The Story will be clear if recast as follows according to the commentator's foot-notes:

Before creation, my mother - namely, Pure Intelligence - gave me (the individual soul) a companion - named Intellect (whose origin cannot be investigated but who yet remains as the subtle body enabling the individual to partake of pleasures and pains). Intellect is lost at death but reappears as if from nowhere at the time of rebirth. Intellect is bright and shining by nature and remains untainted. She is later associated with a wicked friend, viz. Ignorance, who made my friend wander away from me and be outward bent. The subtle intruder remained unnoticed by my mother (because intellect becoming outward turned, had forsaken Pure Intelligence). Intellect was enticed by ignorance and got entangled in objective phenomena. Discriminative faculty was at an ebb and the ego identified itself with intellectual activities. (Individuality disappears with the disappearance of Intellect. Hence they cannot remain without each other.) She by virtue of her innate purity held me in her grip. Therefore I could never forsake her. Intellect constantly associating with Ignorance (Avidya) came more and more under her sway until her friend of wonderful powers persuaded her to seek pleasures, celestial or otherwise (although foreign to oneself), so that she (Intellect) came under the influence of her (Ignorance) son - Delusion with whom she trysted in secret. She could not however elude my presence at any time (for Intellect shines only by individual consciousness). I too became deluded on account of my friendship with her. My friend had in course of time borne a son who took after his father in every respect. His wicked nature developed in full as he grew up and he was marked by unsteadiness (that was Mind). He had extraordinary ability and was unchecked in his flights of passage. But his activities were only according to the qualities inherited from his father or paternal grandmother (i.e., always ignorant and silly). Intellect was thus dragged by dark forces until she became clouded in darkness. She was gradually losing interest in me (pure Consciousness) who however loved her, altruistically and continued to do so. (That is to say consciousness is necessary for intellectual perceptions - be they ignorant or wise). Because of my ceaseless company with Intellect, Delusion tried to overpower me, but I remained pure. Still, the phantasmagorias pertaining to Intellect were attributed to me - individual Consciousness. Such is the ignorance of common people. The mind became more and more associated with me as intellect almost totally ignored me and identified herself with delusion. As the mind grew up in company with Consciousness, his powers manifested more and more. He with his grandmother's permission (i.e., guided by ignorance) took Changeful for his wife. Mind enjoyed himself with her because she could satisfy him in every way. The five senses were born of this couple. These Senses too flourished on account of me (individual Consciousness) until they were able to stand on their own legs. The senses functioned in the sensory organ and their father - Mind - was able to project himself through them and enjoy himself thoroughly.

His enjoyments gave him pleasure just at the moment, and left their impressions on him, which he took with him in order to manifest them in dream and enjoy them secretly with his wife, unknown to the gross senses.

Desire possessed the mind and fed him to his entire satisfaction. His desire grew more and more until neither he nor all his associates could satisfy Desire. Constant association of Mind with Desire gave rise to Passion and Greed (the two sons of the second wife). Desire was exceedingly fond of her two sons. Mind was however tortured by these two sons.

Mind's misery was reflected in the Intellect. I (the individual Consciousness) was completely hidden behind the dark and active forces dragging the intellect along and appeared moribund. Suffering thus for untold ages, the mind lost all initiative and was in the clutches of Desire. Then he gained at the time of creation, a city of ten gates - namely the body with ten outlets (two eyes, two ears, two nasal passages, mouth, and urinary and faecal passages and brahmarandhra, an opening in the skull). The same old story of misery was repeated in the new incarnation and was often worse. Intellect having in the meantime lost the satvic quality of brightness, did not shine well, and was torpid.

Mind continued to flourish in the company of Ignorance, Delusion and Desire, etc. Intellect could not eschew Mind on the one hand nor function in my absence. We all lived there together. Had I not been there, no one else could have lived in the city. I was protecting them all. On account of my intimacy with Intellect, I became nescient at times, foolish at others, unsteady, vacillating, angry, contemptible. etc. Therefore ignorant people put me down in the same category as Intellect. But the sages know that I have never been tainted. My genesis proves it. My mother is most virtuous, pure, not the least blemished, more extensive than space and subtler than even the subtlest, because she is immanent in all and sundry. Being omniscient, she is of limited knowledge also; that is to say, she is transcendental and individualised self; being omnipotent, she is fragile too; being the prop of all, she has no prop; being of all shapes, she has no shape (like a mirror reflecting forms); being all inclusive, she owns nothing; being the conscious Principle here and now, she is uncognisable; she has no lineage extending beyond Herself. Her daughters like me are too numerous to reckon.

My sisters are infinite in number, like waves on the sea. All of them are involved like myself in their companion's affairs. Though so enmeshed in Intellect, I am still equal to my mother in every respect because I possess the unique talisman to save me from being tainted.

To return to my life in the city, whenever Mind was fatigued, he used to sleep on his mother Intellect's lap. When he slept, none of his sons or others could be awake. The city was then guarded by his intimate friend, Breath. Then Intellect with all her family used to be clouded by Ignorance - her mother-in-law and then I (individual Consciousness) being free from all trammels used to repair to my mother (i.e., Fulness) and remain in bliss. But I was obliged to come away as soon as the inhabitants of the city awoke.

Mind's friend - Breath - pervaded the whole city and protected all the citizens in every way. They would be scattered away if he were not there. He was the link between them and me. He derived his strength and powers from me. When that city fell to ruin, he would collect them all and pass with them to another city. Mind thus reigned in several places, with the aid of his friend (this refers to reincarnation).

Though befriended by Breath, though born of virtuous Intellect and though brought up by me, Mind was always wallowing in misery because he was wedded to his two incorrigible and insatiate wives, associated with the two wicked sons - Greed and Anger - and was swinging to and fro on account of the other five sons - the Senses. He could find no rest and was manipulated by them, so that he found himself in forests, in wilderness, in torrid heat or frigid cold, in cess-pools, in dark caverns, etc. - in short, in different kinds of hell.

His miseries reflected on Intellect; and I too being associated with her, was involved in their woes. Who can indeed avoid the evils of bad company?

On one occasion, Intellect sought my advice in secret (i.e., when accidently free from thoughts). I advised dispassionate conduct to her, by which she gained a good husband - Discrimination. She grew stronger, gathered courage to subdue to the Mind and kill Greed, Lust and Anger. The other five sons of his - namely, the Senses - were imprisoned. Soon after, she became loyal to me and finally united with me (i.e., gained nirvikalpa samadhi). Thus she reached my mother's place - Peace and Bliss.

This story illustrates that bondage and liberation are for Intellect only and not for the individual Consciousness, i.e., the Self.







Humble salutations to the Great Masters of all Ages!

Sri: Salutations to that Reality which inheres as the Self in all, from which all the creations are projected, in which they have their being and into which they are finally dissolved! Salutations to that Intelligence which inheres as the Self in all, from which the knower, knowledge and the known, the seer, sight and the seen, the doer, cause and deed, are manifested! Salutations to that Supreme Bliss which inheres as the Self in all, which constitutes the life of all and from whose unfathomable depths happiness is sprayed as fine particles in Heaven or on Earth (where on the sum-total of happiness is not equal to a particle of that unalloyed, natural Bliss).

The Siddhas (invisible and immortal beings of the noblest order) proclaimed:

1. We adore that One which remains unfalteringly fixed, steady and eternal, which will not therefore admit of recurring births and deaths nor undergo modifications as this and that, and which is by unerring contemplation realised as one's own Self, from which certainly proceeds the chain of links of successive particles of happiness, seemingly derived from and wrongly associated with enjoyments, which are in their turn mere phenomena (viz., the ego and the world, or subject and object) reflected as images on the non-dual, unique and abstract consciousness, because they are found on rightly discriminating investigation to merge into the Absolute Self.

