Who is a samsari?
Samsara is a cycle of bodage for an individual whichmakes him go round and round in circles. An individual is a combination of Atma and Anatma. Atma doe not have attributes. So it cannot be a samsari. What about the mind? Can it be a samsari? The answer is yes because we usually identify ourselves with the body-mind-sense complex. This is a Jadam. A table/chair/animal cannot be a samsari, because it doesn’t have anything to reflect. Mind, a subtle matter, is inert. Sthoola shariram is gross body and mind is also gross matter and inert. Mind being inert by itself, reflects body-sense-mind complex, therefore none of that can become a samsari. Who can be a samsari?
To arrive at Atma, absolute reality, trough apavada ( negation), according to Upanishads, we have to look at the object having a dependent reality or dependent for its existence on something existence or having an independent reality or independent existence. Then we have to negate all that is known. From known to the unknown objects, we have to move backwards negating all objects,– neti-neti principle, ultimately nothing can be negated any further.
For instance, eyes see a rose. Mind sees the eye which is seen by consciousness. The object rose is known and is part of universe.
Another example: we see a cotton shirt. A vedanti will go a few steps further to analyse. Shirt is made of threads interwoven together, to give a cloth form, which is from yarn. Yarn is made of cotton which comes from cotton pods growing on a plant. All this is known to us and part of Universe. These are subject to time and space which is Maya/Mithya within brahman. We as a shudha chaitanya, are ever present as a knower.
An individual is a combination of nitya and anitya i.e.Atma and Anatma. For Jivatma, the individual, samsara is applicable. Both combine and operate together creating samsara. The individual has the brightness of consciousness and dullness or anityam of body-sense-mind complex. For a person who is in coma, doesn’t matter. Due to the work of intelligence the problem of samsara arises and this study shows how we are trapped in this wheel of samsara.
चिच्छाया SSवेशतो बुद्धौ भानं धीस्तु द्विधा स्थिता l
एकाहङ्क्रुतिरन्या स्यादन्त: करण रूपिणी ll
बुद्धौ in the buddhi; चित् छाया shadow of consciousness; आवेशतो on entering; भानं appears to possess reflection(brightness)/luminosity; द्विधा two-fold; स्थिता is; एक one; अहंक्रुति ego (I am doing this) – taken from tattva bodha); धीः intelligence; तु and; ; स्यात् is; अन्या other; अंत: करण रूपिणी inner instrument (for actions);
The shadow of consciousness on entering the buddhi, appears to reflect brightness, two-fold. One on ego or subject and other is nature of inner instrument.
The mind is inert and therefore cannot reflect on its own. Buddhi appears to have luminosity as reflection of Consciousness. Mind is borrowing true consciousness. Due to the infusion of Consciousness, into the mind, the inert mind gets luminosity. Consciousness needs to have an Upadhi. On its own it cannot reflect. If the mind is not there, consciousness will not be manifested. Mind borrows the luminosity from consciousness and through that borrowed luminosity and through that brilliance it the enters the entire body-mind- sense complex. Mind doesn’t become consciousness. Now the luminosity is transferred to the body-mind-sense complex and that is the reason, we have the power to see, touch, speak, etc. In the borrowed brilliance from consciousness everything is lit up and becomes known. It is pratibimba (प्रतिबिम्ब) philosophy.
In a dark room there is a bucket filled with water. By itself, water cannot reflect. Through a small hole in the wall, the rays of the sun pass and fall on the water and go up to the roof. Water is borrowing luminosity from the sun. Now the whole room gets slightly illuminated.
In a school, some of the kids hold a small mirror in such a way that the rays of the sun fall on the mirror and hit somebody on the face. Mirror only reflects. If there is no sun, the mirror doesn’t do anything. Sun is only ONE. Reflection of the sun’s rays on the mirror creates an illusion that, now object is transmitted to another place. Reflecting medium mirror, has the capacity to reflect. If the medium does not have the reflection capacity, it will not be illumined.
Similarly, our body also is able to do karma because everything comes from the mind. Since mind has the capacity to reflect, mind borrows reflection from pure consciousness and it tries to shine. In that brilliance everything gets lit up. The medium must have the capacity to reflect. Reflection is a model or prakriya. Prakriya is a method/model to arrive at an inference. There are different methods. The reflection model is also called Pratibimba nyaya. Bimba means object and prati means see your own object. Nyaya means philososphy.
