Author Topic: Tat Tvam Asi - 3  (Read 1540 times)


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Tat Tvam Asi - 3
« on: May 09, 2009, 12:25:09 PM »
 However the special aspect of (visesha amsa) of the Self is unknown to us.  That is to say, we are ignorant of the Self's real nature.  Therefore, the Self is known in a general way.  This is evident from our day to day statementss, such as, "I know myself", "I exist", etc., which we all make at one time or another. Beyond that, the real nature of the Self as truth, consciousness, and bliss remain unknown.  At most, some of us may have the intellectual knowledge of the Self from studying the scriptures or listening to spiritual discourses.

The knowledge of the Self, even at the general level, is unlike the
knowledge of an object, for example, a stone or a chair.  A stone
for instance, is always an object because it has to be known.  Being
a material entity, it can never be the knowing object.  As an object, the stone requires a subject to know it.  The Self, however, is not in
such a logical predicament.  The Self is not an object of knowledge.
These objects are known through 'pramanas', such as, perception.
It is however, impossible to prove the existence of the Self by any

In the case of the Self, there is no need for any proof by any
'pramana'.  In the case of a building, the existence of the superstructure is sufficient proof for the existence of the foundation
underneath.  The question of proof does not arise at all, becausse he building cannot exisst without the foundation.  The latter is presupposed by the former.  The same explanation holds good in the
case of the Self.  Every case of knowing is made possible by the Self and every time we make any knowledge claim, we presuppose the
existence of the Self. So the Self does not remain unknown. 

An object requires something else to know it.  However, being the
ground of all experiences, there is really nothing apart from from the
Self to know it.

" Where there is duality, there one perceives another, one smells
another, one tastes another, one contacts another, one knows
another, but where all this is Atman, who is there to think, smell,
touch and know whom?  Who can know him by whom all this is known?....Who can know the Knower?" declares Brahadaranyaka
Upanishad. [4.5.15].

Indeed, the normal mind is an instrument of knowledge for ordinary objects.  Being a finite entity, the mind can never know the infinite,
as the pen will never know or understand the writer who is using it.
More specifically, he Self being Self-luminous, Svaprakasa, is shining all the time, revealing its presence.  The term Svaprakasa, conveys the idea that while the Self reveals everything else, it itself is not revealed by anything.  [Kathopanishad 2.2.15: Br. Up. 4.3.9].

(Source: As indicated in Part 1)

Arunachala Siva.