Svarajya Siddhih Translated and Annotated Part 3

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Translation and Annotation of 'Svarajya Siddhi' of Gangadharendra Sarasvati from the nineteenth century. This text is considered one of the five Siddhi texts, the other four being Naishkarmya Siddhi, Advaita Siddhi, Ishta Siddhi, and Brahma
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  󰀲󰀸󰀱 PB May 2012 Svarajya Siddhih:  Attaining Self-dominion Gangadharendra Saraswati ( Continued from the previous issue ) Is Ajñāna Abhāva ?  󰁨󰁥 󰁭󰁥󰁴󰁨󰁯󰁤 󰁯􀁦  󰁰󰁲󰁡󰁹󰁡󰁫   ṣ   󰁡 , percep- tion, leads to the universal, clear, and un- ambiguous cognition of ignorance, such as ‘I am ignorant; I do not know me properly; I do not know Brahman’. However, this is not the  sāmānya-abhāva , general absence, of know-ledge,  jñāna . In Indian logic, in the relation of  saṁyoga or contact between two entities, one entity is a  pratiyogi , adjunct, the superstratum; the other is an  anuyogi , subjunct, or the substra- tum. When you see a pot on the floor, the pot is the  pratiyogi and the floor is the  anuyogi . In the case of fire and smoke, smoke is the  pratiyogi and fire is the  anuyogi . In the case of a fire on a mountain, fire is the  pratiyogi  and the moun-tain is the  anuyogi . However, in Indian logic,  abhāva  or absence is recognized as a positive cognition. For example, when we say, ‘there is no pot on the floor’, there is a cognition oppos- ite to that of ‘there is a pot on the floor’. e latter is a positive cognition and the former is a negative cognition. erefore,  abhāva , non- existence, or absence is a real fact. However, the cognition of non-existence or absence requires  previous knowledge of the entity that is absent. How do I know that the pot is not on the floor if I have not seen any pot earlier? e entity of  which  abhāva  is cognized is called  pratiyogi  or the counter-positive. In the case of the absence of the pot on the floor, the pot is the  pratiyogi and the ground is the  anuyogi or dharmi . In the case of an empty water tank, water is the  prati- yogi and the tank is the dharmi .  Ajñāna , ignorance, is not a general absence of  jñāna , because cognition of the absence of  jñāna  will require that  jñāna be the  pratiyogi or that there be the previous knowledge of  jñāna ,  which is absurd. So, because of the absence of the dharmi-pratiyogi  correlation, the general absence of knowledge is not proved. More- over, the cognition of ignorance of knowledge is exhibited in statements like ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and there cannot be a general absence of such knowledge that is not known before. e rela-tion between ignorance and knowledge is not like the relation between an empty water tank and water. Because knowledge does not occur in ignorance, the relation is not of a superstra-tum and substratum. In the case of absence in a substratum other than where the object in question is generally found, the counter-posi- tive-ness has a distinguishing characteristic. For T  PB May 2012 󰀲󰀸󰀲  Prabuddha Bharata 52 example, when one says ‘the cloth does not exist in the jar’, the existence of the cloth is denied, and so it is the counter-positive. A jar is a dif- ferent substratum than the cloth and hence the  property of jar—jar-hood—is the distinguish- ing characteristic,  avacchedaka , of the coun- ter-positive-ness of this  abhāva , non- existence, of the jar in the cloth. Similarly, when a cake is absent in a pudding, the cake-ness is the distinguishing characteristic of the counter-  positive-ness of this absence. is kind of ab-sence is called  avacchinna-pratiyogītā-abhāva , non-existence with a counter-  positive-ness dis- tinguished by a characteristic. Ignorance is not a non-existence with a counter-positive-ness distinguished by the characteristics of certitude of Atman, valid knowledge, Self- realization, and the like, because these experiences occur in the same substratum or person where ignor- ance occurs. Also, the cognition ‘I do not know Brahman’ is always present in the person who is ignorant. Ignorance is also not  prāgabhāva , previous non-existence, because such a previous non- existence is not admitted here. Even if it were to be admitted, there is no counter-positive and there is no concurrence of the counter-positive. Further, none will admit the counter-positive- ness distinguished by the general characteris- tic of knowledge in this previous non-existence. Previous non-existence of ignorance cannot be admitted because ignorance is beginningless. Ig- norance is also not  atyantābhāva , absolute non- existence, because it is destroyed at the dawn of knowledge, as taught in the Bhagavadgita: ‘But those whose ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge [of the Self], ’ 􀀱󰀶  and ‘Destroyed is my delusion and I have gained my memory’ (󰀱󰀸.