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Aparakshanubhoothi
[Non Indirect Experience]
A Philosophic Treatise on Advaitha
By Adhishankara Bhagwat Pada
Transliteration and Translation by P. R. Ramachander

[This is one of the great works of philosophy written by Adhi Shankara This has 144 stanzas or slokas, Shankara emphasizes in this great work the fact, that till we realize the difference between Brahman / Athman / purusha and the things that we see in this world, we cannot attain realization. He logically establishes that the body that we see is an illusion and what is beyond all such bodies is Brahman, the absolute truth. He then examines the reason for this illusion and concludes that ignorance is the cause of such illusion. Then he tells us the 15 step stair case to attain this truth and the eight road blocks that will come in our way. This translation work is based on: 1. The English translation of this great work by Swami Vimukthananda which was published by the Advaitha Ashram, Calcutta. 2. A Tamil and English commentary available in the web site advaitavedanta.org/texts/aparokshanubhoothi.pdf and 3. A Tamil commentary and translation of this great work by Sri Navarathnamala M. K. Venkatraman and published by Giri Traders, Madras. As in my other translations my effort has been trying to understand the meaning of each stanza based on the several translations already available and put the meaning that I have understood, in my own words. Unlike translation of Sthothras, this was extremely difficult, as I am a novice in philosophic thought. ]

Every great work starts with a prayer to God. This book starts with a prayer to Hari.

Sri Harim paramananda mupadeshtameeswaram,
Vyapakam sarva lokaanam karanam tham namamyaham 1

I salute that Sri Hari*,
Who is the pure immortal bliss,
Who is the first teacher,
Who is God himself,
Who pervades everywhere,
And who is the cause of this world.
*Killer of illusion

Shankara then tells us the aim of this book. He could have used Prathyaksha Anubhuthi (Direct experience) but prefers to use Aparoksha Anubhuthi (Non indirect experience). He does this, because most of us prefer indirect experience and he wants us all to try to have the non indirect experience.

Aaparokshanu bhoothirvai prochyathe moksha sidhaye,
Sadbhireva prayathnena veekshaneeya muhur muhu. 2

The method of direct experience*,
Which leads to salvation,
Is expounded here, so that,
The good people with little effort,
Can meditate on this truth
Which is taught here for all times.
*Non indirect personal experience

Shankara indicates here the three paths of attaining this experience viz devotion, practice of our defined duties and renunciation.

Swa varnashrama dharmena, thapasa hari thoshanath,
Sadhanam prabhaveth pumsam vairagyadhi chathushtayam, 3

People practicing the prescribed Dharma of their class,
Can propitiate through meditation,that Lord Hari.
And also attain their desired aim of reaching.
The four aspects of renunciation, wisdom, loss of desires and salvation.

An effort is made to clearly define renunciation as against absence of desire.

Brahmadhi sthavarantheshu vairagyam vishayeshvanu,
Yadhaiva kakavishtayam vairagyam thadhi nirmalam. 4

Not having desire on things.
From to Brahma to immobile things is renunciation,
But Indifference similar to that towards crow shit.
To everything is rightly called the purest renunciation.

The sense of true spiritual discrimination is defined.

Nithyam athma swaroopam hi drusyam thad viparree thagam,
Yevam yo nischaya samyag viveko vasthuna sa vai. 5

Only nature of the soul is perennial,
All others are impermanent,
Arriving at such a conviction,
Is truly the capacity for discrimination.

The difference between two types of abandoning of desires (Sama and Dhama) is brought out

Sadaiva vasana thyaga samoyam ithi sabditha,
Nigraho bahya vrutheenam Dhama ithyabhidheeyathe. 6

Abandoning desires* for ever is called Shama,
Controlling external functions of all organs,
Is indicated by the word Dhama.
*desire to enjoy based on previous experience.

Renunciation of desires and endurance of sorrows is defined.

Vishanyebhya para vruthiparamoparatheerhi sa,
Sahanam sarva dukhanam thithiksha saa shubhaa mathaa. 7

Turning away from sensual needs is called Uparathi,
Endurance of all sorrow is called thithiksha. 

Faith in teachers and mind concentrated search is defined.

Nigamacharya vakyeshu bhakthi sradhethi vishrutha,
Chithai kagryam sa lakshye samadhanamithismrutham. 8

Implicit faith in teachers and Vedas is Sradha,
And concentration only on Brahman is Samadhana

Burning desire to get rid of bonds of the world is the sign of a Mumukshu.

Samsara bandha nirmukthi kadham may syath kadha vidhe,
Ithi ya su druda budhir vakthavya saa mumukshutha. 9

Concentrated wish to know about when and how,
One gets rid of bonds of this world, Is Mumukshutha.

