This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Translated with commentary by Sri TMP Mahadevan, 1977
Prologue There is a legend connected with the composition of the quintad of verses “Manisa-pancakam’ by Sri Sankaracharya. One day, in Varanasi, the Acharya was walking towards the sacred river Ganga, accompanied by his disciples. At a distance he espied an untouchable coming towards him, followed by four ferocious dogs. Addressing the untouchable, the Acarya said, “Go away: go away; go away!” The untouchable asked in reply , “What should go away; and
from what! Is it the physical body that should get away; of is it the self? If it be the body, all bodies are made of the same stuff, and why should one body get away from another? If it be the self, how can it get away, and from what, since it is non-dual?”
Annamayad-annamayam caitanyam yativara kim bruhi gaccha gacchetti
athava caitanyat, vanchasi
“Is it one body made of food from another body made of food, or is it consciousness-which, O the best among ascetics, you wish should get away, by saying ‘Go away; go away’? Do tell me !” Neither from the standpoint of matter, nor from that of spirit, is there difference. All matter is one; spirit is one. Differences arise, and seem to be relevant only when the two are superimposed, each on the other, or when the characteristics of each are mistaken for those of the other. Wisdom lies in discriminating between them, and in realizing that what appears to be matter is not real, and that spirit alone is real. The untouchable goes on to explain the transcendent unity of the Self despite the apparent differences:
“In the inner reality which is the ocean of natural bliss and knowledge, free of waves, what great delusion of difference is this- as ‘this one is a brahmana’ and ‘that one is an eater of dog’s flesh’ Is there difference in the sun which is reflected in the waters if the Ganga and in the pools in streets where the untouchables live, or in ether that is present in a gold vessel and in a mud pot?”
because the essential point in the analogy is that the differences in the adjuncts do not import any difference into the prototype. The difference in the media of reflection does not make for any difference ion the sun that is reflected. the definition of its essential nature is stated in the formula. These differences. and this point is adequately explained in terms of the analogy. and it is not a whole of parts. those who employ this analogy do not wish to maintain that there is a physical reflection. It is not a different sun in each case: it is the same sun. The Self is existence-consciousness-bliss. The same sun gets reflected in the pure waters of the Ganga and in the impure water-pools in localities where the untouchables live. Similarly. and bliss are not be regarded as characteristics of the Self. consciousness. existence is consciousness. Surely. There is not even the least trace of difference in and for the Self. not dis-value. This is shat the figure of the waveless ocean indicates. etc. it should be remembered. of one impartite essence (atah sarvatra akhandaikarase brahmani na manag-api bheda vakasah tatparhyadipika) The differences appear only on account of adjuncts such as the body. etc. It is totally devoid of non-existence. The Self or Brahman is not characterised by existence. are made possible only after superimposing spatio-temporal limitations on the Self. The Self is like an ocean without shore. Even these expressions. consciousness is bliss. It is unchanging and unvarying – an ocean that is undisturbed and undisturbable. not non-selfluminous. or that the internal . do not effect the Self. How could any distinction pertain to it-distinctions such as the one between the high-born and the lowly of birth? There is no possibility of even the minutest difference in brahman which is everywhere. Hence. The argument that since the Self is formless it cannot be reflected is pointless. the Self that is reflected ion the different internal organs-in brahmanas oand candalas-remains the same without any change whatsoever. There is no valid reason for rejecting the reflection-analogy as being defective. the same all over. and misery. It is homogeneous. and always. It is not non-being. that it has no limits or limitations. inertness. however. each distinct from the other two. Existence. There is nothing like the brahmana-self as distinct from the candala-self. the implication of such descriptions is to convey the truth that the Self is nondual. and without the slightest agitation. But. existence(sat)-consciousness (cit)-bliss(ananda). and the other from that of the limitation-theory (avaccheda vada). The Self has nothing similar to it nor anything dissimilar.The Self of the nature of existence-conciouness-bliss. Two illustrations are given to explain this truth-one from the point of view of the reflection-theory (pratibimbavada).
But. The association of the illusory body with the supremely real (pramarthika) Self will not produce in the latter the defects of the former. say. and is of one consistent homogeneous nature. etc. in reality. superimposing the characteristics of apparently limiting adjuncts we speak of ‘pot-ether’. however pure it may be. Therefore. the consciousness which is associated with the internal organ is not the orginal consciousness which is the Self. immutable. an upanisadic passage declares: “ The Self is all-pervasive and eternal. on account of association with inferior bodies. Does not milk. The ether present in the gold vessel is not superior to the ether present in the clay-pot. there would be no comparison. superior bodies.organ is a gross physical medium of reflection like a sheet of water or a piece of mirror. is devoid of all relation. Milk is of the same grade of reality as the leather-container . If a learned brahmana. Phenomenally speaking. Yet. a limited it cannot take on. the Self is not. The ether-analogy is suggested from the standpoint of the limitation-theory (avaccheda-vada). etc. Similarly. If the compared and compared-with were identical. Differences there are between. may be different. become impure when kept ion a leather container? The reply is that the analogy is wholly inapt. The candala-body is not of the same grade of reality as the Self. etc. that it is really affected by the distinctions of inferiority-superiority. The differences among mental consciousnesses are to be attributed to minds. the Self which pervades them all is non-different. ether is all-pervasive and super-sensible. The bodies of candalas. The expression ‘reflection’ in regard to the self is used ion the figurative sense. The essential nature of a thing can never change. Ether cannot be really divided or delimited. Like ether. Moreover. viz. When the pot is moved. But in ehter there is absolutely no difference. In fact. ether is not moved. for instance. The Self is unchanging. the attributes of the non-self. etc. No analogy is on all-fours. thus. The analogy of reflection. it is ‘refelcted’ consciousness-cidabhasa. cows. it is the same ether. A wrong analogy may be cited in order to press the view that the Self becomes different in the different bodies. so is the self. the Self is the same inspite of the different bodymind complexes. why this distinction between a brahmana and a candala for one who ought to see the same Self in all? . it pervades all. brahamanas. and not to the Self which is pure consciousness. is not unsound. for instance. Hence. a vessel made of gold and a pot made of clay. like ether” (akasavat sarvagatas-ca nityah). like milk. it would be wrong to say that he really becomes an untouchable. has a dream in which he appears as a candala. Ether (akasa) is the nearest physical analogy to the Self.
