atmopadesa satakam

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 13:36 Patrick Misson

ONE HUNDRED VERSES OF SELF - INSTRUCTION ATMOPADESA - SATAKAM BY NARAYANA GURU

PREFACE The one hundred verses of this book have their original in Malayalam verses from the pen of Narayana Guru himself. Narayana Guru's earliest writings were clothed in a mythological language depending much on the Gods or Goddesses of what is sometimes called the Hindu Pantheon, including Shiva, Vishnu, Subrahmanya or Kali. Even in those, the case for Advaita Vedanta could be seen showing itself from behind, as it were, the thin superficial veneer of a conventional style evidently adopted by him for the purposes of the common devotee to whom he had necessarily to address himself in those temple-movement days. Later years gave a more positivist orientation to his writings, getting rid even of the esoterics implied in his Shiva-Satakam (One Hundred Verses to Shiva). We see him in this present work attaining to a philosophical context of Self-realisation rather than that of adoration of any deity, steering clear of local or traditional colourations. He approximates thus for the first time to the open and dynamic style of the Upanishads themselves where the teachings centre round the absolute value called Self or the Atman and not any God to adore as hitherto. An open reference to the Upanishads could even be found in Verse 14. This work of the Guru thus emerges early in his writing career, fully echoing the spirit of the Upanishads, where the centre of interest of value moves, as it were, from an outside locus into the domain of the Absolute Self. The limitations of the understanding of the devotees to whom these verses had to cater, however, kept him within the limits of a religious scriptural form without gaining a fuller status as an open and critical philosophical work as revealed only later in such works as Brahmavidya-Pancakam and the Darsana-Mala, which are the more finalized fruits of his life of contemplation of the Absolute from all the three perspectives of cosmology, theology and psychology. Even the voice of obligation, in which a certain course of behaviour, faith or understanding, 434 whether ethical or religious, is not transcended here. It is in fact a confection in which the Upanishadic teaching is treated also as a way of life. Such a way of life has a fully open and dynamic character, instead of being closed or static as in hide-bound religion or ethics. The reader could profitably read the essays by the present commentator, 'Presenting the Philosophy of a Guru' which enable him to enter in the further implications of this work, which is meant to be both a scriptural composition recommending a way of life as well as the clarification of the highest problems of Advaita Vedanta itself. It would be helpful for the reader also to remember that the cryptic language which comes to evidence in almost every natural group of verses inevitably yields up their secret when subjected to a structural analysis which we have recommended many times elsewhere. Esoterics will become lit up to have a fully scientific status when subjected to such a schematic scrutiny. If the verses or the comments should still retain a certain strangeness from conventional norms, the excuse could be found perhaps in the attempt to lay the foundations of a type of literature fully emancipated from the possible prejudices and mental conditions belonging to limited spheres of time or clime. Conventions cannot be respected side-by-side with an open, scientific or universal outlook. NATARAJA GURU. Editor's Note - The page numbering of this work does not start from "1", as it is part of a larger volume, together with various other of the Guru's shorter works. ONE HUNDRED VERSES OF SELF - INSTRUCTION ATMOPADESA - SATAKAM INTRODUCTION ONE HUNDRED philosophical verses constituting a wisdom text of rare value written by the Guru Narayana (1854-1928) in Malayalam are presented here for the first time in a modern English translation with suitable comments by one of his disciples. The text is entitled Atma-Upadesa, which means 'teaching about or of the Self'. The subject of the work is contemplative self-realization or knowing oneself as better understood in the Socratic context as pertaining to the central problem of wisdom itself. Instead of being in the form of a dialogue between a teacher and a pupil, as is more usually the case either in India or in ancient Greece, the two counterparts involved in the wisdomteaching situation are brought more unitively together here by the Guru. This is perhaps more consistent both with the matter and the method of the unitive wisdom treated in this 'century of verse' or satakam as it is named here. 436 The poet Bhartrihari has similar verse-sequences known in the Sanskrit tradition. Sankara's Atma-bodha and Upadesa Sahasri are also kindred compositions. Highly reminiscent of this form of writing too, are the works of Tamil poets such as the Tevaram (Garland of God) and Tiruvasagam (Holy Sentences) of the Nalvars (Four Saints) so popular in South India. The Bhagavad Gita, also a song and a science at once pertaining to the Absolute, does not fall outside the class of composition intended by the Guru in this instance. The present composition is thus a wisdom-discourse addressed to or about one's own self. Further, as we shall explain presently with reference to the text of the very first verse, the author has in mind a work of a scriptural or canonical status wherein he seeks to present a revaluation of the whole field of wisdom It is meant to be both scientifically precise and capable of being chanted as an elevating scripture like the Vedas themselves by the less strictly intellectual or merely academic votary of 'Self-knowledge'. The nature of the opening verse calls for some preliminary remarks. There is a tacit Sanskrit convention which requires that the first words should indicate succinctly the content, relation and subject-matter of the whole work, and indicate clearly the kind of approach and the nature of the problems envisaged. It is usual also in works of a serious kind in India, either to bow down to the Guru or to invoke God or some principle representing the Absolute or the Most High in one form or another. In Kalidasa's 'Sakuntala', the very first verse has been subjected to a most elaborate scrutiny in the light of such a convention. It is also permitted to omit addressing a definite member of the Hindu pantheon by name and to allude only indirectly (as in Sakuntala) to some hidden principle, representative of the Absolute, according to the author's original concept. Buddhist works refer to 'the Enlightened One' in various forms. Sankara's 'Viveka Chudamani' begins by invoking his Guru's name. 437

The Guru Narayana is able to conform to these tacit conventions in a manner which both conforms and by-passes its demands in a delicate and distinctive middle way which is all his own. The first letter with which the work begins is the vowel 'A' which, according to the Gita (X. 33) represents the Absolute. The pointed reference in the first verse to repeated prostrations to the Absolute, subjectively and objectively conceived at once, fulfils the requirements of an initial invocation without doing so in any closed theological or deistic sense. The dignity of philosophy is not compromised by the demands of any theology which might not be fully in keeping with the 'free critic' that a man should correctly consider himself to be. The purpose and scope of the work, as also the central question, the problem or the doubt it confronts us with as a whole, requires to be clearly indicated also according to classical Indian convention. Here too the Guru satisfies this tacit requirement masterfully. One notices here that the central substantial core in oneself, referred to in the opening verse, lends itself to be considered both as the subject-matter as well as the objectmatter of the philosophy of the Guru at one and the same time. Duality is thus not only avoided but unity established by means of a neutral normative notion of the Absolute which is adorable in, through and by oneself. The neutral unitive Absolute, irrespective of any cosmological, psychological or theological bias, thus occupies a central place in the work. The task that the Guru places before himself in the ninety-eight intervening verses, is to arrive once more, after facing all relevant problems, at the hundredth verse, at a unitive and neutral concept of the Absolute. A close vision of the Self would be the compensation for the strenuous effort that the study of these verses might have cost the student when he finally is able to put the book down and see everything in it in its perfect perspective and symmetry. 438 The luminous and illuminating Self conceived thus non-dually is not merely of passing academic interest. It must hold the centre of all human interest when all other interests have given place to better ones in the spiritual progress of man. The Adorable Absolute Value would be represented by the Self, while it would banish philosophical doubts of a merely intellectual order. Such are some of the initial ideas with which we have to launch our study of this philosophical masterpiece of our time. It lends itself as the basis of a new world outlook, which is neither Eastern nor Western, neither ancient modern, neither academic nor religious, neither pragmatic nor sentimental. 'Let the Guru be praised for such an open and dynamic outlook', is the note of prayer with which shall ourselves enter here into the actual task of translation and comment, in a spirit of leisurely detachment. We shall adhere as near to the original text as permissible without making readability suffer, and we shall comment generally and textually item after item, giving Eastern or Western references, thus bringing the discussions into line and up to date. 439 VERSE 1 Rising even above knowledge, what within the form Of the one who knows, as equally without, radiant shines, To that Core, with the eyes five restrained within, Again and again prostrating in adoration, one should chant. THIS sequence of verses, as the first verse here indicates, is a contemplative hymn or sacred scripture intended by the Guru to be sung or chanted, like the Vedas, the Quran or the Psalms of the Bible. It concerns the Self, which is to be located neither inside nor outside the contemplator. Self-knowledge is to be sought introspectively with the outward-going interests restrained and directed inwards in terms of consciousness, which can be said to be both subjective and objective at once. A mere academic interest or intellectual curiosity alone will not suffice for the task of Self-realization. A whole-hearted interest is needed. Ecstasy and wonder are only to be expected normally in the appraisal of such a high human value. An attitude of ceaseless adoration is therefore recommended so as to attune the mind to the implicit central notion which is the content of the whole work. Such a notion, being beyond the paradox of logic, has to be approached dialectically. In such a unitive approach the attitude of reverence or adoration is but a natural corollary. Hence the prostrations here are indicated without violating the requirements of human dignity in its everyday sense. No abject idolatry or kow-towing is implied, but rather an adoration of the Absolute as the highest and dearest of human values. 440 'RISING EVEN ABOVE KNOWLEDGE': What is implied here is the Platonic distinction between the world of the visible and the intelligible. (1) Pure and practical reason in the terminology of Kant would refer to the same distinction as between the immanent and the transcendent, the ontological and the teleological, the a priori and the a posteriori, and in many other pairs of terms by which various philosophers have attempted to refer to two aspects of absolute reality. Some of these, such as the Cartesian distinction between the body and the mind, imply a duality sometimes exaggerated out of proportion or asymmetrically conceived as between the two counterparts. Here the Guru refers to a central reality which transcends the two aspects of the visible and the intelligible. In the Upanishads para-vidya refers to the knowledge of the intelligibles and apara-vidya to the visible (Mundaka Upanishad. I. I. 4, 5). Para-apara is a term used in the Upanishads too, referring to what transcends these twin aspects of knowledge. When opinion attains to the red glow of what might be called knowledge, the duality between the two aspects may still persist, but when the same attains to white heat, the duality as between the material source of light and light itself becomes effaced, and luminosity pervades both subjectively and objectively. When fully realized, the wisdom of the Self would have no vestige of duality as between the source of light and light itself. Such is the unitive reality in the mind of the Guru here. The neutral Absolute given to higher dialectical reasoning and reaching beyond or higher than its own dualistically- understood counterparts is what is intended to be conveyed by the word 'even' in the text of the verse. In verse 72 we come again to this question of non-duality beyond or above duality, 441 discussed in its proper place as the Guru's philosophy unravels systematically. The subtle problem as between duality and non-duality is fundamental to Vedanta tradition, and we shall have occasion to refer to it many times in the course of our comments. We shall therefore not unnecessarily labour the point here. 'WITHIN...AS EQUALLY WITHOUT': The equal status given here to the subjective and objective aspects of knowledge is not an alternation as between the light within and without. An alternating movement as between two ambivalent aspects of the personality is, however, alluded to in Verse 68 as well as in Verse 72. Duality might have to be admitted for methodological reasons to arrive finally at its abolition through higher dialectical reasoning. Even otherwise, we know in modern philosophy such as that of Bertrand Russell, who calls himself a neutral monist, that the 'mind-matter' duality could have a middle ground which is neither the one nor the other. In terms of consciousness the distinction between its subjective and objective aspects is only of importance for purposes of nomenclature. The stuff or substance constituting knowledge, whether subjective or objective, is the same. Ramanuja's Visishta-advaita (non-duality of the specific substance of wisdom as such) refers to the same paradox. (2) Spinoza's notion of 'a thinking substance' can also combine the two aspects unitively. He defines it as follows: 'I understand substance (substantia) to be that which is in itself and is conceived through itself: I mean that, the conception of which does not depend on the conception of another thing from which it must be formed.' (3) 442 In more modern times we have the discussion between the 'substance' theory of the mind and the 'substantive' theory of the mind as distinguished by C. W. Morris. To understand the non-materiality yet self-existence of the notion, as used by William James who applied it to the resting phase of the stream of consciousness, we are helped by the following explanations:

'Substantive states of mind, in contrast to transitive or relational states, are the temporary resting places in the flow of the stream of thought'. (4) The 'substance' as understood by the Guru Narayana is unitively conceived. Even the last vestiges of duality persisting in the notion of consciousness considered as a stream is here abolished by the Guru when he underlines the perfect equality of status as between its own subjective or objective aspects. Consciousness is here to be understood in terms of the eternal present or the moment, as in Plato's Parmenides, where 'being' and 'becoming' meet. (5) 'TO THAT CORE': What we have called the core here corresponds to karu in Malayalam. It can be a substance centrally situated in an organism like its nucleus and the source of its functional side. As something that starts or initiates action it could be thought of as the functional basis of the faculties or as an organ or instrument. Aristotle's 'unmoved mover' comes nearest to what is meant by the Guru. The Sanskrit word karanam, referring to the functions of the mind, intelligence or reasoning ego, refers to the common Self behind, as it were, these specific aspects of the same Self. 443 Our idea of the 'core' has to accord with the further elaboration of its attributes in later verses, starting with the very next verse. The 'core' is not matter as in biology, but something more subtle as a functional basis of consciousness which is the meeting-point of outgoing and incoming conscious impulses. It is the source of the 'pure act' of Aristotle. 'WITH THE EYES FIVE RESTRAINED WITHIN' : Afferent impulses tend to dominate everyday consciousness through the outwarddirected attention fixed on objects of interest succeeding one another in cyclic succession, and depending on biological or other urges normal to living beings. Consciousness itself, in its two-fold symmetry, is not proportionately or fully seen in its normal balanced state when the outgoing tendencies dominate the incoming ones. A detachment from the empirical world and a state of mind resembling that of pure mathematics is implicit in all contemplation. Interests lead to chains of activities which are initiated through any object of interest occupying the centre of consciousness at a given time. These would compromise the case for pure contemplative attention to the Self as the neutral Absolute. Just as pure mathematical thought is impossible when we are swayed by passions belonging to the outer world; so pure contemplation is impossible to one attached to the empirical world of touch or measurement. Eastern philosophy has to save itself from the aspersion of escapism cast on it by so-called positive philosophers of the West, which will be seen to be unjust when we remember that contemplation, and all philosophy for that matter, pertains to the world of vertical values in life rather than to those that are horizontal. Either one wants contemplation or not. This is for each person to decide for himself. But, after wanting it, it would be absurd to say that its methods have to be as objective as in the empirical branches of science or knowledge. In shutting the eyes here the philosopher only resembles 444 the mathematical physicist, and in metaphysics this attitude is only all the more valid. Even Eddington, though a physicist, stands for what he calls 'selective subjectivism.' In fact, as Fichte pointed out, in discussing the Kantian duality between 'pure' and 'practical' reason, there could be a common principle, as in his notion of 'wissenschaftlehre' (doctrine of science), which could be independent of the pure or practical content of reason, referring to the truth of all science or knowledge treated as one. The 'core' here may also be said to lie at the meeting-point of the vertical and the horizontal aspects of reality, and represent at once the Platonic real and the 'entelecheia' as understood in the Aristotelian context. (6) Existence, subsistence and value notions meet neutrally in this central core. 'ONE SHOULD CHANT' : No obligation to chant is here implied. Such could not be the construction that we can put on the word 'should' as used here. The Vedas or smritis (obligatory codes remembered) like that of Manu are sastras or canonical scriptures which have social or religious obligation implied in them. Pure philosophy as in the Upanishads and the Gita is distinguished by its perfect freedom from any trace of obligation. Such works are therefore classed as srutis (heard wisdom teachings) as against the smritis, which are remembered ones from the teaching as applied to life. How is it then, that the word 'should' is employed by the Guru here? This is a pertinent question. We have already indicated that the Guru's intention here is to compose a work which will treat philosophy and religion unitively. It would have the characteristics of both 445 Veda and Vedanta. What would be good (philosophically) to understand should be good to apply or adopt into one's way of life. The duality as between smartha (remembered or applied) and srauta (first-hand, heard, or non-obligatory) is here brought together by the Guru in his treatment of the subject of Self-realization and the yogic disciplines that form an inseparable part of it in reality. Wisdom and action, as in the Gita, are brought together as one subject. The work is meant to be a song and a science at once. Exaltation is natural to the adventure of the discovery of the Self, and hence chanting the text is in order and normally indicated. (1). See article in VALUES, (pub. Kaggalipura, Bangalore) Vol. IV, No. 5, p. 141. (2), See VALUES Vol. IV. .No. 4. (3). p. I. Spinoza. 'Ethics', (Everyman's Edition) (4). p. 305 Ledger Wood, Rune's 'Dictionary of Philosophy'. (Jaico, Bombay.) (5). see definition in VALUES, pp. 146-147 Vol. IV. No. 5. (6). see VALUES P. 146, Vol. IV. No. 5.

VERSE 2 The inner organ, the senses, and counting from the body The many worlds we know, are all, on thought, the sacred form Of the supreme Sun risen in the void beyond; By relentless cogitation one should attain to this. AS in mathematics, there is an inductive equation here, which the mind is capable of giving to itself. As the two terms of the equation we are asked to think hard about the inner organ at one pole and the sun in the supreme void at the other pole. Between these worlds one has to fill up for oneself grades of value-systems with which, as human beings, we deal, whether emotionally, actively or intellectually. 'Terra firma' is one

such as the world of food. the body should have been our negative starting-point. In the very next verse we find him referring to many worlds and to the counterparts of these many worlds to be thought of in a certain graded order and brought together as the terms of an equation. (7) Thus we see that treating the sun and the visible world as dialectical counterparts in higher reasoning has the sanction of long philosophical usage. as it were. Howsoever they may be named.. an attribute of the physical aspect of the personality) than one belonging to the philosophical a priori side of conscious awareness. and Kant have employed the term organon in referring to the instrument of reasoning in man. we should note here that the Platonic sun beyond has to be cancelled out or equated against the simple reality here in the inner organs in order to arrive at the neutral 449 Absolute which is neither to be conceived as hypostatically nor hierophantically sacred. should not be dismissed as unscientific. The main equation is between the inner organ (as next to the 'thinking substance' or core we have seen in the first verse). relational mind. Or we could fill the series between these two limiting counterparts with other material. the physiological organ within and the physical sun are both to be substituted by a psychic organon and a supreme transcendental immaterial Sun beyond. 446 there is to be imagined a vertical axis in which all value-interests or things themselves could be arranged in an ascending or descending series. The sun is attained by the highest form of reasoning which Plato distinguishes as the dialectical. Francis Bacon. the Guru has to develop his subject by using a certain method. the inner organ itself. as here intended by the Guru. The many worlds we know. which equates the poles of reality as we can experience them.which is the basis of the attributes of ego or individual consciousness such as the mind. reason. this a priori induction here. Plato's writings refer to the sun. even so these rays of the sun go to two worlds. and explain more intimately to the student that the way to arrive at non-duality finally. is first to find the counterparts that belong to the unity and bring them dialectically together for being resolved in unitive terms. as has been referred to in Sanskrit psychology as manas. contemplatively treated. but the reference in the Chandogya Upanishad (8. ranging from the simple atomic monad here to the monad of monads which is the same as God. It is rather a methodological. with perhaps a neutral point between the extremes. Objectively speaking. but. Our own body is what we cognise first with this organ which is within us. In other words. This inner organ uses the five senses such as hearing. and it would not therefore be just for us to label the Guru in advance as a pluralist or a serialist. with a space-time continuum. The axiological limits have therefore to be clearly indicated.is strictly the correct contemplative counterpart of the Sun in the void. Other philosophers such as Leibniz would perhaps think of the serial world of monads. 447 'THE INNER ORGAN': Aristotle. this one and the yonder. and the physical sun its positive counterpart here. made so much of.such world. in contrast to the Christian tendency to do without the sun in vaulted churches of stained glass which keep the rays outside. The world of the intelligibles as 450 described in Plato's writings and the summum bonum which is the region of the final or supreme interest for man to reach. The Upanishads also refer to the Absolute as aditya-varnam. and the Zoroastrians too extolled the midday sun. When we pull out a thorn in our foot there is a coming-together of the counterparts of subjective and objective factors which go to make up the whole personality. The Aryans were 448 known to be sun-worshippers. and the supreme Sun in the void postulated here. We saw in the first verse that the 'core' that he referred to admitted of no duality. to the cosmos imagined with its vast interstellar spaces in an expanding universe with an attraction and repulsion between bodies constituting the larger cosmos. but is paralleled in the visible world. Meanwhile it would be worthwhile to note that the 'inner organ' . which it is our duty first to try to understand as we proceed. As we travel outwards from these given factors the objects of desire which form the natural human environment. The ordinary empirical reason that we use in everyday life is more of a faculty (that is. and finally to the sun itself. sight. as developed in these verses or elsewhere in his writings. dogmatic or superstitious. More removed from the food-world.' However. should not question. taste and touch. The very first object with which we can be said to be in palpable contact is our own body. however pure or abstract. The 'supreme Sun risen in the void' would represent the extreme positive counterpart of the inner organ. Such apparent duality is not to be mixed up with a doctrinal duality. Even to the scientific philosopher. and sense of individuation . which is the first item of the ontological aspect of reality. 6. arrived at by hard introspective cogitation on the part of the contemplative seeker of the wisdom of the Self. not in a religious but in a philosophical context. and refuses to give up until the mind has grasped what the Good is. as the instrument of cognition. ethical or aesthetic environments for each man. suppositious requirement only. we could think of social. a series of worlds is possible as between the quantum pulsations of matter in its electro-magnetic field. chitta and ahamkara respectively. relational faculty. without any aid from the senses. The sacredness has to be derived from its neutral absolutist participation. whose nature will become clearer as we proceed. If pure non-duality is the doctrine of the work as a whole. The positive and the negative items of this series could always be equated and understood one in terms of the other. can be said to constitute the next value-system. conation and affection. as in the following passage: 'But isn't this just the note that Dialectic must strike (to be able to argue logically as only trained philosophers can do)? It is an intellectual process. this inner instrument of reason could be further vertically subdivided into mind. 'THE SACRED FORM OF THE SUPREME SUN RISEN IN THE VOID BEYOND': This pagan sun which pre-Christian philosophers. Any empirical stigma attached to these starting counterparts in the mind of the student will have to be progressively discarded as the discussion attains to subtler inner factors which must constitute the subject-matter as well as the object-matter of all contemplative philosophizing. One can attain to this vision or certitude. the Guru warns us. Methodological and axiological requirements thus make him come down from the platform. and the galaxies of the expanding universe could be the other. Bergson in his Metaphysics refers to it as a . his equations and constants. Whatever the subdivisions named or unnamed.) gives the dialectical relation between the two poles as follows: 'Now as a great extending highway goes to two villages. reason. with somewhat shocking abruptness. Savitr or Surya are numerous. A form of agony and a vertical ascent is implied in this intellectual effort which resembles the working of the faculties of a pure mathematician like Eddington with his sedenion algebraic formulae. We know of our own mind and the body that we touch. perhaps to some of us at least. whose very language is mathematical. buddhi. So when one tries to reach ultimate realities by the exercise of pure reason. etc. only by very hard thinking of a certain kind. 'BY RELENTLESS COGITATION ONE SHOULD ATTAIN TO THIS ': One has to do violence to one's own nature in the practice of dialectical reasoning. according to his philosophy. including Julian the Apostate. as we say. No arm-chair philosophizing will suffice here. one is at the end of an intellectual progress parallel to the visual progress we described'. 'THE MANY WORLDS WE KNOW': The unmistakable suggestion which the Guru makes in this very second verse is that we know of several worlds. 2. they belong together to this inner organ when telescoped into one another as a single factor for purposes of easy nomenclature. comes into the Guru's writing here. A form of pure mathematical reasoning is involved here which a scientist. individuation. The inner organ is to be the dialectical counterpart of the Sun in the void postulated by him. should be in keeping with his own philosophy. As we have said. psychological or cosmological value-factors which concern human life interests. smell. as of the splendour of the Sun on the other side of all darkness. That is why it has been called in Sanskrit 'tapas' or the burning up of oneself. All contemplation must needs have a human purpose. References to the Sun in the Upanishads as Aditya. is the more correct starting-point in equating counterparts. this one and the yonder. A boy extracting a thorn becomes a dignified theme for a Greek sculptor because of this meeting of counterparts. by the progress of sight from shadows to real creatures. It is but fair for us to give the writer a chance to develop his subject in his own way. could be thought of as the highest of possible worlds. and then to the stars. If mathematical predictions of events such as eclipses are possible and permissible. The Pushan of the Isa Upanishad also refers to the Sun as a visible symbol of the Absolute.

water and earth as graded realities of the phenomenal aspect of the Absolute. are called tanmatras (things-in-themselves). who is here treated as a passive onlooker witnessing the given phenomenal world. Dialectical ascent and descent are also known to philosophers from classical times. we appreciate only degrees of differentiation as between the successive items taken in order. And these are the composite elements which serve the constitution of the individual things. and one in the void beyond. The same process of panchikarana is accepted in the other Vedantic schools. Other favourite examples of nescience are the snake imagined in a piece of rope or the silver imagined in the mother-of-pearl. the sky.form of 'intellectual auscultation' as when one hears sounds from within oneself by stopping and reversing the process of normal thinking. and the elements themselves. The effort alluded to in the previous verse is here too suggested as desirable for contemplative vision.our parenthesis 451 VERSE 3 These phenomenal aspects five such as the sky Which as emergent from outside is here seen to be. with elements as understood in modern physics or chemistry. The latter was mere appearance. horizontally viewed. and the occasional or incidental cause. The elements thus contemplatively understood should not be confused. This takes place in such a way that each element becomes already composed as follows: 1/2 element plus 1/8 of each of the other four elements. but contemplatively or vertically viewed. is a mere optical effect known to science. It is due as much to the weakness of the optical nerves as to the effects in the dispersal of light. (7). The former is the vertical cause. 'over there' in our common experience of the visible world. In the Guru's verse here. would reveal themselves to be of the same substance as the Absolute itself as understood in the first verse. as it were. This classical Vedantic example is resorted to by the Guru here to refer to the differencelessness between the cause and the effect in the phenomenal world. but undergo first a sort of shaking-up which is called quintipartition . The world of appearance is only the specific aspect of the basic consciousness in which all things have being. The true end of contemplation is not to be attained in any lazy attitude but involves vertical. When contemplation is established. The colourless glass crystal conditioned or 'coloured' by its being placed on a piece of red silk is another favourite example of the conditioning optical or logical illusion possible in respect of reality. 'EMERGENT FROM OUTSIDE HERE SEEM TO BE ': That Vedanta. What seems to exist. Each of them is divided by the Creator into two parts and each of these halves again into four parts. Lacombe as follows: ''The great elements do not enter as such into the composition of individual realities. P. it is even now habitual in India to refer to the sky. Appearance has to be overcome and appreciation of reality established by the effort of contemplation. But the addition of bits of the other elements gives account of the participation of all things with all things and explains certain anomalies of perception. the difference vanishes. is due to the interpenetration of factors in an ascending as well as a descending order at once.panchikarana. The cause when viewed contemplatively yields this answer. especially at the present stage. while when viewed horizontally or 452 non-contemplatively. 'AS THE SEA IS TO THE WAVES THAT RISE IN ROWS THEREON': The analogy of the sea invoked here is not the sea of samsara (phenomenal existence) but the sea of consciousness. The vertical process of becoming was distinguished from the horizontal aspect of being. Maya-vada (the doctrine of illusion) and ajata-vada (the doctrine of emergent appearance). so the philosopher is asked here to look at the successive grades of phenomenal manifestation of the visible world through elemental principles understood as substantially the same as the stuff of consciousness itself. It is not merely the material basis of phenomena which have to be thought of under the symbols of the elemental names. The cogitations of Descartes and the use of intuition as known to him and to Plotinus or Bergson involve a pure mathematical way of negative or positive induction which involves special effort on the part of the contemplative. which is the potter's work. The flux of phenomenal life was to Heraclitus like a river which one could not enter twice. though not horizontal effort. the vertical unitive view of cause and effect is what is intended here by the Guru. Samvit sagara (the sea of consciousness) has to be distinguished from samsara sagara (the sea of phenomenal becoming in nature). when more closely scrutinized. The reference to the rows is to mark out the subtle gradation which will still persist in the vertical scale of reality between elemental principles. which is the unitive principle between the twin. Mass and velocity of energy and many other pairs or conjugates come into the picture of the physical 455 world as understood at present through mathematical constants such as Max Planck's 'h'. especially as stated by Sankara. water. Elsewhere in this same work are found simple theories of concretion and individuation which we shall discuss in their proper place. this elaborate story of the process of panchikarana does not have to be drawn into the discussion. . Consciousness has its radiating or horizontal wave-aspect and the aspect of depth in which contemplative operations can move. the reference to the 'Creator' therein gives it a theological flavour which is due to the fact that this version of panchikarana is taken from the writings of Ramanuja and his followers such as Sri Nivasa Dipika. the waves appear as such in consciousness. Sankara attributes panchikarana to action in previous births. Just as the trained scientist can understand wave-mechanics in terms of the constant 'h'. Thales and Heraclitus gave primacy to water and fire respectively in their hylozoic systems of pre-Socratic philosophy. The story of the process of panchikarana or equalization of the factors is described by Prof. is not in reality substantially there at all. The dominating proportion of the primitive element safeguards its authenticity. but in a more passive state. Meanwhile we thought it good for the student to be informed about the prevailing theories on the subject. The blue of the sky. This world is what is known to physics and as in the pre-Socratic hylozoism of ancient Europe. rather than from the more strictly philosophical Sankara school. air. namely. to start with. in the previous verses . making for all sorts of conditioned states of consciousness. rival or complementary factors involved in particle-mechanics. AFTER making out the two poles involved in contemplation . Name and form are the factors giving specificity to the general consciousness. the material cause and effect. fire. (Penguin Classics) . leads to a differenceless unitive vision. through the intermediate nodes marked out symbolically by the elemental principles known by their respective names. What is implied in the Guru's verse is a similar idea in terms of pure consciousness which for him remains the central reality understood through the notion of a neutral Absolute. are different names by which the negative principle of nescience is supposed to dim the transparency of the human mind. The process of such neutralisation by opposites is known in Vedantic literature as panchikarana. by which representations of apparent realities become supposed or superimposed on the pure being which is the subjective-objective Absolute. By contemplation one should bring to non-difference As the sea is to the waves that rise in rows thereon.' (8) 454 Although the above description of the process of actualisation of elemental principles as individual entities is graphic enough. thought of as principles rather than things. such as the clay that makes the pot. fire and water for example. but rather stable nodes in a vertical series of graded entities which. The text here being of a contemplative order and especially as there is reference to contemplation in the verse itself. Indian logic makes the distinction between the material cause. The Republic. In the Viveka Chudamani (verse 88). The picture presented here is not without similarity to wave mechanics. understood subjectively and objectively at once.the accent now shifts to the subject. the waves will have to be given a status in reality of their own. Waves on the sea are water under specific name and form but otherwise homogeneous with the ocean. 302. Each wave might have an individuality. Each of these quarters is afterwards mixed with the half that remains intact of each of the four elements. refers to the visible world of phenomena as a mere appearance or passing show is proverbially known.one at the core of one's own being. 453 As we come down from the subtle element. however. Even here the difference as between say. The electromagnetic field and the gravitational line in modern physics are comparable to the twin correlating factors which may be said to give a frame of reference to the mechanism of radiating waves in the context of the quantum theory. while the latter would refer to a horizontal sequence of causes and effects.

but it is merely the time as known by the tickings of the clock that is more naturally cognised. When the vertical view is established a sense of wonder of contemplative vision goes with it. read together with the last word of the verse where the word 'alone' occurs. and the bipolarity or complementarity is bound to be perfect. Relativistic thought thus changes into absolutist thought which becomes unitive and positive. contains something of the same idea as that of Plotinus where he refers to contemplation as the 'flight of the alone to the Alone'. 456 Bhutas are those entities that have come to be. together make but one primal glory. O. to refer to any definite finalized concept such as the atman or the Absolute. shines inclusively without intermission. and the objective side of knowledge. WORD NOTES: Mahas and mahat are terms originally known in the context of Samkhya tattvas (principles) later incorporated into the Gita and other Vedantic works. when conceived as belonging to the grand elements of the vertically graded series that we have seen as implied in the last verse. P. We take a cross-sectional rather than a lengthwise view of reality. When we say that 'the kingdom of God is within' or that 'I and my Father are one'. manas. Henri Poincaré refers to a state of mind in which he was led to a great mathematical discovery when one night he lost his sleep after drinking black coffee. The horizontalization of our relation with the visible world produces a similar tri-partite cleavage in our thought-process. Surendranath Das Gupta refers to the 'two parallel lines of evolution' starting from mahat: one by which it passes through intermediate tattvas such as 'ego. The later modifications given to the Science of the Absolute (brahmavidya) as brought about in the 460 . Direct awareness which true wisdom demands. straightaway at this initial stage of the development of the subject. The elements. the mahabhutas.' That the present work follows the lines of Vedanta in general is indicated here. VERSE 4 Knowledge. Our translation. Mystical states referred to in religious books become probable in the light of such possibilities. In his book 'Yoga as Philosophy and Religion' (New York. We know already that the Guru Narayana. Within the unrarified radiance of this great knowledge One should merge and become that alone. but approximates to an intuitive vision which is immediate rather than mediate. Vyasa Bhashya II. and the personal knowledge Subjective. shows itself under split or separated aspects by which the unitive nature of thought is marred. while on another line of evolution 'it develops into the five grosser elements through the five tanmatras which are directly produced from mahat through the medium of ahamkara. Pure motion eludes appraisal by the mind because of its incapacity by its very structure to take in events other than mechanistically. The unitive character of the relationship is underlined by the words 'but' and 'one' which. This can be gathered from a general examination of the other compositions of the Guru taken all together. being an avowed Advaita Vedantin who follows the steps of Sankara and revalues his position in his own way. the great elements. 9 has a revised version in which the duality of yoga texts is better reconciled. 'BUT ONE PRIMAL GLORY': When the tri-partite split has been transcended by another way of approach to reality which is more in keeping with contemplation. are here referred to as making one mahas (great knowledge). Vibhuti has been translated 'phenomenal aspect' because the root 'bhav' suggests 'becoming'. The Guru does not want. an inclusive and universal value of great interest and intellectual content takes its place in the centre of consciousness. which. the same verity is implicit. i): 'He who knows Brahman attains to the highest. as it were. its meaning known. 325. THERE is a subtle tri-basic factor called triputi which is responsible for our wrong appraisal of reality. 458 is not of the nature of a merely syllogistic ratiocination. the five cognate and the five conative senses'. When such a white heat is established in thought. the knowledge as a concept. 'UNRARIFIED RADIANCE': Light is the favourite analogy for wisdom. this identity of subject and object may be said to be the central doctrine of wisdom generally. One has to counteract this tri-basic prejudice to which the human mind is naturally disposed. by which it appraises 'stills' of a moving picture rather than the motions as such. is the term applied to those elements in their universal aspect as fundamental principles in the creation or phenomenal emergence of the visible world. which have nothing to do with ordinary logic. The imitation of Christ would be sacrilege if there was not this idea implicit in the suggestion made. 1924).' CONCERNING VERSES 5 TO 7 It is important to notice. 'BECOME THAT ALONE': The identity of subject and object in contemplative life has been recognized both in the East and the West. The logical rules of double negation and inclusive conjunction. Ratiocinative thought is normal as between things and is a dull mechanistic movement in consciousness compared to the compact or intensive thought which contemplation can establish. The reference of Plotinus to the 'flight of the alone to the Alone' is a direct paraphrase of the state of kaivalya (aloneness) which is the goal of contemplative life even according to dualistic schools such as that of Patanjali. pure time can be thought of without such divisions into disjunct events by a little training in meditation. But even here the relation thus correctly established between the subject and the object of contemplation does not admit of any duality at all. as in the biblical context. with all vestiges of duality being progressively abolished.WORD NOTES : The Vedantic term 'vivarta' in this verse has been translated as 'emergent' and by 'seem to be' understood together. With the maha-vakyas (great dicta) derived from the Upanishads such as 'tat tvam asi' (That thou art) etc. become applicable to this style of thinking. Light when it becomes intense denies darkness and establishes itself as a reality without a rival. As such knowledge refers to the Absolute. the general plan of these hundred verses. from an angle which takes for granted the knower. Lacombe 'L'Absolu selon le Vedanta'. The notion of the Absolute Self will be developed methodically stage by stage. has the basic doctrine of non-duality preserved intact in his writings. instead of being the continuous process that it really is. as from verse 5. as three distinct separate entities. it is called the 'great knowledge' which. This is a recent instance where the mind shows itself in special states to be capable of functioning differently at a higher scale than usual. Even with reference to the vertical time axis. 19. The lazy mind left to itself without the attitude of contemplation has a tendency to view reality sectionally or horizontally. Bergson has referred to this tendency as 'the cinematographic function of thought'. once established.. (8). That the Brahman-knower attains Brahman 459 and becomes one with it is clearly stated in the Taittiriya Upanishad (II. The task of the student of philosophy of the Guru will be facilitated if he can place his finger correctly and carefully on just those points where the Guru tries to restate the position of Sankara's Advaita. the methodology applicable becomes changed. 457 The paradoxes of Zeno are well-known classical examples of the kind of contradiction or error implied in all thought referring to the phenomenal world related to space. It has to be understood in the light of the revaluation it has undergone in the course of its use. A mental projection or supposition of a reality not there is what is implied. (Paris 1837).

we believe. In point of method and theory of knowledge the Guru Narayana will be seen to depart slightly from all these Gurus: Sankara. In these verses 5 to 7. and although the essential spirit of the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita will be seen to be maintained. might be called the horizontal factors. more like a modern pragmatic philosopher. it would be advantageous to note in advance that the method employed here approximates to that of Sankara in the analysis of the states of consciousness in locating the substratum of the Absolute common to waking. AFTER preliminaries about the subject-matter and the general approach to it have been broadly indicated in the first four verses. 0 Joy of the Kurus (Arjuna). is the enemy of the contemplative. It would not be wrong to fit the teaching here back upon the general teaching of the Advaita of Sankara and upon the greater background of Vedanta thought in general as implicit in the three 'canonical' writings. The dynamism of the horizontal factors. the contingent and the necessary aspects are brought together. 19) 464 Plurality of interests and thoughts. The eye of the previous line is treated as if it could equally be regarded as a light. while the same is viewed from the vertical in verse 7. to continue the very trend of modern philosophical thought which itself is waiting. we shall make an effort as far as possible to supply crossreferences. The same thing is said from three dialectically different 461 points of view. 462 VERSE 5 People here on earth. but would be preserved in an extended sense. for a more unitive restatement in terms of a new world-philosophy where the scientific spirit would not be lost. As the Bhagavad Gita states even in its early chapter: 'The well-cultivated intelligence is unitive. Madhva stresses the aspect of a scale of values as between the Absolute and the Relative.was again to be reduced into terms of 'non-difference' and strict 'loneliness' in the next two verses. This compares with the method of the Mandukya Upanishad which equates absolute consciousness with that of the 'fourth' or turiya state which inclusively transcends all the other three. 41. arising from desires or instinctive hungers that cannot be wholly satisfied. to its proper contemplative limits. whether of the Eastern or Western context. in the treatment of the highest contemplative text. who represents the Advaita tradition in a fully revalued and restated form. as it were. the Upanishads. Using the terminology we have developed in the pages of Values we can explain broadly that verse 5 tries to draw the distinction between the horizontal and the vertical attitude implied in contemplative life. The Person in the sun and the person within are equated to 463 constitute the central unitive Absolute without prejudices of the subjective. as they regulate common human life.writings of the two other important classical Gurus of South India. Here in verse 5 we should not miss the change in the analogy. The well-founded intelligence or the properly cultivated wisdom in man always seeks the unitive value of the vertical. (II. jagrat or waking. then the plurality of interests that keep succeeding one another in our life ordinarily. In this translation all we are trying to do is to find precise modern equivalents and illustrations for the ideas presented by the Guru and his predecessors and. such as waking. and sushupti. sleeping and thinking of various interests arising during the workaday life of the common man. he must rely on other sections in the same work where a similar or allied problem has been treated. IV. though not strictly so when viewed more closely . These three verses. clashing and displacing one another for occupation of the centre of the stream of consciousness. dreaming and deep sleep. but in terms of a way of life or a bipolar relation from a more personal everyday point of view. merely academic abstractions in which the living breezes of human values do not play. the theme narrows down. translated by Bengali Baba. sleeping). In the Isa Upanishad (verse 16) there is the reference to the purusha or supreme Spirit 'yonder' which is equated at the same time with the supreme purusha 'within' the contemplative 'here'. should also be kept in mind by the careful student. 59-60 Vyasa Bhasya of Yoga Sutra. have to be read together so as to see that unitive fibre running through all three of them. svapna or dreaming. and he may even go beyond the limits of the present composition to others by the Guru. which never shall dim again. The Guru thus catches up with the requirements of modern thought as against the ivory-tower isolation of the more ancient classical writers. a master-interest must always be preserved. many-branched and endless is the intelligence in uncultivated people.somewhat akin to a pagan sun-god. Necessary aspects of life touching the common generality of mankind are not bypassed by the Guru but.) There is again the Upanishadic dictum which says: He who sees (reality) as if pluralistically here Wends from one death to another. pp. of the three states. therefore. There is no other-worldly escapism in such a way of treatment here. namely. (Brihadaranyaka Up. Instead of a sun in the void. The eye above is watching the watcher from here below who is caught in everyday necessities of personal life. The light is what helps the eye to see other objects. 'THINK VARIOUS THOUGHTS': Contemplation becomes strictly established only when the multiplicity of interests which regulate human activities are absorbed and united into a single bundle of one master-interest proper to the absolutist way. All actions and thoughts motivating them must be gathered together into a master life-tendency. the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. 'THERE DAWNS A PRICELESS LIGHT. if possible.' (10) . Ramanuja and Madhva. Only then one would be but doing justice to the Guru Narayana. as it were. is outlined in verse 6. Ramanuja's dynamism of existence follows the same dialectical lines but in terms of being and becoming rather than in terms of pure consciousness. nor does he make of philosophy as perhaps with Sankara.. What was neutrally treated in the first verse as the 'core' spreading its light homogeneously within as well as without the central Self (which is the subject-matter and the object-matter of the whole work). What is here implied is a process of sublimating pluralistic interests to a unitive interest. But in and through all interests. and the finalised position of the Brahma Sutras generally supported. the Guru will be seen to conform closely to the requirements of a more strictly unitive or dialectical approach. The student must read all these verses in the light of one another before trying to extract any doctrine out of any one of them. wake and think Various thoughts. there is an eye watching the actions and thoughts of man. The organ of sight is dialectically equated to the light which is both an end and a means in the central awareness of reality which is the common result of the presence of all these factors working in unison or operating in one vertical line. one should forward wend. not as a cosmological or as a merely psychological abstraction. however. The idea is not unfamiliar to us in Plato's Republic. The inevitable duality thus introduced . Ramanuja and Madhva. for methodological requirements alluded to it as a 'supreme Sun' postulated as a second pole marking the goal of attainment for the contemplative. Although we cannot promise to be exhaustive. He is not content to be merely theological like Ramanuja. objective or conceptual as explained in verse 4. iv. sometimes.': The mixed metaphor of 'eye' and 'dawn' is deliberate. understood in the dialectical context. that to be a contemplative means killing out the legitimate joys of life. they sleep. It is compatible with Sankara's definition of the Absolute as avasthatraya-sakshi (the neutral witness. This does not mean. we saw that the Guru. as well as in Plotinus' 'Never did the eye see the sun unless it had first become sun-like. Wherever the doctrine is vague. (9). But here the Guru Narayana brings dialectics to bear on common human life. watching over all of these with intent eye There dawns a priceless light. Led onward by this. as if with equal importance. so verticalized as never to enter into conflict with the minor fissiparous dissipating interests of a life without such a dominating interest. If we were to distinguish this mastertendency at the core of life as the vertical..

The occasionalism intervening between the body-mind duality makes full amends for the initially-supposed dualism and makes of it as respectable a theory as any other. With a slight stretch of methodological insight or intuition. Knowledge can prevail both by double negation as well as double assertion. recognizes in God not the Father but the 'foreknowing Spectator of all events' (Encyc. In Canto XIII of the Divine Comedy we have Virgil and Dante described as mounting the second terrace of the Purgatory past the 'circle of purification'. The object here is to bring together into proper relief the two sets of interests or value-worlds to which any man normally can relate himself. 271.) The idea of a guiding star or light or supreme intelligence is only a corollary of our search for wisdom. The natural penchant of the human mind to find satisfaction in the horizontal world of values has to be overcome with the help of some positive effort which. one maybe can understand Me in the light of (correct) principles. It is true there is a modern 465 tendency in thought to speak in terms of probabilities rather than in absolute certitudes. When we say ''Man as homo sapiens is characterized by wisdom' the verity of such an axiomatic statement is accepted without further proof. Such are some of the more delicate implications of dialectics which we must bear in mind here. even though it abolishes it later. A priori inductions and a posteriori deductions will become equally valid in a unitive way of exact thinking which will bring the humanities and the sciences together as belonging to one single discipline. reveal the subtle principle of double negation as known in general literature. gazing fixedly at the sun. The analogy of light is perhaps the most permissive. maybe. In many other passages in the various cantos of this work of the Florentine Christian poet. They were in a region where the value called 'generosity' is in front of them and 'envy'. These refer to two . for lifting it away from its merely instinctive moorings. such as the progress of the soul guided in its upward course to God by the help of celestial light. the last accepting a greater distinction between the counterparts. attended with secondary needs or appetites of hunger or sex common to human beings generally. One satisfaction of instinctive desire follows another in a certain order of circulation. Vedantic literature in many places has the same comparison of light in relation to wisdom. In the history of Western philosophy the body-mind duality of Descartes.) 'THUS DO PROMPTINGS DISSIPATING': The expression in the original is 'vikalpa' which has its antonym in 'samkalpa'.'WHICH NEVER SHALL DIM AGAIN': The idea suggested here is of an everlasting value in life. strives to attain the desirable. enables us to treat the counterparts with easy dialectical insight. Ramanuja and Madhva mark three grades of such treatment. through which. darkness can easily be imagined as being capable of becoming positive again by a process of negation of itself. therefore to wake Unto that reality's one and changeless form? THE biological cycle of necessary activities. since light has a unitive status of its own. then shineth upon it. Instead of referring to these aspects of necessary life as belonging to sin. which is based on the rejection of the notion of 'essence' known to classical philosophers. 3. Without self-instruction as contained in this composition. They dare not linger in this region of dual values. Plotinus 'Enneads'. In the very first canto Dante refers to 'the planet that leads men straight on every road'. I. Dialectical methodology requires at least some initial duality. conceived on the same dialectical lines. concupiscence or desire as in the stricter theologies of codified religions. Wisdom's method admits of such a priori reasoning as normal. This analogy which the Guru employs elsewhere. 466 '0 sweet light.' (11) Thus in the heart of Christianity we find this way of spiritual progress described in terms of Platonic dialectics. the pagan image of the sun occurs. The usual 'virtuous citizens' were found to be denizens of this region. one. When we reach the end of the work. in verses 93 and 98 this dominant everlasting life-interest in the self-hood of man is reiterated. in whose trust I enter in the new way. but all the same suggests that. is behind them. That very few persons seek the positive orientation of the spirit implied in the ascent here is referred to with a similar note of despair in the Bhagavad Gita: 'Out of a thousand humans.' And. need not really be considered as objectionable. and general literature such as Dante's Divine Comedy has poetical imagery borrowed from Plato. Whoever could there be. tears come in their agony. New York) 468 VERSE 6 One has to wake. and for setting it on its course to higher and higher levels of interest until its full dignity is established in selfhood. Dante. after the implications of such a claim have been properly covered in the body of the composition. 'LED ONWARD BY THIS': The kindly light leading one on to salvation or to the goal of wisdom is sufficiently familiar in the context of Christian theology to need any explanation. Here comes the need for disciplining the mind to overcome its conditionings. must do violence to itself. its counterpart. but belongs to an order wherein one lasting value prevails over all others. where the inner eye and the outer sun are equated into a central value. implicit as in Dante. When light triumphantly leads us onward. out of such strivers. as it were. as hoped for by some of the best minds of our day. I fear perchance that our choice may have too great delay. if other reason urges not to the contrary thy beams must ever be our guide. thou givest warmth to thy world. Their eye-lids are described as being stitched together. Britt. are referred to in verse 6. 9 (11). the tail-end of the same light gets absorbed or doubly negated. of food partake. on seeing the visitors. When light and darkness are properly understood as simple analogies.' (VII. Virgil is depicted by Dante as remarking. Boethius (480-524 AD) who may be described as the first of the scholastic philosophers—or the last of the pagans—for he was the companion of all the medieval scholars. vi. The essence of tragedy itself is based on the principle of double negation. Sankara. The dialectical method permits duality in order to efface it more completely afterwards. 'Divine Comedy' (Modern Library Edition. do then lead us we would be led here within. The rhetorical question at the end of the verse strikes a note of despair on the part of the Guru. and substituting in its place the notion of 'existence' as primary. then go to sleep. 'If here we wait to ask of. Poetic expressions like 'dark-splendid'. These follow one another as dictated by the vital urges within man. it would be impossible for him to get interested in the other or larger unitive interest which is beyond mere necessity in the everyday sense. P. if viewed in the light of dialectical methodology. treated in the dialectical fashion of both the Upanishads and Plato's Republic. as in his Advaita Dipika (The Light of Non-Dual Wisdom). But when a unified science becomes an accomplished fact. This is the result of the a posteriori habit of mind brought into vogue by science. Waking and sleeping alternate diurnally. Thus do promptings dissipating keep coming round. as some modern critics tend to think. if one set of such necessary items of activity prevails in anyone. or mate. By trying to escape from the exigencies of language we are only likely to enter into more subtle dualities as implied in the most recent of philosophies called Existentialism. as also the description of the light of infernal fires in the opening lines of Milton's Paradise Lost. independent of darkness which is not a rival entity in its own right. In the literature of Advaita the two counterparts or terms of the equation are treated more unitively together. man will tend naturally to attach importance to the series of necessary activities at the expense 469 of the higher contingent interest which can everlastingly include all the others and lift the personality to a higher level of life altogether. considered neither physiologically nor psychologically but from a common-sense standpoint. the absolutist form of reasoning implied here will not be really objectionable. the strangeness of this language will be seen to be merely attributive to the limitations of common 467 language. the Guru here reviews them more simply as necessary factors in common human life. even when they do so. Virgil remarks. but merely a negation of the real item called light. (10). In reality the idea dates back to times more ancient than Christianity.

