Thursday, January 11, 2007


Tattvabodha - 10

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Atma kaha?
What is atman?
SthoolaSukshmaKaranaShareeradhvyathirikthaha Panchakosatheethaha
San AvasthraathrayaSaakshi SatChitAnandaSwaroopaha San
Yasthishtathi Sa Atma
That which is other that Sthoola, Sukshma, Kaarna Shareeram (Gross, Subtle and Causal body), which is beyond the five sheaths and which is of the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute is Atman

In this sloka Shankara is giving an eloborate explanation of what is Atman and from this explanation we can understand what is Anatman. He starts by telling which are the Anatma and then tells the real nature of the Self.

Our body can be divided as gross body, subtle body and causal body. Gross body is the external physical body which is visible to us as well as for others, subtle body is inner body which is invisible which includes mind, and causal body is Avidya or ignorance. Self is not any of these bodies.

The 3 body can be divided into 5 layers which are annamaya kosa, pranamaya kosa, manomaya kosa, vijnaanamaya kosa and anandamaya kosa. Self is not any of these kosas as Self is not gross, subtle or causal body, but here Shankara says Self is beyond 5 Kosas

Avasthathraya Saakshi:
There are 3 avasthas which are Jagrat or waking state, swapna or dream state and sushupthi or deep sleep state. Shankara mentions Self as the witness of these three states. Witness should be something different from the thing it witnesses.

Satchitaananda roopam:
Self is of the nature of Sat-Chit-Aananda or Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

An entity can be defined by three types of lakshanas
1.vyaavritta lakshana: this is by negating of what that entity is not. Here the three bodies is negated as not Self.
2. Thatastha lakshana: this is a relative definition. Shankara mentions Self as the witness of the three states. A witness is never affected by that it witnesses. Self is the witness of the three states and hence it is not affected by the three states.
3. Swaroopa lakshanam: this is a definition by telling the nature of the entity. Shankara mentions Self as the nature of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

Shankara later explains each of the term above, shareerathrayam, panchakosa, avasthathrayam and Sat-Chit-Aananda roopam.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


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