The untouchable and the Bhagavatpada were both of them manifestations of the supreme Siva. dream. that witness of the world which interpenetrates all beings from Brahma down to an ant that. Here. Himself that had come in the guise of the candala. etc. I am. The present were enacted so that Bhagavatpada Sankara could pour out of his heart the quintessence of the wisdom of unity in a quitad of scintillating verses. it was a piece of monacting-a case of the same Reality playing the double role of the teacher and the taught.Sankara listened to the words of wisdom that fell from the lips of the untouchable. we have a dramatic illustration of what Sanakra says in the Daksinamurti-stotra: “It is the identical Reality that appears in such different forms as ‘disciple’ and ‘preceptor’. THE TEXT Verse One Jagrat—svapna-susuptisu sphutatara Ya samvid –ujjrmbate Yha brajhmadi-pipilikanta-tanusu Prota jagat-saksini. Saivaham na ca drsyavastu-iti Drdhaprajnapi yasyasti cet candalo stu satu dvijostu Gurur-ity-esa manisa mama “That consciousness which shines clearly in the states of waking. and deep sleep. verily. In truth. the Manisa-pancakam. and at once knew that it was lord Siva.he to . and not the seen object”. ‘son’ and ‘father’.
are based on the four major texts (mahavakyas). Now. The truth proclaimed by Sankara in the Manisa pancakam is that from the standpoint of the supreme Reality-if standpoint it may be called-there are no differences. he knew that the untouchable was. be he a candala or brahmana. the Lord of the universe. and gains enjoyments which are gross in character. In deep sleep. of the Yajur-veda. of the rg-veda. Siva. the absolute Self. verily. there is not the external world. and ‘This self is brahman. or to his title to true preceptorship. nor do the sense-organs.(ayam atma brahma). the first verse:There are three states of experience : waking.” the standpoint adopted was that of the supreme truth (paramarthika). it is not a state of absence of experience For. and derives enjoyments that are of a subtle nature. In waking one experiences the external world of objects through instruments of cognition such as the sense-organs. the Lord of all. respectively: “Consciousness is Brahman’ (prajnanam brahma). and deep sleep. yet one experiences a world of images fashioned by the mind out of past impressions. (tat tvam asi). The first four verses. “What should go away. This is my conclusive view. yet. of Atharvaveda. the former .whom there is such firm knowledge is the preceptor. In dream. author of the Madhumanjair. etc. and that one did not know anything. function.’I am brahman’ (aham brahasmi). When Siva in the guise of an untouchable asked sankara. and not something that is newly acquired. of the Sama-veda. While the latter aspect of the recall testifies to the presence of ignorance. As soon as Sankara recognized this. dream. he made a spirited affirmation of his faith in non-duality and gave an indication of his own Self-experience ion the five verses constituting the Manisapancakam. The fifth verse sings the praise of the status of freedom and bliss that results from the realization of the truth of the major texts-the status that is eternal. on waking up again. according to Balagopa ledramuni. there is neither the external world of things nor the internal world of images. ‘That thou art. one recall that one slept happily. who had come to reveal the plenary experience of non-duality-that He was the teacher of the saving knowledge. He who has realized this plenary truth is the real preceptor (guru): what the empirical status of such a one is of no moment at all-he be any other: that makes no difference whatsoever to his non-dual experience. And immediately. and from what?.
the cognition reveals itself and also the self as the locus and the object as the content. it is not characterised by even consciousness then. Moreover. In the state of deep sleep where there is no such conjunction. the self is not consciousness. These attributes appear in the self when there is conjunction of it with the mind. etc. vary and are inconstant. The fundamental error in this view is that it reduces the Self to the ego-principle and converts consciousness into an attribute. the Self is not revealed anywhere.bears testimony to the non-cessation of consciousness. is an attribute to the Self. the prabkahara view is that when there is cognition. Without a cognition to reveal it. It is consciousness that is self-revelatory. Consciousness. Thus. and there would result universal blindness. and while consciousness (samvit) is self-luminous. modes of experience. the same all over. volition. It is consciousness that illumines the self as the locus and the object as the content. According to him. etc. just because the son is a learned person. in the Prabhakara system. then it would be on par with the Self and the object. the basic consciousness which is the Self. The prabhakara Mimamsaka contends that the self is nor self-luminous. The Prabhakara believes that the Self is made manifest by consciousness as its locus. we ask: Is the manifesting consciousness (samvit) inert or is it intelligent? If it is inert. the self is not. and evershining. It is homogeneous. In a cognitive situation such as “I know the pot”. it does not follow that the father too should be learned person. Now. An analysis of the three states of experience reveals the truth that while the objects. and as regulated by karma. It consciousness is intelligent. aversion. then we ask: are the two manifestation different form consciousness. consciousness is not the only attribute of the Self.. how could the Self and the object be rendered intelligent by it? Surely. even as the object is manifested as content. It is prajnana. With nothing to illumine or to be illumined. the Self remains absolutely attributeless . The Self is self-luminous. the self is not consciousness. does not vary and is non-inconstant. If it be said that consciousness becomes manifest along with the manifestation of the Self and the object. and since the substance and attribute are different. even then. pure awareness that neither rises nor sets. consciousness or cognition which is self-luminous manifests the self or “I” as the locus and the pot as the object. or are they non-different? If the manifestation of consciousness is different from consciousness then it would meant that consciousness is . there are other attributes such as desire. The Prabhakara distinction between the Self and consiousness is not acceptable to Advaita-vedanta. and not the Self. non-complex.
