DDV: Verse 19
Class Notes | Week 18 | Feb 9, 2021
Class Notes by Sharmila
The word for animal in Samskrit is ‘Pashu’ because they are ever engaged in ‘Pashyati’ which means seeing. Seeing is believing for them, and they live by what they see. How this relates to us is — we come to feel the conditions of whatever we identify with, such as if we have light clothing on we feel light, if we are are deeply identified with our family then we go through anything they go through too. Identification is an expression of separation, only if there are two entities then we can identify with one of them. Our course is training in observation. Observation is an expression of ‘be-ing’. ‘Be-ing’ is the foundation, this expresses as observation, which expresses as separation which expresses as identification. Our course has the trajectory of not going outside but going inside.
Recap: In verse 18, Acharya Shankara highlights the disease that is causing us to mix up creation and consciousness. When one is mixed up, they are neither here nor there. It is like when a person in Brazil is granted immigration to North America, and the borders are closed due to Coronavirus- then that family might have sold their home, quit their jobs and checked out of school and are waiting to come to America but cannot come. They are neither here nor there. Humans are born of Mishra (mixture) of Paapa and Punya. Paapa causes hardship and Punya causes smoothness. Our lives are smooth enough that we can inquire and we have enough hardships in our lives to inquire more deeply. The pushes and pulls in our lives makes us more inward looking, and grow out of pleasure-possession-position. The cure for this mix up is shared in verse 19.
Verse 19: Acharya Shankara shares that like there was the inner disease of mixing up the seer and the seen, and there was a medicine to clear that mix up, so too there is a medicine for this disease that mixes up consciousness and creation. It requires the destruction of ‘Aavrutti’ (Tamas, Aavarana). Acharya Shankara is telling us to stop fighting the symptoms and go to the source. Just like how a cancer of the skin is not covered with powder and clothing, and therapy/surgery is needed — similarly we have to fight the source which is Aavarana. We should be dedicating our lives to dealing with this source, because as long as we don’t deal with the source, we will just be tired. ‘There is no rest for the ignorant’! — We will always feel tired and incomplete as long as this mix up is in our lives.
With the destruction of Aavarana — clarity (‘Vibhati’) will not just be intellectual but we will feel the clarity — that there is a difference between consciousness and creation. Veiling (Aavarana) can only be destroyed by vulnerability. Antidote to veiling is vulnerability.
In Srimad Bhagavatam in a chapter in the 10th Skanda, the Gopis go and bathe in the Yamuna. Bhagavan Krishna comes there, takes and hangs all their clothes in a tree. He tells the Gopis to come and collect their clothes. The Gopis without hesitation came and received their clothing. The Vedanta behind this is : the clothing in Samskrit is Kosha, and the Gopis gave up their Pancha Koshas , and when they did this, what was within is Bhagavan Krishna. That is the reason why the section with the Gopis is completed with RasaLeela (dance of joy), they were enlightened because of their vulnerability. We need to start to let go of what is holding us back.
Typically we talk of Pancha Koshas, but a practical way to think about this is — whenever we think of dying, whatever we are thinking about in that reflection is also our Kosha (our kids, country, will etc). So really we have more than 5 Koshas, and we first need to let go of all of them.
When we are clear, not just intellectually but we feel that there is a distinction between consciousness and creation, all change is in creation and not consciousness. Hence there is a need for Titiksha (endurance) because the multiverse is changing, society is changing and body is changing! But there is no need to ‘endure’ the spirit, the nature of joy!
In Prince Arjuna’s questions, one of the questions from chapter 8 is — what is ‘Adibhuta’? Bhagavan Krishna answers that Adibhuta is the five elements. In Acharya Shankara’s commentary, He explains the Bhutas as ‘that which is born’. That which is born will change and die. So creation is that which is born, that which will change and that which will die — not consciousness. So our relationship with creation should be — Be light, stop being attached. Being light means be light with articles- having lesser stuff,be light with circumstances — reduce the desires, be light with beings (people that come and go in our lives).
The change is never in Brahman or consciousness. In Bhagavad Gita, Prince Arjuna asks ‘What is perception’? Perception is expression. Perception is only possible because light or awareness is expressing. Every perception that we engage in, our perpetual inquiry should be ‘How am i able to perceive this?’ — we are able to perceive only because of light/awareness.
Another question of Prince Arjuna was ‘What is interaction?’. The answer is oneness. When we say Namaste to someone, we say that there is only one spirit. Swami Tejomayananda has shared that the experiencer and the experienced are all made of elements — so there is no difference between the experiencer and experienced. Another way to understand this is — what we eat (object -food) becomes part of the body , so the body is just an object. Body is called Annamaya Kosha (that which is born of food, that which lives on food and that which will die to become food). The subject is not born. Any sense of change is in creation (names and forms) and not in consciousness.
This verse ends the theory part of Drg Drshya Viveka. The remaining port of Drg Drshya Viveka is about application and contemplation (first with eyes closed and then with eyes open).