Monday, March 23, 2009

Katha Upanishad Shankara Bhashya; Chapter 1 Valli 3: Mantra 12

Intro to 12.
Nanugatischet aagatyadi bhavitavyam Katham yasmat bhooyah Na jayata iti

AS introduces a question here based on the previous mantra and the following mantra is the answer. This is based on the word gati. Gati is a destination reached by the traveler. Atma is described as a gati – atma is a destination reached by travel. PurvaPakshi is thus raising a question – if Brahman is attained the moksha – then it is also something that is attained – and so if it is attained in time - then one will be forced to return in time – in other words it will be finite. By reaching Brahmaloka a person comes back – every samyoga has to end in viyoga. Samyogaa viprayogaaha iti nyaya. If I reach or attain Brahman then there will be separation if moksha is an event in time then it will end in time also
AS answers this by saying that this problem will be there if gati is understood literally – gati means avagati in this context and avagati means jnAnam. For reaching Brahman, or attaining moksha, is only in the form of jnAnam, and consequently, by dropping the misconception that I am away from moksha / I am away from Brahman. Moksha is never attained by anyone – it is a figurative expression to convey the idea that the misconception of bondage is gone.

It is lik Karna discovering his true identity. All his complexes were instantly removed by a silent intellectual understanding – I am radheyaha was the misconception – when kunti told him the truth this notion was dropped. Karna had tremendous inferiority complex – he couldn’t fight Arjuna because of his staus at birth – that complex was caused by a intellectual misconception. All that misconceptions go away in a silent intellectual understanding about the true identity that he is not radheyaha but kaunteyaha.
I am a sadhaka is a biggest misconception - I am mumukshu is the biggest misconception - attainment of moksha is a silent event – I am mumukshu/sadhaka notion is dropped - that alone is called gati or avagati

Naishyadosha sarvasyaprtyagatmatvat avagatiseva prativityupacharyate
(AS is introducing 1.3.12 and is based on the word gati in the 11th mantra.)

Sarvasyaprtyagamatvat – moksha(brahman) being my very innermost swarupam(brahman and moksha are synonyms) avagati eva – claiming that swarupam alone is figuratively upacharyate called attainment of moksha.
We think it is a mystical event – it has nothing to do with mysticism. It is big misconception to think it is mystical – it is the silent intellectual understanding. When in the TV serial they have to show Karna hearing this truth they have to dramatize it.

Prthyagtmatvam darshitam indryiyamanobudhiparatvena
That moksha is my innermost essence – has already been revealed in the prior 2 slokas.
The absolute selfhood of Brahman has already been revealed in the prior 2 mantras through panchakosha viveka (as something interior to senses,mind,intellect indryiyamanobudhiparatvena)

Yohigandha sogatam aprtyakrupam gacchati anatma bhutam na viparyayena

Any destination reached by travel has to fulfil 2 conditions – it should be anatma – destination must be anatma and it should remote or away from me – either remote in space or remote in time. Therefore AS says agatam aprtyakrupam that which is remote or not yet reached, and that which is anatma- different from me, the atma. Such a remote anatma alone is reached yaha hi gandha – by such a traveler. Moksha does not fulfil both these conditions – it is neither remote nor is it anatma. Therefore na viparyayena – not otherwise – that which is neither remote nor anatma can neither be reached by travel in time or in space. The very expectation of moksha makes it not moksha – by expecting it you are making it remote anatma - the very expectation of moksha is denial of moksha.

Tatha cha shrutih anatvagaadvasu paarayishnavah ityadya
tatha cha darshyati prthyagatmatvam sarvasya

To corroborate the idea that the traveler can never reach moksha – anatva advasu paarayishnava – occurs in AS commentary bhashyam 3.2.6 of Mundaka Up – this is taken from Itihasa Upanishad – Mantra 18 – parayishnava – means those people who want to go beyond or transcend - all the margas of travel, advasu means margas (Krishna gati shukla gati etc) – why? Because every marga takes me to a destination which is within samsara. A mumukshu doesn’t want to go any on any marga and hence he is called parayishnuh – they don’t travel by any path anatvaga – they attain moksha without any travel! Ityadya – such Shruti statements are very clear and still dvaitins and v advaitins vehemently argue about moksha being not possible without travel. They always talk about moksha with respect to saguna brahman.
To corroborate tatha cha, prtyagatmatvam darshayati the following mantra reveals that that Brahman is the prthyagatma moksha is my innermost essence or nature. Freedom is my birthright - here and now!

