Saturday, April 28, 2007


Tattvabodha - 34

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru.

Prostrations to All.

thaTha cha atmavith samsaaram theerthvaa brahmaanandha ihaiva praapnothi

Thus the knower of the Self, having crossed the Samsara, attains the Supreme Bliss here itself

tharathi shokam atmavith ithi srutheh

The Srutti affirms: "The knower of the Self goes beyond all the sorrows"

thanum thyajathu vaa kaashyaam svapachasya grheTha vaajnaanasampraapthisamaye mukthaasow vigathaashayah ithi smritheshcha

Let the Jnaani cast his body in Kasi (a sacred place) or in the house of a dog eater (Chandala), (it is immaterial because) at the time of gaining the knowledge (itself) he is liberated being free from all results of action. So asserts the Smritis too.

ithi tattvabodhaprakaranam samaaptham

Thus ends the Prakarana called TattavBodha.

Shankara finally tells that the knower of the Self always rejoices only in Absolute Bliss of the Self and also quotes from Srutti and Smriti to back his words. All the three types of Karma are only for the Jiva and not to the Atman. Atman is never a kartha and hence it is not a bhoktha also. When the Jiva realizes his own Self, then the Kartha ceases to exist and hence the karmas which got accumulated over millions and millions of birth also ceases to exist. To a person who realized his own nature of Self, nothing can bind him and thus such a person have crossed the Samsara. Self is already realized and realization is not an event to occur, it is just a clear understanding of the Mahavakya of the Srutti as in "Ayan Atma Brahma - The Self is verily Brahman" etc. When a person gets such a firm conviction on these Upanishadic statements without any doubt through vedantic sadhana of Srvana, Manana and Nidhidhyaasana, he is liberated and have crossed the Samsara. He gets a firm conviction that "I am neither body nor senses nor mind nor intellect but Ever Blissful Infinite Atman". All the Karma phalams are only for the body and the mind, and since the person got the firm conviction that he is Atman different from gross, subtle and caual body none of the karma phalams affect him. Therefore such a person goes beyond the temporary happiness and sorrow which the good and bad phalams respectively can give and always rejoices in the Absolute Bliss of the Self.

Shankara supports this words of his through the quotation of Srutti from Chandogya which says
"thathi shokam atma vith"
"The knower of the Self goes beyond all the sorrows"

He also quotes from Smritti"
thanum thyajathu vaa kaashyaam svapachasya grheTha vaajnaanasampraapthisamaye mukthaasow vigathaashayah"

"Let the Jnaani cast his body in Kasi (a sacred place) or in the house of a dog eater (Chandala), (it is immaterial because) at the time of gaining the knowledge (itself) he is liberated being free from all results of action."

With this we have come to the end of this work of Shankara.

We will summarize this work the next day.

Prostrations to All

Hari Aum


Thursday, April 19, 2007


Tattvabodha - 33

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

sanchitham karma brahmaivaahamithi nishchayaathmakajnaanena nashyathi
The Sanchitha karma is destroyed by the knowledge that "I am Brahman"

aagaami karma api jnaanena nashyathi kincha aagaami karmanaam
nalineedhalagathajalavath jnaaninaam sambandho naasthi
The Agami Karma is also destroyed by Jnaana - and the Jnani is not affected by it just as a lotus is not affected by the water on it

kincha ye jnaaninam sthuvanthi Bhajanthi archayanthi thaanprathi
jnaanikrutham aagaami punyam gaChathi
Further those who praise, worship and adore the Jnaani, to them go the result of the good action done by the Jnani.

ye jnaaninam nindhanthi dvishanthi dhuKhapradhaanam kurvanthi thaanprathi
jnaanikrutham sarvamaagaami kriyamaanam yadhvaachyam karma
paapaathmakam thadhgachathi
Those who abuse, hate or cause pain or sorrow to a jnani - to them go the results of the sinful actions done by the Jnani.

