Author Topic: Part3 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma  (Read 1567 times)


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Part3 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:24:13 PM »
35 The sage is wide-awake, having become established in the true state of the Self, which is free from the darkness of ignorance. In respect of the dream-world that is being seen by those drowsy with ignorance of the Self, he is asleep.

36 Hence it is said that this world is as night to the sage, whereas to the ignorant the real Self is as night. For this reason the natural state, the fourth state is described by the sages as a state of waking sleep.

This distinction between the sage and the ignorant finds a place in the following verse of the Gita: ‘The sage is awake in what is night to all creatures. That in which the creatures are awake is night to the sage, though he is, in fact, awake.’

This implies that from the standpoint of the sage, the world is unreal. This verse suggests a question: how the sage, whose body is still alive, can carry on his mission as a teacher of supreme wisdom. The solution to this riddle lies in the fact that the natural state of a sage does not interfere with the sage’s work as a teacher. That activity goes on in a mysterious way, which is explained to the extent possible in a later context.

From all this it might appear that sagehood is something anomalous. What is anomalous is the worldly outlook, which is blind to the real and attentive to the unreal dream, the world-appearance. The worldly ones are just like intoxicated or mad people. It is the sage who is both sober and sane.

Up to now the supreme state of the sage has been called the fourth state. But this name is only a concession to novices, as is shown presently.

37 For those to whom the three states, waking and the rest, are real, that [supreme] state is mentioned as ‘the fourth state’. But since that so-called fourth state alone is real, and these three are unreal, the term ‘fourth state’ is not rightly applicable to it.

The supreme state is therefore just the transcendental state. When compared to this state, the three worldly states cannot be considered to be real. Their seeming reality is no more authentic than the reality that is ascribed to a dream while it lasts. This point will be further elaborated later.

The cause of the difference between the three states and the supreme state is explained next.

38 In dream and waking, the mind, being active, itself creates the world. In deep sleep it goes into seed form; on awaking it again creates the world.

In deep sleep the mind is not completely lost; it goes into a latent state, out of which it can emerge and become active again as before. This is the reason for the continuance of bondage. Thus, these three states form a vicious circle that can be broken only by finally extinguishing the mind so that it cannot revive on awaking.

To reach this goal the mind-free state must be attained in the waking state itself since the other two states are useless for this purpose.

39 Unless and until the mind becomes utterly extinct, these three states will continue to prevail. When the mind becomes extinguished, the supreme state, in which this world once and for all ceases to appear [as real], is won.

During the prevalence of ignorance the three states conceal the supreme state. The latter cannot be experienced because of these. To be able to experience that state the mind must be destroyed so that the world-creation will also cease. To this end, the quest must be taken up and pursued until the mind-free state is established.

This is often styled the state of knowledge. But this description is misleading for the reason stated presently.

40 Though that state of being the real Self is called the state of knowledge, it is one in which there is none of the three: the knower, the object known, and the act of knowing. That being the case, what does one know there, by what means, and who is there to know? It must be understood that knowledge is just a name for the state of being the Self.

That state is different from anything else because it is a state of non-duality (advaita). There is no object to be known, nor is there a knower – the soul – and hence there is no knowing. So ‘knowledge’ or ‘awareness’ are just arbitrary names for this state. This will be explained later.

41 The upanishadic text that says: ‘Where the Self is all there is, how and what does one know there?’ makes it clear that in the supreme state the real Self is alone [as the one without a second].

A possible misconception is next pointed out and the true state clearly explained.

42 In that state there is not, in reality, even the difference of place and the occupant thereof. Since the Self, the all-inclusive reality, is one without a second, he, the Supreme Being, is his own place.

This is an echo of the upanishadic passage – ‘He abides in his own greatness, or rather, not even in that greatness’ – given to Narada by Guru Sanat Kumara. This means that the real Self is not in space.

Who then is the advaitin?

43 Since the sage has put an end to all duality by attaining the supreme state, the real state, he has therefore attained the advaitic state. Hence, he alone should be regarded as an advaitin.

This is important. Bhagavan has warned us against thinking of advaita as a doctrine, just like the doctrines of the sectarians. Since the advaitic state is the mind-free state, there is no room in it for doctrines. This is further explained as follows.

44 Duality comes to be taken as real because of taking something that is not the Self to be the Self. The sages tell us that the state of being free from this ignorance is itself the advaitic state.

This means that so long as this ignorance endures, the advaitic state is not attained.

45 Thus, advaita is not a dogma like those of the other religions. Also, because the mind does not function in it, true advaita is declared to be just the state of being in one’s own real nature [as the real Self], free from thoughts and worldless.

It must be remembered that the world can never be without the mind. For this reason a merely theoretical – intellectual – belief in advaita is of no value whatever.

