Author Topic: Part4 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma  (Read 1250 times)


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Part4 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:28:19 PM »
57 It is only the one supreme reality that appears as the three, namely the world, God and the soul. But asserting this [as a doctrine] is not right awareness. Right awareness is just the death of the ego.

We have seen before that right awareness – the experience, in the supreme state, of the real Self as pure consciousness – is mind-free. Now we learn that it is also egoless. The natural state is therefore also called the egoless state.

The next three verses deal with the problem of controversies, which abound so long as the ignorance is not transcended.

58 Indifferent to the actual experience of the real Self, the sectarians affirm their dogmas with fanatical vehemence, saying ‘There is a reality’, ‘There is none’, ‘It has a form’, ‘It is formless’, ‘It is one’, ‘It is twofold’, ‘It is neither’.

This is the substance of verse 34 of Ulladu Narpadu. All the main creeds are here briefly enumerated. Among these, even the advaitic doctrine is mentioned, to show that mere adherence to a doctrine, even though it is true, is useless. The last creed, ‘It is neither’, seems to be an intermediate creed between the advaitic and dvaitic, which is to the effect that the soul is different from God and yet part of God. These creeds are possible because of continuing ignorance and an indifference to the quest for the real Self.

The disputants resort to logic in order to establish their own creeds as the true ones. But logic is inconclusive. This is stated in the following verse.

59 There is no end to logical discussions, for logic does not come to rest anywhere. The supreme transcends the world. How can it become known by the logical mind?
The truth of the supreme state is not within the scope of intellectual speculation. The sole authority for its nature and means of attainment is the actual experience of it by a sage. Logic can proceed only through facts given by worldly experience, which is tainted because its parent is the primary ignorance. Until one attains that state by the same experience, one has to rely on the authority of a competent Guru.

The attitude of the sage to the diverse creeds is stated next:

60 Since the sage has no creed of his own, he never engages in [useless] discussions. All creeds are approved by him. He does not [seek to] unsettle the faith of anyone.
All creeds are like paths leading to the same goal. So, the sage does not seek to impose any faith on anybody, but helps everyone to follow the path that he chooses for himself.

It is the sadhana that is of value, not the beliefs. This is explained next.

61 Therefore, the aspirant should, with a mind at peace, cease from hatred of other faiths and from all disputation, and engage in sadhana as taught by his own faith, intent on winning deliverance.

The narrow mind, which causes one to assume that one’s own religion is alone true and all others are false, is a defect of character which must be given up if one is to reach the egoless state, for all religions alike are inferior to that state. The beliefs inculcated are of no value except as inspiring zeal for the practice of the prescribed sadhana.

The earnest aspirant, says Bhagavan, does not need to come to any definite conclusion on the most vexed question, which concerns the reality or the illusory nature of the world, because the main thing is to know the truth of oneself. The first step towards that knowledge is just to cease thinking of the world altogether as an obstacle to one’s quest. This is set forth in the next verse.

62 There are the two [diverse] creeds held, respectively, by those who say the world is real and those who say it is unreal. The earnest aspirant for deliverance can win experience of the truth of the Self without taking up a definite stand on this question.

That this seemingly important question can be by-passed by one who is intent on becoming free is explained next.

63 All creatures alike want [perfect] happiness that is unmixed with suffering and which will last forever. [This is not wrong because] happiness is the real nature of all creatures. So one should enquire where such happiness can be had.

That happiness is the very nature of the Self is the great discovery made by all the sages. In the ‘Bhrigu Valli’ of the Taittiriya Upanishad it is said that as a result of this quest for the truth he realised this truth, that the supreme reality, the Self, is bliss. He also knew at the same time that bliss is the source of all living creatures, their support during life, and the goal they have to come back to in the end. Bhagavan also used to say in answer to the question ‘How to become free?’: ‘Go back to the source, out of which you came forth.’

Where then is that perfect happiness?

64 To the seeker of deliverance who has perfect non-attachment, Bhagavan tells in what state that happiness dwells and by what means it can be won.

65 The state of deep sleep is dear to all creatures, and it is dear because it is happy. But in that state there are no objects of enjoyment! What can be the source of this sleep-happiness?

