Rational Epistemics of Divine Reality
Before knowing what is out there, one begins with theattempt to first understand why knowing even exists.3.
If consciousness as one experiences it is false, then all questno matter how scientific it appears will be wrong headed. Butif consciousness as one experiences it is true, then the questcan end up in truth.4.
The problem is not why something exists, but why somethingsuch as consciousness exists. The knower is thus the startingpoint.5.
Liberation, thus, becomes noetic; knowledge of the Truthbrings salvation.
No wonder, then, in advaita the Brahman is called Sat-chit-ananda, meaning Being-Consciousness-Bliss, with pureconsciousness as the essence of being and bliss; bliss beingthat condition of being as consciousness in which nodistraction
or strife by virtue of duality exists.
The words “Brahman,” “Self,” “Reality,” “Lord,” “God,” and“Consciousness,” in the personal noun form refer to the Absolute andUltimate Reality, Brahman. Following, then, is a brief exposition of the rational method employed in the search for reality as contained inthe Mandukya Upanishad
, and Gaudapada’s Karika and Shankara’sCommentary on it:1. An analysis of consciousness shows that consciousness has fourstates; therefore, the Self has four quarters:a.
, whose sphere of activity is the waking state of external-world consciousness in which sensible objects areapprehended as real.b.
, whose sphere of activity is the dreaming sleep stateof internal-world consciousness in which dream objects areapprehended as real.c.
, whose sphere of activity is the dreamless sleep stateof undifferentiated consciousness in which all being finds originand dissolution, i.e., as doorway to the experience of the dreamand waking states.
Mandukya Upanishad, with the Karika of Gaudapada and the Commentary of Sankaracarya
(trans. Swami Gambhirananda; Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1995).