'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
[You are reminded that reviewing the previous week's posts will become essential as the meanings of the Sanskrit terms may not be repeated. There may come additional or alternative meanings, but all should be noted. As study progresses, the technical terms must necessarily become 'second nature' to the student. When the Sanskrit is used, the translation will fall easily into place - or likewise, if the English is used, the Sanskrit term must easily come forwards.]
Please revisit THIS post and chant the mangala-charana. Please use the TattvabodaH label to access all posts relevant to this text.
Beyond The PanchakosaaH.
Last week we learned that the Truth of "I AM" becomes lost in the illusion of "I am happy". The Guru now makes a statement and reminder to the shishya that all of the conditionings known as the tri-shariiras, the trayaavasthaas, the panchakoshas are not the aatmaa, that Self which is the subject of enquiry in Vedanta.
मदीयं शरीरं मदीयाः प्राणाः
मदीयं मन्श्च मदीया बुद्धिर्मदीयं
अज्ञानमिति स्वेनैव ज्ञायते त्द्यथा
मदीयत्वेन ज्ञातं कटककुण्डल-गृहादिकं
स्वस्माद्भिन्नं तथा पञ्चकोशादिकं
स्वस्माद्भिन्नं मदीयत्वेन ज्ञातमात्मा न भवति।
madiiyaM shariiraM madiiyaaH praaNaaH
madiiyaM manshca madiiyaa buddhirmadiiyaM
aGYaanamiti svenaiva GYaayate tdyathaa
madiiyatvena GYaataM kaTakakuNDala-gR^ihaadikaM
svasmaadbhinnaM tathaa pa~ncakoshaadikaM
svasmaadbhinnaM madiiyatvena GYaatamaatmaa na bhavati.
"Just as bangles, earrings, house and so on, known as 'mine', are all other than the knower, 'me', so too the five sheaths etc are known by oneself as 'my' body, 'my' praanas, 'my mind', 'my' intellect and 'my' ignorance and are, therefore, not The Self."
There is a relationship indicated here of owner and owned. Look around at your immediate environment. Is it not that each thing around you is thought of in terms of 'that is mine, this is mine'? Possessions. We desire them, gather them, label them as 'mine'. At any time, do you consider these items to actually be 'me'? The minute we make that kind of connection, "I" is lost. There are some places where this is necessary for preservation - for example, the mother considers the child to be herself - and yet this too, when looked at spiritually, is a problem. The mother is not only sacrificing her own True Identity, but is at risk of holding back the personality of that child to develop its own Self-Relationship, for by claiming 'you are me' of that child, it too becomes lost in external identification. The "I" which is essential and True at the core of each us will ultimately rebel. It is a perennial issue of society, is it not? Every human being seeks to 'be me'. The sadness is that all too often the 'me' which is sought is defined by the external environment, by possessions, looks, relationships.
By claiming 'mine', placing value in objects, by forming this attachment, we lose our objectivity. Genuine seekers of the 'me' in amongst this recognises that the external is not what is sought. Equally, it is clear that the hands, feet, nose, ears and so on which constitute our bodies are not the 'me' who is doing the seeking! An advanced seeker also grasps the logic of the subtle and causal bodies not being 'me'.
This simple and logical fact, however, is one of the greatest challenges for seekers. No matter how knowledgeable we become in Vedanta, we still have to overcome the perception, so deeply ingrained, that we are other than the panchakoshas. Our mind is so complicated and the habits so strong, that even whilst intellectually accepting The Truth, living it is beyond us. This is why so few will move into the esoteric realms of 'realisation'. It is possible, though, to minimise the damaging effects of the grand delusion, through continual application of the saadhana chatushtaya - discrimination of the real from the unreal, determination and resolve to maintain distance from the delusion and application of self-disciplines as defined in the shamaadhi shatka-sampatti. We can do all the reading and satsangs we like, but unless we apply what we learn we cannot progress.
Having decided that spiritual study is worthwhile, and that perhaps we are each in our own way worthy of its pursuit, we must always keep this at the forefront of our mind. The "I" which perceives the world is something other than that world.
The Guru now moves into and introductory discussion of That Self.