DDV: Verses 12,13
Class Notes | Week 12 | Dec 8, 2020
Class Notes by Sharmila
When Kaliya was being crushed by Bhagavan Krishna, Kaliya’s wives come to Bhagavan Krishna to plead with him. Two of the insights they shared are:
“Bhagavan is the one who resides in the elements”
“Bhagavan is the seen and the seer”
If Bhagavan is residing in the elements like space, air, fire, water and earth — this really means that He is the elements, which really means that there are no elements, there is only Bhagavan!
The ‘seen’ and ‘seer’ are different, if they are the same, then they are neither being seen or seeing — they are just ‘be- ing’
Our course is designed to help us grow out of our infatuation with the ‘seen’ (particularly ourselves) , and to grow out of being the ‘seer’ to just ‘be-ing’ ! The ‘seen’ has many conditions (on happiness), the ‘seer’ has less conditions (on happiness) and ‘be-ing’ has no conditions (unconditional happiness).
Acharya Shankara is guiding us to let go of these conditions.
Recap of Verse 10: Acharya Shankara shares insights into the states (waking , dream and sleep). In Samskrit, this is called Avastha (philosophically means ‘that which is changing’). When we are dreaming, we definitively feel that as absolute. The source of this is ego, which is the causal body. This projects the subtle body, which then projects the gross body. So anything that happens to the causal body, happens to the subtle body and gross body. When we are asleep, the causal body is dormant, and so the subtle and gross body are also dormant.
We understand the ‘seen’. If there is a ‘seen’ then there has to be a ‘seer’. Samartha Ramadas shares that there are only two entities — Parameshwara and Prakriti. He describes ego as “Chor” (meaning thief).
Recap of Verse 11: Acharya Shankara is encouraging us to be careful with our ‘Vrittis’, because our Vrittis become ‘Vasanas’, our inner world gets projected to the outer world. The dream we experience is really undigested waking experiences. Those who are disciplined while they are awake tend not to dream.
Verse 12: The mind and ego constitute the subtle body. Our body is a worker — and works based on the instruction given to it by mind (manager). More powerful than that is the intellect (supervisor). More powerful than the intellect is the ego (vice-president). If there is a vice-president, then there has to be a president !
The nature of body is inertness (jada).
Body has 10 functions (5 organs of input and 5 organs of output).
The breath has 5 functions ( panchaprana — such as inhalation, digestion etc).
The subtle body has four functions -memory, mind, intellect and ego.
However, nature of body is inert — so if we remove the president, then the power of the vice-president (ego) , supervisor (intellect) , manager (mind) and worker (gross body) will all go too!
The 10 functions of the gross body depend on the 5 functions (of breath). The 5 functions of breath depend on the four functions, and the four functions depend on ‘Be-ing’(Atma or Brahman). The causal body, the subtle body and gross body keep on going through the states.
All of the circumstances we are in are relative. We know this when it comes to sleeping and dreaming, but we need to have the same understanding towards the waking state also. If we practice this, then we will live in the present more. Birth and death is also another relative experience that we go through.
Verse 13: Maya has two powers — ‘Avarana’ and ‘Vikshepa’. ‘Ma’ means not and ‘Yah’ means is. So Maya means ‘not is’. Brahman is often described as uncaused, so it is un-causal (or un-causing). So there is no experiencing of that which is relative, but we don’t feel that! This is where Maya comes in. Maya’s expressions are Vikshepa and Avarana. Avarana is better described as Avidya (forgetting, forgetting Brahman or Atma)). When there is Avidya we feel separate, and this gets projected further to Vikshepa (smallness). If we are careful we will be able to regulate Vikshepa and Avarana. Avidya is Tamasic and Vikshepa is Rajasic. When we struggle with Rajas and Tamas, we should bring in Sattva.
Vikshepa projects all of the bodies we have — causal, subtle and gross bodies. We also project the entire multiverse — inner world gets projected beyond itself to the outer world.
When we practice contemplation, the challenges we go through are :
Vikshepa (distracted and projecting)
Kashaya (feeling of negativity)
RasaSvada (being complacent)
In our day to day, Laya is being lazy, Vikshepa is being careless, Kashaya is dislikes, and Rasasvada is likes. To dismantle this, we need Sattva — we become quiet by living in a Saathvik way. Only when we are quiet, we can know Sat.
Swami Tejomayananda describes Maya as — that which makes the impossible possible! (Our nature is joy, us not feeling that is impossible but we still think its possible)
Guruji defines Kripa as — that which makes the impossible possible! (we all wonder how we are going to be enlightened, this is possible through Kripa)
When we have clarity about what Maya is and what Kripa is — Vikshepa and Avidya get reconciled !