Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 (continued) Avidya Sutram


Continuing to the next section
atha yo'nyāṃ devatāmupāste, anyo'sāvanyo'hamasmīti, na sa veda, yathā paśurevam sa devānām | yathā ha vai bahavaḥ paśavo manuṣyam bhuñjyuḥ, evamekaikaḥ puruṣo devān bhunakti; ekasminneva paśāvādīyamāne'priyam bhavati, kiṃu bahuṣu? tasmādeṣām tanna priyam yadetanmanuṣyāvidyuḥ || 10 ||

While who worships another god thinking, ‘He is one, and I am another,’ does not know. He is like an animal to the gods As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish, what should one say of many animals? Therefore it is not liked by them that men should know this.
Objection: Is there any ground for supposing that the gods and others can thwart the attainment of the results of the knowledge of Brahman?
Reply: Yes, beacuse men are indebted to them. The Śruti text, (Every Brāhmaṇa—twice-born—by his very birth is indebted) to the sages in respect of continence, to the gods in respect of sacrifices, and to the Manes in respect of progeny’ (Tai. S. VI. iii. 10. 5), shows that a man by his very birth is under certain obligations. And we know it from the illustration of animals (in this text). There is also the text, ‘Now this self (the ignorant man),’ etc. (I. iv. 16), describing him as an object of enjoyment for all, which shows that it is reasonable to suppose that the gods, in order to maintain their livelihood, may hinder men, who are dependent, jfrom attaining immortality, as creditors do with their debtors. The gods also protect their animals like their own bodies, for the Śruti will show that each man being equivalent to many animals, the gods have a great source of livelihood in the rites performed by him. It will presently be stated, ‘Therefore it is not liked by them that men should know this’ (this text), [Page 163] and ‘Just as one wishes safety to one's body, so do all beings wish safety to him who knows it as such’ (I. iv. 16). From the mention of dislike and safety we understand that the gods think that when a man attains the knowledge of Brahman, he will cease to be their object of enjoyment and their animal, for his dependence will end. Therefore the gods may very well hinder a prospective knower of Brahman from attaining the results of the knowledge of Brahman, for they are also powerful.
Objection: In that case the gods may find it like drinking a beverage to obstruct the fruition of results in other spheres too, viz. rites. Well, it would shake one’s faith in the performance of the means of achieving prosperity and liberation. Similarly God also, being of inscrutable power; can put obstacles, as also time, action, sacred formulae, herbs and austerities, which, as we know from the scriptures as well as experience, can help or hinder the fruition of results. This too would shake one’s faith in the performance of scriptural rites.
Reply: Not so, for all things spring from definite causes, and we also see variety in the universe. Both these will be inconsistent if things happen spontaneously. Since it is the accepted view of the Vedas, Smṛtis, reasoning and tradition that happiness, misery, and the like are the outcome of one’s past work, the gods, or God, or time by no means upset the results of work, for these depend on requisite factors. Work, good or bad, that men do cannot come into being without the help of factors such as the gods, time and God, and even if it did, it would not have the power [Page 164] to produce results, for it is the very nature of work to spring from many causes such as the different factors. Therefore the gods, God and others being auxiliaries to work, there is nothing to shake our faith in the attainment of its results.
Sometimes also (in the matter of thwarting) they have to depend on the past work of men, for its inherent power cannot be checked. And there is no fixity about the relative predominance of past work, time, destiny and the nature of things etc.; it is inscrutable, and hence throws people into confusion. Some, for instance, say that in bringing about results one’s past work is the only factor. Others say it is destiny. A third group mentions time. Still others say if is the nature of things etc. While yet another group maintains it is all these things combined. Regarding this the Vedas and Smṛtis uphold the primacy of past work, as in the passage, ‘One indeed becomes good through good work and evil through evil work’ (III. ii. 13), and so on. Although one or other of these at times gains ascendancy in its own sphere over the rest, whose potential superiority lies in abeyance for the time being, yet there is no uncertainty about work producing results, for the importance of work is decided by the scriptures as well as reason.[38]
Nor (can the gods check the result of knowledge), for the realisation of Brahman, which is this result, consists in the mere cessation of ignorance. It has, been suggested that the gods may thwart the attainment [Page 165] of Brahman, which is the result expected from the knowledge of It; but they do not have that power. Why? Because this result, the attainment of Brahman, immediately follows the knowledge. How? As in the world a form is revealed as soon as the observer’s eye is in touch with light, similarly the very moment that one has knowledge of the Supreme Self, ignorance regarding It must disappear. Hence, the effects of ignorance being impossible in the presence of the knowledge of Brahman, like the effects of darkness in the presence of a lamp, whom should the gods thwart and by what means, for is not the knower of Brahman the self of the gods? This is what the text says: 'For he,the knower of Brahman, becomes their self, the reality of these gods, the object of their meditation, the Brahman that is to be known from all scriptures, simultaneously with the knowledge of Brahman, since, as we have said (p. 140), the only obstruction of ignorance vanishes then and there, like a mother-of-pearl mistaken for a piece of silver becoming itself again. Hence the gods cannot possibly try to stand against their own self. They succeed in their effort to put obstacles only in the case of one who seeks a result uhich is other than the Self and is separated by space, time and causation, but not with regard to this sage, who becomes their self simultaneously with the awakening of knowledge, and is not separated by space, time and causation, for there is no room for opposition here.
Objection: In that case, since there is not a stream of consciousness about knowledge (of Brahman), and since we see that a consciousness of an [Page 166] opposite nature together with its effects persists, let us say that only the last[39] consciousness of the Self removes ignorance, and not the first one.
Reply: No, for your ground of inference will be falsified on account of the first. If the first consciousness of the Self does not remove ignorance, neither will the last, for they are alike consciousness of the Self.
Objection: Well then, let us say, it is not the isolated consciousness that removes ignorance, but that which is continuous.
Reply: Not so, for there cannot be a continuity, since it would be broken by thoughts of self-preservation etc. So long as these crop up, there cannot be an unbroken stream of consciousness about knowledge, for the two are contradictory.
Objection: Suppose the latter continues till death to the exclusion of the former.
Reply: Not so, for the uncertainty about the requisite number of thoughts to make up that stream would be open to the charge of making the meaning of the scriptures indefinite. In other words, there being nothing to determine that so many thoughts would make up a stream that will remove ignorance, it would be impossible to determine the meaning of the scriptures, which is not desirable.
Objection: The meaning is quite definite, for in so far as it is a stream of consciousness, it will remove ignorance.
Reply: No, for there is no difference between the first and the last stream of consciousness. There [Page 167] being nothing to determine whether it is the first stream of consciousness about knowledge that removes ignorance or the last one ending with the moment of death, they too' would be open to those two charges already mentioned with regard to the first and last thoughts.
Objection: Well then, let us say that knowledge does not remove ignorance.
Reply: Not so, for the Śruti says, ‘Therefore It became all,’ as also, ‘The knot of the heart is broken,' etc. (Mu. II. ii. 8), ‘Then what delusion can there be?' (Iś. 7), and so on.
Objection: These may be mere eulogies.
Reply: No, for then the Upaniṣads in all the recensions would be classed as such, for they have just this one aim.
Objection: Suppose we say that they are but eulogies, for they deal with the self which is already known through perception.[40]