when consciousness has for its sphere a past or a future object. for. If a manifestation other than consciousness is not admitted. the immutable self-luminous consciousness. ‘knowledge’ (bodhah). it is the Self. etc. But these latter. Yet. Some one may say at this point that of manifestation. are non-different from consciousness. that in other words. on the one hand. Objects and manifestation or luminosity are not the same. While the states of experience change and vary. are not so to the others. however. there would be infinite regress.different from manifestation. Thus. they have “experience”. . How could those others understand the truth?. They may not to be able to formulate a proof. consciousness remains without change and variation. and a relation being required to relate the manifestation to consciousness. There are equivalents to the terms in question in the popular languages used by the common people. it is clear that even those who are devoid of discriminative wisdom are aware of the self as consciousness. All of them do have the experience “I know”. they “know”. the object and the Self are always together. there is no togetherness. the Acarya says that consciousness “shines clearly” (sphutatara ujjrmbhate) in the three states of experience. it may be asked. and of the Self and the object. they know that ‘awareness’ is the condition of the possibility of all experience. big. This . The objects are experienced as being long. The reply is that acquaintance with terminology is not necessary. etc. Consciousness is not an attribute of the Self. etc. are indeterminable: and they ought not to be confused with luminosity or manifestation which is determinate. But this is absurd. then it cannot be that consciousness manifests the object. round in shape. know that the moon is a luminary with cool rays. it is inert. Terms such as ‘consciousness’ (samvit). with those equivalents they must acquainted. which are familiar to those who are learned in the scriptures. ‘self. In fact. etc. Balagopalendramuni explains this by an illustration. But. Similarly. It cannot also be that the manifestation of the Self and the object is different from consciousness. The objects. If this be the case. (atma). the objects are the forms. small. short. that it is unmanifest. ‘witness’ (saksi). Hence. that know that the Moon is the ‘heart’ or ‘eye’ of God. there would be nothing to distinguish consciousness from the object. it is this luminosity that is the Self. It is only those who are versed in the Puranas. ‘the immutable’ (kutastha). then it would mean that consciousness. in fact. the common folk may not know. Even otherwise. that the manifestation of consciousness. the people at large do know that consciousness is what makes experience possible. etc. on the other. Let us turn to the other alternative. not so is luminosity. the togetherness always of consciousness and the object is not possible.
then. the basic reality. it makes no sense to say that of the non-existent manifestation. how is this known. the verse proceeds to indicate what Brahaman is. that there is production de novo. the revealer of the entire universe. like milking knowledge transformation is not possible. If manifestation. is the witness-self. or does it merely occasion manifestation as a new product? Not the first. then ti would become an would cease to be knowledge. nothing is required to reveal it. we say. we ask. is what is generated by and act of cognition in respect of its object. cannot manifest itself. it would be inert. and transformation is possible of only what is subject to change. being inert. eg. and act and fruit are identical. Moreover. This is the Bhatta view which will not bear scrutiny. But. the threads may give rise to cloth. knowledge is the producer. even as the pot generated by clay is. The Bhatta-mimamsaka regards knowledge or manifestation as an act and a result. The universe has no light of its own. which is of the nature of the knowness of the object is what is generated. only what is a substance may produce another substance. It is the cosmic witness (jagat-saksi). It is called and act because it is the fruit of an act of transoformation. and so. only what is a substance may produce another substance. and so. It cannot be said that even in the absence of a witness the inert universe may be known by the non-inert self which is the substrate of knowledge. nor is the second alternative that knowledge occasions manifestation as substance. thus. it si that knowledge which. if knowledge were to change. this must be made clear. the theory of new production (arambha-vada) holds that the nonexistent effect is produced. that the universe is inert and the self is non-inert? It must be admitted that it is as evidenced by knowledge or manifestation that the distinction is made between the object which is inert and the subject which is non-inert. Manifestation.Having explained what ‘consciousness’ (prajnanam) is. Were knowledge to produce the non-existent manifestation. it is self-luminous. Moreover. Brahman is the substrate of all beings from the Creator Brahma down to ants and blades of grass. on the rule that whatever is produced is inert. While it reveals everything. It may as well produce a barren-woman’s son! . for. Manifestation. because cognition or knowledge is not subject to change. in regard to the statement of the bhatta that cognition is the generator of manifestation. for. It is the self of all. Does cognition get transformed into manifestation. it cannot shine by itself. knowledge whioch is a non-substance cannot produce manifestation. being indistinguishable from the object insofar as it too is inert.
our conclusion is that ‘knowledge’. Similarly. and not knowledge. The Reality as conditioned by an individual psycho-physical organism is called jiva. In all cases of knowledge. What is generated. And so. the same Reality as the ground of the universe is referred to as Isvara (God). ‘self’. it is so. What was stated above with reference to manifestation is true of knowledge also. the self is consciousness that resides ion the individual. we say. the meaning of the major texts. and that one and the same brahman which is the substrate of all beings is the witness of the universe. etc. ‘manifestation. such as pot-cognition. Devadatta is the same. knowledge which is not what is generated is real.Other that these two theories-the theory of transformation and the theory of new production-no explanation has been attempted for causation. How could the two be one-it may be asked-the subjective consciousness and the objective ground? Brahman is the cause of the origination. then it would be inert. is the mental mode which has taken on the form of the object. like the self. Nor is knowledge what is generated. etc. If knowledge is what is generated. Thus.’’witness’. with the coloured object. It cannot be ssaid that this syllogism may be used to establish the reality of prior non-existence does not satisfy the condition of being existent.. What is generated is only the particular mode of the mind. ask: Do we not observe that cognition of colour. These texts should be interpreted in the same manner as the identity statement ‘This is that devadatta’ is understood. it has been shown that one and the same consciousness runs through the three states of experience. arises as a result of the contact to the sense-organs of sight. are but different expressions for the same reality. and manifestation or luminosity which is non-different from it is real. etc. The generatedness of the mental mode is wrongly transferred to the knowledge or consciousness (the self) which is conditioned by the mental mode. sustentation. etc? The reply is. . Thus. the self which is pure being. cloth-cognition. that the appearance of the rise of knowledge is an ijllusion. even as the red colour of the hibiscus flower is erroneously attributed to the crystal which is proximate to the flower. Therefore. knowledge appears to be generated but illusorily. really. These are not twoconsciousness and man. Can these two be the same? The answer is given in the same scriptures that define brahman and atman. etc. ‘This-ness’ and ‘that-ness’ are adventitious. manifestation is not generated by knowledge. The argument may be put in the form of a syllogism: what is in dispute is real. since while being existent it is nongenerated. Now. The objector may here. and destruction of the world. When the limiting conditions are removed.
