Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Tattvabodha - 9

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Self-Knowledge or realizing ones own nature of Self alone can give Eternal Happiness. When a person realizes ones own nature of Self, he will always abide in non-dual bliss, nothing in the world can affect such a person. Shankara started the text by giving the four-fold qualifications which are essential for a seeker to realize ones own nature of Self. These qualifications are Discrimination, Dispassion, Discipline and Desire (for liberation). So the seeker has to work towards acquiring the qualification which will enable the seeker to apprehend the Reality clearly. When a person is endowed with these four-fold qualifications or four-Ds, the person will be fit enough to enquire into the truth and thus will be able to apprehend Reality clearly. Shankara then told about Enquiry into the Truth.

"Atma sathyam thadanyath sarvam mithyaethi"
"Atman alone is Real rest all are unreal"

Here Shankara has introduced 3 important terms Atman, Sathyam and Mithya. Atman is the Self alone is Real, rest all are anatma, Anatma is unreal. Let us analyze this by means of an example. There are many wooden furnitures, in all these furnitures wood is the substratum. All the wooden furnitures are wood only but in different name and form. There is no separate entity called wooden chair without wood, thus any name and form cannot have an independent existence other than the wood. Before the creation of different forms of wooden furnitures wood alone was there, after the creation of various wooden furnitures wood alone is there and after the destruction of the furnitures wood alone will be there. Thus we can say wood is Sathyam, the name and form that is given to the wood is Mithya which means doesnt have a real existence apart from wood. Similar is the case with Gold and Gold ornaments. Gold ornaments cannot exist separate from the Gold. Thus with respect to the ornaments, Gold is Sathyam and all the ornaments are Mithya in the substratum of Gold because ornaments are only different names and forms of the Gold. In the same way, all the objects that are seen in the world are different names and forms of one Atman only. Atman is the substratum of the universe. The universe cannot have a independent existence apart from the Self and hence Atman is Real and the Universe is Mithya. All other things other than the Self is Anatma and tattvaviveka is discriminating between Atma and Anatma or non-Self knowing that Atman alone is Sathyam and Anatma is Mithya in the substratum of Atman.

Shankara then explains what is Atman and the nature of Atman which we will learn tomorrow.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


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