The above qualities (defined from 4 -9 ) are the qualities needed by a seeker of Brahman.

Uktha sadhana yukthena vichara purushena hi,
Karthavyo jnana sidhyardhamathmana shubhamam ichatha. 10

Only a person who has the above mentioned traits,
Should involve himself in such constant reflection,
So that he desires and attains his own good.

Nature of such reflection is further defined.

Nothu padyandhe vina jnanam vicharena anya sadhanai,
Yada padartha bhanam hi prakasena vina kkachid. 11

Knowledge is never attained without reflection,
Like an object is never seen without a bright light.

How to seek the Brahman/Athma?(Stanzas 12-16)

Koham kadhamidham, jatham ko vai katha asya vidhyathe,
Upadhaanm kimastheeha vichara soyameedrusa. 12

The enquiries that needs to be done are,
Who am I? how was the word created?
Who is its creator? and with what has it been made?

Naham bhootha gano deho naham chaksha ganasthadha,
Ethadwi lakshana kaschid vichara soyam eedrusa. 13

The hall mark of enquiries is thoughts like
I am not the body made out of the five elements,
Nor am I a mixture of the different senses.

Ajnana prabhavam sarva jnanena pravileeyathe,
Sankalpo vividha kartha vichara soyam eedrusa. 14

The real thought process within us should be,
I see differences between things because of ignorance,
All these differences would vanish when I get wisdom,
And the various thoughts in me are the reason for what I see.

Yethayor upadhanamekam sookshmam, sad avyayam,
Yadhaiva mudhataadheenam vichara soyam eedrusa. 15

The cause for this ignorance and the thought process,
Is subtle and one without second and unchanging existence,
Similar to the clay being the cause of inanimate things like a mud pot.
The various thoughts in me are the reason for what I see.

Aham yekapi sookshmascha jnatha sakshi sadavyaya,
Thadaham nathra sandeho vichara soyam eedreusa. 16

I am the only one, micro existence beyond all thoughts,
I am the knower, the witness, the truth, the indivisible,
And there is no doubt whatsoever that,
The various thoughts in me are the reason for what I see.

The next five stanzas are powerful arguments that there is a difference between the body and the Athma.

Aathma vinishkalo hyoko deho bahubhir avrutha,
Thayair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param. 17

Athma is one and does not have any parts,
And the body is divisible in to various organs,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Aathma niyaamanga schaandardeho bahyo niyamyaka,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param. 18

Athma is the ruler and exists within,
The body is the ruled and is outside,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma jnanamaya punyo deho mamsa mayo asuchi,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param. 19

Athma is the holy consciousness 
And the body is made of flesh and impure,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma prakasaka swacho, dehas thamasa uchyathe,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param. 20

Athma is pure and supreme,
Body is base and dark,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma nithyohi sadrupo, deho anithya hyasanmaya,
Thyair ikyam prapasyanthi kim ajnana matha param. 21

Athma is eternal and ever existent,
Body is transient and non existent,
What can be the worst act of ignorance,
Than thinking that these two are one.

Athma is not fire.

Athma na sthath prakasathvam, padarthaa yathrthavabhasanam,
Nagnayaadhee deepthi va dheepthir bhathayandhyam yatho nisi. 22

The light of Athma makes us see everything,
But light of Athma is not like that of fire,
For without fire in darkness we cannot see,
But Athma makes us see everything at all times.

Like a pot the body is transient.

Deho aham ithyayam moodo dhruthwa thishtathyaho jana,
Mamaya mithyapi jnathwa ghata dhrushtena sarvadha. 23

The foolish think that they are the body,
Though it is something belonging to them,
This sort of illusion is like a man,
Thinking that the pot always belongs to him.

The real knowledge and the real wisdom are defined in the next five stanzas.

Brahmaivaham sama santhi sachidananda lakshanam,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai. 24

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am Brahman, I am peace, I am equanimity,
I am the existence, bliss and knowledge,

Nirvikaro nirakaro niravadhyo aham avyaya
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai. 25

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am without change, without any form,
Without any blemish and without any decay.

Niramayo nirabhaso nirvikalpo ahamathatha,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai. 26

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am without disease, beyond all comprehension,
Beyond any change and I am all pervading.

Nirguno nishkriyo nithyo nithya muktho aham achyutha,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai. 27

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
I am definitely not the body which is an illusion
But I am without properties and without any activity,
I am permanent, for ever free and imperishable.

Nirmalo nischalo anantha sudhohamajaro amara,
Naham deho hyasadroopo jnana mithyuchyuthe budhai. 28

The wise say that the true knowledge is that,
I am definitely not the body which is an illusion,
But I am without stains, without movement and limits,
I am pure, I never age and I never die.

