Swamini Svatmavidyananda Session #12 – Sri Vidyaranya Swami’s Panchadasi

Sri Vidyaranya Swami’s पञ्चदशी

Session #12 by Sri Swamini Svatmavidyananda  on Mar 13th 2016 (unedited notes taken down during the session)

Here is the video of the recording of the session —


ॐ सहना ववतु सह नौ भुनक्तु सहवीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्वीनावधीतामस्तु माविद्विषावहै ॥ ॐ शांतिः । शांतिः। शांतिः |

नमः श्रीशङ्करानन्दगुरुपादाम्बुजन्मने । सविलासमहामोहग्राहग्रासैककर्मणे ॥ १.१॥  नृत्यशालास्थितो दीपः प्रभुं सभ्यांश्च नर्तकीम् । दीपयेदविशेषेण तदभावेऽपि दीप्यते ॥ ११॥

नृत्य-शाला-स्थितः  दीपः प्रभुं सभ्यान् च नर्तकीम् | दीपयेत् अविशेषेण तत् अभावे अपि दीप्यते ॥

Upama is simile. Roopaka is metaphor. There were idam vritti and aham vritti. Self lit, Saakshi lights up both idam and aham vritti. Aham vritti – says “I do this… I do that….”. It is all about me. The shaakshi effortlessly simultaneously lights up.

While taking the metaphor, it is to be understood that this is different from the modern day theater were there are spot lights. In the ancient days, there was a Naataka deepah which would light up everything around. The Shaakshi light equated to the naataka deepa – it objectifies the non-presence and the presence of the vishayaah and the thoughts. Shaakshi light lights up even the absence of idam or aham vritti.

नृत्यशालास्थितः  दीपः – remaining there in the theatre.

प्रभुं सभ्यान् च नर्तकीम् – the lord / king / the patron / the host, the audience, and the dancer

दीपयेत् अविशेषेण – it is immediately lighting up without leaving anyone or anything.

तत् अभावे अपि दीप्यते – Even after everyone leaves, it is lighting up the empty stage, empty seats.

अहङ्कारं धियं साक्षी विषयानपि भासयेत् । अहङ्काराद्यभावेऽपि स्वयं भात्येव पूर्ववत् ॥ १२ ॥

अहङ्कारं धियं साक्षी विषयान् अपि भासयेत् । अहङ्कारादि-अभावे अपि स्वयं भाति एव पूर्ववत् |

पूर्ववत् – like before – in the same manner

साक्षी – This saakshi illumines the internal theater.

अहङ्कारं धियं  भासयेत् – I notion takes place in the buddhi. So the saakshi lights up both the ahamkaara and the buddhi.

विषयान् अपि भासयेत् – the objects are lit up. It impartially lights up. Its nature is to light up. There is no partiality there. It is not Saakshi’s job to show the way. Advaita haani – the loss of non-duality will occur if the saakshi shows the right way. Shadow puppet show by the buddhi and ahamkaara is lit up by the saakshi. Whether the Buddhi drags the ahamkara to the Vedanta class, or the ahamkara drags the Buddhi to the finite objects – the saakshi lights up. Both aham vritti and the idam vritti are illumined.

अहङ्कारादि-अभावे In the absence of ahamkara – in sleep it is as though resting. There are vishaya-s only in waking state. Mind also gets into a passive form or a basic form, during sleep. In sleep, Saakshi illumines the absence. Raagaa and Dveshaa dancing at the same time in different parts of the stage. It is infinite. In one day itself, there are so many shows – not all of which are entertaining. Because of wrong identification, (not identifying with the light), there is suffering.

निरन्तरं भासमाने कूटस्थे ज्ञप्तिरूपतः । तद्भासा भास्यमानेयं बुद्धिर्नृत्यत्यनेकधा ॥ १३॥

निरन्तरं भासमाने कूटस्थे ज्ञप्तिरूपतः । तत्  भासा भास्यमाना इयं बुद्धिः नृत्यति अनेकधा |

निरन्तरम् – unchangingly – without a gap.

भासमाने – shining (nirantaram – constantly)

कूटस्थे – in this consciousness. There are two meanings for the term kootasthah. One is कूटवत् तिष्ठति the anvil block where the metal is placed and gets beaten into shape. Another meaning – कुटिलायां तिष्ठति – One that stays in the crooked / maze. ज्ञप्ति+रूपतः – ज्ञप्ति knowledge तत्  भासा भास्यमाना इयं बुद्धिः नृत्यति अनेकधा – अनेकधा in different ways. नृत्यति – dances. Though it is Saakshi which shines, the ahamkaara and the buddhi get the credit. The buddhi dances.

अहङ्कारः प्रभुः सभ्या विषया नर्तकी मतिः । तालादिधारिण्यक्षाणि दीपः साक्ष्यवभासकः ॥ १४॥

अहङ्कारः प्रभुः सभ्याः विषयाः नर्तकी मतिः । तालादिधारिणि अक्षाणि दीपः साक्षि अवभासकः |

The metaphor has to be clearly deployed. Have your point made and then take a suitable example.