It is supposed by all people that happiness consists of a series of pleasures that come by the contact of external objects through the senses. But deep, dreamless sleep is a state of happiness, though there are no objects of enjoyment therein. Everyone describes his sleep experience thus, ‘I slept happily, but I knew nothing then’. So this poses a question, rarely asked, ‘What is the cause or source of this happiness?’ That this question needs to be posed and an answer obtained we learn for the first time from the Guru-sage. Only he can give us the answer, which is set forth in the next three verses.

66 Deep sleep and the supreme state are similar; in both the mind and the world are absent. But in both the mind and the world there is the eternal reality, the real Self. It therefore follows that [the Self] is the cause of the happiness in both of these states.

Human intelligence cannot give this answer, but when this fact is revealed by the Guru, it is at once seen to be true. That the Self does not cease to exist, but is present in deep sleep, as in the other states, is undeniable, because, as Bhagavan has pointed out, excepting the highly sophisticated but purblind scientists, no one is able to say that he did not exist in sleep. This will be dealt with in detail later. So, we learn that the real Self, the supreme state, is the source of sleep-happiness.

It is next revealed that this happiness of the Self is infinite, whereas the happiness of sleep is nothing when compared to it.

67 The happiness of sleep is fitful and meagre, because the mind survives there in seed form. In the supreme state there is infinite bliss, known as ananda in the vedantic lore.

The happiness of the mind-free state is perfect. That of sleep is not to be compared to it. To distinguish it from the pleasures of worldly life, it is named ananda in the Upanishads.

It is next shown that even worldly enjoyment, though seemingly coming by the contact with objects, really has its source in this happiness-nature of the Self.

68 Only by receiving a minute fraction of that supreme happiness do all the creatures enjoy life in this abode of the souls. If this source of happiness were not present, who would care to live in this world for even half a moment?

This is what is revealed in the ‘Ananda Valli’ of the Taittiriya Upanishad, and all the sages have confirmed this fact.

What then is the conclusion? Bhagavan, the Guru, gives the answer:

69 Hence it follows that to all alike the dearest of all things is the real Self that shines in the supreme state as pure bliss. Therefore, to all creatures alike the most beloved of all is that supreme state, and nothing else.

Since it is the happiness of deep sleep that all people love, not the state itself, and since that happiness has its source in the real Self of the egoless state, it would be right to conclude that what they really love is that Self, and the state in which its true nature is included, though only unknowingly. This is exactly what the Sage Yajnavalkya told his wise wife, Maitreyi, in this passage: ‘Not for the sake of the husband is the husband dear, but for the sake of the Self is the husband dear; nor for the sake of the wife is the wife dear, but for the sake of the Self is the wife dear.’ And on to the end of the passage: ‘Not for the sake of anything is that thing dear, but for the sake of the Self is anything dear.’

It is due to ignorance of the Self that the love that we bear for the Self is mistakenly interpreted as love for something or other. So the problem of finding real happiness and escaping from suffering is solved only by becoming aware of the Self as it really is. The teaching is proved by the next passage that concludes with the declaration that the Self is all that there is.

If this teaching is accepted, what then is the use of the enquiry about the reality or unreality of the world?

70 For the aspirant who has thus learned from the sage-Guru that the supreme state is the home of eternal happiness, and who is therefore indifferent to this world and intent on ‘winning’ that State, what is the use of any enquiry concerning the world?

That is explained next.

71 Let the world be real or otherwise. What is there in it for this aspirant to strive for? And let the reality in the supreme state be non-dual or otherwise. It is That alone that he wants to win, naught else.

The two questions, one concerning the reality of the world, the other concerning the non-duality of the real Self, are really one. Both questions become superfluous for one who has resolved to strive for that state.

There is also another reason for this.

72 Only by becoming firmly established in the real Self of that supreme state can one know definitely whether that reality is non-dual or not. How can anyone become aware of that truth while still wandering confusedly in the three states?

Bhagavan gives the following analogy to impress this fact.

73 Just as it is proper to throw away the heap of shorn hair without scrutinising it, so it is right for the aspirant to turn away from the world, which [for him] is of no value, without enquiry concerning it.

