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Thread: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

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    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

    _

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    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; 07 May 2017 at 06:35 PM. Reason: updated 'as' and 'asi'
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
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    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

    _

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    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

    _

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    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

    _

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    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    from the theme of this overall string,

    pra-saṁkhyā-ana = excessively + sum up , enumerate + go, or move . Hence prasaṅkhyāna = excessively summing up, or ‘repetition’

    This prasaṅkhyāna (repetition) becomes the essence of the following:
    the notion of śravaṇa ( hearing) + manana (reflecting upon) + nididhyāsana (repeated meditation/contemplation) play a key role in ones complete unfoldment.

    Note the term nididhyāsana at the surface means regular meditation. Yet if we go a bit deeper we find the following:

    • nitya + dhyāna + āsana
      • nitya – continual, or some just say daily. yet it is more than that. It is the notion of constantly dwelling or engaged in , intent upon , devoted to.
      • dhyāna – meditation
      • āsana – setting; yet it is more profound than a ~seat~. It is encamped, abiding, dwelling in.

    So, this notion of nididhyāsana is the approach of being encamped and dwelling-in continual practice. This meets the notion of prasaṅkhyāna at a higher level. It is one that is ‘devoted’ (nitya) in earnest, to one’s practice. So much so it is continual.

    Now this is may not be for everyone e.g. a new entrant... why so? Because of intent, understanding, time, attention, focus (code for distraction) and the like. Yet as one grows (expands) over time and their practice becomes fruitful this nididhyāsana also begins to grow quite spontaneously.


    The ~fertilizer~ for this growth is pointed out by ādi śaṅkara-ji (also known as śaṅkara bhagavatpāda) as he calls out in his vivekacūḍāmaṇi ( crown jewel of discrimination), 19th śloka . He outlines sādhana catuṣṭaya sampatti. That is, the attainment (sampatti) of the 4 fold (catuṣṭtaya) qualities/characteristics for spiritual unfoldment or practice there-of (sādhana).
    They are:

    1. viveka - the ability to discriminate ; the Ultimate discrimination is the Real from unreal; Patañjali calls this out also in his yogadarśana.
    Patañjali's viveka that is mentioned is between the intellect (buddhi) and the transcendent puruṣa (Being/Self/pure awareness)

    2. vairāgya - dispassion for sense objects; the senses are not swayed or pulled in by the objects of the world. Said another way an aversion or distaste from worldly desires or an indifference to worldly objects i.e. knowing that finite things do not contain happiness. This too is mentioned by Patañjali.

    3. samādhi ṣaṭka sampatti - A group of six behavior traits 6 ~virtues~. Patañjali mentions these qualities within yama and niyama discussions.
    · śama - calmness , rest , equanimity
    · dama - is taming or subduing; it is self-control, self restraint
    · uparati - stopping, to rest (of the mind) ;desisting from sensual enjoyment or any worldly action - allowing intro-spection
    · titikṣā - forbearance, endurance, patience
    · śraddhā - faith, unwavering faith; trust , confidence , trustfulness , faithfulness
    · samādhāna or samādhā - to fix or hold. One pointedness; absorbed in meditation; associated with samādhi

    4. mumukṣutva - intense desire for mokṣa (liberation)

    Yet there is one thing that ādi śaṅkara-ji’s master, govinda bhagavatpāda-ji, said that is striking ( to me) :
    kṣaṇaṁ brahmāhamasmīti yaḥ kuryādātmacintanam|1
    tanmahāpātakaṁ hanti tamaḥ sūryodayo yathā||

    this says,
    even for an instant (kṣaṇaṁ) if one (ātma) reflects upon (cintanam) ‘ brahman I am ’ (brahmāhamasmīti) this destroys (hanti) great (mahā) error (pāta), like (yathā) the rise of the sun (sūryodayo) slays/destroys (hanti) the night or darkness (tamaḥ).

    this destroys (hanti) great (mahā) error (pāta)
    what is that error ?

    ... and yajvan , why do you mention
    patañjali within this post?


