PANCHADASI--- part 55

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E text source- www.celextel.org 51.A man who has a strong desire for Brahmaloka, but suppresses it and practises enquiry about the Self, will not have realisation.
52. As the scriptures say, the monk, who has well ascertained the meaning of Vedanta, goes to the realm of Brahma and is released at the end of the four Yugas along with Brahma.
53. In some cases the enquiry itself is impeded because of the result of their evil deeds as the Shruti says: ‘Even to hear about Him it is not available to many’.
54. If a man cannot practise enquiry, either due to extreme dullness of intellect or for want of other favourable circumstances, let him always keep the mind on Brahman.
55. As it is possible to continue the thought-current regarding Brahman with attributes, meditation on the attributeless Brahman also is not impossible.
56. (Doubt): Brahman is beyond speech and mind and so cannot be meditated upon. (Reply): Then there can be no knowledge of Brahman too.
57. (Doubt): Brahman is known as beyond speech and mind. (Reply): Then why cannot Brahman be meditated upon as beyond speech and mind ?
58. (Doubt): If Brahman can be meditated upon He becomes invested with attributes. (Reply): That happens if He is taken as knowable. (Doubt): Brahman is knowable by Lakshana, indirect indication. (Reply): Then meditate upon Brahman that way, i.e., by Lakshana.
59. (Doubt): The Shruti saying, ‘Know that alone to be Brahman which is beyond the range of speech and mind and not that which the people worship’, prohibits meditation on Brahman.
60. (Reply): Equally Brahman cannot be an object of knowledge, for the Shruti says: ‘Brahman is other than that which can be known’. (Doubt): The Shruti also says that Brahman can be known. (Reply): So also it says that He can be meditated upon. So meditate on Him basing upon those Vedic texts.
61. (Doubt): But Brahman as an object of knowledge is unreal. (Reply): Why not as an object of meditation too ? (Doubt): Covering and apprehending by Vrittis is knowledge. (Reply): Similarly, doing that is meditation.
62. (Doubt): Why are you so devoted to meditation on the attributeless Brahman ? (Reply): Why are you so opposed to it ? Say that. As there are many Shruti texts prescribing meditation on the attributeless Brahman, it is not proper to say that there is no authority for it.
63. Meditation on the attributeless Brahman has been prescribed in the Nrisimha-Uttara-Tapaniya, Prasna (Saibya’s fifth question), Katha, Mandukya and other Upanishads.
64. This method of meditation of the attributeless Brahman has been in the Panchikarana Vartika by Sureshvara. (Doubt): This meditation is the means of indirect knowledge of Brahman (but not of liberation). (Reply): We don’t say that it is not so.
65. (Doubt): But most of the people do not practise this type of meditation. (Reply): Let them not do. How can the meditation be blamed for the short-comings of the meditator ?
66. People of spiritually dull intellect repeat sacred formulas to acquire power over others, finding it more immediately fruitful than meditation on Brahman with attributes. There are people still more dull-witted who concentrate only on agriculture.
67. Let the dull-witted do what they like ! Here we speak of meditation on the Absolute. Since it is of one Vidya or Upasana, all the qualifications of Brahman described in the various branches of the Veda must be gathered for meditation.
68. The positive qualities of bliss etc., are all to be co-ordinated into meditation on Brahman. This has been told by Vyasa in the ‘Anandadaya..’ Sutra.
69. Similarly Vyasa speaks of all the negative indications of Brahman such as ‘not gross’ in the ‘Aksharadhiyam’ Sutra.
70. (Doubt): Combining and thinking of these indications do not fit in with meditation on the attributeless Brahman. (Reply): Then your doubt is directed against Vyasa himself and not against me alone.
71. (Doubt): As (Vyasa) has not asked for the inclusion of the forms such as of the sun with golden beard etc., meditation on the attributeless is not contradicted. (Reply): Be satisfied with that; we also do not ask for that.
72. (Doubt): Qualities are only indirect indications; they cannot enter into the true nature of Brahman. (Reply): Let them be so. Meditate on Brahman thus indicated.
73. The Self is here indirectly indicated by positive qualities like ‘bliss’ etc., and by negative qualities like ‘not gross’ etc. One should meditate on the indivisible, homogeneous Self as ‘That I am’.
74. (Doubt): What is the difference between knowledge and meditation ? (Reply): Listen; knowledge depends on the object, whereas meditation depends on the will of the person meditating.
75. By the practice of enquiry, the knowledge of Brahman arises; then it cannot be prevented whether one likes it or not. Such knowledge, by the mere fact of its arising, destroys all ideas of the reality of the world.