Reply: No, for we have already refuted that contention.[41] Also we have said that knowledge produces palpable iesults, viz. the cessation of such evils as ignorance, grief, delusion and fear (p. 134). Therefore there can be no question about knowledge removing ignorance, whether it be first or last, continuous or non-continuous, for knowledge culminates in producing the cessation of ignorance and other evils. Any consciousness that produces this result, whether first or last, continuous or non-continuous, is knowledge [Page 168] according to us. Hence there is no scope whatsoever for any objection.
You said, the first consciousness does not remove ignorance, because we see that a consciousness of an opposite nature to knowledge together with its effects persists. This is wrong, for the residue of Prārabdha work is the cause of the persistence of the bodv after knowledge. In other words, that resultant of past work which led to the formation of the present body (Prārabdha), being the outcome of false notions[42] and the evils (of attachment etc.), is able to bear fruit only as such, i.e. as coupled with those notions and evils; hence until the body falls, it cannot but produce, as part of one’s experience of the results of past work, just so much of false notions and the evils of attachment etc., for the past work that made this body has already begun to bear fruit and must run its course like an arrow that has been shot. Therefore knowledge cannot stop that, for they are not contradictory. What does it do then? It stops the effects of ignorance which are contradictory to it and are about to spring up from (the ignorance lying in) the self, which is the substratum of that knowledge, for they have not yet appeared. But the other is past.
Moreover, false notions do not arise in a man of realisation, for there is then no object for them. Whenever a false notion arises, it does so on account of a certain similarity of something to another,without ascertaining the particular nature of that thing, as when a mother-of-pearl is mistaken for a piece of silver. [Page 169] And this can no more happen to one who has ascertained the particular nature of that thing, for the source of all false notions (that cursory resemblance) has been destroyed; as they no more appear when a right perception of the mother-of-pearl, for instance, has taken place. Sometimes, however, memories due to the impressions of false notions antecedent to the dawning of knowledge, simulating those notions, suddenly appear and throw him into the error of regarding them as actual false notions; as one who is familiar with the points of the compass sometimes all of a sudden gets confused about them. If even a man of realisation comes to have false notions as before, then faith in realisation itself being shaken, no one would care to understand the meaning of the scriptures, andall evidences of knowledge would cease to be such, for then there would be no distinction between things that are valid evidences and those that are not. This also answers the question why the body does not fall immediately after realisation. The destruction of actions done before, after and at the time of realisation as well as those accumulated in past lives—actions that have not yet begun to bear fruit—is proved by the very negation of obstructions to the attainment of results in the present text, as also from such Śruti texts as the following: ‘And his actions are destroyed’ (Mu. II. ii. 8), ‘It takes him only so long (as he does not give up his body)’ (Ch. VI. xiv. 2), ‘All demerits are burnt up’ (Ch. V. xxiv. 3), 'Knowing It one is not touched by evil action’ (IV. iv. 23), ‘He is never overtaken by these two thoughts (of having done good and evil acts)’ (IV. iv. 22), 'Actions done pr omitted do not [Page 170]trouble him’ (Ibid.), ‘(Ṛemorse for doing evil and not doing good) does not trouble him’ (Tai. II. ix.), and ‘He is not afraid of anything’ (Ibid.). Also from such Smṛti texts as the following: ‘The fìre of knowledge reduces all actions to ashes’ (G. IV. 37).
The objection that he is tied up by his obligations (to the gods etc.) is not valid, for they concern an ignorant man. It is he who is under those obligations, for he can be presumed to be an agent and so forth. It will be said later on, ‘When there is something else, as it were, then one can see something’ (IV. iii. 31). These last words show thaf the acts of seeing etc. together with their results, which are dependent on many factors created by ignorance, are possible only in the state of ignorance, when the Self, the Reality that has no second, appears as something else, like a second moon when one has got the disease of double vision (Timira). But the text, ‘Then what should one see and through what?’ (II. iv. 14; IV. v. 15), shows that work is impossible in the state of knowledge, when the illusion of manifoldness created by ignorance has been destroyed. Therefore the indebtedness in question belongs only to an ignorant man, for whom it is possible to work, and to none else. We shall show this at length while dealing with passages that are yet to be explained.
As, for instance, here. While he, one who is not a knower of Brahman, who worships another god, a god different from himself, approaches him in a subordinate position, offering him praises, salutations, sacrifices, presents, devotion, meditation, etc., thinking, ‘He is one, non-self, different from me, and I am [Page 171] another, qualified for rites, and I must serve him like a debtor’—worships him with such ideas, does not know the truth. He, this ignorant man, has not only the evil of ignorance, but is also like an animal to the gods. As a cow or other animals are utilised through their services such as carrying loads or yielding milk, so is this man of use to every one of the gods and others on account of his many services such as the performance of sacrifices. That is to say, he is therefore engaged to do all kinds of services for them.
The scriptural rites, with or without the accompaniment of meditation, which this ignorant man, for whom the divisions of caste, order of life and so forth exist, and who is bound to those rites, performs, lead to progress beginning with human birth and ending with identity with Hiraṇyagarbha. While his natural. activities, as distinguished from those prescribed by the scriptures, lead to degradation beginning with the human birth itself and ending with identity with stationary objects. That it is so we shall explain in the latter part of this chapter beginning with, ‘There are indeed three worlds’ (I. V. 16), and continuing right up to the end. While the effect of knowledge (meditation) has been briefly shown to be identity with all. The whole of this Upaniṣad is exclusively devoted to showing the distinction between the spheres of knowledge and ignorance. We shall show that this is the import of the whole book.
Since it is so, therefore the gods can thwart as well as help an ignorant man. This is being shown: As inthe world many animals such as cows or horses serve a man, their owner and controller, so does each[Page 172] ignorant man, equivalent to many animals, serve the gods. This last word is suggestive of the Manes and others as well. He thinks, ‘This Indra and the other gods are different from me and are my masters. I shall worship them like a servant through praises, salutations, sacrifices, etc., and shall attain as results prosperity and liberation granted by them. Now, in the world, even if one animal of a man possessing many such is taken away, seized by a tiger, for instance, it causes great anguish.Similarly what is there to wonder at if the gods feel mortified when a man, equivalent to many animals, gets rid of the idea that he is their creature, as when a householder is robbed of many animals? Therefore it is not liked by them, these gods—what?— that men should somehow know thistruth of the identity of the self and Brahman. So the revered Vyāsa writes in the Anugītā, ‘The world of the gods, O Arjuna, is filled with those who perform rites. And the gods do not like that mortals should surpass them’ (Mbh. XIV. xx. 59). Hence as men try to save animals from being seized by tigers etc., so the gods seek to prevent men from attaining the knowledge of Brahman lest they should cease to be their objects of enjoyment. Those, however, whom they wish to set free, they endow with faith and the like; while the opposite class they visit with lack of faith etc. Therefore a seeker of liberation should be devoted to worshipping the gods, have faith and devotion, be obedient (to the gods) and be alert about the attainment of knowledge or about knowledge itself. The mention of the dislike of the gods is an indirect hint at all this.

[Page 173] In the sentence, ‘The Self alone is to be meditated upon’ (I. iv. 7) the gist[43] of the scriptures has been put in a nutshell. In order to explain it, its relation,[44] and utility have also been stated in the eulogistic passage, ‘They say: Men think,’ etc. (I. iv. 9). And that ignorance is the cause of one’s belonging to the relative plane has been stated in the passage, ‘While he who worships another god,’ etc. (I. iv. 10). There it has been said that an ignorant man is indebted and dependent like an animal, having to do duties for the gods etc. What is the cause of their having to do those duties? The different castes and orders of life. The following paragraphs are introduced in order to explain what these castes are, because of which this dependent man is bound to the rites connected with them, and transmigrates. It is to explain this in detail that the creation of Indra and other gods was not mentioned immediately after that of Fire. This last, however, was described to complete the picture of creation by Virāt. It should be understood that this creation of Indra and other gods also belongs to that, being a part of it. It is being described here only to indicate the reason why the ignorant man alone is qualified for the performance of rites.
After talking about the glory of jnani - how he is the master of even the Gods, the Up now talks about ajnani and his lot. How the ajnani is in the grip of the Devas. Advidyavan is samsari and even when he wants to gain jnanam lot of obstacles are created by Devas.
This line atha yo'nyāṃ devatāmupāste, anyo'sāvanyo'hamasmīti, na sa veda, is the avidya sutram and is an extremely important line. In the 7th mantra we had vidya sutram atma ityeva upasita. Here we have the avidya sutram.
For a ajnani he at the mercy of the devatas or gods. Even when he wants to gain jnanam many obstacles are put in his way by devatas.
Until the previous portion we saw the elaboration of vidya sutram. Now we deal with avidya sutram and rest of this section is a commentary on avidya sutram.
Whoever sees difference between himself and God or Gods is a fool.
Anya asau that devata or Deity is another ...is different.. and anyaha aham and I the worshipper am different.. all these people are called pashu animals. Such a person who worships with notion of difference saha na veda he does not know he is a ignoramus he is a fool. This is one meaning of the term pashu. Pashu also indicates dasa bhava or a servile attitude.
yathā ha vai bahavaḥ paśavo manuṣyam bhuñjyuḥ,
.Each animal like a cow or horse live for their masters.. they are meant only to serve the purpose of a man.. similarly all the karma kanda humans are like different animals serving the purposes of the deities. Giving constant offering to the Devatas.evamekaikaḥ puruṣo devān bhunakti; .. Each man serves the Devas.
And just as we value the animals as we like for them to be of service to us and even if one animal is taken away or loses an animal, it causes a man a lot of anguish, and a lot more when many are taken away, ... similarly.. the Devas also would prefer that these men always remain in karma kanda and continue to serve them. If they develop vairagya and pareekshya lokan and go to Guru and Guru points out you are akarta whole karma kanda is dissolved. So Devas create maximum obstacles when the man wants to go to Guru or come to vedanta.tasmād eṣām tanna priyam yad etan manuṣyā vidyuḥ
.Thus Devas will not like it if men come to gain knowledge.

