Panchadasi – Verse 3-4
~ (Understandings from the Webinar series of Chinmaya International Foundation on Panchadasi)
…Continuing from verse 3
Knower does not have the properties of the Known (i.e., properties of shabda, sparsha, etc). Hence we can conclude that Knower is not made up of five elements or five senses. We know a particular thing through the senses. But Consciousness (Knower) doesn’t require any thing to know. Thus, knowledge of the Consciousness is non-mediate knowledge or a Direct Knowledge (aparokSha jnana).
One might question, can the knower of each sense be different or can there be different knowers in a personality? To analyse this, below three points will help.
- Objects are different. They are made up of five elements.
- Subject is different from the object. Hence subject is not made up of the five elements.
- Subject (Knower) is one and is of the same nature (there cannot be two or more subjects). Because subject is not made up of five elements, and there is nothing in this world which is not made up of the five elements except for the Knower. Hence, the only thing left when the objects are not considered is the subject and thus subject is only one.
From the above three points it becomes clear that there cannot be different knowers for different senses.
All the above points are discussed when a person is in jAgrat avastha (Waking state).
tathA swapne atra vedyum tu na sthiram jAgare sthiram
tad bhedo atastayoh samvit ekarUpa na bhidyate || 4 ||
tathA: thus (all the points mentioned in the earlier verse for jAgrat applies for swapnAvastha also)
swapne: in swapna (dream state)
atra: here (in the dream state)
vedyam na sthiram: objects are not permanent (as it is in the case of waking state)
jAgare sthiram: objects do not change in the waking state
tad bhedo: that difference
atah + tayoh = atastayoh: Therefore, that alone
na bhidyate: does not differ
samvit: the Knower
ekarUpa: the only thing (the Knower)
Meaning: Thus, all the three points mentioned in the waking state applies to the dream state as well except that the objects in the dream state keep changing as the dream goes but the Knower does not change.
Because the Knower does not change, he is able to realise that he had a dream when he comes out of the dream state to the waking state. This means that the Knower in the waking state and the dream state is one and the same. That cognition where there is both That-ness and This-ness is called pratyabhijnA. E.g. When we see a school friend after many years with lot of changes in his looks and realise that it is That friend from school who looks like This now, is pratyabhijnA.
A definition of pratyabhijnA is tad-ta idan-ta avagAhinI vrutti – Comprehension (avagAhinI) of the amalgamation (vrutti) of That-ness (tad-ta) and This-ness (idan-ta) is pratyabhijnA.
The step my step process in which Swami Vidyaranya explains the subject is very beautiful. It helps the student develop a logical thinking and rational approach to understand what’s been discussed in the text.
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