Friday, April 3, 2009

Katha Upanishad: Shankara bhashyam; Chapter 1 Valli 3: Mantra 14

Now introduction to 14th mantra
Evam purushe atmani sarvam pravilaapya namarupakarmatrayam yan mithyajnana vidrimbhitam kriyakaraka phalalakshanam svatmaya atmajnanena marichudakarajju sarpa gagana malaniva marichi rajju gagana svarupa darshanenaiva svachha prashantatma krtakrtyobhavati yatotastat darshanartam.

First he is consolidating what has been taugh in the prior mantra. In this manner evam through s,m and nd, sarvam pravilapya the entire experienced universed i.e. anatma should be resolved – resolved not physically it is a cognitive resolution understanding that the existence has been provided by me – this awareness alone is called resolution - when you understand there is no desk other than wood – understanding is a cognitive process – afterwards I know wood AND desk I cannot say because there is no desk other than wood. Desk is only appearing and functioning – there is no such thing called desk. Even though I am continuing to use the desk in my vision desk has been resolved. This understanding is called dissolving the desk into the wood. When we say vedantin is a advaitin, Advaita darshana does not mean sitting all the time in nirvikalpa Samadhi – even as I perceive the Universe I am aware that the isness of the Universe is being lent by me - I, the Atma, am lending existence to sthula and sukshma shareeram and through that to the entire Universe. If this awareness is there the world has been dissolved. There is no question of a mystic physical dissapearance of the universe.
Evam – as mentioned in the 13th mantra – purushe atmani sarvam pravilapya – every anatma should be resolved. One we have determined the world is mithyA – it is as good as resolution of the world. Experentially the world cannot be resolved. Sarvam – nama rupa trayam – anatma which consists of name form and function. Out of gold when ornaments are to be created what the goldsmith does is creates a particular shape –a nama becomes associated with this shape - bangle rupa and bangle nama comes in – and with every nama and rupa a specific function comes in – like bangle nama rupA has a specific function of decorating the hand. Karyam is defined as nama-rupa karma. In the Br Up Ch1 brahmana 6 - Trayamvaa idam namarupakarma jagat – the world is nothing but name form and function. Karanam Brahman does not have nama rupa and karyam. Since it does not have any karyam Brahman cannot be used for any vyavahara. There fore Brahman is avyavaharyam – Brahman is absolutely useless! It is a nonparticipating supporter of all vyavahara. Mithyajnana vidrmbhitam – entire mithyA prapanca is projected or emerged because of mithyajnana. Mithyajnana is another word for adhyAsa. Mithyajnana itself is because of mulavidyA. Next - kriya karaka phala laksanam – which is characterized by the three components – karakam kriya and phalam. Karaka is all the accessories like subject object locus instrument etc kriya is all the actions which are generated by the karakam. Phalam is all the results produced by the various kriyas. Karakam à kriya à phalam. Karaka is the father kriya is the daughter and phalam is the child – three tier universe – anatma prapancha. Indirectly the defn of atma is given – atma is not a kriya not a karaka not a phalam – another corollary – all the languages or words will reveal one of these three only – nouns for karakam and phalam and verbs for kriya and since atma is other than these three nouns and verbs cannot reveal – hence atma is yatho vacha nivartante … entire Vedanta can be derived from this v v significant expression kriya karaka phala laksanam which AS loves to use v often kriyakaraka such a universe pravilapya – one should resolve. It is not a physical event it is a intellectual event – svatma yathatmya jnanea by gaining the knowledge of ones real nature. How can knowledge resolve the universe – AS gives 3 examples – marichi udakam mirage water, rajju sarpa – rope snake, gagana malam – impurity of space. All these three are resolved by mere knowledge of their adhistanam – marichi – rays of sun (coming from the dry sand) – rajju – rope and gaganam – space. All these three adhistanams svarupa darhshanena by knowing the adhistanam we are able to resolve the error. Similarly the world is also resolved through jnAnam of the adhistanam – that is the significance of the term “eva” here – mere knowledge is enough – after knowledge no type of sadhana such as meditation is necessary. By the knowledge of rope which part of snake is resolved – entire snake is instantly and totally resolved. Similarly by atma jnana whole world is instantly and totally resolved but note – not experientially resolved but in my knowledge it is as good as resolved. Svasthaha – that jnani abides in his advaita svarupam. Therefore only prashanta atma – one who is free from all the disturbances. We are not talking about manah shanti here. After atma jnAnam mind itself has been falsified we are talking about atma shanti which is not disturbed by the conditions of the mithyA mind. I am not affected by that mithyA disturbance. Hence alone krtakrtya – the one who has fulfilled all the duties – ahankara is not going to complete the duties at any time – cos ahankara will always have some duty or another. Falsification of ahamkara and therefore I don’t have any duties at all – all the three periods of time. There is no completion of duties other than the falsification of duties by falsifying ahamkara. When you retake the ahamkara and duties after knowledge those duties will be renamed as hobby. Before knowledge those duties are burden after knowledge the hobbies are entertainment. That is meant by krtakrtyaha – fulfilled. Yathaha ataha – therefore only by knowledge youll be able to fulfill all the duties and get fulfilled – tat darshanartham – for the knowledge of atma uttishtata – may you get up – may you pay attention – this is the introduction. Now to the mantra.

