DDV: Verse 27
Class Notes | Week 26 | April 13, 2021
Class Notes by Sharmila
The word “Samartha” means one who is successful . ‘Sam’ means well and ‘Artha’ means wealth or meaning. Another meaning for the word Samartha is Sama-Ratha, where Ratha means to revel/be immersed in and Sama means balance. Sama here symbolizes Sama-Brahma or infinity. So Samartha is to revel in infinity. Samartha also means serenity.
One of the changes in our lifestyle should be to focus less on implementation and more on ideation, that is to not be busy (busy with the relative — such as pleasure, possession, position). Ideation means to think/reflect/come up with ideas , then one is engaged and not busy, and there is meaning behind what one is doing. If we go deeper, everything that we have and everything that we are is infinite (Sama Ratha).
Those who are successful may not be serene, those who are serene are successful. When our mind is quiet, the best in us comes out — we can make better decisions, remember more, communicate effectively. If we are silent — then the thoughts of fear, judgment or hunger does not touch us. Our course is designed not for us to be Samartha as in to be successful but rather to be serene.
Verses 1 to 19 of Drg Drshya Viveka is preparation. There is a lot of technicalities in this preparation.
This text was written 1500 years ago. When Acharya Shankara wrote Drg Drshya Viveka, He was teaching teachers. All His disciples went on to become teachers or were already teachers. None of us are teaching Drg Drshya Viveka, so the practicality is more important than the technicality. So even if we don’t remember verses 1–19, we should remember verses 20 to 31 (because it is all practicality and a valedictory address).
Verses 20 to 22 are the essence of Drg Drshya Viveka. The essence is to prioritize existence, awareness, joy — which means we should de-prioritize forms and names. Instead of “Nama, Rupa” focus on the “Satta”.
In verses 23 to 25, Acharya Shankara encourages us to engage in Samadhi (contemplation — in the controlled environment or Hridi). This contemplation should start with Drshya which means seen, we should be more observant of our general thoughts. Deeper than this is the Samadhi on Shabda (that which is heard). What this means for us is intentional thoughts, and finally our intention should be “I am infinity”. Our intent is what ‘i am’ and want to become. “I am infinity” is technically called the Brahmakara Vritti. (Brahma is infinity, Aakara is the form of, vritti is thought). ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ is a thought which is of the form of infinity, it is this thought which changes who we are. We change from the idea that we are the body to the idea that we are infinity.
In verse 26, the fulfillment of contemplation on what we perceive (see, hear), or duality is — contemplation on non duality. Vikalpa means change, and it is always in reference to Avidya (forgetting). When we forget that which is changeless, we focus on that which is changing. When we forget what we have, we focus on what we don’t have or what someone else has. The contemplation that Acharya Shankara is teaching about here is ‘Nirvikalpa’ (without change, Nis means without). Nirvikalpa is the opposite of Vikapla and the opposite of Avidya is Vidya (remembering, knowing). So Nirvikalpa Samadhi is contemplation remembering oneness.
When we know ignorance, anything we know we cannot be, so when we know forgetfulness then it means we are remembering! This is what Vidya is!
A jiva is a product of Avidya (when we forget that I is infinite, then we feel i is separate). Brahman or infinity cannot and will not create ignorance or Avidya. Avidya causes jiva, therefore there is no jiva! Nirvikalpa means effortless, natural. When we feel completely effortless and natural, that is when we know ignorance, which means we are not ignorance.
Hridiva means like in the heart. The way we practice Samadhi in the heart, in the same way one should practice Samadhi in Baahya (outside of our heart). The way we practice contemplation in the controlled environment, we should practice contemplation in an uncontrolled environment. We should contemplate on Satta and stop contemplating on Nama and Rupa. We should do this first in our Hridi, and then once we are trained contemplating in the controlled environment we should do this outside.
The contemplation in one’s heart is of Savikalpa (requires effort, semi-natural) and Nirvikalpa (no effort required, fully natural). Savikalpa is with that which is seen(Drshya) and heard(Shabda). Viveji had suggested the order of Shabda first and Drshya next. In the mornings, before we begin our responsibilities we should contemplate on intentional thoughts like Asanga, Ananda etc. Once we do this and leave for our active responsibilities, we still carry who we are in our mind. Then observing our thoughts and other people’s thoughts becomes more natural.
What we practice in our heart, we have to now practice outside, in anything and everything. This demands being open and reflective.
In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker has a vision of Obi Wan Kenobi. He has this understanding that what Obi Wan Kenobi is going to share will be important.In this vision , Obi Wan Kenobi tells Luke Skywalker that he has to go to this place called Dagobah System and needs to find his trainer. When Luke Skywalker go there, he has these amazing images in his mind about how beautiful and serene this is going to be. But when he arrives, its quite different from what he imagined, and he sees grass and bugs everywhere, and decides its very gross. When he is wandering around, he sees this small green creature and tells the creature that he is looking for a great warrior, not knowing he is talking to his guide Yoda. For Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi he has to learn in an uncontrolled environment — not in a place that is beautiful but in a place that is gross, and from someone like Yoda. So one needs to be open.
The first way to contemplate in an uncontrolled environment is to focus on the “Sat-Maatraat” which means to focus on the existence, awareness, joy. Reverse engineering is what is being shared here. We need to go deeper and deeper into every article, being and circumstance , until we reach “Sat”, and it is “Sat” that we will reach.
In the third Skanda of the Bhagavatam, the focus is on Sarga and in the fourth section the focus is on Visarga. Bhagavan Narayana comes on to the scene in the third section and He changes existence into the elements. In the fourth Skanda, Bhagavan Brahma comes on to the scene and changes the elements into everything that we are experiencing. We come to appreciate that Bhagavan Brahma is not the creator, he is only a manager. The creator is Bhagavan Narayana. Everything that we tend to prioritize is relative. Those who are contemplative prioritize not that which is relative but that which is absolute. If we prioritize ‘Sat’, we will be able to separate out names and forms. We can only hold on to one dimension of living — either the relative or the absolute but not both. If we hold on to the absolute, we will naturally let go of the relative. We should do this in a Vyashti way (specific way) so that this becomes Samashti. In Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavan Krishna has the best names and best forms, that way all seekers forget about their names and their forms !