Author Topic: Part2 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma  (Read 1303 times)


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Part2 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:20:20 PM »
19 That state, in which one remains immovable in one’s true nature [as the real Self] is [itself called] right awareness, deliverance and the natural state. He that dwells immovably in that supreme state, free from delusion, is the ‘Awakened One’ [Prabuddha].

The significance of the last-mentioned term will appear when we come to study the contrast between the three states of life in bondage with the so-called fourth state, which is beyond. The natural state is so called because it transcends the three states, namely waking, dream and deep sleep.

The term ‘Prabuddha’ is the same as the term ‘Buddha’, which means ‘a sage’.

The physical body may and often does survive the attainment of the supreme state. How this can be is explained next.

20 The sage who has attained the supreme state is free, even though his body survives, [because] he does not look upon it as himself nor as belonging to himself. Therefore, that sage is really bodiless.

Being embodied or bodiless is due to the attachment or non-attachment to the body. In ignorance there is the sense of ‘I am the body’ or of ‘This body is mine’, that is, the body is either ‘I’ or ‘mine’. When this attachment ceases, bondage is at an end. This is an intricate point, which will become clearer as we proceed. This survival of the body of the sage is very important because without it he cannot fulfil his mission, which is to uplift his disciples.

‘Is that state desirable?’ is a question that is asked. The answer to it is now given.

21 The mind-free state stated above is itself complete and endless happiness, since it is the mind itself that covers up [or overpowers] the [natural] happiness [of the real Self] and unfolds suffering for every creature.

The desire for happiness, says Bhagavan, is natural, but it is not to be had in its perfection in the world, where the mind is dominant, but only in the mind-free state. It should be noted that happiness, which is natural to the real Self, is not to be confounded with pleasure, which belongs to the world-order, along with its opposite, suffering. True happiness is just peace.

The qualifications of the aspirant for the supreme state are next stated.

22 The lover of deliverance who is straightforward, pure, truthful, unassuming, valiant, profoundly devoted to the Guru, and endowed with the six perfections, namely serenity of mind and the rest, will attain that supreme state without delay.

The unqualified one will be hindered in his efforts to attain that state by the defects of character that are the opposites of those specified here. The qualified one will succeed in reaching that state soon and with great ease. Defects arise from the ego, while the qualifications arise by the weakening of the ego.

The term ‘valiant’ used in the previous verse is explained next.

23 The ‘valour’ enjoined here is just the concentration of the mind that the aspirant [sadhaka] achieves by restraining its vagaries in the pursuit of the quest of the Self, since no other valour is needed here.

The word ‘dhira’ in Sanksrit consists of the two letters ‘dhi’ and ‘ra’. The former means the series of thoughts that arise and pass through the mind. The latter is taken as a symbol for ‘raksha’ (rakshanam), meaning control. Through this one achieves the mental strength necessary for pursuing the quest of the Self.

Devotion to the Guru is another qualification that needs to be clarified. In the first place, there is the question, ‘What sort of person should be taken as the Guru?’ This question is first answered.

24 The aspirant to deliverance must resort to a sage as his Guru, that is, one who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance of the Self and is therefore free from delusion. How can one who has not awakened from that sleep awaken others who are in the same state?

This will be self-evident. Here there is a pun on the word ‘prabuddha’, which has two meanings: it means ‘a sage’ and it also means ‘one who has awakened’. Awakening implies a sleep from which one has to awake. Here the sleep is the ignorance of the Self in which the dream of worldly living goes on. This description of ‘samsara’ as a dream in the sleep of ignorance occurs in the ancient lore.

The nature of the devotion to the Guru is explained next.

25 Only that devotion to the Guru is good which is rendered to a sage-Guru, and which regards him as identical with God. Only by such devotion does one attain freedom from delusion. Truly the sage is not other than God.