Mantra 12
Esha sarvabhuteshu gudhootma na prakashate
Drshyate tvagrayayaa budhhya sukshmaya sukshmatdarshibhih

Esha atma sarveshu bhuteshu this everfree atma is within every living being as the experienced consciousness but it is seemingly hidden or concealed goodah because consciousness is associated with every thought. Every thought is associated with consciousness – even though they are both experienced together we are distracted by/carried away with the thought and we lose sight of the consciousness/we take it for granted – even though we experience the hand and the light mixed together our attention is on the hand and the light is hidden as it were – it is not that the light is physically hidden – it is ever experienced but hand is distracting our attention. Hence distracted by thoguts consciousness is hence na prakshate is not evident as it were, but by an agrayaya buddhya drshyate by a discerning subtle intellect who learns to turn his attention from thought to consciousness – what type of consciosness – it is a independed entity and is not a part or product or property of the thought – it pervades and illumines every thought - even after the thought is gone that surviving pure consciousness is not accessible for objectification - not because it is absent - but because there is no medium of thought for the manifestation of consciousness. Hence a subtle intellect alone can turn the attention away from thought to consciousness – sukshma buddhi – by such a sharp intellect the ever experienced atma can be identified.

Esha purushah sarveshu brahamadi stambha paryanteshu bhuteshu samvrtah
darshana shravanadi karma avidya mayachannah
atayevatma na prakahshate atmatvena kasyachit

Esha purushah Purusha is the meaning of the word eshah. Purushah means the Atma revealed as panchakosha vilakshana sakshi chaitanyam, as revealed in mantra 11 avyaktat purushah parah. Sarveshubhuteshu – every living being, prani – beginning from Brahma the creator – upto stambham a smallest organism (or a clump of grass) is samvrtah = gudAh concealed as it were. Very careful to note that atma can never be physically concealed. Atma is not a substance within and 5 koshas are physically covering and you will remove the covering one by one as a onion and one daty you will see the atma. There is neither physical concealment nor is a physical removal - allpervading entity can not have anyting to cover. Here covering is distracting the attention – attention distracvtions is fig called concealment like the characters of a movie conceal the screen figuratively. The screen can never be covered by the characters but when I am distracted by the characters – the mithyA characters become satyam and satyam screen becomes mithyA!
Really speaking the screen is ever seen. Really speaking Atma is ever seen by darhsana sharvanadi karmani – as that consciousness because of which there is all the sensory activity like hearing, seeing, etc The very perception of the hand is the proof for the perception of the light - also there is no time when you are not experiencing the light.
We need not work for atma anubhava – atma is ever experienced in darshanavrtti consciousness is there in shravanavrtti consciousness is there. Avidya maya channah The ever experienced atma is covered by mula Avidya which is otherwise known as mAyA. Avidya eva maya avidya maya. Channah means concealed. Why avidya called avidya? By knowledge it is destroyed. Vidya virodhi hence avidyA. It is called mAyA because it has got anrvachhaneyam rupam it is bhava abhava vilakshanam. By such mAyA the consciousness is covered. As a aside note this can extended to existence principle also. When I say clip is the clip belongs to mAyA it is jadam it is parinAmi it is namarupAm the isness is Brahman When I experiencing brahman and clip together – hence maya brahman complex ix experience – I don’t pay attention to existence and my mind is distracted by namarupA – the asti part I take for granted – hence I say clip is. That is the glory of mAyA. Atah eva because of the distraction caused by thoughts within (from consciousness) and objects outside (from existence) Atma na prakashate atma does not shine – it is not identified – atmatvena – as myself. I am not the mind with consciousness but I am the consciousness with an incidental mind. I am not the thought with consciousness but I am the consciousness with an incidental thought. Atma is not claimed by any person in the world – why? - glory belongs to mAyAdevi.

Aho athigambhira durabhakaya vichitramayacha Yamayatayam sarvojantuh paramarthatah paramarthasatatvopi evam bodhyamAnah aham paramatmeti na grhnati
Anatmam dehendriyadi sanghatam atmanodrshyamanamapi ghatAvadivat atmatvena aham amushya putrah iti anuchyamanopi ghrnati.

I am the subject consciousness is repeatedly taught by the shruti but still all the people refuse to claim that. The body mind complex is very clearly an object other than me which is part of the world and still people claim this object as myself and refuse to claim the subject as myseld even thoguh repeatedly taught. A false idea which is evidently false is firmly claimed and a right idea which is evidently right is firmly rejected by everyone – if such a fantastic thing is to happen there must be a powerful force – which is our geroine MAyA – because eof which our hero has become zero.