These poles were brought together more unitively in verse 6. The poles of the vertical axis of 472 spiritual progress or Self-instruction have thus been worked out for us in verse 5. When bipolarity is established correctly between the Self and the non-Self as counterparts. it is necessary in the initial stages of developing the subject of Self-knowledge. Here it is hard to distinguish whether the subject is in a state called sleep or whether he is fully awake. is engrossed alternately in actual or virtual activities or interests of a horizontal kind. pragmatic. which are mostly based on an a posteriori. The mind is the meeting-point of both these types of activities as defined by Sankara in the VivekaChudamani (167 to 183 and verse 174 particularly) and by Vidyaranya in Panchadasi and in the Vedanta-Sara of Sadananda. Opposite tendencies like good and evil promptings originate in the common locus of the mind. steadily fix the form. according to texts such as the VivekaChudamani of Sankara (verse 19) is the preliminary qualification required before one enters contemplative life. Mistrust and disadoption between the two concerned in such a bipolar wisdom-situation would tend to make the experiment a failure. The wavering mind. in and through our ordinary activities. there is entry into the neutrality of the Absolute when the relation as between subject and object is established in a vertical sense. caught between rival interests. Omnipresent and Omniscient are attributes belonging to the Absolute. Active temperaments tuned to the horizontal world of action and caught in the love of particular objects of interest cannot steady themselves in the pure contemplation of absolute Value. dreaming and deep sleep. By means of a subtle rapport and a mutual bipolar personal adoption between the seeker and the teacher. the Everlasting. The changeless reality can only be the Absolute. VERSE 7 To wake never more. to listen to the word of wisdom represented by the personality and attitude of the Guru. then in the service Of those silent ones who ever dwell awake to AUM. the resulting state of 471 consciousness has the Eternal as its content. as will become clear later on when the nature of the Self stands revealed in greater relief in these verses. The verse assumes the existence of silent men who live in this kind of unitive awareness in which the mean or middle ground between the alternating asymmetrical states in consciousness is merged into a central stream. The one-one relation as between the Absolute and the Self is implied here. and himself refers to the possible kind of disadoption by the name asuya (a carping attitude). which belongs to a category by itself. feels confident that there is no disadoption between himself and Arjuna the pupil. In other words. WORD NOTES: 'Wake to. with the 'fourth' called turiya. has to be steadied.': The suggestion here is that the Self. whether theologically conceived as a deity or as a purely abstract notion by one capable of such philosophic thought. If for this today you are not fit. If an aspirant to wisdom feels that he has not understood the content or the intellectual and emotional implications 473 of such an attitude as recommended here. The wholeheartedness of the affiliation requires that the whole man. This word 'wake' is meant to pave in advance the way to this middle state. Participating in both from either side as it were. As the understanding of the attitude is not possible by the usual didactic methods of learning and teaching. This state of equilibrium between alternating states or tendencies is the secret of the contemplative or the yogi. the metaphor here refers in terms of the personal consciousness and its affiliation to lasting or changeless values which are under the category of the Eternal. We were brought to the threshold of a central spiritual value which persists at the core of even our everyday life. and as a changeless factor to which we should become awake in verse 6. The necessary aspects of everyday biological rounds of activity have been referred to in verses 5 and 6. such as the love of freedom. as awareness. Satyakama or a Svetaketu.sets of mental activities. Sankara places in the mind the factors conducive to bondage as well as emancipation. Intermediate to these extremes of sleeping and waking there is a purer middle state of consciousness which is referred to more directly in verse 7. The word 'changeless' employed here draws attention to the nitya-anitya-viveka (the discrimination between lasting and transient values) which. 'AS AWARENESS': The deeper one sinks into consciousness. Of the two sets of promptings originating in the mind samkalpa will thus refer to vertical tendencies and vikalpa to horizontal ones which refer to lower values in life. no wisdom which has not received the sanction of a Guru can be valid. Sleeping and waking are not treated here in verse 7 as alternating states falling outside of the vertical axis of pure consciousness. Horizontal relativistic interests are pluralistic. The latter can range from the basic necessities of life such as food to the satisfaction of the highest of cravings. is made to comply or bend. there is a time-honoured alternative method known to many wisdom texts. the more independent does it become of the alternating states of sleeping and . Instead of the cosmological setting with a source of light apart from the seeker. 470 'TO WAKE UNTO THAT REALITY'S ONE AND CHANGELESS FORM': The reference here must be to the Absolute conceived as the master interest in life. The personality thus better adjusted to the absolutist way will be able to absorb something of the master's attitude to the seeker when all the conditions required for the transmission of the teaching are present together. It was referred to as a guiding light in verse 5. there is here a function postulated in which pure knowledge thrives and triumphs in and through itself. In the form of a central neutral awareness independent of both the alternating states lying on one side or the other of the vertical axis. The vicious circle of horizontal values keeps recurring and repeating. rare individuals among human beings who may be said to have tuned themselves to this kind of higher consciousness. The present verse goes one step further in the same direction. to distinguish between the vertical and horizontal. who is Krishna the Guru. the only way to get it is through a global intuition which has its favourable conditions. however. after entering into the subject in chapter IV-34. They contain rival or conflicting items as against the series of vertical unitive interests implied in the contemplative view of life. the former connoting evil and the latter good. There are. The service of such a wise man is meant to induce that degree of mutual adoption necessary for the osmotic transfer of the wisdom-state from teacher to seeker. The analysis of states of consciousness in a vertical series referring to deeper and deeper seats of consciousness is familiar to us in the context of the methodology of the Vedanta. Absolved from birth. 474 which does not exclude the physical. etc. The Eternal. sleep is to be understood in terms of waking. which touches the deepest stratum of Absolute awareness. But before coming to deepest seats of pure consciousness. ever sleepless to remain. or a direction such as the superior attitudes that the mind is capable of having when thinking creatively of the Absolute. This can be accomplished only by a body and soul affiliated to the context of wisdom. In the Upanishads we have several instances. guiding as it were from beyond. while vertical tendencies lead to wisdom and freedom. The Absolute need not necessarily be conceived as a thing. goes into greater and greater secrets to the point where the teacher there. and the Bhagavad Gita. such as that of a Nachiketas. Sankara's 'VivekaChudamani' (verses 37 to 43) refers to the relation between the teacher and the disciple in detail. Especially is this so with Sankara who conceived the Absolute as the witness of the three states of waking. (11) According to popularly accepted dicta on the Indian soil. a sort of osmosis is established. THIS is the third verse in sequence which refers to the alternating states of sleeping and waking in consciousness. Awareness becomes fully neutralised in this fourth or deepest dimension. especially in India. as a way or an axis referring to unitive values in life. as it were. who are adolescent seekers of wisdom and who are taught only after the requisite bipolarity of relations is securely established between teacher and pupil. and waking in terms of sleep. of establishing bipolar relations with a master who has already attained to the awareness or attitude implied. empirical or logical approach. It can be merely a dimension such as depth. when moving within the range of the fully sleeping state or the opposite condition of full wakefulness.

with a fourth stratum that pervades all the others. which have their being only on the horizontal plane. beginning from the Puranas (legendary mythological lore) up to highly philosophically-conceived works such as the 'Yoga Vasishtha'. The Bhagavad Gita refers to the inwardness involved by comparing the aspirant to a tortoise which withdraws all its limbs into its shell (II-58). should make what is implied here quite complete and as thorough-going as can be expected. This doctrine or theory belongs to the general background of Indian thought. The reference to the foul-smelling shotgun on which the birds are seated at one end. He has further to be uncompromising. Each individual has an aspect which is finite with a particular form. The reader is left to guess freely and to fill in the gaps where they are purposely left to be implied. we have to concede that he is only so in the name of a greater gain of inner contemplative brilliance of the whole spirit within him. A mixed allegorical and parabolic style is adopted here. (Vrin. This is reminiscent of the suggestive style of the Upanishads. Even if they do operate. are also referred to as follows: 'AWAKE TO AUM': The analysis of self-consciousness with reference to the mystic syllable AUM has been masterfully accomplished in the Mandukya Upanishad which. so that many factors may be understood as covered in a suggestive rather than in a discursive manner. belonging to the world of secondary values which can be dismissed as mere epiphenomena. Various versions of the same theory are found in different grades of literature. There is a radical note struck in this verse. But reincarnation in the proper context of wisdom has to be understood divested of all the mythological or allegorical prejudices or accretions around the idea of the past living into the future. The two poles of the two magnets have to be juxtaposed with the understanding of the technique which will give double mutual gain rather than 477 double loss. This means that he has to aim at the focal meeting-point of all sensuous interests and associative processes in the mind. 1933). with its commentaries by masterminds such as Gaudapada and perhaps Sankara also. what can bring down. ever in wily changeful sport. The aspirant cannot afford to be enticed by these frivolous interests if he is to be seriously established in contemplative life. the aspirant is to develop. The body being a differential factor between the two poles. such an alternation of opposites does not affect them. THE way of absolutist contemplation is not to be mixed up with mere religious piety. The vertical axis of time or pure duration has its retrospective aspects changing into prospective ones through what might be called the eternal present or the dialectical moment. When we think of the gross aspect of the body. 478 initiating another chain of associations. There is also a reference to the flame that remains motionless in a windless place. This concentrated cryptic way is compatible with what was already pointed out in the beginning of the work itself when. steadily adjusted vertically (VI-19). materially inert side on which he has actual control through his own will. Perched on a shot-gun foul-smelling. The hunter has to take a firm one-pointed aim. as it were.' Mouna means silence. It has never been put 476 forward as an article of faith. Activity and passivity. The two attributes that follow in the same verse. at the other end of which we have to put the hunter who is about to pull the trigger. They have invariably a pronounced inner life which lives in constant awareness of a high human value represented by the Absolute Self that they themselves represent. In verse 9 the two poles of the vertical axis are more explicitly alluded to. These analogies are meant to indicate in advance the personal attitude or psycho-physical adjustment involved in the initiation of the contemplative's progress. half-open and closed states of consciousness. Steadfastness results only from proper cross-affiliation. is one in which horizontal factors enter to a greater or lesser degree. uncompromising attitude involved in getting started on the path of real contemplative life. here and now. Thus the chain of cyclic associations never comes to a standstill. After establishing bipolarity with a supreme notion as representing the Absolute. Neither the waking life or overt action nor the dreaming life of innate mental representations can give the correct orientation prerequisite for Self-realization. We might here perhaps pause to ask relevantly whether or not the well-known doctrine or theory of reincarnation is not implied here.waking. consisting of 479 . Meditation thus recedes further and further away from reach. the alternations as between birth and death. VERSE 8 Eating of the five fruits such as light and so on. If he appears to be a kill-joy in this respect. There is something positive in the attitude required. The letters A. life and death. we were told that this composition was meant to be a chant rather than a discourse. They are evasively changing from one twig to another before he can take proper aim. The hunter has to take his aim in such a way as to shoot down all five of them at once. in the first verse. An idol in wood or metal is sometimes referred to as a murti. represent three grades of open. are all levels to be marked on one and the same vertical axis in which consciousness can live and move towards action at one stage or to pure inaction at the other. In this verse we have to imagine a hunter trying to shoot down birds on a branch. It is not the spiritual side of the disciple which is first to be surrendered. sleeping and waking. It is more than mere prayerful meekness. they have to be considered as null and void. Popular belief has its own story to tell of an ancestor whose soul might be in a crow that pecks first at a ball of cooked rice ritualistically offered by way of propitiating the pitris (ancestors). giving two of the limiting characteristics by which such persons have to be distinguished. let the inner self brilliant become. The impersonal Absolute is at best an abstraction which is formless and infinite. along the vertical axis of awareness. cease to operate. It brings to mind the picture of a recluse living in a forest or far from the 'maddening crowd's ignoble strife. a corresponding attitude of neutrality and steadfastness of a wholehearted character so that interests can be secured at both ends and kept within the right path of spiritual progress. 'ABSOLVED FROM BIRTH': The phenomenal existence of a living being. memory and prospective vision. entitled The Personal Factor in the Educative Process. is here referred to as something to be despised. Wielding such a lucid form. and contemplatives of the type called munis in India are those 475 who are generally sparing in speech. The birds with the fruits which they peck represent the sensuous interests based on each of the five senses opening to the world of horizontal values. Wisdom can result only when the conditions are fulfilled correctly. M. the two states of sleeping and waking attaining to an alternating asymmetrical expression. They maybe said to be established in a form of pure becoming where the alternation of successively opposing states does not arise. Such. the birds five. To establish a correct bipolarity between the two aspects involved here it is important to recognize that the outer aspects of the personality come into relation with the inner. which is perhaps all that the doctrine in its purest form wants to suggest. As soon as one is displaced another appeal to the senses comes along. when biologically understood as active. The metaphor is meant to dispose summarily of many psychological and other questions by a figurative language. The smaller items of pleasure are inclusively transcended in this inner lucidity which he gains. When pure movements of contemplative thought are established. U. 'STEADILY FIX THE FORM': The word in the text here is 'murti'. It aims at giving the would-be contemplative an indication of the drastic. The silent ones who have awakened to the high value called the Absolute Self live an undisturbed life of peace and understanding which is free from the taint of the alternation of states whether between sleep and wakefulness. but rather the gross. The two poles implied and the axis involved have first to be visualised or postulated correctly before instruction in the Self can go on unhindered. Interests are ever shifting ground in consciousness. waking overtness and dreaming innateness. in shreds. 'SILENT ONES': The word 'muni' is given here. The vertical axis may be said to pass through all of them. Established in wholehearted interest in Self-realization. suggests a vertical axis between the two polarities or factors of the same Self. (11) Further psychological and educational implications of this relationship have been worked out in a thesis submitted to the University of Paris by the present writer. Paris.

the 'tree' that touches heaven and earth. The man under the tree is above the level of the ground which hides the roots from view. surely. 7-14) we have a reference to a tree of life that sprouts again in the context of Job's belief in resurrection. By inferno unapproached ever remains. When the gun is fired there is a flash of light which would fill the whole of consciousness without the duality of the mind or the body. 'BENEATH A TREE': The tree of world mythology and as employed symbolically in the lingua mystica of humanity all over the world must be examined at closer quarters.' and 'The One stands like a tree established in heaven'. tainted by Samkhya (rationalist philosophy) dualism has been revalued.the initial limit positive and the other negative. Both are abolished m a full absolutist state of intense light within. 28. The tree is praised even in the hymn 'Crux Fidelis' sung on the day of the crucifixion during the Mass. between the rival tendencies involved. 9). In the active huntsman giving place to the contemplative sitting under a tree we have the indication of two limiting ways which are complementary . He sits calm and wholly apart in his loneliness. but it is important to be able to see.) (12) In the Book of Job (XIV. is not the proper world of the contemplative. thereby entering one step further into the subject-matter. The Cross of the Bible is sometimes referred to as representing the idea of a 'World Tree' whose origin can be traced back to antiquity. This is the case also with other similar pairs of verses which 481 can be located by the careful reader throughout this composition. given at the beginning of chapter 482 XV of the Bhagavad Gita is a revised version of the same tree which is found in many mythologies and scriptures throughout the world. arrow or gun at a unitive target of value. A revalued. But before doing so he uses a word-picture. far earlier than that of the Medieval Christian legends. mark. it is really something to be despised. or flower. the unitively revalued psychophysical plan or functional structure of the Self with its two polarities to be reduced into absolute unity of pure content will become sufficiently evident without going into further analysis of the expressions used. belonging to the refined heavenly Asa-gods. but is also implied even in the Bhagavad Gita in chapter II. its branches below . restated yoga is implied here.' (Hume's translation) Modified references to the same tree are found in the Katha Upanishad (VI.' (Faithful Cross.) the same analogy of human life to a tree is mentioned: 483 'As a tree of the forest. while in between there is the squirrel which sows strife between the eagle and snake (Vide Brewer's 'Dictionary of Phrase and Fable').this eternal fig-tree. such a man. The suddenness of the event suggests further that contemplation is not to be thought of as a slow process of evolution through laborious intermediate stages. whether oriental. Even Patanjali yoga. the coarse Frost-Giants of nature and to the Underworld of negations. the One Tree noble above all: No forest affords the like of this in leaf. uncompromisingly and radically dealing with petty relativistic attractions in life. and thus escapes or transcends all tribulations. Both these refer unitively to the contemplative state required before any Self-knowledge can be initiated and progress. His skin the outer bark. but he is in the shade of the leaves. which drops the honey from heaven. HERE we come to a verse which is intended to close a preliminary section in the development of the subject-matter of the whole work. This attitude. The man dwelling beneath a tree should be understood as distinctly living apart from the tree itself. and in the Svetasvatara Upanishad (III. The plain meaning of the verse must be sufficiently clear. He is thus in a neutral middle position of detachment between the two extremes of time's pointer as it indicates opposingly to the past or the future. the ancient idiom of a man sitting under a tree which is found so often in the contemplative literature or mythology of various parts of the world. with a duration tending to be historical rather than pure. as it is commonly thought of in the context of what usually passes for the practice of meditation or yoga. is man. At its top is the heavenly eagle and at its root is the snake. to be gradually ascended. Yggdrasil. not only in the Yoga Vasishtha. THE CONTEMPLATIVE OF VERSES 8 AND 9: These two verses must be treated and understood together in order to extract from both the central doctrine which the Guru wishes to transmit and which is tacitly contained between them. we see that the Guru treats of the nature of the Soul or Self in man.. The description of a mystical tree with roots upwards end branches downwards. In the Svetasvatara Upanishad again. 6) where we read: 'Higher and other than the world-tree. an attitude which is a prerequisite for initiation into wisdom proper. 9. Nordic or Asiatic. In modern nursery tales we have the last remnant of a heaven-kissing tree in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk . with three roots of various values. When the verse is paraphrased and expanded to smooth out all the subtle mixed metaphoric implications. Just so. as it were. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (III. While the immediately previous verse also used the language of a word-picture in referring to the alert and active hunter who with absolute precision aims a weapon. flore. The tree has its stem which is the common origin of all the various branches and ramifications arising from it. germine. He not only lives apart from it. but the attitude of the aspirant has to be wholehearted and drastic. the scientific content as it should be grasped in the context of the Science of the Self representing absolute reality. as Vasishtha points out to Rama in the Yoga Vasishtha. or seed. His hairs are leaves. later. occidental. Here the personal attitude is that of a more fully contemplative man sitting under a tree and detached from the lure of passing interests. In the next verse. The myth of the heaven-supporting tree is also found in the Scandinavian sacred Ash tree. inter omnes Arbor una nobilis: Nulla silva tamen profert Fronde. in referring to self-discipline. This idiom is recognizable from the Shiva Seal of Mohenjo Daro to the fig-tree in the Bible associated with John the Baptist. but under it. Pampering the body or cultivating the body-sense obstructs the contemplative way. time and forms is . The roots constitute its negative or retrospective part. 480 VERSE 9 He who dwells in contemplation beneath a tree Whereon climbing. referring to memory and other factors in the background of the personality. is tainted by the idea of graded steps in contemplation. The relativistic context of time and becoming. there is a dialectical revaluation (VI.tissue etc. Alan Watts gives the hymn: 'Crux fidelis. a creeper bears aloft on either side The blossoms of the psychic states. He is balanced and neutral. The way whereby contemplation becomes actually established may be a slow one. The absolutist way of Advaita is thus slightly different from the ascent involved in the dualistic approach of hatha and raja yoga. 1). and are referred to respectively as 'Its root is above. through the mixed or complex metaphorical idiom.

and does not regulate conduct. The Book of Job tries to make the same distinction but the subtle revaluation is lost or overcovered in translation or through the exigencies or vicissitudes of language. has a negative vertical status. which have a status like that of the primary colours of the spectrum. consciousness in everlasting alternation. one is still exposed to the dual influences of pleasure. and pain. with the weapon of decisive non. The horizontally alternating pair has. But the attitude of the butcher represented by Daumier succeeds in drawing out the essence of a necessary and realistic human situation in which the ugly itself attains to the status of a subject dignified enough for a real artist to paint. a boat on the river. 486 In this revised picture presented by the Guru. dreaming and deep sleep trio (jagrat. or as in the Gita by the cutting down of the tree. This fourth is the turiya. On this Upanishad is based the Gaudapada Karika (commentary of Gaudapada. when seen with the neutrally poised eyes of a true artist who is neither too positively awake nor deeply asleep. it will be noticed that the Guru slightly deviates from the conventional number three in favour of a symmetrically conceived pair of alternating states. Then (alone) that path is to be sought. Dream has its bright and beautiful representations as much as the waking state. It is suggested in the alternating states of sleeping and waking which overpower. as Shakespeare would say. the witness of the three other layers of consciousness in graded order.' Involved in relativistic versions of the Absolute. The third state. even waking life with all its ugly contents can be considered beautiful in the sense of the 'Flowers of Evil' (Les Fleurs du Mal). The meanest and most ordinary of subjects presented in the visible outer world of the waking state can be considered quite interesting. employed as the title of a volume by the French poet Baudelaire. makes it further precious to all students of Vedanta. The bringer of right (dharma). In the case of reputed artists other examples of this kind are considerable. An examination of the implications of the chapter will reveal that the purer absolutism implied in the teaching of the Gita treats of the tree as a human value beyond historical time in terms of mere pure duration which is timeless. The paintings and drawings of such artists as Honoré Daumier (1808-79) have amply revealed that even scenes ordinarily considered ugly or not particularly beautiful. These verses from the Gita are: 'Nor is its (i. By the man being made (as in this verse) to sit beneath a tree and apart from the phenomenal aspects which it represents. through the eyes of the artist and the poet who can. creeper and the two orders of blossoms must be viewed globally with that degree of detachment which belongs to real living man in truly human contemplation. The contemplative has to participate thus in the attitude of the poet before he can establish himself and be initiated 487 into the reality symmetrically viewed in this manner. Bergson has the same four states compared to a swallow flying over a river. left out by the Guru in his vertically symmetrically-conceived plan. 'see Helen's beauty in an eye of Egypt'.. 409. This way of analysing personal consciousness is employed masterfully in the Mandukya Upanishad. R. Sankara's Bhashya or commentary on the commentary of Gaudapada.He from whom this expanse proceeds.attachment. attains the status of Absolute consciousness. This shortest of Upanishads is a precise subjection of consciousness to the most exact contemplative analysis. As for the third state. For our purpose here it would suffice to remember that the Absolute can be viewed as a living person as represented by the World-Tree or in more pure terms as an abstract Value. as it were. 3-4 that the higher path of absolutism is clearly distinguished from the lower or relativisticallycoloured form of absolutism found in the Vedic teachings.. nor its end. red. In and through these alternating states pure consciousness continues as the central vertical axis. Like the man in the famous statue of Augusts Rodin (1840-1917) called 'The Thinker' (Le Penseur). svapna and sushupti).PSYCHIC STATES': The psychic states here refer to the waking. Tree. By telling their own tales in which value. Oxford 1950) The whole of chapter XV of the Bhagavad Gita is meant to revise this notion of a World-Tree into more absolutist terms. The flowers or representations of the dreaming state are as beautiful as the corresponding flowers of the waking state as revised and seen. and in a spirit of scientific though subjective experimentation. Daumier's famous painting of a butcher cutting up an animal is ugly according to conventional standards of beauty when flowers or birds might have been chosen by the artist. reaching to the familiar waking state which is the first or most superficial. Hume. Understood in this way. (thinking) I seek refuge in that Primordial Man from whom of old streamed forth active (relativist) manifestation. a superficial content merely. it must be supplied by us as virtually implicit in the person of the man under the tree. In the preceding verses we have already noticed this symmetry of a bilateral kind. corresponds to the Absolute itself. sushupti. yellow or blue. treading which they do not return again. as it were. predecessor of Sankara through his Guru Govinda) which is a monumental work forming the basis of the whole superstructure of Vedantic psychology. as the basis of them all. we therefore think of the alternating states of waking and dreaming as bearing blossoms on either side. so valuable to the methodology and epistemology of the science of the Absolute. In the verse here. Thus in classical Vedanta we have three states of consciousness as named above. called the avastha-traya (the three states). turiya above. the idea suggested is to transcend becoming. or take over charge of. with a fourth one which. it is implied in the others. not as living in a vacuum of abstraction but as having for his content of consciousness all the other possible grades of truth or reality implied. Like white light or grey light. the river itself and a man watching all these. nor its foundation.e. the remover of evil (papa)the lord of prosperity. to which every living being of the higher order is seen to be subject. E. 'The Thirteen Principal Upanishads'. The fourth state. these latter being compared to a tree which has to be cut down mercilessly before one can follow the higher path of absolutism which the Gita finally stands for. nor its beginning. 484 It will be seen in the Bhagavad Gita in XV.factors are hidden. Know Him as in one's own self (atmo-stha) as the immortal abode of all. can have a hidden beauty in the situation of life that they might suggest in a globally synthetic manner. 485zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . Having sundered this holy fig-tree with strongly fixed root. The examination of the content of the three states in man has been employed in the Vedantic method (especially of Sankara) to arrive at the notion of pure or absolute consciousness which underlies all three. the tree) form here comprehended thus (as stated). the man sitting under the tree in the Guru's verse should be understood. In the higher path indicated. the Absolute has been named avasthatraya-sakshin. suffering is by-passed altogether. sleeping. It requires no special mention as it enters consciousness only virtually.' (P. 'A CREEPER BEARS ALOFT.

To know oneself has been accepted both in the East and in the West. miscellaneous interests that could dissipate attention and spoil the contemplative attitude required for wisdom. Also see P. and secondly between positive and negative vertical states. P. Knowing oneself is hindered by the outward-going eye which sees other objects besides oneself. AN EXPERIMENTAL SITUATION: The dark room is meant for selection and control purposes as in laboratory experiments. is like 489 bringing in the control element in the experimentally. Vol. in turn Asks. The Guru employs here a method which combines both these. which latter admits no creative evolution. so too the consciousness of man is caught between ambivalent poles. THIS verse has to be read with the next (given below. when established in the neutral fourth state. 335. Whereupon another.whether Socrates and an Athenian youth. observation and inference. He thus fulfils the requirements of dialectical reasoning rather than relying on the one-sided approach consisting of inductive or deductive proofs known to the empirical scientists or rationalistic philosophers of modern Europe. Bipolar relations could be established between the self on the one hand and what the self is able to perceive through the outwardly directed senses on the other. more negatively than positively. The Guru. the Self escapes all possibility of being caught in the alternating phases of the plus or minus of the situation. 'Mythology of All Races'. II. instead of referring to the self in one man. Here the counterparts are brought together very closely as dialectically interchangeable factors. in such a method of approach. and if biased at all. are to be understood as poles of the vertical axis of the personality of man As in a plant. The experimental approach on the other hand is more direct and based on the three stages of experiment. 488 VERSE 10 'Who sits there in the dark? Declare!' says one. represent a dialectical situation by which the Guru here in this tenth verse enters into the heart of the subject of the present work. in both ancient and modern times. The two men sitting in the dark questioning each other in the name of knowledge about the self in each. A. as constituting the core of wisdom. 157. light and darkness. Self-realization is thus freedom from suffering when one's consciousness is balanced: first vertically between dreams and facts. into a more direct one yielding a certitude that does not violate common sense. Wisdom has always been enshrined in dialogues between two persons . where the roots seek darkness geotropically and the twigs seek light heliotropically. The subjective and the objective selves could be treated as interchangeable terms. Bergsonian metaphysics would lend support to such a picture of 'being' and 'becoming' put together globally and unitively. The detached man who sits under the tree takes up a neutral position between the positive and negative. although finally Bergson tends to stress 'becoming' at the expense of 'pure being'. This would mean being nearer to the trunk of the tree which would represent the master-tendencies in life treated as if tied in a bundle together. seems also to have been fully alive to the requirements of the age of science and of free criticism based on equality of status between the counterparts. It is for this reason. himself intent to find. The normative method in science would rely on statistics or a questionnaire to arrive at scientific certitudes. There is thus a parity that we can imagine between two persons. a charioteer and a warrior on the battlefield. or more simply as between a teacher and pupil. MacCulloch. If anything could mar the strict bipolarity of the experimental situation here envisaged for attaining to a correct notion of the Self in man. He avoids the lure of the senseluxuries of objects of little interest and recedes to wholehearted or lastingly worthwhile interests by placing himself nearer to the negative pole.'BY INFERNO UNAPPROACHED EVER REMAINS': Joy and suffering. as conceived poignantly in the Bhagavad Gita. hearing the first: 'who may you even be?' For both the word of response is but One. in order to minimise the possibility of a third factor disturbing the bipolarity that the Guru postulates darkness as a necessary condition . the non-self aspect could be spoken of as the other self. with all extraneous elements eliminated as in arranging a laboratory experiment. (12). it would be a third set of elements in the form of various secondary. In thus placing himself correctly in detached neutrality. on page 493) to make a complete contemplative item. prospective and retrospective orientations of the spirit. The reference to two men. When the bipolarity is between equals of the same kind or species. This latter aspect could be called the non-self. 'Myth and Ritual in Christianity'. Language even permits of a man referring to his wife as his 'better half'.conceived critical situation by which he is to prove scientifically to himself the reality of Soul or Self. positive and negative. the normative and the experimental together.

There are proofs given by a priori reasoning which are not those of experimental sciences like physics. giving a new start to philosophy from the standpoint of evolutionism. If the first man did not insist on knowing. emanations or monads. as between the self and the non-self. Active seeking of wisdom is a form of agony or thirst for knowledge which represents the knocking at the door to open. On reading this verse carefully it is important to note that the Guru takes pains to give in detail the agonising stages in the dialectical situation portrayed in this metaphysical experiment that he describes. As a result we have the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle getting confused one with the other. stops short of employing the fully dialectical method. from Descartes (1596-1650). is really a dialectical form of reasoning which was only beginning to be understood by him and the philosophers of his generation. to put it in the biblical idiom. The a posteriori approach is more naturally associated with its history. Both are movements of thinking envisaged by the Self in each man. which. he kept the company of those who spoke the language of speculative philosophy and other rational or contemplative disciplines. Bergson himself however. That is our own person in its flow along time. (We have taken the liberty here of capitalising the initial letter of the 'One' which is only to be expected in the light of orthographic usage in English. Monism and monotheism still belong to the ordinary speculation of philosophy of the scholastics or the theologians. reduces all duality into unity. THE TWO SELF-COUNTERPARTS: The Guru Narayana. This duality is not to be understood as a merely theological doctrine which in common parlance. by being treated hitherto separately. The resolution of the paradoxical duality of the two persons into the One of the last line does not take place without effort or earnestness. Henri Bergson (1859-1941) was able to look at the self from the pragmatic angle. The a priori lost its way with them till dialectics began to be recognized again with the German idealists like Hegel (1770-1831). 'THE WORD OF RESPONSE IS BUT ONE': What could be called a dialectical proof may be said to be implied here. The two partial selves merge into unity in the Absolute. take a walk over his person (promener sur une personne) as he puts it. have lost their full influence in enriching human knowledge to the limit of its possibilities. Bergson wrote: 'There is one reality at least which we grasp from inside and not by a simple analysis. They have each put a barrier between themselves and those who spoke the language of experimental science. which is not yet fully conceived as it ought to be in conformity with what we have called 'dialectical methodology'. which is reasoning from 'inside' an object rather than what is got by viewing it from outside. The science that results with the eyes open could be called physics and that which persists even when the eyes are shut may be said to belong to metaphysics. It could be . The philosophers who were called rationalists or idealists. The darkness further implies that contemplative wisdom is what is given to the eye of man when shut and directed not outwardly to objects but to realities belonging to the inner world. or as between the one and the many. By this treatment of the self. through Spinoza (1632-1677) and Leibniz (1646-1716) to Kant (1724-1804). The telescope or the microscope were used by the earliest modern physicists to help outwardly the normal sight of the open eye. separates God from Man. Between the visible and the intelligible worlds of Plato these conditions are not strictly applied nor distinguished. Extraversion or extraspection has pure action implied in it. There is however a far cry from evolution as in the philosophy of Spencer (1820-1903) and the Creative Evolution as envisaged 491 by Bergson.) Unitive understanding consists essentially of abolishing duality.490 for the experimental situation to teach us fully the self-knowledge that could be derived from it. It is our self that endures. by referring to the self in two persons at the same time. In other words the eyes were to be more open to see truth or reality. and is able to describe poetically the structure of the personality in man. as when we speak of the difference between the theological doctrines of a Ramanuja. We can sympathise intellectually or rather spiritually with no other thing. The truly dialectical content and import of the term 'non-duality' belongs to the domain of dialectical thinking which. especially in India. One has to want to know badly before knowledge can result. substances or existences which they sometimes compared to some sort of fluids. the silence would have remained unbroken and wisdom would not have resulted. but introspection is directed to tranquillity or peace. What he refers to as 'intuition'. But we do sympathise surely with ourselves. admitted the a priori but still thought with objective predilections and spoke of essences. a Madhva or a Sankara. and which serves physics and metaphysics equally. The unitive way is that of the central core of the stream of consciousness where it has nothing to do with mechanistic objects hardened as a crust round 493 the liquid central flux of eternal becoming.' (13) Bergson goes on to describe what he is able to grasp about his own self by the method of making his 'inner power to see' (regard intérieur). A thirst for more knowledge is implied on one side and the inclination to remain quiet on the other. Bergson remains for us here perhaps the only philosopher of the West who comes very near to the method of approach adopted by the Guru in the present verse. The duality then becomes transcended. the physical and the metaphysical. makes an epochal innovation by which he lays the foundation for the rapprochement and 492 unification of two branches of wisdom.

divergent egoity Being multiple. Even within the domain of unitively. The very first verse of the Book of Tao (Tao Teh Khing) which term represents the purest notion of the Absolute in Chinese philosophy. one would be able to think of an Absolute that unitively combines being and becoming and even the one and the many by one single act of understanding. sacrificing with the wisdom-sacrifice. has remained one of the puzzles of philosophers. One who sees all as one.15) The possibility of seeing the one and the many together in the notion of the Absolute. as the coping stone of wisdom in man.' (IX. HERE we touch the paradox of the one and the many which started to puzzle philosophers from pre-Socratic days in the West and the early pluralistic Vaiseshika and dualistic Samkhya philosophers on the soil of Indian wisdom. The notion of unity in terms of self-consciousness. 1946) VERSE 11 The repeated 'I. as we have elsewhere studied. both Eastern and Western. This.conceived in terms of a vertical axis passing invisibly at the core of the polyhedron. as also many-sidedly. facing universally everywhere. is further analysed here with its dialectical implications.understood metaphysics there is room for the one-and-the-many paradox to persist. Plato's Parmenides analyses this possibility masterfully. (Geneva. dualistically. is the truly wise man. the author of the Gita envisages the possibility of a wisdom-sacrifice to the Absolute as follows: 'Others also. I' contemplated from within Is not many but remains One. Referring to the various forms of sacrifice open to men. however. 'La Pensée et le Mouvant'. A monist in the philosophical sense or a monotheist in the theological sense should not be confused. describes the Absolute in the following striking manner: 'The Tao that can be told Is not the Absolute Tao: The names that can be given Are not Absolute names. often takes place. 'The Absolute is above all count' as the Guru Narayana himself says later in verse 68 of the present work.' . through the centuries. based on metaphysically conceived form or contemplative experimentation. When the faculty of dialectics which. in the context of non-dual or unitive understanding of the Absolute. Reason has to go one step beyond even the intuition that Bergson postulated. which was touched on in the last line of the previous verse. Even in the Bhagavad Gita we find one allusion at least where the possibility of an absolute notion of reality viewed from the dialectical rather than the rationalistic angle is present. 177. (For further clarification of such an analogy see 'An Integrated Science of the Absolute' by the same writer. In verse 87 the non-predicability of the Absolute is alluded to further. to which form of clear crystal we could compare pure contemplative consciousness. attains to its full scope of directing and regulating thoughtprocesses through its ascending and descending movements. p. The latter implies a dialectical approach which is not given to the mechanistic reasoning of even correct theologians 494 and philosophers.) (13). with the totality of such The Self-substance too continuity assumes. worshipfully attend on Me (the Absolute) unitively. which is really above even mathematical symbolism. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth The Named is the Mother of all Things.

is it possible to speak of the Tao that cannot even be named in the mathematically-conceived language of the 'one and the many'? Although the notion is not predicable in the usual rationalistic and mechanistic terminology of a living language. as suggested in the verse of the Guru here. Einstein preferred to 497 take a position at the other or lower pole of the vertical axis to which both what is called Absolutism and Relativity could equally belong. Dialectical methodology and epistemology are still in the process of formulation at the present time. We reserve for a future study the explanation of such mathematical possibilities. there are newer forms of mathematics which can bring even the negative aspects of the Absolute under scientific scrutiny. and neither Einstein nor Eddington has arrived at the omega point which marks the positive opposite limit of the negative alpha of the Absolute. it could be asked here. Modern physicists are feeling more and more the need for some such precise language. The relations unite the relata. In reality Relativity. Mathematics as the handmaid of mechanistic physics which uses static notions expressed by symbols. Descartes. Poincaré and Eddington. 'THE SELF-SUBSTANCE TOO CONTINUITY ASSUMES': In modern physics we have begun to be familiar with terms like 'the continuum of space-time'. rather than to the Newtonian notion of the Absolute which would correspond to the 'origin of Heaven and Earth'. which can refer to nothing that we can visualize mentally but would still be capable of valid interpretation in pure non-utilitarian higher mathematics which could be put at the service of metaphysics more aptly than at the service of ordinary physics. can still. especially in its negative aspects. Einstein is the one primarily responsible for this change-over. the subtler language of dialectics can be used to reveal its inner structure. the Absolute and the relative Absolute have to be understood unitively as belonging to one and the same context of the Absolute that cannot be told about. in modern times after the work of Pascal.. is the neutral and silent Tao of Chinese Taoism. is only the dialectical counterpart of the Absolutism of space. The following extract from Eddington will help us to see how the continuity between the one and the many. especially when it refers to time. In later verses we shall see him going deeper into the application of this dialectical approach which eluded even masterminds such as Bergson. This language which is non-Euclidean and non-Newtonian is sometimes called that of Relativity as opposed to the Absolutism implied in the older classical science. In this verse the Guru is just broaching the subject of transcending contradiction and reducing contraries unitively. When the Guru here states that the sum total of the divergent multiplicity in consciousness attains to continuity with the One which represents the Absolute in a more 496 finalized sense. being an avowed Platonist. the relata are the meeting points of the relations. does not view the Absolute except from the positive side of lasting intelligible values. When we say in algebra 'let x be the unknown factor' we have in reality started saying something about it. Like the space-time continuum. he is only delving further into the structure of the notion of the one Absolute. I do not think that a more general starting-point of structure could be conceived. Giving primacy to space above time. The conflict between the two has to be overcome by a dialectical approach. as in the quotations above.495 How then. and at the same time not said anything definite about it. The correct method of the approach of Guru Narayana will become more and more evident as we proceed. is quite in keeping with the language being vaguely formulated at the present time by first-rate physicists who may be expected to be quite matter-of-fact and not merely sentimental in their approach to reality: 'We take as building material relations and relata. is itself one to be understood in the subtler light of dialectics. Bergson sums up: 'Metaphysics is therefore the science which claims to do without symbols.consanguinity. For the present we shall content ourselves by referring to the possible meaning of a symbol like the square root of minus one. Whitehead. The Absolute can have a positive and a negative side. as Bergson points out. Leibniz. But when we examine closely the physical theories of Einstein we find that a new form of Absolutism in terms of the unit or constant velocity of light lurks at its core.. business . and continues to trouble the mathematical though sceptical genius of a Bertrand Russell.' (14) Although this is true as far as it applies to the mechanistic sciences. The relation between the Absolute and the Relative as the two terms referring respectively to Einstein or Newton. The one is unthinkable apart from the other. The one and the many can co-exist without contradiction or paradox in the mind of the trained dialectician. The Absolute that cannot be told about. Both physics and metaphysics would then derive from this central normative principle a correct methodology and epistemology. The relation between two human individuals in its broadest sense comprises every kind of connection or comparison between them . Einstein's Relativity with a capital R corresponds to the 'Mother of All Things' of Taoism. be limited in its scope of revealing absolute reality. while to the mechanistic thinker who is not a true contemplative and who is incapable of using higher mathematical symbols like the square root of minus one there is a glaring intellectual cul-de-sac out of which he cannot jump.

whether seen as between two individuals or within the plus and minus sides of the same individual can thus be seen to attain equality.to gain an understanding of the Absolute it is necessary to approach it through the relative. (cf. The slightest concession in this direction will enable us to link the whole into a structure'. comparative stature. the end is not happiness. generic. 82. The one and the many selves. is what is here implied. which has troubled the minds of Indian thinkers also.. which is the proper subject-matter of non-dual (advaitic) wisdom. or both. This verse suggests that one of these ways of assertion is favourable to self-realization while the other is detrimental to happiness when understood as the end or goal of life. 225-226. whether cosmological. sameness. Man is finally the measure of all things. by which the aspirant to self-instruction can find his way and choose the right one of the two alternatives open to him in the path that marks out his progress in self-realization. at the end of his tether in the matter of building an intelligent structure of the physical world. By cultivating the ego which has bodily attributes.. Wielding these. 'The Nature of the Physical World'. Eddington further clarifies this same problem as follows: '. skill at golf . The problems of contemplative wisdom concern the inner rather than the outer.498 transactions.' (16) The various subtler discussions about the interrelations between what is called Vyashti (particular) and Samashti. pure relations between one man and another could be more clearly visualized. lo! one ego looms: this which passes. Spiritual life often contains this soul-killing possibility of a wrong kind of self-hood which can be full of horizontal taints such . p. homogeneity or continuity as here mentioned. the bolder and more straightforward approach would be to adopt the methodology and epistemology of dialectical reasoning on which the Guru Narayana here relies. Unitive understanding. Both have again to be related as between relata. Time and Gravity'. Pure dialectics operates best when outer or extraneous factors are minimised. bone. 'Space. 'I' of the previous verse has a way of asserting itself in two distinct manners. Hence it is that we see that the Guru Narayana takes care to eliminate extraneous factors so that in the dark room postulated in the previous verse. For generality we shall suppose that the relations in our world-material are likewise composite and in no way expressible in numerical measure. refuse. There is no escape from subtle dialectics here.. (15). which we find in such works as the Vedanta Sara of Sadananda. we stand in danger of having a bloated egoism in the name of some fetish-concept of personal spirituality which might lead us into the blind alley of a megalomania. not in terms of a vague abstraction. and many an inner factor of evil end. we must postulate not only relations between the relata but some kind of relation of likeness between some of the relations. universal). and even a pragmatic manner. The four-dimensional world with space gives us the relativist picture of reality. 0 grant the boon that it may not the ego swell! THE repeated 'I'. human.any kind of description in which both are involved.) 500 VERSE 12 With skin. Is the other: that Self which grows to perfection. as it were. Eddington's reference in the above quotation to business transactions and golf as linking one person with another might be considered as referring to outer aspects of life needed for understanding the physical world. To put it in another way. but in a very realistic. By cultivating the Self that is non-bodily but has other attributes of a series of values in an ascending subjective scale leading to happiness (whose nature will become clarified only in the later verses).. (14). Nevertheless there must be some kind of comparability or likeness of relations. (Everyman's London. and the one which gives time primacy over space gives us the absolutist picture. operational. Instead of turning one's face against it or hesitantly asking for 'the slightest concession' as Eddington does. 175 Ibid.) (16) p. our later work on 'An Integrated Science of the Absolute') 499 The continuum here presupposed as existing between the divergent self and the One Self is thus to be understood in the light of the dialectics which will unravel itself stage by stage as we cover verse after verse in this sequence of verses. The Absolute may be defined as a relative which is always the same no matter what it is relative to. The physical and metaphysical worlds have to be linked through co-ordinates that are common to cosmology and psychology. The genus and species relationship presents the same problem in the context of European scholasticism. otherwise there would be nothing more to be said about the world than that every thing in it was utterly unlike everything else. psychological. 1947. as Eddington puts it. The structure of the Self which has been analysed in the two previous verses is filled with a content. PP. (Harpers. bear testimony to the same kind of epistemological problem. as there is in the relations of human individuals.(15) It is not hard to notice from a scrutiny of the above extracts that the modern physicist is.