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. govinda bhagavatpāda-ji's śloka

    kṣaṇaṁ brahmāhamasmīti yaḥ kuryādātmacintanam|
    • cintanam – reflects upon
    • pāta = error
    • kṣaṇaṁ = instant , twinkling of an eye , moment
    • brahmāhamasmīti = ‘brahman I am’
    • yaḥ - to exert one's self
    • kuryādātmacintanam|
      • kuryād = kur+yāt = speaking + in so much as ( note yāt changes to yād when placed back into the sentence, as the next sound is a vowel ‘ā’)
      • cintanam – reflects upon
      • ātma – ātman, the individual

    tanmahāpātakaṁ hanti tamaḥ sūryodayo yathā||

    • tan+mahā+pāta+kaṁ
    • tan – to assist
    • mahā is used for mahat – great, large, huge
    • pāta = error
    • tamaḥ – darkness, mala or blemish
    • kaṁ - this is a a particle placed after the word to which it belongs with an affirmative sense , ‘yes’ ( I think of is as a soft exclimation mark ‘!’)
      • Yet another view is to think if it as ‘kim’ – ‘how so ?’ ‘what ?’ i.e a a particle of interrogation like which works fine in this sloka. It is asking ‘how’ does even reflecting on I am brahman even for a moment work? It works like the rising sun dispelling the darkness of night.

    • ​hanti – slays, destroys
    • tamaḥ – darkness, māla or blemish
    • sūryodayo – the rise of the sun
    • yathā – in which manner, like, for instance

    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    ... and yajvan , why do you mention patañjali within this post?
    We are told by rāmabhadra dīkṣita (cira late 1600’s) in his work the patañjali-vijaya or patañjali-carita that chandra śarmā is none other than patañjali muni himself. Who then is this chandra śarmā? He becomes ( or is named) śrī govinda bhagavatpāda, guru of śrī śaṅkara. So, here is how the story goes ( as I have read)1.

    Chandra śarmā wished to learn/hear patañjali’s exposition on vyākaraṇa; this is the detailed explanation & description of grammatical analysis of proper saṃskṛt use, its rules, etc. On his way he met gauḍapāda-ji. Now what needs to be noted is prior to this meeting, we are told that gauḍapāda-ji left a place of instruction without permission from his master. Who was the instructor ? None other than patañjali. For some reason he was cursed by him for doing this. Another rendition of the story is that all the students received the same curse, less one person bhartṛhari-ji2.

    This ~ curse~ would be lifted upon gauḍapāda-ji finding a fit śiṣyaḥ (student) that could learn this vyākaraṇa. Gauḍapāda-ji found no student that passed the test i.e. giving the proper grammatical answer to a (tricky) question posed. The bad news ? If the wrong answer was given, the incumbent ( student, scholar or ācārya), would be consumed by a rakṣaḥ. ( no pressure!)
    Well one day gauḍapāda-ji met chandra śarmā and asked where his travels were taking him. Chandra śarmā said he was off to attend this grand exposition on the rules of grammar that were based upon patañjali’s vyākaraṇa. Gauḍapāda-ji informed him that this exposition had been completed and not available, but that he would teach him with condition that he answer a question first. (FYI I do not know the question asked.) Oh, and by the same rule applied if the wrong answer were given he ( like the others that came before him with the wrong answer) would be eaten by a rakṣaḥ.
    Chandra śarmā answered the tricky question with no difficulty. There is more to this story, but I will resist from continuing. The point to be made is patañjali muni himself became chandra śarmā for the benefit of his student and to lift the curse that weighed upon gauḍapāda-ji, that he, patañjali, gave.
    We find that gauḍapāda-ji gave dīkṣā to chandra śarmā who in turn becomes the sannyāsin named govinda bhagavatpāda and śrī śaṅkara’s guru.

    Look at the lineage we are blessed and engaged in: patañjali, gauḍapāda, govinda bhagavatpāda, śrī śaṅkara with his śiṣya-s padmapādācārya, sureśvarācārya, hastāmalakācārya and toṭakācārya.

