(aka Vedanta Panchadasi)
By Sri Vidyaranya Swami
Translated by Swami Swahananda
Published by Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai
XV. THE BLISS OF OBJECTS
1. Now, in this
Chapter is described the bliss which is derived from (the contact of the mind
with) external objects, which may be called a door to the bliss of Brahman and
an aspect of it. The Shruti has established that it is an aspect of that bliss.
2. The Shruti says that this is the supreme bliss which is indivisible and homogeneous, it is Brahman Himself and that other beings (individuated by Avidya) enjoy only a fraction of it.
3. The mental modifications are of three kinds: serene (Sattvika), agitated (Rajasika) and dull (Tamasika). The Sattvika modifications are detachment, fortitude, liberality and so forth.
4. The Rajasika modifications are thirst and love for objects, attachment (to them as if they were real), greed and so forth. The Tamasika modifications are said to be delusion, fear and so forth.
5. The consciousness aspect of Brahman is reflected in all these modifications, but in the Sattvika modifications alone joy also is reflected.
6. The Shruti says that entering into different bodies the supreme Self assumes different forms. Vyasa, the author of the Brahma-Sutras, wrote the Sutra which illustrates the entry of Brahman into the bodies by the example of the sun (taking different forms) when reflected in different water-vessels.
7. (Another Shruti says): 'The supreme Self, though one only, exists in every object. Like the moon reflected in water, though one It appears as many'.
8. The moon which is reflected in water is faint in muddy water and clear in pure water. Similarly Brahman is two-fold according to the quality of the Vrittis (modification) of the mind.
9. Because of the preponderance of impurities of the Rajasika and Tamasika Vrittis, the blissfulness of Brahman is obscured; but because of their slight purity the consciousness of Brahman is reflected.
10. Or as in pure water when heated there is the transmission of heat of the fire and not its light, similarly in the Vrittis (in which Rajas and Tamas predominate) there is the manifestation of consciousness only.
11. But as in (a piece of burning) wood both heat and light are manifested, similarly in the Sattvika Vrittis both consciousness and bliss are manifested.
12. These two illustrations make it clear that it is the nature of things which determines what kind of manifestation they may give and it is by experience that these properties are established.
13. Neither in Rajasika nor in Tamasika Vrittis the experience of bliss is seen but in Sattvika Vrittis experience of happiness is seen to a greater or lesser degree.
14. When a man has desires for houses, lands and other objects then because of the agitated quality of this desire which is an effect of Rajas, there is no happiness for him.
15. There is misery in thinking whether it will succeed; in failure this misery increases; when there are obstacles to success, anger arises or if opposed, hatred.
16. If the opposition is too formidable to be overcome, there is despair; that is born of Tamas. In anger etc., there is great misery; indeed even the chance of happiness is remote.
17. With the acquisition of the desired object the pleasing Vritti is calmed and there is great happiness; and in actual enjoyment, the happiness is greater. Even in the prospect of acquiring it, there is some happiness.
18. But the greatest happiness is the outcome of detachment. This subject has been dealt with in the Chapter on the 'Bliss of Knowledge'. Like this there is happiness in fortitude as well as in liberality, because there are no anger and greed.
19. Whatever happiness is experienced it is Brahman alone because it is a reflection of the bliss of Brahman. When the Vritti is directed inward or is withdrawn, the reflection of bliss is unobstructed.
20. Existence, consciousness and bliss - these are the threefold nature of Brahman. In objects like clay, stone and so forth, only existence is manifest, whereas the other two are not.
21. Both existence and consciousness are manifest in the Rajasika and Tamasika Vrittis of the intellect and all the three are manifest in the Sattvika Vrittis. Brahman associated with the world including the Vrittis is thus described.
22. Brahman not associated with the world is comprehended by knowledge and Yoga. They have been spoken of earlier, the topic of Yoga in Chapter 11 and knowledge in the next two chapters.
23. The two, absence of consciousness and misery, and non-existence - these are the three forms of Maya. Non-existence is illustrated by such expressions as 'the horns of a man'; absence of consciousness is seen in such objects as wood, stone etc.
24. There is misery in the Rajasika and Tamasika Vrittis. Thus Maya is manifested. Because of His identification with the Vrittis of the intellect, which are Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika, Brahman is called 'associated Brahman' i.e., Brahman is associated with the world.
25. Such being the nature of Maya and Brahman, the man who wishes to meditate on Brahman should ignore the objects which have no existence (such as the horns of a man) and concentrate properly on other objects.
26. In stone etc., he should reject both name and form and meditate on existence; in Rajasika and Tamasika Vrittis he should reject the misery (which is associated with them) and meditate on existence and consciousness.
27. And in the Sattvika Vrittis he should contemplate on all the three - existence, consciousness and bliss. These three kinds of contemplation are successively called inferior, middling and superior contemplations.
28. Even for a man of dull intellect meditation on the characteristics of Brahman is good. To tell this only 'the Bliss of Objects' is described here.
29. After having had enough of enjoyments, when the mental modifications become indifferent to objects and become detached, the contemplation regarding the bliss of impressions arise, which is the highest. Thus are the four kinds of contemplation on Brahman described.
30. As in these four types of meditation there is an admixture of knowledge and Yoga they are not mere meditations; but should be considered as a (direct means of achieving) the knowledge of Brahman itself. The mind being concentrated by meditation, this knowledge of Brahman becomes steady.
31. In steady knowledge, existence, consciousness and bliss shine as a single homogeneous entity and not as separate entities, their difference having disappeared with the disappearance of their Upadhis or adjuncts.
32. It is said that the adjuncts creating difference are the Sattvika, Rajasika and Tamasika Vrittis. Through either Yoga or discrimination these disturbing Vrittis are removed.
33. When the associationless, self-luminous and secondless Brahman is grasped or known, there is then no triad of knower, knowing and known. So it is called infinite bliss.
34. In this, the fifth chapter of the section called 'the Bliss of Brahman', 'the Bliss of Objects' has been dealt with. Through this door enter (i.e., into the bliss of Brahman).
35. May the Lord who is both Hari and Hara ever be pleased by this 'Bliss of Brahman' and may He protect all creatures who take refuge in Him and are pure in heart.