Description of anandamaya kosa and its negation (verses 207-210)
207 The Anandamaya-kosa (bliss-sheath), is that modification of nescience which appears as a reflection of the Self, which is Bliss Absolute. Pleasure etc. are its attributes and it springs into view when an object agreeable to it presents itself. The fortunate feel it spontaneously when the fruits of their good actions manifest. Everything, without the least effort, derives great joy from it.
208 The bliss sheath (anandamaya-kosa) is fully manifest in the deep-sleep state. While in the dream and waking states it is only partially manifest depending upon the sight of desired objects etc.
209 Nor can the bliss sheath (anandamaya-kosa) be the Supreme Self because it has attributes which are ever-changing. It is a modification of primordial nature (Prakriti), is an effect of good actions of the past, and it lies embedded in the other sheaths which are themselves all modifications.
210 When the five sheaths have been negated through reasoning based upon authoritative scriptural texts, then at the culmination of the process what remains as substratum, is the Witness, Knowledge-Absolute—the Self.
Atman – other than the five kosas (verse 211)
211 This Atman is Self-effulgent and distinct from the five-sheaths. It is the witness of the three states, is Real, is without modifications, is unsullied and bliss everlasting. The wise peson should realize It as one‘s own true self.
What is atman? – disciple (verse 212)
212 The disciple asked….
“After negating these five sheaths as unreal, I find nothing but an absence of everything, O revered Teacher. By which entity then, should the wise, realize oneness with the Self?”
Nature of the Self – Discussion (verses 213-225)
213 The respected teacher answered….
“Rightly you have spoken, O learned one. You are indeed clever in your ability to discriminate. The modifications of the ego as well as its absence…
214 ……the one who perceives while remaining unperceived……That you realise to be the Self—the ultimate knower—through an extremely subtle intellect……
215 That which is witnessed by something else has the latter as its witness. When there is no entity to witness a thing, we cannot say that it has been witnessed at all.
216 This Self is its own witness, for It is realised only by itself. Hence the Self Itself is the supreme Brahman and nothing else.
217 That which clearly manifests itself in the waking, dream and deep-sleep states; that which shines inside uniformly and continuously as “I”-“I”; witnesses the ego, the intellect etc., which are of different forms and modifications, which is felt as Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, know this, within your heart, as your own Self.
218 The ignorant, on seeing the reflection of the sun in the water in a jar, considers it to be the sun itself. So too, the ignorant through delusion, identifies himself with the reflection of the consciousness appearing in the intellect and considers it to be the “I” —his own Self.
219 The wise person leaves aside the jar, the water, and the reflection of the sun in it and sees the self-luminous sun. So too, the wise realize the Self-luminous Reality which illumines “these three” and recognize It as independent of them all.
220 So too, leaving aside the body, the intellect and the reflection of consciousness in it, and realising in the cave of the intellect, the Witness, the Self, which is Knowledge-Absolute, which is the cause of everything; which is distinct from the gross and the subtle…..
221 ……..which is Eternal and Omnipresent; All-pervading and supremely subtle, which is without exterior or interior; which is the one Self; by fully realising this, one becomes free from sin, free from blemish, and immortal.
222 Such a wise person does not grieve, becomes the embodiment of bliss, and fears nothing from anywhere. For one who seeks liberation, there is no other path to break free from the bonds of transmigration than realising the Truth as one‘s own Self.
223 The cause for liberation from transmigration is the realisation of one‘s identity with Brahman. By means of this, the wise attain Brahman, the one-without-a-second, the Bliss-Absolute.
224 No more does one return to the world of transmigration after having become of the nature of Brahman. One must, therefore, strive to fully realize one‘s identity with Brahman.
225 Brahman is Existence-Knowledge-Absolute, extremely pure, Supreme, Self-existing, Eternal, Indivisible-Bliss, not essentially different from the inmost Self , and absolutely without parts. It is ever victorious.
All manifestation absolute (verses 226-236)
226 This Absolute Oneness alone is Real since there is nothing other than the Self. Truly, there is no other independent entity in the state of full realization of the supreme Truth.
227 This entire universe which, because of ignorance, appears to be of diverse forms, is, in fact, Brahman alone, which is free from all limitations of thought.
228 Though a pot is a modification of clay, it is not different from it. Throughout the pot, clay alone is present. So why call it a pot? It is merely a false imagined name.
229 No one can show by demonstration that the essence of a clay-pot is other than the clay. Therefore, the pot is merely imagined through delusion, and clay alone is the enduring Reality in the clay-pot.
230 So too, the entire universe, being the effect of the Real Brahman, is Brahman itself and nothing else. It is of the essence of That and it cannot exist apart from That. Anyone who says it does, is still under delusion like one talking in intense sleep.
231 Truly, this entire universe is Brahman—this is the declaration of the Atharva Veda. Therefore, this universe is Brahman alone, for a superimposition has no existence apart from its substratum.
232 If the universe, as it is, is Real, the Self (Atman) would not be Infinite, the scriptures would be false, the Lord himself would be guilty of having spoken an untruth. None of these three is considered either desirable or beneficial by the Great Ones.
233 The Lord, the knower of the Reality of all things, has expressly declared: “I do not abide in them, and nor do beings abide in Me.”*
*Bhagavad Gita 9.4-5
234 If the universe were real, it would have been perceived even in the deep-sleep state. Since it is not at all perceived, it must be unreal like a dream.
235 Therefore, the world has no existence apart from the Supreme Self and the appearance of its separateness is false like the appearance of a snake in a rope. Can a superimposition has any real existence apart from its own substratum? Through delusion, it is the substratum itself which appears like that.
236 Through error of judgement whatever a deluded man perceives what can only be Brahman and Brahman alone. The silvery sheen perceived is nothing but the mother-of-pearl. Brahman is ever-present as “this” universe and that which is superimposed on Brahman can only be a mere name.
Brahman – Its nature (verses 237-240)
237 Therefore, whatever is manifested is the Supreme Brahman Itself—Real, non-dual, extremely pure, the essence of Knowledge-Absolute, taintless, supremely peaceful, without beginning or end, beyond all activity, and always of the nature of Bliss-Absolute.
238 Transcending all distinctions created by Maya, the Surpreme Brahman is Eternal, the essence of Joy, Indivisible, Immeasurable, Formless, Unmanifest, Nameless, Immutable and Self-effulgent.
239 Sages realise the Supreme Truth in which there are no distinctions such as the knower, the knowledge and the known, the Truth which is Infinite, Transcendental and which is of the essence of Knowledge Absolute.
240 That which can neither be thrown away nor taken up, that which lies beyond the limits of mind and speech, which is Immeasurable, which is without beginning or end, full, and one‘s very own Self, which is of outshining glory—that is the Self.
That Thou Art – explanation (verses 241-249)
241 If Sruti in its maxim “That Thou Art”, repeatedly establishes the absolute oneness of Brahman and the Self, indicated by the term “That”(Tat) and “Thou”(Tvam) respectively, then divesting these terms of their relative associations, their implied but not literal meanings are to be understood.
242 For they are of contradictory attributes—like the sun and the glow-worm, the king and the servant, the ocean and the well, mount Meru and an atom.
243 The difference between them is only created by superimposition and is not something real. The limiting condition in the case of the Lord is Maya or ignorance, the cause of Mahat etc. And listen, the limiting conditions in the case of the individual self are the five sheaths, which are effects of ignorance.
244 These two are limiting conditions of the Lord and the individual soul, but when they are completely eliminated, there is neither the Lord nor the individual soul*. When the kingdom of the king and the shield of the soldier are taken away, there can neither be a king nor a soldier.
*This is explained through the analogy of the ocean and the wave. The ocean can be likened to the Isavara and the wave to the jiva. However, when we realize that in reality the ocean and the wave are water only—there being neither the ocean nor the wave—the seeming disctinction between the Isvara and the jiva disappears. It is all seen as water only, like the substratum, the Brahman—the only reality behind all appearances.
245 “Now is the injunction” etc— in these words the scriptures reject the imagined duality in Brahman. Supported by the authority of the scriptures one must certainly eliminate these two superimpositions by means of direct Realization.
246 “Neither this (gross), nor this (subtle)” is the Self; like the snake seen in the rope and like dreams, they are not real, being the products of imagination. By a perfect elimination of the objective world by reasoning supported by the Sruti, one must realize the oneness underlying the individual soul and the Lord.
247 Therefore, the two terms (Isvara and jiva), should be carefully considered through their indicative meanings in order to establish their absolute identity. Neither the method of total rejection, nor the method of complete retention will suffice. One must reason through a combined process of both.
248 “This is that Devadatta”—just as in this sentence the identity expressed is arrived at by eliminating respective contradictory portions, so too it is in the statement, “That Thou Art”.
249 The wise should give up contradictory elements on both sides and recognize the identity of the Lord and the individual Self, carefully noting that the essence of both is unlimited consciousness*. Thus, hundreds of scriptures declare the oneness and the identity of Brahman and the individual Self.
*Pleas refer to the comment following verse 244 above.
Attitude in meditation (verses 250-253)
250 Discarding the not-Self, in the light of passages such as “It is not gross etc,” one realises the Self, which is Self-established, unattached like the space and beyond the domain of thought. So negate this illusory body which you are perceiving and have accepted as your own Self. With a purified understanding that “I am Brahman,” realise your own Self which is Knowledge- Absolute.
251 All modifications of clay such as the pot are accepted by the mind as real but are, in fact, clay alone. So too, the entire universe which emanates from Brahman is Brahman alone and nothing other than Brahman, the Self-existent Reality, and one‘s very own essential Self. Thou art That, the Serene, the Pure, the Supreme Brahman, the Non-dual.
252 Just as the place, time, objects, their knower etc., in a dream are all unreal, so too is the world we experience in our waking-state, is projected due to our own ignorance. Since the body, the organs, the vital breath, the ego etc., are also thus unreal, therefore, Thou art That, the Serene, the Pure, the Supreme Brahman, the Non-dual.
253 That which is wrongly supposed to exist in something is, when the truth about it is known, recognised as nothing other than the “substratum” and not at all any different from it. The diverse dream-universe appears and subsides in the dream itself. On waking, does it appear as something different from one‘s own mind?
Aids to meditation (verses 254-266)
254 That which has no caste, creed, family or lineage, which is without name and form, merit and demerit, which is beyond space, time and sense-objects—“That Brahman Thou Art”…..meditate on this in your mind.
255 The Supreme Brahman which is beyond the range of speech, but known only through the eye of “pure-illumination”, which is pure mass of Consciousness, which is a beginningless entity — “That Brahman Thou Art”…..meditate on this in your mind.
256 That which is untouched by the “six waves of sorrow”, which is realized in the heart of Yogis but which cannot be grasped by the sense-organs, that which the intellect cannot know, which is of flawless excellence — “That Brahman Thou Art” ……meditate on this in your mind.
257 That which is the “substratum” of the universe and its various aspects which are all due to delusion, which is its own support, which is other than the gross and the subtle, which has no parts and is truly uncomparable— “That Brahman Thou Art” ….. meditate on this in your mind.
258 That which is changeless and so free from birth, growth, development, decay, disease and death; which is indestructible and is the cause of creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the universe — “That Brahman Thou Art” ….. meditate on this in your mind.
259 That which is free from all distictions; which is ever-existent; which is calm like a waveless ocean; and eternally unconditioned and undivided—“That Brahman Thou Art”…..meditate on this in your mind.
260 That which, even though one Reality, is the cause for the many, the cause that refutes all other causes, which is distinct from causes and effects and self-existent — “That Brahman Thou Art” …. Meditate on this in your mind.
261 That which is free from duality; Infinite and Indestructible; distinct from perishable and imperishable; Supreme and Eternal; permanent and indivisible Bliss; Untainted — “That Brahman Thou Art” …. Meditate on this in your mind.
262 That Reality which (though one) appears as many due to delusion — though Itself always unchanged — assumes names and forms, qualities and changes, like gold which remains unchanged through all its modifications — “That Brahman Thou Art” … meditate on this in your mind.
263 That beyond which there is nothing; which is beyond the beyond; the inmost Self of all; which is of one essence; which is continuous Existence-Knowledge-Bliss; Infinite and Immutable — “That Brahman Thou Art” ….. meditate on this in your mind.
264 One must meditate in one‘s mind, through the intellect, on the Truth conveyed above by means of scriptural reasoning. By these means, one will realize Truth without any doubts, just like water in the palm of one‘s hand.
265 Having realized oneself as supremely pure Knowledge, free from ignorance and its effects, like the king in an army, and resting in that Knowledge, and being ever established in one‘s own Self, merge the objective universe into the Brahman.
266 In the cave of the intellect, there is the Brahman, the Supreme non-dual Reality, distinct from (relative) truth and untruth. One who dwells in this cave as Brahman has no rebirth.
Give up vasanas – the method (verses 267-276)
267 Even when the Truth is known, there remains powerful, beginningless, deep residual impression that one is the doer and the enjoyer, which is the cause of rebirth. That impression has to be carefully removed by living in an inward state of steady identification with the Self. The annihilation of these impressions , here and now, is called liberation by the sages.
268 This notion of me and mine exists in the body, sense organs, etc., which are not-Self. The wise must end this false identification by being firmly established in the Self.
269 Realizing your innermost Self, as the Witness of the intellect and its modifications and ever maintaining the thought, “I am That,” conquer your identification with the not-Self.
270 Renounce your involvement with the ways of the world, give up following after the body, leaving aside unnecessary pursuing the scriptures, and banish the superimposition which has crept up on the Self.
271 People cannot attain Realisation because of their desire to run after the world, their thirst for unnecessary study of the scriptures and their anxiety to pamper the body.