Some other Siddhas bring it nearer home as follows:

2. We adore That which is realised as the Self originating, and yet remaining as the untainted witness of the birth of the Ego, its thoughts and the world around - by transcending the cogniser, cognition and the cognised objects pertaining to the wakeful and dream states as well as the ignorance pertaining to dreamless slumber and made up of the latent tendencies of the mind.

Some other Siddhas:

3. We adore That which is realised as the Light inhering as the Self and illumining all, abiding always as the Consciousness in the believer and the non-believer alike, - before creation and after dissolution of the Cosmos and is between them too - and lying hidden even in the successive links ceaselessly formulated as the original sources but rendered abortive by one conscious Self objectifying another in itself.

Note. - Sloka 2 says the Reality is realised after eliminating all the triads. Some deny the same. There must be some conscious self to deny it. Again, if the original cause of creation be imagined to be as transient as the present creation, the enduring reality beyond the successive links cannot be denied. Or again, if a material cause be surmised, the efficient cause cannot be overlooked. The latter is imagined by the Self. The Self must be the ultimate reality.

4. We adore the Self as That in which all the worlds are fixed, of which they are, from which they emerge, for which they exist, by which all these are projected and for which they are in their being.

5. We adore the Self which shines formless as unbroken 'I-I' consciousness which transcends the ego, yet comprising all the Egos and entire knowledge. These after all make up the whole Cosmos.

6. Those who, ignoring the Lord of the Heart, go about seeking other gods, are like the fool who throws away from his hand the celestial gem (Kaustubha) which fulfils all the desires of the possessor, and who then excavates the Earth in search of jewels.

Some Siddhas counsel Dispassion as follows:

7. The Lord of the Heart, who roots out the vigorously growing creeper bearing poisonous fruits of desires is gained after discarding everything as worthless.

8. That fool who, being aware of the evils of enjoyments, still runs after them, must not be deemed a man but be put down for an ass. (The male ass runs after the female, even though kicked by her.)

9. The serpents under the cover of the senses must forcibly be laid, as often as they raise their hoods and hiss for prey, like mountains mercilessly hit by the thunderbolt of Indra (the God of rain, thunder and lightning).

The other Siddhas hit on the cardinal points as follows:

10. Acquire the bliss of peace by reining in the senses and stilling the mind. The mind does not, in its womb, hold seeds of pain as sensual pleasures do, but purges itself of impurities because it merges in its source as fire does when not fed with fuel. On the mind becoming still and disappearing into the primal source of bliss, there arises the Supreme Peace which holds out till final emancipation.








O people, turn away from sensual enjoyments and betake yourselves to contemplating your own selves (rather the Self), because sensual enjoyments end only in misery. What is meant by the Self? By Self is meant Consciousness as shown by the Mahaa Vaakya, 'Praj˝aanam Brahma'. The Praj˝aanam (Consciousness) must be worshipped. Here worship does not mean external or ritual worship. What is it then? To be unshakingly fixed in the intuition 'I am Brahman' in accordance with the Sutra, 'the state intuited as I'. Objection: It is in other words to annihilate the body and its associates. Answer: Rather it is, 'Contemplate Consciousness to the exclusion of objects illumined by it'. Question: How? Answer: It means all objects being illumined by Consciousness do not exist on their own merit. They are only fancied to be, like the horns of a hare. Question: If non-existent like the hare's horns, how do they appear to view at all? Answer: Only Consciousness shines forth and no other. Question: If there is only Chit and nothing beside, how does it shine forth as body etc.? Answer: It is like images in a mirror. The real significance of the Agamas (the tantric texts) is this.

Consciousness is truly the Self (Subjective Reality) because it cannot be referred to by the word 'this'. The non-self alone can thus be referred to. Only that can be Self (Subjective Reality) which itself being one, runs continuously through the realms of old recollections and ever-new thoughts. Being pure Consciousness by nature it cannot admit of differentiation and is the same whether in gods, asuras or men etc. There cannot be the least doubt that time and space are not different from it since they remain immersed in it (that is, they cannot be conceived in the absence of Consciousness) and out of it they are non-existent like a hare's horn (that is, not existent).

Parama Siva spoken of in the Sastras is just this unbroken, uniform Consciousness, the Self. His own power known as Maya which can make the impossible possible, hiding her real identity and manifesting her impurity as avidyaa (ignorance), produces duality. Of this duality the perceptible (drisyam) has not its origin in Siva, like a sprout in its seed; nor is it a modification (parinaama) because the material forming it is not continuous in its source, like clay in utensils of clay; nor is it a super-imposition (vivarta) like a snake on a place of rope because the duality of the perceiver and the perceived (is not acceptable). What then? Just as a mirror remaining unaffected presents within itself pictures owing to its clarity, so also Chit presents by its own power the objects illumined by itself within itself. Nor should the doubt arise that just as a mirror requires corresponding external objects for reflection in itself, there must be an external world to correspond to the reflection in Chit. For, the external object does not form the material for its reflection but only effects it, like the wheel and the stick being the effective causes for producing a pot. The accessories are variable because the wheel is rotated by hand. Similarly it is not improper to consider Maayaa, Chit's own power, to be the effective cause for producing the perceptible (jagat) in Chit. No other explanation but that of reflection fits in for appearance of the perceptible in Chit. There cannot be an object external to Consciousness for it cannot be illumined (in order to be reflected). Nor does the world appear owing to its relation to Chit because this will lead to regressus ad infinitium. Also even in the absence of Chit the world must always be evident or not evident. All well-known objections have thus been refuted. For details consult Pratyabhij˝aa etc. Therefore this doctrine of reflection alone is valid.




Illusion can be overcome only by a sincere, earnest and constant devotion to God. But the atheists deny God and His creation of the universe.

Atheist: How does it follow that Iswara is the creator of jagat? Answer: Because the jagat is seen to be a kaarya. This is an artifact.

Q.: True, a pot etc., are seen to be the products of work but not the mountains, oceans etc.

A.: Because they consist of parts they must also have been made (created) by an unseen power. (Yat Saavayavam tat kaaryam iti tarkena). This is according to the axiom: What is with parts must be kaarya. Therefore the world etc., are creations only.

Q.: Paramaanu (the fundamental subtle primary particle) and aakaasa (ether) have no parts. So the jagat exclusive of these two must be taken to be kaarya.

A.: No to both. They - that is, Paramaanu and aakaasa - are kaarya because they are perceptible (knowable). Their being kaarya cannot be denied for the simple fact of their being impartible. They are known by inference. Many scriptural texts attest our position. They are (1) One God created the sky and the earth. (2) From the Self aakaasa came forth, etc. Here aakaasa implies other elements also. Owing to its knowability, the jagat must be a kaarya; being a kaarya there must be its kartaa (creator), and he must be now ascertained to be the creator of the universe.

Q.: This applies to a pot and the potter because both are seen. Not so in the other case.

A.: He is totally different from all other agents. For, the scripture says: "There was then (that is, before creation) neither Sat nor asat (anything nor nothing)". There is no material with which to create this jagat; yet He did it; therefore He differs from all others. The Creator has now been established.

Q.: Should the reasoning based on the aagamic texts that the jagat is a kaarya be upheld as impregnable, this should hold good for the reasoning based on Baarhaspatya Aagama also which declares that the loka has no creator but appears solely according to nature.

A.: It is only a semblance of an aagama. Here are some extracts from it:

Earth, water, fire and air are the four elements perceived (by the senses) and no fifth element is so perceived. The loka is composed of varying combinations of these four elements and is also changing every moment, so that each successive modification of this assemblage is similar to the previous one. The loka is only of the nature of these combinations and it rests in itself. Just as a solution of sugar acquires intoxicating power so also the mixture of ova and semen in the womb acquires intellectual power capable of action and cognition. Just as the intoxicating liquor is called wine, so also the intellect-united body is called a purusha (man). Pleasure is the goal of man and it forms heaven whereas pain is called hell; they are both natural. Mixtures of these two form the routine of life (Samsara). Just as the intoxication disappears after a time so also does the intellect; its total extinction is called moksha (liberation) by the wise. There is no heaven or hell to go to after death.

Such is the Chaarvaaka doctrine which has already been refuted by all other schools of thought. It has been said to be a semblance of aagama because it is opposed to all other aagamas. Now it will be shown to be opposed to everyone's experience also. Samsara being an uninterrupted series of births, deaths, etc., is full of pain. Its root cause must be found and scotched. Samsara thus ending. Supreme Bliss ensues and this is the supreme goal of man. Such is the belief of the seekers of liberation; this is supported by holy texts and logic. Such being the case, to admit direct perception as the only valid proof and to assert on its basis that death is the only goal, show the sastra to be a so-called sastra only. Therefore that aagama has not been admitted by wise men of discrimination to be helpful for gaining the supreme goal of man.

The Chaarvaaka asserting only svaatmanaasa to the goal of man should be asked, "what is meant by svaatamanaasa which you say is the goal? Is it the momentary loss or the loss of the series or the ordinary loss as understood by all?" It cannot be the first since according to you the intellect that is the Self is momentary; the goal is attained every moment and no effort is needed to attain it. The other two are impossible (consistently with your views). For, at the time of the dissolution of one's own self (svaatmanaasa) there would remain nothing to say one's own (svasya); therefore the loss of one's own self is unattainable and this ends in no purushaartha. If you say this very unattainability is itself the purushaartha, then it may even result in the loss of another self (because there is no svasya)!

Again, about the purushaartha of the loss of one's self (svaatmanaasa) is it established on any pramaana or is it not? If you say "not", it is non-existent like a hare's horn. If you say it is, - on what pramaana? You admit only direct perception as proof. For this the object must be present here now. The past or the future cannot be proved according to you. You who admit only direct perception as proof, to say that the intellect is an effect similar to the intoxicating power of a solution of sugar is like saying "I have no tongue''. Your sastra was not given out by any all-knowing saint; it is dry and devoid of any reasoning. Having thus dealt with atheism, the Sankhya school of thought is next examined.

They are parinaama vaadis, i.e., they assert that the jagat was originally contained in its source in a subtle manner; therefore it was before, it is now and it will be hereafter (this is sad vaada). They say that the jagat was not created by an intelligent being; its source is the unintelligent principle, prakriti, in which its three constituent qualities - sattva, rajas and tamas were in equipoise. It is itself devoid of intelligence, and cannot therefore do anything intelligently; it is inert (jada). However, it does not require an extraneous agent to modify itself into the jagat unlike clay requiring a potter to change it into a pot. By itself it is modified into jagat and thus it forms the source of the jagat. This is in brief the godless Sankhya doctrine.

Further on, in prakriti's sattva (bright aspect) it is dear like a mirror; so it can take in reflections of purusha, the intelligent principle and the reflection of the universe, the inert nature of its tamasic aspect. Owing to this union of the reflected seer and the seen, the purusha becomes associated with aviveka (the undiscriminating quality) of prakriti; so he feels 'I know the pot' (i.e., any object); this forms his wrong identity and this is just his samsara. If however, by vichaara (investigation) he knows himself to be different from prakriti, prakriti abandons him at once like a thief who has been discovered; this is the end of his wrong identification and constitutes mukti. This is their belief.

According to their view the universe gets illumined by its relation to the Chit (purusha) reflected in prakriti. Regarding this reflected Chit, is it void of intelligence like its base prakriti, or is it intelligent by its own nature? In the former case, illumining the universe is impossible. If contended that even though inert it can still illumine, then the sattva aspect of prakriti can serve the purpose and the reflected Chit is redundant. In the latter case there is no need for the reflected Chit, since direct relation with Chit itself will do. Nor can it be said that just as a mirror is unable by itself to illumine an object yet when sunlight is reflected on it, it illumines the object, so also the reflected Chit is needed; for, the sunlight does not require any medium as the mirror does for illumining objects. Nor can it be said that the reflected Chit partakes of the qualities of both prakriti and Chit, or is altogether different from either or from both of them. In the former case, it is impossible (like darkness and light being together) and in the latter case it is inconsistent with your doctrine (apasiddhaanta). Furthermore, prakriti naturally active in the presence of purusha cannot cease to be so after the accession of discrimination (viveka j˝anottaram) for one's own nature cannot change. Therefore bondage cannot be overcome (by adopting your system).

We see that a pot etc., are formed by a potter etc., endowed with intelligence, for it is done according to a plan - 'I will make such a pot in this manner'. Since intelligence is required to make a pot, the jagat cannot be the production of an unintelligent principle - prakriti. The word 'unintelligent' is used deliberately to indicate that an image of a potter for instance - cannot make a pot. The srutis declare, "He (God) thought: I shall create the world"; "I shall manifest names and forms etc." The Original Being thought and manifested the worlds with no constituent material at all, like a magician conjuring illusory objects. Hence the anumaana (inference) is perfectly valid; jagat buddhimat kartrukam kaaryatvat ghataadivat iti - meaning the jagat has an intelligent maker because it is kaarya, as pot etc. This means that only an intelligent being can be the creator of the jagat and not the unintelligent principle prakriti.

Still more, in order to establish the inert prakriti as the creator of the jagat the Sankhya cannot show any illustration as a valid proof.


Well, I admit the jagat has an intelligent being for its creator. Sure, a potter is necessary to make a pot; similarly the jagat must have a creator but he need not be Parameshvara, the Lord of All.

A.: He must be Parameshvara because of the surpassing wonder that the earth stands amidst the water and these repose in empty space etc. To accomplish such wonders the creator must have surpassingly wonderful powers. These powers must also be immeasurable and his capacity infinite. Therefore He must be different from any common artisan. We find each special work requires a specialist to do it. For the same reason the infinite universe should have one of infinite powers for its maker. Thus far, the existence of Ishvara is established.


That He is the sole Refuge of all, will now be established. Surrender to Him whole-heartedly (without any other object but that of entrusting yourself to his care). If on the other hand there be any other desire, only half of your heart is with God and the other half with your desire. So it will be only half or part surrender which is not effective. Only surrender to Him body, heart and soul will lead to eternal Bliss. Ishvara grants everything to His devotee.


Q.: It is alright that persons in position being pleased with others' service, satisfy their wants to a limited extent. But Ishvara being self-contained has no wants. And so He cannot be pleased with others' services. How then do you say that He is pleased and fulfils all the wants of devotees?

A.: Because of His love of others' devotion, that is to say, others' devotion results in the reaction of God's love for them and the automatic fulfilment of all their desires. Moreover there is no certainty with worldly men in power whereas it is certain with God. Therefore the devotee is sure of his goal.

Q.: How is this assumption of certainty warranted?

