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Thread: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

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    ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    It is very interesting to note that within Ādi Śaṅkara's work Vivekacūḍāmaṇi¹ he sets the stage for knowledge of the Self within the first 153 śloka-s and says in the 154 śloka, Therefore, to be free of bondage ( bandha-muktaye) the wise (viduṣā¹) should make an effort (kartavyo) to discriminate between the Self and not-Self (ātmānātma vivekaḥ). By having understood that which is the nature of Existence (sat) Consciousness (cit) and Bliss (ānanda), one becomes blissful (sac&#185.

    Said another way ( as I view it) Ādi Śaṅkara has stated his case i.e. the discernment of the Self, on being human¹ , how suffering occurs ( due being attached to the not-Self), etc. and now says , I have offered you the facts and if one is wise/intelligent one will pursue discriminating between the Self and not-Self (ātmānātma vivekaḥ). Why so? because it will result in joy (ānanda).

    So then, in his next śloka he helps us better understand that this SELF is not the gross body. How could it be ( he infers) ? He says the body originated from food and is sustained by food and perishes without it. The body's composite is of skin, flesh, etc. and never can it be Self-existent, eternally pure. How then can this be the Self.
    He appeals to:
    a. the information given in the previous 153 śloka-s and ;
    b. the wise/intelligent person has comprehended it, and;
    c. he stakes the claim that ātmānātma vivekaḥ is a reasonable choice of the wise.

    Now he continues to help (coach) what is and is not the SELF.

    There are 5 inferences one can look to that indicates that the SELF is not the self (body we consider material). We can take a look at these 5 in the next post.

    praṇām

    words
    • Vivekacūḍāmaṇi or the Crown jewel of Discrimination ( some say crest jewel) .
    • viduṣā or vidu विदु- intelligent, wise
    • ātmānātma vivekaḥ is ātmā + na + ātma or Self + not + Self ; vivekaḥ is discrimination
    • sac सच्- to take part or participate in , be possessed of
    • On being human
      • The 2nd śloka within Vivekacūḍāmaṇi says the following:
        For all things subject to birth, birth in a human body is rare. Even rarer to obtain are strength of the body and mind . Rarer still is purity. More difficult than these is the desire to live a spiritual life. Rarest of all is to have an understanding of the scriptures.
        He continues in the 3rd śloka and says, rare and difficult to obtain are these 3: A human birth (narajañma), the burning desire for liberation (mumukṣutvaṁ) and the association with great (spiritual) beings i.e. the wise ( mahapuruṣa). These are the results of divine grace (daivānugraha).
    Last edited by yajvan; 03 May 2009 at 08:59 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    There are 5 inferences one can look to that indicates that the SELF is not the self (body we consider material). We can take a look at these 5 in the next post.
    The 158th śloka of Vivekacūḍāmaṇi says the following:
    pāṇi pādādimān deho nātmā vyaṅge'pi jīvanāt |
    tat- tacchakter anāśāc ca na niyāmyo niyāmakaḥ ||
    The body, consisting of hands, feet and so on, cannot be the SELF because one lives without these limbs and continues to function. The controlled cannot be the controller.

    Here are the 5 inferences that indicate the body is not the SELF. Let me offer one definition at a time to keep the posts simple and succinct:
    • anavayāt
    • dśyatvāt
    • apayitcāt
    • āgantugatvāt
    • annakāryatvāt
    anavayāt : The body is not the SELF because it does not persist.
    a+nava+yāt - a अ is 'not' like in English using 'un' + nava नव is new, fresh, recent, young, 'freshly new' + yāt यात् is going moving and yat यत् conform or comply with, to keep pace; Hence this means not (a) + complying with (yāt) + keeping fresh and new i.e. something that does not persist. And what is that ? the body - śarīra शरीरthat which is easily destroyed or dissolved; the body , bodily frame .

    Note the other view of this word as ana +vayā(t) : ana is breath + vayā is strength, vigor. A view of the body , based upon breath that brings vigor.

    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 May 2009 at 09:37 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    Very cool thread. This is an extremely compelling, bullet-proof argument, and one that I've been pondering since well before I even knew what Sanatana Dharma was.

