PANCHADASI--- part 65

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E text source- 26.Love for an object of happiness always passes from one to another; (they are objects that can be accepted or rejected); but the Self cannot be treated like that; so how can love of Self change ?
27. (Doubt): Even though it cannot be accepted or rejected the Self may be regarded as an object of indifference, like a piece of straw. (Reply): No, because it is the very Self of the person who is to regard it with indifference.
28. (Doubt): People begin to hate the Self when they are overpowered by disease or anger and wish to die. (Reply): This is not so.
29. When they desire to do away with the body it is an object for rejection, not their Self. The Self is the subject that desires the end of the body and it feels no hatred for itself. What harm is there if they hate the body, an object ?
30. All objects are desired for the sake of the Self and hence of all the objects that are loved the Self is dearest. A man’s son is dearer to him than his son’s friends.
31. ‘May I never perish, may I ever exist’ is the desire seen in all. So love for the Self is quite evident.
32. Though the Self as the object of the highest love is taught by the scriptures and proved both by reasoning and experience, there are some who hold that the Self is merely secondary to son, wife etc., as an object of love.
33. To support this they quote the Shruti: ‘The son indeed is the Self’, which shows the superiority of the son. This has been clearly spoken of in the Upanishad.
34. ‘The (father’s) Self, born in the form of the son, becomes his substitute for the performance of meritorious deeds. The Self of the father, having fulfilled its purpose (by begetting a son) and having reached old age, departs’.
35. A verse in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that in spite of the existence of the Self a man who has no son does not go to heaven. So the thinkers said that a son who is well trained in the Vedas helps his father to attain heaven.
36. The joys of this world can be attained through the son and not by other things. The dying father therefore should instruct his son the Vedic truth, “You are Brahman”.
37. These Vedic verses are quoted to prove the importance of son, wife and so forth (and one’s own Self as secondary). Ordinary people too admit the greater importance of a son.
38. A father labours hard to acquire wealth for the maintenance of his sons and others after his death. Hence the son is superior to the Self.
39. All right, but these texts do not prove the Self to be less important. It is to be remembered that the word ‘Self’ is used in three senses, figurative, illusory and fundamental.
40. In the expression ‘Devadatta is a lion’, the identification is figurative, for the difference between the two is evident. Similar is the case of the son and others as the Self.
41. Difference exists between the five sheaths and the Witness, though it is not evident and so the sheaths are illusory, like the thief seen in the stump of a tree.
42. The witness-consciousness is without a second and therefore in it there neither appears nor is any difference. As it is the innermost essence it is accepted that the word ‘Self’ in its fundamental sense refers to the Witness itself.
43. As the word ‘Self’ has these three meanings in daily use the suitable one becomes primary, the other two becoming merely secondary.
44. In the case of a dying man, giving charge of the family property and tradition to his son, the figurative meaning of ‘Self’ fits in, not the primary or the illusory meaning.
45. In the sentence ‘the reciter is the fire’ the term ‘reciter’ cannot actually refer to fire, for the latter is incapable of reciting, but must mean a Brahmachari who is able to do so.
46. In such expressions as ‘I am thin and I must get fatter’, the body should be taken as the Self. For the sake of one’s own growing fat nobody engages his son in eating.
47. In such expressions as ‘I shall attain heaven by austerities’ the doer (the intellect-sheath) should be regarded as the Self. So ignoring the physical enjoyment people practise severe austerities.
48. When a man says, ‘I shall be free’, he then acquires knowledge (of the Self) from the teacher and the scripture and desires nothing else. Here the word ‘I’ should be regarded as the witness Self.
49. Just as Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are entitled to perform the sacrifices called Brihaspati-sava, Rajasuya and Vaishyastoma according to their fitness, so the figurative, illusory and fundamental selves are meant in different contexts.
50. Infinite love is always left for the Self which is primary in any particular context; and for whatever is related to it there is just moderate love and for all other things there is no love whatsoever.
51. Other things are of two kinds, to be ignored or hated. Straws lying on the road are disregarded, whereas tigers and snakes are hated. So things are of four kinds, loved, dearly loved, disregarded or hated.
52. The primary Self, things related to the Self and objects to be disregarded or hated – of these four categories of things there is no sacro-sanctity attached to any one of them that it would always be primary or secondary etc. But it (their being primary or secondary etc.,) depends on the effect they produce under particular circumstances.
53. When a tiger confronts man, it is hated; when it is away, it is disregarded; and when it has been tamed and made friendly, it causes joy; thus it is related to him and is loved.
54. Even though no thing is primary or secondary by itself, there are some characteristics to distinguish them under certain circumstances. These characteristics are: their being favourable, unfavourable, or neither of these.
55. The popular conclusion is that the Self is the dearest, the objects related to it are dear and the rest are either disregarded or hated. This is also the verdict of Yajnavalkya.