A.: Otherwise God will be open to censure. Uncertainty in God's reaction or response means uncertainty in the results of everyday transactions of ours and untimely end of the samsara projected by Him. You who desire the Supreme Goal need not engage in it nor seek it. But surrender yourself completely to God and He will establish you in the Supreme State.


Differences of opinion regarding the means of liberation and consequent doubts as to the means are thus resolved.

Q.: Which is God? Some say Siva, others Vishnu, or Indra or Ganesa etc. Who is supreme among them?

A.: No name and form attach to Him. He is none of them singly or He is all of them. He is not personal. He is pure Chit only.


Q.: But creation, preservation and dissolution are functions requiring the use of limbs and material?

A.: It is so with workers of limited powers and objectives. This holds good for gross bodies; but in dreams the gross bodies do not act and there are no means nor objectives, yet worlds are created, transactions go on, battles are fought, and empires won and lost; it is Chit that causes it all. If there had been material before creation with which to create the jagat, such material should be eternal and exempt from being created. Then Ishvara must be accepted to be the creator of a part of the jagat; this contradicts His being the all-creator. Also being only the effective cause and not the material cause of the jagat, He can no more be Ishvara (than a magnified artisan). Kshemarajacharya says: "Those who admit Ishvara to be the effective cause only place Him on a par with a profligate enmeshed in the lures of a wanton woman other than his wife". Those who imagine a starting-point for the creation (the aarambha vaadis) assert that Ishvara is only the effective cause and the effect (jagat) cannot come into being afresh. Before creation, paramaanus (fundamental, indivisible, subtle particles) were present. By Ishvara's will they united with each other and creation took place.

But this cannot be. It is seen that only a sentient being responds to the wishes of another, but not an inert object. The paramaanus being insentient cannot react to Ishvara's will. Objection: Such is the wonderful power of Ishvara as to make even the inert paramaanus obedient to His will. A.: True, that Ishvara's powers are immeasurable and infinite. It is because of His extraordinary powers that He creates the jagat even in total absence of material for it. If in spite of this, paramaanus be said to be the material cause it is thanks to duality-minded obstinacy! Hereby is refuted the theistic (Saankhya) school i.e., Paatanjala or Yoga School.

There is not the least incongruity in our system based solely on the aagamas declaring the all-powerful Supreme Being fully capable of conducting the totality of actions, transactions etc.

Objection: In order to explain the different grades of beings etc., and also obviate the charges of partiality and cruelty to Ishvara, every school of thought admits karma to be the cause of differences. This admission by you vitiates your position, for, there is karma needed for creation in addition to Ishvara. So He is not all-powerful.

A.: True, that this contention remains insuperable to the dualists. As for the non-dualists the jagat is contained in Chit like images in a mirror; so also karma; it is not external to the infinite Supreme Intelligence (Parameshvara) and there is not the slightest discrepancy in our contention.

Objection: Even then, it is seen that a pot is made by a potter; he is the maker of the pot; and therefore Ishvara is not the all-creator.

A.: The potter is not external to Iswara. Again just as the king remains the sole administrator, even though his servants act on the spot, so also Ishvara acts through His agents.

Conclusion: The Supreme Being is only One Solid Intelligence, nameless, formless, bodiless, infinite, non-dual, and Blissful. This being incomprehensible to impure minds is apprehended in various forms according to the capacities of individuals. Nevertheless devotion to any form or name of God purifies the mind so that the individual is ultimately resolved into the Supreme Being.




Even after much effort the Self remains unrealised because the sadhak is not acquainted with it and so does not recognise it even in Its presence. Now listen, the mind when checked remains inert for some time. At the end of it darkness is perceived. Before darkness supervenes there is an interval of pure knowledge which is quite unaware of the body or environment; only this pure Knowledge shines along with objects when the mind is active; when the mind is checked it shines of Itself. This state of pure Knowledge is called the residual state (sesha bhaava). This can by no means be eliminated because being self-resplendent, it shines of Itself, as is experienced by one just risen from sleep who says "For long I remained unaware of anything." This residual state is the one of pure Knowledge void of objects. Always contemplate 'I am.' That is the state of Bliss beyond the ken of great pandits, yogis or even sadhakas of a sort.

Though the jagat is variegated the whole of it can be classified under the two heads. Knowledge and the knowable. Of these the knowable is established by direct perception, inference, etc. and it is always the non-self. Being non-self, it is not worthwhile investigating; therefore knowledge alone will be examined here. Being self-evident, it requires no external evidence. In its absence nothing else can exist. Being the background of all, like a mirror of the images reflected in it, nothing can shine without it; so it cannot in any way be obviated.

Objection: Unreasonable to say that nothing else can exist without it, because the proven is proved by proofs.

A.: If the proof be valid the proven is established by it. The validity of the proof is known by the proven. To say so is absurd, being interdependent. But without the knower the proof does not gain authority, i.e., the knowable cannot be said to be. A proof only proves a fact but is not the fact. If you object saying that the knower (knower is the same as knowledge) also can be known only by a proof, I reply there must be equally a knower to deny the knower as to know him. Therefore, we say that the knower is self-proven and does not require extraneous proof to establish its Being. Being conscious, being always self-shining it requires no proof like the self-shining sun requiring no candle light to illumine it. Were one to deny pure Knowledge itself - the knowable is dependent on knowledge and it cannot be in the absence of knowledge; therefore he cannot raise the question nor expect an answer i.e., to say, he is out of consideration.

Pure knowledge means the state of awareness free from objective knowledge; it is knowledge remaining unmoded. This state forms the interval between deep sleep and waking state; it must be distinguished from the other two. Deep sleep means the dormant state of mind; waking consists of a series of broken knowledge; in it objects are perceived by the senses external to the mind whereas in dream the mind is at one with the senses and its latencies are objectified and perceived within itself like particles of dust in water. In deep sleep supervening after dream the mind together with the senses merges into its source - Prakriti; then the tamasic or dull aspect of prakriti remains predominant on overwhelming the sattvic and rajasic aspects. In this state the Self shines only very indistinct like the sun behind very heavy clouds. In the interval between deep sleep and waking the mind continues to be inward turned and cannot reflect objects external to it; at the same time the tamas of prakriti has lost its solidity and does not hide the Self. In this manner the Self that is Chit shines unobjectified i.e., as unbroken knowledge.

In the same manner, with the intervals of broken knowledge: the background namely Pure Knowledge remains unbroken in the interval of knowledge of a pot, does not itself continue to subsist as that of a piece of cloth; the difference between the two is obvious. In the interval between the two kinds of knowledge, Pure Knowledge persists devoid of the two forms: this cannot be denied. This is samvit (Knowledge) shining in its own merit.

Samvit is the seer or the ego. Just as the water in a tank passes through an outlet into a channel to irrigate a field and mixes with the water already in the field, so also at the instant of perception, the samvit of the seer passes through the senses to unite with the samvit of the object. In this case Chit remains as the body, mind etc., of the seer; in the sky it remains as the sun; in the intervening space covered by it samvit is formless and this is its real state. All this indicates these intervals to be the seats of realisation of the Self. The Self is no more than this. Pure Chit devoid of objective knowledge is the true Self. If this is realised as the Self the universe will appear to be just an image reflected in the mirror of Chit and so results the state of fearlessness, for to see a tiger reflected in a mirror does not cause fright.



Some say that the jagat is the product of invisible fundamental particles. Though remaining different from its source, it vanishes altogether in the end. That the unitary, primary particles give rise to the binary particles is inferred from the partibility of the latter. According to them the process of creation is as follows: The mature adrshta (results of previous karma persisting in a subtle form) of the individuals together with the will of Ishvara causes the inert primary particles to be active; then binary, tertiary etc. particles are successively formed resulting in the objects of the universe. The products are totally different from the original cause. At the time of dissolution the universe vanishes like the horns of a hare (i.e., ceases to be).