46 On the other hand, the advaitic state has not been attained by one who, knowing the substance of the sacred lore as a doctrine, by his intellect alone, is satisfied with it, without striving to win actual experience of the real Self.

This is explained in detail as follows:

47 Such a one has not dissolved the world-appearance by remaining in the true state of the Self as the supreme reality. He that knows the Self by understanding the substance of the books has not got rid of his false notion that the body is the Self!

Identification of the body as the Self is the primary ignorance, and theoretical knowledge has not the least effect on that ignorance. It survives. It ceases only by the attainment of the true state of the Self.

48 It has been stated by the Guru Sankara that such a one is really not different from the brute animals. Brute-hood is defined by the sages as that state in which one regards the Self as being limited to the body.

49 Hence, for him who just knows the sacred lore, the belief that the world is real as such [in its own sight] does not cease. Deluded by this false belief, he, like all the rest, ever wanders helplessly in samsara.

50 It is said [by Bhagavan] that the knower of the sacred lore whose mind has not subsided in the peace [of the supreme state] is just like a gramophone. It is also said [by Bhagavan] that he is even worse off than the man without learning, because, unlike the latter, he is overwhelmed by moods of pride, and so on.

In Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham Bhagavan has stated: ‘A sincere and wide-awake aspirant may even bewail the barrenness of result of his theoretical knowledge saying: “Oh! The illiterate ones are better off than I am!”’

Such lamentations abound in the writings of the great saint Thayumanavar.
Indeed, as shown below, this theoretical conviction is only belief, not knowledge.

51 This [theoretical] knowledge is styled ‘inferential knowledge’, [as of a thing absent]. But the Self is never absent. How can inferential knowledge of one that is ever-present be true knowledge?

Logicians distinguish between knowledge that is either direct or inferential. The former pertains to objects perceived by the senses and the latter to objects not so perceived, but only inferred. But for the reason stated in this verse, there can be only direct [experiential] knowledge of the Self, and hence the Self is never the subject matter of inference. Descartes’ famous proposition, ‘I think, therefore I am’, is unsound for this reason. The Self shines by its own light of consciousness, and not by any other light.

Also, knowledge by sense perceptions is not really direct, that is, immediate, but only functions through a medium, a sense organ. The Self, being consciousness, needs no medium.

52 The ignorance-causing bondage is just the [mistaken] experience that takes the form ‘I am the body’. How can such ignorance come to an end except by the awareness, ‘I am the pure consciousness’?

Illusory experience can cease only by the illusion-free experience. That is the reason why learned men still remain in ignorance and bondage.

53 This theoretical knowledge is only intellectual. But the intellect has no access to the real Self. Just as evil spirits are [ironically] styled as ‘good people’, so this ignorance is styled ‘knowledge’.

In Sanskrit literature the term ‘good people’ is used ironically to designate evil spirits, the asuras or rakshasas.

54 When a man scorched by the sun becomes cooled by bathing in a mirage, or when one succeeds in cooking food on a painting of a fire, then one may attain deliverance by theoretical knowledge.

Thus, emphatically, the notion that theoretical knowledge is knowledge is denounced.

55 Therefore, one who talks advaita without actual experience of that truth is just the same as a dvaitin [a dualist]. Neither speech nor mind has any access to that supreme state. He that abides in that state has no doctrine whatever.

Doctrines, more or less true, are of help to the aspirant. They do not survive in the state of deliverance (illumination). The sage does not ‘know’ the Self, because he is the Self.

This equation of him who has only theoretical knowledge with the dvaitin is justified as follows:

56 Those who think of themselves as advaitins say [from intellectual conviction alone] that the world is unreal, miserable and inert [unconscious]. Others [professing dvaitins] say otherwise. But in the result all are alike.

That is, all are in bondage and suffer the evils of samsara. They all act as if the world were real.



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Re: Part3 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 10:52:15 AM »

The Verses 38 and 39 are quite important here.  They explain the
avastha thrayam, the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep.
When these are conquered, one achieves the Supreme State, Turiyam.  The three states form a vicious circle, which can be broken only by finally extinguishing the mind, so that it cannot revive on waking.  This mind-free state can be attained only in the waking
state, the other two states being useless for this purpose.

Arunachala Siva. 


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Re: Part3 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 11:41:19 AM »

About Verse 53 of Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad, the ideas are
expressed in a similar manner in Guru Vachaka Kovai, Verse 530:

While non dual knowledge [Jnana], which is the experience of pure Paramatama Swarupam, is direct experiential knowledge, concocting a false attribution [paroksha] and calling it paroksha-jnana, is like calling the vile rakshasas [demons] virtuous people.

Indirect or inferential knowledge [paroksha jnana] can never be a variety of Jnana, true knowledge. Associating the ignorance inherent in this indirect knowledge with Jnana is compared to calling evil demons 'virtuous people'.

Arunachala Siva.