    Not only does the aggregate "body" not persist, but neither do the components (i.e. cells). Your body is made up of cells, which are like tiny bodies themselves and fulfill all the criteria of a living organism. Over the course of an average human lifetime, none of the cells that were present in your body at birth will persist, and may be replaced several times over. And when the material is replaced, it is not a simple shuffling around of material already present in the body. "New" material is collected by way of food. So you are made of pieces of previously existing bodies (i.e. plant and animal). And yet, you do not die, nor do you experience a lapse in awareness. So we can conclude 1) the body is not the self 2) awareness is not in the body, it is of the body.

    Looking forward to the next posts in this thread.

  4. #4
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    There are 5 inferences one can look to that indicates that the SELF is not the self (body we consider material). We can take a look at these 5 in the next post.

    • anavayāt
    • dṛśyatvāt
    • apāyitvāt
    • āgantugatvāt
    • annakāryatvāt
    dṛśyatvāt - The body is not-SELF because it is seen¹ (dṛśya); This is different then the Seer, the SELF.
    dṛśya दृश्य visible , conspicuous , to be looked at; any visible object. tva त्व - is 'your', or 'thy' ; at अत् to obtain. Hence your (tva) body is seen (dṛśya) or obtained (at) by seeing.

    praṇām

    additional words
    • seen is also dṛṣṭa दृष्ट- seen, looked at, perceived
    • darśana दर्शन - seeing , observing , looking , noticing , observation , perception
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 May 2009 at 09:37 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namast

    we continue...
    • anavayāt
    • dśyatvāt
    • apāyitvāt
    • āgantugatvāt
    • annakāryatvāt

    apāyitvāt - apa अप away, back ; tva त्व thy, your ; apāya अपाय - going away , departure ,destruction , death , annihilation .

    The body is the not-Self because upon its destruction (apāya) it ceases to be. There is no longevity to the body, and hence does not have the 'eternal' quality of the Self.

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

    _

  6. #6
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    we continue...

    • anavayāt
    • dśyatvāt
    • apāyitvāt
    • āgantugatvāt
    • annakāryatvāt


    āgantugatvāt is composed of :
    • āgantu आगन्तु - anything added or adhering ;
    • gata गतg one , gone away , departed , departed from the world , deceased , dead ; gone to any state or condition
    • gatvā brings us to gam
    • gam गम् which is to go towards, approach; it also means to die (discease).
      So this word makes sense as it indicates that which adheres to (āgantu) and approaches, goes toward (gatvā) death (gam).
      This is the body. Hence the body is the not-Self due to this condition of decay and goes towards death.
    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 21 December 2009 at 09:38 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #7
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    we continue...

    anavayāt
    dśyatvāt
    apāyitvātā
    āgantugatvāt
    annakāryatvāt

    annakāryatvāt is composed of anna+ kārya + tvāt
    anna अन्न - eaten (rooted in ad 'eating') food, it also means earth
    kārya कार्य - to be made or done or practised or performed ; an effect or result; work or business done; tva त्व thy, your, one

    This indicates that the body, you (tva) is the not-Self because it is made or done (kārya) or is the result of eating food (anna).
    Food is perishable, hence the body ( made of food) is also perishable and there fore cannot be the Imperishable Self.

    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 13 May 2009 at 03:17 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  8. #8
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté


    Ādi Śaṅkara tells us in the 155th śloka of Vivekacūḍāmaṇi the one that becomes unattached (asaṃga¹ or asaṅga) is the person
    who is liberated i.e. the SELF is unattached (asaṅga) and action-less (niṣkriyaṁ).

    The SELF becomes unstuck (asañjayat&#185. But from what? Perceived objects of every day life. Perceived objects that you may find in
    waking or dreaming (and even deep sleep).
    The śloka says the SELF is separated ( vivicya&#185 like one separates the tender core of muñja grass from its covering, then one remains firmly established in the SELF.

    So , one's experience is that of the inner silence of the SELF that is lived at all times i.e. established in the SELF. Yet activity continues, work continues and the SELF is untouched by this - just as it was before being unstuck (asañjayat), but now the person experiences the difference.