' This 'I' within has its convergent (vertical) and divergent (horizontal) aspects which have to be carefully distinguished. one should not let it down. constitutes the important initial step to be taken. belongs to the bodily side of our life rather than to the spiritual. 21) refers to this sort of danger in strong terms as constituting the gates of inferno: 501 'Three-fold is the gate to inferno which can counter Self-hood . chitta and ahamkara (intelligence. as for example in the composition called Chit-jadangal (Thought and Inertia). The modalities of movements in consciousness. which it will be the task of succeeding verses to effectively abolish. the very self is the Self's (own) enemy. To distinguish the two selves implied in the contemplative life envisaged here. which depend for functioning on the stimuli entering the body from the objective rather than from the subjective side. the very Self can remain inimical like a (veritable) opponent. has to be understood as taking place between elements in consciousness that really belong to two rival poles.desire. In other works of the Guru this parallelism and polarity is discussed by him in greater detail. to warn against in this verse. as for example being too much taken up by social or political problems. to which these two egos are subject. the very self asserts itself and grows into power or perfection by double assertion and double negation. as well as in some other compositions of the Guru. In the name of institutional forms of holiness we have examples of distorted personalities with egos exaggerated or awry in one sense or another. relational sense and individuation). 6) which also posits two selves for resolution into unitive terms. The Self is the kindred of the self. or the physical from the spiritual aspect of the personality is underlined. In the process. which conduce to unhappy ends. For the present we shall do no more than to refer again to the Bhagavad Gita (VI.' Sankara's famous work called Drig-drisya-viveka (discrimination between the seer and the seen) is based on this same fundamental distinction -so important to be made before the Self can be properly realized. 503 In fact. in respect of the two selves involved. from which we can think many 'holy' men suffer. In Vedantic literature generally this error of self-identification with a certain bodily or un-spiritual aspect or attribute of the personality is called the dehoham buddhi. conflict or contradiction at its core.' A horizontally-oriented self-hood spells evil while a vertically-oriented self-hood reaches out to the good ideal. These pitfalls have to be avoided . is what the Guru takes the opportunity. When we use the word 'mind' in English it is meant to include all that is spiritual in a vague manner. We shall have occasion to examine the nature of the contradiction or the complementary character of the two selves involved. if one again rests peripheralized in interests. A prayer for a boon to save self-hood from being developed in a wrong or compromised sense and a warning against such a danger which is so easy to fall into in the name of self-knowledge. It is this which it is the task of the present work of the Guru to accomplish. renounce therefore these three. as we have said above. In the present verse one notices that the Guru takes care to indicate that the ego that wields the skin and bones includes on its side many other factors of evil portent. When one has succeeded in eliminating the horizontal tendencies adhering to the self and it is thus purified. the line dividing the body from the mind. pride or ignorance. anger and avidity. 'I am the body. sufficiently in advance in the course. which are hard to put strictly into one compartment or other in the polarized scheme that we have to think of. Manas (mind) however. finally the two selves have to be abolished through unitive understanding. Even religious or other sentiments as sometimes popularly felt. The Bhagavad Gita (XVI.': The 'lo!' here which stands for 'look. if at all admissible. ETC. as follows: 'To one who has overcome the self by the Self. however. one might become some sort of distorted absolutist in the deprecatory connotation of the term. as in Vedanta generally. whose main purpose is to state that difference between the two forms of the same self. the attitude of mind that says to itself. The same theme is indirectly touched upon in Indriya-Vairagyam (Sense-detachment) and in Pinda-Nandi (Prenatal Gratitude).as passion. has a paradox. as when one hears of 'an enjoyable funeral requiem or dirge' or of someone who cries throughout a melodramatic film show. 5) also refers to the subtle inner structure of the Self in man: 'One has to support the self with the Self.' It is important to notice here that in the verse above. have mixed sentiments involved. as understood in the strict Vedantic sense. 502 'LO! ONE EGO LOOMS. because it is one of the inner organs together with buddhi. The line which is to separate what belongs properly to the side of the psyche and what belongs to the physical aspect of life calls for minuter examination in the light of the polarity or ambivalence which is to be postulated as the base of this question of parallelism. Psycho-physical parallelism. The problem here is the same as in chapter XIII of the Bhagavad Gita devoted to the 'kshetra (field) and kshetrajna (knower of the field) distinction.' The verse immediately preceding (VI.' implies a warning. the Self is his kin: for one self-less.

'THAT SELF WHICH GROWS TO PERFECTION. to treat of body and mind from the standpoint of what Bertrand Russell would call his position of 'neutral monism' is justified. no harm is done to the resulting doctrine touching reality that results from the cancelling out of counterparts. With all sense-interests effaced.': Once the distinction between the two aspects of the same unitive or Absolute Self is made. we have David Hume. the great God of the Himalaya. 'no matter. who is at the same time the Guru Dakshina-Murti (the divine manifestation of the South). as pictured by Sankara himself. The good work of the Good Samaritan in the Bible is disinterested and correctly altruistic. even though they might call themselves 'sceptics'. If Bishop Berkeley denied objectivity to the body. Even from the grandeur of loneliness bereft. inclining before him. The ego should not be allowed to suffer bloating. 506 belong to the same vertical aspect of the Self as distinguished in verse 12 above. which is neutral between the two poles of the same unitive Self. The attribute which grows to perfection refers to the pure or verticalized self which still stands in danger of being compromised by horizontal factors. the sceptic . London. The Guru is merely employing popular idiom here and no anthropomorphic god is necessarily postulated. what matter!' In a revised methodology pertaining to a more complete Science of the Absolute. divest of all and cool. They represent a form of agnosticism which is a natural corollary to absolutist wisdom of the correct kind. which still remains to be formulated scientifically. have no real spiritual value. ETC. The notion of the Absolute. like milk in a dog-leather bag. no mind. If we should think of social duties it can be of items which are free from the relativistic taint. The self of the seeker on one side and the personified Absolute on the other form limbs of a reversible operation like an osmosis which takes place spiritually between the two poles which in reality. VERSE 13 Unto the Master who dons the ashes of the three modes. The Guru invokes this ideogram to convey easily what he could otherwise have said only in many a dry paragraph. Offering the flower of the inner self. The great God is pictured here as sitting in meditation. This language is familiar to all Indians and especially to the temple worshippers of the South. whether subjectively or objectively treated according to the correct rules of dialectical understanding. The principle implicit in idol-worship correctly understood. warping or distortion. long before the Guru Narayana. it will be easy to see how a normal process of spiritual progress can be established. Whatever anthropomorphism might persist will be cancelled out by trans-subjective and intra-physical complementarity of counterparts. 861) Earlier on the same page he says: 'Thus from both ends. physics and psychology have been approaching each other. is to treat of the two bodies involved . cut off from all sense-interests. The subtle dialectics implied in the exchange of values that can take place between the 'Self' and the 'non-Self'. never mind. while John Locke in his philosophy gave primacy to the objective aspect of reality in the context of European philosophy. meditating on the Absolute and identical with it. Thus we see that the position taken by the Guru is not repugnant to the attitude of the latest pragmatic or empiricist 505 philosophers. The worship of Shiva. Perfection or plenitude is the goal to be attained by the progressive self put on its proper path. can be conceived in pure or practical terms and.that of the worshipper and the worshipped as interchangeable terms in a dialectically contemplative manner. 1946) as follows: 'I think that mind and matter are merely convenient ways of grouping events' (p. into glory sink! THIS verse follows an antique and somewhat idolatrous figure of speech. as envisaged in Advaita Vedanta. cannot be elaborated in the language of mechanistic or syllogistic . although the ruling-out of such a god is equally to be avoided. He estates this in his History of Western Philosophy (Allen and Unwin. and making possible the doctrine of 'neutral monism' suggested by William James' criticism of consciousness'. as long as the limbs of the equation are properly conceived as dialectical counterparts.by the aspirant to contemplative life. while many well-intentioned works in 504 the name of religions suffer from relativistic taints or partialities which. is almost an inevitable idiom on the spiritual soil of India. as Sankara would put it.whose position has been humorously summed up in the textbooks as consisting of the pithy saying.

When the full current is switched on by the bipolarity established. ETC.reasoning. The Bhagavad Gita itself presents a revised picture of the modalities. like stars that fade in daylight. and the three stratifications within the limits of necessary action. The gunas may be described as the dark or dull (tamas) the passionate or the active (rajas). which can be valid in its own way. are nothing more than ashes. ETC. as represented by the Master who is Shiva. the lower series of interests naturally give place to the higher sublimated ones.': When a proper bipolarity has been established in the manner indicated above. these interests recede. They further represent the specific aspects of everyday value-factors or items corresponding to the infinite small change which pays for the gold coin of the notion of the Absolute. still within the limits of the phenomenal aspect of reality as understood in verse 4 (see page 456). which are sufficiently real from the side of the worshipper. Such specific items represent horizontal multiplicity of sense-values as against the vertical unity of the pure Self. even of the 509 context of holiness. They become faint and enfeebled in proportion to the positive interest in the Absolute which becomes progressively established.': In verse 9 (see page 480) the various states of consciousness natural to man have already been referred to as bearing blossoms. vertically. This is by way of respecting methodological strictness in developing the subject matter stage after stage from the known or knowable to the more unknowable or unpredicable. and the pure or sublimated (sattva) expressions of psycho-physical life. which compares the leaf-buds of the great banyan tree of its famous fifteenth chapter to the stanzas of the Vedas. 'DIVEST OF ALL AND COOL. To extract the correct sense of this verse the reader has to imagine himself as a Shiva-worshipper of South India who prayerfully offers flowers at the temple of the God who represents the Absolute in the antique and natural language of iconographic ritual and symbolism. which represent the hedonistic values implicit in the Vedic religion. This is symbolic of the rejection of all peripheral conditionings that might colour the pure self from the extraneous and apparent phenomenal world. as the most supreme of human values. whether psychologically or cosmologically understood. The Guru here sees the possibility of effecting further unity in the same sense as in the Bhagavad Gita. ETC. their appeal is countered and effectively nullified. is developed in a whole chapter (XIV) in the Bhagavad Gita devoted to their character and mechanism. have but the status of mere ashes as attributed to the counterpart. It is there recommended that the tree with the buds be cut down mercilessly before one can follow the higher path of the wisdom of the Absolute. The flowers are to be thought of as fine value products of the mind of man. are presented more unitively 508 as applicable to the unitive personality of man. as Plotinus would describe the event or process. The absorbing nature of the latter bipolarity detracts from the intensity of the sense-attractions to such an extent that. which leads to self-realization. as opposed to the peripherally conditioned personality that might have social dignity or status belonging to the outer world. 507 They belong to this or the 'self' side. generally worn as three horizontal lines on the forehead and body. the South Indian temple has to be entered wearing as few clothes as possible. as suggested in the Bhagavad Gita. The flowers in the verse under examination here are also petty utilitarian or sensuous luxury-items. The gunas or modalities of nature are treated without the more pronounced body-mind duality of the earlier Samkhya school. Theology proper is avoided but the same purpose is served here by the simpler dialectical approach. which have to be sacrificed in the fire of absolute wisdom for progressing in the path of self-realization envisaged in the present text. In relation to the plant itself the flower represents the most specialized aspect. as understood in the dualistic Samkhya philosophy. when they attain the Absolute. Axiology. 'THE ASHES OF THE THREE MODES': The theory of the three gunas or modalities in nature. between the self and the Self representing the Absolute. while the master or Shiva would represent the 'Greater Self' which is its own counterpart. in its spiritual journey from God. as it were. The 'glory' in the last line refers to the principle of the Absolute. The offering of flowers is a symbolic gesture by means of which a bipolar relationship is to be established between the Absolute as the 'Self' and the Absolute as the 'self'. without the usual logic-chopping or laboured theology.': The pure Self within sits in nakedness and simplicity. Moreover. 'THE FLOWER OF THE INNER SELF. as we have pointed out under verse 4 already. On the body of Shiva. Pilgrims to Mecca have to divest themselves of all decorations and even tailored clothes before entering the holy of holies. which are given a psycho-physical rather than a cosmic status. An osmotic interchange of values. as the poet might say. phenomenology and personalism represent attitudes or principles which remain blended together in this reference to the subtle relationship that one has to establish with the Absolute before merging into it could normally be expected. the worshipped symbol of the mystery of the Absolute. in the ideogram here employed by the Guru. Here they have no effective living influence on him who has transcended the necessary or negative level of life. the Guru passes over quickly to equate them so as to resolve them both in the context of unitive Self-realization proper. where alone modalities could be operative. Here the Guru therefore by-passes discussion of the truth of God in the usual ontological or ideological discursive manner of modern philosophers in the West. Likewise. the Absolute is a wonder and is adorable. The interests operative at the sense level of the personality depend on objects of perception stimulated from outside. these modes. The utter nakedness of the soul may perhaps trail clouds of glory. They are horizontal interests which are of secondary importance only. takes place between the two counterparts envisaged here. but nothing of . The special growths of a plant refer to luxury items in life. 'SENSE INTERESTS EFFACED. The three levels or strata of modalities in natural and necessary expression. The logical manner employed by Voltaire. after the manner of the 'flight of the alone to the Alone'. After helping us to distinguish the Self from the non-Self in the previous verses. but uses rather the word 'mahas' (the Great Principle) as used by the Samkhyas and as understood later and used more unitively in Advaita Vedanta. which is an all-inclusive and supreme value in life. The Guru avoids referring at this stage to the pure notion of the Absolute as meant by the term Brahman. is not resorted to either. representing a reversible process or operation.

The whole philosophy of the Vedanta may be said to be based on the notion of sat (ontological verity) which has the same root in Sanskrit as the word satya (truth). THE context of Shiva worship is here abandoned in favour of Upanishadic teaching. 7. while the other conditioning applies to the outer world in a cosmological sense. 14. must remain mostly obscure. the vision of the Absolute will come. horizontal and vertical. One has to go by the royal. as used by Spinoza in his philosophy. rid of three-fold view. as the beam in the eye. the outer world is 'of the madding crowd's ignoble strife. as used in the original text. The 'greatness' (as we have translated the word mahas here) is to be understood as a glory that participates more in the vertical aspect of value rather than in the horizontal. 1) and the same Upanishad stresses the need to understand the truth (VII. Without this subtle philosophical distinction between the two aspects. that the Absolute is without greatness. as it were before the eyes of the aspirant in a manner that is not merely an 513 academic appraisal of the Absolute. In the Chandogya Upanishad truth is referred to as the foundation or principle of the Universe (VI. The 'sinking into glory' represents the 'flight of the alone to the Alone'. The Absolute is not a quantity with any magnitude. The sinking further suggests that the forward progression is itself a vestige suggestive of duality which has to be counteracted by an inverse process which is sinking backwards rather than going forwards or rising. VERSE 14 That light. It is a grosser conditioning which is comparable to the mote in another's eye. All kinds of esotericisms and secret practices. In pure becoming there is no movement at all in the usual sense. as represented here in the teaching for Self-realization. XVI. The truth within and the truth that one seeks have to fall into one and the same line. ETC. When these two kinds of conditionings hindering our progress in Self-realization are effectively discarded. XVII. The dialectical revaluation of the Guru-wisdom. 1. The subjective and objective causes of erroneous appraisal of truth have first to be removed. the meaning of mahas and 511 mahima. participates on one side in the pure teaching of the Vedanta as contained in the Upanishads. however. public or straight road. The latter may be said to be lodged within. 1) and referred to as Satyakamas (lovers of truth). The soul is supposed to be obtainable by truth in the Mundaka Upanishad (III. and as satyam (truth) in the same work (X. We have a similar reference to two kinds of gunas (modalities of nature) in the Bhagavad Gita (III. XVI. The cooling therefore refers to the slowing down of the tempo of active outward socialized life. Indra of the Indian context is likewise a chief of the gods of heaven. 28) which reads 'the gunas reside in the gunas'. XVI. meaning that modalities remain as principles with no horizontalized expression. The earlier half of the present verse disposes of two additional epistemological and methodological concepts familiar in Vedanta. The two impediments are of a cosmological and psychological order.5.510 worldly decoration really belongs to it. There is something quantitative still persisting in them in the attributes applied to them which imply horizontal values. 2. reiterating Upanishadic teaching in many ways. XVII. The distinction that we are trying to make is something like the distinction between 'natura naturans' and 'natura naturata'. 65). which is recommended as an attitude to be cultivated by the aspirant to wisdom by texts in the 512 Upanishads as well as in the Bhagavad Gita. XVIII. and on the other side it includes the long tradition of Shiva-worship which has been preserved down to the time of Sankara in South India. Sattva. not at one with the principle of truth as a philosophical as well as an ethical concept. The grandeur of the subject is absorbed in the greatness of the counterparts in the Absolute without getting horizontalized in the process. This is more in keeping with the 'negative way' proper to contemplation. Moreover. XVIII. 'triple-world'. 'EVEN FROM THE GRANDEUR BEREFT. Thus. In the next verse we can see that the Guru touches upon two aspects of nature which are reciprocal and contradictory at once by way of relating outer and inner truth under one scheme.': Zeus with his thunderbolt represents the great god on high as understood by the Greeks. 2). The wonder of the Absolute will then fill the personality with that form of subtle exaltation after which all yogis aspire. This attitude of mind is referred to as arjavam (straightforwardness) in the Bhagavad Gita (XIII.6). They have to be first understood properly before one can enter the wisdom-path of Self-realization. A one-one correspondence is implied . The former has a vertical value while the latter is horizontal in its content. where he wishes to enter into the subject of Self-realization one degree deeper than hitherto in the text. There is no short-cut or crooked path to wisdom. Triputi is here translated as 'the three-fold view. The Absolute itself is characterized by truth as stated in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (V. We shall examine them below. refers to the cosmological worlds of value within which the spirit of man with its aspirations may be said to live. are discredited here by the Guru. 42). truth represents a high value in the Upanishads. 4. Even the hypostatic glory that we attribute to God in praising Him is not consistent with the image of the Absolute as understood in the purer non-theological context of contemplative self-realization. v. also implies a basis in truth. 7. as Upanishadic secret lore declares. both as end as well as means. Seekers of truth are applauded in the Mundaka Upanishad (I. that ever brighter burns Upsurging and brimful beyond the bounds of the triple worlds.' Tribhuvana. but rather a pure quality without magnitude. A certain upright and straightforward attitude of mind is the basis of all Upanishadic teaching. that it will never come within the reach Of a hermit untrue. Neither can we say. 1.' Both these states of affiliation to group-psychology or activity have first to be transcended before the path of self-realization as envisaged here can be followed up. XVI). ii. The Absolute would correspond then to the 'unmoved mover' of Aristotle. Remember. 1. 15.

heaven. The passion and love of truth planted in the human heart. The three worlds and the tri-basic conditioning of consciousness vis-a-vis the knowledge of the Absolute may be said to refer to the vertical and the horizontal aspects of the Absolute. as used in grammatical syntax. second and third persons. The knowledge of the Absolute which is beyond. the notion of the three worlds. ETC. or conditioning as it were from without . would refer to the vertical aspect. 'you'. as that of a leaf. consists of the 'intellectual enthusiasm to see the truth and the emotional enthusiasm to see the truth prevail'. ten thousand years long would seem. 'Thou art That'. which we have explained in the previous section. Pure light is thus conditioned by a certain veil. The 'Divine Comedy' of Dante and the 'Paradise Lost' of Milton are built around this time-honoured way of referring to value-systems in which the personality of man may be said to live and move up or down. which tend to be thought of separately instead of unitively. or that which is familiar to us here. which would then refer to the horizontal axis. But as 'soon as this primary 'basic' fundamental conditioning natural to the intellect in relation with objective interests in life is admitted into our way of thinking. Puta means base. the horizontal aspect would accord more with the conditioning under the three worlds. One already views it. is to be taken as the more objectified counterpart of the same series of conditionings of an epistemological order.both hiding the end envisaged as a goal of life. ends and means in spirituality have to fall in the same straight line of truthfulness or straightforwardness. The second is called 'apara' which has the quality of non-otherness. The false recluse here referred to is the spiritual aspirant who believes in indirect or sinuous paths for reaching the vision of the Absolute. it has the disastrous effect of shutting out the unconditioned aspect of the Absolute. Cosmology being more objective than psychology. One of these is called 'para' which has the quality of otherness. The false personal attitude might be what conditions from within. or 'This Self is the Absolute. but in the first. when rid of its phenomenal aspects. Half a second. Thus first. is referred to in Vedanta as the tri-basic conditioning or triputi. ETC. consists of dividing our knowledge into the subjective. The Absolute could be the antecedent respectively of 'I'. A certain dispersal of light is implied there which applies to the eye as an organ as well as to the rays of light that can affect it. which. as Mathew Arnold said. second and third person.between these three-fold conditionings. 'THE TRIPLE WORLDS. Vedantic literature makes use of two terms applied to Nature. and this tri-basic quality. Modern phenomenological operationism takes its stand on a similar epistemological ground. is further clarified and brought into relief in the next verse. 516 VERSE 15 Ten thousand years do a moment make for the favoured ones Suckled in the milk of the Absolute beyond. This difference which we have once referred to under two aspects relating to the inner and the outer nature. Even as between the cosmological and psychological there is a duality to be abolished in our appraisal of pure truth in itself. as it were. The blue is there because of the limitation of our powers of vision. but when knowledge Is caught in the power of the nature that is relative here. The pure vertical semiotic content of thought gets horizontalized in a sentence form when syntactically conditioned tri-basically.': In every language. In other words. For example. These three give birth to other secondary ones whose ramifications of upadhis (conditionings and sub-conditionings) fill the whole area of the field and stream of consciousness with a multiplicity of interests. unconditioned by the multiplicity of attractions here in relativistic nature with which we are related every day. Rid of all its superfluous accretions and superstitious implications we can still think axiologically of three worlds 515 or value-systems. have to be cultivated and affirmed further by contemplative disciplines. Between these two aspects of Nature (one with a capital . 'RID OF THREE-FOLD VIEW. The ordinary everyday world of life here in the biological sense involves values that are multiple and relativistic. is a psychological one. We have translated the two terms as 'the Absolute beyond' and 'the relative here' to indicate the reciprocity of the distinction implied. we know that the blue of the sky is not even a scientific truth. or 'it' in three sentences written as predications about the Absolute. the objective and the meaning aspects. The mahavakyas (great dicta) of the Vedanta do just this when 514 they declare: 'I am the Absolute'.': One of the most important conditionings to which knowledge is subjected. through the coloured glasses of three kinds of conditionings to begin with. If we should take the case of the purest notion of the Absolute we can refer to this central notion in three ways.' The meaning remains one and the same. The three-fold view on the other hand. This veil is both subjective and objective at once. A FUNDAMENTAL epistemological distinction is made here by way of comparing the two kinds of knowledge that the human mind is capable of having or of aspiring after. can refer to the same central verity in a phrase which may be said to be affected by the syntactical prejudice of triputi. refers to the supreme aspect of the Absolute. rather than with that unitive one which is the highest and supreme value in life. affecting our appraisal of truth. resorted to by the Guru here. While the notion of triputi. through clearer vision abolishes the blue effectively. A high flight or a telescope penetrating space. as we have just pointed out. inferno and the human world refer to three levels of value-strata in which the human self finds its subjective-objective environment.

while in the latter there is duality as between subject and object. Instead of one being given primacy over the other. The right and the wrong attitudes are not only different but reciprocally ambivalent or opposite. which is the central and neutral reality that is here postulated for the comparison of two aspects of the same Absolute. we have the same two natures: the 'natura naturans' (nature that is 'naturing') and the 'natura naturata' (nature that is 'natured'). as the Tao Teh Khing would put it. It is usual also in this linguistic or poetic context to describe the Absolute as a feminine principle. to Nature or the Absolute . there are two broad divisions: some that lure us to eternal values and the other binding us to transient interests. the cessation of development (prapanchopasama). as seen in Nature. He relates it to the ambivalent or opposing states which each one of the attitudes involves for the subject. One has to remember here that the pure Absolute should not even be named. More ordinarily. to the opposite pole of reality. with the eyes shut or gazing at the tip of the nose or concentrating at the middle of the eyebrows. In the first the subject is sufficient to itself. to open then the eye. Sitting cross-legged in various postures. as it were. not a cognition-mass (prajnanaghana) not cognitive (prajna). benign (shiva).section 20). In the scheme of correlation employed by us in this commentary. as it were. The verse (Hume's translation) reads: 518 'Not inwardly cognitive (antah-prajna). while the outer nature is so full of events that duration feels heavy and unpleasant. Wisdom triumphs dialectically by the vertical conquest of values over the horizontal aspects of natural interests. a penultimate form. having no distinctive mark (a-lakshana). as it were. non-thinkable (a-chintya). a world without time's limitations. there is revealed.' The Absolute in its most ultimate aspect is indescribable but it is usual to try by words to help the seeker of wisdom to think of it as far as thoughts can take us. and this is about as far as epithets can go to help in the matter of appraising the notion of the Absolute. When subject to the opposing state of mind. The Mandukya Upanishad (verse 7) describes such an Absolute. ungraspable (a-grahya). however. half a second in duration. that cannot be designated (a-vyapadesya). not non-cognitive (a-prajna). He is the Self (atman). though figuratively. which refer to the Absolute that is beyond. . ETC. (In the same Tao Teh Khing the wise man is likened to the child sucking the Mother. 520 HERE the Guru recommends a personal attitude to be constantly cultivated by one who aspires for the full attainment of wisdom or self-realization. 'NATURE THAT IS RELATIVE HERE. without a second (advaita) . as a foster-mother of wisdom whom Boethius saw consoling him in prison. the reader has to notice the symmetry which is implied between them.': A perfectly symmetrical picture is built round the notion of Time. the Guru goes beyond making the contrast merely academic. what man can appreciate refers to interests which have very little span of time involved in their attainment or enjoyment. 517 Time is related to eternity and reveals a dimension which is abstract and given to the philosophical insight with which human nature is endowed. are more intelligent than those who are caught by the necessary and binding items of everyday interests belonging. and various other practices. The Viveka-Chudamani of Sankara would refer to the same distinction as nitya-anitya (lasting and transient). A teacher of wisdom is constantly faced with the question of how spirituality is to be practised. whether taken to be within or without. The inner Nature is related to pure Time 519 with no events. and based on discussions elsewhere. VERSE 16 If an arid desert most expansive should become over-flooded By river water all at once. not both-wise cognitive (ubhayatah-prajna). which it is hardly possible to dispose of at one stroke. in eternity or the eternal present. When the three worlds have been transcended and the aspirant has abolished the three prejudicial conditionings referred to in the previous verse. unseen (a-drishta). When we remember that the Guru in these preliminary verses is still labouring to lay down norms of reference for the better understanding of the Self in all its aspects. In the Scholastic philosophy of Europe and as distinguished in the philosophy of Spinoza. with which there can be no dealing (a-vyavaharya). such would be the rising symphony Falling into the ears. The Guru suggests here that those who seek eternal values. the essence of the assurance of which is the state of being one with the Self (ekatma-pratyaya-sara). wherein he can feel a profound happiness. In the domain of interests therefore. also as a feminine principle. not outwardly cognitive (bahih-prajna). we could refer to the Absolute Nature as the vertical. The Guru therefore refers to them here only in their broader aspects. Good and bad have to be understood as aspects of the central Absolute which inclusively contains them both with an equal status for each of them. On the Indian soil there is the practice of yoga which has become. a deep-rooted idiom in the popular mind. contrasting them with reference to the factor of time and without referring to space for the present. Sophia (or Wisdom) is represented in the West also as a feminine figure.letter and the other without the capital). The image of the consoling mother has persisted in many forms and the Guru here resorts to the same time-hallowed language. in anthropomorphic terms. and the relative nature as the horizontal. As between these two aspects contrasted here. 'SUCKLED IN THE MILK OF THE ABSOLUTE': The pure Absolute is referred to here. By his method of exposition here. as it were. the implied suffering tends to make the sense of duration of unendurable length. do therefore Daily become the best of sages endowed with Self-control. The highest notion of Maya identifies this principle of nescience with the Absolute in. tranquil (santa). The image of a mother suckling her child is introduced. the imagery that he resorts to here can be easily understood. much epistemological theorisation is implicit. the two poles are given an equal status in the context of the Absolute.(such) they think is the fourth (state). He should be discerned. The supreme Absolute is that about which nothing can be predicated.

The circulation of the subtlest of contemplative thinking takes place by a kind of alternating figure-of-eight process within consciousness. When such an alternating process occurs between the poles 523 that are horizontal and vertical at the same time.are part and parcel of accepted popular notions in the context of self-discipline with a view to attaining the goal of spirituality. Some of these place the accent on the body. thus making eighteen different views on yoga. In the present verse the Guru gives the whole subject a summary treatment. and what pertains to the opposite or instinctive pole of global emotions is referred to by the example of a perfected man of self-discipline available in the traditional language of Indian thought. Patanjali Yoga itself. in the Darsana Mala of the Guru in section IX. 'sage'. 49 ) and openly recommending the higher way of wisdom. The word yati. this view has to be given the full credit it deserves as a direct wisdom. From Hatha yoga to Patanjali yoga one has a choice of self-disciplinary systems recommending various forms of physical attitudes. goes even so far as to tell his disciple Rama in so many words that the ashto-anga (eight-limbed) yoga was repugnant to him. he sums up all yoga under two categories: (verse 10) that of the yoga of action (karma). the position adopted by the Guru in this matter becomes less equivocal. 521 When we come to the Bhagavad Gita we find no reference at all to these eight steps of the popularly-called 'Raja Yoga. speaking as he must be from his own personal experience. ranging from the levels of necessary action to the high pure ones of self-realization. The ears have a very special and intermediate position among the senses. vanaprastha and sannyasa. but neither recommended nor discussed at any length. pratyahara (withdrawal of out-going impulses inwards). these words can have only one meaning in the fully contemplative context. are those of brahmacharya. Further. The dawn of knowledge is referred to in the language of a personal experience. In India we have the munis (recluses). would meet and merge into one meaning referring to the Absolute. but that it happens when the personal attitude and the intelligence work together to usher in the result. 'seer' or 'pontiff' in any religious or spiritual context refer to a type of person who is dedicated to a life of spiritual value. it is the Self that is treated as the dialectical counterpart of the self.' In a whole chapter (the sixth) devoted to the question of self-discipline. which is the real subject and object of all wisdom. The sounds that open the eye of wisdom is an ideogram familiar in India and the recluse of full self-discipline is also a model popularly understood. are brought together as close as could be. Blind yoga like blind love can be disastrous. by reference to the global personal attitude implied in the context of self-realization. Yoga there was conceived on the basis of sapta-bhumikas (seven world-grounds). a revised and revalued yoga was recommended in works such as the Yoga Vasishtha. the parivrajakas (the homeless wanderers) or the swamis (heads or would-be heads of religious institutions) and a large variety of other types. All yoga worth the name must be also wise. enter the subconscious efferently rather than afferently. pranayama (control of vital tendencies).teaching of rare value. when a man is not able to understand the Absolute philosophically. At the end of verse 25 there. and of the yoga of wisdom (jnana). which is sometimes called the most publicly acceptable of disciplines (and therefore perhaps called Raja Yoga) has its eight steps leading to kaivalya (aloneness).': Whether taken as an idiom or a personal experience. Karma yoga is yoga through action dedicated to the Absolute. 'SUCH WOULD BE THE RISING SYMPHONY. It will be noticed that with the later rejection of the Samkhya duality as between means and ends. the yatis (those of self-control). Sounds and meanings come close together in alternation. in which Vasishtha. while others have implicit in them a Samkhya duality between the body and the mind. The yati resembles a sannyasin (one of correct renunciation) which is one of the four phases or ashramas normal to a spiritual aspirant wherever he might be. It is given a place because it is necessary and inevitable. Distant noises coming to the ears of a sleeping dog or the cry of a child beside its mother in sleep. No staircase is needed to ascend to wisdom. The main point that we have to notice here is that wisdom gets established not by laboured graded steps. the Guru. The intellectual side and the physical 522 side that are non-dually implied together in the attainment of wisdom. as it were. which we have translated here as 'sage' would correspond to the . The conceptual and the perceptual come together closest through the ear. niyama (regulating). the nature of the self-discipline acceptable in the context of Advaita Vedanta must become clear to any one. the 'logos' and the 'nous' known in ancient Greek philosophy. dharana (maintaining such a relation). Taken side-by-side with the fact that every chapter of the Gita is called a 'yoga'. instead of nature and Self. however vaguely-conceived it may be. Elsewhere. which pinnacle of yoga is to be reached by the aspirant through the various intermediate steps of yama (reining-in). the resulting event tends to refer to the purest aspects of contemplative life when cultivated properly by self-discipline. and samadhi (attaining final loneliness or peace). The duality between ends and means is abolished. 'DAILY BECOME THE BEST OF SAGES ENDOWED WITH SELF-CONTROL': The terms 'monk'. The four ashramas in life according to Sanskrit and other ancient writings in India. dhyana (establishing bipolar contemplation with the higher Self). The dualistic agony of ascent of the Patanjali way is modified into a simpler merging of the self into the Self. which is entirely devoted to this question of yoga. The word and its meaning. Here the Guru specially selects the word yati to describe the type of person envisaged in the present context of self-instruction. When we remember the stress in the Bhagavad Gita on buddhi yoga (unitive understanding) and its reference to karma (action) as a discipline of a very inferior order (II. the simple injunction given is that the mind should find rest in the Self and that it should be emptied of all content. the whole question of self-discipline. The eye is a window of the soul which is meant to look outward rather than inward. breathing exercises and steps to attain to the goal. grihastha. ETC. and as between prakriti (nature) and purusha (the higher Self) as implied in such a graded ascent in discipline. asana (posture). The Guru Narayana here brushes aside. The word and the meaning fuse together to become one event in consciousness. Plato speaks often of the eye of the soul and of the limits of the visible and the intelligible.

with the actual and conceptual aspects coming together under the presiding concept of the Absolute which. HERE we have one of the magnificent global visions of the psycho-physical reality which we often call the soul or more correctly the Self in man. can and should survive if the absolutist way of living is to have a recognized pattern of behaviour at all. the personal. 525 VERSE 17 Suffering-filled. It is compared to a lamp hung from high. and the behaviour patterns that would belong to the three other types. however. All we have to say here is that this image of a revolving lamp. as an analogy. In the context of self-instruction the qualification of perfect self-control gains primacy over all others. by itself is not.' This four-limbed Self is further known in the context of the well-known Mandukya Upanishad which says that this atman (Self) is chatushpad (four-limbed). The first stage. strictly speaking. plunges into the heart of the problem of the Self by way of a global vision here presented. The lamp with two stages or tiers is meant to suggest this ambivalence implied in the Self. If mathematics can be allowed to say that minus multiplied by minus gives a plus. the guru. brahmacharya. as implied in the word 'daily'. which are beyond all definite conception. It is both at the same time.those who practise quietist or active mysticism of all the varieties known to spiritual life generally. 'One who moves or walks in the path of Brahman (the Absolute)' would be the etymological connotation of the word brahmachari. he transcends social obligations. The chain by which it might be imagined to hang gets lost. that in quaternion run. which applies primarily to student life. by itself. This third stage tends to become eliminated as civic conditions impose themselves more and more severely in modern life. is still a brahmachari in principle. as is natural and inevitable with such a subject belonging to the context of the Absolute. conceived not as an object but as an objective or schematic abstraction. as it were. as it were. not necessarily understood as having philosophical erudition or institutional affiliation. with prior habit traits For oil. will become clear when we remember that the Guru himself must have had this form of experience. correctly treated as an abstraction. In its long history India has been a land of great sannyasis like the Buddha and Sankara. indicates the basic attitude involved. We cannot go into the merits of this view here. such a lamp hanging The Self in shadow form. and that one factor being minus the multiplication gives minus always.we can see that some kind of scheme of relations is implied therein. has implicit in it a correctly conceived scheme of correlation of conceptual and perceptual factors belonging to the psycho-physical self as conceived in the context of a Science of the Absolute. and function verily for wick. The vanaprastha (one who has gone out to the 524 forest) has reached a stage where. which are titles given by devoted followers to most-perfected ones in the context of wisdom and self-discipline taken together. with petals five and tiers two Rotating beginningless. The sannyasi. The best of sages here must conform to this last type while retaining in principle the mental. as it should be. The mystery of the quaternion was known to the poet Milton who wrote: 'Ye elements. The attitude meant here has further to be cultivated without any intermission. through an exactly conceived language. (See later work on this subject) . the true vedantic pandit or teacher of wisdom . In logic we have the four syllogistic forms which correspond to the same four-fold way of conceiving reality. The yati here includes in principle the yogi. In the language of modern mathematics such terms as 'the integration of the quaternion' and the existence of the 'quaternion units' come nearest to the kind of schematic imagery of the Absolute here presented by the Guru as a methodological and epistemological abstraction. From the previous verse it is to be understood that the Guru is not here building up the Self in any graded or piecemeal fashion but. which brings together the two poles of personal life recommended in the context of self-realization. who might have wife and children. The unity of the thought will become clearer by looking at the verse in this way. including the parama-hamsa or jagad-guru. thus giving two negative and two positive of four possible operations of arithmetic . Now its content is more closely viewed. it burns. in the high regions of the Platonic Intelligibles. either a concept or a percept. A constant and perfectly verticalized personal attitude is what is implied. The sensible aspect of the same abstraction is the lamp.stage of natural sannyasa. The unity of this verse and its construction. while being a brahmachari still. The image employed here belongs to a schematic representation of a psychological and philosophical verity 526 pertaining to the Self under the presiding normative notion of the Absolute which. The grihastha or householder. from the regions of the Absolute. and secondarily is implicit in all the other three stages that remain. by the mind which is capable by its mathematical faculty of making degrees of approximation to the purest notion of the Absolute. experimentally conceived indication of the nature of the Self was given by him in verses 10 and 11. the eldest birth Of Nature's womb. One must look out for other verses in the present text where the same personal touch will help us to make the meaning clear. and plus multiplied by a plus remains a pus. while in practice he might respect practical necessity incidental to social life to a great extent. A preliminary. is something about which we can form no definite notion.

All colours and forms become visible to us because pure sunlight is refracted or reflected partially. as seen in common experience when a man can bend his arm at will. The petals represent the positive side of conscious intelligent perception. but when steeped in the relativistic morass of common human existence the horizontal factors prevail instead of the vertical. it cannot have any limiting outlines.': Perpetual motion is not a proper concept of empirical physics. which reaches us from the Sun. Intuition has to step in and guide the philosopher from this point onwards. The psycho-physical correlation here adopted is still vague in the light of modern psycho-physical notions of the relation between the mind and the bodily functions corresponding with it. except perhaps in the context of thermodynamics or the conservation of energy in the universe. however. The usual division in Vedantic 529 literature is the jnana-indriyas (organs of perception) and the karma-indriyas (organs of action). There are certain matters where definitions become impossible. The contemplative who starts to understand the nature of the Self has to recognize this substratum on which he could later. or the psychic and the physical.. There is the negative or the dark side which is here the shadow. and when translated into conceptual terms can be imagined as applying to the world of the Intelligibles as well as to the sensible world. though it appears in the form of paradox. each referred to separately. Among European philosophers Schopenhauer represents in his writings this attitude commonly attributed to eastern religions and philosophies. would of course be normal. All these considerations have to be recognized and kept in mind when we read here that the Self is filled with suffering. 'SUFFERING FILLED': The doctrine of human suffering (dukkha-satya) as found in the vulgarised version of Buddhistic belief. as it were. whether through Cartesian occasionalism. even theoretically. probability and provability meet and merge in this region of thought. Life is a joy in the Absolute. which statement. When the mind thinks of a duration that is indefinitely continuous. and to recognize them as such is as far as we can go with our intelligence. Possibility. is one that would take us far into subtle discussions which we shall not undertake here.as Heisenberg has recognized with conjugates in physics. is a matter which the man of intuition (or uha-poha as Sankara would call it) has to understand by a certain mental awareness. as characteristic of the necessary aspect of life. The exact relation of mind with body. The methodology of physics is at present in the melting-pot. Here in the present phrase. vague and indeterminate one .527 Instead of four limbs. The velocity of light is also treated as a unit. This justifies the statement in the verse that the soul burns in shadow form. The circulation of thought as a process covering the inductive and the deductive. while the subconscious counterpart of the same is to be sought in the lower tier mentioned in this same verse. The content of life is nearer to suffering than to gaiety. not by the principle of light but by the principle of darkness. has perhaps been over-stressed. Purest light is invisible when absolute. To love the good things of life and participate in them with intelligence and sobriety. by double negation or double assertion dialectically. in verse 8. Mind and body do participate on neutral ground. the qualitative and the quantitative. This epithet has to be understood in the way it is meant to be by the Guru in the given context. the Guru here contents himself with reference to two of the main ambivalent polarities implied in the concept of the Self. Psycho-physics has still to develop a terminology for its use which is neither physical nor mental. (The five petals have also to be compared to the five birds eating five fruits. will be able to see that life with its multifarious wants and the need for much labour in connection with them. rotation and beginninglessness both belong to the unitive domain of contemplation where physics meets metaphysics. is left vague. Whether this five-petalled nature is applicable to the two tiers of the lamp or only to the top one. There is no recommendation to be a pessimist for ever in this phrase. In strict psycho-physical language the two tiers may be said to be respectively those dependent on efferent and on afferent nervous impulses. Apart from such a context. the vertical and the horizontal. A philosopher. and all that is visible must belong to the shadow side rather than to the side of light. as its further implication. as opposed to the contingent. the conceptual or the actual. like original sin in Christianity. The relation depending on the meeting of two ambivalent. sin or suffering. In India too the Vedic Aryans 528 were also hedonists who drank wine and ate meat. rather than by reasoning.) 530 'ROTATING BEGINNINGLESS. a bilateral symmetry along two different axes. build the superstructure of happiness in the Absolute. never violating the spirit of kindliness for all living beings. whether through interaction. Rotating or circular motion consisting of revolutions is natural to celestial bodies. such a notion is no more quantitative but becomes qualitative. millions of miles away. Even the sensation of light is its effect on the cells of the eye and has nothing to do with pure light as such. The image of a revolving lamp may have. Gravitational and electromagnetic theories have attained to the status of physical laws that speak in terms of billions of years.' Adversity has its 'sweet uses' in teaching us to seek happiness instead of mere pleasures. has to be a subtle. The . who is a realist and is not carried away by the superficial vanity and gaiety that is a thin superficial veneer on life merely. At the point of insertion of the two aspects there is a conflict. In the latter context eternal motion is epistemologically as valid as very long-enduring motion. has to be positively understood. through wisdom. or through the Spinozian 'thinking substance' or the Leibnizian 'monad'. on neutral ground. Light being the positive aspect where reason prevails. A wistful sense of suffering remains as an undertone in life. The eternal problem of 'to be or not to be' faces everyone from the moment of birth to the day of death and even beyond.. if some sort of survival is visualized. it is possible to see the place of evil. All negation is specificatory. without contradiction. It only represents life in its most real. The psycho-physical implications derived from the main postulate of this verse are contained in the other phrases which we shall presently examine. pragmatic and empirical angle where the philosopher is able to recognize the factor of necessity which can mean self-suffering. Meanwhile. the imagery or schematic picture of a two-storied lamp would be sufficient. This initial reference to suffering applies to life when viewed from a pragmatic and ontological here-and-now point of view. parallelism or both. is one of 'getting and spending' and 'laying waste our powers. reciprocal and polarized aspects of life. The outline of the lamp is made visible. 'WITH PETALS FIVEAND TIERS TWO': The five senses of perception are what are meant. Even when intuition steps in there are laws of dialectical reasoning which have to be respected. whatever major notes might be played overtly. It is true that in the Bacchanalian European context of wine and women there is to the present day evidence of a love of the bright side of life.

