Author Topic: Part5 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma  (Read 1421 times)


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Part5 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:31:42 PM »
79 For the aspirant who seeks to win the supreme state by transcending the relativity [of the three states], the supreme evidence is the experience of the sage. He alone knows also the truth about the world because of his awareness of the reality [the Self] in that state.

This will become intelligible as we proceed.

80 The sage not only testifies to his own experience, but also furnishes flawless reasons [drawn from our own worldly experience]. But the disciple, if wise, will not go on posing questions without end, for the world of the saviour is not to be doubted by the aspirant.

The sage’s own experience is for us conclusive evidence. He is the compassionate one, the saviour who has assumed human form for redeeming those who have begun to feel the illusory quality of worldly life. So, one must as a rule accept what he says without cavil. At some state the series of questions must come to an end, and the way to the verification of the truth by one’s own experience must be entered upon. As the Gita says: ‘The inveterate doubter does not win the goal of life.’

81 There will be no end to doubt until one gets established in the supreme state. Only in that state is there an end of all doubts, due to the extinction of the doubter, [the ego].

Here is a reference to the upanishadic text: ‘When the one that is the truth of the high and the low is experienced, then the heart-knot is cut, all doubts are dispelled, and all his actions are liquidated.’

Doubts, we are here told, arise in the ego-ridden mind, not in the egoless state.
What then must the aspirant do?

82 Since there is no finality in reason, the aspirant should at once give up reliance on reason. With faith in the Master’s teaching, he must strive to win God on the lines taught by him.

83 If a doubt arises he should ask himself: ‘Who is it that doubts in this way?’ If by thus seeking, he attains the supreme state, then both doubt and doubter will cease to be.

The question ‘Who is it that has this doubt?’ is the means prescribed by Bhagavan to turn the mind away from the doubt to the doubter, the ego. The answer to this question will be ‘I’. From this the question will arise, ‘Who Am I?’, which is the quest. In the same way, any extraneous thought that intrudes, distracting the mind from the quest, can be used as a means of returning to the quest. If the quest is persistently pursued in this way,the ego, the doubter, becomes extinct, and no more doubts will arise because the mind-free state is then attained.

Now we come to the question, ‘Is the world real?’ Bhagavan’s teaching on this point is given in the next seven verses.

84 The Guru, who is a sage, teaches the unreality of the world in accordance with his own experience, also giving reasons supporting it. The disciple who aspires to become
free should accept this teaching with perfect faith and [with its help] strive for this goal.

85 The universe, comprising these three – the soul, God and the world of visible objects – is superimposed by the mind on the real Self, which is the sole reality of the supreme state. Hence all this [universe] is just an outcome of ignorance.
The mind is the creator of the universe. Ignorance is the primal cause of the mind. Hence it is said here that this ignorance is the cause of the universe.

86 That being so, when this ignorance is annihilated by the light of awareness of that Self, then, along with it, the consequence of it [the world] will, like the darkness that disappears before sunlight at dawn, cease to appear.

This will become more and more intelligible as we proceed. What is stated above are the actual facts of the Guru’s own experience. The conclusion that follows for the disciple is given next.

87 This universe [we see] shines in the dense darkness of ignorance, but does not shine in the great splendour of the light of Self-awareness. If this universe were real, why does it not shine in the supreme state, lit as it is by the conscious, effulgent light of the real Self?

An axiomatic distinction between the real and unreal, which is implicit in vedantic metaphysics, is next enunciated.

88 That which survives in the experience of the real Self is the supreme state. [That] alone is real. All else is only unreal. This is the distinction between the real and the unreal, revealed to us by the teachings of all the sages.

By this test the world is shown to be unreal. The next verse elaborates on this.

89 Since multiplicity is experienced only in the state of ignorance, it is declared to be unreal. On the other hand, because the unity of the Self is experienced on the liquidation of ignorance, that unity is real.

It may be questioned: ‘If ignorance is total darkness, how can anything be experienced in this state?’ The explanation is that this ignorance is not like perfect darkness, but like a greatly diminished light. In dim light a rope is not invisible; it is merely perceived wrongly as a snake. In the same way, in ignorance, what is real, the Self, is not invisible; it is mistakenly taken to be the world.

The reality is only that which survives in the supreme state.

90 ‘The sole reality is that peaceful Self which shines by the light of its own nature as pure consciousness in the supreme state wherein the world is lost.’ Such is the teaching of our holy Guru.

Here it is shown that the state is one of peace because there is no duality there. This is what we learn from all the Upanishads.This teaching is further confirmed by the analogy of the dream world.

91 As the dream world is known to be unreal for the reason that it vanishes upon waking, so this waking world is also proved to be unreal by its vanishing in the light of the real Self.

It is next pointed out that those who seek to discredit this teaching are those who do not ardently aspire to the supreme state.

92 But ignorant men, who are averse to winning the supreme state, put forth an endless series of arguments, [trying to refute this teaching]. The sages clear the doubts generated by these arguments so that earnest aspirants may not be deluded by them.

The teaching is addressed not to all men, but only to those who aspire to win the supreme state, because they alone are qualified to receive it.
93 This teaching of the unreality of the world is not addressed to those who look upon the body itself as the Self, or consider the Self to be the owner of the body. For these people the world is real, not unreal.

The teaching has to be adapted to the person being taught. The same teaching is not good for all. Here it is shown that he who believes that the Self is not the body, but the owner of it, or the dweller therein, is for this purpose in the same category as the one who believes the body itself to be the Self.

Why is it that the world is real to these people?

94 The teaching – that the trinity of the soul, God and the world is unreal – is indivisible. If one is convinced that one of these is real, the other two also will appear to be real.

