Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    64
    Posts
    7,604
    Rep Power
    382

    prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Maṇḍanamiśra-ji1 was a contemporary of ādi śaṅkara-ji (circa 800 CE). He offered a view within the advaita2 tradition that was called prasaṅkhyāna .
    • pra-saṁkhyā-ana = excessively + sum up , enumerate + go, or move . Hence prasaṅkhyāna = excessively summing up, or ‘repetition’.


    His view in simple terms was knowledge ( especially upaniṣandic knowledge) requires repetition for one to ‘get it’. He was of the opinion that false knowledge and its impressions ( vāsanā-s) continue in life; yet when hearing of the truth and its subject matter, it must be repeated more than once, as the false knowledge persisted and have been re-enforce by years of repetition.

    He gives a few ordinary examples: Confusion about direction – a person asking for directions from a competent person still asks again to get it right.
    The error of seeing a double moon ( I will assume some error in vision is suggested here). Another that rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi uses is that of a mirage. Even after being told the mirage is just that, non-real, it still persists in one’s vision.

    But what of a spiritual example ? Arjuna is given the most profound knowledge by kṛṣṇaḥ -jī, the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā. Then afer the Lord's discourse arjuna says the following:
    arjuna uvāca
    naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā
    tvat-prasādān mayācyuta |
    sthito ’smi gata-sandehaḥ
    kariṣye vacanaṁ tava || 18.73

    This says ( in general), my delusion (mohaḥ) is gone (naṣṭa) ; I have regained (labdhā) my memory (smṛtir) and now firm and free from doubt.
    Yet, later in the mahābhārata he asks kṛṣṇaḥ -jī to repeat this sermon. This then forms the subject matter of the anu gītā3.

    This response by arjuna-ji can tell us two things... that arjuna just wanted to hear the Lord’s sermon again, or reinforce his understanding, or perhaps he just forgot. What ever the reason, it is an example of prasaṅkhyāna.

    Prasaṅkhyāna (repetition) makes mental impressions firm. This can be positive or negative. How many years passed in the West where people thought the sun went around the earth ? Each day a person and whole societies watched as the sun rose in the East and set in the West. Who could argue what the eyes beheld ? Yet over the years ( via insight, reasoning and observation) this observation was corrected ( albeit not easily). It too was less than 100 years ago ( circa 1920) that astronomers thought all stars in the sky where held within the Milky Way galaxy. That too was corrected, yet was done with less angst than the sun’s rotation about the earth.

    What then is the point here ?
    This idea of repetition is of great value. Yet having it done from different angles of view
    adds flavor and interest and groom one’s understanding. This is how our upaniṣad-s proceeds to teach ( and still does for those that study this body of brilliance). This is how my teacher taught.

    So, with that said, I thought to offer one line from the 6th chapter ( 6.8.7 & 8) of the chandogyopaniṣat (chandogya upaniṣad) where uddālaka āruṇi4 instructs his son śvetaketu on the nature of brahman.

    स य एषोऽणिमैतदात्म्यमिदँ सर्वं तत्सत्यँ स आत्मा तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो
    sa ya eṣo'ṇimaitadātmyamidam̐ sarvaṃ tatsatyam̐ sa ātmā tattvamasi śvetaketo

    this says,
    sat, so subtle is the Self of everything in all the worlds. That is the real (tatsatyam̐) that is ātmā, that thou art (tattvamasi)5 śvetaketu.
    Said simply , you are That, śvetaketu.

    Yet , for many they say, what more can be said about this, it’s pretty straight forward, end of story, no ? It seems for ādi śaṅkara-ji, padmapāda, and sureśvara there is more for one’s intellect to consider with tattvamasi as we find this in their writings as a core discussion. In fact ādi śaṅkara-ji offers this tattvamasi in 9 verses found in his vivekacūḍāmaṇi6 ( crown jewel of discrimination).

    So, starting with the next post, we will take a look at this term tattvamasi within the realm of a deeper meaning and at the same time, allowing
    prasaṅkhyāna (repetition) to take its course.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1. Maṇḍanamiśra = maṇḍana+miśra = adorning + a place, or of a place , hence Maṇḍanamiśra = a palce of adornment
    2. advaita – non-dual
    3. Anu gītā – found in the mahābhārata, aśvamedha parvan , 14th to 16th chapter.
    4. Uddālaka āruṇi - a renowned brāhmaṇa teacher was son of aruṇa aupaveśi and father of śvetaketu); auddālaki is another name of śveta-ketu
    5. One of four mahāvākyāni, great utterances; mahāvākyam is singular; mahāvākyāni is the plural form
    6. Vivekacūḍāmaṇi – verses 256, 257, 258, 259,260,261,262, & 263
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 March 2017 at 07:09 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    64
    Posts
    7,604
    Rep Power
    382

