Sunday, July 21, 2013


Commonsense: -     Can you give a clear definition of Jivatma?

Pundit: -    Jivatma is Paramatma covered (Ponthinadi) by Avidya.

Commonsense: -     What is Avidya?

Pundit: -    Avidya is what is composed of Tamas and Rajas

Commonsense: -     What are these?

Pundit: - These are the two out of the three Gunas constituting Prakriti. The 3rd is      Sattva.

Commonsense: - What is Sattva?

Pundit: -     Sattva is Maya. All Sattva is all Maya. All Maya is all Sattva.     

Commonsense: - Has Jivatma any connection with Maya?

Pundit: - No. It is Mayatita.

Commonsense: - What does 'covered' (Ponthinadi) mean?

Pundit: - It means 'Avaranamainadi,' what conceals or hides.

Commonsense: - What does Avidya conceal then?

Pundit: - It conceals the Satchidananda Svayam Prakasam. (Everlasting Bliss and      Self-luminous Light).

Commonsense: - If this Satchidananda Svayam Prakasam can be concealed or veiled, can      it be called Svayam Prakasam?

Pundit: - But this covering does not in any way diminish its lustre, its intelligence.

Commonsense: - Then there is no harm or damage or Bandham by this veiling?

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Then Jivatma has no Bandham and no suffering?

Pundit: - Of course not.

Commonsense: - Then there is no necessity to seek salvation, to desire Moksha?

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Then there is no necessity to practice Sadana chatushtayam, for          Gurupadesam, for Acharya or any such thing?

Pundit: -    No.

(But the Pundit was evidently not satisfied with this conclusions and blinked sadly).

Commonsense: -      But this conclusion that Jivatma has no Bhandam or Moksham is evidently not satisfactory. Why?

Pundit: -     This contradicts our experience or Pratyaksha Pramana.    

Commonsense: - Then there must be a mistake, therefore, somewhere in your premises? Where is it?

Pundit: -     (After a long thought) I should have said that by avaranam, being covered, there is Bandham.

Commonsense: - Quite so. The Paramatma by reason of avaranam is in Bandha?

Pundit: - Yes.

Commonsense: - It must seek salvation.

Pundit: - Yes.

Commonsense: - But is this conclusion satisfactory either?

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Why?

Pundit: - Because it contradicts Sabda or Agama Pramana

Commonsense: - Please mention some?

Pundit: - "Satyam Gnanam Anantam Brahma" Tait. Up. 2-1.

"He alone verily causes Bliss." Tait. Up. 2-7.

"Where is verily none else higher and subtler than this, which is higher than the high, and greater than the great; which is one, manifest, of endless forms, the whole universe, the ancient, beyond darkness." (Mahanara. Up. 1.)

"The green-colored, beyond the darkness." (Tait. Aran. 3-13).

"The Rudra, the Maharishi, Transcending the universe, first saw Hiranya Garbha the first of the Devas then being born." (Mahanara. Up. 12).

"The sage reaches Him who is the womb of all beings, the witness of all, transcending Tamas. He is Brahma, He is Siva, He is Indra; He the indestructible, the Supreme, the Self-Luminous. (Kaivalya. Up).

"On the same tree, man sits grieving, immersed, bewildered, by his own impotence. But when he sees the other, the Lord, contended and knows his glory, then his grief passes away." Mundaka 3.1

"The wise arrive at that which is tranquil, free from decay, from death, from fear, the Highest." Prasna. Up. 5-7.

"Having perceived that which is without sound, without touch, without form, without decay, without taste, eternal, without end, beyond the Mahat and unchangeable, one is freed from the jaws of death." Katha. 3-5.

"Of the color of the Sun, beyond darkness." (Purusha Sukta).

"In the Highest Golden Sheath, there is the Brahman without Passion (Nishkala) and without parts. That is Pure,
that is the Light of Lights." (Munduka. Up. 1-2.9)

"The One God, in every Bhuta hid, pervading all the inner Atman of every Atma, Inspector of all deeds, in whom everything dwells, the Witness, the Pure Intelligence, and Nirguna Being." Svetas. VI-11.

Commonsense: - It follows then that no Avaranam or covering or Bandham can be postulated of Paramatma. Paramatma is one who cannot be covered by Avidya.

Pundit: - No.

Commonsense: - Can you now defend your definition of Jivatma as Paramatma covered by Avidya.

Note: - This represents a true and Verbatim account of an actual conversation held with a Pundit. There were several graduates and Pundits present. The Pundit ever had anon wanted to drop into a simile or metaphor and he was sternly kept out of it. A Vaishnava Acharya who was present tried to take up the Pundit's cudgels but failed also, and he had to admit the point raised herein is the real difficulty in Sankara's system. Of course others can give other definitions and vary the answers given, but they can in no way clear the ground.









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