74 The aspirant will naturally turn away from the world at once and, with his mind turned inwards, will strive for the goal. It is by turning the mind away from the world that the quest is made, and for that reason the world is certainly to be renounced.

The quest taught by the Master implies turning away from the world. The mind has to be turned inwards towards the Self because it dwells within. But this has been said for the fully ripe aspirant who is not attached to the world. For those who are not yet ripe for the quest, this enquiry is not useless, as will be seen presently.

75 But those who have not the needed strength of nonattachment, believing, as they do, that the world is real in its own right, cannot turn the mind inwards for the quest; so, for them, this enquiry is surely needful.

76 These, by making the enquiry on the lines indicated by the Master, would become convinced that the world is not real in its own right. Then, by reflecting on this truth, they will become able, by degrees, to turn their minds inwards.

This knowledge is therefore not a mere luxury of speculative philosophy, but is of practical value, as shown here. The necessity for guidance by the Master in making this inquest on the world is next explained.

77 An enquiry conducted on the basis of worldly experience [alone], by reliance on one’s own [unaided] intelligence, is vain. One should resort to a Guru who is a sage and make this inquest on the world as guided by him.

No enquiry can be made in a vacuum, but only on the basis of reliable evidence. Speculative philosophers, as in the West, proceed on the false assumption that worldly experience, the offspring of the primary ignorance, is good enough to be used as evidence for coming to a conclusion on a truth that transcends the world. Also, they believe that their intelligence is equal to the task of making a dispassionate enquiry. The knowledge derived from worldly experience is ignorance. Hence, it cannot be used as evidence. If relied on, it will lead to wrong conclusions. The reason is next given briefly.

78 All worldly experience is rooted in ignorance. It is dream-like; it takes place in worldliness; it pertains to men ignorant [of the real Self]; and it is false. It is therefore no evidence for the seeker of deliverance in [this] discrimination between the real and the unreal.

It has been explained that the three states of life, waking, dream and sleep, take place in the profound sleep of ignorance, and hence even waking experience is dreamlike. And this enquiry involves disentangling the real from the unreal. Worldly
experience is at best suspect; its reality is itself in question. It is inseparable from the world, whose reality is in question. It must not therefore be assumed to be valid evidence. What then is valid evidence?



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Re: Part4 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 11:24:11 AM »

In this group of verses, Verse 61 is the most important one. 

Muruganar says in Guru Vachaka Kovai, Verse 991:-

Instead of turning outwards, arguing against other religions on
account of attachment to your own, turn inwards and practice,
with genuine love, whichever religion you have faith in.

Bhagavan also says in Padamalai, Verse 539:-

Feeling anger and hatred in the mind on account of blind fanaticism
towards one's own religion, is a cruel and ignoble deed.

Bhagavan Ramana also says in Padamalai, Verse 1665:-

Instead of condemning another's path, destroying your clarity,
learn one method.  Observe it and cherish it in your heart.

David Godman adds here:

On many occasions, when the subject of religion arises, Bhagavan remarked, "Men cannot understand their own errors.  In many places the ego comes up in the form of saying, 'My religion should be embraced by all.' "

Madhava Tirtha saw a good example of the Maharshi's disinclination to impose Hindu ideas on people who would not
appreciate them when a group of devout Muslims came to see Him.

One of them asked:  What is the best aim of human life?"

Bhagavan Ramana replied:  "In Islam, which means, 'to remain at the feet of god'.  And as a consequence of that one gets Salaam, which means Peace."

Muruganar says in Verse 992 of Guru Vachaka Kovai:

Instead of engaging in diverse disputes about dvaita, visishtadvaita and pure advaita, practice devotion to God by meditating on him so that your tapas ripens, encounter the divine wealth of grace, and realize the Truth.  This is the best course.

Padamalai Verse 537 says:

Only as long as the mind survives will there be religion.  When the mind attains silence, religion will also cease.

This is also reflected in Guru Vachaka Kovai Verse 993:-

So long as the mind survives, religion will also exist.  No such
religion can survive in the abundantly peaceful silence that results from the mind merging in the Heart, as a result turning within and examining itself.

Arunachala Siva.