There are two orders of reality – Paramarthika reality or satyam and vyavaharika reality or transactional reality (satyam). Paramarthika reality belongs to the ultimate satyam and will not get affected by anything. It is an eternal satyam. Through reflection alone, mind gets illumine. Mind along with the body-mind-sense complex, belongs to the vyavaharika satyam. It assumes attributes such as ‘I am this’ and ‘I am that’ purely goes by reflection model.
Every day we see ourselves in the mirror. We don’t have the same face every day. One day, face looks happy, another day sad, etc. When the mirror is taken away, still we are there. Only the reflecting medium is absent. The mirror is only a reflecting medium. When the reflecting medium is clear, our face is clear in the reflection. However, if the medium is cracked or tainted, say, over a period of time, the reflection is bad. If the mind is bad, then everything looks bad. ‘I AM short/black/ugly,etc’ is superimposed on the Atma. We cannot look at ourselves and have to depend on the reflecting medium. If mind is bad, we superimpose that on the Atma and we think, of ourselves as that attribute which is conveyed by the mind, because the reflecting medium, mind, is not clear. We are actually belonging to the Paramarthika Satyam or reality and need not have the feeling of negativity.
For instance, if the Sun is reflected on clean water, it is clearly visible with its rays spreading across, in its entirety. However, when it is reflected on a dirty pond or swamp, the brightness is hardly visible and cannot reflect. Sun is the one and same but the reflecting mediums are different. If the medium is not good, our understanding is not good and, then naturally our reflection is not good. This is the samsara we are talking about. Samsara is a person because the mind is inseparable from the body.
When we are born, Ahamkriti (अहंक्रुति) is also born with us. This ego will always be there. If it is allowed to grow to such an extent, it will overshadow everything and the reflection will become truth. Anything that is known to us in name or form is Mithya, belonging to the sphere of pancha bhutas, pancha pranas and pancha indriyas, manah and buddhi.
Even the lord in vaikuntha – super consciousness has to take an avatara as a mortal human being, to do the job of God, through the body-mind-sense complex. Sitting in vaikuntha, Krishna could not have preached Bhagwat Gita. The avatars have to transcend to reality of vyavaharika along with Ahamkriti. They also die as mortals. Any avatara taken has to die. Physical body has to be left behind.
Quoting a story: Trishanku, was a devotee of guru sage vishwamitra. He did extreme penance and wanted to go to heaven with his body to Indra-loka. Lord Indra refused admission saying he cannot come with the physical body, but a different body. When a person dies, karmas have to be performed and pindams offered. For thirteen days 13 pindams are offered and the sukshma travels. Sage vishwamitra tells him that through his tapas he will send him to Indra-loka directly with his body. Everytime Trishanku goes with his body, Indra sends him back and he is thereby stuck in the middle. He is neither in Indra-loka nor in bhu-loka. So he is hanging in the middle.
We have to leave everything and go. Once we keep attaching ourselves to ahamkriti we will be in samsara forever.
Union is possible only if the orders of reality is same. Consciousness belongs to the paramarthika reality and Body-mind-sense complex belongs to the vyavaharika reality. This reflected consciousness is borrowed and the union is a samsari.
For instance, the moon borrows light from the sun. if the moon thinks it is self-illumining, then there is an identity problem. Similarly, if a wave thinks it is not belonging to the water, the wave is ignorant that it exists only because of water.
Who is a suffering from samsara? A samsara is a person with ahamkruti or having association with reflected consciousness and body-mind-sense complex. Reflected body-mind-sense complex gives a false notion that I am consciousness. Electricity cannot be seen and it requires a tungsten filament to illumine. Bulb is borrowing luminosity from electricity. However electricity requires an upadhi to illuminate.
Mind has 2 things- ahamkruti (which thinks) and karana buddhi(tell to do). We always do actions given by a thought. Every action is known to us and thoughts are behind those actions. Sometimes we have a guilt feeling after doing some action. This two-fold nature of mind ahamkruti and anthakarana rupini it tells us the thought and also tells the action. Atma cannot be a samsara. Atma cannot do any task. Mind is inert by nature. It borrows luminosityfrom consciousness. This association of reflected consciousness and body-sense-mind complex is samsara. Anatma cannot be a samsari.