Without entering into the details of how to practise such a two-sided discipline. Formal logic and the proofs of mathematics have different grades of validity. culminating in the prius nobis. to the objections of verbalism. we have to remember that different forms of reasoning must be considered as suitable to different departments of knowledge or science. from above hypostatically. when it has fallen into the oil completely. AFTER settling some preliminaries in connection with the ego or the Self viewed directly in the first person. as it were. while the oil is the thinking substance which enters into and feeds consciousness with a continuously flowing set of associations based on interests and instincts which unravel themselves. At the lower physiological levels. for that reason from the strictly methodological and epistemological validity of the verity that has been asserted. Although the form of the reasoning here might be thought by empirical thinkers as conforming to no sort of scientific reasoning. being open. The wick is the functional aspect. without reference to anything outside itself. A series of hierophantic values may be thought of as marking stages in this negatively vertical retrospective series of factors. as in the higher psychological ones. The structure of the psyche in its psycho-physical setting has to be visualized with all these implications. following the experimental way in which the existence of the Self was asserted (in verses 10 and 11). 'Matter and Memory' and the more complete treatise 'Creative Evolution' may be considered as containing a fully elaborated modern version of this same image that the Guru is using here to explain the nature of the Self. A sluggishly burning smoky lamp is so because the upward capillary attraction of the wick is weak. is the art of the Yogi. The Cartesian dictum 'cogito ergo sum' belongs to the domain of what is called rationalism. Pure and practical reasonings cannot each have the same method. VERSE 18 The 'I' is not darkness. in order to know Thus (as such) to one and all declare. according to them. These may have their primary and secondary causes as the various priores of Aristotelian philosophy. In the next verse he goes on to examine purer and subtler aspects of Self-instruction. Meanwhile this rotating two-storied lamp image must be understood here with all the secondary implications that accompany it when seen through intuitive imagination. and to that extent the lamp becomes inferior. 'PRIOR HABIT TRAITS ETC. The brightest incandescence results when the liquid fuel gets completely burnt and changed into gas and water most effectively. These are all true in the analogy drawn here. there is the corresponding opposite 531 pole of the soul which refers retrospectively to the past habits and associations which give meaning to percepts through memory or instinctive dispositions. Because of such awareness. 533 the Guru here passes on to its closer examination as in itself or 'as such'. As soon as the hot oil reaches the tip of the wick it becomes inflammable and the carbonisation has to be most complete if the best or hottest flame is to result. were it so blind And unaware of this 'I'. but the degree of certitude that they imply . 'I' we should have remained. tautology or even solipsism. The Guru here adopts axiomatic thinking.) 'FUNCTION VERILY FOR ITS WICK': The wick of an oil lamp. the anterior factor to all perception or even conception. They have to be imagined intuitively before the seeker of self-instruction can make his own person adapt itself progressively to his own self-affiliation to the full light of bright wisdom. A dull or sluggish functioning of the higher centres of the personality 532 tends to make the ascent of the oil weak. it is important that the normal functions are kept up to keep the machine from degenerating through disuse. Cybernetically the wick represents the basis for both action and retroaction. socially or personally. the Guru indicates schematically the structure of the Self. This has to be studied separately. rather than in the second or the third. One transcends here the region of doubt and of probability. cannot burn and give proper light. without detracting.quaternion that we have referred to above would then become evident.': Corresponding to the chain from which the lamp might be said to be suspended from a kind of Platonic world of the Intelligibles. and stresses the need for a harmonised routine of activity for a sane spiritual life. (Bergson's 'Essay on Consciousness' and his works on 'Thought and the Moving'. Bergsonian metaphysics offers to the modern reader a picture almost as good as what the Guru gives here summarily in passing on to his subject proper. One way of reasoning is as valid as the other. although the exigencies of the domain of reality to which the reasonings apply may be different. We have here a way of reasoning which is one-hundred-per-cent certain. The Guru here refers to them by comparing them to the oil and the wick of a lamp. The inner and outer tendencies have to be kept in the pure vertical light of right functioning. The way of such functioning without error. as we have said. These vague urges or tendencies are called vasanas or samskaras in Sanskrit. while in the experimental sciences we have observation and inference leading to certitude of judgements or propositions.

like Sankara. the Guru brings to the discussion an open. We know that pragmatism itself is an attempt to balance and counteract the tendency of pure rationalists to shake off the concept of the Absolute as an airy nothing. however. is fundamental to the Advaita philosophy which the Guru. The tendency in modern philosophy is to discredit the former notion. and the 'being' that is independent of becoming. so dear to the Middle Ages' scholastic and theological thinkers. Pantheism and monotheism tend to be opposed. pluralists or nominalists. to give place to another. essences or substances. The philosophy of flux and becoming persists to the present day in Bergson. 'THE INERT HERE. though not expressed yet in its fullest and most finalized form. while others postulated an ultimate and 535 transcendental principle beyond. 'PRIME SUBSTANCE IS ALL THERE IS': Conflict between two schools of thought. called Brahman (the Absolute). Empiricists and idealists come into conflict as do Unitarians and Trinitarians. cosmological or other philosophical implications. Perhaps because of the fact that he is still in the preliminary stages of development of his subject in the present composition. we have the notion of the 'thinking substance' of Spinoza. neutral and prime in an absolute sense. there or that' So do conflicts come: Prime Substance is all there is: The inert here. In India Samkhya philosophers pinned their faith on the aspects which appealed to human reasoning. if sufficiently large. public. or values. correctly brings up here for early discussion. which is an attempt to strike the mean between mind and matter. or even in the same cultural unit. On the Far-Eastern scene we have pure absolutists who say that what can be named is not the true. an existential or an essential standpoint. another reality have? THE study of the history of thought or philosophy in any country reveals to us that various trends or tendencies giving primacy to one or other factor of existence. . The Guru here. is only correctly taking the position as belonging to the Advaitic or non-dualistic tradition in the history of Indian thought. A hypostatic value-factor will tend to be discarded in favour of a sacred presence here and now. which he is to develop stage by stage. we can discover the same differing elements as between schools of philosophy or religious groupings. There is axiomatic public validity for the negative awareness of the self as asserted in the last two lines of this verse. in the context of the Upanishads. Discrimination between the transient and the lasting (nitya-anitya-viveka) is referred to in the Viveka Chudamani (verse 19) of Sankara as among the primary prerequisites even of a person who aspires to the wisdom of the Absolute (Brahman). Eastern or Western. In the context of Western philosophy we have the controversy between essence and existence. Even among those who accepted Brahman there were those who gave primacy to the cosmological or the psychological aspect. in favour of the notion of existence. top or tip. but conceives of it as being central. The word 'substance' here comes closest to the name 'karu' that he gives to reality in the very starting verse of this composition. reality here. It is in this sense that the expression 'Prime Substance' is to be understood here. whatever may be the items. which is a flux changing and passing. according to his own method. The 'neutral monism' put forward by such modern writers as Bertrand Russell attempts again to find unitive ground between the two opposing or ambivalent tendencies of thought. By asking us to declare this self-evident verity to all. 534 VERSE 19 'Bottom. In one and the same period in contemporary thought. A dualism is implied in all of them. in the rest of the work. In fact it is no other than the Absolute. Theologies. In the Western philosophical context we know of the preSocratic philosopher Heraclitus who said that one could not enter the same river twice. Dialectical materialism claims also to balance the 'spiritualism' implied in the usual theistic approach. as against the previous teleological one. Phenomenology opposes 'numenology'. The Guru here dismisses these dualistic trends in favour of one central reality as inclusively covering all existences. 536 Between these two tendencies. and those other philosophers who put their faith in concrete problems of every-day statesmanship or politics. will necessarily be based on giving primacy to one or other of the factors involved. History is a record of how ideologies have many times and in many lands caused bloodshed on a large or small scale. as it is meant to be. We could even go so far as to assert that this notion comes nearest to the idea of the Brahman or the Absolute when fully understood. or scientific character. ALL CHANGE AND PASS': The distinction between the reality. An ascending dialectical method like that of a Plato will clash totally or partially with the descending dialectical method.could be the same. by his support of the notion of Prime Substance. all change and pass: How could a wave Apart from the water's form. This might be called an ontological tendency in thought. terms. The possible varieties are endless and there is always bound to be between them an implicit differential as between an ontological or a teleological approach. a philosopher takes care to give primacy to a notion that is not affected by duality. he will be justified in calling it a reality which abolishes all rival realities. it is true that he uses the expression 'Prime Substance' purposely so as not to anticipate prematurely its fuller psychological. When. That we are aware of the presence of the Self in ourselves is here treated as equal to the proof of the existence of the Self or the Soul in an absolute sense in each of us. have also tended towards the two poles involved in the central value accepted in their particular branch of theology. essence or value have held the field at certain places or times. a practical or a pure way.

What we see might have a different appearance and might belong to two totally different epistemological categories or ambivalent aspects. it is the same object which is in question. and vertically viewed. It is in this sense that the rhetorical question that is put by the Guru here should be understood and answered. APART FROM THE WATER'S FORM. The Guru here juxtaposes them within the notion of the Absolute or Prime Substance. The latter. In all this process of understanding. one that endures and one that does not. In a similar way.the outer apparent configuration to which the 538 water is subjected. consists in something like that between the cross-section view of an animal or plant and its own longitudinal section. is sometimes named Maya or Samsara in Vedantic literature. momentarily together or alternately. the Guru passes on to a rhetorical question. universally understood. Becoming and Being are aspects of the same Prime Substance or the Absolute. but is a conditioning of our minds. but both occupying. Being and becoming have between them a vertical unity and a horizontal contradiction. The meeting-point of the form of the wave and the matter of the wave gives us the notion of water which is common to the ocean and the particular wave that we might be thinking of. as such. an important place in their discussions of reality. Waves rise and fall but the water in the ocean. The difference. the specific form of a wave and the generic content of the wave refer to the same water. but which constitutes the neutral link between the water of the ocean and the specific wave with its form. which aims at transcending or solving the paradox. meets the geometrical notion of the form of the water. 'Wave' as a name and 'wave' as a form refer to the same substance that is Absolute. whether called ocean or wave. when neutrally or centrally understood as the one to which both belong as ambivalent aspects. when closely scrutinized. The relation between the two aspects is at the very core of the Advaitic tradition. we have innumerable waves on the ocean's surface. The Guru does not yet enter into the problem of unitive understanding as such. however. remains as the noumenon behind the phenomena. amounts to something highly theoretical called the 'form' as distinct from the 'matter' of the wave . ANOTHER REALITY HAVE?': The Guru takes the classical example in Vedanta of the relation between the water and waves that rise thereon. If we should examine a cucumber in cross-section. nothing new has entered into our understanding. and both together produce in us a notion that is neither generic nor specific. The abstract notion of the water as a reality. Matter and form. but suggests that there could not be a third factor other than the wave or the ocean . 'becoming'. there is the same differenceless water. The real difference between the physicists' empirical approach to reality and the metaphysicians' idealistic approach to the same reality.On final analysis we find that whether in the East or in the West. or as the 'being' behind what keeps becoming in the eternal flux of reality. meet both as abstractions with reference to the water which is the object of our study. In order to bring home the subtle nature of the problem implied. Horizontally viewed. or view the same longitudinally. There is a dialectical interplay implied here which leads to the unitive understanding of water as a neutral entity between the ocean and the wave. philosophers of worth have recognized two 537 aspects of reality. 'HOW COULD A WAVE. This shape is not matter.

which corresponds to what Bergson and also Descartes would call intuition. to concede that in the notion of Absolute Reality there is no extraneous third factor involved. especially to values. understanding all do lack. the known or 'objective' aspect. Could a flower-garland. there is an error. the idea of a rose need not necessarily exclude 540 its odour. factors that belong together. . Though an ignorant person could mistake it for a reptile. Appearance is also on the other hand exaggerated as a dangerous snake. 'UNDERSTANDING ALL DO LACK': In his Viveka-Chudamani (verse 16) Sankara refers to a faculty called uha-apoha. VERSE 20 Another reality this world has none. beneficial.they are arbitrarily putting philosophical abstractions into fresh compartments and treating them as if they were independent realities on their own. He takes it to be a snake because of his conditioning to fear snakes. to be reached by descending dialectics. 'COULD A FLOWER-GARLAND. as in Platonic philosophy.that could be involved in this central neutral notion which has its place between the two poles into which reality itself could be divided phenomenally rather than noumenally. A transparency to dualistic refraction is what is to be cultivated in the philosophy which is being presented here by the Guru. the philosophy of the Science of the Absolute has its particularity of methodological approach. The meaning is inseparable from the world it belongs to. A rose can smell as good without its conceptual aspect. and the central 'meaning' aspect which is knowledge. Truth is compared to this kind of valueless object. insofar as they do not consciously adopt this unitive or dialectical approach to wisdom. as stated by Sankara in the above verse. of treating dualistically. or when they give to prime matter a status that tends to be a hierophantic presence here below. As mathematics has its axioms and postulates. BENEFICIAL. fall short of the requirement of a philosophy which is well founded. EVER SNAKE BECOME?': The example of the rope that is seen in obscurity to be a snake. This very example is here used by the Guru with purposeful modifications. Atma-vidya or the Science of the Self is an open book only to those who have the gift of intuition. The last is the conceptual which is reducible to one or the other of the remaining two. The neutral concept of the rose could combine the two ambivalent polarities that might be seen as one having primacy over the other by rival philosophers. The rope in the classical example is an article that has no practical utility. or even when they give to a percept a different status from the concept to which it belongs . with a methodology and epistemology of its own. When philosophers tend to make the idea a hypostatic reality through ascending dialectics. at the present stage of our discussion of Self-knowledge as it is to be understood in the context of the Absolute. as he ought to be. and conversely. Most schools of philosophy. instead of treating unitively. although in technical epistemological terminology. to bring out the unity of value underlying the duality tacitly implied in the classical example. The generalization made here about other philosophers of the world is justified in this sense. He sees a broken flower-garland in a badly-lit 541 part of his house. This is the faculty that resolves paradoxes. other than the two ambivalent aspects into 539 which the Absolute itself tends to be divided through the refraction that our own mind produces. by an ignorant or cowardly person whose intelligence is not properly directed to the search of truth. ever a snake become ? THE tri-basic epistemological principle called 'triputi' in Advaita Vedanta has three distinct aspects: the 'knower' aspect of reality. contrary assertions Made in this world. and should not be thought of as a third reality. as in the dialectics of Parmenides. Advaita philosophy abolishes duality and merges difference into the sameness of the neutral Absolute. is an age-old and somewhat hackneyed example known to Vedantic literature. We have to imagine a man who is not quite mentally alert or awake enough to realities. As has already been alluded to in the previous verse. It will suffice for us. which is natural in this world. In the same way. it is given a name as representing knowledge.

A flower-garland represents a spiritual value instilling neither fear nor favour but fully significant to human life as a leaven. even in this pure or ideological sense. the value of truth. while appearance is fraught with fear. is meant to draw attention to the fact that. and valuable idealistically in its own way. this becomes quite evident. likes or dislikes. hypostatic aspect. In the context of the Bhagavad Gita we . The categorical imperative of the philosopher Kant corresponds to the same moral or ethical principle innately present in man. which together complete the plus and minus aspects of the same unitive thought. even in its existential aspect. while in the next the positively dialectical resolution is brought into evidence. while the error of the fearful snake is mitigated by reference to it as a reptile that dwells in its burrow. In this verse it is the negative aspect of complication which is touched upon. As a matter of fact. In the work of the Guru entitled Advaita Dipika (Light of Nondualism) verse 11. viewed from the standpoint of human values. abstract and academic example of the rope and the snake fails to look at the natural ambivalent factors of cognition and conation in terms of value. THIS verse has to be read with the next one. preferences or rejections. which is the ambivalent counterpart of the utilitarian. In the classical example it would seem that truth is valueless. There is: 1) the self that relates itself to outside objects or 2) to a certain specific quality outside itself. a polarity or contrast which tends to be dualistically conceived. and carefully qualifying it as beneficial. which are to be kept in mind 542 in the study of axiology that the Guru wishes to introduce into the discussion more correctly than hitherto. puzzlement. VERSE 21 A certain kind is dear. in which emotion enters as a detrimental factor against giving it unitive interest or value. or ' I like beauty'. When we come to examine the different kinds of interests or value-appreciations that human beings generally are capable of having. not necessarily harmful. 'I like a rose'. what is one's own desire And what is to another. These are fine touches of revaluation in keeping with the philosophy of the Guru. so variously thus puzzlement prevails Round each object of desire: what to oneself is dear That verily know to be another's desire also.Between truth and falsehood. even when both are thought of in terms of pure value. the unitive link between reality and its mental. Both tend to be negative in value. The classical. The substitution of a sweet-smelling flower-garland. if we think of the transcendental aspect of life. In either case the interest of man in truth is not considered important enough. as when we say. or rather reality and appearance. In the revised version of the classical example given here. As against this self-directed kind of interest there are 4) interests which have their accent on the opposite pole of the non-self. In such a context one often hears of a voice within called conscience or the will of God. that is dear to me. there is thus admitted in the comparisons corresponding to each of them. truth is a beneficial value. what is true in everyday life has at the same time a beneficial utilitarian or cultural value. stands revealed together in greater unitive relief. is stressed. strong or weak. Life expresses itself through attractions and repulsions. 543 In all four cases we have the field or seeds of confusion. 3) When we say 'this is my preference' we have a personal and subjectively directed movement of interest. How morality stems out of philosophical considerations is a question that has often puzzled thinkers and writers. Likewise. or discontent. In fact all mental troubles may be said to have their origin in such possible confusions. we can think of them in four different kinds of combinations. The verse ends with a generalized axiomatic statement which could be said to enunciate the basis for all ethics of right or morally correct conduct.

one should be guided by what would be conducive to the happiness of humanity in general.= happiness or well-being. All persons need food.': The axiomatic conclusion of the verse merely draws attention to the philosophical verity that there is no fundamental difference between the desires. Modern phenomenology. has its philosophical echo in the Bhagavad Gita. the science of well-being) adopt the same method of putting together subjective and objective value factors to harmonise inner and outer life.. appetites or aspirations of one man and another. ETC. to choose what one should rightfully prefer in life. Rationalism. Whether it be man. The Guru takes particular pleasure in playing on the strings the same note 545 or melody. The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of Man contain the same ethical law. daimon = spirit.. but the roots of theology in the reasoning faculty of man were overcovered by myth or by pseudo-science. in principle. who. in the science of means and disciplines) for a discussion of ethical values. which is the philosophical basis of human ethics as directly derived from wisdom through Self-realization. is the prerogative of the dialectical. chapter VI. . The present work is devoted mainly to Self-realization and should be free from the 544 social and obligatory aspects of morality.have the notion of the sameness (samya) that the yogi should see with all beings because of their being analogous with the self that is within each of us. one is right when one's own taste accords with what is truly human. is the secret and timehonoured way of peace on earth and good-will to all mankind. sleep. In what has been called the 'Nichomachean Ethics' of Aristotle (named after Nichomachus. as with Voltaire. considered in detail. in the science of the ways of knowing) and methodologically (i. tastes might differ. (A regular Narayana Smriti has been compiled by some of his disciples at the instance of the Guru. represents one's own dialectical counterpart among human beings with whom one comes into daily relationship. Therefore the author contents himself with broad generalisations which have more of a wisdominterest than one of obligatory social action. and eudaimonology (eu. Steeped in scientific or unilateral rationalism. involving many individual items of interest. After having systematically laid the foundations required epistemologically (i. Although. or conversely. and suggested no remedy that took man beyond good and evil.e. the basic axiom of good conduct reduces itself to one law: namely. AS we have said. found no explanation for evil. all acts aiming each man's Self-happiness Must spell at once the happiness of the other fellow-man. A wheat-eater and a rice-eater are both consumers of cereals. basic satisfactions depend on items that are alike. This work is not meant to be a code of ethics and is to be kept free from degenerating into a mere 'dharma sastra' (textbook on right conduct) or 'smriti' (remembered application of heard wisdom) which would belong more to the side of action rather than to understanding. By this he only wishes to underline the law of human relations and conduct which is here enunciated in keeping with the correct dialectical approach. but are resolved into the harmony of unity when both the counterparts of the relational situation are brought together through correct Self-knowledge. what to oneself Is beneficial is so for the other man also. this verse completes and resolves the complication referred to in the previous verse. waking activities or companionship. Looked at in this way. that is even mine. the classical philosopher of Greece). The equation of the Self and the non-Self which is the essence of dialectical wisdom. Theologies retained a God who could punish and excuse sin and thus help man to transcend evil. modern philosophers in the West have forfeited their more ancient heritage of wisdom. a civilised or a primitive human's needs have a basic uniformity of character. axiology (the science of values). the Guru here devotes the next few verses to the basic considerations of a morality that he intends to be broadbased on a proper philosophy.) 'WHAT TO ONESELF IS DEAR. implicit in the ethics presented in this and in the previous verse. as against the merely rational approach. such is the course of Discrete conduct. Desires can come into conflict when treated unilaterally and horizontally. VERSE 22 The other man's interest. The identification of one's own best interest with that of one's neighbour..e. This way of confronting the problem of evil which otherwise puzzles theologians and philosophers equally. woman or child. the West had the beginnings of this way of looking at moral problems. Equating somehow the Self with the non-Self so as to arrive at unitive or non-conflicting interests. is the method that underlies this way of solving the question of morals.

as double negation cancels each negation by its positive and unitive import of a highly imaginary order. 'ALL ACTS AIMING EACH MAN'S SELF-HAPPINESS. The personal and moral factors or elements involved have to be submitted to a dialectically-valid operation to yield correct results. and enunciate correctly and succinctly the whole foundation of the ethics on which the Guru's idea of human relations are based. Each man is his brother's keeper. by whom even the Self by the Self has been won.verses 5 and 6: 546 'By the Self the Self must be upheld. We should not linger over the subtleties involved here for fear of a long digression. the certitude that he arrives at becomes vitiated by a certain negativism whose fallacy requires a master dialectician like Krishna. the Self would be in conflict with the very Self. for example. This law is conceived strictly according to the Science of the Absolute.' 'The Self is dear to one (possessed) of Self.5) where Arjuna shows himself as a person capable of dialectics but. It has to be from both its aspects of self and non-self. and what is good for humanity and what is good for the individual. The law of all morality is stated here in unequivocal terms.' Here two sets of selves are juxtaposed unitively without conflict and also put together horizontally with conflict entering into their relations. Correctly speaking. for one not (possessed) of Self. whose method is dialectical and not merely rational. The ambivalent aspects of the same Self can be conceived unitively or dualistically. must all point to the absolute human value representing the good of each and all at once. brings into being an absolute notion of light in a double sense. It is in this sense that slavery is immoral. the Guru of the Gita. though personal. as when a telescope is turned the wrong way. One classical example of making wrong use of dialectical reasoning is contained in the Bhagavad Gita (II. The good of man must be understood as belonging to the context of the Absolute. morality. 548 . the Self indeed is the enemy of the Self. This verity is implied already in grammar and in mathematics where dialectics is tacitly recognized. The use of dialectics is for double affirmation. It is often thought that religion and ethics depend on the person concerned and are therefore relative to the individual. One man unjustly treated anywhere in the world calls for retribution from the whole of humanity with one voice. to put into relief in the 547 chapters that follow this verse. When we say. and that a mere mechanical equality is not desirable either. The dialectics of the one and the many involved here has to be kept in mind if the full implication of this law enunciated here is to be understood in the spirit intended by the author. No act can be considered ethically valid if it is only of partial application. as if an enemy. It should be noticed here that the ends and means of morality and the subjective and the objective aspects of it are brought together in a way which is in keeping with the Science of the Absolute. This is not the way to look at truth. cannot afford to connive at error in the furthermost corner of the world. 'darkness has no existence apart from light'. the Self indeed is (its own) dear relative. both subjectively and objectively understood. MUST SPELL AT ONCE THE HAPPINESS OF THE OTHER FELLOW-MAN': These words from the latter half of the verse have an apodictic finality of form. the double negation of darkness involved in its denial in absolute terms. the former resolving conflict and the latter accentuating it. the Self should not be let down.

The Bhagavad Gita (V1. while the open and inclusive way. which admit of contradiction and an excluded middle that this kind of unitive vision of the Self. These last two aspects of taking and giving. egocentrically carried on. has implicit in it the dialectical method 550 known to ancient wisdom the world over. selfish toil involves a great deal of energy which paradoxically defeats its own purpose. self-centred striving. THE principle viewed above from the social and ethical standpoint is here restated in terms of Self-knowledge. The niggard lying prone. judged by the common human interest that binds them both in the two verses preceding the present one. AFTER laying down the subtle dialectical law of ethics in which the counterparts of interest as between oneself and a fellow-human who is 'no other' than oneself. only the dialectical bipolarity is more explicit and the unworkability of one-sided interest in the Self more categorically denounced. but overcovered and lost in later philosophies. is to be established. That conduct adopted for one's Self-happiness Another's happiness must also secure at once. what frustration's toil undertakes. Many of the ordinary theories of unilaterally-conceived ethics are here bypassed by the Guru in favour of an approach more in keeping with the non-duality which is the basis of the whole philosophy of self-knowledge as understood in this composition. Closed ethics ends in the desert sands of exclusive isolation. which rises from the particular to the universal in a dynamism implied in all things that develop and grow. nor merely in the name of the specifically human element in man. Niggardliness means lack of the open and bold generosity which widens the circle of a man's opportunities. Here the Guru clearly enunciates the basis of ethical conduct. the Guru here passes on to point out how static. That is for his own sake alone.VERSE 23 For the sake of fellow-man. day and night Unstinting strives the kindly man. gives life more abundance and makes life generally better for oneself and for all others. not in terms of a categorical imperative or an inner compulsion. but based on a dialectical formula as 549 between oneself and one's own counterpart in the world of human relations.32) alludes to this way of establishing 'sameness' (samam) between the Self and the Cosmos. Remnants of it are to be found in different degrees of rationalized versions in Kant. The duality that is apparent between the interests of two individuals can be viewed unitively as referring to the self-same central or neutral Self conceived in the context of the Absolute. when correctly viewed in the light of dialectical ethics. Hegel and Fichte. hang together. This verse teaches the same principle as the dictum 'love thy neighbour as thyself'. Modern phenomenology has this way of thinking implied in it. Moreover. VERSE 24 What here we view as this man or that Reflection reveals to be the Self's prime form. which is all-embracing. The equation of the Self and the non-Self. It is not according to the ordinary laws of thought. . The ungenerous man closes the bars against himself. eliminating in the process both the general good and the good for oneself. finishes up in vain frustrations. unceasing.

Perhaps only exponential differences of degree or intensity might distinguish them. Wisdom is concerned primarily and solely with the pure and absolute content of the individual. while to another distress brings. when the slightest discrimination is made between favourites or enemies. brings unforeseen quantitative or qualitative effects. FURTHER implications of the same subtle reciprocity of the Self and the non-Self are here unitively developed from the negative side. Like one spark setting fire to the neighbouring faggot. Clashes of clan with clan. but as a process in which donor and beneficiary belong to a unitive and universal context. The general cause of war should be thought of in this way. to whichever the side the favouritism might be applied. racial. Just as intense pain in the tip of one's toe would suffice to upset the balance of the whole person in suffering. Even in a more matterof-fact scientific sense a man might have a finger-print that is different from another. but his personality might be fundamentally the same as that of any other human being. All are made in the image of God. Such conduct is one that violates the Self. Like the quality of mercy. Violation of the unitive self-hood on the one side is equated here with its dialectical counterpart of a general fire of inferno for which the spark of pain given to a single individual could be the partial stimulus to create a wholesale reaction. 'This' man he takes different from 'that' therefore Owing to the weakness of unwisdom alone. When the dualistic attitude has once been abolished and generosity spreads evenly like sunlight on all human beings without distinction. and its absence as a double disaster. 553 Contemplation takes place best in dark-room conditions when the sense-impressions which make for differences and . is very important to keep in mind. What we call the soul within the body of man is a neutral and impersonal entity at its very core. we could derive the simpler principle of human equality from it. This has been brought out with the full force of delicate dialectics in the Bhagavad Gita (VI. It has to be conceived not as a lame or one-sided affair. PETER may be said to be different from Paul. The non-dual way is the only escape when conflicting interests develop in a given situation due to unilateral action. The sum-total of human suffering consists of small sparks of partiality shown by men somewhere or other at one time or another. The modern democratic idea of the equality of man recognizes this verity sufficiently. as the saying goes. even on the publican and the sinner . and preferential pacts. and is one that. When the poet Burns writes 'A man's a man for a' that'. in spite of the closed interpretations or forms that interested political bodies might have given to it. 551 Ethics is not to be conceived as depending on the conduct of a good man taken by himself. kindness has to be conceived as a double blessing. time-old feuds.that kind of generosity belongs to the context of the absolutist way of life. All individuality or difference of detail belongs to the extraneous world of actions and reactions which do not touch the deep-seated self in man. VERSE 25 What spells benefit to one. in the context of contemplation or wisdom. The Self can itself become the worst enemy of the Self. the principle of equality which is at the basis of Western civilization and variously named democracy. but for one primarily interested in the religious value they represent. to insist on this aspect of the impersonal equality of all beings. 552 VERSE 26 All limbs suppressing and standing as a bolt The limb-owner mere vapour enshrouds within. all sorts of impressions or conditionings which are incidental to the life of any individual. there is no substantial or essential difference between them. in the context of Self-realisation. just as the winds and the waves leave unaffected the deep waters at the bottom of the ocean. Favouritism is a form of duality. Consequences flare up into a general conflagration. It is not necessary in our time. national or other rivalries. However. beware! That spark of pain intense to another given Into inferno's ocean it falls.6). there to burn its flames. all work together to keep the flames of inferno constantly fed with fuel and burning incessantly. the continuity of the process of evil effects is to be imagined as operating ceaselessly in the world of human relations. as accretions. so the subtle reciprocity implied here. therefore. socialism or communism is implicit. Treating thy neighbour as thyself implies the equation of the Self with the non-Self. it is to be understood as a double-edged situation cutting both ways. What is evil is the duality implicit in the unilateral interest that is taken. this kind of difference has no importance at all. although it might carry peripherally.Looking at the verse in a common-sense way.

multiplicity are effectively effaced. Equality is perhaps the highest contribution of modern civilization. This contemplative text. These contradictions are apparent and should not be taken seriously by one who knows the double-sided approach to axiomatic truth. even of individuality. and this notion is reiterated here and related to its proper context of non-dual philosophy. the non-dual Self is what is to be taken as real.) The latter half of this verse lays down the dictum that it is foolish to discriminate between man and man. The main thread of the wisdom-teaching is now continued by the Guru. to call a person 'characterless' might be considered derogatory. There is here reference to the limbs which are aspects of the physical personality or individuality. therefore beings are deluded' (V. Vedantic method consists of first dividing the knower from knowledge. the Self indeed that is. The existential side of the Self here is compared to an upright bolt and the conceptual Self which is a phenomenological event in the mind is compared to the vapour of empty characterlessness. and to observe introspectively the nature of the residue called the Self when outward objective-sense impressions are effectively eliminated from what the Self should properly mean in a contemplative context. has some agent or owner within which is able to order the limbs at its will. as in the case of hair-splitting Scholastic Philosophy in the West and vain Vedantic logic-chopping in India. laying down any actual code of conduct. as actor and action. we envisage reality. In an ordinary textbook of ethics it might be more correct to ask a person to try and add some character to his personality. This is accomplished by the experimental procedure of science. without. which has been the subject of so much metaphysical speculation. Even such a notion of a unitive Self could further be resolved into an entity that has no tangible content and which could be called a void as well as intensely material stuff. keeps them straight or erect and gives unity and coherence to the parts of the integrated whole. This philosophy thus becomes suited to the aspirations of all mankind treated as one. 'Wisdom is enveloped by unwisdom. As the Gita puts it very directly. the limbs of man are held up by a principle which supports them. as it were. although in ordinary life. And knowledge that which as name and form. The physical body. lo! WE have to recollect here the main thread of the composition left off at verse 10 for a digression in which aspects of the ego or Self with its ethical implications were examined from the wisdom-angle in passing. Various suppositions have to precede the conviction. as we have said. which has limbs. The Guru here compares the residual core of the unconditioned Self to mere vapour which is enveloped. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. from which as common human beings. because this relative Self is only a postulate used to affirm the Absolute. is not to be taken as an ethical code. which can be said to be existing and non-existing at the same time. Characterlessness is to be treated as an attribute of the pure or absolute Self. 554 Finally. because it belongs to a unitive order by itself. The pure unconditioned Self tallies with the notion of the Absolute. as is the definition of the Self or the soul. as we have pointed out. like great Indra's magic. Looms here as everything. (See for clarification our later work. Self and the Absolute are one and the same. Whether that is the same as the absolute Self or not is not a question that should arise. and it is thus proper. The 'subject-matter' of philosophy and the 'object-matter' of philosophy should not be promiscuously . Its only aim is to throw light on the absolute Self. Both together abolish individual specificity which is a myth to be abolished. which can use the a priori and the a posteriori together without contradiction. without proper scientific or apodictic finality in the discussion. therefore. As senses with inner-organ. by an outer covering or veil whose tissue or stuff is none other than ignorance. soul or atman finalized and presented apodictically and with experimental precision. 15). As in the case of pure space it could be thought of as highly unyielding as well as letting all things live and move within its flexibility. Here we have a scientific definition of the same Self. We are asked to recapitulate the situation outlined in verse 10. As we press towards this culminating notion in which the Self is compared to an airy nothing or vaporous something. that the Self here should be described as having no mark. The 'limb-owner' may be said to be a psychophysical entity as seen from this side of reality. As a tree is supported by a stem. Here thus we arrive at perhaps the shortest definition of the Self in all metaphysical literature. both perceptually and conceptually. 555 VERSE 27 What in darkness remains aware. we have to pass through an intermediate notion of the 'personality' or universal individual phenotype which is here compared to a bolt that stands upright or erect in perfect vertical poise.

which latter is a kind of event in consciousness culminating in more overt action and in the actor-sense which may be said to have its inception in this inner organ. and turiya = the 'fourth'. and the peripheral bodily responses are static. and like the reflexaction in the muscles connecting them with the central nervous system. the Guru selects only the 'jagrat' and the 'turiya' (the clear inner all-pervading consciousness) for the sake of contrast. with which. On the other hand. with differences of degree of ignorance involved. we have to think of various levels of illusion or appearance.consciousness. but there is no real change in the evolutionary sense here. which condition the pure Self at the core of our being. which is a kind of 'organon' as Aristotle would call it. It is for this reason that the Guru insists here in this verse on drawing clearly the line dividing knowledge from the Self. These are mere effects or optical illusions as known to science. is no knowledge at all. perhaps. they could represent knowledge and nescience. Between the pure vaporous Self at the core and its multiple manifestations.which is still an appearance only. as instrument. as the physical and the psychic or the psycho-physical aspects functioning simultaneously. sushupti = the sleeping. The Sanskrit word 'karana' is an instrument of understanding. and what is more. When the knower has been demarcated properly. which has been compared in the previous verse to mere vapour. VERSE 28 Bereft of bottom as of top. to the most concrete manifestation centrally . Next mentioned are the senses. The intermediate ones of the four . without any remainder. as in the Mandukya Upanishad. The extreme multiplicity resulting from the ramifications of objective cognition is alluded to as a magical wonder because of its endlessness and variety. which appraise solidity or sound and other sense. which is here called inert. that is turiya. as given to the contemplative vision. This latter is to be recognized as the 'turiya' consciousness as opposed to the consciousness dependent on the physiological aspect. Between them. Knower. single or partial stimulus is translated into total responses by the transparent consciousness. the leader of the celestial beings. 558 The other kind of awareness is not total. and all that is specialized and good in the Platonic sense is supposed to belong to the hypostatic world to which great Indra. both dependent and independent of each other. but all other appearances also belong to the same order. They are to be understood as dependent and independent. conforming to the necessities of the context. spreading from our consciousness of the soles of the feet to the top of the head. The Guru here leaves out of account the usual classification of consciousness into four as in the Mandukya Upanishad: jagrat = the waking. by its very nature. One has a transparency and clarity. All is abstraction and magical 557 illusion through grades of ignorance. and which. the physical has an inhibitory effect on the other. the fuller description is given. which is one and undivided. hesitating and using halting syllogistic reasonings which are only probable and indirect in their nature and weak in their degree of certitude. is against the notion that life's totality represents. svapna = the dreaming. from bottom to the crest What transparent awareness has. This kind of illusion is the most basic. come other conditioning factors in graded order. Being seems to be subjected to phenomenal becoming. filling the whole of being as from within. thick or thin. In the Guru's Darsana Mala. All this glory of specialisation and wonder has its simple origin in the Self. Here. The specialized aspect of reality is also sometimes referred to as 'visesha' and the glory of Vishnu belongs to this aspect of the Absolute. we are able to measure all things. Name and form are the first mental elements that emerge from the nothingness of the central and neutral Absolute Self at the core of our being. from the most abstract limit peripherally. The flowery ivory-tower luxury of Vedism is another example of this same aspect of the Absolute. and fuse them together into what is named here as the 'inner organ'. functions transversely. Mahendra is the chief of the gods of the Hindu Olympus or svarga. do mark! THERE are two aspects of consciousness within. knowledge and known have first to be distinguished properly before scientific Self-realization can result without violating rules and norms of methodology and epistemology.556 mixed up. The vertical axis is the dynamic.impressions. These two antinomian aspects make up the whole of the consciousness as the interlocking psycho-physical factors. This would result in a grave initial error in the search for wisdom about the Self or the Absolute. it will be possible to make distinguishable the further subdivision between what is known and neutral knowledge intimately connected with the central Self. himself belongs. which cannot be properly mended when allowed to complicate further thinking. The rainbow colours have no material basis in the blue sky. The inert no knowledge has: what it cogitating tells From in between. After name and form.

in which he has already left behind his home in favour of a forest habitation. which is referred to generically as the inert. And then renouncing. so that he could avoid the crowded competitive world altogether. calmness. This way of speaking about spirituality is not very modern but it is natural and time-honoured. and finally he comes to a stage when the mere mental exercise of repeating words of wisdom-content would have the effect of conquering the forces of illusion. beginning with the first degree of self-discipline. The former leads to bondage while the latter leads to release. The Maya spell let him repeat. wisdom prevails more and more. 560 The reference to flower-gathering (or rather plucking with some effort) is an inner event corresponding to an outer one. The reference to release from bodily bonds belongs to the idiom of the soil of India. Ritualistic requirements for self-discipline can be overlooked in such a case. Else. let him pluck blossom wild. The definite reference to the limits of foot and head here is not to be understood in a mere physiological sense but in a neutral psycho-physical sense. The Gita refers to them as sacrifice. but must content himself with wild flowers. The flowers represent the blossomings of the mind which are impediments to real wisdom. We should not mix up cogitative thinking. The more removed he is from society. there is the floweroffering. instead of graded sacrifices leading up to the culminating wisdom sacrifice. perhaps. the less available become the garden flowers. it could be understood without any of its vulgarised connotations. then he cannot have garden flowers. Here the Guru adopts the analogy of the idol-worship of South Indian temples where. In proportion to his aloofness the need for ritualistic or necessary action weakens. VERSE 31 . and if none is there. he suffers nevermore. The physical and the psycho-physical are two ways of viewing our consciousness. The transcending of the vestiges of the physical and the heavily material aspect of consciousness. the reference to bodily limits gives to the Absolute Awareness of 'turiya' a fully real status as a concrete universal entity. Even in the modern sense. awareness no thinking needs. is going in the morning to the temple in the city where he lives. has to be made fluid and flexible in the light of higher contemplative wisdom. The contemplative way is one which begins by taking a unitive and neutral position as between the body and the mind. however. after the model of the fire-sacrifice. in which we are caught each moment of our lives. There is the constant question put by spiritual aspirants about the regimes or disciplines to get rid of error and arrive at wisdom. Nor does it any discourse hold. When the possibility of error weakens. The renunciation is in favour of what is 561 not bodily but what belongs to pure reason. knowing awareness to be all. as in Latin or Greek thought. no awareness It can have. Rival interests do not enter into such a verticalized affiliation of the true contemplative. the Maya goes. or even discoursing.'limbs' are implied in the two others selected for mention here. This constant conflict of interests. before wisdom could abolish the possibility of errors of judgement in respect of values or realities that affect our lives by their attractions and repulsions. 16). He might. As in space understood as a reality here and now in modern physics. who offers to the Great Master. No need has he. enumerated in the Gita (XVII. is an evil to be cast away. prefer to live at a seaside or in a desert where even flowers that are wild may not be available. etc. directs its attention. VERSE 30 The inert. if he is one who happens to have arrived at his third stage of self-discipline. transparency of spirit gaining In body-bounds confined. to offer flowers gathered from his garden. other works to perform. 559 VERSE 29 The mind-blossom plucking. We have to imagine an aspirant who. where the 'mortal coil'. A transparency of spirit comes which has other attendant states of mind like peace. The mind-functionings have to be sublimated from the lower to the higher levels by graded self-disciplines. is the subjectmatter of this verse. with this higher affiliation to wisdom which is preferable when it is silent and wholehearted. Knowledge must help to gain more knowledge and then arrive at the term of knowledge where one becomes aware of the absolute status of knowledge. A SERIES of intermediate forms of meditative self-discipline are passed in quick review here so that the Guru could pass on to subjects of more seriously contemplative import. indeed! THIS verse closes another section by marking out a stage in self-realization. The omitted limbs refer to the dream-world and that of deep or dreamless sleep. The mind is defined by Sankara as the seat of representative functionings (samkalpa) and wrong resolves (vikalpa). as may be usually expected in South India. to which the higher consciousness by its very constitution.

inference there is none. The correct term for inductive inference is 'anumana' which would correspond to the movement of thought from the particular to the general. i. for. Whatever the technical terms that different philosophies might employ. the distinction is between two kinds of thinking in making inferences. as latent potentialities of phenomenal expressions. one that is a priori and the other that is a posteriori. Some philosophers in the West have given importance to another kind called inductive inference which corresponds more to the a priori.e. the way of reasoning that gives primacy to the cause and not to . which would be absurd to suppose. 'Dharmi' and 'dharma' are the two simple Sanskrit words used by Guru to distinguish the two aspects respectively of impression or innate potentiality. rather than as empirical facts existing in outer space alone. The very first 'sutra' (aphorism) of the Brahma-Sutras (Aphorisms of the Absolute) insists on this recognition of the a priori approach when it states that Brahman (the Absolute) is to be proved not ontologically but by appeal to the a priori. is largely based on the inductive reasoning which may properly be said to belong to the theoretical or metaphysical kind of reasoning. 'Sastra-yonitvat' and 'tattu samanvayat'. and the 'dharma'. and overt expression or manifestation of the same absolute reality implicit in them both. which is innate. The Guru here makes pointed reference to the latter kind of a posteriori inference. when overt. although scientific method. the manifested world becomes or takes being. one which has sense-experience as an anterior condition. Spinoza's terminology might refer to 563 these two aspects as the 'natura naturans' and the 'natura naturata' respectively. THE type of reasoning adopted in this verse is called the 'sad-karana-vada'. since the said agent of expression remains unseen. DEDUCTIVE inference is knowledge that follows experience by the senses. from which.Without prior experience. Understood in this manner. if Brahman were not true all the sastras (texts) would refer to nothing significant at all. A complete science of the Absolute must give its proper place to both of these. Such an inference is called a posteriori in 562 philosophical terminology. which are the third and fourth of the sutras. The mind is neither inside us nor outside. The Guru is here particular to caution the seeker of Self-knowledge about the limitations of the a posteriori form of reasoning. may be said to be the horizontalized version of 'dharmi'.. the potential agent. where the experience comes after the process of thinking has taken place. If one wants to be a philosopher one has to change the method of reasoning from the a posteriori to the a priori. These two movements in thinking are important to distinguish if we have to arrive at fundamental philosophical verities such as the 'thing-in-itself' to which Kant refers. The agent of overt expression not being experienced By the senses. the presence of such By inference cannot be known: do mark. as is generally admitted now. It is true that empirical science gives primacy to the phenomenal aspects of reality. 564 VERSE 32 It is not the inner agent but the expression That we know. The visible world is an expression of a function or event in consciousness or underlying phenomena. but mind and matter refer to consciousness phenomenologically. Do remember the earth and all else is naught: While the supporting outline of awareness is all there is. insist on the importance of the a priori approach so inevitable as the basis of all metaphysical or philosophical thinking. we have to recognise two kinds of inference. as it puts it. The phenomenal world has as its substratum or basis the world of the entelechies which Aristotle refers to. and another which is independent of sense-experience but still carries with it a high degree of conviction. The Sanskrit root 'dhri' (to bear or support) is at the basis of the two terms. whether mental. material or both. which is technically called 'anumiti' in Sanskrit logic or Tarka Sastra.

the complete significant notion that results is the resultant of the meeting in the consciousness of two different sets of reasonings which are of the two broad divisions referred to above. a changing-over and a fall of thought-elements in keeping with a certain inner order or law of thought in a living being. In terms of unitive awareness the duality is reduced into vertical self-awareness instead of 566 being conceived as two distinct functions in consciousness. The chain of events could be treated as 'kshanika' (momentary). which would be impossible and absurd. under such conditions. the Guru thus enters into more fundamental epistemological and methodological problems from the previous verse onwards. Both these meet in the significant or meaningful notion of the table as it enters into the reality of our lives. This section may be said to give place to an even more penetrating analysis after verse 36. the chain of effects with their future possibilities would lead us to the specific multiplicities of phenomenal life till philosophizing itself would have endless multiplicity to pin its faith on. or a line that is meant to represent length only and have no breadth implied in it. one belonging to 'matter' and the other belonging to 'mind'. The a priori and the a posteriori thinking processes are events or chains of events in pure contemplative consciousness which are capable of envisaging them both as part of one single process. wherein various pure events could take place. VERSE 33 Awareness. (16) (16) Bergson's methodology envisages this 'double correction' principle. On final analysis it is a result of consciousness. now mounting. neutrally. The multiple effects have no philosophical status as reality at all. repeated instant after instant. and thus proceeds from effects to causes rather than inversely. and brings the pulsations of thought-processes to somewhat the same picture as is implicit in modern quantum mechanics. When we say that a table is two feet by three feet by two and-a-half feet. witnesses from a central position both the events called perceptions as well as conceptions. The pulsations of thought are not static but dynamic and circulate within the amplitude of two poles. a rising. In inverted state thus.the effect. it would not be too far-fetched even to think of this fire as circulating inasmuch as there is actually. in order to find its proper state. as experienced by the contemplative. Pushing the analogy further. but the circulating fire-faggot is better in that the successive positions of the luminous spark trace a continuous line instead of an intermittent one. Philosophy may be said to be the research of basic verities as opposed to knowledge based on mere appearances. 565 The stuff of the events is neither mental nor material but belongs to that unitive 'stuff' which has to be distinguished as above duality and thus belonging to the absolutist order. The phenomena themselves have a double origin psychically or physically. is a very time-honoured one in Vedantic literature. as neutral awareness which is neither subjective nor objective. ALL things as seen manifested are phenomenological events in consciousness. Poets have compared the pulsations of the mind to the fire-fly. and the table is what is given to the senses posteriorly. and are thus here referred to as consisting of nothingness. If we should give primacy to the effect rather than the cause. The reference to the 'inversion' here is nothing more than a corollary or consequence of the methodology which gives primacy to cause rather than effect. The cause-effect links are monadic units of thought which could be spoken of as sparks of light. as it were. After various aspects of the subject of Self-knowledge have first been examined in the earlier part of the work. now changing over Like a circulating fire-faggot it keeps turning round. The supporting outline of awareness is the resultant of the meeting of the two movements in consciousness referred to in the previous verse. The two ways are treated complementarily by the Guru here. The outline is the geometrical notion of a point that occupies no space. The Guru emphasizes in the verse here the correct methodology implied in all knowledge. Itself the earth and other manifestations became. The mind has what Bergson would call a 'cinematographic action' which makes discontinuous events seem continuous. The subtle inversion is implicit in the 'sad-karana-vada' which is part of the correct methodology of Advaita Vedanta when understood as a science and not merely as speculative metaphysical lore. If two opposite forces act on a particle of which the negative one is considered as the cause of the positive one. a circulation of thoughts in consciousness made up of a chain of causeeffect links. A priori knowledge has to be understood in terms of the a posteriori aspect of the same event in consciousness considered without psychic or physical prejudice. 'Two plus two equals four' is pure reasoning. as we have explained at length in our later work. The 'alata' (faggot of fire circulated) analogy for the phenomenological chain of events in consciousness. Reflexive Self-knowledge is what. we are able to imagine. as a continuous 567 unbroken process. with the help of the mind. or. or of no significance. 'An Integrated . The research for reality is for some firmer basis.

In modern times Bergson has restated this same notion by his idea of eternal change and becoming in the context of pure time. No strictly philosophical answer could be given to the question why this should be so. VERSE 35 Like the dawn all together of ten thousand solar orbs . There is therefore nothing old-fashioned in referring to Time as constituting the hub of the car-wheel representing the more peripheral events. whether theologically or metaphysically understood. Metaphysics or theology has to step in to deal with the latter question. he lapses into the current idiom of Vedanta by which all events. The personal pronoun here. The duration of time which we think of when eternity is given a content. Vedantic idiom permits such a use and as the Guru has to pass on to another aspect of Self-knowledge after this verse by way of summing-up. located in pure time. 568 this limitation and not because of any superstition about a personal God. attributing events in consciousness to an absolute agent. THE Vedantic idiom permits us to conceive of thought as taking place within the general consciousness or awareness as its matrix or general background. the idea of a wheel and a circulation 569 is employed many times.' an Integrated Science of the Absolute'. including what takes place in pure awareness. in the very first verse of this composition. The karu (core) which referred to the same thinking substance. in its most basic or primary form. The answer to 'how' this could be so is what is attempted by the scientists who explain that science is concerned with how a candle burns and not why it burns. The first two lines of the verse refer to a cross-sectional view which is cosmological. Time and eternity meet neutrally in this notion. if not in personal terms. beginningless In the domain of consciousness ever going on. The contemplative vision which presupposes the Absolute. while the last two tend to give a longitudinal view where eternity is present and pure subjective Time acts as a reference to phenomena. could see the circulation of thought as taking place round a nucleus. is to indicate (16). the spokes and the hub have been used to explain the various aspects of the structure of thought. and the 'half a second' referred to here. and those who can do without thinking of a personal Absolute could do without it perhaps with greater difficulty as pointed out in the Bhagavad Gita : 'Greater is the difficulty to those whose mind is attached to the unmanifested. (XII. as we have already explained. and in the Upanishads. The personal pronoun is to be treated as incidental.Science of the Absolute'. are treated as belonging to the notion of the normative Absolute of all thought without which thought itself would have no basis. which in turn has become acceptable to the pragmatists of today. which is the hub where the logos or the verb may be said to represent mental events. VERSE 34 Half a second is what makes the primordial hub Of the car-wheel. when viewed phenomenologically. of thought. For those who are conditioned necessarily by their own bodies the way of the unmanifested is difficult of accomplishment. the Buddhist writings and the Gita itself. The analogy of the wheel is found in the Upanishads in several places. allude to the same substratum of Absolute or Pure Time that figures even in modern times in the philosophy of Bergson. Time is momentary at the core of the world which is to be treated as a peripheral manifestation. as it were. mounted whereon the world rolls on: Know this to be His sport divine. conforms to this same central substance. The rim. Bergson's methodology envisages this 'double correction' principle as we have explained at length in our later work. at least as a normative principle.5) The dialectical moment or the eternal present is a notion familiar in the West in the writings of Plato.