The above argument does not mean that Brahman/Athma does not exist.

Swadehe shobhanam santham purushakhyam cha sam matham,
Kim moorkhe soonyamathmanam dehatheetham karoshi bho. 29

Oh ignorant one, do not conclude because of these that,
Athma does not exist, for it exists in your body,
As something different, blissful and perennial.,
And is agreed to be same as the Purusha by the wise.

Requests the novice seeker to reason and understand this Purusha, (Used alternatively for Athman/Brahman.)

Swathmanam srunu moorkha thwam sruthwa yukthya cha purusham,
Dehath atheetham sadakaram sudurdarsa bhava drusai. 30

Oh ignorant one, using the sruthis and your own reasoning,
Try to understand this Purusha, which is beyond the body,
And which is the very form of existence,
Though you would find it difficult to understand.

Again brings out the difference between the body and Purusha (Brahman/Athma)

Aham sabdhena vikhyata yeka yeva sthitha para,
Sthoola sthava anekatham prapth kadham syaddehaka puman. 31

This supreme Purusha, which is beyond the body,
Is well known as I, but it is only one,
But the body is in many forms,
And so how can I be the body.

Different reasoning to say Brahman (I) and Body are different.(Next nine Stanzas)

Aham drusthru thaya sidho deho drusyathaya sthitha,
Mamaya mithi nirdhesath kadham syadhesaka puman. 32

I is well known as, he who perceives,
And the body is something that is perceived,
And so how can both these be same,
Also the body is claimed as mine by the I,
And so how can it be the same as I.

Aham vikara heenasthu deho nithyam vikaravan,
Ithi prathiyathe sakshath kadha syadhesaka puman. 33

I am never subject to any change by any cause,
But the body is subject to change by age or sickness,
And when this is experienced by every one,
How can both these be same?

Yasmath param ithi sruthwa thaya purusha lakshanam,
Vineernitham vimoodena kadam syadheshaka puman. 34

Having learned about the real properties of Purusha,
From the very holy books of Vedas,
And having understood that there is nothing greater than it,
How can we conclude that both these are same.

Sarva purusha yevethi sookthe purusha samgnithe,
Apyuchyathe yatha sruthwa kadam syadheshaka puman. 35

In Purusha Sooktha it has been clearly told,
That everything that we see is Purusha,
And having read and understood it,
How can we conclude that both these are same?

Asanga purusha proktho brahadharanykepi cha,
Anantha mala samslishta, kadam syadheshaka puman. 36

It is also been told in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad,
That the Purusha is completely unattached,
And knowing that body is having innumerable impurities,
How can we conclude that both these are same?

Tharaiva cha samakhyatha swayam jyothirhi Purusha,
Jada para prakasyoyam kadam syadheshaka puman. 37

It is also told in the same place that,
Purusha is shining and self luminescent,
And knowing the body as inert and
Can be illuminated only from outside,
How can we conclude that both these are same?

Prokthopi karma kandena hyathma dehad dwilakshana,
Nithyascha thath phalam deha pathad anatharam. 38

Even that part of Veda emphasizing on rituals,
Tells us that Athma and the body are different,
And says that the results of rituals,
Exist along with the soul, even after the death of the body.

Lingam cha aneka samyuktham chalam drusyam vikari cha,
Avyapakama sadroopam thath kadham syath pumanayam. 39

The body is divided as the subtle and the gross,
And even this subtle body has many properties,
Is unstable, limited and non existent by nature,
And how can this body be that Purusha.

Conclusion based on argument in the last nine stanzas that there is a soul/Athma/Purusha/Brahman which exists separately from the body.

Yevam deha dwayad anya athma purusha easwara,
Sarvathma sarva roopascha sarvatheetha aham avyaya. 40

Thus, different from the type of bodies,
There exists the soul, which is Purusha,
The lord of everything and soul of everything,
And though present in everything,
Is different and transcends all of them.

Logic or Tharka Vada asserts that Prakrithi (prapancha/body ) has different existence from that of Athma/Brahman/Purusha. Since they are different and cannot become one, there is no salvation.

Ithyathma deha bhagena prapanchayaiva sathyatha,
Yadoktha tharka sasthrena Thatha kim purusharthatha. 41

Logic,asserts that the body and Purusha,
Are indeed very different,
And emphasizes in the reality of this world,
And that both of them act separately,
And if this so, how can there be salvation?