    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    we will take a look at this term tattvamasi within the realm of a deeper meaning and at the same time, allowing prasaṅkhyāna (repetition) to take its course.
    tattvamasi = tat+tvam+asi = tad+tvam+asi

    tad = (neuter gender) ‘that’ ; if feminine gender ‘she’, male gender ‘he’ . When by the rules of grammar ‘tad’ is placed into a sentence the final ‘d’ is changed to a ‘t’ i.e. it must end in a hard consonant and therefore ‘tad’ becomes ‘tat’. Also note ‘tat-tva’ (or tattva) = brahman, as we will use this again.

    tvam = ‘you’ . Now what is interesting is tvam comes from the stem ‘tvad’ and that means ‘one’. Hence we could use the last term tat+tvam= tattvam= that one = brahman.
    Also note that tvam used here is in the singular- nominitve case, and is therefore the subject. Hence the subject of the sentence
    ( the mahāvākyam or great utterance we are working one) is this ‘you’ and it is not the object. If it was the object
    then it would be written as tvām.

    asi - if you look up this term you will find it means a knife, or sword. This no doubt is confusing. The term is from asti (existent) which is from ‘as’ – to be, to abide or dwell, to be equal to is found. Yet 'asi' is called out as the 2nd person singular voice of 'as' which is = to 'you'.

    Now when we put the terms tad+tvam+asti = tattvamasi , it means :
    • ‘you’ dwell, you are ‘equal to’ tattvam = that one = brahman
    • you (tvam) equal (as) that (tat)
    • you are that
    • some say ‘that you are’ others may say ‘thou art that’

    As we continue, one must ask what or who is this ‘tvam’ (you) that is being equaled to tattvam ? We will address this in the next post.

    Before leaving, let’s see what ādi śaṅkara-ji says about repetition with regard to tattvamasi :
    Prasaṅkhyāna (repetition) would be useless to one who is able to experience (his own) Self as brahman on being told just once ‘tattvamasi’ . Yet (but) repetition (prasaṅkhyāna) is certainly of use to him who is unable to do so.

    From his commentary on the brahma-sūtras 4.1.2

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    Last edited by yajvan; 20 March 2017 at 10:05 AM. Reason: updated 'as' and 'asi'
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    64
    Posts
    7,604
    Rep Power
    382

    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    you (tvam) equal (as) that (tat); you are that

    Note from the last post I offered ‘asi’ as ‘asti’ both of which come from ‘as’.
    · using ‘as’ like this asmi = I am ( or 1st person singular format )
    · using ‘as’ like this asi = you are ( or 2nd person singular format )
    · using ‘as’ like this asti = he is ( or 3rd person singular format )

    Note in all 3 cases, I can say he, you, or it is = to that (tat). For the tattvamasi conversation it centers around ‘you’. See the point? The same conversation ( of which we will avoid for now) could be saying not only ‘you’ are that, but ‘I’ am ‘that’ too, and by the way ‘it’ is that also. What could ‘it’ be ? Any ~thing~ ( seen or unseen).

    Let’s advance the conversation
    Sureśvara says the following1 :
    If a person who has been taught (informed/made aware of) tattvamasi and does not understand its meaning, it is because he does not recognize the meaning of the term tvam (you).

    Coming to know what or whom you (tvam) really are is the discovery. In kaśmiri śaivism it would be termed '
    re-recognition'. See the term to re-cognize in 're-recognition'? To re-comprehend in full , to re-apprehend one’s own nature. It is not going and getting something new or something gained or acquired ( like some transaction made)

    So, this ‘you’ can be (pending one’s development):
    • you = personality traits
    • you = body + mind + feelings , that come and go ( including the body) – a frame of height, weight and energy level
    • you = ego + everything else
    • you = as the city of 8 or puryaṣṭaka - the 8 parts/components. The 8 are the tanmātra-s ( elements), buddhi ( intellect), ahaṁkāra (ego), and manas (mind).
    • you = jīva ( individual soul) + body +mind+feelings
    • you as Self and non-Self
    • you as whole and full, ātmā , SELF = pūrṇatva & pūrṇahantā – wholeness, being complete & established in Being.


