Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bhaja Govindam - Sloka 23

Hari Aum

Prostrations to my Guru. Prostrations to All.


“Kastvam koham kutha aayaathaha
Kaamae janani ko mae thaathaha
Ithi pariBhaavaya sarvamasaaram
Vishvam tyaktvaa swapna vichaaram”

Word Meaning:
Kaha: who
Tvam: (are) you
Kaha: who
Aham: am I
Kutha: from where
Aayaathaha: did I come
Kaha: who (is)
Mae: my
Janani: mother
Kaha: who (is)
Mae: my
Thaathaha: father
Ithi: thus
Paribhaavaya: enquire
Sarva: all
Asaaaram: essenceless
Vishwam: the entire world of experience
Tyakthvaa: leaving aside
Swapnavichaaram: a mere dream land (born of imagination)

Who are you? Who am I? From where did I come? Who is my mother? Who is my father? Thus enquire, leaving aside the entire world-of-experience, essenceless and a mere dreamland, born of imagination.

In this sloka, the acharya speaks about the Self enquiry. According to scriptures, there is only Eternally existing entity which is the Self. But the ignorance seems to veil the Self and projects things other than the self. In deep-sleep, a person experiences non-dual bliss as the ego gets merged into the cause. In waking state, the ego gets the birth from the Self and gets identified with various attributes of the world as “I am so and so”, “I am happy”, “I am sad” etc. but in deep-sleep all these attributes were not present at all. It is only during the period of waking state one gets identified with these attributes and experiences happiness or sorrow as the case may be. But when we analyze, “I am” is common with all the attributes in the waking state. Also “I am” is common on all the three states as well. Thus it is only “I am” which is present all the time. But because of ignorance we wrongly identify the Self with the attributes. Self is free from attributes but none of the attributes can exist without the Self. It is only the Self which is illumining the ego for all of its experience. It is only the ego which is experiencing the world and since the ego merges into the Self during the deep-sleep the world also merges into the Self. Thus the Self is substratum for the world as it from the Self the world takes the birth when the ego is born just after the sleep, it is in the Self the world exist and it into the Self the world again merges back.

Though the world exists in the Self only, but seems to exist outside. The waking world is very similar to the dream. When a person is dreaming during the sleep, the dream world seems to be outside though the dream world is within the person only. Once the person wakes up there is no dream world at all. The sleep makes the person to see the dream world outside himself, in the same way the waking world also though it is within the Self only seems to be outside because of ignorance. Just as the person who have woken up from the sleep knows that there is no dream world, similarly a person who have woken up from the state of ignorance by realizing ones own nature of Self knows clearly that there was no world at all and realizes that it is only the Self what existed before, that is existing now and that alone will ever exist.

Here the acharya advices the seeker to enquire into the Self. Thus when we enquire by asking ourselves “Who Am I?” the ego vanishes which was never really present and hence the person realizes that there is only Self. When the ego vanishes, then the world also vanishes and hence all sorrows also vanishes.

Shankara tells in Dhakshinamurthy stotram,
“vishvam dharpana drishyamaana nagari thulyam nijaanthargatham
Pashyannaathmani maayayaa bahirivah udhbootham yathaa nidhrayaa
Yassakshaath kuruthae prabhodha samayae svaadhmaanamevaadvayam
Thasmai shree gurumurthayae namaidham shree dhakshinamurthayae”

The world is within the Self like the reflected city in the mirror, but seen as if outside as in dream because of Maya and who at the time of realization realized ones own nature of Self as one without the second, to that Dhakshinamurthy, who is the Guru, my Prostrations.

Ramana in Upadesha saaram says,
“ahamayam kutho Bhavathi chinvathah
ayi pathathyaham nijavichaaranam”

“From where does this “I thought arise” – for one who enquires thus, the ahamkaara falls. This is Self-Enquiry”

And in the next sloka Ramana says,
“ahami naahsa bhaajyahamahamthayaa
Sphurathi hrithsvayam paramapoorna sath”

“When the ego is destroyed the Self which is the Supreme-Infinite-Existence shines forth of its own as “I” – “I” “.

Prostrations to all

Hari Aum



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