Here Shankara makes an enquiry and discusses a corollary.
In karma kanda field Devas are powerful - as they can obstruct, create problems. For a jnani even Devas are powerless. 
Shankara says if Devas are powerful in karma kanda then we will not have Faith in karma. Why? Even if we do good karma Devas can create obstacle and can even obstruct obtaining the karmaphala. Thus people will lose faith in karmakanda and will become fatalistic. Our experience in life is determined by our own action Karma gods deva time kala and nature of the substance vastu svabhava. If we say devas are the only determinant then that is denying that our karma has any factor. that would make karma kanda will become useless. Shankara refutes this strongly.
Karmaphalam in the form of punyam and papam can never directly come and hand over sukham and dukham to me. Punya and papa require karaka or medium - they can never independently give sukham or dukham. What the media? The devas kala and vastu svabhava are the mediums. Karmaphalam has to come to me through media of a presiding deity. Kala is another
Vastu svabhava is another medium.
Prior birth's papam can come to me through medium of a bad son and same way we can include other relations.
Shankara says the primary determinant of sukham dulham is karmaphala and not the medium- deva kala or vastu svabhava
Once karma is pradhanam karma kanda is very much valid.
We can do karma and change our lot. Karmakanda is the primary factor that helps determine or influences our future. Devas by themselves are not the primary factor.
Also out of the four factors, three are common to all people and these three cannot be responsible for the infinite variations we see in peoples life experiences. Only the variable factor can be responsible for these variations and hence that is the determining factor.
Here devas kala and vastu svabhava are common or uniform for all. samoham sarvabhuteshu in Gita
The variable factor is karma only.
I am responsible for my present and I alone am responsible for my future. Karmapradhana shastra
Only when i give importance to karma i will take responsibility for my own life. I take charge of my life. Ishwara is responsible for my fate is not a correct attitude or belief.
Only this attitude will enable me to come to vedanta and declare i am the master of the universe. Aham vrshaksya rereiva...mayyeva sakalam jaatam
Master alone is free daasa is never free
Soham I am He; that Lord I Am
Daasoham I am a servant.

