Amṛtabindu Upaniṣad Session #4 by Sri Swamini Svatmavidyananda
Here is the video of the recording of the session —
Amruta Bindu Upanishad #4 – Feb 24th 2016 (Unedited notes….)
मनो हि द्विविधं प्रोक्तं शुध्दं चाशुध्दमेव च । अशुध्दं कामसंकल्पं शुध्दं कामविवर्जितम् ॥
[mano hi dvividhaṃ proktaṃ śuddhaṃ cāśuddham eva
aśuddhaṃ kāma-saṃkalpaṃ śuddhaṃ kāma-vivarjitam
Mind is said to be of two kinds, pure and impure. The impure mind is possessed of desire; the pure mind is free from desire.]
See the details in the earlier session notes. It is an Upaaya – it is a way of getting attention – for the Upanishad to start this way. It creates aakaankshaa – expectation – inquisitiveness. It creates a praroochana – a taste. What is pure, what is impure? Where do I fall in? Our mind is intimate to us so we are interested in knowing more about it. So this is an important beginning. Kenopanishad also starts with mind. Impelled by whom does the mind falls into various thoughts and objects? First mind and then it talks about the praana or breath and then speech. Three other Upanishads talk about the mind. Manasaa eva idam aaptavyam – Katopanishad – this (knowledge) has to be gained with the help of the mind. Kenopanishad – yat manasaa na manute – that which is not the object of the mind. Taittireeya – yato vacho nivartante apraapya manasaah – Mind and speech fail in describing it. Mind is dwelt upon because it has potential and it is of some use. It has to be disconnected first and it has to be reconnected. From what and to what is the subject matter of the A.B. Upanishad.
Where is the mind present? Ati kushkshmatvaat – since it is very subtle – it cannot be located. Manas has a specific role – the faculty that vacillates– did I lock the door or not? The second classified as Chittam – emotions. The third – Buddhi – the intellect that takes decisions. Buddhi has to be directed in the right direction by meditation, prayer and discipline. Ahamkara – the I-notion or Ego – it owns up all the other. Mind = Manas + Chittam + Buddhi + Ahamkara.
All of these have two varieties of pure and impure. Manas is derived from Man – to think. All the four components of the mind are based on thoughts. It is the presence of thoughts. Saakshi – the self-evident witness consciousness – which says “I am” – is owned by the ahamkaara. The “I am” thought is coming from this body. This awareness comes from this body-mind-sense complex thought. This me is defined by understanding what is not-me. Kshanikaa Vrittayah – thoughts are all momentary. Based on a string of momentary thoughts, one leads their life.
Prison is made of Sankalpa – To imagine creatively. One thinks oneself to sadness, the feeling of bondage. This is ashuda or impure.
मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः । बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्त्यै निर्विषयं स्मृतम् ॥
mana eva manuṣyāṇāṃ kāraṇaṃ bandha-mokṣayoḥ
bandhāya viṣayāsaktaṃ muktaṃ nirviṣayaṃ smṛtam
Mind alone is the cause for people’s bondage and liberation. When attached to objects, it leads to bondage. When free from objects, it leads to liberation.
[Additional notes: मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः ।
In Valmiki Ramayana, Hanuman quotes this when justifying his action of visiting the women’s quarters since he has to search for sita only in women’s quarters and since his mind is not drawn to them.
Gita – आत्मा एव आत्मनः बन्धु: रिपुश्च । अस्य आशयं वर्णयत । ]
One Brahmachari was studying with a guru. His apprenticeship involves taking care of the cows. Someone took away the ropes. How will the brahmachari now manage these 300 cows. Guru advised the student that he should go and pretend to tie them. He goes near each cow and pretends to tie them. The cow settles down in that place. The student wants to learn this magic or this power or shiddhi. The student keeps check and finds that all the cows remains in their place. Student approaches the guru asking him to release them. Guru asks him to pretend to untie them. That is exactly how banda is and how moksha is. My mind alone is responsible for my own bondage and liberation. There is neither any real bondage nor any real liberation. There is only Aaroopa – super-imposition.
Even for the person “bitten” by the rope which seemed like a snake, the doctor gives a medicine to make him feel better. It is a waste of time to accept their bondage and to treat it. But this is required – to take this notion to be real – in order to remove the bondage. To remove the thorn stuck in the foot, another sharp object is required. There is no bondage or liberation for animals. Only for human beings – manushyaanam banda moksha – this applies.
bandhāya (manah) viṣayāsaktaṃ | vishinoti badnaati iti vishayah | vishaya means objects – they bind us. Ashtavakra gita is given by Sage ashtavakra – who had eight bends in his body. While he was in his mother’s womb itself, he was very knowledgeable. He says “Consider all the vishayaas to be visha or poison”. When attached to objects, mind leads to bondage.
muktaṃ (manah) nirviṣayaṃ smṛtam | smṛtam – remembered – in this context it is taken to be “said”. When free from objects, mind leads to liberation.
At the surface level, it seems that it is not possible to have a mind that is free of objects or thoughts. So we need to see deeper.