    Stuck (sañjayati) = ignorance. Unstuck (asasañjat) = liberated.

    praṇām

    words
    • asaṃga = a + saṃga = a or not + saṃga 'coming together' ( also written saṅga that is rooted in sañj to be attached or fastened , adhere , cling , stick )
    • niṣkriyaṁ or niṣkriya - the action-less One , the Supreme
    • sañjayati - to cause to stick or cling to , unite or connect hence asasañjat is to be unstuck
    • vivicya from vi or apart; probably from dvi meaning in two parts.
    • muñja a species of rush or sedge-like grass which grows to the height of 10 feet , and is used in basketwork
    Last edited by yajvan; 12 May 2009 at 03:13 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  9. #9
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    The 162nd śloka of Vivekacūḍāmaṇi, offers the following:

    The fool (mūḍha) thinks I am the body (deho'ham). An intelligent one knows of the 'I' in the body; Yet ( however) the great one (mahātmano), a person who has knowledge born of discrimination (viveka-vijñānavto) always knows (experiences) I am brahman (brahmāham).

    Stuck (sañjayati) = ignorance. Unstuck (asasañjat) = liberated.

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

    _

  10. #10
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    Re: ātmānātma vivekaḥ: Self and not-Self

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~

    Namasté

    Ādi Śaṅkara-ji says in the 269th śloka of Vivekacūḍāmaṇi, the following:
    ahaṁ maneti yo bhāvo dehākṣādāv-anātmani |
    adhyāso'yaṁ nirastavyo viduṣā svātma-niṣṭhayā ||

    What does this say? ( my translation)
    I (ahaṁ) mine (maneti) and (yo) appearance (bhāvo) the body (deha) and senses (akṣa) not-SELF (anātmani) |
    are held (yam) imposed (adhyāsa) (adhyāso'yaṁ) are cast out, rejected or removed by the wise (viduṣā)
    established in (niṣṭhayā) their own SELF (svātma) ||

    --Hence--
    The notion of 'i' and 'mine' are the appearance of the body and senses and are not the SELF (ātman) |
    The wise (vidu) rejects or casts-out this imposition (adhyāsa) this erroneous attribute (or adhyāropa - note I added this word and is not part of the śloka) by being established (resting in) their own Self (ātman).

    Note the idea of ahaṁ offered here is small 'i' and is considered 'me' , connected to ego or aham+kāra ( or I maker , ego).

    The author I am reading¹ translates this śloka in the following way:
    The idea of 'me' and 'mine' exists in the body , the sense organs and so on, that are not the Self. |
    The wise must destroy this superimposition by being firmly established in their own Self ||

    Once again we see this notion of 'me' and 'mine' as being limited and tied, bound (sambandha&#185 to the body. The notion of stuck (sañjayati) = ignorance. Unstuck (asasañjat) = liberated.

    'Stuck' is one's orientation that only the body exists and/or only experiences the body (dehākṣādāv) and not-SELF (anātmani) .
    'Unstuck' is being established in one's own Self (svātma-niṣṭhayā).

    praṇām

    words
    • ahaṁ or aham अहम्' I'
    • adhyasta अध्यस्त - placed over, disguised
    • adhyāsa अध्यास- imposing
    • adhyāropa अध्यारोप- wrong attribution , erroneous transferring of a statement from one thing to another.
    • yam यम् - to raise , extend or hold
    • deha देह+ akṣa अक्ष + ādāv or ādā आदा :
      • deha देह form , shape , mass , bulk i.e. the body. From the root word dih to plaster , mould or fashion
      • akṣa अक्ष of the number 5 and also means an organ of sense. Five infers the 5 senses.
      • ādāv or ādā आदा to seize , take away , carry off
    • yo or ya - joining i.e. 'and'
    • bhāva भाव - becoming , being , existing , occurring , appearance
    • man + eti ~ 'mine'
      • man मन् to regard or consider any one or anything + eti एति- arrival, approach
    • anātmani or anātman अनात्मन्- not SELF; something different from spirit
    • viduṣā or vidu विदु - intelligent, wise
    • svātma-niṣṭhayā : being established or rested in one's own SELF.
      • svātma = sva स्वone's own, my own , thy own , his own , her own , our own + ātma or ātman or SELF
      • niṣṭha निष्ठ being in or on , situated on , grounded or resting on
    • niratavyo or nirasta निरस्त cast out or off , expelled , banished , rejected , removed , refuted
    • sambandha सम्बन्ध- binding or joining together , close connection or union or association , conjunction , inherence , connection with or relation to
    • The Vivekacūḍāmaṇi of Śaṅkarācārya Bhagavatpāda, by John Grimes - ISBN 81-208-2039-8
    Last edited by yajvan; 01 June 2009 at 06:27 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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