Aho _ Alas athigambhira- very deeprooted and incomprehensive and strange. MAyA comes with different forms and colours – sparsha rupa and all the time she is parading - and when maya parades who wants to see Brahman? vichitra cha yam maya. Ch 7 of BG - mama mAya duratyaya. Ayam sarvojantuh – the entire humanity - is drunk (Elsewhere in sanyashtakam AS says - whole world is a madhouse and everyone is drunk.) paramarthatah in reality paramarthsatatvopi even though they are paramartha svarupa and evam bodhyamanah and even though this paramartha svarupa is taught by his Guru class after class in upansihad after upanishad they firmly refuse to claim na grhnati I am paramatma! Anatmanam dehendriya sanghatam atamatvena grhnati – the body/senses anatma – a material assemblage – he mistakes as himself – it is clear to him his own b ody as well as other bodies are objects of his perception, and is rotting, going to die, and is objectifiable or is purely experienced as a object as a pot ghatadivad. How? I am the son of so and so – whenever he introduces himself as so and so – it becomes evident that the identification is with the sthoola shareera – trhere is solid sthoola shareera abhimanam. No mother ever gives birth to the sukshma shareera – neither in the prior nor the next janma will this mother be my mother – but for a brief period this mother has given birth to this superficial body and - still attachment to the sthoola shareera is so strong that 24 hours I am attached to the family – no doubt family duties are important, but if family occupies the mind during most of the waking hours then it is grave error – it is disproportionate. Then it means dehabhimana is so powerful – that is wny shastra says if you cannot get out of family obsession take sannyasa and walk to Uttara Kashi. Sannyasa is prescribed for those people who are obsessed with family all the time. Shankara strongly opposes family obsessed people – anuchhyamana api – there is no commandment from the shastra about obsessing about family. Even during meditation hours the person is unable to renounce the family! Grhnati – he is strongly holding onto the shareeram

Noonma parasyaiva manah moguhyamanah sarvalokobambhriti
All credit must go to that Mayadevi noonam – certainly without any doubt there is only force in the entire parasya mayaya eva We are never against vikshepa shakti of Maya – (vikshepa shakti has given spectacular vishwarupa Ishwara - all this beauty/ variety/ including the katha up class leasning is possible only because of vikshepa shakti) here the criticism is only at the avarna shakti of Maya. Moguhyamanah every ajnani sarvaloke is intensenly deluded – extraordinarily drunk – bambhrati – reeling in stupor. Inspite of getting samsara lashings from the family and the family problems intensely afflicting him, the person continues to revel in samsara being completely drunk.
This is illustrated by a story - a monkey keeps stealing groundnuts from a shop. The shopowner decides to trap it by keeping the groundnuts in a jar with a very narrow neck. The monkey is able to hold onto many of the nuts but, because his hands are now full of nuts he is unable to retrieve his hand – the self-trapped monkey is now caught by the shopowner and thrashed mercilessly. The intelligent monkey should take groundnut sannyasa! – drop all the groundnuts, that will allow him to easily remove his hand, and thereby escape any further thrashing. But instead what a dull-witted monkey does s keeps holding onto the nuts even at the cost of all the thrashing he receives at the hands of the shopowner. Here AS laments that this is sadly the lot of the entire humanity, where inspite of all the thrashings and whipping we receive from a family life we continue to hold onto the groundnut called aham mama family abhimana!

Tatha cha smaranam naham prakashasarvasya yogamaya tamavrtah ityaadi
To firther substantiate corroborate this idea smaranam there is a Smrti vakyam BG 7:25 aham sarvasya na prakashah I (the chaktanyam) is not recognizable for all the people. Because of yogamaya samvrtah – concealed by maya – term “yoga”mAya because it is a combination of three gunas (tryanam gunanam samyoga).

