriyas Karma Indriyas Pranas 5 5 5 1

Mind (Chitta) Buddhi (Ahankara)

_-TT_

1

This body gets dissolved

in

Wdeha

Mukti or

Wdeha

Kaivalyam when the Jivanmukta throws offthe physical body at his death. It is this astral body that does 'Avagamana' and takes fresh body at each incarnation.

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PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Maya (Not that) Ma not, ya that (not that). Maya is not that. It is not Brahman or the Solid Reality that is at the back of this seeming universe, at the back of all minds and all objets. Maya is an illusory power of Brahman. It is Sat-asat- vilalrshana anadi bhavarupa anirvachaneeya Maya. It is neither Sat as Brahman nor Asat as the horns of a hare-because you sense the object-nor Sat-Asat It is Anirvachaneeya (rndescribable). This term occurs in Gita: VII-14. "Mama Maya Duratyaya." "This illusion of Mine is hard to pierce," and in Svetasvatara Upanishad also. It has got Saktis, viz., Avarana Sakti (veiling power) which does not allow you to realise your Divine, Sat-Chit- Ananda nature and the hl<shepa Sakti (projecting power) which projects the universe and the body and causes Abhimana. Just as heat is inseparable from fire, coldness from ice, Maya is inseparable from Brahman (Abhinna). It is Atmasraya (dependent on Brahman). Maya is the (Jpadana Karana (material cause) for this universe. Isvara is Maya (lpadhi Chaitanya or Maya Wshishta Chaitanya. According to Abhasa Vada (Theory of Reflection) Isvara is reflection of Brahman (Pure consciousness), in Maya. According to Avaccheda Vada (Doctrine of Limitation), that portion of Brahman covered by Maya is Saguna Brahman or Isvara. The whole world exists in a Bija form (seed state) in Maya during Cosmic Pralaya.Isvara has complete control over Maya. Just as Avidya is causal body for Jiva, Maya is the causal body for Isvara. World is the effect of Maya. Five elements are the effects of Maya. It has got two Avasthas, viz., Guna Samya Avastha and Vaishamya Avastha. The first one is a state wherein the three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas exist in a state of equilibrium' This occurs in cosmic Pralaya. The innumerable Jivas remain in a subtle state with their Samskaras and Adrishta (unseen power

VEDANTIC PRAKzuYA

of Karma; the fruit-giving power of Karma that is hidden in Karma).

When the period of Pralaya is over, Spanda or vibration takes place in.the Maya of equilibrium, because the hidden Jivas want to enjoy the fruits of their actions. This is Vaishamya Avastha.

Brahman is compelled to project the universe. He simply wills (Brahma Sankalpa) and the world comes into being. Rajas is pure and calm when it is in a state equilibrium. It becomes impure and disturbed only during evolution or manifestation.

Vidya, Para-Sakti, Prakriti, Mula-Prakriti, Avyaktam, Adi Sakti, Adi Maya, are all synonymous names for Maya. Vishnu-Sakti (Lakshmi), Siva-Sakti (Parvati), Brahma-Sakti

all modifications of the One Supreme Sakti,-Adi Maya. They are born of Maya. When the original (Saraswati) are

Maya is agitated during projection or Srishti, the three Gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas manifest. Chaitanya associated with Sattva-predominating Maya (Vishnu-Sakti) is Lord Vishnu, the preservative aspect of Brahman. Chaitanya associated with Rajas- predominating Maya is Lord Brahma, the creative aspect of Brahman. Chaitanya associated with Tamas- predominating Maya is Lord Siva, the destructive aspect of Brahman. Brahman is Anadi-Anantam, but Maya is Anadi- Santam. Maya is beginningless but terminates as soon as you attain Brahma Jnana.