Ithyathma deha bhedena deha athmathwam nivaritham,
Idhaneem deha bedhasya hyasathwam sphutamuchyathe. 42

Thus thinking over the difference between body and Purusha,
It is concluded that there are indeed different,
But does the difference between them,
Indicate that the body is in truth without Purusha,

Argument to say that the body does not have a separate existence 

Chaithanya asyaika roopathwad bhadho yuktho na karhichith,
Jeewathwam cha mrusha jneam rajjou sarpa graham yadha. 43

Consciousness being always the same.
Differentiation does not suit it,
And so like seeing a snake in a rope,
It is not proper to identify it as Purusha,

The body/world is only an illusion and is really the Brahman itself.

Rajjwa jnanath kshanenaiva yadwad drajjurhi sarpini,
Bhathi thadwachithi sakshad viswakarena kevala. 44

In some moments the rope appears as a snake,
Due to the ignorance of its real nature,
And without the rope changing its nature,
Similarly pure consciousness also appears,
To be the whole universe at such times.

Brahman/Purusha/athma is the cause for the body/world/Prapancha

Upadhanam prapanchasya brahmano anyathra vidhyathe,
Thasmath sarva prapanchoyam brahmai vasthi na chetharath. 45

There is no cause for this universe except Brahman,
(similar to the clay being the cause of a pot)*
So the entire Universe is Brahman and nothing else.
*interpolation by the author for clear understanding

The cause and effect theory of Brahman and the body is enunciated.

Vyapya vyapakatha mithya sarvamathmethi sasanath,
Ithi jnathe pare thathwe bedhasyavara kutha? 46

The Vedas declare that everything that we see is Athman,
And the difference between Athma which pervades,
And the universe in which it is said to be pervading,
In non existent and the difference is a result of an illusion.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that there are no qualities/properties to Brahman.

Sruthya nivaritham noonam nanathwam swamukhena hi,
Kadham bhaso bhavedanya sthithe chadwaya karana. 47

The Vedas by itself has denied different forms of Brahman,
And once there is nothing else except the Brahman,
How can there be difference between Brahman and the world.

Brihadaranya Upanishad says that the individual travels from death to death.

Doshopi vihitha shruthya mruthyor mruthyum sa gachathi,
Iha pasyathi nanathwam mayaya vanchitho nara. 48

The Veda has found fault with those,
Who see manifoldness in Brahman,
And has clearly brought out that,
That these differences are seen,
By those men who are cheated by illusion.

Brahmana sarva bhoothani jayanthe paramathmana,
Thasmad yethani brahmaiva bhavathethya avatharayeth. 49

All beings are born from the great soul called Brahman,
And so they all should be considered as Brahman.

Bramaiva sarva namani roopani vividhani cha,
Karmanyapi samagrani vibharthathi sruthir jagai. 50

All those having differing names,
Or different shapes are only Brahman,
And the Vedas tell that it alone is the base,
Of all the actions that we see.



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Adi Sankaracharya’s
APAROKSHANUBHUTI 

[SELF-REALISATION] 
Translated by Swami Vimuktananda
Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta 