    You see, for many they will say, ‘I am John’ or ‘ I am a man ‘ I am a woman’ , ‘I am __ (fill in the blank)’. To these people ( and this is ~ 99.5%~ of the world) are thinking that this is a totally subjective statement. That internally , to ‘me’ I am this or that and this frame of reference is internal to me... of course I am John through and through.
    They (we) do not consider I + am + John as 3. Now, let me simplify so I do not lose the reader... it is considering I + John ( we will leave ‘am’ for another time). ‘I’ is = to awareness and that is Absolutely internal and subjective. Yet ‘John’ is what? It is a name, or a bundle of ideas, or some frame of reference of what a person may think of him/her self. AND – by definition this is an object. It is an object or a ‘thing’ to this ‘I’. Yet for humans it has been so tightly coupled to ‘I’ that we do not ( or have not noticed) they’re separate.

    For the next post this idea will be developed. We will stand on the shoulders of padmapāda-ji and others for support and insight. So, if this interests you , please re-read this a few times to gain comfort with the notion that was offered.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. Some think sureśvara ( respectfully called sureśvarācārya) was maṇḍanamiśra ( see post 1 above, 1st paragraph). It is said ādi śaṅkara-ji defeated maṇḍanamiśra and his wife in a debate. The rules then say, the defeated becomes the śiṣyaḥ (student) of the winner. He then took the name sureśvara. Note too that maṇḍanamiśra was ādi śaṅkara-ji’s senior in age.
    Others say visvarūpa-ji was the one that debated and lost, thus becoming sureśvara. No matter which, sureśvara wrote a brillant work called naiṣkarmyasiddhi ( the perfection of liberation) , from which the verse above was extracted.
    Last edited by yajvan; 20 March 2017 at 10:13 AM. Reason: spelling corrections
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  4. #4
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    64
    Posts
    7,604
    Rep Power
    382

    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Before proceeding with this post, may I ask the reader to return to post 3 above and reread it. I clarified a sentence or two, which I think will assist in comprehending the following offer.
    You see, for many they will say, ‘I am John’ or ‘ I am a man ‘ I am a woman’ , ‘I am __ (fill in the blank)’. To these people ( and this is ~ 99.5%~ of the world) are thinking that this is a totally subjective statement. That internally , to ‘me’ I am this or that and this frame of reference is internal to me... of course I am John through and through.
    They (we) do not consider I + am + John as 3. Now, let me simplify so I do not lose the reader... it is considering I + John ( we will leave ‘am’ for another time). ‘I’ is = to awareness and that is Absolutely internal and subjective. Yet ‘John’ is what? It is a name, or a bundle of ideas, or some frame of reference of what a person may think of him/her self. AND – by definition this is an object. It is an object or a ‘thing’ to this ‘I’. Yet for humans it has been so tightly coupled to ‘I’ that we do not ( or have not noticed) they’re separate.
    The notion of I + John , let’s just look atI
    One really needs to focus on what is offered here as it can slip through the cracks of understanding, hence my suggestion for re-reading it a few times.
    I need to take apart ‘I’. From the quoted paragraph above I said “ ‘I’ is = to awareness and that is Absolutely internal and subjective”. Well sort of. This ‘I’ according to padmapāda-ji1 can also be sub-divided for our inspection. Yet one will say, how is that possible it is just one thing ? This is my experience, one thing! Let’s take a look.

    I’ is known as ahaṅkāra ( some spell ahaṁkāra), one’s individuality, ego. Yet this ahaṁkāra is tightly coupled with pure awareness2. So much so that one cannot discern the difference. It is experienced as one thing. This pure awareness is non-different than Self, Being. Yet it becomes so tightly coupled to ahaṁkāra and then becomes known as antaḥkaraṇa.

    • Antaḥkaraṇa = the internal (non physical) organ some call mind , the seat of thought and feeling , the thinking faculty. This is then considered our internal apparatus we come to think of and about ourselves; our frame of reference.


    A little deeper
    We took apart ‘I’ and we can now look at it this way:

    • ‘I’ , that we think of as ourselves, is composed of pure awareness2 + ahaṁkāra, which comes to be known as antaḥkaraṇa.


    Here is where your special attention is needed: We can now say I is made up of ‘not this’ + ‘this’. This is the nomenclature used for this knowledge set, so it is good to be introduced to it.
    · not this = pure awareness = pure subjectivity; stainless awareness
    · this = antaḥkaraṇa, our thoughts, feelings, ideas, intellectual curiosities, our unceasing internal discussions

    Yet we as humans only come to know ourselves to be ‘this’. ‘Not this’ is there but our attention is not refined as yet to discriminate between the two. Ādi śaṅkara-ji's vivekacūḍāmaṇi3 says it this way:
    a foolish person identifies with their skin, flesh , fat, bones and excreta ( the body). A person of discrimination knows their true nature to be the supreme Reality and other than the body || 161st śloka

    In this verse the identification with the ‘body’ is non-different than how one thinks about themselves and means ‘this’ = antaḥkaraṇa e.g. I am John, of a certain height, weight, intellect, income level, location, parents, etc.. It leaves out or cannot see the ‘reality’ of pure awareness that resides tightly coupled to this ahaṁkāra. In fact, it is this pure awareness that provides antaḥkaraṇa to shine , to function. It is the ‘awareness’ portion of the equation that makes the internal apparatus work.