The sage who is accepted as one’s Guru must not be regarded as just a human being, a person, but as an incarnation of God Himself, because that is the truth of the sage, and because, if the Guru be so regarded, the goal will be reached soon. This point will be explained in detail later.

The six-fold endowment mentioned in verse 22 is next enumerated.

26 Mental calm, sense-control, withdrawal from worldly pursuits, fortitude, faith in the words of Guru, steadiness in sadhana – these six are prescribed for the aspirant, and through these his mind will remain firm in the quest.

These will come and ripen if the aspirant persists in efforts to make the quest. Faith, of course, must be present from the very beginning. Faith should be understood as adherence to conclusions arrived at rationally, not blindly.

All items of this endowment, especially the first two, depend upon the practice of abstemiousness in eating, a discipline that is usually neglected. Bhagavan has said that eating the minimum of wholesome food – food of the sattvika quality – is necessary for sadhakas. The policy of living to eat was expressly condemned by him in a Tamil verse, of which the following is a rendering in Sanskrit. The stomach is represented as accusing the eater, the soul, as a violator of the law of fairness to the digestive organs:

You do not allow me, your stomach, rest for even one half hour; nor do you refrain from eating for even half an hour at a time; you do not care to take note of the suffering you inflict on me, which is beyond bearing. [Understand] O Unrighteous man! It will be hereafter impossible for me to live with you in this body.

Eating just enough for health is the means of maintaining vital economy, as much for the spiritual life as for the worldly. Health of mind is very much dependent upon the health of the body as a whole, and especially of the nervous system. It must be noted that in the West gluttony is listed as the worst of the seven deadly sins. Self-control will be easy for him who eats righteously, not for him who is wanting in fairness to the stomach. A contented and cheerful mind should be maintained all the time, and this will be possible only by respecting the divinely ordained laws of health, for which right eating is by no means the least important.

The truth of the natural state, to be won by the pursuit of suitable sadhana, is then indicated, not directly, but indirectly, as follows. The next verse, which is introductory, explains that no direct description of the state is possible.

27 That state is knowable only by actual experience of the truth of the real Self. It is indicated [in the sacred lore] only by negations, ‘Not so, not so’. It is not described by speech or thought of by the mind. [Even] the primal Guru [Dakshinamurti] taught it only by silence.

The primal Guru was God Himself as Dakshinamurti, who taught the four sages, Sanaka and the rest, by silence alone. The real Self, Bhagavan has repeatedly said, is the eternal subject, who cannot be objectified, being the Self of him that seeks to objectify him.

This supreme state is therefore indirectly taught by contrasting it with the three states of life that are experienced in the life of the world, while subject to ignorance.

28 Since that state is changeless, worldless and calm, beyond the states of waking and the rest, it is called the fourth state. Such is the teaching of the Mandukya Upanishad.

This is the shortest of all the chief Upanishads, but in it is given the essence of all of them. Life in the world is a continuous cycle, consisting of three distinct states, namely, waking, dream and deep sleep.

These three states are a vicious circle, because all three are sustained by an underlying common cause, the nature of which is next explained.

29 For every creature there are three states: waking, dream and deep sleep. Sustaining these three there is another sleep, the sleep of ignorance.

This ignorance of the Self is the common factor in all the three, without which the vicious circle of the three states would come to an end. This means that for the one who has transcended the ignorance, the three states do not exist. This basic sleep explains another fact, which will be stated later.

30 The whole of this world is contained within this trinity of states. The reality of the fourth state, which is worldless, transcends these three states.

This is why there is no peace in the realm of ignorance. Peace prevails only in the transcendental state, which is the true state of the Self.

Among the three states there is a distinction, which is stated next.

31 Deep sleep is just dreamless sleep; the other two are sleep with dream. The fourth state, being without sleep and without dream, is the abode of deliverance.

Thus it is stated that, because of the underlying sleep of ignorance, the so-called waking is really a state of dream. This will be elaborated later, when the question of the reality of the world is discussed.