1. I bow down to Him – to Sri Hari (the destroyer of ignorance), the Supreme Bliss, the First Teacher, Ishwara, the All-pervading One and the Cause of all Lokas (the universe).
2. Herein is expounded (the means of attaining to) Aparokshanubhuti (Self-Realization) for the acquisition of final liberation. Only the pure in heart should constantly and with all effort meditate upon the truth herein taught.
3. The four preliminary qualifications (the means to the attainment of knowledge), such as Vairagya (dispassion) and the like, are acquired by men by propitiating Hari (the Lord), through austerities and the performance of duties pertaining to their social order and stage in life.
4. The indifference with which one treats the excreta of a crow – such an indifference to all objects of enjoyment from the realm of Brahma to this world (in view of their perishable nature), is verily called pure Vairagya.
5. Atman (the seer) in itself is alone permanent, the seen is opposed to it (ie., transient) – such a settled conviction is truly known as discrimination.
6. Abandonment of desires at all times is called Shama and restraint of the external functions of the organs is called Dama.
7. Turning away completely from all sense-objects is the height of Uparati, and patient endurance of all sorrow or pain is known as Titiksha which is conducive to happiness.
8. Implicit faith in the words of the Vedas and the teachers (who interpret them) is known as Shraddha, and concentration of the mind on the only object Sat (i.e., Brahman) is regarded as Samadhana.
9. When and how shall I, O Lord, be free from the bonds of this world (i.e., births and deaths) – such a burning desire is called Mumukshuta.
10. Only that person who is in possession of the said qualification (as means to Knowledge) should constantly reflect with a view to attaining Knowledge, desiring his own good.
11. Knowledge is not brought about by any other means than Vichara, just as an object is nowhere perceived (seen) without the help of light.
12. Who am I ? How is this (world) created ? Who is its creator ? Of what material is this (world) made ? This is the way of that Vichara (enquiry).
13. I am neither the body, a combination of the (five) elements (of matter), nor am I an aggregate of the senses; I am something different from these. This is the way of that Vichara.
14. Everything is produced by ignorance, and dissolves in the wake of Knowledge. The various thoughts (modifications of Antahkarana) must be the creator. Such is this Vichara.
15. The material (cause) of these two (i.e., ignorance and thought) is the One (without a second), subtle (not apprehended by the senses) and unchanging Sat (Existence), just as the earth is the material (cause) of the pot and the like. This is the way of that Vichara.
16. As I am also the One, the Subtle, the Knower, the Witness, the Ever-Existent, and the Unchanging, so there is no doubt that I am “That” (i.e., Brahman). Such is this enquiry.
17. Atman is verily one and without parts, whereas the body consists of many parts; and yet the people see (confound) these two as one ! What else can be called ignorance but this ?
18. Atman is the ruler of the body and is internal, the body is the ruled and is external; and yet, etc.,
19. Atman is all consciousness and holy, the body is all flesh and impure; and yet, etc.,
20. Atman is the (supreme) Illuminator and purity itself; the body is said to be of the nature of darkness; and yet, etc.,
21. Atman is eternal, since it is Existence itself; the body is transient, as it is non-existence in essence; and yet etc.,
22. The luminosity of Atman consists in the manifestation of all objects. Its luminosity is not like that of fire or any such thing, for (in spite of the presence of such lights) darkness prevails at night (at some place or other).
23. How strange is it that a person ignorantly rests contented with the idea that he is the body, while he knows it as something belonging to him (and therefore apart from him) even as a person who sees a pot (knows it as apart from him) !
24. I am verily Brahman, being equanimous, quiescent, and by nature absolute Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss. I am not the body which is non-existence itself. This is called true Knowledge by the wise.
25. I am without any change, without any form, free from all blemish and decay. I am not, etc.,
26. I am not subjected to any disease, I am beyond all comprehension, free from all alternatives and all-pervading. I am not, etc.,
27. I am without any attribute or activity, I am eternal, ever free, and imperishable. I am not, etc.,
28. I am free from all impurity, I am immovable, unlimited, holy, undecaying, and immortal. I am not, etc.,
29. O you ignorant one ! Why do you assert the blissful, ever-existent Atman, which resides in your own body and is (evidently) different from it, which is known as Purusha and is established (by the Shruti as identical with Brahman), to be absolutely non-existent ?
30. O you ignorant one ! Try to know, with the help of Shruti and reasoning, your own Self, Purusha, which is different from the body, (not a void but) the very form of existence, and very difficult for persons like you to realize.
31. The Supreme (Purusha) known as “I” (ego) is but one, whereas the gross bodies are many. So how can this body be Purusha ?
32. “I” (ego) is well established as the subject of perception whereas the body is the object. This is learnt from the fact that when we speak of the body we say, “This is mine.” So how can this body be Purusha ?
33. It is a fact of direct experience that the “I” (Atman) is without any change, whereas the body is always undergoing changes. So how can this body be Purusha ?
34. Wise men have ascertained the (real) nature of Purusha from that Shruti text, “(There is nothing) higher than He (Purusha),” etc. So how can this body be Purusha ?
35. Again the Shruti has declared in the Purusha Sukta that “All this is verily the Purusha”. So how can this body be Purusha ?