Hrim is Bija Akshara of Maya. It is Maya Bija. Just as OM is Pranava for Vedantins, Hrim is Pranava for Tantrilcs. Hrim is Tantrik Pranava. It is a powerful Mantra. It is associated with powerful ideas. Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Maya has the opposite nature-Asat, Jada, Duhkha. The 'Why?'of Maya can only be understood when you attain knowledge of Brahman. Do not rack your brain now to know the 'Why?'of Maya. You cannot find an answer in any of the scriptures. The 'Why?' is itself a

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PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

logical absurdity. You can have a 'Why?' only for worldly matters where Buddhi functions. There can be no 'Why?'for transcendental questions of transcendental plane where a gross and finite intellect conditioned by Time and Space cannot reach.

Every one who has endeavoured to account for the empirical world has been confronted by ignorance at every step, and has been obliged to confess that human wit could go only so far and no further.

"Lokavat Tu Lila Kaivalyam". The world is the Lila of. Brahman. This is an aphorism of Vedanta Sutras. This is an explanation. There are other various explanations. But these do not give satisfaction for the enquirer. A man whose clothes are caught by fire will immediately run towards water' He will never enquire at the heat of the moment, when he is in acute distress how the fire came, how his clothes were burnt up. A man with acute appendicular colic will never enquire when the medicine is given, of what the medicine is made up of, who gave the medicine? He will take it immediately to relieve the acute pain. Even so when you are caught up in this tenible Samsaric wheel of birth and death and with various miseries, afflictions, pains and tribulations, you must try your level best to get rid of Maya. There are ways to destroy Maya. After this destruction, you will know the 'Why?'and the nature of Maya. Maya is that illusive power of Brahman which makes Anitya (impermanent), Asuchi (impure), Duhkha (painful), Anatman (insentient, non-intelligent) appear as Nitya (permanent), Suchi (pure), Sukha (pleasant), Atman (intelligent, conscious). You know that you will die and yet you think you will live for ever. This is Maya. You know that the world is full of miseries and yet you take delight in the perishable objects and will not leave them. This is Maya. You know that the body of a woman is made up of all sorts of impurities, flesh, bone, urine and faecal matter and yet you rejoice in embracing her. This is Maya.

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7l

The profound doctrine of Maya is most remarkably exemplified in all our experiences. The vagueness and the indefiniteness of all our primary notions is well known. What are movement, change, matter, substance, quality, mind, perception, space, time, causation, life, death, God, heaven, hell? Is there any agreement, or possibility of any such, between any two minds with regard to these? Yet we believe we are

moving in a real world which is common to all and in which each is equally interested. The terms I use are understood by another perhaps in a different way from my own. Yet, we keep up the appearance of a common life with common ideals and purposes. The pupil and the teacher never think in identical ways. Still the one looks upon the other as his guide and preceptor. The doctor has never beheld his own brain but talks volubly ofthe affections ofhis patient's brain. The king requires the police and the soldier to guard his life. Yet, he is the protector of the lives of his subject. There is beauty mingled with danger, pleasure with pain, sweet power ending in bitter disappointment and death. Love is often deluded by selfish cruelty and friendship marred by treachery. Truth, justice and real sympathy are rare in individuals. Piety suffers and cold

heated parsimony thrives. Now what do

these

self-contradictory and incongruous features of life indicate but that the secret of life empirically viewed is incomprehensible? The word Maya implies all this and more. It says the world is one Reality under a disguise. For, that Reality is secondless can be logically proved. But how it comes to pass that Reality puts on the guise of the world with its perceivers, perception and percepts, actors and action, enjoyer's and enjoyments, joys and sorrows-cannot be explained by reason but must be accepted as Maya. Herein lie the strength and the weakness of the theory that in the world we see many things which cannot be explained

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satisfactorily, that the creation and process of the world seem to be altogether aimless, that our experience includes illusions, and that life is beset with countless ills, all culminating in death as the inevitable end-these tend to justify the notion that empirical life after all is but Maya, a mixture of truth and falsehood, appearance passing for Reality. Its weakness consists in its inability to explain itself, which perhaps is really a virtue. For true Maya should not be self-explicable. It is not real.