अहङ्कारः प्रभुः – the ahamkara is the patron. विषयाः सभ्याः – The various sense objects are audience. मतिः नर्तकी – The mind is the dancer. अक्षाणि तालादिधारिणि – the five senses are the Time keeper, drummer, violinist, vocalist, taampura player. साक्षी दीपः अवभासकः – the saakshi shines like the light.

The ahamkaara tells the buddhi that it brought the buddhi to light. Buddhi dances to the clapping of the ahamkaara.

Kurvan eva iha karmaani — kenopanishad – keep doing the work. Ignoring the other part of the full message, only “keep going on” is taken. So the dancer goes on and on. B.G. “niyatam kuru karmatvam”. Without the accompanists, the dancer can’t continue the dancing. The buddhi depends on the sense organs. The hamkaara controls the dancer and determines her actions. The audience are the raaga-dvesha-s. The dancer is also dependent on the audience. Objects are classified into two – things that I like and I don’t like. Buddhi is enslaved by the patron, the accompanists, and the audience. There is anyonya aashraya – co-dependency between buddhi and the objects.

Last verse of the 8th chapter Mayaa meghah – maya is cloud. jagat is the rain. Consciousness does not get affected.   मायामेघो जगन्नीरं वर्षत्वेष यथा तथा । चिदाकाशस्य को हानिर्न वा लाभ इति स्थितिः ॥ 8.७४ ॥

Let the clouds of duality rain here or there. The space like consciousness is not affected. What is the loss or gain for the Chidaakaasha?

Here the Prabhu has to stop being prabhu. The prabhu has to rebrand itself as the saakshi or the lamp. The saakshi enjoys everything without being impacted. The point is to identify with the saakshi which stands for the lamp. The two main take-aways from this metaphor are (1) the illumining power of the Saakshi and (2) the uninvolved nature of the saakshi. Even though without it, nothing can happen, it does not get stuck in any of these roles.

स्वस्थानसंस्थितो दीपः सर्वतो भासयेद्यथा । स्थिरस्थायी तथा साक्षी बहिरन्तः प्रकाशयेत् ॥ १५ ॥

स्व-स्थान-संस्थितः दीपः सर्वतः भासयेत् यथा । स्थिर-स्थायी तथा साक्षी बहिः अन्तः प्रकाशयेत् |

स्व-स्थान-संस्थितः दीपः – staying in its own place – fixed in one place.

सर्वतः भासयेत् यथा – just like it lights up everything.

तथा साक्षी – in the same way, the consciousness

स्थिर-स्थायी – abiding in itself as itself. Self-standing

बहिरन्तः – idam is outside – aham is within. Outside means lighting up the idam vastu. Inside means lighting up the ahamkaara. The eyes go out to see the pot and bring back the cognition of the pot. It has as-though “stepped out”. Ahamkaara claims to have seen the pot.

प्रकाशयेत् – illumines everything.

बहिरन्तर्विभागोऽयं देहापेक्षो न साक्षिणि । विषया बाह्यदेशस्था देहस्यान्तरहङ्कृतिः ॥ १६॥

बहिः अन्तः विभागः अयं देहापेक्षः न साक्षिणि । विषयाः बाह्यदेशस्थाः देहस्य अन्तः अहङ्कृतिः |

बहिः अन्तः विभागः अयं – This division of external and internal

देहापेक्षः – with reference to the body

विषयाः बाह्यदेशस्थाः – objects are outside the body

देहस्य अन्तः अहङ्कृतिः – Inside the body there is ahamkrutih. Ahamkrutih is the feminine word for ahamkaara. Saakshi is neither inside nor outside. Saakshi is free of space and time, it is the creator of space and time.

अन्तस्था धीः सहैवाक्षैर्बहिर्याति पुनः पुनः । भास्यबुद्धिस्थचाञ्चल्यं साक्षिण्यारोप्यते वृथा ॥ १७॥

अन्तस्था धीः सह एव अक्षै: बहि: याति पुनः पुनः । भास्य-बुद्धि-स्थ-चाञ्चल्यं साक्षिणि आरोप्यते वृथा ॥ १७॥

अन्तस्था धीः – This buddhi that is situated inside the body. Here it indicates the mind.

अक्षै: सह एव – along with the sense organs

पुनः पुनः  बहि: याति – Goes out repeatedly – The buddhi goes out through the eye.

भास्य-बुद्धि-स्थ-चाञ्चल्यं — चाञ्चल्यं – restlessness चञ्चलस्य भावः चाञ्चलयम् | The very restless buddhi or mind here.

साक्षिणि आरोप्यते वृथा –   आरोप्यते – superimposes. The buddhi borrows the light from the saakshi. It takes the credit for the light. It says “I do this. I do that”. The restlessness of the buddhi is blamed upon the saakshi. The person says “I am tired or restless.” The restlessness in the buddhi which is illumined by the saakshi projects over the saakshi.


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