36. So also it is said in Brihadaranyaka that “The Purusha is completely unattached”. How can this body wherein inhere innumerable impurities be the Purusha ?
37. There again it is clearly stated that “the Purusha is self-illumined”. So how can the body which is inert (insentient) and illumined by an external agent be the Purusha ?
38. Moreover, the Karma-kanda also declares that the Atman is different from the body and permanent, as it endures even after the fall of the body and reaps the fruits of actions (done in this life).
39. Even the subtle body consists of many parts and is unstable. It is also an object of perception, is changeable, limited and non-existent by nature. So how can this be the Purusha?
40. The immutable Atman, the substratum of the ego, is thus different from these two bodies, and is the Purusha, the Ishwara (the Lord of all), the Self of all; It is present in every form and yet transcends them all.
41. Thus the enunciation of the difference between the Atman and the body has (indirectly) asserted, indeed, after the manner of the Tarkashastra, the reality of the phenomenal world. But what end of human life is served thereby ?
42. Thus the view that the body is the Atman has been denounced by the enunciation of the difference between the Atman and the body. Now is clearly stated the unreality of the difference between the two.
43. No division in Consciousness is admissible at any time as it is always one and the same. Even the individuality of the Jiva must be known as false, like the delusion of a snake in a rope.
44. As through the ignorance of the real nature of the rope the very rope appears in an instant as a snake, so also does pure Consciousness appear in the form of the phenomenal universe without undergoing any change.
45. There exists no other material cause of this phenomenal universe except Brahman. Hence this whole universe is but Brahman and nothing else.
46. From such declaration (of the Shruti) as “All this is Atman”, it follows that the idea of the pervaded and the pervading is illusory. This supreme truth being realized, where is the room for any distinction between the cause and the effect ?
47. Certainly the Shruti has directly denied manifoldness in Brahman. The non-dual cause being an established fact, how could the phenomenal universe be different from It ?
48. Moreover, the Shruti has condemned (the belief in variety) in the words, “The person who”, being deceived by Maya, “sees variety in this (Brahman), goes from death to death”.
49. Inasmuch as all beings are born of Brahman, the supreme Atman, they must be understood to be verily Brahman.
50. The Shruti has clearly declared that Brahman alone is the substratum of all varieties of names, forms and actions.
51. Just as a thing made of gold ever has the nature of gold, so also a being born of Brahman has always the nature of Brahman.
52. Fear is attributed to the ignorant one who rests after making even the slightest distinction between the Jivatman and the Paramatman.
53. When duality appears through ignorance, one sees another; but when everything becomes identified with the Atman, one does not perceive another even in the least.
54. In that state when one realizes all as identified with the Atman, there arises neither delusion nor sorrow, in consequence of the absence of duality.
55. The Shruti in the form of the Brihadaranyaka has declared that this Atman, which is the Self of all, is verily Brahman.
56. This world, though an object of our daily experience and serving all practical purposes, is, like the dream world, of the nature of non-existence, inasmuch as it is contradicted the next moment.
57. The dream (experience) is unreal in waking, whereas the waking (experience) is absent in dream. Both, however, are non-existent in deep sleep which, again, is not experienced in either.
58. Thus all the three states are unreal inasmuch as they are the creation of the three Gunas; but their witness (the reality behind them) is, beyond all Gunas, eternal, one, and is Consciousness itself.
59. Just as (after the illusion has gone) one is no more deluded to see a jar in earth or silver in the nacre, so does one no more see Jiva in Brahman when the latter is realized (as one’s own self).
60. Just as earth is described as a jar, gold as an ear-ring, and a nacre as silver, so is Brahman described as Jiva.
61. Just as blueness in the sky, water in the mirage, and a human figure in a post (are but illusory), so is the universe in Atman.
62. Just as the appearance of a ghost in an empty place, of a castle in the air, and of a second moon in the sky (is illusory), so is the appearance of the universe in Brahman.
63. Just as it is water that appears as ripples and waves, or again it is copper, that appears in the form of vessel so it is Atman that appears as the whole universe.
64. Just as it is earth that appears under the name of a jar, or it is threads that appear under the name of a cloth, so it is Atman that appears under the name of the universe. This Atman is to be known by negating the names.
65. People perform all their actions in and through Brahman, (but on account of ignorance they are not aware of that), just as through ignorance persons do not know that jars and other earthenwares are nothing but earth.
66. Just as there ever exist the relation of cause and effect between earth and a jar, so does the same relation exist between Brahman and the phenomenal world; this has been established here on the strength of scriptural texts and reasoning.
67. Just as (the consciousness of) earth forces itself upon our mind while thinking of a jar, so also does (the idea of) ever-shining Brahman flash on us while contemplating on the phenomenal world.
68. Atman, though ever pure (to a wise man), always appears to be impure (to an ignorant one), just as a rope always appears in two different ways to a knowing person and an ignorant one.
69. Just as a jar is all earth, so also is the body all consciousness. The division, therefore, into the Self and non-Self is made by the ignorant to no purpose.