Brahman (Isvara, Hiranyagarbha and Virat) Brahman has four aspects, the first three being based upon the three states, while the last upon no condition, but called fourth (Turiya) in consonance with the former fictitious three states. The first three are each sub-divided into two (1) Adhyatma or Individual, and (2) Adhidaiva or Universal.

A. (Macrocosm-Samashti) Let us take the universal side of Brahman and examine its three states. subtle (Jniverse, at the time of the universal destruction is form of the called Isvara.

I. That which is connected with Maya, the most

II. That which is connected with the subtle bodies of all creatures that are produced from the unquintified (Apancheekrita) elements is called Hiranyagarbha.

III. That which is associated with the gross bodies of all creatures produced from the quintified (Pancheekrita) elements

is called Virat or Purusha.

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73

Suddha-Brahman The fourth state which, in reality is no state, is the state of pure BRIUMAN.

B. (Microcosm-Vyashti) [Prajna, Taijasa and Msva] I. Similarly, in our microcosm, the intelligent principle connected with the state of sound sleep which contains individualized ignorance, the basis of transmigration, is called Prajna. The Prajna of the state of sound sleep is otherwise called Anandamaya.

II. That connected with the subtle body in dream called Taijasa.

state is

III. That which is connected with the gross body in the waking state is called Visva. IV. The fourth which is free from all worldly environments is called Turiya, Pratyagatma, Kutastha, etc.

Om-And

the Four States

Corresponding to these four states, the mystic expression OM is supposed to have four syllables, each representing a corresponding position of both in the macrocosm and microcosm.

The four sounds are A, U, M, and the indescribable vibration which is the essence of the whole (Ardhamatra). Now the purport of the Mandukya is that an aspirer for Moksha should contemplate the identity of "A", Visva and Virat; "IJ", Taijasa and Hiranyagarbha; "M", Prajna or Anandamaya and Isvara and the Ardhamatra, the essential vibration of OM, Turiya and Pure Brahman. All these measures are devised in order that the aspirant might grasp the Highest Principle which transcends all mundane character. The universal aspects of Brahman, which possess divine powers are, therefore,

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represented as one with the corresponding individual aspect of it. The Anandamaya state of the individual soul is then looked upon as one with the Isvara state of Universal Soul. The above is the Layachintana of AUM. It is very useful for meditation on

oM. Avarana and Vikshepa-Sakti Avarana Sakti and Vikshepa Sakti are two Powers of Maya. The former is the veiling power and the latter is the projecting power. A Theosophist uses the tcnns centripetal and centrifugal forces to denote these two Saktis. He is entirely wrong. These are physical forces. They have nothing to do with these primordial Saktis. Vikshepa Sakti is also termed as Sarga-Sakti (creative energy). Sarga means creation. Vikshepa means vibration or movement or motion. As soon as the Vaishamya Avastha began, the equilibrium of the three Gunas was upset. The three Gunas which were in a state of poise during the cosmic Pralaya became differentiated by the Vikshepa Sakti into Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The appearance of this Jagat (world) of Nama-Rupa (names and forms) is due to this Vikshepa Sakti. In sleep this Vikshepa Sakti is absent and consequently there are no names and forms in sleep. The world vanishes temporarily for the man in sleep. A Jivanmukta or a Jnani who is liberated while living has no Avarana but Vikshepa Sakti operates on him till his Prarabdha is exhausted. He sees the world as a dream (Svapnavat). An objector says that even a Jnani has got Avarana because he goes to sleep. He is wrong. The strong Samskara of "Aham Brahma Asmi" from constant identification with Brahman in a Jnani breaks the Avarana even during sleep. He is not affected at all by this Avarana.

