Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Tattvabodha - 28

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

sthoolashareeraabhimaani jeevanaamakam brahmaprathibimba bhavathi.
sa eva jeevah prakrthyaa svasmaath isvaram bhinnathvena jaanaathi.

The reflection of Brahman (in Sukshma Sareeram) which identifies itself with the gross body is called Jiva. This Jiva, by nature takes Isvara to be different from himself

avidhyopaadhih san aathmaa jeeva ithyuchathe.
maayopaadhih san isvara ithyuchyathe.

Consciousness conditioned by the upadhi of Avidya is called Jiva. Consciousness conditioned by Maya is known as Isvara.

evam upaaDhiBhedhaath jeeveshwaraBhedhadrishtih yaavathparyantham thisTathi
thaavathparyantham janmamaranaadhi roopa samsaarah na nivarthathe.
thasmaathkaaranaath na jeeveshvarayorBhedhabhudhih sveekaryaah

So long as the notion, which is due to difference in the conditionings, that Jiva and Isvara are different, remains, until such time, there is no redemption from 'Samsara' which is of the form of repeated birth, death etc.
Due to that reason, the notion that 'Jiva is different from Isvara' should not be accepted.

Shankara now starts his explanation on Jiva and Isvara. As per scriptures, there is only one Eternally existing Conscious entity which is termed as Brahman or Atman. The reflection of Brahman in the intellect is Jiva. Intellect in itself is the product of Ignorance. The Jiva because of ignorance of ones own nature of Self, gets identified with the gross body. Because of ignorance, the Jiva thinks that he is different from the Isvara. Reflection cannot exist without the original and the reflection exists as long as there is reflection medium. The reflecting medium is the intellect and the reflected consciousness is the Jiva.

Bharati Teertha have described Jiva in Drig Drishya Viveka as
"Saakshinah puratho Bhaatham lingam dhehena samyutham
chithichaayaa samaveshaath jeevah syaath vyavahaarikah

The subtle body in close proximity to the witness and identified with the gross body, due to the influence of the reflection of Conscoiusness, Shines and becomes the Jiva at the empirical level"

Self gets reflected in the Intellect and this reflected consciousness gets identified with the body which is called as Jiva at the empirical level. It is only this reflected consciousness which gives sentiency to the thoughts in the mind and the body and nothing can exist without a Sakshi which is the Self. The reflected consciousness which enlivens the other thoughts in the mind experiences the world and all the transactions with the world happens through the body. Thus Jiva is Consciousness only conditioned by Ignorance.

Isvara is Consciousness only conditoned by Maya. Isvara has the quality of All-pervading and All-knowing whereas Jiva because of ignroance of ones own nature of Self considers himself to be limited and sees Isvara as something different from him. Isvara through the power of Maya created the world for the enjoyment of Maya and Jiva who is under the control of Maya because of the wrong notion that he is limited and different from Isvara goes from birth to birth in this world. Thus as long as Jiva considers himself to be different from the Isvara, he will travel from birth to birth in the ocean of Samsaara.

Bharati Teertha says in Drig Drishya Viveka as
"anthardrigdrishyayorBhedham bahishcha brahma sargayoh
aavrinothyaparaa shakthih saa samsaarasya kaaranam"

"The veiling power of Maya veils the distinction between the Seer and the seen within, and the Reality and the Creation outside. It is the cause of Samsaara"

aavrithau thu vinashtaayaam Bhedhe Bhaathe apayaathi thath
When the veiling is destroyed the difference becomes clear and that (notion of finitude) goes away

Seer is the Self and Seen is body and mind complex, because of improper discrimination between Atman and anatman we misunderstand the body and mind complex to be Self. Brahman is the Substratum of the world and the world is only an illusion in the substratum of the world but because of vieling power of Maya the world seem to be real and Isvara also seem to be real. When such wrong notions are there in the mind, this is the cause of Samsaaram. When this veiling is removed through the knowledge that "Self alone exists", then the distinction between Atman and Anatman becomes very clear. That is what is called as Liberation or Moksham.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum



Prostrations to all.

Pardon the questions but isn't the explanation of jeeva as both reflection and then being qualified by ignorance contradictory????

First tattvabodha says jeeva is prathibimba in sthoola and sookshma shareera. The gross and sublte body itself are caused out of the causal body which is ajnaana or ignorance. This reflection in the effect of ajnaana is further qualified by ignorance??? Does this look logical enough or is something wrong here??? Or is it two jeevas, one prathibimba and the other avidhyopaadhi which Sankara mentions here?

Rajesh, can you explain this?

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God
Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Consciousness is the only entity which exists eternally. The Consciousness gets reflected in the intellect or buddhi and this reflected consciousness is called as Jiva. This reflected consciousness gets identified with the gross body. Thus the gross body and the subtle body are the reflecting medium through which the world is illumined. Therefore to illuming the objects of the world there should be both the Original Consciousness or Brahman and reflecting medium. Even if one is not present, there cannot be any experience at all. Let us see this through an example. Suppose we have a mirror which will the sun's rays to illumine a dark room. If reflecting medium is not present, then there cannot be any illumination and in the same way if there is no sun, as in night, then also there cannot be any illumination. Thus we require both Sun and the reflecting medium to illumine the dark room. In the same way, to illumine the objects of the world both reflecting medium and the Original Consciousness should be present. The reflected consciousness is the Jiva. Thus by this illumination of Consciousness, the subtle body seems to be sentient and this sentiency of the subtle body is borrowed by the gross body. The reflecting medium exists only under the realm of Ignorance. If there is no ignorance, there is no reflecting medium, hence no reflection and hence no Jiva also. Thus as long as there is ignorance, jiva exists. During deep sleep state, the reflecting medium becomes dormant and hence there is no reflection. Thus there is no experience of world during the state of deep-sleep as there is no reflecting medium but ignorance is still there. Thus Jiva is present in that state also but dormant.

Here also, the Jiva is explained as the reflection of Brahman on the subtle body and further explained that jiva is conditioned by Ignornace. Jiva or the reflected Consciousness exists only under the condition of Ignornace, when there is no ignorance, there is no Jiva. Thus there is no logical fault here. Both the explanation point as prathibimba and avidhyopaadhi point to one jiva only.

Prostrations to all.

Hari Aum

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