The phenomenal universe belongs to the world of transience. And as the primal Sun prevails! AFTER pointing out in the immediately preceding verse that reality and knowledge are not distinct.Wisdom's function comes: such. The illumination understood in the contemplative context is not one that takes place slowly and gradually. Maya is the negative or static basis of all possible philosophical errors. the Guru here makes a more finalized statement about the way in which wisdom comes to the aspirant for Self-knowledge. Between these aspects there is an interaction that. Within the relativistic context 570 there might be accumulation of information about things or events which in time might mature to make the person concerned more and more worldly-wise. the light goes out and darkness comes' In verse 17 above in the present composition. leaving the pure consciousness to prevail over all appearances which are false. and that the content of half a second is sufficient to imply all the manifested universe. The latter is the resultant of the meeting of the positive and the negative aspects. the more complete psycho-physical picture with the role of the wick as the basis of wisdom-functioning (or dynamism) has been once touched upon.changing flux of becoming. twelve years. It is true that there are references elsewhere in wisdomwritings to the long number of years of discipline in the form of meditation or study that should precede the attainment or the goal of education or spiritual discipline. but again as soon as the wick Is left. In his composition called Advaita Dipika (The Lamp of Non-Dual Wisdom). tends to dispel the surrounding darkness. the brilliance of the illumination suffices to efface all the relativistic vestiges in consciousness. Wisdom that refers to the Absolute has to be itself of an absolute quality. which qualifies the kind of wisdom which the Guru has in mind here. Contemplative wisdom is different from the ordinary accumulation of information about events. in which the plus and minus sides alternate to make for a phenomenal world of doubtful status in reality. it is the central radiance of the neutrality that we refer to as wisdom. 572 . and results from the dual aspects coming together without the fullest measure of dynamism. as in the case of the electric-arc lamp. brings more darkness round it. whether physical or metaphysical. There is static wisdom as also dynamic wisdom. and the other that is negative. The subtle mechanism. which is no other than the Absolute. resulting in the emergence of the phenomenal universe. things. when it comes. Science and nescience are two aspects of the dynamism of wisdom. Degrees of doubt and error giving rise to relativistic phases of appearances result from the same Maya-principle understood in this manner. there is no universe Nor is there any seed thereof as nescience. The vision of the Absolute is here compared to the primal Sun which for ever reigns dispelling the relativistic darkness. Here it is not a question of the actual time required but of the qualitative content of the wisdom. It is something wholesale of an all-or-nothing character. When the positive and the negative aspects of wisdom meet. 19). is referred to more clearly elsewhere in the writings of the Guru. There is moreover to be noted the word vritti functioning). It is not a slow evolutionary process but an overwhelming event in one's life. where positive and negative electricity meet to make the brilliant light. This difference is due to the global totality of the subject-matter of such wisdom. but the wisdom that has to do with the Absolute asserts itself in quite another fashion. and which is filled with the plurality of multifarious entities in an ever. When light comes there is No more darkness near it. if at all. The technical name in Vedanta for this alternating process. When the full dynamism of absolutist wisdom prevails. The various references to the structure of the Self have to be put together by the intelligent student to yield a complete picture of the living Self as finally to be understood in the context of the wisdom of the Absolute. one that may be considered positive in character. as in the evolutionary picture or with the growth of plant. is Maya. The Gita refers to the many births that should pass even for a wise man to attain to the Absolute (VII. verily is that which Tears asunder this wisdom-hiding. or even multiples thereof. are said to be normal periods for finishing one's studies. and when static. when dynamic. or matters. In the context of education with a Guru in ancient India. verse 4 translated reads as follows: 571 'In wisdom that is dynamic. transient Maya-darkness here. while the dynamic reveals the light of the Absolute which is eternal and changeless.

and the Guru has given us the result of his meditations here in a very precise and succinct manner which it would be wrong to try to elaborate in any way.VERSE 36 The powers of wisdom are many. Inwardly understood. all of them under two divisions The 'same' and the 'other' could conclusively be brought. Dictionary meanings might be given. thought of collectively. the same Self could be conceived unitively and contemplatively as participating qualitatively in the unity of the Absolute Self. but to transcend them both through the neutral point of intersection of the two axes of reference. to arise and assert themselves in his own thinking. In the present verse. will be justified as and when occasions arise. Such analysis is the result of extreme introspective research. Even in the Guru's writings this frame of reference is implied in more than one place. tend to be quantitative. The surface-aspect of the ocean in the fourth verse of that composition is meant to be analogous to the collective and overt aspect of the consciousness of humanity. The reader has been warned in the very first verse of the work that the subject-matter of the composition has to do with higher wisdom and not with everyday knowledge of practical utility. 0 Bharata! Knowledge in respect of the field and the Knower of the field According to Me. one tends to lose clarity. The importance of these aspects of the Absolute Reality has been insisted on in the Bhagavad Gita. The taxonomic categories of the 'same' and the 'other' refer to the vertical and the horizontal axes of the frame of reference that has been developed. however much the accentuation of one aspect of knowledge might be . This same way of analysing consciousness has been consistently kept up in all the writings of the Guru and constitutes his contribution to Advaitic or non-dual thought. constitutes (veritable) wisdom (itself)'.angles between these two aspects of the Self. the wind and the depth. in the rest of the work. The individual selves of each member of humanity. understood in the absolutist context of total consciousness. The intersection at right. 573 The present commentator has developed in his writings a frame of reference consistently applicable to many branches of contemplative wisdom. so far. God or Reality. cosmological or psychological. Thy Power and Thee Thyself respectively ' Here there is a tacit plan of reference in which the dimension called depth represents what is of value contemplatively. with two main axes of reference which are classified under the taxonomic nomenclature of two symbolic expressions which are the words 'same' and 'other'. the negative or the positive aspects of consciousness. as the problems present themselves. Merging into that form which makes for 'other-sameness' To clarity of vision one should awake. as significantly stated in verse 2: 574 'Know Me also as the Knower of the field in all fields. but the import might still remain elusive. Let us within us see Ourselves. Maya. The clarification of the implications of these broad categories is given in the later verses of this section of seven verses. All the clarification legitimately necessary is already given by him. which is that of God. theological. after indicating the two categories of the movement or the functioning of higher reasoning or wisdom. conceived as a unit. Confirmation will be found in other works. which devotes the whole of its thirteenth chapter for the purpose. which he names as 'anya-samya' (the other-sameness) aspect. the Guru indicates summarily that the goal of the contemplative is not to give primacy to the one or the other of these rival aspects. If the reader does not still understand the full import of what he says with such crystal-clear precision. it must be because the philosophical problems that the subject-matter presupposes have not had a chance. which is of no small importance. but in wisdom-literature generally. there is divergence instead of unity. while the depth of the ocean is there compared to the Absolute or God. It is not easy to analyse the events in consciousness and refer them to their normative axes of reference. which has to be clarified in various contexts. whether the vertical or the horizontal. In his Daiva Dasakam (ten verses devoted to the topic of God) we find that the Guru equates the depth-aspect of the ocean with the Absolute. The conflict implied between these two is a subtle one. and thus with the rival claims of each member. Translated the verse reads: 'Like the sea and the wave. for which the keen student of Self-knowledge has to keep vigilant watch before the whole living picture gets filled in with the clear content of the Absolute given to a clarified vision. BEGINNING with this verse and ending with verse 42 (inclusive) we have a very valuable analysis of the structure of consciousness. not only of the Guru. By giving primacy to one limb or the other. however.

some of which compensate and some that come into conflict. 577 HERE the Guru gives very precise definitions of the two fundamental aspects into which he has divided the totality of self-consciousness. epistemology and axiology of the science of the Absolute if it is to yield any degree of success at all. It has to reveal its truth rather than be described in analytical terms. The Upanishadic dictum which says that he who sees multiplicity or plurality 'wends his way from death to death' is the basic idea here. 575 VERSE 37 To subdue even somewhat the obduracy of the 'other' Is hard indeed without wisdom's limitless power. which touches the core of consciousness itself. The class of tendencies which refer to the sensuous side of life. are twin aspects of reality between which the philosopher chooses the path of unity as against that which is based on plurality.necessary or laudable in a particular instance. to which Self-realization. Philosophy should not merely satisfy the intellectually or academically valid aspiration of man's interest in truth. These subtle mathematical laws also hold good in the domain of the science of the Absolute. Here the Guru is not concerned with all the details of neurological or psychological phenomena. but must bring him nearer to happiness which is his goal in life.have all to be taken into account before one could gain final Self-realization. Within the two categories of tendencies themselves there are polarities reflecting ambivalence so that a certain degree of relativity on the one side is countered by a corresponding degree of its opposite. but it does not follow that such an attitude which accepts the pluralistic manifold of interests or motives gives any peace or happiness to man. and the other which tends to reveal the . he would be steeped into the world of conflicts and sufferings. The normal and normative picture of the Self has first to be conceived in its neutrality and harmonious symmetry before other value-accents could be added to the basic picture. ambivalent polarities and peculiar modes which are important for the aspirant for spiritual Self-realization to understand fully. Self-realization has to respect the innate methodology. the 'other' that is. The remainder of what is implied in this verse has to be understood by imaginative intuition and not by any metalinguistic analysis. some compromising the effect while others add up the cumulative effect according to inner laws of neurology or deeper psychology . into that state That yields sameness.called the 'other' in the text . Some pragmatic philosophers might be justified in insisting that plurality is as much real as the One of the idealists. as understood here. close access attain. THE structure of consciousness and how it operates are dependent upon certain reciprocities. The attractions and repulsions 576 of things do not affect this series of tendencies. and which eludes by its subtlety all analysis. VERSE 38 What appraises manifold variety. The 'same' or the vertical aspect has to gain an absolute status before it can prevail against the distracting forces of sense-interests. we have to gain. Just as pruning one branch would stimulate the growth of another. and unitive interest in life in the absolutist sense spells peace. Thus understanding the state aforesaid. is pure and unrelated to sense-objects.tends to be strengthened at the expense of the former. The movement in self-consciousness tending to reveal the underlying unity of realities may be said to be vertical. but only with those basic ones which give us the key to the inner workings of the modes of gaining knowledge or wisdom. melt and mix and erect sit. Multiple interests in the relativistic world of plurality spell troubles. The Guru himself elaborates and defines to the extent that such is possible or necessary in such a matter as this. and plurality. The 'other' itself tends to gain an absolute status with the help of the natural penchant ordinarily existing in life. Independence and interdependence of tendencies. also pertains. and electricity and magnetism are interdependent. by intuitive imagination. an idea of the structure and working modes of the process of cultivating wisdom. The two aspects of wisdom-functioning known as the 'same' and the 'other' have between them a subtle organic relationship. If the horizontal tendencies are accentuated the vertical ones suffer. A unitive vision of reality. By such do gain mastery over it and unto Her who is Wisdom The anti-sensuous One. And the 'same' is what unitively shines. with a law of inverse proportion implicit between them. and vice-versa. which we have tried to distinguish as the horizontal . Half-hearted efforts at affirming Self-realization can therefore only fail. The 'same' which we have renamed here as the 'vertical'. Torn between rival interests.

both generic and specific. attains to a great measure of clarity in the analysis of consciousness. lives. and this verse lays bare the structure and the frame of reference 580 within whose four walls consciousness. rather than by any innate characteristic in themselves. whether objective or subjective. 11).multiplicity. as understood in this verse. that go to make up the totality of consciousness in a static manner before arriving at a more complete psycho-physical dynamics of the same.which have been distinguished as one that spells peace-giving equality. He. The Guru really takes us into a domain hardly describable in the words of ordinary language. the second half of the verse gives precious practical indications pertaining to the actual 'practice' of yoga. After understanding the nature of the two rival conflicting tendencies. as has already been recommended in the present work earlier in verse 7.a second division: One of these is an attribute of the 'same'. 'Sameness' and 'strangeness' . the Dhyana Buddhas scattered over vast areas of South East Asia in the form of images. These two axes are to be recognized by what they lead to. implying harmony. A physical attitude of restful but alert contemplation. one is able to see the equality of everything with oneself. By analogy with one's inner being (atmaupamyena) as the Gita puts it (VI. the meaning becomes sufficiently simplified and transparent. The Shiva-yogi seal of Mohenjodaro. Natural attachment to specific attributes or actual things will be operative in consciousness in respect of values that are horizontal in import. as its counterpart spells otherness . balance or peace has been a pattern of behaviour in India that has persisted through its long history of contemplative thought. The attitude of 'sameness' implies the idea of equality besides that of unity. consists of sitting erect with one's inner tendencies turned to the appreciation of the unitive and unique value represented by the Absolute. so that we have to distinguish four in all. the horizontal.all stress this attitude of alert relaxation combined with inner adjustment of the spirit tuned to the Absolute. One has to be free from sleep as well as from wakefulness in such an attitude. while the other Qualifies the never-to-detachment-attaining harshness Of the 'other': thus making two kinds of these again. not to speak of the Hatha and the Patanjali yoga proper.are integrated together into a whole which makes up the global Self-consciousness. and the instructions of the Gita (VI. This has to be accomplished stage by stage. and even the Brahma-Sutras . Meanwhile we are here to gain an insight into the structure of the tendencies. to be discussed in the next verse. Here the generic and the specific aspects of the two main categories of tendencies within consciousness are merely named and marked out as already defined psycho-statically. and although the language is still elusive when treated intellectually. The reference to sitting erect is reminiscent of the idiom of yogic practices which permeates the whole of meditative literature on the soil of India. moves and has its being. How these four limbs two of them generic in status and two others specific . 32). THE more detailed analysis of the two primary tendencies in consciousness referred to in the previous verse is undertaken here. 579 VERSE 39 Following up further the said powers . when one tallies it from the pole of proto-linguistic thinking with the help of the two axes that we have suggested here and elsewhere. Unity is attained by a verticalized view and the horizontalized version of reality leads to conflicts with oneself and in one's relations with the external world. The whole of yoga. the distinction is based on the end they serve in the contemplative life of man. The static view of psycho-physical truths is that of intellectualised versions of reality which one has to translate into dynamic terms and relate organically with one's own inner experience. The two primary divisions have thus each a second division. The complete picture of the psycho-physical dynamism of Self-consciousness is contained in the three verses to follow. All that a man actually does in the form of action is the orientation of the spirit or the inner tendencies towards 578 the unitive instead of the world of pluralistic rival values. . is a matter that will become clearer only with the next verse.are further specifically characterized. In themselves they are just tendencies or movements in contemplative consciousness. As a tree is to be known by its fruit. however.

How all thought. The 'myriad magic of Great Indra' is the world of pluralistic and disjunct rival values related to sense-realities 584 . As two branches of the same tree could grow. which could apply to any object. A complete cosmology and psychology have to be fitted into the scheme in which the dynamism functions in actual experience. has already been stated. and even when we speak of cause and effect as related. and thus the processes go on alternating between the two trends with their four possible modalities. although far from being perfected yet. we have a pure psycho-physical. All language must convey thought and correspond to it in one way or another. as thought does. but also as between the specific characteristics of each of the two taken separately. The specific of each interest or value gets adjoined. there is a subtle or organic reciprocity to be understood. merged or appended to the basic or generic aspect of the same. the Guru here relies on a semantic. Gaining the totality of experience is what constitutes spiritual progress. this to be the nucleus. in its psycho-physical content at any given time. should necessarily be complicated. THE syntactical analysis of a simple prepositional statement. but it is still capable of being referred to by its latitude and longitude. comes very near to this ancient way. whether Kant or Aristotle. The rule of harmony and the golden mean hold good here. pictured in a simple manner as in a map with longitudes and latitudes which are merely aids to understanding. though not proportionate By spin-emergence as between these two in all. on abstraction and generalization. conforms to two main types of atomic propositions. referring to objective realities that are horizontal in content. 581 VERSE 40 On to the 'same' as on to the 'other' there constantly alight Their respective specific powers. Here we have a way of analysis which relies on a methodology of its own and on an epistemology on which the Vedanta itself is a superstructure. as in morality and art. The two axes of reference for the tendencies that operate within consciousness. one at the expense of the other. Existential aspects may overpower essential or ideological ones. There is thus a phenomenological circulation of thought or feeling that goes on always and constitutes the content of self-consciousness. which might prevail at another. atomic event which we have to recognize as the subtle-to-gross horizontal movement. communicated or merely communicable. For the mind with its myriad magic of Great Indra to come to be. Moving semiotically. neutral. Modern and ancient philosophers. INTUITIVE imagination is called for in visualizing the subtle psycho-physical dynamics implied here. positive or negative poles which could be accentuated at the expense of its rival set. The outline of a country in actuality could be as irregular as it likes.It is true that tendencies in consciousness are not capable of simplified treatment because of the complexity of psychic or mental phenomena. analysis of a simple atomic proposition as representing a type of mental event which could be said to reveal the inner structure of one of the two primary movements or categories of the thinking process implicit in language. As actuality limits freedom by its space-time finiteness and its specificity of character. may be said to be the ambivalent poles within whose limits thought may be said to have one of its primary alternating oscillations or movements. Thought-communicability through language proves this. In reality analytical and synthetical methods go hand in hand here. Actuality and virtuality. Modern quantum mechanics supports the idea of both right-handed and left-handed spin and is highly suggestive of the structural dynamism of the Absolute as seen by the Guru here. is here further examined and further analytically scrutinized. This does not however mean that what we can know of them under their main categories. and not the asymmetrical development of one set of tendencies over the others. it is the harsh obdurate 'other' of the previous classification. to the actual and specific aspect of the same thought represented by 'pot'. Action gets accentuated at a given moment as against pure thought. Interests and their corresponding objects fuse loosely or closely. each with its own generic and specific. All predications whatsoever come to be. 583 Modern semantics. VERSE 41 In 'this is a pot' the initial 'this' is the harsh While 'pot' is what makes its specific attribute. not only as between the two basic tendencies. What is referred to as 'harsh' is the 'other' of the previous verse. We have translated bhrama-kala as 'spin-emergence' as the nearest to what the two Sanskrit words suggest. After distinguishing the two main tendencies within the movement of thought or within the totality of the stream of consciousness. Wisdom is thus part of ethics and aesthetics and could be cultivated side-by-side with love of beauty or of virtue. from the virtual and generic syntactical element represented by 'this'. Sensuous pleasures may dominate the factors where wisdom counts. we are making an abstraction and generalization on which all reasoning rests. The accentuation of one set of tendencies over the other takes place as man gets interested in one kind or category of subject or another. Understand. Philosophy itself relies. culminating in the well-recognized methodology and epistemology of the Advaita Vedanta. The movement is quantitative here and has to be understood in contrast with qualitative intensity within pure tendencies in the second category examined in the next verse. have a mode of operation on which the Guru here tries to throw more clear light. intensely or feebly at 582 different moments in what we call our life. have relied largely on such categories. here adopted by the Guru to reveal the structure and composition of thought. follows the lines of ancient thinkers of the time of the Mimamsakas in the history of Indian thought. The first type. as does mathematics. whether in physics or in metaphysics. with its logical syntax and its recognition of the semiotic structure of sentences. There is both interdependence and independence as between the two main sets of tendencies. or rather syntactic. The details have to be fitted by the person who cultivates contemplative self-consciousness into the skeleton scheme outlined here. as also specificity and generic abstraction.

this would refer to the phenomenal. The epistemology of the Vedanta strictly distinguishes between the Self and the non-Self sides. The specific attribute of pure reason is stated to be cognitive consciousness (bodha) in this verse. which are corresponding spiritual values in Western theological speculations. VERSE 43 By Nature's action caught. The Guru here directs our attention to four different aspects of action under the Sanskrit terms: prakriti (nature's action) tending to create what is specific and particular from the general matrix of virtual realities. there is much subtle polemics. the conceptual and the perceptual 585 aspects of the event called awareness within consciousness. 586 Sankara's position is unequivocal in the primacy it confers on knowing rather than on work. but only the pure unitary or unitive light of the Absolute that is fully itself. once started. When knowledge becomes finalised beyond terms of becoming into terms of pure being there is neither plus nor minus to be distinguished. keep turning round! Mis-action to counteract. Practical immanent reason would find within the amplitude of this movement its natural habitat. finally get absorbed into the unitive status of the Absolute. from the lowest to the highest. The path to contemplative progress is just indicated and not defined or described fully yet. 'Jnana' is applied to the subjective or conceptual and 'jneya' to the objective or non-Self aspect. or its virtual aspect . action of the good man who wishes to escape its binding or compelling obligatory pressure in the matter of rising above necessity to freedom. and the positive act of cognition is different from mere passive awareness. These are potent tendencies whose force is operative overtly or innately. sukriti. Here too there is a positive or a negative. but for purposes of methodology and for epistemological analysis. In Kantian terminology. which is negative and belongs to the vertical aspect. VERSE 42 In 'this is knowledge' the initial 'this' is 'same' While its attribute is cognitive consciousness. Men of good action too. This ultimate standpoint is the goal of the aspirant for Self-knowledge and is referred to in the second half of the present verse. Between the followers of Jaimini of the Purva Mimamsa School and those of Badarayana who accept the Vedantic point of view.of the actual. we have to distinguish them here. THE other universal atomic or elementary proposition in terms of pure reason or knowledge is subjected to scrutiny here. perverted mis-action which arises out of our natural attractions and repulsions in relation to sensual or mundane interests. in his introduction to his famous commentary on the Bhagavad Gita he exposes the nature of the conflict and subtle paradox involved. For the mind and all else to vanish And the good path to gain. this should one contemplate. however. wisdom one should attain. alas. a specific or a generic aspect. vikriti. as between the rival claims of 'piety' and 'works'. Even after giving due consideration to all his arguments one is left with a vague feeling that a thumb-rule in this matter is not possible. and akriti which is non-action. These dualistic distinctions. we have here an aspect of reality represented by 'this'. and within the scope of this series marking the path of spiritual progress in contemplative life we have to seek to become affiliated and promoted stage by stage to the full freedom of truth. and turned. The negative nothingness understood in its pure or dialectical aspect is the ground of all absolutist realities of every grade of value. non-action avails not. vikritis are thus potentially operative tendencies in the psycho-physical dynamism of human life . Like the square root of minus one understood graphically in terms of the correlates of Descartes. keeps moving even after active power applied has been withdrawn. As with the Mimamsakas. In a masterly tirade against the plea for combining jnana and karma of those who give equal place to both. consciousness is a form of activity here. while the movement itself here may be said to be the qualitative rather than the quantitative aspect of reality. A fly-wheel of a machine.both understood 'objectively' with ramified sets of secondary or tertiary derivatives. Gain-motive bereft. THIS is a highly concentrated aphoristic verse meant to give a final reply to the never-ending discussion in Vedantic literature of the relative merits of 'jnana' (wisdom) and 'karma' (action).

atomic or simplified proposition. and there is no religion in the world which aims at suffering rather than happiness. around which much disturbance of life takes place. giving rise to endless theological. To the eye of a person able to see the essential as distinct from the merely superficial aspect of religions. one arrives at a unitive view of these rival value-factors. as analysed in the first of the two previous verses. is involved here. 587 of the previous verse. The total truth. THE blind men of the fable who examined an elephant could not come to any agreement about it because none of them could have a clear enough or total enough direct view of the animal. have all to meet centrally and neutrally in the consciousness that is established in the Absolute. referring to four kinds of tendencies in the Self. advancing various arguments Like the blind men and the elephant. 'this is knowledge'. Direct global insight into the nature of the absolute or total truth that is the basic subject-matter of all religious faiths or patterns of behaviour tends thus to be overlaid or examined piecemeal and partially. The . they tend to stress one aspect of spiritual life or to give primacy to one doctrine or commandment over others.which cannot be denied but have to be countered or cancelled-out consciously before freedom could be established. which is independent of particular circumstances. The excesses committed by fanatics in the history of the world are such that they have drenched the soil with human blood many times. and they have to be replaced by higher interests of a pure intellectual order before one could arrive at the full term of contemplative life. however varied and different superficially. There are many religious groups in the world which have arisen to correct or wrong opinions or practices which might have prevailed in disjunct regions and at distinct times. only tends thus to remain outside the scope of any particular formulation or codification of religious life. sukriti. An organic or living approach instead of a merely mechanistic attitude is called for. to which the Guru Narayana referred in his well-known motto of 'One race. and calmly settle down. A process of sublimation of gross tendencies of action in terms of subtler and subtler tendencies of purer and purer wisdom-content. and which should not be limited even to correct particular items. The problem has to be faced with subtle insight into one's own self as belonging to the larger context of the Absolute. Group contagion of horizontalized attitudes is to be guarded against. This is stated in verse 49 that follows. The Guru is concerned in this verse to see that better sense or wisdom should prevail. But stop wandering. Petty interest in utilities or pragmatic interests have to be transcended. is to be 589 visualized on the basis of the common end of happiness that all religions. Ends and means have to be conceived unitively before the process of sublimation is finally accomplished. As in the famous verse in the Bhagavad Gita (IV. The transition from the world of horizontal interests in things of the order of 'this is a pot'. there is a common basic substratum of which the divergent expressions are only secondary and unimportant marginal aspects. While non-action is not held up as the ideal.18) equating action and inaction. There is a tendency in the group-psychology of human beings to get influenced by mob sentiments that might come to the surface of collective life at any given moment. have as the central value implied in their teaching. work is not presented as the goal either. for which disinterest or a dispassionate attitude is here recommended. Cults. VERSE 44 Not seeing that the various religions in the world Are essentially the same. codified and hidebound forms of faith or doctrine tend thus to attach more importance to the dead letter rather than to the living word. The one religion of mankind. doctrinal or other differences. has to give place to the purer interest conforming to the pattern of thoughtmovement implied in the nuclear. 588 Formulated and codified with direct reference to the actual situation and the error they were meant to correct. Moreover. one religion and one ideal or God for all mankind'. and then alone a solution is arrived at which abolishes the duality in the neutrality of the Absolutist viewpoint. the original founder of a religion might have had a clarity of vision of the global truth which those who follow him without the same degree of original insight cannot have in the natural course of happenings in life. The total or global truth tends to be even more than the sum-total of individual points of view. vikriti and akriti. and generalized too readily on their data which were partial and lacking in clarity. They all seek happiness. creeds. roam not like fools. to be grasped through intuitive imagination. All religions in essence answer to one central human need for spiritual consolation. Prakriti. The trees can hide the forest. The contemplative view here recommended is to make the man who tends to be moved by group emotions in such matters compose himself and calmly go about his normal business without adding fuel to the fire of fanatic agitations.

instead of tending to add to the intensity of dilemmas or paradoxical conflicts in life. although those who are gifted with mystic. dynamic and unitive. The whole of this discussion naturally stems out of the common ground of philosophy and religion which is the Self. which 590 are natural. lacks. in another's measure. because in his vision of the future of the lot of humanity the solution for conflicts between religions and allied ideologies that are closed and static can come only when the open. The horizontal. contemplative or dialectical vision have always stood for it in one form or another. Religion has its subtle raison d'être which is not overtly evident to the view or even subject to the attack of wordy polemics. Art and literature based on this very secret have flourished in various parts of the world. while the same problem approached vertically or unitively finds a solution to conflicts and spells reconciliation. In India. Overt fighting only strengthens all the more the root aspects of a religious growth by a strange law of opposites. RIVALRIES and feuds between followers of different faiths. many old religions would have been exterminated by this time. then we could expect a universally tolerant attitude to develop in the mind even of the common man. which is unitive and non-dual in character. big or small in number. With a slight touch of sadness the Guru here deplores the lack of this kind of unitive wisdom of which he is the 591 teacher and the Guru. solves them by a contemplative way known to the ancient wisdom context. His own doom shall he in vain fight for. religions or creeds. as there is something corresponding to the struggle for existence in the Darwinian sense. When the benefit is spent out and a religion has no succour or consolation to offer to its adherents. Know. Just as the partial pruning of a tree only helps the tree to grow all the more strong. These are like the roots or the invisible stem of a great tree. when stressed. it might shrink or even die a natural death. What is here referred to as the unitive approach is known to the absolutist as dialectical wisdom which. In the terminology that we have already started to use in this commentary. the opponent of another faith Not remembering this and persisting in his fight. beware! THE roots of any religious growth are not in its outer expressions. this has been known as the Advaita approach. there is a vertical and a horizontal approach to problems. which will tend to minimise or at least mitigate the rivalries and rub their edges off. which tends to divide man from man on the basis of ideologies . strangely enough. confusion in the world shall prevail so long As the unitive secret herein remains unknown. giving rise to the flowerings of special cultures that belong to various geographical or historical contexts. divides and differentiates. VERSE 45 One faith in another's view is low. There are deep-seated value-factors that make any religion flourish in any country. If this were so. a mere mechanistic overt attack fails when directed against established religious growths. and the doctrine Cardinal as taught in one. If this could be taught scientifically. The Guru expressly refers to this way of wisdom as a 'secret' as. epistemology and a scale of values that properly belong to it. This secret has one day to be raised to the status of a science and taught in public schools with a definite methodology. Religions have two sides which might be distinguished . VERSE 46 To vanquish (a religion) by fighting is not possible. All religions satisfy the needs or console the spiritual hankerings of those who seek refuge under them. to this day it has remained without full recognition in the public eye. There will be no lack of sentiment or argument to support separatist tendencies. contemplative or universal way becomes evident to the minds of the generality of men.which are in effect more real than the geographical or actual barriers that divide one man's domain from that of another. no religion Can be abolished by mutual attack.reference to settling down calmly is to the appreciation of contemplative values in life. can never come to an end when approached in the usual way of relativistic or mechanistic reasoning.

broadly as the hierophantic and the hypostatic. These have 592 been alluded to in the Bhagavad Gita through the metaphor of the great banyan tree with roots up and branches down. The branches, while tending downwards, have two opposing ambivalent directions in which they are described as spreading (XV.2). Whatever may be the way that we adopt to distinguish the two aspects, these positive and negative aspects are found in all religious expressions or growths. The positive note in the attack of an outsider is meant to discredit the same pole in the other religious growth. The two positives tend to cancel each other out, just as the like poles of a magnet tend to repel rather than attract. To make magnetism grow stronger one has to match the positive and negative sides in a manner so that they do not repel, but help the normal circulation of magnetic forces. Some similar subtle law may be said to be implied when a religion claims superiority over another religion in certain matters, forgetting that in the items on the other pole of the same religion there are compensatory factors for the apparent drawbacks that one might point out on the overt side. The evils of idolatry could thus be balanced by greater toleration in respect of overt doctrines of faith. While each religion can have its proper raison d'être, the raison d'être of another religion has only absurdity with reference to the first. A mango tree or a coconut palm are good by their own inner standards, and by the fruit that men like. One cannot legitimately condemn one tree by extraneous standards that have no relevance to it. If one should ask which is the better game, cricket or football, we are obliged to say that each has to be judged from its own inner standards. They are both good, each in its particular way. The man who actively engages himself in attacking other peoples' religions finds that, to the extent that he stresses extraneous matters in such an attack, he is hurting the cause of his own religion. If, for example, he should say that his religion is more empirical than the other which tends to be idealistic, he will be by that very token discrediting the idealistic elements which must necessarily be present 593 in his own, though in a different form. In any case, the attacker, by a strange law, tends to get discredited. That no amount of religious teaching finally succeeds in eliminating rival elements is proved by the historical fact that even to this day in the in the very core or heart of Christendom, say in Belgium, there are still people who say they are not Christians, and use the Church only for the indispensable utilitarian needs of daily life, and pride themselves in being pagan, or at least ranged against the Church, under such labels as 'Socialist' or 'Rationalist'. Even to-day Jews, Christians and Arabs thrive side-by-side. The Egyptian Coptic religion persists in spite of the rise of Islam. There are said to be Buddhists to this day in Swedish Lapland. Idolatry persists in India in spite of the Christian missionaries and Muslims who have tried in vain to eliminate it. The outward pattern might change but the essential content remains unchanged. One who pins his faith on the externals comes up against people who do the same in the name of some other camp. The two factors cancel each other out. The original pattern objected to continues to persist in its essential aspects. Sometimes it so happens that those who oppose a religion vehemently from outer standards get converted inwardly to the stranger religion that they unjustly revile. Sudden conversions take place in this manner. In any case it is certain that overt attack is not the successful or correct method. The subtle dialectical interdependence and independence of religious growths is a matter that should be respected if the vain self-destruction of humans is to be avoided. A complex phenomenon of double loss and double gain is involved here, and since no one religious formation can claim the sole prerogative of being totally right for all time, the attack must recoil on the attacker himself. The difference of collective opinion and individual opposition is also a factor that goes against the attacker of another's religion. Protestants have not killed off Catholicism to the 594 present day and are unlikely to succeed in the future. Changes may, however, come about by inner deficiency in either or in both. Christianity still survives in spite of the persecution of the early Christians by the Roman emperors. Some advertised products sell better when rivals decry

them. Religions have an inner two-sided personality which make many of the living ones invulnerable. Unilateral attack only makes them stronger, to the dismay of the attacker who often only spells his own utter failure. VERSE 47 All men do even plead for a single faith to prevail Which no disputant owns to himself withal; Those wise ones free from other-faith-dispute Alone can know here wholly, the secret here implied, IN the three verses that follow we have a section which happens to occupy the core or almost the central place in the whole composition, and which pertains to an all-important topic. When we remember the number of times in human history that the earth has been drenched with human blood caused by feuds, whether arising out of fanaticism, patriotism, or through love of ideologies or idolatrous infatuations by which men are willing to give up or to take others' lives, the importance of the teaching contained in this central section will become evident to anyone. There is thus a subtle element of tragedy, as between the values that enter into interplay in human affairs. Favourite objects or even ideological preferences become linked up with the Self in the form of bipolar attachments. 595 The Self or the non-Self might prevail or loom large in consciousness at a given moment in such two-sided affinities, tending to give one or the other an absolute or relative status. In terms of inner life in this kind of coupling of inner with outer (or negative with positive) value-factors, we have implicit the basis of self-realization itself. Verses 47, 48 and 49 have to be carefully scrutinized with these theoretical considerations in mind if the full lesson from this section is to be derived. The subtle secret here is the paradoxical position delicately stated in the first two lines. The situation is comparable to a man in a meeting with many others who shouts for silence without remembering that his own shouting adds to the noise rather than taking away from the evil meant to be eliminated. The very zeal of the faithful who might want unity in world faith could, by a strange travesty of circumstance, be the major hindrance to its attainment. When the Christians took up arms against the Saracens, both were right and both were wrong, which is the same as saying that neither were right nor wholly wrong without any justification. To get round this double-edged situation a new yet time-honoured kind of unitive approach in reasoning is required, which is the secret of the wise man here referred to. In respect of the desire to see fellowship or unity of faiths, both the parties involved in this delicately-balanced dialectical situation may be said to be sailing in the same boat. The tragedy of the situation has to be located in the fact that, while a zealous follower of a certain faith is highly conscious of the importance of his own mission, his tendency to find fault with the honest faith of another acts itself, at the same time, as a subtle veil. The full recognition of the fact that the other man is just like himself in his own zeal for the particular religion that he prefers to call his own is absent. There is easy vertical adoption and difficult horizontal recognition of the values involved in 'rival' faiths which could be reconciled only when looked at unitively. 596 What is more, there is a disproportionate degree of absolutism that might mentally be attributed to one of the values involved as between what refers to the Self and the non-Self. Egotism might colour one's judgement and put an accent on the one or the other of the personal or impersonal values involved in this doubly complicated mix-up. There is inter-physical or trans-personal complexity of possible relational attitudes. Orthodoxy and heterodoxy can mix into highly explosive or poisonous compounds. To visualize all such dangers in clear terms requires a subtle dialectical insight which it is the prerogative only of rare human beings to possess. This is the reason why the Guru in the second half of the above verse refers to the wise man, so rare on earth, who can see through the intricate tangle that such a socio-religious problem can present. In fact this one point of non-recognition by a wise man of the difference between the mechanistic view in this matter and the dialectical view of the same, explains the reason for all the disasters and failures in the attempts that well-intentioned persons have made to avoid religious conflicts in the course of what constitutes the history of humanity till now. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Guru takes care in the above verse to underline that no piecemeal approach to this secret will do. The solution does not depend on place, culture or time. It is one secret known that will solve paradox and reconcile conflict anywhere and at any time. 597

VERSE 48 The dweller within the body from its existential body view In respect of all things treats 'that' or 'this' as 'mine' Transcending physical limitations; when we consider this We should concede that any man immediate realisation has. IT is usual to speak of immediate realisation as a rare thing among men. Here the Guru asserts the converse of this verity when viewed from the context proper to contemplative thought. All men have self-realisation already implicit in their relational life. When a man says that a certain thing belongs to him he is in reality establishing a relation between two entities, one of which is physical and the other that has only a psychic status. His body, which is physical, cannot establish any direct (logical) relationship with another discrete body because of the property of matter known in the textbooks of physics as impenetrability. A chair is not able to consider another chair as its own. We have therefore to postulate a subtler substratum of the physical body so that the bipolar interest-relation involved between the Self and the non-Self units of the situation may become understandable. The only reasonable postulate that can admit the possibility of this inter-physical and trans-subjective or transphysical or inter-subjective basis of interest or participation as between inert and living entities can be that the medium in which the interest thrives or can function is a neutral psycho-physical stuff. This neutral psycho-physical stuff can be neither totally material nor totally mental in status. It has, in fact, to 598 participate transparently, as it were, with the very stuff of the reality of the Absolute itself on homogeneous ground. It is in this sense that we have to understand the Guru to assert that when we come to analyse the situation we lay here the very basis of all interest-relationships. This basis implies in principle Self-realisation, which from the standpoint of the common man is often thought to be a very rare or precious possibility in human life. We associate Self-realisation only with people like Socrates. The Guru here asserts it to be every man's prerogative. The 'existential body' that is referred to above calls for some explanation. Since inter-physical interest of body with body is easily seen to be impossible and, as we know, on the other hand, that in common experience the relation referred to does exist as a reality, we have to say that the relation is between the existential aspects common to the physical and the mental. This neutral ground has to have a homogeneous or transparent basis at the level of existence so as to be real at all. The other possibilities are for both the factors to be considered essential or at least subsistential. Public reality has to insert itself in the existential and not in the subsistential or the essential, which tend both to be lost in the domain of idealism rather than realism. The ontological 'sat' in Sanskrit which has been used by the Guru in the original verse, further refers to existence rather than to subsistence or essence. The delicate distinction that we are trying to make explicit here can only be adequately treated in a fuller chapter, as we have elsewhere attempted. (17) Man's life is regulated and understood with reference to his natural or normal life interests. If we should take an overall view of the interests of man in human life, we shall find that one general factor dominates their whole range, whether we take daily interests or the higher interests, here or hereafter. The everyday interests may be said to begin with satisfactions such as hunger. When thirst is quenched man 599 is satisfied and may be said to be happy. When moral, aesthetic or religious consolations or satisfactions are included within the scope of our scrutiny, in a similar way, we find that even they, as they range from the more common to the most rare and specialized interests of man, present the same underlying law, which is that man seeks happiness at all times and in all ways. After exposing the basic structure of bipolar interests in the previous verse, the Guru next goes on to a bolder generalization on the same lines, arriving here, at the centre of the work, at a very important statement about the fundamental unity of all faiths, applicable to humanity as a whole. (17). cf. VALUES, Vol. IV. 8, 9, 10. May, June, July. 1959. See also later work.

VERSE 49 Every man at every time makes effort in every way Aiming at his Self-happiness; therefore in this world Know faith as one; understanding thus, Shunning evil, the inner Self into calmness merge. IF we should look at men anywhere in the world as they pass their lives in their normal activities, and observe them for any length of time, examining their actions in relation to their life-motives, we shall be able to make an over-all

WITH this fiftieth verse. in other words. The body-mind duality has to be transcended before one can visualize this common ground of all truth or reality. The one faith or religion that is the dear dream of every religionist to see established in this world can thus become easy of realization when approached in the way of the wise. Introspection. as perhaps distinct from mere pleasure. but more pointedly than that.are implied in the verses as they now pass on to the latter half of the work. If this verity should become properly understood by followers of different religions. Thus much bloodshed in the name of religious rivalry could be avoided. present or possible in the future. becomes affirmed deeper in the second half as deeper recesses of the self are brought up into view and scrutinized more carefully. No one will be seen to be doing anything with pain or unhappiness as the object in view. Happiness. . refers to a supreme human value in whose light all other motives are only secondary considerations or particular instances. in any part of the world. as the basic motive force of all human striving hereunder for all time and anywhere. Such a view must imply also its most important corollary that would exclude any possibility of saying that one religion differs fundamentally from another. as the subject-matter of the whole composition would warrant.generalization which may be said to be the master-motive regulating human conduct in the most general terms. where again the reader would profit by noting the inward approach to the subject-matter. however. with an element of paradox implied when both are taken together and fitted properly into the context of the larger and more inclusive background of the notion of the Absolute. All humanity in this sense can be said to seek the supreme felicity implied in Happiness with a capital 'H'. 601 VERSE 50 With earth and water. as one is in reality a counterpart of the other when looked upon from the standpoint of dialectical thinking. in a scientific or public sense. the ego. and one is to be understood in terms of the other. when read together with the immediately previous one. which marks the centre of the hundred verses of the composition. All worlds including the waves and ocean too Do they all arise and to awareness change. Absolute Being has to be understood in terms of becoming. The change-over could be described philosophically as passing from the ontological to the ideological. Cosmology and psychology enter into the structure of the verses in their own manner. A contemplatively neutral psycho-physical method and theory of knowledge. past. 600 If this generalization is correct we arrive at the notion of the happiness of oneself. have been treated of by the Guru in a certain methodological and epistemological order. Also the great void. The Self and the Cosmos have the same laws belonging to the neutral ground of psycho-physics. Even in austerities that may appear in the form of self-inflicted suffering. Verse 49 ended on the note that one should settle down in inner peace of mind. The one religion of mankind would thus follow as night the day or as a natural corollary to the common human goal of happiness as the highest of unitive human values. The Guru not only presents here the happy prospect of one religion for all mankind. Dialectics is what reconciles apparent paradoxes. and dialectical methodology. In both the halves of the work we notice that the topics discussed are around factors of subjective import. the regulating motive-principle will be happiness. asks each man to adopt this attitude so that he could find peace of mind for himself and attain the goal of happiness. Those aspects of Self-realization that are most conducive to this peace. besides an axiology or science of values . we would be able to arrive at one single value common to all faiths or religions whatsoever. as understood in this contemplative context. we have to note that there is a change-over from one aspect of Self-instruction to another. Happiness as the aim of man gives unity to human purpose and brings all religions.all viewed in an absolutist sense . cognition and mind. faiths or creeds under its single sway. at least in the future. air and fire likewise. 602 Some modern philosophers know that Reality is an everchanging flux and that 'being' and 'becoming' are interchangeable terms.

which belongs to the scientific approach to the Absolute by natural right, has to be recognized properly if such verses as the above are to be understood in their full import, and not merely as mystical or poetical effusions. This verse sums up the position and restarts the discussion of self-instruction or realization which would require many pages to comment upon. It thus only prepares the way for the second half of the work. As the rest of the composition itself would serve in many ways as such a comment, we are not here going into the implications of all that is stated here. It would be helpful to refer back to verse 2, at the beginning, to be able to see the perspective in which the meaning of the present verse is to be understood. There it was stated that there are several worlds, beginning from our own inner instruments of knowledge or doors of perception, known as karanas in Vedantic language. The treatment of mind as on a par with other factors such as the worlds that can be serially conceived as leading up to the highest contemplative values - spoken of as the sun beyond space and equated to it - is to be justified in the light of the method followed in the work as a whole. The great circulation of thought here implied in the absolutist contemplative context, starts with the earth, 603 which is the grossest of the manifested elementals. Passing in graded fashion through the higher and subtler elements such as water, air and fire, we come to the sky, which is both subtle and gross at the same time. There is space that contains matter such as ether; and pure space which is of an a priori and metaphysical order. Aristotle makes this distinction clear when he defines space as, 'That without which bodies could not exist.' ('Physics' Book IV). If space were a body then we should have to concede that two bodies existed in the same space. The passing on in the series here from the elementals which are primarily physical, to those that are understood to be of a primarily mental order, involves a unitive epistemology on the basis of which we have already made our comments in the previous half of the composition. The void, which can represent both the aspects of space that we have tried to distinguish above at the same time, is the unitive factor which leads us to the rest of the series in order, such as the ego which cognises through mind etc. In the Bhagavad Gita we have the enumeration of a similarly conceived series of categories, which reads: 'The earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind and reason too. with ego-sense - such are the eight items of the series of the nature that is of Me (the Absolute).' (VII.4) The Viveka Chudamani of Sankara also follows similar lines when it enumerates the eight cities that constitute the subtle (sukshma) body: 'They are: the groups of five, beginning with speech (1); the five beginning with hearing (the organs of perception) (2); the five functional factors (3); the elementals (such as sky) (4); and the mental factors, such as cognition (5), nescience (6); action (7) and desire (8).' (verse 98.) Vedantic epistemology is thus familiar with this unitive treatment of categories. Other philosophers like Aristotle, 604 Kant and Spinoza have, in the categories they enumerate, this same time-honoured methodology and epistemology. The Guru here follows the same perennial contemplative approach, which is in keeping with the Science of the Absolute known both in India and outside. Contemplative method first reduces these factors into a series that, even when the order is reversed, still refers to the norm of the Absolute. Ascending and descending dialectics meet in the neutral Absolute. This verse marks the beginning of ascending dialectics. After visualizing these factors contemplatively, it would be necessary to fit them into a 'being' in terms of a never-ending process of 'becoming'. 'Being' and 'becoming' have to yield together a unitive and living picture of the Absolute. The same circulation of various psychophysical entities finds mention in the Bhagavad Gita (III.14-16) where there is reference to a wheel that goes round eternally as between items such as food, rain, sacrifice and the absolute value implied in sacrifice. The rising of the various worlds, understood in serial and graded order, and finally their transformation into terms of one absolute value as pure consciousness, is a matter already recognized, and one for contemplative vision to grasp both schematically, symbolically as well as dynamically.