Again an objector says that Vikshepa and Avarana Saktis are one. If one is destroyed, the other also is destroyed. He

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75

brings the analogy of snake and rope. The snake or the false appearance is due to Vikshepa Sakti. When the false

appearance-snake-vanishes, you see the Reality-rope. When Vikshepa Sakti which gives rise to Names and Forms disappears, you get the Reality- Brahman. This is wrong. They are two distinct Saktis. Take the case of sleep. In sleep there is no Vikshepa Sakti. Therefore there is no world. But there is the Avarana. There is the layer of Ajnana still even in the absence of Vikshepa Sakti. This goes to prove that they are two distinct powers or potencies. Take the case of cinema show. There is the screen which represents Avarana. Names and forms are the pictures falling upon the screen. This is Vikshepa. To see the Reality behind the screen, the screen and names and forms must vanish. Even so you must destroy Avarana and Vikshepa Saktis before you realise Brahman. This is a rough illustration to serve our purpose. You can stretch it to a certain extent only.

There is a muddy boisterous lake with green mosses all over. The muddy condition represents the Mala (impurities like Kama, Krodha, etc.) of the mind. The agitation that is set up in the waters is the oscillation (Vikshepa) of the mind. The green mosses represent the Avarana. Vikshepa must be removed by Upasana and Yoga. Avarana must be removed by Jnana. Two methods are needed to remove these two forces. Therefore Vikshepa and Avarana are two distinct Saktis. According to one school of thought this Avarana or veil of ignorance can only be removed by the Grace of a Guru (Parampara). According to another school, Avarana can only be removed by one's own exertion (Purushartha). Even Isvara cannot do anything in this matter. A Guru can show the way, can give some inspiration. That is all. One has to exert himself. This man of self-reliance will get direct help from Atman within. Avarana is the primitive Moola-Ajnana which constitutes the Karana Sarira, causal body of a man. This is a wall between

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Jiva and Brahman. Through this veiling power man identifies himself with the body, and self-arrogates. It is through the delusive power of this Sakti he has forgotten his essential nature (Brahman). It is through this veiling power that he is not able to discriminate Brahman from the five Koshas, and to separate himself as entirely distinct from the five sheaths, Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya. A Raja Yogi by his"chitta vritti nirodha" method stops all his Vrittis. He removes the Vikshepa Sakti. Even for him the Avarana remains. He must remove this by further Sadhana. Then only he will get Kaivalya Moksha.

Fourfold Antahkarana

Manas 2. Buddhi 3. Chitta 1.

(Mind) (Intellect) (Sub-conscious mind)

4.Ahamkara

(Self-assertingprinciple"I-ness")

The function of the mind is Sankalpa-Wkalpa. The function of the Buddhi is determination (Nischaya or Adhyavasaya). The function of the Chitta is memory Dharana and Anusandhana (enquiry). The function of the Ahamkara is

Abhimana

(of various sorts) or

self-arrogation

and

identification. When you are in the courts you are a "sessions Judge". When you work in a Society you assume the name "President". When you work in the kitchen you are a cook. When you work in the garden you are a gardener. You are the same person. But you get four different names according to the nature of the work. Even so the mind is one. The Antahkarana derives four names according to Vritti Bheda (four different functions). Mind is Sankalpa-Wkalpatmika. Buddhi is Nischayatmika or Vyavasayatmika. The term Antahkarana is used in a broad sense. It includes Manas (mind), Buddhi, Chitta and Ahamkara. When you include Chitta and Ahamkara separately the Tattvas of the Linga Sarira become 19. Generally

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

they are 17 only. Chitta is hidden (Antargata) in mind, Ahamkara in Buddhi. It is through Buddhi only the "Aham-Bhava" or "Aham Pratit" manifests' So it is proper to include Ahamkara in Buddhi. The basis for Ahamkara is Buddhi. The root thought for all thoughts in the mind is "I" thought. So Ahamkara is the seed for the mind. Control of mind includes destruction of the Ahamkara which is the seed of the mind from the root "I" thought, the destruction of the Buddhi which is the cause for "Aham Bhava" and identification with objects and the control of all thoughts, along with desires, impulses, emotions, sentiments, whims (Taranga), waves (Urmis), fancies, wild imaginations, etc., and memory of old enjoyments. These four links of the chain of Antahkarana must be cut asunder.

Five Jnana IndriYas (Organs of Knowledge)

Function 1. Srotram</