The commentary on the Chapter of the Self in the Apastamba Law-book

Texts on Self-realization, God-realization and yoga, aim at a radical and permanent change of the individual consciousness, which as it stands is limited by a sort of illusion. It is the kind of illusion experienced by a man dreaming of a terrifying lion whose roars are in fact his own snoring, or by people who faint at ‘Dracula’, or grip their seats in panic at a Cinerama. The texts of realization may not dispel illusion if the mind that receives them is clouded and only partially attentive; the methods of making it clear and effortlessly one-pointed are called, collectively, yoga. Realization is its own goal, but yoga is a means. As a means, yoga can be used fractionally to acquire some imagined advantages in life as it now is, But these are temporary, and do not confront the ultimate problem. They correspond to improving the circumstances of a dream. Isolated yogic methods can be used to give some calmness, or improve health, or produce vigour. One who is prepared to practise hard can make the mind and memory brilliant. But if these seeming advantages are in the service of a fundamental illusion, there is no lasting peace; and in a …

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He is other than the sense-knowledge of this world

Subtle, finer than a lotus-fibre, he stands covering all; Greater than the earth, firm, he stands supporting all. He is other than the sense-knowledge of this world. The world is not different from him, who is ever standing as the supreme, who is to be known, who himself divides into many. From him the bodies all come forth, he is the root, eternal, he is constant. And subtle all-knowing. Finer than a lotus-fibre more fine than the filament of a lotus. Who is this? It is that one who is the Self referred to, covering, having pervaded, all the world. And then, greater, more expanded, more solid, than the earth, for he forms the Self of everything. Firm constant, supporting having made the foundation for alf for everything, he stands he exists. From the indication in the Vedic verse, ‘By whom the sky is mighty and the earth firm’ (Taitt. Sa. 4.1.8). He the lord of all, omniscient, one, who is to be known. He the supreme Self is other than the sense-knowledge, than whatever knowledge is produced by the senses, of this world; he is described here as different from that worldly knowledge, and from what is said it …

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He is Brahman, glorious in the highest heaven

The seer meditating, seeing everything in the Self, will not be deluded, And whoever sees the Self alone in everything, He is Brahman, glorious in the highest heaven. The word atman is (an abbreviated locative) – ‘in the Self’. Moreover, seeing, perceiving, everything, every thing. The meaning is that he is seeing only the Self-nature of every thing, and in everything the Self supreme. He will not be deluded he does not come to be deluded, for there is no falling into delusion for one who sees the unity of the Self, as witness the Vedic verse, ‘There what delusion . . .’ (Isa 7). What exactly is this vision of Self which destroys delusion? The verse says, Meditating, with his senses withdrawn, Being a seer (kavi), a wise man (medhavin) in meditation (dhyana). Delusion (moha) does not disappear simply by a view (darsana) arising (merely) out of words. For he who at the time of dealing with the world, keeps restrained-in-yoga (yukta), and sees the one who has entered into all things, he indeed is Brahman, a man of Brahman, in the highest heaven at the zenith in Brahman. glorious shining forth in many ways. © Trevor Leggett

It is great, a mass of splendour, all- pervading, the Lord

(Pupil) ‘Not in the self have I attained it. Now in other things will I seek that place of the good, by detachment.’ (Teacher) ‘ Devote yourself to your welfare, not to your harm. (It is) great, a mass of splendour, all- pervading, the Lord.’ In the self The form ‘atmari’ is a (Vedic) locative. ‘In the self’ means that the interior self within is the supreme Self, and everything is to be practised as here. If it were practised as elsewhere than the body, it would be conceived as not the self. Therefore it is in one’s self, in this aggregate of body and senses and mind, having shaken off attachment to outer things, that one should practise realization of that which lies in the cave, the reality of Self. Does the sage mean that realization of it is not to be practised in other things? At the beginning, certainly, realization of the Self-reality is not to be practised in other things. How then? If in spite of all efforts he does not attain within the body-mind aggregate that Self-reality already described, then the pupil says, cNow I shall seek I shall pursue (it) in other things like the …

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Where then is that realization to be practised

This indeed which here in this world and here in that world is called the object— Having shaken himself free from it, let the seer devote himself to that which lies in the cave. This which is directly experienced by perception: pleasures of women, food, drink and so on. The particle id (indeed) has the (distributive) force of ‘ anything’ – this which is perceived whatever it may be. here means in this world. The object the exceptional neuter form in the Sanskrit of the word may be taken either from attraction to the earlier (neuter) word ‘this’, or as a mere shift of gender, or as some Vedic usage, or it may be that the word is capable of both genders. The word id (indeed) and the word iha (here) are each repeated, and this must have significance. The second id is thus to be taken in the sense of ‘and’, and the second iha means ‘in that world’. The word world – like the traditional crow which can look both ways with a single eye – has regard to both ihas, so the sense is: here in this world and here in that world, all this which is …

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Those who practise realization of it, they are immortal.

Each and every living being is the city belonging to the one lying at rest in the cave, indestructible, taintless, the unmoving abiding in the moving. Those who practise realization of it, they are immortal. the city the city of the body. living being one that has life. Each and every living being, from the first-born god down to a tuft of grass, is as it were the city. And a city is the place to find its king. To whom does the city belong? To the Self, at rest in the cave. Just as the king is to be seen, surrounded by ministers and others, in his city, so in the bodies is the Self found, associated with buddhi and other faculties. And he sees experiences presented to him by buddhi and the others. He is said to be the one lying at rest in the cave because he lies in the cave of buddhi which has become a very veil of Ignorance. His is the city. In that buddhi, when the impurity of Ignorance (avidya) and the other doshas is removed, he is seen by the knowers who have given up their feverish desires. There is a further …

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There is nothing higher than attainment of the Self

There is nothing higher than attainment of the Self . There is nothing higher, no other attainment higher. So in the discussion in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it is said, ‘That indeed is dearer than the son’ (1.4.8) or than anything else. For that end we quote some verses which bring about attainment of Self. Though the doshas, anger and the rest, which act as obstacles to attainment of Self, are indeed shaken off by freedom from anger and the other yogas, yet they are not quite extinct. For the root sprouts again, since Ignorance (ajnana) which is the seed of all the doshas, has not been extinguished. And in that case, their seed not being annihilated, anger and the rest though extinguished for the time will spring up again and there will be no final cutting off of samsara. There is no extinction of Ignorance (ajnana), which is the seed of those doshas, except by Knowledge (jnana), and here there are quoted some verses from some Upanishad(s) of other Vedic schools, chosen to give knowledge of Self, which means illumination of its nature. For that end – the word is literally ‘there’, but the locative has the sense of ‘aim’. …

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