VIVEKACHUDAMANI---part---8

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E text source- www.celextel.org 185.This knowledge sheath, which seems to be followed by a reflection of the power of the Chit, is a modification of the Prakriti, is endowed with the function of knowledge, and always wholly identifies itself with the body, organs, etc.
186-187. It is without beginning, characterised by egoism, is called the Jiva, and carries on all the activities on the relative plane. Through previous desires it performs good and evil actions and experiences their results. Being born in various bodies, it comes and goes, up and down. It is this knowledge sheath that has the waking, dream and other states, and experiences joy and grief.
188. It always mistakes the duties, functions and attributes of the orders of life which belong to the body, as its own. The knowledge sheath is exceedingly effulgent, owing to its close proximity to the Supreme Self, which identifying Itself with it suffers transmigration through delusion. It is therefore a superimposition on the Self.
189. The self-effulgent Atman, which is Pure Knowledge, shines in the midst of the Pranas, within the heart. Though immutable, It becomes the agent and experiencer owing to Its superimposition, the knowledge sheath.
190. Though the Self of everything that exists, this Atman, Itself assuming the limitations of the Buddhi and wrongly identifying Itself with this totally unreal entity, looks upon Itself as something different – like earthen jars from the clay of which they are made.
191. Owing to Its connection with the super-impositions, the Supreme Self, even thou naturally perfect (transcending Nature) and eternally unchanging, assumes the qualities of the superimpositions and appears to act just as they do – like the changeless fire assuming the modifications of the iron which it turns red-hot.
192. The disciple questioned: Be it through delusion or otherwise that the Supreme Self has come to consider Itself as the Jiva, this superimposition is without beginning, and that which has no beginning cannot be supposed to have an end either.
193. Therefore the Jivahood of the soul also must have no end, and its transmigration must continue for ever. How then can there be Liberation for the soul ? Kindly enlighten me on this point, O revered Master.
194. The Teacher said: Thou hast rightly questioned, O learned man ! Listen therefore attentively: The imagination which has been conjured up by delusion can never be accepted as a fact.
195. But for delusion there can be no connection of the Self – which is unattached, beyond activity and formless – with the objective world, as in the case of blueness etc., with reference to the sky.
196. The Jivahood of the Atman, the Witness, which is beyond qualities and beyond activity, and which is realised within as Knowledge and Bliss Absolute – has been superimposed by the delusion of the Buddhi, and is not real. And because it is by nature an unreality, it ceases to exist when the delusion is gone.
197. It exists only so long as the delusion lasts, being caused by indiscrimination due to an illusion. The rope is supposed to be the snake only so long as the mistake lasts, and there is no more snake when the illusion has vanished. Similar is the case here.
198-199. Avidya or Nescience and its effects are likewise considered as beginningless. But with the rise of Vidya or realisation, the entire effects of Avidya, even though beginningless, are destroyed together with their root – like dreams on waking up from sleep. It is clear that the phenomenal universe, even though without beginning, is not eternal – like previous non-existence.
200-201. Previous non-existence, even though beginningless, is observed to have an end. So the Jivahood which is imagined to be in the Atman through its relation with superimposed attributes such as the Buddhi, is not real; whereas the other (the Atman) is essentially different from it. The relation between the Atman and the Buddhi is due to a false knowledge.
202. The cessation of that superimposition takes place through perfect knowledge, and by no other means. Perfect knowledge, according to the Shrutis, consists in the realisation of the identity of the individual soul and Brahman.
203. This realisation is attained by a perfect discrimination between the Self and the non-Self. Therefore one must strive for the discrimination between the individual soul and the eternal Self.
204. Just as the water which is very muddy again appears as transparent water when the mud is removed, so the Atman also manifests Its undimmed lustre when the taint has been removed.
205. When the unreal ceases to exist, this very individual soul is definitely realised as the eternal Self. Therefore one must make it a point completely to remove things like egoism from the eternal Self.
206. This knowledge sheath (Vijnanamaya Kosha) that we have been speaking of, cannot be the Supreme Self for the following reasons - because it is subject to change, is insentient, is a limited thing, an object of the senses, and is not constantly present: An unreal thing cannot indeed be taken for the real Atman.
207. The blissful sheath (Anandamaya Kosha) is that modification of Nescience which manifests itself catching a reflection of the Atman which is Bliss Absolute; whose attributes are pleasure and the rest; and which appears in view when some object agreeable to oneself presents itself. It makes itself spontaneously felt by the fortunate during the fruition of their virtuous deeds; from which every corporeal being derives great joy without the least effort.
208. The blissful sheath has its fullest play during profound sleep, while in the dreaming and wakeful states it has only a partial manifestation, occasioned by the sight of agreeable objects and so forth.