PANCHADASI--- part 53

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1. One may perchance obtain a thing by following a wrong line by mistake; so also even by worshipping Brahman one may get release, the desired goal. So various ways of worship are described in the Nrisimha-Uttara-Tapaniya Upanishad.
2. A man sees a gleam of light emitted by a gem and another sees a gleam of light coming from a lamp; and both imagining that they are gems run to get them. Though (in both the cases) the notions are wrong, the results are different.
3. There is a lamp inside the house, its light is visible from outside. Similarly elsewhere the light of a gem is seen (from outside).
4. On seeing the two gleams at a distance, both (the men) took them for gems and ran after them. Their notions are equally wrong, in that they took the gleams for gems.
5. The man who ran for the gleam of the lamp did not find the gem, but the man who ran for the gleam of the gem got it.
6. Mistaking the gleam of a lamp for a gem is called a Visamvadi Bhrama, ‘misleading error’ (or an error that does not lead to the goal). Mistaking the gleam of a gem for a gem is called a 'leading’ or ‘informative’ error, though both are errors (or wrong observations).
7. On seeing a mist and mistaking it for smoke, if a man argues the existence of fire there and goes for getting charcoal and accidentally finds it, his mistake is called a ‘leading’ error, a chance coincidence.
8. Sprinkling on himself the water of the River Godavari thinking it to be that of the River Ganges, if a man is actually purified this is ‘leading’ error (Samvadi Bhrama).
9. A man suffering from a high fever repeats ‘Narayana’ in delirium and dies. He goes to heaven. This is again a ‘leading’ error.
10. In direct perception, in inference and in the application of scriptural authority, there are innumerable instances of such leading errors or chance coincidences.
11. Otherwise, how could images of clay, wood and stone be worshipped as deities or how could a woman be worshipped as fire ?
12. From the knowledge and (or) adoption of a wrong means, sometimes, by accident, as in the sitting of a crow on the branch of a palm tree and in the instantaneous fall of a fruit thereof, a desired result is obtained. This knowledge and (or) adoption of a wrong means is called a Samvadi Bhrama or a ‘leading’ error, or error leading to a right knowledge.
13. The ‘leading’ error though a wrong notion is potent enough to give the correct result. So also the meditation or worship of Brahman leads to liberation.
14. After indirectly knowing the one indivisible homogeneous Brahman from the books on Vedanta, one should meditate on or think repeatedly ‘I am Brahman’.
15. Without realising Brahman to be one’s own Self, the general knowledge of Him derived through the study of the scriptures, viz., ‘Brahman is’, is here called indirect knowledge, just as our knowledge of the forms of Vishnu etc., is called.
16. One may have knowledge of Vishnu from scriptures as having four arms etc., but if one does not have a vision of Him, he is said to have only indirect knowledge, inasmuch as he has not seen Him with his eyes.
17. This knowledge because of its defect of indirectness is not false, for the true form of Vishnu has been revealed by the scriptures which are authoritative.
18. From the scripture a man may have a conception of Brahman as existence, consciousness and bliss but he cannot have a direct knowledge of Brahman unless Brahman is cognised as the inner witness in his own personality.
19. As the knowledge of Sat-Chit-Ananda has been acquired in the scriptural method, it, though an indirect knowledge, is not an illusory one.
20. Though Brahman has been described as being one’s own Self in the scriptures and the great Saying, still, one cannot understand It without the practice of enquiry.
21. As long as the delusion that the body is the Self, is strong in a man of dull intellect, he is not able at once to know Brahman as the Self.
22. As the perception of duality is not opposed to an indirect knowledge of non-duality, a man of faith, expert in the scriptures, can easily have the indirect knowledge of Brahman.
23. The perception of a stone image is not opposed to an indirect knowledge of the deity whom the image represents. Which devotee contradicts the idea of Vishnu in the image ?
24. The disbelief of those who have no faith need not be considered, for the believing alone are authorised to perform the Vedic actions.
25. An indirect knowledge of Brahman can arise even through a single instruction by a competent teacher. It is like the knowledge of the form of Vishnu which does not depend on intellectual enquiry.