Tuesday, 15 January 2019

No Sugar, No Trail

A further note on Katha Up. II.iii.13 continuing on from my previous post.

There are two key analogies in Vedanta. The best known one is the confusion analogy or taking the coiled rope for a snake. The other is taken from the Chandogya Up. VI.i.4 and is based on material identity. Earthenware vessels in all their shapes and sizes are fundamentally clay.

 “O good looking one, as by knowing a lump of earth, all things made of earth become known: All transformation has speech as its basis, and it is name only. Earth as such is its reality.

In Sankara’s commentary on Ka: II.iii.13 he writes ‘All modification is mere name, being supported by speech -- earth alone is real." Applying the purport of this analogy we can know the Self by its effects i.e. the saturation of all states of consciousness with self-awareness. The Self can only be known by its effects because it is the knower and therefore knowing it would lead to infinite regress. The Self therefore is different from both the known and the unknown and is described as non-different from the states of consciousness which it pervades. We infer the existence of the Self but we can’t know it in a quasi-objective manner in the way we are conscious of our states of mind, perceptions etc.

How though does “the Self that has been known, as merely existing, become favourably disposed (for self-revelation)”? Self realisation is not a state that can be achieved, it is already here. We then are enjoined to achieve a detached ego-less awareness. We are to seek without seeking and not identify with any particular state of mind including samadhi/super-conscious bliss.

There is nothing in it for you.

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