70. Just as a rope is imagined to be a snake and a nacre to be a piece of silver, so is the Atman determined to be the body by an ignorant person.
71. Just as earth is thought of as a jar (made of it) and threads as a cloth, so is Atman, etc.,
72. Just as gold is thought of as an ear-ring and water as waves, so is the Atman, etc.,
73. Just as the stump of a tree is mistaken for a human figure and a mirage for water, so is the Atman, etc.,
74. Just as a mass of wood work is thought of as a house and iron as a sword, so is the Atman, etc.,
75. Just as one sees the illusion of a tree on account of water, so does a person on account of ignorance see Atman as the body.
76. Just as to a person going in a boat everything appears to be in motion, so does one, etc.,
77. Just as to a person suffering from a defect (jaundice) white things appear as yellow, so does one, etc.,
78. Just as to a person with defective eyes everything appears to be defective, so does one, etc.,
79. Just as a firebrand, through mere rotation, appears circular like the sun, so does one, etc.,
80. Just as all things that are really large appear to be very small owing to great distance, so does one, etc.,
81. Just as all objects that are very small appear to be large when viewed through lenses, so does one, etc.,
82. Just as a surface of glass is mistaken for water, or vice versa, so does one, etc.,
83. Just as a person imagines a jewel in fire or vice versa, so does one, etc.,
84. Just as when clouds move, the moon appears to be in motion, so does one, etc.,
85. Just as a person through confusion loses all distinction between the different points of the compass, so does one, etc.,
86. Just as the moon (when reflected) in water appears to one as unsteady, so does one, etc.,
87. Thus through ignorance arises in Atman the delusion of the body, which, again, through Self-realization, disappears in the supreme Atman.
88. When the whole universe, movable and immovable, is known to be Atman, and thus the existence of everything else is negated, where is then any room to say that the body is Atman?
89. O enlightened one, pass your time always contemplating on Atman while you are experiencing all the results of Prarabdha; for it ill becomes you to feel distressed.
90. The theory one hears of from the scripture, that Prarabdha does not lose its hold upon one even after the origination of the knowledge of Atman, is now being refuted.
91. After the origination of the knowledge of Reality, Prarabdha verily ceases to exist, inasmuch as the body and the like become non-existent; just as a dream does not exist on waking.
92. That Karma which is done in a previous life is known as Prarabdha (which produces the present life). But such Karma cannot take the place of Prarabdha (for a man of knowledge), as he has no other birth (being free from ego).
93. Just as the body in a dream is superimposed (and therefore illusory), so is also this body. How could there be any birth of the superimposed (body), and in the absence of birth (of the body) where is the room for that (i.e., Prarabdha) at all ?
94. The Vedanta texts declare ignorance to be verily the material (cause) of the phenomenal world just as earth is of a jar. That (ignorance) being destroyed, where can the universe subsist ?
95. Just as a person out of confusion perceives only the snake leaving aside the rope, so does an ignorant person see only the phenomenal world without knowing the reality.
96. The real nature of the rope being known, the appearance of the snake no longer persists; so the substratum being known, the phenomenal world disappears completely.
97. The body also being within the phenomenal world (and therefore unreal), how could Prarabdha exist ? It is, therefore, for the understanding of the ignorant alone that the Shruti speaks of Prarabdha.
98. “And all the actions of a man perish when he realizes that (Atman) which is both the higher and the lower”. Here the clear use of the plural by the Shruti is to negate Prarabdha as well.
99. If the ignorant still arbitrarily maintain this, they will not only involve themselves into two absurdities but will also run the risk of forgoing the Vedantic conclusion. So one should accept those Shrutis alone from which proceeds true knowledge.
100. Now, for the attainment of the aforesaid (knowledge), I shall expound the fifteen steps by the help of which one should practice profound meditation at all times.
101. The Atman that is absolute existence and knowledge cannot be realized without constant practice. So one seeking after knowledge should long meditate upon Brahman for the attainment of the desired goal.
102-103. The steps, in order, are described as follows: the control of the senses, the control of the mind, renunciation, silence, space, time, posture, the restraining root (Mulabandha), the equipoise of the body, the firmness of vision, the control of the vital forces, the withdrawal of the mind, concentration, self-contemplation and complete absorption.
104. The restraint of all the senses by means of such knowledge as “All this is Brahman” is rightly called Yama, which should be practiced again and again.
105. The continuous flow of only one kind of thought to the exclusion of all other thoughts, is called Niyama, which is verily the supreme bliss and is regularly practiced by the wise.
106. The abandonment of the illusory universe by realizing it as the all-conscious Atman is the real renunciation honored by the great, since it is of the nature of immediate liberation.
107. The wise should always be one with that silence wherefrom words together with the mind turn back without reaching it, but which is attainable by the Yogins.
108-109. Who can describe That (i.e., Brahman) whence words turn away ? (So silence is inevitable while describing Brahman). Or if the phenomenal world were to be described, even that is beyond words. This, to give an alternate definition, may also be termed silence known among the sages as congenital. The observance of silence by restraining speech, on the other hand, is ordained by the teachers of Brahman for the ignorant.
