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VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA PART-03


Five Pranas Function 1. Prana

Seat

2. Apana 3.Yyana 4. Udana

Respiration Excretion Circulation of blood

5. Samana

Deglutition Digestion Five Sub-Pranas

Lungs Anus Pervades the whole body Throat Navel

Belching, hiccup 2. Kurma Closing and opening of the eye-lids 3. Krikara Hunger 4. Devadatta Yawning 5. Dhananjaya Decomposition (of body after death) The five sub-Pranas are Antargata (hidden affiliated) in the five chief Pranas. Strictly speaking there is only one prana termed the Mukhya Prana (chief vital air or chief prana) which does various functions and assumes various names like the four-fold Antahkarana owing to Vritti Bheda. It is Udana that draws out the Jiva from the physical body at the time of death. It also takes the Jiva to Brahman during sleep. Prana is of two kinds, physical Prana and psychic Prana. Respiration is effected through physical Prana. Thoughts take place through the vibration of psychic Prana. It is Prana that puts the body, Indriyas and mind in motion. Prana is dynamic Brahman. It is God in motion or manifestation. The whole world is one mass of

l. Naga

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

79

Prana or force or electrons. In the light of modern science there

is only Prana in the Universe. What is termed matter is only a mass of energy or Prana. Pranavadins give great deal of preference to Prana. They hold that Prana is superior to mind' They assert that Prana is moving even though the mind is at rest, or temporarily absent during sleep. They conclude, therefore, that Prana is a superior principle. They quote in their favour the parable of Chhandogya and Kausitaka Upanishads wherein a description of the fight between Mind, Prana and Indriyas is given. It is the Prana that links the physical body with the astral or Linga Sarira. It is like a slender silk thread. Death of the physical body means the breaking or tearing of this slender silk-thread like Prana. This Prana is withdrawn into the astral body during death. Prana is Kriya Sakti. It constitutes the Pranamaya Kosha and contains the five Karma Indriyas' Hunger and thirst which are the two important items of the Vedantic Shad-urmis (6 waves) belong to the Pranamaya Kosha, and not to the Spirit which is entirely unconcerned (Asanga or Nirlipta) and silent witness (Sakshi). Prana derives its power and light from its Adhishtana (receptacle or substratum) Brahman. It has no independent existence by itself. It exists relatively for the Lila of Brahman. It emanates from Him and is absorbed in Him during cosmic Pralaya. Prana is Jada or non-intelligent. When you are asleep, it cannot welcome your friend, although it is in motion as breathing. If it is really intelligent it ought to receive your friend with expressions of cordial love and say: "Good moming, Mr. Thompson, take your seat, please," which it does not as you see in daily experience' Hence it is Jada. It cannot be the all-knowing, all-pervading spirit or Atman. Further you say "My Prana" as if Prana is one of your attributes or property, just as you possess a walking stick. This indicates that "I" is separate from Prana, which is only its vehicle of expression. In Pranayama, the controller is different from the Prana which is controlled. You can suspend

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PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

the breath and yet you feel that there is continuity of consciousness even though the Prana is suspended. This clearly goes to show that the Real Self is entirely distinct from the Prana. In drowning, breath is suspended for some minutes and

yet you feel that there is continuity of consciousness. you existed even though Prana was absent. All these go to prove logically that Atman is entirely distinct and separate from prana which is only an illusory manifestation. Identify yourself with Brahman. You can transcend the Pranamaya Kosha. pranamaya Kosha is the seat for emotions and passions. It has to be thoroughly purified by Pranayama for two or three years. Then the mind becomes fit for Dharana or concentration. prana is the overcoat of mind. If you control Prana, mind can be controlled easily because mind and Prana are under one Sambhanda or connection.

