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Highlights #1383 - Wednesday, March 26, 2003 - Editor: jerry


Svatmanirupanam: The True Definition of One's Own Self, by Adi Sankara

Translated by Dr. H. Ramamoorthy and Nome

Published by Society of Abidance in Truth:


From the Introduction:

Though the Self exists always, shining as
never-diminished Consciousness, the seeker of
Self-Realization must reflect and deeply
meditate upon the spiritual truth expressed in
the aphorisms of the wise sages, the teachings
regarding the Self being That, in order to
realize it. Otherwise, this Absolute Self seems
to remain beyond the scope of one's experience,
even though it is one's very Existence. By a
deep inquiry into the meaning of the teaching,
inquiring to know "Who am I?" and by the Grace
of the Master, which is beyond measure, Sri
Sankara declares, one attains "a direct
Awareness, in an instant, of the Self."

The Knowledge of the Self is not time-bound.
The Self, itself, neither comes nor goes, and
its Realization, therefore, can never be quick
or slow, for time does not exist in the Self.
Moreover, it would be ridiculous to define or
attempt to measure the Realization, which is of
the nature of Reality and not an event that
would occur to some individual, by the
measurements and definitions of the unreal. In
addition, the Reality of the Self is ever
present, and, the moment ignorance is removed,
it is known to be there without any delay.

Whenever ignorance is removed, to the extent it
is removed, to that extent the Self shines
unobscured. When the superimposition is
negated, That which truly exists and which was
the substrate of the superimposed, alone
remains. Since That was existing the whole
time, both during the imagined bondage and in
the revealed Liberation, it is not an
attainment, and the Realization, being nondual
and thus of the identical nature, is not an
attainment, though all illusion and the
sufferings of samsara are abolished.

In his commentary upon the Taittiriya Upanisad,
Sri Sankara says that the Self does not truly
fall into the categories of attainment and
non-attainment, realization and
non-realization, as if there were different
states for the Self. The Self is itself -- in
its own state always, as the Maharshi has
declared -- and the ego, being unreal, cannot
have a real state. Sri Sankara states that one
cannot attain oneself, for the Self is
unlimited and identical with all, so
Realization consists of the discovery through
Knowledge of what is actually always true, just
as, in the proverbial story of the tenth man,
no one was lost or regained, but there was
relief from all concern when right Knowledge
dawned. Therefore, certitude of Knowledge is
what is needed, while depth of inquiry is the
means for it. Grace is ever present and is
experienced proportionate to one's diving
within. Therefore, Sankara has said in this
Svatmanirupanam, "...reflecting upon the
meaning of the aphorism, by the greatness of
the Grace of the Master, one attains a direct
Awareness, in an instant, of the Self."

Selected Verses:

1. I bow to the revered guru's pair of feet,
Which destroy the unbearable pair of
opposites, The dust of which is the ash
allaying The (malefic) planet of erroneous

2. To the excellent guru, the compassionate
(one), I bow, Who destroys all doubts,
Whose feet instruct on in the nondual
experience, The meaning of the word "That."

3. Scorched by the forest fire of samsara,
Possessed of all practices, The disciple is
enlightened by the Guru In perfect,
accurate words, as to the definition of
one's own (the true) Self.

13. That which believes, "I am happy," In the
snatches of happiness while in the deep
sleep state, Named as the sheath of bliss--
How can that ego be the Self?

14. What shines as being the original being,
That indeed is the Bliss, the Self of all,
Because it is existent before and after,
Being changeless and not affected (by
anything else).

25. Superimposing on the Self, without
differentiation, The functions of the body,
senses, and such, The knowledge of being
the experiencer of "doership" and such,
Could be the ostensible meaning of the word

41. Though the Self eternally illumines,
According to the words of the Vedas
declaring identity, For people devoid of
the Grace of the Master, It is not possible
to have direct Awareness.

51. The nondual alone is the Truth; The dual,
superimposed on the Truth, is not the
Truth. (It is) like silver on the
mother-of-pearl And as the shimmering of
water in a mirage.

55. Nonduality is of the nature of happiness.
Duality will always be intolerable sorrow.
The Veda-s establish what is purposeful:
"That, indeed, is this."

74. "Doership and others," say some, "Are all
displayed by the power of maya." This is an
error, because There is nothing else
different from Brahman.

75. That Brahman being known, This entire
universe will become known, Just as jars,
pots, and others become known When their
cause, the clay, is known.

93. "What is this?" "What is its nature?" "How
was this?" "What is its origin?" It should
never be thought of thus. It should be
considered by the wise That this universe
is a delusion.


Correction regarding Highlights #1382

Michael writes:


I goofed up the link to satirewire. it goes to
a yahoo news article on the current world water

would the next editor please post the correct
link for satirewire? it is:



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