Rishikesh – 13Dec14
Commenting on Vivekachudamani by Sri Shankaracharya
Says the Guru to His disciple:
124. Now I am going to tell thee of the real nature of the supreme Self, realising which man is freed from bondage and attains Liberation.
125. There is some Absolute Entity, the eternal substratum of the consciousness of egoism, the witness of the three states, and distinct from the five sheaths or coverings:
126. Which knows everything that happens in the waking state, in dream and in profound sleep; which is aware of the presence or absence of the mind and its functions; and which is the background of the notion of egoism. – This is That.
We, all of us, have this feeling “I am”, “I am something”, but on a superficial level.
We say: “I am the body”, “I am Om Baba”, “I am from Greece”… this is on a superficial level. But this “I am” itself is much deeper, and, here it says, it is “the background of the notion of egoism”.
This notion that we have, that “I am”, the True “I am”, is the background of that, It stands on the background, like a substratum…
127. Which Itself sees all, but which no one beholds, which illumines the intellect etc., but which they cannot illumine. – This is That.
Itself it is all, It is aware of everything, but nobody can see it as an object.
It sheds Light to the Intellect, to the Mind, to our sensations, to the world outside, it throws Light everywhere, but nothing gives Light to That, It does not need the Light of something else.
They say, just like the Moon does not have its own light, it is actually the reflection of the light of the Sun – in the same way, the Sun, it does not have its own light, but is a reflection of the Light of the Atman. Because it is such a Pure Entity – the Sun is the most Pure Entity – It is so Pure, that It reflects the Light of the Atman in the best way.
128. By which this universe is pervaded, but which nothing pervades, which shining, all this (universe) shines as Its reflection. – This is That.
When That shines – It shines all the time – and through Its shining, all this Universe shines as Its reflection, this is That.
129. By whose very presence the body, the organs, mind and intellect keep to their respective spheres of action, like servants!
This is one of the arguments in Vedanta, for the Presence of the Atman.
Here it says: “Look at the whole Universe, it moves in such a perfect order. All the planets make their respective circumambulation, all our organs work as they must work.
It is not that sometimes the Heart makes revolution and says: “No! I will not make Boom-Boom anymore! Enough with this Boom-Boom! I want to be like the kidneys that are silent. Why the kidneys are silent? I want also to be like that!”. No, it is not like this. Or, let us say, the ear makes revolution and says: “I can never see – I also want to see the beautiful colours, the beautiful flowers. I want also to see. I want to see like the eyes!”.
No, everything keeps in its respective sphere of action. Like there is something that oversees it all. There is something that oversees everything, and puts limits to everything, and assigns a duty to everything: “You must do this”, “You must do that”, etc.
And everything obeys: “Yes!”
We never think about it, how everything is so perfect in its own place.
There must be a perfect director, that has put everything in its own place.
And It does not need to say any word – just by Its Presence, all the things keep to their respective spheres of action, like servants.
130. By which everything from egoism down to the body, the sense-objects and pleasure etc., is known as palpably as a jar – for It is the essence of Eternal Knowledge!
131. This is the innermost Self, the primeval Purusha (Being), whose essence is the constant realization of infinite Bliss, which is ever the same, yet reflecting through the different mental modifications, and commanded by which the organs and Pranas perform their functions.
Whose Essence is the constant Realization of infinite Bliss, which is ever the same.
133. The Knower of the modifications of mind and egoism, and of the activities of the body, the organs and Pranas, apparently taking their forms, like the fire in a ball of iron; It neither acts nor is subject to change in the least.
It is the knower of all modifications and all changes that take place, but Itself It is never modified, It never changes and It never acts. It is just Pure Life.
The very Life Itself without a form, without a limit, the Sustainer of all forms. The Life Itself, what illumines everything and what knows everything. But Itself, It can not possibly be known as an object – It is not an object, It is the subject.
134. It is neither born nor dies, It neither grows nor decays, nor does It undergo any change, being eternal. It does not cease to exist even when this body is destroyed, like the sky in a jar (after it is broken), for It is independent.
When we have a jar, it has the empty space in it, and if we break the jar, the space inside the jar is not affected at all, it just merges with the space of the room. Do you understand this example?
We can have many jars in our house, many containers, many glasses, pots, jars, vases, many different containers, and all of them have a different size, a different appearance, perhaps a different material, but the space that inside each one, the ether, is the same. The space that is inside each one and the space that is inside the whole of the room is the same space.
If a jar is golden and very beautiful and another jar is made out of clay, and it is misformed and a little bit cracked, there is the same space in both of them.
What makes a jar useful is the space within it.
If a jar has not a space, there is no meaning for it to exist.
So, the essence inside a golden jar, perhaps with diamonds and precious stones on it, and inside a clay jar, not so nice and old – the essence is the same.
In this same way, the Essence inside all forms is the same.
And when the form is broken, the Essence is not affected the least.
Many times the Supreme Self, the Atman, is somehow illustrated as Space, like Empty Space, because It does not have some form, It does not have some quality.
The Empty Space does not really have qualities, we can not attach to it a quality.
And also because It is the most important of all elements.
It is because of that Space that every other element can exist.
If there is no Space we can not build a wall – we need some Space.
The water can not flow if there is no Space.
The Fire can not burn, can not exist if there is no Space.
The Wind can not blow if there is no Space.
Everything needs Space in order to manifest, to come into Being.
The Self is like the pure Space.
It is Pure.
And It is the Mother and Father of everything.
It can not be seen with the eyes, but that does not mean that It does not exist.
It is essential for the existence of everything; without that Space nothing can exist, nothing can manifest.
So, without the Space of the Self, without the Space of the Being, nothing can manifest.
And even if all that which manifests, somehow, it cracks and breaks down, the Space of the Self stays still there, unaffected.
Even if the all Universe somehow cracks down, collapses, breaks into pieces, the Space of the Self stays still there, completely unaffected.
So, if the whole of the Universe, the whole of the manifested existence does not affect the Self the least, how can it affect the Self some small, trivial accident?
So, that Self, that Space is, somehow, immune. It is invulnerable.
And the Realization of that invulnerability is a great Freedom.
Then, even if the greatest anger comes, or the greatest irritability, or things happen that seems so much important to us, we can just remember:
“What I am, is absolutely invulnerable.
It is uneffected by all this.
I am that Pure Space, where all this is manifested.
What I am can not be affected
by the manifestation of things,
by the change of things,
or by the dissolution of things.
I am the Pure, Infinite, Unlimited Space where everything, all these things manifest.
I am not affected the least even by the dissolution of the whole Universe,
how much more for small things?
Even when the Ego is burning, shouting, screaming, cursing,
I am not affected the least by it. Let it do as it likes.
I am that Pure Space where even the Ego is manifesting.
I am that Pure Space where all this is manifested.”
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti