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Atma Bodha Verses 21-30

pour 21

Self-enquiry is the main means of knowing the Self. If you look, there is only ‘I’ and everything else is ‘this’. The scriptures refer to the knowledge of ‘I’ as para vidya and ‘this’ as apara vidya or ‘Atma, anatma’ viveka.

Atma, the internal presence is different from the body, the senses, the mind, the intellect and the external world that appears. It is pure without association with anything else.

The Truth, Atman has no attributes, an ignoramus, without knowing the true Being, confuses Atman with being full of activities, gunas and emotions.

Every body goes through six variations: birth, growth, modification, disease, decay and death, called (Shat vikaram). Atman is the witness of all drama, like an audience watching a play, which is unaffected by the situations happening in the play, but due to ignorance we superimpose the formless atman with shape, shape, size and color. , pain and joy.

Atma is nithya, when a death occurs, the physical body merges with its source, five elements. The heat of the body merges with the fire element, the body swells and the water oozes to merge with the universal water, matter with the earth, the air with the external air, the limited space that the body occupies with the universal space. , just like the space of a pot that breaks merges with the universal space.

The example given in this verse is that space is not blue but appears blue to our limited vision, so also Atma seems to be acting and experiencing while Atma’s mere presence activates everything. Not even a blade of grass can move in the absence of THAT Supreme presence. The entire universe would stop in his absence. The essence of this verse is that Atman is not the physical body.

pour 22

Just as the actions of the body are superimposed on the unchanging Atman, so everything in the mind is superimposed on the Atman. This is due to ignorance of the true Self, just like not knowing the rope, the snake overlaps the rope.

The atman, the supreme Consciousness, is not involved in any activity. It’s Akarta. The mind works because it is illuminated by that supreme presence.

Due to the ripples in the body of water, the reflected moon appears to be broken, while the moon is totally undisturbed, so too, the Atman is undisturbed by the activities of all conditionings, upadhis. (body, senses, mind, intellect and the universe). This confirms that the mind is not Atman.

pour 23

The question posed by the sincere seeker is ‘How can the atma be akartha, abogta?’ Is it not the doer or the enjoyer?

Acharya Adi Sankara expounds the answer in this verse.

Pleasure and pain, hunger and thirst, success and failure, victory and defeat, anger, fear, guilt, worry, love…all polarities are experienced in the state of wakefulness, when both the body and the mind are functioning, and in the dream state, when only the mind is active.

In deep sleep, the physical body, the senses, the mind, the intellect, everything dissolves in that one presence. All the rich, poor, kings, beggars, all experience the same peace in deep sleep. These thoughts, feelings, emotions are from the mind, not from the Atman.

Just as the mere presence of the Sun activates the song of the birds, the cocoons bloom, it causes beings to be active, but the Sun is not doing anything, so too, the mere presence of the Atman activates the BMI equipment to work and the Atman is the witness. Again, this verse reiterates that Atman is the observer of the feelings and emotions of the mind.

pour 24

Verse 24 emphasizes that the Atma has no body, emotions, actions, likes and dislikes, and this Atma is superimposed by anatma! Anything that is not Atma is Anathma!

(Adyaropam/Abhavadam). Not only is the Truth hidden but it is also projected in another way.

The seeker poses the question, ‘How do I know atma? What is lakshana? Personality?’

Atman is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

  1. ‘Sat’ – ‘Existence’ here refers to always (Trikale), it does not refer to Past, Present and Future but before Knowledge, when knowing and after acquiring knowledge. For example: when the snake is seen on a rope, the rope existed before the snake was seen, when it is known that it is not the snake, and when it is understood that it is the rope.

  2. ‘Chit’ is jnanam… ‘Knowledge’. The body is made of five elements, as well as each appearance. These 5 elements have no knowledge, they are inert, jadam. They don’t know they exist where you know you exist! As? Because you are that Satchidananda swaroopaha! Self-illuminated Atman. You don’t need a light or a pointer to know you exist!

All beings have knowledge in different proportions, ants, eagle, dogs, humans, but the others do not know that they exist except human beings.

  1. ‘Anandam’ is endless Bliss, Bliss… It is not the pleasure or joy that is experienced due to objects around which there is polarity by nature. Atman is Eternal Bliss, Niradisaya anandham.

Ex: Just as the characteristic of sugar is sweet, the essence of water is freshness, and the heat is from fire, the brightness/luminosity is from the Sun, so also Atman is Eternity (sat, forever), Pure (nirmala, without no attributes), Consciousness, Bliss, it is You!!

pour 25

If you are in a dark room or in a cave, you know that you exist. As?

Atman is Satchitananda, the Sat swaroopa is reflected in the pure intellect, referred to in Sanskrit as ‘Aabhasam’. This reflection creates the vibration in the mind/intellect team.

When we see an object, a vibration of that object is created in our mind. This vibration is ‘vritti jnanam’, buddhi vritti, like the waves in the body of water. Both vibration and reflection are necessary to gain knowledge of all that is seen.

An aviveki, ignorant (unable to differentiate atman from anatman, Brahman from an appearance), says ‘I know’, ie the reflection of atman, superimposes itself on the atman and is called ‘I know’. That ‘I’ here refers to the ego, also called ‘aham kara vritti’, not the Atman.

For example: when the sun’s rays fall on a rock, it does not reflect the sun’s rays, a body of water reflects but the reflection is not very clear, while a clean mirror reflects the sun clearly but even the mirror can reflect only when the light falls on it, it doesn’t do it automatically.

Acharya conveys in this verse that the intellect must be as clear as a mirror without impurities (Nirmalam), which are known as desires, anger, jealousy, fear, guilt and worry in order for the Atman to be reflected in it. .

Every being is a combination of three gunas, satva, rajas, tamas. The intellect is Satva, like a clear mirror, rajas are organs of action (five karmendriyas), organs of perception (five jnanendriyas), five sheaths of air (five pranas) and tamas is the physical body.

We limit the atma by saying ‘I am here’, when Atma pervades everything (Vibhuhu, Vishnu), ‘I am afraid or angry’ is an association with the mind, ‘I am hungry and thirsty’ are with pranas, not Atman. These feelings, thoughts are of the mind, while the eternal Satchitananda is Knowledge itself.

pour 26

Atma is dimensionless and without modification (Arupam, Avikari), while the intellect is inert, like a mirror that cannot reflect the Sun itself without the presence of the Sun.

Due to ignorance, not knowing the Self, the jivan sees the atman as the doer and refers ‘I am eating, I am doing’, the ‘I’ to Atman.

Such an ignorant jivan (muhyan) plunges into samsara, the cycle of birth and death.

Atman never does anything (avikari) and the intellect does not have the capacity to experience ‘I know’. But the individuality in us due to illusion, thinks of itself as the seer and the knower.

Atman is the substratum of everything, the immutable behind all changes like the water in the waves of the ocean. Waves do not have a separate existence. Atman is not affected by the rise and fall of the waves, by the changes caused in the sand of space and time.

Due to the illuminating Consciousness, there is a consciousness of the various objects. Thoughts waves after waves of pain, despondency despair joy success failure anger passion, he who knows the knower of these waves is unaffected.

pour 27

When an individual sees the snake on the rope, he is immediately seized with fear. Here the individual has superimposed the snake on the rope, so also the anatman, seen, superimposed on the atman, called ‘parasapara adhyasam’, exchanged.

The physical body undergoes changes, ‘shat vikaram’, six modifications: existence, birth, growth, disease, decay and death, while Atma is nithya, ever present. Without knowing the Being, there is a fear, I am sick, I suffer, I can die, I am useless. Limitations of the subject ‘I’ is fear.

The mind/intellect team is also inert, it cannot function on its own, just as a transparent mirror cannot reflect the Sun on its own, but Atman illuminates itself. As long as there is the thought of separation, of identification with the body, there will be misunderstanding. Know that I am not this limited being, I am paramartha, the Self, the Supreme Self.

Once the seeker recognizes the real Self, even as mere theoretical knowledge, he awakens from his own limitations and rediscovers himself to be eternal happiness and fearlessness again.

pour 28

Atma is a self-illuminating Existence that illuminates the body, the senses, the mind, the intellect and the universe like a lamp that illuminates all the pots, but the pots cannot light the lamp. So too, Atma cannot be understood by anathma, which means that atman is not outside, it sees more inside.

The very fact that we see objects emphasizes that the Atman, the seer, IS behind as the substratum.

Ex: Just like a street lamp is not affected by the wedding or funeral on the street, a mail person is not affected by the message being delivered, so Atman is not affected either.

pour 29

Acharya reiterates the exact verse 28 with a different example to emphasize the point.

However obscure the ‘I am’ may be, nothing is required to know the Self. It IS Self-enlightenment, (svayam prakashana), Knowledge, (jnana rupa), changeless, (nirvikara), Ever-present, (nithyam), One Without a second (Ekam)!

Everything in this universe is visible because of the light from the lamp that shines on them. But to know that light, we don’t need another lamp, that light illuminates itself. In the same way to know your presence you do not need another tool. The self illuminates itself!

pour 30

The seeker, ‘poorvapakshi’ poses the question, ‘How do I know that atman?’ This verse answers… The only way to get this knowledge of the Self (Atma bodham) is to deny those who are not atman, what remains is only Atman.

When you make a tea, you filter to get drinkable tea, when you filter water to get clear water to remove impurities. You need to know what impurities are and what needs to be removed. So also remove all non-atman and the atman will enlighten itself! ‘Not this, not this’ (‘Net neti ithi…’)

The only way is to study the scriptures with the help of a guru, who can explain the mahavakyas which prove that jivatman and paramatman (atman and brahman) are One and the same.

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