    That is why we hear and are coached via the mahāvākyam (great utterance) tattvamasi, you are ‘that’. You are really not ‘this’ , code for antaḥkaraṇa. You are that which allows antaḥkaraṇa to function, to work , to be alive. When we say, you are not really 'this', we mean your nature is ‘that’, the core of you is ‘that’, and one has somehow forgotten the pure awareness, pure being, part of one's Self. This pure Being, is without boundaries, without limits, it is birth-less, therefore deathless, pure and expansive... s
    imply said, you are That, śvetaketu.

    Padmapādācārya says,
    this is why it was said that those who ascertain (code for discriminate) what ‘I’ is by observing it very carefully , like an examiner of coins finds that ‘I’ ( pure I or pure awareness) is intermingled with the form of ‘this’.

    This inspection is at the core of rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi’s ātmavicara teaching ( Self-inquiry); it is at the core of śrī nisargadatta maharāj’s teachings; It is found in patañjali’s work, his yogadarśana. Patañjali calls it out as viveka-khyāti.

    This is a good place to stop and allow digestion to occur.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. padmapāda or respectfully padmapādācārya was ādi śaṅkara-ji’s first śiṣyaḥ. He is known for his work called pañcapādikā . It explains śaṅkara-ji’s adhyāsa or ‘that which appears as something else’. Many defer to his insights of theory of reflection or pratibimbavāda
    which discusses jīva being non-different than brahman.

    2. pure awareness within this school is called anidamaṁśa (an+idam+aṁśa) = the portion (aṁśa) + not (an) + this (idam). The notion here with this convoluted definition is ‘not this’ . 'Not this' or Being, pure consciousness is not nor can never be any objective ‘thing’. It is not this or this or this; it is perfectly stainless and internal. S
    imply said, you are That, śvetaketu.

    3.
    vivekacūḍāmaṇi - crown jewel of discrimination
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5
    Join Date
    September 2006
    Age
    64
    Posts
    7,604
    Rep Power
    382

    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    A precondition exists to the ideas offered here...

    I am reading all of this information of tattvamasi, yet I am still not certain how it aligns to me. It just seems so ~far~ from my daily experience. It seems so esoteric, it seems like it is meant for another.

    The words offered here and within the various ś
    āstra-s on the subject, have a precondition: If the words and ideas that are offered refer to something that is remote (parokṣa1) to the listener then those words, ideas or terms cannot produce, generate, or guide the listener on the subject being discussed. It is like asking for directions in a new city; even when hearing the instructions from a competent provider one still is not sure of which way to go. Yet there is more to this , and here is a difference...
    If the terms and ideas that are being discussed via our śāstra-s (teaching , instruction , direction , advice , good counsel ) are aparokṣa ( near, perceptible, within grasp), even when the immediacy of this knowledge is unknown, then a condition exists for the words and ideas to generate an influence, a level of knowledge that is useful. So, what could this be?

    When our upaniṣad-s talk about Self, it is with the understanding that Self = awareness. This awareness is svyaṁprakāśa.
    • Svyamprakāśa = svyaṁ + prakāśa = one’s own Self + visible , shining , bright or Self+revealing. You see, you have and use awareness every day for all the things you do. That it is why its called Self-revealing. It is the application of Self, as awareness, that we engage in all the time. Thinking, seeing, smelling, touching, etc. are all revealing we are using and in the final analysis we ARE awareness. This is the entry way to come to know Self.
    • This svyamprakāśa is the precondition that all humans have built in , it comes with the ~system~ of being human, and is very-very ~near~ (aparokṣa). In fact is is so near ( the I + John post above) we seem not able to discern it from our concept of who we think we are. We think we are 'John' that is limited in time, size, dimension, and ideas, yet that is not the truth of the matter.


    When we do all the things of the day, it is done with awareness/consciousness. Not one thing can be done without it. Yet what has been outside of one’s grasp is the experience of just awareness by itself, and this we call stainless, pure awareness, or Self, that is not co-mingled with thoughts, ideas, feelings, likes and dislikes; it is beyond the internal chatter of the mind, yet provides the consciousness/awareness for all these things to happen. You are that pure awareness, tattvamasi, thou art that śvetaketu.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    1. parokṣa – unintelligible, in absence; without the knowledge of; some say ‘out of sight’ inferring beyond the grasp of comprehension
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •