Upanishad Course – Chapter 6 (Contd)
The meaning of the word ‘Vipra’ is ‘Veda Abhyasa Bhavet iti Vipra’ – the one who practices the Veda (teachings) (not just reading and chanting, but practicing). Abhyasa will only manifest if there is shraddha (faith). We nurture faith in Veda through Manana or Vichara (reflection), for these teachings to filter into one’s intellect. This course moves slowly, to encourage us to reflect, which encourages us to be faithful, which encourages us to practice.
In the Veda, the most potent portion is the Upanishad. In the Upanishad, there is as if more potent portions which are ‘Mahavakyas’ (great teachings). These teachings are directly or completely in tune with purpose of the Upanishad and Veda. There are four primary Mahavakyas. They are:
Prajnaanam Brahma – That is infinite
Ayamaatma Brahma – This is infinite
Tat tvam Asi – You are infinite
Aham Brahmaasmi – I am infinite
This is the purpose of the Veda/Upanishad and this course. We should not allow the ego/intellect/mind to trick us into any other purpose or vision of why we are in this course.
Purnamadah means Brahman is infinite, Purnamidam means the Jiva is infinite and therefore Brahman is Jiva and Jiva is Brahman. Infinity is not a phala, that means it is also not related to karma. Infinity’s only relationship is to Jnana. Jnana is Vedanta, Vedanta is Upanishad – to know. If we find it difficult to know what is shared in this course in reference to Vedanta, then more Shodhana is needed. Chapter 2 of Bhagavad Gita would be most close to the Upanishad, yet in Chapter 3 the teaching is about Kartavya and Chapter 4 is about Yajna both of which are intensifying the purity so that one can know what is shared in Chapter 2. If we don’t feel infinite right now, then it is because we need purity to know this.
Recap: In Kaivalya Upanishad, chapter 1 verse 12: Those who lack purity and so lack knowing –
‘Sa eva maya parimohitatma’ – that person is extremely confused because of Maya, the illusion that they are not happiness.
What then happens is:
‘Shariram Astaya karoti sarvam’ – since they have the illusion that they are not happiness/infinity, they dig into the idea that they are the body and the notion that comes from this is ‘i do everything’. This doing is because they want something which is:
‘Stree annapaana adi vichitrabhogaiH’ – We want happiness, but due to the lack of purity , all we are engaged in is pleasure
‘Sa eva jagrat paritruptameti’- The sense of satisfaction manifests when one is awake.
This mantra is describing a whirlpool. In intense whirlpools, one does not come out, but slowly drowns after going through the suffering of going up and down. We are going through the whirlpool of Avidya (confusion) and Vikshepa (attachment). Avidya is we have forgotten how to be happy and Vikshepa is we plan to be happy, but what we get is pleasure. Avidya is ego and Vikshepa is doership. An acute practice and what we are supposed to do about this is – if ‘you’ can give up an entity, then that entity is not ‘you’ (earlier described as Anvaya Vyatirekha). If it is not ‘you’ then it is not ‘happiness’. The only entity that is happiness is ‘you’ , so we should give up the attachment/desire/doership because happiness is not a phala or a karma. The clarity of ‘Neti (Na iti)’ creates space in our lives. ‘I am not this’ should help us know ‘I am this’ – but if we don’t have space in our outer life, then we will not have space in our inner life. The word ‘Chidaakasha’ means that awareness is like space, reflecting on this backwards – it is space that helps us know awareness.
The Rishi takes us through “how we are living” to “why we are living”. Much of what we do is about how we live. In the Happiness series, Vivekji reviewed the following framework:
Day 1 focused on Satsanga which was on ‘how to live’. Day 2 focused on Sattva which is about ‘where we live’ (mind). Day 3 what about Satya which is about ‘why we live’. Day 4 focused on Sat (existence, awareness, joy) , which is the evolution of all this is and is about ‘what we live’. The ‘what’ which is the foundation for all else is infinity. In the Ramayana, when Rishi Visvamitra takes Bhagavan Rama and Sri Lakshmana into the jungle for the first time, the first Asura they killed was Taraka (or Tataka). The children of Taraka were Subahu and Marica. Taraka signifies ignorance (Avidya) and the child Subahu signifies Duhkha while Marica signifies Dosha. When one forgets (Avidya) their nature is joy, they naturally experience Duhkha (sadness), and they try to create that happiness through Karma/Karmaphala, this is Dosha (wrong attitude engaged in wrong actions). ‘Sukhaya Karmani Karoti Lokah’ – means all beings engage in actions for happiness, which is a wrong relationship. However, what all beings should act for is purity (Shuddhaaya).
This class: Kaivalya Upanishad, Chapter 1 Mantra 13: Here the dream state and sleep state are brought in.
‘Svapne sa jivaH sukhaduhkha bhokta’ – We feel we are the jiva, the one who is trying to create happiness (karma/karmaphala), and while we dream we are experiencing pleasure and pain.
This dream comes from one’s own Maya (Svamayaya).
‘Kalpita jivaloke’ – Through one’s own projections, they are living in this diverse world that is one’s dream.
‘Sushuptikaale sakale vileene tamah avibhutaH sukharupameti’ – Comparatively while in sleep all is merged or absorbed, because of tamas or darkness or lack of awareness. So we still experience happiness.
Bhagavan has given us the sleep, dream and waking states to understand Vedanta better. Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti are known as ‘Avasta’, which means ‘coming and going’. These states are relative. Anything that happens in these states are also relative (Mitya). The sadness we experienced today is mitya and the enlightenment we will experience in this lifetime is also relative because it is the ego that is being enlightened! So there is no point in trying to create pleasure-possession-position in any of these states because it keeps coming and going. Those experiences themselves are relative and any permutation/combination in these states is relative too.
Deeper than experiences is equipment. In the waking state we identify with the body, mind and ego. In a dream state, we stop identifying with the body. There is only mind and ego. In sleep, there is no identification with mind, there is only the presence of ego.
Going deeper to the ego – When we are awake, the ego expresses as karta (doer) and bhokta (deserver). In dreaming, there is no sense of karta, there is only a sense of bhokta. In a dream we feel all just happens. Dreams are the residue from being awake. If we live in a very integrated way while awake, then we won’t have a dream then! So technically, we are just bhoktas in a dream but practically how can there be a bhokta without a karta!? We are kartas in the waking state which only expresses as being a bhokta in the dream state.In the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna uses the word svarga and naraka. In the transition of being awake and dreaming, we leave our body in the waking state and take up a different body in the dream state and go about living in the dream state. Heaven and hell would be the same way. When we die, the body stays here, but we take up another body to live in heaven or hell.
In the sleep state, there is no karta or bhokta. When we sleep we experience ‘sukham’ but this is not ‘sukha prapti’ where we experience joy. All we experience is only absence of pain. When we sleep the body and mind are not there, and the ego sense of karta and bhokta are not there. So in the waking state also we should live with less of a sense of mind/body and doer/deserver, because then there will be less pain! When we are asleep there is no Vikshepa (projection). If we think of confusion, fear and sadness – these are 100% in waking state and 50% in dream state. There is no confusion, fear or sadness in the sleep state because there is no Vikshepa! So in the waking state also, we should project less onto people and personalities !