Its refutation: It is not proper to say that a pot is non-existent before creation; it is existent sometime; later it becomes non-existent at dissolution because of the contrary existence and non-existence of the same thing.

The Opponent: Not so. Though there is a contradiction in terms of being and non-being of the same thing, there is no contradiction in terms of relationship (samyoga) (e.g., a monkey is on the tree or a monkey is not on the tree).

A.: No. 'Being' pervades the object in entirety whereas in relationship there is no such pervasiveness. This is certainly opposed to non-being. The same object cannot be yellow and not yellow at the same time.

Opponent: The nature of an object must be determined only from experience. Pervasiveness is found applicable to the inseparable union of the material cause of the object in space but it is not applicable to the existence or the non-existence of the object in time; e.g., a pot is or is not.

A.: The same object cannot be both shining and non-shining at the same time. On the other hand, (if you are thinking) of the contrary experiences at the same time such as a blue tamas is moving, it is so because the same object by its sattvic nature reflects light and by its tamasic nature remains dark, thus making it appear that light and darkness coexist. This is not on all fours with my statement that the same object cannot both be yellow and not yellow at the same time. Therefore it is obvious that being and non-being certainly contradict each other both in time and space.

Opponent: How can this rule apply to ascertain darkness to be, by seeing it with the light of the eye? It cannot.

A.: You are not right. To explain the facts of experience, different methods are adopted because the same rule may not apply in all cases.


In the doctrine of aggregation of particles before creation, other anomalies are also pointed out besides the above one. They are concerned with the imagined aggregation, e.g., existence and non-existence of the same thing. Again the primary particles cannot be impartite or indivisible; also their separateness from one another cannot be proved because they mix together to form binary etc. particles.

Opponent: Defects in our doctrine are shared by us along with all others in their own doctrines.

A.: Quite so. It is common to all kinds of dualism but to advaita they become ornaments like the arrows aimed by Bhagadatta at Vasudeva which clung to Him like ornaments.







Creation being an empty fancy and Chit always unchanging, how can creation be said to originate from Chit?

A.: The answer to this question is based on srutis. Avidya (i.e., ignorance) being the root-cause of creation, its origin is first elucidated and it will be followed up by the thirty-six fundamentals. Chit is certainly changeless. A mirror is seen to reflect the sky in it; similarly Chit presents within itself something which (to us) signifies 'exterior'. But the external sky being merely an effective cause, its reflection is seen in the mirror, whereas the 'exterior' in Chit is solely due to its inherent power. The difference lies in the intelligent nature of Chit and the inert nature of the mirror. Since the whole creation develops from this "exterior" it is said to be the first creation. This phenomenon is called avidya or tamas (ignorance or darkness).

Q.: Chit being impartite, how can this phenomenon arise as a part thereof?

A.: Quite so. Hence it is called a phenomenon. And it is not a part but it looks like it. When the unbroken WHOLE appears to be divided into parts, it is called a phenomenon (and not a fact). Parameswara is Pure Solid Intelligence altogether free from its counter-part; hence He is 'independent'. An inert thing is dependent on external aid to make known itself or another object; whereas the Supreme Intelligence is independent of external aid to make ITSELF known or other things. This factor "independence" is also called its sakti, kriya (action), vimarsa (deliberation) etc., which manifesting as jagat at the time of creation and after, yet remains as pure Being only, because awareness of pure Being continues unbroken till the time of dissolution. Therefor such "independence" is the ever-inseparable characteristic of Siva. At the end of dissolution the same uniting with the adrshta now mature, presents the Self (svarupa) as fragmented, i.e., limited; this is otherwise said to be the manifestation of the 'exterior'. The manifestation of limitation is obviously the manifestation of space (aakaasa) distinct from the Self. When one's arm is broken in two, the broken piece is no longer identified as 'I'; similarly the 'exterior' is no longer identified as 'I'; it is distinct from 'I'; it is no longer meant by 'I'. Such unfolding of the non-self is said to be that of space, of the seed i.e., jagat in dormancy, or jadasakti (inert power). In this manner the perfect Chit by its own power presenting within Itself the phenomenon of avidya as distinct from Itself is called the first 'step' to creation. The Vedantists call this the root avidya - mula-avidya. What is here designated as 'independence' is nothing but the power of Chit (freewill). This assumes three states. In dissolution, it remains purely as power (that is latent) because it is nirvikalpa (i.e., the state of no modification or manifestation); just before creation i.e., before the objects take shape this power is said to be maayaa; when shapes are manifest the same power is called jadasakti. All these names signify the same sakti. Sri Krishna has said, "Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and ego constitute my lower prakriti; distinct from it is my paraa prakriti which is of the form of jivas and preserves the jagat". The former eight-fold prakriti constitutes the jada aspect as kaarya whereas the latter paraa prakriti is Chit Sakti forming the background for the jagat like a mirror to the images reflected in it. Hence the statement: "By whom the eight-fold prakriti is supported". Nevertheless we have to admit that even before the appearance of the inert power the eight-fold prakriti, the Chit Sakti ('free will') already co-exists with the adrshta of the individuals and the time matures the adrshta. Otherwise the charge of partiality and cruelty and other stigma will attach (to Ishvara). But the admission of adrshta lands us in duality and time is yet another (thorn). Is time the nature of Ishvara or is it distinct? In any case, since in dissolution there is no upaadhi to distinguish one from another and the same principle remains uniform from the beginning of dissolution to the end of it, the adrshta of the individuals remaining merged in avidya may perhaps mature the very next instant of dissolution and creation start untimely. In answer to this the sadkaarya vadis say: Before creation all kaaryas remain merged in maayaa in a subtle form; now that time and adrshta are together in a subtle form in maayaa, the subtle adrshta matures in subtle time; maayaa being the sakti of the Self i.e., Chit, it is not distinct and therefore the advaita doctrine becomes tenable. Others declare that creation resembles dream or day-dreaming or magic requiring no explanation like the mirage-water unfit for discussion. For the same reason the accounts of creation are bound to differ from one another in different srutis. They are meant to impress on the mind that the Self alone is and creation is not distinct from it. Hence the declaration in the Parameshvara Agama: "No creation; no cycle of births; no preservation; or any krama (regulation). Only solid Intelligence-Bliss is. This is the Self".






The Self is luminous owing to its self-shining nature. At the instant of perception of objects, such as a pot, the ego-sense of identity with the body vanishes. There is no experience of the complexion of the body (for instance) simultaneous with perception of objects. Otherwise one would be thinking, "I am fair or brown", even while perceiving a pot. In other words, when an object is perceived it is as non-self, like the body known as 'mine' (my body).

It should not be said that the Self does not shine as 'I' simultaneously with the perception of objects. If so, the objects cannot be perceived. For when there are no lights to illumine objects they are not perceived. It should not also be said - yet there is no 'I' sparkling (spurthi). For it implies some distinctive form of shining and not the sheen of pure light; this will also imply inertness. Therefore the Self shines as pure 'I'. On account of this those who hold that knowledge is self-evident, admit the experience "I know the pot" (but not 'I have the knowledge of the pot'). (ghatam aham jānāmi but not j˝āna-vān ghata aham).