छायाSहङ्कारयोरैक्यम् तत्पाय: पिण्डवन्मतम् l
तदहङ्कारतादात्म्या द्येहश्चेतनतामगात ll
छाया reflected consciousness; अहंकार : ego; ऐक्यं becomes one or union of the same reality order or identity; तप्त made red hot (by fire) अयःiron पिण्डवत् मतम् opinion like red hot iron ball considers(itself to be self-radiant); तत् अहंकार due to association of ahankara; देहा physical body; चेतनl brilliance; आगात् one who attains. तादात्म्यात् owing to identification
Reflected consciousness with ego becomes one, just like a red hot iron ball.
An Iron ball does not reflect anything on its own. On touching it we know it as dark and cold. Blacksmith makes it hot on fire and the ball becomes red. In that light of heat of the ball, everything is seen clearly. Fire has no form and its nature is to burn. Fire lends existence to the iron ball and fire is seen as the reflected heat in the ball . the fire has given brilliance to the ball. Iron ball illumines because of fire. Thus, ego is illuminated by the borrowed consciousness of the mind which in turn has borrowed from the ultimate consciousness. The person will be in the reflectional model all his life without understanding from where the glaze is coming from. Samsara belongs to the ahankara –‘I’ thought. The iron ball thinks ‘I am radiant’. Fire is not affected by anything.
Reflected consciousness borrowed from consciousness, by the mind, makes the mind think it is independent. The ego plays, carried away by the reflectional model, paramarthika model does not exist anymore for the mind. Same is the case with Bhakti which is devotion to a lord. Lord is omnipresent and not restricted to time and space. A vedanti stays above all this. He knows that the borrowed concept of bhakti is actually borrowed from the original concept of paramarthika reality, for the purposes of vyavaharika. तत् त्वम् असी says I am not this , I am that brahman. Due to this association of ahankara with reflected consciousness, deha also gets illumined or is sentient and the body says ‘I am doing this’ and does actions. Samsara is therefore for the Jiva. Inside if your heart is clean, it shows on the face.
How the mind works and overpowers the Atma, an example through a story given by swami dayananda saraswati:
A person attends a wedding dressed up like a gentleman with a coat and a tie. First he goes to the boy’s side. People think he is a friend of the bridegroom and pamper him. Then he goes to the girl’s side and tells them that boy’s side are doing a lot more than the girl’s side. The girl’s side think he is from the boy’s side and pamper him. He reaps all the benefits from both the sides. In this way he keeps alternating to enoy the benefits from both sides. At one point of time, the girl and the boy’s side start questioning about his identity. Aham buddhi and antha karan rupini are the two sides of the wedding party and the unknown person is the mind. He becomes a target of inquiry. Now that unknown person feels threatened and quietly leaves.
When the mind is questioned, mind buddhi will disappear. When the mind is questioned, at that time, one comes to learn Shastram. In meditation, good and bad thoughts come. As a sakshi you are aware of both the thoughts.. The moments we say ‘good thoughts come and bad thoughts go’,and keep on interrogating, then only good thoughts stay within us. Mind becomes calmer.
Due to association of ahankara, the reflected consciousness from the mind, pervades the body, giving sentiency to the body and we do karma accordingly. Consciousness does not belong to the same order of reality as we are. It is not known to us. Atma cannot have a samsara and anatma being a Jada cannot have a samsara too. . Jiva is an individual, a concoction of atma and anatma with reflected consciousness lending existence to the Body-mind-sense complex. Atma is akarta, i.e. does not do actions. All the karmas that are done is related to the body-sense-mind complex. Atma gives only light. In case of electricity, we can keep a tube light illumining the whole room or keep only one focussed upon us. Samsara is for the jiva. From the reflected consciousness to the deha, all are mithya.
For instance, the sun reflects on a bucket filled with water. When the water is transferred to another bucket, the reflection is also transferred. Reflection can happen only in physical body. Consciousness does not require another light. It is स्वयं विभात्यथान्यानि भासयेत्साधानं विना i.e. self-illuming, without any other means.