110. That solitude is known as space, wherein the universe does not exist in the beginning, end or middle, but whereby it is pervaded at all times.
111. The non-dual (Brahman) that is bliss indivisible is denoted by the word ‘time’, since it brings into existence, in the twinkling of an eye all beings from Brahman downwards.
112. One should known that as real posture in which the meditation on Brahman flows spontaneously and unceasingly, and not any other that destroys one’s happiness.
113. That which is well known as the origin of all beings and the support of the whole universe, which is immutable and in which the enlightened are completely merged … that alone is known as Siddhasana (eternal Brahman).
114. That (Brahman) which is the root of all existence and on which the restraint of the mind is based is called the restraining root (Mulabandha) which should always be adopted since it is fit for Raja-yogins.
115. Absorption in the uniform Brahman should be known as the equipoise of the limbs (Dehasamya). Otherwise mere straightening of the body like that of a dried-up tree is no equipoise.
116. Converting the ordinary vision into one of knowledge one should view the world as Brahman itself. That is the noblest vision, and not that which is directed to the tip of the nose.
117. Or, one should direct one’s vision to That alone where all distinction of the seer, sight, and the seen ceases and not to the tip of the nose.
118. The restraint of all modifications of the mind by regarding all mental states like the Chitta as Brahman alone, is called Pranayama.
119-120. The negation of the phenomenal world is known as Rechaka (breathing out), the thought, “I am verily Brahman”, is called Puraka (breathing in), and the steadiness of that thought thereafter is called Kumbhaka (restraining the breath). This is the real course of Pranayama for the enlightened, whereas the ignorant only torture the nose.
121. The absorption of the mind in the Supreme Consciousness by realizing Atman in all objects is known as Pratyahara (withdrawal of the mind) which should be practiced by the seekers after liberation.
122. The steadiness of the mind through realization of Brahman wherever the mind goes, is known as the supreme Dharana (concentration).
123. Remaining independent of everything as a result of the unassailable thought, “I am verily Brahman”, is well known by the word Dhyana (meditation), and is productive of supreme bliss.
124. The complete forgetfulness of all thought by first making it changeless and then identifying it with Brahman is called Samadhi known also as knowledge.
125. The aspirant should carefully practice this (meditation) that reveals his natural bliss until, being under his full control, it arises spontaneously, in an instant when called into action.
126. Then he, the best among Yogis having attained to perfection, becomes free from all practices. The real nature of such a man never becomes an object of the mind or speech.
127-128. While practicing Samadhi there appear unavoidably many obstacles, such as lack of inquiry, idleness, desire for sense-pleasure, sleep, dullness, distraction, tasting of joy, and the sense of blankness. One desiring the knowledge of Brahman should slowly get rid of such innumerable obstacles.
129. While thinking of an object the mind verily identifies itself with that, and while thinking of a void it really becomes blank, whereas by the thought of Brahman it attains to perfection. So one should constantly think of (Brahman to attain) perfection.
130. Those who give up this supremely purifying thought of Brahman, live in vain and are on the same level with beasts.
131. Blessed indeed are those virtuous persons who at first have this consciousness of Brahman and then develop it more and more. They are respected everywhere.
132. Only those in whom this consciousness (of Brahman) being ever present grows into maturity, attain to the state of ever-existent Brahman; and not others who merely deal with words.
133. Also those persons who are only clever in discussing about Brahman but have no realization, and are very much attached to worldly pleasures, are born and die again and again in consequence of their ignorance.
134. The aspirants after Brahman should not remain a single moment without the thought of Brahman, just like Brahma, Sanaka, Suka and others.
135. The nature of the cause inheres in the effect and not vice versa; so through reasoning it is found that in the absence of the effect, the cause, as such also disappears.
136. Then that pure reality (Brahman) which is beyond speech alone remains. This should be understood again and again verily through the illustration of earth and the pot.
137. In this way alone there arises in the pure-minded a state of awareness (of Brahman), which is afterwards merged into Brahman.
138. One should first look for the cause by the negative method and then find it by the positive method, as ever inherent in the effect.
139. One should verily see the cause in the effect, and then dismiss the effect altogether. What then remains, the sage himself becomes.
140. A person who meditates upon a thing with great assiduity and firm conviction, becomes that very thing. This may be understood from the illustration of the wasp and the worm.
141. The wise should always think with great care of the invisible, the visible, and everything else, as his own Self which is consciousness itself.
142. Having reduced the visible to the invisible, the wise should think of the universe as one with Brahman. Thus alone will he abide in eternal felicity with mind full of consciousness and bliss.
143. Thus has been described Raja-Yoga consisting of these steps (mentioned above). With this is to be combined Hatha-Yoga for (the benefit of) those whose worldly desires are partially attenuated.
144. For those whose mind is completely purified this (Raja-Yoga) alone is productive of perfection. Purity of the mind, again, is speedily accessible to those who are devoted to the teacher and the Deity.
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