􀀷󰀳). Ignorance is a positive entity, which is the root of all duality and which obscures the reality and distracts one from it. Types of Renunciation All actions have to be given up following the  procedure mentioned in the scriptures, and the aspirant has to humbly approach the guru. e guru should be a person who has realized Brah- man, has renounced the world, and is the best teacher among mendicants. He should be cap-able of removing the ignorance of the disciple by teaching him the essence of Vedanta. e lo-tus-feet of such a guru should be saluted and he should be served by word, mind, and actions to attain the knowledge of Brahman through spir- itual practices like hearing, cogitating, and medi- tating on the teachings of the Vedanta. Objection: It is not proper to renounce actions as the scriptures prohibit the giv- ing up of actions, both nitya  and naimittika , through statements like, ‘by doing karma, in-deed, should one wish to live here for a hun- dred years,’ 􀀱󰀷  and, ‘having offered the desirable  wealth to the teacher, do not cut off the line of  progeny.’ 􀀱􀀸 Reply: Without sannyasa or renunciation you cannot do spiritual practices like hearing, cogi- tating, and meditating, and hence sannyasa is necessary. Persons belonging to the other stages of life like Brahmacharya, Grihastha, and Vana-  prastha can do these spiritual practices only  when not performing actions. Objection: It was while being engaged as very active householders that persons such as Janaka, Yajnavalkya, and Ajatashatru performed these  practices and became established in Brahman. And so, it is quite possible to attain the know- ledge of Brahman being engaged in actions, there is no need for renunciation. Reply: is is not so. e Shruti presents three stages of life or ashramas, ‘there are three divisions of virtue’, 􀀱󰀹  and says that ‘all these be- come the attainers of the virtuous worlds; the man established in Brahman attains immortality’  󰀲󰀸󰀳 PB May 2012 53 Svarajya Siddhih:  Attaining Self-dominion (ibid.). us, persons belonging to the three ashramas other than the Sannyasa ashrama   only can attain the virtuous worlds. e term ‘estab-lished in Brahman’ by meaning clearly indicates that only monks attain immortality.Objection: How can the term ‘established in Brahman’ point only to monks as that is not the derivative meaning? Reply: Here the conventional meaning should be taken into account and not the de- rivative meaning. e term ‘established in Brah- man’ denotes a total absorption in Brahman and absence of other activities. is is not pos- sible for persons belonging to the other three stages or ashramas because the Shruti or the Vedas speak of sin being incurred on the non- performance of the duties enjoined upon one’s stage of life. However, the monk has renounced all actions according to the procedure pre- scribed by the Vedas and hence incurs no sin on non-performance of actions. Being stead- fast in Brahman through spiritual practices like the restraint of the mind, the restraint of sense organs, is the appropriate duty of a monk. 􀀲󰀰   So has it been said: ‘In meditation of the Ve- dantic truth one should pass one’s time till the approach of sleep and so on till death; never should one allow the least quarter to sensuous desires in the mind.’  􀀲􀀱  is establishes that the term ‘established in Brahman’ refers only to a monk. Also, the possibility of persons belong-ing to the other stages of life being constantly engaged in spiritual practices is quashed. Per- sons in these stages of life can perform spiritual  practices and realize Brahman. e narrative of the scriptures gives only an indication towards the possibility of these persons attaining know- ledge, but their right to knowledge cannot go against the injunctions of the Vedas to perform their duties of various actions like sacrifices. If it were not so, the indication in the statement, ‘the sacrifice is taking place in the cows’ would imply that cows have a right to perform sacri- fices instead of the intended meaning of the sentence that the sacrifice is taking place in the cowshed. ( To be continued  ) References  􀀱󰀶 Bhagavadgita, 􀀵.󰀱􀀶. 􀀱󰀷.  Isha Upanishad , 􀀲. 􀀱􀀸. Taittiriya Upanishad , 󰀱.󰀱󰀱.󰀱. 􀀱􀀹. Chhandogya Upanishad , 􀀲.􀀲󰀳.󰀱.  󰀲􀀰. For a similar discussion see Shankaracharya’s commentary on the  Brahma Sutra 󰀳.󰀴, 󰀱󰀸–􀀲󰀰.  󰀲􀀱. Quoted in  Laghu Vākya Vṛtti  (Calcutta: Advaita  Ashrama, 󰀱󰀹󰀹󰀸), 󰀳󰀵–􀀶. Also see Siddhantalesha Sangraha , 󰀱.󰀱󰀴. he attainment of the Absolute is called the Knowledge of Brahman. But it is extremely difficult to acquire. A man cannot acquire the Knowledge of Brahman unless he completely rids himself of his at- tachment to the world. When the Divine Mother was born as the daughter of King Himalaya, She showed Her various forms to Her father. The king said, ‘I want to see Brahman.’ Thereupon the Divine Mother said: ‘Father, if that is your desire, then you must seek the company of holy men. You must go into solitude, away from the world, and now and then live in holy company.’  The manifold has come from the One alone, the Relative from the Absolute. There is a state of con- sciousness where the many disappears, and the One, as well; for the many must exist as long as the One exists. Brahman is without comparison. It is impossible to explain Brahman by analogy. It is between light and darkness. It is Light, but not the light that we perceive, not material light. — The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna , 󰀳󰀰󰀷 T
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