The fourth state is in perfect contrast with the other three, being sleepless, dreamless and therefore worldless. It is the abode of freedom. Freedom cannot be had in any of the three states. This is one of the fundamentals of the transcendental metaphysics as taught by the sages.

32 If that mind-free consciousness, which is at the meeting point of deep sleep and waking, somehow becomes continuous, then the state that then dawns is declared by the sages to be the state of deliverance.

Consciousness without thoughts, called pure consciousness, transcends time, and hence it persists as the substratum even when the three states prevail. At the minute point of time when one of these two states gives place to the other, consciousness is without thought. If this transitional state is sufficiently prolonged, then deliverance dawns say these sages. In the Yoga Vasishta there is the following verse: ‘If one meditates keenly on the state that prevails at the end of waking and just before sleep, one attains unending happiness.’

The world-appearance, therefore, is just a dream. In fact, it often assumes the quality of a nightmare. It arises in the sleep that is ignorance of the real Self. This is stated next.

33 Those that are overwhelmed by this sleep of ignorance are the seers of this bad dream, the world. And so long as this ignorance does not cease by the right awareness of the real Self, the souls have to wander in this maze of the three states.

The only way to escape from this bad dream is to become fully aware of the real Self. He may be called, for the moment, ‘ the dweller in the supreme state’.

Thus it happens that all creatures – both men and the so-called inferior creatures – are really asleep all the time, alternately dreaming and sleeping dreamlessly. Deep, dreamless sleep is just like an oasis in a desert route.

34 Thus, every creature is asleep: none in this world of souls is awake. Only the sage, who, being firmly established in the fourth state, having transcended the three states, and who is free from ignorance, is awake.

Being awake here means being aware of the real Self as it really is. Because of this awakening, he [the sage] is no more troubled by the dream called the world.

This uniqueness of the sage is explained in the next two verses.



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Re: Part2 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 10:46:07 AM »

Being embodied or bodiless is due to the attachment or non-
attachment to it.  In ignorance, there is the sense of "I am the
body" or of "this body is mine".  That is, the body is either "I"
or 'mine'.  When this attachment ceases, bondage is at an end.
The survival of the body of the Sage is very important, because
without it, he cannot fulfil his mission for the uplift of his devotees/disciples. 

Bhagavan has humorously sung about the body needs like food,
in one of his stray poems.

"Thou does not allow me, your stomach, rest for even one half hour. Nor does thou refrain from eating for even half an hour a a time.  Thou does not care to take note of the suffering that thou
inflictest on me, which is beyond bearing.  Understand!  Oh! Unrighteous man, it will be hereafter impossible for me to live with
you in this body."  [Tr. Lakshmana Sarma].

Bhagavan Ramana has also sung in Deepa Darsana Tattvam of

Getting rid of the mind, that mistakes this perishable insentient
body as "I" and turning inwards to merge firmly in Heart, realize the effulgence within as the Truth of non dual pure Awareness.
This is the Truth of he beacon light on the crown of Arunachala,
the Heart-Centre of the universe.

Arunachala Siva. 


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Re: Part2 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 11:33:36 AM »

Muruganar also says in Guru Vachaka Kovai, Verse 760:-

Having enquired and known that nature of the abiding, supreme,
true swarupam is ideantical to the nature of the mind in the interval between two thoughts, abide in the Heart to attain eminence.  This is the state of pure being.

Padamalai Verse 2085 says:

Bhagavan:  Know the pure state [suddha], your own real nature,
by keenly observing the interval between two thoughts.

Maharshi's Gospel states:

The ego in its purity is experienced in the intervals between two states or between two thoughts.  The ego is like the worm, which leaves one hold only after it catches another.  Its true nature is known when it is out of contact with objects or thoughts.  You should realize this interval as abiding, unchangeable reality, your true being, through the conviction gained by the study of the three states, jagrat, swapna and sushupti.

Arunachala Siva.