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Dakshinamurti Stotra, translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri, [1920], at

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Third Stanza of the Hymn.

To Him in the Effulgent Form Facing the South, whose light, which is Existence itself, shines forth entering the objects which are almost non-existent,—to Him incarnate in the Guru who instructs the disciples in the Vedic text "That thou art;"—to Him who being realized there will be no more return to the ocean of samsâra, to Him (Siva) be this bow!

1. How have existence and light come to be conjoined with all existing things?

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[paragraph continues] Thus questioning on the analogy of mirror and reflection, the disciple is enlightened (by the third stanza of the Hymn).

It has been said above that being and light manifested in objects do not inhere in the objects themselves, and that they are the attributes of the perceiver. Then the following question arises: If they do not inhere in the objects perceived, how is it that they are perceived in connection with them? It cannot be that they are manifested in objects, either by way of being reflected in them as in a mirror, or by way of actually conjoining with them as fire conjoins with a mass of iron; for existence and consciousness which are formless in themselves are incapable of being reflected in the objects or of conjoining with them.

The meaning of the stanza may be explained as follows:

Absolute unity of Atman.

2. The existence and light in all phenomenal things, which are insentient, momentary and almost non-existent, proceed from the eternal Isvara and become conjoined with them.

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3. These things have their being in the being of Atman, and no more; and so also, the light by which they shine is the light of Atman and no more.

The questioner's standpoint may be either that the phenomenal things exist quite apart from Atman like the mirror existing apart from the objects which are reflected in it; or that they exist independently of Atman and shine by a light of their own, so that they do not depend on Atman for their existence and light. In the first case the Teacher answers as follows: The phenomena have no separate existence; they are unreal because they are inert and momentary, like the illusory serpent,—where a rope is mistaken for a serpent. Atman alone exists and appears as the things which we perceive, like a rope appearing to be a serpent. When we speak of the existence and light of Atman as conjoining with the phenomenal things, we mean only that Atman puts on the appearance of these phenomenal things. If these things could exist separately and shine by themselves, then they would have appeared independently of Atman, like the mirror appearing independently of the objects reflected in it. The

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phenomenal things having thus no separate existence from that of Atman, we cannot speak of the existence and light of Atman either as being actually reflected in them or as actually conjoining with them.

If the question had been asked from the second standpoint of view, it may be answered as follows:

4. The manifold cognitions and their objects also are fast bound to the Ego, as pearls are strung on a thread.

The existence of phenomena and the light by which they shine pertain to the Ego, the self-conscious Existence, and reach them through the antah-karana with which the Ego identifies himself.

The two standpoints from which the question has been answered in the two different cases differ only in this respect: in the first case the answer has been given from the standpoint of Absolute Reality, and in the second case, from the standpoint of things regarded as phenomenally real.

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5. To every living being this universe appears as quite inseparate from the Light. Billows and bubbles have no existence apart from water.

Whatever depends on something else for its existence and manifestation is only an imaginary form of that other thing, like the billows and bubbles which are only imaginary forms of water. Accordingly the phenomenal things which depend for their existence and light on the self-conscious Atman are only imaginary forms of Atman. Atman alone exists, one without a second.

6. The very consciousness which, first entering into phenomenal things, expresses itself in the words 'I know,' then returns to rest in the Self within, expressing itself in the words 'It is known by me.'

It is true that the object of cognition is present in both the expressions of consciousness. In the first, however, the mere act of cognising the object is alone intended, while the second conveys the idea that that act is conceived to inhere in the Ego.

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7. All products such as pots rest in (their causes) such as clay. (So) the universe, as one with the Light, must rest in the Supreme Lord.

An effect does not exist apart from its cause. A pot, for example, does not exist apart from clay, its material cause. Likewise, the universe whose material cause is Atman is one with Atman and has no independent existence. Atman alone really exists, the universe being a mere illusory appearance thereof.

While in vartika 6 it has been shown that the Light by which the phenomenal things shine is no other than the light of Atman, the vartika 7 shows that the things themselves have no existence independent of Atman's existence.

Avidya the cause of delusion.

8. Just as the mirror is dimmed by a stain attaching to it, so knowledge is veiled by avidyâ, and thereby creatures are deluded.

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All creatures are deluded alto the real nature of Atman by avidya which leads them to look upon as real all distinctions in the phenomenal world such as perceiver and objects perceived, cause and effect, and so on.

The body separates Jiva from Isvara.

9. As the âkâsa within a jar is marked off from the infinite (Mahâ) âkâsa by the upâdhi of the jar, so is the distinction between Jîvâtman and Paramâtman caused by the upâdhi of the body.

Like akasa, Atman is indivisible. All distinctions ascribed to Atman are due to the distinctions pertaining to the bodies. It is hard to make out any real connection between Atman and the bodies, so that all limitations ascribed to Atman are false and imaginary.

Their unity taught in the Sruti "That thou art."