If the Self be not admitted to shine of itself even during our objective perceptions, it will not be proper to reject the doubt whether 'I am or not.' Nor should it be said that simultaneously with objective perception the ego shines (i.e., manifests) identical with body etc. If in the perception of an object the form of the object does not manifest, the body cannot manifest itself at the time of sensing the body etc. It does not follow that in the knowledge 'He is Chaitra', the intelligence namely the Self of Chaitra is signified by the word 'he' and manifests transcending his body-ego; for, to him Chaitra's ego remains unimpaired (i.e., he feels his ego-sense all the same).

In deep sleep and samadhi the 'I' cannot be denied existence. All admit its continued existence in those states also because of the recollection of the experience (in those two states). True, the Self remains continuous in those states but it cannot be denoted by 'I' for the former is unmodified Consciousness and the latter is a mode of consciousness. The answer to such an objection is according to the sages well-versed in aagamas, as follows: - 'I' is of two kinds, moded and unmoded intelligence. Mode means differentiation; therefore moded intelligence is differentiated intelligence. The other one is undifferentiated and is therefore unmoded. When objectified as bodies etc., the ego is moded and differentiated. But in deep sleep and samaadhi, Consciousness remains unobjectified and undifferentiated; therefore it is unmoded. It does not follow from this that the admission of 'I' in samadhi will amount to admission of the triads (e.g., cogniser, cognition and the cognised). Since 'I' remains as the residue devoid of 'non-I' there are no triads there. It is said in Pratyabhijna, "Although I shine as Pure Light yet it is word in a subtle form (paraavak)". This ego is not a mode. Such is the doctrine of advaita.

This (unmoded Intelligence) is just the knowledge of 'I-I'. The aagamas speak of it as Perfect EGO or Perfect Knowledge. Because this state later finds expression to describe it, it is said to be 'word' (vaak); but it does not mean audible word. It is 'word' in a subtle form, remaining unspoken.

Perfect Ego cannot be denied in the unmoded Consciousness for it will amount to inertness, Bhagavan Hariina has said: "Should 'word' mean differentiation in the ever-Present Light, it would amount to saying the Sight does not shine (of itself)". On the other hand, 'word' signifies 'profound contemplation'. Pratyabhij˝a says: "Deliberation makes clear the Self-shining Light. Were it not so, i.e., if light should shine only in contact with an object, it would be inert like a crystal". Bhagavan Sri Sankara also says that the Self, namely Chit, is always shining as 'I'. In Viveka Chuudaamani it is found, "That which constantly shines forth as 'I' throughout infancy etc., waking state etc., which are super-imposed on it..."



Though the Self that is Chit is Pure Solid Intelligence, it is not like a solid rock for that would amount to inertness. It is pure, scintillating awareness. Its shining nature is distinct from that of bright objects such as a flame. This awareness is also called intelligence, deliberation, light of consciousness, activity, vibration, the supreme Ego etc. Because of this nature the Supreme Being is capable of creation and this also finds mention in Soundarya Lahari Sloka 1.

It is not correct to say that Paramasiva remains united with the power of maayaa which is indescribable (anirvachaneeya) and illusory. Should the jagat be false (non-existent) like a hare's horn, its creation must also be declared to be so. It is not proper to say that the Lord's nature is wasteful because it will end in a blank i.e., sunya. If the jagat is said to be non-existent like a hare's horn, sruti declarations such as "Form whom all these elements, all these creatures have come forth etc." would amount to a mad man's ravings. Nor is it proper to contend that acceptance of Supreme Intelligent Being followed by the denial of the reality of the jagat is sunya vaada, because false jagat inclusive of the Supreme Reality is self-contradictory. (The correct position is: the Supreme Being appears as or seems to be the jagat.) If you argue that this results in duality whereas the srutis declare, "There are not many here but only the Self", I say you do not understand the advaita saastra; nowhere do the saastras declare the jagat to be unreal. But yet they proclaim advaita to be certain. Srutis such as "He became all", "Only the non-dual Supreme Being shines as the universe", declare the jagat to be real and thereby non-duality is not impaired. Though the town reflected in a mirror seems distinct yet it cannot exist without the mirror and so is no other than the mirror; in the same manner the jagat though seeming distinct is no other than the Supreme Self. So non-duality is unimpaired.

As in the sruti cited by you, "there are not many here", the denial relates to duality only and nothing else. Therefore it is a sign of ignorance to declare the jagat to be unreal. The sages know that true knowledge consists in realising that "all is Siva". Suta Samhita says, "to say pot etc., are unreal, is ignorance. Correctly to say pot etc., is real, is true knowledge".

Thus the supreme Intelligent Being by its own supreme power of maayaa manifests Itself as this wonderful universe. In the universe thus manifested to see the jiva distinct from the Supreme is duality and constitutes the bondage of the individual. Knowledge of non-duality constitutes liberation. His 'independence' (svatantra, free will), reflection of the universe, reflection of the individual selves, reflection of the bondage, reflection of liberation are all presented within Himself by His own independent power. Like a day-dream, all these depend upon His power of manifestation which however is not distinct from the Supreme Intelligence. So our system is free from any stigma. Power of deliberation always remains constant with the Supreme Being. However in deep sleep the reflection of inertness (jada sakti) veils it and renders it weak; though the Supreme Being or Chit is then shining in full, the sages have proclaimed the state to be one of inertness or dullness.






The knowledge gained by hearing is only indirect. Then reasoning in conformity with the sruti texts, it must be ascertained whether indirect knowledge concerns one's own self or not. By reflection all doubts will vanish. After thus ascertaining by reflection that the Self remains non-dual, contemplate the Self, that .is to say, keep the mind one-pointedly on the Self. If the mind becomes restless, train it even forcibly. Be not effortless in this direction. Yoga Vasishta says: "Even with hands clenched and teeth ground, pressing the limbs and forcibly withdrawing the senses, the mind must first be brought under control." So the utmost effort must be made. Also the breath must forcibly be controlled, if necessary by means of praanaayaamaa (regulation of breath). One-pointedness must be gained at all costs. How long is effort necessary? Until direct experience is gained. Thus by contemplation the inmost Self is realised. Then contemplate 'I am Brahman.' This is known as Recognition of the Self as Brahman (Pratyabhij˝a J˝ana). Although this amounts to unmoded samaadhi (nirvikalpa) because it is unbroken uniform knowledge, yet owing to the difference in the methods and results, it must be recognised that these two states are distinct. Such knowledge of the non-dual Self annihilates ignorance.

The same is further explained. First ascertain the Self to be real by means of sravana and manana (hearing and reflection); then contemplate; realisation results and it is nirvikalpa samaadhi. This is the idea: Dhyaana is only one; it goes by the name of savikalpa samaadhi and of nirvikalpa samaadhi according to its stages of development. On resolving to keep the mind still for a particular duration of time and continuing on the trail of the resolve without forgetting it, the period during which the contemplated object remains uninterrupted, is said to be the duration of dhyana. If by long practice the contemplated object remains steady for the intended period it is savikalpa samadhi (moded samaadhi). If again by repeated practice of the same the mind remains in unbroken contemplation even without the initial resolve and its continued memory, it is said to be nirvikalpa or unmoded samaadhi. The following explanation is found in a book Paramaananda: "Contemplation with series of breaks is dhyana; the same without break is savikalpa samaadhi; stillness of mind without contemplation and break is nirvikalpa samadhi. Dhyana maturing and ending in nirvikalpa samadhi, the inmost Self is realised. On breaking away from it, to remember the experience of the inmost Self, to recall to mind the description of the Supreme Being in the holy texts and to identify the one with the other, forms recognition (Prathyabhij˝a J˝ana)."