The further reference here to the 'waves and the ocean', as if they fall outside the elementals, is to show that there is also a relational or formal world which has to be given its place in the scheme of the Absolute which is both being and becoming at once. The Nyaya-Vaiseshika philosophers included 'sambandha' (relationship) as an independent category, and the Guru here approves of this way of examining all the possible categories that legitimately apply to the Absolute. The waves are dialectically related to the ocean, and the relationship implied is one that belongs to the world of categories which have all to be comprehensively understood schematically before any full vision of 605 the Absolute can result. When endowed with this type of reasoning through relationships, the intelligence of man will be able to see that all factors, ranging from the grossest to the subtlest, arrange themselves and constitute the cycle of change and becoming in terms of pure consciousness. A great deal of research and thought has, however, to proceed before such a vision of the rise of thought through ramified sets of psycho-physical factors into absolutist awareness can be witnessed as taking place in oneself. VERSE 51 From awareness the 'I' sense first emerged; Comes then with it 'This'-ness, as counterpart beside, These like creepers twain do cover entirely, The whole of the Maya tree to hide. MAYA is the name in Vedanta for the principle of error or appearance understood in its widest meaning. In order to appraise truth one has to eliminate all possibility of error that might hide it from view. Truth and error are dialectical counterparts and Truth is not to be spoken of as something given, like an object or a lump of some reality that is taken in one-sided objectivity. Just as zero and one have to be distinguished, and the one and the many have also to be distinguished, before we can get to a proper notion of unity, the notion of the Self, as understood in its pure absolute reality, has to be submitted to the process of elimination of error, in all its epistemological grades, varieties and possibilities. Error is like a creeper hiding a tree with its root and stem as also its branches spreading on either side. (Refer back to the same ideogram employed in verse 9.) 608 VERSE 52 Filled with word-content, that day the firmament shall And in it shall become extinct all the visionary magic: Then too, that small voice completing tri-basic knowing Shall cease and Self-radiance prevail. THE starting point for the treatment of the subject-matter of the second half of the composition, as we have pointed out, has to depend on inner experience hardly capable of being put into words. In spite of this innate difficulty of the subject-matter, however, the Guru here writes a verse surcharged with inner experience so that the more critical and methodological discussion might follow. Whether this forceful verse reveals the actual state of mind or consciousness of the Guru or not, it is more important for the disciple to examine its implications carefully so that he himself can have the benefit of what the Guru tries to say by way of instruction about the Self. 'Sabda' and 'dhvani' both refer to sound, but it is not merely sound as studied in physics that is meant here. 'Dhvani', which is the word used by the Guru here, is to be taken together with its meaningful import as the word and its meaning taken together. Whether spoken or understood, the word has a contemplative content which Vedantic literature refers to as the source of all visible realities. We have therefore rendered 'dhvani-Maya' as 'filled with word-content'. How could such a 'dhvani' or sound blaze into radiance, so as to fill the sky? This is another suggestive subject in the above verse which has to be justified. If magnetism can 609 be equated and understood in terms of electricity, it will not be altogether out of place to speak of intense meaningful sounds setting fire, as it were, to the total field of inner consciousness, more especially to the higher or more positive aspects of the same. With an apocalyptic touch the Guru here predicts such a glorious day for everyone in the path of Self-realization. The colourful world of vain attractions and repulsions in which we pass our everyday lives is here brought under the grade of a visionary magic. Though tantalising and elusive, they are not substantial, and when the higher levels of perception or vision are established within consciousness by intense thought or contemplation, the lower region which is the source of lazy visions of ramified value-sets tend to get weakened and the visions abolished altogether, absorbed into white light full of meaningful import. Just as the vision of individual trees can get effaced when the forest becomes globally discernible, or thread disappears when we focus attention on its woven effect of cloth, so the entities that depend on lower passive states of mind disappear if inner attention is increased. It is thus that the outer show of colourful magical display is said to be absorbed or extinguished in the higher though more interior vision. The vision gives place to meaningful sound, culminating in the conceptual light of the Absolute Name. radiant blaze,

The horizontal view of reality that we take in our noncontemplative or passively lazy moments of life, when our attention is not properly focussed on the central reality, has its tri-basic division which is known to Vedanta as the 'triputi' already explained. This makes the three operations within consciousness in respect of any proposition have three distinct or disjunct divisions which give the subject, the object or the meaning primacy at a given time. It is a syntax or a subtle linguistic element that thus divides a single meaningful content of thought into three apparent parts or aspects. Full contemplation can result only when this tri-basic prejudice, which 610 belongs to sound in the sense we have explained, is not operative within consciousness. The still voice here under reference, which is the last link between outer and inner language, shall stop when the full vision of the Absolute is about to be established. This dual state is here compared to the 'All-Filling-Light' of Self-realization. VERSE 53 That primordial potency that herein resides Is the seed that gives birth to all here we see; Merging the mind in that, never forgetting, Maya-mind to end, ever do contemplation pursue. HAVING in the previous verses brought all reality to the concept of an all-pervading self-luminous entity, into the vastness of whose glory all sense of individuality or selfidentity is lost, as it were, in a neutral notion of the Absolute, the Guru here passes on to examine the same in terms of a living purpose, taking a teleological rather than an ontological perspective. The 'atman' of the Advaita Vedanta has been compared to a lamp that lights a theatre; while it sheds its light as a witness ('sakshin'), the players who represent the living beings or jivas come or go in the world of phenomena. It is usual to refer the phenomenal world to Maya, as its source. Maya is only a philosophical term applied to the possibility of all kinds of errors, actual or conceptual, in the human mind. From simple optical illusions to the grandest of errors of mistaking the Self for the non-Self or vice-versa, man lives in error, and within the alternating range of certitude and doubt, he finds himself alternately in fear or wonder, 611 eternally caught by lack of clear insight, within the living limits of a smile or a tear. Maya, it is true, is the source of the world of appearances, but behind and implied in Maya itself is the deeper-seated seed, which is also the source of the visible universe and which is independent of even the errors with which Maya is capable of inflicting the human kind. Maya as used here holds within its scope both its negative and positive implications before all duality's taint is abolished. The 'potency' referred to in the first line refers to the 'sakti' or power that is said to belong to Maya in Vedantic literature. This power should ultimately be traced to the Absolute itself, because without the light that the Absolute sheds, no errors would be possible at all. They would not arise. Although Maya is the immediate source of error, the final seed of error resides in the heart of the great neutrality of the Absolute described in the previous verse. Maya as a concept has validity as long as any vestige of duality in the Absolute persists due to its dominant negativity, as Hegel would put it. Maya gives birth to the phenomenal (or the visible), while the noumenal and neutral Absolute is the source of all, or the ultimate cause. In itself, the Absolute viewed as Maya is causeless, and remains as an abstract principle tending to be negative in its import. Assuming names and forms, Maya has the power of creating a world of plurality or multiplicity of percept-concept entities with which the actual world becomes filled at any given waking or dreaming moment. The common seed of both Maya and 'jiva' (a living unit) is to be traced still further backwards to the Absolute at the negative levels of this notion, whose best expression, as we have seen in the previous verse, is in a glory, filling all space. Maya may be said to live and express itself negatively and horizontally, while the glory of the Absolute may be said to have a vertical range, retaining 612 still a common point of contact between the two. The positive and negative aspects of the Absolute, with a neutral central aspect best expressed by silence, are all implicit in Vedantic writings of the different 'acharyas' (teachers) of India by names such as 'para' (ultimate), 'sakshin' (witness), 'kutastha' (positive or well-established), etc., into whose intricacies we shall not, at present, enter. Neither definitions nor examples can help the seeker here if he does not also have that imaginative and intuitive gift of vision which Sankara has called 'uha apoha' (an inductive-deductive insight. See our later work). The second half of the verse refers to what one should do to advance in self-instruction. The pursuit of contemplation is here recommended,

Ramanuja. is stressed and explained further in the verse that follows. has only a weak degree of attention or faith involved in it. or rather complementary. he enters into me. Like the square root of minus one and its positive counterpart in the square of the same number. to what extent and which I am. implicit in terms of the active though not objectified content of sleep and waking. In the present verse this last stage of self-realization is not yet under reference. The Guru Narayana. could in principle be called day-dreaming. The parity. waking and dreaming. has persisted to this day in Indian philosophy through Sankara. In contrast. it obtains not in sleep And sleep again does not attain consciousness When awake: day by day these twain are born Of Maya's womb and keep alternating on. There is one feature which is common to both 614 sleep and wakefulness. refers to a discipline mentioned in the Upanishads and in the Gita which distinguishes between mere intellectual appreciation of a verity which is called 'sravana' (coming from hearing the words of a Guru). The third degree of contemplation in the series of 'sravana' (hearing) and 'manana' (mental identification of what one has heard. Maya is to be understood in terms of the philosophy of India. In the Bhagavad Gita this same distinction is under reference when in chapter XVIII. academic or philosophical sense. where it branches out horizontally into the visible world of names and forms. by transferring to the power of God himself all that was attributed to the power of Maya or nescience. This has to be made more complete or 613 perfect by the act of entering into the Absolute itself as meant in the philosophy of Bergson. and thereafter. The same distinction as between mere reading and marking. or knowing it by heart as schoolboys say) is 'nididhyasana' (knowing the Absolute as if from inside it or as the Absolute within you). having known me. The result of such active contemplation would be to cut at the root or the source of error. In both. and rumination over the truth as 'marking' in the familiar phrase of 'read. as the pursuit of 'contemplation'. The word 'manana'.not as an obligation but as a free choice by a wisdom seeker. 6 and 7 the subject of the states of consciousness in relation with sleeping. waking and thinking were once alluded to. the Guru here indicates the neutral vertical axis that may be said to subsist between the alternating states of sleeping. Vedantic teacher. this negative principle. which always co-exist. elsewhere in his Darsana Mala. Maya is figuratively 615 spoken of as a female that gives birth. Following up further the same idea. while the positive fertilising aspect of the same natural power is transferred sometimes to the masculine principle such as Shiva. and presents it in a fully revalued and scientific form. IN verses 5. rather . especially that of Sankara. without denying the real seed which is lodged in the heart of the neutral glory of the Absolute itself. is greater in the third term 'nididhyasana' . in the contemplative context. developed a theistic view of the Absolute.going with 'manana' and 'sravana' in Vedanta . Although his rival. Maya is the principle of nescience or ignorance which is not an entity but a convenient term or mathematical factor or element with which to relate the two aspects of the Absolute. ' The knowing process. As the negative principle of creative manifoldness in nature. as a negative vertical factor admitting contradiction horizontally but unity vertically. the subject witnesses either dream-objects or the objects of the waking world which. but we have to know the whole context if we are to have a precise notion here of what is implied by 'manana' which we have rendered in English.(which would correspond to the third degree of attention implied in the term 'inwardly digest' of the Christian context). and it was indicated in verse 7 that the state of pure awareness was something midway between the states of waking and sleeping. analyses this concept in a whole chapter. understood reciprocally or ambivalently as it enters into electro-magnetic calculations in modern physics. VERSE 54 The waking state. 55 we read: 'By devotion he (the aspirant) knows me. mark and inwardly digest' found in the context of Christian liturgy. in which he could discuss the same Vedanta without the help of this Maya concept. The Absolute is within the consciousness of man and conversely man lives within the consciousness of the Absolute. in the present verse it is the mutual exclusiveness of the sleeping and waking states that is horizontally examined. Our attention is here being directed by the Guru to this activity common to dream and day-dream that goes on in spite of the opposite and mutually exclusive nature of the two states that are compared here. in the intellectual. which refers to a further intensification of attention. used in the original Malayalam text for 'contemplation' here. philosophically. or 'negativität' in Hegelian terminology.

is the central axis common to the asymmetrical states of waking and sleeping. will reveal the subtle interplay of vertical positive factors which are meant to be unitively and neutrally understood here. When one leaves operating on the consciousness. 'Kaivalya' (which is the noun form of the adjective 'kevala'). when viewed horizontally and independent of both. This is to be understood psycho-dynamically and in neutral psycho-physical terms.this parity is what is meant to be expressed here. which we have rendered as 'aloneness'. This Maya has to be imagined as being in relation to the vertical axis of becoming in pure time. and like sleep each day. in keeping with the neutral monism implied in the contemplative way belonging to Vedanta (or contemplative absolutism). (non-other) explained by Sankara. as the goal of contemplative progress. when free from the Maya-content of names and forms. ranging from existing to intelligible worlds. as known in contemplative literature such as that of Plotinus where spiritual progress is described as 'the flight of the alone to the Alone'. are pictured here together in living terms. Maya is no other than the Absolute itself. THE continual flux of becoming implied in the creative evolution of the process of Nature in the phenomenal world. This is the domain of this negative potentiality of the Absolute which is Maya. Pure consciousness. it goes round for ever. the other takes over. Thus it is that we are directed to try to cut at the root of Maya by meditating at the point of insertion of the Mayafunction within the pure Absolute. using the expression 'Maya' . and is indicated by the word 'ananya'. which is here referred to as kevala. etc. Pure time 617 in reality belongs to the context of the Absolute. It gets extinguished: dream too likewise! We can never see extinction thus to this: as it is Hitched on to the pure aloneness. There are many other terms like 'apavarga'. which in principle contains the created multiplicity of the waking and the dream worlds together. we have first to think neutrally and see that both dream and the waking events of life are subject to extinction each day. and between these two modes of creative activity of the psycho-physical apparatus we have a long-drawn-out dream which belongs to Maya kept on everlastingly. 'moksha' or 'nissreyasa'. and keeping in mind the parity of dream and the wakeful states intended to be explained. when all movement or creativity is subtracted from it. referring to the unique status of the Absolute. examined from the plus side of the vertical parameter for its reference in the context of this verse. In order to see this in its proper perspective. 616 VERSE 55 A long-drawn-out dream is this. not excluding the psychic states of dreaming or waking that belong also to the more subtle aspect of the same. The relation is a dialectical one. In verse 7 the same process was scrutinised once though from an ontological angle. becomes the same as the Absolute. which we have tried to explain in commenting on the previous verse.than to Parvati. his consort in the popular mystical or mythological proto-language of theism of India. The parity that exists between sleep and waking in terms of their common creative content. Careful re-reading of the first half of the verse. and is to be treated as synonymous with 'nirvana'. which refer to the same pure state of ultimate release or salvation. is also used in the context of Patanjali Yoga. This negative factor. Maya and the Absolute are related dialectically and not merely as in mechanistic logic. As electricity and magnetism act on different planes while yet belonging to one and the same energy. which refers to ultimate release of the soul from all bondage. we have to imagine a unity and a difference here which itself is to be resolved into a final unity at the end of our search for Truth. .

with the serial worlds that it can project upwards. Even according to Aristotelian doctrines there is a 'prius' in matter which can be traced backwards as far as we like.. etc. and in terms of consciousness. the Guru presents 618 here a unified simple synthetic picture in which the ideas of the one and the many get reconciled in an overall notion of the absolute awareness. In the very beginning of the composition. The body is what we see. negative or abstract and generalized viewpoint. and which gives us the answer of the unmoved prime mover. In the previous verse we have examined the notion of the body that is born into the visible world. etc. The reference here to the prime ocean of pure awareness is not therefore unknown to philosophical thought. Between the two. Viewed as if from the inside of consciousness itself. There is also 'being' viewed rationally ('ens rationis') and the same 'being' viewed from the more realistic standpoint. which tends to be a horizontalized version.or source-aspect on one side and the specialized wave-aspect as end or effect on the other. is the term for this? Know this as action Taking place perpetually in awareness-ocean's prime source. fire.. seem real. is an Advaitic doctrine which is based on the a priori approach to absolute truth and thus requires no other proof. water. is not confined to individual consciousness nor is it limited by it in its range of memory or imagination. there is a subtle dialectical reciprocity when quantitative and qualitative aspects are thought of together and unitively. as in the 'ens' known to 620 Parmenides. the Guru has given us an idea of how the elements such as earth. and reduced it to terms of pure awareness. called 'jivatma' and 'paramatma' respectively in Indian philosophical terminology. which consists of specific attributes such as solidity etc. Here the same subject is viewed from the more virtual. is the wave. there do abide Endless Maya traits. It could be called the collective cosmic consciousness of humanity which represents the Absolute in psychological terms. the anterior source in terms of awareness of all manifested matter where potentialities reside. 619 The ocean of awareness which is. The two ambivalent aspects of the ocean here under reference must be put together into one whole with the prime root. which as potent configurations that assume Bodies with such as water and taste. A noumenal rather than a phenomenal view is taken here. The term 'Maya' in the context of Indian thought refers to negative being and becoming at once. The phenomenal world conceptually presented to the contemplative vision has to be a verticalized version of the usual view of reality. The noumenal and the phenomenal aspects of the Absolute thus hold together individual bodies and the one Self . The specific expression of water that is universal or generic. The phenomenal world is but a projection of the mind and has no status apart from consciousness or awareness itself.. and we can see the relation as consisting of only between what is general or generic ('samanya') and what is specific ('visesha'). alas. VERSE 57 Within the waveless ocean. which demands much philosophical insight and imagination. . THE Aristotelian notion of 'entelecheia' and the scholastic notion of being as such known as 'ens' have been the subject of much philosophical disputation in the history of Western philosophy. It is because we look at the body with our own fleshly eyes that the prejudices of solidity.VERSE 56 Like waves instantly arising on the ocean Each body one after one rises to subside again: Where. as it were. By way of reconciling the pluralism with the unitive status of individual and universal selves. ocean and wave. which is linked with consciousness or involved in it as the 'prius nobis'. where potentiality and realized form are held together under a common unitive notion in the context of the Absolute. Again there is the notion of neutral being between opposites. The minus side of the vertical parameter is under reference here. It has to be understood in its infiniteness and its fully absolutist status. the source of motion or action.as the ocean is the basis of the many waves that rise and fall on its surface. the duality of mind and matter vanishes. have to be viewed from the point of view of non-difference with the Self. known as 'karma' in Indian philosophic terminology. whether Eastern or Western. The everlasting and beginningless principle of the unmoved mover that has its source in awareness pure and prime. We have to refer to all these grades and varieties of being and becoming known to philosophy before we can see the idea behind this verse. in verse 3. The plurality of souls and the comprehensive unity of all souls into one are philosophical or religious opinions that have given rise to much disputation. which might mislead us to think that it has nothing to do with consciousness. remain As beginningless effects forming various worlds upon worlds.

there are motion. ever new. These two put together form the basis of effects ranging from simple entities in nature to entities such 621 as all the galaxies that we can observe. The analogy of the ocean of pure or prime awareness is continued here from the previous verse. in keeping with a science of the Absolute. It belongs to an order by itself removed from all relativistic considerations. Counting too belongs to the arithmetical world. all things we count or measure As of confusion's making. where action is potent and invisible. The neutral.or actionfactors still at work which have a cause-and-effect structure. such as the analysis of consciousness called 'Arivu' (Epistemology of Gnosis). numbering twenty-five as between nature (prakriti) and spirit (purusha). The unitive differenceless Brahman or the Absolute remains ever the norm of the science of the Absolute. or dialectically conceived as by Parmenides . to Jeans and Eddington. The contemplative vision is capable of visualizing the whole from the standpoint of the Absolute and in more verticalized terms than in the immediately preceding verse. fully and basically retained. If waves on the ocean surface refer to the horizontal plane.. After giving us in the previous two verses an intuitive and imaginative picture of reality in its rational and empirical aspects. which is Absolute and devoid of all differentiation.The expanding universe or the contracting universe known to modern physics. as envisaged in the Vedanta. Tomorrow or even another day. Being has to be understood as in a process of flux. understood in terms of self-consciousness or in more realistic cosmological terms. The verse may be re-read carefully with the cause and effect aspects of being kept distinct in the mind.hidden within prime consciousness itself. the Eddingtonian world belongs to a non-experimental order where science transcends observation. If we think of the salt water of the metaphor and think of it as a reality. enumerated aspects of the Absolute in a graded manner. we have two distinct aspects of the reality: 1) the qualitative attribute of the taste which touches the consciousness at a certain point. Science has been defined as depending on knowledge by measurement. Maya refers at once to existence and essence as also to the neutral substance. The notion of the Absolute. Maya is the two-sided process of becoming applied to pure being or the Absolute in Indian philosophy. Further. which last we have referred to above as the 'ens' as understood in the philosophy of the Eleatics like Parmenides. Scientific knowledge. The Guru is here underlining this basic verity.the Guru goes one step further in the same direction to abolish all sense of duality in the heart of the Absolute. normative and differenceless basic Absolute is. The Samkhya philosophy of India belongs to the world of counting the categories. difference there is none at all! THE Absolute is beyond all count or measure. He takes hold of the time-factor and reduces it in terms of pure duration as Bergson has succeeded in doing in his 'creative process' of the 'vital energy'. g. Within the calm level of the ocean. never-endingly Know. VERSE 59 Apart from awareness I have no being: . these enumerated items and measurable aspects of reality are to be thrown into the melting pot. Measuring and numbering fall short of this ultimate notion. VERSE 58 Thinking not in terms. so as to reveal the basic reality. Whether these have a rational or a real existence is a question that cannot be answered definitely. in the empirical sense. We have to put ourselves in a frame of mind in which mind-matter differences are abolished before we can see the meaning of the above verse. To the extent that abstraction and generalization are involved in these approaches to truth. in some of his 623 writings. today. The galaxies are effects which range from one pole of abstraction to the other and spread endlessly out or remain held together within the comprehensive awareness of man. these serial effects of worlds here refer to a vertical parameter. e. even there. still within the scope of Maya's process of becoming. of yesterday. Lesser epistemological and methodological requirements alone make such enumeration of categories permissible. There are worlds upon worlds that thus form themselves with their root deep. can be put into the melting pot of absolute awareness where all differences give place to a final synthesis or unity. Enumeration is an integral part of the Samkhya school of philosophy. pertains to the world of measurement or enumeration. although analytically he too. which depends on counting or measuring. they have a place in philosophical speculation. put together unitively round the central neutral stuff of awareness or consciousness after the manner of the 'thinking substance' of Spinoza. when it will be known as becoming. and (2) the water with its objective form which belongs to the empirical order. The concept here becomes more important than the percept. The expanding and contracting universes are within human awareness. has to be transcended before the pure notion of the Absolute can emerge in all its neutral glory. refers to distant galaxies which move away or come nearer to the observer. but when we come to the finalized notion of the Absolute. The measurements involve the velocity of light and are calculated in terms of light-years. which are notions beyond the realistic limits of human experience. When the visible world has been subtracted from the totality of experience there are still objects that can be measured or counted. which refers to the notion of Maya. 622 The world of science.

626 VERSE 60 Even when knowledge to egoism is subject in any predication. rationalistic philosophy recognizes the neutral common ground between these evidently dual aspects.As distinct from me awareness cannot remain As mere light. both knowledge and knower. Avoiding grades or classes of error is the 'jnana' aspect. Extreme dualism grades into forms of solipsism with different writers or thinkers. . Sankara himself divides consciousness into 'drik' (seer) and 'drisya' (the seen) for an analysis of self-consciousness to reveal to inner structure of absolute consciousness. Whether mind and matter are linked together by the 624 principle of 'occasionalism'. In the present verse the Guru recognizes the ambivalent interdependence between the self and its dialectical counterpart. under different names and in the context of differing philosophical points of view. so as to reveal the mechanism of the self in its operational sense. as we shall see. The philosopher must only take care that he does not get stuck mechanistically in the solipsistic position. we can discover a common methodology implicit in all of them. Wisdom gets finalized in its own neutral glory in the end of the search when the self and the non-self unite. 625 Such an analysis of consciousness is highly necessary for the student to avoid the philosophical puzzlements and confusions with which books abound. Just as pantheism has to enter into theology when God is described as omnipresent. In fact the relationship is dialectical and dialectical methodology would permit of the two factors being treated in various degrees of unitiveness or duality. Both of these are linked by pure knowledge. The Guru here. however ultimate. The solipsistic form which might be considered an objection to this way of looking at the problem of reality is not really an objection because. In verse 68 below. Whatever the degree of unity or duality may be as between different schools of thought in the East or West. contemplation Reveals beyond doubt as of one substance alone. realistic or pragmatic sense no one can deny that mental and bodily phases constantly succeed each other as we observe our own daily life and actions. which can be negative in its implications. such knowledge Can never fall outside the scope of the knowing self. or through the notion of the monad as with Leibniz. the alternating process becomes effaced into the unitive light of absolute consciousness. solipsism in some form or other has to enter into the contemplative way of reasoning which is the domain proper of higher wisdom. Just as axiomatic verities exist side-by-side with verities that grade from tautology to the extreme position of contradiction in various steps of logic merging into the highest form of logistics or of dialectical reasoning. which has been variously recognized. and by itself it is no drawback of the teaching. the very unitive basis of absolutist philosophy can hardly avoid this position. serially reviewed. Human consciousness alternates between the poles of the self and the non-self. abolishing all duality. as with Spinoza. When we look upon this alternation from the core of consciousness itself. In the workaday. so solipsism as a basic epistemological law is fully legitimate and admissible. as Descartes would put it. the same idea is taken up again and treated more dualistically. THE relation between the 'subject-matter' and what we might call the 'object-matter' of consciousness is subtle and dialectical. at least methodologically. There is an ambivalent bipolarity or dichotomy between the self that is the knower and the self that is known. Here the solipsistic regulative principle is just enunciated. and make a fetish of the doctrine. Kant's division between 'pure reason' and 'practical reason' also recognizes this same ambivalence. Fichte's division between the self and the non-self may be said to divide correctly these two aspects. both in Eastern and Western philosophies. to form the basis of the further elaboration of the same theme in later verses of the second half of the work which will have more to do with the positive or known than with the knower. passes on to its theorems and corollaries in a graded and methodical fashion. to start with. or through the intermediary entity called the 'substance that thinks'. Yet as with the truth.aspect of the self. conceived as a neutral abstraction. the non-self. And one is unmindful of the ultimate verity of what is said. Mind and matter have been treated unitively or dualistically by Descartes and others. and building up positive notions and doctrines about reality is the second stage of the same ('vijnana') process of knowing. after stating the law of the reciprocal interdependence of the knower and the known. The Bhagavad Gita speaks of 'jnana' (knowledge) in contradistinction with 'jneya' (the known) which belongs to the 'vijnana' (specific wisdom) aspect of wisdom rather than to the mere 'jnana' aspect.

. if they fall unitively in the vertical scale implied. though realistic to a childish limit. The condition of strict bipolarity is what matters. In the stories of the saints in Tamil literature a canonical status is given to a simple peasant devotee. Let us think of a straight vertical line between two extreme points representing the possible poles of the self and the non-self. Truth is not a third factor that can exist independently of the knower or the known. insofar as they give us a partial picture of the reality.it is in this sense that in the Bhagavad Gita it is stated: 'Whatever be the manner in which a person might approach me. scored in value or merit equally with the most intellectual of devotees. There is a law of inverse squares that may be said to be present here in the reciprocity involved. VERSE 61 Outside objects hold the field. must perforce put it at one point or other on this ascending or descending scale of values. making the effective value the same all through if the truth is wholehearted and genuine. Kannappa Nayanar. as legend says. The transcendental appeal of the glory of truth might increase in intensity at the expense of the immanent and intimate experience of the same truth. Each man. as if outside consciousness. 11 ). When this is admitted. we can see that each man's truth is the resultant of the two ambivalent aspects of truth which give meaning or value to that truth for the person concerned. selecting its satisfactions here and there in a changeful and light-hearted manner. THE events that fill consciousness in a state of contemplative flux or change or becoming are vividly pictured in this verse in neutral psychophysical terms. it is my own path that all mankind do tread in their different ways. whose function is nescience. These however. In other words. each distinct from each. his faith. but for Kannappa Nayanar. This is a corollary that inevitably follows from the axiomatic form in which the two counterparts of the self and the non-self have been stated to be fundamentally related. when he conceives of truth wholeheartedly.versa. even accordingly do I accept him. the one or the other have the same influence. Faith and works have to go hand in hand unitively. Other canonised saints might have been superior intellectually. And these in turn with many sets of names. are focal points of interest which engage our attention in succession both in time and in space.' ( IV. the appeal to instinctive dispositions weakens. An ultimate truth that cannot be conceived by one who is not a high philosophical thinker must still be within his intellectual or emotional reach if it is to have any value-content at all. The measuring-rod with which all interests are appraised has its source in the five senses. deal with the world of appearance rather than with reality and therefore function on the side of ignorance rather than on the side of science. keep rising up and into awareness change. All forms of faith. The object is limited by the subject and vice. With the sense that measures. whose faith to Shiva was said to be so great that he was willing to give his own eye to mend the damaged eye of an image that he worshipped wholeheartedly as Shiva. might think in terms of a scientific Absolute given to reasoning or dialectics. which could be treated as a constant. Thomas à Kempis 628 recognizes the same principle in his 'Imitation of Christ'. What is lost on one side is gained on the other and. would be equally respectable . An ordinary devotee might think of his God as having personal attributes while another. To the extent that the truth conceived disinterestedly is purer and more impersonal. The controversy in Christian theology relating to the primacy given to 'grace' or to 'works' can be settled when we apply this law of reciprocal or ambivalent values. truth is what attains to an equilibrium between the two poles of the self and the non-self. 627 as a value factor that regulates and influences the life of the individual concerned. This the world of multiple interests in which the self lives and moves. When we pass from the outer objects of interest to deeperdirections. No faith can strictly be called false and no reasoning unfaithful.TRUTH can be viewed from one or the other of its ambivalent poles that we have tried to distinguish in the previous verse. more capable of abstract thinking. The objects that we see objectively. such as that of Or the sky. Each truth has a personal or ultimate value and could hold interest or be meaningful only to the extent that it falls somewhere in the line joining the self with the non-self. Truth and faith lend support to each other.

while retaining a scientific status. They belong to the psycho-physical framework of reality as conceptually understood. Mere conservatism of this type is as bad as its counterpart of heterodoxy. subsistence and values at once. The cure for both these tendencies or 'doxies' is the calm contemplation of the absolutist or finalized standpoint implied in what is referred to here as the supreme state. and conceptual space which is independent of things. Modern mathematical notions of space grade imperceptibly from actual space into non-metric space of different orders in the context of the Absolute. he is able to point to the points of the compass and to overhead or below.is a familiar event in the world of religious life. Cantor's theory of ensembles and the post-Hilbertian geometry of algebra are modern disciplines which could be appealed to here for supporting this vision of rising sets of value entities. The two aspects.and from both the sides it insists on the need for earnest research for the correct middle path. while the next will be seen to give primacy to heterodoxy . of vehemently adopting what is not their own . Quadric and vectorial spaces are now known to scientists and mathematicians and are in practical everyday use. but itself (space) continuing to exist when bodies cease to exist'. or go with particular insistence in the opposite direction. as locus. These tend to fan . how can it True knowledge bring? Lip service does not avail One has earnestly to contemplate the state supreme. or else he could err on the side of heterodoxy by saying that beliefs or modes of life outside of what one has been conditioned or brought up to adopt for oneself are better than what are already one's own. i. When we see that modern physics admits of a physical world in which galaxies advance. has an ascent and a circulation which are under reference in the last line. The sense of direction that each person carries within him refers to his ego which is at the core of his consciousness with which. giving rise to sets referred to by names which cluster into different classes which grade into the world of imperceptibles. Most people who call themselves religious are only interested in the outer forms of religious life. WHEN a man adopts a religious or spiritual life consisting of articles of faith or patterns of behaviour. the true dialectics as between heterodoxy and orthodoxy is the rule of the golden mean of Aristotle. The general law that underlies the bipolar situation in which each man may be caught is enunciated in verse 60. he can take one of two alternative courses: that of the orthodox who tend to exaggerate the value of what is already their own by previous conditioning or adoption. Aristotle's 'Physics' (Book IV) brings out this distinction when it defines space as 'that without which bodies could not exist. which is independent of the notion of directions and comes near to a purer notion than that of a direction. The 'supreme state' mentioned in this verse is thus a neutral and normative standpoint with respect to the Absolute. In other words. 630 VERSE 62 Mere orthodoxy. In the present verse the Guru refers to the orthodox tendency to disadopt what is not already accepted. referring to the self or the non-self. Pragmatism and mysticism find place together in such a philosophical outlook. viewed in living and contemplative terms.e.seated conceptual factors in consciousness we come to items which refer to entities which are neither physical in the full sense nor merely mental. The sky refers to space.by which they disadopt gradually or suddenly 631 what was their own. recede or keep expanding or contracting within the limits of outer space. as the next (63rd) verse is going to enunciate more pointedly. cling together and fuse into each other as a central or neutral verity in any case. The change and becoming that is always in progress within psycho-physical consciousness. They form a value that is dear to the person concerned. Knowledge however gains primacy above all material or practical considerations here. The doctrines and patterns of behaviour implied refer only to the world of outer values in some social or group life. There is a subtle spiritual suffering implicit in either case. which keeps saying that one should not adopt As one's own a doctrine belonging to another side.. The conversion that takes place in certain people at certain times . has succeeded in describing reality in a manner that would be acceptable to the physicist and metaphysician at one and the same time. 629 There is actual space which is filled with things. Bergsonian philosophy. What are understood as particular '-isms' or creeds refer to partial aspects only of the absolute all-comprehensive Truth that covers existence. which may be said to agree in its main lines with the standpoint adopted here by the Guru. it should not be considered too far-fetched for a contemplative to visualise the neutral psycho-physical world as in a state of flux. and as long as they are true from normative standards of spiritual life they must all be considered equally good. The present verse speaks from the side of the conservative self or of hide-bound orthodoxy.

Absolute Wisdom is. odd or fantastic ways of self-realization are hereby warned off against possible excesses in their approach. A balanced pressure between these rival forces has to be maintained. moreover. The majority of seekers of spirituality or wisdom get lost and fail to hold the balance. The 'Lord-lordism' against which Jesus himself complained belongs to this world of superficial or conventional reactions of lip-service to spirituality. Hence the justification for the last rhetorical question. The Guru here points out that spiritual progress in the direction of absolute wisdom cannot come by mere repetitions of formulae. here. The munafiqun of Islam and the pharisees of the Bible are not truly spiritual. which is to complement and correct any deflection from the strictly neutral position we should take as between orthodoxy and heterodoxy that might recommend itself to any one who seeks progress in the matter of contemplative wisdom. whether positively or negatively. Most religions and philosophies now prevailing 633 err on one side or the other. VERSE 64 This which ever prevails. The words 'knowing just as such here' are meant to stress the ease and the directness or neutrality of the inner event of knowing. and the two counterparts should not cancel-out altogether into dull and lazy states of vacuity or emptiness of interest. when it refers to pure Self-realization. There is involved in such a process the penetrating insight of the pundit. according to the present verse. now of orthodoxy and now of heterodoxy. Such. the supreme secret of the pundit. and such a spirituality or contemplation has to be cultivated. although punditry is sometimes applied to mere learning. have between them a subtle middle ground in which true knowledge takes its forward stride to Self-realization. It is thus a simple event which is not an event at all. there are others. Only the most learned and those of the most penetrating insight in such matters come to this right way. which is neither objective nor subjective. tinged with sadness at the fact that most of the enthusiasts in the name of spirituality whom we see in this world fall either into the category of the over-orthodox or the over-heterodox. the revealing Of ultimate wisdom-treasure is still not to be ruled out. established within the neutral core of wisdom as such. learned or well-informed man in such matters. It represents the domain of pure wisdom as such. All the forces that converge to the point of Self-realization have to be focussed on to the wisdom that is ever present and which is normal and natural and needs no straining to be seen in its own light. In the last line of the verse the Guru reveals his plaintive mood. such as those transcendental aspects of it which remain strange from the side of mere orthodoxy. what By heterodox disadoption one can never come to know. The self and non-self. One has to seek for deeper religious values which belong to the spirit and not to the dead letter. which have an interchangeable character as the subjectmatter or the object-matter. Those who tend to adopt eagerly the varied sensational and new-fangled. who is the intelligent. The neutral and perfectly central or absolute Wisdom refers to what one realises just as such without any sense either of heterodoxy or orthodoxy. It is a simple event which is not an event at all in a gross mechanical sense. who is here to see? THIS verse has to be read with the previous one to enable one to see its purpose. The Gita uses the word 'panditah' in this laudatory sense. however correct they may be intellectually or valid by their meaning. The firm establishment of wisdom is what takes place within wisdom itself and not with reference to anything extraneous to it. The supreme pundit 634 is neither orthodox nor heterodox but holds himself between these tendencies. but more deliberately with reference to the finalized wisdom of the Absolute. 632 VERSE 63 This wisdom that ever remains non-other to the Wisdom Than the knowing of which just as such. As against people who suffer by orthodoxy from a subtle form of mental reservation or disadoption of what is strange to them (referred to in verse 62). A note of warning is here struck against any excesses in any direction. surmounting each interest-item.rivalries and exclusive attitudes of mind. are meant to bracket or enclose between them the pure context of Absolute Wisdom. who tend to exaggerate the importance of extraneous aspects of the wisdom of the Absolute. not by allowing oneself to be swayed by the sentiments of the people at its dull superficial level. This is the justification for the note of sadness with which the verse concludes. all-inclusive and already implicitly contains the subjective aspect which on final analysis is non-different from itself. It must be a simple event. . One's proper retrospection alone can compromise: By means of extremely lucid memory. It is in the true Gita sense that it is employed here. and the stride that is taken from the subjective aspects of the same wisdom is not an event at all in terms of the central neutral and normative Absolute which is also the content of the other. whether belonging to the side of the Self or the non-Self. The two verses. The exaggerations of heterodox disadoption are equally bad. however. There must be a religion of the heart that goes with it. The way of wisdom sits still without taking sides. It is not conducive to pure wisdom to strive in the seeking of wisdom. 62 and 63.

'why' or 'what' of things. 637 however long. giving it a 'reality' which is not really there. approximating to a form of general awareness. who can know at all this wonder dear! MEMORY is at the basis of our vision of the manifested world.it is a malicious spectator of all that is past. with double reference to the past as well as to the future. and science is what reveals the cause behind effects which constitute all the appearances in which we all live. The associative or apperceptive masses that are formed by our long contact with objects in our past. well-known to Vedantic thought. VERSE 65 There is not one thing here that we have not already once known. and the Guru here accepts this kind of pure retrospection. knowledge fails: wakefully to know all There is none here boundless as it is. to the end of contemplative Self-realization. Subtle associative unit-masses of habitual forms called 'vasanas' (tendencies) operate to shape or determine our present view of things. 0. Interests having a prospective or a retrospective content can fill the mental field by establishing a bipolar relation with any one at a time. Impotent towards what hath been done . consists of overcoming impediments in the form of interests of various degrees and 635 kinds which happen to hold back the attention of man at any given time. All retrospection is not to be ruled out. It is a special or particular instance of wrong perception. the deed remember.that is its animosity. Just as a river flows forward. These interests are good for spiritual progress even in their most ordinary levels or degrees only in so far as they offer footholds for the ascent of the spirit by convenient steps through their means to ever higher levels. remember: The deed (krita) remember 0 purpose remember. A. has the same effect as digging for a treasure trove that is hidden under the ground and finding it. Random House.so is the stone which it cannot roll called. This is the theory of 'adhyasa' or superimposition. so as to prevail finally in self-realization of the highest or absolute value The enemy of such a process of positive progression is the retrospective orientation of the spirit which is often filled with the dross of personal reminiscences which result in regrets or regression of the spirit harmful to a healthy psychic life. S. Items of regret can effectively compromise or counter the forward impetus that leads to the goal of absolute Self-realization. in principle at least. are not lost.' there is still a two-sided allusion to the item of retrospection or remembrance retained in principle. Such a philosophical way of enquiry is natural and normal to the human mind. Items of interest thus succeed each other. U. 'That which was' . '0 purpose (kratu). Western psychology does not give much place to this deeper aspect of the structure of perception. When the Isa Upanishad says. Adhyasa (superimposition) has been defined as the grafting by memory of something which does not belong to the place or context. N. The harm done by retrospection and regret to the soul in its progress to the goal is described in the forceful language of the German philosopher Nietzsche in his book Thus Spake Zarathustra (Page 153.) 'Willing emancipateth. We are always asking ourselves about the 'how'. The reality that we attribute to the objects we see are to be traced to their source by a process of reasoning which goes from effect to cause. as conducive. New York. which is a corollary of the orientation of the spirit to the future ideological end or purpose in life. Y.The mind as an inner organ of thought or consciousness can be related to the future or the past. but remain as 'samskaras' or conditioning unit-factors which colour our present vision. but what is that called which 'It was thus' is the will's teeth-gnashing and lonesomest tribulation called. There is 636 a lucid form of pure memory transparent to purpose and to what is past and gone for ever.. holding the centre of the field of attention at a given time with each person. That time doth not run backward . Such a lucid form of retrospection. overcoming obstacles such as stones that hinder its progress.' Over and above this generalization about the evil of retrospection the Guru's verse contains a kind of safetyvalve pertaining to the same question. Perception . so the forward-flowing or prospective function. Veiled by form. All things must have a cause. Reminiscent moods are often signs of mental debility or advanced old age.

What hinders reasoning here is the visual aspect. is not the same as the accidents that are merely attributes of the substance that is not given to the view. and constitutes the most precious aspect of human wisdom itself. as the second line of this verse seems to suggest. The content or the thing-in-itself. It has been pointed out in verse 64. which alone gives a crowning character to the notion of the Absolute itself. as distinct from inferential knowing. in principle at least. It has a certain finalized form as pure awareness which is ineffable and subtler than the subtle. and newer and newer particles leap into view as we progress in the scrutiny of atoms. What we know. the mode of expression of an object and the 'dharmi'. . such as to be able to be so wakeful as to take into our consciousness all that is possible to know. The extraneous impediments of form have to be brushed aside before a notion of the basic reality can dawn in our minds. The knower is the self and the known belongs to the side of the non-self. contain all that has been the least meaningful in our past life. which might call it God. refers perhaps to a more fundamental philosophical verity. whether individual or collective. This cause must necessarily be hidden in the past. which at first might appear too sweeping. and both of these interact.like the earth which we can touch and know as something outside ourselves. as a high moral value. the basic reality common to particular modes of expression. The Bergsonian theory of memory holds good here and gestalt configurations also count. That remains ever as the 'high value' of the previous verse. If we should put these two dual aspects together unitively there is a central neutral reality which knows no change. In the Indian philosophical context we distinguish between 'dharma'. must. the knowing of each and all as particular objects or events in a fully wakeful or 'objectified' sense becomes impossible to conceive. When we have done so. Unchanging reality is the Absolute which is ever constant and the same. like a mathematical truth of the most abstract and 640 generalized order. Whether through theology.becomes conception. the reality becomes obstructed to the extent that we are misled by them. Even when the collective consciousness of humanity brings within its wakeful scrutiny or purview the large world of outer space or when it examines microscopically the space in which minute particles live and move .while it is true that we can theorise or generalise about them. One alone remains not subject to becoming. There are expanding universes known to science beyond galaxies. are that same. without any remainder. giving depth of meaning to everything. whether as God. It is in this sense that form is said to obstruct our knowing objects in themselves. Even the outside wall of our living room is only known to us at second-hand. This is the domain of the multiplicity of existing things . The impossibility of knowing all objects in this universe must make us give up any ambition. Only bold spirits can undertake the positive conquest of the unexplored aspects of what is known as 'adrishta' (the unseen) or 'apurva' (the never-known before) aspects of the Absolute 639 Truth. or through aesthetics that visualizes this rare aspect of creative thought as something precious . what we are. This cause must necessarily be any effect without a corresponding cause. as an object to be known. The unseen can refer to the Absolute as the adorable. The 'dear wonder' referred to in the last line is that aspect of the Absolute not subject to the influences of memory-aspects of consciousness. will become more evident. There cannot be any effect without a corresponding cause.we here touch a value that is absolute and supreme. We cannot be at all places together. The last line declares how rare it is to attain such positive wisdom. or as artistic perfection at its best and rarest. and the many that hang together in the chain of causes and effects. And all others too remain conforming to its form. or through ethics that might call it the embodiment of 'dharma' ('Dharmakaya' as with Buddhism) that could by-pass theological gods. This is given only to the vision of the boldest adventurer in the realm of the spirit. It is on such a subtle and all-inclusive basis that phenomenal existence can trace its changing phases. In thinking of colours or forms. This agent cannot be seen. Actual knowing. but has to be 638 inferred through the exercise of the faculty of reasoning. the verity of the statement in the first line of the verse above. as Kant would call it. That form hides instead of reveals. what it is. Individual possibilities of wakeful knowledge are still more limited. that memory is the enemy of spiritual progress. THERE is an aspect of nature that is phenomenal and subject to everlasting flux and becoming. which is the cause or agent that produces the effects or 'dharmas'. it is only a negative factor. Emotive factors enter into cognition and conation to a larger extent than what is envisaged by the merely superficial stimulus-response or mechanistic psychology known in modern Europe or America. Our consciousness. Retrospective in its drag or regret. whether big or small. Colour could be an optical effect and shapes could be mere outlines demarcated in space. which belong to the order of appearances. draws a still narrower circle around our range of vision of things. VERSE 66 Earthy factors shall come to be evermore. The one and the changeless on the one hand. Its shape or colour fails to touch the substantial basis of an object. The whole question has to be viewed from a vertical rather than from a merely horizontal perspective. Each is obliged to live in a bounded world of his own.

which is called 'jneya' (that which is to be known). according to the various grades of actualities or reasoned entities.are all to be comprehensively included within the scope of the two axes of reference of values to man. Then. It could be said to consist either of 'relata' or of relations. second or third personal pronouns in the singular or plural and whatever gender. it belongs to a unique order by itself. secondly. all reality is comprised.are related to the core in the neutrality of the Absolute without contradiction or conflict . This refers to the object. there is an 'objective' knowledge pure and simple. whether here or hereafter. VERSE 67 That which is beyond count. Between these. Then. Notions of the one and many cannot apply to it. what we know. Whatever the particular philosophical terms used. The categoric generalization with which the verse ends is fully justified by a priori considerations. but not really inside or outside. while they are distinguishable from the relativistic side. relational mind ('chitta') and the ego ('ahamkara'). as also conforming to the prototype of the global neutral and normal notion of the Absolute. apocalyptically viewed . THERE are two archetypal types of knowledge to which all reality may be said to belong without exception or remainder. These three ways are touched upon by the Guru here in the third line as: Firstly. Other than these two. there is no other form at all Either in memory. There is nothing besides. 642 The pointed reference in the last line to the dream world. we come to see all others too that we saw as individuals apart from our own individual selves. could come under the aegis of the Absolute Self. on the one hand. which refers to tangible aspects of the non-self. The first mentioned in the verse is the Absolute as conceived in its purest connotation which is beyond all plurality or computation. these two aspects comprise all. knower and known are the tri-basic aspects of truth as seen from the relativistic side.which is in common language referred to as the City on High or Heaven.but in the manifested world they are contraries or contradictories. the other is actual. As pure mathematics is not merely arithmetical in content. as it were. One is perceptual or conceptual. The phenomenal and the noumenal worlds can be equated in terms of the Absolute. And what is ordinary and of the workaday world. or in the city on high. Such actual or analogously actual items are many.matter of knowledge in pure epistemology. to the world of past memories or samskaras. and the Guru refers to them as a category implied in 'what it is' or 'that'. These three aspects. to the items for sale piled up in the market place. All else belongs to the limbo of the absurd. For clarity we could say that there is a reality with a vertically logical reference and one that has a horizontal reference. or even sometimes 'vijnanam' (specified knowledge). whether in the past or in the present. We have consistently developed the terms from algebra and geometry as the vertical (pure) and the horizontal . These components have to be put together for us to arrive at the normative notion of the Absolute. and which is no other than the sum-total of value. There are three ways of knowing from the relativist side when we envisage the highest of absolute generalized abstractions which is all inclusive. Knowledge. When the tri-basic aspects are thus unitively and globally reduced and reconstructed. and we know also by the same a priorism applied to the notion of the Absolute. This tri-basic aspect of knowledge is to be vedantically finalized or reduced in terms of the vision of the Absolute. If it is one. That Absolute which leaves something outside its scope is inconceivable. for example. which are transcended in the unitive vision of the Absolute. as the last line states. or rather what we can know by the advancement of philosophical knowledge. All first. to put it in the words of Eddington. the Absolute is the most generalized and highly mathematical abstraction which does not refer directly. and to the world that the life of a spiritual man aspires for or attains as the promised land. factors or beings. that reality must either be perceptual or conceptual. or just things that we can touch and entities that are analogous to it as seen through the inner organs such as the mind ('manas'). which is all-inclusive. intelligence ('buddhi'). in sleep. within the body. there is the self itself which is. thirdly. 641 Unitive knowledge combines the 'it' or 'that' aspect with the self aspect on one side. and the non-self aspect on the other.items that human beings aspire after in terms of future happiness or other visualized goals . merge into the unity of the Absolute when the philosophy becomes finalized or confirmed.