the distinction of microcosm and macrocosm does not apply to it. it should be admitted that. one’s nature can never be removed. As between exactly identical things there is no similarity.. etc. Does release consist in gaining partial similarity to Brahman or total similairty? If it be said that the similarity to Brahman is in part. There could be similarity only between things jiva and Brahman are equal or identical in all respects. If the jiva-hood of the self be real and natural. etc. etc. they may remain obstructed for some time through special disciplines. jiva-hood may be removed from the self. if the jiva be really and absolutely different form Brahman. they should be regarded as released souls. then. Some thinkers believe that jiva-hood of the Self is real and natural. were fire to lose its nature.consciousness. pain. But they are wrong in so believing. our conception of release is that it is a state in which the jiva realizes its similarity (samya) to Brahman. The thinkers in question may say: Just as by association with tamarind the verdigris is removed from copper. pain etc. the self would not be free from jiva-hood. it could never gain the status of Brahman (brahma-bhava) even through hundreds of discliplines.-which. what woiuld result is our view. and it will then be rid of samsara with its associate pleasures and pains. then.. what release is this. constitute jiva-hoodwere natural to the self. it would cease to be fire. consequently. The view that the above statement expresses is unintelligible. even so if jiva-hood is natural to the self. Similarly. then that is impossible. in fact.. we should like to know what “similarity to Brahman” means. viz. for. charms. but they will never get destroyed. the self may gain release which consists of union (sayujya) with God. but even then. the burning and luminous nature of fire may not be evident. And. and bliss is the same. And. Therefore. pleasure. it will never leave. If the similarity is held to be total. through worship. would continue to fall to the lot of those who have gained release. pain.” Now. etc. of God. Some other Vedantins say: “We do not believe in a release which donsists in gaining identity with Brahman (brahmatadatmya). since the souls in transmigration are similar in part to Brahman in so far as they are conscious beings. If that be the case. etc. when obstructed buy spells. Just as burning and luminosity which constitute the nature of fire will at no time leave it. even in the state of release. then there would be nothing to distinguish the on from the other. that nature is present in fire. that cannot guarantee freedom from pleasure. That the jiva is . and not illusory-in which case brahman would be different from the self. It is true that sometimes.. if pleasure.
The wise on to whom there is firm Self-knowledge is the true preceptor (guru)-be he a brahmana or a candala. because of impressions gathered in previous lives. blue. The distinctions of caste. desires. more than-the pot that is given in sense-perception. arise automatically. nor a human being. To the wise one the Self is an immediate and direct asnay.. do not belong to Brahman. The one who has relaized the truth that the so-called individual soul is nondifferent from Brahman is a jivan-mukta (liberated while yet living). he is the ever-pure. and not the view that the jiva is similar to Brahman.non-different from Brahman. His knowledge is of the form. He is... etc. which are perceived objects. brahman: and so the distinctions caused by birth do not apply to him. nor an animal. so the one Self appears as different on account of deluded perceptions.” Sita-niladi-bhedena yathaikam Drsyate nabhah Bhrani-drstibhir-atmapi Tathaikah prthak prthak Verse Two . etc. “Just as the one sky appears differently coloured as white. etc. nor a tree. they are illusorily caused bu karma which itself is occasioned by nescience. so in the case of the wise one. on account of previous disciplines. unshakable.” Puman na devo na pasur-na Naro na ca padapah. eternal. etc. it eans that he is free form all conceits conditioned bycast. Self-knowledge arises without any present effort. etc. If it be asked how a candala could become a preceptor our reply is: if he has realized the Self.” His knowledge is firm. The Vishnipurana declares.. "I am the Self. and not the body. brahman. even without instruction. non-dual Brahman. and so he is perfectly pure-in fact. verily.. Just as in the case of ordinary people.” The Self is neither a god.
rajas. it is the plenary Realtiy which is eternal and distinctionless. And. He knows that the world is an illusory appearance put up by nescience. The basic text for this verse is “I am Brahman” (aham brahamsmi). he is not affected by samsara. for him. Ittham yasya drdha matis-sukahatare Nitye pare nirmale Candalostu sa ti duijistu Gurur-ity-esa manisa mama “I am Brahman alone. even as the pseudo-silver is on nacre. The world is a superimposition on brahman. the world of duality is not real. and tamas)”-thus. Apart from the nacre. Since nescience has ceased for him. has been superimposed by me through nescience which consists of the three gunas (sattava. thre is not the subject-object distinction. blemishless supreme (brahman) which is unexcellable bliss.Brahmaivaham idam jagac-ca sakalam Cinmatra-vistaritam Sarvam caitad-avidyaya trigunaya Sesam maya kalpitam. it is pure consciousness which is the substrate of the world-appearance. The Self that is indicated by the concept “I” is Brahman. All this without residue. si the preceptor. be he candala or a brahmana. this entire world has been spread out by pure consciousness. The wise one’s experience is further defined here. he to whom there is firm knowledge in respect of the eternal. the . This is my conclusive view. For the one who has realised the non-dual Self.
To this contention. if non-duality is the superimposed. and so. is of the nature of what is seen. the first alternative is not possible. indeed. may not non-duality too be non-real? It may be asked. has no reality other than duality which is superimposed be regarded as the substrate. For non-duality which is said to be the superimposed. substrateless delusion is impossible. too. what is illusorily imagined may be the substrate for non-duality. The non-dual Self is the seer. it. brahman. which are the contents of illusion are superimposed on nacre. etc. while in the world what is that is not possible because there is nothing else besides it. for non-duality cannot be superimposed on dualtiy which is a mere illusion. And. the “I” and Brahman are the same. Nor may it be said that. And so. if both duality since there is no third category at all. non-real. Therefore it is that we consider the world to be non-real. etc. Even as nacre-silver is a superimposition. like nacre-silver. Now. and is made manifes buy the self-luminous seer. there would be no substrate.silver has nor reality. Nacre-silver is a content of erroneous perception. Therefore. Our reply is that non-duality cannot be non-real. there should be a substrate which is supremely real.. or is it duality? Since there is no non-duality other that the alleged superimposed non-duality. Even though the world accommodates relatively non-erroneous empirical usage. and so. in its entirety. is the substrate non-duality itself.. because it is inert. the superimposed world of plurality is. like duality. then. it is what is superimposed because it is of the nature of what is seen (drsyatvat). and not what is illusory. . we reply: the world is a superimposition on the non-dual brahman which is of the nature of seer (drgrupa). ion fact. be what is superimposed. Not so is the world which gives room for non-erroneous empirical usage. which is pure consciousness. what is the substrate on which it is superimposed? A substrate there should be. Our experience in the world is that silver. it is not of the nature of a seen object. As has already been shown. the world must be regarded as being absolutely real (paramarthika).. duality has no appearance. which are relatively real. there would be the defect of self-contradiction. On e and the same thing cannot be both the superimposed and the substrate. and so. it may be said. the world is not real. Similarly. apart from Brahman. The world. Nor is the second alternative intelligible. if nonduality. The world. and the contigence of substrateless delusion would result. it is on the “I” that the world is superimposed. Is not illusory lime nacre-silver. it cannot be what is superimposed. for. for. And so.