Q.: For such recognition, recollection is a necessary ingredient; recollection is of the mental impression already formed; impression can be produced only in moded knowledge and not in the unmoded state of nirvikalpa samaadhi of one uniform unmoded Light of Consciousness.

A.: You are right. Unmoded light simply illumines objects like a pot etc.; it cannot produce any impression on the mind to be reproduced later on. Otherwise a way-farer will be able to remember all that he saw on the way; but it is not so. Only the moded knowledge such as "this is a pot, this is a piece of cloth" is later recollected. Hence, whatever subtle modes appeared in the unmoded state (e.g., here is a man; here is Devadatta) are alone later recollected. By way of explanation some say that the end of the nirvikalpa state is followed by a moment of savikalpa and this helps formation of impressions to be recollected later.

Others: Since the pure inmost Self cannot form the object of experience even in savikalpa samaadhi, they say that recollection is of the experience of the samaadhi itself. (Because the savikalpa samaadhi of the nature of a resolve and cannot have the Pure Self for its object) it cannot be maintained that in savikalpa samaadhi the Pure Self forms the object of experience. But how can the recollection arise directly from nirvikalpa samaadhi? There is no rule that savikalpa alone should give rise to later recollection. Vikalpa means appearance of differentiation. A wayfarer takes in very subtle impressions of things seen on the way and recollects some of them. This alone can explain the recollection of deep sleep after waking from it. To the objection that recollection cannot arise from nirvikalpa samadhi, the reply is: In any knowledge whichever factor is clearly seen, the same will later be recollected along with that knowledge. In recollecting a panorama all objects in it are not clearly seen. But as it is said in Pratyabhij˝aa Saastra, "According to taste and according to desire" the recollection is limited to them. In this way all differentiation is solely a mental mode. Yet pandits think in different ways. Therefore some say that there cannot be a recollection of nirvikalpa samaadhi. For details refer to Pratyabhij˝aa Saastra and its commentaries.




After realising the Self as unmoded Consciousness in nirvikalpa samaadhi, self-realised beings keep on recollecting it deliberately; this results in withdrawal by them in perfect repose; this by the wise is said to be their samaadhi. This is the secret of vij˝ana: The hatha yogis who have not realised the Self by sravana etc., fall into two groups; one of them is accomplished in the eight-fold yoga of Patanjali; the other after gradually finishing the stage of pranayama (control of breath), practises it more and more so that the kundalini is aroused to go up and open out the sushumnaa naadi. The former, before entering samadhi, resolves to avoid all thought of the non-self, succeeds gradually in avoiding extraneous thoughts, then contemplates the absence of all thoughts and then, released from contemplation as well, he is left as a residual being. The other, with great effort makes the vital air enter the sushumnaa; owing to the effort there is fatigue; however having entered the sushumnaa the fatigue vanishes; he feels refreshed like a man relieved of a heavy burden. Then his mind remains as if stupefied.

Both these classes of sadhakas experience Bliss like that of deep sleep in their own time.

As for the j˝ana yogis who have realised the unmoded knowledge - Self by sravana etc., - even before attaining samaadhi the veil of ignorance is removed and unmoded Knowledge-Self is found always scintillating as the various objects like reflections in a mirror. Not only this but also before samadhi, the modes of mind vanish leaving the residual mind as the witness of the disappearance of the objects and he remains as unmoded knowledge only. The hatha yogis' experience is not this. Only to the j˝ana-yogis does aj˝ana (ignorance) vanish altogether in samaadhi along with its veiling and projecting or confusing powers, whereas for the hatha yogi, although the projecting power vanishes, the other power continues to veil the Self. To the j˝ana yogi the veiling aspect is done away with in the process of contemplation of itself, leaving nothing of it in the culminating state of samadhi.


Q.: What is then the difference between deep sleep and samadhi of a hatha yogi?

A.: In his deep sleep the Self remains hidden by the massive ignorance of darkness like the sun behind very heavy dark clouds; in the samadhi state, the Self, though revealed by the sattvic mind, will not yet be clear but be like the sun behind thin white clouds.

In the case of the J˝ani, his mind becomes satvic in toto, and thus dispels the veiling of ignorance, so that the Self shines perfectly clear like the sun in a clear sky. The Self-realised know this to be the right Realisation of the Self. J˝ana Samadhi is thus the true samadhi (it means that in spite of the sattvic mind developed by the hatha yogis, their aavarana i.e., veiling remains without being dispelled).




The pleasures and pains of the individual are inferred to be the results of an invisible cause i.e., the past karma. Since it is noticed that j˝anis also live like others, it is said that the praarabdha is not undone by one's j˝ana. This holds good for the lowest order of j˝anis only, for they are seen to react to environment; it does not apply to the higher orders. The feeling of happiness affecting the mind of the individual can be the effect of karma. The middle and the highest classes of j˝anis are not subject to fluctuations of mind. You cannot dispute this point because such fluctuations are completely absent in samadhi. On arising from samadhi all the non-self (i.e., the jagat) shines only as Pure Knowledge (i.e., the Self) just as the images are not distinct from the mirror reflecting them; happiness etc., thus becoming one with the Self cannot then be felt as 'my happiness' etc.; it follows that the Self itself cannot be said to be 'effects' and no corresponding karma can be postulated.

Q.: Though his personal pleasures and pains are not there, yet he sees others enjoy pleasures and suffer pains; his reaction must be due to praarabdha.

A.: No. Others' pleasures and pains are not identified as 'mine'. But they are perceived as one perceives a pot; they cannot be the effects of praarabdha. Since there is no pleasure or pain to be called 'effects' for him, the j˝ani cannot be said to have residual karma.


As for the lowest order of j˝anis, when he engages himself in the daily routine of life, he is likely to forget that all is Self and takes himself to be the enjoyer; since pleasure and pain seem to be 'effects' to him, he is certainly having the fruits of his past karma. Some say that such knowledge as cannot stand the stress of daily life cannot have a lasting value. Others say otherwise. Simultaneously with the rise of Supreme Knowledge, the veiling power of ignorance is at an end. Only the projecting power is operative for some time, owing to praarabdha. It will quickly exhaust itself and no more karma will be left to cling to new bodies (by rebirth); ignorance being at an end there, no fresh karma will accumulate; for the same reason there will not be any mode of mind, for it vanishes like fire which has burnt up its fuel; hence no fresh bodies will attach to him. Therefore the Pure Being is left over and thus liberation is inevitable. It is only too true that lapses from Knowledge do not constitute Knowledge in perfection. Hence the sastras distinguish the j˝ani from a jivanmukta i.e., one liberated while alive.

Q.: According to the dictum that a man will be reborn according to his last thought, that the j˝ani of the lowest order will also be reborn because his praarabdha is not completely ended, recollection of the non-self (by viparita smarana) must lead to rebirth.

A.: No. Recollection of the non-self is unavoidable to the higher order of jivanmukta also. The dictum you cited does not apply to j˝ani of any sort. Simultaneous with the rise of Knowledge there is complete loss of ignorance; therefore pleasures and pains no longer constitute 'effects' of karma; they are only transitory phenomena; praarabdha is conjectured simply to explain this phenomenon; but praarabdha no longer remains for a j˝ani of any order and no recollection of non-self will arise in the last moment of his life.


Therefore the difference between a mere j˝ani and a jivanmukta lies in their reaction to the pains and pleasures of life. It is said that since liberation is simultaneous with the rise of Knowledge, it is immaterial when and how the j˝ani dies, either near holy places or in strange homes or other places, or taken unaware by death. If he knows perfectly even once the supreme state of Siva by means of reflection or by sastras or by Guru's grace, he is a self-realised man. And nothing more remains for him to do.