That is, the teaching must either be accepted as a whole or rejected wholly. There is no option to split it up and accept it partially, rejecting some of it.

95 To those who seek deliverance, the teaching is that all these three are equally unreal. This teaching must [therefore] be accepted, exactly as it is taught, by those who are earnestly seeking to win deliverance by the extinction of ignorance.

For different aspirants there are different paths prescribed. This particular teaching is addressed only to those who believe that for them deliverance must come by right awareness.

An analogy is next given to explain the indivisibility of the teaching.

96 One who is wise will either accept the teaching as a whole, or reject the whole of it. Who can make use of half of a hen for cooking, reserving the other half for laying eggs?

A hen must be killed and cooked for food, or the whole hen must be allowed to live for laying eggs. The same indivisibility is characteristic of this teaching.

Now we come to a discussion of the objections of those who assert the perfect reality of the world.

On what evidence do they base their belief?

97 To begin with, it needs to be considered why the world is taken to be real. For the burden of proving the reality of the world lies on him that asserts it, [not on those who simply deny it].

98 Everyone who is ignorant [of the real Self] thinks the world is real because it is seen. This is no proof because it proves too much. The same reason would prove the reality of the mirage, the rope in the snake, etc.

Usually, the knowledge that arises from seeing is mixed up with imagination, or a false impression of what is seen. This reason is therefore inconclusive.

The question then arises: ‘What does the seeing of the world prove?’

99 The fact of being seen is not conclusive proof that the world exists exactly as imagined [by the seer]. From the seeing it is proper to infer only that there is a substratum in which the world appears.

In the first verse of Ulladu Narpadu Bhagavan says: ‘Because we see the world, it is indisputable that there exists a first cause [substratum or basic reality] which has the power to appear as many.’ In the same verse he proceeds to reveal, in the light of his own experience, that that substratum is only the real Self, on which are superimposed the four elements of the world appearance, the pictures of names and forms, the seeing individual soul, the screen and the light. The seeing subject and the spectacle seen form the appearance imposed on the substratum. The lighted screen is the substratum. Here the analogy of the cinema show is suggested. The pictures, in which the seer is included, come and go, but the lighted screen exists unaffected throughout. The power by which the appearance is superimposed on the substratum is known as maya. All that is meant by calling the world ‘an effect of maya’ is that things are not what they seem to those who have not known the real Self as it really is.

100 Even scientists have proved that things are not exactly as they appear [to the seer], for they say that the solid-seeming objects are really little more than empty space.

Atomic physics now tells us that the atom is not a solid particle, but a closed space in which electrons are rotating around a nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons, etc. The electrons rotate at different distances from the nucleus. The whole atom thus resembles a solar system. That things are not what they seem is thus indisputable. On the other hand, there is no proof that things are what they seem to be. There is, in fact, an antithesis between appearance and reality. It is this that is called maya, which is the illusion by which reality appears as the world, that spectacle which resembles a cinema-show. Due to this illusion there is ignorance (avidya) which works through the mind that wrongly identifies the body as the Self. For this reason the truth about the world is a profound mystery, one that transcends the human intellect, but it is no mystery to the sage, who alone is competent to tell us the truth as it really is. The next verse points this out.

101 Only the sage who knows the substratum of the world appearance, the reality, by being firmly established in the supreme state, is competent to reveal the truth of the world.

By his unawareness of that truth the common man, being a victim of his ignorance, cannot know the truth about the world.

102 When vision is focused on the outside, who can know the truth, whether of the real Self or of the world? But, with the mind turned inwards, the sage knows the truth of both by the eye of right awareness.

It is with the knowledge of this uniqueness of the sage that the disciple has to approach him and listen to his teaching.



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Re: Part5 - Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad By Lakshman Sarma
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 12:23:48 PM »

Bhagavan Ramana used to ask the devotee raising the questions:
"Find out who is the "I" which is asking?"  He has also said: "Doubt
the doubter."  This is humorously called as Brahmastram by Kavyakanta Ganapati Muni.  The "I" always jumps out and asks the doubt or the question.  Brahmasri Nochur Venkataraman says:
This question "Doubt the doubter," is not to be taken as something
that Bhagavan asked for the sake of diverting the attention or a
clever question.  This question with Bhagavan's power, makes the questioner's mind turn inwards and quell in the Heart. 

When Major Chadwick after about 3 or 4 years of stay in the Asramam had begun to doubt his progress.  He thought that self enquiry would not suit him.  Then one day while moving the punkah in Bhagavan's Hall, in the mid-afternoon, he explained
to Bhagavan his predicament.  He said:  Bhagavan!  "I do not seem to have made any progress.  I am not able to quell the mind.  This path would not suit me. Shall I go back to my home country?"  Bhagavan while reading some newspaper or letter did not react immediately.  After Chadwick had exhausted his statements, He asked him:  "Who is the I that says that I have
not made any progress?  Who is the I that says that I am not able to quell the mind?  Who is the I that says that this path will not suit him?  Who is the I that says that he would go back to the country?"  Who is the I in all this?

With these remarks and with the power of the presence of Bhagavan Ramana, Chadwick became calm and left the Hall.
For two or three days, he never came back to the Hall.  On the third day, he came running from his cottage, with wet towel around his waist and exclaimed to Bhagavan:  "Bhagavan!  Is it that simple?"  Bhagavan Ramana smiled and said:  Yes. It is that simple!

When the doubter ceases, the doubt ceases.  Then the Truth is revealed!  Like Archimedes you discover the weightlessness of
your Being!  It strikes you like a lightning!

Arunachala Siva.