Author Topic: Demystifying the term ' Sphurana' - Michael James - Part I, II, III.  (Read 12005 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Demystifying the term ' Sphurana' - Michael James - Part I, II, III.
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2016, 11:55:36 AM »
In the first sub section of section 1 of Vichara Sangraham he says:

(...) vicharippadu eppadi?  ennil, kattai mudaliya palum jadamana ich sariram, nan endru spurittu varangi
varuma?  varade.  adalal, pinnamana dehattai p pinam polave irutti, vakkalum nan endru sollamal irundu,
iruppadu nan ena vilanguvadu eduvendru kurmaiyay vicharittal, appodu hirudayattil , nan nan endru sattam
illaamal, tanakku t tane or vidha spurippu mattiram tondrum.  adanai vidadu summa irundal, deham nan
ennum ahamkara rupa jiva bhodattai mutrilum nasam akki, karuppurattil patriya neruppu pol, tan um
santam ay vidum. iduve moksham endru periyorgalalum surutigalalaum sollapadukiradu.

(...) If (anyone) asks how to investigate (this impure self awareness that rises as 'I am the body'),
(the reply is:)  can this body, which is jada (non conscious) like a block of wood,  shine and behave
as 'I'?  It cannot.  Therefore setting down the corpse body as a corpse, and remaining without uttering
'I' even  by (physical or mental) voice, if one keenly investigates what is that now shines as 'I', then
in (one's) heart a kind of spurippu (a fresh clarity) alone will itself appear to itself (or oneself) without
sound as 'I am I'.  Without leaving that (fresh clarity of self awareness), if one just is,  it will completely
annihilate the sense of individuality in the form of ego, (which experiences itself as) 'body is I' and (then),
like fire that catches on camphor, it will itself be extinguished.   This itself is said by sages and sacred
texts to be Mukti (liberation).

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                               

Subramanian.R

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Re: Demystifying the term ' Sphurana' - Michael James - Part I, II, III.
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2016, 12:05:07 PM »
In the first sentence of this passage the verb that I translated as 'shine' is Spuri, and in the third sentence
I translated Vichari as 'investigate', vilanguvadu as 'it that shines' and spurippu as 'fresh clarity' (though
I could alternatively translated as 'shining' or 'fresh shining'). Spurippu is a verbal noun, and is the Tamizh
equivalent of the Sanskrit verbal noun Sphuranam, but though Bhagavan does not actually use the Sanskrit
word Sphurana in Vichara Sanghraham, in most English translations of it the Tamizh word Spurippu has
been translated rather unhelpfully as Sphurana, which for most readers is just replacing one unfamiliar word
with another, without actually explaining its meaning in clear English terms.

The fact that Bhagavan says here 'or vidha spurippu', which means 'a kind of spurippu or sphuranam when used by Him has a range of referents rather than a single specific one, because if its referent did not vary according to the exact context in which He used it, it would have been superfluous for him to say a 'kind of'
('or vidha') in this context.  The particular kind of spurippu that he refers to here is the partial kind of self
awareness that we newly experience during our practice of Atma Vichara, and hence He says in Section
2 (in a passage that we will consider in the final installment of this article) that it is not itself the Vastu
(the real substance that we actually are) but is only a precursor of the complete and perfect experience   
of it.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Demystifying the term ' Sphurana' - Michael James - Part I, II, III.
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2016, 11:25:47 AM »
That is, when the kind of 'spurippu' or partial clarity of self awareness becomes complete and absolute
clarity blossoms as true self knowledge (Atma Jnana), the direct or immediate (aparoksha) experience
of the one real substance, which consumes and annihilates the mind or ego once and forever.  Thus the
final 'aparoksha' experience of self is a 'spurippu' of a subtly but nevertheless radically different kind.
That is, instead of being just a partial or relative clarity, it is a complete and absolute one.  Therefore,
when Bhagavan sometimes said that 'spurippu' or sphurana is our actual self (as recorded, for example,
in No. 160 of Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi),  the kind of 'spurippu', He was then referring to was this
absolute clarity of pure self awareness or Atma Jnana.

As we saw in the first Part of this article, Bhagavan explained to Devaraja Mudaliar that the meaning of
'spurippu' or 'sphurana' is Vilanguvadhu (shining or being clear) or Vilakkuvadu (making clear),
so when He uses both the words Vilanguvadhu and Spurippu in the third  sentence of this passage,
He is using two words that have essentially the same meaning.  In this sentence Vilanguvadhu means
'what shines' or 'what is clear' (though in other contexts it can also mean 'shining' or 'being clear'),
'Spurippu'  means 'shining' or 'clarity', so 'ippodu nan ena vilanguvadu edu vendru kurmaiyay vicharittal,
appodu hirudayattil, nan nan endru sattam illamal, tanakku t tane or vidha spurippu mattiram tondrum'
can be translated thus:

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.                       

Subramanian.R

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Re: Demystifying the term ' Sphurana' - Michael James - Part I, II, III.
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2016, 11:23:59 AM »
(...) if one keenly investigates what is that now shines as 'I', then in (one's) heart a kind of shining,
('spurippu') alone will itself appear to itself without sound as 'I am I'.

If we carefully consider the meaning of what Bhagavan says here, it is obvious that the kind of shining
that is denoted here by the word 'spurippu' must in some way be different kind of shining that is denoted
by the words 'ippodu naan ena vilanguvadhu', which mean 'what shines as I'  or 'it that now shines as I'.
What then is the difference between these two kinds of shining?  Since there is and can be only one 'I',
in both cases it must be the same 'I' that is shining, so the difference must lie in some quality of its shining
in each case.

Now we experience a body (or more generally a person or body-mind complex) as 'I', so what  shines as
'I' is not just our pure 'I' but our pure 'I' mixed with extraneous adjuncts such as this body and mind.
In other words, what now shines as 'I'  is our confused experience 'I am this body', and hence due to its
confused mixture with adjuncts, its shining is in some sense lacking in clarity.  That is, though we clearly
experience that I am , we do not clearly experience what I am.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.             

Subramanian.R

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Re: Demystifying the term ' Sphurana' - Michael James - Part I, II, III.
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2016, 11:53:58 AM »
Therefore, when we investigate what it is that now shines as 'I', which we can do only by trying to focus
our entire attention only on the essential 'I' in the compound experience 'I am this body', we will begin
to experience 'I' in isolation (or at least in a relative degree of isolation) from the body and other adjuncts
with which is it now mixed, and hence instead of experiencing 'I am this body', we will begin to experience
'I am only I', which is what Bhagavan meant by the words 'nan nan endru' (as 'I am I'), as opposed to
'nan deham endru' (as 'I am this body').  In other words, we will begin to experience 'I' more clearly as it
really is.  This is what Bhagavan meant when He said, 'then in one's heart a kind of shining (spurippu)
alone will itself appear to itself without sound as 'I am I' (appodu hirudayattil , nan nan endru sattam
illamal, tanakku t tane or vidha spurippu mattiram tondrum).

So long as we are attending to and thereby experiencing anything other than 'I', 'I' shines in a mixed
and confused form as 'I am this body', but when we try to experience only 'I', by attending to it alone,
it begins to shine more clearly in its pure form as 'I am just I'.  Therefore, the kind of shining or spurippu
that Bhagavan refers to here as 'nan nan'  or 'I am I' is relatively clearer and more precise experience of
'I'.  Hence by carefully considering the meaning of of this third sentence of this passage, we can understand
that what Bhagavan means here by 'or vidha spurippu' or 'a kind of shining' is only clearer shining of
'I', or in other words, a fresh clarity of self awareness.

This is why I wrote earlier in this article that in the context of Bhagavan's teachings spurippu or sphurana
generally does not mean only clarity of self awareness but more specifically a fresh clarity (or a fresh degree
of clarity) of self awareness.  'I', our self awareness, is always shining, but so long as it is mixed and confused
with anything other than itself, it is not shining sufficiently clearly, so to enable it to shine (or experienced)
more clearly we must try to attend to it alone and thereby exclude from our awareness all other things.
When we thus try to attend to 'I' alone, we will experience it more clearly, and this increased clarity is what
Bhagavan meant by the terms  spurippu or sphuranam.

Part II - completed.

contd.,

Arunachala Siva.