Monday, 25 May 2015

Seeing in the Dark


What is the meaning of ‘cessation of the knowledge of duality?’ Is it cessation of all cognition of duality? Or is it cessation of the the belief that duality is real? If it means cessation of all cognition of duality, then the Advaitins themselves do not accept it. But if it is cessation of the belief that duality is real, then this cessation is just what the Advaitins affirm. One who has known the shell in its true form no longer continues to believe in the illusory appearance of silver.
(page 540 The Method of Vedanta by Sri S.S.S.)

Swami Satcidanandendra is here questioning the view of Bhaskara whom he frequently castigates. It is an important point and variants of this error persist in the bemused doubt that Ramana felt pain. cf.
ramana's pain

I relate this to B.G. 2:69
The controlled man wakes in what is night for all creatures, as it is night for the seer of vision when the other creatures are awake
trans. van Buitenen

When it is night for all creatures, the man who restrains himself is awake, when creatures are awake, it is night for the perceptive seer.
trans.W.J. Johnson

In the dark night of all beings awakes to Light the tranquil man. But what is day to other beings is night for the sage who sees.
(trans. Juan Mascaro)

That contrast of night and day also occurs as an echo in the preamble to the Brahma Sutra Bhasya of Sankara. The aporetic impossibility of knowledge is the bridge to gnosis. The knot between the conscious and the inert (chit jada granthi) is cut through by the realisation of what makes knowledge actually possible. A sage is one who continues to experience mundane mutations but does not accept them as free standing phenomena. He ‘sees through’ them, an idiom I prefer to Swami’s lack of belief. It recalls the magic show of maya. Once we know how the trick is done, we view the sawing of the lady in two with impregnable sang froid.

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