Nanu viruddhaviram uchyate matva dheero na sochati na prakashase iti cha
Here AS addresses the seeming contradictions in two Shruti vakya – one is Matva dheero na sochati A intelligent person does not grieve by knowing the Atma and na prakashate Atma is not evident or recognizable or knowable.
Here it says Atma is not knowable and previously by knowing Atma one will get freedom from sorrow – if Atma is not knowable where is the question of atma jnAnam at all? Thus there seems to be a mutually contradictory pair of statements. Nanu – indicates a question – a objection by the purvapakshi. The answer is found in the 2nd part of this mantra.
Naitadevam asamskrta buddheh avijneyatvaat na prakashatyuktam
AS points out that these 2 statements will be contradictory only if you take one and the same person. In the case of one person unknowability and knowing cannot coexist. This contradiction is resolved if you take 2 candidates – for one it is unknowable and for the other it is knowable and through knowledge liberation is also possible. What are the 2 types of candidates? Sadhanachatushtaya sampanna – for the prepared qualified mind – hence matva dheerah – dheerah refers to such a adhikari. Here in this mantra when the Up says Atma is not knowable it talks about anadhikari – it uses the word sukshma buddhi and ekagra buddhi – to refer to a subtle intellect and sharp intellect respectively – to says it is not knowlable to one lacking in these two things. So there is no contradiction. For a person who has not refined the intellect asamskrta buddheh that atma is not knowable.

Drshyate tu samrkrtayaagryaya agramaiva agrya tryam ekaagrataya ubhetaya ityetat
Sukshmaya suksamavastunirupanaparaya sukshmadarshibih
AS enters te 3rd quarter which resolves the contradiction. Even though not knowable for the unqualified, still it is very much knowable drshyate tu how samskrtaya budhhya with the help of a refined intellect – by this mean we mean raga devsha has been heavily redice because raga dvesha causes mental preoccupation which makes the intellect shallow and a shallow intellect can not evben listen let alone discern. Also agram iva agrya – the term agram onepointedness is the meaning of agrya and taya ubhetaya means endowed with onepointedness. That is called ekagra buddhya – onepointed intellect. This is further qualified – intellect should be sharp as well as subtle – sukshmaya - sukshma vastu nirupana paraya – an intellect that is capable of grasping the subtle Atma – nirupa – comprehending the subtlest entity – as attributes become lesser and lesser the entity becomes subtler and subtler – best example is space – we are grasping the space in an ingenious manner without seeing, touching, or objectifying it through any sense organ- still we comprehend the space. Same way attributeless atma should be comprehended in a ingenious way through the capacity of sukshma buddhih. Sukshma darshibhih – Such a subtle atma is perceived by the great or competent student who are capable of seeing the subtle atma. Previously the sukshma is adjective to the intellect now it is adjective to the person.

Indriyabhyaparaarthaha ityadiprakarena sukshmayapaaram paryadarshanena param sukshmam drsahtum sheelam esanteshu sukshmadarshinah sukshmadarshibhih panditai ityetat
AS defines a subtle observer – those people who are capable of gradually negating anatma one by one consisting of various layers of personality – I am the experiencer of the body hence I am not the body, then sense organs, the mind, the intellect, and so on – and after negating everything blankness will be left out – and then the subtlety of the intellect must operate and recognize that this blankness is pervaded by the chaintanyam. So from blankness one must comes to consciousness. So the meditator must translate silent blankness to thoughtless consciousness. And next blunder is try to observe thoughtless consciousness – he should realize this is not possible because the thoughtless consciousness is I myself – so in silence it is I the thoughtless conscisousness remain unnegatably illumining the blankness of the mind. Therafter he should come to the five features of consciousness – I thoughtless awareness consciousness principle am not part product or propert of the the body sense organs thought - I am independent awareness illumining the thought; I am not bound by the boundaries of bmi; and I continue to survive even after all these disintegrate; I am not available for transaction – not even I transaction - I cannot even say I am consciousness because to say I am consciousness I require thought - consciousness by itself cannot say or think I am consciousness – therefore I don’t claim - not because I am absent - but because there is no medium to claim I am brahman - this whoever can do is called sukshma intellect. A student will typically say “this is not possible” which is a pessimistic conclusion.
Indriyabhyaparaarthaha ityadiprakarena By adopting the method of panchakosha viveka using the method presented sukshma param paryadarshanena by seeing the gradation of subtlety (– world à physical body à sense organs, etc) – seeing the gradation includes withdrawal from those layers uuntil I come to thoughtless blankness which is another name for consciousness – i.e. upto the thoughtless silence – sakshi chatinayam – param sukshmam (darshanam means claiming as myself) sheelam eshanteh who develop this habit regularly they are called sukshma darshi. By such keen observers/discerning people taihi sukshma darshibhih who are experts in shastric teaching (mantra 10&11 here) panditaih (atma drshyate Atma is knowable.)

Sarveshu bhuteshu gudah (san) eshah atma na prakshate. Agryaya sukshmaya buddhya sukshma darshibhih tu eshah drshyate.