'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 TattvabodhaH label to access all posts relevant to this text.
Last week we read the suutra which indicated the nature of a jiivanmukta. It was stated there that by 'immediate Knowledge' such a one would see the All as One. Why say 'immediate'?
Jnaana is of three types; प्रत्यक्ष /pratyaksha, परोक्ष /paroksha and अपरोक्ष /aparoksha.
Pratyaksha jnaana is direct knowledge - we 'know' a thing by perception through our sense organs. We see a book. We read music. We touch the dog, and so on. It is the knowledge system in which the majority people operate in daily life. Storing units of descriptive information.
Paroksah jnaana is indirect knowledge - we gather our info-bytes via other 'media'. Hearing or reading the words of others. Often the object about which we are gathering knowledge is not available for pratyaksha. This is 'borrowed' knowledge until such time as we make efforts to ascertain its truth for ourselves. For example; having read about, hear others' tales who had visited' and seen their photographs, we make efforts ourselves to visit the pyramids. Only then can we truly appreciate all the words and inferences which had been gathered earlier - and add our own experience to the pool of knowledge.
Aparoksha jnaana is immediate Knowledge. It does not refer to anything we can see directly, neither to something which is still just theory to us. It is a knowledge which involves "I" and is thus immediate. There are no sense involved and neither is the mind. Anything which relates to "I", even at our current jiiva level, comes at us without any prior involvement; it is a preservation thing. How much more so is this the case for the spiritual seeker who, discovers who "I" am, the True Nature of Existence? The one who has put in full practice and research to Vedanta will have reward in receipt of such immediate Knowledge, but the "I" will be the universal Self, beyond the jiiva… jiivanmuktaH. In so telling us, the Guru of the text now expands a little and hints at the greater reward. (Remember chant clip for this is on last week's post.)
ब्रह्मैवाहमस्मीत्यपरोक्षज्ञानेन निखैलकर्मबन्धविनिर्मुक्तः स्यात्।
brahmaivaahamasmiityaparoxaGYaanena nikhailakarmabandhavinirmuktaH syaat.
"By immediate Knowledge that I am Brahman alone, one becomes free from bondage of all actions."
There are no special powers or other-world experiences; no sudden increase in worldly status; no certificates or diplomas. This experience is of the most personal nature possible. Knowledge does not create anything new, It only removes the ignorance of our True Self.
The fellow who remains in spiritual ignorance performs actions with the feeling that 'I am the doer' and thus becomes also the sufferer and enjoyer as a consequence. This is the bondage of Maya. The realised soul knows that there is no such thing as bondage or limitation; worldly action is not necessarily stopped - indeed it may be enhanced - but now there is not sense of doership, ownership, or results. The jivanmukta is detached from outcomes and expectations. Any remaining duties will be attended, but without attachment; all is done with a sense of Love. It is not freedom from action, but a freedom within action.
Action is otherwise known as karma. This is term which has become something of a 'catch phrase' - and taken very much out of context to the point of misuse and abuse. Everyone is interested in 'destiny', but that is only a part of the whole of the karmic cycle. The Guru gives a summary of this next… (the chant will be available next week.)
कर्माणि कतिविधानि सन्तीति चेत् आगामिसञ्चितप्रारब्धभेदेन् त्रिविधानि सन्ति।
karmaaNi katividhaani santiiti cet aagaamisa~ncitapraarabdhabheden trividhaani santi.
"If it is asked, how many kinds of karmas are there, [the reply is] there are three kinds of karmas viz. aagami, sanchita and praarabdha."
Can we live without action? Even to keep the body alive, one has to act. Man performs countless action from birth to death. Each produces results, some favourable, others less so. It is important to note, says the Guru, that karma is just an 'umbrella title' and that, in fact, it is composed of three elements.