The Sūtasamhitā – Part 15
यथा यथा स्वभावेन यद्यद्भाति सुरर्षभाः ।
तथा तथा शिवो भाति स्वयमेव न चापरः ॥ ११३॥
यथा यथा by whichever स्वभावेन form यत् यत् that भाति shines सुरर्षभाः O foremost of Gods! तथा तथा as that form शिवः Śiva भाति shines स्वयम् एव verily Himself न not च indeed अपरः any other
We encounter objects of sound, touch, form, etc. These objects are given names by us. However, in each case the experience is ‘the cloth is, the pot is’ and so on. Vedānta teaches the method of identifying the underlying reality in each of these experienced objects. While the objects, the name-form aspect, keeps changing across each perception, the common experience ‘is’ does not change. It is this that is Brahman, in the form of Existence that is encountered by all through the medium of the experienced objects. That Brahman which shines as ‘is’ is Śiva and none other. ‘Śiva’ here is nirguṇa Brahman. The existence of the underlying Brahman, the substratum, alone is perceived as the existence of the superimposed objects. Actually the illusory snake has no being, existence, is-ness, distinct from the rope. The method of discerning the unseen, imperceptible, truth is crucial to the practice of Vedānta. Shankaracharya has graphically explained this in his commentary to the Bhagavadgītā 2.16.
Having stated by reasoning that whatever is experienced is actually Śiva, the method of contemplating the truth is stated in the sequel.
यथा यथा प्रभा साक्षाच्छाम्भवी सा न चापरा ।
इति निश्चयविज्ञानं परमाद्वैतवेदनम् ॥ ११४॥
यथा यथा in whichever from प्रभा splendor साक्षात् directly शाम्भवी of Śambhu सा that न not च ever अपरा different इति thus निश्चयविज्ञानं firm conviction परमाद्वैतवेदनम् is the supreme Advaitic knowledge
In all our experiences of ‘the pot shines, the cloth shines (is experienced)..etc’ in whichever manner the light of Consciousness is known as pervading, that very light, bereft of the object through which it manifests, is verily the Supreme Truth that is Parameśvara, nirguṇa Brahman. The contemplation of this truth, in this manner, free of the defects of doubt and misconception, is the highest Advaitic awareness. All objective knowledge such as pot-perception and cloth-perception has the knowledge part of it running through the various perceptions. This common factor is what is to be observed, grasped and appreciated. It is not an object of the senses. Yet, armed with the teaching of the Vedānta, one embarks on such a practice that is immensely rewarding. ‘I know the pot, I am aware of the cloth, now I am hearing this sound, this vessel is hot..’ such experiences have the common element of a knowledge of a variety of objects, sound, touch, etc. The practice to be keenly taken up by the aspirant is to look at the ‘knowledge, awareness’ part of every experience by disregarding the object in whose garb the consciousness, knowledge, is presenting itself. This content-knowledge is called the Advaitic Consciousness, Brahman, in the upaniṣads: प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म (Aitareya Upaniṣad 3.1.3).The container of this knowledge is what is to be given up mentally, disregarded.
यथा यथाऽवभासोऽयं शिव एवेति पश्यति ।
तथा तथा महादेवं भजतेऽयत्नतस्तु सः ॥ ११५॥
यथा यथा in whichever form अवभासः appearance अयं this शिवः Śiva एव alone इति thus पश्यति sees तथा तथा in that form महादेवं Mahādeva भजते worships अयत्नतः effortlessly तु indeed सः he
Further, the knower with the vision of Oneness sees everything in creation as a manifestation of the Supreme Reality, Mahādeva. This name does not convey a mere deity but the Nirguṇa Brahman itself represented by the deity. The enlightened man has all his worldly vyavahāra, interactions with the world, soaked in Mahadeva-consciousness. It is an eternal worship of the Supreme in whatever one does in the world. Whatever object he perceives with the eye, ear, etc. it is Brahman that fills the object in and out. Whichever action he performs with the instrumentality of speech, thought and body, this Yogī is actually worshiping that Supreme Śiva alone through that action. Such is his felicity in this adoration that it happens spontaneously with no effort from his side. Thereby his actions are only pure devotion flowing forth and not any worldly endeavor. He is the jīvanmukta, the jñānin, the bhakta, yogin, all rolled into one.