Isvara (In the Vedantic Parlance)

The term "Isvara" in the Vedantic sense is the Maya Wshishta Chaitanya only, i.e., the Chaitanya (pure intelligence, is associated with Maya in the Avyakrita (undifferentiated) state. There is no Loka (world) of

pure consciousness) that

Isvara. The common run of people call Siva as Isvara. Siva has got Loka, Kailas. Hiranyagarbha or the Karya Brahman

(Sutratma) has

Hiranyagarbha will attain Brahma Loka. When Maya becomes differentiated, the Chaitanya that is associated with Sattva Guna Pradharra Maya is Vishnu (preservative aspect ofthe Lord). The Chaitanya that is associated with Rajo Guna pradhana Maya is Brahma (creative aspect of the Lord). The Chaitanya that is associated with Tamo Guna Pradhana Maya is Siva (destructive aspect of the Lord). Sattva Guna Maya is Maya with preponderating Sattva. Rajo Guna Maya is Maya with preponderating Rajas. Tamo Guna Maya is Maya with preponderating Tamas. In

got Brahma Loka. The

Upasakas of

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

81

Hiranyagarbha, start the names and forms (Nama-Rupa) in a subtle state by the combination of Tanmatras or subtle elements (Sukshma Bhutas).

BRAHMAN Suddha Chaitanya I

ISVARA Maya Mshishta Chaitanya Sattva Guna

Maya

Rajo Guna Maya

Tamo Guna Maya

VishishtaChaitanya VishishtaChaitanya (BRAHMA)

(vrsHNU)

Vishishta Chaitanya

(srvA)

Prakriya (What Does It Mean) The phrase 'Prakriya'is used in various senses. There are Prakriya Granthas and Sastra Granthas. In Sastra Grantha, everything is mixed together. In Prakriya Grantha, the subject to be dealt with is isolated and treated specially. In Upanishads, there is no Vedantic Prakriya. The ideas are scattered here and there. But Viveka Chudamani and Vaasudeva Manana are Vedantic Prakriya Granthas. When you say Vedantic Prakriya, the term Prakriya is used in the sense, category. When you speak of Sadhana Prakriya, it is used in the sense, mode of Sadhana. When you say Vichara Prakriya, it is the mode of thinking.

Samadhi and Jnana Samadhi and Jnana are two different things. Vedantins do not lay much stress on Samadhi. They ignore it altogether; but pay great stress on Jnana. "Hridaya Jnanena Mukti" they say. Mukti or emancipation can be attained through Jnana and Jnana alone. They do not condemn absolutely Samadhi. But they say, it is useful in the achievement of Ekagra Chitta (one-pointed

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PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

in turn helps the Sadhaka in his profound in his retaining the Brahmakara Vritti for a long Nididhyasana, time. Avidya is destroyed through the power of this Brahmakara Vritti, plus Jnana also. After removing the veil of ignorance, this Brahmakara Vritti dies away by itself and you shine in your own glory through Brahma Sakshatkara. Just as the Antahkarana Gata Vritti removes the Sthoola Avidya (Avarana Bhanga) that envelopes the Ghata (pot) and gives you knowledge of the pot that remains in front of you "Ayam ghataha"-"This is pot!", so also the Brahmakara Vritti removes the veil of Avidya, and gives direct knowledge of Brahman. You feel "Aham Brahma [561i"-[ am Brahman. It is on this attainment of Brahma Jnana that Vedantins forcibly emphasize always. AVedantin is a Sakshi forboth Samadhi and Vikshepa (tossing of mind). Yogins make much fuss of Samadhi. It is Yogic fad. Go through my bookPractice of Yoga, for a full description of Brahmakara Vritti and Fate of Brahmakara Vritti. mind), which The Story of Avidya Avidya or ignorance has 4 daughters, Ahamkara, Raga, Dvesha and Abhinivesa. The root cause of human suffering is Avidya. Avidya means ignorance. On account of Avidya you identify yourself with the body, wife, children, house, property, etc. From Avidya came Ahamkara, the self-asserting principle. In Patanjali Yoga Darsana, Ahamkara is called Asmita. On account of Avidya and Ahamkara you have forgotten your essential nature, your original Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahmic nature or Svarupa. This Avidya is Anadi, Kalpita (beginningless, superimposition). Avidya is Anadi Santam. It is beginningless but has an end as soon as Brahmajnana dawns. Brahman, the source or Yoni for this world, Vedas and everything is Anadi, Anantam. This Avidya is a mere superimposition on Brahman. It has no independent existence. It depends upon Brahman for its phenomenal existence. The world is an effect of Avidya.