Cease thinking of the non-self; then blank prevails; the knower or the witness of this is pure knowledge without any modes; such is the Supreme Knowledge (Paraa Samvit). This is full of Bliss and therefore the highest goal (purushaartha). This state is one of solid Bliss. The reason is: Misery is the result of upaadhi which is totally absent in the Self. This samvit is the condensation of the sum total of bliss, consequent on all the forms of enjoyment by all living beings put together. For samvit is desired by one and all living beings.

Q.: Is it not pleasure from objects that is thus desired? How can it take the form of the enjoyer?

A.: Since it is desired by all, the Self must be of the nature of Bliss. Otherwise it will not be desired by all equally.

Q.: If it be the Self alone that is desired by all, how can the desires be various e.g., for the body, wealth, woman, etc.?

A.: The desire is not really for objects since it is for one's own sake. Hence those desirous of heaven etc., undergo fasts etc., and willingly leave their bodies etc. So the Self is never that which is not desired. Therefore it must be Bliss itself.

Q.: Pleasure is obvious in the enjoyment of objects, whereas the other bliss cannot be proved to be; therefore the Self cannot be admitted to be Bliss.

A.: The aagamas (holy texts) declare that all sensual pleasures are but fractions of the Bliss of the Self. This means: Just as ether though not itself visible is yet known to yield room for a pot etc., and thus seems divisible by other adjuncts such as actions etc., so also Chit though not visible yet appears divided by objects seeming to be the source of sensual pleasure (which in reality are only fractions of the Bliss of the Self).

Q.: Your statements prove only the desire for pleasure by the self, and not itself being bliss.

A.: Only the natural bliss of the Self prevails at the instant of relief of one's burden and in deep sleep. This means: As soon as one is relieved of one's heavy load, one surely feels refreshed; this cannot be denied: but here are no objects to give pleasure and how could it be felt unless it is from within, i.e., from the Self?

Q.: It is due to the strain of load being removed.

A.: Removal is negative; how can a negation yield a positive result such as pleasure? It must therefore be admitted to be of the Self.

Q.: Relief from strain amounts to relief from pain. And this seems to be pleasure to him.

A.: But in deep sleep there is no strain to be removed and yet there is the bliss of sleep. This cannot be denied because there is the recollection of the bliss of sleep after waking from it. This bliss cannot but of the Self.

Q.: There is no such bliss of deep sleep.

A.: Why then do all beings desire to sleep and also prepare for it?

Q.: If the Self be bliss, why is it not always apparent?

A.: Although there is noise constantly produced within the body, it is not usually heard; but if you plug your ears to prevent the intrusion of external noises, the noise is distinctly heard from within. Similarly with the bliss of Self. It is at present obstructed by the pains generated by the fire of desires and other latencies. These latencies lie dormant in their sources at the time of deep sleep and then the bliss of the Self becomes apparent like the internal sound on plugging the ears. While bearing the load the pain caused by it over-powers the common misery of current vasanas and thus predominates for the time being. As soon as the load is thrown down, the pain relating to it disappears and in the short interval before the rise of the current vasanas, the bliss of Self is felt. Similarly with the other sensual pleasures. Innumerable vasanas always remain in the heart pricking like thorns all the while. With the rise of a desire for an object the force of it overpowers the other vaasanas which await their turn. When the desired object is attained, the immediate pain of its desire is at an end; in the short interval before the other vasanas manifest, the bliss of Self prevails. Hence it is said what always all desire is only the Bliss of the Self.

Q.: How then do all not understand that the sought-for pleasures are really only the Self?

A.: Owing to their ignorance of the fact that only the bliss of the Self manifests as the pleasure of sensual enjoyments, their attention being on the objects which are transitory; they believe that as the enjoyments are transitory, their bliss also is co-eval with them.





The followers of this school of thought declare that illusion can and does arise even in the absence of any background (niradhishtaana). In the case of a piece of shell appearing as silver, they say that the knowledge of silver is groundless (i.e., void); similarly with the knowledge of the Self. Their position is briefly put as follows: On the firm conviction that the jagat is non-existent, by a prolonged contemplation on the void, the thought of jagat completely vanishing, void prevails and this is liberation.


Now to refute it - denial of the jagat is imperfect knowledge. Just as a pot is not altogether false but is real as clay, so also is jagat not altogether false but is real as intelligence. Therefore to deny the jagat as being nonexistent is only illusory knowledge. Its non-existence cannot be established by any proofs. Because the jagat shines as knowledge from which the individual who proves the jagat to be real or unreal, is not distinct; also the jagat though denied yet persists. Though a pot may be denied, its material clay cannot be so denied. Similarly though the jagat may be denied, its existence as knowledge cannot be denied. The same relationship holds between the jagat and consciousness as between a pot and clay. However the adherents of the school of void stick to void and deny all the perceptible as being void. But he is also contained in the jagat which is denied by him. Then what is left of him beyond denial is knowledge; this cannot be denied. They mean to say that the moded consciousness constitutes samsara whereas unmoded consciousness void of all else including the pramaanas to prove it, constitutes liberation. But our objection is that the one who denies the jagat cannot deny himself and the jagat does not cease to exist simply because one curses it. Our objection is valid because consciousness subsists unimpaired in the unmoded state after denying all else to exist.

Q.: (Granting your view point) what is there to be eliminated and how is non-duality established?

A.: The Vedantists say that the Supreme Sat-Chit seems to be the asat (false) jagat like the false reflection in a mirror; this is anirvachaniya, i.e., inexpressible; non-duality consists in removing this confusion and so this jagat is eliminated. But we say - the jagat appears like the images in a mirror. Just as these images are no other than the mirror, the jagat is no other than the Sat-Chit.

Q.: If so, what remains to be eliminated?

A.: The sense of duality.

Q.: Is this duality included in jagat? Or is it exclusive of it? If the former, it is real as jagat and cannot be negated; if the latter, it leads to anirvachaniya.

A.: It is included in jagat.

Q.: How then is it eliminated?

A.: Listen! Duality is to believe that the illuminant and the illumined are different from each other. Since duality is nothing but illusion, denial of it puts an end to the illusion and thus to itself. Hence it was said, "As a matter of fact unity is not different from diversity. One reality alone shines forth as both."


Now let me turn round and question the Vedantists -

Q.: Is negation indescribable or real? If the former, jagat cannot be negated; if the latter, duality results. Nor can you maintain that negation of the phenomenon resolves itself as the substratum so that the negation of Jagat results in its substratum, Brahman. Of course to admit the non-self-looking negation is simply included in the Self and the whole jagat is nothing but the Self, is not opposed to our view. But negation is negative in character and it cannot be said to resolve itself into its substratum - the Reality. The jagat can be established to exist according to the dictum - the non-self is also the Self. The point is only to gain purushaartha by whatever means - negation or any other. It is useless to engage in disputes. 'The mumukshu' and the 'sadhakas' are warned not to enter into controversies with other systems or religions.


The jagat being of consciousness, like the images in a mirror not being different from a mirror, it is real. Simply because jagat is declared to be of the nature of consciousness, it should not be taken that jagat is consciousness itself. Such assumption will be equivalent to saying that avidya is, because it is said to be inexpressible. Just as you cannot raise the question if avidya is in order to be inexpressible, so also the question cannot arise if jagat is in order to be indistinct from Consciousness. In this manner to know that all is sattaamaatra is perfect Vij˝ana.

Sri Ramanarpanamastu






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