therefore. cannot serve as the limit of sublation. the homogeneous pure consciousness. nullity. etc. It is. it is clear. and where. he si Brahman. Nullity is the merest void. would be found to be untenable. bliss. it will cease to be nullity. Were it to be affirmed. rajas. even because it is nullity. and that the cause of superimposition is nescience. But. for. it can in no way be defined. But. he is a true preceptor. No affirmation is possible of nullity.. consciousness. Thus. whose three constituents-sattva. What is real in it si Brahman-existence. stated in the present verse that the entire world has been spread out by pure consciousness. verily. It is duality that is superimposed on non-duality which is brahman. that it is a superimposition on pure consciousness whioch is the Self.It may be suggested: let nullity (sunya) be the substrate of both duality and non-duality. even as they do not belong to brahman. It cannot be even designated as “it “. The world of duality has no reality of its own. The distinctions of caste. non-duality cannot be the superimposed. Verse Three Sasvab-basvaran eva vu\usvan ajgukajn Niscitya vaca guroh Nityam brahma nirantaram vimrsata . the eternally pure Self. when analhysed. ion the illustration. is the substrate because when the silver delusion is sublated in the form ‘this is not silver’ the nacre-nature of what is in front is affirmed in the form ‘this is nacre’. do not belong to him. He who has realized the non-dual brhaman. is a jivan-mukta. this suggestion. which is the substrate of the world-appearance. how can it serve as substrate? How can it be the limit sublation? The nacre. No matter in what conditon his body was born. The negation of the superimposed must lead to the affirmation of the substrate. and tamas-are responsible for the variety of phenomena that compose the world.
When the wisdom of the truth (tattva jnana) has become firmly established. the meaning of the major text. gets the evil results of his past and future deeds burnt up in the fire of knowledge. Scriptureordained duties and good works should never be renounced. When the competent teacher imparts the following instruction to the pupil who has the necessary qualification: “the basic reality is brahman. This view is not sound. and that hethe so-called individual. “That thou art” (tat tvam asi) is indicated. for a combination to knowledge and action is not possible . As against this Advaita-view.Nirvyaja-santatmana. has his mind rendered guileless and quiescent. he has his mind rendered guileless and quiescent. In this verse. karma that is responsible for present embodiment). Karma or action cannot serve as the direct means to release. be becomes free form passions. and the mind itself ceases (manonasa). He knows at once that the world is an illusory appearance. he who contemplates ceaselessly the eternal Brahman. and gains stillness of mind. that branman is the sole reality. In other words. In order to achieve this realization. Contemplation of the Self gains in depth and firmness. one gains release even while tenanting a body. Bhutam bhati ca duskrtam pradahata Samvinmaye pavake Prarabdhrya samarpitam svavapurity-esa manisa mama “The entire universe constantly perishes” determining thus through the teaching of the preceptor. some thinkers urge that a combination of knowledge and action (jnana-karma-samuccaya) is the means.is non-different form brahman. because it is itself a product of ignorance. since what makes for bondage is ignorance or nescience. they should be combined with the quest for Self-knowledge in order to gain release. It will be clear that. he becomes a jivan-mukta. The residual mental impressions of the past are destroyed (vasana-ksaya). This is my conclusive view.e. the latter realizes the truth of non-duality. what effects release is knowledge or wisdom. and offers up his body to prarabdha (i. he realizes that the phenomena constituting the world are inconstant and perishing and that brahman is the plenary reality the true eternal Self. that thou art”.
e. progeny. they cannot be combined. and they occur in the context of agneya for which fruit is mentioned. The .whether they be regarded as equals or as principal and subsidiary. etc. prayajas. the cause of evil. Thus. it does not stand to reason to hold that action is the means to release. The fruit of action is very small indeed-it is perishable fruit such as cattle. he who is eligible to perform ritual is the on who is endowed with desire for fruits such as heaven. etc. and heaven. it is evident that ignorance is the root-condition of the possibility of action. Knowledge consitutes the therme of the jnanakanda. the upanisads. it does not require much effort to show that action cannot be the principal with knowledge as its subsidiary. and destroys the conceit of agency. which constitute bondage. Moreover.therefore.. Therefore. for knowledge is not taught as a minor topic in the context of the ritual sections of the veda. the highest fruit. ritual). viz. dispels the darkness of ignorance. Knowledge is not related to action (i. The knowledge of the Self.. and agency is possible only by identifying the self with the body-mind complex which is not-self. as the fore-sacrifices are to agneya.. in the present context. opposed to each other absolutely and completely. be made a subsidiary of ritual.. because the former have nos separate fruit . knowledge cannot be regarded as subordinate to ritual. it si utterly improper to say that knowledge whose fruit is great is subsidiary to action whose fruit is small. means knowledge of the non-dual Slef which is not an agent or enjoyer. consisting in veilling the true nature of the Self as Brahman and projecting the illusory world. It cannot be said that the mention of fruit in the case of knowledge is an eulogy. So. As the eligibility for knowledge is different from the eligibility for action. Action demands that the individual concerned should consider himself to be an agent. since the contexts are different. Knowledge. etc. Action is possible only where bondage is preserved. progeny. This wrong identification is due to ignorance. furthermore. or knowledge as the principal and action as the subsidiary. The rule that would apply here is that would apply here is that in the proximity of that which has fruit. knowledge cannot be subsidiary of action. As action and knowledge cannot co-exist. on the contrary. The fore-sacrifices.. they cannot be combined. they lead to contrary results-action reinforces bondage. etc. that which has no fruit is the subsidiary thereof. Since action and knowledge are. thus. Therefore. Knowledge yields the highest fruit-the plenary bliss. It cannot. It arises as destroying ignorance. and through actin samsara is sustained. knowledge effects release. may well be subsidiary to the agneya sacrifice. When it is evident that knowledge and action cannot be treated as equals . whereas he who si eligible for knowledge is the one whi has renounced attachements. We have already shown how opposed the two are to ech other. because Scripture mentions fruit for knowledge –and that.
