By Periyava

Translation from Tamil: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj

அத்வைதம் : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி) 1-04

Advaitam: Deivathin Kural (Part one) 1-04  Advaitam = Not Two = Monism

 ‘Advaitam’ was Ādhi Sakara’s well-established Siddhāntam, known to all. What is Advaitam?  Dvi = two. The word two came from Dvi. Dvaitam = two. A-Dvaitam = Not two.

Two are not but one is. That One is Swamy. Conventional thinking is Swamy is the first and we come second. There are no two entities at all. Swamy (Braḥmam) is the only one Sakthi: nothing takes its position.  There is no second being.  That one Sakthi, because of Māyā Sakthi, appears as multiple Jīvās.  All these entities in the universe are mere disguise. An actor, though he plays many roles, is one person. Likewise, though there are a multitude of living organisms, the Inner Abiding Swamy in all is one. Though there is Jīvātmā-Paramātmā duality dispute there is only one Ātmā. We must go beyond Māyā and experience this Jñāṉa of Oneness. Then we will not remain Jīvars with a multitude of flaws and deficiencies. We will become Satyam (Truth), flawless, plenitudinous and full.  That is the teaching of Āćārya: Advaita Tattvam.

Once this experience is attained, then difficulty, fear, lust, hatred… will not keep us in their hold. Only when you think of something antagonizing us, difficulty, fear, lust, anger, and such bind us. This is Samsara (metempsychosis) bond. When there is none other than us, who will be bound? What will bind whom? Where is the binding? There is no second entity.  Bond is an external entity to us. How could that exist? Release from the bonds is Mukti or Mokṣa.

This state of liberation, we need not go to Vaikunta or Kailāsam to attain. We can enjoy it here and now.  This Mokṣa is not something new to attain.  Braḥmam the borderless Satyam is always an unbound Mōkṣa. In the universe, space is unbound.  Likewise, we have a multitude of pots. The empty space in the pots, has Ākāśam. This is pervasive and extensive: Great Ākāśam. The other is Ākāśam in the pots. We can say, by appearance, they look as separate entities. These two Ākāśams are one (in reality). If we break the pot holding its space even by appearance, the two become one. Likewise, in the universe, we appear as individuals and separate pots because of the force of Māyā Sakthi. And yet, we are Braḥmam. Because of the force of Māyā, we do not comprehend it, the oneness. If we break it, we will obtain the experience we are the indivisible Braḥmam.

For acquiring the experience, there are many steps: Karma, worship… The Acharyas have built the steps for our ascent. When we observe these ways, we should entertain always the thought inside us that all that are seen are one.  Let the realization that ‘all are one’ come at its own pace.  But the thought this is the Truth should be a recurrent theme in our mind.

Srī Sakara said we should see all as One. But it causes confusion to perceive all disparate and different animals as ‘Us.’

There are three states of consciousness: Jāgrat, Svapna, Suṣupti (wakefulness, dream sleep and deep dreamless sleep). In all these three states, there is only One. The dreamer and the awake are one.  There is no relationship between the events in dream sleep and the awake state. In these two states there are different events. Though the state of consciousness and the mental attitudes changed, the two states have exclusively one person. The multitude of animals have a multitude of mental dispositions and yet we should realize the experiencer is one (the collective Us)

One time, we are suffused with Sattva guṇa. Another time, we are angry. In our experience, there is only one (person) in these two states. In the different states of consciousness, the facial expression, and the use of the limbs change (from one to another). Because of passing time, the child becomes old. The bodies also change. This is the world of transformation. There is no need to ask of the dream world with that much more transformations.  Our mind generates images of multitudes of people, places, and times of the day in the dreams. We see in our dreams we perform forbidden acts.  Though there are differences and conflicts among the states of consciousness in deeds, bodies and minds, it is apparent there is only one in all states (Avastha). When we suffer delirium, we do exactly the opposite of what we did earlier. If we wrote a book,  we tear it up in delirium. The writer and the tearer are one person.

This world is a dream world.  If we understand this worldly life is delirium accompanying high fever, we realize all are one.  In dream, we create so many people. Likewise, we understand all these Jīvarāsis (living organisms) are the thoughts of the Great Mind. If someone tears up the authored book of ours, we realize we are him. Because, in this disputatious world, the writer and the tearer sport different bodies, the Inner Abider will not be a different entity. Inside all beings remains One Being. If someone hits us, it is wrong to think that someone else hits us. It is the invariable or unalterable truth is we hit ourselves.

If this is not The Truth, there must exist another oppositional entity to Swamy or Braḥmam. If that is so, where did it come from? What is it made of? Who is the maker of such entity? These questions arise.  

We are sentient Intelligent Jīvars and unintelligent and insentient inert entities. We did not create the inert objects. Likewise, Inert substances did not create us. How could the non-intelligent Jatam (the inert) perform a deed on its own accord?  How could a non-intelligent Jatam create an intelligent Jīvās? If some say that the non-intelligent inert entity exists from time immemorial and functions in an orderly fashion, that inert entity must have been created and maintained by a Great Intellect. If that Great Intellect created the universe helped by some other substance, a question arises how the other substance came into existence on its own accord.  Therefore, that Great Intellect shows itself as the inert universe. Here we are, the Jīvars.  Did we self-generate on our own accord? Of the life forms, each species exhibits a unique behavior pattern, species-specific qualities, body arrangement and anatomy. Observing them, it becomes certain each individual species could not have self-created itself individually. Therefore, One Great Intellect must have created this entire faunal community. Jīvaṉ’s intellect came not from some unknown regions. It is the work of The Great Intellect.  

These Jīvars obtain food, clothing… from the inert universe.  Jīvaṉ has Indriyas (organs) to experience smell, taste, touch, heat… The inert universe and the universe of Jīvās are proximate.  This relationship is not established by the Jīvaṉs.  He did not plan to obtain his food, clothing, house… from the inert universe. Would that be bound to his (our) bid?  It is the Great Intellect that made the determination to establish a relationship been the two universes of the inert and the Jīvaṉs.  The source of Jatam and the Jīvaṉs is the Great Intellect. His creation does not mean use of an externa substance.  The Jatam appears as many objects. All that exists and remains is only One. It appears as many and variable. It has the power to be many and variable. That is Māyai.  One Braḥmam, because of Māyā Sakthi, appears many and disparate; that is Advaitam.

We must hold the attitude of looking at the whole universe as one. If all is one, oneself and the other cannot be different. The realized one knows that the knower and the known are one. Then all body parts appear as us. Likewise, we should make the whole world as oneself. If that Jñāṉam dawns on one accompanied by experience, he is a Pundit though he is a Chandālaṉ.  Sakara points out this in ‘Maṉīṣā Pañcaka’. This Jñāṉam is the changeless and joyous Mōkṣam, which can be experienced while living in a body (Jīvaṉ Mukti = Corporeal liberation).