Mantra 14

Kshurasya dhaara nishitaa duratyaya
Durgam pathastatkavayoh vadanti

Therefore for gainging atmajnanam the disciplines mentioned here – uttishta – jnanayogayatam prapya may you do everything necessary to gain jnana yogyata and prapyavaran nibodhata and go to a guru to gain jnAnam. Then 2nd and 3rd line the Up says the spiritual journey is a difficult journey hence commitment is required a casual approach is required because it is not easy it is difficult like walking over a razor’s edge.

Anadyavidya prasuktaha uttishta he jantavah atmajnanadimukha bhavat jaagrta ajnaana nidraya ghora rupayah sarvarnartha beeja rupayah kshayam kurutah

Up is addressing humanity – AS uses the term jantavah – instead of human being – meaning living being – you continue to sleepin self ignorance – anadi prasuktaha
Why ignorance is compared to sleep – because in sleep I don’t know my real waker nature – ignorance of my real nature is common to both atma ajnana and nidra. That is why in Mandukya ajnanam is called nidra. There is a 2nd more important reason – nidra itself will not create a problem by itself but by creating swapna it creates a variety of problems - in deep sleep there is no problem. Similarly, not only are we sleeping in self-ignorance but we are dreaming up samsara also. Hence anadya avidya prasuktaha – uttishta - may you wake up – and turn towards self-knowledge atmajnana abhimukhaha – fix your life’s priorities – and turning towards self-knowledge is jnana yogyata praptihi – karma-upasana yoga. Hence final meaning of uttishtitha is resorting to karmayoga and upasanayoga (– vyavasayatmika buddhih….from BG). Next word in the mulam is jaagrata – ajnana nidrayaha kshayam kuruta may you exhaust the sleep called ignorance – waking up is nidra kshayam – here the sleep is ajnana sleep of ignorance. Ghora rupayaha fierce form – there are so many worries for family, etc – we are worried means we are continuing to be in dream, in sleep. Sarva anartha beejabhutam – which is the seed of all the samsara problems. That ajnana nidra may you end.

Katham prapyopagamya varaan pravrshtan acharyamstatvidah tadupadishtam sarvantaramatmanam aham asmi nibhodata avagacchata

He introduces the enxt qtr i.e. prapyavaran nibhodatah by raising a question. The Up says may you know – the question is - How to know? Prapya – approaching varaan – the Superior or Great Ones (not bridegroom!) AchAryaan – the great acharyas. Who are they? The knowers of the truth – tatvidah or knowers of AtmA. Often people suggest “whom am I” enquiry, and go deep in the heart and ask from where ahankara comes, then the Self will shine by itself - often based on Ramana Maharshi – as part of who I am enquiry he has not highlighted one aspect of Up teaching. Ramana Maharshi has talked about – atma/ anatma/ ahankara/ who am I enquiry/ all this is talked about well – but one aspect is not mentioned which is very important – selfenquiry should only be with the help of guru shastra upadesham. This is not highlighted in Bhagwan Ramana’s work. Many people who follow Ramana do not highlight Guru shastra upadesha and emphasize meditation in the form of self-enquiry. We should understand - meditation like this will not be fruitful. Selfenquiry must include varaan prapya. Up is not needed, Guru isnt needed – simply close the eyes and ask where is the ahanakra I coming – how the enquiry should be done is not mentioned – so people conclude close the eys remove all the thoughts and ask the question “where does the ahankara from?” What the Upadesha Sara and Sat Darshana does not say is “tadvidhi paripatena…etc” One then waits for the light of the AtmA - they think if you remove the thoughts and wait and wait some light will come. No light will be seen because Atma is not a light. Varaan prapya – tad upadishtam - listen to their teaching upadesha (not sit with closed eyes asking) nibodhata – may you know - through sharavanam. Knowledge comes through shravanam. Thoughtless mind is not a pramanam and will not generate any new knowledge. MahAvAkya vichara pramanam alone has to produce knowledge. Know what? Sarvantaratma – the Atman. Nibodhata means avagacchata – understand - how should I understand it or know it? Aham asmi iti – I am the Atman the light of consciousness. Don’t look for any mystic light. Mystic light even if it comes is also anatma. I the ever experienced consciousness am figuratively called light – may that light of consciousness aham asmi iti nibhodata I understand as my Self.