10. By scriptural texts, such as "That thou art," their unity is indeed taught.

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[paragraph continues] On saying, for instance, "He is this person," one man alone is referred to.

11. The world 'that' denotes the Principle which is the cause of the universe; while Jiva limited by the body, etc., is denoted by the word 'thou.'

The word 'that' denotes Isvara, the self-conscious Atman, regarded by the Individual Ego as external to himself, embodied in the universe as a whole which has been evolved out of ajnana, otherwise called Maya whose characteristic function consists in vikshepa, in projecting the Self in the form of the external universe. The word 'thou' refers to Jiva, the self-conscious personal Ego,, the same self-conscious Atman viewed in association with the physical and subtle—sthula and sukshma—bodies born of ajnana, otherwise called avidya, whose characteristic function consists in avarana, in veiling the true nature of the Self.

In the sentence "he is this (person),"

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12. A person seen at a former time and place and under the then state, etc., is spoken of as 'he'; and the same person seen now and here is spoken of as 'this.'

13–14. Just as the sentence "He is this person" points to an identical man, while the specific circumstances referred to by 'he' and 'this' are lost sight of, so, losing sight of inwardness and outwardness, the passage "That thou art" points to the identity of Jivâtman and Paramâtman.

As absolute Consciousness they are identical.

15. Here the two words—'that' and 'thou '—bear to each other the relation of apposition (sâmânâdhi-karanya); and the things denoted by them are said to bear

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an attributive relation (viseshana-viseshya-bhâva) to each other.

16. The sentence as a whole teaches identity, the words being understood in a secondary sense (lakshana).

When two words in a sentence are put in apposition to each other, we are to understand that the things denoted by them can be predicated of each other. But the Isvara and Jiva, primarily denoted by the words 'that' and 'thou,' are so opposed to each other that neither can be predicated of the other. The unity of Jive, and Isvara taught in the Sruti is possible only when from each of them are eliminated such of the attributes as are opposed to those of the other, i.e., when we discard the primary sense of the words and understand them in a secondary sense.

The secondary sense of a word may either include or exclude the primary sense; or it may even include one part of the primary sense and exclude the other part. In the sentence 'That thou art.'

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16–17. The secondary sense is not altogether exclusive of the primary sense, unlike that in the expression "a village on the Ganges"; nor is it altogether inclusive of the primary sense, unlike that in the expression "A white (i.e., a white horse) runs."

17–18. The secondary sense of sentences like "That thou art" is partial,—partially inclusive and partially exclusive of the primary sense,—like that of the sentence "He is this person," and the like.

In the above, the word 'Ganges ' which primarily means the stream has to be understood in the sense of 'the bank of the Ganges,' so that the whole of the primary sense is excluded. The word 'white' which primarily means 'white colour' has to be understood in the sense of 'a white horse,' so that the whole of the primary sense is included in the secondary. On the other hand, 'that' and 'thou' cannot be understood in either of the two ways. The primary sense of the word cannot be wholly lost sight of, since, then, there will be left

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nothing of which unity can be predicated. Neither can it be wholly included, inasmuch as the mutual opposition between Jiva and Isvara will render it impossible to predicate a unity of them. When we eliminate from the primary sense of each word all that is alien to sentiency, which is common to both Isvara and Jiva, consciousness alone will be left; and thus the sentence 'That thou art' teaches the identity of Jiva and Isvara as the one indivisible, colourless, Absolute Consciousness.

18–19. The relation of apposition here (in vârtika 15) spoken of consists in words of different origin referring all to one and the same thing.

The Sruti points to no sort of distinction between Jiva and Isvara.

1g-21. The sentence cannot mean that Jîva is either a part or a modification of the

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[paragraph continues] Supreme, since, in the form of Jîva, He (Isvara) Himself has entered into the forms created by His own Mâyâ. By Sruti as well as reason we are given to understand that He is partless and changeless, just as âkâsa in the jar is neither a part nor a modification of the infinite âkâsa.

The course of reasoning here referred to may be explained as follows: If Isvara, the First Cause, the Author of the Universe, were Himself made up of parts, He would have been preceded by those parts of which He was made. He would fall under the category of effects, and, as such, cannot constitute the Omniscient and Omnipotent Creator of the whole universe. Moreover, as an effect made of parts, He would have had a Creator preceding Him, and that other Creator would have had another preceding Him, and so on.

21. It cannot indeed mean mere praise, as does the sentence "thou art Indra."

When he who is not Indra is addressed as such, it is nothing hut a mere praise. The passage "That thou art" does not mean mere praise, because it occurs in a section which, interpreted

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according to recognised principles of construction, points to nothing but absolute unity of Isvara and Jiva, and leaves no room for the alleged interpretation.

22. The passage cannot point to mere similarity, as the sentences like "The disciple is fire."

Nor does it signify a relation of cause and effect as does the sentence, "A pot is (mere) clay."