272 The wise have spoken of the three kinds of residual impressions as iron fetters that bind the feet of the person desiours of liberatation from the prison-house of this world. One who is free from them truly attains liberation.
273 The captivating fragrance of the sandanwood—which gets enveloped by a bad order created by its contact with water—again manifests itself as soon as the external order is entirely removed by scrubbing.
274 The fragrance of the supreme Self, like the fragrance of a red sandal-wood, is covered by the dust of residual impressions deeply ingrained in the mind and is again clearly perceived when it is purified by a continuous scouring with Knowledge.
275 Innumerable desires for things that are not-Self cloud the desire for Self-realization. When these have been destroyed by constantly abiding in the Self, the Self manifests clearly all by Itself.
276 To the extent the mind gets gradually established in the inmost Self, to that extent it leaves its desires for the objects of the world. When all such desires completely end, then there is clear, unobstructed realization of the Self.
End superimposition – the means (verses 277-292)
277 Being ever established in one‘s own Self, the yogin‘s mind becomes still. Then there is complete cessation of residual impressions. Therefore, deligently put an end to all your superimpositions.
278 Tamas is overcome both by rajas and sattva; rajas by sattva and sattva by “purification”. Therefore, taking recourse to sattva, deligently put an end to your superimposition.
279 Knowing for certain that your prarabdha* will sustain this body, remain steady and with courage and strive hard to put an end to your superimpositions.
*Prarabdha is the result of previously performed actions that fructify in the form of present birth.
280 “I am not the limited self (jiva). I am the supreme Brahman”—thus by eliminating all that is not-Self, deligently put an end to your superimpositions which arise through the force of your past desires.
281 Having realized your own Self to be the “Self-in-all” through scriptures, by reasoning and from your own direct experience, deligently put an end to your superimpositions, even when a slight trace appears.
282 Having no idea of eating or evacuating, the sage has no connection with any action. Therefore, through continuous absorption in the contemplation of Brahman, deligently put an end to all your superimpositions.
283 By means of the realized Knowledge of the identity of Brahman and Atman, arising from such great maxims (of the Vedas) as “That Thou Art,” deligently put an end to all your superimpositions to strengthen your identity with Brahman.
284 Till the identification with the body is completely rooted out, with vigilance and concentration, strive hard to put an end to all your superimpositions.
285 O learned one! As long as even a dream-like perception of the world of objects and of the experiencing ego persists, continuously strive to put and end to all your superimpositions.
286 Without giving even the slightest chance to forgetfulness (of the Self) arising from sleep, worldly matters or sense-objects, meditate continuously on the Self in your mind.
287 Shunning to a safe distance, like an outcase, this body which has come from the impurities of the parents, and which itself is constituted of flesh and its impurities, become Brahman and attain the final end of your life.
288 Merging the finite ego in the supreme Self, like the pot-space merges in the infinite-space, and by meditating on their identity, be for ever peaceful, O sage!
289 Being yourself the self-luminous Brahman, the sole substratum of all things, reject the macrocosm and microcosm, like a vessel full of impurties.
290 Shifting your identification which is now rooted in the body to the the Self which is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, and discarding the subtle body, remain ever the pure Self alone.
291 That in which there is the “illusion” of the universe, like a “city (reflected) in the mirror,” that Brahman you are! Knowing this, attain the fulfillment of your life.
292 Attaining That which is intrinsically one‘s own very essence, which is Absolute Knowledge and Bliss, non-dual, beyond all forms and activities, one should cease identifying with the false body, like the actor giving up his mask.
The perceived I factor – false (verses 293-297)
293 The whole objective world is non-real. Neither is the ego real, for it is seen to be momentary. How then can the apparent notion “I know all” be true when the ego etc., are themselves momentary?
294 But the real “I” witnesses the ego etc. and is always there, even in deep-sleep. “It is Unborn, Eternal,” as the sruti itself says. It is the inmost Self, different from the (relative) truth and untruth.
295 That which is the Knower of all changes in all things which undergo change, must doubtless be Eternal and Changeless. Again and again, the unreality of the gross and the subtle bodies is clearly perceived in one‘s imagination, in dreams and in the dreamless sleep.
296 Therefore, give up your identification with this mass of flesh and with the ego and the subtle body, which are imaginations of the mind. By realizing your own Self which is Absolute Knowledge, which cannot be negated in the three periods of time, attain to the State of Supreme Peace.
297 Renounce your identification with family, lineage, name, form and order in life—attributes which pertain to the body which is like a foul corpse. So too, renounce your ideas of agency etc., which are attributes of the subtle body. Thus realize your true essence as the Absolute Bliss.