VEDANTIC PRAI{RIYA

83

Ahamkara, Raga, Dvesha, Abhinivesa (clinging to life), attachment, desire, Kamana (longing), hope, anticipation, Trishna (craving), Vasana (subtle desire), Chapalata, Vanchana, body, mind, Buddhi, Chitta, Indriyas, are all modifications (Parinama) of Avidya. As soon as Ahamkara manifests, Raga, Dvesha (like and dislike, love and hatred, attraction and repulsion) immediately come in. Wherever there is Ahamkara, there are Raga, Dvesha, side by side. The function ofAhamkara is Abhimana. Dehabhimana (identifrcation with body), Shastrabhimana, Desabhimana are all varieties of Abhimana. 'Garva'is synonymous term for Ahamkara. When you identiff yourself with the body, Dehadhyasa comes in. Dehadhyasa is mistaking the body for the Self or pure Atman. It is attachment to the body. This is removed by starting the anti-current Ahamconstantly. Ahamkara also is of two kinds, viz., Suddha Ahamkara and Asuddha Ahamkara. Suddha Ahamkara is pure egoism which identifies itself with Brahman (pure Sat-Chit-Ananda) existence. This will not bind a man. This will lead to Moksha. This is termed Moksha-ahamkara. Asuddha (impure) Ahamkara identifies itself with physical body. Wherever there is Ahamkara, there are Vasanas also side by side. Vasanas are subtle desires, that are hidden inside the mind and causal body. They are Sukshma (subtle). Desires are gross (Sthula). That is the difference between a Vasana and a desire. Suppose, you eat for the first time Rasagulla at Calcutta. The Rasa (relish) for Rasagulla will remain in the mind. This is Vasana. After six months, when you again think of it in Bombay, the hidden relish will slowly emerge out and tickle the mind and the organ of taste. This relish will entirely go away "after the supreme is seen" Param drishnanivartante (Gita: 11-59). Vasana strengthens the egotism. Vasana is the enemy of peace. Vasana is the seed for birth and death. Vasana lies at the bottom of all miseries, tribulations and sufferings. Even if you are the Emperor of a vast dominion you cannot have peace of mind (Santi). Peace of mind comes from eradication of Vasanas

Brahma-Asmi-"I am Brahman" Bhavana,

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PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

(Vasanatyaga). Tyaga (renunciation) does not consist in the abandoning of physical objects. It consists in the renunciation of Vasanas inside the mind. Then comes peace (Santi, Sama). Worldlings search outside in illusory objects for their peace like the deers, which search for water in the mirage. Eradication of Vasanas brings about (Manonasa) annihilation of the mind. Then dawns Tattva Jnana.

Trishna is intense sense-hankering. It is intense craving. Suppose you have 10 thousand rupees in hand, you want to increase it to 20 thousand rupees. This is Trishna.

Kashaya and Vasana are synonymous terms. Iccha is desire. Kamana also means the same. Suppose you have no sweater in winter. Then an Iccha arises to get a sweater. You cannot call this Trishna. When a man is taking food and you are serving him, you ask him, "Sir, what do you want? What is your Iccha?" You do not ask him, "What is your Trishna?" If you use this word Trishna on this occasion, it is a great insult. The man will get annoyed.

Chapalata is a variety of Iccha. The most common Chapalatas are Jihva Chapalata (Chapalata of the tongue) and Upastha Chapalata (Chapalata of the reproductive organ). In some persons the tongue wants every now and then to eat some thing or other. This is Jihva Chapalata. In Upastha Chapalata, the reproductive organ wants to repeat again and again coition for Sparsa enjoyment. When Aasakti (attachment) for orange goes aw ay,Kamana

(longing) dies by itself. But Raga or preference will remain. Whenever somebody offers various kinds of fruits you will show preference for orange. You must remove preference also. It takes a long time. Raga or Priya comes owing to Anukulata (because you like the object, the object is favourable to you). Dvesha comes owing to Pratikulata (because you dislike the object, the object is unfavourable). You want to possess and

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

enjoy those objects which are Anukula (favourable) and to throw away those things which are Pratikula (unfavourable).

Iccha, Kamana, Aasakti, Chapalata, Vancha are all Antargata (hidden) in Raga or Anukulata. These are all Parivara (attendants of Raga). They are all Vistaras (expansions) of Raga. They are all modifications of Raga. The cause ofRaga (or its root) is Vasana. The root for Vasana is Ahamkara. The cause for Ahamkara is Avidya or Ignorance.

In a Jnani all Vasanas are fried up. So he has no Raga for any object.

Ahamkara goes away, Raga-Dvesha will disappear. If Avidya vanishes, Ahamkara will disappear. If you get Jnana, all Avidya, Ahamkara, Raga, Dvesha and Abhinivesa will pass away. All the links of the chain of ignorance get broken at one stroke as soon as you get Self-knowledge or knowledge of the Brahman.

If

Yoga Vasishtha it is described that fear is an old-standing associate of Raga and that it is hidden in Raga. Some say that it is an associate of hatred.

In

Life Follows Death (As Day Follows Night) This is a world of opposites or Dvandvas. Night is opposite to day, light to darkness, life to death, and so on. Every opposite comes in rotation. When day is over, night must follow. When light goes away, darkness appears. When darkness disappears, light must appear.

life and death. When life is gone, death must follow. Life must come after death. There is perfect harmony in the universe. Everything is governed by well-established and definite laws. When all the opposites rotate in the way aforesaid, life and death also cannot escape this rule or law. So is

Ir 86 PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

Prarabdha and Purushartha Bhishma said to Yudhishthira (Mahabharata: Santi Parva, LVr-10):

"O

son, you should always exert promptly,

O

Yudhishthira, for without exertion and manliness mere destiny never accomplishes the objects the kings wish to achieve. "These two, viz., exertion and destiny are equal. Ofthem,I consider exertion to be superior, for destiny is determined from the results of exertion.

"Do not be sorry if what is undertaken ends disastrously, for you should then exert yourself in the same work with redoubled attention. This is the highest of royal duties."

Essentials and Non-essentials

(Of Religion) You must be able to differentiate the essentials from the non-essentials in religion and philosophy, through the power of pure reason or discrimination. Then only you can be happy. The essentials of all religions are one and the same. They all agree. Religions differ only in non-essentials. You will have to look to the underlying basic principles and ignore the non-essentials. There is a God, Allah, Isvara or Brahman. He has to be reached by renunciation of worldly pleasures. Brahman should be obtained by getting Brahma Jnana. Mukti comes out of knowledge of Brahman or God, "Hridaya Jnanena Mukti." There is Law of Karma. There is re-incarnation. There is Law of cause and effect. There are the four paths, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga to reach God. These four paths are designed to suit the four different kinds of temperaments, of men active, devotional, mystic and rational. A man of active temperament may remain in the world, lead a life of householder and do Nishkamya Karma Yoga and realise God as Raja Janaka and others did. If he is of a mystic and rational temperament, he may lead a life of seclusion and pure

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87

contemplation as Bhartrihari and Mansoor did. These are the essentials of religion and philosophy. A man may dress in simple clothing in any way he likes. He may eat simple food in any way he likes. He may dress his hair in any way he likes. These have nothing to do with meditation or religion. Real religion and philosophy is beyond senses and intellect. above gone has when one begins Real religion body-consciousness. beyond the petty customs, manners and conventions. These are all meaningless, social bindings. They have nothing to do for a man who has expanded himself.

Real religion begins when one has gone

The worldly minded persons attach too much stress on eating, etc., and are not able to judge the merits of a Sadhu. They look to the externals only. They are intolerant. They are prejudiced unreasonably. They waste good opportunities. They do not derive much advantage from the company of Sadhus and Sannyasins. They always find faults for trifling, paltry things. They say, "That Sannyasin is eating onions. This Sadhu is smoking. That Mahatma is taking face shave." If you look into these petty things, you can never be benefited. Tibeti Baba, a great living Yogi of Burdwan, Bengal, who made severe Tapascharya for 30 years in Tibet, is smoking. He takes meat also. What of that? He knows how to convert a Tamasic food into Sattvic food. He has the power to do so.

In these days of scientific advancements, there is no healthy co-operation between the householders and Sannyasins. The majority of householders have no faith in Sadhus and Sannyasins. They are not to be blamed entirely. Sadhus themselves have to be reformed a lot. Thorough overhauling is imperative. It will come to pass soon, through legislation. Sannyasins suffer a lot because the householders have lost Sraddha in them owing to the influence of foreign education. The householders do not thereby gain any spiritual knowledge by association with the Sadhus. Satsanga is a sine qua non for the householders for their psychological

B8

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA

transformation. It is Satsanga and Satsanga only that changes the minds of worldly persons towards the spiritual path. Be in the company of Sadhus. The company itself is real spiritual education. Serve Sannyasins and Sadhus. Attend to their wants. Live with them.

Be catholic and liberal in your views. Expand. Expand. Ignore trifles. Raise above petty customs, ceremonies, touchism, kitchenism and markism. Look to the internal fundamentals or essentials. Ignore non-essentials. Unite with all. Pull out anything that separates and divides you from your neighbours. Then you will find the unity of religion, unity of philosophy, unity of Self. Then and then alone you will be in bliss and knowledge.

Worldly Minded Persons and Sannyasins (Move in Opposite Poles)

1. A worldly minded person worships body as Self or Atman. He adorns the body with silk, sandal, scents, flowers, ties, bows and collars. This is Virochana's Atman-vide Chhandogya Upanishad, Chap. VIII (conversation between Prajapati and Indra-Virochana). A Sannyasin worships the all-pervading Sudda Satchitananda Atman.

A worldly minded man takes pleasure in taking everything. A Sannyasin takes pleasure in giving up everything always. The former has a covetous attitude. The latter has a Tyagic attitude. 2. 3.

A worldly

minded person takes pleasure in

commanding others. A Sannyasin takes pleasure others as his own Atman.

in

serving

4. A worldly man takes pleasure in eating and sleeping. A Sannyasin takes pleasure in meditation on OM and study of Upanishads.

5. A worldly man is fond of luxury. A Sannyasin likes simplicity.

VEDANTIC PRAKRIYA

89

6. A worldly man always separates himself. He has no idea of unity. He separates and divides. A Sannyasin always unites and removes all partitions which divide.

7. A worldly man likes always company. A likes solitude. He wants to remain alone.

Sannyasin

8. A worldly man is gamrlous, is very fond of talking. A Sannyasin talks little, likes Mauna. and his children. A Sannyasin thinks in terms of unity, thinks for the welfare of the

9. A worldly man thinks for himself

world.

10. A worldly man always works with motive and selfinterest. A Sannyasin works disinterestedly. 11. A worldly man identifies with his body and mind. He is swayed by the body and mind. A Sannyasin identifies with the Atman and uses the body and mind as his tools or instruments.

12. The goal of a worldly minded person is money and sex (Kamini, Kanchana-lust and gold). The goal of a Sannyasin is God-realisation. His goal is Brahman. 13. The thoughts, feelings, actions, speech, behaviour of worldty man are entirely different from those of a Sannyasin. a

14. A worldly man has a gross Buddhi and shallow thinking. He is passionate. A Sannyasin has a subtle, sharp, one-pointed Buddhi and deep thinking, foresight and insight. He is dispassionate.

15. A worldly man welcomes all kinds of desires and is easily swayed by them. A Sannyasin destroys his desires through the power of Viveka and will-force. He is a Sannyasin who is free from passion and who possesses all the virtuous qualities, though he lives in the world. That Sannyasin who lives in the forest and who is full passions is a veritable worldly man.

of

PRACTICE OF VEDANTA Chudala was a queen Sannyasini though she was ruling the kingdom. Sikhidwaja was a worldly king though he lived in the forest for very many years.

Hope Hope is the sheet anchor of every mari. When that hope is destroyed, great grief follows which, forsooth, is almost equal to death itself. Hope is bigger than a mountain with all its trees. Or, perhaps, it is bigger than the sky itself. Or, perhaps it is

really immeasurable. Hope is highly difficult of being understood and equally difficult of being conquered. Hope entertain hopes. You will not have any disappointment. Hope moves every foolish man. There is nothing which is slender as hope. There is nothing which is so difficult of acquiring as an image presented by hope

fattens the mind. It is cod-liver oil and ghee forthe mind. Do not

before the mind.

AVedantin should be perfectly hopeless. To be hopeless is a very high and difficult state.

Conduct Abstain from injury in thought, word and deed, mercy to all creatures, gift, control of angeq freedom from malice and pride, restraint of senses, and to follow the teachings of Sashas and Brahmanas, constitute the praiseworthy behaviour. That act or exertion which does not do good to others, or that act for which one has to feel shame, should never be done. That act, on the other hand, should be done for which one may be lauded in society. This is a brief description of what right conduct is.

The Three Bhavanas The three Bhavanas are: I . Samsaya Bhavana (doubt);

2. Asam Bhavana (vain thought); and 3. Vipareeta Bhavana (false thought). Samsaya Bhavana refers to the Srutis or Upanishads.

It

is

Pramana Gata. It is a doubt that concems with the text (Upanishads). A doubt arises in the mind of the aspirants whether the subject deatt with in the Upanishads is Advaita Brahman or not. This kind of doubt is removed by Sravana or study of the Upanishads. The second doubt, Asam Bhavana is Prameya Gata. A. second doubt arises in the mind of the aspirant. What is the doubt? I have heard that Brahman is Akarta (non-doer), Abhokta (non-enjoyer), Suddha (pure). But for practical purposes and in experience I see that the Jiva does actions, enjoys, suffers and is impure. How can this be? This doubt is removed by Manana or reflection or ratiocination. You think over and over again on what you have

heard, on what you have studied. Manana is of two kinds-Inductive and Deductive. You argue from effect to cause (Inductive) and from cause to effect (Deductive). The latter is apriori method. The former is aposteriori method. Hindu Rishis go direct to Brahman. From there, they know every detail, minutice of the universe and come down to the physical world. They are, therefore, infallible. The scientific inductive method witl fall to the ground, if a single item goes wrong. Reason arrives at one definite conclusion that there is one Infinite, eternal, unchanging existence. The third is Vipareeta Bhavana. It is wrong conception that the body is the Self. This can be removed by Nididhyasana or

deep meditation. When you have direct cognition of Atman, when you get Aparoksha Anubhuti, direct Self-realisation, this wrong Bhavana will vanish entirely.

ll-r

The Seven Jnana Bhumikas (Seven Stages ofJnana)

You will not find a description of these 7 stages in the Upanishads. In Yoga Vasishtha only a description is given. They are: Subheccl2a.. Right desire to cross the ocean of Samsara (birth and death) and to attain knowledge of Brahman through Satsanga and Sat Sastra Vichara.

l.

Right enquiry into the nature of ,Who am I,, the nature of Brahman and what is this world? The Atmic enquiry must be ceaseless. 2. Suvichara..

3. Tanumanosi: (Thread-like state of the mind by the practice of I and 2). These three stages are Sadhana- Bhumikas. 4. Sattvaparrr'.. This will destroy to the root all Vasanas. The mind is filled with Sattva. Tattva Jnana dawns. Asamsakfi.. There is non-attachment to the objects ofthe world. There are no Sankalpas. The world is like a dream. 5.

6. Padartha Bhavana.. Knowledge of Truth. This is like Sushupti.

7. Turiya: Super-consciousness (experience of Highest knowledge). This is like Dridha Sushupti (very deep sleep state).

One who functions in the first three Bhumikas is called a Mumukshu. one who functions in the fourth Bhumika is called a Brahmavit. one who functions in the fifth Bhumika is called a

Brahmavidvara. one who functions in the sixth Bhumika is called a Brahmavidvariya. one who functions in the seventh Bhumika is called a Brahmavidvarishtha. Yama Deva, Jada Bharata, Dattatreya, Akalkot Swami (Maharashtra), late Kumbhakonam Mauni Swami are all Brahmavidvariya and Brahmavidvarishtha. They were perfect Avadhootas. Food had to be thrust inside by force. They were

absolutely unconscious of the body and surroundings. They could not work for the Loka Sangraha (for the well-being) of the world as Sri Sankara did. A Jnani of the fourth and fifth Bhumikas only can work in the world. Sri Sankara, Raja Janaka come under this class. A Jnani from the sixth and seventh Bhumikas will have to come down to fourth and fifth Bhumikas if he desires to uplift the world.