    A bit more on patañjali muni , his name
    patañjali - some say the derivation of his name comes in this manner pata + añjali
    · añjali = open hands placed side by side and slightly hollowed
    · pata – falling

    • The legend says that śeṣa ( the divine serpent) incarnated and fell (pata) into open hands (añjali) of a brahmin (realized being) no less; and this incarnation was none other than patañjali. We can see why he would be called śeṣa-patañjali.
    • Another view (from rāmabhadra dīkṣita aforementioned) offers that a daughter of a virtuous sage named goṇikā prayed for a son. An offering within this prayer was to be a handful of water given to sūrya some call āditya. With this offering ( some say just about as the offer was to be given) śeṣa or ananta ( the divine serpent) fell (pata) into open hands (añjali) of goṇikā. It is she who raised patañjali.
    • There are other permutations of the same story. The point made is patañjali is highly blessed and of divine origin no less.


    depth and breath of knowledge
    Note that bhojarāja was one of several commentators on patañjali’s yogadarśana – his work is called rājamārtāṇḍa-vṛtti; Other commentators are vyāsa, śaṅjara-ji, vivaraṇa-ji, vijñānabhikṣu-ji, etc. Yet within bhojarāja’s invocation (āvāhanaṁ) on this work i.e. patañjali’s yogadarśana, he says the following:
    yogena citta padena vācā |
    malaṁ śarirasya tu vaidikena
    yo’pākarottaṁ pravaraṁ muninām
    patañjalirprāñjalirānto’smīm ||

    this says,
    by patañjali’s work (darśana – insights, knowledge, ~philosophical~ work) he wishes to remove the blemish (malaṁ) of the mind (yogena citta) , blemish in speech or grammar (padena vācā); and he too is the vaidya (practicing or relating to medicine , in this case ayurveda) and wishes to remove the blemish (malaṁ) found in the body (śarira)

    Hence we see patañjali recognized as operating in 3 large fields of knowledge i.e. the grammarian, the ayurvedic doctor (vaidya) and the ācārya of yoga all to remove the blemishes one finds in the human condition, not to mention that he was also the master of śrī śaṅkara and student of his own student gauḍapāda-ji!

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. sources:


    • Sacred Matters: Material Religion in South Asian Traditions - edited by Tracy Pintchman, Corinne G. Dempsey , page 28
    • Aspects of Manuscript Culture in South India edited by Sararu Rath, p 237


    • Preceptors of Advaita by V. A. Devasenapati

    2.bhartṛhari-ji - a well-known poet and grammarian ; author of some 300 moral , political , and religious maxims comprised in 3 śatakas , and of the vākyapadīya and other grammatical works.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    In post 6 above I offered the following:
    kṣaṇaṁ brahmāhamasmīti yaḥ kuryādātmacintanam|
    tanmahāpātakaṁ hanti tamaḥ sūryodayo yathā||
    this says,
    even for an instant (kṣaṇaṁ) if one (ātma) reflects upon (cintanam) ‘ brahman I am ’ (brahmāhamasmīti) this destroys (hanti) great (mahā) error (pāta), like (yathā) the rise of the sun (sūryodayo) slays/destroys (hanti) the night (tamaḥ).
    my question was,
    ‘this destroys (hanti) great (mahā) error (pāta)’ - what is that error ?

    This error is the misconceived idea that one’s true identification is ‘I am this body’ one perceives, of height, weight, beauty or a-symmetry. They may think ‘I am happy or sad or elated ’ ( a condition of the mind) or I have this abnormality ( perhaps of the eye, or speech or smell, or taste which is anchored in an organ of perception). This is the blemish that gets corrected with the insight of brahmāhamasmīti or I am brahman.

    Note that in each case just offered e.g. I am this body v. I am brahman, there rests the term ‘I’. So, the error must reside in the comprehension and experience of ‘I’.
    We are told within the advaita view ( not a second, non-dual view) that brahmāhamasmīti is on the same footing as tat tvam asi ( which was the 1st post above for your review). Now why mention this? Within this great utterance (mahāvākyam) from posts 2 and 3 above suggests it is the ‘you’ term in tat tvam asi that one misaligns. Sureśvarācārya says the following: 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).

