Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shraddha - Part 11 of 15


We were going to see why shraddhA has been kept after titikshhA.

The discretionary enquiry about the transcendental and the ephemeral (nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka) results in a certain conviction about what is impermanent; but the conviction is not so strong about the permanent.

Isn’t the permanent one the Atman? Unless one has an experience how can conviction about it be strong? But the experience of the Atman is to be had right at the very end.

By all the enquiry, by all the listening to the teachings of one’s Masters, by all that reading of the various works of the Acharya, and by all that exposure to the Upanishads and other philosophical works, one intellectually arrives at the conclusion that there is certainly a thing called Atman and it must be of the nature of the fullness of sat-cit-AnandaM.

But the conviction in this conclusion will not be as strong as the conviction that arises about the impermanence of the universe of objects, because the latter is experiential. The clarity with respect to the Atman cannot be expected to be that perfect.

In other words, we are more knowledgeable about what is to be discarded rather than about what is to be merged in. Thus a disgust-cum-dispassion starts with what is to be discarded. Following that, instead of running after the impermanent non-Self, one, through that very dispassion, engages oneself in the control of the senses and the mind – shama and dama.

In due time the craving for the ephemeral objects of the universe disappears and the mind becomes empty. This is uparati. But even here there is no experience of the Atman. The misery of experience of the non-self is not there, but still the bliss of the fullness of experience of the Atman is also not there.

Then comes the stage of titikshhA – the unaffectedness by the happiness and misery of the outside world. Even here the progress is only on the side of the discarding of the non-self, and not on the side of the experience to be.


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