Here Shankara explains how a person becomes free from the karmas. As we learned earlier, Karma is of three kinds, Sanchitha, Prarabdha and Agaami. Sanchitha Karma is that Karma which is already accumulated through crores and crores of our birth, Prarabdha karma is that which is giving fruits in the current birth and agami karma is that which are the results of the actions done in the current birth left for the future birth. To perform any action there should be a kartha and the kartha here is the jiva who is ignorant of his own nature of Anandam. Jiva becomes the kartha when he has desires and does action to satisfy his desire. Kartha enjoys the results of the Karma. Thus as long as there is kartha, karma is there. Thus we have desire -> action -> result becoming never ending cycle, taking a jiva from birth to birth. The root cause of this Samsaaram is avidya or ignorance of ones own nature of Self. Atma Ajnaanam vanishes by Atma Jnaanam that "I am Brahman". When the seeker gets the Atman Jnaanam that "I am the Sat-Chit-Ananda swaroopam", then he realizes that Anandam is not outside, it is his own very nature only. Thus desire vanishes and hence the action also vanishes. Action vanishes because there is no kartha to perform the action as the Jivahood which is cause of ajnaanam is not there. Since there is no karthrutvam there is no bhogtruthvam or enjoyment as well. Sanchitha karma and agamya karma are only for the Jivas and when a seeker realizes his own nature of Brahman, no karma affect him. Such a person crosses over the Samsaaram.

The Prarabdha karma is only for the body and hence it will be there for the Jnaani till the fall of the body but the jnaani will not be affected by it. Why? because the Jnaani knows that he is not the body and the mind, but Brahman. Knowing that "I am Brahman and what exists is Brahman only", the jnaani may live in the world just like any other person. He might even do all worldly things just like normal people knowing that everything is only illusion, Brahman alone is Real and thus always rejoices in Eternal Bliss.
As Shankara says in Bhaja govindam
"Yogarathova Bhogarathova
Sangarathova Sangaviheenah
yasyath Brahmani ramathe chittam
nandhathi nandhathi nandhathyeva"
"Let one revel in Yoga or let him revel in enjoyment or let him seek enjoyment in the crowd or let him revel in solitude away from the crowd. He whose mind revels in Brahman, he enjoys, verily he alone enjoys."
As the Jnaani also might do action like normal person, it is therefore tough to know who is a Jnaani and who is not. Therefore it is not right to judge anyone by the actions they are doing. If a person does something bad to a Jnaani, Shankara says, the papa karmas which the Jnaani might have done will go to the person who is harming him. On the other hand, if someone praises the Jnaani, the punya karma which the Jnaani had done will go to that person. The Jnani thus is not affected by both Papa karma and Punya karma, hence ever rejoices in the Eternal Bliss of the Self.

Shankara quotes from Srutti to show that an Atma Jnaani crosses over Samsaaram and always rejoices in Eternal Bliss which we will see the next day.

Prostrations to All.

Hari Aum


Friday, April 13, 2007


Tattvabodha - 32

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to all.

karmaani kathiviDhaani santheethi cheth aagaami sanchitha praarabDhaBhedhena thriviDhaani santhi
jnaanothpathyanantharam jnaanidehakrutham punyapaaparoopam karma yadhasthi thath aagaameethyaBhiDheeyathe

If it is asked: How many kinds of Karma are there?: (the reply is) there are three kinds of karma namely: Agami, Sanchita and Prarabdha. The result of actions good or bad performed through the body of the jnaani after the dawn of knowledge is known as Agami

sanchitham karma kim?
ananthakotijanmanaam bheejaBhootham sat yathkarmajaatham poorvaarjitham thishTathi thath sanchitham jneyam

What is Sanchita karma?
The result of actions performed in (all) the previous births which are in the seed forms to give rise to endless crores of births (in future) is called Sanchita Karma

praarabDham karma kimithi cheth
idham shareeramuthpaadhya iha loke evam suKhadhuKhaadhipradham yathkarma thathpraarabDham
Bhogena nastham Bhavathi praarabdhakarmanaam Bhogaadheva kshaya ithi

If it is questioned, "What is Prarabdha Karma?" then:
Having given birth to this body, the action which give results in this very world, in the form of happiness or misery, and which can be destroyed only by enjoying or suffering them, is called prarabdha karma.

