PANCHADASI--- part 49

madan_gautam's picture

Average: 1.7 (15 votes)

1. Just as a wall illumined by the rays of the sun is more illumined when the light of the sun reflected in a mirror falls on it, so the body illumined by Kutastha is more illumined by the light of Kutastha reflected in the intellect (Chidabhasa).
2. When many mirrors reflect the light of the sun on to a wall which is already illumined by the sun, spaces between the various reflections are illumined by the light of the sun alone; and even if the reflections are not there, the wall still remains illumined.
3. Similarly, both in the intervals between the modifications of the intellect (Vrittis), in which Chidabhasa is reflected and during their absence (in deep sleep) Kutastha abides self-illumined; and Kutastha is therefore to be known as different from Chidabhasa.
4. An external object, such as a pot, is cognised through the Vrittis (modifications of the intellect) assuming its form, but the knowledge 'I know the pot’ comes (directly) through pure consciousness, Brahman.
5. Before the rise of the Vritti (i.e., before the intellectual operation) my experience was ‘I do not know that there is a pot over there’; after the rise, the experience is ‘I know that there is a pot over there’. This is the difference the intellectual operation or Vritti brings about. But both the above experiences of knowledge or non-knowledge of the pot are due to Brahman.
6. Cognition or knowledge (of external thing) is the action (thereon) of the intellectual modification tipped with Chidabhasa like the steel-head of a spear. And non-cognition is the (beginningless but not endless) dullness (of an external thing) covering its revelation. Thus an external thing is spoken of in two ways, as a thing (pot) known or unknown as the intellectual modification spear-headed by Chidabhasa pierces its cover of dullness or not.
7. If the cognition of an unknown pot can be had through Brahman why not that of a known pot ? It does produce the cognition, for the Chidabhasa ceases functioning, as soon as the pot is made known.
8. If the intellect is without Chidabhasa, the cognition of an object cannot take place. For how does intellect in such a case differ from a lump of clay which is unconscious and insentient ?
9. Nowhere is a pot said to be known when it is besmeared with clay. Similarly when a pot is besmeared or covered by a Vritti only (not along with Chidabhasa) it cannot be said to be known (for both the clay and the Vritti are themselves unconscious and insentient).
10. Hence cognition (of a pot) is that reflection of consciousness (on the pot) which is produced as a result of the enveloping operation of the Vritti-cum-Chidabhasa. Brahman or pure consciousness cannot be this resultant reflection of consciousness inasmuch as it (being the eternal and immutable existence) exists prior to cognition.
11. (But will it not go against Sureshvaracharya’s opinion expressed in the following Vartika ?) ‘According to the authoritative books on Vedanta an object of cognition, in matters of external objects, is that Samvit or consciousness which is the result of the act of cognition.’
12. Here by ‘Samvit’ or consciousness what Sureshvaracharya means is the resultant reflected consciousness, for the great Sankaracharya himself (Sureshvara’s guru) in his Upadeshasahasri has made the distinction between Brahman-Chaitanya and the ‘resultant’-Chaitanya amply clear.
13. Therefore the reflection of consciousness produced on the pot is the cause of its cognition; and the knownness or knowledge of this cognition, exactly as its ignorance, is the work of the Brahman-Chaitanya.
14. The Vritti of intellect, the reflection of Chit on the pot and the (object) pot – all three are made known by Brahman-Chaitanya; whereas the (object) pot’s existence (at a particular place) is known by the reflection of Chit on the pot, inasmuch as it is the ‘resultant’ consciousness.
15. So the knowledge of a pot involves a double consciousness, viz., Brahman-consciousness and Vritti-cum-Chidabhasa-consciousness (covering the pot). Brahman-consciousness corresponds to the consciousness which accompanies what the Naiyayikas call ‘knowledge of knowledge’ (Anuvyavasaya), the knowledge which follows the cognition of objects (that I know my knowledge or existence of objects).
16. The cognition ‘This is a pot’ is due to Chidabhasa, but the knowledge ‘I know the pot’ is derived from Brahman-consciousness.
17. Just as in objects outside the body, Chidabhasa has thus been differentiated from Brahman, so within the body too Chidabhasa is to be differentiated from the immutable Kutastha.
18. As fire pervades a red-hot piece of iron, so Chidabhasa pervades I-consciousness as well as lust, anger and other emotions.
19. Even as a red-hot piece of iron manifests itself only and not other objects, similarly the modifications of the intellect (Vrittis), aided by Chidabhasa, manifest themselves only, i.e., the things which they cover and not others.
20. All modifications are produced one after another (i.e., with gaps in between); and they all become latent during deep sleep and in the states of swoon and Samadhi.