The mind itself should be destroyed (manonasa). we have destruction fo the mind. good works. They constitute what may be called the demoniacal heritage (asurisampat) of the afflicted mind. and when the mental-stuff gets transformed into the mode of control. therefore. It is by cultivating the contrary tendencies that are opposed to the demonical heritage constitute what is known as the divine heritage or the heritage of the gods (daivisampat). When the outgoing tendency is arrested through conscious control. The stuff of the eternal organ as it gets transformed into successive mides going out to sense-objects is called ‘mind’(manas). non-conceit. And. The guiles of the mind in the form of residual impressions (vasana) get activated as occasion arise. and as long as there is some residue of the vasanas still left. the mind then becomes guileless (nirvyaja). or gain knowledge itself. Scripture-ordained duties. The removal of the vasanas (vasana)ksaya) should. the two cannot be together. this is not enough. . As long as the mind is not controlled or destroyed. are the virtues that go to form the divine heritage. are mutually helpful to each other. we should understand the respoective positions of karma and jnana in the scheme of spiritual disciplines. Action is non-luminous. that oneshould renounce all attachments before on ecould long for knowledge. It is perfectly intelligible.. and not the direct means to release. The two disciplines thus. the mind will not be destroyed.nature of one is what the nature of the other is not. because it is of the nature of the self-luninous brahaman. is should become quiescent (santa). the vasanas are the afflictions of the mind resulting form past repeated experiences. Guilelessness and quiescence of the mind are the means that facilitate contemplation of Brahman which is unexcellable bliss. Just like darkness and light . freedom from pride. Such a one has mind which has been rendered guileless and quiescent. because it is a product of ignorance. thus. be accomplished. Ion this manner. knowledge is luminous. serve to purify the mind. How are these vasanas to be removed. the vasanas will not get removed completely. they together constitute the means to knowledge. etc. these that the demoniacal tendencies could be overpowered and obliterated. It si the purified mind that can pursue the path of knowledge. Now violence. how is it possible to combine them as principal and subsidiary? It is not that action ahs no use whatsoever. and so. But. Their long-standing nature lends then strength and obduracy. Karma is the remote auxiliary (arad-upakaraka).
Oif these three varieties of karma. one’s body need not fall. I shall do nothing in the future. beginning with egoity (ajankara) and ending with the physical body His realization is of the form of the truth: “I did nothing in the past. The present verse further proceeds to point out the nature of the state that is called jivanmukti.e. Karam which is responsible for the repeated embodiment of the soul is threefold.” What others may continue to observe as hios actions are not his actions. Thus. The answer has to be framed in the language that he can understand: the continuance of the jivan-mukta’s . If it be asked how could the man of realization be absolved from the evil results of sancita and agami. they do not attach themselves to him even as water does not stick to the lotus-leaf. There now remains the question about prarabdha karma: why should this too be not destroyed for the man of Self-knowledge? The one who asks this question is the one who bears a body and is yet unreleased. and that knowledge is the direct means to release. i. then release could come only after the destruction of the body. In all the three times I am free from the sense of being an agent of actions. the deeds that one does ion the present life and will do in future lives-these will be added on to sancita. since they too cause embodiment.It has now been shown that vasana-ksaya and manonasa lead one to knowledge. one realizes that the world is an illusory appearance. both to which are evil in so far as they perpetuate transmigration. and they do not any longer affect him by producing merit (punya) and demerit (papa). the continuance of the body is in no way incompatible with the status of release. there are no deeds. one took the world of which the body is a part to be real. I do nothing in the present. In fact. When one gains release through knowledge. nor the consequences thereof. since the body is not real. after gaining Self knowledge. even meritorious deeds are of the nature of evil. sancita. the fund of accumulated deeds of the past which will bring about future births. for the man of Self-knowledge. and prarabdha.. Before release. But. What happens when release is gained is a change in perspoective. whether good or bad. thath portion of the past deeds which ahs given rise to the present birth. the karma that has begun to fructify in the form of the present embodiment. its continued appearance or disappearance is of no consequesnce. If the body were real.such a one sees the jivan-mukta also to continue living in a body. I am brahman. sancita and agami do not belong to the man of realization because they get burnt up in the fire of knowledge. agami. As we have already shown. we reply: even because he does no longer identify himself with the illusory projections of nescience.
the person’s body continues to tremble for a time. To the question: how to destroy prarabdha?. But. Now. ready to be shot. it is only when the fruit of prarabdha has been exhausted that the body will fall. is from the standpoint of the unreleased. has been destroyed. prarabdha must work itself out and is therefore enescapable. and only then it will stop. then. For the jivanmukta. The present body is the result of prarabdha. This illustration mahy help us in understanding why.. he may also cast away the arrow that he has in hand: but he cannot recall the arrow the has already released from his bow. while sancita and agami are not there for the jivan-mukta. yet. and so there is no need either for explaining the continuance of the body. he may. The potter may remove the rod from the wheel on which he shapes the pot. the cause of bondage and embodiment. another he has taken in hand and placed it on the bow-string. The bhagavatpada expresses the Self-experience of the jivan-mukta thus elsewhereDrsi-0svarupam gaganopaman param Sakrd-vibhatam tvajam-ekam aksaram. This is another example. but the wheel continues to rotate till the momentum is spent. Alepakam sarvagatam yad-advayam Tadeva caham satatam vimukta om-iti . nescience. then. viz. that must do tis work. several illustrations are given. Let us imagine an archer practising archery: he has a number of arrows in his quiver. But all this explanation it should be remembered. has been destroyed through knowledge. he seized with fright and wakes up. This is what is meant when it is stated in the present verse that the jivanmukta offers up his body to prarabdha. the cause of fear has been removed. the answer is: by enjoying the merit and demerit occasioned by it. thro away the quiver full of arrows. the continuance of the effect after the cause has ceased to be may be objected to: When nescience. there is no body at all. Similarly.the body. let us suppose that at this stage the archer resolves not to continue the practising of archery. on of the arrows he has taken out of the quiver and shot it from his bow at the target.body for a while longer has to be accounted for. its effect. Now. In a dream a person sees a ferocious tiger. even though the cause of embodiment. how could the body stay on? In answering this objection. may persist till the prarabdha gets exhausted through enjoyment.
the senseorgans. shine. The self is that which illumines the mind. I am-everfree. The clouds).” Verse Four Ya tiryan-nara-devatabhir-aham-ityAntah sphuta grhyate Yad-bhasa hrdayaksadeha-visaya Bhanti svato cetanah Tam bhasyaih pihitarka-mandala-nibham Sphurtim sada bhavayan Yogi nirvrta-manaso hi gurur-ity-esa Manisa mama. the body. etc. is si supreme. The major text whose meaning the present verse explains is: ‘this self is Brahman anyam atma brahama. men. and all-pervading: that (reality). That one is the preceptor. that by whose light the mind. stainless. all-effiulgent. the sense-organs. brahamn is the basic reality which shines as ‘I’ ‘I’ in all grades pf neomgs-animals. men and gods. comparable to ether. and the objects.contemplating that effulgence always. The identity or non-difference of the self and Brahman is nor realized because of the veil cast by nescience . that which is (hidden) like the solar orb that is covered by what are illumined by ti (viz. That (pure consciousness) which is realized within clearly as “I” by animals. unborn.. gods. the yogi becomes filled with the supreme happiness in his mind.’om.“the non-dual reality is of the nature of the seer. verily. immutable. This is my conclusive view. one. which are by themselves non-intelligent.
. are the content of the concept “this”(idam-pratyaya). the true yogi. This is certainly an error. being the cognition of ‘that’ in what is not-that (atasmin tad-buddhih viparyayah). in the manner we have just indicated. as is evidenced by the experience of all people in the form: ‘I am happy. Our reply to this objection is: it is the self that is properly the content of the concept “I” (aham-pratyaya). that they are non-intelligent. cannot be the intelligence-self. Therefore. etc.. etc. the one for whom nescience has been destroyed through knowledge is the mukta.. it cannot be the content of the concept “I”. The egoity is a mode of the sattva-constituent of the internal organ. His is the bliss of brahman. I am miserable. Or rather. The egoity which takes on several modes. he is the one who has realized his non-difference from brahman that is the plenary bliss. the intellect is subject to origination and destruction. The same is true of the body. ans is not of the nature of intelligence. the concept “I” is seen in apposition with the body. The body. It is inert like any other object. What is subject to mutation or transformation is not the self. Moreover. . fit to be the sphere of the concept “I”? Our answer is: no. The following objection may be raised to this statement: In expoeriences such as “I am a man”. A doubt may arise in regard to the status of the intellect (buddhi). That which shines as “I” “I” in all beings (jivas) is the supreme Self. and so. the body. brahman. the content of the concept “I” is the body. Nescience which is itself illumined by brahman hides it. as associated wioth the attribute of human-ness. e. which is intelligent. etc. even as “redness” seems to belong to the crystal in the proximity of the hibiscus flower. it is what is illumined by the self which is consciousness. etc. it is clear that they cannot be the ontents of the concept “I”. the body is not the self. Thus all things ranging from the physical body upto the egoity are of the same class as pots.. Is not the intellect at least.. which constitute the not-self. etc. But because of delusion caused by superimposition. like pot. the egoity is subject to mutations. that it is inert by nature must be admitted. which itself has no locus standi as apart form brahman. etc.g. his mind gets filled with unexcellable happiness. hence. What is true of the intellect is true fo the goity (ahamkara) also. It is well-known that what is subject to transformation is non-eternal. and so. and cannot serve as the sphere of the concept “I”.. The sense-organs too are not the self for the same reason viz.. etc. even as the cloud which is itself made known by the sun’s light covers the sun. The gross body which is modification of food cannot truly be the sphere of the concept “I”. In the case of inert things such as pot.(avidya). and not the self. the attributes of the notself appear as belonging to the self.
and that is brahman. that a pot is made known by the cognition relating to it. the concept “I”. and manifesting the concept. however. of a reflection of consciousness. thus. It the self which is pure consciousness be the content of the concept “I”. it is buy the light of the self that they are manifested. “if the self is clearly manifest as :I:”I” to all living beings. The self should be realized in its true . thus. Cognition which is a mode of the mind pervades the a pot (vrtti-vyapti). Hence the need for contemplation and discrimination. They are non-intelligent. Similarly. immutable. Thus it is that the self becomes the content of the mental mode. it manifests itself. children looking up at the cloud-cast sky imagine that the sun is without light.” To this objection we reply: Although everyone knows the self as the content of the concept “I”.. the ignorant people look upon the self as what is limited and non-luminous. for instance. and (B) by illumining it. and the objects have not light of their own. In fact. being self-luminous. and as a consequence. all do not know that the self is of the nature of the unattached consciousness-bliss. the body. it shines of its own accord. requires a double pervasion-pervasion by the mental mode and pervasion by the reflection of consciousness-before it becomes known. they do not have discriminative knowledge. When ignorance is destroyed. then. The pot which is a dens object.etc. the reflection of consciousness which is the self pervades the pot and illumines it (phala-vypati). the content of the concept “I”. In the case of the self. how could it be self-luminous?. There is no need. It is the witness-self which is of the nature of pure consciousness that alone is the content of the concept “I. they are objects. all would get released without the least effort. A cognitive mode reveals its object by (A) destroying ignorance regarding it. There is no incompatibility whatsoever with the self being self-luminous. it is the self as the witness that manifests even the concept “I”. the sense organs. The present verse illustrates this by giving the analogy of the clouds hiding the sun. The selfluminous. It is as self-luminous that the self becomes the content of the concept “I”. although self luminous. what is necessary is only the mental mode in order to destroy the ignorance regarding it. and are not the self. it is true. Because of the obstruction caused buy nescience. here. How the self becomes the content of the concept “I”. It is in this manner. there would be no need for any discipline. and eternal self is. which itself is made manifest by the self. it may be asked. it is not difficult to understand. The concept “I” is a mode of the mind. The mind. Nothing other than the self is self-luminous.
sense-organs. In the terminology of Patanjali’s Yoga. etc. restraint. This is liberation. . Verse Five Yat-saukhyambudhi-lesa-lesata ime Sakradayo nirvrtah Yac-citte nitaram prasantakalane Labdhva munir-nirvrtah. the sense organs. One should realize one’s nondifference from the non-dual Reality through ceaseless contemplation. The cultivation to the virtues such as calmness.. It is of the nature of infinite. this is called samprajnata-samadhi. and then the supreme Self becomes manifest. In order to get this state of steadfast awareness. and unaffected by. etc. the regulation of the breathing process-all these are helpful to gaining mind-control. It si the controlled and concentrated mind that is capable of perceiving the truth.. eternal bliss. as the non-dual reality that is the self-luminous homogeneous. Yasmin-nitya-sukhambudhau galitaDhir-brahmaiva na brahma-vit Yah kascit sa surendra-vandita-pado Nunam manisa mama. anything. the disciplining of the body.. the mind. etc.nature-as what is distinct from the body. as the witness-consciousness that is unrelated to. The mind should finally be rendered free of modifications. one has to practice yoga: on has to become a yogi. the darkness of ignorance flees. the one who has this plenary experience is the true preceptor. moksa. as that which is clearly manifest as “I”. intelligence. When the Sun of wisdom rises .
Misery is caused by nescience. and does not admit of anything exceeding it Empirical happiness may be measured. parama-purusartha. In this. that ocean of eternal bliss. the happiness increases. Surely. but is Brahman itself. It is bliss that does not bear even a trace of misery. In the status of release. but the transcendent bliss is immeasurable. The bliss that the knower of Brahman enjoys knows no bounds. is brahman and not merely a knower of Brahman. Release is the final end. after attaining it. one vast ocean of happiness. He who has gained this status is the true preceptor. after realising it . Which is but another expression for Brahman-atman. The nature of the goal. which is release. not a knower of Brahman. there is total absence of misery (duhkhabhava). After gaining brahman-bliss.That ocean of bliss. and remains ion the pure status. “He who has transcended the distinction of seeing and not-seeing. there could be no desire left. The highest conceivable happiness which we associate with the status of gods such as indra is but a minute particle of brahman-bliss. nothing remains to be gained. is indicated by saying that it is unexcellable bliss. In release there is no misery. si compared to the ocean in order to give an idea of its limitlessness. The bliss that is release. there is nothing else to be gained.” This is the status which is adored by the gods and the humans. the fruit of knowledge-the supreme goal-is praised. The one who realizes Brahman is. This is the ultimate and most adorable status. because the nondual Self which is of the nature of eternal release is Parama-ananda. the greatest fruit is release. verily. is the one whose feet are sdored by (even) the king of the gods. by dissolving the mind tinot which. that ocean itself. by taking a very small drop of which indra and other gods become happy. there is nothing further to be done (krtakrtyatva) or gained (prapta-prapyatva). the last verse. The higher one mounts in the orders of living beings. Empirical happiness is as nothing before it. The ultimate gain is release. This final experience is what is referred to in yoga as asamprajnatasamadhi. there is nothing more to be done. whoever he may be. here. All desires are for attaining ends. and not merely as a knower of Brahman-he (who knows this). that by gaining which in the mind that has become perfectly quiescent with out modification. this is my conclusive view. In release there is supreme bliss. There is not the distinction. there is the experience of bliss (sarvakamapti). the supreme human goal. because nescience has been destroyed. He who has dissolved his mind in the ocean of the plenary bliss is. experiencer and the experienced. the ascertic experiences happiness. one remains even as Brahman. in fact. All our doings are for accomplishing some results which we long for. of subject and object. . after gaining it.
stage ion life. O Thou with three eyes. No ‘high’ and ‘low’ for the Wise The dharmas (virtuous actions) pertaining to caste. and the dogs had assumed their original form. and low. etc. The acarya offered boeisance to the Lord. His own Avatara for the successful fulfilment of the great mission of re-establishing spiritual unity.” The Lord Siva was profoundly pleased: He showered His blessings on Sankara. The dharamas that are mixed with adharma (unrighteousness) lead to the attainment of ths status of humans. I become a part of Thine. from the standpoint of the Self. and are middling. I am verily thou: this is my settled conclusion reached with the help of all Sastras. one does not attain the different kinds of status. In the place of the untouchable there now stood Siva. When one realizes the self that is one. This is just like the intelligent one not seeing the .The one who has realised the final goal which is release is the true preceptor. from the standpoint of the soul. middling. high. from the standpoint of the supreme reality there is no difference whatsoever: Dasaste ham deha-drstyasmi sambho Jatastemso jiva-drstya tridrste Sarvasyatamann-atma-drstya tvamevetyevam me Dhir-niscita sarva-sastraih “from the standpoint of the body. I am Thy servant. viz. etc. and then disappeared into the Formless whence he had taken shape.. and O the Self of all. That of the four vedas. and are high and pure.. non-deal. and gave expression to the great truth that while at the lower levels of experience there are differences between god and the soul such as the one between master and servant. and are low. that are performed by those who are without attachment. O Siva. The types of activities that are adharma bring about the status of animals. to the one between whole and part. the lord of the universe (Visvanatha). EPILOGUE The divine untouchable listened to the verses of the manisapancakam replete with the highest wisdom. It was now time that the disguise was discarded. and free from all illusory assumptions. it was to occasion the composition of this quintad of verses that this drama was enacted. are the cause for attaining the status of gods. etc. In fact.
in the absence of the cause the effect does not arise.. high.e. and low. Then (i.difilement in the sky that is seen by children.. the mind does not arise in the forms of gods. . middling. that are the results of activities. Indeed. even as crops do not appear in the absence of seeds. when the self is realized). -from Sanakra’s Commentary on the Mandukya-karika. etc.
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