Jivan Muktha is one who has the firm conviction that "I am Brahman" just like we have firm conviction as "I am human". Once the seeker gets such a firm conviction that Brahman alone exists everything else are only Mithya or illusion in the Reality. Thus when a seeker gets the immediate knowledge that there is nothing apart from Brahman no karmas affect him and hence becomes free from the ocean of Samsaara as well. Karma is of three kinds, Sachitha Karma, Prarabdha Karma and Agaamya Karma. Jiva, because of ignorance of ones own nature of Brahman, does actions so that because of that action he will get happiness. Thus the jiva does action with the sense of doership and hence enjoys the punya or papa phalam that come out of the action he performs. Certain results will be immediate, certain results may take sometime to give result, the result may be that the Jiva has to take different births to enjoy the results of the action. Thus Jiva have been taking crores of birth in doing and enjoying actions and thus accumulates more and more karma phalas. Jiva while enjoying the karma in his current birth, adds on more by performing actions in this birth to satisfy his desires. In this way the karmas get accumulated more and more.

The Karma which is accumulated over the past crores of lives is called Sanchitha Karma. From the Sanchitha Karma, a small tiny portion is enjoyed as prarabdha karma in the current birth. Whatever karma the jiva does in the birth will be stored for the future births which is called agamya karma. Prarabdha karma determines the form of the body and other factors of the current birth. Papas and Punyas that are done in the previous births determine the what kind of form the jiva will take. When there is pure punya karma, jiva goes to higher lokas like swarga, when there is pure papa karma, jiva goes to lower lokas called Naraka. When there is mixture of punya and papa, and if punya is predominant, the jiva takes the human form, if papa is predominant the jiva takes the animal form. That is why Shankara during his explanation on Sthoola shareeram and Sukshama Shareeram, he mentioned Satkarmajanyam (born out of good karmas).

In higher lokas or lower lokas, no karmas will be added, these lokas are only to enjoy the already accumulated karmas. Thus when jiva goes to Swarga, he will return back when the punya karmas get exhausted. All these karmas will affect the Jiva only as long as there is a notion of doership. When the jiva realizes his own nature of Brahman, then he realizes that he is neither doer nor enjoyer and thus all karmas become nullified. Also it is only in the human form the jiva can realize his own nature of Self. We do not know what will be our next birth and hence it is important that we realize our own nature of Self in this birth itself without any delay so that we go beyond the Samsaaram of Birth and Death.

Shankara then explains about how to get freedom from the karmas. He also quotes from Srutti for the same, we will learn that the next day.

Prostrations to All

Hari Aum


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Tattvabodha - 31

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All

Brahmaivaahamasmi ithi aparokshajnaanena niKhilakarmabandha vinirmukthah syaath

By the immediate knowledge (Aparoksha Jnaana) that "I am Brahman" one becomes free from bondages of all the karmas.

Previously Shankara explained about who is the Jivan Muktha. Here Shankara explains about how one can become a Jivan Muktha. Scriptures proclaim that there is only one existent entity, Brahman, which of the nature of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Brahman is the Supreme Cause of the world and the very substratum of the world. Whatever that is seen in the world as objects are nothing but Brahman only in name and form. When the name and form are removed there is only Brahman only. Jiva also essentially Brahman only, but because of ignorance of his very nature of Brahman, the thinks himself to be limited. Because of this thought of limitation there is a thought that he is imperfect. He sees the objects of the world as something different from himself and desires to possess the object thinking that on possessing the object he would be happy which would never end. Thus to satisfy his desire of possessing the object thereby to get the happiness he performs actions. Every action that is performed will yield a result which may be either happiness or sorrow. If the result is happiness, he would be happy with that possession of object till he desires for the next higher object and thus performs action to possess that. This desire-action-result continues on and on and the person even goes from birth to birth to enjoy the results and perform more action to satisfy the result. Thus he goes into more and more bondage.
Vidhyaranya tells in Panchadasi that
"te paraag darshanah pratyak tattva bodha vivarjitah
kurvate karma bhogaaya karma kartum cha bhunjate"

