PANCHADASI--- part 15

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E text source- 66. The vital airs continue functioning even in sleep. In some Shruti passages the vital sheath is given pre-eminence and dealt with in detail.
67. The people devoted to worship call the mind as the Atman. They argue that the vital airs have no faculty of enjoyment, but that the mind has.
68. The Shruti says that the mind is the cause of the bondage and the release of man and it speaks of the mind-sheath; therefore these people conclude that the mind is the Atman.
69. The Buddhists believe that the Atman consists of the momentary states of the intellect, because the intellect, endowed with the faculty of understanding, is the basis of the mind and through it the mind grasps matter.
70. The internal organ (Antahkarana) has two kinds of vrittis, viz., the ‘I’-consciousness, and ‘this’ consciousness. The first constitutes the intellect, the subject-consciousness and the second the mind, the object-consciousness.
71. Since without the sense of egoity, it is not possible to cognise the outer world, it is clear that the idea of egoity is the cause of the mind and without it the cognisance of the external world is impossible.
72. As ‘I’ - consciousness appears and disappears every moment, the intellect is transitory and it needs no further principle to illumine it.
73. The intellect sheath is the Self. The whole world is cognised by it, and birth and death, pleasure and pain, affect it. So say some Vedic texts.
74. The intellect is momentary like the flashes of lightning in a cloud or the twinkling of an eye, and that because we know of no other Self beyond the intellect, the Self is nothing or void. So say the Madhyamika Buddhists.
75. Quoting the Shruti, ‘In the beginning all this was non-existent (Asat)’, the Buddhists say that perception and the objects of perception are the creations of illusion.
76. The Vedantins refute them by saying that there can be no illusion without a substratum which is not an illusion. The existence of the Atman must be admitted. Even the void has a witness; if not, it would be impossible to say, ‘There is a void’.
77. The Vedic view, say the Naiyayikas, in that beyond the intellect sheath there is yet another sheath, the bliss-sheath. It is existing (not something that does not exist).
78. Other philosophers, recognising the authority of the Shruti, still dispute variously as to whether the Atman is atomic in size or all-pervasive, or something between the two.
79. There are philosophers called Antaralas who hold that Atman must be atomic in size because it is said to pervade capillaries as fine as a thousandth part of a hair.
80. In support of their thesis they quote many Vedic texts, which describe Atman as ‘smaller than the smallest’, ‘minuter than an atom’ and ‘more refined than the most refined’.
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