Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Realization According to Vedantasara


Now is being described the meaning of the sentence, “I am Brahman” (Bṛ. Up. 1. 4. 10), expressive of intuitive experience.


When the teacher in this way clears the meaning of the words “That” and “Thou” by the removal of superimpositions,

and makes the qualified student grasp the import of the sentence, “Thou art That”, which is Absolute Unity,

there arises in his mind a state of Absolute Oneness in which he feels that he is Brahman,

by nature eternal, pure, self-illumined, free, real, supremely blissful, infinite, and one without a second.


That mental state, illumined by the reflection of Pure Consciousness, objectifies the Supreme Brahman,

unknown but identical with the individual self and destroys the ignorance pertaining to Brahman.

Then, just as a cloth is burnt when the threads composing it are burnt, so all the effects of ignorance are destroyed when their cause, viz. ignorance, is destroyed.

Hence the mental state of Absolute Oneness, which forms part of those effects, is also destroyed.


As the light of a lamp cannot illumine the lustre of the sun but is overpowered by it,

so Consciousness reflected in that state of the mind is unable to illumine the Supreme Brahman, self-effulgent and identical with the individual self, and is overpowered by it.

And on the destruction of this state of Absolute Oneness with which that Consciousness is associated there remains only the Supreme Brahman,

identical with the individual self, just as the image of a face in a looking-glass is resolved into the face itself when the looking-glass is removed.


Such being the case, there is no contradiction between the following Śruti passages: “By the mind alone It is to be perceived” (Bṛ. Up. 4. 4. 19), and “That which cannot be thought of by the mind” (Kena Up. 1. 5). We are to suppose that the unknown Brahman is brought into contact with only the mental state, but not with the underlying Consciousness. 

1 Mental state—Which simply destroys the aspirant’s ignorance concerning Brahman, but does not help to reveal It. 

2 Underlying etc.—Brahman is self-luminous. It does not require the help of another Consciousness to reveal Itself.

~Sadananda (tr-Nikhilananda)

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