The awareness or wakefulness of the intuitive man should be such that. polarised nature which has to be understood operationally . The ego-sense may be said to oscillate within the amplitude of the two poles characterised by the snake-rope analogy which the Guru resorts to with great advantage for explaining his own scientific philosophical standpoint. the ego-sense gets filled with two different contents: one of these has the status of a mental presentation only. VERSE 68 As the ego sense enters into the double snake-rope-like scheme Now as knowledge and now as the limited body agent. This example has been worked upon by Vedantists over and over in their literature and it has become such a favourite that Vedanta can no more do without it. the content is not a mental presentation but tends to be existent. Only a man gifted with this kind of intuition is regarded by Sankara and others as fit for the study of Vedanta or 'Atma Vidya' ( Cf. It is for this reason that the Guru concludes with the suggestion that intuition. carrying within The Self-image. Contemplation to. It becomes sacred at one time or profane again Thus. and ruled over by the master of thinking powers Such is the libido chariot. Spirituality in the religious context is permeated by the twin considerations of merit or demerit. while fact tends to abolish this tendency in favour of actuality. When consciousness swings as it were to the other extreme negative pole. viewed both cosmologically and psychologically. One feels holy or sinful according as his ego. as it were. has to be taken into account before it can be correctly merged in the notion of the non-dual Absolute. saintly or sinful. it is able to see unity in it. mounted whereon the 'I' sense Unceasing deals outward with each form of beauty as it proceeds. and touches. sacred and profane. THE participation of the Self with the outer world of interests has a graded. This is 644 the snake superimposed on the other simple reality of the rope. which refer to the same two divisions. Here the Guru makes use of the classical Vedantic example of the superimposition in consciousness of the illusion of the snake on the reality of the pure thing-in-itself represented by the rope. must be applied here for one to be able to appraise the dual aspects together as the underlying unity. which is a higher form of reasoning than the merely mechanistic one. serial.(practical) in various contexts in articles published. be correctly practised or accomplished. The reason for this is to be sought in the fact that this particular example has much proto-linguistic value attached to it. Duality in all its aspects. In the context of Sanskritist religion the corresponding expressions are 'arya' (good or honourable) and 'anarya' (evil or dishonourable). at least in broad outline. ambivalent phenomenon when viewed from the side of appearance rather than that of reality itself. in the brighter light of a more focussed attention. which we could have translated as 'sacred' and 'profane'. but it is better to go further in the same direction to abolish it and merge it in the unitive vision of the Absolute. Thus 'arya' and 'anarya'. this subtle polarity has to be first fully visualised by the contemplative who aspires to self-realization beyond its two-sided limitations. on an existent basis. while still remaining basically the same. With the present verse the Guru enters into a series of verses dealing with the inner structure of contemplative consciousness. the ontological limits of the actual or the physical. Bergsonian intuition also belongs to the same Absolutist contemplative context. Knowledge is the pole of subsistence. As a magnet could have two poles while still belonging to the order of magnetism. These two poles have their common ground in the same individual consciousness. To be able to recognize the duality of the aspects is good. Our consciousness is really unitary or unitive in its content and structure but where it participates with the relational world of appearances it presents this elusive. without contradiction. Many subtle problems and correlations are established so as to reveal the structure of the Self in the context of the Absolute. refer to twin ambivalent aspects of personal spiritual life. In oscillating between the poles. Sin and saintliness have both to be transcended in favour of a unitive state which abolishes effectually the duality that might persist as between either of them. The alternating states of consciousness refer to the psychic and the physical aspects of reality. while it is fully aware of the duality. Viveka Chudamani verse 16). The racial implications may be said to have been completely effaced from these expressions as used at present. must 645 be fully informed of the way of transcending duality through an understanding of the nature of the duality itself. a translation of the Sanskrit word 'angi') is the pole of existence. should he understand. Before one can deal with or work a machine it is necessary to have a clear idea of its mechanism. 643 THERE is a subtle form of dichotomy or ambivalence to which the 'I' sense which each man can feel in himself tends to be subjected alternatingly. An Aryan is known for gentlemanly qualities whatever his race. This is the way of absolutist self-realization or contemplation which is recommended here. while the ego-sense conditioned by the physical body (here referred to as the 'limbed-agent'. Knowledge helps presentiments. VERSE 69 With hearing and such as horses linked.consciousness is coloured or conditioned by one or the other of these poles that have been distinguished above. gross or subtle. the intuitive man.

goes into the functions of each of these factors in greater detail. which is slightly asymmetrically located on the negative side of the scale or graded polarised series in the analogy employed here. in the Upanishads themselves this same imagery has been employed in several places. The rest of the analogy is the same there. while the senses make up the positive element.. comparing the self with the charioteer and the senses with the horses.. except that the manas is further compared to the reins. it does not participate directly in outside action with forms or things other than itself. that it is neither mind nor matter that we have to think of neutrally and psycho-physically here. The comparison of the Self to an image in an idolatrous chariot procession (such as takes place to this day at Puri Jagannath . The horizontal forces that are positive or negative operate on a different plane and leave the self-image intact at the very core.or is the whole of . When the implied equation becomes an accomplished fact the process of unravelling of the negative aspects of the personality goes on as a horizontalising process within consciousness. Modern phenomenology undertakes a similar task. the process of unravelling of subjective into objective elements comes to a . which are also related to the same self on the positive side. might have an outlandish flavour. as it does in chapter VII verse 11.the stuff that makes up the Self in its negative aspects. Svetasvatara Upanishad (2-9) says: 'Like the chariot yoked with vicious horses. The double 646 description implied has to be justified in the light of the word 'karu (core) as employed consistently even from the very first verse.is to be located the neutral Self-image. II prapathaka. The Katha Upanishad (third valli. When the Bhagavad Gita goes so far as identifying 'kama' (passion) with the Absolute. self) as riding in a chariot'. this self-image is the most direct and really given representative of the notion of the Absolute. After this. The more solidly material side of the situation here portrayed is to be traced backwards into the chariot rather than forward to the horses which represent the senses. 'Know that the soul (atman. according to different schools of psycho-analysis. if any. That sex is the basis of the body is sufficiently proved by the fact that the body is born by sex. however. may be viewed as highly coloured by sex. The inner instruments. VERSE 70 The one libido it is that as the 'I' sense. this prejudice will lose its force. The image represents the notion of 'substance' rather than of mere matter. his mind the wise man should restrain undistractedly. although put in the language of antique imagery. What is more. The reference to the aesthetic participation with beauty-forms does not belong to the perfectly neutral self but its negative counterpart. Like the 'unmoved mover' of Aristotle or the 'agent of pure act' of classical philosophers. Science and religion do not come into conflict here. this kind of paganism may be said to be natural to Indian spirituality. Whatever might detract from the spiritual status of the Self by its participation with the libido on the one side is made up and added to it by its being linked to the ruler of the instruments of knowing (the 'karanas'). the body and all these becomes Unravelled. On the South Indian soil the sight of such a ceremonial procession as seen in this verse is familiar to the common man and what is more. even if merely immaculately. we have the physical basis of the self as the libido.the 'car of Juggernaut' being known to the English idiom itself). where is the term to this? The knower remains Distinct only till knowledge becomes known. These stray comparisons and analogies have been brought together here by the Guru in a more complete and coherent form. WHEN the self is equated correctly with the non-self they cancel themselves out in the Absolute. Sex in fact enters . The word 'rati' which we have translated as 'libido' here. Piecemeal notions of such verities found in text-books of different psychological. When we consider. This is the epistemological law in the light of which this verse will make meaning to the casual reader. with a scientific status given to it. Like the 'thinking substance' of Spinoza. philosophical or theological disciplines are here seen integrated together as if hanging by the same peg. When perfectly pure vertically. the latter representing 647 the inevitability of the force of providence in human life. as understood in modern psycho-analytic literature such as that of Freud. as the nearest corresponding notion of the West. whose prudery in such matters might vary according to their puritanism or paganism. to serve as the basis of an integrated notion of the Self in a fully contemplative and absolutist context. 'This body is like a cart without intelligence. The central reality here is the ''Self-image' referred to as the 'atma-pratima'. it is psycho-physical and neutral between mind and matter. the senses. verses 3-6 ) states. beginning. Jung or Adler. more negatively.' Maitri Upanishad. The procession represents a parameter for accommodating graded spiritual factors around the self. or only tinted with a shade of the sex element. which does not contradict the picture the Guru presents here.which are aspects or attributes of the neutral Absolute . and when no element of objective opacity intervenes between the self and the non-self. The chief philosophical verity to be extracted from this verse consists in recognizing the perfect aloofness and 648 neutrality of the pure thinking substance that corresponds to the highest Absolute Self. Between thinking and substance . The objective tension mounts up and then decreases when pure thought reabsorbs it again into the domain of its own transparency. distinguished as the 'I' sense.and in globally integrated fashion as a totality in the context of the Absolute.' and explaining how the pure Absolute itself could be the driver.

When wisdom dawns the forces or tendencies in nature tend to become equalised or harmonised so that phenomena become stilled or reabsorbed into the transparent clarity of the Absolute. and such a process could go on unremittingly till full identity between subject and object is established by contemplative self-realization marking the term to this process of unravelling. intro. or with artistic or intellectual items of interest. until the subject-matter enters into the domain of pure thought by verse 84. is not the same as the essential libido with which we started. and reasons more clearly ('samkalpa'). which reasons and discriminates between alternative courses of action. is further specialized at a higher level into Buddhi. but is its more positive counterpart. water and earth. 1948). when. now transparent in content. there is the body-sense that keeps alternating with the 'I' sense in which physical factors tend to be more fully abolished. pages 26-29 Samkhya-Karika of Isvara Krishna. Cogitations involving the element of will that veils reality when confused ('vikalpa'). one knows this There comes to him unbounded happiness. rajas (active- . relativistic processes of becoming. is abolished by bringing in the libido at one extreme and the object of attraction as its positive counterpart. selecting the advantageous as against the one that might be disadvantageous. Such is the ever-changeful alternating process to which the ego-sense is subject. (Cf. The Guru's version excels in that it conforms more to the findings of the experimental psychology and analytical psychology of our times. rajas and tamas). In the latter case the knower and the known merge into one unitive Absolute consciousness. Ranging from the libido on one side to the object of 651 attraction or interest is the picture presented by the Guru here. air.stop and the equation succeeds in having the full effect of making the subject and the object one. IN the previous verse there was reference to the process of unfolding of the one libido into those psycho-physical elements portrayed as the chariot procession of verse 69. This process of specialisation goes one step further and expresses itself as instruments of inner perception by means of which the brute actuality. a beginningless sport all this! In its global fullness. 650 Manas. Before such a term is reached. A theory of aesthetics and ethics is also implied therein. as analysed in the two previous verses and further elaborated in the verses that follow. This is the 'chitta' level in the vertical series of specification of inner faculties. As indicated in the 68th verse. The three gunas or nature-modalities. culminating in the gross manifestations of the mahabhutas or the five classical elements such as sky. Ahamkara and the three subdivisions and further ramifications of tattvas (first principles) based on the three gunas (sattva. The continuity of the process includes as its natural corollary the theory of reincarnation taken for granted in Indian spiritual thought. Individuation pure and simple involves the objective body-factor. When even the mathematical implications of the vertical content of life are abolished there is breaking from the process. The revaluation implied here is of great value to the student of comparative philosophy and psychology. where even the earth is treated as a universal concrete. University of Madras. The Saiva Siddhanta and the Paramartha school of Samkhya all have their varied versions of the process of unravelling of the elements of the self. which the senses gain directly from objects outside. thus socially individualised and fixed in time and place. Scientific validity and metaphysical correctness are combined here without duality. At a still further state of positive specialisation. This can take place within the relativistic frame of reference or could be fully absolutist in its implication. self-knowledge can live and move. and the pure 'Purusha' (Spirit). The common lot of humans on earth who are conditioned by the adjunct of a body that is ever subject to the processes of change and becoming. Before this term is attained by contemplative self-realization in rare individuals capable of verticalized and transparent 649 unitive contemplation. after which the specialized doors of perception come to be added to this global ego-sense. 'Ahamkara' (the 'ego-sense') is imbued with a sense of one's own individuation as a further specifying factor. VERSE 71 Bereft of becoming none stays here on earth In equalised state. which is both positive and negative according to circumstances. which has no participation with nature. Within the limits of the libido and this objectified notion of the person. The libido thus gets raised and unfolded into the stage of ego-consciousness. called the sattva (pure-clear). gets more and more meaningful in view of any action that the organism as a whole might want to take. It is the 'I' sense that first emerges. This kind of unravelling is to be understood in the light of what is indicated below in verse 71. The unconscious rises into the conscious level of itself with this first unravelling event. It is Prakriti (Nature) as opposed to Purusha (Spirit) that evolves and unravels into the elements of Mahat. fire. the alternating process of horizontalization and verticalisation goes on without any remission. The duality between 'Prakriti' (Nature). horizontally conceived as subject to gross evolution. The order in which this unravelling process is stated to go on within consciousness warrants closer scrutiny. whether in the gross outer sense or in the subtle inner sense must go on. This objective body-factor. as a whole. alternate when the mind is in operation. The Samkhya theory in respect of the factors that evolve within consciousness has been worked out by various philosophers of that school. now more and more opaque. Death is a forgetfulness of the actual here and now aspects of life in favour of pure transparent thoughts that are almost mathematical in content. cannot be said to 652 be in a state of equilibrium as between rival tendencies. 'buddhi' or the reasoning power becomes further transparent and is able to enter into bipolar relations with objects of interest outside.

Thought is central and. here the Guru more correctly describes the double function as ordered by the principle of Maya. the truth therein can make one free. When such a superiority is implicit in a vision that is global and all-comprising. for suffering has no perpetual existence. This does not develop any horizontalized action. but is where pure thought prevails more and more intensely and internally. neither positive nor negative. and the world of the intelligibles or calculables which we should distinguish as located at the inner vertical core of our self-consciousness. Action is peripheral. Ordered by Maya. the only way out of it is to attain to something superior to the process itself. Samkhya text-books such as the Karika of Isvara Krishna themselves begin their inquiry by referring to finding the means of terminating misery: 'The three-fold suffering causes injury. both as between objects and as between inner factors such as ideas or emotions. Here. we have here to visualize a process which as a process is beginningless and consequently endless in principle. This belongs to the peripheral. lonely) and 'chinmayi' (made up wholly of mind-stuff). known to ancient philosophers like the Samkhyans. ignorance and necessity are the distinguishing features of this phase. when fully and correctly understood. Such is the way of self-realization here indicated. which is conducive to the unbounded happiness which all people seek at all times. but absolute. and it is permitted even to say that Maya is the same as the Absolute. however. which is nescience. Even the inner duality implicit in such a question will not arise when knowledge is established fully and non-dualistically. because of the possibility of Maya being reabsorbed into the full transparency of the Absolute when its dual or negative implications are realized and effaced by the subject in all completeness of Self-absorption into the Absolute. It is proverbially known that knowledge has power. there is indication of this eternal game that goes on. (If it be said) a consideration of this is a useless wish it is not so. except when the term to all process is attained by self-realization. while remaining unmoved. both the minus and plus aspects of this dual. strictly speaking. beyond which and neutrally the full notion of the Absolute lies. It is for this reason that the Guru here underlines the absolute. one which is fraught with elements that are overt and refer to the world of actualities in which there is action and reaction in the mechanistic sense. The other ambivalent counterpart of this dark side is that zone of pure thought which is removed from all practical considerations. We feel the heavy weight of our own body here and there is a sense of being overpowered by this inexorable force of nature. one has to remember that it is not piecemeal information-items or opinions that prevails against suffering. . gross and unthinking aspect of the person. Here. but a global or total absolutist vision. which is the negative aspect of what is known as Maya. 654 VERSE 72 Now there is action. it moves beyond to the world of the intelligibles. and again There is the pure mental. This theory has formed part of Indian philosophical thought in general over the nearly thirty centuries of its growth and development. This happiness is. though this stays on divided.emotive) and tamas (inert-dark). Vedanta knows of no other factor intervening between the Self and absolute wisdom. in the present verse. How is this subjection to the everlasting alternating process to be overcome? This is a question touching the very purpose of philosophizing or wisdom. and as such the Guru refers to it as 'kevala' (pure. comprising. have the possibility of gaining the equilibrium of tendencies when a reabsorption of life-tendencies into the source can take place. Knowledge or wisdom can equate or cancel-out or abolish rival tendencies or trends in the innermost spirit of man to establish the state of equilibrium referred to. It still holds the field as evidenced by the choice of expressions used by the Guru in this verse which are so reminiscent of the time-honoured theory of the gunas. It is however on the background of contemplative life that the gunas are to be operative. or whether it is the mere absence of misery that is to be counted as amounting to happiness. If life is caught beginninglessly in a necessary process of becoming. so an investigation into the cause of this injury. Samkhya Karika by Isvara Krishna. It is supposed to have a vikshepa (projecting) and avarana (veiling) function. or nescience. all-filling and total nature of the wisdom-insight for abolishing ignorance root and branch and establishing oneself in the happiness or bliss that is the same as the Absolute in its essence. Darkness. CONSCIOUSNESS is subject to two main and alternating phases or pulsations. The process of becoming to which man's consciousness is subject has dualities. One is positive and the other is negative in its content and effect. which is knowledge.) 653 Sankara himself starts his Brahma-Sutra-Bhashya by referring to this same overall purpose of knowledge. which must refer to the last vestige of asymmetry or error in consciousness. when all relativistic aspects are absorbed into the absolute tranquillity and transparency of pure wisdom that knows no second. alternating process. thus The meta-dual attitude the unitive turiya yields. Ignorance is the greatest single cause of misery. of which the fractional events are partial aspects only. The alternation is thus between the horizontal world of observables and actions present or possible. Maya or error is an alternating process involving the plus and minus sides of absolute consciousness. Although the term ordinarily connotes more the negative rather than the positive aspect of this double process. nescience. The alternating process and its implications are examined more specifically in the next verse. 655 Maya is a notion that on final analysis comprises both phases of this subtle alternating process and not merely the negative aspect of darkness. Phenomena are transcended in this which is the noumenon. inert. The question is often put whether absolute wisdom makes one happy positively. as we should suppose when a perfect state of equilibrium referred to here is established in all its possible implications.' (Verse 1. The rise and fall is an alternating process continuing ever within the relativistic set-up of human life here. Like the everlasting phenomenon of the rise and fall of waves on the ocean.

' (18) The statement in the last of the verse here to the extremely secret or subtle nature of this question is thus justified. bhavana (creative approach or attitude).such they hold is the fourth. by such knowing we can know Consciousness as inclusive of all. as differently called. VERSE 73 Of one thing there could be many. as elaborated in Plato's Parmenides. the dialectics implied in the question is not seen by usual textbook logicians like Bain. the essence of the term that designates the one Self (ekatma-pratyaya-sara). Such are some of the implications here suggested. THE dialectics of the one and the many. 7. one and the others in relation to themselves and one another. not a cognition mass (prajnana-ghana). The discussions have been so fruitless that scholastic hair-splitting has become proverbially held up to ridicule because of such so-called logicchopping. para (beyond). 3. and appear to be and appear not to be. not cognitive (prajna). which is its inevitable dialectical counterpart. not outwardly cognitive (bahih-prajna). VII. the full meaning of which has to be understood in the light of what is described as the fourth state of consciousness in the Mandukya Upanishad. The word 'turiya' is another technical Vedantic term. 4. The knowledge of one tree would apply to all trees and thus justify the statement. as in many objects One single meaning reside. In India this two-way approach finds mention even in the Rig Veda (X. ungraspable (agrahya).or peach-trees in Europe. viii. as the last adjuncts described in the Mandukya Upanishad quoted above make sufficiently clear. whether one is or is not. and also. is also described in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in V. xi. having its locus in the Self.Name and form are the final ingredients of Maya with which it works its projection or veiling. while Bradley may be said to have an inkling of this two-sided approach to the link between the one and the many. He is one to be known. irrespective of vertical differences through the seasons. He is Self (atman). 58-2). Such a state has as its nearest Chinese concept the Tao which is described in the beginning of the Tao Teh Khing as not capable of being expressed in words by the famous sentence: 'The Tao expressed in words is not the real Tao. 658 Conversely each tree. The meta-dual attitude is the dvaya (dual). all of them in every way are and are not. The idea of unity depends on the notion of multiplicity. which should now become sufficiently clear in the light of the double nature of Maya explained here.' (Translation from R. unseen (adrishta).E. benign (shiva). when in different months it is without leaves or with flowers only. 15) which refers to ekatva (one-ness) and prithaktva (separate plurality) as pertaining to the same central truth of the Absolute. in spite of horizontal differences due to location and minute individual . If we should reduce the truth of this metaphysical subtlety into common parlance we could think of a garden with peach or mango trees of the same kind and age. It is not a mere sunya or vacuity without value or content. It refers to pure or absolute consciousness and the pertinent section translated reads as follows: 656 'Not inwardly cognitive (antah-prajna).Hume. and in the Bhagavad Gita (IX. non-thinkable (achintya). differencelessly. the Absolute begins to shine in its full glory. and further let us affirm what seems to be the truth.' This turiya is sometimes referred to as the supra-conscious state. 7. having no distinctive mark (alakshana). 19. Even to this day. as seen clearly with cherry. 657 We know that the same philosophical problem comes back in scholastic philosophy in the form of the relation between genus and species. with which there is no dealing (avyavaharya). the cessation of phenomenal complication (prapanchopasama). with slight modifications) This 'turiya' or 'turya'. calmly established (santa). that. 6. however. but it would be better epistemologically to call it the neutral state beyond all dual consciousness. that cannot be designated (avyapadesa). xiv. is the subject-matter of this verse. The conclusion of the passage in Plato's 'Parmenides' reads as follows: 'Let this much be said. This secret ultimate is not given to all to know. When the one and the many cancel out there is the numinous value called the Absolute. not both-wise cognitive (ubhayatah-prajna). secondless (advaita). and in Maitri Upanishad in VI. not non-cognitive (aprajna). 'Of one thing there could be many'. And when 'nama-rupa' (name and form) become transcended.

87. as the Guru takes care to warn the reader. Pearls they are. Modern mathematical physics has notions of space and time united under the concept of a common field. Fechner may be said to represent this philosophical school of psycho-physics in the West.these make up the dark. we can go one step further and generalise that 'consciousness' is 'inclusive of all differencelessly'. complementarity or mutual cancellability between 660 conjugates such as time and space are notions beginning to be acceptable even to modern physicists. New York. The big universe and the universe of particles which behave as if they were little systems of their own. and what is mental has absorbed within its boundaries what was once outside its scope. the magic of waves. 'Dialogues of Plato'. both brute and pure. take care that there is first established a common epistemological basis for the two. We have translated the word 'chit' by 'mind-stuff' as affording the nearest point of contact for the natural insertion of mind into matter or vice-versa.conforms in principle to an archetypal pattern or model of a tree in terms of inner consciousness. the Atma (Self) the deep. II. The constant 'I. Random House.and macro-cosms. the body (udal) is said to be comprised within mind-stuff (chit) and vice-versa. specifically refers to that aspect of clear consciousness that is capable of entering into some bipolar relation with an outside object. between the expanding universe of astronomy and the quantum world of nuclear 559 physics. which. Textbooks like the Vedanta Paribhasha. CONSCIOUSNESS is often compared to an ocean. matter and mind. And what one drinks of oneself. indeed the nectar of immortal bliss. translated by B. In the last two lines of the present verse. conceived neutrally and absolutistically. an abstraction that is neither material nor merely consisting of abstract conceptual entities. The macro-cosmos might be said to comprise the micro-cosmos or vice-versa. THE same subtle dialectics implied in the relation between the one and the many which was epistemologically considered in the previous verse is now taken up again in its ontological implications. The reciprocity. Here the Guru adopts a thorough-going epistemological and methodological standpoint. The inert merges thus in the mind-stuff. VERSE 75 Nature is water. Samvit. are familiar features of the modern idea of the nature of the physical world. also belongs to this neutral ground of motion. Modern cosmologists at least would not be shocked by the postulation of such a possibility. has come to recognize a subtle reciprocity of correspondence as between the micro. This ocean of consciousness. inertia. is also similarly visualized as a factor in the subtle two-limbed equation here involved. Vol. Jowett. which is its counterpart. where one and the many merge in the unity of the Absolute. thus. is.details of an incidental nature (such as what distinguishes the finger-prints of one Peter from those of a Paul) . Contemplative insight is required to penetrate into this secret of secrets. like the electro-magnetic field of modern physicists. has to be elaborated in detail only hereafter. who solves the paradoxes of a Zeno and a Parmenides by a modern scientific methodology of his own. The word 'chit'. where meanings of meanings have their being. on thought they are One. and Russell. James and even Bergson. (18) P. each flowering of knowledge from within. At least such knowledge is not common to all. discrimination or will to guide itself . as the mind-stuff too Within the body. The Guru here anticipates a unified science wherein mind and matter could reciprocally comprise each other on neutral ground. instead of being two distinctive relatives of different orders. as used in Vedanta. In . VERSE 74 Particles there are innumerable in a world As within such a particle a world too abides. they belong to one and the same epistemological basis. The Sanskrit word 'jada' is the opposite of 'ajada'. which meet in his 'motor schemes'. body foam. to meet on common ground. 'In many objects one single meaning could thus reside' as the verse states in the second instance. The methodology and epistemology proper to contemplative science. Cybernetics and semantics are branches of modern science which participate both ways by subtle reciprocal ambivalent links which are neither mental nor material. has 661 noumenal unity under its apparent phenomenal diversity. Matter and mind have to be viewed in the light of a 'neutral monism' or of a 'psycho-physics' by which. The material world consists of particles as known to modern particle physics. In fact what is called physical now admits what used to be called mental. lack of any initiative. as it is called. I' rumbling within. Heaviness. although they seem to have use for pramanas (means of knowledge) such as the pratyaksha (direct perception) in common with materialists who rely on this first of all pramanas. material aspect whose attributes have to be conceived philosophically together before its living contrast with what is called chit. When we admit that the notions of the one and the many are dialectically interdependent in this manner. Dialectical methodology is becoming more and more acceptable to scientific thinkers. which belongs to the context of absolute wisdom.

Here. and also in verse 77. the sky his back. universal fire (agni vaisvanara) his open mouth. starts with one of the boldest attempts at correlation of the Absolute when it reads: 'Om! Verily the dawn is the head of the sacrificial horse. 'Measureless sand' is referred to here as against small instalments of sand. The participation of matter with mind takes place in a homogenous medium of general consciousness. too complicated to analyse. which gives room to the mechanistically-conceived forces of 'the survival of the fittest'. 'the struggle for existence' and 'natural selection' under blind or necessary given conditions. so that the reader may not have the . I. I' would thus represent each individual consciousness that rises like a spark from the general anvil. Immortality and happiness are synonymous and interchangeable terms. is more viscous in consistency than Nature in the Bergsonian context of the eternal flux and becoming in terms of pure motion. The sun became sight. and entered the mouth. There is nothing so dear to man as his own soul.' (19) In the very next verse. the earth the under-part of his belly. 1.. Whether water is still present or not in the well is not important to the analogy. as in biology. and entered the ears. where the same is examined from a slightly different perspective. there is an essential unity which gives it a very high human value-content. Nature as water is the least specific general aspect of the basis of the pure act or motion in the phenomenal world. for many other instances of correlation. Pure motion or act in the Aristotelian sense also fits into a world of absolute pure consciousness. 4 reads: 'Fire became speech.other words vertical and horizontal aspects come together to give it a global or unitive structure in which aspects of individual or collective consciousness could be intelligently fitted organically to make a unitive whole. These values belong to the self at the very core of the relational structure portrayed here as the drinker or enjoying subject to whom all the varied values must refer homogeneously. 'Thirteen Principal Upanishads'. and entered the nostrils. and the other of falsehood which is a contrary wind which counters the possibility of their participation. The body is here compared to foam because foam is more specialized than a wave. The operation of these two factors. The way in which the structure of total consciousness emerges from its own absolutist background of boundless infinitude is what is presented in the verse here. is transformed from its original purity and unity into multiplicity. of the self and by the self. and the process of sanding-up of the original water is to be thought of as eternally happening from the bottom of the water from inside and upward. Being and becoming are there juxtaposed by a mixed metaphorical or allegorical device. fitful gusts prevail. the unitive picture revealed is more simple and transparent. eternally and together. results in the multiplicity that life presents to the non-philosophical mind. therefore it corresponds to the depth dimension of the ocean to which all other factors may be said to cohere. 76. whose purpose is to reveal the operation of the factors that destroy the transparency of the original waters and keep making it opaque or translucent. the atmosphere his belly. (19) Cf. which is neither physical nor psychic. THE process by which the transparent and pure factors that originally made up what is called the 'inner self' or atma of man. 663 VERSE 76 As with a well with measureless sand dropping ceaselessly. as given to contemplation. The repeated 'I. The Self does not depend on the material aspect of the water. So too. The ego-consciousness is an event in pure duration that comes to be. 662 When Nature (prakriti) is compared to water it might be difficult for those brought up in Western notions of Nature. the global picture is one that takes place in time and process as factors side-by-side with being as such. however. Whereon wafting tier on tier. The notion of Nature here must be made by the reader to fit into such a context of schematization as understood by Kant and others when they distinguish the pure thing in itself from its own phenomenal aspects on a common ground. and its degradation to gross indigence in its spiritual status. The year is the body (atman) of the sacrificial horse. although both foam and wave are but water. R. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad I. the sun his eye. On the other side the limpid transparency of the water that was once present is perhaps to be treated as also far removed in time. to the waftings of untruth's hierarchy exposed Inwardly does the Inner Self multitudinous forms attain. Hume. The relations are not haphazard or chaotic. ' The Aitareya Upanishad I. psychological or theological correlation to give a global perspective to that vision of the Absolute.. to enter into the spirit of the analogy straightaway. The horizontal gusts of wind prevail eternally. The two factors involved are: one of truth that helps the participation of mind with matter. Wind became breath. the wind his breath. both psychological and cosmological. cling or cluster around. E. lasts awhile and then is reabsorbed into the central consciousness where it has its origin. and entered the eyes. The Upanishads have in several places employed a scheme of cosmological. the quarters of heaven became hearing. is here pictured by the Guru through the analogy of a neglected well such as one sees on the coastal regions of Kerala. When knowledge is for the self. the losing of which while gaining all the three worlds would still be meaningless. the quarters his flanks. Darwinian Nature.etc. ii.

This is a clear recognition of the horizontal factor operative at the very core of the Absolute Self. occupies a central place in the dialectical relation which link one pole of this series with the others. according to Sankara and others. We have in their actualising process of pure elements a division and growth as in the typical biological egg that has been fertilised. Visishta-advaita and Dvaita (non-duality.impression that the process has a beginning and is to be 664 visualized as a mere phenomenal fact of the outer world. III. rather than pure abstract principles or entities. Similarly the hierarchy of untruth here referred to would suggest the co-existence of truth with falsehood for all time. With this double aspect of the simple phenomenon of knowing the earth in the visible sense. Division and proliferation set in together. VERSE 77 The transcendental ultimate is the sky. which are five in number. sometimes referring to it as the bridge that gulfs immortality or as the double road that links and permits the two-way traffic between two great cities. as in terra firma. The earth has a direct bipolar subject-object relation clearly marked as between our subjective perception and its objective counterpart. the object of perception the earth. is the same factor. When the elements are referred to in the context of Indian philosophical tradition we have to remember that it is a monadological version of it. a complicated mathematical rearrangement. has its secret in One alone. and the sense-organs Water. ranging downward from sky to the earth. Here there is a descending dialectics which finally puts the senses and sense-perception as close as possible. which have between them contributed so many volumes of polemical literature of the most hair-splitting order that the discussion itself is sometimes considered sterile and useless. Both vertical and horizontal factors operate on the Self at one and the same time. The Upanishads contain hints of 665 this subtle participation. Human life touches here the philosophical paradox of the one and the many. Consciousness. attains to the 666 term of such a process. 39). like fire. The two previous verses viewed the same factors of correlation from a more hypostatic level. making of each of them five-fold ensembles. blowing untruth against the interests of the transparent waters of the well. The process of horizontalization of the elements from their pure to their derived form. thus as principles five. In the Bhagavad Gita a high absolutist status has been conferred on this negative factor. with the element called the Earth as the object. ranging from the earth to the sky. or to the amnion and the allantois that cover the foetus. with growth both in number and size. Vedanta has its schools of Advaita. we can think of a series of upward gradations which relate the subject. which is there described as having the form of desire ('kama-rupa') and which is further alluded to as nitya-vairi (eternal enemy) of the wise.and object-factors. Wisdom has always by its side its own enemy in the form of nescience. In India itself. The participation of mind and matter has been a metaphysical problem that has uniformly agitated minds of all countries through the ages. and the other possible paradoxes of the big and the small or the material and the spiritual . The purpose of the analogy would be best served only when the picture and the process it portrays are fitted correctly into the structural philosophical background where they are to be operative. Such horizontalization of the tendencies that turn externally and centripetally into particularized manifestations in distinct and solid objects. and the contrast between the object and subject then becomes more fully marked.all of which are implied in this transparency or opacity through which matter and spirit participate. Imagination and insight have to fill in the gaps to make the picture living and complete. involves. before horizontalization by the churning activity of nature takes place. If one is light the other is darkness or smoke. . THE same unitive scheme of correlation of aspects of reality from the contemplative point of view is considered again here from another perspective at a more central level of the personality. In Vedanta such a process of actualisation in space follows an organic order or method called panchikarana. This second negative factor has been compared to smoke in a flame. but has to be understood philosophically as both. vertically conceived. What keeps ever burning. that power Expansive is the wind. qualified non-duality and duality). There is an ambivalent osmosis of plus and minus involved here which requires much insight to grasp. The horizontal gust of ever-wafting winds here. instead of coming into force suddenly. the dust on a mirror. with all its subtle dynamic and static implications. This is neither strictly an event nor a process. consciousness fire. (Gita. To help in such an understanding the Guru here resorts to the analogy of the clear waters of the well that gradually get sanded-up by adverse winds of falsehoods.

the vertical difference as between the transcendental and the immanent could be reconciled with the central fire of consciousness in a certain way. is this thing that stands Nor is it a thing at all with any content. The common principle is no other than the character of absolute existence. The schema implied in verses 77. Just as the elements can present differences in appearance between them. Each one of the grand elements is divided by the Creator in two parts. It is these composite elements which serve for the constitution of individual things.. and one of these two halves again into four parts. Whether the Guru accepts this theory of 'panchikarana' or not does not arise here. besides its original half of its own totality. it is justified to believe that he gave support to it at least in its broad outline. whether vertical or horizontal. as it is not empty of all matter. p. When in philosophy we distinguish the transcendental from the immanent.content. it has mixed with it four 1/8 parts of each of the other four primary elements. The dominant proportion of the primary element safeguards its authenticity. EVEN the frame of reference from cosmology and psychology that was depended on to bring the notion of the Absolute into its own proper perspective is here abandoned and the Guru's speculation soars one degree higher. 76 and 75 justifies this view. The totality must yield the neutral Absolute that knows no difference. 325. 667 The Guru does not enter into discussion of those fractions of elements in this process of actualisation into the primary elements. which we cannot do better than translate and quote below: '. was already begun in the end of the previous verse where the five apparently different principles of the elemental aspect of nature were merged into a central unity. It is easy for us to see the truth of the difference between the elements and difficult to undo the effects of the panchikarana to see behind the elements the equal essence of reality that traverses all of them like a string through coloured pearls. An ambivalent polarity with a neutral fire in the centre. because. The solid earth appears so. Lacombes' L'Absolu selon le Vedanta. we have to bear in mind that the difference is not fundamental and that one and the same contemplative value relates and strings all of them together in an ambivalent or polarized series. Each one of these quarters is then mixed with half that has been left intact of each of the four other elements.An authoritative account of panchikarana is given in Prof. In the present verse it will be noticed that. which the sky implies. as suggested in this verse. but in the light of his other writings where the theory is alluded to. Nor men or gods nor others of that order. is also to be fitted into this scheme of correlation. As soon as contemplation is able to see the unity behind the diversity of phenomena it is not to 669 remain statically fixed even to the idea of diversity. we have to imagine that one part of earth forms an eighth part entering into its composition to make it have that degree of materiality. while the mythological. If we take the case of the sky. all name and form Like a mirage based on desert sands. ascending to the sky or descending to earth. It thus results that each element composes itself thereafter as follows: 1/2 element pure plus 1/8 of each of the four other elements. Although.. to give them the anomalous appearances that are not their own but borrowed from others. though only ethereal. ontological or empirical aspect of reality or existence. discarding all scaffoldings to help to raise the edifice of non-dual thought in the self-realizing process of contemplation. What is more important than the 'panchikarana' theory that we have to notice in this verse is the correlation established between these elements and other cosmological and 668 metaphysical aspects of the Absolute Reality treated as a whole. 0. note. The preparation for this total vision. Speculation rises higher and more neutrally into purer and freer abstractions. we have to understand them in terms of the pure incandescence that underlies all and each of them as a common factor. What is extraneous to each element is what makes it different as between each successive member of the series. due to the mixing up with extraneous elements of different levels of reality. actual and other miscellaneous conditionings . VERSE 78 Neither is there death nor birth nor life duration here. there are five different flames which have differences between them. But the adjunction of the other elements explains the participation of things with all other things and explain certain anomalies of perception'.

only seeming to contain the distinct entities that we take seriously but erroneously as things. which we shall not discuss here. which latter are mere physical events. Thus. Bergson excels in showing this through almost all his writings. gods and other things or entities of a similar order. is a product of defective. Here Narayana Guru reveals a fully modern scientific attitude. Spiritually . valid in theory when we forget about life-values which are fundamental and even conducive to final happiness. linking all the individual events considered as stills. with whom mythology. One cannot enter the same river twice. Advaitic epistemology admits of slightly varying points of view as between the different schools of dualists and qualified non-dualists (as between the empiricists and rationalists of Europe) about the status of appearance. the Guru stops short of abolishing name and form here. If we should take a complementary or converse position and think of what is born as a spiritual soul or entity. finally establishing non-dual reality. He takes the favourite example of the mirage which seems to have the thirst-quenching value-content called water. which may be said to depend more on the horizontal factor. which was later restated by Plato in the words of Socrates. the moment of birth exists in what is called the eternal present or moment. there is another paradox that presents itself. There is what is called pure time. and dry sand. gives no value-content to mere mentations and appearances but wishes to lead us to the pure absolute core of Self-consciousness itself. In reality it has no such value-content. The entity or organism that is subject to birth is in the process of becoming. is unthinkable. and the stage is set ready for the higher contemplative verities to be examined hereafter. what is there left in its place? The Guru here tries to determine the status of the reality that is left when aspects of appearance through name and form are abolished. we find it empty of content or of ultimate value-significance. and who is born Is not there at another moment. even when no thirst-quenching possibility resides there. conditioned. It was given to Henri Bergson in recent years to revert after centuries to this way of thinking which boldly attempts to face and solve the innate paradox of life and existence. Name and form remain in the mind of thinking man as categories that still give room for some kind of ideation or mentation into which entities distinguishable by them faintly adhere and seem to occupy a place as configurations within consciousness. and it would be wrong to fix one moment in the process which would statically fix the process and view it as a single event called birth. We shall only note that the Guru. What is false can still be seen by the senses but does not mean anything of value. Birth is an event. he is not merely dismissing an aspect of reality as false. but as it is a process coming under the idea of becoming it cannot be understood in the static terms of a still or a crosssection. death and duration refer to the vertical axis of the frame of reference merely nominally and as tacitly implied even in their denial. 672 Non-mechanistic or creative thought has this cinematographic function through its ability to piece together single events that are stills or crosssections into a continuous whole. not only is there an optical illusion. and imagine the growth as a pure movement in becoming. VERSE 79 At birth-time there is no being. When reality has thus been reduced to just name meeting form. subsistence and value. It is the intuition of man that is alone capable of seeing the continuity implied in the process. If we want to study the growing point of plants we have to take several cross-sections and put them together. are all swept away. Seen from its own inside. 671 When the Guru repeats here that it is a thing and then says it is not really a thing. All plurality depends on names and forms. like the matter and form of Aristotle or the visible and the intelligible of Plato . while making some allowance for the position of the mere empiricist or realist thinker. All is a flux and a becoming within the mind-stuff pure! HERE we have a verse highly reminiscent of the Eleatic philosophy of Parmenides and Zeno. but an emptiness of value or interest. how ever does this have existence? Death too is even likewise. which has no such value. to come up against the full light of the vision of the Absolute. and look at the world of name and form. subsistence and value together. before the hundred verses complete the total cycle open to introspection or overt speculation with general ideas. An extraneous moment in which life that is born could have its living. Some philosophers like the Vaiseshikas would say here that seeing itself proves the reality. but. like Sankara. Birth. is the existential basis on which the life-giving waters were imagined. and thus birth too is nought. Name and form are those aspects of thought or mentation which persist even when the grosser elements of consciousness have been analysed and found empty by an intense process of contemplation. mechanistic thinking. which we have rendered as the 'flux and becoming within the mind-stuff pure'. only the vestige of the reference to name and form taken together is retained. They are two poles. and it is because of this lack of full or final value-content that appearance is to be discarded as false. The lengthened picture of the duration of time. which does not depend on the ticking of the clock or the rotation of the earth. at one stroke. although the eye is able to see the mirage and falsely perceive the water. as Heraclitus said. as otherwise we should not see at all. are effaced even before the name-form residue. Although the contemplative is to go behind and beyond this pair of conditionings to which his consciousness is subject. still giving them recognition. which is alone existence. theology or literature are populated. This is the realist position. properly speaking. finds full corroboration in Bergson's idea of change and becoming in pure terms of a 'motor scheme' of events in the flux of consciousness.which are again the same as the two orders of the observables and calculables that modern scientific philosophers 670 are beginning to distinguish as being at the base of all strict reasoning or knowledge that can result overtly or actually.are shed. Men. as some Maya-vadins (supporters of the doctrine of appearance) might do. according to the ticking of a clock. The denizens of space. as it were. extraneous to the essence of time as such. When we think of existence. The expression 'chit-prabhava'. It is in this sense that it is stated here that there is no being at birth-time nor at another moment.

to be thought of independently of the static state. VERSE 81 Nature. although in popular parlance this seems to be vaguely admitted by these three words being loosely applied to one and the same indivisible flux in consciousness. as when we say that the earth and other things have been created and will endure some time and pass beyond into some unknown state of existence. it shining looms. which equates all phenomenal appearances to name and form. Physically speaking. .these three have implied between them a paradox. the endurance of such creation for some time. dissolution in one place co-exist? For these three to pass into. we are obliged to resort to the absolutist approach if any residue of reality is to be left at all. how could they As creation. At another time again by 'this-ness' expanded It spreads out before as the enjoyable universe. is all that may be said to remain when we think of birth. and its own dynamism.which constitutes the creative evolution of life in terms of the vital energy (élan vital).admits of no static cross-section which could be conceived as a stable basis of reality. Motion has to be understood schematically and in the abstract. are reabsorbed into the transparent richness and glory of the Absolute itself. The simplest of mental events. without any tangible content. when we say that the wave is only water with a certain outline and form with a name given to it. The philosophy of Peter Abelard and his followers represent just this school. and between the two the resulting notion of Pure Motion has to be derived. earth and other things are mere word alone. Then we have to recognize this entity by a name so that we can communicate with one another about it. Thus viewed.e. Movement has its contrary in 674 standing still. conceptual or perceptual).when free from extraneous conditionings (upadhi) and from conceptual attributes (adhyasa) that have their origin in the inner organs of knowing called karana (the instrument of knowledge or the organ of consciousness) . pure movement is vertical. whether inner or outer (i. in the light of which ultimate Vedantic verity all events in consciousness. as has already been stated in a previous verse (79). Between these contraries one has to arrive at a pure notion of motion or becoming. Pure consciousness . In the Indian philosophical context the ultimate point of reduction of reality into its philosophical components is by the term nama-rupa (name-form combinations). The Zeno paradoxes have stated and examined this philosophical puzzle in detail from the times of the pre-Socratic philosophers. like being and becoming. The continuous process of pure becoming . sthiti (duration or existence). We know that the philosophy of Bergson in more recent years further elaborated and worked upon the paradoxes of Zeno and Parmenides and give to the world a fully scientific point of view by which reality is conceived as in an eternal flux in terms of vital energy. creation or death.. VERSE 80 Contraries. Conceptualisation leads finally to nominalism. The corresponding term in Vedantic terminology is the 'dhara-vahikachitta-vritti' or 'flowing-oil-streak-continuity'. one has to find living possible in unconditioned pure or eternal time which cannot find a moment external to itself. as known to the philosophy of Bergson .comes to have its own status identical with the highest notion of the Absolute. just in the same way as a paradox is implied between Pure Motion.speaking. but are conceptual abstractions. Name and form have no actual content in themselves. THERE is a subtle paradox implied in being and becoming as applied to reality. While brute movement and immobility are horizontal. at one time as the enjoyer of everything Outside. as in mathematics where symbols or lines would represent the pure idea. and laya (reabsorption into the original matrix) cannot be understood to refer to a static state disjunct and distinct from the two others. we only reduce it into its ultimate terms to dissolve and merge both name and form into the matrix of the Absolute. whereby mere tautologies and contradictions are transcended. which is to be understood in terms of neither one of the two. endurance. dividing. The idea of creation. This can be done by abstracting and generalizing to arrive at the essence of movement conceived dialectically in the context of the Absolute. which is referred to in Vedanta as the second item of the series srishti (creation). the process of birth and becoming cannot be fitted into a static moment. immanent as transcendent. (which are respectively the three aspects of srishti. As opposites cannot co-exist without contradicting or cancelling the verity 675 of each into nothingness. The earth has a certain outline shape which has first to be recognized schematically or in mathematical abstraction. Although popular religions may hold such a view there is no 'beyond' into which the states could pass on. Even as we see or imagine the process as taking place in a fully scientific sense here. of which name by itself implies form. and its passing into another stage as the process of becoming is pushed further. Existence. Phenomenology and nominalism in the West touch precisely those levels of abstract speculation which the Indian mind has attained in the Vedanta. there is nothing either. these three have at their core a paradox which cannot be explained away. 673 The Vedanta Paribhasha of Dharmaraj Adhvarya deals with this kind of stream in consciousness in his introductory section where he treats of Vedantic epistemological principles. Such a nominalistic view of reality is not unknown in Western philosophy. sthithi and laya known to Indian philosophical lore) .