"The disciple is fire" means that the disciple is as pure as fire itself, and thus points to a similarity between the disciple and fire as regards purity. Similarity consists in one thing possessing some parts or attributes in common with another. Isvara being devoid of parts and attributes, He cannot be spoken of as similar to Jiva.

As devoid of parts, Isvara cannot be spoken of as actually giving rise to effects according to any of the theories of creation.

23 The sentence does not point to

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a relation as genus and individual, as does the sentence "This lame (animal) is a Cow."

The sentences does not refer to a relation of substance and attributes, as does the phrase "the blue lotus."

The genus being regarded as insentient in itself, the sentient Isvara cannot be a genus.

If Jiva be an attribute of Isvara, then the latter would be a samsarin, of limited knowledge and power, subject to happiness and misery; which is opposed to the Sruti declaring that He is omniscient, etc. If, on the other hand, Isvara be an attribute of Jiva, then the Jiva would not be a samsarin; and all teaching as to bondage and liberation would be of no purpose.

24. Nor does the sentence point to mere contemplative worship, like the contemplating of idols as God.

Nor does the sentence imply mere courtesy as when a king's servant is addressed as king (by courtesy.)

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The sentence "That thou art," does not enjoin the contemplating of Jiva as Isvara or vice versa, because there is no word or particle in the passage warranting such an interpretation. On the other hand, the word 'art' occurring in the passage signifies, not a command in the imperative, but a law of nature, a matter of fact.

If it were only by courtesy that Jiva is spoken of as one with Isvara, then there would be no occasion to emphasise the statement as is done in the Upanishad (Vide Chhandogya-Upanishad, 6) by way of reiterating it in nine different sections treating of the subject from as many standpoints. A statement made for courtesy's sake cannot bear emphasis by reiteration.

The reason why the sentence can be interpreted in none of the foregoing alternative ways is stated as follows:

25. For, Isvara is declared in the Sruti to have Himself entered into the universe as Jiva.

Wherefore the sentence 'that thou art' signifies that the Ego, regarded as Jiva only when viewed in relation to an upadhi, is in fact identical with Brahman.

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Atman identified with the body, etc, by ignorance.

25–26. When Atman becomes blended with the aggregate composed of Deha (body), Indriyas (sense-organs), Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Prâna (vitality), and Ahankâra (egoism), the aggregate itself is regarded by the ignorant as the Atman, just as a piece of wood or a metallic mass blending with fire is regarded as the fire itself.

Atman's manifestation in the five Kos’as.

Now, by way of distinguishing the essential nature from the accidental aspects of Jiva and Isvara, the Vartikakara proceeds to show that the teaching of Sruti as to their identity is founded on fact:

27. Entering the Annamaya-kosa, the

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physical body, Atman becomes self-conscious as stout, youthful, lean, dark, as belonging to a distinct caste and a religious order.

28. And in the Prâna-kosa, in the vital body, He feels thus: I am alive, I feel hungry, and thirsty. In the Manomaya-kosa, in the body of thought, Atman feels: I doubt, I feel sure, I think.

29–30. Entering the Vijnânamaya-kosa, He dwells in the consciousness "I understand." And in the Ahankâra, the Ego, called Anandamaya-kosa, the body of bliss, in virtue of His former good deeds and ways of devotion He joys in the consciousness "I am happy."

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30–31. Thus garmented with the five kosas (sheaths), with five coats as it were, the Paramesvara, the Supreme Lord, though all-pervading, appears as though He were limited by them.

31–32. As the sun, entering water, appear as many, so, entering the bodies, does Isvara appear as many.

Jiva and Isvara one in essence.

32–33. To speak of them as the cause and the effect is to define them by their accidental attributes, like defining the moon as being on the branch of a tree. Never is this deemed an essential definition.

33–34. The essential definition of the moon consists in speaking of it as a great

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luminary. So the essential definition of Isvara and Jîva consists in describing them as Sat-chit-ânanda, as Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.

34–35. Unity of the two beings as one in their essential nature is taught by the scriptural text "That thou art." Hence the truth that the One Light is the Self in all.

35–36. Devas, animals and men have no existence apart from the Light. As one with the Light, Jîva is designated the Sarvâtman, the Self in all.

Realization of Atman's unity leads to Liberation.

36–37. When this conviction of being one with the Light is steadied, one attains

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to Kaivalya, to the state of Liberation, from which there is no more return.

37–33. Even he, who by chance but once cherishes the notion that he is the Self in all, is freed from all sins, is adored in Siva-loka, adored as Siva Himself.

38–39. That Mahâtman, that mighty-souled Being whose contemplation of the one Self in all has been perfected, He is the very Deliverer (of all) from samsâra, He is the Supreme Lord Himself.

39–40. Thus ends the third chapter, in brief, of the work called Mânasollâsa which expounds the meaning of the Hymn to the Blessed Dakshinâmûrti.

Next: Chapter IV. Atman the One Existence and Light