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Athmopadesha Shathakam Verse-7

Athmopadesha Shathakam (One Hundred verses of Self-Instruction)

Translation & explanation of Verse-7

To wake never more, ever sleepless to remain, as awareness:
If for this today you are not fit, then in the service
Of those silent ones who ever dwell awake to AUM
Absolved from birth, steadily fix your form.

(“Unararuthinniyurangidaathirunneedam
Arivaay ithininnayogyanennaal
Pranavamunarnnu pirappozhinju vaazhum
Munijana sevayil moorthinirthitenam”):

Explanation:
Key message-
This verse sounds paradoxical, at least when we hear it for the first time. Sree Narayana Guru instructs the seeker to remain steadfast, merged in knowledge, without having the need to alternate between the states of waking and sleeping. Guru addresses throughout this composition about the Self within us. He is careful to underline the essential unity of the Self, even when describing its possible differentiations.

To wake never more, ever sleepless to remain, as awareness
(Unararuthinniyurangidaathirunneedam Arivaay)

This is the third verse in sequence which refers to the alternating states of sleeping and waking in consciousness. The analysis of states of consciousness in a vertical series referring to deeper and deeper seats of consciousness is familiar to us in the context of the methodology of Vedanta. Sleeping and waking are not treated in this verse as alternative states falling outside of the vertical axis of pure consciousness. In the form of a central neutral awareness independent of both the alternating states lying on one side or the other of the vertical axis, there is here a function postulated in which pure knowledge thrives and triumphs in and through itself. This state of equilibrium between alternating states or tendencies is the secret of the contemplative or the yogi. ‘Muni’ meaning the Silent ones, Wise men etc. have invariably a pronounced inner life which lives in constant awareness of a high human value represented by the Absolute Self that they themselves represent.

If for this today you are not fit, then in the service Of those silent ones

(Ithininnayogyanennaal …Munijana sevayil)

If an aspirant to wisdom feels that he has not understood the content or the intellectual and emotional implications of such an attitude as recommended here, there is a time-honored alternative method known to many wisdom texts, of establishing bipolar relations with a master who has already attained to the awareness or attitude implied. The personality adjusted to the absolutist way will be able to absorb something of the master’s attitude to the seeker when all the conditions required for the transmission of the teachings are present together.

The service of such a wise man is meant to induce that degree of mutual adoption necessary for the osmotic transfer of the wisdom state from teacher to seeker. Mistrust and dis-adoption between the two concerned in such a bipolar wisdom situation would tend to make the experiment a failure.

Wisdom can result only when the conditions are fulfilled correctly. The two poles implied and the axis involved have first to be visualized or postulated correctly before instruction in the Self can go on unhindered. Neither the waking life of overt action nor the dreaming life of innate mental representations can give the correct orientation prerequisite for Self-realization.

Whoever dwell awake to AUM
Absolved from birth, steadily fix your form.

(Pranavamunarnnu pirappozhinju vaazhum
Munijana sevayil moorthinirthitenam)

The real, essential bi-polarity is with the quality of the aspirant’s knowledge. That knowledge is specifically stated here as “being conversant with the secret of AUM”. AUM is otherwise known as “pranava”. In the Bhagavat Gita, “pranava” is praised as the supreme essence of the Vedas, the revealed scriptures. The letters A, U, M represent three grades of open, half open and closed states of consciousness, with a fourth stratum that pervades all the others. The vertical axis may be said to pass through all of them.
Munis (the silent ones) or the contemplatives are those who are generally sparing in speech. They have invariably a pronounced inner life which lives in constant awareness of a high human value represented by Absolute Self that they themselves represent.
The phenomenal existence of a living being, when biologically understood as active, is one in which horizontal factors enter to a greater or lesser degree. When pure movements of contemplative thought are established, as it were, along the vertical axis of awareness, the alternation as between birth and death, sleeping and waking, which have their being only on the horizontal plane, ceases to operate.

The silent ones who have awakened to the high value called the Absolute Self, live an undisturbed life of peace and understanding, free from the taint of the alternation of states, whether between sleep and wakefulness, memory and prospective vision, life and death. Established in wholehearted interest in Self-realization, they are not affected by such an alternation of opposites.
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