Vertically there is the pure world of things-in-themselves. this same verity is viewed from the relativistic side. Either one has Absolute Wisdom or one does not have it. sages and seers. and the notion of the Absolute which is altogether beyond all relativistic considerations. The middle ground is abolished here. If we should consider one aspect of nature as positive. 8. 37). VERSE 82 Like the fire that emerges out of churning sticks That boundless wisdom that from within those who seek prevails As the Sun ascendant in pure reason's firmament supreme. as related to the mind. Nature thus neutrally understood would be the point of intersection of the vertical and horizontal aspects in the context of the Absolute itself. It is thus a value-world in which he is placed. or the immanent and the transcendental realities. The fire of wisdom is referred to in the Gita as being capable of burning up all dross of karma (action) (Cf. as the Biblical parable puts it. Such visions depend on a priori and not on a posteriori reasoning. they will not yield the final vision of the Absolute which has to identify the self and the highest of human values under one scheme. is spread out before him as items of enjoyment.) is resorted to by the Guru to bring out the twin aspect of Nature as referred to in the previous verse. Wisdom is a flame that bursts out in its brilliance when the required intensity of thought is arrived at. Sabda or the 'word' is also recognized in Vedanta as a pramana (basis of certitude). fuel everything becomes. These two aspects in nature have been brought into their paradoxical perspective in this and in the previous verses. This same inner agent or witness is the one which is also related to the horizontal series of graded interests that. we can. both actual and perceptual. explain how all manifested things become absorbed and burnt in the conflagration of the fire of wisdom that is here described. They belong to different philosophical contexts. and then it would be possible to refer to the two aspects of Nature distinguished here. The man who is engaged in the incessant search for Absolute Truth does not arrive at his prize in slow graded instalments or degrees. whose words have to be respected in such matters. One has to wait for the bridegroom to arrive without blinking a minute. As the Sun and sunlight are related. understood under the aegis of the Absolute. like a feast. the division here is fundamental and necessary for methodic self-realization because the vertical and the horizontal aspects should not be mixed up. All duality vanishes in the unitive Absolute.both of them being outer manifestations. Besides the Upanishads and the Gita we have the testimony of generations of mystics. THE Upanishadic analogy of two sticks rubbing together to produce fire (see Katha Upanishad IV. and this is why the Brahma Sutras start off boldly and categorically by asserting that the proof of the Absolute is in its having its source in the sastras (canonical scriptures). Nature under the aegis of the Absolute is the common meeting-point of the actual and the perceptual. conceptual or even nominal. Thus we have here one of the most important of the correlations for a normative notion of the Absolute in the context of Self-realization. like the author of the present set of verses himself. spirit or inner consciousness. by a simple mathematical operation. It stays burning and to its flames consuming.MAN is related to nature in two principal ways. The analogy is meant to underline the need for persistent and relentless research in the pursuit of wisdom. Nature is a conditioned aspect of the Absolute seen through the self or the ego of man. Wisdom is an emergent factor and the cause of it is prior to inferential reasoning. This value-world or setting that any man may be said to find himself in. the immanent and the transcendent. as contemplatively understood in its complete and two-fold aspect. Although thus conditioned. When text-books on meditation indicate that one attains perfection after much practice. as Sankara explains in three verses quoted by him at the end . covering the ontological and teleological. Whether this horizontally-spread-out feast is to be enjoyed in an ethical sense is not to be discussed here. Merit or virtue in the religious or ethical context is one 678 thing and the boundless wisdom here under reference is quite another. and to stress the emergent nature of the resulting wisdom with the full white light of the Absolute. whether subjectively or objectively understood. the enjoyer and the enjoyed aspects of nature must belong 677 unitively to a central reality which is here 'Nature' written with a capital N. The recognition of this two-fold aspect of Nature is all that is intended in this verse. which is not to be expected in any slow gradations. The light of wisdom is qualitatively different from that innate negative factor which is at the basis of manifestation or creation. as with ends and means. and the other aspect as negative. The two should not be mixed up directly. The relation is established through the interest that a man might take in life. IV. We know in philosophy such distinctions as the ontological and the teleological. the phenomenal and the noumenal and other such pairs of distinctions. is called 676 'Nature' here. We have to think of man as forming the core of the situation. The attempt of the Guru here is to classify Nature into two sets. Another subtle philosophical point to note here is that the two value-worlds of Nature meet in the central self which is the enjoyer. If mixed up. resembling the divisions of Spinoza . It is here viewed from a neutral psychophysical standpoint where mind and matter are given equality of status under the aegis of what is known as Nature.

and then dying out again. vidar meaning 'gap'. as found in rocks that are not fully compact. rises or changes over.alternately dormant or actively unfolding itself. it ever changeless remains. A complete picture of this alternating process has to be built up by the reader by fitting different life contexts together. is a strict translation of the original 'vidar-arum'. . is an entity subject to a cyclic process which alternates and completes itself. the uncleft one. The wheel of life or samsara. The self in its extreme positive aspect is spoken of in Vedanta as rock-firm (kutastha).which refer to the consciousness of deep steep (karana) and the 'fourth' (turiya).of the Chatussutri. Again to continue. Modern medical men like Dr. Besides the heartbeat. Elsewhere in verse 56 of the same composition the Guru compares the rise and fall of bodies to the incessant rise and fall of waves on the ocean. All bodies are the same in their contemplative. and with the fully horizontal version. firm. The philosophy of Bergson again affords us a living picture of how organisms follow a cyclic alternating course in their growth. 'top' or 'tip'. Life is viewed there as a tendency in the abstract. watching these three from on high The Self. compact and of a substance fully itself with nothing extraneous to its own pure. as known in the Sanskritic lore. The notion of such a self. is what is subject to the tendencies of the vital urge. somewhat on the lines of the beating of the heart. as well as the wheel mentioned in the Gita (III. It witnesses all from a positive rather than a central position.all aspects of this subtle. Here the general purpose of the reference to this alternation is to draw the contrast between relative life. etc. Like an equation in physics the two limbs prove each other. The term 'watching' in the third line is not to detract from the ontological self. life repeats itself season after season . The expression. subject to the alternation of tendencies that belong to the body and the other absolutist 681 counterpart of the same which has no such alternating gaps. If we should be permitted to use the terminology developed in these comments and elsewhere. The plus limit of a vertical axis which is referred to sometimes as an omega point is what is meant. rich being or sat. all indicate the outlines of these alternating phases to which allusion has been made in verse 68. 'cleftless'. the staying and the rising. all imply the same revolving and alternating movement whose phases pass from the actual to the virtual or the more deep-seated levels of consciousness . The process is not unlike what we can watch in a pool of water where big drops of rain water make bubbles that last for some time to burst again. is sod. 'inter-space' or 'cleavage'. multiplication and development (cf. VERSE 84 Because of cognition. In verse 75 again the same waves have been understood in 680 terms of inner consciousness as the basis of the 'I' sense that keeps repeating itself within each individual consciousness Here the three stages of making and breaking. The reference to 'on high' in the same line is a translation of the original expression 'mudi' which could also mean 'peak'. is natural to Vedanta. The Absolute is a terminal limit to this alternating or circulating lower process. It is not altogether a flight of philosophical fancy to say that there is a similar alternation to which life tendencies in the body are subject. This four-fold frame of reference within which human consciousness lives and moves is known to the Mandukya Upanishad and to other writings. When the Guru here refers to the breaking up. which is something apart and knows no change. and the living body which has its full function as a unity. cyclic. and the organism. Relativistic nescience thus gets absorbed and cancelled out when absolutist knowledge or full wisdom prevails. the horizontal version of truth is effaced when the vertical version of the same prevails. together with the intervening concept of staying or enduring. double alternation have to be kept in mind. 16) and the dharma-chakra known to the Buddhists. schematically conceived. because knowing substance as 'sat' and 'chit' could be attributes of the same Absolute. Bergson's 'Creative Evolution'). The vertical needs no proof but proves itself. Alexis Carrel have themselves distinguished between the dead body viewed. are subtly referred to in order to contrast this living. . viewed in its proper psycho-physical perspective. where the notion of ontological existence is given full importance together with what is real in the world of ideological values. THE living body. especially evident in the sex life of the individual. what there is. We have to think of an organism in the abstract if we are to visualize this process of becoming in respect of the living body or entity. as in keeping with the position of this verse in relation to the total structure of the work as a whole. if one should say there is Earthiness as a reality. 679 VERSE 83 It breaks up. psycho-physically-conceived picture of the body . As in a bulbous plant. on the dissection table. stays on. as it were. A somewhat similar point of view must be adopted here in order to be able to see how there are three main stages in the cyclic repetition of life in the body. the quantum-pulsations and the diastole and systole phases of circulatory nervous or other systems of the body. which is the most abstract and most generalized aspect of consciousness. Here the vision is neutral between the transcendental and the immanent. such is the nature Of the body here. essential content so that the change-over is merely nominal.both with that of its own vertical component. that is not true.

We tread on the earth or the firm sod beneath our feet in everyday empirical or ontological experience. Wittgenstein. in Sanskrit. As a modern sage. conceptual or nominal aspects vertically. This is another way of making a mistake about reality. as when we say 'Socrates is mortal'. 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's'. 'the Field' and the 'Knower of the Field' have to be distinguished (XIII. there are still subtle errors of judgement when we travel towards mathematical abstractions and generalisations that deal with imaginary or irrational quantities. and whatever truth might be in it. In the two terms. The point of insertion of the actual into the perceptual. while others have an ideological implication. and the discussion has come down to us from the times of Aristotle. and later in his 'Philosophical Investigations'. The virtual reality is not actual. or as the Gita poses the problem. All words like earth. in his work called the 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'. while akasa stands for actual space. like the philosophical divisions made by Kant. L. 'there are no logical objects'. while vibrations that produce colour-effects may be said to be all that is present objectively outside. which is the elusive negative notion of the mathematical quantity called the square root of minus one. soil. it has no actual status in existence. The conceptual significance in others would prevail over the perceptual one. Some refer to ontological presences. Besides these. and terms like prithvi. culminating in the notion that is much in vogue in modern electro-magnetic calculations. This simple and direct experience is transformed by associative. domain. Here the earth by itself would stand for a simple actuality. A subtle but common philosophical error of an epistemological and methodological order is what the Guru wishes to 682 point out here. inferential or analogical activities of the mind into its pure perceptual. Ordinarily one would think that logic deals with objects. are prone to give living reality to a mere doll or dead model or dummy figure. 'by shaking a calendar showing a rainy day. terra-firma. as distinguished in verse 81. Nature as the enjoyer has a pure subjective status. used by the Guru to refer to the earthy. The pure and the practical worlds. Even the sensation of colour could be subjective within the mind. have their proper places in a general scheme of reality. belong to the noumenal or to the phenomenal. In his item 4. as contrasted with pure space which is more perceptual. and 'urvi' (sod). while the idea of earthiness would not fit into the scheme at all. in the English classical language. The property of impenetrability of matter that modern physics recognizes is a corollary of the principle of mutually-exclusive space which is actual. Wittgenstein makes the statement. 'avanivikaram' (earthy mode). by which he has amply revealed that methodological and epistemological errors of a subtle order may lurk behind the apparently plain meanings of words that we take for granted. Eidetic personalities. conceptual and nominal. has surveyed the whole range of errors of this kind under the title 'word games'. VERSE 85 No shadow could exist without depending on a model original . The Guru only pleads here for not mixing up different epistemological entities having their proper structural status. 683 bhumi. conceptual or the nominal worlds of reality is a philosophical problem of the first order and importance. Prof. but apart from its own horizontally virtual or actual aspects. late of Cambridge University.Without stable content all the limitless entities that stand Are but Nature. and the error here would be of the order of a child mistaking a mirror-image for the original. Whether space is in the mind or outside it is a question that has troubled philosophers like Locke and Berkley.441 of his above-mentioned work. because the reality of the map is of a different order from that of reality. One cannot jump from a map to the real ground. which have all to be treated separately if they have to make sense within the four walls in the general over-all frame of reference. The Guru here puts his finger on the problem in its most pointed aspect. There are distinct philosophical planes of reality. Just in the same way as Jesus said. dik represents perceptual space. It is real within the world of pure mathematical knowledge but cannot be traced to what it represents in any one particular experience of reality. 34). avani. By using the distinction which we have tried to draw between the horizontal and the vertical aspects of truth. dharithri. we 684 could easily point out the difference that the Guru wishes to refer to in the verse under discussion. In other words. urvi etc. the vertical aspect of truth has to be understood as distinct from the horizontal. The 'Nature-configurations' referred to in the verse are to be understood in terms of divisions in Nature. of whom again children may be referred to as usual examples. sod. which is a universal concrete. put it. the first is more conceptual than the second. ranging from the actual to the perceptual. But Socrates as an object is outside the scope of the logic that 'reveals itself' through the verity stated. configurations abiding within awareness. In Vedanta. Ramakrishna. one cannot make water fall'.

686 VERSE 86 The body and other things all have no being one in another. according to some. The knotty question as to the relation between the one and the many. resulting in the ontological reality of the world that we experience. The impenetrability of matter is the 687 physical expression of 'otherness'. anywhere PHILOSOPHICAL speculation all over the world has tried to face the problem of reality in various ways. It is merely a flourish of the artist's pen. The nominalistic emptiness of content of mere appearance has already been explained in verse 80. viewing reality. The individuality that distinguishes a Peter from a Paul. strangeness. Reality and appearance both cancel themselves out thus within the neutrality of the Absolute. Between the rope and the snake realities. The world order continues in spite of the alternating falsehood implied in it from the logical standpoint. In an earlier verse (20) this same denial of duality was once underlined. The reference to the snake here is by way of respecting the traditional example dear to Vedantists from antiquity where the apparent is compared to the snake and the real to the rope that is the basis of the snake-illusion. The hand of God has been revealed to none. is not the work of God. and following. Like the pure world of mathematical equations the name equates with the form and that is all. a unitive understanding is to be established which should stand neutral between the two aspects of name and form. The duality that is implied here is what calls for the above explanation by the Guru in the present verse. immanently or transcendentally understood. essence or substance. The 'same' implied in reality is the inclusive principle of togetherness. who revalued his own teacher Plato. Even in India the tendency with the Vaiseshikas was 685 to put stress on the side of the intelligible effect rather than the ontological cause. which is both matter and mind. which otherwise seems to support the idealistic viewpoint. while philosophers dispute and the theologies of different religious groups wage wars. It was also pointed out in verse 80 that the earth and other things were mere names or words. Now the form-aspect of the snake is finally dismissed as having no significant material content at all. exclusiveness or the principle of contradiction. may be said to have given matter here primacy over mind or idea. IN the next three verses we come up against a problem of great importance in philosophy. The words 'satyam' and 'rtam' refer respectively to the ontological (sat) and the rational (chit) aspects of reality. .Since the manifest world is seen to have no original model Neither shadow nor actuality is this: all is seen Like a snake that a gifted artist might cleverly sketch. The former is rightness or conformity to world order or law in the domain of existence. All things hang unitively together in the sameness which yields the unitive way to happiness and right understanding. In Spinoza we have the notion of the 'thinking substance'. He was thus nearer to the Vedantic standpoint. is brought into the focal point of scrutiny as a correct methodology would require in this verse. The world of reality and the world of appearance are often juxtaposed and contrasted in Vedanta. The unity that underlies appearance and reality has been pointed out in verse 20. the basic existing reality. that it is founded on the ontological notion of 'sat'. and in the last two lines the vertical verity is indicated. We know that scholasticism has vainly tried to determine whether God created the species or the genus. The name-aspect and the form-aspect just meet here and now. In the present verse the horizontal view is taken in the first two lines. The appearance of reality is made possible by this merely sketchy outline coming from the mind of the artist. and is He the author of evil in the actual sense? No satisfactory philosophical answer has been found to this day. Aristotle. while the latter refers to the formal world of logic. and of over-all existence. Idealists like Plato have spoken of original prototypes of the imitations that we see here around us in some sort of archetypal or ideal world. with ontological or teleological implications. the generic and the specific. Thus the converse position becomes untenable. Vedanta is not strictly such an idealism. This distinction is recognized as 'fact true' and 'logic true' in modern logistic. These two principles give the horizontal or the vertical view of reality. As from day to day this remains without setting It gains the status of verity emerging once again. even in the ontological sense. and the 'other' is the exclusive principle of contradiction or difference. The 'same' and the 'other' referred to there are no other than the two ways of knowing open to man's intelligence. The two kinds of verity put together constitute the paradox of life which is to be referred to as the unpredicable in the verse below (87). but has this difference. even when it has no real content. as nothing more than the creative urge of an artist talented enough to sketch or give to a mere outline some sort of apparent reality. Already the epistemological basis on which the statements of these three verses are to be understood has been laid by the Guru himself in verse 36. who only thought in terms of principles and generalities. Did God think of the particular. Here the complementary point of view is stated.

that great tribulation Which is Maya. viz. VERSE 87 Each taken by itself. in which life-problems have been examined in a certain order. to designate this same principle of uncertainty. But when we focus our attention and reason about it to find its cause or underlying reality. indeed! HERE the Guru makes a concession to the standpoint of the common man in everyday life. Even with a high degree of intelligence. such reasoning abolishes it. because it is a fundamental epistemological factor. one has to take an inward contemplative view of reality. by introspective reasoning we examine its basis. the Absolute that is given to such deeper intuitive reasoning takes us to the thing-in-itself. VERSE 88 All things are real enough. when not viewed Through the inward eye. Maya. In the next verse the Guru will use the technical term of Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Kant would say that the reality of a thing-in-itself ('ding-an-sich') is unknowable. Similarly when the Guru says here that because of difference and agreement with some central philosophical norm. the Guru arrives at the notion of Maya. all things here do exist. Truth could appear false and vice-versa. treated mutually Each class excludes the other. which is the uncertain negative principle or 'negativität' as Hegel would call it. Realism is not a position that requires philosophical support. In the very first verse of the work the Guru took the precaution of hinting that those who are not keen about higher knowledge may not find the work interesting. incertitude or unpredicability. Where there is a subject there is also a predicate to which it is a subject. they become unpredicable. as it covers all possibilities of error in philosophical speculations in respect of the Absolute. Such a view is what philosophical vision implies. considered in this way The body and other things are neither real Nor lacking in verity. Thus it is and is not. which transcends paradox and all possibilities of paradox. Persons who are content with appearances are welcome to lead a life which might be full of errors due to lack of deeper understanding. which is the inclusive 690 name given to all the possibilities of philosophical error to which the human mind is prone. this unpredicability will persist. but the law of impenetrability of matter generally which is under reference here. the reality of an object of a certain class becomes unpredicable. This thing-in-itself is what 689 philosophy seeks to understand. . according to the degree of attention we are able to bring to bear upon it. Here we have to clearly distinguish the factors that contribute to such an indeterminism. If. represented by the Absolute. the philosopher. To avoid error at the gross as well as the subtle levels of human life. we have not to confuse it with mere difficulty of knowing. They are in fact the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. who has formulated it not as a mere doubt but as a positive factor of uncertainty defined as a principle. There is a central paradox at the core of life itself by which what is true and what is false present the contradictory character of each other. The uncertainty principle has now come to find place in modern physics through Heisenberg. When the subjective and the objective sides tend to be confused with one another predication is not possible any more. 688 A PREDICATION is a statement made consciously and philosophically in respect of the truth of reality of any entity actual or conceptual. The outside world is present even when we deny it or lazily witness it. however Grasps all things here as One. After 87 verses. yields much puzzlement.The word 'all' in the first line of the verse is to indicate that it is not merely the actual single instance of impenetrability. Definitions and relations too are sometimes called predicables. so that we arrive at a strange and necessary uncertainty when both are perfectly balanced. who is not motivated by any desire to seek ultimate philosophical truth. The phenomenal world is self-evident and requires no special exercise of the attention or of reasoning. In generalizing we discuss a philosophical truth or verity and not mere actual experience. It is not just vagueness. The outside fact and the inside truth come into subtle conflict through the principle of Maya.

that outside of knowledge not a thing exists. The Guru. but both the Sun and its light are easily understood as consisting of the same stuff. or of the universe around us. Here in this verse.It is true that even in India this appeal to the negative principle of error has been questioned by philosophical schools rival to that of Sankara. It is only a term which stands for a negative principle of incertitude such as we have examined the nature of in commenting on the two previous verses. recommends an interiorized view that will save the philosopher from getting lost in extraneous details. The phenomenal world. Asserting the being of non-being to make the world appear. As sparks. or both together . Further. There is however an ontological poverty in the collection of sparks. It is due to the indigence of the sparks that are both real and unreal. although they could have a common frame of reference. Cf. such wholesale knowledge is what is meant. we have seen that there is a negative principle of indeterminism which characterises the concept of Maya. and moreover the fire in each spark does not last.his own Visishta-advaita doctrine giving primacy to effect as much as to material cause. The term is an epistemological and methodological necessity to signify and name all possible philosophical errors under one over-all heading. VERSE 90 What has no basis in reality can never hide what exists. Such knowledge global awareness shall yield. Maya is not a reality but merely an expression to signify the category of all possible errors in philosophy before it can arrive correctly and methodically at the notion of the neutral normative Absolute. This would represent the full or non-dual absolute status of Truth. there may not be any sparks at all. on the other hand. 691 VERSE 89 As out of knowledge sparks innumerable arise. unitive and satisfactory answer to the questions and problems that seriously face man. If fire should burn more brightly. bridges the gulf between these two rival schools of Advaitins. It is described as both 'sat' (existent) and 'asat' (not real). We know that the Sun and its light are not two different entities. Experience vouches for this. by the choice of his example. the totality of sparks could only be given a secondary status. has two aspects. Bergson's metaphysics recommends the same inner rather than outer view of reality (20) (20). The sparks are more carbon than light and thus represent also the relative aspect of light in this analogy. as we have seen. Idealism and realism cannot have the same accent placed on life-values. as it is sometimes alluded to. 1424 'Oeuvres'. When we say that Truth shall make us free or that knowledge is power. they could be called real. in the same way as the Sun and its rays are both light. Whether it is the knowledge of the self or the soul.a satisfactory degree of certainty has to be present in the truth thus gained or knowledge acquired. Hegel has the concept of 'negativität' with which he supports his dialectical absolutist standpoint. by being as lasting as the fire from which they arise. While having the same fire implied in them. When we remember that the word Maya is known to the Upanishads. and such a view can leave nothing else as residue or remainder. The Vedanta of Sankara. as the result of two-sided Maya. Know. however. treated collectively as always rising from the central source of fire. When we recognize this we come upon a wholesale philosophic answer to the main problem that philosophy sets before itself. PHILOSOPHY aims at a finalized. as belonging to their particular method of developing the notion of the Absolute. the sparks have inert coal too as their basis. The Guru here. The fire and the sparks treated together comprise all that should be taken account of to give a total. The totality of sparks. In fact Maya is neither a doctrine nor a theory. who is known as the 'Maya-vadin' (one who put forward the theory of Maya or formulated it as a part of his doctrine). In comparison to the richness of the source of light. is an elusive entity with a double epistemological reference. Knowledge. The satisfactory certitude that such a vision carries with it is in itself the recompense for the enquiry undertaken. The Sun as the source of light might be richer in its content of luminosity. lasting and transient. is the secondary aspect of this full Absolute and it is because of its plus and minus aspects meeting that the emergence of the universe that we can see or experience comes into view 693 or looms into our consciousness. tends to put the stress on the cause as against the effect. global or unitive vision of reality. Truth must be one and has to be understood as a whole rather than in piecemeal fashion. We know that Maya. the use of the term by the Guru is to be taken as but normal and natural. in the second half of this verse. Ramanuja puts forward seven main objections (anupapattis) to this 'theory' or 'doctrine' of Maya. How could there be a relation 692 between such a double-sided concept of Maya and the unitive and globally understood Absolute? The relation between the two is perhaps the most subtle and has been the cause of differences between Vedantists. but on the other hand there is enough justification for us to treat each spark as both real and unreal. The difference between them is therefore negligible. there is a further subtlety that has been brought out by a favourite analogy. The sparks of fire are the effect of the central fire from which they arise. must have the same status. which has been compared to light. Ramanuja has questioned the validity of the Maya theory most penetratingly with his seven anupapattis (refutations) . By apt analogy the Guru is here able to bring to light the subtle relation that exists between the absolute and relative aspects of the same reality. an inner subjective aspect and the outer objective manifestation of the same. Paris 1959. as the overall category of error or illusion which has been examined in the previous verse. Ramanuja gave importance to devotion to God while Sankara gave primacy to wisdom. asserting the reality . as in incandescent light. that the phenomenal world emerges into view or enters our experience as something cognisable. p.

All effort or striving must be to attain a goal. although it might be possible. These values could refer to the goods of the earth or aim higher in the hierarchy of human values. as a general law applicable to humanity as a whole there is a never-ending effort which can be admitted to be a mathematical constant. with the body-sense or experience as the more natural starting point. which is the knowledge of the Absolute. brings out the truth that an existent reference as a vertical parameter runs through all grades and categories within the Absolute. and even gives its sanction to the rightness of any action that we might decide to take. unpredicable. This . When we say that truth will prevail. psychological or cosmological. as also understood as such in Aristotelian philosophy. This has been brought out on almost similar lines in the Bhagavad Gita XVII. resulting from the active state of the substance which forms the core of our material-cum-spiritual being as the 'thinking substance' of which Spinoza conceived. subsistence. the striving or effort to better the lot of each is a constant and uniform factor. Whatever the motive. the Guru wishes to lay down the law that it represents a mathematical constant that never changes. we have this ontological principle of existence giving it a status in truth or veracity. The verse says first of all that anrtam (what exists outside of the world order or reality) cannot hide astita (the condition of being or existing). unborn. and the co-efficient of the pressure of effort would be the same mathematically conceivable. IN this and in the next two verses (92 and 93) the Guru is able to establish a link between the highest of human values and the ontological aspect of the same in terms of the Self. experience will prove the contrary. VERSE 91 The effort that is made in view of something dear to one As ordained too. which in itself represents the finalized and supreme value for Man. Whether the goal is an outside cosmological one or is still within the limits of the psychology of the individual is not yet raised in this verse. remaining always constant and same There is a dear value. above all. Thinking itself and contemplation are actions in this pure instrumentalist sense and concern the Absolute as their aim. as employed in the Sanskrit of the Vedas and the Upanishads has some reference to the necessary cosmological world-order. In the higher domain of human values too. is reached as the term of all philosophical enquiry. as well as value. What is in keeping with the laws of nature may be referred to have this kind of verity. Although horizontally-viewed Maya implies being and non-being blended into a state of indeterminism. The best proof is what is evident. Then. After being born we cannot stop breathing. This constant effort has its dialectical counterpart in the Absolute. We say to ourselves. Rtam. its truth remains unaffected. goal or object. One and secondless. This is touched upon later in verse 93. To see that existence applies to the Absolute so as to make it the truth that we seek through reasoning philosophically. 28. 20. If someone should say that fire will not burn. 'I have a body'. might be taken to have a limit set to their efforts. Finally the supreme value of all. at every step. Reasoning processes of the formal world which we might call the world of subsistence. therefore I am). comes the world of values in which again the veracity of rightness is supplied by the element of 'sat' (the existent principle of reality) which runs through all the three levels of existence. It is not merely the empirical and particularly objectified being that it connotes. 55.Of what exists. in short. unspent. is brought too into this unitive Self. Action. This follows from what has been already discussed in previous verses such as 87. Truth is 694 what proves itself by entering experience. men conceived as living biologically within body limits. by existence all is enveloped: The body and other things thus have pure being for content. THE word 'sat' as understood in Vedanta refers to the ontological basis of existence. functional or operational constant. Such an effort or constant activity belongs by inevitable necessity to human life. 42. The pure action involved would still remain. as it were from within the thing-in-itself. Here in the present verse the Guru uses these words in their strict sense. 696 All men are constantly engaged in some sort of effort to better their lot in the world of value or interests that is in the environment of each. other proofs are only less valid. vertically viewed from the absolutist standpoint. to modify or control the function so as to minimise it to a great extent. Anrtam is the opposite of rtam. especially conceived in terms of pure action (karma). as in hibernating animals. At every step in reasoning that we might take leading up to the highest values in life. we are referring to this ontological principle of veracity which runs through the whole course of our thinking. It refers to some item of interest dear to the self. which was formulated by him in the 695 words 'cogito ergo sum' (I think. be it theological. the basic existent element of the value must determine its validity by its goodness. we have to follow the special contemplative absolutist methodology and epistemology developed here from the beginning and also see the arguments in line with the scheme of values. It will be in the next verses. 4 etc. and then perhaps comes the higher thought that Descartes pointed out as the basic starting-point for his methodic thinking in this metaphysical reasoning. Whatever its status. which ever endures as one's happiness. 26. which explains how 'sat' (the ontological principle of existence) enters into all levels of reasoning. succeed those of the world of existence. Although individual. This verse. similarly there is an a priori principle of truth which is all important and of which syllogistic proofs are only secondary shadows. Our thinking or reasoning has its starting point in our experience of things which exist by natural right. such as our own body. We build up certitude about reality in this manner. although misrepresentations might mislead men for some time. At the logical level of reasoning. especially in the 93rd. 73.

as we mechanistically see it as an actuality representing the non-self from an outside point of view. known experimentally. Nature itself. or the sea and the waves that arise therefrom. Even in its revised forms. and another period 698 of thousands of years to spend half of what remains. The light that these experimentally-valid facts throw on the nature of the thinking substance is what concerns us more directly in this verse. 92 and 93 refer. accepts this law which the Guru also states so as to fit it into his own scheme of contemplative metaphysics. for which here The action. As the classical example in Vedanta harps upon incessantly. and which was examined with a cosmological slant. although one might be less rich ontologically or more significantly teleological. the brute action. Energy is action of some kind. as it were. Modern thermodynamics further accepts the convertibility of matter into energy and vice-versa so that the law of conservation of matter-energy could state this fundamental law more correctly. as well as classical physics in its philosophical aspects. about which the law is 'the total entropy of any isolated system can never decrease in any change. In the very first verse. The Guru here has shown himself fully alive to the requirements of the modern way of treating physics and metaphysics unitively as belonging to one Science of sciences. reduces itself into a mathematical symbol. in verse 81 has. 699 Cosmology and psychology thus view the same verity in terms of the Self.apodictic approach has characterised this work uniformly from the beginning. it must either increase (irreversible process) or remain constant (reversible process)'. Energy. After developing his subject through the intervening verses it is easy for us to understand the full import of this startling idea put forward by the Guru as a central reality which reconciles matter and spirit. The epithets lavished here in the latter half of this verse on this dear value are therefore not out of place. this source of all action was referred to as 'karu'. contemplative inner eye which can see the reality from within appearances. Modern physics. and matter is also concentrated energy. as also the fire and the sparks. We know also of the case of radiation in radioactive matter which takes thousands of years to spend only half of its conserved material energy. In keeping with the tradition of Advaita Vedanta the Guru will be seen to have consistently adhered to a unitive way of developing his subject combining these two aspects of the iha (immanent) and the para (transcendent). Later physics is familiar with the notion of entropy. 91. The relation between action and what it corresponds to symbolically is explained by Eddington as follows: 'The whole calculation of N (the Cosmic Number) is an essay in the representation of conceptions by symbolic algebra. as nuclear physics tends to show. is merely a symbol of outer recognition. In essence or substance they are the same. which we translated as 'core'. although perpetual motion in the mere mechanistic sense remains only an ideal. VERSE 92 As there is the law of energy remaining ever unspent By outwardly directed action. We have to express in mathematical symbolism what . thus approaches perpetual activity. a subjective aspect that was both immanent and transcendent at the same time. human-value status of the Absolute. understood in the context of the Absolute. ultimate. The source of action and the action itself being thus one or inseparable. Modern phenomenology knows this way of treating the inner self and its eidetic counterpart as consisting unitively of one 'epoché' or event in consciousness. It is the conceptions that matter. there must needs be inwardly A dear value that is inseparable from it. and both a priori and a posteriori reasons have been advanced dialectically together in support of the final. IN physics we are familiar with the idea of the law of conservation of energy as known in Newtonian mechanics and valid in the world of motion or action. The case of the Absolute Value to which all the three verses. They may be seen to conform to the description of the 697 Absolute in the Mandukya Upanishad as it applies to the 'fourth' or turiya state mentioned there. metaphysical theme remains valid in the light of modern knowledge. The implicit method is both ontological and teleological. in the previous verse (91) is now restated in psychological terms. the wave and the ocean in reality belong together unitively and constitute one and the same reality to the dialectically-trained. as we have seen. The Sun and sunlight are to be understood unitively. The whole of physics is said to be a science of symbols by advanced philosophers of science like Eddington. the law referred to by the Guru here for his contemplative.

(23) pp. beyond grasp of word or mind. How could the course of right reason move within its domain? THE Absolute is presented to man's view in the form of both appearance and the reality behind it.we think we are doing when we measure things. as ordained also. This is what constitutes the enigma. in the same strain to point out that the direction of contemplatively-understood values is to be sought in the Soul and not in outward items of apparent values. Reasoning leads to inferences. In verse 12 already. which is full of elements or factors of change. as follows: 'Lo. and the other. 700 THE absolute status of the Self is here established by following up the line of reasoning that was started in verse 91. Lo. Love of self. and the other which is for agreeing with another 702 . When the horizontal aspects of the self have been eliminated. and the process of reasoning has to move. verily. Brahmin-hood. Elsewhere in the Darsana Mala of Narayana Guru we have a definition of what constitutes 'bhakti' (chapter VIII. 'Fundamental Theory'. the knot or the question mark that is said to be life in its total aspect. When we think of the self.' (23) The symbol N thus stands for the measurable cosmos where action also lives and moves. not for the love of a wife is a wife dear. wealth. Never-ceasingly endures. In this connection there is a well. eternal it is. 6 and 7) where we come up against the same idea of unitively treating ananda (value factors). The bipolar relation between husband and wife has its relational content which belongs neither to one party nor to the other. but for the love of the Soul (atman) is the husband dear. the self which is a pure witness inside and lasting. and mere selfishness have to be distinguished. The dear object to which all human effort or endeavour is directed. 701 verses 5. S. Western logic along the usual lines does not strictly correspond to this. these two aspects of the ego and the self: one changeful. the results of the measurements would not persuade us to believe anything in particular. as it were. That which presents itself before us is a great iniquity indeed! This is what is indeterminate. we have to eliminate its peripheral vesture. The language used by the Guru thus catches up with what is known to link the experimental and non-experimental or symbolic worlds. VERSE 94 As a mixture of what is the world and what is the real. Eddington. Everything as presented is both 'yes' and 'not' at the same time. atma (Self) and brahman (the Absolute) as interchangeable terms. 266-7.' This series covers values such as sons. V. The ambivalent factors involved in even deeper seats of body-consciousness were referred to in verses 68 and 72. is not to be thought of necessarily as something outside of the self. 6) which brings out the difference in a very telling manner: Yajnavalkya speaks to Maitreyi about the nature of the love between them as husband and wife. which is sometimes called logic. transient and subject to Maya. backward. however. as understood in this way. verily. These two are like grains that cut across each other. in straight lines between the cross-grains of the fabric thus presented.known passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (IV. On final analysis this value has its subtle locus in the self itself. but for the love of the Soul (atman) is a wife dear. the Self. but is to be understood dialectically to be a common value-factor applicable to both together and at once. VERSE 93 To one who has cut connection with the changeful body There is nothing which surpasses in value his own Self: As the interest that prevails in respect of oneself. etc. have been explained. as it were. not for the love of husband is a husband dear. but these inferences are themselves of two distinct kinds: one which is for one's own conviction (swartha). The Jaina syad vada (may-be-may-be-not) approach reflects this puzzlement. We have in India what is called pramana-sastra. cattle. there would remain the pure vertical aspect of the self which would represent the highest of human values for anyone and for all. What is true in the cross-sectional view is false from the long-sectional view. by Sir A. Cambridge University Press. for if we had no conception of what we are doing.

he must have been thinking of the Indian schools of Nyaya and Samkhya. This 'iniquity' is the same negative principle of Maya which has been examined in various verses previously and referred to in verse 88 as the great tribulation. descending here. And she. pp. Why should God take the trouble of creation at all? Even this question is answered in various ways by giving primacy to the upadana (material) rather than to the nimitta (instrumental) agency of the Absolute Godhead. The latter is verbalistic and depends on a formalism known to Aristotelian syllogisms. A. philosopher or theologian. All these are extraneous to logic. M. London.. the Indian way. VERSE 95 This expansive display of operative artifice as by Maya ordained The shining creative principle of the universe is she. prefer to give the function of creation to God. Outlines of Indian Philosophy. her limbs they are that become The crust of the cosmic egg. distinguishing it from syllogism for others. and sometimes in mythological language this same principle could be seen as represented as the dark and terrible Kali. Aristotelian logic is different. in His goodness and bounty. If one. do not avail in cutting the Gordian knot. which thinks in pure subjective terms. and all the magical variety of the world is attributed to it. This Maya is represented in mythological language as a female principle of creation or illusion. The Guru is here content to call it the principle of injustice in this verse. the former being more Sanskritized or refined than the latter. 255-56... (22). and sometimes as extraneous to the notion of the Absolute. while the former is based on the thought processes that take place in the individual himself. by M. The idea of lila or the sport of God in creation is also not unknown. The Santi-Parva of the Mahabharata also gives the picture. The creative power of the Absolute could be intellectually viewed or more emotionally viewed. Various answers are found in the scriptures of the world. 1932. while in verse 88 it was a more open enemy. Hiriyanna. as we have just seen. we have 703 in philosophical literature reference to this active-creative horizontal and negative principle. Theistic schools of philosophy.. The problem of evil is not squarely faced by such schools but inclusively attributed to the Divine Principle itself.. which we have translated 'right reason' and which is to be valid. the application of logical processes to the discovery of ultimate or absolute Reality. is to be called 'vertical' the other should be called 'horizontal'. 129) to the creation found in Genesis of the Bible. The Guru here strictly adheres to this same tradition of contemplative literature. sometimes treated as the same as the Absolute. Without deflecting from the . and Western logic which inclines to objectivity through syntactical elements of language. Both Indian logic. HOW did this world come to be? This is perhaps one of the most challenging of questions that could be put to the scientist. The anti-verbalistic character of Indian logic is referred to as follows by the Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce: 'Indian logic studies the naturalistic syllogism in itself as internal thought. such as that of Ramanuja. Sometimes Maya is referred to as a goddess of evil import. copula and predicate . It is in this sense that we have to understand the Guru when he says that reality is presented to our intelligence as a great 'iniquity'. rather than to any evil principle. We have to note that here he is at the end of his series of verses of Self-realization. producing water first like another darkness in darkness. It does not make the verbal distinctions of subject.. Mind and its ignorance are attributed to this female or 704 negative principle of nescience.. The means of testing the validity of truth and the object-matter of logic thus presents epistemological and methodological difficulties. Maya is the cause of creation in the Upanishadic context.. by its indeterminism or flux as Bergson would put it. in number ten million. Allen and Unwin. The injustice here consists merely in that it obstructs. (22) When the Guru speaks in terms of 'pramana'..(parartha). Just as there are gradations of mildness and ferocity between the Saraswati of Sankara and Kali of more ancient literature. whose object is the constant: knowledge considered in itself'.. from the Song of Creation of the Rig-Veda (X. It is more verbalistic rather than based on the thought-process itself..

are here justified in the light of the fact that. mythological. The next verse will examine this dialectical polarity at closer quarters. It is still something that the self experiences. Eddington actually alludes to the cosmic number 'N'. from inside. Brahmanda-kataha itself is an expression in usage in Sanskrit which refers to the outer crust of the cosmos. theological. The Absolute is finally neither negative nor positive. step by step. he is only speaking somewhat the same language as modern physicists. we have to understand that the Absolute combines the one and the many at its two poles. 'creative' and 'expansive'. It is thus a conceptual world in which all these speculations are to live and move. and its being 'out there' in space is not valid in the strict sense. and pure motion as against stop. The tacit epistemological frame of reference developed in the previous verses is not departed from. In the present verse the Guru accomplishes this delicate and difficult task without violating the norms of any school of thought. like the big and the small. Both of them. as would be consistent with the negative nature of the principle itself. this experience too Of being as well as non-being shall thereafter be extinct And devoid of foundation. we have the last vestige of individuation or ideation which refers to the part and the whole or the big and the small. as being and non-being Do both from either side shine forth. and by the time he arrives at the 95th verse he is able to speak of the negative principle as negative only to the Absolute conceived in ultimately philosophical and scientific terms. Matter is something that we touch with its properties of heaviness. All these solutions could apply under the same dialectical methodology to Being and non-Being. To derive the negative Absolute from the neutral Absolute is a delicate matter if one is not to part company with the theologian on the one side or join hands with the sceptic on the other. but only say that it refers to an actual and fixed figure raised to the power of 256. and the vertical unity underlying it holds them together. motion and stop. as it were. which refers to the actual number of protons and electrons in the universe. When such units are spoken of as making millions. etc. Unity and multiplicity are dialectical counterparts of reality which have to be reduced into non-dual oneness as envisaged in verse 96 below. both shall cease to be! BESIDES the dialectics of the one and the many which was treated in the previous verse. which might at first not seem consistent with the darkness which is supposed to be the origin of the universe. which were resolved in this verse in terms of a central notion of the Absolute. Descending dialectics gives us the 706 picture of multiplicity in the horizontal aspect of the universe. Zeno of Elea and his teacher . When the Guru here refers to a fixed number of a 'crore' (ten million) as the units that comprise the manifested universe. inertia. just as size is to be resolved without its relative aspects that contradict it. VERSE 96 The atom and the infinite thus. In Sanskrit there is reference to the cosmic egg or brahmanda as a kind of unit of creation with an individuation for each entity that is created. impenetrability. The monadology of Leibniz has the same kind of unit-conception and the Nyaya-Vaiseshika schools of Indian realistic philosophy have the idea of the paramanu (the ultimate real particle) which has two outer sides and an inner vertical aspect which together represent reality in atomic form. The one and the many are dialectical counterparts. as we have already noticed in verse 92. the duality between light and darkness has been abolished by the Guru. he lifts the concept as high as the hypostatic level of ascending dialectics. Modern physics itself admits of this kind of conceptual approach. have to be resolved into oneness. 705 The reference to the limbs of the personified negative principle materialising here below as the crust or shell of the cosmic egg has its justification both semantically and scientifically. Negative nescience is still the origin of the manifested universe. scientific or philosophical. treated as a whole and unitively. It is the outer limbs of this virile or fecund principle of creativity that thus transform or metamorphose themselves as the shell of the cosmic egg. The Guru here and in the next verse comes up against the same time-honoured problem with reference to the ultimate unitive status of the Absolute in the Self as a high value. The one and the many are natural counterparts in the dialectical way of reasoning. Words like 'shining'.conception of Maya as a negative or female principle of creation. 'sportive'. forever. These paradoxes were known to Zeno and other pre-Socratic philosophers and have been resolved in various ways by philosophers. We shall not enter into this way of evaluation of the number N by modern scientists.

709 IN the process of Self-realization the seeker of wisdom passes through many stages before arriving at the ultimate term of his research. and the mere thoughtful analysis or synthesis to which it is prone will not bring it to the equilibrium or sameness or unity which is here to be understood. As long as something better is left over in the mind of the seeker. A mere emptiness or absence of interest as in something insipid is not the end or aim of Advaita Vedanta. 99 Knowledge and 'I' are both one. 708 have all of them two sides: one immanent and the other transcendental. as we see it in the last line of the present verse. We know that the maha-vakyas of the Vedanta such as tat-tvam-asi (Thou art That) etc. The two aspects referred to in the previous verses meet unitively and neutrally in this central value-factor. is cognised under three final categories of understanding. The reasons advanced . chit (the rational or intellectual) and the ananda (the value factor or element) .. and the value to which thought is applied cannot be improved upon. (See our later work). not a thing have we here known. In this sense we have to say that we have not known anything at all.under which the experience gets its reality-content or character.attain a neutral unity in which cognition. All of them insisted that changeless Being or Self was the ultimate Reality or Truth. discarding one outer vesture of reality in favour of another inner factor more real. although their philosophies could be otherwise tenable and quite respectable. If the 'I' could be taken as other than knowledge None there is to know knowledge here at all! THIS penultimate verse sums up the position of Advaita Vedanta in terms of Self-knowledge. the Guru himself will refer to this union of the self and non-self aspects of knowledge. that there is something still of greater happiness. not this). in our analysis of the self. might err in this direction of lack of value-content. Strict logic had to be abandoned here in favour of a higher and purer way of reasoning called dialectics. Indian Yoga methodology is akin to dialectics. Mere intellectually-biased schools of philosophy like the Vijnana-vadins and the Sunya-vadins. as recommended in the negative way of the Upanishads. as understood in this series of verses. this silence-filled ocean of immortal bliss. we cannot say that the terms of knowledge has been reached. Such a term is described here as Self-possession or Self-realization as it is understood in usual philosophical language. It is thus that wisdom becomes finalized in terms of value. THE glory of knowledge and the perfection of the Absolute have a common ground in the experience of the Self. for one divest of all veiling curtains. we have successively discarded the peripheral vestures of the self by the well-known process of 'neti. as we have kept saying In every case. Another might have reason to argue still. which could be rightly asserted only when we have found something on which we need not improve. which meet to produce the ultimate experience of the yogi or the correct dialectically-trained philosopher. shall that day its perfection attain. VERSE 98 Till now. and Plato himself through Socrates employed and developed dialectical thinking in later times. Although the mind and other factors might vanish The selfhood of the Soul (Atman) must be said to be wisdom ever unspent. bereft of parts shall extinct become And the infinite too. In verse 99 below. It should be noticed also that in the description of this rare experience of the true philosopher or yogi. The existential and the subsistential sides . The culmination of wisdom has to take place in the individual. about which much vagueness still persists to the present day. which are referred to as the sat (existent). we finally arrive at the term of our enquiry. VERSE 97 Within the glory of wisdom. as also the axiomatic thinking gaining vogue only at present in the scientific West. there is a blending of rational and emotional factors. The Absolute. neti' (not this. When. as when we go from the senses to the mind.707 Parmenides worked on the solution of this paradox presented at the core of the notion of the Absolute. Without directly experiencing this cannot be known.into which categories of thought the central reality was understood as belonging in a polarized and dual fashion . though finally one and one only. In this verse and the next we thus touch the finalized position of Advaita Vedanta teaching. this boundless Stuff of pure intelligence. beyond which thought cannot go. the atom. or one ontological and the other teleological. conation and emotion merge into a central experience.

Last Updated on Thursday. discarding attachment to being and non-being One should gently. But existence. nor that nor the content of existence am I.need no comment. Emboldened. 'Sat' supplies the ontological basis for the Absolute as Value. merge in SAT-AUM. 100 Neither this. 15 November 2012 00:57 . No argument remains after this finally 710 apodictic statement is made after examining all other points of view in the previous verses. subsistence. AUM represents the Absolute as explained in the Mandukya Upanishad. gently. joy-immortal. thus attaining clarity.

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