    So, in this post we can see the alignment of brahmāhamasmīti = tat tvam asi and therefore the alignment of ‘I’ and ‘you’. I will offer a few ideas that sureśvarācārya poses in his naiṣkaryasiddhi ( roughly the perfection of non-action the condition of mokṣa) but must address two things mentioned prior.

    A bit more clarity on insight and instant

    • even for an instant (kṣaṇaṁ) - a flash of insight into the experience , feeling or cognition of one’s Being, pure awareness , pure consciousness, Self.
    • This is the blemish that gets corrected with the insight – this ~insight~ may be a flash, a moment of clarity of the experience, feeling, or cognition of this pure awareness itself.

    My point to offer? It is not an intellectual/academic position (albeit this is also fine ) but the insight of an instant of being in this avastha ( condition) of clarity for a moment, a twinkling of an eye... one then ‘gets it’, the ahh-haa! It is then one can see how this is different from the mundane/every day idea of ‘I’. You see, it is not something that you have to go get or acquire. It is there with you already.

    This experience may start as just an instant, a moment of pure awareness then it subsides. For some it can last for moments, or minutes, for others just a flash. But we are told, we are always on the lookout for these moments. As mentioned in other posts, one place this pure awareness arises every day ( no exceptions) is just upon waking - see post 3, 6 and 8 here:
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?14819-Self-Enquiry-vs-Open-Awareness-confusion&p=130407#post130407

    With that said, I can now pursue the notion of ‘I’ and ‘you’ that began is post 2 above, with the guidance of sureśvarācārya and others.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté
    I wrote,
    This error is the misconceived idea that one’s true identification is ‘ I am this body’
    Of all things to ‘get’ it should be apparent that one’s true essence is not the body.Sureśvarācārya offers the following verse in his work naiṣkaryasiddhi ( roughly the perfection of non-action the condition of mokṣa) chapter 2:
    varcaskaṃ tvannakāryatvādyathā nātmeti gamyate |
    tadbhāgaḥ sendriyo dehastadvatkimiti nekṣyate ||
    11||

    This says in general that the body along with the senses is the product of food. The food is used and the excess is excreted (varcaskaṁ). What is excreted is not considered or regarded as Self, why then is the production of flesh, bones, organs, etc. not looked on as the same?

    This view is supported by the chāndogyopaniṣat (chāndogya upaniṣad) 6.5.1 which says , the food that one eats gets separated out as three: the coarsest becomes purīṣaṁ ( excrement, rubbish) the middle become dhātus1 & māṃsa (flesh) and the finest becomes manaḥ (mind).

    So, the body one has is none other than an expression of food. This food is found on all levels of our human frame. If we eat in excess the body becomes grosser and larger. We cannot say that ‘Self’ has also expanded , this would make no sense at all, Yet people will say I am bigger. What grew? The body, not one’s Being ( or pure awareness, Self).

    Sureśvarācārya now makes the next following logical statement that stands on the 11th verse (śloka)
    just offered:
    ādyantayoranātmatve prasiddhe madhye'pi kaḥ pratibandhaḥ |
    prāganātmaiva jagdhaṃ sadātmatāmetyavidyayā |
    sragālepanavaddehaṃ tasmātpaśyedviviktadhīḥ ||
    12||

    Without going into the weeds, let me offer the relevant part of this verse.
    Sureśvarācārya says, if what is in the beginning as well as in the end is (obviously) not-Self (not Being/pure awareness) where is the difficulty in
    admitting it too is not in the middle
    ?
    The point is this: the body begins as food becomes the body in the middle and this food is purīṣaṁ ( excrement, rubbish) in the end. Where then is the difficulty in comprehending that the middle condition (madhye'pi2 in the verse) is not-Self ?

    Even before your birth the body that you have is in the environment ready - 'potential food' that will make the body. The fluids and egg of your parents came from food. And, after death the body is purīṣaṁ ( rubbish) – this is another way of looking at this verse. What then happens in the middle? birth of the body, its aging, and finally its demise.

    Sureśvarācārya coaches us and says there should be no difficulty in getting this - that the body is not-Self, identifying ‘I’ as the body is an error.

