The cit is anandarupa
THE PHILOSOPHY OF ŚRI RĀMĀNUJĀ - VISIṢTADVAITA
written by Sri V.R. Srisaila Chakravarti
The cit is anandarupa
Happiness, bliss, pleasure or delight is the essence of the self. It is sukharūa. The words, sukha and ānanda are synonymous. The definition of happiness or bliss is given by Śāstrakāras as follows: Happiness is the object of a desire which does not depend upon any other desire. What is experienced as favorable to oneself is happiness or pleasure, as opposed to pain or misery which is experienced as being unpleasant or unfavorable to oneself. Happiness or favorable experience is desired for its own sake and not as a means for another desired end or for the removal of an unpleasant or unfavorable experience.
इतरेच्छान्धीनेच्छाविषयत्वं सुखस्य लक्षणं अनुकूलतया वेदनियं सुखं अनुकूलत्वं
स्वतः इष्टत्वं नतु इष्टानतरहेतुतया अनिष्टनिव्रुत्तिरूपतया वा इष्टत्वम्
Let me explain this. Take a man who is walking fast in the hot sun. Why does he walk so fast? Is it pleasant for him? No, it is very painful to him. Nevertheless, he desires to walk fast. Why? Because he desires to reach his office in time. Why does he desire to reach his office in time? This desire depends on his desire to please his superior officer. Why should he desire to please his superior? Because he desires to continue in his appointment. The desire to hold the appointment depends on his desire to get his monthly salary. That again depends on his desire to get food-stuffs and other articles of necessity. Why does he desire to eat? Because he desires to satisfy his hunger. Why should he desire to satisfy his hunger? Because he desires to be free from the pain of hunger and to be happy. Why does he desire happiness? He desires happiness not for any other end but for its own sake. The desire to be happy is, therefore, the ultimate desire or motive power which goads him on to action. There is no further question why does he desire to be happy. Happiness, therefore, is the object of a desire which does not depend upon any other desire. In the same way, you call a doctor to get freed from your pain. Freedom from pain is not by itself pleasant or favorable experience. It is only a negative aspect. You want to get rid of pain because it is unfavorable experience. Freedom from pain is, by itself, neither favorably experienced nor unfavorably experienced. It is the state of being in swarūpa in its own nature. Action and other things which are not themselves happiness are not therefore pleasant or favorable experiences. Merely because action, effort or activity is intended for the achievement of happiness, it is not pleasant or favorable; but on the contrary such action is indeed unpleasant or unfavorable . Only because such action is conducive to happiness, it is desired to be undertaken, not otherwise.
The nature and essence of the self or atman is bliss. The self itself will bear testimony to this fact.
स्वात्मा स्वस्यानुकूलो हीत्यात्म साक्षिक एव सः॥
In the embodied state, the ātman cannot appear in his true colors. His nature is concealed by his karma called avidyā. In the state of mukti or release, the self will appear in its true colors. When the screen of karma is removed, the self shines forth in its true nature. No new qualities or attributes are acquired in the state of release. Only the temporary bad attributes acquired as a result of karma, disappear in that state. Omniscience, bliss and other qualities will shine forth in the state of release. Śaunaka says: "When an all shining gem of purest ray is covered all over with dust and dirt, we only remove the dust and dirt; but we do not create or produce any luster in the gem”. In the same way, no new knowledge is produced in the atman, except the disappearance of the bad qualities which enwrapped it before. When we dig a well, we do not create any ether; what is already there only manifests itself. In the same way, knowledge, bliss and other qualities only manifest themselves, but are not created; for those qualities are eternal.
