Sunday, February 18, 2007


Tattvabodha - 20

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Madiyam shareeram madiyaha pranaha madiyam manashcha madiyaa bhudhirmadiyam Jnaanamithi Svenaiva Thadh yathaa Madhiyathvaena Jnaatham Katakakundala Grihadhikam SvasmaadhBhinnam Panchakoshadhikam SvasmadhBhinnam Madhiyathvena Jnaathamaathma na bhavathi
Just as one may say bangles, earrings, house etc are mine, but still the knower is different from them, in the similar way, even if one say my body, my pranas, my mind, my intellect, the Self is different from the five sheaths

For the question of "What is Atman?" Shankara gave the explanation as Atman is different from the three bodies of Gross, Subtle and Causal body and beyond the five sheaths. After explaining the Shareerathrayam and pancha kosas here Shankara explains how Atman is different from the five sheaths by means of an example. When we experience something, there are two things which are subject and object and object is always different from the subject. The possessions that we might have is always different from us as we always call those possessions as "Mine". We might say "My Bangle", "My Chain", "My House" etc. whenever we use such expression, that object which we possess is always different from us.

In the same way, we might use the expression as "My Body", "My Prana", "My Mind", "My Intellect" etc. we can infer that Atman is different from these sheaths. It is because of the wrong identification with one these five sheaths makes one think that Self is limited. Self can never be limited but it is only because of ignorance of ones own nature of Self will one think that he is limited by body and mind. We experience the body and mind during the waking state, we do not have the experience of body but do have the experience the mind in the form of dream during the state, and in deep-sleep state there is no experience at all but only pure bliss. Thus we dont all the time experience all the five sheaths at all time. It is only for the time being that we are experiencing the body and the mind. The experienced body and mind should be different from me and hence body and mind are not Self and since Self is the experiencer of the body and mind, it is far beyond the five sheaths or pancha kosas.

Thus Shankara here proved that Self is different from three bodies and beyond the five sheaths. Shankara next explains the nature of Self, Sat-Chit--Ananda which we will see the next day.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum



Prostrations to all.

Rajesh had said Thus we dont all the time experience all the five sheaths at all time.

The concept of the five sheaths is that starting from the Self and anandamaya kosha, each covers the previous sheath. We can consider these as wearing five layers of cloth on our body (our body in such a case will be the atman - the first layer of cloth will be anandamaya kosha, the next would be vijnaanamaya kosha, the next would be manomaya kosha, pranayamaya and annamaya finally). The inner the kosa, the more the happiness derived from the Self. The outer the kosa, less happiness will be there.

But if we are in the annamaya kosha, isn't it right that the other koshas are also covered??? Annam is not possible without prana (as prana is essential for creation). Prana is not possible without desire - desire is not poossible without mind. Mind is not possible unless directed by intellect. Intellect cannot work unless it targets happiness or sees momentary happiness or prospective happiness. Thus in the case of annamaya, we have all the other present automatically (either directly or indirectly linked). Thus the statement of Rajesh is not exactly right. We do experience in such states all the five sheaths. But yes, concentration on a particular sheath is always there though other inner koshas are already present in such a case.

For a seeker, rather than analyzing whether we experience all the time or not, it is important to slowly remove these sheaths one by one -- finally reach the atman beyond the sheaths.

Hope haven't confused everyone through this mail (for people who have read it :) guess there would be few alone who would be reading all the mails in the forum).

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?