DDV: Summary of Verses 1 to 6
Class Notes | Week 8 | Nov 3, 2020
Class Notes by Sharmila
Rishi Narada was trying to make Raja Yudhishtira understand how lucky he was because Bhagavan Krishna was born into their family and lived with them. Rishi Narada said that the Rishis were not as lucky because Bhagavan only went to them when they practiced “Mounena Bhaktya Upashamena” , which means practicing ‘controlling the mind’, ‘directing the mind’ and ‘having quietude with a quiet intellect’. These practices are logical because, the quieter one’s mind becomes, the more still one’s intellect becomes and then one starts to feel the presence of the divine. When one’s mind is agitated and intellect is distracted, then we don’t have the strength and direction to feel the presence and we become extrovert. This is why we need to invest in Vichara (the way we have done for the past 6 years on Tuesday evenings).
Summary of the verses 1 to 6:
Class 1: Introduction to Acharya Shankara and the subject Drig Drishya Viveka
Acharya Shankara is one who worked hard and accomplished all that He did in 32 years. Pujya Swami Vivekananda’s body died when He was 39 but he had done as much work in His lifetime as an ordinary person would do in 1600 years. Acharya Shankara also was similar, and His work was legacy oriented. He taught His disciples to be as capable as Him. Anyone who is engaged in legacy work, shows how much they love humanity.
Drg means the ‘seer’, Drshya is the ‘seen’ and Viveka means the ‘difference’. Whatever we feel we are, we will live for that ! If we feel we are the body, then we will be living for the body. Those who do not know the difference between the ‘seer’ and ‘seen’, ‘subject’ and ‘object’ — they live for taste and sex (like dogs) — these are insights shared from our Shastras. We are different from this body! We are human, we are God. (The lighter way to feel this is Bhagavan Krishna lives in you, the heavier way to feel this is that Bhagavn Krishna lives as you!)
Class 2: (Verse 1) Like Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita, Acharya Shankara presents all of the content of this text in the first verse. In Bhagavatam — the verse “Satyam Param Dheemahi” is the content for all of Bhagavatam and all the other remaining verses are an explanation of this verse. In the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2 has all of the content of the remaining chapters. The entire trajectory for Drg Drshya Viveka is shared in the first verse and the message is “Plurality is to be brought to its base which is Unity”. This is done in different ways, and Acharya Shankara talks about ‘articles to eyes’, ‘eyes to thoughts’ and ‘thoughts to awareness’.
As we go about living, we should try to strip away meaningless differences like skin color, sexism and income disparity. Eyes may see plurality, but we should have the vision of unity.
Class 3: (Verse 2) Here Acharya Shankara is bringing up creation, which is very diverse. If there is creation then there has to be a creator. There is lots of creation, but only a few forms come to mind when we think of creator (plurality to unity). We have to perpetually engage in the auto suggestion that “this is creation, there has to be a creator”. Recognize that the basis for creation is the creator.
Class 4: (Verse 3) In verse 3, there is a shift from the articles to the body. Anything you ‘know’ cannot be you! You ‘know’ the changes that the body goes through, and so the body cannot be you! As humans, we should focus on giving this body as little as possible! The more observant we are of our own body, the more we realize that it is like clothing (as said by Bhagavan Krishna).
Class 5: (Verse 4) Acharya Shankara dissects the types of thoughts we have. Space and time do not make an entity more real. In terms of space, the thoughts feel closer to us than the body. In terms of time, we interact with our thoughts much more than our bodies. But space and time does not make the mind more real. We shed thoughts the way we shed skin cells, one is subtle matter and the other is gross matter ! We should not postpone happiness, but ‘be’ happiness. Our thoughts make us postpone happiness because we perceive that to be real. Our practice should be ‘i do not have to own my thoughts and if i don’t own them, then i do not need to act on them’.
Classes 6, 7: (Verse 5, Verse 6) Acharya Shankara shifts our focus to awareness. The terms He has described are for our orientation. In TattvaBodha, He says “Trikalepi Tishtathi Sat”, which means ‘existence’ is that which exists in all three periods of time. Really ‘time’ does not have anything to do with ‘existence’ but Acharya Shankara uses it because we are oriented towards that. We need to unlearn such orientation. We give up on our Vichara because of our habit or Vasana. All of the ‘knowing’ in our life is ‘ego’. Bhagavan is described as “all knowing” for our reference — this is because only due to awareness can ‘knowing’ happen, so “all knowing” is close to awareness but that’s not what awareness is! ‘Awareness’ does not ‘know’ anything because ‘knowing’ implies duality.
The idea of living in the present is still time-based and time is not infinite! So deeper than living in the ‘present’ is the ‘presence’ which is awareness! To be the ‘Sakshi’ or ‘witness’ is really close to awareness but is not awareness.