Swamini Svatmavidyananda Session #15 – Sri Vidyaranya Swami’s Panchadasi

Sri Vidyaranya Swami’s पञ्चदशी

Session #15 by Sri Swamini Svatmavidyananda
on Mar 18th 2016 at 6.30 AM (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 |

कथं तादृङ्मया ग्राह्य इति चेन्मैव गृह्यताम् । सर्वग्रहोपसंशान्तौ स्वयमेवावशिष्यते ॥ २४ ॥

कथं तादृक् मया ग्राह्यः इति चेत् मा एव गृह्यताम् । सर्व+ग्रह+उपसं+शान्तौ स्वयम् एव अवशिष्यते ॥ २४ ॥

The guru wants the student to let go. But the student wants to grasp it. The cows imagined that they are bound when the student simply acted as though he bound them with a rope. The feeling of bondage is imagined by us – 5th verse – avichaara kruto bandah vichaarena nivartate. It can’t be caught and it need not be caught.

कथं तादृक् मया ग्राह्यः – How is this to be gained by me or grasped by me

इति चेत् मा एव गृह्यताम् – May it not be grasped by you. In that case, you are not able to grasp it, you do not gain it. If you want to learn by objectifying, then it is better that you do not grasp it at all.

सर्व+ग्रह+उपसं+शान्तौ – when the attempt comes to an end, when the knower resolves knowing that he is no longer in control,

स्वयम् एव अवशिष्यते – what remains is nothing else.

When there is nothing more to grasp, the ungraspable aatma raises up. What remains always is this aatma. Ahamkaara is in the way.

When we surrender to the lord, the lord neutralizes the unconsciousness – like Shiva consuming the haalaahala during samudra madana. The knowledge is the amrutam. Vishnu comes as Mohini and takes away of the asuras. Only one asura recognizes the trick and come to take amrutam along with the devas. Vishnu kills splits him into two. Shadow selves – one is head (ahamkaara) and one part is the tail. It is an allegory of the unconscious – two aspects of the unconscious. Overcoming that and settling that raahu and kethu is needed even to study Vedanta.

The ahamkara overshadows the self. Sat – existence; gnaanam – knowledge including the knower, known, the means of knowledge Lut-pratyaya on Gnaa. So Gnaanam is knowledge. ज्ञायते इति ज्ञानम् | ज्ञायते अनेन इति ज्ञानम् | It also indicates the instrument for gaining knowledge. Anantam – स्वजातीय विजातीय स्वगत भेदम् – not overpowered in any way by its own kind or any other kind.

The limitless aatma can be revealed through 1 word or 3 words or many.

सर्व+ग्रह+उपसं+शान्तौ – When all attempts of trying to get at it. 7th vibhakti – indicating time.

The sansyaasi who wants to leave everything is called back by the Guru and his disciples to take the ochre robes and be of use to the society. There is a deliberate giving up of earlier relationships.

When the mind/buddhi/ahamkar gives up its search for the aatma elsewhere and gives up the search as it is unsuccessful, the mind is made a slave. Mind is brought back in a servile capacity.

स्वयम् एव अवशिष्यते – what remains is you, the saakshi. It is neither Idam vritti or the aham vritti.

न तत्र मानापेक्षास्ति स्वप्रकाशस्वरूपतः । तादृग्व्युत्पत्त्यपेक्षा चेच्छ्रुतिं पठ गुरोर्मुखात् ॥ २५

न तत्र मान+अपेक्षा अस्ति स्वप्रकाश-स्वरूपतः । तादृक् व्युत्पत्ति अपेक्षा चेत् श्रुतिं पठ गुरोः मुखात् ॥ २५ ॥


In the matter of Brahman, there is no necessity for the means of knowledge.  Vedanta is to remove the wrong understanding. When the wrong understanding is removed, the self is revealed, as it is self-evident.

The body, the mind, or even the subtle body are all objects.

न तत्र मान+अपेक्षा अस्ति – there is no need for a means of knowledge. Something has to exist (rope) before it can be misunderstood for something else (snake). If aatma is not objectifiable then it cannot be mistaken – is the argument put for by critics. Puro avastita vishaya – it has to be evident even if it cannot be objectified to be misunderstood – is the response given. Since aatma is evident, it can be misunderstood. So “I” is understood through lakshana artha – the indirect meaning.  Example “Get me the red one”. Redness is not brought. The indirect meaning is understood. Sat-chit-ananda indirectly explains “I” and these are not attributes of “I”.

The means of knowledge is only to drop the wrong notions. To take you there, the means of knowledge is not needed.

स्व-प्रकाश-स्वरूपतः – It is self evident so it does not need to be shown.

तादृक् व्युत्पत्ति अपेक्षा चेत् – if you feel the necessity for some kind of comprehension

गुरोः मुखात् श्रुतिं पठ –  read the scriptures under the guidance of a teacher.

The upaadhi of the teacher becomes important since it might resonate with certain disciples. Like ishta devataa, there are ishta guru. You could choose a guru with whom you are comfortable. Don’t try to read it on your own.

यदि सर्वगृहत्यागोऽशक्यस्तर्हि धियं व्रज । शरणं तदधीनोऽन्तर्बहिर्वैषोऽनुभूयताम् ॥ २६

यदि सर्व-गृह-त्यागः अशक्यः तर्हि धियं व्रज । शरणं तत् अधीनः अन्तः+बहिः+वै एषः अनुभूयताम् ॥ २६॥

यदि सर्व-गृह-त्यागः अशक्यः – Earlier it was told that the grasping has to stop. If you are unable to let go i.e., incapable of letting go of grasping the aatma as an object,

तर्हि धियं शरणं  व्रज– seek refuge in the Buddhi.

Recollect the metaphor. Uninvolved with the surroundings, the naataka deepa is lightening up everything.

तत् अधीनः – depending on that

अन्तः+बहिः+वै एषः अनुभूयताम् – may it be experienced by you whether internal or external . From the standpoint of the body, there was within ( I am eat, I enjoy) and the external thoughts.

The teaching ends with a blessing. Catch hold of the saakshi and enjoy the show rather than being part of it. This is the meditation that needs to be done. Keep asanga – disassociation.

Trigunya vishaayaa vedaah – nistraigunyo bhava arjuna – Become free of all the gunas. Overcome rajas and tamas. Sattva is godliness – don’t think about get rid of sattva. Here catch Saakshi. It will automatically resolve by itself. Don’t worry about how to let go of Saakshi. If you are intent in grasping something, hold on to Saakshi. It is like giving something interesting to the baby to make it leave the sharp knife that it is playing with.

We end it by reciting the first verse again

परमात्माद्वयानन्दपूर्णः पूर्वं स्वमायया । स्वयमेव जगद्भूत्वा प्राविशज्जीवरूपतः ॥ १ ॥

Harih Om!



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