    Now, where does the difficulty begin? with the internal apparatus . This goes by the name of śūkṣma śarīa (subtle body). This is where one begins to have internal conversations; the intellect is there, the ego is there. This arena takes some sorting out because there’s lots of ~ moving parts~ and influences, let alone feelings, sensitivities and the (false) notion of ‘you’ as the ego. We will take a look in the next post.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. dhātus – see thids HDF post for more
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...6998#post56998 ; āyurveda recognizes 7 of them. This post will review them if there is interest: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...2&postcount=20
    2. madhye'pi – also (api) in the middle (madhya)
    3. fyi - the term kaḥ in the verse is an interrogative term for who? how ? why?
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: prasaṅkhyāna (repetition)

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Where does the difficulty begin? with the internal apparatus . This goes by the name of śūkṣma śarīa (subtle body).
    This is where one begins to have internal conversations; the intellect is there, the ego is there. This arena takes some sorting out because there’s lots of ~ moving parts~ and influences, let alone feelings, sensitivities and the (false) notion of ‘you’ as the ego
    .
    With this false notion of ‘you’, it takes some getting use to, some explaining. Why ? Because most will say, I know myself. Well, this is in a general way. One knows their likes and dislikes, values, what to avoid, etc. This may be knowing some expression of you, but note one thing, the nature of ignorance (avidyā) is always dependent on something for its existence.

    Without getting exhaustive on this...
    Think about the following. If I like something , it infers I prefer it to something else. This something else may be something you dis-like or you are even neutral about. IF you value one behavior it is because another behavior is seen as culpable, unreasonable, unfair, etc. and you do not accept that behavior in your lifestyle. In each case the choices and positions are dependent. They depend on what you find attractive or unattractive to accept, sympathetic with , avoid, reject or entertain. Therein is the dependency and a key metric of ignorance, dependence (saṁsakta 1)

    The second point is this ignorance (avidyā) and dependence also requires a subject and an object. This is the part that takes us into the conversation of śūkṣma śarīa (subtle body) but not just yet as this next part needs to be said.

    Self-referral
    When one is aligned with Self, Being, pure awareness it’s nature is complete independence. Of all the qualities one can offer regarding Self, this one thing of being completely and absolutely independent (svātantrya2) says svāmī lakṣman-jū, cannot be found anywhere except with the Supreme. If it is independent, it is boundless, limitless; it is without break or pause. It does not depend on anything for this independence.
    There is no time constraint, no size restraint. It is perfect independence. So, when I said in the paragraph above that one may know themselves in a general way, most on this good earth have not known this Self which is their essential nature. You see, because this Self is so boundless and limitless, it too must also permeate even the boundaries of limited existence. We have been aligned to this limited part.

    If Self did not permeate even the limited it would not be considered infinite, Supreme. Infinite is every-where, all the time – this must incorporate the finite too, no? And when this is one’s direct personal experience of living Self all the time is is called god consciousness by some, others brahman consciousness. Some call it kevala or kevalajñānin. The person is kevala or ‘exclusively one’s own’ (independent), whole, full, with no remainder i.e. akhaṇḍākara or a rich source of wholeness, entire, not fragmented.

    As I just mentioned (avidyā), dependence , also requires a subject and an object , in this scenario kevala or kevalajñānin being whole, full, and svātantrya where can there be a subject and an object? Where can there be two if this wholeness is complete and full ? No longer is there any things, other than ‘me’ everywhere, for all time ( forward and backwards); and since this condition is absent of dependence ( due to svātantrya) where can there be a sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ or ego ? Ego by definition is the view of one’s self within limits – where can there be ego if one is limitless ? Now the definition of ‘you’ takes on a whole new meaning. The implications come only as divine.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. saṁsakta - dependent, conditional; adhered or stuck together . Some say vidheya - subdued or overcome by
    2. svātantrya - independence. It is said (in kaśmir śaivism) This Supreme independent (svātantrya) state of God Consciousness (caitanya) is the form. But the form of what? It is the 'form' of everything. This implies that solid ( body) or spiritual ( non-body) , material or non-material however subtle, has this form. It is the essence of everything, and this is the Supreme, Brahman.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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