Na upekshitavyam iti shruti anukampayaha maatruvat

What is the significance of uttishtha…AS says Up is functioning like a mother. Just like a mother is concerned that even though she wants to give freedom to the child she is concerned that the freedom could be abused that the child may not listen to her well-meaning advice. In 18th chap. “yathechhati tatha kuru” – Krishna gives freedom to Arjuna like an ideal teacher but then gets concerned and becomes a mother and again adds “sarvan dharmam parityajya” Every teacher teaches and gives freedom and later worries suppose he abuses this freedom? Hence Shruti also says even though I have given you the freedom to choose any one of the four purusharthas it is better you choose Moksha don’t choose the wrong purusharthas! Shruti anukampaya aaha – Shruti out of compassion like a mother with the intention that humanity should not be discarded na upekshitavyam may you spend some time in the study of the Vedas of the Katha Up. – this is the request of Shruti.

Atisukshma buddhivishayatvat jneyasya

Why does Shruti emphasize this – because moksha purushartha is an abstract purushartha – jnAnam and moksha is abstract atisukshmam. does not recognizethe importance of jnana yoga. 1/3 of people will say Vedanta is not convincing, another 1/3 will say Vedanta is convincing but not practical, and another 1/3 will say Vedanta is convincing and practica but we are not ready. Majority do not appreciate the importance of moksha. Hence the emphasis.

Kim iva sukshma buddhi ityuchyate kshurasya dhaarah agram nishita kshurasyaha dukhe duratyaya is be compared?
Kim iva sukshma buddhi ityuchyate Like what should be the intellect – how subtle or how sharp? Is being said here – just like the sharp edge of a razor kshurasya dhaara. Agram means the edge - nishita = teekshnikrtah – sharpened. Such a sharp edge suratyaya bhavati – dukhena it is extremely difficult adhyayah walking over the edge of such a razor – similarly the path of jnana yoga is also extremely difficult to walk over.

Yathaata padbhyam durgamineeya tathaa durgam dussampaadyam ityetat patha panthanam tattvajnanalakshanam margam kavayoh medha vinovadanti

Yathaa just as sa durgamaniya padbhyam – sa means the sharp edge of a razor is padbhyam durgamniya very difficult to walk over with our feet tatha in the same way durgam so difficult is the jnana marga dussampaadyam – very difficult to accomplish or comprehend ityetat this is the meaning.pathaha = panthanam = path – tattvajnanalakshanamargam –the path in the form of knowledge of the Truth or Atma. Iti kavaya – the Wise people medha vinaha - vadanti – the Vedic AchAryas this to be so.

Why? Jenyasyaati sukshmatvat tad vishayasya jnanamargasya dussampaadyattavm vadanti iti abhiprahyah

What is the criterion to decide whether any particular knowledge is easy or difficult? The criterion is based on the object of knowledge. Any jnAnam must have a jneya vishaya – an onject of knowledge. Jneyam determines the degree of difficulty of the knowledge. How or what about the jneyam will determine this? Whether the object is gross or subtle determines this. In the case of atmajnanam jnAnam is extremely difficult because atma the jneyam happens to be extremely subtle – jneyasya atisukshmatvat – tat vishayasya jnanamargasya – the path of knowledge dealing with that subtle atma is also extremely difficult - dussampadyatvam – iti abhiprayaah – this is the message of this mantra.

In 9th mantra of BG – jnana marga is extremely easy – susukham kartum avyayam. How to reconcile this? Really speaking it is neither easy nor difficult it depends on the level of maturity. If the intellect is subtle then jnana marga is susukham.

Now anvaya
(Yuyam) uttishtatha. (Yuyam) jaagrata. (yuyam) varaan praapya nibhodata. kshurasya nishita dhaara duratyayaa bhavati. Kavayah tat pathah (tam panthanam) (evam) durgam vadanti.