यथा यथा प्रथा पुंसस्तद्वस्तुष्वनवस्थिता ।
तथा तथाऽनुसन्धानं स्वभावेनैव पूजनम् ॥ ११६॥
यथा यथा by whichever manner प्रथा spreads out पुंसः the man’s (mind) तद्वस्तुषु in those objects अनवस्थिता flickers तथा तथा by that manner अनुसन्धानं contemplation स्वभावेन by nature एव alone पूजनम् worship
शिवरूपतया सर्वं यो वेद स हि तत्त्ववित् ।
अशिवं वेद यत्किञ्चित्स एव परिमोहितः ॥ ११७॥
शिवरूपतया as Śiva सर्वं everything यः he who वेद comprehends स he हि indeed तत्त्ववित् knower of the truth अशिवं not-Śiva वेद knows यत्किञ्चित् a wee bit सः he एव alone परिमोहितः deluded
शिवादन्यतया किञ्चिदपि यो वेद सोऽधमः ।
शिवस्यैवापचारं हि कुरुते स पशुर्नरः ॥ ११८॥
शिवात् other than Śiva अन्यतया as different किञ्चित् little अपि even यः he वेद knows सः he अधमः lowly शिवस्य of Śiva एव alone अपचारं offence हि indeed कुरुते does सः he पशुः animal नरः man
The mind and sense organs do contact objects. There is indeed an interaction in these contacts. However, in all such interactions, the yogin sees only the Supreme Consciousness at play. The very awareness of this Consciousness constitutes mental worship of the Cosmic Truth. He who sees everything as Śiva alone is the knower of Truth. Not comprehending Śiva in anything amounts to delusion. Such a one who does not see Śiva is indeed a deluded one. He, the lowly one, verily offends against Śiva, the Supreme Truth. He who diligently engages himself in the comprehending, recognizing, the Truth never loses contact with Śiva. This yoga too has been stated by the Lord in the Bhagvadgītā:
नैव किंचित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित्।
पश्यन् श्रृणवन्स्पृशञ्जिघ्रन्नश्नन्गच्छन्स्वपन् श्वसन्।।5.8।।
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन्।।5.9।।
ब्रह्मण्याधाय कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा करोति यः।
लिप्यते न स पापेन पद्मपत्रमिवाम्भसा।।5.10।।
5.8-5.9 Remaining absorbed in the Self, the knower of Reality should think, 'I certainly do not do anything', even while seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, speaking, releasing, holding, opening and closing the eyes, always remembering that the organs function in relation to the objects of the organs and the Self is merely a witness and does nothing.
5.10 One who acts by dedicating actions to Brahman and by renouncing attachment, he does not become polluted by sin, just as a lotus leaf is not by water.
शिवरूपतया सर्वं यस्य भाति स्वभावतः ।
स्वेच्छाचारः समाचारस्तस्य चार्चा च शूलिनः ॥ ११९॥
शिवरूपतया as Śiva सर्वं everything यस्य for whom भाति shines स्वभावतः naturally स्वेच्छाचारः wanton conduct समाचारः scripture-dictated conduct तस्य of him च and अर्चा adoration च too शूलिनः of Śūlin (Śiva)
यथा यथा प्रथा शम्भोः प्रथा सा सा तदर्चनम् ।
इत्ययत्नेन विज्ञानात्पूज्यते परमेश्वरः ॥ १२०॥
यथा यथा in whichever प्रथा expansion शम्भोः of Śambhu प्रथा expansion सा सा that indeed तदर्चनम् His adoration इति thus अयत्नेन by effortlessly विज्ञानात् comprehending पूज्यते worshiped परमेश्वरः Parameśvara
The enlightened man is always intent upon worshiping Śiva, the Supreme Truth, in all his actions, of the mind, body and speech. When Śiva alone shines naturally for a knower, his conduct, whether it is wanton or dictated by scripture, turns out to be an adoration of Śiva. In other words, in the spirit of Shankaracharya’s words, यद्यत् करोमि तत्तदखिलं शम्भो तवाराधनम् – ‘Whatever I do, O Lord, is Your adoration’, every action of the yogin is an offering to the Lord. He does not have to seek the Lord to worship Him but the Lord makes Himself available to such a knower always, in myriad forms, to receive his loving worship. Such worship does not involve any objects like flower, sandal paste, incense sticks or fruit but just his being conscious of the Truth itself is enough to accomplish the worship.
A yet another method of contemplation is taught here:
क्रीडया जगदाकारा नान्यतश्चाऽऽत्मदेवता ।
क्रीडयैवाऽऽत्मनाऽऽत्मानं भुङ्क्ते सा तद्धि वेदनम् ॥ १२१॥
क्रीडया as a sport जगदाकारा the form of the world न not अन्यतः from elsewhere च too आत्मदेवता the Divine Self क्रीडया by a sport एव alone अत्मना by itself आत्मानं itself भुङ्क्ते eats सा she तत् that हि indeed वेदनम् realization
The Self that is the Pure Consciousness, by a mere sport, effortlessly, takes the form of the universe. It does not come from anywhere else. Having thus projected the world, the Self, again as a sport, experiences various events, which are nothing but itself. Attaining a natural state of recognizing this truth is what is called self-realization. In a dream, the dream world is projected by the individual who sleeps. In the created world there are various objects and events. There in the dream the experience, the experienced objects and events are all really one alone. It is like a wax model of a park where the various plants, trees, birds, animals, pond, fish there, swing, children, men, women, lawns, walkways, etc. are all made of wax. Coming back to the dream analogy, the dreamer-consciousness alone creates the dream and experiences all the dream events and objects. Such contemplation with regard to the world experience, even in the waking, will go a long way in generating the Advaitic realization.
Coming soon….Part 16