Ram Gita


Sanskrit Wording:

English Wording:

pratyakparoksadi virodhamatmanor - vihaya sangrhya tayoscidatmatam samsodhitam laksanaya ca laksitam jnatva svamatmanamathadvayo bhavet.

English Meaning:

Rejecting the difference of nearness and remoteness and so on, between jivatman and Paramatman, one should know one’s own nature as that of pure Consciousness, arrived at through inquiry and implied by the method of implication. Thereafter, realizing one’s own true Self as Brahman, one should merge to become one with it.

Give up the confusions that might arise in accepting the direct meaning of the terms tat and tvam. The direct meaning of tat is the Creator, who is not perceivable by our sense organs or comprehensible through our emotions or rational thinking. The direct meaning of the word tvam is the individualized ego; we perceive its calamitous confusions at very close quarters. To say that the ego and the Creator are identical will not withstand the scrutiny of reason because of their contrary natures. It is in the suggestive meanings of the two terms that their identity is justified, and we can arrive at this understanding only through a careful and exhaustive investigation into these suggestive meanings. When we examine tat and tvam closely (samsodhitam) and successfully derobe them of their conditioning, avidya and Maya, we come to recognize the pure state of Consciousness, which is the one enlivening Essence behind both the ego and the Creator. The difference between the two is only between the equipments of the individualized mind and the Total Mind. The contemplative student, in the final stages of his contemplation upon the mahavakya, comes to realize the perfect identity between the essence in him (jiva) and the essence behind the universe (Isvara).

After gaining direct knowledge of this sacred and divine identity (atha), the seeker merges to become one with the infinite Self: the river loses its distinct name and form and merges with the ocean to become one with it. On awakening from the dream, the dreamer folds up his dream world and his experience in the dream and disappears to become one with the waker. In an effortless movement in moments of intense contemplation, the individualized ego glides into a new dimension of consciousness and there disappears to become one with Brahman. At this moment one could declare that one has “reached the Goal”, but that statement is meaningless, just as it is meaningless to cry out that we “got” the key – which was, during our entire search for it, lying quietly in our pocket !


Sanskrit Wording:

English Wording:

ekatmakatvajjahati na sambhave- ttathajahallaksanata virodhatah so yampadarthaviva bhagalaksana yujyeta tattvampadayoradosatah.

English Meaning:

Since the suggestive meaning of the terms tat and tvam indicates their total identity, the jahati method cannot be employed. Neither can we use the ajahati method, because in the direct meaning there is total distinction between the two. Here the method of bhaga-tyaga is to be applied without fear or any misapprehension, as in the case of the sentence, “He is this man.”

In our daily communication, we liberally employ the suggestive meaning lyig hidden behind sentences. The intelligent listener sometimes rejects what is meant literally by the sentence to make sense out of the sentence heard (jaha laksana); sometimes the intelligent listener will have to add something in order to interpret a statement correctly (ajaha laksana); and sometimes he has to give up some aspect and retain another one in order to recognize the exact meaning of a statement made by others (jaha ajaha laksana).

When my listener hears the statement “My house is right on the sea.” he does not conclude that the house is made up of cork and bamboo and is floating on the sea, but he subtracts the sea from under the building and understand that my house is next to the sea, but standing firmly upon its own foundation. This is an example of ajahati.

When any intelligent listener hears the statement “The guns marched,” he adds a soldier under every gun; this is an example of an ajahati laksana.

“That Devadatta (as a child) is this youth” is a statement wherein a child from a given time an place and of a given size and with other qualities of childhood is shown to have become, after fourteen years, this youth. The listener has to subtract the time, the place, the size, the shape, the innocence in the child and add the new time, place, size, shape, and the mischief of the youth, retaining the person himself, in order to arrive at the perfect identity between the person in the child and the square-shouldered teenager who is now sitting right in front of him. This is an example of jaha ajaha laksana.

Sri Ramacandra is elaborately explaining to his dear brother Laksmana that to grasp the significance of the mahavakya, we have to use the method of jaha ajaha laksana, which is also called bhaga laksana. Because jiva and Isvara are in essence nothing but the one Self (ekatmakattvat), jahati laksana cannot be used.

Similarly, in trying to understand the significance of tat tvam asi, we see the word meanings to be the supreme Lord of the Universe, the Creator (Isvara), and the limited ego (jiva). They are different in their expressions because of the difference in their equipments, ignorance (avidya) and total vasanas (Maya).

We cannot employ jaha laksana and conclude that avidya is Maya – this is not the goal of Vedanta. To pursue such a goal would be a wasteful expenditure of human energy.

Similarly, we cannot use the ajaha laksana method by merely analyzing and concluding that avidya, conditioned Consciousness, is jiva and that Maya-conditioned Consciousness is Isvara. The student is not arriving at the direct apprehension of “I am Brahman.” Therefore, ajaha laksan is not an adequate method for apprehending the spiritual Essence.

We will have to use bhaga laksana (also called bhaga-tyaga laksana), wherein the contradictory factors, such as avidya and Maya are removed, and we understand that the Self that expresses itself through these two equipments, manifesting itself as jiva and Isvara, is one and the sme Essence.

