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VEDANTA BALA BODHE

THE METHOD OF THE VEDAAS TO REVEAL THE SELF

(YAM NETI-NETI VACHANEIHI NIGAMAA- AVOCHUHU)

 

30. Q: What are the Nigamas?

A: The Upanishads are the parts of the Vedas. These Upanishads reveal the secret of the   Principle of the Self. Such Upanjshads are called the “Nigamas “. Through  the  preaching’s  of  these  Upanishads  only  the  Form  of  the  Self  can  be  clearly  revealed. In  order  to  know  the  Self, there  is  no  other  method  than  this.

 

Q: What do these Upanishads describe the Self?

A: The  Upanishads  describe: The   Principle  of  the  Self  is : ‘ not  this, not  this ‘.

 

Q: It  should  be  described  that  the  Principle  of  the  Self  is  this. Instead of that what is use of this strange method?

A: By  this  strange  method  which  is  the  right  one, the  Principle  of  the  Self  is  revealed. This  is  because  the  Principle  of  the  Self  cannot  be  described  directly. This method is also the beneficial one.

 

THE  SELF  IS  NOT  AN  OBJECT  EITHER  TO  THE  MIND  OR  TO  THE  WORDS;  AND   THE  WORDS  ARE  ILLUMINED  BY  HIM  ALONE

(MANASO VACHASAAMAGAMYAM VAACHO VIBHAANTI NIKHILAA YAD-ANUGRAHENA)

 

31. Q: Why don’t the words explain Him?

A: The words don’t explain Him (the Self). It is because, the words naturally don’t illumine by themselves. A self-shining object is called Svayam-Prakaasha, the self-illuming one. We  have  already  shown  that  the  self-illuming  Self  illumines  these  words  as  his  objects. Similarly, the mind is illumined by the Self, himself. A  burning-lamp  shows  surrounding  objects, but  the  objects  don’t  help  to  show  the  lamp. Similarly, either  the  words  or  the  mind  don’t  help  to  reveal  the  Self.

 

Q: Sir, you  have  told  that  the  Self  can  be  known  through  the  sentences  of  the  Upanishads  only. What does it mean? When  the  Vedaantic  words  fail  to  explain  the  Self, then  how  does  a  sentence  of  Vedaanta  become  an  authority  to  know  the  Principle  of  the  Self?

A: A Pramaana, the authority means an instrument to Pramaa, the knowledge. The   Pramaa   means an exact knowledge. The  Vedaanta  sentences  reveal  the  exact  Principle  of  the  Self; hence  these  sentences become  the  authority. Describing  an  object  is  no t   only  a  means  to  know  it; somehow  if  the    object  is  known  exactly,  that  is  enough. In  order  to  know  a  water-lily  a  description  is  needed. A  water-lily  is  a  big  flower  having  blue  colour  and  good  smelling. This explanation gives the knowledge of flower. Here, colour  an d  smell  are  properties  of  that  flower. With  the  help  of  these  properties  we  get  the  knowledge  of  the  flower. But  see  this  sentence: It  is  Devadatta’s  house  above  which  a  crow  is  flying. This sentence helps us to know the house of Devadatta. The flying crow is not a property of the house. It is a mere Upa-lakshana, a sign to show the house. Suppose  an  object  is  having  a  few  properties  that    the  object  can  be  explained  by  using  them  in  sentences. If  an  object  doesn’t  have  any  property, that  cannot  be  explained  through  properties.  The Self-Principle doesn’t have any    property.  Hence, it is Nirguna, with-out qualities, the Supreme Soul. In  order  to  reveal  the  Self  the  Upanishads  negate  all  the  objects  that  are  having  properties ( qualities ). Therefore, the Upanishads rightly tell: ‘not this, not this ‘. This  is  the  purport  of  the  Vedic  sentences  when   they  tell: ‘ It  is  not  stout,  nor  small, nor  short  nor  long ‘.

 

THE   SELF   IS GOD AMONG GODS, UN-BORN, IMPERISHABLE

(TAM DEVA-DEVAM – AJAM-ACHYUTAM –AAHURAGRYAM)

32.Q: If  nothing  is  that , then, how  do  we  know  that  the  Self  is  this? 

A: We   have already explained this (Q. no. 5, 25). Nothing is needed to know the self-illuming object. The Self is our own Form.  It is in the Form of Awareness (Chidroopa).  Hence  the  Soul  is  the  self-revealing  one  ( Svayam  Prakaasha  ). Therefore, it  is  enough  to  tell  that  the  Form  of  the  Self  is  not  similar  to  the  non-self-objects  like  body,  etc;  and  the  Form  of  the  Self  exists  ready  to  reveal, Himself. Therefore, the Self is called the God among gods. The god (Deva) means an illuming one. Organs of sense etc. also have the light of awareness.  In  spite  of  that, the  light  of  awareness  found  in  them  really  belongs  to  the  Self  who  is  in  the  Form  of  Awareness.    Hence, the  Self  is  the  God  of  gods; meaning  that  He  illumines  the  illumining  organs  of  sense, etc.  In  order  to  clarify  this  meaning  an  example  from  the  material  science  can  be  taken:  We  believe  that  the  moon  shines  by  its  own  light. But, the  scientists  tell  that  the  moon  reflects    the  light  of  the  Sun. But, the Sun is   a self-luminous body.  Similarly, according  to  the  thinking  of  common  people,  the  mind  and   the  organs  of  sense  have  light  of  awareness. But, the  Self  is  the  original  source  of  the  Light  of  Awareness  and  He  illumines  the  mind  and  organs  of  sense. Hence, the Self is the God of gods. (Here, gods=mind, and organs of sense.)

 

Q: When does the light of the Self originate?

A: This is Aja, the birth less one. It is not originated. If it takes birth, it has to be perished. The  wise  tell  that  without  a  witness  none  can  believe  either  birth  or  death;  if  such  a  witness  exists,  He  becomes  the  all  perceiving  Self;  this  Self  is  birth  less,  deathless  and  He  is  the  First  and  the  Foremost  of  all.

 

Q: Sir, while  explaining  the  first  verse,  you  have  decided  that  the  Form  of  the  Self  is  Being- Awareness- Bliss ( Q. no. 20& 21 ). But,  while  explaining  this  verse,  you  tell  that  the  Self  doesn’t  have  any  quality; therefore,  the  Upanishads  tell  that  the  Self  is: ‘ not  this, not  this ‘.  Are not these two contrary statements?

A: No. Being-Awareness-Bliss-Form doesn’t mean that the Self has such properties. ‘ Sat ‘  means  the  Self  is  not  false  like  the  non-self;  Chid  means  the  Self  is  not  illuminated  by  any  object;  Aananda  means  the  Self  is  not  of  the  form  of  sorrow. Thus  the  word:  Sat-Chid-Aananda  is  used  to  tell  that  the  properties  of  the  non-self-objects  don’t  belong  to  the  Self;  and  that  word  doesn’t   tell  that   the  Self  has  such  properties  like  ‘ Sat ‘, ‘ Chid ‘  and  ‘ Aananda’. Really  speaking, the  Self  is  neither  in  the  form  of  ‘Asat ‘ , the  non-existence; nor  that  of  ‘ Sat ‘ the  existence.  It is neither ‘Achid’ the non-awareness; nor ‘Chid’, the awareness. It  is  neither  in  the  form  of   ‘ Duhkha’ , sorrow;  nor  bliss. Hence,  the  Self  is  ‘ Nirvishesha’  ,  the  one  who  has  absence  of  difference ; and  the  ‘Vedaantins’  say   that    the  Self  doesn’t  have  any special  form.    

 

 

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