यथा न क्रियतेज्योत्स्नामलप्रक्षालनान्मणोः। दोषप्रहाणान्नज्ञानमात्मनः क्रियते तथा॥
यथोदपानकरणात् क्रियते न जलाम्बरम्। सदेव नियते व्याक्तिमसतः संभवः कुतः॥
तथा हेयुगुणह्वंसादवबोधादयो गुणाः। प्रकाशन्ते न जन्यन्ते नित्या एवात्मनो हि ते॥
Even in the embodied state, we can assert, the nature of ātman is happiness. Let us examine our experiences. When we wake up from deep sleep, we say" I slept happily." This is the experience of every one of us. The reason is that in deep sleep we have no experience of objects other than the 'self' i.e. we have no external experience. The self alone is experienced by itself. Therefore, the blissful state referred to by a person awakened from sleep must be the svarūpasukha, or the blissful essence of the ātman itself. The sentence, ‘I slept happily’, cannot mean ‘I slept in such a way that I feel happiness now, in my waking state.' For, our experience is not so. When we say: 'I went slowly', ‘He sang sweetly’, we evidently mean slowness in the very act of going, and sweetness in the very act of singing. We certainly do not mean that there is slowness after the act of going is over, or that there is sweetness after the act of singing is over. Likewise, when we say "I slept happily", we mean that there was happiness in the very act of sleeping.
If really, the self cognizes itself in deep sleep and enjoys happiness, how do you explain one's experience such as, "During these four hours of my sleep, I did not know anything at all."? The answer is, in that statement, the cognition of everything is not denied. The knower, the conscious self, is not denied as it persists throughout. What is really denied is the experience of the objective world. Then, how do you explain our experience and consequent expression of it such as 'During these hours I knew not anything, not even myself."? Is the cognition of the self also denied in that statement? Since the self or knower persists in sleep, the svarūpa of the self, i.e., the entity namely the self, is not denied therein. What is really denied is the group of adjuncts or attributes of the self, cognized in the waking state, namely, caste, creed and other things. We have to scrutinize and analyze the concepts comprised in the judgment: "I knew not myself ". By ‘myself’ is meant the collection of adjuncts of the self, namely, caste, creed, etc., cognized in the waking state. By 'I' is meant the self, known to abide and persist throughout even in deep sleep, but vaguely cognized for want of materials the presence of which would make the cognition vivid in the waking state.
The self persists even after mukti or release and is cognized as 'I', as it is self-luminous. If the self is not favorable or pleasant, we should not love it. The love of self is patent and natural for all beings. Since the ātman or self is wonderfully blissful by nature, Lord Kriṣṇa refers to the nature of ātman to Arjuna: "A certain person sees this (soul) full of wonder; in the same manner, another also speaks of it as full of wonder; again, another hears of it as full of wonder”.
आश्चर्यवत् पश्यति कश्चिदेनं आश्चर्यवद्ददति तथैवचान्यः।
आश्चर्यवच्चैनमन्यः श्रूणोति श्रुत्वापयेनं वेद नचैवकश्चित्॥ B.G. II 29
The Lord extols the individual soul by declaring that persons competent to comprehend its real nature are but few. Since the soul is not perceivable by any of the means by which ordinary objects around us are perceived and since its characteristics are different from those of worldly objects, and are therefore not conceivable like them, it is full of wonder. Among millions of persons, a rare individual of great merit sees this wonderful self. Such a rare person alone tells others about it. And likewise, a rare person hears it, and a person rarer still, rightly understands it. In the first place, the seer of the self as distinct from the body is rare; and, need we say, a person who sees correctly is rarer still? Among the correct seers, he who truly describes it is rare; and a person who can speak about all the mysteries of the self is rarer. Even if we can find such a speaker, a person who will listen to him is very rare; and a person with all the qualities of a true disciple eager to listen to such teaching is rarer still. The nature of self, thus, is bliss and intelligence. Therefore, the theory of the Vaiśeṣikas, that the ātman is jaḍa or a non-luminous substance, stands condemned.
This article is extracted from the book THE PHILOSOPHY OF ŚRI RĀMĀNUJĀ - VISIṢTADVAITA written by Sri V.R. Srisaila Chakravarti (Coimbatore) and published by V.S.R. Chakravarti, 24, Kasturi Ranga Iyengar Road, Madras - 18. The book is printed at Bharati Vijayam Press, Triplicane, Madras - 600 005 in the year 1974.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 August 2009 13:54 )