Karmaphalapradhana is to take charge of ones own life and come to Vedanta and own up to my identity as Brahman.

Shankara also talks about swamibhrtyan nyayah attitude of daasa but that is as a temporary step only and that too in the context of karmayoga - with attitude of dasa you should follow commmandment of the master and hence should follow nitya naimittika karma. Masters commandment is dharmashastra and so be a dasa here means follow dharma. Through Dharma shape your life. In the Gita niyatam kuru karma tvam karma jyayo hy akarmanah sarira-yatrapi ca te na prasiddhyed akarmanah

Even in that case Krishna says I as Bhagwan dont determine your future but through dharma you yourself determine your future...your prosperity is determined by dharma.
saha-yajnah prajah srstva purovaca prajapatih anena prasavisyadhvam esa vo 'stv ista-kamadhuk

Those who do not follow Dharma they will not prosper
Yae Tu-aethath-abhyasooyantha-o Na-anu-thisht'tanthi Mae Matham Sarva-ajnaana-vimoodhaa-s-thaan Vidhi Nashtaan-achaethasaha.

Do know Vidhi them thaan as lost Nashtaan surely Tu
who Yae do not Na follow anu-thishtanthi this aethath
opinion Matham of mine Mae the ignorant ones without knowledge Sarva-ajnaana-vimoodha and without awareness achaethasaha and with ill feelings towards others abhyasooyantha



No comments: