PANCHADASI---9

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26. If you ask what sort of thing the Self is, then we reply that the Self cannot be described as being ‘this’ or ‘that’. It cannot be conceived as being ‘like this’ or ‘like that’; so take it as your own real nature.
27. An object which the senses can perceive can be said to be ‘like this’; an object which is beyond the range of sense perception is said to be ‘like that’. That which is the subject cannot be an object of the senses. But as it is the very Self of everyone, it cannot be said to be beyond the ken of perception.
28. Though it cannot be made an object of knowledge, the Self is still felt very directly. So it must be self-revealing. Existence, consciousness and infinity, the indications used for Brahman, are all present here also (in the Self).
29. Existence is what cannot be negated. If the Self which is the witness of the perishable world becomes perishable, then who will be the witness to the fact of its perishability ? For destruction without a witness of it cannot be postulated.
30. When all forms are destroyed, the formless space still remains. So, when all the perishable things are destroyed, what remains is that, (i.e. the imperishable Brahman or Self).
31. In the opponent objects ‘nothing remains’ after everything (name and form) has been destroyed, then we reply that what you describe as ‘nothing’ is the Self. Here the language alone differs. But there surely remains something (viz., the witness) after the destruction of all.
32. It is for this that the Shruti in the passage “That Atman is ‘not this, not this’” negates all objects (having names and forms), but keeps the ‘that’ (i.e. Atman) intact.
33. The entire world (severally and collectively) that can be referred to as ‘this’ can be negated, but the thing which is not ‘this’ can never be negated and this indestructible witness is the Self.
34. Thus has been established (here) the eternal existence of the Self which, according to the Shruti, is Brahman; and Its nature of pure consciousness has already been proved by statements like ‘It is awareness itself’.
35. Being all-pervasive, Brahman is not limited by space; being eternal, It is not limited by time; and being of the nature of everything, It is not limited by any object. Thus Brahman is infinite in all three respects.
36. Space, time and the objects in them being illusions causes by Maya, there is no limitation of Brahman by them. Infinity of Brahman is therefore clear.
37. Brahman who is existence, consciousness and infinity is the Reality. Its being Ishvara (the Omniscient Lord of the world) and Jiva (the individual soul) are (mere) superimpositions by the two illusory adjuncts (Maya and Avidya, respectively).
38. There is a power (called Maya) of this Ishvara which controls everything. It informs all objects from the bliss sheath (to the physical body and the external world).
39. If the particular attributes of all objects are not determined by this power, there would be chaos in the world, for there would be nothing to distinguish the properties of one object from those of another.
40. This power appears as ‘conscious’ because it is associated with the reflection of Brahman. And because of Its association with this power, Brahman gets Its omniscience.
41. Brahman is called the individual soul (Jiva) when It is viewed in association with the five sheaths, as a man is called a father and a grandfather in relation to his son or his grandson.
42. As a man is neither a father nor a grandfather when considered apart from his son and his grandson, so Brahman is neither Ishvara nor Jiva when considered apart from Maya or the five sheaths.
43. He who knows Brahman thus becomes himself Brahman. Brahman has no birth. So he also is not born again.

IV. THE DIFFERENTIATION OF DUALITY
1. In this section we shall discuss the world of duality created by Ishvara and Jiva. By such critical discussion, the limit of duality causing the bondage which the Jiva has to renounce will be clear.
2. The Svetasvatara Upanishad says: ‘Know Maya as Prakriti and Brahman associated with Maya as the great Ishvara’ (who imparts existence and consciousness to it and guides it). It is He who creates the world.
3. The Aitareya Upanishad says that before creation there was Atman only, and He thought, ‘Let me create the world’, and then He created the world by His will (to create).
4. The Taittiriya Upanishad says that from the Self or Brahman alone arose in succession the whole creation including Akasa, (ether), air, fire, water, earth, vegetation, food and bodies.
5. The Taittiriya Upanishad says that desiring ‘I shall be many, so I shall create’, the Lord meditated; and thus created the world.
6. The Chandogya Upanishad says that before creation Brahman or the Self alone existed, and that His nature was pure existence. He desired to become manifold and created all things including fire, water, food and beings born of eggs and so forth.
7. The Mundaka Upanishad says that just as sparks emanate from a blazing fire, so from immutable Brahman arose different animate and inanimate things.
8. It is also said that before its manifestation the whole world existed in Brahman in a potential form; then, assuming name and form it came into being as Virat.
9. From Virat came into being the ancient law-givers, human beings, cattle, asses, horses, goats, and so on, both male and female, down to the ants. Thus says the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
10. According to these Shrutis Brahman or Atman Himself, assuming manifold forms as the Jivas, entered into these bodies. A Jiva is so called because it upholds vitality (the Pranas) (in a body).

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