Pure Maya is extremely sattvic. When it is disturbed by rajas and therefore muddied by tamas, it becomes avidya. At this moment, avidya is the equipment in the seeker. When he quiets the mind and eliminates the rajas that creates the misapprehensions and the tamas that creates nonapprehension. Sattva increases in his inner equipment; and when this process is continued, the mind becomes more and more quieted inits creative poise (sattva). Sattva by itself can never exist except in combination with rajas and tamas. When all rajas is removed, in that pure sattvic state, the nonapprehension created by tamas ends, and the individual goes beyond sattva to realize his own pure Self.


Sanskrit Wording:

English Wording:

rasadipancikrtabhutasambhavam bhogalayam duhkhasukhadikarmanam sariramadyantavadadikarmajam mayamayam sthulamupadhimatmanah

English Meaning:

Made up of the five gross elements, for example, the earth, a hut of all experiences, fashioned by one’s own past actions, having a beginning and an end, a product of Maya – is the gross body. This is considered to be the gross equipment of the Self.

The Self is not readily available for our recognition because at this moment it is conditioned by – is expressing or functioning through, is wrapped up in – its equipments (upadhis). In this verse and the following two, Sri Rama defines and describes the nature and function of the gross, subtle, and causal bodies, which are the three equipments enlivened by the Self. In this verse, he gives an exhaustive definition of the gross body. The material from which the gross body is made is a happy mixture of the five gross elements. The process by which the subtle elements (tanmatras) become grossified is elaborately described in our sastras. The gross material from which bodies are made, whether they belong to plants, animals, or humans, comes from the same five gross elements. However, the same material can be structured in may different ways, and the blueprint is determined by the individual’s own past actions. The past actions recorded in our personality are called vasanas; and these vasanas determine the shape of the gross body (of a plant, animal, or human): its healthy or unhealthy condition, its size and shape, its color. We have taken this present body in order to exhaust our past impressions, known collectively as prarabdha.

All bodies, all names and forms, are conditioned in time, and therefore they are perpetually in a state of change. They are finite: they have a beginning and an end.

Nonapprehension of Reality creates misapprehensions, and the three equipments, the gross, subtle, and casual, are all products of this nonapprehension, avidya. This gross body, described so eleborately, is the gross equipment in which the Atman, the Self, is conditioned to become the ego (jiva).

In these three verses, Sri Ramacandraji is trying to dissect and exposethe significance of the term “thou” (tvam) in the mahavakya. The Self (Atman) is a mere witness, itself unaffected by the equipments. But we, identifying with the equipments, express ourselves as limited entities. The gross body is not the Self. It is only an equipment through which the Self apparently expresses itself.


Sanskrit Wording:

English Wording:

suksmam manobuddhidasendriyairyutam pranairapancikrtabhutasambhavam bhoktuh sukhaderanusadhanam bhave- cchariramanyadviduratmano budhah

English Meaning:

Consisting of the mind, the intellect, the ten organs (of perception and action), and the five pranas, and structured from the five subtle elements, this serves as the instruments for the jiva togather its experience of joy and sorrow – this equipment of the Self is declared by the wise as the subtle body.

The gross body is supported by the subtle body, which consists of the mind and intellect, the faculties in the five sense organs of action and perception, and the powers called pranas, which govern and control the five physio-logical systems.

These seventeen items together constitute the subtle bdoy, which once again is structured from the five subtle elements (tanmatras). The subtle body is the instrument that serves the individual in contracting the world outside and gathering experiences of joy and sorrow.

Text XXX

Sanskrit Wording:

English Wording:

anadyanirvacyampiha karanam mayapradhanam tu param sarirakam upadhibhedattu yatah prthak sthitam svatmanamatmanyavadharayetkramat

English Meaning:

The timeless and indescribable Maya product body constitutes the third equipment of the Self, which is declared by the rishis as the causal body. Since the Self is separate from these different equipments, let the seeker learn to recognize his true Self in the heart (negating the equipments) in stages.

In his dissection of the human personality – while trying to point out tous the Self, which is beyond the personality – Sri Rama describes the third and last of the equipments, the causal body (karana sarira). Because it consists of vasanas, we are justified in calling it the casual body, since vasanas determine the nature and the quality of the individual’s gross and subtle bodies, as well as the environments and circumstances that those bodies confront in the form of objects, emotions, and thoughts. This subtlest of equipments functions in one’s body in deep sleep; it is pure state of nonapprehension, because of which all misapprehensions arise. Therefore, it is right to name it the causal body.

The nonapprehension of Reality and the consequent misapprehensions are together called ignorance (avidya or Maya). Thus, even though the three bodies are all together expressions of the same avidya, for purposes of analytical study, they have been depicted as three distinct entities, Essentially separate (prthak stitha) from these three is the pure Self, which enlivens them all by its mere presence (sannidhimatrena).

Sri Ramacandra wants Laksmana to grasp this idea and firmly make it his own personal knowledge. The Self is the Consciousness that illumines our equipments, they being nothing but Consciousness itself grossified, just as the objects in our dream are projections of our mind stuff.

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