They see only external things and are devoid of the knowledge of their true inner nature. They perform actions for enjoyments and again they enjoy performing action.
The moola kaaranam for all the samsaaram is the ignorance of ones own nature of Anandam. There is only way out of this Samsaaram, knowing that "I am Brahman of the nature of Bliss only". When one gets this knowledge through the vedantic sadhana of Sravana, Manana and Nidhidhyaasana, he overcomes all the karmas and Karma Phalas. When one over comes the Karmas, then there is no Samsaaram and thus one always rejoices in the Eternal Bliss. This is the only way out of Samsaara, there is no other way.

Prostrations to All

Hari Aum


Thursday, April 05, 2007


Tattvabodha - 30

Hari Aum

Prostrations to Guru. Prostrations to All.

Evam cha vedaanthavaakyaih sadgurupadeshena cha sarveshvapi Bhootheshu yeshaam
brahmabhudhiruthpannaa the jeevanmukthaah ithyarthah

Thus by the words of Vedanta imparted by a competent teacher, those in whom the knowledge of Brahman in all beings is born, they are the Jivanmktas (liberated even while living).

nanu jeevanmukthah kah?
yaThaa dehoham purushoham braahmanoham shudhrohamasmeethi
dhrudanishchayasthaThaa naaham braahmanah na shoodhrah na purushah
kinthu asangah satchithaananda svaroopah prakaasharoopah sarvaantharyaamee
chidhaakaasharooposmeethi drudanishchaya roopah aparoksha jnaanavaan jeevanmukthah

Just as one has the firm belief that "I am the body", "I am a man", "I am a Brahmin", "I am a Sudra", so also "I am not a Brahmin", "I am not a Sudra", "I am not a man", but "I am unattached, of the nature of Satchidaananda, effulgent, the indweller of all, the formless Consciousness' - thus one having this firmly ascertained Aparoksha Jnaana is the Jivan muktha.

Shankara after explaining about the creation process, explained about Jiva, Isvara and how they are both are not different essentially. Jiva because of ignorance thinks himself to be different from Isvara. But essentially both Jiva and Isvara are nothing but Pure Consciousness only. This is what the scriptures propound through the mahavakyas like "Tat Tvam Asi". Here Shankara explains about the Jiva muktha who knows their own essential nature as Consciousness through immediate experience. When a person does the vedantic sadhana of Sravana, Manana and Nidhidhyaasana, he gets the knowledge that "I am Brahman and there is nothign apart from Brahman". Sravana is listening to Vedantic Scriptures from a competent Guru for a length of time. Manana is reflecting the teaching in the mind through the use of proper logic so that whatever is been learnt are understood without any doubt. Once the teachings are clear without any doubt, the seeker has to contemplate all the time, this is called Nidhidhyaasanam.

When a seeker gets the Ultimate Knowledge that "I am Brahman" he is liberated from the ocean of Samsaara. He is called a jivan muktha. The knowledge is not just an intellectual knowledge but an immediate experience of the scriptural statement. We know that we are human. If somebody asks "Are you Human?", we never think even for a second to say the answer, the answer will be very spontaneous that "Yes". We never contemplate as "I am Human, I am Human etc". Because we clearly know that we are human, we are not animals. Such a strong conviction do we have that we are humans. In the same way, when a person knows that there is nothing apart from Brahman, knows very clearly that "I am Brahman of the nature of Existence-Conscoiusness-Bliss, the essence of everything and which is the illuminator of everything, which is beyond all illumiation". When a person have such a firm conviction, he is the Jiva Muktha a person who is liberated even while living.

Next Shankara explains about different types of Karma which we will see the next day.

Prostrations to All

Hari Aum


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