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Athmopadesha Shathakam Verse-2

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Athmopadesha Shathakam (One Hundred verses of Self-Instruction)

Translation & explanation of Verse-2
The inner organ, the senses, and counting from the body
The many worlds we know, are all, on thought, the sacred form
Of the supreme Sun risen in the void beyond;
By relentless cogitation one should attain to this.

(“Karanavumindriyavum kalebaram thottu
Paravelithanniluyarnna bhaanumaanthan-
Thiruvuruvaanu thiranju theridenam”)

As in mathematics, there is an inductive equation here, which the mind is capable of giving to itself. As the two terms of the equation, we are asked to think hard about the inner organ at one pole and the Sun in the supreme void at the other. Between these worlds, one has to fill up for oneself grades of value-systems with which, as human beings, we deal, whether emotionally, actively or intellectually. This verse emphasize on Self-Realization as the prime objective in our life.

The inner organ, the senses, and counting from the body (Karanavum indriyavum kalebaram) – Our own body is what we cognize first with this organ which is within us. The inner instrument of reason could be further vertically subdivided into mind, reason, relational faculty, individuation, etc., as has been referred to in Sanskrit psychology as manas, buddhiu, chitha and ahamkaara respectively. They are the micro-aspects to make me known as bodily dimension of Self. When we pull out a thorn in our foot, there is a coming together of the counterparts of subjective and objective factors which go to make up the whole personality.

The sacred form of the supreme Sun risen in the void beyond (Paravelithanniluyarnna bhaanumaanthan) – Treating the sun and the visible world as dialectical counterparts in higher reasoning has the sanction of long philosophical usage. The Upanishads also refer to the Absolute as ‘aditya varnam’, as the splendor of the Sun, on the other side of all darkness. The reference in the Chandokya Upanishad (8.6.2) gives the dialectal relation between the two poles as follows: Now, a great extending highway goes to two villages, this one and the yonder, even so these rays of the sun go to two worlds, this one and the yonder.

The many worlds we know (Ariyumanekajagathumorkkilellaam) = in this verse, reference is made to the many worlds we see and to the counterparts of these many worlds, which have to be thought of in certain graded order and brought together as the terms of an equation. To arrive at non-duality, one has to first find the counterparts that belong to the unity and then to bring them dialectically together for being resolved in unitive terms. All contemplation must needs have a human purpose, however pure or abstract. We know of our own mind and the body that we touch. As we travel outwards from these given factors, the objects of desire which form the natural human environment, such as the world of food, can be said to constitute the next value-system. More removed from the food-world, we could think of social, ethical or aesthetic environments for each man. The world of intelligible, which is the region of the final or supreme interest for man to reach, could be thought of as the highest of possible worlds.

There is a common notion among the people that the outside world does not belong to me and I have no role in its’ integrated system. But if we consider the air we breathe and the natural process of inhaling through our nostrils as well as the mechanism functioning in our inner body, it can be seen that the entire atmosphere is part of our body. This means, our bodily area is beyond our skin boundaries.

“The many worlds we know” as here intended by the Guru, should be keeping with his own philosophy, as developed in these verses or elsewhere in his writings, which it is our duty first to try to understand as we proceed.

By relentless cogitation one should attain to this (Thiruvuruvaanu thiranju theridenam) = In the practice of dialectical reasoning, one has to do forcefulness to one’s own nature, which means Tapas in Sanskrit, or burning up by oneself. A vertical ascent is implied in this intellectual effort. This is similar to the situation when one hears sounds from within oneself by stopping and reversing the process of normal thinking. Dialectical ascent and descent are also known to philosophers from classical times. The true end of contemplation is not to be attained in any lazy attitude, but involves vertical though not horizontal effort.

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