A Jnani of absolute seventh Bhumika who has not even a bit of body consciousness cannot live for more than 14 days (from 2 or 3 to 14 days). The body will drop down within these 14 days. Western psychologists put down as seven days. One school of thought says that knowledge of Brahman dawns in the fourth Bhumika. Another school of thought says that the real highest knowledge of Brahman can be had only in the seventh Bhumika and the fourth, fifth and sixth are stages only. According to the degree of annihilation of Vasanas these different stages are termed by different names. In Turiya there is double consciousness. The Jnani identifies himself with Brahman but he is conscious of his Sakshi state also for Jagrata, Svapna and Sushupti Avasthas. In Turiyatita, the Sakshi Bhava vanishes. The Jnani is enthroned in pure Nirvikalpa. There is absolute Abhava of the world, external and internal and everything. Some term Turiyatita people as Videhamuktas. Some say that Videhamukti can be had only when the Jnani throws offhis physical body. It is not correct. Mdehamukti can be had while one is alive. Janaka was called a Videha (one without a body)-

Vama Deva, Jada Bharata and Dattatreya were all Videhamuktas, while they were living. In Videhamukti, the Jnani is unconscious of his body' Hence it is termed Videhamukti. Isvara also has double consciousness. Only during cosmic Pralaya, He has pure Nirvikalpa consciousness. To pass on into

the seventh Bhumika, the Jnani has to give up Loka-Sangraha activities of all sorts.

his

People who do a little bit of Tapas, and have Vairagya, Titiksha and control of the physical body and its movements (Kashta Mauna) are mistaken for Saptha- Bhumika Jnani (a sage of seventh stage). A Jnani of the seventh Bhumika is very very rare. The above Tapasvin may show the external signs of a Jnani. It is simply an induced mechanical state through change of habits. He may have established new habits. He may sit in one place. He may not look at anybody. He may have a steady frxed gaze by the practice of Trataka. He may not show any preference for food. He may roll on hot sand. He may lie down on ice. These are all physicat Titiksha practices only. They have nothing to do with Jnana. Jnana is a pure internal, Anubhava (experience) state. The Tapasvin with Titiksha may not have an internal Brahmakara state. You will have to be very very careful in your judgment. You must be a pure man. You must live with a Jnani for a long time. You must be in his company constantly. you must know his antecedence in detail, his previous life and conduct, his Sastraic studies, his life of Tapas, his Guru, etc. Then only you can draw a safe and right conclusion. A Shakespeare only can know a Shakespeare. A Jnani only can know a Jnani. This testing business of a Jnani is a very difficult one.

Brahma-Jnana Destroys Prarabdha Also "The destruction of all works follows from the cognition that our true self is not an agent. And as to works past, although he has entered as it were into that state owing to wrong knowledge, yet these works also are dissolved when, through the power of knowledge, wrong cognition comes to an end, this is conveyed by the fsrm-(dsstruction' in the Brahma-Sutras (IV-i-13). On the attainment of this (viz., Brahman) (there take place) the non-clinging and the destruction of later and earlier sins; this being declared by Scripture."

"That Brahman whose nature it is to be at all times neither agent nor enjoyer, and which is thus opposed in being to the (soul's) previously established state of agency and enjoyment, that Brahman am I. Hence I neither was an agent nor an enjoyer, atany previous time, nor am I such at the present time, nor shall I be such at any future time." This is the cognition of the man who knows Brahman.

And in this way only final release is possible, for otherwise, i.e., if the chain of works which have been running on from eternity could not be cut short, release could never take place. Nor can final release be dependent on locality, time and

special causes, as the fruit of works is; for therefrom it would follow that the fruit of knowledge is non-permanent and

cannot be.

It therefore is an established conclusion that on attaining Brahman there results the extinction of all sins (including Prarabdha)

.

(Sri Sankara in his Bhashya of Vedanta Sutra.)