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Lamp of Non-duality (Advaitha Deepika) - Class VI

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Translation & explanation of Verse-9

The entire world, in the state of discriminative awareness,
Becomes separated out as having no existence of its own.
Still it continues to be perceptible to the senses.
Even after becoming free from the confusion of directions,
To the viewer’s eye, the confused directions
Continue to be the same.

(“Vishvam viveka-dashayinkal azhinju sarvam
Asvastham aakilum athindriya drishyam aakum
Dikkin bhramam vitukilum chiramingivante
Drikkinnu dikku punarangane thanne kaanaam”):

Translation & explanation of Verse-10

Really the world has no existence;
Yet it looms as real as before even after being
Completely annihilated as a result of discriminative awareness.
Even after becoming fully convinced that
Doubtlessly, no water is there in mirage,
It looms to be so as before.

(“Sathyathil illayulakam sakalam viveka
Vidhvasthamaaya pirakum vilasunnu munpol
Nistharkkamaay maruvililliha neerumennu
Siddikkilum vilasithunnithu munprakaaram”):

The analogy of mistaking a piece of rope for a snake was relied on in verse eight. Bringing forth a light makes the apparent snake disappear and reveals the real rope. The snake will no longer be seen, only the rope remains as real and visible. But such is not the case of the world. Even after discriminating the real and the unreal and becoming certain that the world has no existence, it continues to appear, it continues to be perceived by the senses. Laying bare this problem with the help of two analogies is what verses nine and ten do. Its solution forms the rest of the work.

A real jnanin intuitively perceives the world that never ceases to appear and the one all-underlying Reality (sath) non-dually. No denying of the apparent existence of the world is done by the Guru. The apparent world, on the other hand, is the form in which the One Reality exists. Such is the perception of a jnanin. As a part of the world he cannot realize his oneness with Reality by denying his own existence. Contrary to it, it is through intuitively perceiving himself as well as everything else as One Reality become manifest. Suggestive of all this are the two verses that occupy the very center of this composition.

Already seen is the certainty that what ultimately exists alone is real. Whatever is other than that has therefore to be unreal. That too was made clear: that “everything else is fleeting and thus unreal.” Even after attaining this conviction, the world continues to appear as when one was still an ajnaanin. How is it so? We will see this question answered in the remaining verses. Here in the present two verses, the nature of the problem is laid out simply before us.

Many, arriving at unfamiliar places, get confused as to which is the east and which is the west. The south is sometimes taken for the east. Seeing the sun rising the next morning clears all doubts. Despite this, one may continue to feel, “Here the sun rises in the south.” This is because the confounded sense of directions had become fixed in his mind. Such ideas become settled in us concerning knowledge of the world also. Vedanta calls it “conditioning” (upaadhi paricchinnatha) of knowledge. Pure and unconditional though in essence, consciousness never remains functionless. Functioning, it appears in conditioned forms which in no way affect the essential purity of consciousness. Such conditionings are simply superimposed on the Real, and are known as adhyaasa. That which appears in conditioned forms then is called adhyaasa, and the unconditioned Reality is called anadhyaasa.

Someone becoming confounded about directions in no way affects the real directions of the compass. They remain the same as ever. Likewise, even when the superimposed appearances are seen in what is Real, the unconditioned Reality remains unconditioned and unaffected. This point is further clarified in verse ten with the help of the mirage analogy. Water appears as flowing in desert lands in midday light. Knowing that no water exists there does not make the appearance of the mirage vanish. Whether we see water there or not does not affect in any way the real nature of the desert. Our understanding alone is what undergoes change.

“Really the world has no existence,” is the enlightened awareness a jnanin attains and is suggestive of the basic stand of the advaitha school of Vedantha. It is almost equivalent to Sankara’s famous words, Brahma sathyam jagath mithya (Brahmam alone is real; the world is unreal). Yet this philosophical or rather logical conviction does not put an end to perceiving the world as existing with our senses. “How to explain this?” is the problem the Guru poses here. The need of addressing this problem, hitherto unasked in any major Vedanthic text, could have been the inspirational force behind writing the present work. It is further elucidated in the following verses and commentary.

I am not different from this Mango tree and other beings. Myself is filled in these entire objective world and all beings in me as well.
From the book "Sree Narayana Guru Vaikhari".
Compiled and Edited by Dr. T. Bhaskaran.


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