'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta.
We are now studying Aatmabodha. As always, with each week, you are encouraged to review the previous teachings and spend some time in contemplation of the meanings as the affect your life. Please do consider purchasing the text. Remember, also, to recite the mangala charana before each study and review the lessons before each new one.
With a description of the Realised one given, the Guru now goes on to impress upon the shishya the imperative verses of saadhana. These following shlokas, then, might look all the same and could be given as a whole; but each is phrased differently to bring out the emphasis and to give the student something to fully meditate upon; therefore they will be given singly. The notes may be short, but the contemplation is a lifetime's work!
y‘a_aaÚaprae la_aae yTmuoaÚapr< suom!,
yJ}anaÚapr< }an< td!äüeTyvxaryet!.54.
Yallaabhaannaaparo laabho yat-sukhaanna-aparam sukham,
Yajjnaanaannaaparam jnaanam tad-brahmetya-vadhaarayet ||54||
Realise that to be Brahman, the attainment of which leaves nothing more to be attained, the blessednesss of which leaves no other blessing to be desired and the Knowledge of which leaves no more to be known.
The method of presentation here (and for the next two shlokas) is called tqzw l][ /taThashtha lakshana. Lakshana is the 'inner meaning' and taThashtha is akin to saying 'that is the place', it is a pointing-out; for example if we'd asked where is Datta's place the answer might come, "that house there, the one with the crow perched on it - that is the house". The crow is of course not always there - it is there now though and helps in giving the directions in that none of the other houses have that crow on them at the moment. Even if it moves to another house, we will now have identified the place we are heading for and thus firmed up our direction.
This is an important technical point for students of Vedanta. TaThashta lakshana is used quite a lot in order to keep the focus and to assist in ascertaining when one's own contemplations and cogitations are well-directed or, perhaps have missed the mark.
Here, then, we have the Supreme Experience explained as the greatest Knowledge, which, having obtained it, one can no more feel any sense of incompleteness. It is the pinnacle of understanding of 'life, the universe and everything' and whilst all other knowledges in the world are good things of themselves, having gained this ultimate Knowledge, there is found to be no more requirement of seeking knowledge. A blissful state indeed.
Our constant striving to gain more learning, to acquire more status and possess more things is driven by the sense that we neve have enough; enough knowledge, enough funding, enough security and so on. There is a constant dissatisfaction and desire for more. This is the life we must lead in our current state of imperfection; it belongs to the jiiva, the individualised ego-self. When the jiiva rediscovers Itself to be the One Self Alone, all imperfections felt till now are understood. They are now seen in the context of the destiny of the BMI matter envelopments and cannot soil the Perfected One.
That which, when it becomes our experience, causes there to be the sense of endless completion and fulfilment of life; that is the Supreme Goal.