'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.
There is a shift, in these final verses, from the pure description of Aatman back to the sadhaka, the one who is in search of That…
svRg< siCcdaNd< }ancúauinRrIúate,
A}ancúauneRúaet _aaSvNt< _aanumNxvt!.65.
Sarvagam sachchidaanandam jnaanachakshurniriikshate,
Ajnaanachakshurneksheta bhaasvantam bhaanumandhavat ||65||
Though Aatman is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss and ever-present everywhere, yet It can only be perceived by the eye of wisdom, just as the blind do not see the sun, so too, one whose vision is obscured by ignorance does not see the self.
There are going to be some who respond to this analogy that the blind person can know the sun by its warmth… but that is only one aspect of the sun and not the Whole Truth. This is what is implied in this shloka. The only way to understand and to know the Wholeness of Aatman is to build one's understanding, gather all the evidence and weed out all which obscures the Truth. The mind of such a one must be pure and clear; it will have done all the sadhana and penance necessary to gain the purity and clarity; there will be a single-pointedness of vision and there will be a knowledge of what is Real and what is illusion. There are many who lay claim to the fullness of knowledge, but there only very few who properly attain it. There are limiting factors in seekers of Truth which veil and distort the beauty of the Absolute Reality - all remain 'blind' until these limiters are fully removed.
All great philosophers had, finally, to make use of the imaginary power in the human intellect in order to attempt a proper explanation of the inexplicable. Theoretically, the teachers of vedanta boldly propound that, on transcending the limiters (the BMI equipment), all seekers will Realise the Self as Truth. Each student begins by trying to follow the teacher with their intellect alone. As they progress, however, they come to accept that something a little more than plain intellect must be utilised. Thus the Rsis talk of the 'jnaana-chakshu', the Eye of Knowledge which, in Western terms, can be deemed as intuition.
Through contemplative power alone can one apprehend the Reality; this apprehension is not an objective experience, it is an uncompromising, subjective, total 'becoming'.
The extroverted mind of the jiiva, the individualised personality, goes shooting outwards to all the objects and situations of the world, getting so agitated it cannot focus upon capturing the Supreme. However, the introverted mind intelligently withdraws from these diversions, trains itself to turn inward and develops the power to apprehend the Reality. The intuitive power, then, is nothing other than the introverted mind held in strong attention. A large part of the sadhaka's saadhana, therefore, is the act of purification. How to do this is presented in a large portion of the Sanskrit literature and prime among these is the Bhagavad Gita.